The Fantasy Football season might be over, but that doesn't mean we get an extended vacation. It would be nice, though. One thing Dave Richard and I recently did was take part in a mock draft with the guys at FantasyFootballXtreme.com.
It was 12 teams, 14 rounds, standard scoring and we started the day after the Super Bowl. I had the fifth pick in a snake draft.
Round 1: Tom Brady, QB, New England
I wish I could play out different leagues in the offseason to see what strategy works best. My preference is to always go two or sometimes three running backs right out of the gate, but I'm leaning toward quarterbacks lately because of the value they bring. If you have the chance to take Brady, Peyton Manning or even Tony Romo next year, my advice right now is to take him. The way last year went, you can mix and match with running backs and wide receivers and still be successful.
Round 2: Earnest Graham, RB, Tampa Bay
Cadillac Williams won't be ready for a while, if at all, next season. That means Graham will be able to carry the load for a full season, and I like what I saw from him last year. Graham isn't an ideal No. 1 running back, but he has potential to give me 1,200 yards rushing and double digits in touchdowns.
Round 3: Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville
I love Jones-Drew in 2008 because Fred Taylor will start to break down at some point in the season, and Jones-Drew will pounce on the opportunity. It's also his third season, so look for MJD to get back to scoring plenty of touchdowns and increase his yardage total.
Round 4: Kellen Winslow, TE, Cleveland
This was a risky pick for several reasons. In a three-wide receiver league, I took a tight end first, which again goes against every draft strategy I preach. I also took Winslow ahead of Antonio Gates and even Jason Witten. But Winslow, like Gates, is more like a wide receiver than a tight end. And I think Winslow is going to be the No. 1 tight end in the NFL in 2008.
Round 5: Hines Ward, WR, Pittsburgh
Ward is a solid No. 2 Fantasy wide receiver, but he will have to be my No. 1 guy in 2008. I'm hoping Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense remains pass-happy in 2008 because that would mean good things for Ward and Fantasy owners.
Round 6: Donald Driver, WR, Green Bay
Like Ward, Driver is a good No. 2 Fantasy option. But he's a high catch guy, and his touchdown total from 2007 will improve. Brett Favre will return for one more season, and Driver will be playing for a contract in 2008.
Round 7: Michael Bush, RB, Oakland
This is probably my worst pick of the draft. I took Bush just days before Justin Fargas resigned with the team. Not that I thought Bush would get 20-plus carries in 2008, but I figured he would get an extended look and be productive. Now it appears he'll be part of a tandem. And the worst thing -- Fargas was still on the board when I took Bush. Hey, we all have to reach some time.
Round 8: Santana Moss, WR, Washington
I like Moss as a No. 3 Fantasy wide receiver. He's not going to put up overwhelming stats on a weekly basis, but as we know the potential is there for an explosive game every three or four weeks. If you have enough talent in place on your roster, Moss can be a useful Fantasy weapon.
Round 9: Reggie Brown, WR, Philadelphia
Brown could be a great sleeper in 2008. With Donovan McNabb healthy for a full season, Brown should thrive. He played well toward the end of 2007 and has the potential to be a solid wide receiver in the NFL. If you can get Brown as a No. 3 or 4 Fantasy wide receiver, that's a great move in your draft.
Round 10: Maurice Morris, RB, Seattle
Round 11: Adrian Peterson, RB, Chicago
At this point I started looking at running backs who play behind injured or fragile starters. And with Cedric Benson coming off injury, Peterson could be good value in later rounds.
Round 12: Donte Stallworth, WR, New England
I didn't like any of the other wide receivers on the board here, and if by chance Randy Moss left or Stallworth was sent packing, his value would change. Otherwise Stallworth will just be a low-end Fantasy option in 2008 and only useful on a bye week or as an injury replacement.
Round 13: New York Giants
If they can sack the quarterback at the same level in 2007, then this defense is going to remain a tremendous Fantasy option. And if they fix the secondary, they could be the No. 1 defense in the NFL.
Round 14: Shayne Graham, K, Cincinnati
I always like to get a good kicker who plays for an explosive offense. Graham fits the bill.