Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12-Team Standard, Slot #4



By: George Haraktsis


As we trudge through the slowest point of the year for sports watchability, the beacon of hope that is football season shines dimly in the distance. A way to combat this depressing time where baseball and soccer are our only outlets for watching sports is to work in a fantasy mock draft here and there. It is never too early for fantasy football, and it is indeed never too early to prepare! So strap on your drafting helmets and sit back as I give you some mock drafting insight.


The Blitz team has decided to do some of the work for you and offer our opinions on this year’s fantasy draft. Each week, we’ll give you full-length mock drafts of different league types for you to follow along. Even better, we are breaking it down pick by pick each week. So if you’re drafting in the first slot this season, pay attention, because this week’s articles are for you! If you’re drafting 12th, give it a read anyway, and maybe you’ll gain some insight as to how the draft will play out.


Today we’ll be taking a look at a simple 12-team, standard scoring league that I have mocked with the FantasyPros Mock Draft Simulator. It’s an amazing, and quick way to get your mocks in, and they have some funny team names too. The roster format is as follows: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex, D/ST, K and 6 Bench players. My selections are bolded below, and my final roster is at the end. Keep an eye out for more mocks in the days to come!


Final Roster

QB: Jimmy Garoppolo, SF

RB: Ezekiel Elliott, DAL

RB: Mark Ingram, NO

WR: Mike Evans, TB

WR: Doug Baldwin, SEA

WR: Alshon Jeffery, PHI

FLEX: Lamar Miller, HOU

TE: Trey Burton, CHI

D/ST: LA Chargers

K: Chris Boswell, PIT

BENCH

BN: Sammy Watkins, KC

BN: Cooper Kupp, LAR

BN: D’Onta Foreman, HOU

BN: Ben Roethlisberger, PIT

BN: Michael Gallup, DAL

BN: DeMarco Murray, FA


Final Analysis:

I freaking loved having the number four pick here. This is one of my favorite spots to draft because it always seems like a top 2–3 guy still falls to you in this spot. Having the consistency that is Elliott allowed me to concentrate on building up my WRs in the earlier rounds, and awarded me the luxury of being able to draft relative uncertains at the RB2 position. If I can withstand Ingram’s suspension in the first four weeks of the season with the combo of Miller and Foreman, his selection will pay huge dividends. Evans, Baldwin, and Jeffery form a formidable trio that contains the mix of upside and consistency that I love on my roster. Especially when considering the amount of opportunity/upside that my WR depth has if one of my top 3 falters.


My QB situation is a blessing. The mixture of upside in Garoppolo and floor of Roethlisberger will alleviate the pressure of having to stream a QB all year. At the TE position, I’m taking a considerable flier on a guy like Burton, but TE is the only position I feel comfortable doing that at without a backup plan. It’s too easy to stream TEs in today’s modern NFL. Overall, I think I really outdid myself on this one and would love if my actual roster looked like this come September!


Round 1

1) Todd Gurley RB — LAR  2) Le’veon Bell RB — PIT  3) Deandre Hopkins WR — HOU 4) Ezekiel Elliott RB — DAL  5) David Johnson RB — ARI  6) Antonio Brown WR — PIT  7) Alvin Kamara RB — NO  8) Saquon Barkley RB — NYG  9) Kareem Hunt RB — KC  10) Leonard Fournette RB — JAC  11) Melvin Gordon RB — LAC  12) Odell Beckham WR — NYG


Analysis:

I felt fortunate to have Ezekiel Elliott fall to me here at pick #4, especially in a standard league. Yes, he missed 6 games last year due to a suspension, but his stats were still astonishing nonetheless. In 10 games, Zeke finished as the running back nine on the year with 983 yards rushing, 269 yards receiving, and 8 combined touchdowns. Good for 17.7 fantasy points per game, the second highest average of this year’s top 10. The Cowboys showed last year that if they have any plans to win games, they will have to lean on Elliott very heavily. Zeke has the highest floor of any prospect in the first round and easily one of the highest ceilings. Great pick at #4 here.


Round 2

13) Dalvin Cook RB — MIN  14) Julio Jones WR — ATL  15) Devonta Freeman RB — ATL  16) Michael Thomas WR — NO  17) Keenan Allen WR — LAC  18) A.J. Green WR — CIN  19) Davante Adams WR — GB  20) Lesean Mccoy RB — BUF 21) Mike Evans WR — TB  22) Jerick Mckinnon RB — SF  23) Christian Mccaffrey RB — CAR  24) Jordan Howard RB — CHI


Analysis:

Yes Mike Evans was a fantasy disappointment in 2017, it’s no secret. He finished as the WR20 in standard leagues after being considered a top 5 fantasy WR. Some also might be worried about Winston’s 3-game suspension affecting Evans production in 2017, but I say temper your concerns. Evansstill had over 1,000 yards, over 70 receptions, and was targeted 136 times in 2017. He even had decent games when Jameis was out with injury, and actually proved his rookie year, the year before Jameis was drafted, that he could still put up numbers- 1,051 yards and 12 TDs. Yes, there is still some risk here, but that’s what you expect with bounce-back candidates. Evans will easily get to 1,000 yards and has a chance to get double-digit touchdowns for the third time in his career. At this pick, you want a player with a high floor and high ceiling, and Evans is just that.


Round 3

25) Tyreek Hill WR — KC  26) Amari Cooper WR — OAK  27) Aaron Rodgers QB — GB 28) Doug Baldwin WR — SEA  29) T.Y. Hilton WR — IND  30) Rob Gronkowski TE — NE  31) Travis Kelce TE — KC  32) Adam Thielen WR — MIN  33) Joe Mixon RB — CIN  34) Josh Gordon WR — CLE  35) Zach Ertz TE — PHI  36) Derrick Henry RB — TEN


Analysis:

This was Baldwin’s third-year with at least 75 catches, 990 yards, and seven touchdowns. He finished as last year’s WR11 in standard league’s and was a steady presence all year. While he does not have a huge ceiling, his floor is as safe as it gets as Russell Wilson’s number one option. The newly signed Brandon Marshall will not cut into his production, due mostly to the loss of other passing options in both Graham and Richardson to free agency. He is a great option to pair with the semi-volatile Mike Evans due to his week by week consistency. While I would have been worried about Baldwin as my number one WR, as a number two I am more than thrilled.


Round 4

37) Stefon Diggs WR — MIN  38) Kenyan Drake RB — MIA  39) Juju Smith-Schuster WR — PIT  40) Larry Fitzgerald WR — ARI  41) Rashaad Penny RB — SEA  42) Deshaun Watson QB — HOU  43) Allen Robinson WR — CHI  44) Derrius Guice RB — WAS 45) Alshon Jeffery WR — PHI  46) Julian Edelman WR — NE  47) Demaryius Thomas WR — DEN  48) Brandin Cooks WR — LAR


Analysis:

Last year’s WR15 finds a spot as the third WR on my roster. Even with finishing that highly ranked, Jeffrey still had an up and down year in regards to fantasy. He had only three games with 70+ receiving yards in the regular season, and none came after week 9. While he does carry some significant risk, it’s one I’m willing to take with my WR3. The team extended Alshon during the middle of the season, so they apparently have long-term plans for the former Bear. Another year in the offense with Carson Wentz gives me hope, and they should only build upon the chemistry that they had last year. While there’s definitely a lot of risks associated with the Eagle’s pass-catcher, I could do a lot worse for my WR3.


Round 5

49) Jay Ajayi RB — PHI  50) Alex Collins RB — BAL  51) Royce Freeman RB — DEN 52) Mark Ingram RB — NO  53) Marvin Jones WR — DET  54) Sony Michel RB — NE  55) Golden Tate WR — DET  56) Tom Brady QB — NE  57) Russell Wilson QB — SEA  58) Jimmy Graham TE — GB  59) Jarvis Landry WR — CLE  60) Carson Wentz QB — PHI


Analysis:

Yes Ingram was suspended for the first four games of the year, but I don’t care! He was the RB6 in standard leagues last year and a freaking steal in round 5! Last year proved that he and Kamara could co-exist from a fantasy perspective so he should pick up right where he left off when he returns in week 5. If I did not have the luxury of Zeke as my number one back, I might be very concerned here, but Zeke and my next pick will be able to make up for his lost production until he comes back. Ingram was a steal!


Round 6

61) Greg Olsen TE — CAR  62) Evan Engram TE — NYG  63) Will Fuller WR — HOU  64) Michael Crabtree WR — BAL  65) Pierre Garcon WR — SF  66) Robert Woods WR — LAR  67) Cam Newton QB — CAR  68) Chris Hogan WR — NE 69) Lamar Miller RB — HOU  70) Dion Lewis RB — TEN  71) Philip Rivers QB — LAC  72) Devin Funchess WR — CAR


Analysis:

Like I said earlier, Miller will fill in for Ingram as my RB2 until week 5. While Miller has not lived up to the hype since signing his free agent contract with the Texans a few years back but did manage a moderate career resurrection last year with Deshaun Watson. With a healthy Watson back under center, and D’Onta Foreman’s availability still up in the air for the first few weeks of the season, I expect Miller to take full control over starting duties until week 4 and continue his success with the young signal-caller.


Round 7

73) Drew Brees QB — NO  74) Robby Anderson WR — NYJ  75) Marquise Goodwin WR — SF 76) Sammy Watkins WR — KC  77) Andrew Luck QB — IND  78) Ronald Jones RB — TB  79) Dez Bryant WR — FA  80) Emmanuel Sanders WR — DEN  81) Corey Davis WR — TEN  82) Jordy Nelson WR — OAK  83) Matthew Stafford QB — DET  84) Marlon Mack RB — IND


Analysis:

Watkins is the player that owners hate drafting every year. He never lives up to his draft stock and leaves owners wishing they had picked someone different. Even after finding a new home in Kansas City after signing with the Chiefs this past free agency period, not much has changed. But, I didn’t hate the pick. Watkins figures to be a depth/flex option on my roster and could be a prime candidate to breakout after a full offseason learning the playbook with new starter Patrick Mahomes. He is still very young and was a top 5 pick in the NFL draft only a few years back. Yes, he could bust, but as a depth guy, who could fill in for Alshon in bad matchups, I’m willing to take a swing on him at this point.


Round 8

85) Devante Parker WR — MIA  86) Jamison Crowder WR — WAS  87) Kirk Cousins QB — MIN  88) Tevin Coleman RB — ATL  89) Randall Cobb WR — GB  90) Marshawn Lynch RB — OAK  91) Delanie Walker TE — TEN  92) Kenny Stills WR — MIA 93) Cooper Kupp WR — LAR  94) Mike Gesicki TE — MIA  95) Kelvin Benjamin WR — BUF  96) Carlos Hyde RB — CLE


Round 9

97) Tarik Cohen RB — CHI  98) Isaiah Crowell RB — NYJ  99) Nick Chubb RB — CLE 100) Trey Burton TE — CHI  101) Rishard Matthews WR — TEN  102) Chris Thompson RB — WAS  103) Jacksonville Jaguars DST — JAC  104) Sterling Shepard WR — NYG  105) Kyle Rudolph TE — MIN  106) Kerryon Johnson RB — DET  107) Duke Johnson RB — CLE  108) Allen Hurns WR — DAL


Analysis:

Cooper Kupp quietly had one of the best rookie seasons of 2017. The slot receiver caught 62 balls for 869 yards and 5 touchdowns as Jared Goff’s favorite option. While I would have been more thrilled about this pick if we were in a PPR league, I still think he holds a lot of value in this year’s drafts. He is a fantastic depth option, and can undoubtedly make spot starts here and there during the year.

Gosh, I love getting Trey Burton in the ninth round. He has a ton of fantasy upside and talent that he flashed in Philly’s offense last year. He just signed a massive deal in free agency and will be going to Chicago to pair up with second-year QB Mitch Trubisky-We know how much young QBs love their tight ends. To be able to draft a guy who could finish as a top-5 guy at his position is hard to pass up. If for some reason Burton doesn’t work out then losing on a ninth-round pick is a risk I’m okay with. I can always stream guys on waivers, it will not end my team.


Round 10

109) Aaron Jones RB — GB  110) Nelson Agholor WR — PHI  111) Rex Burkhead RB — NE  112) C.J. Anderson RB — CAR  113) Marqise Lee WR — JAC  114) Chris Carson RB — SEA  115) Jamaal Williams RB — GB  116) Desean Jackson WR — TB 117) D’onta Foreman RB — HOU 118) Josh Doctson WR — WAS  119) Spencer Ware RB — KC  120) Martavis Bryant WR — OAK


Round 11

121) Jordan Reed TE — WAS  122) Donte Moncrief WR — JAC  123) Mike Williams WR — LAC 124) Jimmy Garoppolo QB — SF  125) Bilal Powell RB — NYJ  126) Kenny Golladay WR — DET  127) Frank Gore RB — MIA  128) Mohamed Sanu WR — ATL  129) Los Angeles Rams DST — LAR  130) Minnesota Vikings DST — MIN  131) Devontae Booker RB — DEN  132) Tyler Lockett WR — SEA


Analysis:

Yes I mentioned that we don’t know Foreman’s availability, but that’s precisely what made him drop this late. He flashed a ton of skill before rupturing his Achilles last year on a freak touchdown play, and by selecting him, I now own Houston’s backfield. Someone will emerge out of Miller and Foreman next to Watson, and I’ll be there to claim whoever does.


This pick is just as risky as the Foreman pick because of the limited sample size Jimmy G gave us last year, but another risk I’m willing to take. Over the last six weeks of the season, he was the QB12 and now has a full year to take in Shanahan’s complicated offense. He does carry some risk, but the fact that I paired him up with a proven veteran later in this draft eases all of my concerns. The 49ers gave him one of the most significant deals for QB in league history for a reason, and I can’t wait to see why.


Round 12

133) Doug Martin RB — OAK  134) Cameron Meredith WR — NO  135) Calvin Ridley WR — ATL  136) D.J. Moore WR — CAR  137) James White RB — NE  138) Cole Beasley WR — DAL  139) Latavius Murray RB — MIN  140) Jack Doyle TE — IND 141) Ben Roethlisberger QB — PIT  142) Tyler Eifert TE — CIN  143) Eric Ebron TE — IND  144) Paul Richardson WR — WAS


Round 13

145) O.J. Howard TE — TB  146) Charles Clay TE — BUF  147) LeGarrette Blount RB — DET 148) Michael Gallup WR — DAL  149) David Njoku TE — CLE  150) Anthony Miller WR — CHI  151) Samaje Perine RB — WAS  152) George Kittle TE — SF  153) Austin Seferian-Jenkins TE — JAC  154) Jared Goff QB — LAR  155) Ty Montgomery RB — GB  156) Cameron Brate TE — TB


Analysis:

Not much needs to be said about Roethlisberger here, he is a proven veteran leading one of the league’s most explosive offenses. He finished last year as the QB11 and is a perfect option to cover the risk associated with Garoppolo. Safe floor.

This is the area where I really like to take fliers on rookies or younger guys. As a rookie, Gallup walks into a Dallas offense that lost pass catchers Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, and Ryan Switzer. That production needs to be recreated somehow. The team did sign Allen Hurns to a deal, but the WR1 is still up for grabs in my eyes. He was a very talented player in college, and his skills translate well to the NFL. Gallup is clearly a flier here, but if he and Prescott develop some sort of chemistry, this could be my sleeper pick of the draft.


Round 14

157) Matt Ryan QB — ATL  158) Patrick Mahomes QB — KC  159) Corey Clement RB — PHI  160) Giovani Bernard RB — CIN  161) Theo Riddick RB — DET  162) Danny Amendola WR — MIA  163) Peyton Barber RB — TB  164) Matt Breida RB — SF  165) Demarco Murray RB — FA  166) Ted Ginn WR — NO  167) Terrance Williams WR — DAL  168) Dede Westbrook WR — JAC


Round 15

169) Philadelphia Eagles DST — PHI  170) Denver Broncos DST — DEN  171) Houston Texans DST — HOU 172) Los Angeles Chargers DST — LAC  173) Baltimore Ravens DST — BAL  174) Seattle Seahawks DST — SEA  175) Wayne Gallman RB — NYG  176) New England Patriots DST — NE  177) Keelan Cole WR — JAC  178) Brandon Marshall WR — SEA  179) New Orleans Saints DST — NO  180) New York Giants DST — NYG


Round 16

181) Stephen Gostkowski K — NE  182) Greg Zuerlein K — LAR  183) Justin Tucker K — BAL  184) Wil Lutz K — NO  185) Matt Bryant K — ATL  186) Dan Bailey K — DAL  187) Matt Prater K — DET  188) Jake Elliott K — PHI 189) Chris Boswell K — PIT  190) Kai Forbath K — MIN  191) Mason Crosby K — GB  192) Harrison Butker K — KC


Analysis:

I’d be lying to you if I told you DeMarco Murray was not a shot in the dark here. I mean he’s not even on a team. With that being said, he is one training camp injury away from being the starter on an NFL team. If Murray can secure a starting role coming into this year, this pick will pay dividends.


The Chargers are young, but their defense has shown plenty of promise over the last few years. They drafted Derwin James in this year’s first round and have players like Bosa, Ingram, and Heyward hitting their prime, scary. This unit could seriously make some noise. As for my Kicker? Chris Boswell is a kicker on a good offense that is the Steelers. Do you need much more than that?