The start of the regular season is under two weeks away! Most leagues will be drafting in the week or two before the season starts. With that in mind, I decided I would do some analysis on a recent mock draft of mine and give you some feedback on the first 3 rounds of it. Let’s take a look at the first round picks.
- WR Antonio Brown- Pittsburg
- WR Dez Bryant- Dallas
- WR Odell Beckham Jr.- NYG
- RB Adrian Peterson- Minnesota
- RB Todd Gurley- St. Louis
- WR Julio Jones- Atlanta
- RB David Johnson- Arizona
- WR AJ Green- Cincinnati
- RB Ezekiel Elliot- Dallas
- WR DeAndre Hopkins- Houston
Analysis: The top half of this draft went pretty textbook. Lots of the top tier talent is off the board at this point. I am a bit surprised by Peterson and Gurley’s drop to 4 and 5 respectively. They are far and away the top two players on my big board and I would expect most veteran fantasy football players to take them in the first 3 picks.
Best Pick- Todd Gurley at 5 is by far the best pick here. Gurley showed once in a generation talent last year and will end up being the best fantasy player since LaDainian Tomlinson. A young quarterback will mean that Gurley will be the focal point of an offense and when they get to the red zone you can bet they will be leaning on Gurley to power it into the end zone, especially without red zone threat Jared Cook who is now catching passes from Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay.
Worst Pick- WR AJ Green
Its hard to find a “bad” pick in round 1, nothing here really stands out to me as a terrible pick. AJ Green at 8 was actually my pick. There isn’t much to go with at 8 and my distrust for Elliot got the better of me. Green was definitely a reach and in retrospect Elliot would have been a much better pick.
- WR Allen Robinson- Jacksonville
- RB Le’Veon Bell- Pittsburg
- RB Lamar Miller- Houston
- RB Eddie Lacy- Green Bay
- TE Rob Gronkowski- New England
- RB Jamaal Charles- Kansas City
- RB Devonta Freeman- Atlanta
- WR Brandon Marshall- NYJ
- RB Latavius Murray- Oakland
- RB Doug Martin- Tampa Bay
Analysis: Wow. The lack of depth in this draft becomes very apparent in round 2 with a 3 game suspension Le’Veon Bell going at 12. 7 rbs end up going in round 2. That means that RB’s account for 11 of the first 20 picks which is a symptom of there being an abundance of good wide receivers as well as a scarcity of top running back talent.
Best Pick: TE Rob Gronkowski. Value, value, and more value. Gronkowski is the king of value as has ridiculous points over replacement value. Gronkowski has remained the undisputed king of the TE position in fantasy and hasn’t even faced a challenge since the downfall of Jimmy Graham. You will always outscore the opposing TE and more often than not you will do so by 5+ points.
Worst Pick: RB Eddie Lacy. After a summer of trimming down there was hope that Lacy would return to his former dominance. Sadly, I don’t think he is near where he needs to be to have the impact that he would need to justify the pick at 14. He still seems a bit too slow, and lacks the explosion to make it through the line with room to make plays. Starks seems to be the more talented back between the 20’s and is better a better bet out of the backfield. Coach Mike McCarthy has been critical of Lacy in the past and unless Lacy drops more weight, I don’t see him having a 1,000 yard season.
- WR Jordy Nelson- Green Bay
- WR Alshon Jeffery- Chicago
- RB LeSean McCoy- Buffalo
- RB Mark Ingram- New Orleans
- WR Mike Evans- Tampa Bay
- RB Jonathan Stewart- Carolina
- RB Thomas Rawls- Seattle
- WR Amari Cooper- Oakland
- WR Sammy Watkins- Buffalo
- QB Cam Newton- Carolina
Analysis: At a glance this round has more talent than the players of round 2 but these players are young, risky, or unproven. Players like McCoy, Rawls, Cooper, and Watkins all have round 1 upside but risks associated with them and fell to round 3. We also see the first quarterback come off the board at 30.
Best Pick: Amari Cooper. I was very tempted to go with McCoy or Rawls as both seem like they are poised to finish in the top 10 for running backs but I think Amari Cooper is going to end the year as the 3rd best fantasy scoring receiver in the league. No team has a wide receiver-quarterback duo quite like Oakland who have Derek Carr and Amari Cooper a.k.a. ACDC. The two had a great season last year and spent all of training camp rooming together. My gut tells me Cooper will have a breakout season. After seeing him play against Green Bay in the preseason I am starting to question that feeling, but I am not ditching Cooper yet.
Worst Pick: Jordy Nelson. I know what you are thinking, the Packers should be back to normal with Jordy back, right? Yes, I 100% agree with that, but saying that and saying Jordy Nelson will be the 9th best receiver in the league this year are not logically equivalent statements. I think the people who most benefit from Jordy coming back are Randall Cobb and most notably Davante Adams who I think will break out this season. Cobb will no longer have to deal with defenses scheming to stop him. The double teams that Cobb faced will now be faced by Nelson who is coming off a torn ACL! I think he will be a solid option but I think taking him in the third is quite high and very risky.