ROD Writers League: The Anatomy of a Startup Draft – Part 1

By Duncan Smith

Are Mock Drafts a valuable tool in Fantasy Football? Of course, they provide insight and knowledge, giving the keen player an edge over their competitors.

However, how often do you read a Mock Draft article or listen to a Mock Draft Pod, and by round ten, things have gotten a bit stale. The sexy picks are gone, you’re confident one guy set his picks to auto a couple of rounds ago. He’s now trying to justify why you should take back to back kickers before getting all of your starters. This other guy is adamant his “You can’t have too many Tight Ends” philosophy will be the next defining moment of FF (it won’t). You come out of the experience knowing you should draft studs early, and that’s about it. Everyone stayed on-brand with their philosophy. You have to conclude your own draft will be a by the numbers cakewalk.

In the immortal words of Homer J Simpson, “Aww, the Denver Broncos.” Sorry, I meant, “This ain’t one of your church picnic mock drafts, Flanders. This is the real thing.”

Yeah, you got it. Here at Ride or Dynasty, we like to give you the content you can use, so we’re giving you a look at the results of our Writers’ Room dynasty startup draft. It’s put up or shut up time, who will stick to their grand philosophy? Who will crumble like week-old tacos when a player they claim to hate starts dropping and lands in their lap. Can I make it out the other side with any dignity?

In these articles, we’re going to follow the draft from beginning to end, we’re going to hear from each player why they made their picks. I’m going to justify my own selections, with hopefully only a mild sense of rising panic as the draft progresses.

Before we start with our recap of the first two rounds, it would be useful (for you and me) to know the format. This is a 12 team, Superflex Dynasty league. 

Starting requirements: 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 3 FLEX (W/R/T), 1 SF (W/R/T/Q), 16 BN, 4 TAXI, and 2 IR

Scoring is standard PPR except for the following: Passing TDs are 6pts, TE 1.75 PPR,  0.25 PPC, and 0.5 per Rushing and Receiving First Down. 

I am picking on the turn at 1.12.

So with the housekeeping done, it’s on to the main event.

No surprises here to start us off, given the format of the league, it would be crazy not to take one of these absolute studs at QB with the first two picks. 

@Brendan33 had some reservations about not taking CMC at 1.01. Still, given the QB scoring, I can’t see many arguing against this pick. 

Again at 1.02, @The3Sanchize had no issues in grabbing his young stud QB. 

After that, we get a solid run on the big-name RBs: CMC, Saquon, and Zeke. The picks are mostly predictable, and ones the vast majority would make. There’s a potential to argue Barkley ahead of CMC. Still, it would be paper-thin, and getting either of these backs will make you a happy manager.

At 1.06, we see the first pick that isn’t a consensus pick. Kamara has fitness (health) concerns, but if healthy, he has little competition. He does have an aging Latavius Murray as a capable backup; however, in that high powered Big Easy offense, Kamara has the chance to be a top 5 back.

Next, another two QBs come off the board in the shape of Kyler Murray and Deshaun Watson. The format is clearly weighing on minds here, and the need to grab that stud QB to build a team around is becoming apparent. Both players are young, handsome, and can move the ball with their feet and arms.

At 1.09, we get our first WR off the board in the shape of Michael Thomas. While it may come as a surprise to some that MT fell this far, the receiver class’s depth compared to the other skill positions is telling. However, I’m not sure I buy into @thedevydirtbags description of selecting him in the first round as ‘like going to Baskin-Robbins and getting Vanilla.’ I shudder to think about what flavour ice cream he does get. Probably hot sauce and wasabi.

Finishing the first round, Dak Prescott, Dalvin Cook, and Russell Wilson were selected. We finish round one with six QBs, five RBs, and one WR off the board. 

Turning around into the second, I make a move I hope pays off with my selection of Josh Allen. I feel his skill set works well with our scoring format. By grabbing two starting QBs here, I can settle into the draft without worrying about a run on Quarterbacks between my picks.

Straight after me, @Conbon45 takes his second RB with the sophomore Miles Sanders. @Conbon45 took Sanders over next-man-up Joe Mixon due to what he thinks will be a three-down role and a lack of contract issues moving into the season. 

Contract issues or not @Michaelklos23 couldn’t resist Mixon here. Amazingly Mixon is still only 23 (the same age as Sanders!), and coupled with Prescott, Michaelklos23 feels he has given himself the flexibility to move around the draft.

Next up at 2.4 @ObiWanka can’t resist getting involved in that Andy Reid-coached, Patrick Mahomes-led offense. Selecting a man so fast, he once out-accelerated a Porsche 911 Turbo. Honest mate, are you calling me a liar?

Our next four picks go RB/WR/RB/WR with Josh Jacobs, DeAndre Hopkins, Nick Chubb, and Davante Adams going in that order. 

@WillisCannon believes Gruden needs to slow things down and make the Raiders a run-first offense. 

@thedevydirtbag is an excellent example of fluidity in the draft. He came in not wanting to take a receiver this early, but a stack of Kyler Murray and Hopkins was too much to resist. 

@Abellamy becomes the second GM to take back to back RBs with Nick Chubb. He believes that despite Kareem Hunt’s availability, the work is there for Chubb even in the passing game. 

@Unstuckintime goes with Davante Adams and states that Zeke, coupled with Adams, gives him a great platform to build a team around.

Next up, we get our first TE off the board, George Kittle. This league is TE Premium, and @NickDizzle17 wisely realizes he’s not going to get the top man at the position on the way back around.

Carson Wentz then becomes the second QB of the round selected by @Waltbzzy. It’s perhaps not a sexy pick, but it is solid. The scoring format alone means anyone who doesn’t get at least one quality signal-caller will find themselves in a hole.

The second last pick of the second round is our first rookie RB, and it comes as no surprise it’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire. After being selected by Kansas City, he vaulted up the rookie ADP charts. This pick, coupled with round one selection Lamar Jackson leaves @Th3Sanchize in the enviable position of having a stake in football’s two most explosive offenses. 

At 2.12 @brendan33 selects Chris Godwin, he believes Brady will love his talents in the slot and isn’t concerned with Gronkowski hoovering up those balls from the GOAT.

So we pause here with eight Quarterbacks, ten Running Backs, only four Wide Receivers, and one Tight End gone. Two teams have selected RB at both picks, one team selected Quarterbacks with both picks, one goes all WR, one takes a TE, and four have yet to grab a QB.

At the end of round two, we can see the beginnings of strategies. We can see who is willing to flow with the draft and who has a firm plan. What we haven’t seen is a trade or a major run on any position.

Stay tuned to see how things progress over rounds three and four.

I’m not sweating, you are.

Duncan Smith – Dynasty/IDP
Ride or Dynasty

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