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. It is a 16-round snake draft.

Here is scenario No. 1.

I have the first 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 (1/2) point.

You can see the entire draft by clicking here.

Here is my roster:

Round 1, Pick 1: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers

Round 2, Pick 12: Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington Football Team

Round 3, Pick 1: J.K. Dobbins, RB, Baltimore Ravens

Round 4, Pick 12: Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Round 5, Pick 1: Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams

Round 6, Pick 12: Kyle Pitts, TE, Atlanta Falcons

Round 7, Pick 1: Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers (one of my must haves)

Round 8, Pick 12: Jarvis Landry, WR, Cleveland Browns

Round 9, Pick 1: Zack Moss, RB, Buffalo Bills

Round 10, Pick 12: Jalen Hurts, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

Round 11, Pick 1: Matthew Stafford, QB Los Angeles Rams

Round 12, Pick 12: Jalen Reagor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Round 13, Pick 1: Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens

Round 14, Pick 12: Washington Football Team DST

Round 15, Pick 1: Chuba Hubbard, RB, Carolina Panthers

Round 16, Pick 12: Tyler Higbee, TE, Los Angeles Rams

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 started with three running backs, which I love to do. Getting three of my top 14 running backs is a huge win. If you check out the draft, you will see that by the time I picked in the fourth round, 24 backs had been drafted. With Travis Kelce gone before my second pick, tight end was not even considered. I waited as I usually do on a quarterback until late and grabbed Jalen Hurts in Round 10 and Matthew Stafford in Round 11. Both have top-10 upside. Both come with some risk as well.

Even though I went running back early and often, I love the group of receivers I was able to draft. Adam Thielen, Cooper Kupp, Deebo Samuel and Jarvis Landry should all exceed 75 catches. At least one of these guys will grab double-digit touchdowns.

At tight end, with Kyle Pitts just staring at me in the sixth, I thought what if … and rolled the dice. I was still able to come back in Round 16 with Tyler Higbee as a solid backup.

I handcuffed my top pick Christian McCaffrey with Chuba Hubbard late. If he isn’t the direct handcuff coming out of camp, I will cut him and move on.

So 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.

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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