2015 JFFL Draft Grades

f-school-letter-grade-1The rosters are set and the game is just a few short weeks away and a good time was had by all. Without further adieu, the 2015 JFFL Draft Grades:

Silverfox

Keepers:  Odell Beckham Jr., Adrian Peterson, Kelvin Benjamin, Latavius Murray

Silverfox is picking first for the 3rd time in 4 years and he proved why with his decision making here.  His mistakes began before the draft even got underway when he shipped Adrian Peterson, a consensus top 5 pick, to A1 for a 4th Round Pick.  Silverfox should have insisted on either multiple picks, or a higher pick in return for AP.  As a result of an injury to Kelvin Benjamin, Silverfox defaulted to keeping Latavius Murray along with stud WR Odell Beckham Jr.

Determined to lead the league in “taviuses,” with the 4th Round pick acquired from A1 Silverfox took Martavius Bryant.  Essentially, Silverfox traded AP (arguably the top player in the draft, unarguably a top 5 player) for Latavius Murray (a guy with a moderately strong grip on the starting RB job for one of the 5 worst teams in football) and Martavius Bryant (a guy coming off a middling rookies season who is in a battle for the WR2 job in Pittsburgh).  I feel like that would get vetoed during the season.  Regardless, the pre-draft moves defined what was, unfortunately for Silverfox, a tough draft where I have to assume he was pick sniped a few times based upon his selections.

Best Pick:  It wasn’t all mismanaged for Silverfox.  He did the right thing by taking Jamaal Charles 1st overall but then did the smart and safe thing by backing him up with Knile Davis in round 7.  The Davis pick would have been a reach there for anyone else, but for Silverfox, he needed to lock down the KC run game and bring in some support for his paper thin RB corps.  Davis is the most talented backup in the league and probably the only true “must own” handcuff in 2015.  Also liked Deandre Hopkins in round 2 over some of the flashier names that followed him.

Worst Pick:  Plenty to choose from here.  Travis Kelce in the 3rd round probably takes the cake just because of the abundance of talent that was still available at that stage in the draft.  After Gronk and, arguably, Graham, the TE position is a totally middling crapshoot.  It’s difficult to say that Kelce will certainly outperform any of the TE taken in round 8 or later like Zach Ertz, Tyler Eifert, Julius Thomas, or Austin Sefarin-Jenkins.  Even if he does, it may be by less than 2 points a week and that isn’t worth passing up consistent producers like Julian Edelman and Golden Tate or the last remaining 2nd tier QB in Ben Roethlisberger, all of which were available to him.  I also disliked the aforementioned Bryant selection over the Jacksons (Desean and Vincent) but, even moreso, I was surprised Silverfox didn’t take advantage of his extra pick by taking a flier on Arian Foster who, if back by week 8, could play a huge role this season.  He was one of two managers situated to take that kind of risk with an extra top 5 pick and he failed to take advantage in an area of the draft where it would have been reasonable.

Prediction:  Sorry Silverfox, but I see you right back where you started once again next year and heavily featured in the draft lottery/tribute to Paul Walker Youtube video that will get released sometime next July.  This will be one of the 3 worst teams in the league.

Grade:  D-

OMD

Keepers:  Demaryius Thomas, Mark Ingram

Uncle Murda showed good restraint with his keepers in taking the more reliable Thomas (over Lesean McCoy) and sitting on Ingram who, while unsexy, saved him the trouble of depleting his draft only to get a marginal upgrade.  He followed those good decisions by making several more and mixing in a little calculated risk.  Taking Marshawn Lynch 2nd overall, Murda is clearly in “win now” mode.  While McCoy or Demarco Murray offer more tantalizing long term prospects, Lynch would seem to be the best RB for the 2015 season.  The pick of Julius Randle in round 2 could make OMD’s season a special one, and since he already has Lynch and Ingram at RB, it can’t totally leave him exposed if Randle fails to meet expectations.  Murda was mostly solid as the draft rounds progressed taking reliable veterans for the first 7 rounds before taking his lone rookie, WR Breshad Perriman, in round 8.  OMD, clearly influenced by Miller Lite and boredom, made some curious selections late in adding both a backup TE and a backup DEF, but he should have plenty of roster flexibility in the weeks leading into the season as a result (ie, expect him to make some moves on the waiver wire).

Best Pick:  Selection of Tony Romo in round 4 notwithstanding, the selection of Philip Rivers in round 7 showed why patience was a virtue when it came to QB selections this season.  With Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers establishing a small top tier and Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Ben Roethlisberger looking to firmly make up tier 2, tier 3 was not much of a drop from the top 5 at the position.  Rivers in round 7 looks like a steal as compared to the aforementioned Romo (4), Cam Newton (4 – sorry Silverfox) and Matt Ryan (4), all of whom he should perform comparably to.  OMD now has a valuable trade chip in either Rivers or Romo, and Trombone and should probably be on the line with him sooner rather than later (we’ll get to that).  I also liked the Vincent Jackson selection in round 5.  Jackson is consistent even if he isn’t the most exciting guy to own.  10 points a week from a 5th rounder is the stuff that championships are made of.

Worst Pick:  Jordan Cameron in round 6 sticks out if only because he’s been so injury prone over the years.  OMD’s roster only has 3 total RBs (Ingram, Lynch, and Randle) so it would have been nice to see OMD take advantage of some of the options still on the board with that pick.  In the picks that followed OMD’s Cameron selection, Knile Davis, Ryan Mathews, Reggie Bush, and Tre Mason all flew off the board.  Any one of those players would have provided him with some depth at a position that always carries injury risks.

Prediction:  To quote the great Uncle Murd, it’s really hard to say.  If OMD is an active league participant, this has the look of a solid playoff team and possible division champion.  If OMD is absentee, this team will go 6-7, squeak into the playoffs, and go on an improbable run on the way to winning a second JFFL championship with no kicker and 3 starters on IR.

Grade:  A-

Captain

Keepers:  Julio Jones, Russell Wilson

If the Captain was thinking of keeping Jordy Nelson over Julio Jones he made a hell of a trade in more ways than one.  The Captain opted to keep Russell Wilson instead of trading for an enhanced B keeper pre-season.  The decision is certainly defensible, however Danger Russ has a slightly lower value in our scoring system since throwing TDs are worth 6, and not 4 points.  This takes away the moderate advantage that running QBs enjoy, slightly, because their rushing touchdowns don’t carry added value at the position.  Still, I wonder what his team would look like had he managed to take a young RB (like Carlos Hyde, who he selected in round 2) in a trade and simply taken Wilson or a comparable QB in rounds 5-8.  Outside of that small quibble, nice work overall by the Captain.  His hand was a little forced to take a RB when he selected Lesean McCoy 3rd overall.  I’d imagine he’d have taken Dez Bryant had he kept a RB, but he certainly was fortunate to have that type of talent available to choose from in a league where 24 players are kept heading into draft day.  Captain sniped and stashed Kelvin Benjamin late and will consider him as a possible B keeper or trade chip next offseason.  Captain also made great use of his acquired pick, selecting calculated risk T.J. Yeldon with JPOWW’s 3rd rounder.  That’s exactly the type of pick one should make when acquiring an extra stab in the early rounds, and the Captain nailed it.

Best Pick:  As ridiculous as it sounds, Captain’s last pick might prove to be his best.  Philip Dorsett is turning heads in training camp and now has the inside track on the WR3 job in a high powered offense in addition to being involved in the return game.  Dorsett could prove to be an every week flex player for the Captain who, already, has a roster loaded with consistent talent.  Fred Jackson in Round 9 was also a total steal, as he always finds a way onto the field in Buffalo.

Worst Pick:  Legarrette Blount in Round 4 didn’t really move the needle for me.  With McCoy, Hyde, and Yeldon in tow the Captain could have taken the best player available with that pick and would have really supplemented his WR core of Julio Jones and Jeremy Maclin by taking Vincent Jackson.  That also could have saved him from taking Eric Decker in round 5 who has the worst QB situation in the league to contend with.  The 4-5 turn was really the only poor one in an extremely solid draft for our elder statesman.

Prediction:  The Captain looks solid across the board assuming that just one of the players taken in the 4th round or later steps up to perform solidly to round out his flex positions.  This also looks like a playoff team to me.

Grade: A

Dazzle

Once again the Lion is stepping in to grade Dazzle’s draft for him to keep things above board. I will resist the urge to make Overrated v. Overranked jokes and call Tom Brady soft in this review. The Lion is ever true and unbiased in his assessments (or at the very least admits his biases when they exist). I look to my grade from last year. The Lion liked Dazzle’s draft, giving him an A-, and predicted a playoff run. However I did include the following: There are few who could say they had a better draft than Dazzle, although there is a chance that Gronk and Harvin get hurt again, Cooks puts up numbers once every 3 weeks, EJ Manuel can’t get Sammy the ball, and Mason and Hillman never take over as starters.

Well, although Gronk stayed healthy, Harvin had a terrible year where he got kicked off his own team for being a cancer, Cooks put up numbers once every 3 week, and EJ Manuel lost his job by the bye week to Kyle Orton who since retired, limiting Sammy’s perforamnce. Mason and Hillman never really caught on as starters either. All of this combined with Peyton Manning getting mysteriously injured down the stretch derailed Dazzle’s season and sent him to the lottery.

This year, in one of the most highly attended and least drunk drafts in a while, Dazzle, as stubborn, er I mean confident in himself, as ever, once again made some calculated risks that could put him deep into the playoffs or send him right back where he started from. For example, he kept Western New York’s own Gronk, who, while is easily the best TE and one of the most fun players to watch and root for in football, is very often injured. He also kept CJ Spiller, who is often injured and randomly decided to tell everyone he was getting surgery the week of the draft. He is expected to be back for the season though, and if healthy will be the new Sproles of NOLA’s offense that will depend on backs more than ever with out Graham to stretch the middle of the field and Colston on the decline. He also went back to his BOY Peyton Manning, who could be first half of the year Peyton or December Peyton, we just don’t know. He is one hit away from retiring but also could put up 350 yards and 3 Tds a week. This calculated risk vs. high ceiling pretty much sums up his draft.

Perhaps his whole draft can be summed up by one risk in particular. Dazzle took Arian Foster. Foster could come back and be the best back in the league down the stretch and propel Dazzle to a title, or he could let his brother continue to rehab him and stay injured all year. Calculated Risk v. High Ceiling.

Best Pick: Dez Bryant/Devin Hester.  I can’t decide which one I like more, but these are the two safest picks he made. Dez to me has surpassed Megatron and is the #2 FFL WR besides Antonio Brown in Pittsburgh. He is a much safer and solid pick than the other guys available for Dazzle at that spot. Hester is such a value pick because he gets points every year in the return game and is great to fill in any given week due to Injuries or Byes. Such a smart pick, and late in the draft. It actually got groans from the peanut gallery. That is how you know you have a good pick, when you hear a bunch of guys go “Shit.”

Worst Pick: Stevan Ridley.  This isn’t really a big deal considering where Dazzle took him, but he probably isn’t going to play at all. The truth is that his draft is very similar to last year for Dazzle. A mixture of guys who are safe bets to put up points every week due to their versatility, and some risky injury guys who have super high ceilings if they are healthy and themselves.

Prediction: While most of his risks last year didn’t pay off like they could have, I think regression to the mean is inevitable and more of AJ’s risks will pay off than not this time around. I predict a playoff return for the Dazzle.

Grade:  B+

A1

Keepers: Adrian Peterson, Tom Brady

Can’t knock the keepers here.  Enough has been said about A1’s preseason trade with Silverfox but, as an added wrinkle, how scary is an angry Tom Brady?  TB12, who we unanimously agreed over lunch is the greatest QB of all time, specifically, over Joe Montana, is likely to go on a statistical rampage in response to the NFL’s ludicrous #deflategate crusade against him this offseason.  A1 also was in the fortunate position to pick 5th in a draft where there were 5 top tier talents left before the drop to everyone else.  His decision was made for him, probably to his chagrin, as he took Demarco Murray in round 1.  If former Cowboy and current Eagle Demarco only had a Washington Redskins tattoo or something he would fully represent everything A1 hates.  A1 certainly took some risks to make up for the loss of his 4th round pick after round 1.  Todd Gurley might not make it back until as late as week 10 according to some reports, Sammy Watkins might actually miss Kyle Orton based upon who’s throwing to him in Buffalo, and Victor Cruz might not be able to salsa dance let alone run routes after his gruesome injury last season.  Then again, A1 stayed sneakily sober and took advantage of the increasingly drunk draft room late sniping up Devonta Freeman, Tyler Eifert, and Marcus Wheaton in rounds 8-10.

Best Pick:  Speaking of Marcus Wheaton… while Silver foxused his A1’s 4th round pick to take Martavius Bryant, A1 sniped the guy who is gunning to take his job in round 10.  Throw in the fact that Wheaton is active in the punt and kickoff return game, and A1 might have gotten the 2nd best WR in Pittsburgh.  It was a great pick that provided an interesting bookend on the most discussed trade of the offseason and it occurred during a great stretch of the draft for A1 that also saw him take Vernon Davis, a guy who was just last year a top 5 TE, in round 11 to back up the oft injured Eifert.  I also liked Ryan Tannehill in round 7 in the event that Brady actually serves his suspension.  A nice QB on the rise, Tannehill might establish some trade value by the time A1 no longer needs his services.

Worst Pick:  Not because I don’t love the talent, I do, but Todd Gurley in round 2 is a little too high for me.  I think he could be the next AP, but Gurley is going to be brought along slowly by the Rams.  Also factor in that Jeff Fisher runs the least creative offensive system in the league, and Gurley is fighting an uphill battle to showcase his talents in 2015.  In round 2, even if you love a guy, you need contribution and A1 might not get it this year.  Additionally, A1 might not be in a position to keep him next year if Gurley is coddled all season long and Demarco Murray performs well.  If Gurley comes back quicker than expected, scratch everything I just said.  The talent is real.

Prediction:  This has the feeling of a fringe team to me but, if Brady plays in full “F You” mode, and Peterson does as well (both are extremely possible) then this could be a dangerous team to play down the stretch.  If A1’s late round steals pan out, he could be a force to be reckoned with.  Playoffs or just on the outside looking in.

Grade: B

Skillz

Keepers:  A.J. Green, T.Y. Hilton

The glaring issue on this team is at the RB position.  Skillz didn’t roster his first RB until round 3, and it shows.  With Tevin Coleman, Bishop Sankey (I just threw up a little), DeAngelo Williams, Chris Polk, Jay Ajayi, Chris “CJ2k”  Johnson, and Boom Herron at RB, Skillz is going to need to get lucky on the waiver wire or hope to catch lightning in a bottle from an unexpected source.  Even with 2 WR already on the roster, Skillz wisely chose Randall Cobb with his top pick.  Cobb was, after all, the best talent on the board (officially, I think he is not enhanced or diminished by the Jordy Nelson injury).  Unfortunately, that selection created an imbalance that could have been addressed but was, instead, neglected in the following round by our baldest league member.  Skillz did get some nice value as the draft progressed sniping Allen Robinson in round 5 and Larry Fitzgerald in round 7, however, that depth also exposes a problem.  Of Green, Hilton, Cobb, Robinson, Charles Johnson (round 6), Fitzgerald, and Dorial Green-Beckham (round 10) only 4 can start.  While the sliding Fitz was absolutely properly drafted in round 7 at a value, he was already the 6th WR on the roster.  That selection would have been much sweeter had Skillz not only rostered 1 RB at that point.  He might want to get on the horn with WR needy JPOWW sooner rather than later.

Best Pick:  Chris Polk in round 11 was a steal.  This might be the lightning in a bottle Skillz needs to make a run in 2015.  By the time Arian Foster returns I wouldn’t be shocked if Polk, not Alfred Blue, is the guy toting the rock the majority of the time for the Texans.  Polk is a power runner who hits holes hard and is perfect for the scheme run in Houston.  If Foster heals slowly or doesn’t return at 100%, Polk could have a big role moving forward.  If you’re a Matt Ryan guy and believe that he’s going to take a leap this year (as some do every year) then he was a nice selection in Round 4.

Worst Pick:  Charles Johnson in Round 6 was totally unnecessary.  Darren Sproles, Knile Davis, Reggie Bush, and Tre Mason all could have brought balance to the roster and were in the same (or better tier) of talent than Johnson.  I think it’s possible that Skillz went into an NTMVW-esque WR loop and just forgot that there were other positions on the field this season (although he still didn’t manage to draft 9 straight, that’s still an incredible feat to me).  Also loathed the Graham pick in round 2 because; a) he declined last year, b) he’s on a run heavy offense this year, c) he’s playing with a QB who doesn’t throw across the middle well due to his diminutive size, and d) Carlos Hyde (and the Frank Gore-esque 10-15 ppg he’ll certainly deliver), taken 3 spots later, would have been the perfect fit with that dominant WR group.

Prediction:  Sorry Skillz, but your lack of RB depth is going to keep you on the outside looking in this season.  There are going to be some special weeks where the top 3 WR targets come together to light it up, but those will be the exception and not the rule.  Bishop Sankey for 3 points combined with Tevin Coleman for 5 will be difficult to overcome.

Grade:  C-

Frenchy

Keepers: Le’von Bell, Andrew Luck

Our resident Midwestern minion Frenchy came into the season with the top two players at their respective positions for keepers and did nothing to harm his roster construction early.  Taking Justin Forsett and Brandin Cooks with his first two picks, Frenchy took a pair of consistent producers from 2014 who both have had situational upgrades in the offseason.  Forsett, a skilled receiver, plugs himself into Marc Trestman’s offense which delivered over 90 receptions to Matt Forte last season in Chicago.  While Forsett’s overall touches may not change, he’ll catch more footballs which will yield more fantasy points.  Cooks becomes the primary receiving target in a revamped New Orleans offense.  Last season, prior to being injured, Cooks averaged 11.5 fantasy ppg in our scoring structure.  He did so as a rookie without ever having a single gigantic breakout week.  He simply compiles points by compiling targets, catches, and carries.  The pick of Andre Johnson in round 3 as also a wise one, although, I would have rated Julian Edelman, who went with the next pick, higher.  Then again, this is the first time Johnson will have a high quality QB throwing to him so the possibility of a big season is there even if he’s on the physical decline.  The remainder of Frenchy’s draft was mostly unremarkable and, as a result, he lacks depth.

Best Pick:  Reggie Bush in round 7 was a quality pickup for Frenchy.  Bush will return both kicks and punts in the new San Francisco offense and will serve as a 3rd down back.  Regular return duties in addition to 8-10 offensive touches per week could both preserve Bush and provide a steady points return on a week to week basis.  I’d expect Bush to wind up in Frenchy’s regular starting lineup after a few impressive weeks.

Worst Pick:  As much as I loved the first 3 picks I really disliked the next 3.  Rashad Jennings is always hurt, Martellus Bennett is a fine player but felt like a positional need panic move in round 5, and Doug Baldwin is a better reality player than fantasy player in round 6.  All of those picks are defensible and within expected ADP for each player (save, perhaps, Baldwin) but those rounds would have been the ones for an already solid team to take some calculated risks on an injured star like Arian Foster, a potential rookie stud like Duke Johnson, or a breakout candidate like Allen Robinson.

Prediction:  That top 5 is going to be really tough to overcome.  Bell, Forsett, and Cooks could each put up well over 200 points this season and Andre Johnson will be extremely close.  With Luck dropping 450 or more Frenchy is starting off with a little over 78 points per week with half of his roster still to play.  Frenchy built a possible division champion here even if the players picked in rounds 4-14 provide only marginal value.

Grade: B+

Trombone

Keepers:  Calvin Johnson, Eddie Lacy

I feel like Calvin Johnson has spent his entire career with Trombone.  To the point where, if Trombone met him in real life, I feel like he’d have this weird shared history that he’d want to talk to Calvin about.  Like Mac and the Chase Utley letter from It’s Always Sunny.  Also, the sheer joy I felt, deep down in my heart when Trombone was forced to say, “LAMAHHHHHHHHH MILLLLAH” in round 1 was pretty much unsurpassed for the remainder of the weekend.  Beyond all of that, Trombone did really well for himself this season.  Miller was the right pick in round 1 and he followed it nicely, while maintaining balance (a Trombone trademark on many levels) by taking Emmanuel Sanders in round 2.  He got a steal with 200 point producer Julian Edelman at 3 and made some astute and exceptionally lucky picks along the way.  His only potential flaw is at the QB position where he waited a little too long to grab one of the better talents and wound up with the Kaepernick/Palmer poo poo platter.  To his credit, once the great arms were off the board, he struck exceptionally late when drafting his replacement level arms.  That was a smarter move than panicking and taking a middling QB a few rounds earlier just to see a full roster.  Paging Uncle Murda… QB needed.

Best Pick:  I really liked a few of these.  Shane Vereen was a great value in round 6, and Devante Adams turned out to be an excellent value in round 10, but that was more luck that projection.  My favorite pick might be Denard Robinson in round 11.  From round 10 forward there probably aren’t many guys who will wind up on the roster of the owner who drafted them, but Robinson has a legitimate chance to be the exception to that statement.  (Editor’s Note:  Wow, way to make me looks like an idiot Trombone)  Robinson is, currently, atop the RB depth chart in Jacksonville  and should maintain 3rd down duties even in the event (or likelihood) that he is overtaken by T.J. Yeldon as the season progresses.  I would have listed Edelman in the 3rd here but it just seemed so obvious that I don’t want to fully give Trombone credit for that gift.  I also liked Duke Johnson as a flier in the 5th round (a traditional risk taking frame of the draft).

Worst Pick:  Marques Colston is the only pick I take issue with in this entire draft.  First off, Colston is aging and his statistics have been on a steady decline for years.  Second, with 3 WR and 4 RB already rostered, it would have made sense to go QB with that pick.  Sam Bradford, who looked great on Saturday night was still available as was Eli Manning who will have Victor Cruz back in addition to the already emerged Odell Beckham Jr. on his roster.  Even Trombone favorite Matthew Stafford was on the board.  Any of those guys would look better than the current QB situation in Trombone land.

Prediction:  This is solidly a playoff team with an opportunity to win the division.  The depth at WR and RB will help Trombone make it through injuries as the season moves forward and will provide him with plenty of trade fodder later in the season to upgrade individual players.

Grade: A

C-Lion

Keepers:  Drew Brees, Mike Evans

The Lion comes into the season with a couple of keepers with question marks.  Drew Brees is coming off of a down season looking to reestablish himself despite the loss of his top receiving target.  Mike Evans comes off of an electric rookie season but will have to contend with the presence of a rookie QB throwing passes his way.  Taking Frank Gore, who should be just as solid as always in Indianapolis was a great start but the Lion possibly overreacted to his RB2 hole by taking Andre Ellington over Emmanuel Sanders with his second pick.  Regardless, the Lion went on to make a number of solid picks as the draft progressed.  Golden Tate is a solid point scorer who has benefitted greatly by becoming a WR2 in his offense.  Danny Woodhead, when healthy, is an ideal player in our kick return league format as he gets his hands on the ball in a variety of ways.  Steve Smith Sr. will leave it all on the field in his final season.  Each of these players should contribute for the Lion throughout the season but he found one contributor even later.

Best Pick:  Grabbing Julius Thomas in round 9 was a fantastic display of patience by the Lion.  Thomas doesn’t have Peyton Manning throwing to him anymore, however, he will become the primary redzone target for a young QB on an offense that is starting to take shape.  I still believe in Bortles, and even if he’s one more year away, he will feed Thomas early and often in a season where this young team should show flashes of, what I believe, is a bright future.  You can’t give Manning all the credit for what Thomas accomplished in Denver.  His athleticism and great hands are entirely his own.  I thought this pick was an absolute steal for a guy who may wind up as the 2nd best TE in the league this season.

Worst Pick:  I wasn’t too offended by an of the Lion’s picks, however, I do not see the appeal of Kendall Wright.  I would imagine that the Lion took him as a value grab in round 5, but with a rookie QB and a coach that has the same stone aged offensive philosophy as Jeff Fisher, plus the offensive balance already on the roster, the Lion could have gone with a number of the players taken in close proximity to him with better situations and a comparable talent level (Nelson Agholar, Shane Vereen, John Brown).  Also, as stated previously, I’m not a fan of Andre Ellington, particularly when Sanders and Cooks were the next two players off the board.

Prediction:  This is a playoff team.  If Brees returns to his previous level of play, it’s a possible division champion.

Draft: B+

JPOWW

Keepers: Jordy Nelson, Antonio Brown

I want to say right off the top that JPOWW has my favorite team name of 2015.  Fart City, which absolutely describes my living room stacked full of Jerks the morning after a night of drinking, has made me chuckle every time I’ve thought about it since the draft ended.  It’s like the Olympic Village for hungover assholes.  The smell as you came up the stairs, stale farts, just nothing short of disgusting.  So that’s something nice that I have to say.

On the flipside, JPOWW got hit with the shittiest thing that can happen in a fantasy league when Jordy Nelson went down for the season the day after the draft.  There’s no way that could be predicted, and it could happen to anyone, however, let this serve as a cautionary tale about depth.  JPOWW’s WR2 is Nelson Agholar (who I like, but not that much).  By keeping two WR then ignoring the position until round 5, JPOWW put himself in a little bit of a pickle moving forward.  He also took 2 RBs off the top that I’m not a fan of due to their lack of dimensionality.  Alfie Morris and Melvin Gordon are both between the tackle runners who are uninvolved in the passing game.  Morris is in danger of losing significant carries to one of JPOWWs best draft picks, Matt Jones.  Gordon hasn’t exactly gotten rave reviews to this point in training camp.  Needless to say, I wasn’t a fan of JPOWW’s early draft moves.  Having said that, he made up for it later by taking some high upside gambles on Agholar, Devante Parker, Tyler Lockett, Darren McFadden, the aforementioned Jones, and breakout candidate Teddy Bridgewater as a backup.  An uneven draft from JPOWW, however, is overshadowed by the tragedy that befell it the day after the ink had dried on the final picks.  Jordy Nelson – 8/23/15 – Never Forget.  #prayforJPOWW

Best Pick:  Blatant homerism?  Maybe, but I love the Sam Bradford pick in round 7 with the caveat that, I’d be far less excited about it if it weren’t supplemented by the Teddy Bridgewater pick in round 12.  Bradford has always had the physical tools, it’s just been a question of getting on the field without injury.  Chip Kelly has made far lesser men look like (and actually become) Pro Bowlers under center in his offense.  I expect Bradford to put up top 8 QB numbers this season on his way to raping and pillaging the Eagles salary cap for the next 5 seasons via a massive free agent contract that he signs right before getting brutally injured next training camp.

Worst Pick:  Greg Olsen is slightly better than a guy like Tyler Eifert or Zach Ertz, but not that much better.  In round 4 there is simply too much offensive talent available at the WR and RB positions to take a TE who is only moderately better than others at the position who could be taken 5-7 rounds later.  It’s a reiteration of a prior point, but it bears repeating in light of the fact that Desean Jackson, Vincent Jackson, and Allen Robinson were all taken after the Olson pick.  Any one of those guys would look a lot better next to Antonio Brown than Agholar does in JPOWW’s starting lineup.

Prediction:  The best case scenario involves a full season of Antonio Brown continuing to be incredible, Sam Bradford being amazing (and healthy) for 16 games, Alf Morris holding onto his job (and more importantly all of his touches), and Melvin Gordon being far better than he has looked so far in training camp.  Only one of those things is likely to happen and even the scenario where everything works out makes this a bubble team in light of the Jordy Nelson injury.  While things may be different had Jordy made it to the field in 2015, I’m afraid JPOWW is on the outside looking in.

Grade: C+

NTMVW

Keepers:  Aaron Rodgers, Jeremy Hill

Live from the Dominican Republic, you have to respect NTMVW’s dedication to the draft.  While he dogfaced us from paradise NTMVW managed to be gifted Alshon Jeffrey with his first pick before undercutting that good luck and taking Jonathan Stewart, who is injured more than Softness, with his second pick.  NTMVW’s whole draft was a little bit like that.  Some very good mixed with some bad.  Before cutting off after round 8 NTMVW did manage to put together another RB heavy squad.  While it wasn’t the same as the 9 consecutive RBs he took from rounds 2-10 last year while face first into my couch, NTMVW did take 5 RB out of 8 total picks to supplement the one that he kept going into the season.  Shockingly, Toby Gerhart, NTMVW’s 2nd round pick last season, and Ray Rice, who he took 3rd, were not among them (or among anyone’s picks for that matter).  NTMVW will be quick to remind you that he is always, “in play” and Aaron Rodgers should ensure that that is the case for him this season.

Best Pick:  Jarvis Landry is a stud in this scoring system because of his involvement in the return game.  If he continues to be utilized on special teams, in addition to being a big part of the Miami offensive attack which is on the rise, NTMVW will have gotten a great value on a guy who, based upon most traditional rankings, he reached on.  A smart pick that kept the league scoring systems in mind.  I also liked the opportunistic Devon Funchess pick in round 8 as an upside play.

Worst Pick:  Other than Stewart, who is permanently on my “do not draft list” I’m not crazy about David Cobb and Doug Martin at the 5-6 turn.  Cobb is destined to win the RB battle in Tennessee over Bishop Sankey, but I’m not impressed with the spoils when he does so.  He’ll be the lead back in a time share with a rookie QB on one of the most vanilla offenses in the league.  I’ll pass.  Martin is also stuck with a rookie QB and, as we have learned over the last few years, he completely sucks.  None of these backs do much to compliment the excellent Jeremy Hill.

Prediction:  Aaron Rodgers, Alshon Jeffry, Jeremy Hill, and Jarvis Landry keep this squad in contention for a playoff spot, but I think they’re on the outside looking in when it’s all said and done.  If any of the top four players get hurt, this team could have an epically bad season.

Grade: C

Softness

Keepers:  Matt Forte, C.J. Anderson

Congrats to our 2014 champion, Sir Softness, who managed to bail on his 2nd draft in 3 years (don’t think I forget anything Softness).  He also managed to win the league and enter the season with, arguably, the best set of keepers.  What he did with them was a little puzzling.  Taking Jordan Matthews and Amari Cooper at the 1-2 turn, Softness placed a significant wager on youth.  While he picked the last 2nd tier QB in Roethlisberger in the 4th round, he preceded that with a guy in Brandon Marshall who has the worst QB situation in the league decimating his overall value.  Softness also managed to draft the best pass catchers 2011 had to offer in Jason Witten, Rody White, and Danny Amendola.  It wasn’t all bad for Softness, he selected a solid (and highly tradeable) backup in Matt Stafford late and made a nice adjustment in taking what should be a nasty defense, and consistent point scorer in the Texans D in round 9 when Frenchy jump started the defensive run earlier than expected..

Best Pick:  I loved the Jonas Gray pick in round 11.  A lead back is a lead back.  Gray has a chance to be just that if the other options in the backfield don’t stand out early and often during the season.  Belechick always rides the hot hand with his running backs, and Gray is a talented guy who will get a crack at significant playing time at some point during the season.

Worst Pick:  Reverse homerism here.  I hate, hate, hate the value expectation being placed upon Jordan Matthews this season.  The Eagles offense is predicated on matchups and deception.  I don’t anticipate that there will be any receiver or tight end who puts up the type of numbers one would want from their top fantasy WR.  However, if there were to be that type of target in Philly, he would possess different skills than Matthews.  Matthews is a really solid slot/possession receiver.  He isn’t a downfield threat or a burner like, he isn’t an athletic freak, he isn’t a big bodied endzone leaper, he’s just a solid player in a good system.  A system that will take advantage of individual defenders and inefficiencies to defensive schemes.  That means that there will be weeks where Matthews is a small part of the game plan and weeks where he’s huge one.  I just don’t anticipate the type of consistency you’d want from a WR1.  Also, as it relates to Cooper, good luck with Derek Carr.

Prediction:  The greatness of Forte is unquestioned but he’ll catch far less passes in a more traditional offense this season.  Anderson is a stud, if he holds onto his job, although Denver has had a revolving door in the backfield over the last several years.  Everything else for Softness is a gigantic question mark.  Bold prediction, this is NOT a playoff team.

Grade: D

 

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