This weekend I participated with nine other Rant Sports writers in the site’s second Mock Draft. I landed the No. 2 pick in the draft. A top pick 3 is not my favorite spot to draft from this year, but I ended up being very happy with my team anyways. My strategy for Fantasy Football this year is simple; get one or two elite running backs, wait on quarterback and wide receiver, and always draft for upside and value. With these thoughts in mind, this is how my team turned out.
Round 1: (2) Doug Martin– I’m sure a lot of you expected me to draft Arian Foster with this pick, but I like Martin over Foster for a variety of reasons. One, Martin is younger and less injury prone. Two, Foster’s YPC have dropped each of the past few years. And as we saw last year, Martin can single-handedly carry your fantasy team on any given week, and I don’t know if Foster has that ability.
Round 2: (19) A.J. Green– Usually I’ll take another running back with my second pick, but one of the negatives of drafting from a top 3 pick is that when your pick comes back around all of the top running back options are gone. This was the case for me, so instead of taking Frank Gore (who I like, but not in the second round), I drafted one of the best receivers in the NFL in A.J. Green. Green usually goes early in the second round, not late, so there is good value with this pick too.
Round 3: (22) Jimmy Graham– Again, no top running back options and I just drafted Green, so why not pick up the undisputed No. 1 tight end in fantasy football? Graham gives me a huge advantage at the tight end position every week, especially with Rob Gronkowski’s health being questionable.
Round 4: (39) Vincent Jackson– I consider Vincent Jackson at the end of the fourth round to be a tremendous value pick. He posted career highs in yardage and catches last year and is the deep threat for a Bucs team that loves to throw the ball deep. He’s a consensus top ten wide receiver, so paired with Green I now probably have the best receiving corps in the league.
Round 5: (42) Reggie Bush– I needed a second running back here, so I picked up Bush who I like with the Detroit Lions this year. Bush is a great pass catcher and the Lions love throwing to their backs. He is even better in a PPR league and is a solid No. 2 running back. My only concern is his injury risk.
Round 6: (59) Danny Amendola– I already wrote about why I like Amendola a lot this year, given that he can stay healthy. He is by default Tom Brady’s No. 1 target, so as a flex option what’s not to like?
Round 7: (62) Robert Griffin III– I believe RGIII will be healthy for the start of the season, and when he plays he is a top 5 Fantasy Quarterback. That’s tremendous value for the 7th round. This pick is proof that you should wait on drafting your quarterback.
Round 8: (79) Steve Smith-Smith’s best days are behind him, but he is still a very solid option at wide receiver. He won’t score many touchdowns, but he’s a lock for 1,000 yards receiving. In the 8th round I’ll gladly take that.
Round 9: (82) Vick Ballard– The Colts signed Ahmad Bradshaw to be their lead back this offseason, but Bradshaw is very injury prone. If Bradshaw does indeed get injured, Ballard becomes the undisputed No. 1 running back for Indy. That alone makes selecting him worth it here.
Round 10: (99) Fred Jackson– Fred Jackson is past his prime, but his talent and the likelihood he will score an occasional TD make him a worthwhile pick here.
Round 11: (102) Golden Tate– With Percy Harvin gone for most of the year, I think Tate becomes the Seahawks’ top receiver. He could pay huge dividends here.
Round 12: (119) San Francisco 49ers D/ST- At this point most people are just drafting sleepers, so there’s a lot of value in drafting a top defense right here that you can play week in, week out. Considering that the Seahawks D went three rounds earlier, I love the value I’m getting with the 49ers D here.
Round 13: (122) Danny Woodhead– I like Woodhead in San Diego. His versatility may allow the Chargers to use him like they did Darren Sproles a few years back. He’s worth taking a flier on here.
Round 14: (139) Joique Bell– I drafted Bell simply as a handcuff for Bush. If Bush goes down I think Bell is the running back you want in Detroit, not Mikel Leshoure.
Round 15: (142) Stephen Gostkowski-I would have had one of the last choices of kickers had I waited another round, but by taking a kicker here I got the first choice. Gostkowski is probably the best kicker in Fantasy so it was worth taking him here.
Round 16: (159) Santana Moss– If I need a fill in at wide receiver during a bye week, I’d love to be able to pair Moss with RGIII. He’s certainly a solid final pick with some upside.
So there you have it. If all turns out well, I ended up with a top 5 QB, a top 3 running back and solid No. 2, two top 10 receivers, the undisputed No. 1 tight end, and even one of the best defenses and kickers. Not too shabby.