Expert Mock Draft Part 1

Last week, I participated in a mock draft with a bunch of other very intelligent folks that work in the fantasy football industry. Too early to mock, you say? No sir. Evaluating perceptions of players and who are the “it” players of the season is vital.

The format of this league is standard, non-PPR scoring. The league won’t be played out, but we were asked to fill out starting rosters of QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, FLEX, K, D. I had the eighth overall pick in the snake draft.

ROUND 1
1.1 Arian Foster
1.2 Ray Rice
1.3 LeSean McCoy
1.4 Aaron Rodgers
1.5 Ryan Mathews
1.6 Maurice Jones-Drew
1.7 Calvin Johnson
1.8 Chris Johnson
1.9 Rob Gronkowski
1.10 Darren McFadden
1.11 Trent Richardson
1.12 Jamaal Charles

NOTES: I wrote an article a few weeks back about how Ryan Mathews could end up as the league’s No. 1 fantasy running back. It’s safe to say that he is not going to be a “sleeper” in any format. And once regular folks start looking into Mathews’ intriguing situation, even non-expert leagues will see Mathews go in the first five picks.

I took Chris Johnson in this spot as he’s set up for a bounce-back season. He’s heard the criticism and has dedicated himself in the offseason. That’s a change.

One pick I don’t like is Rob Gronkowski. With the tight end position so deep, Gronk would have to duplicate last season’s record-breaker in order to be worth a first-rounder. And with Brandon Lloyd in town and Aaron Hernandez emerging even more, Gronk would be lucky to get back to last year’s production levels.

Rookie Trent Richardson is no joke. He’s already been named the starter and the Browns are going to pound him into the ground. He’s a first-round pick in both keeper and re-draft formats.

ROUND 2
2.1 Matt Forte
2.2 DeMarco Murray
2.3 Larry Fitzgerald
2.4 Cam Newton
2.5 Andre Johnson
2.6 Jimmy Graham
2.7 Tom Brady
2.8 Michael Vick
2.9 Steven Jackson
2.10 Drew Brees
2.11 Matthew Stafford
2.12 Marshawn Lynch

The first thing that stands out here is that six quarterbacks have now come off the board in the first two rounds. It’s a major change in “expert” strategy as normally we wait on quarterbacks. I have no problem with any of these QBs, but as the draft moves on I’ll show what we could do if we wait.

I took Andre Johnson with my pick. Matt Schaub is healthy and Johnson remains in his prime. I planned on waiting for a QB and I would never take Steven Jackson (declining) or Marshawn Lynch (talent in question).

ROUND 3

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3.1 A.J. Green
3.2 Greg Jennings
3.3 Ahmad Bradshaw
3.4 Julio Jones
3.5 Adrian Peterson
3.6 Roddy White
3.7 Hakeem Nicks
3.8 Mike Wallace
3.9 Jordy Nelson
3.10 Steve Smith
3.11 Dez Bryant
3.12 Miles Austin

A.J. Green and Julio Jones are both in their second years. They are also two of the best pure receivers in the league. I especially like Julio as Roddy White is declining and the Falcons are installing a new pass-heavy scheme.

Adrian Peterson is coming off a torn ACL. I just don’t take guys one year removed from that injury when there are so many other upside guys available.

I took Mike Wallace here, even though he’s involved in a holdout situation right now. He’s just entering his prime and the Steelers will be without Rashard Mendenhall (knee).

Yes, I’d rather have Dez Bryant than Miles Austin. Even the Cowboys have admitted they expect Dez to be their No. 1 WR this season.

I’ll keep releasing the results of this draft a few rounds at a time over the next couple weeks.


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