2nd Rant Sports 2012 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Team 4 Analysis

By Michael J. Igyarto

Rant Sports conducted their second fantasy football mock draft on Tuesday. 10 writers and network managers participated in the mock draft via ESPN. I owned the fourth pick, and used my usual draft strategy to assemble my roster with balance and production. Here’s a recap of my selections round by round.

Round 1, Pick 4: Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy

Round 2, Pick 17: Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald

Round 3, Pick 24: Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones

Round 4, Pick 37: Buffalo Bills RB Fred Jackson

Round 5, Pick 44: Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant

Round 6, Pick 57: New England Patriots RB Stevan Ridley

Round 7, Pick 64: Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick

Round 8, Pick 77: Minnesota Vikings WR Percy Harvin

Round 9, Pick 84: Pittsburgh Steelers RB Isaac Redman

Round 10, Pick 97: Tennessee Titans TE Jared Cook

Round 11, Pick 104: Chicago Bears D/ST

Round 12, Pick 117: Baltimore Ravens WR Anquan Boldin

Round 13, Pick 124: San Francisco 49ers QB Alex Smith

Round 14, Pick 137: Detroit Lions RB Kevin Smith

Round 15, Pick 144: Houston Texans TE Owen Daniels

Round 16, Pick 157: Chicago Bears K Robbie Gould

 

Before the draft started, I pointed out to fellow Rant Sports writers how this year was different. It’s been a long time since fantasy drafts had 3-4 players that legitimately could be the #1 overall pick. In past years, it’s always been players like Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, and Arian Foster owning the #1 slot. This year, if you own the first pick, you can honestly say you had to think about it before hitting the draft player button.

In this mock draft, Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers went first overall. Running backs Arian Foster and Ray Rice went next. I then chose LeSean McCoy with the 4th overall pick in the Rant Sports Mock Draft. LeSean has publicly said he wants to “carry the load” a little more this season. He also said he would like to be included in the passing game more often in Philly. For a back that has improved his numbers each and every year that he has been in the league, I feel confident with this selection.

With my next two selections, I went back-to-back with receivers . Larry Fitzgerald almost dropped to the 3rd round, so this selection was quite easy. The drafting of Michael Floyd will do little to Larry’s production, and I have full faith he will continue to play like the All-Pro he is. My next selection is officially my 2012 fantasy football man crush, Julio Jones. The young Atlanta receiver looks to have a breakout season, and I want to tag along for the ride.  Jones led the NFL in average yards after catch last season, and caught eight touchdowns on only 8 red zone targets. Think about it. What happens if he sees say, 16 red zone targets? EXPLOSION.

After drafting two receivers in a row, I knew I had to draft a running back to balance out my roster. Sixteen running backs were selected before I stepped to the podium with my 37th pick. Most of the “elite” were gone, but I chose Bills RB Fred Jackson. He may share time with fellow back C.J. Spiller, but Jackson should be top dog in Buffalo when it’s all said and done. He was on his way to top 5 status last year before a season-ending injury. I expect him to bounce back, and should eclipse the 1,000 yard mark.

I bolstered my team’s wide receiving core by snagging Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant in the 5th Round. His off the field issues really don’t concern me that much, and he’s a scoring threat at all times. With a trio of Dez Bryant, Larry Fitzgerald, and Julio Jones, my wide receiving core is just downright scary. All three can and most likely will eclipse 1,000 yards this season.

I then looked to balance my roster again by selecting a running back. In the sixth round, I reached a tad, and went after Patriots running back Stevan Ridley. Reports have Ridley as the “hot” back in training camp. Good news for Ridley owners, his competition, Shane Vereen, has struggled often so far. Joesph Addai and Danny Woodhead are there as well, but I don’t fear either will take away Ridley’s potential.  With the Patriots letting BenJarvus Green-Ellis go to the Cincinnati Bengals, it’s clear to me that they have faith in the young man out of LSU.

I still haven’t drafted a quarterback at this point, which isn’t all that surprising, since I try not to go too early on a quarterback. However, the seventh round had me stumped. My roster was very balanced at this point; I had three running backs, and three wide receivers. I was going to draft Cowboys TE Jason Witten with this selection, but he was drafted just two picks ahead of me.

So I reassessed the situation, and found myself pondering the idea of drafting quarterback Mike Vick. I honestly wanted Jay Cutler as my quarterback, but we are 64 picks into this mock draft, and Mike Vick still remained on the board. With a current ADP of 31.8 and ranked as the 6th best fantasy football quarterback per ESPN, I was at the mercy of the numbers. I don’t advise letting ESPN and other “experts” numbers influence your pick, go with what you feel is best, but I had to do this. Vick hasn’t played a full season in 6 years, and says he is going to take a safer approach this season. Let’s hope or this pick is a BUST, and everyone who passed on him had the right idea.

After drafting Vick, I continued to balance out my roster, selecting in this order, Percy Harvin, Isaac Redman, and tight end sleeper Jared Cook. At this point, I have four running backs, four wide receivers, one quarterback, and one tight end. Did I mention I like to balance my roster when drafting?

With the 104th pick in this fantasy football mock draft, I chose the Chicago Bears D/ST. With a current ADP of 98.2, I felt comfortable selecting them at this point, and expect them to be a top 3 defense this season. Devin Hester returning punts is always fun to watch, and the trio of Brian Urlacher, Lance Bringgs, and Julius Peppers is one for the ages.

With five remaining draft picks, I stuck to what I do best….that’s right, balance. I took Anquan Boldin, who at age 32 is no longer a household name, but he still has talent. I consider him a bottom-tier WR3, and I got him with the 117th pick. His current ADP is 102.9, so he deserved to come off the board.

I needed a back-up quarterback, so I went ahead and selected 49ers QB Alex Smith with the 124th pick. In reality, I wanted Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman, but he was drafted 4 picks earlier. With the 137th pick, I might have gotten a steal. Lions RB Kevin Smith is gaining steam, and you should grab him while you can as I expect him to move up the boards once everyone catches on. The Lions have Jahvid Best and Mike LeShoure, so the backfield is talented. Problem is, neither of them can stay healthy. Reports say, Kevin Smith is the “front runner” for the starting position, and getting a starting running back that late is a reward.

I rounded up my first ever fantasy football mock draft here at Rant Sports with a back-up tight end in Owen Daniels, and Chicago Bears kicker, Robbie Gould.

Overall…and I’m not going to biased here, I’m weak at quarterback. Vick and Smith are not a tandem you want to shoot for, but it’s the way Vick fell that had me end up with him. However, my stack of starting running backs and trio of explosive receivers will wreak havoc every Sunday. I have a top 3 defense/st in the Bears, and my tight end, Jared Cook, could end up being fantasy gold. If this was a real draft, I think this team could take me to the playoffs easy, but not positive on a championship.

 

Check out the complete results of the 2nd Rant Sports Fantasy Football Mock Draft : HERE

Related Articles by other writers who participated in this mock draft can be found here:

Jeff ShullTeam 8 Analysis

Steven Resnick: Team 10 Analysis

 

Michael J. Igyarto is a featured fantasy football columnist at Rant Sports

Follow Michael on twitter: @windycityiggy

 

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