Fighting Chance Fantasy Roundtable Discussion: The Scott Fish Bowl Edition


Welcome back to another Fighting Chance Fantasy roundtable discussion, The Scott Fish Bowl edition.

Several of us here at Fighting Chance Fantasy had the opportunity to partake in the Scott Fish Bowl, and we wanted to give you an inside look at our thought process as we tried to tackle this monster of a league during the draft. Each of us will provide you with the perspective of our respective drafts and go over our teams as we all had different draft positions, which enabled us to draft various ways and build our teams. You will see our final drafted teams, which should lead to discussing who has the initial best chance to make a run at the title.  

Gary Haddow (@haddow27)

What was your draft strategy going into the draft?

Drafting from the 1.06, my plan going into the draft was to get an elite quarterback in the first round, specifically Dak Prescott, which I did. Then go running back heavy for a few rounds and pivot to a long wide receiver run. However, I ended up missing out on the running backs that I wanted round after round and pivoted to going with a #HeroRB approach. Aaron Jones was my pick in the second round, followed by five high-end wide receivers: Davante Adams, DeAndre Hopkins, Chris Godwin, Diontae Johnson, and Courtland Sutton. After that, it was looking for running back value with some seasoned veterans and picking up the late tight end value as always.

What player was your best value of the draft?

In terms of late-round picks, I fell in love with Cam Newton midway through the draft while looking for values and got him as my QB3 at 13.07. Hear me out; Newton had a HORRIFIC 2020. He was not startable, and you couldn't even roster him after a searing hot first two games. However, he finished as the QB18 on the season. That is incredible, given how terrible he played. Now, I attribute much of that to a new offense, terrible weapons, getting COVID-19, and various other factors. This year the Patriots rebuilt their pass catchers, their offensive line is intact, they have a very easy schedule, and Newton has said he is the healthiest he has been in four years.

Cam Newton will be a top-12 SFB11 quarterback in 2021!

Which player do you feel was the biggest reach you had in the draft?

At 3.07, I took Adams as the WR3 off the board, and honestly, I have no idea what will happen with Aaron Rodgers. If Rodgers doesn’t play with the Packers in 2021, Adams could be a giant swing and a miss. However, with Rodgers, then Adams becomes a great value in the third round, considering he would have gone in the second round without the murky quarterback situation.

Biggest regret in the draft?

Taking Carson Wentz at 5.07 feels very icky. I had planned on waiting on my QB2 but ended up chickening out. I see the upside of Wentz reuniting with Frank Reich and an awesome offensive line, but the downside is terrifying. Additionally, midway through the draft, I realized how much I love Newton this year for SFB11 scoring. This made me further regret the Wentz decision, though hopefully, between them, I’ll have a strong QB2 compared to where I took each of them.

Overall summary of your team and any areas to improve your roster?

I like my team. Sure, my RB2 needs some work, but I have guys who can hit with Raheem Mostert, Michael Carter, and Melvin Gordon. Ultimately, my team will live and die by Rodgers playing for the Packers in 2021. I’m extremely happy with how things turned out, even if this is the closest to #ZeroRB that I’ve gone in a league I genuinely care about. Shout out to Kevin Tompkins for pulling me over to the dark side.

Britt Flinn (@Britt_Flinn)

What was your draft strategy going into the draft?

This being a Superflex league with incrementally increased negative scoring on quarterback mistakes, I knew I couldn't wait on QB. My initial strategy was to take two efficient QBs back-to-back, following up with RB/RB/TE, then taking receivers in the later rounds. It sort of worked out that way, drafting Dak Prescott at the 1.07 (QB5), except Ezekiel Elliott (RB8) was staring me in the face at the 2.06. I couldn't turn down the Prescott/Elliott stack. I ended up slightly modifying my strategy with QB/RB/QB (Joe Burrow at 3.06 as QB13), then taking Mark Andrews (TE6) in the 4th. I knew that the rest of my draft would be a hybrid of the best available player/best value/best upside, so I was prepared with a list of players I knew I wanted and could reach for in the later rounds. 

What player was your best value of the draft?

This seriously blew my mind, but I was able to grab Michael Thomas (WR10) at 5.06 and Julio Jones (WR15) at 6.07. I can't decide which is a better value. However, I'm EXTREMELY happy with both of these picks. Thomas is primed for a bounce-back season, and Julio is reunited with his college teammate Derrick Henry in Tennessee. I expect to see huge numbers out of both these receivers in 2021.

Which player do you feel was the biggest reach you had in the draft?

I jumped a little too fast on Mo Alie-Cox at 16.07 (TE28). His average draft position (ADP) is hovering around the 268th overall (TE38), but I had to have him. Carson Wentz loves his tight ends, especially in the red zone. Even though he only played 12 games last season, Wentz threw 27 targets between Goedert or Ertz in the red zone, good for most in the league. Alie-Cox has the size, speed, and athleticism to thrive with Wentz at the helm, and I couldn't pass him up. 

Biggest regret in the draft?

I thought Darrynton Evans would fall to me, so I drafted Salvon Ahmed the round before at 18.07 (RB61). Booooo. 

Overall summary of your team and any areas to improve your roster?

I know everyone says this, but I really like my team. I don't care what the early season predictions say. Elijah Moore, Mecole Hardman, and Amon-Ra St. Brown have tremendous upside, and I'm ready to capitalize on that. Go big, or go home! As far as improving it, I'm not sure until training camp starts and positional battles shake out. Don't get me wrong, though... I'm going to be surfing that waiver wire regularly!

Kevin Tompkins (@ktompkinsii)

What was your draft strategy going into the draft?

Score the most points possible. Wide receiver score the most fantasy points and score more than virtually every level of ADP. As Blair Andrews from RotoViz always touts, "win the race to the flex." That was my entire plan, whether to do that with tight end value or wide receiver value were the main pivots throughout my draft. I also wanted to make sure I nabbed two elite quarterbacks and I landed three, though last one comes with a caveat. 

What player was your best value of the draft?

Tee Higgins at 8.07. Higgins seems to be lost in the shuffle as far as valuation among analysts and fantasy players but make no mistake about it: he should be drafted ahead of Ja'Marr Chase in all scenarios as a high-upside potential alpha. The difference between Higgins and Chase is that Higgins just did it last season. If Joe Burrow doesn't get hurt, we're talking about Higgins as sort of a 1B with Justin Jefferson as far as rookie wide receiver hits.

Which player do you feel was the biggest reach you had in the draft?

I feel like I didn't really have to reach at all and let the board come to me. Being in the middle let me pick up any stragglers according to ADP, so there wasn't much reason to reach for anybody based on that.

Biggest regret in the draft?

My biggest regret easily was not having a better grouping of tight ends. Evan Engram, Mo Alie-Cox, and Jacob Harris are a solid enough trio, but at where I took Deshaun Watson (13.06), four tight ends were sniped from me so that was the main pivot point of my draft.

Overall summary of your team and any areas to improve your roster?

I love the potential of my team, and some of the projections have me in the top-five of the entire conference. With a bit of luck, the onslaught of top-30 wide receivers and elite quarterbacks can carry this roster provided I get some baseline scoring at running back and tight end. Obviously, I will need to improve and churn my roster for running backs that will be moderately useful this season and if I run into somebody with even top-36 value, we'll be in great shape!

Leo Grandio (@smooth1074)

What was your draft strategy going into the draft?

Heading into the draft, I wanted to build a balanced team that would adjust to any unforeseen obstacles that may come my way during the season. My top priority was with the Scott Fish Bowl being a superflex league. I felt that I had to come away with two top-12 quarterbacks and two top-10 running backs in the first four rounds. I had the 1.01 pick in my division, so my major debate was whether to draft Christian McCaffrey or Patrick Mahomes to start the draft. Ultimately I felt there was a greater difference between CMC and the running back that would be there for me at the 2.12 than the difference between draft Mahomes and the quarterback that would have fallen to me at that spot. By taking CMC with the 1.01, the quarterback that fell to me at 2.12 was Aaron Rodgers, who should be fantasy gold in this league with the settings geared to punish quarterbacks who throw interceptions and get sacked. Now I need to pray for Rodgers to play the season, which I know he will. After that, it was mainly drafting values as they fell to me throughout the draft.

What player was your best value of the draft?

I believe grabbing James Conner at the 11.12 spot was a steal. Conner signed during the offseason with the Arizona Cardinals and has a chance to create a 50:50 time-share in this backfield with Chase Edmonds and could be counted on as the goal-line back.

Which player do you feel was the biggest reach you had in the draft?

With the 12.01, I reached for Mecole Hardman, who has an ADP of 152, which is 20 picks before his ADP. After Antonio Brown and Jaylen Waddle were sniped from me at the end of the eleventh round, I felt that I needed to make sure I secured a potential game-breaker as my WR4. Hardman is in an excellent Chiefs’ offense and should be able to carve out a larger role for himself with Sammy Watkins no longer in the picture as the often injured one signed with the Ravens this offseason.

Biggest regret in the draft?

My biggest regret was not drafting my second tight end in the 14th round. I gambled that one of the four tight ends I was eyeing would get to me in the 15th round, but the last of the four, Zach Ertz, was drafted three spots before me. So I had to settle for Austin Hooper as my TE2.

Overall summary of your team and any areas to improve your roster?

Overall, I believe my draft went according to plan as I built a balanced team with a solid core of quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers. The area that could be a pitfall for me this year may be the tight end position. If Irv Smith Jr. can stay healthy, I truly believe he will have a breakout year with Kyle Rudolph no longer on the team. In five of his last nine games, Smith scored in double figures even though he missed four games due to injuries. If I have to depend on Hooper to save me, I may be in the deep. The wild card for my team might be Greg Zuerlein. With the Scott Fish Bowl having the opportunity to start kickers at the flex spot, I drafted a kicker in a high-scoring offense that can kicker many field goals from long distances, and most of his games will be indoors. Only time will tell if this team will be a contender or a pretender. Hopefully, I can improve from my semi-final finish from last year. Let me start praying for good health for my players because you have no chance of winning without good health.  

Ikey Azar (@IkeyAzar)

What was your draft strategy going into the draft?

Going into my first Scott Fish Bowl draft, the first thing that stands out is that this is a large field tournament with 1,920 teams, so playing this draft like a run-of-the-mill redraft league did not seem optimal.

Having an in-depth knowledge of the starting positions and the unique scoring system was extremely important. It was extremely important to note for quarterbacks since they are heavily penalized with -4 points for an interception, -1 point for a sack, -1 point per incompletion, and completion is only 0.5. Quarterbacks need to complete 66% of their passes to break even. The 2020 season saw an NFL record 65.2% average completion percentage; however, it is yet to be seen if this was due to the unique season not having any fans in the stands. Over the previous three seasons, the league average was 63.3%.

Drafting from the ten spots and with the third round reversal (instead of selecting at the 3.10, that draft slot became the 3.03), my strategy was to choose two of the top 10-12 projected quarterbacks within my first three selections to lock in both the quarterback slot and Superflex positions in my starting roster. Since this is essentially a large field tournament, I decided not to draft a third quarterback since if either of the two I selected were to get injured, the chances of winning are slim.

The original hope was to have tight end Darren Waller fall to the 1.10 since this is essentially a double tight end premium league where they score a full point for both first downs and receptions. He was selected with the previous pick, leaving a pretty good value with Dalvin Cook, the projected overall RB2 there to start my draft. I then proceeded with the plan and drafted both Justin Herbert and Matthew Stafford with the following two selections.

Another pivoting point in strategy happened at the round 4-5 turn. With 17 running backs off the board, I locked in on my first wide receiver in A.J. Brown at 4.10 with the hopes that Chris Carson would come around at 5.03; however, I was sniped! Selecting at 5.02, when given a choice to select a projected ranked 20-25 running back, I decided to go with the Anchor RB strategy. "Anchor RB" is essentially where you select a running back with either your first or second-round pick to “anchor” the position as a whole and then effectively treat your second running back spot as your final flex spot while hoping to hit on either a running back drafted later or a move on the waiver wire.

At that point, that pretty much dictated the remainder of my draft strategy through round 22.

What player was your best value of the draft?

I am going to cheat and say both wide receivers: Antonio Brown and Marvin Jones.

In eight games last season, Brown was on a 16 game pace for 124 targets - 90 receptions - 966 yards - eight touchdowns and was the PPR WR28 over that timeframe, after essentially not playing football for nearly two years. Playing on a Tampa Bay team that has passed on over 62% of their plays the last two seasons, there should be plenty to go around for Brown to beat out a draft position of WR47. If there were an injury to either Mike Evans or Chris Godwin, he would be a weekly WR2 with WR1 upside.

In three of his last four seasons, Jones has caught at least nine touchdowns. Over his previous six seasons, he has earned nearly seven targets per game. While Jones left Detroit just as target competition got dwindled, he did sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who just drafted who many believe to be the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck in Trevor Lawrence. The Jaguars have a trio of intriguing wide receivers, but it would not be shocking in 2021 if Jones became Lawrence’s preferred target, in which case he would outperform his WR57 ADP.

Which player do you feel was the biggest reach you had in the draft?

Trey Sermon. While he was selected in the range of his ADP, given that we still do not know how that backfield will play out, there was value at other positions available.

Biggest regret in the draft?

Drafting both Sermon and James Conner instead of just one of them. Since I decided to go anchor RB, selecting both Conner and Sermon was suboptimal. Instead, I should have taken a wide receiver at one of those draft slots to continue building a potential strength at wide receiver and the three flex positions. 

The other biggest regret is not grabbing a viable third tight-end option behind Tyler Higbee and Eric Ebron. I believe it would have been a reach, but there was a major tight end run in the draft at the end of round 13 through round 14, where eight of 17 selections were tight ends.

Overall summary of your team and any areas to improve your roster?

I believe I walked out of the draft with a clear strength at quarterback and wide receiver. 

Running back, I will need to hit on a second option. However, I believe both Jamaal Williams and Conner can provide baseline production while hoping a breakout occurs from one of my other selections.

Higbee has a chance to be a viable TE1 with Gerald Everett leaving to go to Seattle, but like almost every team who did not get a top-five tight end, they all kind of stink.

Corey Hietpas (@Corey_Hietpas)

What was your draft strategy going into the draft?

I had the first pick in my division, and my plan was to attack quarterbacks early. With this quarterback scoring, I thought it was crucial to have two good quarterbacks. This didn’t go quite as planned, but I ended up with Patrick Mahomes and Matt Ryan as two of my first three picks. The more I think about it, the more I like it.   

What player was your best value of the draft?

Even though I hate this, it was Josh Jacobs with the 12th pick of the fifth round. I wasn’t targeting Jacobs because I am not a fan of the situation, but he’s still the lead running back and is looking at 15-20 carries a game. With a bit of touchdown luck, Jacobs could finish as a solid RB2. To verify this thought, I drafted Jacobs 14 picks later than his ADP, according to Scott Fish Bowl ADP on RotoGrinders.

Which player do you feel was the biggest reach you had in the draft?

My biggest reach was easily Kenneth Gainwell at the end of the 13th round. I’m not even a huge believer in Gainwell, but there wasn’t any other player I wanted at this pick. Looking back, I may have gone Elijah Moore instead, but I don’t regret taking Gainwell here. 

Biggest regret in the draft?

Not drafting Tee Higgins. There wasn’t much I could have done besides reaching and taking him over Amari Cooper as he was drafted one pick before I was up in the seventh round. Higgins is a “my guy” this year, and I was intent on drafting him in the Scott Fish Bowl. Sadly, this plan was ruined, painfully. 

Overall summary of your team and areas to improve your roster?

I think I’m very strong at quarterback and wide receiver, solid at running back, and have top-12 potential at tight end. My third running back is Michael Carter, and that feels like a clear weakness. Also, I only have Hunter Henry and Evan Engram at tight end, but I think one of them will be starter-worthy each week. Overall, this feels like a really good squad, and I’m confident that it’ll be near the top in the Madonna division.


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