Mock my Mock: 1st edition

Composite photo by Jack Brame

Football season is finally upon us, so we know what that means. It's time to do some mock drafts to prepare us for the drafts that really matter, and can put cash in our pockets. I wrote this column last year and it seemed to get a lot of good feedback, so why mess with a good thing?

Here's how this works. Each week I will draft a different fantasy team and I will change my draft position to highlight the types of teams one can build depending on where they are drafting. For this week's exercise, I participated in a mock draft in which I drafted with the No. 1 overall pick. Next week I'll draft in the middle of the round, and finally I will do a draft picking at No. 11 or No. 12.

I always advise people to participate in as many mocks as they can before drafting, but not everyone has the time. If that's the case for you, I'll do all the leg work participating in dozens of mock drafts, and you can sit back and learn the positives and negatives of each draft slot. These are PPR drafts, by the way. Let's get started.

With my first pick I selected Saints RB Alvin Kamara. I considered Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffrey here, and I would be happy with any of these 3 players. I took Kamara because he's had more than one good season unlike Barkley, and he plays on an elite offense. With Ezekiel Elliott's holdout, I'm staying away from him for the time being.

With my second pick I knew I was going to get two picks in a row, so I opted for the best WR on the board in Mike Evans and decided to take one of the elite TEs. I wanted to see how my team would look if I invested early in a TE. The 3 elite TEs (Kelce, Kittle, Ertz) will all be drafted before the 3rd round is over, and I had to take Zach Ertz with the 1st pick of the 3rd round because there's no way he would be there the next time I picked. If I had passed on TE, I would have drafted Amari Cooper, Keenan Allen, Damien Williams, or T.Y. Hilton. If Williams wasn't dealing with a hamstring injury, he would be hard to pass up. His upside is massive in the Kansas City offense.

As far as the Evans selection, I wanted to take the best WR on the board and my other options were TY Hilton, Amari Cooper, and Keenan Allen. I was tempted to take Cooper or Allen, but Evans had over 1500 yards last year and if he hits double digit TDs, I will be extremely happy with the pick. He had 8 last year and with Bruce Arians coming in, I like my chances. Arians loves to push the ball down field, and DeSean Jackson is no longer the deep threat after signing with the Eagles in the offseason.

With my fourth selection I didn't like the running backs left on the board, so I grabbed by second WR by drafting Kenny Golladay. He's a big talented dude that should put up good numbers as the Lions #1 WR with Golden Tate out of the picture. The RBs I passed on here where Kenyan Drake, Phillip Lindsay, and Tevin Coleman. Drake will likely be in a timeshare on maybe the worst offense in the league, and Lindsay has a new coaching staff that might use Royce Freeman more this year. Coleman I like, but not until the 6th round.

With my 5th pick I went WR again and landed Cooper Kupp. He'll be my flex and I'm totally cool with that. Goff looks for him in the red zone, and this offense should be dynamic again. I think he'll be okay coming off the ACL injury.

I had a long wait before my 6th pick came around and here's where I selected my #2 RB. I got Lamar Miller, and this was before the Duke Johnson trade. Miller doesn't have much upside, but he's the starter on an offense that I think will be pretty good this year. My next pick may be a bit of a reach, but I love his upside in an offense that wants to run the ball. Rashaad Penny was my selection with the 1st pick of the 7th round. I knew he wouldn't be there when I picked in the 8th round, so it was now or never. The Seahawks spent a 1st round pick on him last year, and I think he could take over the starting job at some point this season.

In the 8th round Corey Davis felt like a good gamble, let's hope he breaks out in his 3rd NFL season like many WRs do. I continued to add depth in the 9th round with Chargers RB Austin Eckler, who could be a huge value with Melvin Gordon holding out.

You can clearly tell that I was waiting as long as possible to address QB, and when you take a TE as early as I did, it's a good approach. With my next 2 picks I added more depth with veteran WR DeSean Jackson, who I'm told is showing great chemistry with Carson Wentz, and RB LeSean McCoy. I don't really like McCoy, but I'll take him all day in round 11. In rounds 12 and 13 I grabbed two QBs in Lamar Jackson and Tom Brady. I love Jackson's upside, and I have Brady if he falters.

Overall, I really like my team. I don't know if I'll continue to address TE so early, but I wanted to see how thin I would be at other positions if I drafted that way. I think I would like my team better with Keenan Allen or Amari Cooper as my #2 WR, but that's the price you pay when you take a TE early. Here's a look at my starters.

QB Lamar Jackson

WR Mike Evans

WR Kenny Galladay

RB Alvin Kamara

RB Lamar Miller

TE Zach Ertz

FLEX Cooper Kupp

My QBs aren't super sexy, but Lamar Jackson has a great chance to surprise this year with Greg Roman as the offensive coordinator. Roman was the OC in San Francisco when Kaepernick was the QB, so this guy knows how to work with a running QB. I don't love Brady this year because he doesn't have a lot of talent to work with, but in round 13 he's worth a shot.

This is my first edition of Mock my mock for 2019, and I'll be drafting at pick #6 for next week's exercise. Be sure to check out my show MoneyLine with Jerry Bo on ESPN 97.5. We're on every Sunday from 10-noon, and we'll talk a lot of fantasy football and NFL gambling. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter.




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After splitting the first two games of the series, including the extra-inning affair on Saturday, the Astros looked to defeat the Angels on Saturday to secure the series win and leave Los Angeles with a winning record. On the mound were two pitchers looking to shrug off bad debuts to the season. Here is how the game went on Sunday afternoon:

Final Score (11 innings): Astros 6, Angels 5.

Record: 5-4, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Blake Taylor (1-0, 0.00 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Jacob Barnes (0-2, 3.86 ERA).

James walks his way into trouble

After a disastrous start to his pitching season where he was unable to record an out, Shohei Ohtani was able to sit down the Astros 1-2-3 on just eight pitches in the top of the first. However, Houston would take advantage of his struggling command in the top of the second, working three straight walks to load the bases with no outs. They then would get two more walks with two outs to grab an early 2-0 lead and end Ohtani's day early yet again.

Meanwhile, on the mound for Houston was Josh James. He, too, allowed some walks but was able to work around them in the first two innings, erasing two in the bottom of the first and one in the second for two scoreless innings.

That changed in the third when he would walk the bases loaded with two outs before Albert Pujols continued his nearly twenty-year reign of being a thorn in Houston's side, hitting a grand slam, Los Angeles' first hit of the day, to put the Angels up 4-2. James would get the final out of the third, but that would conclude his day, making it two straight starts he would be unable to reach the fourth inning. His final line: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 6 BB, 4K, 1 HR.

Valdez impresses as Bregman makes it a one-run game in the seventh

Framber Valdez was first out of Houston' bullpen, likely to try and eat up several innings. He would accomplish that mission, getting through the next three innings scoreless, holding the 4-2 score. It remained locked on that score despite Houston getting runners on base in each of those innings, as they would struggle to turn players on base into runs yet again in this series.

Alex Bregman gave the Astros a spark in the top of the seventh, leading off the inning with a solo home run to straightaway center to make it a one-run game. Valdez returned for yet another inning, another scoreless frame to keep it 4-3 going to the eighth.

Reddick ties it in the ninth, Astros win in extras

Houston would threaten to tie in the top of the eighth, getting a pinch-hitting Carlos Correa to third base after a single to leadoff the inning, but would be unable to score him, leaving it at 4-3. Valdez would record another scoreless inning in the bottom of the eighth, giving the Astros one more chance to tie or go ahead in the top of the ninth.

Michael Brantley led off the inning with a double and was pinch-run by Myles Straw, who would score the tying run on an RBI-single by Josh Reddick, but the Angels would hold the Astros there. Valdez remained in the game trying to push extra innings and would do so, erasing a leadoff walk.

Kyle Tucker started the top of the tenth on second base and moved to third on a sac fly by Carlos Correa to start the inning before scoring on another sac fly, this time from pinch-hitting Garrett Stubbs to give Houston a 5-4 lead. Valdez, well above his comfortable pitch count, was still on the mound in the bottom of the tenth, and allowed his first run, though unearned, on a leadoff RBI-single to tie the game again at 5-5. He would get one more out before Houston moved to another reliever, bringing in Andre Scrubb.

After an intentional walk to Albert Pujols, Scrubb would walk the bases loaded before getting a popout, then Houston would turn to Blake Taylor. Taylor would come through, getting a big strikeout to send the game to the eleventh. Springer started on second in the top of the inning and would score and put the Astros back in front on a one-out RBI-single by Alex Bregman. In the bottom half, Taylor would get through the inning, giving Houston the win and series victory.

Up Next: The Astros will have a day off tomorrow before picking up a three-game set with the Diamondbacks in Arizona on Tuesday. The opening game of that series will be at 8:10 PM Central. While Arizona is expected to start Madison Bumgarner, the Astros will have to pivot as they had Framber Valdez slated for that start, who made a lengthy appearance out of the bullpen on Sunday.

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