Having completed my baseball trades and while prepping for my one dynasty football league and the FBGPC, I was presented an opportunity to take over a team in a 12-team dynasty football league.
The team I took over was much better the day I committed than when I went to plan my rookie league draft and veteran waivers auction, having lost Houston running back Arian Foster. Suddenly, my solid roster of Aaron Rodgers at QB, Foster and Justin Forsett at RB, Jordy Nelson, Roddy White, Andre Johnson and Anquan Boldin at WR with Greg Olsen at TE had a major hole.
I also found out that the previous owner had been wheeling and dealing to build up that roster to win the league last year and had traded his first, second and third round rookie picks. That left me with only one rookie pick and 4.12 would be the last pick of the draft.
So I had to begin the season by making two trades to bolster the team. I sent the injured Foster along with Julius Thomas and my first round rookie pick for next year to another team for LeSean McCoy. With the hole at running back covered with another starter, I then sent my backup quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to another of the new teams for his second round rookie pick this year along with his fourth round pick next year and quarterback Nick Foles. Hopefully, with the second round pick, I can get a rookie running back who will be getting enough touches by Weeks 8 and 9 to fill in on bye weeks.
As the first round was near an end, there was a rookie running back available who I think has a chance for significant playing time this year, so I advertised on the league message board that I would like to trade into the end of round one or the beginning of round two. I had 2.06 but thought my target would not last that long. So I traded up to get the 2.03 pick, trading my second round pick and my second round pick next year. I also received third and fourth round picks in the 2016 rookie draft.
With the third pick in the second round, I selected Tevin Coleman, the Atlanta Falcons’ third round pick who will split time with Devonta Freeman. Hopefully, Coleman is playing a lot by Week 8 when LeSean McCoy has a bye week. If he is playing a lot before then, I could use him at one of my two flex spots instead of a fifth wide receiver.
Waiting for my pick at 4.12, I was offered the pick at 4.09 for Denver running back Montee Ball, who I don’t see playing a lot this year. As that pick was coming up, I accepted, and the plan was to draft Oakland rookie tight end Clive Walford.
Sadly, as soon as I made the trade, the drafter at 4.08 took Walford. Not fun, but hoping to develop depth in a league that awards 1.5 PPR for tight ends, I took the intriguing MyCole Pruitt, the Minnesota Vikings’ fifth round pick out of Southern Illinois University. At 6’2” and 258 pounds, Pruitt has the big body and good hands that could eventually get him a starting job, especially since he is behind the often hurt Kyle Rudolph.
I ended the draft by selecting rookie wide receiver Rashad Greene, who was a pretty decent receiver at Florida State University and should have some opportunity to win a job with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
I will also look to address some other candidates for wide receiver via the veteran waiver auction after the rookie draft concludes, but none of those available will be starters, so at best I would get a third down pass catcher to get me some points.
My other dynasty league draft started while that one was in progress – both are slow drafts on MyFantasyLeague.com. In this draft, I had picks 1.10, 3.06 and 3.10 in a three-round draft that focuses on rookies but where the teams can draft free agent veterans if they choose.
In a straight PPR league, the strength of this team is my wide receivers as depending on whatever rankings you look at for this year, I have three of the top ten wideouts in Antonio Brown, A.J. Green and Randall Cobb. I also have enough depth to use another receiver in my flex spot with Martavis Bryant, John Brown, Brandon LaFell and Mohammed Sanu. That is also necessitated by the fact that I don’t have strong running backs.
I have players that looked better heading into last year and may still get enough playing time to use in a RB2 committee behind Frank Gore, but with Giovani Bernard, Isaiah Crowell, Fred Jackson and Tre Mason, I need another contributor, so my focus for my first round pick was the best rookie runner I could get. Sadly, neither Ameer Abdullah or T.J. Yeldon made it to me, but I do like the prospects for David Johnson, a 6’1”, 225 lb. runner out of Northern Iowa who is also quite a good receiver out of the backfield and who I think will pair well with Andre Ellington for the Arizona Cardinals. Well, if he gets over his early hamstring problems.
I had designs of grabbing Patriots RB Legarrette Blount with one of my third round picks but he was taken before I could pull the trigger, late in the second round. There was another rookie I liked a lot so I took the chance to trade up to 3.01 (giving up my 3.10 pick and my second round pick next year) and got Cameron Artis-Payne out of Auburn, who in Carolina is behind only an injury prone Jonathan Stewart and some lesser runners.
Since my quarterbacks – Philip Rivers and Colin Kaepernick, share a Week 10 bye, I was going to invest in Sam Bradford, but when he was taken off the board, I chose to draft my third rookie running back at 3.06 in Josh Robinson out of Mississippi State, who will back up Gore along with Dan Herron. I like Robinson long term in Indianapolis.
Next week, we will look at some early, but real, FFL money league drafts.