2015 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 1Scoring: This mock draft is based on point-per-reception (PPR) 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 and per reception.
Mock Draft Start Date: Monday, June 22nd
Mock Draft End Date: Tuesday, July 7th
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 15 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 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
In his second season, Bell's production spiked to 1,361 rushing yards, 83 receptions for 854 yards and 11 total touchdowns. In fact, he scored more fantasy points than any other running back last year in PPR formats last season.
Whether the Steelers have the lead (and want to use the clock) or trail (and need to throw), Bell's versatility makes him a true three-down back and his production won't vary much based on game flow. Unfortunately for Bell (and his fantasy owners), he's suspended for the first three games of the season. The chances that his suspension gets reduced on appeal appear to be slim to none, but I expect Bell to lead all backs in per-game production once he returns to the field.
1.02 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
It was a somewhat disappointing season for Charles, who 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. Charles essentially missed two games -- had two carries in Week 2 and missed Week 3 -- as he saw a year-over-year decline in touches to 246 (from 329 in 2013).
Even if we exclude Week 2, his per-game touches dropped from 20.56/G in 2013 to 17.43/G (16.4/G if we don't exclude Week 2) in 2014. On a positive note, Charles still finished as the RB7 last year despite the drop in touches and I expect his touches to increase in 2015 even if he doesn't get to 325-plus level again.
Here's a random (and incredibly impressive) stat that I tweeted about Charles recently:
1.03 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): 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. In fact, he did so only nine months after tearing his ACL. After last year's lost season, it was unclear where he would play in 2015, but the draft has come and gone and Peterson has reported to the team. Assuming that he plays all a full 16-game season (or close to it), the 30-year-old Peterson should finish as a top-three (or better) back in 2015.
1.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears
Not only did Forte lead all running backs in receptions (102) last year, but only three players had more -- Antonio Brown (129), Demaryius Thomas (111) and Julio Jones (104) -- as he broke the record for receptions by a running back. With the coaching change, Forte isn't likely to see anywhere close to triple-digit receptions again, but he could still finish with 70-plus 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 posted 1,400-plus yards from scrimmage every year of his career. Only the Raiders (337) and Bucs (353) ran the ball less than the Bears (355) last season and I'd expect the new Bears coaching staff to be more committed to the run in 2015.
1.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers
After a slow start against three elite rush defenses, Lacy was dominant from Weeks 4 to 17. Over those final 13 games of the season, he 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).
1.06 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): 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 could remain 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 roughly 20 touches per game, when healthy. But will he hold up for another full season?
1.07 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): 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.
You often hear the expression that "you can't win your fantasy league in the first round, but you can lose it in the first round." More impressive than Brown's overall level of production, however, has been his consistency. Counting the playoffs, Brown has at least five catches and 50 yards in 33 consecutive games and he's as "safe" of a first-round pick as they come.
1.08 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): 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. The Cowboys used their franchise tag on Bryant and it appears unlikely that the two sides will find common ground on a long-term deal prior to the July 15th cutoff. That said, I don't expect Dez to hold out as some reports have suggested he might consider.
1.09 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
When it comes to fantasy tight ends, he's 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 more than Antonio Gates, who had the second-most among tight ends. So, in other words, he had 19.66 percent more than the guy that had the second-most. Gronkowski finished as a top-five weekly scorer at the position in eight of 15 games and a top-11 scorer in all but two games.
1.10 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Odell Beckham, WR, New York Giants
Closing the season with nine consecutive games of 90-plus yards, Beckham racked up a massive stat line of 81/1,199/9 on 115 targets during that nine-game stretch. In fact, only 11 other receivers had more yards in all of 2014 than OBJ had in his final nine games. And as impressive as that sounds, he was even more dominant over his final four games -- 43/606/7 on 63 targets. While ODB is far from being the biggest receiver, his combination of hands, route-running ability, speed and elusiveness makes him nearly impossible to cover especially in today's age of offense-friendly rules.
1.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos
Despite his slow start, Thomas went over 100 yards 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. With the Broncos using their franchise tag on Thomas (in hopes of finalizing a long-term deal prior to the July 15th deadline) and Peyton Manning returning for at least one more season, a fourth consecutive year of 90-plus receptions, 1,400-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns seems like a strong possibility.
1.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers
Not only is wide receiver deep, it's deep with elite wide receivers. The only receiver to score more fantasy points than Nelson last season was Brown. While Nelson may not finish as a top-two producer at the position once again, he's certainly one of a group of eight wideouts that has the talent and opportunity to do so.
> Continue to Round 2 of our Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft
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