USA Today Sports Weekly Mock Recap

On Tuesday, July 22, I participated in a 12-team, non-PPR mock draft with several industry leaders for USA Today Sports Weekly’s fantasy football special edition, which hits newsstands on August 4. I’ve been given permission to blog about the draft and my strategy, which is greatly appreciated, and I hope it sparks some discussion.

This was a non-PPR league with a relatively standard starting lineup – 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, W/R/T flex, K, D/ST. We were allowed to fill seven bench spots, as well.

I picked from the #9 spot, which I was excited to do because it’s a pretty interesting spot this year as most of the best RBs are off the board, and it could be an ideal spot for starting WR/WR or Graham/WR.

The draft grid is as follows (odd rounds read left to right, even rounds right to left. Click to enlarge):

Note that the empty 12th-round pick between Jordan Matthews and Carlos Hyde was meant to be Odell Beckham, and the empty 16th-round pick for Tuvey is meant to be Bryce Brown.

Here’s my team, and I’ll talk about my strategy afterward.

QB: Colin Kaepernick, Carson Palmer

RB: Le’Veon Bell, Ben Tate, Jeremy Hill, Chris Ivory, Carlos Hyde

WR: [...]

Training Camp Dates and Sites

The Bills got NFL training camps underway this past weekend and the rest of the league will get started throughout this week. The Giants and Bills will kick off the 2014 preseason in the NFL Hall of Game at 8 pm Sunday, August 3 in Canton, Ohio. The ninth edition of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” will follow the Falcons this preseason. As for the rest of the league, here’s a complete breakdown of training camp dates and sites.

Arizona Cardinals

Rookies: July 22. Veterans: July 25. Site: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz

Atlanta Falcons

Rookies: July 22. Veterans: July 24. Site: Atlanta Falcons Training Facility, Flowery Branch, Ga.

Baltimore Ravens

Rookies: July 16. Veterans: July 23. Site: Under Armour Performance Center, Owings Mills, Md.

Buffalo Bills

Rookies: July 16. Veterans: July 19. Site: St. John Fisher College, Pittsford, N.Y.

Carolina Panthers

All players: July 24. Site: Wofford College, Spartanburg, S.C.

Chicago Bears

All players: July 24. Site: Olivet Nazarene University, Bourbonnais, Ill.

Cincinnati Bengals

Rookies: July 21. Veterans: July 23. Site: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati.

Cleveland Browns

Rookies: July 23. Veterans: July 25. Site: Cleveland Browns Training Facility, Berea, Ohio.

Dallas Cowboys

All players: July 23. Site: City of Oxnard Fields, Oxnard, Calif.

Denver Broncos

All players: July 23. Site: Paul D. Bowen Memorial Centre, Englewood, Colo.

Detroit Lions

Rookies: July 22. [...]

The Prince Connection: Rodgers and Nelson

If you follow along over at my Twitter account @FG_Dolan (shameless plug), you’ve probably noticed my undying love for Jordy Nelson, and the fact that I’d happily welcome him onto any of my fantasy teams this year.

First of all, he’s madly productive as is: he hauled in 85/1314/8 last year and averaged 16.5 FPG in a PPR league. That was good enough to rank him #13 among WRs who played at least seven games last year. By definition, he was a borderline #1 WR in a 12-team PPR league. A knee procedure last summer might have scared some people, but it helped make Nelson more explosive and turned him into a durable force in 2013, and an incredible fantasy value to boot.

Once again, Nelson proved to be among the NFL’s elite in both catch rate and yards per target: 67.5% catch rate and 10.43 yards per target in 2013, well above the 58.6%/7.80 league average at the WR position last year. This has become a trend for Nelson, who continually grabs a high percentage of his targets down the field, more than most of his peers grab in the intermediate area.

But there’s also one more thing that we have to remember [...]

About Matthew Camp

Matthew Camp

Camp has been a fantasy football player since 1997, when he remembers using the box scores from the New York Daily News.

About Matthew Camp

About Joseph Dolan

Joe Dolan

Joe is a son of the video-game age - his extensive knowledge of NFL rosters dates back to the early 1990s.


About Joseph Dolan

About Tom Brolley

Tom Brolley

Brolley was blessed with the mobility of Peyton Manning, but lacked his encyclopedic football knowledge and rocket arm.

About Tom Brolley

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