Fantasy football Mock Draft: Redrafting based on 2013 results
With the NFL season wrapping up, SI.com's fantasy analysts took time to reflect on the season. But how do fantasy analysts reflect on the season? By doing a mock draft, of course. But this isn't a mock draft for the 2014 season. This is a mock draft for 2013 -- taking into account who performed the best this season and finding out who really should have been drafted in the first round (hint: not C.J. Spiller, Trent Richardson and Ray Rice). It's a little more than drafting players in order of who scored the most points, but one thing's for sure -- it looks nothing like mock drafts completed in August. Here's an in-depth look at how the draft went, including round-by-round breakdowns, self-assessments from each team owner, key observations and more.
This draft was for an eight-team, non-PPR league, starting one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, one tight end, one flex position, one kicker and one defense/special teams. Only starters were drafted because this is a mock draft, and selecting an entire bench would take way too much time. However, this meant that everyone drafted their kicker and D/ST in the final two rounds.
1. Eric Edholm, SI.com fantasy contributor
2. Brian Flood, SI.com fantasy contributor
3. Bobby Clay, SI.com senior editor
4. Dan McQuade, SI.com fantasy contributor
5. David Gonos, SI.com fantasy contributor
6. Michael Beller, SI.com lead fantasy writer
7. Bette Marston, SI.com associate producer
8. Alessandro Miglio, SI.com fantasy contributor
• After his outrageous, record-breaking season, was Peyton Manning worth the No. 1 fantasy football draft pick? No, but he was good enough for the second pick.
• Two Denver Broncos, Peyton Manning and Knowshon Moreno, and one Seattle Seahawk, Marshawn Lynch, were drafted in the first round. They'll also face off in the Super Bowl this weekend.
• Eddie Lacy was the first rookie off of the board in the second round. A smart move, seeing that he rushed for 1178 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.
• Which players went in the first round of your fantasy football draft that you don't see at all in this draft? Yeah, lots.
And without further delay...
The thing about a redraft is that you almost have to unwire your brain a bit. You have to convince yourself it's ok to be non-traditional in your approach to picking players because the results are right there in front of you -- you know who has done well.
With the first pick, I had a legitimate debate: Jamaal Charles, Peyton Manning or ... Jimmy Graham. Why Graham? I was this close to taking him because if you stack him up to the other tight ends, there was a huge separation from him to the next one. He was that much better than everyone else at this position. But taking Graham likely would have meant getting watered-down running backs and not landing A.J. Green. That would have been a tough sacrifice to make. So I chickened out. Can you blame me?
Getting Luck in Round Seven, even with his late-season slide, was a score, I thought. There's nice balance and harmony to what I was able to get.
Among the players I just missed out on included Alfred Morris and Justin Tucker, but overall I am happy with my overall haul.
Flood: My strategy for the first three rounds was to take the players that scored the most points this season, regardless of position. It will very difficult to outscore my squad with a core of Peyton Manning, Dez Bryant and Antonio Brown. I'm not a huge Alfred Morris guy, but I needed a running back and he was the best available at the time. Joique Bell is one of my favorite targets for 2014 and had a few big games sprinkled in this season. I have the best defense and my kicker will score 23 points in the fantasy semi-final week (assuming I make it that far). I neglected the tight end position once other teams started drafting them, because I knew they wouldn't take a second tight end. This allowed me to grab my choice of kicker and defense, and still get a strong tight end. Then again, this theory was implemented due to the odd setup of our draft; in most cases, I couldn't do that.
Clay: It's slightly debatable, but the running back duo of LeSean McCoy and Eddie Lacy appears to be better than any of the seven other combinations. Pairing Jamaal Charles with someone better than Chris Johnson and Marshawn Lynch with a better option than Reggie Bush, might have rivaled my backs. As it stands, the combo platter of Matt Forte and DeMarco Murray comes the closest to matching my talent, so I feel like I got off to a good start in this draft.
Brandon Marshall and Pierre Garcon at wide receiver with Larry Fitzgerald as a flex gives me three No. 1 receivers who know how to produce. And given that Jimmy Graham was the only tight end off the board when I decided to cherry pick from that position, I liked the idea of Peyton Manning throwing to Julius Thomas better than any of the other options, but I could understand the case being made to take a different tight end. The bigger point is that by going RB, RB, WR, WR, I created the opportunity of having my choice of the second tight end off the board in Round 5.
Given the choice of Nick Foles or Matthew Stafford at quarterback, I went with the guy who captured our imagination the most down the stretch. I really like his upside. Prater simply kicked for the league's highest scoring offense and the Bengals scored the fourth-most fantasy points by a defense last season, and tied with Kansas City for the most defensive touchdowns (7). Too bad that I don't actually get to compete in a league with this team!
McQuade: The fourth pick was kind of tough: I think Manning, Charles and McCoy are an easy top three and then there's a gap. I toyed with taking Brees, but I think waiting for a quarterback until later worked out: I was able to get two solid running backs instead and still got Rivers, who threw 32 touchdown passes this season. That's 10 fewer than Brees, but I think my extra production at running back was worth it. I spent a long time deciding between Fred Jackson and DeSean Jackson for my flex pick in the fifth round. When I finally made my pick, I must have made the right decision because DeSean had already been taking by Michael Beller in the third round. D'oh! After getting over my embarrassment, I corrected my pick to Fred Jackson (since I also have with Vincent, I still lead this draft in Jacksons).
Gonos: Right off the bat, I'll admit that I messed up this draft -- I took a second flex player in the sixth round (Maurice Jones-Drew), and by the time we realized it, it was too late to put the effort in to fix it and re-do a round and a half. That being said, doing a redraft at the end of the season can look a little weird, but it helps you take a look at the depth at the positions in a different way.
I knew that I wanted to get the players that were the most consistent and reliable from week to week, which meant skipping on someone like Andre Johnson, who had nine weeks with 10 or fewer points. Marshawn Lynch started my draft off, and he scored in the top 25 at his position in 11 games, and he placed in the top five in four of those weeks. I also knew the wide receiver position was top-heavy, and I wanted to get a steady producer, which I got with Demaryius Thomas. No other wide receiver was consistently among the top scorers every week as he was, scoring a touchdown in nine different outings. I went with Reggie Bush in the third round who played a big part in Detroit's passing game, in spite of his fumbles.
Jordy Nelson, Wes Welker and Jones-drew had eight or more games apiece in which they landed in the top 25 at their position, and the three combined for just five horrible weeks, landing outside of the top 50 . Quarterback remains a very deep position, and I waited very long -- and still was able to end up with Stafford, who didn't really come apart until late in the season. Olsen was one of the most consistent tight ends all season, with only Jimmy Graham, Vernon Davis and Julius Thomas having more top-10 scoring weeks among tight ends, than Olsen's eight. The Rams DST had up and down weeks, and I was late to the game in drafting at this position.
Beller: My strategy was pretty simple. I went into the draft thinking I'd take the highest-scoring running back or receiver on the board with each of my first five picks. When Jimmy Graham was available in the second round, I called an audible and went in that direction. I used playoff performance as a tiebreaker in certain instances. Given that we already know how everyone played in Weeks 14 through 16, I didn't want to hang myself out to dry in the playoffs. Other than that, the high-point man on the board earned a spot on my team.
Marston: I drafted Adrian Peterson in the first round most likely because he served me well during the regular season (except for when he sat out in Week 15, smack dab in the middle of the playoffs. I decided to risk it for this draft.) I also jumped on Drew Brees in the second round, which I admit was early, because quarterback remains a deep position. Sure Brees had a fantastic season, but based on when the next quarterback was drafted (Cam Newton in Round 6), I definitely could have waited. However, I'm pleased with my Eric Decker-Keenan Allen wide receiver double threat, complimented by Danny Woodhead in my flex spot.
Miglio: As Ricky Ricardo might say, I have some 'splainin to do at running back, given both Le'Veon Bell and Zac Stacy played just 13 games. I did have a strategy, promise.
My goal in this re-draft was to maximize points per game. Given I got the short straw and the last pick in the draft, I wasn't going to find that at running back. Jamaal Charles and LeSean McCoy were long gone by the time my pick rolled around, so I went with the top two average scorers at wide receiver, giving me an incredible advantage at the position. Granted, Josh Gordon would have gotten me goose eggs in the first two weeks of the season because of a suspension, but 16.2 points per game after his return is a great number. Getting back to running back, Bell and Stacy rank 10th and 12th in PPG. That won't help me in the first three weeks of the season, but I like my chances after that.
As for other positions, I was shocked that Andy Dalton was sitting there at quarterback so late. The others taken before him are bigger names -- and he had some duds this year -- but Dalton was the third-best fantasy quarterback this season if we are counting all 16 games.
All in all my team averaged 95.6 points per game outside kicker and defense, not too shabby in a standard scoring format. Had we drafted some bench players to fill in for injuries and suspensions, it'd be in real good shape.
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