2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Round 1Scoring: This mock draft is based on standard-scoring formats and is for the 2015 season only (i.e., not keeper or dynasty leagues). Passing touchdowns are worth four points while rushing and receiving touchdowns are worth six points. In addition, one point is earned per 25 passing yards, 10 rushing or 10 receiving yards.
Mock Draft Start Date: Saturday, August 22nd
Mock Draft End Date: Tuesday, September 1st
Four of our site's contributors — Kevin Hanson, Brendan Donahue, Sean Beazley and Dan Yanotchko — will make picks for three teams of this 12-team mock. The mock will go 12 rounds with no kickers or team defenses selected.
Although this is a slow draft, we will post picks as they occur, along with comments from Kevin Hanson, as opposed to waiting for the entire mock draft to be completed.
Here are Round 1 results of our 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft:
1.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team I): Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Despite a somewhat disappointing season, Charles finished with the seventh-most fantasy points among running backs in 2014. The 28-year-old back rushed for 1,033 yards, his fifth 1,000-yard season, and added 40 catches for 291 yards while scoring a total of 14 touchdowns.
Despite a year-over-year decline in all of those numbers, the biggest concern was his reduction in workload. After 320-plus touches in back-to-back seasons, Charles had just 246 touches -- 15 running backs had more -- in 2014.
1.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team I): Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Unfortunately for Bell (and his fantasy owners like me), he's suspended for the first two games of the season (although that was cut from his initial three-game ban). And despite that two-game ban, I have Bell projected to score more fantasy points than all other running backs.
Once he returns, however, Bell's versatility makes him a true three-down back and his production won't vary much based on game flow. Bell broke single-season franchise records for both yards from scrimmage (2,215) and receptions (83) by a running back.
1.03 - Brendan Donahue (Team I): Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings
One of the league's all-time best running backs, Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards back just a couple of seasons ago. Assuming that he plays all 16 games (or close to it), the 30-year-old Peterson should finish as a top-five (or better) back in 2015.
1.04 - Brendan Donahue (Team II): Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers
Starting slowly while facing three elite rush defenses to start the season, only DeMarco Murray and Bell scored more fantasy points than Lacy from Weeks 4 to 17. Over those final 13 games of the season, Lacy averaged 18.92 touches for 108.85 YFS per game and scored a total of 13 touchdowns.
The benefit of playing with Aaron Rodgers means that opposing defenses are less likely to stack the box to (try to) slow down Lacy. After averaging a relatively modest 4.15 yards per carry as a rookie, Lacy averaged 4.63 YPC last season (and 4.89 YPC over final 13 games).
1.05 - Sean Beazley (Team I): Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks
In his four full seasons in Seattle, Lynch has rushed for 1,200-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns in each of those seasons. During that four-year span, no player has more rushing yards (5,357), rushing touchdowns (48) and or total touchdowns (56).
Beast Mode's production hasn't slowed at all, but his physical running style (granted, he seems to dish out more punishment than he receives), heavy workload (league-high 1,479 regular-season and playoff touches over that four-year span) and age (turned 29 in April) is at least somewhat concerning. That said, Lynch seems to be a lock for another 1,200 rushing yards and double-digit touchdowns in one of the league's most run-dominant offenses.
1.06 - Sean Beazley (Team II): Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
When it comes to fantasy tight ends, Gronkowski is in a tier all by himself. Named the 2014 AP Comeback Player of the Year after two injury-plagued seasons, Gronkowski posted an 82/1,124/12 stat line over 15 games. Scoring 184.4 fantasy points, Gronk had 30.3 points (or 19.66 percent) more than Antonio Gates, who had the second-most among tight ends.
Not only dominant over a full season, but Gronk was consistent as well finishing as a top-five weekly scorer at the position in eight of 15 games and a top-12 scorer in all but two games.
1.07 - Dan Yanotchko (Team II): Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears
With the coaching change, Forte isn't likely to see anywhere close to triple-digit receptions he had last season, but he could certainly finish in the neighborhood of 60-70 catches. And although Forte averaged less than four yards per carry for the first time since 2009, he has rushed for 1,000-plus yards in three consecutive seasons and has exceeded 1,400 yards from scrimmage in all seven of his NFL seasons.
Only the Raiders (337) and Bucs (353) ran the ball less than the Bears (355) last season and I'd expect the Bears to be more committed to the run in 2015 to limit Jay Cutler's turnovers.
1.08 - Dan Yanotchko (Team III): DeMarco Murray, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Murray has always been productive on a per-game, per-touch basis. Before last season's career year, Murray averaged 4.95 yards per carry in his first three seasons combined. The issue with Murray (before 2014) was durability as he missed multiple games in each of those three seasons.
With a total of 497 touches including the playoffs last year, durability remains Murray's biggest concern in 2015 as well. Even though the team added another talented (and injury-prone) running back (Ryan Mathews) in free agency, I'd expect Murray to still get close to 20 touches per game, when healthy.
If he holds up for 16 games, he certainly could finish as a top-seven running back like his draft slot in this mock, but will he hold up for another full season?
1.09 - Kevin Hanson (Team II): Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Surprisingly, Brown never finished as the highest-scoring fantasy wide receiver in any given week in 2014. (In fact, that applies to both standard- and PPR-scoring formats.) Yet no wide receiver had more fantasy points over the course of the season -- in either format -- than Brown.
Over the past two seasons, Brown has a combined 239 receptions for 3,197 yards and 21 touchdowns. More impressive than his overall level of production, however, is his consistency. Counting the playoffs, Brown has at least five catches and 50 yards in 33 consecutive games.
1.10 - Kevin Hanson (Team III): C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos
From Week 10 to 17 last year, Anderson finished as a top-five fantasy running back in six of eight games. In the other two games, he was still very productive as the RB10 and RB16 for those given weeks. With a healthy backfield and new coaching staff entering 2015, there is perhaps some uncertainty about how the workload will be allocated, but it appears that CJA is set for a featured-back role.
In his mailbag column, Troy Renck of the Denver Post projects Anderson to average 18 carries per game as the team's "bellcow" and to "roll for 1,400 yards."
1.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team III): Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Targeted only 136 times, a three-year low, Bryant finished with 88 receptions for 1,320 yards and a career-high and league-leading 16 touchdowns. Dez now has at least 88 catches, 1,233 yards and 12 touchdowns in three consecutive seasons. And aside from Marshawn Lynch, Bryant is the only other player with at least 50 total touchdowns over the past four seasons.
1.12 - Sean Beazley (Team III): Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos
Despite his slow start, Thomas reached the 100-yard mark in 10 of his final 13 games and finished with a full-season stat line of 111 catches and 1,619 yards, both of which were career highs, and 11 touchdowns. A fourth consecutive year of 90-plus receptions, 1,400-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns seems like a strong possibility with Peyton Manning back for (at least) one more year.
> Continue to Round 2 of our Fantasy Football Mock Draft
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