June for some is too early to start thinking fantasy football, but it is the month serious fantasy footballers start their research. Reading articles, creating tiers, and most importantly doing mock drafts. Mock drafts are the most important tool available to us in preparation for our actual drafts, because it gives us insights on several things. Firstly it helps us figure out where players are being taken; knowing a players ADP (average draft position) will help us target a better team because we know roughly where players are being selected. Knowing the ADP of players will also help to determine a draft strategy because it gives us the knowledge of where the tiers of each position start to drop. For example if your on the clock in the middle rounds and you notice that there is only one RB available from your 2nd tier and 4 WR’s it makes the decision easy to take the RB because there is a much greater chance that you will get your quality RB and WR. But the most valuable thing mock drafts give us, is the chance for us to learn from our mistakes. If you wait to take a RB till the fifth round and end up someone like Roy Helu as your #1, well that’s a lesson learned… ALWAYS take at least one RB in the first 3 rounds! Anyway without further ado here is my latest mock… (ESPN 10 team mock, all numbers according to ESPN standard scoring)
1.07 – Tom Brady: Without a true deep threat Tom Brady averaged 22 points per game last season. Having his old OC back and the addition of a big play receiver in Brandon Lloyd Tom Brady is going to post HUGE numbers as is his custom.
2.14- Trent Richardson: Featured backs are a rare breed in today’s NFL, and Trent is one of the few. I like Richardson to post big numbers in his debut season and trust him more than explosive but brittle RB’s such as Murray, Charles, and McFadden. Yes he may be a rookie…BUT he is considered the best RB prospect since Adrian Peterson. And we all know how well Peterson has panned out
3.27- Wes Welker: Could have went with a solid RB2 with Steven Jackson, Fred Jackson or Michael Turner, but Welker to me is a safer pick than any of these RB’s who all come with huge red flags. Plus I have always been a fan of pairing a star QB and WR together to garner double points. Bye weeks do hurt though.
4.34- Brandon Marshall: Back in blue and orange with his favorite QB I think Marshall could breakout to a top 10 performer at his position this year. Last season with sub par QB play Marshall posted 81 receptions, 1214 yards, and 6 touchdowns good enough for 13th place finish among wideouts. ALL his numbers WILL rise this season.
5.47- Ahmad Bradshaw: I was stunned Bradshaw dropped this far but wont complain, he has tremendous value at this position. Sure he may get banged up but he has enough talent that outweighs the risk. I would definitely recommend to handcuff him with David Wilson (which I did) in the later rounds.
6.54- Percy Harvin: HUGE value this far in the draft. Percy Harvin will be used out wide, in the slot and even in the backfield this season as the Vikings will be without star Adrian Peterson for at least the beginning of the season. In the final 7 games last season Harvin scored an impressive 108 fantasy points and failed to score 15 points only once. Harvin finished 8th among wideouts last season and that rank could go up if he continues to play in the same form he did during the second half of the season.
7.67- Issac Redman: Not a big name player by any means, but a starting RB this point in the draft is hard to pass up. Redman should pan out to be a moderately good flex play in most leagues.
8.74- Antonio Brown: Easily the second best play maker outside of Mike Wallace, Brown finished last season with 69 receptions, 1,108 yards and 2 touchdowns. The touchdown total doesn’t concern me, they will come. If Mike Wallace holds out look for Browns stock to skyrocket
9.87- James Starks: The starting RB for one of the more high-octane offenses in the league is great value this point in the draft. Starks has no real competition this year with Ryan Grant out the door and will if anything be a decent flex play and bye week starter.
10.94- Torrey Smith: The most explosive playmaker in Baltimore outside of Ray Rice, look for Torrey Smith to have a huge year. Anquan Boldin has lost a step and has failed to post 900 yards in 2 consecutive seasons. Smith should easily put up 1,100 yards and 6-8 touchdowns in his sophomore season. I would take Smith as early as the 7th round but I feel Brown has better upside and needed some RB depth.
11.107- David Wilson: He is a MUST handcuff for Bradshaw owners.
12.114- Coby Fleener: Fleener already has a rapport with Andrew Luck and will play a big role in the offense his rookie season. In reality I should have picked a TE sooner but when you wait this long Fleener is a decent pick.
13. 127- Joe Flacco: Decent QB2, does not really matter he is only a BYE week replacement for Brady
14.134- Jermaine Gresham: I have already stated that I think Gresham has top 10 potential after finishing 13th among TE’s last season. I think he will breakout and is the second best option in Cincinnati outside AJ Green. When you wait till the 12 round to draft a TE its a good idea to grab a pair of young TE’s with potential and look to play the matchup’s.
15.147- Mason Crosby: Aaron Rodgers will get him plenty of points because the Packers are always in the Red Zone.
16.154- Bills DST: I just play the waiver wire based on matchup’s throughout the seasons.
All in all this was a pretty good draft. Opinions welcome.