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Strategy and Assessment: Mock Drafting from the 1.12

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Redraft mock drafts are in full swing. Mase is here to give his strategy and assessment on drafting from the 12 spot.


Redraft drafting has many strategies, and every spot on the draft board can add to and take away certain opportunities for each individual manager. In this two-part series, I will analyze my most recent redraft mock and give my thoughts and insights into what was going through my head with each selection.

Drafting is insanely fun and brings an uplifting sort of rush when the clock is winding down, and you are on the hot seat with eyes on you awaiting your selection. The natural process of improving each draft is to go back and analyze how your team looked post-draft.

What player do you feel the most uneasy about on your roster, and when did you draft them? What affected the draft board the most, which position dried up the fastest, and where did the reaches occur?

Click here to watch the live draft episode on our Youtube page, and be sure to subscribe while you are there!

The roster I am drafting to fill looks as such, and I will be updating the roster visually throughout the article.

QB RB RB WR WR TE FLEX DL DL LB LB DB DB IDP IDP BN

Drafting from the 1.12

When I first generated the mock, I wanted to put myself in a draft position that allowed me to “ride the wave,” that is, the draft board. Being the last team to draft in the round but the first team to draft in the second round is a double-edged sword. You may miss out on a top ten player, but you get the chance to draft stellar options at two positions before anyone else.

In previous years I have gone IDP heavy earlier in drafts. This time I wanted to go offense in the earlier rounds and see what kind of value I could find on the defensive side of the ball in the later rounds. All stats are from PFF, and I conducted this mock draft on Sleeper. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you my draft. 

The First Round (1-12)

  1. J. Taylor, RB, IND
  2. D. Henry, RB, TEN
  3. J. Chase, WR, CIN
  4. C. McCaffrey, RB, CAR
  5. J. Jefferson, WR, MIN
  6. C. Kupp, WR, LAR
  7. N. Harris, RB, PIT
  8. A. Ekeler, RB, LAC
  9. D. Cook, RB, MIN
  10. J. Allen, QB, BUF
  11. D. Swift, RB, DET
  12. J. Mixon, RB, CIN
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My Pick at 1.12 — Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

As the draft was inching closer to my selection, I was hoping to land a player who would consistently bring me points every week and anchor down a position on my roster. In 2021 Joe Mixon led the NFL in total rushing attempts, with the majority of those being zone runs.

Mixon could improve his yards per carry this season if opposing defenses lean toward stopping Joe Burrow and the Bengals’ phenomenal passing attack.

Eight total running backs were taken in the first round, so I can see how the Mixon pick could seem a bit forward. I must also remember I have another draft selection immediately after this, so if I follow the trail of running backs in this round, I can hopefully start a run at another value position in the next round.

Mixon was targeted 68 times, with a catch percentage in the high eighties in 2021. Having a running back actively involved in the passing game would help my roster a lot and give me a nice warm and fuzzy feeling at the end of the first round. Joe Mixon is being undervalued, and he has the potential to finish top-five at the running back position at the end of the season.

The Second Round (13-24)

  1. S. Diggs, WR, BUF
  2. S. Barkley, RB, NYG
  3. C. Lamb, WR, DAL
  4. N. Chubb, RB, CLE
  5. D. Adams, WR, LV
  6. J. Herbert, QB, LAR
  7. A. Jones, RB, GB
  8. J. Williams, RB, DEN
  9. T. Kelce, TE, KC
  10. J. Burrow, QB, CIN
  11. A. Kamara, RB, NO
  12. A. Brown, WR, PHI
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My Pick at 2.1 — Stefon Diggs, WR, Buffalo Bills

The end of the first round just passed, and now I am up first in the second round. I just added a high-level running back, and now I turn my attention to the wide receiver position. Assessing the first round, I see plenty of talent available as the draft is still young. With three wideouts off the board in round one, there are still a few WRs I would love to add to my roster.

I look at the list and see Stefon Diggs and Davante Adams. Last season I would have been intrigued by Adams. However, his move to Vegas leaves me thinking Diggs is a safer bet to have throughout the year. Diggs finished ten games last season with nine or more targets; as long as Josh Allen is in Buffalo, Diggs is as sure of a bet as it gets. 

The Third Round (25-36)

  1. B. Hall, RB, NYJ
  2. T. Watt, LB, PIT
  3. T. Etienne, RB, JAX
  4. D. Samuel, WR, SF
  5. T. Higgins, WR, CIN
  6. M. Andrews, TE, BAL
  7. K. Pitts, TE, ATL
  8. T. Hill, WR, MIA
  9. E. Elliott, RB, DAL
  10. L. Fournette, RB, TB
  11. J. Waddle, WR, MIA
  12. C. Akers, RB, LAR
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My Pick at 3.12 — Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams

At this point in the draft, I have selected a running back and a wide receiver. It is a single quarterback format, so I won’t be thinking quarterback for a few more rounds. I’m just gazing at the draft board, looking for the best player available to solidify one position on my roster.

I was hoping one of the better options at tight end would fall to me; however, Mark Andrews and Kyle Pitts were taken in the middle of this third round, and I feel it is a tad early to draft George Kittle.

I spot the best running back available (in my opinion), Cam Akers. When Akers was drafted in 2020, he showed small glimpses of greatness. Rushing in two contests for over 100 yards (one was the wildcard game against Seattle). From Week 13 on, Akers didn’t see less than fifteen rushing attempts per game.

His Achilles injury halted his 2021 season as he didn’t receive a single snap until Week 18. Akers didn’t do anything out of the ordinary in the 2021 playoffs, though his road to recovery was outstanding and insanely swift. 

I hope Akers receives the bulk of the carries in Los Angeles this season, so I felt comfortable drafting him here as I think he won’t be available at the next turn. I also considered George Kittle, Keenan Allen, and Mike Evans with this draft selection.

The Fourth Round (37-48)

  1. M. Evans, WR, TB
  2. D. Moore, WR, CAR
  3. D. Montgomery, RB, CHI
  4. K. Allen, WR, LAC
  5. J. Dobbins, RB, BAL
  6. D. Metcalf, WR, SEA
  7. D. Johnson, WR, PIT
  8. G. Kittle, TE, SF
  9. P. Mahomes, QB, KC
  10. J. Conner, RB, AZ
  11. T. McLaurin, WR, WAS
  12. M. Pittman, WR, IND
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My Pick at 4.1 — Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This pick felt safe and easy, and I didn’t want to overthink it. My fourth-round selection was the second of my current block of back-to-back selections, so I look at who I was thinking of taking with my previous pick. Since I just took my second running back, I do not want to double down on that position here.

I’d rather double down at wide receiver and take whatever back end starting running back falls to me after the next turn on the draft board.

I can’t bring myself to pull the trigger on a tight end just yet, so I will go for another WR1 — someone I feel is a lock to finish in the top 15. In PPR formats, Mike Evans has been a top-15 wideout since 2018.

Tom Brady is returning following a faux retirement scare this offseason, Chris Godwin is out for the start of the season, and Rob Gronkowski retiring makes Evans a sure bet to see more targets and opportunities to start the season. 

QB RB RB WR WR TE FLEX DL DL LB LB DB DB IDP IDP BN
1.12 3.12 2.1 4.1

My roster as it stands currently. I have set myself up with a solid offensive base. No defensive players have been drafted, but I am sure that will change soon. I think I should wait a few more rounds for a tight end and target a player who is a red zone threat or one who will rack up the targets.

The position I am contemplating fading at this point is the defensive back position. I also understand if I continue to draft offensive players from this point onward, I could miss out on the elite tier of defensive players. On to the fifth round we go.

The Fifth Round (49-60)

  1. D. Waller, TE, LV
  2. M. Parsons, LB/DL, DAL
  3. J. Jeudy, WR, DEN
  4. A. Dillon, RB, GB
  5. A. Gibson, RB, WAS
  6. J. Jacobs, RB, LV
  7. D. Leonard, LB, IND
  8. R. Smith, LB, CHI
  9. C. Sutton, WR, DEN
  10. M. Brown, WR, ARI 
  11. A. Robinson, WR, LAR
  12. E. Mitchell, RB, SF
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My Pick at 5.12 — Elijah Mitchell, RB, San Francisco 49ers

To my delight, Mitchell was still on the board as six other running backs had been selected in the last two rounds. As I said before, I was eyeing a running back with this selection and thought it would have been between Josh Jacobs and Antonio Gibson as a decent RB3/Flex option. I enjoy Mitchell as a player (not just because I am a 49ers fan).

I got my guy at a place later than I thought I would. That, for me, is a win. Also, doesn’t hurt that Mitchell is insanely efficient in the 49ers’ offensive scheme. The 49ers did draft a rookie running back in the third round of the 2022 NFL draft. However, I am still confident that Mitchell receives most of the work in the Bay Area and feels like a perfect fit for the flex spot on my roster.

The Sixth Round (61-72)

  1. T. Brady, QB, TB
  2. M. Garrett, DL, CLE
  3. M. Williams, WR, LAC
  4. T. Hockenson, TE, DET
  5. K. Murray, QB, ARI
  6. C. Godwin, WR, TB
  7. J. Brooks, LB, SEA
  8. N. Bosa, DL, SF
  9. T. Pollard, RB, DAL
  10. L. Jackson, QB, BAL
  11. J. Bosa, LB/DL, LAC
  12. D. James, DB, LAC
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My Pick at 6.1 — Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Lamar Jackson would have been a solid addition to my roster. However, I took “Father Time,” aka Tom Brady. Unfortunately, I do have somewhat of a “drafters remorse” looking back on the sixth round. Aside from Dak Prescott at the beginning of the seventh, the next quarterback didn’t go until the tenth round.

I didn’t think Brady would have made it past the seventh round. After seeing Matthew Stafford fall to the tenth round, I reached for my QB1. It helps a tad that I have Mike Evans on my team, so the Tampa Bay Brady /Evans stack will be nice. Still looking back, I could have waited, but that’s how the cookie crumbles.

This is why it is important to set a queue in all drafts, especially thirty-second timed ones. Rookie move on my part, but this is why you mock, so you make the mistakes now rather than in an actual draft. No disrespect for Brady I just won’t advise anyone to draft him before a player like Lamar Jackson.

Jackson provides a second level of points with his legs and production on the ground that Brady will not produce. As far as reaches go, grabbing the G.O.A.T. isn’t a horrible one, and at the end of the day, I am cool with him as my QB1, just wish I would have waited.

The Seventh Round (73-84)

  1. D. Smith, WR, PHI
  2. D. Prescott, QB, DAL
  3. D. Schultz, TE, DAL
  4. D. White, LB, TB
  5. B. Baker, DB, ARI
  6. K. Hunt, RB, CLE
  7. K. Walker, RB, SEA
  8. F. Warner, LB, SF
  9. B. Wagner, LB, LAR
  10. C. Olave, WR, NO
  11. F. Oluokun, LB, JAX
  12. A. Cooper, WR, DAL
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My Pick at 7.12 — Amari Cooper, WR, Cleveland Browns

After my last selection, I again was faced with another fork in the road, Do I select a player who will fortify the back end of my offense or select my first defensive player? Looking at the linebackers currently, they are flying off of the board. However, I did say I wanted to wait on defense so what the hell I took another wideout and locked in my first bench spot.

I should have locked down a defensive end due to that position’s high-end scarcity. In a regular league, Cooper is a solid selection and a previously proven WR1. Looking back, I should have explored other positions to draft. Drafting the bench before my defense was a bold play, and now I have to make sure I nail these first couple of IDP selections and find some real value at the end of the draft to fill this 16-man fantasy roster.

The Eighth Round (85-96)

  1. A. Donald, DL, LAR
  2. B. Cooks, WR, HOU
  3. D. London, WR, ATL
  4. M. Crosby, DL, LV
  5. D. Goedert, TE, PHI
  6. G. Wilson, WR, NYJ
  7. R. Bateman, WR, BAL
  8. B. Burns, DL, CAR
  9. E. Kendricks, LB, MIN
  10. I. Simmons, LB, ARI
  11. J. Adams, DB, SEA
  12. D. Hunter, DL, MIN
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My Pick: 8.1 – Aaron Donald, DL, Los Angeles Rams

Did someone say positional scarcity? Well, I’ve seen enough defensive players go off of the board and I am ready to commit to one of the best to anchor my defensive lineman spot on my roster. My first instinct was to look for a Bosa brother, but they were both taken a round prior.

I could roll the dice on Danielle Hunter, a healthy player who has the ability to perform at an elite level, but I again go with a “security blanket selection”.

It just so happens this security blanket is arguably the baddest human to don shoulder pads in this era of football. Aaron Donald is an elite player who provides any redraft roster piece of mind and can consistently put your team over the top of your opponent.

Drafting from the back end of the board is my personal favorite position to be in. I enjoy watching the board fall and finding value in places others don’t think to look in later rounds. The draft is at its halfway point, and that is where we will cap off this mock for now.

I am surprisingly happy with my team so far, and I thank you for sticking around this long. Part two and the conclusion of the draft will be coming soon. See you then. Cheers.


A thousand thank yous for reading my article “Strategy and Assessment: Mock Drafting from the 1.12″! If you enjoyed it, read all my work on my IDP Guys author page and follow me on Twitter @Caliking49er17.

Mason Riney

Proud father, Army veteran, and lover of all that is football. IDP is my main focus, but I also enjoy scouting collegiate players and rank on Fantasypros.

Discussion

  1. […] If you are looking to watch the episode of the live draft on our Youtube page CLICK HERE, and be sure to subscribe while you are there! If you are looking for the first article CLICK HERE. […]

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