The first annual Fantasy Sports Weekend at Monmouth Park, presented by the Fantasy Sports Network (FNTSY) was highlighted by two prominent Fantasy Football drafts on August 29. The first-ever FNTSY Cup featured a mix of Fantasy Experts and celebrities, and the Fantasy League of Experts (FLEX) Cup draft included many of the top names in the Fantasy industry. Many Fantasy Football players packed the William Hill Race and Sports Book to see their favorite analysts and luminaries make their selections, and the No. 1 overall pick in each FNTSY Weekend draft was different, although both were running backs.
In the FNTSY Cup, NFL Hall of Famer and FNTSY ambassador Chris Doleman had the first pick. The legendary Minnesota Vikings defensive end was a participant in the SiriusXM Celebrity Fantasy Football League last year and won his first eight games on his way to finishing with the best record in the regular season. For his No. 1 overall selection, Doleman stayed true to the Purple, Gold and White by selecting Adrian Peterson. Doleman said he took Peterson with the first pick because the superstar RB is going to get even more involved as a pass-catching running back under offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who is working with Peterson over a full season for the first time in his career.
In the Flex Cup, FanDuel Insider analyst and Fantasy Black Book Author Joe Pisapia took Packers RB Eddie Lacy No. 1 overall. The differing top picks in each draft reflects the lack of any real consensus on early draft flow in Fantasy Football this season. Lacy plays in a very potent offense and could be even better this year than he was in 2014. The Packers could lean on Lacy more with the loss of Jordy Nelson in the passing game, and also in an effort to take a bit of additional pressure off Aaron Rodgers.
Some other highlights from the FNTSY Cup draft, with the full results here.
-National Fantasy Football Championship Hall of Famer Chris Vaccaro took Falcons WR Julio Jones after Doleman picked Peterson. It was a move that stirred some buzz at Monmouth Park, but the top NFFC players are known for being more aggressive than the average Fantasy participant.
-SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio Host Lisa Ann took Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch No. 9 overall, right before the RotoExperts.com team of Scott Engel and Adam Ronis were up for their first selection. Lisa Ann teased Engel that she took a top player from his favorite team, but he responded by agreeing on Cowboys WR Dez Bryant with Ronis and they did not draft a single Seahawk. Engel said he never drafts with his heart, and Lisa Ann also drafted Jimmy Graham two rounds later, much to the amusement of Engel.
-New York Jets fan favorite Wayne Chrebet also demonstrated you cannot draft based on allegiances, taking Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski to end the first round with the No. 14 pick. Chrebet simply wanted the best player available on the board, and Gronkowski gave him an obvious early advantage at a very thin Fantasy position.
-“Tommy G” of Scout.com was the first owner to take a QB, nabbing the Colts’ Andrew Luck with the 10th pick in the second round. TNA Wrestling star and avid Fantasy player Eric Young then took Aaron Rodgers with the third pick of the third round.
Highlights of the FLEX Cup draft, with the full results here.
-Brandon Marianne Lee of Her Fantasy Football took Colts WR Andre Johnson with the fourth pick of the third round. Johnson is playing with the best QB of his career, Luck, and could be primed for a very big year as a Fantasy WR2.
-Michael Salfino of Yahoo Sports and the Wall Street Journal picked Rams RB Todd Gurley with the third pick of the 12th round. It was a selection that stirred some disagreement from other Fantasy experts, but Gurley does have some superstar potential when he finally returns to the field.
– Jeff Ratcliffe of Pro Football Focus jumped on Texans RB Arian Foster at 4.04. The news keeps improving for Foster as he recovers from groin surgery, so it could be a season-changing pick for Jeff.
-Some interesting values came later in the draft at QB. Pat Thorman of PFF nabbed Miami’s Ryan Tannehill at 10.06 and Jim McCormick of ESPN snatched up Philadelphia’s Sam Bradford with the next pick. Bradford had a strong finish to the preseason and could turn out to be a terrific selection in the double figure rounds.