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Footballguys Staff 6-man DRAFT mock - Week 9

An evaluation of a 6-man mock FantasyDraft for Week 9. Each participant answers questions about their strategy and picks. 

Six Footballguys staff completed a 6-man Week 9 mock draft using the DRAFT scoring format below. Each participant must fill a roster with exactly these five positions: QB-RB-RB-WR/TE-WR/TE using a serpentine draft style. 

OFFICIAL DRAFT SCORING FORMAT

Passing Yard 0.04
Passing TD 4
Interception Thrown -1
Reception 0.5
Rushing Yard 0.1
Rushing TD 6
Receiving Yard 0.1
Receiving TD 6
Return TD 6
2-Point Conversion 2
Fumble Lost -2

THE PARTICIPANTS FOR THE WEEK 8 DRAFT:

1.01 Justin Howe
1.02 Dan Hindery
1.03 Devin Knotts
1.04 Sean Settle
1.05 Alex Miglio
1.06 Keith Roberts

DRAFT RESULTS

DRAFT EVALUATION

Justin Howe - SLOT 1

Overview - This team has too many what if's to be competitive in my opinion. The pick of Alfred Morris may be a reach against a tough Chiefs defense. Morris is of course filling in for the suspended Ezekiel Elliott, but he's not guaranteed to be the bell cow back for Dallas. Darren McFadden is still looming and Rod Smith could get some carry shares. The running back pool was getting thin in the third round, but there were still comparable, if not better options available. Namely Carlos Hyde, Christian McCaffrey, Devonta Freeman and Aaron Jones. Chris Thompson and Alvin Kamara (both not drafted) are other running backs who could spark this week. Zach Ertz is a solid pick, but Denver has been good against the pass this year. I would not be shocked if they put a big emphasis on Ertz in this game. Tyreek Hill is capable of big games any given week, but he can also just as easily have a down game. Cam Newton hasn't had more than two touchdowns since Week 5 at Detroit. My gut says Kirk Cousins at Seattle, might be a better fantasy option. I also like Jared Goff at the Giants. New York has allowed 329 yards passing per game and 2.3 touchdown passes per game allowed over the last 4 weeks.

Justin ANSWERS QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS DRAFT

1. What was your draft strategy with this week's slate of games and how did it turn out for you?
As always, my goal was to secure the two best running back options I could manage. It's exceptionally hard to do with the first overall pick - the bell cow guys are picked over by your second - so I had to improvise and go hard into Alfred Morris to team with Todd Gurley. No, this did not go precisely the way I'd planned - I'd been hoping to land Lamar Miller or Adrian Peterson here -  but it's hardly a guarantee when it does. And Morris boasts a similar ceiling to those guys, so I'm not complaining much.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?  
Morris has less floor than some of the guys I passed on, especially Devonta Freeman - though I was encouraged to see the next three drafters pass on him as well. But his ceiling is considerable when we take into account the volume and touchdown opportunity the Cowboys afford Ezekiel Elliott. Morris isn't the same runner or receiver Elliott is, but a 20-touch game behind this line - in the week's highest-projected game, no less - looks fine to me as a RB2. It doesn't hurt, of course, that Kansas City has been gashed by the run of late. I think Morris' ceiling bests that of Carlos Hyde, who was taken a pick later, and I'm glad I didn't invest heavily in any of the top-tier receivers and their hideous matchups.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
I can't quibble with my leaguemates' wideout picks in Round 4, but I'm thrilled to land Tyreek Hill's upside so late. Again, this is the matchup with the week's highest Vegas projection, and in Hill I landed a hefty (and dynamic) chunk of the Kansas City passing game. If Alex Smith exploits the Dallas secondary for 300 yards, it's a near-certainty that Hill will be on the receiving end of at least a third of it. His individual matchups are strong, and I have no doubt he'll be a crucial weapon in that game. Whether it bears out on the stat sheet remains to be seen, but I've secured a lot of upside with this pick. It feels nice to have so much equity in the slate's top-projected game.

4. Who is the team to beat this week? 
If we're looking at this in a results-oriented way, Devin is the clear winner. On paper, his Houston super-stack will run roughshod over the Colts. That said, I'm nervous every week as to when Watson will look human, or even look like the underwhelming flutter-ball prospect I saw at Clemson. Still, Devin should be fine. Watson and the receivers are the offense's engine, and they don't leave many short-yardage crumbs for Lamar Miller; when Houston scores Sunday, Watson will be behind it. Devin also secured a wild amount of value with Devonta Freeman as his fifth (!!) pick.

dan hindery - SLOT 2

Overview: Dan drafted a team that is capable of being competitive. The Chiefs vs Cowboys game will have a big impact on how well Dan finishes. Kareem Hunt is a Top 10 back, despite not scoring a touchdown since Week 3. Perhaps he'll have a bounce back game against Dallas, but the Cowboys have allowed only 3 rushing touchdowns to running backs this season. Dak Prescott may have to win the game with his arm due to the tough opponent, but also because he won't have Ezekiel Elliott to move the chains. Offense will have to come from somewhere and Prescott may be the driver of that production. Carlos Hyde has been surprisingly productive with two games of multiple touchdowns. He's an excellent pick as the eighth running back off the board. Dan picked big name receivers in Julio Jones and A.J. Green. The matchups aren't great, but Jones has a history of success against Carolina and Green is capable of a big game any given week. If all goes as planned, Dan could sneak a victory this week. 

dan ANSWERS QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS DRAFT

1. What was your draft strategy with this week's slate of games and how did it turn out for you?
I felt like locking in a top running back in the first round was the way to go because the options after the top five or six backs aren’t very appealing. With Todd Gurley off the board, Kareem Hunt was my choice narrowly over Leonard Fournette. The depth at running back is non-existent this week. With four of the top options unavailable, the pool of top backs dries up quickly. Le'Veon Bell and Melvin Gordon III are on byes. Ezekiel Elliott is suspended. LeSean McCoy plays Thursday and is off of the main slate. 

I was hoping Lamar Miller or Deshaun Watson would make it back to me at 2.05 but neither did and I wasn’t excited about any of the remaining options. When in doubt, I go with talent. Thus, Julio Jones was the pick at 2.05. A.J. Green was my choice at 4.05 based upon the same reasoning. His matchup against Jacksonville is awful but Antonio Brown had 10 catches for 157 yards against the Jaguars a few weeks ago, so it is possible Green too has a nice game. 

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?  
I will need Kareem Hunt to carry my team this week to have any chance to win. After an insane start, his fantasy performances have been pedestrian (less than 14 Draft points in four straight) over the past month. He hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 3. In a potential shootout against the Cowboys, Hunt has a good chance to finally get back in the end zone and perhaps provide my team some separation from the pack in a shallow week for running backs. I like the correlation play of game-stacking Hunt with Dak Prescott.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
Dak Prescott at 5.02 was my best value pick. I view him as a top-3 quarterback option this week. He has a high floor (17+ Draft points in 6-of-7 games) and a huge ceiling as well (two games with 30+ Draft points). With Ezekiel Elliott suspended, Prescott will likely be asked to throw more often and could get a few extra rushing attempts as well. The Cowboys are at home and could get into a shootout against an excellent Kansas City offense in the Week 9 game with the highest Vegas total (51.5 points). 

4. Who is the team to beat this week?
The rosters look pretty even but Keith and Devin’s teams stand out as having an above average shot at finishing first. Devin is banking on another monster game from Deshaun Watson and the Houston passing offense. There is a better than 1-in-6 chance Watson has another week-winning performance and if he does, Hopkins and Fuller will probably put up big games as well. The gamble to stack all three makes sense in this format because Watson has 19 touchdowns in his last 5 games and has a fantastic matchup against Indianapolis. Another four touchdown week for Watson will put Devin in the driver’s seat. If Watson doesn’t have a huge game, then Keith’s first pick, Lamar Miller, probably will have had a big game with Houston boasting the week’s highest implied team total (31 points). Miller fits into the top tier of backs this week with the Texans favored by 13 points at home. If the Colts offense can't get anything going, the Texans will likely take the air out of the ball and pound away with Miller. Keith also grabbed my second-favorite quarterback of the week (Russell Wilson) and a pair of high-upside wide receivers in plus matchups (Michael Thomas and Dez Bryant). 

devin knotts - SLOT 3

Overview - Devin had a master plan to draft a Super-Stack of Houston Texans (Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller V) against Indianapolis this week. On paper this team looked like the one to beat. The unfortunate news of Watson's season-ending injury means Devin will need to exercise the late swap policy that DRAFT has where you can swap out a player if he gets injured. As a result, he decided to go with Matthew Stafford in place of Watson. Stafford will face a Packers team that has allowed the 5th most fantasy points over the last four weeks. His two running backs are good, but not great picks. Carolina has allowed the fewest fantasy points to running backs in the last four weeks, plus Freeman has a banged up shoulder that could mean more reps for Tevin Coleman. I would not be surprised to see Carolina shut down the running game, making Freeman a tough pick to secure points. McCaffrey is also someone who could struggle. He may get over five catches, but the yardage totals have not been high for him since Week 3. Unfortunately, this team was built on the strength of Deshaun Watson and now his absence will likely be the reason it falters. Tom Savage has not thrown a touchdown pass in his professional career, which doesn't bode well for Hopkins or Fuller. 

devin ANSWERS QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS DRAFT

1. What was your draft strategy with this week's slate of games and how did it turn out for you?
Most weeks, as a lot of people do, I target getting the best running back that I can in the first round. However, this week, there is a clear cut number one overall player which is Deandre Hopkins going up against Indianapolis. There really is not a clear cut running back that is a must have on your team this week. I will typically stack my roster with my quarterback and wide receiver and knew that because Watson was one of the top two quarterbacks this week there was a chance that he would be unavailable at my third pick, so I went ahead and took him. Overall I am thrilled with my draft as I got my number one overall player on the board and got him in a stack in the second round.  

Edit: The unfortunate news is that I had to make a change as we drafted before the DeShaun Watson. I'm still happy I was able to get Matthew Stafford, so if you have already drafted he is in a great spot to potentially look at if he was undrafted. However, it's hard to like my team this week as I not only lost my quarterback, but also had two receivers on my team this week. I will need Savage to have a big game for Houston which is highly unlikely. 

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?  
Believe it or not, DeShaun Watson will be the player that will make or break me this week. Super stacking Watson with Hopkins and Fuller, I essentially need three touchdown passes from Watson to win this week. If I get that Fuller and Hopkins will play a significant part of that and I should win this week. 

Edit: It turned out I was right that Watson was the player that would make or break me and it appears he is going to break me as this team has lost significant value this week with his injury. 

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
The best value is Devonta Freeman in the fifth even in a relatively difficult matchup going up against Carolina, but Carolina is allowing 3.6 yards per carry which while it is still very good it is not in the upper echelon of Denver or Cleveland in terms of run defense. This is a very exploitable matchup for a very talented running back. In a week with a lot of byes getting him in the last round was great value. 

4. Who is the team to beat this week?
If it is not me, it has to be Keith, as I believe that Houston will be scoring a lot of points against this Indianapolis defense and if it does not come through their wide receivers/quarterback it will be because Lamar Miller has a tremendous game. He did a nice job adding Russell Wilson in the third round which was tremendous value as he has similar upside to Watson who I took a round earlier. 

sean settle - SLOT 4

Overview - Sean's team is built on favorable matchups with slightly less than elite players. Sometimes the right matchup outperforms the right player. Being able to pair both is an advantage that you want to exploit. Sean has done this in a few of his picks, namely his running backs. Mark Ingram II has been solid this season and he has a primo matchup against Tampa Bay. The same can be said for Adrian Peterson against San Francisco, however the loss of Carson Palmer could stunt the Cardinals offense making Peterson's success a bit more risky. Doug Baldwin is a decent pick as the sixth receiver off the board. This pick could yield great results with the right game script against Washington. Seattle looks to have turned the corner as a passing offense, which is a critical factor in Baldwin's success. Last week was a big week for Paul Richardson Jr, which could be a similar story if Josh Norman primarily matches up against Baldwin. Sean finished his draft with the stack of Michael Crabtree and the inconsistent Derek Carr against Miami. The Dolphins have not allowed a 300-yard passer since Week 2 and only twice have they allowed more than one touchdown to opposing quarterbacks. This matchup looks to be more of an uphill battle for the struggling Raiders, but with Oakland, you never know. Sean's finishing place may revolve around which Raiders team shows up this week. 

sean ANSWERS QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS DRAFT

1. What was your draft strategy with this week's slate of games and how did it turn out for you?
After taking one look at the running backs available, I knew I had to get a pair early in the draft. Even picking at 1.04 there was not a lot to go off of. Mark Ingram II has a great matchup against Tampa Bay and should rebound from his two fumbles last week. The big risk was Adrian Peterson but after what Ezekiel Elliot did against the 49ers two weeks ago it was hard to pass up. I had planned to stack Baldwin/Wilson this week but was only able to pull half of that duo. I ended with a Crabtree and Carr stack that should provide fireworks against a depleted MIA secondary. This was a tough week all around with several key players on a Bye.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?  
Adrian Peterson is going to make or break my team this week. There was a very weak core of running backs this week and not a lot to choose from by the time I got to pick. Peterson showed there is still some gas in the tank with his first week for Arizona but has disappointed since. Taking on a very poor 49ers rush defense should give him ample opportunity to produce, especially after a Bye week to rest.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
There was not a lot to choose from this week and that made value even harder to come by. However, Michael Crabtree is averaging just under a touch down a game and should only play better with the re-emergence of Amari Cooper. If he can match his average mark for targets, yards, and touchdowns there will be plenty of value in this pick.

4. Who is the team to beat this week?
Teams are pretty even this week and it is hard to say who has the best shot at winning. Devin put together a super stack with Watson/Hopkins/Fuller and has a prime matchup against IND but that all rely on a rookie quarterback to duplicate his big game successes. The team I like most is Dan’s. He was able to grab AJ Green in the fourth round and pairs him with Julio Jones. That is the best WR combo for the week and he adds high ceiling guys in Kareem Hunt and Dak Prescott. Carlos Hyde is the biggest question mark for that team, but with everyone else combined, Dan can still put up the win.

alex miglio - SLOT 5

Overview - I liked how this team was going up until the selection of Ty Montgomery at pick 4.02. Nine running backs were selected by this pick and Alex needed to secure his RB2. The decision to select Montgomery here is a head scratcher for me, especially with Aaron Jones still on the board. Jones is one of two backs to have 25+ carries, 3 rushing touchdowns or more and at least 5.0 yards per carry (Kareem Hunt is the other). It appears as if Green Bay has turned over the main role to Jones, making Montgomery a risky play, especially in this format where you need to draft productive players to come out on top. This pick aside, I like Alex's other selections including Leonard Fournette, Mike Evans, Drew Brees and T.Y. Hilton. Brees' production has declined some from year's past. He has only one three-touchdown game this year and he has three games with 1 or 0 touchdowns. The matchup against Tampa Bay is enough for me to bury those concerns. I'm a bit uncertain with Evans. He was shut down last week by Carolina and now will face the Saints and their shut down corner Marshawn Lattimore. The Texans have been vulnerable against the pass lately, which makes T.Y. Hilton a pick that could pan out. Alex will need to get exceptional production from his studs to get the win, but this week there isn't one dominant team. The winner may wind up being the most consistent. 

alex ANSWERS QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS DRAFT

1. What was your draft strategy with this week's slate of games and how did it turn out for you?
Running back is a shallow position this week, so I wanted to get one out of the gate. Fournette was my best option in the first round, and I was pleased with that result. I decided to wait for my second back lest I put myself behind the eight ball elsewhere. That may have been a mistake. By the time I decided to get a second, I was left with the dregs at the position.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you? 
Ty Montgomery, the aforementioned pick from the dregs. I went with him over Aaron Jones because I believe he will be on the field much more than last game after getting some extra time off during the bye. It’s easy to forget that he was coming back from cracked ribs. Jones may be the starter, but Montgomery will be in a lot more during passing situations. I hope.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
Drew Brees was a nice pick at the tail end of the third round, especially considering I sniped Keith. His production has fallen off a cliff in a couple of bad game scripts, but he is always a threat for 300 yards and multiple touchdowns. 

4. Who is the team to beat this week?
I like Dan’s squad. It’s well-balanced, and Carlos Hyde is a nice second running back. He’s certainly a boom-or-bust pick who will make of break Dan’s team, but Hyde should have a nice week. Jones and Green are a great pair of wideouts if they can get into the end zone, and Dak should have to throw the ball more with Zeke suspended.

keith roberts - SLOT 6

Overview - Keith elected to go with the other Packers back (Aaron Jones) with his last pick. This decision may play a key role in the success of his team. Lamar Miller has an excellent matchup against the Colts, but the loss of Deshaun Watson will be a factor. Michael Thomas is one of those players who brings talent and favorable matchup to the equation. I would not be shocked if he finishes as the top fantasy receiver this week. I have a feeling Russell Wilson is turning the corner as one of the top fantasy quarterbacks in the league. The addition of Duane Brown at left tackle solidifes my opinion of him being an impact player going forward. Dez Bryant is a wildcard, because he has a tough matchup against Marcus Peters. The real winner will be the receiver who faces the other corner, Kenneth Acker. That's a huge win, if that player winds up being Bryant. No one team stands out as a clear cut winner, but I like Keith's chances of being near the top at the end of the week.  

keith ANSWERS QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS DRAFT

1. What was your draft strategy with this week's slate of games and how did it turn out for you?
 With running back as shallow as it is this week, I knew I would need one early despite picking at the back of the pack this week. I actually felt fortunate to snag the fifth and not sixth running back off the board since I saw a pretty steep drop off after Lamar Miller, who is in a great matchup this week from a game flow perspective. I definitely wanted a receiver next and was happy to take one of the top options for the week in Michael Thomas. I went to Russell Wilson early as he is the center of that Seahawks offense and now actually has a left tackle to offer some level of protection. Dez Bryant is a stellar matchup against the porous Chiefs secondary and should see an uptick in usage now that Ezekiel Elliott is officially out of the picture. Finally, getting Aaron Jones as with my last pick is what I think was the absolute steal of this draft for me, as I will allude to in the third question here. 

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?  
Lamar Miller is a pick that I really need to perform this week. He certainly has a history of putting up mediocre numbers as Miller has struggled behind a bad offensive line this season. However, my pick of him was putting faith in what should be a very favorable game script for rushing the ball with the Texans at home and favored by nearly two touchdowns. With D’Onta Foreman in the doghouse with the Texans coaching staff, Miller has as strong of a grip on this backfield as he has all season. The Colts defensive line is very solid, but their linebackers are notably bad in run defense—so all Miller needs are a few opportunities to break into the secondary and he could have a massive day as I expect at least 20 carries to come his way.  

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
I love my final pick of Aaron Jones as the last running back off the board. Jones figures to be the new face of the Packers offense as he has what appears to be a stranglehold on this backfield as Jones has out-snapped Ty Montgomery 87 to 27 in the past two games. Jones is clearly the better runner for the Packers, and with Brett Hundley at quarterback, all signs point to an offense that should be much more reliant on their ground game. Jones already has a couple of 120+ yard games in his four starts this season, and while he has a tough matchup against the Lions, his workload alone should help him reach the value I am expecting out of this late-round selection.  

4. Who is the team to beat this week?
I like Devin as the team to beat this week. If things do not pan out for me with Lamar Miller, it will be Devin who reaps the rewards with his Texans super-stack. This was a smart and relatively safe play with the Texans owning the highest implied team total of the week against a Colts secondary that has absolutely nothing to offer at cornerback or safety. Christian McCaffrey has had a relatively disappointing season, but he is in a plus matchup against a Falcons defense known for their vulnerability against pass-catching running backs. They have allowed a league-leading 50 receptions, nearly 400 receiving yards, and three receiving touchdowns to opposing running backs this season—a perfect fit for McCaffrey who now has one less receiving option to contend with now that Kelvin Benjamin is out of the picture. Grabbing Devonta Freeman as late as he did in the draft was a very sharp move as well. While Freeman has not been used as one would expect this season, he still has a high ceiling in the Falcons’ offense that can score with the best of them. 

PROJECTIONS PREDICT THE WINNER

 

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