Want to see if you still have the itch to play fantasy football in 2013? Do a mock draft…these things are perfect for any NFL nerd who has been deprived of touchdowns and pass interference calls all summer. With that being said, I recently participated in Rant Sports’ 2013 Fantasy Football Mock Draft and I can’t stop thinking about all of the players that I missed out on and of course the guys that I snagged. Remember fantasy owners: when it comes to the draft don’t try to reinvent the wheel and know who you’re competing against.
Without further ado, here are my 15 picks as they happened:
1. Trent Richardson (6) – It has been said that the first round of fantasy drafts are where leagues are lost — not won. At the six spot, I had to select someone with a ton of upside and that was Richardson. The Cleveland Browns don’t have much offense apart from their second-year running back and he put on a show in 2012. In fact, the Browns’ running back rushed for 950 yards and 11 touchdowns last year. With a nose for the endzone, the sky is the limit for Richardson in his sophomore season, but injuries could make me look like a fool.
2. Stevan Ridley (15) – Teams with stout running backs win fantasy football championships. Tom Brady isn’t the pass-heavy guy that we all like to think he is. Instead, Ridley and the running game was featured plenty in the New England Patriots‘ offense last season and that will hopefully continue in 2013. Not to mention, the running game is going to be huge for the Pats as their passing attack is lacking talent.
3. Pierre Garcon (26) – Talk about a breakout candidate — Garcon has come a long way from being one of Peyton Manning‘s project wide receivers. Now, Garcon is a go-to wide receiver for a team that is destined to make some waves in the NFC East. When Robert Griffin III was in the fold, Garcon was easily one of the best wideout in the NFL.
4. Cam Newton (35) – The quarterback position is very complex this fantasy season and you have to be patient. Newton brings rushing touchdowns to a position that usually doesn’t have many, so hopefully his excellence in the red zone can give me a much-needed edge. Besides, he’s another young player who is on the incline rather than the decline.
5. Vincent Jackson (46) Considering my first four picks were rather risky, it was time to draft a sure thing in the fifth round. He may be nearing the end of his career, but Jackson was on my team last year and he had career-high 1,384 receiving yards in 2012. I’m banking on Jackson to have another and I’m glad I got a sure-handed guy this late in the draft.
6. Ryan Matthews (55) Once again, I will likely get burned by drafting Matthews. Ever since the San Diego Chargers drafted him, I have been bamboozled by Matthews’ incredible upside. However, he’s yet to piece it all together and be the dual-threat runner we all know he can be. I passed on Montee Ball here and could very well regret it as he went No. 58.
7. Tony Gonzalez (66) It doesn’t get more professional than Gonzalez. I mentioned with the Jackson pick in round five that I wanted consistency and that’s exactly what this surefire Pro Football Hall of Famer brings to the table.
8. James Jones (75) Call him fluky, but Jones reeled in 14 touchdowns last year and the Green Bay Packers‘ offense hasn’t showed any signs of slowing down. To be fair, I wanted Greg Jennings instead of Jones, yet the former was selected one spot ahead of me at 74. Jones’ doesn’t need to have 14 TDs to have a good campaign, but that sure would be nice. here in 2013.
9. Mike Williams (86) Well, Williams got his paycheck and now it’s time for him to establish himself as a top-five wide receiver in this league. My only issue with this pick is that Williams and Jackson are on the same team which means Josh Freeman has to be dynamite this season. However, if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ offense erupts on a weekly basis then I’m in great shape!
10. Vick Ballard (95) It’s hard to get an effective starting running back in round No. 10, but I got that in Ballard. Ahmad Bradshaw was brought to Indianapolis this offseason, but he appears to be behind the eight ball in his recovery which opens the door of opportunity for Ballard. Even as a 2012 fifth-round pick, Ballard was suffecient in his rookie campaign with 814 yards on the ground and 152 in the air. I’d like to see Ballard reach the endzone more than twice this season, however.
11. Andre Brown (106) I decided to go back-to-back running backs here and thankfully it didn’t come back to haunt me. Similar to Ballard, it doesn’t look like Brown will be an opening-day starter, but that doesn’t mean much. Brown scored 8 touchdowns in limited time with the New York Giants in 2012, so the sky is the limit for this Brandon Jacobs look alike.
12. Chris Givens (115) By selecting Brown, I risked not getting one of the two wide receivers I wanted in round 11. Oddly enough, both Givens and Lance Moore were available when I went on the clock in round 12. Givens has more upside, but I could regret passing on Moore, who surprisingly was a 1,000-yard receiver with Drew Brees throwing to him in 2012.
13. Cincinnati Bengals D/ST (126) Drafting a defense before round 13 is straight up stupid. In fact, it might be more idiotic than wasting an early pick on a kicker! With that being said, the Bengals bring a lot to the table and I’m banking on Pacman Jones to stay out of trouble and for Dre Kirkpatrick to mature into the top-ten cornerback that NFL pundits believe he can be.
14. Brandon Myers (135) Myers was fantasy football’s best kept secret in 2012 as he went to town with the Oakland Raiders. Hauling in four touchdowns and finishing the year with over 800 receiving yards Myers is a play-making tight end. Being on the Giants’ roster will only help his production here in 2013. I like Myers’ game so much that I passed on Jared Cook , who surprisingly went undrafted.
15. Sebastian Janikowski (146) Kickers are useless. Your starter at the end of the season probably wont be the one you drafted, so don’t over think this one.
Thank you for keeping tabs on my selections and feel free to shamelessly steal my draft strategy!