May 4, 2012
I am participating in my first 2012 mock draft today (for Rotowire Magazine), so I figured I would share my picks for those interested on the blog, while I am making them.
This is a 14-teamer, which kind of stinks because I was really curious to see how a 12-teammer would go, but this will have to do for now. I’m still developing my Draft Plan for this year, but I have some interesting ideas and hope to shape them further during this draft.
I’ll post the picks with some analysis as I make them. The draft kicks off at 4pm ET and is 15 rounds. This is a PPR league, by the way.
Round 1, pick 12 – In perhaps an upset, I took TE Jimmy Graham, who is my #1 TE over Rob Gronkowski. I give Graham the slight edge because the addition of Brandon Lloyd could mean fewer looks for Gronk, who obviously plays TE with another great option. I knew I would still get a crack at a stud QB with my next pick , so I took Jimmy.
Round 2, pick 2 – I picked Graham because I was hoping Cam Newton would slip to me in the 2nd, but he was taken 1 pick before me. That left me with a dilemma with Drew Brees being the obvious pick. But given the shaky vibes in New Orleans, I didn’t feel comfortable going “all in” on the Saints. In a 14-team league, if I mess up these first two picks, I’m done, so I “settled” for QB Matthew Stafford. Obviously, this is a risky pick over Brees due to Stafford’s durability, but I’m convinced he’s past those concerns.
Round 3, pick 12 – I’m looking for impact players, studs, talented guys, so I took Julio Jones. I actually have Marques Colston over Jones, but again the shaky vibes in New Orleans is a little scary in terms of investing 2 of my first 4 picks on a Saint.
Round 4, pick 3 – I needed a RB, obviously, and while it’s a small risk taking a rookie who is not a lock to start, I think Doug Martin will start, and he can catch the ball and has the potential to haul in 40 passes as a rookie, which works in this PPR league.
Round 5, pick 12 – I suppose I’m a sucker for the Eagle offense for life, but I felt DeSean Jackson was the most impactful player left on the board at WR, so I grabbed him. With no contract concerns and a full off-season for Michael Vick, there should be some confidence in Jackson to bounce back in 2012.
Round 6, pick 3 – The draft is moving quickly, so I’m having trouble marking guys off and doing these writeups, but I did think about my selection of Peyton Hillis. He may not have a lot of upside if Jamal Charles is fine, but he should score TDs and he can help in this PPR format with catches. The Chief offense is looking really good on paper, and Hillis has every reason to excel because he’s in a one-year contract.
Round 7, pick 12 – Well, I had to do it. With some deficiencies at RB, I had to recognize BenJarvus Green-Ellis as a decent value in the 7th round of a 14-team league. I actually think he can grab 30-35 passes here, which helps, but unless someone shocks us or they add another good veteran, Law Firm has to be the guy in a pretty decent offense and on a pretty good team.
Round 8, pick 3 – I feel better about the BJGE pick now because I landed a potential impact player in a PPR league in Greg Little. He was my guy last year, and he did catch 61 balls despite not playing a lot early in the year and in a horrendous offense with a bad QB. The offense will be much better, and Brandon Weeden is a good guy to get him the ball in the short-to-intermediate passing game, so I loved this pick.
Round 9, pick 12 – I’m looking for more WR help in this PPR after using my first two picks on a TE and a QB and I really liked my pick of Austin Collie. Although they will throw to the TE a lot, Collie is going to be a great option for QB Andrew Luck. They should have to throw a lot, so Collie has upside in this format.
Round 10, pick 3 – Looking for more RB and help and most importantly upside, I grab my guy Alex Green. I know they don’t run it here, but they took Green for a reason: he’s a bigger back like they prefer, and he’s used to playing in pass-happy offense, plus he can catch the ball. He’s coming off an ACL injury, of course, but all is going well, and the Packers not only are letting Ryan Grant go, they also didn’t draft a RB. I view that as an endorsement for Green, and I also got a great endorsement of Green earlier this year from Greg Jennings.
Round 11, pick 12 – I’m totally in upside mode here, searching for potential impact players, so I took a guy in Brian Quick who could be the Rams’ #1 WR by season’s end. He’s raw, but very talented and has a great opportunity. This is not too early for Quick.
Round 12, pick 3 – I realized while doing the DT projections that the San Francisco 49ers were 4th in fantasy scoring in 2011 despite scoring only 1 defensive TD. The top-3 teams combined for 19 TDs. So what does that say about the 49ers? It says they are extremely impactful despite not scoring TDs, which can be fluky. With all 11 starters back and an improved offense, and despite my disdain for fantasy defenses lately, I’m all in on the Niners as a terrific impact starter. The days of people taking a great defense 3-5 rounds before most of the defenses go off the board are over, so you can still hold off and grab SF. You just have to plan it well and not overpay too much. In this draft, it worked out perfectly for me because I helped start the DT run.
Round 13, pick 12 – I was a little bummed my guy Jake Locker went off the board in front of me, since I love him as an impact player to grab late in drafts. But I was satisfied enough with Josh Freeman as my backup. TB has been upgraded in several areas, so he should be much better under the new regime and in the new culture.
Round 14, pick 3 – There wasn’t much left on the WW, and everyone pretty much looked the same, so I figured I’d grab David Akers, who was a major impact guy in 2011. Obviously, I’m taking my kicker a little earlier, but in a 14-team league, and based on Akers’ sick production last year, why the hell not? It’s all about high-impact starters.
Round 15, pick 12 – I was ready to end this thing, so I just grabbed Bernard Scott as a bit of protection for BJGE. Mike Tolbert was there, I believe, and I had him ready to go, but didn’t pull the trigger for some reason.
Overall, I was pretty pleased with this draft and feel this bodes well for my 2012 draft plan. We still have a long way to go, of course, but I like this starting lineup in a 14-team PPR:
BenJarvus Green-Ellis/Austin Collie