Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Second Mock Draft of the Season with the Sporting News Experts

Just completed the second of three Expert Mock Drafts with my friends at Sporting News. The first, conducted in late May, appears in the 2010 edition of SN's Fantasy Football Draft Guide, available on newsstands everywhere.

This go-round, I had the 8th overall pick in the 12-team league, which will not be played out. Our next one, scheduled for August 11, is for all the marbles.

Here's the team I drafted, with some commentary:

Round 1. Andre Johnson -- Even though Brees was still available (the man I took with the 5th pick in May), I decided to take the #1 WR on everybody's board here instead and wait on my QB. (Already gone: CJ, AP, Rice, MJD, Gore, Turner, DeAngelo)
Rd 2. Ryan Matthews -- Still love this pick in the 2nd round. The next five RBs off the board were Jamaal Charles, Pierre Thomas, LeSean McCoy, Beanie and Addai. Call me crazy, but I want the workhorse of the Chargers offense over any of those guys, as good as they are.
Rd 3. Philip Rivers -- This is why I passed on Brees. Also had my choice of Schaub and Brady, who went in the next three picks. Didn't think about it at the time, but I'm putting a lot of faith in the SD offense this year. Even without V-Jax (for some or all the season), I love their chances, and their schedule.
Rd 4. Cedric Benson -- He was an early second-round pick a couple months ago, but he slid big-time due to his off-field issues. I'm betting he puts those behind him before the season begins. Which is easy to do in a mock draft...
Rd 5. Mike Sims-Walker -- It's amazing how quickly the talent pool drops off at WR, but he could turn out to be an excellent WR2. (Or not.)
Rd 6. Tony Gonzalez -- The first TE taken was Dallas Clark at the end of Round 4. Gonzo in the 6th looks good to me, but I was hoping for Jermichael Finley, who went one pick earlier.
Rd 7. Wes Welker -- The news lately has been very encouraging about Welker returning for the season opener (or not long after). This is clearly a "swing for the fences" pick. In the 7th round, it's a gamble worth taking.
Rd 8. Ahmad Bradshaw -- Not a bad RB3. Not a great RB3 either. Plenty of upside, though, if he can stay healthy.
Rd 9. TJ Houshmandzadeh -- Past his prime and in a pretty lousy offense. But I like his chances as my WR4.
Rd 10. Jets DST -- With nobody on the board that whet my whistle, I went with the "best available player" and started the run on DSTs. No doubt someone else would have pulled the trigger before it came back to me, as Round 10 is already pretty late. This pick also showed that starting the run on a position can work to your benefit, as five of the next 12 picks were DSTs. The only player I had been seriously eyeing that was gone before my next pick was Derrick Mason. I can live with that.
Rd 11. Tim Hightower -- He's still listed as the Cards' starting RB. While I certainly don't think it will stay that way, Hightower clearly has some value. And if Beanie gets bit by the injury bug (as he always does), he could come in very handy. (Also considered Thomas Jones and Larry Johnson here.)
Rd 12. Jerricho Cotchery -- WR options getting very thin.
Rd 13. Donnie Avery -- Thinner.
Rd 14. Bernard Scott -- Cedric Benson insurance.
Rd 15. Mark Sanchez -- I only need him one weekend; but with all the firepower around him, I may even be tempted to use him when Rivers has tough matchups.
Rd 16. Mason Crosby -- The top fantasy K on many expert boards, and a Week 10 bye.
Rd 17. Jeremy Shockey -- Pretty salty backup TE.

Overall, I like what I've got. I took some risks that could easily go either way, but in general, I think this team could be very competitive.

What do you think?