Fantasy Football: Leonard Fournette and rookie fever highlight our first post-NFL Draft mock draft
Fantasy owners get excited by rookies -- sometimes too excited. Jamey Eisenberg looks at where the rookies went in our first mock draft following the NFL Draft, including Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey and Joe Mixon.
The NFL Draft is less than a week old, so we're still in the honeymoon phase with the rookies. They are the shiny new toys that Fantasy owners just got as presents, and no one wants to put them down.
And that was representative in our first mock draft following the NFL Draft.
While we all expect guys like Leonard Fournette , Christian McCaffrey and Corey Davis , among many others, are going to make a significant impact in Fantasy and reality this year, we have no idea how it will work out. We haven't even seen these players in uniform yet or on the practice field.
But our job is speculate on how these players will do with their new teams. And as such, we have to project where they should be drafted in 2017.
In this 12-team standard mock draft, the rookies were popular picks -- in some cases, too popular. For example, Leonard Fournette was drafted in the first round at No. 10 overall by our video host, Nick Kostos.
Now, I'm warming up to the idea of Fournette as a second-round pick in standard leagues, and I expect him to play well this season for the Jacksonville Jaguars . But I'm not drafting Fournette ahead of his peers in LeSean McCoy , Jordan Howard or Devonta Freeman , as well as receivers in Jordy Nelson , Dez Bryant or T.Y. Hilton .
That's what happened in this draft, but Kostos is convinced that Fournette is going to have a huge rookie season. And he drafted Fournette without hesitation in the first round.
"Most people don't like my Leonard Fournette pick at No. 10 overall, but most people make bad decisions on a regular basis and follow the herd mentality," Kostos said. "By August, Fournette will be a consensus first-round pick in standard formats. We all watched Fournette at LSU, right? He's going to be a beast, and he's going to score 10-plus touchdowns this year. ... Remember this when Fournette has a 60-yard touchdown run in the first preseason game and his ADP spikes."
Fournette wasn't the only rookie who might have been drafted too soon in this mock draft. McCaffrey (No. 29 overall) and Joe Mixon (No. 32) went in the third round, Davis (No. 41) went in the fourth round, Dalvin Cook (No. 55) went in the fifth round and Kareem Hunt (No. 65) and Mike Williams (No. 68) went in the sixth round.
If you have a strong conviction about a player, including the Fournette pick, by all means draft him when you are on the clock. But please keep in mind that you might be able to get that player in the following round, and also don't pass up a proven player in a good situation to reach for potential.
In this draft, Davis was selected ahead of Terrelle Pryor , Michael Crabtree and Jarvis Landry , which is a mistake. And Cook, who is part of a committee in Minnesota, went before Marshawn Lynch , Paul Perkins and Tevin Coleman , and those running backs might have more upside.
One of our video producers, Scott Reilly, drafted Mixon, Davis and Hunt. Reilly said he took those players when he did because "I just don't like the old guys."
I also drafted rookies with Samaje Perine in Round 8 and Marlon Mack in Round 9, and I like the situation for both this year. Perine could end up as the starter for the Redskins ahead of Rob Kelley , and Mack is playing behind Frank Gore , who will be 34 this month, for the Colts.
When I tweeted the results of each round during the draft, I was criticized for drafting both rookies ahead of other running backs like Adrian Peterson , Jonathan Stewart , Danny Woodhead and Matt Forte . And I completely understand that reaction because it could be a mistake.
But I was enamored with the rookies. They are the shiny new toys, and I didn't want to put them down.
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:
- Chris Towers, Fantasy Writer
- Matthew Coca, Video Producer
- Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer
- Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer
- Will Brinson, NFL Writer
- R.J. White, NFL Editor
- George Maselli, Fantasy Editor
- Scott Reilly, Video Producer
- Adam Aizer, Podcast Host
- Nick Kostos, Video Host
- Heath Cummings, Senior Fantasy Writer
- Meron Berkson, Video Producer
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