Footballguys Staff Six-Person DRAFT Mock: Week 12

Evaluating a six-person DRAFT mock for Week 12. Each participant answers questions about their strategy and picks. 

Six Footballguys staff completed a 6-man Week 12 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 12 DRAFT:

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

DRAFT RESULTS

DRAFT EVALUATION

will grant - SLOT 1

Overview - As Will indicated in his answers, there is no Todd Gurley option this week. I'm completely fine with Melvin Gordon III as the #1 pick in a home game against Arizona. A 100-yard total yard effort with at least one score is expected. Will waited on his second running back until the fourth round and solidified his receiving corps with Adam Thielen and Zach Ertz in rounds two and three. Both are excellent receiving options with good, if not great matchups against Green Bay and NY Giants respectively. Will got lucky finding James White in the fourth round. Sony Michel (knee) is not expected to be back this week, which makes White an intriguing player. He is projected to be the 11th ranked running back this week, but he's capable of putting up big points any given game. For his last pick, Will took a gamble on Jameis Winston. He's projected as the #3 quarterback this week, but there's still some uncertainty every time he suits up under center. He is more than capable of reaching 300 yards and 2-3 touchdowns, but nothing is a foregone conclusion. Will finished with the top projected score this week, but the rest of the field is not far behind. This week of limited player availability is going to be tight.

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 FINALLY scored the top spot in our weekly draft! I can finally get Todd Gurley on my team! Finally the best player in the…. Oh, the Rams are on a bye? Yeah that figures. (queue ‘The Price is Right’ ‘you lost’ music). However, upon further review, with the Rams and Chiefs on a bye, and six teams off the slate because of Thanksgiving, having the top spot might even be more valuable. Taking Melvin Gordon III at the top spot was a no-brainer this week. The Chargers suffered an embarrassing loss last week and get to take their revenge out on Arizona at home this week. Gordon should have a big week and I’m happy to have him on my roster. At the next turn, I fully expected all the top running backs to be gone and knew I’d be taking the two best receivers that were available. Adam Thielen had an ‘off’ week where he didn’t reach 100 yards last week, so I fully expect him to rebound against the Packers in a game the Vikings need to win to keep pace with the Bears. Zach Ertz has been on another planet when compared to other tight ends this season, and I expect him to have a big game against the Giants in a game the Eagles to win almost as bad as the Vikings do. Jameis Winston returns to the starting role in Tampa and I’m very happy to land him as my quarterback this week against the 49ers.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Gordon is the rock that I built my team around, but James White needs to have a good game to bring it all together. The Patriots are struggling this season, but White has been a staple of the offense. The Jets are pretty lousy in general, but have been vulnerable to running backs who also catch the ball. White is going to see plenty of action this week and I’m hoping it turns into another solid performance. If he has a decent game, I think my team is strong enough to win this week.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
I think landing Adam Thielen at the end of round two was pretty solid value. Given the fact that the running back talent this week is going to be pretty thin, I fully expect four or five wide receivers to be off the board by the time that I picked. With guys like Julio Jones and Michael Thomas off the slate, I fully expected Thielen to be gone as one of the top three picks this week. To land him as the fifth receiver off the board was huge. After losing to the Bears this week, the Vikings are essentially two games out of first place. They need to beat the Packers to keep pace with the Bears who will most likely notch another division win on Thanksgiving against the Lions. Thielen should restart his 100-yard receiving streak against the Packers this week and I’m happy to have him on my roster.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who was not drafted, who would it be and why?
The Bengals have the worst defense in the league, and their passing game is the only thing keeping them competitive. With A.J. Green out of the lineup, the Bengals need Tyler Boyd more than ever. Over the last three games, Boyd has had 25 targets and nearly 300 yards receiving. Against the Browns this week, he should have another solid performance and he’d make an excellent addition to my roster, especially since I was able to land Gordon at the #1 slot.

dan hindery - SLOT 2

Overview: Dan used a balanced approach in his draft strategy taking Saquon Barkley with the 2nd overall pick, followed by DeAndre Hopkins and Leonard Fournette. Based on this week's Lineup Optimizer chart, he landed two players in the Top 2 at running back and wide receiver. He was able to draft Leonard Fournette in round three, who scored two touchdowns in his return from a hamstring injury. This week's matchup at Buffalo may look good on paper, but the Bills have been fairly stingy against running backs this year, allowing only one 100-yard rusher. Dan needed another receiver and a quarterback to finish his draft and he wound up selecting a stack of T.Y. Hilton and Andrew Luck. Hilton exploded for 9-155-2 last week against Tennessee and Luck himself is on a 7-game streak of at least 3 touchdown passes. The Hilton-Luck combo may wind up being Dan's two best picks in this draft. If Saquon Barkley can find pay dirt against the Eagles stout run defense, on the road, Dan's team may be the team to beat.

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?
Lucking into the 1.02 pick gives a nice advantage this week, guaranteeing one of the two legitimate RB1 options on the slate. While I like Melvin Gordon III as well, Saquon Barkley is my top back this week and I was thrilled to see him available at 1.02.

In the second round, I wanted to add a bona fide WR1. The early run on running backs pushed two of my favorites, DeAndre Hopkins and Adam Thielen down and I would have been happy with either at 2.05.

It doesn’t hurt too much to wait at running back this week but at 3.02, I didn’t see any slam-dunk wide receiver options and decided to lock Leonard Fournette and his massive workload in at RB2. In two weeks since returning from a hamstring injury, Fournette has touched the ball 59 times.

Lastly, I was looking to add a high-upside stack with my last two picks. The two I was eyeing were Jameis Winston and Mike Evans or Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton. I was able to land my preferred duo. While both stacks have similar upside, the Colts stack has a much higher floor.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Saquon Barkley has 30-point upside and if he gets anywhere near that, could be a week-winner on this week’s slate. There are plenty of solid running back options this week but with Todd Gurley, Kareem Hunt, Alvin Kamara, and Ezekiel Elliott playing Thursday or on bye, there are very few backs on the slate with the potential to go off for a huge week-winning performance. Saquon Barkley probably tops the list. He led my DRAFT team to victory last week with a 34.2-point explosion. It shouldn’t be a surprise if he again goes off and puts up massive numbers. Philadelphia’s defense has a reputation of being strong against running backs but that hasn’t been the case of late. Mark Ingram II and Alvin Kamara combined for 39.1 DRAFT points last week, Ezekiel Elliott had 30.7 the week before, and Saquon Barkley put up 28.9 in his matchup last month.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
I love getting T.Y. Hilton at 4.05 and the 10th wide receiver off the board. He was dominant last week, putting up a 9-155-2 line. He looks fully recovered from his hamstring injury and is the clear WR1 in what has quietly emerged as one of the league’s best passing offenses. Andrew Luck has thrown at least three touchdowns passes in seven straight games and the Colts have the slate’s highest implied team total (30 points).

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who was not drafted, who would it be and why?
DRAFT allows you to sub in a replacement for any player you pick who is later ruled out or listed as inactive. The rule makes A.J. Green a viable 5th-round option this week. Marvin Lewis likes to answer injury questions in terms of a weather forecast and said Green’s outlook was “partly sunny” this week. Especially in a week where many of the league’s elite wide receivers are off the slate, Green is worth taking a chance on even in what would be his first game back from a toe injury. If Green does end up missing another week, you can sub in somebody like Tyler Boyd in his place. Boyd would be a lock for double-digit targets if Green is out.

justin howe - SLOT 3

Overview - Justin was one of two teams to draft back to back running backs to begin the draft. He collected Christian McCaffrey and Joe Mixon as his two backs. McCaffrey has been on fire lately, scoring at least two touchdowns in three of the last four games. He tends to play better at home and this week the Panthers host Seattle. Joe Mixon has six touchdowns this year and has the potential to gain 80+ total yards. The matchup against Cleveland is not a great one, but being a home game definitely helps his cause. Justin followed up with two receivers in his next two picks, taking Keenan Allen and Mike Evans. Allen had a slow start, but he has picked up his game recently. He has only three touchdowns this season, which is worrisome, plus he'll face a tough matchup against Patrick Peterson and Arizona's tough pass defense. Mike Evans has been hit and miss this year both with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston at quarterback. He is a wildcard player this week who could boom or bust. The matchup against San Francisco is in his favor, which definitely helps. Justin drafted Carson Wentz as his quarterback, who will have a home game against the Giants. In the earlier matchup at New York, Wentz was 26 for 36 for 278 yards and 3 touchdowns. Justin will obviously be hoping for more of the same.

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, I wanted to stock RB1 & 2 with a pair of guys from the top usage + upside tier, and I think I did it nicely. Both McCaffrey and Mixon will draw 20-30 touches, both are dynamic enough to turn that into 150 yards, and both are home favorites, so any game script will feed them usage. After that, without any great stacks beyond Tampa Bay, it became a Best Player Available free-for-all. As the guys have discussed, this is a thinned-out week that doesn't lend itself much to powerful stacks.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
When you DRAFT this way - waiting until your last pick for a quarterback - you have to accept some degree of "reaching." Most weeks, like this one, only feature 2-3 clear top-tier options, leaving the patient among us to seek out a guys with unexpected, situational upside. I could've jumped on Aaron Rodgers, but decided instead to roll the dice on Wentz hosting the hot-and-cold Giants defense. Wentz holds his own statistically in shootouts, and I expect this game to be relatively close and defensively sloppy. I only wish I'd been able to secure Zach Ertz in Round 3 to complete the stack.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
Evans will see his share of Richard Sherman, but I wanted him anyway. The Buccaneers will throw ceaselessly regardless of the game's flow, and this will be a high-snap, high-volume one. Evans has averaged 105 yards with Winston taking heavy snaps this year, and any degree of shootout makes me look sneaky-brilliant here. I see the downside, though. Sherman has looked vintage this season in coverage, and the 49ers have really ground down a handful of the worse passing games on their schedule. Winston could be that... or he could be one of the most prolific they've faced.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who was not drafted, who would it be and why?
Like Dan, put me down for A.J. Green. When I thought about doing that (saving No. 5 for Green, knowing I could swap him out if need be), I didn't expect he'd fall past the other 4 teams still in need of a receiver. So, I went ahead and took my final wideout, a similar-ceiling guy in Evans. In hindsight, I'd definitely have taken Green in the fifth, which would have given me Jameis Winston at quarterback instead of Wentz. There's a lot more volatility on the Green side, but it'd be an awesome pickle to be in, for sure.

James brimacombe - SLOT 4

Overview - James was the only team to draft two receivers with the first two picks. If you're going to use this strategy, it's best to do so out of the 4, 5, or 6 slot. James picked Odell Beckham Jr and Antonio Brown. Beckham has scored in three of the last four games and Brown has scored in eight straight. Beckham has a cushy matchup against the Eagles who have been decimated by injuries in the secondary. He should see a lot of action and is worthy of a first-round pick. Brown has a tough matchup at Denver, but his impressive pedigree and consistent weekly success make him matchup-proof. James drafted Marlon Mack at home against Miami and Matt Breida at Tampa Bay. Both backs are capable of putting up strong numbers, especially Mack, who has five touchdowns in the last four games. James selected Aaron Rodgers as his quarterback, who has a tough road game at Minnesota. the Vikings have not allowed a quarterback to exceed two touchdown passes in a game since Week 5 and have only allowed multiple-touchdown pass games twice this season. Rodgers is the 5th ranked quarterback this week, but that's a trend that could prove to be problematic.

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 decided to mix it up a little this week and bypass the running back position over the first two rounds. It didn’t turn out the greatest as I don’t have the big name running backs at the top but guys like Marlon Mack and Matt Breida are both in excellent spots this week and could produce as RB1 types. With this strategy it allowed me to take two stud wide receivers at the top with Odell Beckham Jr and Antonio Brown which having both paired together should be able to give my team a boost over some of the top-heavy running back teams.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you
I think Marlon Mack is the key to my team this week as the Colts have been trending upwards and are a 9-point favorite at home this week against the Dolphins. Mack has been showing that he can handle a big workload over his past five games as he is averaging 18.4 touches per game over that span. He also has five touchdowns over the last four games so if I can get 18+ touches and a touchdown out of Mack my team should be in good shape but that is just the floor as we have not seen his ceiling yet this season.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
I really like Matt Breida this week as he is healthy and is coming off a massive game while getting some extra rest with a bye week last week. Tampa Bay’s defense is not one that will slow down Breida and after his Week 10 performance against the Giants where he had 20 touches for 132 total yards and a pair of touchdowns on a season-high 44 snaps you have to like his upside this weekend.

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 is an intriguing option this week and is in the same light as Mack and Breida this week. Lindsay is coming off a big two-touchdown game against the Chargers and has showed that if the Broncos are to win a football game it will because he was involved with more than a handful of carries..

keith roberts - SLOT 5

Overview - Keith opened up with two running backs in the first and second round taking David Johnson and Nick Chubb, while waiting on receiver until round three and round five. Johnson has played well recently has now 8 touchdowns through 10 games. From a volume standpoint, Johnson has proven his worth as a go-to weekly start in this format. Both he and Nick Chubb are ranked #5 and #6 in projected scores this week, making this combo a formidable duo. Keith drafted Stefon Diggs with his next pick. For a third-round pick, Diggs is excellent value. He has double-digit targets in 7 of the last 8 games with two straight games of 10 + catches, 100 yards and a touchdown. He's one of the hottest receivers in the league and Keith landed him in round three. In the fourth-round Keith rolled the dice on Lamar Jackson, who is ranked #2 this week. Jackson's rushing ability and expected big game potential against Oakland makes him a quarterback to target this week. Keith finished with JuJu Smith-Schuster as his last pick. Smith-Schuster has at least 7 catches, 100 yards, or a score in each of the last three games. There's a lot of scoring and volume potential on this team that could put Keith near the top at week's end.

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 the slimmest slate of the season with three Thanksgiving games out of play along with two of the most fantasy-friendly offenses (Rams and Chiefs) on bye. I was not thrilled with the fifth pick since I knew I would miss out on the top tier of running backs, but I equally lacked excitement for the bottom four running backs available for this slate. As such, I knew I would still go for running backs early which is why I selected David Johnson and Nick Chubb with my first two picks. I was happy to get Stefon Diggs as my first receiver as he has the upside to put up massive numbers in what could be a shootout of a game against the Packers. Instead of waiting on a quarterback as most did, I elected to jump on the Lamar Jackson train as a calculated risk that Joe Flacco does not suit up. I was actually targeting Cam Newton in that spot but had to pivot to Jackson when he was sniped one pick prior.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Hands down, it will be Lamar Jackson. I took the risk that Joe Flacco would miss this week again, which would give Jackson another shot under center. With Flacco absent from practice thru Wednesday, I am liking my chances so far. Jackson set the all-time record for rushing attempts by a quarterback last week and posted 15 fantasy points without even finding the end zone. He has what could be an even better matchup this week against a Raiders defense that has struggled to pressure quarterbacks and been absolutely gashed by the run all season long. If Jackson can find the end zone a couple times along with his productivity on the ground, he easily could be the top quarterback on this slate.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
I was not particularly happy with many of my picks from a value perspective due to that fifth pick position, but Juju Smith-Schuster as the 11th receiver off the board is a decent value. He is coming off his fifth game of over 100 yards this season against a tough Jaguars cornerback group and has at least 78 receiving yards in three of his last four games. While he certainly did not belong in the top half of receivers selected, Smith-Schuster has been a very consistent fantasy option and could be in store for a positive matchup this week with Chris Harris Jr looking after Antonio Brown.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who would it be and why?
Had I waited longer on running back, I would have liked to snag Dalvin Cook. It would be a risky move based on what we saw from the Vikings offense last week, but Cook is just now getting settled in from injury and has shown he has the talent to contribute in all facets of the offense. It appears that Latavius Murray is relegated to a change of pace back, so Cook should be in line for most of the carries to combine with his great hands capable of hauling in plenty of receptions. The Packers have given up at least 83 yards to lead running backs in six straight games and just lost one of their top interior defenders, Mike Daniels, last week. Cook could be in store for a big one if given the opportunity.

sean settle - SLOT 6

Overview: Sean used a balanced approach in this draft, taking James Conner and Davante Adams at the 1-2 turn followed by Aaron Jones and Cam Newton at the 3-4 turn. He finished his draft with George Kittle in round five. All of Sean's picks are projected to finish in the Top 7 or higher at their respective positions. Aaron Jones has 5 touchdowns in the last four games. James Conner has 8 touchdowns in the last six games. Davante Adams has 6 touchdowns in the last six games and George Kittle has 2 touchdowns in the last four games. All of that scoring potential, along with Cam Newton at quarterback gives Sean a strong team capable of big numbers 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?
I usually really like picking from the last spot. You may miss out on the top running backs on the front end, but the back to back will usually net you two players of more value than the one top player. This week I was not as happy with both Los Angeles and Kansas City on a Bye. I was able to steal James Conner against a suspect Broncos run defense and then passed on Antonio Brown in favor of Davonte Adams. I feel the weather is going to play a role in those games and the Minnesota corners have been burned quite a few times this year. From there I continued with the emerging Aaron Jones. The defensive matchup may not be the best, but he is coming off two big games and cannot be ignored any longer. From there I had my pick of available quarterbacks and landed on the dual threat of Cam Newton and closed it out with George Kittle facing the softest secondary in the league. It was a rough draft this week with all of the Thursday games as well as two of the highest-powered offenses on a bye.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Any time I have Cam Newton I am worried he is going to lay an egg. He seems to find a way to keep the game close even when throwing for less than 200 yards and 2 interceptions, but he also has the ability to take over and run for 100 yards, throw for 300, and have multiple touchdowns. The matchup against Seattle is favorable this season but it all depends on which Newton shows up.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
Aaron Jones in the third round is going to be a steal. He is coming off back to back monster games, is playing inside against a division rival, and the Packers are playing for their playoff lives. This is a player we can no longer ignore as he has taken over the starting role in Green Bay and there is no one left to really take any carries from him. We are going to find him in the top class of running backs for the season is over.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who was not drafted, who would it be and why?
I would be happy to take Dalvin Cook if I had one more pick. The Vikings abandoned the run game against the Bears last week and he never really got a chance to get going. They have leaned on Kirk Cousins all season and are quickly learning that is not going to work. Cook needs to get the ball more and use his fresh legs. He has missed extensive time this season but is finally fully healthy. Look for Cook to finally get back on track this week and show that he is the back of the future for Minnesota like they thought.

PROJECTIONS PREDICT THE WINNER

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


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