This 14-team draft took place on May 12th - the week following the NFL draft. We used standard PPR scoring (4/6, 20/10, 1 PPR) and typical roster requirements (1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 FLEX (RB/WR/TE), 1 TE, 1 K, 1 D, 3 reserves). The results - and a brief Q&A with the participants - are below.
MOCK DRAFT Q&A
Brad Evans, Yahoo! Sports
I'm a tad despondent. It's fueling my Fireball habit, really. My first two picks (Jamaal Charles
and Peyton Manning
) were strong building blocks, but my lack of potency at WR leaves a great deal to be desired. Kendall Wright
is a solid PPR asset, but can he finish in the 5-7 TD range? Hakeem Nicks
was 10 levels below atrocious last year, will he be re-born in Indy? Can Brandin Cooks
live up to the hype, filling the receiving void left by Lance Moore
and Darren Sproles
? Too much uncertainty. Instead of selecting Shane Vereen
in Round 3, going best-on-the-board at WR would've been the savvier move.
STEAL OF THE DRAFT (SOD): Drew Brees
, a perennial 5,000-yard, 35-TD passer, in Round 4 was an insane value. Typically in "expert" exercises, elite QBs drop like rocks, which frankly is just silly.
REACH OF THE DRAFT (ROD): Ben Tate
will be a colossal bust in Cleveland. I simply don't understand the adoration for the guy. He's injury prone and will be pushed heavily by rookie Terrance West
. He's simply not worth a Round 4 pick.
Scott Pianowski, Yahoo! Sports
I probably should have waited on quarterback, as you can always get a solid value there, no matter your price range. Cam Newton
has no wideouts to throw to, and no one knows how long he'll continue to be a major running factor. I also relied on veterans (the old Ibanez All-Stars theme), perhaps to a fault. That often works in baseball, but football in many pockets is a young man's game.
I liked Brandon Funston snagging Cecil Shorts
in the middle of the seventh round, a No. 1 receiver on a team that should chuck it a fair amount. Other recommended picks: Marshawn Lynch
in the second round (PPR or not, a steal), Alfred Morris
, Fred Jackson
, Riley Cooper
I see the case for Jordan Reed
, but a sixth-round ticket sucks all the value out. Other pans: Sammy Watkins
(sixth is too early), Tavon Austin
(I don't trust the Rams), Trent Richardson
(even in a near-perfect setup, can't play).
Dalton Del Don, Yahoo! Sports
I love Eddie Lacy
this year, and while Rob Gronkowski
's health is in question, his upside is that of a top-10 player. I imagine Bishop Sankey
goes a lot higher than where I grabbed him (Round 6) come August. I really don't understand why anyone would take a quarterback before the seventh or eighth round.
SOD: Dez Bryant
at 19 was a steal, and while Marshawn Lynch
gets dinged in PPR, he was terrific value at 22.
ROD: Darren Sproles
gets a boost in PPR, but the 31-year-old looked to be in decline last season. He seemed like a reach in the early fifth.
Mike Doria, RotoWire
Much can change between mid-May and Week 1, but I'm good with having Adrian Peterson
as the foundation of my team, and there's some PPR upside with the rest of my backs. I almost went with Matt Forte
at No. 4, which I suppose was on my brain when I chose his potential backup with my last pick. We only went 13 rounds, so if we were to play this league out, I'd have to stock my bench with players from teams other than New England, plus I'd be on the lookout for some wideout darts to secure.
SOD: Brandin Cooks
has big-play potential in the Saints offense. Bishop Sankey
should outshine Shonn Greene
in the Titans backfield and Charles Sims
is a sneaky PPR dart.
ROD: Rob Gronkowski
in Round 4 looks a little risky at this stage, given his injury woes. David Wilson
probably could have been had later due to his injury concerns, along with the presence of Rashad Jennings
Chris Liss, RotoWire
I think a good case can be made for Calvin Johnson
at No. 3 in a PPR format, but when I took Alshon Jeffery
and Aaron Rodgers
in Rounds 3 and 4, I knew RB would be dicey. And it was – Ray Rice
could be suspended, and David Wilson
is coming back from a serious neck injury. But that's going to be a theme of my drafts this year – strong in the passing game (I also nabbed Jordan Cameron
) and will figure out the running game as I go.
SOD: Drew Brees
in Round 4 was great considering I was 50-50 on him and Rodgers, who I took 13 picks earlier. I also liked Keenan Allen
, Michael Floyd
, Cordarrelle Patterson
and Bishop Sankey
where they went.
I thought Terrance Williams
was early in Round 5 for PPR, given he's not a volume guy. And I'd be shocked if Julian Edelman
comes close to repeating what he did last year when he was only their No. 1 WR as a emergency last resort.
Jeff Erickson, RotoWire
My possible regret about this draft was not taking the "punt RBs" strategy far enough, though I am happy with the slot where I got C.J. Spiller
in the second round. But I really wanted to get three WRs, an elite TE and an elite QB with my first five picks and chickened out. I came pretty close, though, with three WRs in the first four rounds. As my feel for the RB pool firms up closer to drafts that count, I'll be even more comfortable with this strategy.
While that stability at QB is under-appreciated, I like the price Dalton paid to get Colin Kaepernick
ROD: Andre Ellington
didn't play more than 33 snaps in any game last season. While his role might be bigger this year, and it's a PPR league, I still can't spend a third-round pick on him.
Brandon Funston, Yahoo! Sports
Far be it for me to be the first person to come out of an expert draft not claiming to love his team. I do think I assembled a quality squad. I thought the PPR aspect downgraded Marshawn Lynch
(No. 22 overall) much too harshly (and, hey, he had 34 catches last year, which is not nothing). My regret was taking Golden Tate
ahead of Titans rookie RB Bishop Sankey
in Round 6. Sankey can be a three-down back behind a really good offensive line, and all he has to do is beat out Shonn Greene
. I like his chances.
I like Pittsburgh WR Markus Wheaton
at No. 125 overall. That's a team that puts up impressive passing-game numbers, and it lost Emmanuel Sanders
and Jerricho Cotchery
, who combined for 113 catches, 1,339 receiving yards and 16 TDs. That's a lot of production, and Wheaton is in a position to absorb a big chunk of it.
Apparently Erickson wasn't a C.J. Spiller
owner last year, otherwise I doubt he'd have taken him with the No. 21 overall pick. Spiller's proven to be untrustworthy, be it general production, consistency or health. He has averaged a mere 4.5 TDs in his first four seasons, and with Fred Jackson
still around his TD upside remains stunted. And with Buffalo having traded for Bryce Brown
and rumored to have tried to get Carlos Hyde
in the draft, it's obvious Buffalo does not view Spiller as a bell cow.
Justin Sablich, New York Times
I couldn't be happier with this team from a PPR standpoint, considering my running backs combined for 190 receptions and 1,522 receiving yards in 2013, and my first two wideouts both eclipsed 160 targets and 100 receptions. It was tough passing on Jimmy Graham
in the first round, but I believe DeMarco Murray
can outdo last season's sixth-place PPR finish among running backs with ex-Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan now on staff in Dallas. Being able to land Jason Witten
in a PPR format, and in the seventh round, was also fortunate. He has averaged 125 targets and 87 catches the last three seasons.
SOD: Danny Woodhead
is coming off a career-high 76 catches and a 12th-place PPR finish among backs. He'll easily out-produce the RBs that went before him in the third and fourth rounds in this scoring format.
ROD: Carlos Hyde
in the seventh is too early for me considering he's an unproven rookie who joins a crowded backfield of Frank Gore
, Kendall Hunter
and Marcus Lattimore
Vlad Sedler, RotoWire
My team feels boring (no rookies) but solid. I was locked in on Jimmy Graham
at No. 9 and happy to get him there – consider him my top receiver and expect similar results to last year's. He could even see an uptick in targets with Marques Colston
declining and Brandin Cooks
adjusting to the NFL. I got great value on Doug Martin
in Round 2 – lanes will open with a veteran QB and big WR/TE targets. I took Wes Welker
in Round 3 after Pierre Garcon
went one pick ahead – a great PPR target with Eric Decker
gone. Robert Griffin
in the seventh will be a common theme to my drafts this summer (I like filling 2 RB/2WR first and won't be spending 1-3 round picks on QBs this year). I love Griffin another year removed from injury, getting a full year out of Jordan Reed
and adding DeSean Jackson
SOD: Markus Wheaton
will step in as Pittsburgh's new Mike Wallace
(deep threat), and I don't trust Martavis Bryant
, Darrius Heyward-Bey
or Lance Moore
, who are complementary guys. Wheaton was my next pick there, and I cursed aloud when Liss scooped him up. I also liked Kaepernick in Round 9 – more weapons, a full year of Michael Crabtree
and his running ability make him a great value.
I love DeMarco Murray
and understand taking him there since he wouldn't have been available on the way back, but I'm always worried about his health and ability to hold up in back-to-back seasons. And there's a point in the draft where Rob Gronkowski
is worth a shot, but it's only a matter of time before something happens to the knee again. I can't risk passing on healthy WR2 options with upside at that point in the draft.
Eric Karabell, ESPN
I like this team, which clearly focused on running backs that catch the ball since it's a PPR format. Three of my backs were top 10 in receptions at the position. I was able to wait a long time at QB and still get Russell Wilson
, and I see upside in several receivers, though it would be nice to have an elite option. Could Danny Amendola
be that guy? No idea how many games he plays, but in a PPR, I had to take the chance after the top 100.
Non-pass catchers Marshawn Lynch
and Alfred Morris
always slip too far in PPR. And I just missed getting steals with Andre Johnson
and Wes Welker
! They'll be fine.
Nothing obvious, except for several rookies (Mike Evans
, Sammy Watkins
) going before established, safer veterans. Happens in all drafts.
Andrew Martinez, RotoWire
I feel my team has good balance, as I selected a RB, WR, QB and TE all in my first five picks. I wish I had taken Bishop Sankey
instead of Maurice Jones-Drew
in the sixth round, as Sankey has more upside because of his youth and situation. I particularly like that I was able to get Drew Brees
early in the fourth round, after Peyton Manning
went late in the second and Aaron Rodgers
went early in the third. Rodgers and Brees are likely much closer than this in terms of production.
SOD: Tony Romo
in the middle of the ninth round. Drafted after Tom Brady
, Robert Griffin
and Matt Ryan
, he should out-produce all of them, if he gets back to being the passer we've seen as recently as 2012.
The reach of the draft was likely Shane Vereen
at the start of the third round. He is adept at catching passes, but the Patriots have never shown confidence in him as a rusher. He's a slightly better a fantasy option in PPR leagues than Danny Woodhead
, who went two full rounds later.
John Hansen, Fantasy Guru
I'm not doing handstands about my team, but for my first draft of 2014 I'd say things went pretty well. I like the balance between established veterans and young, ascending players. And I held off as long as I could on a QB, and Andrew Luck
in the sixth round of a 14-team draft is pretty strong.
SOD: Colin Kaepernick
in the ninth of a 14-team draft was pretty larcenous, and I have a feeling my pick of Kyle Rudolph
in the 11th will go down as thievery once Norv Turner gets hold of him and this offense.
ROD: Andre Johnson
in the third round looks like a shaky pick, despite his huge season in 2013. And as much as I loved what Pierre Thomas
did last year, the third round was a little too rich for my blood. I also thought Terrance West
in the seventh was a bit much as well.
Nando diFino, Fantasy Sports Network
I love this team. I went in wanting three of my first five picks to be RBs (I ended up with four, because Trent Richardson
was too good of a value to pass up in the fifth). I targeted backs who didn't project to be in split-carry situations; Zac Stacy
, Arian Foster
, Rashad Jennings
and Richardson fit that mold. My receivers aren't studs, but I have the likely No. 1's for the Giants, Eagles and Dolphins, as well as a potential breakout in James Jones
and a bounce-back sleeper in Steve Johnson
. And Jay Cutler
has a pass-catching RB, two elite receivers and a tight end with a ton of potential. There's not much I would change with this team. My next five mocks might not look much like this one, but they will likely keep the same theme.
SOD: Maurice Jones-Drew
in the sixth could be huge if he wins that job. And if Danny Amendola
can stay healthy, he'll deliver way more than ninth-round value (especially in a PPR). I really like Toby Gerhart
in the fifth, too. He has a ton of talent and could put up big numbers if things fall the right way.
Looking at some other mocks, the early ADP might say I reached for Stacy and Jennings, but I wanted to stick with my plan. I think they'll be great. And I don't care. I went out and got my guys!
Tom Kessenich, NFFC
I'm pretty happy with this team. Picking at the turn, I wanted two stud wide receivers at the start, which I got in A.J. Green
and Julio Jones
. I knew RBs would be tough to come by with that approach, but getting Chris Johnson
(who has been top-12 in PPR every year of his career) at the 3/4 turn was great value in my opinion. I think my WRs are strong, and Matt Ryan
in the seventh was sensational value. I'm weak at TE, but that's the price you sometimes pay picking at the turn.
The QB position is very deep but getting Aaron Rodgers
(a proven top-three stud) in the third of a 14-team league is a steal.
I love Eddie Lacy
but taking him third overall was a big reach with guys like Adrian Peterson
, Matt Forte
, Calvin Johnson
and Jimmy Graham
all on the board.