Fantasy football mock draft: The Globe’s experts make their picks

The Globe is here to help you get on the right track.

Sony Michel
New England Patriots rookie running back Sony Michel runs with the ball during training camp. –Steven Senne/AP

We know you’re preparing to dominate your fantasy league, and the Globe is here to help you get on the right track. We conducted a seven-round mock draft, based on 12-team leagues with point per reception (PPR) scoring system. We didn’t assemble a team — picks were made based on average draft position (ADP). Simply, look for value.

The picks were made by deputy sports editor Scott Thurston, gambling and fantasy football correspondent Ed Ryan, deputy digital sports editor Gary Dzen, and staff writer Hayden Bird.

Click to jump to a round: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Round 1

1. Bird: Todd Gurley, RB, Rams


2. Dzen: Le’Veon Bell, RB, Steelers

3. Ryan: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys

4. Thurston: David Johnson, RB, Cardinals

5. Bird: Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers

6. Dzen: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans

7. Ryan: Melvin Gordon, RB, Chargers

8. Thurston: Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints

9. Bird: Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants

10. Dzen: Odell Beckham. Jr., WR, Giants

11. Ryan: Kareem Hunt, RB, Chiefs

12. Thurston: Julio Jones, WR, Falcons

Analysis of the round: No surprises in our first round, particularly with the first five picks. Four productive, high-volume runners flew off the board and the best receiver in the game — Brown — followed suit. After that, it’s a matter of preference. Gordon is running behind a great offensive line and he’s catching more passes every year — important for a PPR league. Everyone has a player with enormous upside, now the trick is building a high-scoring, balanced team. It’s also worth noting the enormous value placed upon Hopkins, now that Deshaun Watson is back under center with the Texans. — Ed Ryan

Round 2

13. Thurston: Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings

14. Ryan: Leonard Fournette, RB, Jaguars

15. Dzen: Michael Thomas, WR, Saints

16. Bird: A.J. Green, WR, Bengals

17. Thurston: Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers

18. Ryan: Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots

19. Dzen: Devonta Freeman, RB, Falcons

20. Bird: Davante Adams, RB, Packers


21. Thurston: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers

22. Ryan: Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers

23. Dzen: T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts

24. Bird: Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals

Analysis of the round: I was a McCaffrey owner in 2017 and while he frustrated at times, his dual-threat capabilities made him a worthwhile fantasy starter. Now, it’s his show in Carolina. Jonathan Stewart, now with the Giants, is no longer around to vulture goal line touchdowns and McCaffrey is already getting goal line work in the preseason. The Bengals may have issues at quarterback and elsewhere, but Green is reliable, particularly in a full PPR league. Evans is just as good with Ryan Fitzpatrick ­— Fitzy will start the first three games of the season in Tampa Bay — as he is with Jameis Winston. — Ed Ryan

Round 3

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25. Bird: Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals

26. Dzen: Amari Cooper, WR, Raiders

27. Ryan: Jordan Howard, RB, Bears

28. Thurston: Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs

29. Bird: Adam Thielen, WR, Vikings

30. Dzen: Tyreek Hill, WR, Chiefs

31. Ryan: LeSean McCoy, RB, Bills

32. Thurston: Jerick McKinnon, RB 49ers

33. Bird: Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles

34. Dzen: Stefon Diggs, WR, Vikings

35. Ryan: Jarvis Landry, WR, Browns

36. Thurston: Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks

Analysis of the round: We have completed three rounds and no one has selected a quarterback. I approve! Cooper and Howard were fittingly selected back-to-back: the 26th pick seems like a reach for Cooper but he stands to gain from a new coaching staff in Oakland, as does Howard in Chicago. Kelce is the second tight end taken after Gronkowski and the only concern for his owners is that Kansas City is breaking in a new quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. McCoy slipped for two reasons: Potential off-field issues and his team is potentially a disaster. Otherwise, he’s a stud. Seven out of these 12 third-round picks were wide receivers. Now things get interesting. — Ed Ryan

Round 4


37. Thurston: Alex Collins, RB, Ravens

38. Ryan: Derrick Henry, RB, Titans

39. Dzen: Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos

40. Bird: Golden Tate, WR, Lions

41. Thurston: Allen Robinson, WR, Bears

42. Ryan: Marshawn Lynch, RB, Raiders

43. Dzen: Ronald Jones, RB, Buccaneers

44. Bird: Royce Freeman, RB, Broncos

45. Thurston: Kenyan Drake, RB, Dolphins

46. Ryan: Chris Hogan, WR, Patriots

47. Dzen: Lamar Miller, RB, Texans

48. Bird: JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Steelers

Analysis of the round: Who’s reaching more: Me taking Lynch, or Gary Dzen selecting Jones? Picks like this — high upside, low floor — are why things start to get interesting (chaotic?) in the fourth round. It’s no coincidence that seven running backs were selected this round — if you’re going to scoop up a starting back who should lead his team in touches, it’s now or never. Tate provides tremendous fourth-round value. He’s in a contract year and usually good for 90 catches. I don’t believe in Thomas. His total catches have decreased for four straight seasons and he’s a working with yet another quarterback (Case Keenum). Catching balls from Peyton Manning seems like a long time ago. — Ed Ryan

Round 5

49. Bird: Alshon Jeffery, WR, Bears

50. Dzen: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers

51. Ryan: Robby Anderson, WR, Jets

52. Thurston: Brandin Cooks, WR, Rams

53. Bird: Dion Lewis, RB, Titans

54. Dzen: Jay Ajayi, RB, Eagles

55. Ryan: Marvin Jones, WR, Lions

56. Thurston: Josh Gordon, WR, Browns

57. Bird: Corey Davis, WR, Titans

58. Dzen: Mark Ingram, RB, Saints

59. Ryan: Kerryon Johnson, RB, Lions

60. Thurston: Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers

Analysis of the round: We have completed five rounds and one quarterback is now off the board as Gary Dzen snagged Rodgers with the 50th pick. Interestingly, we didn’t have a run of quarterback selections after Rodgers. Maybe that will occur in the sixth round. I may have reached for Anderson, but he seems to have a real quarterback in rookie Sam Darnold. Ajayi is another guy I don’t believe in. He produced only two 100-yard games last season and he seems to be living off a few monster performances he had with Miami in 2016. Gordon was bound to be selected at some point, but prior to the fifth round would have been a mistake. Everyone knows what he did in 2013 and most everyone saw the pictures of him shirtless this summer, but his off-field issues render him a huge question mark. — Ed Ryan

Round 6

61. Thurston: Tom Brady, QB, Patriots

62. Ryan: Will Fuller, WR, Texans

63. Dzen: Michael Crabtree, WR, Ravens

64. Bird: Duke Johnson Jr., RB, Browns

65. Thurston: Marquise Goodwin, WR, 49ers

66. Ryan: Delanie Walker, TE, Titans

67. Dzen: Sony Michel, RB, Patriots

68. Bird: Rex Burkhead, RB, Patroits

69. Thurston: Rashaad Penny, RB, Seahawks

70. Ryan: Robert Woods, WR, Rams

71. Dzen: Evan Engram, TE, Giants

72. Bird: Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Broncos

Analysis of the round: If you want Brady quarterbacking your fantasy squad, the sixth round isn’t a bad place to get him. Still, through six rounds, only two quarterbacks are off the board. Two of Brady’s running backs, Michel and Burkhead, were taken back-to-back. Who is the better pick? Burkhead is the Pats’ top back right now and may hold that title throughout the season, but as we all know, Bill Belichick hates your fantasy team. Michel’s knee procedure leaves his short-term availability in doubt but he’s the better long-term play. I passed on Burkhead because I was waiting on Michel, and I ended up with neither. Fuller was explosive when he played with Deshaun Watson — taking him in the sixth round is a calculated gamble that both can stay healthy. — Ed Ryan

Round 7

73. Bird: Jimmy Graham, TE, Packers

74. Dzen: Randall Cobb, WR, Packers

75. Ryan: Pierre Garcon, WR, 49ers

76. Thurston: Jamaal Williams, RB, Packers

77. Bird: Sammy Watkins, WR, Chiefs

78. Dzen: Keelan Cole, WR, Jaguars

79. Ryan: Nelson Agholor, WR, Eagles

80. Thurston: Tarik Cohen, RB, Bears

81. Bird: Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots

82. Dzen: Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals

83. Ryan: Deshaun Watson, QB, Texans

84. Thurston: Jamison Crowder, WR

Analysis of the round: Based on his 19 touchdown passes in seven games in 2017, I couldn’t allow Watson to get by me in the seventh round. We’re all making bets in the seventh round: I took Watson as the third quarterback off the board, Scott Thurston is gambling that Williams will remain the starter in Green Bay, Hayden Bird is gambling that Edelman won’t suffer suspension and post-ACL regression, and Gary Dzen is gambling that Cole’s fantastic finish to 2017 will carry over to 2018. — Ed Ryan


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