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Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12-team PPR

Jeff Pratt runs through a 12-team PPR mock draft with analysis for every pick.

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star Jenna Watson/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

Fantasy football season has officially arrived! NFL preseason is underway, which means your league is getting ready to draft over the next couple of weeks. Veteran fantasy players understand just how vital mock drafts are to the pre-draft process. There’s only so much research you can actually do, as practicing in a simulated format is by far the best way to prepare.

Today, I’m going to run through a 12-team PPR mock draft from the No. 3 spot on Sleeper. I’ll provide analysis for each pick along with round-by-round updates of how the draft played out.

Without further ado, let’s get into it.

Round 1, Pick 3: Austin Ekeler

Other top available players:

  • Derrick Henry
  • Cooper Kupp
  • Justin Jefferson

The No. 3 spot is one of the most intriguing draft positions this year, especially in PPR leagues. Jonathan Taylor is the clear No. 1 pick across the board heading into the 2022 campaign, but there’s some debate about who should follow him at the top of the draft.

Christian McCaffrey went No. 2 in this particular mock, and I would have avoided him if he had fallen to me. While CMC is still one of the most electrifying players in the league, his injury concerns are too high for me to consider taking him with a top pick in drafts.

That left me with a tough decision between Austin Ekeler and Derrick Henry. In standard or .5 PPR formats, the choice is clearly the latter. However, in full PPR I lean slightly towards Ekeler right now. High receiving upside is tremendous, and the Chargers will have one of the most dynamic offenses in the NFL this season. The same can’t be said for Tennessee, and Henry is coming off a tough foot injury at 28 years old. For those reasons, I chose Ekeler with the third overall pick.

Round 1 Results

  1. Jonathan Taylor
  2. Christian McCaffrey
  3. Austin Ekeler
  4. Derrick Henry
  5. Justin Jefferson
  6. Dalvin Cook
  7. Ja’Marr Chase
  8. Joe Mixon
  9. Cooper Kupp
  10. Najee Harris
  11. Davante Adams
  12. D’Andre Swift

Round 2, Pick 22: CeeDee Lamb

Other top available players:

  • Aaron Jones
  • Mike Evans
  • Saquon Barkley

Typically, I like to go RB/RB with my first two picks. That being said, I looked at the board and realized there were five running backs I would be comfortable taking as my RB2, which meant I could draft a receiver and land one of those guys with my next pick.

CeeDee Lamb stuck out as the clear top option among those remaining at his position. Lamb’s production tailed off a bit down the stretch last season, but I expect the 23-year-old to bounce back in dominant fashion and stake his claim as one of the best receivers in the league this year. Amari Cooper is gone and Michael Gallup is still recovering from an ACL tear, which leaves Lamb as the undisputed top option in Dallas’ high-octane passing attack.

At this point in the draft, Lamb was the only receiver left with true top-3 upside, so I felt comfortable selecting him with my second-round pick.

Round 2 Results

  1. Travis Kelce
  2. Stefon Diggs
  3. Nick Chubb
  4. Tyreek Hill
  5. Mark Andrews
  6. Deebo Samuel
  7. Alvin Kamara
  8. Josh Allen
  9. Javonte Williams
  10. CeeDee Lamb
  11. Aaron Jones
  12. Leonard Fournette

Round 3, Pick 27: James Conner

Other top available players:

  • A.J. Brown
  • Mike Evans
  • Keenan Allen

Conner was one of the running backs I felt comfortable rolling with as my RB2, and he fell into my lap at 3.3. To be completely honest, I was a Chase Edmonds truther heading into the 2021 season, but Conner slammed that door shut pretty quickly.

The 27-year-old finished as PPR RB5, establishing himself as the clear leading in Arizona’s backfield. Now, Edmonds is in Miami and Conner is expected to handle an enormous workload once again. DeAndre Hopkins will be unavailable for a decent chunk of the regular season after being suspended, and Conner should benefit from his absence after demonstrating impressive receiving skills out of the backfield last year.

I’m getting RB1 upside with Conner in the third round, that value is simply too good to pass up on.

Round 3 Results

  1. Ezekiel Elliott
  2. Saquon Barkley
  3. James Conner
  4. A.J. Brown
  5. Keenan Allen
  6. Tee Higgins
  7. Kyle Pitts
  8. Cam Akers
  9. Mike Evans
  10. George Kittle
  11. Justin Herbert
  12. Michael Pittman

Round 4, Pick 46: Breece Hall

Other top available players:

  • Diontae Johnson
  • Josh Jacobs
  • D.K. Metcalf

Everyone has their own draft strategy. Mine has always been stockpiling running backs and taking three in the first four rounds. Not only does this strategy give you lineup flexibility, but the running back position is much more shallow than the options at receiver.

Seeing Diontae Johnson on the board gave me pause, as I’m a big fan of his this season and expect another top-12 PPR campaign regardless of who is under center for the Steelers. That being said, I stuck to my strategy and drafted the best available running back in Jets’ rookie Breece Hall.

Hall is a bit of an unknown heading into this season, but the majority of experts expect him to handle the lion’s share of the workload in New York’s backfield. Hall isn’t in the most enticing situation, but volume is king for fantasy running backs and he should see plenty of touches this season.

Round 4 Results

  1. David Montgomery
  2. Jaylen Waddle
  3. Terry McLaurin
  4. Patrick Mahomes
  5. Travis Etienne
  6. D.J. Moore
  7. Antonio Gibson
  8. Darren Waller
  9. Jerry Jeudy
  10. Breece Hall
  11. Courtland Sutton
  12. Josh Jacobs

Round 5, Pick 51: Allen Robinson

Other top available players:

  • D.K. Metcalf
  • Mike Williams
  • J.K. Dobbins

This was a bit of reach ADP-wise, as multiple receivers remained ahead of Robinson on Sleeper’s draft board. That being said, A-Rob is one of my guys this year, and you can’t be afraid to reach to take your guys in drafts.

The Rams will once again be one of the most explosive offenses in the league, and Robinson is walking into the best situation of his career. Yes, his 2021-22 numbers were ugly. There’s no denying that, but you also have to look at his situation. Robinson was dealing with a rookie quarterback in Justin Fields, while also being dragged down by Matt Nagy’s incompetent system.

Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and the rest of L.A.’s offense will make life easy on A-Rob this season, making him the perfect WR2 target in drafts.

Round 5 Results

  1. Lamar Jackson
  2. Diontae Johnson
  3. Allen Robinson
  4. Amari Cooper
  5. D.K. Metcalf
  6. Marquise Brown
  7. Elijah Mitchell
  8. Joe Burrow
  9. Mike Williams
  10. AJ Dillon
  11. Michael Thomas
  12. J.K. Dobbins

Round 6, Pick 70: Rashod Bateman

Other top available players:

  • Miles Sanders
  • Adam Thielen
  • Juju Smith-Schuster

I went hunting for upside with my sixth-round pick, taking an unproven player who should step into Baltimore’s WR1 role in Rashod Bateman. Marquise Brown assumed that role last year and finished as PPR WR22. If Bateman sees similar numbers this season I’ll be satisfied, but I believe there’s room for him to surpass his predecessor’s production.

The second-year receiver has looked the part of a No. 1 option in camp for the Ravens so far, and besides Mark Andrews, Lamar Jackson doesn’t have many other options to throw to. There were more experienced receivers on the board at this point in the draft, but Bateman felt like a reasonable gamble at the end of Round 6.

Round 6 Results

  1. Chris Godwin
  2. Amon-Ra St. Brown
  3. Jalen Hurts
  4. Dalton Schultz
  5. Brandin Cooks
  6. Kyler Murray
  7. Darnell Mooney
  8. Clyde Edwards-Helaire
  9. T.J. Hockenson
  10. Rashod Bateman
  11. Miles Sanders
  12. DeAndre Hopkins

Round 7, Pick 75: Dallas Goedert

Other top available players:

  • Zach Ertz
  • Adam Thielen
  • Kenneth Walker

At this point in the draft, the tight end pool was shrinking rapidly and I didn’t feel comfortable waiting until Round 8 to take one. Out of the available options at the position — Ertz, Henry, Knox — Goedert felt like the obvious choice.

I don’t love drafting tight ends early, which means when I do eventually get around to it, I’m looking for consistent production. That’s exactly what Goedert brings to the table, and even with A.J. Brown in the equation I’m confident in a top-10 finish from the 27-year-old this season.

Goedert and Jalen Hurts will have bolstered their rapport by this point, and the Eagles’ passing attack should be much more dependable in general this year.

Round 7 Results

  1. JuJu Smith-Schuster
  2. Damien Harris
  3. Dallas Goedert
  4. Russell Wilson
  5. Kenneth Walker
  6. Adam Thielen
  7. Kareem Hunt
  8. DeVonta Smith
  9. Cordarrelle Patterson
  10. Gabriel Davis
  11. Drake London
  12. Tom Brady

Round 8, Pick 94: Dak Prescott

Other top available players:

  • Trey Lance
  • Aaron Rodgers
  • Garrett Wilson

Just like tight ends, I refuse to take quarterbacks early in drafts. The value in later rounds is simply too good to waste a mid-round pick on someone like Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson when you could draft a starting-caliber receiver or running back instead.

Out of the remaining QBs on the board, Trey Lance was an intriguing option, but Dak is a proven commodity and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to stack him with CeeDee Lamb. Any time you have the chance to draft a quarterback with legitimate rushing upside in a later round, take it.

Round 8 Results

  1. Tony Pollard
  2. Chase Edmonds
  3. Treylon Burks
  4. Devin Singletary
  5. Tyler Lockett
  6. Elijah Moore
  7. Rashaad Penny
  8. Hunter Renfrow
  9. Brandon Aiyuk
  10. Dak Prescott
  11. Dawson Knox
  12. Zach Ertz

Round 9, Pick 99: Rhamondre Stevenson

Other top available players:

  • James Cook
  • Melvin Gordon
  • Chris Olave

In case you haven’t read my top five steals article yet, check it out here. Stevenson appears on the list, and my reasoning is pretty straightforward. I expect a 50-50 split in carries between Rhamondre and Damien Harris this season, with Stevenson handling almost all of the receiving work in an offense that regularly utilizes screens out of the backfield.

Picking up a player with the potential to lead his backfield in Round 9 was too enticing of a prospect to pass up on.

Round 9 Results

  1. Garrett Wilson
  2. Aaron Rodgers
  3. Rhamondre Stevenson
  4. Matthew Stafford
  5. Melvin Gordon
  6. Allen Lazard
  7. Chris Olave
  8. Robert Woods
  9. James Cook
  10. Mike Gesicki
  11. Derek Carr
  12. Skyy Moore

Round 10, Pick 118: Michael Gallup

Other top available players:

  • Kadarius Toney
  • James Robinson
  • Tyler Boyd

Another Cowboys player?

Another Cowboys player. At this point in the draft, I’m stressing upside with these picks. Michael Gallup brings quite of bit of that to the table. He’s recovering from an ACL tear and won’t be ready for Week 1, which is why you can regularly scoop him in double-digit rounds.

Gallup’s injury isn’t a major concern for my team. Considering my depth, I can afford to let him sit on the bench for a few weeks until he gets healthy. Once Gallup does take the field, he’ll immediately step into a primary role on one of the most explosive offensive teams in the league.

Round 10 Results

  1. Trey Lance
  2. Michael Carter
  3. Chris Kirk
  4. Pat Freiermuth
  5. Chase Claypool
  6. Russell Gage
  7. Alexander Mattison
  8. Albert Okwuegbunam
  9. Isaiah Spiller
  10. Michael Gallup
  11. Kadarius Toney
  12. Cole Kmet

Round 11, Pick 123: Tyler Boyd

Other top available players:

  • Hunter Henry
  • Kirk Cousins
  • Jarvis Landry

Speaking of depth in my receiving core, I added one of the most underrated players in the NFL to my squad in Tyler Boyd.

Like Stevenson, Boyd also appears on my top top five steals list. Not only is he the best WR3 in the league, but the 27-year-old is also a beacon of consistency. Boyd has finished as a top-31 PPR receiver in each of his last four seasons, and I expect another strong campaign from him this year. I cannot stress how much value Boyd presents at this stage of the draft.

Round 11 Results

  1. Bills D/ST
  2. James Robinson
  3. Tyler Boyd
  4. Marquez Valdes-Scantling
  5. Rams D/ST
  6. Kirk Cousins
  7. 49ers D/ST
  8. Buccaneers D/ST
  9. Christian Watson
  10. Dameon Pierce
  11. Hunter Henry
  12. Ronald Jones

Round 12, Pick 142: Robert Tonyan

Other top available players:

  • Rachaad White
  • Jahan Dotson
  • Tyler Higbee

With our last position-player pick, I was lookings for a mix of consistency and upside for my backup tight end. Robert Tonyan fits the bill.

Tonyan is also coming off a major injury, but when healthy he might step in as Aaron Rodgers’ No. 1 target from Green Bay’s depleted receiving core. Tyler Higbee was also another solid option, but he doesn’t bring nearly as much upside to the table as Tonyan.

Round 12 Results

  1. Jarvis Landry
  2. Darrell Henderson
  3. Tyler Allgeier
  4. Tua Tagovailoa
  5. Irv Smith
  6. Nyheim Hines
  7. Ravens D/ST
  8. Rondale Moore
  9. George Pickens
  10. Robert Tonyan
  11. Deshaun Watson
  12. Rachaad White

Round 13, Pick 147: Los Angeles Chargers D/ST

I just picked up the best D/ST unit available, which happened to be the Chargers.

Round 13 Results

  1. Justin Fields
  2. Harrison Butker
  3. Chargers D/ST
  4. Evan McPherson
  5. Jameson Williams
  6. Noah Fant
  7. Tyler Higbee
  8. Justin Tucker
  9. Matt Prater
  10. Matt May
  11. Daniel Carlson
  12. New Orleans Saints

Round 14, Pick 166: Robbie Gould

Similarly to last round, I chose the best kicker available to round out my team.

Round 14 Results

  1. Tyler Bass
  2. Cowboys D/ST
  3. Packers D/ST
  4. Broncos D/ST
  5. Jahan Dotson
  6. Nick Folk
  7. Younghoe Koo
  8. Brandon McManus
  9. Patriots D/ST
  10. Robbie Gould
  11. Colts D/ST
  12. Rodrigo Blankenship

Final Roster

1.3 - Austin Ekeler

2.10 - CeeDee Lamb

3.3 - James Conner

4.10 - Breece Hall

5.3 - Allen Robinson

6.10 - Rashod Bateman

7.3 - Dallas Goedert

8.10 - Dak Prescott

9.3 - Rhamondre Stevenson

10.10 - Michael Gallup

11.3 - Tyler Boyd

12.10 - Robert Tonyan

13.3 - Chargers D/ST

14.10 - Robbie Gould

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