NFLSFBStrategy

My First Scott Fish Bowl Experience

My First Scott Fish Bowl Experience

One of our writers, Liam Connolly, was able to get a place in the Scott Fish Bowl for the first time and written about the experience. He walks through his picks round by round.

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I think the title of this article says it all. Thanks to Scott Fish himself, Ryan McDowell and John Bosch for everything they do to put this great event every year. Plus all the great things they do through Fantasy Cares.

Seeing and being part of a community that raises so much money from one event is truly remarkable and we should all be proud of what we achieve, year in, year out.

This article will be explaining how I approached a fairly unique drafting experience and some of the decisions I made throughout the draft.

Hope you enjoy!

My First Scott Fish Bowl Experience – Pre-draft

Scott, for the first time in Scott Fish Bowl history, allowed drafters to pick a division and draft position slot. I managed to get my division and draft position preference, which made planning for my first SFBX a bit easier.

My division, the Hungry Hippos division was a tough one. Names like Scott Clark of ESPN, Lee Schechter of Bleacher Report and Chris Towers of CBS Sports were the headliners, among many other top minds in the fantasy football world. So, I knew I had to be on my game.

Two resources I used a ton was our own customisable stats sheet, including Value Based Drafting, which Rich put together and released before drafts started kicking off and Addison Hayes excellent stats database sheet from previous years, customised to SFBX scoring and ranking over the years.

Probably the best 84 pence I have spent.

From those resources, I had a draft board of 60 players who I was actively looking to target. This list took me about six to eight hours to finalise the weekend before draft day.

This was based on my realistic chances of drafting them at my position in the draft.

I ended up drafting 14 of those 60 players, which when your roster is made of 22 players, is a fairly significant amount. Some factors steered me away from this board however, so let’s dig into my draft.

For those interested, click here to view the draft board:

My First Scott Fish Bowl Experience – The Draft

Pick 1.05: Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas Cowboys

My first pick was pretty much a no-brainer for me. Zeke is my RB2 in my projections and the RB2 when it came to VBD only behind of course CMC so being able to draft him fifth overall was my ideal scenario for me.

No matter the scoring format, running backs are the hottest commodity in drafts this season and Zeke is arguably the most consistent performer in the whole position group.

In his four seasons in the league, Zeke has been a top 10 RB in SFBX scoring, with three of those seasons being top 5 finishes. This is alongside a clear path to 70-100 targets, showcased by his last two seasons of 71 and 95 targets respectively.

Pick 2.08: Miles Sanders – Philadelphia Eagles

Sticking in the NFC West with the next pick, I had to pull the trigger on Sanders here. Mark Andrews was another serious consideration at this spot but after discussing some strategy, doubling up on RBs was the move.

With no veteran backs signed so far, and reports suggesting that Sanders is entrenched as the Eagles starting back, the excitement around the sophomore in a Pederson offense is understandable. Like Zeke, Sanders has a clear path to 80+ targets and showed what he can do with a full workload in the fantasy playoffs last season.

I am ecstatic to have him as my RB2.

Pick 3.05: Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons

Not being able to get Mark Andrews at the 3.05 was disappointing after passing upon him for the aforementioned Mile Sanders.

Andrews was pretty high up on my board and this changed my strategy quite a bit regarding the tight end position, but we will get onto that later.

With my top three QBs off the board, it made sense for me to take the next QB up in Matty Ice.

Ryan has averaged a 65.15% completion rate on his passes throughout his NFL career which is a type of consistency that is gold in this SFBX QB scoring format, where a completion % of 66.7 or higher is ideal.

Although Ryan achieved a QB13 performance based on SFBX scoring, there is a typical pattern in his SFBX-based finishes since 2015.

  • 2015: QB17
  • 2016: QB2
  • 2017: QB14
  • 2018: QB2
  • 2019: QB13
  • 2020: QB??

If we follow this pattern, Ryan is set for a big year, inside and outside of my SFBX roster.

Pick 4.08: Calvin Ridley – Atlanta Falcons

After being sniped on Allen Robinson, pairing Ryan up with Ridley seemed a nice differential in a tournament where you need to stand out.

Ridley is a weird combination of a player that has such a safe floor as a WR2 in his offense but also the WR1 upside due to this offense being so high-powered and passing focused. Ridley’s numbers have consistently gone up every year he has been in the league, so this is likely to happen again in his third season.

Pick 5.05: Robert Woods – Los Angeles Rams

Dipping back into the receiver market saw Woods become my WR2. Like Ridley, Woods has some nice floor production in a high passing focused offense. With the severe lack of touchdowns that came Woods way in 2019 (2 in total), you would expect some positive regression coming the Rams receivers way.

When Woods saw the highest touchdown total of his career in 2018 with 6, he finished 10th in SFBX scoring. This was in comparison to WR16 last season so that TD positive regression will hopefully bump Woods up into WR1 conversation.

Pick 6.08: Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings

The pick of Cousins followed the same narrative as Ryan in many ways, besides the coincidental SFBX finishes. Cousins has an average 65.4% completion rate on his passes throughout his career and has been a consistent QB1 over the years in regards to SFBX scoring:

  • 2015: QB4
  • 2016: QB5
  • 2017: QB7
  • 2018: QB7
  • 2019: QB7
  • 2020: QB??

Having a QB like Cousins as my QB2, especially in the sixth round is an incredible value that I could not turn down.

Pick 7.05: DeAndre Swift – Detroit Lions

The original strategy for rounds 3-7 was to target wide receivers, but the value plays of Cousins and Swift brought up the need for adaptability, like is needed in most drafts.

Swift, although was not a player initially on my draft board, is a player that I am excited about having as my RB3.

He joins a Detroit team who have a glaring need for him, with Kerryon Johnson proving over time that he cannot be relied upon to be a feature back over 16+ games.

Swift throughout his college career as a Bulldog has shown all the traits to be a prime feature back in this league. My hope with the draft capital invested in him, that Patricia will put Swift to work from day one.

Pick 8.08 – Julian Edelman – New England Patriots

Drafting Edelman as the WR31 may seem like a reach to some, but as I said in some group chats after the pick, that does not bother me.

With the extra points for first downs, Edelman is the perfect type of receiver for this format considering in his last seven seasons in the league, his yards per reception average is 10 or over.

Edelman is Belichick’s ever-reliable and now with Cam Newton at the wheel, he will comfortably see the boatload of targets he has been seeing when Brady was the man in Foxborough.

Pick 9.05: Hayden Hurst – Atlanta Falcons

After being sniped on Hunter Henry at the 8.05, there was no way I was letting a player of Hurst’s talent and opportunity pass me up in the ninth round. This allowed me to complete my ultimate Falcons stack of QB-WR-TE.

I spoke a fair bit earlier in the offseason about whether I felt Ridley or Hurst would benefit the most this season from the departure of Austin Hooper. In the end, I was fairly undecided. So, I decided to just draft both players, so I benefit either way, if not from both.

At the end of the day, Matt Ryan is going to throw the ball a lot, perhaps more than he ever has. If Hurst sees anywhere close to the 97 targets Hooper saw last season, I think he will return plenty of value for me as the TE11.

Pick 10.08: Phillip Lindsay – Denver Broncos

Lindsay was one of the backs I had many circles around on my board due to his dual-threat shown over past seasons. Both seasons he has been in the league, Lindsay has rushed for over 1,000 yards and had 35 receptions. The signing of Melvin Gordon does not worry me one bit regarding Lindsay’s workload.

If Lindsay can return anything around an RB20 performance like he did last season in SFBX scoring, I will be very happy.

Pick 11.05: Preston Williams – Miami Dolphins

My first and only Dolphin! Williams almost matched DeVante Parker’s numbers last season when they were both on the field before he tore his ACL.

On average, Williams saw 7.5 targets a game in his rookie season with Rosen and Fitzpatrick under centre for Miami in a struggling offense at the start of last season.

His numbers do not jump off the board, but the film junkies (or if you just watch too much Dolphins football) will know how good Williams is.

With Chan Gailey under the helm and Fitzpatrick still expected to start the season as the number one QB, I would expect the field to open up a bit more for the likes of Williams.

If he bounces back from injury quickly, he can achieve his high upside.

Pick 12.08: Blake Jarwin – Dallas Cowboys

A player broken down in my NFC Breakout Candidates piece, I loved me a bit of #AlwaysJarwin in the twelfth round.

The departing receiving options in Dallas over the offseason leaves 190 targets up for grabs. This, plus the signing of Blake Bell and the departure of Jason Witten gives Jarwin the freedom of a starting tight end role that only focuses on the receiving game.

Witten with the Cowboys last season was the TE11 in SFBX scoring and is someone who should have finished a lot higher with the volume he had (83 targets, 63 receptions).

If Jarwin can match this volume, plus make the most of his red-zone targets, I give him every chance of breaking into the top 5 for tight end options in this scoring format.

Pick 13.05: Duke Johnson – Houston Texans

Johnson is one of the most valuable handcuffs in 2020 fantasy football.

Johnson’s only obstacle to a full workload is, in fact, another Johnson in David Johnson, a running back who has been riddled with injuries and inconsistent play for years.

I am not one to wish for injuries but I do hope that my Johnson beats out the other Johnson.

Pick 14.08: Nick Foles – Chicago Bears

I am not sure how comfortable I am having Foles as my QB3. Other QB targets on my board like Teddy Bridgewater, who is another QB who will excel in this format and Dwayne Haskins, who is a QB I am high on were both taken before I was willing to pull the trigger on them. So, I cannot complain too much.

I am pretty confident Foles will beat out Mitch Turbisky to the starting role under centre in Chicago. He will be marshalling a fairly underrated Bears offense, who can all produce with a solid QB conducting them. Hopefully, Foles can be that QB.

The fact I may have to only start Foles a maximum of two weeks puts me at ease a bit for my lack of a solid QB3. With Ryan and Cousins are proven key performers in this scoring format helps also.

Pick 15.05: Randall Cobb – Houston Texans

People are sleeping for Cobb, for real.

DeShaun Watson has been giving a bunch of deep threats who are constantly on the sidelines, or not good enough to have a feature role in this offense. Brandin Cooks may be an exception to that generalisation, but he is not someone I am comfortable in drafting at all.

Cobb can be that guy underneath for Watson. Watson has needed an option for a while and Cobb can absorb targets that will be opened up by Cooks and/or Fuller.

Bill O’Brien needs to make the most of that $9 million they are paying him this season.

Pick 16.08: Damien Harris – New England Patriots

Pretty much a straight handcuff move here. Was surprised Harris fell to me considering backs like Gio Bernard and Anthony McFarland went before him.

Michel’s health is something that is very concerning heading into training camps. Michel had foot surgery in June and has been recovering at the team’s facilities the past few weeks. My confidence in him starting Week One is not great and Harris is the man to slot in for Michel is his absence in my opinion.

Pick 17.05: Steven Sims Jr – Washington

A favoured red zone target of Haskins down the stretch last season, with four touchdowns in the final three games of the season, Sims Jr is ready to take the next step up in this offense.

Over the same game period referred to for Sims, he saw a 29% target share from now sophomore QB Haskins. I am expecting Haskins to be a much better QB this season and develop alongside his passing options.

For a seventh round pick, Sims is worth every penny at this price.

Pick 18.08: Darren Fells – Houston Texans

My ideal TE3 options in Ian Thomas and Jack Doyle flew pretty quickly off the board after my Jarwin pick. So I was made to wait for my TE3, and I was happy with who I got.

Fells was someone that piqued my interest when undergoing my research. Initially signed as a blocking TE for DeShaun Watson, Fells stumbled himself into a TE18 finish in SFBX scoring last season.

I ultimately only need Fells for one week this season, and that is Week 10 when Hurst and Jarwin are on their bye week. Who are Fells and the Texans facing in Week 10? The Cleveland Browns, who ranked 29th out of 32 teams at defending the tight end last season.

Pick 19.05: Chase Claypool – Pittsburgh Steelers

A rookie with big red-zone upside if Big Ben takes a liking to him early on.  He may even become Pittsburgh’s outside weapon opposite of Diontae Johnson with Juju Smith-Schuster returning to the slot this season. Either way, Claypool has one of the clear paths to a workload this season.

Pick 20.08: JaMychal Hasty – San Francisco 49ers

Hasty immediately came onto my board following the Mostert news breaking out. And we would have probably been on my radar even without that news.

Backs like McKinnon has always had health issues and Coleman has had his chance in the past in a Shanahan backfield, not succeeding, so why not load up the rookie.

Shanahan tends to stay with the hot hand and if the rookie coming out of Baylor gets a chance, he could have a featured role in a high-powered rushing offense.

Pick 21.05: Marquise Goodwin – Philadelphia Eagles

Following the DeSean Jackson news, felt drafting Goodwin was worth the punt.

However, now that it looks like Jackson is staying in Philly, I will probably be dropping Goodwin for a TE4 come Week One. There are plenty of tight ends still on my draft board who I would happily pick up. Jacksonville is a key focus for me at the moment. I will re-evaluate this later on.

Pick 22.08: Quintez Cephus – Detroit Lions

I used my last pick on a player that I think will be huge in the playoffs. Plus I did not want to have a FAAB bidding war.

One injury to Marvin Jones Jr, who for the past two seasons has suffered season-ending injuries and Cephus is the WR2 in a Matthew Stafford offense.

Cephus shows similar qualities to Golladay in his college career and will be a nice possession receiver for the Lions going forward.

My First Scott Fish Bowl Experience – Summary

So that concludes my first Scott Fish Bowl draft! Consistency was the name of the game in the early rounds, drafting players I knew can produce and have produced in this scoring format in the past. After that, it is all about upside.

Looking forward to the season kicking off for real now! In the meantime, I have quite a few drafts left to compete in, starting with the Steve Raynes Bowl this Saturday.

If you are still drafting, I hope this helped you in some way and go and grab those late-round gems!

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