No. 1 overall pick a tough choice for 2011
Athlon Sports NFL Fantasy Mock Draft — February 2011
1. Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN (Athlon Consensus 1)
2. Ray Rice, RB, BAL (Braden Gall, Athlon Sports)
3. Arian Foster, RB, HOU (Charlie Miller, Athlon Sports)
4. Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB (Corby Yarbrough, Athlon Sports)
5. Chris Johnson, RB, TEN (Tim Clark, Athlon Sports)
6. Jamaal Charles, RB, KC (Patrick Snow, Athlon Sports)
7. Frank Gore, RB, SF (Mitch Light, Athlon Sports)
8. Tom Brady, QB, NE (Nathan Rush, Athlon Sports
9. Andre Johnson, WR, HOU (Rob Doster, Athlon Sports)
10. Rashard Mendenhall, RB, PIT (Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports)
11. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAC (Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports)
12. Drew Brees, QB, NO (Athlon Consensus 2)
If the debate of who was a legitimate No. 1 pick last year was a tough one, then get ready to rack your brain even more in 2011. In leagues where all touchdowns count six points, there was quite a significant pause and debate whether Aaron Rodgers could actually be the No. 1 overall pick. It almost seemed as if Peterson was settled on as the first pick because no one is willing to believe Arian Foster can hold up and be worth the top pick. That belief was so much that Foster was the third back off the board … Rodgers seemed like a more comfortable, yet would still, and wrongly, be considered too early of a pick at No. 4. Last year’s No. 1 in many drafts, Chris Johnson, has to be considered a great value at No. 5 considering he was still the NFL’s third-leading rusher, and Maurice Jones-Drew, who was also in the discussions as No. 1 last season is fantastic value at No. 11.
The debate at No. 1 overall is going to be really interesting this offseason. Adrian Peterson is the best overall running back in the NFL, but will he have enough help around him to finish as the top fantasy option? I’m not sold until we know more about who the Vikings have at quarterback. Considering there’s a plethora of good running backs on the board and at six points a passing touchdown, it’s not out of the question to consider Aaron Rodgers No. 1 overall.
Two things stood out early. Who would go No. 1? It was Peterson here, but I think I’d be happy with any of the top four backs. The other factor was how soon Aaron Rodgers (and other elite QBs) would go. Three went in Round 1, so you could still get a top QB in Round 2 if that fits your strategy.
Pick No. 1 would have been easy for me, All Day. But after that, it is wide open. I trust the more proven commodities like Gore, Jones-Drew, Johnson and Rice over names like Foster and Charles. Let me see it one more year before I invest the No. 3 pick in the draft. From there, the logic was relatively simple. Gore has the biggest injury risk and a new coach, Johnson is on the worst team also with a new coach and no quarterback and Jones-Drew has touched the ball a ton (1,468 times) in five seasons on a questionable team. Rice is the youngest and plays on the best team with the best quarterback and the best coach. For four guys who are all roughly the same, hairs are probably worth splitting.
Eight running backs, three quarterbacks and one receiver is about what one would expect in the first round. Chris Johnson falling to No. 5 and Maurice Jones-Drew to No. 11 overall, however, was surprising — especially considering that Adrian Peterson went No. 1 and has many of the same coach-QB concerns that CJ2K and Mojo do.
Coming Tuesday, Feb. 9: Round 2
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.