Chris Wesseling

Mock Draft

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10-Team Mock Draft

Friday, August 20, 2010

When a prior commitment forced Gregg Rosenthal to bow out of the August 12 National Football Post Expert's League draft (standard-scoring) at the last minute, I was more than happy to pinch hit. This draft will be played out, and the winner receives a flat-screen TV. Incentive won't be an issue.

I don't have a wealth of experience in 10-team leagues, but one thing I have learned is that fielding a strong starting lineup with no weaknesses is far more important than acquiring depth. With more quality players available via the waiver wire, the in-season fishing hole stays stocked with prime catches on a weekly basis. Owners can scare up a legit flex option with very little trouble.

As a corollary, it's crucial to draft a reliable weekly asset at quarterback and tight end rather than waiting to cherry pick a trendy breakout player such as Kevin Kolb or John Carlson.

If I'm going to score that flat-screen TV, I do have one hurdle to clear: I drew the eighth draft slot out ten. Starting with the first Rotoworld magazine's mock draft back in May, I've been calling the last third of this year's first round "Death Valley." It's where even successful owners go to have their bones picked clean by the vultures. The players available at No. 8 aren't appreciably more appetizing than those available at No. 14 or even No. 18. Habitual winners like to have the odds stacked in their corner, not the other way around. Stay out of the back end of the first-round this year if at all possible.

Create your own fantasy league.

Round One

1. Chris Johnson, RB, TEN - Hardcore Sports Radio
2. Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN - National Football Post
3. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAX - NFL Gridiron Gab
4. Ray Rice, RB, BAL - Just a Bit Outside
5. Michael Turner, RB, ATL - CBS Sports
6. Frank Gore, RB, SF - Yahoo!
7. Randy Moss, WR, NE - ESPN
8. Andre Johnson, WR, HOU - Rotoworld
9. Steven Jackson, RB, STL - Sports Illustrated
10. DeAngelo Williams, RB, CAR - Fantasy Sharks

Notes: My pre-draft plan was to target Steven Jackson or Rashard Mendenhall with the No. 8 pick, but that was assuming the consensus top fantasy receiver would be gone. I couldn't pass up Johnson. ... It's hard to fault ESPN for the Moss stunner, though. His three-year average in New England is 83/1,255/16.

Round Two

11. Jamaal Charles, RB, KC - Fantasy Sharks
12. Cedric Benson, RB, CIN - Sports Illustrated
13. Rashard Mendenhall, RB, PIT - Rotoworld
14. Ryan Mathews, RB, SD - ESPN
15. Shonn Greene, RB, NYJ - Yahoo!
16. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI - CBS Sports
17. Roddy White, WR, ATL - Just a Bit Outside
18. Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB - NFL Gridiron Gab
19. Brandon Marshall, WR, DEN - National Football Post
20. Drew Brees, QB, NO - Hardcore Sports Radio

Notes: Two surprises kick off the second round. Charles went 11th overall in a non-PPR league. Fantasy Sharks may be drinking our Charles kool-aid at a time when much of the fantasy world has cooled on the Chiefs' backfield. ... Benson went ahead of Mendenhall, Mathews, and Greene -- three backs ranked a full tier higher in our projections. ... Mendenhall ended up coming back to me after all, so I'm off to a better than expected start.

Round Three

21. Ryan Grant, RB, GB - Hardcore Sports Radio
22. Peyton Manning, QB, IND - National Football Post
23. DeSean Jackson, WR, PHI - NFL Gridiron Gab
24. Wes Welker, WR, NE - Just a Bit Outside
25. Calvin Johnson, WR, DET - CBS Sports
26. Reggie Wayne, WR, IND - Yahoo!
27. Miles Austin, WR, DAL - ESPN
28. Pierre Thomas, RB, NO - Rotoworld
29. Knowshon Moreno, RB, DEN - Sports Illustrated
30. Dallas Clark, TE, IND - Fantasy Sharks

Notes: As the draft snaked back around, I had my eye on two players: Calvin Johnson and Austin. Both went off the board just before my pick, forcing me to switch gears and target the best available running back with Thomas. ... I was shocked to see Welker gone by the 24th pick, which was earlier than he went off the board in most drafts last year -- when his knee was not a factor.

Round Four

31. Tony Romo, QB, DAL - Fantasy Sharks
32. Chris Wells, RB, ARI - Sports Illustrated
33. Tom Brady, QB, NE - Rotoworld
34. Matt Forte, RB, CHI - ESPN
35. Greg Jennings, WR, GB - Yahoo!
36. Marques Colston, WR, NO - CBS Sports
37. Matt Schaub, QB, HOU - Just a Bit Outside
38. Felix Jones, RB, DAL - NFL Gridiron Gab
39. Anquan Boldin, WR, BAL - National Football Post
40. Steve Smith, WR, NYG - Hardcore Sports Radio

Notes: I entered the round with Romo, Brady, and Steve Smith (Carolina) highest on my list. After Romo was picked, the scarcity of elite QBs pushed me toward Brady. I figured I had a shot at Smith next round, knowing that I value him quite a bit higher than his ADP. ... Committee backs Forte and Jones were both surprising picks here. Rotoworld has them ranked several spots below Jonathan Stewart and Jahvid Best.

Editor's Note: Did you know you can get the Rotoworld Fantasy Football Draft Guide on your iPhone and iPad? Get our Top 200 rankings, Cheatsheets, Tiers, and more in a convenient on-the-go package!

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Chris Wesseling is a senior football editor and Dynasty league analyst for The 2011 NFL season marks his fifth year with Rotoworld and his third year contributing to He can be found on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.
Email :Chris Wesseling

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