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FA Mock Draft of Glory: What We Guessed, Where They Went

As part of our ongoing effort to make you the World’s Best Fantasy Football Manager, we’ve been providing a lot of free agency coverage this offseason. We’ve studied each team and identified their needs. The next logical step at this time of year? A mock draft of course. Last week you read our Round 1 picks and have no doubt noticed the uncanny accuracy with which we nailed the transactions as they developed earlier this week. Fortunately, to show you we’re not always perfect, we’re also unveiling the second round and comparing our picks to what actually happened.

It’s not quite the NFL draft, but free agency is almost the most fun part of the fantasy season, especially if you’re a Bears or Chiefs fan – hello, Allen Robinson and Sammy Watkins. Maybe less if you’re a Browns fan and already getting a sense of how John Dorsey ruined Kansas City’s cap.1

In this exercise we’re looking at the unreleased Round 2 of the FA Mock Draft of Glory and comparing our projections with the moves the team actually made or may yet be contemplating.

Free Agency Mock Draft – Round 2

Each analyst served as GM for one division. Matt Wispe has the AFC North, and Neil Dutton represents the AFC South. Kevin Zatloukal and Hasan Rahim represent the AFC East and West respectively. On the NFC side, Giana Pacinelli has the NFC East, Tod Burros the NFC South, Joe Paeno the NFC North, and FF Ghost handles the NFC West.

GM Team Cap Space Player Our Projection What Actually Happened
Wispe Browns $110,113,737 Orleans Darkwa The Browns need to bring in a RB that would complement Duke Johnson. Darkwa has been limited in his usage but relatively efficient. We were on the right track but underestimated just how much the Browns wanted a new RB. It now seems a bit less likely that they draft Saquan Barkley at the top of the draft.
Neil Colts $74,194,402 Eric Decker The Colts desperately need reinforcements at the wide receiver position, especially after missing out on re-signing Donte Moncrief. The true top drawer FA are mostly off the board, but a wily veteran like Eric Decker could certainly come in handy. Decker was something of a let down in Tennessee last season, but it’s hard to say how inept he truly was when one considers how putrid the offense was in general. A good fit that addresses a clear need. TY Hilton remains an interesting fantasy acquisition target. Absent another signing, there should be plenty of targets for both Decker and Hilton.
Kevin Jets $73,196,618 Cameron Brate More targets for that rookie QB. Brate is a proven commodity as a pass-catching TE. He is a restricted free agent, but the quick progress of O.J. Howard, along with the abundance of other pass catching threats on the team, may cause the Bucs to put a low price tag on him. Brate surprisingly re-upped with Tampa Bay at the relatively insane cost of $41 million. I like him as a second-tier fantasy TE. Howard’s dynasty stock takes a big hit.
Tod Buccaneers $71,196,463 Peyton Barber Barber flashed as a part time starter in Tampa last year and is a good re-signing as an ERFA. Barber re-signed at $600,000 and should be rostered in dynasty leagues, but it’s hard to imagine Tampa Bay rolling with him in the regular season.
Ghost 49ers $69,608,582 DeMarco Murray The 49ers have a glaring hole in their offense where Carlos Hyde once was. DeMarco Murray will be a nice low cost option who could provide excellent security and could work in a rotation with a high-profile rookie back. Murray’s value would like take a hit but he could possibly be a flex option. Now that McKinnon has signed in San Francisco, it’s not a likely spot for Murray, who could still be a valuable fantasy piece if he signs in Seattle. McKinnon looks like a lead back right now, but maybe Joe Williams makes an appearance.
Neil Texans $63,802,267 Virgil Green Virgil Green would be a solid addition to the Texans offense. He’s an underrated athlete with 4.64 speed and a 10.38 catch radius, but has never caught more than 22 passes in a single season as more of a blocking specialist. Ryan Griffin could be a below-the-radar TE streaming option for 2018.
Neil Titans $49,488,268 Andre Ellington While Henry will almost certainly monopolize the backfield carries, he’s shown little as a receiver with just 24 receptions in two seasons. Ellington, a player far too slight to handle a full time workload, has shown himself to be more than adequate as a receiver out of the backfield (three seasons at 30+ receptions and 300+ receiving yards). Another good thought process here. Tennessee just opted for the premium version of Andre Ellington: Dion Lewis. Lewis takes a much bigger chunk of Henry’s fantasy value and probably workload. I like whichever back is cheaper to acquire.
Giana Redskins $49,150,517 Shane Vereen At the combine, Doug Williams was quoted as saying “we need to upgrade at running back, no doubt about it.” This might not be a true upgrade at the running back position, but would perhaps give Alex Smith more of a hybrid option than Samaje Perine or Chris Thompson. Crickets in Washington, and they’ll most likely add to their RB stable with a bigger back in the draft.
Paeno Vikings $49,053,643 Darren Sproles The Vikings would be a nice fit for Darren Sproles’ final curtain call. He will fit right into the McKinnon role as a satellite back and punt return specialist. Look for the Vikings to ease Dalvin Cook back into action by cycling in Latavius Murray and Darren Sproles. This makes a lot of sense. It will be interesting to see if Cook’s fantasy value comes down a bit if Minnesota signs a ‘name’ RB.
Paeno Lions $44,744,205 Mike Wallace Tight end is a bigger need than wide receiver with Eric Ebron on the chopping block. However, the pickings are slim for TEs at this point of free agency so I decided to add a burner at receiver instead. Wallace would likely be an affordable deep threat to utilize in 3 and 4 receiver sets. This seems like the sort of not-good-enough-to-win-now win now move that Detroit would make. It would also make Stafford the safest way to play Detroit’s offense in fantasy, as the WRs would cannibalize each other.
Paeno Bears $41,217,467 Tyrell Williams The Chargers are too heavily invested in Keenan Allen and Mike Williams to match a frontloaded offer for their RFA WR3. Another close but no cigar pick for Team RotoViz. Allen Robinson is basically name brand Tyrell Williams. A Williams departure would breathe a little life into Mike Williams’ dynasty stock, but I still wouldn’t buy. Cameron Meredith remains an intriguing flyer.
Ghost Rams $40,563,316 Terrelle Pryor Terrelle Pryor would give the Rams a big receiver on the outside and be a great complement to the speed of Woods on the other side of the formation. His presence won’t be as headline grabbing as Sammy Watkins’ time in Los Angeles, but he has the skill set needed to put up the kind of stats Watkins did as a Ram. The Rams appear interested in Pryor for the Watkins role, and his presence would keep Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp’s prices down.
Wispe Bengals $35,228,993 Niles Paul Paul has always been effective when healthy, but health has been a major issue. If signed, he’d pair well with Tyler Kroft as a 5th or 6th option in the passing game. Niles Paul: All the Tyler Eifert injuries, without all the cost, or production.
Tod Saints $31,779,554 Nick O’Leary With both of Graham and Brate gone in this exercise – and also real life – I’m taking O’Leary who showed some ability to catch the ball when Clay was injured last year. I was hoping Brate would sign here. As it is, O’Leary doesn’t register on the fantasy radar, nor does he impact anyone else’s value.
Neil Jaguars $30,467,610 Matt Moore Despite “locking up” Blake Bortles for the forseeable future, there is no reason for the Jaguars to take zero steps towards retooling their QB room for the 2018 season and the future. While they should probably look to the draft for the long term, the last thing they want is an injury at the QB spot to destroy their Super Bowl hopes. Any notable addition at QB in Jacksonville would ding Bortles’ already weak fantasy value. I’ll still be streaming him. Bortles was QB13 last year, with 10 games over 18 points.
Kevin Bills $29,578,581 Blaine Gabbert Gabbert fits the solid-backup bill and has the potential upside of being a low-end starter in the league. What’s the over/under on number of QBs that start for the Bills this year? This offense is shaping up to be a fantasy wasteland.
Hasan Broncos $26,848,245 Ryan Grant The Broncos WR corps is quite thin and backup WRs (Cody Latimer, Bennie Fowler, and Jordan Taylor) are expected to hit free agency. Signing Grant allows the team to upgrade their WR corps at minimal cost. He was an adequate fill-in for Washington last season and provides a solid WR3 in the event Carlos Henderson struggles to adjust to the NFL. Grant shocked the world by signing a huge deal with Baltimore. Alongside oft-injured John Brown and the putrefying corpse of Breshad Perriman, Grant could get enough volume to be a low-end WR3.
Giana Giants $24,535,434 Rex Burkhead It’s hard to gauge if the Pats alum can maintain success outside of Foxborough, but Burkhead deserves a test run at a fair asking price. Burkhead was efficient when given the opportunity in the Pats RB cycle and, given his versatility with special teams, could prove to be an asset either as the Giants lead back or in a committee. All in favor of Burkhead over Jonathan Stewart? So moved. I’ll call Giants headquarters now and ask them to make the change. Burkhead re-signed with New England and is an appealing name with Dion Lewis out of the picture. (Until the Patriots sign Doug Martin, that is.)
Hasan Chargers $23,762,546 Antonio Gates The Chargers have yet to determine what they’re doing with Gates, and it makes sense to bring him back for a season provided the two sides can agree on a viable amount. He’s unlikely to be a fantasy-viable option and will be a depth option behind Hunter Henry. Letting Gates close out his career with the team would be the right thing for the Chargers to do. So they probably won’t.
Ghost Cardinals $22,159,438 Quincy Enunwa The Cardinals need a lot of help at wide receiver with John Brown and Jaron Brown possibly leaving in free agency as well as Larry Fitzgerald constantly threatening to retire. Enunwa will be an affordable and reliable target for an incoming quarterback while Arizona builds around them both. Enunwa was one of my favorite breakout candidates before his season-ending injury, and playing in Arizona would put him right back on the map as a cheap but useful source of fantasy points. Of course, he could be the WR1 in New York too.
Tod Panthers $20,005,968 Cameron Meredith The Bears decision to tender Meredith at the original level opens the door to him leaving, and this would be a logical spot for the Panthers to go. Less likely now that the Panthers have traded for Torrey Smith, but I like Meredith’s chances to be relevant alongside Devin Funchess more than alongside Allen Robinson.
Hasan Raiders $19,951,213 LeGarrette Blount With the Raiders reportedly showing interest in Doug Martin, why not instead sign a cheap two-down grinder in Blount? Neither RB represents an upgrade over Marshawn Lynch. Another signing that makes a lot of sense. Perennial RotoViz sleepers Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington would get shafted again.
Giana Cowboys $18,169,447 Chad Henne Cowboys need a sufficient, veteran QB behind Dak and Henne is a solid option at a low cost. He’s also low profile enough that he shouldn’t cause a “starting QB controversy.”
Paeno Packers $17,095,351 Cody Latimer Latimer should be affordable and provide valuable depth after Jordy Nelson was released. The 6’2″ 215-pound former 2014 second-round pick still offers plenty of athletic upside with very little risk. A signing like this would go a long way to solidifying Davante Adams’ role as the Packers top WR. It would also appear to lock in Randall Cobb as the WR2. Latimer himself wouldn’t have much value, but he would provide depth chart clarity.
Ghost Seahawks $14,062,361 Jeff Janis Janis has never really gotten a chance in Green Bay. Seattle could take advantage of the development he has made over that time. With the loss of Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson, the Seahawks need to add some weapons for Russell Wilson. Jeff Janis: the new Jermaine Kearse.
Kevin Patriots $12,982,489 Doug Martin Given his recent struggles, Doug Martin should be cheap enough, and the Patriots can probably find a way to make him successful. A potential landing spot like this is exactly why I pick up cheap, discarded veterans like Martin.
Tod Falcons $12,035,622 Eli Rogers Another low budget pick for the Falcons with their limited cap. Rogers showed flashes with the Steelers and was caught in the numbers game there. He also showed inconsistencies catching the ball but has true slot value. Fills a need, makes sense. Not much to see here.
Wispe Ravens $10,318,061 Anthony Fasano They need a TE but don’t have a lot of money. Fasano is a serviceable veteran who likely won’t make a fantasy impact, nor impact anyone else’s outlook. Fills a need, makes sense. Not much to see here.
Wispe Steelers $6,540,224 Mark Sanchez Somebody has to hold that clipboard. Roethlisberger has missed games three years in a row and at 35, odds are he will again. Pittsburgh gets an upgrade to their backup. When does Pittsburgh address Roethlisberger’s eventual retirement? Sanchez isn’t a long-term answer but provides reasonable short term insurance.
Hasan Chiefs $12,594 Derek Carrier Derek Carrier is a player the Chiefs could look at as a way to shore up their TE depth cheaply. He’s kicked around the league, but has exhibited playmaking prowess in the past. If Travis Kelce ever misses time, Carrier and Demetrius Harris could be servicable filling in at TE. Fills a need, makes sense. Not much to see here.
Kevin Dolphins ($7,454,965) Luke Willson An extremely good athlete (92nd percentile SPARQ) and dependable as both a receiver and blocker, he seems to go overlooked by most, perhaps because of the generally low passing volume in the Seahawks offense and, in recent years, sitting behind Jimmy Graham. I think there’s a good chance the Seahawks re-sign him and raise his fantasy profile, but while he’s still on the market, he fits the Dolphins price range. Willson was a sleeper candidate for us a couple seasons ago. Better late than never.

  1. That’s a lot of money for Carlos Hyde to be Saquon Barkley’s backup.  (back)

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