Footballguys Staff 6-man DRAFT mock - Week 17

An evaluation of a 6-man mock FantasyDraft for Week 17. Each participant answers questions about their strategy and picks. 

Six Footballguys staff completed a 6-man Week 17 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 17 DRAFT:

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

DRAFT RESULTS 


DRAFT EVALUATION

Dan hindery - SLOT 1

Overview - There may be some varied opinions surrounding Derrick Henry as an option this week against the Jaguars defense, but I like this call. DeMarco Murray is not expected to play, giving Henry a chance to be a fulltime back for the Titans in a must-win game. Jacksonville is locked into the 3-seed and has expressed interest in resting some of their starters, especially on defense. This decision may be the determining factor of Tennessee's ticket into the playoffs. Dan's other running back, LeSean McCoy (who was the first pick overall this week) is expected to be utilized often this week at Miami. Weather should not be a factor and Buffalo will be playing for their playoff lives. Dan's trid round pick A.J. Green has nothing to play for except pride. We saw Cincinnati's pride last week in an upset win over Detroit. Baltimore will be gunning for a playoff berth, but they may run into some problems with Green, especially with Jimmy Smith out of the lineup. Baltimore may wind up winning this game, but that doesn't mean Green can't have a productive fantasy performance. Cam Newton is a good quarterback to target this week against Atlanta. The Panthers can do no worse than a 5-seed, but with a win, they can earn a 4, 3 or even a 2-seed if the right combination of wins happens in the NFC. Dan's last pick, T.Y. Hilton has a decent matchup at home against the Texans and their struggling defense. A Hilton score would definitely provide a boost for this team and the Texans have allowed 5 touchdowns to wide receivers in the last two games. 

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 really wanted to make sure I was focused in on players on teams with a lot to play for (especially at Quarterback and Running Back). At 1.01, it came down to either LeSean McCoy or Le'Veon Bell. I went with McCoy due to the motivation factor. The Buffalo Bills absolutely must win or their season is over. McCoy should get all the carries he can handle against Miami. For Bell and the Steelers, the game is meaningless unless Bryce Petty leads the Jets into Foxboro and beats the New England Patriots. Unlikely to happen and Mike Tomlin knows that. If the Steelers go into the locker room at halftime and see New England has their game under control, there’s no reason to put Bell back out there when he’s already racked up 400+ touches and has suffered costly late-season injuries in the past.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?  
Derrick Henry at 2.06 was a little bit of a leap of faith but he has massive upside and was worth the roll of the dice. He fits my preference this week of targeting players with their seasons on the line. Tennessee has to beat Jacksonville at home to get into the playoffs. While the Jaguars coaches have said they will play to win, Jacksonville is locked into the third seed and is likely to give their backups extra snaps to rest their stars for the first week of the playoffs. DeMarco Murray is out with a knee injury so Henry should get all the touches he can handle.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
I liked getting T.Y. Hilton at 5.01. I’m a big proponent of looking at past history when it comes to divisional matchups. Hilton has dominated the Houston Texans in his career. In 11 games against Houston, Hilton has 1,117 yard and 9 touchdowns (over 100 receiving yards per game). Even without Andrew Luck, Hilton excelled in his first matchup against the Texans this season, with 175 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. Hilton is coming off of a 100-yard receiving game in bad weather and a tough matchup at Baltimore. Returning home against the fading Texans, Hilton should close out the season on a positive note.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who would it be and why?
Carlos Hyde is the undrafted player who I would have happily rostered. San Francisco is riding a 4-game winning streak and looks motivated to close out the season on a positive note. The Los Angeles Rams have indicated they will rest some starters given that they have clinched their division and have no chance of receiving a bye. If top defensive players like Aaron Donald are even active, they likely will only play limited snaps. Hyde had 24 touches last week against the Jaguars and could have a huge week if he sees his regular volume against the Rams backups.

devin knotts - SLOT 2

Overview: Devin took a gamble selecting Todd Gurley with the second pick in the draft. It is unclear how much Gurley will play this week, if at all. The Rams have already indicated that they will rest some of their starters and Gurley is definitely someone they do not want to risk losing for the playoffs. Devin will have the option of replacing him but only if he is declared out before the game. Losing Gurley to a lesser workload would definitely hurt Devin's chances of finishing in the money this week. In addition to Gurley, Devin will have three Patriots in his lineup. Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and Dion Lewis. Rex Burkhead (knee) is expected to be out once again, making Lewis a popular weapon for New England. The Patriots super-stack is a good strategy to use this week since they will be trying to win to hold off the Steelers and their bid for the #1 seed. Marvin Jones Jr and the Lions are out of the playoff picture, but I don't see them laying up in the last game of the year. Marvin Jones Jr has three straight games of exactly three catches, but his body of work this season suggests an improvement this week with the potential to be a standout against the weak Packers secondary. 

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?
My strategy this week was to take some risks this week and by taking Todd Gurley at 1.02 that was a huge risk that I was willing to take with some upside if he played. If he does not play, I’m hoping that he will be inactive so that I will be able to swap him out on Draft this week. After taking Gurley at 1.02, my goal was to secure one of the second running backs that I had valued highly which was Dion Lewis coming off of a tremendous game last week. Overall I’m very happy with how my roster came out as the Patriots fell to me with tremendous value. 

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?  
Todd Gurley will make or break me depending on if he will play or not. Fortunately if he does not play, the team has very little incentive to keep him active, so I will be able to swap Gurley to someone who should have value later in the week once we know all the plans of all of the teams. 

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
All of the Patriots were tremendous values as they will still be playing for the number one overall seed. Dion Lewis in the second-round was a steal. Lewis is coming off of being the AFC player of the week and I would have expected him to go much higher than where he went. Getting the Gronkowski/Brady stack in the third and fourth round is much lower than what we have seen in the past few weeks and Gronkowski needs a big game to hit a $2.5M bonus this week. 

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who would it be and why?
One more player that I would choose would be Latavius Murray who I will likely pivot to if Gurley is out. Murray should be in a tremendous spot this week to see a significant amount of volume as the Vikings hold and maintain a lead. 

sean settle - SLOT 3

Overview - Like Gurley, Le'Veon Bell could see a reduction in playing time if the game script dictates it. The reward for success, even if only in the first half, may be worth the risk. I like the call of Ezekiel Elliott in the second round. Dallas will be playing for pride in a game against the Eagles. Playoffs or not, this is a game the Cowboys will be looking to win. I can see a scenario that would feature heavy utilization of Elliott. Plus don't be surprised to see Philadelphia give some of their starters a rest after locking up the 1-seed last week. Sean's two receivers Adam Thielen and Mike Evans both have home games. Minnesota is still playing for a 2-seed and the Buccaneers will be looking to play spoiler against the Saints. Sean elected to go with Drew Brees as his quarterback with his last pick. The matchup at Tampa Bay figures to be a favorable one for Brees and the Saints making this a valuable pick in the last round. 

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?
Week 17 is a tough time to navigate when drafting players. Several coaches have decisions to make in regard to who they want to rest, if they want to see a rookie get reps, or if someone is banged up and just needs the week off. My strategy was to take the best players that were on teams that had something to play for. The Steelers still have an outside chance of the #1 seed and that made Bell a no-brainer. The Cowboys are out of things but with Elliot coming back from suspension, he needs the work. The WR and QB decisions were a bit tougher. Thielen laid an egg last week in the cold, but the Vikings still need to beat the Bears at home to secure a first-round bye. Mike Evans is always a threat no matter who he is playing and was a steal in the 4th round despite a matchup against Marshon Lattimore. I closed out with Drew Brees because the Saints are still playing for the division crown and will need to see more from Brees after 2 subpar games from the running backs.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?   
This week will come down to what the Steelers decide to do with Bell. Mike Tomlin has been non-committal all week about what he is going to do with his starters. Even with the outside chance of the number 1 seed, the Steelers may lean towards resting their workhorse running back for the playoff run. Even if they do use him, it could be at reduced snaps as they are playing the Browns. Game script is going to dictate what kind of day Bell has and it will make or break my team this week.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
Elliot in the second round comes with the best value. He had a vintage performance in his first game back against Seattle and could have had a touchdown if they had called any running play from the goal line rather than throwing it. There is no telling what the Cowboys plan for his workload this week, but anytime you can get Elliot in the second round, it is good value.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who would it be and why?
If I could take one more player it would have been Brandin Cooks. The Patriots are playing a division rival in the final week and do not have a history of resting players. To lock down the #1 seed the Pats still need the win and Cooks continues to be a viable deep threat. Gronkowski is going to get his catches across the middle, but Cooks will do all of the damage on the outside.

justin howe - SLOT 4

Overview - Mark Ingram II in the third round (and 9th RB) is a definite value pick in this draft. New Orleans is not expected to rest starters with the NFC South title and home playoff game still up for grabs. Justin also picked Michael Thomas to give him a RB-WR stack of Saints. Thomas is battling hamstring soreness but he looked good last week against Atlanta and wasn't limited too much in total snaps. Kenyan Drake (pick 1.04) should be a big part of the Dolphins game plan against the Bills. Drake had an average game last week at Kansas City, but his body of work since taking over the starting role has been nothing short of impressive. Travis Kelce and Philip Rivers complete Justin's draft. Kelce could see a reduced role against Denver because the Chiefs are locked into the 4-seed win or lose. Kelce may wind up playing in the first half only, so there is some risk to this pick. Rivers and the Chargers will be fighting for their playoff lives, so expect a big game from him, especially if Melvin Gordon III (ankle) is unable to play or is limited. 

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?
This week I was able to avoid a rote RB-RB strategy. Picking late in the first round, you can snag one RB and then watch your draftmates at the turn. Do they both go RB-RB? If so, you’ve greatly narrowed down the teams who could take another before you take your RB2. In this case, I got little help – James took two WRs and Keith took one between my picks – but I chose to roll the dice on a non-RB anyway. And it worked beautifully: Mark Ingram II tumbled out of Round 2, and I was able to scoop him up before Keith and James were able to fill in their RB slots. This was a best-case scenario: I opened the draft by picking up two RB1s and a clear-cut WR1 merely through draft theory, and through closely following the picks from each team. Without that kind of attention to detail, your carefully-laid plans and expectations will implode and your DRAFTs will suffer.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Opening the draft with Kenyan Drake over Alvin Kamara (and Ezekiel Elliott, and Dion Lewis, and Derrick Henry, and Mark Ingram II, yeesh) was an out-on-the-limb call. I love Kamara’s upside – who doesn’t? – as well as that of those other backs. But more than that I love Drake’s workhorse role. Damien Williams is unlikely to return for a meaningless Week 17, so Drake should be locked into another 15+ carries and handful of targets. What really broke the tie for me was the matchup. Since Week 8, no NFL defense has allowed more ground yardage than the Bills (141.0 per game, 15.0 more than second-place Washington). Opposing lead backs have simply shredded them over that span, with Kamara, Ingram, and Frank Gore easily topping 100 yards each and a few others (Melvin Gordon III, Lewis, Rex Burkhead, and Drake himself) threatening 80-90. If given, say, 18 carries and 5 targets, the eruptive Drake would be hard-pressed not to produce in this matchup.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
I don’t have a problem with the guys taken before him, but Ingram shouldn’t have fallen this far. The Saints run game has come back down to Earth, but remains both dominant and eruptive and neither of its pieces should’ve been here for me in Round 3. Ingram has taken 72 opportunities (carries plus targets) over the past 4 weeks, and that number can be stretched into something special by this Saints offense. Over that span, he’s averaged 4.94 yards per rush behind the league’s best line (it’s true) and taken 7 opportunities from inside the 10. He’s not sexy, but he’s a clear-cut RB1 that really shouldn’t be questioned.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who would it be and why?
It may come down to this for me; Kansas City is likely to rest its starters, and Travis Kelce may wind up inactive. If he does, I’ll swap him out for Brandin Cooks. He’s been boring and frustrating in recent weeks, as he’s simply not always game-planned for and sometimes not on Tom Brady’s page anyway. But he’s truly explosive, with real overall WR1 potential in any given matchup, and the Patriots have the No. 1 seed to play for. 

keith roberts - SLOT 5

Overview - I like the team Keith assembled. The last round pick of C.J. Anderson as his RB2 afforded him to target both of his receivers in the first three rounds. Alvin Kamara at pick 1.05 is a solid value, especially with the uncertainty of Le'Veon Bell and Todd Gurley picked ahead of him. Keith followed up with DeAndre Hopkins, who has proven time and again that he can be productive with any quarterback. His second receiver pick JuJu-Smith-Schuster is someone who may be heavily targeted this week as Pittsburgh will look to keep pace with New England with the #1 seed still undecided. Antonio Brown (calf) will be out again this week, making Smith-Schuster a key piece of Steelers offense. Russell Wilson and the aforementioned C.J. Anderson round out the remainder of Keith's draft. Wilson and Seattle can still earn a playoff spot with a win and an Atlanta loss. They both will be playing at the same time eliminating the possibility of one team taking a lesser approach. Anderson is coming off back to back big games and could wind up facing a Chiefs defense that will be resting their key starters. This bodes well for Denver and Anderson, who are a 3.5 point favorite in this game. If I had to select a team to finish on top this week, Keith's team would be my pick. He has solid players playing in meaningful games with either pride or playoffs on the line. 

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?
This was a tough week to draft with it being Week 17 as a number of teams have either nothing or everything to play for. With my first running back and quarterback, I made sure to focus on players that did have something to play for. Alvin Kamara has been one of the most dynamic running backs in the league, and the Saints are playing for a division title this week. I made sure to lock up Russell Wilson as the top quarterback off the board also, as the Seahawks are in a must-win situation to keep their playoff hopes alive. I decided to wait until the last pick on running back due to how shallow that pool became after eight running backs were taken in the first two rounds, and I was happy with my pick of C.J. Anderson, who is seeing a ton of volume in recent weeks. At receiver, I went with the traditional volume play of DeAndre Hopkins, as despite his poor quarterbacks, Hopkins continues to be force-fed the football and is in an impeccable matchup this week. Juju Smith Schuster also is lined up to be one of the top receiving options for the Steelers with Antonio Brown still injured, and given his lack of experience as a rookie, I don’t expect Smith Schuster to be rested.  

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?  
Russell Wilson will be key to my roster. He has struggled in the last two games and is in a difficult matchup with a Cardinals defense that has been playing much better during the second half of the season. However, Wilson and the Seahawks have everything to play for this week as their playoff hopes are on the line. Wilson has been the center of that offense that has lived and died by his play. The Seahawks still have no viable rushing attack to rely upon, so I expect Wilson to put up major yardage with his legs while bouncing back to get the Seahawks a win. 

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
I am happy with the value received on CJ Anderson at 5.05. Anderson has underwhelmed for most of the season, but he has seen a significant uptick in volume over the last four games, averaging 24 touches and 118 total yards per game. Anderson has not been scoring with only four touchdowns on the season, but this volume is something that it seems like the Broncos are realizing they need to give him to have a chance at winning games. Anderson has averaged over five yards per carry in his last two games, and he draws a Chiefs defense giving up an above average rushing yards per attempt that had given up a rushing touchdown in three straight games leading up to last week. It isn’t the best of matchups, but Anderson is a volume play that I am hoping can find the end zone with one of his 20+ touches expected here. 

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who would it be and why?
The next running back I would have targeted here would be Melvin Gordon III. This would be a very risky pick as he was in a walking boot over the holidays, but the Chargers have everything to play for this week as they try to sneak into the playoffs. Gordon had one of his best fantasy games of the season in his last matchup against the Chargers with a season-high in both carries and receptions as he posted 150 total yards and two touchdowns. He has been one of the most highly-utilized running backs this season with 19 or more carries in each of his last games with four rushing touchdowns over that span. The Chargers need him to play here, so if Gordon can walk, then he should have a good chance at being on the field.  

james brimacombe - SLOT 6

Overview - James' strength is the receiver position with two strong picks in Julio Jones and Keenan Allen. Alex Collins and Jamaal Williams make up his running backs. Both Collins and Williams have tailed off some after a strong stretch in Weeks 11-14, but there is some promise for a rebound in both cases this week. Collins and Baltimore will be fighting for a playoff berth and Williams is looking to finish the season strong at Detroit. Aaron Jones may take away some of the touches for Williams, but in prior weeks Williams has still dominated the snap count, including 95% of offensive snaps last week. Matt Ryan (pick 5.06) is James' quarterback and the pick of Julio Jones in the first round gives him a Falcons stack against Carolina, who have been prone to big receiver performances, especially against Jones. If James can get decent production from his running backs, he'll have a chance to finish in the Top 2 this week. 

james 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?
Week 17 is always a tricky one as there are so many scenarios that can play out with the playoff picture. Players can be rested and backups can emerge but juggling the news leading up to Sunday is a must for Week 17. Drafting early in the week I wanted to take players that I knew had a lot to play for and would see a heavy volume of touches. With having the 6th pick in this draft and 5 running backs off the board in front of me I liked going with the combo of Julio Jones and Keenan Allen to lock in my WR position with two players that will likely be the center of their team’s offense this week. At running back I went with Alex Collins and Jamaal Williams as volume type of guys who have 20+ touch upside and guys that won’t be rested this week. Quarterback I was hoping Philip Rivers would fall to me so I could stack him with Allen but ended up getting Matt Ryan with Julio Jones instead.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?  
I think it is the combo of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones that has the potential to make or break me this week. The Falcons are in a win and your in type of game so they will be playing in a playoff atmosphere where Ryan and Jones will be heavily involved. Matt Ryan has struggled this season and has not recorded a game where he has thrown for over 2 touchdown passes. Having the Ryan/Jones stack you are banking on a multi touchdown game from them and the odds of that happening are not in your favor so far this season.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
Alex Collins seems like a top five running back this week and getting him at the turn in the third round felt like a great value pick and one that could pay off with a top finish at the position this week. The Ravens are in a must win game and Collins is coming off a 21 touch game against the Colts last week so a home matchup against the Bengals this week feels like another high volume game but this time hopefully with a touchdown in the mix.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who would it be and why?
Robbie Anderson is a guy that I would have been interested in if I didn’t spend my 1st and 2nd round picks on wide receivers. The Jets continue to play hard this season and although the Patriots are still fighting for home field advantage throughout the playoffs they could let up in the 2nd half and there is potential for Anderson to have a big game. 

PROJECTIONS PREDICT THE WINNER

 

 

 

 

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