2021 All About Reality Podcast League Rookie Draft

Updated: May 19th 2021

The All About Reality Podcast league graciously allowed the posting of their RSO rookie draft again this season while also providing thoughts about their picks and strategy.  This draft is presented because it presents a league size for which many of you may not have played along with a couple of scoring rules not used in most leagues.  The article features analysis of the picks by the RSO GMs and takes by the author.

The league is a 16-team superflex PPR format with QB/RB/RB/WR/WR/WR/TE/FLEX/FLEX/SFlex starting requirements.  Roster sizes are limited to 20 spots plus I.R.  Scoring rules add additional significant twists with 0.5 points for all first downs, 6 points per passing touchdowns, and 0.5 points per completion / -0.5 points per incompletion.

 


Team Analysis

Sir Purr (Stephen Boviall and Brennan Emenhiser) – The rebuild continues after going full tank mode in 2020. There was a brief discussion about potential Konami Code Trey Lance with the 1.01, but in the end, we drafted the chalk in Trevor Lawrence. We had Chase ranked as our 2nd overall non-QB prospect and his fall to the 1.07 was a true blessing for a team that needs help at every position. We wanted to chase upside with late 2.12 and 2.16 picks and were bummed to see Amari Rodgers go off the board at 2.10 to Bobby. Josh Palmer felt like the BPA at 2.12 and we’re hoping he can find the field in an ascending Herbert led offense. We decided Cornell Powell would be Mr. Irrelevant.  Similar to Palmer, we’re hoping Powell wins the WR2 position in the league’s most explosive KC offense.

Tzhuk Banner & The Junior Mints (Pat Lorang) – Justin Fields no matter what! With Lawrence going #1, I knew I had my guy at #2. I’ve had Justin Fields as my #2 QB throughout the pre-draft and NFL draft process and even with him going to Chicago, I took my guy. At 1.10, I drafted DeVonta Smith, who is my WR1 in the rookie class. With all top 3 RBs off the board, I took my highest available position player off the board instead of drafting Mac Jones. At 2.14, I took Rhamondre Stevenson to give me another warm body in my RB room.

The Fantasy Affliction (Tim Aylesworth) – Do I push the chips all in for this season, or play smart for the future?  That was the question.  I thought about taking Najee Harris for months as adding him to a solid RB situation would have made me an extremely strong contender for the championship. But in the end the GM in me overruled the coach and I went with Trey Lance at 1.03. I may have no starting QB’s under contract next year if Jalen Hurts flames out, and Lance has so much upside it is tough to turn down in a league starving for QB’s.

Saving Private Pyle (Cos Scarcia) – As the new team leadership settles into this league, Saving Private Pyle had four overall picks to play with throughout the rookie draft. Armed with picks 1.04 and 1.13 and picks 2.04 and 2.05, the Pyles were able to load up on some much-needed talent. Head Coach Cos Scarcia and Team President/Owner Sgt. Gomer Pyle were joined in their team war room with 8 of the brightest draft analytics stars in the fantasy game. After fielding some calls to trade down from the 4th overall pick, and then almost trading pick #13 twice, the Pyles brass decided it was best to make these picks. With the first 3 picks being quarterbacks, the Pyles chose RB Najee Harris, to create a 3-headed monster at RB with JK Dobbins and Nick Chubb. With pick #13, the immediate need was at WR, which is where Rashod Bateman was chosen. The expectation is that pairing Bateman with star QB Lamar Jackson will lead to bigtime points from the Baltimore duo.

At the start of the 2nd round, the Pyles considered trading both 2nd round picks in separate packages, but with such an abundance of WR talent and overall talent still remaining at that point, the Pyles ended up keeping both picks and shoring up the WR and RB areas with WR Amon-Ra St. Brown and RB Kenneth Gainwell in back-to-back selections. Although additional holes still need to be filled, the team was aggressive in addressing some glaring needs. After celebrating on Mr. Pyle’s yacht at the conclusion of the rookie draft, the Pyles are now preparing for the auction and are looking forward to the upcoming 2021 season!

McAfee’s Canal Swimmers (Tyler Houston and Kyle Thompson) –The Canal Swimmers come out of this draft feeling very confident in their picks. We had a strong draft class last year and feel confident with Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert going forward. We came into the draft with picks 1.05 and 1.06 and traded up to get to 1.09 as well. Zach Wilson was left at 1.05 and we couldn’t get the offer we were looking for,so we decided to take who we had as the best available. Given the very QB centric scoring, we couldn’t pass up on the value. We loved Kyle Pitts and decided to take him at 1.06 but were stuck between him and Javonte Williams. We were lucky enough to take Pitts at 1.06 and Williams was still there for us at 1.09. Overall, we are very happy with how we came out of the draft. We’re looking forward to seeing our rookie class from last year grow and can hopefully start hitting a window in the next year or two to start competing for the championship.

Lucha Vikings (Ryan Swenson) – In complete and total rebuild mode, I came in with a BPA mentality with the 1.08.  I hoped one of the top 4 QBs would fall to me, but when they were all gone after 5 picks I started fielding offers for the 1.08. After talking to about half the league, I ended up just going with my gut and taking the BPA on my board, who was Travis Etienne.  Not a bad way to start a rebuild.  I don’t buy the Jags using him just as a “3rd Down Back Type” and I am hopeful he will be the next big dual threat out of the backfield.

At the 2.08 I had a decision to make between a WR with upside like Dyami Brown or Amari Rodgers, and what felt like a safer pick, TE Pat Freiermuth. At pick #24 overall, he’d fallen a few picks lower than some superflex ADPs projected him going, so I liked the value of possibly hitting on 2 future starters for my squad with my two picks. I considered Kyle Trask here, but I was so bitter about missing out on Kellen Mond that I just avoided the position at that lower tier. My team will likely have a very high draft pick next year, and hopefully I can get my future QB1 in the 2022 Draft.

Winthorpe & Valentine (All About Reality podcast co-host Matt Goodwin) – Realizing that I could only potentially protect 2 of my big 3 expiring players in Christian McCaffrey, Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams, I used the offseason and my sticky cap situation to trade Adams to Tim for one year of Diontae Johnson on a cheap deal, 1.11 and 1.16. I previously only had 2.03 coming into this draft. I know not the best return, but I did clear $24MM in cap space in the process too.

At 1.11, I figured my pick was going to be a default one after 5 QBs in the shallow pool of available Superflex QBs, 3 RBs, and Pitts and Chase off the board, I was basically choosing between Devonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle. In my head, I was going Smith on situation, but Pat made it easy for me by picking Smith at 1.10, leaving me Mac Jones to be the 2nd QB on my roster with Rodgers. Was thrilled to get a first round QB that far down the board. To nobody’s surprise, I then traded a 2022 2nd and 2.03 to secure Elijah Moore, who I love at 1.15 and give myself back-to-back picks with 1.16 to control the end of the 1st round when GMs are thirsty to have that 5th year rookie option.

I was between a few players at 1.16 and got many offers to move down even a pick or two. Ultimately, I traded for two anticipated high 2022 2nds and 2.13 who I used to pick Kyle Trask as a potential QB in Tampa Bay in a few years. I couldn’t pull the trigger on Michael Carter at 1.16 based on him being a 4th round pick and while I liked Terrace Marshall and Rondale Moore, I felt getting the picks in 2022 was the best play for my team.

Mike Dexter (Ryan Krauchick) ––  Mike Dexter is a god. Mike Dexter is an…astute trader. Taking over an orphan team midseason is difficult. Taking over an orphan team that was trending to have zero picks in the 2021 rookie draft and only had a handful of useful assets to trade in 2020 is a gut punch. However, Ryan spent the entire 2020 season moving contracts to build draft capital and then traded those picks to build a roster base of Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Jordan Love, George Kittle, pick 1.12 and other future year draft capital.

At 1.12 Ryan was focused on getting the best value for his rebuild, regardless of position. He got his Amanda Beckett (yes, that’s two Can’t Hardly Wait references in one team review), snagging his 2nd ranked rookie wide receiver in the back 5 of the first round. Waddle is as explosive as any wide receiver in this draft class and is a great fit into Miami’s new offense that is focused on winning with speed. Waddle has back-end WR1, high-end WR2 upside and will be a nice starting piece for a Mike Dexter team flush with over $109M in free agent auction cap space.

Ryan was trying to get back into the 1st round to target a RB to build around, but lost his biggest target in Trey Sermon when Mistress of Mayhem plucked him away at 1.14. Without any starting RBs on his roster, he fenagled his way back in at 1.16 and, with a light running back class, settled for Michael Carter. Ryan already had La’Mical Perine on his roster, so Carter gives him the ability to ensure he’s at least getting usable RB points from one of his running backs, as the free agent auction pool is drained at the position.

Mistress of Mayhem (Jenna Davis) – Matt Waldman has Sermon as a top ranked RB. When the opportunity presented itself to grab him at 1.14, that seemed like the time to strike.

RSOooo Super Chargers (Marcus Corbould) –  Going into the draft, I only had the 2.01 since I had traded my 2021 first rounder away. Luckily, my first became the 1.15 so I was only 2 picks back from where I would have been. I tried to trade up for a few picks to try to get Mac Jones in this QB-starved league but my offers were rebuffed. I had 15 players that I would be okay with spending a first round pick in this draft so when 1.16 came up and I still had one guy left, I tried to trade up again. I tried to convince Goody that he could probably still get the same offers at 2.01 that he was getting at 1.16 but he chose to trade it away to the package he knew he could get. Lo and behold my guy was still there–Terrace Marshall. With alpha traits and WRs mattering more to me in this league, it was an easy selection. After that, I probably made one of the biggest head-scratching moves in the draft. I saw Kellen Mond go at 2.03 and I knew I had to get my preferred 2nd tier QB: Davis Mills. I currently have Deshaun Watson and Jameis Winston (which could be 2, 1 or 0 starters). If I didn’t have 2 starting QBs in this league, there’s no point in competing. As such, I had to go bold and move David Montgomery and some cap space (cleared $13M or so) for the 2.07 (23rd overall) to get Mills. Last year, I had Montgomery in 5/5 leagues and I am still higher on him than most–but I needed the upside of a QB (who was projected by some to be a real life 2022 1st rounder) that I believe will play significant snaps on a team with an awful defense. Montgomery was subsequently moved for a 2023 1st and 2nd, but I got my guys. Let’s see if it works out, Cotton.

Karl Hungus & The Nihilists (Ryan Nicholson) – Entering the 2021 draft season, my team was coming off a league-high scoring season but with many contracts expiring or soon to expire (Chris Godwin, Alvin Kamara, Amari Cooper, George Kittle etc.).  With little hope to win it all this year, it was time to deconstruct the roster and walk away with the 2.02, 2.07, and 2.11 this year with additional picks in the 1st and 2nd next year.

There were some very defined tier breaks this year with Rondale Moore and Terrace Marshall being the firewall at the end of the 1st/beginning of the 2nd.  Moving up to make sure I drafted one of these receivers proved impossible but with some luck (and a trade-up by a league mate) Michael Carter went off the board at 1.16.  Rondale Moore fell to 2.02, and I was happy to take him there as a player who I see as a T.Y. Hilton archetype with a Steve Smith style to his game.  David Montgomery was offered for the 2.07 during the second round, and I accepted (he has since been traded for a 2023 1st and 2nd).  The 2.11 selection was Chuba Hubbard.  This is the sort of player that makes sense to me at the end of the 2nd with a hyper-productive sophomore season on his resume.

Pontifex Minimus (All About Reality podcast co-host Luke Patrick) – My contribution to on pick at 2.09- 25 picks away from the start of our draft. Baker Mayfield and Kirk Cousins are my only QBs on a championship team for the foreseeable future. QB scarcity, Vikings homer, and a rival owner named Lucha Vikings was two picks ahead of me at 2.07. My mission-Kellen Mond.

After pick 1.13 I offered 2.09/2022 2nd/2023 2nd to every owner until salvation came from a Packers fan- my only love sprung from my only hate! The Pickyouoff(Packers) at 2.03 agreed to move back 6 spots and picked up two 2nds and Kellen Mond joined the crew.

The Waterboys (Bobby Hoyt) – I entered this draft with my pick at 1.09, but looking at my roster and cap space, I knew I wasn’t a contender this year. So, when the trade to move back to 2.06 presented itself with an additional 2022 1st and a 2023 2nd rounder, I took it––pretty much knowing based on our group chat hate, that my New York Giants homer pick would probably be there for me. Kadarius Toney’s skill set reminded me of my 2020 2nd round pick Brandon Aiyuk and that’s an enticing thought for both my fantasy team and my Giants.

I was really surprised Amari Rodgers fell this far to 2.10, to be honest. I guess the uncertainty of the Green Bay quarterback situation had something to do with that, but when Daniel Jeremiah comped him to a young Randal Cobb, I figured he would be a great late second round steal. From what I’ve seen from him, he’s a top notch route runner with strong hands and that will always boost a player up in my rankings.

At 2.14, I went with Nico Collins. Any pick here in a 16 team league is a dart throw, so why not throw a dart at the guy who has the most opportunity? Aside from Brandin Cooks, who else is catching passes in Houston? Tyrod Taylor and Davis Mills aren’t exciting QB options by any stretch, but I think they should be able to throw it up to a big guy like Nico for a bunch of contested catches at least. And he’s certainly got the frame of a premiere red zone target. So, why not?

Pick You Off 24 (Stacy Hess) –  Stacy, not to be confused with Stacey (he’s a dude, pod league!) essentially traded down many times from 1.15 to 2.03 and then to 2.

RSO Podfather (Devonte Cleveland) –  2020 Midseason, the RSO Podfather was a on a hot streak and made a big trade to not only relieve some cap space but to acquire Evan Engram, Derek Carr, and Michael Pittman to add depth to the roster. The trade involved the 2021 1st round pick. The only thing I have to show for going into the 2021 season is Pittman on his rookie deal.

For my 2021 2nd round pick, I wasn’t a fan of what was falling to me in the later rounds, so securing the Tua’s back up in Jacoby Brissett and taking Benny Snell as depth seemed to be the best option, but time will tell. If I still had the 2.13, I would have definitely went with Kyle Trask, which is what Goody did with the pick acquired in the three way trade.

My Favorite Value Picks

Mac Jones is not my favorite prospect but is my choice for best value after dropping to the eleven spot.  The value of most starting quarterbacks is huge in a 16-team superflex league.  The scoring settings in this league elevate most quarterback values to enormous heights and particularly boost the accurate, limited rushing ability passers for which Jones projects as in the NFL.  It’s a great pick for a team in need of starting QBs.

Kadarius Toney has all kinds of issues projecting him to the NFL including very limited route-running ability, questionable hands, and limited production at the college level.  His ability really rests with the ball in his hands where he is dynamic.  Even though I have significant concerns, some in the NFL clearly have plans for Toney as multiple teams wanted him in the first round.  I like the gamble this late in the rookie draft.

Freiermuth was one of the only tight ends in college used as a primary receiving option.  While not an extreme athlete, he displays the ability to line up and win outside.  A bigger league also increases the potential impact of stable starting tight ends.  Like most tight ends, I don’t expect much production year one.  Eric Ebron and Juju Smith-Schuster could be free agents next season opening up opportunity for the new tight end.


Bio:  Bernard Faller has degrees in engineering and economics.  He currently lives in Las Vegas and enjoys athletics, poker, and fantasy football in his free time.  Send your questions and comments (both good and bad) on Twitter @BernardFaller1.

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