By Ryan Weisse
For those of you that don’t know… I’m not even gonna explain it, just watch this:
I’ve been working hard to be your first pick in fantasy this year, and @BudLight is making your decision easier. When you pick me first, tweet a screenshot of your pick with #budlightminshewdraft and #sweepstakes and you could win a case worth of Bud Light! pic.twitter.com/eG1B0yyJOr
— Gardner Minshew (@GardnerMinshew5) August 25, 2020
Now that you’re initiated: Yes, I took Gardner Minshew in the 1st Round of the Club Fantasy Industry draft. The draft, an online draft that used an old-school draft board, took place on 8.28.20 and was done with some heavy hitters:
I encourage you to follow every one of them for great fantasy football content — but this isn’t about them. Two things you should know: I don’t drink beer and I never take quarterbacks early in fantasy drafts, but I love having fun with fantasy football. When Josh announced this draft, I knew it was the perfect time and league to test this draft strategy. The league settings made me feel okay about passing on an early running back. The required starters were: 1 QB, 1 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 4 Flex with 7 bench spots. Here is a quick rundown of my highs (and lows) in this awesome draft.
1st Round: Gardner Minshew
I was excited to get the 6th pick. I felt that being in the middle, with the smallest gaps between picks, was optimal to build around drafting Minshew in the 1st. Tommy joked about it at 1.01 but there was still some shock when I pulled the trigger. Gardner Minshew is proving to be one of the best personalities in the NFL right now and this is going to be a fun ride!
2nd Round: Josh Jacobs
This is where everything was going to fall apart…or come together beautifully. In these settings, you only really need one stud RB. I knew I wouldn’t land CMC or Saquon but there are two 2nd round running backs that I feel are very underrated and can carry your team as an RB1: Aaron Jones and Josh Jacobs. Jacobs should be a workhorse again in his 2nd year and will occupy my RB1 slot all season long.
Rounds 3-6: DeAndre Hopkins, Robert Woods, Mark Andrews, DeVante Parker
Now was the time to load up on pass catchers. In a PPR league where you can start four Flex, wide receivers are the way to go. Hopkins, Woods, and Parker all have a legit chance at being top-15 receivers in 2020. I was devastated when Joe took Terry McLaurin two picks before me, but Bobby Trees is a solid consolation prize. Plus, I got to sneak Mark Andrews in there in the 5th, a guy I think could be the overall TE1.
Rounds 7-9: Tarik Cohen, Devin Singletary, Antonio Gibson
I had only planned to add one or two backup running backs — again, this format would allow that strategy — but I liked where these guys fell. Cohen is going to see 100+ targets in 2020 and likely more carries with the recent David Montgomery injury. Singletary and Gibson are surrounded by question marks but in the 8th and 9th, they are worth the gamble… and Stoner would tell you that they are all better picks than Diontae Johnson, who was reached for in the 6th by his #1 fan, Josh Hudson. To say that the pick disappointed Stoner would be an understatement of epic proportions.
Rounds 10-14: Jerry Jeudy, Golden Tate, Kerryon Johnson, Marlon Mack, Chase Edmonds
Just building a bench here. Jeudy could easily steal the WR1 role in Denver; Tate will lead the Giants in targets; Johnson and Mack will open the season as starters; and Edmonds is a premier insurance policy. Nothing too flashy, but these guys will fill in on bye weeks just fine. Stoner taking Steven Sims Jr. in the 14th round, just one pick before me, deflated me terribly. I was riding high, and this took me very low. Sims is going to make noise in PPR formats this year.
15th Round: Tom Brady
I wasn’t sure if I should even take a backup quarterback, as I normally don’t, and I was worried it would take away from the spirit of my draft, but Brady in the 15th is criminal. I knew that I would land one of Josh Allen, Daniel Jones, Brady, or Drew Brees, and would be happy with any of them. I plan to ride Minshew Magic to a championship but a quarterback with the best wide receiver duo in the NFL, as an insurance plan, sounds just fine to me. He’ll be a great team mentor for Gardner.
16th Round: Randall Cobb
No major flash here, but Cobb has every chance to be a target leader for a top-5 NFL quarterback. You can do worse in the 16th round of a fantasy draft.
So that’s that. I truly think I can win this league with Gardner Minshew. I made a plan, stuck to it early, and deviated when it made sense. Fantasy Football should be fun, and this was/is so damn fun. Gardner, if you managed to stumble across this article, let’s get this title!
And to end this article, I want to show a picture of the best-looking draft board that I’ve ever seen. Joe Zollo killed this sticker placement. Best. Sticker. B*tch. Ever.