Mock'n With a Purpose
Talked to this dude the other day and he was telling me how good his mock draft went. He went on to tell me a few of his players and how he would love to have that team in a league. How many times have you said that or heard someone reiterate those same thoughts? Mock drafts are a useful tool in determining where guys will fall in accordance to the way a particular format ranks players, but on the other hand it is not an exact science either. 90% of mock drafters bail after they pick their starters so there is a reason why your bench looks stacked if you are like me and stay for the entire draft. I like the customization of Yahoo FFB mocks because you can choose where in the draft you want to pick by grabbing that open slot. I like to run through enough mock drafts in various sized leagues to see where players fall at least through round 7 where most drafters in the room will bail. Try picking with different strategies so you will be ready for whatever the draft throws your way. Every draft is a different animal that can be tamed with a bit of preparation.
If you think that there is not peer pressure involved in fantasy football drafting then you are mistaken. Every manager is to an extent a slave to the rankings. I like everyone else looks at a draft window and eyes a player or two they'd like to slide to them for their next pick. There is that risk that someone will take that player and there in lies the thrill of said player falling to you and you hitting that draft button to take him. Who needs the anxiety? You are there to build your beast not worry about what others are doing. You can avoid draft headaches by simply taking the players you want when you want to take them. Sound too simple? It's not! For example if you are a Patriots fan and you are watching Danny Amendola run all over the place catching balls doing his best Wes Welker impression then why not take him a round early, why not two rounds early. This is particularly effective when picking at one turn or the other. Do you actually think that player you want so badly 25 picks down the list is going to come back to you? Unless you just love one of the next few players on the list go get your boy and sleep well that night. I am not talking about taking a guy in the 4th you can get in the 9th but if you can get a guy two rounds early what is the difference once the draft is done and you are looking at your roster? Last year I took Randall Cobb way too early in a few drafts...do you think I was happy with that pick a few weeks into the season? If you feel a breakout season coming on go get your player and when someone says, "too early" in the smack section...you know they wanted him. There are indeed trap players that get hot because of a freak preseason game that managers jump on them way too early. It is up to you to decide what is fools gold and what is a possible freak on a leash stud in the making. Don't get too caught up in preseason. With all the coverage now on NFL Network it is very hard not to digest preseason games and let them affect your drafting. Other than checking out how the rookies are looking and checking on camp position battles there is not much else you can take from those games. You can bet your bottom dollar that no veteran players are putting their bodies on the line for these games so don't put your draft on the line chasing the games results. Don't do drugs, don't smoke, drink or chew or kiss girls that do and more important than anything don't give in to Peer Pressure.
5 To Love - 5 to Hate
I do my own rankings...to hell with what anyone else thinks and you should be the same way. Rankings across the board are based much more on how players did last year (outside of players who lost seasons to injuries) than on actual projection. I do 75% of my rankings on projections...teams change, schedules change...this is not baseball where averages and power numbers usually even out as the year goes on...this is football where James Jones had 14 td's last year (what?) and Calvin Johnson while having a great year in yardage and catches had 5 (yes 5!). Here are a few players that interest me for different reasons.
5 Players I love: hmmm love is a strong word...maybe date for this year is better...
1. Pats Trilogy - Ridley, Amendola & Vareen - you think the Pats dinked and dunked alot before? Until Tom Terrific trusts these WR's he will throw short passes until the cows come home and have ppr players dancing in the streets. Slow your roll on K.Thompkins..at least right away, he's a nice player but he is not Randy Moss.
2. C.Patterson WR Vikes - man this kid just has something that jumps off the TV screen...if Ponder can get out of his own way and get this man the ball he is going to have a nice year...if you are in a keeper league get this guy even if you have to reach.
3. Chris Givens WR Rams - yeah yeah yeah, I love Tavon Austin and he'll catch more balls than Givens, but do not doubt that Givens is a game breaker. Givens can haul and as soon as safeties cheat up on Austin, Bradford will hit Givens for the deep ball. You saw glimpses of this last year...you will see more this year and in standard leagues I would rather have Givens and his more than likely higher TD number than Austin who I'd lean towards in PPR's.
4. Andrew Luck - I cannot believe the crap I am reading about Luck being in a two tight end pound the ball offense because of the offensive coordinators system and history. If you have a Ferrari in the garage you don't put cheap unleaded gas in it and drive it 25 mph down to the Quickie Mart and back. The Colts have weapons all over the field and will let Luck and his monster arm loose and he will be much more valuable than his current ADP. Lucks ranking probably ticks me off more than any other out there right now.
5. Trent Richardson RB Browns - No duh Show he is a first rounder!!! I know what you are screaming my friend, but I think this dude is undervalued. I know Spiller is fast, Charles is in the new Andy Reid pass-a-thon and the muscle hamster is all the rage. Not saying I don't like these players especially Martin, but outside of AP there is an argument for TRich at #2. The NFL is a large man's game. It is a bunch of scary, big and fast defenders with bad intentions so if my money is on the line I want a large borderline scary RB doing the running for my team. It blows my mind that picking 10th this year you can get him at the turn. Draft TRich in standard leagues at 2 or 3 behind Martin and sleep well.
5 Players I ...Hate is too strong a word...5 players that worry me, let's go with that.
1. Big Ben QB Steelers - Age catches up with the big man this year and his targets just seem overrated to me. The Plaxico injury hurt as far as red zone % goes.
2. Demarco Murray RB Cowpokes - still young, still dangerous, but I am not using a late 2nd or early 3rd rounder on him because he just cannot stay healthy.
3. Darren McFadden - Da Raiders - been there done that. NEXT! (Rashad Jennings is the hand-cuff last time I checked) The incredible Mr. Glass.
4. Colin Kaepernick QB Niners - now don't get me wrong...I really like Kaepernick in keeper leagues and don't mind rostering him, but in standard leagues I am not willing to make the 3rd round projected investment to get him when QB's with similar stats can be had several rounds later. Drafting Kap is like taking the new hot cheerleader to the prom...you try to pick her up just to impress your buddies not because you like her all that much. Projection: Kap starts slow, finishes strong, but brings some fantasy teams down early. Think Cam Newton last year.
5. Greg Jennings WR Vikes - Haven't been a big fan of Greg's for a few years now. I would absolutely be shocked if Jennings had a 1,000 yd, 8-10 TD season with his new Vikings team. Greg played with Brett Favre and A.Rodgers and don't think for :02 that their greatness did not play into Jennings numbers as a pro. Welcome to mediocrity Greg you won't be sitting on any of my rosters this season. Projection - 750 yds and 5 td's.