2018 Fantasy Football Offseason: Pre-draft PPR mock shows value of wide receivers

Most Fantasy owners are going to want to draft a running back with one of their first two picks, even in a PPR league. There is too much talent at the position, especially at the top of every draft board, and we know the value of landing a stud running back.

It can make your team special.

After last season, when some of the top receivers flopped due to disappointing play (Julio Jones) or injury (Odell Beckham), there is some trepidation with investing heavily in two wide receivers to start your team on Draft Day. The thought process, at least early on for Fantasy owners, appears to be getting one top-tier running back and pairing that player with a standout receiver, or potentially tight end Rob Gronkowski. Or you might even see a lot of RB-RB early on.

That was the case in our latest 12-team PPR mock draft when only one owner, Dave Richard, started his team with two receivers. There were nine owners, including me, who went with some combination of a running back and receiver with their first two picks. Adam Aizer drafted two running backs first, and Larry Hartstein went with a running back and Gronkowski to start his team.

In looking at Dave's team, I like the way he went about building his roster, even if I don't agree with all of his picks. He started with DeAndre Hopkins at No. 5 overall and took Tyreek Hill in Round 2 (I would have drafted Doug Baldwin instead). 

He got a potential steal with Mark Ingram in Round 3, and Dave drafted Josh Gordon in Round 4 (I would have gone with Jarvis Landry instead given the format). Dave then started stockpiling running backs with Alex Collins in Round 5, LSU rookie Derrius Guice in Round 6, Marshawn Lynch in Round 8, Georgia rookie Nick Chubb in Round 9 and D'Onta Foreman in Round 10. Dave drafted Evan Engram in Round 7 and Ben Roethlisberger in Round 11 to fill out the core of his team.

Now, Dave only has those three receivers on his roster in Hopkins, Hill and Gordon, which could be a problem – he could have taken a flier on Corey Davis or Alabama rookie Calvin Ridley in Round 8 instead of Lynch – but I like his approach. If those receivers play up to their expectations, Dave has a solid stable of running back talent at his disposal to be competitive, along with a standout quarterback and tight end.

For my team, I took more of a best-player approach to build my roster. I started with Todd Gurley at No. 1 overall, Baldwin in Round 2 and Travis Kelce in Round 3. One regret I might have is taking Kelce over T.Y. Hilton, who should rebound in a big way if Andrew Luck (shoulder) is back at 100 percent. But Kelce could again challenge Gronkowski for the No. 1 tight end spot, and it's hard to pass on him given that upside.

I also might regret taking two more running backs in Round 4 and 5 with Jay Ajayi and Derrick Henry, but I felt there was a drop in talent coming at the position compared to receiver at that point in the draft. Taking Ajayi and Henry there hurt my No. 2 receiver spot, and I settled for Robert Woods in Round 6. 

I like Woods and still expect him to be the best receiver for the Rams, even with the addition of Brandin Cooks, but my receiving corps is the weak link of my roster. Along with Baldwin and Woods, I have Rishard Matthews, Quincy Enunwa, rookie D.J. Moore from Maryland and Kenny Golladay.

While those names aren't exactly headline worthy, don't overlook Matthews and Enunwa this year. Matthews could easily be the best receiver for the Titans again (he was the past two seasons), and Enunwa was the Jets best receiver in 2016 before missing last year with a neck injury. Moore also has plenty of potential if he lands with the right team, and he could be the best rookie receiver in 2018.

I also have another rookie with upside at running back in San Diego State's Rashaad Penny, and Russell Wilson is my quarterback. As you can see, I have plenty of star power with Gurley, Baldwin, Kelce and Wilson, and if Woods, Ajayi and Henry are solid then this team will be highly competitive.

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 award one point for every reception. 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:

  1. Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer
  2. Adam Aizer, Podcast Host
  3. Meron Berkson, Video Producer
  4. Larry Hartstein, SportsLine Analyst
  5. Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer
  6. Scott Reilly, Video Producer
  7. Heath Cummings, Senior Fantasy Writer
  8. R.J. White, NFL Editor
  9. Chris Towers, Senior Editor, Fantasy
  10. Matthew Coca, Video Producer
  11. Will Brinson, NFL Writer
  12. Rob Arciero, Video Producer
Round by round
Team By Team
Round 1 Adam Aizer
Pick Team Player Rd.Pk Player
1 Eisenberg Todd Gurley, RB, LAR 1.2 Le'Veon Bell, RB, PIT
2 Aizer Le'Veon Bell, RB, PIT 2.11 Christian McCaffrey, RB, CAR
3 Meron Antonio Brown, WR, PIT 3.2 Zach Ertz, TE, PHI
4 Hartstein Ezekiel Elliott, RB, DAL 4.11 Marvin Jones, WR, DET
5 Richard DeAndre Hopkins, WR, HOU 5.2 Brandin Cooks, WR, LAR
6 Reilly Julio Jones, WR, ATL 6.11 Sony Michel, RB, Georgia
7 Cummings Michael Thomas, WR, NO 7.2 Will Fuller, WR, HOU
8 White David Johnson, RB, ARI 8.11 Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
9 Towers Kareem Hunt, RB, KC 9.2 Carson Wentz, QB, PHI
10 Coca Odell Beckham, WR, NYG 10.11 Danny Amendola, WR, MIA
11 Brinson Alvin Kamara, RB, NO 11.2 Ty Montgomery, RB, GB
12 Arciero Melvin Gordon, RB, LAC 12.11 DST Eagles, PHI
Round 2 13.2 Greg Zuerlein, K, LAR
Pick Team Player 14.11 Josh Doctson, WR, WAS
13 Rob Arciero A.J. Green, WR, CIN 15.2 O.J. Howard, TE, TB
14 Brinson Mike Evans, WR, TB Rob Arciero
15 Coca Leonard Fournette, RB, JAC Rd.Pk Player
16 Towers Keenan Allen, WR, LAC 1.12 Melvin Gordon, RB, LAC
17 White Davante Adams, WR, GB 2.1 A.J. Green, WR, CIN
18 Cummings Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State 3.12 Greg Olsen, TE, CAR
19 Reilly LeSean McCoy, RB, BUF 4.1 Stefon Diggs, WR, MIN
20 Richard Tyreek Hill, WR, KC 5.12 Carlos Hyde, RB, CLE
21 Hartstein Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE 6.1 Deshaun Watson, QB, HOU
22 Meron Dalvin Cook, RB, MIN 7.12 Isaiah Crowell, RB, NYJ
23 Adam Aizer Christian McCaffrey, RB, CAR 8.1 Jordan Reed, TE, WAS
24 Eisenberg Doug Baldwin, WR, SEA 9.12 Randall Cobb, WR, GB
Round 3 10.1 DeSean Jackson, WR, TB
Pick Team Player 11.12 Theo Riddick, RB, DET
25 Eisenberg Travis Kelce, TE, KC 12.1 DST Rams, LAR
26 Adam Aizer Zach Ertz, TE, PHI 13.12 James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
27 Meron Devonta Freeman, RB, ATL 14.1 Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State
28 Hartstein T.Y. Hilton, WR, IND 15.12 Kai Forbath, K, MIN
29 Richard Mark Ingram, RB, NO Will Brinson
30 Reilly Adam Thielen, WR, MIN Rd.Pk Player
31 Cummings Kenyan Drake, RB, MIA 1.11 Alvin Kamara, RB, NO
32 White Jerick McKinnon, RB, SF 2.2 Mike Evans, WR, TB
33 Towers Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN 3.11 Joe Mixon, RB, CIN
34 Coca Jordan Howard, RB, CHI 4.2 Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB
35 Brinson Joe Mixon, RB, CIN 5.11 Sammy Watkins, WR, KC
36 Rob Arciero Greg Olsen, TE, CAR 6.2 Devin Funchess, WR, CAR
Round 4 7.11 Jordy Nelson, WR, OAK
Pick Team Player 8.2 Bilal Powell, RB, NYJ
37 Rob Arciero Stefon Diggs, WR, MIN 9.11 Jack Doyle, TE, IND
38 Brinson Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB 10.2 Nelson Agholor, WR, PHI
39 Coca Allen Robinson, WR, CHI 11.11 David Njoku, TE, CLE
40 Towers Amari Cooper, WR, OAK 12.2 Cameron Meredith, WR, CHI
41 White Alshon Jeffery, WR, PHI 13.11 Jonathan Stewart, RB, NYG
42 Cummings Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI 14.2 DST Ravens, BAL
43 Reilly Julian Edelman, WR, NE 15.11 Robbie Gould, K, SF
44 Richard Josh Gordon, WR, CLE Matthew Coca
45 Hartstein Golden Tate, WR, DET Rd.Pk Player
46 Meron Jarvis Landry, WR, CLE 1.10 Odell Beckham, WR, NYG
47 Adam Aizer Marvin Jones, WR, DET 2.3 Leonard Fournette, RB, JAC
48 Eisenberg Jay Ajayi, RB, PHI 3.10 Jordan Howard, RB, CHI
Round 5 4.3 Allen Robinson, WR, CHI
Pick Team Player 5.10 Tevin Coleman, RB, ATL
49 Eisenberg Derrick Henry, RB, TEN 6.3 Jimmy Graham, TE, GB
50 Adam Aizer Brandin Cooks, WR, LAR 7.10 Drew Brees, QB, NO
51 Meron Dez Bryant, WR, DAL 8.3 Marqise Lee, WR, JAC
52 Hartstein Jamaal Williams, RB, GB 9.10 Tarik Cohen, RB, CHI
53 Richard Alex Collins, RB, BAL 10.3 Kenny Stills, WR, MIA
54 Reilly Duke Johnson, RB, CLE 11.10 Matt Breida, RB, SF
55 Cummings Michael Crabtree, WR, BAL 12.3 Terrelle Pryor, WR, NYJ
56 White Dion Lewis, RB, TEN 13.10 Samaje Perine, RB, WAS
57 Towers JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, PIT 14.3 DST Texans, HOU
58 Coca Tevin Coleman, RB, ATL 15.10 Matt Prater, K, DET
59 Brinson Sammy Watkins, WR, KC Heath Cummings
60 Rob Arciero Carlos Hyde, RB, CLE Rd.Pk Player
Round 6 1.7 Michael Thomas, WR, NO
Pick Team Player 2.6 Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
61 Rob Arciero Deshaun Watson, QB, HOU 3.7 Kenyan Drake, RB, MIA
62 Brinson Devin Funchess, WR, CAR 4.6 Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI
63 Coca Jimmy Graham, TE, GB 5.7 Michael Crabtree, WR, BAL
64 Towers C.J. Anderson, RB, DEN 6.6 Rex Burkhead, RB, NE
65 White Chris Hogan, WR, NE 7.7 DeVante Parker, WR, MIA
66 Cummings Rex Burkhead, RB, NE 8.6 Marquise Goodwin, WR, SF
67 Reilly Tom Brady, QB, NE 9.7 Trey Burton, TE, CHI
68 Richard Derrius Guice, RB, LSU 10.6 James White, RB, NE
69 Hartstein Chris Carson, RB, SEA 11.7 LeGarrette Blount, RB, DET
70 Meron Lamar Miller, RB, HOU 12.6 Paul Richardson, WR, WAS
71 Adam Aizer Sony Michel, RB, Georgia 13.7 Philip Rivers, QB, LAC
72 Eisenberg Robert Woods, WR, LAR 14.6 Matt Bryant, K, ATL
Round 7 15.7 DST Cardinals, ARI
Pick Team Player Jamey Eisenberg
73 Eisenberg Russell Wilson, QB, SEA Rd.Pk Player
74 Adam Aizer Will Fuller, WR, HOU 1.1 Todd Gurley, RB, LAR
75 Meron Emmanuel Sanders, WR, DEN 2.12 Doug Baldwin, WR, SEA
76 Hartstein Cooper Kupp, WR, LAR 3.1 Travis Kelce, TE, KC
77 Richard Evan Engram, TE, NYG 4.12 Jay Ajayi, RB, PHI
78 Reilly Hunter Henry, TE, LAC 5.1 Derrick Henry, RB, TEN
79 Cummings DeVante Parker, WR, MIA 6.12 Robert Woods, WR, LAR
80 White Pierre Garcon, WR, SF 7.1 Russell Wilson, QB, SEA
81 Towers Chris Thompson, RB, WAS 8.12 Rishard Matthews, WR, TEN
82 Coca Drew Brees, QB, NO 9.1 Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State
83 Brinson Jordy Nelson, WR, OAK 10.12 DJ Moore, WR, Maryland
84 Rob Arciero Isaiah Crowell, RB, NYJ 11.1 Quincy Enunwa, WR, NYJ
Round 8 12.12 Wayne Gallman, RB, NYG
Pick Team Player 13.1 Kenny Golladay, WR, DET
85 Rob Arciero Jordan Reed, TE, WAS 14.12 DST Saints, NO
86 Brinson Bilal Powell, RB, NYJ 15.1 Jake Elliott, K, PHI
87 Coca Marqise Lee, WR, JAC Larry Hartstein
88 Towers Jamison Crowder, WR, WAS Rd.Pk Player
89 White Marlon Mack, RB, IND 1.4 Ezekiel Elliott, RB, DAL
90 Cummings Marquise Goodwin, WR, SF 2.9 Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE
91 Reilly Robby Anderson, WR, NYJ 3.4 T.Y. Hilton, WR, IND
92 Richard Marshawn Lynch, RB, OAK 4.9 Golden Tate, WR, DET
93 Hartstein Corey Davis, WR, TEN 5.4 Jamaal Williams, RB, GB
94 Meron Kyle Rudolph, TE, MIN 6.9 Chris Carson, RB, SEA
95 Adam Aizer Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama 7.4 Cooper Kupp, WR, LAR
96 Eisenberg Rishard Matthews, WR, TEN 8.9 Corey Davis, WR, TEN
Round 9 9.4 Kirk Cousins, QB, MIN
Pick Team Player 10.9 Andrew Luck, QB, IND
97 Eisenberg Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State 11.4 Peyton Barber, RB, TB
98 Adam Aizer Carson Wentz, QB, PHI 12.9 Allen Hurns, WR, DAL
99 Meron Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU 13.4 Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame
100 Hartstein Kirk Cousins, QB, MIN 14.9 DST Panthers, CAR
101 Richard Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia 15.4 Chris Boswell, K, PIT
102 Reilly Ronald Jones II, RB, USC Meron Berkson
103 Cummings Trey Burton, TE, CHI Rd.Pk Player
104 White Kelvin Benjamin, WR, BUF 1.3 Antonio Brown, WR, PIT
105 Towers Giovani Bernard, RB, CIN 2.10 Dalvin Cook, RB, MIN
106 Coca Tarik Cohen, RB, CHI 3.3 Devonta Freeman, RB, ATL
107 Brinson Jack Doyle, TE, IND 4.10 Jarvis Landry, WR, CLE
108 Rob Arciero Randall Cobb, WR, GB 5.3 Dez Bryant, WR, DAL
Round 10 6.10 Lamar Miller, RB, HOU
Pick Team Player 7.3 Emmanuel Sanders, WR, DEN
109 Rob Arciero DeSean Jackson, WR, TB 8.10 Kyle Rudolph, TE, MIN
110 Brinson Nelson Agholor, WR, PHI 9.3 Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
111 Coca Kenny Stills, WR, MIA 10.10 Matthew Stafford, QB, DET
112 Towers Aaron Jones, RB, GB 11.3 Corey Clement, RB, PHI
113 White Cam Newton, QB, CAR 12.10 Mohamed Sanu, WR, ATL
114 Cummings James White, RB, NE 13.3 Albert Wilson, WR, MIA
115 Reilly Sterling Shepard, WR, NYG 14.10 DST Patriots, NE
116 Richard D'Onta Foreman, RB, HOU 15.3 Wil Lutz, K, NO
117 Hartstein Andrew Luck, QB, IND Scott Reilly
118 Meron Matthew Stafford, QB, DET Rd.Pk Player
119 Adam Aizer Danny Amendola, WR, MIA 1.6 Julio Jones, WR, ATL
120 Eisenberg DJ Moore, WR, Maryland 2.7 LeSean McCoy, RB, BUF
Round 11 3.6 Adam Thielen, WR, MIN
Pick Team Player 4.7 Julian Edelman, WR, NE
121 Eisenberg Quincy Enunwa, WR, NYJ 5.6 Duke Johnson, RB, CLE
122 Adam Aizer Ty Montgomery, RB, GB 6.7 Tom Brady, QB, NE
123 Meron Corey Clement, RB, PHI 7.6 Hunter Henry, TE, LAC
124 Hartstein Peyton Barber, RB, TB 8.7 Robby Anderson, WR, NYJ
125 Richard Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT 9.6 Ronald Jones II, RB, USC
126 Reilly Jeremy Hill, RB, NE 10.7 Sterling Shepard, WR, NYG
127 Cummings LeGarrette Blount, RB, DET 11.6 Jeremy Hill, RB, NE
128 White Devontae Booker, RB, DEN 12.7 DST Jaguars, JAC
129 Towers George Kittle, TE, SF 13.6 Ted Ginn, WR, NO
130 Coca Matt Breida, RB, SF 14.7 Justin Tucker, K, BAL
131 Brinson David Njoku, TE, CLE 15.6 Austin Ekeler, RB, LAC
132 Rob Arciero Theo Riddick, RB, DET Dave Richard
Round 12 Rd.Pk Player
Pick Team Player 1.5 DeAndre Hopkins, WR, HOU
133 Rob Arciero DST Rams, LAR 2.8 Tyreek Hill, WR, KC
134 Brinson Cameron Meredith, WR, CHI 3.5 Mark Ingram, RB, NO
135 Coca Terrelle Pryor, WR, NYJ 4.8 Josh Gordon, WR, CLE
136 Towers Martavis Bryant, WR, PIT 5.5 Alex Collins, RB, BAL
137 White Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, SF 6.8 Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
138 Cummings Paul Richardson, WR, WAS 7.5 Evan Engram, TE, NYG
139 Reilly DST Jaguars, JAC 8.8 Marshawn Lynch, RB, OAK
140 Richard Delanie Walker, TE, TEN 9.5 Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
141 Hartstein Allen Hurns, WR, DAL 10.8 D'Onta Foreman, RB, HOU
142 Meron Mohamed Sanu, WR, ATL 11.5 Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT
143 Adam Aizer DST Eagles, PHI 12.8 Delanie Walker, TE, TEN
144 Eisenberg Wayne Gallman, RB, NYG 13.5 DST Chargers, LAC
Round 13 14.8 Patrick Mahomes, QB, KC
Pick Team Player 15.5 Harrison Butker, K, KC
145 Eisenberg Kenny Golladay, WR, DET Chris Towers
146 Adam Aizer Greg Zuerlein, K, LAR Rd.Pk Player
147 Meron Albert Wilson, WR, MIA 1.9 Kareem Hunt, RB, KC
148 Hartstein Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame 2.4 Keenan Allen, WR, LAC
149 Richard DST Chargers, LAC 3.9 Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN
150 Reilly Ted Ginn, WR, NO 4.4 Amari Cooper, WR, OAK
151 Cummings Philip Rivers, QB, LAC 5.9 JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, PIT
152 White DST Vikings, MIN 6.4 C.J. Anderson, RB, DEN
153 Towers Jameis Winston, QB, TB 7.9 Chris Thompson, RB, WAS
154 Coca Samaje Perine, RB, WAS 8.4 Jamison Crowder, WR, WAS
155 Brinson Jonathan Stewart, RB, NYG 9.9 Giovani Bernard, RB, CIN
156 Rob Arciero James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State 10.4 Aaron Jones, RB, GB
Round 14 11.9 George Kittle, TE, SF
Pick Team Player 12.4 Martavis Bryant, WR, PIT
157 Rob Arciero Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State 13.9 Jameis Winston, QB, TB
158 Brinson DST Ravens, BAL 14.4 DST Steelers, PIT
159 Coca DST Texans, HOU 15.9 Dan Bailey, K, DAL
160 Towers DST Steelers, PIT R.J. White
161 White Stephen Gostkowski, K, NE Rd.Pk Player
162 Cummings Matt Bryant, K, ATL 1.8 David Johnson, RB, ARI
163 Reilly Justin Tucker, K, BAL 2.5 Davante Adams, WR, GB
164 Richard Patrick Mahomes, QB, KC 3.8 Jerick McKinnon, RB, SF
165 Hartstein DST Panthers, CAR 4.5 Alshon Jeffery, WR, PHI
166 Meron DST Patriots, NE 5.8 Dion Lewis, RB, TEN
167 Adam Aizer Josh Doctson, WR, WAS 6.5 Chris Hogan, WR, NE
168 Eisenberg DST Saints, NO 7.8 Pierre Garcon, WR, SF
Round 15 8.5 Marlon Mack, RB, IND
Pick Team Player 9.8 Kelvin Benjamin, WR, BUF
169 Eisenberg Jake Elliott, K, PHI 10.5 Cam Newton, QB, CAR
170 Adam Aizer O.J. Howard, TE, TB 11.8 Devontae Booker, RB, DEN
171 Meron Wil Lutz, K, NO 12.5 Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, SF
172 Hartstein Chris Boswell, K, PIT 13.8 DST Vikings, MIN
173 Richard Harrison Butker, K, KC 14.5 Stephen Gostkowski, K, NE
174 Reilly Austin Ekeler, RB, LAC 15.8 Cameron Brate, TE, TB
175 Cummings DST Cardinals, ARI
176 White Cameron Brate, TE, TB
177 Towers Dan Bailey, K, DAL
178 Coca Matt Prater, K, DET
179 Brinson Robbie Gould, K, SF
180 Rob Arciero Kai Forbath, K, MIN
Senior Fantasy Writer

Jamey Eisenberg has been a Senior Fantasy Writer for CBS Sports since 2006 with a focus on Fantasy Football. A University of Florida grad (class of '98), Jamey got his start in the newspaper business and... Full Bio

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