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Fantasy Football Today

How I stole A.J. Green in our mock draft

By Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer

A.J. Green should be drafted in Round 2 of all leagues. (USATSI)
A.J. Green should be drafted in Round 2 of all leagues. (USATSI)

We recently published our latest 12-team standard mock draft, and I had the second overall pick. Somehow, I was able to land LeSean McCoy, Julio Jones and A.J. Green with my first three picks, which is like stealing.

Now, that's not likely to happen in most drafts, but don't be surprised when a stud player lands in your lap when you least expect it. Here's how I ended up with Green at No. 26 overall (his Average Draft Position is No. 20 on CBSSports.com).

There was nothing shocking about the first round outside of maybe Peyton Manning not going in the Top 12 overall picks. Our Top 12 (Jamaal Charles, McCoy, Matt Forte, Adrian Peterson, Eddie Lacy, Calvin Johnson, Jimmy Graham, Montee Ball, Arian Foster, Le'Veon Bell, Giovani Bernard and DeMarco Murray) is comparable to the ADP right now (Charles, McCoy, Peterson, Forte, Manning, Johnson, Lacy, Graham, Ball, Demaryius Thomas, Foster and Drew Brees).

It's Round 2 where things got a little wacky. The players taken ahead of Green who should have gone later based on ADP were Jones, Andre Ellington, Bishop Sankey, Brandon Marshall, Zac Stacy and Doug Martin. I'm fine with Jones and Marshall (I took Jones) because with those upper echelon receivers it's a personal choice, and I like Jones better.

I'm also OK with Martin and Stacy ahead of Green. While I wouldn't do it, there's an obvious need to get potential stud running backs, and Martin and Stacy could easily be Top 12 at their position.

The players who 100 percent shouldn't have been drafted ahead of Green are Ellington and Sankey. Larry Hartstein drafted Ellington at No. 20 overall, and Al Melchior took Sankey at No. 25. Ellington's ADP is No. 26, and Sankey is at No. 30.

Melchior took Marshall, and he could have locked down Charles, Marshall and Green with his first three picks. He couldn't have gotten Sankey in Round 4, but clearly Green is the better choice as we discuss this today.

Hartstein, however, could have gambled that Ellington made it back to him in Round 3 at No. 29 overall. Here's how his team started: Lacy, Ellington, Jordy Nelson. Here's how his team could have looked: Lacy, Green, C.J. Spiller or Ryan Mathews.

I love Ellington this season, as does Hartstein, and he could definitely be a Top 12 running back in all formats. But I would never draft him ahead of Green.

I'm happy how it worked out with Green landing on my roster, but I doubt I'll ever have a trio like this again of McCoy, Jones and Green with my first three picks.

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