Footballguys Staff Six-Person DRAFT Mock: Week 4

Evaluating a six-peron DRAFT mock for Week 4. Each participant answers questions about their strategy and picks. 

Six Footballguys staff completed a 6-man Week 4 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 4 DRAFT:

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

DRAFT RESULTS

DRAFT EVALUATION

keith roberts - SLOT 1

Overview - Keith has two top projected players at their position this week in Alvin Kamara and Travis Kelce. Both happened to be his first two picks in the draft. He followed that up with Mike Evans as the 7th receiver off the board and 9th in projections. Matt Breida was an interesting pick for his second running back and 10th running back off the board. Breida is ranked 22nd in projected running backs this week. Leonard Fournette (undrafted) may have been a better option than Breida, but you play to win, and you make your own decisions in the process. There's a reason Keith selected Breida and it could result in him smelling like a rose at the end of the week. Keith selected Philip Rivers for his quarterback as the 5th off the board. He is projected 7th this 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?
The strategy is made easier with the top pick as it was clear to start with Alvin Kamara. I had hoped to stack Travis Kelce with Patrick Mahomes on the turn, but Will busted that plan with the first-round selection of Mahomes, allowing me to complete only half of my plan. I was satisfied to get Evans at that value though given his consistency and high ceiling in what has been the highest-flying offense in the league. With the first overall pick, one thing I usually like to do is wait until my last pick for running back due to the typical drop-off in value after the first 6-8 backs are taken. I took a risk on Breida here, but hopefully, my perceived game script will pay dividends!

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
the fourth round as the tenth running back off the board, but that bet was based on the game script I anticipate in that bout between the 49ers and Chargers. San Francisco’s offense took a hit with the loss of Jimmy Garoppolo, and Breida’s rushing upside is certainly impacted. However, replacement quarterback C.J. Beathard loves to dump it off to running backs as we saw from his handful of starts last season along with his time with Iowa in college. With the 49ers at double-digit underdogs on the road in Los Angeles, I am certainly predicting a pass-heavy approach that will heavily involve Breida as he will see the majority of snaps compared to Alfred Morris.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
I am honestly not excited about the value I received on any of my players as I did reach on a few picks in Breida and Kelce due to the strategy I was employing this week. This is a corny answer, but I will have to say Kamara is my best value at the top pick. With no Todd Gurley on this slate, Kamara was the clear-cut top running back option in a tier by himself. He is in a game on the road against the Giants with a 50-point total that has shootout potential. Kamara may not be the best runner, but he doesn’t need to be with 20 targets coming his way. He has not scored in the past two weeks, but Kamara is always a threat for multiple touchdowns and over 100 total yards and should easily pay off his top pick price here.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who would it be and why?
I was extremely tempted to pull the trigger on drafting two tight ends this week. Zach Ertz is in a great spot this week against the Titans secondary. Safety Kenny Vaccaro should have no chance of guarding Ertz here, who has double-digit targets in all three outings this season. While Dallas Goedert is running more routes and had a big game last week, Ertz remains the focal point of this offense that lacks playmakers on the passing game right now. Carson Wentz now has one game under his belt and should have no problem against the Titans defense with Zach Ertz at the center of his attention.

dan hindery - SLOT 2

Overview: Dan drafted a solid team with high projected players with each pick. He started off with Saquon Barkley as the #2 overall pick and followed him up with David Johnson in the second round. Johnson was the 5th running back selected and is ranked 7th this week in projections. Both of Dan's backs have home games which is an extra added bonus that sometimes gets forgotten in the draft process. Running backs at home tend to receive more touches and perform better overall. Dan elected to go with DeAndre Hopkins and Deshaun Watson stack with his fourth and fifth picks. The 0-3 Texans will face an underwhelming Colts secondary that doesn't scare anyone. To round out the draft, Dan picked Rob Gronkowski who has a home game against the undefeated Dolphins. The Patriots have struggled to get going this year, but perhaps a home game with a big opponent is all that's needed to right the ship?

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 the depth at quarterback and wide receiver was there this week and just a little bit lacking at running back, so my priority was to lock up a pair of top running backs. The problem with drafting at 1.02 though is that there isn’t a clear #2 back this week behind Alvin Kamara (Todd Gurley is off the main slate due to playing Thursday). It felt like a coin flip between Saquon Barkley, Melvin Gordon III, and Ezekiel Elliott. I broke the tie in favor of Barkley due to his extreme pass game usage (averaging 9.0 targets per game). I also wanted to try to stack my top wide receiver and quarterback. The Deshaun Watson-DeAndre Hopkins pairing isn’t my favorite pairing of the week, but still has week-winning upside in a decent matchup against the Colts.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Drafting David Johnson at 2.05 was a risky decision. It could either pay off handsomely or blow up in my face. The risk is what we have seen from Johnson in the first three games (averaging just under 60 total yards per game) is what we can expect going forward. It wouldn’t surprise me if he has another mediocre fantasy performance in Week 4. However, Johnson does have real upside in this spot. It is worth remembering Johnson and the Cardinals have faced two of the nastiest defensive fronts in the league the last two weeks (Rams and Bears) and it is reasonable to expect he will fare better when facing more pedestrian defensive lines. With all of the losses along the defensive front, Seattle now has a mediocre line. The Seahawks allowed 145 rushing yards to both the Dallas and Denver running backs already this season. Johnson has 100+ yard, multi-touchdown upside in Week 4.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
I liked getting DeAndre Hopkins in the third round. He comes with a great floor, having seen 10+ targets and managing at least 6 catches in every game this season. Along with the strong floor, we need to remember Hopkins’ upside as well. While his 6-110-1 line was strong in Week 2, we still haven’t seen any of the crazy fantasy performances he put up last season. Hopkins had multiple games of 30+ fantasy points last season and still has the same sort of week-winning upside that made him one of the top-ranked receivers coming into the season.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who would it be and why?
Leonard Fournette went undrafted, which is understandable since we don’t have much clarity as to his availability. However, DRAFT allows you to select a replacement if he is reported to be out, so the risk is lessened. The upside is certainly there. Fournette is an elite talent in a great matchup, facing a Jets defense that just allowed 23.3 points to Carlos Hyde last week.

james brimacombe - SLOT 3

Overview - The first four picks in this draft were running backs which includes James' pick of Melvin Gordon III as the third overall pick. Gordon also happens to be ranked 3rd this week in projections. Instead of picking his second running back in the second round, James elected to go with Julio Jones who has a home game against Cincinnati. Backs on the board at this pick included David Johnson, James Conner, Giovani Bernard, etc. In skipping a running back in the second round, James was betting on the teams ahead of him to take a receiver. Three of four wound up doing just that, leaving James Conner available for James' third-round pick. Sometimes you luck out, sometimes skill is involved. In this case, it may have been a little of both. Conner was the 6th back off the board and is ranked 6th this week. He finished his draft with Davante Adams and Matt Ryan, who stacks with Julio Jones. Adams looks like a good matchup on paper at home against Buffalo, but he's ranked 16th this week in the Footballguys Lineup Optimizer rankings. We'll see how this lineup shakes up. there's definitely some opportunity there for a high finish, especially if Matt Ryan can finally connect with Julio Jones in the end zone for the first time this season.

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?
Much like most weeks I want to hit the running back position hard right off the bat and usually like to grab my two backs by the third round at least. I did just that with Melvin Gordon III in the first and James Conner in the third round. Wide Receiver it is all about volume and I feel Julio Jones and Davante Adams are two players that see their fair share of targets and have touchdown upside every week. At quarterback, I like to wait until the last round an either go with one of the quarterbacks I can pair and stack with one of my receivers and that was easy this week as I had the choice of either Matt Ryan or Aaron Rodgers and went with Ryan at home in a possible shootout to pair with Julio Jones.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Julio Jones is the guy that will make or break me as yes, the volume is there and the catches also but the fact that he continues to struggle to find the end zone is a bit of a concern. I still like the risk in going with Jones in this spot with the home matchup and with a high over/under but for a second-round pick it does put you down somewhat if he doesn’t find the end zone.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
I think James Conner remains an underrated asset in the DRAFT format right now. He is not being considered a top 5 type, of back by drafters and the volume is certainly there for him and with a matchup against the Ravens he will be in line for another high production day. If you can draft Conner in the third round in these 6-man drafts you will have a huge edge against your competition is my solid belief.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who would it be and why?
Jarvis Landry is the name that I would have been fine taking instead of Davante Adams. Landry is in line for WR1 type of performances moving forward and with Baker Mayfield now taking over a quarterback I think he will see an increase in targets and really move up the WR ranks in the upcoming weeks. He is a great last round WR play on 6-man drafts this week.

sean settle - SLOT 4

Overview - Looking at Sean's team, it's hard to find a bad selection. Giovani Bernard, who is filling in for the injured Joe Mixon, is getting a lot of looks and has done fairly well filling the void. Perhaps Leonard Fournette may have been a better option here? At the time of the draft on Tuesday night, it was not known that Fournette would be a go for this week, so I'll cut Sean (and others) some slack on not drafting him, but the chances of Fournette scoring over Bernard seem much higher. Examining Sean's picks - Ezekiel Elliott and Michael Thomas are excellent picks in the first and second round. I mentioned the Bernard pick in the third round. It's a decent pick, but he needs his backs to score. Hopefully Bernard finds the end zone for him. Drew Brees in round five pairs with Michael Thomas giving Sean an excellent Saints stack. JuJu Smith-Schuster is ranked 10th this week, likely due to the matchup against Baltimore, but he's capable of putting up big numbers on a prolific offense. Baltimore and Pittsburgh tend to play close games against each other and could wind up being fairly low scoring based off other opponents Pittsburgh has faced.

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?
This week I really wanted to get back to my QB/WR stack that I normally go with as well as really paying attention to injury reports. I ended up with a last-place finish last week after Dalvin Cook was ruled out late in the week and that was just not acceptable. I managed to snag Elliot with my top choice as he is projected to have one of the heaviest workloads of the week. I had him ranked as third and was very happy that he was still sitting there at 4. From there I paired Brees and Thomas who have averaged 10 catches and 100+ yards per game this season. Bernard is still going to start for Cincinnati and he gets an Atlanta defense that has been ravaged by injury. I closed out with Ju-Ju because of the high upside and knowing that Pittsburgh wants to make a statement with a division win this week.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
This week is going to come down to Giovani Bernard. Cincinnati could get behind early against a high-powered Atlanta offense and his usage would go way down. He is going to see an RB1 type of usage if the game script allows it. If the Bengals can stay close it will make my entire team that much better.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
The best value has to come in the form of Michael Thomas being the third receiver off the board. With the numbers he has put up through the first 3 weeks, he was easily my top choice. I would have gone as far as taking him in the first round if Elliot had not been there. With an average of 10 catches, 100+ yards, and a touchdown through the first three games, Thomas was a very easy choice and great value even in the second round.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who would it be and why?
If I could take one other guy it would be Emmanuel Sanders from Denver. He is playing a Kansas City defense that has not really been able to stop anyone and is slowly overtaking Demaryius Thomas as the feature receiver in that offense. With Thomas’ struggles, a poor KC defense, and the volume Sanders already sees, it is a recipe for a big game.

will grant - SLOT 5

Overview - For the second week in a row, Patrick Mahomes was selected in the first round. So far, he has proven that pick to be a wise one. This week's matchup at Denver on Monday night will be a true test for Mahomes. Will elected to wait on running back while securing Tyreek Hill in the second round, who stacks with Mahomes. Keenan Allen has been a mild disappointment this season, but a breakout game can come any moment, perhaps this week at home against the 49ers? Will selected his first back in the fourth round taking Jordan Howard, the 10th back off the board and 8th ranked running back this week. That's good value, especially waiting until round four. For his last pick, he selected Lamar Miller who projects as the 15th ranked running back. Other backs on the board at the time included Leonard Fournette, Kenyan Drake, Carlos Hyde or even Sony Michel. Miller is due for a big game and this week's opponent, Indianapolis could be the team that elevates his game.

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’ve been disappointed with my performance in this contest over the last several weeks. My usual model of waiting till the 4th round to grab a QB has landed me a lot of guys I was ‘targeting’ when I was drafting, but I’m still finishing in the bottom half of the league from week to week. In about 30% of the ‘real’ drafts that I play in, I see people taking Mahomes at the start and wanted to ‘test’ this approach against a group of strong players to see how things work out. I wanted to Mahomes with Hill or Kelce and after pulling #5, I decided to go with Tyreek Hill. I think San Diego is a good play this week and I was happy to get Allen as my second receiver at the end of the 3rd round.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
The key this week will be both Jordan Howard and Lamar Miller outperforming their projected totals. The massive downside of taking a quarterback early is that you pass up the top tier running backs. Stacking Mahomes with Hill put me in a serious hole at running back. For this gamble to work, I need Howard and Miller to really exceed their draft positions.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
Since I reached to get a QB early, most of my draft is ‘upside down’ compared to type typical week. I was surprised to see Keenan Allen still available at 3.05 though and was happy to pick him up at that position. The running back talent drops off pretty quick this week and as you can see from the overall draft, ever team had at least one receiver by the time I picked again at 3.05 and two teams had both receivers at that point. While I wanted to grab a running back here, Allen was too good to pass up at that spot. As a side note – I broke the #1 rule of DRAFT at this point and lost track of what the teams around me were doing. Had I realized that Justin had taken both of his receivers by this point, I’d have passed on Allen and taken Tevin Coleman, knowing Allen would have been available at my next pick. This was a mistake on my part.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who would it be and why?
Kenyan Drake would be a guy I’d target for my team this week. I am a little weak at running back and Drake has some decent upside against the Patriots. New England is allowing 143 yards per game on the ground and Drake is flying under the radar now because the Dolphins have not been running the ball much. If Drake is going to have a breakout game, it will be against the Patriots this week.

Justin howe - SLOT 6

Overview: As we often see, the 6th slot is prime for a top pick at receiver. Justin selected Odell Beckham Jr Jr. with his first pick, who also was the first receiver selected in the draft. Rankings have Michael Thomas #1 and Beckham #2 this week. Justin decided on Beckham over Thomas. Why? Coincidentally, they face each other. The Saints have given up a ton of passing yards, especially to wide receivers. They are far and away the worst team in fantasy points against to wide receivers. Opponents average 3.0 touchdowns per game to wide receivers. Again, this heavily favors Beckham. Did Justin make the right decision? The stats back up his pick. With the second pick in the 1-2 turn, Justin selected Antonio Brown, giving him a powerful 1-2 punch at receiver. He was able to grab Tevin Coleman in round three, who projects as the 11th ranked running back this week. He finished the draft with Ben Roethlisberger and Kareem Hunt. Roethlisberger gives Justin a stack with Antonio Brown, which is rarely a bad decision. Kareem Hunt is coming off a two-score game and faces a tough Broncos defense on Monday night. If Justin's backs hit with a score or two and his receivers don't disappoint, he could wind up finishing the week on top.

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?
None of the running backs I wanted to build around fell, so I had to become the trendsetter at wide receiver. It's another deep, dynamic grab bag of receivers this week, so I decided I was fine trying to corner the market as best as I could with two picks. Beckham was an easy call; the Saints can't defend anyone, and Beckham is looking at a target boost with Evan Engram out. Brown made for awesome value next - he's the first receiver chosen in virtually any week - and I had the firepower I'd wanted. Of course, this kind of approach only works when you're able to fill in your running back slots adequately later, and I think I did.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Oddly enough, I think it's Brown. There's a nonzero chance Brown is on a path to be equaled in attention by JuJu Smith-Schuster in most weeks. Smith-Schuster is so dominant in the slot that Brown's inside-and-out versatility may not be the same going forward. And it means he'll see mostly Brandon Carr in Week 4, while Smith-Schuster takes on the Ravens' weak slot men. I wasn't crazy about taking Brown here on DRAFT night, as Smith-Schuster carries more value down the board. But what a bargain for Brown.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
I know the matchup is daunting, but there's no legitimate reason for Hunt to have fallen to the last pick of the draft. As the touch leader in such a juggernaut offense, he shouldn't have been there for me. It really tied my receiver-heavy approach together; a workhorse and goal-line demon like Hunt made for third-round value in my eyes. (Yes, it was hard for me to pass on him myself in Round 4, but I wanted to stack Steelers.)

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who would it be and why?
As Dan mentioned, I really wanted to fit Leonard Fournette onto this roster. He would've made for just as much value as Hunt in Round 5, if not more. The problem was that, while his DRAFTers could swap him if he's declared out, there's not a particularly sexy sub-in to pivot to. T.J. Yeldon wouldn't be a particularly stable play, and guys like Kenyan Drake are hit-or-miss, so the value in Fournette doesn't exactly shoot through the roof. Still, it's a shame to see such strategic value go completely untouched.

PROJECTIONS PREDICT THE WINNER

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