Below is our Early 2017 Fantasy Football Mock Draft (Dynasty/PPR), which took place on our fantasy football forums. So, this draft is not my set of 2017 rankings, it is the results from said draft, which has well over a dozen participants taking turns tossing out names. I have, however, added my commentary to each pick. Also, keep in mind, the draft is still on going, so check back for updates on both the draft results and commentary that will be attached to each pick.
1.01 – Antonio Brown – In a PPR draft, this is still very, very arguable. Although, if I’m drafting, lock me in for one of Zeke Elliott, LeVeon Bell or David Johnson, as the every-down runner is back in the spotlight and having one of those studs gives any team a huge, huge advantage.
1.02 – Ezekiel Elliott – As stated above, having one of the big three rushers gives you a monster advantage, and I draft one of the big three rushers if I hold a top three pick this year (in any draft/format).
1.03 – LeVeon Bell – See above two comments.
1.04 – David Johnson – See above comments.
1.05 – Odell Beckham Jr. – I like this pick, however, I think expecting some missed games and distractions is now a given. Still, that could be 1-2 games, and he can still be the top-scoring player during any given week. He deserves this ranking, but don’t load up on ODB in all your leagues, because he has medium risk to go along with his huge upside.
1.06 – Julio Jones – Safe and steady. This is great value despite getting up there a touch in age.
1.07 – Mike Evans – This may seem high or low to some, it just depends on your league/style. This kid easily has this kind of upside. He comes with some injury risk, but he can earn this value with 1-2 missed games. Easy.
1.08 – Amari Cooper – This is a bit high to some, and I myself would not draft Coop this high. But, I say that only because he should fall well into the middle of the second round in many drafts. I would not reach this high because he does come with some risk, and the value in drafting/owning Coop moving forward into 2017 is in the fact that he is doubted in a major way. If you don’t own him in an existing dynasty league, trade for him at high-end WR2-type value. He can sometimes be had there! Attack! He has big appeal still in my view, and I think people are jumping the gun way, way too fast calling him a bust, or a for sure future disappointment. Some wide receivers just need 2 full years played before they breakout. It’s not always a lock that players explode during their first or second seasons… I think fantasy worlds are spoiled with the quick results given by players like Odell Beckham. I firmly believe in Amari Cooper, and I think an elite WR1 is in the cards this year… that does not mean I would draft him, or value him, higher than I need to, which seems to be well into the 2nd-round. Well into it!
1.09 – Deandre Hopkins – Everything said about Cooper above can kind of be said here. Hopkins still has top 2-5WR upside for the future. Invest/draft a lot lower than that value, because you can, and that is where the value is… however, don’t write this stud off as a top 1-5 WR even. He is that good. He needs a QB, and hopefully he gets one this off-season.
1.10 – AJ Green – Stud. Steady.
1.11 – Jordan Howard – He is capable of this value, sure, but this is a touch risky counting on top 11 overall value. Take a risk in one league, no problem, I support ya; however, do not load up on Howard at this value in every league, as that’s how you let one player destroy all your seasons.
1.12 – Melvin Gordon – For being arguably a top 1-3 overall player for most all of 2016, this is low. I like it. Risk is kinda baked into this value right here, so try to get him in the 8-12 overall range just like this, that feels like amazing value.
2.01 – Jay Ajayi – Everything said about Jordan Howard above can be said here. I love both runners, but both have some risk in the 8-13 overall range. At that value, this has to be arguably your best player on your entire roster. That’s a lot to ask. Both runners can be that good, sure, but it’s a lot to ask vs drafting a bit lower and hitting a home run.
2.02 – Rob Gronkowski – Huge injury risk at this point, but this could be solid value.
2.03 – Sammy Watkins – Huge injury risk. I wonder if we ever see Waktins play 16-game seasons.
2.04 – Dez Bryant – Injury will be a concern moving forward for me. I like him a handful of picks, if not more, below this slot.
2.05 – Todd Gurley – Steal of 2017? I think it’s very, very possible. I love this value. I try to grab Gurley as my second-drafted player in as many leagues as I can, or trade for him at this value in existing leagues.
2.06 – Leonard Fournette – I love this value. Some might call this high, but I have Fournette as a future top 5 overall pick.
2.07 – Devonta Freeman – Equal parts risk and reward right here given this is a dynasty mock draft. However, given the options below, the players left at this point, I trust Freeman enough to say he has good upside for first-round like numbers.
2.08 – Michael Thomas – I love the kid, but this is a tad high for me in any format. I think he can easily earn it, but this is your second-best player if this is the kind of value/slot you toss him into. That’s a lot to ask.
2.09 – Allen Robinson – Value him here in just one league, but I support the risk/reward outlook here.
2.10 – Dalvin Cook – Some might feel this is high, but I like the value/risk. Things could change during the NFL Draft, though, no question.
2.11 – TY Hilton – This seems high. Not so much because he cannot earn this value, but because I feel he can be had much lower on average. I don’t love making him my second-drafted player, or second-best player. It feels like the recipe for a thin team.
2.12 – Aaron Rodgers – In dynasty, or any format really, the stud QB is overlooked. However, I say that only if QBs are going early, or somewhat early. If you can land Brady or Brees in the late third- or fourth-round, something you see sometimes, then taking an ARod this early is a missed opportunity when you can have near the same level of QB and still use your 2nd-rounder on a WR or RB. Value wise, ARod can crush this ranking and win a league as a team’s second-best player. Use the likelihood of where players get drafted in your exact league to determine where you draft a QB like Rodgers, don’t let the general fantasy football population force you into a “you always wait to draft a QB” type mentality.
3.01 – Tom Brady – Everything said above with Aaron Rodgers can be applied here. And, if you are thinking that Brady won’t be elite much longer, I say 2 years is safe, and 2 years is a long time even in dynasty.
3.02 – Travis Kelce – I love Kelce, but this is quite high.
3.03 – DeMarco Murray – Solid value despite some risk of drop off (given previous workloads, not necessarily age).
3.04 – Corey Davis – Some may think this is way too high, but I believe this rookie WR will be amazing. Landing spot will determine a lot.
3.05 – LeSean McCoy – Strong value for a guy still playing elite football, and we’re talking top 5-10RB numbers. How many years will he continue to play like a top 10RB? I’d say 1-2 years is a safe bet, and that makes him worth a high first-rounder.
3.06 – Brandin Cooks – What happens if Drew Brees breaks down? Until then, though, Cooks feels very worthy of this selection, it just has a touch of risk given he is a third-drafted player on someone’s team at this slot.
3.07 – Lamar Miller – The talent is there, he could explode from this value. Then again, he needs a passing game. This is a solid slot for him, though. The risk is still kinda present here at 3.07, but he still has monster upside here.
3.08 – Jordy Nelson – He is older, sure, but still elite for 1-2 more years? That’s still a long time in dynasty.
3.09 – Andrew Luck – This is solid value, he can be top 5-10 overall points wise during any given season.
3.10 – Jarvis Landry – I stand by this kid being elite, and I think top 5-10WR elite… he just needs a passing game, and the risk that he doesn’t get one, at least a consistent one, is why he ranks about here. Don’t reach, there is risk, but near as much appeal.
3.08 – On The Clock (stay tuned for updates)…
(1/12/17) Jordan Howard had an awesome rookie season in 2016… on essentially 13 starter-type outings, Howard produced 252 carries for 1,313 rushing yards (5.2) and 6TDs, to go along with 29 receptions for 298 yards and 1TD. That’s a darn good season for a guy that essentially didn’t…
It’s amazing what can change in one single fantasy football season. Below is just one way to explain the craziness that was the 2016 fantasy football season.
Don’t miss out on landing the next Melvin Gordon, something we predicted this past off-season!
“I picked Melvin Gordon from your advice. Nice job!”
(… speaking to the below Bold Prediction for 2016:
8. Melvin Gordon will be a top 6-10RB in 2016!
(9/1/16) He was on my Bold Predictions list last year, yet he failed to deliver. He looks the part this time around, though, and I envision a HUGE season out of the guy I liked near as much as any rookie to ever come out of college. Do some damage, young Gordon! Read more on him below.
Listen to Smitty discuss Dynasty Quarterbacks heading into 2017 and beyond. What fantasy football QBs does Smitty have inside his top 10 heading into 2017 and beyond? Listen now!
Take a listen to Smitty on Russ Bliss’ Week 13 Fantasy Football Show, as both Russ and Smitty discuss Week 13 Sleepers, NFL Injuries, Free Agent Pick-Ups and more.
Check out this Week 12 Two-Minute Buy-Low/Sell-High Radio Segment, where Smitty talks about his top Buy-Low/Sell-High Candidates for Week 12 of the 2016 fantasy football season. Players discussed: Derrick Henry, Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins, Devonta Freeman, Jay Ajayi, LeGarrette Blount, Spencer Ware, Matt Forte, Dion Lewis