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If you’re reading this article about a fantasy football mock draft in May, you might be crazy.  Crazy like a fox!  While others may scoff at the absurdity of an early mock draft, we see the benefits of gaining familiarity with the new rookies and setting a benchmark by which to judge the offseason as player values surge and wane.

Well, we both know why we are here so let’s just get down to brass tacks.  The rules are 12-team PPR with standard roster requirements.  Andy, Mike, and Jason chose to pick out of the 8th spot.  As always, the preferred mock draft tool is FantasyDraftWizard.com.  It’s a quick and easy way to mock draft against a set of rankings.  For the full draft, analysis and landing spots for players selected by other teams, you can check out the podcast, or check out the guys on YouTube.

Round 1, Pick 8
A.J. Green, WR

The interesting thing about picking in the 8th spot is that most people have a consensus top 3 RBs and 3-4 WRs (depending on whether or not you include Mike Evans).  This means picking 8th comes with a little uncertainty and creative liberty.  One thing is for sure, there are plenty of solid options left on the board.

You have to love A.J. Green in a PPR format as the 5th WR off the board.  Jordy Nelson was also a strong option, but there was some hope he would make it back on the short turn around.

Round 2, Pick 5
Jay Ajayi, RB

Whether you think he gained almost half of his yards in just 3 games, or you are in the camp that is in awe of him rushing for 600 yards in only 3 games, you have to agree that the upside is there for Jay Ajayi.  With some offseason hype about his passing down work, Ajayi was a clear choice.

There was some consideration for Jordan Howard here, but as the guys mentioned, it’s nice to have a RB tied to an offense you can trust.  Chicago doesn’t fit that bill in its current state.

Round 3, Pick 8
Christian McCaffrey, RB

Ta Da!  The moment we’ve all been waiting for, the opportunity to draft a rookie.  This is an especially sexy pick in PPR formats as Christian McCaffrey has the upside of 60+ catches.

Getty Images Sport / Thearon W. Henderson

Jarvis Landry is intriguing in the 3rd, but given the 2nd round investment in Jay Ajayi, the guys didn’t want to go all in on Miami’s offense.  Rob Gronkowski was selected one spot before this pick but would’ve been a no-brainer if he fell into the mid to late 3rd round.

Round 4, Pick 5
Jordan Reed, TE

Normally the suggested strategy is to draft Gronkowski or punt the TE position.  Because behind the king of the position there tends to be a group of guys that are all just kind of the same.  A healthy Jordan Reed is an exception.  When he is healthy his connection with Cousins is unreal and as Jay Gruden has said, the offense runs through Reed.

Round 5, Pick 8
Larry Fitzgerald, WR

Before you write this one off as a homer pick, remember that the ageless wonder, Larry Fitzgerald, led the league in receptions in 2017.  Now in 2017, his situation remains more or less unchanged.  Fitz will be a target hog in this offense that features him along with a bunch of smallish, speedy guys.   He’s a PPR darling.

Aaron Rodgers had fallen to the back of the 4th round, but not far enough to tempt the Ballers.  They have opted to stick to their patented, grab a QB late and stream if you have to, approach.

Round 6, Pick 5
Jamison Crowder, WR

When two 1,000-yard WRs walked out of Washington in free agency, it opened up a huge opportunity for the diminutive Jamison Crowder.  A PPR asset, to say the least, the team has also shown a willingness to use him in the red zone.

This is a good time to remind you to keep an eye on the rankings posted on the host website for your online drafts.  The next players up on the screen are much more likely to be selected than those that are lurking just off the page.  You can use this to your advantage when projecting future rounds.

Round 7, Pick 8
Theo Riddick, RB

Round 7 saw a substantial run on QBs, but instead of panicking and falling in line, the best course of action is to scoop up a RB or WR who falls in the draft as a result of the run.  Theo Riddick was just that guy.  Not a traditional RB by any means, but a solid PPR producer who is dangerous in space.  Riddick provides a little insurance in case McCaffrey doesn’t pan out.

Round 8, Pick 5
Willie Snead, WR

Sometimes in a draft, you start to feel the need…

THE NEED FOR SNEAD!

Round 9, Pick 8
Doug Martin, RB

This could easily become a cautionary tale, but the upside of the Muscle Hamster, as a former 1,400-yard rusher, was just too good to pass up.  Martin is not for the impatient, however, as he must still serve out his 3-game suspension.

Round 10, Pick 5
Kirk Cousins, QB

Oh Captain, My Captain.  Capt. Kirk Cousins was a good enough value here to break from the claims that a QB would be the 3rd to last pick.  This is a perfect example of letting the draft come to you and grabbing a value when it comes.  Cousins has the upside of a top 5 QB which is incredible value in the double-digit rounds.

Round 11, Pick 8
Mike Wallace, WR

The later rounds provide an opportunity to reflect on your roster and how it is starting to take shape.  The discussion here was, do you take a safe veteran option, or do you swing for the fences with young talent.  Given the current roster composition, Mike Wallace, a proven 1,000-yard veteran was the easy choice over guys like Kevin White.

Round 12, Pick 5
Terrance West, RB

West fills the last bench spot in this draft as rounds 13 and 14 are reserved for Kickers and Defenses.  The Ravens’ RB provides early season value and depth as Doug Martin serves out his suspension.  Who knows? He may even do enough to hold onto a role once Kenneth Dixon returns from his own suspension.

Round 13, Pick 8
Arizona Cardinals, D/ST
Round 14, Pick 5
Dan Bailey, K

Be sure to check your league rules, because there are benefits to not drafting kickers or defenses at all.  You instead horde skill position players as lottery tickets through the preseason and only drop the duds just before Week 1 to grab streaming options at K and D/ST.

Final Roster

QBKirk Cousins
RBJay Ajayi
RBChristian McCaffrey
WRA.J. Green
WRLarry Fitzgerald
TEJordan Reed
FlexJamison Crowder
KDan Bailey
D/STArizona Cardinals
BNTheo Riddick, Willie Snead, Doug Martin, Mike Wallace, Terrance West

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