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?


  1. OK, so you are covered at QB. RB's - I like Mathews and think he will be top 10. Tate - great if he can beat out Slaton. Westy - who knows. Vikes DST and K - solid as any. WR's - Wayne is as guaranteed solid as they come. Need some help on the others as you must have felt by loading up on this position towards the end. If Moss/McNabb chemistry takes off, you have a second good WR, but one who has been a fantasy roller coaster in points and consistency. Oh, to doubt ones' self for that Brees pick. Will Burner Turner regain his monster status in '10 whereas, as you say, Schaub or Romo could have been paired with Mathews and Turner? If you knew you could have gotten Wayne in 3 and Romo in 4, I'm sure you would have gone with those first 4 picks in retrospect, but draft hindsight is a cold thing. I do think Portis stays solid this year despite the 2006 all star fantasy players Shananagans has stock piled behind him. Will Hester take off with a motivated Cutler? Will Royal take off in his coveted WR 3rd year? Can V Young develop his passing skills enough to make K Britt worthwhile? Can D Henderson find anything consistent? Can R Brown stay healthy - oh, what one healthy season for R Brown would look like. Can Vernon Davis keep his head right with ball and pick up where he left off in his break out year - surely Coach Mike will keep him motivated, right?

    Doubt I could have done better Ladd in a 12 man. We will have to revisit this draft in August. Good times coming, Bushwood

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  3. Yes, in hindsight, I probably should have taken Turner over Brees and picked up Romo or Schaub later. That wouldn't have helped with the WRs though, which I agree is the Achilles heel of my draft. I could have held off on my TE in the 5th round and taken Garcon, Nicks, Bowe, Crabtree or Sims-Walker instead. Gonzo was there in the 6th.

    Oh was my first mock of the season after very little preparation. Too bad it's the one that will be there for zillions to see in the summer magazine.

    Thanks for the commentary.

  4. It is an interesing thing to see how the top 10 ranked players going into the last 5 seasons actually fared by season's end. The average is 3 with a decimal point that actually ended up in the top 10 of scoring. Miles Austin, Vernon Davis amongst others went undrafted in my leagues last year. Fantasy is 50% what you do on draft day, 20% free agency moves and 30% blind ass luck. Look forward to your posts. Thanks Ladd, Bushwood

  5. Sir, I refer you back to your end of 2009 end of season posting - the perfect draft. No one saw that coming. Fantasy is 50% what you do on draft day, 20% what you do in free agency and 30% blind arse luck. The top 10 rated players over the last 5 years who actually ended the year in the top 10 at season's end is 3 with a decimal point. Keep it coming Ladd. Later, Bushwood

  6. 天下沒有走不通的路,沒有克服不了的困難,沒有打不敗的敵人。........................................

  7. I participated in a 10 team league that started 3 WRs last year, and I found out that it was very difficult to have a great starting lineup at that position. There just doesn't seem to be enough talent in the league to support that many fantasy teams, and unlike a QB or RB, it's a lot more unpredictable how much your WR will see the ball in a given week. Perhaps one of the most important skills in a large fantasy league is to pick the WR sleepers, and I think Moss/Britt picks make sense.

    I was wondering if you could post the complete draft including everyone's picks. If that's not realistic, I understand.

  8. By the way Ladd, are you looking at bye week conflicts when you draft or is it souly based on expected performance?

  9. Daniel,

    The complete draft results will be available -- along with commentary from myself and others -- in Sporting News' annual Fantasy Yearbook, which will hit the shelves on June 22.

    As for bye-week conflicts, I always draft my backup QB with that in mind, but don't pay too much attention to that when drafting RBs and WRs, until I've got my starting lineup set. Just think it's best to go for the best players first and foremost, and not let potential bye conflicts come into play too early. There are too many other factors -- including injuries -- to worry about.

    BTW, I also try to identify a DEF and K that have late byes, so, all things being equal, I can get them locked in and not worry about backups for several weeks.

    Finally, I like 10-team leagues best. 8-team leagues always seem to field too many overly stocked teams, and 12-team leagues rarely end up with more than 3-4 decent squads.

  10. Thanks for your input. I'll keep an eye out for the draft results in Sporting News, and keep my eye on your blog as draft time approaches. You had a lot of helpful advice last year!

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