Roto Arcade - Fantasy

Just to remind you, this is a 12-team PPR mock draft of a league with the following starting positions: QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, K, DEF. Still, the odds that someone will draft RB-RB-RB then write about their flex position are very strong. Earler results here: Round 1

Calvin Johnson(notes), Det, WR – Round 2, Pick 1
After selecting Randy Moss(notes) at the end of the first round, a running back obviously would have been the prudent choice. Yup. No doubt. But rather than take a third-tier RB – and in a PPR format, that's what the Burner is – this team has decided to draft an elite talent, then let the backfield situation sort itself out. There's enough running back depth in the player pool to make this gamble work (or at least that's the hope. And if it becomes necessary, I can always edit other people's picks). Megatron isn't clearly better than the next few wide receivers on the board – Rice, Austin, Roddy, the Jacksons, et al – but there's a historic season somewhere in his future. The Lions have substantially upgraded the skill positions; their offense is built for shootouts. (Andy Behrens)

Michael Turner(notes), Atl, RB – Round 2, Pick 2
This is far from an ideal PPR pick, let's just start there. Turner has caught only 11 passes in two seasons with Atlanta. That's not helpful. Of course the backs who follow him on the cheat sheet – DeAngelo, Mathews, Greene, Benson, Grant – aren't exactly the 1999 version of Marshall Faulk(notes), either. So Turner it is. He's averaging a touchdown and 20.5 carrier per game with the Falcons; his workload is safe, and his red zone responsibilities should help overcome the lack of targets in the passing game. (Behrens)

Brandon Marshall(notes), Mia, WR – Round 2, Pick 3
Marshall and Wes Welker(notes) are the only two players with at least 100 receptions in each of the last three seasons. That's a format-friendly stat, and as we know Welker is no guarantee to see the field anytime soon (though could probably pull off 100 grabs in a 10-game season). Marshall has proven to be adaptable in his four-year career – new system, new QB, no problem – and there's a clear arm-strength upgrade in Miami. He's saying and doing all the right things so far with the Dolphins, but obviously discord hasn't been a big obstacle to production for him in the past. (Matt Romig)

Roddy White(notes), Atl, WR – Round 2, Pick 4
The easiest thing to do to appease followers of a mock draft is to just take the next best available player. If the name fits the slot, people are happy. But you can't be blind to format, and this league doesn't feature a flex position, so running back depth isn't as critical, and of course we're drafting PPR. The elite wideouts would be picked clean by the time this team is up in the third round. White is coming off a career-best 11 touchdowns and a 100-reception campaign (it would be his first) isn't out of the question with Matt Ryan(notes) entering his third season. (Mig)

Miles Austin(notes), Dal, WR – Round 2, Pick 5
The Cowboys 2009 season was saved when Roy Williams suffered a rib injury at Denver in Week 4; it enabled Austin to enter the starting lineup the following Sunday and the rest was history. If you grade the receivers from Week 5 to the end of the year, Austin ranks fifth in catches (76), first in yards (1,239) and third in receiving touchdowns (10). Let's get in on that. (Scott Pianowski)

Pierre Thomas(notes), NO, RB – Round 2, Pick 6
It was frustrating to watch Thomas be somewhat underused for most of 2009, but Sean Payton employed Thomas more as a pass-catcher down the stretch and that's going to play nice in this format. Thomas caught 31 passes from Weeks 9-16 (third-most at the position over that span), and he tacked on 12 receptions during the championship run, including six in the Super Bowl. And while Thomas doesn't get heavy work on the ground, it's not like he's chopped liver in that area – he averaged 5.4 yards per carry, he collected 793 yards rushing and he scored six times. You won't take Thomas this early in a traditional format, but the PPR rules drive this selection. (Pianow)

Ryan Mathews(notes), SD, RB – Round 2, Pick 7
Wide receivers are flying off the board, but I'm sticking with the backs, including a rookie here who finds himself in a terrific situation to succeed right away. Mathews is slated to immediately become San Diego's workhorse, and he inherits a role that produced an incredible 28 goal-line rushing attempts last season – the second-most since 2004 (which also happened to be San Diego’s lead back). Coach Norv Turner doesn’t have a veteran currently on the roster he needs to worry about as far as seniority is concerned – in fact, he’s already stated a desired goal of getting Mathews 290 touches. Not only does Mathews have a high ceiling as lead back in one of the NFL’s best offenses, but as crazy as it sounds, thanks to his role he’s also one of the safer picks, even as a rookie. (Dalton Del Don)

Shonn Greene(notes), NYJ, RB – Round 2, Pick 8
Considering Greene didn't catch a single pass during the regular season last year, he's hardly an ideal pick in PPR formats. Still, that's likely why he fell into the middle of the second round, because he should be a top-10 pick in most standard leagues. It might be safer to go with a proven WR here, but I'm all about upside, and Greene enters 2010 with a ton of it. Greene, who had the second fewest stuffs/carry (6/108) in the NFL last year, was unleashed in the playoffs, when he ran for 304 yards on 54 rushes (5.6 YPC) over 2.5 games. Questions remain whether he can hold up physically as a lead back, but Greene is certainly in the right situation in New York - a team that possesses one of the three best offensive lines in the NFL, one of the best defenses in the league and with Santonio Holmes(notes) eventually joining Braylon Edwards(notes) out wide, a potentially dangerous passing attack as well. And even if LaDainian Tomlinson(notes) is given more carries than he deserves at this stage of his career, the Jets had a whopping 607 rushing attempts last year, which led the league by 82 carries, so there will be plenty to go around. (DDD)

Aaron Rodgers(notes), GB, QB – Round 2, Pick 9
Clearly the biggest cheese of last year’s quarterback class, A-Rod bested second place finisher Drew Brees(notes) by 30-plus total points in standard scoring formats. His improving accuracy, underappreciated ground contributions and consistency are unmatched. Last season, he totaled 11 multi-TD performances and surpassed the 20-point mark in 13 of 16 starts. Rodgers, regardless of scoring system, is a supreme bargain 20 picks into the draft. Given his youth, experience and comfort level in Green Bay’s spread scheme 35-plus total touchdowns is again very attainable. (Brad Evans)

Jahvid Best(notes), Det, RB – Round 2, Pick 10
If Mathews is a Clydesdale, Best is a versatile stallion. Explosive, interiorly tough and undaunted, the former Cal Bear will be an instant impact player for an ascending Lions club. Questions about Detroit’s offensive line are apparent, but if Matthew Stafford(notes) can make significant strides in his development, the first-round pick should pay a handsome dividend, particularly in PPR formats. Last year, as a junior, he averaged 7.1 yards per touch. Jim Schwartz has made it clear he wants to establish a strong ground identity, which means the youngster will be leaned upon heavily. Expected to tote the load with Kevin Smith(notes) sidelined for at least the first few weeks of the season, the rookie could be Ray Rice(notes)-light. (Noise)

Sidney Rice(notes), Min, WR – Round 2, Pick 11
I'm assuming that Brett Favre(notes) is returning, which is the kind of carefree license you're allowed to take in a mock-only setup. In the real world, I'll be drafting my leagues in late August/early September, a time when the "What's Brett gonna do?" season will have passed and we'll have an answer to that $64k question. Assuming Favre plays, Rice is a no-brainer here. At 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, Rice physically dominates opposing corners. In the final 16 games of '09 (including two postseason contests), Rice caught 88 passes for 1,450 yards and 12 TDs. (Brandon Funston)

DeAngelo Williams(notes), Car, RB – Round 2, Pick 12
After pacing his position in fantasy points in '08, Williams finished a respectable seventh in points per game among running backs last season. A PPR setup hasn't helped him much in the past, but I suspect with a new QB behind center (be it Matt Moore(notes) or Jimmy Clausen(notes)) and little in the way of proven receiving talent outside of Steve Smith, the Panthers' backfield might be more involved in the passing game than has been the case in recent years. (Funston)

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