What happens when you get the Fantasy Alarm crew together for a mock draft? You get some competition, banter, and a look at how things may shake out in your fantasy football draft this year. The format was PPR with rosters consisting of 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex, 1 Def, and 1 K with 9 bench spots. The order was chosen by random by our host RTSports and here is the final draft board.
I will review the teams, along with comments from some of our experts on how they did in the order that the Fantasy Alarm evaluator predicts the order of finish based on our draft. The evaluator is constantly updated and even though Vreeland put out a tweet that he finished first, the up to the minute results have a different person in first at the time of this writing.
Who me? Yes, I’m deemed mock champion as of this minute. I picked from the second slot and was happy with that as I am liking the top and bottom parts of the board this year so far. My goal is to build a balanced team taking the best player available unless I see a need to take a particular position if I see the pickings getting slim. I went chalk with Barkley in the first. I knew I had to get another RB with one of my next two picks. I was eyeing Fournette but he was snatched by @CoopAFiasco, so I went with Kenny Golladay who, with Stafford back at QB, I expect to have a big year. I then took David Johnson , hoping he stays healthy and Bill O’Brien leans on him after making that trade. In the fourth, seeing depth at WR and dearth at RB, I took Zach Ertz as the last available top TE. I solidified the team with Russell Wilson who should be a top six QB. This team is solid, and I only see RB being a problem if Johnson doesn’t come through.
Jon Impemba had a solid draft in the six hole. Here’s what he had to say about his draft which the evaluator liked almost as much as mine. His first pick is one that we’ll have to keep an eye on as the draft season progresses.
“Yup, I was that guy, I took CEH with my first-round pick following the news that Damien Williams was opting out of the season. There was already a lot of hype surrounding Clyde Edwards-Helaire heading into the season by most, but I was a bit gunshy knowing that Williams was still there and would more than likely force a shared-backfield. However, with Williams out of the picture, I feel pretty confident that the Chiefs 1st round pick will play a much larger role in the offense than I had initially predicted. Even if the Chiefs sign a veteran back such as Devonta Freeman , I doubt he would overtake much of the snaps in this situation.
Oh yeah, I also REALLY like the Chiefs offense, since, you know, I went CEH, Travis Kelce , and Patrick Mahomes with my first three picks. I land the likely TE1 and QB1 in fantasy football in rounds two and three.
I have a love hate with the rest of my backfield. I think Singletary is in a great situation but acknowledge that Zack Moss does exist. I also like Lindsay and Mack as depth plays. They should both still have roles in their offense even if their teams went and added the likes of Melvin Gordon for Denver and drafted Jonathan Taylor for Indy.”
Finishing third was Justin Vreeland who was first immediately after the draft ended, but I guess the evaluator realized the mistake it had made..Justin picked first and started with CMC and had his eyes on Fournette like I did.
“I like how this draft turned out. I have a very balanced team that doesnt have any glaring weaknesses in my opinion. I was really hoping to get Fournette with my second pick, but Coop sniped me and then he sniped me again on Lamar Jackson . If AJ stays healthy and plays, I have a strong lineup. I may have gone a little early on Kyler Murray but I knew he wouldnt make it back to me and I wanted to get my guy.”
Ryan Hallam had the 4th pick and took Dalvin Cook knowing that he had reported to camp and wasn’t going to hold out. He passed on the Saints duo of Kamara and Thomas. Here are his thoughts.
“With the fourth pick I knew I would take a running back first. Getting two running backs in the first three rounds is fairly crucial to me this year. I won't reach too far to do it, but at worst I want two in the first four rounds. This draft fell beautifully to me as I took two running backs I feel very good about in Cook and Jones and still came back with three dynamite receivers in Chris Godwin , D.J. Moore , and A.J. Brown. Godwin and Moore have great PPR value, and Brown as my third is a fantastic home run threat. After that, I am picking for depth. I got two rookie runners that I like even if I have to wait a little for them to take over their team's backfield. Waiting on quarterback worked perfectly as I got Drew Brees in the eighth round. I took my kicker and defense a little sooner than some to get the guys I wanted, and then took a couple high upside fliers. Damien Harris could get a role if Sony Michel is hurt, and Tre'Quan Smith has a lot of potential that hasn't been realized in a great Saints offense.”
Placing 5th was the GM, Jim Bowden. I have to give credit to his team as he took the best quarterback in the NFC East who is also on the best team in the division even if Jim doesn’t think so. He did well out of the 8th hole, especially since that’s where the weakest hitters...oops sorry wrong sport. Here’s the recap from the GM’s perspective.
“My strategy going into the draft is that I would attempt to draft the three best running backs available to me with my first three selections, unless of course the draft board had a wide receiver drop to me during one of those picks that had significant more value than the running back I was going to choose. The way the board fell to me I considered Michael Thomas and Joe Mixon with the first pick, but decided to go with Henry after leading the NFL in rushing last year and signing the long term contract, knowing that he had a strong offensive line and not as many questions in terms of workload that Mixon would have. I would have felt comfortable with any of the three. My next two picks were Josh Jacobs and James Conner and in both cases I felt they were the best RB's left on the board and that there was plenty of WR talent that I could grab with my next three picks. And, that's what I did in drafting Amari Cooper , Stefon Diggs and D.K. Metcalf respectively. However,I would have taken either Ronald Jones or Kareem Hunt if they had fallen to me in Round 6. With the six best QB's already off the board, I took Carson Wentz in Round 7, not wanting to wait in case there was a run on QB's. I then snatched up what I think were the two best WR's taken in this year's draft in Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb. I think both players have a chance to impact this year. I took two solid TE's in Tyler Higbee and Austin Hooper and got a solid QB2 in Aaron Rodgers . I also went out of the box to take what I think are the two best defenses in the 49ers and Ravens, a strategy I've never done before and am interested to see how it plays out. I took Lynn Bowden as a handcuff to Josh Jacobs and Jerick McKinnon to give me RB depth.”
Our 6th place finisher hails from Texas and assures us that she didn’t bang any garbage cans during the draft trying to throw Howard and Ivar off as they picked. Jen Piacenti had the gift of Michael Thomas fall in her lap at number 10. It’s the latest I’ve seen Thomas go in a non-superflex draft. Let’s hear Jen’s thoughts on how she did with the rest of her picks. There was definitely a bit of home flavoring here.
“Picking from the 10 spot, all nine picks in front of me had been used on a RB, so I took the opportunity to grab the number oneWR on my board, Michael Thomas . I knew I had the chance to end up with Austin Ekeler in the second round, but if I had taken Drake, Chubb or Ekeler at 10, there was no shot I'd be lucky enough to snag Michael Thomas in the second round. I am high on Ekeler this year, especially in PPR, and feel great about my start. In the third round I decided to grab a top tight end and Lamar Jackson 's favorite target and I was able to get Gurley in round 4. From there I took Dak in round 5 - earlier than I usually take a QB- and immediately stacked with Michael Gallup in Round 6. Love my team!”
The second half of the standings start with Adam Ronis who picked from the 12th spot. If you know Adam, you know that with in season management, a 7th place finish is unlikely. He has a great group of receivers, but I did ask him about taking Taylor and his expectations for him. Obviously, he was bullish on an early rise to a full-time gig for JT. I have tempered expectations on all rookies this year with the lack of OTAs and preseason games. Here’s what Adam had to say.
“When you pick at 12, you have to be aggressive. The starting lineup is different than I am accustomed to since it's only two RB, two WR, and one flex. Since the running backs were going early, I made sure to get one good RB and take the receiver value. Terry McLaurin and Tyler Lockett on the 5-6 turn were my favorite picks. I waited on quarterback and was happy to get Matthew Stafford . Once I missed out on the top tight ends, I wanted to get two with TE1 potential and did that with Noah Fant and Dallas Goedert . Since we only have to start two running backs, I wasn't worried about loading up on running backs like most teams did. There's a waiver wire to fix that.”
Finishing 8th out of the 3-spot, the guy who snagged Fournette from me and Vreeland, is Andrew Cooper. Coop had a mishap during the draft, and we’ll let him tell you about it, causing an auto pick and him giving you some draft advice.
“Say it with me now: R-O-B-U-S-T. Robust RB is the name of the game this year and I decided to keep it trendy by going bing, bang, boom with Barkley, Fournette, Gordon. I’m old enough to remember the early 2000s when every first round pick was a running back because they were guaranteed workhorse touches. In 2003 there were 13 guys who all got over 310 carries. In 2019 that number was a big fat zero with only two guys getting over 300. The supply of backs who can do it on every down is more limited than ever, so you need to get them while the getting is good.
For me, the pick of the draft was Robert Woods . I don’t usually take a QB early but, when both the NFL and fantasy football MVP in Lamar Jackson was still there in the 4th, I simply could not pass up the value. After neglecting WR for four straight picks, it was a godsend to have Bobby Forest make it all the way back to me. We are talking about a 28-year old WR coming off back to back 1,100+ yard seasons in an offense that is actually vacating targets with the losses of Brandin Cooks and Todd Gurley . In fact, getting a boring yet perennially safe WR core of Woods, Hilton, Landry, and Edelman just proves how viable the robust RB strategy is this season.
My worst pick is an easy one as my girlfriend dropped a plate in the kitchen mid-draft causing me to drop the ball and draft Sony Michel . As a Patriots fan myself, I’m well aware that they haven’t had a running back with both 200+ carries and 35+ catches since Curtis Martin and Robert Edwards in the 90s. That’s not a flaw - it’s by design. I don’t expect it to change while James White and Rex Burkhead are in town, so Sony is a low ceiling proposition. And of course Howard capitalized on my misfortune by sniping Mike Gesicki a few picks later, my true target, as he should play the “big slot” role in Chan Gailey’s offense where guys like Tony Gonzalez and Eric Decker have feasted in years past. Can’t trust that Bender guy around your tight ends. Fill your queue people.”
Finishing 9th is our IDP expert Ivar Anderson. If there were IDP slots available I’m sure Ivar would have come in first, but at least he only had to draft one kicker and not two catchers. Ivar picked out of the 11th slot sandwiched between Piacenti and Ronis which means he probably got sniped all night. Hopefully he returned the favor a few times.
“I wanted a RB early, and was ecstatic that Nick Chubb was still there at pick 11. Picking that close to the turn, I would be grabbing the best player available for both picks, relying less on a scheme than assembling a bye-week friendly set of WR and RBs. I took a WR with the second round pick I had, figuring I could go back to find a RB2 in Round 3, but when Mike Evans was there at 3.11, I had to go RB WR WR to open.
Getting the handcuff for my RB1 with the second pick of the 6th round was my best pick. I am handcuffing more this season, just due to the COVID situation. I do not want to scramble to pick up the next RB that has a real chance to step in and play full time, and by getting Hunt to back up Chubb, I feel a lot more secure heading into the season. Second best was snagging Dalvin Cook 's handcuff, Alexander Mattison, in the 10th round, at my friend Ryan Hallam's expense.
My worst pick was Evan Engram . I think that TE gets questionable after the top 3-4 choices, perhaps the top two to be honest. Engram was the best available once I had taken my QB/RB/RB//RB/WR/WR run the prior six rounds, but his history of not being fully healthy throughout the season makes him a risk.”
Finishing 10th was a pinch hitter. Rick Wolf had an unexpected conflict and handed the reins over to James Grande who filled in...admirably? Not sure how much of the SMART system was employed here with this low finish but have to thank James for filling in on such short notice. JG was even able to jot down some thoughts in between diaper changes.
“When the draft started, I was hoping to follow in Rick Wolf’s system and use the SMART system, but as the draft progressed, three RBs in the first four rounds wasn’t going to happen. I love the way the draft started out. If I had to change anything, I would have taken a few more late round running backs with injuries always potentially looming. This was also the first time I’ve taken Tom Brady this offseason despite being 10+ drafts and mocks deep. I’m not sold, but his weapons are undeniably elite.”
Picking 7th, Justin Fensterman bucked ADP and took Miles Sanders with his first pick leaving the likes of Derrick Henry , Joe Mixon , and Michael Thomas on the board. His next two picks of Julio Jones and Allen Robinson make up one the best WR duos drafted in this mock. From that point on, Fensty added on some rookie RBs and paired up Calvin Ridley with Julio. The Ridley/Jones combo probably works better in best ball and could be why the evaluator has him finishing 11th. Justin also will have to hope for a big year from sophomore QB Daniel Jones who he took over Aaron Rodgers and Matt Stafford.
I honestly don’t remember doing a mock where the retired 4-star Mock Draft Army general Howard Bender was predicted for a last place finish. This was the beginning of a rough week and all of #FANation wish him and the family their best. That’s what makes this site the best. #FAmily.