2014 Fantasy Football Mock Drafts: It's Time
Howard Bender and the 2014 Mock Draft Army prep you for winning your fantasy football championship
Listen up, Fantasy Football folk! I will stand atop a mountain and shout ‘til I’m blue in the face here if I have to. The best way for you to learn how your fantasy football draft is going to go is to do as many mock drafts as you can between now and your actual draft day. Seriously. If you’re not partaking in any mock drafts, you’re not only doing yourself a disservice, but you’re also do your competition a HUGE favor. HUGE!
Everyone wants to know: Which guy should I take with the eighth pick? Should I take a quarterback in the first round if we get six points per passing touchdown and a bonus for throwing for over 300 yards? When is it too early to take a defense? Should I go WR, WR, RB, RB with my first four picks?
There are millions of questions and probably only one sure-fire way to learn all the answers. Start mocking, dammit! Got a question about who will be available when it’s your time to pick? Do a mock. Looking for where your favorite sleepers are going? Do a mock. Want to test a new draft strategy and see what happens? Do a mock. The answers are all right there in front of you. You’re going to have to do a few of them to account for the many variables, and while you’ll never do enough to account for them all, you’ll have a pretty damn good idea of what to expect. That way when you’re looking for a left and the guy drafting in front of you throws a right, you can counter appropriately.
So in an effort to help you practice what I preach, I’ve taken the liberty of running a few mocks already with many more planned. In fact, there’s once scheduled for this Friday, August 15th at 9:00pm (ET) that will also be broadcast on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87) during a special Friday night Mock Draft Army episode at 10pm. The draft will open an hour before the show so we can look at some of the picks that have been made, as well as do a little on-the-fly ADP analysis. You want in? No problem. Just hit me up on Twitter -- @rotobuzzguy – and I’ll point you in the right direction.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at the last two mock drafts we did that were also broadcast live on Sirius Radio. For those not familiar with the Mock Draft Army, you can consult this article here, but the gist of it is that I put together a draft room filled with both experts and readers/listeners so that you can ask questions as you draft while also seeing a mock draft done to its completion. None of this draft for six rounds and watch everyone bail. Everyone who participates is in it for the long haul, so you can see who some of those late-round fliers are that you may want to take a chance on in your home/work league.
As you see below, the first two columns you’ll see are the actual draft results of the last two mock drafts done. Below those results you’ll see a cumulative list of Mock Draft Army ADP which is free of auto-drafting and site default rankings. You’ll also see some notes to consider on both drafts as well as the ADP.
Both drafts were 12-team, PPR with starting rosters of 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 RB/WR, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DEF and a 5-player bench
Drafted in one but not the other: Alex Smith, Andre Williams, Andy Dalton, Antonio Gates, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Brian Hartline, C.J. Anderson, Carson Palmer, Charles Sims, Chris Polk, David Wilson, Doug Baldwin, Jacquizz Rodgers, James Starks, Jarvis Landry, Johnny Manziel, Jonathan Stewart, Josh McCown, Ka’Deem Carey, Kenny Britt, Knile Davis, Mark Ingram, Mike Tolbert, Odell Beckham,Robert Woods, Roy Helu, Stevie Johnson
Probably because I’m all about the running backs early, Draft A’s top four went almost exactly as I would have done it. For me, in a PPR format, I have them ranked, LeSean McCoy, Matt Forte, Adrian Peterson and then Jamaal Charles, but you cannot be faulted for liking a different order. All four have the potential to be absolutely explosive and you simply can’t make a wrong choice going with any of them.
For the rest of the first round, Draft B went much more as I would have done had I been making each pick. I would have gone Eddie Lacy over Calvin Johnson, but again, that’s a personal preference and going with Megatron is not a wrong move. I would have gone Le’Veon Bell over Montee Ball, but with late first-round choices I would have also gone for the elite wide receivers and would even consider a double-tap of elite wideouts at the wheel if they were available to me. You run the risk of missing out on higher-end running backs, but once those receivers come off the board, people tend to panic and you always seem to be able to find backfield help back around the late third round as you see in Draft B.
Sorry folks, but I’m in the camp that says, unless it’s a 2-QB league, I’m waiting on a quarterback. Fifth round? Maybe sixth, depending on what the rest of the draft looks like. Look at Matthew Stafford just sitting there with a 54.50 ADP. If it means having strong running backs and wide receivers, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Stafford as your quarterback. And just look at those QB ADP numbers further down. Plenty of depth to be had.
Some risky picks in the first six rounds?
How about Rob Gronkowski with a 30.50 ADP? The guy is 50/50 to even play Week 1 and people are snagging him in the third round? While Gronk might say he’s playing all 16 games this season, the evidence is not pointing towards that at all.
When people are drafting Jordan Cameron in the fifth round, do you think they know that he’s literally the only receiving option on that team? Defenses can cut his routes off and he’s got nothing…just like the rest of the Browns.
Look at Percy Harvin and Trent Richardson side-by-side there. Drafting Harvin that high is a serious commitment for someone so injury-prone and don’t even get me started on T-Rich. The guy is a fantasy turd. People who think that he’s now got a handle on the playbook and therefore will be explosive are in for a seriously rude awakening. You know, like when you wake up in the middle of the night with a stomach pain so bad you fly out of bed and into the bathroom? That’s the T-Rich Effect.
How about a pick I do like? Titans receiver Kendall Wright, while still contending with a rough quarterback situation, has all the tools to be the next Antonio Brown. Great hands, strong route runner and he’s going to see a whole lot more looks in the red zone this year. Especially when tight end Delanie Walker has hands made of granite.
Love me some Terrance West even at 89.50. I have no faith in Ben Tate making it a full year and once West gets an opportunity, it’s going to be awfully tough for Tate to re-take the job. I do wish he’d fall a little further and given the number of experts in these drafts, he may, but I’d still take him where he’s at here, even without a starting gig heading into Week 1, instead of waiting almost 10 picks for that tomato can Lamar Miller. Those of you who owned Miller last year can attest. He didn’t do squat and you cursed him every step of the way last season. You’d probably rather gnaw on a bag of glass before heading back to that well again.
While everyone else is reaching for the over-priced rookies, take a look at Devonta Freeman at 120.00 and Kelvin Benjamin at 131.50, I see Freeman taking over for an injured Steven Jackson fairly early in the year and poor Cam Newton has no other option than to elevate Benjamin on his target list. Also don’t sleep on Eric Ebron at 144.00. I know that rarely does a rookie tight end find success, but this guy is built to catch the damn ball. Some early preseason drops, which he’ll get past, will hopefully keep him off people’s radar.
And finally, look at Antonio Gates all the way down at 159.00. I know everyone thinks that Ladarius Green is going to get all the work, but Gates and Philip Rivers have history and if he’s healthy, the two could reconnect at a very minimal cost.
Remember: Friday August 15 at 9:00pm (ET) for the next Mock Draft Army event. I already have a killer lineup of experts, so you’re not going to want to miss it!