Draft season. Mock draft season that is! @jayhatton49

Right so apologies for the lack of content over the past few weeks after my fantasy reviews were done. I have had a bit of time off to rest my brain and now it is time to jump back in to things.

Having played fantasy for several years but only writing about it seriously half way through last season, I thought fantasy football would kind of stop. Turns out I was wrong! All the podcasts and sites I go to are doing mock drafts, writing up their top players lists etc etc when there are literally 4 months to go before the pre-season even starts. The draft in a few weeks will shake up at least 10 teams (primarily the worst ones) and how and where we will view their players. However, in the interest of ‘keeping up with the jones’s” I’ll play ball and do some mocks and lists now to really start to pave the way to not only the 2017 draft, but into the off season.

One thing I will say now is that Adam and I listen to countless hours of podcasts and do a lot of research online. Thing is, they are the same podcasts and websites that anyone can find. Not being a full time set up (yet) and being in the UK makes it relatively difficult to compare to the quality of information that comes from the guys in the USA. They have their own researchers and/or do fantasy football full time so we rely on these guys to give us the information that we need to give you the great content you read. It is likely that you will hear a lot of the same chatter each week but I love listening to WHY some people love a player and why they hate another. An example I heard this week was one podcast discussing Keenan Allen and Sammy Watkins. Both injured, badly, over the past few years but both extremely talented. One would be ranked considerably higher than the other despite having virtually the same set of circumstances. This is where personal preference outside the standard ‘elite’ tiers of players comes heavily into play.

From here on out, I think I will go through the various strategies that are out there and see what happens in the mocks. From my experience, there seem to be about 6 general themes of draft/drafters:

WR Heavy or Zero RB

Fill roster spots with starters, then work on depth

Heavy depth at RB/WR first, then other spots

Drafting a QB early

Drafting a QB late

Leaving positions you are likely to stream later on (Tight end/Defence/Kicker)

Firstly, I think a good place to start is to get yourself a draft board together. Rank your players accordingly. Or at least, get all the players that you actually want to draft and list them down. This gives you the ability to assess the value you are getting round by round. No point in reaching for a player in the 4th when you have him valued in the 7th. If that happens and you still have that guy available in say, the 6th, then you can reach for him rather than missing out on a whole bunch of talent that is still available.

Based on a very crude draft board I went  quick fire and did a few mock drafts, not thinking too much and here is what I got. Standard scoring, 10 team league, 3 starting WR, 1 D, 1 Kicker:

Team 1 Team 2 Team 3 Team 4
David Johnson David Johnson Odell Beckham Jr Mike Evans
Michael Thomas Michael Thomas Jordy Nelson Devonte Freeman
Lemar Miller Allen Robinson DeAndre Hopkins Mark Ingram
Devante Adams Terrele Pryor CJ Anderson Devante Adams
Iasiah Crowell Eddie Lacy Michael Crabtree Jarvis Landry
Tyrell Williams LeGarrette Blount Rob Kelley Kelvin Benjamin
Derek Carr Ty Montgommery Latavius Murray Derek Carr
Hunter Henry Martavius Bryant Tevin Coleman Hunter Henry
Tyreek Hill Hunter Henry Martavius Bryant Paul Perkins
Martavius Bryant Tyreek Hill Hunter Henry Theo Riddick
Theo Riddick Marcus Mariota Kirk Cousins John Brown
Pierre Garcon Jameis Winston Justin Tucker Ben Roethlisberger
Justin Tucker Martellus Bennett Phillip Rivers Martellus Bennett
Martellus Bennett Chargers Chiefs Texans
Ravens Matt Bryant Martellus Bennett Brandon McManus

Now I was generally quite happy with all 4 drafts. You will notice some running themes, Martellus Bennett right at the back of the draft, even if you’ve picked a TE earlier you should definitely pick him up that late. If Aaron Rodgers can make Jared Cook look like a star then he will definitely do that for Bennett. Picked Derek Carr a few times as I see him as the best QB after the initial ‘elite’ class of Rodgers, Brady, Brees and Luck. I have a similar opinion of Hunter Henry as the best after the general consensus best TE’s are off the board right around rounds 8-10. I am massively high on Martavis Bryant and I’m picking him presuming he gets reinstated. Everywhere else, I think the results were quite varied but decent from the skill positions. I tried to find a favourite but I genuinely couldn’t as I was quite happy with all of them. If was being picky I would say picking at 5th I should have had better starting backs than CJ Anderson and Rob Kelley but having Tevin Coleman and Latavius Murray give me good match up options. I wrote up that I think the Chargers will be sneaky good on D next year so sticking to that where possible and took calculated risks on guys like Lacy (presuming he doesn’t weigh 300lbs), Blount (presuming he stays with the Patriots) and Bryant (presuming he is reinstated). Risk vs Reward is a huge part of Fantasy football so looking at guys like this a bit earlier than you normally would can pay off, they can of course derail your whole season.

As we all know by now, a butt load will change between now and September. Hell, entire boards and strategies will change once the draft happens at the end of the month. Imagine a guy like Christian McCaffrey ends up with someone like Drew Brees? Research Reggie Bush’s rookie year with New Orleans and that is genuinely what I would expect from McCaffrey but of course Mark Ingram’s stock takes a hit. If McCaffrey goes somewhere like Green Bay, you can all but forget Ty Montgomery. If Leonard Fournette goes to the Panthers, Jonathan Stewart becomes a pricey handcuff.

From here, I will start to list the player rankings and go through them week on week looking at all the positions on offense. I’ll do Kickers and Defenses after the draft because let’s be honest, they are not going to change anytime soon.

Peace out!

@jayhatton49

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