Mock Draft: Strategy and Analysis, 2-QB League

By John Laub
John Laub




I first organized a fantasy football league in 1989: Long before the Internet or the media even recognized the game as a hobby. National television stations and the NFL frowned upon the underground industry, and local sports radio ignored the game. None of the impediments deterred my love for alternative-reality football.


As a diehard, digging for relevant fantasy news became one of the most important skills in managing a winning team. Independence Day marked the start of my preseason research as magazines like Pro Football Forecast appeared on the newsstands. Often on July 4th, I would pour over the stats and projections for the upcoming campaign in a beach chair with a beer.


During the season, I spent hours each week reading newspapers and weekly publications in order to obtain a slight edge over my opponents. Starting lineups were called into the commissioner every week and league results were scored by hand from the box scores. It was simply amazing…I was hooked for life.


The NFL constantly evolves and new coaches and players impact the league. Successful fantasy owners must always keep ahead of the competition. One of my favorite aspects of the hobby is participating in Mock Drafts, and during the last six weeks, I have partaken in many: Howard Bender’s Mock Draft Army on and with @TwoQBs.


There are so many different strategies—late-round quarterback, zero running back, heavy wide receiver and value-based drafting—on how to draft a winning fantasy football team in points-per-reception (ppr.) leagues. I am not an ideologue of any one approach and wanted to examine the results of different teams based on the aforementioned theories.


Ultimately, I always endeavor to draft, and manage, the fantasy franchise that scores the most points at the end of the season. In an attempt to take the subjectivity out of the analysis, I researched the season-long projections on three major sites—, and—and computed the average points projected by players at the end of the season.


Afterwards, I calculated the total points of the starting lineups for two teams to see how the different theories compared when the draft concluded. The results are tabulated in charts for readers to examine and analyze.


RB David Johnson, Cardinals 


For my first Mock Draft of the season on on May 24, I joined a 2-QB, ppr-league with a Flex (RB/WR/TE) position. With back-to-back selections at 12 and 13, I remained open to a variety of strategies and waited to see which players dropped. 


I couldn’t believe that so much value remained on the board at running back: I monopolized the position and snatched David Johnson and Ezekiel Elliott. The owner with the fifth-selection overall snatched two quarterbacks (Russell Wilson and Brian Bortles) to open his draft.


When the rosters were completed, I looked at the results of both teams. Based on the season-long projections and the points per game (PPG), the two running back strategy appears to have produced a stronger team. The final calculations are listed below for your perusal:


MFL#10 (May 24)              
2-QB Mock Draft: 12 teams            
Gridiron Scholars: 12th Selection            
Pos. Player Team Round ESPN F. Pros CBS Average PPG.
QB E. Manning New York 5 310 301 289 295.0 18.4
QB A. Dalton Cincinnati 8 307 290 278 291.7 18.2
RB Da. Johnson Arizona 1 294 290 262 282.0 17.6
RB E. Elliot Dallas 2 283 241 234 252.7 15.8
WR B. Marshall New York 3 247 264 260 257.0 16.1
WR T Y. Hilton Indianapolis 4 233 238 253 241.3 15.1
WR E. Sanders Denver 7 204 197 218 206.3 12.9
TE Z. Ertz Philadelphia 9 183 163 154 166.7 10.4
Flex D. Murray Tennessee 6 198 196 199 197.7 12.4
  Totals     2259 2180 2147 2190.3 136.9
Res. T. Lockett Seattle 10 157 185 175 172.3 10.8
Res. T. Boyd Cincinnati 11 134 113 144 130.3 8.1
Fantasy Owner: 5th selection            
Pos. Player Team Round ESPN F. Pros CBS Average PPG.
QB R. Wilson Seattle 1 330 349 387 355.3 22.2
QB B. Bortles Jacksonville 2 297 310 303 303.3 19.0
RB G. Bernard Cincinnati 8 179 185 204 189.3 11.8
RB T. Riddick Detroit 9 199 180 161 180.0 11.3
WR D. Baldwin Seattle 5 221 222 239 227.3 14.2
WR J. Maclin Kansas City 4 222 231 231 228.0 14.3
WR S. Watkins Buffalo 3 255 242 243 246.7 15.4
TE T. Kelce Kansas City 6 200 188 176 188.0 11.8
Flex W. Snead New Orleans 10 188 180 173 180.3 11.3
  Totals     2091 2087 2117 2098.3 131.1
Res. S. Vereen New York 9 141 147 138 142.0 8.9
Res. G. Barnidge Cleveland 11 0 183 183 122.0 7.6