Late Pick Mock Draft (2019 Fantasy Football)
One of the worst ways to kick off draft day is to be dealt a late pick. Late picks, often decided based on sheer luck, are not a death sentence to your fantasy season, however. With the right strategy entering the draft and a willingness to adjust on the fly, a successful team can be built even with the last pick in the draft.
Giving myself the 11th overall pick, I was happy to have Julio Jones fall into my lap to get my draft started off right. A year-in, year-out elite receiver, I feel that Jones may even be slightly undervalued by the general consensus. His touchdown luck made headlines to start last season, but what many don’t realize is that he actually led the league in touchdowns in the back half of the year.
Following up a home-run first pick, I had considered going with a highly-ranked WR. Despite Michael Thomas, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Tyreek Hill still being on the board, I decided to go with Joe Mixon since I had a building block like Julio at WR. I generally advocate for going with value over position, but I felt I would still be able to grab value at WR later in the draft.
I applied the value > position logic with my third pick in Aaron Jones, who I feel has the upside to be a top-five RB this year. Pairing Mixon and Jones gives me a great combination of value and upside and provides me with the comfort that I can more than likely just set my RB lineup and forget it.
I finally jumped back into the WR realm with my fourth pick, where I selected Kenny Golladay over reliable names like Brandin Cooks and Julian Edelman. Once again the selection of Julio allowed me the flexibility to take a bit more of a risk with my WR2 spot and Golladay could be a real threat if the Lions open up their passing game a bit more under new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.
It was in the fifth that I made my first regretful decision of the draft — going with James White over starting RBs like Tevin Coleman or Mark Ingram. I think White — after finishing as an RB1 last year — has the chance to be a great pass-catcher in the Patriots offense, but in retrospect, I’d probably prefer the volume of opportunities that the aforementioned starting RBs are likely to receive. I don’t see it as an indefensible pick, but one I would probably like to have back.
I blended upside and consistency with my next round of WR picks, as I selected a known commodity in Alshon Jeffrey and potential breakout candidate with Christian Kirk. Jeffery has hung around the WR20 mark during his stretch with the Eagles and I don’t see this year being any different.
After again going for potential starting RB touches with Royce Freeman and what should be a high-ish volume receiver in Tyrell Williams, I decided to make the move for a quarterback in the 10th. I planned on waiting a bit longer, but I thought that Cam Newton was great value in the 10th — same with my selection of Vance McDonald in the 11th.
Through the rest of the draft, I picked up handcuffs in Jamaal Williams (Aaron Jones) and Rodney Anderson (Joe Mixon), while also grabbing perhaps the highest upside handcuff with Justin Jackson.
While my team finished fourth in the FantasyPros projected standings, I think I did well operating from the back end of the draft. My bench totals were by far the highest and that was due to my strategy of swinging for the fences in the draft’s later rounds. If a couple of breaks went my way, I think this team would be in a great position to compete for a championship.