June is coming to an end and fantasy football is becoming less and less crazy to prepare for. In fact, once July hits, you’re pretty much crazy if you’re not prepping for your draft.
Conducting as many mock drafts as you can is a huge part of that preparation. I won’t ever say otherwise. That’s why, like every year, I’m running through every league type and size and trying to piece together quality fantasy rosters. You can see my run through an 8-teamer and read on for my findings in a 10-team mock below.
Let it be known: the roster consisted of 1QB, 2RB, 2WR, 1TE, 1Flex, 1K and 1 DEF. Scoring and settings are assumed to be standard (no PPR yet) and I took the last pick (10th) in a snake draft. I also used the Mock Simulator to do this mock. It’s quick and easy on the eyes. Seriously, it’s the best mock tool around.
The trick here is to draft from the last spot and do the mock only once. Then we’ll see the final results and how the Draft Analyzer has the team grade out.
Let’s see how I did:
QB: Colin Kaepernick (7), Jay Cutler (11)
RB: Arian Foster (2), Andre Ellington (3), Ray Rice (6), Chris Ivory (9), Carlos Hyde (13)
WR: Demaryius Thomas (1), Roddy White (5), Julian Edelman (10), Sammy Watkins (12)
TE: Jordan Cameron (8)
FLEX: Toby Gerhart (4)
K: Robbie Gould (15)
DEF: Carolina Panthers (14)
Going into most standard league drafts, my strategy rarely changes. I want to get at least two quality running backs within my first three picks, wait as long as it makes sense on quarterback and tight end, and save defense and kicker for my final two picks (and in that order).
Running Backs: I followed this exact strategy and was able to snag Foster and Ellington in the first three picks, while also grabbing Gerhart as an elite Flex and Ray Rice as an elite fourth back. Ivory is a decent bench guy and Hyde is my upside rookie. This gives me instant high level upside at running back, as well as excellent depth, overall. Rice may not be the same guy and is facing a suspension, but in the sixth round he’s more than worth the risk.
Wide Receivers: Demaryius Thomas was my first pick at the end of round one and I picked up Roddy White as a solid bounce back #2 four rounds later. I wouldn’t have minded grabbing five total receivers, but with just two wide receiver slots, I’m comfortable with Julian Edelman and Sammy Watkins rounding out my top four. Wide receiver probably ends up being my weakest position, but it’s actually still fairly strong.
Tight Ends: I waited until round eight and still got the exact tight end I wanted in Jordan Cameron. I don’t love that his offensive system has changed, but I do like his talent and I think Johnny Manziel will get him the ball early and often. He also played with weak passers last year, so the upgrade should help him a bit. I generally don’t draft a second tight end unless my first one is an injury risk (ex: Rob Gronkowski) or if I stream two at the end of the draft.
Quarterbacks: Quarterback might be the deepest position in all of fantasy football. It’s the only way you explain mammoth leaps by the likes of Andy Dalton and Philip Rivers last year (ranked 5th and 6th) and Russell Wilson (top-10 the past two years) still lasting as late as fantasy’s 15th quarterback off the board. That’s insane. Still, that’s the way these drafts go, so I plucked a high upside Colin Kaepernick (top-10 a year ago) off the board in round seven and then got Cutler as a decent backup option four rounds later. I could have maybe stuck it out another round or two and settled on the aforementioned Wilson, but I like Kaepernick so I pulled the trigger.
Defense/Kicker: Defense and kicker ended it for me, where I was able to land my defense of choice in the Panthers and a more than suitable kicking option in Chicago’s Gould. There is way too much fluctation at both positions to ever reach for them. Especially in 10-12 leagues (the most popular sizes), you can wait and feel good about who you get.
FantasyPros’ Draft Analyzer betrayed me, ranking me 5th out of 10 teams overall. I obviously disagree with the ranking, as it doesn’t assess the exact value of running backs as much as I do. That’s a personal preference, though, but if you agree that running backs are crucial to fantasy success, you probably will disregard that.
Overall, I strive for deep, well balanced teams and this one fits the ball. A 12-team mock simulation will be next on the docket. Love/hate this one? Let me hear it in the comments below or give me hell on Twitter @BreakingKevin.
*Photo credit – Mark Runyon | Pro Football Schedules