Monday, September 4, 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: 9
  • 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 - Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons: The only player to rush for 1,000-plus yards in each of the past two seasons, Freeman finished as fantasy's RB6 last season despite 57 fewer touches than he had in 2015. Freeman has 1,500-plus YFS, 50-plus receptions and 13-plus touchdowns in back-to-back seasons.

2.05 - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys: Leading the NFL in rushing attempts (322) and rushing yards (1,631) as a rookie, Elliott had a minimum of 80 rushing yards in every game from Weeks 2 to 16. Suspended six games by the NFL, a reduction seems possible/likely and fighting it in court could even potentially delay the suspension until next year. (Le'Veon Bell finished as fantasy's RB4 last season despite missing four games.)

3.08 - Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos: Thomas set five-year lows across the board: 90 receptions, 1,083 yards and five touchdowns; not bad for "five-year lows." Before last season, he had averaged 100/1,447/10 in his previous four seasons. It's reasonable to expect an improvement over last year's numbers even if he doesn't return to a 100/1,400/10 level of production.

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.

- Related: Kelce appears in my list of 10 Bold Predictions in Fantasy Football for 2017

5.08 - Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Back for (at least) one more season, Fitzgerald has finished as a top-20 fantasy wide receiver with 100-plus catches and 1,000-plus yards in back-to-back seasons. Going into his age-34 season, Fitzgerald is a safe WR2 here in the fifth round.

6.05 - Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos: After a career year in 2014 (101/1,404/9), Sanders has at least 75 catches and 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons. A 75/1,000 season seems to be a reasonable floor with some upside for improvement.

7.08 - Danny Woodhead, RB, Baltimore Ravens: Missing the majority of the 2014 and 2016 seasons, Woodhead has played just 21 games over the past three years. One of the league's top receiving backs, Woodhead has finished as a top-24 fantasy running back (standard scoring) in each of his past three full seasons.

8.05 - Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans: Finishing as fantasy's QB12 in 2016, Mariota gave us a glimpse of how good he could be during the eight-game span from Week 5 to 12. No QB scored more fantasy points and only Drew Brees (24.50/G) scored more than Mariota (24.19/G) on a per-game basis over that stretch. Given the team's offseason investments to put an improved supporting cast around Mariota, 2017 should be even better — perhaps much better — for this ascending dual-threat quarterback.

9.08 - Corey Coleman, WR, Cleveland Browns: It was an injury-plagued and disappointing rookie season for the top-15 selection in the 2016 NFL Draft. An explosive athlete when healthy, the Browns will be counting on him to take a big step forward in his sophomore campaign with 1,000-yard receiver Terrelle Pryor now in Washington.

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. He provides some depth as my WR5.

11.08 - Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: With Doug Martin suspended for the first three games this season, Rodgers will get a minimum of three starts. Considering Martin's durability track record, it's certainly possible that he starts more than three games this season.

12.05 - Darren Sproles, RB, Philadelphia Eagles: Entering what is expected to be his final season, the 34-year-old running back had 865 yards from scrimmage and 52 receptions last season for the Eagles to finish as fantasy's RB30 in non-PPR formats. Another season of 800 YFS and 50 catches should be within reach for Sproles.

13.08 - Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Tearing his ACL last season, Bernard was initially expected to miss a game or two to start the season, but he's been a full participant since Day 1 of training camp and will be ready to go for Week 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 could get roughly 10 touches per game in the offense.

14.05 - Arizona Cardinals DST

15.08 - Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens

16.05 - Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks: Normally I draft my defense and kicker in the final two rounds, but I thought that Carson might be here in Round 16. Carson possesses some sleeper appeal despite the crowded backfield, when everyone is healthy.

- View full mock draft results here

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