Mock Draft analysis
Posted: Thursday August 12, 2004 7:28PM; Updated: Thursday August 12, 2004 7:28PM
Here's a rundown of each mock draft roster, along with some analysis from those picked the team right after the draft in July.
1. Bob Harris, Fantasy Sports Publications
What was your draft strategy and how closely did you stick to it during the draft? My goal was assembling a balanced roster featuring strong starters at all positions -- with an emphasis on running back. I followed it closely -- with one exception (round 9), when I grabbed WR4 rather than securing my PK and Def/ST.
What was your best pick? As pleased as I was to snare Matt Hasselbeck in the fourth round, getting Eddie Kennison in the ninth round might have been the better pick. Granted, he's no better than the third option in Kansas City's passing attack (behind Tony Gonzalez and Priest Holmes), but Kennison is still the No. 1 wideout for one of the league's most prolific offenses. If he matches last year's totals, he'll be a steal.
What was your worst pick? The effort to fill out my starting lineup may have prompted me to bite on TE Freddie Jones earlier (round 8) than necessary. He was a player I wanted badly, but in retrospect, he probably would have been available later.
What are your general impressions of your team? I achieved my objective in terms of acquiring a strong and balanced group of starters while rounding up a better group of backups than I might have expected.
2. Mike Nease, FFMastermind.com
Drafting in the #2 slot, I deviated a bit from my normal Stud RB philosophy. I decided that if I could get a Top 3 QB and Top 3 WR I would. With Portis, Vick and Owens I had a strong scoring nucleus right off the bat.
Garner, Price and McCareins give me good complements to those three. Williams, Vinatieri and Baltimore round out a strong starting unit. I was most pleased with my pick of Fargas. I think he was a steal in the 15th round. My biggest risk pick was Griffin in the 6th. He faces stiff competition, primarily from Bell. Sometimes you need to stick your neck out when you are playing this game.
I would gladly take this team into the season. I think it would be a contender for the championship among this esteemed group.
3. Ryan Houston, FantasyAsylum.com
What was your draft strategy? Drafting in the third spot of a 12-team league is by far the worst position on the board. You're assured a top-three RB in the first round (I felt really good to get LT at No. 3 obviously), but in the second round, your only choice is to reach for a sub par RB2 or go in another direction. When my partner Greg Kellogg took Torry Holt one pick ahead of me, I decided to take Daunte Culpepper and worry about shoring up my second running back spot later. I was impressed with the results.
What was your best pick? I really liked my Stephen Davis pick in the third round and then having the opportunity to shore him up with DeShaun Foster in the seventh. I didn't expect Davis to fall to me after taking Culpepper in the previous round, so the fact he was still there interested me a great deal. In fact, I was stunned. While I am aware he is slipping on cheat sheets, the opportunity to draft a running back of his caliber in the thirrd round was not something I expected.
What was your worst pick? I probably should have taken a TE in the eighth round instead of Tom Brady. I could have gotten a guy like Boo Williams and still got a QB like Jeff Garcia in the ninth. However, I was quite pleased to land the pair of L.J. Smith and Antonio Gates, so a reach wasn't very necessary. Additionally, I was able to draft William Green in the ninth who I feel will be the starter in Cleveland in 2004.
What are your general impressions of your team? I'm really happy with how it turned out. At FantasyAsylum.com we have a tool called Draft Predictor and I used a canned version of an Average Value Theory (AVT) spreadsheet as the rankings. After the draft was over, Draft Predictor rated my team as the best draft of the bunch based on various factors. It basically takes into account every position and ranks each player based on value. My over total value was 180.9 followed by Duane Cross with an overall draft value of 140.4. Additionally Draft Predictor accurately predicted six of my 16 selections, 50 percent of my picks within three spots and 56 percent of my picks by position. Overall, I was quite pleased with the results despite a lack of star quality at the WR position.
4. Greg Kellogg, FantasyAsylum.com
What was your draft strategy and how closely did you stick to it during the draft? I tend to list my players using the Average Value Theory (AVT) with a Value Based Drafting (VBD) strategy. AVT takes the projecting out of VBD. Instead of projecting specific statistics, you just rank your players and their projected points are based on the three-year average for that slot. That gives me approximate values for each player -- but rather than tie myself to a list, I then use gut instinct based on experience and how the draft is flowing to make my specific individual picks.
What was your best pick? At this point this is a difficult question to answer. Lee Suggs is currently the eighth-ranked back on my running back list so grabbing him at 5.04 was good, but if Eddie George refuses to accept the Titans' current offer, getting Chris Brown two rounds later will probably overshadow the Suggs pick.
What was your worst pick? I really wanted Jake Plummer as my top quarterback but he went three picks before me in the 10th round. So taking Roy Williams in the ninth was probably my worst pick. Chances are had I opted for Plummer in the ninth, Williams would have been there for me in the 10th.
What are your general impressions of your team? I like it. I could be stronger at quarterback but David Carr should provide steady points and Josh McCown and Carson Palmer both offer the opportunity for big payoffs. If one of the three performs to top-five level (a stretch, I know) I should have a top-five quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end. I have solid number ones at running back, wide receiver and tight end and a lot of high-potential guys as secondary backs and receivers.
5. B. Duane Cross, SI.com
What was your draft strategy and how closely did you stick to it during the draft? Sitting with the No. 5 pick, I was assured of getting one of the premier running backs. Ahman Green was the best back available, and with his dual-threat potential, it wasn't hard calling his name. However, in a serpentine draft, I had the No. 8 pick in Round 2 -- and opted for the best QB, Peyton Manning, with the thought of getting a good second-tier back in Round 3. Sure enough, I was able to get rookie Kevin Jones to complete my backfield. In Rounds 4-6 I took three WRs with big potential: Andre Johnson, Javon Walker and Ashley Lelie -- each of whom I believe will be their team's primary big-play target this season.
What was your best pick? With my major point-producing players in place, I took Brett Favre in Round 7 -- gotta have a go-to QB when the No. 1 is on a bye week -- and I believe he will have another outstanding year throwing the football. The Packers' offense may be one of the game's most explosive, considering that Walker and Robert Ferguson should have a complete grasp of the system in their third and four seasons, respectively. And keep in mind that Fave has thrown for 91 TDs the past three years.
What was your worst pick? Kelley Washington was a stretch, but if he continues to push Peter Warrick. ... KW had a career-high five catches for a season-best 61 yards and TD in his first start, Week 12 at San Diego, but he had only six catches in the final five weeks (and three of those came in one game). If Washington can live up to the hype that he likes to generate, he could be a steal. Or he could be the first waiver move of the season.
What are your general impressions of your team? I rolled the dice on Kevin Jones, but realistically what other Lions running back is going to take snaps away from him? I believe Jones will fit in nicely with Detroit's offense and will post respectable fantasy numbers. My biggest dilemma will be at QB -- Peyton Manning or Brett Favre? Chances are the Colts/Packers opponent will decide who gets the nod. I really like this young WR corps, and Reggie Williams may be one of the biggest surprises of his year's rookie crop. Bubba Franks is a red-zone weapon (not much else you can hope for from your tight end unless it's Tony Gonzalez), and Matt Stover/Jay Feeley should have the opportunity to post double-digits each week with their teams' offenses. Overall, it's a team that can contend for a playoff berth in many leagues -- if not challenge for the title game.
6. John Georgopolous, GridironGrumblings.com
What was your draft strategy and how closely did you stick to it during the draft? I am currently developing a new methodology based on non-linear regression curve fitting to predict performance by position. Basically, I wanted to take the highest variable positions early and the least varied last. In that regard, I think I succeeded.
What was your best pick? Kevin Johnson. To grab the No. 1 WR of a team in the eighth round is good enough, but I think Johnson has the potential to be this year's Keenan McCardell.
What was your worst pick? Jeff Garcia. Not because he'll have a bad year, but because he's more of a QB2 than a QB1. I wanted Tom Brady in the 8th, but I tried to be cute and wait the extra round. I paid for it when Ryan Houston grabbed him ahead of me in the ninth.
What are your general impressions of your team? It all hinges on Faulk; if he stays injury-free and performs as he has historically, my team is solid. If Faulk tanks or underperforms, this team would likely be middle-of-the-road.
7. Mike Nazarek, FFMastermind.com
By taking three RBs with my first three picks, my strategy was STUD RB Theory at it's best. I believe my team has good depth and backing up Michael Bennett with Onterrio Smith was my smartest choice. I'm also proud of the Drew Bennett pick since both owners behind me cursed when I took him.
Weak pick? Maybe Michael Bennett, but the Smith pick was great insurance. Provided my backs stay healthy and my sleeper WRs in Robinson, Bennett, and Givens produce (at least one coming up big), I think this team should easily compete for a fantasy title.
8. Bob Lung, CREATiVESPORTS.com
What was your draft strategy and how closely did you stick to it during the draft? My draft strategy in any football draft is to first take the scoring method and input it into my Quality Games calculator and see who was, not only the highest overall scorer at each position, but more importantly, who was the most consistent scorer from week to week. From there, I went with the 2 Running Back Theory and grabbed Jamal Lewis and Rudi Johnson in the first two rounds. The rest of the draft, I followed my normal routine of grabbing my best valued player, based on position and potential drop-off, while keeping risk to a minimum.
I believe I stuck to my strategy very well. I grabbed very consistent players for most of my starters. Brooks (6th overall scoring, 4th in Quality Games); Lewis (4th overall, tied for 1st in QG's) and Chad Johnson (3rd overall, tied for 1st in QG's). My backups were nice combination of established veterans and rookies. Add in, a top kicker in Vanderjagt and the special teams of Kansas City and I believe you have a good, solid competitive team.
What was your best pick? Though this may surprise some, I felt my best pick was Aaron Brooks. I chose Brooks in the late sixth round and was the 9th quarterback taken in the draft. I was very happy to grab him this late since Brooks was actually the 6th highest quarterback in overall points last season based on this scoring method. However, what was more important was that Brooks was the 4th overall quarterback in Quality Games. He proved his consistency by exceeding the Quality Game standard in 10 out of the 16 games. Only Culpepper, Bulger and Green had more Quality Games in 2003, based on this scoring method. Not too shabby, when you realize that Joe Horn was playing injured most of the year and Donte Stallworth was non-existent. If both of the players play at their normal levels in 2004, Brooks might put up even better numbers than last season.
What was your worst pick? I believe that any draft you participate in, your worst pick is normally your pick with the highest risk detrimental to your team. That pick for me would be Kellen Winslow Jr. Picking a tight end in the 5th round is risky anyways, but picking a rookie tight end may be suicidal! However, once Gonzalez, Heap and Shockey come off the board, Winslow has the most potential for a huge year at tight end. In my opinion, all others fall short. You can mark it down here, folks! Butch Davis' ego will guarantee that Winslow win the NFL Rookie of the Year! If he doesn't, then this will certainly be my worst pick.
What are your general impressions of your team? I believe it's a solid team overall. I really like the consistency of this team. There are no glaring weaknesses at any of the starting positions. I like my depth, especially at wide receiver and running back. Barring any injuries, I believe this team would have an excellent chance at making the playoffs in a normal 12-team league and possibly winning a title. However, as you can see from the other teams, there are quite a few solid teams in this draft, so one can never really tell from the draft alone.
9. Kirk Bouyelas, FantasyAsylum.com
What was your draft strategy and how closely did you stick to it during the draft? I was using our site's draft tool. The tool is called Draft Predictor and it's quite remarkable. By importing the AVT files, I was able to accurately predict where/when players would be drafted. Consequently, I could find value as the draft progressed. Remember -- the value of a player is not determined by his fantasy production, but rather by where he is drafted.
What was your best pick? I would have to say grabbing Amani Toomer in the late 7th round. He was a great value at that draft position and will make a fine WR3. I think he will complement Eric Moulds and Santana Moss quite well.
What was your worst pick? I absolutely hated having to take Ricky Williams at 1.09. Unfortunately, because of the flow of the draft, I had no other options. Backs like Domanick Davis, Travis Henry and Kevan Barlow were too much of a reach at that point. In real life, I would have tried to move down instead of picking at 1.09.
What are your general impressions of your team? I always hate my team after a draft. Don't really know why. Probably because I'm a little hard on myself and I always dissect everything to find ways to improve. Now that I've had a few days for the team to grow on me, I'm starting to see some great players here. If Tatum Bell performs like I expect, my running backs will be quite dominant. My quarterbacks and receivers are very solid. It's looking up.
10. Bradley Haines, fantasyfootballexperts.com
What was your draft strategy and how closely did you stick to it during the draft? My initial strategy was to play it safe in the first few rounds. I wanted to make sure that I filled my running back slots and wasn't really worried about getting a QB until later. Picking 10th, I realized that a lot of running backs would be off the board before my pick. Planning for the likelihood that all of the backs that I would want in the first round would be gone, I had decided to go with a top-tier receiver. When backs went with the first nine picks, I was prepared to take Randy Moss. I was happy to follow that up with running backs in rounds 2 and 3. I think Davis is a solid pick in round 2 and then I took a chance on Julius Jones of the Cowboys in Round 3. I like this pick and think Jones could put up big numbers for Bill Parcells' Cowboys.
What was your worst pick? QB is not a strength of my team, but I was happy to pick up Trent Green in the 6th round. I probably waited too long to pick up a second QB and as a result missed the better backup QBs. In hindsight, I should have taken a second QB with my pick in either round 10 or 11. At that spot I could have selected between Plummer, Delhomme, McCown and Brad Johnson. Instead, I was left to pick Mark Brunell in round 12.
What was your best pick? Knowing that QB wasn't a strength, I took a flyer on Rich Gannon in Round 16. Gannon will be pushed by Kerry Collins for the starting job in Oakland, but could put up good numbers if he wins the job or if he is cut by the Raiders and lands somewhere else, perhaps Tampa Bay. I was also happy to be able to pick up rookie RB Greg Jones late in Round 15. I think Jones will see some action in Jacksonville this year, especially at the goal line, and he could put up big numbers if the injury bug bites Fred Taylor once again.
What are your general impressions of your team? Overall, my team's strength is at receiver with Randy Moss, Boldin and Rod Smith. Picking late in round one forced me to go away from building my team around a stud running back. By picking Moss and then two second-tier running backs, my team may be less consistent on a weekly basis, but the strong receiving corps should provide some big scoring weeks. I think my team is pretty well balanced with consistent veteran performers backing up some younger players with high upside.
11. Corey Roberts, STATS Inc.
What was your draft strategy and how closely did you stick to it during the draft? With the stud running backs long gone by the 11th pick, I looked to grab a pair of second-tier rushers with my first two selections, focusing on guys who were slated to be their team's featured back and had some upside. Like most, I hate running back-by-committee, and if I didn't get two primary starters right away, it was probable that I'd be picking a committee RB by the time my third-round pick came around. From there, I went with the flow of the draft, trying to take the best players available, while keeping in mind the positional needs of my team. Upon further review, I was upset that I took a kicker so early (13th round), as I had planned to wait until the last round to snag a boot.
What was your best pick? Donovan McNabb. Nabbing Donovan (pun intended) at the end of the third round was a steal, in my opinion. Here's a guy who topped 3,000 yards passing and recorded 27 total touchdowns both in 2000 and 2001. Injuries limited him during the past two seasons, and his stats still were respectable. Being healthy and adding Terrell Owens as a target can only help McNabb's numbers this year. His rushing TDs are always a plus as well.
What was your worst pick? Deion Branch (Round 10). Even though Branch posted solid numbers last year, Tom Brady has way too many options in the Patriots' passing game. As a result, it is hard to predict which one of his receivers is going to have the big game each week. I wanted to take Rod Gardner with this pick, but decided to go a different route after reviewing the bye weeks of the receivers I already had on my squad. Of course, Gardner was the next selection in the draft.
What are your general impressions of your team? Although most of my players would be classified as "decent" (or in other words, just too old), I don't think any are considered fantasy studs. "If" is the big word for my team. If McNabb and Taylor can stay healthy...If Barlow can handle the feature-back duties... If Burress lives up to his potential...If Boston can play the right way...If Hearst wins the starting job in Denver...my squad could stay competitive over the course of the season.
12. James Quintong, SI.com
What was your draft strategy and how closely did you stick to it during the draft? A lot of people with the last pick in the first round go with two running backs, usually in the second tier. However, knowing the run on even second-tier running backs early, it would leave one or two stud receivers exposed, like Marvin Harrison, so I took him and picked up Travis Henry after that, confident a halfway decent back would come back later on. With two picks in a row throughout the draft, you can really do damage by filling in two needs at once and not getting caught up in position runs.
What was your best pick? I usually get caught up in drafting a quarterback really early to fill a position need, but this time I was able to wait and still came away with Steve McNair at the end of the fifth round. He's still a solid fantasy quarterback with a handful of decent weapons at his disposal, not to mention the potential to score TDs at the goal line. Otherwise, it would be picking up Jerry Rice in the 13th round. He may be old, but he can still produce with the right quarterback at the helm.
What was your worst pick? I definitely needed a running back after taking Harrison, and while I like Henry, there is a bit of a risk that he won't get as many carries as some of the other second-tier backs taken after him in the second round. That's not the best thing to hear from your No. 1 running back. That's also why I picked up Willis McGahee in the 12th round as insurance.
What are your general impressions of your team? It's a solid team, especially with two stud receivers as anchors. It's a bit iffy in places, especially lacking a true stud running back, but I like my depth overall, something that's pretty easy to pick up when you keep drafting back-to-back.