May 9, 2013
In about a month, I will be whipping up my initial and early Draft Plan, which will simply cover all the positions and how to approach them. In the summer, I’ll tweak that and quadruple the size of the article, as I always do in the summer. That will cover a plan of action by position, go pick-by-pick through the first 10 rounds, and much more.
But in order to formulate my Draft Plan, I have to actually draft, and I have been doing that this month. Today I did my second mock draft for a magazine, this one for USA Today’s fantasy magazine. I can’t share all the results, but I can share my picks and some general thoughts.
As you may recall, I thought last year a good way to zig when everyone zagged in a draft was to, as I put it, “kick it old school” and go RB-RB. That actually might have been bad advice, thanks to some RB injuries/poor play from namely Darren McFadden and DeMarco Murray. But I always try to be ahead of the curve, and it appears I was because going old school looks like a great way to go this year, since QB and WR are so deep. RB is pretty deep, too, but the quality falls off considerably after the top-15 or so RBs.
So knowing that I had to try my best to hold off on QB at least a little and focus on RB if at all possible, this draft went pretty well for me. Here’s a quick review:
4. Fantasy Guru – Doug Martin RB, TAM
Young back who proved a lot last year and is not sharing the ball, plus his OL should be much better with those two starting guards back. So I obviously liked the pick.
9. Fantasy Guru – Dez Bryant WR, DAL
Little risky taking him over a Demaryius Thomas and a Larry Fitzgerald, but I’m usually all about juice and upside.
4. Fantasy Guru – Stevan Ridley RB, NWE
I have to have two high-end RBs, and Ridley was top-10 in a non-PPR last year. He’s a borderline stud, so I’m not worried about Leg Blount at all, because Blount stinks.
9. Fantasy Guru – Dwayne Bowe WR, KAN
Not a sexy pick, but Bowe is rock solid and will get much better QB play this year, plus Andt Reid certainly helps.
4. Fantasy Guru – Colin Kaepernick QB, SFO
I couldn’t hold out any longer on a QB and got my guy Kaepernick. This was a very good spot for him and I got the best of both worlds holding off a little, but still getting someone with top-3 potential
9. Fantasy Guru – Vick Ballard RB, IND
Another non-sexy pick, but Ballard should be reliable as the main guy in what should be a good offense. I had to get some stability there for my third RB spot and he was the final stable option available.
4. Fantasy Guru – Greg Jennings WR, MIN
I considered Danario Alexander here, but that knee still scares me. Jennings should be fine as the clear #1 WR here. If Christian Ponder flops, they at least have Matt Cassel, who threw 15 TD passes to Bowe a few years ago.
9. Fantasy Guru – Kyle Rudolph TE, MIN
In a non-PPR, I feel okay about Rudolph and have to think he will have more consistency this year – or at least fewer goose eggs. He did score 9 TDs last year.
4. Fantasy Guru – Danario Alexander WR, SDG
Whenever someone is available two rounds after you seriously considered him, you take him.
9. Fantasy Guru – Justin Blackmon WR, JAC
Starting to get a little lazy, but Blackmon is going to get the ball when he returns and he knows one more strike and he’s out. Worthy gamble this late as my 5th WR.
4. Fantasy Guru – Ahmad Bradshaw RB, NYG
Not a bad sneaky option for some RB depth. He’s going to play somewhere, that’s for sure.
9. Fantasy Guru – Johnathan Franklin RB, GNB
I was still looking for RB depth, and some upside, so he made sense.
4. Fantasy Guru – Green Bay Packers Def/ST, GNB
I actually thought the draft was 14 rounds (long story), so I took a DT. Believe it or not, there was already a little run on defenses. Green Bay is usually decent.
9. Fantasy Guru – Phil Dawson K, SFO
Again, I thought this was my last pick, and I was glad to get a guy who could easily boot 35 FGs in this great situation. In fact, at his 2012 clip and if he was on the 49ers, he would have approached 50 FGs in 2012 if you can believe that.
4. Fantasy Guru – Mike Gillislee, RB, Mia
Now that I see I have two more picks, I’m all about upside. In Miami, this rookie might actually have to only beat out a guy who has 50 career carries in Lamar Miller, so he’s worth a look.
9. Fantasy Guru – Michael Floyd, WR, ARI
Not a bad depth pick in the final round, since he’s a 1st round talent whose QB situation just got a lot better.
QB – Kaepernick, Colin QB (SFO 9)
RB – Martin, Doug RB (TAM 5)
RB – Ridley, Stevan RB (NWE 10)
WR – Bryant, Dez WR (DAL 11)
WR – Bowe, Dwayne WR (KAN 10)
TE – Rudolph, Kyle TE (MIN 5)
K – Dawson, Phil K (SFO 9)
D/ST – Packers, Green Bay D/ST (GNB 4)
Flex – Ballard, Vick RB (IND 8)
Jennings, Greg WR (MIN 5)
Alexander, Danario WR (SDG 8)
Blackmon, Justin WR (JAC 9)
Bradshaw, Ahmad RB (NYG 9)
Franklin, Johnathan RB (GNB 4)
Mike Gillislee, RB, Mia
Michael Floyd, WR, ARI
I wasn’t watching this mock draft like a hawk, but overall I felt this was a good draft and that my team includes a lot of young players who are proven and in good situations. It’s not a completely accurate look at how I would draft in real life because I have no backup QB or TE, but it’s a good exercise. 1-2 more of these and I should be ready to formulate my initial 2013 Draft Plan.