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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Cory Bonini

Fantasy football mock draft series: July takeaways

Fantasy football drafts are heating up as we enjoy summer weather and cold beverages. A recently hosted industry mock draft is the source for this recap. Out of respect for the hosts of this draft, no reference will be made to its identity so the content remains fresh on their end, nor will the entire draft results be published here.

The draft results will appear in a magazine as part of a larger evaluation of the draft. Before getting into my individual picks, here are a few observations from a 12-team, PPR draft.

  • In last June’s iteration, Round 1 saw seven running backs and five receivers, including Cooper Kupp going at No. 2 and Justin Jefferson as the third selection. This version saw Kupp drafted fourth and Jefferson seventh with nine RBs making up the rest of the round.
  • Six RBs came off the board in Round 2 in 2021’s June draft, followed by one fewer receiver and solo tight end. This year’s June draft was no different. In the July edition, five backs, one tight end, and six wideouts were chosen.
  • The first QB, Josh Allen, was taken with the opening pick of Round 5 in June. Justin Herbert went just two picks later, and only a pair of passers came off the board in the next 31 selections (Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes). This time around, Allen was Pick 5:05, and Mahomes went with the very next spot. Herbert went with the eighth pick in the fifth round. Seven quarterbacks went in the first 75 choices this time. Quarterback remains quite deep with a viable starter often being available into the 13th round.
  • Tight end remains a little top-heavy, just like last year. Following the consensus top-six TEs — all of whom went in the first five rounds — the position gets really dicey. If you’re not comfortable playing the matchups, make sure to secure one of Mark Andrews, Travis Kelce, Kyle Pitts, George Kittle, Darren Waller or Dalton Schultz.
  • In the first 100 picks, nine QBs, 40 RBs, 43 WRs and eight TEs — no significant changes from the June version when eight quarterbacks, 38 RBs, 45 WRs and nine tight ends were chosen.
  • Pick 10 is an interesting spot this year. In the FSGA draft, which was a 14-teamer, it was brutal compared to a 12-squad setup. This draft having a dozen teams made me appreciate the slotting more than expected.

Here’s a snapshot of the first 10 rounds broken down by number of positional picks:

1st: 9 RBs, 3 WRs
2nd: 5 RBs, 6 WRs, 1 TE
3rd: 5 RBs, 5 WRs, 2 TEs
4th: 4 RBs, 6 WRs, 2 TEs
5th: 3 QBs, 3 RBs, 5 WRs, 1 TE
6th: 3 QBs, 3 RB, 6 WRs
7th: 1 QB, 4 RBs, 5 WRs, 2 TEs
8th: 1 QB, 4 RBs, 7 WRs
9th: 2 QBs, 5 RBs, 3 WRs, 2 TEs
10th: 3 QBs, 3 RBs, 6 WRs

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My roster

Pos Player Team Bye
QB Aaron Rodgers GB 14
RB James Conner ARI 13
RB JK Dobbins BAL 10
RB Rashaad Penny SEA 11
RB Miles Sanders PHI 7
RB Hassan Haskins TEN 6
WR Ja’Marr Chase CIN 10
WR Stefon Diggs BUF 7
WR Jerry Jeudy DEN 9
WR Allen Lazard GB 14
WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling KC 8
WR Jalen Tolbert DAL 9
TE Dalton Schultz DAL 9
TE Austin Hooper TEN 6
PK Matt Prater ARI 13
DT Los Angeles Chargers LAC 8

By round

Pick Rnd Player Tm Pos
10 1.1 Ja’Marr Chase CIN WR
15 2.3 Stefon Diggs BUF WR
34 3.1 James Conner ARI RB
39 4.3 J.K. Dobbins BAL RB
58 5.1 Dalton Schultz DAL TE
63 6.3 Jerry Jeudy DEN WR
82 7.1 Rashaad Penny SEA RB
87 8.3 Miles Sanders PHI RB
106 9.1 Allen Lazard GB WR
111 10.3 Aaron Rodgers GB QB
130 11.1 Marquez Valdes-Scantling KC WR
135 12.3 Hassan Haskins TEN RB
154 13.1 Austin Hooper TEN TE
159 14.3 Jalen Tolbert DAL WR
178 15.1 Los Angeles Chargers LAC Def/ST
183 16.3 Matt Prater ARI K

Keeping the previous iterations’ format alive, each pick gets a brief explanation of my draft thoughts:

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