Final fantasy football analyst PPR mock draft of 2017

The NFL season is almost here and I couldn't be more excited. As a fantasy writer, when you reach this point in the year you're fresh out of takes. You've looked at the numbers and rosters too many times. You've spent so many hours on NFL Game Pass that the program actually told you to go outside and interact with other humans. But it all was building towards something. The sweet, sweet release of the kickoff of the NFL, and fantasy football season.

However, before we close the curtain on the offseason and fantasy draft preparation in general, we at NFL Fantasy wanted to conclude one final mock draft. Given the level of intensity around the office as the season comes knocking, I was only able to round up 10 analysts to perform this PPR mock draft. However, that didn't lessen the quality of the mock, and with recent injuries to players like Julian Edelman, Spencer Ware, and Cameron Meredith, there is plenty to learn from this exercise.

The PPR scoring, 10-team, 15-round mock draft consists of our best analysts, writers and producers from NFL Fantasy LIVE/NFL.com, as well as special guests Bob Harris (footballdiehards.com) and Jake Ciely (Roto Experts). 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.

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

Draft order

  1. Chris Hayre (@ChrisHayre) Producer, NFL Fantasy LIVE podcast
    1. James Koh (@JamesDKoh) - NFL Fantasy LIVE host
    2. Matt "Franchise" Franciscovich (@MattFranchise) - NFL Fantasy Associate Writer/Editor
    3. Matt Harmon (@MattHarmon_BYB) - NFL Fantasy Associate Writer/Editor
    4. Michael Fabiano (@Michael_Fabiano)- NFL Senior Fantasy Analyst
    5. Marcas Grant (@DMilner13) - NFL Fantasy Writer/Editor
    6. Bob Harris (@FootballDiehard) - Football Diehards Senior Editor
    7. Alex Gelhar (@AlexGelhar)- NFL Fantasy Writer/Editor
    8. Cynthia Frelund (@cfrelund) - NFL Fantasy LIVE analytics expert
    9. Jake Ciely (@allinkid) - RotoExperts & FNTSY Senior Writer

ROUND 1

  1. David Johnson, Cardinals (RB1) - Hayre
    1. Le'Veon Bell, Steelers (RB2) - Koh
    2. Antonio Brown, Steelers (WR1)- Franchise
    3. Odell Beckham Jr., Giants (WR2) - Harmon
    4. Julio Jones, Falcons (WR3) - Fabiano
    5. Mike Evans, Buccaneers (WR4) - Grant
    6. Melvin Gordon, Chargers (RB3) - Harris
    7. A.J. Green, Bengals (WR5) - Gelhar
    8. Jordan Howard, Bears (RB4) - Frelund
    9. LeSean McCoy, Bills (RB5) - Ciely

Nothing should surprise anyone with this first round. Moving on.

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

ROUND 2

  1. Michael Thomas, Saints (WR6) - Ciely
    1. Brandin Cooks, Patriots (WR7) - Frelund
    2. Jordy Nelson, Packers (WR8) - Gelhar
    3. Jay Ajayi, Dolphins (RB6) - Harris
    4. Doug Baldwin, Seahawks (WR9) - Grant
    5. Devonta Freeman, Falcons (RB7) - Fabiano
    6. Dez Bryant, Cowboys (WR10) - Harmon
    7. Todd Gurley, Rams (RB8) - Franchise
    8. Kareem Hunt, Chiefs (RB9) - Koh
    9. Keenan Allen, Chargers (WR11) - Hayre

James taking Kareem Hunt 19th overall drew some "oohs" in the draft room, but Hunt's ceiling in an Andy Reid offense is as top-12 RB. He'll catch plenty of passes too. New NFL Fantasy LIVE podcast producer Chris Hayre also works for the Chargers, so perhaps there's a bit of a bias coming with his Keenan Allen pick at the end of the round. However, I liked the pick, as Allen and Philip Rivers already appear to be in mid-season form, and Allen will be a PPR monster if he stays healthy.

Favorite pick:Doug Baldwin, 15th overall
Biggest surprise:Kareem Hunt, 19th overall

ROUND 3

  1. Amari Cooper, Raiders (WR12) - Hayre
    1. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots (TE1) - Koh
    2. Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys (RB10) - Franchise
    3. DeMarco Murray, Titans (RB11) - Harmon
    4. T.Y. Hilton, Colts (WR13) - Fabiano
    5. Christian McCaffrey, Panthers (RB12) - Grant
    6. Jordan Reed, Redskins (TE2) - Harris
    7. Demaryius Thomas, Broncos (WR14) - Gelhar
    8. Jarvis Landry, Dolphins (WR15) - Frelund
    9. Dalvin Cook, Vikings (RB13) - Ciely

Ezekiel Elliott falling to 23rd overall is probably about as far as he'll go in drafts until his suspension situation receives some clarity. We all love T.Y. Hilton, but trying to figure out where to draft him right now given Andrew Luck's status is a fool's errand. Fabiano didn't reach here for him, but man, that's just a hard pill to swallow if Scott Tolzien ends up starting several games.

I was thrilled to land Demaryius Thomas as my third wideout. Trevor Siemian will be able to keep this offense afloat, and Thomas should easily eclipse 1,000 yards with several touchdowns. This is a PPR league which is where Jarvis Landry dominates, but Jay Cutler under center could shift things in Miami a bit. Cutty has already shown a penchant for hurling passes DeVante Parker's way, and if Landry loses some of his heretofore elite volume, his value will take a hit in PPR too.

Favorite pick:Rob Gronkowski, 22nd overall
Biggest surprise:Jordan Reed, 27th overall

ROUND 4

  1. DeAndre Hopkins, Texans (WR16) - Ciely
    1. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals (WR17) - Frelund
    2. Carlos Hyde, 49ers (RB14) - Gelhar
    3. Alshon Jeffery, Eagles (WR18) - Harris
    4. Isaiah Crowell, Browns (RB15) - Grant
    5. Leonard Fournette, Jaguars (RB16) - Fabiano
    6. Allen Robinson, Jaguars (WR19) - Harmon
    7. Stefon Diggs, Vikings (WR20) - Franchise
    8. Aaron Rodgers, Packers (QB1) - Koh
    9. Travis Kelce, Chiefs (TE3) - Hayre

I expected Travis Kelce to go a bit higher considering this is a PPR league and he should lead the Chiefs in targets and receptions this year, but what do I really know? The high-volume wideouts in this round all make sense, though it does worry me a bit that Blake Bortles could torpedo another Allen Robinson fantasy season. I was taking some flack for Carlos Hyde on Twitter, but here's the thing: He's going to be very good this year. Kyle Shanahan's offenses have a history of boosting running back production, and Hyde looks to be in great shape. I'll happily take him all day as my RB1 in the fourth round.

Favorite pick:Travis Kelce, 40th overall
Biggest surprise:Leonard Fournette, 36th overall

ROUND 5

  1. Joe Mixon, Bengals (RB17) - Hayre
    1. Terrelle Pryor, Redskins (WR21) - Koh
    2. Michael Crabtree, Raiders (WR22) - Franchise
    3. Tyreek Hill, Chiefs (WR23) - Harmon
    4. Lamar Miller, Texans (RB18) - Fabiano
    5. Bilal Powell, Jets (RB19) - Grant
    6. Ty Montgomery, Packers (RB20) - Harris
    7. Martavis Bryant, Steelers (WR24) - Gelhar
    8. Greg Olsen, Panthers (TE4) - Frelund
    9. Marshawn Lynch, Raiders (RB21) - Ciely

I want to believe in Bilal Powell's fantasy upside, but I can't get in on taking him as a top-20 running back right now as the Jets might struggle to score 20 offensive touchdowns all year. Joe Mixon's stock is falling now that the Bengals backfield appears to be headed towards a true committee, and if we played this league out Hayre might end up regretting jumping on Mixon where he did. Of course, when you pick at the turn you need to go after your guys, and if Mixon is someone Hayre wanted I respect the move. I'm no longer speaking to Bob Harris after he sniped Ty Montgomery from me, even though this is a mock.

Favorite pick:Ty Montgomery, 48th overall
Biggest surprise:Joe Mixon, 41st overall

ROUND 6

  1. Golden Tate, Lions (WR25) - Ciely
    1. Ameer Abdullah, Lions (RB22) - Frelund
    2. Danny Woodhead, Ravens (RB23) - Gelhar
    3. Kelvin Benjamin, Panthers (WR26) - Harris
    4. Jamison Crowder, Redskins (WR27) - Grant
    5. Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos (WR28) - Fabiano
    6. Jimmy Graham, Seahawks (TE5) - Harmon
    7. Tom Brady, Patriots (QB2) - Franchise
    8. Sammy Watkins, Rams (WR29) - Koh
    9. Pierre Garcon, 49ers (WR30) - Hayre

While I lost out on Montgomery, Danny Woodhead was a helluva nice consolation prize. Baltimore is one of the top teams in the league in terms of targeting running backs in the passing game, and Woodhead will be a fixture in the red zone offense as well. He has RB1 upside in PPR formats, save me your @s.

Love Harmon grabbing Jimmy Graham here. We're both extremely high on the Seahawks passing attack this year, and jumping on Graham now could pay huge dividends down the line. 80-plus catches isn't an unrealistic projection.

Favorite pick: DANNY WOODHEAD OBVIOUSLY, 53rd overall
Biggest surprise:Sammy Watkins, 59th overall

ROUND 7

  1. Doug Martin, Buccaneers (RB24) - Hayre
    1. Willie Snead, Saints (WR31) - Koh
    2. Davante Adams, Packers (WR32) - Franchise
    3. Drew Brees, Saints (QB3) - Harmon
    4. C.J. Anderson, Broncos (RB25) - Fabiano
    5. DeSean Jackson, Buccaneers (WR33) - Grant
    6. John Brown, Cardinals (WR34) - Harris
    7. Frank Gore, Colts (RB26) - Gelhar
    8. Jeremy Maclin, Ravens (WR35) - Frelund
    9. Tyler Eifert, Bengals (TE6) - Ciely

Koh asked the question in the draft lobby if anyone is ever excited to draft Frank Gore. I wasn't, but I was happy to have him on my team as a rotational/flex back. He should produce unless Andrew Luck misses the entire year and the Colts offense devolves into a complete dumpster fire.

I loved Cynthia's pick of Jeremy Maclin here in this PPR format. There are roughly 1 billion targets available from last year in the Baltimore offense (you don't need to check that math, trust me) and Maclin profiles as a target hog. Tyler Eifert was a nice find by Ciely as well, as he should be healthy to start the year and could threaten double-digit touchdowns.

Favorite pick:Jeremy Maclin, 69th overall
Biggest surprise:DeSean Jackson, 66th overall

ROUND 8

  1. Matt Ryan, Falcons (QB4) - Ciely
    1. DeVante Parker, Dolphins (WR36) - Frelund
    2. Tevin Coleman, Falcons (RB27) - Gelhar
    3. Adam Thielen, Vikings (WR37) - Harris
    4. Eric Decker, Titans (WR38) - Grant
    5. Brandon Marshall, Giants (WR39) - Fabiano
    6. Tyrell Williams, Chargers (WR40) - Harmon
    7. Mark Ingram, Saints (RB28) - Franchise
    8. Corey Coleman, Browns (WR41) - Koh
    9. Cam Newton, Panthers (QB5) - Hayre

This could finally be the year DeVante Parker breaks out. The drum beat around his performance has been steady all offseason and he's shown an early connection with Cutler. Tyrell Williams was a nice find by Harmon here too. With rookie Mike Williams out for several weeks still, Tyrell Williams could surprise early. Adam Thielen's move to the slot could net him even more targets this year in Minnesota, so Harris could have found a gem.

Favorite pick:Tyrell Williams, 77th overall
Biggest surprise:Brandon Marshall, 76th overall

ROUND 9

  1. Theo Riddick, Lions (RB29) - Hayre
    1. Martellus Bennett, Packers (TE7) - Koh
    2. Mike Gillislee, Patriots (RB30) - Franchise
    3. Adrian Peterson, Saints (RB31) - Harmon
    4. Russell Wilson, Seahawks (QB6) - Fabiano
    5. Kenny Britt, Browns (WR42) - Grant
    6. Rishard Matthews, Dolphins (WR43) - Harris
    7. Donte Moncrief, Colts (WR44) - Gelhar
    8. Kirk Cousins, Redskins (QB7) - Frelund
    9. Terrance West, Ravens (RB32) - Ciely

While the sky could be falling on the Colts offense, it's crazy that Donte Moncrief is falling into the WR40 range. I'll take his upside there all day every day. Russell Wilson also continues to fall farther than I'd expect, though as I said earlier, I'm extremely high on the Seahawks passing game this year. Don't sleep on Terrance West in standard or PPR, by the way. He's going to start for the Ravens and should catch plenty of passes as well.

Favorite pick:Russell Wilson, 85th overall
Biggest surprise:Rishard Matthews, 87th overall

ROUND 10

  1. Kevin White, Bears (WR45) - Ciely
    1. Zay Jones, Bills (WR46) - Frelund
    2. Kyle Rudolph, Vikings (TE8) - Gelhar
    3. Duke Johnson, Browns (RB33) - Harris
    4. Jameis Winston, Buccaneers (QB8) - Grant
    5. Delanie Walker, Titans (TE9) - Fabiano
    6. Derrick Henry, Titans (RB34) - Harmon
    7. Hunter Henry, Chargers (TE10) - Franchise
    8. James White, Patriots (RB35) - Koh
    9. Darren Sproles, Eagles (RB36) - Hayre

Favorite pick:Duke Johnson, 94th overall
Biggest surprise:Taylor Gabriel, 117th overall

ROUND 11

  1. Sterling Shepard, Giants (WR47) - Hayre
    1. Jamaal Charles, Broncos (RB37) - Koh
    2. Corey Davis, Titans (WR48) - Franchise
    3. Rex Burkhead, Patriots (RB38) - Harmon
    4. Paul Perkins, Giants (RB39) - Fabiano
    5. Mike Wallace, Ravens (WR49) - Grant
    6. Eric Ebron, Lions (TE11) - Harris
    7. Eddie Lacy, Seahawks (RB40) - Gelhar
    8. Josh Doctson, Redskins (WR50) - Frelund
    9. Jamaal Williams, Packers (RB41) - Ciely

Favorite pick:Eric Ebron, 107th overall
Biggest surprise:Eddie Lacy, 108th overall (Yes, I was surprised by my own pick)

ROUND 12

  1. Jordan Matthews, Bills (WR51) - Ciely
    1. Alvin Kamara, Saints (RB42) - Frelund
    2. Marcus Mariota, Titans (QB9) - Gelhar
    3. Ted Ginn, Saints (WR52) - Harris
    4. Wendell Smallwood, Eagles (RB43) - Grant
    5. Randall Cobb, Packers (WR53) - Fabiano
    6. Thomas Rawls, Seahawks (RB44) - Harmon
    7. Cooper Kupp, Rams (WR54) - Franchise
    8. Samaje Perine, Redskins (RB45) - Koh
    9. Matt Forte, Jets (RB46) - Hayre

Favorite pick:Cooper Kupp, 118th overall
Biggest surprise:Samaje Perine, 119th overall (James just can't quit Perine)

ROUND 13

  1. Rob Kelley, Redskins (RB47) - Hayre
    1. Marvin Jones, Lions (WR55) - Koh
    2. Jeremy Hill, Bengals (RB48) - Franchise
    3. Chris Hogan, Patriots (WR56) - Harmon
    4. Darren McFadden, Cowboys (RB49) - Fabiano
    5. Marlon Mack, Colts (RB50) - Grant
    6. Andy Dalton, Bengals (QB10) - Harris
    7. Giovani Bernard, Bengals (RB51) - Gelhar
    8. Taylor Gabriel, Falcons (WR57) - Frelund
    9. Denver Broncos D/ST (DEF1) - Ciely

Favorite pick:Rob Kelley, 121st overall
Biggest surprise:Marlon Mack, 126th overall

ROUND 14

  1. Robby Anderson, Jets (WR58) - Ciely
    1. Kansas City Chiefs D/ST (DEF2) - Frelund
    2. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers (RB52) - Gelhar
    3. Andrew Luck, Colts (QB11) - Harris
    4. Cameron Brate, Buccaneers (TE12) - Grant
    5. Dak Prescott, Cowboys (QB12) - Fabiano
    6. DeAndre Washington, Raiders (RB53) - Harmon
    7. Justin Tucker, Ravens (K1) - Franchise
    8. D'Onta Foreman, Texans (RB54) - Koh
    9. Cole Beasley, Cowboys (WR59) - Hayre

Favorite pick:Cameron Brate, 135th overall
Biggest surprise:Justin Tucker, 138th overall

ROUND 15

  1. Jack Doyle, Colts (TE13) - Hayre
    1. Chad Hansen, Jets (WR60) - Koh
    2. Pittsburgh Steelers D/ST (DEF3) - Franchise
    3. Tyler Lockett, Seahawks (WR61) - Harmon
    4. Zach Ertz, Eagles (TE14) - Fabiano
    5. C.J. Prosise, Seahawks (RB55) - Grant
    6. Marqise Lee, Jaguars (WR62) - Harris
    7. Paul Richardson, Seahawks (WR63) - Gelhar
    8. Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots (K2) - Frelund
    9. Jonathan Williams, Bills (RB56) - Ciely

Favorite pick:Jack Doyle, 141st overall
Biggest surprise:Chad Hansen, 142nd overall

Hope you all enjoyed reading about our final mock draft of the year. From here on out, it's all real ... fantasy football. And be sure to tell us how wrong we all are in the comments below or on Twitter. Until next time.

*-- Alex Gelhar is a fantasy writer/editor for NFL.com. Follow him on Twitter @AlexGelhar or on Facebook. *

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