Last week myself and some of the football guys here hosted a 12 team, standard mock draft and then wrote a lot about it. Welp, this week myself and some other football guys are back to present you with our PPR mock draft! It has everything you could ask for in a mock: drama, intrigue, plenty of TV and movie references, me taking Michael Thomas whenever I can and Heath showing how deep his love for Marcus Mariota really goes. It’s just a grand ol’ draft.
Today’s mock is PPR league, standard scoring, 12-team, 15-round snake draft where teams don’t need to draft a full roster. Most everyone this week decided to take full advantage of that at one point or another. Drafting today are myself, Matias Wodner, Heath Capps and Clark Barnes. We each drafted three teams and for each one we chatted a little bit about some of our moves, strategy, and what we ended up liking/disliking about our teams.
Let’s start with the draft board:
Also, before we get into individual teams, one trend we all noticed was falling quarterbacks and how late you can get actually starting, stud QBs. Heath wrote a whole piece on this so make sure to read that. It’s good advice to know moving towards draft season.
1. Barnes (Dawn of the Dead)
QB: Andy Dalton (11.1)
RB: Le’Veon Bell (1.1), Todd Gurley (2.12), Spencer Ware (5.1), Ameer Abdullah (6.12), James Conner (14.12)
WR: DeAndre Hopkins (3.1), Julian Edelman (4.12), Randall Cobb (7.1), John Brown (9.1), Tedd Gin Jr (12.12)
TE: Martellus Bennett (8.12), Jack Doyle (10.12)
D/ST: Houston Texans (13.1)
K: Adam Vinatieri (15.1)
2. Pete A
QB: Carson Palmer (12.11)
RB: David Johnson (1.2), Leonard Fournette (3.2), Bilal Powell (5.2), Eddie Lacy (6.11), Giovani Bernard (11.2)
WR: Amari Cooper (2.11), Davante Adams (4.11), Corey Coleman (8.11), Sterling Shepard (9.2), John Ross (10.11), Marqise Lee (14.11)
TE: Delanie Walker (7.2), Evan Engram (13.2)
K: Justin Tucker (15.2)
For this team I decided to hold out on quarterback for as long as possible and ended up having to take Palmer in the 12th which I’m not upset about buuuut I really wanted to see how long I could wait. The run on QBs starting in the 10th had me very worried but nonetheless, still ended up with a decent starting QB. Of course, this was all okay because I got David Johnson with my first overall pick and he’s gonna eat especially in PPR. Fournette and Powell are two guys I really think will have big seasons, especially Powell in PPR. I could see him being the Jets offense all by himself. To quickly bounce to the wide receivers, the more I do these drafts, the more I like taking a flyer on Marqise Lee in the last few rounds. He had 63 catches for 851 yards last year and finished WR43 with 109.4 fantasy points. I like his upside in the 14th round. Also Cooper and Adams will be good. Happy there.
3. Heath - ROBB
QB: Marcus Mariota (5.3), Kirk Cousins (10.10)
RB: Marshawn Lynch (2.10), Carlos Hyde (3.3), Kareem Hunt (8.10), Jacquizz Rodgers (11.3), D’Onta Foreman (14.10)
WR: Antonio Brown (1.3), Willie Snead (6.10), Kelvin Benjamin (7.3), Kenny Britt (9.3), Robert Woods (13.3), Mohamed Sanu (15.3)
TE: Greg Olsen (4.10), David Njoku (12.10)
It was an easy call for me to roll with Antonio Brown in the 1.03 spot, passing on Zeke and his swirling cloud of troubles. I stayed on brand with Marshawn in Round 2, as I feel like it's splitting hairs between he and his counterparts in that range (so I may as well choose the guy I like). Disclaimer: PPR isn't my preferred format (sue me) but the last time I ventured into one, I remember what a phenomenal asset Antonio Brown was. I felt like I could go early on quarterback (MariGOATa) and still work out fine at wide receiver. Snead is one of my favorite players this year. And while I don't love Kelvin Benjamin, as a WR3 I suppose I'll take it. Having Kirk Cousins as a backup quarterback is ridiculous. I have tons of love for Mariota but in hindsight waiting on a QB would have been a better strategy. That's why we do mocks, right? Finally, 'Quizz Rodgers is one of my favorite late picks. He's a starting running back while Doug Martin is suspended. Sign me up.
4. Matias A
QB: Andrew Luck (5.4), Derek Carr (12.9)
RB: Ezekiel Elliott (1.4), Mark Ingram (6.9), James White (9.4), Latavius Murray (10.9), Joe Williams (13.4)
WR: Dez Bryant (2.9), Allen Robinson (3.4), Michael Crabtree (4.9), DeSean Jackson (8.9), Quincy Enunwa (11.4)
TE: Kyle Rudolph (7.4)
D/ST: Carolina Panthers (14.9)
K: Matt Bryant (15.4)
At this point in time Zeke is not suspended; therefore, I drafted him with no hesitation at fourth overall. If he were suspended for one or two games, I would strongly consider Odell Beckham Jr. at that spot. I don't love pairing Zeke with Dez, but Doug Baldwin was snagged right before my pick and Bryant is a touchdown machine. Unimpressed with what was left at RB, I went receiver with the next two picks as well. Crabtree is as consistent as they come and Robinson is a fine bounce-back candidate. Luck in the fifth round was a luxury pick, as I wasn't planning on going QB early but couldn't pass up his high ceiling at that point in the draft. Out of Ingram, White, Murray and Williams, I'm just hoping one of them is decent enough to earn RB2 status throughout the season. Jackson and Enunwa are high-upside backups, while Rudolph is in a TE-friendly scheme and coming off a career year.
5. Heath - ARYA
QB: Aaron Rodgers (3.5), Philip Rivers (12.8)
RB: Ty Montgomery (4.8), Mike Gillislee (5.5), CJ Anderson (6.8), Kenneth Dixon (10.8), Jonathan Williams (13.5), DeAndre Washington (15.5)
WR: Odell Beckham Jr (1.5), Doug Baldwin (2.8), Jordan Matthews (8.8), Adam Thielen (11.5), Cooper Kupp (14.8)
TE: Eric Ebron (7.5), Zach Ertz (9.5)
This was my favorite team of the bunch (I had three in this mock). In the fifth position I had to decide between the young stud receiver or the aging running back, so I chose OBJ over LeSean McCoy. Doug Baldwin as my #2 receiver was too good to pass up, especially in a PPR format. That guy is the least respected Top 10 receiver, ever. Again, since this is a mock I wanted to try what I normally would not, and draft a quarterback early. Consequently, I feel somewhat thin at my third receiver spot, but I'm actually coming around to Jordan Matthews since he'll be playing more of his natural slot receiver role this year. Jonathan Williams and DeAndre Washington were simple picks for me—I wanted guys in potentially league-winning spots behind aging running backs. This team may not seem complete to some, but guys like Gillislee and Ebron are players I feel very strongly about. I love this squad.
6. Barnes (Day of the Dead)
QB: Tom Brady (4.7)
RB: Joe Mixon (3.6), Samaje Perine (8.7), CJ Prosise (9.6), Rob Kelley (10.7), Terrance West (11.6)
WR: Julio Jones (1.6), Martavis Bryant (5.6), Stefon Diggs (6.7), Pierre Garcon (7.6), Josh Doctson (14.7)
TE: Rob Gronkowski (2.7), Coby Fleener (13.6)
D/ST: Kansas City Chiefs (12.7)
K: Dan Bailey (15.6)
7. Matias B
QB: Dak Prescott (11.7), Tyrod Taylor (12.6)
RB: LeSean McCoy (1.7), Jay Ajayi (2.6), Frank Gore (8.6), Alvin Kamara (10.6)
WR: Terrelle Pryor (4.6), Larry Fitzgerald (5.7), Golden Tate (6.6), Tyrell Williams (7.7), DeVante Parker (9.7), Rishard Matthews (13.7)
TE: Travis Kelce (3.7)
D/ST: Baltimore Ravens (15.7)
K: Stephen Gostkowski (14.6)
I was surprised to see Lamar Miller go ahead of Ajayi, so I had to scoop up the second-year Dolphin and pair him with Shady. With my RBs set, I attacked the receivers after taking Kelce, who I believe can easily be TE1 this season. Fitzgerald is one of the most undervalued fantasy football assets in draft right now. Tate is an every-week WR2 in PPR formats. Pryor has massive potential in D-Jax's old Washington role. Williams and Parker come with some risk but a lot of upside at their price points. Gore is old but trusty insurance for my first two studs. Prescott and TyGod might be my favorite late-round QB pairing this season.
8. Pete B
QB: Matt Ryan (6.5), Matthew Stafford (12.5)
RB: Lamar Miller (2.5), Theo Riddick (7.8), Jonathan Stewart (10.5), Thomas Rawls (11.8), Rex Burkhead (14.5)
WR: AJ Green (1.8), Brandin Cooks (3.8), Jarvis Landry (4.5), Emmanuel Sanders (5.8), Brandon Marshall (8.5), Kamar Aiken (15.8)
TE: Hunter Henry (9.8)
D/ST: Minnesota Vikings (13.8)
This team I wanted to go WR-heavy in the beginning and see what kind of running backs and other talent fell to the later rounds. Green, Cooks and Landry make up a very solid starting three and I like Sanders and Marshall off the bench. I also drafted this team built more upon rankings and best available than my expectations, hence guys like Marshall, Stewart and Stafford on the team (though I do LOVE Stafford in the 12th). For running backs, I was not too thrilled with what fell to me, but that’s part of the experiment. Obviously in the 2nd, Miller didn’t “fall” to me but I would be worried about Rawls, Stewart and Burkhead all having potential to see their targets and carries cut throughout the year. But my fave pick of this team: Hunter Henry in the 9th. He had a studly rookie season and I think he will continue to be Rivers’ favorite pass-catcher in the endzone.
9. Matias C
QB: Cam Newton (9.9), Jameis Winston (11.9)
RB: DeMarco Murray (2.4), Tevin Coleman (6.4), Doug Martin (7.9), Matt Forte (10.4)
WR: Mike Evans (1.9), Alshon Jeffery (3.9), Tyreek Hill (5.9), Jeremy Maclin (8.4), Cole Beasley (12.4)
TE: Jordan Reed (4.4), Austin Hooper (13.9)
D/ST: Arizona Cardinals (14.4)
K: Cairo Santos (15.9)
With A.J. Green taken right before me, I decided to fling this team into an upside-only direction. Evans and Murray can both top their positions this season if they build off a huge 2016. Jeffery and Reed have burned me a million times before due to injuries, but if they both stay healthy this team will be among the best in the league. Hill has little competition for targets and has a legit nose for the end zone. Coleman can be a serviceable RB2 and a league-winner if Devonta Freeman goes down. Newton and Winston is a turnover-happy QB duo, but one that can hit big. Maclin and Martin can be really solid fantasy assets once they get on the field and hit the ground running in good situations. Hooper is nice insurance for the injury-prone Reed.
10. Pete C
QB: Drew Brees (3.10)
RB: Christian McCaffrey (4.3), Dalvin Cook (5.10), LeGarrette Blount (8.3), Derrick Henry (9.10), Devontae Booker (15.10)
WR: Jordy Nelson (1.10), Michael Thomas (2.3), Jamison Crowder (6.3), Mike Wallace (7.10), Corey Davis (10.3), Kevin White (12.3), Will Fuller (13.10)
TE: OJ Howard (11.10)
D/ST: New England Patriots (14.3)
MY ROOKIE TEAM! I didn’t plan it this way but after taking Nelson, Thomas and Brees (stop me if you’ve heard that team before), I had two rookie running backs in my sights, both of whom I think will see a lot of touches in PPR leagues. McCaffrey will do a little of everything for the Panthers offense and it sounds more and more like Cook will do the same for the Vikings. It also helps that Murray will be starting the season on the PUP list, meaning Cook will have the inside track to the starting job and if he plays well enough, might never give it up. I also wanted to hold out on tight end for as long as possible to see who I could get late and it turns out another rookie landed in my lap. Who’da thunk? I like Howard in the 11th but I’m a little worried about touches, especially in the redzone, in a loaded Buccaneers offense.
11. Heath - SNOW
QB: Russell Wilson (5.11), Eli Manning (13.11)
RB: Melvin Gordon (1.11), Jordan Howard (2.2), Isaiah Crowell (3.11), Duke Johnson (9.11), Robert Turbin (11.11)
WR: Demaryius Thomas (4.2), Donte Moncrief (6.2), Eric Decker (8.2), Cam Meredith (10.2), Zay Jones (12.2)
TE: Tyler Eifert (7.11), Dwayne Allen (15.11)
D/ST: Denver Broncos (14.2)
Snagging Melvin Gordon was a no-brainer at the end of the first round. My big decision was Jordan Howard or Michael Thomas at the beginning of Round 2, and I continued to make a pick a wouldn't normally make by choosing Howard over Thomas. I wanted to see how RB-RB would end up, and it bummed me out that Isaiah Crowell was available for my third round pick. I took him anyway, but in hindsight a start of Gordon-Thomas-Crowell would have been preferable. After Demaryius as my WR1 and another early (ish) QB pick of Russell Wilson in Round 5, I didn't see a lot of pass-catchers with tons of reception upside. Therefore, I loaded up on guys who can score in Moncrief, Decker, and Eifert. I really like the bench on this team. It has some possible "punch" if Cam Meredith can approximate last year and if Duke Johnson actually plays some slot receiver for Cleveland. Lastly, Robert Turbin had a solid season last year and has drawn high praise this spring...he fits the mold of a guy in a good situation (read: Luck) who is behind an aging running back.
12. Barnes (Night of the Living Dead)
QB: Ben Roethlisberger (10.1), Deshaun Watson (15.12)
RB: Devonta Freeman (1.12), Danny Woodhead (6.1), Paul Perkins (7.12), Adrian Peterson (8.1), Jamaal Charles (11.12)
WR: TY Hilton (2.1), Sammy Watkins (3.12), Keenan Allen (4.1), Marvin Jones (9.12), Breshard Perriman (12.1)
TE: Jimmy Graham (5.12)
D/ST: Seattle Seahawks (13.12)
K: Nick Novak (14.1)
Running back reclaimed undisputed 1.01 status after the Zero RB strategy disappointed owners in 2016. The fantasy landscape has shifted, though, at least for the foreseeable future. Even with a severe shortage of workhorse backs, half the teams in the mock went WR in round 1. With so many viable draft strategies, we are in for a great draft season!
A couple things jumped out at me looking over the mock results:
Washington’s backfield is cheap!
Instead of guessing which Washington RB will end up starting, just take both. For an 8th and a 10th round pick, you get either the steady Rob Kelly, or the intriguing rookie with upside in Samaje Perine. No matter how the preseason works out, you’ve got a nice RB2 to start the year.
Rodgers, Brady or just whatever…
I’ll spend hefty draft capital to get the week to week advantage of starting A-A-Ron and Mr. Bündchen. With Rodgers going late in the 2nd or 3rd and Brady somewhere in rounds 4-5, a big advantage at the highest scoring position is affordable. One can always make an argument for Drew Brees in this tier, and I wont shout that down.
If you don’t get one of the big 2 (or 3), wait. Everyone is right. There are plenty of starting QBs available for a 12-team, 1-QB league. In the 12th round Carson Palmer, Derek Carr, Phillip Rivers, Tyrod Taylor, and Matthew Stafford were finally drafted. If you ended up holding the bag after that QB run, Eli Manning was still there for you in the 13th.
Everyone is right. Wait on QB.
Draft Danny Woodhead.
Joe Flacco and the Ravens throw short all the time. Dennis Pitta (121 targets) and Kyle Juszczyk (49 targets) are gone, leaving plenty of room for Woodhead. Woodhead, the #3 and #12 PPR back in his last 2 healthy seasons, to rack up big points. In the 6th round that potential makes little Danny a huge value.
I’ll be ‘that guy’ and draft the Chiefs or Texans DST a little early.
The Chiefs D is solid, but with Tyreek Hill and De'Anthony Thomas running back kicks, I like taking a shot on some kick return TDs.
The Texans yielded the fewest yards per game last year, and 3-time Defensive Player of the Year JJ Watt will be on the squad this season.
The 15th-round-flier has just about the same chance to hit as the guy in the 13th. You know you’ll drop that pick for a waiver-wire-dude-du jour come week 2 anyway. Grab a DST that might make a difference.