Josh Gordon a value in Fabiano's 12-team mock


Another day, another mock draft.

Our latest mock was a 12-team standard league that included a bunch of NFL Digital Media folks and some analysts from other sites that wanted in on the action. Much like the last mock I did, which was a 10-team PPR format, I was pleased with the final results. Jokingly, I can call this the "Suspension Squad" (a tribute to the "Suicide Squad" movie that's coming out in August) as I was able to land both Tom Brady and Josh Gordon to a roster that has a whole lot of upside. You'll also see the reason I continue to wait on quarterbacks and tight ends.


Round 1, Pick 4: Todd Gurley, RB, Rams - The first three picks in this draft were wide receivers, so I landed Gurley at number four. I'll take that all day long, as he's the top overall player on my board. The Georgia product is a virtual lock to put up top-five fantasy totals among backs, as coach Jeff Fisher loves to run the football. Gurley will push for the NFL lead in rushing yards.

Round 2, Pick 21: Alshon Jeffery, WR, Bears - Motivation can be a powerful thing in sports, and Jeffery will be playing with a lot of motivation this season as the Bears decided to franchise tag him rather than sign him to a long-term extension. As a result, he'll be singing for his supper. In the nine games he played last season, Jeffery averaged a solid 10.4 targets and just under 90 yards.

Round 3, Pick 28: Brandin Cooks, WR, Saints - Cooks started slowly last season, but he was quite the consistent contributor in the second half en route to finishing 11th in fantasy points among wide receivers. Now in his third pro campaign, he should at least duplicate the totals he produced in 2015 with veteran Drew Brees throwing him the ball. Cooks is a nice No. 2 option for this team.

Round 4, Pick 45: Thomas Rawls, RB, Seahawks - I admit that I'm a little worried about Rawls, who is coming back from an injured ankle and might not even see preseason work. I'm not so worried about him that I wouldn't pick him in the fourth round in a 12-team league. If he returns and puts up numbers like he did last season, this could end up being one of the steals of this mock draft.

Round 5, Pick 52: Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots - Like Rawls, there's some cause for concern with Edelman as he returns from multiple foot surgeries. But when I saw him sitting there in the fifth round, I had to take a chance on him. After all, I have Jeffery and Cooks ahead of him and can use Edelman as a No. 3 option. I'd expect him to be a No. 2 fantasy wideout in most 12-team formats.

Round 6, Pick 69: Jeremy Langford, RB, Bears - I have modest statistical expectations for Langford, who seems destined to end up in a backfield committee under coach John Fox. On a positive note though, he does project to start the season atop the depth chart and should lead Chicago's backfield in touches. He'll also serve as good depth should Rawls have any issue with his ankle ailment.

Round 7, Pick 76: Ameer Abdullah, RB, Lions - This is another example of adding depth to what is a thin running back position. Abdullah, who struggled to produce good totals as a rookie, comes in as the No. 4 runner for this team. He figures to lead the Lions in rush attempts with Joique Bell no longer in the mix, which makes him worth a roll of the dice at this spot in the mock draft.

Round 8, Pick 93: Allen Hurns, WR, Jaguars - I have no illusions that Hurns can duplicate last season's impressive totals in the yardage and touchdown categories, but he's the No. 4 wideout on this team. In that scenario, Hurns is a nice add in a 12-team league. Remember, he finished just 0.30 fantasy points fewer than Demaryius Thomas in 2015. Anything close to that now makes him a steal.

Round 9, Pick 100: Tom Brady, QB, Patriots - Here's where my strategy kicks in. After focusing on running backs and wideouts in the first nine rounds, I still landed Brady to be my quarterback once he comes back from a four-game suspension. I don't know about you, but I think 12 games of Brady is better than 16 games from most NFL quarterbacks ... and he'll be ticked off upon his return.

Round 10, Pick 117: Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers - I wanted Coby Fleener here, but he went one spot ahead of me (blast!). Gates might be long in the tooth, but how has his value not improved after the Chargers lost Ladarius Green to the Steelers? He wouldn't be the first Hall-of-Famer caliber tight end to put up nice fantasy totals towards the end of his career either. Tony Gonzalez, anyone?

Round 11, Pick 124: Blake Bortles, QB, Jaguars - I need a quarterback for the first four weeks (until Brady returns), and Bortles was the best option on the board. With that said, Matthew Stafford, Jameis Winston, Andy Dalton, Jay Cutler and Marcus Mariota were left undrafted ... so there's no shortage of potential matchup-based starters for me to grab should I decide to bench Bortles.

Round 12, Pick 141: Julius Thomas, TE, Jaguars - Duval county residents must love this team, as I land a third member of the Jaguars in Thomas. While Gates is the starter for this squad on paper, I could use J.T. as an alternative should the veteran fail to post solid totals. A touchdown machine, Thomas has found the end zone a combined 29 times in his last 39 games. Not too bad, right?

Round 13, Pick 148: Josh Gordon, WR, Browns - So this draft happened before the news broke of Gordon's reinstatement. I took a flier, and the flier took off to become one heck of a steal. The talented wideout, who led his position in fantasy points just a few seasons ago, should now be considered in the No. 3 or 4 receiver conversation. Of course, his presence hurts Corey Coleman's stock.

Round 14, Pick 165: Darren Sproles, RB, Eagles - This was simply a "draft the best player on the board" pick. Sproles isn't a spring chicken as far as running backs go, but you'd have to think he'll find a decent role in the offense behind Ryan Mathews. Wendell Smallwood is also in the mix, but I prefer Sproles as the second runner to draft out of the Philadelphia backfield. At least for now.

Round 15, Pick 172: Chiefs defense - I didn't draft a kicker in this mock because Adam Rank took Stephen Gostkowski in Round 5 (not a misprint), but I did take the Chiefs defense. This unit has been one of the best in terms of fantasy points over the last three seasons, finishing first in 2014 and second in 2016. If Kansas City takes a step back, however, I'll just take to the waiver wire.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!