Working through the mock universe does indeed afford us an opportunity to see just how our opponents value a player pool, but mocks also give us a chance to try stuff with nothing on the line save the results.
As fantasy footballers, one thing that can indeed kill us are the bye weeks, for just wading through a season of injuries and ineffective players is tough enough. But when your team is minus two starters, the bye forces your well conceived bench onto the oblivion express.
On the other hand, many is the time over the past couple of years that I have heard owners speculate about simply drafting to one week of byes, taking it on the snoot that one cycle, and then moving along.
So, while playing with my mate Howard Bender (@rotobuzzguy) and his #MockDraftArmy, where this season's worth of mocks have been hosted by the fine folks at Fantrax, I experimented with a couple of the mocks, numbers 31 and 34.
For Mock #31 (a 15-round, PPR with 12 teams), I drafted the best player I could (Todd Gurley) and let that dictate my draft, selecting for my starters just players who had an eighth week bye, adding some bench support only from Week 5 byes.
For Mock #34 (same set-up as #31), I selected the two divisions--AFC and NFC East, both--who copped the most wins with the top teams scoring the most points. This second exercise became extra fun since I was drafting fourth and had targeted Julio Jones as my first-round pick, but the Rotobuzz-guy selected Jones as the #1 pick overall, and that was that.
So, I was blessed with Rob Gronkowski as my first-rounder, and then limited myself to drafting only players with byes Weeks 8 and 9 for the coming season. A short commentary after I list the somewhat gory details.
|1.||Todd Gurley (RB)||Rob Gronkowski (TE)|
|2.||Jarvis Landry (WR)||Jarvis Landry (WR)|
|3.||Markus Wheaton (WR)||Julian Edelman (WR)|
|4.||Arian Foster (RB)||Dion Lewis (RB)|
|5.||Ben Roethlisberger (QB)||Matt Jones (RB)|
|6.||Jay Ajayi (RB)||Jay Ajayi (RB)|
|7.||Tavon Austin (WR)||Markus Wheaton (WR)|
|8.||Jordan Cameron (TE)||Breshad Perriman (WR)|
|9||Blake Bortles (QB)||Tyler Eifert (TE)|
|10.||Charcandrick West (RB)||Texans (DEF)|
|11.||Breshad Perriman (WR)||Stephen Gostkowski (PK)|
|12.||Jimmy Graham (TE)||Ryan Tannehill (QB)|
|13.||Jermaine Kearse (WR)||Kirk Cousins (QB)|
|14.||Steelers (DEF)||Kenny Britt (WR)|
|15.||Josh Brown (PK)||Andre Ellington (RB)|
Truth is I was not thinking Week 8 for either draft, although I was thinking--foolishly--that byes were somewhat division sensitive, though there are interesting crossovers. For example, Wheaton as #3 once, and #8 another time.
I did draft defense in #34 earlier than normal. In fact, I targeted Arizona, but they were sniped from my grasp just as was Julio Jones.
For sure, the second draft produced a more promising result than did the first, but the end result is this is probably not a good way to draft. It was a fun experiment, however.