Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 Team Half PPR League
There are many who want to do mock drafts as soon as the NFL season ends, and though I’m one of them, I take them with a grain of salt before May comes. Why? Well, free agency and the NFL Draft are sure to shake up depth charts, which will cause players to rise/fall significantly.
Now that the main events of the NFL offseason have taken place, I’ve decided to start doing mock drafts to map out which strategies should be most viable in 2020. This is my first stab at one this offseason, so bear with me as I work out the kinks. Keep in mind that I’m a value drafter, and not one who enters the draft with any plan outside of landing at least one top-10 running back and one top-10 wide receiver.
This mock draft was done inside Draft Wizard as a 12-team half PPR league with these positions: QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, W/R/T, and six bench spots. The randomizer gave me pick No. 7 in the draft, which should allow me to get plenty of value, as the middle of the rounds typically do. So, let’s click start and walk through this draft together.
1.07 Davante Adams (WR – GB)
When you land the seventh pick in the draft, you’re unlikely to get one of the stud running backs, and that’s the case here. Alvin Kamara went at 1.06, and for the record, I would’ve taken him over Adams. Still, I’m not mad about Adams here. He’s posted at least 20-plus PPR points in 19 of his last 41 games. The Packers didn’t draft a single receiver and Aaron Rodgers trusts him more than anyone. I’ll be able to snag a running back in the second round, I hope.
ECR Suggested Pick: Derrick Henry (RB – TEN)
2.06 Kenyan Drake (RB – ARI)
I came into the draft wanting a top-10 running back and a top-10 wide receiver. After landing my No. 2 wide receiver in the first round, I get my No. 8 running back here in the second round. Drake was the No. 4 running back in fantasy football after he joined the Cardinals offense, and they liked him enough to ship David Johnson off to the Texans. The Cardinals offense will be much more potent in 2020 and it’s not as if Drake will be the focal point when they have the receiving corps they do. It’s not crazy to think Drake will be a top-three running back this year.
ECR Suggested Pick: Josh Jacobs (RB – LV)
3.07 JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR – PIT)
Two quarterbacks came off the board before this pick, which is good news for us because it means players drop. The two I considered here were Amari Cooper and JuJu Smith-Schuster. It’s unfortunate Odell Beckham wasn’t available, as it seems he falls into the third round in a lot of mocks. With Ben Roethlisberger returning to the offense, Smith-Schuster should be considered a top-10 option. Remember last year when he was being taken as a top-three receiver? I wasn’t one of those doing that, but his current ECR of WR12 is too low for a guy who should see 150 targets.
ECR Suggested Pick: Amari Cooper (WR – DAL)
4.06 Jonathan Taylor (RB – IND)
Secretly, I was hoping Todd Gurley would fall to this pick, but he came off the board at 3.11. I’m not mad about Taylor, though, who sits as the No. 14 running back in my rankings. Nick Chubb came off the board at 2.04 in this draft. What’s the difference between him and Taylor? Both are going to have competition for targets but are the best options for first- and second-down work, though Kareem Hunt is more talented than Marlon Mack. You don’t draft someone like Taylor in the second round to have him sit on the bench behind guys like Mack or Nyheim Hines. As my RB2, I’m ecstatic.
ECR Suggested Pick: Jonathan Taylor (RB – IND)
5.07 D.K. Metcalf (WR – SEA)
This is the area where I would’ve been taking Darren Waller had the Raiders not added a bunch of receivers and Jason Witten to the roster. Don’t get it twisted, Waller is still the most talented, but it’s just more competition for targets. I’ll wait on Hayden Hurst in this draft. Metcalf has real top-12 receiver upside and it showed as the season went on. Remember when he was considered a “raw” receiver who’d take time to develop? Well, he was one of just 10 wide receivers who hit 60-plus yards in nine games in 2019, his rookie year. As my WR3, there’s nothing but equity here.
ECR Suggested Pick: D.K. Metcalf (WR – SEA)
6.06 Dak Prescott (QB – DAL)
There are just three quarterbacks I’d be willing to spend a pick inside the top six rounds on, and Prescott is one of them. I wouldn’t pull the trigger on him if there was a running back I really wanted, but we’re at the point where there’s a tier of about five guys I’d consider. I’d rather wait and take the last of that tier. Tyler Boyd was also very tempting, as I’m higher on him than most, but I’ve already locked down three high-quality wide receivers through five rounds.
ECR Suggested Pick: Dak Prescott (QB – DAL)
7.07 Raheem Mostert (RB – SF)
Each of the running backs I debated last round are still available in this round, highlighting that it was a good decision to pass. But now, I’m forced with the same decision. The ECR (Expert Consensus Rankings) are telling me to go with Cam Akers, but I’m not sure he’s going to be more valuable than Darrell Henderson. Because of that, I go with Mostert, who broke out in 2019. The 49ers have gone with a timeshare under Kyle Shanahan, but losing Matt Breida helps me feel better about Mostert’s consistency.
ECR Suggested Pick: Cam Akers (RB – LAR)
8.06 Cam Akers (RB – LAR)
I’m made to look like somewhat of a hypocrite here, as I just said last round that I wasn’t sure about Akers offering more value than his teammate Darrell Henderson, but as the No. 4 running back on my team? Considering where Akers and Henderson are going (Henderson’s ADP is outside the top 10 rounds), I’m not opposed to the strategy of drafting both and seeing how the situation unfolds. One of them will be a weekly asset.
ECR Suggested Pick: Cam Akers (RB – LAR)
9.07 Jerry Jeudy (WR – DEN)
In case you haven’t heard, I’m a huge fan of Jeudy. The landing spot in Denver wasn’t ideal, as he’ll battle with Courtland Sutton to become Drew Lock‘s go-to option, but both will be productive. Jeudy is someone who offers both possession ability, as well as being someone who can take the top off the defense, which means he’ll have explosive weeks. As my No. 4 wide receiver, I’ll be okay with the ups and downs of the route-running rookie.
ECR Suggested Pick: Derrius Guice (RB – WAS)
10.06 Jordan Howard (RB – MIA)
This is where I’m starting to play chicken with the mock draft. The “Pick Predictor” feature is telling me there’s just a five percent chance that Hurst is selected before my next pick but losing him would destroy my plan. Howard is a starting running back that I’m getting in the 10th round. It’s kind of crazy because I usually wouldn’t draft someone like him. I debated going with Tarik Cohen instead, but knowing the combination of Mostert and Akers might have volatility, I snag Howard to give me a stable presence for the flex, if needed. I like the ECR Suggested Pick of Anthony Miller, but running backs are harder to come by.
ECR Suggested Pick: Anthony Miller (WR – CHI)
11.07 Hayden Hurst (TE – ATL)
I’m not taking any more risk, as the pick predictor jumped to a 23 percent chance that Hurst would be picked before my next pick. I don’t want to be stuck with someone like Eric Ebron. Hurst is walking into a role that had Austin Hooper on pace for 119 targets last year (had he played all 16 games). The Falcons never replaced Mohamed Sanu and loved Hurst enough to pay a second-round pick for him. He’s going to be a TE1 this year.
ECR Suggested Pick: Jared Cook (TE – NO)
12.06 Michael Pittman (WR – IND)
This is where upside comes into play. You have to know what the purpose of every player on your roster is. Now that we’re down in the 12th round, we must understand that these are the players we might be cutting for waiver wire acquisitions. So, why not take a player who we’ll find out about right away? This decision came down to Pittman, DeSean Jackson, and Golden Tate. I have Jackson ranked the highest, but Pittman’s ceiling might be higher at the stage of their careers. Pittman has a bit of Vincent Jackson to his game, and we know Philip Rivers made him a big-time fantasy asset. I’ll know if Pittman’s earned a spot in the starting lineup right away.
ECR Suggested Pick: Golden Tate (WR – NYG)
13.07 Mecole Hardman (WR – KC)
This is another one of those picks where I’m aiming for upside. We’ll know right away if Hardman has carved out a bigger role in the offense after what was a historically efficient season in 2019. Among wide receivers who’ve seen at least 30 targets, Mecole Hardman‘s 13.1 yards per target ranks as the third-highest mark among wide receivers over the last 10 years. He’s a baller who needs a bigger role.
ECR Suggested Pick: Ryan Tannehill (QB – TEN)
14.06 Rashaad Penny (RB – SEA)
I’m hoping this league I’m playing in has an IR spot because Pete Carroll has already said they expect Penny to start the season on the PUP list. If there wasn’t an IR spot, I wouldn’t draft him here. But once Penny comes back, he should be good to go. Modern medicine has come a long way with ACL injuries, and Chris Carson is also coming off a bad hip injury. Many seem to be forgetting that Penny had 33 touches in the two games before getting hurt, and that was with Carson healthy.
ECR Suggested Pick: Mike Gesicki (TE – MIA)
QB: Dak Prescott
RB: Kenyan Drake
RB: Jonathan Taylor
WR: Davante Adams
WR: JuJu Smith-Schuster
WR: D.K. Metcalf
TE: Hayden Hurst
FLEX: Raheem Mostert
BENCH: Cam Akers
BENCH: Jordan Howard
BENCH: Jerry Jeudy
BENCH: Mecole Hardman
BENCH: Michael Pittman
BENCH: Rashaad Penny
FINAL GRADE: 89 out of 100 (B+), Projected 2nd place finish
I’m extremely happy with how this roster turned out, especially considering I went wide receiver with two of my first three picks. Not only do I feel extremely confident in both my running backs and all three of my starting wide receivers, but I also landed a top-three quarterback who continues to ascend, and knowing he got another weapon to throw to this offseason only makes it that much sweeter. My bench is littered with upside outside of Jordan Howard, but just like most things in life, you need a good balance of everything. If you’d like to draft your own team, you can do it for free right here.