2013 Fantasy Football Mock Draft (Standard Scoring) - Round 3 Complete
We are only two weeks away from the opening of a pair of training camps as veterans report for the both the Cowboys and Dolphins on July 20th.
Before you know it, the preseason will be here and we will be in the heart of fantasy football draft season.
Last week, we began a new 16-round standard-scoring fantasy football mock and the first couple of rounds have already been posted. Here are the results for Round 3:
Thomas had a breakout season last year in his first with Peyton Manning. Even with the offseason addition of slot receiver Wes Welker, I don't expect a huge drop in targets for Thomas, who finished the year with 94 receptions for 1,434 yards and 10 touchdowns.
The Cardinals were one of the most disappointing teams in the NFL last year after losing 11 of their 12 final games last year. Not only was their quarterback play atrocious, but their offensive line allowed a league-worst 58 sacks. The team has taken some steps to improve in both areas with the addition of Jonathan Cooper in the first round and by acquiring Carson Palmer via trade.
Over the past five seasons, Johnson has played in 16 games three times. In each of those three seasons including last year, Johnson had 100-plus receptions and 1,500-plus yards. The only other player in NFL history with three seasons of 100/1,500 is Marvin Harrison.
Provided Johnson stays healthy, he should be in line for another stellar season.
Speaking of staying healthy, Gronkowski has had five surgeries over the past eight or nine months. When healthy, he's a borderline first-round pick. His only negative is the uncertainty around when he will be ready to play and whether or not he will be able to stay healthy.
Like with his second-round pick, Darren McFadden, it's another boom-or-injured pick for this team.
In 43 career games, Gronkowski has scored a total of 39 touchdowns. He has scored double-digit touchdowns in all three of his seasons including last year even though he missed five games.
After missing three games in 2011, Murray missed another six games last year. That is the biggest concern with drafting Murray: How many games will he miss in 2013?
In his 23 games played over the past two seasons, Murray has accumulated 1,560 rushing yards on 325 carries (4.8 yards per carry) and 430 receiving yards on 60 receptions.
Wilson has game-breaking speed and averaged 5.0 yards per carry when given the opportunity as a rookie. The key for Wilson to stay on the field will be protecting the football and pass protection.
While I'm usually the one (or one of the owners) to wait the longest to draft a quarterback, Brees is coming off back-to-back 5,000-yard and 40-touchdown seasons. With the return of Sean Payton to the sidelines, it's certainly possible that Brees will extend that streak to three consecutive seasons.
Since emerging from relative obscurity in 2011, Cruz followed up his franchise-record season (1,536 yards) with another 1,000-yard campaign (1,096 yards). In addition, he set career highs in receptions (86) and touchdowns (10) last year.
Cruz, who signed his RFA tender last month, and the Giants are expected to work out a long-term deal before the start of training camp later this month.
The Lions signed Reggie Bush to a four-year deal. While he should lead the team in carries and rushing, he stands to catch more than his fair share of passes out of the backfield. Bush had only 35 receptions last year and I wouldn't be surprised if he doubled that total in the Lions' pass-happy offense.
As dangerous as Harvin was last season in Minnesota's offense, it's scary to think how much better he can be with the Seahawks now that he has a competent quarterback under center.
Before being sidelined for the rest of the season with injury, no receiver had more receptions (62) than Harvin through nine games. During that span, he had 677 receiving yards, 96 rushing yards and five touchdowns (three receiving, one rushing and one as a returner).
Although Gore just turned 30 years old (on May 14th), he's coming off back-to-back 1,200-yard seasons. It's possible that he has one more 1,200-yard season in him.
A few factors working in Gore's favor is: (1) the team arguably has the best offensive line in football, (2) defenses fear the threat of Colin Kaepernick running and (3) Michael Crabtree's injury could mean more reliance and focus on running the ball.
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton started the season slowly, but he came on strong and finished tied for fourth among quarterbacks in fantasy points. In his first eight games, Newton had a six-to-eight touchdown-to-interception ratio, but that ratio improved with 13 touchdowns to only four interceptions in the second half.
While he finished with fewer passing yards and scored fewer touchdowns in his second NFL season than he did as a rookie, he rushed for a career-high 741 yards and still scored eight rushing touchdowns.
One of the concerns with Newton is that the team, which already had a relatively weak receiving corps, did not add another receiver this offseason opposite Steve Smith, who recently turned 34 years old.