Fantasy News  

 

Fantasy mock draft No. 2: Michael Fabiano's analysis

Print

It's time to mock again, friends.

NFL Fantasy Football held its second mock draft (12 teams) of the offseason on June 9, and it started like most drafts these days do ... with a ton of running backs and wide receivers. The first 30 picks were backs or wideouts (Rob Gronkowski was the first alternative choice), and all but six of the first 60 selections were from the two most important positions in fantasy land. As expected, just one of those six was a field general (Aaron Rodgers, Round 6). That brings me to another trend that you're going to see in most standard-scoring fantasy drafts ... quarterback values continue to sink due to high supply and low demand.

While quarterbacks score the most points in the world of fantasy football, the position is so deep that even some of the best signal-callers were picked late or not at all. Ben Roethlisberger was drafted in the last round. So was Tyrod Taylor, who has ranked in the top 10 in fantasy points in each of the last two seasons. Popular sleeper Carson Wentz wasn't selected, and the same went for the trio of Eli Manning, Carson Palmer or Blake Bortles. Think about that. All three of those quarterbacks were in the top 10 in fantasy points at their position in 2015. Heck, Palmer and Bortles were in the top five!

Anyway, here's a look at the team I drafted, and what I was thinking along the way with every selection. The draft was 15 rounds and based on the NFL.com's standard scoring system (non-PPR), and none of the teams were required to draft a kicker or a defense (so I didn't). That doesn't change the mock results much, as neither of those positions is worth more than a late-round (13-15) selection. To me, it makes a mock draft even more valuable in that there are more skill position players picked. At the end of the day, that's what we're looking for with these mocks ... where certain players (not a kicker or a defense) were chosen.

Enjoy. There will be more of these to come!

Round 1, Pick 12 - DeMarco Murray, RB, Tennessee Titans: Murray has finished in the top 10 in fantasy points among running backs in three of the last four seasons, including a fifth-place finish a season ago. He will no doubt continue to be the lead back in the offense for coach Mike Mularkey, so I'm expecting another productive fantasy campaign. Look for Murray to touch the football 300-plus times once again.

Round 2, Pick 13 - Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers: Nelson has scored a combined 27 touchdowns over his last two full seasons, and he's averaged 1,363 yards since 2013 (he missed 2015). While some out there are concerned about the fact that he's 32, I don't expect a serious decline in his offensive production. Why might you ask? Two words: Aaron Rodgers. Nelson is a surefire second rounder.

Round 3, Pick 36 - Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos: Thomas is coming off his worst fantasy season since 2011, but he still finished 19th in fantasy points among wideouts. The return of Mike McCoy as the offensive coordinator should be a real positive for the veteran, and while I don't see him moving back to the elite level, Thomas should be a much better No. 2 fantasy receiver next season.

Round 4, Pick 37 - Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers: Hyde finished 15th in fantasy points among running backs a season ago, and he did it despite missing three games. Therein lies the issue, as he has missed a combined 14 games over his first three pro seasons due to injuries. Unlike a lot of analysts out there, however, I don't mind landing Hyde as a No. 2 runner in the fourth round.

Round 5, Pick 60 - Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos: It's not always ideal to draft two players at the same position on the same team, but I couldn't pass on Sanders. While he never played under McCoy in his first stint with Denver, the veteran did have a lot of success under Adam Gase in a similar system. Some reporters I've talked to think Sanders could be even better than Thomas in 2017.

Round 6, Pick 61 - Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints: I went with Ingram over Eddie Lacy, whom I also expect to be in a committee, but I'm not a fan of either back based on their situations. The good news is that Ingram will fall into the flex starter spot on this team, so I'll be able to start or sit him based on the matchups. With Adrian Peterson on board, Ingram is a real risk-reward choice.

Round 7, Pick 84 - Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints: If you know me, you know that I like to wait on a quarterback. But when an elite signal-caller like Brees falls to the end of Round 7, I have to take him. Though he turned 38 back in January, the future Hall of Famer has shown no signs of slowing down in the stat sheets. Another season with right around 5,000 yards will be in the cards.

Round 8, Pick 85 - Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans: Walker has finished in the top 10 in fantasy points among tight ends in each of the last three seasons, during which time he has seen no fewer than 102 targets (15 games). He's a perfect middle-round target for fantasy owners who don't land Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce, Jordan Reed or Greg Olsen in one of the first 50-60 picks of the draft.

Round 9, Pick 108 - Kenneth Dixon, RB, Baltimore Ravens: Dixon will miss the first four weeks of the regular season due to a league-imposed suspension, but he'll have a shot to start upon his return. He won't be a true featured back with Danny Woodhead and Terrance West both in the mix, but the second-year runner is still worth a roll of the dice at this point based on his potential alone.

Round 10, Pick 109 - Kenny Britt, WR, Cleveland Browns: Britt finished 26th in fantasy points among wide receivers a season ago, and he did it while catching passes from a few less-than-impressive field generals. Things might not be much better in Cleveland in that department, but another 1,000-yard campaign isn't out of the realm of possibility. Britt is an attractive WR4 in a 12-team league.

Round 11, Pick 132 - Jordan Matthews, WR, Philadelphia Eagles: Matthews has gone from a potential sleeper to a late-round flier in about a year's time. That's due in large part to the fact that the Eagles added both Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith to their pass attack in the offseason. Regardless of his decreased statistical ceiling, Matthews is still worth a dart throw at this point in drafts.

Round 12, Pick 133 - James White, RB, New England Patriots: The Super Bowl hero in New England's incredible comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons, White looks locked into the team's role as change-of-pace runner out of the backfield. He's easily more valuable in PPR leagues, but White is also worth a late look in standard formats. He'll be the fifth running back on this particular fantasy team.

Round 13, Pick 156 - Tavon Austin, WR, Los Angeles Rams: This pick falls into the "why the hell not?" category. Austin sort of is what he is now that he has four pro seasons under his belt, but he projects to be the Rams' default No. 1 wideout after Britt left for Cleveland. He'll never be DeSean Jackson, however, so don't feel the need to take a chance on Austin until the last three rounds.

Round 14, Pick 157 - Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Oh how the mighty have fallen. With Joe Mixon and Jeremy Hill on the roster, Bernard's fantasy value had sunk like the Titanic ... even in a 12-team league. Coming off an ACL procedure and likely mired in a crowded backfield, Bernard is now a back who will be on the board late in fantasy leagues that don't reward points for catches.

Round 15, Pick 180 - Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Doug Martin will miss the first three weeks of the season due to suspension, which makes Rodgers the projected starter. So, why not take a chance on him in the late rounds as a potential matchup-based flex starter? The smallish runner out of Oregon State posted some pretty nice totals when allowed a chance to start a season ago.


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!

Print

Fan Discussion