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Fantasy Football Mock Draft: PPR, 10-team (2022)

by Tim Brosnan
May 20, 2022
Christian McCaffrey

The goal of this exercise was to achieve a grade of ‘A’ or above on the FantasyPros mock draft simulator. This is a 10-team PPR league with a standard roster construction (1QB, 2RB, 2WR, 1TE, 1FLEX, 1D/ST, 1K), selecting from the fourth overall spot.

The aim is to lay out a strategy for achieving a high grade when drafting with similar settings. Ideally, you will end up with a balanced roster (2QBs, 5RBs, 5WRs, 2TEs, 1D/ST, 1K) following this.

However, every draft is different and contextual. For example, I usually load up on RBs in the early rounds, but sometimes all the RBs you love are gone, and Ja’Marr Chase is staring you in the face. Results may vary.

1.04 Christian McCaffrey (RB – CAR) 

As much as I’ve told myself: “never again,” I had to. Anyone who likes fantasy points should think twice about passing on Christian McCaffrey as the fourth RB off the board. With Jonathan Taylor, Austin Ekeler, and Derrick Henry gone, this was an easy choice for me. I could see opting for Cooper Kupp if you wanted to go WR or maybe Najee Harris, Dalvin Cook, or Joe Mixon if you really can’t trust McCaffrey.

As someone who drafts an RB in the first round nine out of 10 times, it was difficult to pass on a player whose weekly floor is 20 PPR points without a TD. Fingers crossed he stays healthy.

2.07 James Conner (RB – ARI) 

Ideally, I imagined myself landing a WR1 here. However, Chase and Davante Adams went in consecutive picks just before mine. Therefore, why not secure another potential RB1 before it’s too late?

Unlike usable WRs, usable RBs don’t grow on trees. That, and the fact the RB position is the most injury-prone, is why I tend to load up on them early in most drafts. James Conner scored 18 TDs in 2021, and Chase Edmonds is now in Miami. He could prove to be this year’s steal in the second round. I should consider myself lucky he hadn’t gone by now.

3.04 Travis Kelce (TE – KC) 

This is a no-brainer. I know we still don’t have a WR at this point, but the fact that Travis Kelce is available in the third round is nothing short of a miracle. By his standards, last season may have been disappointing.

Nevertheless, having Kelce as your TE means there is approximately one week of the year (his bye week) where you ask yourself, “who do I play at TE?”. To lock TE down with a player who has finished no less than second in points at the position since 2016 (five consecutive first-place finishes) is invaluable.

Speaking from experience, Kelce provides your fantasy team with a luxury (and guaranteed production) that few other players can. It could also be an especially productive season after the Tyreek Hill trade. In all likelihood, Kelce is Mahomes’s No. 1 target this season.

4.07 Diontae Johnson (WR – PIT) 

I’ll confess that I selected Diontae Johnson (the highest-ranked WR remaining) to boost my draft grade. I didn’t do it because I thought he was the best choice here. If anything, I think he’s due for some serious regression. Not that “Big Ben” was especially productive last season, but he always had a habit of making sure his top target was fed.

The Steelers’ QB situation is less than ideal (Mitch Trubisky, rookie Kenny Pickett, Mason Rudolph). None of the above names inspire much confidence in consistent season-long production for Johnson. I selected Johnson as my WR1 because that is how the DraftWizard app views him (ADP WR12). I don’t consider him a low-end WR1 or even a high-end WR2 in 2022. Sometimes you have to trick the system. But hey, that’s show biz, baby.

5.04 Amari Cooper (WR – CLE) 

Now this one is interesting. Amari Cooper has traditionally been a fantasy rollercoaster throughout his career. He can deliver massive production one week and completely disappear the next. However, there is no denying the upside (24 career games with 20+ PPR points, nine with 30+).

He now joins Deshaun Watson in Cleveland, where he will immediately be the unquestioned WR1. Watson’s WR1 has never averaged less than 17.5 PPR points per game. Barring that he remains healthy, Cooper could prove to be a massive bargain in the fifth round.

6.07 Josh Jacobs (RB – LV) 

Remember how I mentioned loading up on RBs? Well, here we go again. Sure the Raiders added a new weapon in the passing game, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to abandon the run game. So I’m not sure why Josh Jacobs (RB12 in 2021, 15.1 PPG) is still available in the sixth round in a contract year, no less. I’ll happily lock in a productive RB2 with RB1 upside as my flex/RB3.

7.04 Brandin Cooks (WR – HOU) 

It’s not a sexy pick, but Brandin Cooks is currently serving as Davis Mills‘s WR1. In 2021 Cooks averaged 9.5 targets per game playing with Mills and finished with a career-high 90 receptions. I’m also not afraid to say that Mills is underrated. As his top target, Cooks ended up as WR20 in 2021 with an average of 14.5 PPG.

Because he is on the Texans, nobody will commend you on this pick. But believe it or not, it’s a relatively safe one. Cooks has delivered a 1,000-yard campaign in six of his eight NFL seasons despite playing for a carousel of QBs and teams. Cooks won’t disappoint as a WR3 and could even deliver WR1 numbers (17.9 points or more in 8/16 games in 2021) when the matchup is right.

8.07 Joe Burrow (QB – CIN) 

I have now secured three RBs, three WRs, and an elite TE. This is the first time I’ll consider my options at QB in the draft. If the selections were less than ideal, I’d pass on QB and go next-best-available.

However, Joe Burrow was available. The trajectory of Burrow’s career/production is apparent. He doesn’t offer much in the rushing department, but he has a loaded receiving corps and the tools to capitalize. He finished as QB8 in 2021 (his second year as a pro), and if you ask me, he didn’t even realize his full potential. The sky is the limit for “Joey B.”

9.04 Kareem Hunt (RB – CLE) 

If there’s one thing you learn from my draft strategy, I hope it’s that you can never have enough usable RBs. Kareem Hunt has proven his fantasy worth several times over despite his timeshare situation with Nick Chubb. He has finished with double-digit PPR points in 14 of his last 24 games.

Hunt is one Chubb injury away from being a borderline RB1. Considering that Chubb has missed seven games in the last two years, that scenario is far from out of the question. After struggling with injuries last season, it’s understandable Hunt is still here. However, I can’t pass on that kind of upside from my RB4.

10.07 Christian Kirk (WR – JAX) 

My WR core looked thin, so I did something I’m not proud of. Once again, I selected the highest-ranked receiver available, even though I’m not particularly optimistic about them this season. Christian Kirk will be on a Jaguars team that should be in a must-pass situation more often than not.

They paid him like they plan to use him as their WR1, so why not? His only competition for targets is Marvin Jones Jr. and Zay Jones. Kirk is a player who delivered double-digit PPR points in 11/17 games last season and could quickly establish himself as the alpha here. I’ll take my chances with him as my WR4.

11.04 Michael Gallup (WR – DAL) 

It’s time to bolster my WR depth before there’s nothing but dart-throws left. As someone who is WR-needy at this point, Michael Gallup is an easy choice. The existence of CeeDee Lamb and injury woes have complicated Gallup’s production over the past two seasons.

He’s not going to jump off the page on draft day. However, as we mentioned above, Cooper is now in Cleveland. He leaves behind 104 targets. Gallup will defer most of those to Lamb but will no doubt benefit. The last time Gallup was Dak Prescott‘s unquestioned WR2, he finished with 1,100+ yards and six TDs. Not bad for a WR5.

12.07 J.D. Mckissic (RB – WAS)

I’m just filling out any imbalances in the roster at this point. I have 5WRs, so I’ll round out the RB position with a decent PPR threat in J.D. McKissic. He doesn’t always get the love he deserves, but McKissic has been fairly productive these past two seasons (five or more targets in 16 of his last 27 games, 16.5+ PPR points in 10/27). Sure there are volume concerns with Commanders bringing in new RBs, but in the 12th round, I’m not risking much. McKissic helps me bolster my depth at the most fickle position in fantasy football and is a decent bargaining chip if nothing else.

13.04 Mike Gesicki (TE – MIA) 

TE2 probably isn’t necessary since Kelce will be locked in until further notice. Yet, this game is unpredictable. You can never be too sure. Gesicki has displayed WR-like upside in the past, and I think he’s a talented player. He has finished with 50+ catches in three consecutive seasons and 700+ yards in his last two. I doubt you’d find a better player on waivers to take your chances with during Kelce’s bye. Plus, balanced depth will earn you brownie points with the simulator.

14.07 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (D/ST)

This is where I went D/ST to get a round ahead of the simulator. In all likelihood, someone will snag the best available defense long before this, so I wouldn’t blame you for pulling the trigger earlier than round 14. However, waiting this long allows you to load up on depth at more important skill positions. The Buccaneers D/ST is a great choice here. Other acceptable substitutes would be the Colts, Patriots, Bills, etc.

15.04 Justin Tucker (K – BAL)

If your league still plays with kickers, I’d take one no earlier than this round. Since I’m one round ahead of the simulator, I get my pick of the litter. Of course, Justin Tucker is always a good bet for at least 30 accurate FGs, and the kick power to provide you with a few 50+ yarders along the way.

16.07 Tom Brady (QB – TB) 

Last but certainly not least, QB2. This is usually deemed unnecessary by most. You only have one spot for a QB on a standard lineup, and you drafted your QB1 early to be that. This is why I wait until the final round to choose a second QB. It is merely a precautionary depth pick.

To land someone like Tom Brady here is a blessing because either your QB1 doesn’t perform as expected and you have the G.O.A.T. in your back pocket, or both players produce and you have a valuable trade piece. It’s unlikely Brady falls this far in an actual draft, but you get the point.

Some other players going in the QB11-18 range (via FantasyPros ECR): Matthew Stafford (QB11), Deshaun Watson (QB12), Aaron Rodgers (QB13), Derek Carr (QB15), etc.

Draft Grade: A (96/100)


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