Evan Silva

Draft Analysis

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Live 12-team PPR Fantasy Draft

Monday, August 4, 2014

The 2014 Apex Fantasy Football League is an industry competition comprised of an impressive cast of fantasy football writers. Apex's Asher Molk and Mike Braude were kind enough to invite me into this year's event. The draft began Saturday, August 2. I thought Rotoworld readers would enjoy it if I essentially live blogged the draft over the coming days.

The league will be played out, so this isn't just a mock draft. It's the real deal. Apex uses a starting lineup of 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TE, 1 FLEX (RB/WR/TE), 1 K, and 1 DEF. It's a standard, 12-team PPR league with four points awarded per passing touchdown. Here is a link to Apex's full scoring system. I'm drafting from the eighth slot in this one.

First Round

1. Davis Mattek -- Jamaal Charles
2. Denny Carter -- LeSean McCoy
3. Jonathan Bales -- Matt Forte
4. John Sarmento -- Adrian Peterson
5. Chet Gresham -- Calvin Johnson
6. Mike Braude -- Demaryius Thomas
7. JJ Zachariason -- Eddie Lacy
8. Evan Silva -- Dez Bryant
9. Mike Clay -- DeMarco Murray
10. Rich Hribar -- Montee Ball
11. Sal Stefanile -- Jimmy Graham
12. Shawn Siegele -- A.J. Green


Round One Thoughts: This is a pretty standard first round in an industry draft. Perhaps the lone mild surprise was Hribar taking Ball tenth overall. This is a PPR league where receivers, tight ends, and high-catch-total running backs have enhanced value. Ball has been a below-average producer in the receiving game dating back to Wisconsin. We're picking nits here, of course. I think Ball could push for 40 more carries than Knowshon Moreno handled last season, and probably catch 40-45 passes if he plays well and stays healthy. In Denver's offense, Ball has No. 1 overall fantasy running back upside. This was a pretty rock-solid first round.

Second Round

13. Shawn Siegele -- Julio Jones
14. Sal Stefanile -- Rob Gronkowski
15. Rich Hribar -- Le'Veon Bell
16. Mike Clay -- Brandon Marshall
17. Evan Silva -- Jordy Nelson
18. JJ Zachariason -- Antonio Brown
19. Mike Braude -- Alshon Jeffery
20. Chet Gresham -- Giovani Bernard
21. John Sarmento -- Julius Thomas
22. Jonathan Bales -- Arian Foster
23. Denny Carter -- Andre Ellington
24. Davis Mattek -- Keenan Allen


Round Two Thoughts: Doubling down on Gronk and Graham was a strategy Ross Tucker and I discussed on Episode 2 of the Fantasy Feast Podcast. Sal is employing it, and it'll be interesting to see how the rest of his team turns out. JJ loves small wide receivers, old running backs, and Alex Smith. I'm not even kidding. Securing Ball and Bell, Hribar has solidified running back with high TD potential in both spots. Three tight ends went off the board in the top-21 selections. No quarterbacks, and in an industry league we might be waiting awhile at that position. Quarterbacks typically go late in these drafts. Mattek, Clay, and Zachariason both started RB-WR. Carter, Bales, and Hribar started RB-RB. Siegele, Braude, and I started WR-WR. Sarmento started RB-TE. Chet started WR-RB. Sal, of course, started TE-TE.

Third Round

25. Davis Mattek -- Alfred Morris
26. Denny Carter -- Andre Johnson
27. Jonathan Bales -- Doug Martin
28. John Sarmento -- Michael Floyd
29. Chet Gresham -- Marshawn Lynch
30. Mike Braude -- Randall Cobb
31. JJ Zachariason -- Zac Stacy
32. Evan Silva -- Jordan Cameron
33. Mike Clay -- C.J. Spiller
34. Rich Hribar -- Victor Cruz
35. Sal Stefanile -- Pierre Garcon
36. Shawn Siegele -- Larry Fitzgerald


Round Three Thoughts: Zachariason told me I sniped him on Jordy in the second round, and he settled for Antonio Brown. He returned the favor in round three, where I badly wanted Stacy. I settled for Cameron, who I prioritized over a few receivers and backs because Cameron is clearly, in my opinion, the best remaining tight end with a significant drop-off thereafter. I feel decent about my start, with Dez, Jordy, and Cameron all as high-volume pass catchers in what I see as a league that enhances the value of those kinds of players based on scoring and starting lineup. TE-TE drafter Sal went with Garcon as his WR1. Bales was the lone owner to go RB-RB-RB, landing Matt Forte, Arian Foster, and Martin. Fellow RB-RB beginner Carter made Andre Johnson his WR1. Hribar was the third RB-RB starter and went with Cruz. Selfishly, I'd love to see a tight end run soon, although I wouldn't bet on another TE going in the next two rounds. Still no quarterbacks.

Fourth Round

37. Shawn Siegele -- Vincent Jackson
38. Sal Stefanile -- Roddy White
39. Rich Hribar -- Peyton Manning
40. Mike Clay -- Shane Vereen
41. Evan Silva -- Toby Gerhart
42. JJ Zachariason -- Reggie Bush
43. Mike Braude -- Michael Crabtree
44. Chet Gresham -- Wes Welker
45. John Sarmento -- Rashad Jennings
46. Jonathan Bales -- Aaron Rodgers
47. Denny Carter -- Torrey Smith
48. Davis Mattek -- Bishop Sankey


Round Four Thoughts: I was hoping Roddy would slip to me here, but I thought TE-TE starter Sal did especially well to snap him up. I think Roddy returns low-end WR1 value or better in PPR this season. I grabbed Gerhart as my first running back and will hope he gets lots of volume. He's always been a plus pass catcher; Gerhart was a starting outfielder on Stanford's baseball team, and in Minnesota regularly replaced Adrian Peterson on passing downs. He should be a steady scorer on about 20 touches per game. Mr. "Zero RB" himself, Siegele, started this draft WR-WR-WR-WR, landing A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Larry Fitz, and Vincent Jackson. The first quarterback goes to Hribar at 4.3. Hribar's team is Montee Ball-Le'Veon Bell-Victor Cruz-Peyton. Sal's is Graham-Gronk-Garcon-Roddy. Like Siegele, Apex's own Braude started WR-WR-WR-WR with Demaryius-Alshon-Randall Cobb-Crabtree. In this format, Braude has the makings of an incredibly strong team assuming he can pluck some mid- and late-round value backs and/or is savvy on the in-season waiver wire.

Fifth Round

49. Davis Mattek -- Cordarrelle Patterson
50. Denny Carter -- Trent Richardson
51. Jonathan Bales -- Eric Decker
52. John Sarmento -- Drew Brees
53. Chet Gresham -- Jeremy Maclin
54. Mike Braude -- Joique Bell
55. JJ Zachariason -- Ryan Mathews
56. Evan Silva -- Mike Wallace
57. Mike Clay -- Kendall Wright
58. Rich Hribar -- Ben Tate
59. Sal Stefanile -- Pierre Thomas
60. Shawn Siegele -- DeSean Jackson


Round Five Thoughts: Let's examine a team we haven't mentioned much yet. Sarmento began this draft Adrian Peterson, Julius Thomas, Michael Floyd, Rashad Jennings, and Brees. Taking Floyd at 3.04 was an obviously-aggressive move, while some fantasy analysts like Sarmento are higher than I am on Jennings. I think Sarmento did get good value with AP, Julius, and Brees. He smartly was the third owner to draft a quarterback, cleaning up that Peyton-Rodgers-Brees top tier. In this format where high-volume pass catchers are premium scorers, Sarmento may have to find some mid- and late-round values. Circling back to TE-TE starter Sal, Stefanile opened with Graham-Gronkowski-Garcon-Roddy-Pierre Thomas. Thomas is a member of New Orleans' three-headed running back monster, but caught 77 passes last season and has enhanced value in this scoring system. Thomas also figures to be counted on to handle the majority of the backfield receiving chores vacated by the Darren Sproles trade.

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Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva

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