Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Fantasy Analyst Mock Draft: Part I

Fantasy Football season is coming! Check out my 12 team standard fantasy football mock draft with analysts Jamey Eisenberg, Greg Harrell, and Adam Pfeifer.

One of the best ways to prepare for the Fantasy Football season is by taking part in mock drafts. However, it is always difficult to find a group of people who are willing to sit through the entire draft without going on “autopilot” after their first few picks. Therefore, when I recently had the opportunity to mock draft with 11 other actual people, I jumped at the chance.

Not only did I have a full slate of actual drafters, I was fortunate to have three other fantasy football analysts in the room as well: Jamey Eisenberg from, Adam Pfeifer from, and Greg Harrell from  We all participated in a 12 team standard mock draft at  The draft produced very different strategies, unexpected positional runs, and an idea when our favorite players will be drafted.

Partaking in the mock draft is easy, but the post-draft analyzation is hard. I examined each team by the following three criteria:

  • Projected starting points per week based on 2015 scoring.
  • Projected starting points per week based on 2016 projections.
  • My gut instinct on each team.

Who drafted the best running backs? Who had the worst wide receivers? Who reached for a quarterback? Let’s start with reviewing the weakest team, and work our way up to the strongest. As usual, I’ll provide a “good,” “bad,” and “skinny” for each team:

Fantasy Analyst Mock Draft: Teams Ranked 12th to 9th

Team:  “Highlight Reel” 
Drafter: Mike (12th Overall Pick)
Points per week based on 2015:  86.56 (11th)
Points per week based on projections:  97.35 (3rd)
Randle Ranking:  12th

Player Position Round Drafted Overall Pick Projected Fantasy Points 2015 Points
Ben Roethlisberger QB 6 61 316.4 269
Adrian Peterson RB 1 12 191.2 230
Thomas Rawls RB 3 36 146.2 118
Jeremy Maclin WR 5 60 144 155
Jordy Nelson WR 2 13 182.8 0
Frank Gore RB-WR 4 37 145.4 158
Jimmy Graham TE 7 84 107.6 72
Mason Crosby K 14 157 140 116
Green Bay Packers DST 13 156 184 169
Tony Romo QB 10 109 296.4 50
LeGarrette Blount RB 8 85 121.4 116
James Starks RB 9 108 104.6 123
Stefon Diggs RB-WR 11 132 117.8 97
Zach Miller TE 12 133 94 73

GOOD:  Mike used a unique draft plan here: running back, wide receiver, running back, running back. That is a very rare first four picks. Peterson is a solid pick and stands out above the rest at the running back position.  Jordy Nelson should return to his 2014 form with Aaron Rodgers this year, and benefits from a great schedule. Both Rawls and Gore get the ball at the goal line for their respective teams.  Ben Roethlisberger is primed for a career year in a high octane Pittsburgh offense.  Tony Romo is a great backup and Zach Miller in Round 12 is just stealing.

BAD:  Would have liked to see a better and safer first wide receiver than Jordy NelsonA.J. Green was still available at that spot. Peterson and Gore are in their 30s, and Rawls still isn’t running yet. The Seahawks drafted a ton of running backs which makes me question just how good Rawls will be if healthy. Jimmy Graham at tight end in round 7 is a huge gamble, and when he was healthy last year he wasn’t very good in Seattle’s offense.  Blount and Starks are bad bench picks, and Stefon Diggs as the only backup wide receiver is very suboptimal.  There are much better teams out there.

SKINNY:  This team has a lot of question marks. Ben doesn’t have Martavis Bryant, and always misses a few games due to injury. Peterson? Old. Gore? Old. Rawls? Hurt. Nelson? Returning from injury? Romo? Same.  Graham? Need I continue? Just too may concerns, and it’s difficult to see all of these gambles going in Mike’s favor. The only injury free starter is Jeremy Maclin. That says all you need to know. This is the worst team from our mock draft.


Team:  “Joe Momma”
Drafter: Timothy (4th Overall Pick)
Points per week based on 2015:  99.56 (4th)
Points per week based on projections:  93.86 (5th)
Randle Rating:  11th

Player Position Round Drafted Overall Pick Projected Fantasy Points 2015 Points
Jameis Winston QB 11 124 292.6 318
Doug Martin RB 3 28 156.8 199
Lamar Miller RB 2 21 170.2 184
Randall Cobb WR 4 45 140.6 123
DeAndre Hopkins WR 1 4 188.4 220
Matt Jones RB-WR 5 52 126.8 95
Coby Fleener TE 6 69 107.2 69
Dan Bailey K 14 165 126.2 125
Kansas City Chiefs DST 13 148 193 227
Devontae Booker RB 10 117 61 0
Paul Perkins RB 12 141 32.6 0
Charles Sims RB 8 93 113 128
Sterling Shepard RB-WR 9 100 84.8 0
Kevin White RB-WR 7 76 96.8 0

GOOD:  Timothy drafted the “Las Vegas” team, a risk/reward group. There is a lot of uncertainty at the running back position, so he secured two solid options in Martin and Miller. DeAndre Hopkins should have much improved quarterback play with Brock Osweiler in 2016, and Randall Cobb should benefit greatly from Jordy Nelson’s return. Matt Jones is a lead member of the “opportunity knocks” club, and could be a breakout performer in a strong offense. One of my “must have” players this year is Coby Fleener in New Orleans, and Timothy proved to be a savvy drafter by handcuffing Martin with Charles Sims in Round 8.

BAD:  “Joe Momma” has a bench full of rookies, many of which may give little to no contribution. Perkins in a running back log jam in New York, as is Devontae Booker in Denver. The biggest question mark for Timothy lies at the quarterback position, where he fully invested in NFL sophomore Jameis Winston. He failed to pick a backup quarterback, which is too risky for my style. I would have spent a later round pick on a second quarterback instead of “rookie warehouse.” Can you really say having two Tampa Bay Buccaneers as your first two starters is a good thing?

SKINNY:  This team started off well, and finished poorly. I like the running back and wide receiver starters, and love Fleener at tight end. Winston is a bad solo quarterback selection and Timothy needed some better bench players in case of an injury. Kevin White, having not played a down in the NFL, as a round seven pick is also a major reach. It is a mistake he couldn’t afford to make with so many unproven bench players. Timothy needs complete health from his starters, and one or more of his rookies to hit.  The ceiling here is middle of the pack, but more than likely at the bottom.


Team:  “The Hollywood Raiders” 
Drafter: Michael (8th Overall Pick)
Points per week based on 2015:  97.13 (5th)
Points per week based on projections:  91.71 (12th)
Randle Rating:  10th

Player Position Round Drafted Overall Pick Projected Fantasy Points 2015 Points
Eli Manning QB 8 89 302.4 357
Ezekiel Elliott RB 2 17 176.2 0
Jeremy Hill RB 5 56 136.6 154
Amari Cooper WR 3 32 146.8 141
Emmanuel Sanders WR 4 41 138 147
Chris Ivory RB-WR 6 65 108.8 172
Rob Gronkowski TE 1 8 177.4 183
Justin Tucker K 13 152 134.2 136
Oakland Raiders DST 14 161 147 142
Kamar Aiken RB-WR 11 128 67.2 122
Will Fuller RB-WR 12 137 68 0
Torrey Smith RB-WR 10 113 89.4 92
Willie Snead RB-WR 9 104 104 114
Travis Kelce TE 7 80 104.8 117

Good:  Durable quarterback? Check. Top running backs who are also goal line backs for their teams? Check.  Best tight end in fantasy football? Check. Michael went tight end, running back, wide receiver, wide receiver, running back. He missed out on the top wide receivers but he compensated with superb wide receiver depth.  Ivory looms as one of the most under-appreciated backs in mock drafts. The projection on Jeremy Hill makes no sense. He had a bad year last year, and should absolutely see an uptick in fantasy points. A lot of analysts see Eli Manning as a top five quarterback potential, which would give Michael nice value in round eight.

Bad:  It’s hard for me to see Ezekiel Elliott having a top ten running back season as a rookie. He will have the chances, but as I broke down here, history is not on his side. Sanders is a number two receiver in a Peyton Manning-less run heavy offense. Gronkowski has no Tom Brady for four games, and Michael has no running back depth on his bench. What was the purpose of drafting Aiken, Smith and Snead? Aren’t they all the same player? The Travis Kelce pick was a waste, because if you are drafting Gronkowski in Round 1, you are always going to start him. If he gets hurt for a length of time, your team is going to really struggle. That is exactly why I hate drafting him in Round one.

Skinny:  To Gronk or not to Gronk? That is the round one fantasy draft question. If you take Gronkowski in Round one, you will miss out on the elite wide receivers and elite running backs. If Gronkowski does not perform at least two points better than anyone else at the position, you need a perfect rest of draft to stay competitive.  There is a lot of risk for Michael with that pick, and he compounded it by taking Elliott in Round two. Sanders may take a huge hit with Mark Sanchez/Paxton Lynch throwing him the ball, and Michael has no backup running backs on his bench. Based on last year’s stats, “The Hollywood Raiders” should have a good season. But I completely agree with the 2016 prediction, and wouldn’t be surprised to see this team at the tenth overall place.


Team:  “SD”
Drafter: Todd (9th Overall Pick)
Points per week based on 2015:  96.63 (6th)
Points per week based on projections:  92.82 (8th)
Randle Rating:  9th

Player Position Round Drafted Overall Pick Projected Fantasy Points 2015 Points
Russell Wilson QB 2 16 369.2 403
Jeremy Langford RB 4 40 144.4 124
Latavius Murray RB 3 33 143.8 163
John Brown WR 5 57 139 142
T.Y. Hilton WR 1 9 162.2 142
Allen Hurns RB-WR 6 64 125 161
Ladarius Green TE 8 88 92.4 70
Roberto Aguayo K 13 153 112.1 121
Carolina Panthers DST 12 136 197 220
Matthew Stafford QB 11 129 289.8 353
Charcandrick West RB 14 160 69.2 112
T.J. Yeldon RB 7 81 100.8 119
Travis Benjamin RB-WR 10 112 123.2 123
Corey Coleman RB-WR 9 105 92 0

GOOD:  I will say it all summer: Russell Wilson is going to be a top three fantasy quarterback this season. Brown and Hilton are super quick wide receivers in top NFL offenses. Allen Hurns will continue to benefit from lining up across the field from Allen Robinson in JacksonvilleLadarius Green is outstanding positional value as an eighth round tight end pick. Todd drafted a well balanced bench, with two running backs (West and Yeldon) that would inherit big roles if their respective lead running backs get injured. He has a nice backup in Stafford, and an exciting rookie who should have a potential big role in Corey Coleman of Cleveland. The Panthers’ defense, of course, is a solid selection.

BAD:  I have heard nothing positive about Jeremy Langford coming out of Chicago. Latavius Murray has an injury history, and did nothing to separate himself from the pack last year. Brown, Hilton and Hurns are not huge yardage guys. Hurns’ one touchdown for every ten receptions is the quintessential regression-likely statistic. West and Yeldon need injuries to be relevant, and Todd’s overall receiving group is not great. Green is in a great situation in Pittsburgh, but is already injured, never a good sign.

SKINNY:  The only sure thing is Wilson. Hilton COULD have a big bounce back year, Brown COULD improve on last year’s stats, Murray COULD get to the next year…but all of that combined is highly unlikely. I keep looking for the sure bets on this team, and they are tough to find. I wish Langford was more of a solid option, and that he wasn’t in danger of losing the goal line carries to rookie Jordan Howard. Once John Fox mentioned the dreaded “running back by committee,” I got very concerned.  Team “SD” is in the middle of the pack by both metrics, and near the bottom of the pack by my rankings.

Be sure and check out parts two and three of my fantasy mock draft analysis.


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