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?
My strategy was to get two solid RBs and draft cheaper value picks for my QB and WRs. I budgeted $55 max for my RB1, $35 max for RB2 and $25 max for QB. When I saw Trent Richardson in the low $40s, I had to jump all over it. I ended up landing Trent for $43, which is a tremendous value when you compare how much the other top RBs were going for:
I see Trent competing with all of the above in all categories. The one guy I had to have was Jamaal Charles. So if you combine my Richardson steal of $43 and Matt Ryan for $18, I was $19 under my max bids for QB1 and RB1 - giving me the chance to target the guy I feel can be the top running back in fantasy this year - Jamaal Charles. I landed Charles for $53 and created a powerhouse core of my team within the first 25 minutes of the draft (Matty Ice, Trent Richardson and Jamaal).
Did your draft strategy work?
It absolutely worked. The tiers of talent in running backs drop off a lot quicker than quarterbacks (Philip Rivers went undrafted) and wide receivers. So I used my money to get a top 10 QB without spending a lot of money and made sure I got three solid RBs.
What was your favorite pick(s)?
I was most happy with my Trent Richardson pick, as I alluded to above. Trent has top three fantasy RB potential, at 10-plus bucks cheaper than the other six top RBs. I was also very happy with Wes Welker at eight dollars, the same price as Tavon Austin. I think I will take one of the best slot receivers in our time with a Hall of Fame QB who owns throwing to the slot, rather than an unproven rookie catching balls from Sam Bradford (and that's coming from a Rams fan).
What was your worst pick(s)?
My worst pick was Reggie Bush for $16. I wanted a RB for my flex with lots of upside. I like how Reggie gives me the dual threat, where if he has a down week and rushes for 50 yards, I can still get to double-digit points with his pass catching ability out of the backfield. The reason why I don't like this pick AFTER the draft is because Steven Ridley went for two dollars less just a few picks later. Ridley is a MUCH more consistent option to have at flex than Bush.
Who drafted the best team?
I think I drafted the best team by far. I have the most solid 1-2 punch in running backs which will carry me all season, a top 10 QB and a pack of five WRs with upside that could all start based on weekly performance and matchups. Not to mention I loaded my running back bench up with three guys who could win the starting job from unproven guys ahead of them (Andre Brown, Isaiah Pead and Ben Tate - no running back has had more touches the past three years than Arian Foster).