Once again this year I was invited to participate in a series of
mock drafts organized by FF Toolbox. The setup is a 12-team league
with standard performance plus PPR scoring, 4 points for passing
touchdowns and -1 for interceptions. The starting lineup requires
1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex RB/WR/TE, 1 K and 1 DEF, and we’re
drafting 18 roster spots.
Based on random selection, I drew the eighth pick in the draft for
the first in the series, the June mock. We finished up last week
and I’m here to share the results.
While I was initially not enthused with the eighth pick, I thought
the results were pretty darn good. On a couple of occasions I was
able to draft the last or nearly last player in an upper tier at
his position before a drop-off in my rankings. Through eight rounds
this team is fairly stout with nice balance across the board at
the starting QB, RB, WR and TE positions.
Included below are the complete draft results (screenshots courtesy
of the Cheatsheet Compiler /
Draft Buddy), and commentary about what I was thinking through
each of my picks. I’d be happy with this team heading into
the 2010 season. Maybe a middle of the pack draft pick isn’t
so bad? You be the judge.
Rashard Mendenhall, come on down with the 8th overall pick in the
draft. Now I am not entirely buying into this "Steelers are
going to become a smash-mouth running team" theory which a
lot of people are peddling these days, but of the available RB options
- and with Andre Johnson off the board - Mendenhall looks the part
of a solid, talented plus heavy workload back. Of key importance,
he had 25 catches last year. Those had to be the quietest 25 catches
by a RB in recent memory, but shows he is an all-around threat.
Further, Mike Tomlin loves this guy. He's been transparent about
that since early last season. With Willie Parker out of the picture
and no real competition for carries, the Steelers will need to lean
on Mendy, and he should be in line for a big season.
Austin bust onto the scene last year in a big way. Virtually unused
through the first three games, Austin finished with a regular season
line of 81-1,320-11 to earn the undisputed #1 WR role in Big-D,
and he showed enough so fantasy players can feel confident it wasn't
a fluke. While Austin doesn't have the body of work, I'd say he
has less red flags - a more reliable QB than Larry Fitzgerald or
Calvin Johnson, and much younger legs than Randy Moss or Reggie
Wayne. Dez Bryant isn't a threat to Austin's production in the short-term.
Austin is set up to have great campaign in 2010.
I thought Greene might go in the 1st. I really thought he would
go in the 2nd. Apparently everyone is scared off from his lack of
pass catching prowess, and it does have to be considered in this
scoring format, but to get the feature RB on one of the best rushing
and defensive teams in the league looks like he's been slightly
discounted here in the mid-3rd. Whether you believe LaDainian Tomlinson
is on his last legs or not, Greene is still the feature guy with
lots of touches to go around even if it comes without a lot of catches.
Sims-Walker had some clunkers last year, including a late season
swoon and the infamous scratch Week 5 for missing curfew while he
was playing Sleepless in Seattle. On the flipside when Walker was
on he performed great, scoring a TD and/or exceeding 80 yards in
8 games. For a young, first year starter, Walker looked the part
of an emerging fantasy WR1. The Jags are sure to continue their
conservative offensive approach, but without much competition for
catches, Walker will still command the bulk of David Garrard's attention.
The drop-off is coming at WR, and while I don't see a return to
Ochocinco's 90+ catch, 1,400 yard days, a more conservative 80-1,000-8
season is still very achievable and a welcome addition as my WR3.
Sure, there have been some questions about his priorities recently
directed from his QB, but after the antics and showboating this
is one of the harder working players in the league. Oh, and he appears
to be on a solid all-around team all of a sudden. Chalk it up as
a lower ceiling, but also higher floor pick at a good price in the
middle of the 5th round.
Adding to my stable of young players who made a name for themselves
last year and I expect the trend to continue, I give you Brent Celek.
It was supposed to be Jermichael Finley, who I had queued up and
commented on before I decided to test if he might actually last
until this pick. Celek is a good consolation prize though, who hauled
in almost 1,000 yards and 8 TDs in 2009. Funny enough, Celek's two
highest reception games came with Kevin Kolb at QB. Based on my
numbers there is a drop-off at TE after the top 7 are off the board.
Short of nabbing a top 4 pick in the draft, I'm beginning to like
this middle of the pack spot.
When people are jockeying for different WRs from one team, not really
knowing which one might breakout, and the RB duo are both good pass
catchers, maybe, just maybe the right play is the QB from that team.
We know why there are bullish fantasy expectations of the Chicago
Bears offense - the addition of OC Mike Martz. And why not? Martz
turned Jon Kitna, Shaun Hill and J.T. O'Sullivan into useful plus
fantasy players. What can he do with rocket arm Cutler? Plenty of
pass attempts, yards, scores and... at least INTs are only minus
Ricky Williams is 33 years old, which is a big red flag for a RB.
As fantasy football enthusiasts, we've been through the extreme
highs, downright lows to the outright bizarre of Ricky Williams
through his career. While the days of 350+ carries are now well
in the past, Ricky has carved out a nice role for himself on an
improving, competitive, run-oriented Miami Dolphins team. He does
what is asked of him, and he does it well. Ricky amassed almost
1,400 yards and 13 TDs last season. Some of that came as a result
of Ronnie Brown going on IR in Week 11, but given Brown's inability
to avoid getting dinged up, the 'Phins will get Ricky involved in
a decent timeshare, which is perfectly fine at age 33.
There were some nice players grabbed in that last turn - Kevin Kolb,
Ahmad Bradshaw, Santana Moss, Zach Miller, Fred Jackson, Jerome
Harrison, Visanthe Shiancoe in particular in my opinion. It left
the cupboard depleted in talent, but still with a lot of players
in the "if things break right..." category. Aromashodu
is one of those players. In an extremely small sample size at the
end of last year, he was incredible. Jay Cutler sung his praises
and new OC Mike Martz also singled him out (in a good way) back
in May. He looks to be third on the depth chart, which highlights
the risk but the potential upside makes him a decent 9th-round gamble.
As a rookie, barely on people's fantasy radar... sure, I'll buy.
Last year as a late 1st-to 2nd-round pick... no thanks. This year,
back to low expectations - health permitting - in line for a decent
chunk of what we expect to be one of the more prolific offenses
in the league... okay, I'm in. Slaton red-shirted for OTAs but with
this pick I'm hopeful he's back to full contact for training camp.
If he's on equal footing he can outplay the other Houston backs
for carries, and there is little question Slaton is the best pass-catcher
of the trio.
I'd be better off building depth at RB or WR, but there aren't too
any "must have" players jumping out at me for this point
in the draft. Carlson is a notch above the remaining TE. We'll see
if the Seahawks can cobble together enough offense to help him improve
from his decent first two years in the league.
At this point I have to decide if I want a 3rd string WR on a good
team or a 1st WR on a terrible team. Evans may be a burner, not
ideal for PPR scoring, but I'm optimistic Chan Gailey can put him
in a better position to succeed than the prior coaching staff. He's
probably the only WR that should be drafted on the Bills. It is
a gamble to see if Buffalo has improved at all. There is always
a chance to surprise.
At this point I have to decide if I want a 3rd string WR on a good
team or a 1st WR on a terrible team. Massaquoi may be a sophomore,
but he got plenty of playing time as a rookie. He's probably the
only WR that should be drafted on the Browns. It is a gamble to
see if Cleveland has improved at all. There is always a chance to
Okay, in all seriousness I was at the Blue Jays-Cardinals game at
the time I made this pick, trying to keep the mock draft moving
along, and Massaquoi was the only player I remembered was available
thanks to Kitsnowís
suggestion on the FFToday Board. Kitsnow lobbied for Massaquoi
back in the 12th round. Thanks Kitsnow for the assist.
Garrard is a steady-Eddie of quarterbacks. Some fantasy people were
promoting Garrard last year as a value pick. No, he wasnít
then and he isnít now. Sure, you can get him late so his projected
end of season numbers look decent enough relative to this low cost
draft pick, but truth be told, Garrard isnít going to win
you many fantasy games on his own. Of course, he isnít going
to lose you many games either. Like I said, steady-Eddie production.
With a wildcard like Jay Cutler as my starter, a nice, consistent,
reliable backup (at a low draft cost) is just what I need. Garrard
fits the bill.
Like Henderson zipping down field trying to catch a long bomb from
Drew Brees, I'll take a shot here. I am impressed with how Henderson
transformed himself from someone known for his stone hands when
he entered the league into a fairly reliable pass catcher. He may
never be overly fantasy relevant, but he deserves props in round
It is possible I should have drafted a starting defense a little
sooner, but for a low scoring position, which is very unpredictable,
the Dolphins will either do fine for me or will be quickly replaced
with a fine option off the waiver wire.
Donít over think the kicker position. Get one who is competent
playing on a good overall team, which should result in plenty of
opportunities to score.
I considered Lex Hilliard here to backup the Ricky Williams pick,
but further research on Hilliard showed the Dolphins are not completely
sold on him being able to step in for Ricky or Ronnie Brown if either
get injured. Iíll take a final long shot pick on Jennings
who backs up pocket Hercules, Maurice Jones-Drew.