Startup drafts are arguably one of the most exciting parts of a dynasty, an opportunity to mold a team that you will hopefully be holding onto for a long time. As we enter dynasty summer and the rookie draft season begins to close, we all feel a strange itch for startups. Fantasy players love drafting, and if your rookie drafts have come to a close but redraft leagues haven’t begun population yet, that leaves a chance for new startups. In this series, we will examine a startup and discuss strategies to help us win in year one and the long term.
For this startup, we are doing a Superflex/Tight-End Premium league. We will be drafting from the 1.01. This draft was 15 rounds long. Roster settings are QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, FLEX, FLEX, SUPERFLEX.
Draft Spot 1.08: Lamar Jackson, QB BAL
Other options: Kylar Murray, Kyle Pitts
I’ve been in many starts-up this offseason, and the 1.08 seems to come down to three players. In Superflex, not having that QB1 upside type player can hurt your fantasy team. While I could take Kyle Pitts, I elected to go QB. Ultimately, I took Jackson over Murray because I believe he can last longer in this league. Murray has dealt with injuries, and the option to always play baseball is there for him.
Draft Spot 2.05: Mark Andrews, TE BAL
Other options: CMC, Russell Wilson
This pick was tough, but I decided to take that elite stack in the Ravens. It’s hard to ever trust Christian McCaffrey to play 17 games in a poor offense. Wilson would have been a nice SF combo with Jackson, but I’ll get my QB2 later. Andrews has been an elite talent and is the number one option for Jackson. Undoubtedly, those two will be putting up many touchdowns for years to come.
Draft Spot 3.08: Matthew Stafford, QB LAR
Other options: Trey Lance, Derrick Henry
I’m happy I didn’t take Wilson last round because getting Stafford as my QB2 gives me upside and elite talent in my SF spot. Stafford with the Rams showed the upside we’ve been hoping he could be since his days in Detroit. The Sean McVay offense puts up touchdowns consistently, and Stafford will benefit from that.
Draft Spot 4.05: Saquon Barkley, RB NYG
Other Options: Alvin Kamara, Drake London
In dynasty startups, I like to play “Hero RB,” where I take one elite RB and figure out the rest as it comes. I choose Barkley over Kamara because Kamara has more tread on his tires than Barkley. I know Barkley has been on the field much over two years, but in a contract year, I’d expect bigger things from him. Even if he doesn’t stick with the Giants next offseason, his new team could be a better offense for the back half of his career.
Draft Spot 5.08: Michael Pittman Jr., WR IND
Other Options: Terry McLaurin, Mike Evans, Aaron Jones
Starting three receivers in this league, I must begin addressing the position. Pittman will be an elite receiver in this league very soon. He has a QB now that can more accurately get him the ball. While Evans and McLaurin may have more 2022 appeal, long-term Pittman should be great.
Draft Spot 6.05: Chris Godwin, WR, TBB
Other Options: None
In the sixth round, this was the only option I felt like I could take here. While Godwin is going off an ACL tear late last year, in dynasty, he is still worth the pick. While he may not pay the first six weeks, his long-term value is too good to pass up because he has WR1 upside in fantasy.
Draft Spot 7.08: Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR DET
Other Options: Amari Cooper, Elijah Moore
For this one, I thought about going in different directions. Cooper was interesting, but if Watson doesn’t play for a year, that could hurt Cooper’s value. It comes down to Moore and St. Brown, and I think St. Brown’s role is more secure as a possible WR1 for the team over Moore. Jameson Williams is an elite talent, but St. Brown’s route running and ability to work underneath will be good with Jared Goff or a future rookie QB.
Draft Spot 8.05: Darnell Mooney, WR CHI
Other Options: Courtland Sutton, Christian Watson
You see now that I got four straight receivers now because the value of upside is there. Mooney presents a big upside in an offense that lacks weapons. Mooney’s ability to stretch the field with Justin Fields is something you want a part of.
Draft Spot 9.08: Brandin Cooks, WR HOU
Other Options: Chase Claypool, George Pickens
This was a tough approach because I could have taken the youth route with Claypool or Pickens, but the offense concerns me with Pickens long term. Cooks continues to define the odds and plays well with anyone at quarterback. I’d expect Mills to look at Cooks often and likely see over 140 targets. Outside of Cooks, the other options aren’t reliable enough to not expect COoks to be the lead man in a bad offense.
Draft Spot 10.05: Isaiah Spiller, RB LAC
Other Options: Ryan Tannehill, Jameis Winston, Devin Singletary
It’s finally time to take my second RB in Spiller. I’m a big fan of Spiller’s potential in the Chargers offense. Spiller fell in drafts, but he was my third-rated RB coming into drafts. Austin Ekeler will be 27 this year, and Spiller could be the starter as early as next season in a high-power offense. The Chargers’ offensive line is strong, so I’d expect the running back to thrive in LA.
Draft Spot 11.08: Matt Ryan, QB IND
Other Options: Tyler Allgeier, Alexander Mattison
In SuperFlex, it is important to have that third QB. Ryan should be able to provide solid depth and bye week fill-in position to my team. While Ryan is slightly past his prime, with a good offensive line in indy, he could be able to provide strong QB2 numbers in fantasy. The RB position was tempting, but I’ll wait for another round.
Draft Spot 12.05: Alexander Mattison, RB MIN
Other Options: Albert O, Rashaad Penny
Mattison may be my favorite dynasty player ever. The upside he presents in the Vikings offense could be so great. He has to deal with Dalvin Cook, so he doesn’t have stand-alone value. Cooks has dealt with injuries over his career and is creeping past his prime. Mattison is going into year four but is only 24 years old still. If Cook were to get hurt, he would have league-winner upside. Albert O would have been a lock if I didn’t grab Mark Andrews early in the draft.
Draft Spot 13.08: Nyhiem Hines, RB IND
Other Options: Khalil Herbert, Allen Lazard
Having Spiller and Mattison on my team gives me upside, but I need weekly value, and Hines can give me that. Matt Ryan has been great for receiving-type RBs. Hines should see upward of 50 targets in the offense and be someone that can put up weekly RB3 numbers for my team.
Draft Spot 14.05: Russell Gage, WR TBB
Other Options: Tyler Boyd, Kenny Golladay
Usually, I wouldn’t say I like to take receivers on the same team because it limits the upside. In this coming season, Gage could see a bigger workload if my current starter Godwin is to misses weeks. Even so, Tom Brady could make three receivers valuable in almost any game. Kenny Golladay, I thought about taking, but the Giants’ offense scares me.
Draft Spot 15.08: Tim Patrick, WR, DEN
Other Options: Van Jefferson and KJ Osborn
At this point of the draft, there are solid WR3 options to grab. Jefferson would have been nice to stack with Stafford, and Osborn is being underrated in the Vikings offense. Tim Patrick has been the most reliable option in Denver over the last few years. I would not be surprised if he comes out as the top option for Russell Wilson. He provides good bench depth in the offense.
|Lamar Jackson||Saqoun Barkley||Michael Pittman Jr||Mark Andrews|
|Matthew Stafford||Isaiah Spiller||Chris Godwin|
|Matt Ryan||Alexander Mattison||Amon-Ra St.Brown|
|Nyhiem Hines||Darnell Mooney|
Above is a nice breakdown of my draft. It has a great mix of veterans and young players to keep my dynasty league sustainable. My clear strengths are my QBs and TEs. I don’t expect to need either position for a few years or so besides some depth. My biggest weakness is, of course, my RB situation. Barkley comes with a ton of risk but could play off big time if he can regain his form. I would likely need an injury to have Spiller or Mattison produce actual fantasy numbers. Once Godwin returns from injury, my receiver core will be solid and provide reliable fantasy numbers weekly.
I am optimistic that this team could win it all, but it comes down to my RB position. If I can get some lucky moves, I have a shot; if not, I’m looking at a top 5 pick. I could use that pick to get an elite RB or a young stud in the draft. I like that I can complete now but I am excited about this team’s future.
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