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Fantasy Football Mock Mondays: 12-Team Standard Draft, Slot #1

By: Alexander Amir

We’re in the dog days of the NFL year. The draft has long been completed, many top free agents are off the market, and training camp doesn’t start for almost two months. But as far as I’m concerned, the fantasy season is in full swing! Now’s the time for endless mock drafts to work out countless scenarios for when the big day arrives. Try out all your combinations of picks — maybe take 3 running backs or receivers to start off and see how that plays out, and have fun being a little risky and seeing what your team looks like at the end.

We at Blitz have 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, quick way to get your mocks in, and they have some funny team names too as you’ll see below. 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 later in the week for PPR and 2QB league mocks!

Round 1

1) Le’Veon Bell, RB — PIT

2) Todd Gurley, RB — LAR

3) Antonio Brown, WR — PIT

4) Ezekiel Elliott, RB — DAL

5) Deandre Hopkins, WR — HOU

6) David Johnson, RB — ARI

7) Julio Jones, WR — ATL

8) Alvin Kamara, RB — NO

9) Odell Beckham, WR — NYG

10) Saquon Barkley, RB — NYG

11) Kareem Hunt, RB — KC

12) Dalvin Cook, RB — MIN

Analysis: You can’t really go wrong with any of the top 4 players on the board. I went with Le’Veon Bell since he’s been the most consistent year to year, finishing top 4 every season since 2014, minus his suspension shortened 2015 season. 2018 is a contract year for him, and the Steelers will run him into the ground, maximizing his fantasy potential. The rest of the top 12 didn’t have any big surprises aside from Deandre Hopkins going a tick higher than expected.

Round 2

13) Lesean Mccoy, RB — BUF

14) Leonard Fournette, RB — JAC

15) Melvin Gordon, RB — LAC

16) Michael Thomas, WR — NO

17) A.J. Green, WR — CIN

18) Mike Evans, WR — TB

19) Davante Adams, WR — GB

20) Keenan Allen, WR — LAC

21) Devonta Freeman, RB — ATL

22) Doug Baldwin, WR — SEA

23) Rob Gronkowski, TE — NE

24) Tyreek Hill, WR — KC

Analysis: Hill was the 4th ranked fantasy receiver last year with the conservative Alex Smith at QB. While new starter Patrick Mahomes may have a learning curve, I expect his cannon of an arm and Hill’s blazing speed to create some awesome connections. I also went WR here because there was a running back that I love waiting for me for my next pick…

Round 3

25) Jerick Mckinnon, RB — SF

26) Kenyan Drake, RB — MIA

27) Jordan Howard, RB — CHI

28) Adam Thielen, WR — MIN

29) Brandin Cooks, WR — LAR

30) Christian Mccaffrey, RB — CAR

31) Joe Mixon, RB — CIN

32) Josh Gordon, WR — CLE

33) Travis Kelce, TE — KC

34) Amari Cooper, WR — OAK

35) T.Y. Hilton, WR — IND

36) Mark Ingram, RB — NO

Analysis: I love Jerick McKinnon for fantasy this year. He had some solid breakout games in place of injured starter Dalvin Cook, scoring double digit points in 5 out of 10 weeks and reaching 20 points twice. He was in a complete timeshare with Latavius Murray, but now in San Francisco, McKinnon is the uncontested lead dog. Head Coach Kyle Shanahan has a great history with backs, and the 49ers spent considerable resources upgrading their offensive line. And even if I wasn’t that high on McKinnon, I’m not a huge fan of most of the running backs taken in this round anyway.

Round 4

37) Stefon Diggs, WR — MIN

38) Rashaad Penny, RB — SEA

39) Larry Fitzgerald, WR — ARI

40) Demaryius Thomas, WR — DEN

41) Derrick Henry, RB — TEN

42) Sony Michel, RB — NE

43) Aaron Rodgers, QB — GB

44) Carlos Hyde, RB — CLE

45) Zach Ertz, TE — PHI

46) Alex Collins, RB — BAL

47) Allen Robinson, WR — CHI

48) Juju Smith-Schuster, WR — PIT

Analysis: This round we see our first QB off the board, Aaron Rodgers, and deservedly so. My drafting philosophy is to always wait on a QB, but if you’re going to take a QB, Rodgers is the guy. I selected JuJu because he was a top 20 receiver last year, and now any targets that don’t go to Antonio Brown or Le’Veon Bell will likely go to him with Martavis Bryant out of the picture. The offensive dominance of Brown and Bell didn’t hinder JuJu’s ability last year, and I don’t expect any different for 2018. He’s also an extremely appealing dynasty pick at only 21 years old.

Round 5

49) Jay Ajayi, RB — PHI

50) Pierre Garcon, WR — SF

51) Alshon Jeffery, WR — PHI

52) Golden Tate, WR — DET

53) Dez Bryant, WR — FA

54) Marvin Jones, WR — DET

55) Derrius Guice, RB — WAS

56) Greg Olsen, TE — CAR

57) Royce Freeman, RB — DEN

58) Lamar Miller, RB — HOU

59) Julian Edelman, WR — NE

60) Jarvis Landry, WR — CLE

Analysis: In standard scoring format I like loading up on running backs. While Ajayi was nowhere near as productive last year as people hoped he would be after being traded to the Eagles, he no longer has to compete with LeGarrette Blount for carries. Yes, Corey Clement will still be there on passing downs, but GM Howie Roseman has explicitly said he wants to get Ajayi more carries. Finally, Ajayi had an extremely impressive 5.8 yards per carry in 2017. That bodes well for efficient production.

Round 6

61) Russell Wilson, QB — SEA

62) Tom Brady, QB — NE

63) Devin Funchess, WR — CAR

64) Marlon Mack, RB — IND

65) Deshaun Watson, QB — HOU

66) Jamison Crowder, WR — WAS

67) Duke Johnson, RB — CLE

68) Evan Engram, TE — NYG

69) Robert Woods, WR — LAR

70) Jimmy Graham, TE — GB

71) Michael Crabtree, WR — BAL

72) Ronald Jones, RB — TB

Round 7

73) Marshawn Lynch, RB — OAK

74) Dion Lewis, RB — TEN

75) Cam Newton, QB — CAR

76) Jordy Nelson, WR — OAK

77) Carson Wentz, QB — PHI

78) Sammy Watkins, WR — KC

79) Matthew Stafford, QB — DET

80) Delanie Walker, TE — TEN

81) Rishard Matthews, WR — TEN

82) Drew Brees, QB — NO

83) Corey Davis, WR — TEN

84) Jordan Reed, TE — WAS

Analysis: While I did still have my WR3 spot open at this point, I wasn’t a huge fan of who was available at the position. A lot of good receivers went in Round 5 where I took Ajayi, so I decided to go with two more running backs and call it a day on the position. Jones has a ton of upside with the new TB offense, and Lynch was the 19th best running back in 2017. I also saw five excellent QBs come off the board, so I knew it was time to start thinking about who I was going to take at that position.

Round 8

85) Emmanuel Sanders, WR — DEN

86) Chris Hogan, WR — NE

87) Will Fuller, WR — HOU

88) Ben Roethlisberger, QB — PIT

89) Cooper Kupp, WR — LAR

90) Sterling Shepard, WR — NYG

91) Chris Thompson, RB — WAS

92) Tevin Coleman, RB — ATL

93) Jimmy Garoppolo, QB — SF

94) Robby Anderson, WR — NYJ

95) Kirk Cousins, QB — MIN

96) Devante Parker, WR — MIA

Round 9

97) Kyle Rudolph, TE — MIN

98) Kenny Stills, WR — MIA

99) C.J. Anderson, RB — CAR

100) Rex Burkhead, RB — NE

101) Chris Carson, RB — SEA

102) Marquise Goodwin, WR — SF

103) Josh Doctson, WR — WAS

104) Isaiah Crowell, RB — NYJ

105) Jamaal Williams, RB — GB

106) Nelson Agholor, WR — PHI

107) Randall Cobb, WR — GB

108) Kelvin Benjamin, WR — BUF

Analysis: I don’t love the Parker pick. It was more based on need since my WR3 spot was still open. But with Jarvis Landry gone this year, Parker should see increased opportunity, even with Danny Amendola and Kenny Stills on the roster. I also didn’t love the rest of the receivers available. I thought this was good value for Kyle Rudolph, because he’s a consistent, solid player who has a bit of upside with Kirk Cousins now in Minnesota. That’s exactly the type of TE I wanted.

Round 10

109) Danny Amendola, WR — MIA

110) Desean Jackson, WR — TB

111) Aaron Jones, RB — GB

112) Kerryon Johnson, RB — DET

113) Marqise Lee, WR — JAC

114) Chris Godwin. WR — TB

115) Allen Hurns, WR — DAL

116) Samaje Perine, RB — WAS

117) Jacksonville Jaguars, DST — JAC

118) Nick Chubb, RB — CLE

119) Minnesota Vikings, DST — MIN

120) Matt Ryan, QB — ATL

Analysis: I FINALLY get my quarterback at pick #120, at the end of round 10. I honestly was shocked that Matt Ryan fell this far, but this could be attributed to FantasyPros’ low ranking on him. At any rate, Ryan will inevitably fall, and snagging him late will be a huge move for your team. The team dropped all the way from the #1 offense by a mile in 2017 to #15 a year later. Offensive Coordinator Steve Sarkisian will undoubtedly get on the same page as Ryan, and the team added the talented rookie Calvin Ridley to boot. 2017 was the anomaly for Ryan, not the norm. Play it smart with where you draft him, but pull the trigger and see the rewards.

Round 11

121) D.J. Moore, WR — CAR

122) Martavis Bryant WR — OAK

123) D’onta Foreman, RB — HOU

124) Ted Ginn, WR — NO

125) Tarik Cohen, RB — CHI

126) Jack Doyle, TE — IND

127) Calvin Ridley, WR — ATL

128) Bilal Powell, RB — NYJ

129) Javorius Allen, RB — BAL

130) Tyler Lockett, WR — SEA

131) Mike Williams, WR — LAC

132) Demarco Murray, RB — FA

Round 12

133) Tyler Eifert, TE — CIN

134) Mohamed Sanu, WR — ATL

135) Kenny Golladay, WR — DET

136) Andrew Luck, QB — IND

137) Cameron Meredith, WR — NO

138) Tavon Austin, WR/RB — DAL

139) Eric Ebron, TE — IND

140) O.J. Howard, TE — TB

141) Wayne Gallman, RB — NYG

142) Dede Westbrook, WR — JAC

143) Ty Montgomery, RB — GB

144) Michael Gallup, WR — DAL

Analysis: I rarely ever draft NFL rookies in fantasy drafts because they are so unpredictable. But both D.J. Moore and Michael Gallup are in unique opportunities to garner a bunch of targets on their respective teams. Moore has great speed on a Carolina team that features a 6’4” Devin Funchess and 6’5” Greg Olsen as the primary pass catchers. The Cowboys lost Dez Bryant and Jason Witten this offseason, leaving a bunch of targets sitting on the table. With the injury-prone Allen Hurns as the team’s top outside receiver, Gallup should have plenty of opportunity to make an impact.

Round 13

145) Trey Burton, TE — CHI

146) Jared Goff, QB — LAR

147) David Njoku, TE — CLE

148) Philip Rivers, QB — LAC

149) Marcus Mariota, QB — TEN

150) Philadelphia Eagles, DST — PHI

151) Charles Clay, TE — BUF

152) Legarrette Blount, RB — DET

153) Tyrell Williams, WR — LAC

154) George Kittle, TE — SF

155) Cameron Brate, TE — TB

156) Paul Richardson, WR — WAS

Round 14

157) Doug Martin, RB — OAK

158) Devontae Booker, RB — DEN

159) Peyton Barber, RB — TB

160) Matt Breida, RB — SF

161) Anthony Miller, WR — CHI

162) Los Angeles Rams, DST — LAR

163) Theo Riddick, RB — DET

164) Denver Broncos, DST — DEN

165) Ameer Abdullah, RB — DET”

166) Patrick Mahomes, QB — KC

167) Jordan Wilkins, RB — IND

168) Houston Texans, DST — HOU

Round 15

169) Christian Kirk, WR — ARI

170) Keelan Cole, WR — JAC

171) Los Angeles Chargers, DST — LAC

172) Corey Coleman, WR — CLE

173) T.J. Yeldon, RB — JAC

174) Mike Wallace, WR — PHI

175) Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE — JAC

176) Seattle Seahawks, DST — SEA

177) Baltimore Ravens, DST — BAL

178) New England Patriots, DST — NE

179) New Orleans Saints, DST — NO

180) Kansas City Chiefs, DST — KC

Round 16

181) Stephen Gostkowski, K — NE

182) Justin Tucker, K — BAL

183) Greg Zuerlein, K — LAR

184) Matt Bryant, K — ATL

185) Jake Elliott, K — PHI

186) Mason Crosby, K — GB

187) Wil Lutz, K — NO

188) Blair Walsh, K — FA

189) Dan Bailey, K — DAL

190) Matt Prater, K — DET

191) Chris Boswell, K — PIT

192) Harrison Butker, K — KC

Analysis: Another first for me- I rarely ever draft two tight ends. Players usually emerge throughout the season as viable options. But Burton has too much upside to pass up, as he’s flashed talent and will be going to Chicago with a talented 2nd year QB. I always wait until the final rounds to draft a defense because I usually end up adding and dropping countless D/ST throughout the season based on matchup. Houston has games against the Giants, Colts, Bills, and Dolphins to start the season and will have a lot of talent returning from injury. Christian Kirk, yet another rookie receiver, should see a lot of looks behind Larry Fitzgerald. And I trust Josh Rosen to get him the ball, when he inevitably becomes the starter.

Final Roster

QB: Matt Ryan, ATL

RB: Le’Veon Bell, PIT

RB: Jerick McKinnon, SF

WR: Tyreek Hill, KC

WR: JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT

WR: Devante Parker

FLEX: Jay Ajayi

TE: Kyle Rudolph

D/ST: Houston Texans

K: Harrison Butker

BN: Ronald Jones, RB, TB

BN: Marshawn Lynch, RB, OAK

BN: D.J. Moore, WR, CAR

BN: Michael Gallup, WR, DAL

BN: Trey Burton, TE, CHI

BN: Christian Kirk, WR, ARI

Final Analysis: While I hate the #1 pick and would never choose it on my own accord, I’m pretty happy with the way this mock turned out. I got a steal in Matt Ryan, and have a lot of explosive players between Bell, McKinnon, Hill, and JuJu. I have solid depth and if none of my young receivers pan out, my backup RBs or TE could be traded for a better receiver. In terms of overall strategy, load up on running backs and receivers early no matter what slot you’re picking in. You can get great value at QB and TE late in the draft, and if you ever have too many backs or receivers you can just trade them away for upgrades. Stay tuned for the rest of our mocks, and happy drafting!


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