The Sporting News Fantasy Source experts held their fourth mock draft of the preseason today. This time, it was a 12-team, point-per-reception (PPR) league, with the standard starting lineup requirements (1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 K and 1 D/ST).
In keeping with the trend of late, I was "randomly" assigned the 10th overall pick. Here's what I did with it:
Pick 1.10: Drew Brees, QB, Saints. Rodgers, Brady, Megatron and the elite RBs (plus the former CJ2K and MJD, who don't rank as high in my book) were gone. Brees was an easy choice.
Pick 2.3: Trent Richardson, RB, Browns. Not happy about this pick at all. Was hoping either McFadden or Forte would be here. Just can't feel good about putting this much stock in a Cleveland player, no matter how much potential he has. In hindsight, probably should have taken Jamaal Charles or Andre Johnson.
Pick 3.10: Steve Smith, WR, Panthers. Another disappointing pick. Was eyeing the sliding Mike Wallace and DeMarco Murray, but they went off the board in the two picks before mine. Even at 33, Smith has a chance to be special, but I'd much rather have him as a WR2.
Pick 4.3: Jordy Nelson, WR, Packers. Love this pick. Feel better about my WRs now, though I've got a huge hole to fill in my backfield, and the pickings keep getting slimmer.
Pick 5.10: Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys. Another nice pick, if I do say so myself. Only Gronk and Jimmy Graham are more valuable in a PPR format. Loved this selection, until...Oh, no!
Pick 6.3: Shonn Greene, RB, Jets. I took a calculated gamble that TEs would go off the board between my 5th and 6th round picks, since neither of those teams had one and good options were still available. I really wanted Frank Gore here, but alas, he was taken at 6.2 by a 49ers fan (I should have known!). Michael Turner was my backup plan, but he went right before Gore. Really don't like Greene at all, and now I pretty much hate my backfield.
Pick 7.10: Robert Meachem, WR, Chargers. Has a chance to be Rivers' top WR option, though he is unlikely to perform that way consistently. Still, he's not a bad fantasy WR3.
Pick 8.3: Jahvid Best, RB, Lions. I feel a little better about my backfield now. Of course, Best has to be/stay healthy for him to be worth anything to me. And there are no guarantees about that.
Pick 9.10: Lance Moore, WR, Saints. With Meachem shipped west, Moore will be Brees' WR2 behind the oft-injured Colston. Again, not too bad for a WR4.
Pick 10.3: Ryan Williams, RB, Cardinals. Beanie Wells has proven that he can't be trusted, so Williams will have every opportunity to claim the starting job at some point. Thought hard about Mikel Leshoure here (to hedge my bet on Best), but felt Williams had more upside.
Pick 11.10: Mark Ingram, RB, Saints. The "Trent Richardson" of the 2011 draft has certainly fallen out of favor in fantasy circles; but at the end of the 11th round, Ingram represents significant value. He very well could emerge as the Saints' workhorse this season, which is what the team drafted him to be just one year ago.
Pick 12.3: Randall Cobb, WR, Packers. Love his upside, as do the Packers. Sure, I already own Jordy, but if either he or Jennings gets nicked up along the way, Cobb should step in and perform capably.
Pick 13.10: Packers defense/special teams. They're tops on my defensive rankings, but I got them 3 rounds after the Steelers were taken. My selection started a run on the position, which is always nice.
Pick 14.3: Laurent Robinson, WR, Jaguars. Jacksonville's QB situation can't be that bad. Can it?
Pick 15.10: Alex Henery, K, Eagles. Already had my next two picks set and was pretty certain they wouldn't be taken. So I took my kicker before the choices narrowed even more.
Pick 16.3: Alex Green, RB, Packers. I fully expect this promising rookie to be a major player in the Green Bay backfield early on, with a good shot at overtaking James Starks along the way.
Pick 17.10: Alex Smith, QB, 49ers. My run on Alexes complete, I now have a decent backup QB. If I have to rely on Smith more than once, though, I'm in big trouble.
There you have it. Frankly, I'm not impressed with my team. Made a couple of bad choices, in hindsight, and can't say I feel real good about any position other than QB and TE. Oh well...that's why they call it a MOCK draft.
About the author
Ladd Biro was named 2010 "Football Writer of the Year" by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. Ladd's nationally syndicated columns have appeared in more than 20 publications -- including the Dallas Morning News, San Francisco Chronicle, Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Sun-Times and Sporting News magazine -- since 2003. During the NFL season, he can be heard nationwide on Sporting News Radio as host of the weekly "Fantasy Files" program, dispensing his unique blend of wit and wisdom. Since 2009, all his written fantasy content can be found on the Fantasy Fools blog.