Every fantasy player looking this early for information on the upcoming season is more than likely no stranger to Mock Drafts. Mock Drafts are the best tool available for us because it allows us to look at players ADP (average draft position), try different strategies for each position and of course for us to learn from mistakes. It has been said that practice makes perfect and mock drafts are how we can practice for our upcoming leagues. To help ensure bragging rights I have decided to write a series of entry’s highlighting different strategies in hopes to find the one that works best. To start off I went the traditional route and have went RB with my first 3 picks. (All points based on ESPN Standard Scoring)
(1.7) Maurice Jones Drew: MJD is my 4th ranked RB heading into this fantasy season and is a solid pick in round 1. There is some risk because of the heavy workloads he has endured and a possible holdout, but to be honest outside the top 3 (Rice,Foster,McCoy) there is some question marks surrounding all runners.
(2.14) Ryan Mathews: Mathews has had some durability issues his first two seasons but his talent greatly outweighs the risks especially in the 2nd round. This will be his first season without the shadow of Mike Tolbert so I see his 3rd season campaign to be a huge breakout year for him. If he stays healthy he has top 5 potential.
(3.27) Trent Richardson: I am very high on Trent Richardson in this coming fantasy season because he is one of the few runners in the league who will be a true workhorse for his team. Richardson is considered the best RB prospect since Adrian Peterson so I feel very confident taking him at this point.
(4.34) Brandon Marshall: Marshall has averaged 1,187 yards and over 6 touchdowns a season the past 5 years and that trend should move up. With sub-par QB play last season he still managed over 1,200 yards. This season with his former teammate I see top 10 WR written all over Marshall. 1,300 yards and 10 or more TD’s is easily within reach.
(5.47) Phillip Rivers: Was very pleased Rivers fell this far in the Draft and picked him quick. Fantasy owners tend to have short term memories and all to often judge picks based on their previous seasons performance. Rivers 20 INT’s last season will move him down draft boards making him a great value for the smart owner. Look for Rivers to get the picks under control and turn back to elite form (top 8 fantasy starter)
(6.54) Demaryius Thomas: I still cannot believe that ESPN has Thomas ranked this far down their big board. Thomas came alive the last few weeks last season with horribly inaccurate Tim Tebow under center. Everyone remembers the game winning touchdown he had against the Steelers in the playoffs because you only saw it on replay about 100 times that week. With a healthy Peyton Manning look for plenty more of these type of highlights from Thomas in the coming season.
(7.67) Steve Johnson; Johnson is another player I feel is ranked way too low on ESPN. Johnson has put up back to back seasons now with 1,00o plus yards and 17 total touchdowns. These numbers will go up as he builds more chemistry with Ryan Fitzpatrick translating to solid fantasy points. I see him as good #2 so the fact he is my 3rd WR is great for me.
(8.74) Doug Martin: Martin will be the primary runner in Tampa as he has a skill set LeGarrett Blount clearly lacks as he can catch balls out of the backfield and is a good pass blocker. Look for Martin and Blount to split early down work and Martin to be in on 3rd and passing downs. He should be a decent bye week filler and flex play.
(9,87) Torrey Smith: There have been very few drafts that I have not had Smith on my roster. At this point in the draft he is a true Gem as last season he showcased his big play ability posting 841 yards on only 50 receptions and 7 touchdowns. Anquan Boldin is slowing down as he has failed to top 900 yards in consecutive years. Smith is the WR to own in Baltimore this season and I don’t think 1,100 yards and 7 plus TD’s unrealistic.
(10.94) Fred Davis: Seconds after picking Smith a realized I had overlooked the fact that I needed a TE and my 4th ranked TE was available in Aaron Hernandez. Still like I stated at the beginning of this article one of the best things mock drafts gives us is the chance to learn from our mistakes. Don’t get me wrong Davis is a fine TE, definitely top 10 meaning he is a starter in standard formats but I would have preferred Hernandez. Look for RG3 to lean on his athletic TE a lot and for Davis to emerge with a great fantasy season.
(11.107) Darrius Heyward-Bey: This far into the draft is where you need to go with your gut and pick the players you feel have the best opportunities to flourish. Heyward-Bey has been a bust of sorts since being drafted 7th overall in the 2009 draft. I think a big part in his lack of success has been the horrific QB play that he has played with. Last season was by far the most productive of his career with 975 yards and 4 Td’s. He also had 9 games with at least 7 fantasy points. Its hard to say who the main target will be for the Raiders but I see Heyward-Bey getting the nod.
(12.114) Andrew Luck: Similar to my Smith pick I realized the player I should have selected after pressing the button. Blount was still on the board and was an obvious handcuff to Martin. I could have easily picked Luck up a round later or another QB 2 with similar upside. Oh well lesson learned. That being said I see Luck putting up better numbers than many think and will be a great bye week fill in.
(13.127) Jacob Tamme: Tamme has top 10 potential playing with Manning this season and was in my opinion the best player available at this point. I feel confident having Davis and Tamme both on my roster and if selected correctly can combine to create a great TE tandem.
(14.134) Mike Goodson: Darren McFadden has never played in more than 13 games his entire career. Goodson was looked over in Carolina because of the presence of Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams but is a very capable runner. When DMC goes down with injury Goodson will have great appeal.
(15.147) Jets DST: Defense’s and Kickers are crazy unpredictable so I went with a defense that is likely to be on the field less than many because of their ability to run the ball and control the clock. Who knows what will happen.
(16.154) Dan Bailey: Just let the computer pick that one…
This was one of my best mock drafts that I have completed so far. This strategy worked tremendously well for me this mock as I believe I ended up with 3 top 10 RB’s, 2 top 10 WR’s, a top 8 QB, a TE tandem I feel will be successful, and great value flex players and bye week replacements. So there you are fantasy world my RB Heavy Mock. As always opinions and comments are welcome.