2012 Fantasy Football: 14-Team Mock With Analysis
Mock til ya drop. Or something cliche’ like that. The fantasy football season is getting closer and closer, friends. With week two of the 2012 NFL preseason almost in the books, the fantasy picture is starting to clear up. We’re wiping down the fogged windows. Injuries and happening. Roles and being carved out. And dreams are being dashed.
We’re going to be doing several mocks each week the rest of the way to ensure it’s not your dreams being dashed, however. Today I conducted a 14-team mock draft via the ever awesome and powerful Cheat Sheet Wizard. Some major issues at running back have me straying from my usual RB,RB selection process to start the draft.
I rolled with the 7th pick in the snake draft. This is the final roster I came up with:
QB Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers (Round 1)
I didn’t feel like spending my first round pick on an injured Ryan Mathews or a holding our Maurice-Jones Drew, so I took the best quarterback in the game, instead. I didn’t really think twice about it, either.
QB Christian Ponder – Minnesota Vikings – (Round 14)
I was too busy loading up on receivers and running backs to worry about an elite backup, and in my opinion, I still might have gotten one. I’m high on Ponder going into his second season, and think he could be a strong QB2 if he continues to improve. The hope with having Rodgers is I’ll only need Ponder for one week, anyways, so I’m happy with him as my backup.
RB Jonathan Stewart – Carolina Panthers (Round 5)
Stewart may not be my true RB1 when the season is over, but I couldn’t pass on him at this point in the draft. He got his contract extended recently and is going to continue to be a big part of what the Panthers do, and could eventually over-take DeAngelo Williams as the starter. He’s Carolina’s third-down back and likely top goal-line option, so I like him to have the most value out of the Panthers’ backs. This guy has serious RB1 potential if he is ever given a full load, too.
RB Donald Brown – Indianapolis Colts – (Round 6)
I’ve never been high on Brown, but he continues to look way better than any other Colts running backs, and he could be a deadly dump-off option for rookie quarterback Andrew Luck. He comes with some risk, but he still carries solid potential if he’s the full-time starter on a young offense that should be on the field a ton in 2012.
RB Stevan Ridley – New England Patriots (Round 7)
There’s a good chance Ridley is my top back, and he’s the third one I’m drafting. He’s the top Patriots back to own right now, and based off of his natural running ability and goal-line prowess, I believe it stays that way. If he can be what BenJarvus Green-Ellis was, this pick will have been worth it.
RB Toby Gerhart – Minnesota Vikings (Round 8)
Adrian Peterson is still not 100% and Gerhart has done nothing but impress so far in camp and in the preseason. He could be starting the first few games in 2012, and could have a quality role all year long. I’ll take a chance on him panning out as a solid Flex option at the very minimum.
RB Mikel Leshoure – Detroit Lions (Round 9)
Leshoure will miss the first two games with suspension and is working his way back from a dreadful Achilles injury, but I like his value in round nine. He’ll be sharing carries in Detroit, but if Jahvid Best can’t make it back, his value could quickly sky-rocket. Kevin Smith is never healthy, either, so Leshoure is looking more and more like the Lions running back to own this year.
WR Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons (Round 2)
I must have Julio Jones in every draft I do. I’m just gushing about this guy’s potential. Just look at what he did last year as a rookie in just 13 games. He’s about to break out in a big way. He’s my #4 wide receiver heading into 2012.
WR Brandon Marshall – Chicago Bears (Round 3)
Everyone else can downplay Marshall and Jay Cutler being reunited and say receiver’s going to new teams don’t blow up, but I’m buying the quiet hype. Marshall has done nothing but kill it when playing with Cutler. I fully expect them both to be reborn in 2012.
WR Demaryius Thomas – Denver Broncos (Round 4)
I did contemplate taking a running back here, but didn’t love the options available, so decided to complete my WR trio, instead. Thomas has never been healthy for a full season, but he’s bound to become a stud with Peyton Manning throwing to him. I’ll surely take the chance with him as my WR3.
WR Kendall Wright – Tennessee Titans (Round 10)
I love Wright as a rookie, and it doesn’t matter who is under center. The only thing that could hamper Wright as a rookie is Kenny Britt suddenly being 100% and not getting suspended. I have my doubts about Britt in both regards, though, so taking Wright as my WR4 feels like a good move.
WR Brian Quick – St. Louis Rams (Round 12)
I like taking a shot in the dark on rookie receivers. Quick hasn’t been quick (see what I did there?) in making an impact yet as a rook, but he has so much big-play ability, I can’t see him buried on the depth chart forever. He’ll eventually become a starter in this offense, and he should eventually make a solid impact.
WR Lestar Jean – Houston Texans (Round 15)
Jean was my last offensive pick, and it was down to him or reaching for a third string running back. I know his offense runs the ball and he’s not even guaranteed the third receiver job yet, but I love his potential. He looked pretty good in his second preseason game and could leap-frog Kevin Walter as the team’s true number two wideout by year’s end.
TE Jacob Tamme – Denver Broncos (Round 11)
Tamme has more value in PPR leagues than standard, but I like him in both. He racked up over 60 receptions and 600+ yards with Peyton Manning in Indy two years ago, and that was in just 10 games. I really like his potential this year, as Manning loves his tight ends and should confide in him a lot as his top security blanket.
K Jason Hanson – Detroit Lions (Round 16)
Hanson may be 92, but he still has a pretty strong leg for his age and is as accurate as they come. His offense is awesome, too, so I’m cool with rolling with the old guy.
DEF/ST Houston Texans (Round 13)
In 10-team drafts and smaller, I wait until the second to last round for my defense. 12-team and up, I look a tad earlier to make sure I get a unit that can make a weekly impact. The Texans fit the bill, as they’re a guaranteed top-10 defense with top-five potential. They did lose Mario Williams and Demeco Ryans, but I still love their tenacity. They’ll give me a quality weekly start.
The expert poll via the Cheat Sheet Wizard ranked my team #2 out of the 14 rosters. Not too shabby.
Overall, I feel pretty good about this roster. I really didn’t like the running backs that were available with my first pick, and continued to be far from impressed with what was available for the next few rounds. Instead of simply reaching for a guy or taking someone I didn’t love, I decided to build an unstoppable receiving corps, instead.
Ultimately, I have the top fantasy quarterback and an elite trio of receivers. I know none of my running backs strike fear into the opposition right now, but all five are borderline solid RB2 candidates with the potential for more. I’ll take that in a 14-team league if I have to.
Feel free to comment below on this team, or in regards to any quality roster you’ve come out of a 14-team draft with.