I was recently asked to join a fantasy football experts mock draft (my first of 2011) and you’ll find the results below. (Apologizes for the font size, but there’s really no way around it. Bigger font = wider table, and that’s just not going to fit. So get your magnifying glass out.)
|Pro Football Focus||Lester's Legends||Fanatic Fantasy Football||Fantasy Footall Xtreme||Footballguys||Fantasy Shrink||All Purpose Roto||FFS||Draftsharks||Fantasy Football Trader||GO Ahead Score||Junkyard Jake|
|1||Foster, A||Peterson, A||Johnson, C||Charles, J||Rice, R||McCoy, L||Johnson, A||Mendenhall, R||Johnson, C||Jones-Drew, M||White, R||Gore, F|
|2||Jennings, G||Turner, M||Jackson, D||Rodgers, A||Fitzgerald, L||Wallace, M||Jackson, V||Wayne, R||Forte, M||McFadden, D||Nicks, H||Jackson, S|
|3||Vick, M||Bowe, D||Mathews, R||Austin, M||Brees, D||Hillis, P||Williams, M||Manning, P||Welker, W||Rivers, P||Bradshaw, A||Maclin, J|
|4||Clark, D||Marshall, B||Greene, S||Lloyd, B||Finley, J||Gates, A||Bryant, D||Blount, L||Collie, A||Colston, M||Best, J||Moreno, K|
|5||Jones, F||Brady, T||Romo, T||Ingram, M||Williams, D||Johnson, S||Freeman, J||Witten, J||Addai, J||Davis, V||Stewart, J||Ryan, M|
|6||Holmes, S||Harvin, P||Cutler, J||Spiller, C||Rice, S||Benson, C||Graham, J||Thomas, D||Schaub, M||Britt, K||Roethlisberger, B||Crabtree, M|
|7||Grant, R||Lynch, M||Boldin, A||Garcon, P||Jackson, F||Green, A||Starks, J||Nelson, J||Daniels, O||Wells, C||Manningham, M||Knox, J|
|8||Smith, S||Ochocinco, C||Pettigrew, B||Williams, R||Moss, S||Stafford, M||Manning, E||Amendola, D||Jacobs, B||Thomas, M||Gronkowski, R||Jones, J|
|9||Tolbert, M||Miller, Z||Bess, D||Lewis, M||Ford, J||Green-Ellis, B||Helu, R||Leshoure, M||Flacco, J||Williams, M||Bradford, S||Cooley, C|
|10||Smith, S||Cassel, M||Ward, H||Brown, R||Carter, D||Fitzpatrick, R||Thomas, P||Alexander, D||Meachem, R||Branch, D||Torain, R||Keller, D|
|11||Bush, M||Tomlinson, L||Moeaki, T||Moss, R||Edwards, B||Little, G||Winslow, K||Sanchez, M||Woodhead, D||Kolb, K||Moore, L||Palmer, C|
|12||Celek, B||Steelers, P||Tate, B||Orton, K||Gonzalez, T||Owens, T||Vereen, S||Goodson, M||Cook, J||Jennings, R||Hernandez, A||Scott, B|
|13||Tebow, T||Gresham, J||Packers, G||Bush, R||Murray, D||Hardesty, M||Green, A||Sanders, E||Clayton, M||Jets, N||Hankerson, L||Simpson, J|
|14||Ringer, J||Snelling, J||Jones, T||Ivory, C||Hunter, K||Heap, T||Giants, N||Rodgers, J||Choice, T||Gerhart, T||Powell, B||Eagles, P|
|15||Ravens, B||Shipley, J||Sims-Walker, M||Cardinals, A||Patriots, N||Bears, C||Brown, D||Falcons, A||Saints, N||Floyd, M||Janikowski, S||McCoy, C|
|16||Henery, A||Akers, D||Bironas, R||Barth, C||Hartley, G||Brown, J||Crosby, M||Rackers, N||Bryant, M||Kaeding, N||Lions, D||Gostkowski, S|
This is a PPR league that starts one QB, two RBs, two WRs, one TE, a flex, one K and one DT.
I would consider LeSean McCoy as early as #2 or #3, so I was really happy to get him at #6. I think the #5 pick is the sweet spot this year as you’re guaranteed one of my top 5 RBs: Arian Foster, Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy and Jamaal Charles. At #6 or #7, you are at the mercy of the owners ahead of you. Ray Rice isn’t a bad consolation prize, but after he’s gone, I’d start thinking about going with Andre Johnson instead of Maurice Jones-Drew or some other RB. But back to McCoy — he has this year’s #3 adjusted points per game (using 2010′s per game output adjusted for 2011′s strength of schedule).
In the 2nd round, I took my favorite underrated stud Mike Wallace, but if I had to do it over again, I’d probably nab Larry Fitzgerald instead. I’m drafting based on current status and the Cardinals’ QB situation is dreadful. But he’ll likely fare much better even if Arizona upgrades to a mediocre talent like Kevin Kolb or Kyle Orton. We probably should assume that the Cardinals will do something at QB. Still, getting Wallace in the middle to late 2nd round is a nice value given his per target output, Ben Roethlisberger playing a full season and the odds that his looks will increase as Hines Ward continues his decline.
In the 3rd, I was fortunate to have Peyton Hillis fall to 3.06, which prompted me to write this piece about him. I think he’s a terrific value in the 3rd and a pretty nice value in the late 2nd. In the fourth, I considered considered a few WRs (Steve Johnson, Brandon Lloyd and Brandon Marshall), but couldn’t pass on a WR talent at TE in the form of Antonio Gates. I typically take Gates in the late 3rd round in PPR formats, so getting him in the middle of the 4th seems like a steal.
I was fortunate to have Stevie Johnson fall to me at 5.06. I have him ranked as the #18 WR, so he’s a solid WR2. In taking Johnson, I passed on Ben Roethlisberger and Josh Freeman. The hope was that Big Ben would be there at 6.07, but he was gone. I went with Benson and if I had a do over I would perhaps go with Santonio Holmes or Percy Harvin instead. At this point, I was targeting Eli Manning in the 8th. You’ll notice that everyone picking between 7.07 and 8.06 already had a QB, so I was gambling that no one would take Eli as a backup in the first half of the 8th. All Purpose Roto ended up taking him at 8.06 (doh!), so I instead went with Matthew Stafford who will finish in the top 10 if he can stay healthy. (Big ‘if,’ I know.) I landed A.J. Green in the 7th, which is a gamble, but if he gets WR1 targets, he should have a good chance to finish in the top 35.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis was a lot better last year than people give him credit for, but the Patriots’ draft picks are a little worrisome, so that’s why the Law Firm was available in the 9th. I feel great about him as a RB4. I’d even be comfortable with him at RB3 if I were strong at WR and TE.
I decided to take Ryan Fitzpatrick in the 10th to shore up the QB position. I think he’s an excellent QB2 and would be a solid addition to any QBBC. Plus, he has the 9th-highest adjusted PPG due to a much improved schedule.
At this point, I felt great about my RB (McCoy, Hillis, Benson, BGE) and TE (Gates) positions, but a little thin at WR with Wallace, S. Johnson and Green. So I took back-to-back WRs in Greg Little (likely the Browns’ WR1) and Terrell Owens, who will no doubt find a landing spot and get WR1/WR2 targets. I thought about Tony Gonzalez in the 12th considering he was 2010′s TE6, but felt it was more important to get some additional upside at WR.
At that point, it was a matter of grabbing a handcuff/insurance for Hillis (Hardesty), a backup for Gates (Heap, who is fringe starter worthy in PPR leagues when healthy), a defense and a kicker.
Here’s a look at the entire roster:
QB – Stafford, Fitzpatrick
RB – McCoy, Hillis, Benson, BGE, Hardesty
WR – Wallace, S. Johnson, A.J. Green, Little, Owens
TE – Gates, Heap
K – Brown
DT – Bears
I am a little shaky at QB, but that’s not a bad position to be shaky. There are always QBs that emerge during the year and if Stafford can’t stay healthy, I can always go QBBC. I’m strong at RB and TE and solid at WR with two bona fide WR1s (for their teams) and three more potential WR1s. Considering that this was an experts draft, I’d say the team turned out quite well.