We did a live 12-team, PPR mock draft Friday on our Fantasy Football Today podcast with members of our audience, and it was awesome. The best part was being able to see how non-Fantasy analysts view certain players.
We had nine podcast listeners participate in this mock draft with me, Heath Cummings and Dave Richard, and everyone did a great job. I wanted to see if quarterbacks would go sooner than expected, but Josh Allen fell to Round 4, which is reflective of most analyst drafts. Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes went in Round 5, and the quarterback dominoes started falling from there.
I also wanted to see how some buzzworthy guys were viewed, and a few things stood out. For example, we like Javonte Williams as a third-round pick in PPR, but he went in Round 2 here. Maybe Melvin Gordon saying Wednesday that the Broncos "want Javonte to be the guy" will push Williams into Round 2 in all leagues moving forward.
Dameon Pierce went in Round 6 here -- ahead of Chase Edmonds, Miles Sanders, Elijah Mitchell and Kareem Hunt -- and that might become the norm. Pierce didn't play in Friday night's second preseason game for the Texans at the Rams, which is an indication that he's the starter heading into Week 1. If that's the case, be prepared for Pierce to stay in this range.
George Pickens, another preseason riser, went in Round 7, which felt too soon. But if he continues to star for the Steelers then this could be the right spot for him in PPR. I probably won't draft Pickens until Round 9 at the earliest, so we'll see what happens over the next couple of weeks.
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For me, I had a lot of fun with this mock draft. Picking from the No. 12 spot, I started with two receivers in Ja'Marr Chase and Stefon Diggs, and I love that. Chase and Diggs are two of my top-four receivers in PPR.
On the Round 3-4 turn, I had one running back that I loved available in Travis Etienne, and I paired him with Michael Thomas, who will be my flex in this two-receiver league. These two picks are polarizing because of Etienne sharing touches with James Robinson, and Thomas coming back from essentially a two-year absence with his ankle injury.
I'm confident that Etienne will have a significant role carrying the ball for the Jaguars in tandem with Robinson and play a huge role in the passing game. He's one of my favorite breakout candidates this year. And Thomas is having a strong training camp in his comeback, and he's a top-15 Fantasy receiver once again.
At the Round 5-6 turn, I didn't love the running backs available with Josh Jacobs, Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Pierce as the top ones on my draft board. Instead, I drafted Lamar Jackson and Dalton Schultz, and I was thrilled with how this team started with elite talent at quarterback, receiver and tight end, along with Etienne.
My goal for the remainder of this draft was building out my running back corps, and I loved the results with Rhamondre Stevenson (Round 7), Nyheim Hines (Round 8), Kenneth Gainwell (Round 9) and Brian Robinson (Round 10). This group has tremendous upside since Stevenson, Gainwell and Robinson could all be the best running backs on their teams this year, and Hines should be a PPR star with Matt Ryan now the quarterback in Indianapolis.
I drafted three more receivers to close out this draft with Chase Claypool (Round 11), Jahan Dotson (Round 12) and DeVante Parker (Round 13), and I expect this team to be highly competitive. It's too bad we're not playing out this league.
Make sure to study the results of this mock draft to see if any of the strategies used here work for you. And also be sure to check out our Fantasy Football Today podcast wherever podcasts are found.
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 and FLEX (RB/WR/TE) with six reserves for a 13-round draft.
Our draft order is as follows:
1. Adam Yonker, Podcast Listener
2. Core Johnson, Podcast Listener
3. Walter Farris, Podcast Listener
4. Andrew Graziano, Podcast Listener
5. Ryan Underbrink, Podcast Listener
6. Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer
7. TeeJay Seven, Podcast Listener
8. Bob Ducharme, Podcast Listener
9. Heath Cummings, Senior Fantasy Writer
10. Kristi Kaiser, Podcast Listener
11. Kenny Coleman, Podcast Listener
12. Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer