Continuing my one-man 2014 fantasy football mock draft, here is how Round 2 of a fantasy football draft would unfold if I were drafting for each team:
This should come as no surprise, but the 12 players selected in Round 1 of this mock draft were the top 12 players in my fantasy football cheat sheet. Picking for all 12 teams, which all had a clean slate, that was a certainty.
At the turn for this team, however, I won't be adding my 13th-ranked player, Josh Gordon. While the receiver duo of Dez Bryant, my pick at 1.12, and Gordon would be spectacular, that means my RB1 would be selected with the 36th overall pick (at the earliest). So, I'm going with my next-ranked running back instead.
The Muscle Hamster had a disappointing sophomore campaign as a season-ending injury cut his season short after just six games. Even before the injury, however, Martin was not running the ball well as he averaged a yard less per carry (3.6) than he did as a rookie (4.6 YPC). That said, Adrian Peterson was the only running back to have more YFS than Martin in 2012. Assuming good health in 2014, I expect a bounce-back year (on a per-touch and overall basis) for Martin.
With A.J. Green being this team's first-round pick, we are confronted with a similar dilemma as the previous team: take Gordon, my highest-ranked player, or take my highest-ranked running back. Instead of waiting (at least) until pick 3.11, I will add this team's RB1 here.
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).
In the previous three seasons, Foster rushed for 4,264 yards, added 159 receptions for 1,438 yards and scored a total of 47 touchdowns in 45 games. With better health (knock on wood) in 2014, Foster could turn out to be a bargain here even without his pre-2013 level of production.
2.03 - Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns
As one of Gordon's biggest advocates last year, I expected a breakout season from Gordon as noted in my 2013 bold predictions. But anyone who says they expected him to lead the NFL in receiving yardage as well as wide receivers in fantasy points despite missing the first two games of the season is lying to you.
In his amazing season, Gordon became the first player in NFL history to ever go over 200 receiving yards in back-to-back games, he 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.
Despite having a new coaching staff and (potentially) a new quarterback, those are mild concerns. Considering Pierre Garcon led the NFL in receptions last year, Gordon should get a ton of targets in Kyle Shanahan's offense and the quarterback situation can't be worse this year. At this point, the biggest concern with Gordon is the potential for a full-year suspension with his next misstep in the league's substance-abuse program.
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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 signing a free-agent deal with the Jets, it's possible that Thomas improves upon those numbers in 2014. Either way, another 90/1,400/10 season seems like a lock.
As a change-of-pace back, Bernard had a productive rookie season and 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 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. Last month, 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."
With only one carry in the team's first four games, Stacy was given 250 of them in the final 12. In the final nine games of the season, Stacy had exactly 200 carries for 759 yards (only 3.80 yards per carry), 20 receptions for 96 yards and a total of seven touchdowns.
Like with Bernard, Stacy should get a larger workload in 2014. GM Les Snead was quoted as saying in February that Stacy "should be more productive (in '14) because he should have more carries."
In 13 games as a rookie, Bell got nearly 300 touches (244 carries and 45 receptions) and had 20-plus touches in all but two games. That said, Bell averaged only 3.52 yards per carry on the season. On a positive note, he averaged at least 4.0 YPC in four of his final five games after doing so only twice in his first eight games.
Even though the team added LeGarrette Blount, who was productive for the Patriots down the stretch, Bell is clearly the team's workhorse back.
Before his foot injury landed him on injured reserve, Jones had really taken a huge step 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 involved 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. If he plays all 16 games in 2014, however, Jones is a bargain here.
In dynasty leagues, I'd prefer Alshon Jeffery over Marshall, but the opposite is true (slightly) when it comes to redraft leagues for the 2014 season. Considering his chemistry with Jay Cutler, Marshall is likely to lead the team in targets in 2014, but both are excellent options.
2.10 - Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos
Manning, now 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.)
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 if Washington looks for (finds) an upgrade over Roy Helu in the draft, Morris should not slip beyond this point.
2.12 - Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears
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.
[Note: Round 3 will be posted on Wednesday, April 16th.]
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