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: Matthew Washington, Jack Browne, David P. Woods, Justin Boone, Brandon Wile, Navin Vaswani, Ian Dalley, Taylor Rohaly, Dustin Saracini, Caitlyn Holroyd.
|1||Jonathan Taylor (RB1)||Washington|
|2||Christian McCaffrey (RB2)||Browne|
|3||Justin Jefferson (WR1)||Woods|
|4||Austin Ekeler (RB3)||Boone|
|5||Cooper Kupp (WR2)||Wile|
|6||Dalvin Cook (RB4)||Vaswani|
|7||Derrick Henry (RB5)||Dalley|
|8||Ja'Marr Chase (WR3)||Rohaly|
|9||Najee Harris (RB6)||Saracini|
|10||Stefon Diggs (WR4)||Holroyd|
Round 1: This is about what you should expect an opening round to look like in a 10-team half PPR league this season. Seeing Justin Jefferson go above Cooper Kupp is the only real surprise. However, you can make an argument for it given the new pass-heavy scheme Jefferson will benefit from in Minnesota and Matthew Stafford's lingering elbow issues putting a sliver of doubt into Kupp's outlook.
My pick: Austin Ekeler was an obvious selection at fourth overall. The Chargers star tied for the league lead in total touchdowns last year with 20 and finished as the RB3 in average fantasy points per game. He's also getting even more reinforcements up front in the form of first-round guard Zion Johnson. The Bolts' line came in eighth in our recent Offensive Line Rankings.
|11||Joe Mixon (RB7)||Holroyd|
|12||Davante Adams (WR5)||Saracini|
|13||D'Andre Swift (RB8)||Rohaly|
|14||Travis Kelce (TE1)||Dalley|
|15||Saquon Barkley (RB9)||Vaswani|
|16||Aaron Jones (RB10)||Wile|
|17||CeeDee Lamb (WR6)||Boone|
|18||Deebo Samuel (WR7)||Woods|
|19||Nick Chubb (RB11)||Browne|
|20||Tyreek Hill (WR8)||Washington|
Round 2: In a 10-team league, there are no bad options in the second round. Several backs like D'Andre Swift, Joe Mixon, Saquon Barkley, and Aaron Jones could easily return first-round value. It wouldn't be surprising to see them push for top-five running back numbers.
My pick: CeeDee Lamb has superstar traits and will now get the volume to reach the next level in fantasy. With Amari Cooper's departure, as well as injuries to Michael Gallup and James Washington, Lamb's only real target competition will come from tight end Dalton Schultz. A career year is on the way for the 23-year-old wideout; he might lead the lead in targets.
|21||Alvin Kamara (RB12)||Washington|
|22||Mike Evans (WR9)||Browne|
|23||A.J. Brown (WR10)||Woods|
|24||Mark Andrews (TE2)||Boone|
|25||Leonard Fournette (RB13)||Wile|
|26||Tee Higgins (WR11)||Vaswani|
|27||Javonte Williams (RB14)||Dalley|
|28||Courtland Sutton (WR12)||Rohaly|
|29||Jaylen Waddle (WR13)||Saracini|
|30||Michael Pittman (WR14)||Holroyd|
Round 3: We're still early enough in the draft that there aren't any egregious picks to discuss. Alvin Kamara continues to be a risk worth taking at the Round 2-3 turn, with his legal troubles likely to remain unresolved until next year. Javonte Williams could also turn out to be a steal in this range if he can separate from Melvin Gordon, who's dealing with a foot injury.
My pick: Mark Andrews was my third-round pick during our 10-team mock in July, and he once again lands on my team. The value of having an elite tight end in your lineup is undeniable. Andrews was the top-scoring player at his position last season, averaging 17.7 fantasy points per game. That was 1.3 points more than Travis Kelce each week, and 3.4 points more than third-place finisher Rob Gronkowski.
|31||James Conner (RB15)||Holroyd|
|32||Terry McLaurin (WR15)||Saracini|
|33||Breece Hall (RB16)||Rohaly|
|34||Josh Allen (QB1)||Dalley|
|35||DJ Moore (WR16)||Vaswani|
|36||Mike Williams (WR17)||Wile|
|37||Travis Etienne (RB17)||Boone|
|38||Kyle Pitts (TE3)||Woods|
|39||Keenan Allen (WR18)||Browne|
|40||Ezekiel Elliott (RB18)||Washington|
Round 4: We're starting to get a feel for the different builds managers are going with through four frames. Most teams remain fairly balanced, but Team Woods has passed on running backs thus far. Instead, he's locked down three stud receivers in Jefferson, Deebo Samuel, and A.J. Brown, as well as promising young tight end Kyle Pitts. While few teams can match that kind of firepower at those positions, we'll see if he can put his roster over the top by finding competent running back options in the mid-to-late rounds.
My pick: While my plan was to go receiver in this round, none of my targets were left on the board. So, I pivoted to an upside running back option in Travis Etienne. We highlighted the former first-round pick as a breakout candidate this year after he missed his rookie season due to injury. News out of OTAs and training camp has been positive, suggesting he's regained his speed and explosiveness and is ready to make a major impact in Year 2. If you're worried about James Robinson being ahead of schedule in his recovery from a torn Achilles, don't be. Etienne profiles as a Kamara-style back who can excel on fewer touches thanks to his pass-catching skills and big-play ability.
|41||Allen Robinson (WR19)||Washington|
|42||JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR20)||Browne|
|43||Gabriel Davis (WR21)||Woods|
|44||Darnell Mooney (WR22)||Boone|
|45||Diontae Johnson (WR23)||Wile|
|46||Brandin Cooks (WR24)||Vaswani|
|47||D.K. Metcalf (WR25)||Dalley|
|48||George Kittle (TE4)||Rohaly|
|49||Cam Akers (RB19)||Saracini|
|50||Marquise Brown (WR26)||Holroyd|
Round 5: Receivers dominated the fifth round, as they should. It's a topic we covered on theScore Fantasy Football Podcast during our 2022 WR preview episode. With the combination of young breakout talents and upside veterans in new situations, the middle rounds are filled with quality fantasy wideouts.
My pick: With Diontae Johnson, D.K. Metcalf, Brandin Cooks, and Darnell Mooney available, we were left with a very difficult decision. Johnson is dealing with a hip flexor, uncertainty at quarterback, and increased target competition with the arrival of George Pickens. Metcalf has significant touchdown upside, but Geno Smith and Drew Lock combine for the league's worst quarterback room. It ultimately came down to Cooks or Mooney, and we went with the ascending player who should see another target spike in a barren Bears passing attack. It's one of the reasons why Mooney landed on our list of seven players who will lead you to a fantasy title in 2022.
|51||Darren Waller (TE5)||Holroyd|
|52||Patrick Mahomes (QB2)||Saracini|
|53||Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR27)||Rohaly|
|54||Jerry Jeudy (WR28)||Dalley|
|55||Justin Herbert (QB3)||Vaswani|
|56||Lamar Jackson (QB4)||Wile|
|57||Rashod Bateman (WR29)||Boone|
|58||Chris Godwin (WR30)||Woods|
|59||Michael Thomas (WR31)||Browne|
|60||Kyler Murray (QB5)||Washington|
Round 6: Quarterbacks were an enticing buy in the sixth round, as Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson, and Kyler Murray found teams. While I don't often spend up on a quarterback in single-QB formats, this isn't a bad price to pay for a top-five fantasy passer.
My pick: With two running backs and an elite tight end already on our roster, we continued to stockpile young receivers on the verge of breakouts. Despite dealing with injuries early and playing without Lamar Jackson down the stretch, Rashod Bateman flashed his No. 1 receiver potential as a rookie. We now have the clear top-two targets in what should be a very concentrated Ravens passing attack.
|61||Elijah Moore (WR32)||Washington|
|62||J.K. Dobbins (RB20)||Browne|
|63||Elijah Mitchell (RB21)||Woods|
|64||Adam Thielen (WR33)||Boone|
|65||David Montgomery (RB22)||Wile|
|66||Drake London (WR34)||Vaswani|
|67||Amari Cooper (WR35)||Dalley|
|68||Brandon Aiyuk (WR36)||Rohaly|
|69||Antonio Gibson (RB23)||Saracini|
|70||Hunter Renfrow (WR37)||Holroyd|
Round 7: Team Woods takes its first running back in the seventh round and gets a good one in Elijah Mitchell. While there are concerns about the 49ers using more of a committee backfield in an effort to reduce the risk of injury, the beat writers have made it clear that Mitchell stands alone atop the depth chart. As a rookie, he was the RB19 in average fantasy points per game and will have an excellent chance to finish in that area once again.
My pick: With all of the young talent on our roster, we decided to select a high-scoring veteran as a safety net. Even though Adam Thielen has missed time two of the past three seasons, he's been a top-12 receiver in fantasy points per game four of the last five years. When he's active, he should be in your lineup. We'll gladly take his production until the wheels fall off.
|71||Allen Lazard (WR38)||Holroyd|
|72||DeAndre Hopkins (WR39)||Saracini|
|73||Joe Burrow (QB6)||Rohaly|
|74||Kadarius Toney (WR40)||Dalley|
|75||AJ Dillon (RB24)||Vaswani|
|76||Dalton Schultz (TE6)||Wile|
|77||Treylon Burks (WR41)||Boone|
|78||Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB25)||Woods|
|79||DeVonta Smith (WR42)||Browne|
|80||Chris Olave (WR43)||Washington|
Round 8: Team Woods found another running back value in the eighth round with Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Though he hasn't performed up to the first-round draft capital the Chiefs spent to get him, CEH is still only 23 years old. Kansas City has a premier quarterback and top-five offensive line that should give its young running back every chance to succeed. And if the latest reports out of training camp are to be believed, Ronald Jones might be on the roster bubble, leaving Jerick McKinnon and rookie Isiah Pacheco as the only touch competition in the backfield.
My pick: We were back at it with another young receiver in the eighth round, this time snagging rookie Treylon Burks. As we've learned in recent years, you can often find value by buying first-year wideouts who are the subject of negative reports during OTAs. Burks may have shown up a little out of shape and missed some practice time, but he's been garnering positive reviews in training camp and should eventually emerge as a starter in a Titans offense that desperately needs playmakers in the passing game.
|81||T.J. Hockenson (TE7)||Washington|
|82||Jalen Hurts (QB7)||Browne|
|83||Trey Lance (QB8)||Woods|
|84||Russell Wilson (QB9)||Boone|
|85||Tyler Lockett (WR44)||Wile|
|86||Josh Jacobs (RB26)||Vaswani|
|87||Christian Kirk (WR45)||Dalley|
|88||Tyler Boyd (WR46)||Rohaly|
|89||Chase Edmonds (RB27)||Saracini|
|90||Miles Sanders (RB28)||Holroyd|
Round 9: The hate on Tyler Lockett is going too far. While no one should be rushing to invest in the Seahawks' passing attack, Lockett is guaranteed to finish higher than WR44. We're talking about a player who's finished as a top-20 fantasy receiver each of the last four years. Even with a massive downgrade at quarterback, Lockett is still a fantasy WR3 at worst.
My pick: After waiting on quarterbacks, a mini-run developed at the start of the ninth round, leading me to select Russell Wilson. The truth is my three most rostered quarterbacks this season were taken this round - Wilson, Jalen Hurts, and Trey Lance. Each one finds himself in an improved situation this year, with Wilson landing in a well-stocked Broncos offense, Hurts getting a true No. 1 receiver in A.J. Brown, and Lance finally being named the full-time starter in a stacked 49ers attack.
|91||Tom Brady (QB10)||Holroyd|
|92||Julio Jones (WR47)||Saracini|
|93||Cordarrelle Patterson (RB29)||Rohaly|
|94||Kareem Hunt (RB30)||Dalley|
|95||Tony Pollard (RB31)||Vaswani|
|96||Rashaad Penny (RB32)||Wile|
|97||Rhamondre Stevenson (RB33)||Boone|
|98||Damien Harris (RB34)||Woods|
|99||Skyy Moore (WR48)||Browne|
|100||Robert Woods (WR49)||Washington|
Round 10: Receivers command the most attention in the middle rounds, but at this point in the draft, running backs carry the most upside. Players like Cordarrelle Patterson, Rashaad Penny, and Damien Harris project to be the lead backs in their offenses to start the year, offering superb value in the double-digit rounds. Meanwhile, Kareem Hunt, Tony Pollard, and Rhamondre Stevenson are all one injury away from fantasy RB1 status.
My pick: We chose to take Stevenson over Harris since the latter had his name thrown around as a possible trade candidate. With Stevenson's pass-catching ability, he could provide the Patriots with a more all-around skill set. Harris has been limited to early-down duty, and his fantasy production is heavily linked to touchdown scoring. At this stage, we'd rather roster a player with a path to being a difference-maker over one with a capped ceiling.
|101||Rondale Moore (WR50)||Washington|
|102||Dallas Goedert (TE8)||Browne|
|103||Darrell Henderson (RB35)||Woods|
|104||Kenneth Walker (RB36)||Boone|
|105||Devin Singletary (RB37)||Wile|
|106||James Cook (RB38)||Vaswani|
|107||Melvin Gordon (RB39)||Dalley|
|108||Rachaad White (RB40)||Rohaly|
|109||Zach Ertz (TE9)||Saracini|
|110||Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR51)||Holroyd|
Round 11: Another running back gauntlet develops in the 11th round with six consecutive ball carriers going off the board. Rookies James Cook and Kenneth Walker have an opportunity to play themselves into the lead back role, while Darrell Henderson, Melvin Gordon, and Rachaad White would all need an injury to reach their high-end outcomes. Like Harris in the last round, Devin Singletary has a limited fantasy projection due to Cook's pass-catching role and Josh Allen's goal-line presence.
My pick: For the second straight round, we were in on the running back fire sale. Walker might be behind Rashaad Penny on the depth chart right now, but it's only a matter of time before the second-round rookie overtakes the fragile veteran. While Penny's strong final month in 2021 is fresh in the minds of fantasy managers, he's also a player who spent the prior three-and-a-half years struggling to stay on the field. Plus, he's currently dealing with a groin injury.
|111||Isaiah Spiller (RB41)||Holroyd|
|112||Mecole Hardman (WR52)||Saracini|
|113||Jakobi Meyers (WR53)||Rohaly|
|114||Russell Gage (WR54)||Dalley|
|115||Dawson Knox (TE10)||Vaswani|
|116||Garrett Wilson (WR55)||Wile|
|117||Dameon Pierce (RB42)||Boone|
|118||Kenneth Gainwell (RB43)||Woods|
|119||Michael Gallup (WR56)||Browne|
|120||Jamaal Williams (RB44)||Washington|
Round 12: Let's check back in on Team Woods and his search for mid-to-late-round running backs. After avoiding the position for the first six rounds, his final roster has Elijah Mitchell, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Damien Harris, Darrell Henderson, and Kenneth Gainwell. That's more than enough producers to get by with early in the season while also having the high-end backups like Henderson and Gainwell who could emerge as the season progresses.
My pick: The Texans have one of the NFL's few wide-open backfields this season, and according to multiple beat writers, fourth-round rookie Dameon Pierce is making a strong case to be the lead back in camp. Whether he can earn that role by Week 1 remains to be seen, but he should get his shot to usurp veterans Marlon Mack and Rex Burkhead at some point. That's a low-risk bet to make in the 12th round.