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PPR Mock Draft Recap - Reaches and Busts

Here at RotoBaller, we just completed a PPR mock draft, which means it's time for me to mock that draft. Welcome to the official roast of the 12 members of our crew who participated. I'm going to comb back over our draft with a fine tooth comb and let you know who made the biggest reaches and who picked the biggest busts.

For more analysis of this mock draft, check out our look at the top sleepers and values. But first, let's see some analysis of my dear, dear colleagues and their terrible, terrible choices. (Note: all positional rankings reflect RotoBaller's PPR rankings.)

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Draft Busts and Reaches

Christian McCaffrey (RB, CAR) - Drafted : 16 ADP: 25 - Justin Carter

Let's start this roast by telling Justin Carter how bad his pick was. Wait, what's that? I'm Justin Carter? Oh...

After reaching a smaller amount for Michael Thomas in round one, I wanted a running back. That running back should have been Kareem Hunt, but McCaffrey's receiving skills impressed me enough to grab him. I didn't necessarily forget about the addition of C.J. Anderson in Carolina as much as I...disregarded it. In retrospect, I shouldn't have done that, as Anderson does present a major threat to McCaffrey's snaps. He's younger and better than Jonathan Stewart and it looks like the Panthers will continue the use of a timeshare for another year. McCaffrey has a lot of upside, but I think that upside looks a lot better at the end of the second or the beginning of the third.

Verdict: Reach

Deshaun Watson (QB, HOU) - Drafted: 43 ADP: 51 - Matt Williams

Maybe the biggest surprise here is that Watson was the second quarterback off the board. I love Watson -- check out this piece from a couple of weeks ago about how he's a surefire QB1 in re-draft -- but I was surprised to see him picked before Russell Wilson, a little surprised to see him go before Tom Brady. Watson has the talent to be near the top of the fantasy leaderboard for years to come, but it's a little weird to see him go where he does.

Verdict: Reach

Josh Gordon (WR, CLE) - Drafted: 50 ADP: 43 - Wai Sallas

I'm about to burn down the Internet, but I...don't like the situation that Gordon is in. Tyrod Taylor is a fine quarterback, but three things are working against Gordon this season: Taylor's tendency to pull the ball down and run, the addition of Jarvis Landry, who led the league in receptions last season, and an improved running game led by Carlos Hyde, Nick Chubb, and Duke Johnson Jr. The talent is there for Gordon, but will the opportunities be there? The season the Gordon blew up, he averaged 22.5 PPR points per game. Last year he averaged just 11.5. Sure, there's an argument that he was still working himself back into game shape, but the counterargument to that can be that the increase in weapons this year offsets some of that and puts Gordon on track for just a WR3 type season...or worse.

Verdict: Bust

Cam Newton (QB, CAR) - Drafted: 53 ADP: 63 - Daniel Marcus

In the same way that I thought Watson was too early and probably shouldn't have been the second quarterback off the board, I think Newton is too early and probably shouldn't be the fourth quarterback off the board, though I don't think it's too much of a stretch to imagine him performing better than Tom Brady and Kirk Cousins, the two quarterbacks who were still on the board that were ranked higher in our PPR rankings.

Newton, when healthy, is a great fantasy option...usually. It feels like there's too many caveats with the Panthers star to make him make sense as the 53rd overall pick. Newton has finished as a top five fantasy quarterback in five of his seven seasons, but the other two years -- a pair of QB17 finishes in 2014 and 2016 -- feel too scary to take the plunge on. Maybe there's some recency bias at play here, as that 2016 season is still fresh in my mind as someone who was burned by Newton then, but I think there were safer choices here (like, for example, waiting longer to take a quarterback.)

Verdict: Reach

Rashaad Penny (RB, SEA) - Drafted: 54 ADP: 50 - Matt Williams

The Seattle Seahawks offensive line was terrible last season. Here's my write up about Penny from right after he was drafted:

Pro Football Focus ranked the Seattle offensive line as the 27th-best unit during the 2017 season. Or you could also look at it as the sixth-worst. Their best offensive lineman is Duane Brown, who was acquired via a mid-season trade last year. They added D.J. Fluker -- who started six games for the Giants last year before a toe injury ended his season -- free agency and spent just one draft pick on the line, taking tackle Jamarco Jones in the fifth round. Seattle will hope that a line that looked promising in the past will pull it all together and show some promise in 2018, but if it doesn't, what's Penny going to be able to do? Seattle was 23rd in rushing yards last year, but that number is buoyed by quarterback Russell Wilson, whose 586 rushing yards ranked second among quarterbacks. I don't understand why the Seahawks addressed the struggles of the rushing game with Penny instead of building a functioning offensive line first. He'll probably be a fine player in 2019 if the team makes moves for the line by then, but I don't like him as a fantasy play in 2018.

I stick by all of that. Derrius Guice and Ronald Jones Jr. were both picked later in the round and both are in better positions right now than Penny. Maybe I'm missing something -- or maybe it's because I have so many Chris Carson shares and am bitter -- but I don't love Penny in 2018.

Verdict: Bust

Jordan Reed (TE, WAS) - Drafted: 62 ADP: 99 - Jason Katz

Raise your hand if you have ever been personally victimized by Jordan Reed.

Jordan Reed has never played 16 games. He's coming off a year where he finished as the TE36. He has two top 10 finishes in five seasons. I've said it before and I'll say it again here: tight end is the position that worries me most when it comes to players with an injury track record. It's such a physically demanding position and Reed's history worries me in terms of how he'll perform as he ages.

To me, Reed is the kind of player that you take only if you invest in another, more reliable tight end as well. Jason didn't do that in our draft (and he picked Andrew Luck a few picks later, which I am not going to write about in depth here but man...Jason, injuries don't pay out fantasy points in this scoring system.) He could bounce back this season, but 62nd is high for someone with his track record.

Verdict: Reach

Cameron Meredith (WR, NO) - Drafted: 64 ADP: 139 - Justin Carter

I think our rankers have Meredith lower than they should and I like his potential as the WR2 in New Orleans...but man, I definitely reached a little here, especially with Meredith coming off a missed season and the much more reliable Marvin Jones coming off the board one pick later.

Verdict: Reach

Michael Gallup (WR, DAL) - Drafted: 87 ADP: 172 - Kyle Richardson

Pierre and Chris joked on the podcast that Kyle must have thought he was drafting in a dynasty league when he made this pick. I like Gallup and I think he could have value in 2018, but with Allen Hurns, Terrance Williams, Deonte Thompson, Tavon Austin, and Cole Beasley all on the team, figuring out how the receiving position shakes down this year is going to be tough.

Verdict: Reach

Dez Bryant (WR, Free Agent) - Drafted: 92 ADP: 90 - Daniel Marcus

Dez Bryant is unsigned and is somehow a top 100 pick? Dez over Michael Crabtree, Calvin Ridley, and Sammy Watkins? Nah.

Verdict: Bust


More Fantasy Football Mock Drafts and Analysis

Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.


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