Fantasy Football Mock Draft 3.0

The FOX Sports team held its Experts League Draft on August 21. I’ve gotta say, having the first pick was boring. No debating, no losing sleep – just pick Adrian Peterson, and wait a long time to pick again before grabbing the wideout duo of Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas. I risked waiting on my RB2, but …

What’s that? There were 11 other owners in the draft? Oh, OK. Let’s review the proceedings. Please note that this is a standard scoring (non-PPR) league, with six points awarded per TD pass.

Round 1

Pick

Owner

Player

Team

Pos

1

Halp

Adrian Peterson

Min

RB

2

Adam

Doug Martin

TB

RB

3

PJS

Arian Foster

Hou

RB

4

Jake

Jamaal Charles

KC

RB

5

kevi

Ray Rice

Bal

RB

6

Liss

C.J. Spiller

Buf

RB

7

Ross

Marshawn Lynch

Sea

RB

8

CLEM

Calvin Johnson

Det

WR

9

Adam

Trent Richardson

Cle

RB

10

Sid’

LeSean McCoy

Phi

RB

11

Joel

Alfred Morris

Was

RB

12

Ryan

Stevan Ridley

NE

RB

Eleven of the 12 first-rounders were running backs, with only Calvin Johnson at No. 8 interrupting the run. Most picks went close to ranking norms, with Ray Rice a bit of a reach at No. 5, and LeSean McCoy a possible steal at No. 10. Will Arian Foster’s back issues result in an early-pick bust? Hmm …

Round 2

Pick

Owner

Player

Team

Pos

1

Ryan

Matt Forte

Chi

RB

2

Joel

Maurice Jones-Drew

Jac

RB

3

Sid’

Brandon Marshall

Chi

WR

4

Adam

Aaron Rodgers

GB

QB

5

CLEM

A.J. Green

Cin

WR

6

Ross

DeMarco Murray

Dal

RB

7

Liss

Steven Jackson

Atl

RB

8

kevi

Chris Johnson

Ten

RB

9

Jake

Frank Gore

SF

RB

10

PJS

Julio Jones

Atl

WR

11

Adam

Drew Brees

NO

QB

12

Halp

Dez Bryant

Dal

WR

Round 3

Pick

Owner

Player

Team

Pos

1

Halp

Demaryius Thomas

Den

WR

2

Adam

Reggie Bush

Det

RB

3

PJS

Jimmy Graham

NO

TE

4

Jake

Roddy White

Atl

WR

5

kevi

Peyton Manning

Den

QB

6

Liss

Larry Fitzgerald

Ari

WR

7

Ross

Vincent Jackson

TB

WR

8

CLEM

Andre Johnson

Hou

WR

9

Adam

David Wilson

NYG

RB

10

Sid’

Tom Brady

NE

QB

11

Joel

Jason Witten

Dal

TE

12

Ryan

Darren Sproles

NO

RB

Hey, it’s some non-running backs! Still, only four quarterbacks went in these rounds, with Rodgers/Brees in the second and Peyton/Brady in the third. Our drafters generally adhered to the industry mantra of waiting on passers due to this year’s deep QB1 pool.

Peter Schrager’s pick of Jimmy Graham in Round 3 was a steal, as he’s clearly the best option at his position.. Jason Witten is the second-best tight end, but in Round 3? Come on, Beall. This isn’t a PPR league.

Eight of the 12 teams finished Round 3 with their top two running backs in hand. Three more had one back each, while Jay Clemons chose the interesting path of loading up with three big-time wideouts – Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green and Andre Johnson. Clemons wanted Brees or Rodgers, and when he didn’t get them, he went with a value-based approach. Will it work? Keep reading.

Round 4

Pick

Owner

Player

Team

Pos

1

Ryan

Rob Gronkowski

NE

TE

2

Joel

Darren McFadden

Oak

RB

3

Sid’

Lamar Miller

Mia

RB

4

Adam

Randall Cobb

GB

WR

5

CLEM

Cam Newton

Car

QB

6

Ross

Victor Cruz

NYG

WR

7

Liss

Eddie Lacy

GB

RB

8

kevi

Reggie Wayne

Ind

WR

9

Jake

Wes Welker

Den

WR

10

PJS

Ryan Mathews

SD

RB

11

Adam

Daryl Richardson

StL

RB

12

Halp

Chris Ivory

NYJ

RB

Round 5

Pick

Owner

Player

Team

Pos

1

Halp

Montee Ball

Den

RB

2

Adam

Hakeem Nicks

NYG

WR

3

PJS

DeSean Jackson

Phi

WR

4

Jake

Matt Ryan

Atl

QB

5

kevi

Shane Vereen

NE

RB

6

Liss

Dwayne Bowe

KC

WR

7

Ross

Ahmad Bradshaw

Ind

RB

8

CLEM

BenJarvus Green-Ellis

Cin

RB

9

Adam

DeAngelo Williams

Car

RB

10

Sid’

Giovani Bernard

Cin

RB

11

Joel

Danny Amendola

NE

WR

12

Ryan

Marques Colston

NO

WR

Round 6

Pick

Owner

Player

Team

Pos

1

Ryan

Colin Kaepernick

SF

QB

2

Joel

Matthew Stafford

Det

QB

3

Sid’

Mike Wallace

Mia

WR

4

Adam

Pierre Garcon

Was

WR

5

CLEM

Rashard Mendenhall

Ari

RB

6

Ross

Vernon Davis

SF

TE

7

Liss

Torrey Smith

Bal

WR

8

kevi

Antonio Brown

Pit

WR

9

Jake

Steve Smith

Car

WR

10

PJS

Jordy Nelson

GB

WR

11

Adam

James Jones

GB

WR

12

Halp

Eric Decker

Den

WR

Clemons picked Cam Newton in Round 4 and chose his first runner – BenJarvus Green-Ellis – in the fifth. The RB pickings get slim when you wait, folks. I generally like the idea of value picks, but in 2013 this approach is fraught with peril. Yes, that sounds overly dramatic, but I’m trying to make a point, dammit!

After getting stud wideouts in Rounds 2-3, I filled my RB2/flex spots with Chris Ivory and Montee Ball in the fourth and fifth. No, I don’t trust them, either. Get your backs early, get your backs early …

Rob Gronkowski – who is expected to be ready sometime around Week 3 – went to Ryan Fowler at the top of Round 4. There’s big upside with Gronk, and since Fowler snagged Jermichael Finley in Round 13, he’ll be covered at the position.

You want to see a guy who’s shooting up draft boards? Daryl Richardson was barely a top-40 RB two months ago, and he went in the fourth round here. Richardson isn’t a sleeper anymore.

Preseason lesson: If you have a busy quarter getting relentlessly targeted by Tom Brady, you too can see your fantasy stock go through the roof. Danny Amendola – who missed 20 games over the last two seasons and has a career yards-per-reception average of 8.8 – was drafted ahead of Marques Colston, who finished 12th among fantasy wideouts in 2012, and has averaged 1,098 yards/8.5 TDs over the last four seasons. Even Brady’s superpowers have their limits, right?

Through Round 5, only six teams drafted quarterbacks.

Round 7

Pick

Owner

Player

Team

Pos

1

Halp

Andrew Luck

Ind

QB

2

Adam

Miles Austin

Dal

WR

3

PJS

Cecil Shorts

Jac

WR

4

Jake

Tony Gonzalez

Atl

TE

5

kevi

Robert Griffin III

Was

QB

6

Liss

Jonathan Dwyer

Pit

RB

7

Ross

Russell Wilson

Sea

QB

8

CLEM

Ronnie Hillman

Den

RB

9

Adam

Greg Jennings

Min

WR

10

Sid’

Kyle Rudolph

Min

TE

11

Joel

Anquan Boldin

SF

WR

12

Ryan

T.Y. Hilton

Ind

WR

Round 8

Pick

Owner

Player

Team

Pos

1

Ryan

Josh Gordon

Cle

WR

2

Joel

Ben Tate

Hou

RB

3

Sid’

Mike Williams

TB

WR

4

Adam

Antonio Gates

SD

TE

5

CLEM

Mikel Leshoure

Det

RB

6

Ross

Le’Veon Bell

Pit

RB

7

Liss

Tony Romo

Dal

QB

8

kevi

Owen Daniels

Hou

TE

9

Jake

Vick Ballard

Ind

RB

10

PJS

Bernard Pierce

Bal

RB

11

Adam

Andre Brown

NYG

RB

12

Halp

Mark Ingram

NO

RB

Round 9

Pick

Owner

Player

Team

Pos

1

Halp

Stevie Johnson

Buf

WR

2

Adam

Lance Moore

NO

WR

3

PJS

Michael Vick

Phi

QB

4

Jake

Tavon Austin

StL

WR

5

kevi

Knowshon Moreno

Den

RB

6

Liss

Kenny Britt

Ten

WR

7

Ross

DeAndre Hopkins

Hou

WR

8

CLEM

Greg Olsen

Car

TE

9

Adam

Chris Givens

StL

WR

10

Sid’

Fred Jackson

Buf

RB

11

Joel

Michael Floyd

Ari

WR

12

Ryan

Bryce Brown

Phi

RB

Round 10

Pick

Owner

Player

Team

Pos

1

Ryan

Vincent Brown

SD

WR

2

Joel

Ben Roethlisberger

Pit

QB

3

Sid’

Seattle

Sea

D/ST

4

Adam

Shonn Greene

Ten

RB

5

CLEM

Justin Blackmon

Jac

WR

6

Ross

San Francisco

SF

D/ST

7

Liss

Rueben Randle

NYG

WR

8

kevi

Houston

Hou

D/ST

9

Jake

Brandon Myers

NYG

TE

10

PJS

Jacquizz Rodgers

Atl

RB

11

Adam

Emmanuel Sanders

Pit

WR

12

Halp

Sidney Rice

Sea

WR

The QB1 slots were mostly filled here, with two in Round 6, three in Round 7 and one more in Round 8. One team grabbed RGIII in the seventh round after getting Peyton Manning in the third. My mom always told me that if I can’t say anything nice about someone’s fantasy football draft strategy, I shouldn’t say anything at all, and I’ll stick to that old adage here.

You know who probably won the QB battle? Chris Liss, who grabbed the always-productive Tony Romo. If you agree with the conventional wisdom that the QB1 pool is 12 players deep, then why not pick the 12th guy? Sure, there’s a risk that someone will pick a backup early and stick you with Eli Manning or Ben Roethlisberger, but it’s not likely, and you can spend earlier picks stocking up on RB/WR depth.

Clemons piled up running backs in this stretch of the draft, picking Rashard Mendenhall, Ronnie Hillman and Mikel Leshoure. One of them will probably have to surprise with a big season in order for his team to compete. Post a comment below to let us know if you think it will work.

There were some nice WR values in this portion of the draft, including:

Round 6: Mike Wallace, Pierre Garcon, Antonio Brown, Torrey Smith, Steve Smith, Jordy Nelson, Eric Decker

Round 7: Mile Austin, Cecil Shorts

Round 8: Mike Williams

Drafters appear worried about Jordy Nelson’s knee, even though he’s still got a chance to play in Week 1. If you can get him in Round 6, he could be a steal. Also, judging by the picks in these rounds, the WR pool is pretty deep (which we already knew).

The Lisfranc injury news for Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell emerged on the day of the draft, and he fell to Round 8.

Round 11

Pick

Owner

Player

Team

Pos

1

Halp

Jordan Cameron

Cle

TE

2

Adam

Bilal Powell

NYJ

RB

3

PJS

Brian Hartline

Mia

WR

4

Jake

Jonathan Stewart

Car

RB

5

kevi

Kendall Hunter

SF

RB

6

Liss

Isaac Redman

Pit

RB

7

Ross

Jacoby Jones

Bal

WR

8

CLEM

Chicago

Chi

D/ST

9

Adam

Jay Cutler

Chi

QB

10

Sid’

Golden Tate

Sea

WR

11

Joel

Zach Sudfeld

NE

TE

12

Ryan

Eli Manning

NYG

QB

Round 12

Pick

Owner

Player

Team

Pos

1

Ryan

Jermichael Finley

GB

TE

2

Joel

Daniel Thomas

Mia

RB

3

Sid’

Martellus Bennett

Chi

TE

4

Adam

Greg Little

Cle

WR

5

CLEM

Denarius Moore

Oak

WR

6

Ross

Knile Davis

KC

RB

7

Liss

Stepfan Taylor

Ari

RB

8

kevi

Marcel Reece

Oak

RB

9

Jake

Danny Woodhead

SD

RB

10

PJS

Matt Schaub

Hou

QB

11

Adam

Ryan Broyles

Det

WR

12

Halp

Isaiah Pead

StL

RB

Round 13

Pick

Owner

Player

Team

Pos

1

Halp

Andy Dalton

Cin

QB

2

Adam

Jared Cook

StL

TE

3

PJS

Kenjon Barner

Car

RB

4

Jake

Josh Freeman

TB

QB

5

kevi

Fred Davis

Was

TE

6

Liss

Coby Fleener

Ind

TE

7

Ross

Robert Turbin

Sea

RB

8

CLEM

Stephen Gostkowski

NE

K

9

Adam

New England

NE

D/ST

10

Sid’

Carson Palmer

Ari

QB

11

Joel

Kenbrell Thompkins

NE

WR

12

Ryan

Michael Bush

Chi

RB

Round 14

Pick

Owner

Player

Team

Pos

1

Ryan

St. Louis

StL

D/ST

2

Joel

Cincinnati

Cin

D/ST

3

Sid’

Cordarrelle Patterson

Min

WR

4

Adam

Matt Bryant

Atl

K

5

CLEM

Joe Flacco

Bal

QB

6

Ross

Blair Walsh

Min

K

7

Liss

Phil Dawson

SF

K

8

kevi

Garrett Hartley

NO

K

9

Jake

Pittsburgh

Pit

D/ST

10

PJS

Baltimore

Bal

D/ST

11

Adam

Miami

Mia

D/ST

12

Halp

Denver

Den

D/ST

Round 15

Pick

Owner

Player

Team

Pos

1

Halp

Matt Prater

Den

K

2

Adam

Dan Bailey

Dal

K

3

PJS

Greg Zuerlein

StL

K

4

Jake

Josh Brown

NYG

K

5

kevi

Brian Quick

StL

WR

6

Liss

New York

NYG

D/ST

7

Ross

Geno Smith

NYJ

QB

8

CLEM

Ryan Williams

Ari

RB

9

Adam

Keenan Allen

SD

WR

10

Sid’

Sebastian Janikowski

Oak

K

11

Joel

Justin Tucker

Bal

K

12

Ryan

Santana Moss

Was

WR

A few days after Chip Kelly named Michael Vick as the Eagles’ starting quarterback, Schrager picked him in the ninth round. Vick is Schrager’s QB1, which is completely insane not recommended. Vick is an injury-prone, turnover-happy 33-year-old with at least a 50-50 chance of getting benched in favor of Nick Foles or Matt Barkley sometime this season. His upside comes with tremendous risk. Let someone else take that bet at this stage.

The Seahawks’, 49ers’ and Texans’ defenses came off the board in Round 10. I respect the desire to start the run, but year-to-year fantasy DST performances can be very unpredictable. Wait until the last two rounds for defenses and kickers.

There were plenty of good values over the final seven rounds, but my favorite was Seahawks WR Golden Tate in Round 11. Bet you didn’t know that Tate finished 33rd among wide receivers in FOXSports.com fantasy scoring last season, and has improved his reception, yardage and touchdown totals in each of his first three seasons. A mini-breakout could be coming.

Sign up today for your free fantasy football season at FOXSports.com, and test your draft preparation by entering our mock draft lobby. Keep up with all the news and notes from the fantasy football world at FOXSports.com/fantasy/football.

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