Woo Hoo! The Yahoo Fantasy Football website is now open and the mock draft portal is available! I was able to participate in my first mock draft of the season with other hardcore fantasy football nerds just like me. I picked 1st in a 10 team draft (playing against 10 humans, no bots), standard snake draft (1-10, 10-1, 1-10, etc.). One thing that hasn't been set yet is the projected stats so there's no way to rank how my team did, but I would be happy to have this team next season. Here are the results.
Pick #1 (#1 overall): DeAndre Hopkins WR HOU. I knew I had to pick a WR first as all the elite receivers would be gone by the time it came around to pick to #2. I know that Hopkins is currently sitting at #8 overall but I chose him first because I think he has the most upside this season of the elite receivers. Hopkins is in a contract year, and Houston has shown through the draft and free agency that they are determined to get him a good supporting cast on offense. Of course, I would be perfectly happy to have either Antonio Brown or Odell Beckham as an alternative here.
Pick #2 (#19 overall): Devonta Freeman RB ATL. I'm really glad I took a receiver first as the receivers that are still on the board are less than optimal at this point (Amari Cooper, Alshon Jeffrey, Sammy Watkins and Julian Edelman). I'm happy to see that one of last season's top running backs is still available. Of all the players in Atlanta, I like Freeman the best. He rushed for over 1,000 yards with 11 rush TDs and he caught 73 passes for another 578 yards and 3 pass TDs. Both of my leagues are PPR so I should get nice production here. Other running backs at this point are Doug Martin, Thomas Rawls and Carlos Hyde, all of which I'm not thrilled with so I'm happy I got Freeman.
Pick #3 (#20 overall): Aaron Rodgers QB GB. I'm really surprised that Cam is not the #1 QB on the board (he's currently sitting as the #2 QB - #27 overall) but you have to believe that Green Bay will bounce back strongly from last season. Jordy is back, and Lacy is slimmed down so I expect to see the typical 4,400 yards and 40 TD seasons that we've come to expect from Rodgers. One big thing to note is that Andrew Luck has dropped significantly, he was eventually taken as the #47 pick, if that holds (which I don't expect it to), I would definitely pass on Rodgers here to grab a guy like Luck in round 4 or 5.
Pick #4 (#39 overall): Eric Decker WR NYJ. What an awesome WR2 to have on my team. He was one of the most consistent receivers last season ending with over 1,000 yards and 12 TDs. It seemed like he was good for 60 yards and a TD nearly every week. That kind of production is fantasy gold when you can count on a steady amount of points week after week. There were lots of great WR options at this point with Kelvin Benjamin, Randall Cobb and Jeremy Maclin all still available, I'd be happy with any of them.
Pick #5 (#40 overall): Greg Olsen TE CAR. Outside of Gronkowski, Olsen is the most reliable guy out there as far as tight ends are concerned. He's seen rising targets and production in each of the past 3 seasons and he hasn't missed a game. His production was inconsistent from week to week but he did end the season with over 1,100 yards and 7 TDs, so you could never bench him. Jordan Reed and Tyler Eifert were also still available but I have durability concerns on both of these guys and I want a guy that I can roster and forget about this season as a TE.
Pick #6 (#59 overall): John Brown WR ARI. I finish out my core group with another solid WR2. Obviously the biggest issue with Brown is his durability as he's missed multiple games each season, but when he's healthy he is a force to be reckoned with. It's important to note that Larry Fitzgerald was also still available but if last season is any indication, when both John Brown and Michael Floyd are healthy, as they were at the end of last season, Fitzgerald was almost forgotten about in this offense. Other Wide Receivers still available include Allen Hurns and Jordan Matthews.
Pick #7 (#60 overall): Jay Ajayi RB MIA. This was my first mistake. In the mock drafts they only give you 30 seconds and I just ran out of time before making a selection. I'm not thrilled with Jay's performance from last season (187 rush yards, 1 TD, 7 catches for 90 yards) and they brought in Kenyan Drake from Alabama and I think this will become a timeshare. Other running backs still available include Ryan Mathews, Jeremy Langford and Dion Lewis. If I had to do this over I would have taken Langford instead as I think his prospects are better than Ajayi's.
Pick #8 (#79 overall). DeVante Parker WR MIA. I really wanted Michael Crabtree here but he was taken right before my pick. Parker did have a solid second half of last season and appeared to be developing a nice repoir with Ryan Tannehill. If he continues to develop we could see 1,000+ receiving yards which makes him at least flex worthy. On another note, there was a team defense run that happened before my pick and Seattle, Denver, Carolina, Arizona, New England and Los Angeles came off of the board already, so I'm going to wait until late in the draft to get my defense.
Pick #9 (#80 overall). Kevin White WR CHI. I am just amazed at how deep the WR pool is this season and we haven't even touched the rookies yet. I really liked White last season but then he underwent shin surgery and was lost for all of 2015. He comes into a great situation with Alshon Jeffery's continuing heath problems.
Pick #10 (#99 overall). Eli Manning QB NYG. Oh man, everything is going my way. As long as Odell Beckham is playing, Manning will remain fantasy relevant! I love the fact that this guy is my backup and the Giants have one of the easiest strength of schedules this season. So I also have a potential trade option available if he performs at a QB1 level this season. This is the round when there's also a kicker rush and 6 kickers have been drafted before this pick. I'm just going to tell you now that if you ever take a kicker at anytime before your last pick, you are making a mistake! There are still tons of great players available that are much more valuable for your team!
Pick #11 (#100 overall). TJ Yeldon RB JAX. Another awesome player still available. Yeldon's stock has fallen precipitously since Chris Ivory joined the team but I think Yeldon will be the primary ball carrier garnering at least 60% of the carries. Ivory will probably vulture some touchdowns but I see Yeldon as more like Giovani Bernard. Likewise, at this point if he doesn't work out it's no big deal.
Pick #12 (#119 overall). Danny Woodhead RB SD. A wide receiver who thinks he's a running back. As I mentioned before, I play in two PPR leagues, so this guy might be an every week starter (outside of those two Denver games). Woodhead caught 81 passes and got over 1,100 yards of offense with 9 TDs last season. He does have durability concerns and his consistency has been less than ideal, but you can't argue with this placement in the draft.
Pick #13 (#120 overall). Josh Doctson WR WAS. A first round pick from the NFL draft and one that I really think has an opportunity this season. Both DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon have trouble staying healthy and both appear to be in decline, that opens the door for someone like Doctson. We're at the point of the draft where your picking penny stocks, so load up on these lottery tickets and hope that they pay off!
Pick #14 (#139 overall). New York Jets DEF. I'm down to the final two picks and I usually end my draft with a defense and a kicker. I see that the New York Jets are still available and they seem like a fine choice as they were the #9 overall defense in standard scoring leagues last season.
Pick #15 (#140 overall). I get the first pick of the last round, whoopie! I pick up Chandler Cantanzaro from Arizona as my kicker. My general rule for kickers is find one that plays for a decent offence and plays indoors. Check and check!
All in all that's a pretty solid draft! I'd be happy to take this team into the regular season. I ended up with 2 QBs, 4 RBs, 6 WRs, 1 TE, 1 K, and 1 DEF. Even though there is no score for this draft, I'm 99% sure that this team would rank top 2 overall.
So, what are you waiting for? Get over to the Yahoo fantasy site and start playing!