2018 SiriusXM NFL Experts Draft
It’s that time of year, as you’re well aware, and that is fantasy football draft season. In this article it’s 0.5 ppr time as myself, and 11 other hosts from SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio do battle for supremacy. Let’s see how the old squad played out facing some of the best in the fantasy football business.
THE PARTICIPANTS (DRAFT ORDER)
1 Colton & The Wolfman
2 Dan Clasgens
3 Jim Bowden
4 Dave Loughran
5 John Hansen
6 Greg Ambrosius
7 Paul Kelly - SXM Fantasy Football
8 Ray Flowers
9 David Kitchen
10 Howard Bender
11 Real Talk Raph
12 Jeff Johnson - Fantasy Insiders
There are 12-teams in the league this season.
This league is a 0.5 point per reception league.
PASSING: 1 point every 25 yards Passing (.1 point every 2.5 yards Passing), 4 points for every passing touchdown, 2 points for every 2-Point conversion
RUSHING: 1 point every 10 yards Rushing (.1 point every 1 yard Rushing), 6 points for every rushing TD, 2 points for every 2-Point conversion
RECEIVING: 1 point every 10 yards Receiving (.1 point every 1 yard Receiving), 6 points for every receiving TD, 2-Point conversion (rushing or receiving)
My team with the round taken is listed in parenthesis.
QB: Carson Wentz (9), Jimmy Garoppolo (11)
RB: Saquon Barkley (1), Derrick Henry (4), Marlon Mack (6), Carlos Hyde (7), Nick Chubb (8), Chris Ivory (13)
WR: Michael Thomas (2), Amari Cooper (3), Demaryius Thomas (5), Nelson Agholor (10), Eric Decker (14)
TE: O.J. Howard (12)
K: Will Lutz (16)
DEF: Denver Broncos (15)
*This writeup was done live as the draft occurred.
ROUND 1: It was down to Saquon Barkley and DeAndre Hopkins for me with this pick, assuming one or the other would be taken 7th overall. With Leonard Fournette going off the board one pick ahead of me in a bit of a surprise, I had two options to choose from in SB/DH. It ended up being pretty simple. Take Barkley, enjoy his 300 touches, and get an elite wideout in round number two. That’s seemingly how all my drafts are going this season actually – RB then WR. I will hope that Jones or Thomas falls at WR to Round 2. It might be wishful thinking. We shall see.
ROUND 2: My master plan worked! Michael Thomas did indeed fall to me in the second round leaving me an ideal 1-2 matchup. Thomas has averaged 98 receptions and 1,191 yards with seven scores in his two seasons. If that’s the floor, and I think it is, I’m damn comfortable with it as Thomas heads into his third season with more to give statistically.
ROUND 3: The running back position got thin quick-like in this draft. Something to think about in your draft. The backs I hoped would last until my pick here were all taken by the end of Round 2. That left me with the choice – take a “better” wideout or grab that RB since they were going quickly. I really wanted to take Larry Fitzgerald. However, he has the same bye as Barkley and I didn’t want two of my top three guys to have the same bye week. I also couldn’t take Doug Baldwin at this point given his knee situation and the unknown. That led me to taking Amari Cooper with his Week 7 bye. Cooper averaged 78 receptions and 1,112 yards his first two seasons before falling on his face last season. He’s in shape, and ready to go in the new Raiders’ offense. I’m a believer.
ROUND 4: I’m comfortable with Derrick Henry as my RB2. I don’t think he’s an RB1 upside play, but he should more than justify RB2 status (he is likely capped by the presence of Dion Lewis). I will do as I always do – that is I will be sure to build depth at running back. Sometimes we draft for “upside.” Sometimes we draft for what is. This is one of those picks. If Henry finishes 18-24th at running back I will be satisfied, even if not pumped up by it. Do I love this pick? No. Am I pumped up by this pick? No. I will have to build more RB depth in accordance. By the way, my top-4 picks all have different bye weeks (note that I want to spread things out early as I plan to attack players on Bye in Weeks 9 and 11 later in the draft). It's all about cost with players.
ROUND 5: Was hoping that Demaryius Thomas would be here as my third wideout after Alshon Jeffery and Allen Robinson went early in the round. Thomas was, so he’s on my squad making me 5-for-5 with players with different bye weeks. Thomas the last two seasons has averaged 87-1,016-5. He has seen at least 140 targets each of the last six seasons as he is a volume king. Can’t have a better WR3 than this. Let’s hope that Dion Lewis is around next round.
ROUND 6: Lewis went to Howard Bender ruining my plan for both Titans. I think he’s a reach at that point if you don’t own Henry, but I got burned when Howard took him. With running back my goals here I was down to Carlos Hyde and Marlon Mack. It was an extremely hard choice to make, with Mack and Hyde back-to-back in my rankings. There was some trepidation taking Mack since he has Week 9 bye, the same as Barkley, but I see a clearer path to early down work for Mack over Hyde. Both the Browns and Colts should have success on the ground, which is always important when targeting backs outside the elite, but it’s also fair to suggest that both backfields are muddled. I don’t think there really is a right answer with the duo. Ultimately, I went Mack as I can see Hyde losing work to Nick Chubb. I could be wrong.
ROUND 7: One pick before me – it was Hyde or Russell Wilson. Paul Kelly selected Wilson leaving me… the player I almost took in Round 7 – Hyde. Carlos was third amongst backs last season in forced missed tackles, a fact that I bet many overlooked. The last three seasons he’s tied with Lev Bell third in football in forced missed tackles. The question now becomes – do I grab Nick Chubb in the next round at basically his ADP, or do I lean to wideout (Will Fuller) or signal caller (Carson Wentz)? I like my top-3 WR, love them actually, so I will likely be looking RB or QB.
ROUND 8: I still feel really good about the wideouts, and to cover my seventh round selection I went with Chubb hoping to lockdown the hammer in the Browns’ offense (early downs and goaline). You believe in handcuffing or you don’t. At Guru Elite we do, hence this selection.
ROUND 9: Unfortunately, Fuller went at the start of the round (sorry Jeff Mans). Wideouts are starting to get a bit thin, while there is depth at QB. Still, when a guy who could have on the MVP in the 9th round, it’s kinda hard to pass up on him. Since I plan on taking two QBs anyway, I took a dive on Carson Wentz. If Wentz played 16 games, and maintained his 13-game pace, he would have had 4,056 yards passing and 41 passing scores. Only once has Tom Brady done that. Only once has Aaron Rodgers done that. Think about that for a moment.|
ROUND 10: Tempted to take another QB here, but there are enough to wait another turn. That meant looking wideout. I was targeting Nelson Agholor and Kelvin Benjamin. I nabbed Agholor. He may not quite have the upside of Fuller, but I think it’s closer than most folks seem to think. Agholor scored six times in the second half last season and welcomes his quarterback back into the fold, who as you just read is also on my squad. Agholor had 25 receptions last season on third and fourth down, tied with Antonio Brown for the most in football. Yeah.
ROUND 11: If someone calls in to my show and says – ‘I drafted Wentz and Jimmy Garoppolo’ – I would ask “what the heck are you doing? That’s simply overkill.” However, if they then said ‘I grabbed them in the 9th and 11th rounds’ I would say, well, yeah, I get it. That’s where I was at in this draft. I assume/believe that Wentz will be ready early on, but if he isn’t I have a guy who I believe is a top-10 quarterback in Jimmy G. Plus, he dates pornstars. That means something to those of us at Guru Elite. Plus, and while I don’t always suggest this, I will be in need of a tight end, potentially, and who is to say that I couldn’t deal one of my signal callers for one. I never grab two quarterbacks at this high of a level, but with this draft simply slow playing the position too much, I took the plunge, and I like it.
ROUND 12: I grabbed my starting tight end, number 10 in our rankings, in the 12th round in O.J. Howard. Did you notice that, as a rookie, that Howard scored six times, the same as Evan Engram and two more than Jack Doyle and Hunter Henry. Hey, it’s the 12th round.
ROUND 13: Chris Ivory was the top runner left on my board. If LeSean McCoy is on the field, this is a wasted pick. If something happens to McCoy, either health or suspension of the off the field stuff, Ivory becomes a legit every week option, at least as a flex play. The Bills are likely to be bad, but the offense will probably run through that backfield, and that will be Ivory’s spot if something happens to McCoy, and at this point the off the field situation with McCoy is scary enough that Ivory is well worth rostering at this point of the draft.
ROUND 14: I was thinking Brandon Marshall or Eric Decker here. The outcome could be immense in terms of the split. Decker could get cut. He could struggle for a role. He could have a role until Julian Edelman is back. He could emerge as a decent weekly play. He’s a 14th round selection I can move on from when an early wide receiver hits, as they almost always do, if he fails to carve out a role. This is a bit of a toss-it-out-there-and-see pick. In the 14th round, why not.
ROUND 15: The Denver Broncos were the selection. A continually solid defense, with one of the better defenders in the game leading the way (Von Miller).
ROUND 16: Will Lutz of the Saints rounds out the squad. He led the league last season with 50 field goal attempt and 47 field goals made on his way to 140 points.
I gotta say, as most likely will, that I like my squad. As I joked around with Jeff Mans during the draft, either we know what we’re doing at G.E., or this is gonna be one bad team. This draft went extremely well given the overarching plan, and in the micro the team is filled with lots of players, in fact just about all of them, that were taken after we have them ranked.
The two quarterbacks give me a lockdown at the position. My running backs are led by a potentially elite rookie runner and a lot of guys who could finish in that 18-36 range. I would have liked one more horse here, but I still find the group to be enticing. I look at my top-3 wideouts and can’t see them as anything other than as good as any other in the league, helping to overcome the slight concern at running back. Honestly, I really don’t have any worries about the runners. The tight end isn’t elite, but we still have him as a top-12 option. The kicker and defense, both inside our top-5 as of this writing. Maybe could have used that 14th rounder differently, probably should of, but if that’s the biggest mistake I’m made, this team should be just fine.
HERE IS THE DRAFT BOARD.