Fantasy Football

2012 Fantasy Football Mock Draft 2.0

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Ryan Fowler

Ryan Fowler has spent the past 10 years covering and talking sports on TV and radio, in newspapers and on the web. He joined FOXSports.com as lead Fantasy Sports Editor and also acts as Digital Content Manager at WhatIfSports.com. Follow him on Twitter. Listen to his FOX Sports Team Report Podcasts on SoundCloud and iTunes

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**Note:Our final Fantasy Football Mock Draft will be released August 31 around 10:30 p.m EST.

The first week of training camp has been quiet, a little too quiet. (*knock on wood*)

MOCK DRAFTS

Can’t wait until your league’s draft day? FOXSports.com has you covered. Test your fantasy football knowledge and strategies with a free and easy fantasy football mock draft.

Sure, Marshawn Lynch, Kenny Britt and Dez Bryant mean mugged for the camera post arrest prior to camp. If fantasy points were awarded for scowling, Lynch would win in a landslide.

In the last 48 hours, Ben Roethlisberger provided fantasy owners a morsel to overanalyze for the next few weeks when he admitted to a Pittsburgh newspaper that he’s dealt with “little torn rotator cuff” since last season. I’m more concerned with Mike Wallace’s holdout than another Big Ben injury.

We also learned the NFL is more popular than first thought when the Cleveland Browns’ price tag ran north of $1-billion.

Speaking of money exchanging hands, fantasy football leagues are starting to take shape, pinning down draft dates and times are causing headaches for commissioners, creative team names are popping up based on the latest pop culture news ( Jamaican Snoop Lions is popular), and in that same spirit, the FOXSports.com fantasy department hosted its second mock draft of the summer.

The following draft took place on Thursday August 2, 2012 (pre-Mathews, Richardson injuries) between 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. (EST). The results are real … in a fake way.




Round 1
Pick Owner Player Team Pos
1
Fowler
GB
QB
2
Beall
Arian Foster
Hou
RB
3
Jake (WIS)
NE
QB
4
Mitch (WIS)
Bal
RB
5
Halpin
LeSean McCoy
Phi
RB
6
VanRiper (Rotowire)
Det
WR
7
Harmon
Ten
RB
8
Ryan (WIS)
NO
QB
9
Adam
SD
RB
10
Mike (FOX)
Jac
RB
11
Kristine (FS Ohio)
Car
QB
12
Sid (FOX)
Det
QB

 

Fowler Analysis

If I learned one thing from owning the first overall pick it’s this: be prepared to gamble on running backs if you select Aaron Rodgers (or any quarterback). Fellow owners who find themselves in similar situations should embrace the strategy of targeting one top running back and one top receiver (tight ends included) with their second (24th overall) and third picks (25th overall).

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The three running backs picked after Michael Turner were Jamaal Charles, Steven Jackson and Fred Jackson – all risky investments in my opinion. So, I took Greg Jennings setting up the “daily double” with Rodgers.

Despite owning Rodgers, I rolled the dice on Roethlisberger in the ninth round with the hopes that he catches fire and would become viable trade bait for an upgrade at RB2.

Like Beall, I also fell victim to the SBC (Shanahan by Committee) by taking Hightower, but, if healthy, there’s plenty of evidence (hearsay?) to earn the first-string gig in Washington.
 



Round 2
Pick Owner Player Team Pos
1
Sid (FOX)
Chi
RB
2
Kristine (FS Ohio)
Oak
RB
3
Mike (FOX)
DeMarco Murray
Dal
RB
4
Adam
Ari
WR
5
Ryan (WIS)
Hou
WR
6
Harmon
Min
RB
7
VanRiper (Rotowire)
Trent Richardson
Cle
RB
8
Halpin
Marshawn Lynch
Sea
RB
9
Mitch (WIS)
Phi
QB
10
Jake (WIS)
NE
TE
11
Beall
NO
TE
12
Fowler
Michael Turner
Atl
RB

 

Beall Analysis

Apparently I’m not a man of my word.

After preaching from the pulpit about the pitfalls of Mike Shanahan’s stable of running backs last season, I pulled the trigger on Evan Royster in the 10th round. Perhaps I was fooled by reports that the Penn State product has overtaken the starting gig in Washington, as Tim Hightower is suffering setbacks on his recovery from ACL surgery and Roy Helu is, well, Roy Helu, and couldn’t pass on the opportunity to snag a first-string rusher at that juncture of the draft. Immediately upon picking Royster, I suffered a serious case of cognitive dissonance, knowing that by Week 2, Royster would be on the sidelines as Hightower and Helu combine for 40 carries. Curse you, Shanahan. Curse you!

Jamaal Charles may seem like a roll of the dice, but as a third-round pick, the juice is definitely worth the squeeze. As he suffered his injury early in the 2011 season, the Kansas City All-Pro is well along in his recuperation, meaning the value for this selection is off the charts.

Speaking of value, I was elated to find Peyton Manning target Demaryius Thomas available in the fourth round, and Antonio Brown’s worth continues to rise as long as Mike Wallace stays on his sabbatical. Both wideouts have the potential of top-10 players at their position.

As for sleepers, keep an eye on Kyle Rudolph, who could be Minnesota’s primary bull’s eye in 2012. Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave has been raving about Rudolph’s offseason, and with more movement to the slot position, the tight end could haul in 70-to-75 balls this year.



Round 3
Pick Owner Player Team Pos
1
Fowler
Greg Jennings
GB
WR
2
Beall
Jamaal Charles
KC
RB
3
Jake (WIS)
Steven Jackson
StL
RB
4
Mitch (WIS)
Atl
WR
5
Halpin
NE
WR
6
VanRiper (Rotowire)
Fred Jackson
Buf
RB
7
Harmon
Chi
WR
8
Ryan (WIS)
Frank Gore
SF
RB
9
Adam
NYG
RB
10
Mike (FOX)
Mike Wallace
Pit
WR
11
Kristine (FS Ohio)
Cin
WR
12
Sid (FOX)
Atl
WR

 

Harmon Analysis

In this draft, I had the opportunity to build a potentially dominant backfield with Chris Johnson in the first round and Adrian Peterson in the second. With Calvin Johnson off of the board, I eschewed the selection of a wide receiver and opted to wait on my signal caller.

Johnson amassed over 1,500 total yards last season, though fantasy owners were obviously despondent about his touchdown total.

I’d have left Peterson behind if this draft had been done several weeks ago. My assessment changed as I pondered the PUP lists and Peterson’s return to the field, not to mention the encouraging reports from camp. Ultimately, I decided to take a stab at an elite player in the middle of the second round. If he gets back to 85% of himself and stays healthy down the stretch, Peterson greatly outperforms the field.

Isaac Redman is the lead back in the revamped Pittsburgh offense. Redman owns a 4.5-yard career rushing average, and I’m encouraged by his 18 receptions from 2011. There will be other backs in the mix, including Jonathan Dwyer and Chris Rainey, but all signs point to a big workload for Redman as Rashard Mendenhall works to return from injury.

I love Fred Jackson’s game, a fact that has been well-documented in my ramblings. Still, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to add C.J. Spiller as my fourth back. Spiller is expected to take 8-12 touches, and he obviously has breakaway speed.
 

I love the base of my receiver corps. Brandon Marshall reunites with Jay Cutler in what is expected to be a monster in Chicago. Remember, the Bears were a fantastic offense before Cutler and Forte were injured.

I circled back for Victor Cruz and his playmaking ways in Round 4. I’m reticent to bank on a repeat of his ridiculousness from 2011, but it’s hard to ignore his catch count and the opportunities coming off of Eli Manning’s arm.

After selecting Brandon Marshall in the third round, I leapt at the opportunity to pair him with his quarterback in Round 7. The potential is immense with Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Earl Bennett, Devin Hester (in a secondary role) and even Kellen Davis (watch him). It all comes down to that offensive line. Can Mike Tice keep Cutler upright after dismantling the old Mike Martz framework?

I had three quarterbacks queued up for my 11th-round selection ahead of Josh Freeman. Andy Dalton, Carson Palmer and Andrew Luck were all selected, leaving me with Freeman in the retooled Greg Schiano offense. Vincent Jackson gives Freeman a true No. 1 option, thereby putting Mike Williams into a complementary role (sleeper?). Doug Martin can catch out of the backfield to open up the offense a bit more, and the Buccs will see production from Dallas Clark when healthy.

I watched Antonio Gates early in Chargers camp and was intrigued by what I saw. Do I fear health concerns? Sure, I’d be lying to say I wasn’t. When healthy, Gates is an absolute monster and a red zone beast. If he leaves the injury woes behind, the potential is there for 85 receptions and a double-digit touchdown total. And, I secured him in the fifth round, a full 32 picks after Jimmy Graham had come off of the board. That’s value.

The Bears amassed 33 turnovers, 33 sacks and six total touchdowns in 2011. Julius Peppers leads the front and will offer persistent pressure. That’s fine. Will Brian Urlacher stay healthy? Do the Bears have enough in the secondary to slow down the pass-happy Packers and Lions?
 



Round 4
Pick Owner Player Team Pos
1
Sid (FOX)
Hakeem Nicks
NYG
WR
2
Kristine (FS Ohio)
Mia
RB
3
Mike (FOX)
Car
WR
4
Adam
Peyton Manning
Den
QB
5
Ryan (WIS)
NO
RB
6
Harmon
Victor Cruz
NYG
WR
7
VanRiper (Rotowire)
Doug Martin
TB
RB
8
Halpin
Min
WR
9
Mitch (WIS)
Marques Colston
NO
WR
10
Jake (WIS)
GB
WR
11
Beall
Demaryius Thomas
Den
WR
12
Fowler
Jason Witten
Dal
TE

 

Halpin Analysis*

My team was selected for me, directly from my rankings, with specific positions assigned to each round. The results weren't bad, though I should have made an exception for Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski being available in Round 2 - I'd have preferred one of them to Marshawn Lynch. I'd be more excited if this was a PPR league, where Wes Welker and Percy Harvin should be much stronger.

I really liked Roy Helu in Round 6, and the underrated Stevie Johnson offers good value in Round 9. Finally, I was happy to get my usual QB binky, Tony Romo, in Round 5. I could go to war with this squad, as long as Lynch doesn't get suspended.



Round 5
Pick Owner Player Team Pos
1
Fowler
Den
RB
2
Beall
Antonio Brown
Pit
WR
3
Jake (WIS)
Miles Austin
Dal
WR
4
Mitch (WIS)
Shonn Greene
NYJ
RB
5
Halpin
Tony Romo
Dal
QB
6
VanRiper (Rotowire)
Jeremy Maclin
Phi
WR
7
Harmon
Antonio Gates
SD
TE
8
Ryan (WIS)
Dwayne Bowe
KC
WR
9
Adam
Phi
WR
10
Mike (FOX)
SF
TE
11
Kristine (FS Ohio)
NE
WR
12
Sid (FOX)
BenJarvus Green-Ellis
Cin
RB

Adam Analysis


Every year, I play out the first round of a mock draft in my head to figure out some sort of a game plan. Then, I get to a point where I go, "I hope I don't get that draft pick." This year, it's No. 9. If any of the eight picks ahead of me fell, I would have taken them right away. At nine, it was a toss up between Ryan Mathews, Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew (there is a lot of depth at QB, so Cam Newton wasn't appealing enough). MoJo is holding out so I avoided that mess (see CJ2K last season). I went with the running back with the better offense and better chance of playing more meaningful games at playoff time.

As of this draft (August 2nd), Adrian Peterson is rumored to either miss the first two weeks or play right away. I tend to risk manage during draft time so I passed and went Larry Fitzgerald (no Andre Johnson for me...again, risk manager). Also, with Brandon Jacobs departure in NY, the door is open for Ahmad Bradshaw to be the bell cow (or "workhorse").

I mentioned the QB depth this season: Rodgers, Brees, Brady, Stafford, Newton, Romo, Vick, and both Mannings. I wouldn't mind any of those nine. Peyton went in the first three rounds last year, so I was pleased that he fell to the fourth round in this draft.  Not to mention, I'm a Broncos fan. With all that said, I still took my back-up QB (Matt Schaub) somewhat high so I can rest easy. They can't BOTH get hurt...right?

Last year Ryan Williams was supposed to be "the guy" in Arizona until his preseason knee injury. I handcuffed him with Beanie so I can play the hot hand during the season. Normally, I don't condone having three skill position players from the same NFL team, but the Williams/Wells play is for a flex position and not my main RB choice.



Round 6
Pick Owner Player Team Pos
1
Sid (FOX)
Vincent Jackson
TB
WR
2
Kristine (FS Ohio)
GB
TE
3
Mike (FOX)
Dez Bryant
Dal
WR
4
Adam
Ari
RB
5
Ryan (WIS)
Den
TE
6
Harmon
Isaac Redman
Pit
RB
7
VanRiper (Rotowire)
NE
TE
8
Halpin
Roy Helu
Was
RB
9
Mitch (WIS)
Car
RB
10
Jake (WIS)
Mark Ingram
NO
RB
11
Beall
Eli Manning
NYG
QB
12
Fowler
Ind
RB


Round 7
Pick Owner Player Team Pos
1
Fowler
Ind
WR
2
Beall
Stevan Ridley
NE
RB
3
Jake (WIS)
Hou
RB
4
Mitch (WIS)
Det
TE
5
Halpin
Was
TE
6
VanRiper (Rotowire)
SD
QB
7
Harmon
Jay Cutler
Chi
QB
8
Ryan (WIS)
Pierre Garcon
Was
WR
9
Adam
Santonio Holmes
NYJ
WR
10
Mike (FOX)
Jonathan Stewart
Car
RB
11
Kristine (FS Ohio)
GB
RB
12
Sid (FOX)
Atl
TE


Round 8
Pick Owner Player Team Pos
1
Sid (FOX)
Bal
WR
2
Kristine (FS Ohio)
Lance Moore
NO
WR
3
Mike (FOX)
Atl
QB
4
Adam
Ryan Williams
Ari
RB
5
Ryan (WIS)
Det
RB
6
Harmon
C.J. Spiller
Buf
RB
7
VanRiper (Rotowire)
Kenny Britt
Ten
WR
8
Halpin
Det
RB
9
Mitch (WIS)
Anquan Boldin
Bal
WR
10
Jake (WIS)
Den
WR
11
Beall
Det
WR
12
Fowler
LeGarrette Blount
TB
RB


Round 9
Pick Owner Player Team Pos
1
Fowler
Ben Roethlisberger
Pit
QB
2
Beall
Toby Gerhart
Min
RB
3
Jake (WIS)
SD
WR
4
Mitch (WIS)
Jermaine Gresham
Cin
TE
5
Halpin
Stevie Johnson
Buf
WR
6
VanRiper (Rotowire)
Chi
RB
7
Harmon
Denarius Moore
Oak
WR
8
Ryan (WIS)
Sea
WR
9
Adam
Matt Schaub
Hou
QB
10
Mike (FOX)
Robert Griffin III
Was
QB
11
Kristine (FS Ohio)
Buf
QB
12
Sid (FOX)
Den
RB


Round 10
Pick Owner Player Team Pos
1
Sid (FOX)
Laurent Robinson
Jac
WR
2
Kristine (FS Ohio)
KC
RB
3
Mike (FOX)
Det
RB
4
Adam
Mario Manningham
SF
WR
5
Ryan (WIS)
StL
QB
6
Harmon
Mia
RB
7
VanRiper (Rotowire)
Jac
RB
8
Halpin
NO
RB
9
Mitch (WIS)
Andy Dalton
Cin
QB
10
Jake (WIS)
SD
WR
11
Beall
Evan Royster
Was
RB
12
Fowler
Tim Hightower
Was
RB


Round 11
Pick Owner Player Team Pos
1
Fowler
Darrius Heyward-Bey
Oak
WR
2
Beall
Andrew Luck
Ind
QB
3
Jake (WIS)
Ten
WR
4
Mitch (WIS)
Kendall Wright
Ten
WR
5
Halpin
Cle
WR
6
VanRiper (Rotowire)
Carson Palmer
Oak
QB
7
Harmon
Josh Freeman
TB
QB
8
Ryan (WIS)
Dustin Keller
NYJ
TE
9
Adam
SF
D/ST
10
Mike (FOX)
SD
WR
11
Kristine (FS Ohio)
Owen Daniels
Hou
TE
12
Sid (FOX)
David Wilson
NYG
RB


Round 12
Pick Owner Player Team Pos
1
Sid (FOX)
Mark Sanchez
NYJ
QB
2
Kristine (FS Ohio)
Mike Williams
TB
WR
3
Mike (FOX)
Hou
D/ST
4 Adam
Jared Cook
Ten
TE
5
Ryan (WIS)
NYG
D/ST
6
Harmon
Coby Fleener
Ind
TE
7
VanRiper (Rotowire)
SF
WR
8
Halpin
Bal
QB
9
Mitch (WIS)
Dal
RB
10
Jake (WIS)
Oak
RB
11
Beall
Alshon Jeffery
Chi
WR
12
Fowler
Brent Celek
Phi
TE


Round 13
Pick Owner Player Team Pos
1
Fowler
Sea
WR
2
Beall
Kyle Rudolph
Min
TE
3
Jake (WIS)
NYJ
QB
4
Mitch (WIS)
Brandon Jacobs
SF
RB
5
Halpin
Santana Moss
Was
WR
6
VanRiper (Rotowire)
Isaiah Pead
StL
RB
7
Harmon
Chicago
Chi
D/ST
8
Ryan (WIS)
Austin Collie
Ind
WR
9
Adam
Shane Vereen
NE
RB
10
Mike (FOX)
Car
TE
11
Kristine (FS Ohio)
New York
NYJ
D/ST
12
Sid (FOX)
Pittsburgh
Pit
D/ST


Round 14
Pick Owner Player Team Pos
1
Sid (FOX)
Delone Carter
Ind
RB
2
Kristine (FS Ohio)
David Akers
SF
K
3
Mike (FOX)
Justin Blackmon
Jac
WR
4
Adam
Danny Woodhead
NE
RB
5
Ryan (WIS)
Den
K
6
Harmon
Randy Moss
SF
WR
7
VanRiper (Rotowire)
Green Bay
GB
D/ST
8
Halpin
Buf
D/ST
9
Mitch (WIS)
Bal
D/ST
10
Jake (WIS)
Phi
D/ST
11
Beall
Atl
D/ST
12
Fowler
Sebastian Janikowski
Oak
K


Round 15
Pick Owner Player Team Pos
1
Fowler
Detroit
Det
D/ST
2
Beall
GB
K
3
Jake (WIS)
Stephen Gostkowski
NE
K
4
Mitch (WIS)
Lawrence Tynes
NYG
K
5
Halpin
Garrett Hartley
NO
K
6
VanRiper (Rotowire)
Alex Henery
Phi
K
7
Harmon
Dal
K
8
Ryan (WIS)
Cin
WR
9
Adam
Chi
K
10
Mike (FOX)
Hou
K
11
Kristine (FS Ohio)
Cle
RB
12
Sid (FOX)
Ten
K


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