One of my favorite things we do here at We Talk Fantasy Sports, is host a 20 team fantasy football league on Yahoo. It requires a completely different approach to the usual 12 or 14 team league and really rewards those who draft well. That was made clear this year, as the #1 seed after 13 weeks finished with a 10-3 record and the most points scored in the league.
20 Team Draft Recap - Rounds 1-3
20 Team Draft Recap - Rounds 1-3
I asked Herbert to share his thoughts with us for this post - all quotes are via the man himself.
I don't know how to write this without sounding like I purposefully assembled this squad using my 2016 Sports' Digest so I'm just going to go ahead and absorb the Biff Tannen role.Herbules started 5-1, before losing 2 of 3 and finishing on a four game win streak. But how could one team be this good, after drafting Rob Gronkowski 7th overall in a 20 team league?!
I had pretty flaccid expectations going into the 2016 fantasy season. It was my second year back after taking a 4 year break, an eternity in fantasy football. All the familiar names were gone and the sport had changed from stud running backs to game breaking wide receivers. Being a subpar waiver wire hound, my teams typically rely heavily on the draft and this year was no exception. Competing with 19 other teams only made my team more reliant on a good/lucky draft than ever.
In a 20 team league, you've gotta be lucky with injuries - especially with your first pick. Bad start. I believed Gronkowski was the best available player at the 7th pick and, in the few the games he did play (and by play, I mean wasn't hobbling around waving his hands hornily in the air as a decoy) he was stellar. I squeezed 5 full games out of him with great production which certainly helped secure my team's overall position but unfortunately he has since been placed on IR.Gronk was selected right before A.J. Green, Lamar Miller and Ezekiel Elliot. Clearly, if Herbules could do it all over again, he would have drafted Zeke. But it was the LeSean McCoy (34th overall) pick in round 2, ahead of Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck, that helped shape the rest of his draft.
I went out, grabbed dinner, headed to the gym, washed my car, and wrote a song for my one man acapella group before I secured my second pick at 34 with LeSean McCoy. LeSean is my team's MVP. I had him last year in my other league (first team in 4 years) and he was a beast. So I secured him in both leagues this season and he has been spectacular, consistently making plays on the ground and in the air. His only downside is that he's slightly injury prone and I've been super lucky that he has been relatively healthy this year.His 3rd round selection of Carson Palmer was not a good one, but again, helped him shift the focus of the rest of his draft towards the WR position. He was one of just 2 owners to not select a WR after three rounds. They both went RB/TE/QB and both made the 8 team playoff.
Admittedly, my QB and defense (Palmer & Denver) were actually back up plans to Cam Newton (who was picked up way before I had an opportunity) and the Panthers D (picked one pick before I settled for Denver). Palmer was very consistent this season from a fantasy perspective and the Broncos D has been the best in the league and significantly outplayed the average Panthers D.
Crabtree, Diggs, and Steve Smith round out my receiving corps and were drafted in a row. Crabtree is probably one of the most-erotic-for-the-value WRs this year. He's had 3 games where he was deadwood but otherwise was good for 70+ yards and/or a TD. He's put up the production of a low end WR1 - very good value at #74 overall. Diggs was great this year too in terms of yardage but some minor injuries and lack of end zone touches limited his true potential. Nevertheless, at pick 87, he has been a great bang for the buck.Knowing that Gronk was going to miss time to begin the season, and being from Chapel Hill and a UNC grad, Herbules drafted Eric Ebron in the 9th round with pick 167. Ebron caught at least 4 passes for 40+ yards in each of the Lions first four games. Ebron's 18 receptions was 6th best while his 210 yards were 7th best. A decent filler for an injured Gronk.
The next four weeks, Gronkowski gained 90+ yards including 3 games over 100 and three touchdowns.
Jordan Howard was my sleeper pick this season (round 12 pick # 234: 6th runner up to Irrelevancy) and he's made me diamond hard. It really wasn't anything more than Forte's departure that led me to draft him but he turned out phenomenal. Thanks to an injured and ineffective Langford, Howard was given an opportunity to crank out a handful of games with 100+ yards multiple touchdown games.Some would prefer we remove kickers from fantasy football, and after Adam Vinatieri knocked me out of another league last night - I agree! Herbules has other thoughts:
Finally, Justin Tucker. Some argue drafting a kicker in round 10 is too early and I would agree unless you happen to draft the year's best kicker. He consistently and methodically pounds that ball with his foot in between the erects and can be relied on for a good 10 points every night, all night long, repeatedly.It wasn't easy for Herbules to claim that #1 seed and win the South division as The BeAzTs trio of Antonio Brown (1st), Matt Forte (40th) and Drew Brees (41st) forced a week 13 showdown of the top 2 teams in the league. However, Herbules won by 40 points to close out the year and also won their week 5 matchup.
I snuck into the playoffs as the 8 seed and have the pleasure of facing Herbules. We split our two regular season matchups.
The BeAzTs will enter the playoffs as a 5 seed, despite being better than the other three division leaders.
Over in the West, 8 wins was enough to claim the 4 seed. The Big 2 won 7 divisional games to claim the crown. He will be an underdog against The BeAzTs despite behind the higher seed but does have Roethlisberger and Le'Veon Bell on his squad.
The East division saw three teams at 8-4 entering week 13 with If It Fitz It Ships facing off against Robert Nifkin III for what would not only be a division title, but the loser would miss the playoffs! If It Fitz It Ships victory is what allowed me to take that 8th and final playoff spot - thanks Mike!
He will face off against that other 9-4 team from his division - Tall midgets - who drafted both Roethlisberger and Tom Brady. Even with Brady and Zeke, if Jordan Reed can't play in week 14, it will be a tough game to win.
The North division was won by Get Off My Ditka, with 10 wins, thanks to a 7-1 record in the division. He will get the 2 seed and matchup with an opponent in his division - Natrone 2.0. Natrone failed to reach 70 points in both losses to Get Off My Ditka. However, the Atlanta Falcons game flow should determine the winner here as Ditka's Matt Ryan and Natrone's Devonta Freeman head to Los Angeles to take on the Rams. A healthy Julio Jones could be the difference in this one!
- Sept 10 - The Big 2 adds Jamison Crowder drops Karlos Williams
- Sept 14 - FantasyFlex_Nate adds Tyrell Williams drops Breshad Perriman
- Sept 14 - Legion of Doom adds Cole Beasley drops Kamar Aiken
- Sept 26 - The Big 2 trades Alshon Jeffery to Tall midgets for Ben Roethlisberger
- Tall midgets had Tom Brady on roster
- Oct 7 - Roto Rankers adds Golden Tate drops Danny Amendola
- Tate was drafted in the 2nd round, 32nd overall, and dropped on Oct 5 by Robert Nifkin III
- Oct 19 - FantasyFLex_Nate adds Cameron Brate drops Eli Rogers
- Nov 12 - Robert Nifkin III adds Ladarius Green drops Tim Hightower
- Green was drafted in the 10th round, 183rd overall, and dropped on Sept 29 by If It Fitz It Ships
- Nov 23 - The BeAzTs adds Adam Thielen drops Robbie Gould
- Poppin' Bortles droped Thielen on Nov 9
- Nov 30 - The BeAzTs adds Ted Ginn Jr
If Every Team Played Every Team Each Week
|4||Get Off My Ditka||149||98||2|
|6||If It Fitz It Ships||141||106||3|
|8||The Big 2||135||112||4|
|13||Robert Nifkin III||120||127||9|
|15||Legion Of Doom||106||141||12|