Fantasy Football: The Fantasy Fix PPR Mock Draft (July 10, 2013)

Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft Review

By: Michael A. Stein, Esq. (@FantasyJudgment)

On July 10, 2013, I participated in TheFantasyFix.com’s expert fantasy football PPR mock draft with some of the best names in the industry including C.D. Carter, Jeff Haseley, Chet Gresham, Eric Yeomans, Rumford Johnny and Allie Fontana.  It was a 12-team league and the draft was hosted on MyFantasyLeague.com.  Despite some technical issues at the beginning, the draft went relatively smoothly.

I was randomly given the second overall pick which meant I was expecting to take Doug Martin based on the presumption that Adrian Peterson was off the board.  Much to my surprise, Jamaal Charles went first overall leaving Peterson to me.  Here are my picks in each of the 15 rounds of the draft.

1. Adrian Peterson (RB-MIN)

I wasn’t counting on this, but the reigning NFL MVP fell to me at number two and I gladly took him.  Peterson had an historic season in 2012 which was even more special considering he was recovering from a serious knee injury.  I am not necessarily expecting another 2,000 yard season, but he is certainly capable.  The Vikings will rely on Peterson even more this year after trading away Percy Harvin, so it is conceivable that he gets close to 400 carries.

2. Roddy White (WR-ATL)

I will concede that Julio Jones is the flashy, emerging star in Atlanta’s potent offense, but Roddy White is the old reliable option.  Now playing second fiddle to Jones, White will typically get matched up against opposing defense’s second best cornerback in one-on-one coverage.  Given this is a PPR format, White is a dependable and consistent option for my first wide receiver.

3. Maurice Jones-Drew (RB-JAX)

Admittedly I took a risk here by grabbing MJD who is coming back from Lisfranc surgery.  But all indications are that he feels great and his coaches expect him to be ready for training camp and the upcoming season.  Remember, it was only two years ago that he led the NFL in rushing with over 1,600 yards.  Compared to the risks of Darren McFadden and Ryan Mathews who were also available at this spot, I like my chances with MJD as my RB2.

4. Drew Brees (QB-NO)

One of the most polarizing subjects in fantasy football is when to take a quarterback depending on the point-scoring system of your league.  Given this is not a heavy QB league, I had all intentions of waiting until the 6th or 7th round.  But after Aaron Rodgers went a few picks before me, I decided to lock in my QB here with the huge upside of Drew Brees and the explosive Saints’ offense.  Could I have waited two more rounds and taken Matthew Stafford?  Yes, but I like even more what I will get out of Brees with Sean Payton back with the team.

5. Eric Decker (WR-DEN)

There is no doubt that Peyton Manning’s arrival in Denver helped elevate Eric Decker’s overall performance and statistics.  Even with the addition of Wes Welker, Decker still remains a solid WR2 option in Denver’s wide open aerial attack.  He will likely get a lot of one-one-coverage and will benefit from Welker commanding so much attention in the middle of the field.

6. Vernon Davis (TE-SF)

I debated whether to take Vernon Davis or Tony Gonzalez here and ultimately settled on Davis.  Now that Colin Kaepernick is firmly entrenched as San Francisco’s quarterback, I think he will continue to develop a nice rapport with Davis as his go-to option.  Davis can take advantage of mismatches against linebackers with his speed and break free on bootlegs or broken plays.

7. Jonathan Stewart (RB-CAR)

I may have over-thought this selection as I opted for Stewart instead of Shane Vareen.  Stewart is recovering from surgery on both of his ankles and likely won’t be ready for the start of training camp.  But I expect Stewart to be ready to go by the start of the season and carry most of the workload in the Panthers’ backfield as they reduce the amount of running done by third-year quarterback Cam Newton.

8. Emmanuel Sanders (WR-PIT)

Over the past couple seasons, Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers have become more reliant on its aerial attack than running the ball.  It will be interesting to see whether that continues in 2013 after Mike Wallace signed with Miami.  Sanders will be relied upon to fill the void left by Wallace and is also motivated by his upcoming opportunity to test the free agent waters and cash in like Wallace did.

9. Alshon Jeffery (WR-CHC)

Jay Cutler can’t throw the ball to Brandon Marshall on every pass attempt, can he?  Jeffery’s rookie season was partially marred with an injury, so he has a lot to prove in his sophomore season.  I am not the biggest Cutler fan in the world, but I think he should stay healthy and have a solid season throwing the ball.  Jeffery will be the beneficiary when opposing defenses double-team Marshall.

10. Mohamed Sanu (WR-CIN)

This was a bit of a risky pick taking Sanu who is coming back from a broken foot that prematurely ended his rookie season.  But Andy Dalton has become a solid quarterback and will have to rely on other options besides A.J. Green.  Sanu should see ample playing time and benefit from all the attention dedicated to Green in defensive schemes.

11. Fred Jackson (RB-BUF)

At this point, I was looking for the best value that was available for my 4th running back.  Fred Jackson is coming back from two knee injuries that derailed his 2012 season.  While C.J. Spiller has emerged as the featured back in Buffalo, I think they will get a relatively even share of carries.  At 32 years old, Jackson is on the downside of his career and will likely leave it all on the table to prove he can still play.

12. Chicago (ST/DEF)

I would have preferred the 49ers or Seahawks defenses, but I am perfectly satisfied getting the Bears instead.  Despite the loss of Brian Urlacher, the Bears will still have a stingy defense.  Plus, I will always have the potential for special teams points thanks to Devin Hester and his kickoff and punt return prowess.

13. Eli Manning (QB-NYG)

I knew I would need a backup quarterback at some point.  By the time the 13th round rolled around, Eli Manning of my New York Giants was still available so I selected him.  Hopefully the only time he would be in my lineup is during Week 7 when Brees has a bye week.  Sure enough, Manning has a Monday night matchup against the Vikings which is fortunately before the Giants’ inevitable second half collapse.

14. Brandon Pettigrew (TE-DET)

For my backup tight end, Brandon Pettigrew was the best of who was still available at this point in the draft.  I actually drafted him much earlier last year coming off a very solid 2011 season.  While he regressed a bit in 2012, he can still be very productive since Matthew Stafford doesn’t necessarily have an established number two wide receiver he can depend on (no, I don’t consider Ryan Broyles dependable yet).

15. Sebastian Janikowski (K-OAK)

Oh yeah, we needed a kicker too.  Janikowski was the best of who was left.  That’s my analysis.

Overall I am happy with my team.  The only pick I would likely do over is to take Vareen instead of Stewart in the 7th round.  I did take a lot of risks in this draft with players who are coming back from injuries.  If MJD can return to his old self, then he gives me a dynamic 1-2 combination at running back with Peterson.  I expect another 4,500 yards and 35 touchdowns from Drew Brees which is par for the course for him.

In terms of my wide receivers, I think I am going to get more production than anticipated in this PPR format.  Roddy White should be good for 90-100 receptions.  Despite the presence of Wes Welker, I think Eric Decker can still catch 70-75 passes.  Sanders and Jeffery could emerge as legitimate fantasy options given the situations that exist on their respective teams.

Is this a championship team?  It could be depending on the health of many of my players.  But that is an inherent risk for all fantasy owners.  Based on my players’ past performance coupled with their projected output, this team should compete for a playoff berth with elite players who can carry me to victories in critical weeks later in the season.

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