Way Too Early Mock Draft for 2017
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.
|1.06||Odell Beckham Jr.||WR||Giants||Wenrich|
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.
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.
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.
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.
|5.09||Terrelle Pryor Sr.||WR||Browns||Denlay|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.