SFB7 Mock Draft
It takes a lot to win a fantasy league, but there are three key factors: a good draft, good health and good luck. Fortunately, these factors were on my side in the SFB480 last year en route to a fifth-place finish. The Scott Fish Bowl is a mammoth league of more than 500 writers and fans with a unique scoring system and roster setup. Because the SFB is a superflex league and teams are able to start two quarterbacks, traditional drafting strategy basically goes out the window. It’s important to draft a signal-caller relatively early.
Last year, I took my quarterbacks, Kirk Cousins, and Ben Roethlisberger, in the fourth and sixth rounds, respectively. Passing touchdowns are worth six points this year, so quarterbacks will likely go even sooner in 2017. With that, here is an overview of one of my recent SFB mock drafts. Coincidentally, fellow Gridiron Expert Jody Smith was also in this one.
Please note that this particular draft was not completely covered due to time constraints.
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Melvin Gordon — 1.06
RB | Chargers
Alas, Ezekiel Elliott didn’t quite fall to my slot as he was chosen one pick before me. I was tempted to take Rob Gronkowski here (Jody ended up doing so the pick after me) given the extra scoring for tight ends, but his injury history frightens me. Scoring is non-PPR, but tight ends score 1.5 points for first downs as opposed to just one point for every other position. Touchdowns count as first downs, too.
I felt that Melvin Gordon was a safer pick given Gronk’s injury history and the fact that Gordon will have more first-down opportunities. Plus, touchdowns count as first downs in this format, too. It also felt weird passing on Antonio Brown, but he just doesn’t have as much value considering the scoring is non-PPR and taking the first downs into account.
Russell Wilson — 2.07
QB | Seahawks
With five quarterbacks already off the board, I wanted to get in on the action before a possible frenzy. Russell Wilson played well last year despite sub-par health and a vulnerable offensive line. He’s healthy now and his protection can only get better. What makes Wilson more valuable, especially considering first-down scoring, is his running ability. I would have been content to take him earlier.
Jordan Reed — 3.06
TE | Redskins
Since I missed out on Gronk and Travis Kelce, I was hoping to grab Greg Olsen with my third-round pick. Alas, he was picked right before me, so I went with a much riskier pick with even more upside in Jordan Reed. Tight ends are at a premium in this scoring format (1.5 points per first down) and Reed is easily capable of being top three at his position. He’s missed 18 games in four seasons, but he’s worth the risk here considering the scoring, in my opinion. After all, he has still averaged 76.5 catches for 819 yards and 8.5 touchdowns the last two years.
Tyrod Taylor — 4.07
QB | Bills
The quarterback position turned into slim pickings pretty quickly. With 17 gunslingers already nabbed halfway through the fourth round, I felt like I needed to go ahead and grab my superflex here in Tyrod Taylor. Taylor provides tremendous value as the QB18. He is one of the better running quarterbacks in the league and actually led the position in rushing first downs last season (31). While I didn’t plan on taking my second quarterback this early, I was happy to draft Taylor considering the circumstances.
Carlos Hyde — 5.06
RB | 49ers
While I’m still without a wide receiver, Hyde was one of the few running backs with bellcow potential remaining at this point in the draft. Even in San Francisco’s new regime, Hyde should be the main man in the backfield as long as he’s healthy. He was really the lone bright spot in the 49ers’ abysmal 2016 campaign, tallying over 1,100 total yards and nine total touchdowns. Furthermore, he was in the top 15 among running backs in rushing first downs last year (48). That’s the cherry on top, or the caramel drizzle, or whatever if you don’t like cherries.
Jarvis Landry — 6.07
WR | Dolphins
Michael Crabtree — 7.06
WR | Raiders
I actually made this pick whilst hiking in Vail, CO, so I didn’t give it as much time as I wanted to. That said, I really like Crabtree here as my WR2. While wide receivers aren’t as valuable in this scoring system, Crabtree was arguably the top receiver remaining after averaging 962.5 yards and 8.5 touchdowns in his first two years with the Raiders.
Spencer Ware — 8.07
RB | Chiefs
There was still some good value to be had at the running back position at this point despite the first-down bonus. While Ware could eventually be supplanted by rookie talent Kareem Hunt, the starting gig is his to lose for now. He played mostly well last season after Jamaal Charles went down and has low-end RB1 to high-end RB2 potential. Thus, Ware makes for a solid RB3 here.
Bilal Powell — 9.06
RB | Jets
I’m a pretty big Powell fan this year, and I honestly would have been willing to take him a round earlier. Even with the aging Matt Forte still in the mix, the Jets’ backfield is Powell’s. He tallied north of 1,100 total yards and five total touchdowns in 2016 and figures to be the main weapon in an otherwise abysmal offense. Powell does have more appeal in PPR formats, but I can focus on depth at other positions now with a loaded backfield.
Jason Witten — 10.07
TE | Cowboys
I may have waited a little too long for my second tight end, but there were still a couple viable options left, including Witten. His production has dropped with age, but he remains a solid TE2 option and can be started in the right matchups in this scoring system.
Tyrell Williams — 11.06
WR | Chargers
In desperate need of another wide receiver, I’m thankful that Williams was available. He sprung onto the scene and gained the trust of Philip Rivers last season when Keenan Allen was injured, again. The Chargers have a lot of mouths to feed in the passing game, but Tyrell Williams is capable of at least duplicating his 2016 campaign if/when Allen goes down. He’s a worthy WR3 selection at this point in the draft.
Rishard Matthews — 12.07
WR | Titans
At this point, I feel fairly comfortable with my depth at wide receiver despite such a late start drafting the position. The odds of Matthews replicating his 2016 campaign are slim considering the additions of Eric Decker and Corey Davis, but he remains Tennessee’s best and most valuable fantasy receiver, in my opinion.
First downs are the name of the game in the SFB this time around, or at least one of the big names of the game. At 1.5 points per first down for the position, I don’t think I put enough emphasis on tight ends this draft, especially tight ends with high scoring upside. I drafted Reed early on, but I should have looked at the position more seriously in the middle rounds, maybe instead of cementing my backfield.
Furthermore, with passing touchdowns counting as six points, I am happy I drafted quarterbacks when I did, especially more run-focused guys in Wilson and Taylor. Cam Newton has more value, too, since he’ll be running for a lot more first downs than most quarterbacks. Don’t get caught watching the paint dry with quarterbacks, but don’t pull the trigger too early either.
All in all, I’m content with this squad and believe it would have playoff potential in this year’s version of the Scott Fish Bowl.