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Thu Apr 25th 2019

Grading My 2018 Start-up Draft (part 2)

Who I drafted and why I drafted them

Last week I wrote about my latest start-up draft from last spring.  I started a new 12-team league with 11 of the most active dynasty owners from some of my other leagues.  It's been a super active league during the season and during this first offseason.  I mentioned last week that I finished the regular season in first place and as the highest scoring team, but I lost in the semifinals.  Still, I love my team and its future is bright.

Last week I wrote about my first 16 picks in our start-up draft.  Check it out here if you have not read it.  This week I'll analyze how I did with the last 16 picks of this 32-round 12-team start-up draft.  Naturally, these are not going to be the best players but I did hit on some gems.  My 23rd round pick and 31st round pick became every week starters for me and they will start on my team going into this year too.  Whether I hit or missed on these late round picks, here are some thoughts on what I was thinking during these picks.

Additionally, I included a bit about the players I picked up on waivers that are still on my team today.

  • Latavius Murray – 17.10 (pick 202)

Here I remember nabbing Murray right before I figured he was going to be taken as the handcuff to the Dalvin Cook owner who picked right after me.  I have always like Murray and his ability to become a fantasy starter after the NFL starter in front of him goes down with an injury.  Cook is prone to injury, so Murray was a target for me here.  Cook stayed fairly healthy last year so Murray’s impact was limited, but he did play well in weeks 6-9 when Cook was injured.

I could not be happier about where Murray landed in free agency.  With Ingram gone in New Orleans, Murray gets to be the number two back in New Orleans.  This time, however, he will be a true committee back with Alvin Kamara.  That’s how Sean Payton uses his running backs there.  Murray’s value has increased quite a bit this offseason as a result.

  • Keelan Cole – 18.3 (pick 207)

Cole was coming off a pretty strong 2017 season in Jacksonville.  Here I was taking a chance that he could become the number one in Jacksonville in case Marquise Lee, who I drafted in round 13, did not.  Lee was hurt in the preseason, which stunk for me, but I was glad that it likely meant more targets for Cole.  That never happened, so I dropped him midway through the season.  Dallas Goedert was the best player drafted that round.  I wish I would have grabbed him, but I was avoiding rookie TEs in this draft.

  • Spencer Ware – 19.10 (pick 226)

This is where I kept going for #2 RBs in high-powered offenses or on teams with injury prone #1 backs.  I’ve always liked Ware and felt he would get some great action if Kareem Hunt were to get hurt.  Ware ended up with nagging injuries himself, so when Hunt was cut from the team after his legal issues, Damien Williams became the back to own in Kansas City.  Thankfully, I picked him up right after Hunt was cut and he helped my end of the year run.  I still have Ware on my roster, but he’s on the bubble and could be my first cut after the rookie draft.  He’s still a free agent so I want to see where he lands first.  I hope he stays in Kansas City.  No one else drafted in this round really hit.

  • Chris Ivory – 20.3 (pick 231)

Same song second verse here.  LeSean McCoy is an older back that is often injured.  I picked Ivory as his handcuff since I drafted McCoy in the 4th round.  McCoy did get hurt, but Ivory didn’t play worth a darn when he got to start.  I dropped him midway through the season.  Buffalo dropped him this offseason, and I would not be surprised if no NFL team picks him up this year.  Eric Ebron was the best player taken in this round.

  • Taywan Taylor – 21.10 (pick 250)

I’ve always been a Taywan fan.  I loved how productive he was in college and was excited to see him get more targets in Matt Lafleur’s new offense.  Tennessee’s offense was anemic, so Taywan never started for me.  I’m such a believer that I held on to him all year.  I’m still holding, but he’s definitely a bubble player for me.

  • Steelers DST – 22.3 (pick 255)

I was surprised that 13 defenses had already been picked by this point, including 3 in the previous round.  I did not want to see another run go by without getting a DST.  You’ll see here at the end of this article that I dropped every DST that I drafted and have three new DSTs on my team now.

  • Jared Cook – 23.10 (pick 274)

I definitely got the steal of this round.  Cook finished the season as the #5 TE in this league.  I knew he had the talent to perform well and would be the only seasoned target on Oakland.  He had the most upside for my team that was weak at TE.  I was right.  This gem of a pick helped me a lot.

He’s my 3rd player that landed in a great spot after free agency.  Drew Brees and the Saints can make him an even better player this year.  He shouldn’t get as many catches since the Saints have plenty of great players, but he should get more touchdowns than last year.  I’m sure of that.

  • Lions DST – 24.3 (pick 279)

Not much to say here.  16 defenses had come off the board.  I felt I needed to get my second one.  Not a single player hit that was drafted in this round.

  • Daurice Fountain – 25.10 (pick 298)

I finally drafted a rookie WR, something I planned not to do until very late in this draft.  Round 25 was late enough.  I loved Fountain’s college tape and was intrigued to see if he could win a spot opposite Hilton with Andrew Luck who always elevates the value of the #2 WR in Indianapolis.  It was not to be.  I still have him on my “watched list” because I like his tape and he is still on the Colt’s team.  No one of significance was drafted in this round.

  • Jaylen Samuels – 26.3 (pick 303)

I wanted to get Samuels because I loved his diversity and figured Pittsburg would find a way to use him.  At the time it was uncertain if Leveon Bell was going to hold out, so I also thought he could end up being the #2 RB in Pittsburg.  Well, he was by the end of the year and I made the mistake of cutting him.  He’s the only player I dropped in this league that I regret.  He was by far the best player picked in this round.

  • Ryan Nall – 27.10 (pick 322)

I was taking a stab at a guy I really liked more than most at the very end of rookie drafts last year.  I thought Nagy would not like the lack of pass-catching ability of Jordan Howard and my use Nall, a more versatile back.  He’s still on the team and Howard was traded, only Mike Davis was brought in to replace him.  The thought process was right.  I still have Nall on my “watched” list.

  • Adam Shaheen – 28.3 (pick 327)

I thought it was worth a short here in case Nagy realized that Shaheen was a better true TE than their free agent TE, Trey Burton.  I was weak at TE so was taking a stab at this point.  Chris Herndon and Ian Thomas were drafted that same round after my pick.  Again, I was trying to avoid rookie TEs, but now wish I had not.  That’s something I’ll learn from this draft.

  • Ryan Succup – 29.10 (pick 346)

Simply put…  it was time to take a kicker.  I’m proud to say I was the last player to draft a kicker though.  Several teams had 2 kickers by the time I reluctantly drafted one.  I cut him and picked the guy who finished as the #1 scoring kicker last year.  See why you wait on a kicker?

  • Cowboys DST – 30.3 (pick 351)

Just felt like I needed to take a stab at another DST, and I’m a Cowboy homer.  It was my first and only homer pick.  I dropped them too.

  • Tyler Boyd 31.10 (pick 370)

The best value of the entire draft right here!  Boyd finally lived up to where he was drafted in rookie drafts three years ago.  I questioned John Ross’s ability to win the #2 job there and remembered Boyd’s draft capital.  He was an every week flex position player for me and finished as the WR #17 in this league.  It’s a good reminder to not give up on highly drafted WRs who have played less than four years.  He’s another reason why I am still holding on to Taywan Taylor.

  • Tajae Sharp 32.3 (pick 375)

I’ve always loved Tajae Sharp, even though I had given up on him in all my other leagues.  In a 12-team 32-round draft, I did not mind making him my last pick.  He was dropped pretty quickly.

Players picked up on waivers who are still on my team

  • Damien Williams

He’s my best waiver wire addition for sure.  If Kansas City does not draft an RB, I’ll be set with him and Hyde on my team next year.  I picked him up earlier than most.  I can’t remember the amount of FAAB I spent on him, but I don’t believe it was much because I picked him up early after Ware was injured.

  • CJ Anderson

I wish I would have had him at the end of the year during the Super Bowl run, but I did not.  I traded for CJ just a few weeks ago.  I gave Doug Martin for CJ straight up.  I just wanted the apparent handcuff to Kerryon Johnson since he is injury prone.

  • Mike Boone

I already told you that I don’t trust Dalvin Cook to stay healthy.  Once Latavius Murray went to New Orleans I picked up Boone.  I want Cook’s back up.  Roc Thomas got in trouble with the law this offseason, so I think Boone is the backup to Cook, until or unless they draft someone.

  • Deon Cain

Deon was dropped from a team that had too many guys on IR.  During the season I like to compare guys on my IR with guys who have been dropped from IR from other teams.  I liked Cain more than a guy on my IR so I dropped my guy and added him to my IR.  He was receiving rave reviews in camp before he tore his ACL.  It was a preseason injury so he should be good to go this year and can win the #2 WR spot in the Andrew Luck led offense who made guys like Chester Rogers and Dontrelle Inman look like fantasy starters last year.  I like this move I made.  Other teams do too because I’ve received trade offers for him this offseason.

  • Phillip Dorsett

I picked up Dorsett this offseason right after New England resigned him.  He played well at times last year and Brady has to throw to someone next year beside Edelman.  He’s on the bubble for me for sure, but I’ll hold him at least until I see what New England does in the draft.

  • Tim Patrick

I picked him up at the end of the year last year.  Honestly, I had never heard of him before he started to flash.  I went back and watched his college tape out of Utah and was really impressed.  The Denver WR corps is wide open right now.  Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton have not solidified their spots, though they do have much higher draft capital.  I’d like to hold onto Patrick to see who can step up in the preseason, but he is certainly a bubble player for me.

  • Broncos, Jets, and Saints DSTs

Why don’t you draft defenses early in your start-up drafts?  Because you end up, like me, with 3 completely different DTSs at the end of the season.  I really like these defenses for next year, but you never really know on DSTs.  I will likely drop one of them before the season starts and just role with 2 in this deep league.

  • Ka’imi Fairbairn

Why was I the last team to draft a kicker in this draft?  Because I claimed the #1 kicker on the waiver wire for a dollar.  I like the Houston offense and he just resigned with Houston, so I am glad I held him through the offseason.  I’m certain that he won’t be the #1 kicker again next year, but I’m sure he will be top 12 kicker.

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