Pinstripe Bowl returned to Ladies and Edelman for their second season, hoping to put their miserable 8-8 non-playoff record in the past.
The league expanded by two teams in the offseason, so the dog fight to secure a playoff spot will be even meaner this season.
Unlike fantasy baseball, which had two drafts* this spring, we held our one and only live draft on Sunday, September 6, 2020.
We dropped down a spot in the draft order from last season, selecting 5th overall this year. In the snake draft, our picks came in at 5, 16, 25, 36, 45, 56, 65, 76, 85, 96, 105, 116, 125, 136, 145, 156.
Before the draft, our general manager participated in two mock drafts with poor grades, D+ and C+, which did not provide a great deal of confidence heading into the main event.
In case you are a new follower of the franchise, Pinstripe Bowl was born Dawn of the Patriots in 2014. The pillars of our team have been four key New England Patriots, Tom Brady (QB), Julian Edelman (WR), Stephen Gostinski (K), and Rob Gronkowski (TE). As of today, only Edelman remains on the team. In six seasons of playing fantasy football, which still doesn’t include a championship, we have always stuck by those guys. As draft day approached, our game plan finally changed and did not include any of those marquee players.
When the clock started on Pinstripe Bowl’s first selection, we grabbed the fifth-best running back available, Derrick Henry (Tennesee). He was the top-rated back available at this point since Christian McCaffrey (Carolina) went first overall, followed by Saquon Barkley (New York), Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas), and Alvin Kamara (New Orleans).
The first round concluded with Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB – Kansas City), Michael Thomas (WR – New Orleans), Dalvin Cook (RB – Minnesota), Davante Adams (WR – Green Bay), and Tyreek Hill (WR – Kansas City).
Our next pick in the second round was probably our biggest steal. With the 16th overall selection, we snagged Josh Jacobs, running back from the Las Vegas Raiders. They say that most fantasy leagues rally heavy on running backs for points, so we loaded up with two of the game’s elite.
As we entered the third round, Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City) went right off, as the 21st overall pick, to Cleveland Steamerz. He was the first quarterback taken in this year’s draft. When our turn came again at 25th, standout wide receiver Kenny Golladay was our man.
In the fourth round, armed with two running backs and one wide receiver to this point, we selected Odell Beckham, Jr from the Cleveland Browns. The jury is out on that selection since the Browns are always a mess, yet this guy still manages to be a force to reckon with in fantasy.
By the time the draft had entered into the fifth round, we were still trying to figure out our identity. Other teams were beginning to select their tight ends and quarterbacks, yet we selected another wide receiver with the 45th overall pick. DJ Clark Jr. (Jacksonville) joined the receiving corps, which outnumbered running backs 3-2 at this point.
As players had we lined up in our draft queue began to disappear, we made a franchise-altering selection in the sixth round. We put our faith in Kyler Murrary from the Arizona Cardinals to replace Tom Brady as our main guy. When his name came off the big board, we got a message informing us that we had just ruined another team’s offensive plans since they were structuring their team around the second-year quarterback. That text boosted our confidence in our selection.
The draft rolled into the seventh round, and we selected another running back; this time, it was Cam Akers’ name we called. The Los Angeles Rams tailback gave us a loaded starting five and could be a key building block for our bench.
Usually, our fantasy teams are heavy with players from one or two NFL teams. So far, we do not have any teammates in our lineup, so hopefully, this new strategy will bring us bigger rewards in 2020.
The only player to return to our franchise for another tour of duty is Stefon Diggs (Buffalo), our 76th pick in the eighth round. Diggs recently left Minnesota and landed in Buffalo. He looks to spark some instant chemistry with Josh Allen, selected by the defending league champions Lamar the Merrier with the very next pick.
Pinstripe Bowl selected their tight end in the ninth round. At that particular position, the talent pool was beginning to dwindle, so we had chosen the best of the rest, Hunter Henry, from the Los Angeles Chargers.
By the 10th round, we had secured our starting lineup, so it was time to build a bench filled with players who could step in at any time to help us win games. Diontae Johnson (WR – Pittsburgh) was our next selection, followed by Brandin Cook (WR – Houston) in the eleventh round.
The only New England Patriots player to make the team this season was running back Sony Michel. We vowed to not load up on Patriots because of the transition period the franchise finds themselves today. Only Julian Edelman interested us out of the current lineup, but he was long gone, having been selected early in the ninth round. At no point did we even consider new quarterback Cam Netwon, but we did keep an eye on Tom Brady, who went in the tenth round, one spot ahead of his best friend, Rob Gronkowski.
Armed with only four picks left to select by the 13th round, we grabbed another wide receiver, this time going to South Bend, where Anthony Miller (Chicago) was available. That brought our team total to seven wideouts and three running backs.
When the draft entered the 14th round, we selected our defence, the New Orleans Saints. The black and gold were the sixth defensive selection, after San Francisco (8th), Pittsburgh (8th), Baltimore (9th), Chicago (11th), and Buffalo (13th).
Since our league rolls out a wide receiver/running back/tight end flex position, we grabbed another receiver in the 15th round. Preston Williams from the Miami Dolphins joined the team with our second to the last pick.
Kickers dominated the final round with six of the ten selections. To keep up with the Jones’, we selected our kicker, Dan Bailey (Minnesota), with our last pick in the 16th round. Three defensive units and one running back rounded out the final 10 picks.
To be quite honest, we had no plan for this year’s draft. We vaguely laid out some ground rules and rolled the dice to see where they landed. As outlined earlier, we decided to break up with our usual selections and didn’t want a single pair of teammates, something we accomplished. It seems variety wins you championships and while keeping you competitive week in and week out.
Those strategies appeared to work on paper since Yahoo Fantasy gave us the highest draft report card ever.
The experts seem to like our team, while upper management will spend some weeks learning the roster. Many of these selections were based on projected points based on last season’s performances. While the clock winded down for the next pick, we just browsed the stats and sorted the columns based on what we valued, relying heavy on touchdowns and yards. People who follow the NFL on a much deeper level than we do may be able to tell you everything about our guys, but except for the household names like Henry, Beckham Jr, and Diggs, we don’t know much about them.
Having said all that, this team doesn’t appear to be all that bad since we are projected to be the second-best team in our league. Prior experience will tell us differently since a few years ago, we were 8-0, the only undefeated team left standing, who then lost all their remaining games and bowed out in the first round.
Predictions provide you with some hope and give you an idea if you did a good job drafting. In no way, shape or form should you take these numbers seriously. Injuries are the number one killer for fantasy sports, and with only 16 games to play every year, if a star player misses three or four games, it turns into a gut-check moment on whether or not to keep them on the team or find the next diamond in the rough to replace him.
According to Yahoo’s early matchup predictions, Pinstripe Bowl is on pace for an 11-3 season, where they should score 1754.75 points while surrendering 1704.82 points.
We will spare you all the pictures and just break down the critical projected stats for you to read.
As a team, we are supposed to amass a total of 3640.09 fantasy points. We know that most of those points will not come from Kyler Murray, who is supposed to be the second worse quarterback in the league (369.77). We are projected to finish slightly ahead of the champions Lamar the Merrier, in this category.
Even though we are a team made up of primary wide receivers, we should only score the second-highest amount of points in the category, 1853.06, which is some 40+ points behind Lamar for the top spot.
According to early projections, half of the league will score over 1000 points from their running backs. We didn’t make it to the century mark, coming up short at 976.83. Chod’s team is supposed to smoke all of us with his 1430.64 points, while WATCH WHAT U SAQUON won’t even collect 500 with just 435.05.
Since we only drafted one tight end and took him rather late in the draft, we will be among the lower teams in that department. Our projected 177.65 points will only be good for eighth overall, a mere 14 points out of the last spot, and several hundred out of first, 459.67 Clayton’s Team.
In the final two categories of importance, kickers and defence, we should finish in the middle of the pack in each category. Our kickers should net a total of 133.40 points for sixth overall, while our defence should tackle their way to 129.38 points, good for fourth-best.
Fantasy Football is the closest I’ve ever come to winning a championship and earning back my league fees. Of course, it was all beginner’s luck since I went to the dance in my first season in 2014. Since then, I’ve been all over the map, securing playoff spots with impressive records only to fizzle out under pressure. I’ve also had the worse team in our league by sticking to my guns about drafting players I like instead of playing with some logic.
Here’s hoping for a successful 2020 fantasy football campaign and a playoff spot.