We’re here! Training camps are nearing full swing and we’re about to be drinking from the fire hose, as they say. Information, coach speak, and blurbs are about to hit us like a Mike Tyson uppercut and I’m here for it. Ten of us at TFA decided there’s no better way to celebrate than to give you all a 2019 fantasy football mock draft! This is based on a 12 team, half PPR league. Draft spots 5 and 9 were auto-drafted because we all know at least one person who just looks at their ADP/rankings list. Here is the full mock board via Sleeper. Make sure you check them out if you haven’t already. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
1.01 – Alvin Kamara – For me, Kamara is the best player available. His efficiency numbers over the past two seasons are off the charts — 1.06 fantasy points per touch in standard and 1.40 fantasy points per touch in PPR. The Saints’ offense is also far and away the best situation of the other top running backs I was considering. Given that I don’t expect Latavius Murray to slide right into the Ingram role as seamlessly as others believe, there is room for a volume spike in the Saints high flying offense, especially around the goal line. Kamara was the top fantasy RB last year in Ingram’s absence, gaining 611 total yards and 6 total touchdowns. If you bump up his carries from 180 to 220 and give him the 80 catches he’s had in each of his first two years, you’re looking at a back who can net you almost 20 fantasy points per week in standard scoring and around 26 fantasy points per week in PPR.
2.12 – Nick Chubb – Chubb is my 18th ranked player, so to get him at 24 overall is great value. Honestly, there’s not much to say about Chubb (PFF’s top-ranked RB of 2018), other than the fact his offense has only gotten better around him. The addition of Odell Beckham is huge. Duke Johnson has the potential to be traded in the preseason which would increase Chubb’s target share, and Kareem Hunt won’t be active until Week 10.
3.01 – T.Y. Hilton – If Nick Chubb is my 18th ranked player, that puts Hilton at 19th. If he can stay healthy this season, he’ll be the #1 target in arguably the top offense in football. I want every bit of that situation, and it was nice to see the Colts work in some red-zone targets for Hilton last season. As a result, I think his touchdown ceiling could be higher than what it’s been in his year’s past.
1.02 – Saquon Barkley – My #1 overall player in all formats. Generational talent. Hardly ever comes off the field. Shurmur is willing to give him a massive workload. Zero injury or off-field problems. Excellent receiver. Goal-line back. Offers massive upside and consistency on a week to week basis.
2.11 – Mike Evans – I was thrilled he fell to me here. Bruce Arians’ vertical offense will complement Evans perfectly. With Adam Humphries & DeSean Jackson out of the picture, and the defensively challenged Bucs likely engaged in several shootouts, he’s a great candidate to lead the league in targets. I always love guys that can get off to hot starts and Evans should do just that. Evans faces the exploitable secondaries of the Niners, Panthers, and Giants out of the gate.
3.02 – Zach Ertz – The Eagles offense is loaded with weapons, but Ertz should again be first among them. I expect Ertz to have a floor of 5 catches every week and reach double-digit touchdowns. The positional advantage at TE pays dividends all year.
1.03 – Ezekiel Elliott – I’m not worried about holdouts and Zeke is my number one player in dynasty and redraft this year. He has a high floor and saw more passing game work last season that should only improve.
2.10 – Leonard Fournette – I’m not in love with this pick but I felt I would rather take the gamble on another high upside running back than take a lower tier WR1 such as Hilton. Jacksonville upgraded their line and brought in Foles. If Fournette can stay healthy, he’s a steal here.
3.03 – Devonta Freeman – I’m a huge proponent of running backs win championships. It’s not uncommon for me to take running backs in 4 of the first 5 rounds to start a draft. Freeman is a workhorse back with imaginary injury concerns. Getting the 2015 RB1 in the 3rd is too good to pass up. Wide receivers are a dime a dozen and I can make it back up later on.
1.04 – David Johnson – There is a widely accepted fantasy top tier this year. Before injuries, coaching malpractice, or that pesky justice system can interfere with our best-laid plans — you can be exceptionally confident you are going to have access to a fantasy stud at the four spot. A fully-fit Johnson figures to be the rare combination of a work-horse runner, the potential primary target, and reliable check-down safety valve — for a novice QB — within what shapes to be an unfamiliar, uptempo and expansive offense. Johnson might set new fantasy records and his rested legs should carry fantasy teams to championship contention.
2.09 – Dalvin Cook – I don’t believe in Kirk Cousins. I mean, I know he exists … but I am completely indifferent to the fact he does. I do, however, really rate his receiving tandem of Diggs and Thielen, while Kyle Rudolph is respectable. I think Mike Zimmer’s defensive acumen paired with his personnel can be truly formidable. Yet I spent my second-round pick on a Vikings running back with a concerning injury history. Why? For a bizarre mix of all of the aforementioned. I see Minnesota needing Cook to exploit the opposition’s respectful concentration on their receiving corps. Minnesota should be in several tight games and he is going to see considerable work. I see him having a huge opportunity to succeed. Just please …. stay healthy Dalvin.
3.04 – Patrick Mahomes – If you are going to abandon all your staunch beliefs about fantasy football — and carelessly discard all your previous devotion to value drafting — it should probably be for this guy. He almost certainly will regress as he is incredibly unlikely to post the stat lines of last year. Having said that, this guy has an almost incomparable skill-set and is surrounded by wisely utilized weapons. We will all face this decision at some point in our respective drafts. He will be available in the early rounds — it doesn’t make sense to pull the trigger. It goes against everything you believe in …. But you just have to do it.
AUTO – Analysis by Anthony Pinzone
1.05 – Christian McCaffrey – This would be an absolute steal. Regarded by many as a top-3 pick going into the season, for anyone to land him at 5 should bring some major excitement. He’s shown masterful ability to run the ball between the tackles, threaten on the outside, and provide a major safety valve for Cam. That kind of involvement in the offense doesn’t come every day.
2.08 – Antonio Brown – I’ve seen some concern about the drop off in QB talent from Ben Roethlisberger to Derek Carr. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t exist, but Carr showed in 2016 that he’s capable of supporting a WR1 talent when Amari Cooper finished the year as the WR12 in just 14 starts. I think Brown gets fed.
3.05 – Amari Cooper – Speaking of Amari Cooper, he’s found himself a very nice landing spot down with the forever underrated Dak Prescott in Dallas. In just 9 games last year, they connected on 53 of 76 targets for 725 yards and 6 scores, putting him on pace for nearly 100 catches, 1,000+ yards, and 10 touchdowns.
1.06 – DeAndre Hopkins – Sitting at 1.06 you have to pray that one of the top backs fall to you. With the questions about Melvin Gordon’s contract situation and none of the other backs intriguing at the 6th spot, Hopkins is the obvious choice – he didn’t get a 99 rating in Madden for no reason. Although Tyreek Hill can easily be the WR1, taking the consistency of Hopkins at this spot is a complete no-brainer.
2.07 – James Conner – I’ll be completely honest with you here, I hated this pick, but my hands were tied. Conner seems like he’d be a logical choice here, but his second-half numbers scare me. With Damien Williams and Joe Mixon coming off the board just before me I didn’t have a choice and I needed a halfback following my first round receiver selection.
3.06 – Keenan Allen – Finding 100 catches, 1200 yards, and 5+ touchdowns in the 3rd round is just easy money. Keenan was the 12th best fantasy receiver in 2018 and that’s exactly where he fell to me here. I felt with the litany of running backs available in the next couple of rounds I’d be okay getting a WR1 as my second receiver in the lineup and pulled the trigger.
1.07 – Davante Adams – The top seven picks of drafts are fairly locked in and I’ll happily take Adams here. He has a legit shot to finish the year as the WR1 with a healthy Aaron Rodgers returning.
2.06 – Damien Williams – I debated between Williams, Nick Chubb, and Dalvin Cook here. If I were going based on talent, Williams would be my third pick. What matters most is the offense and scheme, and Williams wins that fairly easily for me.
3.07 – Marlon Mack – It was really difficult to pass on A.J. Green here, but ultimately I landed on Mack. The Colts are returning all five offensive line starters and we saw how that propelled Captain Luck’s unit. I would like to see Mack’s passing game usage increase, but if not his role in this offense will provide fantasy goodness regardless.
1.08 – Michael Thomas – I’m staring down Julio, my dear sweet Julio, and MT. I could go running back, but the top 5 are gone and no one looks as good to me as these two. I do think Calvin Ridley takes another step forward this season and bests his 64 receptions, thus, making me lean toward Thomas slightly. Love the floor; love the ceiling even more.
2.05 – Joe Mixon – I wanted a running back here after going WR in the first round and knowing I have a long wait after this. I really like Mixon this season who has a new offensive-minded head coach and worked under Sean McVay. See: Gurley. Good things. Mixon finished as RB10 (half-point PPR) in 2018 and that was with Green and Dalton injured. He’ll get 40-50 receptions and has great upside. There’s some injury risk (missed two games in both 2017 and 2018) but I hadn’t taken a swing at Mixon in a draft yet and so I went for it.
3.08 – Kerryon Johnson – If Keenan Allen hadn’t gone two picks before me, this would’ve been a harder decision (I would’ve picked Keenan). So, I switched my plan and decided to go RB before the pool went dry. Kerryon should find success this year if he can stay healthy (missed 6 games last season), as he showed his talent and potential when he did play. Detroit’s coaching staff emphasized their commitment to the run, but they also have a history of using a committee approach. Enter: fantasy nuisance CJ Anderson. I’m just hoping Kerryon plays so well that they decide to feed him. I do think he will lead in touches out of the backfield and be heavily involved in the passing game (if they’re smart).
AUTO – Analysis by Anthony Pinzone
1.09 – Melvin Gordon – The computer has no fear of Melvin Gordon’s holdout, but in reality, you probably should. It looks like a very real possibility that Gordon could miss half of the season. There’s some confusion around the CBA and whether or not he has to play to be a free agent next year, but either way, fantasy players should be careful here. Nobody wants to get stuck with a goose egg all year, or even half the year, from their top pick.
2.04 – Le’Veon Bell – A little ironic that this team would end up with the guy who did hold out for a full year last year. Lots of questions around Bell, the biggest being the fact that he hasn’t played football in over a year. His new coach also doesn’t seem too keen on utilizing a one-back system, so you can quickly see why this is considered a risky pick. That being said, this pick could be the ultimate in big-time value. If Bell returns to form and Gase shows the desire to get him the ball, he could easily be a top 5 back at seasons end.
3.09 – Adam Thielen – I’m going to call this ‘Team Risky’. Thielen is another guy many analysts consider to be a risk, mainly due to his falling off in the second half of last year. I’m fully on-board the Thielen train though, I slept on him last year and was very wrong. I won’t be doing that again, this guy can ball.
1.10 – Julio Jones – This was a pretty easy decision for me at 1.10 especially with DeAndre Hopkins already off the board. Julio is one of the best wide receivers in the game (even at 30) and there is very little to believe he won’t replicate his 2018 season where he led the league in targets (170), receiving yards (1,677), finished 2nd in air yards, and 5th in fantasy points per game (FPPG) with 20.7.
2.03 – JuJu Smith-Schuster – This was another easy decision for me to continue my run with another wide receiver. This time it was for the 22-year-old wideout who now will be the top dog in the offense with AB shipped off to Oakland. JuJu is still growing as a player which is scary to think about after finishing 9th among WRs with 18.4 FPPG. While the number of attempts will certainly regress for the Steelers offense, there is zero reason to believe that he won’t finish near the 166 targets he received last season.
3.10 – Stefon Diggs – This was certainly more of a risky pick but I decided to keep the ZeroRB approach rolling and take another receiver with WR1 upside in the 3rd round. I currently have him ranked 12th among WRs which might be a little rich but I foresee him leading the team in targets and should take another step forward after finishing 11th among wide receivers in FPPG, as well as 7th in targets which was just behind the soon to be 29-year-old Adam Thielen.
1.11 – Travis Kelce – The goal here was to try a KCC stack with Kelce, Hill, and Mahomes. I started with Kelce over Tyreek mainly due to what I’ve seen in mocks and best ball drafts so far. I’ve seen Kelce go at the 1-2 turn countless times.
2.02 – Tyreek Hill – I took the 1.11 because I knew I had a good chance of getting Hill here, and it worked. Now I have to keep my fingers crossed that Mahomes makes the backswing so I can finish my high octane Chiefs stack.
3.11 – AJ Green – Gareth ended my hopes and dreams quite early by taking Mahomes with the 4th pick in the 3rd round, still 7 spots from making it to me. With the stack out the window, I went with Bengals receiver AJ Green. It’s shocking to me that Green is falling so far, but fantasy players are fickle, and an injury-riddled season will turn a lot of people off. Dude scored 6 touchdowns in only 9 games last year, and still finished WR40 in half-PPR formats.
1.12 – Odell Beckham Jr. – I’m pumped to see what OBJ does to this offense while running with Landry. I think this offense will be potent and Baker will be able to feed Beckham the ball. I currently have Beckham as my WR2 if he can stay healthy for the entirety of the year.
2.01– Todd Gurley – I leave the guessing up to the public – but the talent is too good. I’d rather go down with the Gurley Ship then watch it sail into the sunset without me on it. This is the RB1 from the last two years, people. I’m on board until it doesn’t happen.
3.12 – Brandin Cooks – This guy does nothing but produce. To have him as my WR2 with OBJ and Gurley just helps further balance out my roster. People love Kupp and Woods but yet get shy with Cooks. This is the NUMBER ONE receiver in the Rams’ WR room.
There you have it, the first installment of our 2019 Fantasy Football Mock Draft. Keep your eyes peeled for the next article as we take a look at rounds four through eight. In the meantime, make sure you’re keeping up with the podcast and our other articles as we’re bringing you the analysis you need to crush your leagues!