2017 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: Industry 12-team PPR mock draft
We enlist the help of Fantasy analysts from ESPN, Yahoo, Fantasy Pros and more to bring you an inside look at how a 12-team PPR draft should go this season.
We believe we have the best Fantasy analysts in the business at CBS Sports. But it's never a bad idea to get other opinions from some of the great minds in the industry.
And that works out well for you.
We recently held a 12-team PPR mock draft with Mike Clay of ESPN, Brad Evans of Yahoo! Sports, Scott Fish of Fanball, Mike Tagliere of Fantasy Pros, Jake Ciely of RotoExperts, Christopher Harris of Harris Football and David Gonos of DavidGonos.com, who also contributes to the FNTSY Sports Network. Along with our CBS Sports staff of me, Dave Richard, Heath Cummings, Chris Towers and Adam Aizer, this is an excellent group.
It was also a tough draft. With this collection of analysts, everyone was waiting on a quarterback ( Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady were drafted in Round 4), and wide receivers were in high demand. It was hard to find value picks in the later rounds because none of these owners were letting good players get away.
And that's the way it should be -- in a real draft and a mock. For you, this is a great blueprint to follow for your upcoming PPR drafts this year.
You also get to see what players these Fantasy analysts liked the best on their team, what draft picks they might regret and the player who could be the biggest difference maker on their roster. And you get an inside look at their strategy. Enjoy.
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 give one point for every reception. We feature a starting lineup of QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, K, DST and a FLEX (RB/WR/TE). There will also be six reserve spots for a 16-round draft.
Pick No. 1
Heath Cummings, CBS Sports
Favorite pick: Mike Wallace , WR, BAL (9.01)
Pick I might regret: Greg Olsen , TE, CAR (5.01)
Player who could make or break my team: Keenan Allen , WR, LAC (3.01)
My strategy: Wide receivers were flying off the board (rightly in this format), and I chose not to reach. Because of that I don't think anyone has a combination of QB/RB/TE better than I do, but it did mean chasing receiver value in the middle of the draft. I'm happy with how it turned out.
Pick No. 2
Scott Fish, Fanball
Favorite pick: Danny Woodhead , RB, BAL (7.02)
Pick I might regret: Adam Theilen, WR, MIN (8.11)
Player who could make or break my team: Martavis Bryant , WR, PIT (5.02)
My strategy: My plan was to grab either David Johnson or Le'Veon Bell and then go after several pass catching running backs in the middle rounds to fill that RB2 spot. I wanted to take Travis Kelce on the Round 4-5 turn, but he didn't make it back to me, causing me to waste depth wide receiver spots on two tight ends.
Pick No. 3
Adam Aizer, CBS Sports
Favorite pick: Demaryius Thomas , WR, DEN (3.03)
Pick I might regret: Rob Gronkowski , TE, NE (2.10)
Player who could make or break my team: Ameer Abdullah , RB, DET (5.03)
My strategy: I was determined to wait on running backs, passing them up for elite players like Gronkowski and Aaron Rodgers. I managed to wait and come away with two starting running backs who have top-15 potential in Abdullah and C.J. Anderson.
Pick No. 4
David Gonos, DavidGonos.com
Favorite pick: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, CAR (6.09)
Pick I might regret: Cam Newton, QB, CAR (9.04)
Player who could make or break my team: Newton
My strategy: The obvious "expert draft" blueprints of waiting on a quarterback and snatching up wide receivers early was the base of my gameplan. While I'm not a Zero-RB theorist, I love the wide swath of running backs available in Rounds 7-12 enough to load up on wideouts early. That gave me DeAndre Hopkins (Round 2), Brandin Cooks (3), Michael Crabtree (4) and Benjamin (6) among my first six picks.
Pick No. 5
Chris Towers, CBS Sports
Favorite pick: Dak Prescott , QB, DAL (14.08)
Pick I might regret: Allen Robinson , WR, JAC (3.05)
Player who could make or break my team: Jordan Reed , TE, WAS (5.05)
My strategy: I'm always going to wait on a quarterback, and the options available this time were unbelievable: Matthew Stafford , Eli Manning and Carson Palmer all went undrafted. That allowed me to build up my wide receiver and tight end core, which I'll put up against any.
Pick No. 6
Mike Clay, ESPN
Favorite pick: Jay Ajayi , RB, MIA (2.07)
Pick I might regret: Tyler Eifert , TE, CIN (8.07)
Player who could make or break my team: Marshawn Lynch , RB, OAK (4.07)
My strategy: In PPR leagues with three wide receiver slots and a flex, it's important to ensure you're strong at wideout. I ended up lacking some depth there but did manage to land plenty of star power at the other three spots.
Pick No. 7
Mike Tagliere, Fantasy Pros
Favorite pick: Stefon Diggs , WR, MIN (5.07)
Pick I might regret: Leonard Fournette , RB, JAC (2.06)
Player who could make or break my team: Sammy Watkins , WR, BUF (3.07)
My strategy: I've never gone into a draft with one particular strategy other than to take value when it's there, regardless of position. Trying to snag as many elite players as possible, regardless of team situation, and that's what I felt I did, though I wish I'd waited another few rounds at quarterback. My bench is full of pure upside players, which is what you should be aiming for because bye-week players can be found on the waiver wire.
Pick No. 8
Brad Evans, Yahoo! Sports
Favorite pick: Christian McCaffrey , RB, CAR (4.05)
Pick I might regret: Alshon Jeffery , WR, PHI (3.08)
Player who could make or break my team: Jordan Howard , RB, CHI (2.05)
My strategy: My strategy isn't influenced by sophisticated spreadsheets or complex algorithmic projections. It's entirely a value-based approach where volume potential is king. The primary goal was to load up on versatile workhorse running backs early, then attack wide receivers and follow with the best available player.
Pick No. 9
Dave Richard, CBS Sports
Favorite pick: Matt Ryan , QB, ATL (8.04)
Pick I might regret: Hunter Henry , TE, LAC (9.09)
Player who could make or break my team: Isaiah Crowell , RB, CLE (4.04)
My strategy: I targeted receivers real early, strictly best-available players after that. Completely comfortable with my running backs and double-trouble tight ends.
Pick No. 10
Jamey Eisenberg, CBS Sports
Favorite pick: Lamar Miller , RB, HOU (3.10)
Pick I might regret: Rob Kelley , RB, WAS (10.03)
Player who could make or break my team: Paul Perkins , RB, NYG (6.03)
My strategy: I knew I was drafting a receiver in the first round, which worked out with Jordy Nelson , and I was thrilled to see Dez Bryant there in Round 2. Miller falling to Round 3 made this an excellent start, and it allowed me to wait on running back while stockpiling talent at tight end (Kelce) and receiver ( Willie Snead ) until I got Perkins in Round 6.
Pick No. 11
Jake Ciely, RotoExperts
, TE, DET (9.11)
Pick I might regret: Brandon Marshall , WR, NYG (6.02)
Player who could make or break my team: Jamaal Williams, RB, GB (8.02)
My strategy: Load up on running back and wide receiver value, draft a quarterback and tight end with tons of upside late, don't draft a kicker. It worked perfectly until the system auto-picked my kicker!
Pick No. 12
Christopher Harris, Harris Football
Favorite pick: Tyreek Hill , WR, KC (5.12)
Pick I might regret: DeMarco Murray , RB, TEN (2.01)
Player who could make or break my team: Corey Davis , WR, TEN (6.01)
My strategy: Picking 12th is brutal, especially against experts. No random quarterbacks or tight ends were getting tossed in the mix before I picked! In truth, I probably like some of the wide receivers I passed over more than Murray, but going RB-RB turned out to be a nice test of how deep receiver is (even in a scoring format where most squads will start four receivers). It's really deep! If everyone zigs and spends early on receivers, having two top-seven running backs locked in gives you flexibility to try a few safe guys and a few longer shots at wide receiver. The league is filled with both!
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