Footballguys Staff Six-Person DRAFT Mock: Week 8

Evaluating a six-peron DRAFT mock for Week 8. Each participant answers questions about their strategy and picks. 

Six Footballguys staff completed a 6-man Week 8 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 Keith Roberts
1.03 Will Grant
1.04 James Brimacombe
1.05 Sean Settle
1.06 Dan Hindery

DRAFT RESULTS

DRAFT EVALUATION

JUSTIN HOWE- SLOT 1

Overview - Justin finished with the second highest projected total based off the Week 8 Lineup Optimizer. All of his picks have a Top 10 projected finish and he has Todd Gurley and a stack of Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown at home vs. Cleveland in his arsenal. While the stack sounds good on paper, the Browns are in the Top 3 in defensive pass efficiency and they may be a quiet stopper against the Steelers offense. This battle is a key matchup that could be the determining factor in how much success Justin has this week. His picks include Todd Gurley vs GB (round 1), Alvin Kamara at MIN (round 2), Antonio Brown vs CLE (round 3), Stefon Diggs vs NO (round 4) and Ben Roethlisberger vs CLE (round 5). Justin crafted a strong lineup, but the key will be how well Pittsburgh finds success against the surprising Browns defense.

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 usual, the goal was to roster a pair of high-usage running backs to lock in a floor, then look to build a ceiling through upside receivers. That only works when there are enough viable RB1 candidates on the board, and I lucked out by landing the last of them, Kamara. That left me with two wideout spots to fill, and I was thrilled for them to be Brown and Diggs, both usage monsters with constant splash-play ability. As James pointed out, duds from those running backs can kill you, so slam-dunk usage outlooks are important. A guy like T.J. Yeldon, for example, wouldn't fit as well there.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
My week will probably come down to the Roethlisberger-Brown connection, which is as dynamic as they come but carries some degree of downside. Roethlisberger's floor isn't very encouraging, and while Brown remains the game's best, he's not quite the volume dominator he usually is. There's a very, very clear path to this duo blowing up for 180 yards and 2 scores. But it's no sure thing.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
Obviously, landing Brown in Round 3 is a strange and wonderful feeling. But going deeper, it's Diggs, who doesn't get the fantasy love a guy averaging 10.5 targets should. That's fair, of course. Diggs has posted three great games, three clunkers, and a so-so. He isn't quite Kirk Cousins' top option, and he's been far less efficient than Adam Thielen. But that's an unfair and irrelevant comparison to make here, because Thielen was long gone and no one in that draft tier projects solidly to double-digit targets in every matchup. I could've gone for JuJu Smith-Schuster or Robert Woods, both of whom carry great ceilings, but I almost always chase volume over a splash-play outlook. So I was thrilled to land Diggs here.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who was not drafted, who would it be and why?
The guys are right - it's Brandin Cooks. He's always a threat to chase down 100 yards and a long score without needing a ton of opportunity to attain it. Yes, I chase volume over splash plays, but this is Round 6 territory here. It's the time and place for an upside stab at a guy with blowup potential, due to his offense or his matchup or both. The Rams are just about as dynamic as they come, and the Packers make for an extremely inviting date.

KEITH ROBERTS - SLOT 2

Overview: Like Justin, Keith finished with a team where all of his selected players have Top 10 projected rank. He has the third highest projected score this week with strengths at every position with a wildcard pick of Marlon Mack as his second running back. Mack wasn't fully healthy until Week 6 where he displayed his ability to the tune of 89 yards rushing. Week 7 he eclipsed that with over 150 yards and two scores. This week's matchup against Oakland is decent and could yield more positive results. Looking back at Keith's draft, he selected Saquon Barkley vs WAS (round 1), A.J. Green vs TB (round 2), Tyreek Hill vs DEN (round 3), Kirk Cousins *(round 4), and the aforementioned Mack in round 5. This team has promise and could be a surprise winner on the top platform at week's end, especially if Mack can continue where he left off the last two games.

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?
Saquon Barkley was the no-doubter with the second pick again this week. I had a few deep running backs in mind, so I knew I would want to grab a couple quality receivers at the turn in Rounds 2 and 3. I was happy with the selection of both Tyreek Hill and AJ Green in quality matchups and likely high-scoring games. I had my eye on Aaron Rodgers at the end of the fourth round, but Will sniped him from me which forced me to take Kirk Cousins. I rounded it out with Marlon Mack, who will be the defining player on my roster despite his last-round selection.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Marlon Mack as my last pick in the draft will make or break my week here. Mack exploded last week the best game of his career as he notched a couple touchdowns with over 150 total yards. Mack has averaged nearly seven yards per rush attempt since returning from injury in Week 6. The Raiders are giving up nearly five yards per carry to running backs and have shown to have problems tackling for most of this season on defense. If the Colts can jump out to a lead and feed the ball to Mack, he very well could be set up for a huge week.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
Despite him being the fourth receiver off the board, I was pleased with the value on Tyreek Hill. He has been a key cog in the Chiefs offense with the most receiving touchdowns in the league and one of the highest ceilings of any player. Hill is squaring off against a Broncos secondary that has struggled at times this season, and Hill hauled in a season-high nine receptions in their last meeting. Hill has had historical success against this defense, and in what looks to be a relatively high scoring affair, he should be primed for a repeat this week.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who would it be and why?
I would not mind taking a shot at Phillip Lindsay in a prime matchup with Kansas City. That defense has been terrible but improving against the pass in recent weeks. They have not, however, improved against the run as the Chiefs have been gashed on multiple occasions, including allowing nearly 150 rushing yards to the Broncos earlier in the season. Lindsay has been explosive in every game this season despite the limited workload. With Royce Freeman battling a high ankle sprain and unlikely to play, Lindsay could finally see a hefty workload this week, which very well could vault him into the RB1 category when it is all said and done.

will grant - SLOT 3

Overview - Will has the highest projected score this week at 86.0 with strengths at every position. The only concern is from a matchup stance of New Orleans (Mark Ingram II) at Minnesota. We've seen the Saints offense thrive against all levels of opponents, but this is not a favorable matchup for Ingram, who was Will's last pick in the draft. Ingram is projected as the 14th ranked running back this week and was the 11th running off the board. Overall, it's not a bad pick, but waiting for the last round to pick his second running back may have been a mistake. This rest of this team may make up for any lost value from Ingram, and if Ingram scores or has a decent game, this low point is moot. Looking back at Will's draft, he selected James White at BUF (round 1), Adam Thielen vs NO (round 2), Odell Beckham Jr Jr. vs WAS (round 3), Aaron Rodgers at LAR (round 4), and Mark Ingram II at MIN (round 5).

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?
Drafting from the 3rd position, I knew I’d be able to snag a decent running back to start the draft. No shocker to me, I had James White ranked #3 and that’s who I ended up with. New England against Buffalo? No competition from Sony Michel? Definitely happy I landed him at #3. My second-round pick was set to be the best available player and after seeing eight running backs fly off the board, Adam Thielen was a no-brainer pick. Thielen has been rock solid these last few weeks and against the soft New Orleans defense, I like his chances this week. The rest of the way I planned to go best available player and that landed me Odell Beckham Jr Jr and Mark Ingram II. Aaron Rodgers was my top quarterback this week so to nail him in the 4th was great.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Ingram is the key to victory or another finish out of the money. Minnesota defense has been hot and cold this season, and with Kamara going in the late second round, taking Ingram is risky. I’m hoping that they split time enough for Ingram to be worth it for me as my second running back.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
Landing Adam Thielen in the second round was a big value pick. I have him as the top wide receiver this week after his performance the last couple weeks. He’s had over 100 yards receiving in every game this season and has a touchdown in five of seven games. To land him as the 1st receiver off the board in the middle of the second round was a huge value.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who was not drafted, who would it be and why?
Philip Lindsay had a huge game last week against the Cardinals, and this week he faces the worst defense in the league – the Kansas City Chiefs. The Broncos are going to need Lindsay to have another big game if they hope to beat the Chiefs on their home turf, and given the risk that I have a running back with Ingram, I’d be happy to take Lindsay as my next pick.

james brimacombe- SLOT 4

Overview - James has a good team on paper, but he does have a few tough matchups in his lineup, namely Christian Mccaffrey vs Baltimore, and JuJu Smith-Schuster vs Cleveland. The rushing matchup against Cleveland is favorable, which bodes well for his first round pick, James Conner, but the passing matchup for Smith-Schuster has some concern. The rest of James' draft includes Davante Adams at LAR (round 3) and Drew Brees at MIN (round 5). Normally you don't see many running back / receiver stacks, because game scripts and rush/pass matchups tend to favor one over the other. James is obviously hoping for a big Steelers offensive output coming off their bye, but that may not be the case. Cleveland has allowed only two touchdown passes in the last three games and presents a tough obstacle for the Steelers passing game. Conner erupted against the Browns in the season opener, so he may have another strong rushing outing. This team may need a big push from him if they are to compete 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?
The strategy this week was simple to just go RB/RB and follow it up with my favorite two WR’s and end it with whatever quarterback was remaining at the end. There have been a few dud running backs at the top of drafts over the last couple of weeks so this strategy may not be the best one out there currently as we are into the bye weeks and heavy injury part of the season. I like my combo of RBs in Conner and McCaffrey even if the matchup is not the best one this week. I like the value at wide receiver as well with Davonte Adams and JuJu Smith-Schuster and you can never go wrong with Drew Brees as your quarterback.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Christian McCaffrey against the Ravens doesn’t sound ideal especially coming off a week where he didn’t do much against the Eagles. McCaffrey could be game script proof in this one though as he will be used no matter what the score is and his pass-catching skills could come more into play than in past games. I will need a 15-20 touch game out of him with a touchdown or two to really build my roster into a winner this week.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
JuJu Smith-Schuster seems like a value to me in the fourth round in a division game where big plays will come into play and that is just the ceiling that Smith-Schuster brings. Most will be locking in Antonio Brown early and assuming he is the play this week but it will be hard to dismiss Smith-Schuster’s big play ability with potential at a long score.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who was not drafted, who would it be and why?
Kerryon Johnson is the guy I would want and if he is going to be available at the end of these 6-man drafts I think it is best to wait for your RB2 spot until later in the draft. Coming off of his most productive game of the year where he rushed for 158 yards and now gets a Seattle defense that has had issues against opposing running backs, makes for a great spot for Johnson this week, and you can play him with confidence.

sean settle - SLOT 5

Overview - Sean started his draft with Patrick Mahomes II, who has a home game vs Denver. Mahomes sets the table for this team and he may wind up being the hinge player that elevates this team into one of the top finishers. Sean drafted David Johnson in round 2, who has a home matchup against San Francisco. Johnson has played well recently and now has the benefit of a new offensive coordinator who will surely look to get him involved as much as possible. Sean drafted two receivers in his next two picks, taking Michael Thomas in round 3, followed by Robert Woods in round 4. Thomas has cooled down from his scorching hot start, but he scored last week and is a top target for Drew Brees. Woods will have the benefit of playing without Cooper Kupp, which increases his chances of more success. His last pick, Nick Chubb, is a wildcard pick who may fail to produce this week. Chubb is ranked 18th this week and could find struggles against the Steelers run defense who have given up only three rushing touchdowns to running backs this year with a high of 75 yards to any one back. Still, this team has Mahomes, so anything can happen.

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?
My strategies from recent weeks have not been working and I thought it was time to think outside the box and my own comfort zone. Mahomes at 1 is something I never thought I would do, let alone any quarterback, but he has done nothing but produce all season long. From there I realized I had already missed the run on running backs and needed to take one. I still have not given up on Johnson despite all of the negative stats. He has at least 1 big game in him and I am hoping it is this week. Michael Thomas and Robert Woods are high volume guys with huge upsides that I would be happy to have any week. Nick Chubb was my wild card. The Browns sent Carlos Hyde packing and have turned over the reins to Chubb already. He should get the workload to be effective again and is facing a Steelers defense that ranks near the bottom of the league.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
This week is going to boil down to David Johnson. He has not lived up to his potential thus far this season and has let down just about anyone who has drafted him. The Cardinals seem to be in total disarray, but maybe that will be enough for them to finally feature him in their game plan. He is the most dynamic player they have on that roster and should be treated as such.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
The best value comes from Michael Thomas in the third round. He had a bounce-back game last week with a touchdown and led the Saints in receiving yards again. The rushing attack stumbled a bit outside of 1 long run by Kamara and Thomas and Brees continued their high rate of connection. He is one of the top receivers in the league and it is surprising to see a player from that high-powered offense falling in the draft.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who was not drafted, who would it be and why?
If I could take one more player, it would be Brandin Cooks. He plays in that same high-powered offense as Robert Woods and is finally healthy from the devastating hit that knocked him out of a game earlier this season. He has just as much boom potential as any other receiver in that offense.

DAN HINDERY - SLOT 6

Overview: Dan has two stacks in his lineup this week. A Chiefs stack of Kareem Hunt and Travis Kelce vs Denver, and a Buccaneers quarterback/receiver stack of Jameis Winston and Mike Evans, who will face the Bengals on the road. The projected rankings are sour on Evans, who is ranked 19th this week, but Dan may be on to something. Cincinnati has allowed 300+ yards passing in five of their seven games, four of which were over 350 yards. Perhaps the Winston and Evans stack will come through in flying colors? We'll soon find out, but this could be a genius move by Dan. His other picks include Kareem Hunt vs Denver, Joe Mixon vs Tampa Bay and Travis Kelce vs Denver. If the Chiefs and Buccaneers put up high point totals, Dan could finish on top of the hill 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?
When I saw I drew the 6th spot again, I had a small pool of players I was considering at the 1/2 turn. I decided ahead of time I would go against my normal late-round QB strategy to take Mahomes if he was there. He went one pick ahead of me though. Kareem Hunt was an easy pick at 1.06 so my decision was between Joe Mixon and Adam Thielen at 2.01. I love Thielen this week and he was tough to pass on but I felt a lot better about the depth at the wide receiver position than the depth at running back, so I decided to go with Mixon and lock up two of my top backs early.

The depth at receiver again played heavily into my decision-making process at the 3-4 turn. Mike Evans was an easy choice at 3.06 against a bad Bengals pass defense so the real choice was whether to pair him with Jameis Winston or grab JuJu Smith-Schuster as my WR2. There were quite a few pass catchers I liked still on the board so I decided to stack Winston and Evans and wait until the final pick to add Travis Kelce.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Jameis Winston is the key to my hopes this week. I’d be shocked if he didn’t put up big yardage totals against this awful Bengals defense. Especially after Winston just produced back-to-back games of 395 and 365 passing yards. Winston is also adding value as a runner, with 15 carries for 86 yards and 1 touchdown over the last two weeks. The make or break number will be passing touchdowns. If he throws four as he did in Week 6, he should have a monster fantasy game. If the Buccaneers score on the ground like they did last week, he could have a more middling fantasy day.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
It feels weird to talk about value with a first round pick but I was surprised Kareem Hunt fell to 1.06. He has been an absolute monster of late on the league’s best offense. Over the past four games, he is averaging 25.6 DRAFT points per game. He has also been featured much more as a pass catcher, with 6 targets each of the last two games. As a huge 10-point home favorite with a 32.5-point team total, Kansas City is expected to roll over Denver and it sets up as an ideal game script for another huge week for Hunt.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who would it be and why?
I used the final pick of the draft on Travis Kelce and I went back and forth between Kelce and Brandin Cooks. Green Bay’s pass defense has been vulnerable to speedy outside receivers in Cooks’ mold, allowing 9-128-2 to Stefon Diggs and 4-126-2 to Marquise Goodwin. In a potential shootout, Cooks combines both a solid floor and massive ceiling.

PROJECTIONS PREDICT THE WINNER

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


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