2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT

This year’s NFL draft is very defensive minded, but there are still some amazing possible fantasy relevant players who would be worth keeping an eye on leading to your 2017/18 Fantasy Football Draft. Here is a MOCK DRAFT of where players may fall and for offensive layers, what fantasy value they could bring IF they were to fall to that team.

ROUND 1

  1. Cleveland Browns – Myles Garrett, DE | Texas A&M
  2. San Francisco 49ers – Solomon Thomas, DE | Stanford
  3. Chicago Bears – Marshon Lattimore, CB | Ohio State
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jonathan Allen, DT | Alabama
  5. Tennessee Titans (From LA) – Jamal Adams, SS | LSU
  6. New York Jets – Mitchell Trubisky, QB | North Carolina

My prediction is it takes until the sixth pick before we can talk about offensive fantasy relevance. It would be smart for the Jets to get a new starting QB or at least a QB they can train over the course of this season to be a future starter. I do not think Trubisky would be worth any fantasy football value in a one-quarterback, standard scoring league. What this would help is the fantasy value of Eric Decker, Quincy Enunwa, and maybe even Robby Anderson.

7. Los Angeles Chargers – Malik Hooker, FS | Ohio State

8. Carolina Panthers – Leonard Fournette, RB | LSU

The Panthers need an apprentice to Jonathan Stewart. If they draft Fournette the two could share the backfield for a season before the injury prone Jonathan Stewart, who is 30-years-old currently, retires or moves on to another team. I would not think Fournette would be fantasy relevant while Stewart is healthy but similar to the DeMarco Murray/Derrick Henry situation in Tennessee, if the veteran back goes down one would have a locked-and-loaded RB1.

9. Cincinnati Bengals – Mike Williams, WR | Clemson

A.J. Green will always be the top receiving option in Cincinnati and the Tyler Boyd/Brandon LaFell back’n’fourth could be broken when the Bengals take a new number 2 WR in the first round. Plus it is always good to have someone who can fill the A.J. Green role if he becomes injured.

10. Buffalo Bills – Corey Davis, WR | Western Michigan

After losing Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin the Bills will have to fill in a needed number 2 receiver spot across from Sammy Watkins. Also a receiver that can fill a WR1 role, because of how injury prone Watkins is. Would be someone to watch in fantasy.

11. New Orleans Saints – Gareon Conley, CB | Ohio State

12. Cleveland Browns (From PHI) – Deshaun Watson, QB | Clemson

The Browns… never a fun team to pick a player from in fantasy football. The Browns have a track record of picking a QB in the middle of the first round… and unfortunately they never really do so well. Watson could break this mold but I would not count on him in fantasy football during his first year. The Browns drafting a QB more so helps whatever RB is in the backfield (probably Isaiah Crowell) and will maybe boost the production in the sophomore season of Corey Coleman.

13. Arizona Cardinals – Derek Barnett, DE | Tennessee

14. Philadelphia Eagles (From MIN) – Chidobe Awuzie, CB | Colorado

15. Indianapolis Colts – Haason Reddick, OLB | Temple

16. Baltimore Ravens – Curtis Samuel, WR | Ohio State

The Ravens need a new receiving option to fill out the backfield. It would be fun and a gamble to draft a Raven’s WR and hope it is the receiver that takes over the Steve Smith role but I would not count on the rookie.

17. Washington Redskins – Christian McCaffrey, RB | Stanford

If Washington take McCaffrey with their 17th pick then this would be my favorite pick of the draft. Robert Kelly has established himself as a good RB, but to rely solely on him would be silly. Adding McCaffrey gives the backfield more depth and because McCaffrey often lines up as a receiver, a good option for Cousins.

18. Tennessee Titans – John Ross, WR | Washington

Adding a breakaway (DeSean Jackson/Phillip Dorsett mix) receiving option will give that backfield some more depth and help out both Marcus Mariota and Rishard Matthews. However, if he produces any fantasy relevance, I can’t see it being anything more than big play type production.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Dalvin Cook, RB | Florida State

It is clear that Tampa Bay and Doug Martin are not seeing eye to eye. Though they still have Jacquizz Rodgers and Charles Sims III, the Buccaneers still need that go to RB1. Cook, the Florida native, could be another piece added to the offense creating one the best young trios in the NFL and in Fantasy (Winston, Evans, Cook).

20. Denver Broncos – O.J. Howard, TE | Alabama

TE Virgin Green was suppose to be a sneaky free agent pick in last years fantasy football season, but the player just did not meet expectations. If the Broncos draft a TE in the first round then it is clear the team wants to use him. Howard is athletic and could be a great option for whatever inexperience QB the Broncos use this season.

21. Detroit Lions – T.J. Watt, OLB | Wisconsin

22. Miami Dolphins – Forrest Lamp, OG | Western Kentucky

This years draft class is one of the worst for offensive linemen in a long time, still there are some possibly good linemen and the Dolphins need one. If Lamp works out it would help Miami’s running game and give Ryan Tannehill more time to throw.

23. New York Giants – David Njoku, TE | Miami (Fla.)

The TE options in New York last year were okay for weekly starts, but none were worth a draft spot. This could change if the Giants draft a TE in the first round. The passing options would be fruitful for Manning and like I said before, if a team uses a first round pick on a TE they will try to get that player involved.

24. Oakland Raiders – Malik McDowell, DT | Michigan State

25. Houston Texans – DeShone Kizer, QB | Notre Dame

The Texans need a QB bad…. Wait I said that wrong. DeAndre Hopkins NEEDS a QB bad! Last year was a debacle with Osweiler, and it was hard on fantasy owners of Hopkins. If the Texans draft Kizer, I don’t know if he will start right away but really any QB would hopefully be better than Oswiler.

26. Seattle Seahawks – Kevin King, CB | Washington

27. Kansas City Cheifs – Reuben Foster, ILB | Alabama

28. Dallas Cowboys – Charles Harris, DE | Missouri

29. Green Bay Packers – Adoree’ Jackson, CB | Southern California

30. Pittsburg Steelers – Zach Cunningham, OLB | Vanderbilt

31. Atlanta Falcons – Jarrad Davis, ILB | Florida

32. New Orleans Saints (From NE) – Carl Lawson, DE | Auburn

ROUND 2

  1. Cleveland Browns – Jabrill Peppers, SS | Michigan
  2. San Francisco 49ers – Patrick Mahomes II, QB | Texas Tech
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Ryan Ramczyk, OT | Wisconsin
  4. Chicago Bears – Chris Godwin, WR | Penn. State
  5. Los Angeles Rams – Evan Engram, TE | Ole Miss
  6. Los Angeles Chargers – Taco Charlton, DE | Michigan
  7. New York Jets – Tre’Davious White, CB | LSU
  8. Carolina Panthers – Garett Bolles, OT | Utah
  9. Cincinnati Bengals – Takkarist McKinley, OLB | UCLA
  10. New Orleans Saints – Tyus Bowser, OLB | Houston
  11. Philadelphia Eagles – Alvin Kamara, RB | Tennessee
  12. Buffalo Bills – Budda Baker, FS | Washington
  13. Arizona Cardinals – Raekwon McMillian, ILB | Ohio State
  14. Indianapolis Colts – Dan Feeney, OG | Indiana
  15. Baltimore Ravens – Duke Riley, OLB | LSU
  16. Minnesota Vikings – Cam Robinson, OT | Alabama
  17. Washington Redskins – Obi Melifonwu, SS | Connecticut
  18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Chris Wormley, DT | Michigan
  19. Denver Broncos – Taylor Moton, OT | Western Michigan
  20. Cleveland Browns (From Tenn.) – Cooper Kupp, WR | Eastern Washington
  21. Detroit Lions – Tarell Basham, DE | Ohio
  22. Miami Dolphins – Marlon Humphrey, CB | Alabama
  23. New York Giants – Davis Webb, QB | California
  24. Oakland Raiders – Quincy Wilson, CB | Florida
  25. Houston Texans – Dion Dawkins, OG | Temple
  26. Seattle Seahawks – Dorian Johnson, OG | Pittsburgh
  27. Kansas City Chiefs – Larry Ogunjobi, DT | Charlotte
  28. Dallas Cowboys – Cordrea Tankersley, CB | Clemson
  29. Green Bay Packers – Jordan Willis, DE | Kansas State
  30. Pittsburgh Steelers – Josh Jones, SS | NC State
  31. Atlanta Falcons – Marcus Sanders-Willaism, FS | Utah
  32. Carolina Panthers (From NE) – Marcus Maye, FS | Florida

 

Forget Fournette

Leonard Fournette is predicted to be drafted in the NFL draft within the top 10 picks (if not the top five). The hype around Fournette and the impact he could make on a team is high, it is similar to the hype around Ezekiel Elliott from last years draft who made am immediate impact in both NFL production and Fantasy Football production. The Fantasy impact Fournette will make however will most likely not be worth the draft position he will fall in Fantasy drafts. In an articles that Sporting News wrote in March 2017 (http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/news/leonard-fournette-nfl-draft-rumors-combine-results-teams-panthers-raiders-jaguars-saints-browns/zwgr8qhwe5sw1b426aojnwx9y) the top five teams to possibly draft Fournette are:

  • Cleveland Browns
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Carolina Panthers
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Oakland Raiders

Now excluding the Raiders due to recent Marshawn Lynch news those four teams are great teams for a NFL running back like Fournette to end up. For Fantasy things get trickier. Due to Fournette most likely being a top 10 overall NFL draft pick the team that drafts him will want him to be a bonafide starter ASAP. The Browns have decent running backs with Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson. Fournette would certainly outshine them but it is still something to consider. As for the Jaguars and Panthers, though those teams also have starting running backs in Jonathan Stewart (CAR), Chris Ivory (JAC), and T.J. Yeldon (JAC) a coach for those teams would most likely not mind putting them on the bench to let Fournette get majority of the carried. The Saints is a toss up. Though Mark Ingram carried the backfield there someone like Fournette could be a time share back and be successful, but again spending the draft capital a team would have to spend to get Fournette makes a time share backfield not worth it.

Overall Fournette will most likely be a successful RB in the NFL but for Fantasy purposes unless he has the backfield to himself he won’t be worth where he is going in Fantasy Football drafts. Unlike Elliot (DAL) where a team made him the primary back, no NFL team currently (until trades or drops) has the room to make him a 90% plus carrier.

Brian Hoyer: The Man to San Fran

Bryan Hoyer has been a QB with a long career in the NFL with many teams. Hoyer is a player who does not make headline news…until recently. With a fantasy perspective Hoyer’s move to the San Fransisco 49ers is something to keep your eye on. We saw Hoyer be a fantasy relevant Quarterback during his time at the Browns (2014), Texans (2015) and Bears (2016). Though he has not played a full season, split his time with other QB’s and has small sample sizes, Hoyer seems to be a great streamable QB that I could never imagine will be drafted.

Now that Hoyer is a 49er his starting position is up in the air as free agency still continues and the 2017 NFL draft has not taken place. With new Head Coach Kyle Shanahan however this offense will most likely become QB fantasy relevant. We saw what Shanahan did with Matt Ryan in Atalanta during 2016 and 2017 (17 when Ryan was the #2 best QB by the end of the Fantasy Season in standard scoring). The 49ers do face teams like the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals twice a year but for the most part their upcoming 2017/18 season schedule is not that intimidating as far as defensive backs.

Hoyer is not the “for sure” starter, which means this could all be for not. This articles general purpose is to let you know to watch and see what develops in San Fransisco because if the starting QB were to be Hoyer, he is a viable streaming options that majority of your fellow opponents will not use their FAB dollars or waiver priority on.

Who else but Larry?

The Arizona Cardinals have been a team with some reliable fantasy players over the years, but after this past 2016/17 season some major questions involving their Wide Receivers are raised. As we all know Larry Fitzgerald is one of the greatest wide receivers to have ever played the game, both for Fantasy and in real life. As he gets older his productivity does diminish but not enough to rule him out of fantasy relevance. In fact he scored on average 11.2 points a game for fantasy owners and remains a great fantasy pick up as he tends to go later in the drafts. Fitzgerald confirmed that he will be back for the 2017/18 season which means the number one spot on the Cardinals is not available. That does not mean though another Wide Receiver can’t be fantasy relevant.

We saw Michael Floyd was cut and has moved away from the Cardinals. The former first round pick left open a spot to be filled. After Floyd left we saw John Brown and J.J. Nelson both were able to become fantasy superstars on random weeks through the season. both interesting break through candidates for next season. Here is the pros and cons we saw with these two wide receivers.

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John Brown:

Pros – Has been fantasy relevant before and has had the targets that show Palmer (who will also be back for 2017/18, looks his way. He is fast, able to catch the ball and would be a great WR opposite of Fitzgerald.

Cons – Dealt with issues from his sickle cell trait all season. Missing multiple games and not able to play to his fullest during some games. What could be seen as a pro from this though is reports have come in saying Brown has his sickle cell trait under control and will be full fledged in this upcoming season. He will most likely go late in the draft because people are hung up on last season.

J.J. Nelson:

Pros – He is so stupid fast. He may be one of the fastest players in the NFL. He was fantasy relevant multiple times last season with big plays down the field. He even beat out Richard Sherman once. He does not play the same receiving roll as Fitzgerald and won’t be competing with him for targets. Nelson is young and could have a long career with the Cardinals.

Cons – A lot of those pros above could be cons too. He was fantasy relevant but it was hard to predict when he would break out and when he would barely get any targets. He is a big play guy. From weeks 13 to 16 Nelson scored 62.6 total points (an average of 15.7/game) with only 10 total receptions. He really relied on the big plays and that is a hard receiver to play regularly. If you do like to take risks though, and the match up is good, it is fun to play one big play guy a week. Another pro or con is he is young. Nelson was a fifth round pick in 2015 and now entering his third season he could be expected to break through, or still in that third-string position.

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These two receivers are two that I would expect to not be drafted until the end of the draft so there is not too much risk in picking one of them up in hopes they become a break out WR1 or WR2. We still do not know what the free agent pool or rookie draft class could end up doing for the Cardinals and if they draft high on a wide receiver or pay for a free agent, that would taint the possibilities for one of these two to break out with Fitzgerald already a top target.

Tony Romo Where Art Thou To Go?

Tony Romo will most likely be leaving his long time football organization, the Dallas Cowboys. Something that happens to all the greats at some point in time. Now Romo will be looking to play one or two more years and collect a big paycheck, but where will Romo be going? What would be a good fit?  A smart fit?

Well here is what it comes down to, Romo needs good pass protection. The nickname Mr. Glass unfortunately is incredibly accurate. At 36-years-old Romo can only take so many hits in the pocket before he winds up with some injury that will make him miss 1 to s17 games. We saw this, this past season. So lets look at the following information.

During the 2016 Season the top 10 offensive lines (according to profootballfocus.com/pro-ranking-all-32-nfl-offensive-lines-this-season/) were:

  • Tennessee Titans
  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Pittsburg Steelers
  • Oakland Raiders
  • Green Bay Packers
  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Washington Redskins
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Baltimore Ravens
  • New England Patriots

Now here is where the issue lies, all these teams (except the Redskins who will most likely but have not yet re-signed Kirk Cousins) have a starting QB and the trade for Romo would be unnecessary.

Romo also is a bonafide starter, he could be traded as a backup but that is one hell-of-a expensive backup. So the team which makes the big trade will most likely be looking to actually use him as their teams starter.

If we keep going down the list number 11 on the list of top offensive lines are the Buffalo Bills. BOOM. Now there is a team in major NEED of a starting QB like Romo. The Bills have expressed interest in the soon to be former Cowboy and that would be great for Fantasy Football. Will McCoy leading the backfield the run game is a threat as well. This eases the pressure on the QB. Sammy Watkins has been plagued by some injury but his talent is undeniable, with a starter like Romo he may become the next Dez Bryant. Also other Wide Receivers like Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin would benefit as well with out Tyrod Taylor in the pocket.

Now after Buffalo we have to travel a little down the ways to find another team for Romo. Number 12 is the New Orleans Saints, 13 is the Cincinnati Bengals, and 14 is the Kansas City Chiefs. We have to go down to number 15 to find the Chicago Bears. Now the Bears could benefit from Romo for sure but with Cutler most likely going out they are expected to Draft a QB over trading for one. Romo would fit well though, if Alshon Jeffery stays and with the rise of Wide Receiver Cameron Meredith and Tight End Zach Miller the options are there. Also new star 2017 sophomore Running Back Jordan Howard the running game is strong too, definitely a team that would be in playoff consideration if they had their QB locked down and their defense stepped it up.

Number 16 is the Cleveland Browns, a team in which Romo should decline if he were to get an offer. I am not saying he could not be a difference maker but the fact they went through six QBs in 2016 does not give me much hope for Romo to stay healthy. Romo would be able to utilize the Brown’s passing options but I can not imagine him ending up here.

The only other option Romo could most likely take would be fellow Texas team, the Houston Texans, number 18 on top overall offensive lines of 2016. Even though they are down the list the Texans’ offense could be a top their offense with Romo. With Lamar Miller being an option for the run he is easing the pressure for the QB. Two potential star Wide Receivers (one being a former star) DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller would be all star options for Romo. Even with terrible QB Brock Osweiler starting most of the season the Texans still made it to the playoffs. With a great defense and a young offense maybe some wise play from someone like Romo would help the team make it deeper in the playoffs for 2017. They just have to upgrade that offensive line.

 

 

Never Drafting Ben (BIG BEN) Roethlisberger

For those who watched the NFC and AFC Championchip games, you could see similar game line stories for both the Falcons and Packers, as well as with Patriots and Steelers. Another similarity you could see was Ben Roethisberger’s insane incapability to perform on the road. Even for a quarterback with such a long career making it to the playoffs, he still can not seem to get his HOME-ROAD splits under control.

screen-shot-2017-01-24-at-7-03-58-pm

And this is not a one time offense or even a one season offense. This has been the story through Big Ben’s career. Now… don’t get me wrong. I like Big Ben, I think he has made a name for himself in the history books. That doesn’t mean I want him on my fantasy team. The reason I do not want to ever draft Big Ben is due to the fact that even with his HOME-ROAD splits, he will always be taken higher than he is worth. Just this last year (2016) Big Ben was suppose to be the 5th QB taken in the Fantasy Football draft. The 2017 Fantasy Football Draft? ESPN’s Mike Clay offered an early ranking and Big Ben is going as the 6th OB. Where did Big Ben finish in 2016 in Standard Scoring? 17th overall… 17th. (Given he did miss one day and dealt with injury in others). If you had him though, I’m terribly sorry you did not make it to your championship but next time, do not draft Big Ben.

 

Geronimo Allison and Paul Richardson for the 2017 Fantasy Football Draft

If you are in a league where you can currently be picking up players for your Fantasy Football team and you have not picked up either Geronimo Allison or Paul Richardson then SHAME ON YOU. These two wide receivers have been the two biggest stand outs during the NFL Playoffs. If you are in a regular league and will be drafting later this summer 2017 then make sure you keep an eye on these two for a LATE round draft pick. Now if you are from an area of Green Bay Packer or Seattle Seahawks fans this may be mute information for you as you are likely to have other members of your league following these players too, but if you are from anywhere else in the world then this may be a great LONG SHOT sleeper pick for you.

First off, Geronimo Allison, Undrafted rookie in 2016 fro Illinois who did “meh” through the 2016 season. His 6’3″ frame, and athletic ability though shows he could make an impact if given an opportunity. Rodgers has been looking his way more during the playoffs and Allison has been doing well with the opportunity given. Like we saw with Davante Adams, if Rodgers trusts you then you can make a Fantasy impact. Rodgers can make any wide receiver look good, so if you have a late round pick to use on a wide receiver then Geronimo Allison could be looking to get more targets next season and may be an excellent pick for draft position.

geronimo-allison

Now on to Paul Richardson, a player the Seahawks have been WAITING FOREVER (well two years) to finally be as productive as he has been this 2016 Playoff. Known best for that amazing catch against the Lions in the Wild Card Playoff game (Yes, it shouldn’t of counted due to the face mask but on catch ability alone it was pretty cool). Richardson was drafted in the second round of the 2014 Draft, that was the year of all of the great Wide Receivers. Though Richardson was picked after some names like Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, and Odell Beckham Jr. he was drafted before other wide receivers like Allen Robinson, Jarvis Landry and Devante Adams. The Seahawks may have picked Richardson over the others for his success at Colorado (setting a school record) and his speed and ability to jump. Richardson was suppose to be a third round pick but Seattle saw something and went for it. Unfortunately Richardson was plagued with season ending injuries in his rookie and sophomore year in the NFL. By the time he was healthy Seattle had drafted Tyler Lockett who filled that roll Richardson would have been used in. With Lockett out Richardson got his opportunity and has been doing well. If their offensive scheme changes next year to use both Lockett and Richardson then Richardson will probably be drafted later than Lockett but could put up similar numbers. Again, if you have a late round pick to use on a wide receiver then Paul Richardson could be looking to get more targets next season and may be an excellent pick for draft position.

paul-richardson-595x334

Now these are picks where you will have to HOPE that they end up making big plays for you in order to be Fantasy relevant. In fact you may have to even wait until a little in the season to see them be worked into the scheme, similar to Green Bay’s Devante Adams or Seattle’s Tyler Lockett who made an impact near the end of the season only. So if you want to take the risk, do it, and cross your fingers. Especially if you are in a league with good players who know their Fantasy Football and all the safe pick wide receivers have  been chosen. Or if you are just player who plays with their gut and makes risky decisions. Either way, two players to watch.