Fantasy Files: MFL10 Summer Two-Step

I blame the Queen of MFL10s, Jen Ryan, for this. There was an MFL10 credit burning a hole somewhere on my computer so I had to get into a league before the summer was over.

MFL10

Here’s a brief primer even though I’ve talked about MFL10s multiple times before. This is a draft-only league, which means it’s in the “best ball” format. You literally draft and forget. During the season the league automatically picks your best starting lineup based on the weekly scores, and after 16 weeks the top scorer wins. This creates a lot of intriguing possibilities. First of all, we’re in July, so injuries can happen. You’ll have to take a flier on a guy who may or may not be a waiver-wire wonder during the season if you want him. There are no waivers or trades. You have to be sure about bye weeks and cover appropriately.

The best leagues, in my opinion, are the ones that offer multiple strategies. MFL10s are a bit static in that they have a relatively standard QB/2RB/3WR/TE/D/flex lineup. Still, you have to make tough choices. Do you go RB-heavy early knowing that starting in the sixth round, there’s a lot of uncertainty? Those stud WRs are sure-fire point-makers so grabbing a couple at the “turn” isn’t bad. Then you have to decide whether to grab a QB/TE early. The best part about MFL10s is that you can draft guys like Geno Smith and Blake Bortles late but you don’t have to actually put them in your starting lineup.

I’ll include a link to the leagues/rosters/draft pages for ease of checking my work. I won’t post my entire draft because I do that all the time and you can look that up.

Draft 1: Started Friday, June 26

This was an early one. Would there be an additional layer of strategy if MFL10s let people pick their draft spot? It’s kind of like the idea of letting teams trade draft picks, there would be more harm than good from opening things up more than the current setup. I had the seventh pick, a good thing because I’ve been drafting from the turn too often. I bet you’d have to play around 20 MFL10s to get one shot at every draft slot. I didn’t have a clear strategy here, telling myself that I was going BPA when I was a bit too attached to the MFL ADP on the page, and Mike’s fine MFL10 ADP work.

There are basic strategies you can try in these leagues. Go RB-RB to see the WR quality in round three. Take a QB and/or TE in the first four rounds and see what your WR/RB corps looks like at the end (you’ll need a strong stomach). Note that how you “feel” about picks matters but it doesn’t mean you are onto something.

Key picks:

Jimmy Graham, 3.07: Once you start in a certain direction, it can feel like trying a u-turn in the Titanic when you want to turn things around. I had two WRs and the “chalk” thing to do would be go with a RB. I wasn’t impressed with my choices and it’s hard to believe that TD Jimmy’s going to Seattle to block. That pushes RB back, and simply means I need more of them on my final roster.

Todd Gurley, 4.06: You can get bargains with rookies, and Sigmund Bloom brought up a great point on this week’s On the Couch. Rookie RBs are way discounted in pre-NFL draft MFL10s. The thing about Gurley is that the Rams have publicly and repeatedly said that they will start him slowly. That means I’ll need another starter for up to the first six weeks of the season. With best ball, you don’t know when the peaks and valleys will come.

Joique Bell, 6.06: The news on Bell hasn’t been great, what with knee and Achilles issues. He’s still the goal-line back (at least) for a good offense. It’s hard to say if Bell could start strong and fade or the other way around.

Cam Newton, 8.06: It’s funny when you get a guy at a position you perceive as “late” and other people immediately tell you that they’ve selected him later. Note that twice in the past three weeks I’ve taken Newton and Brees has gone right after him.

Stevie Johnson, 13.07: This is one of the rare instances in which a player did benefit from summer news. Stevie’s in the Eddie Royal position, and with the Gates suspension, he could be in for a boat load of targets.

Dan Herron, 14.06: Taking backups in high-volume offenses seems like the way to go.

What happened because of this “strategy”: I generally take 2 QBs but I waited, waited, waited until Geno Smith was the best option behind Cam Newton. Because they have the same bye week and his name still is Geno Smith, I took Blake Bortles in the following round, and that meant one fewer RB/WR/TE flier. I finished with 3 QB/6 RB/6 WR/2 TE/3 team D. My selection of the Bucs D was primarily due to their Week 1 opponent, the Tennessee Titans.

Draft 2: Started July 2

As of this writing, the league’s at pick 16.06. I have four picks left and two of them will be D/STs, so nothing to write about there. Here’s something I’ve noticed about fantasy writing. You tend to notice “obvious” trends once you’ve bucked them. I thought I read a lot about MFL10s until I started my first one and there was a flood of commentary on taking lots of running backs early. The only RB I took in the first five rounds of my premiere MFL10 tore his ACL last November. I shook it up this time.

I’ll skip the key picks section and call this whole strategy an oddity. I started RB4, then took four WRs in the following rounds, followed by two QBs then two TEs. Since I was at pick 11 (my lucky draft spot this summer), it was easy to get my targets. What I learned from this draft decision was flexibility. I took four solid starting RBs at the front which means I can ignore the position the rest of the way if I want. I took Romo and Brady at the 9/10 turn and I may leave the position alone for the rest of the draft. That means I can jump all over WR and TE the rest of the way. I can take Gates because I know that I’ll have plenty of strength on the bench. I feel queasy with Jeremy Maclin as my WR1 but Todd Gurley is my RB4. There’s a balance in this strategy, and I “felt” good about it so it will probably implode.

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