Fantasy Football: Free agent moves impact latest mock draft
Players like Brandin Cooks, Alshon Jeffery, Eddie Lacy and Latavius Murray have switched teams, and Jamey Eisenberg looks at how their draft stock has changed in our latest 12-team standard mock.
We like doing Fantasy Football mock drafts after major NFL events. After the regular season ended, one after the Super Bowl and our latest mock draft was after the bulk of free-agent moves.
Our goal was to see how these recent transactions impacted Fantasy owners. And the results were definitely interesting in this 12-team standard league.
For example, Brandin Cooks was a guaranteed second-round pick with the New Orleans Saints , but it was a surprise to see him still get drafted at No. 23 overall now that he’s with the New England Patriots . His production should decline in New England, but that didn’t hurt his draft stock. Cooks was drafted ahead of guys like Amari Cooper , Allen Robinson , Doug Baldwin and Davante Adams , among others, and that could be a mistake.
Staying with the receivers, Alshon Jeffery (Philadelphia), Terrelle Pryor (Washington), Brandon Marshall (Giants) and DeSean Jackson (Tampa Bay) changed teams, somewhat altering their draft value. Jeffery was still a third-round pick, Marshall went in Round 4 and Jackson was drafted in Round 5, but Pryor is now considered a third-round pick with his quarterback upgrade to Kirk Cousins with the Redskins.
Pryor was drafted ahead of guys like Keenan Allen and Sammy Watkins , which could be a mistake if those two are healthy, but Pryor has solidified himself as a No. 2 Fantasy receiver with his move to Washington. He just has to hope Cousins remains his quarterback in 2017.
We held this draft the day before Latavius Murray signed with Minnesota, and Adrian Peterson , Jamaal Charles and LeGarrette Blount were still free agents. But Eddie Lacy (Seattle), Rex Burkhead (New England) and Danny Woodhead (Baltimore) already changed teams.
Woodhead (Round 8) and Burkhead (Round 10) were still late-round picks, and the value for Burkhead could be great if he starts for the Patriots, which is a possibility. Murray was drafted in Round 4, which could be a little high with his move to the Minnesota Vikings , and Lacy went in Round 5, which might be too low now that he’s with the Seattle Seahawks .
Lacy and Murray should still be considered No. 2 Fantasy running backs, but the arrow is pointing up for Lacy with his new team. He just has to get in shape and make sure he beats out Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise for the starting job.
We don’t know where Peterson, Charles and Blount will play in 2017, but all three were still drafted. Blount was first in Round 5, Peterson went in Round 6 and Charles was drafted in Round 9. All three could still have plenty of Fantasy value this year, but we can’t fully evaluate their outlook until we see where they land.
For my team, the only player I drafted whochanged his address was Pierre Garcon , who went from Washington to San Francisco, and he’s my No. 5 receiver behind Jordy Nelson , Julian Edelman , Rishard Matthews and J.J. Nelson . I drafted Garcon in Round 12, and he’s a great late-round flier if he remains the No. 1 receiver in coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
Edelman fell to Round 5, and his value takes a hit with Cooks now in New England. But he was the best receiver on the board, and that was the position I targeted at the time after drafting Jordan Howard , Jordy Nelson, C.J. Anderson and Isaiah Crowell with my first four picks.
My running back depth is the best part of my team with Howard, Anderson, Crowell, Tevin Coleman and Kenneth Dixon , but you might be hesitant to draft Anderson and Crowell with early-round picks, which is understandable given Anderson’s injury history and Crowell playing for the Cleveland Browns . But if Anderson is healthy and another running back isn’t added in Denver then he should be a solid No. 2 Fantasy option. And Cleveland significantly upgraded the offensive line in free agency, which should be a huge boost for Crowell.
Coleman, even though he’s the No. 2 running back in Atlanta behind Devonta Freeman , is still a top-20 rusher coming into the season and well worth drafting in Round 6. Dixon was just a flier in Round 10, and hopefully he’ll be the starter for the Ravens once his four-game suspension is over, even with the addition of Woodhead.
I like my receiver depth, and Matthews will be undervalued this year even though he remains the No. 1 receiver for the Titans. He’s a steal in Round 7, and I hope to say the same thing about J.J. Nelson in Round 8. I was torn between Nelson, Jamison Crowder and Willie Snead , but Nelson could end up as the best receiver for the Cardinals this year, even with Larry Fitzgerald still on the team.
Cameron Brate was a steal in Round 9, and he’s one of my favorite breakout players this year, especially at tight end. And I made it a point to wait on a quarterback as long as possible, which resulted in Marcus Mariota in Round 11. I thought Dak Prescott or Cousins would make it to me in Round 11, but both went as backup quarterbacks for other owners in that round.
I decided to draft Carson Wentz as a backup to Mariota in Round 13, and Wentz is one of my favorite sleepers this year after the Eagles added Jeffery and Torrey Smith as free agents. Wentz is one of the best No. 2 quarterbacks to target in any league this season with a late-round pick.
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 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:
- Meron Berkson, Video Producer
- Luke Rodgers, 247Sports NFL Insider
- Chris Towers, Fantasy Writer
- George Maselli, Editor
- Matthew Coca, Video Producer
- Will Brinson, NFL Writer
- Scott Reilly, Video Producer
- Adam Aizer, Podcast Host
- Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer
- Heath Cummings, Senior Fantasy Writer
- Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer
- J. Darin Darst, College Sports Producer
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