1.07- RB Alvin Kamara, NO
2.06- WR Mike Evans, TB
3.07- RB Kenyan Drake, Mia.
4.06- QB DeShaun Watson, Hou.
5.07- WR Michael Crabtree, Bal.
6.06- TE Greg Olsen, Car.
7.07- WR Marquise Goodwin, SF
8.06- WR Kelvin Benjamin, Buf.
9.07- QB Ben Roethlisberger, Pit.
10.06- WR Sterling Shepard, NYG
11.07- RB Bilal Powell, NYJ
12.06- D/ST, Philadelphia Eagles
13.07- RB Spencer Ware, KC
14.06- TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jax.
15.07- WR James Washington, Pit.
16.06- K Dan Bailey, Dal.
Analysis: It was good to have Dan back with us this year after a one-year sabbatical and he made the most of his return with a well-balanced, well constructed team from my vantage point. Few teams will be able to rival him in terms of QB scoring with both DeShaun Watson and Ben Roethlisberger in the fold. Ben, in particular, is streaky with his much better games coming at home than on the road. That makes him a perfect complement to Watson, who looks like his big games scoring-wise could be huge based on last year's small sample size. At RB, Dan opted for a couple of guys who can not only score points running the ball, but catching it as well. There are question marks at wide receiver, but Dan has enough darts available to toss at the bulls-eye that surely one will come through alongside the more certain Mike Evans. Basically, Dan appears to be above average at every position but WR and that's typically a recipe for No-Hassle success unless the receiving corps is simply awful. In this case, it isn't and Dan looks primed to be a factor in the race for No-Hassle glory.
Key to No-Hassle Success: I think Dan's picks in Rounds Three and Four could essentially make or break his season. The Watson pick was bold as no quarterback in the draft has more upside sans Aaron Rodgers than Watson does. Likewise, Kenyan Drake showed flashes last year of being a true difference maker in the fantasy football realm. The problem is, neither guy has ever done it for a full NFL season. They're both still somewhat uncertain commodities and that fact alone makes them pivotal pieces in Dan's quest this year. Dan's depth at QB, WR, and TE is very solid, so the only other key would be Kamara and Drake staying healthy. Their backups lack much upside and might be lacking if forced into duty.
Favorite Pick: There were two. First, Greg Olsen in the sixth round was a super find. Dan could have taken Olsen in the fifth and I wouldn't have complained, but grabbing him in the sixth allowed for him to snag Michael Crabtree in the fifth as a much needed WR2. The other favorite pick of mine was Roethlisberger in the ninth round. Are you kidding me?
Least Favorite Pick: Neither Marquise Goodwin nor Kelvin Benjamin reside as high on my wish lists as they apparently do on Dan's. Everyone seems eager to jump on the 49er bandwagon this year, and rightfully so, but the pieces of that puzzle still seem jumbled up to me. As for Benjamin, his body is getting old quick for a young guy. Buyer beware.
Overall outlook: There are scenarios (injury, regression for some of the younger players) that I foresee that could derail this team and prevent them from making noise this season. That being said, I think there's a far greater likelihood that the team takes off. Aside from Crabtree and Olsen, the stars of this team are young and still moving up in terms of possible impact and value. Kamara looked unstoppable at times last year and if he merely repeats his stats from then, Dan could have a title contender on his hands with so many other good resources already in place. Expect this team to have at least 2-3 weeks in which they lead the league in scoring for that week. They are combustible...and that's a good thing.
Thanks, Fumble. Always appreciate the effort you put into writing these up. And wow, thank you! I honestly expected a harsher critique. But I'll take it; the last time you liked my draft this much, I won. Your evaluation hit a lot of my thinking. I like Goodwin and Benjamin more than you do, but the approach was as you identified. A couple of the receivers will step up.
That said, I loved, hated, loved my draft. I found myself extremely ambivalent, because it didn't go as planned, or at least not completely. I wanted youth, potential and upside, because solid doesn't win this. So the pieces that you noted were deliberate stabilizing factors in a sea of firecrackers. That was the thinking that netted Kenyon Drake, who I believe is the biggest key to what my team does.
I loved some of the values and a lot of the players that I was able to get, and was glad to get a solid, explosive RB in the first round. I hated that the original plan was scuppered so early, demanding a change in strategy. The Watson pick received a lot of scrutiny - maybe rightly so - but I was afraid of falling into a pigeon-hole draft, where the position and player was practically scripted. Against a group of drafters such as this, I would have been continually disappointed. So losing Ertz demanded a shift. And I LOVED that I was forced to constantly think differently than I had in mind. I felt that I put together something pretty good despite the shifts, turns, and mega-runs (13 receivers in a row, I ask you . . .).
Incidentally, my least favorite pick was Bilal Powell. I think his value is solid, but let's be honest. He's boring. I wanted one of the other potential types, but they were all gone, and I needed someone likely to get points on bye weeks. Backup RB is still the weakest point of this team . . . by a long way.