Mock Draft Series 5

This is the 5th article in the Mock Draft Series; where Top2Sports teams up with fantasy experts from across the community to participate in, and break down mock drafts. This draft is PPR, Dynasty, and Superflex. A link of the draft is below, followed by an explanation of highlighted picks, in the authors words-not mine.

Full Results

1st Round Highlights

1.03: Odell Beckham Jr., Josh Padgett 

OBJ is my number 1 dynasty player regardless of league setup.  I still build my dynasty teams around receivers. The running back revival has not convinced me to take guys like Gurley or Barkley over OBJ and Hopkins.  OBJ will be the key cog in much improve offense this year and it still the best long term asset out there.

1.08: Saquon Barkley., League Builders

This was a bit of a strategy change from my usual, and would only happen during a dynasty draft. Three stars aligned to make this pick happen: first, Antonio Brown was sniped from me at the eighth spot (once he fell past six I thought I could snag him). Second, all the new data proving that volume is the best correlating statistic to RB1 finish, and I am confident Barkley will get the necessary volume (especially in PPR). Finally, after debating with a friend over the risks (or lack thereof) of taking a rookie in the first round, I wanted to try out his viewpoint and see if I could feel confident in my final team when starting with a rookie and banking on RB1 production from him. As it turns out I am very comfortable having Saquads leading my squad.

2nd Round Highlights

2.08: Amari Cooper, Anthony Zaragoza

What does Amari Cooper, second-year WR Corey Davis and rookie Calvin Ridley have in common? 23. The number twenty-three represents their age as of today. It’s hard to believe that a two-time pro bowler is the same age as a rookie WR barely entering the league, but that’s what makes Cooper such a great pick late in the second round. He’s extremely talented and has a quarterback for years to come (Derek Carr). If I needed more assurance for the pick, new Head Coach Jon Gruden plans to force feed his new #1 WR. That’s music to my ears.

2.12: Stefon Diggs, Happy Hour Fantasy

Diggs over Thielen,Hill,Baldwin,Hilton,Gordon and A-Rob?? Yes, and here’s why: In a Dynasty setting, the 24 year old has a bright, promising future ahead of him. Diggs showed us that he can be a true WR1 in PPR at times, and flashed huge games last year. Add in a contract year where he’s gonna ball out for the big bucks to either stay with the Vikes in that ascending offense or be THEE guy for a team for the next 5+ years (my preferred option to get away from Thielen), im all in for Diggs in Dynasty.

3rd Round Highlights

3.02: Patrick Mahomes FFVigilante

I’m a big fan of “GYG” (getting your guy) and  that’s what happened here. I’m confident that he’ll be in the top 15 before it’s all said and done this season. He’s got a slew of weapons and a fantastic arm. Also, it’s dynasty, so I just happened to grab my young promising QB very early. Which is fine because I got Winston later as a vet and valuable starter to go alongside Pat. Overall, I just wanted to “get em and forget em”. I didn’t want someone to snag him while I was thinking of another position.

4th Round Highlights

4.01: Kirk Cousins, Matt Hicks

After pushing my luck and waiting until the 4th to take a quarterback I’m ecstatic to get my dynasty QB3 as the 7th QB off the board in this draft. In his three seasons as a starter, Cousins has finished as QB6, QB5, and QB8 in fantasy. Yet, he’s disrespected in both rankings and ADP even after transitioning to Minnesota where his offense weapons and scheme get markedly better. Cousins best target is Washington was an injury riddled Jordan Reed (who saw no playing time in 2017) and Jamison Crowder, who finished as WR33 in fantasy last season. Now Cousins will have Thielen (WR8 in 2017), Diggs (WR 19 in 2017), and Rudolph (TE8 in 2017) at his disposal.You can get my full take on Cousins in my Dynasty Quarterbacks article.

4.03 Demaryius Thomas, Rick Rosen

New QB, who dis? Perhaps the most overlooked elite talent in the NFL, Thomas has languished in Denver since the decline and exit of Peyton Manning. Despite the drop in production, however, Thomas has remained one of the most targeted wide receivers in the NFL.

Six straight years. For six straight NFL seasons, Thomas has seen 140+ targets and played every single game. It doesn’t get more consistent then that, especially from a position known for its volatility. It’s like taking an Antonio Brown-type floor in the fourth round.

It doesn’t directly translate to numbers, but in fantasy we look for opportunity. And with Case Keenum under center, expect way more than the five touchdowns he’s produced each of the last two season. He’s back.

5th Round Highlights

5.04: LeSean McCoy, Marc Szymanski

I already had a strong start at RB (Zeke and Davonta Freeman), but the epitome of “bell-cow running back” was staring at me in the fifth round. I just couldn’t pass it up. Part of me wonders if I should have gone RoJo here if I was determined to get a third RB in a dynasty startup. But I’m a “win now” drafter in dynasty. I’m quite satisfied with this pick. It’s another year where we’re going to wonder if Shady will be the #1 receiver in the Bills offense, too. Once I picked him, I knew that I would be grabbing Chris Ivory as a handcuff. When a person drafts Shady, it is highly recommended to grab Ivory which I did in the 14th round.

5.09: Andrew Luck, Geoff Lambert

I really wanted to go with my first RB here, but with 9 QBs already off the board in a super flex league, I felt I had to go QB. Everyone is scared of Luck based on his recent injury history, but if he can return to form, I just landed a Top 5 QB in the 5th round of a super flex league. I couldn’t pass that up.

6th Round Highlights

6.02: Nick Chubb, Ryan Cearfoss

Nick Chubb is one of the most talented running backs in this year’s class and is the front runner for the early down role in Cleveland. With 2 fantastic backs on my roster already I have the opportunity to be patient if Hyde starts right away. (https://247fantasyfootball.com/nick-chubb/)

6.06: Alshon Jeffery, Dynasty Dorks

Alshon Jeffery – Eagles, WR – Alshon had a really nice bounce back year last year.  He gets Wentz back and should be the #1WR on that prolific offense. He has big play ability and gets a lot of targets in the redzone.  Not the typical PPR WR I would take, but the value was too good here. Great Robinson insurance if needed and he is young enough. I don’t load up on rookies and hope to have the team that is going to be good….in 3 or 4 years.  A lot can change in 3 or 4 years. Don’t neglect youth, just don’t overemphasize it. Play to win now and get a good mix of middle aged guys and rookies with maybe an old vet or 2. Not the all under 25 squad that is sexy on madden.

7th Round Highlights

7.03: Royce Freeman,  Josh Padgett

Going into the seventh round with one running back was starting to feel like 0 RB too much for my liking.  Freeman has a chance to be the full time back in Denver and it’s that upside that makes him the pick here. His competition isn’t great so even if it does turn into a committee, I think the floor is there as the lead back and the likely goalline guy.  Either way, this is more of a need pick for this roster than I would like.

9th Round Highlights

9.02: Chris Godwin, FFVigilante

First off, the kid has a perfect name. Chris is my first name and a surname of God and Win? How can you not select him? Slated to more than likely take time from Desean as the flanker, this kid will be a great compliment to Evans and weapon for Winston. It’s dynasty as well, so I had to grab a kid with high upside at only 22 years old in his sophomore season (younger than that one rookie in ATL lol).  

9.08: Randall Cobb Anthony Zaragoza

From nagging injuries, having Brett Hundley at quarterback for a season and Davante Adams taking over the #1 WR role, Randall Cobb has been up and down since his pro bowl season back in 2014. But this season, Cobb has Aaron Rodgers back and his number two wide receiver spot after the departure of Jordy Nelson. And let’s not forget, Cobb is only 27 years old and healthy. In the ninth round, grabbing Rodgers second best wide receiver is not too shabby.

10th Round Highlights

10.02: Lamar Jackson Ryan Cearfoss

Lamar Jackson is a full long term investment. With Baltimore having only a year left where they have to pay Flacco, Jackson should be able to step in next year. His ridiculous rushing ability will give him a fantastic floor with the ability to be a fantasy star!

10.04: Kalen Ballage Geoff Lambert

Going with my zero RB strategy, after taking Luck in the fifth, I went with 5 straight high upside RBs, with Ballage being the last of the five. Kenyan Drake is the incumbent, but I don’t 100 percent trust him and I don’t think the Dolphins do either. They wouldn’t fully commit to Drake last year saying that he and Damian Williams were going to split carries once Williams got back from injury, they signed Frank Gore this offseason and then drafted Ballage. You don’t do that if you think you’ve found “your guy”. Ballage could end up the starter at some point this season, and at a 10th Round Pick, that’s great value.

11th Round Highlights

11.01: Nyheim Hines Happy Hour Fantasy

Ahhh my man crush so far this season. This kid is explosive (4.3 speed) and is an incredible pass catcher. IND has been lining him up as a slot receiver a ton in OTA’s as well as the primary return man. They want to get him involved in as many ways as possible and desperately need a playmaker outside of T.Y. With a healthy Luck, it should make things easier for the RB’s. Both myself and IND coaches (trust me) aren’t sold on Mack and his 3.8 YPC, and I believe by the end of the season in PPR leagues, Hines very well could lead INDY RB’s in fantasy points. And to get him this late it’s absolutely worth the high upside potential.

11.08: Martavis Bryant League Builders

For those who didn’t know, Jon Gruden has had a wide receiver finish with 1,000+ yards in ten of his eleven seasons as a head coach. Martavis Bryant is a guy who was highly touted out of college, has had some big games, but never really broken out. In Oakland he gets a fresh start, can put his off-field issues in the past, and can focus on his on-field game with a young quarterback and new head coach. His competition consists of a potentially washed-up Jordy Nelson and an Amari Cooper whose drop issues finally caught up with him last year. He’s a sleeper for me, and in the 11th round I will take the risk that his talent overcomes everything else this year (and beyond) for the Raiders.

12th Round Highlights

12.06 Blake Bortles Dynasty Dorks

Love or hate him, he was a QB1 last year.  He is young and they didn’t draft Lamar Jackson so I feel okay.  Unless Cody Kessler or Tanner Lee take the job, Bortles was a steal this late in superflex.  He is a guy you can buy low and as long as your rushing yards count the same as all runners, he is a good late round QB.  I like the new weapons around him and the improved offensive line.

13th Round Highlights

13.04: Sam Darnold Marc Szymanski

I already drafted Aaron Rodgers. In round 12, I grabbed Tyrod who might not have the role for the entire year. How to fix this? When the 13th round came around and Darnold was still on the board, I celebrated. This was a mock and I celebrated. Youth and the heir-apparent to the starting QB role. It might not have any value for the first few weeks, but by week 8 (and definitely the 2019 season) I have a starting QB in a Superflex league THIS late in the draft. I’d be pretty happy if this were a real league.

13.10: Tyler Lockett  Rick Rosen

I got two rounds left, so I’m taking home run swings. Really nice to hear that last year, when Tyler Lockett was already a sleeper of mine, he recently revealed that he played the entire season a 75-80 percent health.

Cool story, bro.

Now that the truth is out, I can once again shill for one of the best deep threats in the league. Lockett is a big-play receiver with hands to match, and should see a significant amount of snaps with only he, Doug Baldwin and the walking corpse of Brandon Marshall as capable receivers. Seattle can’t run the ball, and Lockett has great rapport with Russell Wilson. I’d be legitimately excited about this pick if this draft wasn’t real.

14th Round Highlights

14.01 Courtland Sutton, Matt Hicks

I’m thrilled Josh whiffed on Sutton and let him fall to me. This big target playmaker fits in well in Denver; and adds depth to an offense led by a consistent quarterback who has a history of making his wideouts better. Sutton has the potential to contribute this season, but his value comes in the future; with at least one or both of Thomas and Sanders likely to move on after this season.

About Matt Hicks

Matt’s writing at Top2 is focused on dynasty fantasy football. He loves blending his experience writing research in the field of education with fantasy football stats. Matt currently lives in Baltimore, MD and graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. You can follow Matt on Twitter: @Top2Matt

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