The Mock Draft Army got off to a strong start the first week with four drafts in the books.  Just a quick note before we dive into Thursday’s draft.  A huge penalty flag to the people who didn’t show on Friday.  One of the things we strive for is to have accurate ADP numbers generated by these drafts.  The industry folk take time out of their busy schedules to VOLUNTEER to join in and help YOU out.  By signing up and not showing is just a lack of respect for other people’s time. If something comes up, as happened with someone on Thursday, a quick DM on twitter or removing yourself from the mock, gives us time to find a replacement and is perfectly understandable.  To just not show is not cool.  Rant over.

On Thursday I was joined by Ivar Anderson and Matt Selz as we tackled a 12-team, 16-round PPR draft.  Matt drew the 6th slot, I had the 8th and Ivar had the 9th.  My strategy in this draft was to see what fell to me at 8, not use an early pick on a quarterback, and see what’s available in the middle rounds here as I drew the 8th slot in one of my home leagues.

The first four picks again went chalk with the usual suspects.  As I’ve said before, I think the most intriguing pick is 5.  Chris Spears took David Johnson .  Johnson’s ADP of 6.89 in the NFFC supports this choice but I’m not buying.  A new system and a new QB who may throw AND run a ton has me passing especially with all the talent that is there to pick from at 5.  James Conner and Le’Veon Bell went next which I had no qualms with especially since it left me with an easy choice at 8.

DeAndre Hopkins is the first WR on my board and I easily hit the draft button here.  If Melvin Gordon wasn’t a holdout, he would be my choice, but then again, he may not have fallen to me at 8.  I think the three wideouts that are worthy of first round consideration are Hopkins, Jones, and Adams.  Adams could be a better choice in non-PPR leagues that are more touchdown dependent as he is clearly the number 1 with no number 2 close to his skill set on the Packers.  Hopkins has Fuller and Jones has Ridley stealing targets and touchdowns.

The first round continued with Ivar taking Jones at 9 and Chris Brock taking Adams at 10 backing up my last paragraph.  Joe Mixon and JuJu Smith-Schuster closed out the first round which saw nothing out of the ordinary and showed that this isn’t the round to take chances.  You usually don’t win a draft in the first round, but making the wrong choice can put a serious dent in your championship quest.

What I”m going to look at in this draft is to see what positions each team drafted in the first four rounds and then see where they went in rounds 5-8.  The middle rounds of the draft are important to fill out your starters, gain valuable quality depth, and find bargains who slipped down the draft board.

Clark-------2 RBs, 2 WRs

Marino-----1 RB, 2 WRs, 1 TE

Richey-----3 RBs, 1 WR

Groff-------2 RBs, 2 WRs

Spears------2 RBs, 2 WRs

Selz----------3 RBs, 1 WR

Meyers------2 RBs, 1 WR, 1 TE

Spiteri--------2 RBs, 2 WRs

Anderson----2 RBs, 1 WR, 1 QB

Brock---------2 RBs, 2 WRs

Jones---------2 RBs, 2 WRs

Bomgardner-1 RB, 2 WRs, 1 TE

Some interesting notes here.  No one took 3 WRs.  I believe that’s because it is the deepest position and there isn’t an urgency to scoop them up.  Two of the three teams that took a tight end only took one running back.  I find that surprising as with the dearth of RB’s available, I would think if you’re going TE early with Kittle, Ertz or Kelce, then you would try to get your RB’s and wait on WR’s.  We’ll check in and see who Marino and Bomgardner target in the next four rounds.  Ivar was the only one who took a QB, a trend we have seen in most one-QB leagues.  Interestingly, with the new Razzbowl invitational drafts beginning on Monday, will QB’s go earlier?  Rules play a big role in determining your draft strategy.  The Razzbowl is best ball for the first nine weeks and QB touchdowns are worth six points.  In our draft guide Howard Bender writes about the importance of knowing your league’s rules when preparing for your draft.

Here’s a quick look at my first four picks and my thoughts.  My second pick was Melvin Gordon .  I needed a running back and couldn’t let him slip past me in the second round.  If he wasn’t holding out I would have nabbed him at 8th overall. Hopefully, his holdout doesn’t extend into the season.  In the third round I went with Derrick Henry . I’m not a huge fan, but here, with few “full time” RB1’s left on the board, Henry was the choice over Mack and Kerryon Johnson .  I then saw Amari Cooper , Keenan Allen and Kenny Golladay all go off the board before my next pick.  I decided to go Cooper Kupp here.  I was asked during the draft why him over Cooks and Woods.  If he’s healthy, I like him in a PPR format so I went in that direction.

Let’s see what each team did with their next 4 picks.

Clark-------2 RBs, 2 WRs                            2 RB, 1 WR, 1 QB

Marino-----1 RB, 2 WRs, 1 TE                    1 RB, 2 WR, 1 QB

Richey-----3 RBs, 1 WR                              1 RB, 2 WR, 1 QB

Groff-------2 RBs, 2 WRs                             1 RB, 1 WR, 1 QB, 1 TE

Spears------2 RBs, 2 WRs                           2 RB, 1 WR, 1 TE

Selz----------3 RBs, 1 WR                            1 RB, 1 WR, 1 QB, 1 TE

Meyers------2 RBs, 1 WR, 1 TE                   1 RB, 3 WR

Spiteri--------2 RBs, 2 WRs                          1 RB, 1 WR, 1 QB, 1 TE

Anderson----2 RBs, 1 WR, 1 QB                 1 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE

Brock---------2 RBs, 2 WRs                          1 RB, 2 WR, 1 QB

Jones---------2 RBs, 2 WRs                          1 RB, 1 WR, 1 QB, 1 TE

Bomgardner-1 RB, 2 WRs, 1 TE                  2 RB, 2 WR

What we see are half the teams have their starting rosters filled by the end of the 8th round.  Those that don’t either need a QB or a TE and that’s split 50/50.  This means that nine QB’s and nine TE’s are off the board by round eight.  If you want one of the top QB’s or TE’s, you have to dip into these pools by the 8th round.  With the depth at QB, waiting on them may be the way to go.  The teams that held out are Bomgardner in slot 12, Spears in slot 5, and Meyers in slot 7.  If you look at the draft evaluator these teams are projected to finish last (Spears), fourth (Bomgardner) and third (Meyers).  I used total projected points for the entire team as waiting on QB allows you to add valuable depth and this is the better comparison as compared to just starters.

Is waiting on TE better?  Brock is projected 9th, Clark 8th, and Richey 10th.  This could be based on not so great drafts, but it can be from a large difference in projected points between the top TE’s and the ones taken late in the draft. This could be an indication that taking a TE early is better than taking a QB early. Let’s see where the three teams who took Ertz, Kelce and Kittle in the first four rounds ended up.  Marino took Ertz and is projected 1st overall drafting from the two-hole.  Bomgardner took Kelce and is ranked fourth from the 12-hole.  Meyers took Kittle and is ranked third from the seventh spot. Three of the top four slots are taken up by teams that drafted the top three TE’s and two of them are waiting on QB until after the 8th round.  This is one mock, but a very interesting finding as we dig into the results.

I am of the mindset to fill out my starters by this time in the draft so I went with both a QB and TE in rounds 4-8.  I started with James White as he acts like a WR2 in PPR and is valuable as a flex.  I then went with WR depth and took Tyler Boyd .  AJ Green is constantly getting injured (like today as I write this) and is a good bet to end up with the most catches on the Bengals.  I then went with Evan Engram who is looking like the only target besides Saquon for the Giants right now if Golden Tate ’s appeal isn’t approved.  I debated in round eight whether to take a QB or wait.  I took Wentz, which was sort of a homer pick but I also think the value is there in round eight if he stays healthy.  Did this work? I was projected second by the evaluator based on total points. 

In the upcoming week we have a few 10pm ET drafts to help out the west coasters draft at a more convenient time.  We will also have our first superflex draft on Friday for those who play in this format.  Again, if you sign up, please show up on time and stay for the entire draft.  Also if you see a draft is full, don’t hesitate to join in as a standby as we have dipped into this pool almost every night. Let’s Go!!!!