Fantasy Football Mock Draft (12-Team, PPR)
Throughout the offseason, you will see plenty of mock drafts analyzed on this site. While the primary value of mock drafts isn’t realized until August, there is still something to be gained from conducting them at various times leading up to draft season. An April mock draft can give you an idea of what players you are targeting while providing you with a baseline to measure price change over the coming months.
For this mock draft, I decided to go with the nine spot. This is for a 12-team, PPR league with one QB, two WRs, two RBs, one TE, and one flex. I removed kickers and defenses because there just isn’t any value in including them, especially in April.
1.09 – Davante Adams (WR – GB)
With the running backs flying off the board, I will gladly take the WR with the highest weekly floor. Davante Adams doesn’t really have that game breaking ceiling, but he also scored at least 16 fantasy points in every game last season. Paired with Aaron Rodgers, it is difficult to imagine a scenario where Adams fails. I realize there is nothing more valuable in fantasy football than an elite RB, but I’ve been burned far too many times thinking I’m taking one of those and ending up with 2018 Leonard Fournette.
2.04 – David Johnson (RB – ARI)
Again, it’s April, but it’s looking like picking on the back end is a blessing and a curse. There are just a wealth of options at my disposal. It pains me to pass on Tyreek Hill, but given the uncertainty surrounding his current situation, it is an unnecessary risk.
I’m pretty sure David Johnson is the correct pick here. Joe Mixon, Nick Chubb, and Dalvin Cook are tempting, all for different reasons, but we can all agree that D.J. has the highest ceiling amongst any RB remaining. Yes, I am chasing 2016. I know it is never returning, but I believe in a D.J. revival in 2019, and it doesn’t have to be full 2016 for him to provide a significant return on investment.
3.09 – T.Y. Hilton (WR – IND)
When I saw that T.Y. Hilton was going to be 30 years old the season, I had to do a double take. I feel like he’s still 25. The Colts are trending upward, and while they still may draft a WR, I cannot envision anyone impacting Hilton’s status as the alpha WR1 on this team.
He and Andrew Luck have a great connection. This is a good offense. And Hilton is a great ceiling WR to pair with my floor WR of Davante Adams.
4.04 – Devonta Freeman (RB – ATL)
There is a good chance I will hate this pick and swear it off completely in a few months. Right now though, I will swallow my pride and take Devonta Freeman and his locked in workload in the early fourth round. Ito Smith will play the Tevin Coleman role, but the only thing standing between Freeman and a solid RB2 season is his health, which, admittedly, is a significant concern. The upside is there, and the Falcons are a good offense (do you see a trend yet?). I also do not think there will be any reliable RBs worth drafting in Round 5 while there are plenty WRs remaining.
5.09 – Tarik Cohen (RB – CHI)
It turned out I was wrong about the RBs in Round 5. This was a tough decision between Derrius Guice‘s featured role, Mark Ingram’s secure workload, and Tarik Cohen’s status as the satellite back on the best offense. I went with the player on the best team. Cohen was a revelation last year, and with Jordan Howard out of the picture, this should be more of a 50/50 split between Cohen and Mike Davis. Cohen comes with the higher floor due to his passing game ability as well as the higher weekly ceiling due to his splash play ability.
6.04 – Jarvis Landry (WR – CLE)
It’s the sixth round, and Baker Mayfield’s WR2 is still available. Yes, please. Jarvis Landry saw 148 targets last year. While that is sure to decrease with the arrival of Odell Beckham, the Browns’ offense as a whole should be one of the best in football. Landry’s touchdown upside and efficiency stand to improve and, most importantly, Landry doesn’t even have to start on my team.
7.09 – Evan Engram (TE – NYG)
Okay, fine, I will take a player on a bad team. Eli Manning has been done for years, but he’s competent enough to get the ball to his playmakers. With Beckham in Cleveland, Evan Engram is going to be a more prominent member of this passing attack. Engram is an elite athlete that posted the second-best rookie TE season of all time in 2017.
Golden Tate is nowhere near the talent that Beckham is. Tate is not going to dominate targets in the same way. Engram averages 8.94 FPPG with Beckham on the field and 13.31 FPPG without him. I expect Tate to man the slot, pushing Sterling Shepard to the outside, which will render Engram the biggest mismatch on the field. The big year is coming.
8.04 – Jordan Howard (RB – PHI)
Jordan Howard as my fourth running back? Surely. Howard is a much better fit in the Eagles’ offense, and even though there is no chance he sees more than a 60% opportunity share, even 50% of the snaps plus goal-line carries is enough to make him a huge value. There is virtually no chance he remains an eighth-round pick by the middle of May, let alone August. It will be interesting to see how high Howard goes, though.
9.09 – Latavius Murray (RB – NO)
I really wanted Christian Kirk here, but he went a few picks earlier. Given the amount of upside WRs remaining, I will take my fifth and final running back in Latavius Murray. Remember that good offense theme? It doesn’t get much better than the second RB on the team that has finished first or second in combined RB scoring for about seven straight years.
Murray is a more athletic version of Mark Ingram. There is a 100% chance that a healthy Murray is at least a top-36 RB. He’s my RB5. That works.
10.04 – Ben Roethlisberger (QB – PIT)
You guys do know he was the overall QB2 last season, right? I think there’s a bit of an overreaction to how Ben Roethlisberger will fair without Antonio Brown. It’s obviously not a good thing to lose the best WR in football, but Big Ben will figure it out. The Steelers are still going to have a good offense, and I’m going to pair Roethlisberger with another QB anyway.
11.09 – DaeSean Hamilton (WR – DEN)
Now we are getting into upside dart throw territory. DaeSean Hamilton is my WR4. He’s probably better suited as a WR5, but that’s okay given my strength at RB. Hamilton came on strong to finish out 2018, averaging 9.5 targets per game over his final four contests.
He enters this season as Denver’s WR3, but Emmanuel Sanders is over 30 and coming off a late-season torn Achilles. Joe Flacco is at least a tiny upgrade over Case Keenum. This is a low risk, moderate upside selection.
12.04 – Albert Wilson (WR – MIA)
Again, pure upside here. Albert Wilson might be Miami’s WR1. I might drop him Week 2. Either way, he’s a great pick this late in drafts.
13.03 – Jimmy Garoppolo (QB – SF)
How quickly we forget where the hype was on Jimmy Garoppolo just one year ago. As my QB2 to pair with Big Ben, this is the perfect spot to bank on Jimmy G realizing the expectations that were set for him in 2018. He will be fully healthy well before the season starts and have a better supporting cast than last season.
14.04 – Mike Davis (RB – CHI)
I almost didn’t even make this pick because it’s pretty much cheating. Mike Davis is never going this late. He will certainly be gone no later than Round 8 by the time August rolls around, but I wanted to mention him.
Davis is a very solid player. He is going to do well in the Jordan Howard role. He’s probably going to need a touchdown to be useful, but that’s okay for a guy that will most likely be no better than your fantasy team’s RB3. He also projects as a great “Zero RB” target.
QB: Ben Roethlisberger, Jimmy Garoppolo
RB: David Johnson, Devonta Freeman, Tarik Cohen, Jordan Howard, Latavius Murray, Mike Davis
WR: Davante Adams, T.Y. Hilton, Jarvis Landry, DaeSean Hamilton, Albert Wilson
TE: Evan Engram