On Sunday night, 10 of Rant Sports’ best fantasy football minds got together for this year’s third mock draft, and first with PPR scoring. With the sixth pick in the draft, I can’t complain about the position I was given and ended up very happy with the results.
Round 1 (6): RB Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns – This was the only pick that I had to think about and I used the entire 90 seconds to decide (other drafters love it when you do that). With Jamaal Charles going the pick before, I had to decide between Richardson, Ray Rice and LeSean McCoy. All are great PPR picks, but I fear both McCoy and Rice may lose touches this season so I eventually went with Richardson.
Round 2 (15): TE Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints – A player’s value isn’t based on how much he scores — it’s based on how much more he scores than the others at his position. At TE this season, there’s Graham and then there’s everyone else. Supply and demand has his ADP at around 15th overall and I was happy to snag him here.
Round 3 (26): RB Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars – Outside of 2012, Jones-Drew has missed a total of three games in six seasons. MJD is not an injury-prone back and treating him like Darren McFadden is a mistake. The overreaction to last season’s foot injury makes him an absolute steal at 26th overall.
Round 4 (35): WR Andre Johnson, Houston Texans – Waiting for the fourth round to draft a WR in a PPR league is a little risky, but I was happy with how it turned out. Although he had only four scores, Johnson’s 112 receptions and 1,598 receiving yards from last season give me plenty of confidence in him as my WR1.
Round 5 (46): QB Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions – With several receivers on the board who I lump into the same class, I decided to grab my QB in this round and was pleased to grab Stafford. In the last two seasons, the Lions have led the NFL in pass attempts and Stafford has averaged 5,003 passing yards. His drop from 41 total TD to 24 in those seasons is concerning, but I think it’s safe to project around 30 TD in 2013.
Round 6 (55): WR Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs – I was surprised Bowe dropped this far as a lot of drafters love his upside this season. With a huge upgrade at QB in Alex Smith and a pass-happy coach in Andy Reid, I expect a career year from Bowe. His ADP was around 40th overall and I was very glad to snatch him here.
Round 7 (66): WR Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers – With Mike Wallace gone, Brown is now Ben Roethlisberger’s clear cut No. 1 wide receiver. If he stays healthy, Brown should be a very solid WR3 with upside.
Round 8 (75): QB Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks – This pick probably upset a couple people, but I regret nothing! A lot of drafters have a patient strategy with QBs and it is burning some of them this year. I believe in depth at thequarterback position. I won’t rest my entire fantasy football season on the health of one player, and a good quarterback is much tougher to replace than a wide receiver or running back. Wilson brings depth and great upside to my team and could alternate starts with Stafford based on matchup.
Round 9 (86): RB Daryl Richardson, St. Louis Rams – This was my last chance to pick up a starting running back and Richardson has that spot all but locked up, per the St. Louis Post Dispatch. In limited action last season, Richardson caught 24 passes and averaged 4.8 yards per carry. Not bad for a round-nine pick.
Round 10 (95): WR T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts – Hilton and Andrew Luck’s chemistry really started to pick up toward the end of 2012. Over the last seven games Hilton led the Colts in both receiving yards and touchdowns. Like most drafters, I aim for upside in the late rounds and Hilton has plenty.
Round 11 (106): RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Atlanta Falcons – I am in the minority as someone who’s not big on Steven Jackson this year. Granted, his scoring opportunities should increase in Atlanta, but he is a 30-year-old back and has averaged 331 touches per season since 2005. A decline in his physical abilities can’t be too far off. I think Rodgers will see an expanded role in 2013, and his 53 receptions from last season looked very good to me in round 11.
Round 12 (115): D/ST Chicago Bears, – I’m usually comfortable waiting a little longer on a defense, but at this point I felt pretty confident at most positions so I went for it. Last season’s highest scorer was available so I grabbed the Bears.
Round 13 (126): WR Malcom Floyd, San Diego Chargers – With Danario Alexander out for the year, Floyd is Phillip Rivers’ No. 1 receiver. Some drafters value Vincent Brown over him because of Floyd’s latest knee injury, but there was no structural damage. The injury-prone wideout is always a gamble, but his high ceiling makes him worth a bench spot.
Round 14 (135): RB Marcel Reece, Oakland Raiders – Reece’s 52 receptions from last season makes him a decent pick for the second-to-last round. Don’t be fooled by his fullback listing; the former wideout brings plenty of speed with his strength and will likely see an increased workload if the ever-injured McFadden goes down again.
Round 15 (146): K Randy Bullock, Houston Texans – He is a kicker and he was there. I don’t know why we have kickers in fantasy football, but here’s mine.
Overall, I’m very pleased with this team. I’ve got plenty of upside with not too much risk, and my season won’t be over if one guy goes down for the year. My starting running backs aren’t on the highest scoring teams, but they are the center of their respective offenses and get the bulk of the opportunities their teams do manage. I was patient at wide receiver and still made out pretty well. Even in a PPR league, I believe wide receiver is the safest area to be patient. It is the most crowded position and the easiest to repair if you mess it up.
At quarterback, again, I believe in depth. With so many running quarterbacks, and the fear of injury that comes with them, I’m not the only one making sure they have a good backup. Being overly patient here can hurt you big time this season. At tight end, Graham is a difference-maker and well worth my second-round-pick. The separation he will potentially bring at his position could be an enormous advantage.
QB: Matthew Stafford, Russell Wilson
RB: Trent Richardson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Daryl Richardson, Jacquizz Rodgers, Marcel Reece
WR: Andre Johnson, Dwayne Bowe, Antonio Brown, T.Y. Hilton, Malcom Floyd
TE: Jimmy Graham
K: Randy Bullock
D/ST: Chicago Bears
Read more of my thoughts on fantasy football 2013 here