2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft (Standard Scoring): Round 2
Over the weekend, we began a new fantasy football mock draft and I posted the results from Round 1 yesterday morning.
With Round 2 in the books, here are the results for Round 2:
Despite being suspended for the first two games of the season, Gordon broke out (like I expected) and led the NFL in receiving (like nobody expected). As the first player to ever go over 200 receiving yards in back-to-back games, Gordon set the club's single-game receiving record (as Buggin' Out once said, "two times") and ultimately broke the franchise's single-season record as well.
There is no uncertainty about Gordon's talents, but it's unclear who will be under center for the Browns in 2014. A bigger concern is the potential risk of a full-season suspension for another misstep in the league's substance-abuse program. We have seen that rich and famous athletes with limited structure in the offseason can often make poor decisions so hopefully Gordon learns from the mistakes of others (see Blackmon, Justin).
Disappointed that Murray did not fall one more spot to me, I naturally like this pick for Dan. The biggest knock on Murray has been his lack of durability, but he played a career-high 14 games in 2013 and has top-five upside if he can stay healthy for a full season.
With a career average of 4.95 YPC, Murray established new career highs of 1,121 rushing yards, 53 receptions for 350 yards and 10 total touchdowns in 2013. Especially good in the final eight games of the season, Murray had 879 YFS, seven TDs and a 5.5 YPC average.
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While he won't add much at all as a receiver and his numbers overall dropped last season, Alf has averaged 1,444 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns over his first two seasons in the NFL. Even though new coach Jay Gruden employed a two-back system in Cincinnati, Morris should continue to be a workhorse back for Washington.
In his second season with Peyton Manning, DT's numbers were nearly identical to his first season. Thomas had 92 receptions (94 in 2012), 1,430 yards (1,434) and 14 touchdowns (10). With Eric Decker scheduled to become a free agent, it's possible that Thomas even improves upon those numbers in 2014.
Although he saw a year-over-year drop in yardage from 1,382 to 1,233 yards, Bryant set career highs (barely, by one in each case) in receptions (93) and touchdowns (13). Battling a back injury, Bryant still played in all 16 games this season although he left the field a minute or so early against the Packers. Despite some (im)maturity concerns, Bryant is one of the most physically-gifted players in the league and should be a lock for another 1,200-yard season with double-digit touchdowns.
While I'd prefer a couple of RBs over Bernard here in this format, he had a productive rookie season. As a change-of-pace back for the Bengals, Bernard finished inside the top 20 fantasy running backs for the full season in standard-scoring formats.
Averaging just shy of 15 touches per game on the season, his carries increased each month — 8.0 per game (Sept.), 9.8 (Oct.), 12.0 (Nov.) and 13.0 (Dec.). Finishing eighth among all running backs in receptions (56), he is an even better option in point-per-reception (PPR) formats.
After his breakout season in 2012, Spiller was a huge disappointment in 2013. Despite getting roughly the same amount of carries (202 vs. 207), Spiller rushed for more than 300 yards less than he had in 2012 as he averaged only 4.6 yards per carry (compared to 6.0 YPC in 2012). In addition, he averaged only 5.6 yards per reception (compared to 10.7 Y/R in 2012).
Perhaps it's a bit of a leap of faith on my part that he bounces back, but Spiller has more upside than any other running back still available in this mock.
Before his foot injury landed him on injured reserve, Jones had really taken a huge step (no pun intended) forward in 2013. After averaging 73.8 and 74.9 yards per game in his first two seasons, respectively, Jones was averaging a league-high (at the time) 116.0 yards per game in the five games he had played.
At this point, it appears that Jones will be ready for the start of the 2014 season, but Jones' injury was breaking a screw that had already been inserted into his foot from a previous injury so there is some reason to be a little cautious.
With only one carry in the team's first four games, Stacy was the team's workhorse back in its final 12 games. Even though he averaged less than four yards per carry (3.89) since becoming the starter, he averaged 20.75 carries per game and added 2.17 receptions per game. If he maintains that level of a workload in 2014, you can argue that he should be selected sooner than this.
2.10 - Sean Beazley, Team 1: Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos
While I would typically wait to draft a quarterback, the end of the second round is where I would strongly consider Manning. Manning, a five-time league MVP, broke the record for most passing yards (5,477) and passing touchdowns (55) while throwing only 10 interceptions. Not only did he throw multiple touchdowns in all but one game, Manning threw four or more TDs in nine games. (As a comparison, Hall-of-Famer John Elway did that 10 times ... in his whole career.)
Despite a little bit of inconsistency on a weekly basis (four games with less than 35 rushing yards), Bush still finished as the 12th-highest scoring fantasy running back last year. For the second time in three years, Bush exceeded 1,000 rushing yards, but he also exceeded 50 receptions for the first time since 2008. Even though he missed two games, Bush set a career high in yards from scrimmage (1,512).
As the highest-ranked fantasy running back still available before this pick, I like Mathews a lot as an RB2. There will always be a little bit (or a lot) of concern about his durability, but we saw how productive he can be last year when healthy.
Although he was on the sidelines for part of the team's two playoff games, Mathews played a full 16-game season for the first time in his career. In the process, he rushed for a career-high 1,255 yards on 285 carries.
With six 100-yard games (and one 99-yard game) in an 11-game stretch starting in Week 6, Mathews was one of three running backs to gain over 1,000 yards on the ground during that stretch along with LeSean McCoy and Eddie Lacy.
Our early 2014 Fantasy Football rankings:
- 2014 Fantasy Football QB rankings
- 2014 Fantasy Football RB rankings
- 2014 Fantasy Football WR rankings
- 2014 Fantasy Football TE rankings