In this Draft Review article we will be taking at look at a 10-team NFFC Cutline draft. The Cutline is a National contest with an overall grand prize of $100,00. League winners take home $250. Entry fee is $150, but there are discounts if you buy “packs” of entries. It is a unique contest in that it is Best Ball format for the first nine weeks (regular season) and only three free-agent pick-up periods. Starting Week 10 owners must set their line-ups and score enough points to stay above the “cutline” to keep advancing in the Championship bracket. Each week the “cutline” is moved creating fewer teams in the Championship bracket. It is like most leagues in that whoever scores the most points wins!
I really wanted to review another 10-teamer as someone on Twitter commented after I posted the first eight rounds of a recent Cutline, “When it’s only a 10 team league, is there really any use in grading a draft?” Valid question, and I know many of you think there might not be value looking at 10-teamers. For me though, I find lots of information. I like to look at draft flow, roster composition, late-round picks, how ADP is changing and if I am lucky, I get to scout my competitors.
With those points in mind, let’s look at a recent draft (board below) I did. For more of an intensive look at the Cutline contest, check out my earlier article here. I’ll go into detail with my team and for the other teams will be taking a look at the Good and the Bad…and sometimes the UGLY!
The Good: Nick Chubb fell to him in the second round and at the 2/3 turn he was also able to nab Chris Godwin. Solid first three picks. Very nice value on Josh Allen in the 9th round and Drew Brees in the 12th (his ADP is the 9th round). Nice upside picks at RB for depth (Edmonds, Jackson, Bernard), I don’t even mind Sony Michel in the 14th, although I wouldn’t have done that. Solid TE value too, especially with Chris Herndon in the 13th. I might not like all the picks (see below), but it is a fairly well-balanced roster.
The Bad: If he is healthy, T.Y. Hilton in the 6th will be a solid pick. I am not convinced he will be healthy for the entire season (due to training camp injury and age) and the offense is no longer tailored to him, I prefer an upside WR pick there. Don’t like that they only drafted one Kicker. I know there are free agent pick-ups, but that is after Week 1. If Gould gets hurt or has an off game, that’s a zero from that position and with only a nine-week regular season, teams can’t afford to be taking zeroes anywhere.
The Good: Solid WR corps and great value with Tyler Higbee in the 9th round. Good value with Matt Ryan & Daniel Jones in the 13th/14th rounds. Tannehill in the 21st is also good value and I like that he has three QBs (this is important in the times of COVID-19).
The Bad: Besides Saquon Barkley, not much at the RB position. I’m not a David Johnson fan and his next RB doesn’t come until the 8th with 3rd down specialist James White. After that, it is rookie A.J. Dillon who doesn’t have a defined role yet. I think lack of depth at the RB position holds this team back
The Good: I really like his first three picks, Zeke, Lamar Jackson, and George Kittle. Kupp is fine too and digging on Hunt in the 6th (he’s been creeping into the 4th and 5th rounds lately). Glad to see them get Tony Pollard as a handcuff to Zeke.
The Bad: I can’t go into battle with Team 3’s WRs. Will Fuller has tremendous upside, so I don’t mind him there, but if he gets hurt, there isn’t much behind him. While I like Perriman and Aiyuk, both are missing training camp time as of now. Jeudy is a rookie on a run-first team and Cooks has been such a disappointment over the years.
The Ugly: If you are drafting Lamar Jackson or Patrick Mahomes early, there is no need to take Russell Wilson as the 4th QB off the board at 7.03. This is where he could have gotten his WR2 and his team would look significantly better. Landry, Hollywood, Lockett, and even though I don’t like him, Diggs were all there for the taking. Most weeks Russell Wilson will be sitting on this team’s bench. To make matters worse, the one week Wilson will be needed to play, Week 8 (Jackson’s bye), Wilson has to play the highly ranked SF Defense.
The Good: Patrick Mahomes in the 3rd round…DARN IT! Wish that was me! Unlike Team 3, this team waited until the 16th round to draft their QB2, Matt Stafford. Good job of getting three Kickers and two Defenses. I was so hoping Woods would make it to me in the 5th, but Team 4 snagged him…good one!
The Bad: RBs are a tad thin, though I like what he has in Zack Moss, Latavius Murray (backs up his Kamara pick), Duke Johnson, and Adrian Peterson. I say they are thin because his RB2 is Todd Gurley. I’d feel more comfortable with Gurley as my third RB, not as an RB2 that I have to count on week in and week out. I still believe in Gurley - talented as heck - but his body is wearing down.
The Good: I was so excited this team was in my league. There is an owner known to hammer RBs for the first six rounds and usually targeting the same RBs. No one knows why he does it, but I have my suspicions. Obviously I do not like it, as I prefer a balanced approach. Having said that, his team didn’t turn out that bad. He is going to maximize RB points every week, plus has a nice mix of WRs to try and fill three spots each week. Lockett, Johnson, Jones, Lamb, Crowder, Williams, and Pittman. He doesn’t have that standout WR1, but this is Best-Ball, so he has a good variety of WRs, most with upside. He didn’t even think about QB until round 17, but look who he got: Big Ben, Cam Newton, Sam Darnold, and Gardner Minshew. I’m pretty sure each week he will be getting at least 20 points from one of those QBs.
The Bad: Weak at TE, as I don’t think Gronk makes it for all sixteen games. Only drafted one Kicker and one Defense. Surprisingly he didn’t try to maximize K & DEF points, could have easily taken another Kicker instead of Corey Davis and another DEF instead of Andy Isabella.
For as far out as his drafting style is, I will not be shocked if this team competes. Also as surprising as his drafting style, he bought 63 Cutline teams!! That’s not for me, even if I could afford to do that, I wouldn’t be investing in 63(!) teams. I will be monitoring his progress throughout the season for sure!
TEAM 6 – My team
1.06 – Clyde Edwards-Helaire : I had already decided to go Clyde Edwards- Helaire if he was still on the board. If he wasn’t it would have been Dalvin Cook or Michael Thomas. I am very much an “upside” drafter. CEH fits the bill playing on a team with an explosive offense and he has talent galore. I’ve been on him very early, way before Damien Williams got injured. He would have been my Breakout Player of the Year, but the Williams injury makes that too easy of a pick.
2.05 – Josh Jacobs : The Theo Riddick signing doesn’t scare me off of Jacobs. He will be heavily featured in Gruden’s offense and has the drive and ability to produce. If he was off the board I would have entertained Chris Godwin or Patrick Mahomes there.
3.06 – Allen Robinson : I’m guessing it is because he plays for the Bears, but Robinson doesn’t get the draft respect he deserves. He had an incredible 154 targets last season. Only Michael Thomas (185) and Julio Jones (157) had more targets. I will happily build my WR corps around Robinson every chance I get.
4.05 – Calvin Ridley : I get asked a bunch why the mad love for Calvin Ridley. Besides being a talented WR, Ridley plays in a potent offense, has Julio Jones on the other side commanding double teams, which leaves Ridley in single coverage and had a 67.7% catch rate on 99 targets.
5.06 – Cam Akers : If Robert Woods were there I would have taken him, but he went two picks before my turn so I went with another Rams player. Akers is another player I get asked about often. He fits a need for the Rams and talent-wise is the best RB on the roster. Even before Darrell Henderson got hurt I contended that the cream would rise to the top. Now with Henderson missing time at camp, the door is wide open for Akers to excel. I am slightly concerned about the Rams offensive line but willing to take the risk. Akers is another high upside pick, the type that will win Championships.
6.05 – Terry McLaurin : He had pretty much the same season as Calvin Ridley in 2019, but because he plays in Washington, we get a two and sometimes three-round discount. I feel like a thief in the night getting him in the 6th round! And as my WR3!
7.06 – Marquise Brown : Hollywood would be in consideration for my Breakout Player of the Year, but that is just too easy! The Guru took him in the 4th round of a recent Sirius/XM Guru in the Morning mock draft (12-teamer). Forget thief in the night, I am straight up the Hamburglar at this point! I have now put myself in the position of being able to get maximum points from my Flex position with either Akers or Brown likely filling that position. I also have my secret weapon who could/should compete for playing time at Flex too.
8.05 – Hayden Hurst : Easily my favorite TE target if I pass on Kelce or Kittle. We should all know by now that Matt Ryan loves to target his TE, thus Hurst will get plenty of opportunities to shine on his new team. If you are looking at the draft board, you are correct, I drafted Hurst ahead of Darren Waller and Evan Engram. I like Waller and he should be fine this season, but Las Vegas did add more talent to the receiving corps. I’ve been fading Engram for the most part as I have been burned by his concussion history in the past. Once you have had one concussion, it is easier to sustain another (and he has had more than one).
9.06 – Carson Wentz : Played 16 games last year and had over 4,000 yards and 27 TDs to only 7 INTs. He’s such a good fit in Doug Pederson’s offense. The Eagles have talent at the skill positions to push Wentz to 4,500 years and 30+ TDs. My only concern is Wentz’s blindside, LT Andre Dillard almost got Wentz blown up at practice the other day and now Dillard is out for the season with a torn bicep.
10.05 – Darrell Henderson : I like to get my handcuffs if the price is decent. I’m comfortable with a 10th round price tag for Henderson. I probably could have waited another round, maybe two, for Henderson, but would have been mad at myself if someone sniped him. His hamstring injury is considered mild, so I am not worried about him long term. Looking back at the draft board, I am surprised that I didn’t take Malcolm Brown with my last pick (26th round) to lock up the Rams backfield. I opted for Dare Ogunbowale instead. It’s a late-round dart, Ogunbowale has upside if McCoy isn’t the featured third-down back.
11.06 – Jalen Reagor : I was so tempted to take Tom Brady here, but one of my favorite mid-round WR targets was available and I wasn’t sure Reagor would make it back to me in the 12th. Wasn’t sure Brady would either, but there were plenty of other QBs I would be happy with if Brady were taken. Reagor is my secret weapon and I love having a QB-WR hook-up. Slight mistake taking Trent Taylor in 24th, and I should have taken J.J. Arcega-Whiteside so I could have a nice Eagles stack.
Update 8/30 – Jalen Reagor is out for possibly four weeks and who knows how effective he will be in his return. My secret weapon going down suddenly makes my WR corps thin. Gonna have to create some waiver wire magic.
12.05 – Tom Brady : If getting Tom Brady isn’t living proof that it pays to waits to on drafting a QB, I am not sure what is. Don’t like Brady? Fine with me, nothing I like more than a proven winner playing with a chip on his shoulder. Tampa Bay’s odds to win the Super Bowl are 14/1…just sayin’.
You can look at the draft board to see the rest of my picks. Notable that I took four QBs. In the 17th round, I saw that Team 8 still did not have a QB, so I took Jared Goff as Wentz/Brady insurance and to block Team 8 from getting him. Same reason I took Drew Lock (who is on my Do Not Draft List). Team 8 ended up with Kirk Cousins and Dwayne Haskins as his QBs…no thanks.
I made sure to get three Kickers because this is a Best-Ball and the computer can’t optimize if it doesn’t have choices. I also got two DEFs and three TEs.
The Good: Nice balance with his roster, solid first four picks (Cook, Ekeler, Smith-Schuster & Thielen) and some nice later round darts like Jerrick McKinnon, Laviska Shenault and Gerald Everett.
The Bad: I’m not a Leonard Fournette fan and also not a fan of taking a DEF in the 10th round. He took SF in the 10th and the next DEF to go wasn’t until the 15th. He overdrafted SF and missed on some value at a skill position. Also, he had three chances at Dalvin Cook’s back-up, Alexander Mattison, and didn’t draft him (Mattison went in the 12th round). Update 8/31 – Fournette has been released by the Jags and Team 7 doesn’t have Ryquell Armstead., who went in the 25th round.
The Good: I like his first three picks (Thomas, Hill & Kelce) even though none are RBs. He might have been able to pull that off, but he completely ignored QB until late and has no one really behind Travis Kelce.
The Bad: Only two TEs on his roster and one of them is Dan Arnold. Kelce will get a zero on his bye week and chances of Dan Arnold getting a zero that week are strong too.
The Ugly: Terrible job of drafting QBs, especially since the NFFC awards 6 points per passing TD (most contests award 4 points). Only one Kicker and one DEF, Hauschka (who isn’t even guaranteed the job) and Cleveland.
The Good: I think his first seven picks are money (Adams, Drake, Taylor, Evans, Andrews, Prescott & Landry) and would go as far as the first 11 picks if not for A.J. Green.
The Bad: Not much bad, just little things; for instance, I would have drafted Nick Boyle to back-up Mark Andrews. There were many WRs on the board that I liked ahead of Sterling Shepard. Team 9 did a good job, my complaints are minor.
The Good: Another solid, well-drafted team that has nice balance. Kyler Murray in the 7th of a Best Ball league is good value. He then waited until the 16th to add another QB, which is exactly what you should do when you draft a Top 5 QB.
The Bad: Would have loved to see Boston Scott on his team to back-up Miles Sanders. He chose Alexander Mattison instead. Mattison has more upside and I have him ranked ahead of Scott, but if I drafted Sanders, I have to go Boston Scott here.
As you can see, there were many different roster builds. Hard to say which ones will compete, but because of Team 8’s deficiency at QB, K & DEF, I am going to predict they are DOA. He took Kerryon Johnson in the 11th over Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, and Drew Brees, enough said.