Offseason Extra: 12-team standard mock draft
The Super Bowl is over and now it's time to start looking forward with a bit more clarity. Jamey Eisenberg breaks down our latest standard mock draft.
It's interesting how things can change in just a matter of weeks when it comes to Fantasy Football drafts. And this is during the offseason, mind you. Imagine what will happen in August.
We recently had a 12-team standard mock draft when the regular season ended in early January. Now that Super Bowl XLVIII is over we decided it was time for another mock in the same format. And it was fun to compare the results following the postseason and some perceived changes we could face over the next few months.
For example, Knowshon Moreno was a third-round pick in the first draft, but fell to Round 5 here. Conversely, Montee Ball jumped from Round 5 in January to Round 2 now. This comes after a report prior to the Super Bowl that the Broncos will let Moreno walk as a free agent. With his future uncertain, and with Ball expected to become the starter in Denver, their values have switched – and rightfully so.
The first round was mostly the same as the last draft, but C.J. Spiller dropped from No. 11 overall in January to Round 3. That's a better spot for Spiller no matter how much you like him and expect him to rebound in 2014. It appears, unfortunately, that Fred Jackson will be back, which will again limit Spiller's potential.
Replacing Spiller in the first round was Drew Brees , and there were two quarterbacks taken in the first 12 picks this time compared to just Peyton Manning in January. Aaron Rodgers went in Round 2 now, just like before, but the next quarterback drafted was Nick Foles in Round 6. In January, Tom Brady went in Round 3 and seven quarterbacks (Manning, Brees, Rodgers, Brady, Cam Newton , Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford were drafted in the first five rounds.
I expect to see more of this for quarterbacks as we get closer to the season with the top three guys being drafted in the first two rounds and then a delay until Round 5 with the next tier. At least that's what I hope will happen since quarterback is deep and you're better off waiting.
As for my team, I picked at No. 1 overall and started with Jamaal Charles . I wanted two standout receivers next depending on who fell to me, and it was easy to take Brandon Marshall and Julio Jones . Set at receiver, I then targeted running backs with my next two picks, and Frank Gore and Shane Vereen give me a solid combo of No. 2 running back and flex. I'm not sold on Gore and his age (30) for 2014 with the potential emergence of Marcus Lattimore , but he's still worth the risk at the end of Round 4.
I dove into the quarterback pool in Round 6 with Colin Kaepernick , who is ranked No. 4 on my board behind Manning, Brees and Rodgers. I love his upside this season with a healthy Michael Crabtree and hopefully Anquan Boldin back as a free agent. Reggie Wayne was an easy pick as my No. 3 receiver in Round 7, and then I started taking reserves with upside like Latavius Murray , Terrance Williams , Knile Davis (handcuff for Charles), Jay Cutler and Kenny Stills .
Murray could compete for the starting job in Oakland, Williams should be the No. 2 receiver in Dallas and Stills should be in store for a bigger role with the Saints. I also like Cutler as a Top 12 quarterback in 2014, so he was an easy pick as the best player on the board in Round 12. Mixed in there was Zach Ertz in Round 10 as my starting tight end, and I expect him to be a breakout candidate in his second year with the Eagles, especially with increased playing time.
The players I missed out on included Andre Ellington in Round 4, Lattimore in Round 8 and Christine Michael in Round 12. Ellington could be a beast as the starter for the Cardinals, Lattimore is a sleeper and the handcuff for Gore and Michael is also a sleeper with the potential for a decline in production coming for Marshawn Lynch after 400-plus touches in 2013.
In this league, all touchdowns are worth six points, and we award one point for every 10 yards rushing and receiving and one point for every 25 yards passing. We feature a starting lineup of QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, TE, K, DST and a FLEX (RB/WR/TE). There will also be six reserve spots for a 15-round draft.
Our draft order is as follows:
1. Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer
2. Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer
3. Joe Polito, Social Media Coordinator
4. Adam Aizer, Podcast/Video Host
5. Nando Di Fino, Senior Fantasy Writer
6. Jeff Tobin, Associate Managing Editor
7. Peter Madden, Editorial Director, Fantasy Sports
8. Chris Towers, Fantasy Writer
9. Michael Hurcomb, Editor
10. Chris Cwik, Fantasy Writer
11. Nathan Zegura, Senior Fantasy Writer
12. Larry Hartstein, Fantasy Writer
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