FANTASY ADVICE

Mock my mock: Drafting from the No. 12 spot

Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images.

The fantasy season is almost upon us which means it's time to bring back my yearly article about how to approach your fantasy draft depending on where you are drafting. I will write two more versions of this article where I draft from the No. 6 spot, and another where I have the No.1 pick. For this exercise I will draft from No. 12 but with a bit of a twist. This is a standard draft that I participated in and I did not take a running back until the third round. I wanted to see if I could build a team I would like without taking a running back early. My advice to everyone is to attack running back in the first two rounds if possible, but if you don't like who's left on the board, you do have options. Try to get at least one of these running backs with one of your first two picks.

McCaffrey, Barkley, Elliott, Kamara, Cook, Sanders, Edwards-Helaire, Jacobs, Ekler, Henry, Chubb. (If you're in a standard league I would take Henry right after Cook).

Here's what my team looked like when I avoided running back in the first 2 rounds. Keep in mind this is a standard draft, which is unusual for me. My next 2 mocks will deal with PPR. Let's get started!

1. D. Adams WR

2. T. Hill WR

3. J. Conner RB

4. J. Taylor RB

5. K. Hunt RB

6. A. Green WR

7. H. Henry TE

8. M. Mack RB

9. M. Ryan QB

After my 9th pick I put my team on autodraft, but this gives you a good picture of what a team drafting in the No. 12 spot could look like. This team is actually pretty solid. Adams and Hill are great in standard leagues because of big play ability and TD production. Since I took receivers with my first 2 picks, I knew I would target the running back position next. Getting Conner with the last pick of the 3rd round felt like a steal, and I love Jonathan Taylor's upside. I think he could breakout like Zeke Elliott did as a rookie, but with the COVID-shortened offseason, these rookies may take a while to get going. I don't expect him to put up Zeke's rookie year numbers, but I think their talent is similar. Because of the unusual offseason, I made sure to draft Marlon Mack in the 8th round. I can roll with him until Taylor takes off. If I didn't take Taylor in Round 4, Melvin Gordon, Le'Veon Bell, and Ronald Jones would have been my other options. Gordon is the only other back I would have considered there, but I like Taylor better than Gordon.

This league starts 1QB, 2RBs, 2WRs, 1Flex, 1TE, 1 Defense and a Kicker. So having either A.J. Green or Kareem Hunt as my flex is pretty nice. In Round 10 I would likely have drafted Hayden Hurst. This is a good year to take a couple of TEs and see which one works out best. Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers were both available at the end of Round 9, so there's no need to reach for a QB.

Okay, that's all I have for this edition of Mock My Mock. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments or hit me up on Twitter.

@JoshJordan975 is where you can find me. Or you can catch Jerry Bo and me on MoneyLine, Sundays 10-noon on ESPN 97.5 FM. You can also watch the show on Twitch.

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF O'BRIEN'S COACHING

Not my job: Texans no match for the Ravens

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

The Texans fell to the Ravens 33-16 in a game they had a shot at winning. Most of you reading this will probably think I'm crazy for saying that. I assure you, I meant what I said. One of the reasons they didn't was because Bill O'Brien made a few questionable decisions that cost this team.

The first was the 4th & 1 decision. Deciding to go for it was bad enough. They were down 3-0 near the end of the first quarter with the ball on their own 34-yard line. This is not a situation that calls for a gamble or statement play. The play call itself was okay I guess: a play action bootleg with two short options. It was read and played perfectly by the Ravens defense. Deshaun Watson had nowhere to go with the ball and had to throw it at Darren Fells' back before getting sacked. That led to a quick Ravens touchdown and an early 10-0 deficit. I seriously think he has PTSD after that playoff loss to the Chiefs when it comes to fourth down calls. Bumbling Bill strikes again!

When they got the ball back, they scored a touchdown thanks to more play action passes and pre-snap motion. It was as if Bumbling Bill realized his offensive line was outmatched by the front seven they're opposing. Sure Watson is mobile and looks like a magician escaping sacks, but misdirection helps throw the defense off and keeps Watson from breaking into 177,000,000 pieces. Oh, and the quick reads were a good idea as well. Too bad Bumbling Bill went away from that and opted for longer developing routes. Or will he blame it on Timid Tim Kelly? Or was Waiting Watson holding onto the ball too long? I blame all three.

Also, can we stop starting drives with the predictable run, run, pass combo please? First down should be play action rollout with Watson having the ability to choose to run if it's there. More run/pass/option plays need to be called as well. Incorporate more things that we saw when Watson was on his way to winning rookie of the year before his knee was sacrificed for the Astros.

Credit where it's due: the end of the first half to get a field goal with a minute and change left was good to see. Typically, these situations tend to make Bumbling Bill come out. I liked the quick slant to Cobb with no timeouts. They were able to spike the ball and get the field goal up.

The game was still within reach at 23-13 in the beginning of the fourth quarter. On a 4th & 1, they gave up a 30 yard touchdown run on a direct snap to Mark Ingram. I saw gaps on both sides of the defensive line pre-snap. Sure enough, Ingram got a lead block from the Ravens human plough of a fullback and that effectively put the nail in the coffin at 30-13. I know the tendency is to quarterback sneak or run up the middle, but don't leave gaps along the defensive line trying to stack the middle. First time defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver will take the L on this one.

Overall, I'll give O'Brien and his coaching staff a C- this game. Mistakes were made that could've cost them a legit shot at winning, but the Keke Coutee fumble return for a touchdown wasn't their fault. The play calling menu was brought to us this week by Craft Pita via the "What's Eric Eating" podcast. Tune in next week for another "Not my job!"

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