The All About Reality Podcast League Rookie Draft Results

Updated: May 17th 2019

Hey Folks, Matt Goodwin here coming out of writing retirement to compile this article summarizing our All About Reality first rookie draft in our second season of the league.

Here GMs will divulge their strategy and picks in our 2 round, 16 team, 32 pick rookie draft which started almost a week after the draft on May 1st and concluded on May 2nd. Please note that our world-class Chief Technology Officer Kyle English has developed a slick new slow rookie draft interface which enables trades during the draft and removes the pesky 3 day no trading window prior to league rookie drafts. A big collective shout-out from the rooftops to Kyle for that enhancement.

First item of note was that there were a whopping seven draft day trades as noted in the table below. For context for all Reality Sports Online GM’s who want intel for their upcoming rookie drafts, here were the exact trades that went down with my podcast co-host Luke Patrick O’Connell making several trades including trading 1.02 and 1.03 to stock up on what many believe is a super-talented and deep 2020 class (our own Bob Cowper included as he’s already starting scouting the 2020 potential rookie class.  Feel free to reach out on Twitter with thoughts on who won trades, if picks went down as expected, etc.

Trade # Headline Team Names Traded Received Player Contracts Pick Made
1 Luke Trades Down 1.02 for Players/Picks Pontifex Minimus (Luke) 2019 Pick 1.02 Hunter Henry
2019 Pick 1.07
2020 Mistress of Mayhem Jenna (1st)
Hunter Henry 2 yrs, $7.21MM N’Keal Harry, WR
1 Luke Trades Down 1.02 for Players/Picks Mistress of Mayhem (Jenna) 2019 Pick 1.02 Josh Jacobs, RB
2 Luke Trades Down 1.03, Hunter Henry for 2019/2020 Picks Pontifex Minimus (Luke) 2019 Pick 1.03
Hunter Henry
2019 Pick 1.08
2020 Pickyouoff24 (1st)
2 Luke Trades Down 1.03 for 2019/2020 Picks Pickyouoff24 (Stacy) 2019 Pick 1.03
Hunter Henry
Hunter Henry 2 yrs, $7.21MM Dwayne Haskins, QB
3 Ryan N Trades Up to get his guy Miles Sanders The Teal Curtain (Curtis) 2019 Pick 1.05 2019 Pick 1.09
2019 Pick 2.06
3 Ryan N Trades Up to get Miles Sanders Karl Hungus and the Nihilists (Ryan N) 2019 Pick 1.09
2019 Pick 2.06
2019 Pick 1.05 Miles Sanders, RB
4 Bubble Boy Gets a QB (Drew Lock), Luke gets his first RB Pontifex Minimus (Luke) 2019 Pick 1.08 Derrick Henry
2020 McAfee’s Canal Swimmers (1st)
Derrick Henry 2 yrs, $26.78MM
4 Bubble Boy Gets a QB (Drew Lock), Luke gets his first RB Bubble Boy and The Moops (Pat) Derrick Henry
2020 McAfee’s Canal Swimmers (1st)
2019 Pick 1.08 Drew Lock, QB
5 Ashley Gets Her Coveted Darnold/Robby Anderson stack, Jenna Gets 1.16 House Stark (Ashley) 2019 Pick 1.16 Robby Anderson
2019 Pick 2.07
Robby Anderson 1 year, $7.14MM
5 Ashley Gets Her Coveted Darnold/Robby Anderson stack, Jenna Gets 1.16 Mistress of Mayhem (Jenna) Robby Anderson
2019 Pick 2.07
2019 Pick 1.16 Irv Smith Jr., TE
6 Bobby Trades 2020 1st with Devonte to pick Hockenson RSO PodFather (Devonte) 2019 Pick 1.13
2019 Pick 2.13
2020 RSOooo Super Chargers (1st)
2019 Pick 2.09
6 Bobby Trades 2020 1st with Devonte to pick Hockenson The New Hampshire Waterboys (Bobby) 2020 RSOooo Super Chargers (1st)
2019 Pick 2.09
2019 Pick 1.13
2019 Pick 2.13
T.J. Hockenson, TE
7 Ryan N Trades Up in 2nd The Teal Curtain (Curtis) 2019 Pick 2.05 2019 Pick 2.08
2021 Karl Hungus (2nd)
7 Ryan N Trades Up in 2nd Karl Hungus and the Nihilists (Ryan N) 2019 Pick 2.08
2021 Karl Hungus (2nd)
2019 Pick 2.05 Andy Isabella, WR

Following, here are picks 1-16 of each of our two rounds in the All About Reality Podcast league rookie draft with context and commentary from the GMs who made these moves.

Round 1 Teams Picks POS Round 2 Teams Picks POS
1.01 Teal Curtain (Curtis) Kyler Murray QB 2.01 Teal Curtain(Curtis) Kelvin Harmon WR
1.02 Mistress of Mayhem (Jenna) Josh Jacobs RB 2.02 Bubble Boy and The Moops (Pat) Noah Fant TE
1.03 Pickyouoff24 (Stacy) Dwayne Haskins QB 2.03 Lucha Vikings (Ryan S) Deebo Samuel WR
1.04 Brian Brennan’s Stadium Shakers (Goody) David Montgomery RB 2.04 Barkley Owner (Ashley) Darrell Henderson RB
1.05 Karl Hungus (Ryan N.) Miles Sanders RB 2.05 Karl Hungus(Ryan N) Andy Isabella WR
1.06 Waterboys (Bobby) Daniel Jones QB 2.06 Teal Curtain (Curtis) Josh Oliver TE
1.07 Pontifex Minimus (Luke) N’Keal Harry WR 2.07 House Stark (Ashley) – from Mistress of Mayhem (Jenna) Devin Singletary RB
1.08 Bubble Boy & The Moops (Pat) Drew Lock QB 2.08 Teal Curtain (Curtis ) Will Grier QB
1.09 Teal curtain (Curtis ) Parris Campbell WR 2.09 RSO PodFather (Devonte) JJ Arcega-Whiteside WR
1.1 The Fantasy Affliction (Tim) D.K. Metcalf WR 2.1 Brian Brennan’s Stadium Shakers (Goody) Jace Sternberger TE
1.11 Mistress of Mayhem (Jenna) A.J. Brown WR 2.11 House Stark (Ashley) Ryan Finley QB
1.12 The New Hampshire Waterboys(Bobby) Hakeem Butler WR 2.12 RSO PodFather (Devonte) Damien Harris RB
1.13 The New Hampshire Waterboys(Bobby) TJ Hockenson TE 2.13 The New Hampshire Waterboys (Bobby) Justice Hill RB
1.14 House Stark (Ashley) Mecole Hardman WR 2.14 RSOooo Super Chargers (Marcus) Alexander Mattison RB
1.15 Bubble Boy (Pat) Marquise Brown WR 2.15 Mistress of Mayhem (Jenna) Preston Williams WR
1.16 Mistress of Mayhem (Jenna) Irv Smith Jr. TE 2.16 Waterboys(Bobby) Riley Ridley WR

 

Team name: The Teal Curtain (Curtis Burleson)

Team needs: RB,WR,TE,Flex

Team picks: 1.01, Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals

1.09, Parris Campbell, WR, Indianapolis Colts

                          2.01, Kelvin Harmon, WR, Washington Redskins
                          2.06, Josh Oliver, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars
                          2.08, Will Grier, QB, Carolina Panthers
With so many holes to feel I wanted to get a player of every skill position and max out my QB’s with the position  being so important in this league. So with no trade partners for the 1.01, Kyler Murray was my no-brainer pick. At 1.09 Parris Campbell was the top wide receiver on my board and again no trade partners to be found to keep me in range of my target players. 2.01 Kelvin Harmon was one of my favorite receivers pre-draft and landed in a great situation/fit. I felt I could not risk losing him after missing on Irv Smith going off the board one pick ahead of me. With my favorite and last target at RB, Darrell Henderson, again going off the board one pick ahead of me, I chose to finish my draft taking the last two players on my shortlist. At 2.06 I took Josh Oliver my 4th and last TE on my board and at 2.08 I took Will Grier, my top QB in the class.

Team Name: Mistress of Mayhem (Jenna Davis)

Team Needs: RB, 2nd QB, depth

Team Picks: 1.02, Josh Jacobs, RB, Oakland Raiders

                           1.11, AJ Brown, WR, Tennessee Titans

                           1.16, Irv Smith Jr., TE, Minnesota Vikings

                           2.15, Preston Williams, WR, Miami Dolphins

I set two separate strategies up heading into the draft (Murray first or Jacobs first).  When Murray went first, it was go time. I knew I had to make a play for Jacobs. I hated trading away my future, but I had to make a play for him given my RB situation, what is left in free agency, and the contracts other RBs had.  There was no way to afford 2 RB’s in free agency even with my cap situation.  My 1.11 pick was the stuff of dreams.  I got way too excited about all the talent that was left on the board, and I made a play for the 1.16 because Ashley had already shown interest in Robby Anderson on my roster.  I went with Irv Smith for the simple reason that his quarterback Kirk Cousins loves TE’s.  Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, and even Niles Paul were fantasy relevant with him under center.  I should have taken Miles Boykin with the 2.15 pick, but I was driving and thought he went off the board already. I ended up taking Preston Williams.  He would have been in the top prospect conversation if not for off-field issues.  If he can keep himself in check, he could end up being my favorite pick in this draft.

Team Name:  Pickyouoff24 (Stacy Hess)
Team Needs: QB, Flex, RB
Team Pick:  1.03, Dwayne Haskins, QB, Washington

I went into the rookie draft with only 1.08.  I Knew I needed a QB as first priority or I was grabbing Miles Sanders or N’Keal Harry.  Luke had sent out several offers about trading down leading up to the draft.  I was not sure how the draft was going to play out and did not want to make any moves until after the NFL Draft commenced.  During the draft, Luke hit me up again about trading down.  Having already been a part of two separate rookie drafts before our listener league, I had a solid feel that Murray, Haskins, Sanders and Harry would all be gone.  I assumed I would be sitting on Daniel Jones at 8.  I felt the opportunity cost of trading up to 1.03 could not be avoided.  I ended up trading Luke 1.08 + my 20 1st to move up to 1.03.  Having a young QB on a rookie contract is a huge advantage both in reality and Reality Sports Online leagues.  Haskins becomes an immediate starter, assuming he plays majority of games in 2019.  I tend to err on the side that future picks are typically bad because I expect to compete at a high level every year. Hunter Henry at 3.5 was also a very welcoming throw in.

Team Name: Brian Brennan’s Stadium Shakers (Matt Goodwin)
Team Needs: Tight End, Flex Talent, Salary Cap Relief
Team Picks: 1.04, David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears
                           2.10, Jace Sternberger, TE, Green Bay Packers
Coming into the rookie draft with most of my starting lineup intact, my philosophy kind of mimicked a Phife Dawg lyric on Midnight Marauders as my goal is to win “not now, but RIGHT now!”. I was hoping to either trade down to land a starting TE and save cap space or that Dwayne Haskins would fall to me at 1.04 so I had a Tom Brady succession plan, as Brady’s large contract expires after this season. My podcast co-host Luke appropriated good trade value with 1.02 and 1.03 ahead of me, so I figured someone would snipe and take a quarterback. While Harry was on the board, I didn’t feel he addressed a large team need and his lack of separation speed makes me fear that he is Josh Doctson 2.0. So, fresh off watching film of Montgomery, I went with traits I usually bank on–elusiveness and pass catching ability, as well as liking the signaling when a team trades up to get their guy. Enter Montgomery, who I think can contribute this season and take the reins next season, which essentially is when I need him to be a fantasy starter for me. After some more obscure TEs went in the second round, I went with Sternberger as a flier as a hopeful future key cog in Aaron Rodgers aerial attack. Lastly, post draft, I traded Keenan Allen and his 3 years remaining around $100 million for T.Y. Hilton and his 2 years, $41 million remaining and a 2021 2nd rounder to get out of my 2019 cap issues and then traded Devonta Freeman on a 1 year, $25 million deal for Jameis Winston on a two year, $34 million deal to complete my Brady succession plan. While I’m now carrying three starting QBs in this Superflex league (Jared Goff is my other), I’m confident I can get solid value for Brady for a QB needy team either now or after a league QB gets injured.
Team Name: Karl Hungus and the Nihilists (Ryan Nicholson)
Team needs: RB, WR depth
Team Picks: 1.05, Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

                          2.05, Andy Isabella, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Going into the draft, I evaluated my team as a strong contender this coming season. My core lineup containing quarterbacks Jimmy G and Mitchell Trubisky, Alvin Kamara and Nick Chubb, Amari Cooper, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Chris Godwin and then George Kittle at TE, gave me some urgency to get players that would have the talent, draft capital, and landing spot to be instant contributors. With Miles Sanders available at 1.05 (as the RB1 on my own board) and with there being no viable RBs left after 2 had already gone off the board, I traded from 1.09 to 1.05 by way of including the 2.06.  Depth was not the hallmark of this draft so getting specific players when they fell within trading range was key. I anticipate Sanders gaining an increasing share of the backfield, in a proficient offense, as the season progresses.  Watching the rest of the draft unfold, Andy Isabella continued to slide to the point where I felt there was a massive gap between him and the remainder of the players on the board, so trading up to 2.05 by packaging the 2.9 and 2021 first to get my WR5 made perfect sense. In the end, I was able to acquire two players in my top 10 and feel good about their ability to put up points this season.  I look forward to drafting at pick 16 in 2020!

Team Name: New Hampshire Waterboys (Bobby Hoyt)

Team Needs: Wide Receiver, Tight End, Flex talent, and a QB succession plan.

Team Picks: 1.06, Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants

                           1.12, Hakeem Butler, WR, Arizona Cardinals

                           1.13, TJ Hockenson, TE, Detroit Lions

                           2.13, Justice Hill, RB, Baltimore Ravens

                           2.16, Riley Ridley, WR, Chicago Bears

Coming off of a 9-win season last year (just missing the playoffs) I began to feel a sense of overwhelming dread coming into this year with a team that was possibly destined for the “middle of the pack purgatory,” that many dynasty players fall into. Therefore, I pre-emptively traded many of my big-name, big-salary players that helped me compete last year for a culmination of some younger talent and a lot of draft picks. Some trades were decent, others I regret entirely – but what’s done is done. On draft day, everyone kind of knew who my target would be at 1.06 as I wore my Giants fandom firmly on my sleeve. This knowledge culminated many trade talks to move up in the draft allowing me to secure Daniel Jones, knowing the other top two QBs would probably go in the first three picks. After some agonizing debate – I decided to stay put and Jones ultimately fell to me at 1.06 (which I had a feeling might happen anyway because everyone but me seemed to be hating the pick for the Giants).  That said, I still took him with great consternation, because fantasy darling Harry was also on the board. However, I also knew Jones wouldn’t last to 1.12. Having Eli Manning on a one-year deal, Jones made sense for me in case Eli got injured or the team was not in contention due to poor team play. It ensured I would have his successor in place. Plus, I love having guys I can root for on my team – so, Haskins was out for me anyway. Suck it Washington. Working the overnight shift proved a bit problematic as I woke in a sleepy haze and perhaps mistakenly picked Butler over Hollywood Brown (who would have a more secure role in the Ravens offense) but, I still believed in the reverence of experts like Evan Silva, Matt Harmon and Matt Waldman, plus I enjoyed watching Butler’s tape – so, you know, no ragrets…not one letter. Devonte (Podfather) was next on the clock and he messaged me as I was about to fall back asleep with an offer to move out of my next 2.09 pick back up to the 1.13. I haggled for a bit and settled for maybe a little too much to climb back into the first round. I had a TE need and one of my favorite players in the draft, TJ Hockenson, had not been picked yet. I loved the kid’s game and I think the landing spot is just fine despite the critics balking. I rested easy until I had to return to work that night. When the next morning broke, I still had 2 second round picks left to go and I went onto make my next two selections at 2.13 and 2.16. I went with Justice Hill first, envisioning the speed demon as having a poor man’s Alvin Kamara type role in the Ravens backfield with Mark Ingram (those other guys on the roster don’t scare or concern me). My Mr. Irrelevant pick, I felt was a massive steal as I grabbed Riley Ridley and exited the draft room guns blazing. Personally, I thought the younger Ridley brother was one of the best route runners in the class (a trait I value very highly) and his competition on the Bears roster is not something I’m afraid of. I think he will be lining up opposite Allen Robinson week one with second year guy Anthony Miller running the slot. I think he’s got potential to make some big plays this year. Really happy with my overall draft haul, and while I don’t anticipate making a huge run this year – I’m hoping next year I will be primed to push for the playoffs and contend with the big boys. Providing I don’t sabotage myself before them, which I am want to do from time to time.

Team Name: Pontifex Minimus (Luke Patrick O’Connell)
Team Needs: Running Back, Flex
Team Picks:  1.07, N’Keal Harry, WR, New England Patriots (after many trades)
There are few things that prompt more unadulterated fun than a fantasy football draft, trading in fantasy football, and the esteemed luminary of 90s rap – Coolio.  So, like the aforementioned lyrical master I entered the “All About Reality” Podcast League with a newly minted doctorate, feeling like “an educated fool with money on my mind/Got a 10 in my hand and a gleam in my eye.”  In this case the “money” was 2019 draft picks and the 10 in hand were the 1.02 and 1.03. My partner Goody was prescient enough to know that such assets would change hands a few times and so they did. 1.02 went the way of Mayhem making moves to net a starting RB in Josh Jacobs.   For her efforts I landed the 1.07, a 2020 1stand Hunter Henry.   The 1.03 was also a person of interest with Haskins still on the board for a 16 team superflex league.   So I flipped that and the 1.03 to Pickyouoff24 for the 1.08 and a 2020 1st and he promptly landed Washington’s presumptive starter.   The picks broke right for arguably the top overall dynasty asset to fall to 1.07 so I took the inestimable N’Keal Harry before QB thirst drove another trade up for Drew Lock at 1.08.  Moops offered Derrick Henry and a 2020 1st in what is likely a winnable bet against the “elite” Joe Flacco’s tenure in Denver.  My draft began with a team largely devoid of RBs but set at all the other starting spots and ended with Derrick Henry for $13 million per year for two years.  Harry on a rookie deal at 1.07 and 3 newly minted 2020 1sts.   The new draft features on RSO will make all future drafts painless as we witnessed in the Writer’s League, and much credit goes to our tireless listeners that made fearless offers and kept the action going across 32 picks.  As Coolio would say…a gangsta’s paradise.
Team Name: The Fantasy Affliction (Tim Aylesworth)
Team Needs: Tight End, Wide Receiver
Team Picks:  1.10, DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks
Due to some serious salary cap concerns, the off-season saw the Affliction trading away future Hall Of Famer Julio Jones and unable to retain the services of Tight End Eric Ebron.  And with only one draft pick to their name, it was going to be difficult (ie impossible) to fill all the team’s needs.  The expectation was that the top 5 players on my Draft Board would be long gone but pick 1.10, and serious consideration would have to be given to trading down to acquire more picks.  The TFA roster is a contender, with star power at the top, but absolutely zero depth behind it. As the draft began to get through the first round, we began to feel that maybe we might be able to get a top WR after all.  The major run on QBs and RBs meant that our top 2 choices at WR fell all the way to pick 1.09, and we knew we would get one of them at 1.10.  DK Metcalf, The Fantasy Affliction’s #1 rated WR brought Christmas early to Coach Aylesworth and the Afflicted Fans.  It was only one pick, but it was better than we dared hope for. Some people have asked if consideration was given to outstanding TE Noah Fant, but Tight Ends take longer to develop than Wide Receivers and the Affliction believe we are ready to compete now.
Team Name: Lucha Vikings (Ryan Svenson)
Team Needs: Starting WR, More FLEX Depth
Team Picks: 2.03, Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Unfortunately, I came into the draft with very little draft capital.  I traded my 1st round pick pre-draft in a deal to acquire Julio Jones.  But with a high 2nd round pick I had hopes that somebody I liked would fall to me.  And thankfully, I was correct.  I had a bevy of options available to me when I was on the clock at 2.03 (19 overall), which can be attributed to the cut-throat nature of a 16-team Superflex league (4 QBs were taken in the first 8 picks) allowing positional players to fall further than they would in a different type of league.  I considered 3 players at the pick, which also made me explore trade-back options.  There were no trades to be made, so I had to make a choice between the 3 guys on my board; Andy Isabella, Deebo Samuel, and JJ Arcega-Whiteside.  Now I know rookie WRs don’t typically make a big impact, but I need SOME impact from mine at the least.  And I like Isabella but feel like he’s got a slightly longer road to success than the other 2 guys.  Ultimately, I just like Deebo better as a prospect over JJ, and I think he has a legitimate chance of carving out a big role in the SF offense in year 1.  It didn’t hurt that Deebo was the #5 WR on my board heading into the draft and I got him as the 9th WR drafted.
Team name: House Stark (Ashley Bowling)
Team needs: WR/RB (Flex)
Team Picks: 1.14 Mecole Hardman, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
                          2.04 Darrell Henderson, RB,  Los Angeles Rams
                          2.07 Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills

                           2.11 Ryan Finley, QB, Cincinnati Bengals

My goal coming into the rookie draft was finding a player I felt could possibly start for me throughout the year. Based on where my picks were, I felt I had a handful of darts and hoped someone would hit. My first order of business was getting Robby Anderson via trade with Jenna, Mistress of Mayhem. He’s had a special place in my heart the last couple years and I felt like he could start for me on a weekly basis. I moved the 1.16 for Robby and 2.07. I had in my mind if Mecole Hardman was there at 1.14 that’s who I planned on taking. There were a couple other WRs here I was looking at, but the possibility of Hardman being on the field with Mahomes and that KC offense was one I didn’t want to pass up. I had pretty much the same mindset at the 2.04 with Darrell Henderson. I’m not sure any of us know what is going on with Todd Gurley, so just the possibility of Henderson getting carries in the Rams offense was intriguing. I’ve got very little cap space, so I was thrilled getting those two in hopes one of their situations worked in my favor. Now at the 2.07 I was still torn between taking a RB or WR. Being the RB lover that I’ve always been, I had to go with Singletary here and his running behind a couple of old men in Buffalo. I finished my draft off with the 2.11 pick of Ryan Finley. I live in the greater Cincinnati area, and a couple of the radio personalities kind of talked me into this pick here. With this being a superflex league, I felt he was a solid grab, and if things don’t go well for the Bengals and Dalton, maybe he will make some starts.

Team Name: The RSO PodFather (Devonte Cleveland)
Team Needs: Starting RB, WR depth, and picks for depth/upside
Team Picks: 2.09, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
                           2.12, Damien Harris, RB, New England Patriots
Before the draft started, The RSO PodFather possessed the 1.13, 2.12, and 2.13. Going into the draft I figured I would be trading the 1.13, to either move up, move back, or move out. As the draft moved forward, I didn’t start actively trade talking until 1.10 when I noticed DK Metcalf dropping. There was an agreed trade that I backed out of last minute that involved all 3 of my picks for the 1.10. Though DK would have been a great addition to my team as I start my 2019 rebuild, I couldn’t get myself to go all in on him. Finally, the 1.13 came and at this point had 5 different way I could have gone… I debated on taking (in this order) Noah Fant, Samuel, Hollywood Brown, or JJAW. I was completely indecisive and felt so overwhelmed, I looked to trade out. Once again, being in a rebuild mindset, and already having (4) 2020 1st, why not make it five and moving up a tad in this years 2nd? 2.09 finally came around the next morning and I SCREAMED!!! The guy I was genuinely considered taking at 1.13 is now here at 2.09!!!! (do not ask me how or why….) One of my major needs is WR, though, Arcega-Whiteside may not get a ton of targets this year, next year I hope he sees a ton of red zone catches. When 2.12 came around, I saw plenty of upside WRs that would be a great pick ups, but I understand RBs are much more valuable, so I took the guy I had pretty high on my board. I know better not to draft Alabama RBs, but I trust New England to do this man right, if not this year, than next. Post draft: I have a couple expiring contracts that (if I’m not a playoff contender) I’ll sell for picks in 2020 to teams that are contenders.
Team Name: RSOooo Super Chargers (Marcus Corbould)
Team Needs: Starting RB, TE, WR depth
Team Picks: 2.14, Alexander Mattison, RB, Minnesota Vikings
I had traded my 2019 and 2020 1st rounders along with Russell Wilson and Leonard Fournette for Aaron Rodgers/OBJ earlier in the offseason. Steep price, but it gave me a then-elite core of OBJ/Tyreek (highest scoring WR in our format) and Rodgers/Rivers. That left me with just the 2.14 for this draft. Once JJAW miraculously fell into the 2nd, I tried to trade up to the 2.03 onwards but no one wanted to trade as far back as the 2.14. It didn’t help that one person ended up holding the majority of the picks at one time or another from 2.03-2.09. Once JJAW went, I was content to just take the player with the highest chance at a return on investment. RB Alexander Mattison was my choice because he has good draft capital and went to a landing spot where the primary backup has had a fair amount of opportunity in Minnesota. He is also being pegged as a better Latavius Murray. It also helped that there are 2 Vikings fans in our league who were both interested in picking him. I expect him to have some flex value in a league this deep and be a bargaining chip in future trade talks.
More Analysis by Matt Goodwin

Week 3 Street FA Report

Updated: September 19th 2018

Each week we will recommend a group of players that are owned in less than 50% of RSO league that should be rostered. Depending on roster and league sizes not all of these players may be available. For that, we will offer 1 player that is owned in <10% of leagues as our Sleeper add.

Add of the Week

Tyler Boyd, WR – CIN (Owned 24.8%)

Week 2: 6 Rec/91 yards, 1 TD

Remember when the standard was to give a receiver three years before expecting him to be fantasy relevant? Maybe we should all go back to that philosophy. While A.J. Green stole the spotlight with three touchdowns on Thursday night, Tyler Boyd had a solid 21.1 PPR fantasy point night himself. The Bengals are looking like one of those teams that will have weekly value at each position in fantasy this season and Boyd might be the biggest value of them all. He will never face double-team coverage with Green lining up opposite to him and with his ability to assimilate most of the underneath targets he should have a solid week-to-week PPR floor. Consider Boyd a WR3/4 most weeks with his upside being what he did last Thursday.

Suggested Bid: $4,000,000 – $6,000,000

QB Add

Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB – TB (Owned 38.3%)

Week 2: 27 for 33, 402 Passing yards, 4 TDs

It was hilarious to see Ryan Fitzpatrick be fantasy relevant for week one but now after a second elite level performance, there is no joking around. There should be no way that Jameis Winston returns as the starter when he is eligible to play again in week four so long as Fitzpatrick is playing the way he is right now. With all the weapons around him, Fitzpatrick is utilizing each of their skill sets in a way that a solid veteran QB should be. This is something the Bucs need right now and unless you are starting one of the elite fantasy QBs you need to be considering some Fitzmagic for your lineup moving forward.

Suggested Bid: $2,000,000 – $5,000,000 ($5,000,000 – $10,000,000 Superflex)

RB Add

Javorius “Buck” Allen, RB – BAL (Owned 47.1%)

Week 2: 6 Car/8 yards, 1 TD, 5 Rec/36 yards

Baltimore wins big and Javorius “Buck” Allen is fantasy relevant. Baltimore loses and Allen is fantasy relevant. It appears that the Ravens are comfortable with having a split backfield with Alex Collins getting the early down role and Allen receiving numerous targets in the passing game. Surprisingly though, both of Allen’s touchdowns have come on goal-line carries which means that he will have opportunities around the end zone and not just on the way there. The Ravens are likely to be a .500 team again this season which means plenty of games where Allen will be used as a safety blanket option for Joe Flacco in tight games.

Suggested Bid: $500,000 – $1,500,000

WR Adds

Willie Snead, WR – BAL (Owned 39.3%)

Week 2: 5 Rec/54 yards

Speaking of Joe Flacco safety blankets everyone’s favorite let down, Willie Snead has quietly earned 12.6 fantasy points per game over the first two weeks. Many thought of Snead as a forgotten man in Baltimore after he failed to live up to expectation with New Orleans last season. But remember that the Ravens liked him enough to give an RFA offer so the coaching staff must have liked something they saw. Right now he is playing the slot role inside of John Brown and Michael Crabtree which should help with his scoring floor on a week-to-week basis.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

Taylor Gabriel, WR – CHI (Owned 18.6%)

Week 2: 4 Rec/30 yards, 3 Car/17 yards

The Bears offense has not lived up to the hype of being the next L.A. Rams but that was a tough bar to expect and they have been good, but not great to this point. In their first two games, the Bears have looked like a team that will win because of its defense but that doesn’t mean they won’t have some fantasy-relevant value plays on offense. Taylor Gabriel is an underrated player that, while not likely to be scoring many touchdowns, does have the attention of Mitchell Trubisky. He is also an athletic talent that head coach Matt Nagy wants to move around the field and use in various ways, as evident by his three carries on Monday night. For shallow leagues, he might not be of much value but for leagues with several starters, there are more risky players to have for bye weeks coming up than Gabriel.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

TE Add

Jesse James, TE – PIT (Owned 32.6%)

Week 2: 5 Rec/138 yards, 1 TD

The Steelers are an absolute mess right now. Le’Veon Bell is holding out and now Antonio Brown is skipping out on practice days. Fortunately for the rest of the Steelers players, they are presenting great value for fantasy purposes because of it. One such player is Jesse James who had an okay week one followed up by a monster week two. Vance McDonald is clearly not going to be the player that people thought he might be in this offense so it is back to old reliable James for some low-end TE1 production. Ben Roethlisberger has always loved throwing to his tight ends so James should have a steady amount of targets, especially if they continue to struggle in games.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000 – $3,000,000

Sleeper Add (<10%)

Jarius Wright, WR – CAR (1.3%)

Week 2: 5 Rec/62 yards, 1 TD

Cam Newton needs new targets to fill in for Greg Olsen while he is out with a foot injury. Jarius Wright had a surprising seven targets against Atlanta and was able to convert one those into a touchdown. Wright is never going to lead the Panthers in targets but the team does need more than just Christian McCaffrey and Devin Funchess if they are going to win games. For leagues scrapping the bottom of the barrel for players Wright could be a long shot to add in the hopes that some weeks he has a stat line like last week.

Suggesed Bid: $500,000

More Analysis by Nick Andrews

A Comprehensive Guide to Extension Decisions

Updated: September 27th 2017

With a ground-breaking extension feature getting rolled out next week (for more details from the league office, take a look here) Reality Sports Online GMs have been scurrying around for inside information like the Duke brothers seeking out the Frozen Concentrated O.J. insider crop harvest report in Trading Places. While this article may not have much about the “secret sauce” that factors into what offer your expiring players are receiving from Weeks 5 to 13 this season, treat this as a comprehensive strategic approach to making contract extension decisions.

These are my opinions and advice based on the information I have about extensions. Just like you, I’m not swimming in insider information. I have, however, put a lot of thought into devising the methodology to approach this decision with. Feel free to use these thoughts, critique them, ignore them and question them on Twitter . Either way, remember that the RSO guys have created something innovative based on the Moneyball mindset that may require a few kinks to be worked out early on. So if you encounter any type of issues, please be kind and patient (and refrain from social media negging) because this platform is infinitely better than what you were playing before and I’m saying that as a customer.

As a disclaimer, I’m not certain I’ll be using my one league voted in-season extension this season as I tend to be a free-market guy who would prefer to see what is going on in the auction. Being somewhat conservative, I haven’t yet been saddled with many “bad contracts” in my leagues that I haven’t been able to get out of, and ultimately that’s the biggest risk an owner faces with these extensions. The biggest risk the RSO guys face with extensions is actually the polar opposite-having the algorithm spit out too kind of a deal for extensions. Remember that when you see your initial offers.

  1. The Airline Ticket Purchase Analogy– When you are looking at taking a trip and booking flights, you don’t keep searching prices after you’ve already purchased the ticket. Likewise, you don’t get on the plane and ask the person sitting next to you how much they paid for their ticket.

So, in similar fashion, if you have extensions enabled in your league and you like the price/years offered for an expiring player the first week it is offered (note that only your team can see the offers your player is getting on your team page) and have the requisite cap space in future years to do it, pull the trigger and don’t look back.

Also, with the “everything is an asset” in an RSO league caveat-if you as an owner are transparent about what your player offers are to other owners, you may be able to work out a favorable trade with them.

  1. What’s Your Benchmark?- Since the only other viable extension opportunity for you is the franchise tag, that is a number you are now forced to know like the back of your hand for every position you have on your roster. If you haven’t calculated the Top 5 positional average for players in your league under contract for 2018 yet, you are already behind. If you are behind, don’t worry, it is not hard to calculate that average by position.

Remember, that the franchise tag for your player by position is the HIGHER of the Top 5 positional average or 120% of your current year salary for that player. The franchise tag does have a term limit of being used twice and obviously has a multiplier effect of 120% if you’ve used it once already.

That said, you should always be comparing your annual average value of your extension offer to your franchise tag cost for the upcoming year. If the extension offer is cheaper for the player of need, that may be an indication that you want to extend that player.

I’ll predict that with potentially high extension price tags and future increases to auction prices (see #3) that the franchise tag will be a more strategically used asset across leagues in the future.

  1. Predicting Future Auction Prices- I’m saying this for those who have been on the RSO platform for a short period of time where the talent in free agency hasn’t turned over much in leagues due to rookie contracts not expiring, etc. Just like you have certain expectations of what someone should cost prior to the auction via your prep, the real auction takes twists and turns and gets more unpredictable as players like Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski become free agents for the first time in your leagues. Add that into a dynamic market where several teams are coming into the auction with significant ($100m +) cap space and you get scenarios like my main league where Brown went on a huge contract for 4 years, $243.5m.

Then, when a few players trickle back into the auction and teams have bountiful cap space, you see overpayments being made for players who don’t deserve as much as they are getting. That’s where your perception of where future auction prices are headed can benefit you in looking at extending players. I’ll talk about this more in a bit, but it really is about getting over the initial “sticker shock” of the extension offers.

  1. Sticker Shock and What To Do With It- When you’ve paid a rookie that you sneakily drafted early in Round 2 of your 2014 rookie draft like I did with Devonta Freeman around $1.5m a year for four years, any contract extension offer is going to seem astronomical. Don’t let it be. Of course, Freeman’s rookie contract is well under market value and his extension offer may be more than what you perceive market value to be. Likely, it will fall somewhere in between.

So you’ll likely need to “check down” against what someone like Freeman’s franchise tag # would be in 2018 (of course that’s the summer vs. an in season extension). This is exactly what I’m going to do in Week 5 when the initial offers come out.

Here is an inside look at a spreadsheet I use in my main league to look into future use of franchise tags and extensions. If you don’t have a template like this, you don’t have to be an Excel whiz to set one up. Note that my calculation for Freeman’s tag is based on the Top 5 positional average for running backs. I’ll try to explain more about Allen Robinson later as I’ve already been approached by one owner who is trying to figure out what to do with him this season (NOTE: I have not seen any offers for Robinson and just put these salaries in as a placeholder that may not be realistic).

  1. Players with Small Sample Size (Rookies and Breakouts)

For current rookies or players without much history on their side that have performed well thus far this season, the algorithm has a very small sample size and the offers are likely to be outside of your comfort zone. If you think that someone like Tarik Cohen has league star written all over him, feel free to accept the offer coming his way. I personally would lean on a larger sample size and take my chances in an auction, but one thing you have that the others in your league don’t is current control over that player.

  1. Age Matters

From what I gather, age of player is a definite component of the algorithm that determines extension values and contract lengths being offered. If you’ve seen players like Brandon Marshall fail to separate from DB’s lately, you’ll know that you don’t want to give too many years or dollars to someone on the backside of their career.

At the same time, consider some pivotal ages for your wide receivers and running backs. I typically would view 33 year-old receivers as one year guys with few exceptions (this is when a player like Andre Johnson experienced his decline). In terms of running backs, I’m not giving any running back over the age of 27 more than two years. If you’ve noticed the running back leaders this season in fantasy points, you’ll see that rookie running backs and guys like Todd Gurley and Freeman sit atop the board and they are all 25 and under.

I know there are exceptions to every rule/player, but remember you are in essence via the extension bidding against yourself here and not the market.

  1. I’m All About Value

With likely high prices across the board for extension players, to hit a home run on one, you’re likely to be taking on significant risk or finding value in the marketplace. With that, I think creativity is important and that would include taking a look at players who were already injured this season and are out for the season. Guys like Cam Meredith and the aforementioned Robinson. Let’s dig deeper on Robinson since I’m facing this very decision.

The good: he doesn’t turn 25 until next August, has a monster season under his belt that was two years ago (80-1,400-14), already had surgery a day after his ACL injury with no other structural damage and is a potential real-life NFL free agent this offseason.  He also has no other NFL injury history. His 2017 stats were 1 catch for 17 yards before his unfortunate injury.

The negatives other than the fact that he was injured include his quarterback Blake Bortles not being able to optimize his talents, his 2016 stats being a down year (73-883-6), his Jacksonville Jaguars head coach being uber-focused on the running game, and this injury.

However, from an extension standpoint, there may be an opportunity to arbitrage here as most of Robinson’s negatives can be viewed as positives from an extension standpoint.

Taking into account that Robinson hasn’t produced at an elite level in two years would seem to mean that you could be getting him at an extension number that shows there’s future uncertainty in his outcomes. Yet, Robinson figures to be back playing for the start of the 2018 season and potentially on a new team (or with a new QB other than Bortles). He could be on a “one year prove it deal” with Jacksonville or elsewhere and based on his size, speed and skills, should be able to get back to being a top 20 wide receiver.

So taking into account the likely lack of fluctuation in his weekly offers due to his 2017 being over, his subpar 2016, and some future uncertainty, you may be able to get Robinson for way less than if he was coming off of an all-pro season. Additionally, since you can extend players who occupy your injured reserve space, you can get the benefit of not having to occupy a valuable 2017 roster spot with Robinson.

Not sure what the offers will be for Robinson, but I think anything over $20m a year starts to get me out of my comfort zone based on the fact that much of his uncertainty won’t clear up until the offseason and you have to decide by Week 13 what you are doing with him.

Other than injured players, you may want to look a mid-tier tight ends for potential extension value as well as the position is typically viewed as having less skill.

OK, folks, hopefully this methodology guide on how to approach extension decisions will be helpful to you this season and down the line. Remember, you don’t have to use the extension, so make the decision that best works for your team’s current and future success.


Matt Goodwin is in his fourth season as senior writer for Reality Sports Online and is in year five of his main league. He also contributed for numberFire for several years. He is an avid sports fan from Cleveland, Ohio who would count a Cleveland Indians World Series victory a close second behind getting married to his wife Renee and the births of his children, Jory (7 year old son) and Lainie (3 year old daughter). Matt loves mid 90’s hip-hop, playing pick-up hoops, traveling, Ohio State football and Arizona basketball, watching Glengarry Glen Ross for the millionth time and being outside the few months it doesn’t rain in Seattle where he lives. He can be found on Twitter @mattgoody2 and hopes you continue to read his In the Zone articles and take his side when he’s debating player value with @RobertFCowper.

More Analysis by Matt Goodwin

Week 3 Waiver Report

Updated: September 19th 2017

Each week we will recommend a group of players that are owned in less than 50% of RSO league that should be rostered. Depending on roster and league sizes not all of these players may be available. For that, we will offer 1 player that is owned in <10% of leagues as our Sleeper add.

Add of the Week

Rashard Higgins, WR – CLE (owned 10%)

Week 2: 7 Rec/95 yards, 1 Car/4 yards

The Browns had a rough go on Sunday against the Ravens. However, Rashard Higgins had a surprisingly good game (7-95-0) in a game in which two different QBs (Keizer and Hogan) were in the game. While it may have been just a young player taking advantage of some playing time in a one-sided game there are serious reasons for this to be the beginning of an under the radar season. Corey Coleman, Cleveland’s first-round pick from 2016, has broken his hand again and could be out 6-8 weeks while Kenny Britt has fallen on bad terms with head coach Hugh Jackson. This opens the door for Higgins to be the primary target on and an offense that projects to be down in more games than up this season. Depending on how deep your rookie drafts are this player may still be lingering at the bottom of some team’s rosters. He’s worth kicking the tires on for a trade if he can be at least a WR4 the rest of the season.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000 – $5,000,000

QB Replacement

Trevor Siemian, QB – DEN (owned 41%)

Week 2: 22 for 32 Comp, 231 Passing, 4TD, 1 INT, 5 Car/14 yards

Through two weeks Trevor Siemian is the QB2 in fantasy (written before Monday night’s game results) yet is one of the least owned QBs that has a starting role. While he might not hold the consistency of a Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers you definitely can do worse over the next 14 weeks. Denver seems more comfortable letting Siemian open up the offense this year compared to 2016 and with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders as options outside he has plenty of talent to work with. There should be a consistent floor of 200 yards and a touchdown (12 points) each week. Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Eli Manning, and Kirk Cousins’ owners should be looking to add Siemian as a comfortable substitute.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000 – $3,000,000 ($7,000,000 in Superflex)

RB Stash

Tyler Ervin, RB – HOU (owned 13%)

Week 2: 3 Car/8 yards, 4 Rec/18 yards

RotoViz loved the metrics of Tyler Ervin coming out of college last season. His pass-catching ability, as well as his size, made him comparable to Danny Woodhead on Player Profiler. Unfortunately, he was also behind Lamar Miller who is himself a decent pass catching back and being paid too much to be put on the bench. Recently, however, Ervin has been playing more out of the slot as a receiver and with all the injuries to the receiving and tight end groups, he’s likely to see more playing time due to necessity. At this point, he would only be a stash candidate in deeper leagues but if you are already feeling the pressure from your RBs production and were unable to secure Cohen or Allen last week Ervin could be a poor man’s Ty Montgomery from a year ago.

Suggested Bid: $500,000 – $1,000,000

WR Replacements

Paul Richardson, WR – SEA (owned 38%) 2 Rec/19 yards, 1 TD

While Cincinnati’s offense has been the joke of NFL fans the first two weeks for not scoring a touchdown, Seattle’s offense hasn’t looked much better scoring their first touchdown late in the 4th quarter of week two’s game against San Francisco. That touchdown came from former 2nd round pick Paul Richardson who was labeled a sleeper WR to add during the offseason. Despite this, his ownership still hovers around 38%. He’s averaged 10PPR points/game and 12 targets over the first two weeks showing that he can be a downfield threat and red zone option for Russell Wilson. If the offense can turn things around and start scoring more than 10 points a game there is a chance that Richardson becomes a flexible WR.

Suggested Bid: $500,000 – $1,500,000

Terrance Williams, WR – DAL (owned 24%) 4 Rec/17 yards

Yikes, nobody expected the Cowboys to be dominated on both sides of the ball like they were against the Broncos last week. At least one silver lining is that the NFL lost their appeal for an Ezekiel Elliot stay so the team should be able to refocus their offensive game plan knowing they will have him for the remainder of the season. This means that defenses will have to keep contain on Zeke and Dak Prescott while double teaming Dez Bryant, opening up one-on-one matchups for Terrance Williams. While his touchdown upside is limited with Dez, Zeke, and Jason Witten in the lineup he still receives his share of the targets each week. He’s an ideal option to have on your bench during the midseason when bye weeks become a lineup killer.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

TE Stash

Benjamin Watson, TE – BAL (owned 5%)

Week 2: 8 Rec/91 yards

The Ravens haven’t been in very competitive games these first two weeks which has reduced their number of pass attempts (51) to the bottom of the league. Still, Watson had 8 receptions vs. the Browns and almost 20 PPR points last week. Dennis Pita received over 120 targets last season and while Jeremy Maclin has been a nice addition Flacco has a history of feeding his TEs, when healthy. Watson has also shown that he can handle a large number of targets from his time in New Orleans. For those who lost Greg Olsen this week, Watson could be a worthwhile replacement.

Suggested Bid: $500,000 – $1,500,000

Sleeper Add (<10%)

Deonte Thompson (owned 2%)

Week 2: 4 Rec/57 yards, 1 TD

The Bears looked more like the team that experts thought they would be in week 2 being shutout till the final moments of the 4th quarter. With injuries piling up at the WR position and likely a QB switch at some point it could be a long season for Da Bears. It is hard to tell how much of Deonte Thompson’s week 2 production came due to a blowout but some needs to catch the ball and he could be the next man up. Thompson has a strong speed adjusted score (92nd percentile) and showed some potential in the Bears’ preseason game against the Broncos earlier this year. With Kendall Wright and Josh Bellamy dropping several passes last week Thompson could be a volume add, similar to Jermaine Kearse last week.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

More Analysis by Nick Andrews

Week 2 Waiver Report

Updated: September 12th 2017

Each week we will recommend a group of players that are owned in less than 50% of RSO league that should be rostered. Depending on roster and league sizes not all of these players may be available. For that, we will offer 1 player that is owned in <10% of leagues as our Sleeper add.

Add of the Week

Tarik Cohen, RB – CHI (owned 45%) 5 Car/66 yards, 8 Rec/47 yards, 1 TD

Surely the biggest surprise of the week 1 was how much rookie runner Tarik Cohen was involved in the Bears’ offense. Yes, he did have 40% of his total yards on one big reverse field run play but overall he was heavily involved in the passing game with 8 catches on 12 targets (led team) and almost led the Bears to an upset win over the reigning NFC Champs. It’s not like Jordan Howard wasn’t involved (13-51-1) as he also had 3 catches but this could definitely decrease Howard’s role on passing downs. The Bears look like they could be joining the rest of the NFL on the RBBC bus now. For owners that think the Bears will be down in games and forced into passing formations, Cohen should see his share of targets each week, especially with news that Kevin White is being placed on IR now with a scapula injury. Give a bump in PPR leagues.

Suggested Bid: $1,00,000 – $4,000,000

RB Replacements

Shane Vereen, RB – NYG (owned 45%) 9 Rec/51 yards

Javorius Allen, RB – BAL (owned 19%) 21 Car/71 yards

Both of these running backs benefited from positive game script in week 1 but they did showcase what their role is in their respective offenses. For Vereen, he had 9 catches (5 on the final meaningless drive) but he was clearly the Giants passing down back. Perkins and Darkwa couldn’t get any run game going (36 yards) and the offensive line looked mediocre at best. If the Giants offense is unable to open holes for the running game they will be forced to use the dump passes as a substitute. This was the role Vereen had in New England and as long as he stays healthy it’s the role he will have this season in New York. With games against the AFC and NFC West, it’s probable that the Giants find themselves behind in games, unable to run the ball and relying on Vereen with screens and dump passes to keep the offense moving.

Javorius “Buck” Allen had 21 carries, 4th most in the opening week against the Bengals which should symbolize a bell cow role in an offense. Unfortunately, fellow back Terrance West also had 19 carries (7th most) and Joe Flacco only had 17 pass attempts in a total defensive domination by the Ravens. With Danny Woodhead going out with a hamstring injury early it did show, however, that Allen will be the secondary runner in case of a West injury or regression. This makes him an add if you have either of the other two Raven runners or a lack of depth at the position. Depending on the severity of the injury to Woodhead the Ravens do need to show which of West or Allen would be the pass catching back when games are closer. This could be Allen’s role with the upside of increased carries should West falter.

Suggested Bids: $500,000 – $1,000,000

WR Replacements

Jermaine Kearse, WR – NYJ (owned 26%) 7 Rec/59 yards

Danny Amendola, WR – NE (owned 26%) 6 Rec/ 100 yards

Many were shocked when the Jets shipped Sheldon Richardson to Seattle for some picks and Jermaine Kearse but to everyone’s surprise, Kearse led the Jets in both catches (7) and yards (59) in week 1. Sometimes volume trumps talent and despite previous reservations against Kearse’s talent when he is being fed #1 target numbers he has to be rostered. If Kearse maintains the target volume that he saw in week 1 and can offer a touchdown every 2 or 3 games he will be a nice option to have for bye weeks or when injuries start piling up.

The Patriots looked like a 16-0 team for the first half and a 0-16 team for the second half. It showed that they missed having Julian Edelman as a reliable target for crossing routes, bubble screens and 3rd down quick slants. Brandin Cooks and Chris Hogan were used more on the play action and deeper routes which leaves Danny Amendola and the RBs to be the underneath pass catchers. It’s unlikely that any of the backs are available but Amendola is available in 74% of RSO leagues which needs to be changed. The Patriots are changing offensive schemes weekly but the one constant for Tom Brady is to find the quick-hit routes to move the chains. Despite Bill Belichick saying that everyone will be picking up Edelman’s contributions, it is likely Amendola who will most replicate his usage.

Suggested Bids: $1,000,000 – $2,000,000

TE Substitute

Charles Clay, TE – BUF (owned 40%) 4 Rec/53 yards, 1 TD

Similar to my Jermaine Kearse analysis sometimes a guy just needs to be rostered for his volume alone. The Bills lost Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins to the Rams this offseason and Jordan Matthews hasn’t been a spectacular fantasy option since his rookie season. While they do have Shady McCoy to run the ball someone still needs to catch passes and touchdowns. Clay should be averaging a touchdown at least every other game this season and be a reliable target for Tyrod Taylor to have between the 20s and on 3rd down. While he’s not as sexy a name as Gronk or Kelce, Clay should be a low-end TE1 for most matchups this season.

Suggested Bid: $500,000 – $1,500,000

Sleeper Add (<10%)

Kerwynn Williams, RB – ARZ (Owned 9.7%) 5 Car/10 yards, 1 Rec/2 yards, 1 TD

This is pure speculation and may have no use by the end of the week but anytime a bell cow is injured you have to take a shot in the dark. When David Johnson went out after a big hit in the 3rd quarter it was Williams who took the goal line carry for a touchdown. After Johnson went out indefinitely with a wrist injury later in the game it was Williams who played the bulk of the snaps behind Carson Palmer. If Johnson’s injury is anything that keeps him out of next week’s game and beyond (which is a real possibility if reports are true) Williams will see his share of touches and targets. If you are playing the David Johnson owner and his RB depth is thin Williams is worth a minimum bid just to limit your opponent’s options heading into week 2.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

More Analysis by Nick Andrews

RSO Rookie Picks Pt. 2

Updated: July 23rd 2017

The RSO salary cap and contract structure provides a unique setting when compared to other fantasy platforms.   A superior player with more expensive contract will be worth less in many instances than a lesser producing player with a cheaper contract for RSO leagues.  RSO rookie deals give owners access to cost-controlled, long-term contracts.  The question is whether rookies produce enough of the time to be worth the costs involved.  This article continues our examination of RSO rookie draft picks from Part 1 looking at the basics of evaluating picks for RSO leagues.

Part 2 expands upon this by comparing the expected production value of rookie picks with the associated RSO rookie contract costs. We can then ascertain where the best bargains can be found and relate draft pick costs to veteran spending.  While there is no superbly accurate means of determining how a rookie will turn out given the many variables outside the control of the player and the host of intangible player traits which determine success, but the model below should give the reader an idea of how to value rookie picks.

The Technical Aspects

This section details the technical aspects of my value formulation. As a quick reminder, the values obtained come from shallow, non-PPR leagues.  The reader may refer to part 1 for more information about the data.  I first converted the player values in part 1 to dollar values based on the salary cap and league settings specified above.

My next step involved weighting player values by the year in which production occurred using a 20% yearly discount rate unless noted otherwise. People generally prefer production in the present when compared to production in the future.  An example may help to illustrate the point.  Given one rookie who produces only in year 1 of a rookie contract and another rookie who produces equally but only in year 4 of the rookie deal, most RSO GMs prefer the rookie who produces in year 1.  There is another more tangible reason to discount the production in future years.  You might not be in your RSO league in future seasons.  Maybe the league breaks up.  Maybe your life circumstances change so that you are no longer able to compete in the league.  As shown in part 1, draft picks tend to produce more after the rookie season.  The RSO GM is generally receiving less production in the rookie season compared to later years but paying the same price as a percentage of the salary cap.  I finally summed the time-weighted values to form an associated present day value for each player.

Lastly, I estimated player values for each draft position using a linear-log regression model. The estimation utilized players selected from 2007 to 2013 rookie drafts.  Players selected from 2014 to 2016, included in part 1, were excluded in this analysis as they have not completed their rookie contracts.

Contract Value vs Cost

Reality Sports Online posts rookie contract costs for drafts up to five rounds. Similarly to player values, I converted contract costs to present day dollars in order to compare rookie draft costs to values.  There are a few key items worth mentioning after examining the costs.  First, there will be a sharp drop in rookie costs from the last pick of the first round to the first pick of the second round.  Second, contract costs remain relatively “flat” after the first round.  There exists little difference in costs from 2.1 to 2.10 for example.  Third, contract costs grow yearly at a rate which should adequately approximate the yearly salary cap growth in the NFL.  This means rookie picks should take up approximately the same percentage of cap space for each year of the contract.

The data also presents interesting notions on the relative value of draft picks. The 1.1, for example, is approximately equal in production value to 1) picks 4 and 5 or 2) picks 7 to 9 or 3) picks 9 through 12.  The massive premium attached to top picks seems quite reasonable when looking at the expected production.  If we want a better a look at how good a rookie contract is, however, we need to take into account the associated costs with each rookie deal.  The next section details this further.

Net Contract Value

The net contract value is simply the contract costs subtracted from the contract value. A rookie contract with a net value of zero is expected to produce at the market value rate.  As seen from the chart above, rookie deals as a whole tend to be good contracts to owners with 75% of the picks having positive net values and the remaining picks producing minimal losses.  In particular, rookie picks near the top of the first and second rounds substantially out-produce their contracts.  This is primarily a result of large production from the top picks and the big drop in rookie costs starting with second round picks.

Net Contract Values with Selected Discount Rates

Of course not everyone values future production of players in the same way. It becomes readily apparent from the table above that rookie picks rapidly lose value for those people who sharply discount future production and are focused more on the present.  Be sure to understand your personal situation and timeframe before investing heavily in draft picks.

Other Considerations

The analysis above focused on the production value of rookie picks. Another way to look at the problem is through the lens of what I will call “perceived” value or, put another way, how the rest of your league values draft picks.  It is well documented that many fantasy leagues value draft picks above their production value, particularly around the time of rookie drafts.   RSO owners, particularly those out of the playoff race, might consider trading for draft picks during the season even if the player values traded away is larger than the received draft pick value.  You may be able to translate the short-term loss into a long-term profit near the next rookie draft.

The above values for rookie picks are a solid starting point but we also need to remember that not every draft class is created equal. For example, I consider the 2017 rookie class generally superior to the 2016 class with more high-end talent and quality depth throughout.  Be sure to adjust your valuations accordingly.

Loading up a roster with draft picks can be an effective salary cap management technique. A roster with many low cost rookie picks, particularly after the first round, allows a lot of cap space to spend on high-end starters in the free agent auction.  Misses on rookies (of which there will be plenty) will not have too big of an impact thanks to the low costs involved and gives the RSO GM substantial cap flexibility in the future.

Conclusions

While every RSO GM is different, there are a couple of key points to keep in mind when evaluating rookie picks.

  1. Rookie pick value is maximized near the top of the first and second rounds. Try to trade up, down, or out if you have picks in the bottom portion of the round. Picks at the end of the second round and later are essentially “throw away” picks which have net values near or below market value.  You are better off using your cap space in the free agent market.
  2. Know yourself and the league when evaluating draft picks. Rookie pick values increase substantially in stable long-lasting leagues for owners who hold a longer-term outlook. The RSO team with a shorter window should seriously consider trading away rookie picks.

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.

 

More Analysis by Bernard Faller