2019 Way-Too-Early Fantasy Football Mock Draft

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By The Hudsonian, Joshua Hudson

About a week after the Super Bowl concluded, myself and some of the Club Fantasy FFL team got together and took part in a fantasy football draft. In February. That’s usually about four or five months before normal people start partaking in mock drafts. I know what you’re thinking — you guys have no life. You’re probably right. But we do love fantasy football.

Just know, the things we do, it’s all for you.

Myself, my No Punt Intended co-host Joe Zollo, contributor Tim Murphy, and graphic designer extraordinaire Maggie Byrd drafted a few teams. And let me tell you what, there were a few surprises, some insane value, and plenty of “what the hell were you thinking” comments.

Below are the round by round selections. Each team has its own name because, why the hell not? I’ll also add in some analysis of my thoughts on some picks that may surprise some of you.

Round 1
Pick By Player Team Position
1 My Rawls Itch Saquon Barkley NYG RB1
2 Morning Woodhead Christian McCaffrey CAR RB2
3 Two Gurley’s One Cup JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT WR1
4 Rudolph the Red zone Reindeer Todd Gurley LAR RB3
5 Hot Lockett Ezekiel Elliott DAL RB4
6 Sly Cooper Alvin Kamara NO RB5
7 Goff Balls Melvin Gordon LAC RB6
8 Me and Mrs. Jones DeAndre Hopkins HOU WR2
9 S.W.A.T.T. Team Michael Thomas NO WR3
10 PokeMoncrief Davante Adams GB WR4

It took all of three picks before we saw the first real surprise. Running backs have dominated receivers in PPR the last couple of years, so for one to be taken before the likes of Gurley, Elliott, Kamara, and Gordon was shocking. The fact that it was Smith-Schuster floored me. But here’s the thing, Antonio Brown has been the most productive receiver in football the last seven seasons. With the Steelers likely to trade their embattled wideout this offseason, JuJu has an opportunity to top the 166 targets he had last season since Brown’s 168 are up for grabs. I think JuJu is a top 5 WR in 2019, but I’m not sure I’d put him at one just yet.

Round 2
Pick By Player Team Position
11 PokeMoncrief Joe Mixon CIN RB7
12 S.W.A.T.T. Team T.Y. Hilton IND WR5
13 Me and Mrs. Jones Le’Veon Bell FA RB8
14 Goff Balls Antonio Brown PIT WR6
15 Sly Cooper Nick Chubb CLE RB9
16 Hot Lockett Aaron Jones GB RB10
17 Rudolph the Red zone Reindeer David Johnson ARI RB11
18 Two Gurley’s One Cup Odell Beckham Jr. NYG WR7
19 Morning Woodhead Keenan Allen LAC WR8
20 My Rawls Itch James Conner PIT RB12

I can’t remember the last time Antonio Brown fell to the second round. Seriously. That said, we don’t yet know what team will employ him in 2019, so this is a guess in terms of production. Nick Chubb and Aaron Jones as top 10 backs? It’s possible. New HC Matt LaFleur has led some very run heavy schemes in Los Angeles and Tennessee the last two seasons. While I expect Jamaal Williams to still get some carries, it will be the Aaron Jones show in Green Bay in 2019 — barring any significant addition to the running back room this offseason. My official public service announcement: do not sleep on David Johnson in 2019! Despite the terrible season he had in 2018, he was still RB10 at year’s end. People will pass on him after last year. Scoop up that value in the late second/early third round! *Note: This draft took place prior to the Cleveland Browns signing of RB Kareem Hunt.

Round 3
Pick By Player Team Position
21 My Rawls Itch Sony Michel NE RB13
22 Morning Woodhead Dalvin Cook MIN RB14
23 Two Gurley’s One Cup Kerryon Johnson DET RB15
24 Rudolph the Red zone Reindeer James White NE RB16
25 Hot Lockett Julio Jones ATL WR9
26 Sly Cooper Tyreek Hill KC WR10
27 Goff Balls Mike Evans TB WR11
28 Me and Mrs. Jones Travis Kelce KC TE1
29 S.W.A.T.T. Team Derrius Guice WAS RB17
30 PokeMoncrief Stefon Diggs MIN WR12

Two things to point out here: by the end of the third round, there have been 17 — yes, 17! — running backs selected. Teams are starting to feature their first and second down backs on third down more, making them more valuable in PPR leagues like Club Fantasy. While Sony Michel sees very minimal work on third downs, the amount of carries and yards he generates — and touchdowns, by proxy — should put him in the high RB2 range. How Tyreek Hill fell to WR10 is baffling. I firmly believe he is a top 5 WR in the league with the way the Chiefs utilize him, though you can make the argument he lacks consistency and relies too heavily on the big games to lift his overall numbers.

Round 4
Pick By Player Team Position
31 PokeMoncrief Zach Ertz PHI TE2
32 S.W.A.T.T. Team Cooper Kupp LAR WR13
33 Me and Mrs. Jones Amari Cooper DAL WR14
34 Goff Balls Adam Thielen MIN WR15
35 Sly Cooper A.J. Green CIN WR16
36 Hot Lockett Patrick Mahomes KC QB1
37 Rudolph the Red zone Reindeer Kenny Golladay DET WR17
38 Two Gurley’s One Cup George Kittle SF TE3
39 Morning Woodhead Jarvis Landry CLE WR18
40 My Rawls Itch Julian Edelman NE WR19

By the end of four rounds, the top three tight ends from last year are off the board. I stand by this. I am a big proponent of snagging a top TE in the first three to four rounds, if you can. Kelce, Ertz, and Kittle are game-changers at the position. They put up numbers that rival, and in some cases exceed, most WR2s. That’s enough for me. Rarely do TEs come out of nowhere to shine — though Kittle, Eric Ebron, and Jared Cook proved my theory wrong last year — so wait, wait, wait on the position if you don’t get those guys because most of your middle round TEs are hit or miss and frustrating to own. Cooper Kupp as the first Rams WR off the board is more interesting with him coming off the ACL injury than it would’ve been had he not gotten hurt. He is clearly Goff’s favorite target. Mahomes finally comes off the board here as the first QB taken and I’m a little surprised he wasn’t selected earlier. Just know, in most of your drafts, someone will take him in the first or second round. Bet.

Round 5
Pick By Player Team Position
41 My Rawls Itch Brandin Cooks LAR WR20
42 Morning Woodhead Emmanuel Sanders DEN WR21
43 Two Gurley’s One Cup Leonard Fournette JAX RB18
44 Rudolph the Red zone Reindeer Mike Williams LAC WR22
45 Hot Lockett Marlon Mack IND RB19
46 Sly Cooper Phillip Lindsay DEN RB20
47 Goff Balls Tarik Cohen CHI RB21
48 Me and Mrs. Jones Devonta Freeman ATL RB22
49 S.W.A.T.T. Team Kenyan Drake MIA RB23
50 PokeMoncrief Chris Carson SEA RB24

Mike Williams as WR22 is interesting- a little higher than I would rank him. With Tyrell Williams a free agent and not likely to return, Mike Williams should see a bump in targets. He saw only 66 last year, but 10 of his 43 receptions resulted in touchdowns. He’ll have more opportunities in 2019. More running backs populate round five. If Mack stays healthy in 2019, I think this is HUGE value for him. Lindsay at RB20 seems about right for me. I think he grossly overachieved last year, and I think Royce Freeman will see more action in 2019 with a new coaching staff. Drake will probably once again break our hearts, but with a new coaching staff in tow, I will continue to draft the talent and hope the staff recognizes it too.

Round 6
Pick By Player Team Position
51 PokeMoncrief Jerick McKinnon SF RB25
52 S.W.A.T.T. Team Tyler Lockett SEA WR23
53 Me and Mrs. Jones DJ Moore CAR WR24
54 Goff Balls Derrick Henry TEN RB26
55 Sly Cooper Calvin Ridley ATL WR25
56 Hot Lockett Alshon Jeffery PHI WR26
57 Rudolph the Red zone Reindeer Allen Robinson CHI WR27
58 Two Gurley’s One Cup Andrew Luck IND QB2
59 Morning Woodhead Chris Thompson WAS RB27
60 My Rawls Itch Will Fuller V HOU WR28

Once again, the curious case of Derrick Henry. What is he? I’ll tell you what he isn’t, and that’s a top 20 running back. Don’t let last year’s cumulative numbers fool you. More than half his season total came from Weeks 14-16. Round six is right about where I think he’s safe. He’s a RB3/FLEX option. When the new offensive staff figures out how to split the workload between he and Dion Lewis, we’ll have a better idea of his potential. Someone people will likely forget about is 49ers RB Jerick McKinnon. He missed all of last season and we saw Kyle Shanahan’s offense produce quality fantasy outings from Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert, and Jeffrey Wilson Jr. Yeah, exactly. Look, I’m not the biggest McKinnon fan (as a runner; he’s great as a pass catcher), but when you put an average running back in a great scheme, good things can happen. I’ll take that value all day and twice on Sundays. WR27 is about right for me on Allen Robinson. Does he have the talent to be better than that? Absolutely. But the way Matt Nagy drew up his offense in 2018, Robinson’s potential is capped. He’s definitely not a WR2, as I think many people think he is and will be.

Round 7
Pick By Player Team Position
61 My Rawls Itch Kareem Hunt FA RB28
62 Morning Woodhead Hunter Henry LAC TE4
63 Two Gurley’s One Cup Doug Baldwin SEA WR29
64 Rudolph the Red zone Reindeer Keke Coutee HOU WR30
65 Hot Lockett Tyler Boyd CIN WR31
66 Sly Cooper Robert Woods LAR WR32
67 Goff Balls Deshaun Watson HOU QB3
68 Me and Mrs. Jones Jordan Howard CHI RB29
69 S.W.A.T.T. Team Duke Johnson Jr. CLE RB30
70 PokeMoncrief Corey Davis TEN WR33

And the best value of the draft thus far: Robert Woods as WR32. What?! I think he’s a top 20 WR, but as one of three legit receiving options on the Rams, plus Gurley, it’s always hard to predict which receiver stays healthy and remains consistent. The beginning part of the year, that was Kupp. After Kupp’s injury, it was Woods. Woods has a great floor, but I think he’s really capped, ceiling-wise. When we did this draft, Kareem Hunt was still a free agent. We fully expect Hunt to miss at least six games due to suspension. That doesn’t mean he won’t produce in 2019 for a team. After signing with Cleveland, WR28 is definitely too high for him. Hunter Henry as the fourth tight end off the board is interesting. Does he have that kind of ceiling? Absolutely he does. He will be healthy heading into 2019 and we know how Rivers looks for his tight end often. I think Baldwin is done. Two Seahawks receivers in the top 30? That’s nuts for a run-first offense. If rumors are to be believed, Both Howard and Johnson Jr. will be on different teams when 2019 starts. I think about seven quarterbacks could be top 5 by season’s end, and Watson is one of them. If Will Fuller V and Keke Coutee remain as healthy as DeAndre Hopkins, look out.

Round 8
Pick By Player Team Position
71 PokeMoncrief Aaron Rodgers GB QB4
72 S.W.A.T.T. Team Rob Gronkowski NE TE5
73 Me and Mrs. Jones Mark Ingram II FA RB31
74 Goff Balls Damien Williams KC RB32
75 Sly Cooper Golden Tate FA WR34
76 Hot Lockett Robby Anderson NYJ WR35
77 Rudolph the Red zone Reindeer Chris Godwin TB WR36
78 Two Gurley’s One Cup Eric Ebron IND TE6
79 Morning Woodhead Sterling Shepard NYG WR37
80 My Rawls Itch Dante Pettis SF WR38

Damien Williams put on a show during both the NFL playoffs and the fantasy playoffs. He is solid as a receiver, and while he put up respectable numbers as a runner, I don’t buy him as a feature back in the league. I fully expect Andy Reid and the Chiefs to bring in someone to carry the load on early downs, which caps Williams’ potential. I’m all for letting other people buy into him and over-drafting him based on his end-of-season run. It happens all the time, people. I’m very skeptical of Gronk as TE5. Yes, if he’s fully healthy, he’s the most dominant TE in the game today. But with the Patriots seemingly shifting to more of a ground and pound approach featuring Sony Michel, Gronk will be asked to block more than play pitch and catch with Tom Brady. I think he’s a top 10 TE in name only heading into 2019. Anderson, Godwin, and Pettis are all young WRs I’m keeping an eye on in later rounds. Anderson finally started to connect with Sam Darnold as the season wore on. As long as Darnold continues to mature, Anderson should easily be a top 30 WR. Godwin is likely to replace DeSean Jackson in the Bucs offense and quite honestly, at this stage in Jackson’s career, Godwin is the better receiver anyway. Not to mention the Bucs potentially losing Adam Humphries in free agency, a breakout season awaits Godwin. Pettis looked great as the last man standing in the 49ers WR room. With a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo in 2019, he should continue to elevate his game.

Round 9
Pick By Player Team Position
81 My Rawls Itch O.J. Howard TB TE7
82 Morning Woodhead Matt Breida SF RB33
83 Two Gurley’s One Cup Elijah McGuire NYJ RB34
84 Rudolph the Red zone Reindeer Nyheim Hines IND RB35
85 Hot Lockett Tevin Coleman FA RB36
86 Sly Cooper Evan Engram NYG TE8
87 Goff Balls Austin Ekeler LAC RB37
88 Me and Mrs. Jones Courtland Sutton DEN WR39
89 S.W.A.T.T. Team Drew Brees NO QB5
90 PokeMoncrief LeSean McCoy BUF RB38

Let me start with this: I’m a big O.J. Howard fan. He should be a top 5 TE in this league within a year or two. What scares me is new HC Bruce Arians. He’s not exactly well known for featuring TEs in his offense. That said, he’s one of the few “mid round tight ends” I like in 2019. Evan Engram? Not so much. He had a great rookie season, but once the team drafted Saquon Barkley, there are no longer enough balls to go around. Engram’s game elevates if Barkley, OBJ, or Sterling Shepard succumb to injury. Otherwise, it’s a hard pass for me. Tevin Coleman will likely go a few rounds earlier once he signs somewhere. He has potential as a starter, but I think the league views him more as a compliment, much like he’s been in Atlanta the last four years. Shady as RB38 is just criminal. But the Bills have no offensive line and an offseason of adding pieces on offense. Once those pieces are added — lineman, tight end, receivers, and potentially a second RB to spell McCoy — we’ll have a clearer picture. The days of McCoy being a top 10 RB are clearly over. The addition of Joe Flacco and his big arm should do wonders for Courtland Sutton. Color me giddy.

Round 10
Pick By Player Team Position
91 PokeMoncrief Dede Westbrook JAX WR40
92 S.W.A.T.T. Team David Njoku CLE TE9
93 Me and Mrs. Jones Matt Ryan ATL QB6
94 Goff Balls Larry Fitzgerald ARI WR41
95 Sly Cooper Cam Newton CAR QB7
96 Hot Lockett Austin Hooper ATL TE10
97 Rudolph the Red zone Reindeer Jared Cook FA TE11
98 Two Gurley’s One Cup Bears D/ST CHI DST1
99 Morning Woodhead Christian Kirk ARI WR42
100 My Rawls Itch Russell Wilson SEA QB8

A couple of years ago, our own Chris Tyler told you to look out for Oklahoma product Dede Westbrook. Last year, Westbrook was the leading receiver on the Jaguars. I doubt that’s a coincidence. The team should get Marqise Lee back from injury, but Westbrook is still the WR on the Jags I prefer. I mean, he’s a WR4, but still. Through ten rounds, only eight quarterbacks have been drafted. I will say this until I am blue in the face — wait on taking a damn quarterback! It is the deepest position in fantasy. Last year, 14 QBs topped 300 fantasy points. (And if Baker Mayfield had started from the beginning of the season, he would’ve topped 300 points as well.) Jared Cook as TE11 is surprising. If he goes back to Oakland, I don’t think there’s any debate he finishes in the top 6 at the position in 2019. Christian Kirk intrigues me, but we have no idea what the Cardinals offense will look like next year. But he had his moments prior to his season-ending injury. And the first defense off the board is… da Bears. Shocker, I know. I get the appeal, but here’s how the last three teams to finish as the number one defense/special teams unit fared the following season:

2015 – Denver Broncos (250 FPTS); 2016 – DST3 (193)

2016 – Kansas City Chiefs (202); 2017 – DST19 (143)

2017 – Jacksonville Jaguars (264); 2018 – DST20 (143)

Only the Broncos stayed afloat, but they scored 57 fewer points. If you wait on defenses, you’re less likely to get your heart broken in the end.

Round 11
Pick By Player Team Position
101 My Rawls Itch Lamar Miller HOU RB39
102 Morning Woodhead Adam Humphries FA WR43
103 Two Gurley’s One Cup Anthony Miller CHI WR44
104 Rudolph the Red zone Reindeer Philip Rivers LAC QB9
105 Hot Lockett Marvin Jones Jr. DET WR45
106 Sly Cooper Gus Edwards BAL RB40
107 Goff Balls Antonio Callaway CLE WR46
108 Me and Mrs. Jones Jay Ajayi FA RB41
109 S.W.A.T.T. Team Rashaad Penny SEA RB42
110 PokeMoncrief Robert Foster BUF WR47

Lamar Miller as RB39? Wow. He wasn’t otherworldly last year, but he still finished as RB23. RB39 suggests people think the Texans may be looking to add a running back this offseason. I thought Foreman would make a leap in 2018, but he never came back fully healthy after his 2017 Achilles injury. If he’s going to seize the Texans RB job, it needs to be this year. Gus Edwards is the Ravens starting RB right now. With Lamar Jackson at QB, he should be about 15-20 spots higher in the RB rankings. I think the Ravens add another RB to the mix this offseason. Robert Foster showed flashes during his rookie year, but it’s hard to trust any receiver on the Bills with the erratic accuracy of QB Josh Allen.

Round 12
Pick By Player Team Position
111 PokeMoncrief Royce Freeman DEN RB43
112 S.W.A.T.T. Team Albert Wilson MIA WR48
113 Me and Mrs. Jones Sammy Watkins KC WR49
114 Goff Balls Marquise Goodwin SF WR50
115 Sly Cooper Baker Mayfield CLE QB10
116 Hot Lockett Dion Lewis TEN RB44
117 Rudolph the Red zone Reindeer Devin Funchess FA WR51
118 Two Gurley’s One Cup Ben Roethlisberger PIT QB11
119 Morning Woodhead Chris Herndon IV NYJ TE12
120 My Rawls Itch Jaylen Samuels PIT RB45

Yes, Baker Mayfield as QB10. Don’t sleep on him! Chris Herndon as TE12 is solid value. He should continue to be a reliable weapon for Sam Darnold but if the Jets do in fact bring in Le’Veon Bell to be their new starting RB, I think Herndon’s upside is limited as Bell is such a dangerous receiver out of the backfield. Big Ben led the league in passing in 2018. And he’s the 11th QB off the board here. 16 INTs and the expected loss of Antonio Brown don’t paint the picture of a top 5 or even top 10 QB for me. I do, however, expect Jaylen Samuels to see more action in 2019 than he did in 2018. The Steelers rode James Conner hard to begin the season, and I’m betting that had a lot to do with his late season injury. If they can monitor Conner’s workload and involve Samuels more, it helps the team and makes Conner less valuable to fantasy owners. Samuels should be a top-notch handcuff this season.

Round 13
Pick By Player Team Position
121 My Rawls Itch Michael Gallup DAL WR52
122 Morning Woodhead D’Onta Foreman HOU RB46
123 Two Gurley’s One Cup Carlos Hyde JAX RB47
124 Rudolph the Red zone Reindeer Jalen Richard OAK RB48
125 Hot Lockett Ronald Jones TB RB49
126 Sly Cooper Adrian Peterson FA RB50
127 Goff Balls Kalen Ballage MIA RB51
128 Me and Mrs. Jones Ito Smith ATL RB52
129 S.W.A.T.T. Team T.J. Yeldon FA RB53
130 PokeMoncrief Josh Adams PHI RB54

Richard could easily be higher on this list. But a lot depends on who the Raiders bring in to fill the early down work. (And Richard is a restricted free agent this year, so there’s a chance he lands on a new team.) Ballage should see some work with Drake and as a big back with speed, is an interesting late round gamble. I’m on record as saying I would love to see Yeldon in Philadelphia. He would work well in that backfield — great as a receiver, and as someone who can run between the tackles with Clement and Adams. I just don’t see the Eagles bringing in the type of three-down workhorse that their divisional brethren have over the last couple of years. Ito Smith should be on people’s radars with the expected departure of Tevin Coleman in Atlanta. Devonta Freeman isn’t known for his health, and I expect Smith to finish in the top 30 at the running back position.

Round 14
Pick By Player Team Position
131 PokeMoncrief Jared Goff LAR QB12
132 S.W.A.T.T. Team Marquez Valdes-Scantling GB WR53
133 Me and Mrs. Jones Marqise Lee JAX WR54
134 Goff Balls Greg Olsen CAR TE13
135 Sly Cooper Rex Burkhead NE RB55
136 Hot Lockett DaeSean Hamilton DEN WR55
137 Rudolph the Red zone Reindeer Vikings D/ST MIN DST2
138 Two Gurley’s One Cup Stephen Gostkowski NE K1
139 Morning Woodhead Ka’imi Fairbairn HOU K2
140 My Rawls Itch Tom Brady NE QB13

Brady as the 13th QB off the board. Sadly, I think that’s too high. But damn, what times we live in, huh?

Round 15
Pick By Player Team Position
141 My Rawls Itch Ravens D/ST BAL DST3
142 Morning Woodhead Bills D/ST BUF DST4
143 Two Gurley’s One Cup Kenny Stills MIA WR56
144 Rudolph the Red zone Reindeer Justin Tucker BAL K3
145 Hot Lockett Rams D/ST LAR DST5
146 Sly Cooper Texans D/ST HOU DST6
147 Goff Balls Patriots D/ST NE DST7
148 Me and Mrs. Jones Broncos D/ST DEN DST8
149 S.W.A.T.T. Team Chargers D/ST LAC DST9
150 PokeMoncrief Saints D/ST NO DST10
Round 16
Pick By Player Team Position
151 PokeMoncrief Greg Zuerlein LAR K4
152 S.W.A.T.T. Team Wil Lutz NO K5
153 Me and Mrs. Jones Harrison Butker KC K6
154 Goff Balls Jake Elliott PHI K7
155 Sly Cooper Brett Maher DAL K8
156 Hot Lockett Robbie Gould SF K9
157 Rudolph the Red zone Reindeer Dontrelle Inman FA WR57
158 Two Gurley’s One Cup Kenneth Dixon BAL RB56
159 Morning Woodhead Mitchell Trubisky CHI QB14
160 My Rawls Itch Adam Vinatieri IND K10

And there you have it. Plenty of surprises, plenty of WTF? selections, and plenty to ponder as free agency officially gets started next week.