Fantasy Football 2012: Mock Draft Simulation When Holding the No. 1 Slot

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Fantasy Football 2012: Mock Draft Simulation When Holding the No. 1 Slot
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Atlanta's Matt Ryan (4,261 total yards, 31 TDs last year) is a top-10 quarterback in fantasy circles and likely draft steal for Rounds 7-9.

For the year-round thrill ride that is fantasy football, here's a dry run of draft expectations when holding the No. 1 slot in 12-team leagues (standard scoring), working exclusively off MockDraftCentral.com's current Average Draft Position (ADP) rankings.

Round 1, Pick 1 overall: Motive—Best overall player

1st option: RB LeSean McCoy, Eagles
2nd option: RB Arian Foster, Texans
3rd option: QB Aaron Rodgers, Packers

Round 2, Pick 24 overall: Motive—Best player available, preferably tailback

1st option: RB Darren McFadden, Raiders
2nd option: RB Jamaal Charles, Chiefs
3rd option: WR Hakeem Nicks, Giants

Round 3, Pick 25 overall: Motive—Best running back or receiver

1st option: RB Jamaal Charles, Chiefs
2nd option: WR Hakeem Nicks, Giants
3rd option: WR Roddy White, Falcons

Round 4, Pick 48 overall: Motive—Best running back or receiver

1st option: RB Roy Helu, Redskins
2nd option: WR Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs
3rd option: RB Trent Richardson, Browns

Round 5, Pick 49: Motive—Best wide receiver available

1st option: WR Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs
2nd option: WR Jeremy Maclin, Eagles
3rd option: WR Steve Johnson, Bills

Round 6, Pick 72 overall: Motive—Best player available, preferably wide receiver

1st option: WR Kenny Britt, Titans
2nd option: WR Reggie Wayne, Colts
3rd option: WR Justin Blackmon, Jaguars

Round 7, Pick 73 overall: Motive—Best high-end talent available

1st option: WR Justin Blackmon, Jaguars
2nd option: WR Reggie Wayne, Colts
3rd option: QB Matt Schaub, Texans

Round 8, Pick 96 overall: Motive—Best quarterback or high-end talent available

1st option: QB Matt Ryan, Falcons
2nd option: RB Jahvid Best, Lions
3rd option: RB Toby Gerhart, Vikings

Round 9, Pick 97 overall: Motive—Best player available

1st option: RB Jahvid Best, Lions
2nd option: TE Fred Davis, Redskins
3rd option: WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, Raiders

Round 10, Pick 120 overall: Motive—Best player available

1st option: WR Nate Washington, Titans
2nd option: WR Robert Meachem, Chargers
3rd option: RB Evan Royster, Redskins

Round 11, Pick 121: Motive—Best tight end available

1st option: TE Brandon Pettigrew, Lions
2nd option: WR Michael Floyd, Cardinals
3rd option: RB Evan Royster, Redskins

Round 12, Pick 144: Motive—Best defense available

1st option: D/ST Green Bay Packers
2nd option: D/ST Pittsburgh Steelers
3rd option: D/ST Chicago Bears

Round 13, Pick 145: Motive—Best quarterback available

1st option: QB Josh Freeman, Buccaneers
2nd option: QB Andy Dalton, Bengals
3rd option: QB Joe Flacco, Ravens

Round 14, Pick 168: Motive—Best kicker available

1st option: PK Matt Prater, Broncos
2nd option: PK Nate Kaeding, Chargers
3rd option: PK Rian Lindell, Bills

Round 15, Pick 169: Motive—Best playmaking tight end available

1st option: TE Dustin Keller, Jets
2nd option: TE Jared Cook, Titans
3rd option: TE Coby Fleener, Colts

Round 16, Pick 192: Motive—Best wide receiver available

1st option: WR Donald Jones, Bills
2nd option: WR Jonathan Baldwin, Chiefs
3rd option: WR Brandon Gibson, Rams

 

Breakdown

  • LeSean McCoy is not likely to replicate his 20 total touchdowns (17 rushing) from last year; but he is a great candidate to eclipse 1,624 total yards—which included 11 games of 100-plus total yards. In fact, I'll be shocked if "Shady" comes in under the 1,775-yard threshold, a testament to his lethal versatility in the Eagles offense.


  • I have no worries with taking tailbacks (McCoy, McFadden, Charles and Helu) in Rounds 1-4. Quarterbacks and receivers obviously have greater roles in fantasy than, say, five years ago; but you can NEVER have enough elite running backs—as protection against future injuries or high-end trade fodder during a season. In other words, Helu (1,019 total yards, three TDs in 2011) and Best will be coveted properties by mid-October.


  • Assuming full health, Darren McFadden (768 total yards, five TDs in seven games last year) should have a monster season with the Raiders. Michael Bush is gone (no more vulture TDs) and Taiwan Jones stands as the main backup. Throw in the fact that opposing defenses will have to respect a Raiders quarterback for once (Carson Palmer) and McFadden should be a fantasy force.


  • I currently have Fred Jackson ranked ahead of Jamaal Charles on my preseason Top 25 Running Backs list; however, landing Charles at the 25th slot would supersede that ranking. I just don't want him in the first two rounds or as my top-rated tailback. Anything after that is fine.


  • Landing Brandon Pettigrew (83 catches, 777 yards, five TDs) at 121 is a nice coup. When healthy, he's a lock for 75 catches and 110 targets. In a Points Per Reception setting, Pettigrew would never squeeze past the 70th pick.


  • I couldn't have asked for a better backup QB from Round 13 than Josh Freeman. The kid has immense talent, a new toy at running back (rookie Doug Martin) and the No. 11 trio of wide receivers (thanks to Vincent Jackson's arrival).


  • Justin Blackmon's draft value of 73 and cushy standing as my WR3 warranted the Round 7 selection. It also helps that he has tremendous upside in the Jaguars' passing offense, which should be markedly improved under coach Mike Mularkey's watch. I've never been one to give up on touted quarterbacks after a deflating rookie season; Blaine Gabbert still has time to evolve into a productive fantasy asset.

 

Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.

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