It’s August and we have some preseason football already in the books. You know what that means … it’s draft season, baby! This is probably the most fun part of the fantasy football season (other than winning that fantasy title, Sharks!), as we gather with friends, family and coworkers to draft our teams in which we will be following for the NFL season. Whether you’re attending a live draft or simply logging on to an online platform, this is the day we’ve all been waiting for. One question, though: Are you prepared? I’m not sure why I’m even asking, as I’m positive that you all have been mock drafting your faces off.
In May, I did a post-NFL draft mock (which you can see here) to see where average draft positions (ADP) were when we knew where the rookies had landed. My, how things have changed! Whether it was free agent signings or injuries (Ryan Tannehill … sigh), the whole outlook is extremely different then it was back in May. So I bring to you another mock draft (please don’t judge me on the May mock draft …) to seek out potential values in the draft now that ADP are becoming more concrete. Let’s take a gander and see what kind of team we can mock up.
Note: We are drafting from the sixth slot. This mock draft includes 12-teams and is ½-point per reception (0.5 PPR) with four points for throwing touchdowns scoring format. The positions are quarterback (one), wide receiver (two), running back (two), tight end (one), flex (one) and six bench spots. Yes, kicker and defense are included as well, but we won’t get into that today.
Round 1 (Pick 6): RB LeSean McCoy, Buffalo
“But Sammy Watkins is gone. Doesn’t that make matters worse for McCoy?” No! Sorry, didn’t mean to get that fired up there. McCoy is a three-down back who has proven time-in and time-out that he is a stud at the position. He is in a tier all by himself right after the Big-2 (David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell) running backs. Don’t be scared to pull the trigger around this spot in the draft. A.J. Green was also considered here.
Round 2 (Pick 19): WR Michael Thomas, New Orleans
Thomas has a much higher floor than many seem to think. He scored 2.13 fantasy points per target, which landed him fourth at the wide receiver position. Brandin Cooks is gone, and now we are looking at more (albeit not much more, Drew Brees always spreads the ball around) targets for the No. 1 receiver in the New Orleans high-octane offense. Draft him confidently in the second round.
Round 3 (Pick 30): WR Demaryius Thomas, Denver
I just wanted my WR1 and WR2 to have the same last name.
Relax, I’m just kidding! The man has five straight seasons of more than 1,000 yards and somehow he still gets no love. Well I am here for him! With the promise of more bubble screens from the coaching staff, Thomas has a higher ceiling than you think to go along with his rock solid floor.
Round 4 (Pick 43): RB Dalvin Cook, Minnesota
Okay, I’m buying in on the rookie. He may lose some goal line opportunities to Latavius Murray, but he will make up for it. I know his combine metrics were piss-poor, but what he put on film at Florida State was nothing short of spectacular. Don’t be afraid of the unknown here, Sharks! We could be discussing Cook going in the first round of fantasy drafts next year …
Round 5 (Pick 54): WR Davante Adams, Green Bay
Some may look at last year as a fluke, but I’m not one of them. Adams gained the confidence of Aaron Rodgers last season, and that is a big plus for him. Does he repeat with 12 touchdowns? Not exactly, but I think he can come close. I see improvements coming in the reception (75 in 2016) and yards (997 in 2016) department. You always want a share of the Green Bay offense, as they are a pretty decent unit (Ha …). I considered Mark Ingram here, as I don’t believe Adrian Peterson will take away as much work as many are projecting.
Round 6 (Pick 67): RB Bilal Powell, New York Jets
Yes, Matt Forte is still there, but that doesn’t mean you should shy away from Powell. He averaged 5.8 yards per touch, ranking him 13th among running backs. Powell also racked up 58 receptions last year in the same timeshare, which ranked fourth at the running back position. You could do far worse for your RB3 in a half-point per reception format.
Round 7 (Pick 78): TE Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati
Yes, he has only played 21 games in the past two seasons, so he is a bit of a risk. That being said, he has scored 18 touchdowns during that span. That, Sharks, makes Eifert worth the risk in the seventh round of any draft. Eifert is one of few tight ends who has a true overall TE1 upside. Draft away.