This mock draft was done under the premise of a 10 team PPR league with 1 quarterback, 2 running backs, 3 wide receivers, a tight end, and 2 flexes. If you've been reading my content for any amount of time, you know I put my biggest emphasis on Running Backs. Today I'm going to walk you through a mock draft I did and show step by step how I prefer to build my teams. Regularly there are still starting caliber wide receivers late in drafts, but almost never the same can be said for running backs. With this in mind, I prefer to load up on the scarce position throughout the beginning of the draft, and then focus on certain types of wide receivers throughout the middle. If I run into problems in the middle of the season, I can always trade away one of my plethora of running backs and make a change. Having more of the most scarce equity in fantasy football always puts you in a positive spot. I did a random draft order but ended up with first. Below is the full team.
This year there's a lot of value in rounds 3-5 for running backs. This is about where Marlan Mack, Mark Ingram, Aaron Jones, and Devonta Freeman go. In round 1 and 2, I like to go with safe touches. Players that I know will be big parts of their offenses and that I can build the rest of my roster around. In this specific instance, I took Zeke, Cook, and Fournette in round 1, 2 and 3. This gives me a good core of running backs to make the base of my team. It also meant I knew I needed to grab one of the bottom WR1's during my next turn. I locked onto Cook who I know has had at least 1,000 yards during every season of his career, across 3 different teams. That selection made me feel comfortable enough to go ahead and grab another RB in Mack on the backend of that swing. Another three-down running back to add to my core.
Now that the core of my team is taken care of and I'm sitting pretty with 4 starting running backs with three down potential, I can start focusing on adding wide receivers to my roster. With spread offenses being the norm, most teams have 3 starting wide receivers. This gives us so many good options to chose from, that you don't need to force choices in the early rounds. As my turn was approaching, I was choosing between players I thought would have a consistent role. Veterans are always very undervalued here and you can round out your roster with them. First I took Robby Anderson in hopes that he will build his connection with Darnold from last year and could become a #1 WR. The Jets were comfortable with him in that role so I am as well. Since I was able to snag another number one in the 6th round, I went ahead and added Ingram into the mix at running back. Not quite a workhorse, but a high potential player.
At this point, you know you're set at running back. Having five players all with 3 down potential gives you a great core to work with at a position so scarce. Now it's time to really focus on other spots. At the next turn, I took Marvin Jones and Curtis Samuel. A solid floor option in Jones that I knew could hold down the spot if it turns out my high upside players don't work out. Samuel is an upcoming second-round pick that I know has a role, so grabbing him in the 8th round was a no brainer.
Although I was focused on Wide Receivers, I still noticed Carson Wentz falling. A former MVP with upside in the 9th is too good of a value to pass up. My general strategy is to wait on quarterbacks and take a high upside player mixed with a solid vet later in drafts, such as Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen and Mitch Trubisky or Phillip Rivers and Tom Brady. Things don't always go as planned and you have to be fluid when value opens up to you. Now that I have Wentz, I was swayed to go Jackson over Tate as a late veteran with number 1 receiver potential. Having that stack on huge weeks is a huge plus, even if Tate had a more secure role. For tight ends, I usually either take one early or follow the same mold as my quarterback and grab 2 with upside. On my next turn, McDonald was sitting pretty for me. A player who should have a larger role with Brown out of town, that already showed signs of being an above average tight end last season. One of my favorite mid-round tight end targets.
Now that the core of my roster has been completed and I have a quarterback, 5 running backs who could be workhorses, 5 wide receivers with upside and a tight end, I can start focusing on players with high potential. In the later rounds, I'm not looking for safety. This is the lottery and you want as many tickets as possible. Players like MVS, Jordan Reed, Carlos Hyde, and Donte Moncrief fit the bill. These are players that either has injury concerns or are taking on new roles that have other people in my league scared. Knowing that I have a solid core, I can comfortably take these chances. Now I'm finishing off the last few touches of a perfect roster. My veteran QB, A slot wide receiver or two with limited upside but the ability to keep me afloat during injury and both last and least, defense and kicker. It's key to this roster construction to take these guys last. They have no upside and can rarely be predicted with any accuracy before the season starts. I focus on the waiver wire at the beginning of the season to nail these positions once things are settling.
Wrapping things up:
There are many different strategies out there that work. This is just an outline of mine. As a review, I focus on safety in rounds 1-3. I then turn to value in rounds 4-6, trying to load up on running backs throughout here. For rounds 7-10, I try to generally find receivers that give me number one upside, or number 2 safety. This roster construction requires a mix of both, so make sure you're mixing it up. Then in the later rounds, I'm buying as many tickets to the lottery as I can. Quarterbacks and tight ends are even more plentiful than receivers. Don't be pressured to take them early unless there's value too good to pass up. Feel free to follow me on twitter and tweet me any questions you may have @HessDFS. I have all sorts of content there to not only make you a better fantasy football player but better at DFS as well. Plus, you can stay up to date on all of my newest articles!