Before you know it, it will be fantasy football draft time — we hope! 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. Therefore, it is a 16-round snake draft.
I have the fifth 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 (0.5) point.
You can see the entire draft by clicking here.
Here is my roster:
Round 1, Pick 5: Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
Round 2, Pick 8: Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers
Round 3, Pick 5: Todd Gurley, RB, Atlanta Falcons
Round 4, Pick 8: Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks
Round 5, Pick 5: DJ Chark, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Round 6, Pick 8: D’Andre Swift, RB, Detroit Lions
Round 7, Pick 5: Diontae Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Round 8, Pick 8: James White, RB, New England Patriots
Round 9, Pick 5: Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
Round 10, Pick 8: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Denver Broncos
Round 11, Pick 5: Hayden Hurst, TE, Atlanta Falcons
Round 12, Pick 8: Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Round 13, Pick 5: Buffalo Bills DST
Round 14, Pick 8: Harrison Butker, K, Kansas City Chiefs
Round 15, Pick 5: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Round 16, Pick 8: Cam Newton, QB, New England Patriots
My overall strategy in a half-point 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 a boost in this format, for example.
The fifth pick is usually about the first time a wide receiver comes into my thought process. Michael Thomas enters the conversation, especially in a PPR or half-point PPR league like this one. I didn’t have to make that decision in this draft because Thomas went with the third pick. That left me free to grab the best back on the board in Alvin Kamara.
I will be honest — I don’t love this team. There is risk at every turn. Will Aaron Jones produce enough even if his touchdown total from a year ago (16) regresses? Can Todd Gurley put his knee issues behind him? Can rookies D’Andre Swift, Jerry Jeudy and Brandon Aiyuk contribute immediately, even without a true preseason? Can Hayden Hurst be a true TE1 in Atlanta? The more questions you answer, another question comes up.
But if this team can answer those questions in the affirmative, then this squad is a contender.
Running back is deep with four potential starters plus a PPR machine in James White (yes, I love me some James White). At wide receiver, Tyler Lockett is solid. We all love DJ Chark, but can he improve on his rookie season? See, another question!
Draft darling Diontae Johnson should be solid, but only if Ben Roethlisberger shows no rust and is 100 percent. Mike Williams has a new quarterback in Tyrod Taylor, so this group could be great or awful.
At quarterback, was the problem in New England last year the weapons or Tom Brady? Can Cam Newton win the Patriots job and stay injury-free?
Nothing but questions with this team!
What do you think of this team? Let me know at @FansFantasy on Twitter.
Please try a mock yourself as practice makes perfect. You can mock in minutes by clicking here.
Ken Zalis ranked No. 3 in FantasyPros’ 2019 Fantasy Football Draft Accuracy Rankings.