2020 All About Reality Podcast League Rookie Draft

Updated: May 20th 2020

The All About Reality Podcast league graciously allowed the posting of their RSO rookie draft 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.  The reader may find the RSO Writer’s League rookie draft as a comparison point for a 10 team superflex league.

Some Notes on the League

 Quarterbacks are King:   Quarterbacks become extremely valuable in almost any 16 team superflex league.  Not every team will field two starting quarterbacks and most will be limited to two.   Many teams may find starting just one quarterback on a given week difficult as byes and injuries take hold.  Quarterbacks accelerate to a higher stratosphere of value in this particular league.  The scoring settings result in most of the worst starting quarterback options producing near top-10 running back / wide receiver point levels.  A team likely finds itself in a lot of trouble if it does not have two starting quarterbacks.

Deep League, Shallow Benches:   The league rosters 320 players in total (excluding I.R. spots, etc) while starting 160 players on a weekly basis.   The 10 starters limit each team to just 10 spots for reserves, a fairly low ratio of bench players to starters.  The low level of reserves makes holding developmental players not expected to contribute in the near future expensive in terms of roster spots.   The decision to invest heavily in rookie contracts becomes complicated.  It frees up a lot of cap space to pay up for premium free agents, but there will not be many of those types of players available in a league this deep.   The ability to trade rookie contracts to teams in need of cap space should also not be underestimated in a league with many teams potentially running with little cap room.

 

Team Analysis

McAfee’s Canal Swimmers (Tyler Houston and Kyle Thompson) are hoping to have a comeback season after nosediving in the 2019 season. From 2nd place to dead last, the team has decided to build around (potential) future Hall of Famer, Joe Burrow. After trading the second pick this year for picks 5 and 7, we had picks 1, 5, 7, 8, 9, 17 and 18. We were able to surround Joe Burrow with some great talent including: Justin Herbert, Deandre Swift, CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs and Michael Pittman. We traded up from pick 18 to pick 15 to snag a falling Henry Ruggs and then got Michael Pittman with the 17th pick. Overall, we think this draft was great for us and with 4 more first round picks next year, we look forward to another monster class for the Canal Swimmers.

My take:  McAfee’s got great value taking the first three wide receivers selected in the NFL draft with 8, 9, and 15.  Trading out of the two spot is fascinating in what ends up as Tua for Herbert and Swift.  There is a lot of boom/bust quality with Herbert as a big, athletic passer with very good arm talent and good pre-snap smarts but sporadic accuracy at times and hesitant post-snap decision-making.  Herbert was one of the biggest value jumps when compared to the Writer’s League draft.  Talent isn’t the biggest concern with Swift as a consensus top-2 running back pre-draft.

 

RSO PodFather (Devonte Cleveland) – In a Superflex league that has no QB depth, Tua was an obvious choice as a franchise cornerstone at 1.02. Mims at 1.16 was during a period of a heavy receiver run and he is someone who with the Jets’ weak WR corps should see the field immediately. Claypool at 2.15 provides a big target for Big Ben towards the end of the draft.

My take: The ultra-accurate Tua could easily be worth the premium to trade up for if the health concerns are merely the randomness of injuries in effect, especially given the power of top quarterbacks in this league.  Mims and Claypool annihilated the combine and have huge catch frames but did not always play to their timed speed on the field.

 

Pontifex Minimus (All About Reality podcast co-host Luke Patrick) – At 1.03/1.04 Pontifex Minimus approached the draft comfortable with any player in a top tier of Taylor/CEH/Burrow and Tua. Two flex spots sat open in my starting lineup, so the fact that Taylor and CEH fell made for a fairly straightforward draft day.

My take: These picks look standard for a team confident in their quarterback situation.  The only question is whether the extreme quarterback scoring makes passing up on a top-6 overall pick in the NFL draft at QB a mistake.

 

The Teal Curtain (Curtis Burleson) –  My strategy was to stick to my board and take the best available. At 1.15 I had six players that are an coin flip difference to me. So I traded back only enough to let the draft decide for me and get him cheaper. Also to obtain another pick for the chance to get Jordan Love. With Jordan Love gone I ultimately ended up with Bryan Edwards, who I’m still pretty excited about.

My take: Teal took a shotgun approach with six picks in the draft.  Edwards is a great value pick with an outstanding analytical college profile who likely fell in the NFL draft due to injuries.  Vaughn and McFarland feel like reaches at running back due to league scarcity, especially with the wide receiver talent left on the board.

 

The Fantasy Affliction (Tim Aylesworth) – I came into the draft with a simple plan, almost threw it out the window, then stuck to the plan and won the draft. After a few attempts to trade up for Herbert (and throw my whole plan out the window) I settled for Akers, the last elite member of the top 10 tier, as I expected all along. At 1.13, I felt really fortunate to have Reagor, the WR who landed in the best position to contribute right away, fall to me.  In the second round, I get my guy Hurts even after trading down! Not only do I think he is the most underrated QB in the class, but he gives me insurance for my starter Carson Wentz.  Then, I was out of picks, but trade back in to get Gibson, a David Johnson clone, and the back up to my perennialy injured RB Derrius Guice.

My take: Tim did a nice job of capitalizing on player tiers by getting Akers and Raegor at relatively cheap prices.  Hurts seems very expensive at this spot, in terms of other potential players and a roster spot, for a player who is unlikely to be anything more than a backup with possible gadget duties during his rookie contract.  This willingness to expend significant draft capital on backup quarterbacks to lock down a quarterback spot might be one of the biggest differences in moving to a 16-team superflex.

 

The Waterboys (Bobby Hoyt) – After attempting to trade up multiple times in the early portion of the draft for a top running back to no avail, I seriously thought about taking Ke’Shawn Vaughn here due to my barren RB core. However, I loved Justin Jefferson going into this draft, feeling like he could be a significant week one producer in Minnesota, and I ultimately decided that picking my highest rated player over positional need was the way to go.  In the second round, as I watched Aiyuk (a guy I had a first-round grade on and a Daniel Jeramiah favorite) continue to slip deeper into the second-round, it seemed like giving up one of my three 2021 second-rounders to move up from 2.15 to get him was a simple choice. Although, I did have a little trepidation about picking another wide-out over a running back, and I briefly thought of drafting Zack Moss instead. Again, I happily decided to take value over need–thus, feeling like my receiving core acquired a substantial shot in the arm at the conclusion of this draft.

My take: Aiyuk continues to present great value throughout rookie drafts.  There just aren’t many years a first round receiver falls this far.

 

Lucha Vikings (Ryan Swenson) – QB is so highly coveted in this league, and although I was desperate for RB help I didn’t love the options available, so I grabbed a 1st round QB in Love that will no doubt be a starter at some point in his career. With my other pick, I’m sure this was looked at as a big head-scratcher, but I simply believe in the talent and leadership of Jake Fromm, and since Josh Allen is a featured player on my team it felt good to secure a backup I LOVE.

My take: There are a lot of ways Love could turn out.  My belief is Love sees the field by year three.  That makes him easily worth the gamble at this price.  On the other hand, it is difficult making an argument to use a roster spot and draft pick on a 5th round quarterback you hope just makes the active roster as a backup for Buffalo.

 

Mistress of Mayhem (Jenna Davis) – After a few unsuccessful attempts to trade up in the draft, I took Zack Moss. He punishes defenders, is a satisfactory blocker, and has the ability to catch the ball. The value was worth the wait.

My take: Moss should have an immediate place in Buffalo alongside Singletary.  While an injury would likely be required for Moss to assume a large portion of the work, running backs with consistent shared roles have increased usefulness in a deep league.

 

Bortles Popped (Stephen Boviall and Brennan Emenhiser) – The NFL rookie draft crippled our running backs…Mack and Damien WiIliams. We HAD to get a running back. Eason is the player I was supposed to pick at 2.11 but there was some miscommunication. However, since I’m a genius, we got Eason anyway.

My take: Bortles did not even mention Kelley but he is one of my favorite late rookie picks going in drafts.  He possesses size the Chargers’ other backs don’t have and there is an immediate opening for a rushing down role on a team which uses multiple backs.

 

House Stark (Ashley Swinney) – I was just looking for guys I may be able to start if I’m in a pinch. I feel Bowden Jr. will have opportunities to make a big time play and hopefully Evans will see some field behind Henry.

My take: While unlikely to ever assume a lead role, Evans has serious juice with the chance to immediately contribute on passing downs.  I am not sure what the plan is for Bowden in Las Vegas.  He might end up as one of those “jack of all trades” players without a defined role needed to become a fantasy contributor, better for real life than fantasy.

 

Brian Brennan’s Stadium Shakers (All About Reality podcast co-host Matt Goodwin) – Having no picks in either round is a psychological blow. I tried to trade in when Lamb fell, when Pittman was still on the board, and towards the end to nab Eason in this highly shallow QB pool in a 16 team Superflex league. None of that worked. However, I was able to trade two future 2nds which I figure will be back end of the draft for Dillon. I feel he will be part of a rotation in 2020 and goal line packages and will have an increased role when one of or both of Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams move on in free agency.

My take: Dillon is one of the top values in this draft and many others.  There is a clear path to a significant role next year and a road to lead duties.

 

 

 

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

RSO Staff Picks: Week 17

Updated: December 29th 2019

Week 16 Results & Overall Standings

1. English – Week 16 10-6  // Overall 159-80-1

T2. Papson – Week 16 12-4  //Overall 154-85-1

T2. Wendell – Week 16 13-3 // Overall 154-85-1

A little stumble from Kyle last week closed the gap between him and Matt/me to five games. With exactly give games different this week, I need to hit a five team parlay to close the gap. All signs are point to another English season long pick’em crown. Our picks for the week are below. Congrats to all our RSO champions and enjoy the final week of the regular season. Playoffs are here next week!

NFL Game Picks

Game

Wendell

Papson

English

NYJ @ BUF

CLV @ CIN

GB @ DET

LAC @ KC

CHI @ MIN

MIA @ NE

ATL @ TB

NO @ CAR

WAS @ DAL

OAK @ DEN

ARI @ LAR

PHI @ NYG

IND @ JAX

PIT @ BAL

TEN @ HOU

SF @ SEA

 

More Analysis by Stephen Wendell

RSO Staff Picks: Week 16

Updated: December 22nd 2019

Week 14 & 15 Results & Overall Standings

1. English – Week 14 13-3 & Week 15 11-5  // Overall 149-74-1

2. Papson – Week 14 9-7 & Week 15 10-6  //Overall 142-81-1

3. Wendell – Week 14 10-6 & Week 15 12-4 // Overall 141-82-1

Happy holidays and welcome to Week 16, the championship week for most of you in your RSO leagues. If you have made it this far, congrats as it is an impressive feat, and best of luck in your pursuit of fantasy immortality today. The NFL playoff picture will look pretty clear save a spot (or possibly two) at the end of the day, and if yesterday was any indication, we should have a great slate of games today. All three games had playoff implications yesterday and were decided by a touchdown or less. The Texans edged out the Bucs due to four INTs by Jameis, the Pats did what the Pats do and beat the Bills at home to clinch their 11th straight AFC East title, and then Jimmy G put last year’s NFC Champs out of the playoffs this year, showing once again how much parity exists in the NFL. Kyle, Matt and I were all 3-0 yesterday (along with most of America as the three “better” teams won), but like the NFL’s playoff picture, this contest will likely be complete by the end of this week, as Kyle has a seven game lead over Matt and an eight game lead over me, due to his 24-8 record over the last couple of weeks. The real test will be if Kyle can take down ESPN’s leading expert at the moment, Trey Wingo. Our picks for this week are below. We hope everyone enjoys the games and has a happy and healthy holiday week!

NFL Game Picks

Game

Wendell

Papson

English

HOU @ TB

BUF @ NE

LAR @ SF

JAX @ ATL

BAL @ CLV

NO @ TEN

CAR @ IND

CIN @ MIA

PIT @ NYJ

NYG @ WAS

DET @ DEN

OAK @ LAC

DAL @ PHI

ARI @ SEA

KC @ CHI

GB @ MIN

 

More Analysis by Stephen Wendell

RSO Staff Picks: Week 14

Updated: December 22nd 2019

Week 13 Results & Overall Standings

1. English – Week 12 9-7 // Overall 125-66-1

2. Papson – Week 12 8-8 //Overall 123-68-1

3. Wendell – Week 12 10-6 // Overall 119-72-1

Welcome to Week 14 and the fantasy playoffs for those of you who have made it! Congrats on a great regular season. As you navigate the playoffs, paying close attention to matchups in the NFL over the next 2-3 weeks is crucial. Nobody seems to want to take control of the NFC East, as Dallas lost to Chicago to start our week (the Bears are very much still alive in the playoff hunt). Both Papson and English saw it coming with their Bears picks so I start Sunday one game behind for the week and still six games behind Kyle overall, who increased his slim lead on first place from one to two games last week. Some incredible matchups today with SF traveling to NO in what might be a NFC Championship preview, the Ravens going on the road to Buffalo in what will be another test in the Lamar Jackson MVP showcase run, and an AFC Championship rematch with the Chiefs traveling to Foxboro to take on the Patriots. Our picks for those games and the rest of the slate are below. Best of luck in your fantasy playoffs!

NFL Game Picks

Game

Wendell

Papson

English

DAL @ CHI

CAR @ ATL

BAL @ BUF

CIN @ CLV

WAS @ GB

DET @ MIN

SF @ NO

MIA @ NYJ

IND @ TB

DEN @ HOU

LAC @ JAX

TEN @ OAK

KC @ NE

PIT @ ARI

SEA @ LAR

NYG @ PHI

 

More Analysis by Stephen Wendell

RSO Staff Picks: Week 13

Updated: November 28th 2019

Week 12 Results & Overall Standings

1. English – Week 12 11-3 // Overall 116-59-1

2. Papson – Week 12 10-4 //Overall 115-60-1

3. Wendell – Week 12 9-5 // Overall 109-66-1

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you GMs. We are especially thankful for your support and enthusiasm to our platform. Our CTO Kyle English retook the lead in the year long picks challenge by going on an island picking Seattle and the 49ers, both of whom dominated their opponents. Pappy had a decent week as well and my mediocre 9-5 has me seven games back of Kyle (it does not look good for me this year). Our picks for this week, including today’s Thanksgiving slate are below. Best of luck to all of you on the playoff bubble punching your ticket this week. Enjoy the games and the holiday weekend.

NFL Game Picks

Game

Wendell

Papson

English

CHI @ DET

BUF @ DAL

NO @ ATL

NYJ @ CIN

TEN @ IND

PHI @ MIA

GB @ NYG

CLV @ PIT

WAS @ CAR

TB @ JAX

SF @ BAL

LAR @ ARI

LAC @ DEN

OAK @ KC

NE @ HOU

MIN @ SEA

   

 

More Analysis by Stephen Wendell

RSO Staff Picks: Week 12

Updated: November 24th 2019

Week 11 Results & Overall Standings

T1. Papson – Week 11 10-4 //Overall 105-56-1

T1. English – Week 11 11-3 // Overall 105-56-1

3. Wendell – Week 11 12-2 // Overall 100-61-1

Big week by all of us, but I make the biggest move going 12-2, just missing the Falcons continued awakening over the Panthers and my Birds long shot against the Pats. With six weeks to go, we are dead even at the top, and I trail Papson/English by five games…not impossible. A fairly mediocre slate of games this week for Week 12, but it ends well with the late game on Fox (Cowboys @ Patriots), the SNF NFC classic (Packers @ 49ers), and a MNF classic that will show us how good Lamar Jackson really is (Ravens @ Rams). With two weeks to go in most fantasy regular seasons, best of luck as you look to make that final playoff push! Our picks for the week are below:

NFL Game Picks

Game

Wendell

Papson

English

IND @ HOU

TB @ ATL

DEN @ BUF

NYG @ CHI

PIT @ CIN

MIA @ CLV

CAR @ NO

OAK @ NYJ

SEA @ PHI

DET @ WAS

JAX @ TEN

DAL @ NE

GB @ SF

BAL @ LAR

 

More Analysis by Stephen Wendell