Fantasy Football: 14-Team Mock Draft; Christian McCaffrey First Pick
Here at SI Fantasy, we've already given you a mock draft from a 10-team and 12-team league. Our next mock draft is from a 14-team league with live bodies at the controls of the decision-making. (No computer-generated decision makers this time.)
In the 14-team league, developing a loaded roster requires foresight and being on the right side of the rhythm of the running back and wide receiver positions in the mid-rounds. A mistake in decision-making can force a drafter to chase a position while accepting weaker pieces in their starting lineup.
Within a 14-team draft, there will be different drop-offs at each position compared to a 12-teamer. At the midpoint of this format, players will be added to a team about one and a half rounds earlier.
This format in the Fantasy Football World Championship requires a starting lineup of QB, RB1, RB2, WR1, WR2, WR3, TE, Flex 1 and Flex 2 (RB, WR or TE), K, and DEF. However, since this was a mock draft, owners were only required to field a lineup with one flex spot. Instead of 20 rounds, the draft was 16 rounds.
Below the draft board, I'll analyze each team.
Meet your drafters:
Team 1: Michael Florio is a fantasy researcher for NFL Network, and a writer for NFL Fantasy and Fantrax
Team 2: Steve Toroni, is co-host of The Fantasy Football Hot Take Podcast
Team 3: Corey Parson has been a big name in the fantasy industry, and currently works with Guru Elite and The Athletic
Team 4: Andy Singleton is the owner of ExpandedTheBoxscore.com and a co-host on Fantasy Football Champs After Dark
Team 5: Dennis Bennett is a co-host of Fantasy Football Roundtable from the FullTime Fantasy Podcast Network
Team 6: Jordan Rains is the host of The IDP Tipster Podcast
Team 7: Adam Ronis is a senior expert at FullTime Fantasy, a SriusXM radio host, and the host of The FullTime Fantasy Show on the FNTSY Radio Network
Team 8: Frank Bonincontri is host of The Purple Reign Fantasy Show
Team 9: Blake Sullivan is co-host of The Fantasy Football Hot Take Podcast
Team 10: Dr. Roto is a senior fantasy expert at FullTime Fantasy and a co-host of the FullTime Fantasy Show
Team 11: Rick Briggs is co-host of The Asylum Fantasy Sports Podcast
Team 12: Jim Day is the FFChamps Co-Director and FullTime Fantasy Podcast Network Director
Team 13: Bill Enright is the Co-Director of FFChamps and has produced Top-10 fantasy football accuracy rankings three years in a row on FantasyPros
Team 14: Chris Ventra is a fantasy sports analyst, writer, and broadcaster
Over the first six picks, this team decided to fill out six positions in their starting lineup with a traditional structure (two RBs, three WRs, and one TE). I have no complaints with his first three picks (Christain McCaffrey, Julian Edelman and T.Y. Hilton).
The decision to snatch up Miles Sanders as the 28th RB suggests this owner believes he’ll be the top RB in Philly with better than expected value in TDs and catches. I would play it safer by selecting Tarik Cohen due to his ability to make plays in the passing game. Either way, the RB2 on this team needs to score 200+ fantasy points in PPR leagues to be competitive.
He caught the drop-off at tight end (Jared Cook) at fair value (84th selection). One of his shots at filling one of his flex spots in his starting lineup was acquiring both the early-down options at running back in Washington (Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson). Guice and Darrell Henderson were the best available upside RBs on the 7/8 turn.
Emmanuel Sanders has the resume to work as the WR4 or first flex option based on his path to be ready for the start of the season. Both Trey Quinn and Nelson Agholor will be tough to time while working as bye week and short-term injury covers.
His starting QB (Philip Rivers) will be steady while being positioned to be better in 2019 if Melvin Gordon does indeed play.
Overall, his decision making is sound with the success of his young RBs determining his path to victory.
For a batting perspective, I’ll say this team went 2-for-3 with his first three picks as I’m still cautious about the overall opportunity of Damien Williams. Alvin Kamara will score many TDs and catch tons of passes, setting up an impactful year. Devonta Freeman looks poised to have a comeback season with value on all three downs. He’ll lose some touches, but his final stats should rank him high at the RB2 position. If Williams does play like he did at the end of 2018, this team does own a nice edge at three RB spots.
Matt Brieda should be a great fit as rotational RB with Jerick McKinnon trending toward another lost season. My last projections had Breida rated as the 24th RB in PPR leagues (much, much higher on him than the average fantasy football expert). I like his price in this draft (ADP of 86 or early ninth round in 12-team leagues). LeSean McCoy doesn’t look attractive, but his resume and price point (55th RB drafted) should work out well in this roster construction.
His first four WRs (Tyler Boyd, Robby Anderson, Marvin Jones, and James Washington) have a consistency factor as well as upside. I’m okay with his decision making of all players except Robby Anderson. I have Calvin Ridley, Michael Williams and Jarvis Landry rated higher. Anderson is a better fit as WR3 in this format, but the early RBs forced this owner to trail in the WR flow.
He’s hoping to be steady at both quarterback and tight end (Jameis Winston and David Njoku).
The backend of his WRs (Josh Gordon, Robert Foster, and Marquise Goodwin) have a wide range of outcomes in 2019, which may lead to this team falling short during his bye weeks.
Over the first five rounds, this owner made smart, competitive choices to build the foundation of his team (Saquon Barkley, Kerryon Johnson, Stefon Diggs, Allen Robinson and Calvin Ridley).
The decision to select a QB in the sixth round (Matt Ryan) left him behind in the options at WR4. I understand the desire to gain an edge at QB, but the late-QB pool runs deep. Ryan was the value play last year. The goal in the FFWC should be to cheat QB while finding the breakout backend QBs. I expect Ryan to play well, and he won’t be a bad pick. The question comes down to how this fantasy owner could have improved his team at RB and WR by waiting at quarterback.
He chooses the veteran route at TE (Jordan Reed and Jimmy Graham), which points to boom or bust value.
Kalen Ballage seems like a reach, but this draft was done after Kenyan Drake hit the news board with a foot injury. I'm sure Ballage will get his touches, but I'm not convinced he has the talent or opportunity to be a breakout RB option at this level. I would instead buy Rashaad Penny who went two picks later.
Golden Tate looks undervalued once he’s on the field. He projects to have WR4 value while being drafted as the 59th wide receiver. This owner also accepted the injury risk with Keke Coutee.
His final three WRs (Kenny Stills, David Moore, Taylor Gabriel) will offer big games, but it might be easier to hit the center of a dartboard than find the right option to play each week.
After starting his squad with two RBs (Ezekiel Elliott and Leonard Fournette) plus a quarterback (Patrick Mahomes) and a TE (George Kittle), this team chased WRs over the next four rounds (Mike Williams, Corey Davis, Dede Westbrook and John Brown).
If Elliott plays a full season, he’ll have an edge at RB1, RB2 (possibly), QB and TE. I’m comfortable placing WR2, WR3 and WR4 values on his first three WRs, which means he gave up one level at each spot back in his lineup due to not having a true WR1.
The trick in reviewing this roster is deciding if he had made different selections in rounds three, four and one other later round, would his team be stronger?
Is the combination of Fournette, Mahomes and Brown better than Fournette, Allen Robinson or Tyler Boyd, and Russell Wilson? Or better than a RB in round three, WR in round four and another late QB?
I do believe in Fournette and understand it’s tough to get away from the 2018 Mahomes stats. In the end, the possible weakness for John Brown creates more of a dilemma for me in this team’s structure.
Peyton Barber seems boring while Damien Harris is a late favorite of mine at RB. His recent news is creating a better buying window. Both Deebo Samuel and Terry McLaurin have been getting positive reviews in camp.
Some work to do on the wire, but most of his starting lineup looks to be in the game.
I like the opening with a stud RB (David Johnson) followed by three straight WRs (Amari Cooper, Brandin Cooks and Alshon Jeffery) while catching a solid TE (Evan Engram).
His decision to punt RB2 led to him buying an early QB (Baker Mayfield) as well. He paid full price for his QB while expecting him to be a top option in 2019.
I’m in the Rashaad Penny camp as well, but I’d rather have him as an RB3 in a 14-team event. He’ll see enough touches to be a backend RB2 unless his opportunity is better than expected in the passing game. If Chris Carson goes down with an injury, Penny should have top 12 RB value.
Courtland Sutton and Tony Pollard are the upside swings. He selected Preston Williams after an excellent first preseason game. Williams has worked his way into the deep sleeper category, and I have my eye on him in August to see if he can push his way into a viable fantasy opportunity early in the season.
I don’t see enough balls to go around in the Ravens’ run game for Justice Hill to be playable, but he does have explosive speed.
The backend of this roster lacks excitement (Randall Cobb, Cole Beasley and Elijah McGuire).
His weakness at RB2 will leave him a step behind the better teams in the league. If Ezekiel Elliott doesn’t sign, his chance of competing for a league title improves a lot with Pollard and Cooper the focal points of the Cowboys’ offense.
After starting with two top WRs (DeAndre Hopkins and Antonio Brown), this owner seemed to be chasing the RB position for the next eight rounds. Either the RB flow didn’t break right, or he didn’t understand the need to finish off his WR depth in this format.
His first two RBs (Marlon Mack and Sony Michel) fall into the steady category. Royce Freeman is the upside swing. Nyheim Hines works as a playable pass-catcher, but his ceiling isn’t elite even with his mindset to handcuff the Colts’ RBs.
Devin Singletary and Darwin Thompson are sexy preseason names, but they will be tough to start early in the year, creating minimal scores if inserted into the starting lineup.
Sammy Watkins has star power if he could ever stay healthy. The additions of Zay Jones and Adam Humphries will fill the flex spot with consistent value over the long season.
If Andrew Luck doesn’t miss any time, he’ll be a better value than the QBs added in the sixth round. Greg Olsen has the resume to bounce back, but age is a factor in his rebound.
This team lacks the overall flash to win while relying heavily on the Colts’ offense to have success. The keys to his roster are Watkins, Luck and Olsen while needing to hit one of his backend RBs.
From rounds two to five, Dalvin Cook, Aaron Jones, D.J. Moore and O.J. Howard all offer upside, and he started strong with Davante Adams as WR1.
In 12-team leagues, A.J. Green makes a lot of sense in the sixth round. In this league, he’s a steal in the sixth as the 36th WR even if he misses a month.
Sterling Shepard is a value while Michael Gallup could take a huge step forward in 2019 if he gets enough targets.
This owner’s quest for WR depth (DaeSean Hamilton, Miles Boykin, and Tre’Quan Smith) left a massive void in his RB bench. His success at RB3 (Justin Jackson) looks to hang on the Melvin Gordon holdout.
It looks like the size of the league led to mistiming the top handcuffs for his top two RBs (Alexander Mattison: 10.5 and Jamaal Williams: 11.7).
If he backed up his top RBs, I’d like the structure of this roster after adding in Carson Wentz as value QB.
This team is definitely in the mix, if his two RBs stay healthy and they play at a high level.
As much as I like the upside of Nick Chubb and the potential of the Browns’ offense, I can’t take Chubb over Le’Veon Bell. A high-volume pass-catching back sets a high-floor each week. I will say that Chubb looks viable as the seventh-best option at RB in 2019, but he'll be beaten in fantasy points by four of the WRs that get drafted after him.
This team made two solid choices at WR (Adam Theilen and Kenny Golladay) while catching Zach Ertz at a discount (49th player drafted).
Over his next 10 selections, I only see one player (Deshaun Watson) that creates an edge at his position.
I’ll give Lamar Miller, Geronimo Allison and D.K. Metcalf a chance to work in his starting lineup in some way (Update: Metcalf will have surgery, news that broke Sunday night). The floor is much too low for his backup TE (Mark Andrews), backup RBs (Ito Smith, Jamaal Williams and Jordan Scarlett), and last two WRs (Marquise Brown and Mecole Hardman). I do expect Brown and Hardman to offer big-play ability.
This is a bottom-tier team, which shows how tough a draft can be at pick eight in 14-team leagues.
This owner started with an edge at WR1 (Odell Beckham) and WR2 (Mike Evans) while adding three steady RB2s (Chris Carson, Mark Ingram and Tarik Cohen).
Of his first three RBs, I only like Cohen based on his draft value and his pass-catching opportunity. Each one of his top backs will lose touches to other options compared to their chances in 2018.
Will Fuller, Aaron Rodgers and Eric Ebron are competitive picks based on their draft value.
Over his final eight picks, only the Bears’ defense creates an edge while N’Keal Harry has a chance to be impactful at some point in the year.
The key to this team’s success will come at RB1 and RB2. If his lead two RBs fail to provide impactful stats, he’ll be a step or two behind the top teams in the league.
Starting with Travis Kelce in the first round doesn’t give a fantasy owner as much of an edge at TE, when seeing Zach Ertz slide to the fourth round. If Kelce repeats his 2018 season, he would still fall short in fantasy points in PPR leagues to Le’Veon Bell, Michael Thomas, Tyreek Hill, Julio Jones and JuJu Smith-Schuster if each option played up to their expected potential.
Now, if this owner knew that Ertz could have been drafted in the fourth round, would he make the same decision? In 2018, Ertz scored 280 fantasy points in PPR leagues. Even with a 15% regression in production, he should still outscore most RB2s at this level. Chris Godwin would need 80 catches for 1,000 yards and 10 TDs to be on equal footing in the fourth round with Ertz while still losing to most of the above players mentioned as options in the first round by 20 fantasy points. A fascinating dilemma for building a fantasy football team.
I don’t love Joe Mixon, but I get his opportunity. I would draft the upside of Dalvin Cook before him. Derrick Henry should improve this year as long as his calf issue clears up.
His next three WRs (Jarvis Landry, Christian Kirk and Dante Pettis) all project to be top 36 WRs.
Kareem Hunt could work into this starting lineup late in the year but offers no value until he returns from suspension in Week 10. Parris Campbell and Andy Isabella have upside while falling into the flash category (big plays, but tough to time).
This owner puts his name on Kyler Murray as the sixth-best QB in the league.
With the same draft flow, I see a better path over the first four rounds.
This is the third team in this league to start with two WRs (Michael Thomas and Keenan Allen). Each owner decided to force the weakness at the RB position over the next few rounds leading to weaker than expected WR depth.
James White at 3.11 looks out of line while buying 2018 stats. Both Phillip Lindsay and Latavius Murray will be playable, but they make much more sense as fifth and seventh pieces to a team, which is unattainable in a 14-team format.
Vance McDonald is overpriced for me based on his career path and injury risk while Darren Waller will prove to be a fraud. I love Anthony Miller, and Tyrell Williams should be improved in Oakland.
His options at QB (Drew Brees and Kirk Cousins) will be manageable. He gravitated toward pass-catching backs with Jaylen Samuels and Chris Thompson, which helps when needing to cover byes and injuries.
The bridge from RB1, RB2 and WR3 looks out of line for me, which would require one more stud player to be considered a top team despite hating his TE decisions.
After starting with three straight RBs (James Conner, Todd Gurley and David Montgomery), this owner followed up with three WRs (Tyler Lockett, Larry Fitzgerald and Marquez Valdes-Scantling).
There is no way I’m ever taking Conner over Le’Veon Bell. In the 12-team leagues, Fitzgerald tends to get drafted after nine of the next 12 WRs off the board. With that said, he would have never made it back to round seven in a 14-team league.
Russell Wilson is a substantial value in the 10th round. His TEs (Austin Hooper and Jack Doyle) look serviceable.
At the back end of his roster, he chased a couple of preseason names (J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Jakobi Meyers), which may be tough carries once the bye weeks roll around.
Overall, the RB structure upfront is risky but could be rewarding. Finishing his WRs in the mid-rounds was tougher than expected after starting with three RBs.
If this owner drafted Bell over Conner, I would view this as a top-four team with one hit at WR on the waiver wire.
A fourth owner tried the WR/WR path (Julio Jones and Tyreek Hill). Just like the previous four teams, he chased RBs.
I respect the gamble with Melvin Gordon at 3.13, and he protected his investment with Austin Ekeler in the sixth round (6.2). Both Tevin Coleman and Duke Johnson will have rotational value at RB2 and one flex position.
His overall WR depth (DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder and Ted Ginn) did come up short. I expect Crowder to be a value while Jackson will have some big games.
The combination of Cam Newton and Kyle Rudulph won’t rank in the top half of the league at those two positions.
I'm thinking edge at WR1, WR2 and RB1 with only steady scores at three other starting lineup positions. Close, but he needs more upside at TE and eventually, help off the wire at WR.
In a 14-team league, I would be excited with a Le’Veon Bell and Juju Smith-Schuster start to my team. Josh Jacobs works well at RB2.
The inventory ran off at WR2, but Robert Woods should be a steady option. Both Hunter Henry and Curtis Samuel have breakout ability. I expect Kenyan Drake to be a value even if he misses a game or two.
Donte Moncrief, Devin Funchess and Ronald Jones should have much better chances for success this year, but each player may have job loss risk. A.J. Brown is an excellent gamble as a late-round WR while being discounted due to a training camp injury.
His QB choices (Lamar Jackson and Jared Goff) have the right QB1 and QB2 structure.
The ultimate success of this team falls on one WR emerging as a good play at one flex position and the health of Drake.
In my opinion, the top four playoff contenders in this league are Team 2, Team 7, Team 12 and Team 14.
Team management and injuries play a big part in each fantasy football league, which would make this league enjoyable to follow if it was played out. I’d like to see how close I came to identifying the top rosters.
Looking for a more accurate measure of where experts are drafting a certain player? Advanced ADP is based on the 10 most recent high-stakes fantasy football drafts. Things change fast. Find out the exact window of opportunity for the key players you are looking to target the most. Check out Advanced ADP at FullTime Fantasy.