Drafting 7th in a 12-Team Half-PPR League
Today we will review a recent draft I completed from the 7th spot in a half-PPR league. Last week, I reviewed a mock draft completed from the 1st spot in a non-PPR league . Compare how the selection of players you have at the beginning of the draft is much different than when you’re stuck in the middle. If you are in a tough league with a lot of stout fantasy managers, this is one of the toughest slots to draft from. The only good thing about drafting in the middle rounds is that you are less likely to miss out on a tight end or quarterback run. If you keep tabs on the average draft position (ADP), you will see where players are being drafted is changing every day.
If you haven’t started yet, it’s not too late! There are mock drafts available now so you can see where players are being drafted compared to last year. 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 1.07): Najee Harris, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
With my first pick in the 7th round, I went with a safe selection in Najee Harris. Dalvin Cook and Joe Mixon could easily outscore Harris on the year, but the injury risk in Cook and lack of pass-catching role in Mixon have me shying away. The offense will change but Harris is one of the few bell cow RBs who is going to see over 300 total touches.
Round Two (Pick 2.06): Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
I expect his ADP to continue to increase as we get closer to the season, but with the 6th pick in the 2nd round, Alvin Kamara is a great value. There is still the chance he could be suspended at some point this year but legal proceedings are delayed as of now. Kamara offers a bit of a high-risk, high-reward type of play as he can see a ton of catches and most of the work on the ground. A Drew Brees-less offense does not scare me away from drafting Kamara in the middle of the second round. Michael Thomas is no guarantee to stay healthy the whole season and Kamara is going to be leaned on heavily.
Round Three (Pick 3.07): Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Indianapolis Colts
After starting RB-RB, I needed a WR to even out my team. Michael Pittman Jr. was the obvious choice as he has the chance to actually finish as a top-5 WR, whereas Tee Higgins and Terry McLaurin don’t have the same skill set to do so. Matt Ryan has made several WRs finish at the top of the rankings and Pittman is special. He showcased what he could accomplish last year with Carson Wentz and Ryan is only going to help raise his level of play.
Round Four (Pick 4.06): Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
Speaking of players who could finish top-5, Mike Williams is another who has an outside chance to do so. Justin Herbert is expected to have an MVP-level campaign and Keenan Allen isn’t going to score 10+ touchdowns this year, whereas Williams could. Not only can he beat defenders deep, his route running ability allows him to work underneath on small and intermediate routes as well. Williams is a prime candidate to be a 2nd round pick next year after he has a career year.
Round 5 (Pick 5.07): Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos
After two WRs in a row, I was pleasantly surprised when Courtland Sutton fell into my lap. The Denver offense is going to take a massive step forward this season, led by free agent acquisition Russell Wilson, and one of these Broncos’ WRs will finish as a top-15 receiver. With his combination of size, speed, and athleticism, my bet is on Sutton who is the better of the two receivers at this point in their respective careers. Jerry Jeudy should also have a good season, and where they are being selected in drafts currently offers a lot of value.
Round 6 (Pick 6.06): Russell Wilson, QB, Denver Broncos
I followed up my pick of Courtland Sutton by selecting Russell Wilson, who is essentially being selected at his floor. He is one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the league and he has the chance to have a career year in terms of passing yards and touchdowns. He’s the 8th QB off the board in this draft but does have top-5 upside if he can run in a couple of touchdowns with his legs.
Round 7 (Pick 7.07): Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, New England Patriots
After starting with two rock-solid running backs, it was now time to add a depth piece. Rhamondre Stevenson is a great addition later in drafts who might not start the year with the most touches on his team, but as the season goes on, he could demand 60%+ of touches for the Patriots. Last year, Damien Harris scored 15 touchdowns on the ground and if Stevenson can get a piece of the goal line work, in addition to his pass-catching work, he could sneak into RB2 territory for your team.
Round 8 (Pick 8.06): Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
After missing out on the top 5 TEs, I waited a little and selected Dallas Goedert in the 8th as the 9th TE off the board. We saw last season that Jalen Hurts likes to target him and he had a productive year: 830 yards (5th-most) on 56 receptions and 4 touchdowns. Goedert is being targeted down the field a lot and was only second to Kyle Pitts in terms of yards per reception. The Eagles’ offense should tilt in the direction of being more pass-heavy compared to last year, and while A.J. Brown and Davonta Smith will be first and second in line for targets, Goedert is undoubtedly third in line. If Goedert can finish with 8+ TDs as part of a high-scoring offense this year then we will finish top-5 at the position.
Round 9 (Pick 9.07): Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Fantasy managers were left with a bad taste in their mouths after drafting him with a top 25 WR, but he’s now falling down draft boards and can be found in the 8t and 9th rounds. After starting the year in Kyle Shannahan’s “dog house”, Brandon Aiyuk went on to have a very productive season. After Week 6, Aiyuk averaged 6.2 targets and 66.4 yards per game; and that was with Jimmy Garoppolo under center. Trey Lance can zip the ball down the field and isn’t afraid to air it out. While Deebo is more of a YAC receiver with a low average depth of target, Aiyuk’s production comes from him running intermediate and deep routes down the field.
Round 10 (Pick 10.06): Dameon Pierce, RB, Houston Texans
Dameon Pierce was held out of the Texans’ preseason game and it seems like head coach Lovie Smith has all but confirmed Pierce for the starting role. Pierce’s ADP is skyrocketing with every passing week, however, he is worth the selection in the double-digit rounds as he’s a starting RB who should see a strong percentage of the team’s work. While the team itself isn’t expected to do much, Pierce offers the upside of a James Robinson from a couple of years ago and should be a decent flex player at a bare minimum.
Round 11 (Pick 11.07): Chris Olave, WR, New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints went and spent its 11th overall pick in the draft to acquire Chris Olave and the reports out of training camp are great. First-round wide receivers that are drafted typically do very well in their first season, and with Michael Thomas popping up with a new hamstring injury and being almost two years removed from playing a football game, Olave is in prime position to lead all pass-catchers on his team in fantasy points this year. In the 11th round, you are potentially getting a middle-of-the-road team’s WR1 - I’ll take it!
Round 12 (Pick 12.06): Treylon Burks, WR, Tennessee Titans
With these last few picks, I tend to reach for the stars with rookies or players who could take on a leading role as the season progresses. Treylon Burks has received a ton of negative press about his health and gameplay, however, a lot is being overblown. Burks should see the field immediately as the WR 2 across from Robert Woods and it wouldn’t be at all surprising if he ended up being the WR1 at the end of the year. Burks isn’t a starter on your squad in Week 1 and he is worth the stash to see how the first few games play out.
Round 13 (Pick 13.07): Zamir White, RB, Las Vegas Raiders
Zamir White is an interesting pick late in fantasy drafts as it is being reported that Kenyan Drake might not make the final roster. This leaves the RB roster with Josh Jacobs, Zamir White, Ameer Abdullah, and Brandon Bolden. The latter is a special teams player and Ameer Abdullah had his chance in Detroit when he flashed during the preseason and he never took the leap. This leaves only Josh Jacobs in his path, who inexplicably was seeing meaningful snaps in the Hall of Fame Game back in early August. With a new offensive scheme in place, it’s no guarantee Jacobs can hold on to the lead role for the entirety of the season. If Zamir White fails to impress coaches in his limited early-season work, he can be sent to the waiver wire.
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