Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12-team PPR Superflex league

first_imgDOMINATE YOUR DRAFT:  Ultimate 2019 Fantasy Cheat SheetRecently, I took part in a 12-team mock draft as part of Howard Bender’s Mock Draft Army for Fantasy Alarm. I was given the No. 3 pick in a league that incorporated both PPR scoring and a superflex position (QB/RB/WR/TE). It also didn’t include defenses or kickers, meaning all 16 rounds would be spent taking offensive players. I knew the third pick would allow me to take one of the top three non-holdout running backs, which is never a bad way to start a draft. Initially, I hoped I’d be able to snag one or even two QBs to put in my starting lineup at the first turn back my way, but that changed quickly. Instead, I ended up drafting fantasy’s top TE. It meant I waited a while on quarterback, just as I’ve done in my two previous mocks. MORE: 12-team standard league mock | 12-team PPR league mockLISTEN TO THE SN FANTASY QB PREVIEW PODCAST BELOWLet’s see how my mock draft turned out.2019 STANDARD RANKINGS:Quarterback | Running back | Wide Receiver | Tight End | D/ST | Kicker | Top 200Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12-Team PPR, Superflex league* This draft was for a PPR league that starts 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TE, 1 FLEX, 1 Superflex and has 7 bench spotsAlvin Kamara (Round 1, Pick 3). With Ezekiel Elliott’s holdout carrying on with no end in sight, the running back position feels like it has three players above the rest: Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey and Kamara. All three catch plenty of passes, too, making them just as great PPR options. Because you can never go wrong getting a good RB early, I resolved to pick one of these three. Kamara is the one who fell to me. His role may not change much with Latavius Murray essentially replacing Mark Ingram, but Kamara should have no trouble repeating his top-five RB season from 2018.Travis Kelce (Round 2, Pick 22). This is where my initial strategy went off the rails. Five QBs had already been taken by the time it got back to my second pick. Instead of forcing it, I decided to try something I hadn’t in my first two mock drafts. In both of those, I waited a long time at TE and ended up with Delanie Walker and Trey Burton, respectively. Here, right about at the spot where Kelce should be selected, I took fantasy’s top tight end. I figured this would prevent me from having to worry about the position for basically the entirety of the draft. This pick also set me up to wait on QB, as the best options would all be picked over by my fourth-round pick.Joe Mixon (Round 3, Pick 27). Mixon gets a bad rap in PPR leagues. Really, he’s not as bad a player for that format as you might think. He caught 43 passes a year ago and finished as the 10th-best PPR running back. That seems repeatable in 2019. Picking Mixon here was tough because of this league’s three starting WR spots that I’ve currently filled none of through three rounds. The only one of our top-eight WRs remaining at this selection was Antonio Brown, whose Week 1 status is totally up in the air. Mike Evans had just gone off the board, so it was Mixon or Adam Thielen. I felt good enough about the depth at receiver to go with Mixon.2019 PPR RANKINGS:Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | Top 200Kenny Golladay (Round 4, Pick 46). I didn’t feel good enough about Russell Wilson at this point to go QB, so this was the time I’d get my first two receivers. Both Golladay and Calvin Ridley were available (Stefon Diggs had just gotten taken), and I had to make a tough call here. We rank Ridley higher than basically everyone else, so it felt like he’d have a better shot of falling to me five picks later. Ideally, I’d end up with both of them. Golladay might have the most potential of any non-top-10 WR to finish the year there. He’s exactly the type of big-bodied athlete Matthew Stafford thrives with. I didn’t want to miss out, so I snagged Golladay here and crossed my fingers.Calvin Ridley (Round 5, Pick 51). Phew. This might be the biggest benefit to finding occasional players who you’re much higher on than others. Ridley saves my WR corps after I went with Kelce in the second round. Obviously, we’ll have to be right on Ridley (or at least close), but to get a borderline WR1-caliber player in the fifth round makes me feel much better about waiting on receiver until Golladay. To end up with the top TE, two top-12 RBs and two top-20 WRs at the end of five rounds feels like a win.Jarvis Landry (Round 6, Pick 70). This was my second PPR mock draft and my second time getting Landry at a value of nearly 30 picks below where we rank him. He’s a classic PPR weapon who makes up for a lack of huge plays with a high volume of catches. Some might have concern that Odell Beckham’s arrival spells the end of those big-catch days for Landry, but there should be plenty of throws to go around with Freddie Kitchens and Todd Monken running a pass-happy attack in Cleveland. Landry feels like the perfect high-floor player to complement the higher-risk, higher-reward pick of Ridley.DRAFT STRATEGY AND RANKINGS TIERS: Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/STA.J. Green (Round 7, Pick 75). If I had chosen to end my wait on QBs here, it would’ve been for Jared Goff. I expected a few options who aren’t that much different from Goff to be available rounds later, though, so I used this pick to take a shot with Green. I get him as my fourth wideout, sliding into my FLEX spot as soon as he’s healthy (which we know he won’t be in Week 1). Green doesn’t need to play 16 games to return value at his ability at this selection, though. Between 10 and 12 solid Green games makes my team that much better in those weeks, and my team won’t be crushed if he gets hurt again because I didn’t invest too highly in him.Nyheim Hines (Round 8, Pick 94). As I discovered in my previous PPR mock draft, pass-catching running backs seem to be the most undervalued asset in these formats. There’s a reason we rank Hines about 30 slots higher than this draft selection. His 63 catches in 2018 provide him a good floor, and he might be due to improve after a total of four TDs last season. He’ll provide me a solid option to fill my FLEX spot until Green returns from injury, and he will be a safe backup to my workhorse RBs if one were to get hurt.Kirk Cousins (Round 9, Pick 99). The wait is over. I’d considered Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger with my last pick, but they both were selected just before I took Hines. I figured because we’re higher on Cousins than his ADP, I could give him the turn to get back to me, and he did. Cousins is coming off a career-high completion percentage, which makes sense since he was throwing to two of football’s best receivers. He’s our 12th-ranked QB, and after six went in the first two rounds, getting a starter this late works for me. He really shouldn’t be that much different than Matt Ryan, who went in the second round. Dion Lewis (Round 10, Pick 118). Lewis fits in our PPR rankings right near Hines and is another one of the players who should outperform his selection in this format. Even in a Titans offense that doesn’t love to pass, he caught 59 passes last year, ran another 155 times and scored only two TDs. I’d bet on at least a small jump in scores, and even a repeat of last year would make him worth picking in this spot. Again, I considered QB here, but the guy I get with my next pick was sure to fall based on his ADP, so I waited through the turn again.FANTASY SLEEPERS: 8 QBs | 14 RBs | 11 WRs | 11 TEs | 6 D/STs | One from each teamDerek Carr (Round 11, Pick 123). Assuming this Antonio Brown saga ends with him on the field for Oakland, Carr should return solid value. We rank him in our top-15 QBs despite his ADP closer to 25th at the position. Carr had a sneaky good year in 2018 with limited weapons, and the Raiders added Brown, Tyrell Williams and Josh Jacobs in the offseason. The loss of Jared Cook should be more than offset by those gains. Carr finished 18th among QBs last year, and there’s really no reason to believe he’ll go anywhere but up in 2019.Jaylen Samuels (Round 12, Pick 142). The two players at the top of my queue before this pick were Justin Jackson and Anthony Miller, both of whom went just picks before my turn. Obviously, I have a type because I pivoted to another pass-catching back. Samuels has gotten a lot of buzz in Pittsburgh this month because of his ability to do multiple things. A college TE, Samuels should line up all over the field for the Steelers and not really be affected by James Conner’s workload because he’s a different enough player. Once I’m filling up my bench at this part of the draft, it makes sense to try and nab a young player like Samuels with untapped potential.DeSean Jackson (Round 13, Pick 147). Jackson might be the poster boy for players who aren’t exciting in PPR leagues. He just felt like a good upside play at this point in the draft. This pick was bookended by Rashard Higgins and John Brown, both much less proven than Jackson and not assured better roles. Jackson’s shown a good connection with Carson Wentz back in Philly this summer, and he’ll still surely reel in a few of his signature long TDs. I won’t be relying on him to start, but rather fill-in occasionally, so one or two big weeks from a bye-week option would be plenty for this pick to pay off.Devin Funchess (Round 14, Pick 166). Assuming Andrew Luck’s calf doesn’t keep him out of too much action, Funchess feels like a player being too-far undervalued in fantasy leagues. He’s Indy’s obvious No. 2 WR and provides a much different option than T.Y. Hilton. Maybe he has too much overlap with Eric Ebron, but at this point in the draft there’s no reason not to take a shot on a talented player with a good QB and a certain role. T.J. Hockenson (Round 15, Pick 171). With Kelce on my roster, I considered making it through this whole draft without picking a second TE. But my bench felt filled out enough at this point to take a shot on the No. 8 pick from April’s draft. Hockenson isn’t assured a huge role, but the Lions invested enough in him and should play enough two-TE sets for him to matter. I may never have to play him (save Kelce’s bye week), but that’s what makes him worthwhile here. It’s a pure upside play.Jamaal Williams (Round 16, Pick 190). I wanted to finish my roster off with one more running back, and my first choice available was Jerick McKinnon, who went a few picks before this. Williams was a good player to have to settle for. He’s in a high-powered offense and was solid last year when Aaron Jones was hurt. It’d take another injury for Williams to have substantial value this year, but that’s basically true of anyone I could’ve gotten at this point. MORE: Dollar values | IDP rankings | Best ball tips | Team namesBy the end of the draft, this is what my team looked like:StartersQB Kirk Cousins, VikingsRB Alvin Kamara, SaintsRB Joe Mixon, BengalsWR Kenny Golladay, LionsWR Calvin Ridley, Falcons WR Jarvis Landry, BrownsTE Travis Kelce, ChiefsFLEX A.J. Green, Bengals (Once he’s healthy)Superflex Derek Carr, RaidersBenchRB Nyheim Hines, ColtsRB Dion Lewis, TitansRB Jaylen Samuels, SteelersWR DeSean Jackson, EaglesWR Devin Funchess, ColtsTE T.J. Hockenson, LionsRB Jamaal Williams, PackersThis team feels different than my first two mocks, where the obvious weak link was in the TE spot. Taking Travis Kelce obviously took care of that issue. Looking at the roster in its entirety, it stands out that the other positions don’t really feel like weak links the same way tight end did when I waited on that position. Sure, there will be weeks where my opponent has the better WR1 and QB, but not by too much. I still have four very good WRs and two borderline fantasy starting QBs. My bench feels like a good mix of upside and floor. Hines and Lewis should be productive players in this PPR format, while Samuels and Hockenson provide the potential to greatly exceed their draft position. Fantasy Alarm gave me an ‘A’ grade for this draft, so that’s gotta count for something, right?🏈 Here’s the full draft board of the PPR, superflex mock draft I did for @sn_fantasy tonight (I had the third pick) as part of @rotobuzzguy’s @FantasyAlarm #MockDraftArmy. Check out tomorrow for a full breakdown of the mock! #NFL #FantasyFootball— Billy Heyen (@Wheyen3) August 13, 2019Best fantasy draft picksThis draft was filled with a number of people who write or have written for Fantasy Alarm, so there were definitely others who knew what they were doing in the room. I’ll break down a few of my favorite picks made by other drafters here.Stefon Diggs (Round 4, Pick 45). I wrote about the idea of Diggs exceeding Adam Thielen this year at some length in our boom-or-bust team. In a PPR league, Diggs could wind up as a sort of Michael Thomas-lite, although not that much lighter. He feels about as safe a bet for 100 catches as you can get outside the top-tier WRs, and with his after-catch ability, there’ll be some big play involved, too. Diggs getting taken the pick right in front of me prevented me from having to make a tough choice between him and Golladay.Golden Tate (Round 10, Pick 114). Yes, Tate begins the season with a four-game suspension. That’s why he’s available in the 10th round, though. When he’s on the field, he’s always been a PPR weapon in the vein of Jarvis Landry, who went off the board 44 picks earlier. It’s about the right disparity to account for Tate’s four games off. As a bench selection, though, Tate is great, because once he’s back he’s as good as another starter.Emmanuel Sanders (Round 12, Pick 140). Sanders’ value has been deflated all offseason as he recovered from an Achilles’ injury. He seems to be on track for Week 1, though, which makes him an intriguing selection this late. Sanders is a lot like Tate, except with the possibility of playing every game yet on the board later on. I’ve noticed Sanders slide in my other two mocks, too, despite how proven he is and his health looking decent at this point in August.SEASON PREVIEW PODCASTS:Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/STWorst fantasy football picksCalling a fantasy football draft pick the “worst” is kind of misleading. Of course there’s no way of knowing whether a player will live up to his selection until the end of the season. There are just some guys who feel out of place selected where they are, in part because they could’ve been picked later on. There’s an argument to be made to always pick the guys you want, but sometimes waiting or passing is the best strategy.FANTASY CONSISTENCY RATINGS:Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end Nick Chubb (Round 2, Pick 16). Because of the five QBs that went ahead of Chubb, this is even earlier than it might seem. He went as the ninth RB, while we have him as our No. 21 running back in PPR leagues. He’ll almost certainly see a role decline at midseason when Kareem Hunt returns, and he’s not a great pass-catcher, either. Joe Mixon went to me a round later and feels like the better Ohio running back to have.Robby Anderson (Round 6, Pick 72). Anderson is never going to be a PPR monster because his usual routes are too far down the field to create high-volume catch outputs. He also is coming off a disappointing season, and the Jets added Jamison Crowder, who should garner a number of targets each game. Anderson isn’t a bad upside pick in general, but this is a bit too high. He went ahead of A.J. Green, Corey Davis, Will Fuller, and Tyler Lockett, among others.Kalen Ballage (Round 8, Pick 90). As I’ve made perfectly clear, I like picking receiving backs in PPR leagues. There are two problems with Ballage here, though. One, Kenyan Drake is a good receiver himself and has an edge on winning the Miami job. Two, there were more proven pass-catching backs on the board, like Dion Lewis and Nyheim Hines. It just feels like a reach for a player who might not even have the role you’re drafting him to have. Fantasy football mock drafts are the perfect time to figure out if your draft strategy works. You might enter a draft hoping that one thing will happen, only to see the players you want picked directly ahead of you time and time again. Whatever the reason, you don’t want to freeze in your real draft. Mock drafts give you an opportunity to adjust your rankings and cheat sheets on the fly before anything actually matters, and if you’re playing in a different format than usual — as we are in this PPR superflex mock — you’ll definitely want to give things a test run.As we always point out, if your time is limited, you can accelerate your mock draft experience by using the FantasyPros Mock Draft Simulator. There, you’ll be able to complete a full mock draft customized to your league’s rules in just minutes. last_img

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