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Strategies get tested in a 10-round fantasy mock

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With the turn of the calendar to August and training camps in full swing, the fantasy football chatter is heating up like an Arizona sidewalk in the summer. Who will be the biggest bust? Who will make the biggest rookie impact? Which player's value is on the rise? Knowledge is power, of course, and knowing which players to draft and when to draft them is paramount to your championship hopes. So is practicing your strategies, and you can do that right here at NFL.com with our online mock drafts.

Before you dive into the mock draft madness, here's my latest one-man fantasy mock draft. It takes into consideration such things as Le'Veon Bell's holdout, LeSean McCoy's off-the-field issues and the mystery that is Josh Gordon's return to the Cleveland Browns. You'll also notice a real focus on the elite running backs in Round 1, a run on wide receivers in Round 3 and a lack of quarterbacks until ... well, you'll find out. It's a 10-rounder and based on a PPR scoring system that rewards four points for touchdown passes and six points for all other touchdowns.

Enjoy!

Round 1


1.1) Team 1 - Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers: I can make an argument for at least five different players to be the No. 1 pick, but I'm going with Bell. He was a top-10 PPR running back 12 times and ranked in the top 20 in more than 50 percent of his starts last season. I've kept Bell atop my list of the best fantasy players despite his looming holdout, as he has a lot on the line in 2018.

1.2) Team 2 - Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams: Gurley went bananas last season, finishing as a top-10 PPR runner in 12 of his 15 games. Furthermore, he averaged 25.5 points per game and scored 20-plus points 10 times including seven games with more than 25 points. While I do expect there to be some regression after what was a career campaign, Gurley won't fall past the second overall pick.

1.3) Team 3 - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys: Am I sometimes a Cowboys homer? Yup. But how can you pass on Zeke as a top-three pick? In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he leads the position in rushing yards this season. Elliott missed six games due to a suspension in 2017, but he averaged the third-most PPR points (20.3 PPG) among runners who played at least seven games (Gurley and Bell).

1.4) Team 4 - David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals: Johnson scored over 400 PPR points in 2016 and was the consensus top pick last season, but an injured wrist sidelined him for most of the 2017 campaign. He's back at 100 percent for the start of camp and he'll be fresh after missing significant time. New coach Steve Wilks is going to run Johnson a ton too, so expect a rebound.

1.5) Team 5 - Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: The best wide receiver in fantasy football, Brown led his position with 1,533 yards and six top-five finishes in 14 games. He also scored 25-plus PPR points in half of his games and led all receivers in points-per-game average (22.2). I can see A.B. being the top overall pick in some PPR drafts, but this running back truther has him at No. 5.

1.6) Team 6 - Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints: As a rookie, Kamara thrived once the Saints traded Adrian Peterson. In fact, he had a six-week stretch where he ranked no worse than ninth among PPR backs including five top-4 finishes and three No. 1 finishes. With Mark Ingram being suspended for the first four games of 2018, Kamara could end up being a top-three overall selection in PPR formats.

1.7) Team 7 - Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants: A few years ago, many fantasy fans were worried about drafting Zeke in Round 1 simply because he was a rookie. That was then, this is now ... and no one should have any concern with Barkley as a top-10 pick. A three-down runner at the next level, I'm projecting the Penn State product to make a big impact in 2018. Don't fear the hype ... believe it.

1.8) Team 8 - DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans: Hopkins, a massive disappointment for owners in 2016, exploded for 96 receptions, 1,378 yards, 13 touchdowns and the second-most PPR fantasy points among wide receivers last season. In seven games with Deshaun Watson under center, Nuk ranked in the top five at his position three times (43 percent) and in the top 10 four times (57 percent). Giddy up.

1.9) Team 9 - Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers: Gordon proved that his sophomore campaign was no fluke, as he scored 12 touchdowns and ranked fifth in PPR points among running backs this past season. He also tied for fourth in top-5 finishes (5), and just five other runners averaged more PPR points. Flash also scored 20-plus points five times, including four different games with 25-plus points.

1.10) Team 10 - Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs: Hunt was a fantasy machine as a rookie, posting seven top-10 PPR finishes while also ranking as a top-20 runner 10 different times. He was able to reach these heights despite a five-game stretch where he ranked no higher than 24th at the position. Another season with 300-plus touches is in the cards, making Hunt a first-rounder in most PPR formats.

Round 2


2.11) Team 10 - Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants: Beckham Jr. was playing at a high level before suffering a gruesome leg injury last season, as he scored 20-plus PPR points in two of his four games. Now 100 percent, he also reported to training camp despite the fact that he wants a new contract. There's also been talk that he could work more out of the slot, which bodes well for his target share.

2.12) Team 9 - Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings: Cook, who missed all but four games as a rookie due to an injured knee, had two top-10 performances in three full contests. He's expected to be a full go during training camp, so there's little doubt he'll be in the Minnesota backfield as we look ahead to Week 1. With Jerick McKinnon no longer on the roster, I like Cook as a surefire top-15 selection.

2.13) Team 8 - Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars: A superstar rookie back, Fournette scored 10 total touchdowns and averaged 17.7 PPR points in 13 games. While he finished as a top-five runner just twice, he also ranked in the top 15 in PPR points 10 times. Fournette, who dropped around 10 pounds in the offseason, will continue to shine as the centerpiece of the Jaguars offensive attack.

2.14) Team 7 - Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons: A first-round pick last season, Jones has fallen into the second round of this 2018 mock draft. While his final numbers looked good, the veteran ranked outside of the top 20 PPR wideouts in 11 of his 16 games, and 20 percent of his total fantasy points came in just one game. Still, Jones is an elite wideout who will remain a top-15 pick in drafts.

2.15) Team 6 - Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints: Thomas wasn't much of a touchdown scorer last season, but he did finish third in receptions (104) and sixth in receiving yards (1,245) among wideouts. He was very reliable in his final 11 contests too, as Thomas ranked in the top-20 eight times (72.7 percent) including five top-12 finishes and a pair of top-four ranks in the fantasy postseason.

2.16) Team 5 - Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons: Freeman ranked 13th among backs in PPR scoring this past season, which is his worst finish since 2014. He was still a reliable option for owners though, as he finished with double-digit points 12 times and was a top-20 performer in seven of his 14 games. Still just 25 years old, the veteran will be a high-end No. 2 fantasy back in 10-team PPR leagues.

2.17) Team 4 - Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers: The 2017 NFL Comeback Player of the Year, Allen returned from a torn ACL to produce career bests in catches (102) and receiving yards (1,393) last season. He also finished third behind Brown and Hopkins among wideouts in PPR leagues, making him a massive asset. In what will remain a potent offense, Allen will be a top-20 overall choice in PPR drafts.

2.18) Team 3 - Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers: McCaffrey ran for just 435 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie, but his 80 catches, 651 yards and five scores as a receiver made him a top-10 fantasy back in PPR leagues. He did lose a bit of his luster when the Panthers added C.J. Anderson, but Run CMC should still see more than his share of chances as a pass catcher and remains a top-20 PPR pick.

2.19) Team 2 - A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: Green is another in a long line of unreliable fantasy wideouts from a season ago. While he did have four top-10 finishes and seven top-20 finishes among receivers, most of his success came in the first half of the season. In fact, Green ranked 35th or worse at his position in four of his final seven games and was better than 17th once during that time.

2.20) Team 1 - Jerick McKinnon, RB, San Francisco 49ers: The biggest mover after the free-agency frenzy, McKinnon is now a legitimate top-30 pick in PPR leagues. New coach Kyle Shanahan, who has had a top-8 PPR runner in three straight seasons, will use McKinnon much like he did Freeman in Atlanta. McKinnon, a solid pass-catcher, should haul in 50-plus receptions and receive oodles of touches in 2018.

Round 3


3.21) Team 1 - Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers: Adams was extremely inconsistent in his first eight games, but he finished with four top-12 PPR finishes including two top-10 ranks in his final five full games before being injured in Week 15. I can see him being picked in the second round after the release of Jordy Nelson, but Adams is locked and loaded as no worse than a third-round PPR selection.

3.22) Team 2 - Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots: Gronkowski will be back on the gridiron for his ninth NFL season, so he'll also be back as a top-30 PPR overall pick in fantasy land. In fact, I have the big man as the first tight end off the board (big shocker). Last season, the New England touchdown machine recorded nine top-10 finishes and had eight top-5 finishes at the tight end position.

3.23) Team 3 - Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings: While Blue Swede came to our minds when we heard his name, Thielen was making sweet fantasy music for owners last season. He finished eighth in PPR scoring despite scoring just four times, and now he'll have Kirk Cousins throwing him the football. You like that? Thielen should lead the Vikings in targets in what will be a fun offense to watch.

3.24) Team 4 - Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs: An argument can be made that Kelce, and not Gronkowski, should be the first tight end pick in 2018 drafts. After all, he has been the highest-scoring player at the position for two straight seasons. He also finished no worse than 13th in all but three games, and he failed to post top-20 totals just once. You have to like that high level of production.

3.25) Team 5 - Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Buccaneers were a disappointment last season, and Evans was the main perpetrator. A top-10 wideout in four of his first six games, he went on to rank better than 23rd in PPR points at his position in just seven of his final nine games. Regardless, even without Jameis Winston for three games, it's hard to see him falling much further than this spot.

3.26) Team 6 - LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills: McCoy had another successful season in the stat sheets, as he ranked seventh among PPR running backs with six top-10 finishes. He also had four games where he ranked fifth or better. He is in his age-30 season, however, and some troubling off-the-field issues are a cause for some concern. McCoy moves up or down depending on what happens in the coming weeks.

3.27) Team 7 - Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Fitzgerald might be getting up there in age, but that hasn't curbed his level of production. In fact, the future Hall of Famer was second in receptions behind Jarvis Landry last season. Whether it's Sam Bradford or Josh Rosen under center, they're both an upgrade over Blaine Gabbert, right? I'm betting on another nice season from Fitzgerald.

3.28) Team 8 - Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks: Baldwin made his fantasy owners angry with some inconsistent stat lines a season ago, but he still finished 13th in PPR scoring among wideouts. With Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson no longer in the mix, the veteran should be in for a bounce-back season in the stat sheets. He's a borderline No. 1 fantasy wideout across the board and a top-30 pick.

3.29) Team 9 - T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts: I have Hilton ranked in the top 30 based on the assumption that Andrew Luck (shoulder) will be under center for most of the Colts games this season. In that scenario, Hilton could be a steal in drafts. A potential target hog with Donte Moncrief in Jacksonville, I can see Hilton hitting the 80-catch mark with relative ease ... and lots of "Luck."

3.30) Team 10 - Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings: Diggs has the skills to be a top-notch fantasy wideout, and the addition of Cousins makes him a very exciting choice in all drafts. In fact, I've seen him go ahead of Thielen in some mocks. Entering a contract year, Diggs should be motivated to stay on the field and produce in the stat sheets. He has the tools to be a No. 1 fantasy wideout in 2018.

Round 4


4.31) Team 10 - Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Mixon wasn't overly impressive during his rookie year, but he does figure to open the 2018 campaign atop the Bengals backfield depth chart.
4.32) Team 9 - Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles: Ertz was one of the most productive and reliable tight ends in fantasy football last season, and he'll continue his success into 2018.
4.33) Team 8 - Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears: Howard isn't a great pass catcher and will lose touches to Tarik Cohen, but he was still a top-15 fantasy runner in PPR leagues last year.
4.34) Team 7 - Alex Collins, RB, Baltimore Ravens: One of the better fantasy backs in the second half of last season, Collins could be a steal in drafts for those who targets wideouts first.
4.35) Team 6 - Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs: Hill could be in for some regression with Patrick Mahomes under center and Sammy Watkins in the mix, but he's hard to pass on at this point.
4.36) Team 5 - Kenyan Drake, RB, Miami Dolphins: Drake's value took a bit of a hit when the Dolphins inked Frank Gore, but I see the Alabama product as the leader of the Miami backfield.
4.37) Team 4 - Jay Ajayi, RB, Philadelphia Eagles: Entering a contract year and slated to be the Eagles' early-down and goal-line workhorse, Ajayi has a lot of upside in the stat sheets.
4.38) Team 3 - Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears: Robinson should see a whole lot of targets in his first year in the Windy City, but can Mitch Trubisky maximizes his fantasy potential?
4.39) Team 2 - Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions: Tate put up 92 receptions last season, making it four-straight years that he's posted 90 or more catches. He's a lock WR2 in all PPR formats.
4.40) Team 1 - Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos: Say what you want about Case Keenum (one-year wonder?), but I see him as an upgrade for Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders for Denver in 2018.

Round 5


5.41) Team 1 - Rashaad Penny, RB, Seattle Seahawks: Penny's stock has fallen a bit with Chris Carson looking great in camp, but the rookie is still worth a pick in the top 50 in re-drafts.
5.42) Team 2 - Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints: Yes, you'll lose the first four games due to a suspension ... but imagine having Ingram in your lineup as a flex starter when he returns?
5.43) Team 3 - Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders: Cooper could be a bargain, as new coach Jon Gruden will use him as a top offensive weapon. I'd target him as a borderline WR2/WR3 in 2018.
5.44) Team 4 - Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles: Jeffery should continue to make big plays for the Eagles offense. However, there are still a lot of mouths to feed in the pass attack.
5.45) Team 5 - Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns: I sure love Gordon's skills on the gridiron. What I don't love is the high risk he comes with off the field. I'd take the chance at this spot.
5.46) Team 6 - Derrius Guice, RB, Washington Redskins: Guice figures to take the lead back duties in Washington, making him a nice flex starter with upside in coach Jay Gruden's offense.
5.47) Team 7 - JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: The trade that sent Martavis Bryant to Oakland makes the talented Smith-Schuster an even more attractive fantasy option for 2018.
5.48) Team 8 - Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans: Miller could turn into one of the better bargains in all fantasy drafts, especially if D'Onta Foreman (Achilles) isn't yet ready for Week 1.
5.49) Team 9 - Jarvis Landry, WR, Cleveland Browns: The Browns suddenly have a ton of offensive weapons, so I'm expecting a slight regression from Landry compared to his monster 2017 year.
5.50) Team 10 - Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans: Henry still has the potential to become a nice No. 2 runner, but the addition of pass-catcher Dion Lewis hurts his ceiling for this season.

Round 6


6.51) Team 10 - Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
6.52) Team 9 - Chris Thompson, RB, Washington Redskins
6.53) Team 8 - Michael Crabtree, WR, Baltimore Ravens
6.54) Team 7 - Dion Lewis, RB, Tennessee Titans
6.55) Team 6 - Marvin Jones, WR, Detroit Lions
6.56) Team 5 - Royce Freeman, RB, Denver Broncos
6.57) Team 4 - Brandin Cooks, WR, Los Angeles Rams
6.58) Team 3 - Sony Michel, RB, New England Patriots
6.59) Team 2 - Ronald Jones, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
6.60) Team 1 - Pierre Garcon, WR, San Francisco 49ers


Round 7


7.61) Team 1 - Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers
7.62) Team 2 - Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos
7.63) Team 3 - Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers
7.64) Team 4 - Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts
7.65) Team 5 - Rex Burkhead, RB, New England Patriots
7.66) Team 6 - Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants
7.67) Team 7 - Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans
7.68) Team 8 - Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
7.69) Team 9 - Chris Hogan, WR, New England Patriots
7.70) Team 10 - Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons


Round 8


8.71) Team 10 - Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams
8.72) Team 9 - DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins
8.73) Team 8 - Tarik Cohen, RB, Chicago Bears
8.74) Team 7 - Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
8.75) Team 6 - Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans
8.76) Team 5 - Robby Anderson, WR, New York Jets
8.77) Team 4 - Marshawn Lynch, RB, Oakland Raiders
8.78) Team 3 - Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
8.79) Team 2 - Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns
8.80) Team 1 - Jamison Crowder WR, Washington Redskins


Round 9


9.81) Team 1 - Isaiah Crowell, RB, New York Jets
9.82) Team 2 - Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina Panthers
9.83) Team 3 - Jamaal Williams, RB, Green Bay Packers
9.84) Team 4 - Will Fuller, WR, Houston Texans
9.85) Team 5 - Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans
9.86) Team 6 - Kerryon Johnson, RB, Detroit Lions
9.87) Team 7 - Jimmy Graham, TE, Green Bay Packers
9.88) Team 8 - Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants
9.89) Team 9 - Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
9.90) Team 10 - Sammy Watkins, WR, Kansas City Chiefs


Round 10


10.91) Team 10 - Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis Colts
10.92) Team 9 - James White, RB, New England Patriots
10.93) Team 8 - Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings
10.94) Team 7 - Theo Riddick, RB, Detroit Lions
10.95) Team 6 - Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams
10.96) Team 5 - Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings
10.97) Team 4 - Allen Hurns, WR, Dallas Cowboys
10.98) Team 3 - Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins
10.99) Team 2 - Marqise Lee, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
10.100) Team 1 - Marquise Goodwin, WR, San Francisco 49ers



Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram for all of the latest fantasy news, notes and analysis!

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