On July 31, twelve members of the Footballguys staff got together for the site's sixth mock draft of 2013. Before we can look at the results, however, here are few of the details. After all, the details of your league are as important as the players on your team. If you're loaded with yardage monsters in a league that is touchdown-only, you'll certainly struggle. If you're weak at quarterback in a league that starts two of them every week, you'll be lucky to sneak into the playoffs.
- 12 teams
- 18 roster spots
- Starting Lineup
- 1 quarterback
- 2 running backs
- 3 wide receivers
- 1 tight end
- 1 flex (either a running back, wide receiver, or tight end)
- 1 place kicker
- 1 team defense
- Offensive Players
- 4 points - passing touchdown
- 6 points - rushing/receiving touchdown
- 0.05 points - passing yard
- 0.1 points - rushing/receiving yard
- 1 point - reception
- Place Kickers
- 3 points - field goal from 0 to 39 yards
- 4 points - field goal from 40 to 49 yards
- 5 points - field goal from 40 to 99 yards
- Team Defense
- 6 points - touchdown
- 2 points - turnover forced
- 2 points - safety
- 1 point - sack
The Draft Order
The draft order was created randomly. After the first round, the draft continues in a regular serpentine manner.
- Jason Wood
- Mark Wimer
- Andy Hicks
- James Brimacombe
- Matt Bitonti
- Michael Brown
- Heath Cummings
- Ryan Hester
- Sigmund Bloom
- Jeff Haseley
- Steve Holloway
- Aaron Rudnicki
Starting with Jason Wood from the 1.01 spot, we will go over each person's selections in the mock draft with followup questions pertaining to their picks and draft strategies.
jason wood - slot 1
|16.12||192||New England Patriots||Def||NEP|
1. This is a strong team, but tight end is a weak spot. What would be your plan for the position if this team was played out for the season?
Thanks, picking 1st overall and then having Alfred Morris fall to me at 2.12 makes this team easy to like on paper. As you noted, if there's one area I project as weak, it's TE, but that was very much by design. I believe that after Jimmy Graham (who went in the 1st round) and Gronkowski (2nd round) are off the board in drafts, it's smarter to wait this year. As soon as neither elite guy was an option I simply shift my thinking and let the position come to me. I keep a running tally of the TEs off the board and strike when I feel like it's my last chance to get one of my top 12. As it happens, I ended up getting two Top 12 options because people haven't yet caught up to Bennett and Fleener's potential. In a PPR league, I love Fleener this year. He's playing for Pep Hamilton in the same system (with the same QB) that made him an NFL draft commodity, he's going to catch 50-60 passes this year. Meanwhile Bennett has been the most impressive player in Bears camp.
2. Talk about Vincent Brown and Latavius Murray. Why should people be looking in their direction later in the draft?
These are two very different players. Vincent Brown needs to be targeted in the early to mid rounds if you want him, and by the time most drafts take place in late August you can be sure Brown will be going even higher. He was a marvel throughout his rookie preseason but suffered an injury that derailed his first season. He's back healthy and, once again, has been the CLEAR CUT best receiver on that team. It hasn't been close. For an offense that will likely be playing catch up throughout the year, having the best WR on the roster in the 8th round isn't a hard decision.
Murray is a different cat. He's a true end game pick and I readily admit he could be someone I would drop for a hot waiver wire claim within a week or two. But I love the upside of taking a young RB on a team with an oft-injured starter. I have zero faith in Darren McFadden and Murray needs only beat out aging veteran Rashad Jennings for the lead role in the event Run DMC goes down.
3. You left Larry Fitzgerald on the board when you selected Andre Johnson. Explain why you like Johnson over Fitzgerald this year.
I took Andre Johnson over Larry Fitzgerald because that's the right thing to do, Johnson is and should be the higher ranked player. Fitzgerald should bounce back a bit this year but AJ is still the safer and higher upside bet. Johnson is coming off a monstrous season, has a better quarterback, plays on a better team, has a more proven coach and play caller, and is believe it or not has fewer players competing for touches. About the only thing Fitzgerald has over Johnson is that Arizona is going to be sucking wind a lot and likely having to throw the ball more frequently, but that's not enough to offset Johnson's superior talents and supporting cast.
MARK WIMER - SLOT 2
1. You have T.Y. Hilton as your WR2. What are your expectations of him this year?
I think that T.Y. Hilton will pretty easily hold off Darrius Heyward-Bey and be a strong #2 wide receiver for the Colts. In the new Pep Hamilton system he may not see as many long passes, but I think his floor is 75 receptions for 1,100 yards and seven TDs, with probable upside from there (especially in the touchdown department). As you can see, I project a drop in his average yards per reception (from 17.2 last year to 14.6 this year). That drop is due to the new system, but it is offset by his increase in receptions and also the fact that this guy is a speedster. He can turn a short pass into a long-gainer and likely will do so one or more times a game in 2013.
2. You selected three Bengals receivers and the Bengals defense. What is the reasoning behind that?
I think Andy Dalton and the Bengals offense are on the rise. While the exact offensive mix behind A.J. Green is yet to be determined, I know that I want to have a significant piece of the receiving pie in Cincinnati - between Mohamed Sanu, Marvin Jones, and Tyler Eifert I should have captured the #2 and #3 receiving options on this team. Reports from training camp indicate that both Sanu and Jones have looked good so far and should both be in the mix for targets. Also, in the event that Green is lost for a period of time due to injury or suspension, Sanu and Jones would become a powerful tandem of fantasy receivers. I have been drafting Sanu and Jones often this year for the above reasons.
The Bengals defense is an ascending unit compared to cross-division rival Baltimore, who is regressing since their Super Bowl win, in my opinion. Last year Cincinnati finished sixth in total yards allowed per game; third in sacks; and eighth in points allowed per game. That's a very solid overall performance, and the Bengals haven't suffered much attrition on defense during the offseason. I believe they can become one of the elite defensive units in the NFL this year.
3. Your team has three pairs of handcuffs. DAL RBs, IND RBs, and CIN WRs. Explain your thinking going with multiple handcuffs.
In leagues with short benches (like this one), the waiver wire is going to be a very active part of the league competition. I prefer to have key backups already on the team, rather than hazard the waiver wire process, especially early in the year when everyone is flush with cash. The play for Lance Dunbar was in defense of DeMarco Murray's fantasy role and injury risk. Everyone is aware of Murray's struggles of staying on the field for a full slate of 16 games. All the reports out of Dallas that I have read, indicate that Dunbar is distinguishing himself while Joseph Randle is not impressing. I think Dunbar is the clear front-runner for the #2 running back slot in Dallas, a key guy for Murray owners to roster.
The Indianapolis running back handcuff was due to my strategy of drafting Calvin Johnson with a top pick. I've found that going wide receiver at the top of the draft order essentially forces the fantasy owner who does so to roll the dice on one of the less-well-defined running back rotations in the league this year. These include Indianapolis; Green Bay; Carolina; Denver; and New Orleans. I try to control both top options in these committee situations. I missed on Green Bay, Carolina and Denver between 7.01 and 8.02 so I knew my next pair of picks at the 8/9 turn would be either the Indianapolis backs or Pierre Thomas and someone else. The Indianapolis backs were there so I passed on Thomas and selected Bradshaw/Ballard.
Regarding the Sanu/Jones handcuff - it remains to be seen which receiver will become the starter across from A.J. Green. They may actually switch off starter duties from week to week, depending on their opponent on any given Sunday. By drafting both, I assure myself of being able to start whichever guy emerges as the Bengals' second-most-targeted wide receiver this year.
andy hicks - slot 3
|14.10||166||San Francisco 49ers||Def||SFO|
1. You selected Giovani Bernard in round five and then paired him with Benjarvus Green-Ellis in round eight. What is your take on the Bengals running back situation this year?
I expect Benjarvus Green-Ellis to be the dominant back to start the season and Giovani Bernard will have his touches escalated as the season goes on. By having both I'll be able to have one starter and possibly one flex as the season develops depending on goal line touches, 3rd down play etc. I think the Bengals have demonstrated by drafting Tyler Eifert and Bernard that they intend to increase the explosiveness of their offense. While both areas of the offense were middle of the league for attempts, I expect the run to become more prevalent once the Bengals assert their authority on a fairly nice schedule for them. I selected both Bengals backs, not as insurance should one falter, but with the likelihood that I can use both. Green-Ellis is a weak RB2 who'll get yards and rushing touchdowns, while Bernard will get receptions and big plays as my flex player. Of course should one of them be out for awhile, then I expect the other to be a top RB2. In the case of Green-Ellis, he should see more room with a more open passing game. Bernard would be a potential low end RB1 who could do some real damage with 15-20 touches a game.
2. Ray Rice was your first overall pick as the third player off the board. Explain why you like him so much this year that you would take him over Doug Martin, Jamaal Charles and Arian Foster?
I have Ray Rice as my 2nd ranked back, so when my 2nd back is available at slot 1.03, I really have to take Rice. As for comparing Rice to the three players mentioned, I expect him to receive a significant increase on his reception total with the departure of Anquan Boldin and the injury to Dennis Pitta. If he gets less than 80 receptions I'll be shocked. He already averages 70 receptions a year over the last four years, so it's not an unexpected expectation. In PPR leagues he becomes dominant when you know he's good for at least 200 carries as well. Given the problems I expect with quality receivers in Baltimore, the run game will be the focal point of the offense and Rice will be the major piece of that puzzle. Comparing him to Martin, Charles and Foster isn't easy, as I expect all to do very well, but the main factor was about 40 receptions difference between what I expect Rice to gain compared to the other guys.
3. You managed to draft Bernard Pierce in round nine as a handcuff to Ray Rice. Is it imperative that you make sure you get Pierce if you take Rice?
It depends on where you can get Pierce. He was there in round 9, which I felt was a fair price. If Pierce goes down, Rice is a Top 2 back, which I already think regardless of the presence of Pierce anyway. If Rice goes down then Pierce is an almost certain bottom end RB1. This is one of the rare situations where a clear quality backup would slide in and do almost as well as the established starter. Ben Tate would probably be an RB2 if Arian Foster is lost. Outside him I cannot see any other backup who will be drafted after round 8 who has a solid chance to push for RB1 numbers as a backup if the starter goes down. Perhaps Bryce Brown, but he has a) competition and b) a fumbling problem. Pierce is the best situated backup in the league and should get an opportunity even if Rice is fit. If you can take a better back in your draft by all means do, but if you own Rice you have a very good RB1 in almost any circumstance if you own both. Pierce is going to get at least 100 carries in Baltimore and backs at this stage of the draft guaranteed that kind of volume are taken regardless of if you own Rice or not. As I have Rice, it's Win/Win for me.
james brimacombe - slot 4
1. You selected only one RB (Doug Martin) in the first four rounds. Explain why this might be a good strategy to use.
Knowing I had my RB1 locked in with Doug Martin I felt that I could go against the grain a little bit and look for more of an upside RB2. I was targeting Giovani Bernard in the 5th round but he went one pick in front of me so I went with Le'Veon Bell who has been given rave reviews so far at Steelers training camp and has potential to see a heavy dose of carries right out of the gate. I felt that I got two stud WRs in Demaryius Thomas and Vincent Jackson in rounds 2 and 3 and then came back with Drew Brees in round 4 so it was hard to pass up the value of those 3 particular picks. I also drafted Mark Ingram, Johnathan Franklin, and Christine Michael to round out my depth at RB and don't feel in anyway that I missed out at RB because I only took one in the first 4 rounds.
2. What player were you most excited to see still available when it was your turn to pick?
Kendall Wright is always a favorite of mine in PPR formats. The love for Kenny Britt has been growing lately and this is letting Wright slip in his ADP and getting him at 8.09 felt like a nice value play as my WR4 option. I also like getting a stud quarterback such as Brees in round 4, as it allows me to only have to roster 1 QB in a league that only has 18 roster spots. That allows me to take another lottery ticket type RB/WR later in the draft.
3. You selected Percy Harvin in round 16 even though it is unknown when/if he'll return this year. Explain why you would condone taking him as a late round pick this year.
In such a small roster league of only 18 spots it is a risk to have to hold onto Harvin for such a long period of time. At the same time drafting a stud quarterback and only having to roster one allows you to take a risk later in the draft. Harvin was my big risk and if news surfaces in mid season that it is looking like he won't play until the playoffs maybe I re-evaluate and drop him for something I can use on the waiver wire. It really came down to if I wanted to roster a 2nd tier QB that I would never use or take a chance on Harvin coming back just in time for the fantasy football playoffs.
matt bitonti - slot 5
|7.05||77||Robert Griffin III||QB||WAS|
|18.08||212||New York Jets||Def||NYJ|
1. You selected two quarterbacks back to back in rounds six and seven (Matthew Stafford and Robert Griffin). What was your thought process behind that strategy?
Before the draft started, I made the decision to wait on quarterbacks. This year, there’s really great value in the middle rounds. After taking two running backs and three wide receivers, the sixth round spot came and I was agonizing between Matthew Stafford or Robert Griffin III. It probably took about thirty seconds in real life to make a choice, but it felt like an hour. I went with Stafford, because he’s slightly healthier and gets to throw to Calvin Johnson. But it was a nail biter of a call, as I really like Griffin’s play-making. When round seven came around and Griffin was still there, it was just a matter of staying true to my board. I would have gladly taken Griffin a round earlier. The old saying is if you have two quarterbacks you probably don’t have any, hopefully this isn’t true for my fantasy team. If Griffin’s knee acts up or Stafford gets dinged up, as is his tendency, the lineup has options. I can play matchups from week to week (although that can be a risky strategy). More realistically, I’ve got a possible trade market to those who waited too long at quarterback. For example I would love some of Sigmund’s wide receivers and dangling one of these two quarterbacks should make a deal happen.
2. Which pick do you feel you received the most value on?
Stevan Ridley in round four. Even though this is a PPR league, and Ridley doesn’t offer much in that area, he should have been picked earlier. Incidentally, I was using the FBG Mock Draft application during the draft and the app helped me see this value at that spot. The way I used the app was to simulate a round’s worth of picks ahead, to get a general feeling of who would be taken, and who would be available, for any given round. Sometimes I’d target a player in the app and he’d still be there in the real draft. At the time of the pick Ridley’s ADP was 31st and I was picking in the 56th slot. My advice is to download the app and use it. At the very least it keeps your mind from wandering in between picks. It also helps as a pre-draft practice tool.
3. Which player that you selected are you most concerned about not reaching expectations this year?
Mike Wallace in round five. He just got paid a huge contract and early word out of Dolphins camp is that he and Ryan Tannehill are not exhibiting great chemistry. It wouldn’t be such a risk if I had gone wide receiver more in the middle rounds, but I found the running back value to be better and left myself with the top three wide outs and a bunch of late round sleepers. For what it’s worth, I feel like people are sleeping on Stephen Hill, who I tabbed in round 14. Santonio Holmes might not play this year and Hill has elite measurables. More importantly Hill has been making explosive plays in recent Jets practices. The Jets offense won’t be amazing, but they should be better this year. They have more talent at quarterback and the new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg is a huge upgrade over Tony Sparano. So maybe if Wallace doesn’t pan out, I’d have some options there with Hill and the other sleepers (Da’Rick Rogers, Keenan Allen).
michael brown - slot 6
1. You selected Shonn Greene without already having Chris Johnson. What are your expectations for Greene (and Johnson) in Tennessee this season?
To be honest, Greene isn't a guy I'm expecting to come out of very many drafts with him on my roster. His upside is limited based on his situation (as a backup to a very effective rusher). He's even less valuable in PPR, with just 19 receptions a year ago. So why did I grab Greene here? Because at some point, you can find room on your roster for a guy coming off back-to-back top-20 seasons. He should be the goal line back and would be the primary carrier if Johnson is injured, and so in the 13th round he makes for a fine bye week fill-in. I do think Johnson will have an effective season, but there is enough room for Greene to carve out a little piece of value for himself with around 8-10 touches per game.
2. Dexter McCluster is often not selected in drafts of this size. Explain why you think he is a good late round pick.
McCluster is a guy that previous regimes just never seemed to know what to do with. He's got serious skills, is dangerous with the ball in his hands, and seems like a perfect complement to any offense. But for one reason or another, he never broke out. Enter Andy Reid, a many who never saw a forward pass he didn't like. Reid should find a role for McCluster, and let's not forget the quarterback upgrade to Alex Smith. Despite rather pedestrian stats overall, McCluster has registered 99 receptions over the past two seasons. In a PPR league, I like the fact that I can plug him in and likely grab three points even if he doesn't gain a single yard. He should grab even more passes now that: Peyton Hillis left town, the team hasn't found a reliable number two receiver, and the number of pass attempts will increase. McCluster also has a career yards per carry average of 4.6 on the ground. Basically, he's a lottery ticket where you've been given the first five numbers. If he and the coaching staff can figure out that last digit, look out.
3. Which player do you plan on starting as your flex (RB, WR, TE)? You have a few good options to choose from.
In the early going, I would expect DeAngelo Williams to start at the flex spot. Jonathan Stewart will likely be hobbled at least the first few weeks, and the Panthers will likely lean on Williams a great deal. Assuming he plays well or Stewart is slow to return, I wouldn't be against running him out there at the flex spot with regularity. Of course, with the injury concerns surrounding both Arian Foster and Darren McFadden, it's possible I will need Williams to play a RB spot. In that case, I would be carefully following the situation in Seattle to see who emerges as the primary receiver now that Percy Harvin is injured. If Golden Tate picks up the slack, then my Sidney Rice pick is less valuable. But if Rice can re-emerge and reclaim some of the luster from his Minnesota days, he'd make a fine flex play for this team. Of course, there are also some high-upside guys in Michael Floyd, Brian Hartline, and Dexter McCluster who may emerge later on down the line. But none carries the track record of Williams or to a lesser extent, Rice.
heath cummings - slot 7
|16.06||186||Green Bay Packers||Def||GBP|
1. You selected Cam Newton as the #1 overall quarterback. Explain your interest in why you like Newton this year and why you selected him when you did (4.06)
I've had Newton as my #1 QB all summer. I think his struggles at the start of last season were partly because he didn't realize how hard he needed to work to get better and partly because of confusion within the club on their offensive game plan. I expect Newton to continue to make strides as a passer this year while still providing a lot of value with his legs. Unlike most running quarterbacks, Newton has the body to withstand the punishment. Aaron Rodgers is also a fine choice at #1, but personally I want Cam. He's broken records in his first two years in the league and that will continue into year three.
I took him where I did because I expected the run on elite quarterbacks to start soon, and I didn't think he'd make it back to me. My VBD projections have Newton as worthy of a 2nd round pick, but there's no reasoon to take him that early if you can get him in the 4th.
2. In selecting both Jason Witten and Greg Olsen, it appears as if you will use a second tight end as your flex option. Explain why you chose this strategy.
This just comes back to value. In PPR leagues, I have Witten as the second best tight end, and Olsen as the 4th. I expect Olsen to score around 210 fantasy points in PPR leagues, good luck getting that out of your third running back or fourth wide receiver. The depth at receiver is another reason I felt comfortable taking a second tight end when I had only one WR. It's just too easy to stockpile WRs that have WR2 upside in the later rounds (Mike Williams, DeAndre Hopkins, Denarius Moore in this draft).
3. The Texans coaching staff has given rookie WR DeAndre Hopkins high praise so far this preseason. What are your expectations of him this year?
Hopkins is my favorite rookie receiver in 2013 mostly because of his situation. He has a much better quarterback than Cordarelle Patterson and a much better offense thanTavon Austin. With Andre Johnson on the other side of the field and Arian Foster in the backfield, Hopkins should see single coverage from the CB2 a majority of the season. My projections for Hopkins have him at 65 catches for around 900 yards and 6 touchdowns. This would make him a solid WR3 with WR2 upside.
ryan hester - slot 8
1. What are your expectations of Russell Wilson this season? Do you believe his production will drop at least some, due to the loss of Percy Harvin for an unknown amount of time?
I believe Russell Wilson’s production will drop from what it could have been with a healthy Harvin, but I also believe it will increase from last year’s season-long numbers because the offense won’t be as close-to-the-vest as it was in the beginning of his rookie year.
Wilson won’t be in the top four at quarterback as he was in the final quarter of last season, but he won’t be anywhere below 10 either. I selected him while other names like Tom Brady and Tony Romo were around because I like the value brought in four-point passing touchdown leagues by quarterbacks who are able to run and score six-point touchdowns.
2. Which pick of yours was the best value given the spot he was selected?
I was thrilled with each of my first two picks. I have Spiller rated as my third running back and third overall player in both PPR and standard leagues. And while I’ve been advocating the RB-RB draft strategy all offseason, Dez Bryant was too hard to pass up at 2.05 (17 overall). Also, while I’m not high on Maurice Jones-Drew, getting him at 32 with a consensus PPR ADP of 23 was nice.
I believe Dez Bryant can eclipse 1,600 yards this season and should have double-digit touchdowns to go with it. He’ll be the second-highest scoring receiver this season, and the gap between Calvin Johnson and Bryant won’t be a large one.
3. You waited until the 14th round to select your first tight end (Dustin Keller). Was this your plan going in or did the draft dictate this strategy?
My plan entering the draft (and all preseason long) was to wait on tight end. It was the draft, however, that dictated this long of a wait. I think the next 10-12 players after the Jimmy Graham - Rob Gronkowski and Jason Witten - Vernon Davis - Tony Gonzalez tiers all have very similar ceilings. TE7 all the way to TE20 all have the potential to be top-12 at the position. When players are on the same tier, I wait until the tier has just one or two players left.
In Round 9, Owen Daniels, Jermichael Finley, Martellus Bennett, Jordan Cameron, Jermaine Gresham, Antonio Gates, Dwayne Allen, Coby Fleener, Brandon Pettigrew, and Keller were all still on the board. I feel the delta between those guys will be negligible when viewed over the course of the whole season. Therefore, I waited all the way to Round 14 when Keller was the last guy left before what I viewed as the next drop-off.
It goes without saying that getting Graham or Gronkowski would be great for your team. However, backs and receivers require multiple starters in your lineup each week. The players you’re passing up to get Graham (Marshawn Lynch, Trent Richardson, A.J. Green, and Matt Forte in this case) are all RB1’s or elite receivers. A full round later, the two that went right after Gronkowski (Darren Sproles and Alfred Morris) are both fringe PPR RB1’s. That’s too much to pay at premium positions for a position that only requires one starter.
Sigmund bloom - slot 9
1. Matt Bitonti selected two of the top 12 quarterbacks, thus leaving you out of that grouping. How much did that affect your draft strategy? What advice would you give to others if that same scenario occurred in their draft?
The upside of not getting a top 12 quarterback is that you can wait a long time to take a quarterback like Eli Manning to be your "baseline" quarterback. Then, you should take only quarterbacks with high ceilings. I took Michael Vick and Ryan Tannehill, but EJ Manuel, Jay Cutler, Andy Dalton, Josh Freeman and Sam Bradford would also work. Philip Rivers, Carson Palmer, Ben Roethlisberger, and even Matt Schaub would work as that baseline quarterback, too. After I knew I wasn't getting a top 12 quarterback, I also focused more on upside at other positions, since I was able to get an extra hack at RB/WR in the mid-rounds in exchange for not having a top 12 quarterback.
2. You selected Jimmy Graham as your first pick. How would you recommend attacking the draft if you do decide to select a tight end (likely Graham) with your first, or even second pick?
The important thing is to get two running backs with your other two top three picks. With only about 20-25 solid RB1/RB2 candidates, you don't want to be forced to have a RB2BC made up of less than sure things. You shouldn't have any problem getting a back like Frank Gore in the third (as I did), getting Lamar Miller in the fourth as my RB3 was just gravy. You can get away with not taking a wide receiver until the fifth round this year if it means that you get three top 20 backs and the #1 tight end.
3. Patriots rookie WR Kenbrell Thompkins is a player that is getting a lot of buzz in camp this season. Explain why people should be interested in him in redraft leagues and when is a good time to select him?
Thompkins has been standing out at Patriots practices since the spring with his ball skills and route-running. The team has a vacancy at their #2 wide receiver position, and the #1 (Danny Amendola) has been known to get hurt. Aaron Dobson has a better draft pedigree, as a second round pick, compared to Thompkins, who went undrafted this year, but as long as Thompkins continues to outplay him, he'll get a shot. More than one fellow owner commented that they had Thompkins queued up when I took him in the 15th round, so that seems like the place to target him, at least until the buzz grows in volume.
Jeff haseley - slot 10
|16.03||183||St. Louis Rams||Def||STL|
1. You selected Shane Vereen with pick 3.10, ahead of Stevan Ridley. Explain why you like Vereen so much this season and why you like him over Stevan Ridley?
There are three main reasons why I selected Shane Vereen over Stevan Ridley. First, I doubt Ridley will come close to 290 carries again, therefore I believe we’ll see a drop in production from him. The Patriots ran a lot of offensive plays last year and I expect that to drop some. I’m thinking the carry distribution will be more like 60/40 in Ridley’s favor with Vereen getting plenty of opportunities. Second, the departure of Danny Woodhead to San Diego opens the door for Vereen to take on more carries and more targets. He probably won’t see many first down rushes, but as a change of pace, utility weapon he won’t be underused. Third, the loss of Aaron Hernandez opens the door for someone to benefit from his place in various sets and formations. So far that person has been Vereen. When he’s not lined up in the backfield, he’ll be a weapon on the edge, slot and flanker. In short, I see Vereen being used as the queen on chessboard, being utilized in many different ways. It all points to increased production especially in a PPR league. Fifty-plus receptions is not out of the question for Vereen.
2. You selected Andrew Luck at the end of round five, whereas his ADP is usually a round or two later. What was the thought process around this decision?
Andrew Luck is one of two or three quarterbacks that I am targeting in drafts this year. I believe he will continue to take another big step forward and establish himself as one of the best young quarterbacks in the league, if not the best. When I selected him at the end of round five, there was a risk that he could’ve been chosen before my sixth round pick. If I didn’t take him in the fifth round, I was definitely planning on getting him on the turn back. I elected to take him in round five and not let chance dictate the player that I most coveted. As it turns out, I still was able to grab the other player I had my eye on, if I passed on Luck in the fifth – Vernon Davis.
3. Which pick of yours was the best value given the spot he was selected?
I like Fred Jackson, Ronnie Hillman and Reuben Randle as my 9th, 10th and 11th picks. If I had to choose one, it would be Randle in the 11th round. He is someone that I believe will have an increased role this year. The uncertain health tendencies of Hakeem Nicks could catapult him into a weekly fantasy start if Nicks is forced to miss any time. Even as the team’s number three wideout, Randle should still see plenty of chances to make plays, especially in the red zone. At 6’3”, 210 pounds, Randle is a great target for Eli Manning, which should result in several end zone targets.
steve holloway - slot 11
1. You selected a RB (Trent Richardson) with your first pick and then proceeded to take a WR with your next four picks. What was the reasoning behind this strategy?
Richardson was an easy pick as I have him ranked as RB5 in ppr and I selected him as the RB9. In ppr scoring leagues where you must start 3 wide receivers and have only one flex player, my general strategy is to focus on wide receivers after I secure at least one high tier running back. I was excited that Richardson lasted all the way to the eleventh pick.
Once Richardson was secured as my top tier running back, I expected to focus on wide receivers, even while I continued to consider running backs. Without increased scoring for the tight end position, once Graham (first round) and Gronkowski (2nd round) were gone, I knew that it would be a while before I selected a tight end. Since this was a 12-team league and with passing TDs only worth 4 points, I knew that I would be waiting a long while on quarterbacks.
Surprisingly, I was set to take a second running back as Matt Forte, who I have ranked as RB 8 in ppr scoring, but Rudnicki spoiled that plan. Some may have been surprised that I bypassed Dez Bryant and Julio Jones, instead taking Brandon Marshall, but I have him ranked as WR2.
My 3.11 pick was also an easy one for my as Roddy White, my WR7 was there for me as the 12th wide receiver selected. I was again prepared to take my 2nd running back, but Rudnicki sniped me again taking David Wilson. The next choice was tougher and I believe that I slowed the draft a bit as I considered several wide receivers, but settled on Hakeem Nicks, who I have ranked as WR11. I am among the highest on Nicks and took him over Colston, Amendola, and Welker.
I started to look at the quarterback situation as my 5.11 approached, but only six had been taken and stuck to the plan. Likewise, only Witten and Gonzalez had been drafted at tight end, so I felt I could wait longer there as well. My choice came down to Steve Smith and Greg Jennings as I valued them both above remaining running backs. Jennings is my WR16 and was taken as the 24th wide receiver off the board.
2. You decided on Rashard Mendenhall as your RB2 over Chris Ivory, Eddie Lacy and Ryan Mathews. Explain why you elected to pick Mendenhall.
My next pick at 6.2 was the toughest yet. As discussed above I was still willing to wait on tight end and quarterback, so I only looked at running backs here. None of these guys thrill me here and again I would have taken Mathews who I have ranked as RB18, but have I mentioned that Rudnicki continued to steal my running back choices. When considering Mendenhall, Ivory, and Lacy, it is easy for me to go Mendenhall. I have watched a lot of Saints games and although Ivory has ran well, he has also been often injured and still more left inactive when healthy. When you combine that mistrust that I have with him in general with the situation in New York with the Jets, that was easily Mendenhall. Green Bay just has not valued the running game enough for me to be sold on Eddie Lacy, who also has another talented rookie that will challenge to share the limited carries. I say all that to say that I was not thrilled to get Mendenhall as my second running back, but I favored him over those other two and Mathews was already gone.
3. What pick are you most excited about, based on the spot in the draft you were able to select him?
As already discussed, I loved my first three picks and could not have been happier. I was very pleased to add Tom Brady as the 11th quarterback off the board. Brady has averaged over 5,000 yards and 36 passing TDs over the past two seasons and also ran for 3 and 4 TDs those two years. I realize that their entire receiving corps is a re-build, but getting Brady at 7.11 seems like a solid plan for all fantasy drafts in 2013. I also liked Jermichael Finley at 10.02 as the 10th tight end taken and with my somewhat suspect running backs, I was thrilled to add Pierre Thomas at 9.11.
aaron rudnicki - slot 12
1. You passed on Lamar Miller, Stevan Ridley among others for David Wilson. What are your expectations for Wilson this year?
Lamar Miller is unproven and it appears to me that the Dolphins were really focused on the passing game this offseason, while the loss of Jake Long is cause for some concern up front as well. I like Stevan Ridley but not more than Wilson in a PPR league. Personally, I think Wilson has the potential to become a great back and when picking in the 12 slot, I tend to focus on players with huge upside. The Giants let Ahmad Bradshaw walk and I think they are preparing to hand over the reigns to Wilson this year. Andre Brown is still a threat (particularly near the end zone), but I think there is a talent gap between the two that will become apparent even if Brown manages to stay healthy. If the Giants offense plays up to their potential, I think Wilson can put up RB1 type numbers this year and carry a lot of fantasy teams.
2. For the first six picks you alternated RB and WR. Was this just a coincidence or is that a strategy you use, especially when drafting out of the 12 slot?
This was mostly just a coincidence. I certainly wanted to wait at deeper positions like QB and TE to try and build up a strong and deep group of RBs and WRs early on. I may have considered taking a player at those positions earlier if one I liked fell, but that opportunity never presented itself. Rather than fall behind at either of the two key positions, I decided to keep grabbing one of each to keep pace with the other owners. Despite winding up with a late draft slot, I was happy to come out of round 6 with 3 RBs who I feel will be the feature back on their respective teams along with 3 receivers who have a good chance to finish among the top-15 or so at the position. At that point, I felt like my core was strong and I could start to look for values with my later picks. This happened when I was able to snag Tony Romo as the 12th QB off the board with the last pick in the 7th round. I also made it a point to handcuff Danny Woodhead to the oft-injured Ryan Matthews to hopefully lock up the Chargers starting RB for the year.
3. Which draft slot would you prefer to draft from and why?
In general, I tend to prefer drafting as early as possible. You get a chance to land an elite RB who could really give your team a big advantage over the teams drafting towards the end of the first round. Depending on how the draft goes, I feel like there's a great chance to land another top-15 type RB and top-5 WR at the end of the 2nd and beginning of the 3rd round. Obviously, getting an early pick is not going to happen for most owners, so my general preference is to be in the middle of the order. This gives you more opportunities to take advantage of value that falls and also makes it easier to avoid being caught at the end of a position run. There just tends to be a lot more flexibility when picking in the middle compared to picking at the ends and it can be tough to wait 20+ picks between your selections.
|Jason Wood||1.01||1||Adrian Peterson||RB||MIN|
|Mark Wimer||1.02||2||Calvin Johnson||WR||DET|
|Andy Hicks||1.03||3||Ray Rice||RB||BAL|
|James Brimacombe||1.04||4||Doug Martin||RB||TBB|
|Matt Bitonti||1.05||5||Jamaal Charles||RB||KCC|
|Michael Brown||1.06||6||Arian Foster||RB||HOU|
|Heath Cummings||1.07||7||LeSean McCoy||RB||PHI|
|Ryan Hester||1.08||8||C.J. Spiller||RB||BUF|
|Sigmund Bloom||1.09||9||Jimmy Graham||TE||NOS|
|Jeff Haseley||1.10||10||Marshawn Lynch||RB||SEA|
|Steve Holloway||1.11||11||Trent Richardson||RB||CLE|
|Aaron Rudnicki||1.12||12||A.J. Green||WR||CIN|
|Aaron Rudnicki||2.01||13||Matt Forte||RB||CHI|
|Steve Holloway||2.02||14||Brandon Marshall||WR||CHI|
|Jeff Haseley||2.03||15||Steven Jackson||RB||ATL|
|Sigmund Bloom||2.04||16||Reggie Bush||RB||DET|
|Ryan Hester||2.05||17||Dez Bryant||WR||DAL|
|Heath Cummings||2.06||18||Chris Johnson||RB||TEN|
|Michael Brown||2.07||19||Julio Jones||WR||ATL|
|Matt Bitonti||2.08||20||Randall Cobb||WR||GBP|
|James Brimacombe||2.09||21||Demaryius Thomas||WR||DEN|
|Andy Hicks||2.10||22||Rob Gronkowski||TE||NEP|
|Mark Wimer||2.11||23||Darren Sproles||RB||NOS|
|Jason Wood||2.12||24||Alfred Morris||RB||WAS|
|Jason Wood||3.01||25||Andre Johnson||WR||HOU|
|Mark Wimer||3.02||26||DeMarco Murray||RB||DAL|
|Andy Hicks||3.03||27||Larry Fitzgerald||WR||ARI|
|James Brimacombe||3.04||28||Vincent Jackson||WR||TBB|
|Matt Bitonti||3.05||29||Victor Cruz||WR||NYG|
|Michael Brown||3.06||30||Darren McFadden||RB||OAK|
|Heath Cummings||3.07||31||Jason Witten||TE||DAL|
|Ryan Hester||3.08||32||Maurice Jones-Drew||RB||JAC|
|Sigmund Bloom||3.09||33||Frank Gore||RB||SFO|
|Jeff Haseley||3.10||34||Shane Vereen||RB||NEP|
|Steve Holloway||3.11||35||Roddy White||WR||ATL|
|Aaron Rudnicki||3.12||36||Jordy Nelson||WR||GBP|
|Aaron Rudnicki||4.01||37||David Wilson||RB||NYG|
|Steve Holloway||4.02||38||Hakeem Nicks||WR||NYG|
|Jeff Haseley||4.03||39||Danny Amendola||WR||NEP|
|Sigmund Bloom||4.04||40||Lamar Miller||RB||MIA|
|Ryan Hester||4.05||41||Wes Welker||WR||DEN|
|Heath Cummings||4.06||42||Cam Newton||QB||CAR|
|Michael Brown||4.07||43||Aaron Rodgers||QB||GBP|
|Matt Bitonti||4.08||44||Stevan Ridley||RB||NEP|
|James Brimacombe||4.09||45||Drew Brees||QB||NOS|
|Andy Hicks||4.10||46||Reggie Wayne||WR||IND|
|Mark Wimer||4.11||47||Tony Gonzalez||TE||ATL|
|Jason Wood||4.12||48||Peyton Manning||QB||DEN|
|Jason Wood||5.01||49||Dwayne Bowe||WR||KCC|
|Mark Wimer||5.02||50||Matt Ryan||QB||ATL|
|Andy Hicks||5.03||51||Giovani Bernard||RB||CIN|
|James Brimacombe||5.04||52||Le'Veon Bell||RB||PIT|
|Matt Bitonti||5.05||53||Mike Wallace||WR||MIA|
|Michael Brown||5.06||54||Marques Colston||WR||NOS|
|Heath Cummings||5.07||55||Torrey Smith||WR||BAL|
|Ryan Hester||5.08||56||Antonio Brown||WR||PIT|
|Sigmund Bloom||5.09||57||Pierre Garcon||WR||WAS|
|Jeff Haseley||5.10||58||Andrew Luck||QB||IND|
|Steve Holloway||5.11||59||Greg Jennings||WR||MIN|
|Aaron Rudnicki||5.12||60||Steve Smith||WR||CAR|
|Aaron Rudnicki||6.01||61||Ryan Mathews||RB||SDC|
|Steve Holloway||6.02||62||Rashard Mendenhall||RB||ARI|
|Jeff Haseley||6.03||63||Vernon Davis||TE||SFO|
|Sigmund Bloom||6.04||64||Eric Decker||WR||DEN|
|Ryan Hester||6.05||65||Chris Ivory||RB||NYJ|
|Heath Cummings||6.06||66||Greg Olsen||TE||CAR|
|Michael Brown||6.07||67||Stevie Johnson||WR||BUF|
|Matt Bitonti||6.08||68||Matthew Stafford||QB||DET|
|James Brimacombe||6.09||69||DeSean Jackson||WR||PHI|
|Andy Hicks||6.10||70||Colin Kaepernick||QB||SFO|
|Mark Wimer||6.11||71||T.Y. Hilton||WR||IND|
|Jason Wood||6.12||72||Cecil Shorts||WR||JAC|
|Jason Wood||7.01||73||Eddie Lacy||RB||GBP|
|Mark Wimer||7.02||74||James Jones||WR||GBP|
|Andy Hicks||7.03||75||Miles Austin||WR||DAL|
|James Brimacombe||7.04||76||Kyle Rudolph||TE||MIN|
|Matt Bitonti||7.05||77||Robert Griffin III||QB||WAS|
|Michael Brown||7.06||78||DeAngelo Williams||RB||CAR|
|Heath Cummings||7.07||79||Mike Williams||WR||TBB|
|Ryan Hester||7.08||80||Russell Wilson||QB||SEA|
|Sigmund Bloom||7.09||81||Kenny Britt||WR||TEN|
|Jeff Haseley||7.10||82||Anquan Boldin||WR||SFO|
|Steve Holloway||7.11||83||Tom Brady||QB||NEP|
|Aaron Rudnicki||7.12||84||Tony Romo||QB||DAL|
|Aaron Rudnicki||8.01||85||Tavon Austin||WR||STL|
|Steve Holloway||8.02||86||Montee Ball||RB||DEN|
|Jeff Haseley||8.03||87||Josh Gordon||WR||CLE|
|Sigmund Bloom||8.04||88||Danario Alexander||WR||SDC|
|Ryan Hester||8.05||89||Daryl Richardson||RB||STL|
|Heath Cummings||8.06||90||DeAndre Hopkins||WR||HOU|
|Michael Brown||8.07||91||Jared Cook||TE||STL|
|Matt Bitonti||8.08||92||Andre Brown||RB||NYG|
|James Brimacombe||8.09||93||Kendall Wright||WR||TEN|
|Andy Hicks||8.10||94||BenJarvus Green-Ellis||RB||CIN|
|Mark Wimer||8.11||95||Ahmad Bradshaw||RB||IND|
|Jason Wood||8.12||96||Vincent Brown||WR||SDC|
|Jason Wood||9.01||97||Emmanuel Sanders||WR||PIT|
|Mark Wimer||9.02||98||Vick Ballard||RB||IND|
|Andy Hicks||9.03||99||Bernard Pierce||RB||BAL|
|James Brimacombe||9.04||100||Mark Ingram||RB||NOS|
|Matt Bitonti||9.05||101||Ben Tate||RB||HOU|
|Michael Brown||9.06||102||Sidney Rice||WR||SEA|
|Heath Cummings||9.07||103||Bryce Brown||RB||PHI|
|Ryan Hester||9.08||104||Lance Moore||WR||NOS|
|Sigmund Bloom||9.09||105||Justin Blackmon||WR||JAC|
|Jeff Haseley||9.10||106||Fred Jackson||RB||BUF|
|Steve Holloway||9.11||107||Pierre Thomas||RB||NOS|
|Aaron Rudnicki||9.12||108||Danny Woodhead||RB||SDC|
|Aaron Rudnicki||10.01||109||Owen Daniels||TE||HOU|
|Steve Holloway||10.02||110||Jermichael Finley||TE||GBP|
|Jeff Haseley||10.03||111||Ronnie Hillman||RB||DEN|
|Sigmund Bloom||10.04||112||Ryan Broyles||WR||DET|
|Ryan Hester||10.05||113||Golden Tate||WR||SEA|
|Heath Cummings||10.06||114||Denarius Moore||WR||OAK|
|Michael Brown||10.07||115||Michael Floyd||WR||ARI|
|Matt Bitonti||10.08||116||Jordan Cameron||TE||CLE|
|James Brimacombe||10.09||117||Johnathan Franklin||RB||GBP|
|Andy Hicks||10.10||118||Chris Givens||WR||STL|
|Mark Wimer||10.11||119||Aaron Dobson||WR||NEP|
|Jason Wood||10.12||120||Martellus Bennett||TE||CHI|
|Jason Wood||11.01||121||Joique Bell||RB||DET|
|Mark Wimer||11.02||122||Mohamed Sanu||WR||CIN|
|Andy Hicks||11.03||123||Cordarrelle Patterson||WR||MIN|
|James Brimacombe||11.04||124||Greg Little||WR||CLE|
|Matt Bitonti||11.05||125||Jacquizz Rodgers||RB||ATL|
|Michael Brown||11.06||126||Brian Hartline||WR||MIA|
|Heath Cummings||11.07||127||Zac Stacy||RB||STL|
|Ryan Hester||11.08||128||Alshon Jeffery||WR||CHI|
|Sigmund Bloom||11.09||129||Eli Manning||QB||NYG|
|Jeff Haseley||11.10||130||Rueben Randle||WR||NYG|
|Steve Holloway||11.11||131||Jermaine Gresham||TE||CIN|
|Aaron Rudnicki||11.12||132||Antonio Gates||TE||SDC|
|Aaron Rudnicki||12.01||133||Michael Bush||RB||CHI|
|Steve Holloway||12.02||134||Markus Wheaton||WR||PIT|
|Jeff Haseley||12.03||135||Darrius Heyward-Bey||WR||IND|
|Sigmund Bloom||12.04||136||Jonathan Stewart||RB||CAR|
|Ryan Hester||12.05||137||Isaiah Pead||RB||STL|
|Heath Cummings||12.06||138||Andy Dalton||QB||CIN|
|Michael Brown||12.07||139||Robert Turbin||RB||SEA|
|Matt Bitonti||12.08||140||Keenan Allen||WR||SDC|
|James Brimacombe||12.09||141||Dwayne Allen||TE||IND|
|Andy Hicks||12.10||142||Brandon Pettigrew||TE||DET|
|Mark Wimer||12.11||143||Tyler Eifert||TE||CIN|
|Jason Wood||12.12||144||Rod Streater||WR||OAK|
|Jason Wood||13.01||145||Coby Fleener||TE||IND|
|Mark Wimer||13.02||146||Josh Freeman||QB||TBB|
|Andy Hicks||13.03||147||Justin Hunter||WR||TEN|
|James Brimacombe||13.04||148||Christine Michael||RB||SEA|
|Matt Bitonti||13.05||149||Brandon Myers||TE||NYG|
|Michael Brown||13.06||150||Shonn Greene||RB||TEN|
|Heath Cummings||13.07||151||Joseph Randle||RB||DAL|
|Ryan Hester||13.08||152||Julian Edelman||WR||NEP|
|Sigmund Bloom||13.09||153||Ryan Williams||RB||ARI|
|Jeff Haseley||13.10||154||Robert Housler||TE||ARI|
|Steve Holloway||13.11||155||Jeremy Kerley||WR||NYJ|
|Aaron Rudnicki||13.12||156||Jacoby Jones||WR||BAL|
|Aaron Rudnicki||14.01||157||Robert Woods||WR||BUF|
|Steve Holloway||14.02||158||Philip Rivers||QB||SDC|
|Jeff Haseley||14.03||159||Ben Roethlisberger||QB||PIT|
|Sigmund Bloom||14.04||160||Michael Vick||QB||PHI|
|Ryan Hester||14.05||161||Dustin Keller||TE||MIA|
|Heath Cummings||14.06||162||Mikel Leshoure||RB||DET|
|Michael Brown||14.07||163||Matt Schaub||QB||HOU|
|Matt Bitonti||14.08||164||Stephen Hill||WR||NYJ|
|James Brimacombe||14.09||165||Seattle Seahawks||Def||SEA|
|Andy Hicks||14.10||166||San Francisco 49ers||Def||SFO|
|Mark Wimer||14.11||167||Marvin Jones||WR||CIN|
|Jason Wood||14.12||168||Sam Bradford||QB||STL|
|Jason Wood||15.01||169||Latavius Murray||RB||OAK|
|Mark Wimer||15.02||170||Cincinnati Bengals||Def||CIN|
|Andy Hicks||15.03||171||Jay Cutler||QB||CHI|
|James Brimacombe||15.04||172||Brian Quick||WR||STL|
|Matt Bitonti||15.05||173||Da'Rick Rogers||WR||BUF|
|Michael Brown||15.06||174||Ed Dickson||TE||BAL|
|Heath Cummings||15.07||175||Knowshon Moreno||RB||DEN|
|Ryan Hester||15.08||176||Denver Broncos||Def||DEN|
|Sigmund Bloom||15.09||177||Kenbrell Thompkins||WR||NEP|
|Jeff Haseley||15.10||178||Mike Goodson||RB||NYJ|
|Steve Holloway||15.11||179||Houston Texans||Def||HOU|
|Aaron Rudnicki||15.12||180||Marcel Reece||RB||OAK|
|Aaron Rudnicki||16.01||181||Fred Davis||TE||WAS|
|Steve Holloway||16.02||182||Mario Manningham||WR||SFO|
|Jeff Haseley||16.03||183||St. Louis Rams||Def||STL|
|Sigmund Bloom||16.04||184||Ryan Tannehill||QB||MIA|
|Ryan Hester||16.05||185||Kendall Hunter||RB||SFO|
|Heath Cummings||16.06||186||Green Packers||GBP||Bay|
|Michael Brown||16.07||187||Dexter McCluster||WR||KCC|
|Matt Bitonti||16.08||188||Chicago Bears||Def||CHI|
|James Brimacombe||16.09||189||Percy Harvin||WR||SEA|
|Andy Hicks||16.10||190||Daniel Thomas||RB||MIA|
|Mark Wimer||16.11||191||Lance Dunbar||RB||DAL|
|Jason Wood||16.12||192||New England Patriots||Def||NEP|
|Jason Wood||17.01||193||Stephen Gostkowski||PK||NEP|
|Mark Wimer||17.02||194||Nick Toon||WR||NOS|
|Andy Hicks||17.03||195||Joseph Morgan||WR||NOS|
|James Brimacombe||17.04||196||Matt Prater||PK||DEN|
|Matt Bitonti||17.05||197||Greg Zuerlein||PK||STL|
|Michael Brown||17.06||198||Matt Bryant||PK||ATL|
|Heath Cummings||17.07||199||Phil Dawson||PK||SFO|
|Ryan Hester||17.08||200||David Ausberry||TE||OAK|
|Sigmund Bloom||17.09||201||Indianapolis Colts||Def||IND|
|Jeff Haseley||17.10||202||Blair Walsh||PK||MIN|
|Steve Holloway||17.11||203||Garrett Hartley||PK||NOS|
|Aaron Rudnicki||17.12||204||Baltimore Ravens||Def||BAL|
|Aaron Rudnicki||18.01||205||Randy Bullock||PK||HOU|
|Steve Holloway||18.02||206||LaMichael James||RB||SFO|
|Jeff Haseley||18.03||207||Brandon LaFell||WR||CAR|
|Sigmund Bloom||18.04||208||Justin Tucker||PK||BAL|
|Ryan Hester||18.05||209||David Akers||PK||DET|
|Heath Cummings||18.06||210||Travis Kelce||TE||KCC|
|Michael Brown||18.07||211||Pittsburgh Steelers||Def||PIT|
|Matt Bitonti||18.08||212||New York Jets||Def||NYJ|
|James Brimacombe||18.09||213||Leonard Hankerson||WR||WAS|
|Andy Hicks||18.10||214||Alex Henery||PK||PHI|
|Mark Wimer||18.11||215||Sebastian Janikowski||PK||OAK|
|Jason Wood||18.12||216||Quinton Patton||WR||SFO|
More from FBG Staff:
2014 Inseason Page: Week 16 - December 21
Roundtable #16 - December 18
2014 Inseason Page: Week 15 - December 13
Roundtable #15 - December 11
2014 Inseason Page: Week 14 - December 7
Roundtable #14 - December 4
2014 Inseason Page: Week 13 - November 30
Roundtable #13 - November 27
2014 Inseason Page: Week 12 - November 23
Roundtable #12 - November 20