Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Top 20 of the 2014 Season
The worst part of a Major League sport’s offseason tends to be the waiting. The dread of wishing your favorite sports team was playing can be torturous. One way to get through the long offseason however, is to examine your favorite team’s moves concerning free agency, trades and most times the sport’s draft.
When it comes to the NFL, nothing is more exciting during the offseason than the NFL draft. Seeing which players will fill up the depth chart allows fans to see their teams fill the needs that were lacking the year before. Now that it has come and gone we look to the season to begin. For Fantasy Football fanatics, the mock drafts for upcoming leagues are only beginning. If you plan on taking part in a league for tournament play or for fun with friends, this mock draft will give an idea of what to expect. Although it's still early, it's fun to see what we can possibly expect before minicamp starts.
With each league rules varying from one to the next, this mock draft will focus on the standard ten team basic rules (non-PPR) from www.nfl.com.
1. Adrian Peterson: RB Minnesota Vikings
It’s hard not seeing Peterson going number one overall despite his lower than normal stats from last year. Most could say Peterson didn’t have his best season, but still he placed 8th among running backs in fantasy points. Because of his competitive edge and pure talent expect Peterson to be taken #1
2. Jamaal Charles: RB Kansas City Chiefs
A true threat not only from the backfield but also in receiving. Finishing with 70 receptions 19 total touchdowns and 308 fantasy points, Charles had a career year. It’s obvious as long as he can stay healthy, this pick will pay off having him playing in his prime years. If not for Peterson having a strong dependable track record, it’d be easy to see Charles going number one.
3. Marshawn Lynch: RB Seattle Seahawks
A true featured back that along with Russell Wilson helped lead the offense of the Seahawks to their first Super Bowl. Although getting older, it’s hard not to see Lynch taken in the top 5. The offense revolved around Lynch getting things going, and as the saying goes: “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” Look for Marshawn to have another solid year and be among tops in the league of RB points.
4. Matt Forte: RB Chicago Bears
Another running back with a career year was Matt Forte. Averaging a fantastic 4.6 yards per carry, owners of the running back were rewarded by his performance. With the passing threat of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, Forte was given some slack from defenses in the box and allowing him to move more in open space. Look for him to put in a great year, even it’s not quite as good as last year’s.
5. LeSean McCoy: RB Philadelphia Eagles
Racking up 1,607 yards, McCoy was the NFL’s leading rusher and thrived under Chip Kelly’s fast offense. An anchor to fantasy owners who were able to draft him, he looks to continue the trend this season. One downside to McCoy is the Eagles signing of RB Darren Sproles, therefore the possibly of MyCoy’s carries to decline. Still, LeSean will be taken in the top five without question and supply ample points.
6. Le’Veon Bell: RB Pittsburgh Steelers
A shining spot last season for the struggling Pittsburgh team was Le’Veon Bell who as a rookie put up some great fantasy stats in only 13 games. The Steelers have been known to make improvements quickly, and the offensive line was a problem. Look for Bell to make a splash behind an improved line and being leaned upon by the Steelers offense.
7. Eddie Lacy: RB Green Bay Packers
It’s hard to miss Eddie Lacy in the first round due to his monster rookie year. He averaged around 20 carries per game, so he was utilized by Green Bay. Lacy proved to take the offense on his back when Aaron Rodgers went down. One concern is that he suffered a concussion at the beginning of the season, but given how well he performed after the injury, it would be foolish for anyone to pass on Lacy out of the first round.
8. DeMarco Murray: RB Dallas Cowboys
A solid performance for 2013, Murray started 14 games and proved to be a valuable back. Issues with injury plagued him in the past but with the stats of last season he proved the critics he could be a reliable running back. Only Dez Bryant performed better on the team for fantasy points. Look for Murray to boost major fantasy points as a dependable RB1 pending he continues to stay healthy.
9. Calvin Johnson: WR Detroit Lions
It might be a general rule of thumb to draft a star running back as your first pick, but by this point Megatron outweighs the running backs left on the board. Easily the #1 Wide Receiver to draft, most would love to have Johnson and a stud running back, but if you’re at this point in the draft you can’t pass up someone like Johnson. It’s better to get a star WR now before he’s taken early in the second round.
10. Arian Foster: RB Houston Texans
Foster may have dropped off the radar due to a back injury last year, but since he was cleared recently he should be at the very least considered by some in the first round. With so few solid running backs, Foster could prove to be a steal. Not to mention the struggles of the quarterback position and back-up running back Ben Tate moving on to Cleveland, Arian Foster could easily put up points with high amounts of carries per game due to low competition behind him.
11. Jimmy Graham: THE New Orleans Saints
As high regarded as Drew Brees is in New Orleans, it’s hard to predict a compliment target that he throws to. Brees likes to spread the ball around except when it comes to Jimmy Graham, who is that lock on target for Brees. The numbers don’t lie, even for a position some don’t consider fondly this high in the draft. With over 200 points posted last year, Graham is a must have in the second round. As unreliable as the position of tight end is, Graham gets a high pick.
12. Dez Bryant: WR Dallas Cowboys
Other than Megatron, there’s no better pick when it comes to Wide Receiver. It’s possible for him to rival Calvin Johnson for #1 after the season is done. Tony Romo continues to look his way and doesn’t shy away from forcing passes to him. Thankfully Bryant is great with his hands to haul in them in for him. A surefire WR1, Bryant should easily get taken in the second round.
13. AJ Green: WR Cincinnati Bengals
Much like Romo, Dalton continues to feed Green the ball each game. Each year AJ’s stats have increased, leading him to possibly be ranked #1 in the coming years. Still young and entering his prime years, Green is a must draft in the second round. Once Johnson and Bryant are gone, Green is a great pickup for owners in need of a WR1.
14. Brandon Marshall: WR Chicago Bears
Brandon Marshall is easily one of the top 5 wide receivers to draft. Having buddy Jay Cutler throw him the ball, Marshall can take over games and dominate the fantasy points. Despite fellow WR Alshon Jeffery emerging as a spectacular target, Marshall still commands the majority of passes. If Chicago decided to go with Josh McCown as QB, this would be a harder decision. However, with Cutler under center Marshall should have a great season.
15. Demaryius Thomas: WR Denver Broncos
Any #1 WR for Peyton Manning should be high in the draft boards, and Thomas is no exception. Showing even in his young career of putting up 1,400+ yards each of the last 2 seasons, Thomas is a good pick in the second round. Look for Manning to continue feeding Thomas the ball this season for a high amount of receptions and touchdowns.
16. Doug Martin: RB Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After a breakout rookie season that included rushing for over 1,400 yards (averaging 4.6 per carry), and 11 touchdowns Martin had a disappointing 2013 season plagued by injury. Despite having the down year, Martin is a force when commanding the ball out of the backfield. Looking to the late 2nd to 3rd rounds would be a great pickup. If he can play a full season, he has potential in being an awesome RB1.
17. Peyton Manning: QB Denver Broncos
It’s difficult to reason a quarterback being taken as early as the 2nd round, but Manning has proven even in older years how much of a fantasy stud he can be. Although he probably won’t repeat the historic recording breaking season from a year ago, Manning is hard to pass up. Proving how valuable a quarterback can be in fantasy tournaments, Peyton will more than likely be long gone once the 3rd round hits, so a late 2nd round pick is a must if owners want him.
18. Julio Jones: WR Atlanta Falcons
If not for the season ending injury, Jones would easily place higher in the draft. He was on pace to have a top ten ranking year in fantasy points, thus showing he is a force to not ignore. It’s tough to pass Jones up if you’re hoping to draft a stud WR in the late 2nd round.
19. Antonio Brown: WR Pittsburgh Steelers
A favorite target for Big Ben, Brown had career bests in receptions, yards and TDs and was second in receptions for all wide outs. The trend looks to be well for Brown to have another good year as he’ll lead the receiving corps for the Steelers.
20. Montee Ball: RB Denver Broncos
He may be unproven at this point, but the upside is great since Knowshon Moreno left for Miami in the offseason. Manning has been quoted to feeling comfortable with Ball handling the carries and this can only mean for chances for him to breakout. Look for Ball to be a solid RB2 at the very least that could even move up to a top RB in fantasy due to the stress Denver puts on the running game to take pressure off Peyton Manning.
Top Fantasy Players of 2013 NFL Season
Peyton Manning - QB Denver Broncos
Drew Brees - QB New Orleans Saints
Jamaal Charles - RB Kansas City Chiefs
Cam Newton - QB Carolina Panthers
Andrew Luck - QB Indianapolis Colts
Andy Dalton - QB Cincinnati Bengals
Phillip Rivers - QB San Diego Chargers
Matthew Stafford - QB Detroit Lions
LeSean McCoy - RB Philadelphia Eagles
Russell Wilson - QB Seattle Seahawks