B/R Fantasy Football Mock Draft Analysis: Rounds 7-9 from Position No. 7

Rob TongContributor IIIJune 28, 2012

B/R Fantasy Football Mock Draft Analysis: Rounds 7-9 from Position No. 7

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    Rounds 7-9 of the Bleacher Report Fantasy Football Mock Draft are in the books and it's time to see what trends and strategies are unfolding as we get deeper into the draft.

    In case you missed it, you can still read my analysis of Rounds 1-3 and my analysis of Rounds 4-6.

    This mock draft featured 10 B/R Featured Columnists:

    1. Alexander Onushco

    2. Ryan Lester

    3. Tim Keeney

    4. Ralph Longo

    5. Gary Davenport

    6. James Reagan

    7. Rob Tong (that's me)

    8. Daniel Stack

    9. Matt Madsen

    10. Marco Patitucci

    So let's take a look at what developed in these middle rounds.

7th Round

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    1. Alex: RB James Starks

    2. Ryan: RB C.J. Spiller

    3. Tim: TE Antonio Gates

    4. Ralph: TE Jermichael Finley

    5. Gary: TE Jason Witten

    6. James: TE Vernon Davis

    7. Rob: WR Torrey Smith

    8. Dan: WR Antonio Brown

    9. Matt: WR Eric Decker

    10. Marco: RB Beanie Wells


    Analysis

    I already have my RB1 and RB2 (Ryan Mathews and Doug Martin), starting WRs (Brandon Marshall, Jordy Nelson and Vincent Jackson) and TE1 (Jimmy Graham). So I could either go for my QB1 or go for depth with this pick.

    The available QBs were Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers, Eli Manning, Jay Cutler, Matt Schaub, Ben Roethlisberger and Peyton Manning.

    Based on ADP, outside of Rivers and Peyton Manning, it was too early to take any of these quarterbacks.

    I considered taking Rivers, but I feel more comfortable with him as my QB2 than as my QB1 since I haven't seen whether he's gelled with his mostly new receiving corps.

    And I also felt Peyton Manning would be better as a QB2 than my QB1 until I see in preseason games that he looks good with his surgically repaired neck.

    So I decided to pass on quarterback again and go for depth.

    Among RBs, I considered Beanie Wells, DeAngelo Williams and Isaac Redman. No one else was worth a seventh-round pick.

    But I didn't feel comfortable with Wells now that Ryan Williams is back in the mix. I wasn't overly excited with DeAngelo Williams given a crowded backfield with Jonathan Stewart, Mike Tolbert and even Cam Newton. And Redman could lose his job to Mendenhall midway through the season.

    So I moved on to WRs.

    Torrey Smith, Antonio Brown, Jeremy Maclin, Steve Johnson and Reggie Wayne were all viable options.

    Wayne might be a round or two too early. Maclin and Johnson were a bit too inconsistent for me. So the pick came down to Torrey Smith and Antonio Brown.

    To me, both Smith and Brown could have huge seasons this year. Brown is entering that magical third season for a receiver, and Smith could be just as good as Brown as Smith enters his second season after an excellent rookie campaign. Smith scored his seven TDs in just five games. If he becomes more consistent every week, he could be a monster.

    The tiebreaker was that Brown was learning a new offensive system under a new offensive coordinator while Smith has continuity with the Ravens. Less thinking, more doing for Smith.


    Solid Values

    If Vernon Davis commands the ball on a 49er offense that suddenly has a lot of mouths to feed, he could be a nice pickup here in the seventh round.

    And if the Cardinals stick with Beanie Wells rather than go with a committee, Wells could be a nice value here too. That's a big if, though.


    Questionable Values

    James Starks is the orphan of the Packers offense. Green Bay may decide to run him more this year. But then again, they may not, considering how potent their offense was without him last year. With that kind of uncertainty surround Starks, the seventh-round seems a bit early.

8th Round

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    1. Marco: WR Jeremy Maclin

    2. Matt: RB Willis McGahee

    3. Dan: RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis

    4. Rob: QB Matt Ryan

    5. James: QB Eli Manning

    6. Gary: WR Steve Johnson

    7. Ralph: RB Isaac Redman

    8. Tim: RB DeAngelo Williams

    9. Ryan: WR Reggie Wayne

    10. Alex: TE Fred Davis


    Analysis

    Now that we're in the eighth round, it's time to take my QB1, as I suspect some owners will start drafting their QB2s.

    I narrowed down my choices to Matt Ryan, Eli Manning and Jay Cutler.

    Last year, Ryan (21.0 FPPG) was actually better than Eli Manning (20.3 FPPG).

    This year, a rising Julio Jones and an aging Michael Turner could push the Falcons into becoming more of a passing team. This could help Ryan become a poor man's Matthew Stafford—that is, this year's sleeper quarterback.

    On the other hand, Eli Manning could be handing off a bit more, what with Hakeem Nicks' foot injury early in the season, rookie WR Rueben Randle learning the ropes in place of departed veteran Mario Manningham and the addition of rookie RB David Wilson.

    As for Cutler, I think he too could be this year's Matthew Stafford. But given his lower ADP, I decided to take Ryan now and hope Cutler will still be around for my next pick.


    Solid Values

    Steve Johnson is the No. 1 receiver on his NFL team, so any time you can get a solid No. 1 NFL receiver in the eighth round of a fantasy draft, that's value. Nice pick by Gary there.

    Despite the aforementioned receiving issues, Eli Manning is still a solid fantasy QB1—especially as an eighth-round pick. But even better, Eli Manning is James' QB2.


    Questionable Values

    None.

9th Round

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    1. Alex: QB Jay Cutler

    2. Ryan: TE Brandon Pettigrew

    3. Tim: WR Robert Meachem

    4. Ralph: QB Peyton Manning

    5. Gary: QB Ben Roethlisberger

    6. James: WR Vincent Brown

    7. Rob: RB Mark Ingram

    8. Dan: TE Jermaine Gresham

    9. Matt: WR Darrius Heyward-Bey

    10. Marco: WR Pierre Garcon


    Analysis

    With Alex taking Cutler, I had to move on to Plan B, which is RB depth.

    I could have taken Rivers as my QB2, which I did strongly consider. But given there was still some decent quality among the remaining QB2 options (Matt Schaub, Andy Dalton, Josh Freeman, Alex Smith, even Andrew Luck), I felt depth at other fantasy positions was more important.

    I liked Vincent Brown's upside, but the depth among remaining RBs was thinner than among the remaining WRs. And since James took Brown just ahead of me, it made the point moot anyway.

    I targeted Ingram the entire time, so this was a no-brainer once it was my turn.

    As I've written previously about Ingram, I expect a breakout season from him in much the same way Ryan Mathews had a breakout season last year. Ingram is still highly talented, and the Saints did trade up to get him for a reason.

    Now with his rookie experience behind him and a full offseason under his belt, Ingram is my sleeper RB pick this year. And a ninth-round pick is cheap compared to what he could return.


    Solid Values

    Peyton Manning was going in the sixth and seventh round, according to ADP lists. So Ralph taking him as a QB2 in the ninth round is a great low-risk, high-reward pick.


    Questionable Values

    None

The Teams so Far

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    Alex

    QB1 Robert Griffin III
    QB2 Jay Cutler
    RB1 Arian Foster
    RB2 Trent Richardson
    RB3 James Starks
    WR1 A.J. Green
    WR2 Kenny Britt
    WR3 Demaryius Thomas
    TE Fred Davis

     

    Ryan

    QB Tony Romo
    RB1 LeSean McCoy
    RB2 Adrian Peterson
    RB3 C.J. Spiller
    WR1 Wes Welker
    WR2 Mike Wallace
    WR3 Brandon Lloyd
    WR4 Reggie Wayne
    TE Brandon Pettigrew

     

    Tim

    QB Cam Newton
    RB1 Ray Rice
    RB2 DeMarco Murray
    RB3 Jonathan Stewart
    RB4 DeAngelo Williams
    WR1 Dez Bryant
    WR2 Dwayne Bowe
    WR3 Robert Meachem
    TE Antonio Gates

     

    Ralph

    QB1 Michael Vick
    QB2 Peyton Manning
    RB1 Chris Johnson
    RB2 Darren McFadden
    RB3 Isaac Redman
    WR1 Greg Jennings
    WR2 Steve Smith
    WR3 DeSean Jackson
    TE Jermichael Finley

     

    Gary

    QB: Ben Roethlisberger
    RB1: Jamaal Charles
    RB2: Frank Gore
    RB3: Shonn Greene
    WR1: Calvin Johnson
    WR2: Andre Johnson
    WR3: Marques Colston
    WR4: Steve Johnson
    TE: Jason Witten

     

    James

    QB1: Matthew Stafford
    QB2: Eli Manning
    RB1: Maurice Jones-Drew
    RB2: Steven Jackson
    RB3: Michael Turner
    RB4: Reggie Bush
    WR1: Larry Fitzgerald
    WR2: Vincent Brown
    TE: Vernon Davis

     

    Rob
     

    QB: Matt Ryan
    RB1: Ryan Mathews
    RB2: Doug Martin
    RB3: Mark Ingram
    WR1: Brandon Marshall
    WR2: Jordy Nelson
    WR3: Vincent Jackson
    WR4: Torrey Smith
    TE: Jimmy Graham

     

    Dan

    QB: Aaron Rodgers
    RB1: Matt Forte
    RB2: Roy Helu
    RB3: Mikel Leshoure
    RB4: BenJarvus Green-Ellis
    WR1: Roddy White
    WR2: Victor Cruz
    WR3: Antonio Brown
    TE: Jermaine Gresham

     

    Matt

    QB: Drew Brees
    RB1: Darren Sproles
    RB2: Fred Jackson
    RB3: Willis McGahee
    WR1: Percy Harvin
    WR2: Miles Austin
    WR3: Eric Decker
    WR4: Darrius Heyward-Bey
    TE: Rob Gronkowski

     

    Marco

    QB: Tom Brady
    RB1: Marshawn Lynch
    RB2: Ahmad Bradshaw
    RB3: Beanie Wells
    WR1: Hakeem Nicks
    WR2: Julio Jones
    WR3: Jeremy Maclin
    WR4: Pierre Garcon
    TE: Aaron Hernandez


    Analysis

    My team isn't ideal, but it's a strong team nonetheless. On my entire roster so far, all but one of my picks are players who are clear-cut No. 1s at their position on their NFL teams—guys who will command the ball.

    That's a pretty good ratio.

    And even the one pick who is not a clear No. 1 on his team right now—Torrey Smith—clearly has the potential to finish the season as the Ravens' undisputed No. 1 WR who will command the ball.

    That's my goal when I draft: to get guys who command the ball because that is the path to consistency in racking up fantasy points week in, week out in your fantasy league. Players who do not command the ball or who are in timeshares are inconsistent and hard to rely on every week.

    Another team that is close to that drafting strategy is Alex's team. Everyone except for TE Fred Davis and RB James Starks are guys who will command the ball on their NFL teams. (While Starks is the clear No. 1 RB on the Packers, he is an afterthought in that offense, so Starks doesn't command the ball.)

    So Alex's team has two non-ball-commanding players.

    Matt's team is also close to that kind of roster. Everyone except Darren Sproles, Eric Decker and Darrius Heyward-Bey are clear No. 1s on their NFL teams who command the ball. (Sproles is considered more of a receiver than RB, but as receivers go, it is Marques Colston who commands the ball in the Saints passing game.)

    So Matt's team has three non-ball-commanding players.

    Bottom line: I encourage you to think of your draft in terms of getting a roster full of guys who command the ball.

     

    Analysis of Rounds 10-12 will be covered in an upcoming article.

    Follow me on Twitter: @robtong21