Six receivers, four running backs and two tight ends went off the board in the fifth round of our 12-team mock draft.
While Michael Turner’s ADP (3.11) suggests he should have been off the board in the late third round, he slipped into the middle of the fifth round. It seems fantasy owners are bagging on Turner once again and expect a trend towards a pass happy attack. While I agree the offense is in flux, Turner will still be the top option on the ground.
Now 30 years of age, it’s trendy to believe the lack of burst he showed towards the end of last season is the beginning of his downfall. Could be true, but let’s hold off until we see him for a few preseason games.
Turner may break down as the season moves along, and Jacquizz Rodgers will likely see an expanded role. Still, take a look at the matchups he has through his first eleven games of the year.
|Sep 9||at Chiefs||1:00 PM|
|Sep 17||Broncos||8:30 PM|
|Sep 23||at Chargers||4:05 PM|
|Sep 30||Panthers||1:00 PM|
|Oct 7||at Redskins||1:00 PM|
|Oct 14||Raiders||1:00 PM|
|Oct 28th||at Eagles||1:00 PM|
|Nov 4||Cowboys||8:20 PM|
|Nov 11||at Saints||1:00 PM|
|Nov 18||Cardinals||1:00 PM|
|Nov 25||at Buccaneers||1:00 PM|
Clearly we have matchups on this schedule Turner can exploit, specifically against the Broncos, Panthers, Eagles, Saints and Buccaneers.
As long as Turner runs well in the preseason (expect that to happen), we shouldn’t trend away from him lower than the fourth round. This is a running back that can help us in the first two-thirds of the year.
It’s best to focus your running game with players that can make an impact early on. You can always find options off the waiver wire as the season moves along for a replacement, but production early can be the difference of starting out hot or shooting yourself in the foot.
As for his age, remember Turner wasn’t a starter until 2008, so he doesn’t have as much tread on his tires like your typical star runners have at this point in is career.
49. Antonio Gates (ADP 5.03)
Gates is having a terrific offseason, and it appears his foot problems are behind him. Knock on wood, but if healthy, Gates is clearly the third tight end off the board, and he’s going that way in mock drafts.
50. Dwayne Bowe (ADP 6.01)
An early selection in the fifth round, Bowe’s ADP is actually a round lower, and that’s good value. Bowe is looking for a big payday, so he has plenty of incentive to produce big numbers. Expect Jonathan Baldwin to take away some of his opportunities downfield, but Bowe is still a great pick at this point if he comes in to camp in the coming weeks.
51. Percy Harvin (ADP 5.02)
Harvin is starting to turn into a drama queen, but we shouldn’t question his ability to make an impact in terms of his skill set. Expect Harvin to lead the team in targets and probably pick up around 50 carries in the backfield.
52. Marques Colston (ADP 4.10)
The Saints will continue to spread the football around, and while Colston should go over 1,000 yards receiving, I’m staying away from him. His upside is limited at this point in his career, and it’s no surprise he fell in this mock draft past his average ADP.
53. Michael Turner (ADP 3.11)
While we should expect Turner’s touches to go down, I’m not ready to give up on him. Remember, Turner was a trendy player to give up on last summer, but he posted a solid first half of the season.
Jacquizz Rodgers will be worked into the offense, but Turner will still see the lions share of the touches and will dominate the goal-line work.
54. Aaron Hernandez (ADP 5.11)
Hernanedez is a fair pick at this point, but I like him better in PPR leagues. Gronkowski, Lloyd and Ridley all figure to be options in front of him for targets and touches in the red zone, so his touchdown total could hang around six or seven.
55. Vincent Jackson (ADP 5.11)
It’s good to hear reports that Jackson and Josh Freeman are establishing chemistry in camp. That needs to happen for this offense to thrive, but I’m staying away from Jackson in my fantasy leagues.
If he had trouble with consistency issues in San Diego, how is it going to get better in Tampa Bay?
56. Frank Gore (ADP 4.05)
With additions like Brandon Jacobs and LaMichael James, it’s hard to believe the 49ers won’t use a heavy committee in the backfield. Assuming Jacobs makes the team, we shouldn’t like Gore’s odds of receiving goal-line touches.
Even before they had James, we watched Gore’s reception total to plummet under 20 in his first season with Caoch Jim Harbaugh, so we can’t count on him for much work in the passing game.
Sadly, just as the 49ers are starting to become a good team again, Gore looks to be on his last legs.
57. Jeremy Maclin (ADP 5.05)
At this point last season, we didn’t know if Maclin was going to play again, or if he might have a life-threatening illness. Thankfully, Maclin’s health improved, and he was able to play, but he clearly wasn’t conditioned to play a full NFL schedule.
Maclin has had a healthy offseason and looks ready to bounce back. Target him as a top-20 option, and he won’t disappoint.
58. Eric Decker (ADP 5.10)
The Broncos will move Decker around in the offense to create mismatch opportunities. Having Peyton Manning as your quarterback only makes life easier, and Decker should be a shoe in for a WR2 performance.
59. Stevan Ridley (ADP 6.05)
Ridley continues to impress in camp and has pulled away from the pack as the Patriots' lead running back. Only two things can stop Ridley from being the main option in the running game.
First, his health, which really hasn’t been a problem for him in his pro career, and the second is fumbling the football. I’ve yet to hear anything negative about his ball carrying skills in camp, so hopefully, he’s cleaned up this problem from last year.
60. Peyton Hillis (ADP 7.04)
A better PPR running back, Hillis is going to move up the draft board before we get to the regular season even in standard leagues. Expect Hillis, not Charles, to lead the team in touches this year.
Charles should go as the first running back of the board from Kansas City because he’s an electric player. Hillis, on the other hand, will do the dirty work in this offense and should be the goal line back.
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