Fantasy Football: Best player available approach leads in different directions in our latest PPR 12-team mock draft
In our latest PPR mock draft, Jamey Eisenberg went with a best-player available approach but three others started running back, running back. How does that work out in a PPR league?
It's early in the mock draft process. We're all still evaluating players, whether it's the rookies with new teams or free agents with new addresses, and some Fantasy owners aren't set in their opinions yet.
It could lead to some rather interesting picks, which happened in our latest 12-team PPR mock draft.
In breaking down this draft, there were several things that stood out. For example, in the first round, Ezekiel Elliott at No. 2 overall was selected ahead of Le'Veon Bell, and that's a mistake in PPR leagues. The same with Odell Beckham at No. 3 overall ahead of Antonio Brown and Julio Jones .
Three owners (Heath Cummings, George Maselli and Dave Richard) started their teams with running back-running back in a PPR league, and it will be interesting to track their receiving corps. I like what George did with his group in Jarvis Landry , Jamison Crowder , Julian Edelman and Larry Fitzgerald , and that's a formidable foursome to pair with Le'Veon Bell and Jay Ajayi , who he drafted in the first two rounds.
Dave and Heath, however, have some potential holes at receiver. Dave only has four receivers in Terrelle Pryor , Tyreek Hill , Pierre Garcon and Breshad Perriman , although he also has a premier tight end in Jordan Reed . Heath is counting on Denver's duo of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders as starters, which could be dicey, and his reserves are Stefon Diggs , Jordan Matthews and Tyler Lockett . Heath's tight end is Tyler Eifert .
Now, both of those guys have standout running backs in Melvin Gordon and Jordan Howard as the top two guys for Dave, and David Johnson and Todd Gurley are the dynamic duo for Heath. Along with key reserves at that position, both owners should be fine, but you typically want standout receivers in PPR leagues.
Adam Aizer did that with his team, drafting A.J. Green, Amari Cooper , Golden Tate and Willie Snead with four of his first six picks. He also has John Brown and J.J. Nelson on his bench, and he still has a solid running back corps with Lamar Miller , Ameer Abdullah , Eddie Lacy , Jamaal Williams and C.J. Prosise. He has Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback, and his lone questionable player could be Coby Fleener at tight end. But this is a competitive roster.
And one of the reasons I like it is because Adam, who picked at No. 8 overall, drafted several players I wanted right in front of me at No. 10 overall. For example, I planned to draft Lacy in Round 7 and Williams in Round 9, and I was surprised when Adam took Snead in Round 6. I may or may not have said some expletives to Adam with those picks.
For my team, I went with a best-player available approach with most of my draft. After starting with Jordy Nelson and Devonta Freeman , I took Michael Crabtree and Travis Kelce next, which were the top players in my rankings.
I felt like I needed a running back in Round 5, which was Mike Gillislee , and then I couldn't pass on Drew Brees in Round 6. Round 7 ( Brandon Marshall ) and Round 8 ( Rob Kelley ) was again the best-player available strategy, and I handcuffed Kelley with Samaje Perine in Round 9. I also couldn't pass on Jack Doyle in Round 13, which might be the second-best value pick of anyone in this draft aside from Marcus Mariota in Round 14.
While I like my roster, I don't love being locked in to quarterback and tight end early, especially when you see players like Doyle and Mariota sitting there so late. Those players are difference makers for Fantasy owners, and the later you can draft them, the better off your team will be.
In this league, all touchdowns are worth six points, and we award one point for every 10 yards rushing and receiving and one point for every 25 yards passing. We also award one point for every reception. We feature a starting lineup of QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, TE, K, DST and a FLEX (RB/WR/TE). There will also be six reserve spots for a 15-round draft.
Our draft order is as follows:
- Heath Cummings, Senior Fantasy Writer
- Will Brinson, NFL Writer
- Matthew Coca, Video Producer
- Scott Reilly, Video Producer
- George Maselli, Fantasy Editor
- Chris Towers, Fantasy Writer
- Nick Kostos, Video Host
- Adam Aizer, Podcast Host
- Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer
- Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer
- R.J. White, NFL Editor
- Meron Berkson, Video Producer
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