Fantasy Football Mock Draft: How to Handle the No. 11 Pick (2020)
Our deep dive into strategizing the late-round picks in a 12-team, standard fantasy league continues with a look at what to expect when picking 11th overall.
You know the drill by now. Using the Draft Wizard, I conducted a mock draft with the 11th pick in a standard format with the usual roster specifications: one starting quarterback, two running backs, two receivers, a tight end, a flex, a defense, and a kicker. Here’s how the draft panned out:
Rounds 1 and 2
The Picks: Joe Mixon (RB – CIN) and DeAndre Hopkins (WR – ARI)
In my last mock draft, I mentioned that my goal in the first round when picking 10th or later is to land either Mixon or Nick Chubb as my bell-cow running back. In this instance, both tailbacks were available at pick 11.
Mixon and Chubb are close to a toss-up, but I sided with Mixon because I see a bit more upside with a three-down back. Cincinnati’s offense finally might be competent enough to help Mixon realize his potential as a fantasy stud. And even though everything else has imploded around him, Mixon has still finished as the RB11 and RB9 in standard leagues the last two seasons. Joe Burrow‘s arrival will only help.
In Round 2, I was shocked to see both Julio Jones and Hopkins still on the board. The team picking 12th overall “It Ertz So Goodwin,” (take a moment to respect the creativity of the team names the Draft Wizard comes up with), took Leonard Fournette and Nick Chubb back-to-back.
I’m thrilled to get either of these receivers at the top of Round 2, but I lean Hopkins because I see a bit more touchdown upside, and I wanted to get the star receiver on what could be this year’s breakout offense.
Rounds 3 and 4
The Picks: D.J. Moore (WR – CAR) and Melvin Gordon (RB – DEN)
I initially planned to secure my RB2 with my third pick. But the best backs left were Chris Carson, Melvin Gordon, and James Conner, none of whom I liked more than Moore, who is undervalued at WR15 in our Expert Consensus Rankings.
Moore can make plays at all three levels of the field and should excel in what could be an exciting passing game in Carolina. He also fits perfectly with Teddy Bridgewater, who has been a conservative, short-field passer throughout his career. I love Moore as a high-upside WR2 behind Hopkins.
As I suspected, all three of the aforementioned running backs were on the board in Round 4. I’m not actively pursuing any of these guys in drafts, but I can’t risk waiting until Round 5 to nab my RB2.
I favor Gordon over the other two backs because he’s the most talented player. Carson might be the safest, but he’s also coming off of a significant hip injury and struggles with holding onto the ball. And I have a feeling Conner might not even be Pittsburgh’s starter by season’s end.
If Denver’s offense blossoms under Drew Lock, then Gordon should get plenty of red zone opportunities. Phillip Lindsay will likely serve as the primary pass catcher, but I suspect Gordon will still garner the majority of the touches. Whether those are quality touches or not will depend on Lock’s development and improvement along the offensive line.
Rounds 5 and 6
The Picks: Stefon Diggs (WR – BUF) and J.K. Dobbins (RB – BAL)
I think Stefon Diggs is the perfect WR3 or flex. He’s someone I can turn to as a starter when I need extra upside, but he isn’t someone I’ll have to rely on for steady weekly production. I’m often worried about taking receivers who are changing teams, and I definitely think the Josh Allen experience will lead to a bumpy ride for Diggs. But his talent is undeniable and there will be enough really good weeks to outweigh the 3-for-47 performances that will inevitably happen.
In Round 6, I turned my attention back to running back. While Kyler Murray and Deshaun Watson were tempting, I’d much rather secure a solid RB3 behind Mixon and Gordon. Devin Singletary, Cam Akers, and D’Andre Swift were the best tailbacks on the board, according to ECR.
I’m concerned that Zack Moss will factor into the backfield too much to make Singletary a top-20 back. Akers is no lock to win the starting job, and I have a hunch the Rams may use a committee approach at tailback. And while Swift carries plenty of upside, I don’t trust Detroit’s coaching staff to give him the starting job unless Kerryon Johnson gets injured.
So, I went a bit further down the board and decided to shoot for the moon by taking Dobbins. Mark Ingram is going to start in Baltimore. But who’s to say Dobbins won’t be relevant even in a timeshare in Baltimore’s run-heavy offense? Plus, Dobbins is a pure home run hitter who will benefit from defenses focusing their attention on Lamar Jackson.
And if Ingram were to get hurt, Dobbins could instantly become a top-10 back. I’m not sure the same could be said about Swift if Johnson were to go down.
Rounds 7 and 8
The Picks: Marlon Mack (RB – IND) and Carson Wentz (QB – PHI)
I wanted to add another running back in Round 7. My options were Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida, Mack, and Phillip Lindsay. Coleman is a mediocre player in a crowded backfield in San Francisco. Breida doesn’t offer nearly as much value in standard leagues. And while Lindsay was appealing as a handcuff for Gordon, I don’t think he offers enough standalone value.
Ultimately, I opted for Mack, who should start the beginning of the season at the very least. How long Mack holds onto the starting duties with Jonathan Taylor on the depth chart is the question. The shortened offseason could hurt rookies like Taylor, which means Mack could see the field more than expected in 2020. I’m hoping that’s the case.
Round 8 is where I start thinking about quarterbacks. However, I wondered if it was still too early to pass up on some value at running back and receiver. I turned to the Draft Wizard’s Pick Predictor function to see if I could risk passing on a quarterback.
According to the Pick Predictor, there was a 70% chance that Carson Wentz, my top quarterback on the board, would be taken by the time I was back on the clock in Round 9. With that in mind, I took Wentz, who should be a safe bet to finish as a top-10 quarterback with a healthier and improved supporting cast.
Rounds 9 and 10
The Picks: CeeDee Lamb (WR – DAL) and Sterling Shepard (WR – NYG)
I’m confident enough in my wide receiver trio to take a risk with Lamb as my WR4. Making the transition from college to the pros is rarely smooth sailing for receivers, but Lamb’s talent and the talent around him might make him an exception.
Lamb could start his career in the slot and should avoid facing top cornerbacks with Amari Cooper alongside him. Even as a rookie, Lamb has enough skill to feast as a slot receiver. Dallas is expected to pass more with new head coach Mike McCarthy, which means there should be tons of targets to go around for Lamb, Cooper, and Michael Gallup.
I thought about taking a tight end in Round 10. Hayden Hurst is the guy I’m targeting as my late-round breakout tight end. However, the Pick Predictor said there was only a 17% chance of Hurst being taken before my 11th round pick.
Ultimately, I decided to trust the Pick Predictor and add Shepard as my WR5. Many people have thrown in the towel on Shepard, but I still believe. If he can stay healthy and is used properly as the slot receiver, I think he has the ability to be the No. 1 option in New York.
Rounds 11 and 12
The Picks: Chase Edmonds (RB – ARI) and Hunter Henry (TE – LAC)
Are we sure that Kenyan Drake is a legitimate RB1? I’m willing to bet he’s not, which is why I’m taking a flier on Edmonds. People forget Edmonds exploded for 126 rushing yards and three scores in Week 7. Drake has been wildly inconsistent throughout his career and I’m just not buying him as the bell-cow back in Arizona. If Drake doesn’t pan out, Edmonds deserves a shot to be the guy.
Unfortunately, Hurst was taken at the end of Round 10. However, I might have gotten some value in Henry in Round 12. I’ve been a Henry backer for years and still think he’s immensely talented. However, he can’t seem to shake the injury bug. I doubt he’ll play the entire season, but if he does there’s some significant touchdown upside.
Rounds 13 and 14
The Picks: Noah Fant (TE – DEN) and Jalen Reagor (WR – PHI)
I usually don’t draft two tight ends. But with the injury-prone Henry as my starter, I was compelled to add a high-upside backup. That’s exactly what Fant is right now. I’d prefer his former teammate at Iowa, T.J. Hockenson, but he was already off the board. Fant is a solid consolation prize who will need Lock to take the next step to realize his fantasy potential.
I’m filling my last bench spot with Reagor, another rookie receiver who could break out in Year 1. The opportunity for a high target volume is there, especially if DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery can’t stay healthy. Reagor’s speed makes him an intriguing fit in Philadelphia’s West Coast offense. If he and Wentz mesh early, I could have a pretty good stack in my lineup.
Rounds 15 and 16
The Picks: Minnesota Vikings D/ST and Harrison Butker (K – KC)
Mike Zimmer always fields a solid fantasy defense. The Vikings might not be elite, but they’ll be good enough.
I usually don’t elaborate much on my kicker selection, but this is an exception. Amazingly, Butker was the third kicker off the board behind Justin Tucker and Greg Zuerlein. Is there such a thing as getting a steal at kicker? There certainly is now.
Final Roster and Draft Grade
The Draft Wizard gave me a B- grade and a score of 82/100. I was projected to have the seventh-best team in the league.
I admit that I was surprised by my grade. I felt that my roster had a strong balance of proven production and upside at both the running back and receiver positions. However, the Draft Wizard ranked my team fifth at wide receiver, eighth at running back, eighth at tight end, and 10th at quarterback.
How do you think I did picking 11th? Let me know on Twitter @RealMattBarbato.
- Fantasy Football Mock Draft: How to Handle the No. 1 Overall Pick
- Fantasy Football Mock Draft: How to Handle the No. 2 Overall Pick
- Fantasy Football Mock Draft: How to Handle the No. 3 Overall Pick
- Fantasy Football Mock Draft: How to Handle the No. 10 Overall Pick
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