2016 MFL10 Draft Strategy: Draft No. 1

Last season, I shared what a winning MFL10 lineup looks like.

It’s true that every season is basically a fresh start. You never want to draft a player solely on what they did in the previous season. But, there are also lessons you can take away from wining a MFL10 Fantasy Football league.

Here’s two basic rules I always follow:

  • Never draft a quarterback early
  • Plan for what will go right, but also make a few picks on what will go wrong (Example: Drafting Darren McFadden because I didn’t believe in Joseph Randle)

If you want to see more about my picks and my takeaways for drafting each position, make sure to read more about my winning MFL10 team from 2015.

Having the Fantasy itch like a lot of you do right now, I decided to start jumping in some MF10s for 2016. I also like competing in MFL10s around this time because it can help shape a picture of what ADP is really looking like. These drafts are generally very competitive, so you get a more accurate idea of who Fantasy players are really overvaluing and undervaluing.

For this draft, I had the 12th pick. Here’s how things played out.

MFL10 Draft: Round 1

I had pick 1.12 in this draft, and receivers flew off the board. Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Odell Beckham, A.J. Green, Dez Bryant, and DeAndre Hopkins were all gone by the time it was my turn to pick.

Ezekiel Elliott, Le’Veon Bell, Todd Gurley, and David Johnson were also drafted in Round 1, and I just didn’t want to add Adrian Peterson to my lineup. Granted, that could have been a great spot to land him, but I thought that it was more important to focus on adding a receiver or Rob Gronkowski. I could find quality running backs later.

I was surprised that Gronk was still on the board, and I thought any of the receivers available would be a reach in Round 1. So I added Gronk to my roster.

This was before Tom Brady was suspended, so his value may take a dive at the start off the season.

When he’s healthy, Gronkowski has the same value as a wide receiver. He hauled in 11 touchdowns last year, tying DeAndre Hopkins and Jordan Reed for the third-most touchdown receptions in the league. Last season, Gronkowski tied Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas for the 15th-most red-zone targets in the NFL.

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 9.40.33 PM.png

There’s no questioning his Fantasy value. It’s just a matter of him staying healthy.

MFL10 Draft: Round 2

I haven’t always been the biggest fan of Keenan Allen. In fact, I highlighted my concerns about Allen before the 2015 Fantasy Football season.

But the early results from last year look like I was wrong about him. In just eight games, Allen posted a 67-725-4 stat line. It took him 14 games in the previous season to post nearly identical numbers.

When you look closer, though, you see the same type of outliers that I criticized him for in his rookie year.

Week 1: 15 receptions, 166 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns

Week 3: 12 receptions, 133 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns

Week 6: 14 receptions, 157 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns

Those receiving totals greatly inflate his overall stats. Once again, I’m still worried about consistency. But, especially in an MFL10 league, having even three of those type of performances for a season can give me a huge advantage over my opponents.

With Gronkowski, I know if he is healthy that I’m getting the same type of consistency that an elite receiver would provide. Allen is more of a wild card, but he has big-play ability that can rack up a lot of points.

MFL 10 Draft: Round 3

Since I had pick 2.1 in this draft, it was going to be a long time before it would be my turn to draft in Round 3.

When it finally got back around to me at pick 3.12, I decided to draft C.J. Anderson. I generally like waiting until at least Round 4 to draft Anderson, but it didn’t matter since I had pick 4.1.

I know that he was a huge disappointment last year, but you have to make sure you aren’t stuck in last-year mode. I drafted him in Round 2 of a $299 league, and even I’m forgiving the guy.

I think head coach Gary Kubiak very much wanted a bell cow last season, but he just wasn’t able to have a balanced enough offense to make things happen. Peyton Manning only threw nine touchdowns in the regular season last year, and he put the Broncos in bad spots with 17 interceptions.

But when I looked at his data from last year, I was surprised that Anderson was still able to record a 4.7 YPC average. That’s the exact same number he recorded in 2014.

So the simple answer for Anderson’s disappointing season was the he wasn’t on the field enough. Last year, he had a near perfect split with Ronnie Hillman for offensive snaps.In fact, Hillman actually ended up with more off the offensive snaps than Anderson.

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 10.06.43 PM.png

If he actually can see more playing time, I expect Anderson to be more productive just because he will touch the ball more. That’s not always an assumption you want to make, but his limited Fantasy production seems like you can trace it back to the amount of times he touched the ball.

Anderson only had two games the entire season where he recorded more than 14 carries.

MFL10 Draft: Round 4

For the first pick in Round 4, I gave the honor to Michael Floyd.

Floyd finished as the 36th-highest scoring receiver in 2015, but he was the 21st-highest scoring receiver in PPR leagues from Weeks 8-16. During that time, Floyd averaged 17.3 Fantasy points per game.

That’s a nice stat to note, but it really doesn’t show just how impactful he really was during that stretch.

Week Receptions Receiving Yards Touchdowns
8 4 106 1
10 7 113 2
12 1 14 0
13 7 104 0
14 5 102 1
15 5 70 0
16 6 111 0

In that time period, he only caught fewer than four passes once. Floyd is still hitting his prime at 26, while Larry Fitzgerald is in the later stages of his career. I know Fitzgerald was still very effective last season, but Floyd is the future.

Floyd was limited to start the season because he broke fingers on his left hand, so it took him a while to get in a grove. If he doesn’t have any setbacks at the start of the 2016 Fantasy Football season, he should pick up right where he left off in 2015.

MFL10 Draft: Round 5

Anderson was the only back on my team at this point, so I wanted to scoop up another running back before I added a player at another position.

The Cincinnati Bengals are going to have some issues in the passing attack this season with Marvin Jones gone and Tyler Eifert‘s status iffy. Andy Dalton still has A.J. Green, but Green can’t do anything himself.

I’m not buying in to Mohamed Sanu being a significant contributor.

Because this is a PPR league, Giovani Bernard was a great addition to my team at this spot. Although his touchdown totals took a dive in 2015, he posted 1,202 total yards.

And even with Eifert and Jones in the lineup, Bernard received the fourth-most targets as a receiver. Again, he could see those numbers climb because the Bengals don’t have a lot of players for Dalton to target.

MFL10 Draft: Round 6

For a standard league, I would have kicked myself for drafting Tyler Lockettt this early.

But since this is a best ball league, I didn’t mind adding him here. It’s hard to know if head coach Pete Carroll is really committed to Russell Wilson throwing the ball more, but luckily I don’t have to debate whether or not to start Lockett each week.

He’s only in my lineup when he goes off, which is perfect.

He had a few big games last year where you would have definitely wanted him in your starting lineup.

Week Receptions Receiving Yards Touchdowns
7 5 79 1
11 4 48 2
13 7 90 0
14 6 104 2

MFL10 Draft: Round 7

With Allen, Floyd, and Lockett as my starting receivers thus far, I wanted to add another running back.

I probably could have waited until Round 9, but every draft is different. You don’t know how each player is going to value the draft board. So for my seventh-round pick, I pulled the trigger on Isaiah Crowell.

Crowell no longer has Terrance West cutting into his touches, although Fantasy players are currently placing more value in Duke Johnson. The situation reminds of what happened with Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman last year, though, so I’m perfectly happy with landing Crowell a few rounds later than Johnson.

You can find out more about the outlook for Crowell and Johnson here.

MFL10 Draft: Round 8

I don’t like drafting a quarterback early (I still consider this kind of early), but I thought I had to pull the trigger here on Drew Brees in Round 8.

Brees attempted the second-most passes in the NFL last season, and I don’t expect him to stop chucking the ball in 2016.  He was the sixth-highest scoring quarterback in Fantasy leagues last year, so I felt good about landing him in Round 8.

You can view my profile on Brees to see what I think his Fantasy season will look like in 2016

MFL10 Draft: Round 9

A lot of Fantasy Football players are forgetting this, but Coleman received the bulk of the carries in Week 1 last season. He was handed the rock 20 times, while Freeman only saw 10 carries.

I still like Freeman, but I would have locked Coleman down if I was a Freeman owner by this point.

But again, since this is a best ball league, I like the fact that I don’t have to guess how involved Coleman will be. Freeman and Coleman have the 11th-easiest schedule for running backs this season, which is always nice for a Fantasy owner to hear.

Coleman was only on the field for 19.8% of the offensive snaps last season, though, so I find it hard to believe he and Freeman are going to see a perfect 50/50 split of the workload.

The best case scenario for me would be for Coleman to emerge as the lead back. The worst case is he only has a few relevant games. Drafting Coleman in Round 9 far outweighs the downside, and my team isn’t relying on him too heavily in the off chance that he is completely irrelevant in 2016 Fantasy Football leagues.

MFL10 Draft: Round 10

Because there is no set timetable for Jimmy Graham, this pick might have been a reach.

Maybe the allure of owning both Gronk and Graham overtook my better judgement. But if he is able to return to the lineup early and stay healthy, and the Seahawks stick with throwing the ball more, this could be a decent pick.

Remember, I’m mainly relying on Gronk, so if Graham doesn’t work out it’s not as big a deal. The only issue I have is that Gronk has his own injury history, so I could have set myself up for failure in terms of depth at the position.

For PPR leagues, Graham had three solid performances before being injured in Week 12.

Week Receptions Receiving Yards Touchdowns Fantasy Points
1 6 51 1 17.1
6 8 140 0 22
8 7 75 0 14.5

If Gronk is able to stay healthy and productive, anything that Graham does is just a bonus.

MFL10 Draft: Round 11

For this round, I wanted to add some more depth at receiver.

With Martavis Bryant suspended and Heath Miller retired, I think the next logical player to receive Ben Roethlisberger‘s attention after Antonio Brown is Sammie Coates.

Even though Roethlisberger threw a smoke screen last season and said Markus Wheaton was in for a big year, I wasn’t buying it. As you can see from my analysis here, that didn’t make sense that Wheaton would have a big season.

Wheaton has almost the same build as Brown, so Wheaton doesn’t offer Roethlisberger anything he doesn’t already have in Brown.

But Coates is 6-foot-1, 212 pounds, and his draft profile even compares him to Martavis Bryant. Coates has a nice mix of size, speed, and strength, and it makes more sense Big Ben would target him outside of Brown.

Remember, Bryant is leaving behind a 50-765-6 stat line from last year. And even though Wheaton finished 2015 with 749 receiving yards on just 44 receptions, keep in mind that 201 of those yards game from a crazy performance in Week 12.

MFL10 Draft: Round 12

I went back to Pittsburgh with this pick, and selected DeAngelo Williams.

This is another pick where I was surprised that no one locked down the backup of an early-round pick.

Once Le’Veon Bell was out, Williams was the highest-scoring running back from Weeks 8-16 in 2015.

It will still take an injury to Bell for Williams to be so dominant again, but I don’t mind giving him a roster spot in Round 12 just in the off chance something happens to Bell.

MFL10 Draft: Round 13

To backup Brees, I selected Ryan Tannehill.

I really though Tannehill had enough weapons to put things together in 2015 and be a top-10 quarterback, but that whole offense was mostly a mess.

There’s excitement, though, that new coach Adam Gase can unlock Tannehill’s potential. Since I’ve been a Tannehill believer for the past several seasons, I still have a soft spot for him.

He has enough weapons to be more than successful, and the addition of pass-catching specialist Arian Foster only increases Tannehill’s appeal.

But this is the last year Tannehill has to prove his critics wrong…

MFL10 Draft: Round 14

I normally never select a defense early, but I found it surprising Seattle was still available.

MFL10 Draft: Round 15

In Round 15, I was surprised that I could still find a back who could have a relevant role in Week 1.

Carlos Hyde isn’t known as a pass-catching back, so Shaun Draughn could carve out a nice role under Chip Kelly. If he has game manager Blaine Gabbert as his starting quarterback, Draughn should be the recipient of many dump off passes.

From Weeks 9-13, Draughn had an active role as a pass catcher.

Week Receptions Receiving Yards
9 4 38
11 8 40
12 5 35
13 5 50

MFL10 Draft: Round 16

I know that any receiver on the Buffalo Bills is going to be limited in their Fantasy production with Tyrod Taylor as quarterback.

But Taylor still has to throw the ball, and the health of Sammy Watkins is still in question. So if Watkins misses any time or isn’t 100%, Robert Woods will see the most work of any of the receivers on the Bills.

Now, it is true Woods has been disappointing in terms of NFL and Fantasy production. He was a second-round pick in 2013, and he has yet to prove he was worthy of being picked so early. But he posted a 3-60-1 stat line in Week 2, 9-84-1 in Week 7, and a 5-106-0 in Week 14.

Sometimes you just need a few games like that from your bench players to help out when your starters have a poor performance.

MFL10 Draft: Round 17

Defenses are too hard to predict from year to year, so I just went with the New England Patriots. I thought they were the best defense on the board at the time of my pick.

MFL10 Draft: Round 18

Kenny Britt has upside even if he’s ignored in most drafts, so I find myself drafting him in the late rounds of almost all my leagues.

Britt has the height at 6-foot-3 to be a massive red-zone target for Jared Goff. If the rookie has to lean on a player heavily, it’s going to be Britt for the simple fact that this isn’t a deep or experienced offense at the wide receiver position.

Tavon Austin is speedy but still only 5-foot-8, Pharoh Cooper is a rookie, tight end Jared Cook is gone, and Brian Quick has not been relevant since a 2014. So in reality, where else could most of the passes go other than to Britt?

Even if this offense doesn’t rely on throwing the ball heavily, Goff has to throw the ball. And when he does, it’s going to go to Britt or Austin.

MFL10 Draft: Round 19

I selected tight end Maxx Williams in this spot to beef up my tight ends. It’s going to be a long year for my team if Gronkowski and Graham get hurt, as Williams will be my starting tight end each week.

The tight end group is super crowded this year in Baltimore, so I don’t expect the young tight end to have much of a role in 2016.

This move was purely based on adding depth, although it wasn’t the strongest move to make. I should have perhaps considered adding another tight end earlier.

MFL10 Draft: Round 20

If you saw my winning MFL10 lineup from last year, Danny Amendola came through for my team in a couple of games.

I think people forget that he had a few big games in PPR leagues last year.

Week Receptions Receiving Yards Touchdowns
6 7 105 0
7 8 86 1
10 10 79 0
11 9 117 0
13 7 62 1

I didn’t base this pick purely on what he did last year, though, but the receiver core is still mostly the same. Outside of Chris Hogan stealing looks, Amendola should still be Fantasy relevant from time to time.

So there you have it. That was my first MFL10 draft for the 2016 Fantasy Football season.

Here’s what the final squad looks like:

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 7.40.45 PM.png

I plan on doing at least 10 drafts this year, so I’ll provide a review of each draft to help you know what to expect in yours.

If you’ve never done a MFL10 draft before or just want to discuss strategies, drop me a line here.

You can also hit me up on Twitter, or ask the whole staff questions on Facebook.

Thanks for checking out the article, and best of luck in your 2016 Fantasy Football drafts!

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Categories: 2016 Fantasy Football, 2016 MFL 10, Fantasy Football

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  1. 2016 MFL Draft Strategy: Draft No. 2 – Your Fantasy Football Coach

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