Fantasy managers seem to lament picking in the middle of the first round from No. 5 through No. 9, which is understandable. You're stuck waiting for things to happen, and that's usually not fun. But of the three teams I built in our pick-by-pick series, this one at No. 9 overall is my favorite. I love how this roster came together.
We each built three of the 12 teams in this 15-round PPR mock draft to show you a different strategy from each spot. It's a three-receiver league, and I was able to land three standout receivers with Davante Adams, Robert Woods and Tyler Lockett with three of my first four picks.
Along with that trio, I also got Le'Veon Bell in Round 2. And the rest of my team was some of my favorite players for 2019.
Here's my team from No. 9 overall:
- 1.9 Davante Adams, WR, Packers
- 2.4 Le'Veon Bell, RB, Jets
- 3.9 Robert Woods, WR, Rams
- 4.4 Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks
- 5.9 David Montgomery, RB, Bears
- 6.4 Marlon Mack, RB, Colts
- 7.9 Marvin Jones, WR, Lions
- 8.4 Derrius Guice, RB, Redskins
- 9.9 Delanie Walker, RB, Titans
- 10.4 Geronimo Allison, WR, Packers
- 11.9 Nyheim Hines, RB, Colts
- 12.4 Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers
- 13.9 Marquise Goodwin, WR, 49ers
- 14.4 Deebo Samuel, WR, 49ers
- 15.9 Chris Herndon, TE Jets
In a three-receiver league, especially picking at this spot, it's easy to start your team with a receiver. When it was my turn, DeAndre Hopkins, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Odell Beckham were off the board, but I like Adams better than all of them anyway. He's my No. 1 receiver in 2019.
I don't want to draft Bell in the first round because I don't expect him to be the same dominant running back he was with the Steelers now that he's with the Jets, but I'll gamble on him in Round 2. The only other player I considered there was Mike Evans, but I felt like Bell was a better pick after drafting Adams in Round 1.
My next two picks really solidified this roster as having the chance to be great. Woods and Lockett are top 20 receivers in any format, with Woods slightly better in PPR. But don't be surprised when Lockett has a breakout season with career highs in catches and yards, and hopefully he can score double digits in touchdowns again.
I was still able to get quality running back depth behind Bell with Mongtomery, Mack, Guice and Hines. Montgomery and Mack are starters since we use a flex spot, and Guice could be a steal in Round 8 if he dominates touches for Washington this year.
I waited on tight end and quarterback with Walker and Winston, and both have the chance to be excellent Fantasy options this year. And I also like my reserve receivers a lot in Jones, Allison, Goodwin and Samuel. Jones could also be a flex option for this roster, and I wouldn't be surprised if Goodwin is the No. 1 receiver for the 49ers this year.
Like I said, Lockett is headed for a breakout season in 2019. He was the No. 16 PPR receiver last season, but I expect him to do even better this year. That's because his targets should rise with Doug Baldwin retired. Lockett only had 71 targets last year, which ranked 55th among receivers, but now I can see him getting 71 receptions -- if not more. In 2018, he managed 57 receptions for 965 yards and 10 touchdowns, but I'm excited for him now that he's playing more in the slot. Russell Wilson really doesn't have many reliable options in the passing game, and Lockett should be in line for a career year.
I'm not bailing on Mack after Andrew Luck retired. I downgraded Mack to a Round 4/5 pick now, and I was thrilled to get him in Round 6 here. I still believe in the Colts offensive line, and Jacoby Brissett won't be a disaster like he was in 2017 when Luck was out for the year with a shoulder injury. I'm hoping the Colts involve Mack more in the passing game, which would enhance his value, and he's still worth drafting as a starter in all formats. The only reason I might regret this pick is taking Mack over Duke Johnson, which could be a mistake given Johnson's improved role in Houston with Lamar Miller (ACL) out.
I need Montgomery to be a star for this team to compete for a championship. My top four players should be exceptional with Adams, Bell, Woods and Lockett, barring an injury. But I need Montgomery to be a weekly starter, along with Mack. We'll see how the Bears split the workload with Montgomery, Tarik Cohen and Mike Davis, but I expect Montgomery to take over most of the carries from Jordan Howard last year (250 attempts). He also should be much more involved in the passing game than Howard, and I love taking him in Round 5 here.