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Mock Draft from Late Pick (Fantasy Football)

by Matt Okada | @MattOkada | Featured Writer
Sep 2, 2017

With the start of the NFL season mere days away and the final week of fantasy drafts upon us, it’s time to tackle a penultimate mock draft. Or another one, if you tagged along for the standard mock or half-PPR mock from earlier this week. The useful part of preseason football has passed, illuminating a number of formerly cloudy fantasy dilemmas. And a slew of big injuries and suspensions over the past month have tossed ADPs around like a rag doll.

For this exercise, we will be drafting from the 11th spot in a 12-team league, with standard rosters and PPR scoring, 14 rounds to the finish. Special thanks to the FantasyPros Draft Simulator within the Draft Wizard client – it’s an incredible tool that enables massive customization in preparing your mocks.

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1.11 Jay Ajayi (RB – MIA) (ADP 15, RB8)
This is a really rough spot for PPR leagues, as the super-elite PPR RBs and WRs have all evaporated by the end of the first round. We would have loved a shot at Jordy Nelson or Devonta Freeman, but both were gone and we settled for Jay Ajayi. That said, grabbing a back with Ajayi’s workload and game-breaking ability is hardly settling. He is the clear-cut workhorse in Miami and it’s even possible Jay Cutler‘s gunslinging ways push defenses back a step. Ajayi’s value will be closely tied to the success of the Dolphins offense as a whole, so hopefully Cutler can put them in scoring position early and often, giving Ajayi a chance to score, grind out leads, and put up fantasy points for our squad.

2.02 Doug Baldwin (WR – SEA) (ADP 22, WR11)
Yes, this is the same pick we made at the end of the second round in the half-PPR mock. Clearly we like Baldwin.
With a top RB already locked in, this came down to Dez Bryant or Doug Baldwin. While we couldn’t have gone wrong with either pick, the elite play we’ve seen from Russell Wilson and Baldwin throughout the preseason, combined with Baldwin’s likely reception advantage over Bryant, tipped the scales to the Seattle WR. Some may call this a reach, but Baldwin was the No. 8 WR in PPR formats last year and seems to be even more heavily favored by Wilson this preseason. He’s going to eat in Seattle, and combined with Ajayi to provide huge weekly upside at the top of our lineup.

3.11 Travis Kelce (TE – KC) (ADP 35, TE2)
Strongly considered going running back, with Isaiah Crowell, Kareem Hunt, and Carlos Hyde all on the board. In the end, we decided we would be happy with any of the three after the turn and grabbed Travis Kelce instead. It’s almost a given that Kelce has the highest and safest floor of any PPR tight end. Even if Tyreek Hill pans out as the WR1 the Chiefs are hoping for, Kelce may well lead the team in targets and receptions. If Hill struggles to live up to the role cast for him, Kelce could believably set tight end records in those departments as the best pass-catcher on the team. The Kansas City offense should be capable, and it could largely run through Kelce.

4.02 Carlos Hyde (RB – SF) (ADP 43, RB19)
As expected, Crowell, Hunt, and Hyde were all still available after the turn. After watching Hyde catch passes out of the backfield in the third week of preseason, we were smitten on the 25-year-old workhorse and put our faith in him as our RB2. Keep in mind, Hyde was the No. 10 running back in fantasy on a per game basis last season, in what was likely a much worse offense than the Niners will have in 2017. Kyle Shanahan is now running the show in San Francisco, and we know what he can do with RBs (see Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman). Hyde may be one of the sneakiest RB values in PPR drafts this year and honestly has top-five upside if Shanahan and Brian Hoyer can keep this offense churning.

5.11 Martavis Bryant (WR – PIT) (ADP 53, WR26)
This pick followed a small internal debate between excitement and security. The angel-on-our-shoulder suggested Jeremy Maclin as a safe source of receptions in Baltimore, but Martavis Bryant is one of the most electric receivers in the game. He could break out in a huge way, offering low-end WR1 upside if things fall right. Of course, that means staying out of trouble and on the field, which is certainly a risky bet. But it’s a risk we were willing to take in a PPR league that will offer plenty of WR depth off the waiver wire.

6.02 Jeremy Maclin (WR – BAL) (ADP 85, WR36)
In the end, the debate from Round 5 was all for naught, as we ended up getting Maclin after the turn. One of the most underrated wideouts in fantasy this year, Maclin is a former WR1 who is just about guaranteed to land 85-plus receptions on his new team. The Ravens have led the league in pass attempts the past two seasons and suffered an exodus of pass-catchers in the offseason. There are literally hundreds of targets up for grabs and Maclin is a talented player with the skills and savvy to dominate the share over veteran Mike Wallace. If QB Joe Flacco is healthy and slinging the rock well, Maclin easily has WR2 upside despite going as a basement-level WR3 in drafts.

7.11 Ameer Abdullah (RB – DET) (ADP 62, RB24)
In honor of the 7-Eleven pick, we got an incredible value on Ameer Abdullah as our FLEX/RB3. Snagging him 30-plus spots after his ADP makes an already attractive pick that much more appealing. Abdullah has shown flashes of brilliance in the NFL but had a potential breakout 2016 season ruined by a Lisfranc injury. Now 100 percent healthy, Abdullah has already flashed his dynamic running ability in preseason, including 99 yards on 16 touches this past week. Despite the presence of Theo Riddick, Abdullah is a very solid pass-catching back in his own right and could develop a healthy three-down workload over the course of the season. If he does, and is able to contribute regardless of game-script, we could have stolen a high-end RB2 in the seventh round.

8.02 Corey Coleman (WR – CLE) (ADP 106, RB43)
Unless you’ve been watching the preseason, this pick may seem a little odd. Coleman had a mediocre rookie season in 2016, missing six games and playing second-fiddle to Terrelle Pryor when healthy. Don’t be caught sleeping on Coleman. He was the highest drafted WR last year (at 15th overall) and compares him most closely to … Odell Beckham Jr. More importantly, DeShone Kizer (the Browns’ newly-dubbed starting QB) has shown great chemistry with Coleman, targeting him eight times in Preseason Week 3 and revealing Coleman’s PPR potential as the No. 1 receiver in Cleveland. With 120-plus targets well within the realm of possibility, Coleman could take this hefty opportunity to earn his draft pedigree this year – which would make him a regular starter in fantasy.

9.11 Duke Johnson (RB – CLE) (ADP 95, WR35)
We strongly considered drafting Andrew Luck here, before discovering that every other team in the draft had already taken a quarterback. With our minds at ease regarding QBs, we took our second Brown in a row, Duke Johnson. Johnson may be the running back with the greatest gap between non-PPR and PPR value. He is playing snaps out of the slot in Cleveland and has already shown the ability to perform in PPR formats (No. 31 RB in PPR last season). If he sees the field more often as a receiver, The Duke will only increase the consistency of his fantasy production, offering us FLEX value in a pinch. Plus, if Isaiah Crowell misses any time, Johnson is an immediate RB2.

10.02 Terrance West (RB – BAL) (ADP 97, RB36)
Scout’s honor, we have not intentionally sought out Terrance West in all three mock drafts this week. But here we are again, taking him in the 10th round, where he is still a killer value. See below, from Thursday’s mock.

“Sometimes, value cannot be ignored no matter how unexciting a player may be. In this case, Terrance West – commonly picked in the eighth or ninth round – fell to the [front] of the 10th and we had to take him. He offers excellent, reliable RB depth as a clear-cut lead back, and has flashed some ability in the preseason. More than anything, this pick is about opportunity, as West is guaranteed to out-touch the guys in this range – like Darren McFadden, Jeremy Hill, and Jacquizz Rodgers – over the course of the season.”

11.11 Andrew Luck (QB – IND) (ADP 92, QB11)
Clearly, the other teams in this mock were uninterested in Luck’s injury concerns. We simply are not. Even if he misses half the year (which is highly unlikely), Luck will be an untouchable value for the remainder of the fantasy season upon his return. In a single-QB league, there is incredible depth at the position, giving us a wealth of options for starters in Luck’s absence. We would’ve taken him in the eighth or ninth round if necessary, so this is a mind-boggling value. See our 14th-round pick for the current contingency plan. And watch out for our roster when Luck comes roaring back by Week 2 or 3 with regular top-five fantasy performances.

12.02 Texans D/ST (ADP 129, DST3)
With everything but our backup QB locked up, we had a chance to nab an elite fantasy D/ST in this draft. The Texans were already tops in the league in 2016 without J.J. Watt. Now, the future Hall-of-Fame superstar returns to a defense that should categorically dominate in 2017. Best of all, they open against Blake Bortles and the Jaguars at home in Week 1, which just might be the tastiest matchup on the entire board.

13.11 Stephen Gostkowski (K – NE) (ADP 134, K1)
We had the chance to pick Justin Tucker for the third straight mock draft, but the idea of having three Ravens was a bit much. Instead, we took the Patriots trusted leg, Stephen Gostkowski. While he has dealt with a bit of a PAT bug recently, Gostkowski is as good as it gets from range and plays for one of the best offenses in the league (by a good amount).

14.02 Andy Dalton (QB – CIN) (ADP 132, QB16)
Taking Andrew Luck means taking a backup QB when we otherwise wouldn’t. But in this case, we’re actually thrilled. Andy Dalton is one of the most underrated players in all of fantasy football this year, as his 2016 season was severely hampered by numerous injuries to his pass-catching corps. If a group starring A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert, Giovani Bernard, Joe Mixon, and others stays healthy in 2017, Dalton could return to the form that made him the No. 5 QB in fantasy in 2013.

Thanks for reading and check out the full draft results using the link below!

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Matt Okada is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Matt, check out his archive and follow him @FantasySensei.

Draft Prep, Featured, NFL