Breaking down my expert mock draft on NFL.com

With the Guru on vacation, he asked me to take his place in an expert mock draft taking place on NFL.com. It was a standard scoring league (Non-PPR) with a starting lineup of 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, Flex (RB/WR/TE), 1 K, and 1 DST. 12 teams, 16 rounds, and no limitations on number of reserves per position. Let’s take a look at my picks. The draft order was as follows:

1. Adam Caplan (FantasyGuru/Sirius Radio)
2. Nicholas Minnix (KFFL)
3. Greg Ambrosius (Krause Publications)
4. Mike Doria (Rotowire)
5. Matt Camp (Fantasy Guru)
6. Scott Engel (RotoExperts)
7. Michael Fabiano (NFL.com)
8. Gregg Rosenthal (Rotoworld)
9. Craig Ellenport (NFL.com)
10. Roger Rotter (FOX Sports)
11. David Ganos (OPEN Sports)
12. David Sabino (Sports Illustrated)
Check out the draft results here to follow along.

1.05 Steven Jackson – I was torn between Jackson and LT here, but with Jackson being the only legit weapon in the Rams offense, and this not being a PPR league, I felt I made the right call. Side note – I was baffled to see DeAngelo Williams go right after me considering his situation in Carolina. Way too early, in my opinion.

2.08 Greg Jennings – This was going a little off from our rankings, but I just don’t have a good feeling about the situation in Carolina, so I wanted nothing to do with Steve Smith. I like everything about the Packers offense this year, and I expect Jennings to have another big year.

3.05 Roddy White – If this was a PPR, I probably would have gone with Dwayne Bowe here, but I had no problem taking White. With Tony Gonzalez drawing some of the coverage away from White plus Matt Ryan looking like he is ready to improve upon his rookie year, I like White to have another Pro Bowl year and possibly even improve on his numbers from last year. Side note – Ray Rice went at 3.12 to end the round, which I think is ridiculously too high. I won’t believe the hype and neither should you.

4.08 Reggie Bush – I’d feel better about this pick if it was a PPR league, but I still think Bush and the Saints have finally figured out how to use Bush. Most people are worried about Pierre Thomas cutting into Bush’s numbers, while I am thinking quite the opposite. Bush can now be lined up anywhere on the field, and can’t be keyed on as much because you have to respect the ability of Thomas. Also, I obviously needed a RB here, and he was the best available, although I still would have taken him over Thomas Jones.

5.05 Eddie Royal – There was no chance I was taking Roy Williams with this pick, and to call him a steal here is a bit farfetched. Caplan grabbed Santonio Holmes at 5.01, but I still would have taken Royal if he fell to me here. My RBs and WRs are now set, and I felt good about them.

6.08 Jonathan Stewart – It would have been very easy to take a QB here, but I felt confident enough that the one I wanted would be there in the next round, and I was correct. Stewart becomes my flex guy, and if his role in the Carolina offense increases like we expect it to then he will turn out to be much better than just a flex player.

7.05 Jay Cutler – As we have been preaching on the site and in our podcasts, you do not need to draft a QB early because the position is so deep this year. I hoped Cutler would fall to me and he did. Over 8000 yards and 45 TDs the last two seasons was just sitting there for the taking in the 7th round after I had already taken care of my RBs and WRs. I know some of you believe these numbers will drop because of the caliber of WRs he has in Chicago, but I think Cutler makes everyone around him better. Also, there was no chance I am taking Tony Romo, and to think he is better than his draft position (7.06) is just wrong considering we have not seen much out of his receivers either. I’m looking at you Roy Williams.

8.08 Owen Daniels - Once again, my strategy of not going after one of the big name TEs because there is depth in the position worked just as it did with the QBs. We have not tried to hide our love for Daniels, and to get him here was the value pick I expected. His catches and yards have risen every year, and the Texans offense is primed for a huge season. Really really like this pick.

9.05 Jamaal Charles – With my starting lineup set and pretty solid, I felt that I could reach a little with Charles here. He is a definitely sleeper candidate, and with a new regime in Kansas City, Larry Johnson will not be able to screw around like he has the last few seasons. If Charles is given opportunities and produces, they will continue to use him, so this pick could end up being one of value.

10.08 Chris Chambers – My least favorite pick of the draft for no other reason than I just don’t like the guy. He has the talent of a #1 WR, but has never been able to put it together for a long stretch of time. Vincent Jackson is definitely ahead of him as one of Philip Rivers’ favorite targets, but once again, because I was set at the position, I figured that a guy in a good offense has a chance to put up the numbers. It was either him or Miles Austin at this point, but I feel less confident about the Dallas offense, so Chambers won out.

11.05 Ahmad Bradshaw – While he may be backing up Brandon Jacobs, we know that Jacobs needs a breather now and then because of his smash-mouth style of running. Bradshaw steps into the role that Derrick Ward filled last season, and it has already been said by GM Jerry Reese that he would be the starter if Jacobs were to go down. There is nothing but upside with this pick, and he can easily fill the flex role even as the #2 back in the Giant offense. Jerious Norwood went a spot ahead, and I don’t think he will see nearly the amount of opportunities that Bradshaw will. Another pick that I really like.

12.08 Le’Ron McClain – In a Non-PPR formet, McClain still has some value no matter what is being said about McGahee and Rice. He outscored both of them last year and was the most consistent back on the team. I know he shifts back the FB role, but he was too good last year to not use at the goal line this year. A TD machine that is the only RB on the Ravens to have proven his worth.

13.05 Mike Walker - Here’s a guy that has been getting all kinds of love on “In the Loop” and rightfully so. Walker has been getting first-team reps during the off-season, is playing with a consummate profession in Torry Holt, and is no longer being pushed by Dennis Northcutt thanks to his trade to Detroit. Walker obviously has an injury history, but this is his chance to make people forget all that and become the receiver everyone has been waiting to see. Very little risk considering this was such a late pick, but tons of upside. Could be the steal of my draft.

14.08 Jason Campbell – I needed a backup QB, and he was the best one remaining. He is in a contract year and has a lot to prove considering that he was almost replaced TWICE this off-season. This will be his first time in his career that he’ll play under the same system in back to back years. Just a backup for me, so no big deal.

15.05 Cowboys D/ST - Can’t really complain here since they get their sacks, but would like to see more INTs from the secondary. A few return TDs from Felix Jones wouldn’t hurt either.

16.08 Kris Brown – A good kicker in a better offense that plays in a controlled environment is good for me anytime. That’s as far as I will analyze the last pick of a draft.

All in all, I was really happy with how it worked out considering this mock was against the highest competition I have gone against so far. Guru saw my team and said I “smoked them”, so I got that going for me, which is nice.

Before I go, I just wanted to add that you can now send in your questions to “In the Loop” at intheloopradio@gmail.com, and we will try to answer them each week.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Category: Fantasy Guru Daily

Tagged: , ,

18 Responses

  1. Baller says:

    I like this team, and I love it through round 8. I love the strategy of going RB, WR, WR and Bush in round 4, even in non-ppr. I’d probably be very happy with the top 8 even in a 10 team league. I’m not sure about the picks after number 8. I guess it depends on who else was there.

  2. The Firm says:

    Daniels in a non- PPR league? Not sure why you love that pick. Bush might be okay either way, in spite of the format. way too early for Charles, and besides, he’s another Faulk-type 3rd down back. Man, I hate to be a critic, but I’m not loving this draft.

    It’s funny, when I saw the Chambers pick, I thought, “Hmm, good value with Vjax possibly facing a suspension”, and you played down the pick. I think you did fine overall, but I think you could have waited on a few players, and perhaps grabbed LWhite instead of Stewart. At least you know what you have with Kool-Aid, 10 TDs in the bank.

  3. Seinfeld says:

    Draft looks pretty good overall. I like Jennings, Bush, Royal, Stewart picks etc. Don’t quite understand your rationale for liking Cutler in a brand new offense with limited weapons and hating on Romo because TO is gone and Roy Williams was not very good last year. Stands to reason that Romo is the constant in his offense and Roy Williams will be better this year with a training camp to get used to Romo and the offense (I’m not loving Williams himself), but with Witten, Barber, Felix Jones coming back and some of their young wideouts, I don’t know why you wouldn’t go near Romo and love Cutler. Romo still has plenty of weapons. Guess that’s why they play the games.

  4. Phil says:

    Adam should post his team so his could be compared to your’s…

  5. Burton says:

    1.06 Jackson over LT? 2.08 Jennings over Wayne? 3.06 White over Owens? Smartly selecting the slightly safer picks to minimize risk – Nice!

    Here’s a different approach for 4 through 8:
    4.08 J.Witten (+42 FPts instead of O.Daniels-8) – grabbing the best TE might have fit better with the RB-WR-WR beginning…
    5.06 D.Ward (-15 FPts instead of Bush-4) fell to end of 5th
    6.08 Stewart – like your logic
    7.06 L.Coles or D.Hester (-6.5 FPts instead of Royal-5) – both available pick Hester if you like Cutler
    8.08 M.Ryan (-12.5 FPts instead of Cutler-7)

    Variance = +8 FPts using Guru projections

    I don’t see any difference in Ryan and Cutler, both are run first teams, although Ryan seems safer pick with better receivers and a year of working together ahead. Bush is on a better offense than Ward, but higher injury risk (possible higher rewards I admit) and Ward should get more carries. Having Witten seems much better than Daniels. All hindsight, and just one opinion.

    Nice Draft!

  6. Mike P says:

    Cutler is over rated!!!

    RB, WR, WR, RB is the best approach for that draft spot. Question on why you went with Royal over a QB? I had Cutler in almost every league last year, and while no one doubts his skills, he is very erratic and not a solid fantasy QB that you can rely on week to week. Look at last year. 4 TDs one week and 1 TD the next? Now, no Marshall or Royal, it is not getting better.

    Warner, maybe McNabb, was the move the 5th.

  7. Frank Logullo says:

    When I first read the draft I was thinking…what was Hansen smoking ? Not only does he take S Jax over DeAngelo “Last year was not a fluke” Williams, he takes Jennings over Reggie “Manning throws the ball to him” Wayne…and even more amazingly idiotic, takes James “My Toe still bothers me” Stewart….the dude passes on Brees, who plays in a dome in a pass friendly offense on a team with a below average defense ( hint, Fantasy Gold in the Passing Game ), for an overrated, interception, crybaby Cutler that will be playing ball control, low scoring games in frigid , snowy , window conditions come fantasy playoffs in December.

    Then I reread the intro and found out Johnny “Looks cool with 2 day old shave” Hansen was on vacation….and I said to myself phew, the world is back to normal…this explains it.

    Is there any way Camp can join my money league ?

  8. Matt Camp says:

    Frank-

    First off I just wanna say that I’m a little upset I didn’t get one of your cute nicknames. Now let me address your criticisms. DeAngelo Williams was by no means a fluke last year, but we (and especially John) think that Jonathan Stewart is too good not to have a bigger role in this offense this year, which should obviously cut into Williams’ numbers. No chance I was taking him that high. Speaking of Stewart, that toe injury is a thing of the past, so if you are going to bring up an injury, at least say it was the minor Achilles problem he had during OTAs, although he is now healed from that as well. The Jennings/Wayne argument is a pretty even one, and while Wayne’s numbers were down across the board from his 2007 season, Jennings’ were up, so you can’t really go wrong either way. While I realize I could have had Brees, I was sticking to my strategy of holding off on a QB, and felt that Cutler was a value pick where I got him. I seem to remember Cutler playing in Denver, where it is also quite cold and snowy, so I doubt that will be a problem for him in the later months of the year.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    P.S. – I think John may be going with that beard to prepare for #4 coming in to lead his Vikings this year.

  9. JOOCE says:

    Frank, if you disagree with his picks, that’s your prerogative. But I wouldn’t go calling a pick “amazingly idiotic”, especially when it’s Jonathan Stewart at 6.8, and calling him James Stewart no less…

    I find it strange to say that it was dumb to not take DeAngelo at 1.5, but yet it was “amazingly idiotic” to take James, uh I mean Jonathan Stewart at 6.8…

    Also, Jennings outscored Wayne handily last year. Yes, Manning had the knee issue, but was still MVP, and it was also Rodgers’ first year at the helm. I would say that it’s a toss up.

    And am I missing something on Brees? I think that there was no mention as to where Brees was drafted. Did I miss alink to the entire draft results? Cutler was drafted in the 7th, much later than Brees I’m sure, so it’s not like he outright passed on Brees for Cutler…

    Is there any way that Frank can join my money league? We’ll even let you draft James Stewart, but I think it will be a RBBC with Kevin Smith and MoMo. :)

  10. Matt Camp says:

    JOOCE -

    The link is right under the draft order. I probably should have made it more noticeable, so my bad on that. Also, I believe Lamar Smith was available, but I thought that Jon Stewart was the better pick since he has a ton of upside thanks to a solid run on the Daily Show.

  11. Joe Dolan says:

    Yeah, I’m with Matt. I think Jon Stewart has flown under the radar thanks to Conan’s transition to The Tonight Show.

    Nice value.

  12. Burton says:

    Brees was drafted at the end of the 2nd Round, so Camp could have picked him instead of his WR1, Jennings. I found the draft on NFL.com, http://www.nfl.com/fantasy/story?id=09000d5d81154251&template=without-video-with-comments&confirm=true

    JOOCE makes good point regarding Frank’s DeAngelo/Stewart argument. Frank, managing risk and value is important if/when you want to play with the fantasy big boys. Nothing necessarily wrong with grabbing Brees in the 2nd. Just don’t bash Camp because he didn’t pick two players that you will be targeting in your draft this year. Camp clearly stated that he was targeting Cutler. He had the patience to get him in the 7th round, even after most QB options were getting slim. McNabb and Warner got picked after Camp’s 5.05 pick and before his 6.08 pick. Schaub was picked before his 7.05 pick, yet Camp had the guts to wait one more round on his targeted QB and picked Stewart instead (a good value in itself).

  13. Matt Camp says:

    We just posted Caplan’s analysis of the draft. Here is the link: http://fantasyguru.com/football/subscribers/articles/7-16-09expertdraft.php

  14. steve says:

    I thought Matt had a good draft. Question do you guys have future experet leagues (other then mock drafts) you will be drafting and posting the results? Thanks

  15. Adam Caplan says:

    Yes, we just posted that draft in its entirety with results. We have the annual nfl.com draft in August along with the final six rounds of the annual fantasy guru mag draft. The other guys may have their own to post as well.

  16. Frank Logullo says:

    First off I want to commend Matt “man crush on Keenan McCardell” for being a good sport … hey it’s all in good fun guys.

    I’d like to extend an invite to Jooce to my money league :)

  17. Adam Caplan says:

    We will also be in two of the annual SOFA league drafts in late August which we’ll analyze as well.

  18. smack says:

    ray rice. hindsight, eh?

Leave a Reply