With NFL training camps in full swing, I decided to take another stab at a mock draft to help prepare for the upcoming fantasy football season. This time I entered a standard league, 12-team draft on ESPN’s website. Last time out, I drafted in a 10-team standard league on NFL.com. Here’s a look at the team I selected this time around.
- Round (overall pick) Player, Pos., Team
- 1st (4) Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings
- 2nd (21) Brandon Marshall, WR, Jets
- 3rd (28) Latavius Murray, RB, Raiders
- 4th (45) Jeremy Maclin, WR, Chiefs
- 5th (52) Jeremy Hill, RB, Bengals
- 6th (69) Drew Brees, QB, Saints
- 7th (76) Jordan Matthews, WR, Eagles
- 8th (93) Ladarius Green, TE, Steelers
- 9th (100) Willie Snead, WR, Saints
- 10th (117) Tevin Coleman, RB, Falcons
- 11th (124) Markus Wheaton, WR, Steelers
- 12th (141) Texans defense
- 13th (148) Derek Carr, QB, Raiders
- 14th (165) Jerick McKinnon, RB, Vikings
- 15th (172) Matt Prater, K, Lions
- 16th (189) Jordan Cameron, TE, Dolphins
With 12 teams in this mock league I decided to make sure I went with running backs in two of my first three picks. Interesting to note is that before I selected Adrian Peterson with the fourth pick, three receivers were already off the board (Antonio Brown, Julio Jones and Odell Beckham Jr., in that order). Also of note, the next three running backs selected were Todd Gurley (5th), Ezekiel Elliott (6th) and David Johnson (8th). Dez Bryant went 7th overall, which is a bit high in my estimation, since he went ahead of DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green and Jamaal Charles.
It was a little surprising that the suspended Le’Veon Bell, who’s set to miss the first four games of the season, managed to sneak into the first round at no. 12 overall. That seems a little high for a player that will miss a quarter of the season. I’d look for him early in the second round of a 12-team league. He can put you over the top, but not if you’re using your first pick on him.
My WR1 is Brandon Marshall, and I see no reason he’d drop off, especially now that he has Ryan Fitzpatrick back behind the center. Fitzpatrick knows how to get the ball to his big receivers and Marshall going at 21 overall went right about where he probably should. I selected Jeremy Maclin as my WR2 and if he’s targeted 124 times, like he was last season, he could prove to be a solid pick at 45th overall.
I was able to grab an aging Drew Brees with the 69th overall pick, so I have to hope he stays healthy and that his young receivers come along. Derek Carr, who I picked in the 13th round, is my backup and we’ll see if he makes a big jump with weapons like Amari Cooper and Latavius Murray. Murray, who I selected in the 3rd round is expected to be a do-everything back for the Raiders if he doesn’t let rookie DeAndre Washington take away touches.
That leaves me with Jeremy Hill and Jordan Matthews as my flex options. I feel good about both, hoping Hill has a bounce-back season, though he did score 11 rushing touchdowns last year. Matthews has scored eight touchdowns in each of his first two seasons and looks to go over 1,000 yards for the first time. If he’s around in the seventh, you’d be lucky.
Ladarius Green, the tight end who I selected at 93 overall, should excite some owners as he joins a prolific Steelers offense.
Other notes from this mock draft:
- Seven wide receivers were selected in the first round, including Allen Robinson.
- Jamaal Charles was taken in the second round, he should go higher.
- Jordy Nelson went 14th overall and I’d be nervous about that if I made that selection early in the second. I’m in the minority.
- Lamar Miller, who the Texans will let loose on the field, went 16th. Wouldn’t be surprised if he goes higher in most drafts.
- There are options at RB in the third round, with Eddie Lacy, Matt Forte, Murray and Carlos Hyde all going in that round.
- T.Y. Hilton, who went 39th overall, might be undervalued if Andrew Luck returns to previous form.
- The Cardinals defense was the first to go at 89, followed by the Broncos at 95 and the Seahawks at 113.