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Fantasy Football Mock Drafts 2016: Most Common Players

NFL teams are gearing up for OTA’s, meaning we are one step closer to solidifying a team’s depth chart. Free agency has cleared, the NFL Draft has seen its last selection, and players are fighting to prove that they deserve a spot on an NFL roster.

As OTA’s, then mandatory mini-camp, training camp, and the pre-season take place, all eyes are on who will make the move to become fantasy relevant. The stars are known. It’s obvious that players like Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Odell Beckham, Jr, and Adrian Peterson, players taken early in round one of fantasy drafts, are going to produce quality numbers, but that’s not where fantasy football leagues are won.

Fantasy Football Mock Drafts 2016: Most Common Players

Fantasy football leagues are won throughout the draft, in the later rounds, where players are drafted who show potential, but have yet to put it all together for one good season.

It’s mock draft season. I took part in 10 separate mock drafts – drafting at a different spot in each mock, so that all variables were covered. Each league was a 10-team, standard scoring league. These are the players I drafted most frequently:

Jordy Nelson – WR – Green Bay Packers

Times Drafted: 6
Round Taken: 2

The Green Bay Packers offense is poised for a strong outing in 2016 after an underperforming 2015 campaign. Eddie Lacy is training with P90X creator Tony Horton and Nelson is on track to return from a torn ACL.

Since his breakout campaign in 2011, Nelson has averaged nearly 1,300 yards and 11 touchdowns each year. He’s the favorite target of Aaron Rodgers and if Lacy returns to normal, this Packers offense will once again show signs of life.

Donte Moncrief – WR – Indianapolis Colts

Times Drafted: 6
Round Taken: As early as 4 and as late as 6

Moncrief will be the number two receiver behind T.Y. Hilton, but will be the more consistent of the two. Hilton can take the top off of the defense, teams know that and respect that, shifting a safety over towards his side of the field. This scheme will leave Moncrief in one on one coverage often. The third year receiver produced 733 yards and six touchdowns in a season where Andrew Luck was sidelined for a large portion. If Luck can return to form, Moncrief could finish as a top-20 wide receiver.

Sterling Shepard – WR – New York Giants

Times Drafted: 6
Round Taken: 8 or 9

As the second-round draft pick, Shepard looks to fill the number two receiver slot, opposite Beckham, Jr, after the loss of Rueban Randle.  The Giants look to throw the ball in a Ben McAdoo-style offense, leaving plenty of opportunities for Shepard.

Dwayne Harris, a special team’s specialist, won’t be pushing Shepard for snaps. The only player looking to take snaps away from Shepard is Victor Cruz. 2011 and 2012 were bright spots for Cruz, but since then he has yet to finish a season and didn’t step on the field in 2015.

Shepard may have been drafted as insurance for Cruz, but Cruz may find himself sitting back seat to Shepard.

Isaiah Crowell – RB – Cleveland Browns

Times Drafted: 6
Round Taken: As high as 10 and as low as 14

Hue Jackson is an intelligent man. He knows that Robert Griffin III can’t run an offense alone. RGIII is a viable NFL quarterback with talent around him. In order to keep the pressure off of RGIII, Jackson will do as he did in Cincinnati and run a two-running-set – similar to Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard. Crowell will lead the Browns backfield in carries, while Duke Johnson, Jr takes over the pass-catching role.

The high praise from Jackson could be a smoke screen to alleviate media attention in Cleveland, but the Browns will need to rely on the run if they want RGIII to succeed. Crowell has 12 touchdowns in his two NFL seasons, but has only carried the ball 148 and 185 times, respectively.

Demarco Murray – RB – Tennessee Titans

Times Drafted: 5
Round Taken: 5, 6, or 7

There are two sides to the Murray argument. Side one: The Titans drafted Derrick Henry in the second round of the NFL Draft, so they will use him to alleviate Murray. Side two: Murray signed a five-year $42 million deal with the Titans this offseason and they look to use a power-run offense in 2016. I’m leaning towards side two.

Murray is a running back that needs his touches. He is looking to be a featured back and from what Head Coach Mike Mularkey is saying, Murray will remain the bellcow back.

Will he return to 2014 form? Not likely. But Murray can be a serviceable RB2 in fantasy formats in 2016.

Ameer Abdullah – RB – Detriot Lions

Times Drafted: 5
Round Taken: Between 9, 10, or 11

The Detroit Lions were 7th overall in the NFL in passing attempts in 2015. Abdullah showed flashes of excitement in 2015, but overall delivered a lackluster performance. Abdullah will be competing with Theo Riddick for catches, but the carries seem to lean in favor of Abdullah. The only other option at running back for Detroit is Steven Ridley, but he’s buried behind both Abdullah and Riddick. Abdullah is nothing more than a dart throw FLEX option in 2016, with RB2 upside, but in the late rounds of fantasy football drafts, all anyone wants is a possible starter and Abdullah provides that.

Stephen Gostkowski or Steven Hauschka – K – New England Patriots or Seattle Seahawks

Times Drafted: 5
Rounds Drafted: Gostkowski – 10, 11, or 12 Hauschka – 12, 13, or 14

Kickers are people too. In 2015 Stephen Gostkowski would have finished as the 9th best wide receiver and the 7th best running back. So, in round 10, what player would you rather have? A dart throw FLEX option, or the #1 ranked kicker?

Hauschka was the other option because he had the third best kicking percent in 2015 and he was six-for-six on kicks 50+ yards.

The Caveat: The value of these players may rise or fall throughout the summer. Remember, it’s only May. Check back for more analysis and rankings throughout the coming weeks.



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