I took part in an experts league mock draft with our friends at Rotoworld.com earlier this week, and some of the results were interesting, to say the least (it’s rough to look at, but you can see the results here).
Here’s a round-by-round breakdown of the 12-team draft that utilized a standard scoring system and required a starting lineup of 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 FLEX (RB/WR), TE, K and DST. I held the No. 1 overall selection.
My pick: Chris Johnson, RB, Titans
Notes: Of the 12 picks in the round, 10 were running backs. That’s not a huge surprise, but what was a bit of a shock was that not one quarterback was drafted. The two non-backs taken were Andre Johnson and Randy Moss. It was also interesting to see Rashard Mendenhall (eighth) go ahead of Steven Jackson (ninth).
My pick: DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles
Notes: The round started with a massive run on wideouts, as Reggie Wayne, Larry Fitzgerald, Miles Austin and Calvin Johnson were drafted. Rookie Ryan Mathews was the first runner taken in the round, followed by Jamaal Charles. Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees were both drafted – I view them as steals in the second round.
My pick: Cedric Benson, RB, Bengals
Notes: This round was a virtual mish-mash of running backs and wide receivers, as the only other player drafted not playing one of those positions was Tom Brady. After I took Benson, Pierre Thomas and Ryan Grant were taken. Four of the next five picks were wide receivers, including Brandon Marshall and Marques Colston.
My pick: Steve Smith, WR, Giants
Notes: Sleeper running back Felix Jones was the top pick in the round and the first of five backs taken. Another of my sleepers, Michael Crabtree, was also drafted. Despite a potential holdout, Vincent Jackson also came off the board. Two solid quarterbacks – Philip Rivers and Tony Romo — were also selected.
My pick: Matt Schaub, QB, Texans
Notes: I opened by taking Schaub, but he was the only quarterback picked in the round. After the first 49 selections, only six signal-callers have been taken in the draft. Surprisingly, Jermichael Finley was the first tight end selected. Fellow tight ends Antonio Gates and Dallas Clark also came off the board in the round.
My pick: Wes Welker, WR, Patriots
Notes: Wide receivers dominated this round, as seven were taken — including sleepers like Jeremy Maclin and Mike Wallace. I took a chance on Welker, despite questions about his return from knee surgery, and Dez Bryant was the first rookie wide receiver drafted. Brett Favre and Vernon Davis were also taken late in the round.
My pick: Brent Celek, TE, Eagles
Notes: Needing a tight end, I opened the round by taking Celek, and Jason Witten, Tony Gonzalez and Owen Daniels also came off the board. A few of my sleepers like Montario Hardesty, Johnny Knox and Ben Tate were also picked. Notably, Tate went ahead of Steve Slaton, and I expect Tate to hold the most fantasy value this season. Rookie C.J. Spiller, also taken in the round, could be a nice value.
My pick: Cadillac Williams, RB, Buccaneers
Notes: A number of good value picks at the quarterback position were made in this round, as Kevin Kolb, Joe Flacco and Eli Manning (surprisingly, in that order) came off the board. Veteran wideouts were also popular picks, with Braylon Edwards, Derrick Mason, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Lee Evans all picked.
My pick: Devin Aromashodu, WR, Bears
Notes: In the category of “Oh, how the mighty of fallen,” Clinton Portis was taken in the ninth round. He’s been a first-round pick for much of his career. Surprisingly, Michael Bush and Donald Brown both went ahead of him in the round. Sleepers like Aromashodu, Julian Edelman, Zach Miller and Malcom Floyd also went.
My pick: LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Jets
Notes: Much like Portis, it’s amazing to see how far Tomlinson’s value has fallen. I took him as my No. 4 fantasy back. Ben Roethlisberger, who will miss at least the first four games of the regular season, was the third player taken in the round. The best potential values taken included Tim Hightower, Eddie Royal and Matt Ryan.
My pick: Donovan McNabb, QB, Redskins
Notes: McNabb was far too good a value to pass on in this round. His schedule is extremely favorable in 2010. I was a little surprised to see Jabar Gaffney go in this round, ahead of Jerricho Cotchery, but he does have some low-end sleeper appeal. Sleeper quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Chad Henne were also taken.
My pick: Arian Foster, RB, Texans
Notes: I was surprised to see the Packers defense go first in this draft (and in this round), ahead of the Jets. I’m not very big on Carson Palmer this season, but I like the potential value he brings as a 12th-round pick. While I like the rookie Tate to top the Texans depth chart sooner than later, Foster was still worth a flier.
My pick: Vikings defense
Notes: I usually wait to take a defense until one of the final two rounds, but I couldn’t pass on the Vikings. They were the first of five defenses to be taken in the round (49ers, Ravens, Steelers and Eagles) and my second overall ranked defense. Terrell Owens, still a free agent, also came off the board. It was notable that Roy Williams went seven rounds after Bryant.
My pick: Mario Manningham, WR, Giants
Notes: Five defenses were taken in this round, including the Cowboys, Giants, Dolphins, Cardinals and Saints. The first kicker, Garrett Hartley, was also drafted. Stephen Gostkowski and Mason Crosby went just a few picks later. I took Manningham, who showed flashes of potential in 2009, to be my No. 5 fantasy wideout. I have him ranked at No. 47 overall among receivers.
My pick: Nate Kaeding, K, Chargers
Notes: The final round of most fantasy drafts means a major run on kickers, and I opened with the best one left on my board in Kaeding. Eight other kickers were drafted, including sleeper David Buehler of the Cowboys. The lone non-kickers taken were the Buccaneers defense, Jordy Nelson and Tashard Choice.