News & Analysis

Don't be THAT mock drafter

Aug 11, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Jeff Driskel (6) runs against Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Sterling Bailey (70) during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

(Editor’s note: Every Sunday, we’ll wrap up the week on PFF Fantasy with some topic one of our writers has been thinking about of late, and recap the features, columns, and podcasts you could find on the site that week.)

It’s mock draft season, at least for the diehards. Until it’s true draft season, the mocks will ramp up, as more and more fantasy players work on strategies and approaches, and figure out what the groupthink has to say on the drafts this year.

Are mock drafts vital? Speaking globally, absolutely not. Speaking specifically to fantasy football … even then, no. You can win your league without participating in a single mock draft, just by studying ADP, evaluating statistics, and knowing football. You don’t have to partake of mocks, just like you can be in good shape without ever so much as stepping inside a gym.

It’s just easier if you do it that way. Mocks aren’t vital, but they are a good helper step on the way to a successful fantasy season. And inevitably, with mock draft season, comes the jokes, “let’s mess with the mock drafters” season.

You’ve seen the jokes. They go viral every mock draft season. “Hey guys, I’m taking Tim Tebow with my first pick.” Or Aaron Hernandez, or Johnny Manziel. This year, I bet the punch line du jour will be Colin Kaepernick. They do it for the laughs, to go into a mock, make a joke pick, and watch the other mock drafters get upset.

And it’s awful.

Yes,  the people who are the best at these jokes are very funny. Hurray. But it’s still a matter of making jokes at the expense of other people’s enjoyment. It’s the same as crapping on anybody’s harmless pleasure. Enjoy The Bachelor, or E.L. James’ books, or YouTube videos of people opening dolls (yes, that’s a thing)? Great. Enjoy what you enjoy. The person who enjoys the unpopular or misunderstood thing isn’t the jerk or the nerd; the person who makes fun of that person is.

Yes, every time you see the mock draft jokester, they highlight the mock drafters who respond with epithets, and that’s not cool either. But for as fun as it might be to go into a mock draft and say “With my first overall pick, I’m taking Jeff Driskel!” and watch chaos ensue, in the end all you are is the bully who makes fun of the kids who are having fun with Dungeons & Dragons. Let fun be fun. Don’t be that person.

  • As noted above, Jeff Ratcliffe offered up thoughts on the latest PFF Fantasy staff mock draft, with a deeper look at some of the more interesting strategies employed. (Meanwhile, for those joining a dynasty startup, Curtis Patrick offered up a primer on dynasty snake drafts.)
  • Pat Thorman brought back his annual post-free agency look at the most opportunities available on each roster, examining which teams have the most unaccounted-for targets and carries from their 2017 roster in the NFC and AFC.
  • Mike Castiglione has spent the last few weeks looking at the best fantasy performances at each position in the PFF era (since 2007), and he learned some lessons along the way that can apply to 2018.
  • Daniel Kelley gathered Dan Clasgens, Dan Schneier, and Michael Moore to try to answer a simple question: How long will the current top fantasy quarterbacks be fantasy relevant?
  • Scott Barrett’s Metrics that Matter series looked at positions: Quarterbacks on play-action, shadow corners, and the aging curves at the offensive skill spots.
  • Michael Moore started up his Player Showdowns series for the 2018 season with a battle between two fantasy quarterbacks who have similar ADPs but have taken very different paths to those ADPs: Jimmy Garoppolo and Cam Newton.
  • Scott Spratt has developed his Yards Added metric to analyze running back efficiency, and he applied it to 2018 options to identify some bust and breakout
  • The fantasy team continued its look at sleepers and busts by position, as Dan Clasgens hit the tight ends.
  • Daniel Kelley looked at fantasy production inside and outside of players’ divisions to identify which players were most helped and hurt by the opponents they face six times a year.


  • Odell Beckham Jr. Trade Rumors
  • 32 Observations from PFF’s First Batch of Projections
  • Fantasy Specialty Podcasts


  • Dynasty Two-Minute Drill: Jerick McKinnon
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