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At RotoBaller, we are starting off the month of August with a series of articles analyzing a staff mock draft. The mock draft included 12 of RotoBaller's best and brightest. A forewarning, this mock was drafted at the end of July and will not be able to account for more recent news like the Le'veon Bell suspension and the Josh Gordon reinstatement and suspension.

In this article, Ben Ruppert will be breaking down the teams that selected from picks 1 to 3 in the mock draft. The full mock can be found here: Rotoballer Team Mock.

Editor's Note: RotoBaller has the best Premium NFL Subscription, only $29.99 for the full season. We have all the preseason tools to help win your drafts, and in-season tools to win your seasonal and daily leagues: Draft Kit, Premium Rankings, ADP Sleepers Tool, Matchup Ratings for every player, Daily DFS Cheat Sheets, Lineup Picks, Expert Lineups, Stacks and Avoids.

 

Pierre Camus - 1st Draft Position

Best Pick: Doug Baldwin (WR, SEA) 4.12

It's hard to imagine why a receiver who finished seventh overall in fantasy points last season, ahead of A.J. Green and Brandin Cooks, wound up being the 28th receiver taken in this draft. He may not duplicate his 14 TD from last season, but Baldwin has increased his receiving yardage each of the past three seasons and double-digit TD shouldn't be a stretch. Jimmy Graham's recovery from a ruptured patellar tendon is questionable, which means the red zone targets will still be there. Clearly Russell Wilson's favorite target, it was a no-brainer to make Baldwin my third receiver when the likes of Donte Moncrief and Tyler Lockett were being picked ahead of him.

Worst Pick: Blake Bortles (QB, JAC) 7.01

Sure, Bortles threw 35 TD last season and Jacksonville looks to be even better on paper this year. A lot of those passing stats came in the second half of garbage time, however, and Jacksonville's defense should be vastly improved this year with a plethora of draft picks plus the return of Dante Fowler. With the addition of Chris Ivory, Jacksonville may look to pass the ball less this year anyway. Bortles may still be a QB1 for fantasy purposes, but considering Carr, Brady and Manning were available three rounds later, this was a reach for a pick that could have been used on a running back.

Team Analysis:

I have never been a huge believer in Zero RB theory, nor was I consciously focusing on receivers in the early rounds. I prefer a Best Player Available strategy, so I stuck to my board. Antonio Brown was an obvious #1 overall pick, but when I had to wait until the 24th pick to snag my next player, the RB herd was thin to say the least. Doug Martin feels like a solid pick, but after that I had to roll the dice on Arian Foster as my RB2. That is a high risk/reward pick, given that Chris Ivory is my backup. I feel that picking Baldwin/Hurns in rounds 4/5 to be a turning point because I didn't go with a running back there. Again, value is what I was looking for. Bortles was a reach, but having Manning and Romo as backups makes me feel better because I can use a QB rotation based on match-ups. Between this draft and all the mocks I have done so far, it seems that receivers will make or break fantasy players this year more than ever. With three receivers and a flex required for this league, I'll put my top four WR up against any other team with confidence.

 

Andrew Bua - 2nd Draft Position

Best Pick: Travis Benjamin (WR, SD) 11.02 

Securing a solid third receiver in the 11th round is quite a feat. Even though he had taken Mohamed Sanu three picks earlier and Laquon Treadwell three rounds earlier, it's a good bet Benjamin will be the most productive of those players. Benjamin is a speed burner who should play perfectly in the role that Malcolm Floyd held. Benjamin doesn't have the size that Floyd did, but the former Hurricanes receiver and track star has blazing speed. If he nearly put up a thousand yard season (966) with five TD in Cleveland, imagine what he'll do with Philip Rivers throwing to him on post routes.

Worst Pick: Eddie Lacy (RB, GB) 3.02 

I know Lacy was the next ranked RB available at that position, but the beginning of the third round seems too early for him in a PPR league. Lacy managed just 758 yards last year and is starting to resemble Refrigerator Perry more than Ahman Green. His 4.1 Y/A is acceptable and he may in fact have a rebound season along with the rest of the Packers offense, but LeSean McCoy and Matt Forte would have been safer picks in this format.

Team Analysis:

This roster is highlighted by two of the biggest superstars in the league, Cam Newton and Odell Beckham. If they continue to shine as bright as last year, Andrew will be in good shape. Running back is the biggest question mark with Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls needing to prove themselves worthy of being every-down backs. Jonathan Stewart and Ryan Mathews are solid backups. The receiving corps is the opposite - top-heavy with OBJ and Cooks, but questionable depth behind them. The lack of a second tight end is puzzling, but that's what waivers are for I guess. This team is solid throughout, but one of the running backs will need to have a breakthrough season to be a championship contender.

 

Ben Ruppert - 3rd Draft Position

Best Pick: Latavius Murray (RB, OAK) 5.03

I'll admit I almost kicked myself for not taking Latavius Murray two picks earlier, but as I mentioned before, I stuck to the BPA theory due to the roster format in this league. Murray is one of the few backs that can be considered a feature back that is hanging around until the fifth round of drafts. The Raiders offense may lean more heavily on Murray with defensive minded Jack Del Rio at the helm and an improving talent pool on that side of the ball. He already cleared 1,000 yards rushing last season and could improve on his six TD if the Raiders don't have to play from behind as much.

Worst Pick: Sammy Watkins (WR, BUF) 2.10

It would be easy to go with Le'veon Bell here, but considering news of his suspension broke after the pick and he secured DeAngelo Williams as a handcuff later in the draft, we'll let it go. Sammy Watkins has the talent to be a top-10 receiver, but it's hard to place him there just yet. He appears to be recovering well from off-season foot surgery, but for someone who already missed three games last year, a foot injury for a player who depends on speed is never a good thing. I'll buy Watkins as a low-end WR1 in a 12-team league, but not ahead of Brandin Cooks or Amari Cooper.

Team Analysis:

This is a veteran team to be sure. Ben took a risk-averse approach and was even wise enough to take D-Will before someone else could snatch his handcuff. Consequently, there weren't many reaches or questionable picks, but this team may not have the highest ceiling. DeMarco Murray, Vincent Jackson and Matt Ryan seem to be trending in the wrong direction, but all are backups for him, so it may not matter even if they don't contribute. Carson Palmer in the eighth round is a solid pick, but at 36 years old having only Ryan to back him up may come back to haunt this team if injury strikes.

 

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