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Mock Drafts- Vol. 1

By: Dan Dankert

Do you want to be the very best? Like no one ever was? Well you don’t have to travel across the land in order to become a master fantasy football player. It does take higher than average skill, and a lot of work. I do mock drafts like crazy each year before the fantasy football season starts. Most drafts won’t take place until August, but I am already starting to do mock drafts to get prepared.

Just recently I did a pair of mock drafts with a good friend of mine who honestly is much better at fantasy football than I am. We did a 10 team non-ppr draft where in the first draft he was the owner of the even teams, while I was the owner of the odd teams, the next day we switched and did it again. We only completed 6 rounds but that gave us a really good understanding of how those rounds played out.

Here is how things went down.

Mock Draft #1

Round 1                                                                      Round 2

1) David Johnson                                                      20) Alshon Jeffery

2) Le’Veon Bell                                                          19) Tom Brady

3) Ezekiel Elliot                                                         18) Amari Cooper

4) Antonio Brown                                                     17) Lamar Miller

5) Julio Jones                                                              16) Todd Gurley

6) Odell Beckham Jr.                                                 15) Michael Thomas

7) Mike Evans                                                             14) DeMarco Murray

8) Jordy Nelson                                                          13) Aaron Rodgers

9) LeSean McCoy                                                       12) Jordan Howard

10) A.J. Green                                                             11) Melvin Gordon

 

Round 3                                                                      Round 4

21) Leonard Fournette                                             40) Greg Olsen

22) Brandin Cooks                                                     39) Demaryius Thomas

23) Dez Bryant                                                           38) Mark Ingram

24) Rob Gronkowski                                                 37) Keenan Allen

25) Carlos Hyde                                                         36) Allen Robinson

26) Devonta Freeman                                               35) Delanie Walker

27) Jay Ajayi                                                                34) DeAndre Hopkins

28) Jordan Reed                                                          33) Christian McCaffrey

29) Marshawn Lynch                                                32) T.Y. Hilton

30) Travis Kelce                                                          31) Sammy Watkins

 

Round 5                                                                      Round 6

41) Julian Edelman                                                   60) Kirk Cousins

42) Golden Tate                                                         59) Paul Perkins

43) Davante Adams                                                  58) Derek Carr

44) Ty Montgomery                                                  57) Jameis Winston

45) Eddie Lacy                                                           56) Ben Roethlisberger

46) Tevin Coleman                                                    55) Andrew Luck

47) Stefon Diggs                                                         54) Bilal Powell

48) Doug Baldwin                                                      53) Kelvin Benjamin

49) Jarvis Landry                                                        52) Michael Crabtree

50) Drew Brees                                                           51) Spencer Ware

 

Let’s take a closer look at each round and see what we can learn from the resulting picks.

Round 1:

RB: 4, WR: 6

There were a total of four running backs taken in the round, but the first three picks were all running backs. I think that alone is very telling. There are three top tier running backs in this draft: David Johnson, Le’Veon Bell, and Ezekiel Elliot. The rest are just not nearly as good, though I think LeSean McCoy and DeMarco Murray are both very close to that top tier, at least in terms of talent; however, I think I am in a minority that feels that way. It appears to me that if you are at the top of round 1 you will be in a really good spot. I think the best pick in this round is LeSean McCoy at 9. He played immaculately last year and barring injury he will be fighting for top running back again next year. Finding that much value that low in the first round is awesome. The worst pick for me here is A.J. Green. I don’t think Green should be a first round choice because I think Cincinnati isn’t that great of a team.

Round 2:

QB: 2, RB: 5, WR: 3

In this round we saw our first quarterbacks off the board. Aaron Rodgers was paired up with his wide receiver Jordy Nelson which I have a feeling will be a common pick combo this upcoming year. It adds up extra value to both players. Tom Brady at the end of the second was probably too high but he again would be paired with Brandin Cooks which adds value. The best pick for me is Jordan Howard at 12. I think Howard has a lot of upside and can easily bring a ton of value to a fantasy team, the biggest problem that I have with him is that there is a very real chance of a sophomore slump incoming. That volatility makes him a terrible RB1 pickup but a beast RB2 and since I like picking a running back, back-to-back in the first two rounds it works really well for me here.

Round 3:

RB: 5, WR: 2, TE: 3

This was a very strange round and I am not as certain that it reflects what we will see in most mock drafts. Three tight ends going off the board this early makes me cringe but my close friend thinks it’s a good strategy to draft them this early. I will explain his rationale. The tight end position usually has one stud (Gronk) and then everyone else is just hit or miss. This year there is a little more competition near the top. Gronk is still the best but faces obvious injury issues, and Kelce, Reed, Olsen, and Walker all have the potential to have really strong seasons. So if you don’t get one of those 5 players you are in jeopardy of getting blown out in that position every week you play one of those top teams. It could be the difference between winning or losing against a top tier team. I’m not a huge fan of the strategy but I can see why someone would use it. I think the best pick up here was Leonard Fournette. I am a huge fan of Fournette, and though I don’t think he will score as high as Elliot did last year I think he is a better individual player. I think the Devonta Freeman pick was a tad high but that is because I do not value Devonta that highly as I doubt the Falcons can return to the offensive juggernaut that they were last year.

Round 4:

RB: 2, WR: 6, TE: 2

Two more tight ends are off the board with round four in the books. Christian McCaffrey here in the fourth round is interesting. It’s probably a bit high but a lot of people think he has the most fantasy upside from this past draft class. I don’t personally like him. But I see the appeal. I think the best pick here was T.Y. Hilton at 32. He is considered the 14th best overall player according to ESPN and though I don’t rate him that highly, he was an incredible value at 32. Mark Ingram was probably the worst pick as he faces too much competition for carries. Taking him this early is a big risk that he remains the feature back in New Orleans.

Round 5:

QB: 1, RB: 3, WR: 6,

There have been 23 wide receivers taken thus far compared to 19 running backs, 3 quarterbacks, and 5 tight ends. Most of the recent running backs were taken not because they are great value picks, but because people needed to find a second running back before they are all gone. There is so much more depth at wide receiver than there is a running back that I don’t think anyone can go wide receivers back to back in the first two rounds, or even take two wide receivers in the first three rounds. These wide receivers this round are actually all pretty good surprisingly considering how poor the running backs are that were picked this round. Edelman is great value, and so is Adams. That being said the best pick in this round is either Landry or Diggs. Both are very solid WR2s. The worst pick here in my opinion is Ty Montgomery. The Packers picked up THREE running backs in the draft. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I pick three players if I think I have the guy I want to be leading my backfield next season.

Round 6

QB: 5, RB: 3, WR: 2

Not much to see here. QB’s started coming off the board a little bit more here. I think the best pick here was Spencer Ware and I don’t think there were any bad picks to point out.

Team 1                                                                         Team 2

David Johnson                                                            Le’Veon Bell

Alshon Jeffrey                                                            Tom Brady

Leonard Fournette                                                    Brandin Cooks

Greg Olsen                                                                   Demaryius Thomas

Julian Edelman                                                           Golden Tate

Kirk Cousins                                                               Paul Perkins

 

Team 3                                                                         Team 4

Ezekiel Elliot                                                               Antonio Brown

Amari Cooper                                                             Lamar Miller

Dez Bryant                                                                  Rob Gronkowski

Mark Ingram                                                               Keenan Allen

Davante Adams                                                          Ty Montgomery

Derek Carr                                                                   Jameis Winston

 

Team 5                                                                         Team 6

Julio Jones                                                                  Odell Beckham Jr.

Todd Gurley                                                               Michael Thomas

Carlos Hyde                                                                Devonta Freeman

Allen Robinson                                                          Delanie Walker

Eddie Lacy                                                                  Tevin Coleman

Ben Roethlisberger                                                   Andrew Luck

 

Team 7                                                                         Team 8

Mike Evans                                                                 Jordy Nelson

DeMarco Murray                                                      Aaron Rodgers

Jay Ajayi                                                                      Jordan Reed

DeAndre Hopkins                                                     Christian McCaffrey

Stefon Diggs                                                                Doug Baldwin

Bilal Powell                                                                 Kelvin Benjamin

 

Team 9                                                                        Team 10

LeSean McCoy                                                           A.J. Green

Jordon Howard                                                         Melvin Gordon

Marshawn Lynch                                                      Travis Kelce

T.Y. Hilton                                                                   Sammy Watkins

Jarvis Landry                                                             Drew Brees

Michael Crabtree                                                       Spencer Ware

 

I’m not going to dig too deeply into these teams but I will talk a little bit about my favorite teams that were drafted.  I think team 9 is the best team that was drafted. Great value out of McCoy and Howard really sets the team up for success. Getting Lynch to come in at the flex and hopefully produce 60 yards or at least a touchdown every week is reasonable out of the flex position and he has the opportunity to really pack on the points some weeks. Hilton and Landry are both solid options at the WR position and Crabtree is a nice addition to the mix as well.

The other team that I really like is team 7. Evans was a rough first round pick, but the rest of the draft was excellent. Murray is a fantastic RB1, Ajayi is a risky RB2 but he possesses a lot of upside. Hopkins and Diggs are both high upside WR’s and Powell adds some depth to the running back position in case things don’t work out with Ajayi. There is a lot of depth at the WR and RB positions which is crucial to get early on in the draft. Now let’s jump into the second mock draft that we did. There is still plenty of time to find a good value QB1 and TE1.


Mock Draft #2

Round 1                                                                      Round 2

1) Le’Veon Bell                                                          20) Devonta Freeman

2) David Johnson                                                       19) Michael Thomas

3) Ezekiel Elliot                                                          18) Lamar Miller

4) Antonio Brown                                                       17) Leonard Fournette

5) Julio Jones                                                               16) Todd Gurley

6) Mike Evans                                                             15) Tom Brady

7) Odell Beckham Jr.                                                  14) A.J. Green

8) LeSean McCoy                                                        13) DeMarco Murray

9) Melvin Gordon                                                       12) Jordan Howard

10) Aaron Rodgers                                                     11) Jordy Nelson

 

Round 3                                                                      Round 4

21) Dez Bryant                                                           40) Delanie Walker

22) Carlos Hyde                                                         39) Demaryius Thomas

23) Amari Cooper                                                      38) Greg Olsen

24) Alshon Jeffrey                                                     37) Allen Robinson

25) Rob Gronkowski                                                 36) Keenan Allen

26) Brandin Cooks                                                     35) Mark Ingram

27) Marshawn Lynch                                                34) Jay Ajayi

28) Jordan Reed                                                          33) T.Y. Hilton

29) Sammy Watkins                                                   32) Travis Kelce

30) DeAndre Hopkins                                                31) Christian McCaffrey

 

Round 5                                                                      Round 6

41) Golden Tate                                                          60) Drew Brees

42) Davante Adams                                                   59) Derek Carr

43) Kelvin Benjamin                                                  58) Devante Parker

44) Tevin Coleman                                                     57) Bilal Powell

45) Jarvis Landry                                                       56) Jameis Winston

46) Eddie Lacy                                                            55) Spencer Ware

47) Ty Montgomery                                                   54) Andrew Luck

48) Julian Edelman                                                    53) Stefon Diggs

49) Michael Crabtree                                                 52) Tyreek Hill

50) Joe Mixon                                                              51) Dalvin Cook

 

 

Round 1:

QB: 1, RB: 5, WR: 4

I think we really started to grasp just how important it is to grab a running back early and that’s why Gordon was taken in the first round of this draft. The addition of Aaron Rodgers was “a surprise to be sure, but a welcome one.”

A suprise to be sure.png
Round 2:

QB: 1, RB: 6, WR: 3

It appears that our desperation for good running backs is only increasing. This time around there were 11 running backs selected in the first 20 picks, compared to 9 in the previous draft. The best pickup, BY FAR, was Murray at 13. That team is stacked from the get go. They have two RB1s on the same team. The worst pick was Freeman at 20 who I thought was too high in the third round after the last iteration.

 

Round 3:

RB: 2, WR: 6, TE: 2

This actually was a decent round compared to the tight end grab we saw last time. Gronk and Reed are both reasonable picks here. The best pick here was Watkins at 29. He will provide that team with a lot of firepower from the wide receiver position and since you have such amazing consistency at RB, you can take that type of risk with Watkins.

 

Round 4:

RB: 3, WR: 4, TE: 3

Here come the rest of the tight end picks. I think the McCaffrey pickup is interesting. They must be banking in McCaffrey being allowed to play WR in fantasy terms. If that’s the case it could position that team up well for success. McCaffrey has very high upside, but a terrible floor. Definitely a risky pick and I think it might have been the wrong one to make, it’s probably the worst in the round at face value just because how risky it is. The best is probably Jay Ajayi at 34. Once again there is an absolute value beast picked in the early 30’s. Ajayi is a great addition to that team and can be a very strong RB2 for that team.

 

Round 5

RB: 4, WR: 6

Lots of wide receivers off the board here and for good reason. There aren’t a ton of valuable running backs left. I think the Landry pick was the best pick up here and I think Mixon was the worst pick up here. Mixon has a ton of talent but it’s too early to grab him here when you could have waited rounds for him.

 

Round 6:

QB: 4, RB: 3, WR: 3

I really like the pickup of the quarterbacks here. They all seem to make a lot of sense. I think the best pickup in this round is Tyreek Hill. I think he is a great sleeper player and will be in charge of a lot of the Chiefs production this year. That being said I have little to no trust that midway through the year the Chiefs don’t throw in Mahomes if they don’t think they have a good shot at going deep into the playoffs. The worst pick here is Cook and for the same reason that Mixon was bad. He is a good player that can be snagged later for your bench.

Team 1                                                                       Team 2

Le’Veon Bell                                                              David Johnson

Devonta Freeman                                                    Michael Thomas

Dez Bryant                                                                 Carlos Hyde

Delanie Walker                                                         Demaryius Thomas

Golden Tate                                                                Davante Adams

Drew Brees                                                                 Derek Carr

 

Team 3                                                                         Team 4

Ezekiel Elliot                                                               Antonio Brown

Lamar Miller                                                               Leonard Fournette

Amari Cooper                                                             Alshon Jeffrey

Greg Olsen                                                                  Allen Robinson

Kelvin Benjamin                                                         Tevin Coleman

Devante Parker                                                           Bilal Powell

 

Team 5                                                                         Team 6

Julio Jones                                                                   Mike Evans

Tod Gurley                                                                  Tom Brady

Rob Gronkowski                                                         Brandin Cooks

Keenan Allen                                                              Mark Ingram

Jarvis Landry                                                              Eddie Lacy

Jameis Winston                                                          Spencer Ware

 

Team 7                                                                        Team 8

Odell Beckham Jr.                                                    LeSean McCoy

A.J. Green                                                                   DeMarco Murray

Marshawn Lynch                                                     Jordan Reed

Jay Ajayi                                                                     T.Y. Hilton

Ty Montgomery                                                        J. Edelman

Andrew Luck                                                            Stefan Diggs
Team 9                                                                        Team 10

Melvin Gordon                                                          Aaron Rodgers

Jordan Howard                                                         Jordy Nelson

Sammy Watkins                                                        DeAndre Hopkins

Travis Kelce                                                               Christian McCaffrey

Michael Crabtree                                                      Joe Mixon

Tyreek Hill                                                                  Dalvin Cook

 

I think there are two teams that really stand head and shoulders above the rest of the teams. The first being team 8 who, in my opinion, had an A+ draft. Getting McCoy and Murray was unbelievable. They then followed that up with a risky pick, Jordan Reed, only to follow it by eliminating that risk by getting T.Y. Hilton in the 4th, Julian Edelman in the 5th, and then Stefan Diggs in the 6th. Talk about filling that hole at wide receiver. As long as this team gets a decent value QB1 in the later rounds, like a Carson Wentz, they will probably win the league. I think it’s the most dominant team I have ever seen.

 

The other really fantastic team is Team 2. Getting Johnson is nice enough for any team, but then they grabbed Michael Thomas who has a tremendous upside. They then snagged Hyde in the 3rd  and D. Thomas in the 4th to shore up their RB2 and WR2 holes. Then grabbing Adams who is still a player that could develop into a top tier wide receiver was a solid pickup and then getting Carr at QB was very fortunate.

 

Keep your eyes out for more fantasy football content coming soon!

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