Back for Part 2 of my mock draft commentary from the July FF Toolbox mock draft. As mentioned in Part 1, picks 1 through 6 went smashingly well, so lets see how the next 10 panned out.
7.11 RB LenDale White, TEN – While there are a couple RB starters still on the board, I’m not crazy about those options and instead turn to not much of a pass receiver but the underrated, underappreciated (in fantasy circles) LenDale White. Yes, yes, Chris Johnson is the next best thing to sliced bread, but as we know, a primary RB logging 75% or more of the carries is not the way most teams are running these days, especially teams who put so much focus on their running game. The Titans were the epitomy of this in 2008 as White registered 15 TD. White is slimmer this training camp, but I’d rather a slimmer more focussed RB than a larger questionable work ethic RB, wouldn’t you? White continues to offer good draft value.
8.02 WR Bernard Berrian, MIN – I might be sacrificing some catches but I’m going with upside over some more experienced, steady-Eddie type receivers still on the board like Hines Ward and Derrick Mason. Berrian has never had a good NFL QB, which is a contributing factor to his low catch-to-target ratio. If Sage Rosenfels can do better than Tarvaris Jackson – and I think he can – then Berrian could enjoy a career year, even on similar targets as in the past.
9.11 WR Kevin Walter, HOU – WR is the position I’m least confident about on my squad, and the same can be said for FansFF’s squad drafting next (wink), so back to the well at WR I go. I’m buying into the high expectations being heaped onto the Texans offense this off-season, and Walter represents acceptable value at this spot.
10.02 QB David Garrard, JAC – Every draft I do there continues to be a big gap of blank spots from the top of the QB rankings down to Garrard, Garrard, and then another big gap of blank spots below him until we get into the likes of Joe Flacco, Chad Pennington. As I told a friend recently, Garrard is just sort of there. He isn’t going to wow you by going out and winning a game for you most weeks, but he’ll be consistently good enough to not lose a game for you either, and ultimately end up as a top 12 QB. Not a great starter, but a very good backup and reliable spot starter you can wait on to draft.
11.11 RB Fred Taylor, NE – While I would have had to consider drating Laurence Maroney at my next pick, the option was not there because KFFL grabbed Maroney just before this pick and my pre-draft kicked in for Taylor. That is all for the better anyway. The last thing I want to do is play musical chairs with the Pats RB situation. I did it last year in one league and it was not fun. Still, Taylor is worth a shot here because I do believe he is the best RB on the roster and could earn the lion’s share of the carries. Maroney may have more athletic ability at this point given his youth relative to Taylor, but he hasn’t shown to do much with it, which is why they went out and got Taylor in the first place. At this price, I’d put my chips on Taylor being the guy with upside.
12.02 DEF San Diego Chargers – Shawne Merriman is back and ready for a banner year. His Twitter page told me so. With a full year under aggressive defensive coordinator Ron Rivera, who was promoted in late October last year, this defense should return as a fantasy force. They play in a weak division and should run roughshod over the Chiefs, Broncos and Raiders. One of the few defenses worth drafting a little earlier than you might otherwise draft your defense.
13.11 WR Isaac Bruce, SF – I am actually excited about this pick. Josh Morgan is the 49ers’ WR getting all the fantasy love right now, and Michael Crabtree is still getting drafted relatively high considering he hasn’t signed a contract yet and doesn’t appear close to doing so (although these things can turn around quickly). Still, Crabtree is setting himself back for this year, which brings us to old man Bruce. He considered retirement, but came back and is having an excellent camp. In a 2-start WR league, he may never start for me and I probably hope he doesn’t, but its nice to give Bruce some props at a great value this late.
14.02 RB Ricky Williams, MIA – Hey, for one of my few drafts this year I do not have Ronnie Brown, but no one seems to want to give Ricky Williams any love at all so he fell all the way down to the 14th round here. Ricky is slowing down but in a reserve role on a solid running team, and in short bursts should he be thrust into starting action, he will perform admirably. Ronnie hasn’t been a pillar of health in his career, so Ricky is a good depth pick.
15.11 K Kris Brown, HOU – I think the Texans offense is setting itself up for big things, and Kris Brown has been pretty reliable and consistent with a big leg in recent years as it is anyway.
16.02 RB Kevin Jones, CHI – Even this late in the draft there are still some nice upside picks worth drafting, although most of them in my opinion are at WR, like Devin Thomas or James Jones. As it stands though, a 6th RB is going to be more valuable than a 6th WR. I could have justified rookie Glen Coffee as insurance on Frank Gore, or Sammy Morris as another option in the NE backfield, but I’ll go with Kevin Jones here. I’ve always liked Jones and think he’s gotten a bit of a bad rap. He was playing on the Lions all those years after all. Should Matt Forte go down, Jones could be like a lottery ticket that cashes.