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.
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.