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Fantasy Mock Pick #1: 12-team 2 QB

Written By: Jason Feiner

It has been a rough couple of weeks when discussing the slow moving NFL. With teams beginning Mandatory Minicamp this week, position battles have begun as we all move closer to football season. Players returned to the field to get their first taste of team football. Although the dog days of the NFL have set in, only 90 days separate us from the opening kickoff.

Many hot topics will certainly make July an interesting month, but fantasy football has evolved over the years to become a year-round entity in our lives. With more than a month until training camp, let’s begin prepping for our fantasy drafts to try and gain an edge come draft time. Mock drafts allow players to view multiple combinations of roster while also getting insight into the thoughts of players across the country. Which combinations will create the best possible chance to win a trophy by week 16’s end? Will three running backs within the first three rounds help to secure a title, or will other draft combinations benefit your style of play. Mock drafts are the best time to play risky, developing a go for draft day.

The Blitzalytics team has turned our attention to the mock draft season, giving each viewer new ideas on what players to reach for, gamble with, or rely on. With this being week one of our fantasy football mock draft season, the number 1 overall pick is where we will begin. This edition is for a 2QB standard scoring mock draft. The roster will be as follows: 2 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex (RB, WR, TE), K, and DST and 6 Bench. In my personal experience, a 2 QB fantasy draft can be tricky due to the uncertainty of the value at quarterback. Below are my selections for a full mock draft complete with an analysis for each round.

Round 1

1) Todd Gurley, RB — LAR

2) Le’Veon Bell, RB — PIT

3) Ezekiel Elliott, RB — DAL

4) Antonio Brown, WR — PIT

5) Julio Jones, WR — ATL

6) Deandre Hopkins, WR — HOU

7) David Johnson, RB — ARI

8) Alvin Kamara, RB — NO

9) Odell Beckham JR, WR — NYG

11) Aaron Rodgers, QB — GB

12) Tom Brady, QB — NE

Analysis: I believe that in two quarterback leagues there are three viable options for the first overall pick: Todd Gurley, Le’Veon Bell or Aaron Rodgers. My first year in a two-quarterback league, I went the quarterback route, and although I made the fantasy postseason, I swore to myself I would never take Aaron Rodgers first again. At that point, I needed to ask myself, who is the safest play with the last two viable options? Bell is likely to get run into the ground after receiving the franchise tag for the second year in a row. However, there is a real possibility the Pittsburgh star decides to hold out, missing the beginning of 2018 or the entire season. Bell has yet to sign his franchise tender, adding fuel to the fire and missing mandatory minicamp in the process. This question mark, until resolved, leaves one comfortable option. After taking Gurley in each of the last two fantasy seasons, you could say I have lived through the good and the bad. Last year, I rode Gurley to the fantasy championship, and it is hard to pass over the reigning Offensive Player of the Year. DON’T DEVIATE from your plan.

Round 2

13) Drew Brees, QB — NO

14) Russell Wilson, QB — SEA

15) Saquon Barkley, RB — NYG

16) Leonard Fournette, RB — JAX

17) Cam Newton, QB — CAR

18) Michael Thomas, WR — NO

19) A.J. Green, WR — CIN

20) Mike Evans, WR — TB

21) Melvin Gordon, RB — LAC

22) Deshaun Watson, QB — HOU

23) Dalvin Cook, RB — MIN

24) Keenan Allen, WR — LAC

Analysis: With 6 quarterbacks going in the first two rounds, it is not time to panic– stay the course. The first three rounds should be used to get the best (or highest upside) skill position players that fall to each of your picks. It was surprising and almost an immediate click when I saw the Chargers receiver still on the board at the end of round 2. He is my 7th ranked receiver with a top 10 floor and top 3 ceiling. Barring injury (which he avoided in 2017), Keenan Allen was a steal in round two and will remain locked in as my receiver 1.

Round 3

25) Davante Adams, WR — GB

26) Adam Thielen, WR — MIN

27) Lesean McCoy, RB — BUF

28) Devonta Freeman, RB — ATL

29) Matthew Stafford, QB — DET

30) Doug Baldwin, WR — SEA

31) Derrick Henry, RB — TEN

32) Tyreek Hill, WR — KC

33) T.Y. Hilton, WR — IND

34) Larry Fitzgerald, WR — ARI

35) Jordan Howard, RB — CHI

36) Jerick Mckinnon, RB — SF

Analysis: Round three gives the same message as the last– stay away from quarterbacks, at least for one more round. In most drafts I would have used my third round pick to take my second RB (in this case, Shady McCoy), but since this is a 3 WR mock, Davante Adams was screaming my name. My number 9 receiver in our Blitzalytics rankings, Adams has taken over the as the go-to option in Green Bay’s explosive passing attack. He has has hauled in an impressive 17 touchdown receptions in his last 22 games, a rate that should stay constant with Aaron Rodgers returning to the fray. Adams has a top five ceiling with Rodgers and a top 20 with Hundley. Either way, he will be a productive receiver with or without Green Bay’s starting quarterback. However, I have a feeling that Rodgers will be in the running for Comeback Player of the Year, an award that is sure to boost Adams’ stock along with it.

Round 4

37) Rob Gronkowski, TE — NE

38) Stefon Diggs, WR — MIN

39) Carson Wentz, QB — PHI

40) D.J. Moore, WR — Car

41) Andrew Luck, QB — IND

42) Mark Ingram, RB — NO

43) Joe Mixon, RB — CIN

44) Ben Roethlisberger, QB — PIT

45) Jimmy Garoppolo, QB — SF

46) Christian McCaffrey, RB — CAR

47) Travis Kelce, TE — KC

48) Kirk Cousins, QB — MIN

Analysis: This is where we take our first and second quarterbacks with back-to-back picks. Nearing the edge of the QB top 10, it is paramount that these two picks be your highest ranked quarterbacks left on the board. After your fourth and fifth round picks, twenty selections will go by with an additional 6 signal callers taken off the mailing list. This makes the total tally 16 QBs taken in the first five rounds of action. As a player in a two-quarterback league, quarterbacks can make and break your squad. If you would rather have a bottom 15 quarterback in your starting lineup, by all means keep picking your depth players, but take my word for it, you will regret the decision.

Kirk Cousins, now in Minnesota, will be playing with the best supporting cast he has had ever in his career. With that little piece of knowledge, Kirk Cousins has maintained a spot in the top of the fantasy quarterback rankings since his 2015 campaign, when he captured the 4th most points in 2016 and the 6th this past year. Cousins will be looking to make his mark on the league with this stable of capable playmakers, and he has a chance to lead the NFL in numerous passing categories. Since 2015, Cousins hasn’t averaged less than 18 fantasy points per contest, and he is sure to keep that streak alive as he fights for a palyoff spot in 2018. I was surprised that he was still on the board with my 4th round pick. If he happens to be on the board, be ready to pounce.

Round 5

49) Jared Goff, QB — LAR

50) Phillip Rivers, QB — LAC

51) Allen Robinson, WR — CHI

52) Alshon Jeffery, WR — PHI

53) Rashaad Penny, RB — SEA

54) Jameis Winston, QB — TB

55) Dak Prescott, QB — DAL

56) Amari Cooper, WR — OAK

57) Matt Ryan, QB — ATL

58) Demaryius Thomas, WR — DEN

59) Brandin Cooks, WR — LAR

60) Juju Smith-Schuster, WR — PIT

Analysis: I’m not going to lie, I was hoping for a gamble with my fifth round pick in the form of Andrew Luck. In most cases, he may fall to the beginning of the fifth round. Still, I am ecstatic with the selection of Jared Goff. After taking Gurley with my first selection, I was pleased to see Goff still on the board when I was chasing quarterbacks. With both of the leaders in 2017’s highest scoring offense, I am sure to gain points whenever the Rams touch the ball. Goff has a chance to escalate his game to new heights with a stable of pass catchers and the reigning Offensive Player of the Year in his backfield. Goff has the ability to win games with his arm and the talent to become a reliable fantasy option in 2018. He remains my 10th ranked QB heading into the season.

Round 6

61) Josh Gordon, WR- CLE

62) Kenyan Drake, RB — MIA

63) Alex Collins, RB — BAL

64) Zach Ertz, TE — PHI

65) Derrius Guice, RB — WAS

66) Dez Bryant, WR — FA

67) Royce Freeman, RB — DEN

68) Marvin Jones, WR — DET

69) Jay Ajayi, RB — PHI

70) Golden Tate, WR — DET

71) Jarvis Landry, WR — CLE

72) Ronald Jones, RB — TB

Analysis: Ronald Jones is one of my go-and-get players for the 2018 fantasy season. I usually don’t put a lot of faith into rookie runners (outside of those in the first round) but ROJO was drafted into an offense with a plethora of talent. It will be hard for any team to stack the box against Tampa, and Jones will be the featured back in their high-powered system. He has the ability to be a three down workhorse taking the majority of the carries and pass catching duties out of the backfield. Plus, a team name of “I found my ROJO” or “ROJO’s MOJO” wouldn’t hurt either.

Round 7

73) Julian Edelman*, WR — NE

74) Lamar Miller, RB — HOU

75) Patrick Mahomes, QB — KC

76) Evan Engram, TE — NYG

77) Sony Michel, RB — NE

78) Jimmy Graham, TE — GB

79) Pierre Garcon, WR — SF

80) Marshawn Lynch, RB — OAK

81) Rex Burkhead, RB — NE

82) Marcus Mariota, QB — TEN

83) Corey Davis, WR — TEN

84) Robert Woods, WR — LAR

Analysis: At the beginning of the seventh round, I had my sights focused on Jimmy Graham, Green Bay’s new TE, but once I noticed Tom Brady’s number one target was still on the board, I ultimately decided to take my third receiver. In 2016, Edelman saw 159 targets, and recorded a career best 1,106 yards. His play underneath is essential to the Patriots offense, and with a full year of recovery from an ACL tear, Edelman looks to make a mark on the league. New England’s slot receiver played in mandatory minicamp without a knee brace this past week. Expect Edelman to secure at least 95 receptions, 1000 yards, and 6 touchdowns as a floor for the 2018 season.

*With the PED suspension looming, round seven may be too high to take Edelman now. He will be a steal in the later rounds. Watch for him in rounds 8–10.

Round 8

85) Greg Olsen, TE — Car

86) Devante Parker, WR — MIA

87) Devin Funchess, WR — CAR

88) Carlos Hyde, RB — CLE

89) Sammy Watkins, WR — KC

90) Blake Bortles, QB — JAX

91) Michael Crabtree, WR — BAL

92) Robby Anderson, WR — NYJ

93) Tyrod Taylor, QB — CLE

94) Delanie Walker, TE — TEN

95) Cooper Kupp, WR — LAR

96) Dion Lewis, RB — TEN

Analysis: It was a welcomed sight to see Dion Lewis remaining on the board at the end of round 8. Earlier this week, a statement was made from within Tennessee’s coaching staff claiming Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis will form a 1A-1B pairing in the backfield. I have a feeling that Lewis will take the lead role as the more complete back in the offense. Lewis signed a four-year deal worth up to $20 million. A team doesn’t spend $5 million per year on a RB for him to sit on the bench, and I am certainly jumping on the Lewis bandwagon for the 2018 season. It is a small gamble with immense upside.

Round 9

97) Kyle Rudolph, TE — MIN

98) Mitch Trubisky, QB — CHI

99) Emmanuel Sanders, WR — DEN

100) Jamison Crowder, WR — WAS

101) Allen Hurns, WR — DAL

102) Case Keenum, QB — DEN

103) Jordy Nelson, WR — OAK

104) Kenny Stills, WR — MIA

105) Andy Dalton, QB — CIN

106) Nelson Agholor, WR — PHI

107) Marquise Goodwin, WR — SF

108) Tevin Coleman, RB — ATL

Analysis: In most years, it is good to select a TE in an earlier round, but with the options presented it was easy to keep TE on my shopping list. The NFL has morphed into a TE friendly league over the past few years, and with more and more popping up like daisies, the potential for late round, big-bodied pass catchers seems to be real. Kyle Rudolph has finished as a top 6 TE in each of the last two years, and his potential has never been higher with the signing of Kirk Cousins. Aside from the fact that Captain Kirk happens to be my QB1, Kyle Rudolph is as safe as they come at the fantasy position. Don’t get me wrong, it was an easy selection with my 8th ranked TE staring me in the face. The injury prone but electric TE Jordan Reed is a coveted fantasy commodity when healthy, but he has yet to play a full 16 game season in his five-year career. Picking Reed comes with risk and reward, an understatement that my next pick just may put into perspective….

Round 10

109) CJ Anderson, RB — CAR

110) Sterling Shepard, WR — NYG

111) Cameron Meredith, WR — NO

112) Derek Carr, QB — OAK

113) Will Fuller, WR — HOU

114) Duke Johnson, RB — CLE

115) Kerryon Johnson, RB — DET

116) Rishard Mathews, WR — TEN

117) Alex Smith, QB — WAS

118) Chris Hogan, WR — NE

119) Randall Cobb, WR — GB

120) Jordan Reed, TE — WAS

Analysis: I usually don’t take two TE’s in a draft let alone back-to-back, but aside from Andrew Luck, Reed may possess the highest upside of any player. However, his health is a risk factor that most don’t want to deal with. It was tough to pass on his upside last round, but with a stable TE already on my roster, Reed was a risk I wanted to take. He will immediately slot into my TE1 with Rudolph assuming the role of a security blanket.

Round 11

121) Jacksonville Jaguars, DEF — JAX

122) Eli Manning, QB — NYG

123) Kelvin Benjamin, WR — BUF

124) Mike Williams, WR — LAC

125) Jamaal Williams, RB — GB

126) Ryan Tannehill, QB — MIA

127) Aaron Jones, RB — GB

128) Isaiah Crowell, RB — NYJ

129) Peyton Barber, RB — TB

130) Martavis Bryant, WR — OAK

131) Marlon Mack, RB — IND

132) Anthony Miller, WR — CHI

Analysis: Before gawking at this pick, keep in mind the Jaguars scored a robust 12.7 points per game throughout the 2017 season. Their defense is legit and should be feared. Knowing 20 selections separated me from my next pick, I chose to reach on the best DST in fantasy football, and it is certain to pay off.

Round 12

133) Nick Chubb, RB — CLE

134) Josh Doctson, WR — WAS

135) Michael Gallup, WR — DAL

136) Quincy Enunwa, WR — NYJ

137) Bilal Powell, RB — NYJ

138) D’onta Foreman, RB — HOU

139) Chris Thompson, RB — WAS

140) Tyler Lockett, WR — SEA

141) Tarik Cohen, RB — CHI

142) Minnesota Vikings, DEF — MIN

143) Philadelphia Eagles, DEF — PHI

144) Marqise Lee, WR — JAX

Analysis: Marquis Lee recorded 201 targets over the past two seasons while missing three games in 2017. That is good to rank 27th among receivers over that time frame. Now the lead dog in Jacksonville, Blake Bortles has developed a liking for the former first round pick. Lee has a chance to exceed 110 targets this year, leaving the opportunity on the table for a big year in 2018.

Round 13

145) Ty Montgomery, RB — GB

146) Jermaine Kearse, WR — NYJ

147) Lamar Jackson, QB — BAL

148) Desean Jackson, WR — TB

149) Paul Richardson, WR — WAS

150) Corey Clement, RB — PHI

151) Christian Kirk, WR — ARI

152) Giovani Bernard, RB — CIN

153) Nyheim Hines, RB — IND

154) Frank Gore, RB — MIA

155) Dede Westbrook, WR — JAX

156) Ted Ginn, WR — NO

Analysis: Green Bay’s backfield is a jumbled up mess, and until training camp, their running back rotation will be all speculation. That being said, Mike McCarthy recently said, “the Packers offense is built to maximize Ty Montgomery at RB.” This quote gives the slightest hint that the injured Packer may get the first crack at their coveted lead back role, and in round 13, that seems like a value too hard to pass up. In 8 contests throughout 2017, Montgomery averaged 8.6 points per game, enough for RB2 or flex consideration. Sign me up for TY Montgomery to lead off the back end of the draft.

Round 14

157) Samaje Perine, RB — WAS

158) Jack Doyle, TE — Colts

159) Cameron Brate, TE — TB

160) Joe Flacco, QB — BAL

161) Trey Burton, TE — CHI

162) O.J. Howard, TE — TB

163) Josh Allen, QB — BUF

164) Jared Cook, TE — OAK

165) James White, RB — NE

166) Latavius Murray, RB — MIN

167) Theo Riddick, RB — DET

168) Josh Rosen, QB — ARI

Analysis: In a 12-team, 2QB league, it may be wise to pick your third QB earlier, but waiting for one of the rookies could benefit too. With Josh Rosen, the question is not if he will take over as the starter, it’s when. It is only a matter of time until Rosen takes the reigns in 2018, and an injury or poor play from Sam Bradford could be the reason. The Cardinals bye week comes in week 9, and it is almost a certainty that Rosen is playing at that point in the season. With both of my quarterbacks taking weeks off following Arizona’s week 9 bye, Rosen seems to be a logical gamble as the third quarterback on my roster.

Round 15

169) Stephen Gostkowski, K — NE

170) Legarrette Blount, RB — DET

171) Chris Carson, RB — SEA

172) Tyler Eifert, TE — CIN

173) Demarco Murray, RB — FA

174) George Kittle, TE — SF

175) Sam Bradford, QB — ARI

176) Vance Mcdonald, TE — PIT

177) Trent Taylor, WR — SF

178) Devontae Booker, RB — DEN

179) Wayne Gallman, RB — NYG

180) Denver Broncos, DEF — DEN

Analysis: The round fifteen pick revolves around preference. Don’t be afraid to reach for players in the later rounds, as they may be gone by the following round. Depending on where I am selecting in the draft, I will usually pull the trigger early on a kicker to ensure landing a top three positional player. If your fantasy rosters have been well developed up to this point, reaching for a possible 10 points per game may just be worth the trouble. Dating back to 2012, Stephen Gostkowski has placed in the top 2 at the position in all but one year. New England’s placekicker is guaranteed to get an average of 9.8 fantasy points per game, and that is just his floor. In a top three offense every year, Gostkowski is worth the reach.

Round 16

181) Calvin Ridley, WR — ATL

182) Los Angeles Rams, DEF — LAR

183) Seattle Seahawks, DEF — SEA

184) Los Angeles Chargers, DEF — LAC

185) Houston Texans, DEF — HOU

186) Baltimore Ravens, DEF — BAL

187) New Orleans, DEF — NO

188) Kansas City Chiefs, DEF — KC

189) Carolina Panthers, DEF — CAR

190) David Njoku, TE — CLE

191) Josh McCown, QB — NYJ

192) Dante Pettis, WR — SF

Analysis: Taking a kicker in round fifteen frees the final two rounds for the highest upside players left on the board. With limited value remaining, rounds 16 and 17 should be used for player potential. This trait includes rookies who could see an increased playing time throughout the season or players who have succeeded in the past but lost their standing with their former team. In round 16, San Francisco’s second round pick seemed to have the highest upside left on the board. As the season wears on, he is sure to gain the favor of Jimmy Garoppolo as an underneath target who can move the chains with his route running proficiency and separation ability. An injury to starting receiver Pierre Garcon isn’t out of the realm of possibility too after a neck injury ended his 2017 campaign.

Round 17

193) Doug Martin, RB — OAK

194) Justin Tucker, K — BAL

195) Greg Zuerlein, K — LAR

196) Dan Bailey, K — DAL

197) Matt Bryant, K — ATL

198) Will Lutz, K — NO

199) Matt Prater, K — DET

200) Mason Crosby, K — GB

201) Chris Boswell, K — PIT

202) Adam Vinatieri, K — IND

203) Jake Elliot, K — PHI

204) Harrison Butker, K — KC

Analysis: Doug Martin is more of a handcuff in fantasy this year. Oakland’s backfield is Marshawn Lynch’s to lose, but with an injury or poor play from the 32 year old power back, Doug Martin could make for interesting trade bait or even a flex option during bye weeks. He had the highest ceiling of any player left on the board.

Final Roster:

QB1: Kirk Cousins  QB2: Jared Goff RB1: Todd Gurley RB2: Ronald Jones WR1: Keenan Allen WR2: Davante Adams WR3: Julian Edelman

TE: Jordan Reed Flex: Dion Lewis DST: Jaguars K: Stephen Gostkowski Bench: Kyle Rudolph Bench: Marqise Lee Bench: Ty Montgomery Bench: Josh Rosen Bench: Dante Pettis Bench: Doug Martin

Final Thoughts: As in most fantasy drafts, it is important to stock up on skill positions early and choose quarterbacks at the opportune moment. In most drafts, I would select two RBs and one WR. However, this mock revolves around two entities– 2 QBs and 3 WRs. With receivers being the need at the time, picking both Keenan Allen and Davante Adams worked to my benefit. In the 4th and 5th rounds the quarterbacks begin to thin, creating a priority situation. Cousins and Goff both have the potential to be top 10 fantasy QBs in 2018 with higher upside in their respective offensive systems. With the first pick in any fantasy draft, players are forced to reach in order to stay ahead of the curve. Those reaches could be the difference in a win or loss at the beginning of the season. While it is important to pick a quality team with high upside players, remember that a fantasy league is not won through the draft. The waiver wire and trades are the key necessities to reach week 16 and have a shot at a league title.



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