I recently participated in my first redraft league of the season and will break down my draft to help explain my thought process for the roster construction of this team. First and foremost, when it comes to drafting you have to know your league’s scoring and lineup settings.
This league’s starting lineup is like Apex, consisting of QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex (RB/WR/TE), K, DEF, and 8 bench spots.
Since we start three wide receivers and it is a PPR format, there’s a premium on the wide receiver position. My strategy heading into the draft was to load up on volume receivers to create a consistent floor for my team each week while grabbing an elite tight end to give me a safe roster.
Then I’ll attack the running back position by going after high upside backs who if they hit would allow my team to be strong at every position and form a truly dominant roster.
I had the 12th pick in the draft and while it’s my least favorite slot, it allows me to grab two great wide receivers at the beginning of the draft.
1.12 – Keenan Allen
Ideally, I would have loved Julio in this spot, but he was taken one pick before me. Regardless, I love Keenan this year as he could realistically lead the league in both targets and receptions. With Hunter Henry out for the season and questionable receivers behind Allen, he’s the clear-cut target monster in this offense and assuming health, there is no reason he can’t finish as a top-three receiver again.
2.01 – Michael Thomas
I knew I was going to take a receiver here and pass on the top running backs available (Kareem Hunt and Dalvin Cook) because it’s a lot easier to replace running back production than high-end receiver production – in large part, due to the high injury rate for running backs.
I selected Michael Thomas because he’s a target machine in a high-powered offense and is likely to finish as a top-six receiver again this season.
3.12 – Zach Ertz
I was happy to select Zach Ertz here as he was the last of the elite TE left. This gives me an advantage at the TE position week in and week out. Ertz provided a huge weekly advantage last year and isn’t likely to slow down as the top target in the Eagles’ high-powered offense.
4.01 – Larry Fitzgerald
I’m really high on Larry Fitzgerald this year as he will likely be top 10 again in both receptions and targets. As the clear WR1 on the Cardinals, Fitz doesn’t have much competition for targets behind him. One could argue that Sam Bradford isn’t necessarily a downgrade from Carson Palmer – if he can stay healthy. Fitz is as safe as it gets in the 4th round.
5.12 – Lamar Miller
For my first selection at running back, I was happy to select a back like Miller. He should be the clear touch leader in an offense that has a chance to be top 10 with Deshaun Watson fully healthy. Miller isn’t a sexy pick but with the volume we can assume he’ll get, he should put up high-end RB2 numbers. D’Onta Foreman is coming back from a nasty Achilles injury and may begin the season on the physically unable to perform list.
6.01- Royce Freeman
Rookie running backs offer an opportunity to gain a cheap running back who will end the season with heavy usage. This was a no-brainer for me as Royce Freeman not only offers immense upside but is a very talented player. Freeman should not be available this late and likely won’t continue to be after his impressive preseason touchdown run.
— NFL (@NFL) August 12, 2018
Freeman is clearly the Broncos’ most talented running back and he should slide into what should be a pretty good offense. He could crack 250 total touches this year and flirt with RB1 value.
7.12 – Kerryon Johnson
This was the toughest decision for me in this draft: choosing between Kerryon Johnson and Tevin Coleman. I ultimately decided to select Johnson as he has the opportunity to receive more touches. Both offer great upside but Coleman is stuck behind Devonta Freeman.
Passing on Coleman could be something I regret, but Kerryon offers true three-down workhorse potential if he can take the reigns in the Detroit backfield. Johnson’s value could be suppressed by Blount being used at the goal-line and Riddick as the third-down back, but talent usually wins out and I’m not afraid of the gamble here. The Lions traded up and spent expensive draft capital to acquire Johnson. In addition, the Lions field one of the league’s best offensive lines and can score in bunches.
Johnson has received glowing reviews so far in training camp and looked great in his first preseason action.
Kerryon Johnson with some moves!!! (called back but w/e) pic.twitter.com/5hxZyzMU5m
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) August 11, 2018
8.01 – Marquise Goodwin
I knew I had to pass on Coleman and take the best wide receiver here as there’s a big drop-off in value after Marquise Goodwin’s tier ends. My goal is to dominate the flex position and Goodwin helps achieve that goal as a player who could be the top receiver in one of the league’s best offense.
Reports out of camp have been nothing but positive for Goodwin with some beat reporters claiming that he is the team’s top receiver. There is no denying that Goodwin and Jimmy Garoppolo formed a special connection last year. Goodwin averaged 14.5 PPR points per game which would have put him on pace for 131 targets, 88 receptions, and 1,232 yards if extrapolated over a full season. Goodwin is a value pick that comes with huge upside.
9.12 – Aaron Jones
I don’t care what anyone says, Aaron Jones is the most talented running back on the Packers roster. Jones absolutely flashed last season averaging 5.6 yards per carry while Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery each didn’t crack 4 yards per carry. Jones put up top 15 running back numbers in three of the four weeks he started. Obviously, he is suspended but he will have the opportunity to earn a very valuable job back once he gets on the field. He offers immense upside in one of the league’s top offenses. If he can win the job, Jones is a league winning selection.
10.01 – DJ Moore
This is my guy. DJ Moore had one of the best prospect profiles we have seen in a wide receiver since Amari Cooper arrived in the NFL. Finding tons of targets for him may be difficult in an offense that has passing game weapons like Christian McCaffrey, Greg Olsen, and Devin Funchess, but in my opinion, he is already the most talented pass catcher on that team.
He is already impressing in camp and is poised to be the No. 2 receiver to start the season. Out of all the wide receiver that remain, he offers the most upside. If he gets 100+ targets we could easily be seeing a top 20 WR. Late in drafts, I love to take bets on talent since that’s where the true upside lies. Moore also looked fantastic in his first preseason game.
— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) August 10, 2018
11.12 – Nyheim Hines
While Nyheim Hines probably doesn’t offer league winning upside due to his profile, he should return solid value as a 3rd down back who will be utilized a lot of different ways in the passing game. He has been impressing in camp and the Colts reportedly have “big designs” for him. The Colts have also been playing Hines in the slot which is huge considering the lack of weapons on their offense. With Andrew Luck back healthy this should be a dynamic offense and Hines can be a major threat with 2017 Duke Johnson-type upside.
12.01 – Chris Godwin
If you are starting to notice the theme here it’s that I’m betting on talent to shine and produce more opportunities than we originally projected for these players. Chris Godwin is a stud. The fact that he is already starting opposite Mike Evans and over DeSean Jackson should speak volumes as to what kind of player he is. When given opportunity last season, Godwin shined. In the four games he received six or more targets last season, he produced at least 68 yards. Keep Godwin in the back of your mind as a late-round flier.
13.12 – Marcus Mariota
Marcus Mariota is one of my favorite players to bounce back this season and he’s extremely cheap. Mariota has consistently flashed talent but has never been paired with a coach who can truly unleash him. With new head coach Mike Vrabel and innovative offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur coming to town, he has a much better chance to succeed than with Mike Mularkey’s “exotic smashmouth” offense.
14.01 – Paul Richardson
Paul Richardson is being overlooked in drafts. Washington paid him $8 million a year to be a producer in the offense. The Redskins offense is being underrated and he could prove to be the top option in the offense. He reminds me of Marvin Jones his first year with the Lions when everyone was super high on him. Don’t sleep on Richardson.
15.12 – Eric Ebron
I wanted to grab a backup tight end before the drop-off in value at the position. Due to the current pass catchers on the Colts outside of TY Hilton, there is a real chance that Eric Ebron can be the 2nd or 3rd option on the Colts this season. Head coach Frank Reich has called him “elite” and Indy Star’s Stephen Holder writes Ebron “has been among the more impressive Colts” during the offseason program. He is a post-hype sleeper this year with a chance to be a TE1.
16.01 – John Ross
I’m not the biggest John Ross fan, but when accounting for his upside he is just being drafted way too late. He should produce splash weeks similar to a DeSean Jackson or Ted Ginn. Reports out of camp are promising and the Bengals are lacking a solid second receiver behind AJ Green. He will have every opportunity to prove himself this year as the Bengals will want to see what they have out of their former top 10 pick.
17.12 – Corey Grant
The Jaguars really like Corey Grant as they put a second-round tender on him as a restricted free agent. He was extremely efficient last year and should be utilized more in the offense this season. Due to Leonard Fournette’s ankle issues, he could have a much bigger role than we anticipate, but even then he will likely be their 3rd down back. He is one of the cheaper 3rd down backs who could put up solid numbers in the receiving game.
18.01 – Christian Kirk
The No. 2 receiver job for the Cardinals is wide open and Christian Kirk is one of this year’s best rookie wide receiver prospects. While it’s unlikely he puts up huge numbers right off the bat, he could see his role increase as the season progresses and provide some nice weeks when given the opportunity.
Notice how I didn’t draft a kicker or a defense. Due to injuries that will inevitably happen in the preseason, it’s best to take shots on players whose value could increase during the preseason. This gives me a month to evaluate my roster then cut two players for a defense and kicker All-in-all, this is a solid team with huge upside if one or two of my late round picks hit.
Tell me what you think of the team on Twitter @Dalton_Kates!