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The King's Scott Fish Bowl Draft Review

For many years, professionals in the Fantasy Football industry attempted to create a Gold Standard of leagues, one that would be looked on as the premier experts competition in the country. For those who follow fantasy baseball, the annual Tout Wars drafts are considered the most prestigious experts' leagues in the business. Yet until recently, there was no true Tout Wars of Fantasy Football.

As fantasy football continues to mushroom in popularity, though, there are a few experts leagues that are gaining more prominence. They include the FLEX (Fantasy League of Experts), which has rankings whiz Jake Ciely as a primary organizer and promoter, and the King's Classic, spearheaded by fantasy icon Brad Evans and consistency guru Bob Lung.

But the most popular and influential fantasy football expert competition that has clearly become the singular most talked-about league of leagues over the past few years is the Scott Fish Bowl (#SFB9). It is not just a pure showcase group of leagues like Tout Wars or the FLEX. It’s a bigger mass gathering of leagues that has become the foremost Fantasy Football Invitational in the industry. Anybody who is somebody in the fantasy world is involved, and everyone else who plays at a high level is trying to get in.

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What is the Fish Bowl?

Run by Fanball’s Scott Fish, a published expert since 2005, the circuit has been growing more every year to the point where it now consists of 12 100-team leagues, not to mention the satellites to try to play your way in for next season. The rules are here, but essentially it’s a Superflex league with four flex spots, Scoring is half-point PPR with an extra point for TEs and six points for a TD pass. Teams are divided into conferences and divisions and compete for the individual division/league championships as normal. However, they can also advance to conference play from their divisional leagues to win the ultimate overall championship. The complete playoff rules are here.

Scott also runs Fantasy Cares, a charity that assists children in need during the holiday seasons.

Because being invited or winning your way into the Fish Bowl is such a badge of inclusion in the fantasy industry, it seems everyone is talking about the format on platforms such as SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio, where Scott now hosts a show, or on social media, where it is routinely discussed. Those who play are not the only ones talking about the ninth installment of the Fish Bowl. Many who want in, or just want to learn from what the participants, are following the happenings.

Plus, the Fish Bowl includes fans and regulars who have proven they can play at high levels.

Last season, I won my individual division/league. I’ve had some Fish Bowl success before, finishing with the best record in my division twice in four years in addition to two trips to conference play. This season, I landed the 11th pick in my league. I’ve had some of my best performance by focusing on WRs while others were rushing to get the top RBs or going for QBs early.


The King's Draft

Of course, I don’t hold firm to any strategy and always go with the flow of the draft. My mindset in the #SFB9 was as always, to grab the best overall player when it’s my turn as long as he fit comfortably on my roster. Here is a look at the final roster, courtesy of Josh Hornsby's magnificent custom SFB9 app:

So while it wasn’t a firmly planned strategy, I landed two of the top three WRs overall in my estimation at picks 11 and 14 with Davante Adams and Michael Thomas. I then made it three WRs to start my draft as I just could not resist taking A.J. Green at 35th overall. If he stays healthy this season I will have the luxury of having three WR1 types in my starting lineup.

I then took Marlon Mack in the fourth round, the finisher for what may the deepest offense in the league, after a breakout year. The undervalued Mark Ingram was my fifth pick. Don’t talk to me about him being 29 years old. He has never been a full-time featured back, so I am not worried about wear and tear to this point. He’ll successfully seize a deserved opportunity to finally be the clear RB1 for a team and can benefit from playing in a RPO offense with Lamar Jackson.

I then took two QBs, waiting on the position for a pair of passers who don’t get the respect they deserve. Jared Goff had soared as high as QB2 overall just before Cooper Kupp was injured last season, and Philip Rivers always lasts too long in drafts. He has been a guaranteed 4,200-yard, 28-TD QB in each of the last six seasons.  Four times during that span, he has thrown for 30-plus TD passes and 13 or fewer interceptions.

When I did not get one of the top-three TEs early, I decided to wait as long as I could for a decent starter and took Trey Burton in the eighth. He may have his best season yet in the second year in a Matt Nagy offense, especially if Mitch Trubisky is more consistent and stays healthy.


Late-Round Value

I happily took D’Onta Foreman in round nine, and he should be the lead goal-line back for Houston at the very least. I will look for the real Golden Tate (Round 10) to re-emerge this year with a WR3 floor. I then took the very promising Chris Herndon in the 11th, shortly before his four-game suspension was announced. I expected it to be two, but I will wait for him to return and possibly be a quality complimentary starter in this format. I added Herndon as a free agent last year and he served me adequately as a rookie.

I threw up in my mouth a little when I took Marcus Mariota in the 12th, but I could not wait any longer for a backup QB. Adrian Peterson was a great depth pick in the 13th, and I was overjoyed to get one of my 2019 breakout stars, Michael Gallup, in Round 14.

Jerick McKinnon was well worth the 15th round flier, and Ricky Seals-Jones could pop back onto the fantasy radar this year as a red-zone target for Kyler Murray, so I tabbed him in the 16th. Trey Quinn, who could actually become Washington’s most dependable WR, was the last of my notable picks in the 18th round.

Ultimately, I love my receivers, I feel good about having two solid RBs and QBs, and I feel the depth is solid from thereon. TE may be my biggest position to be concerned about.

But of course, things always look differently a few weeks into the year than they do on draft day. And you can never feel fully comfortable when you are competing against 1,199 other savvy owners.

I may be called the King but in this league, I’m just a fish in a large pond like everyone else.

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