Surprising Uprising: The Top Surprises of The Preseason

Updated: August 21st 2014

Two weeks of preseason games have flown by and with that come some surprises that perhaps we weren’t anticipating.  With that in mind, let’s jump right in to players who perhaps were off your radar but now are squarely a focus for your auctions, rookie drafts, and waiver wire. Since Reality Sports Online Chief Operating Officer (and my de facto editor) Stephen Wendell is as into Top 10 lists as David Letterman, this will be in the format of you guessed it, a Top 10 list. For those of you who don’t know Stephen by now from his recent appearance on Bloomberg TV, he is the person in front of the computer when you log on to the Reality Sports Online website.  Kind of like Steinbrenner in Seinfeld where all you see is the back of his head. So, while Stephen is in search of his calzone, let’s get to the “Surprises in the building!”

1.  Justin Hunter Tears It Up vs. the Saints in Preseason Game 2

Yes, I’m talking about the same Justin Hunter who caught 18 balls for 354 yards and 4 TDs as a rookie.  The high 2nd round draft choice in 2013 out of Tennessee managed to have two 100 yard plus games in his rookie season, which basically showed how much of a zero he was in almost every other game.  However, last week vs. the Saints, Hunter had a coming out party vs. the Saints that made fantasy gurus gush about him with 4 catches for 111 yards and 2 TDs (including a 64 yard “footrace” TD with the twos and a 4 yard TD with the first team offense). Those 4 catches displayed all types of different routes and athleticism including a back of the endzone fade, a back shoulder catch, and over the middle breakaway speed. When someone like Mike Clay of Rotoworld proclaims you “this year’s Alshon Jeffery”, folks who haven’t had their auction yet get really excited.  Temper your expectations some as Hunter is still viewed as the #3 wide receiver on the team as coach Ken Whisenhunt mentioned he still needs to work on route depth and discipline on his releases per ESPN, but his physical gifts will make it hard to keep him off the field this year.  He’s essentially a “cheaper version” of his college teammate Cordarrelle Patterson who I talked about at length in my “Whale Watching” article.

2.  Travis Kelce Gets His “Gronk” On

For the owners who grabbed him in last season’s rookie draft, you’ve waited for this moment.  Granted it is preseason, but Travis Kelce, he of the 6’5, 260 pound frame, is doing his best Rob Gronkowski imitation, busting through the seam for two long touchdowns so far and trucking helpless defenders on the way.  He’s still listed behind Anthony Fasano on the depth chart, but that won’t last long given what Kelce can do now that he’s recovered from microfracture knee surgery.  QB Alex Smith hurled 29 TDs to Vernon Davis when they were teammates and given WR1 Dwayne Bowe’s waning concentration, 1 game suspension, and finger issues, the Chiefs need Kelce’s ability to bust the seam to be successful this year.  This guy is a star in the making and I was “this” close to having him in my “More Time For Some Auction” piece, but after all there are a lot of Tight Ends worthy of consideration in 2014.  Kelce has moved up lots of folks boards, including mine.

3.  In Carolina, It’s All About the Benjamin

When he was drafted in the first round, Kelvin Benjamin was cited as somewhat of a project and an unrefined route runner who would almost exclusively be used as a red-zone threat based on his 6’5, 240 pound frame. However, when you watch the tape of the two preseason games Benjamin has played, he’s faked DB’s out of their cleats on several routes and has already found paydirt.  Cam Newton overthrew him Sunday vs. the Chiefs for what certainly would have been a touchdown as he had clear separation from the defense. While he always had 8 TD potential this season based on his size, he’s turning into quite the football player too.  Word is that he and Cam Newton are “inseparable” and Benjamin will see the most time among all the wide receivers as he’s the best blocking wideout already.  I know that receivers like Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans are going higher in rookie drafts, but Benjamin’s situation screams opportunity and his Calvin Johnson like body frame can make him an elite wide receiver.

4.  And J-Stew, Too

Jonathan Stewart looks pretty good in a baseball cap and sweats on the sidelines.  He looks better when he is actually healthy.  He certainly is available in most of your leagues and appears to finally be healthy for the first time in years and is back from his latest injury (an injured hamstring).  He still has plenty of tread on his tires (he’s only 27 years old) and looked good in a 4 carry, 26 yard and 2 touchdown performance on Sunday vs. Kansas City.  Stewart should be available fairly cheap for you and has had some pretty big seasons in the past with 10 plus TDs twice and heavy receptions in 2011.  Remember that Newton is his biggest threat to steal carries and touchdowns, especially in close, although with the ankle surgery he had over the summer, perhaps the running backs will get more totes in close.  The trade of Kenjon Barner to the Eagles last night should signal that the Panthers are confident in their running back situation.

5. Kenny Britt Is Getting Rave Reviews?

The words “leader” and “#1 receiver” are not what you’d think you’d hear in the same sentence as Kenny Britt.  However, in receiver needy St. Louis, the reunion of Britt with Head Coach Jeff Fisher have brought exactly that so far.  While Britt did exit vs. the Packers with a minor shoulder injury, Britt is getting talked up now that he seems finally healthy from a litany of knee injuries.  For those who think Percy Harvin gets hurt a lot, Britt actually is more injury prone.  He’s viewed as the starting X receiver and Sam Bradford is in a critical year to show that he is the franchise quarterback the Rams thought he’d be when they selected him #1 overall.  Britt is still only 25 years old and has the physical tools and size that top WRs typically display.  He’ll be available for bargain basement prices in your auction and while a one year prove it deal may be best, there is plenty of potential upside for this 2014 training camp surprise.

6. Andy Dalton Gets Huge Deal and Is Living Up to it Thus Far

Fresh off a 7 year, $97 million contract extension, several football writers questioned why the Cincinnati Bengals would give Dalton that kind of money as he hasn’t really lead the team to any playoff success and has been an inconsistent NFL quarterback.  Also, with Jay Gruden now leading the Washington Redskins, Hue Jackson has taken over the reins as offensive coordinator.  Jackson is viewed as a run-heavy coordinator based on his prior experiences in Atlanta and Oakland, but he really hasn’t had the offensive talent that the Bengals do, especially at wide receiver as A.J. Green is a Top 5 elite level wide receiver.  Dalton was 8-8 for 144 yards and a TD vs. the New York Jets (who he owns by the way, including Marvin Jones 4 TD performance in 2013) and overall in the preseason is on fire going 11-13 for 215 yards and the aforementioned 43 yard TD to Mohamed Sanu (who’ll have to step up and perform in light of Marvin Jones foot injury).  More importantly, Dalton hasn’t turned the ball over and has shown the same chemistry with Green in preseason action, as the pair have hooked up early and often.

7. You’re My Boy, Blue

Maybe I should have went with the Eiffel 69 song “I’m Blue” instead of the Old School movie reference, but Texans rookie running back Alfred Blue has shown that he can fill in adequately for Arian Foster, who shows all the warning signs of missing significant time this year, even if nobody is explicitly saying it.  Blue had a touchdown with the first teamers vs. Atlanta on Saturday and showed a good average and caught a few balls vs. Arizona.  The team cut veteran Andre Brown for a reason.  Blue is definitely worth a handcuff and maybe a late round rookie pick if you are in a league that drafts more than 3 rounds of rookies.  It is unclear whether he or journeyman Jonathan Grimes is the handcuff to own right now, but keep your eyes peeled as the rookie from LSU figures to be in the mix and when (not if) Foster goes down, you’ll want one of these guys on your roster.

8. Mark Ingram Flashes What Won Him a Heisman

With the Saints prolific passing game, people treat Sean Payton’s yearly overtures that they will be a more balanced team much like the town treated the boy who cried wolf.  Mark Ingram’s 8 carry, 83 yard, 1 TD performance was an eye opener in the first week of the preseason.  Ingram is a free agent at the end of the season and may not stay with the Saints, but he is certainly earning his keep in the preseason.  Ingram even caught a 23 yard TD vs. the Titans in Week 2 and wants to be more involved in the passing game, ostensibly to be on the field more often and keep competition like Khiry Robinson and Pierre Thomas on the bench.  Currently, Robinson and Ingram are seeing first team run with Thomas in on passing downs.  There are a lot of footballs to go around in New Orleans and you’ve seen this flash before with Ingram in the preseason so buyer beware.  A one year deal isn’t out of the question, but don’t expect weekly consistent startable production out of Ingram unless he does it for a few weeks in a row in the regular season.

9.  Percy Harvin Isn’t Hurt (Yet) and the Seahawks Are Humming

While he wasn’t used much in Week 1 vs. Denver, Percy Harvin highlighted how wide open the Seahawks playbook looks like with him in the lineup.  The formations and options Russell Wilson have seem limitless when defenses have to concern themselves with where Harvin is lined up on the field.  Harvin is a threat for a bubble screen, fly sweep (reverse) and constant motion, which opens up all type of reads for Wilson, all resulting in big plays last Friday night vs. the Chargers.  For more on that and for those who study film, I highly recommend Bucky Brooks recent article on Seahawks formations with video on (for those who follow me on Twitter, I did retweet that and do try to pinpoint meaningful football analysis from some of the best writers and football minds around).  Shameless plug aside, Harvin had 4 catches for 31 yards vs. the Chargers and opened up running lanes for Wilson and Robert Turbin, as well as the seam for Tight End Luke Willson.  Harvin will see some time as a kickoff returner also.  He should factor into the running game too on reverses, probably to the tune of 2 a game.  If healthy, he screams fantasy upside.  Simply, Harvin makes the Seahawks offense so much more balanced and dynamic and with his presence (or even as a decoy), the kid gloves are off the uber efficient Wilson, who will be more than a “game manager” for you in the next few fantasy seasons.  Grab Wilson on a multi-year deal if you can, especially if most of the other QBs in the league are spoken for.  As for Harvin, take caution, but if you can get him for value, a 2 year deal seems about right.

10.  I Think I’m Gonna Have to Go With Blake

If you ever watch NBC’s The Voice, you’ll see countless contestants in their southern drawl say “I think I’m gonna have to go with Blaaaake”-Shelton that is.  After seeing what he can do in the preseason, I’m a big fan of another Blake-Bortles.  He is showing Big Ben type ability and has a talented group of wide receivers to target.  The accuracy has been really solid and the decision making and poise has been better than advertised.  Granted his production has been against second and third string defenses (he just got his first practice reps with the ones), but both Bortles and current starter Chad Henne have played very well in the preseason.  In a weak division, that could signal a surprise season for the Jaguars.  As for your rookie draft, take notice of Bortles and target him in the second round if you need a quarterback as he’s looked best among the rookie signal-callers.

More Analysis by Matt Goodwin

numberFire/Reality Sports Online Auction Results and Breakdown: How Writers Approached the Auction

Updated: August 12th 2014

This past Sunday, the Reality Sports Online and numberFire writer’s league resumed after an exciting 3 round rookie draft with their league auction.  The results are posted just in time for you to analyze heading into your own free agency auctions, as well as some thoughts on the strategy that each writer used in what was several folks first time doing a multi-year player auction in a dynamic format like Reality Sports Online.  With that there comes a lot of excitement, a little regret, and a whole lot of strategy.  Check out what everyone had to say and feel free to reach out to the writers on Twitter with any questions or thoughts.

The Auction Board:


Team: Leo Howell (Leo Howell, numberFire) @LeoHowell8

2014 Salary:  $131,098,296

2014 Cap Room: $1,901,704

Multi-Year Auction Contracts:  Jamaal Charles (2 years, $65.0 million), DeMarco Murray (2 years, $34.0 million), Matthew Stafford (2 years, $10.0 million), Antonio Brown, (3 years, $50.0 million), Shane Vereen (3 years, $30.0 million), Kyle Rudolph (4 years, $8.0 million)

I entered the draft without a ton of plans in mind, just looking for good deals and to build up talent for the long-term. That’s why I attacked early with long-term deals, locking up Jamaal Charles, DeMarco Murray, Antonio Brown, Matthew Stafford and Kyle Rudolph on multi-year deals within the first few “rounds” of bidding. Past that, I wanted to get reliable one-year players who I felt were likely to meet their value. I overspent on Jay Cutler as a backup QB (1 year, $5.0 million), and didn’t leave myself with any non-guaranteed minimum contracts (of the $500k variety), but I’m happy with my depth all around and think my team is set up well for this year and the future. If I had it all to do over again, I would have spent a bit more heavily on my starters, particularly at receiver, but otherwise, I am happy with how my team looks.

Team: Great Odin’s Raven (Dan Pizzuta, numberFire) @DanPizzuta

2014 Salary:  $122,897,443

2014 Cap Room: $10,102,557

Multi-Year Auction Contracts:  Matt Forte (2 years, $50.5 million), Vincent Jackson (2 years, $21.0 million), Victor Cruz (2 years, $17.0 million), Cam Newton, (3 years, $15.5 million), Josh Gordon (3 years, $9.0 million), Rob Gronkowski (4 years, $56.0 million)

The only player I really wanted to target heading into the auction was Matt Forte. After getting Ka’Deem Carey in the third round of the rookie draft, I wanted to get the starter to the handcuff I already had, especially since I like the potential production in Chicago. Other than that, I wanted to put together a pretty balanced roster and I might have gotten it a little too balanced. I have a lot of good players, but I’m not sure if I have the upside of some of the other rosters. Coming out of the auction with a good team, but about $10.1 million left in cap space, I could have been a little more aggressive. I should have some decent trade assets, though, for improvements during the season.

I made two moves that got the attention of the other owners in the auction room, my three-year deal for Josh Gordon and four-year deal for Rob Gronkowski. There were serious one-year deals being offered for Gordon, which made no sense to me. The value for him is on the back end if he gets suspended for this entire season. I have the ability to control a potential superstar two years after this one at a replacement level price by eating about $2 million in cap space this season. For Gronkowski, I was one of the serious bidders for Jimmy Graham, but I was outbid. Gronkowski is the next best option at tight end, well above the rest at the position. Four years might be a little long, but he’s only going to cost $12 million this year, about $5 million less than Graham. That’s definitely a risk worth the reward.

Overall the auction experience was great. It was interesting to see how the market played out in this format — quarterbacks and running backs switched values from real life — and it’s definitely a more rewarding experience throughout than sitting through a snake draft.

Team: La Morsa Roja (Tyler Buecher, numberFire) @gingersauce4u

2014 Salary:  $128,449,424

2014 Cap Room: $4,550,576

Multi-Year Auction Contracts:  Randall Cobb (2 years, $35.5 million), Rueben Randle (2 years, $6.0 million), Tony Romo (2 years, $5.5 million), Lesean McCoy, (3 years, $89.0 million), Le’Veon Bell (3 years, $50.5 million), Julio Jones (4 years, $90.0 million)

To begin, I thought Reality Sports Online’s entire set up was excellent. The ability to bid on players with different lengths of contracts simultaneously was something really fun to try out and I think the experience was a success. Participating in a rookie draft beforehand then entering an auction for the remaining players was a new experience for me, but I liked the strategy aspect of it. Given the limit of having one 4-year deal and two 3-year deals, I had already made up my mind going into the draft which positions I was targeting for these deals.

I was aiming for a young wide receiver with the 4-year deal that had the potential of maintaining a top-five ranking each of those four years and thought Julio Jones was the perfect candidate. A few of the other top wide receiver options had already been drafted at about $20 million per season, so I wanted to start bidding with a 4-year $80 million deal. Unfortunately in my excitement at seeing him nominated, I typed $90 million while I watched a very long 15-second timer tick down. I undoubtedly overpaid for Julio, but that doesn’t mean I’m unhappy landing him. The two 3-year deals I was a little more open with, but was looking to target running backs or wide receivers who’d either hit their prime or were on the verge of doing so. LeSean McCoy will be the anchor for my run game the next few years picking him up for 3 years at $89 million. Le’Veon Bell is a back I’ve been targeting regularly in mocks and was happy to land him in this draft with a 3-year, $50.5 million deal.

There are many schemes and strategies for auction drafts, but I prefer spending big on a couple of elite players to lead my team, then adding moderate deals for depth, and finally filling out the rest of my roster cheaply. I bid a little aggressively with my elite players but I have high hopes for my team for this season and down the road.

Team:  The Johnny Cleveland Show (Ari Ross, numberFire) @aross50

2014 Salary:  $127,271,572

2014 Cap Room: $5,728,428

Multi-Year Auction Contracts:  Drew Brees (2 years, $35.5 million), Larry Fitzgerald (2 years, $13.0 million), Julian Edelman (2 years, $9.0 million), Giovani Bernard, (3 years, $48.0 million), Martellus Bennett (3 years, $10.5 million), Matt Prater (4 years, $2.5 million)

I had planned to target the top running backs and wide receivers and wait on a QB, however once I got Drew Brees for a reasonable price, I decided to play it more conservative and target players who gave me more value than the top tier running backs. I got Larry Fitzgerald, Giovani Bernard and Julian Edelman for great value. I loaded up on WR and RB depth and was even able to steal Philip Rivers(1 year, $3.0 million) for nothing near the end of the draft. The contract lengths were an interested twist for me, I was left with my 4-year contract near the end and ended up just using it on a kicker, whereas I probably should have used it on a top QB, RB or WR. I had done auction drafts before but with the contract lengths it made it quite interesting.

Team: University of Phoenix Online (Brandon Gdula, numberFire) @gdula13

2014 Salary:  $118,640,552

2014 Cap Room: $14,359,448

Multi-Year Auction Contracts:  Arian Foster (2 years, $31.0 million), Zac Stacy (2 years, $29.0 million), Dennis Pitta (2 years, $5.0 million), Alfred Morris, (3 years, $44.0 million), Pierre Garcon (3 years, $26.0 million), Nick Foles (4 years, $20.0 million)

I’ve been playing fantasy football for nearly 10 years, and I’ve settled into a bit of a comfort zone drafting in typical snake draft formats. The RSO format, though, took me out of my comfort zone in a good way. I had to think both long-term and short-term on the guys in which I wanted to invest actual percentages of my salary cap.

I knew I wanted a 4-year deal on a quarterback with upside. When Nick Foles went up for auction, I immediately jumped the bid for a 4-year, $20M contract. I didn’t really have a gauge on the QB market, but I didn’t overspend much.

For the core of my team, I knew I wanted to go heavy on running backs because of the two flex options (RB/WR/TE). If I could start four top-tier backs, I feel like I’d have a huge advantage. I may have been overzealous in giving Arian Foster a two-year deal, but I didn’t know how else players would approach the position. I think I valued backs more than just about anyone. Zac Stacy for 2 years, $29M makes me happy as does Alfred Morris for 3 years, $44M. It seems a bit backwards to lay down multi-year deals for running backs, but I’d love to have some elite backs for a reduced cost going forward.

Allowing me to do that means that I’d have to pick up some one-year deals for receivers, which I tried to do later in the draft. I got Eric Decker and Michael Crabtree for a combined $23.5M, which isn’t cheap but won’t kill me as I saved just about everywhere and had money to spend late in the draft. I still wanted to lock up a decent receiver for a few years, so I went for Pierre Garcon (3 years, $26M). Per year, I’m comfortable with that salary, and I intend only to play two receivers per week during most weeks. This approach allowed me to take short-term risks on Justin Hunter, Marvin Jones, and Jarrett Boykin, who probably won’t see my starting line-up unless things get dire.

Only two teams have more cap space than I do this year and only two have less guaranteed money in 2015. This allows me to take on salary this year if other teams need to move some cash, and if things blow up this year, I should be able to rebuild in 2015. I think this is where my NBA familiarity can help me out, too, as having cap space lets me be a catalyst in transactions.

Team:  Cleveland’s Award Tour (Matt Goodwin, Reality Sports Online & numberFire) @mattgoody2

2014 Salary:  $117,626,864

2014 Cap Room: $15,373,136

Multi-Year Auction Contracts:  Andre Ellington (2 years, $31.0 million), Michael Floyd (2 years, $22.5 million), Tom Brady (2 years, $6.0 million), Demaryius Thomas, (3 years, $67.0 million), Cordarrelle Patterson (3 years, $14.0 million), Jimmy Graham (4 years, $78.0 million)

I wasn’t necessarily targeting a quarterback early, but got swept up in the Peyton Manning sweepstakes.  I’ve never owned him in all my years of playing fantasy, so I figured why not?  Grabbed him for 1 year, $22.0 million.  A little later I got caught “price enforcing” on Tom Brady, so I have him for an extra year at 2 years, $6.0 million.  I can probably trade him for value during the season if there is an injury or a team doesn’t like their QB situation and Brady’s contract is cheap if I hold him.

Going into the auction as one of the only ones to do a Reality Sports Online league before (last year), I typically like to offer my multi-year deals and big budgets to breakout wide receivers, always wanting to grab a Top 5 wide receiver.  Demaryius Thomas was my #1 target and I grabbed him in a competitive bidding process for 3 years, $67.0 million.  I’m expecting him to be the best wide receiver for 2014 and think Denver will lock him up long-term sometime this season.  Cordarrelle Patterson was not someone I was necessarily targeting, but the value for someone who has had 10 plays installed just for him this offseason was to good to pass up and I knew some of my numberFire colleagues were down on him.  3 years, $14.0 million even if it takes him another year to develop is a deal that is well under market and I think Patterson will be very useful as a flex this year.  I also grabbed Michael Floyd who I think has potential to be a Top 10 wide receiver this year and got Desean Jackson who fills the Z role that gets tons of usage in Jay Gruden’s system for 1 year, $7.0 million.

Another centerpiece I was looking at and was very competitive in trying to get was Jimmy Graham.  He’s the perfect 4 year player, with a huge relative advantage at his position in a ten team league.  I got him in a bidding war with Dan Pizzuta for 4 years, $78.0 million and love that the Saints locked him up long-term this offseason so I don’t have to worry about him being in a different system.

I typically don’t like to throw big contracts or moreso more than 2 years at running backs because their are so many committees of late and running backs age quickly or get hurt. I gauged the market early and saw big money being thrown at running backs, so I figured I could get value late.  It was important for me to get one high upside starter and I went with the electric Andre Ellington for 2 years, $31.0m.  With two top rookie running backs backing up 30+ year old running backs in Devonta Freeman and Carlos Hyde, I’m expecting one of them to contribute this year and if not certainly to be starters in 2015.  I  do have tons of 1 year running backs very cheap, including DeAngelo Williams, Lance Dunbar, and Darren McFadden.  I also took fliers on James White and Charles Sims.  Additionally, I have lots of cap space relative to the league, so I can certainly absorb salary in a trade if I want to improve my running back situation.

Team: SamHerbie (Sam Light, Reality Sports Online) @SamHerbie

2014 Salary:  $124,033,009

2014 Cap Room: $8,966,991

Multi-Year Auction Contracts:  Adrian Peterson (2 years, $57.0 million), Aaron Rodgers (2 years, $41.0 million), Matt Ryan (2 years, $11.0 million), Calvin Johnson, (3 years, $62.0 million), Robert Woods (3 years, $11.5 million), Jordan Cameron (4 years, $21.0 million)

Being a Reality Sports Online veteran, I attacked early to grab the players I wanted, basically in the NFC North edition. Adrian Peterson was the first player thrown out in the auction and I went a few rounds of bidding and snagged him to be my bell-cow. I quickly then grabbed my franchise quarterback in Aaron Rodgers and the top wideout in the game in Calvin Johnson.  After that I let the market form for some of my other players, including C.J. Spiller (1 year, $14.0 million) and a potential cheap sleeper in Hakeem Nicks (1 year, $1.5 million).

I have money to spend on in season free agents or to make trades and feel good where my team is heading into my Week 1 battle with Matt Goodwin and his Cleveland’s Award Tour squad!

Team: King Back (Kenny Cook, numberFire) @K_Cook6

2014 Salary:  $$126,803,988

2014 Cap Room: $6,196,012

Multi-Year Auction Contracts:  Doug Martin (2 years, $37.0 million), Percy Harvin (2 years, $14.0 million), Terrance Williams (2 years, $5.0 million), A.J. Green, (3 years, $75.5 million), Eddie Lacy (3 years, $68.0 million), Andrew Luck (4 years, $33.0 million)

Coming into this draft, I was unsure how I’d like the format. After having drafted however, I thoroughly enjoyed it! My strategy was similar to any other auction format going in, which was a decent enough strategy. I wanted to find values where possible, but most important to me in this format was getting players who’d perform. One flaw I see in auction draft strategy from other owners is their reluctance to ‘spend their budget too early.’ The longer you wait in actions will create overspending, oddly enough. My logic is that you’ll say, “damn, I need to get a running back!”  This results in spending the same money for a second-tier RB as you would for a mid first-tier guy when all is said and done. Overall, I liked my team (who doesn’t, right?) But, I do wish I would’ve passed on Andrew Luck’s $7 million annual salary! But then again, my theory is to ‘get them while I can,’ and this pick falls within that. So, I didn’t do anything I didn’t intend on doing anyway.

Team: B-Ron’s Ballas (Brian Luzier, numberFire) @TheFFBoss

2014 Salary:  $126,959,137

2014 Cap Room: $6,040,863

Multi-Year Auction Contracts:  Brandon Marshall (2 years, $30.0 million), Julius Thomas (2 years, $15.0 million), Pierre Thomas (2 years, $6.5 million), Dez Bryant, (3 years, $61.0 million), Jordy Nelson (3 years, $55.0 million), Keenan Allen (4 years, $35.0 million)

Similar to dynasty, I wanted to build my team around quality WRs. I wanted to invest long term in receivers I loved for decent salaries. I think I succeeded in this regard as Keenan Allen is arguably my WR5 and he costs me peanuts. I would have liked to be stronger at QB as I don’t have much faith in Colin Kaepernick (1 year, $3.0 million), but in a 10 team league I don’t have any problems with where I stand at the position. At TE I am deep, but not exactly where I’d like to be. I don’t expect much from Eric Ebron or Jace Amaro this yr, so an injury or a rough bye week could be killer. Luckily you can stream TEs! Additionally I still have 6 mil to drop on FAs or absorb bloated contracts from other owners. I’m very happy with my team.

Team: Loco Roco (Ryan O’Connor, numberFire) @IrishChaos

2014 Salary:  $90,749,452

2014 Cap Room: $42,250,548

Multi-Year Auction Contracts:  Marshawn Lynch (2 years, $30.0 million), Knowshon Moreno (2 years, $6.5 million), Alshon Jeffery (3 years, $62.0 million), Robert Griffin III, (3 years, $14.5 million)

Unfortunately was unable to attend the auction and Stephen Wendell from Reality Sports Online (yes the person looking at the computer screen on the main page-similar to George Steinbrenner in Seinfeld) filled in while aboard a plane with spotty internet connection.  Get the calzones as Costanza is in the building!  Ryan has been active in tweaking the results of the auction to his liking.  In a 10 team league and with $42.3m cap space, Ryan should have the flexibility to tap into talent without a problem and can be more aggressive than fellow owners.

More Analysis by Matt Goodwin