Fantasy football soaks up the attentions of millions of Americans every fall. But college football fans largely get denied the opportunity to be impossibly distracted from the truly important things in their lives. Only the NFL fan gets to turn on a random game and pray for a turnover in garbage time of the 4th quarter so that their wide receiver gets one more chance at a meaningless touchdown. No longer.
We here at the UWDP recently carried out a Pac-12 only fantasy football draft to test out our conference wide knowledge and give us a reason to care about that Arizona-Cal game which won’t impact the Huskies in any way. We will be giving periodic updates of the standings throughout the football season so you can show your support for your favorite blogger (we all know it’s Gabey, we’re not offended). The participants are:
Jeff Gorman — “For Pete’s Sake”
Chris Landon — “Gekko No-Mo-Jo”
Gabey Lucas — “Simon Fraser University Div II Frosh”
Lucas Shannon/Rob Foxcurran- “We Hate our Team Too”
Ed Strong- “Wait, Football?
Max Vrooman — “Enter the Inferno”
The ground rules are as follows. Four points per passing touchdown, PPR scoring, and TE may be used for flex but is not required (only 2 tight ends averaged 30+ receiving yards per game in the Pac-12 last year). There are only 6 teams so that no squad has to worry about not having an eligible backup QB, K, or D/ST if theirs is on a bye week. Oregon State and Stanford players get one less week because the platform we’re using doesn’t acknowledge the “week 0” games they play on Saturday 8/26. All right. Let’s get into the draft.
|1||1||Luke Falk||Washington State||QB||Ed|
Four of the first six went quarterback led by air raid conductor Luke Falk. Steven Montez going 4th is a mild surprise. Max and Rob bucked the QB trend by taking the top receiver and running back on the board in Dante Pettis and Royce Freeman. Chris closed out the round by being a homer and selecting Jake Browning. Also, that’s a totally reasonable pick.
|2||5||Ryan Nall||Oregon State||RB||Jeff|
|2||6||Kalen Ballage||Arizona State||RB||Ed|
Quarterbacks dominated round 1 but round 2 belonged to the running back. 5 of the 6 picks went RB starting with Bryce Love and concluding with Kalen Ballage. The lone holdout was Rob who paired Oregon Duck Royce Freeman with Oregon Duck Justin Herbert. I’m sure that has endeared him to all of you.
|3||2||Tavares Martin Jr.||Washington State||WR||Jeff|
|3||3||Ronald Jones II||USC||RB||Max|
|3||5||Jamal Morrow||Washington State||RB||Rob/Lucas|
|3||6||N'Keal Harry||Arizona State||WR||Chris|
Things start to settle down now as everyone begins taking their top ranked RB or WR left on the board. Gabey’s selection of Chico McClatcher marks the first player taken who is #2 on his team’s depth chart at any position . Chris taking N’Keal Harry at the end of the round comes as a surprise to no one who has read any of his articles referencing Harry previously.
|4||1||Michael Pittman Jr.||USC||WR||Chris|
A pair of USC pass catchers come off the board as 5 of the 6 picks go WR. The sole holdout is Max who takes Cal RB Tre Watson. That leaves Arizona, Utah, and UCLA as the only schools who still don’t have a RB selected.
|5||4||Kyle Sweet||Washington State||WR||Gabey|
The big surprise of this round comes in the fact that Jeff selects the first defense already in Round 5. Full disclosure, he stepped away from his computer for a second and autodrafted. Still, it’s not the craziest pick when you consider how large the chasm is between the best defenses in the Pac-12 and the worst. Chris has the memory of last year’s Arizona-UW game ingrained in his head as he takes J.J Taylor over Nick Wilson for the Wildcats.
|6||2||Robert Lewis||Washington State||WR||Rob/Lucas|
The run on defenses begins here as both Ed and Chris take the D/ST from the Mountain schools. The wide receiver depth has started to dissipate as this marks the 3rd wide receiver taken from both Washington State and USC.
|7||2||James Williams||Washington State||RB||Jeff|
UCLA of the terrible 2016 running game finally has their starting RB taken by Ed in addition to a few backup runners in James Williams and Lavon Coleman. Chris becomes the first player to select a backup QB in taking Josh Rosen to go along with Jake Browning.
|8||3||Washington State D/ST||Washington State||D/ST||Gabey|
|8||5||Demario Richard||Arizona State||RB||Jeff|
Max finally takes a QB after being scared into action by Chris’s selection of Rosen last round. Another pair of defenses in Wazzu and USC are selected along with a pair of well used but not exclusively featured running backs in Demario Richard and Nick Wilson.
|9||4||Jake Luton||Oregon State||QB||Gabey|
|9||5||Jordan Villamin||Oregon State||WR||Rob/Lucas|
Shun Brown and Jordan Villamin’s selections mean that now every school has had at least one WR taken to this point. The same can now be said at running back with Chris’s selection of Utah back Zach Moss. Gabey dips into the backup QB pool to select Jake Luton.
|10||1||Erik Powell||Washington State||K||Chris|
|10||2||Gerard Wicks||Washington State||RB||Rob/Lucas|
|10||3||Isaiah Mack-Johnson||Washington State||WR||Gabey|
|10||6||Blake Barnett||Arizona State||QB||Ed|
The run on backup QBs really begins in earnest here as a trio of them close out the round in Keller Chryst, Troy Williams, and Blake Barnett. Chris also becomes the first player to select a kicker by taking Wazzu’s Erik Powell despite the fact that they rarely kick field goals.
|11||3||Arizona State D/ST||Arizona State||D/ST||Max|
|11||4||Thomas Tyner||Oregon State||RB||Gabey|
|11||6||Seth Collins||Oregon State||WR||Chris|
The first two backup D/ST are selected here with UCLA and Arizona State. We have officially entered the area of the draft where the true backup RBs are selected along with wide receivers who are viewed as potential breakout candidates.
|12||6||Steven Mitchell Jr.||USC||WR||Ed|
Rob selects the last projected starting QB to round out his roster in Chase Forrest. More depth wide receivers and the Bryce Love handcuff pick of Cameron Scarlett also get taken here.
|13||4||Osiris St. Brown||Stanford||WR||Gabey|
|13||5||Brandon Ruiz||Arizona State||K||Rob/Lucas|
Half the league take their kicker in this round, bucking proper technique for a standard NFL draft. But college kicking is so much more inconsistent that it’s unclear what the proper assessment of kickers should be in this format. Chris is clearly buying into the Salvon Ahmed hype as he takes him here.
|14||4||Joseph Lewis IV||USC||WR||Max|
|14||5||Jalen Harvey||Arizona State||WR||Jeff|
The only tight end drafted in Dalton Schultz goes to Ed to start off the draft. The running back depth is completely gone so everyone goes WR except for Gabey who takes her kicker here.
|15||2||Michael Adkins II||Colorado||RB||Jeff|
|15||4||Jamire Calvin||Washington State||WR||Gabey|
To close out the draft everyone takes a flier on a running back except for Ed and Gabey who take fliers on wide receivers. Fliers for everyone!
Here’s a final look at everyone’s roster at the conclusion of the draft.
Final Draft Rosters
|Position||Ed Strong||Jeff Gorman||Max Vrooman||Gabey Lucas||Rob/Lucas||Chris Landon|
|Position||Ed Strong||Jeff Gorman||Max Vrooman||Gabey Lucas||Rob/Lucas||Chris Landon|
|QB||Luke Falk||Sam Darnold||Brandon Dawkins||Steven Montez||Justin Herbert||Jake Browning|
|RB||Kalen Ballage||Ryan Nall||Phillip Lindsay||Myles Gaskin||Royce Freeman||Bryce Love|
|RB||Soso Jamabo||Tony Brooks-James||Ronald Jones II||Lavon Coleman||Jamal Morrow||Zack Moss|
|WR||Demetris Robertson||Tavares Martin||Dante Pettis||Shay Fields||Darren Carrington II||N'Keal Harry|
|WR||Charles Nelson||Deontay Burnett||Darren Andrews||Chico McClatcher||Jordan Lasley||Theo Howard|
|WR||Devin Ross||Bryce Bobo||Melquise Stovall||Kyle Sweet||Robert Lewis||Dillon Mitchell|
|FLEX||Nick Wilson||James Williams||Tre Watson||Tyler Vaughns||Raelon Singleton||Seth Collins|
|K||Michael Brown||Chris Graham||Matt Anderson||Aidan Schneider||Brandon Ruiz||Erik Powell|
|D/ST||Colorado D/ST||Washington D/ST||Stanford D/ST||Wazzu D/ST||USC D/ST||Utah D/ST|
|BENCH||Blake Barnett||Troy Williams||Keller Chryst||Jake Luton||Chase Forrest||Josh Rosen|
|BENCH||Trenton Irwin||Michael Adkins II||Beau Bisharat||Taj Griffin||Bolu Olorunfunmi||Stephen Carr|
|BENCH||Steven Mitchell Jr.||Demario Richard||Cameron Scarlett||Thomas Tyner||Aca'Cedric Ware||J.J Taylor|
|BENCH||Siaosi Wilson||Andre Baccellia||Shun Brown||Jamire Calvin||Gerard Wicks||J.J Arcega-Whiteside|
|BENCH||Dalton Schultz||Jalen Harvey||Joseph Lewis IV||Isaiah Mack-Johnson||Aaron Fuller||Michael Pittman Jr|
|BENCH||UCLA D/ST||Eldridge Massington||Arizona State D/ST||Osiris St. Brown||Jordan Villamin||Salvon Ahmed|
Now that the draft is over let’s hear from some of the participants about how it went:
Favorite Pick You Made:
Jeff Gorman: Really happy with the Tavares Martin pick. I think he’s the next Coug receiver to “blow up” in the Air Raid system, though over 700 and 7 TDs last year hardly makes him a secret. Getting him in round 3 was good value, plus I think I pissed off a fellow writer who wanted to select Mr. Martin next. Also really like the Tony Brooks-James pick. He doesn’t get the attention of Royce Freeman but still had 10 TDs last year.
Chris Landon: I had the last pick in the first round after thinking, initially, that I had the first pick of the first round. The top of my board was Jake Browning because a) he’s the shit and b) I wanted to win brownie points on the UWDP. Mission accomplished. I’m going to enjoy flaunting the fact that my colleagues felt strongly that PAC talents such as Luke Falk, Steven Montez and Royce Freeman all warranted higher picks than UW’s leading man.
Gabey Lucas: Chico McClatcher, because earlier this summer I got an email from some random person asking my thoughts on whether they should draft Chico in their office fantasy football league. I did not know this person but apparently I’ve established myself as the worldwide web’s premiere expert on McClatcher’s fantasy value and wanted to back that status up. Runner-up would be WR Shay Fields from Colorado because Max or Ed or Jeff or someone made it blatantly clear directly afterwards that they really wanted him. I won’t repeat their words because this is a family-friendly blog, or so I’m told.
Seriously though I just really like the thought that, of all the people in the entire world, someone thought I — a stranger from the internet with no apparent qualifications — was the go-to for their Chico McClatcher-specific questions. (For the record I’d like my tombstone to read “Loving daughter, aunt, and adviser to Steve from HR on Chico McClatcher’s projected 2017 stats.”)
Lucas/Rob: I’m actually pretty excited about the upside of WR Jordan Villamin, assuming he has a halfway decent QB throwing to him this year. Heading into his senior season, I’m expecting big things from the big wide out. Also, as much as it sucked to draft a Duck in the first round, from a purely fantasy standpoint I can’t be too upset walking away with Royce Freeman. Speaking of the Ducks, I was more than happy to draft WR Darren Carrington. The good news for my ego is that he is no longer a duck and will now be catching passes from Troy Williams (yikes) in the Utes new pass-happy offense.
Ed Strong: Sleeper pick TE Dalton Schultz in the 14th round, the only tight end drafted. Most of the Pac-12 doesn’t really use tight ends much at all, or at least not as receivers in the passing game. But Stanford’s offense is...slightly different. Like 1950’s Big Ten kind of different. Any old starting Stanford TE is a useful piece, but especially one with the athletic upside of Schultz.
Max Vrooman: Brandon Dawkins. Fun fact, Dawkins (22.83) and Jake Browning (22.84) had the same amount of average fantasy points per game last season. And that includes two games in which Dawkins only had a combined 13 passing attempts. And yet, I got Dawkins in the 8th round and Browning went in the 1st. From the standpoint of who would I rather root for, I’d pick Browning every time. But from a fantasy perspective I got a guy who is going to be nearly as good 7 rounds later. Everyone else took their QB early which gave me the chance to wait and allowed me to end up with 3 of the 12 starting RB’s in the conference as well as the best WR in Dante Pettis.
Most Frustrating Moment:
Jeff Gorman: Definitely getting a defense so early on auto draft. It’s definitely a strength to have a defense projected to be as good as UW is, but it wasn’t great value taking Death Row that high. I would have liked another WR instead of ending up with Baccellia later. Love Andre B, but I think Jake Browning is gonna spread it out so much more this year that outside of Dante Pettis I’m not sure any Husky receiver will get exceptional numbers.
Runner up goes to missing out on Phillip Lindsay. The 2016 conference rushing TD leader will have another huge year for Colorado in what will be a very balanced offense. I wanted Ryan Nall also, but I’m a touch worried about his health and that he’s going to be the primary focal point for every defense he faces.
Chris Landon: The way my board got laid out kept leaving me in positions to jump at guys who have great talent, but are being challenged by injury and schedule factors. Bryce Love was clearly the best RB available when I picked, but his first game in Australia happens before the fantasy season actually starts. Pittman, N’Keal and Seth Collins were all the best available when my turns came, but all are dealing with dings and nicks that might affect the early season.
Gabey Lucas: Ed picking Luke Falk because the Air Raid is prime fantasy material. &$%^ you, Ed. (Just kidding you can stay but also I hate you and will destroy you.)
Lucas/Rob: You play to win the game... That’s what I was telling myself anyway as I watched the timer count down and faced the reality of the best remaining options on the board in those first two rounds. I wasn’t too upset by the Royce Freeman pick, because I told myself I could swallow my pride and take potentially the best running back in the conference. But by the time my second pick came around and I saw the remaining QB options... that was a dark moment.
Ed Strong: I don’t know why I took the Colorado defense when I did. With the defenses of Stanford, Colorado, USC, and even Wazzu (!) still on the board, there were much more pressing issues to be taken care of. Like, maybe, some running back depth?
P.S. Gabey stole Shay Fields and I was mad.
Max Vrooman: I’ll be honest, I wanted to take Josh Rosen and Brandon Dawkins back to back in rounds 8 and 9 and feel comfortable that if Arizona decided that they wanted a good QB rather than a good fantasy QB that I would have Rosen in reserve. Instead I had to resort to taking Keller Chryst who is a significant step down.
Why You’re Going to Win It All (smack talk encouraged):
Jeff Gorman: Well, considering Sam Darnold has already sown up the Heisman and led USC to the 2017 National Championship before the season has even begun, his mere presence on my team makes victory a near certainty. I’m also really happy with my running back depth - aside from my small concerns about Nall. Tony Brooks-James, James Williams, and Demario Richard (crossing my fingers he recaptures 2015 form) all should have good years.
Chris Landon: Frankly, none of you bitches would be here if it were not for me. And, let’s be honest, you all created your draft boards off of the hard work I put into my Gekko Files scouting. I therefore had something to do with each of your rosters which means that no matter who wins, I won.
Gabey Lucas: Because if I lose it’ll make all women look bad so I’m more motivated to kick ass (or something like that). But also because I’ve got a monopoly on that sweet sweet Washington run game + at least one Air Raid receiver + a breakout USC skill guy. Also because Chris’ response to this is just him preemptively preparing to lose but save face doing it and the rest of you are all dweebs who wasted a valuable 5th round pick on #college kickers.
TL;DR: I’m cool and they’re all lame and seriously I hate you Ed for taking Luke Falk.
Lucas/Rob: Do we even want to win with this roster? A legitimate question weighing on our collective conscience. As a Husky fan first and foremost, I’m not proud of how that draft turned out. However, with potentially the best RB in the conference, a talented (but young) QB at the head of a dangerous offense, and good depth at WR, this team has a solid chance to win it all. Consider us the villains of the league and bring on the hate. We’re ready to crush some fantasy dreams.
Ed Strong: Having the least initial knowledge of all the participants, a lot of what I got went off of the Gekko Files rather than trusting my own opinion, which is probably a good idea. But, unlike Chris, I didn’t waste my 7th round pick on a QB I didn’t need just trying to spite Max, nor did I draft a Mike Leach kicker as the highest kicker in the draft. Expert scouting + using some common sense = winning.
Max Vrooman: Take your pick. Because I have the leading returning rusher for 4 Pac-12 teams on my roster. Because I have the leading returning receiver for 3 Pac-12 teams on my roster. Because I’m officially the commissioner of the league and if things go south I can use my commish powers to work some roster magic. Wait. Did I say that last one out loud?
Who Will Be the 1st UWDP Fantasy Champion?
This poll is closed
Lucas Shannon/Rob Foxcurran