I shall call it mini mock. This week's mini mock draft (five rounds) consists solely of the pool of players currently falling outside the top 100 fantasy football picks, according to Yahoo ADP — each expert was required to draft a QB, RB, WR, TE and a Flex ...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,
Round 1 Pick 1 — Lamar Miller, Mia, RB (Brandon Funston)
Funston says – The news seems to get worse for Knowshon Moreno in Miami just about every time I check. Meanwhile, Miller has taken the lead in the backfield for an offense that is looking to emulate the break-neck tactics that Chip Kelly brought to Philly.
Noise says – This was an absolute slam dunk at No. 2. Off a reasonably productive rookie campaign and expected to draw plenty of single-coverage opposite Dez Bryant in a high-flying Scott Linehan offense, he has 75-1100-9 appeal.
Round 1 Pick 3 — Jordan Reed, Was, TE (Dalton Del Don)
3D says – The new regime in Washington has big plans for Reed, who can hopefully avoid further concussions. I view him as a top-10 fantasy tight end, and it looked like there was a big drop off at the position after Reed in this particular exercise.
Round 1 Pick 4 — Steven Jackson, Atl, RB (Scott Pianowski)
Pianowman says – Obviously he's near the end of his career, but both of the backs chasing Jackson are undersized; I still expect Jackson to get a fair amount of cheap scores. And I can't imagine everything crashing on Atlanta's offense like it did last year. It's a boring veteran pick, but sometimes those are the right picks.
Round 1 Pick 5 — Pierre Thomas, NO, RB (Andy Behrens)
Behrens says – OK, so the real reason I made this pick was to irritate Evans. In any mock, that's what I'm looking to do. But PT's fantasy setup is obviously quite good, now that Darren Sproles has relocated to Philly. Don't be surprised if Thomas gives us 1,200-plus scrimmage yards with 7-9 touchdowns and 70 receptions.
Round 2 Pick 1 — Jay Cutler, Chi, QB (Behrens)
Behrens says – As of this writing, the Yahoo fantasy team ranks both Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery as top-8 wide receivers, we rate Martellus Bennett as a top-12 tight end, and we have Matt Forte as a top-5 running back (based largely on his talent as a receiver). And yet somehow we think Cutler won't finish the season as a top-10 fantasy quarterback? That's absurd. No way it happens. Cutler is quarterbacking a Marc Trestman offense that led the NFC in scoring a year ago, plus he's protected by the best offensive line he's had at any point in his Bears career. I'd say there's a better chance he finishes as a top-5 QB than outside the top-10.
Round 2 Pick 2 — Riley Cooper, Phi, WR (Pianowski)
Pianowman says – He's already caught nine touchdown passes from Nick Foles over the last two years, many of them from distance (32, 45, 47, 63). I realize the perils of chasing plays like that, but I also have a ton of faith in Foles and offensive genius Chip Kelly.
Round 2 Pick 3 — Trent Richardson, Ind, RB (Del Don)
3D says – He’s been terrible, but Richardson will get another chance to act as a workhorse in what could be a dangerous offense.
Round 2 Pick 4 — Terrance West, Cle, RB (Evans)
Noise says – Built like a beer keg, the rookie could be liquid gold. Already drawing high praise from Mike Pettine, he’s slated to carve out a sizable role in the Browns’ proposed RBBC. Because a collision with a pool noodle would probably injure Ben Tate, West is sure to draw multiple starts at some point this year.
Round 2 Pick 5 — Mike Wallace, Mia, WR (Funston)
Funston says – Continuing to load up on Dolphins, as new OC Bill Lazor is installing a Philly-style offense. And we saw what that did for a deep-threat talent similar to Wallace in DeSean Jackson last season. The upside potential is too enticing to ignore.
Round 3 Pick 1 — Ladarius Green, SD, TE (Funston)
Funston says – This is a situation where you just have to trust that the Chargers will do the right thing and give Green the playing time he deserves, because it was very apparent last season that Green brought the kind of scintillating size/speed/energy to the offense that the team hasn't seen since before Antonio Gates' body started to breakdown.
Round 3 Pick 2 — Brandin Cooks, NO, WR (Evans)
Noise says – Admittedly I’m head over heels for the youngster. He can play inside/outside and is in line to dominate the 89 targets Darren Sproles saw last year. TDs may be few and far between, but he’ll be a cherished WR2/3 in 12-team and deeper PPR leagues.
Round 3 Pick 3 — Rueben Randle, NYG, WR (Del Don)
3D says – Apparently I have Randle ranked way above his ADP. I expect the Giants’ new offensive system to benefit him greatly. There’s a lot of upside here.
Round 3 Pick 4 — Marvin Jones, Cin, WR (Pianowski)
Pianowman says – The 10 touchdowns on just 51 catches makes you nervous, I get that. It's like chasing a high hit-rate in baseball. But Jones' snap count should go up significantly this year, so let's chase the opportunity instead. And note he came on late in 2013, grabbing 19 passes for 254 yards over his last four games (and then snagged eight passes for 130 yards in the playoff loss to San Diego).
Round 3 Pick 5 — Mike Evans, TB, WR (Behrens)
Behrens says – I'll make no promises about catches or receiving yardage, but I'm confident that the 6-foot-5, 225-pound rookie was drafted in part for his red-zone ability. Evans is an excellent bet to lead all first-year receivers in TDs, and it may not be close.
Round 4 Pick 1 — Maurice Jones-Drew, Oak, RB (Behrens)
Behrens says – If we re-draft this thing in a month, I might take Jeremy Hill here. But for now, I see MJD as a motivated player with a terrific history and a clear path to touches. And no, I'm not particularly worried about Darren McFadden. I'm expecting a committee, with Jones-Drew as its head.
Round 4 Pick 2 — Andy Dalton, Cin, QB (Pianowski)
Pianowman says – He's thrown for 33 and 27 touchdowns in the last two years and yet no one wants to touch him. Fine, I'll take the plunge. Playmakers are everywhere in Cincinnati (A.J. Green, Gio Bernard, even my man Marvin Jones).
Round 4 Pick 3 — Ben Roethlisberger, Pit, QB (Del Don)
3D says – He had a 20:7 TD:INT ratio over the final nine games last season, and Pittsburgh enters 2014 with improved weapons on offense.
Round 4 Pick 4 — Johnny Manziel, Cle, QB (Evans)
Noise says – Talk to any Browns insider and they’ll tell you, Manziel will be the starter in Cleveland no later than Week 5. His ability to score fantasy points via ground/air will be coveted once he's turned loose, with or without Josh Gordon.
Round 4 Pick 5 — Cecil Shorts, Jac, WR (Funston)
Funston says – The garbage-time all star has worked well with QB Chad Henne and remains the clear No. 1 option in the passing game (at least for '14). And even though the Jags should be improved, I still expect them to be chasing the scoreboard in the fourth quarter a fair amount.
Round 5 Pick 1 — Eli Manning, NYG, QB (Funston)
Funston says – You can count on a Manning to do everything he can to fix the issues that plagued the passing game last season, though the team's switch to a new quick-strike passing scheme might be enough to fix the biggest issues. And let's not forget that before last season, Eli had a run of eight straight seasons finishing as a top 14 fantasy QB.
Round 5 Pick 2 — Charles Clay, Mia, TE (Evans)
Noise says – Bill Lazor’s Philly-styled offense should benefit the underrated TE. He finished top-seven in points per game at the position last fall and is primed for another TE1 campaign. He’s precisely why you can wait at tight end this year.
Round 5 Pick 3 — Sammy Watkins, Buf, WR (Del Don)
3D says – I debated a few other wide receivers here but went with the upside of the rookie. However, it would be a mild surprise if Watkins were a dependable WR3 during his first year in the league.
Round 5 Pick 4 — Garrett Graham, Hou, TE (Pianowski)
Pianowman says – He was the No. 16 fantasy tight end last year, despite nuclear waste at quarterback and a three-game hamstring holiday. Newcomer Ryan Fitzpatrick is no star at QB, but he did throw to tight end Delanie Walker regularly last season, and Graham's skill set is similar to Walker's.
Round 5 Pick 5 — Martellus Bennett, Chi, TE (Behrens)
Behrens says – Pretty much all of Bennett's big games last season came with Cutler at quarterback. I'd feel good rolling with these guys as my QB-TE tandem in fantasy leagues of any size.
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