Many of us have officially begun to look ahead to the next season – stupid injuries, Larry Fitzgerald and Ryan Mathews – which means it’s now officially time to start thinking about the first round of a 2013 Fantasy Football Mock Draft and 2013 Fantasy Football rankings! In a few weeks, I’ll host a #TwitMock Draft with some fellow Fantasy writers, much like I did this past summer. I did, however, post my early 2013 Fantasy Football Rankings here, which is a Top 60 overall ranking for now.
I’m going to try to update this 2013 NFL Fantasy mock draft through the NFL playoffs. Not only will injuries play a part in these mock draft considerations, but the impressive play of others could bump someone down, as well as their own subpar play.
As a matter of fact, before this season started, a group of writers from sites like CBS Sports and Sports Illustrated, joined me in a look-into-the-future-for-fun 2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft! … It’s not pretty.
Also, since we’re talking about the 2013 Fantasy Football season, you might be interested in checking out the 2013 Fantasy Football Rookies and how they might rank for the upcoming season. And if you’re looking ahead, don’t forget to look back — at Fantasy Football Rookies for 2012 to see how they did. Does Geno Smith have a chance to become the next Cam Newton or Robert Griffin III, who will be linked together as title holders for the Best Fantasy Rookie QB Ever?
Let’s take a look at what the first round of a 2013 Fantasy Football Mock Draft might look like come next August. Click here for ROUND 2!
2013 Fantasy Football Mock Draft
1.01 Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings
It’s safe to say that Peterson is a medical marvel that will force other torn-ACL victims to rush back early, only to re-injure themselves. Despite the injury, he has a chance at 2,000 rushing yards – and that makes him the lock to be the No. 1 overall pick in any 2013 Fantasy Football Mock Draft. He rushed for the second-most yards in NFL history, 2,097 yards, and fell just nine yards short of topping Eric Dickerson! (By the way, Dickerson made for a nice No. 1 pick in Fantasy Football back in the day, too.) Peterson will be just 28 years old next season, and I like him at the top of all drafts.
1.02 Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans
Another stellar year from Foster (yes, I know, I was the one saying you should take Ray Rice first overall over Foster, and I’m quite sorry for that), and he’ll still only be 27 years old next season. Ben Tate will be healthy, however, and heading into a contract season, but that could just facilitate the Texans into trading Tate this offseason. Foster’s 17 touchdowns lead the position by a wide margin.
1.03 Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Martin had a few insane games, mixed in with a couple subpar outings and a handful of mediocre efforts. But he did prove a few things:
1. He can take it to the house with any carry/catch.
2. He can carry an offense by himself, without needing a secondary back to split carries.
3. He can be VERY good without two Pro Bowl offensive guards. So when Davin Joseph (kneecap) and Carl Nicks (toe) returns from injury, the Bucs are going to mow teams down like a tractor.
One major problem, however, seems to be the possible departure of offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan. Even so, Martin was the best Fantasy Football rookie from 2012. Martin ended up with two of the top five Fantasy games for running backs this season.
1.04 Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens’ offense as a whole has been disappointing this season, yet Rice still ranks sixth among Fantasy running backs in non-PPR leagues, and fifth in PPR leagues. While he had just four 100-yard rushing games this season, he scored a touchdown in eight different games. And PPR owners have to love that only Darren Sproles had more targets and receptions than Rice. Plus, Cam Cameron is out as the offensive coordinator, so let’s see what the Ravens do with a new OC. (So far, not good!)
1.05 Trent Richardson, RB, Cleveland Browns
Richardson had 51 receptions, which was the seventh-highest total at the position in 2012. While his yards per carry needs to climb up from 3.6, the skill position players in this Browns offense will be a year older – and a much bigger threat in 2013. Plus, it seems like over the past few years, there have been big breakouts among more sophomore running backs than freshmen, especially when we talk about the Class of 2008 (Foster, Rice, LeSean McCoy and Chris Johnson).
1.06 Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions
It’s tough to go wide receiver in the first round, but Megatron became the all-time leader in receiving yards in a single season, with 1,964 yards. He even had a chance at 2,000 receiving yards before coming up short in Week 17 against Chicago! There’s no doubt that he is the cream of the wide receivers crop in 2013, despite the fact that he only caught five touchdown passes. Those will come in time, especially once gunslinger Matthew Stafford and his Lions offense gets straightened out.
1.07 LeSean McCoy, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Certainly, his 2012 season has been a bummer because of a horrible offensive line, bad quarterback play and injuries. Add to that the fact that 2012 rookie Bryce Brown showed flashes of brilliance in his absence, vying for carries in 2013, and things look relatively bleak. But the Eagles are going to be short one Andy Reid in 2013, with an entirely new offense that should be built around their running game, as soon-to-be sophomore QB Nick Foles continues to develop.
1.08 Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks
He’ll turn 27 this coming offseason, which is weird, because it seems like he has been in the league for a decade. “Beast Mode” had either 100 rushing yards or a touchdown in 11 games this season, and he has stayed healthy enough to play in every game. One big issue is that he still has to face a trial for his DUI arrest this past summer. That could also bring with it some sort of punishment from the commissioner’s office, and possibly a suspension. Robert Turbin could see some starts in 2013.
1.09 C.J. Spiller, RB, Buffalo Bills
While Fred Jackson (knee) is signed through the 2014 season, he has ended back-to-back seasons with lower leg injuries, and his yards per carry dropped considerably this season anyway. Oh, and he’ll be 32 next year. Spiller, however, is averaging 6.0 yards per carry, he’s a home-run threat with every touch, and he’s signed through 2015. Oh, and he’ll be 26 next season. (Hey, that guy has the same birthday as me, Aug. 5! Man … we’re awesome.)
1.10 Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Another modern medical miracle, Charles rebounded from his own torn ACL to improve on his 2010 career year. Unfortunately, WR Dwayne Bowe is about to be a free agent, and the Chiefs have no idea what’s going on at quarterback. Charles will likely be a one-man show once again in 2013. Peyton Hillis will be a free agent, too, which is why we keep Charles in the top 10 for now.
1.11 Brandon Marshall, WR, Chicago Bears
An argument can certainly be made for drafting WR A.J. Green here instead, since he’ll be entering his third season in the NFL and could be the top wide receiver taken in Fantasy Football drafts for several seasons to come. But Marshall will be just 28 years old next season, and he finished tied for the fourth-most receptions (122) in a single season, behind just Marvin Harrison from 2002 (143), Wes Welker (123) and Herman Moore (123). Marshall owned the Bears single-season receptions record after just 14 games. Also, next year is a contract year for Bears QB Jay Cutler, which bodes well for the Bears passing game.
1.12 Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
Before you flip out on me – hear me out. First, I’m not hot on taking any quarterback in the first round, these days. But this is a mock draft of how I think a 2013 Fantasy Football Mock Draft might pan out (in other words, I think someone will go quarterback in the first round, even if it isn’t me.) Think about the injuries Rodgers had to deal with in his receiving corps, with Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson both missing a lot of time. Now, picture him next year with Nelson healthy, alongside Randall Cobb (Jennings will be a free agent), and hopefully an improved running game.
If not Rodgers, who are you going to draft as the top quarterback? Are you going to trust a running quarterback, like Robert Griffin III or Cam Newton with your most valuable draft pick, knowing an injury is around every corner, as are defenses learning how to figure them out? Or are you going to go with a guy that had a handful of neck surgeries a couple years ago and is a year older? Or how about Tom Brady, who will most likely be without Welker for the first time in six years?
Any draft picks you wholeheartedly disagree with? Surprised not to see either Newton or RG3 in the first round? Does the absence of A.J. Green, Matt Forte and Alfred Morris upset you? I plan on updating this throughout the rest of the 2012 NFL playoffs, so keep coming back for updates! I posted my 2013 Fantasy Football rankings here, also, and I’ll be posting my individual position rankings soon..
Have you done your 2013 Fantasy Football Mock Draft yet? You should! Let us know how it turns out! Use MyFantasyLeague.com to run off-season mock drafts for free.
David Gonos spent 5 years as a CBSSports.com Senior Fantasy Writer and three more years writing with SI.com. Over the past 17 years, his work has been published on NFL.com, MLB.com, FanDuel, FoxSports.com and USA Today. Since 2001, he has been tracking down the Top 50-plus Free Fantasy Football Draft Tools online. You can contact David Gonos here.