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- Picking in PPR from: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12
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Editor's note: Our latest non-PPR pick-by-pick series was done in June and is a three-man draft with Heath Cummings, Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard, with each one selecting four teams in this 12-team mock. The goal of this series is to show you positions to draft in these spots as much as the players selected, so take that into account when viewing each team.
The last time DeAndre Hopkins was a consensus first-round pick in most Fantasy leagues was 2016, and he was a bust. You can thank Brock Osweiler for that.
Since 2015, Hopkins has played 31 games without Osweiler, and he scored double digits in Fantasy points in a non-PPR league 21 times. That's a 68 percent success rate, and the quarterbacks Hopkins played with over that span include Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, T.J. Yates, Brandon Weeden, Deshaun Watson and Tom Savage.
In one season with Osweiler in 2016, Hopkins scored double digits in Fantasy points in a non-PPR league just five times in 15 games. That's a 33 percent success rate, and we're glad Hopkins and Osweiler are no longer together.
The reason for that explanation is Hopkins was my choice at No. 7 overall in our latest non-PPR pick-by-pick series. It was an easy decision to draft Hopkins here after Todd Gurley, Le'Veon Bell, Ezekiel Elliott, David Johnson, Antonio Brown and Kareem Hunt.
I actually like Hopkins as the No. 6 overall player this season in this format, ahead of Hunt, so this is somewhat of a steal. And unless Watson turns into Osweiler this year, Hopkins should once again have a stellar season.
Here is my team from No. 7 overall:
- 1.7 DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans
- 2.6 Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings
- 3.7 Derrick Henry, RB, Titans
- 4.6 Derrius Guice, RB, Redskins
- 5.7 Chris Hogan, WR, Patriots
- 6.6 Robert Woods, WR, Rams
- 7.7 Pierre Garcon, WR, 49ers
- 8.6 Delanie Walker, TE, Titans
- 9.7 Nick Chubb, RB, Browns
- 10.6 Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, 49ers
- 11.7 Chris Carson, RB, Seahawks
- 12.6 Latavius Murray, RB, Vikings
- 13.7 Saints DST
- 14.6 Chris Boswell, K, Steelers
It was an easy decision to draft the best running back on the board in the second round with Cook. He was on pace for 296 carries for 1,416 yards and eight touchdowns, along with 44 catches for 360 yards last season before he suffered a torn ACL in Week 4. And the good news is he's healthy heading into training camp.
After starting your team with a standout receiver and running back with your first two picks, you have the luxury of drafting the best player available in Round 3. For me, that's Henry, who I expect to have a breakout campaign in 2018, even with the Titans adding Dion Lewis this offseason. I expect Henry to rush for at least 1,000 yards and score double digits in touchdowns.
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I went the same route with the best player on the board in Round 4 with Guice, who should be among the top rookie running backs -- I like him second behind Saquon Barkley -- and he has the chance to be a solid Fantasy starter this year. I'm now set at running back for a while with the trio of Cook, Henry and Guice, and one of these guys will likely be my starting flex option.
You can look at quarterback or tight end starting in Round 5, but I felt fortunate with the talent available at receiver with my next three picks. Getting Hogan, Woods and Garcon gives me three quality options as a starter to pair with Hopkins.
Hogan is a breakout candidate with Brandin Cooks gone from New England, as well as Julian Edelman dealing with a four-game suspension. And Woods and Garcon should be the best receivers on the Rams and 49ers, respectively.
I got lucky that Walker fell to Round 8, and hopefully you can get this type of value if you wait to draft a tight end. Walker isn't flashy, but he should finish as a top 10 tight end if he stays healthy this year.
The only other decision left was drafting a quarterback, and I was thrilled to get Garoppolo in Round 10. He still has plenty to prove after just five starts in 2017, but he has the potential to be a top-10 quarterback this year, especially with Garcon healthy.
One other thing to note with this team is the three running backs I drafted late in Chubb, Carson and Murray. Chubb would be a steal if he can beat out Carlos Hyde for the starting job in Cleveland, and don't be surprised if Carson forms a tandem with Rashaad Penny in Seattle. And Murray is worth drafting as a handcuff to Cook if you have the roster space with Cook coming off last year's injury.
Favorite pick: Derrius Guice
Guice was a star at LSU, and he had 420 carries for 2,638 yards (6.2 yards per carry) and 27 touchdowns, along with 27 catches for 230 yards and three touchdowns over the past two years. And he has the chance to be a star in Washington. While he should share touches with Chris Thompson, the Redskins will hopefully lean on Guice as much as possible. He's looked the part of a featured running back in OTAs and minicamp, according to reports, and hopefully that continues in training camp. I actually love all three running backs I drafted in the first four rounds with Cook, Henry and Guice.
Pick I might regret: Chris Hogan
I like Hogan as a breakout candidate this season, and he was on pace for 66 catches for 876 yards and 10 touchdowns last season before starting to miss time in Week 10. But the reason I could regret this pick is if Hogan doesn't take advantage of Edelman being out to start the season, as well as not being the No. 3 option for Tom Brady behind Edelman and Rob Gronkowski throughout the year. I also drafted Hogan ahead of other receivers like Edelman, Michael Crabtree and Sammy Watkins, and I hope that doesn't prove to be a mistake.
Player who could make or break my team: Jimmy Garoppolo
If what Garoppolo did last season is any indication of his upside this year, I got a tremendous steal in Round 10. All he did during that five-game stretch in 2017 was throw for 1,542 yards (308.4 per game) with seven total touchdowns and five interceptions, and he averaged 21.7 Fantasy points a game in his final three outings.
He also gets his best receiver back from injury in Garcon, and Garoppolo never got to play with Garcon last year. But we could see Garoppolo struggle in his first full season as a starter, and then I'll be chasing quarterbacks off the waiver wire. Hopefully, that doesn't happen, but that's why he's in this category. If Garoppolo hits, I have a star quarterback at amazing value.