Twitter Draft Review: Shooting for the Moon or for Last Place?

               On June 1st I finally got around to doing my first actual draft for 2019.  Organized by @EverydayFFB, the draft consists of 12 people from the FF twitter community and is a PPR redraft with 1 QB; 3 RB; 3 WR; 1 TE; 1 Flex (W/R/T); and 7 Bench (no Kicker and no Defense because who cares about that).

                This draft came about at the perfect time as I was still in a hole left over from the good and the bad of Avengers Endgame and the final season of Game of Thrones. I hadn’t done a single mock draft leading up to this draft even though I am constantly conversing in the Twitterverse, listening to FF podcasts, and generally always thinking about fantasy football. The end result of coming in blind, so to speak, was a team that I initially hated but now see as a team that has a Shoot For the Moon kind of feel to it. So here goes with my pick by pick breakdown from the 10 spot.

1.       James Conner

9. N’keal Harry

2.       Travis Kelce

10. Darrell Henderson

3.       Damien Williams

11. Geronimo Allison

4.       Julian Edelman

12. Josh Allen

5.       David Montgomery

13. D’Onta Foreman

6.       Sammy Watkins

14. DK Metcalf

7.       Miles Sanders

15. Kalen Ballage

8.       Carson Wentz

16. Keelan Cole


Round 1 selection: James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh

                I will pretty much always leave the first 2 rounds of any draft with at least 1 running back regardless of the scoring or draft position, and 9 times out of 10, I end up with 2 running backs in the first 2 rounds. James Conner has an allure to him given what he did last year in 13 games (215-973-12; 55-497-1) when he stepped in for the no-show that was Leveon Bell. Conner was the fantasy savior of 2018, and even if overshadowed by the historic Pat Mahomes year, Conner’s performance was nothing short of pure dominance for an almost undrafted player in many leagues. With Bell gone and the chance to play 16 games as the unquestioned starter, Conner’s ceiling is sky high. But ultimately, he had that chance to play all 16; he was the bell cow; and, not much has changed other than Jaylon Samuel becoming a potential change of pace to maybe limit Conner’s upside.

                The role of Samuel in this offense is what concerns many fantasy owners. Samuel showed well when given the chance, but what running back hasn’t shown up when given the chance in a Tomlin offense given the stellar offensive line play and elite skill position players in that offense. Now with no Antonio Brown and no Leveon Bell who knows if this team will have the same chemistry as the holy triumvirate of Ben, Bell, and Brown. Ironically, Conner’s injury/medical history is part of what draws me to him. I am a total sucker to the narrative around a NFL player, and Conner beating cancer makes it so I just can’t quit him. But he did get banged up, though that could be expected after being thrust into the bell cow role. Ultimately, I am more optimistic than I was in the hours after this draft ended, but I’m going to attribute that the Endowment Effect.  Just because he is now a member of one of my squads, am I being overly optimistic and dismissive of his downside?

Round 2 selection: Travis Kelce, TE Kansas City

                Going tight end early in fantasy drafts is going to be one of the topics to dominate the offseason leading up to the 2019 drafts. The trio of Kelce, Ertz, and Kittle were just so damn good last year. We had Kelce (1336 yards) and Kittle (1377 yards) break the single season yardage record 45 minutes apart from each other, and Ertz now has the single season reception record at 111 receptions. As Tight End premium leagues become more prominent I think there will be a trickle down into regular standard or PPR leagues that further boosts tight ends. Sure enough, I am guilty of this as I think a lot about my main keeper league which is tight end premium. But personal biases aside… Travis Kelce is Zeus. He is on top of Mount Olympus being a God among mere mortals. With the expected suspension of Tyreek Hill looming, the ascendance of Patrick Mahomes, and the revolving door of elite production from the RB position in Kansas City, it is not crazy to predict that Kelce surpass his 150+ targets from 2018. He is THAT good, and damn does he feel like a security blanket when he is on your roster. But…. At what cost?

                While I love everything about Travis Kelce and his positional advantage, the other players being passed up make me feel a little queasy. In this situation, I chose Kelce over Joe Mixon. While Kelce has the ability to repay some value on his draft cost, I am not sure he can surpass that draft value comparable to the likes of a Joe Mixon who lives in a world where the overall RB1 isn’t too crazy to imagine. The hole in your roster from a 2nd round tight end is glaring, and something I will be dedicating it’s own article to in the future. For now I’ll leave it at this:

                Would you prefer Conner and Kelce OR Julio and Mixon at the start of your draft? These were the two player I kept coming back to as the draft progressed, and as you have seen with my roster above, I am thin at WR, am living on a prayer with my RB, and ultimately shooting for the moon with my overall squad. That subsequent Go Big or Go Home mentality in rounds 3 and beyond is a direct result of these first two picks as I ended up going hard after upside to compensate.

Round 3 selection: Damien Williams, RB, Kansas City

                Everyone knows the value of having that coveted Andy Reid running back when he is the guy. Kareem Hunt is my fantasy guy along with Rob Gronkowski and Arian Foster because in their breakout years I had drafted them on a majority of my rosters. When Kareem getting kicked off the team, he seemed to be in that top tier of elite running backs. But alas, when he was cut, and Damien became the guy, the perennial backup running back stepped right in as if he had been the starter all year. Williams took the bull by the horns and did everything he could to cement his hold of this running back group. Over the final 5 games (not including playoffs) he rushed 50-256-4 while catching 23-160-2. He was lights out, and anyone who had picked him up potentially road him to a championship. If he holds on to the starting job all season, and the Chiefs continue to be an elite offense, then what is the ceiling for Damien, overall running back 3, 4, 5?

                However, the more traveled Journeyman of Carlos Hyde would love to have a word with anyone who thinks Williams is going to run away with the job. As a 49ers fan, I have watched a lot of Carlos Hyde, and he is a good player or maybe was a good player…? I’m not sure who or what he is anymore. A Hue Jackson Browns team doesn’t give much in the way of talent evaluation, and the Jaguars were not anything to get excited about last year. So maybe he still has gas in the tank, but my guess is that Damien holds on to the starting job. With a 3rd round pick, I’m happy to take the upside of Damien trying to start all 16 games.

Round 4 selection: Julian Edelman, WR, New England

                Full disclosure, I LOVE this pick and LOVE Julian Edelman this year. I don’t see any downsides about taking him in the 4th round, but I do have reservations about him as my WR1. This hesitation is the result of taking Conner/Kelce rather than Julio/Mixon. Edelman will produce like a low end WR1 or very high end WR2. I don’t see a world in which he plays 16 games has less than 120 targets, less than 1100 yards and less than 8 touchdowns, again that is the floor I see for him. But this pick was about getting a high floor guy that probably doesn’t have that Elite high ceiling. Because of the unknown surrounding Conner and Williams, I felt it necessary to pick up someone that would be a set and forget wide receiver in the 4th.

Round 6 selection: Sammy Watkins, WR, Kansas City (yes, I know I jumped round 5, but that’s because I want to combine rounds 5 and 7)

                Sammy is going to be my most polarizing player throughout the offseason and even during the regular season. I seem to own him in a lot of places as I thought 2018 would be an actual breakout for the former No. 4 overall NFL draft pick. He has shown his elite ability throughout his years in the NFL, but usually ends up hurting his foot after a couple of elite plays and then is in and out of the lineup for a few games after that. And he continued his consistent injuries once he arrived in Kansas City. When he played he was averaging 50-60 yards and had only 5 TDs over the course of the season. With the possible Hill suspension, he could become the number 1, and if he can stay healthy he has the opportunity to blow up. But ultimately, this may be the above-mentioned Endowment Effect from having Sammy on a keeper roster in another league. I have much more faith in the chance of Damien Williams to be elite than I do for Sammy to be a WR2.

                This is the pick I probably regret the most, but that is because I like the tight ends in this range with Ebron, Engram, and Cook going in the next round. Having an elite WR in round 1 or 2, would have allowed me to pivot to a TE here or take Derrius Guice, Will Fuller, or Robby Anderson.

Round 5 and 7 selections: David Montgomery, RB, Chicago; Miles Sanders, RB; Philadelphia

                With my first 2 rookie picks I wanted to target both Montgomery and Sanders hoping that at least 1 of them would take over the lead duties. I have more faith in Montgomery from a team-based perspective in the sense that Chicago did not have a lot of draft capital, and yet still traded up to take Montgomery after releasing Jordan Howard, signing Mike Davis, and keeping Tarik Cohen as their gadget/pass catching back. The loss of Howard opens up around 225-275 touches, and Montgomery projects to be a better pass catcher than Howard and hopefully a better pure runner. The team investment makes me really like Montgomery’s potential in a defense first team with Trubisky still learning the NFL game.

                Miles Sanders enters a polarizing situation in which he will be a cog in muddled backfield given the Eagles acquisition of the aforementioned free agent Jordan Howard and the stable of running backs OR, if the team is to be believed, Sanders will be given the shot to become the guy in Philly. I tend to think the Eagles’ non-Sanders running backs are all Just Another Guy, with the exception of Howard who is a good hard runner. While I don’t see Sanders as a 3 down back, I think he is going to be getting a good chunk of rushing plays and the all-important passing plays. His round 7 price tag is baked into the community wide skepticism of what Sanders’s role will be, but the upside is definitely worth the risk at this point in the draft.

Round 8 and beyond:

                Rather than continue with a breakdown of each pick, I want to provide a general overview of my thinking. I don’t draft rookie wide receivers as they take a longer time to develop. I have even written an article about my cautious attitude towards N’Keal Harry in dynasty drafts due to Tom Brady’s age and impending retirement in the next year, 2 years, 10 years?!? But this isn’t dynasty, this is redraft, and if Harry can get on the same page with Brady then he has a nice floor with his touchdown upside given the Gronk-less Patriots will need a bigger bodied wide receiver who can win in the end zone at contested catches with good body control. 

Similarly, with Doug Baldwin’s release, the Seahawks need playmakers and I like the possibility of Wilson’s arm matching with Metcalf’s speed. While the Seahawks are a run first time, they use the run to set up the play action, which lends to Metcalf’s skillset. There is obvious major downside with these wide receivers, and they may just have to be bench stashes until the second half of the season, but I felt like Geronimo Allison presents a later round WR3 with WR2 upside as that receiving corps is an unknown behind Davante Adams. Taking mid round fliers on receivers catching passes from Brady, Rodgers, and Wilson tends to be a strategy I’m happy to follow.

                Lastly, why not take the upside of a D’Onta Foreman if he can beat out Lamar Miller. As a Texas resident, the annual Texans game I attend at NRG stadium reinforces that Miller is not well suited for the likes of Bill O’Brien’s offensive scheming (that’s a generous word for his crappy play calling). Hopefully Foreman can revitalize that running game and help Deshaun Watson’s ascendance to an elite fantasy and real life QB.


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