By Guest Writer: Jim Day
Some good friends of mine started a new IDP Dynasty league with a very ingenious name; “The League”. Truly a one of a kind name for a one of a kind league. Okay, I kid, I kid…
But seriously, there are many very knowledgeable Fantasy Football players in this league and with a 35-round initial draft in front of them; you can bet a lot of different strategies were at play. With a first Dynasty draft, finding that exact mix of experience and youth that can bring you to a Championship is a daunting task.
Many have tried to put together a formula that will guarantee a winning team in any Dynasty draft, but there is no formula that will ever be a consistent winner, as every draft takes on a life of its own. You have 11, 13 or even 15 other owners trying to do the same thing as you are, depending on your league size.
In this league there are 12 owners including: Andy Miley of DynastyBlitz.com, Susan Shan of SusanShan.com, Bryan Fontaine and Eric Yeomans of ProFootballFocus.com, Ryan Burns and Sen Sogah of FootballSickness.com, Brian Quinlan of FFSentinel.com, and 5 other members culled from Twitter.
It is very hard to try to gauge the success of a Dynasty Draft before the 1st season even starts, especially this season, but I will go over each team and give an opinion of which positions are strengths and which are weaknesses, based solely on my judgment. These will not be listed in any order except how they are listed on the rosters page located here.
Team 1 – Farmington Strike Team
Running Backs – Having 3 players that are solid starters in Rashard Mendenhall, Jahvid Best and Jonathan Stewart, and then pairing them with 3 top rookies in Mikel Leshoure, Delone Carter, and Kendall Hunter, should provide this team with solid fantasy starters for many years.
Wide Receivers – It goes without saying that Roddy White is a stud, but after him there isn’t a WR on this team that I’d feel comfortable trotting out as a WR2 week after week. Strike Team definitely has some young guys with upside in Mike Thomas, Julio Jones, Eric Decker, and Randall Cobb, but this team might be waiting a year or two for some solid WR2 production.
Best Pick: RB Kendall Hunter at 16.02. Gore will be a FA in 2012.
Worst Pick: No single pick, but not in love with going Roddy White – Julio Jones as the 1st 2 WRs drafted.
Team 2 – Asian Sensation
Wide Receivers – Using their 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th and 8th rounders on wide receivers gave this team a solid core of starters in Mike Wallace, DeSean Jackson, Vincent Jackson, Marques Colston, and Steve Smith (NYG). They also came away with a good core of young, talented players with upside in Eddie Royal, Robert Meachem, and Andre Roberts, to give them solid depth.
Quarterbacks – This team took a big risk at QB, taking Kevin Kolb as their #2 QB. The risk may pay off in the future, but with what we know now, it’s tough to speculate if he will be starting anywhere this year. There is still a good chance that Philadelphia keeps him as Vick-insurance. Eli Manning is a fine #1, even with all the turnovers he had last year, he still finished as a top 10 fantasy QB.
Best Pick: LB Paris Lenon at 32.06 Solid vet at very low-cost.
Worst Pick: LB Von Miller at 21.04 Von Miller will be an excellent NFL player, but he will not be a good IDP scorer.
Team 3 – The So Cal Sickness
Quarterbacks – I am a huge proponent of getting Aaron Rodgers in the 1st round of an initial dynasty draft. His age and consistent performance give the team a very solid base. Not as big on Matt Cassel, but he can have some big games and he will only be starting once each year.
Running Backs – Steven Jackson is an excellent start, but it goes downhill rapidly from there. While I like Fred Jackson, he is 30 years old and the team is trying to make CJ Spiller the main back. Not a fan of Cedric Benson, but he is decent #3. Montario Hardesty is coming off another knee injury, and Donald Brown is on very thin ice in Indy. Taiwan Jones is worth the 26th round pick. This team will have a hard time finding consistent scoring here.
Best Pick: QB Aaron Rodgers at 1.07 (see above)
Worst Pick: RB Donald Brown at 17.07 I think the drafting of Delone Carter is a signal that Brown is out in Indy.
Team 4 – CNY Helmets
Defensive Line – Nabbed two top 10 defensive linemen with Trent Cole and last year’s Super rookie, Ndamukong Suh. Gerald McCoy didn’t have a good year IDP scoring wise, but the team loved what they got from him and I fully expect his scoring to increase this year.
Linebackers – Got one of the top, young LBs with Jerod Mayo, but after that picked all LBs that are more sack oriented than tackle oriented. Since this league only awards 3 pts for a sack, it is better to concentrate on linebackers that are dependable tackle producers.
Best Pick: DT Ndamukong Suh at 8.11. If he is for real, we are watching a future Hall of Famer here.
Worst Pick: LB Mario Williams at 14.11. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt that they didn’t realize that Williams would be moved to LB. He will not hold much IDP value.
Team 5 – Team Venton
Quarterbacks – Really here because of Peyton Manning. Manning will continue his strong performance for 3-4 more years. Depth here is a big concern though, as this team relied on two rookies, Cam Newton and Jake Locker. Those of you who listen to my podcasts know how I feel about this two.
Tight Ends – Greg Olsen is not a solid #1 in Martz’s offense. He had some good games to start the year, but seriously tailed off at the end of the season. He only had 16 targets in his last 6 games. Jared Cook is his backup and a player a lot of people are high on, but I’m not one of them. He has a ton of talent and athleticism, but he is also a pretty big head case.
Best Pick: WR Randy Moss at 19.06. Okay, you didn’t think I was serious, did you? Ray Rice at 1.06 is the best pick of this draft.
Worst Pick: WR Randy Moss at 19.06. This time I’m not kidding. Just don’t think he has anything left.
Team 6 – Fond Du Lac 52’s
Quarterbacks – Michael Vick is definitely a hot commodity now and I can’t blame people for taking the chance on him. But if you do, I highly recommend that you draft a solid #2. This team did exactly that with Joe Flacco, another good, young QB. Then added to an already solid duo with a very underrated Mark Sanchez. Sanchez will only get better as he accrues more playing time.
Running Backs – They waited until the 5th round to grab their first RB with Knowshon Moreno. Moreno has got a lot of press that he won’t the team’s main back. Not sure if I believe that or not, but Moreno has definitely not lived up to expectations so far. After Moreno you have an underperforming Chris Wells, Pierre Thomas who still has value, but may lose his starting job to Mark Ingram at some point this season, the two rookies for New England, Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley and LaDainian Tomlinson. Not a fan of the mess in NE and while I like LT, he doesn’t have much time left.
Best Pick: QB Joe Flacco at 10.11. I think Flacco will be an important part of this team over the next few years.
Worst Pick: RB Chris Wells at 7.10. I think Arizona just drafted Wells’ replacement in Ryan Williams.
Team 7 – Bay Area Thunder
Quarterbacks – Getting two top 10 QBs in Matt Schaub and Tony Romo is solid. Both should play for another 4-5 years. The team then took a chance on Christian Ponder with pick 25.09. While I’m not a huge fan of Ponder, getting him that late carries no real risk and if Ponder proves me wrong, then he has 3 solid starters for a long time.
Wide Receivers – After Reggie Wayne, Sidney Rice, and Jordan Shipley, there is not much here. Demaryius Thomas, Devin Hester, Louis Murphy, and Jacoby Jones are bye week fillers at best. This team will need to make some moves to field more than 2 solid starters each week.
Best Pick: QB Matt Schaub at 8.09. Many would have waited a little longer to get a backup after grabbing Romo in the 5th, but this is a smart pick, especially with Romo coming off a lost year.
Worst Pick: RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis at 7.09. it’s hard to call a guy coming off a 1,000 yard, 13 touchdown season a bad pick, but with NE grabbing 2 running backs in the draft, suddenly this backfield is very crowded. One thing we do know about Bill Belichick, is that you never know what he will do next. This backfield scares me this year.
Team 8 – Hooksett Hurricane
Wide Receivers – This team used a very solid mix of experience and youth. Nabbing Calvin Johnson in the 1st and Brandon Lloyd in the 7th gives this team a solid 1-2 punch, and then they add 2 top rookie WRs with AJ Green and Greg Little. On top of that they have considerable depth with Lance Moore, Earl Bennett, Vincent Brown, and Donald Driver. This team should be able to field 4 starting wide receivers most weeks.
Running Backs – Now this one is weak because I do like this team’s backs, but for at least the 1st part of the season they will have a tough time coming up with 2 solid starters. That being said, they loaded themselves with 4 solid rookie running backs; Mark Ingram, Ryan Williams, DeMarco Murray, and Bilal Powell. All are backs that I like a lot when it comes to dynasty. Joseph Addai and Ronnie Brown give them a little experience to go with the youth. Again, it’s not that I think this is a bad group, but this team is solid and hard to find a fault.
Best Pick: LB Mason Foster at 21.08. I expect big things from Foster as he starts in the middle for the Bucs from day 1.
Worst Pick: QB Sam Bradford at 4.03. I like Bradford a lot, especially in Dynasty, but I would not take him this early.
Team 9 – Plano Bleeding Frogs
Quarterbacks – Getting one of the top 5 QBs is something I strive to do in Dynasty drafts, and this team got Phillip Rivers at 3.01. It’s hard to not like a guy who has averaged 4,300 yards and 30 TDs over the last 3 years and is still only 29. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a young QB who showed some flash last year and was definitely given a boost by management when they didn’t draft a QB in April. Matt Flynn is just an insurance policy on Aaron Rodgers.
Tight Ends – I like Owen Daniels as a #1, but he has missed 14 games in the last two years, so I always recommend a solid backup if you take him. This team waited until the 25th round to grab Visanthe Shiancoe as the backup, and it is hard to figure how much value he has with the Vikings drafting Kyle Rudolph in April. Rookie Julius Thomas has some talent, but needs work.
Best Pick: WR Austin Collie at 5.01. Sue me; I am not afraid of the concussions. This team is smart enough to find ways to get him the ball where he doesn’t take a massive hit each time.
Worst Pick: CB Terrell Thomas at 12.12. I like Thomas and he has had 2 good seasons for the Giants, but the drafting of Prince Amukamara may push him into a backup role.
Team 10 – Redwood Zombies
Tight Ends – Jason Witten has been over 90 receptions and 1,000 yards in 3 of the last 4 seasons and is still only 29. John Carlson is the backup and I still have hope that Carlson will become fantasy relevant. He has spent a lot of the last 2 years blocking because of a poor offensive line, but Seattle went out and drafted 2 offensive linemen with their 1st 2 picks. Rookie Cameron Jordan of Cleveland rounds out this trio, and is in a good place to have a solid chance at production.
Running Backs – Taking LeSean McCoy at 1.05, who is only 22 years old and already a top 5 producer, is a solid start. LeGarrette Blount is good as a #2 and maybe Tim Hightower as the #3, if he could ever learn to hold on to the ball, but after that, meh. I am not sold on Roy Helu making a long-term dent in fantasy. I have never been a big fan of Tashard Choice, as he continues to tease fantasy owners every year. This team will have a hard time finding a RB flex.
Best Pick: QB Matthew Stafford at 8.08. This is a huge risk, but this pick could pay off tenfold if he can ever stay on the field.
Worst Pick: RB Tashard Choice at 13.05. There were a lot of RBs on the board with more upside.
Team 11 – Team Andy P
Defensive Ends – Justin Tuck and Jared Allen is a great combo. They have been #1 and #2 for the last 2 years. Luckily for this team, lack of depth is not really a problem since productive DE’s can always be found on the waiver wire.
Wide Receivers – Percy Harvin at 2.06 is a nice start, especially in this league where you get return points. That also makes Danny Amendola a solid pick in the 8th round. Brandon Marshall at 3.03 is scary now. He may be in trouble with the league again, plus he is coming back from being stabbed. Don’t get me wrong, I might have taken the chance there too, as Marshall is the high risk, high reward type player that can win your weekly matchups. They took a few receivers late that could easily turn this weakness around, but for now they are just fodder, although Donnie Avery could be a sneaky pick.
Best Pick: WR Danny Amendola at 8.10. Amendola is not a sexy pick by any means, but he has had over 2,000 total yards in each of his 1st two seasons when you include return yardage.
Worst Pick: LB Barrett Rudd at 12.10. Rudd is almost definitely out in Tampa Bay and it is hard to imagine him having as much success in a different system.
Team 12 – Richardson Hornfrogs
Running Backs – Matt Forte, Ahmad Bradshaw and DeAngelo Williams is a very strong trio that you can start every week. We may not know where Williams ends up yet, but no matter where he lands, he is an excellent #3 RB. Couple Forte, Bradshaw and Williams with James Starks, rookie Alex green and Brandon Jacobs, and this team will have no problems fielding four good RBs most weeks.
Quarterbacks – I love Josh Freeman in Dynasty and he is a solid pick, but I don’t have much faith in any of their backups; Carson Palmer, Colt McCoy, or Ryan Mallett. We don’t even know if Palmer will be playing this year. Mallett is stuck behind Tom Brady & most likely will never see the field in the next 3-4 years while Colt McCoy will never be a big producer in fantasy terms.
Best Pick: WR Jacoby Ford at 8.01. In weeks 9-17 Ford was the #2 scoring WR in this scoring system and he actually led all scorers in points per game average.
Worst Pick: WR Jerome Simpson at 11.12. Simpson got a lot of buzz off of the last 2 games last year and is still riding high on those 2 games alone. There are too many questions about his situation for me to feel comfortable with Simpson getting picked this high.
Just to reiterate, these are my opinions and may not be shared by the owners of these teams. If you feel differently on any of my opinions, feel free to comment below and let me know what you think.
- Dynasty Builder: Diary of a Madman (dynastyblitz.com)
- Anatomy of a Startup Draft (dynastyblitz.com)
- The Canadian Dynasty Experience (dynastyblitz.com)