There is no question I am not a big fan of ADP, not so much because the information ADP provides is not of interest, but rather ADP rankings guide owners more often by pushing in the direction of who an owner "should take" as opposed to an owner trying to build a team he or she thinks can compete in a league based upon their personal knowledge and instincts.
For the most part, I view drafting as "how much can I get away with" when I am plotting players I like during a draft and that is one of the reasons I love Howard Bender and his #mockdraftarmy. That is because practicing with mocks gives me the actual best context for understanding when I can select Michael Crabtree, whether I should be able to get Tyrod Taylor as a #2 QB in the tenth round, and if I can fade my #2 TE because I now know Jason Witten will be there towards the 14th round.
Mind you, mocks and actual drafts are indeed different animals with different results that mean different things, for as seriously as we might take a mock, they indeed do mean nothing while an actual league draft is the hinge by which our season rests. So, the idea of the mock for me is repeating the draft process to see if I first, can replicate the same roster more than once. But, more important, if I leave the players I like on the table, then I can get a feel for when my opponents might grab the guys I covet, which means not drafting players I favor.
For example, I am a big fan of Julian Edelman, first because he is tough, but also because over the past four years, Edelman has caught an average of 6.5 passes per game, and at age 31, the Patriots WR probably has a couple more big reception years left with Tom Brady.
So, I have drafted Edelman in six mocks, in the third round five times and in the fourth once, which does give me a thought about when I can draft Edelman. However, if we think of the objective, selecting Edelman every time as such defeats the purpose. For though I might indeed want to see if I can replicate a roster, if what I really want to know is how long can I wait on a player like Edelman, I really need to see when other players covet a guy like Edelman and that is what will tell me a lot more about what I can get away with.
In other words, a mock snipe is a lot more revealing for us than disappointing.
With that in mind, here are ten guys I really like a lot, where I have grabbed them, and whether I think they will be worth the grab. The number in parenthesis indicates the average round I have collected said player in this year's mocks.
Theo Riddick (RB, Lions, #7): Riddick dropped to the ninth round in STD leagues, but in PPR formats he is pretty solid, especially considering he also can run with the ball.
Paul Perkins (RB, Giants, #5): I think Perkins takes a step up getting the bulk of touches and I have grabbed him aggressively. Depending upon your league and when you draft, he can probably push to the sixth round, but I would not wait longer.
Mike Gillislee (RB, Patriots, #6): Like Perkins, I think Gillislee steps it up under the Brady/Bellichick guise. And, he pairs well with Perkins, especially in PPR formats, when the top backs are gone in the early rounds while I am drilling down the WR spots on my roster.
Jimmy Graham (TE, Seahawks, #8): Graham got it together second half but since injuries and a slow start impacted his 2016, Graham has dropped some in stature, making him undervalued in my view.
Jonathan Stewart (RB, Panthers, #10): Seriously dismissed it seems, Stewart, who is just 30, has been a monster with carries the last three seasons, averaging 212 carries per year over that span.
Pierre Garcon (WR, Niners, #6): Clearly PPR owners are hep to garbage yards and clearly Garcon is a leading candidate to earn them. Just be aggressive grabbing him because it is not a secret.
Pittsburgh Steelers (Defense, #14): I like to stream my defense, and the Steelers face the Browns in Week 1, and I have been drafting the defense in the 15th round as a rule, but twice I got sniped by owners with exactly the same rationale.
Michael Crabtree (WR, Raiders, #3): Especially in PPR leagues, I love Crabtree as the foil to Amari Cooper. But, beware that owners are grabbing him right around the third round, or conversely when I have tried to select the Raiders receiver in the fourth, he has been gone.
Tyler Lockett (WR, Seahawks, #10): Lockett went in the eighth round in the 14-player mock, but otherwise near the 11th. For a high potential bye week receiver, that is pretty good (I personally think he will blossom).
Jalen Richard (RB, Raiders, #12): Riddick is explosive and the perfect more diminutive counterpart to the Beast in Marshawn Lynch. I got Richard in three drafts, though in 14-teamers he went sooner (10th round) than I anticipated.
So, stay tuned over the coming weeks with more mocks each week and related analysis as I see what rosters different slots and approaches reveal.
You can always bug me on Twitter as well @lawrmichaels.