Footballguys Staff 6-man DRAFT mock Week 1

An evaluation of a 6-man mock FantasyDraft for Week 1. Each participant answers questions about their strategy and picks. 

Six Footballguys staff completed a 6-man Week 1 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 1 DRAFT:

1.01 James Birmacombe
1.02 Will Grant
1.03 Dan Hindery
1.04 Justin Howe
1.05 Keith Roberts
1.06 Sean Settle

DRAFT RESULTS

DRAFT EVALUATION

james brimacombe - SLOT 1

Overview - With the first pick, James was able to select a stalwart in Todd Gurley, who has a favorable matchup against Oakland. The first pick is easy and this week with a near full slate of games (minus the Thursday Night opener) strong options can be there for the 2-3 turn. This was also the case for James as he secured his receivers with Michael Thomas and Keenan Allen. Aside from Antonio Brown and Deandre Hopkins, it's hard to argue a bad strategy with those two picks, except he still needs to draft another running back and his quarterback. James elected to go with Philip Rivers who gives him a stack with Keenan Allen. It's a sound strategy, however Rivers is projected as the 7th ranked quarterback this week. James rounded his draft with Joe Mixon, the 15th ranked running back according to Footballguys average projections this week. Alex Collins, Devonta Freeman or Dalvin Cook were on the board at the time. While it's not a poor selection, James may second guess this pick. Only one running back was selected after James took Michael Thomas at the end of round two. A run on running backs in the first two rounds led him down this path. Hopefully Todd Gurley can pick up any necessary slack to stay competitive.

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?
When you have the 1.01 you always seem to have an advantage because these drafts are only five players deep. I knew I could get a star running back in either Kamara or Gurley and went with Gurley because I like the idea of getting a piece of the Saints passing game in Brees or Michael Thomas and with Gurley you have the Monday night hammer.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
The Chargers duo of Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen will decide how well my team does and with that stack I feel pretty confident against the Chiefs questionable secondary. Also, how many targets and receptions will Allen see this year per game? It is going to be a lot so I will gladly roster that volume.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
I think Michael Thomas has potential to be the top wide receiver this week and I like getting him at the 2/3 turn paired with Allen. I feel like I have the position locked down.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who would it be and why?
I was thinking about both Jordan Howard or Alex Collins when I went with Mixon so maybe it is not a bad idea to wait for your RB2 in these 6-man drafts until the last round. I like Collins the best as he gets a favorable home matchup against the Bills and could be in for 20+ touches and has touchdown potential.

Will Grant - SLOT 2

Overview: Will jumped on Alvin Kamara in a favorable home matchup against Tampa Bay, not to mention the potential load that could be coming his way with Mark Ingram II serving his four-game suspension. He followed up with Kareem Hunt in the second round followed by Rob Gronkowski in round three. The wave of wide receivers came and went with Michael Thomas and Keenan Allen. Taking Gronkowski there is a shark move, however A.J. Green is projected as the 2nd highest wide receiver this week, behind only Antonio Brown. Some people are reluctant to target Green and just like this draft, he slipped to the 6th WR/TE off the board. Will needed a quarterback and and his second receiver in the last two picks and he came away with Cam Newton and Odell Beckham Jr Jr. Newton is the 4th ranked quarterback this week and Beckham is the 8th ranked wide receiver. Beckham has a tough matchup against the Jaguars, but it is a home game and he was the next highest ranked receiver when Will made his final selection. This is a good team with promise built with running backs and backed by capable and explosive receivers. Cam Newton can be a league-winner any given week and he finally has some offensive weapons at his disposal. This team has the talent to contend.

Will 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 would have taken Alvin Karmara at 1.01. The Saints are at home, heavily favored and projected to score almost 30 points this week. Taking the Saints running back was a no brainer for me this week. Kareem Hunt was not a guy that I targeted, but I was surprised to find him here. I would have preferred to take running backs at home but Hunt is going to do well this year and I think he’ll be a nice safety blanket for the Chiefs this week. While having a tight end is not required, Rob Gronkowski is a great pick this week because the Patriots are down a couple pass catchers this week and I think Gronk has a chance to score a touchdown. At quarterback, I wanted to wait till the 4th round and Newton was a decent choice. Playing at home against a banged up Dallas team that may struggle this year didn’t turn out so bad. I was hoping that Brady or Watson fell this far but they did not.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Kareem Hunt. The Chiefs are on the road and an underdog to a strong division rival. New offensive coordinator and new quarterback. I’m hoping that there are a lot of dump balls and swing passes that Hunt can take advantage of. I think the rest of my roster has a decent shot to be the top scoring player at their position. Hunt is my weakest link.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
It’s hard to talk about value in a six person, five round draft. However, I think given the fact that the top wide receivers for this week were already gone by the time I was ready to take my first receiver, I think Gronkowski was a nice alternative to following the crowd and taking A.J. Green or Davante Adams. Finding Odell Beckham Jr Jr. still available with my last pick is a close second, but Gronk feels like a sure thing to me this week and landing him as my first receiver was pretty lucky.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who would it be and why?
If I could have added another running back in this draft, I’d have targeted Alex Collins or Dalvin Cook. Both are home and heavily favored against their opponents. Both should see 20 touches or so for the game and both have a decent shot at 100 yards from scrimmage and possibly a touchdown. Had I taken a wide receiver in the 2nd round left running back to my final pick, I’d have been happy with either of those two guys at 5.02.

dan hindery - SLOT 3

Overview - Dan went with a running back-heavy approach selecting David Johnson and Christian McCaffrey in the first two rounds. This enabled him to concentrate on receiver and quarterback to conclude his draft picks. Dan Selected A.J. Green in round three, followed by Deshaun Watson in round four and lastly Tyreek Hill to conclude his draft. As mentioned prior, Green is the second-ranked wide receiver this week, in large part due to the matchup against the Colts weak secondary. This unit is one that will likely be exploited all season long. Green will have the first crack against this defense and as the sixth receiver off the board, it presents great value. Deshaun Watson will face a Patriots defense that has some holes. A positive game script favoring the passing game makes Watson a strong candidate to finish with high numbers. Tyreek Hill has shown good chemistry with Patrick Mahomes, however the Chargers pass rush may keep deep routes at bay. Hill is the 9th ranked wide receiver this week and he was the 10th off the board, which is decent value.

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?
It is a strange week in that running back and wide receiver are both at least 12 deep with strong options. I focused on tiers. With the uncertainty surrounding Le’Veon Bell, the top tier of running backs for me is three deep. It made the 1.03 an easy pick once Gurley and Kamara were gone.
The toughest choice was whether to draft a wide receiver or running back in the second round. I was just slightly more comfortable with the final-round wide receiver options (guys like Tyreek Hill and Stefon Diggs) than I was the running backs, so I opted for Christian McCaffrey over Michael Thomas.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Deshaun Watson is the key for my chances this week. He has massive upside given his rushing ability and proven potential to pile up the passing touchdowns. He also has a fantastic matchup against a mediocre New England defense in a game which should be very high scoring.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
Deshaun Watson was my favorite value. Sure, quarterback is deep. But so are the other positions this week. Watson showed such a massive ceiling last season, he can easily be a week winner. He scored 34+ fantasy points in 3-of-4 games before tearing his ACL and looks ready to pick up where he left off based upon his strong preseason performance.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who would it be and why?
Chris Hogan is a great play this week. He is the clear #1 wide receiver and by a good margin over #2 Phillip Dorsett. He is a lock to see a healthy amount of targets, which gives him a high floor, and also has the deep speed to hit a long touchdown.

justin howe - SLOT 4

Overview - Unlike the others, Justin took a different approach to the early part of the draft, taking two receivers in Antonio Brown and DeAndre Hopkins. These two are projected in the Top 3 wide receivers this week. Taking the plunge at wide receiver early means running backs could be hard to come by. Justin wound up with Saquon Barkley in round four and Dalvin Cook in round five with Drew Brees sandwiched in between. The running backs dried up quickly after Kareem Hunt. Even though four receivers were selected before Justin's third pick, Barkley was the best available as the 10th running back off the board. He's projected as the 7th ranked running back this week, so that's decent value, despite the tough draw against Jacksonville. Dalvin Cook has a home game against the 49ers defense and as the 12th back off the board, he's ranked 10th. If Barkley can produce against a stout Jaguars defense, this team has an opportunity to surprise.

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?
I also entered this planning to attack running back with my first two picks. But I kept finding myself behind the ball on value. The top runners predictably flew off the board first, and I didn't super-want to invest in Elliott on the road against a stout front. So I opted for Brown, who's never NOT the week's top option and a real 10-catch threat. I surprisingly did the same in Round 2, bypassing Cook, Hunt, and Barkley for another mega-usage receiver. I want to emphasize that I REALLY prefer opening this format with two high-usage backs. But Brown and Hopkins aren't merely dynamic plays - they boast similarly great volume as those backs, and if the value falls off a cliff, the value falls off a cliff.


2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Unless I'm chasing a particular guy to stack, it's rare I chase a quarterback before Round 5 of these DRAFTs. But with numerous similar running backs left, I took a shot on Brees in the fourth this time. I didn't want to stack Hopkins with Watson right off the bat; rather, I chased the guy facing the Buccaneers' barely-there defense. Thus, my week will be largely determined by the shape of the Saints offense. Last year, with the running game erupting like lava, Brees fell below 293 yards and 2.0 touchdowns a game for the first time since his second year in New Orleans. But he remained deadly efficient, so whatever is drawn up for him, Michael Thomas, and Alvin Kamara in the passing game should be maximized. This was akin to a single-entry GPP stab, and I like its upside. Of course, it helps that I was able to grab Cook a round later. I might feel differently about this pick if forced to play James Conner.


3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
I had initially viewed Cook as an equal to the Barkley/Hunt types - in fact, I published his spotlight this summer for the season-long crowd and came off sounding like his mom. But as the season has approached, I've cooled on his early outlook. The Vikings have little incentive to run their second-year monster into the ground; while I don't worry a bit about Cook's workload in Week 8, I'm much iffier for the opener. They don't have any dynamism behind him, but they have an experienced, fall-forward grinder, one who, like Cook, catches passes and succeeds in short yardage. All told, Cook is a risky Week 1 play but boasts too much upside to turn your nose up at five times. I love the fact that, even if his volume is so-so ("only" 15-18 touches), he showcased enough versatility and explosiveness last year that he still has a path to points.


4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who would it be and why?
As James pointed out, the running back depth was so wild I'm glad I waited for my RB2. That won't last long, of course - the pool will start to narrow soon. But if I'd been able to add Jordan Howard to this team, I'd be on cloud nine.

keith roberts - SLOT 5

Overview - After Antonio Brown was selected 4th overall, Keith shifted his plan to running back taking Ezekiel Elliott, followed by Melvin Gordon III in round two. Taking two running backs in the first two rounds is a solid strategy, especially if you can find a good receiver in round three. On the 3-4 turn he scooped up Travis Kelce followed byTom Brady. He finished his draft with T.Y. Hilton. When Kelce was selected, six receivers were already off the board. The next best receiver was Davante Adams who projects as the 7th ranked wide receiver with 13.8 points. Kelce is slightly behind that at 13.0 points. The decision here doesn't appear to be that much a concern. Both are good picks at this point of the draft. There is no fault in taking Kelce here. Tom Brady was the second quarterback selected in this draft behind Aaron Rodgers. Projections have Deshaun Watson a two tenths of a point higher, but taking Brady over Watson is a preference call. Ironically, they will face each other this week. T.Y. Hilton is also a preference call. The colts may wind up passing a ton this year which favors Hilton. The matchup at home against Cincinnati is inviting which makes this a worthy pick. Additional options could've been Adam Thielen, Larry Fitzgerald, JuJu Smith-Schuster or Brandin Cooks.

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?
I went in here expecting to prioritize running backs in heavy usage situations, and I am pleased with the results. The entire Cowboys offense should run through Ezekiel Elliott, who is one of the best natural runners in the game. With some new faces in the Dallas receiving group, I would expect Prescott to lean heavily on Elliott here with that offense running almost entirely through Elliott. Melvin Gordon III was a close second to Elliott for me even as a consideration in the first round. This Chargers-Chiefs game has shootout written all over it, and with the potential absence of Eric Berry, there will be even more opportunity for Gordon to get to the second level on the ground while hauling in some dump-offs in the middle of the field. I also wanted to wait just long enough on quarterback to still get one of, and I saw that value at receiver drop off after my pick of Kelce in Round 3, which prompted my selection of Tom Brady. I had Rodgers higher, but Brady as the next best option, so I was happy overall with the way things played out.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
The flyer for me is my final round selection T.Y. Hilton. I picked Hilton here with memories of his success with Andrew Luck on the field. In their last full season together, Hilton led the league in receiving yards with big play after big play on a routine basis. Hilton still showed his big play upside last season but was one of the most inconsistent lead receivers in the game. He faces a Bengals secondary that can easily be beaten by speed and projects to see most snaps against their weakest cornerback, Dre Kirkpatrick. If Hilton can muster a few big plays, I like my chances here. On the flip side, if he posts another single-digit stinker like he did in over half of his games last season, my lineup will be toast.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
I like the value on Melvin Gordon III as seventh running back off the board. I could easily see Gordon putting up numbers placing him amongst the top 3 running backs of the week with this matchup against a weak Chiefs defense. While Gordon has never been the most efficient runner, he has put up solid touchdown numbers as the clear goal-line option for the Chargers. Gordon also amassed career-high target and reception totals last year with his coaching staff quoted on their desire to further increase Gordon’s involvement in the passing game. The Chiefs have no special run defenders to speak of and could be without Eric Berry on the field, so the door is wide open for Gordon to make an impact all over the field this week.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who would it be and why?
Now knowing the drama unfolding by the hour with Le'Veon Bell, I actually would love to roster James Conner. He is in a prime matchup against the Browns, which should lead to a favorable game script if the Steelers can get out in front early. Conner has looked sharp throughout camp with very heavy usage in preseason Week 3 tune-up. As we have seen in the past during Bell’s absences, any running back in this Steelers system can have huge success (cue DeAngello Williams, top scoring fantasy running back in Week 1 2016 without Bell). Conner has the skill set both as a runner and a receiver to do some damage, and he should have the opportunity this week as it looks unlikely as of this minute for Bell to suit up on Sunday.

SEAN SETTLE - SLOT 6

Overview: Sean took the bait selecting Leveon Bell on the second half of the 1-2 turn where he took Leonard Fournette with the first pick. The big question this week is whether or not Bell will suit up and play. He has not set foot on the field at all this offseason or preseason and many believe he will hold out into the season, beginning with Week 1. Selecting Bell is a risk, and as we get closer to the weekend, that risk grows. Bell has a doubtful status at the current time, which according to DRAFT roster rules, makes him inelegible to swap. If you elect to draft Bell, you're at high risk for receiving a zero for that pick. Aside from the questionable Bell pick, I liked how Sean assembled his team going strong at running back to begin the draft, followed by a stack of Davante Adams and the top quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. The last pick of Stefon Diggs is a throw-in pick at receiver and depending on who you ask, he's arguably a potential gem this week at home against the 49ers defense.

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?
Drafting out of the last spot makes having a strategy very tough. Not knowing what direction guys in front of you are going to go will make you change your plans several times. After watching the top 4 running backs come off the board and the top receiving option I knew that I needed to strike early with a running back. Fournette will be taking on a revamped and healthy Giants team but is still in line for 20+ touches and the bulk of any goal line work. Taking Le'Veon Bell was a huge risk this week with his ongoing hold out. He is easily the top pick without the ambiguity of his role this weekend but seemed worth the risk in the second round. From there it was all about stacking the best available WR/QB combo possible. I watched as Michael Thomas and DeAndre Hopkins came off the board and when it finally got to me I still was able to grab the top quarterback option in Aaron Rodgers and his top receiving option with Davante Adams. I was surprised they both fell to me at this point and I just had to round out my team with the best receiving option left in Stefon Diggs. My strategy was based entirely off what happened in front of me and worked very well this week.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Le'Veon Bell is going to make or break me this week. The reports out of Pittsburgh are not great this week regarding Bell. His holdout and contract squabble have rubbed a lot of people the wrong way and there is no telling how much or if he will even play at all in week one. Historically he has owned the Browns, but also had his lowest rush output of the season last year against them with 47 yards. Pulling Bell in the second round is the kind of value we all dream of, but it could also result in a large 0 for me this week if things do not get resolved.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
With the last pick it is very easy to score some value because of the back to back picks. It makes taking Aaron Rodgers in the fourth round or LeVeon in the second round look so much better. However, the best value for me came in the back to back picks of Adams and Rodgers. To take the top-rated quarterback for the week and his top receiving option who is also rated as a top 10 receiver for the week is rare. The double points for touchdowns and yards here and the overall favorable matchup for both players resulted in the best value this week across the board.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who would it be and why?
Continuing over from my best value picks in Rodgers and Adams, if I could take one more TE it would have to be Jimmy Graham. I already have a premiere stack, but by adding one of the top red zone threats in the entire NFL would make it that much better. I would increase my chances of double touchdown points and add a very versatile player that his clicked with his new quarterback since joining the Packers. Most people would say do not put all your eggs in one basket, but in this case it could payoff big.

PROJECTIONS PREDICT THE WINNER

Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to haseley@footballguys.com