The Culling – Reforging the Jotunheim Giants

The inaugural 2019 Cecil Road Dynasty League season saw the Jotunheim Giants finish in a lowly 8th place.

Despite having the second highest scoring defence, the anaemic offence cost the Giants any shot at a play off berth.

It was time to review the roster and plan for 2020.

JG 2019

On inspection a few things stood out.

  1. Too many tight ends for the roster size
  2. No RB 1 or WR 1 on the roster
  3. Plenty of RB and WR depth but lacking upside
  4. Defence looks superb with plenty of DL depth, need a bit more LB depth

The roster looks ok. With the same roster I’d expect an improved finish in 2020 as the young RB and WR starters grow in to their roles but was there a realistic chance of this roster winning the league?

Probably not.

Having identified issues it was time to start looking for answers – the two main sources of which are trades and the draft.

The 2020 draft class was my first port of call – if I could identify which positions I might be able to target in the draft then I could address other needs in trades.

If there was one position group getting all the hype it was the incoming wide receiver class – if I could use my wide receivers as trade chips I felt I stood a good chance of replacing, or even improving, this position in the draft.

After getting a trade offer that saw Murray, Sanders and Bosa swapped for a trio of 2020 1st’s (and a variety of other picks) I could start to really plan around using the draft to target areas of need.

So I formulated a rough plan by position –

  • QB – Murray had gone so I needed another QB. I think the optimal number of QB’s for our league is two and so I wanted a good back up with upside. I wasn’t going to be able to get any value in trading for a QB and so the plan was to target Burrow or Tua in the early 2nd.
  • RB – RB 1’s are like gold dust. I had the 3rd pick so I wanted a running back at that slot. If I could trade for a running back using another first, or a 2nd plus a player, then that would set me up really nicely.
  • WR – loved the WR depth in this draft and so the plan was to accumulate picks in the early second and draft as many WR’s as possible whilst adding some in the later rounds if the chance arose.
  • TE – trade away one or two tight ends for picks.
  • DL – Most of my trade value lay in my starting defensive line and so this was where the picks had to come from. If I could make do with a couple of sophomores and hit on some free agents then that would have to do.
  • LB – The bulk of my points in the 2019 season came from my linebacker corps and so I wanted to keep this as intact as I could. Adding more depth in the draft was a must.
  • DB – I want to try focusing on starting strong safeties and see how that works which meant I could trade some of my bigger name players away. Hopefully I’d find someone of interest on waivers and look to add someone in the draft.

So after getting a rough idea of what I wanted to do I went about acquiring picks.

And acquire them I did.

Below is the depth chart with casualties in red.

JG 2019

And here’s the depth chart with trade acquisitions and free agents.

JG 2020 pre draft

So by position

  • QB – no change, had to come away from the draft with Burrow or Tua
  • RB – I’d managed to acquire Mixon in a trade using the 1.09 which took a lot of the pressure off of my RB corps. Still needed an RB at the 1.03 though. I’m excited by my depth players here as each has a reasonable path to producing in 2020.
  • WR – All my depth had gone which meant I could really hammer WR in the draft. Acquiring Ridley and Boyd were unexpected bonus’s which give some much needed stability at the position.
  • TE – Still have too many tight ends but really happy with each of them!
  • DL – Ouch. ‘Decimated’ might best describe this position but if Clowney (sign somewhere already!) and JPP can have solid seasons then it might not be a disaster. Burns and Simmons are great prospects but I needed to target some more long term upside in the draft.
  • LB – Not much change here, picked up Okereke and Pratt from waivers, who I think have great potential, to back up my starters.
  • DB – Added Willis and Reid (who also needs to sign somewhere) from waivers – CGJ was in my taxi and so should be in the previous depth charts! The strong safety experiment begins..

The roster had taken quite a battering but I’d also accrued a truly spectacular number of picks!

JG 2020 picks

Also added a few in 2021 including an additional 2 1st’s, 2 2nd’s and 2 3rd’s.

Lovely.

So that was the state of the roster heading in to the draft. I’ve covered what I did in the draft and the thinking behind each pick in previous blog posts (links below) and so I’ll move on to the post draft roster.

2020 Rookie Dynasty Draft – The Results. Rounds 1 & 2

2020 Rookie Dynasty Draft – The Results. Rounds 3,4,5 & 6

JG 2020

And the final position breakdown

  • QB – Got him! I secured Burrow with the 2.05. I likely could have waited a little but with so many picks there was no point risking it and leaving myself short. Love having him as a back up as his ceiling looks sky high.
  • RB – I got my no 1 ranked RB in CEH here and my back up running backs all have potential to claim starting jobs. Really happy with this position group now.
  • WR – I think the starting calibre of my WR’s has remained fairly stable, if not improved slightly, but the depth now has some real upside.
  • TE – Not much change, still probably too many.
  • DL – Kinlaw and Epenesa were my main targets along the defensive line in the draft so to get both is awesome. If Clowney and JPP don’t produce this year I feel confident that my depth players can step in and do a job.
  • LB – Added some of my favourite guys from this years class to my LB corps. I had to forgo some of the big names to secure other positions but my starting linebackers allowed me to take some risks here and hopefully claw back some value.
  • DB – The only addition here was Dugger who is another high-upside risk. Chances are he sits in the taxi squad this year. Just need Reid to sign somewhere!

Overall I think the roster has a much better chance of competing in 2020 and is in a substantially better situation going forward so I’m really pleased with how this off season has gone. We’re still a long way from the season starting (please let there be a 2020 season!!!) but as it stands I’m unlikely to make many more roster moves. I’m sitting at the roster limit which means I’ll have to cut two players on our cut-down day, which is going to suck, but hopefully by then I’ll have a clear idea of who I want in my active roster and who’s starting on IR as I’ll need those slots as well!

So there we have it, the tale of ‘The Culling’ and the current Jotunheim Giants roster in all it’s glory.

Time to win a championship.

King Thrym

Head Coach of the Jotunheim Giants

@kingthrym

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