Way Too Early Mock Draft for 2017

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There’s no offseason for the Fantasy Footballers nor for the writing staff.  We will continue to bring you articles all spring and summer long.  We love fantasy football so much that we are even willing to sit down for a 12-team mock draft… in January.  This mock draft is so early it’s disgusting.

The purpose of this draft isn’t necessarily to project where players will go in drafts this coming August unless we are right… in which case, that’s totally what we are doing.  Rather, the stated purpose is to provide a baseline from which to gauge who rises and falls as a result of the upcoming free agency window and the NFL draft, as well as OTAs and mini-camps.  You will notice that many of the players selected are impending free agents and some haven’t even been drafted yet.  This is for our amusement, and hopefully yours as well.

The rules: Fantasy Footballers Preferred format: 12 teams, 0.5 PPR, QB, 2 WR, 2RB, TE, FLEX, K, D/ST.

The owners: the Fantasy Footballers’ Writers.

Round 1
Round 1 Player Position Team Owner
1.01 Le'Veon Bell RB Steelers Weisse
1.02 Ezekiel Elliott RB Cowboys Borgognoni
1.03 David Johnson RB Cardinals Evans
1.04 Antonio Brown WR Steelers Hamilton
1.05 Julio Jones WR Falcons Martinez-Esquibel
1.06 Odell Beckham Jr. WR Giants Wenrich
1.07 LeSean McCoy RB Bills Meaney
1.08 Mike Evans WR Buccaneers Ludwig
1.09 DeMarco Murray RB Titans Denlay
1.10 A.J. Green WR Bengals Sanders
1.11 Devonta Freeman RB Falcons Strickland
1.12 Dez Bryant WR Cowboys Cummins

The first round this year is an interesting split of the previous two seasons.  2015 was a big year for the WRs while 2016 saw RBs return to glory.  So in 2017, it should come as no surprise that we were split perfectly down the middle.  6 WRs were drafted alongside 6 RBs.  The first round was also dominated by players who play for prolific offenses as two players each were selected from the Cowboys, Steelers, and Falcons.

Round 2
Round 2 Player Position Team Owner
2.01 Jordy Nelson WR Packers Cummins
2.02 Melvin Gordon RB Chargers Strickland
2.03 Jay Ajayi RB Dolphins Sanders
2.04 Lamar Miller RB Texans Denlay
2.05 T.Y. Hilton WR Colts Ludwig
2.06 Jordan Howard RB Bears Meaney
2.07 Amari Cooper WR Raiders Wenrich
2.08 LeGarrette Blount RB Patriots Martinez-Esquibel
2.09 Michael Thomas WR Saints Hamilton
2.10 DeAndre Hopkins WR Texans Evans
2.11 Allen Robinson WR Jaguars Borgognoni
2.12 Todd Gurley RB Rams Weisse

This is the round where the young breakout players live.  Jordy Nelson and LeGarrette Blount were the only players taken over the age of 27.  While there may be some risk betting on a bounce-back from Hopkins, Gurley, and Robinson, or hoping for a repeat performance from Howard, Gordon and Thomas, the second and third rounds are often where #FootClanTitles are won and lost.  You have to risk it to get the biscuit, as they say.

Round 3
Round 3 Player Position Team Owner
3.01 Keenan Allen WR Chargers Weisse
3.02 Carlos Hyde RB 49ers Borgognoni
3.03 Brandin Cooks WR Saints Evans
3.04 Adrian Peterson RB Vikings Hamilton
3.05 Mark Ingram RB Saints Martinez-Esquibel
3.06 Julian Edelman WR Patriots Wenrich
3.07 Alshon Jeffery WR Bears Meaney
3.08 Doug Baldwin WR Seahawks Ludwig
3.09 Sammy Watkins WR Bills Denlay
3.10 C.J. Anderson RB Broncos Sanders
3.11 Rob Gronkowski TE Patriots Strickland
3.12 Tevin Coleman RB Falcons Cummins

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.  Rob Gronkowski fell all the way to pick #35.  Injury concerns have never been higher for the Madden-cursed TE, but he may prove to be an immense value if he falls this far in drafts this summer.  It looks like Nate Hamilton is comfortable doubling down on his 2016 love of Adrian Peterson.  It’s an interesting strategy… let’s see if it pays off for ‘em.  Sammy Watkins was a popular pick amongst the writers in Round 3, as many expect Watkins to return to form in 2017.

Round 4
Round 4 Player Position Team Owner
4.01 Davante Adams WR Packers Cummins
4.02 Jarvis Landry WR Dolphins Strickland
4.03 Michael Crabtree WR Raiders Sanders
4.04 Demaryius Thomas WR Broncos Denlay
4.05 Tyler Eifert TE Bengals Ludwig
4.06 Kelvin Benjamin WR Panthers Meaney
4.07 Larry Fitzgerald WR Cardinals Wenrich
4.08 Jordan Reed TE Redskins Martinez-Esquibel
4.09 Spencer Ware RB Chiefs Hamilton
4.10 Travis Kelce TE Chiefs Evans
4.11 Emmanuel Sanders WR Broncos Borgognoni
4.12 Thomas Rawls RB Seahawks Weisse

After Gronk fell all the way into the 3rd round, the rest of the top TE options were not far behind.  Gronkowski’s training tent buddies, Tyler Eifert and Jordan Reed, came off the board, while 2016’s #1 TE Travis Kelce finished off this run on the position.

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Round 5
Round 5 Player Position Team Owner
5.01 Aaron Rodgers QB Packers Weisse
5.02 Golden Tate WR Lions Borgognoni
5.03 Donte Moncrief WR Colts Evans
5.04 Latavius Murray RB Raiders Hamilton
5.05 Eric Decker WR Jets Martinez-Esquibel
5.06 Stefon Diggs WR Vikings Wenrich
5.07 Delanie Walker TE Titans Meaney
5.08 Randall Cobb WR Packers Ludwig
5.09 Terrelle Pryor Sr. WR Browns Denlay
5.10 Brandon Marshall WR Jets Sanders
5.11 Jamaal Charles RB Chiefs Strickland
5.12 Eddie Lacy RB Packers Cummins

One thing you may notice in our drafts here at the Fantasy Footballers is that QBs tend to fall compared to their ADPs.  Unless you play in a league full of wiseguys, I wouldn’t count on Aaron Rodgers being available this late.  Eric Decker and Jamaal Charles will be interesting to watch as they try to return from injuries that cost them most of their 2016 season.

For those of you who follow the tendencies of our writers, it should come as no surprise that Eric Ludwig and Michael Wenrich have once again employed the Zero-RB strategy.  This is a method of drafting where you completely punt the RB position with the goal of avoiding injury risk while looking to find value at the position in the mid to late rounds.

Round 6
Round 6 Player Positon Team Owner
6.01 Andrew Luck QB Colts Cummins
6.02 Sterling Shepard WR Giants Strickland
6.03 Tom Brady QB Patriots Sanders
6.04 Zach Ertz TE Eagles Denlay
6.05 Ameer Abdullah RB Lions Ludwig
6.06 Tyreek Hill WR Chiefs Meaney
6.07 Corey Coleman WR Browns Wenrich
6.08 Jamison Crowder WR Redskins Martinez-Esquibel
6.09 Jimmy Graham TE Seahawks Hamilton
6.10 Jordan Matthews WR Eagles Evans
6.11 Frank Gore RB Colts Borgognoni
6.12 Jeremy Maclin WR Chiefs Weisse

6 rounds.  That’s how long we were able to play QB chicken.  Two more QBs came off the board which triggers a run at the position over the next 20 picks. Perhaps the safety of Andrew Luck and Tom Brady was preferable to the volatility of players like Tyreek Hill, Ameer Abdullah and Frank Gore.

Round 7
Round 7 Player Position Team Owner
7.01 DeVante Parker WR Dolphins Weisse
7.02 Drew Brees QB Saints Borgononi
7.03 Leonard Fournette RB N/A Evans
7.04 Matt Ryan QB Falcons Hamilton
7.05 Jeremy Hill RB Bengals Martinez-Esquibel
7.06 Giovanni Bernard RB Bengals Wenrich
7.07 Russell Wilson QB Seahawks Meaney
7.08 Cam Newton QB Panthers Ludwig
7.09 Derrick Henry RB Titans Denlay
7.10 Matt Forte RB Jets Sanders
7.11 Dion Lewis RB Patriots Strickland
7.12 Dalvin Cook RB N/A Cummins

The biggest problem with mock drafting this early is the NFL Draft has not taken place.  This means that the ADP of Leonard Fournette, and other rookies, is subject to drastically change.  Round 7 seems like a fair price given the uncertainty surrounding the talented LSU product’s landing spot.

Round 8
Round 8 Player Position Team Owner
8.01 Martavis Bryant WR Steelers Cummins
8.02 John Brown WR Cardinals Strickland
8.03 Josh Doctson WR Redskins Sanders
8.04 Kenneth Dixon RB Ravens Denlay
8.05 Charles Sims RB Buccaneers Ludwig
8.06 C.J. Prosise RB Seahawks Meaney
8.07 Bilal Powell RB Jets Wenrich
8.08 Derek Carr QB Raiders Martinez-Esquibel
8.09 Rishard Matthews WR Titans Hamilton
8.10 Greg Olsen TE Panthers Evans
8.11 Paul Perkins RB Giants Borgognoni
8.12 Isaiah Crowell RB Browns Weisse

My biggest takeaway from this draft is the unprecedented depth at the TE position.  Greg Olsen went in the 8th round as the 8th TE off the board.  He’s coming off his 3rd consecutive 1,000-yard season and has played in 158 consecutive regular season contests.  If he doesn’t represent a value, I don’t know who does.

Round 9
Round 9 Player Position Team Owner
9.01 DeSean Jackson WR Redskins Weisse
9.02 Mike Williams WR N/A Borgognoni
9.03 Corey Davis WR N/A Evans
9.04 Ty Montgomery RB Packers Hamilton
9.05 Juju Smith-Schuster WR N/A Martinez-Esquibel
9.06 Theo Riddick RB Lions Wenrich
9.07 Jonathan Stewart RB Panthers Meaney
9.08 T.J. Yeldon RB Jaguars Ludwig
9.09 Kirk Cousins QB Redskins Denlay
9.10 Christian McCaffrey RB N/A Sanders
9.11 Breshad Perriman WR Ravens Strickland
9.12 Kenny Britt WR Rams Cummins

Weird things can happen in mock drafts, especially this early.  Take the 9th round for example.  There was a run on rookie WRs.  4 rookie WRs were drafted within 17 picks of each other.  Generally, rookie WRs take a little time to adjust to the NFL, and while one or two may pop, it can be next to impossible to predict these early successes.  Barring an ideal landing spot, I wouldn’t expect to see any rookies, not named Fournette or Cook, taken in the single digit rounds come August.

Round 10
Round 10 Player Position Team Owner
10.01 Tyrell Williams WR Chargers Cummins
10.02 Matt Stafford QB Lions Strickland
10.03 Kyle Rudolph TE Vikings Sanders
10.04 Wendell Smallwood RB Eagles Denlay
10.05 Chris Hogan WR Patriots Ludwig
10.06 John Ross WR N/A Meaney
10.07 Danny Woodhead RB Chargers Wenrich
10.08 DeAndre Washington RB Raiders Martinez-Esquibel
10.09 Cameron Brate TE Buccaneers Hamilton
10.10 Doug Martin RB Buccaneers Evans
10.11 Kevin White WR Bears Borgognoni
10.12 Marvin Jones WR Lions Weisse

Danny Woodhead and Doug Martin are two veterans with something to prove.  Both are returning from seasons ruined by injuries.  Woodhead is a free agent on the wrong side of 30 and Doug Martin will face a suspension related to PEDs to start 2017.  Only time will tell if they are worth the 10th round gamble.

Round 11
Round 11 Player Position Team Owner
11.01 Hunter Henry TE Chargers Weisse
11.02 Mike Gillislee RB Bills Borgononi
11.03 Devontae Booker RB Broncos Evans
11.04 Dak Prescott QB Cowboys Hamilton
11.05 Ryan Mathews RB Eagles Martinez-Esquibel
11.06 Jerick McKinnon RB Vikings Wenrich
11.07 Willie Snead WR Saints Meaney
11.08 James Conner RB N/A Ludwig
11.09 Malcolm Mitchell WR Patriots Denlay
11.10 Michael Floyd WR Patriots Sanders
11.11 Tyler Boyd WR Bengals Strickland
11.12 Eric Ebron TE Lions Cummins

Round 11 was full of young talent.  The average age of players picked was just a shade over 24 years old.  I think this is indicative of a popular strategy late in drafts.  Selecting young players who could break out is often more appetizing than selecting ‘safe’ veteran players with significantly lower ceilings.  It is also worth noting that this draft took place before the Super Bowl, so I assume the values of Malcolm Mitchell and Michael Floyd will be adjusted accordingly.

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Round 12
Round 12 Player Position Team Owner
12.01 Jared Cook TE Packers Cummins
12.02 Will Fuller WR Texans Strickland
12.03 Deangelo Williams RB Steelers Sanders
12.04 Mike Wallace WR Ravens Denlay
12.05 Tyler Lockett WR Seahawks Ludwig
12.06 O.J. Howard TE N/A Meaney
12.07 Marcus Mariota QB Titans Wenrich
12.08 Mohamed Sanu WR Falcons Martinez-Esquibel
12.09 Cole Beasley WR Cowboys Hamilton
12.10 Ben Roethlisberger QB Steelers Evans
12.11 Coby Fleener TE Saints Borgognoni
12.12 Josh Gordon WR Browns Weisse

Mohamed Sanu and Mike Wallace may not be sexy names in drafts this summer but I think both are excellent selections here in the 12th round.  They represent known commodities when compared to the selections of the oft-suspended Josh Gordon and the soon to be 34-year-old Deangelo Williams.

That’s going to do it for our Way Too Early Mock Draft for 2017.   Generally, drafts go for 15-16 rounds but the final rounds will be greatly affected by free agency and the NFL draft.  Additionally, we want to keep our Boom Boom Kicker secrets under wraps for at least a little while longer.

You can also find our Way Too Early Top 5 Positional Rankings on the website.

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