Monday - Jun 1, 2020

Home / Commentary / HOME BASE: May Updates

HOME BASE: May Updates

Home Base is on pause for now. I’ll update here down the road a bit as we get closer to the 2020 season.

Friday May 15

I had a good time Tuesday night drafting with some industry veterans like Paul Charchian, David Dodds, Mike Nease, David Dorey, Lenny Pappano, Mike Nazarek just to name a few, some true heavyweights in that group of guys. I’m not at liberty to discuss the draft as it was for the Fantasy Index magazine and they’d rather you get the results from them.. but I can post about my team so here we go:

It’s a 22-round/12-team best-ball draft; I was drafting from the 3-hole. They let you pick your spot based on finish in their rankings contest, I finished third last year, one and two were already taken, so I took the 3-hole. My strategy going into this draft was to draft for value, leave QB alone until later and then pounce on a few, this group in particular I know from experience are QB averse. In these best-ball competitions I want my points coming from my wideouts, especially in a full point PPR scoring system like this one is. I think the peaks are so much higher and if you can put a large batch of wide receivers that can peak each week, that’s where a lot of points can be generated from. Having said that, almost as important is attempting to withstand the injury bug, it’s a long season and you can’t make any changes. I know too (again from experience) that season ending injuries can derail a good best-ball team and as a result, I want three QB’s (at least) and three TE’s. What I did know going into the draft was that I was taking a RB at 1.03 and I expected it to be Ezekiel Elliott. I also knew going in that it was possible I could open RB-RB here, which wouldn’t be a bad open against these running back thieves that like to draft the position hard and heavy like it was fantasy football circa 1996 but I was worried about then having to go into WR panic mode and what that would leave me at QB. I knew that in a 22-round draft, every teams wants at least a QB3 and there aren’t that many quarterbacks to go around. It’s the same with the kicker position, here in May, there are maybe 10-15 kickers that I am fairly comfortable saying that I know they have a job with the current team they are on, so it was also important to me to make sure I’m one of the teams that gets two I am comfortable with that should have a starting job and should last me the season. So here’s what happened:

1.03 RB1 Ezekiel Elliott, DAL

As expected. Happy to have him.

2.10 TE1 George Kittle, SF

Really? Here we are in Round 2 and I’ve already thrown myself a curve-ball. It was drafting for value, I’m OK with Kittle and am again, happy to have him, but I rarely take a TE here so already, I know this draft is going to turn into a bit of an adventure.

3.03 RB2 Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC

Why not? What an offense to be in. It’s also a magazine draft, it’s a little known secret but in years where someone like Tim Tebow comes out and everyone wants to see where he slots, folks take a look at who drafted him too. The real sharks of these drafts are the guys that draft the names that are on the minds of fantasy players. It’s one of the games within the game and now you know. When you see the magazine on the racks, or perhaps you are already a subscriber? It will be obvious who drafted for name recognition and who drafted by the book. That’s not to say that one or the other is right or wrong, it is what it-is is all.

4.10 WR1 Keenan Allen, LAC

And WR full-on panic-mode sets in. I’m happy to have my core RB’s in place for sure against these RB hungry opponents but OMG, it’s the 46th pick of the draft and I’m taking my first WR. AAaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!

5.03 WR2 Stefon Diggs, BUF

Grabbing at anything with legs that qualifies at WR. Actually, I like Diggs in this offense but this was all about grabbing next best WR.

6.10 WR3 D.J. Chark, JAC

Stud. He flies under the radar because of the offense he’s on and doesn’t share some of the name recognition with some of the other wide receivers in the NFL but he has good size, speed and can really play.

7.03 WR4 A.J. Green, CIN

Huh-huh-huh-hammering wide receiver still and tickled pink to get A.J. Green here. I like his potential to rebound and he’s truly one of the more gifted talents in the league. I don’t draft him early, I leave him and let him ride in drafts since I know I don’t have to pay up for him. Happy to have him here.

8.10 RB3 Jordan Howard, MIA

OK.. that was a good WR run on my part. That helped me catch up and take a calming breath. I survey the field, I do still want to go WR here but let’s look around. The QB cork hasn’t really been popped yet, looking at the fumes left at RB there are just a few left that I’d be OK with while I can still prospect at WR and with Kittle as my TE, and knowing how deep the position is, I don’t have any plans to touch that position anytime soon.

So Jordan Howard it is. At this point I’m just trying to find goal-line and receiving running backs that I can roster fill with and get some of those last running backs that have some kind of value.

9.03 QB1 Josh Allen, BUF

I think about another RB here before they dry up completely, but I think Josh Allen fell a little to here so I like the value and in the moment, I knew it was a looong way back from 9.03 and with a lot of teams letting QB ride up until now, the time felt right to take my first before others start and Allen makes a solid fantasy contributor. I did have in the back of my head that I didn’t want to be that team that was left with Minshew and Burrow as my top two so let’s grab one while the getting was still good.

10.10 WR5 Mike Williams, LAC

After veering the last two rounds to pad at RB and to take a QB1, it’s time to get right back on the wide receiver horse. Williams still has upside talent after a down year last year.

11.03 WR6 Jamison Crowder, NYJ

In a PPR, he could be dynamite. I’m prospecting what’s left at the WR position.

12.10 QB2 Sam Darnold, NYJ

Between 11.03 and 12.10 the QB run of all QB runs happened and I grabbed Darnold while there was still a starter left to take. The race for QB depth was on.. heck, the race for QB depth was over.

13.03 PK1 Justin Tucker, BAL

Har! Har! I looked at my list at 13.03, the QB’s have been picked through, there are still some RB’s, WR’s and TE’s that I’d be interested in but none of them are really worth a 13th round pick, most of them will still be available later so being that one of my draft plans was to not be caught flat-footed at place kicker; I want two of my Top-10 here in May. My two kicker draft picks have to last me into January of next year, and getting two I can rely on is a priority for me. Defenses matter less, they aren’t injury prone and I know they have a job and will for every single game. So I crack the seal on the kicker position.

14.10 TE2 Blake Jarwin, DAL

Jarwin was a pure value pick here. He was the next best available player on my list by value, I think he had fallen a little bit in this draft, I needed a TE2, so come on down Blake Jarwin.

15.03 WR7 Dede Westbrook, JAC

I am keeping an eye on place kicker for my PK2 but I am now predominantly drafting best-available. In this case, it’s Dede Westbrook as a great best-ball player that can explode from time-to-time. He’s tough to start in a weekly lineup league but in best-ball, he has value.

16.10 PK2 Younghoe Koo, ATL

Others had gotten wise to the place kicker scarcity theory so I jumped in on one of the last choices I had as a solid PK2. I’m glad I started my collection early.

17.03 TE3 Greg Olsen, SEA

A Progno fave. The guy is a warrior and Russell Wilson loves throwing to tight ends. He also makes a good value/best-available pick here for a position that I’m interested in filling. Will he last the season? Well.. we’ll see about that.

18.10 WR8 Corey Davis, TEN

There are a couple of long-shot wide receivers that have a tiny glimmer of upside left and I consider Davis one of them. I know he has the talent, I’ve seen it, I just don’t know for sure which Corey Davis shows up this year but there is an ever so slim glimmer of upside here so I’ll take it, as I now try to pad my WR group with deep depth.

19.03 WR9 Josh Reynolds, LAR

This was perhaps the pick I debated the most over all draft. Having a WR9 like Reynolds, who is perfectly capable of the random big day in the Rams’ offense as their WR3, was enticing. I knew if I took him though, I’d have to sacrifice elsewhere. I’m still light in RB as I only have three though two of those three were in the first three rounds. I have a QB2, would like a QB3 but there’s really nothing left at QB. I’m content with three tight ends but I would like to draft two team defenses with my last two picks. So what’s a drafter to do? I knew if I take Reynolds here, I was either going to be light at RB, QB or Defense and when reasoning all that out, I decided to draft a WR9 and punt on a second defense. I think, Reynolds may contribute better than a second defense would and also provides injury protection where a second defense does not. I get the math, I really, really want a second defense but I’m going to gamble, leave my defense pick until the very end and continue to draft for depth at positions that have injury risks.

20.10 RB4 Rex Burkhead, NE

No-way no-how was I leaving this draft with just three running backs and as you can probably imagine, there wasn’t a whole lot left in the 20th round but I like Burkhead here. He’s perhaps the most well rounded of the Patriots’ running group and I believe he’ll be on the field in various packages more than many think.

21.03 QB3 Tyrod Taylor, LAC

Beggars can’t be choosers and I’ll give Tyrod a chance, I think the Chargers will too. They’d be tickled pink if they actually get something out of him so that they can take their time developing their young quarterbacks. The best scenario for the Chargers is that Tyrod Taylor plays “well enough” for them and I believe they’ll give him every opportunity to do exactly that.

22.10 Def Jacksonville Jaguars, DEF

With the third to last pick, and the 262nd selection overall, welcome the Jaguars defense as our one defensive squad that will be called upon often. I debated taking the Cowboys here too but ultimately decided to live in the past and took the Jaguars.

2020 Fantasy Index Draft – Tony Holm

1.03 3 Elliott, Ezekiel DAL RB
2.10 22 Kittle, George SFO TE
3.03 27 Edwards-Helaire, Clyde KCC RB
4.10 46 Allen, Keenan LAC WR
5.03 51 Diggs, Stefon BUF WR
6.10 70 Chark, D.J. JAC WR
7.03 75 Green, A.J. CIN WR
8.10 94 Howard, Jordan MIA RB
9.03 99 Allen, Josh BUF QB
10.10 118 Williams, Mike LAC WR
11.03 123 Crowder, Jamison NYJ WR
12.10 142 Darnold, Sam NYJ QB
13.03 147 Tucker, Justin BAL PK
14.10 166 Jarwin, Blake DAL TE
15.03 171 Westbrook, Dede JAC WR
16.10 190 Koo, Younghoe ATL PK
17.03 195 Olsen, Greg SEA TE
18.10 214 Davis, Corey TEN WR
19.03 219 Reynolds, Josh LAR WR
20.10 238 Burkhead, Rex NEP RB
21.03 243 Taylor, Tyrod LAC QB
22.10 262 Jaguars, Jacksonville JAC Def

 

Tuesday May 12

Early-draft season has begun in earnest. Tonight is a live draft for the magazine Fantasy Index. I qualified for the league by having the third best player rankings last year; the Top-11 experts from the season before (plus a Fantasy Index reader) draft a best-ball team. I won this competition just two years ago. I’ll be drafting from 1.03 where I expect to be drafting Ezekiel Elliott who is secretly my 1.02 pick in this scoring system so I’ll be pleased to get him at 1.03. We will see.

I have a dynasty rookie draft underway. It’s a 16-team/4-round draft but after stocking up on draft picks last year, I ended up trading my 2nd round pick away in a package-deal trade last year to acquire Calvin Ridley.  So in this draft I only have 1.04, 3.04 and 4.04.  At 1.04 I took Joe Burrow. I drafted Aaron Rodgers as a rookie and have had him as my quarterback for his entire career, thank you Aaron. But the writing is on the wall a little, so I’m investing in Burrow as my long term replacement for Rodgers one day.  The first round just completed this morning:

1.01 Edwards-Helaire, Clyde KCC RB
1.02 Akers, Cam LAR RB
1.03 Dobbins, J.K. BAL RB
1.04 Burrow, Joe CIN QB
1.05 Taylor, Jonathan IND RB
1.06 Swift, D’Andre DET RB
1.07 Lamb, CeeDee DAL WR
1.08 Tagovailoa, Tua MIA QB
1.09 Vaughn, Ke’Shawn TBB RB
1.10 Jeudy, Jerry DEN WR
1.11 Ruggs, Henry LVR WR
1.12 Herbert, Justin LAC QB
1.13 Jefferson, Justin MIN WR
1.14 Dillon, AJ GBP RB
1.15 Love, Jordan GBP QB
1.16 Reagor, Jalen PHI WR

And then the best-ball draft continues. It has been an interesting draft from the 8-slot. I decided to jump in on Mahomes and Kelce but by doing that, I needed to bulk up at WR in a hurry, which is what I did. I want the majority of my points in these drafts coming from my wideouts. What I decided to do to really accentuate the position was to essentially employ a “Zero-RB light” strategy where I pair Mahomes and Kelce and then pound the daylights out of WR until I fill the 3 WR requirement and the flex position and then draft one more just to prioritize the position before the reliable options disappear. The goal will be to not even touch a RB until much later and then round out the position with good pass-catching and goal-line running backs on the very cheap. So what does a “Zero-RB light” draft look like, well here you go:

1 WR Adams, Davante – Progno Fave.
2 TE Kelce, Travis – Let’s try this.
3 QB Mahomes, Patrick – Nice season-long stack with Kelce.
4 WR Smith-Schuster, JuJu – Forget RB for now, it’s a race to the bottom of the WR list and JuJu’s the last name on my list that has superstar potential.
5 WR Parker, DeVante – I actually like his upside more than Smith-Schuster’s if Fitzpatrick holds the reigns for a while.
6 WR Hilton, T.Y. – I’m still a believer and he’s good value here.
7 WR Edelman, Julian – He’s on every team I draft because of how far down the list he is.
8 RB Jones, Ronald – I was *really* hoping for James White here but he went just before me. Here we are in the 8th round, it’s time to start the RB collection.
9 RB Howard, Jordan – Collecting RB for value now.

More to come..

Friday May 8

The NFL schedule was released last night and we’ve updated the site schedule along with all the bye weeks. Now we see if they actually play it. I think they will, assuming that the return of Covid-19 in the fall is manageable. I don’t expect that we will see fans in stadiums again until 2021 at the earliest though, as there is still a lot to learn about this virus and how to keep it at bay.

I have a lot of drafts kicking off next week. The Fantasy Index Mag is the night of May 12th and my dynasty rookie draft also starts next week, I have the 1.04 position currently and I’m pretty excited about that. In the meantime, I’ve fired up another best-ball draft, this will be best-ball draft number four. I drew the 8th selection in this one and am two rounds in. I opened with Davante Adams at 1.08, which is a Progno favorite in the first round and will be on a lot of my teams this year unless I have one of the top 4 picks, then I’m taking a RB.

On the way back I expected to get another Progno favorite this year, Julio Jones, but if he didn’t make it to me then Austin Ekeler. Both I have higher than their respective ADP’s so I expected to get one of them. BOTH were drafted before I could get them so next up on the list..  Travis Kelce. If you’ve been following my antics you know that I’m partial to Patrick Mahomes in the late 3rd or early 4th and you just know that with Kelce in the fold, Mahomes is going to be blinking in bright red and yellow neon when I’m up to pick again. [Sigh] I just can’t help myself.

We’re also putting the finishing touches on our new rankings for auction drafts and our all new player values that adjust to your salary caps, including IDP positions. I can’t believe we didn’t have something like this before, I’m excited to show it to all of you and we are really close to getting that out.

Tuesday May 5

The best-ball draft is over and here’s the roster. I realize that some of my player targets this early in the season don’t always gel with the major network sites but it is what it is. The sleeper list is long this year thanks to others targeting players we aren’t that interested in later in drafts and for the most part, leaving our players alone. Perfect.

I’ve done a lot of drafts now from near the end of the snake. I have the Fantasy Index magazine draft coming up next week and I’m in the 3-hole so I’ll want to run a draft or two from that spot before going in.

Pos Player Round Overall
RB Jones, Aaron 1 10
WR Jones, Julio 2 15
WR Kupp, Cooper 3 34
QB Mahomes, Patrick 4 39
RB Mostert, Raheem 5 58
WR Hilton, T.Y. 6 63
WR Edelman, Julian 7 82
RB White, James 8 87
WR Shepard, Sterling 9 106
WR Tate, Golden 10 111
RB Scott, Boston 11 130
QB Mayfield, Baker 12 135
RB Johnson, Duke 13 154
TE Olsen, Greg 14 159
WR Renfrow, Hunter 15 178
WR Jeffery, Alshon 16 183
TE Uzomah, C.J. 17 202
TE Dissly, Will 18 207
TDSP Cowboys, Dallas 19 226
TDSP Texans, Houston 20 231

I finished up this draft with a pair of tight ends and a pair of team defenses. I think that the fantasy world is sleeping on C.J. Uzomah. He’ll the be the sole pass-catching tight end for Joe Burrow. I also grabbed Will Dissly, completing my Greg Olsen/Will Dissly pairing for Russell Wilson, tight ends will either fall into your lap in a draft where a good value player falls but if not, there are piles of options late.

To read more individual player commentary from this draft, check back in April by clicking on the link below.

[APRIL UPDATES]

About Tony Holm

Founder and President of FantasySharks.com. 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.