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2016 SEC Football Fantasy Football Draft

TSK held a fantasy draft to decide the best players in the SEC heading into the 2016 season.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Over the last few days, five TSK writers have held a mock fantasy draft of the SEC's football players. The idea was to crowdsource the value of the conference's incoming and returning stars. Fantasy football mock drafts certainly have their flaws if they are used to draw broad conclusions on a team's season, but they can be useful to identify offensive skill positions, and the logic behind what factors enable them.

For example, a pedestrian quarterback could get selected earlier than a better quarterback because he has more weapons in his receiving corps. Or a running back may rack up a lot of yardage not based on his individual skill, but because he has a tremendous offensive line. You get the idea.

We wanted to keep things simple so we assumed standard scoring, held a snake draft, and kept the teams smaller than usual since we were only drawing from a single conference. The teams are comprised of the following positions: Quarterback, Running back, Receiver, FLEX, Defense/Special Teams/Kicker, Bench 1, and Bench 2.

The Draft Order and Trends

Round One
Player Position Fantasy Team
Leonard Fournette (LSU) RB Josh
Calvin Ridley (Alabama) WR Jordan
Jalen Hurd (Tennessee) RB Cam
Chad Kelly (Ole Miss) QB David
Christian Kirk (TAMU) WR Will

In the first round, four players were selected from the SEC West including the only quarterback that most are expecting to have a great season in the conference. Leonard Fournette is drafted first overall.

Round Two
Player Position Fantasy Team
Boom Williams (Kentucky) RB Will
Nick Chubb (Georgia) RB David
Josh Dobbs (Tennessee) QB Cam
Sony Michel (Georgia) RB Jordan
Ralph Webb (Vanderbilt) RB Josh

After only having one player selected in the first round, the eastern division has five players drafted in the second with four of them being running backs. In total, five running backs from the SEC East have already been drafted. Ralph Webb is the only Vandy player represented in the rest of the draft.

Round Three
Player Position Fantasy Team
Fred Ross (MSU) WR Josh
OJ Howard (Alabama) TE Jordan
Damore'ea Stringfellow (Ole Miss) WR Cam
Jovon Robinson (Auburn) RB David
Trevor Knight (TAMU) QB Will

The third round is totally comprised of the SEC West giving that division nine selections to the SEC East's six selections. Noticeably, the SEC West is credited with having superior signal-callers and receivers, while the East seems to have the better running backs. Jovon Robinson is one of only two SEC West running backs drafted, and the next won't come until the final round.

Round Four
Player Position Fantasy Team
Evan Engram (Ole Miss) TE Will
Quincy Adeboyejo (Ole Miss)
WR David
Malachi Dupre (LSU)
WR Cam
Drew Barker (Kentucky) QB Jordan
Terry Godwin (Georgia) WR Josh

By the fourth round, three Ole Miss skill players have been selected as well as their quarterback. Right behind them is Georgia with three skill players selected. Meanwhile, Kentucky has as many players drafted as Tennessee, Alabama, and LSU. Auburn and Mississippi State each have only one player drafted, and both will only have one player drafted by the end.

Round Five
Player Position Fantasy Team
Alabama D/ST/K Josh
LSU D/ST/K Jordan
Missouri D/ST/K Cam
Antonio Callaway (Florida) WR David
Alvin Kamara (Tennessee)
RB Will

This round went to the defense, and shows the order in which this draft valued their relative worth. Alabama and LSU have been under-represented in terms of offensive assets, but their defense and special teams are clearly valued. There aren't many defenses selected this early in most mock drafts. Missouri's defense is also valued, and will be the last time a Tiger is drafted.

Round Six
Player Position Fantasy Team
Josh Reynolds (TAMU) WR Will
Florida D/ST/K David
Jeremy Sprinkle (Arkansas) TE Cam
Gehrig Dieter (Alabama)
WR Jordan
Luke Del Rio (Florida) QB Josh

After the sixth round there are two transfers drafted in Gehrig Dieter and Luke Del Rio. The third tight end is also drafted, all of which have come out of the SEC West.

Final Round
Player Position Fantasy Team
Jacob Eason (Georgia) QB Josh
Jordan Scarlett (Florida) RB Jordan
Bo Scarbrough (Alabama) RB Cam
Rawleigh Williams III (Arkansas)
RB David
Tennessee D/ST/K Will

The draft ends with 19 selections from the SEC West and 16 selections from the SEC East. There have been 11 running backs taken, and seven of them hail from the SEC East. There have been a total of 10 receivers drafted, but only two are from the SEC East. Six quarterbacks were drafted with four of them belonging to the SEC East.

In the SEC East, Florida, Tennessee, and Georgia tied with four total selections. Kentucky had two selections, and Mizzou and Vandy each had one. South Carolina had zero selections. The Gamecocks are the only program not to have a single player drafted.

In the SEC West, Alabama had five players drafted to lead the division. Behind them, Ole Miss had four players drafted, LSU and TAMU had three, Arkansas had two, and Mississippi State and Auburn each had one.

Assorted Draft Logic and Strategies

David Wunderlich
Quarterback Running Back Receiver FLEX D/ST/K Bench 1 Bench 2
Chad Kelly Nick Chubb Quincy Adeboyejo Jovon Robinson Florida Antonio Callaway Rawleigh Williams III

My strategy was to get clear number ones. Kelly is far and away the best fantasy QB pick, and he should give me a huge edge over everyone else at that position. Chubb is UGA's clear top back, and, when heathy, he'll give me 90+ percent of Fournette's points from the 2nd round.

In the meantime, I can fill in the gap with the clear primary RBs of Gus Malzahn (Robinson) and Bret Bielema (Williams, who Bielema predicted at SECMD would have a 1,000 yard season). I expect Adeboyejo to have the most yards and TDs from the SEC's most prolific pass attack, and Callaway is easily UF's top receiver. He was a late round steal because of his suspension; everything I've read makes me believe he'll play plenty this year.

For D/ST/K, getting an East unit if Bama was unavailable was the obvious choice because the SEC's worst offenses are all in the East. Florida will face three laughable cupcakes and several first-year QBs on top of those awful East offenses, Callaway is a dangerous return man, and the Gators picked up a kicker with a huge leg in Eddy Pineiro. Given how the draft went, I'm thrilled with my team. I have no complaints.
Jordan Rinard
Quarterback Running Back Receiver FLEX D/ST/K Bench 1 Bench 2
Drew Barker
Sony Michel
Calvin Ridley
OJ Howard
Gehrig Dieter
Jordan Scarlett

I wanted to accumulate as many playmakers as possible in the draft, which is why I took Calvin Ridley with the second pick, and I think Michel is going to get a lot of touches since we don't know how Nick Chubb will look like after his injury.

Howard is another guy that going to get a lot of targets at Alabama, as is former Bowling Green star Gehrig Dieter. Jordan Scarlett is an intriguing guy in the bench spot as he averaged over five yards per carry last season, and will get a fair amount of touches since Florida doesn't appear to have a feature back this season.

I settled on Barker at quarterback since there isn't a lot of known quantities in the conference after Kelly and Dobbs, and the junior ought to be better at managing the offense and not do too much in 2016. Despite the question mark at quarterback, I feel like I made up for it by taking LSU's defense and special teams, which looks to strong again this year.
Josh (jcohen155)
Quarterback Running Back Receiver FLEX D/ST/K Bench 1 Bench 2
Luke Del Rio
Leonard Fournette
Fred Ross
Ralph Webb
Terry Goodwin
Jacob Eason

Although I have retired from fantasy football, I should note that my draft strategy from my illustrious four-year fantasy career did not change in this draft. Basically, I go ground with my first two picks. I selected Leonard Fournette with the first overall pick (duh, nearly 2,000 rushing yards last season plus 22 rushing touchdowns) before taking the productive Ralph Webb at 10.

I addressed the wide receiver position in the next two rounds, drafting Fred Ross and Terry Godwin. Ross looks poised to have another 1,000-yard campaign for the Bulldogs from the West, while Godwin should explode this season as a WR1 for the Bulldogs from the East. 

I added Alabama's D/ST/K to my roster largely because of the secondary's upside. This unit sees a talented bunch of DBs return for the 2016 season, led by veteran Eddie Jackson. I wrapped things up by taking Luke Del Rio and Jacob Eason. Assuming he is the starter come early September, Del Rio has a tremendous opportunity to revitalize the Gators' aerial attack. Meanwhile, I expect Jacob Eason to go down as one of the best quarterbacks in SEC history. So, yeah, I drafted Eason figuring the precocious freshman makes his way onto the field sooner versus later.

Will (wamarsh)
Quarterback Running Back Receiver FLEX D/ST/K Bench 1 Bench 2
Trevor Knight
Boom Williams
Christian Kirk
Evan Engram
Alvin Kamara
Josh Reynolds

In hindsight, I am definitely tying my fortunes to Kevin Sumlin's offense which, I guess, isn't the worst hill to die on. I think defending SEC Freshman of the Year Christian Kirk' s abilities justified my first round choice, and I thought Trevor Knight was the best quarterback on the board after Chad Kelly, so I feel alright with those picks. I was torn between Josh Reynolds and Travin Dural in the sixth round, but ultimately decided Reynolds would see more targets thrown his way than Dural despite A&M's crowded receiving corps. Here's to hoping TAMU scoring offense returns to near its 2013 heights.

I don't think Boom Williams is better than Nick Chubb, but with Chubb's lingering injury issues and splitting carries with Sony Michel I thought I'd take Williams with the sixth pick despite his own durability issues. If Boom gets to 1,000 yards - which he probably would have done last season if he'd played in all 12 games - the pick may hold its own.

I'm pretty happy I ended up with Tennessee's defense and special teams. I knew heading in that I wanted a SEC East defense that would beat up on the several woeful SEC offenses, and selecting Tennessee's special teams has the added bonus of featuring Cameron Sutton and Evan Berry returning kicks. For the FLEX position I think I have some,ahem, flexibility between Engram, Kamara, and Reynolds.

Opening The Floor

Who are some of the more overvalued and undervalued players. Did a skill player or D/ST/K not make it into the Top 35 that should have?