In this series, we’ll look at a mock draft conducted from each draft slot and break down the best choice and some alternatives at each selection. We’ll look at the individual player selection, but also how each player fits into the overall roster construction of the team, and then look at what selection Awesemo’s rankings would have made. The mock is for a three-receiver, two-back, half-PPR league. Here we look at winning your fantasy football draft with the fourth overall pick.
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Draft from the Fourth Overall Pick
Mock Draft 1.04 Selection: Alvin Kamara
Alternative: Dalvin Cook
In 2019, Kamara struggled with knee and ankle injuries en route to his worst season as a pro. He still managed 1,330 yards from scrimmage and six scores. The big change was his efficiency as a receiver. His mark of 5.5 yards per target was a career low. With an offseason of healing under his belt, Awesemo’s projections have him turning back into an efficient receiver and rebounding in a massive way. He was the obvious choice in this mock draft.
Kamara and Cook are both fine picks with the fourth selection, but only one of them is currently holding out. There’s no reason to take on that risk when both players share a similar projection.
Mock Draft 2.09 Selection: Aaron Jones
Alternative: George Kittle
Jones greatly outperformed his volume last year, scoring 19 times (tied for first in the league) on 285 touches (10th). However, at the end of the second round, top-10 volume outweighs the touchdown regression coming his way. Jones is still a dual threat getting fed each week.
It was difficult to pass on Kittle here, but there was no way to get both him and Jones. Using data from aggregated from hundreds of drafts, we can see how often a certain player makes it to any point in the draft. Jones makes it back to the fourth pick of the third round 12% of the time. Kittle is only available there in 2% of drafts. It came down to one or the other, and there are a lot of good tight ends in the double-digit rounds. The same can’t be said for running backs.
Mock Draft 3.04 Selection: Cooper Kupp
Alternative: Adam Thielen, James Conner
The highs were high for Kupp in 2019. They included 1,162 receiving yards, 10 touchdowns, and a 220-yard game. There were a number of low-points as well, including the game in which he played on 34.3% of the team’s snaps (Week 14). With Brandin Cooks sent packing, Sean McVay will be forced to play Kupp on most snaps, smoothing out and boosting his production. Another WR1 appears on the horizon for Kupp.
Awesemo has a few risky running back options ranked ahead of Kupp but they often make it to the fourth round. In need of a wideout, Kupp was the best choice for this team.
Mock Draft 4.09 Selection: James Conner
Alternative: Zach Ertz
Conner’s 2019 campaign was an unmitigated letdown, but it Is hard to put much of that on him. He evaded tackles at the 14th-highest rate in the league and caught 87.2% of his targets, second-best in the league (per PlayerProfiler). The problem was his quarterbacks were practice-squad-level players. Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges combined to sink the offense and everyone within it. Conner is still a lead back with agility and pass-catching chops. Now he’ll play on a high-octane offense once again.
This team can probably wait to draft a running back until the final few rounds so it will be receivers and onesie positions from here until the double-digit rounds.
Mock Draft 5.04 Selection: D.J. Chark
Alternative: Stefon Diggs
After a rookie season that saw him catch just 14 passes, Chark caught fire in his second campaign. Despite Jacksonville rotating quarterbacks throughout the year, Chark went for 1,003 yards and eight scores on 72 catches. Chark has 4.34 wheels and little competition for targets outside of rookie Laviska Shenault. He’s set up to smash again in 2020.
Stefon Diggs has a minuscule edge in Awesemo’s rankings, but there’s more downside with the now Bills receiver. Wideouts switching teams often struggle in their first year with the new squad (see: Beckham, Odell). He’s also a deep-ball savant heading to a team with a scattershot quarterback. Josh Allen completed just 25% of his deep attempts last year. In the early rounds, risk mitigation is a great tie-breaker.
More Fantasy Football Drafts
- Drafting With the No. 1 Overall Pick
- Drafting With the No. 2 Overall Pick
- Drafting With the No. 3 Overall Pick
- Drafting With the No. 4 Overall Pick
Mock Draft 6.09 Selection: Jarvis Landry
Alternative: Kareem Hunt, Raheem Mostert
Landry doesn’t get enough credit for being his team’s target leader for five consecutive seasons. In 2019, he bested Odell Beckham and led the Browns with 138 targets. Even though Landry largely runs shallow routes, he still finished as Cleveland’s most efficient receiver. His mark of 8.5 yards per target led all Browns wideouts. If Baker Mayfield takes a step in the right direction, Landry’s sixth-round ADP will look horrendous in hindsight.
Although this team still needs a tight end, Awesemo’s rankings have few if any tight ends as worthwhile picks in the middle rounds. The best strategy is to get an elite tight end or wait and take multiple late-round fliers this year.
Mock Draft 7.04 Selection: Kareem Hunt
Hunt is a particularly valuable pick here because this team already has its starting backs finished. That means Hunt can sit on the bench during Week 1, giving us a chance to see his role before putting him in the starting lineup. He averaged 10 touches per game in eight games last year, and 4.6 of those were receptions. If he holds onto that receiving role, Hunt will be one of the few handcuffs with stand-alone value.
Hunt is the highest-ranked player left on the board here. He also sets this team up well for a Browns stack with Mayfield.
Mock Draft 8.09 Selection: Sterling Shepard
Alternative: Jamison Crowder, J.K. Dobbins
Shepard has been a consistent producer for the Giants when healthy but has never hit a peak season. His best year was 2018 when he caught 66 passes for 872 yards. He lost six games to various injuries last year but is still the betting favorite to be the Giants’ primary slot receiver, where he played 40% of his snaps last year.
With Mayfield already locked in as an upcoming pick and little value to be had, this was just another best-play-available pick. Because three of the first four picks on this team were backs, it also made sense to continue targeting receivers.
Mock Draft 9.04 Selection: J.K. Dobbins
Alternative: Jamison Crowder
Dobbins doesn’t have clear role heading into the year, but the upside is too good to pass on here. Lamar Jackson‘s ability to freeze linebackers plus a mauling offense line led Baltimore incredible rushing efficiency. Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards combined for 1,729 yards at 5.2 yards per carry. Dobbins, a 4,000-yard rusher at Ohio State, would dominate behind the Ravens line.
Not having a tight end or quarterback through nine picks might look strange, but Awesemo’s rankings are tepid on taking any onesie position in the single-digit rounds. Especially in leagues with a solid waiver wire, streaming players at both positions is a fine safety net.
Mock Draft 10.09 Selection: Hayden Hurst
Awesemo’s projections have Hurst as a top-five tight end this year, performing a seamless Austin Hooper impression. The only question is how early to select him. At this point in the draft, there aren’t high-upside picks like Dobbins still on the board. That makes it acceptable to reach on Hurst with this pick.
Mayfield isn’t looked kindly upon by Awesemo’s projection, but he synergizes well with this team. If Landry and Hunt both hit, it would be nearly impossible for Mayfield to not be a part of that.
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