On May 31, 2020, the Pro Football Network Dynasty group decided to start a new fantasy league that was entirely unique and something I had never seen before. We called it Franchise Frenzy, and I’ll be honest, it was one of the most interesting dynasty drafts I’ve ever been a part of. Well, to be fair, it was technically two drafts. Let me explain in this Franchise Frenzy Dynasty startup draft recap.
Franchise Frenzy Dynasty Startup Draft Recap
I’m not exactly sure who started this format, but as soon as I heard about it, I knew I wanted to be a part of a version of it. To put it simply, what if players drafted NFL teams first and then drafted players only from those teams? It sounds simple enough, but it was a lot more complicated than most leagues. Before we dive into the franchise dynasty startup draft recap, let’s review the rules.
Franchise Frenzy Rules
The league itself consists of 12 owners. The first draft, the team draft, will consist of five rounds per team. In this draft, each owner selected a share of a real NFL team that they would have the right to draft players from in the second player draft. If an owner so chooses, they can draft both shares of a franchise, giving them a monopoly on those players. The trade-off was that instead of five teams, they’d only have four or three teams to select players from in order to build a starting lineup.
Each dynasty team will consist of 20 players comprised entirely of players from those five-team shares. Here are the starting requirements with the remaining 11 spots for bench players:
Using multiple flex spots instead of dedicated positions was so that teams could build a starting roster able to withstand bye weeks and still be competitive. If you were forced to start a TE or RB and your only real options were on a bye, then you’d be at a significant disadvantage.
The NFL team draft would be completed via Google Doc, and the order was as follows:
- Andrew Hall (myself)
- Jim Roberge
- Ben Rolfe
- Corey Ashburn
- Chris Smith
- Andy Gallagher
- George Templeton
- Oliver Hodgkinson
- Tommy Garrett
- Ryan Gosling
- Matt Valdovinos
- Jordan Woodson
To keep things as fair as possible, the player draft would be the reverse order of the team draft. This also added a fun wrinkle to the mix: if you were the first to draft a team share, it was very likely that the second owner would be drafting ahead of you in the player draft. As the 1.01 holder in the team draft, this meant that I needed to be ready to select an NFL team that potentially had two first-round picks in the player draft.
Something you may have noticed already was that since this was a five-round “team draft,” only 60 team shares would be taken (5 NFL teams x 12 owners = 60 shares), meaning four teams would only have a single owner (32 NFL teams x 2 shares each = 64 shares), thereby giving their owner a monopoly on those players without having to own both shares of the team. This quickly became a point of contention, and the league started talking about strategy in the chat immediately.
As the NFL team draft approached, it quickly became apparent that owning a monopoly could give you a huge advantage in the player draft. Doing so meant that owners could effectively leave those players owned solely by them for the end if they decided to draft them at all. This strategy would greatly impact the player draft, as you will see later on, and was something that came up constantly on the message board during the team draft itself.
Team Snake Draft
I was up first for the team draft, and I was stumped for what to do. I looked at ADP and rankings and decided that the safest play was to pick a team with a lot of offensive weapons. Immediately the Kansas City Chiefs came to mind, but I felt like only Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill would be worth first-round options, and I didn’t feel great in getting Hill as my first-round pick at 1.12 if Mahomes went before then.
I also considered the Baltimore Ravens with Lamar Jackson and the Philadelphia Eagles with Miles Sanders, but I didn’t feel that there was a second option for either team with a second first-round pick. Odds were high that both players would be picked ahead of me by their respective second-team shareowners.
I eventually landed on the Dallas Cowboys as my selection at 1.01, assuming that if I could get either Dak Prescott or Ezekiel Elliott, I’d be happy with my 1.12 pick. Here’s how the rest of the first round went after me:
There were a few surprises here, like the Cleveland Browns, Las Vegas Raiders, and Denver Broncos, but it was clear that owners were going after their guys. In a league like this, where owning a monopoly is such a huge advantage, it really helps if you can zag while your opponents zig. Going off the beaten path and foregoing the normal groupthink could pay off huge in the end.
Throughout the team draft, there were a few trades of draft slots, both in the team draft and the player draft, but overall the team draft went off without a hitch. If you want to see a play-by-play of how the team draft played out, along with my reasoning on each selection that I made, check out my Twitter thread for more details:
Starting a new league today with some of the guys at @pfn365, only this one is VERY unique.
There are two drafts, the first is where you draft teams that you will later draft players from. There will be two copies of each team but only one copy of each player.
— 𝔸𝕟𝕕𝕣𝕖𝕨 ℍ𝕒𝕝𝕝 𝔽𝔽 (@AndrewHallFF) May 31, 2020
Here are the final results of the team draft, with green teams being monopolies and *’s denoting traded picks.
In the end, I wound up with the following team shares:
Tampa Bay (x2)
After the draft, I felt great about my prospects at fielding a very strong team from these four offenses. I chose the Los Angeles Chargers because I like all of the variety that they offer from a fantasy perspective. They have a fair amount of young talent, especially at QB, and since I’d likely be starting Tom Brady for now, having a young QB backing him up felt like a smart move. As for the Raiders, they just reloaded their offense with young talent, and it was likely that I’d be holding onto whoever I drafted for a long time since trades are much less likely when you only have one trade partner for each player.
I felt especially great about being able to land the entire Tampa Bay offense as a monopoly. As it turned out, 16 of the 32 teams available ended up being monopolized, leaving the other 16 as the only ones available in our player draft. Needless to say, the player draft would be very unique, so let’s look at that as we move through this franchise frenzy dynasty startup draft recap.
Player Snake Draft
Now that we all had our teams to pick from, the player draft could begin. Since I only had four teams to pick from, and one of those was a monopoly, I was really only concerned with three other owners in this draft who owned the other shares of my teams: Ben with the Cowboys, Ryan with the Chargers, and Oliver with the Raiders. The other owners and their picks wouldn’t affect my team at all, really.
As it turned out, Ben ended up with three monopolies: the Detroit Lions by selecting both shares, and the New York Jets and New England Patriots, by no one selecting their other share. This pretty much meant that I was Ben’s only real competition in the draft, as his other players were not able to be drafted by anyone else, so he would be hitting the Cowboys players early and often. This left me with a pit in my stomach because it effectively meant that if I wanted to grab one, I’d have to act fast.
I was picking at the 1.12/2.01 turn and was really hoping that Ben would draft Zeke with his 1.10 pick. Instead, he ended up trading up to 1.03 and selected Dak instead. This was not what I expected, but then again, this league is far from what anyone would expect. I should’ve known better. Given the fact that he only needed to grab Cowboys players, he could trade away all of his later round draft capital to make a move, something I couldn’t do if I wanted to stay competitive with the other teams I shared players with.
That being said, I decided to trade up as well, moving from the 1.12 to the 1.08, just to prevent Ben from getting both top Cowboys on the board. I selected Zeke with that pick and felt like it was a solid start to my dynasty team. I then selected Amari Cooper before Ben was back on the clock with his 2.03, where he selected CeeDee Lamb. For the rest of the draft, the only Cowboy player I would take would be Andy Dalton at 9.12. The rest belonged to Ben.
Thanks to me trading up to get Zeke, I didn’t have another pick until the 4.01. Here is a recap of all of my picks in this player draft along with their DLF SuperFlex ADP as of the time I’m writing this recap. Keep in mind I was the only one who had access to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ players, which I waited to draft in the later rounds.
1.08 Ezekiel Elliott, RB DAL (5)
2.01 Amari Cooper, WR DAL (37)
4.01 Mike Williams, WR LAC (124)
4.05 Derek Carr, QB LVR (95)
4.12 Darren Waller, TE LVR (97)
5.12 Bryan Edwards, WR LVR (152)
6.01 Justin Herbert, QB LAC (91)
8.01 Joshua Kelley, RB LAC (177)
9.12 Andy Dalton, QB DAL (231)
10.01 Hunter Henry, TE LAC (105)
11.12 Justin Jackson, RB LAC (199)
12.01 Tyrell Williams, WR LVR (258)
13.12 Joe Reed, WR LAC (–)
14.01 Chris Godwin, WR TB (20)
15.12 Tom Brady, QB TB (72)
16.01 Rob Gronkowksi, TE TB (155)
17.12 Ke’Shawn Vaughn, RB TB (98)
18.01 Ronald Jones, RB TB (115)
19.12 Mike Evans, WR TB (32)
20.01 O.J. Howard, TE TB (190)
For a more complete breakdown of each pick and more info on the trades that went down, check out my Twitter thread of the player draft here:
Now that the team draft is done in the @PFNFranchiseFrenzy league, it's time for the player draft!
A few things to start with…
My teams to draft players from:
Here's the thread for the team draft if you missed it:https://t.co/qsPBXTnVEc
— 𝔸𝕟𝕕𝕣𝕖𝕨 ℍ𝕒𝕝𝕝 𝔽𝔽 (@AndrewHallFF) June 3, 2020
Projected Starting Roster
Overall, I’m pretty happy with my team. I think it came out pretty balanced and should be able to withstand bye weeks and injuries pretty well thanks to the depth I drafted. Here’s who I plan to start going into the season, barring any unforeseen injuries:
QB: Tom Brady
SF: Derek Carr
FL: Ezekiel Elliott
FL: Chris Godwin
FL: Mike Evans
FL: Amari Cooper
FL: Darren Waller
FL: Hunter Henry
FL: Mike Williams
Based on current ADP, I have four players in the top 37 and nine in the top 100, which is pretty good even in a normal 12-team league. The only concern I have is Week 10 when both the Chargers and Cowboys share a bye week, leaving me to field a starting roster with only my Raiders and Buccaneers players. But who knows what will happen between now and then? I’ve got plenty of time to figure that out.
Overall, that’s my franchise dynasty startup draft recap. What do you think about the team I ended up with? Who would you have taken at 1.01 in the team draft over the Cowboys? Hit me up on Twitter to discuss, and feel free to reply to the tweets in the two draft threads that made you shake your head. Being that this format is so new and unfamiliar, we were all going into it a little blind, so I’d love to hear your feedback on how to do better if we ever decide to do one again down the road!
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Andrew Hall is a writer for PFN covering the NFL and Fantasy Football. You can follow him on Twitter: @AndrewHallFF.