King's Classic 2022 Salary Cap & Draft Recap

King's Classic 2022 Salary Cap & Draft Recap

Year Five of the King's Classic weekend is now in the books. Founder Bob Lung was able to bring together a massive group of fantasy football analysts and fanatics for a weekend of fantasy football and friendship. There were parties at both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the beautiful Centennial Plaza in downtown Canton. And of course, the Fantasy Football Expo was a major success. It has grown exponentially since launching in 2019.  All fans are welcome -- I recommend you come out for the weekend next year. It's always a memorable weekend.

Of course, the highlight of my weekend is drafting in the Jim Brown division of the King's Classic expert league . This year, I came with added purpose -- defending my title!  I won the 2021 salary-cap expert league. So let's start there. This is a 14-team league that starts one QB, two RBs, three WRs and three flexes. There are also seven bench spots. To say there won't be much of a waiver wire is an understatement. The scoring is full-point PPR.  As always, it was a loaded draft room. The following analysts participated: Curtis Patrick, Jeff Ratcliffe, Dave Richard, Pat Daugherty, Micahel Fabiano/Howard Bender, Britt Flinn/Lauren Carpenter, Bob Harris, Andy Behrens, Brad Evans/Kyle Stuebs, Bob Lung, Colby Conway, Dom Cintorino and Billy Muzio/Jody Smith. The final draft boards can be found here

The Draft Room at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH

Due to the depth of the league, both in number of teams and roster positions, I repeated the plan that helped me win in 2021. (You can see my auction preview article here.) Of my $200 budget, I wouldn't pay any high salaries. Last year, I paid about $40 for two different players, but my goal this year was to stay at $30 or less for each player. The intended result was to have a roster full of high-floor players with the hope that three or more of those players have superstar seasons to anchor the team. Also, I would spend very little at QB and TE. Let's see how it worked out:

True to my word, I spent $8 combined for Russell Wilson and Justin Fields. With most of the top-rated starters going in the $14 range, I felt I nabbed a solid combo. When approaching TE, I had to adjust my plan on the fly. Aside from the top-three TEs, I quickly realized that the next tier of players would be available for $10 or less each. Knowing we'd have to start three flexes, my plan was to add three tight ends to my roster. As a result, the trio of Dallas Goedert ($9), Zach Ertz ($10) and Cole Kmet ($6) was far less expensive than the depth WRs most of the participants would acquire to cover the same roster spots. With all three expected to see solid target volume, I felt each of their floor/ceiling potential was the optimal play.

Moving to running backs, not only do I like the trio of Cam Akers ($30), Elijah Mitchell ($18) and Chase Edmonds ($20), but I felt I could get that trio at far lower prices than other useful RBs would cost. Not only were they my specific targets, but I got them for $5 less than anticipated. I also threw an endgame dart at Marlon Mack ($5). I don't have a lot of RBs, so I hope that at least two of stay healthy and productive throughout the season. At WR, my goal was to stay at $20 or less, and I was almost able to achieve that goal. I chose to make one exception, as I felt I had the budget to add one higher-end option. Tee Higgins ($35) was at least $5 cheaper than the top options and a player I am high on. I also added Amari Cooper ($20), Brandon Aiyuk ($16), Elijah Moore ($13), Robert Woods ($8) and endgame flier Zay Jones ($1).

Left to Right: Drew Davenport of Football Guys, RotoWire's Jim Coventry and
Brian Drake of Fighting Chance Fantasy

Overall, I have the balanced team I wanted. Now, we'll see if it can help me win another title belt!

The snake draft followed the auction, and I drew the 13th slot. My main strategy was to make sure my first five picks were on a combination of RBs/WRs. Remember, with 14 teams, the pool of top-end talent tries up very quickly. I feel that taking a QB or TE early hurts my roster construction. I would wait until roughly six QBs were off the board to begin looking for mine. And learning from the earlier salary-cap draft, if multiple solid TEs were available for the right price, I would select them, knowing I can flex the second one.

Since most participants take two QBs, that meant about 28 would be selected. As a result, I drafted Joe Burrow in the eighth round and Daniel Jones in the 13th. If Burrow stays healthy, I'd only need Jones to cover Burrow's bye week.

Jim (left) with Bob Harris of Football Diehards

At RB, I selected Aaron Jones at pick 13, but with other RBs being snapped up at a fast and furious pace, I ended up taking just four of them. Chase Edmonds in the fifth round seems to be a risk/reward player, though I like his potential. And then in round nine, I added Kenneth Gainwell, who should at least have a pass-catching role, though I'm hoping for more. And in the 12th round, I added Marlon Mack. Due to this being a 14-team league, I felt risking RB depth was the optimal play. We'll see if it works.

I didn't waste any time getting my three starting WRs. I used my second through fourth picks to add CeeDee Lamb, Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney. I think each may see at least 140 targets while each is in position to have significant upside. My depth WRs are Nico Collins, Romeo Doubs and Zay Jones. Collins and Jones are unquestioned starters on their teams though there could be significant risk with each. Doubs has been gaining hype in the preseason. If he meshes with Aaron Rodgers, he could work out well.

 Jim (left) with Bog Lung, Founder of the King's Classic and the Fantasy Fooball Expo

Finally, the last two picks are usually throwaways in a league this deep. However, we have four IR spots to stash players. So, I added Odell Beckham and Logan Thomas. Once waivers are set up, I'll stash them and add different endgame players. If either of those players are back for the stretch run, they could be very helpful.

As always, I was proud to represent RotoWire in the King's Classic. Hopefully, I can bring home another belt!

Jim with his championship belt from the 2021 season, Jim Brown division, salary cap contest.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jim Coventry
Coventry covers football for RotoWire. He started playing fantasy football in 1994 and won a national contest in 1996. He also nabbed five top-50 finishes in national contests from 2008 to 2012 before turning his attention to DFS. A published author, Coventry wrote a book about relationships, "The Secret of Life", in 2013.
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