Scoring: This mock draft is based on re-draft leagues (2014 season only). 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 yards and 10 receiving yards.
In the middle of January, I posted an initial one-man fantasy football mock draft for the 2014 season.
With the start of NFL free agency one month behind us and the 2014 NFL Draft less than a month away, it makes sense to post an updated version of the mock. This one-man mock will consist of five rounds and I will post one round per day through Friday.
Once again, McCoy would be my first choice if I had the first overall pick in a fantasy draft. While I still prefer McCoy over Jamaal Charles, the difference between these two backs is razor thin. As noted in my fantasy running back rankings, I ranked them 1(a) and 1(b) as opposed to 1 and 2. McCoy led the NFL in rushing yards (1,607), yards from scrimmage (2,146) and touches (366) in Chip Kelly's first season as head coach.
A nice consolation prize for owners selecting second overall, Charles led the league in total touchdowns with 19 — 12 rushing and seven receiving scores. As great as that was for his fantasy owners in 2013, it will be unlikely for Charles to repeat.
If you remember back to 2011, McCoy scored a league-high 20 touchdowns and then followed that up with just five total touchdowns in 2012. I'm not saying he'll score only five times in 2014, but not repeating a 19-TD season is no knock on Charles.
Playing one less game than McCoy as the Chiefs rested their starters in Week 17, Charles set a career high in YFS (1,980) and ranked second only to McCoy. In addition, no other player had as many games with 100-plus YFS than Charles (13) this season.
While Peterson may never rush for 2,000 yards again, he rushed for 1,266 yards in only 14 games last year despite poor quarterback play and facing eight (or more) men in the box. While it's difficult to rely on touchdowns from most players, Purple Jesus has rushed for double-digit touchdowns in all seven years of his career.
Along with Steven Jackson and Frank Gore, Peterson is one of only three running backs on active rosters with 2,000-plus career carries and he just turned 29 years old last year. That said, Peterson seems to defy what should be humanly possible every year.
Forte rushed for 1,339 yards and caught 74 passes for 594 yards, all of which are career highs, and tied his previous career high of 12 total touchdowns last season. One of the league's most complete backs, Forte benefits from having one of league's best tandem of wide receivers on the outside in Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall, both of whom are also good blockers at receiver.
Despite slipping to late in the second round of last year's NFL Draft, Lacy had a monster rookie season: 1,178 rushing yards and 11 TDs plus 35 receptions for 257 yards. From Week 5 through their playoff loss, Lacy had 11 games with 20-plus carries as the Packers were committed to the run with or without Aaron Rodgers under center. Provided Rodgers stays healthy for a full 2014 season, I think Lacy's numbers will be even better in Year 2.
The Seahawks drafted Christine Michael early in last year's draft, but Lynch should continue to be the team's workhorse back. For a third consecutive season, Lynch rushed for more than 1,200 yards with double-digit touchdowns. Over that three-year span, he has 901 carries for 4,051 yards, 87 catches for 724 yards and a total of 39 touchdowns.
This is where the decisions start to get a little tougher. While I have Megatron ranked seventh overall on my fantasy football cheat sheet, wide receiver is so deep that I'd generally prefer to wait. Because of the depth at the position, there will certainly be bargains later in the draft. That said, I'm going to stick to my board here.
Even though he missed two games last season (and Josh Gordon led the league in receiving), Johnson had 84 receptions for 1,492 yards and 12 touchdowns. In his record-setting campaign in 2012, he had only five touchdowns, but he now was 12-plus receiving touchdowns in three of the past four seasons. Over the past three seasons, Megatron has averaged an absurd line of 101/1,712/11.
Graham became the 19th player in NFL history to catch at least 16 touchdown passes and just the second tight end to ever do so. If the first TE to do so, Rob Gronkowski, were not returning from a torn ACL and an injury-plagued season, Graham might be the No. 2 tight end on my board. That said, an offseason of uncertainty about Gronk's health once again boosts Graham's value a bit further. Since his breakout season in 2011, Graham has averaged a line of 90/1,169/12 in those three seasons.
The biggest concern with Murray is his durability and that would make me nervous taking him with the ninth overall pick. That said, he played a career-high 14 games last year, and he has top-five upside if he can stay healthy for a full season.
With a career average of 4.95 YPC, Murray established new career highs of 1,121 rushing yards, 53 receptions for 350 yards and 10 total touchdowns. In the final eight games of the season, Murray had 879 YFS, seven TDs and a 5.5 YPC average. Only four running backs had more YFS in their team's final eight games than Murray.
Last season, Knowshon Moreno was a top-five finisher in fantasy points among running backs, but Moreno signed a one-year deal with the Dolphins in free agency. Moreno's departure creates an enormous opportunity for Ball in the league's most explosive offense.
Ball, the Broncos' second-round pick last year, got off to a relatively slow start: 3.26 yards per carry (68 carries for 222 yards) in first 10 games. From Weeks 11 to 16, Ball averaged 6.48 YPC (52 carries for 337 yards). Provided Ball gets the same amount of work that Moreno received last year, he has a shot to finish as a top-five fantasy running back in 2014.
While he may not have the most upside out of the group of receivers immediately following Megatron, Green is the safest among that next tier of stud receivers and he has the ability to dominate opposing defensive backs on any given Sunday.
Through his first three seasons, Green has 260 receptions for 3,833 yards and 29 touchdowns. In a three-year span to start a career, no player has had more receptions than Green (260) and only Randy Moss has more receiving yards (4,163) than Green (3,833). In each of his three seasons, Green's numbers have improved — 65/1,057/7 (2011), 97/1,350/11 (2012) and 98/1,426/11 (2013).
Although he saw a year-over-year drop in yardage from 1,382 to 1,233 yards, Bryant set career highs (barely, by one in each case) in receptions (93) and touchdowns (13). Battling a back injury, Bryant still played in all 16 games this season although he got plenty of attention/criticism for the minute or so he missed against the Packers. Despite some (im)maturity concerns, Bryant is one of the most physically-gifted players in the league and should be a lock for another 1,200-yard seasons with double-digit touchdowns.