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Premium League Draft Analysis

As part of the launch of our Premium Content, DLF established the Premium Invitational League on MyFantasyLeague.  As the name implies, participation was on an invite only basis and was awarded to loyal forum members who made the choice to also be Premium subscribers.  Here’s a link to the league homepage:  DLF Premium.

I was drafted as the league beat writer and will be doing a series of articles sparked by whatever happens throughout the year.  I have no idea what will inspire me, but the plan is for humorous, no holds barred analysis with some fantasy know-how thrown in.  So, it only makes sense to do some draft grades and see what we can learn from the start-up.

Draft Grades

I warned the members of the league that I am a tough grader and encouraged them to send me gifts (e.g. beer) if they wanted to –   no one took me up on that offer.  I’ve looked at the rosters and projected who I would recommend as week one starters and also listed any key reserves.  I’m ignoring DST and K.  Note: I don’t know who the owners are of any of the teams, just the team names and rosters.

Grade A Teams:

Bulls: Tom Brady, Matt Forte, Adrian Peterson, Roddy White, Andre Johnson, DeSean Jackson, Antonio Brown, Jason Witten

Key reserves: Coby Fleener, Alshon Jeffery, Sam Bradford

Tim’s Comment: Smart move to take bargain guys like Brady and ADP, but layer in some youth as well.  One issue is this team has no 2013 rookie selections. 

Bengals: Aaron Rodgers, Fred Jackson, Shonn Greene, AJ Green, Miles Austin, Pierre Garcon, Titus Young, Jermaine Gresham

Key Reserves: Ronnie Hillman, Ryan Williams, Randall Cobb

Tim’s Comment:  My favorite team in the league.  Built to win now and win later.  Has a full slate of 2013 rookie selections and I expect them to be late in the round.

Harlequins: Peyton Manning, Ryan Mathews, Jonathan Stewart, Dez Bryant, Jeremy Maclin, Torrey Smith, Demaryius Thomas, Jermichael Finley

Key reserves: RGIII

Tim’s Comment:  Solid top to bottom.  Can’t argue with RG3 as the heir apparent to Peyton.

Hazard:  Tony Romo, Mark Ingram, Marshawn Lynch, Ben Tate, Marques Colston, Hakeem Nicks, Santonio Holmes, Rob Gronkowski

Key reserves: Jake Locker, Kyle Rudolph, Kendall Wright

Tim’s Comment:  Team defines the word balance all the way down to having two firsts in 2013.  Very nice.

Grade B Teams:

Cardinals:  Eli Manning, Chris Johnson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Beanie Wells, Mike Wallace, Greg Jennings, Nate Washington, Vernon Davis

Key reserves: Justin Blackmon

Tim’s Comment:  Could go either way.  If Beanie and Washington bust, this team’s in trouble.

 

Stallions: Drew Brees, DeMarco Murray, Michael Turner, Vincent Jackson, Dwayne Bowe, Steve Smith (CAR), Jimmy Graham, Tony Gonzalez

Key reserves: None

Tim’s Comment:  I can’t fully endorse a team who is forced to start a TE at flex. 

Hulks:  Michael Vick, Arian Foster, Steven Jackson, Ray Rice, Reggie Bush, Reggie Wayne, Stevie Johnson, Brent Celek

Key reserves:  Jacob Tamme, Austin Collie

Tim’s Comment:  Looks like a redraft team to me.

River Pirates: Cam Newton, Darren McFadden, Doug Martin, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Wes Welker, Kenny Britt, Robert Meachem, Aaron Hernandez

Key reserves: Fred Davis, Anquan Boldin

Tim’s Comment:  Not bad, but I dinged them for having no 2013 first or second and a roster that isn’t an obvious playoff team.

Liberty: Matt Ryan, Jamaal Charles, C.J. Spiller, DeAngelo Williams, Larry Fitzgerald, Percy Harvin, Brandon Marshall, Brandon Pettigrew

Key reserves:  Greg Little

Tim’s Comment:  Meh.  Can’t complain too much about this one.  I bet this owner got sniped repeatedly in the draft and felt like they settled on a lot of these picks.  That happens to the best of us.

Grade C Teams:

Marauders: Matt Schaub, Trent Richardson, Ahmad Bradshaw, David Wilson, Tampa Mike Williams, Brandon Lloyd, Michael Floyd, Dennis Pitta

Key reserves: Andrew Luck, Lamar Miller

Tim’s Comment:  This team has more holes than a Swiss cheese.  Can’t get behind a team forced to start either Schaub or Luck. 

Rhinos:  Matt Stafford, Darren Sproles, Frank Gore, Roy Helu, Victor Cruz, James Jones, Eric Decker, Antonio Gates

Key reserves: Big Ben, Jared Cook, Vincent Brown

Tim’s Comment:  Reminds me of the Hulks, but worse.

Beavers: Philip Rivers, LeSean McCoy, Pierre Thomas, Calvin Johnson, Jordy Nelson, Santana Moss, Michael Crabtree, Ed Dickson

Key reserves: Ryan Broyles

Tim’s Comment:  This is what happens when you stockpile 2013 firsts – this team has three of them, but sadly not its own.  Oh and also what happens when you make the trades necessary to draft both McCoy and Calvin.  I do applaud this owner for having the guts to do this. 

Interesting Trades and Draft Decisions:

With the grades in the books, let’s turn our attention to some of the moves that resulted in the above rosters.  Again, I don’t know the owners – so nothing personal!!

Trade for 1.01:

Columbus Cardinals gave 1.01/20.12

Oakland Marauders gave 2.04/3.09

Tim’s Comment:  Oof that’s a high price to pay.  We’ll never know what the Marauders had in mind to do with the 1.01 because they sent it packing, but this is trading the likes of MJD/Julio/Forte and Murray/Roddy/Harvin for your choice of the Big five. 

Trade away of 1.01:

Oakland Marauders gave 1.01/7.09/8.04/9.09

Berea Beavers gave 1.06/2.07

Tim’s Comment:  Well, I guess the Marauders learned the error of their ways and tried to turn lemons in to lemonade.  Basically at the end of the day, they gave-up the 3.09, 7.09, 8.04, 9.09 for the 1.06 and a slight drop in the second round.  To each his own on this one.  The 1.06 is a much better player than the 3.09, but it’s a lot of depth to give up.

Predraft Pick Trade:

Berea Beavers gave 7.08/2013 second

Columbus Cardinals gave 8.12/2013 first

Tim’s Comment:  Getting a round upgrade in the future for the drop in the start-up draft looks like good value to me.  The Cardinals ended up taking Beanie while the Beavers landed Crabtree.  I think I’d prefer Crabtree and the first in this one.

First Round Highlights:

Cam Newton at 1.05

Tim’s Comment:  I’m not seeing this at all.  I honestly think Cam Newton may be the single most overvalued player in fantasy.  I am not saying I wouldn’t want to own him, I’m saying I will not pay the price to do so.  Tom Brady went off the board 36 picks later – fully three rounds.  Give me the Brady side of that one. 

Trent Richardson at 1.06

Tim’s Comment:  Come on man!  Really, Trent Richardson ahead of Ray Rice?  This is the biggest example of rookie fever I’ve seen this year.  Sorry.  Bad pick.

Second Round Highlights:

Luck at 2.05

Tim’s Comment:  Oops.  I shouldn’t have gone all in on criticizing the Richardson pick, because this one is even worse.  Andrew Luck taken with the 17th overall pick and fully two rounds before Tom Brady and 31 spots before Eli Manning.  Andrew Luck’s ADP is currently #59 so this was a 42 spot reach.  This is officially the worst selection in the draft.  In order for this to make any sense from a value perspective, Luck will need to be performing at a near A-Rod level by next year.  Good luck, Luck.

Nice Recovery Award:

I’ve bashed the Marauders pretty mercilessly, but I need to give credit where credit is due.  They took Doug Martin at 2.07 which again is a massive reach, but turned around and traded Martin for Bradshaw and David Wilson.  That was a very nice deal and recovered the lost value from the original selection.

More to come!

Editor’s Note:  Tim Stafford can be found @dynastytim on twitter and in the forums as dlf_tims.

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andrew_w29
10 years ago

I’m the owner of the River Pirates, nice work! I must say, these grades definitley clash a bit with the set of power rankings we did in the league amongst ourselves. Very interesting….

Colton Blackmon
10 years ago

Owner of the Hulks here. I’ll take that B to stand for “Better than every other team”. Ha. Thanks for the article Tim. It’s always interesting to see an outside perspective. Talk to JC about the beer. He’s the man in charge.

Reply to  Colton Blackmon
10 years ago

I’d be happy to buy Tim a beer anytime or anywhere he chooses.

Great analysis Tim, as Drew pointed out it is a little different from what the league members had put together but that is what makes trades and player values differ – individual preference and perspective. No lemmings in this league….

To the rest of my leaguemates:

Bring it….

reddaddy32
10 years ago

Owner of Columbus Cardinals here, thanks for doing that Tim! Everyone hates on Wells so much, but I am a buckeye homer, so I expect big things out of him! Interesting you did not mention Sidney Rice at all on my team, I certainly had planned to use him more than Washington. On the trade where I moved up a round to get Beanie, my thought was I was only moving back 3-4 picks since the 2nd round I get should be 2.01 and my first will be at worst 1.10, but most likely 1.12 😉

robertdhenley
10 years ago

Brahma Bulls owner, what about mendy as one of my key reserves

and to cards, lol about that 1.12 prediction, looks like lizards will be getting that pick, cause he owns my 2013 1st

Keith Fortier
10 years ago

Harlequins here! I was happy to see a 3rd party lay a favorable grade on my projected starters. That certainly was the plan going in by acquiring additional top 100 picks and drafting young, high upside talent. Depth is an issue which you don’t see here, but that’s what in season trades and timely ww additions are for!

My grin was wiped clear off my face when i saw the rest of my division also ranked with a A grade. Looks like Tim loves him some Belicheck Division!

Thanks for the write-up Tim!

Ryan Brown
Reply to  Keith Fortier
10 years ago

Big fan of your team Keith, I think based on the starters you have to inside track to the ship hands down. Strongest overall starting lineup in the league.

Chris Russell
10 years ago

Was having a hard time understanding the depth of some of the teams until I realized it was not IDP.

Frank Capriotti
10 years ago

I am not a team in this league but I will be paying attention throughout the season as long as Tim keeps writing about it. How can the Bulls be ranked an “A” team when one RB is 27 years old coming off an ACL tear and WILL be on the PUP to begin the pre-season. I hope they got Gerhart. The other RB, Forte, will probably be a hold out into training camp which never is good for any RB. Hope they got Michael Bush. IF, big if, the RBs are healthy and don’t hold out then Bulls should do well and morethan likely win it all. However, the chance that APETE and Forte perfrom at a high level after missing pre-season conditioning and practice is very low. This team can make it to the play-offs easily with the QB and WRs it has, but if the RBs don’t perform, he won’t get to the finals. QBs keep you in games, Wide Receievers win games, and RBs win championships. Thats my motto. Corny, but works. Good luck to all!

robertdhenley
Reply to  Frank Capriotti
10 years ago

yep, also got mendy whos starting season on pup and mcgahee, so as long as they hit their stide in playoffs im fine with it, and got pretty good value on AP

James Young
Reply to  robertdhenley
10 years ago

I think most people are getting pretty good value on AP at this point. I like the pickup

Jimmy Nall
10 years ago

Kentucky Bengals owner here. Tim is obviously spot on with his analysis.

Jokes aside, thanks for writing this piece.

packer11491
10 years ago

Really interesting to see your analysis. Thanks for the article.

JBlake
10 years ago

Will there be another Premium League startup offered this year, perhaps one with IDPs?

Ryan Brown
Reply to  JBlake
10 years ago

Please do

Tim Miller
10 years ago

Oakland Marauders here… no issues with the critique of my draft Tim, and I expected the feedback received as I chose to draft “outside of the box” with a plan to only draft rookies and 2nd year players as much as possible.

I will not know how it will play out until 4-5 seasons from now, but I look forward to the challenge. I would also like to acknowledge the great experience I am having in this league with great co-owners and an excellent Commissioner.

mcraejos
10 years ago

London Hazard here…great article Tim. One note about are rankings – they were completed based solely on next year, and only based on Starting Lineups. Those two differences will account for much of the disparity between the two sets of rankings.

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