We couldn't have all 12 drafters go on and on about what they loved/hated about the Athlon Sports Magazine Fantasy Mock Draft. So we had just a few of them point out their favorite loves/hates/likes/dislikes from the draft and give us some analysis to go along with their selections.
1. Patrick Snow: Arian Foster, RB, HOU 2. Braden Gall: Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN 3. Rob Doster: Chris Johnson, RB, TEN 4. Matt Schauf: Ray Rice, RB, BAL 5. Nathan Rush: LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI 6. Mitch Light: Jamaal Charles, RB, KC 7. Paul Hickey: Roddy White, WR, ATL 8. Corby Yarbrough: Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB 9. Charlie Miller: Andre Johnson, WR, HOU 10. Mike Clay: Rashard Mendenhall, RB, PIT 11. Steven Lassan: M. Jones-Drew, RB, JAC 12. Mark Ross: Frank Gore, RB, SF
We couldn't have all 12 drafters go on and on about what they loved/hated about the Athlon Sports Magazine Fantasy Mock Draft. So we just had a few of them point out their favorite loves/hates/likes/dislikes from the draft and give us some analysis to go along with their selections.
Round 1 LOVES
Maurice Jones-Drew — Getting Jones-Drew at pick No. 11 is an absolute steal. Steven gets a top five running back and an opportunity to select another player just two picks from now.
I like Mendenhall more than most and I'm perfectly content with him as my No. 1 back, especially considering the 0.5 PPR format. He is one of only a few remaining feature backs in the league, will chip in with a few receptions, and is a candidate for double digit touchdowns.
Steven taking MJD at No. 11. Even with the injury and Jaguar offensive concerns, great value here.
It's hard to screw up any of these picks, but Mendenhall was my No. 5 overall player.
Round 1 HATES
LeSean McCoy – I could buy this in a full PPR league, but not here. McCoy is too reliable on the pass game to be taken ahead of names like Charles, Johnes-Drew, Gore and Mendenhall.
Nate taking McCoy at No. 5. Not a strong "hate," but I would have taken Charles instead.
It's more like dislike. Arian Foster. I will take the field, you can have Arian Foster. I wouldn't take him No. 1.
Round 2 LOVES
Hakeem Nicks — Five wide receivers were already off the board, so I feel like I got a steal when I got my top-rated wideout here. The Giants sport an underrated passing attack and Eli Manning consistently force-feeds the ball to his top wide receivers. I expect another huge season from Nicks in Year 3.
Nate taking Brady at No. 20. Not a huge "love," but if you want to go QB early, there's nothing wrong with getting the presumed No. 2 option with the eighth pick in the second round.
Michael Turner, Steven Jackson (dead tie). Not because it was my pick, but I cannot believe I got him at the 23rd pick in the draft. I cannot believe a guy with six-straight 1,000-yard seasons, and is only 28 years old, was there at 16.
Mike Vick — The ONLY knock on him is health. Vick started at least 15 games in four of five seasons as Atlanta's starter. Even if he misses a few, it's not hard to find a quality backup. Well worth the risk level for a QB who was way ahead of the rest of the position last year.
Round 2 HATES
Tom Brady — This will likely go down as my least favorite pick of the entire off-season. Aaron Rodgers was the only quarterback off the board at this point, meaning Michael Vick was still on the board. Those are the only two quarterbacks worth considering this early. Brady’s ADP sits around pick 56, which works out to the 6th quarterback late in Round 5. Taking him 20th overall is a massive reach.
Paul Hickey taking Larry Fitz. He already drafted White so he didn't really "need" Fitz.
Greg Jennings — He was, at best, the third WR on the board. He is just too inconsistent to take over Fitz or Megatron.
Round 3 LOVES
Antonio Gates – Basically a top five fantasy wide receiver, Gates is a steal at pick 32 overall. The “big 4” tight ends seem to be in a class of their own this year, but Gates even stands out from Clark, Finley and Witten.
Steven taking Jonathan Stewart at No. 35. I like Stewart better than Blount, Greene and Bradshaw, who all were taken earlier.
Ryan Mathews — Excellent value. A perfect example of a market place over-correction. He will break out in 2011.
Round 3 HATES
LeGarrette Blount – This isn’t a terrible pick, but there were several better options available here. Having selected a pair of wide receivers in the first two rounds, Paul basically had no choice but to go running back here. Barely a top 25 back in this format, Blount can’t be expected to catch more than a dozen balls, severely limiting his fantasy potential. Shonn Greene and Antonio Gates were among the better choices here.
Mike Clay taking Shonn Greene at No. 34. I know he likes him, but I just don't see it, even with an aging LT as his primary competition.
Clay on Greene: I probably go wide receiver here if this is a full PPR league, but the 0.5 format makes Shonn Greene the right play. I expect near 300 carries, 1,300 yards, and 10 scores.)
LeGarrette Blount — For a guy who was suspended for his entire senior season and was cut as a rookie, I am not using a top three pick to get him. He's got to do it again.
Miles Austin — I understand the concern is that Dez Bryant eats a bunch of targets. In 17 full regular-season games with Romo since becoming a starter in 2009, though, here is Austin's line: 109 catches, 1725 yards, 12 TDs. I expect Dallas to throw A LOT this year, and I'll take my chances.
Full Rosters Here
Round 4 LOVES
Jermichael Finley — Antonio Gates is the clear top fantasy TE, but Finley and Dallas Clark are basically a wash at No. 2. Jason Witten falls slightly behind them. Braden watched Clark and Witten go off the board earlier in Round 4 before pouncing on Finley. The last of the “Big 4” to go off the board was probably the 2nd best of the bunch.
Clay on Welker: Tom Brady's top target in one of the league's most explosive scoring offenses, Welker is a strong No. 2 WR — 95 catches, 950 yards, 7 scores is what I'm expecting.
Schauf taking Hillis at No. 45. I don't think Hillis will duplicate his 2010 success, but I have no qualms whatsoever taking him here.
Matt Schauf on Hillis: We certainly have to project the numbers down with Montario Hardesty on the way back, but this was the No. 2 RB in most fantasy formats last year. Hillis was his team's leading receiver as a fullback in college and was terrific when allowed to be for the Broncos as a rookie. Last year wasn't a fluke, and he'll deliver value even if he shares carries all year.
Jason Witten — There is a small drop off after the top three and Witten is the one who ISN'T coming off injury (Gates/Clark).
Round 4 HATES
Matt Ryan – This is yet another slam dunk. Even if you feel like Ryan will be better with Julio Jones in the picture, he’s still barely worth QB1 consideration. Tony Romo, Matt Schaub, Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger are superior options and, even if you feel Ryan is at or slightly above their level, there’s no reason to pick one of these guys in round 4. ADP tells us Ryan will still be on the board in round 6.
Nate taking Brandon Marshall at No. 44. Not a fan of him in the first place, but especially with the uncertainty that is the Dolphins' QB situation.
Matt Ryan — I love Matty-Ice, but this one round too early. Romo, Big Ben, Schaub were all there in Round 5.
Round 5 LOVES
I took a big gamble by passing on Collie in Round 4, but it allowed me to put together a strong 1-2 punch at tailback, while still being able to acquire three very good wide receivers. I like Collie as a top-10 wideout in this format, even though it’s not a full PPR. Not only is a heavily targeted in general, he’s heavily targeted near the endzone, as well. A 90-1,000-10 season is what I’m expecting.
I almost took Collie in Round 4, so I was ecstatic to get him late in Round 5. Are the concussions a concern? Sure, but when you consider his upside in the Colts offense, he’s worth the risk. Targeted on 19 percent of Peyton Manning's passes when active in 2010, his numbers extrapolated over 16 games worked out to 104 receptions, 1,160 yards, and 14 scores.
Mark Ross(commenting before Williams re-signed with Carolina, but still a great value at 57)
Charlie taking DeAngelo Williams at No. 57. Best FA RB available with two obvious destinations (Denver, Miami) that result in immediate playing time and a good number of carries and a pretty solid track record (when healthy) late in Round 5. Yes please!
Mark Ingram — A chance to be a bonafide three-down workhorse back, with very fresh
legs on an excellent offense.
Round 5 HATES
Marshawn Lynch – Lynch was the first pick of Round 5, which means he went close to 20 picks prior to his ADP. Additionally, better bets at tailback were still on the board, including Jahvid Best, Joe Addai, Cedric Benson and Felix Jones. Lynch has a clear role, which isn’t easy to earn in the NFL, but the Seahawks offense is likely to be underwhelming, which significantly impacts Lynch’s fantasy ceiling.
It was Brandon Lloyd until Mike Clay took Austin Collie two picks later (No. 58). I like Collie just fine as a No. 3 WR, but I think it's way too early to be taking one, with the QBs and others still out there, and think it's too soon for Collie period. Pretty sure he could have gotten him in Round 6, maybe even Round 7. IMO
Austin Collie — He is one big hit away from never stepping foot on the field ever again. In the 8th at the earliest for me.
61. Ross: Felix Jones, RB, DAL 62. Lassan: Daniel Thomas, RB, MIA 63. Clay: Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT 64. Miller: Cedric Benson, RB, CIN 65. Yarbrough: Ryan Grant, RB, GB 66. Hickey: Vernon Davis, TE, SF 67. Light: Michael Crabtree, WR, SF 68. Rush: Percy Harvin, WR, MIN 69. Schauf: Fred Jackson, RB, BUF 70. Doster: BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, NE 71. Gall: Johnny Knox, WR, CHI 72. Snow: Joseph Addai, RB, IND
Round 6 LOVES
Mike Clay (commenting before Benson was re-signed by the Bengals) Cedric Benson — Among the best available backs when Charlie picked, Benson will likely re-sign in Cincinnati and will hang onto the workhorse role. Touchdowns will be hard to come by, but 350 carries is hard to come by in Round 6.
Clay on Roethlisberger: I hoped Tony Romo would fall to me here, but that didn't pan out. Fortunately, Ben Roethlisberger isn't too far behind.
Braden taking Johnny Knox at No. 71. Pretty nice pick for your first WR.
Matt Schauf on Fred Jackson: Consistent use all season could put Jackson among the top 15 RBs. I'll take a flex-spot shot on such use finally coming.
Round 6 HATES
Mike Clay(commenting before it was learned Crabtree would be out 4-6 weeks)
Michael Crabtree — Receivers still on the board include Percy Harvin, Johnny Knox, Sidney Rice, Santana Moss, both Steve Smiths, Pierre Garcon and Lance Moore. I can’t get on board with a guy barely worth WR3 consideration in Round 6.
Nate taking Percy Harvin at No. 68. Not strong hate, but between his migraine issues and the Vikings QB situation, that's too much risk for me here, especially with other "safer" options available.
Round 7 LOVES
Jimmy Graham — I hate to keep patting myself on the back (no I don’t), but Graham in Round 7 stands out as a big steal. He’s close to joining the elite fantasy tight ends, but still fell nearly two rounds past his ADP.
I'm surprised Graham has fallen this far, considering that he's usually gone by the middle of Round 6. Waiting at tight end has worked out nicely. Graham's inexperience means there's some risk, but it's outweighed by the high-powered New Orleans offense. He should end 2011 as, at least, a decent TE1.
Steven taking Manningham at No. 83. With Steve Smith most likely out for at least the start of the season, Manningham is a great value and potential steal here.
Round 7 HATES
Julio Jones — I understand that Jones landed in a good spot and should immediately step into the starting lineup, but he’s still barely Matt Ryan’s No. 2 target in a run-first offense. He’s no better than a WR4 candidate and shouldn’t be selected over the likes of Santana Moss, Mike Thomas, both Steve Smiths, Pierre Garcon and Lance Moore. Sound familiar? New round, same story.
Not to pick on him, but I think Nate went way too early on Woodhead at No. 77. New England has too many offensive weapons and the additions of Vereen and Ridley don't help the Woodster in my opinion.
Full Rosters Here
Round 8 LOVES
Montario Hardesty — Late in Round 8, there aren’t many solid options available at running back, so taking a shot on a guy who has a decent chance to see a significant workload in an offense that blessed fantasy owners with Peyton Hillis in 2010 isn’t a bad idea. There’s risk here and Hillis will certainly see a respectable workload, but if Hardesty seizes control, this is a steal in Round 8.
Clay on Tolbert: I'm ecstatic about my starting lineup, but Flex could be a bit troubling, as I like to have a solid RB option in place here. Tolbert is the best available on my board, so he's the pick. I expect Ryan Mathews to take on a much larger role, but he's far from a lock to do so and Tolbert has proven that he is more than capable. Even if Mathews does get the larger share of the workload, the Chargers offense is good enough that Tolbert is still worth RB3 consideration.
Corby taking Leshoure at No. 89. I am somewhat gun-shy when it comes to taking rookies early, but I have no problems whatsoever with the move here. Even with Best in the fold, he's already shown himself to be "fragile" and I think Leshoure will get plenty of touches, especially in the red zone, to make him a valuable RB3.
Matt Schauf on Ford: This might be a bit early for him, but starting with two of my top-12 receivers makes it easier to play with the spot. The ceiling is really high on Ford this year, though. The big-play ability is obvious, and his coach envisions him as one of the league's best in a few years.
Round 8 HATES
Tony Gonzalez — With Marcedes Lewis, Chris Cooley and Rob Gronkowski among the available tight ends, this one surprises me. Gonzalez isn’t the fantasy asset he used to be and may not even be Matt Ryan’s No. 2 target in Atlanta anymore.
Patrick taking Hardesty with the last pick (No. 96) of the 8th. Probably nitpicking here, but if you were going RB, I probably would have looked at a more established back up/handcuff or an upside pick. Hardesty has yet to step on the field in an NFL game and is coming back from a pretty serious injury. Too much risk for my tastes, even in the 8th round.
Round 9 LOVES
Mike Clay (commenting before Smith announced he wants to stay in Carolina) Steve Smith — The odds are looking pretty good that Smith will be traded, and he’ll likely go to a contender. Considering we’re in Round 9, taking a chance on him here and hoping he lands in a high-powered offense (San Diego, anyone?) is a smart move. Heck, even if he sticks in Carolina, their offense will only be better and he’ll be in line for double-digit targets every week.
Several options, but I'll go with Schauf taking Steve Smith (N.Y.) at No. 6. Yes, he most likely will start the season on the PUP list, but if he comes back and shows any signs of his old self, he could be a steal here and there's certainly no reason not to take a flyer at this point.
Matt Schauf on Carolina Steve Smith: If Smith leaves Carolina, his stock should jump significantly. Even if he stays, though, things have to go better post-Jimmy — not to mention Smith dealt with several injuries in 2010.
Matt Schauf on New York Steve Smith: I fully expect the Giants to retain Smith, which means he will jump right back into the WR2 discussion heading into 2011. Not many wideouts see over 25 percent of his team's targets, but Smith has, when active, each of the last two seasons.
Round 9 HATES
Mike Clay(commenting before Seattle acquired Tarvaris Jackson and Sidney Rice)
Mike Williams — Right now, Charlie Whitehurst is the Seahawks quarterback. If he sticks, the Seahawks passing game is going to be in serious trouble. That’s bad news for Williams. An upgrade via trade/free agency will help, but his ceiling is still going to be limited by an offense that will struggle to score points. Both Steve Smiths, Lance Moore and Deion Branch are better options.
If I could, I'd abstain here, but just in case I have to cast a vote, here it is. It's more a "dislike" vote than any, but if I were Patrick, I would have gone with a different LB than Jerod Mayo at No. 97, especially since he had the first choice in the round and only one other LB had been drafted to that point.
Round 10 LOVES
Mike Clay (commenting before New England acquired Chad Ochocinco) Deion Branch — Considering that he is a projected starting wide receiver in arguably the league’s best offense, Branch is an outstanding pick in Round 10. With only Wes Welker in front of him on the depth chart, he should easily see 6-7 targets each week.
Steven taking Matthew Stafford at No. 110. Even though he has just as many injury concerns as Romo, there's nothing wrong with having a QB tandem of Romo and Stafford to play with.
Matt Schauf on Jay Cutler, who he selected to back up Vick: The one issue with Michael Vick is injury, but this is why that's not too hard to overlook. I think Cutler has fantasy-starter upside this year and that the position dips after this.
Round 10 HATES Mike Clay
Dustin Keller — Keller went about a round before his ADP, which isn’t too bad if you really like the guy. My problem, however, is that I see, at least, five tight ends still on the board who are a better choice, including Chris Cooley and Kellen Winslow.
Hickey taking Delone Carter at No. 114. There are several other rookie RBs I would take over Carter in the first place, let alone here, and as my No. 3 RB period. The Colts backfield is already crowded so there's no guarantee when it comes to Carter and playing time, not to mention that the Colts don't run that much in the first place.
121. Snow: Trent Cole, DL, PHI 122. Gall: Green Bay Packers, DST 123. Doster: Pittsburgh Steelers, DST 124. Schauf: Terrell Suggs, DL, BAL 125. Rush: James Harrison, LB, PIT 126. Light: New York Jets, DST 127. Hickey: Pierre Thomas, RB, NO 128. Yarbrough: Jared Allen, DL, MIN 129. Miller: Julius Peppers, DL, CHI 130. Clay: Roy Helu, RB, WAS 131. Lassan: Michael Bush, RB, OAK 132. Ross: Ryan Torain, RB, WAS
Round 11 LOVES
Roy Helu — At least one back from each team will generally finish in the top 40 fantasy running backs. The Redskins are the only team without a tailback selected so far and Helu is the best of the bunch. Ryan Torain, who went two picks later, would’ve also been a fine choice, especially considering that he’s currently listed atop the depth chart, but the rookie Helu provides more upside. Getting a guy who has a decent chance to start most of his team’s games at tailback in Round 11 is a steal.
Mike Clay taking Roy Helu at no. 130. After Daniel Thomas, Helu is the rookie I like the best and think he is a great value here, and if he produces, could be a steal.
Ross on Torain: I like Helu a lot, too (and was hoping he would fall to me here), but for now Torain is the presumed stater in Washington and Shanahan seems to like him. If anything, I think the lockout helps Torain keep his starting job, at least to start the season, and hopefully he can do enough to keep it. Either way, I think it's worth the "risk" to take him here.
Matt Schauf on Suggs: I was really hoping Trent Cole would last to this spot. Failing that, I want to lock up a top-shelf DE. Suggs' one truly down year followed an off-season dealing with a shoulder injury ... I'm not loving what I'm seeing at DE after Mathis, so I'll go ahead and solidify this position with a top-five option.
Round 11 HATES
Green Bay Packers — It’s round 11 of 20, which means it’s way too early to be reaching on a defense. There simply isn’t enough separation between the elite defenses and the above average ones to warrant picking one with names like Jared Allen, LaRon Landry and Michael Bush still on the board.
Another round with no glaring "misses," but I'll go with Steven taking Michael Bush at No. 131. Not because I don't like Bush, but because he probably would have been better served/wiser to take one of the handcuff options for his three studs, if you will. By that I mean Rashad Jennings (MJD) or Mike Goodson (Stewart) or possibly even Ronnie Brown (Thomas). We're getting to the point where the RBs are already getting thin, so Jennings or Goodson may not be around next time he's up.
Full Rosters Here
Round 12 LOVES
LaRon Landry — Landry is my top-ranked safety, so landing him late in Round 12 is a good find by Rob. The interceptions will be hard to come by, but no defensive back has a better chance at reaching 100 solo tackles.
Charlie taking Thomas Jones at No. 136. Considering, at the time, he was ranked No. 76 on the Athlon list I saw, I think it's safe to say that this is a pretty good value pick, no? He also blocks Mitch from being able to handcuff Charles.
Matt Schauf on Meachem: Really high upside on Meachem if his ankle is as good as he says following surgery. He's heading into a contract year with Marques Colston on an iffy knee.
Round 12 HATES
Alex Green — Ryan Grant is the starter and James Starks is the back-up. Or, if you’re in the Starks camp, he’s the starter and Grant is the No. 2. Either way, rookie Alex Green is going to need injuries to both players if he hopes to see significant playing time in 2011. Better bets for playing time include Mike Goodson, Darren Sproles, Ronnie Brown and even Justin Forsett.
Schauf taking Robert Meachem at No. 141. I don't share his enthusiasm for Meachem, especially given some of the other options available. I think he should have gone with a "safer" pick here since after Austin and Steve Johnson his other three WR picks have plenty of question marks associated with them.
Round 13 LOVES
Mike Clay(commenting before Carolina managed to re-sign DeAngelo Williams)
Mike Goodson — Mark is taking a chance here that DeAngelo Williams will find a new home this off-season. If he does, Goodson is easily the best available back and worth Flex/RB3 consideration most weeks. Behind only injury-plagued Jonathan Stewart in Carolina, he will see a handful of carries and most of the work on passing downs.
Clay on Lewis: Lewis, a decent LB1 in this format, gives me an advantage over the field at the Flex position.
Corby taking Emmanuel Sanders at No. 152. Hines Ward may be a dancing champion, but he sure as heck isn't getting any younger. Mike Wallace will be the guy in Pitt's aerial attack this year, but I think Sanders has a chance to make an impression as well so I love the potential upside here.
Matt Schauf on Johnson: As good as Derrick Johnson was in his long-awaited breakout season, I believe there's still big play upside. The Chiefs also faced far fewer running plays last year than in recent seasons. That number will climb again in 2011.
Round 13 HATES
Emmanuel Sanders — Sanders has tons of potential, but why select him now when there are, at least, a dozen starting wide receivers still available, including Hines Ward, who is ahead of Sanders on the Steelers depth chart? Mike Wallace and Ward are still going to command a significant portion of Ben Roethlisberger’s targets, leaving tight end Heath Miller, Sanders, and Antonio Brown to battle for the rest. In a dynasty league, this is a great pick. In redraft, not so much.
Mark Ross(commenting before New England acquired Chad Ochocinco)
Mitch taking Ochocinco at No. 150. I'll be honest, I just don't like him personally, but I also don't think he has much value fantasy-wise this year as he may be looking for a new team and most likely working with a new QB. I would have gone with one of the other veteran WRs still available or with a straight-up "potential" pick.
Full Rosters Here
Round 14 LOVES
Mike Clay (commenting before Brown signed with the Eagles) Ronnie Brown — Brown’s stock is clearly pretty low right now, but only because he’s still a free agent. He’s likely to land on team that will give him, at least, a dozen touches per week. He has struggled with injuries, but he’s been very productive when healthy. Expect him to land in RB3/Flex territory once he latches on with a team.
Steven taking Rashad Jennings at No. 158. With Jennings in two he now has the Jaguar running game locked up. This move makes even more sense given MJD's injury issues last season and his offseason knee surgery.
Matt Schauf on Bishop: Bishop's 16 games as a starter last year (including the playoffs) produced top-10 LB numbers. I'll take that again, with further upside.
Round 14 HATES
Mike Clay (commenting before Hightower became a Washington Redskin) Tim Hightower — Unless the Cardinals somehow manage to trade away Chris Wells, this pick doesn’t make a ton of sense to me. Ryan Williams was selected 38th overall in April, which means he won’t be riding the pine for too long. Wells, a first round pick in 2009, will get every chance to succeed as a compliment to Williams. Hightower will be the odd man out.
Mark Ross(commenting before Hightower became a Washington Redskin)
Nate taking Tim Hightower at No. 164. I know RB is pretty thin by this point, but I think there were better options here than Hightower or upside guys to take a chance on. Someone's got to run the ball in Arizona, but I'm not even sure the Cardinals coaching staff knows who to give it to. Drafting Ryan Williams certainly didn't help Hightower, who already is in the doghouse to a degree because of his fumble issues.
Round 15 LOVES
Shane Vereen — The more I think about the Patriots offense, the more I like Vereen’s 2011 prospects. One would have to imagine that BenJarvus Green-Ellis will lead the team in carries early in the year, but Bill Belichick likes to utilize a heavy rotation at the position. This could allow Vereen to earn a larger chunk of the workload. Considering the high-scoring offense, Vereen could be a huge asset for fantasy owners down the stretch.
Clay on Sims-Walker (commenting before he became a St. Louis Ram): We're not sure where Sims-Walker will land yet, but he's skilled enough that he'll likely land in a starting lineup. The better the pass offense, the better this pick becomes. Worst case scenario, he ends up as a WR3/4, which makes him a fine 5th WR on my squad.
Steven taking Bernard Scott at No. 179. There's no guarantees at this point that Benson will be back in Cincy, which means Scott would presumably be the man and if he's not, there's nothing wrong with getting an established back up this late in the game.
Matt Schauf on Vereen: BJGE was the first Patriot since Corey Dillon to garner 50 percent of the carries in a season. I don't think he'll do it again after the team drafted a pair of RBs. Vereen should get immediate touches as a runner and receiver and carries upside as a RB4.
Round 15 HATES
Tashard Choice — I can’t say this is an awful pick, but it’s not one I would’ve made. Not only has Choice not lived up to consistent breakout predictions, he’s still stuck in a battle for playing time. Heck, he’s not even battling for the starting job. Instead, he’ll be up against rookie DeMarco Murray just to earn the No. 2 job behind Felix Jones. Instead of Choice, I’d lean toward a higher-upside handcuff like Jason Snelling, Javon Ringer or Toby Gerhart.
Nate taking the Ravens' D at No. 173. The core isn't getting any younger and I think, to a degree, they are living off of their reputation somewhat. Anyways, I wouldn't have gone with them here as the sixth efdefense off the board.
Round 16 LOVES
Toby Gerhart — Arguably fantasy’s most valuable handcuff, Gerhart would see almost every snap at tailback for the Vikings if Adrian Peterson were to go down with an injury. Most No. 2 backs would end up in a committee attack if the starter went down, but Gerhart has very little competition for touches. He’d be the man on early downs, passing downs, and at the goal line. He’s worth the stash in round 16.
Mark Ross(commenting before Kolb was traded to Arizona) Me taking Elvis... just kidding! Although I am perfectly happy with my pick, I'll go with Rob taking Kevin Kolb at no. 190. He already has Peyton, who has yet to miss a game, but just in case, Kolb is pretty good insurance, especially in the 16th round. I think Kolb ends up in Arizona or somewhere else that has an unsettled QB situation and if he does, it's to be the starter. If he stays in Philly, he's just one hard hit away from being the starter again.
Ross on Dumervil: When it comes to your DL it's all about one thing, right? SACKS! And although Dumervil missed all of last year, he had 12.5 sacks in 07 and led the NFL with 17.5 in 2009. With John Fox now in Denver, I think he has a chance to be a mini-Julius Peppers.
Matt Schauf on Winslow: I like to load up on past knee trauma at TE. Winslow gives me strong insurance behind Owen Daniels and will perform at fantasy-starter level. If we played this out, he'd turn into trade bait.
Round 16 HATES
Dexter McCluster — Making the switch to running back, McCluster finds himself in transition mode in 2011. Not only that, he’ll also be third on the Chiefs depth chart, which means he’ll see little to no carries on a weekly basis. His best bet for fantasy points will be through targets out of the backfield in passing situations, but the Chiefs are going to have a hard time keeping Jamaal Charles off the field. And, when he does come off, Thomas Jones is going to get his fair share of the snaps, as well.
Nate taking Dexter McCluster at No. 188. Yes, it's the 16th round, but I just don't see McCluster ever getting enough touches on offense to merit even flex consideration. He's a 'tweener in that he doesn't really have a position (other than return specialist) and KC already has Charles and Jones in the backfield and Bowe, Moeaki and now Baldwin (and Steve Breaston) at receiver. Would have gone with someone with more upside.
Round 17 LOVES
Mark Clayton — This is an outstanding pick in Round 17. Assuming the Rams re-sign Clayton, as expected, he returns to the No. 1 WR role. Before suffering a season-ending injury in week 5 last season, Sam Bradford targeted Clayton on nearly 25 percent of his throws, which works out to 9.3 targets/game. Considering that the Rams pass attack should only improve in Bradford’s second year and under new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, this could prove to be a steal.
Clay on Newton: Passing on Fitzpatrick last round seemed like the right call...until he was snatched away from me at pick 17.9. Ouch. I'll settle on Cam Newton and hope he puts up lots of points with his legs.
At the risk of sounding self-serving, I'm going with me taking Chris Cooley at No. 204. Get a top 10 TE with the last pick of the 17th round. I think that's pretty good, don't you?
If I can't vote for myself, then I go with you taking Mark Clayton at No. 200. Bradford has a lot of receivers to throw to but with the exception of Amendola, Clayton is the only other one that's not a rookie (Salas, Pettis) or has any injury issues coming to the season (Alexander, Avery). Amendola is more of the slot/possession-type guy (think Wes Welker-lite), while Clayton is more of the deep threat, run after the catch guy, so he could have a big season if Bradford and the Rams' offense continues to develop. Great upside pick here.
Schauf on Wilson: I wouldn't be happy if I didn't go for my favorite DB sleeper of the year. Wilson was awesome in fantasy after stepping into the lineup at safety in 2009. I'm guessing that the contract the team gave him before the lockout (which it didn't for Donte Whitner) is starter money, plugging him in at SS on a D awash in tackle chances. He'll finish top 10 at the position (perhaps top 5) if he starts all year.
Round 17 HATES
Mike Clay(commenting before the Colts re-signed Addai) Donald Brown — Even if the Colts surprise us and don’t re-sign Joseph Addai, Brown will still likely end up on the short end of a committee attack, with rookie Delone Carter leading the way. Brown has been underwhelming, to say the least, in two years of work and can’t be counted on in fantasy, especially consider that he’s likely to be third on the depth chart.
SO MANY CHOICES HERE!! But as much as I didn't like the Donald Brown or Brian Cushing picks, or to a degree, the Cam Newton selection, once again I have to go with Nate, this time taking Robert Quinn at No. 197. Don't get me wrong, I like Quinn just fine (I am a Tar Heel fan after all) and think he could develop into a productive pass rusher — just not this year. The Rams are already talking about using Quinn on third down only since they are not sure about his ability to consistently defend the run. That right there cuts his field time/opportunities by about a 1/3 does it not? Combine that with the fact the Rams have Chris Long and James Hall already (either of which would have been a better pick here IMO) and I just don't see it.
Full Rosters Here
Round 18 LOVES
Jason Snelling — I’m big on upside handcuffs, so I love Snelling in Round 18. He’ll be looking to sign with a team that will give him a bigger workload this off-season, but that's unlikely to happen. Regardless, Atlanta wants him back, so if he fails to land a better role, he'll return to the Falcons as the handcuff to Mike Turner. He becomes a decent RB2 option if Turner misses action.
Patrick handcuffing Foster with Ben Tate at No. 216. Wise move considering Tate was presumed to be the man before he broke his ankle, opening the door for Foster. If something happens to Foster, Tate will get his chance and even if Foster stays healthy, chances are the Texans will look to lighten Foster's load, which will provide Tate with his share of chances in a potent offense.
Round 18 HATES
Tony Moeaki — My problem with this pick, over say Jermaine Gresham, who went 1 pick later, is that I don’t view Moeaki as a guy who is or will be among the NFL’s best receiving tight ends. Additionally, it’s hard to expect a ton from him in 2011, as the Chiefs passing touchdowns are set to drop quite a bit. Despite being a run heavy team, they managed a very high pass TD rate in 2010, a rate that is very likely to regress in 2011. Instead of Moeaki, shoot for some bigger upside. Gresham, Jared Cook and Brent Celek stand out.
Nothing really jumps out here, so save Braden's "homer" pick of Woodson, I'll go with Rob taking Braylon Edwards at No. 214. And it has nothing to do with football, it's just that, same as with Ochocinco, I don't care for the guy and wouldn't bother with him. I just don't think he's worth the headache and I wonder how hard it will be for him to find a home since it sounds like the Jets may not bring him back. I would have gone with someone like Gettis or one of the Rams others wideouts or another of the rookies here.
Full Rosters Here
217. Snow: Barrett Ruud, LB, TEN 218. Gall: Kevin Burnett, LB, MIA 219. Doster: David Gettis, WR, CAR 220. Schauf: Sebastian Janikowski, K, OAK 221. Rush: Willis McGahee, R 222. Light: Randall Cobb, WR, GB 223. Hickey: Tampa Bay Bucs, DST 224. Yarbrough: Dallas Cowboys, DST 225. Miller: Earl Bennett, WR, CHI 226. Clay: San Diego Chargers, DST 227. Lassan: Malcolm Floyd, WR, SD 228. Ross: David Garrard, QB, JAC
229. Ross: Nate Keading, K, SD 230. Lassan: Mason Crosby, K, GB 231. Clay: Alex Henery, K, PHI 232. Miller: Stephen Gostkowski, K, NE 233. Yarbrough: Neil Rackers, K, HOU 234. Hickey: Garrett Hartley, K, NO 235. Light: Matt Bryant, K, ATL 236. Rush: Rob Bironas, K, TEN 237. Schauf: Mason Foster, LB, TB 238. Doster: Josh Brown, K, STL 239. Gall: Lawrence Tynes, K, NYG 240. Snow: Robbie Gould, K, CHI
No loves/hates analysis for Rounds 19 and 20 since theese rounds SHOULD be mostly defenses and kickers in ALL drafts. Or in this case, sleepers and filling out IDP rosters. But just as an aside, rookie Mason Foster should come out as the best non kicker/DST draft in the final two rounds as he steps into the MLB role for Tampa Bay. The man he replaced, Barrett Ruud, should perform well as an IDP, replacing Stephen Tulloch — the XX-leading IDP scorer in this system last season.
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