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Fantasy Football Mock Draft Strategies: Streaming QB (2020)

by Isaiah Sirois | @is_sirois | Featured Writer
Jul 13, 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. And if you punt the position until the last round, choosing to rely on streaming options, you can be fine too — last year’s QB6 (Josh Allen) and QB14 (Jimmy Garoppolo) were often available on waivers.

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 Nth spot.

Complete early mock drafts using our free draft simulator >>

The Picks

1.9 Davante Adams (WR – GB)
I usually go for a running back in Round 1, but I couldn’t pass on Davante Adams. Unlike the experts who are bearish on Aaron Rodgers and Matt LaFleur, I’m confident that Adams the Packers will pass enough to give Adams elite fantasy value. Rodgers had his fourth-highest rate of attempts per game last season with LaFleur, and even if he reduces Rodgers’ workload somewhat, he’s produced QB1 numbers with that amount of volume before. He’s more of a sure-thing than any of the running backs available here.

Players also considered: Joe Mixon.

2.4 Travis Kelce (TE – KC)
Again I wanted a running back, and again I ended up with something else because I disliked my options. I would’ve taken Austin Ekeler with confidence, but he went two picks before me. So instead, I’ll secure a positional advantage at tight end. Kelce won’t finish in the top-15 fantasy performers, and he might not crack the top-30, but getting around 250 total points from a tight end still gives you a leg up. His consistency is just ridiculous, and there’s no sign of him slowing down.

Players also considered: Kenyan Drake, Josh Jacobs.

3.9 Todd Gurley (RB – ATL)
This isn’t a Zero RB mock. I landed the last guy I’m comfortable with as my RB1 here, Todd Gurley. As long as he can stay healthy, he’ll be heavily involved in one of the NFL’s highest-scoring, pass-happiest offenses. Top-12 scoring offenses produce 62 percent of top-12 running backs, so I consider him a safe play.

Players also considered: None.

4.4 Cooper Kupp (WR – LAR)
I don’t like Kupp in 2020, but I don’t hate him in Round 4. Kupp’s WR4 finish in 2019 isn’t sustainable, as it depended on a level of usage that he stopped seeing halfway through the season. That said, Brandin Cooks’ departure frees up more targets for Kupp in 2020, and he’s got a strong connection with Jared Goff. The Rams may need to pass more without Todd Gurley, too, so I can stomach taking Kupp as my WR2.

Players also considered: Keenan Allen, Tyler Lockett.

5.9 David Johnson (RB – HOU)
My running backs would’ve been great in 2018! As you can tell, I’m betting on some rebounds from them. I expect Johnson to get a ton of work because the Texans will have an incentive to get the most out of his loaded contract. Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson totaled 14 scores and almost 2,000 yards last year, and even if David has to split time with Duke, I think he’ll finish as an RB2.

Players also considered: Jonathan Taylor, Devin Singletary.

6.4 Devin Singletary (RB – BUF)
I was glad that Singletary came back to me. I just don’t understand why the fantasy community has faded him so hard — he earned 131 carries between Week 9 and Week 16. That workload allowed him to post RB17 numbers. Yes, he’ll have to play with Zack Moss next year, but general manager Brandon Beane indicated that Moss would end up in Frank Gore’s old role. Since Gore’s 65 carries between Week 9 and Week 16 didn’t preclude Singletary from having fantasy relevance, I’m comfortable with him as my flex.

Players also considered: None.

7.9 Diontae Johnson (WR – PIT)
I wanted a high-upside receiver at WR3, and that’s what I got with Diontae Johnson. The Steelers are just two years removed from being the pass-happiest team in the NFL, and the return of Ben Roethlisberger should increase the number of targets to go around. Johnson impressed despite poor quarterback play from Devlin Hodges and Mason Rudolph, and I’m excited to see what he can do with a real signal-caller under center.

Players also considered: None.

8.4 James White (RB – NE)
Since both Gurley and Johnson have health concerns, it’s probably best for me to get deeper at running back. White finished as the RB18 in 2019 and as the RB7 in 2018, and whoever is under center for the Patriots will need a check-down option out of the backfield with their shoddy receiving corps. I also liked Ronald Jones here, but the addition of Ke’Shawn Vaughn makes me more comfortable drafting someone who has a proven floor in a committee.

Players also considered: Ronald Jones.

9.9 Jordan Howard (RB – MIA)
I think this is the third time I’ve taken Howard in a mock. Why? Howard is joining 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. I also considered Damien Williams, but I’m more confident in Howard’s ability to lead his team in snaps.

Players also considered: Damien Williams.

10.4 Jerry Jeudy (WR – DEN)
I finally took a rookie in Round 10. Coronavirus means that I’m not high on first-year players for 2020, but Jeudy offers enough value in the tenth. He’s probably the best receiver on the Broncos’ offense, and I expect him to start earning more weekly targets than Courtland Sutton by the mid-point of next season. There’s not much floor here, but he’s only my WR4, and I don’t anticipate needing to start him at flex.

Players also considered: None.

11.9 Marlon Mack (RB – IND)
Again, the health of my two best running backs is a question mark. At worst, Mack is one of the highest-value handcuffs in the NFL. He runs behind PFF’s top-ranked offensive line entering 2020, and so any injury to Jonathan Taylor vaults him into RB1 consideration. And since Jonathan Taylor is only a rookie, there’s a legitimate chance that Mack gets starting-level snaps for the first few weeks of the season.

Players also considered: Alexander Mattison, Boston Scott.

12.4 Sammy Watkins (WR – KC)
I didn’t get Patrick Mahomes or Tyreek Hill, but I wanted some more shares of Kansas City’s offense to pair with Travis Kelce. I’m a big believer in both Mahomes and Andy Reid, as they proved that they could win at will in last year’s playoffs. Those playoff games also taught us that Watkins isn’t going to just disappear — he caught 14 of 18 targets for 288 yards and a score in those three games.

Players also considered: Mecole Hardman.

13.9 Mecole Hardman (WR – KC)
But in case Watkins DOES disappear, I’ll take his eventual successor, Mecole Hardman. Hardman produced 538 yards and six scores on just 26 receptions, so he may not require lots of volume to be a viable fantasy option. While his playoff performance was disappointing, he’ll see more work if either Kelce or Watkins go down, so he’s a valuable insurance asset in Round 13.

Players also considered: None.

14.4 Dallas Goedert (TE – PHI)
I’m running out of players to draft who aren’t quarterbacks. I chose to get my last bench player before my first quarterback streamer, and I’m okay with that because of Goedert’s upside. Zach Ertz is on his way out in Philadelphia, and he’ll play his age-30 season this year. Goedert, a former second-round pick, saw both his usage and fantasy finish increase from 2018 (44 targets, TE20) to 2019 (87 targets, TE10), and I expect that trend to continue. Also, if anything happens to Ertz, he’s got TE1 value and becomes an elite trade chip.

Players also considered: None.

15.9 Kirk Cousins (QB – MIN)
I like Cousins for Week 1. The Vikings take on the Packers in this spot, and Cousins should pass plenty. Cousins averaged 31.5 attempts against the Packers last year, and while he wasn’t that efficient against them, I have faith that he can return at least low-end QB1 numbers. If I had made this pick with a more matchup-centric approach, however, I would’ve gone with Jimmy Garoppolo against Arizona.

Players also considered: Jimmy Garoppolo.

The Results

Wow, 96/100! The client likes this team a lot more than I do, but I’ll take it.

I rank first at tight end, fourth at wide receiver, fifth at flex, ninth at running back, and last at quarterback. Cousins is the league’s worst QB1, but my league-leading bench makes up for that.

This draft proves that streaming quarterbacks won’t improve your other starters by that much. Why? Well, you would’ve only taken one quarterback early.

Instead, the strategy’s upshot is that it allows you to get depth at running back, wide receiver, and tight end. Since health will be an even bigger concern this year than last, that’s not a bad reason, and I can safely 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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