NOTE: This Mock draft is assuming Le’Veon Bell will win his appeal of his 4-game suspension. If he were not to win his appeal, slide everybody passed Le’Veon Bell up a pick, and add Allen Robinson to the end of the 1st round. Robinson would be a fine pick to end the 1st round.
1) Antonio Brown – This is a no-brainer for me. Even before Martavis Bryant was suspended for the season. Brown is going to have an absolute monster season, and there is nothing any defense can do about it. The Steelers will get him the ball in any creative way possible because that’s how great he is; quick screens, slants, post, ins, outs, you name it he will get the ball. Expect Brown to lead the league in targets, and receptions this upcoming football season.
Stat line Prediction: 138 receptions 1,954 receiving yards 15 TDs
Side note – Don’t be surprised if Brown breaks Marvin Harrison’s reception record of 143 that he set back in 2002.
2) Julio Jones – Another player that you can take to the bank that he will have a monster season. There is nothing opposing DBs can do to stop this freak of an athlete. He is too fast for you to cover, or to strong for you to stick to him. He made a lot of great DBs look foolish last season. He even rewarded his fantasy owners in Week 16 against a tough Panthers matchup with a monster 9/178/1 stat line.
Stat line Prediction: 118 receptions 1,734 receiving yards 12 TD
Side note – He might also break Marvin Harrison’s record for receptions. * Yeah, it’s a passing league now people, DEAL WITH IT!
3) Odell Beckham, Jr. – This receiver has the sky as his limit. Eli will throw the ball to him early and often. Early camp talk states that the Giants will throw the deep ball more this season (something they did not really do last season). When you draft OBJ you know he will perform for you on a weekly basis.
Stat line Prediction: 101 receptions 1,621 receiving yards 14 TDs
4) Le’Veon Bell – I would take the outspoken, and very talented RB at pick 4. I would do this if the top 3 WRs were off the board by the time I pick. The only real issue with Bell is the fact that he has been injured the past 2 seasons. However, on draft night, you can’t be afraid of injuries, you should worry about talent and that’s what Bell has plenty of. It will be strongly advised to have stock in at least one of the two Pittsburgh Steeler skill position players because they will most likely have a great season (injury issues aside).
Stat line Prediction: 1,478 rushing yards 9 rushing TDs – 79 receptions 765 receiving yards 4 receiving TDs
5) A.J. Green – Ahhhhhhh, this is my baby for this fantasy football season. The Bengals losing their No. 2, and No. 3 receivers will absolutely flood Green with targets this upcoming season. If that’s not enough to convince you, then Eifert possibly missing the first 4 weeks of the season due to injury will surely do the trick for you. Green is a player that many fantasy players are picking in the late 1st, or early 2nd round. This is something that needs to be changed ASAP, because like we learned many times before in fantasy football; opportunities or in this case even more opportunities = Production
Stat line Prediction: 105 receptions 1,623 receiving yards 14 TDs
Side note – By the time the NFL season starts I might even rank Green over OBJ. Either way, do not be afraid to draft Green in the top half of your fantasy drafts.
6) DeAndre Hopkins – DeAndre was one player I had to have on all my teams last season because of all the targets he gained when Andre Johnson left town. DeAndre did nothing but impress (even with shaky QBs throwing him the ball). Brock Osweiler should be an improvement to last years QB circus so DeAndre’s fantasy arrow will be pointing stable. I would say that it is pointing up, but the Texans added a lot of offensive pieces via free agency and the draft that might take away some of the opportunities that he had from last season. Another thing that worried me a little bit was how his stat lines faded out towards the end of last season. I think that’s more fluke than a trend, but its something to consider as well
Stat line prediction – 109 receptions 1,478 receiving yards, 12 TDs
7) Todd Gurley – Gurley is a player that will be fed the rock so much that he will have no option but to produce fantasy numbers on a consistent basis. I noticed there are some non-believers in him this year because of his tough divisional schedule. However, fantasy seasons are won in the playoffs, and in Weeks 14, 15, and 16 he plays the Falcons at home, Seahawks away, and the 49ers at home. He has 2 juicy matchups during playoff time, and one putrid matchup. BUT HEY, talented players can play good against talented teams you know!
Stat line prediction – 1,511 rushing yards 13 rushing TDs – 31 receptions 289 receiving yards 1 receiving TD
8) Dez Bryant – Dez will be fine people. Last season was a lost season for the Cowboys in general. We seem to forget so easily just how great players are when the odds are stacked against them. While surfing the Internet I even came to discover some experts claiming that Dez’s contract isn’t a good contract for his team. Something I find extremely offensive because just the season before last he averaged a TD per game (16 UP, 16 DOWN). I predict the Cowboys will be playing in a similar way that they did in 2014, (which is run the ball to death and get Dez his targets as well). Look for another great year for Dez, as long as Tony Romo stays healthy, of course. If he doesn’t, disregard everything I just said!!!!!
Stat line prediction – 91 Receptions 1,311 receiving yards 14 times throwing up the X
9) Ezekiel Elliot – The Cowboys did not draft Elliot with the 4th overall pick during what is clearly a ‘passing era’ in the NFL to make him part of a timeshare. I’m expecting the Cowboys to ride out Elliot the same way they rode out DeMarco in 2014. He will probably have 70 to 80 fewer carries but that would still leave him with about 322 carries for the season. The best part about Elliot however is his amazing passing-down skills. He can catch the ball out of the backfield like a true veteran, and he can block oncoming defenders as well (something that is obviously important with Romo as QB).
Stat line prediction – 1,435 rushing yards 11 rushing TDs – 65 receptions 563 receiving yards 2 receiving TDs
10) David Johnson – Johnson is a player a lot of fantasy players are afraid to draft now because there are worries about him potentially losing touches to Chris Johnson. Don’t worry people, Bruce Arians and company know they have an extremely talented RB at their disposal and they will utilize him the way he should be. DJ offers great ppr value because he can catch the ball as well. If he is staring at you at pick 10, don’t be afraid to pull the trigger on him. He will perform for you just like he performed for his owners last year during the fantasy playoffs.
Stat line prediction – 1,213 rushing yards 9 rushing TDs – 72 receptions 651 receiving yards 3 receiving TDs
11) Adrian Peterson – Until Adrian proves to me and the world, that he is losing his athletic abilities, I will continue to draft this absolute beast in the first round. The Vikings are basing their offense around him and for a good reason also. There’s a reason the Vikings were NFC North champs last year with 11 wins. Adrian led the league in carries and rushing yards last season and he will probably be in the running to complete that feet again with only Todd Gurley really competing for that honor this season. If All Day is available to pick at the end of the first round, don’t be wary, and take number 28. You wont regret it.
Stat line prediction – 1,534 rushing yards 14 rushing TDs – 21 receptions 189 receiving yards zero receiving TDs
12) Rob Gronkowski – Rob’s draft stock is on its way down this season for reasons out of his control. 1) He won’t be playing with Tom Terrific for the first 4 games of the season, and 2) There is a lot of value at the TE position this season in later rounds. However, like I always tell my friends and family, messing up a 3rd or 4th round pick won’t haunt your team for the season and make you get eliminated. Messing up your 1st, and 2nd round picks definitely will. Gronk will perform, that isn’t the issue over here. The issue is there is a lot of value at the TE position. Look for Gronkowski to have another double-digit TD season.
Stat line prediction – 75 receptions 1,224 receiving yards 14 Gronk Spikes