NFL.com held its second experts league mock draft of the year on Friday, July 19th. The PPR scoring league consists of NFL Fantasy LIVE members Dave Dameshek, Elliot Harrison, Michael Fabiano, Akbar Gbajabiamila, Jaime Maggio, Adam Rank, Matt "Money" Smith and Jason Smith. Also in the league was NFL.com associate fantasy editor John Juhasz. 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.
*Note: To view the entire 15-round mock draft, click here.
What was your draft strategy?
In standard draft formats, it's generally a better strategy to opt for quality running backs over all other positions, assuming all else is equal. Not in PPR formats. The idea here is to load up on as many running backs as I could who are targets out of the backfield while prioritizing productive wideouts. In other words, wide receivers and running backs kind of switch places on the priority list.
Did your strategy work?
Yes. I have two WR1s on my roster who operate in pass-happy offenses (Fitzgerald and Colston), and I still got one of the best running backs in the game in AD. PPR league or not, it's hard to imagine a league format in which Peterson is not going to produce at an absurd rate. Plus, MJD knows a thing or two about catching passes (40 or more receptions in five of his last six seasons).
What was your favorite pick(s)?
Fitzgerald. He has a much better QB, he has a coach which will look to utilize him as much as possible, and he is extra motivated after coming off the least productive season of his career. All the stars are aligned for a huge season from No. 11. I'm ecstatic to have drafted him where I did.
What pick(s) do you most regret?
It's not so much a pick I regret as much as I wish I had taken a tight end earlier. The good news is Jermaine Gresham has improved his catch totals (52, 56, 64) and total yardage (471, 596, 737) in each of his first three years in the league. If those trends continue, then maybe we can forget I ever wrote "Gresham" and "regret" in the same sentence.
Who drafted the best team?
Jason Smith. Megatron and Andre Johnson on the same team? Lots of luck getting your own WR tandem to outperform them. I also had Tony Gonzalez queued up before Smith snatched him from me. I really like Gonzo's potential this year -- he's going to bring it every week in Atlanta's "Super Bowl or Bust" campaign.