Guillotine Leagues, Year 2

I’ve been on a bit of hiatus from writing about guillotine leagues – largely due to family demands, but also because I took some time to create the crowdsourcing app Crowdsorcerer, and to get involved in a tenant organizing effort.

But I signed up for 9 guillotine leagues: Seven Fanball $30 leagues, one new friends’ league on Fantrax that I’m crashing, and my league from last year that has some new rules.

Fanball: I started drafting in June and participated in seven slow drafts over two months. Here are my teams. You don’t name teams on Fanball, so these are fictional, for tracking purposes. These are my current starting lineups for Week 1.

Team Ali LaPointe (Battle of Algiers reference)

Fanball #1425
Drafted: June 20

QB: Andy Dalton
RB: James White
RB: Rashaad Penny
WR: Odell Beckham
WR: Josh Gordon
TE: Hunter Henry
FLEX: Latavius Murray

Bench: Nyheim Hines, Devin Singletary, Antonio Brown, Albert Wilson, Ryan Fitzpatrick

Comments: Not too bad for a first draft. I think I reached too much for James White at the 3/4 turn, and waited too long on QB, with the result of feeling like I had to take two of them. Glad I took a flier on Josh Gordon. Hunter Henry is a TE I really value I guillotine this year, but I think this is the only league where I ended up with him.

This league went a little crazy on the pre-Week 1 waiver wire. Justin Jackson was gotten for $250, beating a bid of $100.Dare Ogunbowale and Frank Gore went for $50.

Team Rusty Blades

Fanball #1523
Drafted: June 24

QB: Russell Wilson
RB: Dion Lewis
RB: Kerryon Johnson
WR: John Brown
WR: Emmanuel Sanders
TE: O.J. Howard
FLEX: Ezekiel Elliott

Bench: Nyheim Hines, Devin Funchess, A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert, Albert Wilson

Comments: I had the #1 overall and went with Zeke before the drama started. I thought drafting Sanders at the 4/5 turn was my one risky move – then Zeke happened and my 2/3 turn guy A.J. Green got injured. Sigh of relief for Zeke signing and Sanders looking okay, but still feels like a bit of a rickety team. Against my own tight end advice, I drafted O.J. Howard, whose relatively early bye meant I felt pressured to get a backup TE to avoid having to blow FAAB on one. I think this is a league I sweat every week in the first half of the season. But if I survive, Green comes back and I can replace Eifert around week 8 or 9.

Team Jacobin

Fanball #1752
Drafted: July 2

QB: Russell Wilson
RB: Todd Gurley
RB: Mark Ingram
WR: Julio Jones
WR: Dante Pettis
TE: Kyle Rudolph
FLEX: Josh Gordon

Bench: Dion Lewis, Kenny Stills, Jamison Crowder, Justin Jackson, Tony Pollard

Comments: I had drafted Lamar Miller and Giovanni Bernard. Bid 21 each on Pollard and Jackson. I thought I’d dropped my bid on Pollard once Zeke signed, but I didn’t… oops. I like my starting lineup in this one.

Team Green Knight

Fanball #2122
Drafted: July 14

QB: Tom Brady
RB: Le’Veon Bell
RB: Todd Gurley
WR: Tyreek Hill
WR: Kenny Golladay
TE: Jordan Reed
FLEX: Rashaad Penny

Bench: Sterling Shepard, Dede Westbrook, T.J. Yeldon, Mike Davis, Vernon Davis

Got good depth on this team. Drafted Tyreek at the 3/4 turn right before he got reinstated, and Westbrook before the hype started. Another team where I’m betting on the health of a talented tight end notwithstanding his injury history.

Team Sydney Carton

Fanball #2481
Drafted: July 22

QB: Matthew Stafford
RB: Derrius Guice
RB: Matt Breida
WR: Julio Jones
WR: Brandin Cooks
TE: Zach Ertz
FLEX: Josh Gordon

Bench: Nyheim Hines, Carlos Hyde, Dion Lewis, Jay Ajayi, Larry Fitzgerald

Comments: I bet on 3 events: Tyreek Hill reinstatement, Josh Gordon reinstatement, and Jay Ajayi signing. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad. This draft was before Gordon reinstatement. I seem to be on an island thinking Derrius Guice is a potential stud.

Team The Bourgeoisie

Fanball #3439
Drafted: August 8

QB: Kirk Cousins
RB: Mark Ingram
RB: Derrius Guice
WR: Geronimo Allison (ugh!)
WR: Dede Westbrook
TE: Travis Kelce
FLEX: Miles Sanders

Bench: Antonio Brown, Nyheim Hines, Ito Smith, Preston Williams, Jake Kumerow

Comments: If any of my teams gets eliminated in Week 1, it’s probably this one.

Team Mine Is the Earth and Everything That’s In It

Fanball #4760
Drafted: August 24

QB: Kirk Cousins
RB: Alvin Kamara
RB: Derrius Guice
WR: Will Fuller
WR: Tyler Lockett
TE: Tyler Eifert
FLEX: Kenyan Drake

Bench: Rashaad Penny, Stefon Diggs, Jamison Crowder, Chris Herndon, Michael Crabtree

Comment: Reached a little for Lockett at the 2/3. Benching Diggs due to hamstring concerns. I ignored my own advice and drafted a QB and WR1 from the same team.

Fantrax League: Team William of Occam

Drafted: Mid-late August

I sort of accidentally crashed this friends league with some Minnesotans. It’s 3 WRs, half-point PPR and very shallow benches. They commissioners do a weekly video rundown of the league – I think this will be my most fun league.

QB: Kirk Cousins
RB: Derrius Guice
RB: Sony Michel
WR: Keenan Allen
WR: Julio Jones
WR: Dante Pettis
TE: Tyler Eifert
FLEX: Matt Breida

Bench: Rashaad Penny, Carlos Hyde, Jake Kumerow, Donte Moncrief

ESPN League: Team Madame Defarge

This is my league from last year, with some changes. Basically a flex spot and a superflex spot were added, and the bench was reduced accordingly.

QB: Aaron Rodgers
RB: Derrius Guice
RB: Rashaad Penny
WR: Calvin Ridley
WR: TY Hilton
TE: Zach Ertz
FLEX: LeSean McCoy
FLEX: Sterling Shepard
FLEX: Courtland Sutton
FLEX: Saquon Barkley
OP: Jimmy Garoppolo

Bench: AJ Green, David Njoku, Anthony Miller, Chris Herndon, Rex Burkhead, Chad Kelly, Kyle Juszczyk, Teddy Bridgewater.

Comments: This was an auction with $200. I followed my philosophy of drafting for a resilient team rather than studs and duds. But I think only 1-2 other teams realized how valuable QBs would be in a 17-team guillotine league, so I ended up drafting 4: Aaron Rodgers (a steal at 26) Russell Wilson (a bigger steal at 16), Derek Carr and Garoppolo. I was able to get Saquon from a team that spent more than 80% of its budget on two players – Barkley and McCaffrey (I think he missed the draft and ESPN autobid for him), and ended up with no depth. I traded Wilson, Carr, Peyton Barber and Greg Olsen for Saquon. A steal for me, and a survival move for him. I like my chances in this league.

That’s it for now. Enjoy the fantasy and the football.




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