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I did my final draft last night, the $1750-buy-in NFFC Primetime. I drew the seventh pick (my first choice), hoping to get Saquon Barkley in the first round, Javonte Williams in the second and either Kyle Pitts or D.J. Moore in the third, all easily achieveable per recent Primetime ADP.
Here’s how it actually went:
1.7 Saquon Barkley — I pretty much knew I’d get him at seven. The only scenario where I didn’t, I’d either get one of the top receivers (with which I was good) or, worst case — if the first six picks went Jonathan Taylor, Christian McCaffrey, Justin Jefferson, Cooper Kupp, Ja’Marr Chase and Barkley — I’d pass on Austin Ekeler and take Stefon Diggs. But when Ekeler went fifth, I was in the clear.
2.6 A.J. Brown — I wanted Javonte Williams who was going 3-4 picks later per recent ADP, but got sniped by one pick. My pivot was Aaron Jones, but I knew receivers would fly off the board, and ideally I didn’t want to start RB-RB for that reason. I was only willing to do it because Williams has so much ceiling, so when he went I changed my mnd and took Brown. (Michael Pittman was also an option, but I like Brown ever-so-slightly more.)
3.6 Travis Etienne — An hour before the draft it occurred to me that even though both Moore and Pitts were going in the second half of Round 3, I should have a backup plan in the unlikely event both were gone. Hilariously, both were gone in Round 2, eons before my pick was up. I was a bit panicked because I really did not have a good pivot, and the player I liked, Etienne, had been going at the first or second pick of Round 3. It was torture waiting for Etienne to get to me — I would have had to pivot to someone like Jaylen Waddle or Allen Robinson had he not — but luckily he fell.
4.7 DK Metcalf — I love Metcalf the player even though Seattle’s offense might be bad — Metcalf not only dealt with an injured Russell Wilson last year, but also played on a bad foot. But I was actually hoping for Diontae Johnson (peak Antonio Brown), but got snaked by one pick. Nick Chubb, who dropped like a rock, was also there, but that was part of the general running back/quarterback deflation and wide receiver inflation the entire draft. And I specifically regretted taking Chubb over Metcalf (for “value”) at 3.12 in an earlier draft. I wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice, even at 4.7.
5.6 Christian Kirk — AJ Dillon, in whom I regret not having any shares, was there, but the WR inflation (and hence scarcity) was real, so I let him go and took Kirk. It was the right decision too because there were running backs I liked with subsequent picks and almost no receivers.
6.7 Rhamondre Stevenson — I thought about Jalen Hurts to whom I’ve warmed up, especially after taking Brown in Round 2. I even fantasized about getting Devonta Smith in Round 7 and stacking Eagles hard. But Justin Herbert went the pick before, as QB deflation was in full effect, so reaching for a QB to stack seemed foolish. If Hurts made it to Round 7, I resigned to take him, but not ahead of ADP in this particular draft. Instead I took Stevenson who has huge upside as the Pats likely pass-catching back.
7.6 George Kittle — Both Hurts and Smith went before my pick, and I wasn’t in love with any of the RB/WR at this point, so I took the last top TE, Kittle. (Little did I know an hour or two earlier, Kittle showed up on the injury report with a groin injury, but that’s what I get for taking George Brittle.)
8.7 Clyde Edwards-Helaire — The receivers were flying off the board, so I considered reaching for my next one (Joshua Palmer) but figured he’d be back in Round 9. I also considered Kyler Murray, but QB deflation meant I could probably wait a long time there. I settled for Edwards-Helaire who has been a massive disappointment, but there’s still some upside if he’s truly the top back in Kansas City.
9.6 Romeo Doubs — Five more receivers, including Palmer, went off the board, so I pushed up my next target. I have no idea who Aaron Rodgers will throw to after Allen Lazard, but Doubs is a good candidate based on his camp. I also resigned to get Christian Watson too to hedge the pick somewhat.
10.7 Damien Harris — This was a cowardly pick both due to its value (way below ADP) and the fact I had Stevenson. I rarely backup my players, but it just seemed to fall to me. I somewhat regretted it when Russell Wilson went next (again, though QB deflation was across the board) and also because it meant I couldn’t take James Robinson who probably has a higher ceiling, but it was okay.
11.6 Christian Watson — Robinson went one pick before me, but I was too RB-heavy already, so he wasn’t really an option anyway. I reached a bit for Watson who has massive ceiling should he and not Doubs emerge as Aaron Rodgers’ guy. I also considered taking Rodgers soon for the stack.
12.7 Pat Freiermuth — I didn’t know at the time Kittle was hurt, but as all but one other team had a QB, and Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford and Rodgers were still available, I took what was in my opinion the last rock solid TE. There are a lot of mouths to feed in that Pittsburgh offense, but Freiermuth was the rare rookie TE that did anything, and that bodes well for Year 2.
13.6 Matthew Stafford — I finally gave in, going Stafford over Rodgers because of the system and weapons. I resigned to take Rodgers in the next round had he made it back to me though. I no longer regretted passing on all those earlier QBs.
14.7 Robby Anderson — Rodgers went, but I was still thin at receiver, so I snagged Anderson who has proven he can play and is now paired with a reasonably competent QB for the first time.
15.6 Trevor Lawrence — I was happy with this pick as Lawrence pairs perfectly with Kirk and Etienne and has the Year 2 upside you want in your second QB.
16.7 Ronald Jones — I passed on the Broncos defense, thinking I could wait another round (I couldn’t), but I wanted to get one of the other Chiefs’ backs in case CEH doesn’t pan out, and the other two were gone.
17.6 Saints Defense — They get the Falcons Week 1, and that was good enough for now.
18.7 Terrace Marshall — I love Year 2 WR, and like Anderson, he has a credible QB now.
19.6 Broncos Kicker — The ball travels farther in altitude, and there should be more PATs with Russell Wilson at QB.
20.7 Randall Cobb — It was either Cobb or Amari Rodgers. I can’t see Sammy Watkins staying healthy, so after Lazard it’s wide open. Cobb is only 31, and I could see him catching 80 balls in a slot role.
Roster By Position
QB Matthew Stafford
RB Saquon Barkley/Travis Etienne
WR AJ Brown/DK Metcalf/Christian Kirk
TE George Kittle
FLEX Rhamondre Stevenson
Bench Clyde Edwards-Helaire/Romeo Doubs/Damian Harris/Christian Watson/Pat Freiermuth/Robby Anderson/Trevor Lawrence/Ronald Jones/Terrace Marshall/Randall Cobb