The 2018 NFL season kicks off on Thursday September 6th and we are under 100 days till the start of the season. Hopefully your league commissioner is smart and schedules the draft about a week before the season starts.

However, waiting that long for your draft can be frustrating, but thanks to FantasyPros you can mock draft in all kinds of styles and formats till your little heart explodes. They give you all kinds of options including league size, scoring and roster configuration.

For this fantasy mock, I decided to role out a league format that I play every year; a 12 team, re-draft league with PPR scoring and a starting line up of 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 normal FLEX, 1 D/ST, and 1 kicker with six bench players. Thanks to the draft position randomizer I ended up in the #2 spot.

1.02 (#2 Overall)- Todd Gurley, RB, Rams

When picking early in the first round I tend to lean towards drafting a running back. I can’t be mad landing last year’s fantasy MVP Gurley with my first selection. Gurley averaged 25.6 fantasy points per game last season and during the fantasy playoffs he stepped up big time to an average of 35.7 fantasy points per game. Gurley is currently my RB2 and overall number two player.

2.11 (#23 Overall)- Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots

Despite all the talk of possibly retiring, Gronkowski will play for the Patriots in 2018. When healthy, Gronkowski has been the top fantasy tight end. Since 2014, Gronkowski has averaged 15.8 fantasy points per game and has 34 touchdowns. With Brandin Cooks now in Los Angeles, Gronkowski is even more clearly Tom Brady’s top receiving option and should score 10 plus touchdowns this season. Gronkowski is the only tight end I would select with a top 50 selection and easily my TE1.

3.02 (#26 Overall)- Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals

I couldn’t be happier with my picks near the 2/3 turn. The combo of Gronkowski and Fitzgerald gives me two safe floor players who will also finish as a top ten performer at their respective position. Over the last three seasons the lowest Fitzgerald has finished was as the WR12 in 2016. Fitzgerald is around 100 catches every year and he is currently my WR10.

4.11 (#47 Overall)- JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Steelers

After taking safer players with my first three selections, it’s now time to pick players with more upside. During the last year’s fantasy playoffs, Smith-Schuster averaged 15.1 fantasy points per game. Had he averaged that for the season, he would have finished the year as the WR11. Martavis Bryant and Eli Rogers combined for 120 targets last season and rookie James Washington isn’t going to get all of them. Smith-Schuster had 79 targets last year and I fully expect that to get over 115 this season. Currently Smith-Schuster is my WR18.

5.02 (#50 Overall)- Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals

I was a huge fan of Mixon last season and he let me down. However, I’m convinced that the horrible Bengals offensive line has undergone a major upgrade this offseason and that will help him. Mixon only averaged 3.5 yards per carry last year while the Bengals running backs as a group averaged just 3.7 yards per carry. While I like Mark Walton as a sneaky dynasty pick, I have no concern that he will have an impact on Mixon’s fantasy production this year. Mixon is currently my RB13 and I expect a big year out of him.

6.11 (#71 Overall)- Pierre Garcon, WR, 49ers

Despite below average quarterback play, Garcon was on pace for 80 catches on 134 targets for 1,000 yards and 180 fantasy points before his season was cut short by an injury. Had he played all 16 games, Garcon would have finished as the WR25. Now he will have Jimmy Garoppolo throwing to him. Garcon has averaged double digit fantasy points per game in every season since 2009 and he is currently my WR28.

7.02 (#74 Overall)- Derrius Guice, RB, Redskins

The draft day slide for Guice must have been painful for him but he landed in a great spot for fantasy owners. The Redskins have struggled to run the ball but Guice was drafted to be a feature part of the offense. While Chris Thompson will remain the pass catching back, Guice has the upside and motivation to finish the season as a low end RB1. Over the last three seasons, the Redskins lead running back has averaged 196.3 touches per season and I believe Guice’s floor is 210. Currently he is my RB16.

8.11 (#95 Overall)- Randall Cobb, WR, Packers

Cobb has kind of become an after thought in Green Bay over the past few years. However, with Jordy Nelson now a Raider, Cobb is the number two receiver opposite of Davante Adams. Cobb has struggled with nagging injuries during his career; especially over the last few seasons. However, when Cobb was last fully healthy as the number two receiver in 2014, he scored 18.3 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, the Packers number two receiver has averaged 14.1 fantasy points per game over the last four seasons. While over that same time span, Cobb has averaged 74 catches per season and he is currently my WR35.

9.02 (#98 Overall)- Ronald Jones II, RB, Buccaneers

For some odd reason Jones isn’t get the fantasy love that he should. Last season, the Buccaneers trio of Peyton Barber, Doug Martin and Jacquizz Rodgers averaged 21.5 touches per game. However, they averaged just 3.9 yards per touch. By comparison Jones had 623 touches and averaged 6.3 yards per touch during his time at USC. Furthermore, the Buccaneers improve their offensive line from last season and Jones has a clear line to the starting role and it’s 21.5 touches per game. Jones is one of my favorite rookie runners and is currently my RB19.

10.11 (#119 Overall)- Nick Chubb, RB, Browns

In case you haven’t caught on, I have no problem drafting rookie runners. Last season, four rookies finished as a ten top fantasy running back; including two in the top four. Rookie running backs tend to make the earliest impact for their NFL team and fantasy owners. I believe Chubb could be this year’s Alvin Kamara. Now, Chubb won’t have the same kind of fantasy impact as Kamara did last year because Kamara is a far better pass catcher. However, Chubb is currently third on the depth chart while the two runners in front of him are both in contract years and are less talented. Keep an eye on Chubb during the preseason as my current RB27 could end up starting for the Browns sooner than later.

11.02 (#122 Overall)- Michael Gallup, WR, Cowboys

Three of my first four wide receivers taken are older seasoned veterans so now I’m going to take a shot in the dark. Dez Bryant and Jason Witten are gone, Allen Hurns isn’t a number one option and Terrance Williams is way overpaid. All this opens the door Gallup to take over as Dak Prescott’s number one weapon. Despite his seriously declining play, Bryant still had 132 targets last season and finished as the WR24. Gallup is currently my WR42 and is a high risk pick but in the 11th round he is worth a shot.

12.11 (#143 Overall)- Derek Carr, QB, Raiders

Last season was clearly a disappointment for Carr but he recently stated that he wasn’t healthy all year. Now fully healthy and with Jon Gruden I believe Carr has the upside to finish as a top five quarterback. In 2016, Carr was tied for as the QB9 in fantasy points per game with 17.9 per game. The Raiders gave Carr more weapon with the additions of Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant. I don’t expect the running game or defense to have much success, forcing the Raiders to be one of the most pass happy teams in the league. Carr is currently my QB11 and I expect him to bounce back this season.

13.02 (#146 Overall)- Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers

Unless I land an elite fantasy quarterback I always end up drafting two late. So to pair with the upside of Carr I selected the safer floor Rivers. Over the last four seasons, Rivers finished on average as the QB11 with 16.9 fantasy points per game. Rivers has one of the better receiving groups in the league lead by Keenan Allen. Rivers is currently my QB12 and my favorite quarterback to target in two quarterback or super flex leagues.

14.11 (#167 Overall)- David Njoku, TE, Browns

When it comes to tight ends in redraft leagues I have two approaches to it. One is to stream the position and I only draft one and the other is to make sure I get one of the elite tight ends and still only draft one. However, with Gronkowski and his injury history I tend to target a late round tight end with upside to pair behind him. Njoku is the perfect tight end to pair with Gronkowski as the Browns offense underwent a huge makeover this offseason. This way I’m covered with Gronkowski’s injury history and I could try to trade Njoku later in the season to a tight end needy team. Currently Njoku is my TE12.

15.02 (#170 Overall)- Chargers D/ST

Quietly the Chargers have built themselves a great NFL and fantasy defense. Last season the Chargers finished as the D/ST5, averaging 9.9 fantasy points per game, then they spent their first four 2018 draft picks on the defensive side of the ball, including first rounder Derwin James. The Chargers were one of only four teams to rank in the top 10 in sacks, interceptions and defensive touchdowns last season. Currently the Chargers are my D/ST6.

16.11 (#191 Overall)- Jake Elliott, K, Eagles

Most kickers are a dime a dozen and weekly wavier wire pick ups depending on a number of factor including weather and injuries to teammates. However, in this mock I grabbed Elliott who finished as the K14 last season. However, had he played all 16 games (remember he wasn’t signed till week two) he would have finished the season as the K12. Hopefully Carson Wentz returns in time for week one and the Eagles score at a similar rate this season. Currently Elliott is my K6.

Final Roster Breakdown

  • Two Quarterbacks
  • Five Running Backs
  • Five Wide Receivers
  • Two Tight Ends
  • One D/ST
  • One Kicker
  • 16 Total Selections

At the end of my fantasy football mock draft I was very happy with the result. My team has a nice mix of proven PPR studs like Larry Fitzgerald, while offering players with a lot of upside like Joe Mixon and my four rookie picks. I would love to draft this team in August. Be on the lookout for my redraft rankings once we are closer to the start of season and as always, happy hunting fantasy friends!

About The Author Mike Fanelli

Mike is a former journalism major who spent all four years in high school working for the school newspaper. At 25 years old, he is happy to write for Breaking Football as it gives him a platform to get his sports opinions out there.