Fantasy Football: Fighting Chance Fantasy – Mock Draft Review (July 29, 2013)

Fantasy Football: Mock Draft Review

On July 29, 2013, I participated in a 12-team fantasy football PPR mock draft hosted by Ryan Hallam (@fightingchance) of FightingChanceFantasy.com.  Along with some of the industry’s best including Steve Gardner, Mike Harmon, Allie Fontana, Nick Minnix, Howard Bender and others, we spent a couple hours on MyFantasyLeague.com drafting teams and talking trash.  Some of that trash-talking is not appropriate for re-publication so you will have to use your imagination.

The draft order was randomly selected by Ryan Hallam’s daughters who pulled names out of a hat.  This method of randomizing a draft order was fully endorsed and approved by the Supreme Court of Fantasy Judgment as being authentic and unbiased.  I was given the fifth overall pick which I knew would cause me to have to make a critical decision.  That is exactly how it played out.

After Adrian Peterson, Doug Martin, Jamaal Charles and Trent Richardson went off the board, I decided to go in a different direction.  Rather than take a running back like Arian Foster, Ray Rice or LeSean McCoy (last year’s consensus top three picks), I opted for the best wide receiver in football and selected Calvin Johnson.  I at least know what I am getting from Megatron rather than take a risky pick with one of the backs.

Since I passed on a running back in the first round, I knew I had to take one with my second round pick.  I ended up taking DeMarco Murray of the Cowboys and then followed that up with Frank Gore in the third round.  Much like the other running backs I passed on, these two come with some red flags including an injury history and age, respectively.  But as we all know too well in fantasy football, every player is an injury risk and one play away from being rendered useless.

Going into this draft I was determined to wait for a quarterback at all costs.  It seems like everyone else had that strategy too as Drew Brees was the first off the board in the fourth round.  I patiently passed on Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady and instead continued to build my team taking Jordy Nelson and Jason Witten in the fourth and fifth rounds.  By the sixth round, I could wait no longer as my target of Matthew Stafford was still on the board.  I grabbed him to form a lethal combination with Calvin Johnson.  Pairing up a quarterback with his primary wide receiver is an old school tactic I haven’t used in years.  But I like this combination a lot this year.

The rest of my draft consisted of trying to pick players who are at least projected to have a lot of targets and heavy workloads.  I took a couple of hometown players on my New York Giants with Andre Brown and Rueben Randle.  Even though second year back David Wilson is now the starter, the Giants still do not fully trust him to handle the full load including touches down near the goal line.  Brown scored a lot of touchdowns last year and should see those same opportunities this season.  Randle has emerged as the Giants third receiver who should see a lot of single coverage in packages where both Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz are lined up.

I was also the first person to draft a defense as I went with San Francisco in the tenth round.  Team defenses can be a difference-maker in some weeks so I figured I might as well take the best one out there.  The 49ers also have the fortune of playing offensively-starved teams such as the Rams and Cardinals twice during the season.

Here is my complete roster listed by round that each player was selected.

1. Calvin Johnson (WR-DET)

2. DeMarco Murray (RB-DAL)

3. Frank Gore (RB-SF)

4. Jordy Nelson (WR-GB)

5. Jason Witten (TE-DAL)

6. Matthew Stafford (QB-DET)

7. T.Y. Hilton (WR-IND)

8. Andre Brown (RB-NYG)

9. Rueben Randle (WR-NYG)

10. San Francisco

11. Fred Jackson (RB-BUF)

12. Ben Roethlisberger (QB-PIT)

13. Jacoby Jones (WR-BAL)

14. Heath Miller (TE-PIT)

15. Stephen Gostkowski (K-NE)

16. Christine Michael (RB-SEA)

I like the team I drafted especially because it is different than most of the other mock drafts I have done.  I didn’t take a running back in the first round so I was able to get Calvin Johnson who I have never had on any fantasy team.  I also executed my strategy to wait on drafting a quarterback and it worked out well by getting Stafford in the sixth round.  If my running backs can stay healthy then I think this team would compete for a playoff berth and could be a championship contender.

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