Mock drafts are useful for trying new things. It's why we encourage you to do as many as possible before your actual Draft Day. You get to experiment with different strategies and figure out what works best for you in building your Fantasy team.
In our latest 12-team, PPR mock draft -- you can watch the live results here -- I tried something different from the No. 12 spot by taking a Zero RB approach. It's the first mock draft this season where I've gone Zero RB, and I have mixed feelings on the results.
My first five picks, in order, were Tyreek Hill, Stefon Diggs, CeeDee Lamb, Julio Jones and Lamar Jackson. I went with Lamb over Amari Cooper in Round 3 with Cooper still dealing with his ankle injury, but otherwise, these were easy selections.
For the most, I love this start. All four receivers are starters on my team and should be great if healthy, and I have a star quarterback in Jackson. But Round 6 is where the struggle started, and it made me slightly regret this approach. And it had nothing to do with the running backs.
It was frustrating when I saw Mark Andrews, T.J. Hockenson and Kyle Pitts get selected right in front of me at the end of Round 5. I had planned to draft a quarterback at this turn, but I also wanted one of those tight ends. In hindsight, I should have drafted Hockenson, Andrews or Pitts in Round 4 instead of Jones, and I could have selected a different receiver in Round 6 like Kenny Golladay, JuJu Smith-Schuster or Courtland Sutton, among others.
I ended up with Blake Jarwin at tight end in Round 14, and that's the only potential hole on this roster if Jarwin isn't a quality Fantasy option this year. While I like Jarwin as a sleeper, I would have preferred a tight end with a higher ceiling like Hockenson, Andrews or Pitts.
Now, when you take a Zero RB approach, the key to all of this is what you do at running back. And I like the group that I put together with Javonte Williams, Zack Moss, Melvin Gordon, Latavius Murray, Jamaal Williams and Samaje Perine. The Broncos backfield will hopefully deliver one starting Fantasy option out of Javonte Williams and Gordon (I prefer Williams), and Moss should be a borderline starter as the best running back for the Bills.
Murray, Jamaal Williams and Perine are lottery tickets in case they get increased workloads during the season, but I expect Murray and Williams to have prominent roles on their teams and get enough work to be useful if I have to start them. The waiver wire is also vital to making Zero RB work.
And if we were playing out this league then I would have trade options at receiver, especially since I have two quality reserves in Tre'Quan Smith and DeVante Parker. Smith is a solid sleeper with Michael Thomas (ankle) out to begin the season with the Saints.
I probably won't use Zero RB much this season because wide receiver is so deep this year. Most likely, I'll take a modified approach with one running back in the first two rounds. And that will probably be the next strategy I use in our next mock draft.
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, 3 WR, TE, FLEX (RB/WR/TE) and DST. There also are six reserve spots for a 15-round draft.
Our draft order is as follows:
1. Nate Williams, Podcast Listener Participant
2. Andrew Baumhor, CBS Sports HQ Producer
3. Frank Stampfl, Fantasy Baseball Today Podcast Host
4. Dan Schneier, Fantasy Editor
5. Scott Engel, SportsLine Fantasy Analyst
6. Chris Towers, Senior Editor, Fantasy
7. Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer
8. R.J. White, Managing Editor, SportsLine and CBS Fantasy
9. Heath Cummings, Senior Fantasy Writer
10. Adam Aizer, Fantasy Football Today Podcast Host
11. Mike Miller, Podcast Listener Participant
12. Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer