Breaking Down A 2019 FFPC Main Event Fantasy Football Draft
Myself, Drew Dinkmeyer and Michael Leone have become more invested than every in seasonal fantasy football due to our involvement with RotoExperts. We have all been attacking the DRAFT Best Ball Championship (still time to draft with our ULTIMATE Guide), I drafted earlier in the offseason in the FFPC Pros Vs Joes format but we knew that for this offseason to be complete, we needed to draft in the Fantasy Football Players Championship Main Event.
The FFPC Main Event is generally considered the biggest, most competitive and most prestigious contest in the high stakes fantasy football world. Drew, Mike and I drafted online from the sixth spot (1.06) against 11 other competitors in a format that starts one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, two flex spots, one tight end, a kicker and a defense.
Tight ends receive an extra .5 per reception (so 1.5 total per reception for tight ends) which causes the position to slide up draft boards. Passing yards are worth a fraction more than in standard leagues, as 20 passing yards equates to one point. Defense and special teams scoring is negligible. This format should be fairly similar to most of your home league drafts in terms of scoring and roster composition, though instances such as the quarterbacks sliding down draft boards and high-upside Zero RB candidates going early will not be the same.
We recorded a podcast during the entire 20-draft which can be listened to here:
FFPC Main Event #10 Draft Board:
Drafting out of the sixth spot this is the team:
QB: Matt Ryan
RB: David Johnson, Damien Williams, Dion Lewis, Peyton Barber, Malcolm Brown, Jalen Richard, Brian Hill
WR: Stefon Diggs, Brandin Cooks, D.J Moore, Josh Gordon, Sammy Watkins, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, DeVante Parker
TE: Delanie Walker, Tyler Eifert, Mike Gesicki
PK: Jake Elliot
DST: Buffalo Bills
Overall, I feel that the three of us did a good job sticking to our plan of trusting the RotoExperts projections and rankings, loading up on wide receivers and not overvaluing the “onesie positions”.
The biggest mistake made in the draft was the selection of Delanie Walker in the ninth round over the likes of Justice Hill and Justin Jackson. That was the one of moment of the draft where we allowed the heat of the moment and the weight of the 1.5 PPR for tight ends get us away from our projections and plan. Selecting Walker was heavily influenced by our primary target, Austin Hooper, going off the board two picks before we selected Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
Going into the draft, our big discussion was on who to take with the number six selection and how that would influence the rest of the draft. I was advocating for JuJu Smith-Schuster at six over DeAndre Hopkins and Davante Adams but luckily we were not really left with a difficult decision. Drew, Mike and I were not keen on having to make a choice on Ezekiel Elliot and were glad to be able to take the fifth-ranked running back on our boards with the sixth pick.
At the point in which we had taken Johnson, we know that the decision we would have in the second-round would likely be George Kittle or Damien Williams. Kittle went off the board before we had a chance to pick so there was not much discussion. Despite generally advocating a Zero RB approach and believing it is the best way to win a top-heavy fantasy football championship, Williams was just too good in our projections to not select. Mike Evans received some consideration but is legitimately 25 points worse in our projections than Williams.
Key Takeaways From The FFPC Main Event
-Having a plan is more important than anything else. The more important the draft and the sharper the drafters you are drafting with, the more important having a framework is. The ULTIMATE Guide To Winning Your Fantasy Football League in 2019 highlights most of the tactics that we used in this draft. We aimed for younger, more athletic players whenever possible, targeted players on good offenses as much as was allowed and more than anything, targeted running backs who are likely to be used in the passing game in their best case scenario
-An interesting thing occurs in some of these high stakes drafts that is very different from the DRAFT Best Ball championship and other higher dollar formats: no one wants to take quarterbacks. Matt Ryan fell to us in the 10th round and it felt like great value at the time until we saw how late the likes of Cam Newton, Kyler Murray and Dak Prescott went. This is really instructive in all formats: you are never going to miss out on having a QB you like. Even at the very end of the draft, when kickers and defenses were going, there were guys like Sam Darnold and Jacoby Brisset who have legit top 12 QB upside that went undrafted through 20 rounds.
-The biggest adjustment that I feel we need to make going forward is realizing that the high-upside ZeroRB targets (Tony Pollard, Justice Hill, Darwin Thompson) are not secrets. These players are going to go in the first 100 picks or at the least in the first 10 rounds. Pollard and Thompson are great Zero RB targets and Justice Hill is a potential league-winner. These are not secrets. Thinking that players who can swing leagues to that degree would be “sleepers” was a bit naive of us as a group.
-Despite the fumblings with Austin Hooper not making it to us in the eighth round, this team is a tremendous reminder of the power of wide receiver. Stefon Diggs, Brandin Cooks, D.J Moore, Josh Gordon, Sammy Watkins, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling might be the best group of pass-catchers that I have drafted all together in one draft this offseason. The oldest of this group is Josh Gordon at 28. There are potential breakouts for Moore and MVS while Diggs and Cooks have proven to be among fantasy football’s near-elite. Sammy Watkins is one of our biggest positions as a group here at RotoExperts and it would have felt wrong to leave this draft without him. Watkins is only 26, the second wide receiver on the best offense in football and was available in the seventh round. That pick makes itself.
– While we didn’t secure the truly elite Zero RB targets, the group of guys we did get all have positive use cases. This is also probably a moment to diagnose that many things we are very certain of (Tony Pollard IS amazing) are probably not nearly as certain as we would like to project. As a result, ending up with guys like Dion Lewis and Malcolm Brown who are basically an ankle twist away from being top 24 running backs in fantasy football is not the end of the world though it certainly FEELS worse to look at your roster and see Dion Lewis instead of Justice Hill.
-Not getting Austin Hooper and subsequently, over-drafting Delanie Walker was clearly the weak spot of this roster. Either drafting Justice Hill or Greg Olsen where Walker went would go a long way to making this roster feel better. The 1.5 PPR scoring shifts things pretty dramatically towards the top and the middle (Kelce, Kittle, Ertz, Henry, Howard, Engram) but realistically, Delanie Walker getting an extra .5 for his touches isn’t going to swing things.
This was a great experience to put together all of the research and hard work from this offseason into a chance to win life-changing money. We will be aggressive early on in FAAB bidding periods for running backs and tight ends as any sort of upgrade there would transform our team from good to very good. There will be continued updates on this team and its’ progress in the FFPC Main Event on the RotoExperts Fantasy Football Podcast.