2018 Dynasty Startup – Most Controversial Selections
We asked our writers to select their most controversial selections from our recent dynasty startup mock. The answers were terrific and included players who were too young, too old, too boring, or just played the wrong position.
Most Controversial Selections
I offer my take on the controversial picks, but be sure to give yours in the comments.
2017’s Breakout WR Is An Impending Star
Based on the twitter reaction, apparently the selection of JuJu Smith-Schuster at 3.05 was a bit controversial and I’m not sure I agree. Sure, there’s a bit of risk taking a player with only one season of success over some of the proven assets, but he’s extremely young and already has a top-30 season.
Personally, I think my selection of Jimmy Graham at 9.05 is more controversial. Graham is a free agent and is 31. My selection of him was based on his likelihood to maintain value because of his particular skill set. No matter what team he ends up on, he’s going to have value in the red zone because he’s 6-foot-7.
However, because of the risk with a 31-year old TE, I added Jonnu Smith for some long-term security. – Matt Wispe
Although there are other concerns beyond Smith-Schuster’s single-year track record – competition with Antonio Brown for targets, a change at offensive coordinator, and the eventual retirement of Ben Roethlisberger – receivers who break out early in college and early in the NFL are among the safest and highest-upside players in fantasy. This is the absolute latest Smith-Schuster should come off the board.
One More Year for the Legend
I took Larry Fitzgerald at 8.12, basically the same spot he went last January — when he was one year younger, his quarterback and head coach hadn’t just retired, and the rumors of Fitzgerald himself retiring weren’t quite as loud. Realistically, I might have landed Fitzgerald two rounds later at 10.12. But I didn’t have a strong preference among the half-dozen or so youngsters I would have drafted instead, and indeed two of them – Josh Doctson and Isaiah Crowell – fell to my next two picks. Plus, a 35-year-old WR coming off a strong season doesn’t project much differently going forward than a 34-year-old WR coming off a strong season. – Brian Malone
When you can get the WR5 at a WR49 price, that’s a good deal even if it’s for a one-year rental. However, the changes in Arizona are more of a concern than Fitzgerald’s age. Since turning 29, Fitzgerald hasn’t been QB proof in his results.
Anticipating the Run on Young Tight Ends
I took Hunter Henry (5.06) a bit early in hindsight. I didn’t see anyone I liked at the time of the pick, and with Ole Man Gates probably gone, he has a lot of upside. None of the names that went the next few picks make me wish I made another choice. – Tod Burros
This selection may have been a round early with the final handful of solid WRs still available and a few intriguing RBs like Duke Johnson, Tevin Coleman, and Kenyan Drake still remaining. O.J Howard (7.01) and David Njoku (7.04) were better buys a round-and-a-half later, but locking down a foundation piece at TE helps with overall roster construction.
There’s No Such Thing as Reaching on C.J. Prosise
There is no real way to justify taking C.J. Prosise in the 12th round. I am obsessed with him, still believe he has the ability to be great, and refuse to let him be great on any team other than my own. He’s been healthy for roughly 7 minutes and 34 seconds in his career.1 – Anthony Amico
C.J. Prosise chasing will never get a bad rap at RotoViz.
Waiting on QB Is Even More Important in Dynasty
Not sure which pick would really be all the controversial, so I will say that Jared Goff in the back of the seventh round might have been a tad early. Waiting for quarterback is usually my modus operandi, but, having seen some other quarterbacks go earlier, I tried to be ahead of any run that might happen. Alas, it never did. – Jeremy Marin
This draft was a good reminder of the QB depth. Young QBs like Marcus Mariota (9.04) and Patrick Mahomes (11.07) were available later. Solid veterans like Kirk Cousins (12.07) and Matt Ryan (13.07) were available much later, and palatable streamers like Philip Rivers (17.07) and Alex Smith (20.04) languished until the final rounds. It probably made sense to wait here, and the same was likely true for every QB selection in the first 10 rounds.
Josh Gordon’s Suspension Risk Is Priced In
This is uncontroversial in the sense that Jeremy Marin would’ve selected Josh Gordon (4.02) with the next pick. But depending on your league, Gordon could fall much further than 38th overall. My view on Gordon is that his lifetime risk of getting kicked out of the league is probably 90 percent. But his risk of getting kicked out this year is maybe 50 percent. The fact that he’s succeeded in coming back multiple times is a positive–most players with substance abuse problems never do.
We are in the Devin Funchess section of the draft. Gordon has twice as many 200-yard games (2) as Funchess has 100-yard games (1). Gordon isn’t a lock to be a WR1 if he plays, but his upside is equal to any WR in the game, and he is in a situation where he has a good chance at heavy target volume. In my view there are no sure things at this point in the draft, so I’ll take a coin flip on a shot at a short-term stud, and a 20-sided die roll on a game-changing dynasty asset. – Devin McIntyre
I’m not as worried about a career-ending suspension now that Gordon has made it all the way back, although he has a lifelong battle ahead. The situation in Cleveland, however, is a nightmare. Worst coach of all time (Hue Jackson) is now married to an overrated GM (John Dorsey) who destroyed the cap in KC while building a thin roster.
Gordon faces potential target competition from Corey Coleman and David Njoku while he tries to catch passes from … Josh Allen? On the other hand, the Browns have nowhere to go but up and should benefit from the young pieces stockpiled by the Sashi Brown regime. Look for Cleveland to trade Coleman and draft Sam Darnold, and for this pick to look very good in 12 months.
Betting on a Young Fifth-Year Breakout
Robert Woods at 3.12 probably qualifies as my most controversial pick. In the context of this mock, I’m comfortable with it, and here’s why:
- He was the 21st WR taken in this draft. On a per-game basis, he was WR18 in 2017. He was also top-20 in targets.
- He’s still just 25 years old, is locked in to a valuable contract, and appears to be connected to a serviceable quarterback and competent head coach. The same can’t be said for some other WRs taken near him in this draft.
- Woods might be better than you think. Remember that he began his career in Buffalo, which hasn’t had great quarterback play or head coaching. Buffalo was also committed to Watkins in a way that the Rams aren’t. On a per game basis over the past four years, here’s how Woods stacks up to some similarly drafted WRs.
- And if we narrow our focus to just 2017:
Taking Woods this early in the draft could certainly backfire, but considering his 2017 campaign, and my depth at the position, I’m happy to take the chance. – Charles Kleinheksel
Last year I looked at 99 WR Breakouts Over 16 Years and pointed out that nine of the 13 fifth-year breakouts did so after changing teams. Woods and Marquise Goodwin were both mentioned as players to watch, and they both returned value. The fifth-year breakout cohort has worse subsequent season results than those who break out earlier, but it also includes players who went on to second-tier stardom like Emmanuel Sanders, Doug Baldwin, Joe Horn, Julian Edelman, and Derrick Mason.
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- Not an actual statistic, but if you own Prosise you know how it feels. (back)