Fall camps have started back up in earnest and you know what that means: the return of college football.
Many positions will be earned and lost in the weeks leading up to the first game of the season for each team, some due to competition and others due to injury.
Because one of our writers (ahemBROWNANDGOLDahem) will be going on vacation soon, we decided to have our draft a little earlier than usual this year. We also added some new rules, introducing keepers for the first time. Each team got to keep up to two originally-drafted players from the 2015 draft, giving up their round pick in the process. Those have been noted with pound signals (or, hashtags for you youngins that don't know what a pound signal is.)
Once again, the draft will be a snake draft, which means the first and last picks of each round get two picks in a row. The order of the draft was determined by standings from last year, putting Justin Coffin, our veritable WMU writer and HBFL Champion Manager, 8th in the draft.
We have two new players to add to the mix this season due to attrition. Kaleb, our saucy #MACsketball writer, and Matt (aka Dizzle,) our BGSU general writer, take over for Russ and Frenchy, respectively. Appropriately, they go 1-2 in this year's draft.
With everything now explained, lets get to it. Here are the draft results:
|1||Kareem Hunt, RB, Toledo||Drew Hare, QB, NIU||Cooper Rush, QB, CMU||Logan Woodside, QB, Toledo||Jesse Kroll, WR, CMU||Zach Terrell, QB, WMU#||Kenny Golladay, WR, NIU||Corey Davis, WR, WMU#|
|2||Riley Neal, QB, Ball State||AJ Ouellette, RB, Ohio||Ronnie Moore, WR, BG||Terry Swanson, RB, Toledo||Shaq Vann, RB, EMU||Jamauri Bogan, RB, WMU||Sebastian Smith, WR, Ohio||Jerome Lane, WR, UA|
|3||KeVonn Mabon, WR, Ball St||Cody Thompson, WR, Toledo||Antwan Dixon, WR, Kent State*||Corey Jones, WR, Toledo||Thomas Woodson, QB, Akron||Jojo Natson, WR, UA||Joel Bouagnon, RB, NIU||Jordan Reid, WR, Ohio|
|4||Teo Redding, WR, BGSU||Corey Willis, WR, CMU||Fred Coppet, RB, BG||Anthony Rice, WR, CMU||Akron D/ST||Warren Ball, RB, Akron||Grant Rohach, QB, Buffalo||James Knapke, QB, BGSU|
|5||Jarvion Franklin, RB, WMU||Alonzo Smith, RB, Miami||LeVante Bellamy, RB, WMU||Michael Roberts, TE, Toledo||Aregeros Turner, WR, NIU||Ohio D/ST||Mason Schreck, TE, Buffalo||Darian Green, RB, BSU|
|6||WMU D/ST||Toledo D/ST||Troy Mangen, TE, Ohio||NIU D/ST||Romello Ross, RB, CMU||Cody Tuttle, TE, EMU||CMU D/ST||Zach Crouch, TE, CMU|
|7||Marcus McGill, WR, Buffalo||Papi White, RB, Ohio||BGSU D/ST||JD Sprague, QB, Ohio||Kent State D/ST||Diontae Johnson, WR, Toledo||Devon Spalding, RB, CMU||Buffalo D/ST|
|8||Brian Eavey, K, CMU||Chris Hudson, WR, Miami||James Gilbert, RB, Ball State#||Eddie Daugherty, WR, EMU||Jameson Vest, K, Toledo||Christian Hagan, K, NIU||Billy Bahl, QB, Miami||Marcus Jones, RB, NIU|
|9||Matt Domer, RB, BGSU*||Corey Lacanaria, WR, BSU||Tommy Mister, RB, NIU||Breck Turner, RB, EMU||Ryan Smith, TE, Miami||Rokeem Williams, WR, Miami||Michael Henry, WR, WMU||Darrion Landry, WR, BGSU|
|10||Jordan Fisher, TE, Toledo||Sam Browning, TE, EMU||Raekwon James, RB, Kent State||Brendan Cope, WR, Ohio||Colin Reardon, QB, Kent State||George Bollas, QB, Kent State||Jared Murphy, WR, Miami||Mark Chapman, WR, CMU|
|11||Michael Julian, QB, Toledo||Spencer Tears, WR, NIU||Christian Blake, WR, NIU||Nick Fields, K, BGSU||Tom Flacco, QB, WMU||Shane Wimann, TE, NIU||Jonathan Hawkins, RB, Buffalo||Nick Holley, RB, Kent State|
|12||Carrington Thompson, WR, WMU||Adam Mitcheson, K, Buffalo||Tyree Jackson, QB, Buffalo||Morgan Hagee, K, Ball State||Damion Jones-Moore, RB, Toledo||Austin Wolf, WR, Akron||Miami D/ST||Maleek Irons, RB, Ohio|
|13||Jordan Johnson, RB, Buffalo#||Donovan Wilson, RB, BGSU||Butch Hampton, K, WMU||Ball State D/ST||Tyler Conklin, TE, CMU||Sam Martin, WR, Miami||Louie Zervos, K, Ohio||Tom O'Leary, K, Akron|
|14||Elijah Cunningham, QB, BGSU||Brogan Roback, QB, EMU#||James Morgan, QB, BGSU||Ernest Calhoun, WR, Kent State||Keith Harris, RB, NIU||EMU D/ST||Leo Ekwoge, RB, WMU||Lucas Bezerra, TE, WMU|
(Asterisks mark injuries from fall camps after the draft was concluded.)
Had a moment to process this year's draft? Good. Now let the managers of these teams explain their strategies:
Kaleb "Baeleb" Carter of Bang Bang, Bangity Bang:
My team is a squad of underwhelming strength. What do I mean you ask? Well, I had a keeper QB to start with in EMU's Brogan Roback and finished off the QB spot by selecting Drew Hare from the get-go. I knew having an established starter there and immediately going into picking RB's and WR's from there I would be able to pick up some sleeper types. I'm excited to pick up Cody Thompson and Corey Willis at WR, while having a steady dose of running backs and low-depth chart wide receivers with potentially high upsides. Having the Toledo defense is good with me, as the Rockets were generally top half of the MAC in most defensive categories and bring in Brian George from Kent State to bring further strength to the defense. Watch out for my mid-level picks as Papi White and Chris Hudson are poised for big years
Matt "Dizzle" of Coppet A Feel:
My (inherited) keeper is Buffalo's Jordan Johnson, and he could be the steal of the draft. He had good numbers last year and should be the primary back this season. He also counts for a 13th-round pick in a 14-round draft. Extremely good value there. My other back? Some nobody named Kareem Hunt, only a guy who should be an NFL back in 2017. I really like my 2nd and 3rd round picks in Neal and Mabon from Ball State, but our Fearless Leader is going to hear it if they don't produce. After that, I was looking primarily for value. Unfortunately, one of my guys (Domer) has gone down for the season. Injuries are the worst. And my last pick? That's a forward-looking pick up. Cunningham is the future of BGSU football. Bank on it.
Mike Karpinski of Reece's Huff:
After struggling through a year of rostering Colin Reardon and Reggie Bell for the first half of the year, I knew I needed to zero in on a top quarterback. I was petrified of either Drew Hare or Cooper Rush going #1 & #2 respectively, leaving me out of a top quarterback for the second straight year. Rush was top on my board and luckily he fell right to me at 3. Next I went with Ronnie Moore. Moving into the middle rounds of the draft, Tommy Mister is my ultimate boom or bust pick of the draft as I most likely reached a few rounds to pick him up, but he's someone who is too talented not to see the field. Drafting a true freshman at kicker is a pretty big risk, but seeming as he'll be kicking for one of the best offenses in the conference I'm not terribly worried. Finally, I took two flyers on backup quarterbacks. If Buffalo struggles at the beginning of the year, I could see them looking towards the future and giving Jackson a chance to showcase his talents. I'm not completely sold on Knapke excelling under center and James Morgan could compete for snaps in the middle of the year. If Knapke starts the year off hot however, Morgan will most likely be the first player on my roster to hit the waiver wire.
(P.S.: Antwan Dixon is out for the year due to a medical condition, which stinks because he had a very productive freshman year. At least I have his backup Raekwon James.)
James H. Jimenez of The Bodacious Bonamegos:
Much like I do in life, I sorta winged this draft and hoped for the best. I was stuck with the dreaded middle pick once again, which meant extremely long waits between picks. (Or, at least, it felt like it.) I was also the only person in the league drafting a brand new roster, as I had traded or waived every player except Jahray Hayes. I had an uphill battle, to say the least.
I think Thomas Woodson in Round 3 was a decent pickup and he should provide both rushing and passing touchdowns, which helps his value immensely. I also feel good about my receiving corps of Jesse Kroll and Argeros Turner and I have a pretty good volume back in Shaq Vann as well. I might have reached for Romello Ross of CMU, but that four-game stretch last season made me a believer. We'll see what happens.
Ross wasn't the only flier I took; I think Keith Harris Jr. could be a contributor if he stays healthy, and Tyler Conklin could see some of Ben McCord's old volume at TE. I also drafted Tom Flacco in case something bad happens to Zac Terrell and Colin Reardon in case George Bollas struggles. I was in Boy Scouts for only four weeks, but if there's one thing I learned, it's to always be prepared.
Matt Hammond of Missing Danny Braverman:
I'm pretty much going #AllinWMU with this team. If the Broncos don't produce offensively, I'll most likely find myself in the basement of the league. I was slightly hesitant to make Zach Terrell my keeper because that meant losing a first round pick, but he's very efficient and has one of the country's best to throw to, so it had to be done. I took a chance by taking Utah State transfer and Akron Zip Jojo Natson third overall. He's lightning fast and has great potential to put my team over the top, or he could end up not producing much, leaving my team without much depth. We'll see how this goes.
Alex Alvarado of Tupande Kileleni:
My draft philosophy wasn't unorthodox because I didn't have a plan to begin with. Look, anybody that takes too much time caring about their fantasy drafts are scum in my book. If you're one of those types to gamble a mortgage on these things, it's time for your friends to give you an intervention. Fantasy sports can be fun and all, but if you want to pretend that you have the best team and shove logic down everybody's throats and annoy the ever-loving hell out of your coworkers at the water cooler, I want nothing to do with you. You don't care about my fantasy team and I know it. I'm just here so I won't get fined.
So here's why my team is the best. I have the two quarterbacks that will be playing in the MAC Championship in Detroit this year. How's that for a hot take? I didn't want to invest too highly on running backs, which is why I picked a "backup" in the second round because Terry Swanson is the only no.2/co-no.1 in the MAC that could honestly break 1,000 yards this year. My starting tight end is bigger than some DEs, and I took two kickers in back-to-back rounds because I'm not a phony.
Three of my five WRs are well under 6-foot-0 and I continue to wonder if my parents are ever proud of me.
Brown and Gold of Corey Davis Based God:
By keeping Joel Bouagnon, I get to have the 2nd best RB in the MAC to build around while only sacrificing a 3rd rounder. I added some WR help, a position I sorely underachieved at last year, by getting Kenny Golladay and Sebastian Smith. My QB will be Grant Rohach, for better or worse. The run on QBs was early, so I got pinched out after getting Matt Johnson to carry me last year. After that, I'm really hoping Devon Spalding wins the CMU RB battle and stays healthy. The back half of my draft is really just about depth. Some players might win some PT, some might not, but I'm hoping for one or two guys to provide some good stats every now and then. CMU's defense has a really weak non-conference schedule, and they return a lot of players as they look like the best defense in the conference in my eyes.
Justin Coffin of Kadeem Goul-Bourne Supremacy:
Defending championships is harder than winning a first one, or so I've been told, and I tried to draft well enough to avoid the fate of the Golden State Warriors - mostly because signing Kevin Durant doesn't do much for a fantasy football team. Ultimately it's the final scores that will decide how I did, but here's what I love and hate about my 2016 picks.
Love: Wide receivers. I drafted five of them, and they'll be anchored by the play of Corey Davis and Jerome Lane. A solid investment from the partners at Brown and Goldman Sacks. Jordan Reid is no slouch down in Athens, and Darrion Landry of Bowling Green and Mark Chapman Central Michigan should round out the group nicely, provided the former actually gets to see the field as the Falcons' fourth receiving option.
Hate: Pretty much everything else. Couple of things, here. First, James Knapke may not be the starter for an entire season in Bowling Green, so, fingers crossed. Second, anytime offensive fantasy success depends on Kent State to move the football (i.e. drafting Nick Holley), you're probably going to have a bad time. Not some of my best moves, but trust me, at that point in the draft my hands were tied.
So Darian Green, if you're reading, I'm you're biggest fan and hope you light the league on fire this year (with the exception of November 1st. Maybe just take a vacation or something, you've earned it!)