We’re here. Today is the day. It’s like Christmas morning for the DFFL. We have real, live, National Football League football tonight. It might just be one game (albeit a juicy one), and then we have to wait a few more days, but hot damn it’s worth the wait.
Here on the site I’ll freely admit, I’ve been slacking. I won’t say that I’ve failed y’all, but it’s pretty damn close. But it’s whatever, what’s done is done. I’m ready for the season to start, how ’bout you?
Donnie and I (and anyone else that wants to) are gonna be back at it this season with running the site and our weekly updates we’ve been doing. With that being said, I wanted to get a post up of things I have been wanting to do. The plan was to an abbreviated run-down, but I got going and went full bore.
So, without further ado, I give you the 2016 DFFL Preview:
We may be just over 24-hours away from the start of the season, but you didn’t think I was going to go into the year without posting some Draft Grades, did you? C’mon.
I’ve taken the liberty of grading each of the DFFL member’s drafts, with the exception of my own, naturally. Per usual, Michael graded mine for me. The teams are listed in the reverse order of last year’s standings, aka, the Draft order.
*(R) designates rookie
Slob On My Cobb
1. (2) Derrick Henry, RB Tennessee (R)
2. (9) Coby Fleener, TE New Orleans
3. (17) Chris Ivory, RB Jacksonville
4. (25) Willie Snead, WR New Orleans
5. (33) Kamar Aiken, WR Baltimore
6. (41) Christine Michael, RB Seattle
7. (49) Kansas City, DEF
8. (57) Justin Tucker, K Baltimore
Gem: Derrick Henry
This pick was a no-brainer given the handcuff factor with already owning DeMarco Murray, not to mention how talented Henry is for a RB his size. The Titans offense is trending up so this should be a pick that pays dividends one way or another for the foreseeable future.
Bust: Willie Snead
Disclaimer: I don’t like Willie Snead and I think he’s gross, so he’s perfect for the Cobb Slobbers. He’s an okay NFL WR in an offense which airs it out, but he’s also battling Cooks, Michael Thomas and 2nd round pick Coby Fleener for targets. Not a bad pick but not a top 25 player in this draft.
What they’re sayin’: Picking up CJ Anderson, TY Hilton and a 2017 1st round pick (sure to be top 3) is a decent haul for moving down one spot in the draft to #2. But he also gave up Eduardo Lacy in the process. I questioned the decision at the time and will continue to due so (mostly out of discontent for being locked out of #1) but it’s still a decent haul. Coby Fleener at #9 is a great pick and Snead and Kamar Aiken could get some run once the bye weeks hit. Overall an okay draft following a decent haul for #1.
Dead Rats Walking
1. (1) Ezekiel Elliott, RB Dallas (R)
1. (6) Will Fuller, WR Houston (R)
2. (10) Martavis Bryant, WR Pittsburgh
4. (26) Tajae Sharpe, WR Tennessee (R)
5. (34) Braxton Miller, WR Houston (R)
6. (42) Mohamed Sanu, WR Atlanta
7. (50) New England, DEF
8. (58) Dan Bailey, K Dallas
Gem: Ezekiel Elliott
This pains me slightly to do this, but he probably will be a gem. I’m still cool with making the trade, but of the selections made, he’s the unquestioned gem for the Gang.
Bust: Martavis Bryant
Man, Rat just loves harboring criminals suspended for full seasons, doesn’t he. What makes this pick great is the backstory, and that it was fucking 10th overall. Please never change, Rat.
What they’re sayin’:
DRW must have dipped into the bourbon a little too soon before Draft night. I like the Elliott pick, kid’s gonna be good, despite Rat paying a king’s ransom to get him. Peak Rat taking Braxton. Some upside at WR for the Rat Gang, but outside of that, not much else doing it here for me. Moving into the #6 spot to take Will Fuller was a mighty headscratcher, IMO.
The Popcorn Playas
2. (11) Tyler Boyd, WR Cincinnati (R)
3. (19) Kenjon Barner, RB Philadelphia
4. (27) Phillip Dorsett, WR Indianapolis
4. (32) Malcolm Mitchell, WR New England (R)
5. (35) Travis Benjamin, WR San Diego
6. (43) Seattle, DEF
7. (51) Kirk Cousins, QB Washington
8. (59) Mason Crosby, K Green Bay
9. (67) Sammie Coates, WR Pittsburgh
Gem: Travis Benjamin
This is not me being a homer because I quite frankly didn’t really care for him in Cleveland, but the 5th round pick for Curlis is a really good value pick.
Bust: Kenjon Barner
An Oregon guy with Chip Kelly gone now. He’s behind Mathews on the depth chart right now, and figures to stay there. I don’t mind a flier on him, but the 3rd round was probably a reach.
What they’re sayin’:
I’m not in the business of grilling people, but I am just not buying what the Playas are selling. Boyd plays in an explosive offense, and provides some long-term value. The aforementioned Barner I don’t trust. I do like Dorsett in Indy, and Benjamin as well. Drafting Kork is hilarious, but he probably gets the nod for Curlis – a telling sign. I really do like the 9th round pick for Sammie Coates, a value-pick super late.
1. (4) Corey Coleman, WR Cleveland (R)
2. (12) Ryan Mathews, RB Philadelphia
3. (20) Devontae Booker, RB Denver (R)
4. (28) Jerick McKinnon, RB Minnesota
5. (36) Chris Johnson, RB Arizona
6. (44) Antonio Gates, TE San Diego
7. (52) Houston, DEF
8. (60) Josh Brown, K New York Giants
Gem: Corey Coleman
Duh, dude’s gonna get 100+ targets. Don’t care that he was a first-round pick, don’t care that I’m being a homer. Deal with it, good pick.
Bust: Josh Brown
Well, he’s suspended, and taking a suspended kicker is ill-advised.
What they’re sayin’:
Multiple handcuffs is probably a good decision for the Don. AD is one wrong step from his career being over, and McKinnon has proven valuable in the past, nice snatch-up. Honestly, I didn’t realize Chris Johnson was still in the league, but good to have DJ’s backup in Arizona. Gates late is a good get as a TE stop-gap. And I don’t know what to make of Ryan Mathews, other than I realize now his last name has one T in it, which is interesting. Devonate Booker has a >50% chance of ending up on my team, so I dig the pick. Decent value picks, couple upside picks, and a couple handcuffs, solid recipe for Michael.
1. (5) Laquon Treadwell, WR Minnesota (R)
2. (13) DeAndre Washington, RB Oakland (R)
3. (21) Tyler Eifert, TE Cincinnati
4. (29) DeAngelo Williams, RB Pittsburgh
5. (37) Stephen Gostkowski, K New England
6. (45) Denver, DEF
7. (53) Theo Riddick, RB Detroit
8. (61) Terrelle Pryor, WR Cleveland
Gem: DeAngelo Williams
A fourth rounder for Williams is really good value, especially when you consider Le’Veon Bell is suspended (shocker) for the first few weeks – and will undoubtedly get hurt at some point. That could buy Brum a win or two…ha, who am I kidding.
Bust: Theo Riddick
Surprisingly wound up on my team to end the year last year, which should tell you all you need to know about Theo Riddick being on your fantasy team.
What they’re sayin’:
God dammit. Never in a million years would I have expected this shit. Everyone’s Dad actually went out and had a really damn good draft. Sure, he took Terrelle Pryor, which was equally as predictable as him taking Scroddy White last year, but honestly it could be a really good pick. Deangelo Williams in the 4th is solid. Took a premier K and D, which I don’t believe in, but good picks tho. Theo Riddick late was also solid. Eifert could really do some shit. Not to mention the two rookies in Treadwell and Washington. ‘Quon is
now still QB-less, which sucks, but Washington may challenge Murray for touches in Oakland. I mean, christ, this was a really good draft, no lies.
2. (14) Kenneth Dixon, RB Baltimore (R)
3. (18) Jordan Howard, RB Chicago (R)
3. (22) Tyrod Taylor, QB Buffalo
4. (30) Kenyan Drake, RB Miami (R)
5. (38) Chris Hogan, WR New England
6. (46) Carolina, DEF
7. (54) Graham Gano, K Carloina
8. (62) Eric Ebron, TE Detroit
9. (70) Clive Walford, TE Oakland
Gem: Tyrod Taylor
Pretty Ricky has Andrew Luck, so he’s pretty solid at the QB spot, so you may think this is an odd selection for a gem. However, TT had a pretty damn good year last year, and will look to improve on that this season with absolutely no one looking over his shoulder, and contract extension being signed. Could prove to be a huge trade asset, or if Luck implodes again, a solid plug-n-play QB2.
Bust: Kenyan Drake
Honestly, struggled selecting one here. It’s hard to say what is going on in Miami’s backfield. Foster could end up having a really good year, or he could die and Ajayi could step right in. Ajayi, however, hasn’t looked all that good this preseason, so who tf knows. I had to pick one, so, this is a bust.
What they’re sayin’:
I really dig this draft. Three rookie RB’s in the first four picks in a vacuum, seems dicey. However, when you consider one is handcuff (Howard), and one was a backup to someone who just got cut (Dixon), it’s easy to see the logic. Chris Hogan in the 5th could be a huge get, with great value. If investing in kickers and defenses is your thing, then you’ll like Pat’s selections. I have no clue who in the hell Clive Walford is, but I’m like 85% sure he’s not a real NFL player.
Emmanuel in Space
1. (7) Michael Thomas, WR New Orleans (R)
2. (15) Rishard Matthews, WR Tennessee
3. (23) Jordan Cameron, TE Miami
4. (31) Pierre Garcon, WR Washington
5. (39) Jared Goff, QB Los Angeles (R)
6. (47) Pittsburgh, DEF
7. (55) Jason Witten, TE Dallas
8. (63) Chandler Catanzaro, K Arizona
Gem: Michael Thomas
I struggled with this selection, mainly because I don’t see anyone else being of value in this draft for Scootie. Really the only reason Thomas is the choice is the Saints offense. He should get some run early as a rookie. New Orleans really has no big time WR’s, so adding Thomas could be a really solid pick, so long as Brees is chucking the rock.
Bust: Jordan Cameron
Move along, nothing to see here.
What they’re sayin’:
A pretty nasty draft, all things considered. Having finished 2nd last year, Deppen is looking to add some depth, and for the most did, I guess? Scootie went into the draft with 0 TE’s, and came out the other side with Witten and Cameron. Net gain, minimal. Watch for him to be active in the trade market for a TE, because, woof at those two. I have no clue what to make of Goff, but I guess in the 5th I have no quarrels. Shocker also that he took Pittsburgh’s D, and an OSU player with his first pick. Like fucking clockwork, man.
1. (3) Sterling Shepard, WR New York Giants (R)
1. (8) Josh Doctson, WR Washington (R)
2. (16) C.J. Prosise, RB Seattle (R)
3. (24) Wendell Smallwood, RB Philadelphia (R)
5. (40) Arizona, DEF
6. (48) Hunter Henry, TE San Diego (R)
7. (56) Steven Hauschka, K Seattle
8. (64) Paxton Lynch, QB Denver (R)
Gem: Hunter Henry
He’s still behind Antonio Gates on the chart, but I really liked this kid coming out of college. Once Gates eventually retires (sooner rather than later), he’ll be the presumptive heir apparent for the Bolts. May not pay dividends for a couple years, but snagging him here in the 6th round is solid value, and upside.
Bust: C.J. Prosise
Seems to be buried in a pretty stout backfield. Thomas Rawls is the presumed starter, with Christine Michael pushing for 1st team reps. A rookie with some promise, but this is a long-term investment, which I am not sure has the payout warranted for a 2nd round pick.
What they’re sayin’:
Holy fuggin’ rookies, man. With the only exceptions being K/DEF, this is an all-rookie class for the Force. There’s a couple high-profile WR’s in Shepard and Doctson, and realistically both should provide an impact this year, specifically Sterling. A couple of rookie RB fliers seem to be long-shots, but I do like snagging Double-H at the TE with good value late. The Lynch flier could prove hilariously solid, maybe. Overall, this draft may provide literally nothing this year, save for Sterling Shepard. A roll of the dice for the future.
I’m not worried about parity in the league, yet. In looking at the teams, I think there are a few teams that could make a surprise run. But, if you think anyone other than Will and Deppen are the presumptive favorites, then you need a reality check.
Last year Donnie had some tough injuries to overcome, and I think he’ll make a big leap forward this year. I’m just not sure it’ll be enough to break into the top-2, unfortunately. Brother’s squad is an intriguing one, a team I could see getting into the Playoffs again, for sure.
There’s a stark contrast in the top-half of the table, to the bottom-four. My team is trash, so I’ll toss them aside. Rat’s team is also a hot pile of trash, so we’ll also toss him aside. I think the Tyler’s and myself battle it out for 5-7, with Dead Rats Walking continuing to bring up the rear.
Miller’s Official 2016 Standings Prediction:
1. Willenium Force
2. Emmanuel in Space
3. The Donatello
6. Slob On My Cobb
7. The Popcorn Playas
8. Dead Rats Walking
That’s all she wrote. Those predictions are 100% accurate, and will come true.
I look forward to yet another year in the DFFL, and I’m sure this will be our best year yet. Good luck to all teams, and go kill ’em.
Zachary J. Miller,
Acting Commissioner since 2014