I shall call it mini mock. This week's mini mock draft (five rounds) is an exploration of the backup running back pool. We've asked our Yahoo experts to each draft five running backs that are not currently expected to be their teams' featured back (using Rotoworld depth charts as our guide). Be it because of talent, opportunity, or both, these are the real-life backup backs that could ascend to fantasy prominence in '14.So here's how this works. Each Monday, the Yahoo fantasy crew jumps on a conference call to discuss the week that was/will be. As part of this process, we've decided to include a short mock draft - roughly, one-eighth the size of a normal draft,
Evans says – Really isn't a backup per se, but the obvious No. 1 pick in this exercise. Should garner 13-15 touches/game, along with goal-line totes, in a loaded Detroit offense. Ring. Ding. Dong.
Round 1 Pick 2 — Stevan Ridley, NE (Dalton Del Don)
3D says – He needs to stop fumbling, but Ridley is one season removed from scoring 12 touchdowns and should get another chance to act as New England's "big back."
Round 1 Pick 3 — Carlos Hyde, SF (Scott Pianowski)
Pianowman says – Kendall Hunter is down for the year, LaMichael James is dinged up, Frank Gore is 31. Everything coming up Hyde. And he put together a superb tape at Ohio State.
Round 1 Pick 4 — Terrance West, CLE (Brandon Funston)
Funston says – We know Ben Tate is an iffy bet to stay healthy in a featured role, and I'm pretty convinced that West is a more talented all-around back than Tate. Head coach Mike Pettine says the Tate/West battle may be the best depth chart fight in camp, so it's possible that West might not even qualify for this mock (as a backup) by the time the season arrives.
Round 1 Pick 5 — Jeremy Hill, CIN (Andy Behrens)
Behrens says – LSU rookie is ticketed for a significant role in a presumably run-heavy offense. It would be no great surprise if Hill broke the plane 6-8 times.
Round 2 Pick 1 — Fred Jackson, BUF (Behrens)
Behrens says – Write him off at your own peril. Fred will never, ever go away. Our grandchildren are going to be drafting F-Jax someday.
Round 2 Pick 2 — Christine Michael, SEA (Funston)
Funston says – He's got highlight-reel stuff and was already expected to steal a handful of touches from Marshawn Lynch this season even before Beast Mode decided to holdout. If that contract situation festers, Michael could push RB1 levels as Seattle's leading man in the backfield.
Round 2 Pick 3 — Khiry Robinson, NO (Pianowski)
Pianowman says – He has the skills to play in all packages, and we know the Saints don't want to over-expose Pierre Thomas. The No. 2 back here usually carries fantasy juice.
Round 2 Pick 4 — Bernard Pierce, BAL (Del Don)
3D says – He'll start the first two games of the year and might be a better fit for Baltimore's new zone-blocking scheme. There's hardly a guarantee Ray Rice bounces back. He was terrible last season.
Round 2 Pick 5 — Bryce Brown, BUF (Evans)
Noise says – Speculation has already popped up that the Bills could entertain trading C.J. Spiller sometime this season. Brown has ball security issues, but as he exhibited previously in Philly, he's crazy talented.
Round 3 Pick 1 — Devonta Freeman, ATL (Evans)
Noise says – Steven Jackson once took handoffs from Chris Chandler. Yes, that Chris Chandler. Freeman is the heir apparent and, given S-Jax's advanced age, has a great shot at multiple starts this year.
Round 3 Pick 2 — Shonn Greene, TEN (Del Don)
3D says – There's not a ton of upside here, but the Titans should have a decent offensive line, and rookie Bishop Sankey is obviously unproven.
Round 3 Pick 3 — Ahmad Bradshaw, IND (Pianowski)
Pianowman says – Anyone playing in back of Trent Richardson (woof) is a high-interest player to me. Bradshaw also has the chops to play on all three downs, if he can stay healthy.
Round 3 Pick 4 — Darren Sproles, PHI (Funston)
Funston says – There's plenty of touches to go around in Chip Kelly's system, and Sproles is likely to get about 6-8 of them per game. That'll be a step down from what he was getting in New Orleans, but not a major one.
Round 3 Pick 5 — James White, NE (Behrens)
Behrens says – I'm not sure the Wisconsin rookie isn't already the most talented back on the Pats' depth chart. He's made plenty of noise in camp, too. He'll carve out an early-season role, no doubt.
Round 4 Pick 1 — Danny Woodhead, SDG (Behrens)
Behrens says – Obviously Woodhead's value is tied to your league's scoring format -- he's a PPR delight -- but he topped 1,000 scrimmage yards last year and broke the plane eight times.
Round 4 Pick 2 — Jonathan Stewart, CAR (Funston)
Funston says – Admittedly, I've been bitten by Stewart's inability to stay healthy on more than one occasion in the past. But as a fourth-rounder in a backup RB mock draft, I'm not risking too much here. When he is healthy, Stewart should get a near equal-split of the backfield workload and he's shown in the past that he can be a valuable PPR option in addition to his strong rushing skills.
Round 4 Pick 3 — Donald Brown, SDG (Pianowski)
Pianowman says – I wish he were still with the Colts, but Ryan Mathews has an extensive injury history and Danny Woodhead is just a satellite player.
Round 4 Pick 4 — Chris Ivory, NYJ (Del Don)
3D says – The Jets will run the ball a lot, and Chris Johnson is a huge question mark at this point of his career.
Round 4 Pick 5 — David Wilson, NYG (Evans)
Noise says – I heart Rashad Jennings, but Wilson without a doubt is the most dynamic back on the Giants roster. To start, he should tote roughly 8-10 carries in a three-RB rotation.
Round 5 Pick 1 — Ka'Deem Carey, CHI (Evans)
Noise says – Absolutely loved his skill-set in college. He's a terrific downfield runner who can also catch passes fluidly out of the backfield. In other words, he meshes perfectly with Trestman's spread scheme.
Round 5 Pick 2 — Darren McFadden, OAK (Del Don)
3D says – He's injury prone and has averaged 3.3 YPC over the last two seasons but could still beat out an aging MJD as Oakland's starter.
Round 5 Pick 3 — Tre Mason, STL (Pianowski)
Pianowman says – If the Rams were so in love with Zac Stacy, why take Mason? I suspect this will be a 60-40 timeshare during the year, and Stacy's just a boring straight-line runner, anyway.
Round 5 Pick 4 — Lance Dunbar, DAL (Funston)
Funston says – The Cowboys love his versatility and he could end up carving out a role similar to what Joique Bell enjoyed in Detoit under OC Scott Linehan, who is now in Dallas.
Round 5 Pick 5 — LeGarrette Blount, PIT (Behrens)
Behrens says – You can't convince me Blount won't have a role this season. He's been an extremely productive back in two different NFL stops, and he's backing up a second-year player who averaged just 3.5 YPC last season.
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