Saquon Barkley could end up being a steal at No. 9 overall. That might seem strange to read, but Barkley is somewhat of a wild card as a Fantasy option at the start of training camp. His health has many Fantasy managers concerned, which is understandable.
He opened training camp on the PUP list following last year's torn ACL. That doesn't mean he will miss Week 1, but the Giants plan to be cautious with Barkley. As a result, he's gone from a potential top-five overall pick in most Fantasy leagues to falling to the back half of the first round.
I had no problem drafting Barkley here. This is our 12-part, pick-by-pick series where me, Heath Cummings, Chris Towers and Dave Richard all took part in a 0.5 PPR mock draft. We each built three of the 12 teams in this 15-round draft to show you a different strategy from each spot.
I could have gone with a safer pick instead of Barkley like Davante Adams or Tyreek Hill. Or I could have selected another running back like Nick Chubb, Joe Mixon or Austin Ekeler. But I'd rather have Barkley.
He had the most upside of any player available, and I like playing to win instead of playing it safe. If Barkley is healthy for Week 1, he's a star, and I'm hopeful he will be ready for the start of the season. In a few weeks, we could see Barkley being drafted again as a top-five pick -- and then this pick is a steal.
As a reference point for this league, all touchdowns in this league 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 0.5 points for every reception. We feature a starting lineup of QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE and FLEX (RB/WR/TE).
Here's my team from No. 9 overall:
1.9: Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
2.4: Najee Harris, RB, Steelers
3.9: Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington
4.4: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Cowboys
5.9: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Lions
6.4: Javonte Williams, RB, Broncos
7.9: Odell Beckham, WR, Browns
8.4: Zack Moss, RB, Bills
9.9: Gus Edwards, RB, Ravens
10.4: Darnell Mooney, WR, Bears
11.9: Mecole Hardman, WR, Chiefs
12.4: Matthew Stafford, QB, Rams
13.9: Samaje Perine, RB, Bengals
14.4: Marquez Callaway, WR, Saints
15.9: Justin Fields, QB, Bears
Harris is someone I would draft in the first round, so it was easy to select him in Round 2 to pair with Barkley. I like drafting two running backs to start my team in this format, and Barkley and Harris should be difference makers.
It worked out great that I ended up with McLaurin and Lamb with my next two picks. Those are two receivers I could see finishing in the top 10 this year, and I would love to start any team in any format with these four players this year.
I'm bullish on Hockenson this season, and I plan to be aggressive in drafting him, which is why I picked him in Round 5. He should be a top five Fantasy tight end this year and has plenty of breakout potential.
The rest of my draft was about stockpiling top-flight talent at running back and receiver, and I love how this team came together. Williams and Moss should be the best running backs in their backfields, and either one could be a flex option. Edwards is a lottery ticket in case something happens to J.K. Dobbins, and the same thing goes for Perine if Joe Mixon misses any time.
Beckham has plenty to prove coming off last year's torn ACL, but he's a potential steal as my No. 3 receiver in Round 7. And I love my reserve receivers in Mooney, Hardman and Callaway, who could be valuable in New Orleans with Michael Thomas (ankle) out to start the season. Mooney and Hardman are quality sleepers this year.
I knew I would wait on a quarterback, and drafting Stafford in Round 12 was exceptional value. He should excel with the Rams following his move from Detroit, and he's one of the best late-round quarterbacks to target this year. I also took a flier on Fields in case he turns out to be a good rookie quarterback with the Bears.
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CHI Chicago • #11
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Mooney is someone I plan to draft with a late-round pick in all leagues, and I love him as my No. 4 receiver on this roster. He will start opposite Allen Robinson, and Mooney closed last season with at least 15 PPR points in two of his final three games. Hopefully, Fields or Andy Dalton will lean on Mooney a lot, and he could emerge as a low-end No. 2 Fantasy receiver this year.
Najee Harris RB
PIT Pittsburgh • #22
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
As stated above, Harris is someone I would draft in the first round, but it's obviously risky to select him early as a rookie. The Steelers have concerns about their offensive line, and Harris could be good but not great, which would be a disappointment. I also drafted him ahead of receivers like DeAndre Hopkins, Calvin Ridley and A.J. Brown, as well as Darren Waller and George Kittle. That said, I'm confident in Harris, and I don't regret taking him at No. 16 overall.
DET Detroit • #88
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
I'm excited about Hockenson this season. He should be the primary receiving option for the Lions this year, and he should have a breakout campaign in 2021. I don't expect him to crack the top three tight ends of Travis Kelce, Waller or Kittle, but I wouldn't be surprised if he's close in production. However, if he doesn't meet my expectations and is more of a top-10 Fantasy tight end than a top-three option then this is a wasted pick, especially since Kyle Pitts was still on the board. If Hockenson hits, this team should be unstoppable.