Monday, December 8, 2014

Live Snow Cup Draft Recap

Managing Editor Andy Marmer, West Editor Chris Lock, West Correspondent Kaylee Buchholtz, and special guest Dakota Briggs will bring you our live thoughts on the Snow Cup draft. Join us for our live thoughts, and make sure to refresh.

Andy: A couple of seekers went off the board really early. I thought Keir Rudolph second and Stew Driflot third might have been a bit of a reach

Dakota: I think that Stew was a bit early

Kaylee: I've played with him before he's good but he gets injured

Chris: My biggest problem with Stew so early is that he has yet to prove himself in official competition in high pressure situations. No one is going to argue Stew is a good player, but we haven't seen him play the likes of UCLA, Lost Boys, etc. so there's a level of experience to be expected there that he hasn't gained yet.

Chris: What does everyone think about the Cy Torrey pick?

Andy: I think that Ren has a clear strategy in mind, when you consider his other picks. Cy and Sarah Kneiling are both solid beaters and with Keir he has one of the top seekers. He hasn't yet taken a quaffle player so we'll see if he can put up points, but his seeker game should be the best there

Chris: It's really reminiscent of the purple squad he played on last year. From my insider knowledge, the team was built on staying within snitch range and having a 60-point range of margin to play with as long as they had a dependable seeker. No mistake either that the seeker who eliminted him is his first pick

Dakota: Zach Holly and Andrew Murray is a great combo

Andy: I don't think I've ever disliked a Dan Hanson draft pick except when he was stealing players from me in two straight drafts.

Chris: Alex Scheer is also silently making a team of very solid players, but they need beaters.

Andy: I like what Chris Beesley is doing Emily Hickmott in the third round is the steal of the draft at this point

Andy: Grant does know there are players West of Utah playing here right? Two Utah players and two Kansas players

Chris: But really though, I don't have a huge problem with him team so far. Very balanced, and he's got two great betaers in a draft that's shallow at that position

Kaylee: Ryan McGonagle is a good pick. He's new this year but he's one of our best beaters.

Chris: My only question is does he have enough of a reputation to take that early? None of the GMs have seen him at length so Amanda may have been able to wait a few rounds and get him as a late steal.

Kaylee: Yeah I don't think he should have gone this early. If nothing else because no one else would have known about him to take him

Andy: You guys are underestimating the amount of homework GMs do

Chris: That's fair, but Ryan is a completely unknown name. I'm not suprised the only AZ GM is the one who picked him.

Chris: Dan's team is going to be in the pool of bruises

Kaylee: I just got drafted to Vanessa's team and I don't know anyone can someone fill me in?

Andy: Vanessa drafts like an out-of-region GM. I feel like local GMs too often are limited by the players in their region. Her team is really good and should be a contender (as always)

Chris: Tyler McLaren led lime green on offense at West Fantasy, Chandler is a very experienced beater, and Erika is a highly underrated female chaser from Vegas. She played on Brown in West Fantasy. I don;t know Austin or Josh, but Vanessa looks like she's drafting a cohesive team versus well known individually strong players.

Kaylee: Vicky and Ryan on thte same team is good. They play really well together. They're both new but Vicky is a pretty solid female beater

Andy: Can I just say that I've grown to love snake drafts. I spent something like 12 hours drafting West Fantasy and this will take under an hour

Chris: I too, am shocked at how fast this is going.

Andy: Dan Hanson's team is scary good right now. He got a seeker in the fourth round in Alex Richardson that is as good as some of the first round seekers in my opinion

Chris: I think that highlights another problem with drafting seekers in the first round, it kills your depth unless they have first round talent at another position. Alex gives just at much at chaser, if not more, that keir does at beating on top of being a good seeker.

Dakota: Emerson Evans so good

Andy: I've never heard of him; elaborate?

Dakota: ALSO, just gonna put this out there, Grant had the opportunity to get George and I (Best Friends and Captains) and Hai all on the same team and he chose Julia Thomas. He gave up Hecka Synergy for a girl beater that could have waited one round.

Chris: For the sake of Grant's team, I hope the 3 of them are able to find some form of chemistry

Andy: Chris Beesley just keeps making out of region steals.

Andy: This is crunch time here though. I don't think you can win a draft in the first few picks but you can definitely lose it. The key to winning a fantasy tournament is luck with drops and maximizing your late round value.

Andy: We're nearly through. Instant reactions: who you got?

Chris: Brown Team gonna repeat! (no actualy analysis there, I'm just be self-confident). The people who look good to me at a quick glance are Orange (Fernandez is a good seeker and at the 6th that's deep value), I don't know enough about Purple but they look intriguing, White and Black both look like contenders

Chris: Andy, who's your 1-3 teams so far?

Andy: I can't read the colors but Dan Hanson is my favorite followed by Evan Bell and Chris Beesley. I like Andrew and you respectively to anchor offenses and think both teams have enough talent at beating and seeking. I really like Vanessa's team too though.

Chris: Speaking of Vanessa's team, Dan Marovitch at #9 is highway robbery. Anyone who doesn't know him should watch the first five minutes of SJSU vs. Gambits

Andy: I don't think I appreciated it before but there's a real skill to drafting a team. Looking at the teams I like all of the GMs are experienced GMs who have done this before. Vanessa and Dan especially are great at finding late value.

Chris: In contrast to your point Andy, I think Ren Bettendorf did a good job in his first ever GM role

Chris: As we're coming to the end , should everyone list their thoughts on best and worst (is that appropriate?) picks?

Andy: I've got two best picks: Alex Richardson in the fourth round to Dan Hanson and Emily Hickmott in the third round to Chris Beesley. In Alex Dan got one of the best seekers in the tournament, three rounds later than some of his competitors. In Emily, Chris got a very underrated chaser who was crucial to Tufts Regional Championship. As far as worst pick I have to look at Stew Driflot. That's not meant against Stew personally as I think he's a great player, but seeing the later picks I think that Turtles could have gotten more value there.

Dakota: I would like to point out some of the best underrated picks, actually. Emerson Evans going in the 7th is crazy to me, he is the center of Utah's Offense, and I also really love the first three picks (Rush, Garrison, Pisano) of Scheer. Those three are quality players.
The Worst picks in my opinion would be Stew, for the same reasons, Julia Thomas, because she could have waited, Sofia de la Vega and Anthony Hawkins also could have waited

Chris: I hope Stew never discovers this discussion exists.

Kaylee: Except for the fact that log of this conversation is being posted haha

Dakota: Stew gets shuts down so easy by beaters

Andy: The thing about the Stew pick to me is that it only looks bad in retrospect. If he is picked third and Alex Richardson fifth it doesn't look as bad

Chris: So the best pick in my opinion came from, like Andy said, Dan Hanson, but not the same pick I actually like his Forrest Stone pick at No. 10. It's essnetially the same argument as Richardson, but even six rounds later. White team both gets depth that shouldn't be as low as 10 in seeker and chaser. Now he has a monopoly on seekers two. Richardsson and Stone are among two of the better seekers in the draft and they're on one team. Even if one of them red cards out, they're still a seeking threat. Even if one of them red cards out they're still a seeking threat. Close to that is Andrew Tita in the 9th round.

Dakota: Tita's a steal

Chris: As far as worst pick goes, Tye Rush at #10 because it broke my heart

Andy: Quick Chris make fun of Evan so you can continue your streak of bromancing Tye and taking shots at Evan.

Chris: His team looks like shit

Andy: Terrible first round pick?

Kaylee: Well he did pick you first...damnit Andy

Chris: That's harsh guys. I was talking about the color.

Andy: You can't win a fantasy tournament with a team built around Chris Lock.

Dakota: Chris Lock is the best

Kaylee: I don't think I know enough about all of the players to say what the best pick was but I agree that Stew first round was probably the worst. Nothing personal against him it just seemed like Turtles could have grabbed him in a later round. I felt that way about a few of her picks actually.

Chris: Just so we're not being completely unfair to Stew, I think there were at least 4 questionable picks in the first round. He's just the earliest.

Chris: Do we want to do a round table of undoudbtedly incorrect predictions of overall best, worst, and sleeper teams?

Andy: Since I started the other one I'll let someone else start here

Chris: My sleeper team is purple. This is probably one of the top three teams in terms of beaters from top-to-bottom but I'm interested in how their quaffle play will turn out and if it will be enough to make sure Keir can get in range. I think no one is praising this team as the best team, but I would not be surprised to see them in the finals.

Dakota: The only problem with Purple is that their chaser line is very thin

Chris: That's true, but I'm also thinking back to last year's Snow Cup when Grey went to finals basically on the back of Keir's seeking

Andy: When I'm evaluating a team the first question I look at is whether they have someone that can anchor an offense. I see that in every team but Purple

Dakota: Purple's best chaser/keeper is Joel

Andy: But can he lead the line.

Dakota: Anyways, two teams that I think will be fun to look for is Beesley's team. There are a lot of good steals on his team, and he has appropriate amount of big names to hold it together. Another one, (And I may be a bit biased) is Roger's team. I was actually really nervous when I got picked on this team, but our chaser line is really solid AND we are all behind the scene support players, and we have synergy with Kansas beater squads

Andy: I've said it before, but my favorite here is Dan's white team. They just have a lot of good players. Sleeper I'm taking Vanessa. I'm not sure if this team is too good to be a sleeper, but with her first three picks out of region I don't think people will appreciate how good players like Tylor and Chandler are. Also since Chris and Dakota you each pointed out sleepers on her team, I feel like there are a lot of good players that people might not know buried on this roster.

Chris: We need to talk worst teams as cruel as it sounds.

Andy: Well you and I won't agree Chris because I'm going to take Purple as the bottom team. I just don't think they have the quaffle game to stay with every other team

Dakota: I agree with Andy. Their beater game can only do so much to help them out

Chris: Just for the sake of argument, since you're a fan of Beasley Blue, where's the offense coming from there?

Dakota: Anthony Hawkins, Emily Hickmott, Gina Allyn, Tyler Jewell, Brenden Frisella, Steven Dowdle are all great pick ups.

Chris: You've got Hickmott and Allyn at 3rd and 4th picks, but they play the same position. I don't know Tyler Jewell or Branden Frisella as well so I may just be overlooking them, in which case I hear your point.

Dakota: Brendan Frisella is a steal. He reminds me of Craig Garrison, just less known. He really impressed me last Snow Cup.

Andy: I think you're underestimating the out of region players. Hickmott, Jewell and Frisella were all one to two rounds under-picked

Chris: I've played with Hickmott, and I know she's a great player to have on your squad. My gripe is: why take Gina Allyn immediately after that? Nothing against Gina, I know she's good, but you shouldn't be dipping into you bench by 4th pick since there;s already a female chaser on the roster. unless Beasley is going dual male beaters.

Andy: Mazzella is a very aggressive beater so I wouldn't be surprised. He actually seems to have all the makings of that lineup

Dakota: I don't think he'll run a two male beater line. I think he did it for security. He picked two of the better female chasers in the draft, and now has options because of it.

Andy: Why are you so down on Beesley's team?

Chris: I think it goes back to our original discussion of stew being picked too early. I think has actually been known to have more production than Hawkins, so if Stew went too early then Hawkins did too. Especially when Andrew Murray and Tye Rush were still on the board, two players who are known to be outstanding and while Hawkins is a good player, I don't think he's the kind of player who will single handedly weave through defense so he'll need support. Hickmott is good and if Frisella is really a Craig Garrison type player then I feel better about blue

Dakota: Yeah, I agree with that statement. I think they both went too early

Andy: It's tough to win when you mess up your first pick.

Dakota: The first round of this draft is really interesting to me. I honestly think that the first three picks should have been, Murray, Rush, then Garrison, but that is my personal opinion.

Andy: Overall? or that the three of them should have been picked in that order?

Chris: Are you forgetting Tony Rodriguez?

Dakota: Overall and No. Tony is good, but from what I have seen this year, if you can wear him out, his defense suffers and I would petition that Murray is the better player on the Gambits, but this is from only a couple tournaments that I have seen. His hustle and ballhandling really impress me.

Chris: I definitely see the argument for Murray as #1 but it's hard to imagine Rodriguez going lower than top three

Dakota: To explain the other two, both Rush and Garrison are very well rounded players that have the ability to mold to the situation they are in. Rush led his team to a championship at West because of his ability to adapt, and Garrison is on the best team in the world. I dunno food for thought

Andy: For me there were about seven players here that you could build a team around: Rodriguez, Lock, Hai, Murray, Rush, Mclaren and Garrison and I probably would have gone for them in that order. It's tough for me to see a team winning this tournament without one of those seven.

Chris: Also to summarize my thoughts on Blue, I don't think they're inherently bad or Hawkins is the worst first round pick or anything, he's been very effective for Long Beach this season. More I was getting at the quaffle line looks similar to purple and though Hawkins will have an edge over Rudolph is quaffle play, Rudolph brings the seeking ability. It's not to me that one is bad but it's that I don't think they're far enough apart one can be great and the other be the worst team

Dakota: Two of those seven are on Scheer's team. Plus, Pisano is a top female chaser in this draft. Building a team around those three is solid

Chris: Scheer's first three picks were great

Andy: But two aren't necessarily better than one, because what you've just highlighted is what I think is the weakness(es) of Scheer's team: beating and depth. Honestly I don't like his later picks and I think there are a bunch of beater lines that will give this group fits. Rush and Garrison are really good players, as is Pisano, but that chaser line isn't head and shoulders above everyone else to the point they can win without bludger control.

Chris: Andy, I think you hit the nail on the head. Scheer did well in his earlier picks but it mostly looked good because he paired garrison with rush

Dakota: Both Rose and Denney are decent picks for Scheer, but I agree with Andy. They are heading their beater play.

Andy: I will say we've all criticized the Stew pick at various points, but I don't think anyone has said anything bad about Turtles' team. Did she pull off what Ren failed to do in building around a seeker but getting enough talented players to surround that star seeker? What's weird is I don't think I like any of her picks, but I like her team as a whole

Chris: I'm very 50/50 on her team. She did great on the ASU beaters and getting Gamlin I think made up for taking Stew early. Also, has Hatch played at all this year?

Dakota: Turtles' team is actually really even, from first glance. They have a lot of really good mid-level players and she has all the components to win games. The only thing I have is if the team will mesh well together. I want to say they will, but I can see it being like BluSA at West.

Chris: And for that to occur, I think certain people on this roster need to learn to pass.

Dakota: I actually think that Evan's team is in the same boat as Amanda's, but he has a lot more team synergy coming into this tournament, with four Crimson Players. I also think that he even picked good subs. I might actually have to say his team is a strong sleeper team.

Andy: I can see that. To me this looks like a solid squad. I don't think he made any bad picks, but I also don't see any wow picks that are going to win him a title.

Chris: I can't really objectively say much here since it's my team but I'll do my best. I feel kind of like I did after the west fantasy draft. A lot of hidden potential on the squad but not really sure to what to expect heading into the tournament

Andy: Well we know how that turned out. Grey could be a sleeper. The have a good beating line and multiple scoring threats. For me this team will turn on Hai. Their female depth (or lack thereof) is also a bit concerning

Dakota: I like that they have Hai, but I think that George Williams is going to be doing a lot on Defense and offense that Hai just can't bring to the table such as big hits, and the ability to play any position.

Andy: Those two should complement each other really well actually

Chris: Is Hai playing regularly again?

Dakota: Not to my knowledge.

Andy: And that's why I think he's the key to this team

Dakota: I agree. They have some of the most experienced people in the draft on their team. They should know what is what

Chris: I think the first four picks instantly make this team a contender. Ben Reuling and Doug Whiston are both highly valued beaters, and after the top four, I can't spot any bad picks, although I know Dakota you'll say Julia shouldn't have taken your spot.

Andy: Not to rehash an old topic, but we're getting lambasted on facebook for our criticism's of Stew.

Dakota: Hahahah. I am getting backlash for my comments about Tony

Andy: I think half the GMs have publicly called us idiots at this point

Chris: I guess it's the risk we take!

Kaylee: I don't think Stew is bad. He's a valuable player and he's an asset on fantasy teams. I just don't think he's first round. But I'm not a GM so

Chris: And I think Kaylee accurately summarized what we were saying. No one in this discussion thinks Stew is bad, but if we're seeking, why not Tye Rush? He beat Stew's team in the West Fantasy championship. If we're taking chasing ability, why not Andrew Murray? and if we're talking both, why not Tye Rush again?

Dakota: If we're talking ability to drink inhuman amounts of alcohol, why not Ben Reuling?

Chris: Thank you for interpreting Dan Hanson's comment of good teammate!

Chris: Last thing I want to say on Stew though is that if Amanda planned to build a team around Stew's play style, I'm not entirely opposed. Him and Gamlin hypothetically make a good pair, and if she has a specific gameplan that Stew's chasing/seeking combo fits with, I wont fault her for it

Andy: Dakota hit on something a minute ago that we should probably talk about. I think we're going on three hours and have spent less than five minutes on Chris Seto's team. Can one of you convince me this team isn't Tony and friends.

Chris: I'll just say if Tony is following the official drinking game where you have to drink when you end up being on a team with former teammates, he'll be intoxicated, but I'm looking forward to watching (not playing) tony and Casey work together

Andy: I feel like Chris knew he was getting Tony and spent the entire time picking a team that would work around Tony, but in doing so he didn't put together the best team he could have

Dakota: I actually think that Seto made a lot of really strong picks with Thompson who is a driving force at Boise and is often overlooked, Brandon Nhean is one of my favorite players to watch play because he is fierce and can make the big hits.

Andy: I also think Seto was really hurt by his draft slot. Dakota hit on this earlier, but the top pick was a rough spot in this draft since the drop off from Tony on down isn't as big as the drop off from the middle of the second round to the end of it.

Dakota: The first three round talent is really even in a lot of places, and even down to seventh round, there are players that I think are top three round material.

Chris: One thing I'd like to say is that, in general, Seto has a good idea of what he's doing when it comes to picking players. and dealing with Tony on a good GM's team initially makes me think trouble

Andy: Also with players like Gamlin and Williams falling into the third round, keepers weren't that scarce her

Dakota: But when you have a superstar with Tony, getting a second person who plays keeper can be a gamble.

Andy: Right; so Seto was really handcuffed.

Chris: It's too bad Evan Bell wasn't in the draft as a player, then Seto would have had a second option

Andy: I feel like Seto, Scheer, Daigle, Bell all fall into this category of teams that made all the right picks but didn't do anything impressive.

Chris: Justin Fernandez still stands out to me an impressive pick

Dakota: They are teams that will prove whether their picks were actually as smart as we think they are at the tournament.

Chris:I thikn one thing Seto did that was really smart is every single beater he picked that I recogniszze is a solid player. Jus tht thought of Tony with beater protection makes the team a contender in my opinion. That being said I don't know who their male beater substitute is so I might eat my words.

Dakota: Yeah, give the man the mid range shot, and he'll drain it every time. So, Chris, how about that Green team, eh? You like what you see? Any names starting with D stand out to you?

Andy: Do you happen to mean Dakota Briggs

Chris: A few people stand out to me on this squad and Dakota is one. He's a an all-positions player and he's competent at all of them. I think it's a great value at 5th round and about the only pick Thompson got value above round, except for maybe Binger. Binger is arguably first round

Andy: What's weird to me about this team is that the players were seemingly drafted out of order. Binger feels like the star of this team, yet he was the second round pick. McDonald and Briggs both arguably belonged alongside Brooks and Mousa. Basically if you put the top five picks of this team out there, I would never accurately guess the round each were picked. The big problem here is I just don't see anyone past the top five that I think will step up and lead this team through a bracket.

Dakota: A couple things that I can see working against us, is that I don't really know any of our girl chasers, or if we have much depth in that field, and that could really come back to bite us in the butt. That being said, we have very good, experienced beaters. A sleeper that we got and the most valued sleeper that we got was Jake Hernandez. He's on Utah State with me, and the kid is solid. I agree with Andy. Our first 5 rounds are all very well known, and deserve to be top five picks. Except Dakota

Chris: Oh, I totally overlooked Mclaren Cundiff. She's a solid beater. One thing I'll say about Caylen McDonald is that she'll be extremely effective if you guys use her properly. Soooooo.....use her properly

Dakota: So play her at Beater? Got it!

Chris: And don't let her sub out from it either while you're at it!

Andy: We haven't actually talked about the most important part of Snow Cup. Everything but the quidditch, but we're also going on three and a half hours so how about some parting words.

Dakota: The last thing I am going to say is that even though the quidditch is going to be competitive and can be expected to be one of the better fantasy tournaments all year, what makes Snow Cup magic is everything else. Snow Ball has been my baby since Snow Cup 2 and it is one of my favorite parts of the whole weekend. Plus, you are going to make friends that will last throughout your quidditch career even farther.

Kaylee (Editor's Note: Yes she's been here the whole time): The angry mob can put their pitchforks down, no one thinks Stew is a bad player.

Chris: The biggest shame of Snow CUp V is that the best player in the draft was a GM and it's a shame we won't see Ren Bettendorf in uniform

Andy: Too bad I'm not making it two for two in West-based Fantasy titles, but at least I'll take solace in the fact that Dan Hanson won't win one, even though I totally think he will.

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