2014 Fantasy Football: Early Mock Draft

Contributor Jon Sousa gives his insight into his recent mock draft. 

Getting back in the swing of things isn’t easy. Whether it’s trying to get back in shape after a long winter of doing nothing or heading back to work after an amazing weekend, getting over the hump is something that we all struggle with. Fantasy football season is right around the corner, and I have started getting back into the swing of things by completing my first few mock drafts. I recently completed one at fantasyfootballcalculator.com, and I’ll admit, I’m a long way from where I want to be. Anyway, let’s jump in and take a look at my draft, and see what I did right, and where I could have improved. (I had the third pick, but I’ll indicate my pick with a “Jon” over top of the player that I selected in that round.)

 

Round 1: Jamaal Charles

Thoughts: With my first pick, I went with a sure bet. Jamaal Charles was everybody’s fantasy MVP from last season, but the thing that intrigues me the most about him is his ability to produce in the passing game. Charles led all running back last season with 104 targets, a true compliment to Andy Reid’s west coast offense and his commitment to get Charles involved in the aerial assault. The only question I have with Charles is how well his blocking will be up front, as the Chiefs suffered greatly in free agency this summer on the offensive line.

 

Round 2: Drew Brees

Thoughts: Had it not been for Peyton Manning, Brees surely would have been the most valuable fantasy quarterback last season. With another 5,000 yard passing season under his belt, the former Purdue Boliermaker looks poised to have another great year in the Big Easy. His 68.6 completion percentage last season was a 5.3 percent increase from his 2012 numbers, even though he threw more touchdowns (43) in 2012 than last season (39). I felt like Brees warranted a second round pick, simply because he stays healthy and produces great numbers, year in and year out.

 

Round 3: Zac Stacy  

Thoughts: This, in my opinion, was my first stretch of the draft. Sure, Stacy put up awesome numbers for a rookie last season, but will the sophomore slump affect him? Also, will the Rams drafting Tre Mason out of Auburn mean more of a split of the work for Stacy? I could have just as easily taken Reggie Bush (explosive veteran) or Andre Ellington (explosive young guy) here, but I think that Stacy’s skill set fits in perfectly with the Rams offense, and I believe he will silence a lot of critics this season (plus, Ellington and Bush have a huge history with injuries). It’s also worth noting that Stacy had five touchdowns inside the five-yard line last season. There no question of who will be getting the goal line carries in St. Louis, that’s for sure.

 

Rounds 4-6: DeSean Jackson, Vernon Davis, Marques Colston

Thoughts: I knew that I had to go after some receivers in rounds 4-6, and I must say, I flopped. First of all, DeSean Jackson is a huge question mark in his first year as a Washington Redskin. Sure, he has big play ability and dynamic speed, but will RGIII remain healthy enough to get him the ball consistently?  T.Y. Hilton would have been a much safer pick in this instance, as he will get a ton of looks in Indy, even with the return of Reggie Wayne and the addition of Hakeem Nicks.  I was happy to get Vernon Davis in Round 5, as he is still a top five tight end in my book. I attempted to make up for my WR blunder in Round 4 by going with Marques Colston, who still could be a stretch given his inconsistency over the past two seasons. The thought process here was the Brees/Colston combo would help make up the gap, but even then, Colston still isn’t the best WR2 around. Side note, I love Tennessee’s Bishop Sankey, and I think he is poised for a 1,000 yard, 10 TD season. 4th round for him is accurate, but if you play with people who don’t like to do their research, you can get an absolute steal in the later rounds.

 

Rounds 7-9: Golden Tate, Khiry Robinson, Riley Cooper

Thoughts: Golden Tate should be a great addition to the Lions pass happy offense, and he could have a breakout year with all of the attention on Calvin Johnson. However, it’s still Johnson’s offense, as most of the passes go his way anyways. There is no doubt that Tate can get open deep, but how often will that be? I decided to go back to the ground in Round 8, going with Khiry Robinson (also, my third Saints player for those of you keeping track at home). I think Robinson has potential to do amazing things this season, but sharing carries with Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram isn’t going to help his case. Riley Cooper had a great year with Philadelphia last season, and I like him to ease into the WR1 with the Eagles, even with the return of Jeremy Maclin. With this team, Cooper could easily be the WR2 by Week 3 or 4. Interesting note, Cooper average 17.8 yards per catch last season, so the big ability is there.

 

Rounds 10-15: Carolina defense, LeGarrette Blount, Aaron Dobson, CJ Anderson, Phil Dawson, Justin Hunter

Thoughts: Rounds 10-15 are crunch time. I am a firm believer that these rounds can either make or break your entire season. To be honest, I really didn’t do myself any favors here, but at the same time, and don’t think I’m in too bad of shape either. Carolina’s D/ST is going to be scary good this season, even if the secondary is a little thin. While I had Brees, Colston, and Robinson already on my roster and facing the Panthers twice, I couldn’t pass up on the second best D/ST in the league. Blount showed signs of greatness during the playoffs with the Patriots last season, but will he get enough carries in Pittsburgh to be fantasy relevant this year? Aaron Dobson is another deep threat WR on my roster, and I like his ability to get vertical and provide Tom Brady with a nice option downfield. Watch out for CJ Anderson if Montee Ball gets a case of the fumbles like he did last season, he could be a great late round steal if you are willing to gamble on him. Phil Dawson had eight straight games of double-digit fantasy point games starting in Week 8 last season, which is enough for me to take him here. My last pick is Justin Hunter, a 6’4 stud of a WR that has huge potential to be Tennessee’s top red zone target. Look for Hunter to put up nice numbers this year, no matter who is under center for the Titans.

If I could describe this draft with one word, it would be potential. This roster has a whole lot of question marks and potential, but just as it could be a title-winning roster, it easily could miss the playoffs as well. There is no doubt that Charles and Brees will be putting up All-Pro numbers, Vernon Davis will continue to do his thing in San Francisco, and the Panthers D/ST looks to be on the verge of another dominant year. But how will DeSean Jackson fit into Washington’s offense? Will Zac Stacy truly be the man in St. Louis? Will Marques Colston return to his 2011 form, or will we see the same average receiver that we’ve saw for the past two years? Only time will tell. It’s pretty easy to be critical of your first draft, so I’m doing just that. Sometimes, you just have to realize that not every aspect of your roster is going to be perfect, and just smile at the end of the day.

How are your first mock drafts coming? Who do you think will be a huge sleeper or gigantic bust this season? Let us know in the comments below!

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1 reply

  1. Nice Draft! Golden Tate should have a break-out year, and I think the Saints like what they have in Khiry Robinson. Justin Hunter in the last round is a steal, and if Dobson developed his game any he should be primed to break-out as well. If Monte Ball gets a case of the fumbles, look for CJ Anderson to get some work too. Check my player rankings and rant at http://fantasyfootballcloud.wordpress.com

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