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.
There's always that moment of disappointment when you realize you have the 10th pick in a 10-team draft. But it's usually replaced by the happy realization that you'll have back-to-back selections ... in snake drafts at least. I made the decision to fill my top running back and wide receiver slots first, followed by a quality quarterback. After that, I would round out my roster by going with the best player available.
Did your draft strategy work?
It did, even if it wasn't completely conventional. Instead of going with running backs in the first two rounds and doubling up on wide receivers in the next two, I ended up drafting RB-WR-WR-RB. I was still able to get a quality running back up top (Alfred Morris) with a pair of productive receivers (Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson) and followed that with a back that has plenty of upside (Chris Ivory). I topped that off with Peyton Manning for what I think was a pretty successful opening stanza from the 10th spot.
What was your favorite pick(s)?
It's a toss-up between Lamar Miller (sixth round) and Michael Vick (11th round). Miller checks in as a nice flex option and a guy I'd trust in either one of my running back spots during a bye week. Plus, it was nice to steal him just a couple of picks ahead of where Michael Fabiano had him targeted. As for Vick, he has plenty of upside in Chip Kelly's offense. To grab him as my second quarterback so late in the draft gives me much more confidence in his risk-reward quotient.
What pick(s) do you most regret?
I wasn't thrilled with Fred Jackson in the 10th round. He'll play behind C.J. Spiller in the Bills' rotation, plus his propensity to miss time with injuries makes him a pretty unreliable option. The only saving grace is that I selected him in the final third of the draft. But it's a prime example of a panic pick.
Who drafted the best fantasy team?
I really like what Adam Rank did putting together his roster. Grabbing Adrian Peterson and Matt Forte (who I think will surprise a lot of people) up top allowed him to make some real value picks at running back later in the draft. I'm not sure about his decision to land just one quarterback, but he has plenty of trade bait elsewhere on his roster to find help at that position.