MFL10 Draft Analysis A Football Diehard vs. The WR Whisperer Rounds 1-5

By Jen Ryan
Jen Ryan I am what you call a volume player when it comes to MFL10’s. As of this publication, I have 70 drafts completed and many ongoing. When you do a bunch of these bestball drafts you eventually wind up drafting with some serious names in the fantasy football industry. If you are unfamiliar with the bestball format, all you really need to know is these leagues require no roster management. You simply draft a team of 20 and the system automatically calculates the top scorers each week. You can thank Emil Kadlec, the founder of FootballDiehards.com, for this format as it was his brain child back in the mid-1990s.

Recently, I invited Matt Harmon of NFL.com, creator of the innovative #ReceptionPerception methodology, to join a draft with me and he obliged. By drafting with some of the best of the best you can only become better. I have decided to analyze both of our picks, round by round, to see both of our processes. Matt drew the third pick and I drew the 12th. Let’s dive right in.

Round 1 – Matt: Julio Jones – WR3, Jen: Lamar Miller – RB5

If you take a look out our ADP page under the Mock tab on our website, you will see that Matt’s selection is evident of the fact that if you want Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., or Julio Jones you have to draw a top three pick. Jones was a no-brainer pick here and is a legitimate threat to be the only receiver with over 200 targets again in 2016.

Picking at the turn can be fun or difficult, depending how you look at it. It forces you to reach for a player at times when you feel that player may not be available to you 23 picks later. I am a shameless ZeroRB drafter, however I felt I needed to secure an RB1. I chose Miller as the RB5 and he finished as the RB5 in 2015. I feel RB5 is his floor, as he will now be carrying the ball for the run-heavy Houston Texans.

Round 2 – Jen: Keenan Allen – WR8, Matt: Brandin Cooks – WR13

Allen was on pace to notch 178 targets last year, which would have seen him finish as the fourth most targeted receiver in 2015. Philip Rivers locked in on him. If we have to find a silver lining to Allen’s injury-riddled season it would be that his injuries seemed to be internal, rather than a dreaded injury to his knees. He has the upside and opportunity to finish this season as a top five receiver.

Matt auto-drafted Cooks. This happens sometimes and I have been guilty of it in many of my drafts. The nice thing about timing out in the second round is you still wind up with a quality player. Cooks would have been the player I would have drafted here. When Drew Brees is throwing you the ball, it is never a bad thing.

Round 3 – Matt: Brandon Marshall – WR16, Jen: LeSean McCoy – RB11

It blows my mind that Matt was able to draft Marshall where he did. He is coming off of a career year where he tied Allen Robinson and Doug Baldwin for a league-leading 14 touchdowns. Despite this, 15 receivers were drafted ahead of him. Regardless of who will be throwing him the ball (I still think it will be Ryan Fitzpatrick), Marshall is an elite receiver and he was a steal in the third round.

My McCoy pick is a contrarian move for me. I already mentioned I prefer to load up on receivers early, but I could not pass on McCoy here. Having back-to-back picks I saw this as another opportunity to secure a potential bell cow in another run-first offense. It certainly helps that both Karlos and Jonathan Williams found themselves in some offseason trouble, with the former already being suspended for the first four games. McCoy’s stock is on the rise.

Round 4 – Jen: C.J. Anderson – RB12, Matt: Dion Lewis – RB16

So, about me going wide receiver early…let’s just throw that out the window for now. As a high volume player it is imperative that I switch it up every now and then or else my MFL10 portfolio will lack much needed diversity. The selection of Anderson here set me up to hit the middle rounds hard with receivers. With the quarterback position in Denver still being a question mark I expect Anderson to be heavily featured. I was thrilled to grab him here.

Matt nailed it with Lewis as the RB16 off the board. The floor and ceiling Lewis displayed before succumbing to a season-ending knee injury was sky high, especially in PPR formats. He is the back to own in one of the most potent offenses in the NFL. The Brady suspension likely helps Lewis’ stock; we may, and should, see Jimmy Garoppolo heavily lean on him.

Round 5 – Matt: Latavius Murray – RB18, Jen: Eric Decker – WR31

Seven running backs rushed for 1,000 yards last season and Latavius Murray was one of them. The Raiders did little to add to their run game aside from draft a rookie and beef up their offensive line. Many are not high on Murray as evident by him being the 18th back off the board but Matt grabbed himself a back who will dominate his team’s touches, which is hard to come by. Using our Consistency tool, you can see that while Murray scores a 78 in consistency and just a 1 in big game factor. This makes Murray great for bestball as opposed to redraft where he can be a start/sit nightmare.

I drafted Decker right around where he is being drafted as a fifth round selection and it blows my mind that he is not drafted higher. There were 30 receivers drafted before I took Decker. Check out his Player Career Chart – over the past four seasons Decker has finished as the WR9, WR9, WR26, and WR13. While I do not understand his price tag of WR31 in this draft I will take that steal any time.

In the first five rounds, Matt and I both put together balanced teams with three wide receivers and two running backs. He secured the stud receivers while I secured stud running backs. This balanced approach in the beginning allows for value diving in the upcoming rounds. Stay tuned for an analysis of the next five rounds of this MFL10 that I competed in with Matt Harmon.