Fantasy Football Mock Draft: How to Handle the No. 2 Overall Pick (2020)
If you’re drafting second overall in your upcoming fantasy draft, then I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is you’re going to get one of the best players available, but the bad news is you most likely will miss out on the best player available, Christian McCaffrey.
But all is not lost. You can still assemble a strong roster even without CMC in your lineup. Using our Draft Wizard, I conducted a mock draft with the No. 2 pick in a 12-team standard league that starts one quarterback, two running backs, two receivers, one tight end, a FLEX, a kicker and a defense. Here’s what you can expect when picking second overall come draft day.
The pick: Ezekiel Elliott (RB – DAL)
One of the awesome features of our Draft Wizard is that it can make recommendations for you based on our Expert Consensus Rankings. In this case, 86% of our experts agreed that Saquon Barkley was the proper choice at No. 2 overall.
There are several reasons why I disagreed with them (it’s nothing personal, I swear!). I first took the format into account. Receptions mean much less in standard leagues, and that reduces the value studs like Barkley and Alvin Kamara bring as pass catchers.
I also view Elliott as the safest option over Barkley, Kamara, and Dalvin Cook. While much has been made of Dallas’ passing game, Zeke is still the best playmaker on that unit. Plus, the receiving trio of Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and rookie CeeDee Lamb will force defenses to lighten the box, which should offer Elliott plenty of running lanes. And I haven’t even mentioned that Elliott runs behind one of the league’s most reliable offensive lines, while Barkley’s blocking is still a major question.
Rounds 2 and 3
The picks: Aaron Jones (RB – GB) and D.J. Moore (WR- CAR)
Earlier in the month, I conducted a mock draft picking No. 1 overall, and by the time I was on the clock in Round 2, all of the top-8 wideouts were gone. It’s happened again here and I’m left with a hard decision.
The best receivers left were Amari Cooper, Odell Beckham Jr., A.J. Brown, Allen Robinson, and JuJu Smith-Schuster. None of those guys are Round 2 picks in my opinion. Unfortunately, the running back well has dried up too. Only Jones, Austin Ekeler, Todd Gurley, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire were left. Tight ends Travis Kelce and George Kittle were available too.
I’m much higher on Jones than many people, but taking him at the backend of Round 2 was uncomfortable. He’s a great talent and has top-12 upside, but I also recognize he likely won’t score 19 touchdowns again. However, I still think he’s a darn good back who will serve as an excellent RB2.
In Round 3, Kittle and all of the aforementioned receivers were still on the board. I don’t believe in drafting tight ends early and don’t feel great about any of these receivers. So I decided to take a chance on D.J. Moore, who is being undervalued as the WR15 in our ECR. Moore will benefit from an upgrade at quarterback and should thrive in new offensive coordinator Joe Brady’s offense.
I truly believe the sky is the limit for Moore in an offense that could be a lot better than expected if Teddy Bridgewater picks up from where he left off in New Orleans.
Rounds 4 and 5
The picks: Terry McLaurin (WR – WAS) and David Montgomery (RB – CHI)
When I saw McLaurin was still on the board, I couldn’t click the “Draft” button any faster. McLaurin is my bet to be this season’s breakout wide receiver. He’s a tremendous playmaker at all three levels and should benefit if his former college teammate, Dwayne Haskins, makes any progress in his second season.
McLaurin posted 919 yards and seven touchdowns on just 93 targets. I’m confident he has WR1 upside if he continues to develop and receivers a higher volume of targets.
I didn’t really love any of my options in Round 5. The options at tailback were David Johnson, Mark Ingram, Le’Veon Bell, and Montgomery. The wide receivers were even less appealing as DeVante Parker, T.Y. Hilton, Keenan Allen, Stefon Diggs, and A.J. Green were the top players left.
Ultimately, I sided with Montgomery because I think he has a bit more upside than any of the running backs available. While Tarik Cohen will be involved, Montgomery should get the lion’s share of the carries. Chicago didn’t do much to improve its offensive line in the offseason, but I have hope that the offense will improve if Nick Foles earns the starting job. I’ll take a shot on him as my RB3 and FLEX.
Rounds 6 and 7
The picks: Stefon Diggs (WR – BUF) and Marquise Brown (WR – BAL)
My sixth pick was easy. I was stunned that Diggs fell to me at the end of the round and the value was too good to pass up. While I’m worried he might be a bit too feast or famine with Josh Allen in Buffalo, he’s still one of the only WR1s left on the board. He’ll serve as a high upside WR3 and FLEX option.
I shot for the moon in Round 7 by nabbing Brown, who might be the definition of a high-risk, high-reward pick. I chose Brown over less exciting receivers like Tyler Boyd, Julian Edelman, Marvin Jones, and the oft-injured Will Fuller.
Brown needs to stay healthy and develop a more nuanced, well-rounded route tree. But it’s hard not to get excited about a potential connection between him and Lamar Jackson. As my WR4, why not?
Rounds 8 and 9
The picks: Aaron Rodgers (QB – GB) and Deebo Samuel (WR – SF)
This is where the draft really starts to get ugly. The three best players left on the board were Evan Engram, Hunter Henry, and Marvin Jones. In other words, two injury-prone tight ends and a low-ceiling receiver, yuck!
I’m the only team who hasn’t taken a quarterback yet, but that’s about to change. I went with Rodgers because I still think he’s a tremendous player. I don’t trust Green Bay’s coaching staff, but I don’t think they’re stupid enough to phase Rodgers out completely. Plus, Rodgers still finished as the QB10 in fantasy leagues as the Packers shifted to a run-oriented offense.
Those who took Rodgers early in drafts last year definitely have a right to feel burnt. But as the 12th quarterback off the board in Round 8, I’m willing to bet that some of Aaron Jones’ touchdown regression results in more touchdown passes for the future Hall of Famer.
Round 9 was difficult. The best running backs available were all unappealing. Kerryon Johnson might not be the starter by midseason. Latavius Murray and Alexander Mattison are merely handcuffs, not valuable RB4s. Darrell Henderson and Tarik Cohen don’t present much value in standard formats and it was too early to take Elliott’s handcuff, Tony Pollard.
I had no interest in drafting either Engram or Hunter, so I turned once again to a wide receiver. Taking Deebo Samuel even in Round 9 felt like an enormous risk given the uncertainty of his recovery timetable from a Jones fracture in his left foot. I likely won’t have him to start the season, and may not get him at full strength until midseason. But I’ll take a shot on his talent and opportunity paying off once he’s healthy.
Rounds 10 and 11
In Round 10, I’ve finally convinced myself it’s time to nab a starting tight end. Fortunately, my favorite late target was still on the board. Hayden Hurst is a first-round talent who will benefit in Atlanta just like Austin Hooper did. Matt Ryan frequently checks down to his tight end if his primary targets are covered downfield. That helped Hooper become a top-7 tight end each of the last two seasons.
I typically don’t go out of my way to draft handcuffs, but Round 11 was the right time to take Tony Pollard. He only presents value in the event of an Elliott injury, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.
Rounds 12 and 13
I promise I didn’t wake up this morning with the intent to take Carlos Hyde in a mock draft. I don’t think anyone does anymore. Yet, did you know he’s coming off his first 1,000-yard season?
Now Hyde arrives in Seattle where he’ll share the backfield with Chris Carson, who has durability and ball security concerns, and Rashaad Penny, who will likely start the season on the PUP list after tearing his ACL last year. Hyde isn’t anything special, but he’s good enough to be productive if given the opportunity to start.
Goff is coming off of a disappointing 2019 season, but I think he’s being undervalued in drafts. He’s still a good quarterback who’s only 25 years old and still has Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and Sean McVay in his corner. While they weren’t as potent last season, the Rams still ran almost 66 plays per game. With better protection, Goff has upside to finish as a top-1o quarterback. He makes for a good pair with Rodgers.
Rounds 14, 15, and 16
The picks: Henry Ruggs III (WR – LV), New England Patriots D/ST, and Younghoe Koo (K – ATL)
Why not fill out the bench with another high upside receiver? Ruggs’ speed is worth the flier alone. Many are concerned about Derek Carr‘s hesitancy to throw downfield, but Ruggs isn’t solely a vertical field stretcher. He can turn a 3-yard slant into a 70-yard touchdown on any given play.
While having an explosive defense is nice, I tend to look for reliability. Bill Belichick’s defense should be stout once again. As for kicker, I target dependable players on explosive offenses. Koo checks both boxes after converting 23 of his 26 field goal attempts in just eight games with Atlanta.
Final Roster and Draft Grade
The Draft Wizard gave me a respectable “B+” grade. According to its projections, I had the fourth-best team. It ranked me second at running back, ninth at wide receiver, 10th at tight end, and 12th at quarterback.
The Draft Wizard’s evaluation of my tight end and quarterbacks are unsurprising and unconcerning. However, I’m confident my group of receivers will outperform the Draft Wizard’s expectations. I’ve got stability in three workhorse tailbacks and should have a strong starting lineup if my bets on Moore and McLaurin pan out.
How do you think I did drafting out of the No. 2 slot? Let me know on Twitter @RealMattBarbato!
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