This year, the Armchair All-Americans have decided to host a true company-wide fantasy football league. Each of the 12 departments will collectively manage a team, as will the senior board and the editors. It’s safe to say that the NFL department has had the target on our back since the moment this idea was announced, so the pressure was on for us to draft a killer squad. I’ll be chronicling our team’s season, which began with tonight’s draft, in the coming weeks. Anyway, let’s take a look at how the draft played out for the NFL department.
Number of Teams: 14
Scoring: 1 point PPR
Round 1 (6th overall): LeSean McCoy, RB
I was personally against this pick (give me a wide receiver all day), but the department overwhelmingly voted to select Shady, which would establish a theme for the early part of our draft. McCoy is at the stage in his career where running backs start to fall off, but we’re counting on a heavy workload to keep Shady among the top tier of running backs for one more season.
Round 2 (23rd overall): Leonard Fournette, RB
Our theme of loading our backfield continued in round 2 with the selection of another workhorse back. The majority of us would’ve rather had Todd Gurley here, but settling for Fournette didn’t feel so bad.
Round 3 (34th overall): Kareem Hunt, RB
With this pick, the NFL department created the most loaded unit of running backs one can hope for in a 14-team league. We think that Hunt will be just awesome as a lead back for Andy Reid’s offense. He’s going to have the opportunity to touch the ball 20 times per game. Not many players picked in the third round of fantasy drafts can say that.
Round 4 (51st overall): Kelvin Benjamin, WR
At this point, we knew our team needed wide receivers. Benjamin looks like two receivers stuffed into one uniform, so we thought we were getting pretty good value there. All jokes aside, Benjamin should benefit immensely if Cam Newton and the Panthers offense can have a bounceback year.
Round 5 (62nd overall): Stefon Diggs, WR
We decided to continue stockpiling receivers here, and Diggs is one of the best PPR threats out there. We like his chances to catch 100 balls if he stays healthy—which is admittedly a big ‘if’. Personally, I was vouching for Diggs at pick 51, so I was stoked that we got him a round later.
Round 6 (79th overall): C.J. Anderson, RB
While we intended to continue stockpiling receivers to make up for our lack of top-end talent at the position, we couldn’t pass up a likely feature back.
Round 7 (90th overall): Eric Decker, WR
We were considering Decker at 79th overall, so it was great to get him a round later. We think he fits in nicely as a wideout with potential for both high volume and red zone targets. He’ll look great in our flex spot in such a deep league.
Round 8 (107th overall): Ben Roethlisberger, QB
We couldn’t wait any longer to grab our quarterback, so we went with Pittsburgh’s future Hall of Famer. NFL Department Head and diehard Eagles fan Matt Martellucci would’ve rather “burned the department down” than take rival QB Dak Prescott, so Big Ben was the safe choice.
Round 9 (118th overall): Hunter Henry, TE
The studly understudy to the legendary Antonio Gates, Henry has a chance to shine this season if he can usurp Gates as the primary tight end in Los Angeles.
Round 10 (135th overall): Marvin Jones, WR
In round 10, we continued to collect depth at our weakest position by opting for Jones, who got off to a torrid start last year only to be slowed later by injuries to both himself and his quarterback. We think Jones can have a bounceback year in this pass-heavy offense if he and Matthew Stafford stay healthy.
Round 11 (146th overall) Chris Thompson, RB
Thompson is a PPR darling; a pass-catching specialist at running back on a team with two plodders (“Fat” Rob Kelley and Samaje Perine) ahead of him. Starting him at flex during a bye week won’t feel too desperate.
Round 12 (163rd overall): Giants D/ST
It’s a good thing we took our defense here, because they came flying off the board in the picks that directly followed. We love the Giants’ strength on the defensive line and in the secondary.
Round 13 (174th overall): Andy Dalton, QB
Dalton’s schedule fits together pretty nicely with Big Ben’s (Four games against Cleveland between the two of them? Yes, please!) so we were happy to take him as our backup. He’s also a viable starter with plenty of weapons (A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert, and John Ross, to name a few) at his disposal, provided that they all stay healthy.
Round 14 (191st overall): Coby Fleener, TE
Fleener is a talented player in a pristine situation who has just never lived up to expectations. In the 14th round, we weren’t going to find a player with a much higher ceiling.
Round 15 (202nd overall): Tavon Austin, WR
Like Fleener, Austin is a talented player in a favorable situation. He’s the kind of low-risk, high-reward pick that can be the difference between a championship and an early exit in the fantasy playoffs.
Round 16 (219th overall): Matt Breida, RB
We think Breida is one of the best-kept secrets in the NFL. He’s the number two running back in San Francisco behind Carlos Hyde, who gets injured every year. He also happens to be a great fit for new head coach Kyle Shanahan, who might view him as his new Devonta Freeman.
Round 17 (230th overall): Caleb Sturgis, K
Watching Younghoe Koo get selected the pick before we were ready to take him was almost as bad as watching David Tyree and Eli Manning spoil my Patriots’ undefeated season. Settling for Sturgis, who connected on a franchise-record 35 field goals last season, is a good compromise.
What do you think of our team? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, and stay tuned throughout the season. And, as always, Roll Armchair.