Fantasy Analyst Mock Draft: Part II

Spread the love

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 eleven 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 CBSSports.com, Adam Pfeifer from ProjectRoto.com, and Greg Harrell from TheFantasyCast.com. We all participated in a 12 team standard mock draft at CBSSports.com. 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 CBSSports.com 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 8th to 5th 

 

Team:  “Asomugha’s Picks” 
Drafter: Matt (5th Overall Pick)
Points per week based on 2015:  103.1 (2nd)
Points per week based on projections:  102.29 (1st)
Randle Rating:  8th

Player Position Round Drafted Overall Pick Projected Fantasy Points 2015 Points
Aaron Rodgers QB 2 20 365.2 362
Le’Veon Bell RB 1 5 249 86
Matt Forte RB 3 29 151.6 169
Doug Baldwin WR 5 53 158.4 190
Jordan Matthews WR 7 77 133.6 145
Jonathan Stewart RB-WR 4 44 143.2 145
Gary Barnidge TE 6 68 119 158
Steven Hauschka K 14 164 130.7 139
Minnesota Vikings DST 13 149 186 185
Joe Flacco QB 10 116 295 189
Carson Palmer QB 8 92 308 378
Alex Smith QB 12 140 286.8 310
Tavon Austin RB-WR 11 125 121 140
Tyler Eifert TE 9 101 105.2 139

GOOD:  Matt’s team is built on fantastic quarterback play with Palmer (378 points last year) and Rodgers (projected 365.2 points this year.) Even with less than half a season from Le’Veon Bell, his rankings are great with Forte and Stewart coming off solid seasons. His wide receivers were excellent in 2015, with Baldwin serving as a touchdown machine, and Matthews ending the year in fine fashion. He nabbed the surprise tight end of the year in Gary Barnidge, and mixed in a solid kicker (Hauschka) and defense (Minnesota). Matt has a great bench with undervalued Tavon Austin of the Rams, and maybe the top tight end in football before his injury, Tyler Eifert.

BAD:  Outside of his quarterbacks, this team is ripe for regression. Forte is now with the Jets and competing with Bilal Powell will reduce his numbers. Baldwin had a career year, and Matthews only ended the season well.  For most of the year, he was a bust. Stewart is very injury prone, and given that 2015 was a healthy year, that means he’s overdue. Plus, there could be in a time-share in Carolina (Artis-Payne), and Cam Newton usually gets the goal line carries regardless.  Most importantly, why draft four quarterbacks?

SKINNY:  The numbers show this team should be good by either metric. Both projections put “Asomugha’s Picks” over 100 points per week. But a lot will rest with Rodgers/Palmer and Bell. If they perform as the top positional players they are expected to be, Matt will be in the mix each week. But I see major regression at this other spots, and think the unnecessary depth at the quarterback position will keep his advantage at a minimum.  The numbers draw one conclusion, but I draw another. This team will be middle of the pack, at best.

 

Team:  “Hoosiers”
Drafter: John (7th overall pick)
Points per week based on 2015:  111.19 (1st)
Points per week based on projections:  94.43 (4th)
Randle Rating:  7th

Player Position Round Drafted Overall Pick Projected Fantasy Points 2015 Points
Blake Bortles QB 10 114 285 386
Todd Gurley RB 1 7 220.4 186
DeMarco Murray RB 5 55 136.2 140
Brandon Marshall WR 3 31 152.2 230
Allen Robinson WR 2 18 156.2 224
Kelvin Benjamin RB-WR 4 42 146.4 0
Delanie Walker TE 7 79 123 149
Adam Vinatieri K 14 162 125.4 115
Cincinnati Bengals DST 13 151 166 178
Tevin Coleman RB 9 103 53.8 40
Arian Foster RB 12 138 0 54
Derrick Henry RB 8 90 70 0
Larry Fitzgerald RB-WR 6 66 130 171
Michael Thomas RB-WR 11 127 69 0

GOOD:  “Hoosiers” gave us the best point per game average based on the 2015 statistics. John went running back, wide receiver, wide receiver, wide receiver, with his first four picks. If Ted Ginn‘s standard scoring fantasy production (WR27, 139 points, 10 touchdowns) can go to Kelvin Benjamin, this was a fantastic start to his draft.  Tight end Delanie Walker in round seven was a steal. He led the position in receptions with 94, which was 22 more than Rob Gronkowski. John’s best pick may have been Arian Foster in Round 12, who could be a top ten fantasy back with the right team. I like the Tevin Coleman pick in round nine, who Atlanta Falcons’ coach Dan Quinn said will be a big part of their 2016 offense. Throw in a future Hall of Famer (Larry Fitzgerald) on his bench, and John built a great mock team.

BAD:  This team only projects to be fourth in 2016, and could be much lower.  John has some major regression candidates in Walker (turns 34 in August), Brandon Marshall (QB uncertainty), and Robinson (touchdown regression from 14). My biggest concern is Blake Bortles, who threw 18 interceptions, only had a 58.9% completion rate, and did the majority of his fantasy scoring in the second half of games last year. I don’t like the DeMarco Murray pick in Round 5. He is a plodding running back with average speed. At least he handcuffed Murray with rookie Derrick Henry, which could prove to be a great strategic move.

SKINNY:  There is a lot to like about this team, but I can’t put it in the top half of the draft. I think Murray was a terrible round five pick, which really means he needs a bench running back to hit. I like Gurley of course, but are we really that confident with his injury history on a bad Los Angeles Rams team? Benjamin’s health and overall effectiveness are a concern, but he can always plug in Fitzgerald as a top target in a strong Cardinals’ offense. Right now, Geno Smith is throwing the ball to Brandon Marshall which hurts his fantasy value. I wish he took a backup quarterback to Bortles, but my recent projections rank him as a solid top ten quarterback.  I really struggled with this team because the upside is huge, but for now they rank seventh coming out of the mock draft.

 

Team:  “Billies”
Drafter: Michael (11th Overall Pick)
Points per week based on 2015:  95.88 (8th)
Points per week based on projections:  98.77 (2nd)
Randle Ranking:  6th

Player Position Round Drafted Overall Pick Projected Fantasy Points 2015 Points
Cam Newton QB 2 14 375.6 458
C.J. Anderson RB 3 35 147.4 116
Jamaal Charles RB 1 11 189 79
Julian Edelman WR 5 59 137.6 111
Sammy Watkins WR 4 38 156.6 158
Eric Decker RB-WR 6 62 132.4 172
Jason Witten TE 11 131 75.8 87
Chris Boswell K 14 158 139.9 117
Denver Broncos DST 8 86 226 236
Jay Cutler QB 12 134 266.6 268
Cameron Artis-Payne RB 13 155 83.8 29
Bilal Powell RB 9 107 96.2 87
Darren Sproles RB 10 110 87.4 93
Michael Crabtree RB-WR 7 83 117 146

GOOD:   There is a lot to like about this team. The first thing is that after picking Cam Newton in round two (bucking the usual “wait on quarterback” theory), Michael ended up with Edelman, Watkins and Decker at wide receiver positions. He went running back, quarterback, running back, wide receiver, wide receiver, wide receiver, and got the best value I could have envisioned for that progression. If Charles and Anderson are healthy the entire season, this team is completely loaded.  Sprinkle in some nice bench running backs, the guy who would inherit a huge bump if Jonathan Stewart got hurt (Artis-Payne), and a great bench receiver in Crabtree, and it is no surprise that “Billies” in ranked the second best team off the 2016 projections.

BAD:  Is there a sale on injured players at the store Michael shops at? Charles, Edelman, and Watkins are all currently question marks for training camp. Anderson is always injured as well. I hate the Cutler pick. Why pick a backup quarterback if you spend a second round pick on Cam Newton? You are never benching him, and if you needed a backup just search the waiver wire. I am fine with reaching for defenses in certain formats, but if you picked the ’85 Bears in round eight it would be a mistake. In 2016, Witten is a terrible fantasy tight end selection.  Besides Crabtree, it’s a weak bench.

SKINNY:  Maybe the best starting lineup of all the mock teams. If healthy, this team is making the playoffs, period. But the question marks exist all over: Will Anderson reach his potential? Is Edelman over the surgery and ready to go with Jimmy Garoppolo? Is Jamaal Charles healthy? All Michael needs is health, but if he doesn’t get that, the Billies will be stuck in the middle all season long. Too many question marks lead me to put “Billies” at the sixth spot.

 

Team:  My team
Drafter: Mike Randle (6th Overall Pick)
Points per week based on 2015:  96.32 (7th)
Points per week based on projections:  93.44 (6th)
Randle Ranking:  5th

Player Position Round Drafted Overall Pick Projected Fantasy Points 2015 Points
Philip Rivers QB 8 91 286.6 341
David Johnson RB 1 6 197 173
Eddie Lacy RB 2 19 169.8 119
Michael Floyd WR 4 43 141.2 120
Jarvis Landry WR 5 54 124.6 158
DeVante Parker RB-WR 6 67 95 67
Jordan Reed TE 3 30 139.4 157
Josh Brown K 14 163 131.2 140
Arizona Cardinals DST 10 115 183 224
Andy Dalton QB 13 150 284.8 294
Tim Hightower RB 12 139 94 73
Theo Riddick RB 9 102 91.6 98
Donte Moncrief RB-WR 7 78 122.2 109
Mohamed Sanu RB-WR 11 126 66.6 58

GOOD:  Picking sixth is a tricky spot in a 12 team draft at the moment. Wide receivers go very quickly, and that’s really what I wanted with my round 1 pick. I just didn’t like taking Dez Bryant or Jordy Nelson coming off injury, and you know I’m not taking Gronkowski here. Johnson and Lacy are goal line backs, which is what you need to win in fantasy football leagues. I locked up a top tight end in Reed, then loaded up on top receivers with Floyd and Landry. I am hoping one of my other receivers pan out: Parker, Moncrief, or Sanu. Philip Rivers in round eight is fantastic value, and the Cardinals’ defense has an incredibly favorable first seven games of the season.  There is a lot of quality balance here.

BAD:  David Johnson may not be the bellwether everyone thinks he’ll be in Arizona. Reports now say 60-40 split, with Andre Ellington and Chris Johnson. That’s a tough rumor for my first round pick. Two wide receivers from Miami is suboptimal. The Dolphins are not the Colts, Cardinals or Packers. Hightower and Riddick aren’t great backups, and I’m putting an awful of faith in the P90X workout of Eddie Lacy.

SKINNY:  I was in reactionary mode all draft long. That will happen in your first mock draft of the summer.  The middle first round draft spots will be the toughest to select from if the Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Odell Beckham Jr. group is of the board. I see a lot of running back value, and didn’t think DeAndre Hopkins was worth the sixthoverall selection. I hate the Jordan Reed pick, which reinforced waiting on tight end in my future mocks. I could have used a bench wide receiver in that spot. This is a solid team, but I wish I could have the Reed and Parker picks back. I will need some help to crack the top four and make the playoffs.

Be sure to check out parts one and three of my fantasy football mock draft analysis.