The Pros vs. Joes Challenge pits industry experts against veterans of the Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC). That alone makes the draft both challenging and unpredictable.
This year’s Challenge is made up of 6 separate 12-team leagues. The winner of each takes home a 2015 FFPC Main Event entry – plus major bragging rights.
These are Draft Experts (or “best-ball”) FFPC leagues. That means no roster moves or trades and optimal starting lineups. Scoring is 1 PPR for RBs and WRs and 1.5 PPR for TEs. Starting lineups are 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 2 Flex, 1 K and 1 DST.
With 2 flex spots, you can take a number of different paths with FFPC drafts.
That flexibility allows you to grab value at RB, WR and TE. Positional runs can be extreme in the FFPC, but in most cases, you can wait and take a solid QB1 as late as Round 12. I knew going in that I’d be patient there. Other than that, though, it was tough to forecast how my draft would unfold. The fact that I picked in the 1 spot – and routinely watched 22 picks fly in between my turns – made matters tougher. If I really wanted a certain player, I couldn’t be afraid to reach for him.
Besides, as Jared alluded to in his recap, grabbing guys with upside is key in this league. It’s winner-take-all, so if you’re not 1st, you’re last.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you should be reckless with all 28 of your picks. You need stability mixed in with those breakout candidates.
Head here for the full draft results. Then, see below for analysis on my picks.
1.01– LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles
Adrian Peterson was the pick here if I followed my MVP Board. I do like AP, but I love the upside of a younger McCoy in the best-ball format. McCoy also has the edge in supporting cast, and we know that HC Chip Kelly wants to push the tempo.
The Vikes do want to increase Peterson’s action in the passing game. And that made my decision tougher. Still, I struggled to get over the fact that Peterson’s never topped 50 grabs in a single season.
2.12 – Jordy Nelson, WR, Packers
3.01 – Randall Cobb, WR, Packers
Two rounds in, and I’ve reached the turning point of my draft…
Realizing the depth at WR, I considered taking 2 more RBs (C.J. Spiller and Doug Martin). Say what you want about their 2013 performances, but both carry plenty of appeal heading into the new season. Spiller has the big-play skill set and reception upside that’s desirable in this format. Martin’s a threat for 10+ TDs and could eclipse 300 touches – despite talk of a timeshare.
Ultimately, though, I cornered the market on Green Bay’s top WRs. The Cobb-Nelson duo carries the upside to post huge totals in any given week, while I like the chances of at least 1 going off across all 16 games.
Nelson’s rapport with Aaron Rodgers gives him a shot a finishing as fantasy’s #1 WR. Last year, Nelson’s 16-game pace with Rodgers gave him a 98-1,620-14 line – enough to finish atop the year-end WR rankings.
Cobb’s a serious threat to lead all WRs in receptions, especially with James Jones and Jermichael Finley out of the mix. At 24, Cobb’s also playing for a new contract.
I knew this move would leave me unsatisfied with my RBs, but having a stud like McCoy puts less stress on the rest of the pack.