2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft (Standard Scoring): Round 3
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Over the weekend, we began a new 2014 fantasy football mock draft and we have now moved into the start of Round 4.
Here are the picks in Round 3:
In dynasty leagues, I would prefer Alshon Jeffery over Marshall, but the opposite is true (slightly) when it comes to re-draft leagues for the 2014 season. Considering his chemistry with Jay Cutler, Marshall is likely to lead the team in targets in 2014, but both receivers are excellent options at this point and are next to each other in re-draft rankings.
3.02 - Kevin Hanson, Team 1: Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears
As noted with the previous pick, it's extremely close for me between Jeffery and Marshall and both receivers should be poised to have huge seasons again in 2014. With McCoy and Bush as my starting running backs and Jeffery as my WR1, I like how my team is shaping up.
The second-year receiver had a breakout season with 89 receptions for 1,421 yards and seven touchdowns in addition to 16 rush attempts for another 105 yards. He finished sixth among wideouts in receiving yards, but if you add his 105 rushing yards to that total, only Cleveland's Josh Gordon had more yards from scrimmage than Jeffery.
Like with Knowshon Moreno, who's scheduled to become a free agent this offseason, Ball's fantasy value is tied to Moreno's destination in free agency. Or to be more precise, Ball's fantasy value is tied to whether or not the Broncos are able to bring Moreno back. I would expect Moreno to keep more money to sign elsewhere, and if so, Ball is worth a pick in this spot, but there is at least some risk (for Ball owners) that Moreno returns.
Ball was much more productive in the second half than he was in the first half or so. Through Super Bowl XLVIII, where the Broncos offense struggled overall and Ball gained only one yard on six carries, he gained 433 yards on 80 carries (5.41 yards per carry) over his past eight games. As a comparison, Ball averaged just 3.26 YPC (68 carries for 222 yards) in his first 10 games of the season.
The loss of Aaron Rodgers for a huge chunk of the season had an adverse affect on Nelson's season, but he still managed to finish as the 11th-highest scoring fantasy receiver this year. Nelson had 85 receptions for 1,314 yards and eight touchdowns.
That said, he had a line of 49/810/7 in the nine games that Rodgers started and finished. In other words, his yardage and touchdown totals would have likely been higher if Rodgers never broke his collarbone.
It's deja vu all over again: While the injuries are different, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is coming off a season-ending injury that required surgery for the second year in a row. One year after a total of five forearm and back surgeries, Gronkowski suffered a torn ACL in early December, but early indications are that he will be ready for the season opener.
Missing games to start and end last season, Gronk played in only seven games, but he averaged 84.6 yards per game and 15.2 yards per reception, both of which were career highs. More than anything, Gronkowski is a dominant force in the red zone as he has a total of 43 touchdowns in 50 career games.
As we get closer to the start of the season, we should get clearer indications of exactly when Gronk will return. If it becomes clear that he will be ready for the start of the season, he would easily be worthy of a second-round pick. For now, I wouldn't consider Gronk until the third or fourth round.
With Mike Wallace in Miami, Brown proved that the Steelers gave the right guy the big contract/extension. Brown set career highs across the board with 110 receptions and 1,499 yards, both of which were second in the NFL last year, and eight touchdowns.
There is something to be said about his consistency as well. Brown had at least five receptions and 50 yards in all 16 games last season. From 2000 to 2013, there were no other players with a full 16-game season with 5/50 in every game.
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There were few players as disappointing as Rice last year. Except for his rookie season, Rice set career lows with 660 rushing yards, 3.1 yards per carry, 321 receiving yards and only four touchdowns.
After four consecutive seasons with at least 1,143 rushing yards alone, Rice failed to reach 1,000 yards from scrimmage for the first time since his rookie season. Over the previous four seasons, he averaged 1,876 YFS per season.
While this is about where I would expect Rice to go, I'm glad it's Dan, and not me, that is selecting him here.
CJ2K had another solid (but not spectacular) season when you look at his full-year numbers: 1,077 rushing yards, 345 receiving yards and 10 total touchdowns. One of the league's fastest players, CJ2K averaged a career-low 3.9 yards per carry last year and set a career low in YFS (1,422) although he has in the range of 1,400-1,500 yards in three consecutive seasons.
Based solely on talent, I'd be willing to draft Johnson here, but he is expected to be released this offseason as he has said that he's unwilling to accept a pay cut. Ultimately, he'll get a pay cut whether it's with the Titans (or another team), but there is plenty of uncertainty until we know where he will play in 2014.
3.09 - Sean Beazley, Team 3: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
With a broken collarbone suffered against the Bears, Rodgers season was interrupted but he averaged 281.8 yards per game in the nine games he played. Excluding the Bears' game, where he only three two pass attempts, Rodgers was averaging 313.6 YPG in the eight regular-season games he started and finished. In the previous two seasons, Rodgers averaged 4,469 yards, 42 TDs and seven INTs per season.
While I would prefer Drew Brees, who has thrown for 5,000-plus yards in three consecutive seasons over Rodgers, both are in that next tier (by themselves) after Peyton Manning and this is the point that I'd start considering both.
Despite leading the league in receptions (113), Garcon was a bit inconsistent when it came to fantasy production last year. While Garcon had five huge games of 17 or more fantasy points including Weeks 15 and 16, he also had six fantasy points or less in nine games. (Obviously, that means he had only two games with 7-16 fantasy points.)
Becoming the third rookie receiver to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark in the past nine seasons, Allen led the Chargers in receiving with 71 receptions for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns. In the final 14 games (counting the playoffs), Allen had six 100-yard games and 10 touchdowns. As great as his rookie season was, I would expect better numbers for Allen in Year 2.
One of the most gifted receivers in the league, Fitzgerald restructured his contract and will at least be a Cardinal for one more year. After freeing up plenty of cap space for the Cardinals this year, Fitz counts as $23.6M versus the cap next year (via spotrac).
While Fitz is coming off his second consecutive season with less than 1,000 receiving yards, but he did score double-digit touchdowns for the first time in four seasons and had a three-year high in receptions (82).
View previous rounds:
- Go back to Round 1 of this fantasy football mock
- Go back to Round 2 of this fantasy football mock
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
- 2014 Fantasy Football QB rankings