Draft season has been officially upon us. For the second year in the row I was able to crash the Nut Swamp Football Leagues draft. Now last season I ripped on Greg due to him taking a kicker before his quarterback. Well perhaps this draft season I will be a little less harsh on the defending champ. While yes Justin Tucker did not win him the league it just goes to show that leagues are not won on draft day. As long as you have quality depth and value you can win leagues this draft season if you manage your team well. So let me break down the picks and give you my take on the Nut Swamp Football draft. (Note for this draft it is a 12 team ½ PPR format. Best and worst picks are based on my biased opinion as well as ADP.)
This season the Nutswamp Football league drop from 14 teams to 12. This led to much of a discussion in which Paul and Conor got to comanage. Tensions could not be higher between the two as they went thought grueling discussions throughout draft day. Yet this decision could not have been easier and they had a really strong start to the draft. McCaffrey, Montgomery, Brown and Hockenson were 4 very good picks in the top 5 rounds. While I may not necessarily like Jacobs as an RB 3 I understand the approach they were taking. Yet while running backs are important when you have an elite talent like McCaffrey they did not have to force it. Perhaps grabbing a stronger WR 2 was needed for this team here.
Moving along the draft I like Claypool and Antonio Brown. Both can be serviceable as a strong flex play. The difficult part for these two guys is when you have to rely on them to start every week. For me that is difficult to trust. I also do not like the Michael Thomas pick in round 9. He may miss most of the season which would be difficult to make up for the lack of receiver depth already. To me this could be the Achilles heel of this team if neither of their earlier picks hit. Getting Rodgers in the early 7th was solid value to. Overall though this team has a quality chance to be in the playoff mix if several things go their way.
Best Picks: CMC, Hockenson. Worst Picks: Josh Jacobs, Michael Thomas. Grade: B-
While it may be a good day to be a seagull it certainly was not a good day to be Matt’s league mates. One of my favorite strategies this offseason involved getting Waller with and elite running back. Starting off with Cook and Waller could make for an elite duo. Just like with many in this league it seems Matt opted to avoid receivers and wait on them. While I do like Robinson a lot I would not have drafted him over Allen or Jefferson. Both of those players could have given Matt an elite WR 1.
Looking at his receiving core we see a lot of potential WR 2s. Moore, Juju, DeVonta and Shenault all have great value. The difficulty in this core is that we see no real dominant fantasy receiver. Moore and Juju have been inconsistent and both have crowded receiving cores. I truthfully would rather Anderson or Marshall over Moore. While DeVonta should be a value I still believe he is not the WR 1 Matt may need. Matt also decided to draft TY Hilton who has little value with his neck injury. So while he has a solid RB room, quarterback and tight end his receivers could cost him.
Best Picks: Darren Waller, DeVonta Smith. Worst Picks: DJ Moore, T.Y. Hilton. Grade: B-
Tom is all in on the Rams. While many get concerned about this I typically do not worry if the value is correct and it is a good offense. Kupp, Henderson and Stafford all should be top 12-24 at their respective positions. Overall Tom did very well with his first few picks. While Carson was definitely a bit early the early run on running backs forced his hand. It also helps that he was able to get Keenan Allen in round 3. Getting Allen is one of my favorite picks because he should get a ton of receptions.
Tom was also able to wait on Andrews which worked to his favor. Although I am not the biggest Andrews believer in the 7th round I would be happy to take him. Where Tom kind of struggled were with his later running back picks in the draft. Jamaal Williams seemed a tad bit early. Latavius Murray may be downgraded. Joshua Kelley just sucks. I do like Russell Gage and Terrace Marshall as late round sleepers. Tom has a really good receiving core to me and a quality tight end and quarterback. Yet I worry about his running back depth due to his misses in the later rounds. Overall though I expect the core of this team to be potentially in the playoffs.
Best Picks: Keenan Allen, Russel Gage. Worst Pick: Joshua Kelley, Latavius Murray. Grade: B+
What a start. While many attacked the running back position Jesse seemed to let the draft come to him. Hopkins, Jefferson and Chase all were great picks where they were drafted. While many were ripping on the Chase pick I found the value to be good there. As a WR 3 in late round 6 that is where you want to draft him. Kyler Murray gives Jesse the potential QB 1 and Javonte is one of my favorite RB targets. While he is risky early I think Javonte can be a league winner.
The one pick I did not agree with Jesse on was the Waddle pick. Whether you like Waddle or not he was already stacked at receiver. With several quality RB 4s on the board he could have bolstered his running back room. Of course I have been higher on James Conner than most but this RB room seems a bit risky. If Javonte can break out sooner rather than later Jesse can be in the playoff mix. If he cannot then Jesse may be behind early in the season.
Best Picks: Justin Jefferson, Javonte Williams. Worst Picks: Jaylen Waddle, Phillip Lindsay. Grade: B-
I came into this draft thinking a top 5 pick would impress me. Steve did just that. Not only did he seem to take the value early, he got some steals in the mid rounds. To start I am a huge Zeke bounce back believer. Yet because he was able to snag Tony Pollard it may not even matter. To me he has an RB 1 combo that could win the league. Then he was able to get Gaskin and Hunt in rounds 4 and 5. I am a huge believer of Gaskins talent and Hunt has a safe flex floor. Pair these three receivers with Metcalf and Scary Terry you have an elite core. Metcalf and Terry both are in my top 12 and both have top 5 upside due to volume.
Yet perhaps my favorite value of all the teams so far is Kyle Pitts. Pitts generally goes in round 4 which does lead to some major risk. Understand that when you are drafting a rookie tight end that high you are expecting him to be elite right away. Yet Steve was able to get him in round 6! That eliminates a ton of risk in drafting a player like Pitts who could put up massive numbers. Outside of that I really like the rest of his receiving core. Anderson, Callaway and Mooney all have top 36 potential. Now the wildcard for Steve is Jalen Hurts. Whether you think he is a good NFL passer is irrelevant. Hurts has a tremendous rushing floor that can lead to top 5-10 numbers! To me Steve is the league favorite to win it.
Best Picks: Kyle Pitts, Jalen Hurts. Worst Picks: Michael Pittman, Dolphins Defense. Grade: A
Listen Barkley is the biggest reward/risk player in round 1. He can be the RB 1 or he can bust. The range of outcomes is more than most first round picks. I have become more ok with taking Barkley in the 6-9 range. Where I feel Mike went wrong was taking a ton of risk at the running back position. Both Sanders and Mostert have risk on top of Barkley. If Mike could have paired some safe running backs with Barkley I would feel more comfortable with this team. Even with getting Barkley’s handcuff and a quality RB 4 in AJ Dillon I just have some question marks. The overall look of these running backs worry me.
Now for the rest of his team I was actually very impressed with how Mike approached this. Ridley could be the WR 1 and Robinson is a super safe low end RB 1. Pair that with Thielen (who I am lower on) and Boyd you have a very strong receiver core. I also believe waiting so long on quarterback and tight end worked for him. Although I would have loved to have seen Brady instead of Samuel in the 10th Burrow can be a QB 1 this season. Even getting Gesicki in the 13th in terrific value. Overall this team construction could have worked if the running backs were not so risky.
Best Picks: Calvin Ridley, Joe Burrow. Worst Picks: Raheem Mostert, Curtis Samuel. Grade: C-
Many people have a hard time with this range of picks and at the 7 spot it could be difficult to navigate. Yet I am perfectly fine with the way Nick started this draft. Jones has RB 1 upside even if he has some injury concerns. Starting with Lamb and Diggs to me gives him an elite start. Then things get a little bit rough to me. In speaking with Nick although I understand Davis is his guy I felt it was a reach. Even “cuffing” him with Gallman does not do it for me because of how inconsistent this Atlanta rushing attack has been in recent years. I also would have loved to have seen Nick go Dillon over Goedert in round 8. Cuffing Jones is a must and would give him an RB 1 every week.
Outside of those two picks you have to love the depth Nick has in the mid rounds. While Drake does feel like a reach I believe he can be a quality flex option. Jerry Jeudy also gives him a safety valve at receiver as I believe the second round receiver will break out. Even more so Landry and Jones give him a reliable WR 4 and 5. Overall this team should be mid pack if all things work out. Again I do not agree with the reach of Davis and if he struggles at RB 2 it could be his downfall.
Best Picks: Ceedee Lamb, Kenyan Drake. Worst Picks: Mike Davis, Dallas Goedert. Grade: B-
To me Jonny has one of the biggest wild card teams in the draft. His range of outcomes based on his picks could be 1st or 12th. With the amount of boom or bust picks he has that is just how I see it. At running back I feel that he will be very strong. While Clyde in the second seems a bit high there was no way he was going to make it back. Clyde is one of my favorite picks this season as to me he has a very high ceiling. Pair him with the safer Nick Chubb and I believe every week he will have consistent running back play.
Now his receiving core is where it gets interesting. Both Mike Evans and Tyler Lockett have shown they have a massive ceiling. Yet both have shown to have little floor. The key for Jonny’s team to succeeding is hoping one or both players can find more consistency this season. The last thing he wants to see is minimal points between both players. But again as stated at the begin that is what makes him a wild card team. The rest of his team is actually really safe. Moss and Hines but could have weekly flex appeal and if Beasley does noy retire he could surprise. The overall risk reward style to this team puts it mid pack for me.
Best Picks: CEH, Julio Jones. Worst Picks: Mike Evans, Tyler Lockett. Grade: B
For the second year in a row Pete went with the early tight end approach. Getting Travis Kelce in round 2 has to be seen as a value here because he often goes in round 1. It will give Pete a massive advantage at a position that often is most difficult to pick. What I liked about Pete’s approach is that he did not force a running back in rounds 3-4. Often people get caught up in trying to force the running back when it is not there to make up for picking Kelce. Both Godwin and Woods could be serviceable high WR 2s and give him a very good core. Although I personally would not have take Godwin in round 3 getting the value of Woods in round 4 makes up for it.
The key to Pete’s success this year is hitting on a serviceable RB 2. When you wait on the RB 2 position you want to find guys that have a path to touches. Damien Harris, Ronald Jones and Sony Michel all have that path. Now yes Jones and Michel both have crowded backfields but it could happen. Which again when drafting Kelce early is the approach you want to take. Pete was also able to grab 2 top 10 quarterbacks which will give him some flexibility throughout the season. I also really like the value he got with Deebo Samuel. If healthy Samuel could be a WR 2 has he has already shown elite traits. I personally do not care for the Cooks pick due to the trash offense but there is no denying the volume. Overall Pete can make a playoff push if one of his RB 2 hits.
Best Picks: Robert Woods, Deebo Samuel. Worst Picks: Brandin Cooks, Chris Godwin. Grade:B+
The defending champ put together one of the more interesting drafts. To begin I am not an Ekeler fan. I believe there is a ton of risk for a guy who has little touchdown upside. Yes he is valuable in PPR formats but in half PPR he loses some of that top 3 potential. For me I would not have taken him there. Yet pairing him with Tyreek Hill makes for a very high ceiling duo even if Ekeler’s floor is shaky. The difficult part of Greg’s draft came in rounds 3 and 5. I like Gus Edwards but not at 3rd round value. I also believe Odell was a massive reach. Most drafts he can fall in rounds 7-8. These two picks had me questioning the value for Greg in his early rounds.
I truly feel Greg was able to salvage some of his draft in the mid rounds. While I am not the biggest Sutton fan getting him in round 8 is great value. Trey Sermon can be a serviceable flex option and if he can overtake the starting role he has league winning potential. While I am not the biggest Thomas fan as well I also believe he has value with the Curtis Samuel injury. Lastly one of my favorite picks in the late rounds was Tony Jones. Jones has a path to the RB 2 role for the Saints which screams flex value. If Greg can hit on his WR 2 this team can be a quality team. Yet again the Odell pick leaves this grade lower then most. Also know I ripped on his team last year and he won so take this review with a grain of salt.
Best Picks: Trey Sermon, Tony Jones. Worst Picks: Odell Beckham, Austin Ekeler. Grade: C+
I honestly went back and forth with this team. On paper this seems like one of the top 2 receiver cores in the league. Adams at 11 is league winning value. Diontae Johnson at 5.11 is massive value. He has 4 to 5 receivers who could all be top 36. His quarterback and his tight ends both have top 10 potential. Everything to me screams that Mark did exactly what he needed to do to make another championship run. Yet for some reason the overall make up of this team leaves me uneasy.
Whether or not I am lower than the consensus on Mixon, Swift and Edmonds should not matter individually. In fact Mixon could be a terrific back. Yet to have all 3 on one team is very risky. Mixon’s inconsistency is a concern. Swift’s offense and lack of touchdown upside is a concern. Edmonds minimal usage in the ground game is a concern. I just do not know if the elite receiving core he put together can make up for the risky running back room. Again could Mixon and Swift have top 12 potential, possibly. But the range of outcomes for both is so massive that along with Edmonds the risk may be too much to overcome.
Best Picks: Davante Adams, Diontae Johnson. Worst Picks: D’Andre Swift, Chase Edmonds. Grade:C+
Picking from the 12 spot always leads to the most interesting builds. Doug crushed the start of this draft. Both Gibson and Harris should see plenty of volume that leads to a safe floor. Both have a high ceiling due to potential touchdown upside and potential receiving usage. To pair both players with the value of Mahomes and Kittle was incredible. Not only did Doug get a top 3 quarterback but he got a top 3 tight end. He will have an advantage at quarterback and tight end while still being safe at running back. By doing this he has an incredible flexibility to find value wide receivers with potential volume.
Looking at the middle rounds Doug did just that. Higgins, Aiyuk, Davis and Chark all have a path to WR 2 value. They will have a path to volume that could help Doug overcome passing on receiver early. Yet I believe that potentially he can hit on several of these guys to make up on passing on the position early. Now if there is one nitpick I would say for Doug it would have been to taken one more receiver at the round 11 turn instead of Lawrence. With drafting Mahomes you basically only need a quarterback for the bye week. There is no reason to think about sitting him. Grabbing a receiver like Mooney or Marshall would have given him an extra guy he could possibly hit on. Overall though well done Doug.
Best Picks: Antonio Gibson, Patrick Mahomes. Worst Picks: Trevor Lawrence. Grade: A
Playoff Picks: Steve, Doug, Pete, Tom, Jonny, Matt
Champion: Steve over Doug