Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Drafting from the turn

The key to getting to Carnegie Hall and the key to dominating your fantasy football league are the same: Practice, Practice, Practice. The regular draft season is right around the corner, which makes this mock draft season. All the major suppliers let you do a simulated draft with other players, and using these as a tool to try out different strategies is a key component to figuring out which strategy you can be comfortable with. For the purposes of this draft review, we will have a twelve-team, standard scoring league with 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 W/R/T flex, a kicker and a DST (though who cares about those last two). The randomizer gave me the #12 pick so this article will explore drafting from the turn. The key with the turn is that you don’t want to gamble with who will make it back to you, as the entire league gets two picks before you pick again. There may be a player you want with an ADP a round later than you’re drafting, but if you want him, get him. There is a massive likelihood he will be gone the next time you pick. Don’t worry about ADP, worry about putting a team together that you want to use going into the season. Letting ADP dictate who you pick where is a great way to get an average team that won’t get you a bad grade in the post-draft automated draft review tool on your website of choice.

 

Round 1-2 Turn: DeMarco Murray, RB, Tennessee & Jay Ajayi, Miami
There were a handful of great players on the board that I considered at this pick, including Jordy Nelson, Jordan Howard, Dez Bryant and Michael Thomas. To be honest with you, I was watching highlights of Jay Ajayi running all over the Eagles, giving him the edge over Jordan Howard. Snagging Murray alongside Ajayi gives me a massive weekly RB points floor with a nearly unlimited ceiling. The most talented player in the ascending Titans offense makes Murray a set-and-forget starter alongside Ajayi. You can ditch the “injury prone” label, too. He’s played at least fourteen games in each of the last four seasons and has missed just three games in that span. I skipped the receivers here due to all the talent that should be available at the 3-4 turn.

Roster So Far:
QB:
RB: Jay Ajayi, Miami
RB: DeMarco Murray, Tennessee
WR:
WR:
TE:
Flx:
K:
DST:
Bn:

 

Round 3-4 Turn: Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver & Terrelle Pryor, WR, Washington
Given my RB-RB start, and that neither Gronk nor Rodgers inexplicably fell to me here, it was time to go WR-WR. Thomas and Jeffery were the choices, but Terrelle Pryor, Allen Robinson, Davante Adams, Keenan Allen and Michael Crabtree were also in play. Thomas and Pryor are two wildly differently profiles in a wide receiver: Thomas is the only WR to go for 90/1000 in each of the last five seasons, and Pryor debuted in earnest at the position last season, netting over 1,000 yards on 77 receptions. The Browns provided him with ample targets… ample terrible targets. While his target volume will definitely go down in 2017, he will get more catchable balls and will definitely top four scores. He’s a great WR2 to pair with Steady Eddie Thomas. There are plenty of upside WRs, so I went upside here, as I am confident my depth I build up will give me some potential replacements if Pryor busts.

 

Roster So Far:
QB:
RB: Jay Ajayi, Miami
RB: DeMarco Murray, Tennessee
WR: Demaryius Thomas, Denver
WR: Terrelle Pryor, Washington
TE:
Flx:
K:
DST:
Bn:

 

Round 5-6 Turn: Sammy Watkins, WR, Los Angeles Rams & Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit
At this point, I was also considering Golden Tate, Russell Wilson, Jimmy Graham, Larry Fitzgerald and Willie Snead. My philosophy this year for rounds five through eight is to take swings on running backs and wide receivers that could supplant my starters if everything breaks right. Watkins and Abdullah both missed massive chunks of time last season with injuries, so I’m not sure if they know how to break “right,” but Watkins has top-ten potential at WR and Abdullah could end up top-fifteen at running back. They’re nice upside plays with huge injury risk, but they provided more upside in a two-WR league. Guys like Fitgerald and Tate are solid depth, but I’m looking for guys in these middle rounds who could possibly supplant Thomas and Pryor.

Roster So Far:
QB:
RB: Jay Ajayi, Miami
RB: DeMarco Murray, Tennessee
WR: Demaryius Thomas, Denver
WR: Terrelle Pryor, Washington
TE:
Flx: Ameer Abdullah, Detroit
K:
DST:
Bn: Sammy Watkins (WR, Rams)

 

 

Round 7-8 Turn: Willie Snead, WR, New Orleans & Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay
My plan to snag players who may supplant my starters rolled on here. I considered Jameis Winston, Jamison Crowder, DeVante Parker and Zach Ertz here. Winston and Ertz fell by the wayside as there were several quarterbacks I liked that I could get later. Crowder lost out to Snead as this is standard scoring, and I believe Crowder’s true value is in PPR this year. Parker almost got the nod thanks to Cutler calling him a faster Alshon Jeffery, I just don’t want to put my faith in two players from a Jay Cutler-led offense. Snead vs. Parker had me second, and third, guessing, but Drew Brees vs. Jay Cutler won out. Martin will be a starting running back with multiple 1500 all-purpose yard seasons under his belt after he returns from suspension. Ajayi, Murray, and Martin creates a formidable group at running back and could be three top-fifteen backs.

Roster So Far:
QB:
RB: Jay Ajayi, Miami
RB: DeMarco Murray, Tennessee
WR: Demaryius Thomas, Denver
WR: Terrelle Pryor, Washington
TE:
Flx: Ameer Abdullah, Detroit
K:
DST:
Bn: Sammy Watkins (WR, Rams), Willie Snead (WR, Saints), Doug Martin (RB, Bucs)

 

Round 9-10 Turn: Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay & Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee
At this point, it was an easy boom-boom one-two punch at the turn. Davis is injured and provides value here as I want to get more of the Tennessee offense. Mariota is getting a bit too rich for my blood, but rookie Corey Davis could supplant everyone else in that passing game for targets. This is an upside swing. Getting a starting quarterback like Jameis in the tenth is a coup. He has massive upside, but he needs to fix his interception issues. Hopefully, the Bucs allow him to take advantage of all his weapons around him to return QB1 numbers. If not, he’s in a class of backend QB1s/high-end QB2s that I plan to snag two players from. I still stayed away from tight ends here, as there were still several on the board I would be happy starting and figured would make it back to me (Zach Ertz, Eric Ebron, Hunter Henry & Jack Doyle).

Roster So Far:
QB: Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay
RB: Jay Ajayi, Miami
RB: DeMarco Murray, Tennessee
WR: Demaryius Thomas, Denver
WR: Terrelle Pryor, Washington
TE:
Flx: Ameer Abdullah, Detroit
K:
DST:
Bn: Sammy Watkins (WR, Rams), Willie Snead (WR, New Orleans), Doug Martin (RB, Tampa Bay), Corey Davis (WR, Tennessee)

 

Round 11-12 Turn: Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia & Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit
Stafford provides stability at quarterback if Jameis falters. There were still plenty of QBs available to let Stafford ride the QB slot if Jameis falters while a replacement can be found. My TE plan worked perfectly, as Ertz fell into my lap well outside the top 100 picks, and he should secure QB1 figures this year. He ended the season with a five-game stretch averaging 89 yards with three touchdowns. There are a lot of mouths to feed in Philly, but Ertz will still get his targets and production in 2017. And if he sucks there are plenty of other tight ends out there who can take his spot. At a round twelve draft price, I’ll take that risk.

Roster So Far:
QB: Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay
RB: Jay Ajayi, Miami
RB: DeMarco Murray, Tennessee
WR: Demaryius Thomas, Denver
WR: Terrelle Pryor, Washington
TE: Zach Ertz, Philadelphia
Flx: Ameer Abdullah, Detroit
K:
DST:
Bn: Sammy Watkins (WR, Rams), Willie Snead (WR, New Orleans), Doug Martin (RB, Tampa Bay), Corey Davis (WR, Tennessee), Matthew Stafford (QB, Detroit)

 

Round 13-14 Turn: Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans and Stephen Gostkowski, K, New England
Kamara is the ultimate home run play. There are two backs in front of him in New Orleans, but one is 32 years old and was last seen getting fewer yards per carry than if he had just fallen forward at the line of scrimmage (Adrian Peterson) and the other is inexplicably perpetually in Sean Payton’s dog house (Mark Ingram). Kamara is an electric talent, and will get work in as the Reggie Bush/Darren Sproles/Travaris Cadet satellite back, meaning he already cracked the hardest nut for rookies: getting on the field. The Saints will work him in more and more, to the detriment of the other two backs. He’s their future at the position, as they traded a second round pick in 2018 to the 49ers to get Kamara in the third, meaning they already invested a second and a third in the back. He’s their future, and I’ll bet on a handpicked Sean Payton offensive weapon. Gostkowski is a kicker and the rules dictate you must start a kicker. He was the highest ranked one seriously he’s a kicker who cares?

Roster So Far:
QB: Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay
RB: Jay Ajayi, Miami
RB: DeMarco Murray, Tennessee
WR: Demaryius Thomas, Denver
WR: Terrelle Pryor, Washington
TE: Zach Ertz, Philadelphia
Flx: Ameer Abdullah, Detroit
K: Stephen Gostkowski, New England
DST:
Bn: Sammy Watkins (WR, Rams), Willie Snead (WR, New Orleans), Doug Martin (RB, Tampa Bay), Corey Davis (WR, Tennessee), Matthew Stafford (QB, Detroit), Alvin Kamara (RB, New Orleans)

 

Round 15 – Pittsburgh Steelers DST
There’s one DST I want to get in drafts, and it’s the Steelers because they start against the Browns and don’t have any high-powered offenses on the docket until possibly Cincy at the end of October (Browns, Vikes, Bears, Ravens, Jags, Chiefs). I got the Steelers. I probably won’t end the season with the Steelers. They are a DST and much like kicker, it is a position you must use on your fantasy football team.

 

To be completely honest with you all, I would not have drafted a kicker and DST if this was an actual draft I was playing out, and neither should you. Some site software forces you to draft a starting roster, but in cases where you can take two extra flyers, do that. There will be kickers and defenses available on the waiver wire during the season, so take a chance on down-roster guys who may win starting jobs.

 

Final Roster
QB: Jameis Winston, TB
RB: Jordan Howard, Chicago
RB: DeMarco Murray, Tennessee
WR: Demaryius Thomas, Denver
WR: Terrelle Pryor, Washington
TE: Zach Ertz, Philadelphia
Flx: Sammy Watkins, Rams
K: Stephen Gostkowski, New England
DST: Steelers
Bn: Ameer Abdullah (RB, Detroit), Willie Snead (WR, New Orleans), Doug Martin (RB, TB), Corey Davis (WR, Tennessee), Alvin Kamara (RB, New Orleans), Matthew Stafford (QB, Detroit)

Overall, I executed my plans perfectly. I wanted two top-ten backs, two top-fifteen wide receivers and I wanted to wait on a quarterback and tight end. I also filled my roster with upside plays rather than solid but unspectacular guys because the goal for me was to find players who could supplant the five starters at running back, wide receiver and flex. I give myself an overwhelming A++++ because it’s a mock draft, who cares, all these players could die on the field tomorrow anyway.

About Jeff Krisko

You can follow me on twitter, @jmkrisko for the same lukewarm takes you read here.

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