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. 2. (See also: Scenario No. 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 (0.5) point.

You can see the entire draft by clicking here.

Here is my roster:

Round 1, Pick 2: Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings

Round 2, Pick 11: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

Round 3, Pick 2: J.K. Dobbins, RB, Baltimore Ravens

Round 4, Pick 11: Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Round 5, Pick 2: Diontae Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Round 6, Pick 11: Kyle Pitts, TE, Atlanta Falcons

Round 7, Pick 2: Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens

Round 8, Pick 11: Damien Harris, RB, New England Patriots

Round 9, Pick 2: Marquise Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Round 10, Pick 11: Alexander Mattison, RB, Minnesota Vikings

Round 11, Pick 2: Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

Round 12, Pick 2: Darnell Mooney, WR, Chicago Bears

Round 13, Pick 2: Matthew Stafford, QB, Los Angeles Rams

Round 14, Pick 11: Indianapolis Colts DST

Round 15, Pick 2: Harrison Butker, K, Kansas City Chiefs

Round 16, Pick 11: Jakobi Meyers, WR, New England Patriots

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.

The board fell perfectly in the first three rounds and I was able to grab three of my top 15 running backs. Great start! I could have gone with Antonio Gibson instead of Clyde Edwards-Helaire or J.K. Dobbins, but I went with the backs from the higher-scoring teams.

In Rounds 4 and 5, I grabbed the top two receivers on my board but then things went wacky for me.

In Round 6, Kyle Pitts was there again. With a three-headed running back monster and two top-20 receivers on my team, it was the perfect time to take The Pitts Plunge. What I did not expect to see was Lamar Jackson available in Round 7. I just could not pass him up that late.

I was thinking receiver again in Round 8, but Damien Harris, who I expect to start for New England, represents the exact type of depth I preach about, so I needed to grab him.

I am not a huge fantasy fan of Marquise Brown, but pairing him up with Jackson was a chance I was now willing to take in Round 9. I handcuffed Dalvin Cook with Alexander Mattison, who is the top handcuff in fantasy, in Round 10. You may have to reach for Mattison a bit in Round 8 or 9 sometimes, but the peace of mind is worth it.

I rounded out my team with three upside receivers in Mike Williams, Darnell Mooney and Jakobi Meyers. Overall my receivers are solid and should be good enough. I also have strong running backs, a top-five quarterback, and if Mr. Pitts is all-world … this team is a championship contender.

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