Before you know it, it will be fantasy football draft time. During the next month or so, I will be conducting several mock drafts. During the drafts, I will pick in all 12 positions, with all sorts of scenarios.

As a rule, I prefer to draft three starting running backs within the first four rounds. It is a tried-and-true strategy, which has done me well for 20-plus years. The mock drafts I do will all assume 12 teams are in the league (unless otherwise noted) with the following positions: quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, tight end, a flex (running back, wide receiver or tight end), kicker, team defense and six bench spots. So it is a 16-round snake draft.

Here is scenario No. 2. (See Also: Scenario 1) I have the second overall pick; let’s see how it all works out. In this format, I am playing in a HALF point-per-reception league (0.5 PPR), which means that every reception is worth a half point.

You can see the entire draft by clicking here.

Here is my roster:

Round 1, Pick 2: Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
Round 2, Pick 11: Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
Round 3, Pick 2: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Round 4, Pick 11: Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos
Round 5, Pick 2: Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks
Round 6, Pick 11: Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams
Round 7, Pick 2: Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Round 8, Pick 11: James White, RB, New England Patriots
Round 9, Pick 2: Darius Slayton, WR, New York Giants
Round 10, Pick 11: Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
Round 11, Pick 2: Cam Newton, QB, New England Patriots
Round 12, Pick 11: Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Indianapolis Colts
Round 13, Pick 2: Buffalo Bills DST
Round 14, Pick 11: Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens
Round 15, Pick 2: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Detroit Lions
Round 16, Pick 11: Jerick McKinnon, RB, San Francisco 49ers

Some Observations:

My overall strategy in a half-PPR league is to treat it like a PPR league. You get a slight bonus for players who are double-digit touchdown players, but not enough to overhaul the rankings a bunch. Derrick Henry-type players may get an uptick in this format, for example.

I LOVE THIS TEAM!

I started with three running backs, which I love to do. I could have gone Patrick Mahomes in Round 3, but I wanted to see if I could build a deeper team without going quarterback early. With tight ends Travis Kelce and George Kittle gone before my second pick, tight end was not even a consideration until later.

I took some upside risks in Rounds 3 and 6, selecting Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Cam Akers, respectively. Both will have competition for early-season snaps, but given the early draft capital the Chiefs and Rams spent on those players, I will assume they plan on using both of their backs early and often.

I usually do, I waited until late to draft a quarterback. I grabbed Matthew Stafford in Round 10 and Cam Newton in Round 11. Both have top-10 upside, but both come with some risk as well.

After going running back early in the draft, I love the group of wide receivers I was able to draft. Courtland Sutton has 100-catch potential, as does Michael Gallup. Both are being under-drafted right now. Tyler Lockett is the top target in Seattle. Darius Slayton had great chemistry with Daniel Jones last year and offers big-play ability. Michael Pittman should start immediately opposite T.Y. Hilton in Indy. I am very comfortable with this group.

I punted on the tight end position, but I love the potential of T.J. Hockenson, Pairing him with Matthew Stafford could work out well. I refuse to reach for tight ends this year if I miss out on Kittle, Kelce or Mark Andrews.

So what do you think of this team? Let me know at @FansFantasy.

Please try a mock yourself as practice makes perfect. You can mock in minutes by clicking here.


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Ken Zalis ranked No. 3 in FantasyPros’ 2019 Fantasy Football Draft Accuracy Rankings.

Ken Zalis

See all posts by Ken Zalis. Follow Ken Zalis on Twitter at @fansfantasy