Welcome to my Dynasty Start-up Draft Strategy series. In this series, I’m going to do 4 different mock drafts which focus on implementing different strategies. While these will be 15 round drafts, I have roped in the 5 Yard Dynasty guys to help, so they will be as accurate as we can make it. The aim is to try and help you guys figure out strategies heading into draft season. First up: QB-Heavy. I have also added rookies into the draft, so I will try to put something together after the draft to show who went where and how to value them in drafts. The different strategies I’m going to implement are as follows:
- Episode 1: QB-heavy
- Episode 2: WR-heavy and fade RB
- Episode 3: RB-heavy and fade WR
- Episode 4: TE-early – showing the value of having an elite TE
Episode 1: We are focusing on drafting QB-Heavy. This is a very common strategy in a 12-team SF full PPR and not TE premium (much to Liam’s delight). I’ll be taking the 1.05 spot, which I like for a start-up as it guarantees me 1 of the 2nd tier QBs. If I ended up getting the 1.01, I would be looking at trading back out of that spot.
Pick 1.05: Kyler Murray
The start of the draft was pretty normal: Allen, Mahomes, Herbert and Burrow, which meant that Kyler dropped to me at this pick. Kyler was my highest ranking QB on the board so I was very happy to get him at 5. In a 12 team SuperFlex (SF), I always try to go QB in the first round! The only doubt I have with Murray is the contract situation.
Pick 2.08: Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers was the 9th QB off the board. Notable QBs off the board were Jackson, Prescott and Wilson. I did have Rodgers at QB11, but after him signing a new contract at GB, I have moved him up in value to QB8. I’m feeling very strong at QB after the first 2 rounds. Other picks saw players like Taylor, Chase, Jefferson and Swift off the board, but I am the only team so far to take 2 QBs.
Pick 3.08 (3rd round reversal): Justin Fields
After the 3rd round reversal, I’m back on at 3.08. Keeping with the strategy, I’m going QB again. After seeing Lance, Stafford, Watson and Lawrence come off the board, I’m taking Justin Fields. Fields was probably a little bit of a reach here, in my honest opinion, but I’m sticking to my QB-Heavy strategy. Ultimately, he is ranked as my QB13. To start any 12 team SF and have 3 of your top 13 QBs, you have to be happy – especially as 2 teams haven’t even got a QB yet!
Pick 4.05: Saquon Barkley
At this point, the only QBs left were lower ranked QBs, so I thought I would take an RB. Saquon is the highest ranked player available to me at this point at RB9. I couldn’t pass on that option. However, as I’m making this pick, I am hoping that either Tannehill or Cousins make it back to me to complete my QB class. Also, this last set of picks saw a couple of rookies take Malik Willis at 4.01 and Breece Hall at 4.02.
Pick 5.08 Cam Akers
So, as you can tell the draft board wasn’t kind to me and the team at pick 12 took both Tannehill and Cousins on the turn as his QB1&2. So again, I decided to go with another RB and it is the marvelous Cam Akers who I have ranked at RB12 but was taken as RB17 off the board! Other QBs to go off the board in the last set of picks were Tua, Cousins, Tannehill, Wilson and Carr. While QB is starting to thin out a bit, I would be very keen to get one more starting QB!
Pick 6.05 DeAndre Hopkins
Still struggling to find value at QB so decided to take my first WR. D Hop is a player that I love as a Cardinals fan and as the 20th WR off the board it seems like great value. Again, I’m going to play the draft board and hope Daniel Jones makes it back to me so I can finally complete my QB room with 4 starting QBs.
Pick 7.08 Daniel Jones
My plan worked – I managed to get another QB, completing my QB-Heavy plan. I have now taken 4 QBs in 7 picks, so now I can focus on filling the other positions. I have seen a lot more rookies coming off the board, such as Drake London, Chris Olave, Kenneth Walker, Isiah Spiller and Matt Corral.
Pick 8.05 Mike Williams
Very happy with Williams as my second WR. He has just signed that big money contract, so he is now tied to elite QB Herbert and will be fantasy relevant for the next 2 years.
Pick 9.08 Dalton Schultz
This was a big round for the rookie QBs, seeing Kenny Pickett, Sam Howell and Desmond Ridder as QB3, 4 and 5 for rookies. This kind of felt like a great time to pick my TE, as so far we have seen 8 TEs off the board (Pitts, Andrews, Kittle, Kelce, Waller, Hockenson, Goedert and Freiermuth). So why not take Schultz, who in my rankings is TE6 on the season.
Pick 10.05 Hunter Renfrow
Lots of WR talent flying off the board: Sutton, Mooney, Cooks and Thomas as well as rookie George Pickens going. Team 3 took his 3rd QB of the draft in Jimmy G, so seeing Renfrow fall to me was a bit of a bonus. Yes, I do think he will see some sort of regression this year, but I have him ranked at WR28. Hoping another RB falls to me in the next pick.
Pick 11.08 James Conner
After seeing what has been going on in the first week of free agency and James Conner getting his insane 3-year deal, he was a steal to me at this pick. I have now moved Conner in my rankings to RB22 at first look. Other RBs going around him are Robinson and Leonard Fournette; notable QBs off the board are Brady, Mayfield and Ryan, so feeling grateful I got my QBs early.
Pick 12.05 Cordarrelle Patterson
This pick was a bit of a risky pick and more of a play for the upside. If he can be anything that he was last year then the Swiss Army Knife can help my team to winning ways. This round of picks saw a few more rookies off the board: Zamir White, Skyy Moore and Kyren Williams as well as Kirk, Gabe Davis and Toney making my RB pick easier.
Pick 13.08: Kenneth Gainwell
So, a player I liked last year was Kenneth Gainwell and while I don’t think he will be the game changer this year, I see him more as an investment. I have him ranked as RB39, but he is 1 injury away from relevance – I could see him in the 2023 season being the lead in that backfield. Other RBs off the board this round were Singletary, Stevenson, Penny, Carson and rookie Tyler Algeier. Rondale Moore was also picked up and seeing as he is my most owned player in dynasty, I was gutted to not get him again.
Pick 14.05: Tyler Boyd
Boyd was an easy pick. He is in a high-powered offense that throws the ball so much. He, to me, has a high ceiling and could be a solid flex play when he is going around players like OBJ, Jakobi Meyers and rookie David Bell, giving me an upside all day long. Team 1 went back-to-back QBs on the turn leaving himself with Josh Allen, Malik Willis, Drew lock and Jared Goff: not the best group, but enough to see him through for a year.
Pick 15.08: Nico Collins
With the last pick of this mock, I managed to pick up Collins who proved to be decent last year, therefore worth a risk at this point. Some notable players off the board in the last round were Kenny Golladay, Russell Gage Shenault and Corey Davis at WR; RBs were Mattison, Herbert, Henderson and the Gus Bus.
My Final Team
QB – Kyler Murray, Aaron Rodgers, Justin Fields and Daniel Jones
RB – Saquon Barkley, Cam Akers, James Conner, Cordarrelle Patterson and Kenneth Gainwell
WR – DeAndre Hopkins, Mike Williams, Hunter Renfrow Tyler Boyd and Nico Collins
TE – Dalton Schultz
Overall, while I’m fairly happy with the QB-Heavy strategy, personally I’m not sure this is the right direction for myself. I feel the Daniel Jones pick could have been better after waiting a couple of rounds. I also feel very weak at WR, especially heading towards the 2023 season where contracts and ages come into play. All of my RBs are risky – Saquon has only played 1 full season; Akers has only just returned from a very serious injury; Conner and Patterson are both coming to the end of their careers and Gainwell is currently a back-up. Ultimately, a QB-Heavy strategy is not the way for me. I’m keen for the first 2 picks, maybe the third if the value falls to me, but I feel it does leave me weak at other positions. Stay tuned for the next episode when we go RB heavy.
What did you think of my final team and, the more important question, what do you think of the QB-Heavy strategy?
You can follow Paul on Twitter @paul_picken to keep up with his work. Keep your eyes peeled for more articles from our great Dynasty team, coming soon. Remember to tune into the 5 Yard Dynasty livestream every Tuesday at 8pm (GMT).