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2020 RotoBaller Superflex League Draft Recap


For the majority of the summer, I wasn't sure if I was even going to play fantasy football this year. I was pretty adamant that a season wouldn't happen. As August came and went and the NFL's testing protocols proved effective, my optimism began to grow and the idea of sitting out a season just didn't sit right.

With 2020 sure to be a season unlike any other, it is only fitting that the great minds here at RotoBaller came up with a league format unlike any other. The most common format for fantasy leagues is making a move towards QB-WR-WR-WR-RB-RB-TE-Flex. I generally support adding an extra flex spot or two as I like the idea of fantasy managers having maneuverability in terms of how they construct their team and lineups.

For the 2020 RotoBaller Experts' League, we took that concept and cranked it up to 100. While we only have one or two more starting spots than normal, the way we went about it was putting team construction entirely in the hands of each manager.

 

Extra-Flex League Settings

In this league, all that is required on a team is one QB, one RB, and one WR. That's it. The other seven starting spots are all Flex (with one of them being Superflex). As someone who had never done Superflex before, this presented a unique challenge in not just gauging how to value quarterbacks, but how to determine what players to take when without position scarcity coming into play at all. Other than at QB, it was pretty much just take the highest player on your board.

This also presented a challenge in how to analyze this. After some thought, I decided to go with just a general discussion of roster analysis and what picks surprised me the most (good and bad).

Here is a link to the full draft board for those interested and a video podcast breaking down the first half of the draft along with strategies. I've also included the draft board at the bottom for quick viewing.

 

Quarterbacks

Only three teams left the draft with just two QBs: CMangano33, DennisClausen, and dffornek. They were also the last three teams to get their second QB, taking them back to back-to-back to close out the eighth round. Given that starting more than one QB isn't required, I don't foresee this being a problem as none of their QBs are at risk of losing their jobs. They will have to either find a third QB over the course of the season or start a different position at Superflex during each of their quarterbacks' byes, but it shouldn't pose a serious problem.

Five teams drafted backup quarterbacks. No, not quarterbacks to backup their starter in fantasy - actual real-life backup quarterbacks: Tua Tagovailoa 15.08, Mitch Trubisky 16.02, Justin Herbert 17.04, Andy Dalton 19.10, Jalen Hurts 20.01. I tacked on one more "quarterback" with Taysom Hill at 20.06. While Tua and Herbert are likely to make starts this season, Dalton and Hurts are pure backups with no chance at starting, absent an injury to the starter. Hill is just a hope and a prayer that some nonsense occurs and will likely be dropped after Week 1.

 

Running Backs and Wide Receivers

This is what intrigued me most about this league. I was curious to see the breakdown of running backs vs. wide receivers. In a more standard format, teams will roster five or six running backs and six or seven wide receivers. The ratio will be pretty close to 1. In this format, in theory, a team could draft three of one position and 12 of the other and it would be fine.

Here is the breakdown by roster:

  • CMangano33 (Chris Mangano): 8 RBs, 7 WRs
  • DennisClausen (Dennis Clausen): 3 RBs, 13 WRs
  • dffornek (Dan Fornek): 6 RBs, 8 WRs
  • fammirantetfj (Frank Ammirante): 9 RBs, 7 WRs
  • sgjanik6 (Steve Janik): 7 RBs, 7 WRs
  • steverebeiro (Steve Rebeiro): 3 RBs, 8 WRs
  • Katz13 (Jason Katz): 9 RBs, 6 WRs
  • RichKingFF (Rich King): 7 RBs, 3 WRs
  • FantasyGiant (Frank Dyevoich): 8 RBs, 7 WRs
  • PVCLARK (Phil Clark): 6 RBs, 7 WRs
  • pfunk305 (Pierre Camus): 5 RBs, 10 WRs
  • ThePreSnapRead (Chris Gregory): 5 RBs, 8 WRs

As you can see, team construction varied wildly. In a traditional format, you could never get away with rostering just three running backs or wide receivers, but in this format, you can. It was very interesting to see how managers prioritized players. For me, I had no intention of going so running back heavy, but it just worked out that the players atop my board were consistently running backs. I imagine the reverse is the case for those that went wide receiver heavy.

 

Tight Ends

With this being a tight end premium format without a traditional tight end position, it made valuing tight ends a very uncertain proposition. Travis Kelce and George Kittle went early because they're legitimately WR1s. But for the tight ends that are only valuable because they play tight end, it was difficult to gauge when taking the TE was better than the WR or RB. I struggled with this considerably, which resulted in me taking just one TE.

On the other hand, despite there being no TE requirement, RichKingFF drafted six tight ends, including Blake Jarwin in the 16th round one spot before I was going to take him. It will be interesting to look back on tight end production in this format to see how they match up against the corresponding wide receivers and running backs.

 

Standout Selections

For this section, I just went through the draft board in order and pinpointed a few selections that caught my eye. Given that this is an experts' league, it is no surprise that the draft went quite a while before there were any picks that stood out as great or terrible value.

James Conner 7.06. I would not describe myself as a James Conner fan, but this seems like awfully good value for a running back that has proven he can produce RB1 numbers in a good offense when given the volume. Conner is a replacement-level running back or perhaps slightly above. People often hear that term and get offended. Most running backs are replacement level - give them a good situation and volume and they will produce. If Ben Roethlisberger is healthy and capable of playing near the level we're accustomed to seeing from him and Conner can stay on the field, he will produce far greater than where Steverebeiro drafted him. The risk was definitely worth it in the seventh round.

Deebo Samuel 9.02. This was the first truly questionable selection, brought to us by DennisClausen. We knew the moment Deebo Samuel got hurt that he was going to miss at least the first few weeks of the season. Given all of our experience studying the game of football, we also know full well that Samuel is at risk to miss half, if not all of the 2020 season. That's how these foot injuries go.

The ninth round is way too high for Samuel under normal conditions. In a superflex league during a season that is certain to result in the most missed games from fantasy-relevant players in NFL history, taking a guy that may miss half a season or more in the ninth round is ill-advised.

Raheem Mostert 9.04. I was not going to be the one to draft Raheem Mostert. That was my thinking going into this (and every) draft. It appears as if everyone else had the same thought. Fammirantetfj finally put an end to Mostert's slide in the ninth round. As much as I wasn't going to take Mostert even if he fell to me, I can admit that the ninth round is well worth it to gamble that Mostert can maintain his role in the 49ers' elite rushing attack.

Even when accounting for the abundance of quarterbacks going early due to the format, Mostert shouldn't really make it out of the seventh round. This was a great pick regardless of whether it works out.

Tyler Higbee 10.12. I've been warming to Tyler Higbee lately and have now concluded this was a fantastic selection by CMangano33. In a tight end premium format, even if Higbee is 60% of the guy we saw down the stretch last season, he is sure to be more valuable than guys like Marlon Mack, Alexander Mattison, and the aforementioned Deebo Samuel. Higbee is the starter for the Rams and will be the tight end out there when they run 11 personnel. He's not going to rattle off 100-yard game after 100-yard game again, but at 1.5 ppr, 5-60 goes a long way.

Sony Michel 11.01. Objectively, this isn't terrible value for Sony Michel, but I'm going to say it: Sony Michel is done. This is a league with 20 man rosters and I do not expect Michel to be on anyone's team by the end of September. Fortunately for Dennis, he followed this disaster up with Damien Harris at his very next pick.

Kerryon Johnson 12.06. I'll pat myself on the back quickly for this one. The 12th round is extremely late for Kerryon Johnson, but this is a sneaky smart pick given that I also drafted D'Andre Swift. With 20-man rosters, burning two picks on one backfield is fine. It's hard to imagine a scenario where I don't get value from the Lions' backfield now.

Duke Johnson 14.09. I've gone on record saying I expect Duke Johnson to be relatively useless this year, but in the 14th round of a league where you're basically starting eight Flex players, this is way too late. CMangano33, having already drafted David Johnson, probably should've locked up Duke in the 13th round rather than going with Jerick McKinnon.

Dwayne Haskins 15.05. There's nothing wrong with taking a presumptive starting quarterback in the 15th round of a Superflex draft, but I've never been more sure that a quarterback will lose his job than Dwayne Haskins. Sgjanik6 may find himself swapping out Haskins for ::gulp:: Kyle Allen around midseason.

Jalen Hurd 19.02. It's damn near impossible to find anything wrong with a 19th-round pick, but Jalen Hurd tore his ACL so DennisClausen literally just threw this pick away. But to be fair, the likelihood that any of us gets value from a 19th-round pick is almost zero. With that being said, if given the choice between rostering an out-for-the-season Hurd or a fully-healthy JJ Arcega-Whiteside, who Dennis took at 18.11, I'd rather have Hurd.

Devin Duvernay 20.07. For a 20th-round pick, this one has some serious upside. The Ravens' wide receiver depth chart is wide open behind Marquise Brown. Devin Duvernay is, by far, the second-most talented wide receiver on the team. Miles Boykin can't play. Willie Snead is merely a placeholder. There's definitely a path for Duvernay to end up with a starting role. In this league, even WR4 value would make him a tremendously useful asset.

 

Final Thoughts

Unsurprisingly, a league full of experts didn't provide the usual comedy of errors that you'll see a typical home league. It also didn't provide much in the way of screaming values because everyone knows what they're doing. I had a lot of fun drafting this team and am looking forward to a crazy season in a crazy format with all of these wonderful people.



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Of the 1,015 hitters sampled(1) between 2015 and 2019, there were only 14 instances of hitters making more productive contact against pitches outside of the strike zone than against pitches inside of the strike zone based on xwOBAcon. Based on the same sample, the average hitter was a whopping .116 points better against pitches inside... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 23rd, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 23rd, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Lineup Order Risers and Fallers: AL West 2020 Review

It’s the offseason and there are about to be a bunch of moving parts. This allows for speculation in terms of players gaining or losing playing time, moving up or down a batting order and much more. The idea here is to highlight some lineup situations for each team and some potential winners or losers... Read More


2021 1st & 2nd Year Players with James Anderson - Benched with Bubba (Episode 317)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by James Anderson (@RealJRAnderson) on episode 317. The guys will go over 30+ first and second-year players. They will discuss their current ADP's in the 2 Early Mocks, what to expect of the players in 2021, and much more. They also go over some listener questions, compare Juan Soto to Mike... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 21st, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 21st, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 20th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 20th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Bubba and Bat Flip 54: 2 Early Mocks APD Player Debates - Benched with Bubba (Episode 316)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They go over some of the positions and look at players with similar ADPs and debate. Going around the diamond discussing some players people are high on and some they are down on with a... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 18th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 18th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 17th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 17th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


2021 Early Mock ADP Values & Reaches: WPC+ Videocast

Pierre Camus and Nicklaus Gaut prepare for the 2021 fantasy baseball season with a look at early mock draft results from the RotoBaller Expert mock. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well! Be sure to also tune into RotoBaller... Read More


Statcast Season Review: 2020 Barrel Leaders (Hitters)

The 2020 MLB season will always be one for the record books, even if everything that took place will have multiple asterisks attached to it. Evaluating Statcast numbers is a nice way to find hot and cold hitters, as well as underachievers and overachievers. Now that the regular season is over, let's reflect on the... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 16th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 16th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 15th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 15th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 14th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 14th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Bubba and Bat Flip 53: 2 Early Mocks APD Trends & More - Benched with Bubba (Episode 315)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They dig into trends, some interesting risers/fallers, and much more. They also go over some listener questions at the end to keep the Fantasy Baseball information coming even in the offseason. Be sure to subscribe... Read More