NFFC Draft Champions Diary (Part I)[the_ad id=”62257″]For those of you who have never participated in a Draft Champions format, it is a unique and exciting way to participate in Fantasy Football. The “Best Ball” lineup format allows for the management of your roster to be no hassle with a low level of frustration over lineup decisions. Best ball means you automatically receive your optimal starting lineup each week after the scores are complete and there are no player claims allowed. The format is similar to the popular MFL10 leagues, except that it is a supersized version with 35 roster spots, and the draft employs a competitive balance feature called “Third Round Reversal”, where the draft order flips in the third round – this gives the 12th pick the 12th, 13th and 25th picks in the draft to better disperse the talent to the teams.
Before we jump into this article check out my previous piece on NFFC Draft Strategy, which helps for those looking for insight for draft preparation. To learn more about NFCC itself, you can check out more details here.
The following is an ongoing diary of my fantasy draft which began on June 6th in which I held the first overall pick in the draft.
1.01 – Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
The consensus #1 overall selection in redraft leagues was a no-brainer for me in this PPR scoring format. Some people could argue Odell Beckham or Julio Jones at this pick, but I do not think it is all that close.
2.12 – Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears
I was ecstatic to be able to get Jeffery at this spot, I have him ranked as a borderline 1st round selection does Gridiron Experts in it’s top 250 PPR rankings. Hamstring issues hampered his 2015 season from the get-go, but in nine games he produced at a 96-1435-9 pace. Lamar Miller was the only other player I considered here.
3.12 – Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals
4.01 – Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts
Following the 3rd round reversal of the draft order, I picked at the 3rd/4th turn and was faced with a tough decision. For those who have read my NFFC strategy guide, I advocate wide receivers early and often, and had planned on going WR-WR-WR-WR to start the draft, but New Orleans running back Mark Ingram was on the board when it got to my selections.
I stuck to my guns and took two wide receivers in high powered offenses — Fitzgerald, I feel is getting selected too late and has at least two more big seasons in him, as long as Carson Palmer stays healthy; and Donte Moncrief is one of the rising stars in this league. With Andrew Luck throwing the ball Moncrief would have produced a 222 PPR point pace, which would’ve been good for the WR23 spot last year. I think Moncrief will improve with Luck playing healthier this year. Ingram and Jordan Matthews were my other considerations here.
5.12 – Dion Lewis, RB, New England Patriots
6.01 – Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns[the_ad id=”58837″]Some fantasy owners despise these types of running backs but in Best Ball formats these scat backs are my favorite type RB to target. Running backs who get 15-20 carries a week tend to produce fairly steady outcomes unless they have multiple touchdown games, but that is better suited for leagues where you to choose your weekly lineup – in a Best Ball, the scat backs can rack up PPR points in bunches, or have a bad week and only get a couple touches – this variance gives you a big upside in this format and that is what you are looking for.
Patriots Dion Lewis was on pace to be the RB4 before his injury. As a rookie, Johnson was the RB24 while only scoring a pair of touchdowns; with Hue Jackson coaching, I see Johnson as a great value play in any PPR format.
Drew Brees, Latavius Murray and Matt Jones were my other options here.
7.12 – Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
8.01 – Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans[the_ad id=”63198″]I did not plan to draft Tom Brady because I had no idea he would be available, his ADP was 62.1 and I got him at pick #84, which was nine picks later than the latest he had been selected in 14 previous NFFC drafts. This scoring system awards six points for passing touchdowns and one point per 20 yards passing, so quarterbacks are high scoring compared to standard leagues. Even if Brady misses the four games he is currently slated to, there was very little downside to this pick, and if the suspension gets reduced, this was easily be the steal of the draft as the 10th quarterback off the board. I was a big Delanie Walker fan last year and he came through large, I do not expect him to repeat with the new ground game the Titans are looking to implement, but he will still be a large part of their pass game and at pick #85, he was 11 picks past his ADP of 73.9. Zach Ertz was the only other player I considered here, this was a very easy set of picks for me.
9.12 – Theo Riddick, RB, Detroit Lions
10.01 – Corey Coleman, WR, Cleveland Browns
I was aiming for Charles Sims or Theo Riddick at this spot and was happy that Riddick lasted after Sims went off the board at 8.10. Riddick gives me another one of those highly volatile scat back types that I like; word is he may play some slot receiver this year, which should hurt his minimal rushing stats, but if he can even come close to matching his receiving numbers from 2015 (80 receptions, 697 yards, 3 touchdowns), I will be extremely happy with this pick.
As for Corey Coleman, I was looking to grab a fifth receiver here and thought Coleman offered some great upside with a fairly safe floor for a rookie. He steps into a Cleveland offense as the clear number one target at wide receiver. Although some fantasy owners dismiss him as a Baylor product, I challenge any of them to watch some tape of Coleman and explain to me why they think he will not produce in the NFL. Sterling Shepard and Tavon Austin were others I considered.
11.12 – Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Minnesota Vikings
12.01 – Zach Miller, TE, Chicago Bears
This was a very frustrating pick as I watched 11 quarterbacks get selected in the 22 picks after my Coleman selection. Last year I was able to get Carson Palmer in round 13, but this year apparently the quarterback market has changed and moved up a few rounds. I am not a fan of Teddy Bridgewater, but I feel that with the upgrade of their offensive line, the return of Kyle Rudolph into the passing game, the emergence of Jerick McKinnon as a receiving back, and the addition of rookie Laquon Treadwell will help the third year quarterback take a step forward in his development. I was shooting to get one of Antonio Gates, Dwayne Allen, Jimmy Graham or Zach Miller here, and was more than happy to get Miller – I had actually hoped to make the Cutler/Miller combo my selections here, but Cutler was selected in the 11th round QB Armageddon I mentioned earlier – the only other quarterback selected in the next 41 picks was Robert Griffin III.
This concludes Part I of the NFFC Draft Champions Diary, in the next part I will highlight my picks from the final 23 rounds.
30-something, Southern California native and have lived here my entire life. That being said, the state of NFL Football in the region has been relatively poor for most of my life, so I gravitated to Fantasy Football as an alternative. Being a math nerd, gambler and NFL fan, Fantasy Football was a natural outlet – over the years I have played in small home leagues with my high school friends and also worked my way up the ranks to play in some of the largest buy-in leagues in the world as part of the National Fantasy Football Championship (NFFC). I am also an avid poker player which began at a young age, but after college I played online poker and competed twice in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event in Las Vegas. My day job as a Construction Cost Consultant is another “math” outlet, but I prefer using my brain for Fantasy Football. Most importantly, I am a husband to an amazing wife and new father to a wonderful baby girl.