First MFL10 Of 2017: Draft Analysis Rounds 1-5

We have completed the first 5 rounds of my very first MFL10 of 2017. Obviously it’s very early but already there are some major trends and questionable decisions (in my opinion) in the draft. Let’s take a look.

Round 1

  1. David Johnson, RB
  2. Le’Veon Bell, RB
  3. Antonio Brown, WR
  4. Ezekiel Elliott, RB
  5. Julio Jones, WR
  6. Odell Beckham, Jr., WR
  7. Mike Evans, WR
  8. A.J. Green, WR
  9. Jordy Nelson, WR
  10. T.Y. Hilton, WR
  11. Devonta Freeman, RB
  12. Amari Cooper, WR

The first thing that stands out is how wide receiver heavy the first round was. 8 of the 12 picks went to wide receivers. This seems to be the norm from most of the MFL10 drafts I have seen.

Picking from the 2 spot I decided to employ a 3QB, 3RB, 9WR, 2TE, 3DEF strategy. This is a new strategy that won at over an 11% rate last year albeit in a small sample. Since I was picking so early and guaranteed to get one of the stud running backs I figured I could take more risk by rostering less running backs. I was more than happy to get Bell with this pick.

My first questionable pick was T.Y. Hilton at the 10th spot. Yes, Hilton had a great year in 2016 but I’m worried about regression. He benefited greatly from injuries as he saw over 150 targets for the first time in his career. Prior to 2016 his target numbers were 90, 139, 131 and 134. If Donte Moncrief can stay healthy next year I can see Hilton’s targets dipping back into the 130 range. A first round pick on him just seems too high. If I wanted a WR in this slot I would have preferred Dez Bryant or Michael Thomas. And if you read my WR rankings you know I love Doug Baldwin in 2017 as well.

The pick that really surprised me in round 1 was Amari Cooper with the 12th pick. He’s basically in a Demaryius Thomas/Emmanuel Sanders situation with Michael Crabtree. As I mentioned above if I was set on drafting a WR here I would have preferred Bryant or Thomas. In fact drafting out of the 12 spot I probably would have taken Bryant and Thomas back to back.

Round 2

  1. Dez Bryant, WR
  2. Melvin Gordon, RB
  3. Michael Thomas, WR
  4. Rob Gronkowski, TE
  5. Jordan Howard, RB
  6. Allen Robinson, WR
  7. LeSean McCoy, RB
  8. DeAndre Hopkins, WR
  9. Brandin Cooks, WR
  10. Doug Baldwin, WR
  11. Todd Gurley, RB
  12. Jay Ajayi, RB

Well sometimes plans just don’t work out like you thought. I was really hoping I could land either Doug Baldwin or Brandin Cooks with this pick but they both got sniped right before my turn. Sometimes that’s how it goes. With 14 wide receivers off the board already running back presented a tremendous value and I couldn’t pass it up. I really like Gurley to bounce back in 2017 and he’s a guaranteed high volume guy. It was close between him and Jay Ajayi for me. I may regret this pick but for this draft I decided to roll with Gurley.

As for the round there were definitely more questionable picks in my opinion. Though I like Allen Robinson and DeAndre Hopkins to bounce back in 2017 I would easily take both Cooks and Baldwin over either of them.

Michael Thomas at 15 is a steal in my opinion. Being the number one receiver with Drew Brees at quarterback is a fantasy dream. I like him to enter the top 10 this year and wouldn’t be surprised if he finished top 5. I also really like the Jordan Howard pick, think he has huge potential this year. Seeing LeSean McCoy drop to the middle of the second round is somewhat surprising. Yes there are some concerns but he was basically the entire Buffalo offense last year. This seems to be the trend in these early drafts though and I can only think people are scared off by injury history and age (29).

Round 3

  1. Alshon Jeffrey, WR
  2. Keenan Allen, WR
  3. Sammy Watkins, WR
  4. Dalvin Cook, RB
  5. Lamar Miller, RB
  6. DeMarco Murray, RB
  7. Leonard Forunette, RB
  8. Carlos Hyde, RB
  9. Mark Ingram, RB
  10. Jordan Reed, TE
  11. Spencer Ware, RB
  12. Aaron Rodgers, QB

Holy run on running backs batman. Seven running backs were taken in this round including six straight. With 2 running backs in my pocket already I had decided I was going wide receiver. I was really targeting Alshon Jeffrey but once again I got sniped. Though Keenan Allen is a risk with his injury history, he offers tremendous upside. If he can stay healthy he can easily finish as a top 10 wide receiver this season.

Dalvin Cook and Leonard Fournette are already being drafted fairly high in most drafts I’ve seen. No doubt these guys are talented and could play well at the next level, but we haven’t even seen where they will end up. They could very easily end up behind an established back a la Derrik Henry. It will be interesting to see how their ADP’s change after the draft.

It was good to see Jordan Reed go off as the second tight end. When healthy he is an absolute stud and offers huge upside. I like him to finish as TE1 this season.

Round 4

  1. Jarvis Landry, WR
  2. Davante Adams, WR
  3. Travis Kelce, TE
  4. Demaryius Thomas, WR
  5. Michael Crabtree, WR
  6. C.J. Anderson, RB
  7. Julian Edelman, WR
  8. Isaiah Crowell, RB
  9. Stefon Diggs, WR
  10. Joe Mixon, RB
  11. Golden Tate, WR
  12. Andrew Luck, QB

It only took 1 round but everyone was back to drafting wide receivers. I was really hoping Julian Edelman would fall to me but once again it wasn’t meant to be. When it was my turn to pick I really debated between Golden Tate and Emmanuel Sanders. Tate got the slight edge for me because of his quarterback and his emergence as the number one option in that Detroit offense. Greg Olsen was also a thought of mine but decided to gamble and hope he was there after the turn.

While I like Joe Mixon the player, this seems like a real reach to me. He’s sporting an ADP of 91 so far in MFL drafts and wasn’t even invited to the combine. NFL teams may get scared away because of his off the field incident and he may not end up in the greatest of situations. Time will tell.

Round 5

  1. Corey Coleman, WR
  2. Greg Olsen, TE
  3. Tevin Coleman, RB
  4. Thomas Rawls, RB
  5. Adrian Peterson, RB
  6. Emmanuel Sanders, WR
  7. Donte Moncrief, WR
  8. Tyreek Hill, WR
  9. Kelvin Benjamin, WR
  10. Christian McCaffrey, RB
  11. Brandon Marshall, WR
  12. Derrik Henry, RB

Sanders was an enticing pick here but I wanted to make sure I got a top tight end as my plan is to only draft two. I felt if I didn’t draft Olsen now he wouldn’t be available when it came back to me. Despite Cam Newton having a bad year (by his standards) Olsen still finished with over 13 PPR fantasy points per game. If Newton plays closer to his expectations this year Olsen should continue to be a stud.

This seems too high for Corey Coleman unless Cleveland moves on from Terelle Pryor (which would be crazy but completely possible for that organization). With receivers like Sanders, Larry Fitzgerald, Donte Moncrief and even Pryor available it seems like there were better options.

I’m still seeing love for AP and I just don’t get it. He’s played 8 games in the last 2 years and hasn’t looked particularly good in any of them. Coming off knee surgery and turning 32 in just a few weeks it’s hard to see him regaining form.

Recap

Through 5 rounds I’d give my team a B. I was *this* close to having an A draft but getting sniped happens. Still I’m in a good place to build a 3 RB/9 WR team that can win. Next time I’ll cover rounds 6-10. Good luck to all of you drafting!

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