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HyperActive Draft Review

A few years ago, the HyperActive dynasty leagues were born from a group of owners searching for a competitive league that did not go dormant once the Super Bowl concluded. HyperActive leagues are comprised of two 12 team conferences with separate player pools. The champions of each conference meet in a week 16 Super Bowl.

We recently conducted the startup dynasty draft for Hyper/Active 5. My goal for each of these leagues is to always find the best, most active dynasty owners possible. For this installment, I focused most of my recruiting on the best of the best from Twitter. What resulted is a strong group of drafters and owners, representing many of the top fantasy football sites on the web, along with some of the most savvy owners I have come in contact with.

Here is a list of the 24 owners in the league:

HYPER:

*  Ryan McDowell, Dynasty League Football

*  Ryan Forbes, 2 Mugs

*  Bryan Fontaine, Pro Football Focus & Dynasty Blitz

*  Sigmund Bloom, FootballGuys

*  Mark Kelly

*  Andy Miley, Dynasty Blitz & Fantasy Alarm

*  Mike Clay, Pro Football Focus & Rotoworld

*  David Cherney, Dynasty Football Warehouse

*  Shane Hallam, Draft Countdown

*  Eric Dickens, Dynasty League Football

*  Chase Wheetley, Dynasty League Football

*  The FF Ghost, Dynasty League Football

ACTIVE:

*  Jeff Tefertiller, FootballGuys

*  Jarrett Behar, Dynasty League Football

*  Peter Hodes

*  Andrew Garda, FootballGuys

*  Nishant Shailendra, formerly of Pro Football Focus

*  Brian Quinlan

*  Alessandro Miglio, Pro Football Focus

*  Jimmy Nall, YHIHFfantasyfootball.com

*  Scott Atkins, Fantasy Players Association

*  Bruce Hammond, FootballGuys

*  Michael Bronte, BFDfantasyfootball.com

*  Steve Wyremski, Dynasty League Football

Scoring: WCOFF (1 PPR for all players, 4 points for passing touchdowns)

Starting lineups: QB, RB, WR, TE, 3 FLEX (RB, WR, TE), PK, TD

Roster Limit: 26 players

I strongly believe the base of a dynasty team is built in the first ten rounds of a draft. Beyond that, there is plenty of time and picks to grab an aging veteran as a short term starter, or a young upside player to stash at the end of the bench. For this series, I will give you a team by team look after ten rounds, as well as a look inside the mind of each owner who shared their draft strategy. Here’s a look at a few of the teams on the HYPER side of the league.

Ryan McDowell- Bucketheads @RyanMc23

Draft Strategy:

*  WR heavy

*  Always take youth over older vets

*  Do my best to get 2 top WRs

*  Target Aaron Hernandez in the 4th round

*  Pair a top young QB with an older veteran to bridge a two year gap

Draft Results:

1.01 Calvin Johnson, WR DET

1.09 AJ Green, WR CIN

4.03 Aaron Hernandez, TE NE

5.10 Andrew Luck, QB IND

6.03 Michael Floyd, WR ARI

7.10 Randall Cobb, WR GB

9.09 Kendall Hunter, RB SF

9.10 LaMichael James, RB SF

10.12 Andy Dalton, QB CIN

Best Value Pick: None

Biggest Risk: In general, investing too much in youth. If I had to choose one pick that was potentially unwise, it would be Cobb. As a University of Kentucky fan, we have little to cheer about when it comes to football. Cobb is among the few Wildcat alums in the NFL and I reached for him, ignoring the fact that he is behind Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and Jermichael Finley in the pass catcher pecking order in Green Bay. Not to mention the fact that my team was already wide receiver heavy and had no running backs.

Other picks of note: Jon Baldwin (11.10), LeGarrette Blount (14.03)

Possible Starting Lineup:

QB = Andy Dalton
RB = LeGarrette Blount
WR = Calvin Johnson
TE = AAron Hernandez
FLEX = AJ Green
FLEX = Michael Floyd
FLEX = Jon Baldwin

Year One Outlook: This team (my team) is young as planned, but too young to compete in year one. Running back is a weak spot, but I knew it would be coming in. The lineup flexibility means I can focus on wide receivers who have a much longer shelf life. The bad news is, as weak as RB is, WR is not all that strong. Johnson and Green are great cornerstones to build around, but I will be starting multiple rookies and second year players, or veterans I snatch off the waiver wire. This is likely not a playoff team in year one, but does have some strong young pieces for a long term run.

Ryan Forbes- Forbeskin @RyFo18

Draft Strategy:

*  Believe it or not this was only my second startup dynasty draft. In my first draft, I essentially went best player available, regardless of age, and it has produced great results over the first two years of the league. Of course, this team is now starting to run into age/production question marks, so I decided to go about this draft a little bit differently.

*  For the first few rounds I was still targeting the best players available, but I definitely weighed age much more heavily if I was trying to decide between two or more players.  Hence the Kenny Britt and Mike Wallace picks in rounds 2-3. Still, I felt it was necessary to sprinkle in some proven “older” players. Darren Sproles, Michael Vick, and Steve Smith definitely fit that bill.

*  I didn’t move around too much in the draft, but moving up one spot in the fourth round proved to be very beneficial. I saw Sproles available, with a significant drop in running back value after him. In the trade I sent picks 4.09, 5.04, 7.04, and 24.09 for 4.08, 5.05, 7.05, and 26.08. Afterwards, I confirmed with my trade partner (Rancho Cucamonga Ghosts) that he would indeed have taken Sproles.

*  After the sixth round, I felt I had a good core of starters for each week. You can definitely tell I started to deviate from the “best player available” strategy by reaching for Rueben Randle in the seventh. This is a guy I think has a lot of upside in an offense that can support three wide receivers. I did catch a lot of flak for that pick from the “Hallam Hammers.”  From this point forward, I seemed to stick with the philosophy of drafting young, high-upside guys. Some of my favorites from this group include Taiwan Jones (rd 14), Brandon LaFell (rd 15), and Curtis Brinkley (rd 21).

*  Had I approached this draft like I did my other dynasty league, my team probably would have looked more like Bloom’s team, which by the way looks very scary on paper. I also deviated from my “never pick a kicker until the last round” philosophy, but it was round 22, there weren’t a lot of players I liked at that spot, and every 60+ yard field goal Janikowski kicks will be worth 6+ points.

*  This is a very competitive group of chaps, and I just look forward to crushing each and every one of them for the next 10 years!

1.04 Ray Rice, RB BAL

2.09 Kenny Britt, WR TEN

3.04 Mike Wallace, WR PIT

4.08 Darren Sproles, RB NO

5.05 Michael Vick, QB PHI

6.09 Steve Smith, WR CAR

7.05 Rueben Randle, WR NYG

8.09 Ben Tate, RB HOU

9.04 Brandon Pettigrew, TE DET

10.09 Jacob Tamme, TE DEN

Best Value Pick: Steve Smith was a great pick for this team, providing another reliable starter to go along with the upside of Britt and Wallace.

Biggest Risk: Relying on Vick  to remain a top fantasy quarterback, with only Joe Flacco and Kevin Kolb behind him on the bench. Ryan has the potential for a championship team in 2012, but an injury to Vick would be devastating.

Other picks of note: Brandon LaFell (15.04)

Possible Starting Lineup:

QB = Michael Vick
RB = Ray Rice
WR = Kenny Britt
TE = Brandon Pettigrew
FLEX = Mike Wallace
FLEX = Steve Smith
FLEX = Darren Sproles

Year One Outlook: I really like the team Ryan put together here. He has a good mixture of veterans (Sproles, Vick, Smith) that are every week starters and top young players at their position (Rice, Wallace, Britt). Seemingly in trouble with no tight end after eight rounds, Ryan goes back to back with two tight ends in great offenses with Jacob Tamme and Pettigrew. This team has a great chance to compete in 2012 and beyond.

Bryan Fontaine @BryanFontaine

Draft Strategy:

*  I set out before the draft to acquire as many young players I could in the top 100 picks. I happened to win the draft lottery, and took the rights to the first pick. I didn’t pick until the middle of the second round due to several trades. I did not have any set players I was targeting in any round, and wanted to stick to my own dynasty rankings for the most part throughout. I had a feeling that based on my board and where recent ADP was going that I would end up with Doug Martin, Jeremy Maclin, Kyle Rudolph and Jake Locker.

*  Overall, I am thrilled with my draft (did you expect me to say anything else?). I now have a solid core of players entering their prime, as well as several veterans who can help bridge the gap immediately.

2.05 Dez Bryant, WR DAL

2.12 Percy Harvin, WR MIN

3.01 Doug Martin, RB TB

3.10 Jeremy Maclin, WR PHI

4.05 CJ Spiller, RB BUF

5.01 Justin Blackmon, WR JAX

6.05 Vernon Davis, TE SF

7.01 Steven Jackson, RB STL

8.03 Peyton Manning, QB DEN

9.01 Kyle Rudolph, TE MIN

9.03 Jake Locker, QB TEN

Best Value Pick: Vernon Davis in the 6th round could easily match Hernandez, or even one of the top two tight ends.

Biggest Risk: Grabbing Doug Martin at the 3.01 spot, ahead of more established players like Mike Wallace, Darren McFadden, and Andre Johnson certainly turned some heads in this draft. It could end up being a steal of a pick, but taking a rookie as your RB1 is always a little risky.

Other picks of note: Austin Collie (11.01) Christian Ponder (14.12)

Possible Starting Lineup:

QB = Peyton Manning
RB = Steven Jackson
WR = Dez Bryant
TE = Vernon Davis
FLEX = Percy Harvin
FLEX = Jeremy Maclin
FLEX = CJ Spiller

Year One Outlook: Bryan traded down multiple times to gain picks in rounds 2-4 and I think the plan worked well. His team is young in nearly every spot, with the exception of Manning. He then traded up to get two of his favorites to serve as backups, Locker and Rudolph. If Martin comes through, this team is a certain contender in 2012.

Sigmund Bloom- Bloom  @SigmundBloom

Draft Strategy:

*  Wanted to trade out of 1.3 to late first to start with a TE but couldn’t find any takers

*  Saw elite talent at WR stretch to about pick 45, wanted to trade down from plateau of talent at 2.10 to 3rd/4th so I could advance another pick into top 45 and go WR-WR-WR in 3rd/4th

*  Budgeted fifth for TE (Vernon Davis) and sixth for QB (Luck/RG3/Romo), but called an audible when Tom Brady fell to 5.3

*  Wanted backup quarterback from top 20, triggered when QB17-18 off board.

*  Rest of draft either pure win now or pure developmental/boom-bust picks.

1.03 Arian Foster, RB HOU

3.03 Darren McFadden, RB OAK

3.11 Andre Johnson, WR HOU

4.02 Roddy White, WR ATL

4.10 Dwayne Bowe, WR KC

5.03 Tom Brady, QB NE

6.06 Jermichael Finley, TE GB

7.03 David Wilson, RB NYG

8.10 Fred Jackson, RB BUF

10.03 Santonio Holmes, WR NYJ

10.10 Ben Roethlisberger, QB PIT

Best Value Pick: Over and over, Bloom took advantage of players falling well below their average draft position…McFadden, Johnson, White, Bowe and Brady were all selected later in this draft than the majority of drafts held thus far this offseason. His best pick though may have been selecting David Wilson in the seventh round (one spot after injured Rashard Mendenhall). Giants’ starter Ahmad Bradshaw is still dealing with a constantly injured foot and Wilson could quickly have the chance to steal that job.

Biggest Risk: The risk that comes along with all of that great veteran talent is the age and increased injury risk. Bloom accepted that risk and made a smart choice in investing later picks in youth.

Other picks of note: Stephen Hill (11.03), Mikel Leshoure (13.01)

Possible Starting Lineup:

QB = Tom Brady
RB = Arian Foster
WR = Andre  Johnson
TE = Jermichael Finley
FLEX = Darren McFadden
FLEX = Roddy White
FLEX = Dwayne Bowe

Year One Outlook: Most in the league seem to think Sigmund is the odds on favorite to take the title in year one. Value seemed to fall to him early as other owners passed on the aging veterans (Johnson, White, Brady) and Bloom snapped them up. It is easy to see that he will contend this year, but he also did a great job of adding young pieces who could be ready to step in as starters later, such as Wilson, Hill and Leshoure.

Mark Kelly- Big Men on Blades of Grass @ebolacolas

Draft Strategy:

*  For this draft, I went through 3-4 other start-up drafts, looked at the strategies and trends to get a sense of current value.

*  I ended up with a pick almost at the turn (1.11), which I prefer.

*  I didn’t succumb to any pre-draft pick trade offers mainly because I stink at them and a lot of them are semi-predatory.

*  Just before the draft started, I vowed to wait til the sixth round or so to take a quarterback.  I figured one of Tony Romo, Philip Rivers, or Matt Ryan would be there.  I ended up with Ryan.

*  I traded up 3-4 times to get players that I felt, based on the flow of the draft, wouldn’t make it to my next pick.  One of those that I recall was Jacquizz Rodgers @ 9.5.  I feel good about that one.

*  I tended to go really young in this start-up, which is unusual for me.  Ten rookies, I believe.

*  I’ll need 1-2 of those to hit to compete this season, but past that I’m optimistic.

*  Oh yeah, picking a defense and a kicker over a vet or a prospect in this scoring format is just foolish.

*  Bottom line, I just try to make solid picks.

1.11 Julio Jones, WR ATL

2.02 Jimmy Graham, TE NO

2.10 Victor Cruz, WR NYG

4.12 Mark Ingram, RB NO

6.02 Matt Ryan, QB ATL

7.08 Kendall Wright, WR TEN

8.02 Isaiah Pead, RB STL

8.05 Ronnie Hillman, RB DEN

9.05 Jacquizz Rodgers, RB ATL

10.02 Vincent Brown, WR SD

Best Value Pick: None, although either or both of Pead and Hillman could prove to be great picks.

Biggest Risk: Mark invested heavily in wide receivers and youth, but was able to find potential breakout running backs and veteran tight ends in the mid rounds of the draft. The biggest weakness on this team is quarterback. After Matt Ryan, come Matt Flynn and Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Possible Starting Lineup:

QB = Matt Ryan
RB = Mark Ingram
WR = Julio Jones
TE = Jimmy Graham
FLEX = Victor Cruz
FLEX = Isaiah Pead
FLEX = Brent Celek

Other picks of note: Darrius Heyward-Bey (12.02), Chris Givens (13.09), Brent Celek (13.11)

Year One Outlook: Mark’s team is much like mine in that we both invested early in young wide receivers, weakening our running back group. The difference is Mark was able to mix in some young runners along with his pass catchers to give his team a much better balance. While there are no sure starters among his first four running backs, all have great potential and chances are good one of them becomes a starting level back this upcoming season. This team is a little behind at quarterback, likely starting Matt Ryan each week. If he can find one, or even two starting running backs from this group, this team should sneak into the playoffs in 2012.

Andy Miley- The Empire  @AndrewMiley

Draft Strategy:

*  Well, since I was a late entry into the league I kept my constant “be like water” strategy (Bruce Lee’s philosphy that water is the most powerful substance on the earth as it forms to everything). I would flow to what my league mates were giving me.

*  Picking at 1.02, I wanted either LeSean McCoy or Ray Rice.  McCoy is younger and isn’t involved in a contract dispute. I’m not so concerned about the threat that McCoy would get less touches.

*  After that I go for best player available. I like getting a top five QB who has at least 5 more years of production left (Brees and Brady too old) and waiting a bit on TE as Graham and the Pats TEs go too high for my tastes.

*  I try to blend younger and older players to keep re-loading every year so I’m not too old or too young. I usually take some younger players first and get value with crafty vets a bit later.

*  Part of my “be like water” strategy is to not be the first to draft defenses or kickers, but also don’t wait until the end.

1.02 LeSean McCoy, RB PHI

2.11 Matt Forte, RB CHI

3.02 Brandon Marshall, WR CHI

4.11 Eli Manning, QB NYG

5.02 Steve Johnson, WR BUF

6.11 Denarius Moore, WR OAK

7.02 Rashard Mendenhall, RB PIT

8.11 Coby Fleener, TE IND

9.02 Stevan Ridley, RB NE

Best Value Pick: Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson as the 23rd WR off the board screams value and he should easily out-produce that draft position.

Biggest Risk: Count me as one who still does not quite believe that Eli Manning is Elite. Being drafted over vets Tom Brady and Philip Rivers and youngsters Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III is a big risk, especially with backups like Alex Smith and rookie Ryan Tannehill.

Other picks of note: Isaac Redman (11.02), Owen Daniels (13.02), Anquan Boldin (14.11)

Possible Starting Lineup:

QB = Eli Manning
RB = LeSean McCoy
WR = Brandon Marshall
TE = Owen Daniels
FLEX = Matt Forte
FLEX = Stevie Johnson
FLEX = Reggie Wayne

Year One Outlook: Andy mostly went for the established players and it has resulted in a very solid lineup. Despite not taking a wide receiver until round three, he still came away with a solid starting group of Marshall, Johnson and Moore. With two of the top PPR running backs, he is in great shape to field a competitive starting squad. Eli proved once again that he is a winner, but I am still not convinced he is a difference maker in the fantasy realm and Andy’s backups are rookie Ryan Tannehill and Alex Smith. If Eli is not reliable, Andy’s team could falter. Still though, he is in much better position that the majority of teams. If Manning and Daniels are bottom end starters at their position, this team is in great shape.

In the next article in the series, I’ll take a look at the remaining six teams on the HYPER side of the league.

Ryan McDowell can be found on Twitter at @RyanMc23 and on the forums as dlf_ryanm.

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Danton Goulet
10 years ago

Good Stuff! When I got involved with my Dynasty league, I had exactly 1 season of fantasy experience. With a couple more years under my belt and articles like this, I will be much more prepared for my next one. Thanks!

James Young
10 years ago

You guys use MFL for these leagues right?

I guess its the preferred choice due to its options/flexabilty – but is it just me, or is the site super bland and on a lower level than the ‘major’ sites (NFL.com, ESPN, CBS, yahoo, etc). I know those leagues arent viable for Dynasty’s but theres gotta be another option than MFL right? Something where the developer knows how to use Java??

Reply to  James Young
10 years ago

Yeah. MFL is very short on UI/UX! But the thing is that the backend admin system is the most robust I’ve ever seen. As a software guy myself, I hate MFL but I use it exclusively because it’s the only system that has the functionality to support complex formats like salary cap/contract leagues.

I can be skinned to look nicer, but still the controls are all just basic check boxes and submit button. No Java drag and drop for MFL! Much too 2002!

Ryan Buzard
10 years ago

Do you got a link to the draft results for both drafts?

Ryan Buzard
Reply to  Ryan McDowell
10 years ago

Thanks, I always enjoy analyzing drafts pick by pick

Bryan Fontaine
10 years ago

Good write up Ryan, always interesting to hear other owner’s thoughts pre/post draft. Still really like my roster for the long haul.

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