The Fix is my latest series, jumping into the GM chair for the bottom four PLL teams, coming up with an offseason plan for how to fix the squad and get them back into contention. This includes strategy and targets in both drafts, plus some fantasy trades and other moves I think could help bring success. Finally: Chaos LC.
Chaos went 0-4 in group play in 2020, then went on a miracle fun to the final, then lost in said final. By draft order, this should be Redwoods, but I felt like Chaos was in need of a bit more fixing overall.
What’s wrong with Chaos?
In the group stage? Everything. Chaos went 0-4, failing to score double-digit goals in any of those four losses. That started off with arguably its worst loss of the season against Chrome. As you probably remember, Chaos had a major halftime lead before letting Chrome come back to win. It was then chirped into oblivion by rookie Matt Gaudet, whom Chaos had traded to Chrome in the first place.
In a normal season, Chaos maybe would have aimed at securing the No. 1 overall pick, but with the weirdness of the Championship Series, everybody made the playoffs. That’s where Chaos finally put it together, defeating Chrome and Archers on the way to the championship game. Once again, it carried a lead into halftime before getting smoked in the second half, eventually losing, 12-6, to Whipsnakes.
You could argue that making the championship game is a success.I still included Chaos in this series because it finished 2-5 on the season. This team won a very ideal two games, but it still wasn’t the season I was hoping for when I predicted Chaos as PLL champions before the start of the Championship Series.
If anything specifically went wrong, it was a combination of an anemic offense and a defense that relied way too much on Blaze Riorden to bail it out. Granted, Riorden did routinely bail the defense out and earned a second-straight Goalie of the Year award in the process, but Chaos could still stand to not have him taking 30-plus shots per outing. Meanwhile, the offense failed to score more than nine goals in any of the team’s losses and could use additional aid to get things rolling. The surprise benching of Connor Fields seemed to help, but there’s work to be done.
How does Chaos’s College Draft look?
Chaos LC doesn’t have a super high pick, but it does have a solid depth of picks. The team currently owns the No. 6, No. 14, No. 15, No. 19, No. 22, and No. 30 picks in the upcoming 2021 College Draft. That gives Chaos plenty of ammunition to add pieces to this squad, either through its current selections or packaging picks to move up in the draft. We’ll just make selections for its picks here, but I have a few trade package ideas I’ll mention later on.
Round 1, Pick 6: Jeff Teat, Attack, Cornell
Teat at six?! Hang on, it’s not as crazy as it seems. I’m assuming the first two picks are Michael Sowers and Chris Gray. Chrome at No. 3 has an extremely good lefty attackman in Justin Guterding. Redwoods just traded for Rob Pannell and has a zillion attackmen. The Archers has Ament-Holman-Manny, and while they could take Teat, I don’t have them doing so here. So, Teat falls to Chaos, a perfect fit for both parties. Teat, the No. 1 pick in the NLL Draft, is exactly the kind of guy that will fit in Chaos’s ideal offense of box-field hybrid with a lot of switchability and creativity. An attack line of Josh Byrne, Jeff Teat, and Curtis Dickson would be nasty.
Round 2, Pick 6: Ryan McNulty, LSM, Loyola
Matt Rees is off for military service, leaving Troy Reh as the only LSM on the Chaos roster. Reh is totally solid, but bringing in McNulty (I’m assuming Jared Connors is gone by this point) helps to add depth at the position. He’s a ground ball vacuum (first amongst non-FO Greyhounds in 2020) and an offensive threat in transition. Plus, he’s a sneaky-good passer. I think he could play a similar role for Chaos that a guy like Scott Ratliff does for Archers.
Round 2, Pick 7: Tanner Cook, Midfield, UNC
ALL the Canadians! Thanks to a trade, Chaos owns back-to-back picks in the second round. Considering the retirement of Kevin Buchanan, the Chaos could use more midfield depth. Cook, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound bruiser out of The Hill Academy, is both a good dodger and feeder. His addition would make for a terrifying midfield line of Dhane Smith, Austin Staats, and Tanner Cook that’s just bigger and stronger than damn near every defensive midfield in the league. Yikes.
Round 3, Pick 6: Brett Kennedy, Defense, Syracuse
This team could use general help in the defense, and Kennedy, as a guy who has played close and LSM, is a nice, versatile addition to the Chaos poles stable.
Round 4, Pick 6: Jack Hannah, Midfield, Denver
If he keeps playing well, he might not be here this late, but I’m taking a flier here on Jack Hannah. He could join the non-box-style midfield of Jake Frocarro and Sergio Salcido and add another good outside shooter to a team that could use a little more of that now that Myles Jones is gone.
What about its Entry Draft?
Chaos, once again, got screwed by the lottery, and it got the last pick in the Entry Draft for the second time in a row. Rough look for my guys. That said, the Entry Draft pool is deep enough that this team can still get some help here.
Round 1, Pick 8: Michael Rexrode, Defense
Take a shot to fix the defense, right? The 2018 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year has been a leader on defense for the Outlaws the past few years and could instantly help relieve some pressure on Blaze Riorden to be perfect all the time.
Round 2, Pick 8: Shayne Jackson, Attack/Midfield
Look, I’m committing to the bit super hard here: send the reigning NLL MVP to the boxiest team in the whole league. Jackson is an elite off-ball cutter and finisher and should have plenty of chances to get open given the level of feeding talent on this squad.
Round 3, Pick 8: Chris Hogan, Wide Receiver, New York Jets
Look, someone is going to pick up Hogan. It’ll probably happen earlier for the attention it would bring. Buuuuut, I just feel like Andy Towers will be the guy who takes a chance on the former Penn State star. Hogan is 32 and hasn’t played in a long time, but he’s still a fantastic athlete, and Chaos does have some holes in the midfield.
What trades could Chaos make?
Chaos LC trades attackman Connor Fields to literally anyone for a 2021 2nd Rounder
Fields deserves a chance to get back to his 2019 form with a clean slate. Chaos would like to recoup some value from a player who fell off hard in 2020. I don’t think Fields will go for a first rounder considering the vibe around him after the Championship Series, but I still believe in him. He’s been good before, plus he’s good in the NLL. Hopefully, a team in need of attack help takes a chance on the former Great Dane.
Chaos LC trades the No. 16 overall pick in the 2021 Entry Draft to Waterdogs LC in exchange for FOS Drew Simoneau
Chaos did very poorly at the faceoff X in 2020. Waterdogs, meanwhile, had two guys above the 50% mark, something that only five players accomplished league-wide. Why not give one of them a chance to be The Guy in 2021? It’s a low-risk play that assumes that Max Adler won’t be available for Chaos in the Entry Draft and that TD Ierlan won’t be there by its pick in the College Draft, but it’s still an upgrade on its current unit.
Chaos LC trades attackman Connors Fields and attackman Miles Thompson to Cannons LC in exchange for the No. 9 overall pick in the 2021 College Draft
Would the Cannons prefer to get proven guys in their first year? That’s the question. Still, with Cannons having picks No. 8 and No. 9 back-to-back, maybe it’d prefer to send one of them off to surround franchise cornerstone Lyle Thompson with some familiar faces. Cannons could instantly have an all-Albany group of studs at the attack line, helping fill out offensive depth, and Chaos gets to move on from two guys not expected to start for it in 2021 while adding some additional draft capital to help fix positions of need. It’s mostly just an idea, because I think uniting the Albany guys would be amazing, but it does also seem to help both squads. I’m not sure anyone available at No. 9 makes a bigger impact than those two guys, assuming Fields can get closer to his 2019 form.
What’s next on The Fix?
Each day this week, my offseason plan for one of the bottom four teams in the PLL will be released. Here is the schedule and where you can find The Fix for the lower half of the league:
Tuesday – Atlas LC
Wednesday – Waterdogs LC
Thursday – Chrome LC
Friday – Chaos LC
BONUS – Redwoods LC