Draft Strategies From Each Pick
PPR Mock Draft
In a live mock draft with a 30-second clock, Gridiron Experts staff writers Chris Nalls (pick 2), Derek Wiley (pick 5), and John Ferguson (pick 8) were invited to join an industry fantasy football mock draft and then blog about their thoughts and strategies from their picking position. You can read each writer’s draft breakdown, by clicking on the draft spot number link above.
Football season has arrived! This means it is time to start talking fantasy football, keepers, draft strategy, and sleepers. This is my favorite time of year and I embrace draft season by mock drafting repeatedly. I recently had the honor of participating in a mock draft with several other folks in the fantasy football industry. It was a 12 team PPR draft and I ended up with the 5th pick in the draft.
Prior to the draft, I knew I was going to pick whichever running back fell to me or Antonio Brown. Drafting from the 5 spot is pretty easy in the first round. My draft strategy after the first round was to draft the best available player in the 2nd and then draft based off of need and how the draft flow was going. Going just 12 rounds in this mock also limited some strategy in drafting sleepers late. I knew beforehand that I was going to wait on QB and be one of the last people to draft my starter. This is because the depth of QB is fantastic this season. With that being said, let’s take a look at how the draft played out for me.
Drafting 5th overall
David Johnson fell to me at 5th overall making it easy to make my first selection. In the 2nd round, I was hoping to get Davante Adams, A.J. Green, or Mike Evans but all were picked before me. Rob Gronkowski fell to me in the 2nd round and based on who was still available, I felt that Gronk was my best option.
As the draft continued through the end of the second and start of the third I began noticing a trend. Receivers were going earlier than what I had expected. 4 receivers were taken in the first, followed by 8 in the second. I stuck to my guns in the 3rd round and expected to see a turn back to running back so I drafted Joe Mixon in the 3rd round. The first major problem came when 9 more receivers were drafted before my 4th round pick. This left me in a tough spot. I knew I needed to pick receiver because I still had 3 starting spots to fill, however, I hated my options.
I reluctantly took Alshon Jeffery as my WR1. Other options at that time were Josh Gordon, Marvin Jones, and Brandin Cooks. I saw Jeffery as the only true WR1 on his own team which is why I chose him over the other 3. Coming back around in the 5th and 6th rounds I knew I still needed to fill my starting wide receiver spots and had to pick a receiver. Then Mark Ingram landed in my lap in the 5th round and I thought the value was too good to pass up.
Second Half of the Draft
By doing this I knew my receiver position was going to be thin. I absolutely had to draft WR with my next 2 picks and I did just that. In the 6th and 7th rounds, I drafted Sammy Watkins and Will Fuller. At this point the only starting spot I still needed to be filled was QB. There was still some of the top QB talents on the board so I knew I wanted to fill the depth of my roster first.
I started by taking a high upside WR pick in the 8th with Marquise Goodwin. In the 9th and 10th rounds, I went back to the well with running back and took Jamaal Williams and CJ Anderson. Both provide me with depth at an injury-prone position. Finally, in the 11th round, I became the last person to draft a QB. The quarterback I drafted was Philip Rivers. I was thrilled with Rivers because he is always underrated and always gets drafted later than he should.
Playoff Contender or Bottom Feeder
When looking back at my draft, I really like some of the things I did and I really dislike some of the other things. I should have seen the early run on receiver coming and grabbed one instead of Mixon. Ultimately, the team I drafted relies a lot on if Mixon, Watkins, and Will Fuller produce. It is a very high-risk high reward team which is something I am usually not interested in drafting. I typically shoot for the safer players early and take some long shots late. The way the draft fell in this mock, I was not able to draft some of the top tier receivers I like. If everything goes my way, this could be a playoff caliber team. If some guys don’t produce, I will be living in the basement of the league.
- RB David Johnson
- TE Gronk
- RB Joe Mixon
- WR Alshon Jeffery
- RB Mark Ingram
- WR Sammy Watkins
- WR Will Fuller
- WR M.Goodwin
- RB Jamaal Williams
- RB C.J Anderson
- QB Philip Rivers
- DEF PIT
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