Roto Arcade

Roto Arcade fantasy football mock, Rounds 1-4

Brad Evans
Roto Arcade

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At No. 1, most owners will bow down to Foster. (USP)

With doors at team facilities opening for business later this week, it's time for fantasy owners to fine tune their minds for the upcoming season. Same goes for the Roto Arcade crew. Monday-Wednesday this week we'll share four rounds/day from our annual mock exercise, a 10-team, non-PPR draft. Peruse. Ponder.  And trash our picks in the comments section below.

ROUND 1

1. Arian Foster, RB, Hou — He's the top player in nearly everyone's ranks, in all formats. Foster just delivered 1800-plus yards and 12 TDs over just 13 games. Others considered: Nobody. (Behrens)

2. Ray Rice, RB, Bal — He gave us over 2000 scrimmage yards last season with 15 TDs, leading all running backs in fantasy scoring (PPR and standard). An easy choice. Others considered: LeSean McCoy. (Behrens)

3. Ryan Mathews, RB, SD — Shredded compared to flabby this time last year, Mathews enters camp with the expectation he'll be the workhorse in a very favorable fantasy environment. Wouldn't be a shock if he's No. 1 among RBs come January. Bet against him and lose. Others considered: Kate Upton, Kate Beckinsale, Pippa. (Evans)

4. LeSean McCoy, RB, Phi — It's unlikely he'll again splash six 20 times, but he's one of the game's most dynamic all-around weapons who should easily finish in the 1600 total yard, 12-15 TD range. Others considered: Aaron Rodgers, Calvin Johnson (Evans)

5. Calvin Johnson, WR, Det — Although wideout is a very deep position in 2012, Calvin's has legitimate 20-touchdown upside and might be the most uncoverable target in history. Others considered: Aaron Rodgers, trade down with Ditka (Pianowski)

6. Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB — Even if some regression comes, he's a monster. The extra rushing touchdowns feel like stealing. Terrific complement of receivers. Others considered: Trent Richardson (Pianowski)

7. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jac — Knee issue … contract issue … yada, yada. I'm not about to discount a motivated MJD. And the Jags need him like the desert needs the rain. Others considered: Trent Richardson, Drew Brees, Tom Brady (Funston)

8. Trent Richardson, RB, Cle — Has the supreme do-it-all talent and the expected workload to overcome a less than ideal work environment in Cleveland. Others considered: Drew Brees, Tom Brady (Funston)

9. Chris Johnson, RB, Ten — Fully motivated to bounce back after a down 2011. Titans offense could be sneaky good. Johnson is still just 26 and a true workhorse. Others considered: No one really (Del Don)

10. DeMarco Murray, RB, Dal — A risk so early with such a small track record but totaled 915 yards over a six-week stretch before his season ended due to injury. Others considered: Darren McFadden (Del Don)

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Del Don is a fan of thick gold chains and Adidas with fat laces (USP)

ROUND 2

1. Darren McFadden, RB Oak — Another huge risk, this one due to health concerns. Has upside of No. 1 overall fantasy player but has never played more than 13 games in a season. Michael Bush is gone too. Still, I much prefer an early pick this year. Others considered: Matt Forte (Del Don)

2. Matt Forte, RB, Chi — Totaled 1,487 yards from scrimmage in essentially 11 games last season. Will lose short-yardage work to Michael Bush, but Forte has just three goal-line TDs over past three seasons anyway. Others considered: Cam Newton, Jimmy Graham (Del Don)

3. Drew Brees, QB, NO — Brees in the 2nd round? Thank you, may I have another … Others considered: Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald (Funston)

4. Tom Brady, QB, NE — … I guess I can. With Brees and Brady, the 40 TD passes and 5,000 passing yards speak for themselves. Others considered: Fitzgerald (Funston)

5. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Ari — He's starred in the past with uneven QB play, so I'm not worried at all. Others considered: Rob Gronkowski, Marshawn Lynch (Pianowski)

6. Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE — The early picks are all about players who have explosive upsides and safe floors as well. Gronk is certainly in that category. Others considered: Lynch, Jimmy Graham, A.J. Green (Pianowski)

7. Jimmy Graham, TE, NO — His unreal 12.3 per game average in standard formats last season was fifth-best … among all receivers. Unlike Gronk, his chances of replicating last year's breakout are relatively strong. Others considered: Newton, Stafford, Cruz, Charles (Evans)

8. Cam Newton, QB, Car — After historic rookie campaign, most expect a regression in the rushing department. Don't bank on it. Defenses simply could not stop Cam on the draw. Expect substantial passing gains too. Others considered: Stafford, Cruz, Charles (Evans)

9. Jamaal Charles, RB, KC — When you ask Charles if he's ready to return after last year's ACL injury, he doesn't exactly waffle. He'll be nearly a full year removed from surgery in Week 1. Others considered: Stafford, Roddy, All-Day (Behrens)

10. Roddy White, WR, Atl — So you're all afraid of Roddy losing targets, is that the deal? He's led the league for two straight seasons. He can lose 40 and still finish top-10. Others considered: Got another pick coming here, so just hold on … (Behrens)

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Stafford chucked it 663 times last year. Can he sustain such a hefty workload? (USP)

ROUND 3

1. Matthew Stafford, QB, Det — The kid has a cannon arm and he's coming off a 5000-yard, 40-TD season. Plus he's got this guy. Others considered: Peterson, AJ, Cruz (Behrens)

2. Adrian Peterson, RB, Min — It's a bit risky to draft RB-RB-RB in some formats, but not in a 10-teamer. You'll still like this team's receivers and QB, I'll wager. For me, the potential end-of-year payoff with Peterson is just too tempting. Others considered: AJ, Cruz, Jennings (Behrens)

3. Brandon Marshall, WR, Chi — Reunion with Jay Cutler and CHI's retooled offense under Mike Tice will thrust Marshall back into the upper echelon. Forecasting numbers around 100-1250-10. Others considered: Green, Cruz, Jennings (Evans)

4. Michael Vick, QB, PhiAs discussed earlier, the fantasy community remains largely apathetic in regards to Vick. That's a major mistake. His improved focus and overall friendly environment arrow to a monster bounce-back year. Others considered: Green, Cruz, Jennings (Evans)

5. A.J. Green, WR, Cin — He'll be a second-rounder in many standard leagues. Here's hoping the Bengals let Andy Dalton loose a little bit in Year 2. Others considered: Jennings, Lynch, Cruz, Andre Johnson, Michael Turner (Pianowski)

6. Greg Jennings, WR, GB — He doesn't get the avalanche of targets that you'd prefer, but he's a dynamite fit as this team's WR2. Others considered: Lynch, Cruz, Andre Johnson, Michael Turner (Pianowski)

7. Victor Cruz, WR, NYG — Tops my man-crush '12 squad. Don't be surprised if he's even better this year than he was in his '11 breakout campaign. Others considered: Absolutely nobody (Funston)

8. Andre Johnson, WR, Hou — Sure, Houston is Arian's team, and AJ has had his injury issues, but this is a bargain price for a guy that was at least 1,200/8 in each of the three seasons prior to '11. Others considered: Doug Martin, Lynch (Funston)

9. Julio Jones, WR, Atl — Has to share looks with Roddy White but sky's the limit in pass-heavy scheme. Jones might be the No. 2 fantasy WR on my board. Others considered: No one (Del Don)

10. Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG — Big injury risk with big upside. With Murray, McFadden and Nicks on this squad, it's about as boom-or-bust as it gets. Others considered: Marshawn Lynch (Del Don)

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With a possible suspension looming, Lynch will be one of the most difficult players to pinpoint in drafts this …

ROUND 4

1. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Sea — Doesn't fit this team's model, as Lynch is relatively safe (albeit now a risk for suspension) yet boring. I'm not a Lynch guy at all, but at pick 32, I took the plunge. Others considered: Percy Harvin, Doug Martin (Del Don)

2. Percy Harvin, WR, Min — Is probably the favorite to lead all wide receivers in touches this year. Had 56 catches and 793 total yards with seven touchdowns over the final eight games last season. Others considered: Doug Martin (Del Don)

3. Doug Martin, RB, TB — Between Martin's style and Greg Schiano now coaching Tampa, the Ray Rice comparisons are unavoidable. Butter fingers Blount doesn't stand a chance. Others considered: Miles Austin, Mike Wallace (Funston)

4. Miles Austin, WR, Dal — Has outstanding chemistry with Romo, and he's coming into camp in outstanding shape after hammy issues derailed much of his '11 season. Others considered: Wallace, Jeremy Maclin (Funston)

5. Michael Turner, RB, Atl — Many are down on him, me included. But he's still the lead back on a high-octane offense, and he'll be the bell cow at the goal. Sometimes, it's all about going ugly. Others considered: Frank Gore, Mike Wallace, Wes Welker (Pianowski)

6. Frank Gore, RB, SF — Another pick for the Ibanez All-Stars, a boring veteran who hopefully has one gasp left. I'll need to make RB a depth position here, since I ignored it early. Others considered: Wallace, Welker, Earl Campbell, Tim Biakabutuka (Pianowski)

7. Mike Wallace, WR, Pit — Pittsburgh has the cap room to resolve the receiver's ongoing contract dispute relatively quickly. Assuming it does, he's a tremendous value in Round 4. No. 9 ranking from last year could elevate with Todd Haley calling the shots. Others considered: Fred Jackson, Steven Jackson, Reggie Bush, Dez Bryant (Evans)

8. Reggie Bush, RB, Mia — Number of carries will decline in Joe Philbin's Green Bay-styled system, but the staff's desire to exploit possible linebacker matchups still labels him a RB2. Anticipate 260 touches, 1500 total yards, 6-8 TDs. Others considered: Fred Jackson, Steven Jackson, Dez Bryant, (Evans)

9. Wes Welker, WR, NE — I was fairly sure it wouldn't be too painful to wait on a receiver, but didn't expect to get someone this good. Fairly long fall for Wes. His ADP is 25.9. Others considered: No one. Surprised to see Wes on the board. (Behrens)

10. Steven Jackson, RB, STL — I'm not sure anyone has ever feltgreat about their S-Jax pick, at least not since 2007. But he's still just 28 and never ranks outside the top-15 RBs. Others considered: Sproles, Fred Jackson. Needed a second RB. (Behrens)

TEAM-BY-TEAM BREAKDOWN THUS FAR …

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