2014 Fantasy Football - PPR Mock Draft (Round 1)
Four of our contributors — Brendan Donahue, Sean Beazley, Dan Yanotchko and yours truly — began a 2014 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft earlier today.
Each of us are picking for three teams and this mock will go for 14 rounds with no kickers or team defenses being selected. Round 1 is now in the books.
Here are Round 1 results:
Charles led the league in total touchdowns with 19 — 12 rushing and seven receiving scores. As great as that was for his fantasy owners in 2013, it will be unlikely for Charles to repeat. If you remember back to 2011, LeSean McCoy scored a league-high 20 touchdowns and then followed that up with just five total touchdowns in 2012.
It certainly wouldn't be a knock on Charles if he does not repeat last year's scoring fest and I'm not projecting a drop to five total touchdowns for him. That said, what he did last season is rare as the only running backs with 19-plus touchdowns in the past seven seasons are: Charles (2013), McCoy (2011) and DeAngelo Williams (2008).
Playing one less game than McCoy as the Chiefs rested their starters in Week 17, Charles set a career high in yards from scrimmage (1,980) and that ranked second only to McCoy. No player had as many games with 100-plus YFS than Charles (13) last season. In addition, Charles set a career high in receptions (70) and finished fifth in the league among running backs in that category.
1.02 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): LeSean McCoy, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
McCoy led the NFL in rushing yards (1,607), yards from scrimmage (2,146) and touches (366) in his first season playing in Chip Kelly's offense. With the addition of Darren Sproles to the team's backfield, McCoy should see a few less targets in the passing game and it's unlikely he duplicates his career-high 314 carries this year. That said, I still McCoy projected for a healthy 330 touches in 2014.
While I would personally take Matt Forte in PPR formats with the second pick, I have no problem taking McCoy here (or even with the No. 1 pick). I think a case can easily be made for any of the top four running backs.
1.03 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears
In his first season with Marc Trestman as coach, Forte set career highs across the board: 1,339 rushing yards, 74 receptions and 594 receiving yards. He tied his previous career high in touchdowns (12). Forte finished third in YFS behind McCoy and Charles and third in receptions among RBs behind Pierre Thomas (77) and Danny Woodhead (76).
With a talented duo of outside receivers in Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall, Forte has protection from consistent eight-men fronts looking to slow down the run. In addition, both of those receivers are big-bodied wideouts that excel as blockers down the field. Based on PFF grades, Marshall and Jeffery were the best and ninth-best blocking wide receivers, respectively, last season.
While he's unlikely to ever duplicate his historic 2012 season, Peterson has put up monster numbers despite battling injuries and facing eight- or nine-men fronts over the past couple of seasons.
And while touchdown production tends to fluctuate for running backs, Peterson has rattled off double-digit rushing scores in all seven of his NFL seasons. If there are some concerns with Peterson, it's the fact that he's now 29 years old and has racked up more than 2,000 career rush attempts.
Then again, doubt All Day at your own peril.
I know Dan debated Calvin Johnson and Lacy here, changing his mind a few times as he told me, but it's a win-win situation. Personally, I'd lean Megatron here, but I tend to prefer how my teams turn out when I go running back in Round 1.
While the Packers have long been able to beat you through the air, their ground attack has left much to be desired — until this past season, that is. As a rookie, Lacy finished with 1,178 rushing yards, which ranked eighth in the NFL, and 11 touchdowns, only two RBs had more. From Week 5 through the end of the regular season, only McCoy (1,139) had more rushing yards than Lacy (1,127).
No running back had more games with 20-plus carries last year than Lacy. Counting their playoff loss, Lacy had 20-plus carries in 11 of his final 14 games last season. As productive as he was as a workhorse back, Lacy averaged only 4.15 yards per carry last season.
Provided that Aaron Rodgers stays healthy for a full season, however, I expect better numbers from Lacy on a per-carry basis and I wouldn't be surprised if he rushed for double-digit scores once again.
1.06 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions
With tremendous size and athleticism, no receiver can take over a game like Megatron. Only Hall-of-Famer Lance Alworth has as many games with 200 receiving yards in a career as Johnson (five). Over the past three seasons, Johnson has averaged a statistical line of 101/1,712/11.
Graham finished last season with 86 catches for 1,215 yards and a career-best 16 touchdowns. It was only the second time in NFL history that a tight end had at least 16 touchdowns. Not only did Graham lead all tight ends in all three stat categories, but he had nearly 300 yards more than the tight end with the second-most yards (Cleveland's Jordan Cameron, 917). In addition, he led all players, regardless of position, in touchdowns; Denver's Demaryius Thomas was second with 14.
Over the past three seasons combined, Graham has a total of 270 receptions for 3,507 yards and 36 touchdowns; that equates to an average stat line of 90/1,169/12.
Murray has long been associated with the injury-prone tag. While he did not play a full 16 games last year, Murray was still very productive and played a career-high 14 games. Eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark (1,124 rushing yards) for the first time in his career, Murray set career highs in receptions (53), receiving yards (350) and touchdowns (10) as well.
During a six-game stretch from Week 10 to 16 (team's bye was in Week 11), Murray scored double-digit fantasy points every week and had three games with at least 20 fantasy points. Only two running backs — McCoy (152.5) and Charles (144.33) — averaged more YFS per game than Murray (123.67) during that span. Only Charles (11) had more touchdowns than Murray (seven) over that stretch as well.
There will always be injury risk for Murray, or any running back for that matter, but he could be in store for a monster season provided he maintains as good (or better) health in 2014.
For a third consecutive season, Lynch rushed for more than 1,200 yards with double-digit touchdowns. Over that three-year span, he has 901 carries for 4,051 yards, 87 catches for 724 yards and a total of 39 touchdowns.
Although there were reports that Lynch could retire, he did report to the team's mandatory minicamp despite his desire for a new contract (that he won't receive) with two years to go on his current deal. In fact, the most likely scenario is that he won't be back under the current terms of his contract next season.
Either way, the Seahawks will likely get Christine Michael, their second-round pick in 2013, more involved this year although offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell has backtracked on his RBBC comments at the team's town hall.
Seemingly out of nowhere, Knowshon Moreno finshed as a top-five scorer among running backs in fantasy points last year. While Moreno lacks elite talent, playing in a Peyton Manning-led offense leads to huge rewards. Moreno's free-agency departure to Miami creates an enormous opportunity for Ball in the league's most explosive offense.
Ball, the Broncos' second-round pick in 2013, got off to a relatively slow start: 3.26 yards per carry (68 carries for 222 yards) in first 10 games. From Weeks 11 to 16, Ball averaged 6.48 YPC (52 carries for 337 yards).
Provided he gets as much work as Moreno received last year, Ball's ceiling is a top-five finish (or better).
Beginning with plenty of uncertainty last offseason and into training camp, Foster was a risky selection for fantasy owners, but he was getting into a groove before his season was ultimately cut short by injury. In the final three full games that he played, Foster had 82 touches (68 carries and 14 receptions) for 487 yards from scrimmage (341 rushing and 146 receiving).
From 2010-2012, he rushed for 4,264 yards, added 159 receptions for 1,438 yards and scored a total of 47 touchdowns in 45 games. During that span, no player had more YFS or touchdowns than Foster.
Perhaps last year's injury and therefore lightened workload will ultimately help keep Foster healthy and fresher throughout this season.
Averaging just shy of 15 touches per game last year, Bernard's carries increased every 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 was an even better option in point-per-reception (PPR) formats.
Going into 2014, Bernard should be ready for his workload to continue its ascension. Before the draft, coach Marvin Lewis referenced the jump in workload and production that Ray Rice had from his rookie to second season and hopes Bernard "can take those same steps."
While the team drafted LSU's Jeremy Hill in the second round, they will likely move on from The Law Firm and I still expect Bernard's touches to increase from last season. With the change in offensive scheme (from Jay Gruden to Hue Jackson), the Bengals should be much more of a run-first team in 2014.
2014 Fantasy Football rankings:
- 2014 Fantasy Football QB rankings
- 2014 Fantasy Football RB rankings
- 2014 Fantasy Football WR rankings
- 2014 Fantasy Football TE rankings
More fantasy football resources:
- Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator
- 2014 Fantasy Football Player Projections
- 2014 Fantasy Football Profiles
- 2014 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule
- Fantasy Football ADP Movers
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