Before you know it, it will be fantasy football draft time. During the next month or so, I will be conducting several mock drafts. During the drafts, I will pick in all 12 positions, with all sorts of scenarios.
As a rule, I prefer to draft three starting running backs within the first four rounds. It is a tried-and-true strategy, which has done me well for 20-plus years. The mock drafts I do will all assume 12 teams are in the league (unless otherwise noted) with the following roster breakdown: quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, tight end, a flex (running back, wide receiver or tight end), as well as a kicker, team defense and six bench spots. It's a 16-round snake draft.
Here is scenario No. 3. (Click
for scenario No. 1 and
for scenario No. 2)
I have the third overall pick. I'm playing in a standard league, which means it's not a point-per-reception (PPR) format.
You can see the entire draft by clicking
Here's my roster:
Round 1, Pick 3: Running back Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas Cowboys)
Round 2, Pick.10: Running back Jordan Howard (Chicago Bears)
Round 3, Pick 3: Tight end Zach Ertz (Philadelphia Eagles)
Round 4, Pick 10: Running back Jay Ajayi (Philadelphia Eagles)
Round 5, Pick 3: Wide receiver Golden Tate (Detroit Lions)
Round 6, Pick 10: Running back Marshawn Lynch (Oakland Raiders)
Round 7, Pick 3: Wide receiver, Devin Funchess (Carolina Panthers)
Round 8, Pick 10: Wide receiver Will Fuller (Houston Texans)
Round 9, Pick 3: Running back Jamaal Williams (Green Bay Packers)
Round 10, Pick 10: Wide receiver DJ Moore (Carolina Panthers)
Round 11, Pick 3: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Round 12, Pick 10: Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (San Francisco 49ers)
Round 13, Pick 3: Minnesota Vikings team defense/special teams
Round 14, Pick 10: Kicker Stephen Gostkowski (New England Patriots)
Round 15, Pick 3: Running back Doug Martin (Oakland Raiders)
Round 16, Pick 10: Wide Receiver Donte Moncrief, Jacksonville
The top four picks in most fantasy drafts should be running backs. The Los Angeles Rams' Todd Gurley, the Pittsburgh Steelers' Le’Veon Bell, the Arizona Cardinals' David Johnson and Elliott are the consensus top four picks this year. Whatever order you wish to rank them is in the eye of the drafter, but this is especially true in a standard league. Steelers receiver Antonio Brown is never a bad pick at the top of the draft, but I like to grab a running back who should get 25-plus touches a game over any receiver early during a draft.
Howard is a better standard running back than PPR back, in my opinion, so I decided to grab him in the second round over players like Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman or Minnesota Vikings running back Jerrick McKinnon. In the third round, I wanted to see how my team looked by taking a top tight end in Ertz. Again, we're searching for touchdowns and Ertz is a favorite target for Philly in the red zone. Ajayi, his teammate, should be another touchdown-making running back and gives me some great depth.
I still had some work to do at wide receiver after going tight end early and still following my strategy of taking three running backs during the first four rounds. Tate is a no brainer during the fifth round, but I couldn't pass on Lynch during the next round. Oakland offense should be ground-and-pound under new coach Jon Gruden. I was also able to handcuff Lynch with Martin later in the draft, so I am very happy with my top four backs.
The rest of my receivers are boom-or-bust touchdown guys. Fuller was a touchdown machine until his season was cut short due to injury. Funchess is a player I honestly don't love but in a standard league, his best attribute is in the red zone, so I took a shot.
Once again, you can wait on quarterbacks as proven here: Roethlisberger and Garoppolo were available in the 11th and 12th rounds, respectively.
Overall, I’d again be very happy with this team going into the 2018 fantasy football season. It has depth and touchdown-makers, which are essential for a standard league.
Please try a mock yourself as practice makes perfect. You can mock in minutes by clicking