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Captain's Log


Captain Morgan Scout Online Championship Team PDF Print E-mail
Captain's Log
Written by Perry Van Hook   
Wednesday, 02 September 2015 00:00

Following up on last week’s column that showed the first three rounds of the Scout Online Championship draft that Greg Morgan and I are doing, I wanted to recap our draft.

As a reminder, this is a 12-team PPR league where lineups will be QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE and two Flex spots (RB/WR/TE) in addition to your kicker and defense. We were drafting from the two hole, so here are the picks in order with my brief comments.

1.02 Le'Veon Bell, RB, PIT – Might still be the #1 RB without the two games

2.11 T.Y. Hilton, WR, IND – Big play receiver and favorite of Andrew Luck

3.02 DeAndre Hopkins, WR, HOU – Great going for the ball and no longer in Andre Johnson’s shadow

4.11 Greg Olsen, TE, CAR – More targets with Kelvin Benjamin out; could be #1 TE this year

5.02 Ameer Abdullah, RB, DET – Rookie showing great skills moves into Reggie Bush role

6.11 John Brown, WR, ARI – Big play receiver could easily lead Cardinal receivers this year

7.02 Joique Bell, RB, DET – Injury pushing down his draft spot but should still be a top-20 RB

8.11 Torrey Smith, WR, SF – Can get deep and Kaepernick has huge arm

9.02 Rashad Jennings, RB, NYG – I still think he is Giants best RB and a good pass catcher

10.11 Ty Montgomery, WR, GB – Should be Packers third wideout with Jordy Nelson out

11.02 Eli Manning, QB, NYG – Great receivers and check his numbers for last half of 2014

12.11 Cameron Artis-Payne, RB, CAR – Rookie there when (not if) Jonathan Stewart goes down

13.02 Charles Clay, TE, BUF – Big tight end with very good hands for whomever is the Bills QB

14.11 Allen Hurns, WR, JAC - #2 receiver for Bortles and the Jaguars

15.02 Philly Brown, WR, CAR – Sneaky pick – may be leading wide receiver for Cam Newton

16.11 Zach Zenner, RB, DET – Powerful runner in case Bell has problems

17.02 Jordan Norwood, WR, DEN – Vying for slot receiver for Peyton Manning

18.11 Tyrod Taylor, QB, BUF – Eye opening pre-season, great college career, can run and pass

19.02 Indianapolis Colts DST – Check their schedule for first four weeks

20.11 Chandler Catanzaro, K, AZ - Very strong leg and offense that can sputter + good defense

A pretty strong team in my opinion. Now we need to be vigilant on the waiver wire to adjust to anything that may happen – and there are always surprises and breakthroughs in the NFL. I will report on how we are doing in our quest for best record and most points and run for the playoffs, but always glad to answer questions here or on the message boards.

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 September 2015 23:26
 
Breaking Down an Early FFL Draft PDF Print E-mail
Captain's Log
Written by Perry Van Hook   
Wednesday, 26 August 2015 00:00

Over the weekend, Greg Morgan and I started an online draft in the Scout Online Championship (formerly known as Rotobowl). These are 12-team PPR leagues with a $299 entry.

This is much better practice than a mock draft because people have some skin invested in the draft and if prepping for the FFWC (Fantasy Football World Championship), it has the exact same rules. Plus, there is something to be won at the league level (like a free FFWC entry for next year for the league champion) in addition to a huge $50,000 payout for first place overall.

To get to the league playoffs, you want to be first or second in H2H record and/or total points. First in either is better because it wins you $200 even before the playoffs. Then you take your weekly average score and add on your scores from weeks 14, 15, and 16 to get your final total for both league (1st and 2nd) and overall prizes.

The lineups will be QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE and two Flex spots (RB/WR/TE) in addition to your kicker and defense. So let’s get straight to the draft as it unfolded and analyze good picks and not so good choices.

1.01  Dez Bryant, WR, DAL

1.02  LeVeon Bell, RB, PIT

1.03  Julio Jones, WR, ATL

1.04  Antonio Brown, WR, PIT

1.05  Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN

1.06  Eddie Lacy, RB, GB

1.07  Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN

1.08  Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE

1.09  Odell Beckham, WR, NYG

1.10  Jamaal Charles, RB, KC

1.11  Jordy Nelson, WR, GB

1.12  Justin Forsett, RB, BAL

Fantasy football players have gotten away from the straight string of running backs to open the draft, especially when the top wide receivers may well outscore the top running backs. Today there are two principle camps of drafters – those who want one of the top runners to anchor their team or those who will take their highest projected scorer in the first round of the available RB/WR/one TE. There is another segment that is willing to chart a “No RB draft” – well, not actually none, but starting the draft with several wide receivers, perhaps a top four TE, maybe even a stud QB and then make several picks in later rounds to cobble together a stable of running backs where they can play the best two on matchup or performance each week while they play more receivers.

Color me old school but I think for roster construction, I would prefer to take an excellent running back at the top of the first round. Fortunately, Greg and I agree on this, so the “Captain Morgan” was going to take either Bell or Peterson with the second pick in the draft. Yes, Bell will miss the first two games of the season, but I think he will have a huge chip on his shoulder when he returns and I think he will come close if not lead all running backs in PPR points again this year.

I don’t really have an argument with most of the picks in this first round – perhaps a different order of the names although I do think that Forsett is really a second round pick, but you can flip Team #12’s picks since they are essentially made together. I do think the one top runner who was missing from the first round or early second was C.J. Anderson of the Broncos, who I would have taken earlier, but let’s look at round two and see where he fell.

2.01 Marshawn Lynch, RB, SEA

2.02 Calvin Johnson, WR, DET

2.03 A.J. Green, WR, CIN

2.04 Matt Forte, RB, CHI

2.05 Alshon Jeffery, WR, CHI

2.06 Randall Cobb, WR, GB

2.07 C.J. Anderson, RB, DEN

2.08 Brandin Cooks, WR, NO

2.09 Jeremy Hill, RB, CIN

2.10 DeMarco Murray, RB, PHI

2.11 T.Y. Hilton, WR, IND

2.12 Mike Evans, WR, TB

Greg and I thought originally that we would be going WR/WR on the 2/3 turn as the top running backs should have been drafted before it got to us with the 11th pick this round. Oh so close to lose the Bell-Murray start to the drafter in front of us. One other sour spot for our team was Brandin Cooks, who should have a monster year with Drew Brees this season, going in the second round. Usually, he has been going early to mid-third round in most drafts. But that is why ADP is only a guide – when people get to the table in September with money on the line – especially at the high stakes drafts in Las Vegas – the conventional picks go out the window with every succeeding pick.

Still, we were happy to roster Andrew Luck’s favorite target and would see who our third pick would be shortly.

3.01 Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR

3.02 DeAndre Hopkins, WR, HOU

3.03 Jordan Matthews, WR, PHI

3.04 Andre Johnson, WR, IND

3.05 Emmanuel Sanders, WR, DEN

3.06 Andrew Luck, QB, IND

3.07 LeSean McCoy, RB, BUF

3.08 Amari Cooper, WR, OAK

3.09 Lamar Miller, RB, MIA

3.10 Julian Edelman, WR, NE

3.11 Jimmy Graham, TE, SEA

3.12 Golden Tate, WR, DET

We were actually debating potentially top wide receivers with bad quarterbacks – Mike Evans and DeAndre Hopkins. Maybe too harsh to call Jameis Winston bad but certainly unproven, but Hopkins didn’t have a much better QB situation last year and still emerged. Plus, Houston’s senior wideout Andre Johnson is now catching balls in Indianapolis. I think we would have gone with Hopkins if both were available but we won’t know until the next draft.

There were both good and bad picks in this round – even if you love Jonathan Stewart, which might mean you are a doctor, round three is pretty early for that pick. I also think that it was early for Amari Cooper, a very talented rookie but in less than an ideal situation – well, except for playing from behind a lot. I would also question the Graham pick at the end of round three – he is not in the Saints passing offense anymore and while he may be a favorite red zone target for Russell Wilson, I don’t see a lot of difference in his projected points for this season versus Greg Olsen or Travis Kelce, which means that at least the drafter could have had him in the early fourth round or an equally productive tight end.

While this draft has now inched into the seventh round, I don’t want to make this article too long, so I will (hopefully) recap all of our picks in next week’s column. Always glad to see your questions here or in the Forums.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 August 2015 08:16
 
A Look at Two FFL Dynasty Leagues PDF Print E-mail
Captain's Log
Written by Perry Van Hook   
Wednesday, 19 August 2015 00:00

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.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 August 2015 08:40
 
The Trade Deadline in AL and NL Keeper Leagues PDF Print E-mail
Captain's Log
Written by Perry Van Hook   
Wednesday, 12 August 2015 00:00

The MLB non-waiver trade deadline is usually concurrent or perhaps a week ahead of the trade deadline in AL-only and NL-only keeper leagues.

In my AL-only league, they were on the same weekend and perhaps because of the heavy influx of crossover players to the American League, this year there was only one deadline trade.

Last year’s winner, then in fourth place, was able to get Johnny Cueto on Sunday morning for $59 FAAB units, most of what he had left. But that night he swung the only trade deadline deal to get Adam Jones ($37, first year) and David Robertson ($9 on an expiring contract) by swapping his first round minor league pick next year for a last (fifth) round pick and Kyle Gibson ($3, second year), Logan Morrison ($5, first year) and Chris Parmelee, a $10 free agent pickup. This week, he has moved up to third place but has a long way to go to overtake the second place team, who is 11 points ahead of him.

In the other Los Angeles-based keeper league I play in, an NL-only league, the trade deadline is one week later, so those trades last weekend were effective this week.

This is the league where I noted while running down the FAAB prices for the crossover players that Yoenis Cespedes wasn’t available for bidding on 8/1, so he was up on Saturday and went for $649. Unfortunately, he went to a team I am competing with for the last money spot (fourth place) or the first minor league draft pick next year, which goes to the fifth place finisher. The best I could do with limited funds was to get Joakim Soria for $69 in hopes that he will get a couple of saves, which would be another point in that category for my team.

There were three deadline trades that may affect second, third and fourth place as well as the fifth place consolation.

First, the team in a virtual tie for second place traded minor league prospect Jesse Winker along with Corey Dickerson ($14, second year) and Carl Crawford ($23 in this year’s auction) to a non-contender for James Shields ($26 in this year’s auction), Jon Jay ($1, second year) and Khris Davis ($10 in his last year).

Next, one of the teams who had previously traded away quite a bit of talent to build their team for next year found themselves in contention for either the last money spot or the first minor league pick next year, so they added Cody Asche ($5, second year), Ryan Zimmerman ($33 in this year’s auction) and Nori Aoki ($17 in this year’s auction). All they had to give up for that was minor league pitching prospect Tyler Kolek and spare parts Ivan DeJesus ($10 free agent this year) and Casey McGehee ($6 contract from last year’s auction).

My team, one of those in the hunt for fourth and fifth place, had the option of trying to add players or trying to add an impact minor leaguer, and while I had initially turned down one trade because it would cost me the hope of Hector Olivera and was too late to get Winker from the second place hopeful, I made a late offer to get Ben Revere’s stolen bases in Toronto. I had to give up minor leaguer Aaron Altherr and a $2 Josh Johnson from this year’s auction but that might just be enough to pick up two points in stolen bases, which would dramatically help my team.

Such is life in a mono keeper league.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 August 2015 08:07
 
FAAB Results From Trade Deadline Week PDF Print E-mail
Captain's Log
Written by Perry Van Hook   
Wednesday, 05 August 2015 00:00

With one of the wildest non-waiver trade deadlines in memory, fantasy players in mono leagues, especially in AL leagues, had a lot to consider in last week’s FAAB bidding.

Of course, bidding is different as shaped by individual league rules, but there were clearly four players – Troy Tulowitzki, Johnny Cueto, Cole Hamels and Carlos Gomez who figured to get extremely high bids in AL-only leagues.

But the talent didn’t stop there. Gerardo Parra, Ben Revere and Mike Fiers would also be actively targeted.

On the NL side, Jose Reyes and Yoenis Cespedes would generate the highest bids, but Brandon Moss and Tyler Clippard would be bid on in all leagues and even Joakim Soria and J.A. Happ would find takers.

You have probably read our weekly LABR/Tout FAAB recaps, but in looking at bids from my AL and NL keeper leagues, I am going to compare the winning bids with those from the LABR leagues. (It's hard to compare the Tout bids when they use the Vickrey system and most private leagues don’t.)

American League Bidding

Player My League LABR
Troy Tulowitzki $68 $54
Johnny Cueto $59 $55
Cole Hamels $49 $55
Carlos Gomez $48 $49
Gerardo Parra $32 $50
Ben Revere $47 $43
Mike Fiers $15 $16

My NL-only keeper league (both leagues based in the Los Angeles area) uses a $1000 FAAB purse, so a comparison with LABR won’t work. But let’s look at these prices compared to an NFBC NL-only league which also uses a $1000 FAAB budget.

National League Bidding

Player My League NFBC
Jose Reyes $744 $597
Brandon Moss $553 $417
Tyler Clippard $47 $187
J.A. Happ $8 $50
Joakim Soria $6 $50

Cespedes is missing because my NL league has a rule that the player has to play by Friday of the current week to be eligible for bidding on Saturday night. (Don’t ask me how Happ snuck through. I just sent the commissioner an e-mail on that.) Cespedes went for $761 in an NFBC NL-only auction league and I expect him to go for around $600 in our league this coming Saturday.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 August 2015 00:27
 
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