Fantasy football playoff strategy: Ben Standig's mock draft plans and final roster
Six FFToolbox guys got together for a playoff mock draft. Here is a look at the rosters for all six teams along with details for the FFToolbox playoff contest. What follows are the strategy and final details about one of them.
Oh, but first, a quick rundown on the rules. Six teams, draft-n-go style aka best ball scoring. No set lineups as your starters will be optimized each week. There are 14 roster spots and 11 starting spots: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DEF and 2 RB/WR/TE FLEX. The player pool is of course all the players in the postseason. If you want to check out the contest VISIT HERE
*Strategy: My first time in this format, though not my fantasy football playoffs rodeo. The strategy, while always flexible depending on draft slot and the overall board, centers on loading up with players from 1-2 NFL teams. Drew Brees rocks, but he won't help much if he's out after one game. As for those specific teams I initially targeted, really anyone outside of the Colts, Chiefs (especially since Jamaal Charles went before I picked), Saints and Chargers with special focus on Broncos, Seahawks, Eagles and as always, Aaron Rodgers. Obviously Denver and Seattle are targets for all, but don't forget the recent trend of teams advancing from the first weekend all the way to the Super Bowl. Otherwise I tried to avoid teams that play each other in the first or second round and for the most part didn't worry about backups for defense, kicker and as I'll discuss, quarterback.
*Round by round summary:
1) Eric Decker, WR, Broncos - Those wanting a potent piece of the Denver offense had to strike quick. Decker posted eight scores and three 100-yard games the last five week. Sure, Wes Welker is back, but someone else can take that on that risk-reward headache.
2) LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles - Arguments can be made for any of the four NFC teams playing this weekend to advance beyond this round and perhaps one more. In addition, just like the regular season game, running back is a premium position. Put it altogether and McCoy is a no-brainer
3) DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles - All ready to stick with Broncos-Eagles plan, but Julius Thomas went just before this pick. Bummer, but we move on and certainly have no issue with Jackson.
4) Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals - There are only so many RB1 caliber backs and by my board, I have two of the top six runners. Bernard averaged over four yards per carry against the Chargers in Week 13. From there, I'll never bet against Tom Brady, but New England could have trouble if the Bengals offense clicks. Passed on Aaron Rodgers and Shane Vereen, debated Nick Foles, but ideally I wait on QB, always.
5) Nick Foles, QB, Eagles - Now I'm certainly pot committed with the Eagles. That works for me because even two games with this trio could out produce three from the Seahawks, Panthers or the Gronk-less Patriots. Only fear is Foles playing on a new stage. Still, it's my opponents who should be frightened with this lineup!
6) LeGarrette Blount, RB, Patriots - Could take the best TE left (Greg Olsen) while the remaining top wide outs (Boldin, Colston) are no locks to advance past this weekend. New England's backfield often proves maddening for fantasy owners, but Blount has rocked lately. Having Blount and Bernard guarantees an RB in the championship game round if the Bengals defeat San Diego.
7) Riley Cooper, WR, Eagles- Hoping two games from Cooper trumps one from Keenan Allen. And yes, I might need to invest in an Eagles jersey even though I'm a Redskins guy.
8) Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks - Always a sneaky play to go off and Baldwin has strong chance for three games. Also passed on Dwayne Bowe, Steve Smith, Cam Newton
9) Broncos defense - Immediately after tabbing Baldwin I realized the Seahawks defense was the way to go. Taking Denver's unit is a volume call with the hope of three games.
10) Marvin Jones, WR, Bengals - Strong close to the season makes Jones the Bengals No. 2 pass receiver and gives me another Cincinnati player to pair with Bernard. Debated Andy Dalton, but since only QB counts per week and I'm already all in for Foles/Eagles, figured I'd wait. More on this later.
11) Matt Prater, K, Broncos - Others might have a stronger contingent of Broncos, but Prater, Decker and the defense gives me a healthy piece of that contending pie.
12) Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles - Could have taken one of the two Cincinnati tight ends, but at this point, might as well keep piling on. Ertz went 15-19-3 over the last five games.
13) Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers - Double purpose hedge; first-round TE option in this best ball format and a player to offset Bernard and Jones should the Chargers upset the Bengals.
14) Bryce Brown, RB, Eagles - Not much left to take and Brown is semi-involved with the Eagles. Alex Smith was still on the board, but I don't see him outscoring Foles so, pass. I'll be curious to see how the QBs work in this format. I get taking two especially for those that missed Peyton Manning, Foles, Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson. Taking three, as someone else did, and knowing that only one can be used each week, that's interesting.
*Recap - Go Eagles! Philadelphia is a flawed bunch, but show me a team that doesn't have issues. This squad generated the second most yards and fourth most points in the NFL this season. Give me a Final Four of Eagles, Broncos, Bengals and Seahawks and this game is mine. I've got several outs for success with this roster even if the Eagles or others don't make it that far.
Favorite pick: Nick Foles
Potential regret pick: Giovani Bernard with Aaron Rodgers available
*Other team that rocked - The only other GM that seemed to employ a similar "overload" strategy was Mr. Jeb Gorham. He selected Aaron Rodgers, James Jones plus two other Packers while also tabbing five Bengals including Andy Dalton and AJ. Green. Not in love with his runners, but Knowshon Moreno and Montee Ball could easily play three games each.