2014 Fantasy Football Dynasty Mock Draft: Round 3

Continuing the dynasty fantasy football mock draft that we began on Sunday, we have completed another round and here are Round 3 results:

3.01 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Julius Thomas, TE, Denver Broncos

Despite ranking ninth at the position in targets (89) last season, only two tight ends had more fantasy points than the breakout tight end last year: Graham and San Francisco's Vernon Davis. Along with Graham and Davis, he was one of three tight ends with double-digit touchdowns and finished with 65 receptions for 788 yards and 12 touchdowns in his 14 regular-season games last year.

3.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers

Along with Cincinnati's A.J. Green, New Orleans' Marques Colston, Allen became the third rookie receiver to reach the 1,000-yard milestone in the past nine seasons.

Allen led the Chargers in receiving across the board with 71 catches for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns. Once the calendar turned October, Allen was especially good. In the 14 games played in October through January including the playoffs, Allen had six 100-yard games and scored 10 touchdowns.

Only 22 years old, Allen spent the offseason working on his speed. Quarterback Philip Rivers said the following of Allen (via the San Diego Union-Tribune):

“He always was a great route runner. There just seems to be a little more juice. I think that’s fair. If he can maintain that, it’s only going to broaden what he can do. If he develops to where he can really run by you and find ways to get chunk plays down the field — he’s so good intermediate — that’s just going to complete the whole package for him.”

3.03 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Patterson, who turned 23 years old in March, tops the list of receivers with the potential to breakout in 2014. After watching Josh Gordon have a huge sophomore campaign in Norv Turner's offense last year, it would be unrealistic to expect Gordon's league-leading numbers for Patterson but perfectly reasonable to expect a big year-over-year jump for Patterson in Turner's offense.

One of the league's most dangerous players in the open field, Patterson led the NFL in kickoff return average (32.4 Y/R). In the final eight games of the season, Patterson had 29 receptions for 323 yards, 10 carries for 156 yards and a total of seven touchdowns.

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3.04 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Zac Stacy, RB, St. Louis Rams

With only one carry in the team's first four games, Stacy had 250 carries in the final three-quarters of the season. Per Pro Football Reference, no running back had more carries in his team's final nine games than Stacy (200). Pittsburgh's Le'Veon Bell (180) was second in that category.

Over his final nine games, Stacy rushed for 759 yards — only 3.80 YPC — and seven touchdowns while adding 20 catches for 96 yards. His 759 rushing yards was fourth-best during that span.

Stacy will remain the team's lead back in 2014, but the selection of Auburn's Tre Mason in the third round puts some constraints on his long-term upside.

3.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals

Last season, Ellington outproduced (now former) teammate Rashard Mendenhall on a per-carry basis — and by a lot. In 2013, Ellington gained 652 yards on 118 carries (5.5 YPC) and added 39 receptions for 371 yards and four total touchdowns.

How much work will Ellington get in 2014 (and beyond)? Based on comments from coach Bruce Arians, Ellington figures to be the team's workhorse back, but there's no way he gets the "25-30 touches per game" as Arians projected earlier this offseason.

Even though Ellington is going into his second season, he's already 25 years old.

3.06 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): 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 had Rodgers had never broken his collarbone.

Since his breakout season (2011), Nelson has averaged 73 receptions for 1,208 yards and 11 touchdowns per 16 games. Along with Megatron and Dez, Nelson is one of only three wide receivers with at least 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns over the past three seasons combined.

Even though Nelson will turn 30 next year, the good news is that he recently signed a four-year extension that will keep him in Green Bay and paired with Rodgers through the 2018 season.

[Related: 2014 Jordy Nelson Fantasy Profile - More Fantasy Football Profiles]

3.07 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks

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.

While Lynch held out to start training camp, it was a relatively short-lived holdout. Coach Pete Carroll has recently raved about Lynch's condition saying that he looks "as fit as he ever has."

More than likely, however, the Seahawks will get Christine Michael, their talented second-round pick from 2013, more involved in the offense this year. In addition, many speculate that Lynch could become a cap casualty after the 2014 season.

Not only are there concerns about Lynch's future with the Seahawks beyond this season, there are some legal concerns as he's being investigated for an alleged assault.

As I'm catching up with posting these picks, I actually made this selection just before news broke of the alleged assault. Not feeling thrilled when I made the selection, I obviously felt even worse just five minutes later. I sort of felt like the guy in one of my favorite commercials of all-time.

3.08 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): 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 now 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. In addition, Brees has thrown for 128 touchdowns over the past three years.

Even if Brees doesn't reach 5,000 passing yards this season, he's going to come close and he's a lock to be a top-three producer in fantasy points at the position once again.

Even though I'd prefer a younger quarterback over Brees, who turned 35 years old in January, Brees could remain a top-three option over the next three to five seasons.

3.09 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers

After missing eight games combined in his first three seasons, Mathews played a full 16-game season for the first time in his four-year career. He rushed for a career-high 1,255 yards, which ranked seventh in the NFL, and scored six touchdowns last season.

Getting off to a relatively slow start, Mathews was one of the league's most dominant runners from Weeks 6 to 17. During that 11-game stretch, Mathews had six 100-yard games. In addition, he was one of only three running backs (McCoy and Lacy were the others) to rush for 1,000-plus yards during that span.

Provided he stays healthy for a second season in a row, Mathews will lead the Chargers in rushing and fantasy points, but the Bolts added Donald Brown in free agency to join Mathews and Danny Woodhead.

Mathews is entering the final year of his deal with the Chargers.

3.10 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants

As disappointing of a season as it was for the Giants, their offense and Cruz, Cruz still managed to finish with 73 receptions for 998 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games. In fact, he averaged more yards per game in 2013 (71.3 YPG) than he did in 2012 (68.3).

Of course, the big difference was touchdowns as Cruz had a total of 19 touchdowns in 2011 and 2012 combined and only four last year. Even worse, he had three of those touchdowns against the Cowboys in Week 1 and only one other touchdown (Week 4) in his final 13 games.

With the transition to the new offensive scheme under Ben McAdoo, Cruz should bounce back and see his receptions total increase. In fact, NJ.com's Jordan Raanan recently wrote that "100 receptions is a possibility" for Cruz.

3.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans

From 2010-2012, Foster 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. That's the good news.

The bad news is the durability risk owning Foster carries. During that same three-year span ('10-'12), Foster has a league-most 1,061 carries and another 182 receptions counting playoff games. Not only did Foster miss the majority of last season after dealing with multiple injuries in offseason workouts and training camp, Foster has been dealing with a hamstring injury that has kept him out of practice and the first team's preseason game.

That said, coach Bill O'Brien has said that Foster has a chance to play in the second preseason game. Even if he doesn't, it at least appears that he will be back soon.

3.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): 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 last year.

It can be frustrating to own Patriots running backs as their production of their backs tends to fluctuate significantly from week to week. In addition to Stevan Ridley, Vereen is entering the final year of his contract and the team and beat writers have talked up fourth-round rookie James White quite a bit during the camp and the offseason.

> Continue to Round 4 of our Dynasty Mock Draft
> Go back to Round 2 of our Dynasty Mock Draft

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