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4 Lessons Learned From the RotoViz MFL10

Recently, the RotoViz staff took part in an MFL10. While Shawn Siegele has a more traditional draft breakdown covered for you to learn from, I decided to take a different approach. It wasn’t a perfect draft for yours truly, but there were certainly some things I picked up on throughout the way. That is what I would like to share with you today. Here are four things I learned from the RotoViz MFL10.

Lesson 1: Be Flexible

When I originally signed up for the draft, my plan was to go Zero RB. Then I drew the third pick, which meant I knew I could get one of David Johnson, Le’Veon Bell, or Ezekiel Elliott. This lead to me switching my strategy to what Eric McClung has dubbed RB0.3

I figured I would snag one of the big three RBs, then pound WRs for a few rounds, giving me essentially a Zero RB WR group, but with a potentially league-winning RB.

Then the draft started, and it became obvious that I wasn’t the only person smitten with the WRs; 13 of them went off the board before my second selection, while just seven RBs went. Included among the available was Jordan Howard, who had an ADP more towards the top of the second round. I decided to hold off on WR for one more selection.

But then Todd Gurley was available in round three, while he is usually off the board by the end of round two. At this point I decided to go completely contrarian to the rest of my league mates and use Mike Beers’ Hyper-Fragile draft strategy. With three players I had projected to be RB1s, it seemed like the perfect time to employ this high-risk, high-reward strategy.1

Lesson 2: Don’t Rely on ADP

Throughout this draft, I was keeping the Best Ball ADP App close to my side, checking to see how much time I could wait before pouncing on my favorite players. The issue with this is that my league wasn’t just going to give me the players I dubbed as quality values.

I should have taken Pierre Garcon in Round 5, but I knew that he had an ADP at least a round or two later, so I passed on him and planned on taking him in Round 6. He went one pick after me to Shawn Siegele. In Round 7, I took Randall Cobb over players I preferred in Mike Wallace and Kenny Britt for the same reasons. Wallace went two picks after Cobb, and Britt went right before my next selection, again to Siegele.2

All in all, I lost three players I adore this summer, one of which I’ve already dubbed a league winner. The reality is that even if I “reached” on those players, if my projection hits the reward will still be great. I should have just taken them when I had the chance and used ADP as a rough guide more than a hard and fast rule.

Lesson 3: Prioritize TE

Beers states that you want at least one stud TE as part of the hyper-fragile approach. RotoDoc has also done some great work on drafting two studs at the position in drafts. I definitely wanted one of the elite TEs in my draft. However, after passing on Travis Kelce for Gurley in the third, I barely missed on Greg Olsen in the fourth.3 In the fifth, I passed on TE expecting to get either Tyler Eifert or Jimmy Graham in the sixth. They both went within six picks of me.

As a result, I felt like I was playing from behind at the position the rest of the draft. I ended up with Coby Fleener (Round 11), Antonio Gates (14), and Dion Sims (20), three players that I think are decent but probably incapable of catching up to the elite. I also felt forced to prioritize them over better players at other positions because I had waited so long. I’m definitely going to be more aggressive at TE in drafts going forward.

Lesson 4: Grab Those DSTs

Both of the Monte Carlo simulations run last year by A.J. Bessette/Greg Meade and RotoDoc find it optimal to select three DSTs. Typically I have no issue doing this with the last three picks of my draft. However, since everyone in this draft was a RotoViz writer, someone was going to be left out of the three DST mix.4

With six DSTs already off the board by the time the 17th round started, I knew I had to change up my approach. I took my DSTs in rounds 17, 18, and 19 to ensure I would get three.5 Since I was just waiting to take my third TE anyway, I didn’t lose out on any skill player of note. I will probably do this in all of my MFL10s going forward and aim to take a true flier in the final round.

  1. I was the only person in the draft to go hyper-fragile, but it should be noted that Aaron Butler started his draft with four RBs.  (back)
  2. Maybe the lesson is never pick next to Shawn.  (back)
  3. Seriously, Siegele took my lunch money in this draft.  (back)
  4. Since 3×12 = 36 and there are only 32 available DSTs.  (back)
  5. With an early pick in the 19th round, my chances of being locked out of the position was much lower than waiting until the end of the 20th.  (back)
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