If you’re a fantasy football fanatic like us, you can’t wait for fantasy football season to start again. While it’s great to talk about all the hottest free agent signings (Welker/Amendola/Bush and Wallace/Bennett/Cook) and trades (see Harvin/Boldin and Flynn), there’s nothing that simulates the excitement of a fantasy football draft. As such, our very own fantasy football writer Nicholas Kaminski organized a group of football writers who will be mock drafting once a month until the season. Mock drafting not only is a tool to illustrate how players are being viewed, but it is also a great way for one to practice strategies and hone one’s fantasy football skills.
Here’s our cast of football writers:
Vance Meek – @vancemeek Writer for Rant Sports covering the Cincinnati Bengals.
Vince Lombardi Jr. – @vlombardijr Host of Outside Pitch on Sports Chronicles Radio Networ
Alex Ahlers - @sport_spectrum Founder and Writer for thesportspectrum.blogspot.com.
Chris Goodin – @GoodinFFOasis Fantasy Football Writer for fantasyfootballoasis.com.
Russell Shaffer – @RussellShaffer Fantasy sports writer for TopTeamFantasy.
Nicholas Kaminski – @kamifootball Fantasy Football Writer for TopTeamFantasy.
Blake Meek – @BMeek23 Writer for NFL Mocks and Stripehype
Jonathan Vandersluis – @TopTeamFantasy Founder and Writer for TopTeamFantasy
Chris DeLoach – @TurtleDeLoach27 Football Color Analyst frequent on local sports show guest.
John Kerwin – @JKerwin777k Fantasy Football Writer for The Fake Football.
The league plays with standard NFL.com scoring settings and uses the following positions: QB, 2RB, 2WR, TE, W/R, K, DEF, K with 6 bench spots.
Ideally, we would love to give you guys our explanation for every single pick, but in the interest of not making this article 10 pages long, we opted to just include some of the highlights. Feel free to contact any of the writers to ask for more rationale behind their selections.
Let’s see how the draft turned out! (Click here for a team by team breakdown)
Ahlers: Doug Martin burst onto the scene this year with a huge rookie campaign. After a slow first 6 weeks he went for over 1,000 yards and had 11 touchdowns in his last 10 games including one of the greatest fantasy performances of all time against the Oakland Raiders, in which he amassed 4 touchdowns and over 250 rushing yards.
Shaffer: Ray Rice is one of the most durable and explosive backs in the league. His position as a three down back and heavy inclusion in the passing game makes him a premier number one fantasy back.
DeLoach: He is going to be a work horse in this offense. Richardson told reporters that the coaches want to get him more involved in the passing offense as well. If he can stay healthy, he could be a top 5 back this year.
Kerwin: RG3 sounds as he’s ahead of schedule on his knee. I assume the Redskins will run much less read option this year to keep him out of harm’s way and open up space for Alf, but think Morris is still a solid RB2.
Vandersluis: No way I’m going two picks without grabbing a RB and Forte is the best left on my board, new offense will more pass heavy and Forte should thrive.
B. Meek: Cam’s in his 3rd year and should be even better than last. Will get 3,500 passing yards with 25 TD’s and 700-800 rushing yards with another 8-10 TDs. Should be one of the top 5 players in all of fantasy football.
Goodin: MJD will be back with a vengeance in 2013. He’s mad about people saying Gabbert is garbage. A year off made him hungry so look out in 2013.
Lombardi Jr.: I was considering my 2nd RB here because of the need for 2 starters and the ability to use a RB in the flex, but hard to pass on Gronk who is a TD machine and still is Brady’s #1 target.
Ahlers: At quarterback I grabbed Peyton over Brady. With another year under his belt with Thomas and Decker and the addition of Wes Welker and Peyton could easily be a top 3 signal caller by years end.
Kaminski: With the losses of Welker and Lloyd, I project a bigger workload from Ridley. He had a great breakout campaign last year and I see some bigger numbers to come this season.
DeLoach: Was very pleased to get Russell this late. He is my pick for the top fantasy scorer for the whole league next year. With Percy now being his #1 wide receiver and still having Lynch in the backfield, I don’t know if anyone will be able to stop this offense.
Shaffer: Johnson was arguably at first round pick last year and has fallen due to a slow start. He picked it up late last year and is a great value and the fourth round.
V. Meek: Michael Crabtree was taken in one of the later rounds and provides good value. He took a huge step forward in 2012 and could become an elite WR. If Kaepernick takes another step forward, Crabtree will have a big year.
Lombardi Jr: Big dilemma in deciding 2nd RB or 2nd WR at this point. I felt I had the potential of getting my #2 RB later, since there was such an early run. Get myself a #1 WR in Colston here was the better choice.
Vandersluis: Even in a season where almost everything went wrong, Wallace still finished as the 25th best WR in fantasy (9th in 2011). Wallace is still only 26 years old and with MIA he will be given every opportunity to succeed as the deep threat with a revamped offense and emerging QB.
DeLoach: I always seem to have Dwayne Bowe on my teams because I think many people have him underrated. Now that he has an actual QB running the offense, I expect a huge year from this guy.
B.Meek: Witten has always been Tony Romo’s best friend in that offense. Should catch near 100 balls again this year and is a great option in the red zone. With Bryant breaking out on the outside, teams can’t cover the middle with as many defenders.
Goodin: Stafford threw 727 times in 2012, with a dynamic receiving RB like Bush behind him, I expect a ton of screens for lots of yardage. Over 5000 yards with a much better TD-Int ratio than 2012.
B. Meek: Every year we hear it’s going to be Matthews breakout year, well I think this is his last chance. They should draft some help on that offensive line and Matthews needs to show he can be the RB he was drafted to be.
Vandersluis: Garcon struggled through injuries missing 6 games and being hampered in many others, but if he can get past his injury issues, he has the talent and opportunity to be a top 10 WR as RGIII’s favorite target. Love getting him as my third WR.