NFL fantasy football: Mock draft strategies

NFL.com held it's first experts league mock draft of the year on Monday, May 20th. The standard scoring league consists of NFL Fantasy LIVE members Dave Dameshek, Elliot Harrison, Michael Fabiano, Akbar Gbajabiamila, Jaime Maggio, Adam Rank, Matt "Money" Smith and Jason Smith. Also in the league are NFL.com fantasy editor Marcas Grant and NFL.com features editor Alex Gelhar. Each owner was required to put together a lineup of one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, one flex (RB/WR/TE), one tight end, one kicker and one defense/special teams unit.

Note: To view the entire 15-round mock draft, click here.

My draft strategy is pretty straight forward - select running backs and wide receivers in the earlier rounds and wait on a quarterback. The depth at the position is so deep that there's no real reason to take a signal-caller before you have at least two running backs and two wide receivers. What's more, I attempt to land three running backs and three wide receivers before I even think about targeting a quarterback. Of course, I also fill all offensive skill positions before I look to land either a kicker or defensive unit.

Did your draft strategy work?

Absolutely. I feel like I'm loaded at running back with Richardson, Ridley and Wilson. Bell is fourth on my depth chart at the position and I see him as a major sleeper. I'm looking good at wide receiver as well with Bryant, Jackson and Welker - Jennings is a darn good No. 4 wideout. Targeting runners and wideouts didn't hurt me at quarterback either, as Ryan came off the board to me in Round 9. Not bad for a player who scored the eighth-most fantasy points among all positions in 2012.

What was your favorite pick(s)?

I like the "upside" picks I made in Wilson and Bell, and landing Jennings as a No. 4 wideout was a great value. While I don't think he'll find the same success in Minnesota as he did in Green Bay, taking him as a fourth option could be a steal. I also like getting Ryan in the ninthround - it's just more proof that you can wait on a quarterback and still land a very solid starter at the position.

What pick(s) do you most regret?

If I had one regret, it's that I didn't land a better tight end. Olsen did rank a solid seventh in fantasy points at his position last season and is a pretty good option for 2013, but I would like to have done better. I was hoping to get Jason Witten in Round 9, but he went with the last pick in the eighth round. Vernon Davis and Dennis Pitta came off the board ahead of me in Round 9, so at that point I waited until Round 10 to land Olsen.

Who drafted the best fantasy team?

I drafted what I think would be a very competitive team, but I also like what Adam Rank did with his squad. His top three runners are Adrian Peterson, Matt Forte and Darren McFadden, and his wideouts include the trio of Percy Harvin, Reggie Wayne and Steve Smith. What's even more impressive is that he also grabbed Cam Newton in the sixth round. That's a great value.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!

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