The numberFire Fanium Draft Recap
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 numberFire.com 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.
|Michael Worthington, CTO||1||Adrian Peterson, RB|
|Tom Berger, Intern||2||Tom Brady, QB|
|Adam Kaplan, VP Sales and Bus. Development||3||Aaron Rodgers, QB|
|Twitter Follower X||4||Doug Martin, RB|
|JJ Zachariason, Editor-In-Chief||5||Calvin Johnson, WR|
|Nik Bonaddio, CEO & Founder||6||Cam Newton, QB|
|Payom Dousti, Software Engineer||7||Arian Foster, RB|
|Keith Goldner, Chief Analyst||8||Brandon 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.
|Keith Goldner||9||Drew Brees, QB|
|Payom Dousti||10||LeSean McCoy, RB|
|Nik Bonaddio||11||Ray Rice, RB|
|JJ Zachariason||12||A.J. Green, WR|
|Twitter Follower X||13||Dez Bryant, WR|
|Adam Kaplan||14||Trent Richardson, RB|
|Tom Berger||15||Victor Cruz, WR|
|Michael Worthington||16||Peyton 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.
|Michael Worthington||17||Roddy White, WR|
|Tom Berger||18||Marshawn Lynch, RB|
|Adam Kaplan||19||Jamaal Charles, RB|
|Twitter Follower X||20||C.J. Spiller, RB|
|JJ Zachariason||21||Demaryius Thomas, WR|
|Nik Bonaddio||22||Andre Johnson, WR|
|Payom Dousti||23||Jimmy Graham, TE|
|Keith Goldner||24||Larry 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.
|Keith Goldner||25||Chris Johnson, RB|
|Payom Dousti||26||Julio Jones, WR|
|Nik Bonaddio||27||Reggie Wayne, WR|
|JJ Zachariason||28||Matt Forte, RB|
|Twitter Follower X||29||Randall Cobb, WR|
|Adam Kaplan||30||Matt Ryan, QB|
|Tom Berger||31||Jason Witten, TE|
|Michael Worthington||32||Marques 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.
|Michael Worthington||33||Vincent Jackson, WR|
|Tom Berger||34||Steve Smith, WR|
|Adam Kaplan||35||Wes Welker, WR|
|Twitter Follower X||36||Tony Gonzalez, TE|
|JJ Zachariason||37||Alfred Morris, RB|
|Nik Bonaddio||38||Steven Jackson, RB|
|Payom Dousti||39||Colin Kaepernick, QB|
|Keith Goldner||40||Maurice 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.
|Keith Goldner||41||Dwayne Bowe, WR|
|Payom Dousti||42||Reggie Bush, RB|
|Nik Bonaddio||43||Rob Gronkowski, TE|
|JJ Zachariason||44||Tony Romo, QB|
|Twitter Follower X||45||Antonio Brown, WR|
|Adam Kaplan||46||Mike Wallace, WR|
|Tom Berger||47||Frank Gore, RB|
|Michael Worthington||48||DeMarco 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.
|Michael Worthington||49||Russell Wilson, QB|
|Tom Berger||50||Andrew Luck, QB|
|Adam Kaplan||51||Hakeem Nicks, WR|
|Twitter Follower X||52||Matthew Stafford, QB|
|JJ Zachariason||53||Danny Amendola, WR|
|Nik Bonaddio||54||Robert Griffin III, QB|
|Payom Dousti||55||Greg Jennings, WR|
|Keith Goldner||56||DeSean 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.
|Keith Goldner||57||Owen Daniels, TE|
|Payom Dousti||58||Ben Roethlisberger, QB|
|Nik Bonaddio||59||Pierre Garcon, WR|
|JJ Zachariason||60||Darren Sproles, RB|
|Twitter Follower X||61||Torrey Smith, WR|
|Adam Kaplan||62||Eric Decker, WR|
|Tom Berger||63||Jordy Nelson, WR|
|Michael Worthington||64||Greg 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.
|Michael Worthington||65||Miles Austin, WR|
|Tom Berger||66||Antonio Gates, TE|
|Adam Kaplan||67||Vernon Davis, TE|
|Twitter Follower X||68||Stevan Ridley, RB|
|JJ Zachariason||69||Mike Williams, WR|
|Nik Bonaddio||70||Darren McFadden, RB|
|Payom Dousti||71||Lance Moore, WR|
|Keith Goldner||72||Brandon 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.
|Keith Goldner||73||Anquan Boldin, WR|
|Payom Dousti||74||Tavon Austin, WR|
|Nik Bonaddio||75||T.Y. Hilton, WR|
|JJ Zachariason||76||Kyle Rudolph, TE|
|Twitter Follower X||77||Jared Cook, TE|
|Adam Kaplan||78||Chris Ivory, RB|
|Tom Berger||79||Cecil Shorts, WR|
|Michael Worthington||80||Ryan 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.
|Michael Worthington||81||Eddie Lacy, RB|
|Tom Berge||82||Eli Manning, QB|
|Adam Kaplan||83||Ed Dickson, TE|
|Twitter Follower X||84||David Wilson, RB|
|JJ Zachariason||85||Michael Vick, QB|
|Nik Bonaddio||86||Giovani Bernard, RB|
|Payom Dousti||87||Jermaine Gresham, TE|
|Keith Goldner||88||Matt Schaub, QB|
Matt Schaub is a numberFire.com 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.
|Keith Goldner||89||Montee Ball, RB|
|Payom Dousti||90||Lamar Miller, RB|
|Nik Bonaddio||91||Stevie Johnson, WR|
|JJ Zachariason||92||Jermichael Finley, TE|
|Twitter Follower X||93||Jay Cutler, QB|
|Adam Kaplan||94||Malcom Floyd, WR|
|Tom Berger||95||BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB|
|Michael Worthington||96||Martellus 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.
|Michael Worthington||97||Sidney Rice, WR|
|Tom Berger||98||Denarius Moore, WR|
|Adam Kaplan||99||Golden Tate, WR|
|Twitter Follower X||100||Alshon Jeffery, WR|
|JJ Zachariason||101||Andy Dalton, QB|
|Nik Bonaddio||102||Brandon Pettigrew, TE|
|Payom Dousti||103||Kenny Britt, WR|
|Keith Goldner||104||Josh 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.
|Keith Goldner||105||Emmanuel Sanders, WR|
|Payom Dousti||106||James Jones, WR|
|Nik Bonaddio||107||Sam Bradford, QB|
|JJ Zachariason||108||Daryl Richardson, RB|
|Twitter Follower X||109||Ryan Tannehill, QB|
|Adam Kaplan||110||Joe Flacco, QB|
|Tom Berger||111||Marcedes Lewis, TE|
|Michael Worthington||112||Rashard 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.
|Michael Worthington||113||Mohamed Sanu, WR|
|Tom Berger||114||Alex Smith, QB|
|Adam Kaplan||115||DeAngelo Williams, RB|
|Twitter Follower X||116||Zach Sudfeld, TE|
|JJ Zachariason||117||DeAndre Hopkins, WR|
|Nik Bonaddio||118||Justin Blackmon, WR|
|Payom Dousti||119||Brian Hartline, WR|
|Keith Goldner||120||Fred 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.
|Keith Goldner||121||Ahmad Bradshaw, RB|
|Payom Dousti||122||Carson Palmer, QB|
|Nik Bonaddio||123||Brent Celek, TE|
|JJ Zachariason||124||Tyler Eifert, TE|
|Twitter Follower X||125||Chris Givens, WR|
|Adam Kaplan||126||Heath Miller, TE|
|Tom Berger||127||Kendall Wright, WR|
|Michael Worthington||128||Josh Freeman, QB|
One awesome thing about Fanium? No kickers. No defenses. Just the good stuff.