Footballguys Staff Six-Person DRAFT Mock: Week 14

Evaluating a six-person DRAFT mock for Week 14. Each participant answers questions about their strategy and picks. 

Six Footballguys staff completed a 6-man Week 14 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 13 DRAFT:

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

DRAFT RESULTS

DRAFT EVALUATION

james brimacombe - SLOT 1

Overview - James elected to go with the red-hot Christian McCaffrey with the first pick, despite being the 4th ranked running back this week. He skipped over Todd Gurley, Saquon Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott. We'll see if this decision pays off. McCaffrey has been the top PPR running back since Week 5 and he needs 137 rushing yards and 337 receiving yards over the next four games to become the third player in NFL history with 1,000 rushing and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season. James' 2-3 turn included two receivers picks, Keenan Allen and Michael Thomas. Allen is the 2nd ranked receiver this week according to the Week 14 Lineup Optimizer, however Thomas is a surprising 13th on the road at Tampa Bay. Two straight low-score games from Thomas likely was a factor in this weeks ranking. The matchup at Tampa Bay is a favorable one, so perhaps Thomas will rise to the occasion? He later drafted Drew Brees to complete the Saints stack, but even Brees is ranked 8th this week. James selected Joe Mixon in round four as his second running back. the projections make Mixon the 19th ranked running back this week. The matchup at Los Angeles (Chargers) is a tough one. If James is going to compete this week, he'll need a big effort of 3-4 touchdowns from Brees with at least one or two to Thomas.

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?
These are much easier to draft when you have the first overall pick as you can lock in your favorite running back. I went with Christian McCaffrey this week as the Panthers are in a battle to make the playoffs and will have likely have to rely on McCaffrey even more so now with Greg Olsen out for the season. McCaffrey feels like the safest RB option this week and is almost sure to receive 25+ touches in the game. After that I was all about going with WR/WR at the turn and coming back with whatever RB was available and ending the draft with my quarterback.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
I think it will be the Drew Brees and Michael Thomas New Orleans passing stack that either makes or breaks my team this week. If Tampa Bay can be competitive in this game and put up some points against the Saints I feel that the Saints passing attack will also be in a really good spot. Having the QB/WR stack is always something you want to look at in playing in these 6-man leagues.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
I think getting Keenan Allen at 2.06 is huge as I now feel like I have the top running back and top wide receiver on the week and will just need to hope my New Orleans QB/WR stack pays off along with my punt RB2 in Joe Mixon.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who was not drafted, who would it be and why?
I had a hard time feeling good about Drew Brees as my quarterback pick this week so maybe a different quarterback would be the direction I would go. I don’t mind going with Aaron Rodgers in a potentially high scoring game against the Falcons and with the coaching changes in Green Bay.

will grant - SLOT 2

Overview: Will finished with the highest projected team this week in large part to a stud running back and two capable receivers. He drafted Saquon Barkley with the second pick overall followed by Austin Ekeler. The Ekeler pick may be Will's "hinge pick", as it could go either way. First, it's possible that Melvin Gordon III (knee) will be able to play, and second, his teammate Justin Jackson came on strong later in the game last week, and it looked like he took over the primary rushing duties while Ekeler acted more as a receiving back. It's possible that Ekeler will still have a productive game, but there is some risk there. The running back board dropped way off after that pick - 12 picks came off the board before the next running back was selected. It's safe to say Will made the right pick, but again, there is some uncertainty there. Will's two receivers were drafted in rounds three and four. He nabbed Davante Adams and Odell Beckham Jr who are ranked #1 and #7 this week. Not bad value for where they were selected. Like many other teams, Will selected a quarterback, Jameis Winson, in round five. Winston has an excellent chance at putting up big numbers, especially if he can manage to keep pace with New Orleans throughout the game. This is a good team that could come out on top if Austin Ekeler turns in a decent 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?
With the second pick in the draft, I found myself with the ability to target one of the top running backs for a change. Normally that would be Todd Gurley, but against the stingy Chicago defense on a cold December afternoon, I moved Gurley a bit down my draft list and was very happy to land Barkley at #2. Barkley is the heart and soul of the Giants this season and the entire offense seems to flow through him. Washington is in a death spiral and that means plenty of opportunities for Barkley to contribute on offense. With the second pick, I had several ‘potential’ running backs that I never expected to make it to me and Austin Ekeler was at the top of that list. With the Chargers facing the soft Bengal defense this week, I have Ekeler pegged high than guys like David Johnson, Nick Chubb and Phillip Lindsay. I was very happy that he fell to me at 2.05. That left me needing two receivers and a quarterback. While I normally target a quarterback in the 4th round, with only Roethlisberger and Mahomes off the board with my 4th pick, I knew I could go wide receiver and still get a decent quarterback on the flipside. While having Odell Beckham Jr and Saquon Barkley is not optimal in a short format, if the Giants do as well as I expect they will against Washington, I thought Beckham was too good to pass up. Jamis Winston will have a decent week against the Saints in a tough division game that both teams will want to win. I liked his options much better than any of the other quarterbacks available after Ben and Mahomes were off the board.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Odell Beckham Jr is the key to my entire offense this week. Barkley is about as consistent as they come when it comes to fantasy points and I’ve already spoken about Ekeler against the Bengals. Davante Adams is Aaron Rodgers’s favorite target this season and I expect him to do well against the struggling Falcons. Beckham is the key to everything. He’s been hot and cold all year, and I’m hoping that this is a hot week for him. If Barkley goes off and Beckham gets 2 receptions for 27 yards, I’m going to be disappointed and probably lose.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
Ekeler is a huge value at 2.05 this week. The Bengals have the worst rushing defense in the league, allowing over 150 yards per game on the ground. Ekeler should have a big game and as a complement to Barkley, I think he’s a great value.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who was not drafted, who would it be and why?
I’m sort of surprised that T.Y. Hilton is still available. Andrew Luck has thrown three or more touchdown passes in eight games this season. If you take out last week’s disaster against Jacksonville, he and Hilton have had a pretty good year. Houston has a tough defense as well, but I think Hilton bounces back this week and he would be a great addition to my team if I had a pick in round 6.

keith roberts - SLOT 3

Overview - Keith was one of three teams to select both running backs with his first two picks of the draft. Keith drafted Ezekiel Elliott first and Nick Chubb second. Elliott has come on strong lately and he'll face an Eagles run defense who has allowed a 100-yard rusher in three of the last four games, including five rushing touchdowns in that span. Nick Chubb has a tougher matchup against Carolina. The Panthers have allowed a rushing touchdown in four straight games, but they have done a good job from a yardage standpoint. They have not allowed a 100-yard rusher since week 2 and only one back has exceeded 65 yards rushing since week 6. Chubb was a decent pick, considering the talent at running back was thinning out, but there's some element of risk here. Keith selected a Steelers stack of Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger (at Oakland) with his next two picks. Pittsburgh has a giant question mark at running back this week, which may result in an abundance of pass attempts to compensate. surprisingly, Keith was able to draft Adam Thielen in the last round, which may be the steal of the entire draft. Thielen is a consistent top flight receiver who will face a Seahawks team that has allowed a 300-yard passer in three of the last four games, including a 400-yard effort from Nick Mullens last week. Kirk Cousins should have ample opportunities and Thielen will be a big part of that. If Nick Chubb has a big game against Carolina, this team can finish on top 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?
Running back was very important in this slate of games, as you can see from 10 being selected within the first two rounds. I did not want to get stuck with a bottom level running back, so I knew I would go in taking them back to back. Ezekiel Elliott is a top option this week with a solid matchup against a reeling Eagles run defense. I was also happy to land the combination of Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger. They, too, are in a solid matchup and will be without their starting running back with James Conner sidelined. I jumped in Roethlisberger in the fourth round to be sure I could complete the stack while when I saw both Odell Beckham Jr and Adam Thielen were both available. Knowing I would get one of the two, I had no problem taking a quarterback before the last round.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Ben Roethlisberger will be key to my success. Missing on your quarterback can put you in a tough spot in these contests, especially with the likes of Patrick Mahomes II who is almost always a lock for 30 points. It is always a concern when Roethlisberger is on the road, but he faces an Oakland secondary that has allowed three or more touchdowns in half of their games. With James Conner out, I expect the Steelers to have more of a pass-heavy approach in this one. The risk is from them getting up early and moving to a run-heavy script to protect a big lead. But even if that happens, my money is on Roethlisberger connecting with Antonio Brown enough to exceed value for both picks.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
Adam Thielen is without question my top value as the last receiver chosen. He is the top fantasy wide receiver in football and honestly does not have as poor of a matchup as projections may indicate. The Seahawks secondary has given up 100 or more yards to a wide receiver in four of their last five games. Since Week 8, they have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points per game in PPR formats to wide receivers. They are getting inconsistent pressure on quarterbacks, and Adam Thielen should have a favorable individual matchup. Wide receiver is a very flat position this week, and when I can confidently believe my second receiver--especially the last one selected in the draft--has the upside to easily finish as the top receiver in football this week, I will always be excited about that value!

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who would it be and why?
Zach Ertz was a pick I was keeping an eye on this week. He has proven to be an integral piece of this Eagles offense as the top target week in and week out. While Golden Tate came on strong last week, Ertz still saw nine receptions for 83 yards. He has had a few down weeks here and there, but the volume going towards Ertz is higher than even most wide receivers. The elephant in the room in this analysis is what Ertz did to the Cowboys in his last outing--14 receptions for 145 yards and two touchdowns. While that big of a performance may not be expected again, even half of it would put Ertz in play as a solid option.

justin howe - SLOT 4

Overview - How good is the Chicago defense? Todd Gurley slipped to the 4th overall pick in this draft. Can Gurley run on the Bears? If so, Justin has a steal. One of the hotter backs in the league is Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay and Justin selected him in round two. The combination of Gurley and Lindsay is an excellent start to the draft. He followed them up with Julio Jones and JuJu Smith-Schuster, two receivers more than capable of finding the end zone and racking up yardage. He'll lean on Cam Newton at quarterback this week, who despite throwing 4 interceptions last week, had a positive outing. Newton has thrown at least two touchdown passes in 11 straight games and has been a consistent fantasy play all season. Justin has constructed a team that can compete, especially if Todd Gurley can have a Gurley-like game against the Bears and is a key point scorer this week.

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?
Talent, talent, talent! This is a deep week that's ripe for best-player-available drafting, so I mostly eschewed game theory and attacked the big chunks of explosive talent on the board. Gurley was a no-brainer, even against the Bears, and Lindsay's dynamism () needs no explanation. With backs flying off the board, I knew there'd be a glut of top wideouts available in Round 3, so I was content to wait until then for my receivers. It paid off, with Jones sitting pretty against a banged-up Packers secondary. I filled in the gaps with Smith-Schuster, who's always an 8-100-1 threat, and Newton, who represented the best upside as the QB5 off the board.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Probably Lindsay, who (somewhat) breaks my rule of chasing usage over upside at running back. Unlike most of his RB1 peers, Lindsay isn't utilized consistently in the passing game, so he'll likely need 20 carries to bring home the value I'm looking for here. Lindsay has proven all year, of course, that he can turn 20 carries into 150 yards without much of a problem. But I'm used to chasing guys like Kareem Hunt and James Conner around the 1/2 turn, so a one-dimensional guy like Lindsay is foreign to me. I love his upside, but his floor is just a bit below the rest of this tier.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
It's nobody's fault, as the top three picks were sound. But Gurley should never be the third pick off the board, regardless of matchup. The Rams offense is just too explosive and Gurley's touchdown potential too strong. Besides, the Bears don't present the same suffocating matchup right now that they did a few weeks ago, when they were shutting down guys like LeSean McCoy and Isaiah Crowell. Over the last 2 weeks, they've given up huge games to both Saquon Barkley and the ghost of LeGarrette Blount. Gurley is the game's best running back weapon, and nothing ever scares me off of him.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who was not drafted, who would it be and why?
Like James, I don't love my quarterback. I took Newton because Jameis Winston went right before me, and I always love Newton's potential to punch in 1-2 short touchdowns on top of everything else. But Rodgers may have actually been the better upside play in a matchup Vegas likes (27.25 projected points for Green Bay).

sean settle - SLOT 5

Overview - Sean drafted a Houston Texans stack of Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins. This duo will play a big role in whether or not Sean can compete this week. In addition to the Texans stack, he'll have Alvin Kamara at his disposal, plus David Johnson. Kamara is a consistent performer who may be the player that carries this team. David Johnson's stock dropped after Chase Edmonds scored two touchdowns last week. Let's see if he rebounds against Detroit. Arizona averages points in the teens, so Johnson will need to produce as a rusher and receiver if he can't get in the end zone. Sean's other receiver is fourth-round pick, Mike Evans who has a home matchup against the Saints in the highest Vegas point total game of the week at 55.5 points. Sean has the players to compete, but this may come down to how well Deshaun Jackson performs against the Colts and if he can connect with Hopkins for at least one score.

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 was all about taking what was given to me. The 5 spot is very tough, especially with a lot of major injuries out there. I was not overly happy with the running backs that fell to me, but Kamara and Johnson any other week would be a top play. From there I was very happy with Hopkins and Evans, especially with the pairing with Watson. The Saints have shown cracks in their defense and Evans has a chance for a big game. It is not the team I was expecting going into the draft, but I was very happy with how it turned out.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
This week will come down to both of my running backs. The Saints never seem to commit to a single runner and the Cardinals refuse to use Johnson when they are down. Both guys could have monster games or get used very sparingly. It is a tough pairing and I would have preferred a guy I knew was going to get heavy usage, but they both have the potential to be great plays.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
The best value came from Hopkins this week. He has been a top receiver all season long and should get better looks after Demaryius Thomas has emerged in the offense. With all of the injuries to running backs, it let Hopkins slip to the third round and my benefit. He has a chance to be the top scorer on my team 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?
With one more pick, I would love to roll the dice with Jaylen Samuels. He did a great job filling in for Conner last week and should see the bulk of carries in his absence this week. It would be a huge gamble but I would take it with my last pick with the way Steelers running backs have performed in recent seasons. He is going to be one of the top added players in every other fantasy format.

dan hindery - SLOT 6

Overview: Dan selected Patrick Mahomes II with his first pick in round one, followed by Aaron Jones at the turn. Taking Mahomes in round one is an interesting strategy that could pay off, especially if you can land a Chiefs receiver later in the draft. In this case, Dan took two of them. In order to land Mahomes, the first or second round is where you will need to pull the trigger. Taking Aaron Jones here was a smart move, because if he waited to draft a running back until the 3-4 turn, he would've been left with an inferior back that would've lowered the value of his team. Taking Jones allowed him to draft two Chiefs, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce at the 3-4 turn, which he'll pair with Mahomes giving him a super-stack of Chiefs. Dan's team is now completely anchored to the Chiefs offense, which isn't a bad thing at all. Dan's last pick was also the last pick of the draft. He decided on Tarik Cohen, who has been a high producer recently. The matchup against the Rams could turn out to be a perfect game script for Cohen's strengths as a receiver. Dan's betting on him being a factor. If he is, and if the Chiefs can score 3-4 passing touchdowns against Baltimore, Dan will be a tough one to beat for the points crown 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?
After the top four or five backs, there is a big drop off this week. When I saw I wasn’t drafting until 6th, I knew I’d be at a big disadvantage at the position and would need to make up ground elsewhere. Given the draft position, it made sense to instead try to gain an edge at quarterback. Patrick Mahomes II has been unstoppable this season and the opportunity to pair him with his two top targets was too good to pass up. Even against the Ravens, there is a better than 1-in-6 chance Mahomes has another monster game and pushes this team over the top.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Drafting a quarterback three rounds before another went off the board and then pairing him with both of his top targets makes this an easy question to answer. I am all in on Mahomes this week and will need him to toss at least three or four touchdowns to have any chance of winning.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
The draft followed my own personal board almost exactly this week, so I don’t feel like I got any obvious values. However, I was thrilled to land Travis Kelce in the fourth round. He has been a force all season but has been especially dominant of late. In the last two weeks, he has 22 catches for 295 yards and 3 touchdowns on 28 targets.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who was not drafted, who would it be and why?
Amari Cooper is an intriguing option this week. He’s caught 16-of-17 targets over the last two weeks for 255 yards and 2 touchdowns and looks rejuvenated after landing in Dallas. This week, he faces a Philadelphia secondary that has been decimated by injuries.

PROJECTIONS PREDICT THE WINNER

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