NFL.com held its experts league auction mock draft of the year on July 26. The standard scoring league consists of NFL Fantasy LIVE members Michael Fabiano, Elliot Harrison, Jason Smith, Akbar Gbajabiamila, Molly Qerim and Dave Dameshek. Also in the league are NFL.com fantasy editor Marcas Grant, associate fantasy editor John Juhasz, researcher Bill Sudell and fantasy product manager Evan Singer. Each owner was required to put together a lineup of one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, one flex (RB/WR/TE), one tight end, one kicker and one defense/special teams unit.
What was your draft strategy?
I wanted to let owners spend big money early and sit back on some of the stars I wanted so I could pay less for them later on. I always want to draft a team that's deep, and it's hard to do when you spend three-quarters of your salary cap on Arian Foster and Calvin Johnson, for example. I also have a core group of players I want to get if at all possible because I feel like they'll give me great production and won't cost me an exorbitant amount of money.
Did your draft strategy work?
Yes and no. Of the eight players I had on that "core group" list I just mentioned, I was able to get six of them (Cam Newton, Chris Ivory, Lamar Miller, Daryl Richardson, Justin Blackmon and Brandon Myers). So I'd call that pretty successful. My bench isn't as deep as I'd like, but I do have Michael Vick, who could be an intriguing trade option if Chip Kelly's offense sets the world on fire.
What was your favorite pick(s)?
I have two -- first was Lamar Miller. He's a big breakout guy for me this season and I thought the bidding for him would top $30 but coming in at $21 I felt I got a bargain. If I had to pick just one, though, Cam Newton for $24 was probably my favorite. The quarterbacks went at a pretty decent clip, so everyone who paid early money for Aaron Rodgers or Colin Kaepernick was basically out of the bidding by the time I wanted to take my QB. I had Newton and Luck circled on my board as having to get one of them, and for less than $30, it worked out.
What was your worst pick(s)?
Mark Ingram and Jonathan Stewart. I didn't have a lot of money left at the end so I was forced to take players at $2 and under, so I missed out on the ones I wanted to steal late: Andre Brown and T.Y. Hilton, just to name a couple. But hey, it happens that way. I can't be that unhappy if my most regrettable picks were in my last five. If you push me on an earlier pick, I would say Demaryius Thomas, just because I had to spend $30 get him and it's a bit of a concern, not knowing how Wes Welker's going to affect the offense in Denver.
Who drafted the best team?