September 2, 2022, 1:22 pm
The SportsEthos staff gathered for a jumbo 14-team, full-point PPR redraft league draft a few weeks ago. This league was meant to be a fun rivalry between the NFL and NBA desks for bragging rights, so you can imagine the trash talk that filled the chat. But for our readers and listeners, it’s also a nice rare peek into one of our actual “expert” leagues (you can see it here including complete draft results). All of our official fantasy NFL analysts are in this league, so it’s also a nice glimpse into how we like to draft and as you’re about to read, how we think through our picks.
Since most of the double-digit rounds enter lottery ticket territory anyways with few picks that qualify as “reaches” that deep in the draft, we’ll only cover the first ten rounds. It’s worth prefacing here that “steals” and “reaches” do not necessarily mean good or bad picks (players can always outperform any draft position, plus hindsight is always 20/20), just that the manager reached further than the current ADP to get the player. This is why it’s not just about the label of one or the other, but specifically the reasoning behind it. So, I’ll just give my perspective on those who jumped out to me and also get some direct quotes from the manager for perspective on why they went with their selection.
Make sure you also follow everyone below on Twitter and tune in to their awesome podcasts. Buckle up!
Full round-by-round draft results here
The teams (by draft order)
- Michael Fiddle (@mfiddle14) – Host of The Advantage: A Breaking News Sports Betting Show podcast
- Stephen Vidovich (@stephenvidovich) – Senior Fantasy Editor
- Ray Lin (@raywlin) – NFL Fantasy Writer
- Patrick Lounsbury (@ballinopinions) – Co-host of SportsEthos Boston Celtics podcast
- Jon Rintoul (@jonrintoul) – NFL Fantasy Writer
- Dan Besbris (@danbez) – Assistant GM, host of Fantasy NBA Today podcast
- Joe Ferro (@thejoeferro) – Co-host of SportsEthos Brooklyn Nets podcast
- David Williams (@NBADWill21) – Co-host of SportsEthos Memphis Grizzlies podcast
- Aaron Bruski (@aaronbruski) – SportsEthos Founder & GM
- Brad Hardin (@bradjarrett67) – Host of SportsEthos Atlanta Hawks podcast
- Candace Haggans (@candaceh901) – Host of Seahawks360 podcast, co-host of SportsEthos Memphis Grizzlies podcast
- JP Sticco (@jpsticco) – Host of Fantasy NFL Today podcast
- Joe Orrico (@joeorrico99) – Host of Fantasy MLB Today podcast and Lead Fantasy Baseball Analyst
- Lucas Gaynor (@luca_gaynor) – Co-host of SportsEthos Boston Celtics podcast
Steal: Davante Adams (ADP: 11th, Actual: 13th, -2 spots) – Joe Orrico
On the surface, a two-spot differential from ADP is small. But, the earlier the round, the more significant each incremental spot is. Plus, in standard 12-teamers you almost always expect Adams to be part of that first-round receiver group in the elite tier. To me, slipping even slightly here is a value going as WR5 especially since you start dipping into the second running back tier anyways at the backend of the first.
Joe: “I wanted to start off with at least one RB, but JP sniped Saquon one pick prior. I thought about going for either (D’Andre) Swift or (Joe) Mixon, but considering it’s full PPR, I was ok to start with a WR. Personally, I would have taken Diggs if he was still available because of the already established chemistry with Allen (plus I think the Gabe Davis hype has gotten out of control). I love Davante, but I’m also banking on him finding chemistry with Carr, which he should be able to do. But the pick isn’t without its risks.”
Reach: Saquon Barkley (ADP: 23rd, Actual: 12th, +11 spots) – JP Sticco
It’s funny that Joe labeled the Saquon pick before him a snipe, since the Quad God was also the most glaring reach. If you’ve listened to his Fantasy NFL Today podcast (and if you haven’t, you should), you know JP is a Giants fan with Northern Jersey connections like myself. So, I wasn’t surprised to see him reach for his man here. Barkley always carries a first-round ceiling, but the developmental offense in a make-or-break year for Daniel Jones is what gives Barkley a lower floor than you’d like to see at this spot.
JP: “Barkley was a no-brainer with potential for finishing as the RB1 in full-PPR leagues. New coach, little talent outside of Barkley and playing from behind often should mean tons of catch opportunities. It’s also a contract year and teams building a new culture won’t just lay down. Many believe the Giants will be bad, but CMC had one of the most prolific PPR years in 2019 when Carolina went 5-11.”
Steal: Deebo Samuel (ADP: 16th, Actual: 25th, -9 spots) – Patrick Lounsbury
With his draft valuation stuck in muddy waters for most of the offseason while his contract situation was left unresolved, Deebo has finally settled in as the WR6 going at 16th overall according to ADP. The fact that he refuted reports about his “wideback” usage and reiterated his willingness to do “whatever it takes to win” is a boon to his fantasy ceiling. Patrick locks in a formidable WR duo with the kind of ceiling to finish as the two top fantasy receivers, especially if Trey Lance can quickly and accurately harness his cannon of an arm.
Patrick: “Definitely wasn’t looking to go WR-WR, but having my WR1 fall to me in the fourth spot, I had to take Jefferson. I was hopeful to get Barkley or Chubb on the next pick, however both went prior so Javonte and Eitinne were the guys I was eyeing. Next thing you know, Deebo is there at pick 25, which for me was too good to pass up and I could get one of the two RBs I liked with my third pick. Very excited to have a build around Jefferson/Deebo especially in a full-PPR league.”
Reach: Tee Higgins (ADP: 33rd, Actual: 26th, +7 spots) – Ray Lin
See, I can be unbiased about my own picks too. Don’t get me wrong, I have no regrets about the pick. Even though this qualifies as a reach compared to ADP, I am totally comfortable with stretching for Higgins, who some may be surprised to learn actually had a slightly higher target share than Ja’Marr Chase last season. Fresh off a stinging Super Bowl loss to the Rams, I believe the Bengals will embark on a revenge tour with one of the best offenses in the league. They also finally seem poised to do a better job of keeping Joe Burrow upright after spending a whopping $74M in free agency along the offensive line (full analysis on that unit here for subscribers), which can only bode well for his pass-catchers like Higgins.
There weren’t any significant values that jumped to me in the third round. In the range of outcomes for David Montgomery, there’s certainly a situation where he can prove to be a decent floor value going at 37th overall to Aaron Bruski given some overall improvement from that Bears offense in its second year with Justin Fields under center. Monty ostensibly has firmer footing on his depth chart compared to Breece Hall and Travis Etienne Jr., both of whom have yet to play a regular season pro snap but went before the Bears’ fourth-year back despite having lower ADPs.
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Reach: Courtland Sutton (ADP: 57th, Actual: 29th, +28 spots) – Michael Fiddle