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If you've been following our content this offseason, especially on our Fantasy Football Today podcast, you know we've spent a lot of time talking about the lack of talent at the top of the receiver rank list compared to running backs. The top-tier receivers disappear quickly, but that's not the case for the premier running backs.
By the time you get to the middle of Round 2, the best receivers are typically gone, including Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins, Odell Beckham, Julio Jones, A.J. Green, Michael Thomas, Keenan Allen, Davante Adams and Mike Evans. That was the order they were selected in this 12-team non-PPR mock draft we held in the middle of June, and those nine receivers were drafted by No. 20 overall.
It makes it challenging to draft a receiver in Round 2 if you picked early in Round 1, which is why guys like Doug Baldwin, Tyreek Hill and T.Y. Hilton are being selected in the first 26 overall picks. Those three receivers have top-10 upside, but they feel more like third-round selections than second-round picks.
But if you want a top-flight receiver, you might have to reach for someone from that trio of Baldwin, Hill or Hilton. Otherwise you might be reaching for a tight end in Round 2 like Travis Kelce or Zach Ertz, or you can draft a quarterback in that spot, although that's not recommended.
You can always start your team going RB-RB, which could work, and two teams took that approach in this mock draft. In fact, they waited until Round 4 to draft their first receiver.
George Maselli at No. 3 overall started his team with Ezekiel Elliott, Devonta Freeman and LeSean McCoy. He drafted Alshon Jeffery in Round 4, but he took another running back in Round 5 with Mark Ingram. From there, Maselli continued to build his receiving corps. He drafted Sammy Watkins in Round 6, Julian Edelman in Round 7 and Jamison Crowder in Round 8.
Once Edelman is back from his suspension, especially if Jeffery doesn't have a problem with his shoulder, this should be an explosive receiving corps. And it looks great paired with those running backs.
Matthew Coca at No. 7 overall went with Alvin Kamara, Dalvin Cook and Alex Collins with his first three picks. He then started building his receiving corps with Stefon Diggs in Round 4, Jarvis Landry in Round 5, Emmanuel Sanders in Round 7 and D.J. Moore in Round 8.
I like Maselli's receiving corps better, but this is also a solid team. And it shows that you don't have to reach for a receiver if there's a player you like at a different position.
I picked at No. 4 overall and started my team with David Johnson, Baldwin and Jerick McKinnon with my first three picks. I actually like Baldwin a lot this year, so I don't consider drafting him at No. 21 overall a reach.
The rest of my team includes Royce Freeman, Tarik Cohen and D'Onta Foreman at running back, and Larry Fitzgerald, Chris Hogan, Nelson Agholor and Anthony Miller at receiver. I love my running back corps, especially if Foreman (Achilles) is healthy, and my receivers should be solid, including Hogan as a breakout candidate.
I drafted another breakout candidate at tight end with Trey Burton, and I selected two quarterbacks in Jimmy Garoppolo and Patrick Mahomes. One, if not both, should finish as a top-10 quarterback this year, and I got them at great value with back-to-back picks in Rounds 11 and 12.
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:
- Jeremy Bache, Fantasy Sales Coordinator
- Adam Aizer, Podcast Host
- George Maselli, Fantasy Editor
- Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer
- R.J. White, NFL Editor
- Matthew Coca, CBS Sports HQ Producer
- Will Brinson, NFL Writer
- Chris Towers, Senior Editor, Fantasy
- Robert Arciero, CBS Sports HQ Producer
- Heath Cummings, Senior Fantasy Writer
- Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer
- Meron Berkson, CBS Sports HQ Producer