Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Impact Of Drafting Wide Receivers Early

Posted on July 17, 2014 by Ken Zalis

Before you know it, it will be fantasy football draft time. Leading up to that time, I will be conducting several mock drafts. During the drafts, I will pick in all 12 positions, with all sorts of scenarios. 

As a rule, I prefer to draft three starting running backs within the first four rounds. It is a tried-and-true strategy, which has done me well for 20-plus years. The mock drafts I do will all assume 12 teams are in the league (unless otherwise noted) with the following positions: quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, tight end, a flex (running back, wide receiver or tight end), kicker, team defense and six bench spots. So it is a 16-round snake draft.

Here is scenario No. 6.

As a reminder, here are scenario No. 1, scenario No. 2, scenario No. 3scenario No. 4 and scenario No. 5.

I have the sixth overall pick. Let's see how it all works out. In this format, we are playing in a standard league. 

You can see the entire draft by clicking here

Here is my roster:

Round 1, Pick 6: wide receiver Calvin Johnson (Detroit)

Round 2, Pick 7: wide receiver Julio Jones (Atlanta)

Round 3, Pick 6: wide receiver Vincent Jackson (Tampa Bay)

Round 4, Pick 7: running back Toby Gerhart (Jacksonville)

Round 5, Pick 6: running back Frank Gore (San Francisco)

Round 6, Pick 7: running back Joique Bell (Detroit)

Round 7, Pick 6: running back Stevan Ridley (New England)

Round 8, Pick 7: quarterback Tony Romo (Dallas)

Round 9, Pick 6: quarterback Jay Cutler (Chicago)

Round 10, Pick 7: tight end Dennis Pitta (Baltimore)

Round 11, Pick 6: wide receiver Rueben Randle (NY Giants) 

Round 12, Pick 7: wide receiver Tavon Austin (St. Louis)

Round 13, Pick 6: running back Shonn Greene (Tennessee) 

Round 14, Pick 7: St. Louis Rams defense

Round 15, Pick 6: kicker Justin Tucker (Baltimore)

Round 16, Pick 7: running back Jordan Todman (Jacksonville)

Some observations:

So here is the thing. I love taking running backs early and often. For this draft, I forced myself away from that strategy and took Johnson as opposed to Marshawn Lynch or Montee Ball during round one. During round two, I took Jones instead of the likes of Giovani Bernard, Alfred Morris and Zac Stacy. So the question remains, do you want to start Johnson and Jones with Gerhart and Gore as your running backs, or start Lynch and Bernard with receivers such as Randall Cobb, Vincent Jackson or Roddy White? 

Taking the wide receivers first makes me trust my running backs less than if I had taken Cobb and White during rounds three and four. I would be OK with that wide receiver tandem to start, and the wide receiver position is much deeper than the running back position.

Quarterback still holds into the eighth and ninth rounds. The later you take a quarterback, the earlier you take his backup. If this team as drafted hits on a running back or two, then it's solid. If you take a Gerhart or Ben Tate, make sure you get their handcuff later, as I did with my 16th-round pick of Todman.

What do you think? Let me know by leaving a comment or contacting me on Twitter @fansfantasy.

You can sign up for a free mock draft simulator by clicking here. Practice makes perfect.

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