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Fantasy Football Mock Draft Strategies: Late-Round QB (2020)

by Isaiah Sirois | @is_sirois | Featured Writer
Jul 16, 2020

Mock drafts are a crucial part of your offseason preparations. They help you follow trends in players’ average draft positions (ADP) and where they sit in our expert consensus rankings (ECR).

They also allow you to experiment with different draft strategies. You can punt running backs (Zero RB), wide receivers (Zero WR), quarterbacks, or tight ends by waiting until the middle rounds. And while you won’t be able to rely on only streaming options at running back or wide receiver, you can employ a draft strategy where you do that at quarterback or tight end.

Punting a position helps you secure an advantage at other positions. Quarterbacks are a safe bet to punt, as there’s not much variance in points per game after the first handful of signal-callers. For example, the gap between the QB6 and QB19 was just 50 points last year. For some perspective, that’s the same gap between the RB6 and RB11.

This year, FantasyPros is debuting a tool to help you stick to that strategy in your mocks. Just start up a draft, click the gear next to “Summary,” and choose your plan from the drop-down list. In this article, I’ll try out our late-round quarterbacks option for a 12-team PPR league with rosters of 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 WR/RB/TE, and 7 BN. The client assigned me the 12th spot.

Complete early mock drafts using our free draft simulator >>

The Picks

1.12 Joe Mixon (RB – CIN)
I was happy to land Mixon here. Despite a slow start to 2019, he blew up in the final weeks of the season — between Week 8 and Week 16, he was the RB9. With upgrades at quarterback (Joe Burrow) and tackle (Jonah Williams), Mixon should be able to produce RB1 numbers more consistently.

2.1 Derrick Henry (RB – TEN)
After some pause, I decided to land back-to-back running backs. I could’ve had Julio Jones, but I prefer Henry’s upside. Like Mixon, Henry blew up in the back half of 2019, as he finished as the RB4 through that span. The departure of Jack Conklin won’t help him, but he’s a high upside pick here.

Players also considered: Julio Jones, Austin Ekeler.

3.12 Robert Woods (WR – LAR)
I needed a wide receiver, and Woods is a great high-floor option. He’s earned 100-plus targets in the past two years with the Rams, and the Brandin Cooks trade has freed up 72 targets in that offense. He only managed a pair of touchdowns last year, which seems bound for regression, so look for him to beat his WR17 finish.

4.1 Calvin Ridley (WR – ATL)
I love Ridley in 2020. I’ve compared his 2020 outlook to Chris Godwin’s 2019 season, and I honestly think Ridley could post WR1 numbers. The Falcons threw the ball more than any other team last year, and they have 158 vacated targets. Yes, Hayden Hurst will get some of Austin Hooper’s looks, but Ridley just needs seven more targets to break 100. I considered taking Chris Carson here as my flex, but his injury and the addition of Carlos Hyde scares me.

Players also considered: Chris Carson.

5.12 Mark Andrews (TE – BAL)
I was surprised to get a top-four tight end this late. I labeled Andrews a regression candidate back in January, and I still believe he won’t score as often in 2020 (he scored once every 6.4 touches — the average for all receivers is around 15). But the Hayden Hurst trade gives me confidence that he can increase his volume, which should offset some of the inevitable touchdown regression.

6.1 Tyler Boyd (WR – CIN)
I’m happy to land a high-floor guy like Boyd as my WR3. Boyd finished as the WR18 in 2019 and the WR17 in 2018, so I’m cautiously optimistic that he can post another WR2 finish. The addition of Tee Higgins and the return of A.J. Green could limit his targets, but since neither of them plays in the slot, they won’t reduce his snap count. Also, rookie quarterbacks love short-yardage options like tight ends and slot receivers, so Boyd should benefit from Joe Burrow’s inexperience.

Players also considered: Michael Gallup.

7.12 David Montgomery (RB – CHI)
I wanted a high-volume flex play, and that’s what I get with Montgomery. The sophomore failed to impress in 2019, but he still finished as the RB24 with 170 points. That’s right about where WR36 Darius Slayton finished, so there’s no clear positional advantage at flex with how these rosters are constructed. Montgomery finished 14th in total rushing attempts, and I think that workload is enough to offset his limited role in the passing game.

8.1 Brandin Cooks (WR – LAR)
Next, I grabbed Cooks as my WR4. The Texans invested a second-round pick in him after they traded DeAndre Hopkins, so they’ve got faith in the 26-year-old speedster. Before 2019, Cooks had posted four consecutive 100-target seasons with three different teams, and he finished as at least a WR2 through that span. Cooks feels like a bargain this late in drafts.

Players also considered: Jamison Crowder.

9.12 Tarik Cohen (RB – CHI)
Cohen pairs well with David Montgomery. The pass-catching specialist has logged finishes of RB30, RB11, and RB18 in his short career, so he’s got a better floor than most guys in this range. While he’s never logged more than 100 carries in a season, he earned 91 targets in 2018 and 104 in 2019. That makes him a reliable PPR option. And if anything were to happen to Montgomery, his workload would surely increase, making him a strong substitute for him at flex.

10.1 Jordan Howard (RB – MIA)
Howard is one of my favorite late-round running back targets. He played like an RB2 before getting hurt last year, and he’s broken the 1,000-yard mark in every full season that he’s played. Howard now joins a team with a revamped offensive line headed by Chan Gailey, whose time with the New York Jets produced an RB1 season for Chris Ivory (RB12, 14 games) and an RB2 season for Matt Forte (RB22, 13 games). Yes, he’ll have to compete with Matt Breida, but Howard fits Gailey’s offense better.

Players also considered: Ronald Jones.

11.12 Matthew Stafford (QB – DET)
Finally, it’s time for a quarterback. FantasyPros’ late-round quarterback option suggests against taking one until after Round 8, so I held out for a bit longer than I had to. Stafford was the QB6 on a PPG basis from Week 1 to Week 9, and he gets his entire receiving corps back for 2020. The Lions should continue to lag behind on defense, too, which means he’ll frequently play in pass-heavy game scripts.

12.1 Hayden Hurst (TE – ATL)
Remember what I said about the Falcons’ vacated targets? There’s 158 of them, and 97 of them belonged to Austin Hooper. Oh, and Hooper missed three games last year, so that’s a 13-game total! If adjusted for a 16-game workload, it jumps to 119, which would’ve been third among all tight ends. I’m ecstatic to land someone with the potential for that much volume this late in my draft.

Players also considered: None.

13.12 Ben Roethlisberger (QB – PIT)
A quarterback-by-committee with both Stafford and Roethlisberger should help me compete at the position. In his last healthy season, Big Ben led the NFL in passing attempts and finished as the QB3. That mark may be out of reach for the 38-year-old, especially since he won’t have Antonio Brown, but he’s another reliable volume-based option for my roster. I considered taking Jared Goff instead, but I preferred Roethlisberger’s ceiling.

14.1 Hunter Renfrow (WR – LV)
Renfrow put together a few high-volume weeks late in 2019, and he earned more targets than Tyrell Williams and Zay Jones. The Raiders’ additions of Henry Ruggs, Bryan Edwards, and Lynn Bowden may sap some of his workload, but none of them should challenge him for slot-receiver work. Renfrow should be a serviceable fill-in for me at wide receiver.

Players also considered: Jared Goff.

15.12 Darrynton Evans (RB – TEN)
I’ll handcuff my RB2 in Round 15. Evans is a different type of runner than Henry — he’s smaller and faster — and I anticipate that the Titans will find a way to work him in on passing downs. But even if he’s just a handcuff, I’m confident that he succeed behind the Titans’ relatively reliable offensive line.

Players also considered: None.

The Results

I finished second and earned a 93/100. Eh, I could’ve done better. I doubt I could’ve beaten the team with McCaffrey, but I could’ve come closer.

The client ranks me second at running back, fourth at tight end, eighth at flex, ninth at wide receiver, and last at quarterback. While Stafford is the worst QB1, punting quarterback helped me secure enough depth to earn the top-ranked bench.

Punting quarterback until the late rounds won’t improve your other starters that much. Why? Well, you would’ve only taken one quarterback that early anyway.

Instead, the strategy’s upshot is that it allows you to get depth at running back and receiver. Since health will be an even bigger concern this year than last, that’s not a bad advantage. I definitely recommend this strategy for draft day.

Full Draft Board

Complete early mock drafts using our free draft simulator >>

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Isaiah Sirois is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Isaiah, check out his archive and follow him @is_sirois.

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