Where did the first five months of the year go?
That's right, we're already in the middle of June. The dog days are here. This is the time that NFL players, personnel and employees begin their summer breaks ahead of the start of training camps. Tom Brady is throwing footballs on the Great Wall. DeAngelo Williams (not signed, but still) is getting ready to make his pro wrestling debut for Impact Wrestling at their Slammiversary Pay-Per-View. Rob Gronkowski is partying shirtless in Connecticut, at least according to reports. Heck, I even got out to see my beloved New York Yankees in a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels (lost two of three, damn it), and I brought WWE Intercontinental Champion, the Miz, with me.
There has been some recent football news to report too, like the signing of Jeremy Maclin (Baltimore) and Eric Decker (Tennessee). Ben Roethlisberger called Martavis Bryant, who has long been one of my favorite sleepers/breakouts/undervalues, a stud out on the gridiron. Oh, and it looks like Christian Hackenberg could be gaining ground on Josh McCown as the No. 1 quarterback in New York. All right, so all of the news isn't great for fantasy (or Jets) fans, but whatever. With mock drafts now open on NFL.com (go join one or many ...now!), here's my latest one-man, five-rounder.
While the first round hasn't changed that much, you will see some serious movers and shakers over picks 11-50 (I'm looking at you, Tyreek Hill, Isaiah Crowell and Joe Mixon). So grab your favorite summertime beverage, kick up your feet by the pool or hot tub and read about how the first five rounds of your fantasy draft could look. Or not. There will be plenty more mocks to come!
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.
1. David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals: Johnson recorded 2,000-plus scrimmage yards and 20 total touchdowns last season, scoring more fantasy points than all but three quarterbacks. Those are Marshall Faulk and LaDainian Tomlinson level totals. He's the consensus No. 1 overall choice.
2. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers: Bell missed four games last season due to suspension/rest, but he still finished fourth in fantasy points among backs. Barring a setback in his return from a procedure to repair his groin, Bell will be a top-three overall selection in all drafts.
3. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys: Elliott was better than all but five fantasy quarterbacks as a rookie, rolling for 1,631 rushing yards and 16 total touchdowns. There's been talk that he could be more involved in the passing game next season, which would make him even more valuable.
4. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: Brown has posted 371 catches for 4,816 yards with 35 touchdowns over the last three years, and he's finished no worse than sixth in fantasy points among wideouts in four straight seasons. He's a durable dude too, missing just one game since 2013.
5. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons: Jones had some down weeks last season, but he also had the second-most top-10 finishes among wideouts based on points. While the offense will look a bit different under offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, Jones will continue to produce for owners.
9. Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers: Gordon tied for fourth among runners in red-zone touches (57) and eighth in fantasy points in what was a breakout season. The Bolts didn't take a running back but took three offensive linemen in the NFL draft, which is great news for Flash.
10. DeMarco Murray, RB, Tennessee Titans: Murray has ranked no worse than seventh in fantasy points among runners three times in the last four years. He's underrated, both on the field and in fantasy land, and should be considered a surefire top-15 selection in most seasonal drafts.
13. Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins: Ajayi put up career bests across the board last season, and he did it despite seeing seven or fewer carries in his first four games while behind Arian Foster. He also rushed for an NFL-high 783 yards after contact, and his volume should rise in 2017.
17. Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys: Bryant scored eight times in 13 games and finished in the top 10 in points at the position five times during what was an up and down season in the stat sheets. While he had more value with Tony Romo at the helm, Bryant is still a firm second-rounder.
18. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts: Hilton led the NFL with 1,448 receiving yards, which is impressive when you consider the number of stud wideouts in the NFL. His lack of touchdowns (career-high of seven) is what keeps Hilton from being picked higher in fantasy drafts.
21. Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks: Baldwin's numbers dropped almost across the board last season compared to his 2015 totals, but he still finished 10th in points among all wideouts. While he's not among the top-five elite at his position, Baldwin is now a borderline No. 1 wideout.
22. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Oakland Raiders: He's back ... this time, in Silver & Black. There are pros and cons, but Beast Mode will be running in a productive offensive behind one of the better run-blocking lines in the league. Barring injuries, I'd project him to score eight-plus times.
24. Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots: Gronkowski is a beast when he's on the football field, but the big man has missed 24 games over the last five seasons including most of the 2016 campaign. He is back at 100 percent health, however, and his potential is hard to overlook here.
26. Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders: Cooper saw small increases in catches and yardage compared to his rookie season, but he scored just five times and finished in the top 10 in points among wideouts three times. His potential in a solid offense makes him well worth a look here, though.
28. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos: Thomas had a bad season in the stat sheets, and he still finished 19th in points among wideouts. With Mike McCoy back as the team's offensive coordinator, I like D.T. to rebound next season ... maybe not to an elite level, but he'll be a better pick.
33. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles: Jeffery will be motivated to produce in what is another contract year, but there are a lot of mouths to feed in Philadelphia's pass attack.
34. Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers: A lot of folks are afraid to select Hyde in their fantasy football drafts. I'm not one of them, at least not if he falls into the fourth round.
35. C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos: Anderson (knee) missed nine games last season, but he was on pace to finish with 197.7 points. I don't see Jamaal Charles as a huge threat, either.
36. Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets: The Jets don't have very much in terms of offensive weapons, and Powell looked like an absolute fantasy beast at the end of last season. He's moving on up.
37. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings traded up in the draft to land Cook, who should be considered the favorite to start ahead of vets Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon.
38. Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: Robinson was a major bust in fantasy circles a season ago, but his numbers did improve once Doug Marrone took over as the team's head coach.
39. Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills: Watkins should be motivated to produce big totals in what is now a contract year, but he'll slide in fantasy drafts because of his proneness to injuries.
40. Michael Crabtree, WR, Oakland Raiders: Crabtree's yardage totals don't pop off the stat board, but he's scored 17 touchdowns since 2015 and finished higher than Cooper last season.
41. Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs: The surprising release of Jeremy Maclin will push Hill's targets and fantasy value upward. This kid is one of the league's brightest young playmakers.
42. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers: I get it. Rodgers isn't going to last this long in most drafts that don't involve "experts." But his position has a big supply and a very small demand.
43. Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins: Landry was a disappointment for a good part of last season, but he finished strong and will remain on the radar as a No. 2 fantasy wideout in drafts.
44. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots: How do you make Brady an even better fantasy quarterback? You give him Cooks to go along with a host of incumbent playmakers in the pass attack.
45. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs: Hill isn't the lone member of the Chiefs pass attack to benefit from Maclin's release. I've moved Kelce into my top-50 overall players as well.
46. Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins: Reed was a major disappointment a season ago, but the talent is there in an offense that will put points on the board. He's well worth a gamble.
47. Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos: Like Thomas, I think Sanders will have a much better season under McCoy than he did under Rick Dennison in 2016. He's in the WR2 conversation.
48. Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions: Tate has recorded 1,000-plus yards in two of his last three seasons and should be considered one of the better No. 3 wideouts in fantasy football.
49. Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers: Allen has missed a combined 23 games over the last two years due to injuries, so I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a whole lot of risk involved.
50. Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers: This is the round of the tight end run, as Olsen follows Kelce and Reed. He remains a threat to post 900-1,000 yards in the Panthers passing game.