Welcome, welcome all, to the second Fantasy Draft Recap of the 2017 Fantasy Draft. You guys got D3NE and AVZ yesterday, but we all know you were waiting for whatever matchup I was in. I would be too, don’t worry. Today I face off against the Guru, which will actually be a repeat of last year. I think he slightly came out ahead last year in voting, so this is my year of revenge. Get some. You already know the drill, so we can get straight to the article. By the way, shoutout to D3NE for doing some photoshop pictures for us. If only he could format lineups like I can. LEGGO!
Make ASouth Great Again #MASGA
Team Analysis (ASouth): We are the ASouth and we will stop at nothing to show our region’s strength. My team is very top heavy, the drop off between my starters and my backups is a pretty significant talent difference. I will admit I didn’t do the best job with the 3-5 backup spots but at the end of the day that doesn’t matter. Starting with singles I truly believe that I have the best #3 and the best #4 in the nation. Morkovine has the game to be a #1 player and Bouchet quite literally was the best #4 last year. With Barr and Roddy, I get two workmanlike guys who already have a solid base to work off of from last year. Seriously, read any of NE’s previews – once you get past all the Kool Aid you’ll see that Barr and Roddy are probably top 5 at their position. Barr was undefeated last year @ #2 singles. Roddy went three sets this fall with the ITA runner up and was close to undefeated in his freshman year. To me, I’ll win matches in the middle, preferably 3 out of those 4. Then I’ll rely on freshmen to take their games to the next level – Rozenvasser and Kenawi are slotted in and I think both have the potential for big years. I slotted freshmen at spots where the talent level was high (great draft strategy) because I knew my backups would be solid. High ceiling, high floor bitches.
Moving onto doubles, very interesting stuff here. I wanted to make a powerhouse #1 team of Mork/Rozenvasser but decided against putting a freshie at the top. My #1 team has all the doubles skills, my #2 team has a ton of firepower, and I decided to make Fallati and Gray my doubles specialists at #3. We all know about Gray’s doubles year last year and having a talent like Fallati at the bottom gives me hope I can take 2 of 3 doubles matches. My top team should work well together – both guys don’t really have any flaws and have had experience at the #1 spot. #2 is a total wild card but Rozenvasser has seen success with Zheng at #2 this year, I think this will be a very on and off team that can best anyone in the nation, especially in a 8 game pro set. Rozenvasser has an extremely strong serve and this should fit well with the powerhouse game of Mr. Barr.
By the way, I have one of the best player development coaches in Coach Todd, who adds reputation as well as a strong doubles history to my team. I’ll rely heavily on Mork, Wadwani, Roddy, and Larkin to be my leaders. All those guys are hard workers and can pass down Todd’s message to the younger guys. With a former player in Ian Wagner as my assistant, I don’t see any issues with Todd’s tough coaching style. This team should improve throughout the year on an already talented team. #MASGA
The Guru’s Take: This is a scary good bottom of the lineup and I think basically every other team will have a hard time competing all the way 3 through 6. The top of the lineup I don’t feel as great about as Rozenvasser is unproven in dual matches and Barr is moving up a spot from his good performance at #3 last year. I think you could make a case for MASGA having the best player in the country at spots #3-#5, but I can see this team getting in trouble at 1 singles, 2 singles and in doubles. Headed into the season, ASouth is probably in the top half of teams and I really like that four of his starters come from teams that are projected to finish top 5 in the country. He has a veteran senior leader in Mork and then a lot of youth, so I could see the chemistry here being good as the CMS senior keeps the young guys in line. If the freshmen and sophomores buy into Todd’s system, things could end up going very well. If I were ASouth, I’d explore several doubles combinations throughout the season because you don’t want to be trailing every match. This puts too much pressure on the bottom of the lineup because I just don’t see #1 and #2 singles winning a lot of matches against the best in the country.
The Law Firm: Arora, Cepelewicz & NESCAC
Team Analysis: Usually I would take this opportunity to pat myself on the back for a great draft for the second year in a row, however I only feel good about my team this year, I don’t feel great. Immediately following the draft last year, most people said I had the best team or was at least in the top three. This year I don’t feel the same, but I hope I’m wrong, so let’s get into my team analysis. The thing that I actually feel the best about is my doubles lineup. I think most teams are going to be hard pressed to match my lineup, especially at #2 and #3 doubles, which I view as my strongest spots in the lineup along with #1 and #3 singles. The thing that gives me pause about my team, is that I only feel confident about five spots: all three doubles as well as #1 and #3 singles, At #2, #4, #5 and #6, I definitely have a lot of potential, but I view myself as a coin flip at best headed into the season against most of these teams. My guys at these four spots have had good historical results and can certainly compete, but they will likely need to reach a new level if my team is going to end up in the top three best at the end of the season. I’m hoping that Cuba is absolutely dominant this season and that will give me an edge potentially getting up 2-0 every match. The bottom line is there are a lot of excellent teams and I certainly have the team to hang with any of them. I also believe my coaching staff is top notch. These teams with UAA players and such may be very good during regular season play, but by now we know that the NESCAC comes up big in the post-season and I expect more of the same in 2017.
D3ASouth’s Take: I’ll be totally honest with you. I’m not the best at judging doubles talent. When I look at the Guru’s Team (herein referred to as “The Law Firm”), I see a team that needs to win the doubles portion of the match to beat the top half of teams in the fantasy draft. The Law Firm has a studly #1 and #2 doubles team – I’m huge on Cuba this year and Kyle Wolfe is a doubles stud. With that team, they’ll be a favorite in almost every match. The team of Arora/Tercek is sneaky good, with big serves and great volleys I put them as one of the stronger #2 teams as well. This trickles down to the #3 team where The Law Firm has Liu and DQ, which should be a solid team. Expect this team to take 2-1 leads most of the time.
When we get to the singles portion, that’s where we have some issues. I’m not confident at all in The Law Firm’s #2, 4, 5, and 6 players in this format. He mentions this in his review so I won’t harp on it too much. I’m also very surprised that he picked somewhat weaker backups for these positions as well. The Guru needs a huge season from De Quant at #2 singles if he wants to steal some matches against the rest of the fantasy teams. Arora is somewhat of a wild card, he struggled at #4 last year and was a pretty solid #5, but I honestly thought that he’d be drafted in the first half of the backup rounds. The Guru has created a doubles heavy team, which leads me to my next point – the coaching.
I’m very interested in as to why the Law Firm employs Coach Fried as their coach. Historically, Fried has been a stellar singles and recruiting coach, but I have never thought of him as a doubles guy. Doubles is this teams strength, so I’m questioning the selection here. Also, The Guru mentions that the NESCAC always steps up at the end of the year, which is totally true. However, Coach Fried and Wesleyan have not been one of those teams that has had the opportunity to step up at the end of the year. Not to say that Coach Fried isn’t a good coach, because that’s far from the truth, I just question the fit on this team. It should be an interesting year – but I think the Guru really needs two guys to play over their heads this year to make this team a top fantasy team.
So, which team is better? Is the ASouth great again? Or will the Law Firm take home this matchup? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section. By the way, we’re coming up on about 2.5 weeks until Indoor Nationals! Get ready for your annual DraftKings competition. Also, keep sending those highlight videos! We will compile some of the best ones and post them, hopefully every week. Tweet, email, or do whatever you want to get these on the site. Until next time… ASouth, OUT.