Fantasy Football 2014 Preview: NESN.com’s 10-Team, 15-Round Mock Draft

It’s that time of year, folks — fantasy football mock draft season.

With the regular season less than three weeks away, the NESN.com team met up at Miller’s Ale House, just down the street from NESN headquarters in Watertown, Mass., to put their fantasy knowledge to the test in the official 2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft.

The draft consisted of 15 rounds, with each player’s starting lineup including one quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, one flex player (running back or receiver), one tight end, one kicker and one defense/special teams unit.

We followed a snake-style draft, with the last player in each round picking first in the next round. Special thanks to NFL.com, which sent us a nifty draft board to track all of our picks. You can buy one for your fantasy draft for just $39.99.

Our first-round order went as follows:

1. Justin Hathaway
2. Ricky Doyle
3. Andre Khatchaturian
4. Gary Striewski
5. Darren Hartwell
6. Mike Cole
7. Nick Goss
8. Mike Hall
9. John Beattie
10. Theresa Spencer

Here’s how it all went down:

Round 1
1. Justin — LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles
2. Ricky — Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings
3. Andre — Peyton Manning, QB, Broncos
4. Gary — Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs
5. Darren — Matt Forte, RB, Bears
6. Mike C. — Eddie Lacy, RB, Packers
7. Nick — Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions
8. Mike H. — Jimmy Graham, TE, Saints
9. John — Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seahawks
10. Theresa — Arian Foster, RB, Texans
Analysis: The big surprise here was Manning going third overall, allowing Gary to land the steal of the round in Charles with the fourth pick. Manning will put up huge numbers, but in a league with two running backs and a flex, you’re better off snagging an elite back like Charles, Peterson or McCoy if they’re still available.

Round 2
11. Theresa — Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
12. John — Drew Brees, QB, Saints
13. Mike H. — Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos
14. Nick — Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
15. Mike C. — A.J. Green, WR, Bengals
16. Darren — Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys
17. Gary — Julio Jones, WR, Falcons
18. Andre — DeMarco Murray, RB, Cowboys
19. Ricky — Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers
20. Justin — Brandon Marshall, WR, Bears
Analysis: Theresa started the run on elite QBs not named Manning but with a surprising choice. I probably would have taken Rodgers or Brees over Brady, who still suffers from a lack of elite weapons (then again, we do work for New England Sports Network, so it’s tough to turn down the home QB). That allowed Nick to snag Rodgers at No. 14, which was a bit of a steal.

Round 3
21. Justin — Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals
22. Ricky — Jordy Nelson, WR, Packers
23. Andre — Randall Cobb, WR, Packers
24. Gary — Alfred Morris, RB, Redskins
25. Darren — Montee Ball, RB, Broncos
26. Mike C. — Le’Veon Bell, RB, Steelers
27. Nick — Alshon Jeffery, WR, Bears
28. Mike H. — Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers
29. John — Trent Richardson, RB, Colts
30. Theresa — Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals
Analysis: I’m not a huge fan of John’s pick here. Richardson hasn’t exactly made a smooth transition with the Colts, and they don’t really run a lot anyways, so a third-round pick on him seems a little high. On the flip side, I liked Ricky’s pick of Jordy Nelson, who should do big things this year with Aaron Rodgers back in business.

Round 4
31. Theresa — Julius Thomas, TE, Broncos
32. John — Wes Welker, WR, Broncos
33. Mike H. — Ryan Mathews, RB, Chargers
34. Nick — Zac Stacy, RB, Rams
35. Mike C. — Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots
36. Darren — Vincent Jackson, WR, Buccaneers
37. Gary — C.J. Spiller, RB, Bills
38. Andre — Andre Ellington, RB, Cardinals
39. Ricky — Percy Harvin, WR, Seahawks
40. Justin — Andre Johnson, WR, Texans
Analysis: Landing Gronk in the fourth round was a solid pick for Mike C., as everyone’s favorite partying tight end could post huge numbers this season if he manages to stay healthy. Not to pick on John, but taking Wes Welker early in the fourth round with the likes of Vincent Jackson and Andre Johnson still on the board felt like a bit of a stretch.

Round 5
41. Justin — Reggie Bush, RB, Lions
42. Ricky — Roddy White, WR, Falcons
43. Andre — Victor Cruz, WR, Giants
44. Gary — Ray Rice, RB, Ravens
45. Darren — Shane Vereen, RB, Patriots
46. Mike C. — Cam Newton, QB, Panthers
47. Nick — Pierre Garcon, WR, Redskins
48. Mike H. — Rashard Jennings, RB, Giants
49. John — Ben Tate, RB, Browns
50. Theresa — Michael Crabtree, WR, 49ers
Analysis: You knew Ray Rice would be a controversial pick no matter where he went. Gary did add that a fantasy selection did not equal an endorsement, but I thought he probably could have waited a round or two and still been able to snag Rice. That said, I think I reached a bit for Vereen in the fifth round, which I’ll chalk up to being an unabashed Pats fan.

Round 6
51. Theresa — Frank Gore, RB, 49ers
52. John — DeSean Jackson, WR, Redskins
53. Mike H. — Toby Gerhart, RB, Jaguars
54. Nick — Torrey Smith, WR, Ravens
55. Mike C. — Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers
56. Darren — Jeremy Maclin, WR, Eagles
57. Gary — Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots
58. Andre — Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys
59. Ricky — Andrew Luck, QB, Colts
60. Justin — Marques Colston, WR, Saints
Analysis: Mike C. got away with murder by nabbing Allen in the sixth round, as the second-year receiver is fast emerging as Philip Rivers’ favorite target in San Diego. Taking Witten this early was a bit of a stretch for Andre, as there’s a pretty substantial drop-off after the top three tight ends (Graham, Thomas and Gronk). He could have waited a little longer.

Round 7
61. Justin — Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions
62. Ricky — T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts
63. Andre — Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Broncos
64. Gary — Sammy Watkins, WR, Bills
65. Darren — Nick Foles, QB, Eagles
66. Mike C. — Chris Johnson, RB, Jets
67. Nick — Vernon Davis, TE, 49ers
68. Mike H. — Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons
69. John — Michael Floyd, WR, Cardinals
70. Theresa — Danny Woodhead, RB, Chargers
Analysis: Stafford is the fourth-best fantasy quarterback in many rankings (including ours), so Justin certainly got a steal by taking him as the seventh QB off the board. He won’t last that long in almost any other league. Danny Woodhead with the 70th overall pick was a bit of a head-scratcher, but I thought John found good value with Floyd at No. 69.

Round 8
71. Theresa — Anquan Boldin, WR, 49ers
72. John — Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Raiders
73. Mike H. — Colin Kaepernick, QB, 49ers
74. Nick — Lamar Miller, RB, Dolphins
75. Mike C. — Mike Wallace, WR, Dolphins
76. Darren — Bishop Sankey, RB, Titans
77. Gary — Jordan Cameron, TE, Browns
78. Andre — Terrance Williams, WR, Cowboys
79. Ricky — Dennis Pitta, TE, Ravens
80. Justin — Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers
Analysis: I thought Pitta was a bit of a stretch for Ricky here, especially considering Olsen still was on the board. Olsen likely will be Cam Newton’s favorite target in an overhauled passing attack, while Pitta missed almost all of last season with a hip injury. Mike H. also went with the bold strategy of taking a quarterback in back-to-back rounds. We’ll see how that plays out for him.

Round 9
81. Justin — Steven Jackson, RB, Falcons
82. Ricky — Knowshon Moreno, RB, Dolphins
83. Andre — Josh Gordon, WR, Browns
84. Gary — Robert Griffin III, QB, Redskins
85. Darren — Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts
86. Mike C. — Golden Tate, WR, Lions
87. Nick — Brandin Cooks, WR, Saints
88. Mike H. — Kendall Wright, WR, Titans
89. John — Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles
90. Theresa — Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings
Analysis: Andre took a chance on Gordon with the hope that he’d return to the field in 2014, but at this point, that seems highly unlikely. Plenty of talent still was available at receiver, and Andre probably would’ve been better off going with Golden Tate or Kendall Wright, who the Mikes both took for pretty solid value.

Round 10
91. Theresa — 49ers defense
92. John — Patriots defense
93. Mike H. — Seahawks defense
94. Nick — Pierre Thomas, RB, Saints
95. Mike C. — Darren Sproles, RB, Eagles
96. Darren — Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Vikings
97. Gary — Dwayne Bowe, WR, Chiefs
98. Andre — Joique Bell, RB, Lions
99. Ricky — Riley Cooper, WR, Eagles
100. Justin — Eric Decker, WR, Jets
Analysis: It’s not a true fantasy draft until someone takes a defense too early. The 10th round isn’t too bad, but you really don’t need to take a look at defenses until the last three rounds or so. On the other end of the spectrum, I was thrilled to see Patterson still around at No. 96, as he has the potential to be a fantasy star under Norv Turner and Matt Cassel in Minnesota.

Round 11
101. Justin — Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders
102. Ricky — Tavon Austin, WR, Rams
103. Andre — Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys
104. Gary — Matt Prater, K, Broncos
105. Darren — Bernard Pierce, RB, Ravens
106. Mike C. — Cecil Shorts, WR, Jaguars
107. Nick — Stevan Ridley, RB, Patriots
108. Mike H. — Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers
109. John — Hakeem Nicks, WR, Colts
110. Theresa — Danny Amendola, WR, Patriots
Analysis: Prater is the obvious question mark here. Gary is a Denver fan and claims he needs at least one Bronco on his roster, but a kicker in the 11th round? Not ideal. Ridley has been in and out of Bill Belichick’s doghouse for a while now, but when he’s out, he’s a viable option as a second or third running back. Kudos to Nick for taking a late-round flier on him.

Round 12
111. Theresa — Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
112. John — Chris Ivory, RB, Jets
113. Mike H. — Steven Hauschka, K, Seahawks
114. Nick — DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans
115. Mike C. — Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers
116. Darren — Markus Wheaton, WR, Steelers
117. Gary — Fred Jackson, RB, Bills
118. Andre — Jarrett Boykin, WR, Packers
119. Ricky — DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers
120. Justin — Steve Smith, WR, Ravens
Analysis: Gary redeemed himself in Round 12 by snagging Jackson. The Bills run the ball a ton — they led the NFL in rushing attempts in 2013 — and Gary already had Spiller, so he now has the flexibility to ride the hot (or healthy) hand in Buffalo. Mike H.’s selection of Hauschka was a bit puzzling, but landing Steve Smith with the last pick of the round was a steal for Justin.

Round 13
121. Justin — Eli Manning, QB, Giants
122. Ricky — Johnny Manziel, QB, Browns
123. Andre — Cardinals defense
124. Gary — Carlos Hyde, RB, 49ers
125. Darren — Rams defense
126. Mike C. — Panthers defense
127. Nick — Bengals defense
128. Mike H. — Charles Clay, TE, Dolphins
129. John — Jay Cutler, QB, Bears
130. Theresa — Aaron Dobson, WR, Patriots
Analysis: Someone had to take Johnny Football, and that person was Ricky, who plans on rolling the dice with Manziel should Andrew Luck, his starter, go down. It’s the 13th round, so why not? I also liked Theresa’s selection of Dobson with the last pick of the round. The second-year receiver still is recovering from an injury, but when healthy, he could surprise some people in New England.

Round 14
131. Theresa — Stephen Gostkowski, K, Patriots
132. John — Justin Tucker, K, Ravens
133. Mike H. — Dan Bailey, K, Cowboys
134. Nick — Andrew Hawkins, WR, Browns
135. Mike C. — Roy Helu, RB, Redskins
136. Darren — Phil Dawson, K, 49ers
137. Gary — Broncos defense
138. Andre — Blair Walsh, K, Vikings
139. Ricky — Buccaneers defense
140. Justin — Josh Scobee, K, Jaguars
Analysis: The run on kickers was in full force in Round 14, and Theresa emerged victorious by snagging the NFL’s leading scorer in 2013. Justin looks like the loser here, as taking the kicker of his beloved Jaguars probably wasn’t the smartest strategy given that Jacksonville scored the fewest points in the league last season.

Round 15
141. Justin — Ravens defense
142. Ricky — Mason Crosby, K, Packers
143. Andre — Ladarius Green, TE, Chargers
144. Gary — Eric Ebron, TE, Lions
145. Darren — Jordan Reed, TE, Redskins
146. Mike C. — Sebastian Janikowski, K, Raiders
147. Nick — Adam Vinatieri, K, Colts
148. Mike H. — Christine Michael, RB, Seahawks
149. John — Greg Jennings, WR, Vikings
150. Theresa — LeGarrette Blount, RB, Steelers
Analysis: I waited until the very end to take a tight end, and I was glad to grab Reed, who could have a big year if he stays healthy. Mike H., meanwhile, capped off an eventful draft by claiming that he drafted Michael so he could purchase a Seahawks jersey with his first name on the back. We’ll just end it on that.

NESN.COM FANTASY FOOTBALL 2014 PREVIEW
Top 100 Players | Top 10 QBs | Top 10 RBs | Top 10 WRs | Top 10 TEs | Top 10 D/ST |
Top 10 Kickers | Top 10 Sleepers | Top 10 Players To Avoid | Fantasy Do’s And Don’ts

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