Mock drafts are a critical part of preparing for the real thing. They are doubly useful when the participants know what they are talking about. Random online drafts have their uses, but they are usually half auto-drafters and a quarter trolls. This analysis will examine my picks from the 9th spot in a fantasy writers draft. The format is full point PPR and we drafted 12 rounds.
1.09 Saquon Barkley RB NYG
I think that Barkley is a top-5 talent at running back (minimum). He has been going toward the end of the first round and I was pleased when he was available. I think that getting at least one high end running back is very important this season as the drop off is steep after the top 10 or so backs.
Backup Plans: Kareem Hunt, Dalvin Cook
2.04 Davante Adams WR GB
I strongly considered going with a second running back at this pick. In the end, the appeal of taking Aaron Rodgers top target was too strong to pass up. I think that Adams is a near lock for double digit touchdown receptions this year. He is a borderline first-round value available in the second.
Backup Plans: Leonard Fournette, Stefon Diggs
3.09 Jerick McKinnon RB SF
I was not in love with this pick as I was making it. My head says that McKinnon has the athleticism and situation to succeed in San Fran. My heart says that he has routinely been outshined by plodders like Matt Asiata and Latavius Murray. The 49ers offense looks like the real deal and I think that McKinnon will be a nice RB2. I also think that the hype is a bit out of control right now.
Backup Plans: T.Y. Hilton, JuJu Smith-Schuster
4.04 Golden Tate WR DET
In a PPR league, Tate is money in the bank. He has caught over 90 balls in each of the last four seasons. He has also topped 1,000 yards in three of those four years. I went fairly safe with my receiving corps and I think that will make up for my swing for the fences attitude at running back.
Backup Plans: Jarvis Landry, Allen Robinson
5.09 Evan Engram TE NYG
I was thrown off when my pick (Dion Lewis) got sniped one slot early. Since there was not another running back that I liked at this price, I decided to address my tight end position with an emerging star. Evan Engram is a freak athlete in the middle of what should be an improved offense. He really clicked with Eli last year and while OBJ will reclaim his targets, that should also keep the offense on the field more.
Backup Plans: Engram WAS the backup plan for this pick.
6.04 Pierre Garcon WR SF
As one of the top targets in an up and coming offense, Garcon has some real value. He should be a favorite of Garoppolo and, like Tate, Garcon is going to catch a boatload of passes. There were a couple of similar guys around this slot, but I like the volume in a PPR format.
Backup Plans: Cooper Kupp, Royce Freeman
7.09 Robby Anderson WR NYJ
It has been a while since the Jets were a good team, but they have a couple of interesting fantasy options. My favorite of those is Robby Anderson. He has all the talent in the world, but he is also a head case. If he can steer clear of the law and just play football, he could be a solid WR2 this year. I think that he could easily eclipse last year’s 941 yards while staying in the neighborhood of the 7 touchdowns he scored.
Backup Plans: Chris Thompson, Kyle Rudolph
8.04 Duke Johnson Jr. RB CLE
Grabbing Duke Johnson for a PPR league is always a strong move. He is still the most talented all-around back on the Browns and should put up nice numbers again. Hyde and Chubb will fight for early down work, but Johnson’s pass catching role is safe. Jarvis Landry could threaten to take away some possession receiving duties, but there should be enough catches to go around. Last season he was over 1,000 total yards. If he can stick around 800 this year I think that he is a solid value.
Backup Plans: Tarik Cohen, Tevin Coleman
9.09 Kelvin Benjamin WR BUF
Keep in mind that players don’t lose points for getting punkedout by their former quarterback. The Bills brought in a talented receiver in Corey Coleman. The target monster of this team is still going to be Benjamin, though. Benjamin is a huge man with an impressive wingspan. That will come in handy if Josh Allen is starting, because nobody knows where the ball will go. I like Benjamin based on volume and likely red-zone utility.
Backup Plans: Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins
10.04 Jimmy Garoppolo QB SF
In general, I tend to avoid a lot of players from the same team. The exception to this is when I think that an offense is sure to break out, like San Francisco should. Last year I grabbed Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz in one league and won the championship. This strategy can lead to huge peaks and valleys, but the only Niner pick that I regret a bit is McKinnon.
Backup Plans: Kenny Stills, Kenny Golladay
11.09 D.J. Moore WR Carolina
I love this pick. Moore has the look of a player that will put up numbers right away. Carolina is not exactly rich in wide receiver talent. The most likely player to steal touches is Christian McCaffrey and I do not believe that he can handle the workload that coaches are talking about. Moore is not going to be a WR1 or even a 2 right away, but for a flex this is a steal. Even at his current ADP of 113, I still like the potential value.
Backup Plans: Anthony Miller, Mike Williams
12.04 Kansas City Chiefs Defense
Twelve rounds is a short draft so there was plenty of talent left on the board, but there is a slot for defense. I chose the Chiefs because they have a guy in Justin Houston that can get to the quarterback often. The return of Eric Berry should help the secondary after they struggled last season. The loss of Marcus Peters will hurt, but my normal strategy is streaming defenses anyway.
Backup Plans: Pittsburgh D, New England D
That was my draft coming from the 9 spot out of 12. Be sure to check out the write-ups of the other 11 draft slots. Wherever you pick in your upcoming fantasy football draft, we have an example for you to check out in advance.