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Bobby Sylvester’s Perfect Fantasy Football Draft

Aug 22, 2019

The concerns about Pettis may have been overblown

Everyone takes different approaches as they prepare for their drafts. Some prefer to print out spreadsheets and a highlighter, others rely wholly on a magazine or their favorite analyst’s rankings and some just go with their gut. What I consider to be the most effective strategy is to practice. Our Draft Simulation Software enables us to cruise through a realistic and always different mock draft in 5 minutes (not hyperbole) so I’ve literally completed 250 mocks this preseason. For this article, I blitzed through two dozen before landing on one that looked picture perfect. Today, I’ll give you a glimpse at that team. It is for a half-PPR, 12-team league and the draft order randomizer stuck me with the 10th pick.

Beyond this article, I’d encourage you to take a moment to look at all the tools on our website (that some on Reddit have deemed “cheating”) as they will assuredly give you an upper hand over your league-mates. We offer customizable cheat sheets, our auction calculator and the expert consensus rankings that most know our site for. Make sure to quickly import your team for free into MyPlaybook, which is like having a team of experts in your war room, and while you’re at it, give my podcast a listen if you’d like. Thanks for visiting FantasyPros; we look forward to helping you win a few fantasy championships this season! Now let’s get onto the team!

Draft Results

Running Back

Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon, Sony Michel, Latavius Murray, Tony Pollard, Justice Hill, Darwin Thompson
I know what you are thinking: There’s an 80% chance you don’t get to use Gurley and/or Gordon. Let’s get this out of the way: That is probably overstated. Even if Gurley just got 50% of the Rams’ RB fantasy points last year, he still would have been a top 12 fantasy RB. I’m not joking. Sure he is more injury prone and yes he will see his workload cut down, but the odds of him producing at or above RB11, which is where I drafted him, is likely above 50%. Then there is Gordon who has already been offered 10 million per year which is enormous for a running back. At this point, they are just working on incentives so don’t be surprised when he signs in the next two weeks. Let’s go conservative, though, and say Gurley has a 40% chance and Gordon an 70% chance at RB1. Yes, I lose my league, and by quite a bit if either happens, but that still leaves me with an 18% chance of having two of the best RBs in fantasy football. Seeing that in a 12-team league, every team enters the draft with 8% odds of winning it all, I believe I’ve increased, and even doubled my odds of a championship by nabbing Gurley and Gordon in the 2nd and 3rd.

Behind them, I have another high-upside RB in Michel, who had 1,267 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns in 16 starts including the playoffs last year. No one else in football managed both of those figures in 12 starts. Murray is both reliable and comes with bonkers upside if anything were to happen to Alvin Kamara. Mark Ingram had this same exact role last year and was being drafted in the top 50 despite a four-game suspension. Murray, meanwhile, is the better goal-line back and is available near pick 100 fairly often. Then my team is rounded out with the three top high-upside backups. If Ezekiel Elliott holds out, it is now clear that Dallas intends on using Pollard as a workhorse since he is on the field every snap that Dak is so far. Darwin has now passed Carlos Hyde on the Chiefs’ depth chart and is now a Damien Williams injury away from being an RB1. Additionally, Williams has never carried a large workload so don’t be shocked if Thompson flat out steals the job before long. Then there is Hill, my personal favorite. His floor is a Tarik Cohen like weapon in an offense void of receiving talent, and his ceiling is stealing the job from a 30-year-old Mark Ingram. This offense ran the ball 45 times per game last year after Jackson took over so Hill could be a legitimate workhorse if anything happens to Ingram.

Wide Receiver

Julio Jones, Brandin Cooks, Curtis Samuel, Corey Davis, Dante Pettis, Devante Parker, David Moore
Grabbing Julio 10th overall had me thrilled as he is the number one receiver on my board. DeAndre Hopkins, Davante Adams, Michael Thomas, Odell Beckham and Tyreek Hill have combined for zero seasons of 1,599 receiving yards. That’s what Julio averages over the last five seasons! Cooks is a reliable WR2 considering he has finished top 12 at the position for four straight seasons. After that, I went with upside, expecting two of the next three to turn into a serviceable player with one of those breaking out. Samuel may be the #1 for Cam Newton, Davis is guaranteed a 25% target share and is a freak of nature third-year wideout, then Pettis has 100 reception upside with Kyle Shanahan. Beyond them, Parker is much better than you might remember and Moore might lead Russell Wilson’s team in targets.

Quarterback, Tight End, D/ST and Kicker

Jameis Winston, Hunter Henry, (didn’t draft D/ST or Kicker)
First, let’s start with the D/ST and kicker strategy. I drafted in a league that requires both positions, but I refuse to draft either when we are still two weeks a handful of impactful injuries away from starting the regular season. If anything happens to Damien Williams, Thompson would go for $100 FAAB. I wouldn’t have to pay a dime, however. Then when the season is just about to start, I’ll drop my lottery tickets for the top Week 1 streamer (usually the Cowboys). I break down the above replacement level math logic here and here.

Winston may not be a great real-life quarterback (yet) but you all are drafting Mike Evans as a WR1, Chris Godwin as a high-end WR2 and O.J. Howard as the 4th tight end this year so that means you believe in Winston too. In fact, if Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick were one QB last year, they would have finished as the #2 fantasy QB. Henry is the end of a tier of tight ends before a substantial drop-off. If you can’t get one of the top five, I’d either grab Austin Hooper in the 11th or don’t even draft a tight end then pickup Geoff Swaim for a Week 1 streaming matchup against the Chiefs at the last minute. Henry has been historically efficient thus far in his career and has true superstar potential if he can stay healthy.

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