Footballguys Staff Six-Person DRAFT Mock: Week 9

Evaluating a six-person DRAFT mock for Week 9. Each participant answers questions about their strategy and picks. 

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

OFFICIAL DRAFT SCORING FORMAT

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

THE PARTICIPANTS FOR THE WEEK 9 DRAFT:

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

DRAFT RESULTS

DRAFT EVALUATION

james brimacombe- SLOT 1

Overview - James was lucky enough to win the #1 slot this week, which means he'll have the benefit of Todd Gurley in his lineup. Gurley has a tough matchup at New Orleans, but the way he's playing, the opponent may not alter his production at all. James secured four Top 7 players at their position in this draft. Gurley being #1 among running backs, DeAndre Hopkins #3 among wide receivers, Michael Thomas #7 paired with Drew Brees #7. His last pick, Kenyan Drake is 15th among running backs as the 12th back off the board. Other backs not selected in this draft that could've been an alternative to Drake include Latavius Murray (vs Detroit) or Phillip Lindsey (vs Houston). This team will be tough to beat if Gurley plays to his potential and Drew Brees connects with Michael Thomas for at least one score.

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?
I had the auto pick of the week with Todd Gurley to start so my strategy after that was to go heavy at WR and getting DeAndre Hopkins and Michael Thomas helped secure a very nice trio of players. Usually, I like to go RB/RB to start these 6-man drafts but this week I see a big drop off at the position so I ended up waiting for my RB2 until my last pick where I grabbed Kenyan Drake who I don’t really love or hate this week.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
I think Kenyan Drake would be that player this week. He has been so hit or miss this season without a steady production to his game. Miami is not a great team this year but Drake might just be the most talented player on their roster. He is coming off two touchdown performance against the Texans a week ago and totaled 95 yards. In this DRAFT format, you want to find players that can produce touchdowns and taking a late shot on Drake that is what I am hoping for.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
Drew Brees against the Rams in one of the biggest over/under games we have seen in some time makes a lot of sense to me in the fourth round. It also allowed me to stack him with Michael Thomas and if that combo hits it will help me lap the field and put up some big points. There seems to be some nice value at the quarterback position this week as after Cam Newton and Patrick Mahomes II you still have Brees, Rodgers, Cousins, and Goff.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who was not drafted, who would it be and why?
Once again the player that first comes to mind is Keenan Allen as he has superstar status but has struggled with having that big game and finding the end zone this year. I feel like a breakout is coming and with Melvin Gordon III still dealing with a hamstring issue and the Chargers coming off a bye week that this could be the spot that Allen takes off. It is hard to believe that Allen didn’t crack the top 12 receivers this week and it goes to show you the depth at the position this week.

justin howe - SLOT 2

Overview: Like James, Justin will benefit from a quarterback-receiver stack of Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams. The Packers play at New England for their second consecutive tough game on the road (last week was at the LA Rams). In addition to the Packers duo, Justin has Kareem Hunt (at Cleveland) as his first pick and second overall selection. He also drafted Antonio Brown and Adrian Peterson, two players with big games last week. Brown's matchup at Baltimore is not a favorable one, but Brown's pedigree is enough to concern less about matchups. Adrian Peterson has found his fountain of youth and looks just as strong and as fast as some of the younger backs in the league. This team has a lot of potential despite projecting as the lowest output this week according to the Week 9 Lineup Optimizer chart.

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?
With the running back well drying up quickly, this became a strict best-player DRAFT, so I just embraced it. I’m all about compiling two stud runners to start things off, but as expected, the last of the top-tier bunch (White) was long gone at No. 11. So, I chased the two best remaining wideouts, and I landed a couple of gems. I stacked one of them later with his quarterback, and I filled out with a pair of too-cheap studs in the middle, which tied the whole approach together. This didn’t go exactly as I always plan, but I have little reason to complain.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
I really don’t see a lot of volatility on my roster; it’s packed with proven studs in great game spots. Surprisingly, the one I’m least excited about is Brown. He’s still an absolute touchdown machine, which is great, and I’m not afraid of the matchup. He hung 213 yards on Baltimore late last season, and the Ravens will be without top cornerback Marlon Humphrey. But given the Ravens’ tenuous grip on the slot, this feels a bit like a JuJu Smith-Schuster game. Brown will get his opportunity, particularly near the goal line, but he’s not the amazing Round 3 value he’d normally be.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
Adrian Peterson, to me, was just a hair below the week’s second tier of running backs. He’s put up 97 scrimmage yards or more in 5 of his 6 games, and his lack of consistent receiving production isn’t as big of a deal in DRAFT’s half-PPR format. Washington is all-in on its hyper-sanitized, ball-control “attack,” and Peterson is the clear-cut engine in Jay Gruden’s offense. The key objective of DRAFT, in my eyes, is to stockpile as much sure-thing usage (read: running backs) as possible, and this is far too late to pull Peterson’s slam-dunk 20+ touches.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who was not drafted, who would it be and why?
I’d also love to get in on Tarik Cohen, who looks poised to have his way with the Bills. The Bills aren’t dynamic nor disciplined in their front seven, and Cohen looks like far too much of an assignment for the likes of Matt Milano and Julian Stanford. Cohen is much better suited for Matt Nagy’s attack than Jordan Howard is, so he actually might carry the better fantasy floor in addition to ceiling. He’s drawn 14+ touches in 3 of the last 4 games, and it’s no secret what he can do with opportunity.

WILL GRANT - SLOT 3

Overview - Will drafted four players in the Top 4 at their position this week and is one of two teams to not employ a stack strategy. It's difficult to determine where Will's strength is because all of his picks are strong with this week's point projections. He started with Ezekiel Elliott, who has the benefit of a home game against Tennessee on Monday Night Football. The Zeke meter will be high in this game. Julio Jones was his second-round pick. We've seen Jones go scoreless through 8 weeks of the season. Could this week against Washington be the week he finds the end zone? Tyreek Hill in the third round is excellent value as the 7th receiver off the board. He's projected 4th. Nick Chubb may be the one wildcard in this bunch, but he's projected to put up good numbers as the 10th best back this week. Kirk Cousins was his last pick and 5th quarterback off the board. The home matchup against Detroit is a favorable one that could be the catalyst that puts Will's team over the top.

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?
The top few picks in this week’s draft are pretty simple – take the best running back available. Todd Gurley is the clear #1 and Kareem Hunt and Ezekiel Elliott are a close #2 and #3. I prefer taking running backs who are at home so I was happy to land Elliott at #3. Watching five running backs fly off the board before my next pick, it was a no-brainer to go with a wide receiver at my #2 slot. Julio Jones is still a point stud, even if he isn’t scoring touchdowns. Next came the wide receiver run and knowing that only 1 running back could fall before my next pick, I added my second wide receiver – taking Tyreek Hill against Cleveland. I had my eye on Nick Chubb against a soft Kansas City defense for my second running back, so knowing that two more would go before my last pick, I took him in the 4th instead of my normal quarterback. I was happy to land Kirk Cousins with my last pick. I’m pretty happy with this draft.

2.Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Waiting until the 4th round to take my second running back was a risk, but after so many running backs were gone in the first two rounds, I had to take that risk in order to capitalize on the value at wide receiver. Chubb is the lead back in Cleveland and this week he faces the worst defense in the league in Kansas City. If I need to take a running back that late, I was more than happy to get Chubb against Kansas City. If he turns in a solid game against Kansas, I could really score well this week.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
Landing the second best wide receiver at 2.04 was pretty solid value for me. I fully expected to see three wide receivers gone in the six picks between my first two. When only Adam Thielen was gone, I jumped all over Julio. He still isn’t scoring touchdowns like a top flight wide receiver, but based on his number of targets and receptions each week, it’s only a matter of time before he reaches the end zone. I’m hoping it’s this week against Washington and Jones is monster value at 2.04 if he does.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who was not drafted, who would it be and why?
Phillip Lindsay has 90+ yards rushing and a touchdown in each of his last two games. He’s basically cemented himself as the back to have from the Broncos. This week he’s at home against the Texans and will push the 100 yards from scrimmage mark again this season. He was undrafted in our game this week, and I’d be more than happy to add him as a third running back to my team.

dan hindery- SLOT 4

Overview - Dan has strengths everywhere including a Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey stack against one of the worst pass defenses in the league in Tampa Bay. In addition to the Carolina tandem, Dan has James White, who has been strong all season, plus Stefon Diggs in a cushy matchup against Detroit, plus Travis Kelce at Cleveland. There are no holes in this lineup, which is likely why it was projected to be the highest scoring team this week. Good teams against lesser teams will need to struggle for Dan's squad of All-Stars to not compete this week. In other words, it's not likely. This team has the makeup to be one of the best at the end of the 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 1.04 spot, I had a feeling I’d be left looking at Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara as my top two options on the board and that’s how it played out. It was a tough decision only because Kamara has had such elite touchdown production while McCaffrey hasn’t. Everything else pointed to McCaffrey, who has no competition for touches and a much better matchup against a beat up Tampa Bay defense.

I had eight guys in my top two tiers and all were off the board before 2.03. James White was at the top of the next group. It is tough drafting on Tuesday night because we have no idea the status of Sony Michel. If he is out, White should again see 20 touches and is likely to have a big game in a shootout against Green Bay. Even if Michel is back, he may not be 100% and White will still be heavily involved.

I knew in advance I wanted to take either Cam Newton or Patrick Mahomes II in the 3rd round. There are some other solid quarterback matchups this week, but these two ranked alone in the top tier for me. I broke the tie in favor of Newton because Tampa Bay has a better chance of forcing a shootout than Cleveland does. Plus, I like the Newton-McCaffrey stack. I was hoping to run in back with Mike Evans but he didn’t make it back around to 4.03.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
I need a touchdown or two from Christian McCaffrey. He has a very high weekly floor, averaging over 100 total yards and 6 receptions per game. The yardage floor is especially high this week against Tampa Bay. He has just three touchdowns on the season, however. McCaffrey getting into the end zone once or twice would be a major boost to my cause.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
I loved getting Travis Kelce at 5.04. He was on my second choice at 4.03 and in the same tier for me as some of the receivers who went in the 3rd round. Kelce is a good play every week but is in an especially nice spot on Sunday. Cleveland is a mess right now and Kelce could see some extra work with Tyreek Hill not fully healthy. When in doubt, getting a piece of the Chiefs offense is always a good idea.

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 hadn’t taken two running backs early, Latavius Murray and Tarik Cohen would have been my late-round running back targets. Cohen has had four straight big fantasy outings and a nice matchup on Sunday. The Bills have allowed big games to James White and Marlon Mack the last two weeks and Cohen excels in many of the same areas as those two. Murray has been seeing an increased workload as a receiver and is facing a bad Detroit run defense this week.

SEAN SETTLE - SLOT 5

Overview - Sean has a loaded team with talent at every position, including Patrick Mahomes II, arguably the best quarterback in the league right now. This week, all of the teams are very closely matched and even. If the cards fall right, every team has a chance to finish on top. Sean's team looks good on paper, but the matchups concern me. Melvin Gordon III at Seattle is not an easy game, nor is James Conner at Baltimore or even Patrick Mahomes II at Cleveland. I'll give Mahomes the benefit of the doubt because he has performed well in tough matchups prior, but the Browns are a sneaky defense who can get turnovers. This is not a cake walk for Mahomes. Marvin Jones Jr may be the 12th ranked receiver this week, but I like his matchup against Detroit. The NFL is loaded with uncertainty and surprises. Any given week, anything can happen, including star players performing well in tough situations. Big players tend to make big plays in big games. Sean will need his players to come through in the clutch to claim the top prize this week.

SEAN ANSWERS QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS DRAFT

1. What was your draft strategy with this week's slate of games and how did it turn out for you?
After going off the rails last week with a new strategy, I got back to the norm this week and targeted running backs early. With my top picks already off the board, I took a gamble with Gordon. He has been dealing with some hamstring issues but is reported to get back to work this week. From there it was James Conner who I would have thought about in the first round if he had a better matchup. Conner is coming off 3 monster games and there is no reason to believe he cannot do it again against the Ravens. From there I was hoping to get back to stacking a QB/WR combo, but it did not quite pan out. Mike Evans gets Ryan Fitzpatrick back at quarterback and an instant bump in production, and from there I wanted to go Mahomes and Kelce. Unfortunately, Kelce went 1 pick before my last turn and I settled for Marvin Jones Jr. Jones is coming off a big game and will benefit from Golden Tate being traded to Philadelphia. Jones should see an instant uptick in targets with the departed Tate.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
This week is going to come down to the health of Melvin Gordon III. He was ruled out late for the Chargers game in London and I was unable to swap him out of my lineups. However, I feel he is too good of a talent to pass up and with the thin crop of running backs he was a must pick at that spot. When healthy, Gordon is a top 3 running back every week. It is all going to come down to the health of his hamstring.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
The best value came from Mahomes in the 3rd round. He was not the top-rated quarterback this week, but to see him fall so far after I took him in the first-round last week was a bit surprising. Kansas City has shown no reluctance to use him in any situation and I fully expect him to still be out there against the Browns, even if they are up big. It would have been even better to stack him with Kelce, but that did not happen this week.

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 had to take 1 more player, it would be Latavius Murray. It is who I would swap Gordon out for if he ends up not playing. Murray is projected to get the start for the Vikings again this week ad they get a reeling Detroit rush defense. Murray has also found the end zone in 3 straight games and has seen an uptick in the passing game with other injuries on the team. Murray is a solid play if you are unable to get any of the early elite running backs.

keith roberts - SLOT 6

Overview: Keith wound up drafting a team of players that will participate in only two games - LA Rams at New Orleans and Detroit at Minnesota. He drafted two Rams, Jared Goff & Robert Woods and a Saint, Lion, and Viking. The Rams stack of Goff and Woods is admirable. Woods is quietly the 11th best wide receiver in this format this season, while Goff is the 5th best quarterback. The duo will face the Saints pass defense, who have given up the third most fantasy points to quarterbacks and the first most fantasy points to wide receivers. In other words, this is a great matchup. Keith will also have Alvin Kamara in his arsenal, along with the Top wide receiver, by a wide margin, Adam Thielen. Thielen's matchup vs Detroit is a favorable one. Detroit has allowed six touchdowns to wide receivers in the last three games. Keith's second running back is Kerryon Johnson, who has come on strong lately as a versatile, do-everything back that Detroit has struggled to find for years. The matchup against Minnesota isn't great, but perhaps the volume of touches will help give him the fantasy points he needs to keep Keith's lineup among the top teams 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?
With the last pick, I knew I would be missing out on the top four running backs this week before dropping off to second-tier options. As such, I elected to target as many players as I could from the showdown between the Rams and Saints, starting with Alvin Kamara. This game may be the first of the season a 60-point total, so it is clear that points should be scored early and often. At the turn of rounds 3 / 4, I had a big decision to make with Patrick Mahomes II sitting there ripe for the taking--as he has rarely made it past the third round in drafts this season. I knew I would grab Robert Woods there, but I decided to take a gamble at filling out the running back spot with the hope that Jared Goff would go overlooked. That gamble paid off as I landed Goff with the last pick in the draft to complete my stack with Woods and round out with three key players from my target game.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
I need the early-season Alvin Kamara to show up this week. He is in a ripe spot for production here with one of the highest totals in recent memory on hand. Last week’s performance was reassuring as Kamara found the end zone twice with heavy usage both on the ground and through the air, but Mark Ingram II continues to lurk and could eat up rushing snaps at any moment. If all goes to plan, Kamara will haul in a ton of receptions while getting at least 10 carries in what should be an absolute shootout.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
My answer to this question would have been Robert Woods as the ninth receiver off the board, but grabbing Jared Goff as the last pick in the draft only accentuates the value received on these Rams players. As I noted, my strategy was to load up on as many players from this Rams-Saints game as logically possible. I was surprised to see the Rams top receiver slip as far as he did, and even more surprised that one of the quarterbacks in a 60-point total game went undrafted until my final pick. If the Goff-Woods connection can continue to flourish, I could be in for a huge week here.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who would it be and why?
Latavius Murray is in a spectacular spot this week, squaring off against one of the worst rushing defenses in the league. The Lions are giving up 136 rushing yards per game with opposing running backs scoring the sixth-most fantasy points against them in standard scoring formats. With Dalvin Cook sidelined, Murray is averaging 5.1 yards per rush with 322 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns over the last four games. While his offensive line certainly has some question marks, Murray should get plenty of volume in this positive matchup. Had I not already drafted Adam Thielen, I would have given Murray a hard look as my second running back.

PROJECTIONS PREDICT THE WINNER

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


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