Fantasy Football Mock Draft: First-Round Projection for 12-Team League
The summer is in full swing, and for football fans, that means it's time for fantasy preparations.
Free agency has come and gone, and the NFL draft is in the books. Now, with training camps set to open soon, all that's left is for fantasy football owners to brainstorm amusing team names and make their picks.
Here, we'll run through a first-round mock draft for 12-team fantasy leagues everywhere.
No. 1. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings, RB
Despite coming off of surgery to repair a torn ACL, Adrian Peterson rushed for nearly 2,100 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. Assuming he stays healthy again in 2013, there's no reason Peterson won't carry the ball close to 350 times again for an average of 5-6 yards per carry.
No matter which league you're in, Peterson should be the consensus No. 1 overall selection.
No. 2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers, QB
Spoiler Alert: Green Bay Packers superstar Aaron Rodgers is a fantasy stud and will light it up in 2013.
Last season, Rodgers threw for nearly 4,300 yards and 39 touchdowns while rushing for over 250 yards and two additional scores.
Two of Rodgers' top weapons in the past, Greg Jennings and Donald Driver, are no longer Packers, but that shouldn't stop Rodgers from coming off the board super early this summer. He's as accurate as any passer in the game, and he's good for at least two touchdowns per week.
No. 3. Arian Foster, Houston Texans, RB
Since breaking out in 2010, Arian Foster has been an unstoppable force with the ball in his hands. The Texans star back rushed for more than 1,400 yards last season and has accumulated more than 4,000 yards on the ground over the past three years combined.
Need another reason to take him in Round 1?
No problem. He has 47 total touchdowns since the start of the 2010 season.
No. 4. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints, QB
Drew Brees is the next-best fantasy passer behind Aaron Rodgers. The New Orleans Saints field general routinely puts up huge numbers even if they don't always translate into wins for the Saints.
Brees was the only quarterback in the NFL last season to throw for more than 5,000 yards, finishing the year with nearly 5,200 yards to go along with 43 touchdown passes. He did have 19 interceptions, but that comes with being the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 5,000 yards in back-to-back years.
Will he make it back-to-back-to-back seasons in 2013?
No. 5. Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens, RB
Ray Rice is every bit as dangerous as a receiver out of the back field as he is running the ball. The versatile offensive weapon has developed nicely into the Baltimore Ravens' most dangerous player, rushing for more than 1,100 yards in each of the past four seasons and racking up a total of nearly 2,500 receiving yards over that time as well.
In 2013, you can expect that Rice will once again be the Ravens' Swiss army knife out of the back field.
No. 6. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, RB
Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie running back Doug Martin exploded onto the scene a year ago, catching NFL fans and fantasy football owners by surprise.
The Boise State product rushed for more than 1,400 yards and picked up another 472 through the air. He finished the season with 12 total touchdowns for the lowly Bucs. If Martin can stay healthy and find a way to earn another 350 or so touches this coming fall, he's a lock to produce for your fantasy team.
No. 7. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks, RB
Veteran running back Marshawn Lynch rushed for over 100 yards in 10 games for the Seattle Seahawks last season, making him worthy of a top-10 selection in your fantasy draft this summer.
Beast Mode's 1,590 rushing yards were a career high in 2012. He also found the end zone 12 times total. If he can produce anything close to that in 2013, he'll be worth taking No. 7 overall.
If nothing else, you know Lynch won't go down easily.
No. 8. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs, RB
Despite playing for the struggling Chiefs, Jamaal Charles is a fantasy stud. Keep in mind that he rushed for over 225 yards on two separate occasions last season.
Charles was one of just four backs to rush for over 1,500 yards last season, and will likely have even more success under offensive guru Andy Reid in 2013. Plus, with Alex Smith under center, the passing game should become more formidable and ultimately open up opportunities for Charles to run into space.
No. 9. C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills, RB
C.J. Spiller ranked eighth in rushing yards last season despite ranking just 22nd in rushing attempts. The Buffalo Bills back finished the year tied with Adrian Peterson in yards per carry (six). Only Robert Griffin III had a higher average (6.8).
If Spiller can find more touches in 2013 (the Bills would be foolish not to make sure he gets the ball every other play), there's no telling how dominant he can be for fantasy owners lucky enough to get their hands on him.
No. 10. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions, WR
When you dominate on a regular basis and shatter the NFL single-season receiving yards record, people give you cool names like Megatron. That's what Detroit Lions wideout Calvin Johnson will be referred to as in fantasy drafts around the country this summer after recording a ridiculous 1,965 receiving yards a year ago.
Although Johnson only scored five touchdowns all season, he's got 50 receiving scores total since the start of the 2008 season, which suggests he'll bounce back in that category this coming fall.
No. 11. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles, RB
Like Ray Rice and Doug Martin, Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy is a lethal combination of speed, agility and coordination. On top of his physical attributes, McCoy will be working with offensive genius Chip Kelly this season.
McCoy struggled last season as the Eagles floundered, but he's rushed for over 3,800 yards in just 58 regular season games.
Look for the former Pittsburgh star to rebound statistically this coming season.
No. 12. Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins, RB
Only Adrian Peterson rushed for more yards last season than Washington Redskins rookie Alfred Morris.
Fortunately, the talented back's sophomore season looks every bit as promising with the return of Robert Griffin III under center. Although he isn't a huge threat in the passing game, Morris is a powerful, durable runner who played in all 16 regular season games last season.
It's going to be difficult for him to rush for 1,600 yards and 13 touchdowns again this coming season with defenses now aware of what he can do, but he should produce strong numbers nonetheless.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
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