Recapping the Footballers Writers League Fantasy Draft

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Drafting in a room full of sharks is one thing, but drafting with a room full of people who write for the same website is flat out brutal. Since the entire Footballers writing staff is made up of avid #FootClan supporters, it stands to reason that a few of us have similar thought processes and have access to the same awesome information that the Ballers provide. This past weekend we, along with a budding editor friend who wanted to know how much do editors make, completed our writers league draft, and I can honestly say it was one of the toughest drafts I’ve ever been a part of. There were very few obvious steals and anyone with serious upside was selected a lot earlier than they would be in your home drafts. I wanted to recap the whole draft, and I thought the best way to do it was to cover the first two rounds in detail, and then identify the top reaches and steals the rest of the way. 

Even though this was our draft, you can use it for your own leagues to identify when it’s reasonable to pick your favorite sleeper or upside pick. If you use ADP and site rankings, it might scare you off of your favorite guy because you feel like you’re reaching too much. At the very least, you can use this as an excuse for when you get made fun of for taking someone way before their ADP. All of us are giving you permission to say “even ___ took him that early, and he writes for the #FootClan!”. 

The full draft board is at the bottom of the article. Drop a comment and let us know who won, or better yet, hit us up on Twitter directly and I can promise you a personalized gif in response. Each writer’s handle is linked to their Twitter page. 

Note: This was a half-ppr, 3WR/2Flex league with standard benches and scoring everywhere else.

Round 1

1.01: @DFSnDonutsSaquon Barkley
1.02: @FFGougeChristian McCaffrey
1.03: @LarsonaaEzekiel Elliott
1.04: @JeffGreenWouldAlvin Kamara
1.05: @TheFFGatorDavid Johnson
1.06: @MPW270DeAndre Hopkins
1.07: @MatthewbetzDavante Adams
1.08: @YatersGonnaYateOdell Beckham Jr. 
1.09: @JayGrizFFLTodd Gurley
1.10:@Kyl3borgJulio Jones
1.11: @StepMomLaurenLe’Veon Bell
1.12: @TheFantasyFiveJames Conner

We didn’t see any real fireworks in round one, but Gurley at the 1.09 is worth noting. You will likely see him off the board at this spot in most of your home leagues, but I wouldn’t blame anyone for favoring Nick Chubb or James Conner instead. Aaron Larson faced the choice that has been agonizing drafters everywhere by still taking Zeke at three and I don’t blame him. The upside Zeke gives you is undeniable and most people still believe he will be ready for week one.

Round 2 

2.01: @TheFantasyFive – Travis Kelce
2.02: @StepMomLaurenJuJu Smith-Schuster
2.03: @Kyl3borgDalvin Cook
2.04: @JayGrizFFLDavid Montgomery 
2.05: @YatersGonnaYateNick Chubb
2.06: @MatthewbetzMichael Thomas
2.07: @MPW270Joe Mixon
2.08: @TheFFGatorTyreek Hill
2.09: @JeffGreenWouldMike Evans 
2.10: @LarsonaaKerryon Johnson
2.11: @FFGougeKeenan Allen
2.12: @DFSnDonutsT.Y Hilton

Round two had a few surprises, that’s for sure. The cardboard Bear cutout shouldn’t be held responsible for all of his picks, but David Montgomery in the second round is the most obvious miss of the whole draft. Even if Montgomery returns value on his ridiculous hype, there’s very little chance that he outperforms the guys drafted after him. I was surprised that Tyreek Hill was available when I was on the clock, but you can make a case for any of the receivers in that middle tier to return top-end WR1 value. Aaron channeled his inner Jason Moore and took Kerryon much earlier than I’ve seen in other drafts, but given his upside and how thin the running back pool was at that point, I have no real complaints about that.

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These two rounds went according to plan, so let’s take a look at the rest of the draft before seeing the draftboard and run through the picks that provoked a few raised eyebrows. 

Biggest Reaches

David Montgomery – @JayGriz at the 2.04 

There’s not much we can say about this one, except “family first”. A cardboard bear chose a bear, so I can respect that. Montgomery is gaining steam at a ridiculous rate which brings up way too many memories of Royce Freeman from last year. His upside is evident, but this was a clear reach. 

Travis Kelce – @TheFantasyFive at 2.01 

Kelce has been going in the second round in a lot of drafts, which is likely a product of the offseason that saw him nearly creep into the first round. All the signs pointed to Tyreek Hill being absent for a big part of the year, but since that never came to fruition it limits Kelce’s ceiling a bit. This wasn’t a completely shocking pick, but it was certainly a reach given the opportunity cost sunk into it. Passing on a high end back this early for a tight end is risky, but it’s also the kind of move that can win you a tough league so I can see the logic. I would avoid this move in most home leagues. 

Zach Ertz – @DFSnDonuts at 3.01 

Ertz had a monster 2018 campaign, but there’s a lot of red flags about his target share this season including a few that were raised from Ertz himself. He broke the single season reception record for a tight end last year, which means you’re banking on a similar output if you take him this early. Dallas Goedert is emerging as a weapon in the red zone and the Eagles have a lot of mouths to feed all over the field. Ertz should still be a top five tight end, but this was a big time reach. 

James White at 4.02 and Tarik Cohen at 5.02 – @Stepmomlauren 

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Lauren is one of the hardest working people on our staff, so I feel terrible for this. Both Cohen and White are locked into pass catching roles on their offenses, but the draft capital spent here to roster them was significant. Our league uses Ballers preferred scoring, which means it’s half-ppr for every position. Cohen relied a lot on big plays and a big target share, while White benefited heavily from Sony Michel’s injury. With the additions of David Montgomery and Damien Harris to their respective offenses, it’s hard to envision a world where both of them can repeat their performance in 2019. It’s never a good idea to rely on pass catching running backs since they’re so unpredictable, and in this case you’re doubling down since the backfields got even more crowded.  Both players are a tough sell at their ADPs, and it’s especially risky when you reach two or three rounds for them.

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Best Values 

Chris Carson – @JeffGreenWould at 4.09

This isn’t exactly a hot take, but Chris Carson is ascending. Carson was an RB1 for the home stretch last year and he was one of the few true league winners. The Seattle organization is clearly fond of him as a player and they’ve been adimate about his 1A role on the team. The departure of Mke Davis presents an opportunity for Rashaad Penny to outplay his ADP, but it also leaves room for Carson to see a slight uptick in work. The only thing that could slow him down is an injury, but at this point that can be said for just about every back in the league. Jeff drafted him as the RB23, which is a crazy value given the rock solid volume projection. 

 Tevin Coleman – @TheFantasyPT at 5.07 

I take partial credit for this one since I passed on Coleman in favor of Miles Sanders and immediately regretted it. The Niners backfield was a complete mess a few months ago, but it’s whittled itself down to a two horse race. Coleman and his head coach already have an established history and the offense projects to be much improved in 2019. Coleman will see a lot of volume and goal line work, and has one less player to worry about when he looks over his shoulder. 

Jameis Winston – @AALarson at 14.10 

It’s no secret that the entire world loves Chris Godwin. Mike Evans is a lock to finish as a top fifteen guy if he stays healthy. OJ Howard has the chance to ascend into the top tiers of the TE landscape. If all of these things are widely accepted, shouldn’t we expect the quarterback getting them the ball to have a monster year too? Jameis Winston is severely undervalued, regardless of his past. Bruce Arians brings a high level passing attack with him and we’ve already seen Jameis perform like a fantasy star. This one was a no brainer, and a dynamite pick by Larson. 

Justin Jackson – @KyleYNFL – at 10.05 

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The gap between Austin Ekeler and Jackson is WAY too big. It’s clear that Ekeler is an important piece of the offense and should get a lot of work if Melvin Gordon stays sidelined, but he’s not the only one. Jackson has experience with a high volume role from his time at Northwestern, and his preseason play has been impressive. It’s very likely that the Chargers deploy a two back system to replace Gordon and Ekeler whiffed on his chance to carry the load last year. Jackson is being criminally undervalued given his role in an elite offense, even if he’s the 1B. 


Best Teams: Mr. Borgognoni has a great one and I have to be biased and claim my own as one of the top squads. Both Yates and Matthew Betz have solid squads, although Betz reached on Luck a bit. The FantasyPT? More like the FantasyPU, cause that pick stunk!.

Teams with an uphill battle: Lauren’s team looks a little rough, and JayGriz dug a hole and didn’t do much to climb out. Mitch made some questionable picks early on, but his team leveled out by the time the draft was finished.

All in all, this was a damn consistent draft and anything could happen once the season kicks off. The full draft board is below, so I leave it up to the #FootClan to chime in here about who won. Hit us up on Twitter or comment on the Ballers page and let us know which staff member you’re tagging along with for this season. 


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