I was pretty psyched to be a part of the Rant Sports 2012 fantasy football mock draft. I had the third overall pick in the snake-style draft so I was sure that I would get a great player with my first selection. Overall my goal going into the draft was to focus on drafting quality running backs and wide receivers early and wait to draft a quarterback until the middle rounds. This was based specifically on the scoring settings in our draft that award more points to RB’s and WR’s than QB’s. I also wanted to pick a few guys that I think are primed for a breakout season.
Here’s a look at my draft with each individual pick analyzed and then an overall view at the bottom.
Pick 1- RB Arian Foster- At the third pick Foster fell to me so I had to take him. I planned on taking Aaron Rodgers but after he was taken No. 1 overall Foster seemed like the best pick. He led all running backs in scoring average last season despite opening the year with a bad hamstring so he’s no doubt one of the top fantasy players heading into 2012.
Pick 2- WR Greg Jennings- Since Rodgers was the top pick for obvious reasons, it made sense to draft one of his favorite targets. I took him in front of Andre Johnson and Roddy White because of his potential in the Green Bay Packers offense which is pass heavy.
Pick 3- RB DeMarco Murray- This pick was a bit of a risk due to Murray’s injury concerns but he has big upside as the Dallas Cowboys‘ leading back. He will share some of the offensive plays with Felix Jones but Murray will find the end zone more and earn more of the fantasy points.
Pick 4- WR Victor Cruz- Cruz burst onto the scene last year and will be expected to do a lot more salsa dancing in the end zone this season. Even with Hakeem Nicks in the picture Cruz will see a lot more Eli Manning passes come his way this fall.
Pick 5- QB Eli Manning- Manning ranked fourth in the league in passing yards last season and threw two or more TD passes in three-fourths of his games last season including the playoffs. He also cut his INT rate in half from 2010 so he’s fixed that flaw in his game. Mario Manningham is gone but he still has Nicks and Cruz to throw too and add TE Martellus Bennett to the mix and he has good weapons to target in the New York Giants offense.
Pick 6- WR Dwayne Bowe- Bowe is a solid WR option in the later rounds so I took him here. His numbers regressed a little last season but he still finished seventh in the league in pass targets so his ceiling is still high. I expect a decent bounce back season from Bowe as Matt Cassel returns from an injury.
Pick 7- RB Isaac Redman- Redman is set to get a ton of carries in the wake of Rashard Mendenhall’s torn ACL near the end of the 2011 season. With Mendenhall not expected back until mid-way through the season Redman will shine in Pittsburgh’s return to a run-heavy offense.
Pick 8- Ravens D/ST- Baltimore’s defense is aging but it’s still one of the top units in the league. They took a huge blow when Terrell Suggs went down with a torn achilles but they still pose as a formidable foe and will force their fair share of turnovers and defensive TD’s.
Pick 9- RB Mark Ingram- I was surprised that Ingram was still here in the ninth round so I took him to bolster my RB depth. He’s a great short yardage back and saw more red-zone carries than Pierre Thomas so it won’t be a surprise if he reaches double-digit TD’s this season.
Pick 10- WR Lance Moore- I needed a bit more depth at WR so I took Moore here in the 10th round. Drew Brees trusts Moore as much as any other player on the field so he still has the possibility to rack up decent numbers. There’s risk taking Moore due to the other weapons in the New Orleans Saints‘ offense but he’s a good red-zone option for Brees and a solid third or fourth receiver for fantasy teams.
Pick 11- QB Matt Ryan- I took Matty Ice as my back-up quarterback and it was a great value pick for me. Ryan has plenty of weapons at his disposal with Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez to throw the ball to. He has enhanced his fantasy stock each season and could be primed for a breakout year.
Pick 12- TE Fred Davis- Davis broke out last season and his fantasy stock jumped even higher with the addition of Robert Griffin III at quarterback. The Washington Redskins upgraded at wide receiver as well but with Davis’ size and speed it will make him one of the top red-zone targets for the rookie QB to rely on.
Pick 12- K Mason Crosby- Crosby was a top fantasy kicker last season as a product of the Packers’ record setting offense. Expect more of the same for the former Colorado product as he will put up more of the same in 2012.
Pick 13- WR Mario Manningham- He’s a decent option as a fourth receiver but probably not higher than that. Switching teams does not necessarily mean more opportunity for Manningham but he can still be a worthwhile producer in the 49ers’ offense.
Pick 14- WR Mike Williams- I bolstered my WR depth by drafting Williams here although it will be hit or miss for him this season. He’s not in a pass-heavy offense but in the improved offense the big plays that he made in 2010 are once again a possibility in 2012.
Pick 15- RB Kevin Smith- Smith was effective last season when he got on the field last year but had a tough time seeing an action in the crowded backfield. Between Jahvid Best and Mikel Leshoure he won’t see too much time this upcoming season but could be worth a look if either of those two go down with injuries.