The numberFire Fanium Draft Recap

The guys at numberFire got together for a Fanium draft. This is what happened.

ESPN was always channel 12.

Not on this Saturday morning, though. I was 11-years old, and my local cable service was trolling me. I walked downstairs, turned on the tube and switched it from NBC to ESPN – channel 12.

“Who is this guy with an afro painting trees?” I said to myself.

Bob Ross was my new ESPN. I frantically hit the channel up button, seeing where I could find Stuart Scott’s mug. 21...22...23. Nothing. Finally, at channel 31, I saw Florida Marlins highlights. I found SportsCenter.

The muscle memory in my fingers were used to hitting 12, so I had to get used to the change. Slowly but surely, I remembered that the channel was switched. Eventually, I got used to going to channel 31. Things were going to be fine. (#FirstWorldProblems)

Change can be frustrating, even when it’s as small as a channel switch up. But you get used to it, and most of the time, you end up thoroughly accepting it. I loved the fact that they made ESPN to channel 31. It ended up being just one spot away from ESPN2 – channel 32 – so I was able to hit one button to go from one to the next.

(That was when ESPN2 was all edgy and talked about hockey.)

Change in fantasy football doesn't happen often. It's always set at channel 12. After all, how frequently do we switch up our fantasy lineup slots? Other than a few alterations, we don’t do it much.

That’s why the Fanium draft that the team (plus a nF Twitter follower) did last week was so interesting. Fanium, a new mobile fantasy platform, doesn’t incorporate the typical fantasy lineup. Instead, your 8-team league starts two quarterbacks, two running backs, four receiver and two tight ends. No kickers. No defenses. It’s that simple.

So how did our draft strategies change? Well, take a look for yourself.

Round 1

OwnerPick NumberSelection
Michael Worthington, CTO1Adrian Peterson, RB
Tom Berger, Intern2Tom Brady, QB
Adam Kaplan, VP Sales and Bus. Development3Aaron Rodgers, QB
Twitter Follower X4Doug Martin, RB
JJ Zachariason, Editor-In-Chief5Calvin Johnson, WR
Nik Bonaddio, CEO & Founder6Cam Newton, QB
Payom Dousti, Software Engineer7Arian Foster, RB
Keith Goldner, Chief Analyst8Brandon Marshall, WR

Keep in mind, with more wide receivers and quarterbacks to start each week, the elite players at those positions see an increase in value. Oh, and in addition, all touchdowns – passing included – are worth seven points. Rushers and receivers are awarded a point for every five yards. Passers get one for every 20 passing yards. That's probably important to mention as you look through these results.

We saw three signal-caller leave the board in Round 1, and surprisingly, none of them were named Drew Brees. The number of passers drafted in Round 1 is mostly due to the supply and demand aspect of the game, as two quarterbacks are started in these Fanium leagues as opposed to one. The fact that Brees wasn’t a top-3 quarterback selected was surprising, but Brady, Rodgers and Newton clearly have enough upside themselves.

Megatron and B-Marsh both went as well, which shouldn't be considered as reaches due to the four wide receiver lineup requirement. At numberFire, we like both to have top-4 wide receiver numbers this season.

Round 2

OwnerPick NumberSelection
Keith Goldner9Drew Brees, QB
Payom Dousti10LeSean McCoy, RB
Nik Bonaddio11Ray Rice, RB
JJ Zachariason12A.J. Green, WR
Twitter Follower X13Dez Bryant, WR
Adam Kaplan14Trent Richardson, RB
Tom Berger15Victor Cruz, WR
Michael Worthington16Peyton Manning, QB

I went with another receiver in the second, snagging the dependable A.J. Green in the middle of the round. I wasn’t alone; our fan grabbed Dez right after me, and Tom snagged Victor Cruz as the fifth receiver off the board. The Cruz pick was probably a slight reach, but we do like him more than most, as he ranks as our 9th-best wideout entering 2013.

It’s crazy to see big name running backs leave the board so late, but it’s what happens when league restrictions and scoring change. This is just another reminder to check your league's scoring before you start drafting.

Round 3

OwnerPick NumberSelection
Michael Worthington17Roddy White, WR
Tom Berger18Marshawn Lynch, RB
Adam Kaplan19Jamaal Charles, RB
Twitter Follower X20C.J. Spiller, RB
JJ Zachariason21Demaryius Thomas, WR
Nik Bonaddio22Andre Johnson, WR
Payom Dousti23Jimmy Graham, TE
Keith Goldner24Larry Fitzgerald, WR

Payom, a numberFire software engineer, grabbed Jimmy Graham here in the third. Considering the multiple tight end lineup obligation, he got a potential steal with the Saints pass catcher.

numberFire’s fearless leader, Nik, grabbed Andre Johnson as his WR1. I can’t say it enough: Andre Johnson is a monster in full-point PPR leagues, such as this one. According to our rankings, Andre goes from the 31st-overall pick to the 12th-best one when moving from standard to full-point PPR league formats.

Round 4

OwnerPick NumberSelection
Keith Goldner25Chris Johnson, RB
Payom Dousti26Julio Jones, WR
Nik Bonaddio27Reggie Wayne, WR
JJ Zachariason28Matt Forte, RB
Twitter Follower X29Randall Cobb, WR
Adam Kaplan30Matt Ryan, QB
Tom Berger31Jason Witten, TE
Michael Worthington32Marques Colston, WR

Again, there weren’t a ton of surprises as we moved along the draft. The multiple tight end format forced Tom to go with Jason Witten, while many continued to get their wide receivers, the most important position in a Fanium league. If I went tight end here, I’d definitely go with Gronk. Instead, I picked up my first running back, Matt Forte, who should see a good number of receptions in Marc Trestman’s offense this season. I’m fine with him as my RB1 in PPR formats.

Round 5

OwnerPick NumberSelection
Michael Worthington33Vincent Jackson, WR
Tom Berger34Steve Smith, WR
Adam Kaplan35Wes Welker, WR
Twitter Follower X36Tony Gonzalez, TE
JJ Zachariason37Alfred Morris, RB
Nik Bonaddio38Steven Jackson, RB
Payom Dousti39Colin Kaepernick, QB
Keith Goldner40Maurice Jones-Drew, RB

You won’t see Steven Jackson and Maurice Jones-Drew fall to Round 5 in any normal league. Both were great value picks for Keith and Nik at this point in the draft. Jackson has tremendous opportunity in Atlanta’s offense, and MJD is a sneaky selection coming off a 2012 injury.

Tony Gonzalez left the board too, while Gronkowski stayed put. In a multiple tight end league, I was a bit surprised to see that. I suppose most are still worried about the Patriot tight end’s health.

Round 6

OwnerPick NumberSelection
Keith Goldner41Dwayne Bowe, WR
Payom Dousti42Reggie Bush, RB
Nik Bonaddio43Rob Gronkowski, TE
JJ Zachariason44Tony Romo, QB
Twitter Follower X45Antonio Brown, WR
Adam Kaplan46Mike Wallace, WR
Tom Berger47Frank Gore, RB
Michael Worthington48DeMarco Murray, RB

And there he goes. Nik stole Gronk in Round 6, a value that, looking back, I should’ve gone for in Round 5. I instead settled for my RB2, Alfred Morris.

I really liked Payom’s Reggie Bush pick here, who could end up being an RB1 in this full-point PPR format. He’s already been highly targeted in the preseason, and could be a security blanket for the pressured Matthew Stafford. Bush is our 16th-ranked back with a lot of upside.

Round 7

OwnerPick NumberSelection
Michael Worthington49Russell Wilson, QB
Tom Berger50Andrew Luck, QB
Adam Kaplan51Hakeem Nicks, WR
Twitter Follower X52Matthew Stafford, QB
JJ Zachariason53Danny Amendola, WR
Nik Bonaddio54Robert Griffin III, QB
Payom Dousti55Greg Jennings, WR
Keith Goldner56DeSean Jackson, WR

Because these leagues are smaller than normal (8 teams instead of 10, 12, or 14), you’ll notice immense talent in the mid and later rounds of the draft. In most multiple-quarterback leagues, the caliber passers above would’ve been gone by Round 5. Here, they’re dropping off in rounds 7 and 8. This is just due to league size.

Round 8

OwnerPick NumberSelection
Keith Goldner57Owen Daniels, TE
Payom Dousti58Ben Roethlisberger, QB
Nik Bonaddio59Pierre Garcon, WR
JJ Zachariason60Darren Sproles, RB
Twitter Follower X61Torrey Smith, WR
Adam Kaplan62Eric Decker, WR
Tom Berger63Jordy Nelson, WR
Michael Worthington64Greg Olsen, TE

There were 12 passers drafted entering Round 8, and Ben Roethlisberger made it 13. Don’t underestimate Big Ben in Pittsburgh this year. Though he’s lost Emmanuel Sanders in Todd Haley’s pass-efficient offense. Both Ben and Sanders are good value picks this year. In fact, we have Ben as our 13th-ranked quarterback, right where he was selected.

Round 9

OwnerPick NumberSelection
Michael Worthington65Miles Austin, WR
Tom Berger66Antonio Gates, TE
Adam Kaplan67Vernon Davis, TE
Twitter Follower X68Stevan Ridley, RB
JJ Zachariason69Mike Williams, WR
Nik Bonaddio70Darren McFadden, RB
Payom Dousti71Lance Moore, WR
Keith Goldner72Brandon Myers, TE

Our Twitter follower got Stevan Ridley in the ninth, the 18th running back to leave the board. In a standard fantasy league, the 18th running back usually leaves the draft board at the beginning of Round 3.

This just goes to show – and I can’t reiterate it enough – that you need to know your league structure and rules before you draft. You may want to snag up all the running back value in a Fanium league, but not so fast, pal: The position is in much less demand than in a normal league.

Round 10

OwnerPick NumberSelection
Keith Goldner73Anquan Boldin, WR
Payom Dousti74Tavon Austin, WR
Nik Bonaddio75T.Y. Hilton, WR
JJ Zachariason76Kyle Rudolph, TE
Twitter Follower X77Jared Cook, TE
Adam Kaplan78Chris Ivory, RB
Tom Berger79Cecil Shorts, WR
Michael Worthington80Ryan Mathews, RB

The always-controversial Ryan Mathews was selected by Michael, our CTO, at the end of Round 10. I’m sure some people wouldn’t take him in the 10th in a 12-team standard league, but as the 21st runner off the draft board, it’s not bad value whether you want to believe it or not.

Nik took a flier on T.Y. Hilton, which could pay off big if the Colts realize they’re not doing themselves a favor by playing butterfi…I mean, Darrius Heyward-Bey. A nice late-round choice by our CEO.

Round 11

OwnerPick NumberSelection
Michael Worthington81Eddie Lacy, RB
Tom Berge82Eli Manning, QB
Adam Kaplan83Ed Dickson, TE
Twitter Follower X84David Wilson, RB
JJ Zachariason85Michael Vick, QB
Nik Bonaddio86Giovani Bernard, RB
Payom Dousti87Jermaine Gresham, TE
Keith Goldner88Matt Schaub, QB

Matt Schaub is a favorite, and numberFire’s Chief Analyst snagged him here as the 16th quarterback selection. We think he’s got a great shot at 28 touchdowns and 4,400 passing yards this year. As Keith’s second quarterback to Drew Brees, I like it a lot.

Both Eddie Lacy and David Wilson are looking like better fantasy assets every day. Again, it’s strange to see them in the 11th round, but they seemed to leave the board at the right time in this one.

Round 12

OwnerPick NumberSelection
Keith Goldner89Montee Ball, RB
Payom Dousti90Lamar Miller, RB
Nik Bonaddio91Stevie Johnson, WR
JJ Zachariason92Jermichael Finley, TE
Twitter Follower X93Jay Cutler, QB
Adam Kaplan94Malcom Floyd, WR
Tom Berger95BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB
Michael Worthington96Martellus Bennett, TE

While Lamar Miller is usually drafted as a low-end RB2 in normal formats, he’s more of a flex to us numberFire geeks. His talent may be there, but the algorithms think he’ll only be the 27th-best running back this season in Miami.

Round 13

OwnerPick NumberSelection
Michael Worthington97Sidney Rice, WR
Tom Berger98Denarius Moore, WR
Adam Kaplan99Golden Tate, WR
Twitter Follower X100Alshon Jeffery, WR
JJ Zachariason101Andy Dalton, QB
Nik Bonaddio102Brandon Pettigrew, TE
Payom Dousti103Kenny Britt, WR
Keith Goldner104Josh Gordon, WR

As the draft slowed down, we started noticing the high-upside wide receivers get selected. Golden Tate – who will try to fill the void that Percy Harvin left (if that’s what we call it) – was a solid pick by Adam this late in the draft. Remember, you start four wideouts in these Fanium leagues, so getting Tate at such a cheap cost could be huge.

Keith took a chance with the suspended Josh Gordon, which makes sense given this draft position. Gordon had a nice .68 receiving net expected points per target last season, a metric that shows how many real points a receiver was adding for his team on a per target basis. The big play receiver’s numbers were in line with Pierre Garcon.

Round 14

OwnerPick NumberSelection
Keith Goldner105Emmanuel Sanders, WR
Payom Dousti106James Jones, WR
Nik Bonaddio107Sam Bradford, QB
JJ Zachariason108Daryl Richardson, RB
Twitter Follower X109Ryan Tannehill, QB
Adam Kaplan110Joe Flacco, QB
Tom Berger111Marcedes Lewis, TE
Michael Worthington112Rashard Mendenhall, RB

I snagged Rams starting running back Daryl Richardson here in Round 14, which I saw as a “why not” sort of pick. We’re not necessarily high on Richardson here at numberFire, but if his opportunity is consistent for the Rams, he could reach weekly starter levels.

I’m not a huge fan of Tom’s Marcedes Lewis pick, as tight ends Zach Sudfeld and Fred Davis were still on the board. Both of those guys have more upside, while Lewis’ potential is capped in a run-first offense with poor quarterback play.

Round 15

OwnerPick NumberSelection
Michael Worthington113Mohamed Sanu, WR
Tom Berger114Alex Smith, QB
Adam Kaplan115DeAngelo Williams, RB
Twitter Follower X116Zach Sudfeld, TE
JJ Zachariason117DeAndre Hopkins, WR
Nik Bonaddio118Justin Blackmon, WR
Payom Dousti119Brian Hartline, WR
Keith Goldner120Fred Davis, TE

Sudfeld is a great late-round pick in this format, as you start multiple tight ends and his ceiling – his potential – is fairly high. The same could be said for Fred Davis, who, if healthy, could be a top tight end in the league.

Round 16

OwnerPick NumberSelection
Keith Goldner121Ahmad Bradshaw, RB
Payom Dousti122Carson Palmer, QB
Nik Bonaddio123Brent Celek, TE
JJ Zachariason124Tyler Eifert, TE
Twitter Follower X125Chris Givens, WR
Adam Kaplan126Heath Miller, TE
Tom Berger127Kendall Wright, WR
Michael Worthington128Josh Freeman, QB

One awesome thing about Fanium? No kickers. No defenses. Just the good stuff.