Over the weekend, 10 Rant Sports writers gathered to take part in the second 2013 Fantasy Football Mock Draft.
I was happy to draft from the No. 3 spot in this standard scoring mock. Drafting this early ensured me of one of the four running backs I consider to be top-tier. This season, grabbing a running back early is arguably more important than ever with so few clear-cut workhorse backs and more and more committees. With just two starting wide receiver slots, my strategy was to stock up on runners early, fill out wide receivers and eventually grab a solid quarterback later on. Here’s how it worked out:
Round 1 – (3) RB C.J. Spiller – After Adrian Peterson and Doug Martin went, I had to decide between Spiller and Arian Foster. One of the most effective runners last year who was held back only by a lack of carries, Spiller looks to be guaranteed at least 15-20 touches per game this season, which should be more than enough for him to do major damage. Foster is still one of the best backs in the league and one of the more prolific scorers, but with injury concerns and news that the Texans may look to lighten high workload this season, Spiller was the choice.
Round 2 – (18) RB Maurice Jones-Drew – MJD had a nightmare season in 2012 as he got injured weeks after a lengthy holdout. The Jags couldn’t move the ball on the ground the rest of the year, so the team has to be thrilled to have Jones-Drew back as their workhorse. There is nobody on the roster that is a threat to his carries or scoring chances, and he is still just 28 and one year removed from a 1,600-yard season
Round 3 – (23) Demaryius Thomas – Thomas broke out in 2012 and the sky is the limit in 2013. Wes Welker’s presence won’t hinder production for the Broncos’ top receiver and big-play threat. He is one of my personal favorites at WR this season.
Round 4 – (38) RB Darren Sproles – With so many quality receivers still left and the running back options wearing thin, I snagged Sproles as my flex option. It may not be a PPR league, but Sproles is still one of the better playmakers out of the backfield and has tons of value even in standard formats.
Round 5 – (43) WR Jordy Nelson – For my second wide receiver (remember, there are only two WR slots), I went with a guy who’s only real downside is injury risk. With Greg Jennings gone, Nelson is the best big-play threat on this team.
Round 6 – (58) WR Mike Wallace – If you hadn’t noticed, when it’s not PPR I like going for the playmakers and deep threats. Wallace is a guy that could disappear all game but still end up having a great fantasy day after a quick 70-yard touchdown catch.
Round 7– (63) QB Colin Kaepernick – I could’ve gone with another back or receiver, but at this point with Kaepernick sitting there I couldn’t resist. The sophomore slump is a concern, but after what he did in the playoffs last year it’s tough not to be extremely excited about his prospects this year.
Round 8 – (78) WR Greg Jennings– A steal at this point in my book, his value seems to have been deflated because of the presence of Christian Ponder. Sure, Ponder is no Aaron Rodgers, but he surely can get the ball to a guy like Jennings. There’s little risk here as my WR4.
Round 9 – (83) WR Steve Johnson – I’m happy to take another big-time playmaker and a No.1 receiver as my WR5. Hopefully someone can get him the ball.
Round 10 – (98) TE Kyle Rudolph – Time to grab a tight end, and a got a top 10 option in Rudolph. He was a touchdown machine last year, and while he can be all or nothing, at the end of the year his production will eclipse most others at his position.
Round 11 – (103) RB Mikel Leshoure– Many are down on Leshoure because of the addition of Reggie Bush, but he’s still the best goal line back they have and he’ll be a help as an RB4.
Round 12 – (118) QB Jay Cutler – In deeper leagues I tend to wait longer for a QB2, but since there are still quality receiving options out there, it’s worth getting a very solid backup here.
Round 13 – (123) WR Alshon Jeffery – Jeffery looked as though he was about to get it going at one point last year but his season ended abruptly. He is Cutler’s top option after Brandon Marshall and is on the verge of a breakout.
Round 14 – (138) RB Mike Goodson – His stock has dropped after he was arrested and the Jets added Chris Ivory. Nonetheless, it seems as though he won’t be punished for his arrest, and while Ivory will be the bellcow when healthy, Goodson will still see touches as a change of pace guy and has been a playmaker throughout his career.
Round 15 – (143) D/ST Chicago Bears – Da Bears were the best D/ST in fantasy football last year. While much of that had to do with a surprisingly large amount of defensive touchdowns, they are still one of the best plays this year.
Round 16 – (158) K Robbie Gould – I didn’t realize how many Bears I took late in the draft until writing this. Gould is a fine kicking option. If he’s not, I’ll drop him and pick up someone else…simple as that.
QB – Colin Kaepernick, Jay Cutler
RB- C.J Spiller, Maurice Jones-Drew, Darren Sproles, Mikel Leshoure, Mike Goodson
WR –Demaryius Thomas, Jordy Nelson, Mike Wallace, Greg Jennings, Steve Johnson, Alshon Jeffery
TE – Kyle Rudolph
D/ST – Chicago Bears
K – Robbie Gould
I don’t have any issues with how this team ended up. I have my superstar in Spiller, a very good RB2 in MJD and great WR depth. Sure there are a few injury risks, but what team doesn’t have those? I could also turnover some of my receiver depth for help somewhere else, should I need to.