Rookies, Bengals and kickers, oh my!
Athlon Sports NFL Fantasy Mock Draft — February 2011
121. Dallas, DST (Athlon Consensus 1)
122. Caron Palmer, QB, CIN (Braden Gall, Athlon Sports)
123. Mark Sanchez, QB, NYJ (Charlie Miller, Athlon Sports)
124. Marcedes Lewis, TE, JAC (Corby Yarbrough, Athlon Sports)
125. Terrell Owens, WR, CIN (Tim Clark, Athlon Sports)
126. Mike Thomas, WR, JAC (Patrick Snow, Athlon Sports)
127. Chad Ochocinco, WR, CIN (Mitch Light, Athlon Sports)
128. Jordan Todman, RB, Rookie (Nathan Rush, Athlon Sports)
129. Atlanta, DST (Rob Doster, Athlon Sports)
130. Pierre Thomas, RB, NO (Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports)
131. Titus Young, WR, Rookie (Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports)
132. Ricky Williams, RB, MIA (Athlon Consensus 2)
I managed to hold out for 11 rounds before taking a TE and snagged Marcedes Lewis who finished fourth in scoring for TEs. Todman and Titus Young should be solid rookies for whichever teams draft them, and are good values in the late end of the 11th.
Like the picks of Titus Young and Jordan Todman in this round. At this point of the draft, it’s worth gambling on rookies and depending on where each player lands, could be picked higher in later mocks.
Unlike Moss, T.O. still produced (983 yards, nine TDs in 14 games) last season. If a coach/QB can put up with him, so should your fantasy team if he’s available this late. Jordan Todman could be a solid rookie in the right situation.
At this point in the draft, I am always in favor of taking the upside guy. Mike Thomas, Jordan Todman and Titus Young are three young players who could post solid numbers. I actually like the value of the Chad Ochocinco pick actually— someone I would normally never draft.
Two USC passers on the opposite ends of their career, Carson Palmer and Mark Sanchez, go back to back. At this point, the upside, steady improvement and supporting cast of Sanchez is probably a better bet than the INTs, trade rumors and mediocrity of Palmer.
133. David Garrard, QB, JAC (Athlon Consensus 2)
134. San Diego, DST (Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports)
135. Jerome Simpson, WR, CIN (Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports)
136. Derrick Mason, WR, BAL (Rob Doster, Athlon Sports)
137. Minnesota, DST (Nathan Rush, Athlon Sports)
138. Kevin Kolb, QB, PHI (Mitch Light, Athlon Sports)
139. Steve Smith, WR, CAR (Patrick Snow, Athlon Sports)
140. Robert Meachem, WR, NO (Tim Clark, Athlon Sports)
141. Lance Moore, WR, NO (Corby Yarbrough, Athlon Sports)
142. Malcom Floyd, WR, SD (Charlie Miller, Athlon Sports)
143. Mark Clayton, WR, STL (Braden Gall, Athlon Sports)
144. Mike Sims-Walker, WR, JAC (Athlon Consensus 1)
This was the time-to-be-sneaky round. Jerome Simpson could be a steal if both Owens and Ochocinco exit Cincinnati; Mason is still solid in any PPR format. If Kolb gets traded, he’s worth the shot to backup Peyton Manning. Steve Smith Carolina used to be a marquee receiver. Remember that? If the Panthers find a QB that can throw a forward pass, he’s a steal at 139 overall. The round closes down with solid picks in Saints Meachem and Moore, Charger No. 2, Floyd, Mark Clayton, who was Bradford’s go-to guy before an October season-ending knee injury and a Sims-Walker that hopefully won’t repeat his disappearing act of 2010.
How the mighty have fallen. Carolina’s Steve Smith was once a WR1 and is barely on fantasy radars for 2011. With an awful quarterback situation, Smith’s fantasy value is pretty low going into next season, but is a player worth the risk. Mitch’s pick of Kevin Kolb is a low-risk, high-reward option. If Kolb goes to Arizona, he has to be on the cusp of being one of the first 12-16 quarterbacks off the board.
Is that Panthers’ wideout Steve Smith in Round 12? The Carolina offense was an abject disaster in ’10, but he’s still worth a pick this late. Garrard (28 total TDs in 14 games) is a nice choice here.
Wide receiver value was the theme in this round. Sims-Walker, Clayton, Floyd, Smith and Simpson could all end up being No. 1’s (ok, maybe not Floyd). I also am intrigued by the Kevin Kolb pick — however, if I was Tim (with Vick), there is no chance he would not have made it past me.
The new “other” Steve Smith, the artist formerly known as “the” Steve Smith, could be a cheap bounce-back candidate — if he didn’t sound like he wanted to meet Jimmy Clausen in the Octagon.
145. Benjamin Watson, TE, CLE (Athlon Consensus 1)
146. Mike Goodson, RB, CAR (Braden Gall, Athlon Sports)
147. Nate Kaeding, K, SD (Charlie Miller, Athlon Sports)
148. Dustin Keller, TE, NYJ (Corby Yarbrough, Athlon Sports)
149. Cadillac Williams, RB, TB (Tim Clark, Athlon Sports)
150. Jacoby Ford, WR, OAK (Patrick Snow, Athlon Sports)
151. Tim Hightower, RB, ARI (Mitch Light, Athlon Sports)
152. Clinton Portis, RB, WAS (Nathan Rush, Athlon Sports)
153. Mason Crosby, K, GB (Rob Doster, Athlon Sports)
154. Emmanuel Sanders, WR, PIT (Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports)
155. Tim Tebow, QB, DEN (Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports)
156. David Akers, K, PHI (Athlon Consensus 2)
Someone has to replace DeAngelo Williams in Carolina if the Panthers are going to keep a two-horse backfield, making Mike Goodson a helluva deal at 146 overall … Waiting on Lewis as a TE in the 11th was a great play, drafting a backup in Dustin Keller might not have been a solid use of a pick. If Jacoby Ford and Emmanuel Sanders are involved in their respective offenses they are going to be some of the best draft values of any of the 180 picks.
Emmanuel Sanders had a short appearance in the Super Bowl due to a foot injury, but he came on strong for Pittsburgh in the second half of the season. With Hines Ward on the last legs of his career, expect Sanders to play a bigger role in Pittsburgh’s offense next season.
Love the value of young speedsters Mike Goodson and Jacoby Ford. Both had productive stretches in ’10 and should be improved this season. The first three kickers go in this round. It’s nice to have a top kicker, but only when your starters and key backups have been selected.
Speed kills and this was the round of the small, speedy skill guys — Goodson, Sanders and Ford can all fly. Or the round that would have been great in 2005 with Williams and Portis.
Tim Tebow showed flashes as a rookie, contributing to more than a few fantasy playoff runs late in the season. And, as a flier pick, he’s probably on par with Cadillac Williams and Clinton Portis — two injury-prone tailbacks whose best seasons are in the rearview mirror.
157. Owen Daniels, TE, HOU (Athlon Consensus 2)
158. Jordy Nelson, WR, GB (Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports)
159. Philadelphia, DST (Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports)
160. Bernard Scott, RB, CIN (Rob Doster, Athlon Sports)
161. Rob Bironas, K, TEN (Nathan Rush, Athlon Sports)
162. Zach Miller, TE, OAK (Mitch Light, Athlon Sports)
163. Matt Bryant, K, ATL (Patrick Snow, Athlon Sports)
164. Stephen Gostkowski, K, NE (Tim Clark, Athlon Sports)
165. Sebastian Janikowski, K, OAK (Corby Yarbrough, Athlon Sports)
166. Jordan Shipley, WR, CIN (Charlie Miller, Athlon Sports)
167. Jermaine Gresham, TE, CIN (Braden Gall, Athlon Sports)
168. Ryan Longwell, K, MIN (Athlon Consensus 1)
Kickers, backups and Bengals abound. Bernard Scott, Jordan Shipley and Jermaine Gresham should all be key cogs in the Jay Gruden-led offense, making them solid late-round picks.
Is new coordinator Jay Gruden what Cincinnati’s offense needs to get going in 2011? I’m not sure what to expect out of the Bengals just yet, but it’s interesting that three players from Cincinnati were selected in this round — Jordan Shipley, Jermaine Gresham and Bernard Scott.
Super Bowl hero Jordy Nelson could play a bigger role with Green Bay with Donald Driver hitting the twilight of his career. Two Bengals — Shipley and Gresham — could be nice weapons in Cincinnati’s new offense.
I love the Bengals, Gresham and Shipley, as well as taking the flier on Owen Daniels. What have you risked, really?
Sebastian Janikowski and Stephen Gostkowski go back to back as if this were a point-per-letter league. Sea Bass was the best kicker in fantasy last year; Gostkowski missed the season due to a thigh injury. Both should be two of the best — especially in point-per-letter leagues.
169. Toby Gerhart, RB, MIN (Athlon Consensus 1)
170. Josh Brown, K, STL (Braden Gall, Athlon Sports)
171. Ben Tate, RB, HOU (Charlie Miller, Athlon Sports)
172. Oakland, DST (Corby Yarbrough, Athlon Sports)
173. Cam Newton, QB, Rookie (Tim Clark, Athlon Sports)
174. Jason Snelling, RB, ATL (Patrick Snow, Athlon Sports)
175. Adam Vinatier, K, IND (Mitch Light, Athlon Sports)
176. Ryan Mallett, QB, Rookie (Nathan Rush, Athlon Sports)
177. Ryan Williams, RB, Rookie (Rob Doster, Athlon Sports)
178. Dan Carpenter, K, MIA (Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports)
179. Lawrence Tynes, K, NYG (Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports)
180. Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN (Athlon Consensus 2)
Gerhart to backup Peterson in the last round — great play. The forgotten Ben Tate to backup Foster — great play. The seldom-used Jason Snelling to backup Turner — solid insurance, and he could become even better if he is an unrestricted free agent this offseason. The three rookies were certainly worth fliers in Cam Newton as a third QB, Ryan Mallett as a backup QB to a player like Brady that will only be pulled once (bye week) and Ryan Williams for a team that went WR-WR to start the draft.
The last round of the draft is always filled with kickers, but some interesting picks with rookies Cam Newton, Ryan Mallett and Ryan Williams. Newton is probably a year or two away from starting in the NFL, but certainly worth the risk at this point. Ben Tate was a solid handcuff pick in the last round for Arian Foster.
Handcuffing was the last round theme with Gerhart, Tate and Snelling being selected. It’s a rock solid strategy in case of injury or if those backs play a bigger role than previously expected.
If you take a kicker before this round, you are stupid. And I would have taken Ryan Mallett over Cam Newton.
Toby Gerhart was the right play by Athlon Consensus 1 after taking Adrian Peterson No. 1 overall. No owner wants to see “All Day” banged up; but it’s not nearly as painful with his capable backup waiting patiently on the bench.
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.