The Breaking Football fantasy draft is complete. The ultra competitive 16 team league is full of great football minds and I knew I was up against stiff competition. Below I will show my strategy, some of my selections, and my favorite and least favorite selections.
I have never participated in such a big league before so that was my biggest challenge as far as strategy goes. I knew the player pool was going to get diluted really fast with so many teams in the league. I was picking 11th and I was not really sure who was going to be available when I was on the clock, so my plan was to select the best player available. Even though this league contains a lot of teams, my strategy stayed the same as it would in a 12 team league. I usually like to wait on a QB, which I usually make the mistake of waiting too long because there is always the guy that drafts two number one QB’s. However, I would rather load up on running backs and receivers because those are more important in my eyes than drafting Aaron Rodgers in round 3.
Round 1: RB, Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers
My first pick in the draft was Melvin Gordon. At pick 11, the best receiver on the board was Amari Cooper and I did not feel he was worth the 11th pick. I also felt I needed to grab a running back early because the league is so deep, so the running backs pool was going to get thin really quick. As I was on the clock, it was between Gordon or LeSean Mccoy. I ultimately decided to go with the younger back with more upside. The Chargers spent two high draft picks on the offensive line, which should help open up more holes for Gordon this year.
Round 2: WR, Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks
Doug Baldwin was my choice in the 2nd round. I wanted to keep my team balanced and did not want to reach for another running back so I felt Doug Baldwin was a safe pick at the receiver spot. He may not have the highest upside but he does have a high floor so I was okay with taking Baldwin at this spot.
Round 3: RB, Bilal Powell, New York Jets
I wanted another running back and I decided to maybe reach a little for Bilal Powell. Powell has a chance for a breakout season since Matt Forte is not getting any younger. In a PPR league, Powell has a higher value because of his pass catching ability. During the last four weeks of last season, Powell was only behind Le’Veon Bell in fantasy points, so I am hoping he can carry that production over into this season.
Round 4: WR, Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders
My fourth round selection was wide receiver, Michael Crabtree. This was one of my most frustrating selections because the player I wanted to pick was chosen one spot before me. My original choice was to select Jamison Crowder, but Jon Valencia picked him right before me, leaving me out to dry. I was caught off guard and quickly decided to select another receiver with a high floor. Crabtree gets a lot of looks from Derek Carr and I expect him to have similar production compared to last year.
Round 5: RB, Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers
Carlos Hyde was my fifth round selection. Looking back at the draft, I probably should have just bit the bullet and drafted a QB but instead, I selected a player that I am not so high on. Hyde has shown he can be a solid running back in the NFL, however his inability to stay healthy always leaves fantasy owners in frustration. My hope is that Kyle Shanahan can help Carlos Hyde achieve the best season of his career with the zone blocking scheme.
Jamaal Williams was one of my favorite running backs in the 2017 draft class and now he is my favorite sleeper running back in fantasy football. I drafted Jamaal Williams in the 12th round and I believe he will have the type of season David Johnson had as a rookie. He probably won’t be playing much early in the season but towards the end of the year, I can see Williams taking on a larger workload for the Packers.
Joe Williams is the other sleeper I am very excited for. Once I drafted Carlos Hyde, I knew I needed to draft Joe Williams as a handcuff. Williams has impressed the coaches already and Kyle Shanahan is a huge fan of his. While it will be a headache to have both 49ers’ running backs on my team, I am definitely going to try and trade Hyde away before the season starts and hope Williams takes the role as a lead back during the season.
Quarterback and Tight End
Of course, I waited too long to draft a quarterback and ended up with Eli Manning and Joe Flacco. Flacco will surely be my backup for most of the year. I am hoping Eli can bounce back and utilize his new weapons in Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram.
I am happy with my selection at tight end. I used my 8th round pick on Colts tight end, Jack Doyle. Doyle is in line for a huge increase in targets with Dwayne Allen being traded to the Patriots. Andrew Luck loves to throw to his tight ends and Doyle showed last year that he can be a solid redzone target for Luck.
Defense and Kicker
While these might not be the most exciting positions to draft, you still have to do it. I am a huge fan of streaming defenses from week to week and I plan on using that strategy again this season. I drafted the Steelers defense in the 15th round. This is not the great Steeler defenses of old, but when taking a look at their schedule, I see that they play the Browns week one and that is a great matchup to start the season. The Steelers also play the Vikings and Bears in weeks 2-3 which are also good matchups against teams with bad offenses.
I drafted Mason Crosby to be my kicker because Aaron Rodgers is the quarterback for his team. The volume of attempts that Crosby gets is because of the Packers explosive offense. This makes Crosby a decent option at the position.