With the draft season starting, I will show how I go into a draft to be competitive early but still be young for the future. Having a great young core to build around is the key. But you also need a decent amount of veterans to keep you competitive as your core grows and gets better. So let’s start breaking down the team I built on Sleeper, and I will explain why I chose these players. LET THE DRAFT BEGIN!!!!!
(Lineup we are drafting for is QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, Flex, Flex, SF, and ten bench spots)
Draft Spot 1.06: Kyler Murray, QB, ARI
Other options: Joe Burrow or Lamar Jackson
I always like to start my draft with a high-end QB, and I took Murray because of the rushing upside and the high-powered offense he’s in. QB is going to be the main part of your core, so make sure you hit on this position! Burrow doesn’t offer the rushing upside of Murray and would have to repeat last year’s numbers to compete year in and year out to be top five. Jackson hasn’t had an excellent passing year since his MVP year, and we don’t know if he can get back to that passing level.
Draft Spot 2.07: D’Andre Swift, RB, DET
Other option: Austin Ekeler
Many people would probably go with WR, not me, though. I love having a solid RB group so I can compete early! The other key part to taking an RB this early is making sure they are younger. I took Swift over Ekeler, even though Ekeler will probably finish the season better than him. Swift still finished the season RB8 in PPG in PPR formats last year. We need an entire healthy season out of Swift, and then the sky is the limit for him!
Draft Spot 3.06: Dalvin Cook, RB, MIN
Other options: Trey Lance or Jaylen Waddle
Back at it again with the RB position! We passed on the veteran last round for the younger player, so now we will get that vet. According to Sleeper, Cook has finished as RB16, RB2, and RB6 in the last three years. Last year Cook only finished with six touchdowns, whereas he had 16 and 13 the previous years. This year, Cook is due for positive touchdown regression and should finish top-ten again. Lance and Waddle are both excellent options, but Cooks’s upside is undeniable and can be league-winning!
Draft Spot 4.07: Diontae Johnson, WR, PIT
Other options: Drake London or D.K Metcalf
Time to get our team’s WR1, and Johnson is a perfect fit for that in our team build. He finished as WR8 and WR21 in the last two years, with last year being his year three breakout. I am not worried about Mitch Trubisky or Kenny Pickett being the new QB either. Big Ben has been atrocious the last couple of years, and neither of them will be a downgrade from Ben’s play over that span. Johnson will be productive regardless and rake in targets by the boatload in 2022 and beyond.
Draft Spot 5.06: Michael Pittman, WR, IND
Other option: Dj Moore or Mike Evans
Pittman has been the talk of the summer after his excellent sophomore year and getting Matt Ryan as the new QB. Last year, with Wentz under center, Pittman finished as WR17, and I think we can all agree that Ryan will make him even better. When Ryan had a good O-line and a good running game, he threw for over 34 touchdowns and less than eight interceptions. I’m not predicting him to do that again, but either way, he’s going to do better than Wentz. Pittman should be his new best friend.
Draft spot 6.07: Zach Wilson, QB, NYJ
Other option: Tua Tagovailoa
Wilson is entering year two and has more help around him to succeed than any QB for the Jets in a long time! For weeks 13-18 last year, he finished with eight total touchdowns and only one turnover. His other stats during that time weren’t off the charts, but it shows he did get better and more comfortable as the season went on. His rushing upside and big-play ability make him have a higher ceiling for me than Tagovailoa, so that’s why I took Wilson over him. I expect a big jump for Wilson this season.
Draft Spot 7.06: Elijah Mitchell, RB, SF
Other option: Damien Harris
Mitchell finished as RB26 in eleven games last year. The 49ers did use a third-round pick on Tyrion Davis-Price this year, but they are just making their new committee for the future. Mitchell will still be the RB1 on one of the best rushing teams in the league. He had five out of eleven games with over a hundred yards, and with Deebo wanting out the backfield, Mitchell should see those red-zone runs more often now.
Draft Spot 8.07: Mike Williams, WR, LAC
Other options: Sky Moore or Michael Thomas
Williams finally had his breakout year and got paid!!! Being attached to one of the best QBs in the league right now and taking over the true WR1 role in that offense makes Williams a steal at this spot. He finished as WR12 last year and still didn’t even hit double-digit TDs. So Williams was the pretty easy choice for me.
Draft Spot 9.06: Miles Sanders, RB, PHI
Other option: Allen Robinson
The Sanders hate has been real. Yes, last year, he underperformed for anybody that rostered him, but that’s going to happen when you ZERO TOUCHDOWNS!!!!! He touched the ball 163 times last year and didn’t score once. POSITIVE TD REGRESSION IS COMING!!!
Draft Spot 10.07: Chase Claypool, WR, PIT
Other option: Zach Ertz
Claypool struggled last year with Big Ben being unable to push the ball downfield. The aging QB certainly capped his big-play ability and red zone threat capabilities. Whether he moves into the slot or stays on the outside, having a QB upgrade will help him a lot! I expect his two TDs to go up from last year and hopefully more big plays for the 6’4” WR.
Draft Spot 11.06: Isaiah Spiller, RB, LAC
Other options: Rhamondre Stevenson or Devin Singletary
I have been big on Spiller since the pre-draft process, and going to the Chargers only made me like him more. The Chargers have been looking for a 1b back for three straight drafts, and I think they found it. The Chargers have already come out and said they want to scale back on Ekeler’s workload and have an in-between the tackles runner – insert Spiller.
Draft Spot 12.07: Irv Smith, TE, MIN
Other option: Allen Lazard
So you guys are probably all wondering why I waited so long for a TE. In my startup strategy, I like to shoot for sleeper TEs with high upside, and Smith is that. He didn’t play last year because of injury, but the Vikings still fed his back up (Tyler Conklin) and let him walk in free agency. That’s because they know Smith is their TE. Conklin finished as TE16 last year, and Smith is better than him. Smith has true top ten upside with his athleticism and Thielen getting older.
Draft Spot 13.06: Robert Woods, WR, TEN
Other option: Jalen Tolbert
Woods is walking into a situation where he could easily be the WR1 for the Titans. Besides last year (injury), Woods has finished as WR13, WR14, and WR11 in the previous years. Woods should be Tannehill’s cozy little blanket over the middle and on third down. His upside is tremendous at this point in the draft, and he is a perfect WR5 for this team I drafted.
Draft Spot 14.07: Kenneth Gainwell, RB, PHI
Other options: Hassan Haskins or Khalil Shakir
This pick was pretty is for me with already having Sanders on the team. Gainwell gives me the handcuff, and if anything happens to Sanders, Gainwell should step into the 1A role. He should also see a good amount of targets this season with Sanders in or out.
Draft Spot 15.06: Matt Ryan, QB, IND
Other option: Marquez Valdes-Scantling
I talked earlier about how good Ryan has played with a good O-Line and a good RB, and that’s what he has now with the Colts. Ryan can also be my QB2 if Wilson struggles out the gate. I love taking Ryan as my QB3 this season.
Rounds 16 through 20
16.07 Tim Patrick, WR DEN Patrick has shown glimpses of upside over the last two years and finally has a good QB to throw to him.
17.06 Jared Goff, QB DET In Superflex you need to have four starting QBs, in my opinion, and Goff is more than suitable for that role. Goff will probably be a bridge QB for the rest of his career, but that’s okay for your QB4.
18.07 Gerald Everett, TE LAC Again, another athletic TE with high upside in a high-scoring offense. Everett is my favorite TE sleeper this year. Herbert loves his TEs in the red zone and on big plays over the middle.
19.06 Logan Thomas, TE WAS Thomas should be one of Wentz’s favorite targets this year. He has always loved using his TE, and nothing should change here. Thomas could flirt with top 10 TE status.
20.07 Kyle Phillips, WR TEN Phillips has been raved about all preseason and could easily take the slot job on day one!
Here’s the full team breakdown, and I am super happy with our results!
Remember, I made this team to compete in year one, and it definitely should do that. My weak spot is TE for sure, but if any of my TEs have a breakout year, I can flip them and a pick or another asset for someone like Hockenson or someone else with top-five potential. Remember, the key to consistently winning your draft is to have a good young core to build around and great vets that can contribute any week!!
Thank you for reading my article, and please give me a follow on Twitter @CodyMdynasty. Much love and happy drafting!
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