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Fantasy Draft Recap: Smola's FFPC Main Event

By Jared Smola 11:17pm EDT 9/2/23

I’ve done over 100 fantasy football drafts this offseason. 

It might get a bit awkward if you knew how many fantasy teams I’ve drafted in my life.

But I still get a little nervous for the FFPC Main Event.

It’s a $2,000 entry. With a $1 million grand prize. Against some of the best fantasy players in the world.

If you’re not familiar with the Main Event, check out the full rules.

FFPC Main Event Basics:

  • PPR scoring with 1.5 PPR for TEs
  • Starting lineups
    • 1 QB
    • 2 RBs
    • 2 WRs
    • 1 TE
    • 2 Flex
    • 1 K
    • 1 DST
  • 12-week regular season
  • League playoffs in Week 13 and 14
  • Total points race in Weeks 15 through 17 for the $1 million grand prize.

I took my shot at the milly from the 12-hole in a draft on August 28.

Here’s the full draft board (click to enlarge):

 

And here’s my roster heading into Week 1:

QB rb wr teKDST
Anthony Richardson Saquon Barkley Amon-Ra St. Brown Darren WallerRiley PattersonCommanders
Geno Smith J.K. Dobbins Deebo Samuel Dawson Knox
Kenneth Gainwell Tyler Lockett
Tyler Allgeier
Zay Flowers
Jerome FordMichael Pittman
Joshua KelleyKadarius Toney
Rico DowdleJosh Reynolds

 

Pick-by-Pick Draft Recap

1.12 - Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, Detroit Lions

2.01 - Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants

I was hoping to land two of St. Brown, Barkley, and CeeDee Lamb to open. 

Lamb went at 1.10. And Nick Chubb (thankfully) went at 1.11, making this a pretty easy turn.

I briefly considered Tony Pollard instead of Barkley for the Week 17 correlation in a potential Cowboys-Lions shootout. (Week 17 correlation isn’t nearly as important in the FFPC Main Event as it is in something like Underdog Fantasy’s Best Ball Mania, but it still matters in the three-week sprint for the grand prize.)

But Barkley sits 14 points ahead of Pollard in our baseline projections and 20 points ahead in ceiling projections, which was ultimately too much for me to pass up.

3D Projections show you every player's baseline, ceiling, and floor projections.

 

3.12 - Darren Waller, TE, New York Giants

4.01 - Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers

I did not expect to open my draft with two Giants among my first three picks. I also didn’t expect Waller to still be hanging around at 3.12. His recent Main Event ADP is 3.08.

Waller’s 241 projected FFPC points are 16 clear of our next-highest-ranked TE – and would land Waller 18th among WRs.

Taking both Barkley and Waller did move QB Daniel Jones up my QB wishlist a bit.

Samuel was another relatively easy pick for me. I really wanted to leave the first four rounds with at least two WRs, knowing what the board would likely look like in the next few rounds.

 

5.12 - J.K. Dobbins, RB, Baltimore Ravens

6.01 - Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks

I had Dobbins circled as a likely target at this turn. His Main Event ADP is sitting at 6.04 at RB22. He checks in 12th in our RB rankings.

I considered another RB – Dameon Pierce, Alexander Mattison, or Cam Akers – at the 6.01 but ultimately decided securing a WR3 was more important in this full-PPR format.

This is about a half round ahead of Lockett’s ADP, but our projections say he’s a Round 4 value.

 

7.12 - Zay Flowers, WR, Baltimore Ravens

8.01 - Michael Pittman, WR, Indianapolis Colts

All those RBs I’d been eyeing at the last turn were selected before this pick, so that position was off the board for me.

I briefly considered stacking Deshaun Watson and David Njoku, two of my favorite values. But I instead decided to turn this WR corps into a potential juggernaut.

I’ve drafted a ton of Flowers in August and particularly like the rookie’s fit on this team, which has three reliable early-season contributors at WR in St. Brown, Samuel, and Lockett. I don’t need Flowers out of the gate.

Pittman is a guy I’ve barely drafted at all this summer. But I’ll certainly take him at WR40 – 6 spots below where we have him ranked.

 

9.12 - Kadarius Toney, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

10.01 - Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

I can’t help myself. I just can’t.

This is at least two full rounds later than Toney was going before his latest knee injury. Reports on his rehb have been positive. And I still believe he has the type of upside that could win $1 million – especially at a WR48 price tag.

I knew I needed to take Daniel Jones here if I wanted to be sure I’d get him. But RB was starting to get thin at this point, so I thought Gainwell was a bigger priority.

 

11.12 - Anthony Richardson, QB, Indianapolis Colts

12.01 - Tyler Allgeier, RB, Atlanta Falcons

Daniel Jones came off the board at 11.03, but Richardson is a nice consolation prize – especially after taking his top WR a few rounds earlier. In terms of pure fantasy upside, Richardson beats Jones.

Then it was time to start adding upside RBs. I don’t expect Allgeier to be an attractive fantasy starter as long as Bijan Robinson is healthy. But a Robinson injury would turn Allgeier into a weekly RB2.

 

13.12 - Jerome Ford, RB, Cleveland Browns

14.01 - Geno Smith, QB, Seattle Seahawks

Another handcuff RB. I made this pick before Cleveland traded for Pierre Strong, but I still expect Ford to be the Browns’ lead back if Nick Chubb goes down.

Smith is the pick I’d like a mulligan on. 

Yes, he’s nice insurance behind boom/bust Anthony Richardson. And he’s stacked with Tyler Lockett.

But I could have had Jared Goff (with the free look in the Thursday night opener) at the next turn. Or Kenny Pickett at the 17/18 turn. QBs like Sam Howell, Bryce Young, and Jordan Love didn’t even get drafted.

It’s nice to have quality insurance behind Richardson. But I’d take RB Kyren Williams here if I could do it over. 

  

15.12 - Dawson Knox, TE, Buffalo Bills

16.01 - Joshua Kelley, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

TE targets Irv Smith, Hunter Henry, and Hayden Hurst came off the board between my 14th- and 15th-round picks, leaving me with Knox as my TE2.

If Darren Waller suffers a significant injury, this team is probably screwed anyway.

I’m surprised Kelley continues to go so late in drafts. He’s the No. 2 RB in one of the league’s best offenses.

  

17.12 - Commanders DST

18.01 - Rico Dowdle, RB, Dallas Cowboys

The Commanders pick is solely for the Week 1 matchup vs. the Josh Dobbs- or Clayton Tune-led Cardinals. 

Maybe I stick with them for a Week 2 trip to Denver, but I’ll be playing matchups at DST all season.

Cowboys rookie RB Deuce Vaughn got all the August hype, but most of the Dallas media believes Dowdle is the No. 2 RB.

  

19.12 - Riley Patterson, K, Detroit Lions

20.01 - Josh Reynolds, WR, Detroit Lions

These are “free-look” players – a unique aspect of the FFPC Main Event.

If Patterson and Reynolds have productive games in Thursday night’s opener vs. the Chiefs, I can put them in my Week 1 starting lineup. If not, I’ll dump them in the Sunday-morning waiver run.

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