Mock Draft: Strategy and Analysis, 2-QB League
I first organized a fantasy football league in 1989: Long before the Internet or the media even recognized the game as a hobby. National television stations and the NFL frowned upon the underground industry, and local sports radio ignored the game. None of the impediments deterred my love for alternative-reality football.
As a diehard, digging for relevant fantasy news became one of the most important skills in managing a winning team. Independence Day marked the start of my preseason research as magazines like Pro Football Forecast appeared on the newsstands. Often on July 4th, I would pour over the stats and projections for the upcoming campaign in a beach chair with a beer.
During the season, I spent hours each week reading newspapers and weekly publications in order to obtain a slight edge over my opponents. Starting lineups were called into the commissioner every week and league results were scored by hand from the box scores. It was simply amazing…I was hooked for life.
The NFL constantly evolves and new coaches and players impact the league. Successful fantasy owners must always keep ahead of the competition. One of my favorite aspects of the hobby is participating in Mock Drafts, and during the last six weeks, I have partaken in many: Howard Bender’s Mock Draft Army on FanTrax.com and MyFantasyLeague.com with @TwoQBs.
There are so many different strategies—late-round quarterback, zero running back, heavy wide receiver and value-based drafting—on how to draft a winning fantasy football team in points-per-reception (ppr.) leagues. I am not an ideologue of any one approach and wanted to examine the results of different teams based on the aforementioned theories.
Ultimately, I always endeavor to draft, and manage, the fantasy franchise that scores the most points at the end of the season. In an attempt to take the subjectivity out of the analysis, I researched the season-long projections on three major sites—ESPN.com, FantasyPros.com and CBSSportsline.com—and computed the average points projected by players at the end of the season.
Afterwards, I calculated the total points of the starting lineups for two teams to see how the different theories compared when the draft concluded. The results are tabulated in charts for readers to examine and analyze.
RB David Johnson, Cardinals
For my first Mock Draft of the season on MyFantasyLeague.com on May 24, I joined a 2-QB, ppr-league with a Flex (RB/WR/TE) position. With back-to-back selections at 12 and 13, I remained open to a variety of strategies and waited to see which players dropped.
I couldn’t believe that so much value remained on the board at running back: I monopolized the position and snatched David Johnson and Ezekiel Elliott. The owner with the fifth-selection overall snatched two quarterbacks (Russell Wilson and Brian Bortles) to open his draft.
When the rosters were completed, I looked at the results of both teams. Based on the season-long projections and the points per game (PPG), the two running back strategy appears to have produced a stronger team. The final calculations are listed below for your perusal:
|MFL#10 (May 24)|
|2-QB Mock Draft: 12 teams|
|Gridiron Scholars: 12th Selection|
|QB||E. Manning||New York||5||310||301||289||295.0||18.4|
|WR||B. Marshall||New York||3||247||264||260||257.0||16.1|
|WR||T Y. Hilton||Indianapolis||4||233||238||253||241.3||15.1|
|Fantasy Owner: 5th selection|
|WR||J. Maclin||Kansas City||4||222||231||231||228.0||14.3|
|TE||T. Kelce||Kansas City||6||200||188||176||188.0||11.8|
|Flex||W. Snead||New Orleans||10||188||180||173||180.3||11.3|
|Res.||S. Vereen||New York||9||141||147||138||142.0||8.9|