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Fantasy: 10-team mock draft with analysis after every round


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theScore staff took part in a 10-team, 12-round mock draft to offer some insight on what to watch for in each round.

This is a half PPR scoring league with the following roster spots: QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, FLEX, BN, BN, BN, BN. We omitted defenders and kickers, as they're normally selected in the final two rounds.

Draft participants: Justin Boone, Navin Vaswani, Caitlyn Holroyd, Ian Dalley, Dustin Saracini, Taylor Rohaly, Daniel Valente, Caio Miari, David P. Woods, Alex Chippin.

Round 1

Pick Player Team
1 Christian McCaffrey (RB1) Boone
2 Jonathan Taylor (RB2) Vaswani
3 Cooper Kupp (WR1) Holroyd
4 Derrick Henry (RB3) Dalley
5 Najee Harris (RB4) Saracini
6 Ja'Marr Chase (WR2) Rohaly
7 Justin Jefferson (WR3) Valente
8 Stefon Diggs (WR4) Miari
9 Austin Ekeler (RB5) Woods
10 Nick Chubb (RB6) Chippin

Round 1: While the players selected in the first round are fairly chalky, there were a few running backs who went a little earlier than you'd normally see in PPR drafts. Henry and Chubb are two of the best ball carriers the NFL has to offer, but they don't provide the target volume to warrant going fourth and 10th overall, respectively, in this format.

My pick: Baker Mayfield's arrival in Carolina was enough for me to move McCaffrey back into the No. 1 spot in my rankings. Don't overemphasize his recent injury history. Instead, focus on the 30-point-per-week ceiling he reached in 2019 and 2020, which no other player comes close to averaging.

Round 2

Pick Player Team
11 Aaron Jones (RB7) Chippin
12 Dalvin Cook (RB8) Woods
13 Joe Mixon (RB9) Miari
14 Davante Adams (WR5) Valente
15 Josh Allen (QB1) Rohaly
16 Travis Kelce (TE1) Saracini
17 D'Andre Swift (RB10) Dalley
18 Leonard Fournette (RB11) Holroyd
19 CeeDee Lamb (WR6) Vaswani
20 Mike Evans (WR7) Boone

Round 2: Allen is by far the top fantasy quarterback heading into the 2022 season, but reaching for him in the second round is a risky move by Team Rohaly. That's especially true in a 10-team, single-QB league in which there are more than enough quality starters to go around. The earliest you should consider Allen is in the third round.

My pick: The uncertainty surrounding Chris Godwin's recovery timeline, combined with Rob Gronkowski's retirement, pushes Evans into the second round. Though some reports suggest the Bucs are hopeful Godwin could be ready for Week 1, there's no reason for a team with Super Bowl aspirations to rush him back. We're unlikely to see Godwin until October at the earliest, so expect a hot start from Evans. At that point, we can decide whether we want to sell high or ride him for the rest of the year.

Round 3

Pick Player Team
21 Mark Andrews (TE2) Boone
22 Saquon Barkley (RB12) Vaswani
23 Javonte Williams (RB13) Holroyd
24 Tyreek Hill (WR8) Dalley
25 James Conner (RB14) Saracini
26 Alvin Kamara (RB15) Rohaly
27 Deebo Samuel (WR9) Valente
28 Tee Higgins (WR10) Miari
29 A.J. Brown (WR11) Woods
30 Keenan Allen (WR12) Chippin

Round 3: Team Valente is heading down a zero-RB path after choosing a trio of star wideouts in Jefferson, Adams, and Samuel. All three finished among the top five fantasy receivers in 2021 and will have an excellent chance to land in the top 10 again this year.

My pick: Spending up on an elite tight end gives your lineup a significant advantage. With Kelce off the board in the previous round, we'll gladly take Andrews, who was the top scoring player at his position last season, averaging 17.7 fantasy points per game. That was 1.3 points more than Kelce each week and 3.4 points more than the third-place finisher Gronk.

Round 4

Pick Player Team
31 Terry McLaurin (WR13) Chippin
32 Michael Pittman (WR14) Woods
33 Travis Etienne (RB16) Miari
34 Kyle Pitts (TE3) Valente
35 Ezekiel Elliott (RB17) Rohaly
36 Cam Akers (RB18) Saracini
37 Mike Williams (WR15) Dalley
38 DJ Moore (WR16) Holroyd
39 Diontae Johnson (WR17) Vaswani
40 Courtland Sutton (WR18) Boone

Round 4: There isn't much out of the ordinary in the fourth round. Team Saracini is waiting on receivers and has an interesting three-RB, one-TE build going, while Team Valente continued its zero-RB plan by adding Pitts - a tight end with the potential to join the elite ranks this season. We'll monitor how these work out since they're much different than the other more balanced approaches in this draft.

My pick: At the end of the round, we went with Sutton - the wideout who's reportedly Russell Wilson's favorite pass-catcher so far in Denver. With Evans and Sutton as our main receivers, we should have an opportunity to pair one of them with their real-life QB a little later in the draft. Wilson and Tom Brady have top-five upside and come at more palatable costs than some of the younger stars at the position.

Round 5

Pick Player Team
41 Breece Hall (RB19) Boone
42 Jaylen Waddle (WR19) Vaswani
43 George Kittle (TE4) Holroyd
44 Darren Waller (TE5) Dalley
45 Jerry Jeudy (WR20) Saracini
46 Gabriel Davis (WR21) Rohaly
47 Lamar Jackson (QB2) Valente
48 David Montgomery (RB20) Miari
49 Marquise Brown (WR22) Woods
50 JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR23) Chippin

Round 5: The surprise around selecting a quarterback in the second round becomes even more evident when you realize the next passer is only coming off the board now. Though we're a couple seasons removed from Jackson's record-setting MVP campaign in 2019, he's a good-value pick in the middle rounds since his fantasy upside rivals any quarterback in the league. Though Team Valente will have a lot of work to do filling out its running back depth chart, it's loaded at WR, TE, and QB.

My pick: Rookie running backs can be a dangerous bet if you overpay, but waiting until the fifth round to grab Hall minimizes my risk. The Jets were middle of the pack in Football Outsiders' run DVOA last season and should benefit from the infusion of talent at almost level of their offense. Hall comes with the draft capital and prospect profile to be an immediate difference-maker in fantasy.

Round 6

Pick Player Team
51 Kyler Murray (QB3) Chippin
52 Rashod Bateman (WR24) Woods
53 Allen Robinson (WR25) Miari
54 J.K. Dobbins (RB21) Valente
55 Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR26) Rohaly
56 DK Metcalf (WR27) Saracini
57 Darnell Mooney (WR28) Dalley
58 Brandin Cooks (WR29) Holroyd
59 Patrick Mahomes (QB4) Vaswani
60 Adam Thielen (WR30) Boone

Round 6: Receivers dominate the sixth round, with a mixture of underrated veterans (Robinson, Cooks, Thielen), young breakout stars (Bateman, St. Brown, Mooney), and a potential top-10 wideout whose value is being suppressed by a bad QB situation (Metcalf). All seven receivers taken here are good values in this range.

My pick: As much as we want to write off Thielen, he continues to produce for fantasy managers. Prior to getting hurt in Week 13, the 31-year-old was averaging the ninth most fantasy points (17.4) among receivers through 11 games last season, including 10 touchdowns during that span. The Vikings' new coaching staff is expected to bring in a more pass-friendly attack, which should help Thielen maintain his value for at least one more season.

Round 7

Pick Player Team
61 Chris Godwin (WR31) Boone
62 Amari Cooper (WR32) Vaswani
63 Justin Herbert (QB5) Holroyd
64 Elijah Mitchell (RB22) Dalley
65 Michael Thomas (WR33) Saracini
66 Tony Pollard (RB23) Rohaly
67 Josh Jacobs (RB24) Valente
68 Dalton Schultz (TE6) Miari
69 DeVonta Smith (WR34) Woods
70 Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB25) Chippin

Round 7: After avoiding running backs in the early going, Team Valente has put its faith in Dobbins and Jacobs the last two rounds. That's a gamble when you factor in the fact Dobbins is returning from a torn ACL that's kept him sidelined all offseason and could threaten his Week 1 availability. Jacobs doesn't come with any guarantees, either, after the Raiders declined his fifth-year option and drafted two backs in April. Hopefully, Team Valente can fill its bench with some lottery-ticket RBs.

My pick: The seventh round was my toughest choice in the draft due to the drop-off in safe options. Herbert was a possibility, but this is still earlier than we would normally invest in a quarterback. That led me to shift to a more long-term view and take Godwin. Even if the Bucs WR is sidelined until October, we have enough depth in Evans, Sutton, and Thielen to keep us afloat. If the rest of our roster holds up, Godwin will be a major boost in the second half of the season. Without the injury, he'd likely have been a second- or third-round pick in this draft.

Round 8

Pick Player Team
71 Chase Claypool (WR35) Chippin
72 Jalen Hurts (QB6) Woods
73 Hunter Renfrow (WR36) Miari
74 Drake London (WR37) Valente
75 AJ Dillon (RB26) Rohaly
76 Antonio Gibson (RB27) Saracini
77 Miles Sanders (RB28) Dalley
78 Elijah Moore (WR38) Holroyd
79 DeAndre Hopkins (WR39) Vaswani
80 Chase Edmonds (RB29) Boone

Round 8: Team Woods secured two outstanding backs at the beginning of the draft, then filled out its roster with five straight receivers - led by Brown. Now, Brown is paired with one of my favorite quarterback targets this season in Hurts, who has all the firepower he needs to improve on his QB6 fantasy finish in 2021.

My pick: Edmonds is the front-runner to have the most touches in the Dolphins' backfield after they signed him to a two-year, $12.6-million contract - compared to the smaller one-year deals given to Raheem Mostert and Sony Michel. The team brought in head coach Mike McDaniel from the 49ers and made an effort to upgrade its offensive line - moves that should both have a massive impact on the rushing attack. If you're looking for this year's mid-round running back steal, Edmonds should be near the top of your list.

Round 9

Pick Player Team
81 Brandon Aiyuk (WR40) Boone
82 T.J. Hockenson (TE7) Vaswani
83 Damien Harris (RB30) Holroyd
84 Christian Kirk (WR41) Dalley
85 Joe Burrow (QB7) Saracini
86 Cordarrelle Patterson (RB31) Rohaly
87 Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR42) Valente
88 Kenneth Walker (RB32) Miari
89 Rhamondre Stevenson (RB33) Woods
90 Robert Woods (WR43) Chippin

Round 9: Seeing someone like Patterson available this deep in the draft still seems odd. Not many running backs break out after the age of 30, making C-Patt a unique case. The Falcons relied on him heavily before he broke down late in the year, and they'll likely have to do so again after barely addressing the position in the offseason. Patterson averaged the 16th most fantasy points (14.7) among running backs in PPR last year yet was the 31st back off the board in this draft. It's a great value for Team Rohaly, which could be without its top RB early in the season if Kamara gets suspended.

My pick: Aiyuk is an overqualified No. 2 receiver on a San Francisco offense that's about to reach new heights when Trey Lance takes over under center. As a rookie in 2020, Aiyuk was the WR14 in fantasy points per game (16.4) from Week 3 on. He opened his sophomore season in Kyle Shanahan's doghouse but got back on track and was the WR22 per game (13.4) over his final 10 appearances. He'll be in the mix as a fringe WR2 once again - he just isn't being valued that way at the moment.

Round 10

Pick Player Team
91 Kareem Hunt (RB34) Chippin
92 Kadarius Toney (WR44) Woods
93 Trey Lance (QB8) Miari
94 Treylon Burks (WR45) Valente
95 Jakobi Meyers (WR46) Rohaly
96 Mecole Hardman (WR47) Saracini
97 Devin Singletary (RB35) Dalley
98 Allen Lazard (WR48) Holroyd
99 Rashaad Penny (RB36) Vaswani
100 Tyler Lockett (WR49) Boone

Round 10: As we preach every year, the later rounds should be dedicated to pure upside as you attempt to unearth the next fantasy diamond. Hunt, Toney, Lance, Burks, and Lazard all fit that description here.

My pick: Just like his teammate Metcalf, Lockett's fantasy stock has fallen with managers bracing for a Drew Loc-Geno Smith QB competition. However, at this phase of the draft, you should be willing to roll the dice on a player who's averaged 1,063 yards and nine touchdowns per season the last four years. There's also a chance Jimmy Garoppolo lands in Seattle, which would launch Lockett back up fantasy draft boards.

Round 11

Pick Player Team
101 Russell Wilson (QB9) Boone
102 Melvin Gordon (RB37) Vaswani
103 James Cook (RB38) Holroyd
104 Russell Gage (WR50) Dalley
105 DeVante Parker (WR51) Saracini
106 Dawson Knox (TE8) Rohaly
107 Garrett Wilson (WR52) Valente
108 Skyy Moore (WR53) Miari
109 Dallas Goedert (TE9) Woods
110 Zach Ertz (TE10) Chippin

Round 11: Team Woods completed its Eagles stack by taking Goedert this round, reuniting him with teammates Brown and Hurts. We don't know if Hurts' arm will be able to support multiple fantasy pass-catchers over a full season, but it's worth finding out at this price. Philadelphia could emerge as one of the more potent offenses in the league this season, and if that happens, Team Woods will be a real threat.

My pick: We were able to wait at quarterback and take the value that came to us. Wilson finished as a top-12 fantasy QB (points per game) in eight of his 10 seasons with Seattle, falling just short in 2021 (QB13) and 2016 (QB16). Now he joins a Denver offense that's bursting at the seams with talent. If you aren't confident enough to determine which players might benefit the most from his arrival, you can play it safe and cover your bases by drafting Wilson.

Round 12

Pick Player Team
111 Mark Ingram (RB39) Chippin
112 Ronald Jones (RB40) Woods
113 Alexander Mattison (RB41) Miari
114 James Robinson (RB42) Valente
115 Rachaad White (RB43) Rohaly
116 Aaron Rodgers (QB10) Saracini
117 Tom Brady (QB11) Dalley
118 Chris Olave (WR54) Holroyd
119 Dameon Pierce (RB44) Vaswani
120 Darrell Henderson (RB45) Boone

Round 12: Remember when we were expecting Team Valente to load up running backs in the second half of the draft? It waited until the 12th round to take its third back, leaving it with a trio of Dobbins, Jacobs, and Robinson. On top of the concerns we expressed about the first two, he now has to worry about Robinson's return from a torn Achilles - an injury that tends to limit ball carriers for a couple years before they regain their form. Team Valente will need to be aggressive on the waiver wire when replacement-caliber running back options pop up.

My pick: Speaking of players making their way back from a torn Achilles, the fact Akers was able to return for the playoffs last season was impressive. Unfortunately, he didn't look like the same player and might not be back to form this season either. That makes Henderson an important target in case he has to handle some of the workload or step in if Akers is forced to miss time.

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