Fantasy Fox: Handling three simultaneous mock drafts -- #5 slot
AUG 10, 2014 12:37p ET
To break up the monotony of the NFL preseason, I executed three simultaneous mock drafts on Saturday afternoon (12 teams/standard scoring) -- holding the No. 5 pick each time.
Adding to the degree of difficulty, I wasn't allowed to look at my positional cheat sheets for the preseason ... or "queue" up any of the players, in anticipation of snagging 'em for future rounds.
In essence, it's perhaps the most intense, pressure-filled environment one could face in fantasy circles.
Here are my results from all three mocks. For those attempting this exercise at home (and I highly recommend it), expect an avalanche of under-the-gun choices to make after Round 2:
Round 1 -- Pick 5
Draft #1 -- RB Eddie Lacy, Packers
Draft #2 -- QB Peyton Manning, Broncos
Draft #3 -- RB Matt Forte, Bears
BREAKDOWN: I had the option of grabbing Lacy -- my No. 5 overall tailback -- in all three drafts, but eventually settled on the three-tiered combination of Lacy (1,435 total yards, 11 TDs as a rookie), Forte (my No. 4 back) and Manning ... even though Peyton obviously won't match last year's single-season records for touchdown passes (55) and yards passing (5,477).
Round 2 -- Pick 20
Draft #1 -- RB Le'Veon Bell, Steelers
Draft #2 -- RB Le'Veon Bell, Steelers
Draft #3 -- RB Zac Stacy, Rams
BREAKDOWN: It's weird how Eddie Lacy stands as a consensus top-10 choice in standard-scoring and PPR drafts ... and yet, Bell (1,259 total yards, eight TDs in 13 games as a rookie) gets universally acknowledged as a Round 2 selection.
Of his final 11 outings, Bell notched 98 total yards and/or one touchdown nine times. As for Stacy ... landing a top-10 rusher at No. 20 works for me.
Round 3 -- Pick 29
Draft #1 -- RB C.J. Spiller, Bills
Draft #2 -- RB C.J. Spiller, Bills
Draft #3 -- WR Alshon Jeffery, Bears
BREAKDOWN: NFL franchises may be in the process of devaluing tailbacks in the draft ... but running backs still make the world go'round in fantasy circles. And I'm happy to grab Spiller -- my No. 9 rusher -- at 29th overall ... even though a little part of me believes he'll be available in Round 4.
Round 4 -- Pick 44
Round 5 -- Pick 53
Draft #1 -- QB Andrew Luck, Colts
Draft #2 -- RB Chris Johnson, Jets
Draft #3 -- RB Chris Johnson, Jets
BREAKDOWN: I answered a phone call during the final seconds of thus Draft #1 pick and subsequently didn't have enough time to queue up a higher-ranked quarterback like Matthew Stafford or Robert Griffin III.
But this wasn't a grave error on my part, since Luck (3,822 yards passing, 27 total TDs last year) is a healthy bet for 4,000 yards passing and 30 touchdowns.
As for Johnson (six straight seasons of 1,400-plus total yards) ... it breaks my heart that Toby Gerhart actually went before him in two different drafts -- prompting this snarky Tweet from yours truly.
I can't live in a world where someone takes Toby Gerhart over Chris Johnson ...— Jay Clemons (@FOX_JayClemons) August 9, 2014
Round 6 -- Pick 68
Draft #1 -- WR Kendall Wright, Titans
Draft #2 -- WR T.Y. Hilton, Colts
Draft #3 -- QB Robert Griffin III, Redskins
BREAKDOWN: It's unfortunate that I couldn't have paired Luck (Draft #1) with T.Y. Hilton in the second draft. (Love the QB-WR handcuff in all scoring formats.) In 2014, you can book a healthy Hilton down for 90 catches and/or double-digit touchdowns.
Round 7 -- Pick 77
Draft #1 -- RB Stevan Ridley, Patriots
Draft #2 -- WR Kendall Wright, Titans
Draft #3 -- WR Eric Decker, Jets
BREAKDOWN: I have great respect for the Patriots' two-pronged rushing attack of Ridley and Shane Vereen, but I will never invoke the 'handcuff' strategy for both assets on draft day.
It's one or the other for me ... and Ridley (835 total yards, seven TDs) stands as the better bet for double-digit TDs.
With the receivers, I'm genuinely torn between Wright and Decker, respective to their standing as top-25 wideouts. My current thinking: Ride Decker in standard-scoring leagues ... and Wright in PPRs.
Round 8 -- Pick 92
Draft #1 -- RB Knowshon Moreno, Dolphins
Draft #2 -- RB Knowshon Moreno, Dolphins
Draft #3 -- RB Knowshon Moreno, Dolphins
BREAKDOWN: Watching Falcons-Dolphins on Friday from the Georgia Dome press box ... I got the distinct feeling that Miami has big plans for Moreno (1,586 total yards, 13 TDs with Denver last year) -- whenever he's ready for consistent live action.
As such, when a potential workhorse back is still available in Round 8 ... you do the deed!
Round 9 -- Pick 101
Draft #1 -- WR Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs
Draft #2 -- WR Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs
Draft #3 -- WR Riley Cooper, Eagles
BREAKDOWN: Let's not fall asleep on Bowe's rock-solid production at the end of last year. From Week 9 to the wild-card round, the Chiefs wideout tallied four games of double-digit targets and four touchdowns -- including an eight-catch, 150-yard, one-TD demolition of the Colts during the playoffs.
Round 10 -- Pick 116
BREAKDOWN: There's only one downside to Reed -- No. 5 ranking among non-PPR tight ends -- falling into my lap at Round 10:
Round 11 -- Pick 125
Draft #1 -- D/ST Kansas City Chiefs
Draft #2 -- WR James Jones, Raiders
Draft #3 -- QB Andy Dalton, Bengals
BREAKDOWN: It should be a fantasy crime to land Andy Dalton (4,293 yards passing, 35 total TDs) in Round 11. Of his first 11 games last year, the Bengals QB accounted for 290 total yards and/or multiple touchdowns nine times.
And of his final four regular-season outings, Dalton averaged 287 yards passing and 3.3 TDs.
In other words ... why should you care that his NFL playoff record is 0-3?
Round 12 -- Pick 140
Draft #1 -- RB James Starks, Packers
Draft #2 -- D/ST Kansas City Chiefs
Draft #3 -- D/ST New England Patriots
BREAKDOWN: Over time, I have become a supporter of drafting high-end defenses in Round 11 or 12. It's a great reward for doing your homework throughout August and getting absurd value with the first 10 or 11 selections.
Besides, if your fellow owners are going to let the Chiefs D/ST fall to Round 12 ... it's your moral obligation to snag Kansas City (the top-ranked fantasy defense last year) and laugh all the way to the bank.
And I would have said this before the Chiefs racked up three defense/special teams TDs against the Bengals the other night.
Round 13 -- Pick 149
Round 14 -- Pick 164
Round 15 -- Pick 173
Round 16 -- Pick 188
Jay Clemons, the 2008 Fantasy Football Writer of the Year (Fantasy Sports Writers Assoication), can be reached via Twitter, day or night, at @FOX_JayClemons.