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.
I have the fifth overall pick. I'm playing in a points-per-reception league (PPR), which means every reception is worth one point.
Here is my roster:
Round 1, Pick 5: Wide receiver Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Round 2, Pick 8: Running back Devonta Freeman (Atlanta Falcons)
Round 3, Pick 5: Wide receiver Stefon Diggs (Minnesota Vikings)
Round 4, Pick 8: Running back Kenyan Drake (Miami Dolphins)
Round 5, Pick 5: Wide receiver Golden Tate (Detroit Lions)
Round 6, Pick 8: Running back Ronald Jones II (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Round 7, Pick 5: Wide receiver Randall Cobb (Green Bay Packers)
Round 8, Pick 8: Tight end Trey Burton (Chicago Bears)
Round 9, Pick 5: Running back Carlos Hyde (Cleveland Browns)
Round 10, Pick 8: Wide receiver Kenny Golladay (Detroit Lions)
Round 11, Pick 5: Wide receiver Anthony Miller (Chicago Bears)
Round 12, Pick 8: Los Angeles Rams team defense
Round 13, Pick 5: Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (San Francisco 49ers)
Round 14, Pick 8: Kicker Greg Zuerlein (Los Angeles Rams)
Round 15, Pick 5: Quarterback Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs)
Round 16, Pick 8: Running back Chris Ivory (Buffalo Bills)
The fifth pick is usually where Brown starts to be considered in a PPR league. It was Brown or New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara with this pick, but I wanted to show how a team could look if you go wide receiver in the first round.
The strength of this team is obviously the wide receivers. Brown, Diggs and Tate are a great start. Cobb could be a target machine in Green Bay if he can stay healthy.
I seem to wind up with Burton a lot during these mocks in the eighth or ninth rounds. Burton has as much upside as any tight end this year outside of the consensus top three tight ends, but the eighth round is as early as I would take Burton.
Top defenses started coming off the board a few rounds early during this mock, so I wanted to grab one in my top five and the Rams fit.
My running back situation needs some help, but I have depth with Freeman, Drake, Jones and Hyde. Ivory is a terrific late-round running back target with LeSean McCoy's legal troubles, as well as McCoy's age (30).
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