Recap of the 2018 NFL Fantasy LIVE experts' draft

Another season and another season of the NFL Fantasy Live Experts' League. Adam Rank is back to defend his crown but there are nine challengers looking to get their name on the trophy this season. We held our draft on Monday, September 3. That means while you were enjoying your last fleeting bits of summer, we were here trying to put out great content for you.

But don't cry for us. After all, we're getting paid to do this. However, it does mean you all get to point and laugh at our drafts if you don't think we did all that well. So here's your chance. Below, you'll find the results of our 10-team, PPR draft. It features four points for passing touchdowns (six points for all other touchdowns) with two points for interceptions. Have at it. For a look at the full rosters, visit NFL.com/ExpertsLeague And let us know on Twitter (@NFLFantasy) who you think has the best squad.

Draft order

  1. Cynthia Frelund (@cfrelund), NFL analytics expert
    1. Marcas Grant (@MarcasG), NFL Fantasy Editor
    2. Elliot Harrison (@HarrisonNFL), NFL.com analyst
    3. Michael Fabiano (@Michael_Fabiano), NFL Senior Fantasy Analyst
    4. Matt "Money" Smith (@mattmoneysmith), NFL Fantasy Live host
    5. Maurice Jones-Drew (@MJD), NFL Network analyst
    6. Akbar Gbajabiamila (@Akbar_Gbaja), NFL Fantasy Live analyst
    7. Adam Rank (@adamrank), NFL.com writer
    8. Dave Dameshek (@Dameshek), NFL.com analyst
    9. Marc Istook (@MarcIstook), NFL Fantasy Live host

Round 1

  1. Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys (RB1) - Frelund
    1. Todd Gurley, Rams (RB2) - Grant
    2. David Johnson, Cardinals (RB3) - Harrison
    3. Le'Veon Bell, Steelers (RB4) - Fabiano
    4. Alvin Kamara, Saints (RB5) - Smith
    5. Antonio Brown, Steelers (WR1) - Jones-Drew
    6. Saquon Barkley, Giants (RB6) - Gbajabiamila
    7. Odell Beckham, Jr., Giants (WR2) - Rank
    8. Dalvin Cook, Vikings (RB7) - Dameshek
    9. Kareem Hunt, Chiefs (RB8) - Istook

The first round was pretty chalky. No surprise there. Ezekiel Elliott had recently been slipping among the top four but Cynthia still went with him at 1.01. That's also not a major surprise considering she did the same thing in one of our mock drafts over the summer. The only eye-opener was Dameshek taking Dalvin Cook near the end of the round.

Round 2

  1. DeAndre Hopkins, Texans (WR3) - Istook
    1. Leonard Fournette, Jaguars (RB9) - Dameshek
    2. Julio Jones, Falcons (WR4) - Rank
    3. Christian McCaffrey, Panthers (RB10) - Gbajabiamila
    4. Keenan Allen, Chargers (WR5) - Jones-Drew
    5. Melvin Gordon, Chargers (RB11) - Smith
    6. Michael Thomas, Saints (WR6) - Fabiano
    7. Devonta Freeman, Falcons (RB12) - Harrison
    8. Devante Adams, Packers (WR7) - Grant
    9. A.J. Green, Bengals (WR8) - Frelund

When Dameshek took Fournette on the return in this round, it took a lot of the heat off reaching for Dalvin Cook in the first round and gives him a strong 1-2 punch at running back. Melvin Gordon falling as far as he did was a surprise. Rank started about as strong as one could imagine at receiver by backing up his OBJ pick with Julio Jones. No one will have a stronger starting receiving duo in this league.

Round 3

  1. Jordan Howard, Bears (RB13) - Frelund
    1. Adam Thielen, Vikings (WR9) - Grant
    2. Tyreek Hill, Chiefs (WR10) - Harrison
    3. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots (TE1) - Fabiano
    4. Mike Evans, Buccaneers (WR11) - Smith
    5. LeSean McCoy, Bills (RB14) - Jones-Drew
    6. Stefon Diggs, Vikings (WR12) - Gbajabiamila
    7. T.Y. Hilton, Colts (WR13) - Rank
    8. Zach Ertz, Eagles (TE2) - Dameshek
    9. Travis Kelce, Chiefs (TE3) - Istook

This is where things got interesting. Cynthia made a universally great selection with Jordan Howard at the top of the round. Fabiano played against type by drafting a tight end in the third round -- even if that tight end was Gronk. After going WR-WR to start, it seemed certain that Rank would draft a running back, right? Wrong. It was capped by Dameshek taking Zach Ertz while Travis Kelce was still on the board.

Round 4

  1. Joe Mixon, Bengals (RB15) - Istook
    1. Josh Gordon, Browns (WR14) - Dameshek
    2. Kenyan Drake, Dolphins (RB16) - Rank
    3. Jimmy Graham, Packers (TE4) - Gbajabiamila
    4. Alex Collins, Ravens (RB17) - Jones-Drew
    5. Aaron Rodgers, Packers (QB1) - Smith
    6. Royce Freeman, Broncos (RB18) - Fabiano
    7. Golden Tate, Lions (WR15) - Harrison
    8. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steelers (WR16) - Grant
    9. Doug Baldwin, Seahawks (WR17) - Frelund

The first quarterback finally came off the board in the fourth round. It's no surprise that it was Aaron Rodgers. It's also equally unsurprising that Money was the one who pulled the trigger. Rank finally drafted his first running back, taking a chance on Kenyan Drake to be the workhorse for the Dolphins. True to his word, Fabiano made sure to lock up Royce Freeman -- a player he's been unabashedly high on this season.

Round 5

  1. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals (WR18) - Frelund
    1. Dion Lewis, Titans (RB19) - Grant
    2. Greg Olsen, Panthers (TE5) - Harrison
    3. Allen Robinson, Bears (WR19) - Fabiano
    4. Amari Cooper, Raiders (WR20) - Smith
    5. Jarvis Landry, Browns (WR21) - Jones-Drew
    6. Derrick Henry, Titans (RB20) - Gbajabiamila
    7. Michael Crabtree, Ravens (WR22) - Rank
    8. Lamar Miller, Texans (RB21) - Dameshek
    9. Demaryius Thomas (WR23) - Istook

By this point in the draft, receivers are starting to get their due. Fitzgerald, Robinson, Cooper, Landry, Crabtree, and Thomas all figure to land somewhere within the WR2/3 conversation by the end of the season. Just in case you weren't keeping track ... Adam Rank drafted four receivers with his first five picks.

Round 6

  1. Deshaun Watson, Texans (QB2) - Istook
    1. Brandin Cooks, Rams (WR24) - Dameshek
    2. Chris Hogan, Patriots (WR25) - Rank
    3. Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos (WR26) - Gbajabiamila
    4. Marvin Jones, Lions (WR27) - Jones-Drew
    5. Marquise Goodwin, 49ers (WR28) - Smith
    6. Jay Ajayi, Eagles (RB22) - Fabiano
    7. Alshon Jeffery, Eagles (WR29) - Harrison
    8. Cooper Kupp, Rams (WR30) - Grant
    9. Drew Brees, Saints (QB3) - Frelund

Two quarterbacks in the round doesn't exactly qualify as a run unless it's in a league of professional fantasy football analysts. Money snagged a potential breakout player with Marquise Goodwin. Eliot may have panicked a little bit with his Alshon Jeffery pick. He can survive as long as he adds depth at the wide receiver spot elsewhere in the draft.

Round 7

  1. Corey Davis, Titans (WR31) - Frelund
    1. Mark Ingram, Saints (RB23) - Grant
    2. Tom Brady, Patriots (QB4) - Harrison
    3. Russell Wilson, Seahawks (QB5) - Fabiano
    4. Rex Burkhead, Patriots (RB24) - Smith
    5. Carlos Hyde, Browns (RB25) - Jones-Drew
    6. Rashaad Penny, Seahawks (RB26) - Gbajabiamila
    7. Chris Thompson, Redskins (RB27) - Rank
    8. Jamison Crowder, Redskins (WR32) - Dameshek
    9. Michael Gallup, Cowboys (WR33) - Istook

I took a chance on Mark Ingram early in the seventh, knowing that I had filled my top two running back spots and was set up well in the flex. That gives me the ability to wait out Ingram's four-game suspension. The biggest news in this round was when Mr. Michael "Wait On A Quarterback" Fabiano drafted a quarterback. Apparently Russell Wilson in the seventh round is too good to pass up.

Round 8

  1. Duke Johnson, Browns (RB28) - Istook
    1. Evan Engram, Giants (TE6) - Dameshek
    2. Jamaal Williams, Packers (RB29) - Rank
    3. Cam Newton, Panthers (QB6) - Gbajabiamila
    4. Will Fuller, Texans (WR34) - Jones-Drew
    5. Chris Carson, Seahawks (RB30) - Smith
    6. Robby Anderson, Jets (WR35) - Fabiano
    7. Kerryon Johnson, Lions (RB30) - Harrison
    8. Tevin Coleman, Falcons (RB31) - Grant
    9. Tarik Cohen, Bears (RB32) - Frelund

Nearly a full round after Rashaad Penny gets selected, Money draft Chris Carson. I'm not sure if that's because Akbar really believes in Penny or if it's a San Diego State thing. I'm going with the latter. God speed to Elliot as he takes a swing at a Lions backfield that's likely to be a fantasy headache all season. If Will Fuller stays healthy, he's a big play waiting to happen.

Round 9

  1. Jack Doyle, Colts (TE7) - Frelund
    1. Delanie Walker, Titans (TE8) - Grant
    2. James White, Patriots (RB33) - Harrison
    3. Randall Cobb, Packers (WR36) - Fabiano
    4. Trey Burton, Bears (TE9) - Smith
    5. Marshawn Lynch, Raiders (RB34) - Jones-Drew
    6. Sammy Watkins, Chiefs (WR37) - Gbajabiamila
    7. Matt Breida, 49ers (RB35) - Rank
    8. Isaiah Crowell, Jets (RB36) - Dameshek
    9. Devin Funchess, Panthers (WR38) - Istook

Round 9 featured a mini run on tight ends, including the indignity of Cynthia snaking Jack Doyle away from Money. Fantasy is a cold game. With Jerick McKinnon out for the season, Rank picked up a sneaky good option with Matt Breida. His draft is shaping up as a blueprint for anyone who might be thinking about following the Zero RB draft strategy in the future.

Round 10

  1. Robert Woods, Rams (WR39) - Istook
    1. Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs (QB7) - Dameshek
    2. Tyler Lockett, Seahawks (WR40) - Rank
    3. Jordy Nelson, Packers (WR41) - Gbajabiamila
    4. Julian Edelman, Patriots (WR42) - Jones-Drew
    5. Peyton Barber, Buccaneers (RB37) - Smith
    6. Sony Michel, Patriots (RB38) - Fabiano
    7. Pierre Garcon, 49ers (WR43) - Harrison
    8. Kenny Stills, Dolphins (WR44) - Grant 100. LeGarrette Blount, Lions (RB39) - Frelund

If you want proof of how deep the receiver position is, look no further than the 10th round of this draft. Woods, Lockett, Garcon and Stills all have potential to be productive. Even the Julian Edelman pick is a nice value option for MJD once he's back from his season-opening suspension.

Round 11

  1. John Brown, Ravens (WR45) - Frelund
    1. Kirk Cousins, Vikings (QB8) - Grant
    2. Alfred Morris, 49ers (RB40) - Harrison
    3. Nelson Agholor, Eagles (WR46) - Fabiano
    4. Mike Williams, Chargers (WR47) - Smith
    5. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers (QB9) - Jones-Drew
    6. John Ross, Bengals (WR48) - Gbajabiamila
    7. Sterling Shepard, Giants (WR49) - Rank
    8. Keelan Cole, Jaguars (WR50) - Dameshek
    9. Kenny Golladay, Lions (WR51) - Istook

Round 12

  1. Adrian Peterson, Redskins (RB41) - Istook
    1. Marlon Mack, Colts (RB42) - Dameshek
    2. Kyle Rudolph, Vikings (TE10) - Rank
    3. James Conner, Steelers (RB43) - Gbajabiamila
    4. David Njoku, Browns (TE11) - Jones-Drew
    5. Austin Ekeler, Chargers (RB44) - Smith
    6. Bilal Powell, Jets (RB45) - Fabiano
    7. Jaguars DST (DEF1) - Harrison
    8. D.J. Moore, Panthers (WR52) - Grant
    9. Calvin Ridley, Falcons (WR53) - Frelund

Round 13

  1. Danny Amendola, Dolphins (WR54) - Frelund
    1. Chris Godwin, Buccaneers (WR55) - Grant
    2. Jordan Reed, Redskins (TE12) - Harrison
    3. Aaron Jones, Packers (RB46) - Fabiano
    4. Chargers DST (DEF2) - Smith
    5. Rams DST (DEF3) - Jones-Drew
    6. Vikings DST (DEF4) - Gbajabiamila
    7. Anthony Miller, Bears (WR56) - Rank
    8. Matthew Stafford, Lions (QB10) - Dameshek
    9. Texans DST (DEF5) - Istook

Round 14

  1. Josh Doctson, Redskins (WR57) - Istook
    1. Eagles DST (DEF6) - Dameshek
    2. Bears DST (DEF7) - Rank
    3. Carson Wentz, Eagles (QB11) - Gbajabiamila
    4. Greg Zuerlein, Rams (PK1) - Jones-Drew
    5. Andrew Luck, Colts (QB12) - Smith
    6. Kelvin Benjamin, Bills (WR58) - Fabiano
    7. Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots (PK2) - Harrison
    8. Saints DST (DEF8) - Grant
    9. Justin Tucker, Ravens (PK3) - Frelund

Round 15

  1. Ravens DST (DEF9) - Frelund
    1. Wil Lutz, Saints (PK4) - Grant
    2. Chase Edmonds, Cardinals (RB47) - Harrison
    3. Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers (QB13) - Fabiano
    4. Matt Bryant, Falcons (PK5) - Smith
    5. Matt Ryan, Falcons (QB14) - Jones-Drew
    6. Jake Elliott, Eagles (PK6) - Gbajabiamila
    7. Philip Rivers, Chargers (QB15) - Rank
    8. Chris Boswell, Steelers (PK7) - Dameshek
    9. Matt Prater, Lions (PK8) - Istook

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com and a man who very well could have carpal tunnel before Week 1 even begins. Send him your tales of office cubicle misery via Twitter @MarcasG. If you read all of that, congrats. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (marcasg9).

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