2012 Fantasy Football Mock Draft | Volume One
I participated in my first fantasy football mock draft of the 2012 year, and I’m ashamed of myself. Not because of the team I exited the mock draft with, but because it took me so long to get back into the fantasy realm.
But I’m here, and I’m staying until 2012 is done and gone.
With that said, let’s run through my entire roster. Here are my thoughts on all of my selections, with analysis on value and what to expect in 2012:
Note: I held the #3 overall pick in a 10-team, 15-round standard league draft.
Round 1 – Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens (RB1)
Rice was a beast last year and remains one of the most explosive, versatile backs in the game. With Ricky Williams retired and a rookie backing him up, Rice should be in for another monster workload. He’s without a doubt a top-three back going into 2012.
Round 2 – Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings (RB2)
I’m afraid of taking Peterson in the first round, but I will absolutely risk a second rounder on him to form a formidable one-two punch at the running back position. I know he’s at risk of missing the first week or two, but I still wouldn’t bet against him. He’s a risk, to be sure, but he has monster ability and I’m getting a first-rounder in round two. I’ll take it.
Round 3 – Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants (WR1)
I felt this was a good spot to grab a wide receiver, and I was right. Nicks was the fifth receiver off the board, and started a run of four straight wide receiver selections. I know Nicks wasn’t the beast people thought he’d be in 2011, but with Mario Manningham gone, I think he could be better than ever in 2012.
Round 4 – Frank Gore, RB, San Francisco 49ers (RB3)
I was contemplating taking my second wide receiver here, but I saw Gore and I couldn’t pass up having three stud running backs to rotate in and out all year long. Besides, having Gore on the bench has me worrying less about Peterson’s health to start the year.
Round 5 – Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles (QB1)
My goal coming into this draft was to get running backs and wide receivers for as long as possible, and then pull the trigger on a Peyton Manning, Tony Romo, or Philip Rivers. However, Vick’s potential got the best of me. The fact is, this is a first-round talent if he stays healthy. And if he doesn’t, I won’t lose sleep over spending a fifth-rounder on him.
Round 6 – Stevie Johnson, WR, Buffalo Bills (WR2)
I missed out on landing an elite WR2 – maybe. I personally really like Johnson, and think he’s the ideal WR2. He can have big outings, but usually just delivers solid, reliable production on a weekly basis. I won’t have the best wide receiving corps in my league, but so far it’s still pretty darn good.
Round 7 – Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys (TE1)
This is the spot where I can reach for a receiver like Pierre Garcon or Eric Decker, or make sure I don’t miss out on an elite tight end. Witten simply gets it done every year, and in a fashion that’s very similar to a wide receiver.
Round 8 – Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers (QB2)
I’m aware Vick is an injury risk every week, so I’m ecstatic to see a major 2012 bounce-back candidate in Rivers fall right into my hands. The funny thing is, Rivers only had a bad year in 2011 by his standards. I think he’ll get back to normal this year, making him an awesome steal and fantastic insurance for Vick here in the eighth round.
Round 9 – Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona Cardinals (WR3)
Potentially this year’s Julio Jones, I think I landed a very solid and capable WR3 in Floyd. He might carry some inconsistency, but he definitely won’t be without some big performances with Larry Fitzgerald on the other side of the field.
Round 10 – Peyton Hillis, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (RB4)
I’m in good shape at running back, so I’ll take a bit of a chance on Hillis, who has an injury-riddled 2011 and could be sharing the rock in KC with Jamaal Charles. He should be a goal-line beast and have yardage around or slightly better than what he had last season though, which makes him an awesome bench and spot-fill option.
Round 11 – Santonio Holmes, WR, New York Jets (WR4)
Holmes had a really weak 2011 in terms of receptions and yards, but did still manage to score eight times, which slightly salvaged a lost season. He’s too talented to have that happen again, but I’m not blind to the sketchy quarterback situation in New York. He’s a risk, but as my fourth receiver, I feel he was a calculated one, and a guy who could bounce back in 2012.
Round 12 – Pittsburgh Steelers Team Defense (DEF1)
I saw three defenses go off the board through rounds 10-11, so I decided to use my “react” strategy and jump on a quality team defense before everyone else noticed the trend first. I know the Steelers looked old on defense down the stretch last year, but they’re healthy and they added some nice talent in the draft. I think they’ll be their usual selves this year.
Round 13 – Felix Jones, RB, Dallas Cowboys (RB5)
With the running backs left to pick from, I think Jones offers the most explosiveness and versatility. He should be at least somewhat involved in the Cowboys’ offense, even as the backup. But if DeMarco Murray ends up going down (and he did last year), this could be a sweet steal toward the end of the draft.
Round 14 – Laurent Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (WR5)
I don’t have much faith in Blaibe Gabbert, but there’s some rumors working around that suggest Chad Henne could be the guy. That could mean Robinson in round 14 is one heck of a pick. I know it’s a risk, but he did score 11 times in 2011 and I like his potential if the quarterback play in Jax is even remotely competent.
Round 15 – Mason Crosby, K, Green Bay Packers (K1)
There were six other kickers drafted before Crosby in this draft, and the best part he was exactly the guy I wanted. I know he kicks outdoors and that can be troublesome, but he plays in one of the better offenses in the league, and he has a huge leg. It’s funny how people focus on field goals so much, while Crosby was fourth in the league in total points despite finishing outside the top 10 in field goal makes. But what some don’t realize is all that matters in the end (in standard leagues, at least) is the total points.
I also don’t pick kickers before round 15, so I’m content with Crosby.
I love my quarterbacks. I know Vick is a slight question mark due to his injury history, but he still is an explosive weapon and if he stays healthy I landed a huge steal. The same goes for Rivers. The fact that he’s my backup makes me feel very good about the quarterback position on this roster.
My running back depth is excellent, while I have three legit studs on my team. With that said, I am perfectly aware that Peterson, Gore, Hillis and Jones all have at least some minor injuries in their past. Most running backs do, though, so it’s a risk you have to be willing to take at some point. I’ll go with strength in numbers here and not worry too much about it.
I know I don’t have the best trio of wide receivers in the league. However, Nicks can be a beast, and Johnson is a very solid WR2. Floyd should be able to be a quality WR3, while Holmes and Robinson should be good depth, at the very least. Wide receiver is my obvious weak link, but I don’t think it’s too bad.
Witten gives me a stud tight end who can be a monster PPR guy, can rack up yards, and will also score touchdowns (14 in last two years). I don’t have a backup tight end because I didn’t see a need for one. If Witten goes down, I could be in trouble, but otherwise I’m really only looking at a one-week fix when he’s on bye. You can note trends and matchups and find a stellar one-week fill-in at tight end.
I feel good about my kicker and defense, as well. Both are very solid options and are pretty much elite. The Steelers still finished in the top-10 in points allowed, while Crosby was a top-four kicker.
Feel free to rip me apart for any of these picks, or my analysis of how this draft unfolded. I preach loading up on running backs and wide receivers, while waiting to get a steal quarterback (or two). Other than that, balance is the name of the game.