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2017 Fantasy Football Draft Kit

PPR Mock Draft: Which Draft Slots Are the Toughest?

PPR Mock Draft
Photo Credit: Nathan Rupert

Practicing mock drafts is arguably the best way to prepare you for your Fantasy Football season. The mock draft lets you see when, on average, guys will be available at different positions and spots so that you can have an idea of when to pull the trigger to get your favorites for the year. For this PPR Mock Draft, I wanted to show a couple of different draft spots that are less desirable.

The majority of people playing Fantasy Football want the first pick in a snake draft. You can pick exactly which elite player you want and do not have to depend on him falling to you at a certain spot. If you aren’t this type (I am not in most league set-ups) then you probably like being in the 10-12 range. At this spot you get to draft two of the Top 15 or so players and build a strong foundation.

While it is not “easy” to draft from either of these positions, I would argue it is easier than in the middle of the round. Being on the end of the snake allows you to more or less get the two guys you want that are available. What I mean is if you need a quarterback and a tight end drafting from spot 10, and you know both of the teams on the turn already took their signal caller then you can take your tight end first.

If you are in the fifth spot then you have absolutely no idea who will be available when it comes back around to your pick. So that is why I wanted to focus my PPR Mock Draft from tougher draft positions.

As I said, the fifth spot is naturally a hard draft position. The elitist of the elite group are off the board and you do not pick again for 14 turns. This is especially true this year with three super-elite running backs (Ezekiel Elliott remains in this group until a suspension is dropped) and the ever great Antonio Brown.

The other spot that I think is tough this year is the 9-hole. I had previously said that I think the first six picks will more or less be the same guys, but it will really be the first eight selections. The decisions really start at Pick 9.

So with each round of this PPR Mock Draft, I will go over which selection I would make as well as the other best available players. We will then see how the rosters shapd up.

Now let’s get to the PPR Mock Draft! I used a 12-team, 1QB/2RB/2WR/1FLEX/1TE/1DEF/1K set-up. This was done by using the wonderful Draft Wizard tool from Fantasy Pros. It allows you to go back and revert picks to see how your team would have turned out differently as well as how it stacks up against the rest of the “league.” This article will be broken down by the fifth pick results and then the ninth pick results, with the final rosters at the end.

PPR Mock Draft

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Fifth Pick Results

Round 1

1.5: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants

Other Options: LeSean McCoy, Julio Jones, Mike Evans

While my best strategy for this season will be my Single-RB Theory, I still always advocate taking the best value available. With my projections and cheat sheets, that is Beckham, hands down. I would not fault anyone for taking McCoy or even Evans though. However, I would caution you on Julio Jones. The Atlanta offense is in for a regression and Julio just does not find the end zone. Give me the safety of Beckham all day in this PPR Mock Draft.

Round 2

2.20: Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks

Other Options: Leonard Fournette, DeAndre Hopkins, Rob Gronkowski

While I was hoping that Jordan Howard or DeMarco Murray would make it back to me, it was not in the cards. Instead of reaching on Leonard Fournette, I went with the best value again on my board. Baldwin is sneaky-elite. He has increased his yards and receptions each of the last four seasons, and has 21 touchdowns over the past two seasons. He also has been a WR1 each of the past two years. Getting a WR1 as your second wide-out is a great start to a strong roster.

Round 3

3.29: Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns

Other Options: Lamar Miller, Travis Kelce, Demaryius Thomas

I was hoping Christian McCaffrey would make it back to me, but his ADP keeps creeping up towards Round 2 in PPR formats. Crowell is a diamond in the rough that is Cleveland. He is seen as a non-PPR, standard running back, but that is just not the case. He ended up with almost five PPR points per game in just his receiving stats last year. His touch total will be huge and his offensive line is great. Miller is a great option as well, but Crowell is guaranteed a heavier workload for this PPR Mock Draft.

Isaiah Crowell quietly had a breakout 2016

And his offensive line only got better pic.twitter.com/HZVIwf8f7i

— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 30, 2017

Round 4

4.44: Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers

Other Options: Joe Mixon, Drew Brees, Michael Crabtree, Terrelle Pryor

This was the most difficult decision I had to make. I love Pryor this year, Mixon looks like he will be the lead dog in Cincinnati and Crabtree was a WR1 last year. But I advocate getting one of the elite tight ends this season since the position is deep with average players. Getting Olsen gives you a massive advantage most weeks. He has at least 77 catches and 1,008 yards each of the last three years. His scores were a bit low last year, but I can see regression back up in that department. He is the most dependable tight end in the league.

Round 5

5.53: Danny Woodhead, RB, Baltimore Ravens

Other Options: Drew Brees, Emmanuel Sanders, Mark Ingram

As of this writing, Woodhead is still available with the 53rd pick in the draft. That will probably not be the case by draft time in PPR leagues but he is a guy you need to jump on. In his last two full seasons, he had 156 catches for 1,360 yards and 12 touchdowns. With the Kenneth Dixon injury, he will get more of a rushing workload as well. You are getting WR3 numbers from a running back that will get 125-plus carries. The only downside is the injury history, but in Round 5 I will take that risk in this PPR Mock Draft.

Round 6

6.68: Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets

Other Options: Russell Wilson, Donte Moncrief, Dalvin Cook

I only like this pick if I can pull Matt Forte a few rounds later. I love getting the platoon of Powell/Forte because I think at different points they will both be Fantasy relevant. There are no league-average wide receivers on the roster so both will see plenty of looks. Dalvin Cook was intriguing as he seems to be taking the reins in Minnesota. If I’m making this pick in three weeks, I could be swayed that direction.

Round 7

7.77: Pierre Garcon, WR, San Francisco 49ers

Other Options: Marcus Mariota, Duke Johnson, Ameer Abdullah, Kelvin Benjamin

The last time Garcon played in a Kyle Shanahan offense he had 113 catches for 1,346 yards. There is nowhere near the competition for targets that Garcon had in Washington, where he still managed over 200 PPR points last season. He will be a higher-end WR2 this year, and you can draft him as a back-up.

Round 8

8.92: Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts

Other Options: Duke Johnson, Devante Parker, LeGarrette Blount

I am not in love with any of the receivers available, and the quarterbacks that I would rather have can be drafted a few rounds later. Duke Johnson is an option to handcuff/platoon Crowell but Gore is too good to pass up. Every year it is reported that it will be his downfall or a younger player will step up. Every year he proves the haters wrong. He has not missed a game since 2010. He has not had less than 1,200 combined yards since the beginning of George Bush’s second term. I will take the shot on the 34-year old in Round 8 all day.

Round 9

9.101: Matt Forte, RB, New York Jets

Other Options: Derek Carr, Cameron Meredith, Eric Decker, C.J. Prosise, Dak Prescott

This is a great spot to fill my Jets’ RB Platoon as I am not a fan of the top options at quarterback and wide receiver. I can see regression for both Carr and Prescott and both of their teams will run the ball even more. With Forte on my roster, I am guaranteeing the lead back from a team that will want to shorten games since their quarterbacks are so atrocious.

Round 10

10.116: John Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Other Options: Carr/Prescott, Cameron Meredith, Coby Fleener

The beauty of waiting on your quarterback is that savvy and logical owners are not drafting a second quarterback until much later. The same signal callers are still available and probably will be in the next round. I am going with one of my wide receiver sleepers, John Brown. Now that the cyst is removed from his spine (that sounds extremely painful) he can get back to his 1,000-yard form.

Round 11

11.125: Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Other Options: Carr/Prescott, Jason Witten, Giovani Bernard

I went on at length about how much I love Thielen this year. To sum it up: he was on a ridiculously strong upward curve for production and a single, weird outlier game has people wary. The Viking scored 10 PPR points a game last year if you did not even include his touchdowns. He is more efficient than the “top option” Stefon Diggs. Drafting him in Round 11 should spawn its own Grand Theft Auto game.

Round 12

12.140: Quincy Enunwa, WR, New York Jets

Other Options: Carr/Prescott, C.J. Fiedorowicz, Chris Thompson

There is an underlying and sometimes explicit trend in the Fantasy community to avoid players on terrible teams. I get it, less opportunities to score, bad quarterback play will lead to less yards, etc. At some point though, value trumps all of that nonsense. There will not be an NFL team that throws for less than 3,000 yards this year. SOMEONE has to catch the ball. Even if he is just a bye week fill-in, you can do worse than the top receiving option on a team in Round 12.

Round 13

13.149: Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions

Other Options:  Philip Rivers, Mike Wallace, Dion Lewis, Vikings D/ST

Stafford is what he is: 4,300 yards and about 28 touchdowns. He usually throws in a couple of rushing touchdowns with a couple more hundred yards on the ground, which all equal out to about 23 Fantasy points a game. I love the consistent production. Rivers is basically the same production, but as the latter gets older I trust Stafford a little more.

Round 14

14.164: Kevin White, WR, Chicago Bears

Other Options: Blake Bortles, Vikings D/ST, Charles Sims

Once again, I will take the top receiving option on a terrible team as other people pass. Some think Cameron Meredith will be the best scoring receiver in Chicago but Kevin White is finally fully healthy. I think he breaks out and is one of my top sleepers entering the season.

Ryan Pace on @mrkevinwhite for #BearsCamp: “He’s pretty much unleashed.”

: https://t.co/14UPqUn0tm pic.twitter.com/lsywTFuvNu

— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) July 27, 2017

Round 15

15.173: Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens

Other Options: Panthers D/ST, Giants D/ST, Jaguars D/ST, Stephen Gostkowski

I am not one to advocate taking a kicker before the last round. However, the defense I want to start this season is being completely overlooked in drafts. With that said, I will pull the trigger on the former Longhorn that was absolutely deadly from long range last season.

Round 16

16.188: Pittsburgh Steelers D/ST

Other Options: Jaguars D/ST, Ravens, D/ST, Packers D/ST

Pittsburgh opens the season with Cleveland, Minnesota at home, Chicago, Baltimore and Jacksonville at home. All five of those teams were in the bottom half of points against Fantasy Defenses. Cleveland and Jacksonville were in the bottom seven and only figure to be worse. Chicago will be starting either Mike Glennon or Mitch Trubisky. Sign me up

 

Ninth Pick Results

Round 1

1.9 : Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

Other Options: Jordy Nelson, A.J. Green, Devonta Freeman

I’m not going to lie, I originally had Jordy Nelson as my pick. However, this is why the Draft Wizard is the best tool around. I saw who I got after picking Nelson in the second round (Jordan Howard) then went back and reverted the pick. This time I chose Gordon and liked my pairing better than the previous one.

Round 2

2.16: Michael Thomas

Other Options: Jordan Howard, Dez Bryant, Leonard Fournette

Thomas was a Fantasy stud in his rookie season, averaging over 17 PPR points per game and making him the right selection in this PPR Mock Draft. Now he gets to actually be the lead receiver in the most prolific passing offense in NFL history. The Gordon/Thomas combo has a higher floor as well as higher ceiling than the Nelson/Howard combination.

Round 3

3.33: Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

Other Options: Marshawn Lynch, Aaron Rodgers, Demaryius Thomas

This is a really tough spot for this draft position. I do not love drafting Robinson here, but he is the best value in my opinion. I could be swayed by Thomas, but Robinson brings a higher ceiling at this point. People are too low on him after the disappointing 2016. I think he finds a niche in between last season and his breakout 2015, which would land him as a solid WR2.

Round 4

4.40: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers

Other Options: Travis Kelce, Tom Brady, Alshon Jeffery

McCaffrey has the ability and circumstance to be a PPR gold mine this season. While I am not normally taking  rookie running backs, especially those that aren’t technically the starter yet, McCaffrey looks like he will be in the slot just as much as the backfield. In a PPR Mock Draft format, he actually provides safety at the running back position. This also shows how differently a draft can unfold, as McCaffrey was available a full round later in this version of the mock.

Christian McCaffrey vs Shaq Thompson #PanthersCamp #KeepPounding

(: @BillyM_91) pic.twitter.com/ZsxfHEbETe

— InTheCore (@InTheCore1) July 30, 2017

Round 5

5.57: Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins

Other Options: Michael Crabtree, Russell Wilson, Bilal Powell

Shockingly, Reed was still available at the 57th overall pick. His ADP is for the middle of Round 4, but a lot of people are scared of the Redskin’s concussion/injury issues. I am of the mindset that I want elite tight end production. If that production is 12-13 games and I get replacement level stats for the other handful of games, then I am fine.

Round 6

6.64: Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins

Other Options: Golden Tate, Ameer Abdullah, Kirk Cousins

This was a close call, but I have always had a fond spot for Landry. Fun fact: no wide receiver in NFL history has more catches in their first three seasons than Landry’s 288 grabs. He may not score much, but you are getting 96 catches for a little over 1,000 yards. You can do a lot worse for your Flex spot. Golden Tate is just a hair behind Landry, but the Dolphin has a higher statistical floor to me.

Round 7

7.81: Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions

Other Options: Cam Newton, Julian Edelman, Donte Moncrief

The addition of Brandin Cooks definitely hurts Edelman’s stock, so I am rolling the dice with the Lions’ back. I know, he seems more and more like fool’s gold. But the Lions’ running back is Fantasy relevant in PPR leagues, no matter who starts. This is another platoon scenario, where now I’ll have to make sure and snag Theo Riddick as well.

Round 8

8.88: Jamison Crowder, WR, Washington Redskins

Other Options: Cam Newton, Dak Prescott, Stefon Diggs

As I have already mentioned plenty of times, there are targets, yards and receptions to be made up in Washington with the departures of Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson. Crowder will cross 90 receptions this year and probably close in on 100.

Round 9

9.105: Theo Riddick, RB, Detroit Lions

Other Options: Newton/Prescott, Kareem Hunt, Eric Decker

The way the board sits, I’ll go ahead and close out my Lions’ backfield platoon. Riddick has value on his own in PPR leagues and this PPR Mock Draft considering he is averaging almost six catches a game the past two seasons. If I did not have Abdullah, I would strongly consider Hunt who is looking like he might get a 50% share of the Kansas City backfield touches.

Round 10

10.112: John Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals

Other Options: Newton/Prescott, C.J. Prosise, Coby Fleener

The beauty of waiting on your quarterback is that savvy and logical owners are not drafting a second quarterback until much later. The same signal callers are still available and probably will be in the next round. I am going with one of my wide receiver sleepers, John Brown. Now that the cyst is removed from his spine (that sounds extremely painful) he can get back to his 1,000-yard form.

Round 11

11.129: Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers

Other Options: Dak Prescott, Jamaal Williams, Corey Coleman

I am not hugely high on Cam this season, but getting him this late is a pretty good bargain. At this point, every other team has drafted their quarterback, yet I can choose between Cam, Dak, Philip Rivers, Matthew Stafford, or Tyrod Taylor. WAIT. ON. QUARTERBACKS.

Round 12

12.136: Darren Sproles, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

Other Options: Giovani Bernard, Joe Williams, Jordan Matthews

Sproles is a great bye-week fill-in player in PPR leagues and this PPR Mock Draft. He gets 50-plus catches a year, so you know you are getting somewhere around double-digit points with him. With some high-upside guys already on my roster, it is good to have a safe play as well.

Round 13

13.153: C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Houston Texans

Other Options: Philip Rivers, Cardinals D/ST, Marvin Jones

Fiedorowicz is a good second tight end to pair with Jordan Reed. He should see plenty of targets as an outlet for whomever is playing quarterback in Houston. He’s a great complement on my roster in this PPR Mock Draft.

Round 14

14.160: Chris Thompson, RB, Washington Redskins

Other Options: Tyrod Taylor, Ted Ginn, Breshad Perriman

Thompson had a very under-the-radar solid season last year. He finished with 49 receptions, 705 total yards and five touchdowns. That is just short of 10 PPR points per game. While Fat Rob Kelley and Samarje Perine battling for the early down work, neither of them are really receiving threats. Thompson’s role is defined and provides a similar safety to Darren Sproles in this PPR Mock Draft, but with slightly more upside in a more explosive offense.

Round 15

15.177: Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens

Other Options: Panthers D/ST, Giants D/ST, Jaguars D/ST, Stephen Gostkowski

I am not one to advocate taking a kicker before the last round. However, the defense I want to start the season is being completely overlooked in drafts. With that said, I will pull the trigger on the former Longhorn that was absolutely deadly from long range last season.

Round 16

16.184: Pittsburgh Steelers D/ST

Other Options: Jaguars D/ST, Ravens, D/ST, Packers D/ST

Pittsburgh opens the season with Cleveland, Minnesota at home, Chicago, Baltimore and Jacksonville at home. All five of those teams were in the bottom half of points against Fantasy Defenses. Cleveland and Jacksonville were in the bottom seven and only figure to be worse. Chicago will be starting either Mike Glennon or Mitch Trubisky. Sign me up.

 


Rosters

5th Pick 9th Pick
QB Matthew Stafford Cam Newton
RB Isaiah Crowell Melvin Gordon
RB Danny Woodhead Christian McCaffrey
WR Odell Beckham Jr. Michael Thomas
WR Doug Baldwin Allen Robinson
FLEX Bilal Powell Jarvis Landry
TE Greg Olsen Jordan Reed
D/ST Steelers Steelers
K Justin Tucker Justin Tucker
BN Frank Gore Ameer Abdullah
BN John Brown Jamison Crowder
BN Pierre Garcon Theo Riddick
BN Matt Forte John Brown
BN Quincy Enunwa Darren Sproles
BN Kevin White C.J. Fiedorowicz
BN Adam Thielen Chris Thompson

 

With my team from the fifth pick slot in this PPR Mock Draft, the Draft Wizard gave me a B+ and a fifth place finish. While the analysis is helpful, do not put too much stock into it. I am obviously higher on some of the guys I drafted than their projections. I love the depth at both running back and wide receiver, and love even more that I got an elite tight end.

My team from the ninth draft slot is not quite as strong. Because of the Reed pick, I needed to spend a bench spot on a second tight end sacrificing my depth elsewhere. I love my running backs, but the receivers are not as strong as the other team.

Overall, I accomplished what I wanted to do. You can draft deep and strong teams from even the worst of draft position. The main take away is the rest of your league will not be as disciplined and strategic as the Draft Wizard. There will be other values that this PPR Mock Draft did not show. So go practice away as you prepare for your big day!

 

2017 Fantasy Football Draft Kit
Positional Rankings | Sleepers | Busts | Player Analysis | Strategy | Preseason Analysis | Mock Drafts | Tools

 

If you are looking for a place to conduct a mock draft or need assistance with drafting in general, check out the Fantasy Pros Draft Wizard. This is a terrific tool that will help you dominate your league, along with So-Called Fantasy Experts, of course.

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Michael Tomlin
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Michael Tomlin

Michael Tomlin is an ESPY-nominated, former college football player who stays associated with the game through Fantasy Sports. He has been writing his personal blog, Dirkland.blogspot.com, for three years and it focuses on Fantasy Sports, as well as handicapping. He was born and raised in the DFW Metroplex, and he follows all of the Dallas teams, along with Texas Tech athletics and Manchester City F.C.
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