Motor Up Staff
Six of our writers/friends had a mock draft for the upcoming Fantasy Football, filled out with four more teams on auto pick filling out 10 teams. The draft was a PPR Snake Draft. Below are the teams that our participants came away with and their strategy in drafting who they did.
There is a clear theme to the team I drafted: capitalize on the PPR (points per reception) format. I wanted to grab 3 stud wide receivers and in the 1st, 3rd, and 6th round I was able to do just that landing Antonio Brown, Amari Cooper, and Sammy Watkins. Brown is probably the best receiver in fantasy football. Cooper, although a tiny bit inconsistent has superstar potential every week on a high powered Oakland offense that he should be featured in. Watkins was just traded to LA and could be limited by Jared Goff’s QB play, but there is no denying his talent. Watkins is a risk I am willing to bet on in the 6th round when I have other players that could comfortably slide in to the FLEX position if I lose out on him. I needed one star running back that carries the load for his backfield and I got that in DeMarco Murray. As an extra bonus, Murray is an underrated pass catcher. I also have Dalvin Cook who people have high praise about in Minnesota. He could very well be a starter if he pans out on this team. The rest of my running backs are all great at catching the ball out of the backfield and can do some heavy damage in PPR formats. They are Danny Woodhead, Theo Riddick, James White and Shane Vereen. All could see time at the FLEX spot in the lineup in matchup, injury, or bye week situations. My quarterback is none other than the GOAT himself, Tom FAHKIN Brady. He has a treasure chest of weapons to throw to and barring a Madden Curse should be an elite fantasy QB option this season. At tight end, Zach Ertz is a mediocre option, but would not surprise me if he finishes the year as a top 10 tight end in PPR scoring, so I am fine with this being a slightly weak spot in my team. To round things out, the Vikings D and Sebastian Janikowski are both not elite, but solid options at defense and kicker this year. I definitely see this team as a playoff team with good in season management. I am not prematurely raising any banners, but if this were my team going into the season I would feel pretty good.
|13||D/ST||Kansas City Chiefs|
The first thing I consider when drafting is: am I going to be able to draft Le’veon Bell or David Johnson? When the answer is no, I simply pick the top wide receiver as apart from those two, the risk of injury outweighs any additional fantasy points you’d get from picking a wide receiver. I always like taking Gronk in the second round, it might be a bit early for a tight end but since he gobbles up touchdowns at an unprecedented rate, I think it’s worth the injury risk at a position where there are a bunch of average players available late in the draft or on the waiver wire. For my first running back I took Lamar Miller because last year he got 299 touches in only 14 games. With a rookie quarterback or Tom Savage at the helm, I expect him to continue to receive endless opportunities and to have the chance to capitalize on them game in and game out. Similar thought process for McCaffrey: if the Panthers are cutting down on Cam’s rushing, someone is going to be getting all those touches, his versatility as a receiver also opens up the field in a way that the Panthers desperately needed last year. I then stocked up on receivers because I prefer to take my chances looking for young running backs later in the draft who could see a large bump in value due to injury or who break out onto the scene. The rest of my draft was pretty straight forward: wait on a QB and draft one with an explosive team offense, pick up a top-ranked defense, and grab a kicker whose team can move the ball down the field but doesn’t have a workhorse goal-line running back. Make sure you get a decent backup for each position, and you’re ready to go.
The 6th pick fell to me. Bell, Julio, Brown, OBJ and Johnson were off the board, which meant fuck, now I actually have to think about who I’m taking. I went Jordy Nelson because when on the field he puts up consistent top 5 WR numbers. He’s not as flashy or doesn’t have the keeper upside of the others, but I’m not sure there is a WR I’d keep in the first round anyway. (In the back of my head I was going to target Aaron Rodgers just because every fantasy owner should target a stud QB- WR/TE duo. I figured try and get him in the 4th round and build a solid core as Brady would go first at QB since you know, we all live within 45 minutes of Gillette).
The plan seemed okay. I got Jay Ajayi in the second and I love the upside here. Having multiple 200 yard games in the same season is special, and I fully expect him to build on that and run the ball a lot with “I play quarterback so I don’t have to be in that great cardiovascular shape” under center. Brandin Cooks was there in the 3rd, and I wasn’t going to let him show me up. Honestly, I’m not that high on Cooks’ performance in New Orleans, but there is something about the way he has carried himself this offseason and I think the Patriot system will reward that well.
My phone vibrated and I began the search for my 4th pick, and shit, A-Rod was gone. Two things: 1) I should have seen this coming. He will be a top tier fantasy QB pending injury. 2) Why the fuck did Rodgers go before Brady? I’m not even sure who took him, I suspect AJ because stats or lifting or something, but it made me question our friend group. It forced me to take Jordan Reed. When he knows who he is, he’s a fantasy stud. I followed him up with Greg Olsen, expecting him and Cam to have a bounce back year (Cam got drafted the pick before I could draft him). Regardless, I figured two top tight ends could prove valuable in our league, especially as trade commodities.
Weak at RB, my next three picks were Frank Gore, LaGarette Blount, and Mike Gillislee. I figured one of them could turn out to be a reliable RB2 and add some depth. After I got bored of RB’s I realized I needed to have some support for Nelson and Cooks. I went Moncrief because he is super consistent. He won’t give you 20+ point break out games, but when healthy I can count on 3-5 catches, 50 yards and a touchdown.
Now I had everyone figured out except for my QB’s, Defense’s, a kicker and additional depth. I missed out on Newton, so I went for the non-spectacular but sometimes rewarding Kirk Cousins- Jordan Reed tandem. I backed him up with Big Ben, because I could see him turning back the clock to top tier QB days with Martavis Bryant coming back. All said and done, very mediocre.
Defense is the most underrated position in fantasy. It makes or breaks teams and often carries them through the fantasy season into the playoffs. The best defenses often come out of nowhere (Vikings last year), but stashing a top rated defense or two doesn’t hurt. I chose the Broncos and Texans (two is preferred because of weeks your defense faces top rated offenses).
Kickers don’t really matter. I got Dustin Hopkins I think. Also, I saw Loden didn’t get Dan Bailey, interesting.
To round out my team, I took Corey Davis from Tennessee. I don’t know too much about him other than he was a 1st round pick, but maybe he can form a quick connection with Marcus Mariota. Lastly, I took Malcolm Mitchell just because he can build on his rookie success and someone will get injured in New England.
To be honest, this team was all around average. Like Arsenal or AJ’s mock team, they aren’t the worst but won’t win anything. Oh well, you live and you learn.
John Q Adams and the Gruden Grinderz
|12||D/ST||New England Patriots|
|14||WR||Ted Ginn Jr.|
My team’s engine is likely to be the absolute tour de force running down the RB column. The list starts strong and manages to finish stronger: Freeman, Howard, Ingram, AP, Forte, Doug Martin, and Jeremy Hill. The only downside to the RBs on my roster is that I will be limited to playing 3/week. My first three of Freeman, Howard, and Ingram all speak for themselves and will undoubtedly carry us to the 15-0 mark single-handedly if need be. It is only if I wanted to give my league-mates a chance, and myself some competition, that I would consider benching my main three and opting for AP, Forte, Martin, or Hill. AP can indiscriminately beat the competition to a pulp without regard for their well-being or level of experience in the league. Forte is simply a “fucking savage”. Martin is going to be suspended for Adderall, which will have him rested and focused to come into my RB3 position on his return. While drug suspensions scare away some fantasy owners it lets me know that my players are willing to do what it takes to make the cut for my roster and put their best possible performance forward week in and week out. I have faith in Martin as a player and believe he was using Adderall to spike his pre-workout stack and get fucking amped up for his lifts this offseason. My league-mates were clearing playing head games with this mock draft as they attempted to psyche me out by absolutely throwing that draft, and handing me a 15-0 roster. First of all, I absolutely stole my main wide out, T-Pry, in the third round. I was one pick away from landing Cooks but still managed to have T-Pry fall in my lap. Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t lose with the league’s premier WR on my roster. “Cleveland’s Second Coming” will be backed up with Landry at WR2, and Ginn coming hot off the bench.
While I could leave the rest of my roster spots empty and still win most weeks, I think that would be insulting to my league and so I still have a QB, TE, K, and D/ST to seal the deal. My QB is none other than A-rod who hasn’t thrown a pick at Lambo in months. My TE is Eifert; the poor man’s Gronk. I had the steal of the draft when I was able to select 11 Patriots with the 113th pick for my D/ST. I retrospectively have some buyer’s remorse with my K as I realized the Pats are going to end 100% of possessions on TDs this season and I will only be scoring extra point attempts with GOATkowski. The NFL’s most overrated player will be getting 0 mins in our fantasy league this year as Dak Dynasty has been sentenced to my bench barring trade bait. And last but not least my 15th pick went to a seasoned veteran who I chose not for scoring or even football ability, but rather as a leader in my fantasy locker-room: Mike Vick.
If this is how my league shows up to the actual draft then they might as well pay me now, and spare themselves the embarrassment of a season long beatdown.
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So here’s the breakdown. Yes, Doug Baldwin and Michael Thomas. Why? Baldwin is a stud. He’s the guy in Seattle. He’s always been the guy for Russell Wilson. In PPR? I like it even better. Seahawks have become more pass oriented in the past year or so and are we really gonna bank on Eddie Lacy to bring the run back to Seattle? Which brings me to good ol’ Tommy Rawls as my last pickup. Bro, we’re talking Eddie Lacy. Injury prone, fat camp Eddie Lacie. 2+2=4. Or in my case when Eddie Lacy inevitably fails at a comeback, I’ll be waiting. Michael Thomas is a big target in NOLA. C’mon its NOLA with Brees. So mucho targets all around plus he was a stud last year, with more experience under the belt this guy’s looking Frosted Flakes great. Beast Mode is back. Behind one of the best lines in the league. With a fire offense to keep defenses on their toes, he could very well repeat the success he had in Seattle years back. Also Michael Crabtree in Oakland has been solid every year. Derek Carr loves him and he has the consistency you want in your receivers. I wanted to build a solid base of receivers right away in a PPR league and I dig my homies already. Matty Ice is a stud in the regular season. He’s literally Peyton Manning 2.0. I don’t ned to say more about the three headed monster that is Ice, Julio, and Freeman. Tevin Coleman is also a solid producer even as the 2nd stringer. One of my favorite handcuffs. Cam Meredith has upside, I’m praying that the Bears smarten up and just let Trubisky get experience this year and to get that young blood connect going.
Say what you want about taking the best kicker in the league in Round 9. Tucker/the best kickers produce like a QB on a good day. Mariota’s offense is looking A1 in the AFC South. I’m liking him as my backup for scrambles among other things with his bolstered receiving corps and backfield. Hunter Henry was a pick because I wanted another TE. Nothing special to say, didn’t know too much about him besides the fact Antonio Gates is a fossil. Seahawks D/ST should be top tier per usual. The rest are handcuffs and bench. IDGAFOS.
I’ll be honest with you guys: I have no strategy. Look, I could sit up here stroking my ego all day telling you about the upsides of an undrafted rookie or seasoned veteran who’s gearing up for a bounce back year who I found through my immense fantasy genius but that’d be a total load of crap. I just looked at player rankings and potential that best fit my needs at the time of the pick and made sure not too many of them had the same bye week. I kinda screwed the pooch on that last one, but I digress: I ain’t no guru.
That being said, honestly I felt like my team rounds out pretty solid, especially for a guy who’s been out of the fantasy loop for a while. From the couple of minutes research I did before the draft, I knew David Johnson was considered by many to be the best player available, and I nabbed him with the second pick. Usually running backs are my strong suit, so I figure the upside for him would pay off in my favor as it always seems to do.
I dedicated my next two picks to the run game as well with Leonard Fournette and Todd Gurley, two pretty solid backs in my book. Plus Fournette is a Jaguar, and the Jaguars are the Jaguars, so I feel the run game will be the focal point of the offense while they figure out their quaterback situation.
Julian Edelman and Larry Fitzgerald came next, and to pat my own back again, I feel it’s another damn solid combo. Sure, Fitzgerald isn’t as young as he used to be, but he still should figure well into the Cardinals offense. As for Edelman, how could I pass on a guy who literally can make impossible catches? And before you ask, no, I do mean literally, not figuratively. Did you see the greatest Super Bowl of all time this February? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Kyle Rudolph at tight end seemed like a good pick to follow up, though perhaps I could’ve shot for a quarterback first, then a tight end, and then a back up QB, but I liked Rudolph and it’s not like this draft actually matters, right?
My quarterbacks are also not elite, but still solid: Cam Newton and Eli Manning. I feel Newton is still the quarterback he was in 2015, and that last year was just an off one. As for Eli, I seem to always end up with him at some point in some league every year, and he mostly does his job, so I feel he ‘s a really solid backup.
Martellus Bennett came next, pretty much because he was available and I think he’s a cool guy. Really not much more to say with that pick. He has another solid arm throwing to him, having moved from Brady to Rogers, so I should get some points there.
I took DeVante Parker pretty much because I was looking for another wide receiver and he was there. That’s it.
I went with the legend himself Adam Vinatieri at kicker. I felt he was reliable and my favorite of the bunch that were available at the time, so why not?
From that point on, I pretty much just tried to balance out positions and get what I needed so I could have back ups always available, including at the defense position. I picked the Bengals and Cardinals defenses solely based on their projections, as I did with the individual position players for the rest of the draft.
Except Tajae Sharpe. That was a pure homer move based solely on him having been a Minuteman. Go! GO U! Go UMass! GO UMASS!!!