We love a good mock draft here on FF92. We also love a guest post so we are on to a winner here! We were part of a mock draft with our good friend Andras (you can find him on Twitter @tottiandor) and he has written a comprehensive analysis of the full mock. Enjoy!
Mock season is in full swing, with 10, 12 and even 14 team mock invites popping up in the DMs of active twitter Draft Fantasy aficionados. It’s an exciting time when everyone is trying to suss out if their fantasy darlings will be available where their picking or get an insight on how your rivals are preparing for the actual drafts.
After countless mocks under my belt this season, I felt ready to try to organise a Mock that finally has 12 fully committed participants, no GKs in the first round, no autodrafts, no 2-3 GKs per team. While talking to John Wallin , aka @FantasyGaffer, the wise, old man he is, he told me, a mock such as this will not represent real life, as there is always one guy who’ll do exactly the stuff I wanted to avoid. No wonder the wise one has a little tick next to his twitter handle, they don’t just hand them out to anyone, he was right. @BigOilGeorge couldn’t log in, so we had one guy in our 12 team mock on autodraft. We’ll just ignore his picks in this review. The results of the draft are not compromised, it was still the best mock I’ve done all season!
The analysis will follow the trusted @FFootball92 formula. 1. Picks of the round, 2. My pick and the reasoning behind it, 3. Value Pick, 4 Surprise Pick.
Let’s dive in!
My Pick: Sadio Mané. The first time in this season’s mocks, 2 MIDs were taken in the top4. If Eriksen stays, KDB and the Dane deserve their place in the top5. As I did not feel comfortable reaching for 3rd MID at pick 5, all I had to do is decide which FWD I liked best. Mané/Kane/Aguero/Aubameyang all deserve their round 1 position, what decided it for me, was personal preference. As a Liverpool fan, I wanted to own stock in the most explosive offence in the Premier League, and this was the pick to do that.
Value Pick: There is not much to separate the players from pick 3 to 12, any one of them can have a huge year, yet I have a feeling, that Bernardo Silva is great value at pick 12. As guaranteed a starter as you can get with Pep, he showed last year, that he is a ghost point magnet while also scoring and assisting plenty.
Surprise Pick: Siggy at pick 8 is not bad value, this is the highest I’ve seen him picked. However, if the Zaha transfer to Everton is in fact real and happens. I would even consider him at pick 5.
My Pick: By pick 20 all the tier 2 MIDs were gone. I really wanted to pick a MID here, but there was just no real value, I felt. Alli I rate lower than rd2 and as you’ll see, my prediction of being able to snag the next best MID at my next pick came true, so I ended up drafting a FWD in the second round as well. Zaha is a no frills pick in the middle of the second round. You cannot go wrong with that wherever he ends up. Succesful take-ons, goals, assists Wilf does the lot.
Value Pick: Jamie Vardy has a legitimate claim to being picked at the end of the first round. With the plethora of midfield talent behind him, and Rodgers’ attacking style fine-tuned over the summer. The former Fleetwood striker is preparing for Vardy Party 2020. Great pick at 17.
Surprise Pick: 2019/20 is the season when defenders will be picked high. VVD was the first off the board (disregarding the Doherty auto-pick) and I cannot blame @bdmarcus for going there. If you look at the players who legitimately have a chance to play 38 games/90 minutes this season, VVD is probably the only one who has real fantasy relevance. Not just that, he is a fantasy beast! He is the ultimate set-and-forget pick.
My Pick: After going FWD/FWD in the first 2 rounds, I felt, I had to go MID in the 3rd. Hasenhuttl revitalised the Southampton team and kept them in the top flight last season. I feel they’ll have no such issues this time around. The crown jewel in the SOU attack happens to be Nathan Redmond,a Midfielder who can literally line up anywhere in the attack and get you the points you need. My Redmond pick started a run of tier 2 midfielders that saw 6 MIDs go in the 3rd round. This run is very likely in this year’s draft. Keep an eye out for it!
Value Pick: The 4 top tier Defenders will be gone by pick 30. That’s almost certain for this year’s draft. Getting TAA at pick 26 is great value if you are in the market for a top defender. With Idrissa Gueye on his way to PSG, Digne’s stock should be on the fall, Out of the 3 Liverpool Defenders, TAA is arguably the most likely to repeat last year’s amazing fantasy point haul. The fact that he is on free kicks is an added bonus.
Surprise Pick: My friend @fmpernas’s trust in Almiron is something I don’t share with him. I am predicting the rudderless Magpies to be a real life and fantasy trainwreck this season and although Almiron is definitely the only player on the team worth a top-end draft pick, I feel there were safer midfield picks still on the board at that point (Townsend, Jota). Only time will tell if Steve Bruce’s Newcastle have got any life left in them.
My Pick: I panicked. My queue of Moutinho, Deeney, R. Pereira was falling apart right before my eyes and I was left scrambling for a pick. At some point in the draft process, you’ll have the same feeling. You are waiting for a player, hoping they’ll fall to you, and just before you get them, they are gone. This is when you have to TRUST YOUR RANKS! David Brooks had a breakout year last season, hampered by injury, he was still a great creative outlet in a free scoring Bournemouth offense. I’m not going to lie to you, he was there, on top of my ranks, I knew I needed a MID, so I took him. You gotta have ranks.
Value Pick: Jota was on fire in the second part of the season, if he continues his partnership up front with Jimenez and he starts this season where he left off last season, there is no reason his pick in the 4th round couldn’t provide great value!
Surprise Pick: I am a huge Deeney fan. Fat Drake as he is lovingly referred to is a points magnet and he is the heart and soul of the Watford attack. I’ve been able to get him in round 5, even 6 in past mocks, so it was good to see that @robstein is a fellow Deeney fan.
My Pick: Now that I had myself a solid core of 2 forwards and 2 midfielders, I was free to look for value in round 5. Haller will soon be the only senior striker on West Ham’s team. It means, no rivals to take minutes away from him. That’s very valuable for a FWD3. you’ll be able to rely on him any GW your top FWDs are out/resting. With Lanzini fully fit, Yarmolenko back, F. Anderson, Fornals, West Ham have again amassed a very exciting attacking core, hopefully they won’t do a West Ham and fail to impress.
Value Pick: Giroud could be the steal of the round. Noone knows how Chelsea are gonna line up come GW1, but expecting Lampard to abandon all the experienced players and run out an U23 team is probably a pipe dream. The sexy frenchman is dependable and that might just be what this rebuilding project needs up front. If he gets the nod, getting a starting striker for a top 6 club at pick 59 is unbelievable value.
Surprise Pick: Even before Ceballos’s arrival (the draft took place before the confirmation of the transfer). Ozil’s place in the Arsenal starting lineup is at least suspect. Not to mention that last year, even when he started and played, was barely usable for Fantrax. I remember him not reaching the 10 point mark even though he recorded an assist. That is bad.
My Pick: At this point in the draft, my strategy of building my team became clear. As there are no clear tier 1 Midfielders in my team, I wanted to get as many consistent starters/point getters on my roster as I could. Having a midfield that has 4 players guaranteed to start for their club and scoring at least 7-10 points for me in Fantrax is a good base to go from. These players will become great bargaining chips after a few goalscoring performances and could help me trade for players with higher ceilings in the future. Currently Antonio sits around 50-58 in my ranks. He’ll start anywhere for West Ham and will get you points. What’s not to like?
Value Pick: I named Che Adams as my potential breakout player of the year. See my reasoning for picking Redmond, Adams has the potential to become a top forward for a top side. Great pick from @FMPernas.
Surprise Pick: I was slated for picking Mahrez in rd5 in a mock at the beginning of the offseason. With Algeria reaching the final of the AFCON, a late return to Manchester surely is not helping Riyad’s case to become a first team regular this season. Probably more hat tricks against Lincoln than last minute penalties against title rivals are what the Algerian can expect this season. Such a shame for us football lovers.
My Pick: I continued my quest the assemble the true working man’s midfield with picking Ross Barkley. Every year we expect Barkley to return to form, to replicate his Everton numbers. This year is no different. I don’t expect that to happen. Round 7, I am fine if he is starting, getting me the tackles+key passes and the odd goal/assist. Is that too much to ask? Well, this pick is a calculated gamble. If Barkley starts, he’ll be good value for pick 77.
Value Pick: I fully expect the OX to nail down one of the starting midfield spots at Liverpool. If so, he’ll be the one most involved in the attack, therefore the one with most value. Great pick from Sean!
Surprise Pick: I am going to go with Championship fantasy darling, Matt Ritchie here. With no indication of his position on the pitch under Bruce, he could line up anywhere from defence to attack. Regardless, Newcastle are most likely gonna be a trainwreck. Not sure he represents value even in the 7th round. But Bruce could surprise us all!
My Pick: The first defender for team Totti. This pick was a bit of a similar situation to my Brooks pick. Trossard, Holebas, DCL, Keita were all on my shortlist, only for them to be picked right before me. Tarkowski is an incredibly solid player. Even with Burnley’s defence struggling to replicate their previous success, the England international kept on getting the points when it mattered. A good brick to build my defence around.
Value Pick: Holebas is a beast when he is not suspended. He is suspended quite a lot though. If he could successfully avoid the inevitable red card, he’d be a legitimate consideration for 5th round, but he can’t. Still he’ll have absolute stormers! Expect a few 20+ point games from him!
Surprise Pick: I love Sean’s KWP pick here! If he nails down the starting spot for this Spurs team, he is hands down, the steal of the draft. If he only becomes the rotation pair for Aurier, he is still great value in rd8. I’ve got to update my ranks! I suggest everyone does that and include him in your top 100!
My Pick: At some point in the later rounds, you’ll be able to pick up the 4th player in a 4 player Liverpool defense. If that is Joe Gomez, I’m golden. I have to admit, In round 9, when I saw Gomez available, I immediately formulated a plan to get the Matip-Gomez handcuff. Here is my logic behind it. Liverpool play 4 at the back, and one of Matip/Gomez will partner VVD in the centre. Luckily last year we saw that either player, when starting, could be relied on not only for the CS points, but for some counting points as well.
Value Pick: Kolasinac and Mendy are great picks in round 9. Kola is a great pick as he has virtually been playing on the wing for Arsenal. Probably droppable if Tierney arrives, though.
Surprise Pick: I’ve been staring at Mendy on the top of my ranks for the past 3 rounds at this point and every time it came to my turn, I couldn’t pull the trigger.He is starting the season injured again. Behind a tactically sound, tidy Zinchenko I’m not sure he’ll see the starting lineup. If you can hold him until he does, he’ll get you 20 odd points every second game.
My Pick: I felt comfortable waiting for my Liverpool defender handcuff to be completed and I went looking to continue to build my “working man’s” midfield. Norwood fits the mould perfectly. Set Piece taker for Sheffield United, he is also the midfield organiser. Not expecting a whole lot of attacking returns, but key passes, successful crosses and attempts on target will get me the points I need from another guaranteed starter in my midfield.
Value Pick: I really like Hojbjerg in round 10, last season he was great player to get you a guaranteed 8 points with the odd goal or two. I like these kinds of players you can almost set and forget in your lineup if you need to fill gaps.
Surprise Pick: I am surprised Vertonghen lasted this late. He could well have been my value pick. If Spurs improve from last year’s defensive woes which they should, with N’Dombele coming in, the Belgian will be a great pick.
My Pick: Love me some Tekkers! By now you can see a pattern in my picks, I’m sure. I love the guys who get me points without scoring goals, getting assists or clean sheets. Benteke is the embodiment of this ethos. With no real strikers around at Palace, The Belgian is expected to be in the starting XI come GW1 again. And thats just guaranteed countless aerials. Obviously if Zaha is leaving the whole of Palace’s attack gets knocked back a bit, but I felt I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get the big guy in.
Value Pick: Similarly to Walker-Peters, if Ben Davies gets the nod from Poch, he’ll be great value here. But drafting a Spurs fullback is always a risk.
Surprise Pick: Not sure about the Man United defence this year. Even less sure about drafting a GK this early.
My Pick: It was time to get my Handcuffs on. Joel Matip completed my plan to get the other half of the starting Liverpool centre back duo opposite VVD nailed down. I’m pretty happy with that.
Value Pick: Xhaka seems to be the captain elect for Arsenal. Which should guarantee starts. He is not a bad player for Fantrax, it’s just that he gets cards. Quite a few of them. If he can avoid them, he’ll prov great value for anyone getting him in.
Surpirse Pick: Too many GKs went in this round for my liking, but I still have to single out @bdmarcus’s gamble on Greenwood. I think OGS is not going to start him anytime soon, which will mean he is going straight back into the free agent pool. If he starts, he might turn out to be an inspired pickup. The only thing is, I’m not sure he would have been drafted. So you might have been able to get away with picking him up from FA when he is confirmed as a starter.
My Pick: I went for another player from a promoted team, and my highest rated defender from the 3 promoted sides. Enda Stevens is IMO the best player on the most Premier League ready defence from the promoted teams. He’ll have his work cut out, but he could provide great value if Sheffield united could string a few results together.
Value Pick: Origi will almost certainly start the season in or around the starting lineup as all 3 starting forwards from the Champions League winners have had a tournament with their national teams this summer, with Mané and Bobby playing in the finals of AFCON and the Copa America.
Surprise Pick: Fernandinho has just received a direct rival fro his place in the form of club record signing Rodri. Even when he was guaranteed a starting spot he was not very enticing, now he is even less so.
My Pick: Max Aarons is of a similar mould to my previous pick. At this point in the draft, if they don’t work out, I won’t have any regrets dropping these defenders and picking up one of the undrafted guys from FA
Value Pick: Sharp and Mount are both great picks in this round, for different reasons. It’s not bad if you can get a FWD who is guaranteed to start every game in round 14, even more so, if this froward ifs the attacking outlet of his team. Mason Mount could be the steal of the later rounds if he ends up starting for Chelsea.
Surprise Pick: I have to go GKs again. 4 GKs in this round. Why?
My Picks: Patrick Roberts is a punt. If he is in the starting XI for Norwich, he should provide some value. Yarmolenko is back, you guys! He was drafted around rd4 last year, he is healthy again and I’m expecting him to start for West Ham!
Value Pick: Foden has been exciting to watch and we are all hoping this will be the year he breaks into the City lineup. If he does, he is the steal of the draft. If not, not much was sacrificed to get him. I really like this pick.
Surprise Pick: I’m not sure any manager is going to be able to hold RLC until he is back from injury. Hopefully he is back soon and fully recovered.