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Staff Writer

June Mock Draft Analysis

Editor's Note: Recenlty members of the FFToday Board completed their annual June Mock draft. This mock will be played out in a real total points league with no transactions, no free agent pickups, no trades in season... properly named the "No-Hassle League." Full results of the mock can be found here. Below is the commissioner's analysis of each team.


1.01- RB Jamaal Charles, KC
2.12- RB Giovani Bernard, Cin
3.01- WR Jordy Nelson, GB
4.12- WR Pierre Garcon, Was
5.01- WR Torrey Smith, Bal
6.12- QB Cam Newton, Car
7.01- TE Jason Witten, Dal
8.12- RB Lamar Miller, Mia
9.01- WR Cecil Shorts, Jax.
10.12- RB Darren McFadden, Oak
11.01- WR Kelvin Benjamin, Car
12.12- TE Jared Cook, Stl
13.01- QB Joe Flacco, Bal
14.12- K Phil Dawson, SF
15.01- D/ST Cincinnati Bengals
16.12- TE Jace Amaro, NYJ

Analysis: There is little doubt in my mind that this will be one of the strongest teams in the league this year based on composition alone. RicemanX built a team that has every single starter (sans Witten) in the prime of their career. The team is also balanced in terms of strength from position to position and there is depth at every position- even tight end. Rice did a really good job of understanding the ebb and flow of value throughout the draft. In other words, he seemed to choose the right positions to go after early, which allowed him to still nab a top-7 QB and top-7 TE from my perspective. Historically, teams that have picked in the top three have done well in the No-Hassle format given the talent they can assemble through the first 27 picks...three of which they own. No exception here. The only possible derailment that I can see - as is the case with many teams - would be injury. Darren McFadden is hurt annually and Jordy Nelson has not been entirely durable in his career either. But, that's nitpicking a very solid effort.

Key to No-Hassle Success: Proven players in their primes don't normally fail to meet expectations unless there is a coaching change or nagging injury to contend with. Or, in the case of a WR or TE, a quarterback change. None of those things apply to Riceman’s team, so the keys to success are just health and depth. Rookies like Benjamin and Amaro could be a huge boost to the team's scoring based on format, or they could be non-contributors, which would hurt. I think the trio of receivers that Riceman has will be middle of the pack scoring-wise with respect to weekly output, but the RBs will be top-notch. Fantasy Football has generally moved away from the RB-RB strategy to open drafts over the past five years, but if you're still going to go there, might as well get a combo like this. Solid.

Favorite pick: I really liked Bernard, obviously, as I think he should have been picked much sooner, but I also liked Cecil Shorts slipping to the ninth round. Often overlooked since he plays for a bad team, Shorts could be a big factor for Rice during the upcoming season.

Least Favorite pick: Lamar Miller. Thought he was picked too soon...but not a huge deal.

Overall outlook: I think I've already stated it, but I'll say it again. This team has No-Hassle title contender written all over it. From the balance of the scoring base to the dynamic potential of the Charles-Bernard combo to the underrated likely production of Newton and Flacco at QB, there is much to like about the assemblage here. If the depth holds up, I see no reason for this team to be anywhere outside of the top three in the league from the opening week on. But, the bye weeks could be an issue if the depth proves to be less than what it could be due to injuries or simply youthfulness of a couple of players. Still, you only have to worry about depth so much when you've probably got the best starting seven in the league. Very well done.


1.02- RB LeSean McCoy, Phi
2.11- RB Alfred Morris, Was
3.02- WR Alshon Jeffery, Chi
4.11- TE Jordan Cameron, Cle
5.02- WR Percy Harvin, Sea
6.11- QB Robert Griffin III, Was
7.02- WR Mike Wallace, Mia
8.11- RB Terrance West, Cle
9.02- WR DeAndre Hopkins, Hou
10.11- WR Danny Amendola, NE
11.02- TE Zach Ertz, Phi
12.11- QB Ryan Tannehill, Mia
13.02- WR Markus Wheaton, Pit
14.11- RB Chris Ivory, NYJ
15.02- K Nick Novak, SD
16.11- D/ST Minnesota Vikings

Analysis: Vikings4Ever has had such a run of success in this league that I am very hesitant to criticize anything he does or has done. I would say his teams' excellence over the years speaks for itself. This year's team, however, simply doesn't contain many if any of the players I was personally targeting in my draft. McCoy is obviously all world and gives the team a fantasy superstar to build around, but many of the other players on the roster concern me. What will Alfred Morris's role be with a new coach/system? Same for RG3 and Jordan Cameron. No one can deny the talent that Alshon Jeffery possesses, but are there enough balls to go around in Chicago for a second consecutive year to warrant such a high selection? Anyone who watched the Super Bowl saw what Percy Harvin can do on a weekly basis, but how will injuries cut into that potential? If it seems like I'm using a lot of question marks in this paragraph, I am. I have complete confidence in the man who picked the team...but less in the team itself. The depth is a bit suspect as well, but full of upside, which is a plus.

Key to No-Hassle Success: Ultimately, Vikes is banking on the Redskins being a much more consistently productive team offensively under Jay Gruden than they were in 2013. If Griffin truly "breaks out", allowing for Alfred Morris to chew up yards on the ground, the ripple effect upon this team will be substantial. Add to that Percy Harvin playing 16 games and a Cleveland QB realizing how valuable Jordan Cameron can be and you've got the potential for a huge season. If the Redskins' offense struggles, however, the opposite ripple could take hold. That is, a team stuck in neutral with only the big weeks from McCoy to rely on in staying competitive. The depth at WR looks like a good fit for the No-Hassle scoring structure to me also, which is good.

Favorite pick: Like I said, none of these players were my targets, but I am anxious to see what the round 10-11 combo of Danny Amendola and Zach Ertz brings. I think both could end up being steals when all is said and done.

Least Favorite pick: Alfred Morris. I thought Giovani Bernard would have really given this team a better, more explosive element had he been selected instead of Morris, whose role in 2014 is more uncertain.

Overall outlook: Last year, Vikes got virtually no points from the TE position and still finished middle of the pack in the No-Hassle league. His teams always perform better than I expect them to, no matter what the circumstance. As such, I have a feeling this team will do just fine...they just don't look as well constructed as Rice's team. Part of that has to do with the fact that I like Newton better than Griffin and Bernard better than Morris. But, if we're going to use players in their prime as a criteria for possible success, Vikes also possesses a team that consists of numerous "in prime" players. Expect this team to be very good if Griffin-Morris-Harvin meet expectations. I think McCoy is in for a huge year as well.


1.03- RB Adrian Peterson, Min
2.10- QB Drew Brees, NO
3.03- WR Antonio Brown, Pit
4.10- WR Andre Johnson, Hou
5.03- RB Chris Johnson, NYJ
6.10- WR Kendall Wright, Ten
7.03- TE Jordan Reed, Was
8.10- RB Khiry Robinson, NO
9.03- WR Hakeem Nicks, Ind
10.10- QB Eli Manning, NYG
11.03- RB Christine Michael, Sea
12.10- TE Tyler Eifert, Cin
13.03- WR James Jones, Oak
14.10- K Steve Hauschka, Sea
15.03- D/ST Denver Broncos
16.10- RB Lance Dunbar, Dal

Analysis: The proven track records of Adrian Peterson and Drew Brees make the first two picks of Robb's draft about as sensible as two picks can be. How do you find fault with that? Answer: You don't. The selections of Peterson and Brees should have allowed Robb to take some chances in the draft later on and in some cases, that is exactly what he did, particularly at running back. How much Chris Johnson has left in the tank and how much Khiry Robinson has in the tank in the first place are questions that made their selections somewhat risky, but certainly understandable given the freedom that the Peterson/Brees scoring base provides. If Andre Johnson is going to play this season and play happy, he's a steal at 4.10. And, Antonio Brown and Kendall Wright could combine for 200 receptions, making them the perfect complement to a healthy, somewhat happy Johnson. Beyond those three, though, I think are red flags when you're talking about Hakeem Nicks and James Jones. I think both have bust potential written all over them. If I'm right, bye weeks might be a bit unpleasant but Robb drafted a top tier team.

Key to No-Hassle Success: Johnson & Johnson. Period. I think Brees and Peterson are elite, Hall of Fame players who, despite their ages, can and will still be dynamic more weeks than not. That leaves Andre and Chris Johnson to be the complements that Robb is trusting them to be. With both guys at the moment, I question their heart for the game. Andre just seems to have lost some of his passion after last year's debacle in Houston and Chris rarely appears willing to run between the tackles and scored many of his points last year on screen passes and/or broken plays. Let's say both end up being top ten at their respective positions. This team may then win at all. We shall see.

Favorite pick: Brees. In a league where so much effort goes into waiting on quarterbacks, Brees gets overlooked too long. I'm also high on Kendall Wright.

Least Favorite pick: Christine Michael. Not because it was a bad pick. Because it messed with my own team/drafting plan.

Overall outlook: Favorable. If Andre and Chris Johnson bust, I don't think this team can or will finish in the top three or four teams at season's end. Peterson and Brees, if healthy all year long, almost insure that the team won't fall on its face and Robb has picked so many young players (Reed, Robinson, Michael, Eifert, Dunbar) that the upside of this team intrigues me as well. The WRs must stay healthy in addition to the Johnson/Johnson factor, but overall I just think teams with two All-World fantasy players usually remain competitive throughout the course of 17 weeks barring something catastrophic. Kudos to Robb for playing it safe early and then expanding his horizons with gutsy picks later on.


1.04- RB Matt Forte, Chi
2.09- TE Julius Thomas, Den
3.04- WR Keenan Allen, SD
4.09- RB Toby Gerhart, Jax
5.04- WR Michael Crabtree, SF
6.09- RB Knowshon Moreno, Mia
7.04- WR Terrance Williams, Dal
8.09- QB Philip Rivers, SD
9.04- RB Maurice Jones-Drew, Oak
10.09- WR Brian Hartline, Mia
11.04- WR Aaron Dobson, NE
12.09- QB Brian Hoyer, Cle
13.04- WR Robert Woods, Buf
14.09- QB Johnny Manziel. Cle
15.04- D/ST New England Patriots
16.09- K Alex Henery, Phi

Analysis: And now we come to one of last season's co-champions and a guy whose drafting style is always unique to say the least. I can never figure out exactly what Dan is doing from pick to pick, but in the end, he's mixed in lots of youth with a few veterans in forming a team that has plenty of raw talent, but plenty of uncertainty as well. I thought Dan was wise to grab six WRs given that the roles of every receiver he selected are not set in stone at this point. That being said, Dan is also the only team in the league with only one TE, so Julius Thomas better hold up or he'll be in deep trouble at a position that means more than some might think. On a more positive note, every player Dan picked - even the veterans - has upside. Allen, Williams, Dobson, and Woods could all be on their ways to great careers in the NFL and Dan is tapping into that potential with the formation of this team. Forte is a near lock to be top-5 at the RB position, so Dan will need either Gerhart or Moreno to be top 15-20 in order to field a rushing attack that is top tier. And, by covering his late QB choice of Rivers with two more QBs, there is security to be found at that position as well.

Key to No-Hassle Success: Avoiding "sophomore slumps". Keenan Allen, Julius Thomas, Knowshon Moreno, and Terrance Williams are all examples of players who either broke out last year because it was their first year in the league or broke out in terms of finally producing at an elite level. Both Moreno and Gerhart have moved on to new teams - teams that are certain to give them carries, but also teams that don't run block nearly as well as the teams they left. Without a dynamic QB and with some uncertainty at WR, RB must be the strength of this team. If both guys fail in their new roles, this team could ultimately fail right along with them.

Favorite pick: Michael Crabtree. In the fifth round, why not select a guy who seems to have all the tools to be a superstar WR from a fantasy perspective. His upside makes this team dangerous.

Least Favorite pick: I thought the trio of Thomas, Williams, and Hartline were all reaches at the spots at which they were picked. All could turn out fine...just not sure their value was accurately assessed.

Overall outlook: For me, this team has the look and feel of a "middle of the pack" team if you will. There is plenty of room for optimism given that the WRs are young and growing and the RBs all appear to be featured in their respective backfields. Rivers will be hard pressed to duplicate last season's numbers, but he's a solid QB to build around given his durability and consistency. For me, it comes down to whether or not Dan has a top-3 or 4 rushing attack on his hands. Anything short of that, and I think the talent of other teams will be too much to overcome. With that, maybe he creeps closer to "front of the pack".

Ray Lewis' Limo Driver:

1.05- WR Calvin Johnson, Det
2.08- RB DeMarco Murray, Dal
3.05- RB Zac Stacy, Stl
4.08- WR Victor Cruz, NYG
5.05- RB Ray Rice, Bal
6.08- QB Tom Brady, NE
7.05- TE Dennis Pitta, Bal
8.08- WR Golden Tate, Det
9.05- WR Riley Cooper, Phi
10.08- RB Darren Sproles, Phi
11.05- WR Anquan Boldin, SF
12.08- QB Carson Palmer, Ari
13.05- TE Antonio Gates, SD
14.08- K Stephen Gostkowski, NE
15.05- D/ST Carolina Panthers
16.08- RB Donald Brown, SD

Analysis: This team looks nasty good to me as long as it can remain healthy and as long as it doesn't prove to be a little long in the tooth. Assuming Ray Rice’s suspension is not lengthy, the trio of Murray, Stacy, and Rice should create a consistent if not dynamic scoring base from the RB position. I also love the Brady, Palmer combo as each tends to have some huge games along with some games where numbers are modest. If those trends were to work in a complementary fashion to one another this season, Ray's potential at the position is probably greater than some might assess it to be. What are we to make of Victor Cruz? Is he an elite WR or another guy whose numbers began fading the moment he signed a big contract? I'm not sold on Cruz as a reliable WR2 which would place a burden on either Golden Tate to find success in Detroit or Riley Cooper to continue to build on what he accomplished last season. As was noted earlier, guys like Sproles, Palmer, Boldin, and Gates are old. They need to hold up and produce as none of them have upside sans possibly Sproles in Chip Kelly's offense.

Key to No-Hassle Success: A couple of things stand out. One, DeMarco Murray must stay healthy. Murray has proven to be a real fantasy asset when he's 100%, but he's been banged up quite a bit over the course of his first few years in the league. Ray needs a minimum of 14 healthy games out of Murray to compete with this team. Second, Ray Rice needs to avoid a suspension and if he doesn't, the "old guys" noted above will need to turn back time for one more year as depth will become very important. Brady, Johnson, and Stacy look safe and productive to me- it really just comes down to the rest of the rushing attack and Victor Cruz working out.

Favorite pick: I think the Ravens are eager to utilize the tight end ad nauseam and as such, I loved the value of Dennis Pitta in the seventh round. I also thought Zac Stacy was a steal mid-third.

Least Favorite pick: Hard to fault much here, but as I noted earlier, I am lukewarm on Victor Cruz. How motivated is he to be elite with his financial needs now met? Color me skeptical.

Overall outlook: Although I'm not as high on this team as say RicemanX's group, I do think this team can win a No-Hassle title if things come together the way Ray intended when he put this group together. Calvin Johnson is a tremendous foundation to build upon and I think Murray and Stacy could average 20+ touches per game as the primary RBs on their respective teams. Aside from a few players, this team is "old" compared to some and that could factor into Ray losing some ground as the season wears on. At the very least, a good start to the year looks likely as the talent of this team shines through.

Remote Controller:

1.06- RB Eddie Lacy, GB
2.07- RB Arian Foster, Hou
3.06- WR Randall Cobb, GB
4.07- WR Vincent Jackson, TB
5.06- WR Wes Welker, Den
6.07- QB Nick Foles, Phi
7.06- TE Greg Olsen, Car
8.07- RB Fred Jackson, Buf
9.06- WR Dwayne Bowe, KC
10.07- RB Danny Woodhead, SD
11.06- QB Alex Smith, KC
12.07- TE Delanie Walker, Ten
13.06- WR Kenny Stills, NO
14.07- RB Andre Brown, Hou
15.06- K Dan Bailey, Dal
16.07- D/ST Kansas City Chiefs

Analysis: Remote's draft for me resembled what is sometimes called in sports the "tale of two halves". I found myself loving what he did for the first eight rounds then shaking my head a bit at picks 9-16. No one can question that the presumed starters on this team should be very good. Lacy and Foster represent two potentially elite RBs who will get plenty of carries and goal line opportunities (assuming Houston can get to the goal line). And, while Remote may not have a true WR1, it is quite possible he has three of the best WR2’s in the game with Cobb, Jackson, and Welker all being picked in succession. Add in the upside of Foles and the fact that Olsen is the only experienced pass-catcher on the Panthers roster and I think the starting seven on this team has few if any equals league-wide. I don't see a lot of production coming from Woodhead (three-headed RBBC), Alex Smith/Dwayne Bowe (no downfield passing game) and Kenny Stills (crowded WR corps). Andre Brown was at least a solid handcuff, but the depth on this team has me worried. The starters have me pumped, though.

Key to No-Hassle Success: Foles needs to take another step forward. Many think the league's defensive coordinators will contain his production better this season. Aside from that, it comes down to health and depth. I love Remote's first five picks more than anyone else's first five draft-wide. I think this team was really well put-together in terms of its projected starters and would expect a very good scoring chemistry to develop. As noted in the previous paragraph, I do worry a little about Foster's TD totals. Yards-wise, he should be great and will combine with Lacy to give this team elite rushing points.

Favorite pick: Absolutely love the picks in rounds 3, 4, and 5. If you told me that I wouldn't be picking a WR until round three and could still nab Cobb, Jackson, and Welker, I'd have suggested that I must be picking against idiots. Three picks...three steals.

Least Favorite pick: Rounds 8-11 will prove to be a setback for this team. I don't see any of those picks (Jackson, Bowe, Woodhead, Smith) really contributing to the overall success of the team.

Overall outlook: I've spoken about what I don't like about this team enough to the point that you might think I'm not high on the team as a whole. That's not the case. The truth for me is that if this team can remain healthy, I think it's going to be easily top five, likely top three, and maybe...just maybe...the best in the league. When you look at Randall Cobb and Wes Welker, you have to also consider who is throwing them the ball. That is, you have to look at Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning. And to keep up in the NFC South, Olsen and Vincent Jackson also stand to get lots of targets. From the waist up, this team has few rivals. Overall, I like its composition very much.


1.07- WR A.J. Green, Cin
2.06- QB Aaron Rodgers, GB
3.07- TE Rob Gronkowski, NE
4.06- WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Min
5.07- RB Trent Richardson, Ind
6.06- RB Shane Vereen, NE
7.07- WR Sammy Watkins, Buf
8.06- RB Joique Bell, Det
9.07- RB Pierre Thomas, NO
10.06- QB Russell Wilson, Sea
11.07- WR Justin Hunter, Ten
12.06- TE Dwayne Allen, Ind
13.07- RB Carlos Hyde, SF
14.06- WR Kenny Britt, Stl
15.07- K Mason Crosby, GB
16.06- D/ST Arizona Cardinals

Analysis: If I remember correctly, someone used the word "uncomfortable" to describe their feelings about a few of these teams. That would be my word for JScott's team. First though, I would like to pay attention to the upside. This team could potentially have the league's #1 QB, #1 WR, and #1 TE and if that happened, it would come as a surprise to no one. Rodgers, Green, and Gronkowski give this team a potentially lethal scoring base. Add in the upside of young, explosive WRs like Patterson and Watkins and it's easy to see how this team could excel. Depth at RB and WR is a bit suspect, but Russell Wilson is a fabulous choice to back up Aaron Rodgers just as Dwayne Allen perfectly backs up Gronk with Andrew Luck looking to get him the ball frequently. So, where's the discomfort? Running back, running back, running back. By selecting four RBs in rounds 5-9, JScott attempted to address the position adequately, but Trent Richardson as a RB1 and the combo of Vereen/Thomas/Bell in supportive roles would scare me to death. I fear it could be the team's huge Achilles heel. But, there is health and prosperity elsewhere as noted.

Key to No-Hassle Success: Gronkowski's health first and foremost. For JScott, that is a familiar theme given that he had to wait for Gronk to come around last season as well. Not choosing a RB in the third round will be fatal to this team's success if Gronk ends up repeating what took place in 2013. I also think an injury or two needs to thrust Vereen, Thomas, Bell, or Hyde into stardom to give the team something unexpected at the RB position. Should Reggie Bush, Frank Gore, Stevan Ridley, or one of the Saints' RBs get hurt longer term, JScott's curious foursome could produce an unexpected diamond in the rough.

Favorite pick: I think the selection of Joique Bell could (and I'm only saying could) save this team. When/if Reggie Bush breaks down, Bell has the capacity to produce RB1-type numbers. It was a timely pick.

Least Favorite pick: Patterson. It will be fascinating to see if a team that doesn't pick a RB until the second half of round five can realistically compete for a No-Hassle title. I would have gone RB for sure in round four.

Overall outlook: I would have zero comfort going into a season with this team given its deficiencies at RB. But, I admire JScott for thinking way out of the box and assembling a team that is unbalanced, but potentially explosive and dynamic in spots. If the #1 QB, #1 WR, and #1 TE scenario were to play out, it would mean JScott would only need to hit on one of his five running backs to be in the mix for a No-Hassle championship. That's certainly within the realm of reason. Whatever happens, it will be fun tracking this unorthodox team.

White Wonder:

1.08- RB Montee Ball, Den
2.05- WR Brandon Marshall, Chi
3.08- RB Bishop Sankey, Ten
4.05- WR Larry Fitzgerald, Ari
5.08- WR Roddy White, Atl
6.05- RB Steven Jackson, Atl
7.08- TE Kyle Rudolph, Min
8.05- QB Jay Cutler, Chi
9.08- QB Tony Romo, Dal
10.05- WR Reggie Wayne, Ind
11.08- WR Brandin Cooks, NO
12.05- RB C.J. Anderson, Den
13.08- RB Jonathan Stewart, Car
14.05- TE Mychal Rivera, Oak
15.08- D/ST St. Louis Rams
16.05- K Blair Walsh, Min

Analysis: I call this the "extreme" team coming into the 2014 No-Hassle season. You have either extreme youth or considerable age within the roster and very little in between. The top two projected RBs enter the 2014 season with one year of combined experience between them. Meanwhile, the projected starting WRs have about 30 years of experience amongst them. Reggie Wayne and Steven Jackson are on their last legs. Brandin Cooks hasn't played a down yet in the NFL. Need I continue? In the end, it is a formula that makes this team impossible to predict as no one really knows how productive Ball and Sankey will be and no one is quite sure whether or not guys like Fitzgerald and White should still be classified as elite fantasy WRs. I do like the QB duo that White Wonder has here and if Romo and Cutler score as they typically do, he'll get some very productive weeks out of them in tandem. Not sure the TEs will do much, but again, with new coaching staffs in place, who really knows? What is known is that when Cutler and Marshall are working well together, this team stands to prosper.

Key to No-Hassle Success: When you spend two of your first three picks on RBs who have never started a game in the NFL, you've taken a tremendous leap of faith. And so it is with the starting duo of Ball and Sankey. No team has a greater risk for falling flat and finishing dead last than this team given that neither Ball nor Sankey may be cut out for the job. And, the emergence of Michael Floyd and Julio Jones may relegate Fitz and White to second banana statuses on their own teams. In the end, with depth not deemed as good as some teams, Ball and Sankey must be good. The WRs will ultimately produce at some level. The RBs must join in or else.

Favorite pick: Fitzgerald. While I am certain that Roddy White is now the second banana in Atlanta, I'm not sure Fitz is ready to concede in Arizona just yet. If he ends up top ten at the WR spot, it will really benefit this team. I liked the selection of Cutler and Romo in rounds 8 & 9 a lot, too.

Least Favorite pick: I thought Ball went too early given what little we know about him. Yes, his situation is ideal, but is he ideal for his situation? Steven Jackson was also a questionable pick given what he did in 2013.

Overall outlook: Anything I would try to suggest about this team's fate would be purely a stab in the dark. With so many variables to consider, WW's group could finish anywhere from first to last and it honestly wouldn't shock me all that much. Guys like Cutler, Marshall, Romo, Fitzgerald, and White do have a history of great fantasy production, but with the exception of Marshall, all of their best days may very well be behind them. What that leaves is two young RBs on an island seeking to lead a team beyond the expectations of some. It's a foundation...but it's a bit of a shaky one to begin the 2014 campaign.


1.09- QB Peyton Manning, Den
2.04- RB Le'Veon Bell, Pit
3.09- RB Andre Ellington, Ari
4.04- TE Vernon Davis, SF
5.09- RB Frank Gore, SF
6.04- WR Marques Colston, NO
7.09- WR Julian Edelman, NE
8.04- RB Stevan Ridley, NE
9.09- RB LeGarrette Blount, Pit
10.04- QB Ben Roethlisberger, Pit
11.09- TE Heath Miller, Pit
12.04- WR Josh Gordon, Cle
13.09- WR Rueben Randle, NYG
14.04- WR Jarrett Boykin, GB
15.09- K Adam Vinatieri, Ind
16.04- D/ST Chicago Bears

Analysis: I spoke about co-champions earlier in the analysis and ICEMAN represents the other half of that distinction after a stellar 2013 campaign. Essentially, he's built the exact flip side of JScott with this team as he waited until round six to pick his first wide receiver. At QB, he has the best. The best there ever was from a fantasy football perspective. That's good. Then, he added four likely starters for their respective teams at RB with both youth and experience blended in. Vernon Davis gives the team an elite tight end just for kicks. So, consider that: Best QB (Manning), deep and talented RB corps led by second year hopefuls Bell and Ellington, and great production likely from the TE position. All would appear to be well. Until you consider just how inferior this WR corps is. Marques Colston is no longer a fantasy WR1. Heck, he may not even be a WR3 at this point. Julian Edelman's role will diminish if Gronk gets healthy...Josh Gordon was probably a wasted pick and Randle and Boykin have competition for playing time all around them. This receiving corps is the league's worst bar none and places a tremendous burden on the strengths of the team in order for success to develop. Proceed with caution.

Key to No-Hassle Success: I like what ICE did at RB. Those five guys are going to produce in good harmony. Manning should have another incredible year and VD is solid and dependable at the TE position. It really does come down to getting something out of Colston, Edelman, Randle, and Boykin. When you take a QB in the first round, you always run the risk of one position being deeply deficient and that's what happened here. If ICE could just rank 8-10 in points for the year at the WR position, he could compete for another league title. That's all it would take with such talent elsewhere.

Favorite pick: It takes guts to take a QB in the first round of this draft, but ICE did the right thing. Manning was the best pick on the board at that time. Ridley was a great pick-up in the eighth round as well.

Least Favorite pick: Gore has too many guys nipping at his heels for carries and Ellington is smallish. I thought ICE should have grabbed a WR instead of taking one of those guys (or both).

Overall outlook: Manning, barring an injury, is never going to let you down in fantasy football. Le'Veon Bell looks like the real deal and I can't help but think that the combination of Ellington, Gore, and Ridley while not ideal, could yield good results based upon their scoring patterns from last year. Can a team with such deficiencies at WR compete in a pass-happy era? Conventional wisdom says no- at least in terms of winning a title. But, don't ever underestimate Manning's ability to carry a team. No greater assurance exists in fantasy football.


1.10- RB Marshawn Lynch, Sea
2.03- WR Dez Bryant, Dal
3.10- QB Matthew Stafford, Det
4.03- RB C.J. Spiller, Buf
5.10- WR T.Y. Hilton, Ind
6.03- RB Rashad Jennings, NYG
7.10- WR Eric Decker, NYJ
8.03- QB Matt Ryan, Atl
9.10- TE Martellus Bennett, Chi
10.03- WR Tavon Austin, Stl
11.10- TE Charles Clay, Mia
12.03- RB Bernard Pierce, Bal
13.10- WR Steve Smith, Bal
14.03- K Matt Prater, Den
15.10- RB David Wilson, NYG
16.03- D/ST San Francisco 49ers

Analysis: The power base of this team is rooted in its "triplet" formation as Stafford, Lynch, and Bryant form the scoring base. There is enough depth to secure additional scoring, but ultimately this team's rise and fall will depend on all three top picks remaining healthy. Of the three, Lynch has the most red flags as he is nearing the end of his career as a top-shelf RB. Does the drop-off begin this year? It could, and if it did, the burden would fall to high-potential guys like Spiller and Jennings to pick up the slack. As with so many RBs this upcoming season, neither of those guys is a sure thing either. In the end, this is a team of value picks that looks good on paper, but may or may not be cohesive from a No-Hassle standpoint. There is a lot of potential there with the mix of veteran and younger players in the fold, but three of the picks are playing with new teams including Eric Decker, whose value is very uncertain without Peyton Manning throwing him the ball. I like this team a lot, but in some ways, they're operating without a net.

Key to No-Hassle Success: I really feel like Stafford and Bryant are established fantasy threats in their primes and as such expect nothing less than production from them. Hilton, likewise, is certain to produce with stability in place at the QB position. And so it comes back to Lynch and the two guys on new teams in New York. Either Decker or Jennings one will need to have some success or else I will have wasted two critical picks on guys that didn't fit with their new systems. My failure to secure Chrstine Michael also insures if Lynch busts, this team probably isn't going to contend. I think the depth on this team is solid, though, and should be a perfect complement to the scoring base should everything unfold as hoped.

Favorite pick: I was quite happy to land Dez Bryant in the second round and also pleased with the acquisition of Tavon Austin late. The Rams seemed to finally figure out how to use him as last season was concluding.

Least Favorite pick: Bernard Pierce/David Wilson. Not because I'm down on those guys...but because Christine Michael needed to be on this team to provide a fallback for Lynch.

Overall outlook: Obviously, one should like their team coming out of a draft in most instances, and for the most part I do. In choosing Stafford, I weakened my #2 RB and WR some and that will certainly haunt me if Stafford fares no better than the half dozen or so QBs chosen after him in this year's June Mock. Bryant and Stafford are capable of big weeks from time to time and I think I'll be in the top-3 in scoring on the weeks that one or both go off. The question is: How far does this team fall when that's not the case with no other "sure thing" RBs or WRs on the roster? I think this team is a contender, but realistically, I like a few teams better given how well they executed a plan out of their respective draft spots.

Matt's Eagles:

1.11- TE Jimmy Graham, NO
2.02- WR Julio Jones, Atl
3.11- RB Ben Tate, Cle
4.02- RB Reggie Bush, Det
5.11- WR Michael Floyd, Ari
6.02- WR Mike Evans, TB
7.11- WR Emmanuel Sanders, Den
8.02- QB Colin Kaepernick, SF
9.11- RB DeAngelo Williams, Car
10.02- RB Devonta Freeman, Atl
11.11- WR Jordan Matthews, Phi
12.02- TE Eric Ebron, Det
13.11- QB Sam Bradford, Stl
14.02- WR Odell Beckham, Jr., NYG
15.11- K Greg Zuerlein, Stl
16.02- D/ST Philadelphia Eagles

Analysis: You would think a team that contains a TE selected in the first round would look pretty odd in other spots, but that is simply not the case with Matt's Eagles as he waited longer to grab a QB and in the process ended up with good depth at WR and a couple of RBs who could pay large dividends if they can stay healthy (both have a history of not doing so). And, if you're wondering why rookie skill position players haven't been mentioned a lot in the overall analysis up until now, it's because so many of them reside on this team. Evans, Freeman, Ebron, Beckham, Matthews...all rookies and all a part of Matt's squad. What is there to be made of all this? I'm not sure exactly. My initial instinct is that Matt got a little rookie-crazy with his selections and may be one of the weakest teams in the league at QB as well. But, on a positive note, Graham is a beast at TE and Julio Jones was headed for a monster season last year before getting hurt. Can they carry this team if most of the rookie selections don't pan out? Very hard to say. It will probably depend mostly on the factors noted below…

Key to No-Hassle Success: Goodness...where to start? Yes, the rookies must produce and yes, Kaepernick needs to improve his yardage totals through the air...but ultimately, this team's success resides with one question and one question only: Can Ben Tate and Reggie Bush stay healthy? DeAngelo Williams and DeVonta Freeman will take this team nowhere if neither Tate nor Bush can stay on the field. A combined 28 out of 32 games played by both Tate and Bush gives this team a chance to excel. Anything short of that and it's up to the rookies and the dynamic duo of Graham & Jones to find a way. It's a cross-your-fingers sort of proposition.

Favorite pick: Emmanuel Sanders could end up being a sneaky good pick, particularly if Wes Welker's game begins to decline and if the rookie Denver drafted is slow to develop. A duplication of Eric Decker's numbers from last year would make Sanders a super steal.

Least Favorite pick: No one particular pick as I thought Matt made good, high-upside selections overall. At some point, though, you've got to realize that your team is nearly half-full of rookies and maybe lay off one or two of them in making later round selections.

Overall outlook: The future is bright if Tate and Bush stay healthy and productive. Some of the young guys should pan out and Kapernick, Jones, and particularly Graham are all capable of big, big weeks when the matchups are right. In the end, I think this team is more "middle of the pack" than anything else as its only true star is a tight end and one that is in the middle of an interesting contract debate to boot. It will certainly be an interesting team to follow with so many players being thrust into new situations to consider. Fun stuff.


1.12- WR Demaryius Thomas, Den
2.01- RB Doug Martin, TB
3.12- QB Andrew Luck, Ind
4.01- RB Ryan Mathews, SD
5.12- WR DeSean Jackson, Was
6.01- WR Jeremy Maclin, Phi
7.12- QB Andy Dalton, Cin
8.01- WR Marvin Jones, Cin
9.12- D/ST Seattle Seahawks
10.01- RB Jeremy Hill, Cin
11.12- RB Roy Helu, Was
12.01- TE Ladarius Green, SD
13.12- WR Greg Jennings, Min
14.01- K Justin Tucker, Bal
15.12- TE Brandon Pettigrew, Det
16.01- TE Coby Fleener, Ind

Analysis: With the first six picks accounting for a QB, 2 RBs, and 3 WRs, Shovel sought to "balance" out his team knowing that the final pick in the first round would fail to grant him a superstar player. That certainly has to be considered a reasonable strategy. The question becomes: Did he balance his team with the right guys? Nearly every player enters an NFL season with question marks of some sort, but Shovel's bunch probably has more than most. Two starters are coming off season-ending injuries in 2013 and two others are injury prone. Add to that suspect depth at RB and a threesome of b-listers at TE and there's plenty to be concerned about heading into this No-Hassle season. On the flip side, however, Demaryius Thomas and Andrew Luck are two guys clearly in their prime who could both finish top-3 at their positions, which would go a long way in insuring overall success. The early D/ST pick left Shovel with some lesser talent than some in later rounds, but the pick would be a solid one in any other format.

Key to No-Hassle Success: With Luck and Thomas providing a dependable foundation, the key to this team is easily Doug Martin. With a new coaching staff in place and the uncertainly of his recovery from a knee injury to ponder, Shovel needs the Doug Martin of 2012 to re-emerge and not the Doug Martin of 2013. Maclin is in a similar situation, although his success is less crucial than Martin's in terms of framing Shovel's overall shot at league glory. Finally, what role will DeSean Jackson play on a new team and with a new coach? And, will Roy Helu have some sort of role on that same team? I think Shovel was smart getting three TEs after waiting so long to select his first.

Favorite pick: Demaryius Thomas. Thomas could easily emerge as fantasy's #1 WR this year. There was no better pick to be made from the #12 spot.

Least Favorite pick: Doug Martin. It could pan out and make Shovel look like a genius, but the risk was too great for me given Martin's struggles last year prior to the injury and then the injury itself. Risky, risky, risky.

Overall outlook: I don't think this team will fall flat due to what Thomas and Luck bring to the table, but I'm not in love with the overall roster certainly as I don't see many explosive scorers there to supplement the foundational players. Ryan Mathews could turn out to be a steal if he is utilized in a fashion similar to last year, but the acquisition of Donald Brown this off-season by the Chargers has me thinking three-headed RBBC in San Diego. Then again, if Andy Dalton connects with Marvin Jones for 10+ TDs again, all bets are off. The #12 spot is a hard place to build a championship contender from and it's hard to fault Shovel's efforts overall. We'll just have to wait and see...