Fantasy Sports Fix: Looking upfield to football season |

Fantasy Sports Fix: Looking upfield to football season

Chris Gingrich/For the Craig Daily Press
Chris Gingrich

So, I’ve been doing a lot of fantasy football mock drafts, and they’re essentially practice drafts. I’ve noticed a few things in these 12 or so mock drafts and thought I’d share them with you.

The first thing I noticed was that when I picked No. 1 overall, I usually took Eddie Lacy with that pick. I don’t know, there’s just something appealing about a 4.4 yards per carry average. Maybe it’s also the fact that he had 42 receptions for a nice 427 receiving yards last year. There’s really no knocks against Eddie Lacy going No. 1 overall in any draft. Sure, his touchdowns decreased from 11 to 9 last year, but his targets in the receiving game went up along with his yards per carry and his yards per reception.

It’s also comforting to know that his combined total yards last year between receiving and rushing were a super solid 1.566. There is also a case to be made at the number one overall pick for guys like Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch.

The second thing I noticed in my mock drafting frenzy was that I was not shy when it came to picking a quarterback early on. I did this several times and was very pleased by the way it forced me to balance out the rest of my team from there on out. I usually took a quarterback no later than round 6, and when I did pull the trigger, it was on guys like Andrew Luck, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan and Peyton Manning. There is value to be had at quarterback this year, though, and there are quarterbacks who can be had in the middle rounds and even later rounds for relatively cheap.

It seemed as if I looked for most of my value picks at the wide receiver position. What I mean by value is that maybe these guys didn’t have top 10 or even top 20 finishes at their position last year, but there is still potential to be better this year. You wouldn’t really call these guys sleepers because there were some well-known commodities that fell to me in rounds six through 11, or even further down.

For instance, Larry Fitzgerald, a one-time stud at the receiver position still has some gas left in the tank and I can see him on the receiving end of a lot of Carson Palmer’s bombs this season. There’s also a case to be made for the likes of Roddy White of the Atlanta Falcons, Pierre Garcon of the Washington Redskins and even Mike Wallace of the Minnesota Vikings.

One thing I try to do in both mock drafts and live drafts is to have a balanced team, strength at every position with no perceived weakness at any one spot. I also try to take at least two running backs in the first five rounds, back to back if I can. If I choose one of the alternate routes of drafting, I tend to wait on quarterbacks and stock up on running backs and wide receivers.

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