The Cafe has recently been doing a mock PPR draft, and yours truly has had the privilege of participating in it. I always like doing a good mock draft, just to see which players slip and which players rise — and of course to try and test out a few strategic moves without any real risk of embarrassing myself. For this format, we start 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 K and 1 D/ST. Scoring is 1 point per 25 yds passing, 1 point per 10 yds rushing or receiving, 4 pts per passing TD, 6 pts per rushing TD, and -2 per INT or fumble. And, of course, 1 point per reception.
Here’s my take on the first eight rounds of the ongoing mock draft, which began on June 25, 2010.
1. LS2Throwed – Chris Johnson, RB – TEN
2. joejlitz – Adrian Peterson, RB – MIN
3. THEOT – Ray Rice, RB – BAL
4. 34=sweetness – Maurice Jones-Drew, RB – JAC
5. iamgregg – Andre Johnson, WR – HOU
6. Santacruzer – Michael Turner, RB – ATL
7. RBW – Frank Gore, RB – SF
8. Thracken – Drew Brees, QB – NO
9. Hank_Scorpio – Reggie Wayne, WR – IND
10. MattUTD20 – Steven Jackson, RB – STL
11. WacougMBS – Randy Moss, WR – NO
12. Benb18a – Rashard Mendenhall, RB – PIT
Not too many early surprises, but Chris Johnson goes first over AP, and Ray Rice goes third overall, one pick ahead of MJD. Andre Johnson is the first WR off the board to iamgregg at 1.05, ahead of RBs Michael Turner and Frank Gore. I was a little surprised to see Turner picked over Gore in a PPR, but there you go. With the format not favoring quarterbacks, the biggest surprise to me was Drew Brees going at 1.08 to Thracken. My selection came next, and I went the safe route with Reggie Wayne. Now, for me Wayne is a lock for 80 receptions, 1,200 yards and 10 TDs. My other options were Randy Moss, Larry Fitzgerald and Brandon Marshall. But, with Moss’ general grumpiness in New England, Fitz’s adjustment to a new QB and no Anquan Boldin, and Marshall getting used to life in Miami, I thought Wayne was the safest pick. I don’t like taking risks with my first pick, and I had hoped one of the other three WRs might drop to me with my 2.04 pick. Steven Jackson, a RB I passed on due to injury concerns, went next. Then Moss was snapped up at 1.11, and another RB I considered, Rashard Mendenhall, rounded out the first round.
Best pick: Chris Johnson is a no-brainer to LS2Throwed at #1 overall.
Surprise pick: Brees, who may top 5,000 yards but is no sure thing for Thracken at 1.08 with just 4 pts/passing TD.
13. Benb18a – Larry Fitzgerald, WR – ARZ
14. WacougMBS – Brandon Marshall, WR – MIA
15. MattUTD20 – Calvin Johnson, WR – DET
16. Hank_Scorpio – Ryan Grant, RB – GB
17. Thracken – Roddy White, WR – ATL
18. RBW – Aaron Rodgers, QB – NO
19. Santacruzer – Miles Austin, WR – DAL
20. iamgregg – DeAngelo Williams, RB – CAR
21. 34=sweetness – Greg Jennings, WR – GB
22. THEOT – Peyton Manning, QB – IND
23. joejlitz – Shonn Greene, RB – NYJ
24. LS2Throwed – DeSean Jackson, WR – PHI
I’m crushed when Fitzgerald and Marshall start off the round. WaCougMBS employs the dreaded WR-WR picks in the first two rounds that I thought might haunt me. MattUTD20 makes things worse by grabbing the Lions’ Calvin Johnson at 2.03, right before I pick. So, my three hopes for a stud WR are now gone. Roddy White and Miles Austin are available, but with sixteen more picks before I go again, I decide I need a RB and go with Green Bay’s Ryan Grant. He’s not a big pass-catcher, but Grant is a model of consistency and great week to week. White, to no surprise, goes next to Thracken at 2.05, and then the second QB goes off the board, with Aaron Rodgers going to RBW at 2.06. Austin goes next to Santacruzer, so I was right to consider him and White at my pick. DeAngelo Williams goes next to iamgregg, which is a little high to me — I like Williams’ teammate, Jonathan Stewart, a little better. A couple of WRs I had hoped would fall to me in the next round, Greg Jennings and DeSean Jackson, are picked at the later stages of this round, making WRs the dominant position of the second round, with seven selected.
Best pick: DeSean Jackson at 2.12 is a great pick for LS2Throwed, as I think Jackson’s poised for a career year.
Surprise pick: Shonn Greene at 2.11 is a riskier pick — he hasn’t proven himself and does not seem to be a PPR-type RB. Joejlitz is rolling the dice here, and I would have expected a WR pick here considering he picked AP second overall.
25. LS2Throwed – Marques Colston, WR – NO
26. joejlitz – Sidney Rice, WR – MIN
27. THEOT – Jamaal Charles, RB – KC
28. 34=sweetness – Pierre Thomas, RB – NO
29. iamgregg – Ryan Matthews, RB – SD
30. Santacruzer – LeSean McCoy, RB – PHI
31. RBW – Mike Sims-Walker, WR – JAC
32. Thracken – Knowshon Moreno, RB – DEN
33. Hank_Scorpio – Matt Forte, RB – CHI
34. MattUTD20 – Anquan Boldin, WR – BAL
35. WacougMBS – Dallas Clark, TE – IND
36. Benb18a – Cedric Benson, RB – CIN
Teams are starting to round out now, and we see a run on RBs after the WR run in the second round. LS2Throwed grabs WR Marques Colston to start the round, and joejlitz is obliged to take a WR with Minny’s Sidney Rice. I am getting nervous about my WR prospects here, remembering that we start three in this format and I have only one. The RB run begins at 3.03 with THEOT passing on a WR and instead going with KC’s Jamaal Charles. He has gone RB-QB-RB, and there will be 18 more picks before he gets a chance at his first WR. Wow. After Charles, Pierre Thomas, Ryan Mathews and LeSean McCoy are picked. RBW, who has Gore and Rodgers, needs his first WR and picks Mike Sims-Walker at 3.07. Thracken goes with a RB in Denver sophomore Knowshon Moreno — and now I’m stuck. I really like the Bears’ Matt Forte and the Cards’ Beanie Wells, plus a few WRs. I decide with WacougMBS having no RBs and two picks before I pick again, I can’t afford to pass on a second RB here and pick Forte at 3.09, 33rd overall. I have Forte as a top bounce-back player in 2010, and he should be great in PPR leagues. MattUTD20 crushes me again by picking Anquan Boldin next, and WacougMBS surprises me by picking the first TE, Dallas Clark. Benb18a picks RB Cedric Benson to end Round 3, and I wonder if I reached on Forte. Oh well, no regrets.
Best pick: LeSean McCoy goes to Santacruzer at 3.06 and I think he’s a great fit in this spot for PPR leagues. I liked McCoy coming out of college, and he should put up Westbrook-like numbers for the Eagles in 2010.
Surprise pick: RBW gets Sims-Walker at 3.07, and there are a few WRs (Boldin and both Steve Smiths) I liked better. This is a case where needing a certain position forces an owner to pick a player they might not normally like, but just out of fear that there may be even less to choose from when their next pick comes up.
37. Benb18a – Steve Smith, WR – NYG
38. WacougMBS – Joe Addai, RB – IND
39. MattUTD20 – Steve Smith, WR – CAR
40. Hank_Scorpio – Antonio Gates, TE – SD
41. Thracken – Michael Crabtree, WR – SF
42. RBW – Jermichael Finley, TE – GB
43. Santacruzer – Chad Ochocinqo, WR – CIN
44. iamgregg – Hakeem Nicks, WR – NYG
45. 34=sweetness – Beanie Wells, RB – ARZ
46. THEOT – Jonathan Stewart, RB – CAR
47. joejlitz – Hines Ward, WR – PIT
48. LS2Throwed – Jason Witten, TE – DAL
Benb18a kills me by picking the Giants’ Steve Smith, whom I had really hoped would fall to me. Nuts. WacougMBS takes his first RB, and gets an okay one in Indy’s Joe Addai. Then, disaster for me when MattUTD20 takes his third WR, with Carolina’s Steve Smith. Now I’m stumped. There’s a big dropoff for me at the WR position now. I consider the 49ers’ Michael Crabtree and KC’s Dwayne Bowe, who are number one wideouts on their NFL teams. I didn’t want either of them in the fourth round. I pass on them and hope one will be there for me in the fifth round. Instead I go for San Diego’s Antonio Gates, the second TE off the board and a guy I absolutely love in 2010. Gates won’t be there sixteen picks from now, but I hope a decent WR will be. Four rounds for my team and just one WR picked, not what I had set out to do. Thracken doesn’t do much to help me, grabbing Crabtree with the 4.05 pick. Ughh. RBW, who needs WRs like I do, passes on Bowe and instead takes Jermichael Finley next, the third TE off the board. (I am hoping I have created a TE run here and a WR will fall to me now.) Chad Ochocinco and Hakeem Nicks then go back-to-back, two guys I wasn’t excited about, but I don’t want a WR run here. Beanie Wells and Jonathan Stewart go next. I like them both, but I have my two starting RBs so I’m happy. Hines Ward goes to joejlitz at 4.11 (fine by me), and then TE Jason Witten goes to LS2Throwed to end Round 4.
Best pick: Beanie Wells is taken by 34=sweetness at 4.08 and I love this player. He drops a little in PPR leagues, but I think he’s in for a big season. He’s 34=sweetness’ third RB picked after MJD and Pierre Thomas, but I still like it.
Surprise pick: Jermichael Finley at 4.06 is a bit of a reach. I liked Witten, Vernon Davis and even Brent Celek better. RBW already has the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers, and I don’t like doubling up with the Packer TE in this spot. His team still needs a starting RB and two starting WRs, and the talent is beginning to thin out.
49. LS2Throwed – Tony Romo, QB – DAL
50. joejlitz – Matt Schaub, QB – HOU
51. THEOT – Vernon Davis, TE – SF
52. 34=sweetness – Philip Rivers, QB – SD
53. iamgregg – Felix Jones, RB – DAL
54. Santacruzer – Tom Brady, QB – NE
55. RBW – Jahvid Best, RB – DET
56. Thracken – Dwayne Bowe, WR – KC
57. Hank_Scorpio -Percy Harvin, WR – MIN
58. MattUTD20 – Ronnie Brown, RB – MIA
59. WacougMBS – T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR – SEA
60. Benb18a – Brent Celek, TE – PHI
I’m not too happy to see a QB run start now, another position I am still needing. LS2Throwed and joejlitz take Romo-Schaub to start round five, and THEOT takes the fifth TE, with Vernon Davis. 34=sweetness takes Philip Rivers, and I don’t mind since I have Gates already. Another team grabs their third RB, as iamgregg takes the Cowboys’ Felix Jones. With the sixth pick, Santacruzer ends my hopes of getting Tom Brady — so now I’m really focused on WRs. RBW goes next and gets rookie RB Jahvid Best of Detroit to get his second RB. I’m pumped, hoping Thracken will pass on Dwayne Bowe — but he doesn’t. Bowe goes at 5.08. Now I need a WR, badly. Bowe was the last worthwhile #1 WR on his NFL team on my list. Instead, I decide my next two picks will be wideouts, and I take the Vikings’ Percy Harvin at 5.09. (Brett Favre better not retire, I think to myself.)
Best pick: Matt Schaub goes at 5.02 to joejlitz. I love this pick. In this format, QB yards are pretty important, since TDs are just 4 points. Schaub led the NFL in passing in 2009, so he’s a pretty good pick.
Surprise pick: T.J. Houshmandzadeh goes 5.11 to WacougMBS. I don’t get this pick. Maybe WacougMBS knows something I don’t, but the aging ‘Housh’ will need a time machine trip to 2008 to put up decent fantasy points this year. And he should toss ‘Hawks QB Matt Hasselbeck into the trip with him while he’s at it.
61. Benb18a – Donald Driver, WR – GB
62. WacougMBS – Justin Forsett, RB – SEA
63. MattUTD20 – Kevin Kolb, QB – PHI
64. Hank_Scorpio – Mike Wallace, WR – PIT
65. Thracken – Jerome Harrison, RB – CLE
66. RBW – Brandon Jacobs, RB – NYG
67. Santacruzer – Wes Welker, WR – NE
68. iamgregg – Antonio Bryant, WR – CIN
69. 34=sweetness – Jeremy Maclin, WR – PHI
70. THEOT – Kenny Britt, WR – TEN
71. joejlitz – Pierre Garcon, WR – IND
72. LS2Throwed – Michael Bush, RB – OAK
I’m concerned as Donald Driver comes off at 6.01, but no more WRs go before my pick. WaCougMBS reaches a bit on Seattle’s Justin Forsett, but I like him a lot in PPR formats as well. I get to take the Steelers’ Mike Wallace, a player I coveted, at 6.04. With Santonio Holmes in New York and Hines Ward aging into a possession receiver, Wallace, who led all NFL WRs in yards-per-catch as a rookie in 2009, is poised to become Pittsburgh’s deep-threat. He rounds out my starting WRs and has a chance to be a #1 receiver. It’s a good thing I got Wallace, as five more WRs go after him in this round. The only one that might be better than Wallace is the Pats’ Wes Welker — he goes to Santacruzer at 6.07. Welker’s ACL knee injury may linger into the season, and I can’t afford the risk at this point — I need a healthy starter. Right now, I wouldn’t trade any of the WRs picked in round 6 for Wallace so I’m relieved. THEOT finally gets his first WR with the Titans’ Kenny Britt at 6.10. Either THEOT has some WR sleepers he likes or he’s in way over his head at this point, I think.
Best pick: Me, with Mike Wallace at 6.04. (C’mon, it’s my article, I have to pick myself once.)
Surprise pick: Thracken gets the Browns’ Jerome Harrison at 6.05, and I’m worried this guy could disappear as quickly as he arrived. Montario Hardesty, a guy the Browns’ selected in the second round of the NFL draft in April, might be a better pick.
73. LS2Throwed – Ben Tate, RB – HOU
74. joejlitz – Ricky Williams, RB – MIA
75. THEOT – Dez Bryant, WR – DAL
76. 34=sweetness – Owen Daniels, TE – HOU
77. iamgregg – Jay Cutler, QB – CHI
78. Santacruzer – Vincent Jackson, WR – SD
79. RBW – Johnny Knox, WR – CHI
80. Thracken – Reggie Bush, RB – NO
81. Hank_Scorpio – Thomas Jones, RB – KC
82. MattUTD20 – Fred Jackson, RB – BUF
83. WacougMBS – C.J. Spiller, RB – BUF
84. Benb18a – Brett Favre, QB – MIN
Half of the picks in the round are RBs, as teams take their bye-week fill-ins and depth RBs. I’m pleasantly surprised to get KC’s Thomas Jones at 7.09. He’s in a RBBC with Charles there, but he matches nicely with Forte’s and Grant’s bye weeks — playing Buffalo Week 8 and Denver Week 10. I’ve got the bulk of my team, but I’m running out of QBs. Cutler and Favre go in this round. I liked them both, but since I already have Forte from Chicago and Harvin from Minny, I don’t mind missing out on these QBs. I liked a couple of Houston players picked this round, rookie RB Ben Tate at 7.01, and Owen Daniels at 7.04. In fact, I’m re-thinking my Gates pick in round four considering Daniels slipped so far in this draft. The Chargers’ Vincent Jackson really drops here going at 7.06 (78th overall). Looks like the Cafe’s resident experts don’t expect V-Jax to end his holdout anytime soon. Santacruzer has his three starting WRs, so it’s a worthy risk to him.
Best pick: 34=sweetness gets a steal with Daniels. He was on pace for an 80-catch, 1,000 yard, 10 TD season last year before tearing his ACL in Week 8. If he rebounds healthy, he’ll be awesome in this format.
Surprise pick: Rookie WR Dez Bryant, 7.03 to THEOT. He only had Kenny Britt on his roster, so a wideout was needed. However, even in a best-case scenario, Bryant is a third target in Dallas after Austin and Witten, and Roy Williams is still in the mix. I think THEOT could have done better, and waited a round or two on the unproven rookie.
85. Benb18a – Steve Breaston, WR – ARZ
86. WacougMBS – Darren McFadden, RB – OAK
87. MattUTD20 – Zach Miller, TE – OAK
88. Hank_Scorpio – Malcom Floyd, WR – SD
89. Thracken – Tony Gonzalez, TE – KC
90. RBW – Montario Hardesty, RB – CLE
91. Santacruzer – Ahmad Bradshaw, RB – NYG
92. iamgregg – Santana Moss, WR – WAS
93. 34=sweetness – Darren Sproles, RB – SD
94. THEOT – Derrick Mason, WR – BAL
95. joejlitz – Marion Barber, RB – DAL
96. LS2Throwed – Arian Foster, RB – HOU
Steve Breaston leads off the round, a nice pick in this spot. With Boldin gone in Arizona, he has a chance to shine. Surprisingly, Darren McFadden goes next, 13 picks after his teammate, Michael Bush. MattUTD20 gets his TE with the Raiders’ Zach Miller at 8.03 (a big drop-off from Daniels though). I go next and decide to take the Chargers’ Malcom Floyd at 8.04 — I expect Vincent Jackson’s holdout to last a while, and with early bye weeks for Harvin (week 4), Wallace (week 5) and Wayne (week 7) I think Floyd makes a decent fill-in for those weeks. Floyd’s a tall, lanky receiver like Jackson and should be a decent replacement on the Chargers’ offense. He has a chance to be a #1 WR in San Diego in 2010, and in the eighth round it doesn’t get much better than that. Thracken, already with Harrison, passes on a chance to grab the Cleveland RBBC by instead taking TE Tony Gonzalez. A good pick in this spot, but Montario Hardesty goes next to RBW. Ironically, RBW, already with Brandon Jacobs, passed on the chance to grab the Giants’ RBBC and loses out on Ahmad Bradshaw, who goes at 8.07 to Santacruzer. Santana Moss, a WR I liked but passed on due to inconsistency, goes to iamgregg at 8.08. Bad news then comes for iamgregg, as he owns Ryan Matthews and Felix Jones, but sees 34=sweetness take the Chargers’ Darren Sproles at 8.09, and then at 8.11, joejlitz takes Dallas’ Marion Barber. He loses two potential handcuffs right after his own pick. LS2Throwed seemed to spot this trend and quickly grabs Houston’s Arian Foster, as he already drafted Ben Tate in the previous round.
Best pick: Tony Gonzalez is still a great TE, and a great bargain halfway through this draft for Thracken.
Surprise pick: Darren Sproles, who looks set for third-down duties and kick returns, was a reach for 34=sweetness.
After eight rounds I’m pretty pleased with my team, except for the absence of a QB. There’s a few I like still available, but I’m more than happy with my three RBs, four WRs and TE at this point.
Stay tuned for part II of this article in a couple of weeks.
Tom is from Toronto, Ontario, Canada and attended Ryerson University's Journalism School. After two years working for Hockey Night in Canada after graduation, he decided to go into the private sector for employment. He still has a passion for sports, and he's completely hooked on Fantasy Football.
Want to write for the Cafe? Check out the Cafe's Pencil & Paper section!