Vegas League Draft

Last Monday at Caesar’s Palace, we held our annual Vegas draft – a 12-team non-PPR league with 1-QB, 2-RB, 3-WR, 1-FLEX, 1-TE and 1-D. I picked sixth.

Here are the results:

Rd Bartel Scholz Sedler Brown Thompson Liss
1 D.Johnson Elliott L. Bell Beckham A. Brown J. Jones
2 Gurley Fournette Baldwin D. Murray Hilton A. Cooper
3 Hopkins A.Rodgers D. Thomas Cooks Crowell T. Pryor
4 D. Parker M. Bennett Gillislee Perkins Lynch J. Reed
5 T. Hill C. Davis Snead J. Brown Brees M. Ingram
6 D. Cook K. Benjamin Blount K. Rudolph Diggs S. Ware
7 Abdullah E. Decker B. Marshall Edelman Powell Luck
8 M. Ryan L. Murray R. Wilson Cousins Gore L. Hunt
9 D. Walker O.J. Howard Ebron R. Cobb Garcon H. Henry
10 Doctson J.J. Nelson Britt K. Dixon Prosise D. Henry
11 J. Ross Sheperd J. Stewart Woodhead Kelley M. Lee
12 Rivers Ja. Williams J. Matthews T. Gabriel Mack Texans D
13 Riddick Seahawks D J. Thomas D. Johnson Fleener Ravens K
14 Cowboys K Packers K Pats D Giants D Stills Turbin
15 Ar. Stewart J. White Raiders K Falcons K Colts K Roethlisberg.
16 Packers D D. Lewis Ginn Bortles Ravens D C. Samuel


Rd Snellings Payne Jenstad Erickson Wolf Stopa
1 D. Freeman A.J. Green McCoy Ajayi J.Howard Mike Evans
2 Gronkowski Nelson D.Bryant Gordon L. Miller M. Thomas
3 A.Robinson Jeffery Kelce Hyde C.McCaffery S. Watkins
4 E. Sanders Mixon CJAnderson M. Bryant T. Brady D. Adams
5 T.Coleman Montgomery D-Jax J. Graham Crabtree K. Allen
6 G. Tate Lacy Moncrief T.Williams Landry G. Olsen
7 Eifert K. White Thielen Crowder Meredith Mariota
8 Newton Peterson Perine B.Perriman Enunwa D. Martin
9 L.Fitzgerald Doyle Winston Ri. Matthews Ertz T. Taylor
10 Forte Manning Wallace Prescott Maclin C. Sims
11 Charles T. West C.Coleman M. Jones D.Washington T. Rawls
12 Dalton Z. Jones Jon. Williams Joe Williams Lockett C. Brate
13 Broncos D Burkhead Carr D. Foreman McNichols Pats K
14 Vikings D Kamara Chiefs D Fuller Cards D J. Richard
15 T. Austin Bills D D. Booker Chargers D Stafford Panthers D
16 Redskins K Titans K Saints K Bengals K Panthers K Grimble

This is always a tough draft for me because it occurs during our company Vegas trip in early July and includes non-football people on staff who are not yet up on the NFL. As a result, they use the resource available to them, the newly minted RotoWire magazines, for which I did the rankings, that are handed out during the draft. So it’s basically, 12 people, several of whom have not yet formed strong opinions of their own, drafting off my cheat sheet. That means players I particularly like have little chance of falling to me where they might even in an expert draft.

In any event, let’s go over my picks round by round.

1.6 Julio Jones – I rectified last year’s mistake of taking Allen Robinson ahead of him in the same spot. I worry about Jones’ durability, but he was in top form last we saw him in the Super Bowl, and there hasn’t been any bad news this offseason. Moreover, he could see more red-zone looks with Kyle Shanahan gone.

2.7 Amari Cooper – For some reason I missed T.Y. Hilton, who went one pick later, on my cheat sheet, but it’s pretty much a coin flip between him and Cooper. I even think Cooper has some TD upside as there’s no good reason they don’t use him in the red zone.

3.6 Terrelle Pryor – The best running backs available like Carlos Hyde or Christian McCaffery (in non-PPR) weren’t jumping out at me, so I tripled up on WR with Pryor. There’s a ton of upside for him in a potent offense lacking a vertical threat, and if Jordan Reed gets hurt again, Pryor could have double-digit TDs.

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4.7 Jordan Reed – This is a nice hedge with Pryor, and there’s a chance both could be very good. Only Jamison Crowder, a small possession receiver, and untested second-year man Josh Doctson are potential competition for targets. Reed is a top red-zone option too, which plays especially well in non-PPR, but he’s a major injury risk.

5.6 Mark Ingram – He’s a good player on a top offense. But Adrian Peterson will get work, and Alvin Kamara will be in on third downs. Still, even with a part-time job, Ingram should produce enough to keep me in games.

6.7 Spencer Ware – I’m not sure what the Chiefs plan is for Ware who was excellent in the first half last year and not as good down the stretch. He should be the goal-line back at least.

7.6. Andrew Luck – Luck has No. 1 overall QB upside given the state of his defense, and his injury isn’t a concern in a 1-QB 12-team league where I was able to get Ben Roethlisberger in the 15th round.

8.7 Kareem Hunt – If the Chiefs are soured on Ware, it’s likely they’d turn to Hunt over Charcandrick West.

9.6 Hunter Henry – Rookie TEs rarely do anything, but Henry when healthy last year was an exception. There’s a good chance for a breakout in Year 2.

10.7. Derrick Henry – DeMarco Murray is the clear starter, but the miles are piling up, and Henry would be a force behind that offensive line.

11.6 Marqise Lee – He was the only Jaguars WR able to overcome Bortles’ struggles last year. I think he beats out Allen Hurns as the No. 2 opposite Robinson.

12.7 Texans Defense – When all the remaining scrubs look more or less the same to you, consider a defense or kicker, even if you’re the first one to do so.

13.6 Ravens Kicker – We use team kicker here, but Justin Tucker is the greatest one of all time, and the Ravens know it. As such they give him a ton of long-range attempts when other teams would punt.

14.7 Robert Turbin – I don’t think Frank Gore has anything left (I’ve been wrong about this every year, but last season even his pass protection was subpar.) Maybe Marlon Mack (drafted two rounds earlier) gets the job, but Turbin should have a chance to win it in camp.

15.6 Ben Roethlisberger – This is one case where I benefitted from everyone using my rankings. I think you have to price in some missed games for him, and he’s been awful on the road, but the upside with Martavis Bryant back is undeniable. This is the ideal format (12-teams, only 1-QB only started, small benches) to take a chance on him.

16.7 Curtis Samuel – He’s got a shot to be the Panthers’ No. 2 WR right away.