Mock Draft World Championship: Expert Picks
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Here's the draft board from Rounds 1 to 10:
Click here to enlarge
Round 1: Julio Jones
I'm a traditionalist, and I'll typically take a running back in Round 1. But with wide receivers flying off of the board, and only Julio Jones and Brandon Marshall remaining from my first tier, I pulled the trigger on Jones. Check out our Quality Games page, and you'll see him at the top among WRs. He only played in five games last year, but he was outstanding in all of them. He looks great in camp, and there are plenty of running backs left on the board.
Round 2: Montee Ball
There are some offenses that you just want to have a piece of on your fantasy team. Last year, the Broncos' offense made Knowshon Moreno a fantasy hero. Considering Ball's improved receiving and blocking skills, he should see most of the snaps. Expect 280 total touches.
Round 3: Vincent Jackson
Jackson cobbled together a solid 2013 season despite the lack of consistent quarterback play in Tampa. Josh McCown adds stability to that position, and rookie wideout Mike Evans will serve to take some of the heat off of Jackson. I expect Jackson's numbers to improve. I'm happy to have him as my WR2.
Round 4: Cordarrelle Patterson
Patterson has all of the ability of a WR1, but his talent is still raw, and Vikings quarterbacks are uneven or unproven. That being said, I passed on Zac Stacy and proven commodity Roddy White in favor of the dynamic, exciting Patterson. He can score from anywhere on the field at any time.
Round 5: Rashad Jennings
It's Rashad Jennings time to shine. While he may have to share the ball with still-recovering David Wilson, I expect Jennings to get the bulk of the work. He's a little on the older side at 29, but Jennings' status as a career backup means fresher legs. If The Giants O-line can give him a little space, Jennings is in line for a solid year.
Round 6: Robert Griffin III
A healthy offseason and participation in preseason games bumps RG3 up my board. He's in line for a big comeback. The addition of DeSean Jackson, and the return of a (hopefully) healthy Jordan Reed will help his passing numbers, and Griffin always pads his fantasy totals with rushing yards. I had the opportunity to draft Cam Newton here, and it was close. The determining factor was the weapons available to each QB.
Round 7: Dennis Pitta
Time to put my money where my mouth is. With both Dennis Pitta and Greg Olsen on the board, I went with Pitta. Sure, Olsen is the only legit target in Carolina, but that may be as much a curse as a blessing. Pitta is my man this year, and I'm sticking with him.
Round 8: Christine Michael
Every year, I try to target several explosive backup and rookie running backs in the mid-to-late rounds. This year, the one I'm most excited about is Christine Michael. Although Marshawn Lynch's holdout has ended, Michael won't be a secret for much longer.
Round 9: Martellus Bennett
After Martellus Bennett, the drop off at tight end is huge, and this is a format where the TE can be used in the flex spot.
Bennett will be a part of an exciting offense in Chicago. While he'll have to share the ball with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, he's too big, and his skill set is too good to be ignored.
Round 10: Jay Cutler
Having RG3 on your roster without a quality backup is a bit risky. Jay Cutler possesses a ton of weapons and a solid skill set. If he stays healthy and can limit his picks, he can finish as a top-10 QB. Since he is an injury risk, I may need one more QB later.
Here's the draft board from Rounds 11 to 20:
Click here to enlarge
Round 11: Devonta Freeman
Freeman will be moving way up the ADP charts with the news of Steven Jackson's latest hamstring injury. He'll have the chance to take nearly all of the first-team reps until the season opener – perhaps after as well.
Round 12: Knile Davis
Here's another backup in an offense that utilizes the running back position heavily. Even if Jamaal Charles plays in every game, the Chiefs have stated they want to get Davis more involved. If Charles misses time, Davis will be a must-start during those weeks.
Round 13: Stevie Johnson
I've been loading up on running backs, so I need to grab a couple of receivers. Unlike the RBs, I typically steer clear of rookies at the wideout and tight end positions. Johnson will have to fight to win the No. 3 WR spot in San Fran, but with a big upgrade at QB, Johnson can see a bit of a resurgence in the NFC West.
Round 14: Chris Ivory
OK, back to running back for a moment. The Jets' signing of Chris Johnson dramatically limits Ivory's fantasy value. However, Ivory could be the goal-line back, so the 14th round isn't too much for him.
Round 15: Jerricho Cotchery
Not too many receivers who caught 10 touchdowns in the previous season will make it to the 15th round. That spot is about right for Cotchery. Cam Newton doesn't air it out that often, and when he does, Cotchery likely won't be the primary target. But he knows what to do in the red zone.
Round 16: Cincinnati Bengals
Big defensive tackle Geno Atkins is back from his torn ACL, so expect the team's sack totals to rise. I typically use projected sack total as the key stat in taking a defense. More sacks mean more fumbles, more pressure means more picks. I nearly took the Chiefs here, but their fade down the stretch last year gives me pause.
Round 17: Carson Palmer
Palmer continues to be productive, and I expect an even better season from him this year. His biggest drawback is the six games against NFC West defenses.
Round 18: Marquess Wilson
Reports state that Wilson is looking great in Bears camp. While there are many weapons ahead of him in Chicago, he'll see some targets as the Bears' No. 3 WR if he's as good as they say.
Round 19: Matt Asiata
I went with Adrian Peterson's backup for my second-to-last pick. The 234-pounder is not particularly fast, but he's the guy for now if Peterson goes down. However, keep an eye on Jerick McKinnon during camp and the preseason. He may overtake Asiata.
Round 20: Alex Henery
Kicker time! The weather will be a factor in Philly, but Henery plays for an offense that moves the ball. I expect him to have a lot of opportunities.