In the wake of the Washington Post 2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft, here’s an in-depth look at the roster of Thomas Johnson’s team to see what went right, and what went wrong. Johnson held the No. 8 pick in the draft.
|QB||Aaron Rodgers, GB||Rd. 2|
|RB||Marshawn Lynch, Sea RB||Rd. 1|
|RB||Ben Tate, Cle RB||Rd. 4|
|WR||Julio Jones, Atl WR||Rd. 3|
|WR||DeSean Jackson, Wsh WR||Rd. 5|
|TE||Charles Clay, Mia TE||Rd. 9|
|FLEX||T.Y. Hilton, Ind WR||Rd. 6|
|D/ST||Panthers D/ST||Rd. 10|
|K||Stephen Gostkowski, NE K||Rd. 14|
|Bench||Darren Sproles, Phi RB||Rd. 7|
|Bench||Pierre Thomas, NO RB||Rd. 8|
|Bench||Hakeem Nicks, Ind WR||Rd. 11|
|Bench||DeAndre Hopkins, Hou WR||Rd. 12|
|Bench||Justin Hunter, Ten WR||Rd. 13|
|Bench||Eli Manning, NYG QB||Rd. 15|
|Bench||Latavius Murray, Oak RB||Rd. 16 |
Self-Analysis: Best pick — T.Y. Hilton
I tabbed Hilton mainly because it caused Mike Hume to audibly complain, but also because I went to F.I.U. while Hilton was there and every time he scores a touchdown in the NFL, my 20-year-old hyperbolic praise feels retroactively validated. “He’s the best receiver ever!” Okay, maybe not, but he’ll probably be a solid flex option. — Johnson
Self-Analysis: Worst pick — Aaron Rodgers
I wasn’t thrilled with Rodgers in the second round, as my strategy was to hold back on taking a quarterback until the later rounds, but none of the other options were too enticing. I probably have some leftover resentment for Rodgers after he submarined my fantasy team a couple years ago. — Johnson
Starters: B- | Bench: B+ | Overall: B
Thomas’s first-round selection of Lynch is certainly corroborated by Beast Mode’s ADP, but it’s a riskier pick than you ideally want to make at No. 8 overall, considering Lynch’s mileage, brief holdout and the fact Seattle has a pair of talented backups. If Thomas didn’t find the options available at the No. 13 overall pick “too enticing,” compared to Rodgers, then that’s his business, but suffice it to say that I strongly disagree. Getting Julio Jones later was a coup, but Tate’s outlook is a bit too murky too warrant the 33rd pick, and in Jackson and Hilton, Thomas is relying on big-play specialists who may lack week-to-week consistency. This owner was the last to take a TE, but while Clay should be a steady part of the Dolphins offense, Kyle Rudolph (who went undrafted) might have presented more upside.
In general, Thomas put together a solid bench, and I love the flier on Murray, a size/speed freak whose path to carries is blocked by the questionable duo of Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden. But I don’t love the fact that Murray went in the final round, while my colleague took his kicker in the 14th. Gostkowski is a perfect example of why kickers have very little relative fantasy value, as the Patriot has ranked in the top-four at his position each of the past three years. But wait, you ask, isn’t it worth reaching a little bit to lock up such a consistently good performer? In a word, no, not when you consider what those top-four finishes really meant. In 2011, Gostkowski outscored the 10th-ranked kicker by 14 total points; in 2012, by 25 points; and in 2013, by 25 points again. In other words, over a 16-game season, one of fantasy’s top kickers barely provided any weekly advantage over other guys. So, again, don’t take a kicker before the final round. Thank you.