2017 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Position No. 1

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It is never too early to participate in a Fantasy Football Mock Draft.

Even in the month of April.

In fact, it is always very helpful to complete a set of mocks that are based solely on last year’s returning players. It allows for greater clarity after the NFL draft, and can identify which returning players will have competition to maintain their starting positions.

The best place to draft from in the first mock of the 2017?  The first position, of course.

(This mock was completed at FantasyPros and was 12 team, Point Per Reception (PPR), three wide receiver format with five bench spots.  All data taken from PlayerProfiler.com)

2017 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Position No. 1

Round 1

1

E. Elliott

RB

Dallas

2 D. Johnson RB Arizona
3 L. Bell RB Pittsburgh
4 A. Brown WR Pittsburgh
5 O. Beckham WR NY Giants
6 T.Y. Hilton WR Indianapolis
7 D. Freeman RB Atlanta
8 J. Jones WR Atlanta
9 A.J. Green WR Cincinnati
10 L. McCoy RB Buffalo
11 M. Evans WR Tampa Bay
12 M. Gordon RB San Diego

 

PICK:  Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas
Reaction:  In a PPR format, most analysts would take David Johnson at the top spot. I prefer the security of Ezekiel Elliott with the Cowboys massive offensive line, especially with 37-year-old Carson Palmer serving as target practice behind the 25th ranked pass blocking Arizona offensive line. If Palmer goes down, Johnson will be much less effective. While Elliott brings risk as well, he provides the absolute safest floor. Just remember to always pair running backs with their respective handcuff, in this case Alfred Morris or Darren McFadden. The “big three” running backs go in order here, but Le’Veon Bell is always risky because of injury and off the field issues. T.Y. Hilton at number six overall? No thank you. It’s amazing how underrated Devonta Freeman is every year, but in PPR he is gold. A.J. Green has earned the injury-prone tag, but usually produces when healthy. Mike Evans is too low here. In PPR formats, he should go no lower than sixth.

Round 2

13 J. Howard RB Chicago
14 D. Bryant WR Dallas
15 L. Miller RB Houston
16 J. Ajayi RB Miami
17 D. Murray RB Tennessee
18 J. Nelson WR Green Bay
19 M. Thomas WR New Orleans
20 R. Gronkowski TE New England
21 T. Gurley RB Los Angeles
22 D. Hopkins WR Houston
23 M. Ingram RB New Orleans

24

A. Cooper

WR

Oakland

 

PICK:  Amari Cooper, Oakland
Reaction:  Selecting two running backs in a row is not advised in a three wide receiver format.  Amari Cooper was best available receiver and could break away from Michael Crabtree‘s 30 year old shadow this season. The running back drop off is massive after this round, so it is difficult to adhere to a full-fledged zero running back blueprint. Selecting Rob Gronkowski in round two is the kiss of death: don’t do it. How can DeAndre Hopkins go this early with Tom Savage as his current quarterback? Even if the Texans draft Deshaun Watson, his 45 mph throw velocity doesn’t inspire a Hopkins’ bounce back season. Very happy with Cooper in the last spot, as he is potentially the second best receiver in this round.

Round 3

25

S. Ware

RB

Kansas City

26 A. Jeffery WR Philadelphia
27 K. Allen WR Los Angeles Chargers
28 D. Baldwin WR Seattle
29 D. Thomas WR Denver
30 B. Cooks WR New England
31 T. Montgomery RB Green Bay
32 J. Edelman WR New England
33 S. Watkins WR Buffalo
34 D. Adams WR Green Bay
35 A. Robinson WR Jacksonville
36 T. Kelce TE Kansas City

 

PICK:  Spencer Ware, Kansas City
Reaction: Really thought for a long time before making this pick. Ware is a better PPR running back then most people realize. He had 33 receptions in 14 games, and finished sixth among all running backs with 447 receiving yards. After Jamaal Charles’ release, Ware is the definitive goal line running back in a run first offense. There are a ton of wide receiver question marks in this round. Will Alshon Jeffery produce and stay healthy in Philadelphia? Does Brandin Cooks get better or worse after leaving Drew Brees and a domed offense? Demaryius Thomas can catch it, but who will be throwing it? The other option would have been Sammy Watkins, who should have a big year with Tyrod Taylor now that he is completely healthy.

Round 4

37 J. Landry WR Miami
38 C. Hyde RB San Francisco
39 T. Brady QB New England
40 R. Kelley RB Washington
41 E. Sanders WR Denver
42 G. Tate WR Detroit
43 B. Powell RB New York Jets
44 T. Pryor WR Washington
45 T. Coleman RB Atlanta
46 J. Reed TE Washington
47 L. Fitzgerald WR Arizona

48

M. Crabtree

WR

Oakland

 

PICK:  Michael Crabtree, Oakland
Reaction:  The running back position gets incredibly thin here, so grabbing the 11th best fantasy wide receiver in 2016 is a round three steal. Both Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper finished in the top 14 wide receivers last season and all signs point to an even better Raiders offense in 2017. Crabtree’s 79th percentile Agility Score and 70th percentile Catch Radius equate to quarterback Derek Carr‘s favorite Red Zone target. Bilal Powell in the fourth round is fantasy football insanity regardless of the scoring format. Three Washington players were drafted in this round which means somebody will be very wrong. Tom Brady is wonderful, but taking a quarterback this early is a mistake. He would have to reproduce his 2007 season (4,806 yards, 50 touchdowns, eight interceptions) to justify that pick.

Round 5

49

R. Matthews

WR

Tennessee

50 A. Rodgers QB Green Bay
51 C.J. Anderson RB Denver
52 D. Walker TE Tennessee
53 E. Lacy RB Seattle
54 G. Olsen TE Carolina
55 J. Crowder WR Washington
56 D. Brees QB New Orleans
57 S. Diggs WR Minnesota
58 D. Moncrief WR Indianapolis
59 A. Luck QB Indianapolis
60 T. Hill WR Kansas City

 

PICK:  Rishard Matthews, Tennessee
Reaction:  Despite totaling 98 receiving yards in his first three games last season, Rishard Matthews finished as the 12th best fantasy wide receiver. With Kendall Wright signing in Chicago and the Titans failing to sign a wide receiver in free agency, Matthews has the potential for an even better 2017. This completes my wide receiver corps (Cooper, Crabtree, Matthews) with a players who ranked seventh among all wide receivers with 12 Red Zone Targets. The quarterbacks fly off the board in the fifth round with Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Andrew Luck all getting selected. Still impossible to justify taking a tight end in this round, and Tyreek Hill could either be great or just another Cordarrelle Patterson.

Round 6

61 M. Ryan QB Atlanta
62 T. Eifert TE Cincinnati
63 E. Decker WR New York Jets
64 E. Ebron TE Detroit
65 I. Crowell RB Cleveland
66 B. Roethlisberger QB Pittsburgh
67 L. Blount RB New England
68 R. Burkhead RB Cincinnati
69 K. Cousins QB Washington
70 R. Wilson QB Seattle
71 C. Meredith WR Chicago

72

D. Woodhead

RB

Baltimore

 

PICK:  Danny Woodhead, Baltimore
Reaction: Needed a backup running back and was thrilled to get Danny Woodhead in the sixth round. He is just one year removed from a 13th overall positional finish is standard scoring leagues. In a PPR format he is fantasy gold. Baltimore’s running back situation is currently muddled, and wherever Woodhead has gone he has produced. Picking a tight end in this round is fine, but not Eric Ebron (most receptions in a season is 61) or the touchdown dependent Tyler Eifert. Always wait until later to draft a quarterback, but Russell Wilson as the fourth quarterback selected in this round is great value.

Round 7

73

M. Bennett

TE

Green Bay

74 D. Lewis RB New England
75 B. Marshall WR New York Giants
76 P. Garcon WR San Francisco
77 M. Mariota QB Tennessee
78 C. Newton QB Carolina
79 Z. Ertz TE Philadelphia
80 T. Riddick RB Detroit
81 D. Prescott QB Dallas
82 J. Graham TE Seattle
83 G. Bernard RB Cincinnati
84 K. Benjamin WR Carolina

 

PICK:  Martellus Bennett, Green Bay
Reaction: The debate was between the tight end and the quarterback position. Eight quarterbacks were selected before my pick, and having Bennett tethered to Aaron Rodgers was simply too good to pass up. Rodgers has never had a tight end with a 90 reception season on his resume like Bennett. Always a fast starter, it is easy to envision multiple top five tight end weeks during the early games of 2017. This is where the pass-catching running backs flew off the draft board. Dion Lewis, Theo Riddick, and Giovani Bernard all have 60 plus catch ability, but almost as equally high bust opportunity. Example?  Over the past three seasons, Bernard has 15 games of 10 or more fantasy points and 24 games of less than 10 fantasy points. If you can’t figure out when to play him, why waste a draft pick?

Round 8

85 D. Jackson WR Tampa Bay
86 J. Stewart RB Carolina
87 L. Murray RB Minnesota
88 A. Peterson RB Free Agent
89 K. Rudolph TE Minnesota
90 D. Martin RB Tampa Bay
91 F. Gore RB Indianapolis
92 C.J. Prosise RB Seattle
93 K. Dixon RB Baltimore
94 J. Charles RB Free Agent
95 C. Brate TE Tampa Bay

96

J. Matthews

WR

Philadelphia

 

PICK:  Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia
Reaction: This was my steal of the draft. Jordan Matthews enters his fourth NFL season averaging 75 receptions and 6.3 touchdowns per season. In a Philadelphia offense loaded with weapons, he should feast in the slot (Y) receiver role. Many running backs were drafted in this round, but all with major question marks. Frank Gore will be 34 years old and Adrian Peterson still has not been signed. Jonathan Stewart seems to be the safest among this group, but keep your eye on Carolina at the NFL draft in late April. Wanted to handcuff Danny Woodhead with Kenneth Dixon, but Matthews is a great consolation prize.

Round 9

97

A. Abdullah

RB

Detroit

98 W. Snead WR New Orleans
99 K. White WR Chicago
100 T. Rawls RB Seattle
101 M. Forte RB New York Jets
102 D. Johnson RB Cleveland
103 E. Rogers WR Pittsburgh
104 J. Hill RB Cincinnati
105 J. McKinnon RB Minnesota
106 C. Coleman WR Cleveland
107 P. Perkins RB New York Giants
108 W. Smallwood RB Philadelphia

 

PICK:  Ameer Abdullah, Detroit
Reaction: I fully admit I’m a bit of an Abdullah truther, but his workout metrics are just incredible. He has a 98th percentile Burst Score and Agility Score, as well as 81st percentile Bench Press (24 reps of 225). The Lions have an explosive offense, play on turf, and Abdullah possesses incredible elusiveness. He has the potential to be even more explosive than Theo Riddick. How far has Jeremy Hill fallen? In a PPR league his ceiling is capped, but with Rex Burkhead now in New England he could still fall in the end zone. Stay away from Paul Perkins. Shane Vereen, Shaun Draughn, and Orleans Darkwa are all better running backs. Perkins is fool’s gold. Matt Forte will be close to 32 years old when the season starts, but is the most talented player in this round by a landslide.

Round 10

109 T. Williams WR Los Angeles Chargers
110 R. Cobb WR Green Bay
111 M. Mitchell WR New England
112 J. Maclin WR Kansas City
113 A. Thielen WR Minnesota
114 C. Sims RB Tampa Bay
115 S. Shepard WR New York Giants
116 B. Perriman WR Baltimore
117 K. Britt WR Cleveland
118 D. Henry RB Tennessee
119 J. Brown WR Arizona

120

M. Stafford

QB

Detroit

 

PICK:  Matthew Stafford, Detroit
Reaction:  Getting a quarterback who has averaged 635 pass attempts over the last six seasons in the tenth round is a steal in any format. To prove how important it is to wait on quarterback, Derek Carr and Philip Rivers were selected in Round 11. The argument against Zero RB is bolstered here with Tyrell Williams, Randall Cobb, and Jeremy Maclin all available in a PPR format. Isn’t it so easy to see Derrick Henry starting by mid-season? DeMarco Murray has been way too healthy over the past three seasons (one game missed). Biggest upside wide receiver in this round? Baltimore’s Breshad Perriman who is currently their second best receiver behind soon to be 31-year-old Mike Wallace.

Round 11 & 12

121

T. Lockett

WR

Seattle

122 D. Sproles RB Philadelphia
123 D. Parker WR Miami
124 W. Fuller WR Houston
125 M. Gillislee RB Buffalo
126 Z. Zenner RB Detroit
127 M. Jones WR Detroit
128 H. Henry TE Los Angeles Chargers
129 R. Anderson WR New York Jets
130 J. White RB New England
131 D. Washington RB Oakland
132 C. Thompson RB Washington

 

133 K. Stills WR Miami
134 J. Doyle TE Indianapolis
135 J. Doctson WR Washington
136 P. Rivers QB Los Angeles Chargers
137 S. Vereen RB New York Giants
138 Z. Miller TE Chicago
139 D. Carr QB Oakland
140 J. Winston QB Tampa Bay
141 J. Rodgers RB Tampa Bay
142 T. Taylor QB Buffalo
143 A. Gates TE Los Angeles Chargers

144

A. Morris

RB

Dallas Cowboys

 

PICKS:  Tyler Lockett, Seattle; Alfred Morris, Dallas
Reaction: Most of these are lottery tickets, and I am hoping we were all simply one year off on Tyler Lockett. Hunter Henry and Antonio Gates are still available in rounds 11 and 12, so how can anyone justify drafting Zach Ertz in Round Seven? A bevy of quarterbacks are still available, which makes me question my Stafford selection. Handcuffing Ezekiel Elliott was a must, so getting Alfred Morris here brought a huge sigh of relief.

Round 13 & 14

145

Jacksonville

Defense

146 Denver Defense
147 Houston Defense
148 Seattle Defense
149 Kansas City Defense
150 Minnesota Defense
151 Arizona Defense
152 New England Defense
153 Los Angeles Rams Defense
154 Carolina Defense
155 Baltimore Defense
156 San Diego Defense

 

157 J. Tucker K Baltimore
158 B. Walsh K Seattle
159 S. Gostkowski K New England
160 M. Crosby K Buffalo
161 S. Hauschka K Buffalo
162 C. Catanzaro K New York Jets
163 M. Bryant K Atlanta
164 D. Bailey K Dallas
165 B. McManus K Denver
166 C. Santos K Kansas City
167 A. Vinatieri K Indianapolis

168

G. Gano

K

Carolina

 

Summary

Having a top three fantasy draft pick forces a first round running back selection. As long as they are handcuffed, each of those running backs have an extremely high seasonal floor. The running back position thins out quickly after Spencer Ware, so it difficult to project an orthodox zero running back draft strategy. There are some strong team backfields available in the mid to late rounds, but the NFL draft will provide true clarity for teams such as Detroit, Baltimore, and Jacksonville.

There exists a ton of wide receiver value in the middle rounds. Players like Jeremy Maclin, Randall Cobb, and Willie Snead were all available after the eighth round. My biggest mistake was taking Martellus Bennett in round seven. Tight end remains an optimal late round selection again this season. With a nucleus of Ezekiel Elliott, Spencer Ware, Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, and Matthew Stafford, this was certainly a solid first PPR mock draft.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Great article and first mock of the year.

    I have waivered on taking Ware with my first round pick in my dynasty league.
    (12 team league PPR – keepers: Mariota, Miller, WRs – OBJ, Evans and AJ)

    Draft pick 1.07 – I need a RB. With the rookie class, Ware will fall to me in my league draft. Ware my guy?

    Also, your thoughts on Mariota in dynasty (format) going forward?

    All the best,
    Kevin

  2. Ware concerns me now that the Chiefs have drafted Kareem Hunt. I still believe in Ware, since he’s one of the rare goal line RB1s in fantasy, but his position is tenuous.

    I fine taking him there, but you MUST handcuff him with Hunt. Not a big Charcandrick West guy.

    Mariota is phenomenal. Just doesn’t get the credit he deserves. Ninth last year in fantasy points per game (18.4), and his current ADP is QB12…larceny

  3. Thanks for the reply Mike –
    With having the 1.07 pick in my draft AND being WR heavy. Its hard to pick Davis to pair up w/ Marcus.
    I need a RB but most of the good ones (Fournette, McCaf, Mixon etc…) will be gone by the 7th pick.

    Ware, Kelley & Prosise are the leftover RBs in my dynasty league.

    Draft the best player w/ upside? = Davis

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