Gridiron Experts Mock Draft Recap (Standard Scoring)
The following is a recap of a staff Fantasy Football Mock Draft. Scroll down to read thoughts and insight as some of the writers talk about their team or the draft itself. This Mock Draft was hosted at MyFantasyLeague.com. You can click here to see the draft results at MFL or check out the images below.
Gridiron Experts Staff Thoughts & Insight
Who was your favorite pick and why?
Bob Talbot @TalbotTalks – Carlos Hyde. I have Carlos as a high-end RB2 right now, but on the rare chance he stays healthy, I think he has a very legitimate shot at finishing the year as an RB1. He was too good a value to pass up on for me as the 19th running back off the board. I’m hopeful Kyle Shanahan can do for him, what he did for Devonta Freeman in Atlanta. I think 1300 yards and 10 TDs are very attainable for a healthy Carlos.
Phil Clark @_PhilClark I have certainly catered to my obsession for immersing myself in the fantasy draft process, by drafting early and often this year. Through participation in an unending bevy of MFL 10s, which escorted me through the offseason. While I was satisfied with this particular roster, it does not contain the potency that I believe exists in previous groups that I have selected earlier this summer. Still, the roster has sufficient scoring potential, that this group would be competitive if it was actually destined for inclusion in a best ball league. However, my favorite selection occurred in Round 10. When a certain third-year signal caller – who I believe is poised to have an outstanding season – remained available. 11 quarterbacks had been taken before I was on the clock with the seventh selection in that aforementioned Round 10. I had already selected Matt Ryan and was not necessarily planning to secure a second signal caller at that point of the draft. However, I simply could not pass up the opportunity to grab Jameis Winston with the 117th overall pick, which was just over three rounds later than his current ADP of 80 (according to Fantasy Football Calculator). He has already accumulated over 8,000 passing yards during his first two seasons (8,132) and will be operating with a significantly improved collection of weapons. Making him more than worthy of a 10th round pick. I expect him to generate 4,300 passing yards, which will eclipse his current season-high (4,090). He should also produce 30 touchdowns through the air for the first time as a professional.
Andrew Roberto @aroberto112 My favorite pick was Tom Brady, who I took at 44th overall. Typically, I prefer to wait on a quarterback, but when it was my turn to pick in the 4th round and I saw Brady sitting out there, I felt that it was too good of a value to pass up. According to Fantasy Football Calculator, Brady is currently going 29th overall, in the first half of the 3rd round in 12-team leagues. Brady is currently 34th in our Staff Rankings in standard leagues. Personally, I have him ranked as the #1 Quarterback, ahead of Aaron Rodgers. Both are amazing, but it can be argued that this is the best collection of offensive weapons that Brady has ever played even better than the very talented group of players that Rodgers will have at his disposal this season. I play to win 1st place in my leagues and pairing up Brady with Odell Beckham Jr., and DeMarco Murray (my 1st and 2nd round picks, respectively) provides me with an elite core to build a championship contender around.
Adam Stangis @bucn4life My favorite pick may have been Seattle RB C.J. Prosise in the 9th round. I know many people may not think of him as worthwhile in a standard league, but I think he could take over the Seahawks backfield. While the perception tends to be he’s just a pass-catching back, he’s actually two inches and 10 pounds heavier than Thomas Rawls. Eddie Lacy hasn’t yet shown he has a stake to the starting gig. Yes, Prosise has health issues of his own. However, if those are behind him, there’s not the biggest amount of resistance to being the unquestioned starter.
Hunter Gibbon @HunterGibbon I was most excited to select Jeremy Maclin in the 7th round at 81st overall. He was the 37th WR off the board, but I view him as a safe WR2 for the 2017 season. The mountain of vacated targets in Baltimore have been discussed to death and Maclin is by far the most qualified to vacuum up those targets. Before his injury-plagued 2016 season, Maclin finished WR17 and WR9 in standard leagues, attached to Alex Smith and Nick Foles. Joe Flacco is not a downgrade on either of those QBs, and the Ravens are almost sure to throw more than the Chiefs have the past two seasons. They have led the league in pass attempts the past two seasons, and although they will try to rededicate to the run, a poor offensive line and lack of rushing weapons will keep them throwing more often than not. Maclin could see 140 targets this year, making him a steal in the 7th round.
Zach Greubel @ZachGreubel I liked taking C.J. Anderson in Round 7 as the RB32. Anderson easily has RB2 potential, so being able to get him that late seemed like a quality value pick. Now, he’ll need to remain healthy one season removed from tearing his meniscus and missing nine games. Good health is one big factor, staving off his comrades behind him is another. Rookie De’Angelo Henderson, Devontae Booker, and Jamaal Charles are chomping at the bit to take playing time away from Anderson. Henderson, in particular, has impressed in the preseason while showcasing his playmaking ability. The bottom line is that if Anderson stays on the field, this will turn into a steal. Drafting Robby Anderson as the WR59 towards the end of the draft is probably my second favorite pick. He’s the No. 1 wide receiver for a Jets squad that will be forced to pass early and often.
Brad Castronovo @bkc78 When you get 12 Gridiron Experts employees in the same draft room, it’s almost impossible that anyone will fly under the radar, or slipway below their natural ADP. At first, I was really excited I was able to snag Greg Olsen in the middle of the 5th. However, with recent news, I’m a bit more excited about getting Zay Jones in the middle of the 11th round. With the recent departures of Sammy Watkins and Anquan Boldin, Jones could slot nicely into the WR1 role in Buffalo. Many would argue that Jordan Matthews will emerge as the team’s top target; however, Matthews has grown mostly as a slot receiver throughout his young career. I don’t expect a drastic shift in usage or where he’ll be lining up once he throws on the new jersey. Additionally, Sean McDermott has already come out and said that Jones will primarily play on the outside. While Jones is still an unproven rookie, I can’t help but feel chipper about snagging a team’s WR1 in the 11th round. I could see him carving out a nice niche in the Bills’ offense, especially as defenses tailor their focus to the run game and stopping Shady McCoy.
Paul Maland @PaulMalandNFL – My favorite selection of the draft was Brandon Marshall at 7.04. With his current ADP of 5.07, this means that I was able to secure him almost two rounds after his average. While he may not be the number one receiving option on this team, he has scored double-digit touchdowns in three of his last five seasons. During that five-year span, he has produced 48 touchdowns and will now bring his 6’5″ frame to the Giants. I do not believe it to be out of the question at all for him to reel in 10 touchdowns in 2017 and reward fantasy owners for their mid-round investment.
Michael Hauff @TheFFRealist More often than not, I wouldn’t wait until the 4th round to select my first wide receiver. However, trying a different drafting philosophy this mock put me in that very position. So picking at the turn towards the end of the 4th round, I was happy to see Michael Crabtree available. Crabtree puts up comparable stats to his teammate Amari Cooper. It is with that thought in mind when I say that Crabtree has great draft value. Fantasy football calculator has Cooper go in the 2nd round while Crabtree is in the 4th round. 1,925 yards and 17 touchdowns over the last two seasons is a welcomed addition to my lineup. While this may not have been a steal by definition, I was happy to select him as my first receiver to go with David Johnson and Aaron Rodgers. An honorable mention for me would be DeVante Parker in the 7th as I’m one of those who says he’ll thrive with Cutler under center.
What was the biggest surprise of this Mock Draft?
Andrew Roberto @aroberto112 This one is tough, as there weren’t that many picks that left you scratching your head. We have a really sharp group of guys on our staff, and I didn’t notice any glaring reaches or anything out of the ordinary. One thing that I did find interesting was how far Samaje Perine fell, as Paul selected the Washington Running Back with the 4th pick of the 11th round, 124th overall. According to Fantasy Football Calculator, he is currently being taken in the back half of the 9th round, 105th overall. It’s noteworthy that we started this draft after Washington’s preseason opener against the Baltimore Ravens, in which Perine had a night to forget. Perine dropped his only target, fumbled, and struggled in pass protection. Had this draft taken place a week earlier, I doubt Paul would have been able to draft him at such a discounted price. I think this is still a very fluid situation in Washington, but it is definitely something that caught my eye.
Adam Strangis @bucn4life Since we have a great staff, our mocks tend to make a ton of sense. Maybe one of the bigger surprises was in my draft because I took Andrew Luck as the QB6. I’ve basically screamed as much as I could for the past month to not take him, so I feel I should explain. In this draft, I accidentally auto-drafted Luck. I know, I feel shame. It was a mistake and a pick I wouldn’t generally make. However, I’ll point this out. There comes a point where the value is just way too good. A perfect example is we were most of the way through a mock when the Ezekiel Elliott suspension news broke. In that mock, I got Luck at the end of the ninth round. At that price, I’ll take Luck all day and pair him with a good secondary option later in the draft. I’m illustrating this to make the point of don’t ignore value on draft day. Stay flexible! Even if you think you won’t draft certain players no matter what, things can change in the middle of a draft. Be ready to pounce.
Hunter Gibbon @HunterGibbon QBs went earlier than I expected in this draft. In most industry mock drafts QBs tumble into the double-digit rounds, but 10 of the 12 owners had selected their QB before round 8 was over. I believe the QB5 through the QB18 in most rankings is separated by the narrowest of margins. If you believe that one of the QBs in this range will separate themselves from the rest this season, I am a proponent of drafting them in the earlier rounds, as many of my sharp counterparts did. However, I am having trouble finding much difference between all of them, so I will happily wait until the double-digit rounds and select whoever is left over.
Bob Talbot @TalbotTalks Probably that I took Ezekiel Elliott at 2.05. At the time I was pretty confident Zeke was going to be able to postpone his suspension a year, but after doing some research it sounds like doing so could be a challenge for Elliott. I still like the idea of having him pump some life into my team down the stretch, but spending a second round pick on a guy that will miss more weeks than play for me is quite the gamble. Another surprise was seeing Julio Jones get taken ahead of Odell Beckham, Jr. Julio lost Shanahan, is “Questionable” every week and gets no red zone love. Pure talent out of the equation, I just don’t know how Odell doesn’t go ahead of him in fantasy football.
Anthony Cervino @therealnflguru Perhaps the biggest surprise in this draft, to me, was John Brown being selected by Zach Greubel at 9.11. Although he was taken at his current Fantasy Football Calculator ADP, the oft-injured wideout has not received favorable reports throughout the offseason. He had already dealt with a quad injury at the start of training camp, which wound up sidelining him for roughly two and a half weeks. Moreover, Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians told the press that Brown is, in fact, still bothered by his sickle cell disorder, which slows his healing process. On top of it all, Arians named Jaron Brown the team’s WR2 ahead of [John] Brown earlier in the month. Whether that was a smokescreen to light a fire under [John] Brown or not, I’m treading lightly when targeting any Cardinals receiver not named Larry Fitzgerald. I would rather target J.J. Nelson around his 14.07 ADP, or [Jaron] Brown, who is currently without an ADP, ahead of [John] Brown moving forward.
Zach Greubel @ZachGreubel As has already been posited, Ezekiel Elliott being selected as the RB8 at 2.05 was surprising considering his six-game suspension. Who knows what will happen with Elliott’s appeal and how long the suspension could be delayed, but Elliott stands to play in just 10 games this season. To me, Zeke is in RB2 territory heading into the 2017 season. Can he still achieve RB1 numbers in 10 games? Sure, if he runs like he did last year, but 2.05 seems a little early. I probably would have selected any of the rest of the players in Round 2 ahead of Elliott.
Brad Castronovo @bkc78 Personally, being that we did this draft in the heat of training camp, I’m surprised that we had so many writers select kickers. Usually, when positonal and depth chart battles are taking shape, I won’t draft a kicker. Instead, I’ll snag another skill position contributor with high upside and see how their camp plays out. Then, right before Week 1, i’ll snag someone off of Free Agency to fill the void in my lineup. Frankly, I think the position should be banished from the fantasy football industry, but being that we have to fill the slot, I’m certainly not going to miss the chance to grab a potential gamebreaker instead. I feel that kickers are a dime a dozen (aside from the Tuckers and Gostkowskis of the world), and I’m more likely to just stream them as the season goes on, or find one in the earlygoing that I can use for a few weeks in a row. Hey, I might be wrong, but the strategy has worked for me thus far.
Paul Maland @PaulMalandNFL The greatest surprise for me was Bob taking Zeke Elliott at 2.05. And to be honest, it wasn’t that he actually took him there that threw me off. I actually like the value in the mid-second to early-third round. It was that I felt he needed one more RB on his team with a guaranteed workload. Being that this is a standard league, it’s not out of the question to load up on RB’s and patch together a WR group. He took Freeman, Zeke, and Hyde. But behind them, there isn’t much in the way of weekly touches. Come Week 5 when Freeman is on a bye, it would have been nice for him to have a cheap option to plug-in. While Dion Lewis and Marlon Mack may see a handful of touches, they may also see none. My preference would have been for him to take Darren McFadden in round 9, who conveniently went one pick after he selected.
Michael Hauff @TheFFRealist Funny enough, the most surprising pick for the other guys was probably my second and third picks. Picking first overall, I couldn’t pick David Johnson fast enough. This being a mock draft, you always want to test strategies out. It was with that in mind I would spend my second and third pick on an early quarterback (Aaron Rodgers) and the personification of preseason hype, Christian McCaffrey. I wanted to be that guy to own McCaffrey and felt comfortable doing so with David Johnson already in the fold. Fantasy football calculator has McCaffrey going in the 3rd round in standard leagues. While I agree that a lot of that is hype driven, I knew he wouldn’t be available at the turn in the 4th and 5th rounds. I wanted to see how my roster would turn out and although I was happy with the overall result, I think selecting those two at the turn at that spot had some people surprised.
If you could do one pick over again, who would it have been?
Phil Clark @_PhilClark There are veteran fantasy owners who remain proponents of drafting handcuffs, particularly for first round picks. However, there others within the fantasy community who staunchly oppose ‘wasting’ a roster spot on a handcuff., I reside somewhere in the middle. But in this particular MFL 10, it can be argued that I should have selected Jonathan Williams as security. In case my first round selection – 29-year old perennial workhorse LeSean McCoy – were to suffer an injury. I have participated in roughly 20 drafts this summer, and this was the first time that I had procured McCoy. In doing so, the foundation of my roster had commenced with a proven performer who just eclipsed 1,200 rushing yards for the fourth time in his career in 2016, assembled 13 touchdowns on the ground, and enters the season primed to garner a significant number of touches once again. It also meant that my first selection was a veteran back who currently dwells on the pinnacle of 1,900 career rushing attempts (1,898), and could easily be forced from the field at some point during the year. The 23-year old Williams was available in Round 12, which would have been an excellent time to seize him. However, at that point of the draft, I had three wide receivers on my roster, and strongly believed that it would behoove me to collect another wideout before my remaining options would degenerate even further. If this had been a redraft league, I would have chosen Williams, with the belief that I could bolster my receiving unit at a later time. But since this was a best ball format, I selected Anquan Boldin at 12.07, in order to have a fourth receiver. Ironically, Williams was then taken with the very next pick.
Adam Strangis @bucn4life I’ll be honest – this mock was very different for me. I never take a TE early, and I definitely don’t take a TE and a QB within my first fsix picks. When I took Gronk in the second, I immediately started to dislike my team. It’s always hard to attack your depth when you fill the TE slot so early. I should’ve just stuck with my true desire and taken Doug Baldwin to pair with Antonio Brown. I could have loaded up on RBs the rest of the way and felt much better about the team as a whole. Mocks are a good time to try something different. They also can serve as a good reminder of why you tend to draft a certain way.
Hunter Gibbon @HunterGibbon This is painful for me to discuss, but it must be done. My days of trusting Ty Montgomery in the 3rd round are over, but that is where I selected him in this mock draft. Montgomery has been my favorite RB target throughout this offseason, but some warning signs have begun to appear. First, he fumbled in his first preseason action as the Packers 1st string RB. Second, and more importantly, Montgomery missed the Packers second preseason game with a mysterious lower leg injury. Yes, players miss time during the preseason, but this is especially concerning for Montgomery. He has the sickle cell trait, which has recently demolished John Brown’s potential playing time and fantasy value. I feel it could do the same to Montgomery, so the risk is not quite worth the reward in the 3rd round anymore.
Paul Maland @PaulMalandNFL If I could revert the draft and go a different direction, I would have done it early and taken Doug Baldwin over Brandin Cooks. The reason that I would look to do this is that Cooks may be a better best-ball player in 2017 than a week-to-week performer. With the Patriots continually spreading the ball around, and the presence of Rob Gronkowski along with Dwayne Allen, I believe that the red zone targets for Cooks could be hindered. On the contrary, aside from Jimmy Graham, Baldwin doesn’t have much in the way of target competition. He has shown an innate ability to find the end zone over the past couple of seasons and is continuing to progress as one of the leagues most underrated weapons. Had I have selected Baldwin in the second round, I likely could have snagged either Isaiah Crowell or Ty Montgomery in the third.
Brad Castronovo @bkc78 Overall, I love the squad that came out of this draft. I think I have solid depth, and a good mix of consistency and upside. But, If I could do things over again, I wouldn’t have taken OJ Howard. While he certainly might provide upside in the future, I think his greatest strength lies in his blocking ability. This will certainly keep him on the field, but I’m not sure yet if this will translate into targets, especially with the plethora of options that Jameis Winston has to choose from. If I could do it over again, I would have taken another wide receiver with high upside, like Kenny Stills or Curtis Samuel. Being that I have Greg Olsen, I probably didn’t need a backup TE… especially in the 14th round when I grabbed Olsen.
Andrew Roberto @aroberto112 I think that I had a very strong draft, and really like all of the picks I made. I thought I found good value in spots and did a solid job of drafting a balanced team with high upside players along with guys who have safe floors. That being said, if, given the opportunity, the one pick that I would consider changing would be my selection of Demaryius Thomas in the 3rd round. I love Thomas in 2017 and think that he is in for a big year. He has upside and a really nice floor. While he was the highest player on my board when I was on the clock, I may have gone a different direction with this pick if I knew the high-quality Wide Receivers that I would have been able to a pick a round or two later. I probably would have solidified my Running Back position with a high-end RB2 like some of the Running Backs who went off the board in the 4th and 5th rounds.
Bob Talbot @TalbotTalks If I could do it over, I probably pass on Ezekiel Elliott and take Amari Cooper in the second. Burning a second round pick on a guy that won’t play until Week 8 builds quite the barrier to overcome. Also, while I do think you need some piece of the early running back action, if you sleep on wide receiver early, it makes for a highly suspect group to trot out each week. I like Cameron Meredith and Kelvin Benjamin this season, but their range of outcomes is quite wide. Also, Nuk as a WR1 could payoff if he returns to 2015 form, but he could also repeat last season and set my team pretty far back. I’d feel a lot better with Cooper as my WR1 and Hopkins and Fitzgerald as my WR2 & 3.
Anthony Cervino @therealnflguru If I could redraft any pick, it would be Allen Robinson at 3.10. At the time of this selection, Blake Bortles was the clear-cut QB1 in Jacksonville. Now, although he is a terrible “real life” signal caller, he is productive from a fantasy perspective. He finished in the top 10 in fantasy scoring amongst QBs in each of the past two seasons. However, in the Jaguars’ most recent exhibition contest as well as in training camp, he’s struggled to throw with accuracy, overthrowing his wideouts more times than not. Following the game, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone confirmed there is an open competition for the starting QB job in 2017 between Bortles and Chad Henne. At this point, Robinson appears in line for another subpar fantasy campaign. Despite his potential upside, he is not worth the risk in the third round. He could ultimately fall into the late-fourth in upcoming drafts if there is no improvement from the QB position in Jacksonville. Since running back wound up becoming my weakest position at the end of this draft, I would have reached for Marshawn Lynch, who was taken by Mike Rigz at 4.01, ahead of Robinson.
Zach Greubel @ZachGreubel I probably would have drafted someone other than John Brown in the ninth round if I could redo a pick. Brown has WR3 upside when he’s healthy, but between his nagging quadriceps injury and his sickle-cell trait, his status is looking less and less promising as the season inches closer. In hindsight, I would have preferred to take someone like Mike Wallace, Randall Cobb, Thomas Rawls or Kenny Britt. Those receivers, specifically, can outrank Brown if Brown misses any time. Heck, they can outrank him anyway. Brown is a double-digit round draftee until further notice.
Michael Hauff @TheFFRealist In all honesty, if I could change any pick it would have been my very last pick. I accidentally selected David Njoku while I already owned Kyle Rudolph. I wouldn’t just say I’d change the Njoku selection because the pick was an accident, it is more so because of how I felt about the rest of my roster. Owning David Johnson and Aaron Rodgers is one heck of a foundation. I like how my roster turned out even if my bench has a couple of questions marks. If this had been an actual draft, I would go to war with this squad without a ton of concern.[the_ad id=”72089″]
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