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Beat Chris Liss 1
The first Beat Chris Liss, a 12-team PPR league, took place last night (June 27 at 5 pm ET.) I drew the third pick (because I missed the short window between the league filling and KDS being set.) This was unfortunate because I wanted to draft Saquon Barkley about whom I recently tweeted the following:
Barkley’s ADP over the last four drafts of this kind was 16, so at pick three (and it being a beat Chris Liss league with people who read my tweets) I was unlikely to get him on the way back. Ideally, I would have picked 9th or 10th, gotten Barkley and a better player in Rounds 2 and 3, or even gambled by taking someone else late in Round 1 and getting Barkley early in Round 2.
But I was stuck with pick three, so that wasn’t happening. I was initially resigned to taking Ja’Marr Chase, my top WR. But as I thought about it, Barkley is healthy, likely in a much better situation than previous seasons and probably will catch 70-plus passes if he plays a full season. He was my top back after Jonathan Taylor who will go 1.1 in virtually every draft, so if I wanted a back, he was the pick. When in doubt, ask what a Real Man would do, and do the opposite. But I did the opposite of the opposite and took Barkley anyway.
Here’s the entirety of the draft:
(Click to enlarge)
1.3 Saquon Barkley — He’s criminally underpriced at current ADP and will be a mid-to-late first rounder in August. He’s an all-world talent, who is now two years removed from the ACL tear, in a more-likely-to-be credible offense for the first time, behind an improved offensive line and slated for heavy use. If you look at skills, health, opportunity and team context, and forget what happened under Joe Judge and Pat Shurmur behind abominable offensive lines, he’s the RB2.
2.10 Mike Evans — It was Evans or AJ Brown, and I went Evans, who returns with Tom Brady, no Rob Gronkowski (for now) and Chris Godwin coming back from injury. I’d expect him to get a bigger workload, while Brown is younger and more explosive, but on a new team.
3.10 Travis Etienne — He’s coming off a major injury, but he’s appears healthy, has his college QB and is a major talent, especially as a pass-catcher.
4.4 DK Metcalf — I wanted Kyle Pitts here (and thought I’d get him based on ADP), but he went at the turn, so I settled for Metcalf. Metcalf is recovering from foot surgery, but assuming he’s fine by training camp, I want shares. Russell Wilson is gone, but sometimes it’s better for a physically dominant No. 1 receiver to have a mediocre QB who throws picks, puts the team in passing situations and locks in on him. Plus, Wilson had a great rapport with Tyler Lockett, and Drew Lock/Geno Smith might lean on Metcalf more.
5.10 Elijah Moore — He was so hyped in training camp last year, disappointed initially, and then while healthy, absolutely lived up to it, despite being paired with a who’s who of scrubby quarterbacks. Year 2, he could be a top-10 receiver, even with the added competition for targets.
6.3 Patrick Mahomes — I thought about AJ Dillion, but if you can get Mahomes in the sixth in a six-point-per-passing-TD league, you take him. Maybe he’s more conservative without Tyreek Hill, but he’ll find a way to 35 TDs minimum, especially in a division built for shoot-outs.
7.10 Miles Sanders — I wanted a third back early with Barkley and Etienne having no track record of durability. Sanders was a first-round pick two years ago and still looked good when they used him last year.
8.3 Kadarius Toney — This was a mistake. I had T.J. Hockenson queued up and then forgot to look at my TE list and grabbed Toney instead. Don’t get me wrong, I love Toney — he’s a first-rate talent, and the team knows it. It’s just that he’s also injury prone and perhaps a bit of a head case. But like Moore, top-10 WR upside if things click.
9.10 Rhamondre Stevenson — It was he or Cordarrelle Patterson, and I was torn. Stevenson was my target, but I didn’t expect Patterson to fall this far. In the end, I went with youth, and maybe should have taken Patterson and gambled Stevenson would come back.
10.3 Ronald Jones — Patterson went with the very next pick, so I settled for Ronald Jones, a hard early-down runner in a great situation on the Chiefs.
11.10 Albert Okwuegbunam — Pat Freiermuth was my target here, but he went a few picks ahead of me, so I grabbed my first TE. He’s paired with Russell Wilson, but there are a lot of mouths to feed in Denver.
12.3 Irv Smith — Smith was a huge target of mine last year before he torn his ACL in training camp, but I still like him in a thin passing game. I considered Mecole Hardman to pair with Mahomes, but wanted two upside TEs since I passed on Hockenson earlier.
13.10 Justin Tucker — I always reach for Tucker. Spreadsheet bros will tell you kicker scoring is random, but if they believe that, I’m happy to offer them a bet Tucker, by far the greatest kicker in NFL history, finishes top-10 out of the 32 team kickers. Should be easy money for them if kicker scoring is truly random.
14.3 Sony Michel — Michel is a good running back. We’ll see whether he stays healthy, but he should head the early-down part of the committee in Miami if he does.
15.10 Jalen Tolbert — Amari Cooper is gone, and Michael Gallup is coming back from a January ACL tear. Tolbert has a good chance to be involved, and I was thin at WR.
16.3 Marvin Jones — Jones is old, but he should see 100 targets if he has anything left in the tank.
17.10 49ers Defense — They get a bad Seattle team twice this year, and they play the Bears in Week 1.
18.3 Samaje Perine — Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t he’s second on the depth chart for one of the better offenses in the league?
19.10 Amari Rodgers — Year 2 is when receivers typically break out, and there’s no one in Green Bay with a lock on the Aaron Rodgers’ targets.
20.3 Rob Gronkowski — I almost took Danny Dimes here, but I can always pick him up via waivers, while Gronk is a nice lottery ticket if his retirement was just a ploy to avoid OTAs and training camp.
Full Roster By Position
QB Patrick Mahomes
RB Saquon Barkley/Travis Etienne
WR Mike Evans/DK Metcalf/Elijah Moore
FLEX Miles Sanders/Kadarius Toney
TE Irv Smith/Albert Okwuegbunam
K Justin Tucker
Bench Rhamondre Stevenson/Ronald Jones/Sony Michel/Jalen Tolbert/Marvin Jones/Samaje Perine/Rob Gronkowski