First rookie comes off the board
Athlon Sports NFL Fantasy Mock Draft — February 2011
49. Brandon Marshall, WR, MIA (Athlon Consensus 1)
50. Jahvid Best, RB, DET (Braden Gall, Athlon Sports)
51. Jason Witten, TE, DAL (Charlie Miller, Athlon Sports)
52. Vincent Jackson, WR, SD (Corby Yarbrough, Athlon Sports)
53. Marshawn Lynch, RB, SEA (Tim Clark, Athlon Sports)
54. Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE (Patrick Snow, Athlon Sports)
55. Wes Welker, WR, NE (Mitch Light, Athlon Sports)
56. Mark Ingram, RB, Rookie (Nathan Rush, Athlon Sports
57. Vernon Davis, TE, SF (Rob Doster, Athlon Sports)
58. Dallas Clark, TE, IND (Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports)
59. Jermichael Finley, TE, GB (Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports)
60. Kenny Britt, WR, TEN (Athlon Consensus 2)
If Chad Henne can perform or the Dolphins can find a competent QB then you’re going to be doing cartwheels if you can draft Brandon Marshall in the fifth round. Vincent Jackson performed pretty well after his extended holdout and did not put much wear and tear on the body. With Rivers running the show and Mathews entering his second year, Jackson should flourish if he remains a Charger; he should flourish wherever he has a solid QB, though. Remember Jermichael Finley? Well your league is going to if you get to brag all year that you selected him as the sixth TE selected and at the end of the fifth round. Kenny Britt could become next season’s Lloyd if he has a QB that can stay upright.
Running back is usually where rookies make the most immediate impact and that’s why I like the pick of Mark Ingram here. Wherever Ingram lands, expect him to be a top 30 fantasy running back with potential for at least 700 yards.
The first tight end (Gates) went off the board in Round 4, so the big run started here if you want an elite one. Gronkowski really jumped up, but seven TDs in the last eight games will do that. The first rookie went here in Mark Ingram. RB is definitely the place to draft a rookie in this range, as opposed to QB or WR.
Wideouts Marshall, Welker and Vincent Jackson would be higher on my board than Lloyd or Williams, so those picks struck me as excellent value selections. It is tough to argue with the tight end run, other than maybe Rob Gronkowski. He is a red zone machine, but Aaron Hernandez (and the Pats tendency to spread it around) would have led me to select Finley, Davis or Clark first.
Cal guys Jahvid Best and Marshawn Lynch may seem like reaches, but both are former first-round picks whose coaches love them. With so many RBBC situations around the league, Best and Lynch provide rare high-end — nearly “feature back” potential — from upper-middle-class rounds of the draft.
Coming Sunday, Feb. 13: Round 6
You will notice we had two Athlon Consensus draft spots. Each month the AC will draft in different spots and represent different draft styles that are commonplace in the world of fantasy football. We set up these two Athlon Consensus drafters for multiple reasons, among those being that there is always a drafter that never deviates from their position-by-position plan and there is always the drafter that selects best player available and sorts out the rest later. These players affect the outcome of both their drafts and yours as well. So we will consistently represent them in each of our monthly mock drafts at different draft positions on the board each time.
This mock draft, the first AC (AC-1) went the traditional RB, RB early route. Meanwhile, the second AC (AC-2) selected last in the first round was slated as the drafter who always goes QB-WR in the first two rounds no matter what.
This is a 12-team, head-to-head league. All touchdowns are 6 points. 1 point for 25 yards passing, 1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving. Receptions are .5 points. Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points. PATs are 1 point, field goals are 3 points (30 yards), 4 points (40 yards) and 5 points (50-plus yards). Kickoff/punt returns count 6 points both for individuals and team defenses. Team defenses are scored with 1 point for a sack, 2 points for an interception, fumble recovery, safety or blocked kick. Points allowed are 12 for a shutout, 10 for 1-6, 8 for 7-13, 6 for 14-20, 2 for 21-27 and 0 for 28-plus. Lineup is 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 flex (RB/WR), 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DST and 5 bench spots.