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Storyboard #5

Written by :: Mike Johnson

Published – 8/9/2023

My weekly “Storyboard” articles are a deep dive into the thought process I use when building a best ball tournament roster. My approach is different than many, as I am not concerned about my overall player exposures and I view each draft as its own entity where I try to tell a “story” of how the NFL season could play out that would be “outside the normal line of thinking/expectation,” but also “doesn’t take a huge leap of faith.” These exercises are a dive into the decision-making process and should help show how each decision made throughout a draft influences the outlook for that roster going forward. Below is a summary of a draft I did on August 3rd for the $20 Drafters Million contest on www.Drafters.com

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Drafters Scoring/Settings::

  • Drafters format has NO PLAYOFFS. The format is cumulative points for 17 weeks.
  • This means Week 17 correlations can be thrown out the window
  • 20-man rosters, same as Draftkings
  • PPR scoring, like Draftkings, but NO BONUSES for 100 yards rush/rec or 300 yards passing
Picking from the 8th slot

1.08: Travis Kelce — The first 4 picks were the top WRs, followed by 3 RBs (CMC, Ekeler, and Chubb). I LOVE Kelce in this format. He gives a huge positional advantage in the cumulative points format and allows me to use extra roster spots at RB and WR to hunt for 20 point weeks (if you listened to my August 1st Tuesday training session, you know what I’m talking about!!!)

2.05: Jaylen Waddle, WR, MIA — The Kelce pick drives my draft going forward. Waddle gets the ball rolling on my “positional silo” at Wide Receiver (again, talked about this on Tuesday).

3.08 — Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, DET — I’m Christopher Walken and Jahmyr Gibbs is my cowbell…..I’m gonna need more of it. Hard for me to overstate how high I am on him this year. Love getting him in the late 3rd.

4.05 — Christian Watson, WR, GB — Adding Watson to this roster fits perfectly due to his elite weekly ceiling and how I plan to build going forward. I should have enough depth at the position to survive any “duds” his volatile playing style may leave me with, in large part thanks to having Kelce already in tow.

5.08 — Tyler Lockett, WR, SEA — Lockett is once again a high weekly upside wide receiver and I’m going to keep hammering those types on this roster, probably taking 9 WR’s thanks to the Kelce pick.

6.05 — Alexander Mattison, RB, MIN — Mattison limped a little bit at the end of a long practice in the heat on Tuesday and now he’s dropped from the late-4th to early-6th round? Thanks for the discount, fellas. Mattison may or may not be a great player this year, but he’s going to get opportunity and volume in a good offense, which means he’s going to raise my floor here. 4 to 6 20-point games likely

7.08 — Zay Flowers, WR, BAL — A bit of a reach here, at 80th overall, but as my WR4 he fits perfectly and this roster will have enough WR’s to get through any rookie growing pains. Dude is absolutely crushing camp so far.

8.05 — Skyy Moore, WR, KC — I don’t know that I “believe” all the hype Moore is getting, but he’s clearly in the Chiefs plans and going to play a lot this year. In a cumulative points Best Ball tournament, Moore is likely to give me several usable weeks. Once again, the way in which I plan to build this roster (9 WRs, meaning 4 more to come, means I’ll probably draft 1 or 2 more KC WR’s and just know between the group I’ll get a solid number of usable weeks from those roster spots). I’ve also got Kelce already, so this is a bit of a hedge on “down” Kelce weeks.

9.08 — Dalvin Cook, RB, FA — It’s unclear where Cook will sign, but what is clear is that he will sign somewhere (likely NYJ or MIA). Cook definitely has gas left in the tank and he’s going to be on a good offense. His ADP also will jump a couple rounds as soon as that signing happens, giving this pick some extra value.

10.05 — Kirk Cousins, QB, MIN — Cousins is my QB1 and fits well on this roster. He is a steadier producer (something I touched on in the Tuesday training session), so he gives me a nice baseline and now I’ll take some shots on a couple more volatile QB’s to finish out the position and try to raise the ceiling of my “positional silo” at QB. Adding to that, by having both Cousins and Mattison on the roster I have some potential correlation on weeks the Vikings score a ton as well as some diversification on weeks where maybe one of the running or passing game struggles.

11.08 — Tyler Boyd, WR, CIN — I’ve got a lot of volatile WR’s on the roster so far, so a guy like Boyd has some value as a steady producer from an elite offense. Also, pick 128 is too late for him, it was great value.

12.05 — Tank Bigsby, RB, JAX — This is where I’ll start hammering RB. As I talked about Tuesday (seriously, go listen if you haven’t), usable RB weeks are actually relatively similar for a huge portion of the position. I’d expect Bigsby to give me anywhere from 3 to 6 15-point games this season and I’ll load up on a few more to finish it out. The plan for positions at this point is: 3 QB, 6 RB, 9 WR, 2 TE (second TE to be selected in the 18th-20th round). If I can get a higher upside QB as my QB2, I may risk it with only 2 and go 7 RBs.

13.08 & 14.05 –  Devin Singletary, RB, HOU and Raheem Mostert, RB, MIA – I like both players, but these picks are more about the overall direction of the team. Adding to the stable of RBs with guys who will see volume and can provide usable weeks.

15.08 — Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, CLE — A perfect fit for this roster. DPJ has a skill set for big weeks, but also showed consistent production last year with 12 or more PPR points in 50% of his games last season.

16.05 — Bryce Young, QB, CAR — Young isn’t necessarily a “huge ceiling” QB on a weekly basis, but I do think he’s wildly underrated because of his size. I’ll take the value here and add another QB before it’s over.

17.08 — Ryan Tannehill, QB, TEN — Tannehill had a bit of a down year in 2022, but the Titans offense looks much stronger this year and Tannehill had sneaky high weekly ceilings in past seasons. I’m banking on steady production from the duo of Cousins/Young and Tannehill adding 2 to 4 of his 23 to 28 point games when he gets his legs involved.

18.05 — Isaiah Likely, TE, BAL — If we are trying to take 1st place in this tournament, pairing Likely with Kelce this late in a draft makes SO MUCH sense. Assuming Kelce stays healthy, anyone who drafts him is barely going to get any contributions from their TE2. However, Likely is basically free at this point in a draft and if Andrews misses time I’ve got an absolute power-duo at the position. Also, in that “story” where Andrews misses time, my earlier pick on Zay Flowers would also benefit.

19.08 — Michael Wilson, WR, ARI — Wilson is an intriguing player due to his draft capital and stature among the Cardinals wideouts. There aren’t many WRs at this point in the draft with a path to being their team’s top WR for the last 6 weeks of the season, but Wilson is one of them.

20.05 — Cordarrelle Patterson, RB, ATL — Once again, USABLE WEEKS. Obviously Patterson has to deal with Bijan and Allgeier — but this is a proven explosive player whose coach wants to make sure they get him the ball and who had FOUR games of 18+ points last season. In the final round of the draft, it was hard to beat that.

FINAL ROSTER: