Saturday - Jul 24, 2021

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DRAFT RESULTS: USA Today Sports Weekly

I recently participated in another draft for the good folks over at USA Today Sports who are neck-deep in trying to get the USA Today Sports Weekly “Fantasy Leviathan” issue out, set to hit newsstands July 26th. Since they said they were fine with sharing the link early, here it is!

Link to the Draft Results >> USA Today Sports Weekly Draft Results

It’s always a challenge drafting against this crew, though some years are easier than others and I feel like this is one of those years where Fantasy Sharks may be zigging a bit while everyone else is zagging. What I mean by that, is that players we tend to like, others are discounting and players we’re discounting, others seem to like. Which makes it an easier draft in general since you’re almost always cherry picking. An example is Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans who we’ll chat about in a second.

Here is a quick take at what I was thinking as we went through this draft. Which was amazingly completed in just a hair over an hour this year.

1.05 Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee

I was sweating it out at 1.05. I was prepared to reach and draft Aaron Jones if all of my Top 4 RB’s went drafted, but Saquon Barkley at 1.04 left Derrick Henry for me, who is my RB4 so I was happy with that start.

2.08 Austin Ekeler, RB, LA Chargers

I’m all about the RB this year and it is going to show in this draft. I want just one stud WR early on but then pretty aggressively, draft running backs. I do keep an eye on the superstar quarterbacks as they often fall to some really good value territory and I have a defined value territory for the tight ends, I’m not afraid to take one if they fall just a little. Draft position dictates whether you’ll be faced with the TE conundrum of drafting a Kelce, Waller or Kittle as teams in the middle or mid-late picks will have to deal with those decisions.

3.05 Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans

I’ve been drafting him repeatedly in the third round, in I believe, every draft I’ve been in so far this year. The fact that I always get him tells me we have him valued higher than others but I’m pleased as punch adding him as a 3rd round pick to be the centerpiece of my wide receiver group. Who else are they going to throw to? There’s some upside here too if Jameis Winston sees some time.

4.08 Myles Gaskin, RB, Miami

I gambled with Chase Edmonds here and lost. I really preferred Edmonds with this pick; my gamble was that he’d be available for me in the 5th round and I’d get both but it wasn’t meant to be. Gaskin in a PPR format is fantasy dynamite though. I know that he has some new faces behind him in camp but Tua had eyes for Gaskin last year as he was the Dolphins most utilized receiver and that won’t change overnight. He’s headed into the season as the starter and I think it will be fairly obvious what Gaskin can bring to the Miami offense early on.

5.05 Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore

I hate to do it and draft a quarterback as I’m fairly confident that I can build a good stable of quarterbacks later in this draft. There is a time and a place for Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson as well as Josh Allen and Kyler Murray when the fantasy value they provide, with their sky-high fantasy point scoring potential, becomes worth the risk. Here at 5.05 is where that tipping point was for me for Lamar Jackson.

6.08 Raheem Mostert, RB, San Francisco

It’s the 6th round, the choices at RB are getting slim, OK?!? I know he has lost his luster but I believe in Mostert and also believe his potential is high but if his body gives out on him again, then I’m off the train for good.

About Tony Holm

Founder and President of Five-time nominee for the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame. Started publishing fantasy content on the web in 1993 and hasn't stopped yet.