DLF Team Startup Dynasty Mock Draft Review

Austan Kas


Everyone loves a good mock draft, right?

Twelve DLF writers got together for an August startup mock draft. With training camps under way, I can almost taste the regular season! The wait is nearly over. It’s getting close to the time where the concrete is going to set for this season. Sure, there are some training camp battles which need to unfold and there will be preseason injuries (sorry, Arian Foster owners), but the results of this mock draft should give you a pretty good idea of what to expect in your upcoming startups.

The league is a 12-team, PPR format. We start one quarterback, one running back, one receiver, one tight end and four WR/RB/TE flex spots, leaving us with a lot of options for roster construction.

I’ll comment on some noteworthy selections along the way and I’ll also talk through my thoughts on each of my picks. Here are the 12 league members — Leo Paciga, Tyler Huggins, Karl Safchick, Benton McDonald, George Kritikos, Harrison Ju, Bruce Matson, Ryan Finley, Ryan McDowell, Matt Price, Austan Kas and Izzy Elkaffas — and a link to the draft, so you can follow along and check out the final ten rounds.

Let’s take a round-by-round look at the first ten rounds.

Round One

1.01 – Odell Beckham, Jr., WR NYG
1.02 – Dez Bryant, WR DAL
1.03 – Rob Gronkowski, TE NE
1.04 – Julio Jones, WR ATL
1.05 – Antonio Brown, WR PIT
1.06 – Le’Veon Bell, RB PIT
1.07 – Mike Evans, WR TB
1.08 – AJ Green, WR CIN
1.09 – Demaryius Thomas, WR DEN
1.10 – Alshon Jeffery, WR CHI
1.11 – Randall Cobb, WR GB
1.12 – Andrew Luck, QB IND

My thoughts: Business as usual. You may be able to squabble with a pick here or there, but for the most part, all 12 of these players will be among the first 15 players off the board in current startup drafts. As expected, nine of the first 11 picks were receivers.

My pick: I snagged Randall Cobb 11th overall. You can read more of my in-depth thoughts on Cobb here, but in short, he’s a 24-year-old, top-tier receiver playing in a great offense with an elite quarterback. My hope in this position was to land Cobb and then Calvin Johnson on the wrap-around. I could’ve taken Johnson first and hoped Izzy didn’t select Cobb with one of his two picks at the turn, but I prefer Cobb to Johnson so I wanted to make sure I got him. In any type of dynasty draft, if you have a player you want, go get him.

Round Two

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2.01 – Calvin Johnson, WR DET
2.02 – Eddie Lacy, RB GB
2.03 – DeAndre Hopkins, WR HOU
2.04 – Amari Cooper, WR OAK (R)
2.05 – Todd Gurley, RB STL (R)
2.06 – Brandin Cooks, WR NO
2.07 – Jordy Nelson, WR GB
2.08 – Sammy Watkins, WR BUF
2.09 – Jeremy Hill, RB CIN
2.10 – DeMarco Murray, RB DAL
2.11 – Jordan Matthews, WR PHI
2.12 – Allen Robinson, WR JAX

My thoughts: In startups, I almost always take the win-now route. I certainly understand the value of rookies and younger, unproven players, but I want players who can produce for me right now – that’s my mindset. I think I can acquire enough assets I’ll be able to deal for those younger players once I have a better feel of who is going to be Trent Richardson and who is going to be Jeremy Hill — because as much as we think we know how things will pan out, we don’t know. With that said, I won’t have any shares of Amari Cooper or Todd Gurley in startups this year. I think Cooper is the safest bet of the rookies, but the price tag on both Cooper and Gurley is too high for my blood. Where they were taken does fall in line with their current ADP, though. The run on receivers continues, with 14 of the first 20 picks being wideouts. DeMarco Murray will be a wild card in just about any draft this year. We all know the story – stellar 2014, massive workload, etc. Karl made him the RB5 and took him a little earlier than I was anticipating.

My pick: I typically build my teams around receivers, so I was left crying in the corner after Izzy sniped Megatron, the last of who I consider the elite wideouts. I was in an awkward spot here. My heart always wants receivers, but the top receivers on the board — DeAndre Hopkins (quarterback play), Jordy Nelson (30 years old, already have Cobb), Cooper (read above) and Sammy Watkins (quarterback play) — all give me one reason or another for hesitation. I really entertained the idea of taking Nelson or reaching for T.Y. Hilton, who I feel is criminally underrated. Instead, I betrayed my soul and took Eddie Lacy. If this was a real league, I’d be trying to package Lacy in trades for a top receiver as soon as the draft ended.

Round Three

3.01 – Melvin Gordon, RB SD (R)
3.02 – Kevin White, WR CHI (R)
3.03 – Jimmy Graham, TE SEA
3.04 – TY Hilton, WR IND
3.05 – Keenan Allen, WR SD
3.06 – Aaron Rodgers, QB GB
3.07 – Adrian Peterson, RB MIN
3.08 – Jamaal Charles, RB KC
3.09 – Travis Kelce, TE KC
3.10 – CJ Anderson, RB DEN
3.11 – LeSean McCoy, RB BUF
3.12 – Arian Foster, RB HOU

My thoughts: In my experience with startups, this is the round where things start to most deviate from the rankings. I think T.Y. Hilton and Keenan Allen will provide fantastic value going forward. In fact, I believe Hilton is worthy of a second-round pick while I wrote about Allen here. Harrison made Aaron Rodgers the second signal caller off the board, taking him 30th overall. Tyler keeps his receiver-centric draft going, making Kevin White the fourth rookie selected. My favorite roster thus far belongs to Benton, who has taken Julio Jones, Jeremy Hill and TY Hilton – young, proven and ready to win now, the best combination. I feel like I’m missing something with C.J. Anderson. I don’t understand why his ADP is barely inside the top ten running backs. I have him as a top five running back, and I’m buying at his current pricetag all day long, which Matt did. Karl added Jimmy Graham, giving him both of the top two tight ends. Note: Foster was taken before he was injured.

My pick: What in the name of Gus Frerotte is going on here?! I’ve never taken running backs with two of my first three picks in a startup. Receivers have been flying off the board and it just sort of fell this way. This is one of the reasons I prefer auction drafts to snake – you can always go after the players you want in an auction, which, for me, would’ve been two of the elite wideouts. I suppose I should’ve heeded my own advice and reached for Hilton in the second round, if he’s the player I really coveted. I just wanted to treat it like I would a real draft and I have no problem drafting a player I intend to trade in short order. Here, I don’t love Emmanuel Sanders or Kelvin Benjamin. I was hoping for Jamaal Charles or Anderson, but I ended up with LeSean McCoy, who I have slightly ahead of Arian Foster and Marshawn Lynch.

Round Four

4.01 – Nelson Agholor, WR PHI (R)
4.02 – Marshawn Lynch, RB SEA
4.03 – DeVante Parker, WR MIA (R)
4.04 – Kelvin Benjamin, WR CAR
4.05 – Russell Wilson, QB SEA
4.06 – Golden Tate, WR DET
4.07 – Emmanuel Sanders, WR DEN
4.08 – Dorial Green-Beckham, WR TEN (R)
4.09 – Martavis Bryant, WR PIT
4.10 – Lamar Miller, RB MIA
4.11 – TJ Yeldon, RB JAX
4.12 – Jarvis Landry, WR MIA

My thoughts: Three rookie receivers  (Dorial Green-Beckham, Nelson Agholor and DeVante Parker) were chosen in the fourth round. As if I didn’t love Benton’s team already, he chose Martavis Bryant, he of the crazy upside. If you want Bryant on your roster, you’ll probably have to reach to get him. If you don’t, someone else will. Benton has this draft on a leash! After two rounds, every team had at least one wideout except for Karl, who remained receiver-less by scooping up the uber-efficient Lamar Miller.

My pick: Well, my unexpected running back shopping spree continues with Lynch. At this point, I’ve lost control. With the last two picks, I was just taking who I viewed as the best player available. I also considered Bryant, Miller and Sanders. Over the past four seasons, Lynch has been the best running back in the game, and I think will have at least one more year of top-end production. With my stable of running backs, I’d definitely be looking to create some sort of package to land an elite receiver.

ingramRounds Five and Six

5.01 – Davante Adams, WR GB
5.02 – Giovani Bernard, RB CIN
5.03 – Jeremy Maclin, WR KC
5.04 – Ameer Abdullah, RB DET (R)
5.05 – Breshad Perriman, WR BAL
5.06 – Mark Ingram, RB NO
5.07 – Carlos Hyde, RB SF
5.08 – Matt Forte, RB CHI
5.09 – Cam Newton, QB CAR
5.10 – Greg Olsen, TE CAR
5.11 – Michael Floyd, WR ARI
5.12 – Latavius Murray, RB OAK

6.01 – Julian Edelman, WR NE
6.02 – Andre Ellington, RB ARI
6.03 – Joseph Randle, RB DAL
6.04 – Jonathan Stewart, RB CAR
6.05 – Brandon Marshall, WR NYJ
6.06 – Donte Moncrief, WR IND
6.07 – Tevin Coleman, RB ATL
6.08 – DeSean Jackson, WR WAS
6.09 – Charles Johnson, WR MIN
6.10 – Alfred Morris, RB WAS
6.11 – Matt Ryan, QB ATL
6.12 – John Brown, WR ARI

My thoughts: Two of my favorite running backs, Ameer Abdullah and Giovani Bernard, came off the board in the fifth round. I adore Abdullah. I think he’s the total package and will be Detroit’s starter by mid-season. Obviously, Benton got him. I may pay Benton to draft for me in the future. As for Bernard, I think he will still provide high-end RB2 value in PPR leagues. He was the RB17 in PPR last year despite missing three games. In a PPR league, Matt Forte still has RB1 value for this season, although his eye-popping 100-catch year in 2014 did mask a fairly poor rushing season. Matt took Joseph Randle as the RB22. Randle’s value will likely continue to rise as the 23-year-old entrenches himself as the best back in Dallas. Karl took his first wideout in the form of Jeremy Maclin. Through six rounds, five quarterbacks and four tight ends have been chosen. A mini-run on the remaining top players at each position may be coming soon.

My picks: I came away with a pair of undervalued Cardinals – Michael Floyd (fifth) and Andre Ellington (sixth). Floyd is a player I personally have as top 25 receiver, so getting him at the WR32 is a nice deal. He also happens to fill a need for me. Floyd is just 25 years old and he’s the most talented wideout in Arizona. As for Ellington, he was the RB19 in PRR last year, better than most people remember. Arizona’s offense was torpedoed last season by Carson Palmer’s injury. A healthy Palmer should boost both Ellington’s and Floyd’s numbers.

Rounds Seven and Eight

crowell7.01 – Phillip Dorsett, WR IND
7.02 – Isaiah Crowell, RB CLE
7.03 – Eric Decker, WR NYJ
7.04 – Mike Wallace, WR MIN
7.05 – CJ Spiller, RB NO
7.06 – Duke Johnson, RB CLE (R)
7.07 – Justin Forsett, RB BAL
7.08 – Julius Thomas, TE JAX
7.09 – Shane Vereen, RB NYG
7.10 – Jerick McKinnon, RB MIN
7.11 – Andre Johnson, WR IND
7.12 – Doug Martin, RB TB

8.01 – Matthew Stafford, QB DET
8.02 – Ryan Mathews, RB PHI
8.03 – Ryan Tannehill, QB MIA
8.04 – Torrey Smith, WR SF
8.05 – Vincent Jackson, WR TB
8.06 – Teddy Bridgewater, QB MIN
8.07 – Brandon LaFell, WR NE
8.08 – Kendall Wright, WR TEN
8.09 – Zach Ertz, TE PHI
8.10 – Devin Funchess, WR CAR (R)
8.11 – Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE TB
8.12 – Cody Latimer, WR DEN

My thoughts: I really like George’s selection of C.J. Spiller in the seventh. I think Spiller is a lock to be a top 20 running back as the pass-down running back in New Orleans. Getting him as the RB27 is a superb value. Leo took Phillip Dorsett in the seventh round, six picks after Bruce chose Donte Moncrief in the sixth round. Assuming Hilton stays in Indianapolis, it’ll be very interesting to see which of the two ends up with the more prominent role. Since 2010, Mike Wallace is tenth among receivers in PPR points. We had a mini-run on quarterbacks in the eighth, with Matthew Stafford, Ryan Tannehill and Teddy Bridgewater going in the top half of the round.

My picks: I grabbed Andre Johnson in the seventh round. It’s definitely a win-now pick, but this is the right time to take him in my opinion. The fantasy community will finally get to see what Johnson can do with a good quarterback throwing him the ball. I think he’s a high-end WR2 this season. I drafted Ryan Mathews in the seventh. I have always liked his ability and I have him in a majority of my leagues. I don’t view him as a handcuff. I think the Eagles will run the ball a lot this year, with Mathews getting enough work to be a solid flex option. If Murray were to go down, Mathews would be an immediate RB1. I toyed with the idea of taking Zach Ertz or a quarterback here.

Rounds Nine and Ten

garcon9.01 – Tyler Eifert, TE CIN
9.02 – Jaelen Strong, WR HOU (R)
9.03 – Tre Mason, RB STL
9.04 – Frank Gore, RB IND
9.05 – Martellus Bennett, TE CHI
9.06 – Jordan Cameron, TE MIA
9.07 – Bishop Sankey, RB TEN
9.08 – Larry Fitzgerald, WR ARI
9.09 – Kenny Stills, WR MIA
9.10 – Pierre Garcon, WR WAS
9.11 – Terrance Williams, WR DAL
9.12 – David Johnson, RB ARI (R)

10.01 – Victor Cruz, WR NYG
10.02 – Maxx Williams, TE BAL
10.03 – Roddy White, WR ATL
10.04 – Brian Quick, WR STL
10.05 – Joique Bell, RB DET
10.06 – Rueben Randle, WR NYG
10.07 – Jameis Winston, QB TB
10.08 – Devin Smith, WR NYJ (R)
10.09 – Devonta Freeman, RB ATL
10.10 – Ben Roethlisberger, QB PIT
10.11 – Charles Sims, RB TB
10.12 – Matt Jones, RB WAS (R)

My thoughts: Three tight ends – Tyler Eifert, Martellus Bennett and Jordan Cameron — made up three of the first six choices of round nine. Bruce took a shot on Bishop Sankey, which is well worth it at this price. Benton (again) picked up a very useful piece in Frank Gore, who will be a borderline RB1 with the Colts this season. In my book, getting Ben Roethlisberger as the tenth quarterback taken (after Jameis Winston and Bridgewater) is fantastic value.

My picks: Terrance Williams gives me some receiver depth, but it’s also a flier on a young, talented player in a good offense. Williams has plenty of natural ability, but he needs to refine his overall game to make the leap. In the tenth round, I chose rookie tight end Maxx Williams, addressing the position for the first time. Knowing how tough the transition is for first-year tight ends, I will need to grab another one later to serve as my main starter this season.