As the 2014 NFL Draft approaches, our esteemed colleagues have been looking back at drafts from years past and examining how things might have gone differently had we known then what we know now. It's a fascinating exercise, and one we thought we'd apply to fantasy football as well.
For the next four weeks, we'll be doing one-man, five-round fantasy mock drafts from 2010 to 2013. I have the honor of kicking off the series with a 2010 fantasy re-draft. Little known fact, I actually won my league of record in 2010 (I'm sure you care immensely), so this was a fun year to look back on. Next to each player's name is his Average Draft Position (or ADP) from 2010 to help those of you with poor memories see just how much of an inexact science fantasy drafting can be.
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.
1. Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans (2010 ADP: Ninth round): Foster was the steal of 2010 fantasy drafts, and probably a key component on most championship teams. Fantasy enthusiasts were intrigued when Foster rushed for 218 yards and three touchdowns over the final two weeks of the 2009 season. But no one anticipated he'd lead all of fantasy football in his first season as the starter and score almost 100 more points than the next closest RB.
2. Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings (2010 ADP: First round): The debate heading into 2010 fantasy drafts was if Peterson or Chris Johnson should be drafted first. The debate ended up pretty lopsided in Peterson's favor. He cemented his legacy as a fantasy superstar by finishing second in fantasy scoring for running backs for the second straight season. He didn't hit his ridiculous 18 touchdowns from 2009, but then again who's scoffing at almost 1,300 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns? No one.
3. Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (2010 ADP: Third round): Charles was a key part of my fantasy championship team in 2010. I nabbed him even later than his ADP of the third round that year, and rode his almost 2,000 scrimmage yards to the fantasy bank. His eight total touchdowns weren't anything to complain about either, and would have made him a dynamite early first-round pick in 2010.
4. Peyton Hillis, RB, Cleveland Browns (2010 ADP: 15th round): What a waiver-wire game-changer Hillis was in 2010. In hindsight, Hillis and his 233.92 fantasy points would have made him the fourth-overall selection in fantasy drafts. Once thrust into the starting role in Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens, where he rushed for 144 yards, Hillis never looked back, storming for 1,177 rushing yards, 11 touchdowns and a place on the next Madden cover.
5. Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans (2010 ADP: First round): Coming off his nickname-creating season, CJ2K had the highest ADP of all players in fantasy in 2010. Most viewed his 2010 season as a disappointment when he failed to hit 2,000 yards again, when in reality his 1,364 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns were great totals. They helped him earn a fifth-place finish among running backs in fantasy leagues.
6. Darren McFadden, RB Oakland Raiders (2010 ADP: 11th round): Another shocking name to see in the first round, but 2010 was Run DMC's shining year as a professional. It was the one year we got a glimpse of what the Arkansas product could do with close to a full season's worth of carries when he put up 220.40 fantasy points in just 13 games of work. Sadly, all that glorious season serves as now is a distant memory and reminder to not reach for past production.
7. LeSean McCoy, RB, Philadelphia Eagles (2010 ADP: Eighth round): McCoy split carries with Brian Westbrook in his rookie season, but in 2010 the backfield was more or less his. After his performance that year, the backfield was his for good. McCoy has become a fantasy stud since breaking out in 2010, but it appears the fantasy community was a little too low on the Pittsburgh product's potential back in 2010 as his ADP was about six rounds lower than his production merits.
8. Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (2010 ADP: Second round): Here's a shining example of how quickly things can change in the NFL. Mendenhall was coming off a stellar sophomore campaign in 2009, and delivered his finest pro (and fantasy) season in 2010 with 1,273 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns. Unfortunately, injuries and a change of scenery to Arizona never allowed Mendenhall to become that same running back from 2010, and he has since retired from football completely.
9. Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears (2010 ADP: Eighth round): How Forte fell on average to the eighth round in NFL.com fantasy drafts in 2010 is beyond me. Nevertheless, he was certainly undervalued after an injury-plagued, disappointing 2009 season, which was made worse by embarrassing offensive line play in front of him. Forte rebounded very well in 2010, posting over 1,600 scrimmage yards and nine total touchdowns.
10. Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles (2010 ADP: 14th round): This was just Vick's second year after being reinstated into the league, and expectations were low for him as Kevin Kolb was the starter and a popular fantasy sleeper. Well, one Clay Matthews sack in Week 1 knocked Kolb out of the game, and knocked Vick into the starting role. A role he flourished in, scoring over 310 fantasy points to lead all QBs.
11. Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens (2010 ADP: First round): Rice proved his breakout 2009 campaign was no fantasy fluke by posting over 1,200 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards for the second straight year in 2010. This was just the beginning of Rice's ascent to fantasy superstardom, as the following year he would lead all running backs in fantasy scoring.
12. Michael Turner, RB, Atlanta Falcons (2010 ADP: First round): Turner took his league-high 334 carries in 2010 and turned them into a rock-solid 213.60 fantasy points. Back in the day, Turner was always the top "unsexy" pick in fantasy drafts, as he'd produce on the ground but offer nothing in the passing game. Case in point, his 12 receptions in 2010 were a then-career-high.
13. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers (2010 ADP: First round): Rodgers was the first quarterback taken in almost every fantasy draft after two straight years of finishing second in fantasy scoring for all positions. Had he not missed almost two whole games with a concussion, Rodgers likely would have outscored even the electric Vick and potentially been the top scorer in all of fantasy football.
14. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots (2010 ADP: Second round): Two years removed from his ACL injury, Tom Terrific returned to form, leading the NFL in touchdown passes with 36 to go with only four interceptions. Brady took home the NFL MVP trophy in 2010, and likely a few fantasy MVP trophies as well. His production matched his ADP, making him a great pick at the top of the second round.
15. Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis Colts (2010 ADP: First round): The run on elite quarterbacks continues with Manning and his 33 passing touchdowns coming off the board. Rather than reaching for a running back or taking the top wide receiver, grabbing the fifth-highest scoring fantasy player makes more sense.
16. Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers (2010 ADP: Fourth round): Before he was rocking the bolo tie and yee-hawing his way across the Thursday Night Football mainstage, Rivers was in the midst of a four-year streak of 4,000-plus passing yard seasons. 2010 was his finest effort, and his league-leading 4,710 yards help him sneak into the second round at the end of the run on quarterbacks.
17. Brandon Lloyd, WR, Denver Broncos (2010 ADP: 15th round): Lloyd was a seven-year veteran in 2010, and the Broncos were his fourth team in that timespan. He was justifiably on no one's fantasy radar because he'd never been a fantasy commodity (career-best 103.30 fantasy points in 2005.) Yet, he led all wide receivers with 209 fantasy points in 2010, and would have been the first wideout off the board.
18. Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs (2010 ADP: Sixth round): Bowe's breakout season in 2009 was hampered by a four-game suspension he served for violating the league's substance abuse policy, which caused his fantasy draft stock to drop in 2010. Those who took a chance on Bowe's potential in 2010 were rewarded with his finest professional (and fantasy) season as Bowe snagged a league-leading 15 touchdown receptions.
19. Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons (2010 ADP: Third round): After three straight 1,000-yard seasons, White upped his game by reeling in career-highs in receptions (115) and receiving yards (1,389) to go along with 10 receiving touchdowns. White was the third-highest scoring wide receiver in standard fantasy formats, and the highest in PPR leagues.
20. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints (2010 ADP: First round): Brees' value isn't astronomical over the next best QB, but since the fantasy draft market is often dictated by runs on a certain position, I'm slotting Brees in here. Brees' 4,620 passing yards and 33 touchdown passes would have netted him a higher draft slot were it not for his 20 interceptions taking away precious fantasy points.
21. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (2010 ADP: First round): Finishing as the 12th-best fantasy rusher after being drafted in the middle of the first round was a pretty solid result for Pocket Hercules. Most first-round picks are chosen because they're a safe bet to produce week after week, and that's exactly what Jones-Drew did. Great value here in the third.
22. Greg Jennings, WR, Green Bay Packers (2010 ADP: Fourth round): Many fantasy players were dismayed by Jennings meager output of four touchdown receptions in 2009, but those who'd watched the Western Michigan product's first few years as a Packer knew that was a fluke. Jennings rebounded with 12 touchdown catches in 2010 and a fourth-place fantasy finish among wide receivers.
23. Steven Jackson, RB, St. Louis Rams (2010 ADP: Second round): 2010 was the first time Jackson started all 16 games since his monster 2006 campaign when he scored 16 total touchdowns and racked up 2,334 scrimmage yards. While he didn't match those impressive numbers, few fantasy owners were complaining with the 196.40 fantasy points Jackson produced in 2010.
24. Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, New York Giants (2010 ADP: Tenth round): Bradshaw was another star of my League of Record championship fantasy team in 2010. Crazy to think I would have had to draft him almost eight rounds earlier than I did to get his rock-solid production week in and week out.
25. Mike Wallace, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (2010 ADP: Seventh round): Most wideouts break out in their third pro season, but Wallace saw fit to burst onto the scene during his sophomore campaign in 2010. The speedster out of Mississippi scorched defenses to the tune of 1,257 receiving yards and 10 touchdown catches.
26. Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions (2010 ADP: Third round): Despite posting a career-low average of 14.5 yards per catch, Johnson hauled in 12 touchdown receptions to help him secure a return to the top five in fantasy scoring for wide receivers after slipping just out of the upper echelon in 2009.
27. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, New England Patriots (2010 ADP: 16th round): The Law Firm had registerd just 100 total carries in his career before exploding onto the fantasy scene in 2010. He finds his way into the third round of this mock thanks to his 13 rushing touchdowns, tied for second-best in the league with Mendenhall.
28. Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants (2010 ADP: Seventh round): Remember when Nicks was a fantasy stud? Well, really it was only in 2010, when he caught 11 touchdowns behind 1,052 receiving yards. Nicks was solid in 2011, but since that magical 2010 season he has failed to live up to both the potential and fantasy production he flashed for the G-Men.
29. Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans (2010 ADP: First round): Johnson was coming off back-to-back 100-plus catch, 1,500-plus receiving yard seasons so it's no wonder his ADP was at the tail end of the first round. He missed three games due to injury in 2010, otherwise he could have made a run at three straight 1,500-plus yard seasons.
30. Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis Colts (2010 ADP: Second round): In 2009, Wayne proved to fantasy owners that he could thrive on his own without Marvin Harrison running on the opposite side of the field, and he proved it again in 2010. His 1,355 receiving yards in 2010 remain his highest total since Harrison's retirement.
31. Cedric Benson, RB, Cincinnati Bengals (2010 ADP: Third round): Over 1,100 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns is great production for an RB3 or flex starter in the fourth.
32. Steve Johnson, WR, Buffalo Bills (2010 ADP: 16th round): Johnson caught fantasy owners' eyes when he scored six touchdowns over a five game span in 2010. Great value in the fourth.
33. Miles Austin, WR, Dallas Cowboys (2010 ADP: Third round): Owners chased Austin's 2009 production, which he failed to reach again in 2010. Still, a 69/1,041/7 stat line is great for a WR2.
34. Knowshon Moreno, RB, Denver Broncos (2010 ADP: Fifth round): Moreno worked in a committee early on in Denver, but provided nice value with his nose for the end zone (17 total TDs from 2009-10.)
35. Mike Williams, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2010 ADP: 15th round): Williams fell to the fourth round in the actual NFL draft because of character issues, but he'd have been a steal at this point in fantasy land.
36. Mike Tolbert, RB, San Diego Chargers (2010 ADP: 16th round): Typically a fantasy vulture, Tolbert would have earned a fourth-round selection in 2010 as he led the Chargers in rushing touchdowns and yards.
37. Jeremy Maclin, WR, Philadelphia Eagles (2010 ADP: Ninth round): Maclin burst onto the fantasy scene in 2010, his sophomore campaign, snagging an impressive 10 receiving touchdowns.
38. DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia Eagles (2010 ADP: Third round): Jackson was surpassed by Maclin in terms of overall fantasy production, but his average of 22.5 yards per catch led to plenty of points.
39. Frank Gore, RB, San Francisco 49ers (2010 ADP: First round): A fractured hip ended his season early, but Gore's first 12 weeks of production still merit a fourth-round pick in 2010.
40. Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys (2010 ADP: Fifth round): Witten becomes the first tight end drafted thanks to his nine receiving touchdowns and 1,002 receiving yards.
41. Terrell Owens, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (2010 ADP: 10th round): It may have escaped your memory, but T.O. actually had an outstanding fantasy season in Cincy, with almost 1,000 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.
42. Josh Freeman, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2010 ADP: 15th round): Freeman looked like a fantasy star in the making in 2010 when he threw 25 touchdown passes, had just six interceptions and rushed for 364 yards.
43. Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo Bills (2010 ADP: 12th round): Jackson's yardage output dipped a tad, but he almost doubled his total touchdowns to seven, which makes him a value here.
44. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals (2010 ADP: Second round): Kurt Warner's retirement took a big chunk out of Fitz's touchdown total (13 in 2009, 6 in 2010) which drops him to the fifth round.
45. Mario Manningham, WR, New York Giants (2010 ADP: 15th round): Manningham's 944 receiving yards and nine touchdowns netted him a 17th place fantasy finish among wide receivers and make him a great WR2.
46. Marques Coslton, WR, New Orleans Saints (2010 ADP: Fourth round): Colston is the epitome of fantasy consistency. 2010 was the fourth time in five years he had at least 1,000 receiving yards and seven touchdowns.
47. Santana Moss, WR, Washington Redskins (2010 ADP: Seventh round): Moss proved he still had something in the tank in his 10th season, posting a solid 142.90 fantasy points.
48. Jahvid Best, RB, Detroit Lions (2010 ADP: Seventh round): Injuries lowered Best's statistical output, but over 1,000 scrimmage yards and six total touchdowns gets the then-rookie into the fifth round.
49. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons (2010 ADP: 11th round): Ryan wasn't elite in fantasy in 2010, but his value at this point in the fifth is excellent.
50. Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers (2010 ADP: Fourth round): Gates' last great fantasy season was 2010, as he scored the second-most fantasy points for tight ends in only 10 games.
Alex Gelhar writes fantasy and features pieces for NFL.com. You can follow him on Twitter @AlexGelhar for fantasy football advice and attempted humor. He, unlike the members of the Insane Clown Posse, actually knows how magnets work.