Blog Entry

14 team-PPR mock draft review

Posted on: August 16, 2009 5:06 pm

We recently completed our 14-team PPR mock draft. You can view the results here:

A user, David Lawrence from Tampa, asked if he could review the draft, so here is what he sent me. Enjoy.


When recently conducted a 14-team PPR mock draft I decided to break it down to see if I could learn anything. I’ve been in a 14-team PPR league for years and find it interesting to see how the fantasy experts evaluate players and build a fantasy powerhouse.

You don’t win at fantasy football by being lucky. You win by staying ahead of the curve.

For years, the gospel of fantasy football preached that your first two picks had to be running backs. While there are a handful of runners that you should take in the first round, more and more wide receivers and quarterbacks are showing up early on draft day.

In this mock draft, only Mike Freeman and Sergio Gonzalez stayed old school with RB/RB. Six teams began RB/WR, three teams RB/QB, two teams WR/RB, and just one team WR/WR. A total of ten receivers and three quarterbacks were selected in the first two rounds, while Dave Richards waited until round six to start looking for his RB2BC!

If you have never played in a PPR league this is a good tutorial. Last year, Adrian Peterson only finished ninth in my PPR league while Matt Forte, bolstered by his 63 pass receptions, was the top RB. DeAngelo Williams finished second, followed by Maurice Jones-Drew Thomas Jones and Michael Turner. Even though Steve Slaton was not the starter on opening day he still finished ahead of Peterson.

By the end of round three 17 receivers were off the board, so if you waited until the fourth round to address WR you were likely in trouble. On the other hand, every year there are receivers like Lance Moore and Antonio Bryant who go undrafted but quickly become fantasy must-starters.

I have highlighted everyone’s first six picks so you can see how they attacked the draft. I will offer some analysis as we go along, so let’s get started.

Here is the draft order.

1. Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer
2. Jason Horowitz, Video Host
3. Ross Devonport, Senior Fantasy Writer
4. Brian Jones, CBS College Sports Football Analyst
5. Peter Madden, Editorial Director, Fantasy Sports
6. Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer
7. Michael Hurcomb, Fantasy Writer
8. Lauren Shehadi, Video Host
9. Ian Melmood, Fantasy Writer
10. Jeff Lippman, Fantasy Writer
11. Scott White, Fantasy Writer
12. Mike Freeman, National Columnist
13. Sergio Gonzalez, Fantasy Writer
14. Eric Mack, Senior Fantasy Writer

1. Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer


Jamey took Maurice Jones-Drew with the first pick for good reason. MJD projects out to around 65 pass receptions, 1,700 total yards, and 15 touchdowns. He will probably be the top scoring RB in PPR formats.

With seven receivers already off the board by the time he picked again Jamey snagged Roddy White and Maurice Colston. Steve Smith was still available but last year White caught 88 passes for 1,387 yards and seven TDs. Colston, hampered by a thumb injury in 2008, caught 98 passes in 2007 for 1,200 yards and 11 TDs. Both have quarterbacks better than Jake Delhomme.

I like Derek Ward at the end of round four. Ward gained 1,000 yards and caught 41 passes for the Giants in part time duty, and Tampa Bay paid Ward millions of dollars to head their backfield. Even though he will split carries with Ernest Graham and Carnell Williams, I think Ward will emerge as the number one guy. At 5’11 and 233 pounds he should get his share of goal line carries and he his an effective receiver. The QB situation in Tampa Bay is murky and the Bucs will try to run the ball. A lot.

In round five Jamey drafted Donovan McNabb, the sixth QB taken. If he had waited until the sixth round for a QB he would have found slim pickings. The McNabb selection started a run on QBs with Kurt Warner, Tony Romo, Matt Schaub, Matt Ryan, Jay Cutler, Matt Cassel, Carson Palmer, and Matt Hasslebeck all going before Jamey was up again.

Beanie Wells was a value pick in round seven. While there are lingering questions about his durability, Wells is penciled in as RB1 for Arizona, a team determined to run the ball more often and more effectively.

He tabbed Jeremy Shockey in the eleventh round, and when Shockey is good he is very good but he’s usually hurt. Jamey could have found TE depth in the later rounds with Brent Celek, Heath Miller, or Zach Miller.

Jamey’s Jesters

QB Donovan McNabb
RB Maurice Jones-Drew
RB Derrick Ward
WR Roddy White
WR Maurice Colston
WR Torry Holt
TE Jeremy Shockey
D/ST Chargers
PK Garret Hartley

2. Jason Horowitz, Video Host


Jason made what appeared to be the obvious no-brainer choice of Adrian Peterson with his first pick. While AD is projected to amass around 2,000 yards of offense he usually comes off the field in passing situations. This is an obvious PPR liability. Last year, Peterson finished ninth in my league, but if he becomes more involved in the passing game, as indications suggest he might, his value will obviously soar in PPR formats.

Jason also went WR/WR with his next two picks, selecting Brandon Marshall and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Marshall led the NFL in targets last year and his off-season hip surgery should be completely healed. New head coach and former Patriot OC Josh McDaniel has Marshall playing the part of ‘Randy Moss’ in the new offense, but also has Kyle Orton playing the role of Tom Brady. Houshmandzadeh caught at least 90 passes in each of the three past seasons and will soon be Matt Hasslebeck’s new best friend in Seattle. Even with Carson Palmer missing most of last season, T.J. still caught 92 balls.

In the fourth round Jason took TE Tony Gonzalez. With Jason Witten and Dallas Clark already gone, he had to choose between Gonzo and Antonio Gates. Young Falcon QB Matt Ryan will only get better and Gonzalez caught a jaw dropping 96 passes and scored 10 touchdowns in Kansas City last year.

Jason then took Kurt Warner in the fifth round, and while some may question Warner’s ability to remain healthy, he will be throwing to three quality receivers who each gained over 1,000 yards last year.

Waiting until the sixth round for his RB2 might have paid off. Cedric Benson was a bust with the Bears but finished strongly for the Bengals and was rewarded with a two-year contract. He is definitely a sleeper but now seems willing to work hard and get along with teammates. He would be a stretch in earlier rounds but a good pick here.

Jason then took Leon Washington, the little guy who makes big plays. He will be more involved in the Jets’ offense this year and is a good receiver out of the backfield.

By drafting Josh Morgan in round eight Jason missed out on Chester Taylor, a mandatory handcuff for ding prone Peterson owners. Taylor caught 45 passes last year and is capable of starting if Peterson misses games.

Jason’s Javelins

QB Kurt Warner
RB Adrian Peterson
RB Cedric Benson
WR Brandon Marshall
WR T.J. Houshmadzadeh
WR Josh Morgan
TE Tony Gonzalez
D/ST Patriots
PK Ryan Longwell

3. Ross Devonport, Senior Fantasy Writer


Matt Forte was a solid pick in the third slot and was the number one running back in my PPR league last year. Jay Cutler should force defenses to loosen up but the Chicago offense hasn’t changed. They Bears may get Kevin Jones more involved so Ross wisely spent his 13th pick on the handcuff. The Bears don’t have a Brandon Marshall type receiver and Forte is arguably their most reliable receiver, catching 63 of his 76 targets. Don’t sweat the 3.9 yards per carry average last year. Forte will still get 1,200 yards, a ton of catches, and the ball at the goal line.

With Tom Brady and Drew Brees off the board Ross grabbed Peyton Manning with his second selection. Four WRs, Roddy White, Brandon Marshall, Marques Colston, and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, went before Ross picked again.

Sitting at the 3.3 spot, with 12 receivers already gone, I think he made a mistake by passing on Steve Smith in favor of Ronnie Brown. With Forte and Manning already on board, Smith would have given Ross three key players at RB/QB/WR to build around. While Brown may have a great season, Smith will probably outscore him. Brown scored 233 points last year in my PPR league, while Smith scored 269 despite missing two games. There’s also a slim chance that Brown would have available in the next round.

Ross waited too long to address wide receiver and his next three picks were Hines Ward, DeSean Jackson, and Donald Driver. Ward led Pittsburgh with 81 balls, 1,000 yards and seven TDs, but he finished 17th in my league and Santonio Holmes should eat into those numbers. Driver has been a great pro but he isn’t getting any better. In 2008 he caught 74 passes for just over 1,000 yards and five touchdowns. Jackson has the most upside of the three. He emerged as McNabb’s favorite target but he also dropped nine balls. He will probably catch 75 passes for around a thousand yards and seven or eight touchdowns.

Getting Ray Rice in the seventh round was a good pick. Although the Ravens backfield is crowded Rice is the most explosive. The Ravens rushed an average of 37 times a game in 2008 and Rice has the best hands in the backfield. As a rookie, he caught 33 passes, same as Ronnie Brown.

I like Lance Moore in the ninth round if he remains the Saints’ WR2. He caught eight of his ten touchdown passes last year with Colston on the field. Although Moore has Robert Meachum breathing down his neck, he has a one-year contract and plenty of motivation to improve on last year’s 79 balls for 928 yards and ten TDs.

Ross’s Rangers

QB Peyton Manning
RB Matt Forte
RB Ronnie Brown
WR Hines Ward
WR DeSean Jackson
WR Donald Driver
TE Kevin Boss
D/ST Vikings
PK Neil Rackers

4. Brian Jones, CBS College Sports Football Analyst


Taking Michael Turner with the fourth pick was a solid choice. Even though he only caught six passes last year he tied for fourth in scoring among RBs in my PPR league. Atlanta may lighten his load this year – he carried 376 times last season – but he’s still the goal line guy and may actually improve on his 17 TDs. Brian passed on Andre Johnson, Steve Slaton and Larry Fitzgerald, but Turner is a good pick.

In the second round Brian grabbed Drew Brees, the highest scoring player in my PPR league last year but the second QB taken in this draft. Brees should continue to pile up monster numbers because the Saints’ defense isn’t much better and he will be throwing early and often. Brian passed up some good receivers but it worked out for him.

Christmas arrived when Steve Smith was available in round three. Personally, I can’t believe there are 12 WRs in fantasy football better than Smith, or in the NFL either for that matter. Other WRs available included Dwayne Bowe, Terrell Owens, and Santonio Holmes.

The fourth round brought Thomas Jones who actually tied Michael Turner in my PPR league for RB scoring last season. While the Jets drafted his eventual successor and Leon Washington will steal touches, Jones represents potential value at this point of the draft. Last year Jones gained 1,300 yards, averaged 4.5 yards per carry, scored 15 touchdowns, and caught 36 passes. With the Jets unsure at quarterback they’ll have to run heavy offense.

Landing Darren Sproles in the seventh round brought an exciting player who can at least cover bye weeks, and also prevented Eric from picking LTs handcuff!

Brian’s Beatniks

QB Drew Brees
RB Michael Turner
RB Thomas Jones
WR Steve Smith (Panthers)
WR Steve Smith (Giants)
WR Devery Henderson
TE Kellen Winslow
D/ST Jets
PK Jason Elam

5. Peter Madden, Editorial Director, Fantasy Sports


Peter went WR/WR with his first two picks and landed two studs, Andre Johnson and Anquan Boldin. Johnson put up sick numbers last year, 115 catches for 1,431 yards and 8 touchdowns. In my PPR last year he lead all receivers in scoring and finished sixth overall. Boldin, despite missing four games with a broken face, still caught 89 balls for 1,265 yards and 11 TDs. A powerful WR tandem few teams can match.

Pierre Thomas represents good value in the third round. He replaces McAllister in the New Orleans offense and averaged 4.8 ypc last season. He was the 17th RB taken but has the potential to finish in the top ten.

Peter landed two more RBs in the next two rounds with LenDale White and Willy Parker.  White is the TD machine in Tennessee and has slimmed down for his contract year. Parker was limited by injuries in 08 and has competition in the backfield. By taking Parker, Peter passed on Tony Romo, Matt Schaub, and Jay Cutler.

It may have worked out because in the sixth round he took Matt Hasslebeck, the 14th QB off the board. Hasslebeck is healthy again, will love throwing to T.J. Houshmadzadeh, and could surprise a lot of people this year. However, Seattle will try running the ball more often which may limit Hasslebeck’s potential. He claims to be recovered from back problems and in 2007 completed 352 passes for 3,966 yards and 28 touchdowns.

Peter then picked Ted Ginn, Jr. in round seven and Seattle’s second best receiver, TE John Carlson, in round eight.

Peter’s Pirates

QB Matt Hasslebeck
RB Pierre Thomas
RB LenDale White
WR Andre Johnson
WR Anquan Boldin
WR Ted Ginn, Jr.
TE John Carlson
D/ST Panthers
PK Shayne Graham

6. Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer


Dave picked Steve Slaton with his first pick, a guy I’m very high on. (Steve, not Dave.) Slaton wasn’t the starter on opening day, but when injuries opened the door for him he stormed through averaging 4.8 ypc.  Slaton carried 268 times for 1,282 yards for nine touchdowns and added 50 catches for 377 yards and another score. He had nine games over 100 total yards and finished with a strong December.  I could make a case for taking him over Jones-Drew in PPR formats but that’s another article. Okay, one point: Houston has a passing game to keep defenses honest, Jacksonville doesn’t.

In the second round Dave grabbed Greg Jennings, a solid receiver who exploded last year in his third season. He caught 80 passes for 1292 yards and 9 TDs and signed a rich contract extension in the off-season. Other receivers available here: Anquan Boldin, Roddy White, and Steve Smith. I like the pick because, all things being equal, Jennings has a better quarterback than Smith or White and played in all 16 games. Boldin didn’t.

He then picked Phillip Rivers in the third round. Following Brian’s strategy of RB/QB/WR, Dave has a solid corpse of top five fantasy performers to build around. Rivers completed 312 passes for 4,009 yards and 34 TDs last year. He could have taken Aaron Rogers instead but I consider those two pretty equal. Rodgers completed 341 passes for 4038 yards and 32 scores. The deciding factor could have been their home field playing conditions in December.

He then made Dallas Clark the second TE off the board with the fourth pick. With Harrison retired and Gonzalez moving to the outside, Clark will line up in the slot. It might say ‘Tight End’ in the program but Clark could equal or surpass his numbers from last year, 77 passes, 848 yards, and six TDs. Another top five performer at his position.

Lee Evans arrived in the fifth round and should benefit from Terrell Owens drawing double coverage. Dave passed on Marshawn Lynch and filled out his running back slots with Jonathan Stewart, Donald Brown, and Tim Hightower.

It appears that Dave will experiment with the avant-garde RB2BC!

Dave’s Demons

QB Philip Rivers
RB Steve Slaton
RB Jonathan Stewart/Donald Brown/Tim Hightower
WR Greg Jennings
WR Lee Evans
WR Brian Robiskie
TE Dallas Cark
D/ST Steelers
PK Robbie Gould

7. Michael Hurcomb, Fantasy Writer


Michael was the third person to open with RB/WR/WR and selected Frank Gore in the first round. Gore may rebound this season but I think he’s a reach here. He may have still been on the board in round two and Michael passed up Larry Fitzgerald, Chris Johnson and LT. Rookie Glen Coffee will steal carries, but San Francisco is committed to a power running attack and Gore could regain some of his old magic.

In round two Michael picked Wes Welker, a PPR stud and New England’s favorite target. In 2007, Welker caught 112 passes for 1,175 yards and eight touchdowns. Without Brady in 2008, however, he posted almost identical numbers. Only his TDs took a hit, dropping from eight to three. Other receivers available included Greg Jennings, Anquan Boldin, and Roddy White.

Dwayne Bowe represents great value in the third round. Bowe followed up his 70-catch rookie campaign with 80 balls last year for 1,022 yards and seven touchdowns. He is entering his third year and Matt Cassel will be gunning for him constantly with Kansas City introducing yet another new defense yet still firmly committed to surrendering touchdowns.

Michael took Joseph Addai in round four to round out his backfield. Addai seems committed to becoming an effective runner once again but the Colts drafted Donald Brown in the first round to split carries. Addai battled injuries last year and tried to run behind a beat up offensive line. If he bounces back this pick represents tremendous value.

In round five, with the WR talent pool evaporating quickly, Michael drafted Braylon Edwards who disappointed everyone last season. In 2007 he played liked Superman, snagging 80 passes for 1,289 yards and 16 TDs. Last season he looked like Clark Kent and struggled with drops. He only caught 55 passes for 877 yards, and five TDs. He always played well on Monday Night Football but the 2009 Browns are not ready for prime time. On the plus side, Michael has a WR3 with the ability to post elite numbers, and with Winslow gone the passes have to go somewhere.

Round six landed Carson Palmer, another player looking to rebound. If his elbow is completely healed he could return to more Palmer-like numbers: 350 completions, 4,000 yards, and 28 touchdowns. At this point in the draft it was a gamble worth taking. Other QBs available included Matt Hasslebeck and Eli Manning.

Seventh round pick Owen Daniels posted a solid 70-catch campaign last year for Houston and was the eighth TE taken. It would be nice if he were targeted more frequently in the red zone.

Michael’s Marauders

QB Carson Palmer
RB Frank Gore
RB Joseph Addai
WR Wes Welker
WR Dwayne Bowe
WR Braylon Edwards
TE Owen Daniels
D/ST Eagles
PK Stephen Gostkowski

8. Lauren Shehadi, Video Host


It can be tricky drafting in the eight spot of a 14-team league because you there are few ‘no-brainer’ picks, but Lauren found quality players falling to her.

DeAngelo Williams was a solid first choice and was the second highest scoring RB in my PPR league last year. While he may not score 20 touchdowns again and isn’t much of a pass receiver, he is still RB1 for a Carolina team committed to running the ball. Jonathan Stewart will get his share of carries but Williams is John Fox’s bell cow. Other players available: Larry Fitzgerald, LT, and Calvin Johnson but the move paid off handsomely.

With four receivers off the board before Lauren’s next pick she still landed Randy Moss. He caught only 69 passes and scored 11 TDs last year, but his numbers this season should more closely resemble 2007 when he caught 98 passes for 1,500 yards, and 23 TDs.

In round three she took Terrell Owens who signed a one-year contract in Buffalo. Owens usually does well in his first year with a new team and will probably catch around 85 passes for 1,200 yards and 11 touchdowns. Not a bad WR2. Other receivers available included Chad Ochocinco, Eddie Royal, and Roy Williams.

Three good selections so far but she may have separated herself from pack in the fourth round with the 20th RB in draft, Ryan Grant. Hampered last year by the mandatory injury following a lengthy training camp holdout, Grant had a disappointing season. And by disappointing I mean just 1,203 yards and five touchdowns. The Packers haven’t made a serious move to replace him and he is dedicated to redeeming himself. It’s the sort of pick you can look back upon after a championship season and say, “Right there – that’s where I won it all.”

She then selected Tony Romo with her fifth pick, although you could argue that Matt Schaub, Matt Ryan, Jay Cutler, Matt Cassel, or Carson Palmer might put up better numbers. While Romo has thrown 78 TD passes in 39 career starts, he tends to kill fantasy teams, not to mention the Cowboys, in December.

Snagging Chris Cooley was a value pick in the sixth round if he remembers how to find the end zone. He is a dependable receiver and you can almost pencil him in for 75 balls and half a dozen TDs. By taking Cooley, however, she missed out on Jonathan Stewart, a goal line vulture and the Williams’ handcuff.

With her next two picks she landed a ton of potential with Felix Jones and Percy Harvin. Jones is a dynamic runner but he’ll have to fight for the ball in Dallas. Still, on just 30 carries last season, before pulling a hamstring, he averaged 8.9 yards a carry..

Harvin is a home run hitter with double take speed but arrived in Minnesota with character issues. If he can shed the baggage he has the talent to become the offensive rookie of the year. Yes, I believe he’s that good and the Vikings are lining him up all over the field to get him the ball in a variety of ways.

In the ninth round she drafted Chester Taylor, a reliable back who averaged 4.0 yards per carry, caught 45 passes for 400 yards, and scored six TDs. Lauren also prevented Jason from landing Adrian Peterson’s handcuff.

Lauren’s Lightning

QB Tony Romo
RB DeAngelo Williams
RB Ryan Grant
WR Randy Moss
WR Terrell Owens
WR Percy Harvin
TE Chris Cooley
D/ST Redskins
PK Nate Keating

9. Ian Melmood, Fantasy Writer


Ian took Larry Fitzgerald with his first pick, the consensus number one receiver many drafts but the second receiver off the board. Last year he caught 96 passes for 1434 yards and 12 TDs and almost single handedly won the Super Bowl for Arizona. Great start.

By taking Fitzgerald he passed on Steven Jackson, Chris Johnson, and LaDanianTomlinson, but Ian landed Brian Westbrook in the second round. Westbrook turns 30 this year but he’s still the motor that powers the Eagles’ offense. In the past three seasons Westbrook has averaged 250 carries, 73 pass receptions, and 12 TDs. Since Westbrook tends to get beat up every year, Ian wisely grabbed handcuff LeSean McCoy in round eight. It must have crossed his mind to snag Randy Moss, who fell in this draft, instead of Westbrook. I would have thought hard about lining up both Moss and Fitzgerald.

In the third round he took Reggie Bush who is battling knee problems but scores a ton of points in PPR formats. I would have considered Darren McFadden or Ryan Grant here, but when Bush is on the field Brees will feed him the ball.

I wasn’t crazy about Jerricho Cotchery in round four. Without Laveranues Coles or a clear-cut QB in New York, I downgraded his value. I would have gone with Hines Ward, DeSean Jackson, or Lee Evans. He also could have taken Ryan Grant for running back depth.

In the fifth round, Matt Schaub was selected in the middle of a QB run, and then he picked up TE Greg Olson in round six.

Ian drafted Nate Washington in round nine for a sneaky pick that I believe will pay off. Washington gives Tennessee a legitimate deep threat, the only glaring weakness last year in an otherwise potent offense.

Ian’s Incognitos

QB Matt Schaub
RB Brian Westbrook
RB Reggie Bush
WR Larry Fitzgerald
WR Jerricho Cotchery
WR Nate Washington
TE Greg Olson
D/ST Ravens
PK Rob Bironas

10. Jeff Lippman, Fantasy Writer


Jeff selected Reggie Wayne in the first round, a safe receiver who lines up every week. Wayne finished last season with 82 balls, 1,145 yards, but only five touchdowns. Larry Fitzgerald was taken with the previous pick but Calvin Johnson and Randy Moss were both available. Wayne was the conservative choice.

In the second round Jeff went with second year running back Kevin Smith. In five of his last seven games Smith had 20 or more carries, averaged 94 yards, and scored three touchdowns. New head coach Jim Swartz brings a run-first Titan inspired offense that should bode well for Smith.  His finished his first year in the league, playing for an 0 – 16 team, with 238 carries, 976 yards, 39 receptions, and eight TDs. Other RBs available included Brian Westbrook, Pierre Thomas, and Ronnie Brown.

Jeff then tabbed Vincent Jackson in the third round, a wide receiver that, for some odd reason, is ranked ahead of Marques Colston and T.J. Houshmandzadeh in some preseason polls.  Other WRs available here included Eddie Royal, Santonio Holmes, and Roy Williams. 2008 was a career year for the nine-year veteran: 59 passes for 1,098 yards and five TDs. His role in the offense seemed to increase following injuries to Tomlinson, Gates, and Chambers, but he is a legitimate deep threat and Phillip Rivers can throw long.

In the fourth round Jeff grabbed Larry Johnson, a one-time fantasy stud who turns 30 in November. While he may still have some gas in the tank, Kansas City has a terrible defense trying to learn yet another new system. The Chiefs will be playing from behind frequently this season which could limit his carries. 

Jeff then picked Matt Ryan over Jay Cutler, Matt Cassel, and Carson Palmer. While Ryan played very well for a rookie his numbers don’t exactly jump off the page: 265 of 434, 3,440 yards, 17 TDs.  Atlanta had the second best running attack in the NFL last year so they seldom had to throw the ball, but if the Falcons try to balance their attack Ryan’s numbers would obviously improve.

Devin Hester was Jeff’s pick in the sixth round. In Hester’s first full season as a receiver he caught 51 passes for 665 yards and three touchdowns. Cutler can throw the ball a mile which seems like the makings of a dynamic passing duo. With defenses stacked to stop Matt Forte there should be plenty of acreage in the secondary.

Jeff’s Juggernauts

QB Matt Ryan
RB Kevin Smith
RB Larry Johnson
WR Reggie Wayne
WR Vincent Jackson
WR Devin Hester
TE Dustin Keller
DST Titans
PK Jeff Reed

11. Scott White, Fantasy Writer


Drafting Steven Jackson is a big gamble. While he played in every game as a rookie he has been plagued by various leg and back injuries over the next two seasons. Scott could have gone with Chris Johnson, Tomlinson, Calvin Johnson, or Randy Moss. Jackson could thrive in the new Eagle inspired offense, where he will play the role of Brian Westbrook, and he Jackson is probably the best receiver on the team, a big plus in PPR formats. Staying healthy is the big ‘If.’

While Calvin Johnson could be considered first round talent in 14-team PPR leagues and ranks as high as the third best receiver in some preseason polls, Scott was able to draft him in the second. At 6’5 and 239 pounds Johnson is entering his third year fully capable of improving on last year’s 78 catch, 1,331 yard, and 12 TD performance. The emergence of RB Kevin Smith will help even more.

Scott’s third pick landed top rated TE Jason Witten who last year caught 81 balls for 952 yards and four TDs. Since the Cowboys shuffled Owens out of town Witten may see his targets actually increase.

Eddie Royal was taken in the fourth round and could easily improve on his rookie performance last year of 91 receptions, 980 yards, and five TDs. New head coach Josh Freeman will run a version of the Patriots’ offense in Denver with Royal playing the part of Wes Welker. Think about that for a while.

Scott then selected Marshawn Lynch with his fifth pick and spent his seventh on Lynch’s handcuff, Fred Jackson. Lynch will serve a three game suspension but there is little drop off with Jackson. That can be viewed as either good or bad.

In between the Buffalo picks Scott drafted Matt Cassel in the sixth round. Other quarterbacks available here included Jay Cutler, Carson Palmer, and Eli Manning. He may have benefited from the system in New England, but his defense will give up points and he’ll being throwing 40 passes a game.

He then picked Donnie Avery, the first WR taken in the 2008 draft. In round 12 he grabbed Kevin Faulk, New England’ designated third down pass receiver. With any luck, he’ll have his game of the year when he’s covering your bye week.

Scott’s Stallions

QB Matt Cassel
RB Steven Jackson
RB Marshawn Lynch/Fred Jackson
WR Calvin Johnson
WR Eddie Royal
WR Donnie Avery
TE Jason Witten
DST Cowboys
PK Kris Brown

12. Mike Freeman, National Columnist


Mike picked Chris Johnson with his first selection, a runner with blazing speed and elusiveness. He was single-handedly killing the Ravens in their playoff game last year until he was injured. Without him, Tennessee imploded and lost the game. Johnson averaged 4.9 ypc in his rookie campaign and finished with 1,228 yards, 43 pass receptions, and 10 touchdowns. LenDale White is the designated goal line back but Johnson can score from anywhere on the field.

If Mike had drafted Randy Moss next he would have been sitting pretty, but instead went for Brandon Jacobs. Without Derek Ward stealing carries Jacobs could get more work, but the Giants are committed to RBBC. On the other hand, he missed three games last year and still scored 15 touchdowns.

He then picked Aaron Rodgers who finished as the third highest overall scorer in my league. Available receivers here included Roy Williams, Chad 85, Antonio Bryant, and Eddie Royal. Taking Rodgers was smart. The next QB taken was McNabb at the start of round five.

In the fourth round he chose Antonio Bryant over Eddie Royal, then filled out his receiver spots with Coles and Berrian. In the seventh round he shrewdly drafted the second most dangerous Giant RB and Jacobs’ handcuff, Ahmad Bradshaw.

He waited until the 14th round for a TE but found a sleeper I like very much, Brent Celek. McNabb likes to throw to tight ends and Celek showed in the playoff loss to Arizona that he can post monster numbers.

Mike’s Mayhem

QB Aaron Rodgers
RB Chris Johnson
RB Brandon Jacobs
WR Antonio Bryant
WR Laveranues Coles
WR Bernard Berrian
TE Brent Celek
DST Dolphins
PK Mason Crosby

13. Sergio Gonzalez, Fantasy Writer


Sergio selected Marion Barber over Tomlinson with his first pick, and also passed on Tom Brady, Randy Moss, and Calvin Johnson. Barber only averaged 3.7 ypc and scored nine touchdowns last year, and will surrender more carries this season to Felix Jones.

He filled out his backfield with Clinton Portis but missed out on a stud WR. Portis is the clear cut RB1 in Washington and a reliable fantasy starter but I would have taken Moss or Calvin Johnson.

Sergio then picked Roy Williams and Santonio Holmes in the next two rounds but was still able to draft Antonio Gates near the end of round five. Gates saw his numbers slip last year but should rebound this season. Gates was the fourth TE drafted and a steal in the fifth round.

He selected Jay Cutler over Matt Cassel and Carson Palmer, but I could argue that either QB could be more valuable. The Bears are a run first team, and even if they try to balance their attack Cassel and Palmer will be throwing the ball more often. Sergio then took Kevin Walter, the other receiver in Houston, to fill out his WR slots.

Outside of Gates, it’s hard to project any other player scoring in the top five at his position. That being said, Sergio probably made all the right moves and picked the highest scoring team.

Sergio’s Sabers

QB Jay Cutler
RB Marion Barber
RB Clinton Portis
WR Roy Williams
WR Santonio Holmes
WR Kevin Walter
TE Antonio Gates
DST Bears
PK Adam Vinatieri

14. Eric Mack, Senior Fantasy Writer


The dreaded 14th pick in a 14-team draft can be a real challenge. You have to do your homework because sometimes you just have to rely so much on players with potential. Not surprisingly, Eric put together a team with a ton of upside.

LaDainian Tomlinson, who looked down right mortal last season, was available and Eric wisely grabbed him with the first pick. While LT turned 30 in June I believe reports of his demise are greatly exaggerated. He seems determined to have a great season, but sometimes the mind may be willing but the flesh is weak.

Eric then took Tom Brady who seems recovered from knee surgery and ready to light up the opposing defenses once again. If there were any doubts about Brady’s health I doubt the Pats would have traded away Matt Cassel. Drew Brees was also available here.

With his next two picks he took Darren McFadden and Chad Ochocinco. Last year McFadden showed glimpses of elite talent but injuries turned his rookie season into a nightmare. He still averaged 4.4 ypc and is a good receiver and, if he stays healthy, could possibly have a great campaign.

And speaking of ‘if,’ Chad 85 returns to the Bengals with a new attitude and a healthy Carson Palmer. If he can remember how to perform at an elite level and Palmer is really 100%, Chad could surprise a lot of people, especially me.

Eric rounded out his receiver corpse with Santana Moss and Anthony Gonzalez. Moss improved his numbers last year despite a lackluster passing attack in Washington and Gonzalez takes over for Marvin Harrison in Indianapolis.

His next pick was spent on Steve Breaston, who, as a rookie last year, gained over 1,000 as the Cardinals’ WR3. He also filled in admirably when Boldin missed time and could see his role in this offense expanded. Jerious Norwood will see more action if Atlanta is serious about lightening Michael Turner’s workload.

Eric’s Elephants

QB Tom Brady
RB Ladainian Tomlinson
RB Darren McFadden
WR Chad Ochocinco
WR Santana Moss
WR Anthony Gonzalez
TE Visanthe Shiancoe
D/ST New York Giants
PK David Akers

Category: NFL
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