2017 fantasy football mock draft No. 2: 12's a crowd

It's been over a month since our last staff mock draft, which is an ETERNITY in the beginning of the fantasy season. Average draft positions (ADPs) have swung wildly, established big-name veterans have been released (see ya, Eric Decker/Jeremy Maclin), and more offseason tropes ("Best shape of his life," "Ready to be the lead RB/WR," etc.) are being doled out daily. As such, we figured it was high time we rounded up the crew (plus a few friends) for a 12-team mock draft to see how things have changed. And after completing this mock let me tell you, things have changed.

The standard scoring, 12-team, 15-round mock draft consisted of our best analysts and writers from NFL Fantasy LIVE/NFL.com, as well as special guest Jake Ciely (Roto Experts), Ari Ingel (Footballguys.com), and Scott Fish (Dynasty League Football). Teams did not need to draft a full roster, so several teams went without a kicker or defense. I provide some brief thoughts about most rounds below. And to answer your questions: yes, we get paid for this, no, you can't have our jobs, and yes, we know about Player X but value him differently than you in fantasy. Also, it's June, calm down. Go outside, it's finally nice out.

Now, with that out of the way, let's get to it.

Draft order

  1. Jake Ciely (@allinkid) - Senior Writer/Talent RotoExperts
    1. Ari Ingel (@FFesq) - Footballguys writer
    2. James Koh (@JamesDKoh) - NFL Fantasy LIVE host
    3. Matt "Money" Smith (@MattMoneySmith)- NFL Fantasy LIVE host
    4. Alex Wilk (@AlexCWilk) - Fantasy and Friends producer
    5. Cynthia Frelund (@cfrelund) - NFL Fantasy LIVE analytics expert
    6. Alex Gelhar (@AlexGelhar)- NFL Fantasy Writer/Editor
    7. Marcas Grant (@MarcasG)- NFL Fantasy Editor
    8. Matt Franciscovich (@MattFranchise) - NFL Fantasy Associate Writer/Editor
    9. Adam Rank (@adamrank)- NFL Fantasy LIVE analyst
    10. Scott Fish (@ScottFish24 - Senior Writer/Developer Dynasty League Football
    11. Michael Fabiano (@Michael_Fabiano)- NFL Senior Fantasy Analyst

ROUND 1

  1. David Johnson, Cardinals (RB1) - Ciely
    1. Le'Veon Bell, Steelers (RB2) - Ingel
    2. Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys (RB3) - Koh
    3. Antonio Brown, Steelers (WR1) - Money
    4. Julio Jones, Falcons (WR2) - Wilk
    5. Jordan Howard, Bears (RB4) - Frelund
    6. Odell Beckham Jr., Giants (WR3) - Gelhar
    7. Mike Evans, Buccaneers (WR4) - Grant
    8. Melvin Gordon, Chargers (RB5) - Franchise
    9. LeSean McCoy, Bills (RB6) - Rank
    10. A.J. Green, Bengals (WR5)- Fish
    11. DeMarco Murray, Titans (RB7)- Fabiano

Round 1 is filled with the usual suspects, though Cynthia mixed things up early with Jordan Howard at sixth overall, haters be damned. If he builds on last year's success she'll make us all look like fools. However, I feel plenty are concerned Howard could fall into the Todd Gurley trap from 2016, of being a workhorse on an epically bad offense. Other than that, this was a pretty standard first round, which should surprise no one.

Favorite pick: It's the first round, come on
Biggest surprise: See above.

ROUND 2

  1. Jordy Nelson, Packers (WR6) - Fabiano
    1. Jay Ajayi, Dolphins (RB8) - Fish
    2. Michael Thomas, Saints (WR7) - Rank
    3. Devonta Freeman, Falcons (RB9) - Franchise
    4. T.Y. Hilton, Colts (WR8) - Grant
    5. Dez Bryant, Cowboys (WR9) - Gelhar
    6. DeAndre Hopkins, Texans (WR10) - Frelund
    7. Christian McCaffrey, Panthers (RB10) - Wilk
    8. Lamar Miller, Texans (RB11) - Money
    9. Leonard Fournette, Jaguars (RB12) - Koh
    10. Doug Baldwin, Seahawks (WR11)- Ingel
    11. Marshawn Lynch, Raiders (RB13) - Ciely

This is the second straight staff mock we've done where Jordy Nelson went as the WR6, and I'm still not comfortable with it. As I wrote last time, his scoring potential is evident as he'll continue catching passes from Aaron Rodgers, but it's worth wondering if he slows down another step in his age-32 season or if Randall Cobb/Martellus Bennett eat into his workload -- especially in the red-zone where he saw a league-leading 29 targets. Aside from Wilk jumping on Run CMC (Christian McCaffrey) a bit early, this second round was pretty much chalk.

Favorite pick:Doug Baldwin, 23rd overall
Biggest surprise:Christian McCaffrey, 20th overall

ROUND 3

  1. Davante Adams, Packers (WR12) - Ciely
    1. Isaiah Crowell, Browns (RB14) - Ingel
    2. Terrelle Pryor, Redskins (WR13) - Koh
    3. Keenan Allen, Chargers (WR14) - Money
    4. Amari Cooper, Raiders (WR15) - Wilk
    5. Tyreek Hill, Chiefs (WR16) - Frelund
    6. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots (TE1) - Gelhar
    7. Alshon Jeffery, Eagles (WR17) - Grant
    8. Allen Robinson, Jaguars (WR18) - Franchise
    9. Brandin Cooks, Patriots (WR19) - Rank
    10. Todd Gurley, Rams (RB15) - Fish
    11. Demaryius Thomas, Broncos (WR20) - Fabiano

This round started off with a bang when Ciely took Davante Adams as the WR12! He truly believes Adams is a lock for double-digit touchdowns again, and if that's where his mind is I understand the pick. Only two wideouts with double-digit touchdowns have finished outside the top 24 in the last four years -- Ted Ginn in 2014 and Jericho Cotchery in 2013. Wide receivers went in a flurry this round. Tyreek Hill's ADP shot up following the release of Jeremy Maclin, as Cynthia made him a top-20 wideout (WR16 to be exact). I couldn't pass up Gronk in the middle of the round, even though Todd Gurley was tempting to start filling out my running back corps. Still, a healthy Gronk is a weekly advantage in my favor, so I had to take the risk.

Favorite pick:Allen Robinson, 33rd overall
Biggest surprise:Davante Adams, 25th overall

ROUND 4

  1. Carlos Hyde, 49ers (RB16) - Fabiano
    1. Michael Crabtree, Raiders (WR21) - Fish
    2. Pierre Garcon, 49ers (WR22) - Rank
    3. Stefon Diggs, Vikings (WR23) - Franchise
    4. Jarvis Landry, Dolphins (WR24) - Grant
    5. Spencer Ware, Chiefs (RB17) - Gelhar
    6. Dalvin Cook, Vikings (RB18) - Frelund
    7. Jordan Reed, Redskins (TE2) - Wilk
    8. DeSean Jackson, Buccaneers (WR25) - Money
    9. Donte Moncrief, Colts (WR26) - Koh
    10. Joe Mixon, Bengals (RB19) - Ingel
    11. Sammy Watkins, Bills (WR27) - Ciely

It's funny how much which round you're in can impact your perception on players. Rounds 2 and 3 feel like a damn tilt-a-whirl, as you don't feel great about picking many of the players in that range. But here, suddenly that starts to turn. Sammy Watkins at 48th overall? Absolutely. Joe Mixon, Donte Moncrief, Spencer Ware, Stefon Diggs, Carlos Hyde, Michael Crabtree? Gimme gimme gimme.

Favorite pick:DeSean Jackson, 45th overall
Biggest surprise:Pierre Garcon, 39th overall

ROUND 5

  1. Bilal Powell, Jets (RB20) - Ciely
    1. Golden Tate, Lions (WR28) - Ingel
    2. Ty Montgomery, Packers (RB21) - Koh
    3. Paul Perkins, Giants (RB22) - Money
    4. Frank Gore, Colts (RB23) - Wilk
    5. Greg Olsen, Panthers (TE3) - Frelund
    6. C.J. Anderson, Broncos (RB24) - Gelhar
    7. LeGarrette Blount, Eagles (RB25) - Grant
    8. Julian Edelman, Patriots (WR29) - Franchise
    9. Samaje Perine, Redskins (RB26) - Rank
    10. Travis Kelce, Chiefs (TE4) - Fish
    11. Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos (WR30) - Fabiano

I really don't have any complaints with this round. Franchise taking Julian Edelman was a bit of a surprise considering he threw dirt on Edelman's fantasy grave last year as part of the Fantasy Hipsters. Otherwise, the value is pretty great across the entire round. Except maybe Bilal Powell. I'm still not sure what happened to Ciely with that Powell pick this early. Perhaps he sneezed and hit the keyboard on accident. The world will never know (I mean, I could ask him, but I like the idea of this mystery instead).

Favorite pick:Travis Kelce, 59th overall
Biggest surprise:Bilal Powell, 49th overall

ROUND 6

  1. Mark Ingram, Saints (RB27) - Fabiano
    1. Martavis Bryant, Steelers (WR31) - Fish
    2. Aaron Rodgers, Packers (QB1) - Rank
    3. Mike Gillislee, Patriots (RB28) - Franchise
    4. Eddie Lacy, Seahawks (RB29) - Grant
    5. Ameer Abdullah, Lions (RB30) - Gelhar
    6. C.J. Prosise, Seahawks (RB31) - Frelund
    7. Brandon Marshall, Giants (WR32) - Wilk
    8. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers (RB32) - Money
    9. Willie Snead, Saints (WR33) - Koh
    10. Jimmy Graham, Seahawks (TE5) - Ingel
    11. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals (WR34) - Ciely

Let's address the GOAT in the room. Aaron Rodgers went way too late. This is an analyst draft, but the sixth round? It became a bit of a joke in the chat too, as people were basically playing chicken with who would buckle first. Scott debated it right before Rank pulled the trigger. Marcas and I each said we'd have taken him if he fell to us as well. Unless you're drafting in a league full of analysts, don't expect the Green Bay signal-caller to hang around this long. He's pretty much the surest thing in the game -- in nine years as a starter, he's finished as the QB1 or QB2 seven times. The two other seasons were 2013, where he broke his collarbone and missed seven games, and 2015, where the sky was falling on his offense ... and he still finished as the QB7.

Favorite pick:Willie Snead, 70th overall
Biggest surprise:C.J. Prosise, 67th overall

ROUND 7

  1. Tom Brady, Patriots (QB2) - Ciely
    1. Adrian Peterson, Saints (RB33) - Ingel
    2. Corey Coleman, Browns (WR35) - Koh
    3. Corey Davis, Titans (WR36) - Money
    4. Derrick Henry, Titans (RB34) - Wilk
    5. Theo Riddick, Lions (RB35) - Frelund
    6. Andrew Luck, Colts (QB3) - Gelhar
    7. Tevin Coleman, Falcons (RB36) - Grant
    8. Jamison Crowder, Redskins (WR37) - Franchise
    9. Cameron Meredith, Bears (WR38) - Rank
    10. DeVante Parker, Dolphins (WR39) - Fish
    11. Drew Brees, Saints (QB4) - Fabiano

While this was a draft full of sharps and people who spend way too much time analyzing football and fantasy drafts, the quarterback value in this round is INSANE. James Koh was chirping in the draft chat to change quarterback scoring so this type of thing doesn't happen. James has some really great ideas about how to change QB scoring to appropriately reflect the importance of the position. You should read his ideas here, and bring them up to your league.

Favorite pick:Drew Brees, 84th overall
Biggest surprise:Corey Coleman, 75th overall (this isn't too high for Coleman, but Kenny Britt went three rounds later. That feels like the better value/player to chase in drafts.)

ROUND 8

  1. Delanie Walker, Titans (TE6) - Fabiano
    1. Danny Woodhead, Ravens (RB37) - Fish
    2. Tyler Eifert, Bengals (TE7) - Rank
    3. Marcus Mariota, Titans (QB5) - Franchise
    4. Doug Martin, Buccaneers (RB38) - Grant
    5. John Brown, Cardinals (WR40) - Gelhar
    6. Cam Newton, Panthers (QB6) - Frelund
    7. Matt Ryan, Falcons (QB7) - Wilk
    8. Hunter Henry, Chargers (TE8) - Money
    9. Martellus Bennett, Packers (TE9) - Koh
    10. Kelvin Benjamin, Panthers (WR41) - Ingel
    11. Kyle Rudolph, Vikings (TE10) - Ciely

Round 8 turned into the tight end run, as five of them went in this round. That's the most I've seen in a while. Personally, I love all of the picks though. Walker is the safe bet, Eifert and Rudolph should be touchdown monsters at worst, while Henry and Bennett have massive upside but a bit more risk. Marcas probably made the steal of the round with Doug Martin though. He's going to be a player to watch closely in drafts. There's plenty to worry about with his three-game suspension and recent injury issues, but when healthy he's one of the better backs in the league (and fantasy). Franchise really shook things up making Mariota the QB5 in this draft, but he has high hopes for the youngster. It may have been facetious (it probably was), but he referred to Mariota as the "2017 QB1" in our draft chat. [Insert "eyes" emoji here.]

Favorite pick: DANNY WOODHEAD OBVIOUSLY, 86th overall
Biggest surprise:Doug Martin, 89th overall

ROUND 9

  1. Jamaal Williams, Packers (RB39) - Ciely
    1. Eric Decker, free agent (WR42) - Ingel
    2. Zay Jones, Bills (WR43) - Koh
    3. Jeremy Hill, Bengals (RB40) - Money
    4. Sterling Shepard, Giants (WR44) - Wilk
    5. ArDarius Stewart, Jets (WR45) - Frelund
    6. Mike Wallace, Ravens (WR46) - Gelhar
    7. Rishard Matthews, Titans (WR47) - Grant
    8. Rob Kelley, Redskins (RB41) - Franchise
    9. Duke Johnson, Browns (RB42) - Rank
    10. Kareem Hunt, Chiefs (RB43) - Fish
    11. Kenneth Dixon, Ravens (RB44) - Fabiano

This round was a weird one for me. I know Ciely is a HUGE fan of Jamaal Williams, so he'll explain his pick below. But Zay Jones and ArDarius Stewart before Mike Wallace and Rishard Matthews puzzled me. I'm not throwing dirt on Spencer Ware's fantasy grave just yet, so I'll probably be avoiding Kareem Hunt at this asking price all summer long. Ditto for Kenneth Dixon. If I'm burning a bench spot on a player for four weeks, I better be damn sure he's the starter when he comes back. This applies to Doug Martin, but Dixon will have to beat out Danny Woodhead and Terrance West ... two players who are arguably better than him right now. That's a tough pill to swallow for me.

Here's Ciely on his Williams pick: Jamaal Williams is this year's Jordan Howard; it's as simple as that. I'm a Ty Montgomery fan, but Williams has the ability to be a backfield-leader and handle 20-plus touches and goal-line work. Williams has Madden-button moves and true three-down ability. It may take a few weeks to seize the lead role, but once he does, Williams will be a top-15 running back.

Favorite pick:Mike Wallace, 103rd overall (I'm tooting my own horn, deal with it)
Biggest surprise:Sterling Shepard, 101st overall

ROUND 10

  1. Kenny Britt, Browns (WR48) - Fabiano
    1. Adam Thielen, Vikings (WR49) - Fish
    2. Will Fuller, Texans (WR50) - Rank
    3. Alvin Kamara, Saints (RB45) - Franchise
    4. Jeremy Maclin, free agent (WR51) - Grant
    5. Terrance West, Ravens (RB46) - Gelhar
    6. Curtis Samuel, Panthers (WR52) - Frelund
    7. Darren Sproles, Eagles (RB47) - Wilk
    8. Joe Williams, 49ers (RB48) - Money
    9. D'Onta Foreman, Texans (RB49) - Koh
    10. Randall Cobb, Packers (WR53) - Ingel
    11. Kevin White, Bears (WR54) - Ciely

Randall Cobb is turning into an insane value at this point in the fantasy season. Yes, his numbers have been pedestrian the last two years, but he's also battled injuries in both campaigns. The team has said they want to get him more involved this year, and his quarterback is Aaron Rodgers. If Jordy Nelson or Davante Adams take a step back, Cobb could easily jump back into the fold as a more primary target. His upside is immense for the 10th round of a 12-team draft. I was also ecstatic to nab Terrance West here. For more on why I'm high on West, check out my recent piece on underrated offenses.

Favorite pick:Randall Cobb, 119th overall
Biggest surprise:D'Onta Foreman, 118th overall

ROUND 11

  1. Tyrell Williams, Chargers (WR55) - Ciely
    1. Eric Ebron, Lions (TE11) - Ingel
    2. Kirk Cousins, Redskins (QB8) - Koh
    3. Russell Wilson, Seahawks (QB9) - Money
    4. Mike Williams, Chargers (WR56) - Wilk
    5. John Ross, Bengals (WR57) - Frelund
    6. Marvin Jones, Lions (WR58) - Gelhar
    7. Latavius Murray, Vikings (RB50) - Grant
    8. Jack Doyle, Colts (TE12) - Franchise
    9. Quincy Enunwa, Jets (WR59) - Rank
    10. Breshad Perriman, Ravens (WR60) - Fish
    11. Jordan Matthews, Eagles (WR61) - Fabiano

While I'd probably take Quincy Enunwa and Marvin Jones over John Ross, I loved Frelund's pick here. It seems some are pigeon-holing Ross as a one-note deep threat, but he's much more than that and can be a difference-maker on short passes for the Bengals as well. He's a far better talent than Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd, and I expect him to put up solid numbers as a rookie. Both tight end picks were great in this round as well. I think Eric Ebron could be set for a breakout year with Anquan Boldin's 20-plus red-zone targets from last year now up for grabs, and of course, O'(Jack) Doyle rules.

Favorite pick:John Ross, 126nd overall
Biggest surprise:Russell Wilson, 124th overall (how did he last this long!?!) overall

ROUND 12

  1. James White, Patriots (RB51) - Fabiano
    1. Robert Woods, Rams (WR62) - Fish
    2. Jonathan Williams, Bills (RB52) - Rank
    3. Ted Ginn Jr., Saints (WR63) - Franchise
    4. Jameis Winston, Buccaneers (QB10) - Grant
    5. Kenny Stills, Dolphins (WR64) - Gelhar
    6. Julius Thomas, Dolphins (TE13) - Frelund
    7. O.J. Howard, Buccaneers (TE14) - Wilk
    8. Marlon Mack, Colts (RB53) - Money
    9. Rex Burkhead, Patriots (RB54) - Koh
    10. Dak Prescott, Cowboys (QB11) - Ingel
    11. Josh Doctson, Redskins (WR65) - Ciely

What a strange round. I'm a big fan of the wide receiver value here, with Robert Woods owning massive target potential, Ted Ginn filling in as the Saints' new deep threat, and Kenny Stills potentially beating out DeVante Parker as the Dolphins' No. 2 wideout. Marcas landing Jameis Winston this late is highway robbery. I'm not in love with the trio of picks that went O.J. Howard, Marlon Mack, and Rex Burkhead. Howard's long-term upside is immense, but he could be impeded in Year 1 by Cameron Brate. Mack is a homerun threat but needs to battle for touches with Robert Turbin and Christine Michael, and they're all behind future Hall of Famer Frank Gore. I'm a huge Burkhead fan, but that Patriots backfield ... yuck. I feel we're heading towards a season where four different Patriots backs have a handful of RB1 weeks ... but picking those weeks will be like finding a specific needle in a stack of needles.

Favorite pick:Jonathan Williams, 135th overall
Biggest surprise:O.J. Howard, 140th overall

ROUND 13

  1. Matt Forte, Jets (RB55) - Ciely
    1. Matthew Stafford, Lions (QB12) - Ingel
    2. Chris Conley, Chiefs (WR66) - Koh
    3. David Njoku, Browns (TE15) - Money
    4. Thomas Rawls, Seahawks (RB56) - Wilk
    5. Tajae Sharpe, Titans (WR67) - Frelund
    6. Jamaal Charles, Broncos (RB57) - Gelhar
    7. Evan Engram, Giants (TE16) - Grant
    8. DeAndre Washington, Raiders (RB58) - Franchise
    9. Jeremy McNichols, Buccaneers (RB59) - Rank
    10. Derek Carr, Raiders (QB13) - Fish
    11. Tavon Austin, Rams (WR68) - Fabiano

Favorite pick:Matt Forte, 145th overall (The Jets are punting on the 2017 season, but this was an oversight on our part for him to fall THIS far down in the draft.)
Biggest surprise:Tajae Sharpe, 150th overall

ROUND 14

  1. Giovani Bernard, Bengals (RB60) - Fabiano
    1. T.J. Yeldon, Jaguars (R61) - Fish
    2. Cooper Kupp, Rams (WR69) - Rank
    3. Branden Oliver, Chargers (RB62) - Franchise
    4. Cole Beasley, Cowboys (WR70) - Grant
    5. Zach Ertz, Eagles (TE17) - Gelhar
    6. Michael Floyd, Vikings (WR71) - Frelund
    7. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steelers (WR72) - Wilk
    8. Philip Rivers, Chargers (QB14) - Money
    9. Shane Vereen, Giants (RB63) - Koh
    10. Torrey Smith, Eagles (WR73) - Ingel
    11. James Conner, Steelers (RB64) - Ciely

Favorite pick:Branden Oliver, 160th overall
Biggest surprise:JuJu Smith-Schuster 164th overall

ROUND 15

  1. Devontae Booker, Broncos (RB65) - Ciely
    1. Kenny Golladay, Lions (WR74) - Ingel
    2. Chad Hansen, Jets (WR75) - Koh
    3. Younghoe Koo, Chargers (K1) - Money
    4. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers, (QB15) - Wilk
    5. Adam Shaheen, Bears (TE18) - Frelund
    6. Charles Sims (RB66) - Gelhar
    7. Tyrod Taylor, Bills (QB16) - Grant
    8. Tyler Lockett, Seahawks (WR76) - Franchise
    9. Justin Tucker, Ravens (K2) - Rank
    10. Kenyan Drake, Dolphins (RB67) - Fish
    11. Jacquizz Rodgers, Buccaneers (RB68) - Fabiano

Favorite pick:Tyrod Taylor, 176th overall
Biggest surprise:Younghoe Koo, 172nd overall

Things took a turn in Round 15 as everyone started having fun. James Koh declared his Chad Hansen pick (both went to Cal) the round prior, while Money, the new voice of the Los Angeles Chargers, dug up a player who is simply vying for a roster spot. We had fun, and so should you. It's early June after all. No need to take the 15th round of a fantasy mock draft -- or any mock draft -- all that seriously. Now is the time to test strategies, learn about your opponents and how the general populous values certain players. Live, learn, laugh, keep calm and keep mocking.

Hope you all enjoyed reading about our second staff mock draft. Tell us how wrong we all are in the comments below or on Twitter. Until next time.

-- Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexGelhar or "Like" his page on Facebook.

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