- Last Thursday (June 15), the So-Called Fantasy Football staff hosted a mock draft that wasn’t for the faint of heart. We had the pleasure of Kevin English of Draft Sharks, Jon Kelly of the Football Diehards podcast, A. Don Davenport of TwoQBs.com, Keith Lott of We Talk Fantasy Sports, and Andrew Erickson of Gridiron Experts all joining us.
The rules were simple: You could start two quarterbacks, and it lasted 20 rounds. Passing touchdowns were worth four points, while interceptions would cost you two points. To make drafting wide receivers and pass-catching running backs still appealing, the scoring structure allowed one point per reception.
Everyone has to play by the same rules, but each player had such a different strategy. Erickson, like myself, is a fan of waiting to draft quarterbacks. However, you can’t do that in this format.
“This mock draft was the first time that I took a deep dive into a two-quarterback Fantasy Football draft. I was not sure exactly how I was going to approach the draft, as my usual approach to Fantasy drafts is to always wait on a quarterback. But in this case, I had some concerns using that approach. With a two-quarterback league, quarterbacks hold a much higher value,” he told me.
You’ll see throughout the draft that we all took a lot of different approaches. Two participants only drafted two quarterbacks, while four of the participants drafted four quarterbacks. One team drafted nine running backs, while another team only drafted three running backs. Here’s what went down…
Taking On A Two-QB Fantasy Football Mock Draft
The draft started off like most drafts in any format will this year. David Johnson, Ezekiel Elliot, and LeVeon Bell were the first players off the board. But you could quickly tell this was a league where you can start two quarterbacks when Mark Strausberg drafted Aaron Rodgers with the ninth-overall pick.
Here’s what Strausberg told me about his strategy.
“First off, I decided to go with a ‘Zero WR Strategy’ and I still think in a two-QB league it would work very well. But it wasn’t avoiding WRs that I think killed me. It was what I believed and still believe was a great value pick in Jeremy Maclin in the eighth round that I feel sunk my team. Seeing Sam Bradford, Joe Flacco, and Alex Smith go before I could pick next left me with Jared Goff and a couple of rookie players. I do think any team that came away with less than three starting QBs for this two-QB league made a mistake.”
Strausberg also believed that Rodgers should have been picked sooner.
After Rodgers was off the board, Tom Brady, Jameis Winston, and Russell Wilson were also drafted. It was surprising to see Winston off the board before Matt Ryan, Andrew Luck, and Drew Brees, but you have to take decisive action if you’re targeting a quarterback and want him in this type of format.
And Kyle seemed to have a clear strategy, as he drafted Brees in Round 3.
This was the round where we started to see a run on the quarterback position. I was hoping to add Dak Prescott with the 12th pick and Mariota in Round 4, but Jon Kelly snatched Prescott right before I could draft him.
We also saw some potential values in this round, as Amari Cooper, DeAndre Hopkins, and Rob Gronkowski were all selected. In most drafts, they all would have been second-round picks.
Mike Tomlin of SCFE told me this was the round he planned on taking the best available player.
“From Round 3 on, I wanted to take the best value, preferably non-running back. The board just fell my way really as the quarterbacks and tight ends in particular slipped. I have a feeling in a non-‘expert’ draft the quarterbacks would have gone much sooner.”
Another round and quarterbacks are flying off the board. Seven quarterbacks were drafted in this round alone. If you ever played in a draft like this, don’t be surprised when you see Andy Dalton off the board in Round 4. This is why you should never wait too late on a quarterback in this format.
Again, this was another round of valuable players falling because everyone was fighting over quarterbacks. Keenan Allen and Alshon Jeffery have their setbacks, but you have to add them to your team in Round 5. They could both be Top 10 receivers in PPR leagues if they can stay healthy.
I love Keith’s pick of Demaryius Thomas, and I think Kevin had a nice pickup here with Ty Montgomery at the start of the round. Allen Robinson was also a nice add in Round 5.
Scott may have had the best pick in Round 6. I’m not a fan of Tyreek Hill because you have to draft him as early as Round 3 in some drafts. However, if he can live up to what players are expecting from him this season and you can draft him in Round 6, that’s perfect.
Again, we can see a lot of value picks, especially at receiver in these rounds. Julian Edelman and Martavis Bryant were drafted in Round 7, John Brown was drafted in Round 8, and Pierre Garcon was drafted in Round 9.
It’s easy for me to say, but I was thrilled to draft Ameer Abdullah in Round 8 and Doug Marting in Round 10.
I could keep going on, but I know you want to see what the final rosters look like.
Final Rosters From the Two-QB 2017 Mock Draft
Before we get to who we all thought had the best drafts, here’s a little more on how each player felt they did and their strategy.
“Going into the draft I knew the only premium quarterback I would target would be Aaron Rodgers, based on the fact that in his entire career he has only finished worse than the number two quarterback overall … twice. But I also wanted to see if he would fall to me in the second round as I had the seventh overall pick. I ending up taking Odell Beckham with my first pick because I did not want to take Rodgers that high. But then two picks later Rodgers got swept up, so I ended up taking another stud player, Devonta Freeman to pair with my stud wide receiver. At this point in the draft, I knew that I was just going to continue to stock up on skill players until I felt the time was right to draft a quarterback.
During the end of the second/beginning of the third round, a quarterback run began with seven quarterbacks being drafted. If I had taken a quarterback it would have been the 10th one off the board. But after looking over the board I realized that if I went wide receiver I would be getting the 10th overall wide receiver. In that case, it was a no-brainer for me to go with wide receiver Amari Cooper because the value of the 10th overall wide receiver is much higher for me than that of the 10th overall quarterback. Especially being that this is a PPR league.
At the end of the third round/beginning of the fourth round, another quarterback run started and I knew that I was definitely going to join this one. Five more quarterbacks went until it was finally my time to draft and I took Kirk Cousins, who I was very pleased to get as the 15th quarterback off the board.
Following that pick, four more quarterbacks were taken off the board. At this point, I did not love any of the quarterbacks on the board and instead went with Isaiah Crowell, who I liked taking as my RB2 in the middle of the fifth round.
Not reaching on a quarterback here turned out to be very smart, as during the next three rounds the only quarterbacks taken were Ryan Tannehill, Carson Palmer, and Blake Bortles. These were players that I was not targeting so I did not have any fear of missing out on them. Instead of reaching on one of these guys I further bolstered my wide receiver depth by picking up Golden Tate and Martavis Bryant.
Unfortunately, when I then looked again to see what quarterbacks were left to target, I was not exactly thrilled. Sam Bradford, Joe Flacco, Alex Smith, Jared Goff, and Deshaun Watson were the guys left. I ended up going with Bradford as I do think that Bradford definitely will be a better Fantasy quarterback than he was last year. This is based on the fact that he will have an entire offseason with the offense.
I did not love the idea of starting Sam Bradford every single week, but when I looked at my starting lineup at this point I was impressed. Especially when I was able to fill it out when I took Kyle Rudolph to pair with Sam Bradford in my next pick.
As the ninth round concluded I had my two starting quarterbacks: Kirk Cousins and Sam Bradford. Four wide receivers: Beckham, Cooper, Tate, and Bryant. Two starting running backs: Freeman and Crowell. Then the icing on the cake was Rudolph at tight end who is a PPR machine. Looking at the roster the only blemish is starting Bradford on a weekly basis, but when I look back to see where I could have taken a better quarterback, my only opportunity would have been to take one instead of Cooper in the third. Knowing that I would end up taking Bryant and Tate later in the draft, taking somebody like Mariota in the third round would definitely be in consideration.
Looking at the roster the only blemish is starting Bradford on a weekly basis, but when I look back to see where I could have taken a better quarterback, my only opportunity would have been to take one instead of Cooper in the third. Knowing that I would end up taking Bryant and Tate later in the draft, taking somebody like Mariota in the third round would definitely be in consideration.
Overall my take away from the draft is definitely not to join in on the quarterback runs if you do not have to. Because what ends up happening is you get scared because you do not want to miss out. You end up reaching for the position that you don’t necessarily need at the time, especially when you can get a better player at another position instead.”
“I felt like I got all three of my receivers at a premium value spot. Hopkins was a Top 5 OVERALL pick last year. Yeah, he busted a little bit, but his quarterback situation has improved and he has undeniable talent. Doug Baldwin quietly puts up WR1 PPR numbers every year and people just seem to forget. Davante Adams was the ninth highest scoring receiver in PPR last year and it is always good to have an Aaron Rodgers’ target. I would argue I have the best WR3 and arguably the best WR2.
Getting a top-tier tight end not named Gronk is also a priority for me this year. I think there is an inherent advantage that people are missing because the position is “deep.” Jordan Reed has his injury issues, but he is the second most dominant tight end when on the field. I got a solid backup with Fiedorowicz for the three games Reed is sure to miss.
There was a group of three quarterbacks that were the last tier I felt comfortable having as my QB2. I rolled the dice and waited on the last of them, Bortles, but the board worked out.
I then filled out my roster with as many high-upside and pass-catching backs. I’m not certain Kareem Hunt completely takes over in Kansas City so Spencer Ware has some upside. I was able to grab both backs in the Jets’ platoon: someone there has to get yards/scores. Mike Gillislee could end up being this year’s LeGarrette Blount. Sproles, Washington and Zenner are interesting PPR options.
I really wanted Paul Perkins and thought he might slip to Round 9 but he was snagged. His potential volume makes him a valuable, later target.
Overall, I am really happy with my team. I like the level of every position except maybe RB2. However, there are about six different backs that could emerge into a viable starter for that spot. That’s the play this season, to me: grab one elite back and obtain enough dice-rolls for your second starter.”
“Based on it being PPR scoring I went to David Johnson with the first pick. After that, and with it being mandatory two quarterback, I hit the two premier quarterbacks available with Ryan and Wilson at the 2.24/3.01 turn. I knew that the other chokepoint was a slim tight end class, so I got the best remaining PPR TE early and otherwise kept hammering away at anything PPR. Other than getting sniped by Jack for Zay Jones and by Scott for Denver, things went about as well as I could’ve hoped. I feel solid with the starters and backups at every position.”
So who had the best draft?
The Winner Is…
Outside of our own teams, here is the breakdown:
- Don thought that Scott had the best draft
- Andrew thought Kevin had the best draft
- Mark thought Scott and Keith had the best drafts
- Kevin thought I had the best draft, (thanks Kevin!)
- I thought Mike and Kevin had the best drafts
- Mike thought Don had the best draft.
Kevin thought Corey Coleman and Jordan Matthews were two of the best picks of the draft.
“The Browns are “counting on” Coleman to be their #1 WR, per beat writer Mary Kay Cabot. He’s missed some practice time this spring with hamstring and shoulder injuries. That’s a concern after Coleman missed six games as a rookie. Still, there’s volume upside in a paper-thin passing game behind him and Kenny Britt. Coleman also turns just 23 in July. Checking all the boxes athletically, a second-year leap is certainly within reach.
“Probably the most shocking pick of the draft. Now, sure, Matthews disappointed last year. But he missed most of training camp and all of the preseason with a knee injury. He missed two games in-season with an ankle ailment. And his TDs dipped to three after posting eight in 2014 and 2015.
Last year, though, he still snagged 73 balls despite struggling with drops and catching balls from Carson Wentz. Year two with Wentz projects as a smoother ride. Philly added Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, lowering Matthews’ upside. But Jeffery has a history of soft tissue injuries, while Smith has fallen off the Fantasy radar over the past two years in San Francisco. None of ‘em are ‘sure things.’ Barring injury, Matthews is a near lock to return value in Round 14.”
Scott was bold and only drafted three running backs, but it allowed him to be stacked at wide receiver.
But when Keith ran the results through My Playbook on FantasyPros.com which judges the strength of a draft, the results didn’t match our perceptions.
Who do you think had the best draft? Let us know in the comments or hit us up on Twitter.
Need help preparing for your 2017 Fantasy Football draft? Check out this ebook that covers each team and what to expect from each player.
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