Fantasy Football 2014: Complete 12-Team Mock Draft Breakdown

James ParadisContributor IIJune 4, 2014

Fantasy Football 2014: Complete 12-Team Mock Draft Breakdown

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    The start of the 2014 NFL season may still be a couple of months away, but fantasy football mock draft season is already in full swing.

    It’s never too early to start your draft preparation. Diving head first into a mock draft is the perfect way to get a sense of every player’s current fantasy stock and figure out where the best values lie.

    While expert rankings and player projections are undoubtedly useful tools in your pre-draft planning, these fantasy forecasts only go so far in preparing you for the pace and unexpected turns of a live setting.

    Your draft can play out in an infinite number of ways. Whether you’re drafting with your buddies, a group of Internet strangers or other fantasy diehards, how you adjust your strategy in the thick of a live draft could make all the difference between winning and losing your league this season.

    I participated in the following mock draft, completed on ESPN.com, in early June 2014. Twelve teams took part in this 16-round, snake-style draft, employing ESPN standard (non-PPR) league scoring. An in-depth, pick-by-pick analysis is provided through the first three rounds, followed by a more general thematic discussion in Rounds 4-16.

    Each team’s roster includes the following positions:

    QB, RB1, RB2, WR1, WR2, Flex RB/WR, TE, D/ST, K, Bench (seven total spots)

    Join me as I build my roster, discussing my thought process and draft strategy along the way.

Round 1 (My Pick: WR Calvin Johnson)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Round 1

    1. LeSean McCoy (RB1)

    2. Adrian Peterson (RB2)

    3. Jamaal Charles (RB3)

    4. Matt Forte (RB4)

    5. Eddie Lacy (RB5)

    6. Marshawn Lynch (RB6)

    7. Calvin Johnson (WR1)

    8. Alfred Morris (RB7)

    9. Demaryius Thomas (WR2)

    10. Peyton Manning (QB1)

    11. Arian Foster (RB8)

    12. Doug Martin (RB9)

     

    My Pick: Calvin Johnson

    Most Surprising Picks: Eddie Lacy; Alfred Morris

    Best Value Picks: Jamaal Charles; Calvin Johnson

     

    Round 1 Breakdown

    1. LeSean McCoy (RB1)

    2. Adrian Peterson (RB2)

    3. Jamaal Charles (RB3)

    The first three players off the board were as expected. Those are the top players in my personal rankings, in that order. There’s a strong argument to have these top guys in any ranked order. Therefore, whoever has the third overall pick this year is essentially guaranteed a fantastic value.

    4. Matt Forte (RB4)

    5. Eddie Lacy (RB5)

    6. Marshawn Lynch (RB6)

    Three more running backs followed, starting with Forte, who finished third among running backs in 2013. He’s in his prime and has the Bears’ backfield locked down—he and head coach Marc Trestman were made for one another. Lacy had a terrific rookie season and has great upside in the Packers offense, but Lynch is the safer pick—he’s the only player to finish top-five among fantasy running backs the last three seasons.

    7. Calvin Johnson (WR1)

    I broke up the running back love fest at pick No. 7 by selecting the almighty Megatron to lead my corps of wide receivers. This was a no-brainer for me. I expect Johnson to have another phenomenal season. His new coaching staff has a track record of tremendous offensive success and the Lions’ new receiving threats should help Johnson see less bracket coverage.

    For me, Megatron is as close to a lock to be top-three at his position as any player in fantasy (possibly other than tight end Jimmy Graham, whom I briefly debated taking over Johnson).

    Picking a sure-fire stud in the first round is always a smart investment. The top wide receivers have been the epitome of fantasy reliability recently—Johnson, Demaryius Thomas, A.J. Green and Brandon Marshall have all finished top-five each of the past two seasons (Megatron has finished top-three for three years running).

    8. Alfred Morris (RB7)

    Alfred Morris might be the biggest surprise of the first round. He’s had two great pro seasons but Washington’s new pass-happy head coach could be a red flag for his value. In recent mocks, I’ve seen Morris go off the board anywhere from pick No. 5 to No. 30—illustrating the question marks surrounding his value in 2014.

    9. Demaryius Thomas (WR2)

    10. Peyton Manning (QB1)

    11. Arian Foster (RB8)

    12. Doug Martin (RB9)

    The final four picks of the opening round include another consummate stud in Thomas, an infinite-upside pick in Manning and two of the top three fantasy running backs from 2012 in Foster and Martin—all worthy selections that could pay huge dividends.

Round 2 (My Pick: RB DeMarco Murray)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Round 2

    13. Julio Jones (WR3)

    14. Jimmy Graham (TE1)

    15. Zac Stacy (RB10)

    16. A.J. Green (WR4)

    17. Aaron Rodgers (QB2)

    18. DeMarco Murray (RB11)

    19. Dez Bryant (WR5)

    20. Le’Veon Bell (RB12)

    21. Brandon Marshall (WR6)

    22. Alshon Jeffery (WR7)

    23. Ray Rice (RB13)

    24. Giovani Bernard (RB14)

     

    My Pick: DeMarco Murray

    Most Surprising Pick: Ray Rice

    Best Value Pick: Jimmy Graham

     

    Round 2 Breakdown

    The second round was not dominated by any one position—an even split of five wide receivers and running backs came off the board along with one tight end and quarterback.

    13. Julio Jones (WR3)

    14. Jimmy Graham (TE1)

    15. Zac Stacy (RB10)

    The first three picks of this round all require a small leap of faith. Despite the added health risk, Jones beat out other elite receivers who’ve displayed more dependable track records.

    Graham, as I’ve mentioned, is seemingly miles ahead of the other fantasy tight end competition. However, taking him this early could come at the expense of owning a super-stud running back or wide receiver. Stacy busted out as a rookie in 2013, but to select him as your top running back is to trust a relatively small sample size and a perennially sub-par St. Louis offense.

    16. A.J. Green (WR4)

    A.J. Green almost seems underrated at pick No. 16. He’s second only to future Hall of Famer Randy Moss in total receiving yards among wide receivers through three NFL seasons.

    17. Aaron Rodgers (QB2)

    It’s tough to argue with Rodgers in the middle of the second round. He’s been the No. 1 or No. 2 fantasy quarterback every year since 2008 (before an injury-plagued 2013).

    18. DeMarco Murray (RB11)

    I selected Murray with pick No. 18 to be my primary running back. Again, I’m thrilled with this value. Yes, Murray has some health concerns, but the list of truly “safe” running backs is few and far between. Murray made the most of his touches last year by leading the league in yards per rushing attempt among players with more than 200 carries.

    I believe Murray has top-five running back upside in 2014.

    The Cowboys may boast the league’s best offensive line, and the team’s new offensive coordinator Scott Linehan reportedly plans to “lean on” Murray this coming season, per 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM] (h/t Dallas Morning News). After landing fantasy’s top wideout in round No. 1, I’ll gladly take Murray as my top back. Risks and all.

    19. Dez Bryant (WR5)

    Wide receivers and running backs alternated picks through the latter half of this round. Bryant can be boom or bust at times, but when he booms, he booms big. He’s a solid value here.

    20. Le'Veon Bell (RB12)

    Bell, like Morris, tends to bounce around in mock drafts between the first three rounds. He’s another back with a small sample size and no huge fantasy performances on his resume.

    21. Brandon Marshall (WR6)

    22. Alshon Jeffery (WR7)

    Chicago Bears receiving duo Marshall and Jeffery should have quelled any concerns last season about their ability to simultaneously be effective fantasy starters—both finished top-ten at the position.

    23. Ray Rice (RB13)

    Taking Rice in the second round could be an enormous reach considering his recent off-field issues and poor 2013 performance. Then again, he was one of the most reliable workhorse backs in the NFL the prior four seasons.

    24. Giovani Bernard (RB14)

    Bernard closes out the round as the fourth second-year running back off the board. His backfield competition could monopolize too many goal line touches to justify his selection here.

Round 3 (My Pick: WR Jordy Nelson)

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    Mike Roemer/Associated Press

    Round 3

    25. Drew Brees (QB3)

    26. Reggie Bush (RB15)

    27. C.J. Spiller (RB16)

    28. Antonio Brown (WR8)

    29. Matthew Stafford (QB4)

    30. Montee Ball (RB17)

    31. Jordy Nelson (WR9)

    32. Ryan Mathews (RB18)

    33. Larry Fitzgerald (WR10)

    34. Chris Johnson (RB19)

    35. Rob Gronkowski (TE2)

    36. Frank Gore (RB20)

     

    My Pick: Jordy Nelson

    Most Surprising Pick: Chris Johnson

    Best Value Pick: Drew Brees

     

    Round 3 Breakdown

    25. Drew Brees (QB4)

    The third round kicks off with a great value pick in Brees. He’s easily the safest guy in fantasy at the quarterback position. His year-to-year production is always elite, and he does not possess any question marks of age or injury.

    26. Reggie Bush (RB15)

    27. C.J. Spiller (RB16)

    Bush and Spiller, on the other hand, possess inherent risk. The injury-prone Bush put up No. 1 running back fantasy numbers at times in 2013, but the emergence of Joique Bell combined with stiff competition for red-zone targets and touches hurt his every-week starter potential.

    Spiller’s issues are similar in terms of backfield competition and injury woes. However, it’s hard to forget how historically special he was in 2012. He is, without a doubt, one of fantasy’s biggest wild cards this season.

    28. Antonio Brown (WR8)

    Brown proved remarkably consistent in 2013 in the absence of former teammate Mike Wallace. Low-end, No. 1 wide receiver status suits his brief track record of fantasy studliness.

    29. Matthew Stafford (QB5)

    Stafford’s stock seems to be on the rise—going off the board just four picks after Brees. Given his arsenal of receiving weapons stretching every level of the field, Stafford should have his way with most defenses. His average draft position will likely continue to ascend this offseason.

    30. Montee Ball (RB17)

    Ball is another wild card. He could end up as a top-five running back, or he could fumble his way into Denver’s doghouse—as he did early last year. The opportunity is there, but can he seize it?

    31. Jordy Nelson (WR9)

    I could not pass up Nelson in this spot. With Rodgers healthy again and James Jones now in Oakland, Nelson should be in for a monster year. He and Cobb could rival Marshall and Jeffery as the top fantasy receiving duo.

    My starting wide receivers are now set—Nelson and Megatron should be permanent fixtures in my weekly lineup regardless of the defensive matchup. I may have to take some risks at running back going forward, but sometimes taking the best player available is a smart way to go.

    32. Ryan Mathews (RB18)

    33. Larry Fitzgerald (WR10)

    34. Chris Johnson (RB19)

    35. Rob Gronkowski (TE2)

    36. Frank Gore (RB20)

    The final five picks of round No. 3 hold potential for major disappointment.

    Can Mathews repeat his solid 2013 campaign after ending last season with another injury? Or will he cede touches to San Diego newcomer Donald Brown? Is Fitzgerald beginning to regress after two down seasons? Or does he have another year of greatness left?

    Is Johnson guaranteed the starting gig in the Jets’ backfield? Or might Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell usurp his value in a dreaded running back by committee? Will Gronk? Can Gronk? Is Gronk? There are many questions when it comes to Gronkowski.

    And Gore continues to prove his naysayers wrong year after year, but he’s 31 years old and entering his 10th NFL season. At some point, he has to slow down—right?

Round 4 (My Pick: RB Andre Ellington)

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    Round 4

    37. Knowshon Moreno (RB21)

    38. Andre Johnson (WR11)

    39. Andrew Luck (QB5)

    40. Randall Cobb (WR12)

    41. Keenan Allen (WR13)

    42. Andre Ellington (RB22)

    43. Julius Thomas (TE3)

    44. DeSean Jackson (WR14)

    45. Vincent Jackson (WR15)

    46. Eric Decker (WR16)

    47. Trent Richardson (RB23)

    48. Roddy White (WR17)

     

    My Pick: Andre Ellington

    Most Surprising Picks: Eric Decker; Knowshon Moreno

    Best Value Picks: Julius Thomas; Roddy White

     

    Round 4 Breakdown

    It’s common to see an early-round rush to grab starting running backs, consequently leaving solid wide receiver value on the board later. This mock draft is no different. For those advocating patience in finding a wide receiver this year, this round serves as supporting evidence for that strategy.

    Other than Eric Decker (whose post-Manning value is ambiguous despite his optimistic ADP), the receivers selected in this round all have top-10 upside at the position. This undeniable wide receiver value finally led to a break in the sprint for starting running backs.

    Only three backs went off the board here, and I would argue that two of them—Moreno and Richardson—still went too early.

    Like Decker, Moreno is riding high following his stellar 2013 season in Manning’s historic offense. Richardson, meanwhile, still maintains the mystique of a potential stud—that is, unless you owned him in 2013.

    The only other running back selected in this round was my pick of Andre Ellington. I’m all-in on Ellington in 2014, and I expect that the hype behind the dynamic, second-year back will continue to explode this offseason.

    His preseason stock will assuredly soar following a recent report from Mike Jurecki of Fox Sports 910, stating that head coach Bruce Arians could see Ellington receiving an improbable 25-30 touches per game in 2014.

    Ever-promising tight end Julius Thomas and quarterback Andrew Luck round out this group. Both young players are coming into their own and should only get better this season. Thomas especially represents a great value in this round—he is one of the few tight ends with a fantasy ceiling in the Graham-Gronk ballpark.

Round 5 (My Pick: WR Percy Harvin)

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    Round 5

    49. Bishop Sankey (RB24)

    50. Ben Tate (RB25)

    51. Cam Newton (QB6)

    52. Pierre Garcon (WR18)

    53. Toby Gerhart (RB26)

    54. Wes Welker (WR19)

    55. Percy Harvin (WR20)

    56. Steven Jackson (RB27)

    57. Victor Cruz (WR21)

    58. Vernon Davis (TE4)

    59. Marques Colston (WR22)

    60. Fred Jackson (RB28)

     

    My Pick: Percy Harvin

    Most Surprising Pick: Bishop Sankey

    Best Value Pick: Pierre Garcon

     

    Round 5 Breakdown

    Another evenly divided round in the books including five running backs and wide receivers—along with just one quarterback and tight end. Round No. 5 saw the fewest surprises or outstanding values of any group thus far.

    The first rookie, Titans’ running back Bishop Sankey, went off the board at the top of the round. This could be a risky investment for a rookie who has yet to win the starting role on an exceedingly mediocre offense. Drafting Sankey as a flex rather than a No. 2 running back is more reasonable, but there will likely be safer options on the board.

    For example, guys like Toby Gerhart or Steven Jackson have a firm hold on their starting roles. While the unknown value of a rookie like Sankey may seem more appealing than an 11-year veteran like Jackson, owners are better off taking chances on questionable running backs in later rounds.

    With Pierre Garcon off the board, I chose Harvin as my No. 3 wide receiver. I still need to fill out my other starting positions, but I again employed a best-player-available strategy. Harvin has had his fair share of injury woes, but his potential is too great to pass up at this point in the draft.

    For owners who love to make mid-season trades, stockpiling top talent depth as future trade pieces often proves more valuable than immediately drafting a starting lineup.

    It’s worth noting that there has not yet been a run on quarterbacks or tight ends. Patience is often rewarded with excellent value for those who can anticipate when the bubble will burst.

Round 6 (My Pick: RB Joique Bell)

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    Round 6

    61. Reggie Wayne (WR21)

    62. Mike Wallace (WR22)

    63. Russell Wilson (QB7)

    64. Rashad Jennings (RB29)

    65. Julian Edelman (WR23)

    66. Joique Bell (RB30)

    67. Darren Sproles (RB31)

    68. Shane Vereen (RB32)

    69. Colin Kaepernick (QB8)

    70. Hakeem Nicks (WR24)

    71. Robert Griffin III (QB9)

    72. Steve Smith (WR25)

     

    My Pick: Joique Bell

    Most Surprising Pick: Russell Wilson

    Best Value Pick: Joique Bell

     

    Round 6 Breakdown

    Speaking of runs, three quarterbacks went in the sixth round. Four consecutive quarterbacks with elite running ability followed one another, beginning with Newton in Round 5.

    I’m not in love with any of the QB value here considering that all three guys underachieved last year. That being said, a fully healthy RGIII is highly intriguing considering his exemplary rookie season and his deep receiving corps.

    I realize that it’s somewhat lame to claim my selection of Joique Bell as the best value in the round, but no other picks particularly jumped out here. To grab Bell—who nearly finished as a top-15 running back in 2013—as the 30th back off the board should pan out as a huge steal. Bell proved reliable and productive with his limited opportunities last year. He’s flying way under the radar so far this offseason.

    There is still plenty of flex value to be found here—possibly explaining the absence of tight end selections.

Rounds 7-8 (My Picks: QB Matt Ryan; WR Michael Floyd)

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    Round 7

    73. Dwayne Bowe (WR26)

    74. James Jones (WR27)

    75. Tony Romo (QB10)

    76. Michael Crabtree (WR28)

    77. Tom Brady (QB11)

    78. Golden Tate (WR29)

    79. Matt Ryan (QB12)

    80. Cecil Shorts (WR30)

    81. Dennis Pitta (TE5)

    82. Jordan Cameron (TE6)

    83. Torrey Smith (WR31)

    84. Tavon Austin (WR32)

     

    Round 8

    85. Philip Rivers (QB13)

    86. Andy Dalton (QB14)

    87. T.Y. Hilton (WR33)

    88. Cordarrelle Patterson (WR34)

    89. Josh Gordon (WR35)

    90. Michael Floyd (WR36)

    91. Jason Witten (TE7)

    92. Nick Foles (QB15)

    93. Jordan Reed (TE8)

    94. Kyle Rudolph (TE9)

    95. Sammy Watkins (WR37)

    96. Ben Roethlisberger (QB16)

     

    My Picks: Matt Ryan; Michael Floyd

    Most Surprising Picks: James Jones; Andy Dalton

    Best Value Picks: Michael Crabtree; Nick Foles

     

    Rounds 7-8 Breakdown

    Two full rounds without a single running back selected—a truly rare occurrence in a standard league draft. Suddenly, more wide receivers have been drafted than running backs, and we finally saw a major run at quarterback and tight end.

    As stated earlier, patience in drafts can be the key to winning your league in 2014. These two rounds were chock full of wide receiver sleeper candidates. Guys like Michael Crabtree, T.Y. Hilton and Cordarrelle Patterson often come off the board far earlier, as shown by their ADP on sites like FantasyFootballCalculator.com.

    I was the last team to select a quarterback and grabbed Matt Ryan in the seventh round.

    Ryan managed to total just over 4,500 passing yards in a year when his two Pro Bowl wide receivers were either banged up or out most of the season. If Jones and White stay on the field and the Falcons bounce back from a disastrous 2013 season, I see no reason why Ryan can’t return to his 2012 form—he finished just outside the top five fantasy quarterbacks that year.

    My team still lacked a tight end, but I could not pass up one of my favorite wide receiver sleepers this year in Michael Floyd.

    I would have also considered picking Josh Gordon—fantasy’s No. 1 wide receiver from 2013—had he lasted one pick later. Barring a full-season suspension, even six games of Gordon should be a value in round No. 8, especially since he would be available during the fantasy playoffs.

Rounds 9-10 (My Picks: RB Stevan Ridley; RB David Wilson)

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    Round 9

    97. Greg Olsen (TE10)

    98. Antonio Gates (TE11)

    99. Jay Cutler (QB17)

    100. Julian Edelman (WR38)

    101. Maurice Jones-Drew (RB33)

    102. Seahawks (D/ST1)

    103. Stevan Ridley (RB34)

    104. Ryan Tannehill (QB18)

    105. Emmanuel Sanders (WR39)

    106. Khiry Robinson (RB35)

    107. Eli Manning (QB19)

    108. Brandon Myers (TE12)

     

    Round 10

    109. Carson Palmer (QB20)

    110. Chiefs (D/ST2)

    111. Chris Ivory (RB36)

    112. Shonn Green (RB37)

    113. Panthers (D/ST3)

    114. David Wilson (RB38)

    115. Martellus Bennett (TE13)

    116. Terrance Williams (WR40)

    117. Kendall Wright (WR41)

    118. Charles Clay (TE14)

    119. Joe Flacco (QB21)

    120. Anquan Boldin (WR42)

     

    My Picks: Stevan Ridley; David Wilson

    Most Surprising Picks: Brandon Myers

    Best Value Picks: Greg Olsen; Emmanuel Sanders; Anquan Boldin

     

    Rounds 9-10 Breakdown

    These two rounds saw a good mix of every position except kickers—still way too early for them. Several teams added a second quarterback here, while many others found their starting tight end.

    With just three running backs on my roster through the first eight rounds, it was time to add some much needed depth at the position. Both Ridley and Wilson had 2013 seasons they’d rather soon forget. However, both players have clear paths to their team’s starting role. Finding guys with that kind of upside at this point in the draft is a potential gold mine.

    Ridley was nearly a top-10 fantasy running back in 2012, and Wilson had a second-round ADP last year. There’s at least a puncher’s chance that one of these two picks provides a favorable return on investment.

    My team’s glaring hole through 10 rounds was still at tight end, but every player I would have considered drafting at this point went off the board before my Round 9 pick. Remember what I said earlier about anticipating runs at a particular position? I failed to do that here.

Rounds 11-13 (My Picks: D/ST Broncos; TE Ladarius Green; RB Donald Brown)

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    Round 11

    121. 49ers (D/ST4)

    122. Bengals (D/ST5)

    123. DeAngelo Williams (RB39)

    124. Alex Smith (QB22)

    125. Jeremy Maclin (WR43)

    126. Geno Smith (QB23)

    127. Broncos (D/ST6)

    128. Jared Cook (TE15)

    129. Lamar Miller (RB40)

    130. Pierre Thomas (RB41)

    131. BenJarvus Green-Ellis (RB42)

    132. Rams (D/ST7)

     

    Round 12

    133. Darren McFadden (RB43)

    134. Greg Jennings (WR44)

    135. Cardinals (D/ST8)

    136. Mark Ingram (RB44)

    137. Mike Evans (WR45)

    138. Ladarius Green (TE16)

    139. Ahmad Bradshaw (RB45)

    140. DeAndre Hopkins (WR46)

    141. Rueben Randle (WR47)

    142. Texans (D/ST9)

    143. Bryce Brown (RB46)

    144. Jermichael Finley (TE17)

     

    Round 13

    145. Bernard Pierce (RB47)

    146. Stevie Johnson (WR48)

    147. Mike Williams (WR49)

    148. Riley Cooper (WR50)

    149. Tony Gonzalez (TE18)

    150. Sidney Rice (WR51)

    151. Donald Brown (RB48)

    152. Lance Moore (WR52)

    153. Danny Woodhead (RB49)

    154. Roy Helu (RB49)

    155. Bears (D/ST10)

    156. Miles Austin (WR53)

     

    My Picks: Broncos D/ST; Ladarius Green; Donald Brown

    Most Surprising Picks: Tony Gonzalez

    Best Value Picks: Pierre Thomas; Riley Cooper

     

    Rounds 11-13 Breakdown

    It’s hard to have a terrible pick in these later rounds (unless, of course, you select a player who is retired, like tight end Tony Gonzalez).

    The objective here is all about filling in any remaining gaps on your squad and taking chances on your favorite lottery picks. Solid flex value still exists here—guys like Pierre Thomas and Riley Cooper could be focal points in high-octane offenses.

    I generally advocate streaming defense/special teams units in non-IDP leagues, seeking out weak offenses to prey upon week after week. But I abandoned this strategy here by reaching for the Broncos in round No. 11. I can’t help but be intrigued by a front seven that includes both Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware. Blinded by visions of endless sacks and fumble recoveries, I went against my better judgment with this pick.

    I finally found my tight end in round No. 12, taking a flyer on San Diego Chargers up-and-comer, Ladarius Green. Green should have value as a physical freak who could be the next guy to join the upper echelon of fantasy tight ends—even if Antonio Gates stays healthy.

    Donald Brown rounded out my running back depth chart—another Chargers backup with major upside.

    Ryan Mathews is the man in the San Diego backfield, but Brown is just one ankle (or hamstring, clavicle, neck, calf, knee groin, foot or elbow) injury away from seeing starting reps on a great offense.

Rounds 14-16 (My Picks: TE Zach Ertz; K Matt Prater; WR Doug Baldwin)

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    Round 14

    157. Christine Michael (RB50)

    158. Brandon Pettigrew (TE19)

    159. Eric Ebron (TE20)

    160. Andre Brown (RB51)

    161. Delanie Walker (TE21)

    162. Zach Ertz (TE22)

    163. Kenny Stills (WR54)

    164. Aaron Dobson (WR55)

    165. Patriots (D/ST11)

    166. Vick Ballard (RB52)

    167. Steelers (D/ST12)

    168. Brandin Cooks (WR56)

     

    Round 15

    169. Jacquizz Rodgers (RB53)

    170. Bilal Powell (RB54)

    171. Denarius Moore (WR57)

    172. Devonta Freeman (RB55)

    173. Kelvin Benjamin (WR58)

    174. Stephen Gostkowski (K1)

    175. Matt Prater (K2)

    176. Mike Goodson (RB56)

    177. Justin Tucker (K3)

    178. Justin Hunter (WR59)

    179. Mike Tolbert (RB57)

    180. Brian Hartline (WR60)

     

    Round 16

    181. Steven Hauschka (K4)

    182. Phil Dawson (K5)

    183. Mason Crosby (K6)

    184. Tre Mason (RB58)

    185. Adam Vinatieri (K7)

    186. Doug Baldwin (WR61)

    187. LeGarrette Blount (RB59)

    188. Dan Bailey (K8)

    189. Alex Henry (K9)

    190. Nick Novak (K10)

    191. Dan Carpenter (K11)

    192. Nick Folk (K12)

     

    My Picks: Zach Ertz; Matt Prater; Doug Baldwin

    Most Surprising Picks: Brandon Pettigrew; Mike Goodson

    Best Value Picks: Andre Brown; Brian Hartline

     

    Rounds 14-16 Breakdown

    While I’m excited about owning Green as my top tight end, Zach Ertz is a similarly intriguing prospect. In the case that Green does not emerge, Ertz could move into my starting lineup.

    Once Foles was named the starter last season, he and the rookie tight end established a productive connection. He’s Foles’ biggest receiving option and boasts elite athleticism—a combination that could make him a dangerous red-zone target.

    I prefer selecting a kicker in the second-to-last round, when possible.

    There are usually a handful of players who you can count on to produce on a consistent basis. If it works out, then that’s one less position to toil over week to week. With Stephen Gostkowski gone, I took the guy kicking for the team with the No. 1 scoring offense in NFL history—likely a safe pick.

    While nine of the 12 teams grabbed their kicker in the final round, I selected Doug Baldwin as my fifth wide receiver. Any pick here is nothing more than a dart throw, but Baldwin actually came on fairly strong at the end of 2013. Baldwin could have some nice value this coming year if Harvin misses any more time.

Round-by-Round Picks and Starting Lineup

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    Round-by-Round Picks

    Round 1: Calvin Johnson (WR1)

    Round 2: DeMarco Murray (RB1)

    Round 3: Jordy Nelson (WR2)

    Round 4: Andre Ellington (RB2)

    Round 5: Percy Harvin (WR3)

    Round 6: Joique Bell (RB3)

    Round 7: Matt Ryan (QB)

    Round 8: Michael Floyd (WR4)

    Round 9: Stevan Ridley (RB4)

    Round 10: David Wilson (RB5)

    Round 11: Denver Broncos (D/ST)

    Round 12: Ladarius Green (TE1)

    Round 13: Donald Brown (RB6)

    Round 14: Zach Ertz (TE2)

    Round 15: Matt Prater (K)

    Round 16: Doug Baldwin (WR5)

     

    Starting Lineup and Bench

    QB: Matt Ryan

    RB: DeMarco Murray

    RB: Andre Ellington

    WR: Calvin Johnson

    WR: Jordy Nelson

    TE: Ladarius Green

    D/ST: Broncos

    K: Matt Prater

    Flex/Bench RB: Joique Bell, Stevan Ridley, David Wilson, Donald Brown

    Flex/Bench WR: Percy Harvin, Michael Floyd, Doug Baldwin

    Bench TE: Zach Ertz

     

    All in all, I'm happy with my team. I expect to be above average at every position—save possibly for tight end—and to have a dominant advantage over the league at starting wide receiver. My depth at running back and wide receiver should also pay off on bye weeks and in potential trades throughout the season as I build my best starting lineup for the playoffs.

    Agree/disagree with my picks? Let’s open the floor for debate in the comments!

     

    All statistics courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com unless otherwise indicated.

    James Paradis is a fantasy football featured columnist for Bleacher Report. Be sure to check out his entire archive on fantasy strategy and analysis.

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