NFL Mock Draft Army - Draft Recap: August 3
Andy Spiteri breaks down the most recent trends from the Mock Draft Army ahead of the fantasy football season!
Week Two of the Mock Draft Army is almost in the books with Friday’s first ever Superflex mock on deck. We had FIVE PPR drafts this week completed and were able to add an extra draft due to the overwhelming demand. Now that we have enough drafts done, we are currently calculating the ADP that is being generated and we’ll be reporting on that as soon as it’s compiled. As training camps are open, the first preseason game complete, and news begins to filter to our eyes and ears, let’s see what we can learn from the mocks this week. There were four 12-team drafts and one ten-team draft. The ADP’s I quote will be from all 5 drafts.
It doesn’t appear that Ezekiel Elliott ’s draft stock has changed after his plane decided to take a detour and land in Mexico. He’s in no rush to get back to Texas and join his teammates wanting his rookie deal, that has two years left, re-worked. Jerry Jones made it very clear that rushing champions don’t equate to Super Bowl champions and he does not appear to be willing to meet Zeke’s demands. Is the Army worried? It doesn’t appear so with an ADP of 3.2 this week. If you draft Elliott, as many did with Le’Veon Bell last year, and he sits out, it could put your championship hopes on ice next to someone else’s champagne (or YooHoo).
On the other hand, Melvin Gordon ’s stock has taken a hit from the beginning of draft season. Why the difference? I’m not sure. There appears to be little confidence that Gordon will start the season on time with the Chargers. His trade demands were received by the front office and there was no permission given to his agent to find a trade partner. His ADP this week comes in at 17.2. Over the last month his NFFC ADP is 13.94 and over the last two weeks it’s 16.86 which is in line with the sentiments of the Army. If there was no holdout, Gordon would be a first rounder and his ADP would probably fall in the six-to-eight range. Getting him an entire round later could potentially be a bargain if his holdout ends. In 2017 when Bell ended his holdout and came back for week one, he started out slow but finished with over 1,900 total yards and was a Pro Bowl selection.
Josh Jacobs has had the honor of being the rookie picked earliest in all mocks. I haven’t seen him fall past the third round. I find it amazing for a rookie who had all of 120 carries last year to be so high on everyone’s board. I’m not touching him especially after getting burned by Penny, Freeman, and Jones last year. Yes, Jon Gruden has praised him up and down and he appears to have been given the job from the get go, but Royce Freeman was supposed to be that guy last year too. There are few rookies that make an impact like Barkley did last year. His ADP of 28.8 is slightly skewed in this five-mock sample as he was taken with the 17th pick in one draft. The NFFC has his ADP over the last two weeks coming in at 38.71 making him a fourth-rounder in 12 team drafts.
David Montgomery is the next one to roll off the board. His ADP this week was 47. This is again in line with the NFFC’s 49. Montgomery is expected to get the lion’s share of carries in Chicago, but does anyone remember what Jordan Howard did there last year? Was it Howard or was it the scheme/coaching? Make sure you read the draft guide’s articles on coaching systems as Howard Bender gives great insight into the schemes each team deploys.
In Thursday night’s draft, team Green Akers (I’m guessing an Eagles fan here) took four rookie running backs in his first seven picks. This is not a strategy I’d endorse especially since one of the picks is Miles Sanders of the Eagles. Duce Staley employs his committee approach and none of the Eagles backs are likely to have a RB1 workload. He took Sanders as his number three, which is ok, but I’m steering clear of that backfield unless I can get Jordan Howard after round eight as my RB4.
His other pick was Darrell Henderson of the Rams. If you pick Tood Gurley you HAVE to take Henderson as a hedge. The problem is his ADP. At 87 he’s an eighth round pick. Do you want to take a chance on a player who may not play much in the eighth round? In Wednesday’s mock Delhi Pillow Fi took him in the seventh round as his fourth running back. I’m okay with him as a RB4, but ahead of Allen Robinson , Jarvis Landry , and Alshon Jeffery ? In the chat room of the mocks we have regularly discussed the merits of taking someone else’s handcuff. It’s a strategy we have seen a lot where you do not end up with your handcuff unless you dive in very early. It’s a lottery ticket if you take one with owning the starter. Most of the time you’re ripping up the ticket and buying another.
These are the four backs being taken consistently in all drafts along with Alexander Mattison of the Vikings and Devin Singletary of Buffalo. There is also a smattering of Tony Pollard, Damien Harris, Benny Snell, and Justice Hill. In deep leagues they are all worth a shot as handcuffs.
The only rookie quarterback being drafted is Kyler Murray . As the number one overall pick, expectations are high on the field in Phoenix. In fantasyland, the expectations appear somewhat luke warm. He is going as a QB2 and is averaging as the 14th quarterback taken. Several QB2’s over the last few years have ended up as high QB1’s at the end of the season. This could be the case with Murray. If you can get him as your second quarterback, he’s a risk well worth taking. Pairing him up with the likes of Cam Newton and Carson Wentz , who both are coming off injuries, may help maximize his value.
Rookie wide receivers and tight ends have a difficult time breaking out in their first season. This year TJ Hockenson and Noah Fant were the first receivers taken in the NFL draft but this hasn’t translated into fantasy relevance. Fant and Hockenson were each taken in two of the five drafts this week. In most mocks teams are taking just one tight end but I usually take two in my real drafts. If you take one of the top three, you may not feel the need to take another as it would be hard to imagine playing a backup over any of them. I’m not diving into that pool for the most part, so I’m going with two later in the draft. If you grab a tight end that doesn’t have a week four or five bye, consider taking Chris Herndon of the Jets. He came on strong at the end of the year and should continue to do so after he comes back from his four-game suspension.
On the wide receiver front, again we see varied results from mock-to-mock. On Thursday Mecole Hardman started it off at pick 131. It started a rookie run with N’Keal Harry, Andy Isabella and Parris Campbell going in the next four picks with @Kangasman taking Harry and Isabella in back-to-back in rounds 11 and 12. Rookie receivers don’t have the track record to warrant a high draft pick. Harry has the highest ADP as he’s going in the 11th round on average. These rookie wideouts may improve their draft stock as you see them in some preseason games. We all know the history and if you pick one of these players you are taking on a little risk but at their ADP, it’s not something that should hurt you. As a huge target for Russell Wilson , DK Metcalf is someone I’d like to grab late to see what happens. He went in three of the five mock drafts and was taken in the 11th-13th rounds.
Be on the lookout for next week’s Mock Draft Army schedule on Sunday. We have great groups join in every night and you mock without seven teams going on autopick six picks into the draft. The ADP for the mocks is being compiled and will be reported on next week. In the meantime, hit me up on twitter if you have any questions @gasdoc_spit