Footballguys Staff Six-Person DRAFT Mock: Week 15

Evaluating a six-person DRAFT mock for Week 15. Each participant answers questions about their strategy and picks. 

Six Footballguys staff completed a 6-man Week 15 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 15 DRAFT:

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

DRAFT RESULTS

DRAFT EVALUATION

JAMES BRIMACOMBE - SLOT 1

Overview - James drew the #1 spot this week and he didn't disappoint with his picks, starting with Todd Gurley, followed by Antonio Brown and Michael Thomas. All three are not only solid players, but they have strong, favorable matchups. Gurley will host the Eagles who have allowed a rusher to gain 98 yards or more.in six of the last eight games. This game points in the favor of Gurley for sure. Antonio Brown is always capable of big things, especially in a home game against a playoff caliber team like New England. Don't count him out. Thomas will play a Panthers team who have struggled mightily on defense, especially in the secondary. Thomas could have a big game in the Monday Night spotlight. James concluded his draft with Andrew Luck and Dalvin Cook. Luck will face the Cowboys who have allowed two or more touchdown passes in four of their last six games. Dalvin Cook has scored in two of the last three games with 23 receptions in the last five games. He's making a late-season push with a decent matchup this week vs Miami. James could've done worse with the last running back selected in this draft. This team has the ability and potential to finish on top 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?
My goal is always to get at least one of the top running backs with my first pick and getting Todd Gurley at home against the Eagles seemed like the right pick at 1.01. The next two rounds I was lucky to be able to go WR/WR and grab my two favorites on the week with Antonio Brown against the Patriots in a game that should be competitive and have plenty of points scored and followed it up with Michael Thomas who is in a very similar situation. The later we get into the season the more I want to target players in games where they still have something to play for as it feels like they have a built-in safety net with playing time.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
The way DRAFT has been going lately it is the quarterback position that will make or break you almost every week and I have learned this over the past few weeks with bad performances from Jared Goff, Andrew Luck, and Carson Wentz and it was the difference of me cashing in my games. I took a bit of a gamble this week at the position with Andrew Luck against the Cowboys in what looks like a tougher matchup. My reasoning for this pick was that the Colts are in a battle for a playoff spot and it all starts and ends with how well Andrew Luck performs. Luck has thrown for at least two touchdowns in all but two games this season and is averaging 2.6 touchdowns a game so I am banking on 2 or 3 touchdown passes out of him this game.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
I think being the last one to need a running back was to my advantage as I was able to grab Dalvin Cook with my fifth-round pick. Cook has a moderate looking matchup against the Dolphins this week and the Vikings are fighting for their playoff lives right now. Cook finally looks healthy and the team has been giving him a larger amount of touches as he has 17 and 18 in the past two games. I think he is a great RB2 value this week on DRAFT.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who was not drafted, who would it be and why?
Nothing that really stands out to me with the remaining players. Corey Davis is a name that intrigues me if I was to wait at wide receiver and take a stab at him with my last pick. After Derrick Henry’s huge game last week I think the focus will be on the Titans run game and Davis could be an overlooked player in this game.

sean settle - SLOT 2

Overview: Like four others in this draft, Sean doubled up on running back with his first two picks, taking Saquon Barkley (vs TEN) and Lamar Miller (at NYJ). Barkley is having a rookie of the year season and has been a consistent force every week. Lamar Miller has quietly been on fire lately with either a 100-yard rushing game or a touchdown in three straight games. This week's opponent (Jets) have held running backs scoreless in five of their 13 games. That's almost 40% of the time. Miller's ability to find the end zone will play a big role in Sean's chances of finishing on top. He added Julio Jones and T.Y. Hilton, followed by Lamar Jackson in a home game against Tampa Bay. Hilton is questionable with a shoulder injury, but he played through it last week and amassed 199 yards on 9 catches. Sean needs Lamar Jackson to run wild and be a part of at least three scores to secure his hold on the top spot 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?
This week it was all about the running backs. That seemed to be the theme for everyone as the draft featured 11 straight picks at the position. I was happy with Barkley first but disappointed that Philip Lindsay was taken one spot ahead of me. I settled for Lamar Miller and a great matchup against the Jets. It has been hard to predict what Houston will do from week to week so that was a tough choice. From there I grabbed the best receivers left and missed out on pairing Hilton with Luck when he was also taken 1 pick before it was my turn. I was hoping for that stack but settled for Lamar Jackson and his upside with my final pick. He is playing a Tampa defense that has been terrible and has huge potential this week. My strategy got thrown off by those picking in front of me, but I was able to rebound and play the matchups with what was left.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
This week is going to be a tale of the Lamar’s. Both Jackson and Miller are going to play a huge role for me this week. They both have great matchups, but Miller could run into usage problems and Jackson is a rookie quarterback and extremely volatile. There was a lot of high-risk high reward thinking that went into both of these picks and it will either pay off handsomely or blow up in my face.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
I was very happy with Julio Jones in the third round. He is finally finding the end zone now that the season is a lost cause for the Falcons and he scores in bunches. After the run on running backs to start the draft I had my pick of receivers and went with him over the likes of Hopkins, Schuster, or Adams. I was not confident stacking him with Ryan, but I am still happy to have landed him as late as I did.

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 grab one more player, it would be Sony Michel. The Patriots play a Pittsburgh defense that has been less than stellar, and Michel is finally starting to get healthy again. He lost goal-line carries to the fullback, but I do not expect that to continue. Michel is the best running back the Patriots have, and they are going to lean on him through the playoffs. I expect a bounce-back game for Michel this week.

will grant - SLOT 3

Overview - Will was able to select Christian McCaffrey with his third pick, followed by Phillip Lindsay in round two. McCaffrey has scored 12 touchdowns in the last six games and is approaching 2,000 total yards. New Orleans has not allowed a 100-yard rusher all season and they average about 1 touchdown given up per week to opposing running backs. Phillip Lindsay has scored in four straight games and six of the last seven. He is one of the hotter backs in the league and arguably the biggest surprise of the year. Will drafted DeAndre Hopkins and Zach Ertz as his receivers with Cam Newton at quarterback. The Newton and McCaffrey stack is a good strategy, but there is some concern with Newton's shoulder. He has found success with McCaffrey all season long, so it may not be that much of a concern. He's not making long deep throws and McCaffrey is the primary beneficiary. Will can finish on top with a strong game from Carolina and if everyone else produces their normal output. This is one of the better teams this week.

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?
It’s odd – this week I feel like the running back corps is pretty deep, and I wanted to look at landing two running backs with my first two picks. Gurley is the obvious choice as the #1 overall back, but I think Christian McCaffery against the Saints will be the #2 running back this week. The Panthers are in a serious nosedive but should come hard against the Saints as their playoff hopes slip away. If the Panthers are going to beat the Saints, McCaffery is going to need to have a big game. In the second round, I would have taken Phillip Lindsay at 2.01, so to see him fall all the way back to me at 2.04 was great. I like him a lot better than Aaron Jones, Lamar Miller or even David Johnson. Given the Running back run in the first two rounds, there was decent value with my next pick, and DeAndre Hopkins was great grab for me at 3.03. The Jets are a doormat this season, and Houston has been on fire as of late. They are playing for a bye week now in the playoffs, and I think Hopkins is going to have a big week against the lowly Jets. With Brimacombe taking two wide receivers at the second turn, by the time I came up again, there was only one other team that needed a receiver besides me, so I went with a quarterback instead. With Mahomes unavailable due to the game slate, I took Cam Newton because of his running ability and hope that he and McCaffery will pay big dividends for me. With the last receiver in the draft, I took the top pass catcher from the Eagles – Zach Ertz.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Well, Cam Netwon was a bit of a gamble. As the first quarterback off the board, I could have gone a lot of different ways but felt like Netwon was the right choice. I need him to do well both running and passing if I’m going to have a good week. The obvious concern is that he and McCaffery will steal carries from each other. Looking back, it might have been smarter to take Luck or Goff. But I’ve had such a rough year, I figure may as well take a couple chances and go with Newton as the top quarterback this week.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
I think the running back run allowed me to score big value with DeAndre Hopkins at pick 3.03. I love Hopkins potential this week against the Jets, and the Texans needing to run the table for a chance at a playoff bye. After the tough loss this week, they have to be fired up to play the lowly Jets and Hopkins could be the top receiver with KC and the Chargers off the slate due to the Thursday night game. I was super happy to land Hopkins in the 3rd round.

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 additional pick, I’d probably have taken a chance on Tyler Boyd. The Bengals and Raiders have the potential for a big shootout this week as neither team really plays defense well and Boyd is probably the best option as a pass catcher for the Bengals. With Cinci playing at home and hoping to avoid a complete flame out this season, Boyd should have a decent game for the Bengals.

dan hindery - SLOT 4

Overview - There's a lot of hot running backs in the league and Ezekiel Elliott is one of them. He has scored in four of the last five games with 40 receptions in the last six games. Getting him 4th overall is a great value for Dan. Skipping over Phillip Lindsay for David Johnson may be one Dan would like back. Arizona has played better lately, but Johnson has gone scoreless in the last four games and the Cardinals offense is still in flux. Dan added JuJu Smith-Schuster in round three and Adam Thielen in round four. Both receivers are capable of having a big week. Miami (at Minnesota) has allowed two touchdowns to wide receivers in four of the last six games. Dan finished his draft with Tom Brady who has a big game on the road in Pittsburgh this week. Brady is coming off two straight 300-yard games. He has five of such this season. Dan will need a big game from David Johnson at Atlanta to compete with the top teams 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?
In looking at this slate, there wasn’t a single pass catcher or quarterback I felt 100% confident in so I felt it made sense to lock up the two best running backs possible and then take advantage of the wide receiver depth in the middle rounds. I did want to try to get a piece of the Steelers-Panthers game, which I expect to turn into a shootout. It worked out well as I was able to land JuJu Smith-Schuster and Tom Brady late.

Drawing the 1.04 was perfect. You can’t go wrong with Todd Gurley, Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, or Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott was an easy pick once the other three were gone. I was really hoping Joe Mixon would fall to me at 2.03. I’m not in love with David Johnson this week but felt there was a bigger drop-off at running back than wide receiver.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Tom Brady is a key guy for me this week. He is coming off of a big game (358 yards and 3 touchdowns) against Miami and faces a Steelers team he has had a lot of success against. For his career, he has averaged 312 passing yards and 2.5 touchdowns against Pittsburgh. There are a lot of low-scoring games on this slate, so getting a big game from Brady will be a key to my chances.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
Adam Thielen at 4.03 was a great value. The Minnesota offense looked bad Monday night, which probably was the reason he slid. However, a home game against Miami looks like the perfect bounce-back spot. Thielen has been a monster this season, ranking as the WR3 in DRAFT scoring. He already has 103 catches, 1,236 yards, and 9 touchdowns. The Dolphins rank 30th against the pass, allowing 7.8 yards per attempt, and are without their top cornerback, Xavien Howard. An elite wide receiver in a great matchup was a no-brainer in the fourth round.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who was not drafted, who would it be and why?
As with Thielen, Stefon Diggs is in a great spot this week against a bad Miami pass defense. Diggs is the WR9 in points per game in DRAFT scoring and he has a great matchup. Returning home after an embarrassing loss, Kirk Cousins, Adam Thielen, and Stefon Diggs should be able to get the Vikings season back on track.

justin howe - SLOT 5

Overview - There are many top backs in this week's slate. So much that Justin was able to get Alvin Kamara 5th overall in a good offensive matchup against Carolina. He followed that pick up with Aaron Jones at Chicago. The "at Chicago" is concerning. The Bears have been solid against running backs this year, especially at home, but Jones has scored in five straight games. Something will have to give. Justin drafted Davante Adams and Amari Cooper as his receivers with Ben Roethlisberger as his quarterback. Adams has scored in 10 of 13 games this year including three straight. Cooper has been hot since the trade to Dallas. it will be tough to improve on last week's performance that included 10 receptions for 217 yards and 3 touchdowns. This week's opponent (at IND) has allowed only four touchdowns to wide receivers in the last five games. Ben Roethlisberger at home vs New England could yield big numbers or be the reason why Justin doesn't finish on top this week. Roethlisberger's performance along with Aaron Jones at Chicago will be the hinge players for Justin. If they can produce, Justin will be able to compete with the top teams.

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?
This was a wonky week, and it left me gasping for air and desperately seeking the best player available at each pick. There are only four guys locked into heavy usage this week, and I slotted in fifth, which isn't ideal. Kamara is dynamic, but not the type of 25-touch anchor I like to build around. From there, I took the best running back on the board in Round 2, knowing that receiver is so deep this week. That left me with a plethora of wideouts that all project similarly, and I immediately snagged two of them. Again, I'm not thrilled with the way this played out. But I feel I did everything I could to make do.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Sheesh, any of them. This is by far the most volatile team I've ever DRAFTed. But I'm most nervous about my Packers stack. It sure seems counterintuitive, stacking a struggling offense against a great defense. But that's how the BPA chips fell in this one. Jones could turn 20 touches into 150 yards, or he could be a non-factor without much efficiency. But I do like the fact that the Bears were just gashed twice by the run. Jones is gifted enough to break a few chunk runs and top 100 total yards, which would be just fine with me. Again, there were no guaranteed-volume guys left for me. I'm more worried about Adams. Armed with great press cornerbacks, Vic Fangio's defense tends to sell out to stop WR1s. But Adams did put up 88 yards and find the end zone in this matchup in Week 1, so there's a ceiling in place for sure.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
I was thrilled to get a quarterback from NE-PIT; I was afraid neither would be left for me in Round 5. I preferred Brady, who always thrashes the Steelers, but I'm happy with Roethlisberger as a consolation prize. That's going to be a fairly high-octane game, and Roethlisberger is so dynamic he puts up numbers even in shaky losses. I wish I could've stacked him with a Steelers receiver, but as it stands I love my last-round quarterback.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who was not drafted, who would it be and why?
I also like Stefon Diggs this week. The Dolphins pass defense has taken a step forward this year, but remains somewhat leaky, and it should flounder this week with top cornerback Xavien Howard still out. He's been stout on the outside, and his shaky replacement, Tory McTyver, will likely continue to struggle to contain Diggs on the boundaries. The Patriots created big plays galore last Sunday, and I see that trend continuing.

keith roberts - SLOT 6

Overview: Keith decided to take two running backs with the 6th and 7th overall picks - Nick Chubb and Joe Mixon. Chubb has produced average yardage numbers since his Week 10 breakout 176-yard rushing effort, but he has scored in five straight games. He'll face a tough defense at Denver, where the Broncos always seem to play better. Joe Mixon doesn't find the end zone as often other top backs, but he's a versatile back with above average rushing and receiving skills. He has a good matchup this week vs Oakland and is capable of putting up good numbers with a score. Keith added Odell Beckham Jr (vs TEN) and Robert Woods (vs PHI) as his receivers. Beckham will return from a bruised quad that kept him out last week. He is always capable of a big game and Keith will need him to ball-out against the Titans. Woods has a favorable matchup against Philadelphia who just gave up 200 yards to Amari Cooper last week. The Eagles secondary is struggling to compete and Woods may be next in line to exploit them. Adding Jared Goff to complete the Rams stack is a great decision for Keith. If they combine to have a big game (over 300 yards and 2 scores to Woods), Keith has a chance to find himself in the winner's circle.

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?
I knew running back would be critical this week, as there really were few attractive options at the wide receiver position. This was the obvious strategy as you saw 11 running backs go off the board with the first 11 picks--the first time such an occurrence has happened in these drafts for us this season. To be honest, I was far from thrilled with my draft position and how this draft turned out for me. Drafting from the sixth position for me was all about trying to find upside, which is what I did with all of my picks. Odell Beckham Jr Jr. comes with risk given his injury status, but he has the potential to make massive plays against what has been a suspect Titans secondary at times. The stack of Robert Woods and Jared Goff is also a pure upside play in hopes that they both connect for a couple touchdowns in a high scoring game with the Eagles.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Both running backs will be critical for me this week, but Joe Mixon is who I believe will make or break me. Mixon was the center of this beleaguered Bengals offense last week and has been heavily featured in each of his last three games with over 80 rushing yards in each outing and over 130 all-purpose yards in two of those three games. Running backs are averaging 123 rushing yards per game against the Raiders this season--the third-most allowed by a defense. While the Raiders have kept touchdowns and receiving numbers down for running backs, Joe Mixon really is all this offense is left with and should be the favorite to score among any Bengals player. With the Bengals having a chance to compete in this game at home, Mixon very well could see over 20 carries again, and I will need him to put up massive numbers to have a shot at outscoring those teams with elite running backs on their roster this week.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
Odell Beckham Jr Jr. could be my best value, although I was not particularly pleased with anyone on my roster from a value perspective. Beckham comes with plenty of risks given his recent injury situation, but the reward could be equally high as he has the potential to be the top receiver on the slate given the shaky matchups across the board for pass-catchers. The Titans will have Adoree' Jackson covering Beckham for most snaps, and while Jackson is a very talented second-year cornerback, he is slightly undersized and has been vulnerable to giving up some big plays this season. In addition, these Titans linebackers have been excellent in coverage over the middle of the field, which should not bode well for the pass-catching upside of Saquon Barkley. As a result, targets may get funneled to the outside which naturally should lead to more balls heading in the direction of Beckham in what should be a competitive game.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who would it be and why?
Leonard Fournette is an option I would have considered this week. He was terrible in the last showing against the Titans, but leading into that game Fournette had scored five times with over 100 yards in each of his three games since returning from injury. He should be the center of Jacksonville’s offensive game plan, and he could be set up for plenty of opportunities this week with a highly dysfunctional Redskins offense that may allow the Jaguars offense with more than their fair share of time on the field this week. The Redskins gave up 170 rushing yards to Saquon Barkley last week and have allowed a running back to rush for 80 or more yards in five of their last six games--so the matchup and situation both warrant consideration for Fournette if you can shake off the recency bias from his terrible Week 14 outing.

PROJECTIONS PREDICT THE WINNER

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