2013 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Two Round Rookie-Only

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In a regular Fantasy Football Mock Draft, you get a very clear gauge on players that you're drafting because most of them have a long enough resume that you know what their total-point outcome will be at the end of the regular season. Taking guys like Adrian Peterson and Calvin Johnson in a veteran draft isn't that hard. Maybe you draft them one or two spots higher than you should. But in the end, the first few rounds are fairly simple.

Rookie-Only Drafts are a totally different story. Getting a chance to grab someone who will help your dynasty team for years to come isn't as easy. Unless the draft class is brimming with talent at every offensive position, you really have to do your homework if you don't get the chance to pick within the first 5-7 spots.

Picking rookies BEFORE the draft is as hard as they come. The big-named guys are easier to decipher. And guys who aren't ranked as high as those guys sometimes fall in the right situation. But because we are drafting before the draft, we won't know how well we did until after. The best example I can think of in that respect is Matt Forte. Forte wasn't ranked as high as guys like Darren McFadden or Jonathan Stewart in the 2010 NFL Draft. But when the Bears had drafted him 44th overall, his fantasy football stock shot up. He wound up rushing for over 1,000 yards that season and the rest is history. But without knowing where the lower-tiered players are going to end up, you could be taking a guy who will either contribute right away or wind up riding the pine for most of his early career. It's a crap-shoot.

With that said, yours truly was invited to draft with several other industry experts in a four-round rookies-only draft sponsored by Dynasty Football Warehouse. I had never tried one of these, so I thought why not? Below are the first two rounds, with the rest of the mock located at My Fantasy League. How do YOU think I did? How did the rest of the picks go? Is there someone who may have slipped down too far? Someone drafted too high? You be the judge.

1.01 1. @_Knuckleheads - RB Eddie Lacy
1.02 2. @JDBeckler - WR Cordarrelle Patterson
1.03 3. @JeffRatcliffe - RB Giovani Bernard
1.04 4. @Orca_DFW - WR DeAndre Hopkins
1.05 5. @Ladd_Davies - RB Montee Ball
1.06 6. @WildThingFB - RB Joseph Randle
1.07 7. @draftcalc - RB Le'Veon Bell
1.08 8. @evansjo5 - WR Tavon Austin
1.09 9. @Bill_Riccette - RB Kenjon Barner
1.10 10. @JeffHaseley - RB Jonathan Franklin
1.11 11. @zbullsmoke - TE Tyler Eifert
1.12 12. @ShanePHallam - RB Marcus Lattimore

2.01 13. @_Knuckleheads - WR Keenan Allen
2.02 14. @JDBeckler - QB Geno Smith
2.03 15. @JeffRatcliffe - WR Justin Hunter
2.04 16. @Orca_DFW - RB Andre Ellington
2.05 17. @Ladd_Davies -  RB Knile Davis
2.06 18. @WildThingFB - RB Mike Gillislee
2.07 19. @draftcalc - RB Zac Stacy
2.08 20. @evansjo5 - RB Jawan Jamison
2.09 21. @Bill_Riccette - WR Stedman Bailey
2.10 22. @JeffHaseley - WR Markus Wheaton
2.11 23. @zbullsmoke - WR Da'Rick Rogers
2.12 24. @ShanePHallam - WR Robert Woods


  1. Michael Johnson says

    I just wanted to say that I really enjoy your posts and your articles. I actually participate in a Dynasty League myself which is why I really love this post. To say that I do homework is, in my opinion, an understatement considering there is so much at stake year in and year out. Because there aren’t too many people I know of who participate in dynasty leagues I use whatever resources that are available/at my disposal. This includes various sites and obscure articles that I find on the net, however, unlike the others which I find to be helpful or useful for bits and pieces of information… I analysis and information that goes in to player evaluation, team management, player and team situations, etc. (I could go on). The information you post is so detailed that it attracts viewers/readers like myself; it is very beneficial to 1 year players as well as dynasty league players.

    In our league we have 12 teams and every year we incorporate a rookie draft. It involves 3 rounds, 3 picks per team (where each team owner is free to do with those picks as he chooses – e.g. trading them for various players, additional picks, or future picks). This year marks our leagues 4th year since being established.

    That being said I find it very interesting analyzing your draft and every team’s picks. After reviewing the picks, I couldn’t help but notice that it seems to have followed a similar trend that a lot of my fellow league members seem to fall into when our draft comes along (granted we draft after the NFL draft every year – so I want to be clear as not to mistake this mock draft because, like you said, it is before the actual one).

    Although running backs and wide receivers are most definitely the commodities people look for when upgrading their teams, I have found that many people tend to overvalue players BECAUSE of a variety of reasons, including: player position, team situation, league format (e.g. ppr), etc. Because of this, I feel there are players who get passed on who might be significantly more talented than another in favor of a less talented player based purely on one or more of these factors. Below I am going to list a few examples…

    -You express my point in one of your more recent articles expressing the difference in player evaluation (your example: the 49er’s choosing Alex Smith over Aaron Rodgers… which looking back it is obvious who got the better deal).
    -I think the RB and WR position get too much glamour BECAUSE they are what people look at when they are (re)building their teams. I mean I am not saying that those positions aren’t important, because they are… but like you say it is very, VERY difficult trying to nail a draft pick in this particular type of draft especially if your pick is not between the first 5 or 7. My example for this… the year Cam Newton came out (list of draft order, picks, and player chosen).

    Round I
    1 A.J. Green
    2 Mark Ingram
    3 Julio Jones
    4 Ryan Williams
    5 Daniel Thomas
    6 Mikel LeShoure
    7 Greg Little
    8 Kendall Hunter
    9 Jonathan Baldwin
    10 Leonard Hankerson
    11 Roy Helu
    12 Shane Vereen
    Round II
    13 Demarco Murray
    14 Von Miller
    15 Cam Newton

    (we are also an IDP league (2 starting DB, 2 str LB, 2 str DL with a very deep bench)

    My point for above is this….
    Although it isn’t quite fair to shut the door on any of these players (yet) – I try to apply the golden rule concerning receivers who don’t make an immediate impact follow the 3 year grace period for any and all rookie(s)- I think we can safely say that just by taking a look at the latter portion of our draft there was a huge mistake made by, not just one, but MANY owners. Cam Newton was picked number 1 overall, and yet he still fell in our draft to the 2nd round… 15th overall pick… OVER VON MILLER… What this draft board tells me is that owners (not just my league and my fellow team managers) but many owners OVERVALUE positions such as WR and RB. Why? Because they are the sexy picks that people think will receive instant value. I can’t even say this seriously, but looking at this board, it says that someone valued Daniel Thomas, Ryan Williams, and Mikel LeShoure (just to name three) OVER Cam Newton… who is and has been running fantasy circles around these three fools since their induction into the NFL.

    Now, enough of me ranting, the reason why I bring this is up is because I find it funny that there are Runningbacks who are slated to go in the 2nd, 3rd, or even later round(s)… and yet Geno Smith is slated in the second. Granted, I agree that this year’s class for quarterback may seem lack luster in comparison to years past; however, someone will break through, whether his name is Geno Smith or not. And “IF” Smith, or any other quarterback that is projected to go or who may actually get picked before any of the other running backs listed above, ends up being a franchise qb and he ends up defying a lot of the criticism thrown his way… I think that it is too much of a risk to pass on a player like that just so that an owner can get his or her “main guy” (e.g. a 2nd or 3rd round running back or a wide receiver).

    If anyone should actually read my post… My point is (and sorry for the rant)… PICK THE BEST PLAYER AVAILABLE.

    -Pick the best player available
    -Don’t get caught up in the hype surrounding a player’s potential (because that is just a label as far as I am concerned)
    -Do your homework, watch tape.

    • Michael Johnson says

      Also, one additional comment, 4 years ago I had the first overall pick in our rookie draft (I know, you are probably thinking 1 of 2 things… 1.) wow good for you or 2.) your team sucked that bad huh?).

      That being said, I had the choice between Ryan Mathews and C.J. Spiller… my team was already in the crapper for that year, however, after some consideration.. I ultimately went with C.J. Spiller.

      Now I know this was a gamble… and at the time it seemed like for anyone to pass on Mathews was nuts not only because of his college career.. but the situation he was heading into – the Chargers just let Ladanian Tomlinson walk, they were known to run the ball… it seemed too good to be true – and you are right, it was a tough year for me that year.. as well as the year after, and the year after that… BUT I’m sure now everyone is looking at those two players and come draft day it isn’t even a CLOSE decision.

      My decision was based on what I saw on tape, what I saw in him as a player, and, truth be told… his situation as well. Spiller is a young back who barely has any wear and tear, who is entering into a season (barring any setbacks) that could potentially be not just a career year for him, but maybe (and this might be my bias… slightly.. yeah..) a top 5, okay top 10 RB this year.

      Point – It follows my advice above… be careful for various factors when drafting (situation for short term isn’t always best long term)

  2. Greg Brosh says

    Michael thank you so much for posting something very very insightful. Let me suck it in and I will comment back as soon as I can.

  3. Greg Brosh says

    You have a lot of valid points Michael. People do tend to get caught up in hype surrounding a player. I can say now I am dreading having taken Lacy No. 1 overall. Not just for the fact that he is still coming off a hamstring injury, but he could very well bust like a Thomas, Ryan Williams, etc. I think this year is going to be one of those years where someone like Tavon Austin is going to blow everyone else out of the water, yet will fall to the middle of the first round simply because he’s a receiver. We are so ingrained with the mind set that we have to go running back, which simply isn’t the case anymore.

    Plus you also have to analyze your own team beforehand with a fine-tooth comb. If your very strong at running back, why waste your no. 1 pick on another even though most people say you must choose him?

    • Michael Johnson says

      Haha well thanks for responding, I really appreciate it and the information/analysis you provide. Keep it up!

      Oh and, don’t get me wrong, my intention was not to make you second guess your draft choice in Eddie Lacy at all, in fact, I actually really like your draft choices.

      My aim was, more or less, to try and shed some light on the value that people place/misplace on players and their positions between picks 5-12 (roughly). Depending on how talented and how deep the draft class is entering x year, I would say that the picks between 1 and 3 or 1 and 5 are “fairly” safe considering within those first five or six players an owner has his or her option of the top 2 players at every offensive position (QB, RB, WR, TE…).

      Now I am not saying that Geno Smith’s talent and potential are equal to that of a Cam Newton, a Robert Griffin III, or an Andrew Luck (in fact, it could be a different year with a whole different class of quarterbacks, or Geno Smithh could fall and you could replace him with Matt Barkley, EJ Manuel, or Ryan Nassib) but if one of those players enter the draft, get drafted by a team and is slated to be an immediate starter, why would you risk a high draft selection on a player that could be picked up later (or whose value is equivalent to that of a waiver wire pick up)?

      That’s why I think your selections in Lacy and Smith aren’t bad at all or should be regretted (you got a steal and played the other owners). Haha, well… those who selected in the later portion of the first round.

      Also, if you don’t mind, I hope I can continue speaking with you about player evaluation. I love hearing other people’s opinion on players, trades, all of that goods stuff.

      • Michael Johnson says

        Sorry I just looked at the draft board again, I foolishly talked your draft process up under the assumption that you chose Smith… when really you chose Patterson.

        That being said, my philosophy still remains the same for anyone who may read this.

        As for the pick in Allen, I still think that is a good pick up, and truth be told, I still think some of what I was expressing happened with that pick too (he could easily have been picked over because of his injury).

  4. Michael Johnson says

    And yet I did it again… agh..

    I say incorrectly patterson.. then say correctly allen… my bad

    Keenan Allen was your choice in the second round. Sorry about that (every time I’ve posted to this blog it has been very late into the night).

    • Greg Brosh says

      Allen is one of the big reasons I don’t like drafting before the Combine and Pro Days are all locked up and done. He didn’t look good at all in his 40 times and he’s still only 85% recovered from his knee injury. His stock is going to plummet. But, once he is back, maybe he will be a steal. I do know that my draft selections will look a lot different after we know where everyone goes.