It's time for another fantasy football mock draft, but this time, with a twist. We at The Fantasy Takeaway have brought together an all-star cast of writers and podcasters from all walks of the fantasy football industry to bring you analysis that can help you win your leagues.
This is a 12-Team PPR Snake Draft with full pick-by-pick analysis through the first five rounds. I drew the twelfth pick. The turn is rough this year at the RB
Joe's Picks & Analysis for the 2018 Fantasy Football Industry Mockstravaganza
Round 1, Pick 12 – Keenan Allen – WR – Los Angeles Chargers
This pick hurt a little. I love Keenan Allen, but watching Kareem Hunt and Odell Beckham Jr. fly off the board in the two picks immediately preceding my selection was painful. The last thing I wanted was to be forced into a zero RB strategy considering the state of the running back position in 2018, but here we are.
With running backs like Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey, Devonta Freeman, Leonard Fournette, and Joe Mixon being the only players at the position in consideration left on the board, I simply couldn't justify passing on the number three and four wide receivers in my 2018 rankings. Allen is a stud. His ACL reinjury risk plummets with every passing day, and to think the lacerated kidney that sidelined him in 2015 is any reason to discount a talent of this caliber is absurd.
Of the 50 receivers profiled in Matt Harmon's Reception Perception exclusively available in The Fantasy Footballers Ultimate Draft Kit, only Antonio Brown, Stefon Diggs, Odell Beckham Jr., Michael Crabtree, and (you guessed it) Keenan Allen scored at or above league average in success rate by route on all ten routes charted in 2017. Not Julio Jones, not DeAndre Hopkins, not Michael Thomas nor A.J. Green accomplished the feat last year. With an almost guaranteed target share in excess of 150 and a career catch percentage of 67%, Allen was a slam dunk at this spot.
My only knock on Allen before last year (outside of the obvious injury concerns having missed substantial time in each of the previous two years) was Allen's red zone usage. In eight games played during the 2015 season, Allen saw just seven red zone targets. For reference, Antonio Brown saw 24 red zone targets that year, and Jordy Nelson led the league with 31. On a per-game basis
2017 was a completely different story. No receiver garnered more red zone targets than Allen last year, and only Jarvis Landry was able to match him. His conversion rate wasn't fantastic, but with Hunter Henry out of the picture and only Mike Williams, Tyrell Williams, and Travis Benjamin competing for targets at the wide receiver position, I'm not worried about that number dipping substantially in 2018. With an ADP of 16 and the 6th WR off the board, Keenan Allen is being undervalued in 2018. He's a fringe first-round talent in an incredible situation, and I'm happy to reach on him with the last pick in a 12-Team league.
Next Pick: 2.01 – Joe Pollock – @HumanStatSheet
Round 2, Pick 1 – Davante Adams – WR – Green Bay Packers
This pick was risky, I'll admit. With wide receivers like Michael Thomas and Julio Jones still sitting there at the 2.01 I'm sure a lot of fantasy players would turn up their nose at someone selecting Adams in this spot. Allow me to explain.
Aaron Rodgers number one wide receiver is a force to be reckoned with. In nine years as a starting quarterback, Rodgers has produced five top-five finishes at the wide receiver position in PPR scoring. With Jordy Nelson out of the picture, Adams should receive a healthy boost in target volume. Nelson received 151 and 152 targets in the last two seasons in which both he and Rodgers played a full slate of games. At Adams' 2016 (his last full season with Rodgers) efficiency levels, 150 targets would translate into 93 receptions, 1,236 yards, and 15 touchdowns. That's 306.6 points in PPR, good enough for third best at the wide receiver position in 2017.
Adams is a touchdown machine. He's the only receiver to score double-digit touchdowns in each of the last two seasons. He's seen 23 red zone targets in each of the previous two seasons as a number two option in the Packers offense. One can only imagine what kind of volume he'll see inside the 20 as the number one.
The pick does not come without some risk. Adams will see attention from the number one corner in a division stacked with cornerback talent. He also missed multiple games due to concussions in 2017. Nobody knows how he'll respond to an expanded role in 2018, but for me, the potential reward of owning the primary target in a Rodgers led offense dramatically exceeds any inherent risk.
Round 3, Pick 12 – Jerick McKinnon – RB – San Francisco 49ers
This pick was pure upside. McKinnon wasn't the guy I wanted. Drafting behind @MurphyFFT is a nightmare. No Drake, no Collins, and no Freeman left at the 3.12 was the absolute worst possible scenario following the decision to take wide receivers with my first two picks in this draft. Just as I'd feared, McKinnon wasn't a durable running back and tore his ACL in practice before the Week 1 matchup with Minnesota. Wah-wah… At least this was the only McKinnon stock I dook for 2018. Hurray for fake leagues!
Round 4, Pick 1 – Derrick Henry – RB – Tennessee Titans
play at best unless Dion Lewis goes down with another injury this year. Henry should have some good production in games where the script favors the first and second down back, but if the game script goes negative, watch out. It's going to be Lewis time. I've learned my lesson. One of the first two picks I take when selecting 12th will be a running back from here on out.