The Scott Fish Bowl Chronicles: Day 1
On Monday, July 6, Scott Fish Bowl 10 (SFBX) kicked off, one of the biggest days of the fantasy football calendar. Hosted by Scott Fish, the slow draft (8-hour time limit per pick) is one of the industry’s biggest events, spanning 120 divisions of 12 teams each, all vying for the overall championship. The league is made up of fantasy football’s best analysts, as well as some lucky fans, making it a highly sought after invite. QB List was lucky enough to receive two entries, as Colin Weatherwax and I made the cut.
The rules are complicated, and I could spend the whole article breaking them down, but the short version is this; SFBX is a superflex league with three additional flex spots, 0.5 PPR, 0.5 points per first down (rushing and receiving), and tight end premium scoring that awards the position a full point per first down and per reception. The quarterback position rewards efficient passers, as quarterbacks lose a point per sack and a point per incompletion while gaining 0.5 points per completion. With 6 points per touchdown and -4 points per interception, this format really does reward the best “real life” quarterbacks. The goal of this format is to make all of the positions equal, and Scott did an excellent job of achieving that goal.
The best part of all of this? It’s for a good cause. In the past, all money donated went to Fantasy Cares, but this year Scott opened up donations to whatever cause was most important to us. Please donate to your favorite charity if you are able, and tag Scott Fish on Twitter.
To begin this day-one rundown let’s start at 4 am ET on Monday, as Colin and I joined the SFBPodathon, a 24-hour live event that had raised over $35,000 at the time of this writing.
QB List Joins the Scott Fish Bowl Podathon
The SFBPodathon featured an all-star lineup of fantasy football analysts, so Colin and I were happy to grab a slot wherever we could. At 4 am on the east coast, we found ourselves kicking off the second act of the live stream on Youtube, so you can easily listen to us right up top. The 30-minute spot preceded an appearance by Fantasy Football Down Under, at what was likely a much more reasonable time of the day to record a podcast in Australia. Major props to Sal Leto, Kevin Cutillo, and Steven Marcuz for hosting this event for a continuous 24 hours, and blowing past their goal of raising $10,000 for charity. We had Sal on our podcast last week if you want to hear more of his story.
Colin’s Picks: Popples Division
Oh, did I mention that all of the divisions are named after toys? According to Wikipedia, Popples “resemble brightly colored marsupial teddy bears with long tails ending in a pom-pom. Each Popple character transforms to resemble a brightly colored ball”. Sounds perfect for Colin.
Colin’s first pick broke nicely for him, as the consensus top four of Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, Patrick Mahomes, and Lamar Jackson (in no particular order) was interrupted by Yahoo’s Liz Loza taking Dak Prescott 3rd overall as the QB2 behind Mahomes. As you can see, the scoring settings make this a draft unlike any that I’ve participated in. At pick 7, Colin had his choice of the last of the elite running backs, either of the elite tight ends, the number one wide receiver, or any quarterback outside of the top 3. If you listened to our SFBX podcast, you probably know where he was going with this pick.
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From Colin: “Coming into the draft I had one target at 1.07 and one target only. If Alvin Kamara hadn’t been there at pick 7, I would have needed to do something crazy. Kamara is one of the best values in the draft in my opinion. With Mahomes and Lamar being top 5 picks in this format, and the consensus top running backs being McCaffrey, Barkley, and Elliott, all I needed was for someone to jump up over Kamara for him to fall to me. Prescott was that player in this draft as he was taken 3rd overall. Kamara has a legitimate chance to be the RB1 in fantasy this year with positive TD regression and another year under Sean Payton and Drew Brees, and Kamara is in store for a huge year.” In Round 2, Colin saw another of his favorites fall to him.
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From Colin: “My love for Miles Sanders knows no bounds. I was all in on him last year and even drafted him in the first round of a dynasty startup this offseason. I knew coming into the draft that I wanted to lock up my top running back positions with studs, and wanted to avoid the injured or risky guys like Leonard Fournette or Todd Gurley as my RB2. So when my pick came up I had to choose between Sanders, Nick Chubb, Josh Jacobs, or Kenyan Drake. Sanders has the clearest path to the most usage out of all of those listed as Chubb has to deal with Kareem Hunt, Jacobs has Jalen Richard (signed a contract extension in offseason) and rookie Lynn Bowden Jr. to potentially cut into the receiving work, and Drake could be a fluke from a few good weeks late in the season last year. Sanders has the talent to be an RB1 in this league and this is the year he proves it.” Sanders is one of Colin’s favorite picks this year, and it is easy to see why. Sanders saw 63 targets in the passing game during his rookie year on a depleted Eagles team, including five or more targets in each of his last six games. With two versatile, pass-catching running backs in the first two rounds, Colin can now address the quarterback position while nabbing any receiver values that fall into his lap.
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What did I say about wide receiver values falling into Colin’s lap? From Colin: “Coming into the 3rd round, I figured that I would need to take a look at the quarterback position or take a value wide receiver in this spot. I considered both Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan but ultimately noticed that only three receivers were picked between my Sanders pick and my next pick. Seeing Chris Godwin at this spot was not something I was expecting but was very interested in him. Coming off of an incredible year last year, he gets the GOAT (Tom Brady) coming to Tampa Bay throw to him. I believe Godwin will be the receiver that Brady turns to most in times of need, and at the goal line when Rob Gronkowski is double covered. Godwin is in store for another excellent fantasy season.” With quarterbacks and tight ends pushed up draft boards in SFBX, and our constant need for bell-cow running backs in 2020, there’s ample opportunity for receivers to fall in these drafts. While there is certainly some concern about Godwin’s ability to get on the same page as Brady in this crazy offseason, grabbing a 24-year-old wide receiver with a 1300 yard season to his name in Round 3 is a great value. I personally expect Godwin’s skillset to match more closely with Brady’s than fellow receiver Mike Evans, though Evans is a value in the 3rd round as well. I’m becoming jealous of Colin’s team.
Erik’s Picks: Polly Pocket Division
I had already heard of Polly Pocket, unlike Popples, but let’s go to Wikipedia anyway. “The original Polly Pocket toys were plastic cases which opened to form a dollhouse or other playset with Polly Pocket figurines less than an inch tall. The dolls folded in the middle, like the case, and had circular bases which slotted into holes in the case interior, allowing them to stand securely at particular points in the house.” Smart, compact, versatile, sounds like a winner to me.
With pick 1.12 at the end of the first round, I drew a difficult draft slot in SFBX. In a league prone to runs on positions like this one, especially at the quarterback position, I was left with a difficult choice at the first/second round turn. Take a quarterback earlier than I typically like, or pass on the position and leave myself vulnerable to the whims of my league-mates over the next 22 picks. Another worry of mine was passing on an elite quarterback option at the 1/2 turn, only to be forced into taking mediocre quarterback options earlier than I would like in the following rounds. My ideal scenario was for Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook to fall to me, as I like Henry more than usual with the added 0.5 points per rushing first down (Henry ranked 3rd in rushing first downs in 2019) and I’m happy to take on the holdout and injury risk with Cook for his elite upside. So what happened? Not what I expected. Since I’m on the turn, I’ll include two rounds at once.
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Michael Thomas falling to me at pick 12 overall was a bit of a blessing as well as a curse. Getting the clear-cut WR1 at the end of the first round is the type of value that I’ll take all-day in a league like this, especially given the three flex spots I can fill on a weekly basis. However, taking a wide receiver was not the type of roster build that I was looking for. As you can see, only two more wide receivers were taken in the first two rounds. The wide receiver position is loaded with depth, and the top-end options are being pushed down draft boards as a result. Locked into a receiver value that I couldn’t pass on, I was left with the difficult decision of whether to target a quarterback or a running back at 2.01.
I strongly considered pairing Drew Brees with Thomas for a stack that can be a smart strategy in a massive field tournament like this. Brees, after all, has been an elite option with these scoring settings due to his efficiency. But ultimately there were two things that held me back from rostering Brees. For one, the thought of taking a 41-year-old at the start of the second round made me sick to my stomach. The end tends to come quickly with these older quarterbacks, and I don’t particularly want my second-round pick to be this near the end of his career. And secondly, while the idea of waiting 22 picks to have another shot at my first quarterback was worrisome, doing the same at running back sounded even worse. I’ve poked holes in Joe Mixon‘s 2019 season in the past, and he doesn’t seem to be developing that pass-catching role that we need for him to be an elite-tier running back. But this is a bet on Joe Burrow as much as anything else, and I’m hoping Mixon picks up passing game work with his best quarterback to date, or at least scores more touchdowns in a more efficient offense. Now I cross my fingers and wait to see what is left for me at the 3/4 turn.
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I caught a big break in my draft with Carson Wentz making it back to me at 3.12. I would have been fine with Aaron Rodgers or Matt Stafford here, but Wentz is the one that doesn’t feel like a reach. Wentz’s points per game dipped last year, but he was playing with a decimated receiving corps down the stretch led by Greg Ward. With talented pass-catchers at tight end and running back already, the Eagles made investments at wide receiver, and merely competent play from that group could turn Wentz back into a top-half QB1. I now feel like I have survived my decision to pass on a quarterback in the first two rounds, and my draft opens up a bit despite the restrictions caused by drafting on the turn.
With my next pick, I briefly considered stacking Wentz with Zach Ertz or doubling up at quarterback with Rodgers. But I love Mike Evans, he’s got an excellent track record in this format, and I still think Brady can get him the ball. While the offense may not resemble the school-yard style of Jameis Winston, Evans is too talented for Brady to not give him opportunities. This isn’t N’Keal Harry here. Evans has an ADP more in the 46 range so far, so this is technically a slight reach. But on the turn like this, you can’t focus on ADP too much. I want no part of Fournette or Melvin Gordon, and it feels one round too early for James Connor or Chris Carson. Overall, I’m happy with my roster despite a couple of really disappointing running back snipes (Cook by one pick in the 1st and Jonathan Taylor by one pick in the 3rd). I have the flexibility to go a couple of different ways, including continuing to bolster my wide receiver corps as the values make it back to me.
Check back tomorrow as I recap more picks from the Popples and Polly Pocket divisions of SFBX. And don’t forget to donate to a good cause if you are able!
(Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire)