It’s now the middle of June. The sun is shining. People have completed their dynasty rookie drafts and done their trading. This means, with mini camps around the corner, fantasy football addicts are ready for some redraft. Redraft leagues are starting to get set up and chats are turning into the most important event of the year, your league’s fantasy football draft.
Whether you draft in person or online, you no doubt do a few mock drafts to get ready. Many of you probably use the FantasyPros Mock Draft Wizard on a weekly basis in the run-up to your draft. I am sure there are several of you that use it daily.
Therefore, it is time to look at a PPR mock draft to understand player values and how teams will look from a roster construction point of view.
Q: What did you learn from this draft?
Looking at the teams in the draft, while there is a good chance on the early turn to get a top player, the better values this year appear to potentially be in the middle of the draft order, once you get out of round one. Another thing is just how deep running back appears to be this year. You can avoid the running back dead zone and still pick up guys like Ken Walker III and AJ Dillion reasonably late. Last year there were some real steals at the position and it appears that there will be again this year.
It is very clear that if you are drafting in the 1-3 slots, taking an elite quarterback in Round 5 is what you are going to have to do. Otherwise, you will have to drop down a tier and miss out. While I was surprised Kyler Murray would have still been there at the 6.11, I do not think he will be in too many drafts this year. Looking at Justin Herbert at the 5.02 appears to be a good spot to take your star quarterback and relax.
A big part of the strategy I deploy is waiting at the tight end position. And the way this draft fell, I could not have been more thrilled. There appears to be a trend this summer of tight ends going far later. That means you can wait a lot longer to get a starting tight end. I took the TE9 off the board in Round 11. As this is a three-FLEX league, you can add a one-to-two round later premium on this. If you play in a one-FLEX or two-FLEX league, looking at Round 9/10 for your tight ends appears to be a smart strategy in 2022.
Q: What area(s) of your draft are you happy with?
I am really happy with my quarterback and running back situations. Justin Herbert and Trey Lance give me a lot of options and balance. While at running back, getting Jonathan Taylor, Ezekiel Elliott, AJ Dillion, Ken Walker III, Mark Ingram II and Boston Scott gives me a lot of options and upside.
And I am really happy with the double-dip tight end. Zach Ertz will get a lot of work while DeAndre Hopkins serves his six-game suspension for PED violations. Meanwhile, Cole Kmet is someone drastically undervalued considering the positive touchdown regression heading his way in 2022.
All in all, I am very happy with this draft and this team’s starting roster. There is barring injuries, a playoff team here.
Q: What area(s) of your draft would you have liked to improve?
The wide receiver room really hinges on the success of CeeDee Lamb. The newly anointed WR1 in Dallas will need to step up from last season if he is to be worth his 2.11 selection. With Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson leaving town, there are a lot of vacated targets that will likely go Lamb’s way. He will have the opportunity to return WR1 numbers. However, he will now need to deliver them. There will be no excuses this year.
If Lamb does not deliver a WR1 season, then this wide receiver corps is a little light. It has some talent with DJ Moore likely to be a WR2. And if Adam Thielen returns to full health and becomes the redzone man again in Minnesota and Russell Gage steps into the highly productive Antonio Brown role for the Buccaneers, there is a lot of upside potential. However, there is certainly a lack of star power and safe floor in this set of wide receivers. It is certainly an area that will need to be looked at in future drafts.
Q: What lesson did you learn from today’s mock that you will apply to future drafts you partake in?
There is certainly a need to think about wide receiver and where the value is going to be. This draft appeared to be very wide-receiver heavy at the start. Especially around the 1/2 turn. It is something that, if you are drafting in the early slots, you will need to be aware of. If you aren’t feeling that great about CeeDee Lamb this season, you might need to draft Keenan Allen or Mike Evans in Round 3 and perhaps take a running back in Round 2 instead.
Also, with Jonathan Taylor being the likely consensus 1.01 pick, you will need to think about who your No. 2 running back is. Will it be Austin Ekeler with his catching ability? Or will you shoot for the upside of Christian McCaffrey despite two injury-plagued years? Will it be Derrick Henry, the former two-time rushing champ? Or, will it be the second-year running back Najee Harris? There isn’t a defined consensus here, so that is a choice you will have to make if you are drafting in the No. 2 slot.
While wide receiver does run deeply in drafts this year, there needs to be an eye kept having the right balance between upside and floor. There is an easy path to both an all-or-nothing wide receiver group, or a very safe floor but very limited ceiling wide receiver group. This is something you will need to watch out for when you do your drafts. Especially as getting this position right, from the early slots, will both be challenging and difficult.
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Adam Murfet is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Murf, check out his archive and follow him @Murf_NFL.