So we started our SECOND Fantasy mock draft of the offseason late yesterday afternoon. We're through half of the first round. If you'd like to follow it, you may do so here: www.sportsline.com/nfl/fantasy/stor
Here's the first round thus far:
2. Westbrook (Surprise!)
3. Adrian Peterson
4. Steven Jackson
So that left me to pick at 6. After ruling out Tom Brady (hard to expect him to repeat 51 touchdowns, strong QBs are plentiful), I was down to Larry Johnson and Frank Gore. Here's how I battled it out in my head ...
Johnson's pros: Is the Kansas City offense ... runs the ball often, catches the ball, works at the goal line, will get a lot of work, but not 350 touches over a season ...
Johnson's cons: Coming off a foot injury that was misdiagnosed/misunderstood ... O-line still a mess ... QB is still a mess ...
Gore's pros: Is a huge chunk of the San Fran offense ... should be back on for a ton of work after getting lost in the shuffle somehow in 2007 ... gets goal-line carries, receptions ...
Gore's cons: DeShaun Foster just signed, he might take some reps ... health always an issue with him ... QB is a mess ... O-line is still iffy ...
But what sold me on Gore: Mike Martz. Because I expect Martz to lean on Gore in his play calling instead of what he did in Detroit, I figure Gore will have a big year yardagewise. Touchdowns should factor in, too.
LJ's foot also scared me off. I need to know if it's a Lisfranc or not (everyone's mum on the injury). We may never know.
I'll continue to share my thoughts on my picks throughout this mock draft, and I promise to take at least one rookie running back.
The rankings have been updated. As I've been doing all offseason long, here's a look at why who has gone where. You can find the positional rankings here: http://cbs.sportsline.com/fantasy/f
ootball/rankings and the top 200 here: http://www.sportsline.com/fantasy/f
ootball/rankings/top200. If you like this feature, or have a suggestion on how to improve it, please leave a comment below or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
T.J. Duckett goes to Seattle. When everyone I know heard this news, the first thing they asked was 'What does this mean for Shaun Alexander?' I use this analogy: Let's say your boss hired a person to help you do YOUR primary job. Assuming it's not a secretary or a college intern, chances are it means that you're not getting the job done to your boss' satisfaction. Apply that to Alexander's stature in Seattle and you have an idea of what it means. Granted, everyone in the Seattle-area papers are saying that Duckett was someone the club wanted last offseason, too, and that Alexander will still start. That's all well and good, but I'm telling you right now that he's either going to lose or has lost his goal-line job, and that's a killer since Alexander isn't a speedster anymore. Alexander is a solid No. 3 Fantasy RB (that's right -- you're BENCHING him if you start two running backs in your league); Duckett's value is up since he'll see some work in 2008, and that also affects Maurice Morris, who will likely lose some carries with Duckett around.
Javon Walker signs with Raiders. Potentially explosive risk/reward player here. If he's healthy (he passed the Raiders' physical), Walker has a shot to be a stat machine. JaMarcus Russell, as unpolished as he may be, has an absolute cannon for an arm, and Walker is a good deep-ball receiver. And the Raiders aren't expected to be in many tight, close, low-scoring games. Wouldn't surprise me if they're playing from behind a lot next year. That means lots of passing, especially with Russell at QB, and that should be good for Walker. The only addition that could make Walker even more dangerous is if the Raiders draft Darren McFadden. But his knee is a HUGE "IF." We've got him ranked as a low-end No. 3 Fantasy WR, and we have him tabbed as a potential sleeper for '08.
By the way, Russell and McFadden on the same team? Wow, Oakland would have the potential to be really, really good. If they had any semblance of a secure coaching structure in place, I'm sure they would consider taking him at No. 4. But since they don't, I expect them to pass on "DMC."
Tidbits: Marty Booker is a HUGE Fantasy winner thanks to his signing in Chicago. He has a shot at 60-to-80 receptions with a low average and maybe six touchdowns. A week ago, he wasn't ranked! Now he's 53rd among Fantasy WRs. ... Julius Jones appears headed for backupsville, which hurts his Fantasy value. Still has upside, though. ... Aaron Stecker stays in New Orleans, buried on their RB depth chart. Not good. ... Also not good for Pierre Thomas. ... Tatum Bell and Mewelde Moore creep into the top 70 RBs. ...