If you are lucky enough to get the first couple of picks in your fantasy draft then you can pick up either Le’Veon Bell or David Johnson. Otherwise, you’re just out of luck. So with all of your draft planning, prepare for the high possibility (especially in a 12-team league) that you won’t be going home with either one of those two players. It’s like last year with Antonio Brown. You remember that.
But even though the odds are stacked against you, SOMEBODY has to get those top two picks, and if it’s you, then you have to have a plan in place. Just in case. The glory of one of these picks is that you get Bell or Johnson, but the drawback is that it will be a long time before you get to choose another player for your fantasy team. So although you can get a Bell cow (get it?), or the best DJ, you will lose out on players like the aforementioned Brown, Devonta Freeman, Odell Beckham, and the list goes on.
Drafting out of the 1 or 2 spot requires a lot of patience because after you’ve rostered Bell or DJ you’ll see a lot of quality players go off the board. But if you’re patient enough you can still fill your lineup in with some excellent talent. Yesterday I participated in my seventh mock draft of the season, and for the first time I got one of those top 2 picks. So I joined a 12-team PPR mock league. Here are the results of my DJ Mock Draft…
Team 1: Le’Veon Bell, RB (PIT)
ME: DAVID JOHNSON, RB (ARI)
Team 3: Antonio Brown, WR (PIT)
Team 4: Ezekiel Elliott, RB (DAL)
Team 5: Julio Jones, WR (ATL)
Team 6: Odell Beckham, Jr., WR (NYG)
Team 7: Mike Evans, WR (TB)
Team 8: A.J. Green, WR (CIN)
Team 9: LeSean McCoy, RB (BUF)
Team 10: Jordy Nelson, WR (GB)
Team 11: Melvin Gordon, RB (LAC)
Team 12: Devonta Freeman, RB (ATL)
Round 1 is your easiest round if you have one of those top 2 picks, unless you’re desperately wanting Elliott or Brown, and you think either one will get you more points than either DJ or Bell (and then I’d wonder what planet you’re living on). On my draft board, regardless of PPR, these two are my highest ranking, and once Bell was off the board, I wasted no time in selecting Johnson. The rest of the first round was relatively predictable too, with all top tier players going early. By the time we were ready to start the second round I realized I was probably going RB again, with all the WRs off the board early.
Team 12: Michael Thomas, WR (NO)
Team 11: Jordan Howard, RB (CHI)
Team 10: T.Y. Hilton, WR (IND)
Team 9: Dez Bryant, WR (DAL)
Team 8: DeMarco Murray, RB (TEN)
Team 7: Jay Ajayi, RB (MIA)
Team 6: Rob Gronkowski, TE (NE) – I wouldn’t pick him before the fourth round.
Team 5: Amari Cooper, WR (OAK)
Team 4: DeAndre Hopkins, WR (HOU)
Team 3: Leonard Fournette, RB (JAC)
ME: LAMAR MILLER, RB (HOU)
Team 1: Alshon Jeffery, WR (PHI)
The good news continues here because there wasn’t much time between this second round selection and the one in the third round. That made it much easier to pick the RB I wanted in Miller in this spot, and save my first WR for round 3. This is the best way to load your lineup with two 2nd round quality draft picks, because also by then others in your league are probably reaching for players who don’t fit this high.
Team 1: Demaryius Thomas, WR (DEN) – This is who I wanted a slot later, but I made the adjustment when he went off the board.
ME: DOUG BALDWIN, WR (SEA)
Team 3: Todd Gurley, RB (LAR)
Team 4: Sammy Watkins, WR (BUF)
Team 5: Jordan Reed, TE (WAS)
Team 6: Keenan Allen, WR (LAC)
Team 7: Christian McCaffrey, RB (CAR)
Team 8: Aaron Rodgers, QB (GB) – First QB off the board in the 3rd round, and I’m not surprised. He’s the only one I would select so early.
Team 9: Brandin Cooks, WR (NE)
Team 10: Jarvis Landry, WR (MIA)
Team 11: Emmanuel Sanders, WR (DEN)
Team 12: Marshawn Lynch, RB (OAK)
There are too many injury concerns among this group, in my opinion, that and who knows how Lynch will look after taking a sabbatical last season? I like Baldwin to have another monster season with Russell Wilson, especially since Jimmy Graham has finally started to open up the defense, and get the field spread out for the other receivers. I do like Thomas better, but not by much, so Baldwin was the logical choice of WR1 for my team.
Team 12: Golden Tate, WR (DET)
Team 11: Julian Edelman, WR (NE)
Team 10: Mark Ingram, RB (NO)
Team 9: Allen Robinson, WR (JAC)
Team 8: Michael Crabtree, WR (OAK)
Team 7: Terrelle Pryor, WR (WAS)
Team 6: Tom Brady, QB (NE)
Team 5: Isaiah Crowell, RB (CLE)
Team 4: Travis Kelce, TE (KC)
Team 3: Davante Adams, WR (GB)
ME: GREG OLSEN, TE (CAR)
Team 1: Carlos Hyde, RB (SF)
I must say I’m surprised that Olsen was the fourth TE off the board (after Gronk, Reed, and Kelce). He is arguably the most important to his team, and he gets a ton of targets from Cam Newton. I would have chosen him over the injury prone Kelce, and was lucky he fell to me in this spot. I still had to grab another WR to complement Baldwin, and I knew just who I wanted in the fifth round. Here’s how the rest of the DJ Mock Draft went:
ROUND FIVE: Spencer Ware, RB (KC)
ROUND SIX: Tevin Coleman, RB (ATL)
ROUND SEVEN: Kelvin Benjamin, WR (CAR)
ROUND EIGHT: Giovani Bernard, RB (CIN)
ROUND NINE: Derek Carr, QB (OAK)
ROUND TEN: Broncos D/ST*
ROUND ELEVEN: Ted Ginn, Jr., WR (NO)*
ROUND TWELVE: Jamaal Charles, RB (DEN)
ROUND THIRTEEN: Jeremy Hill, RB (CIN)
ROUND FOURTEEN: Allen Hurns, WR (JAC)
ROUND FIFTEEN: Dion Lewis, RB (NE)
ROUND SIXTEEN: Will Lutz, K (NO)
Here is my final lineup as selected from the second pick in the draft:
QB: DEREK CARR
RB1: DAVID JOHNSON
RB2: LAMAR MILLER
WR1: DOUG BALDWIN
WR2: KELVIN BENJAMIN
TE: GREG OLSEN
FLEX: SPENCER WARE
D/ST: BRONCOS D/ST
K: WILL LUTZ
TED GINN, JR.
I’m counting on a bounceback season from Benjamin, and I could flip either way on the Flex spot, depending on whether or not Spencer Ware carries the load in KC, if Tevin Coleman has a great matchup in ATL, or if Jamaal Charles does more than a little in DEN. Also, as you can see, I stocked up on CIN RBs, because I’m not sold on Joe Mixon carrying the load, and Hill is always good for TDs. It’s a solid team from start to bottom, rounded out by when my internet shut down between rounds 10 and 11. Those two were autopicks.
As you can see, this is a much different lineup from the Julio Mock, but it’s still a well constructed team out of the 2 spot. Oh, and I got David Johnson. There’s that too.