To please the insatiable Fantasy Football fans, Antonino Buccellato from Fantasy Football Maniaxs and 11 other fantasy experts from as many websites are conducting their first 2010 mock draft.
Each pick will be commented to reveal the reasoning behind it.
Get to know the experts and find out what the early 2010 fantasy sentiments are.
Fantasy Football Maniaxs selected Ray Rice, BAL RB
I could make a case for three to four running backs to draft at this spot, but selecting Ray Rice with the seventh overall pick becomes a no brainer at this point, even in a non-PPR league.
Granted,I cannot count on his 70 would-be points generated from receptions, but 700 receiving yards will still get you over 70 extra fantasy points any fantasy owner can certainly welcome. If Willis McGahee leaves Baltimore next season, Rice will improve on his 1,339 rushing yards and seven scores from last year on a run-first team with a great offensive line.
This reminds of my championship team's draft of last year when I picked Chris Johnson at the seventh spot.
Fantasy Football Maniaxs selected Ryan Grant, GBP RB
Probably the most underrated and consistent running back in fantasy football, Ryan Grant has quietly stringed two consecutive 1200-yard seasons together since becoming the uncontested starter in Green Bay, and almost rushed for a 1,000 yards (956) his rookie season starting in only seven games. Grant is probably the only valuable back left in this draft that has virtually no competition for carries and just scored a career-high 11 TDs in '09.
I have learned the hard way that in fantasy football creating running back depth is a must, as the position pool gets thin relatively fast, whereas valuable wideouts and quarterbacks can be easily found in later rounds or thru the waiver wire. Backing up this theory is the fact that a starting back is guaranteed 20-25 touches a game while wide receiver is guaranteed nothing. Had this been a PPR league, I would have grabbed a WR here.
Fantasy Football Maniaxs selected Kurt Warner, ARI QB
Seeing that the draft took a weird turn with many top WRs and QBs selected already, I feel the need to abandon my disciplined strategy and act accordingly. Kurt Warner is the type of quarterback that gets better with age as he has totaled 8,336 yards and 56 TDs (doubling his INTs totals (28) the last two years alone.
I felt I couldn't trust any other QB as my No. 1 starter and he wasn't certainly going to be available in the next round, perhaps he wouldn't even have survived the next pick. There are still some receivers left in the draft I could trust as my starters instead.
Should Warner elect to retire (but knowing his competitiveness and love for the game, he will not) due to the multiple concussions suffered in the past, I'm sure I could still find a viable option in the later rounds.
Fantasy Football Maniaxs selected Vincent Jackson, SD WR
Echoing an unwritten draft-wide sentiment about Wes Welker's ability to return on time and healthy enough for the start of the 2010 season, I too will avoid spending an otherwise well deserved high pick on the Patriots receiver. I'll draft Vincent Jackson instead who is increasingly becoming the focal point of the Chargers' passing game as the team has transitioned from a run-first team to a pass-happy one and looks to continue that trend in the immediate future.
Even tough Jackson will enter his sixth year in the league, 2010 will mark his third year of being the No. 1 wideout with the team. Traditionally, the third year is a breakout one for most promising wide receivers, and I expect it to be no different for Jackson next season. Although inconsistent at times last year, enduring a miserable four-game stretch in which he scored 14 FPTS or 3.5 a game, Jackson has many positives factors to be ignored at this point in the draft. In the last two seasons alone, Jackson has averaged 64 catches, eight TDs, 1,133 yards and 17.9 yards per catch. He hadn't missed a game since Week 13 of the 2005, before the coaches' decision of resting him in the 2009 finale in preparation for the playoffs.
Fantasy Football Maniaxs selected Donald Driver, WR GB
His best days of three straight 1200-yards seasons may be over, but
Donald Driver has managed to reach over 1,000 yards in his last three
Aaron Rodgers is an EOP (equal opportunity passer) that makes the Packers' passing game one where there is no clear No. 1 as Jennings and Driver had almost identical numbers last year (Jennings had about 100 yards more, but Driver scored two more TDs).
I like the Packers' incandescent offense enough to believe that Driver has at least another productive year left in him.