Hype Train Station – Week 12

By James Fotheringham (@nflhypetrain)

The Last Good Bye… week of the season. The Cardinals, Chiefs, Chargers and Vikings will be watching on from the Platform as everyone else catches up. After this it’s the crucial games leading up to the fantasy and real life playoffs. The waiver wires get thinner, trade deadlines kick in and



If you didn’t grab him last week, Guice is a must pick-up this week. He’s 50% owned but after this set of waiver wires it will be closer to 80%. Tarik Cohen (60%), Jaylen Samuels (60%) may be out there and are also worth looking for. However, if they are all gone in your league then here’s some other options to look for:


jonathan williams 0%

nyheim hines 30%

With Marlon Mack looking questionable with a hand fracture there are carries to be had in Indianapolis. Williams and Hines will probably see most of the work but maybe in a close split, so don’t be expecting miracles. With their main start out, can these Colts fill those shoes?


raheem mostert 10%

jeff wilson 0%

Mostert was dropped from many teams as the Coleman/Breida combo returned. This week Jeff Wilson got a crucial TD and Breida was out. Mostert had a disappointing day but with time to recover from injury he might be the better bet for next week, but Wilson is a very good, deep option. Who must start? Will soon know.


Kalen Ballage (MIA) – 30%


He may be a mediocre player on a terrible team, but he is getting the touches and is often a TD option. The Miami guy is good if you’re in a vice.


Lookout for injury returners as well as replacements. Will Fuller (60%) and John Ross (10%) may well return this week.


Josh Reynolds (LAR) – 10%


We don’t know what the issue is with Robert Woods and while he and Cooks are out it leaves Kupp and Gurley to receive. Clearly Goff is going to need more options, even if he uses them sparingly. He’s a great option but the risk is that too many Cooks May spoil his outlook.


James Washington (PIT) – 20%


The Steelers will be angry after the defeat to the Browns and with the whipping boy Bengals in town, anyone is an option. If there’s no Juju or Dionte then Washington will be capital to the Steelers success.


Deebo Samuel (SF) – 30%


If you didn’t pick him up last week you really have to now. Options for Garoppolo are thin on the ground and Samuel is starting to establish himself. Will they team up and form the Garoppodeebo?



MASON RUDOLPH (PIT @ CIN) – 10%


He has enough chips on his shoulder currently to supply a small fast food chain, so the Bengals may get toasted. He will need help from Vance McDonald and Washington but as one Rudolph goes on bye, it’s time for another to take the reigns.


SAM DARNOLD (NYJ VS OAK) – 10%


This seems an icky play but the Raiders do give up points to the QB and with the receiving corps starting to show signs of life, it’s not a bad time to plug him in. Let’s see if he wins the battle against Derek Carr; Mono y Mono.


RYAN GRIFFIN (NYJ VS OAK) – 0%


The Jets play the Raiders and with a pretty weak pass defence, Griffin becomes a useful asset. I can’t use the same punchline as last week so let’s see if Griffin can raid Oakland for points.


JACOB HOLLISTER (SEA @PHI) – 10%


I mentioned it last week, Hollister seems to be cool in Seattle and provides Russell Wilson with an outlet to keep his MVP level season going. We’ve had body spray and cool dude puns, so this week let’s see if he can fashion a good fantasy day.


TITANS (TEN VSJAX) – 40%


Remember the Titans, they were in bye last week. The Jags have pretty much knocked themselves out of the running so it will be a bit of a learning curve coming up. In this situation the Titans tend to smash the Jags so there are worse options.


GIANTS (NYG @CHI) – 0%


The Giants DST is terrible, but Trubisky feels worse.


LIONS (DET @WAS) – 0%


Near enough the same scenario as the above. Terrible defence, worse offence.



These are the last advanced tickets of the season, from next week the article gets shorter as we get towards the business end and the playoffs.

I can’t see people dropping Kyler Murray or Pat Mahomes, Rivers has been awful, but Kirk Cousins has the Seahawks, Lions and Chargers in his next 3 games. Not a terrible draw.


Damien Williams has a shot at a resurgence if he stays healthy but could be a drop candidate for some teams.


Mike Williams may be a heavy drop and he has disappointed many this season. So much so, he will probably turn up for the fantasy playoffs and win leagues. Keep an eye out. Diggs, Thielen, Hill and Kirk won’t fall off benches and not a lot else is worth a pickup so no help here.


Kyle Rudolph is getting an enlarged role with Thielen out and even when he returns, the chemistry is back up and running and it’s simply been working. Henry and Kelce won’t drop and the Cardinals TE’s are nearly all still on the wire.

Start ’em, Sit ’em – Week 10

By Dave Moore (@davieremixed)

The fantasy playoffs are just about in the distance, but a loss this week could see you stumble and fall leading to you not even participating in the last few weeks of the fantasy season. Make sure you keep putting one foot in front of the other and successfully negotiate week 10.

Here are some hints on who you should be starting and sitting this week…



Quarterback – Kyler Murray (Cardinals @ Bucs)


It’s hard to see past any other selection this week as the Cardinals face the worst-ranked fantasy defense against QBs and they’ve come off a game against the potent 49ers D where they put up 25 points. They’ve given up the fourth most points in the league and have forced just four turnovers since their big performance against the Rams in Week 4.

Admittedly, prior to that 88 yard play to Isabella last week, Murray was on for a third straight week of pretty average fantasy scoring but against a weak Bucs D, I fancy him to pull of some big chunk plays and maybe even rush for a score.


Running Back – Devin Singletary (Bills @ Browns)


I think we’re finally seeing the decision on who the #1 running back in Buffalo is after Singletary saw more action than Frank Gore (not so great news for one of my fantasy teams!).

The Browns are all over the place and after seeing their season ended by the Broncos last week it would not surprise me if Buffalo ran all over them in the Dawg Pound. Cleveland give up 141 yards per game on the ground, most of those should now go to Singletary after last weeks performances from the Buffalo backfield.

Singletary has made five appearances this season and score double digit points in four out of five with a 23 point barrage coming last week. Expect more from this run-first team.


Wide Receiver – Christian Kirk (Cardinals @ Bucs)


Two Cardinals offensive players in a Start ‘Em?! You’d better believe.

Leave aside Kirk’s performance last week, he was targeted more than any other Cardinals player and was coming off a three week spell out of the side with an ankle injury which seems to have healed.

For the above reasons why you should be starting Murray, this Arizona wide-out has a huge upside this week and I fancy him to get his first score of the season with at least 60+ reception yards.


Tight End – Jonnu Smith – (Titans vs Chiefs)


Slim pickings on the bye week as Ertz, Fells and Fant are all on bye weeks so aside from your usual superstars it’s tough to find the value.

Smith seems like a reasonable shout for a Titans team that has seen an upswing in offensive performance since Ryan Tannehill was brought into the side under center.

Whilst he had a quiet game against Carolina he did finish joint second for targets (five) on the Titans that day and is worth a look if you’ve got some awkward bye week timings.


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Quarterback – Jared Goff (Rams @ Steelers)


Occasions Jared Goff has scored over 20 fantasy points this season? A shootout against a defensively indefensible Bucs, a visit to the terrible Falcons and a Wembley walkover against the winless Bengals.

He’s now lost Brandin Cooks to a concussion for an indefinite period of time and faces a Steelers D that has improved so much since the trade for Minkah Fitzpatrick.

The Steelers are turnover hungry and not even double strength Covonia can help Goff from not coughing the ball up – the only two occasions he hasn’t turned the ball over this season were against the aforementioned Falcons and Bengals so I refuse to believe that Goff is righting the ship and more the opposition were something of an aberration.

Sit. Him. Down.


Running Back – LeSean McCoy (Chiefs @ Titans)


Shady’s going to struggle to get touches for the foreseeable as Damien Williams had a monster game against the Vikings and Mahomes is potentially returning this week. As such it makes him a low value player until he can prove otherwise.

He’s not hit double digit fantasy points since the Week 4 matchup against the Lions and has lost two fumbles since then.


Wide Receiver – Odell Beckham Jr (Browns vs Bills)


A 13-point game against the Broncos doesn’t disguise the fact that OBJ has limited value as a WR1, only one score this season back in Week 2 and facing up against a superb Bills D that will likely double him? It’s a hard pass from me and it should be from you. Even jarvis Landry is out-targeting him at the moment.


Tight End – Jacob Hollister (Seahawks @ 49ers)


This isn’t a slight on Hollister who came up with the game winning catch against the Bucs in OT last week but the 49ers are stingy against Tight Ends as well as in general offense. In my opinion, there are enough streamers out there that will have a better chance of picking up a score than Hollister. Go and find them instead of trying on what Hollister has to offer.

Hype Train Station – Week 10

By James Fotheringham

First of all, hello to the Full10 community. Some of you may recognise my blog or twitter page @NFLHypeTrain but when I was offered the chance to host my work with these guys, I knew I had get on board.

So, for those who aren’t familiar, I work on the railways in the UK and also love a good pun (explains why the Full10yards guys like me I guess) so my Fantasy articles tend to feature both in some capacity. 

This is the Hype Train Station which you can use either for waiver wire suggestions or as a suggestion of some lower cost DFS plays for the week.

The ticket office is open, and it offers up “The Day Return” which is for QB, TE and DST options you either pick up to stream for one week or plug in on DFS if you don’t want to pay big bucks. “The Flex Ticket” is for RB and WR who can play this week but may be able to keep for the longer term. Finally, the “Advanced Ticket” is for some players who are going to be very low owned dart throws but could offer up value to get you where you need to go.

My other article which comes out later in the week is the “Scheduled Departures” which takes a look at all the games happening on Sunday and picks out the Red, Yellow and Green plays and a little blurb on how I can see the game going. There’s also a little hidden set of predictions I give each week which you may want to use or ignore for Vegas betting. 

You can find out more by getting hold of me on twitter or looking at my site but from now on I’ll be a part of the Full10yards crew but the “about me” section should still be true.

Anyway, enough build up, it’s time to take a trip to the Hype Train Station and see which tickets to buy for week 10.

On paper, week 10 was always going to be the difficult one. A lot of teams on bye, late in the season and with a wire that’s already pretty thin. In short, there’s not a lot of exciting trains going to places you want to go, but hopefully there’s a hidden gem in here somewhere.



JD McKissic (RB-DET) 10%

With Kerryon Johnson on IR it’s become a committee in Detroit, and it seems McKissic has become a pass catching back, in a James White kind of role. In PPR I can see him having weekly value and more consistency than any other option for the Lions. This week they play the Bears who aren’t the scary proposition we all thought they were.

Kalen Ballage (RB-MIA) 10%

Mark Walton just got a 4 game ban for substance abuse, so that’s his chance blown. Ballage should be the next man up, although he has had chances and not done much. It’s just hard to see them giving the likes of Myles Gaskin a big role straight away. The Colts aren’t the best option to stream against but if you need an RB this is one of the few trains that might go further than the end of the platform.

Devante Parker (WR-MIA) 20%

Wide Receiver has a lot more options and with the disappointing news that Preston Williams is out for the season, it’s now time for Parker to step up. He’s had his own personal Hype Train for years (which never left the station) but this time the wheels aren’t slipping, and he has a route to relevance.

Zach Pascal (WR-IND) 10%

With Hilton out, Pascal should have been a pickup late last week, but he will be available in a number of places. It may be a committee in Indy, but Pascal looks to be at the head of it.

Hunter Renfrow (WR-OAK) 0%

Renfrow has been steadily putting up points, but last week he broke out properly and now the Hunter should be Hunted; especially in dynasty leagues.


Derek Carr (QB-OAK VS LAC) 40%

Carr has quietly been good for a few weeks now and while the Chargers have steadily been getting better on defence, I can see the Bolts being loose against Carr. In a week short of options, he may be the right ticket for the right price. It’s hard to say take the car when you’re at the Hype Train Station but sometimes, you just have to.

Sam Darnold (QB-NYJ vs NYG) 20%

This may look like one of those trains smothered in graffiti and with hard seats but this week it might just get you where you need to go. Against the Giants and with Bell potentially out, it may fall on Darnold to lead the bounce back. Bear in mind if people like Garoppolo, Brissett and even Ryan are available then they are much better options, their availability is just a lot more hit and miss.

Jacob Hollister (TE-SEA @ SF) 0%

This is a bad week for tight ends. The best options are about to go on bye and there’s not many good ones to go around. Hollister has a bad matchup but broke out last week, has Russell Wilson throwing him the ball and one of the best names for jokes. He makes scents.

Chris Herndon (TE-NYJ vs NYG) 20%

If Darnold is going be a good stream, then Herndon needs to be relevant. After being cancelled for a number of weeks with suspension failure and broken parts he’s on track to play and probably just in time.

OJ Howard (te-TB vs ARI) 40%

Play your tight ends against Arizona. It’s been one of the most common phrases of the season. We’ve also watching in horror as OJ Howard has been underused and seen his fantasy value crash and burn. For one week though, he well be worth starting.

Colts D/ST (vs MIA) 40%

The Colts are a decent defence and they get the easy job of playing the Dolphins this week. Miami will return to Tank mode having got one over on Adam Gase, but the Colts should have plenty of horsepower.

Ravens D/ST (@CIN) 40%

The ravens are on the wire in a few places (especially having been up against the Patriots), so it may be Worthing looking for them as they now play the only Winless team in the NFL.



Alex Mattison (rb-MIN) 20%

This may look like a bit of a wrong route but hear me out. Abdullah had a big day as the backup but Mattison is the guy long term and always seems to have relevance. With the additional benefit of being a handcuff to Dalvin Cook, he’s got upside. It’s the time of year where handcuffs have a chance to be league winners, but you need to have the space to house them.


DerRius Guice (rb-WAS) 30%

Guice is getting close to returning from injury into a run heavy offence. The Redskins are on bye but if he’s available in your league and you have a spare bench spot for a flyer then beat the queue.


Olabisi Johnson (wr-MIN) 0%

Singling Bisi Johnson out because with Thielen possibly out again he is the one who seems to get the biggest uptick.

WR General note: Most WRs on teams who have just lost a main target man are options. Colts, Vikings, Dolphins are some examples. The likes of L.Treadwell, C.Rodgers and A.Wilson are options. WR by committee seems to be a thing. Tennessee and Arizona are already at it and the three mentioned here will follow suit.

TE: Darren Fells and Noah Fant are about to go on bye but if you’re really struggling then you may want to give them a look. 


So, there you go. A few ideas for waiver pickups and DFS flyers. I’m sure some will get delayed or cancelled on the way but there’s a value ticket to be had.

And finally, thanks to the Full10yards guys for giving me a platform to express myself… I’ll get my coat, I have a train to catch.

Start ’em, Sit ’em – Week 6

By Jake Linley-Brown @JakeLB12)

Week 5 was seriously wild. Serious points were put on the board, contenders we thought were serious showed chinks in the armour, and the ball was fumbled a seriously ridiculous amount of times.

In all seriousness (I’ll stop now), what we are left with is two un-beaten teams – the 49ers and the Patriots. For the rest of the league, it’s a case of making the adjustments and right decisions going forward to make sure they stay with them. For people like you and me, we care about who starts and who sits on our fantasy team(s), continuing with this week’s slate of games; Week 6, to be precise.

This week’s bye teams are the Bills, the Bears, the Colts and the Raiders. Vamonos!




QUARTERBACK


Kyler Murray (ARI) vs Falcons

Arizona picked up their first win of the season last week (ignore that it came against the Bengals and roll with me here), so spirits are reasonably high. The biggest takeaway from the game, however, is the encouraging progress Kyler Murray is making. The modest stat line of 253 yards with no TD’s or INT’s doesn’t tell the whole story. With QB’s, the eye test rarely lets you down, and Murray is showing better pocket presence every week, culminating in his highest rushing total in the pros to date (10 carries, 93 yards, 1 TD vs Bengals).

His reward for last Sunday is a potential barn burner at home to the Falcons. Atlanta’s D is showing more holes than a colander, with Deshaun Watson dropping a 53 burger on them in week 5. As I’m not able to think of any more food/kitchen related puns, I’ll just leave you with the fact that the Atlanta defence is allowing the 2nd most points to opposing QB’s (23.3 PPG). I’d say that’s a strong enough case to roll out the rookie.  

Honourable Mentions: Dak Prescott (DAL) @ NYJ, Gardner Minshew (JAX) vs NO



RUNNING BACK


Kerryon Johnson (DET) @ Packers

Do you remember when people lost their mind over C.J. Anderson cutting into Kerryon Johnson’s workload? I remember, because I was one of those people. Thankfully, those days are long gone. The 2nd year running back out of Auburn has been let loose, breaking free of those metaphorical shackles against the Chiefs in week 4 (26 carries for 125 yards, 2 catches for 35 yards), and now cementing his place as the true bell cow of this offense.

A trip up to Lambeau Field on Monday Night Football awaits Kerryon and his Lions. The Packers are sitting pretty at 4-1, but the rushing defence is anything but. The Cheeseheads are allowing an average of 32 points a game to opposing backs. They’ve also allowed a rushing TD in each of the last 4 games. Keeping to the theme of food related humour, in my head I’m dying to compare this Packers rushing defence to Swiss Cheese, but that wouldn’t be very mature (I’m sorry).

I anticipate this game to be close. I also anticipate Kerryon Johnson to show up for prime time this Monday. Start this man.

Honourable Mentions: Matt Breida (SF) @ LAR, Sony Michel (NE) vs NYG



WIDE RECEIVER


D.J. Moore (CAR) @ Buccaneers

Week 6 is full of candidates at the WR position who could step up and surprise a few people. For my selection, I’m looking at D.J. Moore to turn the tables on the Buccaneers defence. Granted, D.J. and the rest of Carolina offense (minus Christian McCaffrey, obviously) have struggled to really get going in the wake of Cam Newton’s absence. Moore has 1 TD for the season, which was 3 weeks ago, and has yet to build a strong bromance with Kyle Allen.

That being said, breakout game potential is bubbling for Tottenham Hotspur stadium on Sunday. Moore and his Carolina Panthers have taken London’s call to meet up with the ‘home team’ Tampa Bay Buccaneers for an NFC South rematch. Tampa won the 1st game back in week 2, which ironically was D.J.’s highest fantasy points total of the season (17.9 points).

Weird stuff usually happens in these London games, but something pretty weird would have to happen for Tampa’s defence, which allows the 3rd highest fantasy points to WR’s, to suddenly come good. If all the attention is on McCaffrey, Moore can make the most of his trip to the nation’s capital.

Honourable Mentions: DJ Chark (JAX) vs NO, Michael Gallup (DAL) @ NYJ



TIGHT END


Austin Hooper (ATL) @ Cardinals

To conclude the starts for this week, it’s back to the game where we started. Only this time, we’re looking at the other team. Austin Hooper is not only becoming the man for the Falcons, leading target share percentage in a team that has Julio Jones, but he actually is the man in the TE rankings this year. Kittle, Kelce, Ertz – all below our man, Austin.

Hooper is averaging 16.9 points in fantasy this season, despite only scoring 2 TD’s which came in the same game, back in week 2. The volume is there and for a position that is so wafer thin across the league, players such as Hooper are a godsend.

My spidey senses are telling me Hooper isn’t going to have to wait much longer for his next TD of the season. The Cardinals, this week’s opponent, allow more fantasy points to Tight End’s than ANYBODY. You’re welcome.

Honourable Mentions: Gerald Everett (LAR) vs SF, Will Dissly (SEA) @ CLE



QB – Matt Stafford (DET) @ Packers – You can beat the Packers on the ground, as discussed earlier, but through the air is proving to be difficult to say the least. Green Bay is allowing only 13 points to QB’s on average so far, so give Matt the cold shoulder in week 6.


RB – Jordan Howard (PHI) @ Vikings – The Vikings D has allowed only one rushing TD all year. Combine that with the fact Howard and Miles Sanders are still splitting carries, I think it’s easy to ignore Howard’s recent scoring spree and bench him.


WR – Mike Evans (TB) vs Panthers – I’m absolutely prepared to die on my sword for this one. In his last 5 games against the Panthers, big Mike has only 20 catches for 292 yards and zero TD’s. He’s also now playing second fiddle to Chris Godwin in the air attack. Me no likey.


TE – Tyler Eifert (CIN) @ Ravens – Up until last week, every team had scored a TD from their TE against the Cardinals. Guess who bucked the trend?

Good luck this with all your matchups this week. Let’s go get the win!

2018 Fantasy Football Industry Mockstravaganza – 5.01

If you want to go back and see our 4.12 pick, you can do so by clicking here.

Obviously, it’s us again with the pick and we literally mulled for about an hour what to do with it.

Our current roster is Todd Gurley, Mark Ingram, Mike Evans and Stefon Diggs. The same players are in consideration for our next pick and we though that WR may be the best shout because when it’s circles back round to us in 22 picks time, the depth gets a bit thin at both WR and RB. If we pick a RB or WR here, they would fill our flex spot. We are still not interested in a Tight End until the likes of Olsen, Engram, Graham, etc have gone so that makes the decision a bit easier.

But wait! Aaron Rodgers is still sitting there and its the frickin’ 5th round!

Industry drafts usually see QBs go later because everyone waits on them on the premise that there isn’t a big gap in scoring between QBs and the positional value is not the greatest. That said, taking Rodgers gives us the best player at the position, which will go nicely alongside Todd Gurley.

With the 1st pick of the 5th round, the Full10Yards podcast select Aaron Rodgers.

rodgers

Aaron Rodgers when healthy, is always at least the 2nd best QB in fantasy football. Considered by many as the GOAT (pretty much everyone except Brady fans), Rodgers is a difference maker at the QB position both for the packers and fantasy football teams.

That said, Broken Collarbones currently is ahead of Superbowl wins 2-1 and missed the majority of last season after going down injured. So that is a risk going in to 2018 but it’s just a pick I couldn’t pass up and this is just too good a value to give to someone else.

I am very much a last round QB selector and it’s not the first time I have drafted Rodgers this offseason. Hopefully it pays off.

Each season he has been healthy, you can bet your bottom dollar on 4000+ pass yards, 30+ TD throws and single digit interceptions. Not many in the game can offer that as a minimum. Rodgers makes all WR relevant, it’s the only reason people are considering Geronimo Allison this year in drafts! Jordy Nelson has gone, but they have replaced him with Jimmy Graham and a couple of guys in the draft. Davante Adams is the clear number 1 WR and I think he could easily be a top 5 WR with Rodgers at the helm.

The saving grace if he does miss any time this season with injury is that in a 12 team league, you can stream the position pretty easily.

Give me A-Rod. You can take your DeShaun Watson love and take it elsewhere, he wont even be in the top 8 QBs this season in our opinion.

Time to find out who went after us, which you can find out here…

Mock Draft 3.0 w/Lee Wakefield

Lee Wakefield here, back again for Mock Draft 3.0 for The Full 10 Yards and this time we’re going to get a little wild! I’ve drawn up something that’s a little bit alternative and thrown in a few players who could go in the first round but who I don’t necessarily feel will have their name called next Thursday night. This also gives you an insight into more players, as opposed to it being the same 32 players each time just in a different order. Also, trades are included and there are a few… So let’s go! I hope you think it’s more “Philly Special” than that weird fake punt that The Colts tried to run against The Patriots a few years ago.

#1. Cleveland Browns – Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

This would put the cat amongst the pigeons, wouldn’t it? Everyone seems to be of the opinion that The Browns are choosing between Sam Darnold and Josh Allen here. The Browns are going to pick Darnold but in this alternative reality, Cleveland picks Mayfield, the most accurate QB in the class. The fact that Mayfield seemingly isn’t even in the conversation to be the first overall pick, despite completing 70% of his passes in both of his final two years as a Sooner, is kind of weird to me. Allen, who is very much in the conversation, has never hit 60% in any season in Wyoming. To me this shows how much value fans, writers and General Managers place in measurables like height, weight and “arm strength”. Allen looks like a quarterback dressed in his uniform or in shorts and a t-shirt but last time I checked the job of the quarterback in the throw the ball to your guys, not throw it really far. Mayfield isn’t perfect but if he was 6”2 or 3, he’d be the consensus number 1 pick. No doubt.

#2. New York Giants – Bradley Chubb, Edge, N.C. State

This pick could go multiple ways, including The Giants trading back. I think New York and Dave Gettleman still believe in Eli Manning as a starting calibre QB and earlier in the off season, they were complimentary about Davis Webb as a player, so they may feel like they have a capable backup and possible future bridge QB who already has experience in their system. Quenton Nelson is going to be a great player for many years but #2 overall is probably going to be too rich for any guard, even if the position has become more valuable in recent years. So for me, it’s come down to Saquon Barkley or Bradley Chubb here. Chubb is the bigger need due to the trade of Jason Pierre-Paul and the draft class is much deeper at running back in comparison to pass rusher. New York also has a history of great pass rushers to continue, so Chubb heads to The Big Apple.

#3. New York Jets – Sam Darnold, QB, USC

 As a result of Mayfield being taken first overall, The Jets have the choice of Darnold, Rosen or Allen at 3. I know this is a slightly alternative mock but there’s really no point in considering any other position here, even with the presence of Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown on the roster. Darnold needs to work on his ball security but The Jets have Bridgewater who was a very capable player before his devastating knee injury and essentially a player/QB Coach in McCown, so bringing Darnold in and having him learn from both of them could be the ideal scenario. They’ve already seemingly given up on their last project QB, in Christian Hackenberg, without any success, so I don’t see Allen being the pick here as he’s essentially the same player.

#4. Cleveland Browns – Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn. State

 The Browns are back on the clock and with two of the big four QB’s still on the board, they’ll be taking some calls from teams in need of a signal caller. However they resist all offers and take Barkley to complete the offence as they are in “win now” mode after years of production by the factory of sadness. They also have lots more picks to fill their other areas of need so adding blue chip talent at the top of the draft is the smart thing to do. The Browns are often the butt of jokes in the NFL but to me, their roster really isn’t that far away from being really competitive. Mayfield or Tyrod Taylor, Barkley, Carlos Hyde, Josh Gordon, Jarvis Landry, David Njoku and a decent offensive line looks like a unit that can put up points in Todd Haley’s system. Cleveland have a good front seven, headlined by Myles Garrett, Jamie Collins and Pro Bowler, Joe Schobert. They need a cornerback and some more depth pieces but Cleveland are coming.

#5. Denver Broncos – Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame

 John Elway could take another swing from the fences in an attempt to find Denver’s next franchise QB but chose to select the best player available instead. They brought in Case Keenum to pilot the offence, which to me, says they’re probably going to play it safe on offence via the pass and run the ball often. I think that they would love to pick up Barkley to support this way of playing and make him the focal point of the offence and I believe there could be a chance of Denver calling The Giants to try to move up to the second overall pick so that they get ahead of Cleveland at four. I seriously considered this scenario for this but I think they’d prefer Chubb over Nelson so want to stay put. As I mentioned above, the draft class is deep at running back this year so Elway and The Broncos take Nelson to keep Keenum upright and to open up holes for a new rookie or one of their other young guns in the back field. The release of C.J Anderson is a little puzzling given he just topped 1,000 yards for the first time in his career and played a full 16 game slate, this past year. Maybe Denver are looking at a potential second round selection at the position and Anderson is a couple of years away from hitting the dreaded 30 years old mark, which usually marks a decline in production. Another reason why Nelson is the pick here, as he makes their running backs better.

#6. [TRADE] Buffalo Bills – Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA [Colts receive 2018 first round picks, 12th and 22nd overall]

 Still two QB’s on the board and this may represent a little bit of a slide for Rosen, whom many consider the best quarterback available this year. The reason for the slide is down to the fact that Rosen has already had some serious wear and tear despite not having taken an NFL snap as of yet. Shoulder injuries and concussions are pretty serious concerns for a young QB as well. In addition to this, there are reports that Rosen can be difficult to coach and may rub coaches and teammates up the wrong way and the dreaded question of, “does he really love football?” has been mentioned. Rosen is evidently at least a little bit of a polarizing character, topped off by the fact that his college Head Coach, Jim Mora, said in an interview that he would pick Sam Darnold over Rosen if he was an NFL GM. Concerning at least, outright damming at worst. He’s also the worst athlete of the so-called big four, which closes some doors (although definitely not all) as some schemes and OC’s want at least a certain level of athletic agility under centre. Fortunately for Rosen, he’s still a good quarterback and there are QB needy teams aplenty, so he’ll still be selected high. The Bills would almost certainly be delighted in this scenario.

#7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Derwin James, S, Florida State

 If this pick went in, I feel like Derwin James has a chance at being John Lynch reincarnated for The Bucs. James is an alpha male who can be take over the defensive back room and become a leader of the defence, along with Lavonte David and Gerald McCoy. I feel that wherever he lands, the fire and passion for the game that James has, combines with his skill set as a safety, will raise the level of those around him. He reminds me a little bit of fellow ex-FSU DB, Jalen Ramsey, in the sense that he’s chippy and plays with a point to prove and I’m sure practices against another FSU alumnus, Jameis Winston would be very interesting!

#8. Chicago Bears – Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

 I’m almost certain that Chicago will take a linebacker at 8. Edmunds has been compared with Bears great, Brian Urlacher, Vic Fangio has coached linebacking gods like Patrick Willis and Ray Lewis… this all makes far too much sense. Chicago have lost Parnell McPhee and Jurrell Freeman too, so they need to fill a couple of spots on their roster and Edmunds has the versatility to fill one or both of those roles. I like him next to Danny Trevathan in the centre of The Bears 3-4 base defence but in sub packages, he could be used as a pass rusher alongside Leonard Floyd and Aaron Lynch.

#9. San Francisco 49ers – Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

 As I said in my last mock, Reuben Foster is not going to see a football field as a professional, for a long time and nor should he. With this in mind, I now can’t see anyone here aside from either Tremaine Edmunds or Roquan Smith. Due to more ideal size, length and also since he’s younger, I see Edmunds probably going first bit if I’m right, Smith isn’t a bad consolation prize. He’s going play in the league for a long time at a high level, despite concerns that he is undersized. Smith is a top 5 player in this draft class so to get him at 9 and immediately replace a problem on your team is a good pick.

#10. Oakland Raiders – Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan

 After the last two picks that I see as close to being locks, I’m going to drop a bombshell. If he didn’t have a heart scare at the combine, this is where Maurice Hurst would be being mocked on the regular. Based on talent alone, Hurst is a top 10 player and here, he just about sneaks into the top 10 with Oakland taking the plunge, especially given that Oakland are switching to a base 4-3 defence. Oakland do have bigger needs but they could go for BPA at this point. The D line could use a boost with both tackle spots being manned by mid round picks from the past few years. Hurst gives The Raiders a top talent who should give them some interior pass rush and help to give Mario Edwards and Khalil Mack some help when trying to get to the QB.

 

#11. Miami Dolphins – Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

 So to a lot of people this would be a big shock. To me, this is still too high but I’ll roll with it anyway. Miami needs a quarterback, despite having Ryan Tannehill under contract as don’t believe they see him as the long term solution at the sport’s most important position since he’s 30 years old and coming off an ACL tear. Obviously in Tannehill, Miami do have a capable starter and could be used as a bridge QB whilst they develop Allen and as I have expressed a lot over these mock drafts, Allen needs to be given time, and I mean years, before he gets on the field. If he gets thrown in the deep end in year 1, it could ruin the team’s season, Allen as a player and the career of the General Manager who picks him.

#12. [TRADE] Indianapolis Colts – Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

 So after trading back again in the first, Indy finally makes a pick and what a pick this is. This is an absolute bargain. The top corner in the whole class has dropped right into their laps at 12th overall! It fills a big need for The Colts and gives them another blue chip prospect in the defensive backfield alongside Malik Hooker and this continues the rebuild on that side of the ball for Indianapolis. Ward could go as high as 4 in my opinion, depending on whether The Browns stay there or trade back and also how the rest of the top 5-10 picks pan out. As I have mentioned previously, the real value of a team like The Browns or Colts trading back with a QB need squad, is that they get to gather more picks and possibly more first round picks to fill out their roster with top end players.

#13. Washington Redskins – Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

 Derrius Guice could go this high if someone out there really believes in him. There are plenty of people out there who do believe a hell of lot in him, some even think he’s a better prospect than Saquon Barkley. The ‘Skins need a running back because they need to spread the load and give Alex Smith an outlet, as everyone knows he’s not a world beater through the air and is very much a dink-and-dunk QB. Guice would give great balance to Jay Gruden’s offence and is much better than anyone on their depth chart and has a higher ceiling, despite them recently drafting Samaje Perine last year. The Redskins have pretty good offensive line to open up the holes for Guice too, which could mean they can control the clock on offence and therefore control the game, especially when they have Alex Smith a QB to manage the game for them.

#14. Green Bay Packers – Harold Landry, Edge, Boston College

 I feel like this is Harold Landry’s floor, I cannot see Green Bay letting the second ranked pass rusher in the class slide by. They need freshen up on edge players and on defence as a whole. Corner is a possibility here too but pass rusher is more valuable in the league nowadays and I would personally rank Landry above the cornerbacks in the tier below Denzel Ward, especially since Green Bay could be hoping that at least one of those guys will be around for them to pick in the second. I think this will also be seen as a bargain pick in years to come too, as I said in my last mock, Landry has had big production in college and still no one is talking about those Von Miller esque combine numbers.

On a side note; I have seen Green Bay mocked as a possible trade back in a few mocks that I have come across but I really don’t see it as they already own 12 picks in the draft, so therefore don’t need any more. However, they could use some of those later round selections to move up in the mid rounds, should a player they really like be falling towards them at some point.

#15. Arizona Cardinals – Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

 Entering the top 15 is an alternative WR1 for this class and in comparison to my guy, Anthony Miller, Ridley is probably a player you’ve heard more about. He played at a top, Power 5 college programme and has had national title success in a pro style offensive system. Ridley possesses rare speed and impeccable route running for a player who hasn’t played in the NFL yet. His drawbacks are his age, he’ll be 23 when he enters the league and due to both the nature of Alabama’s offence being run heavy and below average quarterback play, Ridley’s college production doesn’t jump off the page at you. The Cardinals need to fill a lot of holes and need players to hit the ground running and this is part of the reason why I feel like this is a nice fit. Ridley is safe. He’s not going to take as much time to adjust to the pros as players who have come from lesser colleges, like Anthony Miller. Ridley can come in and learn what he can from Larry Fitzgerald and then take over from him once The Cards legend hangs them up.

#16. Baltimore Ravens – Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama

 Long time Ravens General Manager, Ozzy Newsome is retiring after this season. One thing Ozzy Newsome has done for a long time is select players from his old college, Alabama. In this scenario, Newsome gets his final draft off to the perfect start, in that Alabama defensive back, Minkah Fitzpatrick drops right into his bread basket at 16. Not only is he delighted about which school Fitzpatrick attended but also that this is another absolute bargain pick in this mock draft. He would be a chess piece that new DC, Wink Martindale would have fun moving all over his defence and he could form a nice trio of safeties with Tony Jefferson and Eric Weddle. Weddle came out recently saying that he likes what Martindale is bringing to the table and that the defence looks to be more aggressive. Fitzpatrick’s playmaking abilities will help that and boost a defence which had a nasty habit of blowing leads and giving up yards a year ago.

#17. Los Angeles Chargers – Mike McGlinchley, OT, Notre Dame

 This pick would complete the offensive line for The Bolts and probably make it one of the best units in the game today. A sneaky stat from last year was that Los Angeles actually gave up the least sacks of any team in the league and that was with Spencer Pulley at the pivot, no Forest Lamp all year and a bit of turnover at the right tackle position. Now The Chargers have Mike Pouncey on board, Lamp back from injury and with this pick, McGlinchley locking down the right side of Philip Rivers’ line. The protection should be even better which is dangerous for The Chargers opponents as it gives Rivers more time to pick his pass. However the main reason it will benefit the team will be that the line will be far more better equipped to open up holes in the running game as they are now comprised of better blockers and better athletes. This is how HC, Anthony Lynn wants his offence to operate and is further aided by the free agent signing of Virgil Green, an excellent blocking tight end. This is evidence that The Charges want to go this way and why they select the best offensive tackle in the draft here.

#18. Seattle Seahawks – Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn

 This could be considered as a big reach here. This could also be Seattle replacing Richard Sherman with Richard Sherman 2.0. Davis is a big, physical cover man with excellent traits to play the position at a high level for a long time. He is used to going toe to toe with the best wide receivers in the SEC, the best conference in college football, which gives him a lead start compared to other guys in this class. It is said that in practice, Auburn QB, Jarrett Stidham shied away from throwing the ball to Davis’ side of the field because he knew it had a higher chance of being an incomplete pass…Sounds a little bit like another corner who didn’t get targeted often and had the ability to lock down one half of the field, doesn’t it? This is another great fit for Seattle who I figure to draft heavily on the defensive side of the the ball next Thursday night.

#19. Dallas Cowboys – Vita Vea, DT, Washington

 Dallas don’t have a bad roster at all and could be a position to just take the best player available. Now, they obviously have a big need at wide receiver after Dez Bryant was cut at the back end of last week and players like Anthony Miller, D.J. Moore and Christian Kirk are definitely in play here but it may be considered it to be too rich for any wide receiver to be taken at 19 and I wouldn’t be shocked at all if we didn’t see a wideout taken on Thursday night, at all, as it’s a class which generally lacks star power. Although I do think there are some good pass catchers in the draft. Dallas also has a hole at safety but when your division rivals are the current Superbowl champions and two other teams who want to get better quickly, you have to match that ambition. Hence why Vea is the pick here as BPA. Like I’ve mentioned with other interior D linemen, he will make the pass rushers in the team better as a man of his size and athletic ability will command double teams, thus taking away attention from other players.

#20. Detroit Lions – Sony Michel, RB, Georgia

 As I’ve mentioned in previous mocks, Detroit hasn’t had a ball carrier of note for a long, long time and that needs to change if they’re ever going to make any noise in a crowded NFC North and if they aren’t going to waste Matt Stafford’s career. Michel is definitely RB3 in a strong class and will provide The Lions with a hard running back to take the strain off Stafford and the passing attack. Jim-Bob Cooter could also use Michel as a pass catcher out of the back field and get creative in that way, as he has shown evidence in college of having soft hands and being a capable receiver during his time at Georgia. I mention this a lot with running backs and about when an offence has a capable one paired with a good quarterback, it adds balance and the ability for that offence to control the game clock. Always useful when you play up north, in cold weather against other teams who rely on running the ball well and keeping the ball out of your hands. Especially if that means keeping that Aaron Rodgers bloke from getting on the field as much.

#21. Cincinnati Bengals – Connor Williams, OT, Texas

 Much Like the fact I’ve mentioned about the Lions needing a running back before, I am going to keep saying that The Bengals need to revamp their offensive line. Williams is a player I haven’t mocked here before but I’ve previously gone for Isaiah Wynn and Mike McGlinchley – One guard and one tackle, now I’m going for a player who could in theory play either of those positions, giving Cincinnati an element of flexibility moving forward as they surely add more players to their offensive line. I would play Williams at right tackle opposite Cordy Glenn to start with, giving The Bengals two good bookends. If I was them I would also double down, adding a guard or centre prospect in rounds 2 or 3. They have to give Joe Mixon some running lanes and keep Andy Dalton clean if they are to have any chance moving forward.

#22. [TRADE] Indianapolis Colts – Ronald Jones II, RB, USC

 The Colts used their trade down from 6 to enable themselves to really pick up a greater number of top prospects to really refresh their roster quickly. Earlier on they picked up a defensive player and now they flip over to the other side of the ball and take their running back of the future. Ronald Jones is another of the top backs in the class, he isn’t quite Saquon Barkley but he is going to be a very useful back and is in the second tier of runners alongside the likes of Derrius Guice and Sony Michel. All four have a big chance to go in the first round, especially if a couple are off the board early on and it creates and bit of a rush for players at that position. Frank Gore has been pretty decent for Indy since he came over from San Francisco a few years back and still managed over 950 yards at the age of 34, last season and did crack the 1,000 yard mark the year before last. In doing so however, he has been a massive anomaly in terms of doing so at his age. Jones will take the pressure of Andrew Luck or Jacoby Brissett and be a reliable runner who should delivery more yards per attempt score than Gore did, which was only 3.7.

#23. New England Patriots – Rashaan Evans – LB, Alabama

 I’m going back here again with Evans ending up is New England as it just makes too much sense should the board end up falling like this. There are plenty of linebacker needy teams who will be waiting to pounce before the 31st pick, should The Patriots be silly enough to wait and when do New England do silly things? (Throwing a pass to Tom Brady perhaps? I hear you say), not very often, so this has to happen now. Evans has the big time and big game experience to work well in The New England defence and he also possesses enough versatility to cope at different spots in this complex and multifaceted defence.

#24. Carolina Panthers – Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M

 Here’s another new name for you and another wide receiver. Christian Kirk is a player I really like. I feel like he’s a good fit for the Carolina offence too as he’s a little bit different to Devin Funchess and he’s less of a running back than Curtis Samuel. Kirk is a solidly built and sturdy looking receiver, who has good hands, speed and can also help the team he lands on as a punt and kick returner, where he had good success as an Aggie. 24, and maybe the whole first round is possibly a little bit rich for him but I wanted to include him in this alternative setting to get his name out there for those who maybe haven’t heard of him and as a way of recognising how highly I rate him. He’s another one of this class’s smaller, quicker pass catchers who I feel will contribute from very early on in his career.

#25. Tennessee Titans – Josh Sweat, Edge, Florida State

 Another new name for my mocks is Josh Sweat. To some the FSU pass rusher could have been a top 5, if not top 1, player in this class had it not been for a devastating knee injury in his senior year of high school, which resulted in a dislocation of the knee and the rupturing of all the major ligaments of the knee. At one point it looked like Sweat’s leg may have had to have a below knee amputation as it was first feared that there would be artery damage. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case and Sweat is working his way back to having the explosiveness that had him being compared to Jadeveon Clowney. Sweat has ideal length and is talked about as a very coachable as a player, these aspects help him out massively…probably not enough to get him drafted this highly but someone will take a flier on someone with huge upside potential like Sweat. Sometimes they work (Myles Jack), sometime they don’t (Malik McDowell).

#26. [TRADE] Indianapolis Colts – Marcus Davenport, Edge, UTSA [Atlanta receives 2018, 2nd round pick, 36th overall and 3rd round pick, 67th overall]

 This would make things interesting for Indy as they flip back to the defensive side of the ball. As a team with a lot of high value picks they are well armed to either take a lot of quality players or pull something like this. Here The Colts trade back into the back of the first round, targeting one of the squads with stacked rosters as a trade partner, to pick up another high upside player in Marcus Davenport. Trading back into the first round gives Indianapolis the 5th year option, so it gives players more time to develop under their first contract. As I’ve previously stated, Davenport needs some work and needs to be in a situation where he can come in and play as a situational rusher, rather than a full time starter right away. The Colts don’t possess a bevy of top edge rushers but they have a group of guys who rotate and could use a boost. Davenport would come in and learn from good pros like Jabaal Sheard and John Simon, who have been around the league a little bit and he could possibly be joined by another edge rusher or defensive tackle later in the draft as Indy looks to revamp both the back and front of it’s defence. As I’ve also said, Davenport has the ingredients but it’s really up to him to soak it all in and learn as much as he can, as quickly as he can. If he is successful in doing so, he can be a beast coming off the edge.

#27. New Orleans Saints – Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama 

The Saints don’t have a lot of holes in their roster so are a prime candidate to trade as they did in my last mock draft. This could be to trade up, mortgaging their future in order to get a QB to take over from Drew Brees in future or trading back to accumulate more picks so they can do so in future. I think The Saints are going to be good for a while with the roster that they possess, so I doubt they will be picking in the top 10 any time soon, so are likely to need to make a move to find their next long term QB. However, if a team like Atlanta beats them to the trade back and they don’t have a partner, I can see them picking a tackle like Payne or Taven Bryan. Payne is the better player so they go in that direction here and the strong get stronger. Trading away multiple picks is always a little scary and New Orleans have a Superbowl window open the whole time Brees lines up under centre so they’re in “win now” mode.

#28. Pittsburgh Steelers – Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State 

One of the top four linebackers is available and Pittsburgh have to take him to safeguard their possible post-Ryan Shazier future. As I’ve said, I personally hope we see Shazier back on the field again but the signing of Jon Bostic was another safeguarding move from the front office. Vander Esch does need work but I am a big fan of how he can affect the game in multiple ways. He’ll be an asset for whoever he joins when he gets on the field but this situation where he joins a good team where the pressure isn’t on his shoulders immediately may be best for him, as he isn’t a complete player yet.

#29. Jacksonville Jaguars – Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville 

What if the Jags don’t want to make a pick to protect Blake Bortles but want to keep an eye on the future should he not blossom into the player they want him to be? Blake was great in the playoffs last year but throughout the season defences began to figure it out and load the box to guard Leonard Fournette and dared the offensive play caller to let Bortles throw it against them. Jacksonville can’t harbour Superbowl ambitions if they are going to allow that to happen again. Jackson is a good quarterback and an electric athlete who can always make a play with his legs, who if coupled with Fournette would be very fun to watch (unless they’re playing against your team). Get the Jags some pass catchers and add in the outrageous defence and Duval could be bringing home the Lombardi soon.

#30. [TRADE] Cleveland Browns – Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa [Vikings receive 2018, 2nd round pick, 33rd overall and 4th Round pick, 114th overall] 

We have another trade. Cleveland address another need and use some of the draft capital they’ve stockpiled to get back into the first round. This trade is almost identical to the one they pulled off last year in order to go up and get David Njoku. Jackson is a longer, more physical corner who Gregg Williams should love and should match his aggressive style of coaching. Jackson should play opposite from E.J. Gaines and match up with the bigger wide receivers in the AFC  North. Like I’ve mentioned previously with this kind of trade, this is worthwhile because it gives the team a 5th year option on the player. This means they aren’t a unrestricted free agent until they’re into their 7th year, should the team exercise the option. That’s the majority of the player’s career in most cases which is a lot of control and time to develop a prospect.

  #31. New England Patriots – Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville 

Everyone knows The Patriots have three major needs; right tackle, corner and linebacker. The earlier pick of Rashaan Evans fills one need so it comes down to a tackle or a corner here. Since there’s been a run on corners, especially with Cleveland trading up for one and teams like Green Bay probably looking to pick one up in the second round, New England look to jump in and take one whilst there are still really good players available. Alexander fits The Patriots physical, press-man corner style as well so this should be a great fit for both the player and the team.

 

#32. Philadelphia Eagles – Mike Hughes, CB, UCF

Philadelphia, as the Superbowl champion, have not got a lot of holes in their roster. So with this in mind, they have a lot of freedom with the 32nd pick. They’re pretty deep at cornerback already but with Hughes they get a super athlete who can help both on defence and in the return game. Hughes only started one year at UCF so he isn’t the most experienced of players but like a few players, he has the physical ingredients to be a great player. Also like a few players in the first round, he is best suited to landing on a good team, who don’t necessarily need him to contribute immediately. This pick also fills the spot of Daryl Worley who was released this last weekend after his DUI and weapons possession arrest and thinking further ahead, Hughes and last year’s first rounder Sidney Jones, could form a nice cornerback tandem for a long time.

 

So there we are, that’s another mock draft in the books from me on behalf of The Full 10 Yards. I hope you enjoyed reading about a few alternative scenarios. With that in mind please take certain picks with a pinch of salt but as always, hit me up with comments and criticism on Twitter (@Wakefield90) or on Facebook. I’ll be appearing on the next Full 10 Yards podcast that will be recorded and released very soon, which I’m very  excited about. So keep an eye out for that one for more draft content, it should be a lot of fun.

Team Power Rankings

NFL Power Rankings – pre draft (31.03.18)

1.  Philadelphia Eagles

A steady offseason from the Superbowl champs. re-signing Bradham to a long term deal along with Ngata and Michael Bennett, ensuring that this defence will be one of the premier ones for the next few years. Added in to that, the return of Carson Wentz and upgrading the speed at WR, replacing Torrey Smith with Mike Wallace in another great low cost deal for the Eagle’s. *Pukes*

2. Minnesota Vikings

With the highest profile capture of the offseason in Captain Kirk, this team which was already deemed SuperBowl ready with Bradford/Keenum last year and the next year or so is going to be how this Vikings team is judged. Despite letting Jerrick McKinnon go, they have the returning Dalvin Cook makes this team a stellar one and can expect that they’ll be deep in the postseason come January 2019. Oh yeah, and they added Sheldon Richardson to that defence…

3. Los Angeles Rams

Boy, what an overhaul going on in LA. Wade Phillips, a defensive master in the NFL now has so many weapons on that defence. Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters, and Nickell Robey-Coleman sure up the secondary to help alleviate pressures that Jared Goff may have felt when going out and forcing the issue along with Suh to partner Aaron Donald to get some pressure on opposing QBs, which was a void showed in their loss to the Falcons in the postseason. Many may see #3 too high for this team, but this team is built for success next year and anything other that a championship match this year will be considered a very disappointing season. I’d take them to beat the patriots (maybe even at Foxboro!)

4. New England Patriots

Despite that massive exodus in personnel including star RB Dion Lewis, clutch performer WR Danny Amendola and Nate Solder on the O-Line and Malcolm Butler in the secondary, this will likely be the highest the Patriots will get on the power rankings. Why? well this could be the season where it all falls flat for New England. Helped by a poor quality division (which usually is the main reason why they get the #1 seed for the past few years), New England can regress but still win the division with ease considering the coaching staff there. Matt Patricia has gone, but Belichick called most plays on defence anyway and they managed to keep Josh McDaniels as OC, with a view to him taking over the patriots in due course (probably working out well for the Colts too). There were some players brought in as cover, not that they make many heads turn. In fact, their best signing will probably be the new deal for Rex Burkhead, who seems to be the go to guy in this offence for 2018. Watch out for the Gronk rumours though….

5. New Orleans Saints

Teams from 5-10 could probably be shuffled around and not too many eyebrows would be raised. Considering how close they came last year to the NFC championship game, it makes sense to put the Saints here. Adding pieces to the resurgent defence along with resigning Brees’s to a relatively low contract will see the Saints in the post season again in 2018.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh are here by default on the offensive talent. However, they wont want to have a repeat of last seasons and secure LeVeon Bell. Look out for a resurgent season from Martavis Bryant. Defence will have to play tough again this year to beat the New England hump. the additions of Burnett and Bostic will help.

7.  Atlanta Falcons

Probably a bit too high for Atlanta, but the offence is so powerful. letting Taylor Gabriel go probably wont hurt them a great deal. Letting Dontari Poe and Adrian Clayborn go may hurt them more. I put Atlanta at 7 as it was either them or the Packers, and i fancy the Falcons to take the Packers at this point

8. Green Bay Packers

The main question heading into the 2018 season is how will Rodgers get on in a Nelson-less offence? Davantae Adams obviously will see a lot of targets and receptions this year. As may new TE Jimmy Graham, who will be the redzone target that Jordy Nelson vacated. Defence will be their downfall again this season but any team with Rodgers in it is capable of getting to the big one.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars

Had Blake Bortles been replaced by someone slightly more forward thinking (Alex Smith, Case Keenum), then the Jags would be leapfrogging the Packers and the Falcons. Andrew Norwell signing will help the run game and Austin Seferian-Jenkins upgrade the TE position, where the Jags could do with helping for Bortles. The loss of Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns puts pressure on the young WR core in Jacksonville.

10. San Francisco 49ers

The ranking of 10 for Jimmy G and Kyle Shanahan’s boys is assuming that the trajectory continues from the promise shown in the back end of 2017. The capture of Richard Sherman will pay immediate dividends and it will be interesting to see the market share of carries in this backfield with Jerrick McKinnon coming over from Minnesota to take over from Carlos Hyde. Either way, they are in good shape heading in to the draft and the future looks very good for the Bay side team.

11. Houston Texans

This is another ranking assuming the starting QB is as good as last year. Deshaun Watson lit up opposing defences last year before suffering injury. JJ Watt needs to stay healthy, something he has done for a few seasons so that he , Whitney Mercilus and the newly signed Tyrann Mathieu can do some serious damage in what is an intriguing division last year.

12. Los Angeles Chargers

Quiet offseason for the chargers, though did sign C Markice Pouncey, which will help the run game. Health has always been an issue for the chargers, so it was nice to see most guys stay healthy last year, especially Keenan Allen. More of the same will be the prescribe modus operandi for this team and are my dark horses for the AFC participant in the Superbowl.

13. Dallas Cowboys

The re-signing of DeMarcus Lawrence and David Irving along with the potential reinstatement of Randy Gregory will give the cowboys much needed oomph on the D Line. Sean Lee will always be the key to the defence but with the way they’ve played the last few seasons, they try and take the game out of their hands. Zeke will be back so expect a run heavy offence. WR help has been signed in the offseason in Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson; speedsters to cover the ageing Dez Bryant and the indifferent Williams/Beasley combo. Interesting season for the Cowboys.

14. Kansas City Chiefs

The defence has seen better days, but the offence is one of the most interesting to watch going into week 1. Pat Mahomes gets the keys to the Chiefs Cadillac and the signing off Sammy Watkins raised a few eyebrows. will be a very hot and cold team, but always efficient in their gameplay may see them win more games than most expect them to.

15. Tennessee Titans

Some interesting signings for the Titans in this offseason. Dion Lewis again means a crowded backfield, whilst Malcolm Butler will help their gaps on defence. The change in coaching on the offence will help Marcus Mariota, just a shame they are in a tough division.

16. Carolina Panthers

Quiet offseason means that Carolina will be a middle of the road team this year. They’ll expect a 8/9 win season, and they’ll need Cam Newton to be more consistent than last year to achieve that in a competitive division, and conference.

17. Seattle Seahawks

Massive fall for the Seahawks. Ed Dickson replaces Jimmy Graham, and there are just so many holes here, as shown last year. Russell Wilson covered up most of the cracks, but he can only do so much. plenty of free agent signing on defence after the Legion of Boom has been disbanded. Will take all of Pete Carroll’s coaching abilities to get this team to a winning record this year.

18. Denver Broncos

Keeping both Sanders and Thomas at WR will be music to the ears of new QB Case Keenum. If he shows the same level as last season, the Broncos could becoming contenders in a tough AFC West.

19. Cincinnati Bengals

Quiet Free Agency for the Bengals, but they have enough on this team to be in contention for a wildcard again this season.

20. Detroit Lions

Detroit will have new faces on defences this year and will also try and finally solve the RB puzzle. Legarrette Blount will add power and brute force which probably signals the end of Ameer Abdullah. For the offence to flourish, the defence will need to improve on their 27th rank in total defence last year.

21. Washington Redskins

Alex Smith takes over the reigns in the nations capital where there are question marks all over the place. Seemingly no leaders on this team, especially on offence, so Alex Smith will have a lot on his plate to replicate last season at Arrowhead.

22. Baltimore Ravens

Probably a bit low on the Ravens here, who will once again rely on defence to win them games. Offence was inept last year so a slight overhaul at WR. with the outgoing Wallace and Maclin being replaced by Michael Crabtree and John Brown. Will struggle to post a .500+ record.

23. Oakland Raiders

Jon Gruden obviously is in a 2013 time warp. Swapping their most reliable WR for Jordy Nelson. Adding other golden oldies like Doug Martin and signing a whole host of new faces on defence, could mean that Oakland fans wont have much cause for optimism when they head to Las Vegas.

24. Chicago Bears

It’s a put up or shut up, no excuses time in Chicago after Mitch Trubisky was given a lot more weapons on offence. Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and Taylor Gabriel will certainly keep defences honest, which should help JoHo. the re-signing of Kyle Fuller and Amukamara  will help them stay in games from a defensive standpoint. Will need to make Soldier Field a fotress to get anywhere near a .500 record.

25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The defence has been addressed with the capture of Jason Pierre-Paul and Vinny Curry. RB question marks will probably be addressed in the draft or maybe DeMarco Murray? Will blow hot and cold again this year, probably 4th in the NFC South though,.

26. New York Giants

Big year for the Giants. New coaching staff and GM captaining the ship, and plenty of voids that need addressing. Wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Giants trade back to try and accumulate picks like the Colts did, but it could be a long 2018, especially with the OBJ trade rumours circling, but expect him to stay. They have the talent on offence, especially with the addition of Nate Solder, but have no running game and a QB in the twilight of his career.

27. Cleveland Browns

Cleveland have had a massive overhaul which is not surprising considering the last 2 years. reasons for optimism are that the WR core has never been as good (or safe) as it is this year, they have a QB that is going to be a calming influence and not turn the ball over as often as his predecessors and they have some talented sparks such as NJoku heading in to his second year. They also have picks #1 and #4 in the draft so could surprise with number of wins if it all goes together.

28. New York Jets

The re-signing of Josh McCown will probably be the best bit of business, maintaining the stability of the team. Robby Anderson will probably be suspended for a lengthy portion but Quincy Enunwa returns. Trumaine Johnson Signing helps their young defence. Will be taking a QB in the draft with their #3 pick, which they need to get right considering the price they paid.

29. Buffalo Bills

Going for the Bills to sink like I thought they would last season. No More Tyrod Taylor for the Bills who will sorely miss him, even if they don’t know it now. AJ McCarron has been signed to replace him and likely to take a QB in the draft. Signing of Gaines and Davis at CB will help but they’ll be fighting with Miami and New York for 2nd place in the AFC which will flatter any of them as none of them have a chance at the offseason.

30. Arizona Cardinals

Signing of Sam Bradford could be a costly one if he doesn’t stay healthy (especially behind one of the worst Offensive lines). Honey Badger has left the defence and all signs point to a top 5 pick in next years draft. David Johnson will have a heavy workload in this offence, along with Larry Fitz in probably his final year.

31. Indianapolis Colts

Loads of holes, but more importantly, loads of questions for this team;

Is Luck healthy? what are their options at RB? how much will they address the defence going in to the draft. Almost certainly candidates for worst record this season, ever with Andrew Luck playing a full 16 games. Signing of Eric Ebron, Ryan Grant and Christine Michael do not excite anyone.

32. Miami Dolphins.

No Suh, Pouncey or Timmons on Defence. No Landry, Julius Thomas or Jay Ajayi on offence means that the Dolphins are fighting for identity this year. I don’t think they have any idea what they are doing at all. Tannehill will be coming back and the goings on in Miami can all be symbolised by the signing of Brocket Man, Brock Osweiler. They will be relying on Danny Amendola to be their discount Jarvis Landry and Frank Gore to be their Jay Ajayi (though Kenyan Drake should have this backfield). Their only wins will probably come at home vs the poor divisional opponents, if they are lucky.

 

 

 

 

 

Mock Draft Monday – Draft 1.0

It’s Monday….*sigh* so what’s a good remedy to brighten up a Monday?

No, not a beer. A mock draft of course!

It’s never too early to mock draft unless its Week 2 of the regular season and seeing as though it isn’t Week 2 right now, it seems like a perfect time to mock draft.

This week we will be doing our draft with the following setup:

12 team, 1pt PPR , 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX (RB/WR/TE) and 1 DEF with 6 Bench spots (there is not point doing kickers). The rookies coming in from the 2018 draft will be included in this draft.

As it’s the first one in this series, we shall go easy on ourselves and we will be picking from the number 3 spot. We are drafting on FantasyPros mock draft simulator. A very good tool to use to get comfortable in drafting.

There will be a post or podcast in the very near future on draft strategies so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Right, so we are picking from the 3 seed. I know for a fact that we will be going RB in this first round as i am such an advocate for getting the RB1 locked in and with the 3 spot, you can guarantee that you’ll get a volume type elite back. With it being a PPR league, I am hoping for either LeVeon Bell, Todd Gurley, Zeke or David Johnson types.

Todd Gurley went #1 off the board followed by Antonio Brown.

This leaves us with a decision to make; and whilst no pick here is necessarily a bad one, don’t overthink it. It’s likely that you’ll have your preferences however it comes to you, and for me it’s a coin toss between Lev Bell and Zeke.

I will go Lev Bell, purely on the passing down work that he gets.

So we start off with Lev Bell and as our pick is not until the 10th pick of the 2nd round, I would hope that someone like a Davantae Adams drops this far, although unlikely. Anyone that is a funnelled target monster would be great.

Now, the important thing when drafting, is remember where you are in the draft order. If you are in the middle of the draft order then this doesn’t apply so much but as we are pretty much at one of the book ends, it is vital that you look at the teams picking next to you in between your 2 quick picks (i.e the teams that selected 1st and 2nd overall. This way you can try and identify their moves and stay one step ahead. You have to consider their roster construction to see what positions they may try and fill or are in need of.

in the round 2-3 change around, it’s likely that the 2 teams will have at least 1 RB and 1 WR so in this change around, you should go with who you want and not worry too much about the other 2 teams as its likely 2 WR and 2 RBs go in those 4 picks between your next one in round 3. Therefore, in my mind, I want to look at tiers of players.

Are there any players here that I can grab before these other guys that represent a higher tier than the next guy. Also, looking at the draft board on the whole, 2 teams went double WR and 1 team went double RB. Full list as below:

2018-04-16

Here is what is currently available to me:

QBs: All

RBs: Dalvin Cook, Devonta Freeman, Christian McCaffrey, Mark Ingram & Jordan Howard

WR: Adam Thielen, Tyreek Hill, Doug Baldwin, TY Hilton, Stefon Diggs & Brandin Cooks

TE: Everyone but Gronkowski (went 2.5)

When picking in the spot we are, you should always try and pick the players you like but also taking in to consideration which ones may not get back to you when the 3rd pick comes back round. I would put my house on Dalvin Cook being selected, and any other 3 from the list above. If is had to take a guess – Cook, Freeman, Thielen, Baldwin & maybe Kelce.

To me, this is an easy choice, but only because our turn comes back around very quickly and we will still be able to get the same tier of player when that happens. I am going to take Dalvin Cook, here. Purely because he could be a tier above the rest of the guys. I don’t feel overly comfortable taking a 2nd round pick on any of the WR but I will still be able to take one in the 3rd round (assuming 4 WR don’t go off the board).

So I have taken Dalvin Cook and that gives me 2 RBs to start (one note: if you would guarantee me that Joe Mixon fell to me in the 4th round, I would have gone WR most likely).

The next 4 picks are as follows: Rodgers (QB), Hill(WR),Kelce(TE), Baldwin(WR).

So we have had a bit of luck here as the 2 teams in between us reached a tad on Rodgers and Kelce (in my opinion). You’ll find picking at either end of the draft, that you feel that you may have to reach in order to get the players you want. Don’t be afraid to do that, especially if you think they are going to have a good year. Fantasy Football is all about opinions and it’s ok to make a wrong decision, as long as you learn from it.

So as we have 2 RBs already, it makes sense to go WR. We have Thielen, Hilton, Diggs, Cooks, Fitzgerald, Landry, Robinson. Like I said earlier with my round 2 pick, I want someone that will have targets funnelled to them as its a 1pt PPR. Whilst Thielen and Diggs will get plenty of receptions in this offence, my eyes are drawn towards Larry Fitzgerald – a PPR monster for god knows how long, and Allen Robinson, the new WR at Chicago who will be the focal point of the attack. whilst i don’t mind which WR anyone would go in this situation, for me it’s all about volume and opportunity so I will go with Larry Fitzgerald. Here’s one reason why: Larry fitz is around 90 or so catches from overtaking Tony Gonzalez and making it to No.2 on the all time list. Larry would not have come back unless the coaching staff said to him that we will get you to 2nd. As long Bradford stays healthy,  this will happen(even Mike Glennon can force feed WR, or the opposing Defence…).So with that in mind that’s 90 pts right off the bat for Larry Fitzgerald. The red flags here are injury or hitting the veteran wall (unlikely) and David Johnson. But in effect, this team has no WR apart from Fitzgerald as John Brown has been shown the exit door in free agency, as has Jaron Brown. Leaving just Fitz , FA Brice Butler and JJ Nelson so I am confident if healthy, Fitz gets the receptions record and then sets off into the Sonoran desert.

I take Fitzgerald and wait for a while before it comes back round to my pick at 4.10. On reflection, Larry Fitz as your no.1 WR seems a bit underwhelming, but you just have to trust on the production he will produce, especially in PPR leagues this year. In standard, I would have gone Thielen or Robinson.

So when the pick comes back to me in the 4th Round, here is the draft board:

2018-04-16-1.png

As you can see, most teams are pretty even in terms of roster construction. Team 1 does not have a running back yet so you can bet your bottom dollar that’s where he goes for at least 1 of his two picks that shortly follow mine and it’s hard to know what team 2 will do, having a RB, WR and QB on the board. Whilst Jordan Howard is VERY tempting here and likely will be picked up by team 1 if not team 2 and does represent a tier above the other RBs, there are some good PPR RBs that will still be there when it comes back to me in round 5 (Dion Lewis, Duke Johnson, etc) and i would rather have those than Howard, whose receiving is not the greatest. The WR available to me are: D.Thomas, M.Crabtree, J Smith-Schuster, Sammy Watkins, Pierre Garcon and Robert Woods. Easy choice for me here and it’s Thomas. Mr dependable in PPR for Denver, he is still their no.1 guy there (despite age getting scary for him but the same can be said for Sanders and they now have Case Keenum, who helped Thielen and Diggs have good years so I am really happy to get Thomas here.

The next 4 picks where Howard (gut wrenching stuff for Team 1 there), Russell Wilson (wayyyy too early) and Alex Collins for team 1, followed by Crabtree for Team 2.

So back to me in the 5th Round, I have Bell and Cook as my RBs paired with Larry Fitz and Demaryius Thomas at WR. I feel like this is an important pick here as from round 6, it could start to get a bit dicey. So essentially, this pick will go in to my flex spot and there are plenty of options. Could go QB with Tom Brady, could go TE with Engram or Olsen whereas the RB options are Duke Johnson, Dion Lewis, Derrick Henry, Chris Thompson and Jay Ajayi. My WR options are the same as Round 4 minus Crabtree. As this is a PPR league and RB in PPR are easy to come by, I am going to make a play for WR. As things stand and no big news of 49ers WR signings, I will go for Pierre Garcon here. He is getting on a bit with age, and has not yet played with Jimmy G but he was the focal point of the attack last year and again, I will go for the volume and possession receivers. Did consider Sammy Watkins at the value but he will be too boom or bust for me this year and I don’t want the headache of trying to get him right.

Back round to me in the 6th and we have the following draft board:

2018-04-16-2.png

Bit of a QB run in Round 6 and 4 TEs also went between my picks. So the good news is the WR and RB positions were not as decimated as they could have been. As I have gone 3 straight WR, I want to secure my third RB here. Dion Lewis is still available, but so is his former teammate, Rex Burkhead. Rex has just signed a new 3 year deal with the Patriots and seems to be entrusted with the backfield a bit. Tevin Coleman is also there so I am tempted to take Lewis as he is the fancier name with the Free Agency move and I will hope that one of Burkhead or Coleman come back round to me in 5 picks time.

They do indeed come back round and only Carlos Hyde was selected from an RB perspective. Woods, Shepherd and Edelman also were drafted before my 7.03 selection. There are not a lot of WR shouting out at me, with the best 3 options being Sanders, Kupp and Hogan. As I am an advocate of a late QB and late TE pick, I will go back to an RB. Jay Ajayi could be worth a go here, but I am going with Rex Burkhead.

So to recap, my team is currently Bell, Cook, Lewis and Burkhead at RB. Larry Fitz, D.Thomas and Pierre Garcon at WR. 5QBs and 8RBs went in the next 18 picks which is quite astonishing. I am the only team left needing a first QB, meaning i can probably wait until people start taking their 2nd (if at all), giving me great value filling up the other positions (4 teams still need a TE). I feel like i have to go either TE or WR here. TEs available are Delanie Walker, Jack Doyle, Jordan Reed and Trey Burton. As I am looking at Trey Burton as my TE, I think he wont go for another 2 or 3 rounds so can wait for him. WR available are Kupp, Hogan, Agholor, Benjamin and Lee. I think here is where i can go for a boom or bust player as my team is pretty stable as it is at the moment and I don’t need a QB. Considering how good the Rams were last year, I take the possession receiver Kupp as I want a part of that offence, in a division where defences are poor. He isn’t the boom or bust type, but there will be weeks where he scores big but has a safe floor. 3RBs and Delanie Walker were drafted in between my picks leaving us as follows:

2018-04-16-3.png

You could argue that I should have taken Walker and then a WR as Kupp may have been available which is fair. I’m regretting it already. I would say that now is the time for a TE or QB, but simply not many teams need a TE and none need a QB so i am going to risk the long wait for round 10 to take a TE and then my QB in round 11. I am going to pile in on another receiver. It’s either Agholor or Hogan for me here as they are in the more powerful offences and would rather them than someone like Kelvin Benjamin. I think Hogan was an integral part of the offence prior to injury last year so will take him here.

SPOILER: I wont be taking any rookies here unless its a 15th round flyer. I like to see it first before i draft it.

The Good news is, when it gets to me at 10.10, only 1 TE went. Annoyingly, it was Trey Burton. Seeing as that plan backfired, I feel like I will end up taking 2 TE now and playing them with the matchups. So I immediately take Jordan Reed, who has massive upside if healthy. This will force my hand in taking 2 TE but I am happy with that as my WR and RB are good in depth. Perhaps should take Jack Doyle in a PPR but the signing of Eric Ebron scares me and that Colts offence….yuk.

Jack Doyle is still there in round 11 but I am going to take my QB here. The best QB on the board at the moment is Kirk Cousins. Others available are Big Ben, Dak Prescott, Phillip Rivers, Jameis Winston and Matt Ryan. I am a bit scared of taking Cousins due to the Vikings not necessarily needing much from him with Dalvin Cook and that Defence. Big Ben is very up and down and that’s the case for all of these QBs at this point. But as there are a lot of weapons for Cousins, I will take him and change from my usual take Phillip Rivers ploy.

My team is as follows:

QB: Cousins

RB: Bell, Cook, Lewis, Burkhead

WR: Fitzgerald, D.Thomas, Garcon, Kupp, Hogan

TE: Reed

Options available to me now are TY Montgomery who has potential upside in the GB offence, Desean Jackson, Mohammed Sanu and Ted Ginn, boom or bust WR. However I am going to pick my backup TE to Jordan Reed in George Kittle. Probably not advisable to have players from the same passing attack, but I like Kittle a lot this season coming in to his second year. Could have gone Cameron Brate or Austin Seferian-Jenkins here also.

The turn saw Jacksonville defence come off the board (1st defence to be drafted) and as I am picking late in the last round, I do not want to be left with a middle of the road defence. It’s a take your pick from Minnesota, Philadelphia and for me, Los Angeles Rams. I am going to be controversial and take the Rams before the Vikings and Eagles defences. Don’t @ me. It’s a division where they could feast on the Seattle offence twice a year along with Arizona, one of the worst for giving up sacks last year.

My last pick could be absolutely anyone. RBs on the board are not inspiring: Abdullah, Martin , Breida and Robert Kelley. WRs are Desean Jackson, Corey Coleman, Mike Wallace,  Danny Amendola and Mo Sanu. I don’t need a TE and there is not point taking another defence or QB. So I plump for Sanu, who had some good weeks last year and is the No.1 in Atlanta, if Julio goes down.

So that’s my draft! The good thing about fantasyPros is that they grade your draft and here’s how I did:

2018-04-16-4.png

On reflection, there were probably one or two players I could have waited on a bit longer but this is why you practice drafts. to see what players are in which parts of the draft and get comfortable in predicting who you can get where. I love the RBs on this team and if it was real, i would look to trade one to an RB needy team. Not overly enthused about my TE but if Reed plays 16 games, then I perhaps have the steal of the draft.

Hope you enjoyed the ride! We will do another one soon. perhaps over a podcast as this was very painful to do as a blog and has taken almost 2 or 3 hours.

Love to hear your thoughts on my team or which team won in this draft. For reference, here are the final rosters below:

2018-04-16 (5)

Please get in touch on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram and let us know your thoughts! Don’t forget our #raceto500 giveaway. When we have 500 followers we will give a prize away (likely an NFL jersey!). Please show some support on our website full10yards.com and look at some of the articles and mock drafts that are on there.

Finally, our podcast will be back later in the week where we will be looking at the 2018 NFL draft with our guest mock draft writer, Lee Wakefield.