2012 Fantasy Football: 8-Team Mock Draft With Analysis
I know 8-team leagues are crazy in fantasy football. But it just so happens I’m in a highly competitive 8-teamer with some high school buddies, and it’s a league we do every single year. That, and I know there’s some 8-team league guys that still wouldn’t mind some insight on how their draft could shape out.
It should be known that regardless of the league (except insanely QB-heavy leagues), I almost always roll with two running backs with my first two picks. Elite running backs are few and far between, so I like to get the best two I can get my hands on, and acquire more with potential later in the draft.
I used my actual draft position for my only 8-team league this year, which was the fifth spot. The league is pretty standard but does have small points for PPR. After 16 rounds, here is my final mocked roster with full analysis:
QB Michael Vick (Philadelphia Eagles) Round 5
Vick was most expert’s #1 pick last year (except mine), so you know he brings value if you get him in round five. Heck, even if you pluck him off the board in round three, you’re probably doing OK. I know he could kill me with an injury, but the dude has a chip on his shoulder and is really striving for a full 16 games this year. I think he can do it, while there’s just no way he scores just one rushing TD again. He’s going to end up being one of the biggest steals of the fantasy season. Count on that.
QB Philip Rivers (San Diego Chargers) Round 10
Okay, so maybe I’m wrong about Vick and he goes down in week one. Big deal. Rivers turned the ball over in a mulligan year and I think he’s going to pop off in a huge way in 2012. I’ll take him as my backup any day of the week.
RB Ryan Mathews (San Diego Chargers) Round 1
Eventually I’ll have to bit the bullet and tell my readers who I like more between Mathews and CJ2k, as my opinion of the two truly fluctuates on a daily basis. In this mock, I went with Mathews role and upside against CJ2k’s disappointing 2011. It’s a close call either way in my opinion, but I’m happy with Mathews as my top back.
RB Trent Richardson (Cleveland Browns) Round 2
I know he’s a rook and plays for the lowly Browns, but he’s one of the best pure talents at the position since probably Adrian Peterson and his role should be mammoth-sized. I think 1,600 total yards and 10 total scores is possible as a rookie.
RB Willis McGahee (Denver Broncos) Round 9
McGahee is aging and Ronnie Hillman is breathing down his neck, but the guy isn’t dead yet. I still think he holds onto the starting gig and brings solid value. He’s my RB3 and there’s some risk here, but head coach John Fox likes him so I’ll roll with him here.
RB DeAngelo Williams (Carolina Panthers) Round 11
I know I’d rather own Jonathan Stewart, but I’ll take D-Will as a RB4 this late in any draft. He’s still explosive and has the ability and role to put up well over 800 rushing yards and 7-10 scores. He’s just barely a borderline RB2, but he’ll get the job done with the right matchup and is still a killer Flex option.
RB Donald Brown (Indianapolis Colts) Round 12
I’m not high on Brown at all, but this pick is a testament to the fact that sometimes you simply have to take a chance on a guy because of sheer talent and his potential role. He’s definitely better than the other backs in Indy, and he has the skills to be something special. As my RB5 on this team, he’s worth the shot.
RB Toby Gerhart (Minnesota Vikings) Round 14
Gerhart might be the starter in week one, and he’s the last back I rostered. I know he’s not really explosive, but he’s versatile and will get a lot of touches until Adrian Peterson is ready to take over again. In round 14, I’ll take the chance he starts more than a handful of games to begin 2012.
WR Julio Jones (Atlanta Falcons) Round 4
Like just about everyone else and their mother, I’m extremely high on Jones this year. He piled on 959 receiving yards and eight touchdowns off of just 54 receptions. He also did it in just 13 games during his rookie season. This guy is going to be huge in 2012 and is absolutely a WR1.
WR Steve Smith (Carolina Panthers) Round 6
Smith came back to life last year due to actually have a competent quarterback under center in Cam Newton. That wasn’t a mirage. He may not be exactly the same in 2012, but he’s still a very strong WR2 with nice upside in an improving offense.
WR Jeremy Maclin (Philadelphia Eagles) Round 7
Malcin entered 2011 sapped of strength and conditioning. Despite that and Michael Vick’s own woes, he ended up being a pretty solid WR2 when he was on the field (missed three games). I’m expecting big things out of him and Philly this year, and love him as a WR3 here.
WR Kenny Britt (Tennessee Titans) Round 8
I know Britt is a head case and has had like a million knee surgeries over the past year, but he’s still a freak when healthy. I’m taking a chance on him as my WR4, too, so it’s not really that big of a risk, considering the potential reward here. There’s major value here.
WR Malcom Floyd (San Diego Chargers) Round 13
Floyd put up over 850 yards and five touchdowns in 2011, despite playing second fiddle to Vincent Jackson and missing four straight games in the middle of the year. He’s one of the more underrated receivers out there this year, and I’m ecstatic to get him in round 13. He’s excellent depth with a chance to crack my starting lineup if all goes well.
TE Jimmy Graham (New Orleans Saints) Round 3
I go back and forth on whether I’d rather get a WR before an elite TE like Gronk or Golden Graham, but they’re basically WR1′s playing the tight end position, so it’s a toss up. A grand realization is that the wide receiver is really deep this year, and while the tight position is as well, there’s a dramatic drop-off after Graham. I don’t need a backup TE until his bye (or unless he gets hurt), so I’ll use my waiver wire skills if necessary, rather than jam up my bench with a scrub backup tight end.
DEF/ST Chicago Bears Round 15
As long as Brian Urlacher is healthy, this can be a top-five unit. He looks to be heading into 2012, and I just don’t bet against the Bears defense after many losing battles. They were the top defense on my board, so it was a no-brainer. Devin Hester still returning kicks and punts (if even occasionally), gives me extra incentive to roll with Chicago.
K Stephen Gostkowski (New England Patriots) Round 16
I never draft a kicker before the final round, unless I’m in a weird league that requires two or more kickers. Gostkowski is in an explosive offense, which means less field goal tries, but more extra points. In the end, he still scores a ton and I’m happy I didn’t blow a 13th-rounder on him.
After conducting this mock, I analyzed it using the Cheat Sheet Wizard. It predicted I had the second best team of the eight “teams” that mocked the draft. Obviously I have to disagree there, but I can’t be upset about being predicted as number two, either.
Again, 8-team leagues are rare for the serious fantasy gamer, but they still exist. Hopefully this gave some fantasy owners some insight on what kind of team they can assemble if you’re in the middle spots of an 8-league draft.