Tonight was the first “Beat Chris Liss” draft, a 12-team NFFC Online Championship with the standard rules: 1-QB, 2-RB, 3-WR, 1-FLX, 1-TE, 1-K and 1-D. It’s full PPR and with 10 bench spots. I drew the eighth pick (with third-round reversal.)
Here are the results:
1.8 Kareem Hunt – This is how I thought it would fall. As a Giants fan, I was hoping for Saquon Barkley, but it’s really 50/50 whether he or Hunt has the better year. In fact, I made the case on the SXM show this week that it’s probabluy 52/48 that Todd Gurley is better than Hunt who is similarly young, healthy, versatile and the lead dog in what’s presumably a good offense.
2.5. A.J. Green – I would have preferred Michael Thomas who went one pick before, but I’m fine with Green who is the unquestioned No. 1 WR, can still get downfield and operates in the red zone. The team should be better too with improved pass protection.
3.5 Amari Cooper – He was bad last year, but he just turned 24 in June, and lead receivers in Jon Gruden’s offenses have typically gotten big target shares. I suspect Jordy Nelson’s done, and Martavis Bryant could be suspended.
4.8 Mark Ingram – I missed Juju Smith-Schuster by two picks, so I settled on Ingram who is suspended for four games. You need to score big in the playoffs to have a shot at the overall ($110K) contest, and I like the idea of having a would-be second-round pick if I make it there.
5.5 Derrick Henry – I’m not a fan of backs who can’t catch in this format, but the Titans offense should be better now that it has advanced from the dark ages, and Henry should be a consistent early-down producer with goal-line work. I needed a high-floor, low-ceiling type with Ingram out.
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6.8 Corey Davis – He wasn’t good as a rookie, but he scored twice in the playoff loss to the Patriots, and the team didn’t take him fifth overall last year not to make him its No. 1 WR. The Titans let Eric Decker walk this offseason and didn’t sign a replacement, so Davis should get a shot.
7.5 Marshawn Lynch – I didn’t intend to stack Raiders and Titans, but took what the draft gave me. With Ingram suspended, it’s nice to have a second early-down workhorse on whom to lean opposite Hunt. Lynch is 32, but he was actually efficient last year, and the Raiders have a decent offensive line.
8.8 Aaron Jones – He’s suspended two games, but with Lynch and Henry, he won’t be missed. There’s 2019 first-round upside if he takes over the full-time job during the season.
9.5 George Kittle – I needed a TE, and Kittle was the top one on my board. He could lead the 49ers in receiving touchdowns, or he could be irrelevant.
10.8 Kenny Golladay – He showed a spark when healthy last year, and Year 2 is when receivers typically break out. Marvin Jones and Golden Tate are ahead of him, but the Lions jettisoned Eric Ebron, so there should be enough to go around. If Tate or Jones gets hurt, there’s major upside.
11.5 O.J. Howard – One upside TE isn’t enough, so I took another. Neither Howard nor Kittle is guaranteed much, but between the two, I’m hoping one breaks through.
12.8 Jordan Wilkins – Marlon Mack is the ostensible starter, but nothing is set in stone in Indy. I was really playing chicken at QB now, but there were still plenty on the board.
13.5 Chris Godwin – Only Matt Ryan went after my 12th-round pick, so I held off on QBs one more time. I love second-year receivers who show a spark, but I had to wait for the draft to snake around the long way, so this was dangerous. Godwin is blocked by Mike Evans and Desean Jackson, not to mention the two TEs, but you should bet on the talent in the later rounds as injuries often sort things out unexpectedly.
14.8 Jared Goff – After Philip Rivers and Pat Mahomes went off the board, I thought maybe I had screwed up taking Godwin a but luckily Goff made it back. I have him as my No. 10 QB in this format.
15.5 Stephen Gostkowski – Normally I’m partial to Justin Tucker because he’s two-rounds cheaper, but in Round 15, give me the most reliable fantasy kicker in league history.
16.8 Jameis Winston – He’ll miss the first three games, but Goff has good matchups in Weeks 1 and 2, and I had Winston as a borderline top-10 QB before he got suspended. Basically, I drafted all the suspended guys except Julian Edelman.
17.5 Kalen Ballage – Adam Gase said Frank Gore, not Ballage is Kenyan Drake’s top backup, but I’m not buying that. Gore is 35, and even his pass blocking slipped last year. If Drake can’t hold up, Ballage, who’s 222 pounds with 4.46 speed, should be the guy in Miami.
18.8 Patriots Defense – I don’t know if the defense will be good, but it should play from ahead a lot and will face the Dolphins, Jets and Bills for six of its games.
19.5 Terrelle Pryor – He produced on the Browns, so he could produce on the Jets. Forget last year as he was playing through an injury.
20.8 Bears Defense – I got swiped on the Saints defense here – they host the Ryan Fitzpatrick Bucs Week 1 – but the Bears are a young, up-and-coming unit.
QB Jared Goff/Jameis Winston
RB: Kareem Hunt/Mark Ingram
WR: A.J. Green/Amari Cooper/Corey Davis
FLX: Derrick Henry/Marshawn Lynch
TE: George Kittle/O.J. Howard
K: Stephen Gostkowski
B: Aaron Jones/Kenny Golladay/Chris Godwin/Jordan Wilkins/Kalen Ballage/Terrelle Pryor