This is a response to the amazing Heath Capps’ (@HeathCapps) way-too-early SFB9 Week 1 starting lineup article. I submit to you my projected-but-subject-to-change Week 1 starters along with a little reminder…
Each year during fantasy draft season, we seem to forget how little ADP and season-long counting numbers can matter once the actual football starts.
What round did everyone draft Phillip Lindsay in last year?
Derrick Henry, whoo boy! He finished as the RB12 last year so he’s an RB1, right? …Are we not going to talk about how Henry finished with fewer than 6 PPR points in 7 games? We’re going to look at the end of year numbers and gloss over how he only scored more than 10 PPR points in one game which he didn’t score a TD? I’m not trying to pick on Derrick Henry, but let’s not forget in the week-to-week game which is fantasy football, he had 2 HUGE games. To all the Henry owners out there, did you have him in your lineup for both of those games in the fantasy playoffs?
Let me put the soapbox away and get down to the draft, now. Overall, I like where I’m sitting heading into the season. Here we go!
Andrew Luck @ Chargers
Carson Wentz vs. Washington
I went into the draft wanting two top-flight QBs with a solid third. I was picking in the #2 spot, with Ray Summerlin (of Rotoworld fame), picking in the #1 spot. At every turn, Ray seemed to punt on quarterback, electing to instead scoop up values at the skill positions. He took my boy Devonta Freeman, he took A.J. Green, he took my beloved Mark Ingram…
So, when I was on the clock in the 8th round, with vengeance on my mind and a QB-less Summerlin sitting behind me, I took Andy Dalton. This left Ray Nick Foles and Matt Stafford (QB27 and 28).
Spite is not generally a great reason to pick one guy over another, but it is why I now have four QBs.
Reserves: C.J. Uzomah @ Seahawks
I didn’t set out to start so many tight ends, but I’m higher than consensus on both Hunter Henry and Kyle Rudolph. I believe Henry could break in to that 2nd tier of TEs (after Kelce and Kittle), and I’m happy to take a chance on Rudolph in an offense that might have Gary Kubiak’s fingerprints all over it.
Eifert fell to me in the 13th, and I spent my 21st round pick on what I hope was locking up the Bengals tight end role. This could pay big dividends or make who to cut questions easy to answer around week 2,3.
Ezekiel Elliot vs. Giants
Matt Breida @ Buccaneers
I didn’t set out to punt on running back after taking Elliot as the 2nd pick in the first round, but with OBJ and Luck available to met at the 2-3 turn, I felt my strategy was decided for me.
At the end of the 12th round, I took my 2nd running back in Breida. Trying to dissect the Niners backfield this early in the pre-season (and quite possibly for the entire season) is folly. I think Breida is the most talented back on the roster, though, and so I took my shot.
With my reserves, I’m taking shots on guys who are an injury away from inheriting big backfields. With Ajayi, I’m crossing my fingers for an Adrian-Peterson-to-Washington type scenario. This is a gamble on RB continuing to be the position where the most startable weeks will comes out of nowhere as the season wears on.
If I squint hard enough, long enough, I like what my receiver corps could turn into. At the writing of this article I’ve just learned Tyreek Hill will not be suspended, and so that Sammy Watkins pick has lost some of its luster. Thoughts on what this non-suspension means outside of fantasy football will be omitted from the article. I’ll be on the lookout for some cheap points on the waiver wire once it opens up.