Return of the Running Back – RotoViz Dynasty Draft Round 2
I didn’t include any Best Pick/Worst Pick analysis in my 1st Round Review. The 2013 fantasy pool is so deep that it’s difficult to make a bad first round selection. (Usually almost any RB selection from pick 5 to pick 12 is decidedly sub-optimal. That’s not the case this year, and the main reason I’m strongly recommending a return to the RB-RB strategy this season.)
Every pick in the first round was completely defensible and the unusual picks were more intriguing than disconcerting. There simply wasn’t a Worst Pick. One significant oversight did occur, however. Jamaal Charles fell out of the first round despite being the best running back in football and entering a situation which should throw rocket fuel on his fantasy prospects.
Since I liked all of the first round picks, I’m not sure who should have eschewed their selection for Charles. Except that probably, I should have. Anyway, I remedied that by trading up to take Charles with the first pick in the second round.
RotoViz Dynasty League – 2nd Round
15. Jamaal Charles (Banana Stand via trade) – You know I don’t like Marshawn Lynch when I work a discussion of Charles’ genius into a explanation of why Lynch is a Strong Sell. Nobody has better vision than Jamaal Charles and only C.J. Spiller has better burst. Don’t be surprised if JC Superstar makes a run at the single season yards from scrimmage record.
16. LeSean McCoy (Charles Kleinheksel via trade) – McCoy probably falls because of 2012 injury woes and the possibility that his receptions will decline in the Chip Kelly system. McCoy is still very young; he’s Doug Martin’s senior by six months (for more fun RB age facts, try Trent Richardson, Maeby Funke, and RB Age). PFF has McCoy as the No. 4 dynasty back, making him a ridiculous value here.
17. Alfred Morris (Max Mulitz via trade) – After the run on WRs in the first round, guys are trading up to snatch the runners who have fallen. The RB Similarity Score App likes Morris as a slight upgrade on players like McCoy and Lynch. The Next Terrell Davis just recorded one of the best rookie running back seasons in NFL history. He’s a strong candidate to lead the NFL in touchdowns this season.
18. Cam Newton (James Goldstein) – Revlis Football was following a Don’t Give a F*ck strategy that is position agnostic. Newton’s first two seasons are basically unparalleled in NFL history, and most like him as the No. 2 quarterback in dynasty. I defended Jon Moore’s decision to take Aaron Rodgers with the fifth overall pick, and a similar case could be made for the Panthers signal caller. However, the RotoViz rules heavily emphasize QB passing stats over rushing ability, which dampens my enthusiasm for a quarterback who has Greg Olsen and Brandon LaFell as his secondary and tertiary targets.
19. Matt Forte (Charles Kleinheksel) – I’m not sure I like Forte this early at his age, but he is younger than Adrian Peterson. Charles makes an excellent case for his runner as a dynasty building block and also explains how Marc Trestman’s offense is going to be a huge boon for the Chicago offense.
20. Randall Cobb (Jacob Myers) – Cobb represents something of a flashpoint for RotoViz writers as he doesn’t necessarily fit our Platonic ideal of a No. 1 receiver. I took the negative on Cobb in a Rap Battle with Frank DuPont, suggesting Cobb’s athleticism and situation are both overrated. The Fantasy Douche countered by pointing out that if he was good enough to put up the numbers he posted in 2012, there’s little reason to doubt him with Aaron Rodgers as his QB. I’ve come over to the Dark Side a little on this topic after updating my study on Possession Receiver Sustainability for the PFF Draft Guide. Interestingly, Jacob himself recently explained how Cecil Shorts was a screaming bargain in relation to Cobb . . . foreshadowing.
21. Rob Gronkowski (Banana Stand) – Last season I had Gronkowski as my No. 2 overall dynasty player behind Calvin Johnson. His future has clouded significantly, but most reports suggest his back surgery is “minor.” In a race to be ready for Week 1, Gronkowski is younger than Coby Fleener and Rob Housler. The long term value for the man they call Duchess is astronomical as long as his injuries do not become chronic or degenerative.
22. David Wilson (Fantasy Douche) – Frank recently suggested that Wilson is either wildly underrated or wildly overrated. He’s obviously betting on underrated by selecting him here. His article demonstrates how the lead back in the Giants system is almost always a big time fantasy asset, and Ryan Rouillard uses his innovative model to demonstrate that Wilson is likely to emerge from a possible timeshare with Andre Brown as the back to own.
23. Percy Harvin (Davis Mattek) – The Fantasy Douche just finished a four part series eviscerating the value of Harvin. In summary, the Seahawks will either have to change their offense to accommodate Harvin as a glorified WR screen guy or Harvin will have to dramatically improve on his yards per target. Others are more confident. PFF ranks him No. 7 at WR. As a WR1, Harvin profiles as high floor and low ceiling. His selection in dynasty leagues is a matter of roster fit.
24. Jordy Nelson (Jon Moore) – Nelson is a prototypical No. 1 receiver, fitting the template that RotoViz loves. (Jon has dedicated himself to finding breakout candidates that are similar to Nelson, calling it the Eric Decker Filter.) Conventional wisdom suggests this is a little early for Nelson, but I would side with Jon here. The Packers’ best receiver is undervalued in both redraft and dynasty formats.
25. Marshawn Lynch (Ryan Lessard) – If you want to know why Lynch is such a great value at this point in the draft, check out Jon Krouner’s outstanding piece detailing why Lynch is a Strong Buy. Replete with interesting and salient statistical splits, Jon shows how Lynch benefitted from Russell Wilson, will receive a further boost from Percy Harvin, and could have his best year yet in 2013.
26. Aaron Hernandez (Jon Krouner) – Jon Bales has adroitly employed the RotoViz TE Similarity Score App to suggest Hernandez is significantly overvalued. Frank suggests avoiding early round TEs and going after Greg Olsen, in part because Hernandez is not very efficient on a per play basis. Davis asks whether Hernandez is injury-prone and answers with a tentative yes. It’s rarely a good idea to bet against Jon, Frank, and Davis, but I’m going to cast my ballot with Krouner here. Hernandez may be the Percy Harvin of tight ends, but that’s all you really care about in the fantasy game. Only Graham and Gronkowski have been better on a per game basis over the last two years. Gronkowski is always hurt and Graham is surprisingly old. I was recently even tempted to trade Graham for Hernandez in the PFF Dynasty league.
27. Roddy White (Ryan Rouillard) – Scott Spratt has a new article up at PFF Fantasy that shows why he was the FSTA Newcomer of the Year in 2012. It demonstrates the way a league-wide emphasis on youth in dynasty leagues can create the opportunity for win-now teams that are 10% better than the best possible redraft team. In pairing White with Calvin Johnson, Ryan creates the foundation of a team that should be an automatic playoff contender in a league where participants may need to start as many as five wide receivers.
28. Lamar Miller (Jonathan Bales) – Selecting Miller here – and Drew Brees at the turn – was a gutsy move as it left Jonathan without a top flight receiver in a very WR-heavy league. (He had a nifty trick up his sleeve to remedy this in the middle rounds.) Miller fell to the 4th Round of the 2012 reality draft when NFL teams bizarrely selected a flurry of scatbacks in rounds two and three. A similar talent to David Wilson, the former Miami product faces little competition for carries with the Dolphins. Despite his year of experience, he’s younger than Mike Gillislee, and Gillislee doesn’t project as an NFL prospect anyway.