Fantasy Mock Pick #7: 12-team, 0.5 PPR



Written by: Rusty Miller


It’s that time of year, fantasy mock draft season! In this edition, I looked at drafting in a 12-team, 0.5 PPR league at the #7 position. The draft order was also in a snake which means the order of the first round is reversed in the second round and is repeated every round. The roster format is: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX (RB/WR/TE), 1D/ST, and 1 K. This mock was done with the help of Fantasypros’ Draft Wizard and all statistics were taken from NFL.com and ESPN.com. And, as always, check back with Blitzalytics for more fantasy mock drafts, rankings, and advice!


Here is how my roster shook out:

QB: Deshaun Watson HOU

RB: Devonta Freeman ATL

RB: Royce Freeman DEN

WR: DeAndre Hopkins HOU

WR: JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT

WR: Jamison Crowder WAS

TE: Travis Kelce KC

FLEX: Ronald Jones II TB

D/ST: Philadelphia Eagles PHI

K: Stephen Gostkowski NE

BN: Nelson Agholor PHI

BN: Philip Rivers LAC

BN: Hayden Hurst BAL

BN: Christian Kirk ARI

BN: Pittsburgh Steelers PIT

BN: Quincy Enunwa NYJ


Reaction

This team, although not exactly what I was expecting, has a ton of upside and is strong at the quarterback, tight end and defense positions. Deshaun Watson has the potential to be the number one fantasy quarterback with his rushing ability and electric play that he displayed before getting injured last season. Philip Rivers, as a backup, is a great plug-and-play starter if Watson struggles or comes back slowly from his injury. Devonta Freeman will be my RB1, but could possibly be replaced by Ronald Jones II who slides into a wide open running back position in Tampa Bay. Besides DeAndre Hopkins, the receivers on this roster have boom-or-bust potential, with Quincy Enunwa and Christian Kirk being the most risky. Enunwa is coming off a neck injury and rookie wide receivers do not always make the biggest impact. I really like my tight ends in Travis Kelce and rookie Hayden Hurst who was the first tight end off the board in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Eagles’ defense returns most of their starters and added defensive end Michael Bennett, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, and linebacker Corey Nelson in the offseason. The Steelers’ defense, like the Eagles, returns most of their starters and added safety Morgan Burnett and linebacker Jon Bostic. Finally, Stephen Gostkowski is third in kick accuracy in NFL history according to Pro Football Reference.

Here’s how the whole draft played out:


Round 1

1.1 Todd Gurley LAR RB

1.2 Le’Veon Bell PIT RB

1.3 David Johnson ARI RB

1.4 Ezekiel Elliott DAL RB

1.5 Antonio Brown PIT WR

1.6 Alvin Kamara NO RB

1.7 DeAndre Hopkins HOU WR (MY PICK)

1.8 Saquon Barkley NYG RB

1.9 Odell Beckham Jr. NYG WR

1.10 Kareem Hunt KC RB

1.11 Leonard Fournette JAC RB

1.12 Melvin Gordon LAC RB


At #7, it’s difficult to decide who to select. The top 5 in almost every fantasy draft will be these five players: Gurley, Bell, Johnson, Elliott, and Brown. That leaves the RB5 and WR2 as the next two options. With Kamara gone, I decided to go with a sure thing in Hopkins as opposed to a rookie in Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr. coming off of injury with unsteady quarterback play in Eli Manning.

Roster update: 1 WR


Round 2

2.1 Dalvin Cook MIN RB

2.2 Julio Jones ATL WR

2.3 Michael Thomas NO WR

2.4 A.J. Green CIN WR

2.5 Keenan Allen LAC WR

2.6 Devonta Freeman ATL RB (MY PICK)

2.7 Davante Adams GB WR

2.8 Rob Gronkowski NE TE

2.9 Mike Evans TB WR

2.10 Alshon Jeffery PHI WR

2.11 Zach Ertz PHI TE

2.12 Adam Thielen MIN WR


Personally, I value drafting running backs early. So, after getting a top receiver with my first pick, I decided to settle on Freeman as the only back worth choosing at this junction. The rest of the round is pretty normal. Drafting a tight end (even a top-caliber one like Gronkowski or Ertz) in the second round is too rich for my blood. I also feel that Alshon Jeffery is a bit of a stretch in the second round although he is the number one receiver for Philadelphia.

Roster update: 1 RB, 1 WR


Round 3

3.1 T.Y. Hilton IND WR

3.2 Doug Baldwin SEA WR

3.3 Christian Mccaffrey CAR RB

3.4 LeSean McCoy BUF RB

3.5 Allen Robinson CHI WR

3.6 Jerick McKinnon SF RB

3.7 Travis Kelce KC TE (MY PICK)

3.8 Jordan Howard CHI RB

3.9 Larry Fitzgerald ARI WR

3.10 Aaron Rodgers GB QB

3.11 Tyreek Hill KC WR

3.12 Josh Gordon CLE WR


This round, the top available running backs are off the board before my pick. So, I decided to go with the last remaining big 3 tight end, Travic Kelce. Kelce will make up for the lack of an elite RB/WR2 but will be dependent upon Patrick Mahomes being a true franchise quarterback in KC. I was hoping to get Jerick McKinnon to pair with Freeman as a great 1–2 punch at the running back position. It is a consolation prize, but a good one.

Roster update: 1 RB, 1 WR, 1 TE


Round 4

4.1 Stefon Diggs MIN WR

4.2 Joe Mixon CIN RB

4.3 Kenyan Drake MIA RB

4.4 Demaryius Thomas DEN WR

4.5 Amari Cooper OAK WR

4.6 JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT WR (MY PICK)

4.7 Golden Tate DET WR

4.8 Mark Ingram NO RB

4.9 Jarvis Landry CLE WR

4.10 Evan Engram NYG TE

4.11 Russell Wilson SEA QB

4.12 Alex Collins BAL RB


Again, being in the middle of the rounds in a 12-team league is a bit of a waiting game and praying to God that you get the guy you are hoping falls to you. This round, I would have loved to have Joe Mixon or Stefon Diggs. As it turns out though, I ended up with a WR2 for my WR2 slot. Smith-Schuster should have an uptick in his production this season as the Robin to Antonio Brown’s Batman. With little other proven weapons outside of Brown and Le’Veon Bell, Smith-Schuster should get over 1,000 yards and 70 receptions. The only other player I considered before picking JuJu was Jarvis Landry but the receiver position is stacked in Cleveland and I am unsure how the targets will be split.

Roster update: 1 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE


Round 5

5.1 Brandin Cooks LAR WR

5.2 Robert Woods LAR WR

5.3 Marvin Jones DET WR

5.4 Greg Olsen CAR TE

5.5 Sammy Watkins KC WR

5.6 Michael Crabtree BAL WR

5.7 Deshaun Watson HOU QB (MY PICK)

5.8 Jimmy Graham GB TE

5.9 Derrius Guice WAS RB

5.10 Devin Funchess CAR WR

5.11 Derrick Henry TEN RB

5.12 Chris Hogan NE WR


In round 5, I believe I got a marvelous grab with Deshaun Watson. I think he will come back healthy this season and perform like almost as well as he did in 2017. When you extrapolate Watson’s totals from last season, he would have almost 4,000 yards passing, 600 rushing yards, 50 passing touchdowns, and 5 rushing touchdowns. I know 50 passing touchdowns is ridiculous, but Watson was on fire producing at least 3 passing touchdowns in four of his seven games played including a 5 touchdown performance in a losing effort against Kansas City.

Roster update: 1 QB, 1 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE


Round 6

6.1 Jay Ajayi PHI RB

6.2 Julian Edelman NE WR

6.3 Will Fuller HOU WR

6.4 Tom Brady NE QB

6.5 Corey Davis TEN WR

6.6 Royce Freeman DEN RB (MY PICK)

6.7 Pierre Garcon SF WR

6.8 Kirk Cousins MIN QB

6.9 Emmanuel Sanders DEN WR

6.10 Rashaad Penny SEA RB

6.11 Lamar Miller HOU RB

6.12 Cam Newton CAR QB


I believe heavily in Royce Freeman. The Broncos’ offensive line, although not the best, is efficient enough to support an effective running game. With Garrett Bolles and Matt Paradis returning at left tackle and center, and the addition of Jared Veldheer via trade, I believe that the running game will be upgraded especially after the departure of much-maligned C.J. Anderson. I see Freeman as a strong candidate to start in Denver over Devontae Booker because of Booker’s uneven career Booker only has 911 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns over 29 games in his two seasons with the Broncos and has never established himself. This pick came over the Seahawks’ Rashaad Penny because Penny has to battle a rejuvenated Chris Carson in camp and could possibly be sharing touches.

Roster update: 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE


Round 7

7.1 Robby Anderson NYJ WR

7.2 Dez Bryant FA WR

7.3 Carson Wentz PHI QB

7.4 Delanie Walker TEN TE

7.5 Dion Lewis TEN RB

7.6 Drew Brees NO QB

7.7 Ronald Jones II TB RB (MY PICK)

7.8 Kyle Rudolph MIN TE

7.9 Rex Burkhead NE RB

7.10 Cooper Kupp LAR WR

7.11 Jordan Reed WAS TE

7.12 Trey Burton CHI TE


Back-to-back rookie running backs. I know what you’re thinking, how can you rely on two rookies to provide consistent fantasy points? Well, as was the case with Freeman, Ronald Jones II does not have much competition in Tampa Bay. Peyton Barber will be his main competitor and he has even less yards (646) than Booker. Also, Jones had almost 1,000 rushing yards every season during his college career at USC and capped his last season off with over 1,500 yards with almost 20 rushing touchdowns. He does need to improve his receiving skills as he had only 32 receptions in college but i believe he will be able to do just that and earn an every-down role.

Roster update: 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX


Round 8

8.1 Jimmy Garoppolo SF QB

8.2 Jared Goff LAR QB

8.3 Jordy Nelson OAK WR

8.4 Marquise Goodwin SF WR

8.5 Matthew Stafford DET QB

8.6 Jamison Crowder WAS WR (MY PICK)

8.7 Sterling Shepard NYG WR

8.8 Devante Parker MIA WR

8.9 Ben Roethlisberger PIT QB

8.10 Randall Cobb GB WR

8.11 DeSean Jackson TB WR

8.12 Kenny Stills MIA WR


Seeing as it’s the 8th round and I still need a starting WR3, I decided to pick up the best available option that I could get that had a chance to get a good amount of targets. In Washington, Jamison Crowder again looks to command a large amount of targets after he had over 100 targets and 60 receptions last year. Now, the addition of Paul Richardson is why Crowder could have similar numbers this year but the team also traded for Alex Smith to be Kirk Cousins’ replacement and Smith showed last year in Kansas City that he can open up the offense and throw the ball down the field. Richardson will allow Crowder to be open more underneath which should translate to an uptick in production.

Roster update: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX


Round 9

9.1 Kelvin Benjamin BUF WR

9.2 Tevin Coleman ATL RB

9.3 D.J. Moore CAR WR

9.4 Duke Johnson CLE RB

9.5 C.J. Anderson CAR RB

9.6 Sony Michel NE RB

9.7 Nelson Agholor PHI WR (MY PICK)

9.8 Marshawn Lynch OAK RB

9.9 Allen Hurns DAL WR

9.10 Cole Beasley DAL WR

9.11 Martavis Bryant OAK WR

9.12 Jacksonville DST


This pick is another pick where I was hoping a player would have fallen to me. I believe that D.J. Moore will be a wonderful addition in Carolina and should have a solid rookie season in an offense without a true №1 receiver. I chose Nelson Agholor because I think his career resurgence will continue in 2018. His rapport with Carson Wentz is great and he should continue his work out of the slot this season. I also went with Agholor over the likes of Marshawn Lynch, Allen Hurns or the Jacksonville defense. Lynch hasn’t been as effective since coming to Oakland, Hurns has only one 1,000 season in his career and I felt it was a little too early to select a defense even if it is the best one in the NFL.

Roster update: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX, 1 BENCH


Round 10

10.1 Calvin Ridley ATL WR

10.2 Carlos Hyde CLE RB

10.3 Danny Amendola MIA WR

10.4 Rishard Matthews TEN WR

10.5 Los Angeles Rams DST

10.6 Philadelphia DST (MY PICK)

10.7 Marqise Lee JAC WR

10.8 Chris Thompson WAS RB

10.9 Kenny Golladay DET WR

10.10 Jamaal Williams GB RB

10.11 Marlon Mack IND RB

10.12 Isaiah Crowell NYJ RB


The only other player I would have considered taking in this round is Amendola. He should receive a lot of targets in Miami after Jarvis Landry left in free agency but I decided on a top-5 defense instead. The Eagles’ defense broke even in the offseason. They re-signed Nigel Bradham, traded for Michael Bennett, and signed Haloti Ngata and Corey Nelson. They lost Patrick Robinson, Beau Allen, Vinny Curry and Mychal Kendricks. Rookie Avonte Maddox and former undrafted free agent De’Vante Bausby look to compete to replace Robinson in slot corner position, Bennett and Ngata look to replace Allen and 2018 first-round pick Derek Barnett will replace Curry in the starting lineup. The only question is the outside linebacker spot vacated by Kendricks but Jim Schwartz is one of the best defensive coordinators in the NFL and should figure it out come training camp.

Roster update: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX, 1 D/ST, 1 BENCH


Round 11

11.1 Jack Doyle IND TE

11.2 Mohamed Sanu ATL WR

11.3 Anthony Miller CHI WR

11.4 Aaron Jones GB RB

11.5 Ty Montgomery GB RB

11.6 Cameron Meredith NO WR

11.7 Philip Rivers LAC QB (MY PICK)

11.8 Paul Richardson WAS WR

11.9 Tarik Cohen CHI RB

11.10 Luke Willson DET TE

11.11 Josh Doctson WAS WR

11.12 Mike Williams LAC WR


When the 11th round come around, it was time to start adding depth to my roster. At this point, I was between players, Philip Rivers and Kerryon Johnson who went in the next round. I knew I couldn’t possibly add a third rookie running back so I chose Rivers who has been a beast throughout his career in fantasy. In his 12 NFL seasons as a starter, Rivers has had only 3 seasons under 4,000 yards passing. He also averages 28 touchdowns over those 12 seasons however he also has only 2 seasons of single digit interception totals. Rivers has averaged over 20 fantasy points per game throughout his career and looks to be another low-end starter in 2018 despite Hunter Henry tearing his ACL this spring.

Roster update: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX, 1 D/ST, 2 BENCH


Round 12

12.1 Kerryon Johnson DET RB

12.2 Tyler Eifert CIN TE

12.3 Minnesota Vikings DST

12.4 George Kittle SF TE

12.5 D’Onta Foreman HOU RB

12.6 Hayden Hurst BAL TE (MY PICK)

12.7 Tyler Lockett SEA WR

12.8 Seattle Seahawks DST

12.9 Dede Westbrook JAC WR

12.10 Andrew Luck IND QB

12.11 Theo Riddick DET RB

12.12 Devontae Booker DEN RB


Like I stated in the previous round, I think Kerryon Johnson will be a stud for the Lions this season. With him off the board, I decided to select another rookie instead: Hayden Hurst. Hurst was the first tight end taken in the 2018 NFL Draft in April for a reason, to make the Ravens’ offense more explosive. Hurst had over 40 catches and 500 yards in each of his last two seasons at South Carolina. His touchdown total (3) will have to improve in the NFL however to fully fulfill his potential.

Roster update: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX, 1 D/ST, 3 BENCH


Round 13

13.1 David Njoku CLE TE

13.2 LA Chargers DST

13.3 Michael Gallup DAL WR

13.4 Jameis Winston TB QB

13.5 Corey Coleman CLE WR

13.6 Cameron Brate TB TE

13.7 Christian Kirk ARI WR (MY PICK)

13.8 Ted Ginn NO WR

13.9 Giovani Bernard CIN RB

13.10 Nick Chubb CLE RB

13.11 Matt Ryan ATL QB

13.12 O.J. Howard TB TE


Another rookie for this potential-driven roster. If Michael Gallup would have fallen, it would have been a difficult decision because of Dallas’ uncertainty at the wide receiver position but he wasn’t there at this point so I went with Kirk. Christian Kirk, a second-round pick by the Cardinal’s this year, is looking to be the main apprentice under Larry Fitzgerald this season. While at Texas A&M, Kirk had over 900 receiving yards all three seasons and over 80 receptions in his first two seasons there. His touchdown numbers were also impressive with 26 in 39 games. I expect Kirk to learn well from Fitzgerald and put up respectable WR3 to possibly WR2 numbers.

Roster update: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX, 1 D/ST, 4 BENCH


Round 14

14.1 Corey Clement PHI RB

14.2 Latavius Murray MIN RB

14.3 Chris Carson SEA RB

14.4 Kenneth Dixon BAL RB

14.5 LeGarrette Blount DET RB

14.6 Pittsburgh DST (MY PICK)

14.7 Bilal Powell NYJ RB

14.8 James White NE RB

14.9 Samaje Perine WAS RB

14.10 DeMarco Murray FA RB

14.11 Donte Moncrief JAC WR

14.12 Matt Breida SF RB


I know a lot of players don’t choose two defenses, but I like to play the weekly matchups and getting a predominately young Pittsburgh defense this late is a great steal. The Steelers did not lose many players from their 5th ranked defense from 2017. Safety Mike Mitchell was upgraded by the addition of Morgan Burnett and linebacker Jon Bostic was signed to help replace injured linebacker Ryan Shazier who will not play in 2018 and possibly ever again. This defense will look to take the next step to elite status as T.J. Watt develops with their young core of Stephon Tuitt, Bud Dupree and Artie Burns.

Roster update: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX, 1 D/ST, 5 BENCH


Round 15

15.1 Baltimore Ravens DST

15.2 Tyrod Taylor CLE QB

15.3 Houston Texans DST

15.4 Denver Broncos DST

15.5 Marcus Mariota TEN QB

15.6 New England DST

15.7 Stephen Gostkowski NE K (MY PICK)

15.8 Patrick Mahomes KC QB

15.9 Kansas City Chiefs DST

15.10 Frank Gore MIA RB

15.11 New Orleans Saints DST

15.12 Derek Carr OAK QB


Even though every other kicker will be drafted in the last round, I decided to take one of the top kickers the round before. Gostkowski is the highest paid kicker in the league at $4.3 million per season and statistically is the third most accurate kicker all-time. Justin Tucker of the Raven’s would have been a better selection but I feel that Gostkowski will have more opportunities to score points with the Patriots offense as opposed to the Ravens offense.

Roster update: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX, 1 K, 1 D/ST, 5 BENCH


Round 16

16.1 Greg Zuerlein LAR K

16.2 Justin Tucker BAL K

16.3 Matt Bryant ATL K

16.4 Dan Bailey DAL K

16.5 Wil Lutz NO K

16.6 Quincy Enunwa NYJ WR (MY PICK)

16.7 Jake Elliott PHI K

16.8 Matt Prater DET K

16.9 Chris Boswell PIT K

16.10 Mason Crosby GB K

16.11 Harrison Butker KC K

16.12 Robbie Gould SF K


At this point, I have my pick of the available skill position players available. I chose Enunwa over his teammate Jermaine Kearse hoping that he can come back to how he was playing before his neck injury. Before losing his 2017 season, Enunwa was coming off a career year with 58 catches for 857 yards with Ryan Fitzpatrick, Geno Smith and Bryce Petty at quarterback. If Enunwa could even get back to those numbers, I think he could be a possible matchup/bye week flex option.

Roster update: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX, 1 K, 1 D/ST, 6 BENCH