2021 Draft Recap
PROPER PREPARATION PREVENTS POOR PERFORMANCE
That may have been the longest offseason ever. Not in a literal sense, just the fact that I’ve been waiting for another shot at having an actual first-round pick that is useful for me. In 2017 I had Melvin Gordon, just a bum. In 2018, I drafted the holdout Le’Veon Bell. In 2019 I took David Johnson who was another bum that year. Last year, I ended up with Saquon who played one game and finished with 6 yards on 15 attempts…. So, yeah, you could say I was eager to get another shot at having some fucking help from my draft picks. I could write a 5,000-word blog about my miserable drafts in this league but I’ve always found a way to make the playoffs thanks to some mid-season roster management and quite a bit of luck.
Anyways, let’s get into this shit. We’re less than 24 hours away from NFL kickoff and I could not be more excited. Shoutout to Nick as it’s his birthday today. Happy Birthday, brother.
Best Value, Early Rounds
SPENCER, AUSTIN EKELER (2.01)
I fucking hear y’all already, “He didn’t practice today because of a hamstring injury, idiot.” Yeah, well I don’t care. Ekeler was supposed to go much earlier in this draft, but due to certain circumstances, he didn’t. I have Ekeler slated as a top-5 RB this year due to an increased role with a new offensive coordinator in town. Joe Lombardi’s scheme was critical in making Kamara into Kamara. Ekeler will be the new Kamara in this system with Herbert and Lombardi. Last year, from week 12 on, no running back had a higher target share than Ekeler's 19.9%. Since 2017, Ekeler has the highest catch rate among RBs. Since 2019, Ekeler is first in fantasy point per touch with 1.21, besting Kamara at 1.20. While healthy in 2020, Ekeler averaged 18.6 touches per game - I'll let you do the math.
Worst Value, Early Rounds
NATHAN, PRETTY MUCH EVERY PICK (2.10, 3.01, 3.02, 4.10)
Nathan was in the perfect position to run away with this draft and go into the season with undoubtedly the best roster. Instead, he may have come out with nothing better than a mid-tier team. Sure, I understand he has CMC who can single-handedly take you to the championship (i.e. Mile High Magic in ‘18 and ‘19). But Nathan kept Robby Anderson and Justin Jefferson in the 12th and 13th rounds, respectively, so what was his plan? To apparently fuck everything up in the late second round turn when he drafted three fucking WR’s back-to-back-to-back, two of them being on the same team! I’m actually laughing as I type this because it was such a Nathan move. He can’t even start all 5 of those WRs on the same week. And how does he follow up that act? Drafting a TE in the fourth round. Wild times. And to think I was worried about moving Nathan to the South Division.
Best Value, Mid Rounds
WORZIE, COREY DAVIS (8.02)
I am higher on Corey Davis than pretty much everyone else on this planet. This guy was drafted 5th overall in 2017 to the Titans and either had a backup QB throwing to him or played second-fiddle to AJ Brown, arguably a top 10 WR in the league. Now that Davis is on the Jets with a Shanahan scheme and a rookie QB looking to establish his favorite target, it’s a recipe for high volume. I have Davis racking up 151 targets, 1200+ yards, and 6 TDs through the air. Good for 12th overall WR in PPR scoring. How is this possible? Being among the league’s most efficient WR’s on a per-play metric basis and by the Jets having a terrible defense. Volume. Is. King.
Worst Value, Mid Rounds
JARED, TYLER HIGBEE (7.05)
It’s not that I hate this pick because I think Higbee could be of some value this year, it’s the fact that Jared drafted him in the 7th round when you could find an almost equal TE in round 13+ or even on the waiver wires. I have Higbee projected to score more points than Yahoo does (144.4 vs 128.7) but there are 7 other TE’s that are undrafted that are slated to score 140+pts this year. Projections are just that, take it with a grain of salt. I’m just not a fan of taking a TE that early in the draft that is barely the 3rd best receiving option on the team. I know Jared is shamefully shaking his head agreeing with me while reading this, but he can then remind himself that he has Josh Allen, Davante Adams, Allen Robinson, Kamara, Chubb and instantly feel better.
Best Value, Late Rounds
WORZIE, PHILLIP LINDSAY (15.09)
I think we all shied away from Texans’ players as there is an obvious rebuild taking place with uncertainty at many positions. What I love about this pick is the upside that it brings. Lindsay is a 2x 1,000-yard rusher in the 3 years he has been in the league and has constantly been underrated. The Broncos somehow released him in favor of Melvin Gordon “the bum” and drafting an RB in the 2nd round. Lindsay will be sharing a backfield with two other well-known names, David Johnson and Mark Ingram, a very poorly aged 29-year-old and 31, respectively. Both of those guys have dealt with multiple injuries and are past their prime which gives way to Lindsay, a younger back with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove. The real value comes with the keeper potential as he signed a one-year deal with the Texans to show other teams he can be their RB1. I anticipate we see Lindsay takeover that backfield due to his career 4.7ypc, receiving ability and youthfulness.
Worst Value, Late Rounds
JERE, RHAMONDRE STEVENSON (11.06)
This is besides the fact that he just dislocated his thumb this morning. I’m just not in favor of taking a Belichick 3rd string rookie RB that doesn’t have a defined role. His impressive pre-season will end up fooling many who took the chance on him. He reminds me of LeGarrette Blunt-esque where he will be completely TD dependent as Damien Harris has the main role while James White will be subbed in on almost all passing situations. Should Damien Harris go down, Rhamondre will still have to compete with JJ Taylor for those carries lost. I would have much favored Devin Singletary or JD McKissic who were drafted back-to-back after Rhamondre as they both have defined roles in their offense. This may have been a keeper play, but I anticipate that he ends up on the waiver wire prior to bye weeks. I am then predicting that my dad keeps him until after then first bye week just to spite me and say I was wrong. Checkmate.
RANDOM NOTES AS I LOOK THROUGH THE DRAFT RECAP
1. Congrats to Ryan Cole for drafting more WR’s than TE’s this year. I know he had 6 TE’s queued up in his draft but he had the restraint to only draft Kelce in the first round after keeping Fant in the 12th lol.
2. There was a lot more awareness for keeper selections in the 12th round and later. I am excited to see who the next Justin Jefferson is and who drops the next superstar to the waivers, only to be picked up and kept by Jared.
3. Eight QBs were drafted in the last 3 rounds (1 keeper), 4 of those being rookies and not one of them being Mac Jones. I guess everyone is looking for the next Justin Herbert to keep in 2022.