Did anyone else feel super depressed when they canceled their NFL Redzone package? I know I sure did. It meant another ending to a season that comes way too slow and goes way too fast. As any die hard fantasy fan would know, the offseason is not a time to just sit idly by and wait for the last minute to prepare. Preparation can begin even now. Mock drafts are a fun way to see where opposing owners' mindsets are at, and doing them early and often gives you a chance to see who is rising and who just may fall far enough to be a sleeper. That being said, let's see what Round 1 currently looks like in a 12 team PPR mock draft.
The New Top 5
So the top 5 are no surprise in this one. Christian McCaffrey did have one of the best seasons of any running back, combining for 1965 yards and 13 touchdowns (rushing and receiving). He even threw a touchdown this season. That being said, I wouldn't put him #1 overall. Two running backs had even better stats and probably deserve to be ahead of McCaffrey: Todd Gurley and rookie sensation Saquon Barkley. Gurley combined for 1831 yards and 21 touchdowns and Barkley combined for an insane 2028 yards and 15 touchdowns. All three of these running backs were the main guy in their respective offenses, and should continue next season.
Alvin Kamara at #4 seems about right. He rushed for 883 yards and 14 touchdowns, and added 81 receptions for 709 yards and 4 touchdowns (Total 1592 yards and 18 tds). It'll be interesting to see if Brees comes back for another season and how that would affect Kamara's receiving stats.
Ezekiel Elliott was drafted at #5, but probably could be ahead of Kamara, seeing as how he too was the main back and main offensive weapon in Dallas (whereas Kamara shares with Ingram/whoever might come in when Ingram departs New Orleans). When Dallas involved Zeke a ton.they won. Zeke combined for just over 2000 yards and only 9 touchdowns, but should see more TD's next season.
First WR in Round 1
At the #6 spot we finally get our first wide receiver: DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins caught 115 passes for 1572 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2018. He was targeted 163 times (that's a 71% catch rate), and did not drop a single pass (meaning it was never his fault if it was a missed target). Hopkins was very consistent all year and it isn't crazy to consider him your top WR in 2019.
Speaking of consistent, #8 overall WR Davante Adams had one of the most consistent fantasy years ever, leading him to 111 catches for 1386 yards and 13 touchdowns. Adams was the most trusted receiver for Aaron Rodgers, which was obvious by the amount of targets (especially in the red zone) he saw. A new head coach could do wonders for that offense, although it also could hurt the amount of targets Adams sees since the new coach might involve more run and gadget plays.
RB Melvin Gordon at #7 seems pretty fitting, especially behind the likes of Kamara and Elliott. Gordon had a good season in 2018, even though he only rushed for 885 yards and 10 touchdowns. He did also catch 50 passes for 490 yards and 4 touchdowns. The biggest issue with Gordon is his injury risk. This is now his 3rd season out of 4 that he has missed time with an injury. His injury risk and the emergence of pass catching RB Austin Ekeler hurts Gordon's value a tad, but if you watched him play you can't argue that he ran hard when he was healthy.
Getting to the end we see 3 receivers that won't be too surprising to see in the 1st round. Antonio Brown is a bit of a risk as of now with the emergence of WR JuJu Smith-Schuster and apparent issues with the Steelers. But he has the raw talent that you can't ignore. Odell Beckham Jr had a rough 2018 outing, only catching 77 passes for 1052 yards and 6 touchdowns. It appears Eli Manning will be back for one more year, so no one really knows if that's good or bad for OBJ. Michael Thomas rounds out the WRs in the 1st round, going at the #11 spot. Thomas started off hot but cooled over the year. That was probably because the Saints were beating teams with gadget plays and backup players. Thomas will be a solid 1st round pick next year unless Brees retires and a rookie QB comes in.
Lastly, we see James Conner at the 12 spot. Conner broke out this year and was probably on your waiver wire to start the season thanks to the Lev Bell controversy. When given the reigns, Conner combined for 1470 yards and 13 touchdowns. He did miss a few games due to injuries, but he very much deserves a shot in the 1st round. He has the athleticism and the solid offensive line to do almost as good as Lev Bell.
So there you have it. As 2019 continues you'll see some players move in and out of the 1st round, but at least 2/3 of them will stay in my opinion. Lev Bell might sneak back in depending on the team he is on, or maybe you'll see someone grab TE Travis Kelce a bit early. No matter what, here's to a great offseason of mock drafting on Fantasy Football Calculator!