Fantasy Football Mock Draft 2017: Round-by-Round Expert Projections

Gary DavenportNFL AnalystAugust 17, 2017

Fantasy Football Mock Draft 2017: Round-by-Round Expert Projections

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Now that it's mid-August, fantasy football draft season is kicking into overdrive. 

    Fantasy drafters prepare in all sorts of ways for the big day, including cheat sheets with player rankings. But perhaps the most valuable tool is taking a dry run by participating in a mock draft.

    If you don't have the time or inclination to do that, the next-best thing is examining someone else's mock. Observing how things played out can help you pinpoint potential values and look for pitfalls to avoid.

    That's what we're going to do here, with analysis of a 12-team draft I recently participated in with other fantasy football writers. This wasn't a practice run. This is for keeps. Twelve people who make a living in fantasy sports going at itwith a championship (and some cash) on the line.

    The rules and scoring for this league are pretty straightforward: 18 rounds, PPR scoring. Start one quarterback, two running backs, three wideouts, a tight end, kicker, team defense and one "flex" player (RB/WR/TE).

    Let's see how the draft went down, beginning with the coveted first overall pick.

Round 1

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    Ed Zurga/Associated Press

    1. David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals
    2. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
    3. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
    4. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants
    5. LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills
    6. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
    7. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
    8. Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
    9. Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
    10. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    11. Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers
    12. Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears 

    You shouldn't expect to see many surprises in the first round of a fantasy draft, and this one was no exception. The first 12 picks were split evenly between running backs and wide receivers, and the first two selectionsDavid Johnson and Le'Veon Bellwere same as the top two picks in the overwhelming majority of drafts in 2017, per Fantasy Football Calculator.

    There were a couple of mild upsets, however. Buffalo tailback LeSean McCoy came off the board ahead of Atlanta wideout Julio Jones at 1.05, and second-year back Jordan Howard of the Chicago Bears sneaked his way into the back of Round 1.

    If there's a lesson to be taken from those picks, it's this: While both players were selected slightly earlier than their average draft position indicates, it goes to show ADP is only a guide. If you're sure a certain player will help your fantasy squad find success in 2017, go get him.

Round 2

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    Ron Schwane/Associated Press

    13. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
    14. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints
    15. Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins
    16. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
    17. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts
    18. Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders
    19. Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys
    20. DeMarco Murray, RB, Tennessee Titans
    21. Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
    22. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos
    23. Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
    24. Brandin Cooks, WR, New England Patriots

    If the first round went as expected, the second did the exact opposite, beginning with the first pick of the round.

    Don't get me wrong. Aaron Rodgers is a phenomenal football player. He was fantasy football's top quarterback in 2016 by over 25 points and was the No. 2 overall scorer in this league's format.

    But quarterback is a deep position in fantasy football, with viable starters available much later. In taking Rodgers at 2.01, that drafter placed himself in a position where he'll have to find value later at running back and wide receiver. Otherwise, the edge he may have under center won't matter.

    The second round is also where suspended Dallas Cowboys tailback Ezekiel Elliott came off the board. As the drafter who pulled the trigger on the NFL's rushing king at 2.04, all I can say is that it's a calculated risk. If Elliott's six-game suspension is reduced on appeal or if that appeal drags out in the courts, Elliott could be the same sort of seismic value Le'Veon Bell was for fantasy owners in 2016.

    If he serves the whole six games and doesn't see the field until Week 8, however, my team may well be toast.

Round 3

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    Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

    25. Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
    26. Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
    27. Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams
    28. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers
    29. Terrelle Pryor, WR, Washington Redskins
    30. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
    31. Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
    32. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
    33. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
    34. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers
    35. Sammy Watkins, WR, Los Angeles Rams
    36. Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

    In a fantasy league where a point is awarded for each reception and each team starts three wide receivers, having a solid stable at the position is essential.

    Given that, it's no surprise owners prioritized that position in Round 3, with nine wideouts (from Seattle's Doug Baldwin to Kansas City's Tyreek Hill) coming off the board.

    Those receivers all share something in common, too. There isn't a sure bet in the bunch outside of perhaps Baldwin.

    Keenan Allen (Chargers), Alshon Jeffery (Eagles) and Sammy Watkins (Rams) are all coming off injury-marred 2016 seasons. The latter two also find themselves on new teams this year, as does Terrelle Pryor of the Washington Redskins.

    Like Pryor, Davante Adams of the Green Bay Packers is coming off easily the best season of his career. The Chiefs are hoping for a similar output from Hill after their release of Jeremy Maclin elevated the second-year pro to No. 1 status in Kansas City.

    This may turn out to be a pivotal round in this draft. The receivers from Round 3 who hit could provide separation for the teams who drafted them from those who didn't.

Round 4

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    37. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings
    38. Michael Crabtree, WR, Oakland Raiders
    39. Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns
    40. Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans
    41. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
    42. Ty Montgomery, RB, Green Bay Packers
    43. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Oakland Raiders
    44. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
    45. Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions
    46. Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions
    47. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals
    48. Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers 

    There's often a pack mentality in fantasy football drafts. Perhaps it's because the beginning of a positional run causes a panic of sorts. Maybe that run stems from several owners sharing a similar strategy.

    Chicken. Egg. Whatever.

    Whatever the case, while Round 3 was all about wideouts, Round 4 belonged to the tailbacks. Eight running backs came off the board in this round, from rookies such as Dalvin Cook (Minnesota Vikings) and Joe Mixon (Bengals) to grizzled veterans like Marshawn Lynch (Oakland Raiders).

    The owners who went against the grain may have gotten the best values of the fourth round, though. Michael Crabtree of the Oakland Raiders came off the board almost two rounds later than Amari Cooper despite outscoring his teammate last year. Larry Fitzgerald has caught over 100 passes in each of the past two seasons. And Golden Tate topped 90 receptions and 1,000 yards last season in Detroit.

    Don't be afraid to stand tall in the face of a positional run and stick to your draft-day plan. It's better to do that than cave in and draft a player you don't want.

Round 5

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    Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

    49. Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers
    50. Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings
    51. Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins
    52. Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins
    53. Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos
    54. Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots
    55. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
    56. Willie Snead, WR, New Orleans Saints
    57. Jamison Crowder, WR, Washington Redskins
    58. Pierre Garcon, WR, San Francisco 49ers
    59. Jimmy Graham, TE, Seattle Seahawks
    60. Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina Panthers

    Here's something you don't see every day: In the entire fifth round, not a single running back was taken.

    What you do see every day is this is usually the point in the draft where things begin to diverge. For some, that means taking a second-tier tight end such as the trustworthy Greg Olsen (Panthers) or the mercurial Jordan Reed (Redskins)

    For others, it meant addressing the quarterback position—although it says something that the NFL's leading passer from a year ago (Drew Brees of the Saints) was available more than three full rounds after Aaron Rodgers was selected.

    There were also a number of receivers taken. Among them, the biggest surprise was likely Jarvis Landry of the Miami Dolphins. It wasn't so much a surprise that Landry was selected in the fifth round of a PPR draft—Landry has averaged over 100 receptions over the past two years, topping 1,100 yards both seasons.

    The surprising part is that a player who ranked 16th in fantasy points in this scoring among wide receivers in 2016 was still on the board. Call it the "Cutler Effect."

    Keep a close eye on your draft. On your team. On your opponents'. And on the available players.

    You never know when a potential bargain might slip through the cracks.

Round 6

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    Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

    61. Spencer Ware, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
    62. Danny Woodhead, RB, Baltimore Ravens
    63. Cameron Meredith, WR, Chicago Bears
    64. DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins
    65. Tyrell Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
    66. Martavis Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
    67. Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints
    68. Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
    69. Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets
    70. Eddie Lacy, RB, Seattle Seahawks
    71. C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos
    72. Brandon Marshall, WR, New York Giants

    In some respects, Round 6 looks like Round 1. There was nearly a 50/50 split between running backs and receivers, as drafters loaded up at the two most important fantasy positions.

    Of course, the quality of players was a bit lower. Or it might turn out to be, anyway—the theme of the sixth round was risk/reward.

    Can veteran tailback Danny Woodhead stay healthy with the Baltimore Ravens after tearing his ACL with the Chargers in 2016?

    Can vertical speedster Martavis Bryant of the Pittsburgh Steelers stay on the field and out of trouble after losing all of 2016 to a suspension?

    Will this be the year production meets potential with DeVante Parker of the Miami Dolphins?

    Can Bilal Powell seize the reins as the lead back for the New York Jets in 2017? And will it matter on a team that's likely going to be 42 kinds of terrible?

    The early-round picks may get all the run when draft season gets underway, but the game-changing values lie in the middle rounds.

    Answer one of those questions correctly and you're on your way to the fantasy playoffs.

Round 7

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    Denis Poroy/Associated Press

    73. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
    74. Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns
    75. Theo Riddick, RB, Detroit Lions
    76. DeSean Jackson, WR, Washington Redskins
    77. Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts
    78. Eric Decker, WR, Tennessee Titans
    79. Paul Perkins, RB, New York Giants
    80. Mike Gillislee, RB, New England Patriots
    81. Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals
    82. C.J. Prosise, RB, Seattle Seahawks
    83. Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    84. Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans 

    We're into the money rounds now. Early-round picks don't win leagues. They can lose them if they bust, but the David Johnsons of the world are expected to have big seasons.

    It's the teams that find weekly starters in the middle of drafts that go on to win titles.

    The seventh round featured another pack of backs and receivers sandwiched between a quarterback in the front (Matt Ryan of the Falcons) and a tight end (Delanie Walker of the Titans) in the back.

    Of the players taken in Round 7, the most interesting might well be the one who came off the board just before Walker.

    Doug Martin of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will sit out the first three games of the season thanks to a suspension. But as ESPN's Jenna Laine reported, Tampa quarterback Jameis Winston believes Martin is "back" after a down 2016.

    Two years ago, Martin topped 1,400 yards on the ground and ranked sixth in fantasy points among running backs.

    If the 28-year-old comes anywhere close to that level of production in 2017, Martin will win leagues for people.

    I'm kicking myself for choosing Cincinnati's Tyler Eifert over him.

Round 8

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    85. Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders
    86. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans
    87. Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
    88. Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts
    89. Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings
    90. Eric Ebron, TE, Detroit Lions
    91. LeGarrette Blount, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
    92. Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts
    93. Rishard Matthews, WR, Tennessee Titans
    94. Rob Kelley, RB, Washington Redskins
    95. Terrance West, RB, Baltimore Ravens
    96. Adrian Peterson, RB, New Orleans Saints

    Without question, Andrew Luck is one of the most polarizing players in all of fantasy football in 2017.

    The sixth-year pro entered the summer safely entrenched in the top five on most quarterback rankings. Even in a relatively down 2016, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft was fourth in fantasy points at his position in this scoring.

    Now, however, the status of Luck's surgically repaired shoulder hangs over his fantasy stock like a dark cloud.

    Even Colts owner Jim Irsay admitted to Tricia Whitaker of CBS 4 Indianapolis that he isn't sure Luck will be on the field in Week 1.

    "I can't say that Luck will be ready for the Rams game, but he will be ready for the start of the season," he said. "He is throwing."

    If Luck's ready to face the Rams or even misses a game or two and looks like the No. 12 we've all come to know and love, then he's a steal this late in the draft—and I've seen him go considerably later than this.

    But if he misses substantial time, or the injury limits his effectiveness, Luck could also turn into a wasted pick.

    Risk/reward, anyone?

Round 9

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    Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

    97. John Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals
    98. Jordan Matthews, WR, Buffalo Bills
    99. Kenny Britt, WR, Cleveland Browns
    100. Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins
    101. Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings
    102. Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans
    103. Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    104. Darren McFadden, RB, Dallas Cowboys
    105. Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
    106. Hunter Henry, TE, Los Angeles Chargers
    107. Jeremy Maclin, WR, Baltimore Ravens
    108. Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks

    A few weeks ago, no one expected we'd be talking about drafting Dallas Cowboys tailback Darren McFadden in the ninth round.

    That's where he went here in light of Ezekiel Elliott's suspension, though, one pick before the Elliott owner (me) could have selected him.

    For the record, I probably wouldn't have. Maybe in Round 10—but not ahead of a solid weekly starter at quarterback such as Russell Wilson.

    McFadden insisted to Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News that he's ready to carry the load for the Cowboys while Elliott is sidelined.

    "I feel great," he said. "I'm definitely going to be able to handle the load. "I feel like I definitely can get back to that [2015] status."

    In 2015 McFadden topped 1,000 rushing yards and ranked 15th in fantasy points among running backs. It's not at all unreasonable to expect at least RB2 production, so long as McFadden's the lead back in Big D.

    The problem, of course, is that we have no idea if that will be for six games, four or none—making McFadden a speculative pick if you don't own Elliott and a suddenly pricy insurance policy if you do.

Round 10

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    109. Martellus Bennett, TE, Green Bay Packers
    110. Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans
    111. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
    112. Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers
    113. Austin Hooper, TE, Atlanta Falcons
    114. James White, RB, New England Patriots
    115. Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis Colts
    116. Darren Sproles, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
    117. Marqise Lee, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
    118. Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
    119. Matt Forte, RB, New York Jets
    120. Marvin Jones, WR, Detroit Lions

    The ninth round brought with it a mini-run at the quarterback position. Four signal-callers were selected, bringing the total number of players selected at that position to 10.

    That Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers wasn't one of them speaks both to the worries about his shoulder injury and just how far the 2015 NFL MVP fell after a disappointing 2016 season.

    However, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera told ESPN's David Newton there aren't any concerns about Newton's availability for the season opener.

    "There's no reason to [panic]," Rivera said. "We're just listening to what the doctors are trying to say. They're optimistic. As long as we don't have a setback, which we don't anticipate, we certainly feel good about where we are right now. It's very positive.''

    Assuming that isn't coachspeak, Newton's an excellent bet to at least live up to his draft slot. QB11 isn't an especially high bar to top.

    But if the 28-year-old can recapture some of the magic from the year before (when he was both the No. 1 quarterback and the top scorer overall) then the teams who are able to get him this late will have a substantial edge over the competition.

    Players like Newton are why it's wise to wait at quarterback in most fantasy leagues. There's just too much upside and value available late to burn an early pick on a high-end passer.   

Round 11

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    Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

    121. Jonathan Stewart, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
    122. Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
    123. Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants
    124. Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
    125. Ted Ginn, WR, New Orleans Saints
    126. Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    127. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
    128. Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys
    129. Thomas Rawls, RB, Seattle Seahawks
    130. Zay Jones, WR, Biffalo Bills
    131. Corey Coleman, WR, Cleveland Browns
    132. Joe Williams, RB, San Francisco 49ers

    The 11th round had a little of everything. There were six running backs selected, three wide receivers and three more low-end weekly starters at quarterback.

    It was interesting that the first of those QBs was Andy Dalton of the Cincinnati Bengals. Dalton was a top-10 quarterback in fantasy points per game two years ago and a top-three fantasy quarterback (no really, he was) back in 2013.

    But Dalton was 17th in fantasy points per game among quarterbacks last season, and per ESPN's Katherine Terrell, the Bengals offense hasn't looked especially sharp in practice.

    Unless Cincy's offensive line improves in 2017, that pick looks like something of a reach.

    The best value of Round 11 came a bit later. Ever since the arrival of Eddie Lacy in the Pacific Northwest, the assumption in most fantasy circles has been that it would be Lacy who served as the lead back for the Seattle Seahawks.

    However, Thomas Rawls has run with the first team in training camp, per Pro Football Focus, and he started Seattle's first exhibition game.

    Getting a lead back who averaged over five yards a carry as a rookie in 2015 this late would be highway robbery if Rawls hangs on to the job.

Round 12

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    133. Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions
    134. D'Onta Foreman, RB, Houston Texans
    135. Samaje Perine, RB, Washington Redskins
    136. Mike Wallace, WR, Baltimore Ravens
    137. David Njoku, TE, Cleveland Browns
    138. Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts
    139. Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants
    140. Jonathan Williams, RB, Buffalo Bills
    141. Kevin White, WR, Chicago Bears
    142. Coby Fleener, TE, New Orleans Saints
    143. Julius Thomas, TE, Miami Dolphins
    144. Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

    Round 12 was all about the new kids on the block—or at least the beginning of it was.

    The first three picks of the round (and four of the first five) were rookies—albeit rookies who for the most part don't have a defined role yet.

    The exception to that is the first player taken in the round. Rookie wide receiver Kenny Golladay of the Detroit Lions has been the talk of training camp for the team, and after the wideout hauled in a pair of scoring passes in the preseason opener, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press wrote that Golladay is expected to play "an important role" for the Lions in 2017.

    However, even if the present is a bit cloudy for the likes of D'Onta Foreman of the Texans and David Njoku of the Cleveland Browns, that doesn't make them bad picks.

    When throwing darts late on draft day, go with the young upside plays. If one hits, it's like holding the fantasy football equivalent of a winning lottery ticket.

    If they don't, you haven't really lost anything.

Round 13

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    Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

    145. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
    146. Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    147. Shane Vereen, RB, New York Giants
    148. Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
    149. Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals
    150. Jamaal Charles, RB, Denver Broncos
    151. Denver Broncos Defense/Special Teams
    152. Cole Beasley, WR, Dallas Cowboys
    153. Philip Rivers, QB, Los Angeles Chargers
    154. Jamaal Williams, RB, Green Bay Packers
    155. Robby Anderson, WR, New York Jets
    156. Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants 

    There are a couple of items of note about the 13th round.

    The first is that a trio of veteran quarterbacks came off the board. Ben Roethlisberger of the Steelers was a top-10 passer in fantasy points per game last year despite playing poorly away from Heinz Field. Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions finished inside that same line in total points. Philip Rivers of the Los Angeles Chargers missed the cut but has an NFL resume filled with big seasons.

    In other words, you can (in theory) wait until late in your fantasy draft, platoon a couple of these players and still come out in OK shape under center.

    Also, the first fantasy defense came off the board in Round 13.

    The Denver Broncos are one of the NFL's most formidable defenses. But not only were they third in fantasy points last year, but they were also fewer than two points a game better than the No. 12 defense.

    You can get that production from a streaming option later and use this pick on one of those lottery tickets at another position.

Round 14

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    Gary Landers/Associated Press

    157. Kansas City Chiefs Defense/Special Teams
    158. Josh Doctson, WR, Washington Redskins
    159. Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens
    160. John Ross, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
    161. Taylor Gabriel, WR, Atlanta Falcons
    162. James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
    163. Kenny Stills, WR, Miami Dolphins
    164. Dion Lewis, RB, New England Patriots
    165. Wayne Gallman, RB, New York Giants
    166. Breshad Perriman, WR, Baltimore Ravens
    167. Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
    168. Antonio Gates, TE, Los Angeles Chargers

    In the interest of fair disclosure, this league's scoring is slightly more generous to kickers—awarding points for distance.

    And yet, I still don't like the selection of Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker in the 14th round.

    It's nothing to do with Tucker. He's the best kicker in the National Football League. But he was only about three fantasy points a game better than the No. 12 kicker in this scoring a year ago.

    In the majority of fantasy football leagues, the gap isn't that big.

    I say it every year, and I'll say it again for you in 2017.

    Do not, under any circumstances, draft a kicker before the last round unless your league starts two.

    If that's the case, you're weird.

Round 15

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    Jason Behnken/Associated Press

    169. Anquan Boldin, WR, Buffalo Bills
    170. Rex Burkhead, RB, New England Patriots
    171. Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills
    172. Jerell Adams, TE, New York Giants
    173. Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams
    174. Allen Hurns, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
    175. Latavius Murray, RB, Minnesota Vikings
    176. Charles Sims, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    177. Chris Thompson, RB, Washington Redskins
    178. Houston Texans Defense/Special Teams
    179. Devontae Booker, RB, Denver Broncos
    180. Taywan Taylor, WR, Tennessee Titans

    By this point in the draft, you're throwing darts—blindfolded.

    But there were some players of note drafted in Round 15.

    Sure, Anquan Boldin is 49 years old (or something to that effect), but he caught eight touchdowns in 2016, and with Jordan Matthews already a nursing a fractured sternum, Boldin may be the No. 1 receiver in Buffalo.

    Rex Burkhead joined the New England Patriots in free agency after a mini-breakout over the last month of the 2016 season. If the touches are there, Burkhead could be a steal, but trying to figure out the workload split in Beantown is a good way to get a migraine.

    Both Charles Sims of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Chris Thompson of the Washington Redskins should see work as the passing-down backs for their respective teams. In a league like this that awards a point for receptions, that affords them value as at least a bye-week fill-in or depth.

Round 16

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    Rich Barnes/Associated Press

    181. Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans
    182. Sam Bradford, QB, Minnesota Vikings
    183. Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
    184. Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys
    185. Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams
    186. Minnesota Vikings Defense/Special Teams
    187. New England Patriots Defense/Special Teams
    188. DeAngelo Henderson, RB, Denver Broncos
    189. Arizona Cardinals Defense/Special Teams
    190. J.J. Nelson, WR, Arizona Cardinals
    191. Stephen Gostkowski, K, New England Patriots
    192. Seattle Seahawks Defense/Special Teams

    There are as many draft strategies as there are colors of the rainbow.

    Some fantasy owners swear by hitting the running back position early and often. Others still eschew the position until late, choosing instead to load up at wide receiver.

    Generally speaking, the majority of fantasy football veterans wait before drafting a starting quarterback—players such as Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston are very popular with many of my cohorts this year. I'm quite happy with my duo in this league of Russell Wilson and Philip Rivers.

    However, one drafter went all-in on waiting on a quarterback in this draft.

    He is a proponent of streaming QB options—picking one late who opens the season with a favorable matchup or two and then grabbing replacements off the waiver wire.

    It's a strategy that can be very effective—provided that you don't wait too long and wind up with Sam Bradford as your only player at the position.

    Credit where it's due; it's a bold move. And often it's the bold fantasy owners who win championships.

    But the odds that move could backfire are significant.

Rounds 17 and 18

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    Chuck Burton/Associated Press

    We'll double up the final two rounds. Thrillers, they weren't.

    Round 17

    193. Dan Bailey, K, Dallas Cowboys
    194. Jacksonville Jaguars Defense/Special Teams
    195. New York Giants Defense/Special Teams
    196. Matt Bryant, K, Atlanta Falcons
    197. Philadelphia Eagles Defense/Special Teams
    198. Adam Vinatieri, K, Indianapolis Colts
    199. Sebastian Janikowski, K, Oakland Raiders
    200. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense/Special Teams
    201. Carolina Panthers Defense/Special Teams
    202. DeAndre Washington, RB, Oakland Raiders
    203. Pittsburgh Steelers Defense/Special Teams
    204. Mason Crosby, K, Green Bay Packers

    Looking for one of those streaming defenses I mentioned earlier? The Carolina Panthers finished last season sixth in fantasy points in this scoring, despite not having star linebacker Luke Kuechly for the last six games.

    This season, Carolina opens at San Francisco before hosting the Buffalo Bills in Week 2.

    Just saying.

             

    Round 18

    205. O.J. Howard, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    206. Matt Prater, K, Detroit Lions
    207. Paul Richardson, WR, Seattle Seahawks
    208. Wil Lutz, K, New Orleans Saints
    209. Cairo Santos, K, Kansas City Chiefs
    210. Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    211. Ben Watson, TE, Baltimore Ravens
    212. Graham Gano, K, Carolina Pathers
    213. Branden Oliver, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
    214. Dustin Hopkins, K, Washington Redskins
    215. Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
    216. Will Fuller, WR, Houston Texans

    There could be some sneaky value plays from the final round. Tight end O.J. Howard was Tampa's first-round draft pick in 2017, and the team took shifty slot receiver Chris Godwin in the third round. Both could work their way into prominent offensive roles as the season progresses.

    Also, while Ravens tight end Ben Watson is 36 and coming off a torn Achilles, he's the last man standing in Baltimore after injuries ravaged the team at that position. Two years ago with the New Orleans Saints, Watson was eighth in fantasy points among tight ends in this scoring.

    Oh, and kickers.

Team Evan

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press
    • David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals (1.01)
    • Brandin Cooks, WR, New England Patriots (2.12)
    • Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks (3.01)
    • Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers (4.12)
    • Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers (5.01)
    • Brandon Marshall, WR, New York Giants (6.12)
    • Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons (7.01)
    • Adrian Peterson, RB, New Orleans Saints (8.12)
    • John Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals (9.01)
    • Marvin Jomes, WR, Detroit Lions (10.12)
    • Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers (11.01)
    • Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals (12.12)
    • Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers (13.01)
    • Antonio Gates, TE, Los Angeles Chargers (14.12)
    • Anquan Boldin, WR, Buffalo Bills (15.01)
    • Seattle Seahawks Defense/Special Teams (16.12)
    • Dan Bailey, K, Dallas Cowboys (17.01)
    • Will Fuller, WR, Houston Texans (18.12)

              

    Everyone covets the No. 1 pick, but it's only an advantage for that one round. There are 17 other picks that had to be made to build a solid team around that No. 1 pick (in this case, David Johnson).

    For the most part, this owner did a fine job.

    From a starting lineup perspective at least, this team should be formidable. In addition to Johnson and Carlos Hyde at running back and a good group of wideouts, Team Evan also grabbed a top-five tight end in Greg Olsen and a higher end quarterback in Matt Ryan.

    If you want to nit-pick, the depth in the backfield isn't great behind the top two, and the third receiver spot could be an issue. But if his backs stay healthy and the Brandon Marshall/John Brown/Marvin Jones rotation is fruitful, this team could be hard to beat.

    In fact, Fantasy Pros projects it to score the most points in the league.

Team Bob

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
    • Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (1.02)
    • Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots (2.11)
    • Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers (3.02)
    • Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals (4.11)
    • Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings (5.02)
    • C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos (6.11)
    • Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns (7.02)
    • Terrance West, RB, Baltimore Ravens (8.11)
    • Jordan Matthews, WR, Buffalo Bills (9.02)
    • Matt Forte, RB, New York Jets (10.11)
    • Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals (11.01)
    • Julius Thomas, TE, Miami Dolphins (12.11)
    • Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13.02)
    • Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles (14.11)
    • Rex Burkhead, RB, Cincinnati Bengals (15.02)
    • Stephen Gostkowski, K, New England Patriots (16.11)
    • Jacksonville Jaguars Defense/Special Teams (17.02)
    • Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers (18.11)

            

    This team should be called the Risk-Reward All-Stars

    With each of its first three picks, Team Bob selected players in Le'Veon Bell, Rob Gronkowski and Keenan Allen who all have tremendous fantasy upside—if they stay healthy.

    That's a substantial "if," though—the trio combined to miss 27 of a potential 48 games in 2016.

    Gronkowski has become something of a poster child for this kind of pick. If he's healthy and on his game, Gronk has a fantasy ceiling that no other tight end can touch. He can give the brave souls who use a second-round pick on him a marked edge at the position.

    But Gronkowski also hasn't made it through a 16-game slate unscathed since his monstrous 2011 season. You effectively have to count on him to miss time, although in Cameron Brate and Julius Thomas, Team Bob at least purchased a measure of insurance.

    If there's a glaring weakness on this team, it's at quarterback, where the Andy Dalton/Carson Wentz platoon could be a liability.

Team Armando

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    Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
    • Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (1.03)
    • Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos (2.10)
    • Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams (3.03)
    • Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions (4.10)
    • Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins (5.03)
    • Eddie Lacy, RB, Seattle Seahawks (6.10)
    • Theo Riddick, RB, Detroit Lions (7.03)
    • Rob Kelley, RB, Washington Redskins (8.10)
    • Kenny Britt, WR, Cleveland Browns (9.03)
    • Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (10.10)
    • Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants (11.03)
    • Coby Fleener, TE, New Orleans Saints (12.10)
    • Shane Vereen, RB, New York Giants (13.03)
    • Breshad Perriman, WR, Baltimore Ravens (14.10)
    • Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills (15.03)
    • J.J. Nelson, WR, Arizona Cardinals (16.10)
    • New York Giants Defense/Special Teams (17.03)
    • Dustin Hopkins, K, Washington Redskins (18.10)

              

    Demaryius Thomas, Golden Tate and Jarvis Landry would constitute a strong stable of fantasy options at wide receiver in their own right.

    Add in Antonio Brown, and you have the makings of a pass-catching chipper-shredder.

    Of course, in hitting the wide receivers early, there was a price to be paid. That cost came in the backfield. Todd Gurley will be counted on to anchor it, but fantasy owners who drafted Gurley a year ago can tell you how that worked out in 2016.

    Likely using some colorful language while they do it.

    Add in that Eddie Lacy has yet to win the starting job for the Seahawks, and the RB corps could become a big issue for this team.

    Team Armando's saving grace at running back may have come late in Round 8. Rob Kelley appears to have a stranglehold on the lead role for the Washington Redskins, per ESPN.com's John Keim. Kelley's no David Johnson, but there's a good chance he could at least serve as a decent RB2.

    And if this team gets production from its backs, it's going to be in good shape.

Team Emil

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    Mel Evans/Associated Press
    • Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants (1.04)
    • Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (2.09)
    • Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers (3.04)
    • Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions (4.09)
    • Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins (5.04)
    • Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets (6.09)
    • DeSean Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7.04)
    • Rishard Matthews, WR, Tennessee Titans (8.09)
    • Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins (9.04)
    • Marqise Lee, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (10.09)
    • Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals (11.04)
    • Kevin White, WR, Chicago Bears (12.09)
    • Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions (13.04)
    • Wayne Gallman, RB, New York Giants (14.09)
    • Jerell Adams, TE, New York Giants (15.04)
    • Arizona Cardinals Defense/Special Teams (16.09)
    • Matt Bryant, K, Atlanta Falcons (17.04)
    • Branden Oliver, RB, San Diego Chargers (18.09)

            

    Team Emil was built in a fairly conventional fashion. His first seven picks were split right down the middle—three running backs and three wide receivers with a tight end in between.

    Odell Beckham Jr. and Davante Adams should provide a good anchor for the pass-catchers, with Rishard Matthews a sneaky-good pick as a player capable of stepping in as the WR3 should DeSean Jackson falter. And Kirk Cousins and Matthew Stafford are a good quarterback platoon.

    If there's a potential trouble spot, it's at running back or tight end. Leonard Fournette has yet to carry the ball in the NFL, and Ameer Abdullah missed most of the 2016 season with an injured foot. Jordan Reed is nursing one as we speak—ominous news for the oft-injured tight end.

    This team is an object lesson in the realities of drafting in a league with experienced owners. Even a longtime fantasy veteran such as Emil isn't making it through the draft without a hole or two appearing on his roster.

    It can be maddening.

Team Mike

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press
    • LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills (1.05)
    • DeMarco Murray, RB, Tennessee Titans (2.08)
    • Terrelle Pryor, WR, Washington Redskins (3.05)
    • Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs (4.08)
    • Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos (5.05)
    • Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons (6.08)
    • Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts (7.05)
    • Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts (8.08)
    • Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings (9.05)
    • Darren Sproles, RB, Philadelphia Eagles (10.08)
    • Ted Ginn, WR, New Orleans Saints (11.05)
    • Jonathan Williams, RB, Buffalo Bills (12.08)
    • Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals (13.05)
    • Dion Lewis, RB, New England Patriots (14.08)
    • Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams (15.05)
    • De'Angelo Henderson, RB, Denver Broncos (16.08)
    • Philadelphia Eagles Defense/Special Teams (17.05)
    • Graham Gano, K, Carolina Panthers (18.08)

         

    He wasn't the first pick for Team Mike, but this squad's fortunes in 2017 may well rest on the right arm of Andrew Luck.

    It's simple, really. If Luck doesn't miss a lot of time and his surgically repaired shoulder is relatively close to 100 percent, odds are Luck will return great value for an eighth-round selection. And by grabbing Carson Palmer late, Team Dempsey bought themselves a Plan B if Luck sits for a week or two to open the year.

    Team Mike has a formidable one-two punch in the backfield, a decent stable of receivers and the safest bet at tight end (Travis Kelce) in the league. If the QB play's there, this team will be in the thick of the playoff hunt.

    Team Mike also broke out the handcuffs in the 12th round, grabbing a safety net for his impressive backfield duo by securing LeSean McCoy's backup, Jonathan Williams.

    It's the sort of pick you hope you never need, but man oh man are you glad you did it if you do.

Team Jen

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    David Goldman/Associated Press
    • Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons (1.06)
    • Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys (2.07)
    • DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans (3.06)
    • Marshawn Lynch, RB, Oakland Raiders (4.07)
    • Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots (5.06)
    • Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints (6.07)
    • Eric Decker, WR, Tennessee Titans (7.06)
    • LeGarrette Blount, RB, Philadelphia Eagles (8.07)
    • Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans (9.06)
    • Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis Colts (10.07)
    • Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11.06)
    • Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants (12.07)
    • Jamaal Charles, RB, Denver Broncos (13.06)
    • Kenny Stills, WR, Miami Dolphins (14.07)
    • Allen Hurns, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (15.06)
    • New England Patriots Defense/Special Teams (16.07)
    • Adam Vinatieri, K, Indianapolis Colts (17.06)
    • Ben Watson, TE, Baltimore Ravens (18.07)

               

    In recent years, the "Zero RB" strategy has gained traction in fantasy circles. In a nutshell, it means what it says—eschewing the backfield early in favor of banging away at the wide receiver spot.

    As you can see from this draft, Jen is a proponent of this school of thought.

    Jen's first three picks were all wide receivers with top-10 fantasy upside: Julio Jones, Dez Bryant and DeAndre Hopkins. If the Dallas Cowboys throw more this year and the Houston Texans get improved quarterback play, that trio will amass a Texas-sized pile of fantasy points.

    The flip side of "Zero RB" is finding backs later in drafts with a good chance of exceeding their asking price. This backfield is anchored by a trio of between-the-tackles bruisers in Marshawn Lynch, Mark Ingram and LeGarrette Blount. She doesn't need all of those backs to go ballistic, but she does need steady production from two.

    Marcus Mariota's a great value play later in drafts under center. From Week 4 to Week 12 last year, no quarterback in fantasy football scored more points.

Team Justin

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    Gary Landers/Associated Press
    • A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (1.07)
    • Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders (2.06)
    • Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (3.07)
    • Ty Montgomery, RB, Green Bay Packers (4.06)
    • Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints (5.07)
    • Martavis Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (6.06)
    • Paul Perkins, RB, New York Giants (7.07)
    • Eric Ebron, TE, Detroit Lions (8.06)
    • Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9.07)
    • James White, RB, New England Patriots (10.06)
    • Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints (11.07)
    • David Njoku, TE, Cleveland Browns (12.06)
    • Denver Broncos Defense/Special Teams (13.07)
    • James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (14.06)
    • Latavius Murray, RB, Minnesota Vikings (15.07)
    • Minnesota Vikings Defense/Special Teams (16.06)
    • Sebastian Janikowski, K, Oakland Raiders (17.07)
    • Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (18.06)

               

    Like Team Jen before it, Team Justin used each of its first three picks on receivers. And A.J. Green, Amari Cooper and Allen Robinson have the makings of a strong trio of starters at the position.

    However, this squad is also in a precarious position at running back. Thanks in part to the use of two picks in the first nine rounds on quarterbacks in Drew Brees and Jameis Winston, this team has both a weak group of starters (Ty Montgomery and Paul Perkins) and essentially no depth in the backfield.

    James White should have some value as the Patriots' passing-down back, and all it takes is one injury to thrust one of this team's rookie backs into a more prominent role.

    But conversely, all it would take is an injury to either Montgomery or Perkins to put Team Justin in the proverbial world of hurt, and carrying a pair of defenses takes up another roster spot that might have been better used to bolster that depth at RB.

Team Lisa

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    John Bazemore/Associated Press
    • Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons (1.08)
    • T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts (2.05)
    • Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots (3.08)
    • Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals (4.05)
    • Willie Snead, WR, New Orleans Saints (5.08)
    • Tyrell Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers (6.05)
    • Mike Gillislee, RB, New England Patriots (7.08)
    • Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings (8.05)
    • Darren McFadden, RB, Dallas Cowboys (9.08)
    • Austin Hooper, TE, Atlanta Falcons (10.05)
    • Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys (11.08)
    • Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts (12.05)
    • Cole Beasley, WR, Dallas Cowboys (13.08)
    • Taylor Gabriel, WR, Atlanta Falcons (14.05)
    • Charles Sims, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (15.08)
    • Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams (16.05)
    • Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense/Special Teams (17.08)
    • Cairo Santos, K, Kansas City Chiefs (18.05)

                 

    Time for a break from the WR-heavy strategy.

    Team Lisa went with a more conventional approach—at least for the first two rounds. However, in selecting the New England Patriots' Tom Brady in Round 3, she also exposed the danger of reaching that early for a signal-caller.

    It's no knock on Brady himself. The Golden Boy will pile up the fantasy points in 2017. But that early pick left the team with potential holes elsewhere.

    If rookie Joe Mixon does well or Mike Gillislee seizes the lead role in New England, then there's no problem. Ditto if Tyrell Williams can repeat his 2016 success with the Chargers and finish inside the top 25 wide receivers again.

    However, the back end of both the running back and wide receiver spots (as well as the "flex" position) could be problem areas for the team, and if they are, Brady will have to have a huge season to pick up the slack.

Team Gary

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    Michael Zito/Associated Press
    • Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers (1.09)
    • Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys (2.04)
    • Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles (3.09)
    • Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans (4.04)
    • Jamison Crowder, WR, Washington Redskins (5.09)
    • DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins (6.04)
    • Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals (7.09)
    • Frank Gore, RB, Indianapolis Colts (8.04)
    • Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks (9.09)
    • Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers (10.04)
    • Thomas Rawls, RB, Seattle Seahawks (11.09)
    • Mike Wallace, WR, Baltimore Ravens (12.04)
    • Philip Rivers, QB, Los Angeles Chargers (13.09)
    • John Ross, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (14.04)
    • Chris Thompson, RB, Washington Redskins (15.09)
    • Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys (16.04)
    • Carolina Panthers Defense/Special Teams (17.09)
    • Will Lutz, K, New Orleans Saints (18.04)

           

    The Ezekiel Elliott conundrum is the central theme of my team.

    I drafted as though the Dallas Cowboys running back would miss four games, which I believe is a reasonable expectation after his appeal of his six-game ban. I hit the running back position early and often, and with both Lamar Miller and Frank Gore behind Elliott, my team is reasonably well-equipped to withstand a four-week absence.

    I was also pleased to have been able to land a tight end (Tyler Eifert) and quarterback (Russell Wilson) with top-five fantasy upside at their positions without paying through the nose to do so.

    There was a price to pay for that tactic, though, and I paid it at wide receiver. My WR1 (Alshon Jeffery) is a WR2. My WR2 (Jamison Crowder) is a WR3. And my WR3 spot is a huge question mark.

    If I can get decent production from those receivers, this is a team that can contend. If I don’t it won’t matter how long Elliott sits.

Team John

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press
    • Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1.10)
    • Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins (2.03)
    • Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers (3.10)
    • Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns (4.03)
    • Pierre Garcon, WR, San Francisco 49ers (5.10)
    • Cameron Meredith, WR, Chicago Bears (6.03)
    • C.J. Prosise, RB, Seattle Seahawks (7.10)
    • Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles (8.03)
    • Hunter Henry, TE, Los Angeles Chargers (9.10)
    • Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers (10.03)
    • Zay Jones, WR, Buffalo Bills (11.10)
    • Samaje Perine, RB, Washington Redskins (12.03)
    • Jamaal Williams, RB, Green Bay Packers (13.10)
    • Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens (14.03)
    • Houston Texans Defense/Special Teams (15.10)
    • Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles (16.03)
    • DeAndre Washington, RB, Oakland Raiders (17.10)
    • Paul Richardson, WR, Seattle Seahawks (18.03)

              

    Team John has many of the same strengths (and weaknesses) as my squad—likely because just as I did he attacked the running back position early.

    The good news for Team John is that in addition to a good group of ball-carriers, he also doesn't have the problem I do at the top of his receiving corps. Mike Evans is a fine fantasy WR1 who many pundits have ranked inside the top five at the position.

    From there, though, a familiar (and unsettling) pattern emerges. Pierre Garcon is coming off a 1,000-yard season, but he traded in the Washington offense for San Francisco in the offseason. Cameron Meredith had something of a breakout 2016, but the Chicago offense is, um, ungood.

    Cam Newton was a nice value in Round 10 after back-to-back tight ends, and while it's not something I recommend, in Justin Tucker, John has the best kicker in the NFL at his disposal.

    Just as with my team, John's success (or failure) will probably hinge on whether his wideouts deliver.

Team Brad

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    Morry Gash/Associated Press
    • Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers (1.11)
    • Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints (2.02)
    • Sammy Watkins, WR, Los Angeles Rams (3.11)
    • Michael Crabree, WR, Oakland Raiders (4.02)
    • Jimmy Graham, TE, Seattle Seahawks (5.11)
    • Danny Woodhead, RB, Baltimore Ravens (6.02)
    • Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7.11)
    • Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans (8.02)
    • Jeremy Maclin, WR, Baltimore Ravens (9.11)
    • Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans (10.02)
    • Corey Coleman, WR, Cleveland Browns (11.11)
    • D'Onta Foreman, RB, Houston Texans (12.02)
    • Robby Anderson, WR, New York Jets (13.11)
    • Josh Doctson, WR, Washington Redskins (14.02)
    • Devontae Booker, RB, Denver Broncos (15.11)
    • Sam Bradford, QB, Minnesota Vikings (16.02)
    • Pittsburgh Steelers Defense/Special Teams (17.11)
    • Matt Prater, K, Detroit Lions (18.02)

          

    Team Brad didn't just employ the "Zero RB" strategy. He added a wrinkle…

    "Zero RB and forget the QB."

    The thing is, Team Brad could be one play away from having a very good backfield. Or one play and three games. In selecting Doug Martin at the end of the seventh, Team Brad got a back who was a top-10 option as recently as two years ago—albeit one who's suspended the first three weeks of the 2017 season.

    He then picked up Derrick Henry on the turn. Henry has flex value in his own right, but were DeMarco Murray to go down, Henry's fantasy value would skyrocket.

    The bigger issue as at quarterback. Waiting until the 16th round to select a starter at the position is a gutsy strategy, but Brad admitted he didn't expect that many signal-callers to have been drafted by the time he was prepared to grab one.

    Sam Bradford isn't exactly a statistical machine. And if Bradford falters early, the other options available on the waiver wire aren't much (if any) better.

Team Chad

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
    • Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears (1.12)
    • Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers (2.01)
    • Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs (3.12)
    • Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings (4.01)
    • Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina Panthers (5.12)
    • Spencer Ware, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (6.01)
    • Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans (7.12)
    • Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders (8.01)
    • Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks (9.12)
    • Martellus Bennett, TE, Green Bay Packers (10.01)
    • Joe Williams, RB, San Francisco 49ers (11.12)
    • Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions (12.01)
    • Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants (13.12)
    • Kansas City Chiefs Defense/Special Teams (14.01)
    • Taywan Taylor, WR, Tennessee Titans (15.12)
    • Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans (16.01)
    • Mason Crosby, K, Green Bay Packers (17.12)
    • O.J. Howard, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (18.01)

             

    Disclaimer: Every man and woman who participated in this draft knows just as much about fantasy football as I do. As a matter of fact, approximately all of them probably know more. Each values players differently. Each has their own drafting strategies.

    And they've all had success playing the game their way.

    However, in my opinion it's going to be difficult for Team Chad to have that success in 2017 in this league—and the reason lies with the NFL's most important position.

    Not only was Team Chad the first squad to take a quarterback with the first pick of the second round, but he then circled back and drafted another one (Derek Carr) at the top of the eighth.

    I suppose Carr could be trade bait, but there's only one team in the league who appears a likely target—and he demonstrated how little regard he has for the position by not drafting one until Round 16.

    Team Chad's front three at running back are decent, and Spencer Ware was a nice value in the sixth. But the wide receiver position looks to be a real problem, with a deep threat coming off a major injury (Tyler Lockett) penciled in as a weekly starter.