On Friday, I will be participating in the FSGA Central League Draft. It is a 14-team experts league with 16 rounds. This is a bit more demanding than the typical 12-team draft. I have the 14th selection, which makes my draft even harder to figure out.
I look forward to the challenge, but there are no guarantees in deeper league formats. I want to mock the first round and give my quick thoughts on these best-of-the-best players. Then, I'll run through the guys I'm considering at the 14-pick.
14-Team Mock Draft First-Round Analysis
1. RB Christian McCaffrey, CAR
Without question, McCaffrey will be the number one overall selection in any PPR draft (unless you're my SI Fantasy colleague Ben Heisler who made a case for Saquon Barkley). Another 2,000-yard season is certainly something that he is capable of and that most fantasy players are expecting.
2. RB Saquon Barkley, NYG
Barkley's injuries and a weak Giants offensive line hurt Barkley last season, but a full 16 games of health would reassure us that he deserves to be the second overall pick in any draft.
3. RB Ezekiel Elliott, DAL
This pick assumes that Elliott will be fully recovered from COVID-19 and back with the Cowboys getting 25 touches per game.
4. RB Dalvin Cook, MIN
Cook might be one of the more prominent question marks in the first round, considering that he is talking about holding out if he does not get a new contract. The Vikings have depth at the position with Alexander Mattison and Mike Boone, but I can’t imagine them not resigning Cook.
5. RB Alvin Kamara, NO
This pick might end up being a toss-up with Saints WR Michael Thomas. Still, if fantasy players believe that Kamara's leg injuries last season lead to his down year, then a fully healthy Kamara should be able to return to fantasy stardom.
6. WR Michael Thomas, NO
Thomas, the first wide receiver off the board, is a target machine. While he might not produce the numbers he did last season, he is still one of the top choices in any PPR due to his ultra-consistent production.
7. RB Joe Mixon, CIN
A lot of fantasy players are counting on a massive season from Mixon. The Bengals have a new stud quarterback in Joe Burrow, which should make a considerable difference. Mixon is also a terrific receiver out of the backfield, which enhances his value in PPR formats.
8. RB Derrick Henry, TEN
Henry should go somewhere right in the middle of the first round of any fantasy draft. Opportunity equals touches, and touches usually mean fantasy production. Henry could see up to 30 touches (including all goal-line situations), which makes him incredibly hard to pass on.
9. WR Davante Adams, GB
This is the point in the draft where I feel many fantasy players could go in different directions. There’s Adams, a target machine in Green Bay; there is DeAndre Hopkins, who should be the leading target in the Cardinals air raid offense, and there is Aaron Jones, who was a touchdown machine for the Packers last season. This pick could be the one that shifts most drafts.
10. RB Aaron Jones, GB
I think most fantasy players will find it too difficult to pass on Jones at this point. He had an incredible season in 2019, and most players will be hoping that he has a similar 2020. One bit of caution is the Packers drafting of rookie running back A.J. Dillon. I can see Packers head coach Matt LaFleur splitting the carries between Jones and Dillon at a 60/40 type clip. Jones should still get the bulk of the carries and the third-down receptions, but Dillon is a huge back who could eat into first and second down carries if he performs well.
11. RB DeAndre Hopkins, ARI
The Cardinals high-flying offense proved to work last season, and the addition of Hopkins (along with the maturation of quarterback Kyler Murray) should make the team even more dangerous. Look for Hopkins to get at least 100 receptions, making him an excellent choice for a late first-round selection.
12. RB Miles Sanders, PHI
Sanders is only going as the RB11 right now, but trust me, as Week 1 gets closer I can easily see fantasy players bumping Sanders way up draft boards. Assuming the Eagles don’t sign a veteran running back to compete for carries, Sanders should get about 20 touches per game, which would give him a great chance to have 1500 total yards from scrimmage, if not more.
13. RB Josh Jacobs, LV
This pick could also be a player like Browns running back Nick Chubb, but Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden was not shy about feeding Jacobs the football as a rookie, and I can see him getting even more opportunity in 2020. As the Raiders defense improves and with better quarterback play, I think Jacobs could even emerge as more of a touchdown threat, enhancing his value.
If I am correct and the thirteen players I have already listed are taken, I will have to think long and hard about my options.
I will lay out some potential options here as to whom I might select:
QB Lamar Jackson, BAL
Is it crazy to take the MVP of the league who could throw 30-35 TD passes as well as rush for 900-plus yards with 7-8 rushing TDs?
RB Kenyan Drake, AZ
If the air raid offense is going to be as explosive as I expect, isn’t drafting the RB1 on that team a smart idea? Drake could easily have 1500 total yards from scrimmage this season.
RB Nick Chubb, CLE
Chubb is a battering ram of a runner who is a beast at the goal line. And while he might lose some receptions to Kareem Hunt, Chubb might be the safest of selections.
RB Austin Ekeler, LAC
Ekeler was a do-it-all beast last season for the Chargers. I love him in PPR formats, but I worry that the team will limit his touches to somewhere around 10-15 instead of 15-20.
WR Chris Godwin, TB
Tom Brady is going to love to throw to Godwin, who runs some of the best routes in the NFL. At pick 14, Godwin might be a very safe (and smart) choice.
WR Tyreek Hill, KC
There is no more explosive player in the NFL than Hill. If this were best-ball, I would guarantee that he'd be my pick as he could win me five weeks on his own. However, I do worry somewhat about a post-Super Bowl letdown, and the addition of rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire could mean fewer passing attempts for Mahomes in 2020.
Who will I end up picking? Find out at the FSGA Draft this Friday at 4 pm EST!