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11 Takeaways From Recent High Stakes Drafts

I’ve had the chance to participate in a couple of Main Events over the last seven days. With a lot of excellent questions in the forums on where I’m seeing players go and what I’m doing in certain situations, here’s a quick look at some of the trends from these drafts. 

The best start went to a squad that landed DeAndre Hopkins/Julio Jones out of the No. 8 slot. Jones was selected after Keenan Allen, Michael Thomas, and Davante Adams at wide receiver, and after Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette at running back. While all of those picks are individually defensible, they’re all individually surprising. The WR picks stand in stark contrast to best ball ADP (which tends to be much more RB heavy).

top wr adp

Make sure to check out Who’s Hot and Who’s Not by high stakes wizard Monty Phan.

  • If you want McCaffrey, you need to be prepared to move early. McCaffrey went at 1.09 and 2.02. This is likely fueled in part by the big game he had in Pre-Week 2 and the rhetoric out of Carolina about his touch split with C.J. Anderson. I could still be wrong on this, of course, but I’ve been suggesting Anderson was a minimal threat all offseason.
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster came off the board at 3.09 in both drafts. Possibly undervalued in more conservative industry drafts, the late third may still be a mild undervaluing. His resume suggests a secondary breakout.
  • Devonta Freeman and Jordan Howard are late-second and early-third selections, and they look like land mines in those areas.1 If you’re looking for similar profiles and are willing to take the risk on slightly less established players, consider Kenyan Drake and Alex Collins in Round 4.
  • WR is incredibly shallow. That’s the only way to explain Cooper Kupp at 4.01, Marquise Goodwin at 4.02, Chris Hogan at 4.02, Jamison Crowder at 5.11. These aren’t necessarily the wrong picks. I love Hogan and Goodwin and selected them in Rounds 7 and 8 of the MFL10 of Death. But it does emphasize how many points you’re likely to lose by starting RB-RB, or by selecting any RB early outside of the Big 3.
  •  Corey Davis (4.03/5.03) is expensive considering his rookie season and the lack of buzz surrounding the Tennessee offense. Ben Battle has explained why you should target D.J. Moore instead, and Moore owns a better opportunity-agnostic projection based on his overall profile.
  • Speaking of Moore, I was able to select him at 9.12 (WR56). This was after fellow rookies Calvin Ridley (WR48), Michael Gallup (WR50), and Anthony Miller (WR53). Moore remains an excellent upside pick and will be relatively inexpensive the final week and a half.

rookie WR ADP

  • Drafters were right on Alshon Jeffery who fell to WR38 and WR40 even before the latest injury news. It’s difficult to like a compromised Jeffery coming off of a mediocre season and facing a ton of target competition. By contrast, Nelson Agholor (WR44/47) should have been going earlier. He and Devin Funchess continue to be excellent buys and appealing secondary breakout candidates.
  • Chris Carson (7.03/7.04) and Peyton Barber (8.05/9.07) don’t have a lot of room to outperform unless you’re expecting big improvements for the Seattle and Tampa offenses. I covered this in the Zero RB Update, and high stakes champion Monty Phan has an excellent breakdown of the tricky backfields in Who’s Hot?
  • If you want the quick guide for how to win your league, just make sure the Wrong Read is on your reading list. Yesterday, Blair Andrews provided more proof that rookie RBs are the key to fantasy titles. He recommended backs in the Round 9 to Round 12 range and specifically targeted Ronald Jones and Nick Chubb. I couldn’t agree more, selecting those backs in both drafts: Jones (9.03/9.12) and Chubb (11.03/12.01).
  • Players I drafted onto both teams: Jarvis Landry, Ronald Jones, Matt Breida, Nick Chubb, Tyler Boyd.

There’s obviously plenty more to discuss. Feel free to reach out in the Zero RB thread or a create your own. I’ll answer as many as I can get to. Good luck this week!

  1. Cort Smith offers a counterpoint, including them in Tier 2 of his final rankings.  (back)
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