In the second round of this 10-team PPR mock draft we have a couple running backs with high upside, but carry with them health concerns in Ryan Mathews and Adrian Peterson. Of the two I give Mathews the nod as the running back worthy of selecting in this round.
Peterson may find the field first, but he’s still coming back from a major knee injury and it’s likely to take time before we see the runner we used to know.
11. Tom Brady (ADP 1.08)-
Offensive line problems are a concern heading into the season and it could limit the amount of shots Brady can take in the vertical passing game. I would anticipate the Patriots will find a way to figure this mess out, but it may take a few weeks into the season.
Even with that Brady makes for a solid late first round to early second-round pick in 10-team leagues.
12. Jimmy Graham (ADP 2.01)-
We could see Graham go for over 100 receptions this season as he’s clearly pulled away from the pack as Drew Brees’s favorite target. Funny, we used to have a hard time figuring out who was the No.1 pass-catcher from week to week in the past.
Sure, Colston has been regarded as the No. 1, but he’s never amassed the kind of work Graham totaled last year.
13. DeMarco Murray (ADP 2.02)-
Some may shy away from Murray because of his offensive line, but much like the situation in New England, I believe a quality offensive line coach in Bill Callahan will turn it around. They actually didn’t look that bad Week 3 against the Rams, which is saying something playing against Chris Long, Robert Quinn and Michael Brockers.
Murray will build on his rookie year, but don’t expect big things early on as the Cowboys head to New York to open the season, followed by a difficult matchup against the Seahawks in Seattle, Week 2.
14. Marshawn Lynch (ADP 2.05)-
Back spasms were a problem for Lynch early last season and they’ve cropped up again during training camp. What’s more concerning is the play of rookie Robert Turbin through the preseason.
Turbin has had a terrific camp and has clearly earned the trust from his coaching staff to get the nod if something should happen to Lynch. Make sure you handcuff Lynch with Turbin.
15. Darren Sproles (ADP 3.02)-
A knee injury kept Sproles out of practice for a little while during camp, but he’s back and ready for the regular season. Sproles had knee problems early in this career, but for now we should expect everything to be fine.
A terrific third-round pick in PPR leagues, I still like Sproles at this value because he’s a threat for up to 100 receptions.
16. Ryan Mathews (ADP 3.03)-
It will probably take a couple of weeks into the season before Mathews is ready but he’s worth a late second-round pick. Mathews has the chance to be a top five fantasy back when he returns, especially in PPR leagues as Norv Turner loves to use his running backs in the passing game.
17. Julio Jones (ADP 2.04)-
Only time will tell if Jones will live up to his lofty expectations from the summer in fantasy circles, but he looks the part in the preseason. Jones has had a terrific offseason and will continue to benefit from having Roddy White playing opposite.
18. Drew Brees (ADP 2.02)-
One of the interesting stories of the 2012 season will be how the Saints respond to all the offseason drama they’ve gone through with Bountygate. Brees will likely have a few more turnovers without Sean Peyton around to help with the game plan, but he’s still a worthy second-round pick.
19. Matthew Stafford (ADP 3.02)-
With all the injuries in the backfield the Lions will have no choice but to open things up in the passing game even more than before. That’s saying something because if I’m not mistaken this team led the league in pass attempts last year.
Stafford has a terrific cast of players around him and the table is set for a monster performance.
20. Adrian Peterson (ADP 2.07)-
Not a fan of Peterson going at this point. He’s questionable for Week 1, but only time will tell how long it will be before we see the superstar running back playing at his pre-injury level.
ADP comes courtesy of Fantasy Football Calculator.