Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Half-PPR (2020)
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The NFL draft is officially behind us, and that means it’s time for the fantasy draft season to begin. I used FantasyPros’ mock draft simulator to do a 12-team, half-PPR mock. My pick was chosen at random, and I ended up right in middle at sixth overall.
Before I dive into each individual pick, I’m going to give you a quick breakdown of the strategy I used in this mock.
First and foremost, when it comes to your fantasy football draft, never get absolutely locked in on one strategy. You never know how your draft may unfold and if you lock yourself into one strategy, it could leave you high and dry if things don’t go your way. Always be prepared to pivot!
Now onto my strategy for this mock draft. Since it featured half-PPR scoring, I wanted to go in with a balanced approach stocking up on running backs and wide receivers early. I also wanted to find the best possible value at tight end. When it comes to quarterbacks in fantasy football, I’m a strong believer in waiting until the value is simply too good to pass up. That doesn’t mean wait until the last round — I just won’t reach for one. You only need to start one quarterback each week while other positions are much thinner and require much more depth.
Now, let’ get to the picks!
Round 1, Pick 6: Dalvin Cook (RB – MIN)
With the start of the season still months away, I’m choosing to ignore Cook’s potential holdout in hopes that they will come to an agreement before Week 1. If it weren’t for his contract dispute, he probably doesn’t make it out of the top-5 in most drafts. Last year, Cook played in only 14 games and still managed to finish as the RB5 with 265 fantasy points. As long as he gets his new contract, Cook will be well worth the first-round selection.
Round 2, Pick 19: Aaron Jones (RB – GB)
Many people in the fantasy community see Jones as one of the biggest regression candidates of 2020. After scoring a whopping 19 total touchdowns in 2019, we can expect some regression, but that doesn’t mean that he’s someone to avoid entirely. Even if you took seven touchdowns away from Jones’ total in 2019, he’d still finish as the RB6. He may not repeat his RB2 finish in 2020, but Jones is a steal at the end of Round 2.
Round 3, Pick 30: Amari Cooper (WR – DAL)
After getting back-to-back running backs to start things off, I knew that I needed my WR1, and I found exactly that in Cooper. Last year, Cooper finished as the WR9 with 79 receptions, 1,189 yards, and eight touchdowns. With Mike McCarthy now running the show, I think Cooper has the potential to improve those numbers in what should be a much pass happier offense. The addition of CeeDee Lamb is something to monitor, but he shouldn’t affect Cooper’s production all that much in year one.
Round 4, Pick 43: Robert Woods (WR – LAR)
Since I’m looking to add more receiving depth, I went with one of the most reliable players in all of fantasy football: Robert Woods. Since joining the Rams in 2017, Woods has averaged over 12.6 fantasy points per game. Keep in mind that was with Brandin Cooks still in town. Now, with Cooks in Houston, Woods’ target numbers should increase dramatically. He may not be the flashiest player, but he’s someone that you can rely on each and every week to give you at least a WR2 performance.
Round 5, Pick 54: T.Y. Hilton (WR – IND)
I struggled with this pick a bit because you never know how a wide receiver will adapt to a new quarterback, but in the end, I think Hilton’s talent will win out. While catching passes from Jacoby Brissett last year, Hilton managed to average over 10 fantasy points per game. Now with Rivers throwing him the ball, I think that number will only go up. Rivers may no longer have the arm to get Hilton a ton of deep targets, but he’ll be peppering him with the same kinds of targets that Keenan Allen got. If you can get 80 percent of Allen’s production out of Hilton in the fifth round, that’s a win.
Round 6, Pick 67: Raheem Mostert (RB – SF)
After going with three straight wide receivers, I turned my attention back to running back and found a steal in the sixth round in Mostert. Once he was named the starter last year, he was simply unstoppable. Over the final six games of the 2019 season, Mostert scored seven touchdowns — and then he capped that off by scoring five more in the playoffs! He’ll be the lead guy from the start this year, and he should outperform his current ADP of 63rd overall.
Round 7, Pick 78: Brandin Cooks (WR – HOU)
I think that this was the riskiest pick of my entire draft. Cooks has a long history of concussions, and he’s now on a new team once again. On the bright side, his new quarterback is Deshaun Watson, and that ended up being the deciding factor in this pick. The injury risk is real with Cooks — but so is the upside. If he can stay healthy and build a connection with Watson, it could be the most lethal we’ve seen him in years.
Round 8, Pick 91: Derrius Guice (RB – WAS)
Now that I’ve drafted multiple starters at both running back and wide receiver, I started to look for upside, and I think that Guice has a ton of it. It may have been in small sample sizes, but Guice looked dynamic when he was on the field. He knows this season could be the last chance he gets to prove that he’s capable of playing in the NFL, and I expect Washington to give him every opportunity to take control of their backfield.
Round 9, Pick 102: J.K. Dobbins (RB -BAL)
Here comes another upside pick. Even with Mark Ingram still in Baltimore, there’s been a ton of hype surrounding Dobbins and his potential role in the Ravens offense. Don’t forget that this is a player who ran for 2,003 yards and 21 touchdowns last year at Ohio State. The Ravens aren’t going to keep that talent bottled up on the bench for very long. Considering they finished 2019 as the run-heaviest offense in football, there should be plenty of touches to go around.
Round 10, Pick 115: Jared Cook (TE – NO)
Many people look at Cook’s 2019 season as a disappointment because of his slow start, but once Drew Brees returned, Cook caught fire. Over the final eight games of last season, Cook totaled 537 yards and seven touchdowns. He finished the season averaging over 10 fantasy points per game, and that’s more than enough for a tight end you’re drafting in the double-digit rounds.
Round 11, Pick 126: Aaron Rodgers (QB – GB)
As I mentioned earlier, I’m a huge believer in waiting on a quarterback and this is exactly why. Aaron Rodgers in the 11th round is easily my best value in this draft. People forget that in 2018, while playing on a fractured knee, Rodgers finished as QB6. Even last year, in what was considered a down year, he finished as the QB10. Plain and simple, if you can draft Aaron Rodgers in the double-digit rounds, you do it!
Round 12, Pick 139: Jalen Reagor (WR – PHI)
Now in Round 12, it’s all about the upside, and there was no one available with more upside than Reagor. This guy is blazing fast and is playing with a quarterback who can get him the ball deep down the field. There may be a lot of names in that Eagles wide receiver room, but that’s all they are — names. Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson have been declining for years, while Marquise Goodwin is nothing more than a gadget player. Reagor could legitimately finish the 2020 season with the most targets of any Eagles wide receiver.
Round 13, Pick 150: Allen Lazard (WR – GB)
With my final position-player pick, I went with Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard. After starting the season on the bench, Lazard got his chance in Week 6 and didn’t look back. From Week 6 and on, Lazard took over the wide receiver two role and totaled 35 receptions, 477 yards, and three touchdowns. Those may not be earth-shattering numbers, but he showed that he was just scratching the surface of what he could become. The Packers desperately need another weapon, and I expect Lazard to be that guy.
Round 15, Pick 174: Chicago Bears D/ST
Round 16, Pick 187: Matt Gay (K – TB)