The dream draft

August 11, 2018 - 12:55 pm
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The NFL season is 26 days away, and in that span, I'll have 11 fantasy football drafts. There's one Saturday -- 12 teams, pretty much your standard format -- then two Sunday -- one a dynasty startup, the other a 16-team battle royal.

I've been prepping for weeks, with mock drafts and best-ball leagues, with website articles and podcasts. I'm as ready as I'll ever be.

Some of you I'll be competing with, simultaneous friends and foes. While it might not be in my best interest to share my hopes and dreams for these drafts, out of unrelenting professional obligation I will do that with you here anyway.

I'll use Saturday's 12-team, 18-round PPR (point per-reception) draft as a framework. I have the third pick, and it's a snake draft with a third-round reversal. Here's what I'd consider about the best-case scenario:
 

  • Round 1 (3rd overall) - David Johnson

I'm not super-confident that Johnson is a better choice than Ezekiel Elliott, Alvin Kamara and Antonio Brown. But experts prefer Johnson for this spot more often than anyone else. This is assuming Todd Gurley and Le'Veon Bell go 1-2. Johnson has been a volume kingpin before, and even with a new coach and quarterback(s) in Arizona that's not expected to change.

  • Round 2 (22nd overall) - Christian McCaffrey

I'd love to get running backs in the first two rounds. That's because there seems to be a fairly steep dropoff at the position after Round 2. 22 is fortunate for McCaffrey, who stands to be a PPR beast for Carolina.

  • Round 3 (34th overall) - Golden Tate

Maybe T.Y. Hilton falls this far, but I doubt it. Doug Baldwin might be nice but I'm likely not chasing a guy who's already dealing with an injury. Zach Ertz and maybe Travis Kelce could be available here but I'm inclined to wait on the tight end.

  • Round 4 (39th overall) - Joe Mixon

I think there's good value at wide receiver in the next few rounds, so I don't mind taking a third running back here. I think Cincinnati's offense has a decent chance of being good.

  • Round 5 (58th overall) - Marquise Goodwin

The former Bill is in great position to be the top target on a promising 49ers team.

  • Round 6 (63rd overall) - Delanie Walker

I don't mind waiting on tight end but I do like Walker. Tight end is tough this year.

  • Round 7 (82nd overall) - Jamison Crowder

As soon as Alex Smith was traded to Washington I thought of Crowder, who is a superb route-runner. I like the fit with Smith.

  • Round 8 (87th overall) - Jordy Nelson

Nelson is old but I see him as one of those players that a team trades for and then feeds, making sure it isn't questioned for making the trade in the first place. In other words, I bet Jon Gruden makes a big effort to have Nelson look like a great pickup for Oakland. That means red-zone targets.

  • Round 9 (106th overall) - Philip Rivers

There are about a half-dozen quarterbacks that I'm fine drafting in these middle rounds. Maybe I'll take myself into Rodgers, but my better judgment says to wait.

  • Round 10 (111th overall) - Duke Johnson

The one known thing about Cleveland's Johnson: He's good. The concerns are role and volume. The Browns have gotten thinner at receiver and Johnson seems well-suited to play the slot, in addition to be his usual excellent pass-catching running back.

  • Round 11 (130th overall) - Alex Smith

Guy gets no respect but last year even his fantasy numbers were excellent. That's on top of his team's record, which is almost always good.

  • Round 12 (135th overall) - Tyrell Williams

I'd rather have Tyrell over Mike when it comes to Chargers receivers. Keenan Allen can't get every throw.

  • Round 13 (154th overall) - Chris Carson

The Rashaad Penny pick would make you think Seattle will turn to him, but Carson isn't bad and so far this training camp he's been getting the much better reviews.

  • Round 14 (159th overall) - Christian Kirk

I like the idea of this rookie getting plenty of targets in Arizona.

  • Round 15 (178th overall) - Ben Watson

He's had success before in New Orleans. This would give me perhaps the oldest tight end tandem ever.

  • Round 16 (183rd overall) - Taywan Taylor

I'm a little worried about Rashard Matthews' status. Tennessee's move away from Mike Mularkey was much needed, and now Titans receivers have a chance to thrive.

  • Round 17 (202nd overall) - Nick Chubb

Early reviews are poor, but Cleveland picking him where they did in the draft ensures he'll get an opportunity.

  • Round 18 (207th overall) - Jake Elliott

If top kickers are gone, I'll take a defense. I'm willing to go to the waiver wire before Week 1 for one or the other. I'd rather give myself one more option at a skill position, in this case Chubb.
 

I'm happy to answer fantasy questions on Twitter (@schopptalk).

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