2014 Fantasy Football One-Man Mock Draft: Round 3

Continuing my one-man 2014 fantasy football mock draft, here is how Round 3 of a fantasy football draft would unfold if I were drafting for each team:

3.01 - Reggie Bush, RB, Detroit Lions

This team now has LeSean McCoy and Bush as its starting RBs and Alshon Jeffery as its WR1. In his first season with the Lions, Bush ran for 1,006 yards and caught 54 passes for 506 yards with a total of seven touchdowns in 14 games. Despite missing two games, Bush set a career high in yards from scrimmage (1,512).

In a related note, new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said that he sees Bush and Joique Bell "having a split role and both being very productive." Bell is someone that I expect to be on the majority of my fantasy rosters, but Bush still had 1,512 YFS last season with Bell getting 219 touches.

3.02 - Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers

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 in 2013. Nelson had 85 receptions for 1,314 yards and eight touchdowns, but 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 even higher if Rodgers had never broken his collarbone.

Since his breakout season in 2011, Nelson has averaged 73 receptions for 1,208 yards and 11 touchdowns per 16 games.

3.03 - Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers

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 McCoy and Eddie Lacy.

In my previous version of this one-man mock, Mathews was a late-second round pick. He drops slightly due to the addition of Donald Brown, who is an upgrade over Ronnie Brown.

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3.04 - Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals

With an opportunity to become the team's featured back, Ellington's fantasy value gets a boost in 2014. Last season, he outproduced Rashard Mendenhall, who has since retired, on a per-carry basis. In 2013, Ellington gained 652 yards on 118 carries (5.5 YPC) and added 39 receptions for 371 yards and four total touchdowns.

3.05 - Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers

Not only did Rodgers miss several games due to injury, so did Cobb, who played only six games last season. The dynamic 23-year-old receiver averaged career highs in receiving yards (72.2 per game) and rushing yards (13.0 per game) when he was on the field.

With good health in 2014, Cobb should have a huge season. Based on last year's averages, Cobb would have finished with 1,363 YFS had he maintained that pace over a full 16-game season.

3.06 - Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots

The good news is that Gronkowski set career highs in yards per game (84.6) and yards per reception (15.2) last year. The better news is that Gronkowski has scored a total of 43 touchdowns in the 50 career games he has played as a dominant red-zone weapon.

Of course, the bad news is that he did not play all 16 games for a second season in a row. The worse news is that his season ended due to a torn ACL, which leads to some uncertainty about his status heading into 2014. Early reports, however, indicate that he should be ready for the 2014 season. If, perhaps a big if, he can play all 16 games, Gronk would turn into a bargain at this spot.

3.07 - Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

A model of consistency last year, Brown had at least five catches and at least 50 yards in every single game. In the end, he posted career highs across the board with 110 receptions for 1,499 yards and eight touchdowns. Brown finished second in the NFL in both receptions and yards.

3.08 - Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins

The guy that finished first in the NFL in receptions was Garcon (113). While he set career highs in receptions and yards (1,346), the addition of DeSean Jackson means that Garcon will likely get fewer than the 182 targets he had last season. That said, I don't expect a huge drop in production and can see him finish with around 1,200 yards in 2014.

3.09 - Shane Vereen, RB, New England Patriots

I expected big things from Vereen in 2013 and things got off to a great start for him last year, sort of. Vereen carried the ball 14 times for 101 yards and added seven receptions for 58 yards in the opener, but unfortunately he also broke his wrist in that game, which landed him on short-term IR. In eight games, Vereen had 208 rushing yards as well as 47 receptions for 427 yards and a total of four touchdowns.

While he's better in PPR formats, if you double Vereen's numbers for a full-season pace, he would have finished with 1,270 yards from scrimmage. That would have ranked 14th among running backs, just one yard ahead of the next guy in this mock ...

3.10 - Frank Gore, RB, San Francisco 49ers

A few of the negative factors that could impact Gore's fantasy value are: (1) he turns 31 next month, (2) he has more than 2,500 career touches, (3) he averaged a career-low 4.1 YPC last year and (4) Marcus Lattimore will be healthy this year.

That said, the 49ers have one of the league's best offensive lines and Gore rushed for 1,100-plus yards and eight-plus touchdowns for the third consecutive season. In addition, he has played all 48 regular-season games over the past three seasons. Before 2011, Gore had played 16 games just once in six seasons.

3.11 - Ben Tate, RB, Cleveland Browns

No longer in the shadow of Arian Foster, Tate will be the man in the Browns' backfield. When given the opportunity, Tate has been productive as he has averaged 4.7 YPC in his career. Durability is a concern, however, as he has played only 40 regular-sesaon games since being drafted four years ago.

3.12 - Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints

For a long time, 5,000 passing yards seemed like a special feat. And it is ... for everyone else. For Brees, however, it's become an expectation. Brees has thrown for 5,000-plus yards in three consecutive seasons. With four 5,000-yard seasons in his career, Brees is tied with all other quarterbacks in the history of the NFL combined. In addition, Brees has thrown for 128 touchdowns over the past three years.

[Note: Round 4 will be posted on Thursday, April 17th.]

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