Drafting 1st in a 12-Team Non-PPR League
Today we will review a recent draft I completed from the 1st spot in a non-PPR league. Last week, I reviewed a mock draft completed from the 12th spot in a non-PPR league . Compare how the selection of players you have at each end of the draft is much different. If you want your guy, you can’t be scared to jump ahead of ADP to get him. You will also notice how the average draft position (ADP) will change with training camp news and preseason highlights out every day.
If you don’t get your slot until right before your draft, I highly recommend completing mock drafts now 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 this mock draft, I based my picks on 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 1.01): Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts
With the first pick in a standard, non-PPR league, Jonathan Taylor is a clear choice. I think this is the first mock draft where I have taken JT, as I usually select CMC ahead of him in any kind of PPR format. Taylor is going to see a bit of a reduced workload, however, he’s an absolute beast and the offense should be even more efficient with Matt Ryan under center this year. He’s a lock for double-digit touchdowns, and if he can be used more in the receiving game this year, he could finish once again as the RB1.
Round Two (Pick 2.12): Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
At the turn, I selected Ezekiel Elliott who should have a much better year than last as he’s now healthy. With CeeDee Lamb the only major receiving threat for the Cowboys, I could see them leaning on Elliott more on quick passes out of the backfield and he should continue to have the goal line work locked up. Tony Pollard will see his fair share of carries and targets, however, the Cowboys’ management is adamant about Zeke being their guy and he's going to be fed. If he remains healthy, Zeke should obtain 1,000 yards and near double-digit TDs fairly easily.
Round Three (Pick 3.01): Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Knowing I wouldn’t have a pick in a long while, I wanted my WR 1 to be someone who was safe and who I know will see a lot of targets. Mike Evans is the epitome of safe, hauling in over 1,000 receiving yards in every year he’s played, and the Bucs lost Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski. Chris Godwin is still not 100%. Knowing all of this, he’s going to score at least 10 touchdowns and clear the 1,000-yard mark once again. Sign me up.
Round Four (Pick 4.12): D.J. Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers
After a slew of picks, there was a run on the tight end position right before my pick, otherwise, I would have selected Kyle Pitts had he fallen to me. I think he’s in for an insane year. As a consolation prize, I selected D.J. Moore as my WR 2 - another receiver who is insanely consistent, surpassing 1,100 yards over his past three seasons. The reason Moore’s ADP is so low is that during those 3 years, he’s scored exactly 4 TDs a season. If that increases now with Baker Mayfield, who objectively is much better than late-career Cam Newton and Sam Darnold, then Moore is going to see a large increase in TDs.
Round 5 (Pick 5.01): DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals
DeAndre Hopkins is one of my favorite middle-round WRs that I talked about last month. While the article is regarding PPR leagues, the same sentiments hold in non-PPR leagues as well. He’s not an elite player coming off an injury, he’s coming back from a suspension, so he’s going to hit the ground running when he comes back from the 6 games he missed. If you go with an early TE and/or QB, I don’t love grabbing Hopkins this early since I would ideally like to have my WR 1 and 2 spots locked down, but as a flex player for a good portion of the season, I love the pick.
Round 6 (Pick 6.12): Allen Robinson, WR, Los Angeles Rams
For three mock drafts in a row, Allen Robinson is my WR in the 6th/7th round. I want to pass on him for another player so I can chat about him, but I can’t give up the value we are getting. Kupp is likely not going to repeat his triple-crown season, and Robinson is filling in the Robert Woods role, which, if you remember, was seeing a ton of production before he was injured. I’ll go down with the Allen Robinson ship if he ends up “busting” for the second year in a row, but I think we are getting a great discount on a player with a lot of talent.
Round 7 (Pick 7.01): Chase Edmonds, RB, Miami Dolphins
After selecting four straight wide receivers, I wanted to add some depth behind Jonathan Talyor And Ezekiel Elliott. Chase Edmonds is someone I am actively targeting as an RB 3. He’s going to win the job outright against the likes of Raheem Mostert who will need to prove to me he can last even half a season without getting injured, and Sony Michel who was tossed aside by the Pats and Rams. The Dolphins actively sought after Edmonds in free agency as he was the 1st running back officially signed. This wasn’t done as an accident and the addition of Tyreek Hill only helps the defense lessen the number of defenders in the box. That, combined with having a somewhat-mobile QB will help him a ton this year.
Round 8 (Pick 8.12): Allen Lazard, WR, Green Bay Packers
Allen Lazard continues to creep up draft boards but as my WR 5, there is zero risk with the pick. After several drops by rookies this week in training camp, Aaron Rodgers publicly called out his receivers stating they need to be more consistent. Lazard might not have the huge upside of some players, but if Rodgers trusts him he’s going to see a large target share this year if the rookie receivers keep letting down the hall of fame QB.
Round 9 (Pick 9.01): Trey Lance, QB, San Francisco 49ers
After there was another positional run in the 7th round, this time with the quarterback position, I locked down Trey Lance with my 9th-round selection as I knew it was a guarantee he would not come back. Even if others in your draft have selected their QB 1, don’t assume someone won’t stash Lance on their bench in hopes of him going nuclear. He’s been talked up all offseason but the hype is worth it. Between the coach, offensive scheme, and Lance’s dual-threat ability, he should be providing a safe floor for your fantasy squad with upside for a lot more.
Round 10 (Pick 10.12): Nyheim Hines, RB, Indianapolis Colts
I don’t usually grab a handcuff to my running backs, but Hines would be a very serviceable back if JT misses any time, and he already has stand-alone value as a flex play in PPR leagues. While the pick isn’t flashy and you might not want to stash backups if you don’t have a deep bench, he’s great insurance if something does happen. In standard leagues, such as this, his upside as a pass-catching backup is capped, but I won’t be starting both of them anyways.
Round 11 (Pick 11.01): Isiah Pacheco, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
After playing it safe in the 10th, I selected a boom-or-bust type of player in Isiah Pacheco. He doesn’t have the high draft capital of a Breece Hall, but he’s still talented and the Chiefs don’t have their RB 1 locked down by any means. Clyde Edwards-Helaire was recovering last year so there’s a chance his production greatly improves, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Pacheco kept showing flashes of greatness during the preseason and got a chance. If he doesn’t end up making a meaningful impact early in the season I can dump him for another player.
Round 12 (Pick 12.12): Kenny Golladay, WR, New York Giants
Just a year ago we were taking Kenny Golladay as the WR 7 in non-PPR leagues and now he’s a 12th-round pick? He is often injured and there might be questions about his work ethic, but he is a skilled receiver and I will gladly take a shot on him to rebound on a team that is looking to change its ways under Brian Daboll. At the very least, Golladay should be able to provide flex play in leagues with one or two flex positions but does have the upside to lead that team in receiving. While it may not happen, it’s not too far-fetched of an idea that just a couple of years ago he was a highly sought-after player for fantasy.
Round 13 (Pick 13.01): Tyler Higbee, TE, Los Angeles Rams
Since I just missed out on getting a top-TE in round 4, I opted to “punt” the position and selected Tyler Higbee in the 13th. I did want to target Cole Kmet in the 12th since he’ll likely have a large target share in the offense, however, he was selected many picks before me. With Higbee, I wanted a tight end in a good offense. He didn’t do horrible last year, finishing as the TE14, but I think there’s a chance that could jump into the TE8-10 category if can find more red zone work and score more touchdowns. Ultimately, since he’s the last positional player I chose, I can keep a good eye on who the new and shiny tight end is and target him on the waiver wire since I know that’s one weakness on my squad.
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