You could say that I have an addiction to fantasy football. It’s not overpowering, but whenever I check my fantasy baseball league on Yahoo or see a commercial on ESPN I get that addict’s itch. It’s like cocaine to me. Mock drafts fit in this analogy as the equivalent of some cocaine residue that was cut twice and mixed with a bunch of crap. Regardless, I do them anyway.
Doing one in July, I didn’t expect a lot of serious people to be in a mock draft. I was right. Besides me, there were four other people, and by the sixth or seventh round, they switched to autopick.
So here were the ground rules for the draft: 12 teams, I picked seventh. I wanted to do this one in the middle of the pack for more variety and possibilities. Roster spots: One QB, three WRs, two RBs, one TE, one kicker and one defense. There were six bench spots. I’ll list my draft results then say some professional-sounding analysis stuff at the end. Also, I used Yahoo, in case you were wondering.
First round: Andre Johnson, WR
Second round: Jamaal Charles, RB
Third round: Beanie Wells, RB
Fourth round: Tom Brady, QB
Fifth round: Vernon Davis, TE
Sixth round: Ricky Williams, RB
Seventh round: Dez Bryant, WR
Eighth round: Wes Welker, WR
Ninth round: LaDainian Tomlinson, RB
Tenth round: David Akers, K
Eleventh round: San Diego DEF
Twelfth round: Steve Slaton, RB
Thirteenth round: Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR
Fourteenth round: Jason Campbell, QB
Fifteenth round: Nate Burleson, WR
I drafted Johnson in one of my leagues last year and he was an absolute beast. He was an incredible #1 wide receiver who was capable of getting enough points for the other two WRs some weeks. This was a good decision at the time, but as you’ll see later on, it might have weakened some other aspects of my team.
There was a huge bounty of great RBs for the first round, and by the second round, a lot of dominant ones were taken. As a result of taking Andre Johnson, I decided to go with Charles in the second round, who had a great second half last season. He has a lot of promise but I would have been much happier to get a more proven and established RB. I took Beanie Wells the round after that for a lot of the same reasons
I kept plugging and trying to get more and more RBs in the later rounds of the draft for depth. To me, you can never have enough RBs, as they get hurt so frequently since their job is so physically demanding. I had Ricky Williams last season, and I felt he could be as effective this season. I scavenged in the end of the draft for former first-round fantasy picks Tomlinson and Slaton, because there was very little risk going with those later picks and I feel they have huge potential to get their value back and possibly be some good trade fodder if they run hot streaks.
The homer in me screamed to take Tom Brady, even though Matt Schaub and Matt Ryan were on the board. I feel it’s a solid pick. Regarding QBs, I was surprised how far Donovan McNabb fell in rankings. He had an average Yahoo pick of 96.1. If you aren’t able to grab one of the elite QBs in the earlier rounds (Peyton, Brees, Rodgers), McNabb could be a great pick to give you at least average points, and if you do have an elite QB, he could be good trade bait if he does well. I would have taken him but the guy picking before me snatched him up, so I had to settle with Jason Campbell, another guy who I think will surprise, much later for QB depth.
For TEs, there really are a lot of options and I went with Davis who was a consistent player for the 49ers. He’s a great target for QB Alex Smith and I feel confident he’ll give me one less position to be concerned about every week. I didn’t get depth, mainly because it really isn’t that hard to find TEs.
Please, PLEASE stop picking defenses so early. The first defense in my league was picked third in the seventh round (New York Jets), and then immediately after a rush for defenses came. I ended up with San Diego, which I definitely wasn’t thrilled about, but I’m glad I didn’t invest a higher pick. Defenses can be so aggravating to me, and I go by the philosophy of adding depth to more important positions than wasting middle draft picks on defenses that can have one or two injuries and become very unhelpful.
I don’t know how much to say on kickers besides the fact that I also wasn’t fortunate to pick up Stephen Gostkowski (I try every time) but this position should be the last of your worries. I guess the only advice to give is try to get a kicker on a team with a frequently scoring offense.
I usually don’t draft rookies, but Dez Bryant was really hard for me to resist. I definitely took him earlier than I should have or wanted to, though. Wes Welker’s still recovering from his injury, but I’m hoping he recovers faster than expected and is ready two or three weeks into the season at most. Heyward-Bey was another gamble, because I think with Campbell as QB he can actually be effective and get way more looks for the Raiders. The pick of Burleson really wasn’t thought out, I just wanted to pick someone to get the draft done with.
In case you didn’t know yet, stay away from Ben Roethlisberger, LenDale White, Cedric Benson, and Santonio Holmes. They’ve all got legal troubles or suspensions. Well, Benson doesn’t have a suspension YET, but I’m guessing he might get one. If you can get them really late, though, they could pay off greatly later in the fantasy season, besides White, who doesn’t have a team.
Trade around fantasy advice or just type a bunch of random words in the comments, or email me.