Footballguys Staff Six-Person DRAFT Mock: Week 17

Evaluating a six-person DRAFT mock for Week 17. Each participant answers questions about their strategy and picks. 

Six Footballguys staff completed a 6-man Week 17 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 17 DRAFT:

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

DRAFT RESULTS

DRAFT EVALUATION

keith roberts - SLOT 1

Overview - Week 17 is always a tricky week because there is no clear indication of how much certain players will play. There are several teams with playoff seedings on the line, but New Orleans has locked up the #1 seed in the NFC, which could mean many stars, including Michael Thomas, will sit this week vs. Carolina. Keith drafted a strong team with high point-scoring potential, but he'll need to overcome the Michael Thomas second-round pick if he doesn't get many snaps. Saquon Barkley, Patrick Mahomes II III, Keenan Allen, and Jamaal Williams will need to have big games to make up for any lack of production from Thomas.

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?
The top pick was not as easy as usual this week as I wanted to select Christian McCaffrey, but was wary of reports indicating he could be limited or even sit out this final meaningless game for Carolina. As such, I selected Barkley with the top pick as the player with the highest ceiling available despite his two back-to-back lackluster outings. I was happy with Michael Thomas as the fourth receiver off the board, electing to wait longer on my second running back due to the drop off in value. I broke the mold on waiting for a quarterback by taking Patrick Mahomes II atop the third round. I knew if I wanted him, this would have to be the spot. While Mahomes has had a few rough outings by his standards recently, the Chiefs still have plenty to play for against a hapless Raiders secondary that he shredded for nearly 300 yards and four touchdowns only a few weeks ago. This made it an easy decision to pay up for Mahomes before rounding out the rest of my team.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Saquon Barkley must turn in a top performance this week. He has been in the dumps recently with back-to-back outings of fewer than 50 rushing yards, but his receptions have been there at a consistent level. Barkley had strung together four straight games of over 100 yards leading into Week 15, and he is capable of doing it again here against the Cowboys. Dallas did hold him to just 28 yards on 11 carries in their Week 2 meeting, but Barkley also racked up a season-high 14 receptions for 80 receiving yards in that contest. The Cowboys allowed Marlon Mack to run all over them two weeks ago for 139 yards and two touchdowns, but they do have young talent at linebacker that could make Barkley’s day a tough one. Either way, the performance of Barkley will surely make or break my chances in this final week.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
Keenan Allen is my top value as the final receiver taken. He is in a great spot against a Broncos secondary without their top slot cornerback Chris Harris Jr, leaving Justin Simmons to match up with Allen when in the slot and Trumain Brock while on the outside. Neither cornerback should present an issue for Allen, who appeared to be healthy last week after his recent hip injury. The Chargers are still playing for a possible division title if the Chiefs lose, so the hope is that Allen remains in the game and can make something out of these favorable cornerback matchups. He has been a target hog for this offense with more than twice as many targets as the next closest player, so the opportunity will exist as long as he stays on the field.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who would it be and why?
I would actually consider giving David Johnson one more shot this week. While he may not have much room to run due to the poor offensive line play from the Cardinals, Johnson’s opportunity to capitalize on this week will come through the air against a Seahawks defense that has given up five receiving touchdowns and a league-leading eight receptions for 78 receiving yards per game to running backs over their last five games. The Cardinals will likely be playing catch-up on the road as big underdogs, and they have nothing to lose by lining up Johnson in the slot alongside a depleted receiving corps with only Larry Fitzgerald remaining to rely on.

sean settle - SLOT 2

Overview: Sean drafted a team that looks to be fairly clear of any players who might sit this week. There have been whispers that Carolina will keep an eye on Christian McCaffrey's playing time, but he is 75 scrimmage yards away from 2,000 and 155 receiving yards from 1,000 yards both rushing and receiving. It's not a foregone conclusion that he will receive regular snaps, plus Carolina will be starting their third-string quarterback, Kyle Allen, this week. After McCaffrey, Sean selected Joe Mixon and T.Y. Hilton, followed by George Kittle and Deshaun Watson. Mixon has had double-digit carries in each game this year and he has three scores in the last three games. Hilton has quietly been one of the hotter receivers in the league with four 100-yard efforts in the last six games. He has only scored twice in that span, but the volume he's seeing is unquestioned. Kittle is San Francisco's top receiving talent but he'll face a tough Rams defense who will be fighting Chicago for the #2 seed in the NFC. Deshaun Watson and the Texans can finish as the 1, 2, 3, or 6 seed in the AFC. They'll be hosting a Jaguars team who will be looking to forget 2018. The touches for McCaffrey may decide whether or not this team can compete as the top team 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?
Week 17 is always tough as we cannot rely on our normal studs from earlier in the season. The NFL has moved towards resting their players for teams that have already clinched or for guys who are banged up on teams that are already out of it. Motivation is a key element to how I drafted this week. I started with McCaffrey as the Panthers did not appear to be afraid to ride him last week despite sitting Cam Newton. He has been one of the best all-around backs this season and I expect that to continue in the final week. The Bengals want to make a statement and keep their division rival out of the playoffs. They gave up 3 touchdowns on the ground to the Saints last week, and Mixon has been a stud when they use him. From there it is another must-win game for the Colts and TY Hilton has been great down the stretch. The only name I am not happy with is Kittle, but the 49ers will get a defense that has not been elite and has nothing to really play for. I closed things out with Watson at QB and the Texans are also in a must-win game to take the division. Week 17 is a tough week to predict, and it will all come down to how much certain guys play.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Usually, this spot is not reserved for your first pick, but that is what it looks like for McCaffrey. The Panthers have thrown in the towel on this season and are already resting Newton. There is a chance they scale back the workload for McCaffrey as well since they are not playing for anything. He has been a stud catching the ball out of the backfield and should continue to see those targets with their backup quarterback under center. This week is going to come down to how much McCaffrey plays.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
Value is all over the place when you cannot predict how much someone is going to play. However, this week I really like TY Hilton and expect him to grade out as a top 5 receiver this week. He has put together a string of monster games despite being held out of the end zone and he is playing for a team that is desperately trying to hold on to the 6th playoff spot. Eric Ebron also went down with injury last week and if he does not go, Hilton will see a bump in production.

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 player, it would have to be Ertz. I took Kittle ahead of them because of the defensive matchup, but never expected Ertz to still be there after his big game last week. He has already set the receptions for a season record by a tight end and the Eagles have a lot to play for in the final week. I fully expect Ertz to get used heavily in a must-win game against a struggling divisional opponent. If I had the chance to swap him for Kittle right now, I would.

JAMES BRIMACOMBE - SLOT 3

Overview - James faces an uphill battle with Alvin Kamara (Saints playing time uncertainty) and a tough matchup for Nick Chubb on the road at Baltimore. His receivers are strong, led by DeAndre Hopkins (vs JAC) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (vs CIN). Both are fighting for a playoff spot or seeding. James also has the added bonus of Ben Roethlisberger giving him a Steelers QB-WR stack with Smith-Schuster. The biggest determining factor for James' success this week is the availability of Alvin Kamara in a meaningless game for New Orleans. Selecting Kamara in the first round as the #3 pick overall is worrisome and it could be a decision James would like to have back.

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?
Week 17 is one of the trickiest weeks in all of football as there are so many situations with teams and players that you have to monitor as the week goes on. It is best to look at players from teams fighting for the playoffs such as Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Baltimore, etc. I was ok with this and stacked Ben Roethlisberger with JuJu Smith-Schuster in hopes that Pittsburgh play this game against Cincinnati as one that could be their last and decide to pile up the points. I probably made a bad decision in going with Alvin Kamara as my first pick as the Saints are already locked into home-field advantage in the playoffs.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Alvin Kamara because the Saints have nothing to play for right now as they have home-field advantage locked up. At this point, I will probably have to hope for him to get declared inactive so I can swap him out for another running back. Week 17 is such a hard week to predict who plays and if they play how many snaps they will actually see.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
I think this is a week to pay up for one of the quarterbacks fighting for a playoff spot and getting Ben Roethlisberger at 5.03 seems like a steal. He very likely could end up as the top scoring quarterback on the week because of the matchup and the fact that the Steelers will be hungry to put up a lot of points in what could be their final game of the season.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who was not drafted, who would it be and why?
David Johnson is a name that I would gladly swap in for Alvin Kamara right now if I had the chance. Johnson is sitting at 879 rushing yards on the season so trying to reach 1,000 on the year could be motivation. He also has 10 total touchdowns on the season even playing on a bad team he is clearly their best player. Back in Week 4 against the Seahawks he rushed 22 times for 71 yards and a touchdown and added three catches for 41 additional yards. I think the Cardinals will give him a heavy workload this week even in a meaningless game.

justin howe - SLOT 4

Overview - Justin has a strong team with the exception of maybe Ezekiel Elliott. Dallas has clinched the #4 seed and can do no better. They have nothing to play for and likely will be resting their players on the road at New York Giants. Davante Adams, Chris Carson, Julio Jones and Andrew Luck make up the rest of the roster of players who have either pride to play for, or a playoff berth/seed. Adams and Jones have been productive all season with no expectation for a drop off this week. Chris Carson is an excellent pick with a great matchup vs. Arizona. The Cardinals have allowed at least one rushing touchdown in five straight games, including two consecutive 100-yard rushing efforts against them. Carson has scored in five of the last six games with six total scores. As for Luck, he and the Colts can finish as the 3, 4, or 6 seed or miss the playoffs completely. Luck will be front and center this week in a must-win scenario at Tennessee. It's possible that the ball will bounce differently in Week 17, but Justin has positioned himself well to compete this week. The only concern is Elliott's playing time.

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?
Best player available! There are so many strong running backs in play this week - and such a big drop-off from the top tier - that it just looked too negative-EV to reach for a RB2 too early. I didn't see much difference in the next 4-6 names, so I scooped a high-usage wideout in Adams, hoping to head off the run that was coming. It worked out nicely for me - only one other back came off the board before my next pick, leaving me Chris Carson, Jamaal Williams, and a handful of other solid names to choose from.

As always, this strategy only worked because the right players fell to me. Had I not landed the upside of Jones in Round 4, for example, this might look like Just Another Team. It's another example of why it's so necessary to treat your draft like an evolving thing, a book being written as you read it. You can't enter with a flat strategy and refuse the alternatives. That's how value is lost.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Without question, my week hinges on Elliott. If he suits up and plays a full complement of snaps - as Jason Garrett has said he will - I should be fine. Elliott is Elliott, and the Giants don't present much of a matchup.

However... if they're going to give him some rest, I desperately need them to announce it early in the week - and declare him out. If so, I can sub in David Johnson and feel OK about life. (Or perhaps his own replacement, Rod Smith.) But if Garrett was full of it, and he merely wants to get Elliott a handful of snaps and touches to keep him from rust, then I'm doomed. I passed on too many high-usage, high-quality, blowup-candidate receivers to land him and walk away with just 40 yards.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
Jones shouldn't have lasted this ling. I like the receivers that went before him, but I do think he was a safer play than the two Chiefs taken in Round 3. Jones has been so fun to roster since he found out he's allowed to run where the grass is painted. He routinely draws double-digit targets, or he merely wins downfield so often he maximizes whatever opportunity he does get. Perhaps most importantly for this week, he sits 114 yards ahead of DeAndre Hopkins for the NFL's yardage crown. It all but guarantees he'll not only suit up, but look to pad that lead with downfield catches against the Buccaneers' timid secondary

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who was not drafted, who would it be and why?
I can't quibble with any of the runners taken, but like the other guys, I do find it wild we didn't see David Johnson taken. It certainly speaks to the level of depth Week 17 is offering this year. Johnson is a usage monster, always good for 15+ touches in a game without fail, and those guys virtually never slip out of a DRAFT. Rather, they typically get overdrafted. He'd fit beautifully on my volume-driven roster if DRAFT allowed a sixth round and a flex position. Johnson's season has been nightmarish, but he'd offer such a massive Round 6 upgrade over everyone else newly available.

dan hindery - SLOT 5

Overview - Dan drafted a competitive team with the exception of Todd Gurley, who may be rested, despite the Rams chance to earn a first-round bye in the playoffs. Gurley (knee) was a surprise scratch last week and C.J. Anderson picked up the slack with a 100-yard effort and score. Anderson's success may be enough for the Rams to rest Gurley another week in preparation for the playoffs. His availability this week is definitely in question and may wind up being a pick Dan wishes he could get back. The rest of his team is solid, which consists of Melvin Gordon III (at DEN), Antonio Brown (vs CIN), Tyreek Hill (vs OAK), and Aaron Rodgers (vs DET). If Gurley plays (vs SF), this team has the build to compete. If not, Dan will need key performances from the rest of his team to keep pace with other teams. Several teams have questionable players, which plays to everyone's advantage. The team with a balanced roster and timely scores may win this.

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?
You have to treat Week 17 much different than any other week because motivation plays such a huge role. Thus, I tried to focus almost exclusively on players whose teams have a lot on the line this weekend. Pittsburgh (Antonio Brown) is in a must-win game, with a loss knocking them out of playoff contention. The Chargers (Melvin Gordon III) and Chiefs (Tyreek Hill) are still battling it out for the top seed in the AFC and a bye. It is also a crucial game for the Rams (Todd Gurley), who still need a win to lock up a bye. Only my final pick, Aaron Rodgers, is playing without anything on the line. However, he has talked about how he wants to win out so interim coach Joe Philbin gets strong consideration for the head coaching position this offseason.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Tyreek Hill is always a boom or bust option but my biggest roll of the dice was definitely Todd Gurley at 4.02. Gurley was held out of Week 16, though it seemed he was very close to being able to play. My gut feeling is that he will end up playing this week and if he does, he is obviously capable of being the top-scoring player on the slate. If the Rams and Bears end up with the same record, the Bears have the tie-breaker due to their head-to-head win. The Rams path to the Super Bowl is infinitely easier if they can win this weekend against San Francisco. With a loss (and Bears win), the Rams would likely have to host the Eagles in the first round (a team who just beat them two weeks ago) and then travel to Chicago (where they lost recently) and then would likely have to go to New Orleans. It would be a brutal path. With a win, Los Angeles can take a full week to get healthy and host a game in the second week of the playoffs.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
When all is said and done, the answer may be Gurley but I understand why he fell. So I’ll say Antonio Brown at 2.02. After a monster Week 16, Brown now ranks as the overall WR2 this season. In a must-win game against a beat-up Bengals defense that is limping across the finish line, Brown could again be the biggest difference-maker on the slate. He is in the top-5 of my rankings this week, ahead of some of the running backs (like Christian McCaffrey) who may not see their usual workload.

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 my eye on Zach Ertz if Tyreek Hill hadn’t fallen and was surprised Ertz didn’t get drafted. He is coming off of a monster 12-110-2 performance against Houston and should again be the go-to guy in a must-win matchup against Washington. Washington’s defense is in a bit of disarray, which should help Ertz’s cause. Top safety D.J. Swearinger Sr was cut after criticizing the defensive coaching staff and this just feels like a spot where Philadelphia could have their way.

WILL GRANT- SLOT 6

Overview: Will built his team with players who are not expected to be limited this week. A decent and steady roster may be enough to win in a week where there will be a lot of surprises and uncertainty of player volume. Jaylen Samuels and Derrick Henry highlight Will's first two picks, followed by Travis Kelce (vs OAK) and Julian Edelman (vs NYJ). Both are on teams favored by 13 points or more in home games against inferior opponents. Will drafted Jared Goff as his quarterback. He has struggled in recent weeks with 2 touchdown passes and 7 interceptions in his last four games. A home game against San Francisco is a favorable matchup, but those recent stats don't paint a rosy picture for Goff. There is some uncertainty with this pick, which may be the reason why Will falls short this week. Jameis Winston and Matt Ryan (playing against each other) may have been better options than Goff, knowing his recent shortcomings.

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?
My goal this week was to only draft players from teams that had a motivation to play in week 17 and would be playing their starters for most if not all of the game. This left off teams like Dallas, New Orleans and even Seattle since they are all in the playoffs and have little or no motivation to risk their starters going into next week. The Steelers must win this week, and against the super-soft defense of the Bengals, I was happy to see Jaylen Samuels fall to me at 1.6. To me this is about as ‘chalk’ of a DFS player that you can have this week and I think he has a big game as Pittsburgh tries to avoid missing the playoffs after an up and down season. The Titans and Colts are the perfect end to the regular season – win and you’re in, lose and go home. The Titans only have one consistent player on offense – Derrick Henry. If they are going to make the playoffs, Henry is going to have a big game. While the Chiefs may rest their starters in the 4th quarter, they need to win to stay in front of the Chargers so I expect Kelce to be a big part of their game. I wanted Hill at this spot, but lost him just before. The Patriots play early, so they will be all out in trying to win this week. Julian Edelman is a no-brainer from my perspective – as Rob Gronkowski was blanked last week.

2. Which player on your roster do you think will make or break you?
Taking Jared Goff as my quarterback was a bit of a gamble. I knew I’d be taking the last available quarterback with the last pick in the draft – and while the Rams need to win to get the first round bye, they could certainly rest their starters if they get out to a big early lead at home. The 49ers are scrappy, but the Rams are banged up and need to rest their starters. If the Bears get down early against Minnesota or pack it in as the Vegas line suggests – Goff could sit more if not all of the second half.

3. Which player do you believe you received the best value?
Samuels is my big value pick – I’m surprised to see guys like Ezekiel Elliott and Alvin Kamara going before him. If either of those guys are playing in the 4th quarter this week, I will be completely shocked. Samuels is going to be in there for 60 minutes and I’ll take a guy who is going play the whole game over someone who might have higher points per minutes but will only play for the first half.

4. If you could choose one more player at RB, WR or TE who was not drafted, who would it be and why?
C.J. Anderson has a shot to play most if not all of the game for the Rams this week. Yes, they need to win, but if they can rest Todd Gurley again and secure the bye week as well, they are going to do it. Anderson ran all over the Cardinals last week and while San Francisco won’t be as easy of a target, Anderson was effective enough to warrant another shot this week. I’d happily add him at 7.1 this week.

PROJECTIONS PREDICT THE WINNER

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