On Saturday night, several experts from Rant Sports got together for the second fantasy football mock draft of the summer. It was a 10-team, standard ESPN scoring format and, with the eighth pick, that left me relatively lukewarm on who I would end up with. Things ended up working out better than expected.
Here is the analysis of the team I ended up with.
Round 1 (8): RB Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks – The strategy that most fantasy players are adopting this season is to go running back early. Somehow Lynch fell into my lap despite being the third ranked player in fantasy coming into the draft.
Round 2 (13): RB Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins – I wanted to go running back, running back in the first two rounds and luckily Morris, a player I’m high on with Robert Griffin III’s injury, was still available.
Round 3 (28): WR Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers – If Rob Gronkowski were healthy, he’d be my no-brainer pick here with how shallow tight end is. However, I was happy getting Cobb here, a guy who will be a heavy target for Aaron Rodgers with Greg Jennings out of Green Bay.
Round 4 (33): QB Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers – Newton could have a big year in his third NFL season. Ultimately, having his passing ability and running ability at quarterback will be a huge asset.
Round 5 (48): TE Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons – I don’t expect Gonzalez to repeat the surprising success he had last season, but with tight end being shallow, he’s one of the better options, especially in the fifth round.
Round 6 (53): WR Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints – Colston isn’t a high-upside pick, but you know what you’re going to get with him, barring injury. I decided just to play it safe here.
Round 7 (68): WR Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville Jaguars – Shorts really came on strong as a deep threat last season. Sure, Blaine Gabbert is his quarterback, but the Jags are going to be playing from behind, which means a lot of swinging for the fences and Shorts is their best deep threat.
Round 8 (73): D/ST Seattle Seahawks – I’m not a fan of taking defense or kickers early, but I was confident enough in my starters to take the best defense in the league here.
Round 9 (88): WR Sidney Rice, Seattle Seahawks – With all of the Seahawks on my roster, I should get Pete Carroll to co-manage this team. With Percy Harvin out for most of the year, I like Rice, if he can stay healthy, to have a big year.
Round 10 (93): QB Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys – If Romo is your starting QB, God rest your soul. However, taking him as a backup is a quality move.
Round 11 (108): WR DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans – All upside here. Hopkins is a rookie with a lot to prove. With his explosive speed opposite of Andre Johnson, he could have a big year.
Round 12 (113): RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Atlanta Falcons – Rodgers may be the backup in Atlanta, but I like his talent. If Steven Jackson goes down, I like Rodgers’ upside.
Round 13 (128): RB Bernard Pierce, Baltimore Ravens – Pierce will get solid work despite playing behind Rice. If Rice should go down, Pierce should also succeed as a starter.
Round 14 (133): TE Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams – I don’t expect much from Cook. If he does happen to breakout of Gonzalez gets hurt, though, it’ll be nice to have him as late-round flyer.
Round 15 (148): WR Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins – Hartline could benefit from Mike Wallace coming to Miami. If that happens, a 15th round pick seems like a small price to pay.
Round 16 (153): K Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland Raiders – Pretty simple: the Raiders can’t score touchdowns, which means a lot of field goals.
QB: Newton, Romo
RB: Lynch, Morris, Rodgers, Pierce
WR: Cobb, Colston, Shorts, Rice, Hopkins, Hartline
TE: Gonzalez, Cook
My team is ultimately built around two top-10 running backs, a dual-threat quarterback, an elite defense, solid receivers, and high-upside players. Getting the two running backs that I did was huge for me in building the rest of my roster. Ultimately, the draft felt like a success.