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"Experts" Mock Draft Analysis (06/19/22)

Mock season is well and truly upon us and The Draft Society is ready to deliver! We will be hosting weekly mocks, mostly 12 team and 10 team, and members of the Inner Circle get first dibs on the action. Mock drafts usually help us identify fallers, risers, and overall player value beyond the overall points/ADP figures. I recommend that everyone does at least a few mocks before actual draft day comes around. "A mock draft a day keeps the bad picks away!" a great philosopher once said. Or was it Ryan?


To start us off, we called upon a mix of TDS staff and Fantrax veterans from the DraftPL Community to take us through a slow draft, which began on 19th June, to get a real feel for how things could end up on draft day! Please note: in many other drafts, you can and should get a lot of these players later in the draft.

Check out our 22/23 Draft Kit for all the pre-season information you would ever need. Draft Rankings, Team Previews, Strategy, Draft 101. We've got it all!!!


Round 1

Review

The first round is usually the most settled come draft day and it appears that the first 5 pick themselves this coming season. Of the players managing more than 20 starts, these guys are clear of the rest with 16+PPS (if you discount Kane’s poor start to the season under Nuno).

Where you take them is up for debate but Pick 1 is clearly looking to cash in on the potential for KDB to explode even more with Haaland to feed. More risk averse managers will be happy to take Salah, Son, Kane or TAA with the guarantee of starts and output not too far behind.


Drafting a defender so early will likely not be to everyone's tastes but it’s interesting to note that TAA had the highest season WAR of all players. Factor in the 523 formation being allowed in the default Fantrax set-up and he becomes even more tempting. He could be great value at pick 5.


There will be some debate as to whether Halaand is worthy of being classed in that top tier. His potential ceiling is huge but it seems the managers here preferred not to take that risk at pick 7. Diaz at pick 6 might be an eye opener for some but if you project Mane level output, which he appears capable of from his first few months at Liverpool, he could be value there. Cancelo at pick 8 is a nice safe choice, one of the very few City assets that you can guarantee 30+ games for the season.


Another move which may surprise some given Bruno was still on the board is Maddison at pick 9! The Leicester midfielder is another player like Kane; if you discount his poor start to the season, you see a player in serious form, churning out 17.2PPS. Add in a rest during the World Cup and no Europe and he’s looking like a big shout for a top10 spot this season.


Bruno, who had an ADP of 1.4 last season at pick 10... how the mighty have fallen! It seems absurd but United were that bad and he did end up 10th overall in FPts, albeit at a lowly 11.9PPS. The situation is more complex than that, though. Rangnick’s failed experiment with the 4-2-2-2 system was awful for Bruno’s output and the club was in crisis the entire season it seemed. Yet he still posted 89 KPs (just 1 behind top ranked TAA), so if Ten Haag can turn United around (big if) and he keeps that significant role as chief creator, we could see Bruno back to his best.


Probably the most contentious pick of the round is Nunez at 11. It’s yet to be seen how the young forward will be bedded in at Liverpool and could be in a 50-60% time share with Jota come the end of the season. It certainly feels the biggest risk in the first round and a pick the manager probably could have waited until the 2nd round to make if he really wanted him.


Rounding us off at pick 12, we have Saka, who had a real breakout season as a top asset. Pick 12 seems about right in terms of value. But after starting 36 games this season in a threadbare squad without Europe, managers should be wary of the additional workload from the Europa League and a World Cup sandwiched in the middle of the season. Arsenal will strengthen and there should be more options available to let Arteta rotate him a bit more.


Round 2

This draft really hasn't had a step wrong at all at this point, most of these guys should probably be taken in the 2nd round, but we'll highlight a couple of standout picks and some that were maybe a bit too early. The City boys feel like good value towards the end of the 2nd round and could end up higher if Sterling and Jesus leave as expected. It's also interesting to see Bowen not trusted as a top 10 asset like he showed last season.

Standouts | Pick 13 & 15 | Andrew Robertson & Mason Mount

Robertson may seem early to some but he came into the season off the back of the Euro's with little to no pre-season and got injured before the start of the campaign. To still come away with 13.5 PPS is quite something. Remove the awful start (GWs1-12) and he shoots up to 15.9 PPS. Factor in a proper pre-season and break during the World Cup and we should hopefully see Robbo's minutes pick back up after seeing ‘only’ 29 starts this season.


The manager at Pick 10 gets Bruno then Mount. Wow, talk about upside! Managers will likely sleep on Mount this season after his starts reduced from 32 (in 20/21) to 27, seeing him finish just 15th in total FPts. He did, however, increase his PPS from 13 up to 14 but with the caveat that it was achieved as a flat-track bully at times (scoring a combined total of 76.5 vs Norwich!). Still, he has that potential upside and with the wing backs fit and no sulking Lukaku around, he could have a big season ahead of him if he gets his starts back up to 30+.


Too Early? | Pick 14 & 18 | Allan Saint-Maximin & Christian Eriksen

At the time of drafting it was still unknown where Eriksen will be plying his trade . If it’s Brentford, pick 18 is fine. He'd start every game possible as the main man on all sets. His end of season form showed he belongs here. However, his stay in West London could be short-lived, with United and Spurs leading the chase. At these clubs, status and especially playing time become big question marks, so this manager took a big risk on Eriksen in Round 2.


ASM seems a tad early here. It's still TBD how the addition of better players at Newcastle truly affects his output. However, it's worth noting that there was negligible difference in his PPS (11.7) since Eddie Howe took over. Still, at this point in the draft there were definitely players with either higher upside, such as Mount, or less risky options with better/similar PPS and more guaranteed game time like JWP.


Round 3

Now we're really getting going and with 8 forwards being taken in Round 3, it's apparent that those who didn't draft any forwards in the first 2 rounds are scrambling to make sure they get a decent one before the value falls off a cliff in the forward pool.

Standouts | Pick 25 & 36 | Raheem Sterling & Jamie Vardy

*Note that the news of Chelsea’s potential interest in Sterling came out at the end of Round 2 so we may see him taken higher if he makes the move. Sterling has averaged around 30 starts a season since joining Man City other than last season (just 23). As such, those who drafted him last season were pretty disappointed at times. However, a new lease of life at Chelsea could be all he needs to get going again with a nailed spot in the front 3. At Pick 25, he has the potential to be an absolute bargain in this draft.


Vardy falling to the end of the 3rd round is serious value given the dwindling of top quality forwards at this point. As we saw from his start and end to the season, he still has it in him to be a top forward with Daka and Ihenacho clearly nowhere near his standard. Despite a dearth in appearances, Vardy still managed the same number of goals (15) as he did in 20/21 off just 20 starts (31 in 20/21). In short, the finishing touch is still there. Again, with Leicester assets, factor in no Europe and a nice break during the World Cup. This could make Vardy's typical mid-season injury not be so inevitable.


Too Early? | Pick 34 | Pedro Neto

To be fair all of these picks could be justified, but if I had to highlight anyone it's probably Pedro Neto. Coming off an injury ravaged season it's yet to be seen whether he can return to his best. While we're all hopeful he can do it, waiting until Round 4 might have been a safer option.


Round 4

Now this is an interesting round. There is some serious value to be had with top-end defenders and mid-tier midfielders/forwards with huge potential. The 4 forwards at the end of the round offer really nice upside at this point in the draft. Another player who could be well worth the pick is Harvey Barnes, who also offers a lot of upside if he can manage more starts with Leciester out of Europe.

Standout | Pick 43 | Virgil Van Dijk

Van Dijk is absolutely absurd value at pick 43. In a season coming back from a horrific ACL tear, he still managed to make the top 20 in total FPts from 34 starts. Always good for the odd goal and assist, backed up by ample ghosts from aerials, he rarely disappoints. His numbers were slightly down on previous years but given how essential he is to the team and to Liverpool's defensive record, this definitely feels like a case of managers sleeping on defenders by letting him fall this far.

Too Early? | Pick 38 | Bruno Guimaraes

Again, no real bad picks here necessarily. However, if I had to pick on someone, it would be Bruno Guimaraes at pick 38. While he looked amazing at times since moving from Lyon in January with 12.4 PPS, it's yet to be seen whether this is sustainable and whether the more attacking midfield role he enjoyed will continue given the expected influx of big signings at Newcastle.


Round 5

We're getting into squad building time here with 10 midfielders going in this round! There's a nice mix of low risk, high floor players like McGinn and some riskier high upside punts like Buendia in the hope he manages to make Gerrard's preferred 11. We know a certain fanboy who would be ecstatic if that was the case! I also like the Palace boys Olise and Eze, who could both have big seasons and present great value here.

Standout | Pick 56 | John McGinn

It may seem boring but I personally really like McGinn here, he absolutely won't let you down. He was 26th overall in FPts, 9.8PPS (35 starts), regularly knocking out 10 point matches to give your squad a solid foundation. In terms of the draft this pick now gives you licence to start taking a few more risks in the later rounds now that you have your set & forget mid.


Too Early? | Pick 55 | Thiago

While I can't really fault the mangers for any of these picks, the only one I think could be too early is Thiago given his injury record. He hasn't exceeded 20 league starts for the last 3 seasons and 26 was his maximum for Bayern back in 18/19.






Round 6

By the end of Round 6 we've finally seen the death of Forwards that are likely to hold any value and even these lads have some huge question marks over them. That being said, I still like a punt on Rashford or Bamford returning to some form though. And Podence being moved to Forward this season makes him more attractive given the drop off in quality at this point although injury concerns remain.

Standouts | Pick 63 & 72 | Ivan Perisic & Aleksandar Mitrovic

Perisic has 35 starts last year in Serie A with 13.4 PP90 and 9.6gPP90. This makes him a very attractive candidate by Round 6. He'll slot straight into the LWB position with a coach and system he knows well, so should hit the ground running. The only thing to be wary of is his age and the fact that he is a wingback classified as a midfielder instead of defender, so he won't get any cleansheet points (unless manually shifted to DEF). Based on recent history, his age will likely mean plenty of early substitutions, which does skew those per 90mins stats somewhat.


Mitrovic somehow conjured 43 goals and 7 assists in the Championship! I know, I know, we've been here before. However, under Marco Silva, Fulham are much more attacking side than with Parker. So I'm more confident in taking a punt on him than in 19/20, especially at pick 72. This late, he's got to be worth the potential upside.


Too Early? | Pick 66 | Said Benrahma

I have my doubts over newly classified midfielder Benrahma this season. He blew very hot and cold at times, 10.3 PPS from 26 starts looks OK, but he was ranked as low as 117 for total season WAR, sitting next to the likes of N'Golo Kante who only had 20 starts. Some of that in the second half of the season could be down to the AFCON campaign but I feel like there were better option available in this round. A potential return to West Ham for free agent Jesse Lingard could also see his game time further reduced.


Round 7

Ladies & Gentlemen, we have our first Goalkeeper off the board in Round 7! If we learned any lessons from the last few seasons, predicting which keepers will score well in Fantrax pre-draft is a fool's game. However, if you were to pick one this early then 34th overall in FPts Alisson is probably your safest bet. We all saw what happened to Martinez last season, so I'd hold off on 33rd ranked Jose Sa or any keeper for that matter until the latter few rounds.

Standout | Pick 83 | Conor Gallagher

Yes, it's a punt. But given what's left at this point in the draft I like Conor Gallagher here. If he manages to get another loan move, maybe to Everton or even back to Palace, this could be a very shrewd pick. If not, he could still get a chance at Chelsea given his breakout season last year.


Too Early? | Pick 73 | Ruben Neves

What can I say about Ruben Neves? His 7.7PPS last season is not a good start. He did have a nice little spell between GW23 & 29 with 11.9PPS, however, he wasn't worth rostering the rest of the time with just 5.9PPS outside of that. Much will depend on where he's playing next season, with rumours of him moving every summer. But a late round flyer is likely all he's worth.





Round 8

You can tell the pool of useful players is dwindling now. By Round 8 we're into the banker 7-8PPS territory, sprinkled with a couple of high upside punts such as the Croydon De Bruyne, Smith-Rowe, who looks to be even more of a rotation piece this season with Vieira and other new signings expected.

Standout | Pick 87 | Harry Wilson

I'm going for the potential upside here with Harry Wilson, who managed to get a huge haul of 10 goals and 19 assists in the Championship last season. What was more impressive was the 9.6gPP90 he achieved, which was much improved from his loan spells in the Premier League where he was very G+A dependent.

Are You Joking? | Pick 93 | Mateo Kovacic

Kovacic was ok to roster in spells - more specifically, just the first 9 GWs of the season when he managed 8 starts. Unfortunately, he only got the starting nod just 7 more times rest of season. He has injury and rotation issues to contend with and clearly doesn't look worthy of drafting unless other than as a punt in the later rounds.




Honourable Mentions:


Standout picks:

Rodri (Rd9), Jesse Lingard (Rd9), James Justin (Rd9), Yoane Wissa (Rd9), TakehiroTomiyasu (Rd9), Ruben Dias (Rd10), Ibrahima Konate (Rd11), Antonee Robinson (Rd12), Aaron Cresswell (Rd12), Mohammed Salisu (Rd13), Armando Broja (Rd13).


Lottery Ticket picks:

Timo Werner (Rd9), Nat Phillips (Rd10), Danny Ings (Rd11), Chiquinho (Rd13), Donny van de Beek (Rd14), Ryan Fredericks (Rd16).


Check out The Draft Society's 22/23 Draft Kit for all the draft prep you would ever need! Draft Rankings, Team Previews, Strategy, Draft 101, and so much more!!


For all the latest from The Draft Society, follow @Draft_Society on Twitter!

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