Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My first mock draft of the 2010 season

Can you believe it's already mock draft time?

Okay, that's a stretch. But I really did participate in one yesterday for Sporting News' 2010 Fantasy Football Owners Manual, which comes out in June. Admittedly, I'm not yet in full fantasy mode, but it was fun getting my feet wet again. No doubt by the time the guide is published, I'll be regretting some of my picks; but perhaps others that I question now will look brilliant.

I don't want to scoop the issue, but I thought I'd share my first draft class of the 2010 season with the Fools Nation. Feel free to offer your critiques in the comments section below.

I had the 5th overall pick in a 12-team standard-scoring league that starts 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TE, 1 K and 1 D/ST. Here are the results:

Round 1: Drew Brees, QB, Saints. The four elite RBs (CJ, AP, MJD, Rice) were gone. Considered S-Jax, Turner, DeAngelo and Andre Johnson, but felt I needed to grab an elite QB instead. I've drafted with my fellow Sporting News experts for years, so I knew Brees, Rodgers, Peyton and Rivers would be gone by my second pick, especially if I started the run. Should I have taken a RB and settled for Romo in Rd 3 or even Schaub in Rd 4? That's a legit question.

Rd. 2: Ryan Matthews, RB, Chargers (above). Yeah, I went there. In retrospect, he may have been there next round -- judging by the reactions of my competitors -- but my other plan was Reggie Wayne, and he ended up slipping. I believe Matthews will be the workhorse and goal-line back for the Chargers from Day One, and to me, that makes him a better option than Moreno, Beanie, Jamaal Charles, Pierre and Forte, who were also available. Barring an injury, Matthews is all but a lock as a Top 10 fantasy back in his rookie year.

Rd. 3: Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts. Can't believe a sure thing like Reggie slid this far. Very happy with this pick. Also like that my first three picks play for Super Bowl contenders.

Rd. 4: Ronnie Brown, RB, Dolphins. Really like this value. When healthy, Ronnie has been an outstanding fantasy back. The addition of Brandon Marshall should open up even more holes for him this year, as he plays for a new contract.

Rd. 5: Vernon Davis, TE, 49ers. Might regret taking him when Witten and Gates were still available, but Davis is coming off a breakout season and there's no reason to think he'll slide backwards under Mike Singletary's gaze. He was the 2nd TE off the board (after Dallas Clark), but five more were gone by the time I picked again. Always nice to get on the front end of a run.

Rd. 6: Santana Moss, WR, Redskins. The WR pickins were already pretty slim at this point. Banking on a love connection between Moss and McNabb.

Rd. 7: Ben Tate, RB, Texans. Another rookie RB stepping into a great situation. Won't be the least bit surprised to see him as the opening day starter on a high-octane offense.

Rd. 8: Braylon Edwards, WR, Jets. I had to pinch my nose on this one. Shied away from Santonio due to suspension concerns, and he went on the next pick. Cotchery lasted 4 more rounds.

Rd. 9: Carson Palmer, QB, Bengals. Really wanted Kevin Kolb, and should have taken him instead of Braylon. Unfortunately, he was scooped up just before this pick, leaving me with Palmer as my backup. Will he bounce back this year? Not betting on it; just need him to perform well during Brees' bye.

Rd. 10: Clinton Portis, RB, Redskins. How the mighty have fallen. With Fast Willie and Larry Johnson also in the picture, I guess it makes sense for the oft-injured Portis to slide. Nevertheless, he sure seems worth a 10th rounder.

Rd. 11: Kenny Britt, WR, Titans. He was sticking out like a sore thumb on my cheatsheet, having been passed over repeatedly for other WRs further down the list. I haven't drafted, or wanted, a TEN WR since Derrick Mason's heyday. But I need bodies, and he was surprisingly effective at times as a rookie.

Rd. 12: Vikings D/ST. I had them ranked #2 at the position, but four others went earlier. Love this value, especially since you get Percy Harvin in the package.

Rd. 13: Devin Hester, WR, Bears. I was eyeing Donnie Avery, but he went two picks earlier. Almost took a flier on T.O. here, but thought I could wait a bit longer. Someone pulled the trigger six picks later.

Rd. 14: Devery Henderson, WR, Saints. I'll probably start him all the wrong weeks, as usual.

Rd. 15: Eddie Royal, WR, Broncos. Honestly, I was out of ideas at this point. It was him or a kicker.

Rd. 16: Ryan Longwell, K, Vikings. Got the guy I wanted anyway. Second K off the board, after Kaeding.

Rd. 17: Brian Westbrook, RB, Free Agent. Not a bad last-round flier, if you ask me. He'll latch on somewhere, like St. Louis, and will be just an injury away from being a nice fill-in.

There you have it. Not exactly Perfect Draft material yet. But I didn't have much time to warm up.

Your thoughts?