Welcome to the ‘too early mock draft’ version of the Top 2 Fantasy Football Mock Draft analysis. Matt and I have already completed and posted our ‘wayyy too early’ mock draft and we are on to part 2 of the 3 part series. This was a 10 team PPR league, Eric had the 8th pick, Matt had the 10th. This draft took place on August 6th so it doesn’t account for things like the Zeke suspension.
Without further ado, here are our picks for this version.
1.08 Eric: Mike Evans.
I had Evans in 2015 and he was a major dud. So I decided to let someone else take the plunge last year and he responded by absolutely annihilating opposing defenses. I have always been a big fan of Evans and I think the Bucs offense can be absolutely lethal this year. Expect Evans to continue his rise to possibly becoming the most dangerous receiver in the league.
1.10 Matt: LeSean McCoy
I love picking at the 10th spot. LeSean McCoy has no business still being around this late, I’m willing to argue he’s a better pick than Zeke. He’s going to be consistent and rack up the points for me.
2.01 Matt: Devonta Freeman
This is a seriously dynamic backfield. Freeman tore it up last year and there’s no reason to believe he won’t do it again. The Falcons just paid him big and that makes me confident that Coleman won’t be taking too many of his carries, more to come on that though. Shady and Freeman gives me great RBs, this is crucial in such a poor RB year.
2.03 Eric: Demarco Murray
Murray had a huge bounce back season in his first year in Tennessee and this year will be no different. Even with a very promising second year back in Derrick Henry waiting in the wings, Murray is way too good to pass on. He should have another huge season running behind a monstrous O-Line that paved the way for the 7th best rushing attack in the entire league in 2016.
3.08 Eric: Amari Cooper
The Raiders offense, assuming Derek Carr remains upright, is going to be downright nasty. Cooper, Crabtree, Carr throwing them the ball, big ass offensive lineman blocking for a rejuvenated and rested beast mode and a new tight end in Jared Cook. Cooper is still the lead dog of the attack and will only continue to improve. He has WR1 potential but as a WR2, he is way too enticing to pass up.
3.10 Matt: Brandin Cooks
I’m surprised the Pats fan passed up on Cooks to take Cooper, then again I’m also surprised Cooper and Cooks were still on the board here. Cooks has great value as a late 3rd round pick. With Tommy “The Goat” “I’ll Play Until I’m 50” Brady throwing to him, he’s a great pick, especially in PPR.
4.01 Matt: Leonard Fournette
I didn’t plan on taking 3 RBs in the first 4 rounds, but the value is just too good to pass up on Fournette here. In a recent poll we ran 43% of our followers believed that Fournette is the best rookie RB option, with Mixon, Cook, and McCaffery following in that order. He’s a power back on a team that will feature him a lot, and that will pay off for fantasy players that own him.
4.03 Eric: Tom Brady
If you saw the poll we recently posted, I believe Tom Brady will be the best QB in fantasy football this season. Brady has had seasons where you look around at the skill positions and just go ‘wow’. However, this season the Patriots have provided him with more firepower than ever before. The Addition of Brandin Cooks gives the Pats a speed threat unlike anything they’ve ever had. They have a young second year player in Malcolm Mitchell who looked like an emerging star in the Super bowl AND they have more Gronk insurance even with the departure of Martellus Bennett in Dwayne Allen. Oh yeah, and Brady only threw 2 picks all season in 2016. 2.
5.08 Eric: Terrelle Pryor Sr
Kirk Cousins has been fortunate enough in his career to say that he has great weapons. Jordan Reed, when healthy, might very well be the second best TE in football. DeSean Jackson was no slouch at receiver in his time with the Redskins and Jamison Crowder is very underrated. Cousins has got to be licking his chops at the prospect of throwing passes to Terrelle Pryor. Pryor is easily the best receiver Cousins has ever had at his disposal. These two will build a rapport very quickly because a QB always loves more weapons and Pryor finally has a capable QB. Add to the fact that Pryor is on a 1 year, ‘prove it’ type deal and you have the recipe for an explosive season out of the QB turned WR.
5.10 Matt: Golden Tate
Have I mentioned I really wish I could keep this team? Golden Tate in the back of the fifth round is ridiculous value. He’s the WR1 in Detroit and will be the favorite target once again for Matthew Stafford. Stafford has a lot of fantasy concerns himself, but what we do know is that he likes to sling the ball deep and Tate likes to catch those balls. Tate and Cooks give me dynamic receivers to go with McCoy, Freeman, and Fournette.
6.01 Matt: Greg Olsen
I had two great TE options at this pick, Olsen and Eifert. It was a tough choice but ultimately I took the one with the better QB and overall offense. I’ve written about how I believe Cam Newton is due for a huge bounce back year and I believe that benefits Olsen in the way of targets and TD receptions.
6.03 Eric: Frank Gore
I have Murray so I needed an RB2. Frank Gore, no matter the age, is going to get his touches. The Colts O-line isn’t good at all but Gore still managed over 1,000 yards and 8 total touchdowns. That is RB2 territory and I will gladly take the chance that Gore remains consistent. It isn’t a sexy pick, but it’s a necessary one.
7.08 Eric: Tyler Eifert
The mimic stole Greg Olsen from me so I went Eifert here. Eifert had a tough time returning from a freak ankle injury in the pro bowl. The first year back from a major injury will always be an adjustment but the second year back is when the player begins to feel like himself again. Eifert, before the injury, was an absolute animal. He was on his way to becoming one of the top 3 Tight Ends in the league. I’ll take a chance on him here and acquire depth later to protect myself from the possibility that he won’t return to form.
7.10 Matt: Davante Adams
I don’t love this pick, but I also don’t hate it. Jordy Nelson will be the clear favorite in Green Bay but Adams can benefit from Montgomery fully transitioning to the RB positon. It’s a bit of a risk in the mid-rounds but I don’t mind taking risks when it involves Aaron Rodgers throwing the ball.
8.01 Matt: Stefon Diggs
I’m not sold on Diggs, but I have noticed most of Twitter is. Sam Bradford throwing the ball doesn’t get me jazzed but Diggs is a WR1 option, and to get a WR1 on a competitive team in the 8th round is too good to pass up. I’m happy to have Diggs as an option coming off my bench.
8.03 Eric: Martavis Bryant
Gee, I hope this guy can get reinstated in time for the season. Jokes aside, Bryant is a monstrous target to add to an already lethal Steelers offense. At 6’5”, Bryant gives Big Ben a bigger receiver to throw to and a true red zone threat. Assuming Bryant stays out of trouble and stays healthy, Bryant will put up WR2 numbers on a regular basis and will even throw in a few WR1 games. Way too good as a bench receiver here.
9.08 Eric: Mike Gillislee
This is more of a stab in the dark rather than a calculated risk. I have no idea who will start at RB for New England and Gillislee has missed time in training camp with a lingering hamstring injury. Assuming he is able to get back on the field to start practicing, I see Gillislee taking most of the snaps on the early downs for New England. He will almost certainly be the replacement to LeGarrett Blount as the goal line back for the Pats.
9.10 Matt: Tevin Coleman
I’m not a huge fan of RB handcuffs, especially when the starter isn’t injured or suspended, but Freeman and Coleman are so dynamic I went for it. In a standard league I probably would’ve passed but Coleman racks up receptions, and therefore can be a valuable flex option in PPR leagues.
10.01 Matt: Robert Kelley
Indications out of Redskins camp is that “Fat Rob” will be the starter for Washington this season. I’m not sold on him being a start this season, but someone has to get carries out of the backfield. I’m willing to take a risk on a starting RB in the 10th round any day of the week.
10.03 Eric: Adrian Peterson
As you can tell by my last three RB picks, I’m going with more of a committee here. Peterson might be finished, he has a running mate in Mark Ingram who is sure to steal carries and all day might not even be the starter. In fact, I’d be pretty surprised if Peterson starts over Ingram. That doesn’t mean the Saints won’t use him however. I took Peterson for one reason. Drew. Brees. Teams won’t be stacking the box against a team that is quarterbacked by Drew Brees. AP will have a light box 100 percent of the time so he is worth the late round flyer.
Jack Doyle. Part one of the Eifert contingency plan is the Colts’ tight end that came out of nowhere last year. I like Doyle a lot but only if Andrew Luck is the one throwing him the ball. Throw this pick out the window if Luck is out for any amount of time.
11.10 Matt: Kenny Britt
Before I comment on Britt, can we talk about the fact Eric has drafted two TEs in the first 11 rounds? I’m not good at math but the Kenny Britt math is pretty easy here: good receiver + lack of options + possession receiver for a rookie/not impressive QB=fantasy output.
12.01 Matt: Giovani Bernard
This is the best value I’ve gotten all draft. I’m convinced Gio will have an equal amount of, if not more carries than Mixon this season. Mixon has an overhyped skillset and is equally splitting carries with Gio and Jeremy Hill. I’m willing to bet the veteran, who is now healthy, ends up being the star of the Cincy backfield.
12.03 Eric: Willie Snead
Snead actually had a sneaky good year last year and will only get better with experience. Also, see Brees, Drew for reasons why you should draft Snead.
13.08 Eric: Pats D/ST
I believe in the number one scoring defense from a year ago. They get the Jets twice, the Bills twice (now without Sammie Watkins) AND Jay Cutler twice. That’s a lot of turnovers to be had.
13.10 Matt: Eli Manning
I went “QB Zero” in this draft. I’ve heard a lot about “RB Zero” this offseason (zero meaning you don’t draft any players for a position until the end of a draft). I don’t believe in RB Zero but this mock draft makes me love the idea of QB Zero. I’ve never been a big fan of Eli in fantasy but this year is a great year to have him. Eli has the elite OBJ, Brandon Marshall who I expect to thrive in NY, a flashy Sterling Shepard, and a huge TE target in Engram. He also has a weak running game which will lead to him throwing the ball 30-40 times a game. Eli’s value is ridiculously good here.
14.01 Matt: Jameis Winston
I’m not a Winston fan. I don’t buy into those who claim he’s a top 10 QB, he’s inconsistent, doesn’t have an impressive arm, and to be honest I haven’t forgotten the character he showed us at FSU. Nonetheless he is too good of a QB to be sitting around in the 14th round so I begrudgingly take the value here and let Jameis ride the fantasy pine.
14.03 Eric: Matt Bryant
15.08 Eric: Sterling Shepard
I really love receivers if you can’t tell. I know there are seemingly a dozen different weapons in the Giants offense but I really think Shepard can benefit from Marshall and Beckham taking some pressure away from him. He should be a monster in the slot.
15.10 Matt: Cairo Santos
I figured I could make a decent team name out of this. “Santos is Coming to Town”, “Cairo on my Wayward Team”, or “Why did I Draft a Chief” are all top options.
16.01 Matt: Steelers D/ST
I’ve mentioned before that I don’t care about drafting defenses. I drop them, add an extra late round flyer that went undrafted and then pick a defense based on match-up right before week 1. Instead, let’s talk about how Eric is about to draft his 3rd TE…
16.03 Eric: Cameron Brate
This is more of a hail mary due to the fact that the Bucs drafted highly regarded tight end prospect OJ Howard. I really hope the Bucs run a majority of their plays from the 2 WRs, 2 TEs and 1 RB set. They could be downright unstoppable in that set and it would allow Brate, who had a pretty good year out of nowhere last year, to remain fantasy relevant. Part 3 of the Eifert contingency plan.