When I get in the car I like to get to my destination as easily and quickly as possible. When I am in line I want the line to move as quickly as possible. When I am at work I like to accomplish tasks as timely as possible. I believe the technical term for it is impatience. However, the one place I have learned to exercise some patience is with my fantasy teams. This is something that has been a struggle for me over the years as I want to fix any holes on my team now.
I recently joined the first startup of the year for DSE (d28) and our draft began around the beginning of July. I was hoping that I would be lucky enough to get an early rookie pick, not because I am in love with this rookie class, but so I could trade it and pick up some extra picks. I ended up with the 9th pick which was not ideal. I went to the message board and let my league mates know the pick was available. The response was minimal at best. As the draft got closer some more interest arose and I was eventually able to strike a deal. I gave up my 1.09 rookie pick and got back rookie 2.10, free agent (FA) picks 7.10 and 8.03 and a 2018 rookie 2nd round pick.
After this happened a little light went off in my head. If I could show some patience I felt as though I might be able to make some beneficial deals. What I realized was that in a startup draft everyone is super excited, wants to make deals and is eager to get their guys. You see this frequently in the NFL where teams have executives who know they must win now to keep their jobs. Patriots coach Bill Belichick is a master as using others urgency to acquire more assets for his team while oftentimes still getting the player he wants. I decide I was going to try to utilize this approach when I looked at the draft pool and I felt as though there was a lot of depth in the 7-10 rounds. I also felt that adding extra picks might allow me to trade up if there was someone I really wanted without severely hurting my draft capital. Below I am going to walk through the other four trades I made during the first 5 rounds of the draft.
Traded FA pick 1.04 for FA pick 1.07, 4.12 and a 2018 rookie 1st round pick
Once the first three picks in the draft went (David Johnson, Ezekiel Elliott and Le’Veon Bell) I realized I was in a good position at 1.04 with Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Mike Evans and Odell Beckham all on the board. When I put that I was open to a deal up on the message board I was excited that I got interest from someone in the middle part of the first round and I could make a deal where I would still be able to get one of these four WRs. The key to this deal to me was picking up the 2018 rookie 1st round pick. Beyond giving me an extra asset to use for a trade during the season it also is a valuable piece to have as next year’s draft class has a lot of talent, especially at QB.
Traded FA pick 2.09, 4.12 and 7.10 for FA pick 1.09
Because I had acquired a bunch of extra picks earlier I was able to make this deal to get into position to acquire a second top tier WR (Michael Thomas) without depleting my draft capital. This was a tough deal to get done because it meant the other owner dropped a full round from 1.09 to 2.09, but my willingness to give up two fairly high picks (4th and 7th rounders) was crucial to get him to say yes.
Traded FA pick 3.04 for FA picks 3.09 and 7.09
When I got back on the board at 3.04 there wasn’t a player that I was in love with. As a result I decided to put my pick on the block to see if I could pick up another asset or two. When this deal came up I was excited because it meant I only had to move down a few spots and was able to pick up an extra 7th round pick. As I mentioned earlier, I felt like there was a lot of talent that was going to be available in the 7th round range.
Traded FA picks 4.09 and 7.09 for FA picks 5.07, 6.06 and 12.06
This was another scenario where when my turn on the clock came up I wasn’t in love with the options I had available. I also felt like the player I would have taken in this spot (Golden Tate) would be available a bit later, and even if I didn’t end up getting him I wouldn’t have been heartbroken. This also allowed me to add an extra pick in the 6th and the 12th rounds which I felt offered a good opportunity to build some solid depth on my roster.
The end result of all of this trading was I ended up making two 1st round picks, no second, a 3rd, no 4th, two 5th round picks, two 6th round picks, a 7th and two 8th round picks. In addition, I was able to acquire an extra 1st and 2nd round rookie pick for 2018. Having all of these picks allowed me to build some depth at quite a few positions. Here is what my roster looked like after 12 rounds including rookie picks.
Drew Brees and Philip Rivers
Isaiah Crowell, Ty Montgomery, C.J. Anderson, James Conner, Jamaal Williams
Julio Jones, Michael Thomas, Golden Tate, Cameron Meredith, Pierre Garcon, Zay Jones
Zach Ertz and Delanie Walker
Lavonte David, Von Miller and Benardick McKinney, Haason Reddick
Honestly, while this team has some nice depth at all of these positions I am sure I missed on some of these picks. The value of having this level of depth is that even if I did miss on a couple of these picks I should be still be ok. What Bill Belichick has learned over the years, and what I tried to do, is no matter how much you research you are going to miss on picks. Things happen like injuries or poor performance. Like with anything in life, the more chances you have to get something right the more likely you are to get something right. Building depth early in a draft also means you don’t have to “reach” for players later to fill an area in need. Looking at my team above after the 12th round there wasn’t one specific area that I had to chase during the rest of the draft. I was able to evaluate the players on the board and draft the player I thought was the best available no matter what position.
When you go into your drafts, whether they are a startup or not, consider being patient when others are not. If your turn comes up on the clock and you don’t like the options there reach out and see what someone is willing to give you. You never know unless you ask. Not only will this approach allow you to build more depth for your team, but it will also allow you to have assets should you want to move up for a specific player or for an in-season trade. Even if you are like me and lack patience if you can learn to exercise just a little bit of patience you can find some good results for your team in the end. It turns out the old adage that “patience is a virtue” might actually be accurate after all.