Mock Draft #1 – 12 team, 1/2 Point PPR, Pick #1

by Shamin Shah, July 16, 2020 – 20 minute read

Draft details: 12 teams, ½ point PPR, Pick #1

Positions: QB, WR, WR, RB, RB, TE, W/R/T, DEF, K, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN

In this article, I will go over all my picks in detail, highlighting the other possible options that were available and explaining my choice. This should not reflect your rankings or prompt you to choose your players like I did mine. It is designed to get you into the thought process of what you should look for in the draft. 

I have also defined what types I think these players are based on their history –

High floor: Players who you likely know what you’re going to get every week and they are considered safe. 

Low floor: Risky plays who can bust at any given week

High Ceiling: Risky plays but they can have big weeks at anytime

Low Ceiling: Safer players who usually aren’t going to be on top of any weekly leaderboards

Pick #1: Christian McCaffrey (Starting RB) – High floor, high ceiling.

Other choices: No other choices

There is no reason to go with anyone else if you have the #1 pick. McCaffrey had over 100 more fantasy points than Aaron Jones who was RB2 last year. Infact, he had the same amount of points as the leading QB, Lamar Jackson. He is on a tier by himself.

Pick #2: Allen Robinson (Starting WR) – High floor, high ceiling

Other choices: Mike Evans, Clyde-Helaire Edwards, Leonard Fournette

I went with Allen Robinson over Mike Evans here because Robinson had a great year last year, and he did it with sub par QB play which can only get better if Nick Foles takes over. Evans has some risk and unknowns with Brady taking over the offense with a lot of mouths to feed. This may not be the same TB team who needs to throw a ton to come back every game. I also went with a WR here over RB because all the higher tier ones were taken (Jones, Ekeler, Gurley, Sanders,

Pick #3: Clyde-Helaire Edwards (Starting RB) – Low floor, high ceiling

Other choices: Mike Evans, Leonard Fournette, Juju Smith-Schuster, Odell Beckham, Amari Cooper

I went with the high risk-high reward play here because I already have McCaffrey, who alone can carry my RB position. If both hit, I will dominate the RB position. A lot of the receivers coming up have major question marks. Evans (see above), Smith-Schuster, Beckham, Cooper. I would rather take my chances on future picks at this position. Lets see if it pays off. Also, both Kittle and Kelce got taken so TE isnt an option now until later.  

Pick #4: Terry McLaurin (Starting WR) – High floor, low ceiling

Other choices: Courtland Sutton, Keenan Allen

I went with McLaurin here because the Washington <insert name here> team will likely be doing a lot of coming back this season. McLaurin will be the true #1 on a team and has consistently shown up in most games his rookie year. Washington also did not do much to their squad, so we should likely see similar results. While Sutton and Allen are also safe picks here, Denver did load up on some WR weapons in the offseason, and Allen doesn’t have Rivers throwing to him, rather he has Tyrod Taylor. His utilization is in question.

What I could have done differently

In hindsight, I see a lot of solid RBs here that I could have taken in round 4 if I did not take Clyde in round 3 (David Johnson, Ingram) so I could have gone with another WR in round 3 and had one of these guys as my RB2. What would you rather have? Evans and David Johnson, or Clyde and McLaurin? This is one of the reasons you should mock draft, not only to see who you get, but to see who you could have gotten.

Pick #5: David Johnson (Starting Flex) – High floor, low ceiling

Other choices: Mark Ingram, David Montgomery, Devin Singletary

I went with a RB here because the amount of starting RBs are getting very slim in this draft. After the other choices listed above, you have guys in a timeshare like Mostert, Swift, Hunt and Guice. Also, I could have gone with a WR here, but because of the scarcity of RBs left, I wanted to round out my RB1s. I went with Johnson here over the three other choices because he checks two boxes. 1) He is in a good offense and 2) He does not have much competition for his job. You cannot say the same for the other three choices. 

Pick #6: Marquise Brown (Bench) – Low floor, high ceiling

Other choices: AJ Green, Tyler Boyd, Michael Gallup

This was a key round. I could grab my QB in Watson or Allen (after that there’s a drop off to Ryan/Wentz/Brees/Brady). I could grab a TE here as well in Engram (after that there’s a dropoff to Cook/Gronkowski/Hooper). Or I can continue to load up on RBs and WRs. Given that there are a lot of QB options left, and Engram should drop off this year with a healthy trio of Shephard/Slayton/Tate and Barkeley (NY is loaded up for now and will spread the ball around), I decided to grab WR here to boost my WR core. I went with Brown because I think Boyd/Green somewhat cancel eachother out this year and Gallup also has a lot of competition. Brown really only has to worry about Andrews and has some major upside when healthy.

Pick #7: Derrius Guice (Bench) – Low floor, high ceiling

Other choices: James White, Ke’shawn Vaughn

A lot of what applies to the previous pick applies here too since these are back to back. Since I have my RBs pretty solidified (McCaffrey is automatic, Clyde may take some time but DJ can hold the fort) I am looking for an upside pick here. If Guice stays healthy, that’s exactly what he is. I could have gone with Vaughn here as well, but we just don’t know how that timeshare is going to play out. Give me the guy with the starting gig day 1 that is his to lose, rather than a guy who we will have to wait and see if he gets the start or not. White is the safe pick here due to his catching ability, so if you went very risky early, you may want to pick him.

Pick #8: Evan Engram (Starting TE) – High floor, low ceiling

Other choices: Jared Cook, Rob Gronkowski, Austin Hooper

I know I mentioned NY being loaded up earlier. However, Engram just fell down the draft board to me in Round 8. I still see a drop off in tier and given three other players still need TE, I all pick him up now and be completely comfortable with the TE position going into the season. Remember, all players have value. Its on you to make sure you grab them if they are showing value. I didn’t want to touch Engram in round 6, but I was considering it. Since he fell 2 rounds, it’s a no brainer.

Pick #9: Damien Williams (Bench) – Low floor, low ceiling

Other choices: Jordan Howard, Matt Brieda, Philip Lindsay

Looking at my roster, I have some solid RB depth but I probably want one more RB. QBs left that I was considering here was Brady and Stafford but I did notice that everyone else has already drafted a QB so I will wait to see if one of those guys comes around back to me. There is a lot of WR talent left but players to consider here were John Brown, Slayton, and Crowder. However there are tons of WRs just like that later in the draft like Mike Williams, Shephard, Anthony Miller, Emmanuel Sanders, and the list goes on. Its too early for defense. I decided to solidify my RB position and what better way to do that then to back up Clyde with Williams. If one goes down, I have a RB1. If both stay healthy, I can play the hot hand. Williams is a handcuff with standalone value that I want to lock down now. This is a good example of adjusting in the draft based on the team you already have.

Pick #10: Tom Brady (Starting QB) – High floor, low ceiling

Other choices: Matthew Stafford, Daniel Jones

Just as I suspected, no one took a QB. Just by looking at my other opponents teams, I was able to save a pick and grab a solid TE and a good bench RB for nothing. I chose Brady over Stafford simply because I have him in a higher tier and he has some great weapons to throw to. I am not yet convinced of an improved TB defense or run game, so I think Brady will have to throw a good amount (not as much as WInston but still a fair amount to stay fantasy relevant). Also, never bet against the greatest QB of all time right?

Pick 11: Anthony Miller (Bench) – Low floor, high ceiling

Other choices: Golden Tate, Preston Williams, 

I went with Miller here not only because I think he is a better talent, but also partly to protect my WR1. If one of these players goes down, the other will get riddled with targets. 

What I could have done differently

That next tier of TE in Cook/Gronkowski/Hooper is still available here. I am thinking Engram would have gone by now if I didn’t grab him in round 8, but regardless, I could have gotten someone like John Brown or Darius Slayton instead. So what’s a better combo; Engram and Miller or Slayton and Cook?

Pick 12: San Francisco Defense (Starting DEF) – High floor, high ceiling

Other choices: None

At this point in the draft, you are looking for one of two things; upside or handcuffs. However, if these don’t exist anymore or more importantly, the guys who want are a bit lower on the draft board, why not take the #1 defense here. I know this goes against what most experts say, to pick Defense and Kicker last, but this is a headache you can avoid. This also frees up a bench spot for you as you don’t have to stream any defenses all year for the most part.

Pick 13: Henry Ruggs III (Bench) – Low floor, high ceiling

Other choices: Brandon Aiyuk, Michael Pittman, Allen Lazard

Like I mentioned above, you were looking for major upside or quality handcuffs here. If I had Miles Sanders, I would grab Boston Scott. If I had Eleker, I would grab Jackson. If I had Aaron Jones, I would grab Jamaal Williams. You get the picture. However, I’ve already backed up CEH with Williams, and McCaffrey’s backup will stay on the waiver wire so no reason to waste a pick there, and Duke Johnson is already taken, so I went with WR here. There arent many WRs with more upside then Ruggs. He goes to a Raider team where their leading receiver by far is Waller. They need Ruggs and they will give him an opportunity. 

Pick 14: Joe Burrow (Bench) – Low floor, high ceiling

Other choices: Jared Goff, Baker Mayfield

I can go with a backup QB or a backup TE here. I feel more comfortable I can find a TE off the bench as the position is less important and a weekly low TE score isnt going to kill your team. However a weekly low QB score can. Again, we are looking for upside so if Burrow can turn into someone fantasy relevant, this is a steal. If Brady struggles, you have a viable option here. You can get a Goff or Mayfield on the waiver wire (eg. Cousins, Rivers, Bridgewater), but if Burrow blows up, you will not find that.

Pick 15: Justin Tucker (Starting K) – High floor, high ceiling

Other choice: Will Lutz

Tucker is a “set it and forget it” player on a top offense. 

Here is my team. I know we are not supposed to pay attention to grades, but it sure does feel good when you see an A+

Strengths: RB, WR, BN, DEF, K

Weaknesses: QB (drafted two, one safe, one upside), and TE (If Engram does not work out, we can start to stream)

What I learned:

  1. Drafting a mix of high floor and high ceiling players will give you the ability to adjust during the season.
  2. Round 4 usually has a slew of receivers go off the board after the top RBs are gone in rounds 1-3.
  3. It’s okay to reach for a quality handcuff early in order to secure him for your team.
  4. It’s not mandatory to handcuff everyone. For example, I did not handcuff McCaffrey because if he were to get hurt, his backup won’t come close to his output, and he is available on the bench. You want to handcuff RBs where upside is max if the starter gets injured such as Damien Williams, Latavius Murray, Duke Johnson, Tony Pollard, and Alexander Mattison.
  5. Its okay to wait for a QB or TE but keep an eye on your opponents lineups and see how many people still need those positions filled before you make your decision.
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