Drafting 12th in a 12-Team Non-PPR League (2022)
In a non-PPR league, touchdowns are king and receptions aren’t as important. Of course, more receptions lead to more yardage, and thus more fantasy points, but if you aren’t scoring those all-important touchdowns, you will slide down the ranks at year’s end. This is especially true when it comes to running backs that don’t receive a ton of attention in a pass-catching capacity as they rise up the draft board in non-PPR leagues compared to full-PPR leagues.
Today we will jump in and review a recent draft I completed from the 12th position. A couple of weeks ago I provided a draft strategy and went over my mock draft from the 2nd spot in non-PPR leagues . You will notice the change in average draft position (ADP) over this two-week stretch where some players rose and others tumbled down the board due to ongoing news. If you don’t get your slot until an hour before your draft, now is the time to complete mock drafts so you can see where players are being drafted compared to last year and watch how their ADP changes over the next month. With camp well underway, injuries will undoubtedly start popping up which will have a huge effect on some players’ ADP.
For the purposes of the mock draft, I based the picks off of the following league starter requirements: 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 Flex, and 1 TE. Kicker and defense will not be discussed as they should be the last two picks of your draft. Let's take a look at how this draft went and go over my selections.
Round One (Pick 1.12): Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers
At the back of the 1st round, there are still a ton of great running backs to choose from. While this is a non-PPR league, I still opted for Aaron Jones who is going to see an increase in usage both on the ground and through the air as a receiver. Teammate A.J. Dillon will have a larger role than last season, but with Adams now in Vegas, Aaron Jones is still going to have a very solid role for the Packers.
Round Two (Pick 2.01): Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
Having the 12th slot is a love-hate relationship. You are guaranteed two of the top 13 players, however, you have to wait forever for that 3rd pick. Knowing this, I went RB-RB start and chose Saquon Barkley. Daniel Jones gets another year to develop, they hired the Bills’ offensive coordinator over the offseason and have several receiving options in Toney, Golladay, and Robinson. The defense can’t load the box every play like they may have been able to do in years past. There’s also the issue with Barkley coming off his injury but he hasn’t rushed back and from early training camp clips, he looks decent. He’s going to get the majority of touches in the backfield and is a solid pairing with Aaron Jones.
Round Three (Pick 3.12): Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
After waiting forever for my third selection, I went with a rock-solid wide receiver who you can count on in Keenan Allen. He’s going to catch over 100 balls and, unless injured, is going to finish as a top-15 receiver. He is more of a PPR player, and because of this, he slid a little in this non-PPR mock. Regardless, Herbert is going to target Allen often and he’s a fantastic red zone threat.
Round Four (Pick 4.01): Tee Higgins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
I do not love any RBs in this range and I did not want to jump ADP by a whole round and take Breece Hall. Tee Higgins’ production really exploded near the end of the year and I love him as my WR2 on this team. The Bengals’ offensive production should take another step forward and if they have any hopes of reaching another Super Bowl, both Chase and Higgins will need to ball out.
Round 5 (Pick 5.12): Allen Robinson, WR, Los Angeles Rams
I keep grabbing Allen Robinson in the 5th and 6th rounds of drafts and I hope his ADP does not skyrocket over the next month. Robinson should clear 1,000 yards easily if healthy as he will fit in nicely to replace Robert Woods who is now with the Titans. I still think he has gas in the tank and is a great flex player with a ton of weekly upside.
Round 6 (Pick 6.01): Jalen Hurts, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
I usually miss out on Jalen Hurts as I see him more and more going earlier, but in the 6th I was able to lock into a QB that has legitimate QB2-3 upside. I don’t think there will be any passing Josh Allen for the QB1 this year but crazier things have happened. Jalen Hurts’ rushing ability combined with his improved offense is very unique that only a small handful of QBs have. Last year he didn’t have a ton of passing and would routinely finish as a top-6 QB on the week. If he can throw a couple of TDs per game and rush 8+ times, look out.
Round 7 (Pick 7.12): Darnell Mooney, WR, Chicago Bears
After Jalen Hurts, I wanted to leave with running back depth and another receiver. I opted for the latter and selected Darnell Mooney all the way at the back of the 7th round. I don’t think his ADP will stick since you’re getting a team’s #1 receiver, but I will take it! The Bears are projected to not be great but Mooney is the number one target and he’s depth on my bench.
Round 8 (Pick 8.01): James Cook, RB, Buffalo Bills
After I selected Aaron Jones and Saquon Barkley in the first two rounds, I needed some depth. James Cook is an excellent option in the 8th as he’s a pass-catching back that could develop more of a role as the season goes on. He’s not immediately required on the fantasy team but could be key down the road or on a bye week, even in a non-PPR league.
Round 9 (Pick 9.12): Dameon Pierce RB, Houston Texans
Dameon Pierce was another depth piece at running back and, like Cook, will likely ride the bench until there is more clarity in Houston. He could end up being that late-round running back that helps fantasy managers win their championships this season. He has the talent to run away with the job but it could take half the season. His competition at RB is Rex Burkhead and Marlon Mack - I’ll take Pierce over those other two any day.
Round 10 (Pick 10.01): Russell Gage, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Russell Gage, unfortunately, picked up a recent injury at training camp but it’s not expected to be serious. Gage’s ADP has dropped a bunch since Julio Jones was signed to the Bucs, however, I am scooping up the discount. Gage has the ability to become one of Brady’s go-to guys while Chris Godwin is out of the lineup, and if Mike Evans’ hamstring injury resurfaces at any time in the season, you have a WR2 at worst in the 10th round. At this point in the draft, it’s not like he’s starting every week.
Round 11 (Pick 11.12): Treylon Burks, WR, Tennessee Titans
Speaking of scooping up players at a discount - meet Treylon Burks. He’s a very talented receiver and was very productive in college. The Titans thought so as well as they traded A.J. Brown away to Philly to go and draft him. He’s had some issues with running full routes and had some asthma issues that popped up, but I believe it’s being overblown. Will he be the “Ja’Marr Chase” who fell in fantasy drafts since he dropped too many passes? I wouldn’t go that far, but the discount is huge and that may change when preseason kicks off.
Round 12 (Pick 12.01): Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Denver Broncos
I don’t tend to select an early-round TE and opted to wait very late to select Albert O who has a lot of upside. Tim Patrick is done for the year with a brutal injury suffered during camp but this now positions Albert into more projectable snaps and targets with the offense. The offense could include more two-TE sets with Greg Dulchich, and with the defense worrying about Sutton and Jeudy, Albert O could provide a lot of sneaky value for fantasy managers.
Round 13 (Pick 13.12): Jalen Tolbert, WR, Dallas Cowboys
With the last pick of the mock draft I could have selected more running back depth to even out the RB-WR ratio, however, I opted for Jalen Tolbert who becomes the de facto WR2 in Dallas while Michael Gallup is sidelined. He will battle Dalton Schultz for the #2 pass-catcher on this team but he will be seeing secondary coverage compared to CeeDee Lamb and should have a chance to break out. If Dallas wants to make the playoffs and beyond, they are going to need the rookie to step up in a big way.
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