Excited to be taking part in my first ever 16 team fantasy draft, I entered the draft looking to get good value. While trying to take the best player available I also tried to maintain a balance roster while adding solid floor players and guys with high upside. Picking ninth in the draft was perfect for me. No long stretch between draft picks and guaranteed value in each round, selecting in the middle. When the draft ended I was fairly happy with my team and feel good entering the season.
Round 1 (Pick 9): Jordy Nelson WR Green Bay Packers
The reason why I selected Nelson in the first round was because he was the highest rated wide receiver on the board, and there were no running backs on the board at the time who I thought had more value then Nelson. Also while Aaron Rodgers is throwing to him, Nelson has a high floor.
Round 2 (Pick 24): Dez Bryant WR Dallas Cowboys
Bryant is a dynamic wide receiver. With Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension, I believe Bryant will have to step up his game while Elliott is out. The other reason why I choose Bryant is because I decided to pick talent over roster balance. I still needed a running back, and I usually like to start my drafts with a running back and wide receiver with my top two picks. However, given who was on the board when my pick came around, I felt Bryant had more value and was worth taking over any running back at that point.
Round 3 (Pick 41): Travis Kelce TE Kansas City Chiefs
At this point in the draft tight ends were flying off the board. Both Rob Gronkowski, and Jordan Reed were already gone and Kelce was the next best option on the board. Kelce is an elite tight end who is the best weapon the Chiefs have on offense. Kelce will likely finish as a top five tight end. I don’t regret taking him here in the third, despite the fact that I still don’t have a running back yet. Kelce had more value than any running back at this point in the draft.
Round 4 (Pick 56): Ty Montgomery RB Green Bay Packers
Finally I drafted a running back. Didn’t think that Ty Montgomery would end up being my number one running back but in a PPR league he has a safe floor. Montgomery will get plenty of touches but in the running and passing game.
Round 5 (Pick 73): Andrew Luck QB Indianapolis Colts
At this point in the draft quarterbacks were being taken left and right. Luck’s shoulder injury does concern me some but once he is healthy he is a top five quarterback. I had Luck in one of my fantasy leagues last season and have faith that he will have another productive fantasy season this year. Despite concerns about his shoulder he is still a good value at pick 73. Once Luck is healthy, he will finish the season again as a top five quarterback with upside to be the QB1.
Round 6 (Pick 88): Mike Gillislee RB New England Patriots
I drafted Gillislee because I needed a second running back and I believe that he will not only be the starter in New England, but also finished as a top 20 running back. While Gillislee won’t put up the same 18 rushing touchdowns LeGarrette Blount did last season, Gillislee can easily get ten plus touchdowns.
Round 7 (Pick 105): Corey Davis WR Tennessee Titans
Corey Davis is expected be the number one receiver for the Titans and will eventually be Mariota’s go to receiver. Davis is a rookie but hopefully can put up good numbers to become a solid number two fantasy receiver. If Davis pops and plays well I have a steal here at pick 105. However, I will have to wait and see with the rookie.
Round 8 (Pick 120): Chiefs D/ST
Kansas City’s defense in my option is not only one of the best defenses in the league but the best to own in fantasy. With talent across the board and depth, the chiefs defense will finish top five if not first in points this year for all defenses. Between a defense that gets sacks and creates turnovers, the special teams until offer upside with kick and punt returns for touchdowns.
Round 9 (Pick 137): Josh Doctson WR Washington Redskins
Doctson was drafted 22nd overall in the 2016 NFL draft and should have a solid fantasy year, provided that injuries don’t hold him back. With Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson leaving as free agents combined with Jordan Reed’s injury history, I expect Doctson to have a role early on in the Redskins’ passing attack. By seasons end I believe Doctson will be a key weapon for Kirk Cousins.
Round 10 (Pick 152): Carson Palmer QB Arizona Cardinals
Palmer is my insurance policy in case Andrew Luck’s should injury turns out to be a long term issue. If Luck is out, Palmer is a very good solid option to plug in at quarterback. Given the weapons the Cardinals have on offense, Palmer has the upside to be a QB1 on a week to week basis.
Round 11 (Pick 169): Dion Lewis RB New England Patriots
After I drafted Gillislee I targeted Lewis figuring if Gillislee misses time Lewis will be the backup. In a deep PPR league like this one, Lewis has some value as an upside FLEX play even if Gillislee is healthy.
Round 12 (Pick 184): Terrance West RB Baltimore Ravens
I drafted West because with the season ending injury to Kenneth Dixon, West has no real competition challenging him for the starting spot. In addition the Ravens will try to run the ball more so they can protect Joe Flacco, who is nursing a back injury. I needed to add depth at the running back spot and West is a great value at pick 184.
Round 13 (Pick 201): Dan Bailey K Dallas Cowboys
My favorite kicker who I try to draft every year, Justin Tucker, was long gone so I selected Bailey because he is a reliable kicker who doesn’t miss often and he has a strong leg.
Round 14 (Pick 216): Chris Hogan WR New England Patriots
Hogan was the best receiver on the board and I needed depth at the wide receiver position. Any receiver catching passes from Tom Brady has to have some upside to him. Last season Hogan average almost 18 yards a catch and had four touchdowns; I am hoping for similar production this year.
Round 15 (Pick 233): Eli Rogers WR Pittsburgh Steelers
Rogers had 48 catches last season and has some upside playing in that Steelers offense. While receivers were hard to come by at this point in the draft, I am hopeful Rogers turns out to be a steal.
Round 16 (Pick 248): Jesse James TE Pittsburgh Steelers
Again, a player on the Steelers offense has to have some upside to him. James is a solid tight end option in PPR leagues because Ben Roethlisberger will check down to James in the middle of field when needed.