Post-Draft Mock Draft Recap
By Jeff Brubach
With the 2013 NFL Draft neatly tucked in and put to sleep, the fantasy world now has a nearly complete pool of players from which to draft for the upcoming fantasy football season. In order to get a feel for how the 2013 fantasy draft landscape is taking shape, the football.com crew joined forces with some of the world’s greatest fantasy minds for a “post-draft” mock draft. In addition to getting a small fix of the fantasy medication that eludes us during the spring months, this mock draft provided a glimpse into a few draft situations that will be hotly debated in coming months – including the average draft position (ADP) of rookies, players in new roles, and quarterbacks. Let’s look at how this mock draft turned out, and where you can expect to find the draft position of some of fantasy football’s most desired players.
Although the 2013 draft class may not hold the level of elite talent that fantasy owners are accustomed to, there were many quality, skill position players that landed in very opportune locations. The great debate in fantasy circles this time of year is often “talent vs. role,” and what this class lacks in talent, it certainly makes up for in possible production in 2013. With no rookie quarterbacks or tight ends appearing draft-able in redraft leagues, we are left with this year’s crop of running backs and wide receivers to dissect.
The first back off the board was Cincinnati’s Giovani Bernard, at pick 4.10. Bernard will be splitting carries initially with BenJarvus Green-Ellis but will undoubtedly outshine the old slug in short order. The next batch of rookie running backs went flying off the board in the sixth round, as Le’Veon Bell, Eddie Lacy, and Montee Ball were selected. With the apparent drop-off in viable running backs after the first few rounds, these all appear to be solid selections. Although Bell, Lacy and Ball have some backfield company, they could see a meteoric rise in ADP this summer (a la 2012’s Doug Martin) if they excel in training camp.
Rookie wide receivers also made an appearance in this mock draft, as Tavon Austin, DaAndre Hopkins (8.01), and Cordarrelle Patterson (9.01) were all selected – Austin being the first picked at 7.07. All three of these receivers were drafted by teams with immediate need for wide receiver help and have questionable (at best) quarterbacks, making their fantasy prospects difficult to predict. It will be interesting to track the ADP’s of these players as fantasy draft season nears, as I think Austin is the only one warranting his current draft position.
The current offseason has not only brought changes to fantasy football via the draft, but via trades and free agency as well. Many players have seen an uptick in value since the Ravens wrapped up Super Bowl XLVII and our first mock draft illustrated this perfectly. The first two newly minted lead backs to be selected were David Wilson (2.12) and Lamar Miller (3.11). Both of these picks seem to be fair, as the departures of Ahmad Bradshaw and Reggie Bush have left featured fantasy roles vacant in New York and Miami. The talent of both runners has never been in question and both could be in for fantastic 2013 seasons. If you are on board with these much-hyped running backs, be prepared to pay this hefty price.
The other two notable players that received changes in scenery this offseason are Chris Ivory and Danny Amendola. Both these players provided great value in our mock draft, with Ivory selected at 4.11 and Amendola sliding to 6.07. Concerns over Ivory’s fragile history and the offensive ineptitude of the Jets will likely keep Ivory below the ADP of Wilson and Miller, but expect his average slot to rise a bit from 4.11 once real drafts start rolling. Amendola, now paired up with hunky Tom Brady in New England, should slide into the Welker-esque slot receiver role perfectly. Fantasy owners will find massive value with Amendola in the sixth round and should feel confident going to battle with him as a WR2.
Fantasy fiends everywhere enjoy the “when to draft a quarterback” debate each season, as it is engrained in the fabric of fantasy football itself. This mock draft was no different, as each owner delicately tiptoed the edge of the cliff before the impending quarterback avalanche bombarded the draft room. Drew Brees (3.05) and Aaron Rodgers (4.09) were the first two quarterbacks drafted and although it was slightly early for my taste, it is a fairly accurate price for those two top-notch pass chuckers. With Brees and Rodgers gone, the draft went into quarterback mode in the fifth round, with nearly every team selecting their desired player between that point and the eighth round.
The individual rankings of the second tier quarterbacks are highly interchangeable this season, and each draft will see a unique order of quarterback selections. This mock draft saw these signal callers selected in the following order: Colin Kaepernick (5.12), Peyton Manning (6.02), Robert Griffin III (7.03), Russell Wilson (7.08), Matt Ryan (7.09) and Matthew Stafford (8.03). While this sequence seems more than adequate, one couldn’t argue with the order being reversed or completely jumbled up and rearranged. It appears that this “middle” tier of quarterbacks will provide nice value in 2013, as a fantasy team could build quite a foundation over the first six rounds and still acquire a very talented quarterback in round seven or eight.
Much will be written about the individual draft positions of specific players as they fluctuate over the summer, but our first “post-draft” mock draft here at football.com has provided a great starting point for tracking fantasy football’s top targets.