August 05, 2020
There is a pretty good chance you know your draft slot (or slots) and have already started researching for your upcoming fantasy draft.
Whether or not a season is played, or reaches a conclusion, will be up in the air all season long, and we've already offered some suggestions as to how to make your fantasy league work amid a pandemic. But now it's time to focus on the nitty gritty. The players.
Even if there is a hiccup in the NFL season — perhaps it is delayed, or games are cancelled or postponed — your fantasy draft will probably go on as scheduled. Which means you need to be prepared.
One of the best ways to acclimate yourself with player values is to look at some expert mock drafts. That's exactly what we have for you below, the first three rounds (plus some other interesting player spotlights) from a select group of 12-team mock drafts from ESPN, Bleacher Report, 4-for-4 and CBS. Yes, all four are PPR, and all four are drafted by so-called experts on each site. The 4-for-4 is a "Superflex" league that allows for a FLEX player who is also a QB.
Without further ado, here's where the NFL's top offensive players fall:
|Round 1||ESPN||Bleacher Report||4 for 4||CBS|
|1||C. McCaffery||C. McCaffery||S. Barkley||C. McCaffery|
|2||S. Barkley||S. Barkley||C. McCaffery||S. Barkley|
|3||E. Elliott||E. Elliott||E. Elliott||M. Thomas|
|4||A. Kamara||M. Thomas||A. Kamara||A. Kamara|
|5||D. Cook||A. Kamara||M. Thomas||E. Elliott|
|6||M. Thomas||D. Adams||P. Mahomes||D. Henry|
|7||D. Hopkins||P. Mahomes||L. Jackson||D. Cook|
|8||D. Adams||D. Cook||J. Mixon||J. Mixon|
|9||D. Henry||D. Henry||D. Adams||M. Sanders|
|10||J. Mixon||J. Mixon||J. Jones||J. Jones|
|11||P. Mahomes||C. Edwards-Helaire||D. Cook||D. Adams|
|12||J. Jones||J. Jones||K. Drake||T. Hill|
• As you'll gather, the 4-for-4 draft is.... weird. Because of the Superflex, there is a run on quarterbacks early that begins with Mahomes and Jackson at 6 and 7 overall and continues in the next two rounds (we'll get to that). Sports Illustrated's Ben Heisler, who had the top selection in the 4-for-4 draft, also seemingly went rogue and took Barkley over McCaffery.
• Even with all four leagues boasting PPR, the first three saw Mahomes go in the first round, while CBS podcast host Adam Aizer "stole" him in the third round in their draft.
• There seems to be a whole lot of confusion and disagreement over where Chiefs rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Hilaire should be drafted. At ESPN, the presumed Kansas City feature back went 29th. At Bleacher Report, he went 11th overall — with the website explaining the pick as a reflection of Damien Williams' decision to opt out. In 4-for-4 and CBS, he goes late in Round 2.
• ESPN's Joe Kaiser is really taking a leap of faith taking Hopkins at No. 7 with some running back talent still on the board. With a new offense in Arizona and limited training camp, Hopkins' chemistry with Kyler Murray might take a little time. How new players (both rookies and veterans) perform this season with such a different training camp format will be a very influential factor.
|Round 2||ESPN||Bleacher Report||4 for 4||CBS|
|13||A. Ekeler||A. Ekeler||D. Henry||K. Drake|
|14||T. Hill||T. Hill||J. Jacobs||T. Kelce|
|15||M. Sanders||K. Drake||T. Kelce||A. Ekeler|
|16||T. Kelce||D. Hopkins||T. Hill||D. Hopkins|
|17||A. Jones||M. Sanders||M. Sanders||J. Jacobs|
|18||N. Chubb||N. Chubb||N. Chubb||N. Chubb|
|19||K. Drake||J. Jacobs||D. Hopkins||D.J. Moore|
|20||C. Godwin||C. Godwin||G. Kittle||C. Godwin|
|21||J. Jacobs||A. Jones||D. Prescott||G. Kittle|
|22||M. Evans||M. Evans||C. Edwards-Helaire||C. Edwards-Helaire|
|23||G. Kittle||T. Kelce||K. Murray||J. Smith-Schuster|
|24||J. Smith-Schuster||G. Kittle||A. Ekeler||A. Jones|
• Drafters seem to be high on Miles Sanders, who projects to take a whole lot of responsibility in Philadelphia. CBS Fantasy expert Dave Richard picked him ninth overall, with the second-year back going in the second round in the other three.
• Dak Prescott going 21st overall kind of eliminates a lot of credibility in the 4-for-4 draft. Good job Marcas Grant from NFL Media.
• Travis Kelce is the consensus top tight end in football, followed closely, it seems, by George Kittle. It gets murky after that (as you'll see in a bit).
• You probably should pick Nick Chubb if you have the 18th overall pick...
|Round 3||ESPN||Bleacher Report||4 for 4||CBS|
|25||C. Carson||L. Jackson||D. Watson||M. Evans|
|26||A. Robinson II||J. Taylor||A. Jones||A. Thielen|
|27||K. Galloday||A. Robinson II||R. Wilson||C. Cupp|
|28||D.J. Moore||Galloday||Godwin||Calvin Ridley|
|29||C. Edwards-Helaire||L. Fournette||J. Allen||P. Mahomes|
|30||D. Johnson||T. Gurley||J. Conner||C. Carson|
|31||L. Jackson||J. Smith-Schuster||L. Fournette||J. Taylor|
|32||A. Thielen||A. Thielen||A. Robinson II||K. Galloday|
|33||L. Fournette||D.J. Moore||O. Beckham Jr.||J. Conner|
|34||K. Allen||Z. Ertz||D. Brees||L. Jackson|
|35||J. Taylor||O. Beckham Jr.||A. Cooper||T. Gurley|
|36||A. Cooper||L. Bell||M. Ryan||A.J. Brown|
• The 4-for-4 run on quarterbacks continues as Watson, Wilson, Allen, Brees and Ryan go ahead of some very talented skill players. This draft has been included in our analysis for a few reasons. First, this actually happens sometimes — a position just goes and you have to adapt. Second, the team of experts at 4-for-4 range from The Athletic to Sports Illustrated to Yahoo Sports, and they — on paper at least — should know what they're doing.
• Odell Beckham does not appear in the third round in all four leagues, which is somewhat surprising. For those wondering the Browns wideout goes in the fourth in the other two.
• Is Ben Rothlisberger washed up? That seems to be a huge factor in the draft positioning of both Conner and Smith-Schuster, who fall all over the board in our four mocks.
|Player||ESPN||Bleacher Report||4 for 4||CBS|
|Henry Ruggs III||101||131||145||118|
|First defense||151 (SF)||153 (PIT)||—||145 (PIT)|
|First kicker||162 (Tucker)||181 (Tucker)||—||—|
• The debate over TE3 seems to be alive and well, as Ertz is picked ahead of Andrews in half of the four mock drafts.
• We didn't include all the rookie wide receivers here but we did include a handful and it's interesting to see that there is really no consensus over who is the best bet and where he should go. Eagles' Reagor goes behind both Ruggs and Lamb at ESPN, but ahead of both at Bleacher Report.
• Two of the leagues we looked at are not including kickers in 2020, a trend that seems to be picking up steam.
Follow Evan on Twitter:@evan_macy
Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports