32 Teams: A Fantasy Empire, Part 2
If I had one word to describe a 32-team draft, I would say “madness.” This two and a half week long draft took so much patience. Waiting for people to trade, get off work, and remembering to check their draft was a challenge in itself. At the end of the draft, I felt satisfied. It was even more satisfying having a team that can seriously contend.
In part one, I reviewed my strategy heading into such an unprecedented draft. Essentially, I knew my first few rounds had to be dedicated to getting young, elite offensive players. During the draft, I was able to trade for two additional first-round picks on top of my original one. I traded for the 1.03 (Lamar Jackson, QB BAL) and the 1.32 (Travis Kelce, TE KC). From my original spot, 22, I drafted A.J. Brown, WR TEN.
Having a top quarterback and tight end make for a huge advantage. Tight end is very thin at the position, yet required to play, plus a top QB makes for an elite superflex play. Guaranteed to have top-performing weeks, my trades were worth it. Jackson and a 2020 10th round pick were acquired with my 2020 2nd, 4th, and a 2021 1st. Kelce, a 10th, and a 20th round pick was acquired with my 3rd, 5th, and 8th round pick.
Of course, that was a huge price to pay. At this point, I had Kelce, Brown, and Jackson but at the cost of having no picks until the 6th round. My next trade had to be another trade up. I couldn’t wait that many rounds in a league this big. The next two moves I made were my best moves yet. When the 4th round came, I came up with the strategy of sending the same trade to ALL 31 other franchises. It became very evident in a league this big, sending a trade to the whole league almost always resulted in someone accepting.
I sent a 6th and a 9th round pick for a 4th round pick and immediately traded that same 4th round pick for a 5th and 8th. Just like that, I traded a 6th and 9th for a 5th and 8th at the cost of nothing. I was starting to feel much better about my team and the direction this draft was going. I no longer had to wait until the 6th round. My 5th was 5.09. At this point, I knew I needed to be on the starting end of an inevitable IDP (individual defensive player) run. With the 169th pick of the draft, I took Chase Young, DL WAS.
Of course, the IDP run went for several rounds afterward. After a couple more trades, I had acquired Arik Armstead (DE/DL, SF) at 6.16 and my favorite steal of the draft, Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, PIT, only four picks later at 6.20. I was ecstatic about the value of these young IDP studs. My next pick was at 7.20, which turned into Justin Houston, DL/LB, IND, who I am able to use in the linebacker or defensive line slot on my roster.
I had one more player in mind to bring my IDP stack to the next level. Scrolling through all the IDP players, I noticed Tre’Davious White, a top defensive back was still available. My problem; I would have to wait two full rounds, a total of sixty-six picks, before getting the chance to draft White. Luckily, no one noticed he was there or no one was very high on him. I smashed the draft button to take White and bring my IDP depth to the next level.
IDP in a league this big is as important as my offense. My bench consists of mostly IDP pieces. Coming up in the next part of this wild series, I review the middle rounds of the draft. The beginning parts of a draft are the foundation of your team but the middle and late rounds bring you championships. In a league this big, every pick counts!