2012 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Volume 2
I’m back again to dive into the simmering waters of fantasy football to let you know what’s going on in fantasy mocks, as well as a new way to get a pretty darn good team.
Well, not a new way, as I tend to stick to getting my running backs and wide receivers early – but it is a completely new team I’ve pieced together.
Take a look at my first mock of the year, and then read on for volume two, as I continue to shake off the rust so I can help you win your fantasy football league in 2012. Here’s the roster I wound up with, along with my thoughts on each selection:
Note: I held the #10 overall pick in a standard 10-team draft (snake).
Round 1 – Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland Raiders
The dude has never played a full season, so why now, right? I know he’s a major risk, but with the last pick in the first round, I felt like I owed myself some wrong. He’s a dangerous play in two ways. He can either hurt you, or he can hurt your opponent. I like getting my backs early, so it was between McFad, T-Rich and Adrian Peterson. McFadden holds the most blow-up potential, so he ended up being the pick to get it all started.
Round 2 – Trent Richardson, RB, Cleveland Browns
I liken Richardson to Adrian Peterson, so I chose (this time) to take the younger, healthy version over the real Peterson with the first pick of round two. He’s going to have a huge role in Cleveland as a rookie, and if Peyton Hillis could be a beast behind that Browns offensive line, just imagine what T-Rich can do.
Round 3 – Brandon Marshall, WR, Chicago Bears
I flirted with the idea of taking a third quality running back, but I saw the wide receivers getting plucked, and I wanted to be sure I got at least one elite guy. Marshall wasn’t special in Miami, but he’s back with Jay Cutler in Chicago. Just go look up his numbers when they were playing together in Denver. The mere possibility of him getting anywhere close to that again is pretty exciting.
Round 4 – A.J. Green, WR Cincinnati Bengals
Green put up 1,000 yards and seven scores off of just 65 catches as a rookie in 2011. That was the tipping point. The guy is going to blow up this year, provided Andy Dalton can also continue to improve. I love him as my WR2, especially since he could possibly be putting up WR1 production this season.
Round 5 – DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
I Know D-Jax was a slouch in 2011, but nothing worked right in Philly for some reason last year, so I call mulligan here. That, and Jackson finally got his cash money, homes, so he won’t be pouting or taking plays off anymore. Rather, with Vick fully healthy again, I tend to think he’ll have a career year or at the very least get back to his 2009-2010 numbers.
Round 6 – Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I grab my fourth receiver (in a row, mind you), simply because I’m not in love with any of the “top” running backs – Reggie Bush, Roy Helu, Isaac Redman and Beanie Wells – to name a few. If I can get them a round or two later, sure, but in the moment I was very excited to complete a fairly stacked receiving corps with a beast in V-Jax. I personally think the move to Tampa Bay will go very well for him and everyone involved.
Round 7 – DeAngelo Williams, RB, Carolina Panthers
It’s back to the “running back grind” as I lock down my first backup in D-Will, who averaged 5.4 yards per carry in 2011. He shares the load with Jonathan Stewart, but Carolina still likes to run and he’s still plenty explosive. Don’t worry, I’m banking on landing Stewart a little later, giving me that much-needed insurance.
Round 8 – Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers
I nabbed Vick in round four to be my starter in my first mock, and this time I decided to wait four extra rounds for my gunslinger. Turned out pretty good.
Rivers was a “disappointment” in 2011 with 4,600+ yards and 27 touchdowns. His 25 turnovers went fairly strongly against those numbers, though, so I get the beef. However, I think he returns to form in 2012, and even if he doesn’t, he’s still a very solid QB1 and a steal this late.
Round 9 – Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers
I told you I planned on getting D-Will’s back-field mate. The Panthers like to pound the rock, so I’ll use Stewart as both a rotational piece and insurance behind Williams. Hopefully I only have to use them during bye weeks, but if not, either one carries decent potential in any given week.
Round 10 – Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins
I just got Rivers two rounds ago, but I felt I still needed a backup for him in case he did struggle again for some reason. That, and if RG3 is going to come anywhere close to what Cam Newton did last season in his rookie year, I want him on my team.
Round 11 – Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona Cardinals
Have you noticed a trend in this mock? I fancy a few of the 2012 rookies, and think they could have some pretty special debut seasons. Floyd gets to run routes with the great Larry Fitzgerald, which will surely free him up for some big plays down the field. The only concern is who will be throwing him passes.
Round 12 – Pittsburgh Steelers Defense
Defenses started getting plucked, so I released my “react” strategy when it comes to team defenses. I generally won’t draft one until someone else does, and then I get the best available. Pittsburgh began showing their age last year, but they added some nice young talent in the draft, and they’re still not to be messed with.
Round 13 – Felix Jones, RB, Dallas Cowboys
The starting job belongs to DeMarco Murray in Dallas, but he broke his ankle last season, so I’ll take Jones as a bench guy that could end up seeing action. He’s really only a situational runner unless Murray goes down, but he’s worth a shot this late. The fact that he was the last back drafted with nearly three full rounds to go tells you he was the last draft-worthy guy on the board, too.
Round 14 – Tony Gonazalez, TE, Atlanta Falcons
Gonzo is aging and regressing. There’s no denying that. However, he says this is his last season, and I can’t see him stinking up the joint during his swan song season. The funny thing is, this guy is plummeting in mocks (ADP of 10.04) and he still racked up 80 receptions, 875 yards and seven scores in 2011.
Can you say under-valued?
I’m not crazy high on him, but the guy has never seen a major drop-off, and in his three seasons with the Falcons he’s never dropped below 70 receptions, 650 yards or six touchdowns. If he can get me 70 receptions, 700 yards and seven scores, I’ll be satisfied – especially considering where I grabbed him.
Round 15 – Alex Henery, K, Philadelphia Eagles
I don’t hold kickers in very high regard, as very little separates the “top” guys. In fact, how many field goals they kick or make means very little in the big picture. All that matters is they score points. Henery will do just that in a high-powered Philly offense that figures to bounce-back in 2012. And I got him in the final round, unlike six teams that wasted a 13th or 14th rounder on their “better” kicker.
I’ll be honest – this isn’t my favorite team of all-time. I prefer the one I got out of my first mock of then year. With that said, I love the depth I got here – pretty much at every position. I probably passed up a player or two to get depth over studs, but in the end I have insurance at every position except the ones that arguably don’t need it (TE, K, DEF), and I also have some possible breakout studs in rookies RG3, T-Rich and Michael Floyd.
You won’t normally find me taking a major risk like McFadden, but I know he’s immensely talented and I also know his role is going to be absolutely sick if he can stay healthy. Big if, but if you have a shot at him at 10th overall, you can’t be foolish and pass on a guy like that.
My biggest question of this draft is wondering if I made the right call to draft Richardson over Adrian Peterson, who was still available. Ultimately, I decided they’re both elite backs, and both are borderline number-one picks. Richardson has fresh legs and didn’t just tear his knee up, though, so he was the safer pick. If you can get Peterson in round two and Richardson isn’t there, though, you have to take him. And even if Richardson is still there, you can’t go wrong with All Day.
Comment below if you think I did terrible or aced it. And let me know your thoughts and questions concerning my latest mock results.