NFL Draft Guide: Expert Favorite Picks Roundtable

  • We’re right in the thick of draft season which means our guys are honing in on their ultimate draft strategy for fantasy football this season. We asked the guys a few questions heading into their drafts. Here is what Shane McCormick, Jon Marsales, Brian Shade, and Jamic Macquarrie had to say.

    What players are your favorites to pair for rounds 1 & 2?

    Shane: If you are in the middle-to-back end of round 1, I love getting two WRs in the top couple of tiers at that position. Ideally, I want to get two WRs from this group: Stefon Diggs, CeeDee Lamb, Amon-Ra St. Brown, A.J. Brown, Davante Adams, Garrett Wilson, and Jaylen Waddle. These are my second tier of WRs after Justin Jefferson, Jamar Chase, Cooper Kupp, and Tyreke Hill. There is a gap between them and the next tier, so you get two top-20 overall players in those first two rounds.

    If you are at the end of round one and want a more balanced 1-2 start I love the start of a Stefon Diggs/ CeeDee Lamb and Nick Chubb. I think Chubb is a back-end first-round pick/early second-round in any format. Chubb was the RB5 last year with Hunt getting almost 160 touches. His career high in catches is 36, a mark I think he can meet or surpass this year.

    Jon: Travis Kelce/Tony Pollard or Bijan Robinson/Amon-Ra St. Brown.

    I have done what feels like 100 mocks drafts and while the no-RB strategy has endless strategic benefits, I find every time I grab a RB in the first two rounds, I like my team exponentially more. I am currently on year five of draft Kelce no matter what, so I’m not changing horses in mid-stream and I feel like Robinson is going to be drafted first overall next season and every season until he gets hurt. Pollard seems like a no-brainer considering the usage bump he’s going to get and St. Brown has no competition for the first half of the season, but is considerably more valuable in PPR settings.

    Brian: Austin Ekeler (RB)/Davante Adams (WR)

    Starting with Ekeler and Adams gives you very a high floor while also having a high TD upside. I never want to lose a draft early so getting safe volume in Ekeler and Adams is my go-to. Pick five through seven will allow this build.

    Jamie: Ja’Marr Chase round 1 + Tony Pollard round 2.

    One can dream, and I have seen this combination play out in both half-PPR and full-PPR mock drafts this summer. In half-PPR, Chase is my WR2 (and #2 overall player). Pollard is my RB3. Both have a first overall finish in their range of outcomes. Not just at their position, but overall sans quarterbacks. This is my dream start in both full and half-PPR in 2023.

    Who are your favorite targets in rounds 3-6?

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