10 Team PPR Keeper League Draft Recap – 2014 League 1

I thought I’d do something new this year and share draft recaps of the leagues I am in. The first league I drafted for was a 10 team PPR superflex league where the yardage is worth double what most leagues use. The roster is as follows QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, W/R/T, Q/W/R/T (no kicker or defense which I love… I hate the idea of the fact that there’s already enough luck involved in fantasy football so why add even more luck with 2 positions that everyone drafts at the end or very near the end of the draft). The scoring is as follows 1 pt per 12.5 passing yards, 6 pts per passing TD, 1 pt per 5 rushing/receiving yards, 6 pts per rushing/receiving TD, 1 pt per reception, 1 pt per 25 return yards, 6 pts per return TD, -2 pts per interception/fumble lost, 3 point 100 yard rushing/receiving yard bonus, 3 point 300 yard passing bonus, 5 point 200 yard rushing/receiving yard bonus, 2 point 400 yard passing yard bonus. It’s a keeper league where you can keep players 2 rounds earlier than where you drafted/kept them the year before (new rule so no keepers off the board this year). I had the 7th pick in the draft.

I know a lot of the “experts” you hear on TV, radio, or other sites prefer bigger leagues like 14 team leagues because they’re deeper, but I actually prefer 10 team leagues where the rosters are deeper because you still have to dig deep on the depth charts to find talent but you also aren’t as heavily reliant on your first 2-3 picks. I think the more guys you start on a roster, the more that luck is taken out of the equation and that the skilled players win at a higher clip. Obviously there’s still plenty of luck involved, but the more that skill can be a factor, the more I want to play with those settings. Anyways, here are the results.

Round (Pick) Player
1. (7) Demaryius Thomas (Den – WR)
Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees were still on the board, but I felt like I could hold off a little on the QBs and be fine and land some elite receivers early. Since this is only a 10 team league, the superflex spot really only means 20 QBs are started every week so you don’t see the massive run on QBs like you see in the 14 team superflex leagues.
2. (14) Julio Jones (Atl – WR)
Sticking true to my thoughts after my first pick, Rodgers and Brees were off the board as were Dez and AJ Green, so I went with someone I think has a chance to be the #1 overall wide receiver at the end of the year provided he can stay healthy.
3. (27) Randall Cobb (GB – WR)
I didn’t go into this draft with a 0RB strategy in mind, but sitting at the 27th pick I still had Stafford, Luck, and Ellington on my radar but thought I could get one of them on the backswing whereas I had 0 chance of Cobb making it back to me.
4. (34) Andrew Luck (Ind – QB)
Luckily, I was correct in my assessment. Stafford and Ellington went off the board, but I was still able to grab Luck who I think is probably the #5 QB this year. I’m still without a running back, but feeling great about my team at this point.
5. (47) Cordarrelle Patterson (Min – WR)
At this point in the draft, all of the top 2 tier backs are off the board, but there are still some guys I don’t mind owning provided my WR corps is off the charts (which it is). I fill my flex spot with Patterson but have really locked myself into looking for running backs in the next few rounds.
6. (54) Shane Vereen (NE – RB)
I’m able to get Vereen on the backswing, who if healthy certainly has the chance to be very similar to what Darren Sproles was in New Orleans before last year’s implosion.
7. (67) Rashad Jennings (NYG – RB)
I didn’t love this pick because there were still some other receivers on the board that I liked more, but knowing that I was already loaded up on receivers I wanted to get a running back that I knew would be getting the lion share of the carries and Jennings fit the bill. It’s definitely not a sexy pick, but gives me 2 backs I can feel moderately confident in to at least hold their own while my receivers hopefully carry my team.
8. (74) Josh Gordon (Cle – WR)
It was time for my Gordon man-crush to come out. In a keeper league setting, I didn’t see Gordon making it back to me in the 9th round so I jumped on him here hoping that this can pay huge dividends possibly this year if he doesn’t get suspended for the whole season and perhaps in the long term as well provided he can stay clean.
9. (87) Pierre Thomas (NO – RB)
I was thrilled to see Pierre Thomas make it back to me in the 9th round and didn’t even hesitate to grab him here. In a PPR league, I think he should be going earlier than 87.
10. (94) Zach Ertz (Phi – TE)
I complete my starting roster aside from grabbing a 2nd QB for the superflex spot by grabbing Ertz in the 10th. I think this is not only a solid pick for 2014, but also could provide some solid keeper value for the future.
11. (107) Devonta Freeman (Atl – RB)
I’m unhappy that Brandin Cooks wasn’t able to fall to me here in the 11th, but it’s time to start filling out the bench with some upside running backs that might help cure my hole at the position. I have no faith in Stephen Jackson to stay healthy or be productive, so Freeman has a shot to get the bulk of the touches in Atlanta. I don’t like their o-line, but the chance for bulk is worth the gamble.
12. (114) Jeremy Hill (Cin – RB)
I’m aggravated that Justin Hunter comes off the board one pick before me, but still need to focus on my backfield anyways and while Hill hasn’t had any first team touches in preseason, he has looked really good when he has gotten the ball. I’m not worried about the shoulder, so give me another young upside back here.
13. (127) Jordan Matthews (Phi – WR)
If/when Maclin gets hurt, Matthews could have a major role in the Eagles’ offense. I like the prospect of Matthews and Ertz possibly being the top receiving options in Philadelphia if Maclin goes down for any prolonged period of time.
14. (134) Ryan Tannehill (Mia – QB)
Roethlisberger came off the board in round 8, Dalton and Palmer in round 9 and then no QBs went from round 9 until round 14 aside from Eli Manning (I have no idea why). After failing to land Roethlisberger or Dalton, I was pretty set on waiting and just grabbing a low end QB2 like Tannehill who I could rely on to be steady enough. He makes up for some of what he lacks with his arm by getting some points with his legs so I’m not all that upset having to settle for Tannehill here. With our scoring system, Tannehill was actually the #14 QB last year; I don’t expect him to be #14 this year because Rodgers, RG3, Foles, and Cutler were all below him last year simply because of games played.
15. (147) Kenny Britt (StL – WR)
I really saw nobody that I was thrilled with at this point in the draft, so I figured I’d take a shot hoping that the news coming out of St. Louis that Austin is still struggling, Givens is falling like a stone on the depth chart, and that Britt is looking pretty good is accurate.
16. (154) Marqise Lee (Jax – WR)
The Jags offense doesn’t excite me at all, but maybe Lee offers some keeper potential.
17. (167) Teddy Bridgewater (Min – QB)
My pick of Bridgewater here was all about maybe hitting on a QB I could keep for a few years. I think Bridgewater is currently looking better than Manziel and Bortles, so why not roll the dice.

So that’s it. I’m quite happy with the team I was able to put together. I think as long as my running backs are able to stay somewhat consistent, I should be easily making the playoffs and definitely one of the top 2 teams. Feel free to rip me, praise me, or leave any other comments below.

2014 Breakout Running Backs

I recently mentioned that it’s a lot easier to come up with a list of great upside receivers that you think might break out during the season than it is for running backs, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the running backs. I’ve put together a list of running backs that may not be the starters today, but have the potential to be later round steals.

Stepfan Taylor – Andre Ellington is the go to guy out of the gate, but it’s yet to be seen if Ellington can truly handle a full workload. Most people doubt Ellington will be able to shoulder bell cow like touches, and since Taylor is already likely to be the goal line back there’s upside if Ellington can’t stay on the field.

Jeremy Hill – BenJarvus Green-Ellis is no longer a factor which means Hill has a chance to receive as many touches as Green-Ellis saw last year and then some because Cincinnati looks like they are going to be a more run oriented team. All it takes is an injury to Bernard for Hill to be an instantaneous top 10 option.

Carlos Hyde – How long can Gore stay productive? It seems like we’ve all been waiting for him to drop off the face of the earth and it hasn’t happened yet. San Francisco drafted Hyde to be the running back of the future, but if Gore’s decline begins in 2014 then Hyde could be a premier running back that you’d feel comfortable starting every week.

Lamar Miller – Knowshon Moreno is already having knee issues which means the speedy Miller could have a chance to shine. It’s hard for me to put Miller on this list because he burned me last year when I had the same thoughts about him, except that the expectations are lower this year so you won’t have to spend as high a draft pick to gamble on the upside.

Devonta Freeman – Who knows what Stephen Jackson will be and if the Falcons thought Jaquizz Rodgers could shoulder the load then they wouldn’t have drafted Freeman early in the 4th round this year. Freeman could be taking the lion’s share of the carries after not too long.

Terrance West – What is it with Houston continuing to load their backfield with injury prone running backs? They replaced the oft injured Ben Tate with the oft injured Andre Brown who backs up the oft injured Arian Foster. If Tate continues to be hampered by injuries, West will have a ton of upside.

Tre Mason – Some are worried about Zac Stacy losing some touches to Tre Mason, but I don’t see that happening unless Mason proves he’s worthy of cutting into Stacy’s workload. That being said, Stacy was generally only productive last year when he got more than 25 carries in a game, so he wasn’t the most efficient back on a per touch basis. Keep an eye on this situation because it will affect both guy’s values, but I’m not as excited about Mason as I am the other names on this list without seeing more.