This is a 2013 Fantasy Football Mock Draft (14 teams, standard scoring) I took part in with 13 other members of the forum. As usual, I'll have analysis of my picks, as well as the best and worst selections from each two rounds. In a new addition this year, David Wipperman (forum member Ragnarok, a.k.a. Rags) will break down the best and worst teams from the mock draft.
Just a heads up that we have 2013 Fantasy Football Mock Drafts every Wednesday evening. Check out the fantasy mock draft thread for details.
MY PICKS, ROUNDS 1-2: Marshawn Lynch and Aaron Rodgers are two bust-proof studs. I'd take the former at No. 2 overall and the latter at the end of the first round, so I think I'm off to a good start.
BEST PICKS, ROUNDS 1-2: Ray Rice is the best pick in the first round. He's a steal at No. 8 overall. Nothing really sticks out in the second round, though Jimmy Graham could end up being the best pick (besides Rodgers). Everyone else selected flawed running backs who may bust for one reason or another. Graham won't (neither will Drew Brees, Brandon Marshall and Rodgers).
WORST PICKS, ROUNDS 1-2: KelKelAz said it was her goal for me not to make fun of her picks, but I'm not a fan of the Trent Richardson-Darren Sproles combo. Richardson is banged up, while Sproles doesn't belong in the second round of a standard league. The pick I disliked the most, however, was DeMarco Murray. He's way too injury-prone to be selected that early.
MY PICKS, ROUNDS 3-4: I had a tough choice between Victor Cruz and Ahmad Bradshaw. Running backs are scarcer, but I had Cruz higher on my Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet, so I went with him. I'm super thin at running back as a consequence, but at least I know I can rely on Cruz. I don't regret my decision.
Andre Brown was the best running back available in Round 4. He'll get the goal-line carries for the Giants, so he can be started as an RB2 early on.
BEST PICKS, ROUNDS 3-4: David Wilson is the guy I wanted in the third round, but "2" snatched him up. I also obviously have to give dap to Ace Attorney for landing Bradshaw. In the fourth round, Jordy Nelson, Peyton Manning and Marques Colston provided good value.
WORST PICKS, ROUNDS 3-4: Rob Gronkowski in the third round? Will he even play? Even worse are Team 14's two selections. Montee Ball and Ryan Mathews. Blegh.
MY PICKS, ROUNDS 5-6: As you can see, the running back position is super thin in a 14-team format. I have to hope Johnathan Franklin gets more touches than Eddie Lacy. Meanwhile, I like the value that James Jones presents in the sixth round.
BEST PICKS, ROUNDS 5-6: All of the quarterbacks in the fifth and sixth rounds are steals. They all should be going two rounds earlier. I also liked the Eric Decker and Ben Tate picks. I was hoping they'd drop back to me in Rounds 6 and 7, respectively.
WORST PICKS, ROUNDS 5-6: Two of the injury-prone, crappy running backs chosen here (Mark Ingram, Jonathan Stewart) deserve to be the worst picks. I'm also not a fan of Mike Wallace and Kelly's Vick Ballard; Ahmad Bradshaw is the starter in Indianapolis, so Ballard's place is about four rounds later.
MY PICKS, ROUNDS 7-8: Why Robert Griffin? Because: A) He was the best player available for me by far. B) If healthy, he'll be a top-five fantasy quarterback - and someone like that must be chosen in Rounds 7-8. C) He was the final startable fantasy quarterback on the board, so I'm basically eliminating one team from playoff contention with a mid-round selection. D) There's a slim chance Aaron Rodgers will get hurt. If that happens, I won't have any sort of drop-off with Griffin.
Zac Stacy could easily start for the Rams, so he's worth a shot in the eighth round.
BEST PICKS, ROUNDS 7-8: Team 2 with the other startable quarterback who made it to Round 7. I was also a fan of Bernard Pierce, Cecil Shorts and Josh Gordon. I would've chosen Shorts if I didn't go with Griffin at 7.05.
WORST PICKS, ROUNDS 7-8: Bryce Brown may not be the No. 2 running back in Philly, so I don't know what he's doing in the seventh round. I'm also not a fan of DeSean Jackson and Tavon Austin this early.
MY PICKS, ROUNDS 9-10: I don't like Antonio Gates, but he was the top player available for me. He can't move, but he'll at least catch touchdowns. Not bad for a ninth-round pick in a 14-team format. Kendall Wright is much-needed depth at wideout. He should take a big step forward in Year 2.
BEST PICKS, ROUNDS 9-10: I had my heart set on Lance Moore, but YearoftheLion stole him away from me at 9.04. Denarius Moore, Knowshon Moreno and Michael Floyd were also great choices.
WORST PICKS, ROUNDS 9-10: A defense in Round 10? That's not as bad as a likely backup quarterback in QB Dog Killer at 10.02. Nick Foles is the favorite to start in Philadelphia.
MY PICKS, ROUNDS 11-12: More receiver depth. I feel like Chris Givens and Greg Little both have decent upside.
BEST PICKS, ROUNDS 11-12: I was going to grab Ryan Broyles or Justin Blackmon on the way back, but they were both snagged off the board. Jonathan Dwyer is also intriguing because he could potentially start.
WORST PICKS, ROUNDS 11-12: I still don't like defenses - and a kicker, especially - going this early. The worst pick of these two rounds, however, is Daniel Thomas. He's a bum who has fallen out of favor with the coaching staff. I'd rather take a shot with Mike Gillislee instead.
MY PICKS, ROUNDS 13-15: A high-upside player (and some insurance for Antonio Gates), followed by my No. 1 kicker and a defense that will battle the pathetic Raiders in Week 1.
BEST PICKS, ROUNDS 13-15: It's all about upside in the final few rounds. The players who had the most upside are, well, I can't really find anyone who stands out. I suppose I like Brian Hartline because he'll benefit from opposing defenses concentrating so much on Mike Wallace.
WORST PICKS, ROUNDS 13-15: Nothing really stands out, save for maybe Mike Goodson, who may not make the roster based on his off-the-field issues. Also, why does Team 13 need a backup defense? That's a cheapskate move in a pay-per-transaction league, but this obviously doesn't have any sort of fees.
My Fantasy Team:
QB - Aaron Rodgers, Packers
RB - Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks
RB - Andre Brown, Giants
WR - Victor Cruz, Giants
WR - James Jones, Packers
RB/WR - Johnathan Franklin, Packers
TE - Antonio Gates, Chargers
K - Phil Dawson, 49ers
DEF - Colts Defense
BN - Robert Griffin, Redskins QB
BN - Zac Stacy, Rams RB
BN - Kendall Wright, Titans WR
BN - Chris Givens, Rams WR
BN - Greg Little, Browns WR
BN - Coby Fleener, Colts TE
This team looks weak, but remember that I was drafting in a 14-team format. I'm essentially missing one player who was picked in Rounds 3-4. With that in mind, I like my chances because Marshawn Lynch, Aaron Rodgers and Victor Cruz will carry me. I'm very weak at RB2, but most teams will be once the other running backs suffer injuries or show inexplicable regression. I said this in the chat box during the mock, but I think we're all overrating running backs. New players at that position emerge every year, so they'll be available on the waiver wire. So, make sure you draft bust-proof studs early. Don't bank on Ryan Mathews and Montee Ball.
Best and Worst Fantasy Teams:
By David Wipperman (Rags)
Once again, I will be taking a look at my favorite and least favorite teams from this week's fantasy football mock draft. I will be judging these teams based on value, personal preference, and how I feel these players will do in a standard format. So starting with my least favorite team ...
Team 14 - A.J. Green, Brandon Marshall, Montee Ball, Ryan Mathews, Cam Newton, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Isaiah Pead, Ronnie Hillman, Jermichael Finley, Emmanuel Sanders, Chicago DEF, Justin Blackmon, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Greg Zuerlein, Jake Locker
First of all, Green and Marshall is as good a WR tandem as you will find in fantasy and Newton will give you a very good week-to-week presence. However, that is where my praise for this team ends.
I'm not sold on any of the other WRs on this roster. Blackmon is getting suspended, Heyward-Bey is a bust, and I'm simply not sold on Sanders being a consistent fantasy contributor - although he does offer some upside. As a Packers fan, I'm not a big believer in Finley, so am not a big fan of this pick either.
That said, my major issue with Team 14 lies in the RB corps. Ryan Mathews is a wasted pick in my opinion, and I believe that BenJarvus Green-Ellis will see fewer and fewer snaps as the season goes on. Pead could turn into a decent choice, but as I have said before, I am a believer in Zac Stacy this season in the Rams. Team 14 did manage to get both Denver RBs who should see the most playing time, but there is a concern that each will hurt the fantasy value of the other.
Other Least Favorites - Ace Attorney, Lar
Team 10 - LeSean McCoy, Chris Johnson, Roddy White, Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, Eric Decker, Danny Woodhead, Mikel Leshoure, Jordan Cameron, Knowshon Moreno, Rueben Randle, Julian Edelman, St. Louis DEF, Brian Hartline, Kai Forbath
This was really close between a couple of teams. I'm a big fan of the McCoy/Johnson combo, and everything I have seen points towards Woodhead getting a lot of touches in San Diego this year. Leshoure and Moreno aren't my favorite picks, but one of them could prove decent. Peyton Manning is going to put up a ton of points, even if Walt would rather have Russell Wilson (haha).
I especially love that Team 10 paired Decker up with Peyton. While a bit older, both Roddy White and Reggie Wayne can provide good, consistent value throughout the season, while Hartline and Randle each have upside. Jordan Cameron was one of my favorite picks of the entire draft. A young, athletic tight end in Norv Turner's system? I'll take that chance anytime.
Other Favorites - Sancho, Team 13
Team Ragnarok - Alfred Morris, Stevan Ridley, Rob Gronkowski, Giovani Bernard, Tom Brady, Antonio Brown, Greg Jennings, Josh Gordon, Denarius Moore, Joseph Randle, Aaron Dobson, Stepfan Taylor, Pittsburgh DEF, Matt Bryant, Zach Ertz
Going into a 14-team draft, I focused on solidifying as many positions as possible before going for upside guys. I feel like my first five picks accomplished that. McCoy and Ridley are every week starters while Bernard will, in my opinion, be a three-down back for the majority of the season. My Brady and Gronkowski picks give me every-week starters who are a dynamic combo if Gronkowski can stay healthy.
From there, I took four straight wideouts to allow me to play matchups every week. Brown, Jennings, Gordon and Moore are all capable of giving my team a great week, I just have to pick the two or three I like the most in a given week. I am a firm believer that one of these young Patriots receivers will have a great year, so I took Dobson in case he becomes that player. Joseph Randle and Stepfan Taylor should each start a few games when the injury-prone players in front of them go down, providing solid upside. Ertz is purely an upside choice in case Gronkowski's injuries keep popping up.
I really don't understand why you keep bashing the 49ers contracts. You have to overpay for guys when you have one of the worst rosters in the NFL. Beyond that, they have nearly $70 mill in cap space even after free agency, so what's the big deal if they overspend?