Adam Levitan

Mock Draft

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Play Ball! Mock draft style

Friday, August 27, 2010

The previous drafts discussed here and here were of the "expert" variety. They featured owners inside the industry that have dreams (or nightmares) about the effects of Sidney Rice's surgery and late-round fliers.

This is a different beast. Well, somewhat different. The draft analyzed below mostly featured members of the Rotoworld baseball crew: Guys that are very in tune with the fantasy landscape, but don't deal with football on a day-to-day basis. In other words, it's a top-notch, highly competitive league that is full of owners on top of their game, but don't have football on the brain 24/7. Hopefully this is what a lot of your leagues look like.

One caveat is that everyone in this league reads Rotoworld news blurbs and columns daily. They also have access to the cheat sheets and rankings. As you'll see, many of our favorite players went much higher than they would in a standard public draft.

It's a 12-team, non-PPR (point per reception) league with 15 roster spots. Quarterbacks get one point for every 20 yards passing and four points per passing touchdown. All other scoring is standard. Starting lineups are one QB, two RB, two WR, one TE, one FLEX. The draft began on Aug. 18 and went through Aug. 27. The league will be played out.

Editor's Note: To see average draft positions and complete projections, check out the 2010 Rotoworld Draft Guide!

1. Chris Johnson, RB, TEN
2. Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN
3. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAC
4. Ray Rice, RB, BAL
5. Frank Gore, RB, SF
6. Andre Johnson, WR, HOU
7. Michael Turner, RB, ATL
8. Steven Jackson, RB, STL
9. Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB
10. Rashard Mendenhall, RB, PIT
11. Randy Moss, WR, NE
12. Drew Brees, QB, NO

Notes: The first seven picks, in some order, should be the same in almost all formats. ... It's been well documented that picks nine through 12 are a very difficult place to draft from. Owners in non-PPR formats aren't crazy or dumb to opt for the safe play and go quarterback there. ... I'd go with Michael Turner over Andre Johnson or Frank Gore in non-PPR, but I'm extra high on The Burner this year.

1. Jamaal Charles, RB, KC
2. DeAngelo Williams, RB, CAR
3. Calvin Johnson, WR, DET
4. Roddy White, WR, ATL
5. Pierre Thomas, RB, NO
6. Peyton Manning, QB, IND
7. Ryan Mathews, RB, SD
8. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARZ
9. Shonn Greene, RB, NYJ
10. Tom Brady, QB, NE
11. Tony Romo, QB, DAL
12. Philip Rivers, QB, SD

Notes: You likely won't have to spend this high of a pick on Jamaal Charles in your league. His current ADP in ESPN leagues is 37.2. Same goes for Pierre Thomas, whose ESPN ADP is 37.1. ... Roddy White may very well outperform Fitzgerald this year, but it won't be because of Fitz's knee. That's a non-issue. I also think Derek Anderson is a better fit for Fitz than Matt Leinart. ... Avoid the second-tier QB run if it happens this high in your league.

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!

1. Greg Jennings, WR, GB
2. Ryan Grant, RB, GB
3. Brandon Marshall, WR, MIA
4. Miles Austin, WR, DAL
5. Reggie Wayne, WR, IND
6. DeSean Jackson, WR, PHI
7. Cedric Benson, RB, CIN
8. Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR
9. Jahvid Best, RB, DET
10. Chris Wells, RB, ARZ
11. Knowshon Moreno, RB, DEN
12. Sidney Rice, WR, MIN

Notes: Ryan Grant, Cedric Benson and Chris Wells all get significant boosts in non-PPR. Beanie clearly has the most upside of the three. ... This draft obviously took place before the Sidney Rice hip news broke. ... Miles Austin and Reggie Wayne look like terrific values this late. ... Knowshon Moreno's hamstring pull isn't a concern this far away from the season. ... I'm not crazy about DeSean Jackson this early, but he is surely a better pick in non-PPR.

1. Matt Forte, RB, CHI
2. Matt Schaub, QB, HOU
3. Marques Colston, WR, NO
4. Brandon Jacobs, RB, NYG
5. Anquan Boldin, WR, BAL
6. Steve Smith, WR, CAR
7. Jay Cutler, QB, CHI
8. LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI
9. Arian Foster, RB, HOU
10. Ronnie Brown, RB, MIA
11. Michael Crabtree, WR, SF
12. Felix Jones, RB, DAL

Notes: Matt Schaub, who led the league in passing yards last year, goes 1 1/2 rounds after that QB run started. ... Jay Cutler this high is a real reach, but someone has been reading articles about what Mike Martz can do for quarterbacks. ... The cat is wayyyy out of the bag on Arian Foster. I thought that targeting him in Round 5 would be safe, but it looks like I'm going to have go higher. ... Steve Smith (CAR) is good value here. That fractured arm won't be bothering him at all come Week 1.

1. Dwayne Bowe, WR, KC
2. Chad Ochocinco, WR, CIN
3. Ricky Williams, RB, MIA
4. Antonio Gates, TE, SD
5. Dallas Clark, TE, IND
6. Jason Witten, TE, DAL
7. Mike Sims-Walker, WR, JAC
8. Jermichael Finley, TE, GB
9. Vincent Jackson, WR, SD
10. Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG
11. Vernon Davis, TE, SF
12. Mike Wallace, WR, Pit

Notes: The tight end run starts here in most drafts I've seen. It's a little surprising to see Jason Witten with the first group, but if he's actually used as a pass-catcher in the red zone this year he will be a beast. ... Jermichael Finley is a can't miss lock that everyone knows about. Be prepared to get him on this first run if you want him. ... Dwayne Bowe, Hakeem Nicks and Mike Wallace represent three of our favorite breakout receivers. ... Vincent Jackson trade rumors are heating up a little, but there is still no resolution in sight and he's also suspended for three games. There's just too much reliable talent around to gamble on Jackson this high. ... The owner that took Ronnie Brown a round earlier quickly backs him up with Ricky Williams. I like it, one of them will get hurt at some point.

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Adam Levitan is in his seventh season covering football and basketball for Rotoworld. He won the Fantasy Sports Writers Association award for Best Series in 2011 and 2009, and ESPN's overall fantasy football title in 2000. Find him on Twitter.
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