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. My first PPR mock draft was back in April. A month later, we have an even better idea of what players to target when and we can use the April mock draft to see how player prices are changing while simultaneously creating a new baseline to measure price change over the coming months.
For this mock draft, I decided to go with the nine spot again. I think choosing the same spot as I did in April makes this exercise much more fruitful as we can see how my thought process and valuation changed. 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 May.
1.09 Davante Adams (WR – GB)
Nothing changed in the first round. I think it is extremely important to come out of the first two rounds with at least one running back. Le’Veon Bell, Joe Mixon, and James Conner are all candidates here, but they all come with some modicum of risk. Davante Adams comes with no risk. He scored at least 16 points in every game last season. He is arguably the safest player in fantasy football. I know I won’t be losing my league with this first-round selection.
2.04 Joe Mixon (RB – CIN)
If I were to go WR here, it would’ve been JuJu Smith-Schuster. However, I need to get a running back. Joe Mixon is the last of the remaining “elites.” I put “elites” in quotes because he’s not the best of the best, but he’s on that list of backs that can miss time due to injury and know he is coming back to his workhorse role. JuJu is definitely a safer pick, but I do not believe I can afford to go WR-WR. I just don’t think it’s a viable strategy this season.
3.09 Sony Michel (RB – NE)
I have come around on the touchdown or bust running back. I used to prefer a receptions floor, but I’ve come to learn that the goal is to win matchups. Touchdowns win matchups. Sony Michel will have weeks with 50 rushing yards only. He will also likely score in half his games, if not more. It is painful to pass on Stefon Diggs here, but I am not enamored with any of the other RBs on the board, whereas there are a handful of WRs I am happy to insert as my WR2 and I’m confident in one of them remaining on the board next round.
4.04 Robert Woods (WR – LAR)
Sure enough, one of my guys falls. Taking a WR on one of the league’s best offenses is never a bad idea. Robert Woods was a tough call over Julian Edelman. I did so for two reasons: 1) Edelman is 33 years old and 2) I’d rather not double up on Patriots if I can avoid it. I would obviously not let that be a reason to pass on the best player on my board. In this case, I prefer Woods.
5.09 Kerryon Johnson (RB – DET)
I really don’t like this pick. Unfortunately, Kerryon Johnson just makes the most sense. Out of the remaining WRs, I can get my third guy later much easier than a running back. I fear that Phillip Lindsay may lose his job. I don’t want any part of Chris Carson with a superior Rashaad Penny lurking. Mark Ingram is a low-ceiling player. And Tarik Cohen is wildly inconsistent. Johnson is never going to see the volume he probably deserves because Matt Patricia is (not so secretly) a terrible head coach. I don’t like the idea of a running back on a bad offense, but Johnson should be a lock for 250 touches. As my RB3, I can live with that.
6.04 Evan Engram (TE – NYG)
At this pick, I was taking a New Yorker. It was between Evan Engram and Robby Anderson. Ultimately, I went with the TE because I believe in Engram’s elite talent as well as him being more involved in a post Odell Beckham era. Anderson has a super high ceiling as well, but I’ve got multiple WR targets still on my board. If I don’t get Engram, I’m probably taking a TE in the last round. I think he’s more of a difference maker.
7.09 Christian Kirk (WR – ARI)
I will be very upset in any league where I am not able to draft Christian Kirk. He is my target in the seventh round everywhere. I know there is no chance he will be available this late by late August. That’s okay. That’s why we mock. To learn these things. I am hopeful, though, that the presence of Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler, and KeeSean Johnson scare people off of Kirk and keep his value depressed. I believe Kirk will be second on the Cardinals in targets (behind David Johnson) and the key component of the air raid offense. He has high WR2 upside.
8.04 Kenyan Drake (RB – MIA)
I have no idea how Kenyan Drake is still available, but I am not passing on a starting running back in the eighth round, even if he is on a terrible offense. The Dolphins have added nothing behind Drake. They have Kalen Ballage, who I do not view as much of a threat and Mark Walton, who does not belong in the NFL (seriously why did they sign him?). Drake has showcased splash play ability and I’m okay with a boom or bust player as my RB4.
9.09 DaeSean Hamilton (WR – DEN)
At this point, every player I like is ranked significantly below consensus. It is what it is. No matter who I took here, it was going to technically be a reach. I like DaeSean Hamilton almost as much as Christian Kirk. Hamilton was the Broncos’ leader in targets down the stretch last season and has the ability to be the team’s leading receiver this season. That is great value as my WR4.
10.04 Ito Smith (RB – ATL)
If I don’t believe in Devonta Freeman, I have to believe in Ito Smith, right? At the very least, Freeman’s injury history is enough to justify Smith in the 10th round. He has standalone RB4 value with RB2 upside in a good offense should Freeman go down. He is an ideal RB5.
11.09 Kyler Murray (QB – ARI)
I believe. I don’t care about the rankings. They are going to change anyway. Kyler Murray has overall QB1 upside. Yes. You heard me. That is what I want in a late-round QB. I want the chance to break my league.
12.04 Jordan Reed (TE – WAS)
In the final few rounds, I am looking at pure upside. With a solid every-week starter in Engram, I don’t need a backup TE, but Jordan Reed was once the best of the best at TE. He may no longer have that in him and if that’s the case, I drop him. If there is any chance he can recapture the old magic, that is the type of ceiling I want in this round, and I’m not really seeing it anywhere else.
13.09 Tyrell Williams (WR – OAK)
A splash play specialist now locked into a WR2 role alongside Antonio Brown is a guy worth making my last skill position player (I am taking a safe QB next round). Tyrell Williams has talent and he finally has opportunity. Derek Carr is not the QB you necessarily want, but I’m confident Tyrell will be at least a WR4.
14.04 Jimmy Garoppolo (QB – SF)
Remember all the hype surrounding Jimmy Garoppolo last season? He was pushing the single digits in draft position. One torn ACL later and everyone has forgotten about him. He’s still the same Jimmy G with the same upside.