Footballguys Staff Six-Person DRAFT Mock: Week 16

Evaluating a six-person DRAFT mock for Week 16. Each participant answers questions about their strategy and picks. 

Six Footballguys staff completed a 6-man Week 16 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 16 DRAFT:

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

DRAFT RESULTS

DRAFT EVALUATION

sean settle - SLOT 1

Overview - With the first pick of the draft, Sean selected Christian McCaffrey. There may not be a more consistent running back in the league than McCaffrey, who has 14 games finishing as an RB1 or RB2. That's one more than Ezekiel Elliott, Saquon Barkley or Todd Gurley. He followed up with David Johnson and Michael Thomas at the 2-3 turn. The Cardinals are struggling to amass a formidable offense, scoring only 13.7 points per game, however, David Johnson is capable of being a focal point for the team. Is he worthy of a late second round pick in a home game against the Rams? That's debatable. Michael Thomas was red hot earlier in the year, but he has cooled down in the second half of the season. Can he regain top form against Pittsburgh? He'll need to for Sean to have a chance at a top finish this week. Mike Evans and Andrew Luck round out Sean's team. Evans has been hit and miss this season and he has a tough matchup on the road at Dallas. Luck is capable of a 250+ yard game with 3 touchdowns any given week. He represents good consistency, but the second overall quarterback in this draft may be a bit rich, as he's ranked 5th among quarterbacks 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 finally lucked into the first pick this week and it was one of the only times that Gurley was not the top overall guy on my board. I went with McCaffery with the way he has played in recent weeks and because of his matchup with a banged-up Atlanta defense. I was hoping to land Dalvin Cook with my second pick, but he did not survive until my next pick. The Cardinals finally seem to be more committed to David Johnson and I felt he was the best option left for a second running back. I was then able to grab Michael Thomas. He has been in a bit of a slump lately with Brees not playing as well in the last 3 weeks, but I expect that to change this week against the Steelers. Mike Evans is always a safe bet, especially after he found success against a dominant Baltimore secondary last week. My final pick was tough. I usually try and stack a QB and WR but this week I went with Luck. He had the highest upside of any QB left. He has the ability to throw for 300 yards and 3 touchdowns every week. If the Colts run game does not find success early, it will be the Luck show again this week.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Just like the majority of the season, David Johnson is going to make or break any team. He struggled early on and then seemed to find a groove when the offense finally started using him again. Arizona is a candidate to get behind every week and abandon the run, but Johnson has the skill set to contribute in a pass-heavy offense as well. I would have preferred Cook in this spot, but he was not available.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
Michael Thomas in the third round is a great value. His recent 3-week slump has caused him to dip in the rankings, but he is still the same explosive receiver that can score points in bunches. The Saints do not have any weapon playing on the other side of him and he is almost a lock for 10+ targets. Look for Thomas to bounce back this week and be worth way more than the third round pick it cost to get him.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who was not drafted, who would it be and why?
If I could take one more player, it would be Stefon Diggs. I briefly considered taking him over Mike Evans but went with the latter. Diggs has been the main receiver for Minnesota in recent weeks with Thielen struggling. The new offensive coordinator called his number more than Thielen last week and while I expect that to even out, he will still see his fair share of targets. Diggs is always a good option, even more so against a poor Detroit defense this week.

justin howe - SLOT 2

Overview: Justin drafted a team full of promise and talent starting with Ezekiel Elliott in a home matchup against Tampa Bay. Elliott is one of the hottest backs in the league over the last weeks despite scoring only once in the last three games. He has been a constant target for Dak Prescott, as well as the team's dominating rusher. Justin elected to go receiver with his next two picks, landing two good ones in Davante Adams and Julio Jones. Adams has 12 touchdowns this year and is the #1 fantasy wide receiver in PPR format. Jones has come on strong after being in touchdown purgatory in the first half of the year. He now has six scores in the last seven games.Justin finished his draft with Phillip Lindsay and Matt Ryan. Lindsay is coming off a disappointing effort last week and Ryan is playing a Panthers team that is no longer in playoff contention. This is a good team with the potential for a high scoring 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?
Grab a high-usage, high-ceiling running back - easy to do with the second pick - then fill out my roster with best players available. I feel great about Elliott's chances at 25 touches, so I can afford to look away from RB2 until later. And I was thrilled to see that wait netted me Adams and Jones, two clear-cut WR1s that will probably draw 12+ targets apiece, with excellent ceilings. (The Adams pick was risky, due to Aaron Rodgers' status at the time, but I just liked him best there.) All told, I feel I'm walking away with the week's top player and a pair of top-three receivers. I'm on cloud nine.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Lindsay is by far my diciest play. After David Johnson came off the board, we were left with a smorgasbord of similarly-valued RB2 options, and I judged Lindsay the best name after Chris Carson. Lindsay has struggled in back-to-back weeks, but still boasts strong usage (18 touches a game over the last 8 weeks) that should translate to big production against the Raiders. I certainly prefer his floor over those of Melvin Gordon III (at least this week) or Marlon Mack. Still, it's hard to shake the fact that he just did nothing in two relatively favorable matchups. This could conceivably wind up a nothing play, but I'm confident.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
If not for the wide, diverse value at running back this week, I'd never have had a shot at Julio Jones in Round 3. On a more typical week, he, DeAndre Hopkins, and Davante Adams would all be off the board by that point, but here we are. Jones is not merely excelling this year - he's actually posting his second-best season as a pro. He's usage dominator (11 targets a game) and is finding ways to score touchdowns while avoiding those pesky goal-line woes. His matchup with the Panthers may be a little low-volume for my tastes, but should feature efficient play by Matt Ryan and plenty of splash opportunity for Jones. The Carolina cornerbacks have been scorched repeatedly of late, and the safeties are little more than hood ornaments against the pass. Jones should have a field day working the deep zones and seams.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who was not drafted, who would it be and why?
I wish I could flex Melvin Gordon III onto this roster. Gordon's immediate usage upon return isn't totally clear, but as always, there's a strong chance we've collectively overthinking things. This is a deep backfield, and the Chargers are playoff-bound, but Gordon could easily step back into 20+ high-impact touches. And even if he's eased in, he boasts the multi-faceted upside to maximize any usage he does draw.

james brimacombe - SLOT 3

Overview - James drafted Saquon Barkley in the first round and followed him up with two Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes II III, and Tyreek Hill. Barkley and Hill had poor results last week, but one bad week shouldn't be a reason not to pursue them in Week 16. James did well by selecting value while solidifying a strong Chiefs stack, even if on the road at Seattle. James took Amari Cooper in the fourth round followed by Marlon Mack in round five. It was wise to secure value at the second receiver slot before reaching for a running back in the fourth. Cooper has performed well since the trade over to Dallas with the exception of last week. Cooper is due for a rebound and Tampa Bay is a decent matchup. Marlon Mack had 27 carries for 137 yards and 1 touchdown last week against Dallas. He is capable of being a solid point producer for James' team. Despite being the 17th ranked running back this week, Mack has a good matchup (vs NYG) playing at home. The success of Mahomes and Hill on the road at Seattle will dictate how far this team goes. James should be happy with the team he drafted.

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?
This week I wanted a piece of the Kansas City offense and paid up for both Patrick Mahomes II and Tyreek Hill hoping that they can deliver a big offensive game. From there I built around volume guys in Saquon Barkley and Marlon Mack at running back and on Amari Cooper to have a rebound game against Tampa Bay. The whole draft was built with a GPP mind and hoping that we see fireworks with Kansas City once again.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
I think it starts at the top with Saquon Barkley as who knows how the Giants play out their last two games with nothing to play for. They could start pushing back on the amount of work Barkley sees this week and that could hurt my team right out of the gate especially with the 1.03 pick invested in him. I think it is a tough week at the top of drafts this week as there is so much uncertainty at what teams are actually playing for at this point in the season.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
I think Amari Cooper is a great WR1 this week as the Cowboys look to bounce back from their zero-point effort against the Colts last week. This week the matchup is good for Cooper as the Buccaneers are in the bottom half of the league at defending the pass. With five touchdowns over the past four games and helping to turn around the Cowboys season, I like Cooper to be a focal point this week in the offense.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who was not drafted, who would it be and why?
I like Alshon Jeffery as a solid WR2 this week and his projection on DRAFT is set at only 10.6 so he is way down the draft board and an after-thought by most. My reasoning for this pick is that last week being his first game reunited with Nick Foles since the Super Bowl last year, that the two looked great together and completed on all eight of their targets for 8/160/0. Against the Texans this week it is playoff football for the Eagles and the Foles to Jeffery combo should be a big part of the Eagles success on offense.

DAN HINDERY - SLOT 4

Overview - Dan has the lowest expected point total this week, but he has three birds in the hand with Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster. The matchup of Pittsburgh at New Orleans is projected to reach 53.5 points. Dan is banking on a high-scoring game, as he also has Alvin Kamara on his squad. Dalvin Cook makes up his other running back giving him key playmakers at all positions. The challenge for him is, will the game script in New Orleans favor his strategy? If so, Dan could find himself among the top teams this week. Not mentioned yet, Dalvin Cook was a big part of the Vikings offense with new offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski calling the plays. Dan may have the lowest projected score, but he is rolling the dice on what could be a productive, and ultimately game-winning, strategy.

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?
It doesn’t seem like there is much drop off from the top wide receiver to the guys who were still available late, so it was a priority to lock up a pair of running backs early. Every week, I try to get target guys from potential shootouts and this week, the Pittsburgh-New Orleans game was one I targeted. Four of my five picks are playing in this game, so if it does turn into a shootout, I will have a great shot at winning the week. The game total is tied for the highest on the slate.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Ben Roethlisberger is the key guy for me this week. Not only because it usually takes at least two or three passing touchdowns from your quarterback to finish high, but also because my entire team is built around the Steelers passing game. If Roethlisberger has a big week, then it is highly likely my two wide receivers, Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster will be good as well. If the Saints shut down the Steelers offense or if all of the Pittsburgh touchdowns come on the ground, I have no shot this week.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
I loved getting Antonio Brown in the middle of the 3rd round. While it hasn’t been the type of dominant season from Brown we have come to expect, he still ranks as a top-5 wide receiver in DRAFT scoring. This also looks like a good spot for Brown. New Orleans has shut down opposing running backs but has given up a ton of fantasy points through the air (4th-most to opposing wide receivers). Pittsburgh is going to have to be aggressive through the air if they are going to have any chance to keep up with New Orleans.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who was not drafted, who would it be and why?
Stefon Diggs is the guy who I would have targeted if I had another pick. He is a top-12 wide receiver this season and has been a go-to guy in big games. In three games against NFC North opponents this season, Diggs has put up lines of 9-128-2, 13-126-1, and 8-77-1. Detroit has allowed four receivers to have 100-yard and at least one touchdown in the last five weeks. Diggs could add to that total in a must-win game for the Vikings.

keith roberts - SLOT 5

Overview - Keith started the draft with a running back, Nick Chubb who has an excellent matchup against one of the worst performing run defenses in the league in Cincinnati. He selected DeAndre Hopkins next, and Deshaun Watson later. Both will pair up against the resurging Eagles, who still have concerns in the secondary. Both the Texans an Eagles have given up an average of 300+ yards passing in their last three games. This game could be a shootout despite a modest 45-point Vegas over/under line. Keith added Travis Kelce and Chris Carson with his next picks. The two will be opponents in what is expected to be a high-scoring affair in Seattle. The success of this team will revolve around the execution of the Texans passing game against the Eagles stout defensive line and weakened secondary. If Watson can get past the Eagles pass rush and connect consistently with Hopkins, it will definitely help Keith's chances of winning 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?
I stuck to the usual strategy this week of targeting running back early while waiting on a quarterback. I did take a risk, however, by waiting until the fourth round to select my second running back. I was happy with how this paid off as Chris Carson came to me at a great value. The fifth draft position is an interesting spot. My Texans stack with DeAndre Hopkins was intentional knowing I would likely have Deshaun Watson available in the last round. To fill things out, I decided to roll with the best available Chiefs player in the third round to get a piece of that high-flying offense. Overall, this team has great upside and I am happy with it.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Deshaun Watson will be very important to my success this week. He may have been a reach on pure quarterback rankings, but Watson completed my stack with Hopkins which could prove to have massive upside. The Eagles secondary has been susceptible to big games this season with 297 or more passing yards allowed in four of their last five games, including a 455-yard outing by Dak Prescott two weeks ago. The Eagles linebackers have also shown to be slower in tracking mobile quarterbacks at times, giving up over 30 rushing yards in four games to mobile quarterbacks. In what should be a very competitive game that matters for both teams, Watson absolutely could put up big numbers.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
Chris Carson is definitely my best value as the tenth running back off the board. Carson resides in the most run-heavy offense in football with a solid offensive line blocking for him. His volume is unquestionable, seeing 22 carries in back-to-back weeks while also averaging over five yards per rush attempt in two of his last three games. With Rashaad Penny questionable to return, Carson could be in an even better position to succeed as the primary rusher in this backfield. The matchup is also ideal facing a terrible Chiefs run defense ranking near the bottom of the league in most metrics against the run. A big part of the Seahawks game plan should be to keep the ball away from the Chiefs offense, so upwards of 20 carries for Carson is a very logical expectation.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who would it be and why?
I would have taken a look at Robert Woods as my second receiver had I waited slightly later in the draft. Woods has been a steady contributor in the Rams offense despite the accuracy issues of Jared Goff lately. He gets the advantage coming out of the slot this week as Woods will rarely if ever, be covered by Patrick Peterson--which should automatically yield an increase in targets. In addition, if Todd Gurley is out or limited, this offense very well may throw slightly more often to represent a further increase in volume for Woods. While definitely a lower end receiver in this format, Woods just represents a safe pick to combine with higher upside guys on your roster.

will grant- SLOT 6

Overview: Will had the fortunate benefit of an uncertain Todd Gurley (knee) at the time of this draft. Gurley dropped all the way to the top of round two as a result. If Gurley shows no ill-effects of a knee inflammation that sidelined him in the second half of last week's game, it could mean everything to Will's chances this week. Will has Joe Mixon at his arsenal as well, giving him two top backs at the 1-2 turn. He followed that up with two strong receiving options, T.Y. Hilton and Adam Thielen. Will later drafted Jared Goff, giving him a QB-RB stack of Rams. If the Gurley-Mixon combo isn't exciting enough for you, the Hilton-Thielen duo also has the potential for a big week. There is some degree of risk with Gurley, but he's worthy of a second-round pick. Jared Goff has only one touchdown pass in the last three games. The offense has lost some of it's luster without a healthy Gurley and the loss of Cooper Kupp, but the potential is there for a rebound, and the Cardinals present a good matchup.

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 actually didn’t mind having the last pick on the turn because with a full slate this week, the running back depth is pretty good. I personally would have preferred Nick Chubb over Joe Mixon but I was happy to pair Mixon with Todd Gurley as my #2 back. Dalvin Cook against Detroit would have also been a good pick on the turn. At that point, my draft was basically locked in. My last pick in round 5 was guaranteed to be the lowest ranked player – so I chose to take a quarterback with that pick since the difference between #1 and #5 was much worse than the difference between the #1 and the #12 wide receiver. This meant taking the top two wide receivers available at my next pick. Andrew Luck to T.Y. Hilton has been money all season, while the Colts are still in the playoff hunt, the Giants are not. I would have loved to pair luck with Hilton and nearly considered it before taking Adam Thielen against Detroit. The Vikings need to win this week to have a chance to make the playoffs. They can’t catch the Bears, but they can still have a wild card. To secure that, they need a division win against a Detroit team that is already looking at next season. Thielen has been the key to their passing game all season and I was happy to pair him with Hilton on this turn. That left taking a quarterback with the last pick. Andrew Luck and Matt Ryan did not fall to me, so I was forced to take Jared Goff. While Goff hasn’t done anything these last two weeks, he has a ‘get right’ game this week against the doormat Cardinals. Expect him and the Rams to bounce back and I’m happy to have him as my quarterback.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
As odd as this is going to sound, Joe Mixon is my make or break guy. Gurley is about as chalk as they come this week against the Cardinals, and I expect him and Goff to have a big game. Hilton and Thielen will get plenty of opportunities to post solid points, even if they don’t reach the end zone. That leaves Mixon as the biggest question mark on my team. Mixon is essentially the main thrust of the Bengals offense, and he’ll see plenty of touches against the upstart Browns who are still mathematically in the playoff hunt. If the Cleveland defense fires up and the Bengals quit early, Mixon could be in for a long day.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
Todd Gurley at 2.01. You could say he was a 1.06 pick as well but that’s still huge value for a guy who has been going #1 or #2 in most weekly drafts this season. Arizona’s defense is OK, but their offense is putrid. The Rams are going to have the ball a lot and Gurley will see plenty of touches. The Rams can’t afford to lose again, especially with the Bears playing San Francisco, so expect Gurley to see 20-25 touches. Big value at the end of round 1 / beginning of round 2.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who was not drafted, who would it be and why?
Melvin Gordon III is back at practice and will be ready to go when the Chargers meet the Ravens this weekend. The Chargers are neck and neck with the Chiefs to win their division and secure a 1st round bye in the playoffs. That means they’re going to come out swinging against a Baltimore team that is hanging on by a thread. I expect Gordon’s return to be solid and he would make an excellent pick after Goff this week.

PROJECTIONS PREDICT THE WINNER

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