Hello party people! Thanks again for tolerating the second-ever live Frameshmania draft (the first one was just the four of us, which is why none of you outsiders remember that). I hope everyone had a good time despite the doubled duration. I won't beat around the bush too much, so let's get to the draft review.
In this edition, I'll spend my time here discussing how each team fared in terms of their overall draft quality. In the podcast, I'll talk more about how the draft went as it unfolded, and where there might have been some good or bad picks.
So, for reference, here is the draft board.
With each team's draft review, I'm going to include a fancy new graph of their draft tendencies by round. The colors conveniently match the colors of the stickers above, so you guys should be primed to understand it.
Historically, I've been one of the running-back-heaviest teams in the early going, but the real trend is that I never pick a QB or TE early. This year I went a little more receiver heavy, and have arguably the best group of three receivers in the league. As a consequence, there are some fair concerns about my RB2 slot with Hyde and Montgomery, and my QB combo of Cam and Big Ben isn't as shiny as it might have been in previous years. There's a little bit of upside in the Henrys, but all in all this seems like a team that is likely to be solid, if unspectacular.
Laurie has gone for the early QB a fair amount, and we know who that guy is -- Drew Brees. She went to the well again this year, and he provides some stability to what could be a risky roster. While there is a lot of upside in her third and fifth round picks, she might find that she has too many Cooks in the kitchen. Also, a peculiar affinity for Vikings players (she drafted four of the five players who were selected from that squad) seems like an odd choice. She is going to need breakout years from Dalvin Cook and Tyreek Hill to find her way to the top, I suspect.
I don't think this says anything about anything, but Jon-Michael's graph is probably the smoothest of anyone's. He has generally not messed around with early receivers, and this year was no different, as he went RB with three of his first four picks. There's some serious risk there with one-hit-wonder Ajayi and one-hit-from-retirement Lynch, but also some serious touchdown upside. The receiver group is full of guys who fell due to role and quarterback concerns, but all of them are legitimate threats to be top-15 at the position by year's end. Peterson was a bit of a reach, but Kelley may have been the biggest value of the draft if he holds onto the job and performs like he did last year.
Matt had the top pick for the fifth time in nine years, and he took his fifth different running back at that slot. He has tended to back that up with a QB in one of the next two picks, but this year he went for skill players for a little while instead. He provided perhaps the most surprises of the draft with the relatively early selections of Graham and Mariota and the back-to-back picks of Bilal Powell and Danny Woodhead, but there is some security in there that could make up for having guys like Fournette. This team is a hard one to read because of that, but I have a hard time seeing it as uncompetitive, which was the case for Matt last year in his first season outside the top two picks.
The king of the early-round running back was forced to change his stripes this year thanks to some rough luck with the draft order, but to end up with two receivers who are virtual locks to be in the top 10 if healthy isn't a bad consolation. The running backs Kyle did end up with present a lot of downside, so it could be a long season. Kyle went for two mid-tier QBs and TEs instead of going early or late on either position, and that makes him have quite the combination of safety and upside in both spots. He also grabbed some interesting fliers in the late rounds who could be free agent fodder in two weeks but are worth taking a look at.
Jesse tends to get his running backs early and take a break for a bit, and he went back to that strategy this season as well. I can't say that I'm that impressed with Crowell as his RB2 in the early going, but to have Le'Veon and Zeke available in the second half is a pretty exciting prospect. His receiver group doesn't necessarily have the transcendent guy at the top but should have a pretty high floor, and the Winston/Cousins combo at QB is intriguing if not exciting. I'm not super confident in either Blount or Perkins, but all he really needs is for one of them to pan out and it should work out fine until Zeke returns.
Emily has been as likely as anyone to take a receiver early, and she pulled the trigger again with Julio Jones at the top. She doesn't have what I view as a particularly high ceiling at any particular position after that, but there are a lot of guys who are unlikely to bust out entirely, and the Wilson / Carr combo at QB is basically guaranteed to produce a top 6 output on the whole. In general I'm not a huge fan of her bench guys because in this league players like Gore and Fitzgerald just aren't, er, spicy enough, but that last round pick of Randall Cobb really got some eyebrows raised. Could be a ridiculous steal.
No fancy math this time, just gut feel. Here's how I have things as we stand now, and to be clear, this is more about upside for a great season, because in an 8 team league where most of the teams make the playoffs you can afford to shoot for the stars:
1) Phil - That Trifecta at QB/WR/TE is really exciting, just needs to avoid another RB apocalypse
2) Kyle - Not sure about the RBs, but guaranteed production at QB/WR/TE again rules the day
3) Jon-Michael - Some old guys that need to stay productive, but pretty intriguing receiver group
4) Jesse - Won't show much early necessarily, but should surge in the second half
5) Alex - Again, RB concerns with strong WR, but also serious questions at QB/TE
6) Laurie - Gotta get big years from some young guys, but has some blue bloods to pick up slack
7) Matt - Just enough upside to keep him out of the cellar
8) Emily - Where did you think I'd put you? Not likely to finish last, just not likely to finish first.