Expert Mock Draft Recap: 12-Team Half-PPR (May 2022)
With rookie landing spots decided and the rumor mill about allocated playing time in full swing, it’s time to start figuring out what fantasy draft boards are going to look like. As we all continue to digest one of the most hectic offseasons in recent NFL history, it’s the perfect time to begin formulating our redraft strategies.
To find a clearer picture of the value of fantasy players come August, I asked some of the 4for4 staff and some friends from around the interwebs to participate in a 12-team redraft mock through the second and third weeks of May. The main point of this exercise is to determine what positive and negative takeaways we can find from 12 people who clearly think about this game of ours throughout the entire calendar year. We will hit on names that were selected far above and below average draft position (ADP) while also trying to look at things from a macro level as well.
Any reference to ADP will be from our Underdog ADP App, and though this isn’t exactly the same format, it gives us a good baseline for how other people are drafting in what is currently the most active platform at the time of this draft.
You can find the full draft board here.
Roster Settings: 1QB/2RB/2WR/1TE/2FLEX (W/R/T)/1K/1DST + 6 Bench Spots
Scoring Setting of note: Half-PPR
Draft Participants (in order):
1. Tyler Strong: PrizePicks/@TylerStrong95
2. Mike Manning: @_Mike_Manning
3. Brandon Niles: 4for4/@2guysbrandon
4. Chris Allen: 4for4/@ChrisAllenFFWX
5. Andrew Fleischer: 4for4/@AFleischer
6. Jason Mitchell: @jaymitch84
7. Jeff Hicks: 4for4/@_Jeff_Hicks_
8. Jamie Strowhiro: @jamiestrowhiro
9. Ric Avery: @ravery970
10. Justin Edwards:4for4/@Justin_Redwards
11. Frank Ammirante: The Game Day NFL/@FAmmiranteTFJ
12. Cubby Strickland: Formerly Niners Lab/@cubbystrickland
|1||(1 - RB1) Taylor, J||(2 - RB2) McCaffrey, C||(3 - RB3) Henry, D||(4 - RB4) Ekeler, A||(5 - WR1) Kupp, C||(6 - RB5) Harris, N||(7 - RB6) Cook, D||(8 - WR2) Jefferson, J||(9 - WR3) Adams, D||(10 - WR4) Chase, J||(11 - WR5) Diggs, S||(12 - RB7) Fournette, L|
|2||(12 - WR8) Evans, M||(11 - RB14) Conner, J||(10 - RB13) Williams, J||(9 - TE2) Andrews, M||(8 - RB12) Chubb, N||(7 - WR7) Samuel, D||(6 - WR6) Lamb, C||(5 - RB11) Barkley, S||(4 - TE1) Kelce, T||(3 - RB10) Kamara, A||(2 - RB9) Mixon, J||(1 - RB8) Swift, D|
|3||(1 - WR9) Johnson, D||(2 - WR10) Hill, T||(3 - QB1) Allen, J||(4 - WR11) Higgins, T||(5 - WR12) Brown, A||(6 - WR13) Allen, K||(7 - QB2) Mahomes, P||(8 - TE3) Pitts, K||(9 - RB15) Elliott, E||(10 - RB16) Jones, A||(11 - RB17) Hall, B||(12 - TE4) Kittle, G|
Select Draft Comments
Brandon Niles: “Let’s see if (Derrick Henry) has one more year of an elite 300+ carries.”
This is a very sharp start for all involved, and it comes as no surprise. The old adage goes something like, “you can’t win your league in the first three rounds, but you can certainly lose it.” and I don’t see anyone coming out of the gate with a dud here. As fear continues to mount over injuries to top-end running backs, we’re seeing a resurgence of wide receivers going in the first round like we haven’t seen for a handful of years. There are almost as many wide receivers (five) as running backs (seven) here in the first round, with Travis Kelce falling into the second, just a little below where he was going last year at this time.
Kelce is one of four tight ends we see coming off of the board in the first three rounds, with Mark Andrews and George Kittle two familiar names behind him. Leapfrogging another mainstay amongst the “elite” category of tight ends, Kyle Pitts is seen here above Darren Waller and four spots ahead of the aforementioned Kittle. Pitts certainly has the chance to finish as the overall TE1, but he’ll have to do so while carrying the load on what is projected to be a disastrous offense. He makes for a good conciliatory pick behind Kelce (whose team lost Tyreek Hill) and Andrews (whose team lost Marquise Brown).
|4||(12 - RB22) Gibson, A||(11 - RB21) Mitchell, E||(10 - TE5) Waller, D||(9 - RB20) Montgomery, D||(8 - WR19) Metcalf, D||(7 - RB19) Akers, C||(6 - WR18) Godwin, C||(5 - WR17) Moore, D||(4 - RB18) Dobbins, J||(3 - WR16) Cooper, A||(2 - WR15) Waddle, J||(1 - WR14) Pittman, M|
|5||(1 - WR20) McLaurin, T||(2 - RB23) Etienne, T||(3 - WR21) Williams, M||(4 - QB3) Herbert, J||(5 - RB24) Jacobs, J||(6 - QB4) Jackson, L||(7 - RB25) Walker III, K||(8 - WR22) Thomas, M||(9 - WR23) Cooks, B||(10 - WR24) Thielen, A||(11 - QB5) Murray, K||(12 - WR25) Sutton, C|
|6||(12 - RB26) Singletary, D||(11 - WR34) Mooney, D||(10 - WR33) Kirk, C||(9 - WR32) Davis, G||(8 - WR31) Jeudy, J||(7 - WR30) London, D||(6 - WR29) Lockett, T||(5 - WR28) Bateman, R||(4 - WR27) Robinson, A||(3 - QB7) Burrow, J||(2 - WR26) Brown, M||(1 - QB6) Hurts, J|
|7||(1 - WR35) Smith, D||(2 - WR36) Moore, E||(3 - RB27) Sanders, M||(4 - WR37) Claypool, C||(5 - QB8) Wilson, R||(6 - TE6) Schultz, D||(7 - WR38) Wilson, G||(8 - WR39) Lazard, A||(9 - TE7) Goedert, D||(10 - WR40) Smith-Schuster, J||(11 - TE8) Hockenson, T||(12 - RB28) Harris, D|
Select Draft Comments
Jamie Strowhiro: “Huge value if Michael Thomas is healthy.”
This is the biggest gap between quarterbacks, as the entire fourth round of the draft plays QB chicken between Patrick Mahomes (3.07) and Justin Herbert (5.04). By the end of the seventh round, nine-of-twelve teams have cornered the position, a number that is more or less in line with how the majority of leagues are going at the time of writing. If you’re not looking and/or able to select someone who has the ceiling of a top-three quarterback, it may just be in your best interest to simply wait on the position, particularly in a redraft league where you can stream the position if you’re dealing with a bye week. The way the current landscape of the position in fantasy is, a “top-three ceiling” quarterback really just translates to “a quarterback who also runs the ball often.” Being that I am the one who took Joe Burrow in the sixth round, I can certainly empathize with how difficult that can sometimes be.
We’re going to see a lot more “reaches” in these middle rounds, as this is where ADP fluctuates heavily through the summer months. News, suspensions, training camp reports, press conferences, and a plethora of other intangibles give individual drafters a certain “feel” for how players’ opportunities are likely to change ahead of the season. That could mean taking a player two rounds earlier than his current ADP because you are certain that that’s where it will inevitably be or because you simply like his landing spot coming out of the draft more than your league mates. On the flip side, a player being caught up in the news cycle is more likely to be faded if his price tag is in the sixth round, more so than if he were already going later, like, say, the 12th round.
It’s interesting to note that the below “biggest reaches” are also reflected as much-higher than the market in 4for4’s current rankings, which is looking to be bullish on these players because they are in convoluted situations. Oftentimes it’s better to take a stand on some of these players before the rest of the market can adjust throughout the summer.
|8||(12 - WR48) Chark, D||(11 - WR47) Hopkins, D||(10 - WR46) Woods, R||(9 - WR45) Aiyuk, B||(8 - RB32) Edmonds, C||(7 - WR44) Burks, T||(6 - WR43) Renfrow, H||(5 - WR42) Gallup, M||(4 - RB31) Penny, R||(3 - RB30) Patterson, C||(2 - WR41) St. Brown, A||(1 - RB29) Dillon, A|
|9||(1 - QB9) Rodgers, A||(2 - RB33) Edwards-Helaire, C||(3 - WR49) Davis, C||(4 - RB34) Hunt, K||(5 - TE9) Knox, D||(6 - RB35) Pollard, T||(7 - TE10) Ertz, Z||(8 - RB36) Gordon, M||(9 - QB10) Stafford, M||(10 - WR50) Watson, C||(11 - RB37) Stevenson, R||(12 - WR51) Gage, R|
|10||(12 - TE12) Gesicki, M||(11 - QB11) Brady, T||(10 - RB40) Carter, M||(9 - WR57) Golladay, K||(8 - RB39) Robinson, J||(7 - WR56) Valdes-Scantling, M||(6 - WR55) Parker, D||(5 - RB38) Cook, J||(4 - WR54) Boyd, T||(3 - TE11) Freiermuth, P||(2 - WR53) Olave, C||(1 - WR52) Moore, S|
|11||(1 - QB12) Prescott, D||(2 - QB13) Watson, D||(3 - WR58) Jefferson, V||(4 - WR59) Landry, J||(5 - QB14) Lance, T||(6 - WR60) Toney, K||(7 - RB41) Williams, J||(8 - RB42) Jones, R||(9 - RB43) Mattison, A||(10 - RB44) McKissic, J||(11 - QB15) Carr, D||(12 - WR61) Tolbert, J|
A perceived tier break for tight ends left us with crickets at the position for a while here. The two-slot would completely ignore TEs for almost the entirety of the draft, so they will be swapping TE streamers for the whole season, which can be a difficult proposition. I do understand the approach, though; every year, there are five/six options that the fantasy community is adamant about finishing the season as a top-five option, and every year that handful of players end up in the TE13-TE20 range. For every Dawson Knox, we come across, there are 10 who fall into the almost-unusable range; Cole Kmet, Evan Engram, Jack Doyle, Anthony Firkser, etc.
Not to harp on the quarterback position, but the 10th/11th turn is a good representation of what you can do at QB if the rest of your league drafts them a little earlier than you’d like; you can end up with a high-floor option like Tom Brady or Dak Prescott. The next two quarterbacks taken in this range are huge ceiling/basement floor options that could far out-kick this ADP; Deshaun Watson and Trey Lance. Watson is involved with legal issues that we won’t expound upon here, and Lance may be playing for a coach that doesn’t want to start him, but both have top-five upsides at the position if everything breaks right.
|12||(12 - WR67) Meyers, J||(11 - WR66) Dotson, J||(10 - WR65) Crowder, J||(9 - RB48) Hines, N||(8 - WR64) Pickens, G||(7 - RB47) Pierce, D||(6 - WR63) Williams, J||(5 - QB17) Fields, J||(4 - QB16) Tagovailoa, T||(3 - WR62) Jones, M||(2 - RB46) White, R||(1 - RB45) Mostert, R|
|13||(1 - TE13) Fant, N||(2 - WR68) Patrick, T||(3 - TE14) Henry, H||(4 - RB49) Henderson, D||(5 - TE15) Okwuegbunam, A||(6 - TE16) Njoku, D||(7 - RB50) Spiller, I||(8 - RB51) Gainwell, K||(9 - WR69) Anderson, R||(10 - RB52) White, Z||(11 - RB53) Robinson, B||(12 - WR70) Bell, D|
|14||(12 - Def3) Rams, L||(11 - TE17) Smith Jr., I||(10 - QB18) Ryan, M||(9 - WR73) Washington, J||(8 - WR72) Moore, R||(7 - RB56) Allgeier, T||(6 - RB55) Smith, A||(5 - RB54) Ingram, M||(4 - Def2) 49ers, S||(3 - WR71) Hardman, M||(2 - PK1) Carlson, D||(1 - Def1) Bills, B|
|15||(1 - TE18) Higbee, T||(2 - Def4) Chargers, L||(3 - Def5) Eagles, P||(4 - WR74) Watkins, S||(5 - RB57) Edwards, G||(6 - PK2) Bass, T||(7 - Def6) Buccaneers, T||(8 - Def7) Browns, C||(9 - RB58) Mack, M||(10 - PK3) Butker, H||(11 - WR75) Robinson, W||(12 - WR76) Palmer, J|
|16||(12 - PK9) Succop, R||(11 - PK8) Prater, M||(10 - PK7) Koo, Y||(9 - Def12) Saints, N||(8 - Def11) Titans, T||(7 - Def10) Colts, I||(6 - PK6) Gay, M||(5 - RB59) Michel, S||(4 - PK5) Tucker, J||(3 - Def9) Patriots, N||(2 - Def8) Cowboys, D||(1 - PK4) McPherson, E|
This is just the utter disrespect portion of the draft, for better or worse. It kicks off with Marvin Jones (12.03 - WR62), who wrapped up an absolute disaster of a season as the overall WR34 in half-PPR points while the team only added slot receiver Christian Kirk, to the offense ahead of 2022. Next, there’s Tim Patrick (13.02 - WR68), who finished as the WR41 last year but is now apparently being downgraded because Russell Wilson is replacing Drew Lock. Finally, there is Mecole Hardman (14.03 - WR71), who is the Kansas City Chiefs’ best field-stretching option now that Tyreek Hill is out of the way. The last one may be a bit of a stretch, but you understand where I’m coming from.
This late in the draft, we’re not going to bother with reaches and values, particularly so early in drafting season. People take guys in the 15th round for all sorts of reasons, and judging someone’s decision to take a shot on Josh Palmer or the Saints defense would be silly. There aren’t a lot of surprises here in the back quarter of the draft, but do be aware that many of the “major” redraft sites are going to force you to select a defense and kicker if you’re league has them in your starting requirements.
In total, there were 18 rookies selected in this draft, a number almost identical to the amount typically going in 2021 drafts:
- Quarterback: (none)
- Running Backs: Breece Hall (3.11), Kenneth Walker III (5.07), Dameon Pierce (12.07), Zamir White (13.10), Brian Robinson (13.11), Abram Smith (14.06), Tyler Allgeier (14.07)
- Wide Receivers: Drake London (6.07), Treylon Burks (8.07), Christian Watson (9.10), Skyy Moore (10.01), Chris Olave (10.02), Jalen Tolbert (11.12), Jameson Williams (12.06), George Pickens (12.08), Jahan Dotson (12.11), David Bell (13.12), Wan'Dale Robinson (15.11)
- Tight End: (none)
- Drafter with most rookies: Jason Mitchell and Frank Ammirante, four each
With Kenny Pickett and Trey McBride going undrafted in this particular mock, there simply aren’t that many options to choose from at the quarterback or tight end positions in redraft leagues this year, though I would bet that they each come off the waiver wire at some point during the season, depending on matchups.
Rookie wideouts look like they’re going to control the fates of a lot of WR rooms in the middle-to-late rounds this season. Watson/Moore/Olave all went in the span of four picks, each for completely different reasons. Watson has an opportunity to take a lot of the target share that Davante Adams has controlled in Green Bay for so long, while Moore is in an ambiguous situation with the best quarterback in the league, and Olave is in a situation ripe for boom weeks paired alongside Michael Thomas.
While not as many running backs are slated to slide right into the number one role as we have seen in the recent past, each of these ADPs is sure to continue climbing with the more feedback we get from rookie/mini-camps.
Average draft positions are all over the place during this portion of the drafting process, and that’s what can make this time of the year one of my favorite portions of the offseason. As the ADPs continue to adjust towards a mean until they eventually feel like they’re locked in stone come August, this is the time of year you can really put your foot down and take guys you believe will be much more expensive as the draft season wears on.
- Rookies will continue to climb up boards, almost regardless of the situation, so if you like a player and their landing spot, don’t be afraid to take a stand now.
- Inversely, there are many veterans who will tend to be cheaper later in the season; if there are rookies you don’t believe in, load up on incumbents in those situations. Examples of those players who were selected “early” in this draft include; Chase Claypool, Amari Cooper, Elijah Mitchell, Michael Gallup, Allen Lazard, and Rashaad Penny
- Though the sample size every year is so slight, it would seem that very good-to-elite level wide receivers who change teams between seasons are less negatively affected than they have been in years past. If you are inclined to believe —as I am— that receivers on a new team have an easier time adjusting than they have historically, then drafting them before the majority of the public see them on the field in their new jersey would seem like the way to go. This would include players such as; Davante Adams, A.J. Brown, Robert Woods, Amari Cooper (again), Christian Kirk, and/or Allen Robinson.