Last week I did a column about a crash course in fantasy football. Now that we are officially in August, it's time to start looking at drafting. I participated in a mock draft the other day and printed out the entire results of the mock. It was your standard 10 team, 15 round snake draft, and I was able to get that fifth pick that I adore so much.
Please note that the odds of picking where you want can range depending on your league size. In a mock lobby you're able to just pick the spot you want to be at. Fifth was open and I took it. But, let's take a look at the draft.
The first overall pick in this mock draft was Antonio Brown, WR from Pittsburgh. It's hard to find anything bad about that selection. Brown had a monster season last year and won't slow down this season despite double coverage heading his way. If I had to project his season I'd say probably around 100 catches for 1700 yards and 10 touchdowns. Not too bad.
The second pick was Todd Gurley, RB from LA. Again a good selection. He'll be facing a lot of teams putting eight players in the box to shut him down so the Rams have to get their pass game going. Going third was Odell Beckham Jr, WR from the New York Giants. Once more it's hard to fault this pick. OBJ has been a force of nature in his first two seasons and should continue that. The fourth pick was rather surprising, David Johnson, RB out of Arizona.
Johnson showed some flashes last season of being a future Pro Bowl selection, but hasn't had a body of work through the entire season. So it's a risky pick, but the upside is there. My first pick was the standard bearer of the NFL's running back pool, Adrian Peterson. I didn't want Peterson, actually, but I selected the wrong player. Regardless, AP should have another strong season, maybe his last one before the wear and tear brings him down.
The guy I wanted went sixth overall, Julio Jones, WR from Atlanta. Jones has been a dominant force since he came into the league. When healthy, Jones is a lock for at least 80 plus catches, 1400 yards and double digit touchdowns. Might be the most sure thing in the first round. Going seventh was the rookie from Dallas, RB Ezekiel Elliot.
A rookie in the first round isn't a good ideas, but when you run behind the offensive line that Dallas has put together, it's hard to fault someone for taking him. Elliot should easily get over 1000 yards this year. The eighth selection was Lamar Miller, RB from Houston. Miller should thrive finally being able to get a full workload. His old team, the Dolphins, always seemed to limit his touches despite Miller showing the ability to be a home run threat. Houston will not handcuff him and it'll show, I believe.
The last selection of the first round was a tight end. Normally tight ends aren't taken in the first round unless it's a talented, game breaking player. Rob Gronkowski of the Patriots qualifies as exactly that. My only problem with taking a guy like Gronk in the first round are his health issues. The guy is always dinged up or missing a game here or there. Not something I'd take a risk with in the first frame.
Now, since that's the first round, I'm going to highlight the best and worst pick of the second through fifth rounds. It might include my own selection for either. The best pick of the second round was probably Eddie Lacy of the Packers. Lacey was selected with the 19th overall pick. His weight shouldn't be an issue, and I believe he wants to prove people wrong after his disaster of a year last year. The worst pick of the second around was Devonta Freeman (RB Atlanta) who was taken with the 15th pick. Freeman nose dived in the second half the season for no real apparent reason. I didn't get it.
The third round's best pick was Kelvin Benjamin (WR Carolina.) Benjamin is coming off of a torn ACL from camp in 2015, but he gives Cam Newton a big target to work with. Benjamin is a strong candidate for a break out season. The bad pick of the round was Mark Ingram (RB New Orleans) with the 29th pick. Ingram has never put it together for a full year due to injuries, lack of focus, what have you. He's a good player, just not third round worthy. Way too early.
The fourth round's worst pick, switching it up this time, was Carlos Hyde (RB San Francisco) taken with the 35th pick. Hyde, even with healthy last year, was not a strong runner. In Chip Kelly's crazy system it might not be good for him there either. He is a north/south runner, which isn't one of Kelly's strong suits. The best selection was Tom Brady (QB New England) with the last pick of the round. Yes, Brady is gone for the first four games, but the man has a chip on his shoulder and it will get larger with this suspension. Expect big numbers from Brady this year.
The fifth round's best saw Doug Baldwin (WR Seattle) taken at 49. Baldwin ended last year on fire and will continue that trend to this year. Seattle lacks a strong running back now, and Russell Wilson has proven to be an All-Pro caliber quarterback. Baldwin will post some strong numbers this year. The worst pick of the fifth round is hard to pick. It was a rough round for the lobby. Taking Julian Edelman with the 42nd pick was bad. Edelman could've been picked up a couple of rounds later. In a PPR draft he has more value, but in a normal draft? He isn't worth taking in the first five frames.
The rest of the draft unfolded in unspectacular manner. A team with the name of MM won the draft with some sensational picks in four of the first five rounds. The Ingram pick hurt. The worst draft, unsurprising to me, was the team that picked first overall. Taking Doug Martin in the second frame and Dion Lewis in the fifth wasn't the smart idea. The Brady and Brown picks would have to carry that team.
My own draft went alright. I don't think it would've been a championship team, but could be a playoff contender. The lack of quality running backs after the first two rounds really hurts a lot of teams. I was stuck getting backs who split time in their backfield. I ended up with both of Cincinnati's running backs.
The big sleeper picks at this point are Sammie Coates (WR Pittsburgh), Josh Gordon (WR Cleveland), Derrick Henry (RB Tennessee), and Jameis Winston (QB Tampa Bay.) Those five can be gotten past the eighth round, and should be valuable to their teams this year. Though Gordon is suspended the first four games so beware.
So there is a mock draft and some of the good and bad value to expect in a ten team draft. This will vary going from league to league, so take some time and practice in mock drafts. Happy fantasy season.