Editor's Note: Recenlty
members of the FFToday Board completed their annual June Mock draft.
This mock will be played out in a best ball format, in a league
with no transactions, no free agent pickups, no trades in season...
properly named the "No-Hassle League." View the
round-by-round results. Below is the commissioner's analysis
of each team.
Analysis: Ray started RB-RB and
then following his selection of the game's top ranked QB, went
on a WR binge. Once that had concluded, it was back to adding
another pair of running backs. What does it all add up to? A solid
team to be sure, but also one that may be a little long in the
tooth. LeSean McCoy is going to hit a wall very soon and I think
it could be this season. In addition, does Jordy Nelson have enough
left in the tank to warrant a sixth round pick? And, how about
Hyde and Blount as depth at RB? Both could be overtaken sooner
than later by early draft picks. Ray is going to need Rodgers
and Elliott to be the best at their respective positions to compete
for a title - that almost goes without saying. But, in the end,
he also needs a few guys to have that one final "good year"
prior to the permanent downhill slide. Every team has its share
of 'ifs'. This team is no different as Ray looks to build around
Rodgers and Elliott with solid complementary pieces.
Key to No-Hassle Success: Older
guys like McCoy, Nelson, and Blount need to show themselves worthy
of their respective selections - especially McCoy and Nelson.
Hogan should be solid in Weeks 1-4 and Brandin Cooks will likely
continue the role of boom-bust guy while Rodgers and Elliott provide
the team with a solid scoring foundation. I guess it's McCoy that
I'm most concerned about as Ray's depth at WR could allow Nelson
a slow start, but if McCoy, Blount, and Hyde all begin to take
on diminished roles during the second half of the season or get
hurt, this team is left with a big hole in the lineup. So, I think
McCoy is the central success component.
Favorite Pick: This one is easy
for me. Alshon Jeffery should far exceed his draft slot and I
can't believe a guy with his talent and track record wasn't taken
sooner. Jeffery is a lock, I think, for top-12 status at WR if
he stays healthy and Ray really gave his WR corps a solid anchor
when he picked the Eagles' standout.
Least Favorite Pick: Again, very
easy. For another year, Ray has taken only one tight end in this
draft and it's a guy who can't stay healthy to boot. The pick
at 16.12 needed to be a second tight end with no transactions
allowed during the season. I'm against having one tight end in
this league and I'm really against that one guy being Tyler Eifert.
Overall Outlook: Despite my feelings
about Ray maybe taking zeroes at the TE position, I like the rest
of this team. Rodgers and Elliott are as safe as any picks out
there and I really love the overall group of WRs that Ray assembled
in rounds 4-7. The Cooks-Jeffery combo at the turn was especially
potent and I remember thinking at the time that if McCoy can just
have one more good season, this team could really dominate this
league if everyone stays healthy. The second half of the draft
probably knocked the group out of my top 3 if there was such a
thing, but not far enough out that contention is not a real possibility.
Plenty of stability here from week-to-week.
Analysis: Ah, the "Gronkowski" team. Every year, we
are left to analyze the impact of taking a tight end in the second
round upon the overall prospects of a team's fortune. While Gronk
offers a big advantage over most at that position, Robb is left
with some question marks on this team as a result of his selection.
For example, can Jerick McKinnon be the complement to Todd Gurley
that Robb needs him to be? Will any of the WRs step up and be
what they either have never been or haven't ascended to in recent
years? Is the QB duo of Ryan and Mariota going to be able to hold
serve as compared to that of opposing teams? Truth be told, aside
from Gurley and Gronk, this team is full of high risk players,
some of whom also carry some potential rewards. Robb made few
conservative picks and now must sit back and watch to see if this
collection of goo materializes into a cohesive unit. There are
plenty of first and second year players to go around. Definitely
a fascinating draft from a guy who's never afraid to deviate.
Key to No-Hassle Success: The receiving corps has to contribute
something meaningful week in and week out. I'm a believer in Gurley
and McKinnon as a top-tier backfield and I think if Gronk stays
healthy, he'll perform as he normally does. I'm even bullish on
the QB tandem despite Robb waiting a long time to address that
position. What I'm uncertain of is whether or not Josh Gordon
will ever be what he once was...also, is Demaryius Thomas now
on the downside of his career? Further, is there any evidence
that the lights will go on for DeVante Parker and Josh Doctson?
There's not a more uncertain position for any team in this draft/league
than what Robb boasts at WR.
Favorite Pick: I thought Gurley should have been the first overall
pick, so I'd be ecstatic to be building a team around him. Also,
Marcus Mariota was a steal at the point in which Robb got him.
I had my doubts about who he'd end up with as his signal callers
waiting that long, but I think it worked out well.
Least Favorite Pick: There was a couple. First, I'm not sure Marlon
Mack will actually be Indy's starter. I could see DeMarco Murray
or someone like him signing with the Colts and stealing the job.
Gordon and Parker bring too much baggage to warrant such faith
from Robb. They are part of a very "iffy" group of pass
Overall Outlook: I really like what Robb did with his first three
picks. It's a split jury with respect to McKinnon, but I think
he's in a place that he can excel and thus thought Robb's decision
to select him made a lot of sense. He and Gurley will have to
stay healthy, however, as there's not much backing them up, particularly
if I'm right about Mack. I could see this team tanking based on
an injury or two and/or not getting much out of those WRs. But,
what if the light has finally come on for Josh Gordon? What if
Doctson and/or Parker take a huge leap forward this season? What
I'm getting at is while this isn't one of my favorite teams initially;
the upside for the group is enormous. Robb has officially rolled
Analysis: Vikes is a creature of habit when it comes to this draft
and to team construction in general. His formula really hasn't
changed much over the years. That is, stockpile talent at RB and
WR and look to address QB and TE later than most. It has proven
to be a fairly fail-proof strategy in the past and this team looks
to have as much talent in the "meat" of its lineup as
any other team drafted for this league. Vikes did place two of
his biggest bets on players that were lost for the season in Week
1 in 2017 - David Johnson and Allen Robinson. I'll have more to
say about that in a moment, but along with Edelman and Chris Carson,
there is a theme of redemption here in terms of turning around
lost seasons from a year ago. The WR corps could be among the
league's very best and the starting RB duo of Johnson and Howard
is formidable. In short, Vikes took some risks that he might not
normally take based on last season alone, but as has already been
noted, the formula here is a familiar one.
Key to No-Hassle Success: I think whether or not Johnson and Robinson
can rebound will make or break this team. Cousins is coming to
a stable team with weapons and should produce week in and week
out to the point that Vikes will be ultimately pleased with that
selection. I also think staying healthy at WR initially will be
crucial as Edelman is facing a 4-game ban to start the year and
Martavis Bryant may be banned for much longer before the season
even starts. With Engram in the fold at TE, I think this team
probably possesses the best projected starting nine in the league,
but injuries and bye weeks could be cruel if depth doesn't hold.
Johnson and Robinson, though, will set the tone.
Favorite Pick: 2, 4, 6, and 8. I loved all the even round picks
through eight rounds as I thought Howard, Diggs, Engram, and Cousins
all represented fantastic value. Any time you get multiple steals
in a draft where steals are hard to come by, you have the potential
to be really good. Vikes seems to consistently find that sort
of scenario in June mocks past and present.
Least Favorite Pick: Not so much a pick, but I really thought
this team needed a fifth running back for insurance purposes.
We don't really know Freeman or Carson's role this season and
I think adding a steady veteran at the position at some point
would have been smart. Bryant is also an obvious possibility here
given his history of volatility.
Overall Outlook: You would be hard pressed to argue that this
isn't one of the better teams coming out of the draft. Sure, there
are question marks about players recovering from injury, but we're
talking about truly "proven" players in all of those
instances. This team is well rounded and while many of the picks
were proven as was just noted, there is also a lot of upside in
the case of guys like Engram, Freeman, and Mike Williams. Defending
a title in any league is never easy and there are concerns about
this group that have already been noted, but I can't help but
think this team has the necessary "stuff" to truly contend
for a title into December. A very fine body of work here.
Analysis: How one feels about this team has a lot to do with how
you feel Christian McCaffrey and JuJu Smith-Schuster will perform
with Jonathan Stewart and Martavis Bryant no longer competing
with them for playing time. Le'Veon Bell was an obvious choice
after he curiously fell to No.4 and it's hard to argue against
a healthy Keenan Allen with the round 2 selection, but after that,
this draft was a tad puzzling despite the obvious upside. I liked
McCaffrey a lot better before the team signed C.J. Anderson, but
in Shovel's defense, he also drafted Anderson to hedge his bets.
In addition, I was higher on Smith-Schuster before some nagging
health concerns were reported. As it stands now, this isn't a
WR corps I can get very excited about beyond Allen, but some would
disagree most certainly as Golden Tate is a near perfect No.3
option. The QB duo of Stafford and Goff seems solid enough to
me, so I don't think waiting on QB was to Shovel's detriment by
any means. It's just hard to say what sort of roles Booker, Bernard,
Sanu, Ginn, and Vannett will have this season. Maybe far less
than what Shovel envisioned when he took them.
Key to No-Hassle Success: I am concerned about this team's overall
depth with so many players not yet having a defined role. That
being said, a dynamic 1-2 punch at RB can cure a lot of ills,
and if McCaffrey takes a step forward and Bell plays 16 games,
you might be hard pressed to find a better duo to base your hopes
on. In the end, I think Shovel is going to need at least two of
his players with less than defined roles to be pleasant surprises
in 2018 to be successful. That pretty much includes all skill
position picks between rounds 8 and 15. This mock is in June and
that makes some of those later round picks pretty tough.
Favorite Pick: Prior to things getting a little murky for me,
I really liked the 6/7 turn for Shovel where he picked Stafford
and Rudolph. Talk about solidifying two positions in one swoop.
I don't know how McCaffrey and Smith-Schuster will ultimately
perform, but I'm fairly certain Shovel won't regret the 6/7 picks
this season - not even once.
Least Favorite Pick: I really didn't like the Booker pick in the
8th. For me, there were RBs still available who offered much,
much more. Like the Colts, I think Denver may bring in another
veteran RB before all is said and done and that could relegate
Booker to the bench. I also thought the Bernard and Sanu picks
Overall Outlook: I'm not going to bet against this team, because
both McCaffrey and Smith-Schuster showed such promise in 2017.
Some players go through a sophomore slump as most everyone knows
prior to re-grouping in year three, but both of these guys look
capable of bucking that unfortunate trend. The starters on this
team could really form a formidable unit with Bell and Allen serving
as anchors, but the depth has very little upside. To sum up, this
team has me scratching my head. They might be really, really good
for reasons already noted...but I have reservations. Watch the
second-year guys as the season is likely to rise or fall on their
Analysis: I've never been in a mock with Hawkeye before, but color
me impressed after this effort. So many of his picks included
veterans, but not past their prime and thus still capable of performing
at peak productivity. Examples? Freeman, Baldwin, and Walker readily
come to mind. And, of course, the ultimate can't miss guy in any
draft during the past 4-5 seasons is Antonio Brown. I think Wentz
is being severely undervalued in an offense that runs as smooth
as any in the league and his inclusion in the mix only solidifies
my overall take on this team. In later rounds, Hawkeye turned
to three rookies with upside in Ridley, Chubb, and Gesecki. As
a general rule of thumb, I love rookie picks down the stretch,
particularly if you are well fortified at other positions. Ridley
as a No.6 WR on a team is just ridiculous value and you might
say this team has the perfect WR1 (Brown), WR2 (Baldwin), WR3
(Fitzgerald), WR4 (Cobb) and so on. Save two picks, I thought
this was a near perfect draft. Again, very impressed.
Key to No-Hassle Success: Because I believe the top three picks
are locks to perform at expected levels, the keys to ultimate
success has to lie within a different chunk of the roster. Which
brings me to the RB position beyond Freeman. I am not sold on
Lamar Miller as a difference maker this year and Cohen is a very
small (albeit exciting) player that I think is better served as
a RB4 than the next man up after Miller. As such, Chubb could
end up being the key for this team as if he carves out a big role
in Cleveland, this team could soar. Finding a dependable complement
to Freeman at RB would be my No.1 key.
Favorite Pick: Take the Miller pick out, and I would be hard pressed
to find fault with any of Hawk's first seven selections. I think
he stole Freeman and Baldwin and I would have personally picked
Antonio Brown as high as No.3 overall. What a talented trio to
open a draft. Also thought all three rookies taken later on have
Least Favorite Pick: Miller and Trubisky. I thought Hawk waited
too long to grab his second QB, especially with Wentz coming off
a season-ending injury. And, my feelings about Miller have already
been noted. He's a guy I won't touch this year as he looks like
a player to me who has lost burst.
Overall Outlook: It would not surprise me one bit to see this
team contend for a title in Hawk's first year in the league. I
love the way this team was put together and I really think Wentz
is going to be top 3-4 at his position, making him a sixth round
steal. That's assuming he can get on the field from day 1. This
team has both explosive potential and steady consistency with
respect to scoring built into their overall chemistry. And, this
is looking more and more like a year to have a top 5 pick as the
three guys you can land in the first 25-29 picks are stellar.
Consider this team a serious contender from early September on.
Analysis: I have always found Matt to be one of the most intriguing
drafters to ever take part in this longstanding tradition we call
the June Mock and this year was no different. It started from
the opening bell with Matt taking DeAndre Hopkins only one pick
later than Antonio Brown. I have Hopkins rated as my No.2 overall
WR like many people, but consider him more a late first round
pick than a mid-one. Beyond that, taking Joe Mixon before Devonta
Freeman, Howard, McCoy, and even McKinnon was something I could
not have foreseen. Throw in early selections of Rashaad Penny
and Marvin Jones and you have a team full of guys that I don't
dislike by any means, but also a team full of guys I thought were
taken a tad early...or in Mixon's case, a whole round early. But,
I do love the fact that Matt does not operate robotically - that
is, he makes the picks he wants when he wants. His results over
the years have proven that he often gets it right in spite of
what I or anyone else might think.
Key to No-Hassle Success: Other than Mixon taking a major leap
forward, the success of the Kansas City passing game is clearly
going to be the key to this team doing well. With Mahomes, Watkins,
and Kelce all in the fold, Matt has gone all-in on Andy Reid's
revamped skill position lineup and if Mahomes proves to be a top
tier guy in his first year as a starter, the productivity of Kelce
and Watkins should follow suit. Penny also must be the THE GUY
in Seattle - something that may prove difficult given how hard
it has been for anybody to run behind that offensive line in recent
times. If Mahomes is a flop, so too will be Matt's Eagles for
Favorite Pick: An argument can be made for Travis Kelce over Rob
Gronkowski as the top TE to own in fantasy football and while
I'm not a huge fan of taking a TE early, 3.06 seems like extreme
value for Kelce. And, while he's a huge risk, taking Andrew Luck
in the 9th was another pick that I thought was worthy of praise.
Least Favorite Pick: Hate to beat a dead horse, but the Mixon
pick put this team behind the 8-ball. I think this team has a
sub-average pair of starting RBs and a sub-average WR corps beyond
Hopkins. That could all change with a breakout season from Mixon
or Watkins, though, so Matt may get the last laugh.
Overall Outlook: Clearly from the comments above, this wasn't
one of my favorite teams coming out of the draft, but that’s
not to say they can't be an efficient group from week-to-week.
While Hopkins was overvalued, his brilliance last season cannot
be overstated. And I think Corey Davis has real upside and could
be a breakout player. So, the WR corps has massive upside even
if I perceive some risk and if either of Matt's risky options
at QB come through, success could readily follow. There's no room
for certainty on anything in fantasy football in June and as such,
I guess this is the ultimate "wait and see" kind of
team in hindsight.
Analysis: It was good to have Dan back with us this year after
a one-year sabbatical and he made the most of his return with
a well-balanced, well-constructed team. Few teams will be able
to rival him in terms of QB scoring with both Deshaun Watson and
Ben Roethlisberger in the fold. Ben, in particular, is streaky
with better games coming at home than on the road. That makes
him a perfect complement to Watson, who looks like his big games
scoring-wise could be huge based on last year's small sample size.
At RB, Dan opted for a couple of guys who can not only score points
running the ball, but catching it as well. There are question
marks at wide receiver, but Dan has tossed enough darts at the
bulls-eye that surely one will come through alongside the more
certain Mike Evans. Basically, Dan appears to be above average
at every position but WR and that's typically a recipe for No-Hassle
success unless the receiving corps is simply awful. In this case,
it isn't and Dan looks primed to be a factor in the race for No-Hassle
Key to No-Hassle Success: I think Dan's picks in Rounds 3 and
4 could essentially make or break his season. The Watson pick
was bold as no quarterback in the draft has more upside sans Aaron
Rodgers than Watson does. Likewise, Kenyan Drake showed flashes
last year of being a true difference maker in the fantasy football
realm. The problem is, neither guy has ever done it for a full
NFL season. They're both still somewhat uncertain commodities
and that fact alone makes them pivotal pieces. Dan's depth at
QB, WR, and TE is very solid, so the only other key would be Kamara
and Drake staying healthy. Their backups lack upside and might
be lacking if forced into duty.
Favorite Pick: There were two. First, Greg Olsen in the sixth
round was a super find. Dan could have taken Olsen in the fifth
and I wouldn't have complained, but grabbing him in the sixth
allowed for him to snag Michael Crabtree in the fifth as a much
needed WR2. The other favorite pick of mine was Roethlisberger
in the ninth round. Are you kidding me?
Least Favorite Pick: Neither Marquise Goodwin nor Kelvin Benjamin
reside as high on my wish lists as they apparently do on Dan's.
Everyone seems eager to jump on the 49er bandwagon this year,
and rightfully so, but the pieces of that puzzle still seem jumbled.
As for Benjamin, his body is getting old quick for a young guy.
Overall Outlook: There are scenarios (injury, regression for some
of the younger players) that I foresee that could derail this
team and prevent them from making noise. That being said, I think
there's a far greater likelihood that the team takes off. Aside
from Crabtree and Olsen, the stars of this team are young and
still moving up in terms of possible impact and value. Kamara
looked unstoppable at times last year and if he merely repeats
his stats, Dan could have a title contender on his hands with
so many other good resources already in place. Expect this team
to have at least 2-3 weeks in which they lead the league in scoring.
They are combustible...and that's a good thing.
Analysis: I know most people want a pick in the top five, but
if picking No.8 lands me Kareem Hunt, Dalvin Cook, and T.Y. Hilton,
then sign me up for No.8. Hunt is still a bit of a mystery after
charging out of the gates and then slumping mid-season before
turning it on again during the fantasy playoffs. Still, his pairing
with Cook gives Riceman two exciting young RBs to build around
assuming Cook comes back to where he was at the start of last
season. And, if Andrew Luck plays a whole season, then getting
Hilton 32 picks into the draft was a major steal. The flip side
of the Hunt/Cook dynamic is the sophomore slump possibility. Second-year
players always carry some risk, but both of these guys are in
such stable situations, that possibility seems low. Beyond the
heart of this team lies some question marks, especially at the
QB position and in terms of WR strength. Still, I think the foundation
laid here was solid and if this team can maintain health, consistent
production should follow.
Key to No-Hassle Success: I think this is a fairly low-risk team
in spite of some youth/inexperience, but they still could turn
out to be below average at QB and WR if anyone were to take a
step backwards. Garoppolo demonstrated fantastic poise in his
six games as a 49er last season, but his long-term fantasy prospects
are still a mystery at this point. And, no one doubts Jarvis Landry's
talent, but can he produce as a member of the new-look/old-look
Cleveland Browns. So, if I had to pick out two guys who will serve
as a barometer for this team, give me Jimmy G and Landry. I like
the depth on the team a lot. If Garoppolo and Landry actually
take a step UP, this team could soar.
Favorite Pick: I’m at a loss as to how T.Y. Hilton fell
to 3.08. If he had fallen two more spots, I would have wet my
pants in order to get him. A healthy Luck makes Hilton a top 5-8
WR in my book and he's being severely undervalued in mocks thus
far this summer. I also liked the Robert Woods and Chris Thompson
picks during the middle rounds.
Least Favorite Pick: Hard to find fault with any of Rice's picks,
but if you're going to hold my feet to the fire, I thought there
were better options at TE when he chose George Kittle. Having
Zach Ertz makes the backup TE a little less critical, but Kittle
seemed like a reach to me in spite of him having some upside.
Overall Outlook: The fact that my least favorite pick was a late-round
flier at TE tells you that I really like this team. There are
so many positive pieces in place and it begins with a RB duo that
could produce two top-five guys at the position. That and starting
TE are the obvious strengths of this team, but I think the eclectic
mix of players chosen during the second half of the draft will
also produce fruit in the best-ball format. This just has the
look and feel of a contender in looking at the roster from top
to bottom. Rice had to bail out on us early last season and never
got to thus put a true stamp on the team he originally called
his own. This team has that stamp and the explosive potential
along with the balance and depth present give this team a dangerous
look to be sure.
Analysis: If Mark Ingram were playing from Day 1, what a starting
lineup this would be. As is, Remote's bunch could struggle out
of the gate with Crowell, Duke Johnson and Ty Montgomery looking
to pick up the slack at the position. A.J Green is also a notoriously
slow starter and Adam Thielen may need a month to gel with Kirk
Cousins, so I could see this team as middle of the pack or worse
during the month of September. As Ingram returns, though, the
unit ought to pick up steam as it taps into the likely red zone
wizardry of Jimmy Graham in Green Bay and the usual excellence
of Drew Brees in New Orleans. In games where the Saints light
up the scoreboard, Brees and Ingram are likely to both benefit
and those are the weeks Remote could find himself towards the
top of the weekly standings. Gordon and Green are reliable RB/WR1s
in everyone's book, but I see a lower ceiling for both. That cap
on upside cools my jets a little with respect to this team, but
there's little doubt they'll get better as the season wears on.
Key to No-Hassle Success: Weathering the September storm of missing
Ingram and having guys on new teams and/or dealing with new QBs
throwing them the ball will be key. After the first three picks,
many of the players that followed exist on teams that are in a
state of flux. Who will be San Francisco's true lead receiver?
What sort of role will Isaiah Crowell truly have with the Jets?
Potentially, both of those picks will turn out to be rosy, but
along with the Graham pick, there is some risk in the sense that
each could be in a diminishing role as the season wears on. Five
of the first six picks were so safe that this team is likely assured
of being top 6 at worst. The key to being better lies with the
Favorite Pick: I liken the pick of Adam Thielen at 3.09 to the
Hilton selection in that both wide receivers fell way too far
in this draft. And, while I know the Drew Brees of 2018 isn't
the Drew Brees of 2013, it's hard to argue that getting him in
the sixth round isn't a good thing. Still, Thielen was easily
my favorite pick of Remote's draft.
Least Favorite Pick: I'm not a Melvin Gordon guy, so I was pretty
happy when Remote passed on Fournette and took Gordon instead.
Gordon's career YPC is just a concern for me. I also would have
taken Dalvin Cook over A.J. Green. After those first two picks,
I can find very little fault with what Remote did all the way
to the finish line.
Overall Outlook: Of all the teams in this draft, this team probably
has the highest floor. Gordon and Green have little chance of
being busts. They have clearly defined roles on teams that depend
on them to be the focal points of their respective offenses. Short
of an injury epidemic, this team is not going to flop. Do I think
they'll be explosive enough to win a title? Not sure about that,
but I do believe they are capable of going far based on just how
solid a foundation the first six picks provide. You would be hard
pressed to find six picks that were any safer from the standpoint
of knowing what you're getting. If Remote is top five heading
into October, watch out as this team will improve as the season
Analysis: It’s difficult to analyze your own team as it's
generally filled with guys you liked, thus skewing the reality
of what's truly there. What I will try to do instead is focus
on the strengths and weaknesses as I perceive them. QB is an obvious
strength with both Wilson and Brady in the fold and while having
two great QBs has proved to have value in a best-ball format,
I would have made the same choice in a format in which only one
counts per week. QBs play differently based on home vs. away and
match-ups, and I value options at that position in the midst of
that reality. I also believe this team is both solid and deep
at RB with each of whom could be the undisputed starter on their
teams by mid-season at the latest. So, what are the team's weaknesses?
Beyond Michael Thomas, there is plenty of uncertainty at the WR
position and with TE not addressed until round 13, that could
turn out to be a subpar position as well. Taking two QBs in the
first five rounds can be good if the studs fall, but there are
negative consequences as well.
Key to No-Hassle Success: I call it batting .500. I took four
wide receivers in a row in the middle rounds and I need two of
the four to be solid week-in, week-out contributors. That means
when it comes to Kupp, Sanders, Stills, and Hurns, two could be
semi-busts and it would be OK as long as the other two aren't.
Also, Ronald Jones needs to shine in his rookie season if this
team is going to get over the top. Jones shouldn't have much competition
for work unless Tampa brings in a veteran at some point to address
the lack of depth currently present at that position. If Jones
can produce like a top 15-20 RB and I get that .500 production
previously noted at WR, I think good things will unfold.
Favorite Pick: I couldn't have asked for a better two players
out of the 10 spot than Fournette and Michael Thomas. I would
take those two guys over almost anyone that could feasibly be
had in the first two rounds of a redraft this summer. I was also
happy that Russell Wilson and Allen Hurns fell as far as they
did. I considered both to be enormous value picks.
Least Favorite Pick: I like Derrick Henry's chances to emerge
as a top 10-15 RB in 2018, but would have gladly taken Hilton
or Thielen over him had they not been picked at 3.08 and 3.09.
Also, Emmanuel Sanders could rebound with Case Keenum under center,
but that wasn't a pick I was too excited about as upside with
him is limited.
Overall Outlook: I would hope that anyone who has prepared for
a draft likes what they did once the draft is complete. That's
certainly how I feel about this group. Are there teams that might
look better from a non-biased perspective? You bet. Anytime Cooper
Kupp is the second WR chosen for your roster and David Njoku is
the first tight end, there are obviously some issues to be concerned
about. But, I think the strengths of this team will allow whatever
weaknesses exist not to sink the boat. There is a stable foundation
in place with Wilson/Brady, Fournette, and Thomas, but 3-4 players
don't win titles. Others will need to step up. Starting in September,
we get to see if they will.
Analysis: This isn't the first time that ICE has gone WR-WR to
begin a draft and actually, he's historically the most likely
guy to do that year in and year out. The question is: Did he pick
the right combo? Julio Jones has some question marks entering
the season as he doesn't appear to be a happy camper and Davante
Adams might have gone a little early, although if you like a guy,
sometimes you've just got to go get him. What I like about ICE
here is that while he was the last guy to pick a RB, he was also
the first guy to grab his third running back...and his fourth.
In other words, if you're going to go WR-WR, this is how you do
that. You launch into a RB-picking barrage shortly thereafter.
The end result is a team with plenty of firepower at RB, even
if none of the guys picked are top tier. The fact that Tevin Coleman,
an ideal RB3 is the fifth back on this team speaks to the incredible
depth at the position. Assuming Dez Bryant eventually finds a
team, this team could be the league's best receiving team as well.
There's a lot to like here.
Key to No-Hassle Success: First off, the drop from Philip Rivers
to Blake Bortles is substantial in my eyes, so Rivers better maintain
good health for this team to reach its potential. Second, Julio
Jones needs to get happy with his contract and contribute like
a first round pick should. Whether or not you thought Davante
Adams was worthy of the pick at 2.02 or not, he's got the best
fantasy QB in football throwing him the ball, so he's a safe bet
not to bust. The same can't be said of Jones as frankly his value
in the red zone has been shrinking over the last year. This team
is so loaded at RB that two of the five should produce best-ball
numbers that ICE can be proud of. It's QB depth and quality of
the WRs that concern me.
Favorite Pick: Jay Ajayi was a terrific pick at 4.02. The Eagles
are going to put a lot of teams away this season in the first
half and Ajayi should see his touches increase from last year
as a result. With Blount gone, Ajayi could easily be a top ten
guy at his position and I went back and forth on picking Derrick
Henry vs. him at 4.02. Wouldn't surprise me if I ultimately chose
Least Favorite Pick: I have Julio graded as a mid-second rounder
this season, so obviously I didn't like that pick when several
other WRs I like better were still available. ICE really nailed
his draft, beyond the first pick or two, so the Jones pick isn't
likely going to make or break this team. I really can't find any
picks between rounds 3-16 that I didn't like.
Overall Outlook: Yes, ICE lacks a true stud at RB, but is it better
to have one of those and a bunch of third tier hopefuls...or a
bunch of really good second tier guys? I would opt for the latter,
which is why I think this team will ultimately produce as long
as Rivers is healthy and Jones doesn't hold out. Rivers can be
hot and cold and I can foresee some weeks when he and Bortles
combine for truly dreadful numbers. On those weeks, I don't think
this team is strong enough to overcome without taking a hit. On
a positive note, there is tons of upside with this group. Burton
could emerge as a top-5 TE in Chicago and Bryant could easily
find a great fit later this summer for his skills. Stay tuned.
Analysis: White Wonder did two bold things at the onset of this
draft and no matter how you feel about his draft overall, you've
gotta give some kudos to both. First, he took a rookie with his
very first selection. That's not something you see every day,
but Barkley could have once every five years kind of talent at
that position and as such, maybe he's worth the value placed upon
him. Secondly, Wonder's second pick was taken from the same NFL
team as his first pick. That's pretty daring, too. Most guys would
give anything to have, say, Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown on
their team together...but these two belong to the New York Giants
- one of the worst offenses in the league in 2017. If that doesn't
scream "high risk" to you, I don't know what else can.
Beyond the first two picks, I thought Wonder got caught missing
out on a player that rounded out a particular tier. From Collins
to Newton to Manning, I felt this was the case. The end result
is a team I'm not overly thrilled with, but not because Wonder
made any errors. This just isn't a spot I would enjoy picking
Key to No-Hassle Success: No need to overthink this one. Those
first two picks have to yield worthy dividends and adding a second
rookie RB in Round 5 truly made this a "swing for the fences"
draft for Wonder. With Michael Crabtree gone, Cooper should rebound
in Oakland to make that pick a solid one and while Manning isn't
much of a fantasy QB anymore, he should have a few big games considering
all the weapons he has at his disposal. The question is whether
or not those two primary weapons can put up numbers on a weekly
basis or if they're looking at much more sporadic production.
Also, Alex Smith will need to establish some rapport with his
pass catchers quickly - specifically Crowder and Jordan Reed.
Favorite Pick: Will Fuller was on his way to a breakout season
last year before Deshaun Watson got hurt. And, while Fuller has
an injury history of his own to be concerned about, I thought
he was a wonderful find at 8.01. I was ready to take him at 8.03
and was disappointed that he never made it to me.
Least Favorite Pick: I much prefer Jay Ajayi to Alex Collins,
so I thought Wonder missed out on an opportunity to grab a more
talented runner at 3.12. Aside from that, I would never take two
players in the first two rounds from a previously bad offensive
team, but individually, the picks made sense.
Overall Outlook: It takes a special person to really embrace the
12-hole in a quality fantasy football redraft. You have to be
bold as picking conservatively from this spot will likely yield
you a team with no shot at finishing top-3 in any league. So,
in that sense, Wonder did what he had to do. He had to take some
chances and Barkley, Michel, Reed, and O.J. Howard are fairly
representative of that reality. Do I think this is one of the
top 3-5 teams in the league at first glance? No, I don't. But,
do I think Wonder could have done much better with what was available
to him at each pick? No, not really. As such, this is a high,
high risk/reward team that will be fascinating to track. Anything
is possible for such a volatile group.