Dynasty Draft Review: Barfield


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Dynasty Draft Review: Barfield

Last week, we finished up a startup dynasty draft with 12 of our staff members in the league. We’ll start 1 QB/2 RB/2 WR/4 FLEX and use PPR scoring. We blogged all 19 rounds, so make sure you check out everyone’s analysis for their picks.

I’m really not just saying this because I’m biased towards our staff, but this was the fourth dynasty startup I have done this offseason -- the other three were Superflex -- and this was the hardest group to draft against. Running backs flew off of the board, which wasn’t a surprise, but the mid-rounds were a snipe-fest on receivers I was targeting.

I drew the 10th pick of the draft, which is a massive disadvantage from the get-go in a dynasty startup. Eight running backs went off of the board before I even had a chance to pick, so unless I overpaid in a trade up in the first round, there was no chance I was going to secure an elite RB1. Ideally, you’d love to build around one or two young RB1’s and then focus on WR depth in startups -- but I never even had the opportunity because of my draft slot.

So, in an attempt to manufacture value because I missed out on all the top tier backs, I pulled a Sashi Brown and made 11 trades. Eight of those trades were moves back later in the draft. Here’s the result:

My Team

Quarterbacks (2)
  • QB1 Matt Ryan (Atl, age: 35)

  • QB2 Teddy Bridgewater (Car, 27)

Running Backs (6)
  • RB1 Cam Akers (LAR, 20)

  • RB2 Chris Carson (Sea, 25)

  • RB3 Darrell Henderson (LAR, 22)

  • RB4 Damien Harris (NE, 23)

  • RB5 Lynn Bowden (Oak, 22)

  • RB6 Bryce Love (Was, 22)

Wide Receivers (8)
  • WR1 Davante Adams (GB, 27)

  • WR2 Michael Gallup (Dal, 24)

  • WR3 Will Fuller (Hou, 26)

  • WR4 Jalen Reagor (Phi, 21)

  • WR5 Michael Pittman (Ind, 22)

  • WR6 Jamison Crowder (NYJ, 26)

  • WR7 Mike Williams (LAC, 25)

  • WR8 Gabriel Davis (Buf, 21)

Tight Ends (3)
  • TE1 Mark Andrews (Bal, 23)

  • TE2 Blake Jarwin (Dal, 25)

  • TE3 Cole Kmet (Chi, 21)

2021 Rookie Picks (7)
  • 2 first-round picks

  • 3 second-round picks

  • 1 fourth-round pick

  • 1 fifth-round pick


1 - Be rigid on strategy, but flexible on players you’re targeting

Before the draft, I knew I wanted to build this team for the future. And, because we have 4 FLEX spots to fill, I also knew I would build around wide receivers. There are maybe 20-25 running backs worth investing in dynasty and 18 of them came off of the board in the first 36 picks. The scarcity at running back forced everyone’s hand in Rounds 4-7 as a staggering 29 of the 48 picks (60%) in this range were all wideouts. I played a big part in the WR market in this range and selected 5 wideouts in that four-round stretch, but missed out on a bunch of my targets by 1 or 2 picks like Terry McLaurin (thanks to Joe), Cooper Kupp (thanks to John), and Tyler Lockett (thanks to Tom Simons).

Still, I stuck to my strategy and ended up with a smattering of six floor- and ceiling-type wide receivers to pair with Davante Adams. Gallup, Fuller, Crowder, and Williams are all strong WR3 options and I was thrilled to land both Jalen Reagor and Michael Pittman. Especially Reagor. He has everything you look for in a WR prospect in dynasty: elite separation skills, early breakout age, he declared early for the draft, was a first-round pick, is an all-world athlete, and guaranteed top-10 QB play as long as Wentz is healthy. Reagor is my rookie WR1 over Lamb and Jeudy.

Reagor was someone I knew I would end up taking, but Will Fuller certainly wasn’t. Injuries remain his main issue, but with DeAndre Hopkins gone and Brandin Cooks’ concussion history, there is a real chance Fuller is Deshaun Watson’s No. 1 target in 2020. Over his last 18 healthy games these past two seasons, Fuller has compiled 85/1256/7 (on 6.8 targets per game) and now has even more upside now that the Texans can’t funnel targets to Nuk. In our draft, Fuller was the WR44 off of the board which is far too cheap even with the injury discount baked in.

Coming off of an incredible season in which he was 6th among all receivers in yards per game (79.3), I was stunned that Gallup lasted until the 7th round. In fact, in the 13 games they played together last year, Gallup actually out-targeted Amari Cooper (106 to 102). Cooper (16.0) just barely edged Gallup (15.7) in PPR points per game when both wideouts were healthy. Gallup just turned 24-years-old and appears undervalued in dynasty after Dallas just added CeeDee Lamb. The Cowboys passing offense is good enough to support three fantasy receivers.

2 - Zero RB isn’t optimal

My draft position and the sharp room forced me into a quasi-Zero RB build, but that was not my intention even though I was focused on building around receivers. Locking down 2-3 years of top-12 running back production just gives you a massive advantage over your opponents. Granted, receivers are better long-term investments because they produce for much longer but there are at least twice as many playable options at the position on a weekly basis. Scarcity makes running back simultaneously the most valuable and most challenging position to build in dynasty.

Looking across the league, my RB pairing of Cam Akers/Chris Carson just doesn’t hold a candle to Ben Kukainis’ Nick Chubb/Kenyan Drake/Jonathan Taylor trio or Paul Kelly (Christian McCaffrey/Aaron Jones), Tom Brolley (Derrick Henry/J.K. Dobbins), and Adam Caplan’s (Miles Sanders/Austin Ekeler) strong pairings. Joe’s RB trio (Alvin Kamara/Mark Ingram/David Montgomery) wasn’t as expensive as Ben’s -- but it certainly gives him an amazing floor to work at least this year. I objectively have better wide receiver depth than all five of those teams, but my wideouts likely won’t have the firepower to make up the difference in scoring.

3 - Mark Andrews… no matter what

George Kittle and Travis Kelce are the consensus dynasty TE1 and TE2, but Mark Andrews is very close to Kelce on my board. In fact, because of their age difference, Andrews is arguably already more valuable than Kelce long-term. Kelce has 2-4 elite seasons of production left in the tank at 30-years-old, but Andrews is only 24 and is locked-in as Lamar Jackson’s go-to target -- especially now that Hayden Hurst is gone.

Over his first two seasons, Andrews has been one of the most efficient players in the NFL. Per PFF, only George Kittle (2.80), Michael Thomas (2.65), Julio Jones (2.62), and Austin Ekeler (2.34) have averaged more yards per route run than Andrews (2.28). Last year, Andrews became just the 9th tight end to finish top-5 in PPR points per game at 23-years-old or younger since 2000. That list includes former superstars at the position like Jeremy Shockey, Todd Heap, Jason Witten, and Rob Gronkowski.

I’m all in.

Graham Barfield blends data and film together to create some of the most unique content in the fantasy football industry. Barfield is FantasyPoints’ Director of Analytics and formerly worked for the NFL Network, Fantasy Guru, and Rotoworld.