The time has come yet again for analysts, fans, and celebrities to come together and compete in THE premiere pro-am fantasy charity tournament, the Scott Fish Bowl. Founded in 2010 by devy-inventor Scott Fish, the Scott Fish Bowl is a place for community, philanthropy, and adapting to a very unique rule-set. The scoring system works differently in the SFB. Pass catchers earn 0.5 points per reception and 0.5 points per first down with tight ends earning an extra 0.5 points for each (tight end premium). Rushing first downs also earn 0.5 points. This system favors accurate passers. Quarterbacks earn 0.5 points per completion and lose one point per incompletion. The unique rule set makes a draft recap a necessary exercise in self improvement.
You can view the entire rule-set here.
Let’s take a journey through my build strategy, the picks that I love, the picks that I wish I could go back and change, and an overall self assessment of my first ever SFB draft.
With not many other options available by the time I selected, I chose to draft from the fifth slot. Picking fifth gave me the opportunity to select either an elite quarterback or Travis Kelce without taking too much of a hit with the third round reversal. Quarterbacks are too valuable in this format to ignore, and the best lineups are going to be the ones with two high-scoring quarterbacks. The plan was to leave the first three rounds with two quarterbacks and an elite tight end (spoiler alert: I did not), and then continue with a “hero RB” method of sorts. Pass catchers, especially in this format, are more valuable. Loading up on them early and backfilling your RB production in the later rounds is a popular strategy.
Because this is a tournament with a unique rule set, player’s are valued on a much broader spectrum than in most drafts. There’s Zero-RB’ers, Bully-TE’ers, Bully-QB’ers, and whatever other combinations you can think of. This creates a massive opportunity to accrue value, create correlation, and put together a diverse build. That is, if you have good rankings and play your cards right. Check out PlayerProfiler’s tiered SFB rankings here.
The Process (Rounds 1-15)
Grab Two Elite Quarterbacks Early
In an unexpected turn of events, I was able to select Lamar Jackson as the fourth quarterback off the board with the fifth pick. No team got hit harder by the injury-bug than the Ravens last season with three key starters missing the entire season. The Ravens led the NFL in Game Script in 2019 and 2020 and will return to a similar form in 2022. Ronnie Stanley returning to the lineup is a big win. He’s only played in seven games since 2019. 2019 was the season Jackson finished as the number one quarterback in fantasy, and Stanley was the staple of this offensive line. Without Marquise Brown, the Ravens’ passing game is going to be more tailored to Jackson’s strengths as a passer. He may lose me some points with his accuracy in the SFB, but I’ll welcome his ceiling with open arms in any format.
When Mark Andrews didn’t fall to me, I cemented the Bully-QB strategy with a major flag-plant. I selected Kirk Cousins over Aaron Rodgers. Cousins is one of the NFL’s most accurate quarterbacks, posting at least a 7.4 Accuracy Rating in all four years that PlayerProfiler has tracked the metric. Cousins is the only quarterback to accomplish this. With a new, passing-friendly coaching staff in place, this team is ready to step out of the stone-age and explode in 2022. Cousins has been perennially underrated as a producer, compiling at least 30 passing touchdowns in three of the last four seasons. With two elite quarterbacks secured, I could begin to shape the rest of my roster.
I Need A Hero (RB)
After missing out on Kyle Pitts and Darren Waller, I went with D’Andre Swift to be my anchor running back. Tying Leonard Fournette with six (No. 1) targets per game in 2021, Swift is a critical foundation of this Lions passing game. The Lions have invested in the right pieces and have boosted their PFF offensive line ranking from 13 to three this offseason. Bolstering their offensive line will help improve Swifts 29.3 (No. 64) Run Blocking Rating, as they’re now more well-rounded and better suited for his skill set. On top of increased efficiency through the ground, the team’s improvements will give Swift more red zone touches and thus scoring opportunities. He has the potential to be the winning lottery ticket for many drafters in 2022.
Capitalize On The Value At Receiver
In this format, the most valuable time to select pass catchers is in the early-middle to middle rounds. The steep decline in RB value had already begun, so I put my faith in CeeDee Lamb to lead my receiving corps. With Amari Cooper now in Cleveland, and Michael Gallup likely starting the season on the PUP list, Lamb is primed to see at least a 25-percent Target Share and spend much more time in the slot. Being the focus of the passing offense will drive up his 1.70 (No. 20)Yards per Team Passing Attempt, a metric highly correlated to fantasy success.
D.J. Moore just found a new best friend in Baker Mayfield. Well, maybe not, but Mayfield is certainly the best quarterback Moore has ever played with. In his healthy 2020 season, he finished second in Money Throws and threw 26 (No. 12) passing touchdowns which is nearly twice as many as the Panthers as a team threw in 2021. Moore is the Panthers receiving corps. He’s earned at least a 24-percent Target Share the past three seasons. He wins all over the field and will make it easy for Baker to put the ball in his hands.
Keep Drafting Receivers
The run continued with one of my favorite shot-calls for 2022, Courtland Sutton. He’s been a victim of injury, misuse, and poor quarterback play in Denver. In spite of a poor overall performance in 2021, Sutton produced 24.4 Fantasy Points per Game in his three games of 10 or more targets. Russell Wilson has the deep ball accuracy to consistently deliver him the home-run shots that will stuff the stat sheets. While Sutton works best as a downfield threat, Wilson will be able to play to his other strengths and rein in his 15.7 (No. 2)Average Target Distance down to a healthier depth near where he finished in 2019. The increase in opportunity and quarterback skill gives Sutton league-winning ceiling.
To end the run on receivers, I was able to snag the premiere sophomore wide receiver breakout candidate, Rashod Bateman. He and Lamar Jackson are going to pair together like steak and a glass of red wine. Best comparable to Stefon Diggs, Bateman was evaluated by Matt Harmon’s Reception Perception to arguably the best route runner in his class. He also displayed elite ability to win in tight situations, with a 63.6 (No. 5) Contested Catch Rate. He showed at Minnesota he can handle an alpha-level target share, and Baltimore is showing us they’re ready to give him one in 2022.
Draft Handcuffs With Standalone Value
After taking a slew of receivers, it was time to grab two backs with standalone value who will also be workhorses should their team’s starters fall victim to injury. You guessed it, I’m talking about A.J. Dillon and Tony Pollard.
Rate of carries to result in a first down or TD (min. 100 att.) this season…
Jonathan Taylor 34.4%
Jamaal Williams 30.0%
Tony Pollard 28.6%
Javonte Williams 27.7%
Nick Chubb 26.9%
Austin Ekeler 26.6%
Dalvin Cook 26.3%
A.J. Dillon 26.0%
Darrel Williams 25.9%
James Conner 25.7%
— Rich Hribar (@LordReebs) December 20, 2021
Dillon has the archetype of a league winning running back. He has the size-adjusted speed and the draft capital. Dillon saw a 6.5-percent Target Share in 2021, and would immediately go to 10-12-percent if he were to spend time as the starting back. That would check the box for receiving opportunity as well. Finally, a big plus for the SFB format, he earns first-downs at a high rate. Dillon should be targeted by every team that opts out of a robust-RB strategy.
Pollard was highly electrically efficient through both the ground and the air. In 2021, he earned 2.5 (No. 1) Yards per Route Run and an 8.5-percent (No. 3) Breakaway Run Rate. There were few backs who were better at generating production every time the ball was put in their hands. Not only was he the better Cowboys running back in generating fantasy points, but he was better at generating real points. Pollard’s 0.92 (No. 21) Fantasy Points per Opportunity and +25.7 (No. 2) Expected Points Added put the nail in the coffin. He is a better asset than Ezekiel Elliott especially at value. Along with Dillon, I’m targeting Pollard in most drafts.
To round out my running back room, I wanted to continue to target satellite backs with a potential path to a heavier workload. Kenneth Gainwell and Nyheim Hines scored fantasy points at an elite per-opportunity rate last season, largely due to their excellence as pass catchers. Both backs will see healthy enough rushing workloads to have standalone value on a weekly basis.
Swing For The Fences At Tight End
Here’s where we start to throw some caution into the wind. After missing out on the top five, I opted to wait out the middle and pounced on Albert Okwuegbunam in the 14th round. Going into his third season, super-athlete Albert-O has the potential to explode with Russell Wilson at the helm. His 6-6 frame is a lethal red zone weapon, and his 100th percentile Speed Score will allow him to torture defenses down field. There’s no strong demand for targets in this Broncos offense behind Courtland Sutton, either. He can realistically push for an 18-percent Target Share in 2022 which makes him a massive value.
The bet on David Njoku is mostly placed on Deshaun Watson managing to play in 2022 (which is gross). If he does suit up, this offense is set to be lethal. Njoku would be the second target in the most high powered offense the Browns have ever had. In tight end premium, he immediately becomes a value. Even without Watson, Jacoby Brissett has proven to be an accurate quarterback, and the Browns are devoid of pass catching talent outside of a declining Amari Cooper. His ceiling makes him a great tournament dart throw.
The 18th round is crazy value for Robert Tonyan even if he’s recovering from a torn ACL. There have been zero reports indicating Tonyan will spend significant time on the PUP list, and the Packers come into this season with Allen Lazard as their WR1. In 2020, Tonyan led all tight ends in touchdowns on an 11.8-percent Target Share. He could push 20-percent when healthy without breaking a sweat. Sure, the year after an ACL injury is usually sub-par from a production standpoint. You don’t, however, go win tournaments by taking safe picks especially in the late rounds.
Acquire Depth At Receiver
Admittedly, I’m not sure if I would’ve selected either Jakobi Meyers or Garrett Wilson if I were to do this draft over. I passed up James Cook to take Meyers, and Tyrion Davis-Price for Wilson. Both of those backs have “league winner” in their range of outcomes. In this format, I think I would have been better off hitting the button on one or both of those backs. That being said, Meyers is undervalued this season. He is due for positive touchdown regression and is going to have a 23-percent or higher Target Share with Mac Jones taking a Year 2 leap. He is an automatic route runner, winning 45.7-percent of his routes vs man coverage.
WRs inside the Top 12 in Route Win Rate in 2021 per @rotounderworld
Vs. Man coverage ✅
Vs. Zone coverage ✅
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3️⃣ of these WRs are Outside the Top 125 & WR59 or ⬇️ on @UnderdogFantasy pic.twitter.com/ZbV1yEAO4Q
— Derek Brown (@DBro_FFB) July 20, 2022
Garrett Wilson is likely going to be the No. 2 in New York opposite Elijah Moore early on in the season. The Jets have made some key improvements on both sides of the ball. It seems that the community is in on Zach Wilson making a Year 2 leap. Meaning, the rookie out of OSU is valued var too low at his SFB ADP of WR49.
What Would I Go Back And Change?
Overall, I wouldn’t change much about this draft. I’m happy with the team I put together. I was able to get many of the players on my must-draft list at discounts while piecing together a unique build in the process. With a tournament like the SFB, where the main goal is to build community and have fun, you may as well take some long-shots and draft a team you want to root for. It’s all or nothing.
One mistake I did make is not taking enough shots on running backs. I’ve been kicking myself for drafting Drew Lock over Chris Evans. Evans is a popular late-round pick, but one I definitely wanted to get my hands on. Additionally, Robbie Gould was a pointless pick when I could’ve taken Pierre Strong. Most importantly, I would have drafted Tyrion Davis-Price over Garrett Wilson.
Given the format, and the fact even Darren Waller had gone by the 3.08, I think my tight end strategy makes sense. Obviously it’s not an optimal trio, and I won’t be surprised when they all fall flat on their faces. However, each have the tools and the situations to pay off immensely.
I’m sure the public will have harsher opinions, but I’d give my first SFB draft a B+ grade. The process was sound, but we left some value on the board that drastically changed the upside of my team. I’ll have to do some work on the waiver wire. If I hit a gem, I’m confident I’ll make a run in the playoffs.