Fantasy Football 2017: Mobile Cheat Sheet, Mock-Draft Strategy for Top Positions

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 6, 2017

Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (11) hauls in a pass in front of cornerback Josh Norman (24) during practice at the Washington Redskins NFL training camp in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Steve Helber/Associated Press

The NFL preseason officially began with the Hall of Fame game Thursday, which means kickoff for the 2017 regular season is on the horizon. That also means fantasy leagues are beginning to form, with many drafts taking place in August.

Here's a look at some top-10 fantasy cheat sheets for quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end, along with some strategies to consider.

Then we'll take a look at a team compiled from a recent mock draft on Yahoo and assess the results.



1. Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay)

2. Tom Brady (New England)

3. Cam Newton (Carolina)

4. Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh)

5. Drew Brees (New Orleans)

6. Kirk Cousins (Washington)

7. Derek Carr (Oakland)

8. Russell Wilson (Seattle)

9. Marcus Mariota (Tennessee)

10. Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay)

Aaron Rodgers is far and away the No. 1 choice at quarterback. The Green Bay Packers' strength of schedule is not formidable this year, ranking only 18th out of 32 teams. He's worth a pick in the early rounds.

If you're looking for another signal-caller early, Tom Brady should continue to dominate as usual, but expect Cam Newton to have a big bounce-back year with dynamite rookie running back Christian McCaffrey in the mix.

However, there is plenty of depth at the position this season, so it might be worth waiting until the later rounds to pick up a starter. Young quarterbacks who could have monster years include Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, both of whom should be available in the middle of drafts.


Running Back

1. David Johnson (Arizona)

2. Le'Veon Bell (Pittsburgh)

3. Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas)

4. LeSean McCoy (Buffalo)

5. Jordan Howard (Chicago)

6. Leonard Fournette (Jacksonville)

7. Devonta Freeman (Atlanta)

8. Christian McCaffrey (Carolina)

9. DeMarco Murray (Tennessee)

10. Lamar Miller (Houston)

The top two choices at running back are clear: If you own one of the first two picks in the draft, then you have to use one of them on David Johnson or Le'Veon Bell.

Otherwise, there are a ton of question marks. Will Ezekiel Elliott get suspended? How much playing time will McCaffrey get with Jonathan Stewart still starting? Can Lamar Miller bounce back from a disappointing first year with the Houston Texans? And so on and so forth.

Some of those running backs are going to enjoy elite seasons. It's just hard to guess who they will be. Therefore, it might be best to pick running backs early to avoid players with more questions later in the draft.


Wide Receiver

1. Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh)

2. Odell Beckham Jr. (New York Giants)

3. Julio Jones (Atlanta)

4. Mike Evans (Tampa Bay)

5. T.Y. Hilton (Indianapolis)

6. Michael Thomas (New Orleans)

7. Jordy Nelson (Green Bay)

8. DeAndre Hopkins (Houston)

9. Terrelle Pryor (Washington)

10. Alshon Jeffery (Philadelphia)

The top tier is clear, with Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr. and Julio Jones the top three in some order. They are all solid first-round selections if you choose to go that route.

However, some excellent prospects loom if you wait a little bit longer. In particular, the guess here is Terrelle Pryor turns in a monster year in Washington.

Last year, his first full season as a wide receiver after converting from quarterback, Pryor caught 77 passes for 1,007 yards. That was with the 1-15 Cleveland Browns, who started three different signal-callers.

Now, Pryor will be working with one of the better QBs in the game in Kirk Cousins, so expect a fantastic season. Furthermore, Alshon Jeffery is capable of a bounce-back year with the Philadelphia Eagles with second-year quarterback Carson Wentz.


Tight End

1. Rob Gronkowski (New England)

2. Travis Kelce (Kansas City)

3. Greg Olsen (Carolina)

4. Jordan Reed (Washington)

5. Jimmy Graham (Seattle)

6. Martellus Bennett (Green Bay)

7. Tyler Eifert (Cincinnati)

8. Delanie Walker (Tennessee)

9. Kyle Rudolph (Minnesota)

10. Zach Ertz (Philadelphia)

If New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski stays healthy, he's the No. 1 choice at tight end, but that designation isn't as clear-cut as you might think.

Travis Kelce is the clear top receiving option for the Kansas City Chiefs and should receive plenty of targets next season. Also, Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen is Mr. Consistent, as he's gained at least 1,000 yards receiving and caught no fewer than 77 passes in each of the past three years.

Like quarterback, it might be a wise move to pick a tight end late in the draft. Some good players can be had outside this top-10 ranking, such as Cameron Brate of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (eight touchdowns last year), Jared Cook of the Oakland Raiders and Evan Engram of the New York Giants (a rookie who should get plenty of playing time and targets).


12-Team Mock Draft (Standard League)

I owned the fifth overall pick in a 12-team standard snake mock draft and picked fifth in all odd-numbered rounds and seventh in all even-numbered rounds.

QB: Kirk Cousins (10th round)

RB: LeSean McCoy (first round), Leonard Fournette (second round)

WR: Terrelle Pryor (third round), Emmanuel Sanders (fourth round), Stefon Diggs (fifth round)

TE: Cameron Brate (12th round)

K: Matt Prater (15th round)

D/ST: New York Giants (14th round)

Bench: RB Paul Perkins (sixth round), RB Frank Gore (seventh round), WR Cam Meredith (eighth round), WR Kenny Britt (ninth round), quarterback Tyrod Taylor (11th round), Jared Cook (13th round)


Team Summary

I'm happy I have four running backs who are clear No. 1 options on their respective teams' depth charts. Having that depth is crucial as the season rolls on.

Furthermore, Cam Meredith and Cousins were steals in the eighth and 10th rounds, respectively. Meredith is the Chicago Bears' clear top receiving option and should see plenty of targets, and Cousins could have a great year with new wideout Terrelle Pryor in the mix.

Stefon Diggs may have been a reach in the fifth round. He's fantastic in point-per-reception leagues, as he is capable of having a 10-catch game during any given week, but he runs short routes, doesn't find the end zone often and is on a below-average league offense. Therefore, he's not as valuable in a standard league.

That being said, he's only 23 and should only get better, which is notable considering he posted an impressive 84-catch campaign last year.


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