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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Michael Fabiano

Derrick Henry a Surprise No. 1 in Latest SI Fantasy Mock Draft

Can you feel it?

No, I'm not talking about another New York Yankees world championship (although I'm feeling pretty good about that right now) or wedding bells for Hollywood’s hottest couple, Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson? That's not what I'm feeling right now.

Like the new Obi-Wan Kenobi series (yes, let the hate flow through you)!

What I am feeling is the start of mock draft season in the world of fantasy football! That means it's time to step up your mock draft game and start thinking about the upcoming NFL season! That’s right folks, it's fewer than 100 days away. Craziness, right? 

So, I got together with 11 of my friends and fantasy analysts for our latest Sports Illustrated mock draft for your viewing pleasure.

This SI Fantasy staff mock draft includes 12 teams and is based on a PPR (one point) scoring system. The starting lineup includes one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, one tight end and two flex positions (RB/WR/TE). There were no kickers or defenses required in this league, and there were no bench limitations.

The teams were drafted (in order of draft position) by Sports Illustrated fantasy sports contributors Doug Vazquez, myself, Craig Ellenport, Bill Enright, Kyle Wood, Frankie Taddeo, Matt Ehalt, Jen Piacenti, Teddy Dienst, Shawn Childs and Matt De Lima, along with my SiriusXM Fantasy Dirt co-host and fantasy football Hall of Famer Bob Harris.

Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports

1.1. Vazquez: Derrick Henry, RB, Titans
1.2. Fabiano: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Colts
1.3. Ellenport: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers 
1.4. Enright: Austin Ekeler, RB, Chargers
1.5. Wood: Cooper Kupp, WR, Rams
1.6. Taddeo: Justin Jefferson, WR, Vikings
1.7. Ehalt: Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings
1.8. Piacenti: Davante Adams, WR, Raiders
1.9. Harris: Najee Harris, RB, Steelers
1.10. Dienst: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Bengals
1.11. Childs: Stefon Diggs, WR, Bills
1.12. De Lima: Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals

Notes: This round went chalk in terms of the players selected, though Vazquez taking Henry over Taylor was a surprise. It’s a bold move to be certain, but one I wouldn’t have made. The highest Henry has gone on the National Fantasy Football Championships website this month is sixth overall. Despite missing all but 10 contests in the past two seasons, McCaffrey continues to move up recent draft boards. At this point he’s locked in as a top three or five pick. Five wideouts, Kupp, Jefferson, Adams, Chase and Diggs, all came off the board as the position gains more first-round steam in all PPR formats.

2.13. De Lima: D’Andre Swift, RB, Lions
2.14. Childs: Deebo Samuel, WR, 49ers
2.15. Dienst: Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints
2.16. Harris: Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs
2.17. Piacenti: Nick Chubb, RB, Browns
2.18. Ehalt: Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
2.19. Taddeo: Tyreek Hill, WR, Dolphins
2.20. Wood: Aaron Jones, RB, Packers
2.21. Enright: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Cowboys
2.22. Ellenport: Javonte Williams, RB, Broncos
2.23. Fabiano: Leonard Fournette, RB, Buccaneers
2.24. Vazquez: Kyle Pitts, TE, Falcons

Notes: Running backs ruled this round, as a total of seven came off the board. De Lima took Swift, who he feels “will blossom this year” for the Lions. Kamara has fallen almost completely out of the first-round conversation as we await word on a potential suspension stemming from an incident in Las Vegas. Barkley had been a third-rounder for most of the offseason, but Ehalt took the risk hoping “[Giants head coach] Brian Daboll can save his career.” Jones, Williams and Fournette all seem locked into Round 2, though the Broncos back comes with more risk after the team re-signed Melvin Gordon. Samuel, who might find it tough to duplicate last season’s success, isn’t garnering as much first-round attention. The same can be said of Hill, who loses value in Miami and without Patrick Mahomes at quarterback. Lamb, who I absolutely want in all my drafts, could soon be locked in as a top-15 overall pick. Kelce was the first tight end off the board (not a surprise), but Pitts went ahead of Mark Andrews (surprise)!

View the original article to see embedded media.

3.25. Vazquez: Cam Akers, RB, Rams
3.26. Fabiano: Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers
3.27. Ellenport: Tee Higgins, WR, Bengals
3.28. Enright: Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers
3.29. Wood: Mark Andrews, TE, Ravens
3.30. Taddeo: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys
3.31. Ehalt: A.J. Brown, WR, Eagles
3.32. Piacenti: David Montgomery, RB, Bears
3.33. Harris: James Conner. RB. Cardinals
3.34. Dienst: Terry McLaurin, WR, Commanders
3.35. Childs: Breece Hall, RB, Jets
3.36. De Lima: Diontae Johnson, WR, Steelers

Notes: Three of the first four picks in the round were receivers, led by Evans, Higgins and Allen. Six wideouts in all were selected, but only McLaurin went notably higher than his NFFC ADP (45.6). Andrews, a usual second-rounder in offseason drafts, slid back into Round 3. That won’t happen often. As we’re drawing closer to the summer months, Elliott’s ADP has started to rise a bit. He had been going in the early part of Round 4, but Taddeo grabbed him here in the third as his No. 1 back after taking Justin Jefferson and Tyreek Hill in the first two rounds. Conner, who had been getting late Round 2 consideration, is a third-rounder since the Cardinals signed Darrel Williams. Harris likes the pick though, calling Conner a “fantastic value” based on his 2021 success. Hall was the first rookie off the board, which will be the norm in redrafts.

4.37. De Lima: Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Colts
4.38. Childs: Travis Etienne, RB, Jaguars
4.39. Dienst: Darren Waller, TE, Raiders
4.40. Harris: Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders
4.41. Piacenti: J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ravens
4.42. Ehalt: George Kittle, TE, 49ers
4.43. Taddeo: Antonio Gibson, RB, Commanders
4.44. Wood: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Dolphins
4.45. Enright: DK Metcalf, WR, Seahawks
4.46. Ellenport: Michael Thomas, WR, Saints
4.47. Fabiano: D.J. Moore, WR, Panthers
4.48. Vazquez: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Broncos

Notes: The round started with a player who is gaining steam in fantasy land, Pittman. He’s one of my favorite breakout candidates for 2022. Etienne, who has moved up draft boards in recent weeks, is also on that list. On my “Fantasy Dirt” show on SiriusXM, he told everyone to draft him because he’s ready to bust out. Dobbins, Jacobs and Gibson also came off the board in this round, and all three come with a risk-reward label. Jacobs could lose some work to rookie Zamir White, according to recent reports. We also saw Metcalf and Thomas, two wideouts who come with concerns, have their names called in the round. This is a bit too rich for my blood for Thomas, who is falling into the sixth or seventh rounds in recent NFFC drafts. I took Moore as my No. 2 wide receiver. He’s a virtual lock for 80-plus catches and at least 1,100 receiving yards.

Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports

5.49. Vazquez: Elijah Mitchell, RB, 49ers
5.50. Fabiano: Brandin Cooks, WR, Texans
5.51. Ellenport: Justin Herbert, QB, Chargers
5.52. Enright: Josh Allen, QB, Bills
5.53. Wood: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Chiefs
5.54. Taddeo: Chris Godwin, WR, Buccaneers
5.55. Ehalt: Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens
5.56. Piacenti: Allen Robinson, WR, Rams
5.57. Harris: Courtland Sutton, WR, Broncos
5.58. Dienst: Amari Cooper, WR, Browns
5.59. Childs: Mike Williams, WR, Chargers
5.60. De Lima: Marquise Brown, WR, Cardinals

Notes: The round began with Mitchell, who appears to be losing some steam in drafts. In recent NFFC leagues; he’s been a borderline No. 2 back or flex option. We also saw three quarterbacks selected, led by Herbert, Allen and Jackson. A total of seven wide receivers were picked, including Godwin, who Taddeo loves as his No. 3 wideout. “Word is growing that Godwin is ahead of schedule in his recovery from ACL and MCL surgery,” Taddeo said. “If he is able to get back on the field in Week 1, then landing last season’s overall WR7 in PPR formats in the middle of the fifth round could be the steal of the draft.” Piacenti was also pleased with the selection of another receiver, Robinson. “Defenses will have had time to scheme for Cooper Kupp,” she said, “and Robinson will be playing with the best quarterback of his entire career [in Matthew Stafford].”

6.61. De Lima: Darnell Mooney, WR, Bears
6.62. Childs: Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles
6.63. Dienst: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Cardinals
6.64. Harris: Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, Lions
6.65. Piacenti: Adam Thielen, WR, Vikings
6.66. Ehalt: A.J. Dillon, RB, Packers
6.67. Taddeo: Chase Edmonds, RB, Dolphins
6.68. Wood: Damien Harris, RB, Patriots
6.69. Enright: Kareem Hunt, RB, Browns
6.70. Ellenport: Treylon Burks, WR, Titans
6.71. Fabiano: Cordarrelle Patterson, RB, Falcons
6.72. Vazquez: JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Chiefs

Notes: This round was an even split of runners and wideouts, as our fantasy managers looked to add flex starters. I expect regression from Patterson, but he’s the No. 3 back on this roster. I’ll take him in that role. Ehalt liked the selection of Dillon, who he feels is “a potential weekly RB1 who can serve as a flex in other weeks.” Hopkins, who will miss the first six games due to a suspension, has been going in the sixth or seventh round on average in recent NFFC drafts. He was the fourth receiver Dienst drafted, but he did it at the cost of a solid No. 2 back. Burks was the first rookie wideout taken, and he went much higher than his current ADP of 95.4. I prefer Drake London among the first year wideouts, but Burks should see a prominent role in Tennessee right out of the gate. Regardless, Ellenport regretted the pick. “I realized very soon after [picking Burks] that I should have grabbed JuJu Smith-Schuster, who went two picks later,” he said.

7.73. Vazquez: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs
7.74. Fabiano: Rashod Bateman, WR, Ravens
7.75. Ellenport: Kenneth Walker, RB, Seahawks
7.76. Enright: Tony Pollard, RB, Cowboys
7.77. Wood: Russell Wilson, QB, Broncos
7.78. Taddeo: Tom Brady, QB, Buccaneers
7.79. Ehalt: Drake London, WR, Falcons
7.80. Piacenti: Dalton Schultz, TE, Cowboys
7.81. Harris: Devin Singletary, RB, Bills
7.82. Dienst: James Cook, RB, Bills
7.83. Childs: Jalen Hurts, QB, Eagles
7.84. De Lima: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Lions

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Notes: The round started with Mahomes, who was the fourth quarterback selected in the draft. With a current ADP of 39.8, this could be a steal for Vazquez. Three other field generals, including Wilson, Brady and Hurts, also came off the board. I took a breakout candidate in Bateman as the fourth wideout on this roster. I like the value. Ellenport went back-to-back rookies with the selection of Walker, who I like to lead the Seahawks backfield in touches in 2022. Interestingly, Singletary went one spot ahead of his rookie teammate, Cook. There is a larger gap (14 spots) between the two in NFFC leagues in June drafts. De Lima took Hockenson with the final pick, but he didn’t love the selection. “There isn't much separating him from other tight ends at his draft position."

8.85. De Lima: Joe Burrow, QB, Bengals
8.86. Childs: Dallas Goedert, TE, Eagles
8.87. Dienst: Kyler Murray, QB, Cardinals
8.88. Harris: Matthew Stafford, QB, Rams
8.89. Piacenti: Gabriel Davis, WR, Bills
8.90. Ehalt: Chris Olave, WR, Saints
8.91. Taddeo: Michael Carter, RB, Jets
8.92. Wood: Hunter Renfrow, WR, Raiders
8.93. Enright: Dawson Knox, TE, Bills
8.94. Ellenport: Christian Watson, WR, Packers
8.95. Fabiano: Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys
8.96. Vazquez: DeVonta Smith, WR, Eagles

Notes: The round began with three quarterbacks in the first four picks, led by Burrow, Murray and Stafford. Based on his mid-60s ADP on the NFFC website, Murray could end up being a steal for Dienst. I landed Prescott as my No. 1 signal-caller later in the round. We also had two rookie wideouts selected, Olave and Watson (Ellenport’s third rookie), and a receiver in Davis who is a popular breakout candidate in fantasy leagues.

9.97. Vazquez: Melvin Gordon, RB, Broncos
9.98. Fabiano: Zach Ertz, TE, Cardinals
9.99. Ellenport: Pat Freiermuth, TE, Steelers
9.100. Enright: Dameon Pierce, RB, Texans
9.101. Wood: Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks
9.102. Taddeo: Skyy Moore, WR, Chiefs
9.103. Ehalt: Robert Woods, WR, Titans
9.104. Piacenti: Christian Kirk, WR, Jaguars
9.105. Harris: Elijah Moore, WR, Jets
9.106. Dienst: James Robinson, RB, Jaguars
9.107. Childs: Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, Patriots
9.108. De Lima: Rashaad Penny, RB, Seahawks

Notes: Gordon, who re-signed with the Broncos during the offseason, went about seven rounds after his teammate, Javonte Williams. The two shared the workload last season, but many believe Gordon will take a backseat in 2022. We’ll see. Enright took Pierce, who many in the fantasy world believe will lead the Texans backfield as a rookie. The round also included a run on wide receivers, led by Lockett. With Geno Smith or Drew Lock under center for the Seahawks, Lockett’s stock has fallen. In fact, Wood landed him as his No. 4 wideout. The veteran ranked as the WR16 last season, so that’s a big-time slide down the board. The round ended with three running backs including Penny, who came off the board two-plus rounds behind his new rookie teammate, Walker.

10.109. De Lima: Garrett Wilson, WR, Jets
10.110. Childs: Chase Claypool, WR, Steelers
10.111. Dienst: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, 49ers
10.112. Harris: Kadarius Toney, WR, Giants
10.113. Piacenti: Derek Carr, QB, Raiders
10.114. Ehalt: Isaiah Spiller, RB, Chargers
10.115. Taddeo: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
10.116. Wood: Ronald Jones, RB, Chiefs
10.117. Enright: Kenny Golladay, WR, Giants
10.118. Ellenport: Nyheim Hines, RB, Colts
10.119. Fabiano: Trey Lance, QB, 49ers 
10.120. Vazquez: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jaguars

Notes: Wilson, the first player off the board in the round, was the sixth rookie receiver taken. That has much to do with questions about Zach Wilson and the Jets having a lot of mouths to feed. Piacenti took Carr, whom she will pair with Adams in a Raiders stack. “I was able to get Adams in the first round and Carr in the 10th,” she said. “I really like the value for Carr and the stack with Adams.” Rodgers, who lost Adams in the offseason, was the 13th quarterback off the board. He was the fifth-best quarterback in fantasy leagues last season, so that’s a precipitous drop. I took Lance and his upside to pair with Prescott on this roster. I can see Lance finishing as a top 12 quarterback.

Oct 24, 2021; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard (13) is all smiles as he celebrates a victory against the Washington Football Team during their football game Sunday, October 24, 2021, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Mandatory Credit: Dan Powers-USA TODAY Sports

11.121. Vazquez: Tyler Boyd, WR, Bengals
11.122. Fabiano: Alexander Mattison, RB, Vikings
11.123. Ellenport: Allen Lazard, WR, Packers
11.124. Enright: J.D. McKissic, RB, Commanders
11.125. Wood: Russell Gage, WR, Buccaneers
11.126. Taddeo: Alec Pierce, WR, Colts
11.127. Ehalt: Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, Chiefs
11.128. Piacenti: Tyler Allgeier, RB, Falcons
11.129. Harris: Jarvis Landry, WR, Saints
11.130. Dienst: Jameson Williams, WR, Lions
11.131. Childs: Rachaad White, RB, Buccaneers
11.132. De Lima: Rondale Moore, WR, Cardinals

Notes: This round included eight wide receivers, led by Boyd. I like the potential value that Ellenport got with Lazard, who could become the number one wide receiver for the Packers. Gage has some real sleeper appeal until we know the status of Godwin, and Landry could be a bargain for Harris if Michael Thomas misses time this season. We also saw four more rookies come off the board, including Pierce, Allgeier, Williams and White. Allgeier could end up being a sleeper for Piacenti, especially if the Falcons decide to use Cordarrelle Patterson as a wide receiver more often this season.

12.133. De Lima: Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Eagles 
12.134. Childs: Mike Gesicki, TE, Dolphins
12.135. Dienst: Darrell Henderson, RB, Rams
12.136. Harris: DeVante Parker, WR, Patriots
12.137. Piacenti: Tim Patrick, WR, Broncos
12.138. Ehalt: Michael Gallup, WR, Cowboys
12.139. Taddeo: Raheem Mostert, RB, Dolphins
12.140. Wood: Noah Fant, TE, Seahawks
12.141. Enright: Jakobi Meyers, WR, Patriots
12.142. Ellenport: Rob Gronkowski, TE, free agent
12.143. Fabiano: Jalen Tolbert, WR, Cowboys
12.144. Vazquez: D.J. Chark, WR, Lions

Notes: This round saw a number of veteran receivers come off the board, including Parker, Patrick, Gallup and Meyers. I took a chance on the rookie Tolbert, who could play a significant role in the Cowboys offense until Gallup returns from an injured knee. Despite the fact that he's still a free agent, Gronkowski continues to get drafted in the late rounds. If he does in fact return to the Buccaneers, the future Hall of Famer could end up being a serious steal for Ellenport at what is a very thin tight end position.

13.145. Vazquez: Khalil Herbert, RB, Bears
13.146. Fabiano: Jamaal Williams, RB, Lions
13.147. Ellenport: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Dolphins
13.148. Enright: Mecole Hardman, WR, Chiefs
13.149. Wood: Kirk Cousins, QB, Vikings
13.150. Taddeo: Tyler Higbee, TE, Rams
13.151. Ehalt: Gus Edwards, RB, Ravens
13.152. Piacenti: Van Jefferson, WR, Rams
13.153. Harris: Marlon Mack, RB, Texans
13.154. Dienst: George Pickens, WR, Steelers
13.155. Childs: Curtis Samuel, WR, Commanders
13.156. De Lima: Cole Kmet, TE, Bears

Notes: With only two rounds left in the draft, now is the time for our managers to start taking shots on some deep sleepers and fantasy handcuffs. That list includes players the likes of Herbert, Williams, Tagovailoa, Hardman, Edwards, Mack and Kmet.

14.157. De Lima: Chuba Hubbard, RB, Panthers
41.158. Childs: Corey Davis, WR, Jets
14.159. Dienst: David Bell, WR, Browns
14.160. Harris: Irv Smith Jr., TE, Vikings
14.161. Piacenti: Jamison Crowder, WR, Bills
14.162. Ehalt: Tyrion Davis-Price, RB, 49ers
14.163. Taddeo: Myles Gaskin, RB, Dolphins
14.164. Wood: Darrel Williams, RB, Cardinals
14.165. Enright: Trey Sermon, RB, 49ers
14.166. Ellenport: Robbie Anderson, WR, Panthers
14.167. Fabiano: Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Broncos
14.168. Vazquez: David Njoku, TE, Browns

Notes: The final round included three potential value picks at the tight end position. That includes Smith, Okwuegbunam and Njoku. We also saw five runners drafted, including two 49ers in Davis-Price and Sermon. Personally, I prefer the rookie ahead of Sermon, one of last season's bigger disappointments. Williams, who is the favorite to back up Conner in Arizona, could become a value pick for Wood at this late draft stage.

One other quick note … no one drafted Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for your late breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business!

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