Equal parts intimidating and intriguing, the Major League Ultimate fantasy game favors the informed. With up to eight players in a league and ten rounds of draft picks, you might feel by the end of your draft that your picks are mostly guesswork. Certainly MLU hopes that many of these names will become nationally-known by the end of its inaugural season. But, in the meantime? Ultiworld put together a draft kit that has you covered.
First, take a look at a crowdsourced top 50 picks, ranked by the number of times each player has been drafted in leagues so far. Then scroll down to see a mock draft from our own league of five Ultiworld writers and one guest contributor (Ring of Fire and Team USA’s Brett Matzuka), including analysis for why we picked who we did.
Top 50 Players:
1. Beau Kittredge (SF)
2. Seth Wiggins (SEA)
3. Mac Taylor (SF)
4. Peter Prial (BOS)
5. Cody Bjorkland (POR)
6. Oscar Pottinger (VAN)
7. Morgan Hibbert (VAN)
8. Ben Wiggins (SEA)
9. Jeff Graham (BOS)
10. Ashlin Joye (SF)
11. Danny Clark (BOS)
12. Khalif El-Salaam (POR)
13. Joseph Sefton (SEA)
14. Josh Markette (BOS)
15. Sean Keegan (DC)
16. Trey Katzenbach (PHI)
17. Phil Murray (SEA)
18. Dan Heijman (NY)
19. Adam Simon (SEA)
20. Will Neff (BOS)
21. Nate Castine (DC)
22. Brandon Malacek (BOS)
23. Kirk Savage (VAN)
24. Matt Rehder (SEA)
25. Tyler Kinley (SEA)
26. Martin Cochran (SF)
27. Sean Murray (PHI)
28. Nick Hirranet (PHI)
29. Mauro Ortiz (VAN)
30. Teddy Brower-Jarus (BOS)
31. Harrison Treegoob (PHI)
32. Sam Harkness (SEA)
33. Michael Baer (PHI)
34. Reid Koss (SEA)
35. Adam Holt (SEA)
36. Chris Mazur (NY)
37. Eli Friedman (POR)
38. Matt Glazer (PHI)
39. Ben Faust (NY)
40. Cassidy Rasmussen (SF)
41. Xtehn Titcomb (SEA)
42. Jeremy Norden (POR)
43. Russell Wynne (SF)
44. Nick Menzie (VAN)
45. Elliot Trotter (SEA)
46. Ryo Kawaoka (SF)
47. Samuel Kanner (SF)
48. Timmy Perston (POR)
49. Jeff Wodatch (DC)
50. Mario O’Brien (SEA)
The Ultiworld Draft List:
|Beau Kittridge (SF)||Danny Clark (BOS)||Sean Murray (PHI)||Mac Taylor (SF)||Morgan Hibbert (VAN)||Peter Prial (BOS)|
|Ben Wiggins (SEA)||Oscar Pottinger (VAN)||Matt Rehder (SEA)||Jeff Graham (BOS)||Martin Cochran (SF)||Dan Heijman (NY)|
|Tom Doi (DC)||Seth Wiggins (SEA)||Ben Faust (NY)||Will Neff (BOS)||Milo Snyder (NY)||Brandon Malacek (BOS)|
|Nick Hirranet (PHI)||Ashlin Joye (SF)||Sean Keegan (DC)||Alan Kolick (DC)||Cody Bjorkland (POR)||Joseph Sefton (SEA)|
|Khalif El-Salaam (POR)||Josh Markette (BOS)||Sam Harkness (SEA)||Jeff Wodatch (DC)||Matt Glazer (PHI)||Jordan Jeffery (SF)|
|Chris Mazur (NY)||Trey Katzenbach (PHI)||Jeremy Norden (POR)||Reid Koss (SEA)||Brent Anderson (BOS)||Timmy Perston (POR)|
|Delrico Johnson (DC)||Aaron Liu (VAN)||Cassidy Rasmussen (SF)||Nick Menzies (VAN)||Joseph Anderson (NY)||Nate Castine (DC)|
|Xtehn Titcomb (SEA)||Phil Murray (SEA)||Andrew Galilitis (VAN)||Tyler Kinley (SEA)||Michael Baer (PHI)||Aaron Loach (VAN)|
|Nick Purifico (PHI)||Adam Simon (SEA)||Daniel Trytiak (SEA)||Teddy Browar-Jarus (BOS)||Eli Friedman (POR)||Alex Simmons (BOS)|
|Erik Hunter (VAN)||Hunt Alcott (NY)||Moses Rifken (SEA)||David Cranston (DC)||Matty Zemel (SEA)||Zach Travis (SF)|
Charlie Eisenhood (Ultiworld Editor-in-Chief):
With the sheer amount of top talent in the MLU, picking the best fantasy options is definitely a challenge. A lot of teams are putting players into new roles, and without any previous stats to fall back on, it’s a bit more educated guesswork than serious analysis, particularly considering the convoluted scoring system in the MLU.
But I was gifted the overall number one pick, and it was an obvious choice: Beau Kittredge. Beau has long been known for bringing together elite athleticism with a high ultimate IQ, and his speed and jumping ability should let him bring down lots of scores. He’s also a workhorse and will see play in both directions in tight games, making him the perfect first option at my Superstar position.
You may see some names on my roster that are a bit unfamiliar on the national stage, notably Tom Doi and Delrico Johnson, both on the DC Current. Doi is quickly becoming one of the East Coast’s elite cutters, using his relentless speed and superior hops to pull down discs in the endzone. He already racked up some goals in Saturday’s game against the Spinners.
Johnson played last year on Medicine Men, the 2nd tier Men’s team in DC/Baltimore, and was their standout defender. He will be a rock for my D line cutter position, and he already showed up in this week’s matchup against the Spinners with a huge block.
Chris Mazur is playing O line for the Rumble, a departure from his usual defensive role. But his disc skills should let him rack up assists no matter what line he is playing on.
A note about my #2 pick, Ben Wiggins. With no disrespect to the legend, I accidentally selected him in lieu of his brother, Seth, who also plays for the Rainmakers. While I do hope that Wiggins ends up being a contributor, he has already told Ultiworld he likely won’t play much this season, focusing his efforts more on coaching.
Sean Childers (Ultiworld Statistics Co-Editor):
There’s so much talent that it’s hard to nail the first rounds, especially since this is going to be the first time these players will be statistically tracked in detail. But you want to find value in the middle rounds, and I did just that. First, someone reached on Ben Wiggins but left me Seth Wiggins in the 3rd round. Seth is going to play more points and he’s been the second most popular pick behind Kiitredge. Steal!
I haven’t seen Ashlin Joye in person either, but I was surprised to see the current Team USA player available in Round 4. He’ll miss some games for Team USA, but even so, he’ll be a big contributor. With a favorable matchup, Joye could be “superstar-ed” in any given week, making him a great Round 4 option. Trey Katzenbach is a leader and workhorse in the Philadelphia scene and I grabbed him in the sixth round. With Jake Rainwater not signed up for the Spinners, the goals are going somewhere — could be him. According to Leaguevine, Katzenbach led the Spinners in points played last season. One concern here is that MLU’s scoring bias towards superstars could hurt Katzenbach. He gets a ton of catches and almost always makes the right decision (98% completion percentage), but how often will that decision be a 40-yard contested huck?
Kahyee Fong (Ultiworld Contributor):
Following Ultimate is not my fulltime profession. And, unlike Charlie, I could not use my editor-in-chief clout to snake the first, obvious, draft choice; I had to use what little data I could find on the internet to make my picks.
I wanted to grab a top Philadelphia player early on. A Spinner player is a relatively safe choice, considering roles have already been defined over their previous year of professional experience. In retrospect, I probably could have waited to pick up Sean Murray in a later round.
My general thought after looking at the scoring system was to go for deep cutters. They are more likely to rack up the money stats (goals, assists, 40+ yards) while avoiding turnovers. I don’t think the number of completions stat will have as big of an impact. Finally, I wanted my D Line guys to come from the top teams in the league. Presumably, those guys will get more defensive reps.
Brett Matzuka (Guest Contributor; Team USA, Ring of Fire):
I went into the draft with a poor understanding of the rules; after reading more midway in, I realized that higher risk players are more valuable in this scoring system. A turnover is only -2, while a 40 yard completion is worth 5 points. Taking into account that 50% of 40+ yard completions are likely goals, this makes them a 10 point swing. Therefore, a high risk thrower only has to have approximately 33% completion percentage on hucks to attribute positive points, thus shifting my selection criteria somewhat.
I also tried to diversify across teams, as I didn’t want to cannibalize my own roster in terms of players taking points from each other, limiting my potential points cap. On top of that, I took into account what role each player plays in club and their strength against one another. For example, Boston has an extremely solid O Line, but their O Line will see the field less due to the strength of their team versus the rest of the field. So picking Boston D Line players seems better as they will likely play more often. Additionally, Boston has an extremely deep O Line so they will likely not have as many stand out point getters, but will distribute their fantasy points across the team.
Round 1, Mac Taylor (Superstar): I have played against Mac only a handful of times, including in college once, but my perception of his game is one similar to Kurt Gibson. He is a pure triple threat in that he can beat you with the disc, downfield, or on defense. I think he was an easy first round pick.
Round 2, Jeff Graham (O Cutter): I was trying to get a cutter who would catch a number of goals and decided on Jeff due to his work ethic and physical attributes. Most teams have a hard time marking a shorter, quicker cutter. It was a flip of a coin between him and Peter Prial, but the veteran experience came into light and I went for it.
Round 4, Alan Kolick (O Handler): I have played against Truck Stop many times in my young career; they have a few superstars who fly under the radar. Alan Kolick is that guy. He is the lynchpin to their offense getting the disc and punishing defenses by distributing it to the most threatening location every time. It was a hard decision between him and Sean Keegan as they are both huge playmakers for the DC boys (knowing Nate Castine is hurt).
Round 7, Nick Menzies (O Handler): I’ve had the pleasure of playing against Nick multiple times internationally. He schooled me in ’06 and is really skilled with the disc and plays to his strengths. I wanted to get a player on a team other than Boston, Seattle, DC, or San Fran, so seeing him available, made for an easy pick. Though he can be risky with the big throws, I think his completion percentage will bring in some big points.
Wes Cronk (Ultiworld Senior Analyst and Business Director):
Picks 1 & 2 — Morgan Hibbert & Martin Cochran: Since I was last to draft in the first round, I had two consecutive picks and wanted to use them on players that are established assets. Hibbert and Cochran are both well-known guys that give my team some flexibility because they play on the defensive side.
Pick 5 — Matt Glazer: Last season, Glazer was one of the Spinners’ top scorers in the AUDL and I am hoping he can translate that experience into another solid year. Having already secured a few defensive players earlier in the draft, I wanted to make sure to snag a good offensive cutter.
Pick 7 — Joe Anderson: This was certainly the pick that shows my New York bias the most. Frankly, at this point in the draft, I wasn’t overly familiar with the talent pool I had to select from so I took Anderson, a guy I’ve seen play a few times, has a ton of energy, and could be a valuable contributor to my team on defense.
Jeremy Weiss (Ultiworld Statistics Co-Editor):
Timmy Perston. aka Orange Beanie: You could say Timmy P made a name for himself in Chasing Sarasota. Or you can get a glimpse of his zany character in this interview, layouts galore. But most of all, I picked based on this one layout spectacular.
Heijman, Malacek: How many Madison legends can one fantasy team handle? The lore surrounding handlers Heijman and Muffin is strong, and is verifiable in Muffin’s own documentary. More recently, if you saw the Rumble’s preseason game, you saw Heijman collect half of the New York’s assists. And, remember, Muffin’s fondness of “throwing to space” will be validated with the MLU field size, the Innova disc, and the talented Boston roster.
Jordan Jeffery: In the Nexgen and Sarasota games, Jeffery has quietly established “unguardable cutter” status. With precision timing and excellent athleticism, Jeffery will continue his rise as the “continuation score”.