Skip to main content

One-man mock draft: DeMarco Murray a first-rounder?

Most of the top free agents have signed and the 2017 NFL Draft is now in the rearview mirror, so we have a much clearer picture when it comes to how NFL rosters are going to look this summer. With that said, now is the perfect time for another one-man, five-round mock draft for the upcoming fantasy football season. As you'll notice, there's been a whole lot of movement compared to the mock I filed back in late February. Read it. Love it. Hate it. Mock it. Enjoy it.

This mock draft is based on's standard 10-team leagues with a basic (non-PPR) scoring system that rewards four points for touchdown passes and six points for all other touchdowns scored.

Round 1

1. David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals: Johnson recorded 2,000-plus scrimmage yards and 20 total touchdowns last season, scoring more fantasy points than all but three quarterbacks. That's Marshall Faulk and LaDainian Tomlinson-level totals. He's the consensus No. 1 overall choice.

2. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers: Bell missed four games last season due to suspension/rest, but he still finished fourth in fantasy points among backs. Barring a setback in his return from a procedure to repair a core muscle, Bell will be a top-three overall choice in all drafts.

3. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys: Elliott was better than all but five fantasy quarterbacks as a rookie, rolling for 1,631 rushing yards and 16 total touchdowns. There's been talk that he could be more involved in the passing game next season, which would make him even more valuable.

4. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: Brown has posted 371 catches for 4,816 yards with 35 touchdowns over the last three years, and he's finished no worse than sixth in fantasy points among wideouts in four straight seasons. He's a durable dude too, missing just one game since 2013.

5. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons: Jones had some down weeks last season, but he also had the second-most top-10 weekly finishes among wideouts based on points. While the offense will look a bit different under offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, Jones will continue to produce in the stat sheets for owners.

6. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants: Last season, Beckham put up a career-best 101 catches with 1,300-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns for the third time in his three-year NFL career. I don't see his numbers dropping even with Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram in the offense.

7. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Evans was a targets machine (173) en route to a career season that included personal bests in receptions (96), yards (1,321) and touchdowns (tie, 12). Even with the addition of DeSean Jackson and rookie O.J. Howard, Evans is still a first-rounder.

8. LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills: McCoy ranked fourth in fantasy points among running backs last season, and he'll remain the offensive centerpiece under new head coach Sean McDermott. He'll also have less competition for backfield touches in the absence of Mike Gillislee (Patriots).

9. Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers: Gordon tied for fourth among runners in red-zone touches (57) and eighth in fantasy points in what was a breakout season. The Bolts didn't draft a running back but took three offensive linemen in the NFL draft, which is great news for Flash.

10. DeMarco Murray, RB, Tennessee Titans: Did you know that Murray has ranked no worse than seventh in fantasy points among runners three times in the last four years? He's underrated, both on the field and in fantasy circles, and should be considered a first-round choice in fantasy drafts.

Round 2

11. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: Green was on pace to finish fifth in fantasy points among wideouts before he went down with an injured hamstring last season, so don't let his finish (34th) fool you. The veteran out of Georgia remains a top-15 overall selection in all fantasy drafts.

12. Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears: Howard rushed for 100 yards seven times as a rookie (13 starts), and he did it on a team that had Matt Barkley as its leading passer! Mike Glennon should be considered an upgrade, right? There is "sophomore slump" potential, but I'm still all in.

13. Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers: The Comeback Player of the Year in fantasy football, Nelson posted 1,257 yards and a league-best 14 scores last season. He's now recorded a combined 27 touchdowns in his last 32 regular-season games, and his quarterback is the best in the league.

14. Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons: Freeman went from the top-scoring running back in fantasy football (2015) to sixth last season, but he scored just 13.3 fewer points in standard leagues. At 25 and heading into a contract year, Freeman should produce another solid campaign.

15. Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins: Ajayi put up career bests across the board last season, and he did it despite seeing seven or fewer carries in his first four games while behind Arian Foster on the depth chart. He also showed lots of grit on the gridiron, rushing for an NFL-high 783 yards after contact.

16. Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys: Bryant scored eight times in 13 games and finished in the top 10 in points at the position five times during what was an up and down season in the stat sheets. While he had more value with Tony Romo at the helm, Bryant is still a firm second-rounder.

17. Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams: Gurley was the biggest running back bust in fantasy football, but he's young at 22 and there's hope in the form of new coach and offensive mind Sean McVay. The Rams have also started to get better on the line, adding All-Pro OT Andrew Whitworth.

18. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts: Hilton led the league with 1,448 receiving yards, which is impressive when you consider the number of stud wideouts in the NFL. His lack of touchdowns (his career best is just seven) is what keeps Hilton from being picked higher in fantasy drafts.

19. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints: Thomas experienced a bump after the Saints traded Brandin Cooks to New England, a move that left 117 targets and a boatload of fantasy points up for grabs. He's in a very good position to equal or surpass his impressive rookie totals in 2017.

20. Brandin Cooks, WR, New England Patriots: Cooks' move to New England is mostly a lateral one, as he goes from Drew Brees to Tom Brady. The Patriots offense has more mouths to feed than the Saints, however, so a slight decrease in Cooks' overall fantasy production should be expected.

Round 3

21. Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars: The first rookie off the board in this mock, Fournette will be a featured back for the Jaguars right out of the gate. An explosive playmaker in college, he should find success even if the offensive line isn't considered close to elite.

22. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Oakland Raiders: He's back ... this time, in Silver & Black. There are pros and cons, but Beast Mode will be running in a productive offensive behind one of the better run-blocking lines in the league. Barring injuries, I'd project him to score eight-plus times.

23. Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots: Gronkowski is a beast when he's on the football field, but the big man has missed 24 games over the last five seasons including most of the 2016 campaign. Still, Gronk's potential in the stat sheets will be hard to overlook at this point.

24. Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans: Miller failed to meet expectations last season with just over 1,000 yards on the ground and six touchdowns. And while the addition of rookie D'Onta Foreman might put a dent in his carries a bit, I still see Miller as a viable No. 2 fantasy running back.

25. C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos: Anderson (knee) missed nine games last season, but he was on pace to finish with 197.7 points. That would have ranked him 11th among backs. He's a fine No. 2 option for fantasy fans, and I don't expect Jamaal Charles to be more than a complement.

26. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans: Nuk exploded in the faces of fantasy fans last season, but he's now considered a prime rebound candidate. Based on his talent, not to mention the trade of Brock Osweiler and addition of rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson, Hopkins is a top-30 pick.

27. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers: Some might think this is too high to take McCaffrey, but he has the all-around tools to make a real impact. He should see more touches than Jonathan Stewart, most notably in the passing game, and could post 1,200-plus scrimmage yards in 2017.

28. Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders: Cooper saw small increases in catches and yardage compared to his rookie season, but he scored just five times and finished in the top 10 in points among wideouts three times. His potential in a solid offense makes him well worth a look here, though.

29. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos: Thomas had a bad season in the stat sheets, and he still finished 19th in points among wideouts. With Mike McCoy back as the team's offensive coordinator, I like D.T. to rebound next season ... maybe not to an elite level, but he'll be a better pick.

30. Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers: Hyde just missed rushing for 1,000 yards a season ago, and he should benefit under new coach Kyle Shanahan in what is a contract year. Injuries are a concern, however, so consider Hyde one of the bigger risk-reward runners in all fantasy drafts.

Round 4

31. Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks: Baldwin's numbers dropped almost across the board compared to his 2015 totals, but he still finished 10th in points among all wideouts last season.
32. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles: Jeffery has the tools to be a top-10 fantasy wideout, but he needs to stay on the field. He will be motivated in what is another contract year.
33. Spencer Ware, RB, Kansas City Chiefs: Ware is the favorite to start for coach Andy Reid, but I'd be lying if I said his value didn't take a slight hit when the team added Kareem Hunt.
34. Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: Robinson was a major bust in fantasy circles a season ago, but his numbers did improve once Doug Marrone took over as the team's head coach.
35. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings traded up in the draft to land Cook, who should be considered the favorite to start ahead of vets Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon.
36. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers: I likely won't take a quarterback in the first four rounds because the position is deep, but I'd think about it if Rodgers were available here.
37. Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills: Watkins should be motivated to produce big stats in what is now a contract year, but he'll still slide in drafts because of his proneness to injuries.
38. Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns: The additions of Kevin Zeitler and J.C. Tretter to Cleveland's offensive line puts Crowell firmly on the No. 2 running back radar next season.
39. Terrelle Pryor, WR, Washington Redskins: With DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon gone, Pryor should see plenty of targets in an offense that loves to throw the ball under Jay Gruden.
40. Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins: Landry was a disappointment for a good part of last season, but he finished strong and will remain on the radar as a No. 2 fantasy wideout in drafts.

Round 5

41. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals backfield is crowded to be certain, but Mixon should pass Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard on the depth chart sooner rather than later.
42. Michael Crabtree, WR, Oakland Raiders: Crabtree's yardage totals don't pop off the stat board, but he's scored 17 touchdowns since 2015 and finished higher than Cooper last season.
43. Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos: Like Thomas, I think Sanders will have a much better season under McCoy than he did under Rick Dennison in 2016. He's in the WR2 conversation.
44. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots: How do you make Brady an even better fantasy quarterback? You give him Brandin Cooks to go along with a host of incumbent playmakers in the pass attack.
45. Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints: Ingram was a top-10 fantasy back last season, but the additions of Adrian Peterson and Alvin Kamara have dropped him to the bottom of the top 50.
46. Ty Montgomery, RB, Green Bay Packers: While I do think rookie Jamaal Williams could push him for touches, Montgomery appears to be the favorite to start for the Packers next season.
47. Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions: Tate has recorded 1,000-plus yards in two of his last three seasons and should be considered one of the better No. 3 wideouts in fantasy football.
48. Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers: Allen has missed a combined 23 games over the last two years due to injuries, so I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a lot of risk involved.
49. Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins: Reed was a disappointment a season ago, missing four games with injuries, but the talent is there in an offense that will put points on the board. He's well worth a gamble.
50. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints: Brees, 38, finished third in fantasy points among quarterbacks last season. He's ranked no worse than sixth at the position since 2009. Impressive.

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 _**@MichaelFabiano**_ or send a question via **Facebook**!

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.