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.
I have the fourth 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 4: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts
Round 2, Pick 9: Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams
Round 3, Pick 4: Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
Round 4, Pick 9: Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams
Round 5, Pick 4: Myles Gaskin, RB, Miami Dolphins
Round 6, Pick 9: Chase Edmonds, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Round 7, Pick 4: Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Round 8, Pick 9: Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Round 9, Pick 4: Logan Thomas, TE, Washington Football Team
Round 10, Pick 9: Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
Round 11, Pick 4: Jalen Hurts, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Round 12, Pick 9: Matthew Stafford, QB, Los Angeles Rams
Round 13, Pick 4: Tampa Bay Buccaneers DST
Round 14, Pick 9: Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens
Round 15, Pick 4: Salvon Ahmed, RB, Miami Dolphins
Round 16, Pick 9: Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, Detroit Lions
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.
So it took until my fourth mock draft to not go RB-RB-RB. I still like my start with Jonathan Taylor and Cam Akers — two top-12 backs (the third- and ninth-best backs according to my rankings). In Round 3, I had a choice to continue to stockpile running backs or go with a 100-catch receiver. I went to the safer option and grabbed Keenan Allen, who is a PPR darling.
In Round 4, I took one of my favorite players for 2021 in Robert Woods. The addition of Matthew Stafford should really improve an already solid Rams offense.
I got lucky in the fifth that one of my top 20 backs (Myles Gaskin) was still available, so I grabbed him. Following him up with Chase Edmonds and Deebo Samuel (another one of my targets) made me very happy.
I waited again until Rounds 11 and 12 for quarterbacks and got two of my top 12 in Jalen Hurts and Matthew Stafford … more than serviceable.
I added depth at receiver along the way, and in the final two rounds, I handcuffed Gaskin with Salvon Ahmed and then took a flyer on Amon-Ra St. Brown, who could be a starter from Week 1 in Detroit.
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.
Ken Zalis ranked No. 3 in FantasyPros’ 2019 Fantasy Football Draft Accuracy Rankings.