By Chet Gresham - @ChetGresham
Aug. 25, 2017.
Mock Draft Settings:
12 teams, 1-point PPR Scoring, 2 QB, 3 RB, 4 WR, TE, 2 FLEX, D/ST, K. Seven-player Bench.
Using this mock draft simulator
, I set up a draft from the three spot.
When going into a 2QB draft, I always like to stay open to when to take quarterbacks. They are very important for your team, especially when the quarterback spot isn't lumped together in a flex position. But, I do like to feel out the draft because I just want two solid quarterbacks, not two out of the top-five signal-caller. As you will see in this mock draft, it is tough to field a strong team throughout with so many positions, so you need to prioritize and, for me, I wanted to feel good about my quarterbacks.
Now that Ezekiel Elliott is suspended and Odell Beckham Jr. has an ankle sprain, the No. 3 spot goes to Antonio Brown in my estimation, especially in full-point PPR, but in standard leagues, I'd do the same. Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Drew Brees all went in the first round, which makes perfect sense in a 2QB league, and if I had a later pick, I'd have looked hard at Rodgers or Brady.
I still like Elliott him in the third round, but late in Round 2 is still too early for me.
With the top quarterbacks gone, I didn't feel like quarterback was the best choice in the second round. The list of quarterbacks left was fat enough for me to feel good about waiting until Round 3 to start going after the signal-callers, so I decided to go Dez Bryant there. Late in the second round is a good spot for Bryant, but his draft position is being depressed by the extra quarterbacks going off the board early.
I like Jordan Howard and Jay Ajayi, but decided to skip them here due to the fact that we can start six wide receivers and I believe there are later-round running backs out there who can make a leap into fantasy relevancy this season, especially in PPR.
For the third pick of this mock, I figured I'd go with a quarterback, but I still saw plenty of quarterbacks I'd be happy with, so I decided to risk it and went with rookie Dalvin Cook for my first running back. In retrospect, I am quite happy I took him because running backs are the weakness on my team, plus Cook has the upside to be a real strength. The Vikings are going to be a solid team this year, and Cook has already shown he's the man in Minnesota. I'm happy to grab him in the third round this season, even though it is near the top of his ADP.
Christian McCaffrey in the third round is too early for me, but I understand the aggressiveness with him in PPR leagues. His upside is great, but he still has Jonathan Stewart to deal with for carries.
I lost out on Kirk Cousins, who I was targeting, but I was more than happy to grab Ben Roethlisberger to pair up with Antonio Brown. Roethlisberger's numbers with Martavis Bryant stretching the field have been astronomical, and now that Bryant is back, I'm expecting some huge games from Big Ben.
By my next pick, 13 quarterbacks had been taken. There were around three left I'd be happy with, so I decided I needed that second starting quarterback and went with Philip Rivers. If the quarterback position would have been in a flex, I likely would have waited another round, but you can't play around with quarterback if you must start two each week. Of course, grabbing a quarterback there hurt my running backs, as Lynch, Hyde, Ingram, Powell, Montgomery, Ware, Woodhead, Anderson and Gore came screaming off the board. That took a big chunk of startable backs out of the equation.
With no running backs who I really wanted available, I decided to go with some upside with my third wide receiver and grabbed Tyreek Hill. I've been down on him as a No. 1 receiver in a run-heavy offense, but reports of his ability down field have been good this preseason, and we know what he can do once he gets the ball. I'm not going to be leading the hype caravan, but there is no doubt that he has true ability and will now get plenty of opportunity.
I decided to take the toe discount on Jordan Reed in the seventh round after seeing him practice this week and look fine coming in and out of his cuts. He's no doubt an injury risk, but I think this is a good spot for a player who is the closest to Rob Gronkowski in upside.
I got in a bit of a pickle in Round 8 because I really needed running backs, but I also wanted Cameron Meredith. But since I did need running backs and Mike Gillislee had just returned to full practices, I decided that his upside in New England was worth the risk of him losing work to Rex Burkhead. And the fact that Burkhead hadn't practiced for a couple days probably influenced me as well.
In the ninth round, I went with the PPR upside of Duke Johnson over Adrian Peterson, which may have been the wrong choice, but with Johnson spending time in the slot and in the backfield, he should see plenty of targets. I just don't trust Peterson to be a factor all 16 games.
I stuck with my PPR running back grab in the 10th round when I got James White. Bill Belichick is a big fan of White's, as you saw in last year's Super Bowl. I foresee him handling the bulk of the running back targets in New England this year, which is a good thing.
I'm not sure how he lasted until the 11th round, but I scooped up Derick Henry there, which may be the best pick of this draft for me. Henry has standalone value even with DeMarco Murray starting, but I do think we'll see Henry get more shots this season to prove what a massive talent he is.
Another "problem" you'll encounter with 2QB leagues is a real need for a backup. Bye weeks and injuries happen more often to your quarterbacks when you need to start two, so grabbing a startable backup I key. I was happy to grab Sam Bradford here, as I'm high on Minnesota's offense and schedule this year. He's not going to blow your doors off, but there is a real shot for him to be a strong streamable QB this year.
Round 13 brought me back to wide receivers, who were becoming truly tough to find at this point. I wanted to draft Rex Burkhead, but I very much needed a receiver, and with Tyler Lockett's injury, his ADP has fallen much further down than his upside. He has the No. 2 receiver job when he gets healthy, and it does not look like Seattle is going to have much luck rushing the ball this season.
At this point in this draft, I was just looking for any upside I could find, which led me to yet another receiving running back in Shane Vereen. The Giants are going to throw the ball a ton this season, and I expect Vereen to be the back who benefits the most.
I probably should have taken a tight end a bit earlier so I'd have a stronger fantasy player to back up the oft-injured Reed, but there were other positions I needed to fill more. So, when Dwayne Allen was available, I grabbed him up. He's a good red-zone target, plus we know Rob Gronkowski has had trouble playing full seasons lately.
In the 16th round, I drafted Devin Funchess because he is the No. 2 receiver in Carolina, and a good red-zone target. His upside isn't what I like for fliers, but he's a guy I can plug in and know he's going to get some run.
Breshad Perriman has more upside than Funchess due to his ability, but PErriman also can't seem to stay on the field due to injuries. These two picks are a good contrast, showing upside versus stability, and I think mixing the two on your teams is usually a good plan.
My final two offensive player picks were two of my favorites, with Broncos running back De'Angelo Henderson and Bears running back Tarik Cohen. Henderson has the ability to lead Denver's backfield, and there could be plenty of chances for him to move into that spot this season, while Cohen has looked great in preseason and likely will cut into Jordan Howard's targets. There's even a chance we could see John Fox annoy fantasy players by giving Cohen even more work, like he did in Carolina with Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT
Philip Rivers, QB, LAC
Dalvin Cook, RB, MIN
Mike Gillislee, RB, NE
Duke Johnson, RB, CLE
Antonio Brown, WR, PIT
Dez Bryant, WR, DAL
Tyreek Hill, WR, KC
Tyler Lockett, WR, SEA
Jordan Reed, TE, WAS
James White, FLEX, NE
Derrick Henry, FLEX, TEN
Pittsburgh Steelers, D/ST, PIT
Dan Bailey, K, DAL
Sam Bradford, QB, MIN
Shane Vereen, RB, NYG
Dwayne Allen, TE, NE
Devin Funchess, WR, CAR
Breshad Perriman, WR, BAL
De'Angelo Henderson, RB, DEN
Tarik Cohen, RB, CHI
Just a heads up that we have 2017 Fantasy Football Mock Drafts with Walter every Wednesday afternoon or evening. Check out the forum or follow Walter on Twitter to find out when the next mock draft will be. Also, check out our Fantasy Football Rankings
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