Fantasy Fox: Mock-draft simulation -- No. 2 slot

BY foxsports • August 1, 2013

Here's a dry run of draft expectations when holding the No. 2 slot in 12-team leagues (standard scoring), working exclusively off an online mock draft from Thursday morning.

Round 1, Pick 2 overall: Motive — Best overall player

1st option: RB Doug Martin, Buccaneers
2nd option: RB Arian Foster, Texans
3rd option: RB Ray Rice, Ravens

Rationale: I reserve the right to change my mind in mid-August, opting for Arian Foster (3,482 total yards, 29 TDs for 2011-12) at this slot. In the meantime, it makes sense to ride the younger (and healthier) stud with a ceiling for 2,000 total yards and/or 14 touchdowns.

Favorite Ray Rice stat: He has amassed 2,000 total yards and 77 catches in EVERY odd-numbered campaign.

Round 2, Pick 23 overall: Motive — Best overall player

1st option: WR Demaryius Thomas, Broncos
2nd option: RB Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars
3rd option: QB Cam Newton, Panthers

Rationale: Thomas, my No. 5 receiver in standard-scoring leagues, is a reasonable bet to match or eclipse his 2012 numbers (94 catches, 1,434 yards, 10 TDs) in at least two categories. Last year, he crossed the PPR-elite threshold of six catches, 95 yards and/or one touchdown 13 times.

Round 3, Pick 26 overall: Motive — Best overall player

1st option: TE Jimmy Graham, Saints
2nd option: QB Cam Newton, Panthers
3rd option: QB Tom Brady, Patriots

Rationale: Outside of landing Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers late in Round 1/early in Round 2, I pledge to wait until Round 6 or 7 for quarterbacks like Matthew Stafford, Andrew Luck, Eli Manning or Tony Romo.

That creates a small window of opportunity for Graham (85 catches, 982 yards, nine TDs last year) — the best tight end in the draft.


Round 4, Pick 47 overall: Motive — Best running back or receiver

1st option: RB Ryan Mathews, Chargers
2nd option: WR Marques Colston, Saints
3rd option: WR Hakeem Nicks, Giants

Rationale: Not in love with this selection ... but it's a necessary evil after investing a precious Round 3 pick on a tight end. On the flip side, Mathews was a top-12 asset this time last year — before breaking his collarbone in early August.

Round 5, Pick 50 overall: Motive — Best receiver or high-end QB

1st option: WR Hakeem Nicks, Giants
2nd option: WR Eric Decker, Broncos
3rd option: QB Matt Ryan, Falcons

Rationale: I have Eric Decker ranked higher, but with D-Thomas already on the roster, Nicks gets the mock nod. In a Points Per Reception draft, though, Decker (13 TDs, 122 targets last year) would be the easy choice.

Round 6, Pick 71 overall: Motive — Best receiver or quarterback

1st option: WR Greg Jennings, Vikings
2nd option: QB Matthew Stafford, Lions
3rd option: QB Andrew Luck, Colts

Rationale: Stafford and Luck have higher grades than Jennings. But with another pick just three slots away ... it makes sense to grab Jennings and then assess the QB situation in Round 7.

Round 7, Pick 74 overall: Motive — Best quarterback or tailback

1st option: QB Andrew Luck, Colts
2nd option: RB Rashard Mendenhall, Cardinals
3rd option: QB Tony Romo, Cowboys

Rationale: As a rookie, Luck (4,374 yards passing, 28 total TDs) accounted for 300 total yards and/or multiple touchdowns 12 times last year. Sounds pretty good for the 74th pick.

Round 8, Pick 95 overall: Motive — Best overall player (or defensive entity)

1st option: D/ST Seattle Seahawks
2nd option: RB Bernard Pierce, Ravens
3rd option: WR Miles Austin, Cowboys

Rationale: There wasn't a lot of value in Round 8 ... so I went with the top-ranked defense projections-wise. This move is only recommended for those who have done extensive homework for Rounds 14-16.

Round 9, Pick 98 overall: Motive — Best receiver or tailback

1st option: WR Miles Austin, Cowboys
2nd option: RB Bernard Pierce, Ravens
3rd option: WR Bryce Brown, Eagles

Rationale: Austin's production has declined of late, but he still posted nine outings of eight-plus targets last year — including five double-digit games.

Round 10, Pick 119 overall: Motive — Best running back

1st option: RB Daryl Richardson, Rams
2nd option: RB Jonathan Stewart, Panthers
3rd option: RB Michael Bush, Bears

Rationale: Jonathan Stewart has had eight months to get his body right for the upcoming season ... and yet, he's no lock for Week 1. Ugh!

Round 11, Pick 122 overall: Motive — Best overall player

1st option: WR Malcom Floyd, Chargers
2nd option: RB Daryl Richardson, Rams
3rd option: WR Denarius Moore, Raiders

Round 12, Pick 143 overall: Motive — Best tailback or tight end

1st option: RB Robert Turbin, Seahawks
2nd option: TE Jermaine Gresham, Bengals
3rd option: QB Andy Dalton, Bengals

Rationale: I missed Jaguars wideout Justin Blackmon (four-game suspension to start the season) by one freaking pick!

Round 13, Pick 146 overall: Motive — Best tight end or quarterback

1st option: TE Jermaine Gresham, Bengals
2nd option: QB Andy Dalton, Bengals
3rd option: QB Josh Freeman, Buccaneers

Round 14, Pick 167 overall: Motive — Best upside running back

1st option: RB Zac Stacy, Rams
2nd option: RB Joseph Randle, Cowboys
3rd option: RB Knile Davis, Chiefs

Rationale: Since Doug Martin doesn't have a high-ceiling backup in Tampa Bay, this round marks the time to pursue burgeoning handcuffs for Jamaal Charles (Chiefs), DeMarco Murray (Cowboys) or Daryl Richardson (Rams).

Round 15, Pick 170 overall: Motive — Best QB available (non-bye conflict)

1st option: QB Josh Freeman, Buccaneers
2nd option: QB Jay Cutler, Bears
3rd option: QB Matt Schaub, Texans

Rationale: Freeman, my 13th-ranked quarterback, is an outright heist at Round 15.

Round 16, Pick 191 overall: Motive — Best kicker

1st option: PK Greg Zuerlein, Rams
2nd option: PK Alex Henery, Eagles
3rd option: PK Steven Hauschka, Seahawks



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