Preparing for FFPC Fantasy Football Players Championship High Stakes Draft
Every year the best in Fantasy Football gather to compete against each other in Las Vegas and online around the country. The stakes are high as prizes range from hundreds of dollars to $250,000 for the overall grand prize winner. Entry fees are in the thousands and many sign up for multiple teams. With this kind of money on the line, you can bet that the majority of these team owners are prepared and have a strategy going into their drafts. If you do not have a strategy, your chances are slim in realizing any prize money, unless “luck” is on your side. Mock drafts are a good preparation tool, but are they accurate? For example, this league has a duel flex starter position and 1.5 points is awarded for every pass caught by a TE. Those two rules alone are enough to change the make-up of any mock draft you participate in. What if you could analyze several actual drafts that counted before you drafted your team? That is exactly what you’ll get in this article.
The Draft Grid below is an “actual” draft that took place in the FFPC in a “Pros vs. Joe’s” contest. The contestants were the best in fantasy football from the professional side and randomly picked “Joe’s” that will participate in the FFPC contest. Six drafts took place recently and I have randomly selected one of these drafts for an analysis. I have decided to forecast only 7 rounds as these selections will be the “core” of your team and the remaining rounds should be built around those 7 players. To start, let’s randomly select the “Team 3” position, although the same preparation can be applied to any Team number. The “actual” team drafted in the first 7 rounds is highlighted in yellow. I have decided on 7 rounds because your “core” team to this point should consist of at least 3 RBs, 2 WRs, and possibly 1 TE and 1QB. I say possibly because you have to monitor the flow of the draft at these positions on when to select your first TE or QB. Now that I have laid the groundwork, let’s start our draft.
Round 1: Jamaal Charles was selected in the 1st round below and there is not much disagreement with this selection. The only preparation required is if Adrian Peterson or Doug Martin “slipped” to you, but don’t count on it in this type of league. Very few mistakes will be made.
Round 2: Here’s a major decision to make. Larry Fitzgerald was selected, but was it a good choice? There is no doubt Fitzgerald is a great receiver, but are there other receivers in later rounds that can match Fitzgerald’s ability? Note that in the 1st Round 10 RBs were taken. The start of the 2nd saw a run on WRs and 5 were selected in a row. With Alfred Morris available, you can have a great 1-2 punch at the RB position with Charles and Morris. With the scarcity at the RB position, Morris would have been the choice in this slot.
Round 3: Another WR was selected, Andre Johnson. With 5 starting running backs still left on the board – Jones-Drew, Miller, McFadden, Murray, and Gore, why not grab one of these backs now? Remember the 2 Flex positions? You could select Lamar Miller, a young back with plenty of upside that will be fed the ball consistently in Miami. Yes, I will pass on the injury prone and other aged backs here, but I like Miller here and can play him in one of the flex positions as the backfield is already filled with starters. Not only do you get an advantage at the RB position, you are also denying the opportunity to the teams that selected WRs in the 2nd Round to obtain a good RB. This will force them to select mediocre backs and the better WRs will fall in the 4th and 5th Rounds.
Round 4: Again, the selection was a WR, Danny Amendola. This was a good position to fill and one I agree with. You already have a stacked backfield and a flex position filled. With Nicks, A. Brown, and Amendola available, Amendola was a good choice here. There is not much doubt Amendola will be Tom Brady’s “go to guy” and may get 100 catches this year (provided he stays healthy). You should have the opportunity to pick up Nicks, Brown or Torrey Smith on the turn in the 5th Round.
Round 5: The pick was Shane Vereen as his owner now struggles to complete his RB positions. In my opinion, Vereen is not a starter at the No.2 RB. A better selection here could be Pierre Garcon. He’s now healthy and will be the #1 Receiver in Washington. If he plays all 16 games, he should be one of the top 10 wide receivers. Reggie Wayne, Torrey Smith and Mike Wallace would also be good picks.
Round 6: Again, the choice is a RB in Eddie Lacy. This owner is trying to draft a competitive backfield. There is no indication yet that Lacy is the clear starter, especially with Jonathan Franklin competing for this position. It looks like a RB by committee in Green Bay. Andre Brown could have been a better pick here. He could eventually be the starting RB in New York. He definitely will be the goal line back and has demonstrated pass catching ability out of the backfield. Don’t have too much faith that David Wilson has the size to last in a 16 game season. He will be returning punts for the Giants and that will increase his injury risk. At a minimum, Andre Brown will see the field at least 50% of the time.
Round 7: The owner of this team has given up on RBs and has turned to another WR, Kenny Britt. A better selection is easy for this round – Tom Brady. What value! When was the last time you could draft Tom Brady in the 7th Round? Never! It’s likely that New England is coming from behind in their games this year and that means Brady will turn to the air. He will find a way to win games because he is still Tom Brady.
So let’s recap and compare our team to the actual Draft below:
|Round||Team 3||My Team|
|One||Jamaal Charles, KC||Jamaal Charles, KC|
|Two||Larry Fitzgerald, ARI||Alfred Morris, WAS|
|Three||Andre Johnson, HOU||Lamar Miller, MIA|
|Four||Danny Amendola, NE||Danny Amendola, NE|
|Five||Shane Vereen, NE||Pierre Garcon, WAS|
|Six||Eddie Lacy, GB||Andre Brown, NYG|
|Seven||Kenny Britt, TEN||Tom Brady, NE|
After 7 Rounds, you have depth at RB with 4 RBs, 2 quality WRs and a potential top 5 QB in Tom Brady. There are 13 Rounds remaining to fill the TE spot and build depth around our “core” players. Notice the potential weakness of Team 3’s RBs. You can still draft quality WRs in later rounds, but there will not be any true starting RBs to be found unless “luck” plays its hand and you happen to draft the right RB sleeper. With thousands of dollars at risk, you don’t want to rely on potential “sleepers” in early rounds. Which team after 7 Rounds would you want to start with?