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2022 June Mock Draft Analysis

By Kirk Hollis | 6/16/22

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 here. Below is the commissioner's analysis of each team.

Robb: Pick 1.01

1.01- RB Jonathan Taylor, IND
2.12- TE Mark Andrews, BAL
3.01- RB Javonte Williams, DEN
4.12- WR Terry McLaurin, WAS
5.01- QB Lamar Jackson, BAL
6.12- WR Chris Godwin, TB
7.01- WR DeAndre Hopkins, ARI
8.12- RB Chase Edmonds, MIA
9.01- WR Elijah Moore, NYJ
10.12- RB Tyler Allgeier, ATL
11.01- WR Michael Gallup, DAL
12.12- TE Mike Gesicki, MIA
13.01- D/ST, Buffalo Bills
14.12- QB Trevor Lawrence, JAX
15.01- K Matt Gay, LAR
16.12- WR Rondale Moore, ARI

Analysis: Is there any doubt that Robb is going to have a great team on his hands come November and December? He'll get DeAndre Hopkins back in the fold and should have a healthy Chris Godwin to make his receiving corps strong. Additionally, Javonte Williams could be in full stud mode by that time and together with Jonathan Taylor could form the best 1-2 RB punch in fantasy football. So, are we talking championship here? If Robb can survive September and October...well, maybe. It's amazing how similar Robb's strategy ended up being in comparison to Vikings4Ever. Vikes took Kelce then Mahomes while two picks later, Robb took Andrews and Jackson. Longer term, I think Robb has the better WR corps and RBs, but with Hopkins out those first six weeks and Godwin an uncertainty, this team may struggle to generate points at WR. I guess that's why Robb chose the Moore brothers in hopes that one or both can get off to a hot start- in Rondale's case, as a full-scale replacement for Hopkins. This team comes with risk, but they could be a handful and then some down the stretch. If Robb ever gets the points lead, I doubt he'll ever relinquish it.

Key to No-Hassle Success: Surviving the onset of the season. With Hopkins out and Godwin at less than 100%, this team has vulnerabilities. Lamar Jackson is tailor made for a format in which QB play can be uneven, but perhaps Robb needed a stronger QB2 than Trevor Lawrence. Perhaps. In the end, this team has got a ton of talent, but there are question marks. The trio of McLaurin, Hopkins, and Godwin could be amongst the best in the league, but might also fall completely flat. Robb then has to hope for RB health as Taylor and Williams will likely have to carry the load week in and week out unless Chase Edmonds truly emerges as the main wheel in Miami. Top to bottom, I don't see a scarier lineup than this group. It's a loaded deck, but the start could be a tad slow.

Favorite Pick: Javonte Williams is an absolute steal at 3.01. I cannot believe he fell that far and generally speaking, I didn't think many players in this draft fell way past their value. Williams did. Robb is going to reap the benefits of having him and Taylor in the same backfield for seventeen glorious weeks barring injury. I also really liked the Elijah Moore pick as I don't think everyone realizes how close he was last year to already being a star. All in all, there were tremendous picks all over the place, including the longer-term investment of Godwin/Hopkins at the 6/7 turn.

Least Favorite Pick: Trevor Lawrence was fine in terms of where he was picked, but I thought this team could have used a more solid QB2. Aside from that, I struggle to find fault with a team that I absolutely love/admire.

Overall Outlook: Having the first pick gives a team the very best of the first and third round selections which I think is a natural advantage in most cases. The fact that Robb's third round pick was a guy I like as an early second rounder, just makes this team that much stronger. Yes, there are question marks in terms of how certain players will perform. And yes, the RB3 and RB4 on this team may end up being something far less than ideal, but I can't help but see the explosive potential this team has. The TE-QB combo thing is always going to create some risk, but I think Robb did a brilliant job taking on a risk strategy that should eventually yield great results.

White Wonder: Pick 1.02

1.02- RB Derrick Henry, TEN
2.11- RB James Conner, ARI
3.02- WR Mike Evans, TB
4.11- QB Justin Herbert, LAC
5.02- RB Travis Etienne, JAX
6.11- WR Marquise Brown, ARI
7.02- TE Dalton Schultz, DAL
8.11- RB Rhamondre Stevenson, NE
9.02- WR Allen Lazard, GB
10.11- QB Matt Ryan, IND
11.02- WR Kenny Golladay, NYG
12.11- TE Hunter Henry, NE
13.02- WR Garrett Wilson, NYJ
14.11- WR Jameson Williams, DET
15.02- K Daniel Carlson, LV
16.11- D/ST, Dallas Cowboys

Analysis: This draft gave us a little bit of everything as Wonder took solid veterans out of the gate, then a dynamic young quarterback, and then some younger players with real upside followed by more veterans and finally some rookies at the WR position. It is difficult to find fault with the method whether or not you like the individual pieces. Essentially, the quality of Wonder's first three RBs allowed him to pursue depth at the WR position by taking a half dozen receivers making WR the deepest position on the team, but RB the strongest. One would be hard pressed to see a weakness even as Wonder addressed the QB position fairly early, it didn't really cost him that much with respect to overall team construction. The picks in the fifth and sixth rounds both represent great upside as Marquise Brown will have an opportunity to perform like a WR1 for the first six weeks of the season with Hopkins out and could hold that value, at least somewhat, beyond that. No one really knows if Golladay will be viable or not this season, but with Wilson and Williams coming on board late, Wonder has hedged that bet rather well.

Key to No-Hassle Success: The floor on this team is so high that a finish in the top six in the league looks almost assured barring a rash of injuries. The first four picks are going to be rock solid as there's little chance any of those guys fail to meet expectations. Thus, it will come down to who can complement them to make the team a consistent threat week-in and week-out from a scoring standpoint. Will Lazard end up as the de facto WR1 in Green Bay? If he does and if Brown pops as some are expecting, this could be a top-five WR unit even as RB was the focal point of the team's formation. There is balance throughout the roster as every position is overrun with talent and high floor players. Those that lie beyond that base represent the high upside of the team.

Favorite Pick: In the first three rounds, Wonder made the obvious pick each time. Thus, I can't call those "favorites" even though I thought them to be very solid. It was what he did in rounds 4-7 that I think could make his team special. It took some guts to go ahead and pull the trigger on a QB in the 4th round, but would anyone be shocked if Herbert ends up the top QB in fantasy football for 2022? Feet to the fire, I probably liked the Marquise Brown pick the best. He could be the steal of the draft and I wish I would have looked at him more closely earlier in the round.

Least Favorite Pick: I thought this was a bit early for Rhamondre Stevenson as barring an injury to one of New England's other backs, I think he's mostly going to be a change-of-pace runner. Also, Golladay was worth the chance, but that doesn't make it an exciting selection to say the least.

Overall Outlook: This is an easy team to love in the No-Hassle format. The 1-2 punch of Henry and Conner raises the floor of the team to a very high level and then guys like Evans, Etienne, Herbert, and Brown raise the ceiling. With that explosive element in place, one could foresee different guys stepping up from week to week to keep the team towards the top of the standings. Brown will obviously need to perform like a high-end WR2 at the onset of the season with rookies Williams and Wilson getting their feet wet. But, the latter should coincide with Brown being forced to share targets with DeAndre Hopkins and as such the team isn't likely to miss a beat unless both rookie wide-outs struggle. Don't bet on that and don't bet against this team being special.

Vikings4Ever: Pick 1.03

1.03- RB Austin Ekeler, LAC
2.10- TE Travis Kelce, KC
3.03- RB Josh Jacobs, LV
4.10- QB Patrick Mahomes, KC
5.03- WR Diontae Johnson, PIT
6.10- RB Miles Sanders, PHI
7.03- WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, DET
8.10- WR Hunter Renfrow, LV
9.03- WR Tyler Lockett, SEA
10.10- QB Trey Lance, SF
11.03- TE Rob Gronkowski, TB
12.10- WR Russell Gage, TB
13.03- RB Marlon Mack, HOU
14.10- WR Tyler Boyd, CIN
15.03- K Tyler Bass, BUF
16.10- D/ST, Kansas City Chiefs

Analysis: Not the draft I expected from longtime June Mocker, Vikings4Ever, but as he stated throughout his draft, plans get changed when you see value falling farther than you think it should. Primarily, in this case, we're talking about Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce and their selections in rounds two and four really changed the overall complexion of this team. On weeks where both form a solid connection all game long, the outcomes for Vikes are certain to be good. But, I think this team is vulnerable at RB with only four on the roster and three of those without clear-cut roles in 2022. Those three would include Josh Jacobs who finished strong in 2021 and should be given plenty of chances to build on that this season. The problem is that a new coaching staff may not see him as a longer term fit and phase him out. Likewise, Miles Sanders may or may not continue to be the primary back in Philadelphia. Then, there's the WR position. It's deep, but there are no WR1s on this team. Could the whole be much better than the individual pieces in the No-Hassle format? You bet. But, there is risk in not taking a WR until Round 5 in a redraft. Even Vikes would likely agree with that.

Key to No-Hassle Success: Mahomes and Kelce are probably two of the safest picks in any draft, so the key to success for this team is getting the complementary scoring to surround them. Lots of questions abound: Can Amon Ra-St. Brown follow up on a promising rookie season even with Jameson Williams and D.J. Chark onboard? How will Hunter Renfrow fair with Adams now the top dog in Las Vegas? And, who exactly is going to be throwing the ball to Tyler Lockett in Seattle? Then there's the back-to-back picks of Lance and Gronkowski. Both are likely to play/start, but drafting this far in advance of the season makes the selections of both a bit risky. Risk is not something I am accustomed to Vikes chasing in a draft, but he has a bit here. So, all that said, with a questionable WR corps, Austin Ekeler needs to crush it in 2022 the way he did in 2021. If that happens, the rest should sort itself out.

Favorite Pick: I thought two late-round picks were stellar- Russell Gage and Tyler Boyd. Yes, both are the third wheel on their own teams, but if an injury were to take place within their respective corps, both have shown the ability to step up and be a WR2, not just in the real-world aspect of that moniker, but also in terms of fantasy production. I felt a lot better about what Vikes ultimately did at that position once he secured both of those underrated veterans.

Least Favorite Pick: This one is easy for me. It's Josh Jacobs. I don't trust Josh McDaniels any further than my eyes are from my nose. I could see Jacobs being phased out as the season rolls on in favor of a committee and 3.03 is a high price to pay for that in my opinion.

Overall Outlook: This is not a typical Vikings4Ever team. He has long been one of the most successful persons in this mock/league if not the most successful and as such, any critical analysis comes with a grain of that salt. Having a top-3 QB and top-3 TE does have its advantages as many wait too long to establish those positions and end up with guys that force them to play "catch up" via other positions. That said, not taking your WR1 prior to Round 5 and your RB3 in Round 6 is the aftershock of such QB-TE prowess. If Jacobs does bust, Ekeler and Sanders will need to be an elite duo. Pretty sure Ekeler can, but beyond that, I think this team could be at risk.

Hawkeye21: Pick 1.04

1.04- RB Dalvin Cook, MIN
2.09- RB Aaron Jones, GB
3.04- WR Tee Higgins, CIN
4.09- TE George Kittle, SF
5.04- WR Jaylen Waddle, MIA
6.09- WR Allen Robinson, LAR
7.04- QB Dak Prescott, DAL
8.09- RB Cordarrelle Patterson, ATL
9.04- WR DeVonta Smith, PHI
10.09- RB Alexander Mattison, MIN
11.04- RB Darrell Henderson, LAR
12.09- WR Tim Patrick, DEN
13.04- D/ST, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
14.09- QB Tua Tagovailoa, MIA
15.04- K Ryan Succop, TB
16.09- TE Albert Okwuegbunam, DEN

Analysis: This was a more traditional set-up in terms of team formation with Hawkeye waiting on the quarterback position until the other starting spots were fortified. That included building upon his RB-RB start with an emphasis on WR and TE in Rounds 3-6 all the while choosing players with big upside that are somewhat hard to project. Higgins, Waddle, and Robinson all live in the very long shadows of Ja'Marr Chase, Tyreek Hill, and Cooper Kupp and as such, what Hawkeye is banking on is that their WR2 status on their respective teams doesn't cut into their value. The same could also be said for DeVonta Smith who now has to carve out a role with A.J. Brown in town. I am not sure I've ever seen a WR corps with no WRs who are the main guys on their own NFL team, but there's a first time for everything. What is undeniable about this team is the balance that exists throughout the roster. Hawk isn't weak anywhere even as he did wait to grab a quarterback who could end up being better than 3-4 of the QBs ultimately picked ahead of him. Also, with Dalvin Cook's history, getting his handcuff is a must and Hawk took care of that.

Key to No-Hassle Success: I am curious what the season has in store for Aaron Jones. I think Green Bay is going to be as run-heavy as any team in the league this year and if Jones were to still occupy a 65-70% share, his selection at 2.09 was a steal. So, Jones maintaining a prominent role in the offense is one key. Another is Allen Robinson. I noted in the draft commentary that no player in 2022 has such a wide range of opinions with respect to draft value. Some think Robinson's best days are in the rear-view mirror while others believe he will be reborn in LA. As for my thoughts, I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Jones and Robinson could be anchors for this team. I also think the late Tua selection late combined with the earlier Waddle pick makes it imperative that Miami move forward on offense with Hawk reaping those benefits. Ultimately, I believe the run game will be strong enough to overcome the odd WR strategy, but we shall see.

Favorite Pick: Given his potential, I was shocked that George Kittle was still available 16 picks after Kyle Pitts was drafted. I know Kittle has been dinged a lot the past couple of seasons, but to get him late fourth just seems like robbery to me. I also liked the fact that Hawk didn't try to squeeze out one more round with respect to quarterback selection. Prescott feels like a considerable upgrade over the quarterbacks taken immediately after him and thus the timing of that pick seemed ideal.

Least Favorite Pick: There are a lot of mouths to feed in Cincinnati and as such, I have Higgins valued as a late third round pick vs. an early one. Still, one can't argue that Higgins is talented and in a great system. Also, I don't have a clue at this point how the Falcons plan to use Cordarrelle Patterson and he's a guy I am shying away from at this point after a career 2021.

Overall Outlook: I'm not sure I've ever seen a team in which no NFL WR1s are in existence, so I don't know how to grade this team from a functional standpoint. The running game is in good hands and I think depth at QB and TE is solid despite being addressed late in the draft. The success of this team largely depends on the roles that Aaron Jones and all those WR2s (NFL speaking) can carve out amidst the uncertainty. While Mattison is one of the best handcuffs in the business, he isn't Dalvin Cook. If Cook and Kittle can just stay healthy, there's a chance this team could make some noise when all is said and done. It was a well put together unit from the four spot.

Dan: Pick 1.05

1.05- RB Najee Harris, PIT
2.08- WR CeeDee Lamb, DAL
3.05- TE Kyle Pitts, ATL
4.08- WR Michael Pittman Jr., IND
5.05- WR Amari Cooper, CLE
6.08- QB Jalen Hurts, PHI
7.05- RB Kenneth Walker, SEA
8.08- RB Melvin Gordon, DEN
9.05- RB James Cook, BUF
10.08- WR DeVante Parker, NE
11.05- WR Christian Watson, GB
12.08- TE Noah Fant, SEA
13.05- K Justin Tucker, BAL
14.08- D/ST, Indianapolis Colts
15.05- QB Deshaun Watson, CLE
16.08- QB Kenny Pickett, PIT

Analysis: Dan really has a style all his own when it comes to this mock - and yes, I know I've said that before. He always seems the least likely guy in the group to look at pre-season rankings as his primary barometer for team building, opting instead to choose players he personally prefers even if their ADPs exceed his view of them. Some might say he pulled the trigger early on Harris...on Lamb...on Pitts...even on Pittman, but would those players have been around the next time he picked? Nope. None of them. As such, you can't call any of them mistaken picks. As the only team with a third quarterback, Dan will have to stay healthy at RB and WR as depth there is a bit suspect. And, there's no guarantee that either of his QBs beyond Jalen Hurts will actually play a snap this season. Clearly, that's something that Dan is comfortable with, particularly after he went RB-RB-RB in Rounds 7 - 9 to try to shore up that position prior to pivoting. Lots of rookies on this team (four) as well as some long-timers. It's a typically eclectic assortment and will be a fascinating group to follow over the course of the fall.

Key to No-Hassle Success: Najee Harris was on the field for more plays than any other RB last season and it wasn't that close. The fact that he couldn't translate that into greater fantasy production concerns me. As such, I think his ceiling may be lower than some people think which means somebody on this team has to step up and exceed what they've done in the past. Does that mean Jalen Hurts needs to be a top-4 quarterback? Maybe CeeDee Lamb has to ascend to top-5 at his position? Or maybe Kyle Pitts just needs to start finding the end zone consistently? Whatever the case, Dan's team is, I think, hampered a bit by Harris being on team that struggles to run and will thus need all the other pieces to make up that difference. With guys like Cooper and Parker on new teams and Walker and Cook never having played an NFL snap, there is a risk for this team to fall flat. And yet, there is again a fascination with this team. It's almost like they're so quirky that they just might work out very well.

Favorite Pick: There were two that I was fond of and if Watson gets cleared to play this season, then Cooper is a smash pick as well. I really liked the value of Hurts at 6.08 as his weapons are improved via A.J. Brown quite a bit and he can score big with his legs. I also thought the Christian Watson pick made a ton of sense where Dan grabbed him. Somebody has to get rich on the shoulders of Aaron Rodgers and getting a possible beneficiary in the eleventh round is fantastic.

Least Favorite Pick: It's no secret based on the paragraph above that I have doubts about Najee Harris's ability to crack the top 6-8 at RB. So, I thought he was overvalued. I also think Dan could be in a world of hurt (no pun intended) if Hurts were to go down and he's pulling zeroes from the QB spot. Finally, I thought the idea of grabbing one rookie RB was solid strategy. Two? Not so sure about that.

Overall Outlook: They lack a superstar in my opinion and much of that has to do with me envisioning Harris as more of a low-end RB1 than a stud. Taking a tight end in the third round also seemed to thin out some of the talent in other spots on the roster, but there's no denying that Pitts' career is on the way up and as such, he might be totally worth the faith placed in him. Dan alternated for a while between rookie picks and guys past their prime giving this team no solid theme. Again, Dan's teams are always an eclectic mix of just about everything and I enjoy having him in this draft so much as his style is all his own. As for "outlook" this is my box of chocolates team for 2022. Not at all sure what you're going to get.

Worm: Pick 1.06

1.06- RB Joe Mixon, CIN
2.07- WR Stefon Diggs, BUF
3.06- QB Josh Allen, BUF
4.07- RB Damien Harris, NE
5.06- WR Mike Williams, LAC
6.07- RB Devin Singletary, BUF
7.06- TE T.J. Hockenson, DET
8.07- WR Christian Kirk, JAX
9.06- WR Drake London, ATL
10.07- RB Jamaal Williams, DET
11.06- RB Gus Edwards, BAL
12.07- TE Irv Smith, MIN
13.06- WR K.J. Osborn, MIN
14.07- QB Zach Wilson, NYJ
15.06- D/ST, Philadelphia Eagles
16.07- K Dustin Hopkins, LAC

Analysis: Much like Vikes buying serious Chief stock by way of Mahomes and Kelce, Worm did the same by combining Allen with Diggs to form a Buffalo nucleus. The difference is that Diggs is a WR, so this team has a true WR1 to go along with a QB who many feel is in a tier all his own. Worm also did a nice job securing a combo of running backs to go alongside Mixon by way of Damien Harris and Devin Singletary. Singletary adds to the Buffalo-heavy nature of the team but his selection was important as many doubt if Harris can score enough TDs in 2022 to override his lack of usage in the passing game. Beyond Diggs at WR, Worm mixed in a high floor WR2 like Mike Williams with the upside of Christian Kirk on a new team and Drake London as the de facto WR1 in Atlanta. Hockenson rounded out Worm's starters with a guy whose floor and ceiling are both relatively high if he can stay healthy. The depth at RB on this team is solid, but not spectacular, but they won't likely be depended on for much unless one of the top three backs were to go down with an injury. All in all, this team was well constructed and built upon an explosive offense.

Key to No-Hassle Success: The drop from Josh Allen to Zach Wilson is fairly huge, so Allen needs to stay upright to be sure. He's one of the toughest guys in the league, but he does run a lot which can give both coaches and fantasy managers some anxiety. When WRs are in new locations or are rookies, little is guaranteed and as such, Kirk and London come with some risk. They both don't need to excel for this team to do well, but one of them likely does need to break through to keep this team afloat at the WR3 spot. Ultimately, this team would benefit most from Damien Harris essentially repeating his numbers from 2021. Many don't see him doing that and that's why he fell as far as he did. If both he and Williams are steady, the Mixon-Diggs-Allen trio as a foundation could make this team stout for the duration of the season.

Favorite Pick: Because I am one of those who believe Josh Allen is in a tier all his own, I loved the selection of him at 3.06. Allen will make this team great on several occasions this season as long as he can just get reasonable help. I also liked the fact that he combined Allen with Diggs even as the role of Gabriel Davis on the team seems to be ever expanding. I also like both tight end selections on this team and I was hoping each might fall to me. Assuming Smith can resume 100% health, they will be a good 1-2 punch at the TE spot in this format.

Least Favorite Pick: I don't really have a problem with any of Worm's picks, but I thought perhaps Harris went a bit early. I had him on several teams last season and loved the output, but I don't think his TD totals are repeatable, making him more of an early fifth round value.

Overall Outlook: I really like this team's chances. There is firepower in the trio of Allen-Mixon-Diggs with both Mixon and Diggs having significant opportunity to be top-five at their respective position. This team is also very deep and if he has healed well, Gus Edwards could be a sneaky good pick in terms of being top shelf depth at that position. It doesn't feel like Worm neglected much of anything which is hard to do at times when you're the very first guy to grab a quarterback. The lack of upside beyond the "big three" may keep this team from winning a No-Hassle title, but it's hard to see this team being anything less than top 4-6 when all the dust settles. To use a baseball analogy, Worm has covered all the bases with this group.

Ray Lewis’ Limo Driver: Pick 1.07

1.07- WR Cooper Kupp, LAR
2.06- RB Antonio Gibson, WAS
3.07- RB Ezekiel Elliott, DAL
4.06- WR DK Metcalf, SEA
5.07- WR Adam Thielen, MIN
6.06- QB Aaron Rodgers, GB
7.07- TE Dallas Goedert, PHI
8.06- RB Michael Carter, NYJ
9.07- RB Isaiah Spiller, LAC
10.06- WR Brandon Aiyuk, SF
11.07- QB Mac Jones, NE
12.06- RB Chuba Hubbard, CAR
13.07- WR Mecole Hardman, KC
14.06- TE Tyler Higbee, LAR
15.07- D/ST, San Francisco 49ers
16.06- K Mason Crosby, GB

Analysis: After looking at six teams in which RB was the opening selection, we come to the first of three teams built on the shoulders of a stud wide receiver. It's hard to believe now that Cooper Kupp was obtained at the end of the fifth round in this draft last year. No more getting Kupp at a bargain price. As many tend to do who take WR early, Ray's next two picks were RB-RB with the question being: Did he choose the right guys for the job? Certainly, Ray rounded out the WR position well beyond them with the upside of Metcalf and the steady history of Thielen, but compared to the backfield of most of the other guys in this draft, the Gibson-Elliott duo is hard to get excited about. As for QB and TE, Ray also addressed both positions within the first seven rounds, but one has to wonder what Aaron Rodgers is going to look like without Davante Adams and what Dallas Goedert's target share will now be with A.J. Brown on his team. So, I wasn't certain that I was fond of Ray's opening half of this draft. That said, I found myself liking nearly everything he did beyond the midway point, so this could be considered a tale of two drafts.

Key to No-Hassle Success: Based on talent alone, the trio of Kupp, Metcalf, and Thielen could give other teams a run for their money and then some. Indeed, if Russell Wilson was still in Seattle, Metcalf might have been a second-round pick. As is, there are question marks and I think as Metcalf goes, so goes this team. I also noted earlier that I thought Green Bay would be a run-heavy team this year given their stout defense, so Ray will need Rodgers to get into some shoot-outs to avoid having two QBs on teams more bent on establishing the run than anything else. That puts the onus to excel back on that RB duo and both guys could be looking at diminished roles given that Washington didn't want McKissic to get away and Tony Pollard is breathing down Elliott's neck once again. I think Kupp was the right pick at 1.07, but he has a lot to live up to given what followed.

Favorite Pick: The two WR depth picks of Brandon Aiyuk and Mecole Hardman really stood out for me as fantastic values with surprising upside given that both have now been in the league for several years. I also think that when all is said and done, Ray is going to be pleased with the Metcalf selection. Spotty QB play is going to probably make him an inconsistent producer, but when the match-up is right, he will likely have some monster games no matter who is throwing him the ball. Finally, I liked the upside of Spiller and the solid safety of the Higbee pick.

Least Favorite Pick: In the end, while I can't get excited about Ezekiel Elliott all that much although, it’s hard to argue that 3.07 was a good place to land him. The same cannot be said for Gibson who I thought went a full round too early.

Overall Outlook: This isn't one of my favorite teams considering how I feel about the overall strength of QB and RB, but there are some things I like including the fact that the receiving corps has some serious potential. I just don't think this is a great place to draft unless you're comfortable with Christian McCaffrey who was the obvious other choice Ray had to be considering. Maybe I am wrong about Gibson...and Rodgers...and the lack of explosive potential this team has outside of Kupp and Metcalf. It was one of my favorite drafts from Round 8 on, so it's entirely possible I'm overlooking the overall/widespread value of the team as a whole. Only time can and will determine if Ray's efforts pay dividends.

Fumbleweed: Pick 1.08

1.08- RB Christian McCaffrey, CAR
2.05- WR Deebo Samuel, SF
3.08- WR A.J. Brown, PHI
4.05- RB Cam Akers, LAR
5.08- WR Courtland Sutton, DEN
6.05- RB AJ Dillon, GB
7.08- WR Gabriel Davis, BUF
8.05- QB Russell Wilson, DEN
9.08- RB Ronald Jones, KC
10.05- QB Kirk Cousins, MIN
11.08- TE Pat Freiermuth, PIT
12.05- WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, KC
13.08- RB D'Onta Foreman, CAR
14.05- TE Logan Thomas, WAS
15.08- K Nick Folk, NE
16.05- D/ST, Denver Broncos

Analysis: In many ways, this was the draft I wanted from start to finish with respect to where I think the value lies. Clearly, many people in this draft passed on Christian McCaffrey for safer options and no one can blame them for doing so. Waiting so late to grab a quarterback makes drafting a QB2 of decent quality all the more important and while I would have preferred Derek Carr to Cousins, I achieved that objective nevertheless. Prior to the selection of Wilson, I just tried to load up on as much RB and WR talent as I could including buying Bronco stock in the form of Courtland Sutton. How Russell Wilson will ultimately gel with his new wide receivers is anyone's guess, but I think Sutton's overall ability makes him worth the gamble. Tight end play isn't usually a make-or-break proposition coming out of this draft, but it's worth noting that I also waited a long time to address that position. That means that I probably have the weakest team at that position in addition to having an average team at QB (at best). Is there enough firepower at RB and WR to overcome such realities? I sure hope so.

Key to No-Hassle Success: McCaffrey has proven pretty fragile the last couple of years and a repeat of 2020 and/or 2021 probably means this team isn't championship caliber, handcuff or not. Also, Deebo Samuel and the 49ers need to reach a place of tranquility soon or else that pick takes on a risky tone for a different reason than McCaffrey. This team is largely comprised of veterans with not a single rookie on the squad. While that could lead to more predictability, it also means that no breakout players who will exceed their draft position by all that much exist. I would guess Gabriel Davis would the closest thing to that, but he'll draw more coverage this year as well and that could actually benefit Diggs much more than him as a result. There are some new faces in new places on this team that need to transition well- Brown and Wilson in particular. If that transpires, I really like where this team could be heading.

Favorite Pick: If the 49ers and Deebo come to terms early enough, he is a late first round value, so grabbing him at 2.05 pleased me very much. I also really am high on Gabriel Davis this season as I think he'll take the next step forward and become a WR2 for fantasy purposes. And, as was noted already, Cousins wasn't my first choice at the QB2 spot, but I think his floor is as good/high as any QB2 could ever be. I liked nearly every pick I made without much in the way of reservation and I can't often say that in this difficult draft.

Least Favorite Pick: Yes, the A.J. Brown pick made sense, but is there any certainty that he and Jalen Hurts will develop a chemistry together? I'll answer my own question: There is not. So, that wasn't a pick I felt super comfortable with. I also wouldn't have picked Ronald Jones so soon if I knew the Chiefs were going to re-sign Jerick McKinnon.

Overall Outlook: The tremendous value coming about in the first two rounds for me depends on those two guys actually being on the field for the majority of the season- not in physical therapy and not holding out awaiting a new contract. There is little doubt that his team is talented as several positions, but there is always built-in risk with guys like McCaffrey or Barkley (see Shovel's forthcoming analysis) just as there is risk with a wide receiver who has in the recent past demanded a trade. It will be important for Cam Akers and AJ Dillon to provide meaningful support at RB even if McCaffrey stays intact. All in all, the pieces needed for success are readily obvious with this team, but there are hurdles to clear along the way to be sure.

Remote Controller: Pick 1.09

1.09- WR Justin Jefferson, MIN
2.04- RB Leonard Fournette, TB
3.09- RB David Montgomery, CHI
4.04- WR D.J. Moore, CAR
5.09- WR Jerry Jeudy, DEN
6.04- QB Kyler Murray, ARI
7.09- RB Rashaad Penny, SEA
8.04- TE Dawson Knox, BUF
9.09- WR Robert Woods, TEN
10.04- WR Treylon Burks, TEN
11.09- RB Khalil Herbert, CHI
12.04- QB Ryan Tannehill, TEN
13.09- RB Darrel Williams, ARI
14.04- TE Robert Tonyan, GB
15.09- K Harrison Butker, KC
16.04- D/ST, Pittsburgh Steelers

Analysis: Apparently, Remote and Ray were working off the same blueprint in this draft as they both made identical position picks in Rounds 1-6 going WR-RB-RB-WR-WR-QB. Once McCaffrey was taken, it was no doubt difficult to justify taking any running back above Jefferson whose potential just seems limitless after two incredible seasons in the NFL. So, if Remote and Ray did the exact same thing, position-wise, shouldn't we just take the analysis about Ray's team and apply it here? Of course not as we're talking same strategy, but different players. Remote is banking on Fournette and Montgomery as his duo of destruction and how one feels about that probably depends on one's own projections. At WR, Remote has much the same problem with D.J. Moore as Ray has with D.K. Metcalf - can a competent QB get him the ball? Most likely everyone prefers Kyler Murray's dual-threat to Rodgers, so Remote seems to have stolen something there provided Marquise Brown fills in some gaps. Late in his draft, Remote went Titan crazy, but also snagged some sneaky good depth at the RB position. All in all, I like the potential here, but also have concerns.

Key to No-Hassle Success: Making Kupp/Jefferson/Chase your first-round pick means you're going to miss out on the top couple of RB tiers. It forced Ray and Remote into RB-only thought processes for the next two rounds while Shovel (analysis to come) took a different approach. Surely, with Jefferson anchoring the WR corps, Remote will find some success there and Kyler Murray, while uneven, will have big weeks that make his selection worth it. The key to this team rising to the next level is whether or not Fournette and Montgomery can be dynamic enough to make this a high-powered team. Neither is a slam dunk given Fournette's history of ups and downs and Montgomery's fairly horrible supporting cast. Both will score, yes...but can either break into the top ten at the position? One or both probably need to for this team to be near the top of league standings.

Favorite Pick: If Kyler Murray had fallen just one more spot, he would have been part of Team Fumbleweed. Murray seems a little distracted and sullen at present to say the least, but his fantasy abilities are not in question. To gain his services in the sixth round separated this team in terms of firepower at the top of the lineup. I also thought Remote was wise to handcuff Montgomery with Herbert and I think Darrel Williams, again, was a solid late round pick for depth.

Least Favorite Pick: Remote pulled the trigger on D.J. Moore much earlier than I would have. Perhaps if Carolina can find a quarterback this summer, my opinion might change, but for now, I think Moore's ceiling is significantly capped. Same problem as Ray has with Metcalf, but with less upside.

Overall Outlook: As I will explain in Shovel's recap, I don' t think Remote or Ray had to go RB-RB in Rounds 2 and 3 to make their teams viable, but I understand the urgency to do so. All in all, it would be unfair for my outlook on Remote to differ much from Ray but there are things I like better about each squad. Jefferson is a great foundation for this team (for any team for that matter) and I do like Fournette-Montgomery better than Gibson-Elliott. Beyond that, I like Remote's QB better as well, but would prefer Ray's WRs 2/3. A final glance over this roster reveals for me that this team should be able to stay competitive throughout the season with a solid mix of players. Tight end is a bit weaker than most teams, but that rarely comes to bear much in the No-Hassle format.

Shovelheadt: Pick 1.10

1.10- WR Ja’Marr Chase, CIN
2.03- WR Tyreek Hill, MIA
3.10- RB Saquon Barkley, NYG
4.03- RB Elijah Mitchell, SF
5.10- QB Joe Burrow, CIN
6.03- RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC
7.10- WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, KC
8.03- RB Tony Pollard, DAL
9.10- WR Chase Claypool, PIT
10.03- QB Derek Carr, LV
11.10- TE David Njoku, CLE
12.03- D/ST, Los Angeles Rams
13,10- RB James Robinson, JAX
14.03- WR Alec Pierce, IND
15.10- K Evan McPherson, CIN
16.03- WR Corey Davis, NYJ

Analysis: Well, different strokes for different folks is a slogan that fits Shovel's draft well and I think he's better off having taken his unique approach. Conventional wisdom suggests that one must take a RB in Round 2 if that didn't happen in Round 1, but Shovel obviously liked the idea of pairing his stud WR with another stud just five picks later in the form of Tyreek Hill. What it left him was a major upgrade at the WR2 spot over Remote and Ray without sacrificing all that much in the RB department. Yes, Barkley is a risk at a McCaffrey-like level, but if someone offered me Barkley-Mitchell instead of Gibson-Elliott, for example, I might just take it. Sometimes, when you look at future rounds and realize that RB won't dry up until the middle of Round 4, you also realize that you don't have to go RB-RB after the initial WR choice. On top of that, the selection of Clyde Edwards-Helaire really gave his RB group some backup should Barkley stumble yet again. The one thing Shovel didn't do that everyone else did is grab a second tight end. That has proven costly to teams in this league in the past as an injury to Njoku means zeroes as far as the eyes can see. Aside from that, though, there's a lot to love here.

Key to No-Hassle Success: Besides the obvious need for no TE injuries, Shovel just needs Barkley and Mitchell to live up to their potential. The QB duo he selected should perform fabulously in this format and will complement Chase and Hill's brilliance quite well. The reason Shovel didn't take a second TE is because he apparently wanted his WR corps to be deep and he'll need a third guy to step up as a result. What will JuJu look like in his first season outside of Pittsburgh? How will Claypool do in JuJu's first season outside of Pittsburgh? There are questions to be answered here, but if the running game produces, this team could be wildly successful. They will already be well above average in terms of QB and WR points scored. There is much to like here even if Njoku is on an island all alone at his position.

Favorite Pick: There are many as I loved this draft. I actually loved the Tyreek Hill pick despite the fact that I wouldn't have taken Hill that early. I know that sounds silly, but I love what the pick ultimately did for the shape of the team. I also loved the back-to-back Chief picks in Rounds 6 and 7. Why not tap into a dynamic offense in the middle rounds with combos like that? Finally, Derek Carr has top-ten written all over him from my perspective given his coach and his weaponry. His pairing with Burrow is a match made in best ball heaven.

Least Favorite Pick: I loved every pick on its own merit, but I would not have neglected the TE2 spot. Surely, the value of James Robinson or Corey Davis will not end up justifying the lack of a second tight end. In a league where you can make in-season acquisitions, it matters little. But, in this league, it could matter lots.

Overall Outlook: I think this is a potential league winning team. I guess if something happened to Burrow, it might shut the team down as that would greatly impact Chase's value as well, but short of that happening, I just think this is the right way to go about having a late first round pick. I prefer Deebo Samuel to Hill, but I like the overall strategy implemented here. One has to know when the RB well runs dry and getting Mitchell was timed perfectly. Yes, Shovel doesn't have a second tight end. I think we've made that clear by now. And, yes, he grabbed his team defense/special teams awfully early, but in the end, this group works for me. Expect this team to contend from Day One and perhaps bring Shovel his first No-Hassle title.

ICEMAN: Pick 1.11

1.11- RB Nick Chubb, CLE
2.02- WR Davante Adams, LV
3.11- RB Breece Hall, NYJ
4.02- TE Darren Waller, LV
5.11- WR Brandin Cooks, HOU
6.02- QB Tom Brady, TB
7.11- RB Kareem Hunt, CLE
8.02- WR Michael Thomas, NO
9.11- RB Dameon Pierce, HOU
10.02- WR Chris Olave, NO
11.11- TE Cole Kmet, CHI
12.02- RB Kenneth Gainwell, PHI
13.11- QB Jameis Winston, NO
14.02- D/ST, New England Patriots
15.11- WR Kadarius Toney, NYG
16.02- K Greg Joseph, MIN

Analysis: After the run on wide receivers in the second half of the first round, we now have two final teams who went back to the RB well to open their drafts. Chubb was by far the safest pick possible here with Kamara facing possible league discipline. After his selection, ICE weaved in and out of the driving lane for five rounds grabbing a couple of wide-outs, a starting quarterback, and a starting tight end. ICE should feel comfortable in the 11/12 spot as he scored a league championship last season from nearly the exact same perch. He's banking on Davante Adams being the same receiver in Las Vegas that he was in Green Bay and I have some doubts about that as chemistry between QB and WR1 often takes more time than most realize. Then again, Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs found it quickly, so maybe the same possibility exists here. During the second half of his draft, ICE went Saints-happy in the same fashion Remote did with respect to the Titans. This team has lots of youth, which is typically a recommendation when you're picking from the bottom of the first round and so there is upside aplenty.

Key to No-Hassle Success: ICE's decision to double-up on players from the same NFL team not once, not twice, but FOUR times means he's got eggs in a very select set of baskets. Two Browns...two Raiders...two Texans (really?)...and three Saints make up more than half of his team. Kareem Hunt is technically a handcuff to Chubb, but his selection begs the question: Does ICE ultimately benefit more from Chubb and Hunt staying healthy or from one missing time? It's a puzzling thing to ponder. So many questions/keys overall make up this team's dynamic beyond just the Adams transition: Can Breece Hall have success in what has been a black hole for skill position players for some time now? Can Michael Thomas return to even a semblance of his former self? And what will Tom Brady do for an encore after being fantasy's top quarterback at the age of 44? Variables galore make for some intriguing Sundays in September.

Favorite Pick: I thought ICE's picks during the first half of his draft were mostly fine, but none stood out to me as being truly impactful beyond the scope of consensus expectation. So, I am looking at the second half of his draft for this moniker. Michael Thomas is a risky pick, but I think picking up Chris Olave shortly afterwards makes the combined picking of the two my favorite thing that ICE did. Either by himself wouldn't be as prudent to be sure. I also really like the upside of Kadarius Toney late. That's a cheap price to pay for some potentially explosive talent.

Least Favorite Pick: Darren Waller. This is an easy one for me. I love Waller, but there are now mouths to feed in Vegas that could make him an afterthought for long stretches of time. If ICE was going to take a tight end so early, I think Kittle would have made a lot more sense, but I could be and often am dead wrong about such things.

Overall Outlook: I am not entirely sure what to make of this team. The doubling up of so many players from the same NFL team is something I generally try to avoid, but it is a strategy that bears watching. I guess my biggest problem with it is that both the Texans and Saints could struggle offensively making players from those teams not all that dynamic. In general, this team seems to have a lot of players, in fact, from bad NFL teams or at least questionable offenses, but then again, it also has Tom Brady, so there's that. ICE isn't as non-conventional as Dan traditionally, but he's probably second in that department in terms of his drafting pattern. It's fun to have guys like that in a league provided they're non-conventional, but skilled. ICE is most definitely the latter.

Matt’s Eagles: Pick 1.12

1.12- RB D’Andre Swift, DET
2.01- RB Alvin Kamara, NO
3.12- RB J.K. Dobbins, BAL
4.01- WR Keenan Allen, LAC
5.12- WR Darnell Mooney, CHI
6.01- WR Rashod Bateman, BAL
7.12- QB Matthew Stafford, LAR
8.01- TE Zach Ertz, ARI
9.12- WR Skyy Moore, KC
10.01- RB Rachaad White, TB
11.12- QB Justin Fields, CHI
12.01- WR Jarvis Landry, NO
13.12- TE Evan Engram, JAX
14.01- RB Brian Robinson Jr., WAS
15.12- K Brandon McManus, DEN
16.01- D/ST, Los Angeles Chargers

Analysis: Our fearless leader claims that the drafting order is "random" but in the case of ICE and Matt, our past two league champions got stuck drafting from the bottom of the first round. While ICE spent his first six rounds "weaving", Matt took a truly unique approach going RB-RB-RB to open before turning all of his attention to WR in the next three rounds. The result of that is a team that should score very well at the RB position, but may lack a bit of pop. The back-to-back of Stafford/Ertz made the non-selection of both positions in the first six rounds tolerable as both have very solid floors with Stafford's 2021 being vastly underrated it would seem. After Ertz, though, Matt chose to follow the youth principle previously noted in ICE's write-up by way of selecting three rookies and a very inexperienced QB2. While I am a fan of taking youthful players, even rookies, in the second half of a draft, I might not have taken quite so many here given that rookies also bust or scarcely see the field sometimes. That said, only two running backs start in this format and with three taken right off the bat, there was little to lose at that position at least.

Key to No-Hassle Success: When you don't address any position sans RB until the fourth round, you will need to be the top rushing team in the league as a consequence to contend for a title. Is D'Andre Swift really first round draft pick material? Can he, Kamara, and Dobbins make this team the best rushing team, points-wise in the league? With some of the RB duos established in the early rounds by other drafters, I have my doubts about all of it. Similarly, I have doubts about the viability of every wide receiver on this team beyond Keenan Allen. It is true that both Mooney and Bateman are now the top wide receivers on their respective NFL teams...but they're in bad passing offenses and are more WR1s by default than anything else. Will the former reality be enough to counter the latter? That, along with establishing rushing prowess looks like the key to this team's future.

Favorite Pick: There were two picks that I thought really steadied this draft- Matthew Stafford and Keenan Allen. Both came at times in which I wondered what in the world Matt was doing and I remember thinking afterwards- "Oh, OK...I get it now". Typically when a drafter goes RB-RB-RB to begin their draft, they are doing so with the option of using the third running as a flex player. Not so in this case, but I still think Matt could get away with this strategy thanks in no small part to the two picks previously noted.

Least Favorite Pick: I am not going to fault a unique draft strategy like this as thinking outside of the box should be applauded, but I would not have taken both Mooney and Bateman in succession. I think one of those picks should have been a WR from a much stronger passing offense.

Overall Outlook: I am intrigued by this team. I know that probably sounds like a non-committal cop-out, but truth be told the strategy implemented here just might work if Kamara can play a full season and Dobbins returns from injury as the player he appeared to be prior to. The wide receiver corps does not excite me and that could be the downfall despite all three projected starters being WR1s on their respective teams. It sits in amazing contrast to what Hawkeye did in his draft, taking all WR2s on their respective teams. So, would you rather have the WR1 trio of Allen, Mooney, and Bateman...or the WR2 trio of Higgins, Waddle, and Robinson? Sign me up for the second group in spite of the difference in team status. Beyond that, though, this team could be a rushing juggernaut as was previously noted. And, maybe that's enough to overcome all else.

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