I recently participated in a superflex, TE premium dynasty startup and wrote up my approach. Like last time, I interviewed a fellow drafter with a different strategy than mine to get some insight on why he drafted how he did and what played into those decisions. While I went with a draft skewed toward younger, hyper-athletic players, my fellow drafters executed unique strategies that kept me intrigued throughout the startup.
Last time, I talked to Justin Edwards of 4for4.com about his QB-TE stacking approach, and today I wanted to share my conversation with Michael Lucatra, who got off the 1.01 for a treasure trove of picks.
Conversation with Michael Lucatra
Tyler Strong: I’ll start with the obvious. You drew the 1.01 in our startup, but you didn’t make a pick until 3.01 (D.J. Moore and Juju Smith-Schuster back to back). Were you always planning on trading back to acquire more draft capital or did that perfect offer just come through to change up your approach?
Michael Lucatra: I did aim to move back, but only if the price was right. I wasn’t going to move just to move as is sometimes the case. I shot out a couple of similar offers, and got a bite. In a startup after our draft, I tried a similar strategy from the 1.03, and couldn’t get anything close. I just ended up happily taking Patrick Mahomes.
TS: I see. After taking your bounty, you then pounded wideout six picks in a row (the aforementioned two, then Amari Cooper, D.K. Metcalf, Allen Robinson, and D.J. Chark). Is stockpiling young wide receiver talent your typical approach or did you again just take what the other owners gave you?
ML: A little of both, plus the format. In the single RB format, my plan was always to ignore the position until i saw a value. Listening to podcasts and checking the ADPs/Ranks, RB was now king. In this format, I was surprised that they would be that highly valued. Everyone wanted a couple of bell cows, and I was happy to trade back so people could trade up to get them, which pushed the emerging wide receivers down further. High end receivers are still king in dynasty. Kenyan Drake and Austin Ekeler-type players at running back can be found anywhere.
TS: I talked to 4for4.com’s Justin Edwards and he also chose to skip the running backs, but he went for QB-TE stacks. When you finally did take some backs, they were Ronald Jones and Sony Michel. Unsexy starters, but you’re right that the roster flexibility can be used to your advantage there. With all your trading back, you also ended up with five 2021 first round picks. In a recent startup of my own, I punted year one and acquired four firsts myself, so I have to ask: Does the uncertainty around college sports this year give you any pause at all about hoarding those first round picks?
ML: It does give me pause, but I think that we’re going to get to a place where the games are played, even with limited fans or none at all. It’s a billion dollar industry and funds all other campus sports. I can’t see it being completely shelved for a year. It also could’ve contributed to why I was able to get some of the picks. What’s the saying? ‘Buy when everyone else is scared?’