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There are times in a draft when a player falls in your lap and it's a no-brainer decision to select him. You might not like that player, but value is value so why not gamble?
It happened in this 12-team standard mock draft to a few owners. It's likely going to happen to you as well, so be prepared.
For me, it happened in Round 3. I started my team with Eddie Lacy at No. 5 overall and then Brandon Marshall in Round 2 at No. 20. In Round 3, I was prepared to take Rob Gronkowski or Julius Thomas, Antonio Brown or Randall Cobb or Drew Brees, who were all still on the board when Round 2 ended.
Instead, Arian Foster continued to fall. While I consider Foster a bust candidate this season, and he has plenty of issues with last year's back injury, his retirement talk and his recent hamstring woes, it was an easy selection at No. 29 overall. By comparison, his Average Draft Position on CBSSports.com is No. 21.
Now, clearly Foster is on the decline, and he's not worth drafting in Round 1. But if he plays 10-plus games at anything close to his level prior to the back injury, then this pick is larceny. And I made sure to handcuff him with Jonathan Grimes in Round 11.
Some other owners had similar situations with players they couldn't pass up. Adam Aizer took Drew Brees one spot in front of me in Round 3 at No. 28 overall. We realize quarterbacks fall in our mock drafts, so this was an easy decision, even though he didn't plan on a quarterback in that spot when the draft started. (Aizer made sure to boast about his pick on our podcast saying he's going to win because "I have Drew Brees!").
Dave Richard didn't love the available players in Round 6, but he's a Vernon Davis fan. So he drafted Davis at No. 63 overall, which is 14 spots better than his ADP at No. 49.
Dave also had the reverse scenario happen to him a couple of times when players he was hoping to get went off the board before he picked. In Round 2, it was Giovani Bernard one spot in front of him at No. 14, and he ended up with Julio Jones. In Round 3, he wanted Toby Gerhart, Andre Ellington or Matthew Stafford at No. 34. All three went right before him and he settled for Ryan Mathews.
You have to be prepared. No matter what plan you have for your draft, things will happen to alter your strategy, and in some cases that could lead to a very good roster. Just ask Aizer.
As always, we ask you to share your thoughts on this draft. Take advantage of our Fantasy Football Twitter feed and post your comments there, or share your thoughts on our Fantasy Football Facebook page.
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. Peter Madden, Editorial Director, Fantasy Sports
2. Will Brinson, Senior NFL Writer
3. Jeff Tobin, Associate Managing Editor
4. Adam Aizer, Podcast/Video Host
5. Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer
6. Joe Polito, Social Media Coordinator
7. Chris Towers, Fantasy Writer
8. Larry Hartstein, Fantasy Writer
9. Al Melchior, Data Analyst
10. Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer
11. Scott White, Senior Fantasy Writer
12. Eric Johnston, Senior Designer, Fantasy Sports