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 second overall pick.
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Draft from the Second Overall Pick
Mock Draft 1.02 Selection: Saquon Barkley
Alternative: Ezekiel Elliott
Barkley is the obvious choice by ADP here and his receiving game is what makes that the case. In 2018, his 91 receptions were the third most for a rookie, regardless of position. That gives him a massive edge over Elliott. However, his receptions per game did fall by 1.7 to four in 2019. That concern puts Elliott in the conversation but still leaves Barkley on top.
Like with Christian McCaffrey, Barkley is such a solid running back pick that it leaves you open to the option of pounding wide receivers throughout the next few rounds of your fantasy draft.
Mock Draft 2.11 Selection: George Kittle
Alternative: Austin Ekeler, Kenny Golladay, Mike Evans
Kittle’s 2019 season was scuffed by ankle and knee injuries, but his 2018 campaign was monumental. His 258.7 PPR points were the 14th most by a tight end in NFL history. Only four of the 13 seasons ahead of his featured fewer than 10 touchdowns. Kittle’s was the only season within the top five that saw five or fewer touchdowns, the flukiest of fantasy-contributing stats. Kittle’s athleticism and route running make him a matchup nightmare and a steal at the 2.12 spot.
Late tight end is often the most equitable way to attack this position, but Kittle fell too far. Awesemo’s rankings have him as the best available pick at this selection by a considerable margin. There will be values at tight end later in the draft but Kittle making it nearly to the third is just as valuable as someone like T.J. Hockenson in the 10th.
Mock Draft 3.02 Selection: Austin Ekeler
Alternative: Allen Robinson, Mike Evans
Ekeler is due for a healthy amount of regression. His 9.2 yards per target are the most in the past 20 years for a back with at least 75 targets. He caught 92 passes on 108 targets. He also scored 11 times on just 224 touches. These stats make it seem obvious that he’ll come back to earth but he also has a volume boom incoming. Melvin Gordon carried the ball 13.5 times per game and saw 4.6 targets per game. All of those are up for grabs and Ekeler is first in line to take a chunk of them for his own.
Starting with Barkley at the second pick and then getting a tight end in Kittle plus another back puts this roster in an interesting position. Running back is the most popular pick through three rounds, so that means a run of receiver is set to hit in the fourth and fifth rounds. At this point, double-tapping wide receiver at the four-five turn is the most likely outcome.
Mock Draft 4.11 Selection: David Johnson
Alternative: Tyler Lockett, Terry McLaurin
And just like that this team deviates from the plan again. Awesemo’s projections have Johnson as a worthwhile pick in the second round, but he doesn’t need to be taken that early to ensure you’ll get him. However, at this point, the value is too good to pass on. The Texan’s offense fueled a past-his-prime Carlos Hyde to a 1,000-yard season. If Johnson has any juice left, the Texans will squeeze it from him.
The draft is simply a race to the flex; whoever can fill out their starting running backs, receivers and flex spots is set up to win. With most eagles (including this one) only allowing three starting running backs, a receiver next is a must.
Mock Draft 5.02 Selection: Tyler Lockett
Alternative: D.J. Chark, Terry McLaurin
Lockett is the target leader on a team with the most efficient passer in the league. Now, with Seattle’s defense crumbling, they may finally ratchet up the passing volume.
The draft featured in our How to Win Your Fantasy Draft from the 1.01 saw the team take these same two players as this one that started with the second pick. That particularly speaks to getting your guys at the turns. Without a chance to take anyone in the next 20 picks, if this team needs a wideout, it has to happen here.
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 6.11 Selection: Will Fuller
Alternative: Julian Edelman, Tyler Boyd
Awesemo’s rankings have Edelman as the top option here, but this team doesn’t have a standout No. 1 receiver and Fuller has the most potential to be that player. Deshaun Watson has thrown at least 30 passes to 12 different players. Fuller leads all 12 with a 10.9 adjusted yards per attempt when target. Passes intended for Fuller are better than most other passes in the league. If he hits his volume ceiling, Fuller will shred.
Edelman has a higher median projection, but with a far worse quarterback entering a new team in a non-existent offseason delivering him the ball, the upside just isn’t there.
Mock Draft 7.02 Selection: Julian Edelman
Alternative: Tyler Boyd
With the upside receiver secured, nabbing Edelman at this spot is an easy choice. Awesemo’s rankings have him as a top-24 receiver and he finished third among receiver with 154 targets last year. Fuller gave the ceiling while Edelman locked down the floor.
This draft had better value at receiver in the middle rounds but the later you start hammering the position the harder it gets to find three talented starters. There are a number of high-upside options at running back in the late rounds because one injury vaults them into an elite role. Receiver does not work that way so trying to win the position with late-round choices just isn’t an option.
Mock Draft 8.11 Selection: Sterling Shepard
Alternative: Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Jamison Crowder, Drew Brees
Despite dealing with a slew of injuries during his time with the Giants, Shepard has posted over 3,000 yards from scrimmage through four seasons. At 27, Shepard is entering his prime and should be healthy for the first time since he posted 872 yards two seasons ago.
With a starting lineup sans onesie players filled out, these picks become closer to best player available. The best aspect of taking Shepard is the ability to pair him with an affordable, high-upside passer in Daniel Jones. The second-year passer is erratic but aggressive, a formula that has worked swimmingly for Jameis Winston and Josh Allen.
Mock Draft 9.02 Selection: Ke’Shawn Vaughn
Alternative: Ronald Jones, Jamison Crowder, Drew Brees
Awesemo’s rankings have Vaughn as the lead back in Tampa Bay, and Bruce Arians’ offseason comments seem to agree. Arians stated multiple times that he wanted to add a back and he wanted that back to be a pass catcher. Vaughn caught 66 passes over four years of college football.
With a pseudo-receiver in Barkley plus Shepard on this team, getting Daniel Jones has to be the priority with the next few picks, even if it is a reach.
Mock Draft 10.11 Selection: Daniel Jones
Alternative: Aaron Rodgers
There was a big run on quarterbacks before this pick with Matt Ryan, Brees and Tom Brady all getting taken in Round 10. Awesemo’s rankings have Rodgers as a better fantasy choice, but with two players on the roster already tied to the outcome of the Giants’ offense, taking Jones and capturing all of the upside in New York made too much sense to pass on. That selection rounds out the perfect draft from the second pick.
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