It’s officially mock draft season! What better way to prepare for your draft than…by pretending to draft.
To onlooking wives and girlfriends, the idea of pretending to do a draft seems like a complete waste of time. As much as I can see where that opinion comes from, I’m always going to be doing at least three of these every, single, year.
Myself and eleven other fantasy enthusiasts got our heads together and completed a mock draft. Here’s what happened in rounds one to five…
Bernardo Silva is this year’s draft conundrum for me. The Manchester City man enjoyed a stellar season in 2018/19 and has rightly so. As one of Pep’s clear favourites, Bernardo (I refuse to call him Bilva) looks like the safest way into that City lineup this season. However, you’d expect Kevin De Bruyne’s health to be much better than last season and there’s no doubt that Bernardo benefitted from the Belgian’s unfortunate campaign. With Riyad Mahrez enjoying a sparkling end to last season, will we see even more rotation than ever?
In all honesty, Bernardo Silva isn’t a first round pick that excites me. Your opening rounder is also one that needs to be as risk free as possible and there’s definitely other players in the league which carry less risk. Bernardo will almost certainly leave the board in the first 15 picks of any draft and you certainly won’t be laughed at for taking him early on. However, if Christian Eriksen stays at Spurs I’d want to draft him over Silva.
It’s always difficult to pick out a “value” pick in the first round, mainly due to the fact that it’s probably quite easy to predict the outcome of most drafts pick by pick. You’d be very pleased if Harry Kane fell to you in 4th pick.
Kevin De Bruyne shouldn’t be a gamble in 3rd pick but that must be a consideration following his last campaign. The futures of Paul Pogba and Christian Eriksen should be settled by draft day but drafting them in the first round at the stage carries obvious, avoidable risk.
I was very pleased to see Son Heung Min fall to me in the second round in 17th pick. Key passes and shots on target as well as his obvious goals and assists record (12 goals and 6 assists in 18/19) make him a fantastic asset in Fantrax. The second round in a 12 team draft seems like the right place for Son to gonbut don’t be surprised if he hits the board at the tail end of the first, especially if the aforementioned Pogba and Eriksen do leave the Premier League.
Drafting Bernardo in the first round, I was working on the theory of a very shallow midfield pool and so decided to get a premium mid in the first round. Had I gone for a forward in the first round of this draft (most likely Roberto Firmino), I’d have been left to pick up Felipe Anderson or Dele Alli as my number one midfielder. I’d be more than happy with both combinations.
Gylfi Sigurdsson could easily be the highest ranked midfielder in Fantrax in 2019/20. Snagging him in the second round (14th pick) is very good going. Following a fantastic goalscoring campaign in 2018/19, Siggy should go in the first round in most 12 team drafts.
I didn’t see enough from Marcus Rashford last season to warrant his inclusion at the very start of the second round of this draft. Romelu Lukaku’s imminent departure should mean Rashford will lead the line for Manchester United so I can see the logic in owning him this season. I’d be happy to take him on as my third pick, but would personally have taken Son, Raul Jimenez and Jamie Vardy ahead of Rashford.
If Diogo Jota keeps his classification as a midfielder, I feel like I’ve got great value here in the third round at 32nd pick. Jota finished the season as a striker on fire for Wolves and with the elite midfielders hard to come by, he could be absolute FPL gold in your draft this season.
Having got my premium midfielder and forward in, I decided I’d resist the urge to go for a premium defender and grab another top class midfielder. Nathan Redmond is the other player I was extremely close to drafting here as his risk free nature and his non-goal/assist dependant scoring make him a very enticing pick. I was interested to see him leave the board on the very next pick.
It’s difficult to choose a value pick in a round noticeably littered with defensive options. This season is definitely the season we will see defenders fly off the board extremely early. I’ll speak a little more about that in the “surprise” section.
I think grabbing Jota could provide very good value but if David Silva keeps the trust he deserves from Pep in his last season at City, he would be a steal in round three.
This round is a weird one, but one which will likely be replicated in many drafts this summer. It’s easy to see why defenders are flying off the board early but those in question will have to go some way to replicate their performance of last campaign.
Will Liverpool keep 20+ clean sheets to justify Virgil Van Dijk’s early ADP? Will Andrew Robertson become the assist machine once again? The set piece potential of Lucas Digne and Trent Alexander Arnold would make them my preferred options but I won’t be drafting any defenders this early. In fact, with the midfielders pool so shallow, I’ll be glad to see the defenders fly off the board early.
I was satisfied with Josh King in the fourth round. Having owned him in two Fantrax leagues last season, I often found his goal/assist dependant scoring very frustrating. However, grabbing a penalty taker who will almost certainly get to double figures in goals scored and chip in with a few assists at this stage of the draft felt like good value.
Yep, even more defenders. Yep, they’re all surprise picks for me.
Taking Christian Pulisic at the start of the fourth round may be seen by some as a gamble due to the uncertainty around himself and Chelsea in general. However, the fact that this manager already had risk free picks in James Maddison, Marcus Rashford and Andros Townsend made Pulisic a risk worth taking.
Early rumours suggest that the American may be deployed by Frank Lampard behind a striker, alongside Willian and Pedro. As mentors in that position go, he hasn’t got a bad one.
I get the elite defenders going early thing, but the defenders going in this round were just a bit odd. Matt Doherty was the one I understood the most but the end of his sparkling campaign wasn’t as good as the start of it. Throw in a Europa League campaign and it could be a different story.
It looks as though the defenders going off the board early on in the triggered some form of panic in this draft. The likes of Cesar Azpilicueta and Aaron Wan Bissaka have no business going in the fourth round and even better options like Ben Chilwell and Aymerick Laporte have still arguably been reached for here.
My argument is not that these defenders won’t finish in the top 20,30 or even 40 scoring players in Fantrax at the end of the season. It’s that there are so many streamable defenders to pick up throughout the season.
Having claimed four fairly risk free options, I took my first punt of the draft in Jack Grealish. The jury is very much out on Aston Villa’s main man, but the fact that he is exactly as described that draws me to drafting him.
Similar to the Gylfi Sigurdsson at Swansea effect, I love the thought of getting a player on board who may play for a lesser team but be involved in everything they do. For me, Grealish fits that blueprint.
His season may go either way but in the fifth round I’m prepared to take the risk, especially considering the lack of midfield left available at this stage.
Could be Grealish, could easily not be! Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial are even more likely to be incredible steals in this round, especially the latter who seems to be one who will feature heavily in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans. Marcus Rashford seems to be going in the second round in a lot of drafts. I’d much rather wait for Martial in the fifth.
Interesting to see James Ward Prowse go at this stage too. Could be absolute gold under Ralph Hassenhutl this season. Manuel Lanzini also looks like good value as a player who has second/third round potential at his best.
On the subject of defenders, Ricardo Pereira in the fifth round as your DEF1 seems about right.
I really don’t like Toby Alderweireld at this stage. Heavily dependant on clean sheets, of which there was a whole lot of for Tottenham last season.
Former fantasy darling Marcos Alonso leaving the board here is a surprise in many ways, considering who has gone before him. If he enjoys a revival under Frank Lampard, he could be a steal. He could also join Atletico Madrid.