May 19, 2011
I did another mock draft last night for another magazine (Lindys Fantasy Football), and while I cannot publish the entire draft, I can list here my team and go over that. This league is a non-PPR league. 12 teams, and the only other scoring nuance of note was that it’s only 3 points per passing TD (and 6 points per rushing/receiving), which devalues the QBs. But I’m usually of the opinion that, if the scoring is the same for everyone, a rule like that can’t devalue the QBs too much.
I picked 3rd, and after doing some stat research on my first pick, I surprised by selecting him over Chris Johnson.
Jamaal Charles – I had just so happened to study some deep stats on Charles yesterday, and everything revealed a budding star in the NFL. We all know he’s good by watching him play, but the stats say he’s beyond good, and the Chiefs are still an ascending team, so I took him. I’m not sure I would have taken him in a real draft, but based on this team and the two player’s performance last year, I do feel better about him than Chris Johnson, who I passed on.
Larry Fitzgerald – You have to take advantage of any possible value, and it’s always wise to take any “sure things” left on the board, so I find myself targeting Fitzgerald in the 2nd round. If he had a real QB, he’d be going a little earlier, and I think he will have a real QB at some time this year (Kevin Kolb clearly being the front-runner).
Ahmad Bradshaw – Nothing wrong with this guy, as an inspection of his numbers showed a runner who was rock solid in pretty much every category other than yards per catch in the passing game.
Antonio Gates – I was all set to grab Santonio Holmes as my #2 WR, with the plan being to hold off a little on TE, but be went one pick in front of me. So I went BPA, and played it “safe” with Gates. Granted, he is coming off some problematic injuries, but he was on a ballistic pace last year and there is nice continuity here.
Peyton Manning – The QBs are devalued a little based on the scoring, but Peyton Manning in the 4th round of a 12-team league is pretty hard to pass up. If you take a QB and TE in the first four rounds, you’ll have a pair of studs most likely, but you better do well with your later picks at RB and WR. I’m not sure I did in this one.
Johnny Knox – I’m not in love with the pick based on the round, but Knox does have some things going for him and I needed a WR, preferably one who was his team’s go-to guy. I know he was my guy last year and he probably let people down. But when you consider most players fall short of expectations in general, he was pretty solid. I certainly wasn’t wrong to argue that he was the guy to get here, and with any luck whatsoever, he could have been a top-20 WR. He may be a little luckier this year, and the Bears have yet to add a WR this offseason.
Ryan Williams – I was set to grab Cedric Benson here, but he went right in front of me, so I reached on Williams. This could be either a wasted pick or my best pick; we’ll just have to see. It was probably 1-2 rounds too early for him. I did also get Bean Wells, but there was no value whatsoever in either. But Williams has the tools and the potential to be borderline special, and I like taking those kinds of risks.
Deion Branch – For some reasons, I keep taking Branch in these mocks drafts and this is three-for-three taking him. But he’s always my #3, and that’s not bad considering his good situation and the fact that the Pats haven’t added a WR. So for now, I’m basically drafting the Patriots’ #1 WR on the outside. The next three WRs drafted were Jordy Nelson, Braylon Edwards, and Julio Jones, and Branch is a safer bet than any of those most likely.
Chris Wells – At this point I’m not tracking the draft as I should and crossing people off my list so I know exactly who the best players available are, so I’m slacking a little bit. Once again, I’m watching 5-year old twins alone while drafting. In a “real” draft, I’d be making some arrangements so I can focus. Anyway, I do have Ryan Williams, so I saw Beanie on the board and secured that backfield. Both players have definite upside, so I just hope one guy clearly emerges. I probably should have taken Mike Tolbert, However.
LaDainian Tomlinson – Looking for some depth in the 10th round, and LT made some sense here based on his 2010 season and the fact that the Jets seem unwilling to totally commit to Shonn Greene. Other RBs drafted in this round were Donald Brown, Kendall Hunter, and Delone Carter, so LT was a decent and reliable option.
Chad Ochocinco – I’m not in love with this pick for obvious reasons, but having Branch in New England was a factor. Who knows if the Pats will entertain him, but Ochocinco would certainly love to play for them. Come to think of it, I can’t see the Pats doing it, even though he’d made a lot of sense for them. Other WRs taken in this round were Terrell Owens, Lance Moore, Arrelious Benn, and rookie Jonathan Baldwin. Moore was probably the better pick and now that I think about it, I don’t know why the hell I took this pain in the ass Ochocinco over Moore.
Lee Evans – I guess he was a value, but he’s going late for a reason: he stinks for fantasy. At least Ryan Fitzpatrick and back and head coach Chan Gailey has spoken this year about how he’s gotta do a better job getting Evans involved in the intermediate area, and not just downfield.
New York Jets – The last two rounds and the defenses are flying off the board. The Jets were a buzzkill last year for fantasy, so at least this year they don’t cost much. They were the 6th defense off the board.
Josh Brown – Brown was actually money late last year, and the team is improving, so I like him as an option.
Starting Lineup (no Flex)
QB: Peyton Manning
RB: Jamaal Charles, Ahmad Bradshaw
WR: Larry Fitzgerald, Johnny Knox, Deion Branch
TE: Antonio Gates
PK: Josh Brown
DT: NY Jets
Final Thoughts: Not a bad team at all, but I clearly have some issues at WR. As usual, if you take a QB and a TE early, you’re going to have a hole somewhere else in an expert league. But if that’s the way the draft flows, that’s the way it flows. It’s more important to get as many impact players/studs as possible early to be the foundation of your team because you know plenty of good options are going to emerge later one. One again, if you look at this team you see a lot of stability and continuity, two huge factors as we navigate in uncharted waters in terms of this whacky offseason.