To break up the monotony of the NFL preseason, I executed three simultaneous mock drafts on Friday morning (12 teams/standard scoring) — holding the No. 11 pick each time.
Adding to the degree of difficulty, I wasn’t allowed to look at my overall cheat sheet for the preseason … or “queue” up any of players early, in anticipating of snagging ’em in a timely manner.
Here are my results from all three mocks. For those attempting this exercise at home, expect an avalanche of under-the-gun choices and permutations after Round 2, with only 45 seconds between each selection:
Breakdown: Realistically speaking, I would only target the above three names at the 11 spot in standard-scoring leagues. With outfits that reward five or six points per touchdown pass, however, Aaron Rodgers makes good sense late in Round 1, as well.
Breakdown: Last season, Green enjoyed a nine-game streak of at least one receiving touchdown (10 scores in that span). He also crossed the PPR-elite threshold of six catches, 95 yards and/or one touchdown 13 times.
As for Bryant (50 catches, 879 yards, 10 TDs in his final eight games last year), he’s a default choice whenever McCoy or Green are off the board.
Draft #1 — WR Andre Johnson, Texans Draft #2 — RB David Wilson, Giants Draft #3 — RB Darren McFadden, Raiders
Breakdown: It wasn’t my intention to go WR-WR-WR in Draft #1; but there’s a certain coolness to starting three receivers with 1,300-yard/double-digit-TD potential every Sunday.
For the other two drafts, Wilson (long-term upside pick) and McFadden represent stellar options in the second wave of running backs.
Breakdown: Murray (910 total yards, four TDs) didn’t set the fantasy world on fire last season, missing six games to injury and averaging only 4.1 yards per carry. However, he still racked up 75 total yards and/or one touchdown in all 10 outings.
Breakdown: Hakeem Nicks was a victim of the dreaded injury bug last year, logging substantial reps in only 11 games. However, he notched seven or more targets seven times in 2012 — including five double-digit outings.
At age 25, it’s time for Nicks to collect at least 78 catches, 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Draft #1 — QB Matthew Stafford, Lions Draft #2 — WR James Jones, Packers Draft #3 — RB Ahmad Bradshaw, Colts
Breakdown: When splitting the difference between Stafford’s 2011 and ’12 campaigns … it comes to 5,002 yards passing and 33 touchdowns.
The odds of James Jones (64 catches, 784 yards) replicating last year’s 14 touchdowns are long. However, let’s remember the four outings of multiple touchdowns … and eight games of seven-plus targets. He’s no fluke.
Breakdown: In his first eight games last year, Moore had per-outing tallies of 8.5 catches, 72 yards and 0.63 touchdowns. Of equal importance, he was a perfect 8 for 8 in collecting eight-plus targets.
Subbing for an injured LeSean McCoy last year, Brown pounded the Panthers and Cowboys for 372 total yards (347 rushing) and four touchdowns (Weeks 13-14). With Chip Kelly now running the show in Philly, the Eagles’ up-tempo, quick-strike offense might have enough room for McCoy and Brown logging 35 combined touches every week.
Draft #1 — RB Ronnie Hillman, Broncos Draft #2 — TE Jermichael Finley, Packers Draft #3 — TE Jermichael Finley, Packers
Breakdown: It should be a fantasy crime to land Andy Dalton in Round 11. From Weeks 2-12 last year, spanning 10 games, Dalton accounted for 300 total yards and/or three touchdowns eight times. He also attempted 37 or more passes six times.
One more thing: For 2013, Dalton and the Bengals have attractive crossovers with the AFC East and NFC North.
Regarding Blackmon (64 catches, 865 yards, five TDs as a rookie), he averaged 6.3 catches, 12 targets, 77 yards and 0.5 touchdowns in his final four games. And that doesn’t even include the seven-catch, 236-yard, one-TD demolition of the Texans from Week 11.
Breakdown: For Draft #3, I had a clear window of snagging the rookie Hopkins … just in case he goes off in his first season with Houston. In reality, though, he’s likely nothing more than a luxury stash (and future trade fodder), riding the pine behind A.J. Green, Hakeem Nicks, Greg Jennings and Denarius Moore.
Draft #1 — PK Phil Dawson, 49ers Draft #2 — TE Fred Davis, Redskins Draft #3 — D/ST Green Bay Packers
Breakdown: In his final five games last season, before getting injured, Fred Davis (24 receptions, 325 yards) caught 20 of 22 balls thrown his way (targets). More importantly, from 2009-11, he accounted for 12 touchdowns in just 31 starts with the Redskins.
From Weeks 4-11 last year, Freeman notched seven straight games of 299 yards passing and/or multiple touchdowns.
Thanksto Freeman, receiver Vincent Jackson also had the best season of his career (72 catches, 1,384 yards, nine TDs in 2012). Of equal importance, Jackson’s presence allowed Mike Williams to slide down to the more palatable WR2 slot — his natural place on a team depth chart.
One last thing: From a standard-scoring perspective, Freeman notched 20 or more fantasy points seven times last season (rounding up fractionally).