**Just a quick heads up – if you aren’t a fantasy football player and / or could care less about my league, this column isn’t for you.**
Do you know how difficult it is to run a fantasy football league for 20 years with the amount of useless NFL knowledge I possess…and not win my own league!?
Only four NFL teams haven’t played in the Super Bowl despite it having been around for 51 years: Detroit, Cleveland, Houston (a 2002 expansion team), and Jacksonville (a 1995 expansion team).
Considering I’ve finished second FIVE times (’98, ’04, ’05, ’15, ’16), I’m more like the Buffalo Bills or Minnesota Vikings of the ECFFL.
But this year is going to be different…I can feel it! I’ve finished second to two first-time winning managers in 2015 and 2016. This is the year I finally break the 20 year cold spell.
But the key this year is a top-7 pick. Here are the results of the pick draft and below I’ll make some insights and predictions…
In the last five years, here are where the top 3 finishers drafted (1-12):
2016: 3rd, 6th, 9th
2015: 10th, 2nd, 11th
2014: 2nd, 11th, 12th
2013: 11th, 10th, 9th
2012: 7th, 3rd, 11th
As you can see, the person with the 11th pick finished in the money 4 of 5 times…yet no top overall pick had a podium finish. Of the 15 top-3 finishers since 2012, ten drafted in the bottom half of the first round! Not stats I would’ve ever expected.
Time to mock the first round…now this isn’t your average league so I’m basing this on people’s rooting interests and / or previous tendencies. The other notable change for our league is that for the first time in our 21st season, we now have a flex spot. We start, 1 QB, 1 RB, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 RB/WR/TE Flex, 1 K, 1 D. Wide receivers should be more desired in the first round as we have a PPR format so I expect to see no less than 5 off the board in Round 1.
Mock ECFFL Draft – Round 1
1. Dan: David Johnson (RB, AZ)
The five-time ECFFL champ and Cowboys fan passes on his team’s star player to go with the safest and most consistent pick in the draft.
2. Lonny / Kyle: Le’Veon Bell (RB, PIT)
How can this duo turn down arguably the best PPR running back in the league?
3. Joe: Ezekiel Elliott (RB, DAL)
Our defending champ starts his draft off with the touchdown machine…who could approach 20 this year behind a stellar offensive line.
4. Craig: Antonio Brown (WR, PIT)
While this two-time league champion doesn’t get his favorite team’s RB, DJ, instead he gets a former staple of his fantasy rosters in Brown.
5. Andy: Julio Jones (WR, ATL)
Might be the biggest boom-or-bust player in the first round…injuries are my only concern.
6. Kyle / John: Odell Beckham, Jr. (WR, NYG)
An absolute highlight machine who has a chance to lead the WRs in fantasy points this season.
7. Dave: Mike Evans (WR, TB)
The player I was hoping to get this year…primed for another monster season. Wouldn’t shock me if he ends up WR1 at the end of the season.
8. Barone: LeSean McCoy (RB, BUF)
The number one Bills fan among people I know gets his team’s star running back. If he stays healthy, could post big numbers with the new offensive scheme in upstate New York.
9. Ray: Melvin Gordon (RB, LAC)
Gordon gets more touches inside the red zone than just about any other player in the league and has virtually no competition for carries in LA.
10. VGs: A.J. Green (WR, CIN)
Their first round pick last season and no doubt the choice again if he lasts this long.
11. EC: Jordy Nelson (WR, GB)
Safe but not splashy pick. Touchdown machine who would be great to pair with his QB and my favorite player, Aaron Rodgers.
12. Cory: Rob Gronkowski (TE, NE)
Drafting fellow UofA alum, Gronk and his QB, Brady with the next pick would be the ultimate in sneaky, yet intelligent strategy from this four-time champ.
The ECFFL draft is on Sunday, August 27th…should be fun to see what changes between now and then!