Over the past couple of weeks, we have organized and completed a mock draft for you, the readers, to enjoy and dissect.
I am going to be breaking it down here, in this lovely article.
Our mock draft followed the structure of the RCL’s, in that we were following 0.5 PPR scoring, and in that our rosters were: QB, 2 HB’s, 2 WR’s, TE and a FLEX which is the HB/WR/TE. But instead of drafting a K and D/ST and going the full 15 rounds, we decided to only go 9 rounds.
Yes, we drafted a starting lineup, but we also included 2 bench spots to give you guys an idea of which of us prefers one player over another, in order for you guys to get an idea of which sleepers or breakouts to target in your drafts.
Over the course of nine rounds, I came to find that, once you get into the later rounds, it’s slim pickings for backs and receivers, unlike TE’s and QB’s, where there are plenty of options that we can hang our hats on. That is something that is crucial on draft day. Waiting on QB’s and TE’s until the last possible second, in the hopes of nailing a big sleeper, like last year’s Blake Bortles or Jordan Reed, is not that bad of a plan, and I would certainly not hesitate to go that route.
Our objective is to give you guys an idea for how not only the RCL’s should go, but also your drafts, and how the first rounds should go. Keep in mind this draft board would look a lot different than if we were only drafting with 10 teams, or even 14.
So let’s get started!
Your Favorite Fantasy Writer’s Favorite Fantasy Writers
The draft order was as follows:
|7||Tehol||@LordBeddict||Razzball, Male Model|
|9||Seth||@SethDaSportsMan||The Fantasy Fix, Razzball (formerly)|
|12||Jennifer||@Soxfan012||Razzball, Red Sox Life|
If you would like to view the entire draft board, in addition to following along with the round-by-round analysis, you can view it here.
*Note* – All ADP data is from 4for4.com and applies to 12-team leagues
*Note* – The first round of our mock was completed without the knowledge of a possible 4-game suspension of Le’Veon Bell
|1.01||Smokey||Antonio Brown, WR PIT|
|1.02||Kevin||Le’Veon Bell, HB PIT|
|1.03||Matt||Julio Jones, WR ATL|
|1.04||Viz||Odell Beckham, WR NYG|
|1.05||Ralph||Todd Gurley, HB LA|
|1.06||Zach||Adrian Peterson, HB MIN|
|1.07||Tehol||David Johnson, HB ARI|
|1.08||Stan||Ezekiel Elliot, HB DAL|
|1.09||Seth||DeAndre Hopkins, WR HOU|
|1.10||Jay||Rob Gronkowski, TE NE|
|1.11||Max||A.J. Green, WR CIN|
|1.12||Jennifer||Dez Bryant, WR DAL|
There aren’t any “reaches” or bad picks ever made in the 1st round of drafts, however, I did really like the Gronk pick here at 1.10. I think Jay got him at a value at this spot, as even I was considering drafting him at 6th overall. At this point, most of the top-tier WR’s were off the board, leaving Jay with Gronk, Lamar Miller, Devonta Freeman, A.J. Green, or Dez Bryant. Gronk puts up close to WR1 numbers at a position where the rest of the group puts up WR3 numbers at best. I thought he slipped, and I think it was a great pick by Jay at 10th overall.
|2.01||Jennifer||Mike Evans, WR TB|
|2.02||Max||Demaryius Thomas, WR DEN|
|2.03||Jay||Allen Robinson, WR JAX|
|2.04||Seth||Lamar Miller, HB HOU|
|2.05||Stan||Jordy Nelson, WR GB|
|2.06||Tehol||Sammy Watkins, WR BUF|
|2.07||Zach||Devonta Freeman, HB ATL|
|2.08||Ralph||Alshon Jeffery, WR CHI|
|2.09||Viz||Jamaal Charles, HB KC|
|2.10||Matt||Eddie Lacy, HB GB|
|2.11||Kevin||Mark Ingram, HB NO|
|2.12||Smokey||Keenan Allen, WR SD|
Moving into the second round, I thought Max reached a bit on Demaryius Thomas, but only just a bit. Considering he could have gotten Allen Robinson or even Alshon Jeffery instead, I wouldn’t have pulled the trigger on Thomas. However, it’s fair to assume that he thought Thomas wouldn’t be available on the bounce back, he decided to pull the trigger. And he may have been right, as we saw a bunch of receivers go between the second and third rounds. If you really love a player enough, and don’t think you’ll get them when it’s your turn in 20 or so picks, nothing should stop you from selecting them. Another pick I don’t like, looking back on it, was my pick. I have to give it up for Matt and Viz, as I love me some Charles and Lacy this year, and I wouldn’t have picked Freeman there if I had a second chance (I even wrote him up as a bust for cryin’ out loud). Speaking of Matt and Viz, you can’t go wrong with Julio-Lacy and OBJ-Charles to start your draft, and that’s definitely the way I’m leaning when it comes to my personal drafts.
|3.01||Smokey||T.Y. Hilton, WR IND|
|3.02||Kevin||Amari Cooper, WR OAK|
|3.03||Matt||Doug Martin, HB TB|
|3.04||Viz||Brandon Marshall, WR NYJ|
|3.05||Ralph||Matt Forte, HB NYJ|
|3.06||Zach||Brandin Cooks, WR NO|
|3.07||Tehol||Carlos Hyde, HB SF|
|3.08||Stan||Jordan Reed, TE WAS|
|3.09||Seth||Randall Cobb, WR GB|
|3.10||Jay||LeSean McCoy, HB BUF|
|3.11||Max||Latavius Murray, HB OAK|
|3.12||Jennifer||Dion Lewis, HB NE|
Moving into the third, we saw Smokey go WR-WR-WR to start his draft at 1st overall, and that isn’t something that is unheard of anymore, as the consensus opinion is to get as many receivers as we can, and try to find this year’s Todd Gurley or David Johnson. And boy, did he get some good wideouts. Of course Antonio Brown is a stud, but I really like what Hilton and Keenan Allen bring to the table this year, as I think both have upside to finish in the Top-10 of all receivers. Another pick I liked was the Jordan Reed pick, mostly based off the strategy Stan went with to start his draft (Reed’s ADP is 3.12). Even though I believe that Reed will have some regression this year, I liked how Stan went with a more balanced approach to start his draft, getting 3 Top-10’s at their respective positions with Ezekiel Elliot, Jordy Nelson and Jordan Reed. Not too shabby. I thought Jennifer reached a bit when drafting Dion Lewis here to finish the third. As a Patriots fan, I’m really excited to watch Lewis return, and I’m intrigued to see the upside he can bring, but still, it’s a bit of a risky pick, and his ADP is currently at 51, which would have been the third pick of the fifth.
*Note* – The fourth round of our mock was completed without the knowledge of Arian Foster going to South Beach
|4.01||Jennifer||C.J. Anderson, HB DEN|
|4.02||Max||Golden Tate, WR DET|
|4.03||Jay||Julian Edelman, WR NE|
|4.04||Seth||Thomas Rawls, HB SEA|
|4.05||Stan||Jay Ajayi, HB MIA|
|4.06||Tehol||Kelvin Benjamin, WR CAR|
|4.07||Zach||Marvin Jones, HB WAS|
|4.08||Ralph||Jarvis Landry, WR MIA|
|4.09||Viz||Aaron Rodgers, QB GB|
|4.10||Matt||Doug Baldwin, WR SEA|
|4.11||Kevin||Greg Olsen, TE CAR|
|4.12||Smokey||DeMarco Murray, HB TEN|
Jennifer quickly saw her mistake with the Dion Lewis pick, and grabbed one of my favorite backs this year in C.J. Anderson to start the fourth. I’ll be the first to tell you that Anderson burned a lot of folks, including me, last year, but behind a solid offensive line with a shaky QB situation in a very HB-friendly offense this year, I don’t see any issue with getting him here at all. Another pick that I liked a whole bunch was Viz’s selection of Aaron Rodgers. I might be the only one, but I think Rodgers in the fourth is serious value, considering how well they’ll play this year with a healthy Jordy Nelson. Considering that is was late in the fourth was just icing on the cake. Seth didn’t reach for Rawls (his ADP is two picks earlier), but I’m not a fan of the Seattle back at all. He isn’t 100% percent healthy, and it doesn’t seem like the Coaching Staff believes in him at all, considering how many backs they got in the offseason, and I’m intrigued by the likes of C.J. Prosise and Alex Collins, two favorable deep sleepers. Just wrapping up some of my thoughts for this round, it was interesting to see how going without any backs for his first three picks worked out for Smokey, and I don’t think anyone is complaining with DeMarco Murray as his #1, considering the rest of his team.
|5.01||Smokey||Danny Woodhead, HB SD|
|5.02||Kevin||Jeremy Maclin, WR KC|
|5.03||Matt||Cam Newton, QB CAR|
|5.04||Viz||Ryan Matthews, HB PHI|
|5.05||Ralph||Michael Crabtree, WR OAK|
|5.06||Zach||Eric Decker, WR NYJ|
|5.07||Tehol||Russell Wilson, QB SEA|
|5.08||Stan||Donte Moncrief, WR IND|
|5.09||Seth||Michael Floyd, WR ARI|
|5.10||Jay||Jeremy Langford, HB CHI|
|5.11||Max||Jonathan Stewart, HB CAR|
|5.12||Jennifer||Allen Hurns, WR JAX|
Considering that Cam Newton’s ADP is currently at 23rd overall, Matt definitely got a steal here for the first few picks of the fifth. Another pick I thought was a good one was Donte Moncrief, selected at 5.08. If you remember my article about WR’s a week or to ago, I’m a big fan of what Moncrief and Hilton can do this year with a healthy Andrew Luck returning, in addition to a new and improved offensive line with rookie Ryan Kelly under center. His current ADP is at 72nd overall, which is currently in the later parts of the 6th, but I have no problem with him at this spot. Now that Tehol’s 2016 QB Rankings are up, we can get a bit of an understanding for why he was selecting here, as we now know how much he likes Wilson, but I think it was a bit of a reach, as I would have preferred Andrew Luck at a discounted price a few picks later. If you thought to yourself, “Huh, really Seth? Are you really a ‘sportsman’? Floyd in the fifth seems like a bit of a reach, considering he was drafted ahead of Fitzgerald”, then you are wrong. Floyd’s current ADP is at pick 5.06, as the current public are slowly getting to the idea of Floyd’s upside for the ’16 season. I’m a big believer in Floyd this year, as not only do I believe that Fitzgerald will have a bit of regression in his 12th year, but I think Floyd will get a bulk of the receptions in his very important contract year. Finally, purely based off of ADP data, Max got a big steal with Jonathan Stewart this late in the 5th, as his data suggests he should have been drafted in the late third to early fourth, but I’m not excited about him this year at all.
|6.01||Jennifer||Tom Brady, QB NE|
|6.02||Max||Drew Brees, QB NO|
|6.03||Jay||Jordan Matthews, WR PHI|
|6.04||Seth||Emmanuel Sanders, WR DEN|
|6.05||Stan||Tyler Lockett, WR SEA|
|6.06||Tehol||DeVante Parker, WR MIA|
|6.07||Zach||Coby Fleener, TE NO|
|6.08||Ralph||Giovani Bernard, HB CIN|
|6.09||Viz||Kevin White, WR CHI|
|6.10||Matt||Jeremy Hill, HB CIN|
|6.11||Kevin||Andrew Luck, QB IND|
|6.12||Smokey||Ben Roethlisberger, QB PIT|
Starting the sixth, I believe Tom Brady is a more than okay starting QB, even if he does miss the first four games of his 2016 campaign. I have no complaints if anyone wants to get him, then get a backup or a streamer with an incredible SOS for the first four games, guys like Matthew Stafford or Philip Rivers. And according to my conversation with Jennifer herself, I think she agrees with me.
Jennifer – Normally I’d draft a quality backup but the past two seasons I’ve switched to streaming just in case my starter went down.
Speaking of QB’s, it is a crime that Kevin got Andrew Luck this late. Nine times out of ten, Luck won’t go this late, and the fact that Brees, Brady, and Wilson went before Luck did is very rare, and I would have him over those guys as well. Another pick I really liked, was DeVante Parker here at 6.06. Simply put, if there is one player who could be this year’s Allen Robinson, it’s Parker, who is coming into his 2nd year, and his first under Adam Gase, who’s history with similar “X” receivers should bring good news for those looking to draft Parker. I wrote about him a little while back here. His ADP is currently near where Tehol got him, specifically at pick 6.11. Another pick I am on board with was Kevin White here at 6.09. We’ve seen what he can do at West Virginia, and playing alongisde Jeffery, he should have a very favorable situation, even drawing praise from his QB. Truth be told, I don’t have any issues with any picks made here in the round.
*Note* – The fourth round of our mock was completed without the knowledge of Josh Gordon being reinstated into the league after a four-game suspension
|7.01||Smokey||Travis Kelce, TE KC|
|7.02||Kevin||Corey Coleman, WR CLE|
|7.03||Matt||Larry Fitzgerald, WR ARI|
|7.04||Viz||Frank Gore, HB IND|
|7.05||Ralph||Delanie Walker, TE TEN|
|7.06||Zach||Marvin Jones, WR DET|
|7.07||Tehol||Dorial Green-Beckham, WR TEN|
|7.08||Stan||Duke Johnson, HB CLE|
|7.09||Seth||Christopher Ivory, HB JAX|
|7.10||Jay||Arian Foster, HB MIA|
|7.11||Max||Zach Ertz, TE PHI|
|7.12||Jennifer||Charles Sims, HB TB|
Starting off the seventh round, I really liked Frank Gore here as Viz’s 3rd back. Gore and the rest of the Indy offense should have a tremendous backfield. With Luck returning, and plenty of weapons with Dorsett now looking as a viable deep threat, Gore should not see eight in the box, and should provide us with a nice mid-to-late round breakout. I thought Arian Foster should not have been drafted here this early, as even though it is early, I don’t expect Foster to get enough touches and looks to become fantasy relevant, and the same applies with Jay Ajayi. The whole situation is great in real life, but is a headache in fantasy. I like Charles Sims here, as he should definitely build off of his tremendous production in ’15, where he averaged close to 11 yards per catch, and 4.9 YPC. Especially if Doug Martin’s production starts to falter, Sims should take over in Tampa. I have a big problem with Dorial Green-Beckham here at 7.07. I get the fact that he is a Red-Zone threat, and there is no doubt in my mind that Tennessee’s offense should definitely have a breakout year, but it won’t include DGB. HC Mike Mularkey has spoken several times that they want to feature DeMarco Murray a lot, especially in the passing game, in addition to a receiving corps that features Delanie Walker, Kendall Wright, and Rishard Matthews, in addition to one of my favorite sleepers this year, Tajae Sharpe, who has played ahead of DGB in OTA’s earlier this year, and has earned the praise of several coaches there. Meanwhile DGB has looked slow, overweight, and has not built on the expectations that surrounded him towards the end of last year.
|8.01||Jennifer||Justin Forsett, HB BAL|
|8.02||Max||DeSean Jackson, WR WAS|
|8.03||Jay||Travis Benjamin, WR SD|
|8.04||Seth||Ladarius Green, TE PIT|
|8.05||Stan||Melvin Gordon, HB SD|
|8.06||Tehol||Josh Gordon, WR CLE|
|8.07||Zach||Carson Palmer, QB ARI|
|8.08||Ralph||DeAngelo Williams, HB PIT|
|8.09||Viz||Tyler Eifert, TE CIN|
|8.10||Matt||T.J. Yeldon, JAX|
|8.11||Kevin||Ameer Abdullah, HB DET|
|8.12||Smokey||Rashad Jennings, HB NYG|
Even with Kenneth Dixon spraining his ACL a few days ago, I don’t know if I would take Justin Forsett here, although I certainly get why one would want him here to start the eighth round. A pick I liked here was DeAngelo Williams at 8.08. We already saw what he can do last year, when Bell missed time throughout the year, and if he matches that level again for the first four games this year, who’s to say there won’t be a timeshare once Bell returns? I’d take that in a heartbeat in the eighth. I thought Josh Gordon here at 8.06 was a bit of a reach, and I wouldn’t touch him with the level of uncertainty surrounding him. I don’t want to toot my own horn, but another pick I liked was my own with Carson Palmer. In the eighth. I don’t feel too confident about Tyler Eifert here at 8.09. According to ADP data only, Viz got a steal, as Eifert should have been taken in the sixth. However, with an ankle injury that has caused him to miss OTA’s, will cause him to miss Training Camp entirely, and for who knows how long into the regular season, I would just rather have someone else. Finally, another pick I liked here was Rashad Jennings to close the round out. He’s not sexy at all, and you might hate yourself come draft day where you have to say “Yeah, I’m gonna go with Rashad Jennings”. Simply put, he is still the RB1 in New York until Paul Perkins says otherwise, so he’s not totally worthless, considering that he had a very quiet 4.4 YPC, and a 74% catch rate in ’15.
|9.01||Smokey||C.J. Prosise, HB SEA|
|9.02||Kevin||Sterling Shepard, WR NYG|
|9.03||Matt||Gary Barnidge, TE CLE|
|9.04||Viz||Charcandrick West, HB KC|
|9.05||Ralph||Tyrod Taylor, QB BUF|
|9.06||Zach||Willie Snead, WR NO|
|9.07||Tehol||Jimmy Graham, TE SEA|
|9.08||Stan||Jameis Winston, QB TB|
|9.09||Seth||Steve Smith, WR BAL|
|9.10||Jay||Philip Rivers, QB SD|
|9.11||Max||Darren Sproles, HB PHI|
|9.12||Jennifer||Antonio Gates, TE SD|
Finally coming into the final round, we saw a great number of sleepers that I am definitely on board with, starting with C.J. Prosise, who could definitely see some work in the passing game, to the point where he is more than relevant for us. Apart from Alex Collins, who is equally intriguing, I’m excited to watch Prosise play. Despite the fact that he is 220 pounds, Prosise feasted in his final year with ND, to the tune of 11 TD’s on only 157 carries, with a whopping 6.6 YPC. Again, he’s 220. It also helps that he’ll possibly have the 3rd easiest schedule amongst HB’s in 2016. Moving down the list, I love what Sterling Shepard can bring to the table here in 2016 in New York, even though Victor Cruz appears healthy and ready to go. I really love Stan’s pick here at 9.08 with Jameis Winston. He’s lost weight, fits really well into HC Dirk Koetter’s system, is slowly building up chemistry with Mike Evans (a sign of maturity, as I think he’s moved past the days of stealing Crab Legs), and has a very favorable schedule, which includes facing New Orleans in both weeks 13 and 16. Even with Jay being a homer, I’m also very excited for what Phillip Rivers can provide in 2016, reuniting with former OC Ken Whisenhunt. And for you possible Brady owners, there is no shame in plugging in Rivers while Brady is gone, as he’ll face Kansas City, Jacksonville, Indianapolis and New Orleans. Finally, Antonio Gates provides a solid option here in the 9th, considering he is a almost virtual lock to finish in the Top-10 in what is shaping up to be his final year (and believe me, Rivers knows this).
Alright guys, thanks for sticking around to the end of this mock draft. Again, hopefully this helps you all see who can go where in your drafts, specifically in those RCL leagues. As always, if you have a question, or agree or disagree with a pick or my assessment, feel free to leave a comment below. If you want to ask the person who made the pick themselves, I can think that they would be more than happy to answer your question via Twitter (handles above).
It’s August guys, football is here. Get excited!
But go read a book.
You Can Follow Zach on Twitter @ohuhave12.