With the playing of the Hall of Fame game, we inch closer and closer to the beginning of the NFL season. To celebrate, Andy, Mike, and Jason faced off in their first mock of August. Mock drafts are essential for testing strategies and getting a feel for the ADP of the guys you are targeting. If you haven’t yet, be sure to get your mock draft graded from all 3 of the Ballers.
This draft was set for 14 rounds, Ballers Preferred Scoring, with a roster composition of 1 QB – 2 RB – 2 WR – 1 TE – 1 Flex – 1 K – 1 DEF/ST – 5 Bench
The draft starts with the 5 stud RBs, including Jason grabbing Ezekiel Elliott. Mike gets to grab Antonio Brown at 1.06, knowing that he is testing a Zero-RB strategy this mock. He did mention that in a real draft, in this exact position he would take Alvin Kamara. Andy, at the turn, considered going WR/WR with OBJ and Julio Jones both sitting there, he is unsure about what RBs might be there in the 3rd round, but locks in Odell Beckham as his 1st round pick.
Jason’s Pick (1.04) – RB Ezekiel Elliott
Mike’s Pick (1.06) – WR Antonio Brown
Andy’s Pick (1.12) – WR Odell Beckham Jr.
With the 1st pick in the 2nd round, Andy could not pass up the volume and safety that Jordan Howard presented after going WR in the 1st round. Before Mike’s next pick, AJ Green and Julio Jones left the board back-to-back at 2.05/2.06. These two seem like they may be the best values in fantasy right now, being able to get them in the 2nd round. Sticking with Zero-RB, and passing on Michael Thomas, Mike stayed true to his strategy and grabbed Rob Gronkowski. For a brief moment, Jason considered Davante Adams and Doug Baldwin but decided on stacking RBs and grabbed Jerick McKinnon over Joe Mixon. He made this pick based on ADP, figuring that Mixon had a better chance at falling to the 3rd round than McKinnon, and since he’d like to have both, he took the one less likely to make it to the 3.04.
Andy’s Pick (2.01) – RB Jordan Howard
Mike’s Pick (2.07) – TE Rob Gronkowski
Jason’s Pick (2.09) – RB Jerick McKinnon
Mixon did not make it back around. Before Jason made his pick, he mentioned that he had “No Ragrets” about taking McKinnon over Mixon, since he largely views them both the same in 2018. There was also a discussion about not focusing a ton on ADP in your home league draft. A lot of times name recognition ways heavier in home leagues than ADP. A guy like Alex Collins may fall 2 rounds while Jordy Nelson might get overdrafted. Be sure you know what rankings most of your league is using, that is the list they will be focusing on and you need to know the names that are right in their faces. Jason then decided to stick with his own personal rankings and took Adam Thielen over Mike Evans. With the 3.06, after deciding against best kicker or quarterback, Mike does stick with Zero-ADP and takes Amari Cooper over Larry Fitzgerald, hoping Fitz would fall to the 4th. He didn’t. Instead, Andy grabbed him to end the 3rd.
Jason’s Pick (3.04) – WR Adam Thielen
Mike’s Pick (3.06) – WR Amari Cooper
Andy’s Pick (3.12) – WR Larry Fitzgerald
The guys discuss how ADP goes out the window at the turn, because of the length between picks. You can’t hope that the guys you want are going to make all the way back to you 22 picks later. Don’t be afraid to reach for a guy you love. Andy finishes the turn by taking Alex Collins. Mike laments that Josh Gordon and Demaryius Thomas didn’t make it to him. Sticking to his draft board, Mike grabbed Allen Robinson, despite his quiet offseason. Rashaad Penny went before the Jason made his pick. The discussion turned to Penny’s ADP drop. This could present a great value if you believe he will be “the guy” in Seattle. Jason considered taking a WR but since he viewed them all pretty much as the same, he decided to try a new strategy and takes Travis Kelce as one of the last top-tier TEs.
Andy’s Pick (4.01) – RB Alex Collins
Mike’s Pick (4.07) – WR Allen Robinson
Jason’s Pick (4.09) – TE Travis Kelce
Jason plays the ADP game again, he is going to wait one round on his top available rookie RB, Kerryon Johnson. He decides on Golden Tate…stealing him from Mike. For a second, Mike considers taking his first RB but, inspired by Jason’s Detroit Lions WR pick, he grabs Marvin Jones. Andy had already decided that he was taking a QB in this round, and he sees Tom Brady as a value at this point.
Jason’s Pick (5.04) – WR Golden Tate
Mike’s Pick (5.06) – WR Marvin Jones
Andy’s Pick (5.12) – QB Tom Brady
After giving the WRs a look over, Andy decides that he needs more help at RB and grabs Royce Freeman. Mike finally goes RB and he has his sights set on Marshawn Lynch since he is top of the ADP draft board and Mike’s own board. Andy hits the “Kansas” sound drop and Jason grabs Kerryon “My Wayward Son” Johnson.
Andy’s Pick (6.01) – RB Royce Freeman
Mike’s Pick (6.07) – RB Marshawn Lynch
Jason’s Pick (6.09) – RB Kerryon Johnson
Jason has built an even roster and is trying to decide between Rex Burkhead and Emmanuel Sanders. He takes Sanders as the safer option. A relieved Mike grabs Sexy Rexy as quick as can be. Andy had hoped that Robbie Anderson would fall to the 7th and he did, so that is the pick.
Jason’s Pick (7.04) – WR Emmanuel Sanders
Mike’s Pick (7.06) – RB Rex Burkhead
Andy’s Pick (7.12) – WR Robbie Anderson
For the 2nd half of the turn, Andy considers Trey Burton, Jamison Crowder, and Randall Cobb before deciding to take Isaiah Crowell. Getting a starting RB in the 8th is an excellent value. Mike has a mini-tilt at missing on CJ Anderson and decides to take the suspended Aaron Jones. Mike feels that Jones will be the eventual starter in Green Bay and he has the roster to wait out his 2 game suspension. Jason grabs Ty Montgomery and completes the Green Bay RB trifecta going within 5 picks of one another.
Andy’s Pick (8.01) – RB Isaiah Crowell
Mike’s Pick (8.07) – RB Aaron Jones
Jason’s Pick (8.09) – RB Ty Montgomery
After reviewing his RBs, Jason likes them enough that it’s time to add a high ceiling WR and grabs a guy who may be the #1 in Miami, Devante Parker. Mike makes it four RBs in a row for his team and takes Corey Clement over Duke Johnson and Latavius Murray. His hope is that Clement will be the red zone guy in Philadelphia this year. Andy comes to a decision he faces for the first time this offseason: Jamison Crowder vs Kelvin Benjamin. Benjamin’s target and TD potential are too much to pass on.
Jason’s Pick (9.04) – WR Devante Parker
Mike’s Pick (9.06) – RB Corey Clement
Andy’s Pick (9.12) – WR Kelvin Benjamin
But since he’s at the turn, it wasn’t really a choice and Andy grabs Crowder to start the 10th round. Mike continues to wait on QB and makes it 5 straight RBs and adds Duke Johnson to his RB stable. Johnson was the RB12 in 2017 and Mike gets him in the 10th here. One QB stood out to Jason. He is high on Big Ben and adds the Steelers QB to his roster, hoping that DJ Moore would make it back to him in the 11th.
Andy’s Pick (10.01) – WR Jamison Crowder
Mike’s Pick (10.07) – RB Duke Johnson
Jason’s Pick (10.09) – QB Ben Roethlisberger
Moore didn’t get Moore. He instead takes grabs the Vikings likely goal-line back in Latavius Murray. Mike just can’t help himself and adds a 6th RB, a rookie with the potential to start, Jordan Wilkins with his 11th pick. Andy felt robbed by the Wilkins pick but recovers to grab Dallas rookie WR Michael Gallup to fill one of his last bench spots.
Jason’s Pick (11.04) – RB Latavius Murray
Mike’s Pick (11.06) – RB Jordan Wilkins
Andy’s Pick (11.12) – WR Michael Gallup
Andy then handcuffs his Royce Freeman picks by adding Devontae Booker for his last bench spot. A solid pick, especially since we’re not even sure who will be the starter in Denver yet. Mike’s last positional pick will be his starting QB. After looking over what’s left, he decides between Marcus Mariota, Dak Prescott, and Alex Smith. Knowing that a team like this would likely be streaming QBs, Mike instead attempts to win Jason’s favor and grabs Marcus Mariota. Jason figures he needs some WR help to fill his last bench spot and grabs Rishard Matthews. Jason loves the value here, thinking that Matthews may still end up the WR1 in Tennessee and is only available because he is missing time early in camp.
Andy’s Pick (12.01) – RB Devontae Booker
Mike’s Pick (12.07) – QB Marcus Mariota
Jason’s Pick (12.09) – WR Rishard Matthews
The last 2 rounds are just Defense and Kickers. The guys do give one final, very important reminder: If you are not required to draft a defense or kicker, don’t draft a defense or kicker. Fill your roster with lottery tickets (or in Andy’s case, a starting TE) and let the preseason play out. You could end up with a gem and then cut or trade your last 2 bench spots to sign a DEF/ST and K before opening day.
Jason’s Pick (13.04) – DEF/ST Baltimore Ravens
Mike’s Pick (13.06) – DEF/ST New England Patriots
Andy’s Pick (13.12) – K Harrison Butker
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