2024 Fantasy Football Early Half-PPR Mock Draft

Christian McCaffrey | CeeDee Lamb | Lamar Jackson

by Jordan Schultz
2024 Fantasy Football Early Half-PPR Mock Draft

Even though the NFL playoffs are still in full swing, it’s never too early to start preparing for the next fantasy season. In what will be a regular occurrence, we gathered 12 of the guys to conduct our first four-round 2024 Fantasy Football Half-PPR Mock Draft of the season.

Things are sure to change quite a bit between now and next Fall after NFL rosters are shaken up post-free agency and the draft. However, it’s helpful to identify undervalued players and start formulating a game plan for next year.

As it stands now, I believe the best value lies in picking somewhere in the six-to-eight range of the first round. This means choosing between players like Tyreek Hill, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Bijan Robinson, or Breece Hall to pair with another top-20 player in the second round.

I’ll go team by team and share a few thoughts on each squad’s draft. I picked from the 12th slot this time to explore the potential landscape when you’re the unlucky person with the last pick in the draft.

Since it's my article, I’ll start with my team and then work back through in order, beginning with the first pick.

2024 Fantasy Football Early Half-PPR Mock Draft

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JJ Schultz - 12th Pick

1.12 Jahmyr Gibbs, 2.01 Jonathan Taylor, 3.12 DeVonta Smith, 4.01 D.K. Metcalf

In recent seasons, we’ve seen the dynasty trend of drafting safer WRs over RBs in Round 1 start to creep into redraft. This was the case here, as five of the first six picks were WRs.

It has created value for RBs in the early rounds, and last season, I capitalized on this shift, winning several leagues with a strategy of selecting three RBs in the first 5 or 6 rounds of every redraft league. I wanted to see what my team would look like if I tried it again in this draft.

At the first/second round turn, I double-tapped RB and selected Jahmyr Gibbs and Jonathan Taylor. Despite initial outrage in the first six weeks of the season, the Lions slowly worked Gibbs in, and he was an elite option in the second half of the season.

From Weeks 7-18, Gibbs was the RB3 in Half-PPR leagues, clearing at least 14 fantasy points in seven of the Lions' final 10 games. I feel great about getting a player of his talent, with his role safely locked in, back at pick 12.

Every season there are a few guys that I seem to like way more than consensus based on their ADP. Last season those guys were Brandon Aiyuk, DJ Moore, and Dameon Pierce, who were my most rostered non-QBs after this past draft season.

While it didn’t work out with Pierce, both Aiyuk and Moore greatly outperformed where I selected them. If there isn’t a major correction, this year it looks like Jonathan Taylor is going to be one of those guys for me.

Taylor was RB15 in half-PPR leagues from Week 5 on after he made his season debut, despite a bye week and three missed games in that stretch. After slowly ramping up in Weeks 5 and 6, Taylor posted double-digit fantasy points in every game forward except one where he was held to 9.7.

Now he’s coming back healthy into Year 2 of Shane Steichan’s offense with Anthony Richardson back in the mix. Sign me up for as much of that as I can get.

I knew I needed to grab two WRs with my next two picks with how they continued to fly off the board early, and I was pleased to come away with Devonta Smith and DK Metcalf. I would have been even more stoked if I could have swapped out Metcalf for Tee Higgins, but he ended up going one pick in front of me at 3.11.

Overall, I would feel very confident in taking this team into a real league next season, so the heavy RB early draft strategy may very well be in the mix for me again next season after years of being a staunch believer in the zero-RB strategy. The value has just shifted too much in the other direction to not take advantage.

Now I’ll go team by team and give my (much quicker) thoughts on each squad.

Joe Bond - 1st Pick

1.01 Christian McCaffrey, 2.12 Deebo Samuel, 3.01 Davante Adams, 4.12 Kenneth Walker

It’s hard to feel too bad about a team with Christian McCaffrey, but I don’t love going with Deebo Samuel and back-to-back 49ers with my first two picks when this offense generally has one of their four main options less involved in the game plan each week.

If I could swap out Deebo for Chris Olave or Michael Pittman Jr, I’d love this squad rounded out with his 3rd and 4th rounders.

Dylan Clemons - 2nd Pick

1.02 CeeDee Lamb, 2.11 Cooper Kupp, 3.02 Chris Olave, 4.11 Tony Pollard

As a Cowboys fan and CeeDee Lamb truther since his college days, it’s validating to see him going as the top WR off the board. While you may see Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase go ahead of him in some drafts, Lamb has firmly cemented himself into the top-tier WRs with those two. You already know how I feel about Olave, but I have to critique the Cooper Kupp and Tony Pollard picks a little bit.

I was out on Kupp this season at his ADP, and if it remains in Round 2 this next year I will be out on him once again. The huge weeks will be there, but so will the missed weeks. Combine that with his age and that’s too much risk for me. Tony Pollard looks like he lost a step this season after a broken leg, so it will be interesting to see if he regains a step another year removed from the injury or if this was the start of his downfall in fantasy.

Keith Lott - 3rd Pick

1.03 Justin Jefferson, 2.10 Brandon Aiyuk, 3.03 James Cook, 4.10 Rachaad White

I really don’t have any negative things to say about this team, to be honest. I like all four picks at their ADP quite a bit.

If I had to force one criticism it would be that Rachaad White averaged under four yards per carry again this season, and the Buccaneers were better than expected, so it’s possible they invest in a RB to take more of the work between the tackles.

However, White excels as a pass catcher so he would still have that role and be a solid value at pick 4.10 even in this case.

Mike Bonni - 4th Pick

1.04 Ja’Marr Chase, 2.09 DJ Moore, 3.04 Keenan Allen, 4.09 Calvin Ridley

On the opposite end of the spectrum from the heavy-RB approach I took, Mike took the time-tested zero-RB approach and you can see the benefits here. I’m not a Calvin Ridley guy personally, so I think Round 4 is way too early for him, but getting him as your WR4 as opposed to your WR2 like last season leaves room to return value.

There are still a lot of talented RBs on the board Ike can fill out his squad with, including Austin Ekeler, Derrick Henry, Joe Mixon, Aaron Jones, David Montgomery, Alvin Kamara, and plenty more.

Mike LaPlant - 5th Pick

1.05 Tyreek Hill, 2.08 Puka Nacua, 3.05 Josh Allen, 4.08 Josh Jacobs

I would have preferred Rachaad White or Kenneth Walker over Josh Jacobs in Round 4, but otherwise, I really like this draft.

Tyreek Hill will be in the mix for overall WR1 again as long as he plays, and Puka Nacua has turned into the No. 1 pass catcher in a Sean McVay offense as a rookie. That’s an excellent one-two punch to build your squad around.

The third round feels a little early for any QB for me in a  single QB league, but I can understand the value of Josh Allen being too much to pass up at that price.

John LaPresto - 6th Pick

1.06 Amon-Ra St. Brown, 2.07 Travis Etienne, 3.06 Michael Pittman Jr., 4.07 Sam LaPorta

As everything stands, I love this team; it is arguably my favorite in the draft. The only thing that makes me a little nervous comes from an NFL perspective, and that is the potential of the Lions' offensive coordinator Ben Johnson heading out for his first shot as a head coach this offseason.

I still think Amon-Ra St. Brown and Sam Laporta remain top options at their position regardless of who is calling plays, but losing one of the young, bright offensive minds in the game is nothing to ignore. Michael Pittman Jr. at 3.06 is one of my favorite picks in this draft, and I think he’s in line for a monster year with Anthony Richardson returning next season.

Chris Robin - 7th Pick

1.07 Bijan Robinson, 2.06 Patrick Mahomes, 3.07 Jaylen Waddle, 4.06 Mark Andrews

Everyone in the fantasy community let out a sigh of relief when the Falcons fired Arthur Smith, as it’s now full-steam ahead for Bijan Robinson as a first-round pick in 2024.

I’m as big of a Patrick Mahomes fan as you will find, but there is no way I’m touching a QB in the top-20 picks of a single QB league, especially when elite options like DJ Moore, Brandon Aiyuk, and Puka Nacua are still on the board.

Mark Andrews at 4.06 feels like a reach right now, but once we get into training camp and preseason and he’s back healthy this is about where his ADP will probably settle, so I don’t mind being ahead of the rest of the class on this one.

Mase Riney - 8th Pick

1.08 Breece Hall, 2.05 Stefon Diggs, 3.08 Travis Kelce, 4.05 Mike Evans

I think the 8th pick is the draft slot I want the most in redraft leagues as it all currently stands and Mase's draft is a perfect example why. Being able to sit back and have Breece Hall fall into your lap is arguably the best value in Round 1.

I am nervous about taking Stefon Diggs this high in Round 2, as each of the past two years he has been excellent in the first half of the season, before hitting a fantasy freeze once the temperatures dip in Buffalo.

Adding steady vets in Travis Kelce and Mike Evans to round it out definitely helps even out some of that early risk with Diggs’ boom-bust profile the last two seasons.

Ryan Kirksey - 9th Pick

1.09 A.J. Brown, 2.04 Saquon Barkley, 3.09 Jalen Hurts, 4.04 Nico Collins

This is the team I would give my runner-up award to for my favorite team in the draft. As I’ve said, Round 3 feels early to me for a QB, but getting Jalen Hurts as the 4th QB off the board is an example of adjusting to the draft room and grabbing value where it presents itself.

Nico Collins in round four is a money pick, and if I could go back, I would probably select him over DK Metcalf with my 4th pick. The only word of caution on Collins is that his full-on breakout didn’t happen until after Tank Dell went down; however, I am buying as much of this offense as I can, so I don’t think it’s a fluke.

Dennis Sosic - 10th Pick

1.10 Kyren Williams, 2.03 De’Von Achane, 3.10 Nick Chubb, 4.03 Amari Cooper

This team took on far too much risk for my liking. I know that I am the one who is behind the eight-ball on this one, but I am having a hard time talking myself into Kyren Williams as a first-round pick. He’s looked excellent and has been given the lead-back role, I just worry Sean McVay is going to find the next guy he likes and run with him instead.

De’Von Achane is undoubtedly a dynamite with the ball in his hands, but I worry about him holding up with a full workload. He gives me slight CJ Spiller vibes, not in terms of body or play style, but in the sense that the highlights are going to be intoxicating, but there’s a chance he’s constantly fighting some sort of injury once we get into the middle and end parts of the season.

Keith Flemming - 11th Pick

1.11 Garrett Wilson, 2.02 Lamar Jackson, 3.11 Tee Higgins, 4.02 Isiah Pacheco

I love Isiah Pacheco in Round 4; he’s the perfect RB1 target if you want to load up on other positions in the draft early.

Garrett Wilson and Tee Higgins are two of my favorite buys this offseason as I think both have major bounce-back seasons in 2024.

The only pick I don’t like here is Lamar Jackson at 2.02. Same as I’ve said before, just too early to go QB in my opinion in this format.

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