Roto Arcade - Fantasy

It's been way too long since we gave the fantasy football community something to ridicule. Below you'll find the first round of a 12-team point-per-reception (PPR) mock draft. Assume the following starting roster spots: QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, K, DEF. Please critique…

Chris Johnson, Ten, RB – Round 1, Pick 1
What needs to be said? Not only did he reach the rarified air of 2,000 rushing yards last season, but he also was one of eight running backs to sang at least 50 passes. His speed is on an island unto himself – his 22 rushing plays of 20-plus yards were 10 more than the runner-up in that category. (Brandon Funston)

Maurice Jones-Drew(notes), Jac, RB – Round 1, Pick 2
Please don’t trot out that weak… excuse that Jones-Drew is an injury risk because of his size. He’s proven much more durable than everybody’s All-American, AP. MoJo has yet to miss a game because of injury, and last season he accrued the third-most touches in the league. MoJo is good at the goal line and one of the best receiving backs in the league. In a PPR league, I make this pick without hesitation. (Funston)

Ray Rice(notes), Bal, RB – Round 1, Pick 3
The Long Gain Rice is no one-hit Vanilla Ice. Last season's pace-setter in receptions for rushers grabbed 78 passes, outdistancing Peterson by a mere four total fantasy points in PPR formats. Assuming John Harbaugh finally strips away Willis McGahee's(notes) goal-line duties, Rice will easily finish in the position's top three. Keep in mind the TD vulture had five more carries inside the five – and five more touchdowns - compared to Rice a season ago. (Brad Evans)

Adrian Peterson, Min, RB – Round 1, Pick 4
Casual players will immediately scream "Blasphemy!" seeing the Purple Jesus slide to No. 4, but since this league rewards versatile backs, his ejection from the catbird seat is warranted. Peterson is coming off career bests in touchdowns, receptions and receiving yards, but uncertainties surrounding Barbara Favre’s return slightly discount his overall stock. If the ageless wonder finally decides to pitch hay instead of passes, the Vikings rushing attack will take a minor hit. (Noise)

Frank Gore(notes), SF, RB – Round 1, Pick 5
Since there the top-four are clear cut, picking fifth is hardly ideal, but Gore isn't a bad consolation prize. He totaled 1,526 yards with a career-high 13 touchdowns (thanks to a big improvement at the goal line) while missing essentially three games last season. Admittedly, he's played a full 16-game slate just once during his five years in the league, but San Francisco used two first round picks to address the offensive line, and with Vernon Davis(notes) and Michael Crabtree(notes) emerging, defenses can no longer stack eight in the box. It's exciting to think what Gore could do if he managed to stay healthy with the best supporting cast of his career. (Dalton Del Don)

Rashard Mendenhall(notes), Pit, RB – Round 1, Pick 6
I strongly considered Michael Turner(notes) here, but the PPR format made me ultimately look elsewhere. Mendenhall isn't going to rack up receptions, but he showed improvement in that area last year and has earned the role as Pittsburgh's workhorse. The Steelers should remain one of the better teams in the NFL while also returning to their smash-mouth roots, so Mendenhall is set up for success. (DDD)

Andre Johnson(notes), Hou, WR – Round 1, Pick 7
Johnson and the PPR format make a perfect match, much like Monroe and Frazier, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Evans and Butler. Johnson has collected a ridiculous 216 grabs for 3,144 yards the last two years, and all the main components of this offense remain in place (a Pro Bowl-level QB in Matt Schaub(notes), and an offensive mastermind in Gary Kubiak). Johnson's low TD count might concern some (just 25 the last three years) but when someone gets this much volume in a passing game, I'm happy to write the check. We know we'll get eight or more spikes, and some year, with a little luck, he'll post 12 or more – receiving scores are more volatile than a lot of fantasy players realize. Johnson would be a respectable pick here even without the PPR tailwind; with it, he's a slam dunk. (Scott Pianowski)

Larry Fitzgerald(notes), Ari, WR – Round 1, Pick 8
I'm not worried too much about Fitzgerald losing Anquan Boldin(notes) – at the end of the day, opportunity trumps protection when it comes to elite wideouts (though many will play either card if it suits their argument). The drop from Kurt Warner(notes) to Matt Leinart(notes), OK, that's a concern. But I'm happy to bet on a freakishly talented athlete like Fitzgerald, and maybe Leinart will finally blossom now that he's had a few years to learn the pro game and grow up a bit (he was a first-round pick and a Heisman Trophy winner, after all). Fitzgerald caught 22 TD passes his final year at Pittsburgh, working with the forgettable Rod Rutherford; he'll find a way to make things work in the post-Warner era. (Pianow)

Steven Jackson, Stl, RB – Round 1, Pick 9
Jackson deserves a medal for his 2009 season. The Rams won one game. Their TD/INT ratio was among the worst in football and no team was less threatening downfield (St. Louis had only two pass plays cover 40 or more yards). Yet there was Jackson, ranking second in the league in rushing, averaging 4.4 yards per tote and even checking in with four touchdowns in eight games after the bye. St. Louis won’t be much better in 2010 – though this is the NFL, so you never know – but the Rams did upgrade at offensive line and in Sam Bradford(notes) have a guy who may be able to stretch defenses if he gets a second-half audition. There are odometer concerns and Jackson did just have minor back surgery, but he has PPR-friendly hands and one way to reduce wear and tear on your workhorse is to get him more involved in the passing game. Ten TDs is a bit optimistic in an offense this bad. I’ll settle for 7-8 scores, another 1,200-plus yards and 50-65 grabs out of the backfield. (Matt Romig)

Jamaal Charles(notes), KC, RB – Round 1, Pick 10
Charles scored all eight of his touchdowns in the final eight weeks of the season, closing out the campaign with 737 yards from scrimmage in the final four weeks. He averaged 5.9 yards per carry on the season (now 5.7 career) and was recipient of 25-plus touches every game in Weeks 14-17. His reward? The Chiefs signed Thomas Jones(notes) and drafted another running back, Dexter McCluster(notes), in the second round. If there’s concern in fantasy circles, it will only serve to hand Charles believers a nice draft-day discount. The Jones signing makes sense. Charles is undersized and is coming off minor shoulder surgery. Does he cede some red-zone touches to the bigger Jones? Sure, but like Chris Johnson, Charles can score from anywhere. McCluster was drafted more as a slot/wildcat guy, and the Chiefs are reportedly already tinkering with ways to get Charles, Jones and the rookie on the field at the same time. I just can’t see Charles’ talent getting marginalized by either newcomer. (Mig)

Reggie Wayne(notes), Ind, WR - Round 1, Pick 11
Reggie has posted triple-digit reception totals and double-digit TDs in two of the past three seasons, and he's caught at least 80 passes every year since 2004 (when he caught 77). As a key contributor in a high-yield offense, Wayne is as reliable as it gets. If he has a down year, the final numbers will still be useful. The top running backs remaining aren't exactly perfect fits in PPR, so this team waits at least a round to draft the position. (Andy Behrens)

Randy Moss(notes), NE, WR - Round 1, Pick 12
Moss was widely criticized last season, yet he still finished with 83 catches, 1,264 yards and 13 scores. Like Wayne, he's one of the most dependable scorers in the game, even if he's on the wrong side of 30. The big question facing this team at the turn is whether to draft a proven running back who won't catch passes (Michael Turner), an unproven running back who might catch passes (Ryan Mathews(notes)), or another elite receiver (Megatron). Please stay tuned… (Behrens)

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