FGT Staff Mock Fantasy Football Draft – Rounds 3 & 4
By the Football Garbage Time Staff
Last time we covered Rounds 1 and 2 of the Football Garbage Time Mock Fantasy Football Draft. So now its on to Rounds 3 and 4!
Just as a reminder, this Mock Fantasy Football Draft on Twitter (#FGTMockDraft) was for a standard Yahoo 10-team league (1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TE, 1 K & 1 DEF with standard scoring).
Don’t agree with our picks and reasoning? Well, as I mentioned previously, it’s a free country, so sound off in the comments!
– Ha Kung Wong, Editor-In-Chief
3rd Round – Pick 21 – LeSean McCoy (RB)
4th Round – Pick 40 – DeSean Jackson (WR)
Perhaps LeSean McCoy is moving to a worse team than he was at in 2014, but the one thing the Bills don’t have is a QB. And while this means eight in the box for essentially every defense that faces the Bills in 2015, McCoy has shown himself to be a skilled runner with excellent vision. In fact, ESPN Stats & Information noted that McCoy had the second most fantasy points of any RB since 2010 (Arian Foster being first and Marshawn Lynch being third). I see a few negative plays here and there for McCoy in Buffalo, and he’s sure to cede some carries to hometown favorite Fred Jackson, but ultimately, he should get fed enough to make an impact as the Bills offense has little else going for it. Aside from his rookie year, every year he played at least 15 games, he exceeded 1,400 total yards. Perhaps his TD count drops a tad (though he only had 5 in 2014), but this is a borderline RB1 acquired in the third round, which in my book qualifies as good value.
It’s amazing to think that DeSean Jackson has actually been in the league for seven years now. It seems like only yesterday that he hot dogged a TD run in Philly then managed to drop the ball just outside the endzone as he celebrated. D-Jax isn’t that guy anymore, and although he can still get a little “excitable”, he’s definitely a much more polished WR today. The problem is not with his skillset, but with his opportunity.
RGIII has been abysmal of late, and although there’s hope of a bounce back season, there’s no reason to believe that it will translate to more looks for Jackson. In fact, RGIII was successful in his rookie season because he ran the ball A LOT. Believe it or not, RGIII had 120 rushing attempts in his rookie season, which is about the same number of attempts that he’s had in his second and third seasons COMBINED (124). And he was much more effective with a 6.8 yards per carry average, as compared to 5.7 and 4.6 in his last two years. What’s really interesting is the change in his passing attempts. When RGIII was free to run in his rookie year, he attempted 26.2 passes per game. Along with his prolific rushing efficiency, there wasn’t any need to do more. In his second season, the coaching staff wanted him to be more of a pocket passer, which he tried to accomplish by forcing 35.1 pass attempts per game. Unsurprisingly, rushing totals went down and so did completion percentage (by 5.5%). Well, this didn’t work, so in his third season, RGIII, fearing the bench, played scared. His rushing totals plummeted and his passing attempts dropped to 23.8 per game. So how does this impact D-Jax?
Well, D-Jax averaged 77.9 yards per game in his first year in Washington, only slightly off his 83.3 yards per game average in Philly the previous year. And that on a whopping 32 less targets. If Washington is smart, they go back to an open offense allowing RGIII to run and spread the ball around, meaning D-Jax will likely get a few less looks than he had last year. If RGIII bombs out again, it’s probably the end of the line for him, and we’ll get more Kirk Cousins or Colt McCoy, which means lots of inefficient short passes. Either way, I’d think D-Jax is most likely to repeat what he had last year, hitting around 1,000-1,200 receiving yards and 5-7 TDs. That’s plenty good for a WR2, but I’d be a little uncomfortable taking him as a WR1 as his ceiling is likely limited by his QB.
This is what Joanne had to say about her picks:
LeSean McCoy will be playing with a chip on his shoulder as he’ll want to prove the Eagles wrong for trading him away, and he’ll also be the center piece of a weak Bills offense. Basically, all the offense should run through McCoy.
D-Jax is a solid wide receiver who put up good numbers and I see upside for him this year in a prove-it year for the RGIII and the Redskins.
3rd Round – Pick 22 – Julio Jones (WR)
4th Round – Pick 39 – Ben Roethlisberger (QB)
If you could guarantee me 16 full games, Julio Jones would be my number one WR off the board. But you can’t. That’s OK, as he put up monster numbers in 2014 with 1,593 receiving yards in 15 games. Of course, he’s just one injury away from repeating his 2013 numbers of 580 receiving yards in 5 games. He doesn’t appear to be targeted much in the redzone, but with his speed, getting the ball 30 or 40 yards out can still result in a TD. Great upside here for a 3rd round pick, but there certainly is risk involved.
Ben Roethlisberger was a revelation last year. Pittsburgh’s vaunted defense was a shell of its former self, leaving the offense to make up for lost ground. And Big Ben did his best to oblige. He had his best statistical year ever in 2014 with his most passing yards (4,952), his best completion percentage (67.1%), and his most passing TDs (32), which added up to his highest QBR rating (72.1) ever. Well, not much has changed for the Steelers offense, which is good. And not much has changed for the Steelers defense, which is bad for the team, but good for Big Ben’s stats, as he’ll again have to play from behind more often than not. Will he repeat in 2015? I doubt he’ll be able to hit such lofty numbers again, but he’s certainly in line to best 4,000 passing yards with another 26-30 TDs, which is well worth a late 4th round pick in my book.
This is what Ryan had to say about his picks:
I think Julio Jones is one of the most underrated guys in the elite class of WR’s. In a mock draft a few weeks ago I got into an argument with some guy about Demaryius Thomas vs. Julio Jones. I said I think Manning made Thomas whereas Julio Jones is elite all by himself. He responded with (as well as everyone else in the lobby) that Julio is good but too injury prone. 4 years in the league and his Games Played are 13, 16, 5, 15. I think he suffers from not playing enough nationally televised games. He is one of the best in the league and ready for his best year yet. If he’s there in Round 3 you take him.
Big Ben had a great year last year and will continue that into this year. Antonio is such a great weapon to have and Bryant will be even better year 2. They will be a top 3 Offense and Big Ben will be a top 3 Fantasy QB.
3rd Round – Pick 23 – T.Y. Hilton (WR)
4th Round – Pick 38 – Alfred Morris (RB)
I still remember watching T.Y. Hilton play for Florida International against Marshall in the “Beef O’Brady Bowl” back in 2011. Sure, it wasn’t a particularly notable game on the field for him, but the announcers couldn’t stop speaking about his speed, agility and vision on the field. “TY Good Bye” they called him because whenever he touched the ball, either on special teams or on offense, there was a better than even chance he’d take it to the house. Of course, I then did some research and discovered a lot about his illustrious career at FIU, including setting seven school records and being MVP of the 2010 “Little Caesars Pizza Bowl”, the first bowl game FIU ever attended.
Fast forward to today and that electricity has only become more prominent. At first I had doubts about his hands and his ability run good routes. He looked, for all intents and purposes, like a one-trick-pony — run a go route, take the top off, beat all the defenders in a footrace and touchdown. I no longer think that anymore. Hilton is a bonafide WR1 in the NFL with one of the most prolific QBs at the helm. Both he and Luck are still young and the arrow is pointing directly north for the both of them. In 2014, he had 1,345 receiving yards and seven TDs in 15 games. With Andre Johnson now demanding attention from opposing secondarys, I suspect we’ll see a few more TDs for Hilton in 2015.
Alfred Morris broke out in 2012 with over 1,600 rushing yards. Then he went down to just under 1,300 rushing yards in 2013 and just under 1,100 rushing yards in 2014. Basically, how RGIII went, Morris went. As noted above when I discussed D-Jax, RGIII has one more chance to prove he can be a franchise QB, and the offense returns basically unchanged. But the Redskins are also planning for the future, as they drafted RB Matt Jones out of Florida in the 3rd round. As of now, Morris is in charge in the backfield, and he’ll have plenty of motivation to perform. Whether it happens or not is yet to be seen.
3rd Round – Pick 24 – Matt Forte (RB)
4th Round – Pick 37 – Russell Wilson (QB)
Why doesn’t Matt Forte get more love in fantasy football? In every year he’s played in the NFL, he’s totaled more than 1,400 yards. That’s including 2011 when he only played 12 games. Some say he doesn’t score enough TDs, but he’s had 57 total TDs in his 7 year career. That’s just over 8 TDs a year. So you’re telling me his floor is 1,400 total yards and 8 TDs? That’s an RB1 in my book. In 2014 he had 1,846 total yards and 10 TDs in what many considered a down year for the Bears offense. With new head coach John Fox and new offensive coordinator Adam Gase, in addition to Brandon Marshall being out of the picture, I’d think Forte is going to get even more looks in the passing game than he did last year (when he had an eye-popping 130 targets). If this were a PPR league, he might even be a top 5 pick. Even without the PPR, grabbing him in the 3rd round is quite the steal.
Russell Wilson is a happy man. He’s the second highest paid QB in the NFL after snagging a $87.6M contract from the Seattle Seahawks. And as far as the Seahawks are concerned, they should be celebrating too. Wilson is the face of the franchise and a great game manager. He’s exceeded 3,100 passing yard 400 rushing yards every year in the league, with last year being the standout as he amassed 3,475 passing yards and 849 rushing yards with 26 total TDs. Can he do the same in 2015? With the addition of Jimmy Graham and the remainder of the offense intact, I’d say yes, and then some.
This is what Scott had to say about his picks:
Matt Forte – There are some WRs worth looking at but need a reliable RB. Too early for QB.
Russell Wilson – I think he’s the top of the next tier and the other top QBs from the past years are falling.
3rd Round – Pick 25 – Alshon Jeffery (WR)
4th Round – Pick 36 – Keenan Allen (WR)
Since being instilled as a starter in 2013, Alshon Jeffery has gone on to do great things in Chicago. Sure, Brandon Marshall was suppose to be the true WR1, but last year all of that was put into question as Jeffery managed his second 1,100+ receiving yard year and increased his TDs to 10. Jay Cutler will need to prove himself this year, and he’ll have the guidance of new coaches in Fox and Gase, but we all know that Cutler likes to lock-on and force passes to his first option. And this year, that first option will be Jeffery. Kevin White, assuming he comes back from injury in the not too distant future, will be a serviceable option, but will likely end up behind Jeffery as well as Martellus Bennett and Forte. But being a serviceable option is all we need to give Jeffery some room to operate, and once he gets the ball in his hands, all bets are off. Cutler may force a lot of balls into potential INT situations, but that won’t count against Jeffery.
Keenan Allen is a little bit of an enigma. There’s really no significant change in the Chargers passing offense, yet Allen managed to underperform in 2014 while getting more targets than in 2013. Yup, he managed to get over 200 less receiving yards on six more receptions and 16 more targets. Perhaps it was the fact he played one less game, but his TD total also halved from 8 to 4. On the potential plus side, Philip Rivers might be playing for a contract as he hasn’t reached a contract extension with the Chargers yet, so he’ll want 2013 Allen back to showcase his ability. And Antonio Gates got a four game suspension, leaving Ladarius Green at TE, which could mean a breakout season for Green. But it also means a few more early opportunities for Allen. All signs point to a comeback season, but there’s lots of risk involved as well.
This is what Joey had to say about his picks:
Jeffery – Paired with rookie receiver Kevin White, Jeffery should be putting up big numbers all year long.
Allen – Look for him to rebound after a sophomore slump.
Ha Kung Wong
3rd Round – Pick 26 – Randall Cobb (WR)
4th Round – Pick 35 – Justin Forsett (RB)
I really struggled with this pick. Essentially, Mike Evans was the other potential choice, as I needed to select a WR in the 3rd round, but ultimately, I went for a reliable track record and safety rather than upside. I needed my WR1 to be an anchor, and Randall Cobb has demonstrated solid consistent production over the years. Sure, he had an injury riddled 2013 when he only played six games, but in 2014, he bounced back in a big way with 1,287 receiving yards and 12 TDs. You can’t always count on the TDs, but we all know the Packers like to keep their foot on the gas, and Rodgers can extend plays long enough for either Nelson or Cobb to get free and chew up yards. Maybe DeVante Adams steals a few looks here and again, but Cobb has shown WR1 numbers even if technically behind Nelson.
Justin Forsett was a little bit of a value pick in the 4th Round. Honestly, even if Foster wasn’t injured, I like to have three viable starting RBs. Forsett might not be a lock to repeat his breakout 2014, where he had 1,529 total yards and 8 TDs, but he certainly has opportunity. Lorenzo Taliaferro isn’t a serious threat, and Joe Flacco can run an efficient offense with returning WR Steve Smith Sr. and new rookie Breshad Perriman. As long as he remains reliable and doesn’t put the ball on the ground, he’ll have most of the carries for the Ravens in 2015.
Joanne Kong 2
3rd Round – Pick 27 – Mike Evans (WR)
4th Round – Pick 34 – Lamar Miller (RB)
What is there to say about Mike Evans? I think he’s amazing (he amassed 1,051 yards and 10 TDs from a carousel of crappy QBs in 2014) and I think the best is yet to come. The problem is, when is the best actually coming? With a new rookie QB in Jameis Winston at the helm, and a less than stellar backfield as support, there are sure to be some growing pains. Evans may start out hot, or he may be on the receiving end of badly deflected passes, hurried throws into the turf, or even underthrown (or overthrown) INTs. He won’t hurt for opportunity, the problem is in the quality of those opportunities. Will he be a star in the NFL? I think he already is. Will he set the world on fire in 2015? If you like to gamble, this could be the ultimate lottery ticket that carry you to the championship or leave you scrapping the waiver wire for replacements. One thing is for sure, though. Vincent Jackson may be back, but Evans is the future of the Bucs receiving core.
Lamar Miller is going to get the bulk of the carries for the Miami Dolphins. You might not have heard it here first, but I’m guaranteeing it. Jay Ayaji was a great college RB, and solid pickup for the Dolphins, but he has some knee issues and has underimpressed during camp. In fact, it’s Damien Williams that appears to have the lead for the backup job:
Damien Williams gets early carries with 1st team. Got to think he's leader for No. 2 RB right now with LMJ in mix (possibly as returner too)
— Andrew Abramson (@AbramsonPBP) August 5, 2015
Apparently, even LaMichael James might be ahead of Ayaji. No doubt that Ayaji has potential, but not this year. Miller’s 1,374 yards and 9 touchdowns in 2014 is nothing to scoff at. And with Ryan Tannehill likely to take a step up with the addition of Kevin Stills and Jordan Cameron, as well as one more year with breakout WR Jarvis Landry, there should be more room to run for Miller.
3rd Round – Pick 28 – Jimmy Graham (TE)
4th Round – Pick 33 – Melvin Gordon (RB)
Interestingly, although a TE, Jimmy Graham became the de facto first receiving option in Seattle the moment he stepped on the field. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s better than every WR in Seattle combined. However, there’s been grumblings that Seattle intends to keep Graham in-line to block 75% of the time. That would be, in a word, nuts. But hey, that doesn’t mean they don’t have him block 50% of the time instead of playing full time move TE.
The Seahawks don’t win games by slinging the ball around. Russell Wilson makes smart decisions and takes what the defense gives him. Occasionally, Beastmode gets the ball and rumbles ahead for 5 or 6 yards. Rinse, repeat, kick a field goal and have your dominant defense shut down the opposing team. Graham is a total wild card in Seattle. He could be great like he was in New Orleans, but it’s not gunslinger Drew Brees at the helm anymore. I still like the pick a lot, since after the 7th ranked TE, the rest basically fall off a cliff, so having solid TE gives you an automatic advantage, but Graham is definitely not a sure thing in 2015.
The Chargers ground game was third to last in 2014. Part of that was due to Danny Woodhead having a season-ending ankle injury, part of that was ineffectiveness from Ryan Mathews and part of that was just plain old poor run blocking. Well, at least some of that will change with first round pick RB Melvin Gordon entering the picture. Gordon had a ridiculous 2,587 rushing yards and 29 rushing TDs in his last year at Wisconsin. Not only was he good on the ground, but he also managed 153 receiving yards and 3 receiving TDs. He’s dynamic and versatile, exactly what was needed to jump start the Chargers ground game. Woodhead will be back from injury as well and will play the change of pace role, but Gordon is certainly the future. Whether that future is bright or not is yet to be determined, but the opportunity is there.
3rd Round – Pick 29 – Mark Ingram (RB)
4th Round – Pick 32 – Kelvin Benjamin (WR)
Another Alabama running back? Sure, why not? Mark Ingram has found his groove, finally showing some consistency in 2014 as a potential lead back. Even amongst all the other RB options in New Orleans, he managed to amass 9 TDs and four 100+ yard games in just 13 games. Of course, that’s part of the problem, as Ingram has played a full 16 games only once in his four year career. No Pierre Thomas in New Orleans gives Ingram more opportunity, but who knows how he’ll hold up as a full time back. C.J. Spiller should play more change of pace, but certainly is more versatile than the typical Darren Sproles type and can potentially work his way into a true RBBC. There’s risk here, but certainly upside as well.
Kelvin Benjamin was a pleasant surprise for the Panthers in 2014. He managed to break 1,000 yards and collect 9 TDs in his rookie season, all in a moderately conservative offense. He’s a big 6′ 5″ 245 lb. redzone target and the addition of rookie Devin Funchess should only give him more room to operate. I don’t think the ceiling is high, but the floor certainly is, which makes Benjamin a useful fantasy football team anchor.
3rd Round – Pick 30 – Jordan Matthews (WR)
4th Round – Pick 31 – Jeremy Maclin (WR)
With Jeremy Maclin moving on, there’s significant opportunity for second year Jordan Matthews to step up and be the main receiving option in a prolific up tempo Chip Kelly offense. Even with Maclin, Matthews managed 872 yards and 8 TDs in his rookie year. It’s unclear who’s going to be throwing the ball, but assuming Sam Bradford gets right and is on the same page as Matthews, there’s some serious potential here. Only thing that’s for sure, though, is that there are a lot of question marks in Philly.
Speaking of Maclin, he rolled the dice hoping for a breakout year in 2014 and big deal in 2015, and totally hit pay dirt. Pulling in 1,318 receiving yards and 10 TDs in 2014 created a significant market for his services, and off to Kansas City he went. Of course, Alex Smith is lot more conservative than any QB that plays for Chip Kelly, so I wouldn’t expect a repeat of 2014. Remember, Smith failed to throw a single TD to any WRs last year. Yeah, you heard me, 0 TDs to WRs. The last time that happened it was to the 1964 Giants. Eek. Regardless, Maclin is a better option than was available in KC over the last couple years, so over 1,000 yards and 4 to 6 TDs is possible. Just don’t expect too much.
This is what Bobby had to say about his picks:
Matthews was a solid number 2 last season with a high ceiling. With the departure of Maclin, there is no more ceiling.
Speaking of Maclin, he killed it last season. In KC (under former Eagle’s coach, Reid), he should rock it once again.