But we're not wasting any time in getting started on our preparation for the 2018 campaign. The more you know, the better off you are, and we want you ready come Draft Day.
With that in mind, we have already done our first 2018 mock draft. This was a 12-team standard draft, and the purpose for this mock was to see where players will likely be selected coming off their performance in 2017.
We did not include the upcoming rookies for this mock draft, and we are well aware a lot will change with free agency and the NFL Draft. As such, we will do multiple mock drafts in the coming months.
For this mock draft, the first round was likely what you will see for most leagues this season, especially at the top with Todd Gurley, Le'Veon Bell, Ezekiel Elliott and David Johnson going in the first four picks. Bell could fall if he decides to hold out because of his contract situation, but he should be on the field for the Steelers in Week 1.
Four receivers went in the first round with Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins, Odell Beckham and Julio Jones, which is fine, but I actually like Michael Thomas better than Jones coming into the year. Thomas went at No. 17 overall.
The other running backs to finish out the first round were, in order, Leonard Fournette, Kareem Hunt, Melvin Gordon and Dalvin Cook. I would have drafted Hunt and Gordon over Fournette, and I like Alvin Kamara better than Cook. Kamara went at No. 14 overall.
There's a lot of speculation that went into this draft, with some players potentially getting a boost in value because they could get elevated on the depth chart. For example, I drafted Derrick Henry in Round 2 because I expect the Titans to move on from DeMarco Murray this offseason. Murray was still drafted in Round 5.
And you have the guessing game of where some free agents will end up. Some of the prominent players who could be switching teams this offseason include Kirk Cousins (he was drafted in Round 13), Dion Lewis (Round 3), Carlos Hyde (Round 4), Jerick McKinnon (Round 7), Isaiah Crowell (Round 9), Jarvis Landry (Round 4), Allen Robinson (Round 5) and Jimmy Graham (Round 8).
It was also interesting to see where some of the players coming off significant injuries were drafted, including Cook and Robinson. Aaron Rodgers was still the No. 1 quarterback (he was drafted in Round 4), and no one was really shying away from Carson Wentz (Round 6), Chris Carson (Round 6), Deshaun Watson (Round 6), Chris Thompson (Round 7), Julian Edelman (Round 7) and Cameron Meredith (Round 9).
I took a few risks with my roster from No. 2 overall. After Bell, who is somewhat risky until his contract is settled, and Henry, who could remain in a timeshare with the Titans, I drafted Tyreek Hill in Round 3. There are about 10 receivers I feel confident in as of now as top-tier guys -- Brown, Hopkins, Beckham, Thomas, Jones, A.J. Green, Davante Adams, Mike Evans, Keenan Allen and Hill -- and I was thrilled to get Hill after selecting those two running backs.
I drafted another running back in Round 4 with Jamaal Williams, and I expect him to be the best running back in Green Bay. He should get a boost with Rodgers back, and I made sure to handcuff him with Aaron Jones in Round 8.
In Round 5, I went with Robinson over Larry Fitzgerald with the chance that Fitzgerald could announce his retirement in the next two weeks. If Fitzgerald returns in 2018 then I would have taken him over Robinson, who should be fine from last year's torn ACL and could stay in Jacksonville again as a free agent. If Robinson ends up in San Francisco, for example, then his value would rise.
My final two receivers are Devin Funchess (Round 7) and Kenny Golladay (Round 11), and this is a position I might need to address if we were playing out this league. While I like Funchess as a No. 3 receiver and Golladay as a sleeper, this group could be in trouble if Hill struggles. And let's keep in mind he's getting a new quarterback in Patrick Mahomes, which hopefully won't hinder his production.
The rest of my running backs are D'Onta Foreman (Round 9) and Matt Breida (Round 10), and I love the talent I have at this position. Bell, Henry and one of the Packers' running backs should be in my lineup each week, but I might also have the best running back for the Texans if Foreman is OK coming off last year's Achilles injury, along with the starter for the 49ers if Hyde leaves as a free agent.
At quarterback, Watson could be a steal if he's 100 percent as expected from last year's torn ACL, and he was the fifth quarterback drafted after Rodgers, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson and Wentz. And I took a pair of tight ends with Eric Ebron (Round 12) and Adam Shaheen (Round 13).
I'm hopeful that Ebron can pick up this season where last season ended when he had a touchdown or 90 receiving yards in three of his final four games. And Shaheen is my favorite sleeper tight end this year heading into his sophomore campaign.
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:
- Scott White, Senior Fantasy Writer
- Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer
- Matthew Coca, Video Producer
- R.J. White, NFL Editor
- Adam Aizer, Podcast Host
- Heath Cummings, Senior Fantasy Writer
- George Maselli, Fantasy Editor
- Jeremy Bache, Fantasy Sales Coordinator
- Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer
- Meron Berkson, Video Producer
- Chris Towers, Senior Editor, Fantasy
- Will Brinson, NFL Writer