Middle Pick Mock Draft (2019 Fantasy Football)
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While it is relatively easy to get a general idea of what the board will look like through the front end of the draft and the back end of the first round, a middle pick can bring about an unsettling amount of uncertainty.
The top three of Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara are almost guaranteed to be off of the board, and beyond those three, there is quite a bit of fluctuation due to positional values, holdouts and other ADP influences.
Selecting seventh overall, I was anticipating that not only would the consensus top three be off of the board, but also that fellow top RBs David Johnson and Ezekiel Elliott (holdout notwithstanding) would be gone too. Thinking that would be a pretty massive reach to select someone like Nick Chubb or James Conner, I went with the safe pick of Davante Adams. Though I wasn’t able to grab an elite RB, Adams gives me a wideout that will produce week-in and week-out — to the extent that if you took Adams’ worst game last season and extrapolated it to a 16-game season, he’d have still been a WR1.
With the long loop back around for the third round, I knew that if I wanted one of the second or third-tier RBs, I would have to act this round. With the coaching team of Kevin Stefanski and Gary Kubiak looking to establish the run in Minnesota, and with his production over the past two seasons (when healthy), Dalvin Cook was an optimal pick in the second. I considered doubling up with another exceptional WR like Tyreek Hill or Mike Evans, but I didn’t want the risk of missing out on an upper-level RB.
At this point in my mock, I had a bit of time to reflect on what could have been in terms of my roster construction. I certainly value players like Hill and Evans more than Cook, so I probably should have stuck to my guns with the value > position logic. Pairing Adams/Evans with someone like Carson at this point feels preferable to my actual path, but I think I righted the ship a bit with the selection of T.Y. Hilton. Though Andrew Luck’s health is still up in the air, I believe that he’s worth the risk at this point in the draft.
It was in the fourth round when I truly realized I should have held firm to the value > position logic. Even though players like Cooper Kupp, Julian Edelman, Kenny Golladay, Brandin Cooks and Chris Godwin were still available, I went with Sony Michel. I think Michel is going to be a fine fantasy play, but I think almost all of the group above will likely be more valuable than him this coming season. Learn this lesson from me in a mock draft: value > position, even if it looks better to have your lineup filled out.
As I watched the remaining fourth round and beginning of the fifth round trickle by, I had high hopes that I would be able to land David Montgomery on the way back. Set to be a workhorse in the Chicago offense, Montgomery was going to be a perfect complement to the rest of my starting lineup. He offered the high upside I like to shoot for, especially after the first few rounds. Unfortunately, this was just not my day, as Montgomery was chosen the pick before mine. I went with James White, who provides a solid floor in half-PPR and PPR formats with the potential for more if there are any injuries in the Patriots’ backfield.
My draft got stronger as time went on. I was able to pick up Alshon Jeffrey, a mid-WR2 with WR1 potential, Sammy Watkins and a pair of RBs that have their positives with Latavius Murray and Kalen Ballage. With my starting lineup almost completely set after the selection of Jared Cook in the 10th, I feel that my middle rounds made up — at least a bit — for some questionable early decision making.
As always, I held off on selecting a QB to try to pick up value in other positions. Grabbing Lamar Jackson in the 11th and Josh Allen in the 13th, I feel that each of their floors are higher than expected due to their running abilities. Their upside is also quite high if they’re able to make strides in the passing game. With Devin Singletary in the 12th, too, I was able to get a high-upside back that could make up for the somewhat capped upside of James White.
Out of the three drafts that I have done for this series, I would say this was by far my least favorite in retrospect. I let a questionable pick in the second round snowball into rounds three and four, and I let positional need outweigh value. The positive of this exercise, however, was that it showed how much value is still available despite the murky middle pick.