NFL fantasy football: 2013 mock draft

Do you think it's too soon for a fantasy football draft? Well, we say never! The NFL Fantasy LIVE crew is already looking ahead to the 2013 season with the first of what will be numerous five-round mock drafts held during the offseason. Which positions have increased in value? Which positions have fallen? This mock was full of surprise picks, including some players who weren't even selected.

This mock draft is based on NFL.com's standard 10-team leagues with a basic (non-PPR) scoring system that rewards four points for touchdown passes and six points for all other touchdowns scored. Each numbered position represents an individual fantasy team, so no more than one quarterback, three running backs, three wide receivers or one tight end will be selected per roster.

Round 1

1. Marcas Grant - Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings: Peterson, the 2012 fantasy MVP, showed that he is no mere mortal out on the football field. Despite having major knee reconstruction, he still put up more than 2,000 rushing yards and led all runners in fantasy points.

2. Bill Sudell - Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans: Peterson might have been better in 2012, but Foster was once again a fantasy superstar. In fact, I would have drafted Foster ahead of Peterson had I held the No. 1 overall pick. Still, you can't go wrong with either.

3. Michael Fabiano - Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens: With Peterson and Foster off the board, Rice was the best option at the running back spot. He finished sixth in fantasy points at the position and now has a nice track record of success. At 25, he's still in his prime.

4. Akbar Gbajabiamila - Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers: I have said it before, and I'll say it again - I will not draft a quarterback in the first round (or even the first four) ever again. Still, you can't argue with taking fantasy's best signal-caller in Rodgers.

5. Adam Rank - Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Martin, a rookie standout in the stat sheets, finished second to Peterson based on fantasy points among running backs in 2012. While there is always that threat of a sophomore slump, Martin is a tough back to pass on.

6. Elliot Harrison - LeSean McCoy, RB, Philadelphia Eagles: The fact that coach Andy Reid is no longer in Philadelphia should mean more carries for McCoy, who I still consider a No. 1 fantasy back despite his lackluster 2012. Harrison should be pleased with the pick.

7. Jason Smith - C.J. Spiller, RB, Buffalo Bills: I'm not sure I would have taken Spiller with a star like Marshawn Lynch still on the board, but Spiller is well worth a first-round selection. Even if he loses work to Fred Jackson, Spiller will remain a fantasy star.

8. Dave Dameshek - Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks: I wouldn't be at all shocked to see Lynch drafted with one of the first five overall selections in 2013 drafts, so Dameshek made a nice decision. The man nicknamed "Beast Mode" is now among fantasy's elite runners.

9. Matt Smith - Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs: Charles was inconsistent this past season, but when he was good, he was exceptional. Rushing for over 1,500 yards in his first year back from a major knee reconstruction, Charles has first-round value in drafts.

10. Jaime Maggio - Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers: So much for a second-season decline! While he left a lot to be desired in the first half, Newton went off in his final eight games of the fantasy season and finished as a top-five overall fantasy player once again.

Round 2

11. Jaime Maggio - Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions: The top fantasy wideout in each of the last two seasons, Johnson is almost certain to be one of the first 12 players selected in 2013 drafts. He has put up 220-plus fantasy points in each of his last two campaigns.

12. Matt Smith - Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins: One of the best draft bargains (or waiver pickups) of 2012, Morris emerged from what looked like a crowded backfield to finish second in rushing yards and fifth in fantasy points among running backs as a rookie.

13. Dave Dameshek - A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: Once Megatron came off the board, I knew Green wouldn't be far behind. The breakout star put up career bests across the board in his second season. Green was also a consistent contributor in the stat sheets.

14. Jason Smith - Trent Richardson, RB, Cleveland Browns: I think Richardson has first-round value in 2013, so Smith made a nice move to land him with his second selection. The rookie was ninth in fantasy points among runners, and he didn't even rush for 1,000 yards.

15. Elliot Harrison - Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars: Jones-Drew, who held out of training camp and then missed most of the season with an injured foot, was worth a roll of the dice at his stage of the draft. He could be a steal for Harrison, in fact.

16. Adam Rank - Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints: Rank likes to take running backs in the first few rounds, so I'm guessing he just couldn't pass on Brees at this stage of the draft. Aside from Rodgers, no fantasy quarterback has been more consistent in recent seasons.

17. Akbar Gbajabiamila - Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots: Gronkowski missed several games with a broken forearm and still finished second in fantasy points among tight ends. I wouldn't take a tight end at this point, but it's hard to argue with Gronk's numbers.

18. Michael Fabiano - Brandon Marshall, WR, Chicago Bears: Reunited with Jay Cutler, Marshall had a monster season with career highs in receptions, yards and touchdowns. He's a surefire No. 1 fantasy wideout in all formats and won't last through Round 1 in most 2013 drafts.

19. Bill Sudell - Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots: Our stats man Sudell landed a nice bargain here, drafting Brady with the second-to-last pick in the second round. Few quarterbacks have been as reliable and productive as Tom Terrific over the last few fantasy years.

20. Marcas Grant - Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins: I wonder if Griffin III might have fallen had this mock happened after the Wild Card round of the postseason. For all of his wonderful skills, RG3 will come with risk considering his frame and style of play.

Round 3

21. Marcas Grant - Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos: Thomas, another breakout wide receiver, put up career totals across the board and has clearly emerged as one of Peyton Manning's top passing options. At 25, this is just the tip of the statistical iceberg for Thomas.

22. Bill Sudell - Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints: Graham might have finished with 43 fewer fantasy points last season compared to his 2011 totals, but he still led all tight ends in points. Much like Gronkowski, Graham is like have an extra wideout in your lineup.

23. Michael Fabiano - Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots: I had a few options at running back, but I went with Ridley because of his age, upside and the fact that Brady keeps defenses honest. A goal-line star, Ridley finished tied for fourth in rushing touchdowns (12).

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24. Akbar Gbajabiamila - Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans: Johnson was considered a bust for all intents and purposes during the first half of the season, but he finished strong with 100-plus yards in five of his last nine starts. This could end up being a nice value pick.

25. Adam Rank - Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears: Forte had his typical season in the stat sheets, posting better than 40 catches, over 1,400 scrimmage yards and six touchdowns. He's not an elite runner, but the Tulane product is a nice No. 2 option in most fantasy leagues.

26. Elliot Harrison - Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys: Despite a slow start to the season that had a lot of fantasy owners worried, Bryant finished hot and recorded career bests across the board. The top option in the offense for Tony Romo, the sky is the limit for Bryant in 2013.

27. Jason Smith - Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons: Jones had a bit of an inconsistent start to the 2012 campaign, but he finished strong and helped a lot of owners win a title. At the age of 23, Jones has a huge ceiling and should only get better with age and experience.

28. Dave Dameshek - Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans: Johnson's statistical season resembled a roller coaster, as he put up several huge games to go along with a bunch of stinkers as well. Dameshek landed C.J. as his second runner, which is where I think he belongs.

29. Matt Smith - Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons: White posted his lowest touchdown total (7) since 2008, but he still finished with over 90 catches and 1,351 yards. In an offense that should continue to score points under Matt Ryan, White is a nice selection here.

30. Jaime Maggio - Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland Raiders: Once the top runners come off the board, someone is going to take a chance on McFadden. Despite his statistical upside, the Raiders runner just can't stay healthy and shouldn't be drafted as more than a No. 2 back.

Round 4

31. Jaime Maggio - Frank Gore, RB, San Francisco 49ers
32. Matt Smith - Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos
33. Dave Dameshek - Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
34. Jason Smith - DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys
35. Elliot Harrison - Percy Harvin, WR, Minnesota Vikings
36. Adam Rank - Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants
37. Akbar Gbajabiamila - Steven Jackson, RB, Rams
38. Michael Fabiano - Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
39. Bill Sudell - Eric Decker, WR, Denver Broncos
40. Marcas Grant - BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

Round 5

41. Marcas Grant - Shonn Greene, RB, New York Jets
42. Bill Sudell - Marques Colston, WR, Saints
43. Michael Fabiano - Wes Welker, WR, New England Patriots
44. Akbar Gbajabiamila - Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers
45. Adam Rank - Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers
46. Elliot Harrison - Greg Jennings, WR, Green Bay Packers
47. Jason Smith - Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals
48. Dave Dameshek - Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers
49. Matt Smith - Giovani Bernard, RB, Rookie
50. Jaime Maggio - Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!