Fantasy Files: Rookie Draft 2016

Let’s set the stage for my 2016 Rookiepalooza, powered by #rookiederangement. I finished in dead center in the Zealots 34 league last year, my tenth consecutive non-championship season. The Zealots 34 Tennessee Titans have won as many titles as the real Tennessee Titans. Thanks to that, I “earned” the following picks:

1.06
2.06
3.06
4.06
5.06
6.06

I’m a meddler and a mad #trader, so I did not end up with the same six picks when the draft started:

Traded my 2016 6th-round pick for Harry Douglas around the end of last year’s draft. At the time he was still on the Falcons’ roster and put up good numbers when Roddy White was hurt, which was about every other game at this point. Douglas was cut, signed by the Titans and I eventually cut him.

Traded my 2016 4th-round pick for Brian Henry’s 5th-round pick in exchange for Antoine Bethea. I had a roster crunch at DB, forgetting that the league changed waiver rules to allow pre-Week 1 pickups. Know your league rules, people. Bethea was a starter for the seven weeks he played before ending on IR. Thus, my 4.06 became 5.11.

Traded my 2.06 pick on February 1 for Calvin Johnson (once again to Brian Henry). He retired a month and a week later. It’s still one of my better second-round rookie selections. In hindsight I should have offered my 3.06, because saying that I shouldn’t have made the deal at all takes the fun out of the times that I win a trade.

It’s no surprise that Brian played for the title last year and I lost in the first round of the playoffs.

I added pick 6.12 in a trade with Ben Whibley, aka the guy who joined the league four years ago and has won three straight titles. He need some free-agency bucks otherwise known as zbucks and I took that deal. I also traded Johnny Manziel for pick 6.09, which feels the opposite of that Harry Douglas deal.

My picks at the start of the rookie draft:

1.06
3.06
5.06
5.11
6.09
6.12

Somehow I ended up with the same six picks I started with but four in the final 24 picks aka the “IDP starter or offensive flier” portion of the draft.

While reading my daily 42 RotoViz articles, I came across one piece of advice: Sell Allen Hurns. I asked a couple of friends about value and started throwing out trade offers to the owners in the 1.02-1.04 range. I liked that top three group of wideouts. I was rebuked most everywhere except for my dad who owned 1.04. He was willing to take my deal but wanted a 2017 5th rounder. If you’re that close in a deal, it’s fine to give up a sweetener so I took the deal. Note that I was at the beach after a day of sucking down Goses like they were water but I was happy there. Corey Coleman fell to 1.04 which surprised me.

Zach on the beach

Anderson Valley goses, a billion times better than the usual Lite beach beer

1.06 was a trip. I threw out the “make me an offer” email to the league and didn’t get much in return. After sweating it out for literal minutes (some of which were spent in a hot tub), I spurned my WR-heavy ways and took double Titan Derrick Henry.

One thing that’s fun to do in a rookie draft is have a backup pick. You play the Sliding Doors “what if” game and see how far your other guy slips. My backup was Sterling Shepard and he fell to 1.10, which I tried to pry loose from Josh Norris’s grip but to no avail.

FYI, after the pick went through I saw an offer for John Brown. I probably would have taken that.

Coleman was an easy pick, last guy remaining out of the “big three” WRs in this year’s somewhat underwhelming class. Many experts touted him as the #1 guy and he has the draft pedigree to go with that. I hope he’s not the next Kendall Wright but there’s still one year for that pick to turn around. With Henry I played the upside game. While our rules have changed so that we only need to start one RB, we can start up to three and my DeMarco Murray share devalued quicker than anything you bring into a pawn shop. Henry has double-digit TD upside in his rookie year even in a timeshare and the current coaching staff, despite their AARP bona fides, is dedicated to the run.

I got to wait a while for pick 3.06. I threw out an offer of the pick for DeAndre Smelter, didn’t get a response other than “thinking about it” from the other owner so I went with Jaylon Smith. Stud LBs are an important part of your IDP diet. A guy coming off a knee injury probably isn’t the best investment but we have IR slots and I need some new blood. At that point Myles Jack was the only LB taken.

Again, I waited. I had to suffer through a pickless fourth round and finally my 5.06 came up. I thought about the IDP starter but went with Cardele Jones instead. He feels like a third-rounder who slipped and has as we love to say, “tremendous upside”.

My 5.11 pick again was non-IDP as I took Daniel Braverman of the Bears. I trust in Matt Waldman’s RSP. Cardele Jones was his last “green” player and Braverman was the top-rated WR left. I’m not sure if he’s more than a slot guy and perhaps he’ll beat out “but he’s really young and made Drew Dinkmeyer a millionaire” Marquess Wilson.

The Commish made me an offer I couldn’t refuse, his 2017 5th rounder for my 6.09 and 6.12. I know that usually it’s a current-year pick for a next-year pick one round earlier, but these are all but free agent guys in the final four picks. I’ll replace my traded 2017 5th rounder and hope that some of Wild Man’s fliers are available in the upcoming post-draft free agent spending spree, which is always a great time.

Final draft results:
1.04: Corey Coleman
1.06: Derrick Henry
3.06: Jaylon Smith
5.06: Cardele Jones
5.11: Daniel Braverman
2017 5th-round pick

Bye bye, Allen Hurns, my 2017 5th rounder and picks 6.09 (Dak Prescott) and 6.12 (Kenny Lawler).

Coming soon: Beer(s) of the week, beach can extravaganza edition, post-beach shopping and during beach trip beer glass acquisition. Also I’ll be working with Sal Stefanile soon on a SFB-based project.

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