It’s sad to see it end, but today’s Round 6 analysis is the last of this way too early fantasy football mock draft.
I know – what are you going to do with yourself? It’s only February 21st and the fantasy season doesn’t really kick into gear until the middle of July! That’s a lot of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air re-run watching as you wait.
Well, hopefully we’ll do more of these throughout the offseason, especially when players finally sign with new teams and guys like Johnny Football are drafted. So don’t worry, Will and Carlton won’t be consuming your lives as much as you may think.
If you’re new to reading about this mock draft, take a look at the results from Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, Round 4 and Round 5. The numberFire bros are only drafting through the sixth, as things start to get a little ambiguous past that point – who’s going to be quarterbacking the Texans? What about the Browns?
As you read on and see the final six-player teams, keep in mind that this draft assumes each player is still with the same team, and that it’s a 0.5 PPR format.
Round 6 Results
|6.01||Nik Bonaddio||Wes Welker, WR|
|6.02||Brian McGlade||Cordarrelle Patterson, WR|
|6.03||Joe Redemann||Kendall Wright, WR|
|6.04||Mark Berenbaum||Stevan Ridley, RB|
|6.05||Jim Sannes||Rashad Jennings, RB|
|6.06||Chris Raybon||Mike Wallace, WR|
|6.07||Daniel Lindsey||Danny Woodhead, RB|
|6.08||JJ Zachariason||Roddy White, WR|
|6.09||Ryan O'Conner||Anquan Boldin, WR|
|6.10||Brandon Gdula||Percy Harvin, WR|
|6.11||Keith Goldner||Reggie Wayne, WR|
|6.12||Leo Howell||Cam Newton, QB|
I’m not really sure how this happened, but numberFire CEO and Founder selected Wes Welker with the first pick in the sixth round. That makes Welker, in this half-point PPR league, the 25th wide receiver selected, meaning he was valued as a flex play. What?
Sure, Welker missed some time in 2013 with a head injury, and later wore a helmet that was the size of his midsection. But when he was on the field, he was just as productive as anyone in fantasy, thanks to a ridiculous amount of touchdowns for his small build.
You’d expect that figure to regress (his touchdowns, not his body shape), but even still, Welker’s volume (5.6 receptions per game) makes him a PPR starter almost immediately. Why did we let this happen?
After Welker came Cordarrelle Patterson, who really finished the season with a bang. We see that a lot with rookie wide receivers, as the position inherently takes some time to get used to on the pro level. But Patterson was fantastic down the stretch, finishing as a top-24 weekly wide receiver in PPR leagues during each of the fantasy playoff weeks (14, 15 and 16).
His explosiveness and ability with the ball in his hands is well documented. The problem people will have with him is his inexperience and lack of quarterback. Perhaps the Vikings address the latter in the draft, but I think regardless of that, Patterson has opportunity to be a WR2 in 2014.
The wide receivers kept dropping, as Kendall Wright fell off the board next. Again, I’m left baffled: How was he still available in Round 6 of a PPR league (albeit a half-point one)?
In 2013, with a carousel of mediocre quarterback play, Kendall Wright finished with the seventh-most wide receiver receptions. The problem is that he didn’t do a whole lot with his catches, scoring just two touchdowns en route to the 27th-best Reception Net Expected Points (NEP) score. It was Julian Edelman-esque, except Edelman was a little more fantasy relevant with four more scores.
But another year in the league should help Wright develop, which is why I’m surprised he was valued as a WR3 in this draft. It shouldn’t surprise anyone if he finishes the 2014 season with a higher rank. After all, he was the 20th-best wideout in full-point PPR leagues this past year.
Mark Berenbaum shied away from a wideout with his sixth-round selection, and instead opted for last year’s second-round fantasy running back, Stevan Ridley. It’s unclear how the Patriots’ running back situation will clear up heading into next year, as Ridley fumbled away his starting gig (literally) to LeGarrette Blount last season, and Blount filled in very nicely. In fact, among runners with 150 or more carries, Blount finished seventh in Rushing NEP.
Belichick is unpredictable, which is probably why Ridley was the only non-Vereen Patriots running back to be selected in this mock draft. And he was selected late, showing you that it’s a situation that’s incredibly risky to tackle.
Jim Sannes selected Rashad Jennings next, and again, I have to remind you that the free agent runner is an Oakland Raider for this particular mock draft.
I love the pick, as Jennings was actually even more effective on the ground than the aforementioned LeGarrette Blount this year, finishing sixth of the many 150-plus attempt NFL running backs.
Jennings has had three seasons with significant volume, and two of those three saw crazy good numbers toting the rock. He received 84 carries with the Jags in 2010, rushing for a 17.33 Rushing NEP score, which is a top-five running back tally most seasons. In 2012, Jennings dipped to being one of the least effective runners, but perhaps a lot of that had to do with a season-ending knee injury he suffered the previous season.
If he’s a starter, this is a great value pick. Perhaps he slipped because he’s a free agent, but Sannes made a nice move here.
Chris Raybon took the always-controversial Mike Wallace after Jennings was selected, hoping that the ex-Steeler can return to his 2010 and 2011 form. In his first year with the Dolphins, Wallace caught 73 passes for 930 yards and five scores (respectable), but finished just 43rd out of all wide receivers in Reception NEP. Ouch.
There’s certainly an opportunity for improvement, and Wallace did seem to play better towards the end of the season – he had a top-24 wide receiver performance in Weeks 12, 13 and 15. But man, it’s Mike Wallace.
Daniel Lindsey took Danny Woodhead next, which is a nice pick given it’s a PPR league. Lindsey said he thought about Fred Jackson at this spot, but I think he made the right choice in not selecting a running back who just turned 33.
Woodhead was the subject of a couple of articles I wrote this season on elite pass-catching backs, and I think getting him in the sixth is a nice value. He had such a high floor in full PPR leagues last year (I know, this is a half-point PPR one), giving you just as many top-24 performances as Marshawn Lynch (Week 17 excluded).
It seems as though head coach Mike McCoy knows how to use his running backs, which is good for Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead owners.
With the next pick, I selected Roddy White. It was par for the course for me, as my team in this draft is about as interesting as a Bill Belichick press conference. But hey, Belichick wins, right?
White was hurt for most of the season, and was able to put together a couple of monster weeks at the end of the year to show us all that he’s still alive. Julio Jones will be back to take off some pressure, and I think White, especially as a WR3, will be able to produce once again.
I started a slight wide receiver run, as Ryan O’Conner selected Anquan Boldin with the next pick. No wide receiver finished with a higher Target Net Expected Points (points added on all targets) total last year than Boldin, showing how trustworthy he is when quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw the ball his way.
If there’s one knock on Boldin it’s his age, as he’ll be 34 years old in 2014. But if he is indeed a 49er next season (which it sounds like he will be), I wouldn’t doubt a wide receiver who has consistently proven skeptics wrong throughout his career.
Brandon Gdula selected Percy Harvin next, which was another fantastic wide receiver selection. If nothing else, this draft, just like last season, is showing just how deep the wide receiver position is. While we don’t have a ton of numbers on Harvin with the Seahawks, we saw what he’s capable of doing within the offense in this year’s Super Bowl.
The final two picks went to Chief Analyst Keith Goldner and contributor Leo Howell, with Reggie Wayne and Cam Newton falling off the board respectively.
Wayne was a great choice, as he was a WR3 value in this specific draft. Yes, he’s coming off an ACL tear, and yes, T.Y. Hilton may emerge as the top target in that offense, but Wayne is still just a year removed from a 106-reception, 1,355-yard season. Age and health will play a role in his draft spot next year, but he could end up being worth the risk given the reward.
Lastly: Cam Newton. Mr. Irrelevant. Newton was just the fifth quarterback selected in this draft, showing that people were either drafting to make me happy (late-round quarterback, for the win), or that everyone realizes how deep the position is. This isn’t all that normal – you would expect to see at least a couple of more passers selected at this point in the draft. But we’re drafting in February, so nothing’s really normal.
You know what you’re going to get from Cam for the most part, but if the Panthers add another wideout to the offense this offseason, it could create a perfect storm for Newton to become a truly elite fantasy option. His consistency is always a question mark, but he’s a safe bet to finish in the top 10 at the position.
The Final Teams
There you have it. Six rounds, tons of fun and lots of people admitting they’re addicted to the game of fantasy football.
If you’re curious as to how each team looks, the chart below will show you:
|Leo Howell||L. McCoy, A. Jeffery, V. Jackson, F. Gore, M. Jones-Drew, C. Newton|
|Keith Goldner||J. Charles, D. Brees, R. Cobb, Ch. Johnson, S. Jackson, R. Wayne|
|Brandon Gdula||M. Forte, Ju. Jones, M. Ball, M. Crabtree, B. Tate, P. Harvin|
|Ryan O'Conner||Cal. Johnson, J. Nelson, R. Mathews, E. Decker, D. Brown, A. Boldin|
|JJ Zachariason||E. Lacy, B. Marshall, G. Bernard, R. Rice, L. Fitzgerald, R. White|
|Daniel Lindsey||M. Lynch, A. Brown, K. Allen, A. Ellington, J. Edelman, D. Woodhead|
|Chris Raybon||L. Bell, Z. Stacy, J. Thomas, V. Cruz, T. Hilton, M. Wallace|
|Jim Sannes||J. Gordon, D. Murray, K. Moreno, D. Jackson, R. Gronk, R. Jennings|
|Mark Berenbaum||A. Peterson, R. Bush, P. Garcon, A. Johnson, T. Smith, S. Ridley|
|Joe Redemann||J. Graham, A. Green, A. Morris, S. Vereen, M. Floyd, K. Wright|
|Brian McGlade||D. Thomas, D. Bryant, A. Foster, N. Foles, T. Richardson, C. Patterson|
|Nik Bonaddio||P. Manning, D. Martin, A. Rodgers, C. Spiller, V. Davis, W. Welker|
Have a favorite team? Let us know what you think on Twitter.