Thursday, September 9, 2021

Wolverine Pride Fantasy League, Year 5

As always, I have multiple fantasy leagues, but the one league that really counts is our school league that I started five years ago. Entering our fifth year, we have a new defending champ. Actually, we've never had somebody win our league twice. I'm looking to be the first one after having won it in 2019. I had a great shot at it last year, but lost in the first round in the playoffs, despite that week's score being the second-highest point total in the entire league last season. Yes, my opponent happened to put up the highest total against me in the same week. What are the odds?

This year, I'm not as confident in my draft. We had a couple of new players last year who figured things out and drafted much better this year, making our auction a lot more competitive. But that's good; competitive is fun. Here is my roster for 2021.

2019 Panini Unparalleled #107 Dak Prescott Front
QB: Dak Prescott, Dallas

I wasn't expecting to spend as much as I did on a QB, but when Dak came up on the board, I had him highly rated and an excess of budget. So I took a bigger QB than I intended. If he's fully healthy, I think he'll have a big year.

I don't have a Gibson card. Image from TCDB
RB1: Antonio Gibson, Washington

When I do a standard draft, I target RBs in the first round. For an auction draft, I just make a list of top-tier players that I would like and give myself a budget. Typically what happens is the top running backs go for far beyond my budget and I get the top receivers in my budget. It also means I can find ball carriers who are "the guy" in their backfields for a good price because everyone's money is gone. Gibson is the undisputed guy in Washington, so I'll take him as my RB1.

I don't have a Robinson card either. Image from TCDB

RB2: James Robinson, Jacksonville

I found another workhouse back for my team. Neither Robinson nor Gibson are spectacular, but to have two running backs who aren't part of a committee in my fantasy backfield is a win to me. On a card note, I haven't found many cards to buy on the shelves in 2020 and 2021, so I don't a card of either of the second-year RBs on my team.

2015 Panini Prestige #285a Stefon Diggs Front 
WR1: Stefon Diggs, Buffalo
Diggs was on my shortlist of top-tier players to target. I got him within budget after all of the other top-tier players had been bid up. Again, the lack of card purchases in the past two years means I don't have a Bills card of him.
2013 Panini Prizm #225 DeAndre Hopkins Front 
WR2: DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona
So I'm sitting there bidding on Hopkins, thinking I was only going to bid him up to certain point and let somebody spend their money on him. Suddenly, I have a bid of a mere $20 in and the time is ticking down. With one second on the clock, I'm thinking I just got him for $20?! I'd take that any day. Then somebody bid it up at the last second. In the end, I got Nuk for $24, which is still a major steal to me.

2010 SAGE HIT #84 Rob Gronkowski Front 
TE: Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay
Last year, I wouldn't have touched Gronk. Now that I know he is back in football shape after his retirement, I think he still has major value working with Tom Brady. I'm banking on that at least, as I elected not to spend big money on a tight end.
2018 Donruss #311 Calvin Ridley Front
FLEX 1: Calvin Ridley, Atlanta
I make my list of top-tier and set my budget, hoping to get at least one. Then I get my second-tier list and hope for one or two. I got two of my second-tier receivers this year: Ridley and Hopkins. With Julio Jones gone in Atlanta this year, Calvin Ridley will end as a WR1 this year. And he's my WR3. I'm set at receiver, barring injury.

2019 Panini Absolute - Retail #109 Darrell Henderson Front 
FLEX 2: Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams
Our league got rid of the kicker position this year in favor of another flex. As commissioner, I just decided that kickers were too unpredictable, so to use a little more fantasy skill and knowledge, we put another flex on the field. Henderson is a borderline RB1 in LA. Many people are worried about Sony Michel taking carries from Henderson, but I think he'll still command the majority of the touches.
2020 Score #101 Darius Leonard Front
DEF: Indianapolis . . . 

for now. I will stream defenses through the season.

Myles Gaskin, RB, Miami
Phillip Lindsay, RB, Houston
Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas
Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco
Laviska Shenault, WR, Jacksonville
Marquez Callaway, WR, New Orleans

What I really learned from my fantasy draft this year is that I need some 2020-2021 football cards. I don't have last year's rookies and Diggs, Hopkins, and Gronk are on teams that I don't have cardboard representation for.

How do you feel about my team? This is how Fantasy Pros graded it:

Last year, PoinkDaChamp and I were flipped, and Poink won. So maybe I'm just where I need to be.

Yahoo's not quite as bullish on my draft:


I want to hear your thoughts in the comments. And how does it stack up against your team? And are you ready for some football?!

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