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Mike MacGregor | Archive | Email
Staff Writer

Drafting from the Top
Pick 1.04

No more screwing around.

That was my mantra for the fourth of a four part series of mock drafts organized by FF Toolbox. The mock drafts are 12 teams, performance scoring plus one point per reception, all positions. We start 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex (RB, WR or TE), 1 K and 1 DEF.

Anyone who has been following along my progression through these mocks since late May and June probably met the July edition with responses of, "huh?", "oof" and comments I can't repeat to keep our PG website rating. (Good thing a lot more falls under PG these days!)

I self-admitted, I was screwing around last time to a degree. I was taking some positions early I wouldn't normally take. I was taking players I normally never consider. I was trying some things out, shaking things up. For the most part it is a mock draft so I figured, why not? That is what they are designed for – practice.

Well this time, no more Mr. Nice Guy. I was assigned the fourth pick, and the draft below is, in my opinion, a great example of what someone can accomplish in a PPR-Flex league with an early draft pick. The results are a stud RB, great WR corps (super great, in fact) plus choice of stud QB or stud TE.

You are admittedly weaker at second RB, but the PPR angle allows you an opportunity to find some value. All in all, this approach will give you a team in solid contention out of the gate. My pick commentary as the draft commenced is below.

Note: Even though this mock draft is for the purpose of viewing trends where players are getting drafted, we are playing out the league in a draft masters format. That means, total points with no starting lineups submitted or free agent moves during the season. Note there are some strategy points specific to draft masters leagues that do come into play which could have a minor impact on the draft results.

1.04 - RB Jamaal Charles, KC

FF Today's projection guy Mike Krueger is a KC homer, so this works out nicely. I really haven't been able to disseminate very much between the top 4-5 rushers this season, especially since Arian Foster is more risky with his gimpy hamstring. As a result the fourth spot is almost ideal for me, getting the leftovers. In this case it was Chris Johnson who fell outside the top 4 because he was still in the thick of his holdout.

2.09 - WR Mike Wallace, PIT

Not the highest remaining WR per the FF Today official projections, but the guy I feel most comfortable with by a fair margin amongst the available choices right now. And I doubt he'll make it back to me in the 3rd. I think this guy is ready to really turn some heads even more than he already has his first two years in the league.

3.04 - WR Wes Welker, NE

Extremely tempted to go RB here but there are a lot of nice options on the board so I'll take my chances one of them comes back. WR is a little thinner, in my opinion. Welker's decline last year from the three prior 110+ catch seasons I really think had more to do with his knee than anything. I'm not saying he'll return to 110+ catches, but I think he has a safer floor than most with potential to rebound into the top 10.

4.09 - WR Steve Johnson, BUF

I'm a little skittish on Stevie Johnson as a WR2, but when the opportunity presents itself to add him as a WR3, I'm very happy with that. Yes, it is at the cost a my RBs, but that is okay, as I can work some value picks at that position while other teams are filling in their starting WR corps.

5.04 - TE Jermichael Finley, GB

He hasn't played a full 16-game season in this three-year career, but the glimpse last year catching 300 yards through four games is enough to keep fantasy players rolling the dice on Finley with a relatively high draft pick. After an off-season working with Larry Fitzgerald, plus entering a contract year, I'll roll the dice on him here over some more established veteran TEs.

6.09 - RB Reggie Bush, MIA

I was targeting Reggie at this pick a round ago, and he did come back to me. Marshawn Lynch was tempting as he was also still on the board. I might have been able to grab both if I took Lynch first, as people generally don't believe Bush can and will stay healthy in the role the Dolphins are carving out for him. I didn't want to overthink it and potentially lose Bush, though. I'm optimistic about him, and think he can really surprise getting drafted this late in a PPR scoring league.

7.04 - QB Matt Ryan, ATL

If I had made a list of my top 4 picks when this round started, I would have just landed my 4th preference after Marshawn Lynch, Brandon Jacobs and Ben Roethlisberger. I agree with Draft Sharks' assessment that Ryan is perhaps a little safer than Big Ben. Between them I would have taken Ben too. I'm tempted to let it ride at QB but some common sense is coming over me that I'd better secure a decent passer right now. Ryan says they want to push the ball down the field more this season. I'm all for that, if he can make it happen.

8.09 - QB Josh Freeman, TB

Freeman represents a bye week conflict with Ryan, but I like Freeman a mile ahead of the next group and with me waiting to take my first QB, I need to put more emphasis on a reliable backup... in this case, 1B to Ryan's 1A.

9.04 - RB Michael Bush, OAK

Although we are relatively high on Darren McFadden around these parts, in my drafts I've been ending up with Michael Bush a fair bit. He is a solid upside pick who is capable of producing a little bit in a sharing role too. I'm seeing some positive signs from the Raiders offense to be a little optimistic about them. And will McFadden stay healthy for 16 games? Hard to say, but the odds seem against it. He didn't make it a week through training camp.

10.09 - WR Jordy Nelson, GB | 11.04 - WR James Jones, GB

This pair of picks play more to the draft masters format than a typical redraft league. Pairing Nelson and Jones would typically be a nightmare to start one of them week to week, but there should be enough big games for them combined to make them useful contributors.

12.09 - RB Danny Woodhead, NE

I need another RB and one who can catch some passes. Woodhead would be another guy who is tough to start weekly the way the Pats use their RBs (when healthy). Woodhead is a gamer though and should have a decent role to contribute some strong fantasy games this season. I'm not convinced the invisible through training camp Shane Vareen and preseason wunderkid Stevan Ridley will steal many touches from the veterans who know how to protect the franchise, Tom Brady.

13.04 - WR Mike Williams, SEA

Williams' fantasy stock has tanked this preseason after the team added Sidney Rice, Zach Miller and Tarvaris Jackson. By all accounts though, this is a guy who has turned his attitude towards football completely around. He is committed to working out in the offseason, and looked very good last year in his first year back after an extended absence. I'd consider Williams a value this late in the draft. Someone who should live up to this spot, and could very well exceed it. Here is hoping his QB can be reasonably competent. The jury is still out on that one.

14.09 - TE Tony Moeaki, KC

Moeaki should rank pretty high on the list of receiving targets on the Chiefs. I'm not a big fan of the Steve Breaston signing and rookie Jon Baldwin hasn't impressed the team in his first training camp. I was however impressed with Moeaki's rookie campaign last year and expect him to step up his production in year two.

Editor's Note: This draft was conducted before reports of Tony Moeaki's knee injury... an injury which may land him on IR.

15.04 - QB Donovan McNabb, MIN

After taking two QBs with the same bye week, I have more incentive to take a third, which isn't a bad idea in the first place given the draft masters format. McNabb fits the bill as someone secure as a starter who should piece together some decent games this year, and hopefully one of them is when Ryan and Freeman are off. The Vikings head to Carolina that week.

16.09 - K Nate Kaeding, SD

17.04 - DEF Atlanta Falcons

18.09 - WR Denarius Moore, OAK

I am pretty full up on receivers at this point, but given all the hype about Moore this preseason, I'm relatively surprised he lasted this long, so I'll take a chance on him. It is never a bad idea to stockpile receivers in a PPR league.

19.04 - DEF Kansas City Chiefs

20.09 - K Jason Hanson, DET