32 Teams: A Fantasy Empire, Part 4

The final rounds… I didn’t have a single pick in the 17th, 18th, or 19th round. Ninety-six players were going to be picked as I watched the draft board slowly fill with color. All I could do was hope there were players worth picking in the last eight rounds. At this point, I had a glaring need at linebacker (LB). Only Justin Houston (DL/LB, IND) was eligible to line up in the LB spot on my roster. My last pick, Adrian Peterson (RB, WAS) was picked at 16.23 and my next pick wasn’t until 20.11.

Literally several days later, it was my turn. So many picks happened between my last and next pick, there was no room for error. I had decided I was just going to punt the LB position and hope some late-round fliers would fall to me in the final rounds. At 20.11, I must admit I was a little biased here. As a Giants fan, I couldn’t pass on 2019 first-round pick, Dexter Lawrence (DL, NYG). Only 22 years old with loads of potential, I knew he’d be sitting on my bench for a long time. Adding depth on the defensive side of the ball has become just as important to my draft strategy as adding offensive depth.

Earlier in the draft, I had made a trade sending my 19th, 21st, and 23rd pick for a 2021 1st round pick, which meant I had to make every pick count now. Little did I know this newly acquired 1st round pick would bring my team to the next level. I will explain why later on. For my 22nd round pick, I took even more IDP depth with Rock Ya-Sin, DB IND, another great, young asset. I then sent a 2021 3rd to get a 23rd round pick and took Blake Bell, TE DAL. Bell has since been cut from my team, essentially being one of my worst picks of the draft. Luckily, it was a 2021 3rd and hopefully that pick will be next year’s Mr. Irrelevant.

My final notable draft picks were Ben Niemann (LB, KC) in the 25th round and Jordan Jenkins (LB, NYJ) in the 27th round. I took them specifically to get me some LB depth. Finally, after two and a half weeks, the 28th round came and went. A few league mates were attempting to sell their last couple picks for a 2021 3rd round pick. A couple of trades went down and the picks went quickly. I traded for a handful of extra picks, sending over a future rookie pick. I have come to realize this just isn’t worth it, even at the cost of a rookie 3rd. The 28th round in a league of this size only consists of backups and free agents. I will most likely end up sending my last round pick to the waiver wire, anyways.

Remember that extra 1st round pick I had picked up for a 19th, 21st, and 23rd rounder? The day after the draft, I woke up to a trade from a team clearly playing for the future. This team already had 7 first-round picks and several second-round picks for the 2021 rookie draft. The trade was his Josh Jacobs (RB LV) for my two 2021 first-round picks. My strategy is always win-now, so I thought I was dreaming. I smashed the accept button right away. This brought me to FOUR first-round picks in a 32-team IDP, dynasty start-up. That’s ⅛ of the entire first round giving me a huge advantage. I no longer had to keep Duke Johnson (RB HOU) in my RB slot. Now he is a high upside flex option.

My team is ready to contend and I am proud of my team. This was my first IDP league and also my first 32-man league. I plan on this being my only IDP league so I can focus on rooting for specific defenseman. I am so excited about this league even though it’s one of my only free ones. I highly recommend joining a league with IDP and 32 teams. It feels very competitive and usually has the most intense fantasy players in them. Perhaps the New York Giants will win the (Fantasy) Super Bowl, after all.

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