Early Pick Mock Draft (2019 Fantasy Football)

Aug 14, 2019

Christian McCaffrey gives you a solid foundation at RB if you have an early draft pick.

As draft day approaches for many leagues, pre-draft luck can swing the fortunes of a team before the season even kicks off. However, it’s decided, draft order plays a tremendous factor in the overall outlook of a season and an undesirable draft slot can leave a team in a hole right out of the gate.

Being towards the front end of the draft is naturally preferable as it opens up a bevy of elite options right at the outset. For the purposes of this exercise, I went with the No. 2 overall pick and maintained the same strategy that I would if I were first or last, adjust to what is happening in the draft rather than staying steadfast to rankings and a specific strategy.

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First Round
With the second-overall pick, I knew that I was likely going to have the choice of either Saquon Barkley or Christian McCaffrey. After Barkley went off the board, I swooped up McCaffrey and was on my way with one of the best players in fantasy football.

Second Round
As my second pick approached, I was looking to grab a high-level receiver to pair with McCaffrey, as I knew that he would stand as a solid foundation for my RBs. I decided to go with Mike Evans or Antonio Brown due to the latter’s recent off the field antics and the general uncertainty surrounding him. I may have been open to choosing Brown a round or two later, but he posed far too much risk for me in the second.

Third Round
My third-round choice took a little bit more thought, as the option of going for an RB was appealing. I knew that by my fourth-round pick I was likely to have missed out on the second/third tier of RBs like Marlon Mack and Kerryon Johnson, but ultimately I felt Keenan Allen was a tremendous option as a WR2.

Fourth Round
I wanted to address the RB position with my fourth pick even though a decent amount of value remained at WR. In retrospect, I might have been open to choosing an RB with my third pick after seeing the WRs available in the fourth, but even with hindsight, I’m not sure that the value was there. I chose to grab Mark Ingram over Sony Michel, a decision that was made in large part due to Ingram’s durability and his upside in the run-first, run-second, and probably run-third nature of Baltimore’s offense this year.

Fifth Round
With my fifth pick, I had a bit of a conundrum. In a vacuum, Chris Godwin is probably the easy choice over Cooper Kupp, but I didn’t want to put myself in the position of being too reliant on Tampa Bay’s WRs. Kupp should once again get a ton of targets in the Los Angeles offense despite there being a lot of mouths to feed.

Middle Rounds
Throughout the next few rounds, I tried to mix upside with reliability so that I would have a well-balanced bench. I think Christian Kirk could be a breakout player in the Cardinals new offense and Lamar Miller should serve as a relatively consistent RB2/Flex option throughout the season. Royce Freeman, Curtis Samuel, Anthony Miller, and Damien Harris all have high ceilings considering their draft position and at that point in the draft I felt that swinging for the fences is generally the right call.

Late Rounds
As the draft was winding down, I didn’t necessarily plan on taking Vance McDonald but in the 12th round, he felt like great value. In the 13th and 14th, I finally opted to address my QB situation and applied the same general logic to each pick. Both Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen have a built-in floor with their rushing ability and both played very well — fantasy-wise — throughout the last third of the season. It’s unquestionably a bit of a risky play to rely on two second-year players, but I felt the potential reward outweighed the risk.

After selecting a kicker and a defense the draft concluded and I was quite pleased with my team. A core of McCaffrey/Evans/Allen/Ingram will be tough to compete against and my FLEX spot will be a nice rotation of consistency and upside.

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Brian Rzeppa is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Brian, check out his archive and follow him @brianrzeppa.

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1Dalvin Cook (MIN)RB
2Leonard Fournette (JAC)RB
3Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)RB
4Saquon Barkley (NYG)RB
5Chris Carson (SEA)RB
6Derrick Henry (TEN)RB
7David Johnson (ARI)RB
8Le'Veon Bell (NYJ)RB
9Julio Jones (ATL)WR
10Aaron Jones (GB)RB
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11Alvin Kamara (NO)RB
12DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)WR
13Cooper Kupp (LAR)WR
14Mark Ingram (BAL)RB
15Phillip Lindsay (DEN)RB
16Tyreek Hill (KC)WR
17Sony Michel (NE)RB
18Michael Thomas (NO)WR
19Keenan Allen (LAC)WR
20Kerryon Johnson (DET)RB
21Josh Jacobs (OAK)RB
22Tyler Lockett (SEA)WR
23T.Y. Hilton (IND)WR
24Joe Mixon (CIN)RB
25Devonta Freeman (ATL)RB
26Travis Kelce (KC)TE
27Adam Thielen (MIN)WR
28Marlon Mack (IND)RB
29Tevin Coleman (SF)RB
30Julian Edelman (NE)WR
1Ronald Acuna Jr. (ATL)LF,CF
2Nolan Arenado (COL)3B
3Mookie Betts (BOS)CF,RF
4J.D. Martinez (BOS)LF,RF
5Trevor Story (COL)SS
6Justin Verlander (HOU)SP
7Cody Bellinger (LAD)1B,CF
8Trea Turner (WSH)SS
9Alex Bregman (HOU)3B,SS
10Jacob deGrom (NYM)SP
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11Max Scherzer (WSH)SP
12Francisco Lindor (CLE)SS
13Gerrit Cole (HOU)SP
14Freddie Freeman (ATL)1B
15Javier Baez (CHC)2B,3B
16Charlie Blackmon (COL)CF
17Aaron Judge (NYY)RF,DH
18Juan Soto (WSH)LF
19Anthony Rendon (WSH)3B
20Bryce Harper (PHI)CF,RF
21Jose Altuve (HOU)2B
22Xander Bogaerts (BOS)SS
23Starling Marte (PIT)CF
24Walker Buehler (LAD)SP
25Manny Machado (SD)3B,SS
26Anthony Rizzo (CHC)1B
27Kris Bryant (CHC)3B,RF
28Whit Merrifield (KC)1B,2B
29George Springer (HOU)CF,RF
30Paul Goldschmidt (STL)1B
1Anthony Davis (LAL)PF,C
2James Harden (HOU)PG,SG
3Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)SF,PF
4Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)C
5Kevin Durant (BKN)SF,PF
6LeBron James (LAL)SF,PF
7Stephen Curry (GSW)PG,SG
8Nikola Jokic (DEN)PF,C
9Damian Lillard (POR)PG
10Victor Oladipo (IND)PG,SG
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11Russell Westbrook (HOU)PG
12Paul George (LAC)SF,PF
13Joel Embiid (PHI)PF,C
14Kawhi Leonard (LAC)SG,SF
15Chris Paul (OKC)PG
16Kyrie Irving (BKN)PG,SG
17Kemba Walker (BOS)PG
18Jimmy Butler (MIA)SG,SF
19Ben Simmons (PHI)PG,SF
20Jrue Holiday (NOR)PG,SG
21Rudy Gobert (UTH)C
22Donovan Mitchell (UTH)PG,SG
23John Wall (WAS)PG
24Kyle Lowry (TOR)PG
25Andre Drummond (DET)PF,C
26Bradley Beal (WAS)SG
27Khris Middleton (MIL)SG,SF
28Kevin Love (CLE)PF,C
29Draymond Green (GSW)PF,C
30LaMarcus Aldridge (SAS)PF,C
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