Back for the third installment of the FF Toolbox summer of mock
drafts. Commentary can be found for the May
and June mocks, and while this one
took place mostly in August, it started late July and shall be known
as the July mock. The plan last I heard was to run another draft
in August but run that as a draft-and-go league, meaning we draft
the teams but don't do any in-season team management. Just let it
run on its own and see who ends up at the top of heap through 16
weeks. More on that when the time comes.
For now, let's check
out the July mock draft.
The draft is 16 rounds, and this time I got the 11th pick. With
the top starters I accumulated through the first 6 rounds, I have
to tell you, I love the 11th pick. If only I could guarantee it
would go this way every draft. Check the full
draft report and my pick commentary below.
- Point-per-reception scoring
- Start: 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 K and 1 DEF
Frank Gore, SF - I know a lot of people drafting near the
end of Round 1 this year are tempted to go WR-WR, but I think
it makes more sense to go with a RB-WR combo to stay flexible
through the 3rd/4th. If you go RB-RB, then you somewhat force
your hand to draft at least one WR in the next two rounds, or
vice versa. You may not get good options or value at that position
with your next set of picks. This is a particularly important
consideration at this draft spot because once you say goodbye
after your 2nd round pick, there are a lot of picks - 20 - before
it gets back to your 3rd round pick.
As for picking Gore, he does it all well, particularly catching
the ball. It would be nice if he scored a little more, but wear-and-tear
on Brian Westbrook and the age difference between them have me
leaning to Gore. Of course all the "player looks great" reports
from training camp need to be taken with an oversized grain of
salt this time of year, but current reports are that Gore, "is
tearing up training camp."
Calvin Johnson, DET - "Okee-dokee, I did not expect Calvin
to make it back to me. I was ready to go off the reservation with
a non-consensus pick which would surely put me at the bottom of
MFL's draft recap ratings, but my other guy is a dwarf next to
CJ's 6'5" 235 lbs. Yep, I've got to take him."
That was my exact comment from the MyFantasyLeague.com draft
report at the time I made the pick. I stayed quiet on just who
that non-consensus pick might be, and part of the reason I went
with Gore in the 1st was because I was going to be more okay taking
this other WR instead of Johnson, than taking RB options like
Westbrook, DeAngelo Williams, Steve Slaton, Marion Barber over
Gore. Now I can finally say who that WR I was - the Packers' Greg
Jennings. Jenning's ADP is about a half round lower than Johnson.
I have a really strong feeling about Jennings and the Packers
offense this season. I'll have to make up for that later in my
Pierre Thomas, NO - Thomas in one of those players who has
and continues to slowly creep up average draft position rankings.
The reason for that is because the more you look at this guy,
the more there is to like. Reggie Bush's role does not interfere
with Thomas' role. Thomas had a monster 2nd half in 2008 and looks
to build off that in 2009.
Aaron Rodgers has all the weapons he needs
heading into his second full year as a starter.
Aaron Rodgers, GB - Here is where I try to make up not taking
Greg Jennings earlier (2.02) even though I'm very bullish on the
Packers offense. Check the receivers Rodgers has to work with
- Jennings, Donald Driver, James Jones and Jordy Nelson, plus
a new TE in Jermichael Finley creating some buzz. It is often
those 3rd, 4th and 5th receiving options who, while not studs
by any stretch, are very good allowing the QB to spread the ball
around and vault from good to great fantasy status. Not to mention
Jennings is on the cusp of stud-dom. Ryan Grant comes back healthy.
This is only Rodgers' second year as the starter and he impressed
me right out of the gate last year. After riding pine for 3 years
behind Mr. Favre, you know he must have soaked in a ton of experience
in 2008, which puts him in prime position for a great 2009.
DeSean Jackson, PHI - I am pretty much in shock that, in a
PPR league starting only 2 RB and 2 WR, that Tony Gonzalez is
still sitting here as an available option. This is after Jason
Witten already went over 20 picks ago, plus Antonio Gates in the
early 4th and Dallas Clark in the early 5th. Why is Gonzo still
here? Oh wait, this pick commentary is about DeSean Jackson. Yep,
well I checked, as you most definitely should when drafting near
the turn on either end of the draft, and Witten was drafted by
FansFF, picking right after me. They won't be picking Gonzo. I
can get him at my next pick. And I did.
Tony Gonzalez, KC - In fairness to DeSean Jackson, I spent
my entire 5.11 pick commentary on Gonzo, so turnabout is fair
play. Jackson was my best option at that pick, and I did expect
FansFF to pull at least one if not two WR on the turn. Jackson
was great as a rookie last season. You can see the natural talent
bubbling over in this kid. The Eagles bolstered their offensive
line like nobody's business in the off-season, giving Donovan
McNabb lots of time to pick and choose his receiving options.
Whether the Eagles plan to ratchet down Westbrook's workload or
not, Jackson in entrenched as the Eagles' top wideout.
Check out that lineup six picks in: Rodgers, Gore, Thomas, Johnson,
Jackson, Gonzalez. It is times like these I wish this wasn't a
LenDale White, TEN - While there are a couple RB starters
still on the board, I'm not crazy about those options and instead
turn to not much of a pass receiver but the underrated, underappreciated
(in fantasy circles) LenDale White. Yes, yes, Chris Johnson is
the next best thing to sliced bread, but as we know, a primary
RB logging 75% or more of the carries is not the way most teams
are running these days, especially teams who put so much focus
on their running game. The Titans were the epitomy of this in
2008 as White registered 15 TD. White is slimmer this training
camp, but I'd rather a slimmer more focussed RB than a larger
questionable work ethic RB, wouldn't you? White continues to offer
good draft value.
Bernard Berrian, MIN - I might be sacrificing some catches
but I'm going with upside over some more experienced, steady-Eddie
type receivers still on the board like Hines Ward and Derrick
Mason. Berrian has never had a good NFL QB, which is a contributing
factor to his low catch-to-target ratio. If Sage Rosenfels can
do better than Tarvaris Jackson - and I think he can - then Berrian
could enjoy a career year, even on similar targets as in the past.
Kevin Walter, HOU - WR is the position I'm least confident
about on my squad, and the same can be said for FansFF's squad
drafting next (wink), so back to the well at WR I go. I'm buying
into the high expectations being heaped onto the Texans offense
this off-season, and Walter represents acceptable value at this
David Garrard, JAC - Every draft I do there continues to be
a big gap of blank spots from the top of the QB rankings down
to Garrard, Garrard, and then another big gap of blank spots below
him until we get into the likes of Joe Flacco, Chad Pennington.
As I told a friend recently, Garrard is just sort of there. He
isn't going to wow you by going out and winning a game for you
most weeks, but he'll be consistently good enough to not lose
a game for you either, and ultimately end up as a top 12 QB. Not
a great starter, but a very good backup and reliable spot starter
you can wait on to draft.
Fred Taylor, NE - While I would have had to consider drating
Laurence Maroney at my next pick, the option was not there because
KFFL grabbed Maroney just before this pick and my pre-draft kicked
in for Taylor. That is all for the better anyway. The last thing
I want to do is play musical chairs with the Pats RB situation.
I did it last year in one league and it was not fun. Still, Taylor
is worth a shot here because I do believe he is the best RB on
the roster and could earn the lion's share of the carries. Maroney
may have more athletic ability at this point given his youth relative
to Taylor, but he hasn't shown to do much with it, which is why
they went out and got Taylor in the first place. At this price,
I'd put my chips on Taylor being the guy with upside.
12.02 DEF San Diego Chargers - Shawne Merriman is back and ready
for a banner year. His
Twitter page told me so. With a full year under aggressive
defensive coordinator Ron Rivera, who was promoted in late October
last year, this defense should return as a fantasy force. They
play in a weak division and should run roughshod over the Chiefs,
Broncos and Raiders. One of the few defenses worth drafting a
little earlier than you might otherwise draft your defense.
Isaac Bruce, SF - I am actually excited about this pick. Josh
Morgan is the 49ers' WR getting all the fantasy love right now,
and Michael Crabtree is still getting drafted relatively high
considering he hasn't signed a contract yet and doesn't appear
close to doing so (although these things can turn around quickly).
Still, Crabtree is setting himself back for this year, which brings
us to old man Bruce. He considered retirement, but came back and
is having an excellent camp. In a 2-start WR league, he may never
start for me and I probably hope he doesn't, but its nice to give
Bruce some props at a great value this late.
Ricky Williams, MIA - Hey, for one of my few drafts this year
I do not have Ronnie Brown, but no one seems to want to give Ricky
Williams any love at all so he fell all the way down to the 14th
round here. Ricky is slowing down but in a reserve role on a solid
running team, and in short bursts should he be thrust into starting
action, he will perform admirably. Ronnie hasn't been a pillar
of health in his career, so Ricky is a good depth pick.
Kris Brown, HOU - I think the Texans offense is setting itself
up for big things, and Kris Brown has been pretty reliable and
consistent with a big leg in recent years as it is anyway.
Kevin Jones, CHI - Even this late in the draft there are still
some nice upside picks worth drafting, although most of them in
my opinion are at WR, like Devin Thomas or James Jones. As it
stands though, a 6th RB is going to be more valuable than a 6th
WR. I could have justified rookie Glen Coffee as insurance on
Frank Gore, or Sammy Morris as another option in the NE backfield,
but I'll go with Kevin Jones here. I've always liked Jones and
think he's gotten a bit of a bad rap. He was playing on the Lions
all those years after all. Should Matt Forte go down, Jones could
be like a lottery ticket that cashes.