Fantasy Football 2018: Early four-round mock draft

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 17: Davante Adams
CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 17: Davante Adams /

An early four-round fantasy football mock draft for the 2018 season.

Now that the real NFL Draft is in the books, we can start preparing for the new fantasy football season.

Draft Day can make or break your season. While you certainly won’t ruin your championship hopes with a bad draft, a strong one can set you up for a dominant season. If you construct a strong, deep roster prior to the season, you can always stay a step ahead of the game. Deep at running back? Package two of your good ones together in a trade for an elite wide receiver.

Simply put, fantasy drafts are important. A good way to prepare is through mock drafts, giving you a general idea of where players are being selected.

I’ve put together a four-round mock, and it features two Green Bay Packers.

In this mock, the scoring format is half-point PPR and features 10 teams.

Round 1

  1. Le’Veon Bell, RB, Steelers
  2. David Johnson, RB, Cardinals
  3. Todd Gurley, RB, Rams
  4. Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints
  5. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys
  6. Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers
  7. Kareem Hunt, RB, Chiefs
  8. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans
  9. Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
  10. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Giants

To me, Le’Veon Bell is still the best player in fantasy. Last season he rushed for 1,291 yards and nine touchdowns, and also added 85 receptions (42.5 points in half-point PPR) for 655 yards and two touchdowns. Bell has stayed healthy the past two seasons and continues to produce as one of the most consistent players in the league.

Don’t forget about David Johnson, though. He suffered a season-ending wrist injury in Week 1 last year, but was absolutely dominant the season prior. In 2016, Johnson rushed for 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns, while catching 80 passes for 879 yards and four touchdowns. Incredible.

Even in a half-PPR format, I always favor running backs. Todd Gurley, Alvin Kamara and Ezekiel Elliott are all excellent picks in the top five.

I have Saquon Barkley as a first-rounder. Risky? Sure. Will it be worth it? Absolutely. His arrival in New York also bumps up Odell Beckham’s value, who was already an elite fantasy player.

Round 2

  1. Leonard Fournette, RB, Jaguars
  2. Michael Thomas, WR, Saints
  3. Julio Jones, WR, Falcons
  4. Melvin Gordon, RB, Chargers
  5. Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings
  6. A.J. Green, WR, Bengals
  7. Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers
  8. Davante Adams, WR, Packers
  9. Devonta Freeman, RB, Falcons
  10. Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers

Just look at some of the names dropping to the second round. All 10 of these players have a ton of upside. Leonard Fournette, Julio Jones, Melvin Gordon and Dalvin Cook could easily be late first-rounders.

The first Packer comes off the board in the second round. I love Davante Adams’ potential as the Packers’ No. 1 receiver. He could be a top-tier wide receiver in fantasy this year.

Round 3

  1. LeSean McCoy, RB, Bills
  2. Tyreek Hill, WR, Chiefs
  3. Jordan Howard, RB, Bears
  4. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers
  5. Adam Thielen, WR, Vikings
  6. Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots
  7. Jerick McKinnon, RB, 49ers
  8. Allen Robinson, WR, Bears
  9. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts
  10. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers

The depth of fantasy drafts this year is incredible. Jordan Howard could be a league-winner if the Bears’ offense is good as many are expecting under new head coach Matt Nagy. In two seasons, Howard has put up 2,435 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. His limited usage as a receiver pushes him down in this format, but he has RB1 upside. Not bad for a third-rounder.

I’m not a fan of selecting a tight end or quarterback this high, no matter who they are. That said, I also realize that Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Rodgers will rarely ever make it out of the third round in fantasy drafts.

Round 4

  1. Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs
  2. Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks
  3. Deshaun Watson, QB, Texans
  4. Kenyan Drake, RB, Dolphins
  5. Stefon Diggs, WR, Vikings
  6. Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals
  7. Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles
  8. Josh Gordon, WR, Browns
  9. Derrick Henry, RB, Titans
  10. Brandin Cooks, WR, Rams

Again, I feel Travis Kelce in the fourth is too high, but just watch someone else make that mistake.

Deshaun Watson will be a high pick this year based on his excellent rookie season, even if it was a small sample size. Assuming he’s fully healthy for Week 1, he’ll be in the elite quarterback conversation. His rushing ability and fearlessness to launch the ball downfield made him fun to watch last year, and also a fantasy star.

Still, you can stream the position, and using a fourth-rounder on a QB when the likes of Kenyan Drake, Stefon Diggs and Derrick Henry are still on the board isn’t a move I’d make.

Next: Top 30 moments in Green Bay Packers history

This round features a number of players with game-winning potential. Josh Gordon is worth a risk in the fourth. Brandin Cooks can single-handedly win you a week, but his lack of consistency can be frustrating.