14 drafts in 14 days!

Number Twelve (#58)

Ok, so Yahoo Private Prize League, $250 entry, 12 teams, pretty standard PPR scoring with small distance/yardage bonuses and 5 pt pass TDs for some reason. Start 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, 2Flex, 1Superflex and 1 DST, with 6Bench and 2IR. Drafted from 2am until 5am EDT. lol

So first the salmon guy—you know, the guy who went to the Dollar Store after buying Mahomes, Kelce, Adams, Kittle and Mostert in the draft where I took all Week 7 bye players? Well, he didn’t learn anything. He again got only five players before hitting the Dollar Store in this draft—Mahomes, Garoppolo, McCaffery, Kamara and Henderson. Parenthetically, he also paid the two highest prices for any players in the draft with $70 for CMC and $60 for Kamara (with Cook coming in 3rd at $58, and Najee Harris 4th at $56!!). By comparison, Zeke and Henry both went for $46. And of course the highest price paid for a QB was his $41 bid on Mahomes (he only spent $3—his LAST $3—on Garoppolo). His WRs are Jalen Reagor, Christian Kirk, T.Y. Hilton, Parris Campbell, Emmanuel Sanders, Nelson Agholor and Randall Cobb. RB depth consists of Tarik Cohen and Le’Veon Bell. So that’s at least $350 that Salmon Guy has donated to the Axe Elf Christmas Fund.

You are appreciated, Salmon Guy, wherever you are!

Despite Salmon Guy’s exuberance, the rest of the league seemed to be kind of conservative at first, maybe in awe of the extra flex and superflex positions, so I was able to get Derrick Henry with the 13th nomination for some $10 less than CMC, Kamara and Cook. I briefly had visions of a Henry/Najee backfield, but when Najee was the focus of the “last elite RB” bidding war, I had to drop out (he eventually went for $56, two dollars less than Dalvin Cook!). It’s just as well anyway. If I had spent more than the $28 I eventually paid for Chris Carson on my RB2, I probably wouldn’t have been able to get all the other players I eventually drafted (still wasn’t able to get Golladay).

So overall, I’m pretty pleased—I was able to fill out a complete starting roster for $190, with $10 left for my 6 bench slots, so I just started dropping $2 bids on the nominations of the Dollar Store shoppers until it was time to add my own last couple of $1 guys.

QB: Matthew Stafford (11) $19, Kirk Cousins (7) $9, Tyrod Taylor (10) $2
RB: Derrick Henry (13) $46, Chris Carson (9) $28, Damien Harris (14) $16, Mark Ingram II (10) $2
WR: CeeDee Lamb (7) $26, Robert Woods (11) $20, Brandon Aiyuk (6) $14, Adam Thielen (7) $9, Marvin Jones, Jr. (7) $2, Amon-Ra St. Brown (9) $2, Bryan Edwards (8) $1
TE: Mike Gesicki (14) $2, Evan Engram (10) $1
DST: New England Patriots (14) $1

And now, my last auction tonight, about 6 hours from now, and then the final $20 Yahoo Best Ball league on Wednesday…

2 to go…

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Number Thirteen (#59)

For my final managed league and final auction draft, we will be participating in a $250 Yahoo Public Prize League–10 teams, half-PPR scoring, single flex.

So for this one, I was Salmon Guy. Well, not quite, but I definitely pushed the envelope of the “Studs & Scrubs” auction strategy. I don’t usually like to do that, but I’ve been drafting so many deep rosters lately that I’m sitting there looking at my blank roster before the draft starts, thinking, "I only have to fill like five starting positions and a flex? (TEs, Ks and Ds are all like dollar players to me anyway–or pretty close.)

It’s a very shallow draft… 10 teams x 15 players, and 2 of them are a K and a D… so only 130 skill players drafted? There’s bound to be a lot of meat left in the Dollar Store–and on the waiver wire…

I did some quick math in my head… $35 for Mahomes, $55 for a RB1, $40 for a RB2, $30 for a WR1 and $25 for a WR2 would be $185, leaving me $15 for a Flex and the support positions… I’mma gonna give it a shot…

So I get Derrick Henry at the 11th nomination for $56, which wasn’t all that great at the time, as it was third behind CMC ($70) and Cook ($57), but only a dollar more than Zeke, Kamara and Taylor at $55. Then later when Aaron Jones became the subject of the “last elite RB” bidding war, he went for $67, and Chubb commanded $58 shortly thereafter, so I felt a lot better about getting what I consider to be the best player in the draft for what was essentially tied for the 8th-highest price. But I’m $1 over budget…

The very next nomination was CeeDee Lamb, my preferred WR2. I get him for $26. Cool… but now I’m $2 over budget…

They’re coming fast and furious now; Patrick Mahomes comes out with the 15th nomination, and I win him for $31. Awesome! Now I’m $2 UNDER budget!

Was kind of hoping for maybe Aaron Jones at RB2, but the bidding war ended any chance of that. Thought about Barkley then, but he went too far over my budget at $46. My own nomination, Antonio Gibson, also hit that mark. And then it was Mixon at nom #25. I get him for $42 (13th among RBs)–exactly back on budget!

Then a bunch of mid-range WRs came out for many of the next 15 picks, and by the time we were just passing the 40th nomination, the top two WRs–indeed, the top two players on the draft board–were DeAndre Hopkins and Calvin Ridley. I’mma gettin’ me one…

Hopkins comes out first and I’m dismayed as he climbs past 30, but I bid 32, and I’m outbid, and I figure I’m not getting any good Flex player for $5 anyway, I might as well blow my wad, and I bid $34… and win! But there goes $4 of the $15 I had budgeted to round out my roster.

So I have a starting five of Mahomes, Henry, Mixon, Hopkins and Lamb, with 10 open roster slots and $11 to fill them.


Ok, but I’m sporting a starting five that look like they were drafted in a 6-teamer.

Now to wait for the dollar store to open…

One thing happened in this draft that hadn’t happened once in like 20 auction drafts this preseason–I nominated someone I didn’t want, and no one else wanted him either. And that’s why I have Fournette. The guy who has Ronald Jones has like four other RBs ahead of him, so he probly doesn’t want Fournette, and I don’t want Jones from him. So I’m probly gonna end up dumping Fournette back into the waiver pool for Bryan Edwards or something when the waivers clear on Friday.

I was kind of hoping I might be able to get Kenny Golladay or Brandin Cooks for my last $2, but Golladay went for $3 and I wasn’t able to bid $2 on Cooks fast enough, so he went to someone else for $2… and I ended up dropping my deuce on Mike Gesicki, to help round out the starting lineup with a quality TE.

Every other slot on my roster (Flex, K, D and 6 bench slots) was filled with $1 players. So it’s a pretty extreme example of the “Studs & Scrubs” strategy–but I think I kinda like it.

All I have to do is hit on one quality waiver wire pickup during the season to strengthen my flex position–and keep my starters healthy–and I should win going away.

QB: Patrick Mahomes (12) $31
RB: Derrick Henry (13) $56, Joe Mixon (10) $42, Tevin Coleman (6) $1, Mark Ingram (10) $1, Phillip Lindsay (10) $1, Leonard Fournette (9) $1
WR: DeAndre Hopkins (12) $34, CeeDee Lamb (7) $26, Mike Williams (7) $1, Marvin Jones, Jr. (7) $1, Amon-Ra St. Brown (9) $1
TE: Mike Gesicki (14) $2
K: Matt Prater (12) $1
DST: Pittsburgh Steelers (7) $1

1 to go…

By the way… Yahoo awarded him the “Best Draft” medal.



So I plop down my last $20 of the 2021 preseason on the final Yahoo Best Ball league of the year–and wonder of wonders–I draw pick #2! Three straight top 3 picks!

So I figure I’m going to add another Derrick Henry team to my portfolio. But then the #1 pick takes Dalvin Cook, and a funny feeling comes over me and I decide to do something different for this, the last draft of 2020, and I take my first share of Christian McCaffrey. So either I’m screwed in this one–or in the other 59.

1.2 Christian McCaffrey
2.9 DeAndre Hopkins - Had the choice of Joe Mixon here, but with an early draft position, I’m set up for Gus Edwards and the Mostert/Sermon coup at the 6/7 turn, so with Hopkins still on the board at the end of the 2nd, I go WR instead, figuring I’ll pair him with CeeDee Lamb around the corner and still be fine on RBs later.
3.2 Joe Mixon - And then the bastid takes Lamb on the 2/3 turn! Curses! But looky here, he din’t take Mixon. So I guess I’ll be going for global domination with RBs after all. To me this doesn’t look a whole lot different than my common Henry/Mixon/Lamb starts, though I suppose the “consensus” says this is better.
4.9 Gus Edwards - Having good RBs already, I was hoping Robert Woods might fall here–but he falls at 4.07. So back to back RBs it is…
5.2 Damien Harris - Global domination achieved.
6.9 Brandon Aiyuk - With both Aiyuk and Thielen having late fifth-round ADPs, I was just hoping and praying that one of them fell… and I feel extremely lucky that one did. Aiyuk bails out my heretofore neglected WR corps.
7.2 Robby Anderson - And another top 20 WR around the corner makes it all worthwhile.
8.9 Matthew Stafford - I was going to go with Golladay here and Stafford around the corner in the 9th, but I checked out the turn guy’s roster, and he had like 4 WRs and no QB, so I took Stafford first and gambled on Golladay making it through the turn. Sure enough–he takes like 25 seconds of the 30 second clock and picks Tannehill–gotcha back for CeeDee Lamb, din’t I? lol His other pick is Tyler Boyd, though, so… whew.
9.2 Kenny Golladay - Golladay in the 9th. The draft value of the year.
10.9 Mike Gesicki - I’m looking at Cousins and Gesicki here, but again I check the rosters, and turn guy has Tannehill at QB but no TE yet, so I pick Gesicki first. Sure enough–he takes like 20 seconds and settles on Gerald Everett. Tired of Axe Elf yet, sucka? And his other pick is another WR…
11.2 Kirk Cousins
12.9 Matt Ryan - At this turn, I’m looking at Ryan and Mike Williams. Turn guy has like 6 WRs now, so I take Ryan first and expect Williams to make it through the turn–but turn guy snipes me back! So I guess we’re even, 2-2. Turn guy ends up with 8 total WRs in a 17-player draft. Weird.
13.2 Evan Engram - With no other high-value targets left, I just go to the TE I was going to draft in the 14th–and then just filled out the rest of the roster.
14.9 Anthony Firkser
15.2 Amon-Ra St. Brown
16.9 Mark Ingram II
17.2 Bryan Edwards - Started to warm up to this guy late in the preseason; seems to be the guy expected to lead the Raiders in targets.

And with 24 hours to go until the season starts-- I am done drafting!

So I drafted 1,090 players in 60 drafts this summer (an average of 18.17 players per roster), and one out of every five of them (224) is a WR named Golladay, Lamb, Aiyuk, Woods, Amon-Ra, or Cooks.

Overall, I drafted 121 different players, but only 37 unique players–those who appear on at least 10 of my teams–account for 80% (857) of all players drafted. So basically two complete 18-player rosters could account for every single player on 48 of the 60 teams I drafted. The best investment strategy is a highly UNdiversified portfolio–when you are right (and I’m Axe Elf, so…).

The distribution is so top-heavy that just the top 12 unique players–those who appear on at least half of my teams–account for 40% (436) of all players drafted.

The 37 players who account for 80% of all players drafted include 5 QBs, 13 RBs, 11 WRs, 5 TEs, 2 Ks, and 1 DST. I think the reason there is a disproportionately large number of RBs is because in snake drafts, your 1st, and to a lesser degree your 2nd and 3rd round picks, are largely dependent on your draft position–and you’re most likely taking a couple of RBs in those first three or four rounds. After the fourth round, your draft position doesn’t matter as much, because it’s more acceptable to reach half a round or more for your targets by that time. But being forced into sampling most of the 1st and 2nd round RBs at some point naturally makes that position more diverse than the others.

Here’s the list… * for guys who got hurt or cut since being drafted. (Half of them are the 20 Latavius Murray shares, so only 20 others out of 1,070 isn’t bad.)

Kenny Golladay 47
CeeDee Lamb 42
Daniel Jones 41
Brandon Aiyuk 38
Evan Engram 37
Kirk Cousins 36
Robert Woods 36
C.J. Uzomah 34
Amon-Ra St. Brown 33
Chris Carson 31
Mike Davis 31
Anthony Firkser 30
Brandin Cooks 28
Patrick Mahomes 22
Matthew Stafford 22
Mike Williams 22
Tyler Higbee 22
Damien Harris 21
Matt Ryan 20
Najee Harris 20
Raheem Mostert 20
Latavius Murray *20
Joe Mixon 17
Adam Thielen 17
Tre’Quan Smith 17
Robby Anderson 16
Derrick Henry 14
Trey Sermon 14
Marvin Jones, Jr. 14
Arizona Cardinals K 14
Aaron Jones 13
James Conner 13
Mark Ingram II 12
Nyheim Hines 12
Jared Cook 11
Minnesota Vikings K 10
Minnesota Vikings D/ST 10
Ryan Fitzpatrick 9
Ezekiel Elliott 9
Mike Gesicki 9
Tarik Cohen *8
Will Fuller 8
Robert Tonyan 8
Kansas City Chiefs D/ST 8
Saquon Barkley 6
Tyreek Hill 6
Davante Adams 6
T.Y. Hilton *6
Dalton Schultz 6
Atlanta Falcons K 6
Washington Football Team D/ST 6
New England Patriots D/ST 6
Darrell Henderson, Jr. 5
DeAndre Hopkins 5
Henry Ruggs III 5
Jonathan Taylor 4
Gus Edwards 4
Phillip Lindsay 4
Tyler Boyd 4
Jameis Winston 3
James White 3
Samaje Perine 3
Stefon Diggs 3
Terry McLaurin 3
Bryan Edwards 3
San Francisco 49ers K 3
Los Angeles Rams D/ST 3
Chicago Bears D/ST 3
Dak Prescott 2
Aaron Rodgers 2
Cam Newton *2
Travis Etienne *2
Melvin Gordon 2
Marlon Mack 2
Rashaad Penny 2
Tony Jones, Jr. 2
Justin Jefferson 2
Mike Evans 2
Gabriel Davis 2
Adam Trautman *2
Hayden Hurst 2
Pittsburgh Steelers D/ST 2
Denver Broncos D/ST 2
Justin Herbert 1
Tom Brady 1
Ben Roethlisberger 1
Joe Burrow 1
Jared Goff 1
Derek Carr 1
Tyrod Taylor 1
Christian McCaffrey 1
Kareem Hunt 1
Zack Moss 1
Devin Singletary 1
Leonard Fournette 1
James Robinson 1
Tevin Coleman 1
J.D. McKissic 1
Larry Rountree III 1
Cordarrelle Patterson 1
Calvin Ridley 1
D.K. Metcalf 1
A.J. Brown 1
Diontae Johnson 1
D.J. Moore 1
DeVante Parker 1
Jakobi Meyers 1
Cole Beasley 1
A.J. Green 1
Logan Thomas 1
Chris Herndon, Jr. 1
Zach Ertz 1
O.J. Howard 1
Dallas Cowboys K 1
Pittsburgh Steelers K 1
Green Bay Packers K 1
New York Giants K 1
Cleveland Browns K 1
Denver Broncos K 1
Arizona Cardinals D/ST 1
Tennessee Titans D/ST 1

Well, just found out I can enter Yahoo’s League of Champions DFS contest, so I guess I’ll have 61 leagues this year. DFS, though, so it’s a different team every week, instead of the same team throughout the year.

Infallible as he may be in season-long fantasy strategy, Axe Elf has not mastered large DFS tournament league strategies, so this is more of an S&G thing for me–I haven’t divided all the EVs by my points per dollar and cross-referenced them against roster frequency charts or anything. I just put together the best team I could for $200.

QB Patrick Mahomes $40
RB Raheem Mostert $26
RB Najee Harris $20
WR Tyreek Hill $34
WR Adam Thielen $24
WR Brandin Cooks $18
TE Mike Gesicki $12
Flex Robby Anderson $14
DEF New England Patriots $12

I remembered having Mostert and Harris at RB and Gesicki’s zero at TE, so I never really bothered to check on the Yahoo DFS League of Champions…

…and yet I’m in the top 8%–lol–top 20k out of a quarter million entries! Mahomes, Hill, Cooks and Thielen did work!

So I guess I’ll set a lineup for Week 2… especially since I’m already getting requests from my fans to post another draft result. Since I’m not doing any more drafts, per se, this will have to do…

No Mahomes available for Week 2 (guess they don’t include the night games?), so I’ll play the QB cheap this week instead…

QB: Derek Carr $21
RB: Najee Harris $25
RB Joe Mixon $24
WR: CeeDee Lamb $23
WR: Robert Woods $23
WR: Brandin Cooks $23
TE: Darren Waller $22
Flex: Corey Davis $20
DEF: New England Patriots $19

Pretty balanced overall.

It was a good week for Axe Elf RBs…

Chris Carson (31 shares) 15.1 PPR
Damien Harris (21 shares) 13.4
Najee Harris (20 shares) 19.1
Latavius Murray (20 shares) 9.6
Derrick Henry (14 shares) 47.7
Aaron Jones (13 shares) 41.5
Ezekiel Elliott (9 shares) 17.7

There’s 128 RBs in 60 leagues gettin’ it done!

Best supporting WRs go to…

CeeDee Lamb (42 shares) 17.4 PPR
Brandin Cooks (28 shares) 22.8
Mike Williams (22 shares) 22.1
Adam Thielen (17 shares) 15.9
Marvin Jones, Jr. (14 shares) 17.5

123 WRs in 60 leagues helpin’ their boys!

And let’s not forget the captains…

Daniel Jones (41 shares) 29.46
Kirk Cousins (36 shares) 25.26
Patrick Mahomes (20 shares) 24.02

97 QBs in 60 leagues holding up their end of the bargain!

Oh Wow, Axe Elf Was Right All Along season is in full swing!

Scored fewer points than I did in Week 1, but moved up to 9,069th out of 248,148–top 4%!

Week 3 Lineup for the DFS contest:

QB: Patrick Mahomes $38
RB: Chris Carson $26
RB: Najee Harris $19
WR: Robert Woods $25
WR: Chris Godwin $22
WR: Terry McLaurin $21
TE: Mike Gesicki $11
Flex: Mike Williams $18
DST: Arizona Cardinals $20

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Well, whaddya know, I guess this contest only runs for three rounds and we’re done.

So Woods and McLaurin struggled, but the rest of this lineup was gold and posted a healthy 155 pts this week.

This allowed me to finish 771st out of 250,187 total entries for the contest, and I won $2.


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Was Axe Elf Right? Decide for yourself…

The numbers next to their names are the shares that Axe Elf drafted.

1 Kyler Murray ARI 89.20 3 29.73
2 Tom Brady TB 87.48 3 29.16
3 Patrick Mahomes II - 22 KC 83.20 3 27.73
4 Jalen Hurts PHI 73.10 3 24.37
5 Lamar Jackson BAL 72.54 3 24.18
6 Kirk Cousins - 36 MIN 72.42 3 24.14
7 Matthew Stafford - 22 LAR 72.08 3 24.03
7 Josh Allen BUF 72.08 3 24.03
9 Derek Carr - 1 LV 71.42 3 23.81
10 Daniel Jones - 41 NYG 67.38 3 22.46

Other popularly-drafted QBs: 11. Russell Wilson, 13. Justin Herbert, 15. Dak Prescott, 19. Ryan Tannehill, 20. Joe Burrow, 23. Aaron Rodgers.

Half-PPR for the skill positions:

1 Derrick Henry - 14 TEN 71.8 3 23.9
2 Aaron Jones - 13 GB 58.3 3 19.4
3 D’Andre Swift DET 50.4 3 16.8
3 Christian McCaffrey - 1 CAR 50.4 3 16.8
5 Austin Ekeler LAC 49.4 3 16.5
6 Ezekiel Elliott - 9 DAL 46.7 3 15.6
7 Kareem Hunt - 1 CLE 45.9 3 15.3
8 Nick Chubb CLE 45.8 3 15.3
9 Najee Harris - 20 PIT 43.2 3 14.4
10 Melvin Gordon III - 2 DEN 41.9 3 14.0
11 Chris Carson - 31 SEA 41.5 3 13.8
12 Alvin Kamara NO 40.9 3 13.6
13 Joe Mixon - 17 CIN 40.5 3 13.5

Other popularly-drafted RBs: 16. Antonio Gibson, 19. David Montgomery, 21. Dalvin Cook, 25. Saquon Barkley, 27. Miles Sanders, 29. Jonathan Taylor, 31. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, 34. Myles Gaskin.

1 Cooper Kupp LAR 78.7 3 26.2
2 Mike Williams - 22 LAC 66.5 3 22.2
3 Tyler Lockett SEA 56.9 3 19.0
4 Adam Thielen - 17 MIN 52.6 3 17.5
5 Ja’Marr Chase CIN 51.3 3 17.1
6 Brandin Cooks - 28 HOU 50.2 3 16.7
7 Chris Godwin TB 49.8 3 16.6
8 Davante Adams - 6 GB 49.4 3 16.5
9 Deebo Samuel SF 48.2 3 16.1
10 Justin Jefferson - 2 MIN 47.8 3 15.9

Other popularly-drafted WRs: 14. Tyreek Hill, 15. Keenan Allen, 16. DK Metcalf, 18. Mike Evans, 19. Amari Cooper, 20. DeAndre Hopkins, 22. Terry McLaurin, 28. Stefon Diggs, 30. Calvin Ridley, 46. Julio Jones, 68. AJ Brown.

The moral of the story is that fantasy football is easy when you own half the top 10 at every position.

Listen to the Elf,
Trophy on the shelf.
Listen to the others,
Go crying to your mothers.

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I noticed something odd today. Among my 10 Best Ball Championship teams, only one of them is currently in first place. It’s ok–7 more of them are in 2nd, 3rd or 4th–but the one team that has outscored every other team in its league has these 24 players:

QB: Patrick Mahomes, Daniel Jones, Ryan Fitzpatrick
RB: Joe Mixon, Raheem Mostert, J.D. McKissic, Nyheim Hines, James White, Tarik Cohen
WR: Tyreek Hill, D.K. Metcalf, Robert Woods, Mike Williams, Brandon Aiyuk, Will Fuller, Amon-Ra St. Brown
TE: Jared Cook, Evan Engram, Dalton Schultz, C.J. Uzomah
K: Packers, Vikings
DST: Vikings, Chiefs

Only like 8 of them have had any kind of consistent production; another 8 have been mostly injured or busts to this point, and the other 8 have all been pretty hit and miss (other than maybe Mahomes)–but they all must be contributing at the right times.

That team would probly be 0-4 in a managed league–but it’s leading the league in total points as a best-ball team.

Kinda cool…

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Well, 53.8 outta Metcalf and Woods is a good start to staying in first place!