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This is the sixth-annual APEX industry draft featuring 12 fantasy analysts from various competing websites. This is not just a mock with nothing at stake. This league will be played out with money on the line. I’ll be live blogging the initial 10 rounds of this 18-round draft for Establish The Run Draft Kit subscribers only. The scoring is full PPR, and you must start a minimum of three wide receivers, one quarterback, two running backs, one tight end, one kicker, and one defense. There is a flex spot allowing owners to start up to four receivers, creating opportunities for Zero-RB builds. I expect at least three members of this draft to take a Zero-RB approach based on their history and draft philosophies.

1.01. Rich HribarGiants RB Saquon Barkley (RB1)

1.02. Graham BarfieldSaints RB Alvin Kamara (RB2)

1.03. Evan SilvaPanthers RB Christian McCaffrey (RB3)

1.04. Pat DaughertyCowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott (RB4)

1.05. Matt KelleyTexans WR DeAndre Hopkins (WR1)

1.06. Sigmund BloomChiefs TE Travis Kelce (TE1)

1.07. Matt HarmonCardinals RB David Johnson (RB5)

1.08. JJ ZachariasonPackers WR Davante Adams (WR2)

1.09. Shawn Siegele – Saints WR Michael Thomas (WR3)

1.10. Denny Carter – Falcons WR Julio Jones (WR4)

1.11. Mike Braude – Browns WR Odell Beckham (WR5)

1.12. Mike Clay – Jets RB Le’Veon Bell (RB6)

Commentary: Reebs kicked off this draft with 2018 NFL total-yardage leader Barkley, whose offensive environment isn’t as trustworthy as the three backs taken directly after him, but who is a realistic candidate to lead the league in touches. After Barfield surprisingly made Kamara the second pick, I was pleased to draft my top-overall player at 1.03. RotoPat is banking on the Cowboys paying Zeke, which I agree will happen before Week 1. Jerry Jones went through a similar predicament with Emmitt Smith once upon a time and caved quickly. The Cowboys simply have too much invested in Zeke on and off the field with legit Super Bowl aspirations to not make certain he’s out there Week 1. Bloom took Twitter heat for selecting Kelce earlier than the public would, but if you listen to Sig’s podcast or read his work, you wouldn’t have been surprised. He’s a very aggressive drafter, and there’s no chance Kelce would have made it back to Bloom at 2.07. That pushed Johnson to Harmon at tremendous value. The most-avid Zero-RB builders in this format, by far, are Siegele, Carter, and Braude, creating an interesting dynamic since they all draft consecutively. Unsurprisingly, all three started with elite WR1s. Clay is openly above consensus on Le’Veon, trusting his best-in-the-business projections over any qualitative concerns.

2.01. Mike Clay – Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill (WR6)

2.02. Mike Braude – Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR7)

2.03. Denny CarterBucs WR Mike Evans (WR8)

2.04. Shawn Siegele49ers TE George Kittle (TE2)

2.05. JJ ZachariasonRaiders WR Antonio Brown (WR9)

2.06. Matt HarmonChargers WR Keenan Allen (WR10)

2.07. Sigmund BloomBengals RB Joe Mixon (RB7)

2.08. Matt Kelley – Chargers RB Melvin Gordon (RB8)

2.09. Pat DaughertyColts WR T.Y. Hilton (WR11)

2.10. Evan Silva – Cowboys WR Amari Cooper (WR12)

2.11. Graham Barfield – Steelers RB James Conner (RB9)

2.12. Rich Hribar – Vikings RB Dalvin Cook (RB10)

Commentary: The wideout-heavy nature of a draft like this sets in during round two. Starting four high-volume receivers is technically optimal, and they routinely go well before their ADPs. An exception is Tyreek — last year’s WR1 overall across scoring formats — who looks like a steal here to Clay as the WR6 off the board. Braude’s OBJ-JuJu start keeps him on pace for a Zero-RB build, unsurprising since that’s been his approach every year we’ve done this draft. Braude has won the league multiple times. Siegele, who wrote the seminal Zero-RB piece on RotoViz in 2013, openly discussed how an elite tight end can play a critical role in such a strategy. He snagged Kittle with Zach Ertz still on the board. Bloom couldn’t resist Mixon’s mid to late second-round value after he averaged 20 touches per game behind an offensive line just as poor as the one Mixon will play with this season following the losses of LT Jonah Williams (shoulder, I.R.) and LG Clint Boling (retirement). Kelley took the Gordon plunge earlier than I personally would feel comfortable, but Gordon is a top-six fantasy pick if he reports by Week 1. My Cooper selection went vehemently against my Top 150 — it wasn’t an easy pick to make — but exemplifies our need to adjust to individual draft rooms on a draft-by-draft basis. Due to this league’s receiver-focused tendencies, I don’t think there was any chance of Amari making it back to me at 3.03. Despite joining the Cowboys at midseason and having to learn a new offense on the fly, Cooper’s full-season pace over his 11 games with Dallas was 96/1,303/10 including the playoffs.

3.01. Rich Hribar – Chiefs RB Damien Williams (RB11)

3.02. Graham BarfieldBrowns RB Nick Chubb (RB12)

3.03. Evan SilvaLions RB Kerryon Johnson (RB13)

3.04. Pat DaughertyVikings WR Stefon Diggs (WR13)

3.05. Matt KelleyRams RB Todd Gurley (RB14)

3.06. Sigmund BloomFalcons RB Devonta Freeman (RB15)

3.07. Matt HarmonEagles TE Zach Ertz (TE3)

3.08. JJ ZachariasonPatriots WR Julian Edelman (WR14)

3.09. Shawn SiegeleRams WR Brandin Cooks (WR15)

3.10. Denny CarterVikings WR Adam Thielen (WR16)

3.11. Mike BraudePackers RB Aaron Jones (RB16)

3.12. Mike ClayJaguars RB Leonard Fournette (RB17)

Commentary: Through three rounds, Reebs is one of just two drafters (Barfield the other) to begin RBx3 with Saquon Barkley, Dalvin Cook, and Damien Williams. We can play three backs every week with a minimum of two starters and a flex, and each back Reebs took has major pass-catching equity, which is obviously especially valuable in full PPR. Picks at the top of round three were all made very late at night. With Barfield on the clock directly ahead of me, I queued up Chubb first and Kerryon second before I went to bed. I preferred Chubb for his touchdown upside but was satisfied with Johnson, whose passing-game projection rose considerably when the Lions cut Theo Riddick. Kelley has thrown risk out the window with Gordon (holdout) and Gurley (knee) in consecutive rounds. Beginning TE-RB-RB, Bloom still doesn’t have a wide receiver. Ertz is due for some volume regression on a loaded Eagles offense destined to run the ball more, but Harmon got him at good value here. Harmon’s rock-solid beginning netted him David Johnson, Keenan Allen, and Ertz. Zachariason (Davante AdamsAntonio Brown-Edelman) and Carter (Julio JonesMike Evans-Thielen) are the only two teams with WRx3 builds, although Siegele remains in Zero-RB position with a Michael ThomasGeorge Kittle-Cooks start. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Braude take a running back this early, but he couldn’t resist Aaron Jones‘ top-ten RB1 upside at pick 3.11.

4.01. Mike ClayRaiders RB Josh Jacobs (RB18)

4.02. Mike BraudeRams WR Robert Woods (WR17)

4.03. Denny CarterLions WR Kenny Golladay (WR18)

4.04. Shawn SiegeleChiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (QB1)

4.05. JJ ZachariasonBucs WR Chris Godwin (WR19)

4.06. Matt HarmonSeahawks WR Tyler Lockett (WR20)

4.07. Sigmund BloomBears WR Allen Robinson (WR21)

4.08. Matt KelleyPanthers WR D.J. Moore (WR22)

4.09. Pat DaughertyRavens RB Mark Ingram (RB19)

4.10. Evan Silva – Bengals WR Tyler Boyd (WR23)

4.11. Graham BarfieldRams WR Cooper Kupp (WR24)

4.12. Rich Hribar – Falcons WR Calvin Ridley (WR25)

Commentary: Told you this draft would be wideout heavy. 25 receivers are gone with only 19 running backs, one quarterback, and three tight ends in the books. Zero-RB originator Siegele diverted from his usual plan of attack by surprisingly taking Mahomes early in round four even without an earlier-round Chiefs stack. I’ll be very interested to see how long we go until the next quarterback is taken. Clay — one of the best actual *players* among fantasy analysts — filled out his flex spot with an RB-WR-RB-RB start featuring Le’Veon Bell, Tyreek Hill, Leonard Fournette, and Jacobs. Clay is a staunch volume collector, and each of his initial four picks checked that box. Robinson is Bloom’s WR1. Harmon is using a traditional value-based strategy, and I happen to love his draft. David Johnson, Keenan Allen, Zach Ertz, and Lockett is a near-optimal start. The creator of Reception Perception where he charts individual wide receiver routes, Harmon has been a Lockett supporter for years. Carter and Zachariason both made WRx4 statements here and will have to cobble together running back production on the later-round fly. I was lukewarm on Boyd throughout the spring but hiked him way up my rankings recently with A.J. Green (ankle surgery) set to miss multiple games. The Bengals’ offensive-line concerns could help Boyd, who runs quick-hitting, high-percentage routes in the slot and will play the Cooper Kupp role under ex-Rams assistant Zac Taylor.

5.01. Rich Hribar – Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery (WR26)

5.02. Graham Barfield – Chargers WR Mike Williams (WR27)

5.03. Evan Silva – Colts RB Marlon Mack (RB20)

5.04. Pat Daugherty – 49ers WR Dante Pettis (WR28)

5.05. Matt Kelley – Cardinals WR Christian Kirk (WR29)

5.06. Sigmund BloomChiefs WR Sammy Watkins (WR30)

5.07. Matt HarmonTitans RB Derrick Henry (RB21)

5.08. JJ ZachariasonSeahawks RB Chris Carson (RB22)

5.09. Shawn Siegele – Jets WR Robby Anderson (WR31)

5.10. Denny CarterBengals WR A.J. Green (WR32)

5.11. Mike Braude – Browns WR Jarvis Landry (WR33)

5.12. Mike Clay Patriots RB James White (RB23)

Commentary: After starting RBx3, we see Reebs begin to hammer wideout with Ridley and Jeffery at the four-five turn. This league’s receiver thirst has turned running backs into A-plus values. Harmon, JJ, and I benefited here; Mack and Henry in particular never get out of the fourth round in more-typical 12-team leagues. Carson often lasts until the fifth, but shouldn’t, seeing as he’s the lead back on the NFC’s run-heaviest team. Wide receiver picks in this round went largely by the book, although Green stands out as a hot-button topic recovering from an ankle scope that revealed more damage than expected. Coach Zac Taylor has all but ruled out Green for multiple games to begin the year. Nevertheless, Zero RBer Denny was willing to take the plunge in the late fifth, making AJG this draft’s WR32. Barfield, who like Reebs opened his draft with three straight running backs, has hit wideout with back-to-back picks in Cooper Kupp and Mike Williams. Through five rounds, my top-two backs are Christian McCaffrey and Kerryon Johnson with Amari Cooper and Tyler Boyd at receiver and Marlon Mack in the flex. I’d label it a solid-if-unspectacular start.

6.01. Mike Clay – Bucs TE O.J. Howard (TE4)

6.02. Mike Braude – Texans WR Will Fuller (WR34)

6.03. Denny CarterCardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (WR35)

6.04. Shawn SiegeleTitans WR Corey Davis (WR36)

6.05. JJ ZachariasonChargers TE Hunter Henry (TE5)

6.06. Matt HarmonPanthers WR Curtis Samuel (WR37)

6.07. Sigmund BloomTexans WR Keke Coutee (WR38)

6.08. Matt Kelley – Texans QB Deshaun Watson (QB2)

6.09. Pat Daugherty – Steelers TE Vance McDonald (TE6)

6.10. Evan Silva – Giants TE Evan Engram (TE7)

6.11. Graham Barfield – Lions WR Marvin Jones (WR39)

6.12. Rich HribarJaguars WR Dede Westbrook (WR40)

Commentary: Not a single running back in this round, which Clay opened by kicking off a bit of a tight end run. Daugherty went aggressive on McDonald, understandable since Pittsburgh enters 2019 with the NFL’s fifth-most unaccounted-for targets after leading the league in pass attempts. JuJu Smith-Schuster is the Steelers’ obvious alpha, but McDonald has a chance to take a big volume leap as Ben Roethlisberger‘s potential No. 2 pass option. Although I personally much prefer Engram to McDonald, I can’t quibble with RotoPat’s Ezekiel ElliottMark IngramStefon DiggsT.Y. HiltonDante Pettis-McDonald start. Having drafted only two receivers six rounds into a minimum start-three wideout league, I realize I’m going to have to get creative in that WR3 slot. Kelley’s high-risk, contrarian draft — which included holdout risk Melvin Gordon and injury concern Todd Gurley in rounds two and three — now nets him the second quarterback taken. But Kelley’s upside is undeniable. He has the DeAndre Hopkins-Watson stack, two high-ceiling if low-floor backs, and prime breakout candidates D.J. Moore and Christian Kirk to round out his receiving corps. After Zachariason opened WRx4, he landed run-first Seattle’s bellcow (Chris Carson) and a top-six tight end (Hunter Henry) in the last two rounds. Clay is up to four running backs (Le’Veon BellLeonard FournetteJosh JacobsJames White) but has only one receiver (Tyreek Hill) and one tight end (O.J. Howard). He will start hammering pass catchers soon.

7.01. Rich Hribar – Packers WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR41)

7.02. Graham Barfield – Bears RB David Montgomery (RB24)

7.03. Evan Silva – Eagles RB Miles Sanders (RB25)

7.04. Pat Daugherty – Giants WR Sterling Shepard (WR42)

7.05. Matt Kelley – Broncos WR Courtland Sutton (WR43)

7.06. Sigmund Bloom – Rams RB Darrell Henderson (RB26)

7.07. Matt Harmon – Bears RB Tarik Cohen (RB27)

7.08. JJ ZachariasonFalcons RB Tevin Coleman (RB28)

7.09. Shawn SiegelePatriots RB Sony Michel (RB29)

7.10. Denny CarterBroncos RB Phillip Lindsay (RB30)

7.11. Mike BraudeDolphins RB Kenyan Drake (RB31)

7.12. Mike ClayBroncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (WR44)

Commentary: People started drafting running backs! We see eight go off the board in round seven as the Zero-RB and receiver-robust drafters begin to hammer the position. They’ve basically turned the draft upside down, and you will soon see them pick off some pretty good values at the position. Some folks on Twitter said they were shocked Valdes-Scantling was taken so early by Reebs, who made him this draft’s WR41. At Establish The Run, we have Valdes-Scantling among our top-35 receivers. From a position standpoint, Siegele’s start was WR-TE-WR-QB-WR-WR before making Michel his RB1. Bloom’s high-volatility approach continues here with Henderson, whose floor may actually be higher than accepted as Todd Gurley‘s change-up complement with a league-winning ceiling in the event of a setback to Gurley’s arthritic knee. Sensing a big forthcoming running back run, I continued to forego my third-receiver starter in favor of Sanders’ upside as the Eagles’ clear-cut best running back talent in one of the league’s most-trustworthy offenses. I have a few WR3-by-committee ideas up my sleeve. Sanders is my RB4 behind Christian McCaffrey, Kerryon Johnson, and Marlon Mack. Running back is a position where I’d rather be robust due to its injury risk, but I may send out some trade offers involving Johnson and Mack post-draft. I think one thing that’s important to remember is that we are not drafting starting lineups here. We are trying to put as much talent as we possibly can on our rosters, and we can make a great many adjustments after the draft.

8.01. Mike ClayRedskins RB Derrius Guice (RB32)

8.02. Mike BraudeTexans RB Lamar Miller (RB33)

8.03. Denny CarterChargers RB Austin Ekeler (RB34)

8.04. Shawn SiegeleSeahawks RB Rashaad Penny (RB35)

8.05. JJ ZachariasonSaints RB Latavius Murray (RB36)

8.06. Matt HarmonBills WR John Brown (WR45)

8.07. Sigmund BloomEagles WR DeSean Jackson (WR46)

8.08. Matt KelleyBrowns TE David Njoku (TE8)

8.09. Pat DaughertyCardinals QB Kyler Murray (QB3)

8.10. Evan SilvaSteelers WR Donte Moncrief (WR47)

8.11. Graham BarfieldPackers WR Geronimo Allison (WR48)

8.12. Rich HribarSaints TE Jared Cook (TE9)

Commentary: Running back fever continued to begin this round with eleven selected amongst 12 picks from the 7.06 through 8.05 slots. It’s a reminder that the back half of PPR drafts is optimally reserved for receiver-heavy roster builds after RB1 through RB5 are off the board, and the middle rounds is where those back-half drafters are best served filling their running back slots. Carter has six wideouts and only two running backs rostered without any tight ends or quarterbacks. That’s a very Carterian approach; he vehemently preaches waiting on “onesie” (start only one) positions until the later rounds. His backs are Phillip Lindsay and Austin Ekeler, and we can expect him to be active pursuing running backs on the waiver wire. Braude is up to three backs (Aaron JonesLamar MillerKenyan Drake) to go with his five receivers and zero onesies. Kelley deployed a WR-RB-RB-WR-WR-QB-WR-TE beginning, capped here with Njoku, probably the last tight end available with top-five TE1 upside. Harmon is a longtime Brown believer, but this was pretty early for a receiver likely to be frustratingly inconsistent as a low-percentage deep threat on the run-heavy Bills. I finally pulled the WR3 trigger here with Moncrief, who by all accounts has taken a big lead on James Washington in Pittsburgh’s No. 2 wideout race. Moncrief is big, fast, and physical, and upgrading to Ben Roethlisberger is enormous after he spent the last two seasons trying to catch footballs from Jacoby Brissett, Blake Bortles, and Cody Kessler.

9.01. Rich HribarRaiders WR Tyrell Williams (WR49)

9.02. Graham BarfieldColts QB Andrew Luck (QB4)

9.03. Evan SilvaPatriots WR Josh Gordon (WR50)

9.04. Pat DaughertyBucs RB Ronald Jones (RB37)

9.05. Matt KelleyBroncos RB Royce Freeman (RB38)

9.06. Sigmund BloomBears WR Anthony Miller (WR51)

9.07. Matt HarmonDolphins WR Kenny Stills (WR52)

9.08. JJ ZachariasonColts WR Devin Funchess (WR53)

9.09. Shawn SiegelePatriots WR N’Keal Harry (WR54)

9.10. Denny CarterTitans RB Dion Lewis (RB39)

9.11. Mike BraudeColts TE Eric Ebron (TE10)

9.12. Mike Clay Steelers WR James Washington (WR55)

Commentary: Apologies for not updating the blog late Sunday and early Monday. I jumped in a $350 buy-in FFPC draft with an Establish The Run subscriber on Sunday night, and I had to run a ton of real-life errands on Monday. We’re back for the final two frames. This round was flush with low-floor, questionable-ceiling receiver picks. I think Tyrell Williams falls into the questionable-ceiling category in a Raiders offense unlikely to support more than one fantasy-relevant pass catcher. My Gordon pick was all about ceiling with a nonexistent floor. Allen Robinson and Tarik Cohen are the Bears’ passing-game dominators, putting Miller’s upside in question. Stills, Funchess, Harry, and Washington project as role players on their respective teams. Barfield saw too much ninth-round value in Luck to pass despite Luck’s increasingly-worrisome calf injury, which has lingered since May. I haven’t been a Jones believer since he came out of USC but he’s worth a shot here. Some beat writers believe Freeman will finish with more carries than Phillip Lindsay under Denver’s new coaching staff.

10.01. Mike ClaySeahawks WR D.K. Metcalf (WR56)

10.02. Mike BraudePackers QB Aaron Rodgers (QB5)

10.03. Denny Carter49ers RB Carlos Hyde (RB39)

10.04. Shawn SiegeleRavens RB Justice Hill (RB40)

10.05. JJ ZachariasonEagles RB Jordan Howard (RB41)

10.06. Matt Harmon 49ers WR Marquise Goodwin (WR57)

10.07. Sigmund BloomPatriots RB Damien Harris (RB42)

10.08. Matt KelleySaints WR Tre’Quan Smith (WR58)

10.09. Pat DaughertyDolphins RB Kalen Ballage (RB43)

10.10. Evan SilvaColts WR Parris Campbell (WR59)

10.11. Graham BarfieldBroncos WR DaeSean Hamilton (WR60)

10.12. Rich HribarGiants WR Golden Tate (WR61)

Commentary: I finished up my first ten rounds with Campbell, the Colts’ second-round rookie who started camp blazing hot but then missed nearly a week with a hamstring injury. If he can get and stay healthy, I think Campbell will be a legitimate WR3/flex option early in the year. Campbell is my WR5 behind Amari Cooper, Tyler Boyd, Donte Moncrief, and Josh Gordon with Christian McCaffrey, Kerryon Johnson, Marlon Mack, and Miles Sanders at running back, and Evan Engram at tight end. Otherwise, my favorite picks in this round were Hyde (Carter) and Ballage (RotoPat). Damien Williams (hamstring) can’t shake an early-season hamstring injury, clearing an at least temporary path to touches for Hyde. The Dolphins’ coaching staff — filled with ex-Patriots assistants — is giving Ballage every opportunity to claim Miami’s lead back role with Kenyan Drake playing the part of James White. Ballage can be frustrating to watch as a runner, but he is plus sized, athletic, and can catch.