Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 Teams, 8th Pick

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. While we may not be able to draft a "perfect" fantasy football team, the more we practice, the better our teams will be.

Starting on June 10th, we began drafting (at least) one fantasy football team per day using the 2017 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator and we will continue to do so up until the start of the 2017 NFL season.

Each day, we will switch things up -- e.g., PPR vs. standard scoring, league size, draft slot, 2-QB leagues, auction leagues, etc.

In addition, we will centralize links to our daily fantasy football mock drafts for an easy way to keep track of our mock drafts.

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Details of today's mock draft:
  • Scoring: Standard scoring (i.e., non-PPR scoring)
  • # of Teams: 12
  • Draft Slot: 8
  • Starters: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex (RB/WR/TE), K, DST
  • Bench Size: 6
With that said, here are the results of today's mock draft:

1.08 - Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers: Despite averaging less than 4.0 YPC and missing the final three games, Gordon made huge strides in terms of fantasy production (RB8) last season. Just three yards shy of 1,000 rushing yards, MG3 averaged 10.2 Y/R and scored 12 touchdowns. Based on my overall top-200 rankings, Jordy Nelson (8th) and A.J. Green (9th) are both higher than Gordon (10th), but I tend to like my team less if I don't get one of the top-nine running backs.

2.05 - Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints: Along with Brandin Cooks, Thomas was one of two top-10 fantasy wide receivers for the Saints in 2016. The former Buckeye had at least four catches and 40 yards in all 15 games played and finished the season with a 92/1,136/9 statistical line. With Cooks now in New England, there is room for growth in his sophomore campaign as the clear top target for Drew Brees even if Brees spreads the ball around as much as any quarterback.

3.08 - Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos: Thomas set five-year lows across the board: 90 receptions, 1,083 yards and five touchdowns. Thomas battled a hip injury for much of last season (and is better now), but those are not bad numbers as "five-year lows." Before last season, he had averaged 100/1,447/10 in his previous four seasons.

4.05 - Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs: Kelce set career highs in receptions (85), yards (1,125) and 100-yard games (six) and led the position in fantasy points scored despite scoring only four touchdowns. With Jeremy Maclin now in Baltimore, Kelce should be even more of a focal point of the passing offense and has a chance to finish as fantasy's TE1 even if Rob Gronkowski plays a full season.

5.08 - Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions: Despite his slow start last year, Tate extended his streak of 90-catch seasons to three as he finished the year with 91 catches for 1,077 yards and four touchdowns. Failing to exceed 41 yards in his first five games, Tate had five-plus catches in 10 of his final 11 games and only Larry Fitzgerald and Jordy Nelson had more receptions than Tate (74) from Weeks 6 to 17.

6.05 - Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons: Once again, Coleman missed multiple games, but he showed his big-play ability when he was on the field. While Devonta Freeman will continue to lead the backfield in usage and production, Coleman had double-digit touches in 11 of his 13 games and finished the year as a top-20 fantasy running back.

7.08 - Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets: Finishing as the RB23 in 2016, Powell set career highs in yards from scrimmage (1,110), receptions (58) and touchdowns (five). Even if the Jets employ a "backfield-by-committee," Powell should lead the backfield in touches and production in 2017.

8.05 - Pierre Garcon, WR, San Francisco 49ers: Garcon is coming off his second career 1,000-yard season (79/1,041/3) and he could be in store for a bigger season in San Francisco with limited competition for targets. Garcon had 113 catches on 181 targets in 2013 when Kyle Shanahan was his coordinator in Washington.

9.08 - John Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Brown's production was nearly cut in half (39/517/2 in 2016 vs. 65/1,003/7 in 2015) in large part due to medical issues. As Carson Palmer noted this spring, Brown is "heavier, he’s stronger. He looks more explosive than he did last year."

10.05 - Mike Wallace, WR, Baltimore Ravens: Even though Wallace had his first 1,000-yard season since 2011, he has finished as a top-30 fantasy wide receiver (standard scoring) in seven of eight seasons since entering the league in 2009. While I'm not necessarily targeting Wallace, I'm more than willing to draft him in the later rounds of drafts as he slips.

11.08 - Theo Riddick, RB, Detroit Lions: One of the league's most dynamic receiving backs, he has averaged 5.12 receptions per game over the past two years and he should remain a vital part of the passing attack even if Ameer Abdullah stays healthy.

12.05 - Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: A top-15 fantasy quarterback in each of his first two seasons, Winston has the potential to post his first top-10 fantasy season as the team added plenty of weapons this offseason. Either way, Winston is a tremendous value in Round 12.

13.08 - Jonathan Williams, RB, Buffalo Bills: On limited touches (110 in 15 games), Mike Gillislee scored a total of nine touchdowns and the 27th-most fantasy points among running backs last season. With Gillislee now in New England, the 223-pound second-year back will move into the role vacated by Gillislee and he has weekly flex upside even if McCoy stays healthy for a full season.

14.05 - Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Tearing his ACL last season, it appeared Bernard may miss some regular-season games to begin the year, but he was a full participant in training camp since Day 1. Rookie Joe Mixon has the talent to be a three-down back and Jeremy Hill currently tops the team's depth chart, but Gio should get roughly 10 touches per game in the offense.

15.08 - New York Giants DST
16.05 - Mason Crosby, K, Green Bay Packers
- View full mock draft results here

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