What’s the Best Draft Spot in 2013?

Calvin & Hobbes, What’s the Best Draft Spot

Let’s figure out the best draft spot! One of the great features of using the Draft Wizard by FantasyPros.com is that you can not only mock for free – but you can mock to your heart’s content! So I decided to do 12 different Fantasy Football mock drafts this morning, and using their post-draft analytics, I can try to help figure out what the best draft spot might be.

Now obviously, there are a billion variables to take into account, and we’re not going to be able to make this a vacuum, with no outside noise. But – we can do our best!

Some of the factors include the fact that WHO you pick is always more important that WHERE you pick. Also, how do we decide on which positions to draft and when?

I’m a firm believer in almost always going with a running back in the first round, and again in the second or third round. I rarely take a quarterback early, and I’m guessing this exercise will have me going against the grain there.

So what I’m going to do – is follow the Draft Wizard’s recommendations for every draft pick. The recommendations are based on both ADP and the expert rankings of over three dozen Fantasy Football writers. There may be cases where I go off the script, like if Percy Harvin is recommended only because some experts haven’t removed him yet from their rankings, but for the most part – I’m going chalk.

Twelve Mocks: What’s the Best Draft Spot?

In this series of mock drafts, we’re going to use the most standard Fantasy Football league setup: 12 teams, non-PPR, with a starting lineup that includes: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DST and 6 bench spots.

Let’s begin!

Mock Draft 1 – Picking FIRST

Darren Spoles, What’s the Best Draft Spot

Darren Sproles — Photo Credit: Tao*Ksu

1.01 Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN
2.12 Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAC
3.01 Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI
4.12 Tom Brady, QB, NE
5.01 Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG
6.12 Darren Sproles, RB, NO
7.01 Montee Ball, RB, DEN
8.12 Danario Alexander, WR, SD
9.01 Mike Williams, WR, TB
10.12 Jared Cook, TE, STL
11.01 Isaiah Pead, RB, STL
12.12 Martellus Bennett, TE, CHI
13.01 Ryan Broyles, WR, DET
14.12 Green Bay Packers DST
15.01 Justin Tucker, K, BAL

Notes: Made me take a QB too early, and wait too long on a tight end. Cool feature: The draft tool tells you if you’re about to draft a player with the same bye week as one of your previous picks.

Draft Wizard Analysis Scores:

  • Overall: First, 1089
  • Starters: Second, 785
  •  Bench: First, 303


Mock Draft 2 – Picking SECOND

1.02 Doug Martin, RB, TB
2.11 Julio Jones, WR, ATL
3.02 Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI
4.11 Reggie Wayne, WR, IND
5.02 Tom Brady, QB, NE
6.11 Chris Ivory, RB, NYJ
7.02 Ryan Mathews, RB, SD
8.11 Greg Olsen, TE, CAR
9.02 Kenny Britt, WR, TEN
10.11 Danny Woodhead, RB, SD
11.02 Mikel Leshoure, RB, DET
12.11 Joe Flacco, QB, BAL
13.02 Brian Hartline, WR, MIA
14.11 Arizona Cardinals DST
15.02 Matt Prater, K, DEN

Notes: Made me go 1-RB/3-WR in my first four picks, with a QB in the fifth. It wanted to draft a backup QB in the 10th and 11th rounds, but I refused, with such a thin roster of RBs.

Draft Wizard Analysis Scores:

  • Overall: Second, 1056
  • Starters: First, 815
  • Bench: Third, 241


Mock Draft 3 – Picking THIRD

1.03 Arian Foster, RB, HOU
2.10 Julio Jones, WR, ATL
3.03 Frank Gore, RB, SF
4.10 Matt Ryan, QB, ATL
5.03 Lamar Miller, RB, MIA
6.10 Chris Ivory, RB, NYJ
7.03 Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, IND
8.10 Mike Williams, WR, TB
9.03 Kenny Britt, WR, TEN
10.10 Martellus Bennett, TE, CHI
11.03 Justin Blackmon, WR, JAC
12.10 Ryan Broyles, WR, DET
13.03 Brandon Pettigrew, TE, DET
14.10 Baltimore Ravens DST
15.03 Sebastian Janikowski, K, OAK

Notes: It wanted me to go back to back with tight ends in the 10th and 11th rounds. This draft was pretty close to how I would likely draft, although I doubt Lamar Miller makes it to the fifth round in most drafts. Look at the analysis scores, though – the starters are ranked 11th overall!?!

Draft Wizard Analysis Scores:

  • Overall: First, 1029
  • Starters: Eleventh, 708
  • Bench: First, 320


Mock Draft 4 – Picking FOURTH

1.04 Doug Martin, RB, TB
2.09 Jimmy Graham, TE, NO
3.04 Roddy White, WR, ATL
4.09 Reggie Bush, RB, DET
5.04 Lamar Miller, RB, MIA
6.09 Matthew Stafford, QB, DET
7.04 Stevie Johnson, WR, BUF
8.09 T.Y. Hilton, WR, IND
9.04 Josh Gordon, WR, CLE
10.09 Sidney Rice, WR, SEA
11.04 Pierre Thomas, RB, NO
12.09 Jay Cutler, QB, CHI
13.04 Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, IND
14.09 Baltimore Ravens DST
15.04 Justin Tucker, K, BAL

Notes: Martin’s not dropping to fourth in most drafts. Love the running back group here, but no way does Miller slip to the fifth round. Having White, Johnson and Hilton as my starting wide receivers isn’t bad at all, if I have Graham as a tight end. He’s going much earlier than the 21st pick, though.

Draft Wizard Analysis Scores:

  • Overall: First, 1054
  • Starters: First, 789
  • Bench: First, 273


Mock Draft 5 – Picking FIFTH

Jamaal Charles, RB, KC, What’s the Best Draft Spot

Jamaal Charles tore his ACL in 2012, but but bounced back with a vengeance in 2013. Photo Credit: LI Phil

1.05 Jamaal Charles, RB, KC
2.08 A.J. Green, WR, CIN
3.05 Frank Gore, RB, SF
4.08 Reggie Bush, RB, DET
5.05 Tom Brady, QB, NE
6.08 Le’Veon Bell, RB, PIT
7.05 Mike Williams, WR, TB
8.08 Greg Olsen, TE, CAR
9.05 T.Y. Hilton, WR, IND
10.08 Denarius Moore, WR, OAK
11.05 Ben Tate, RB, HOU
12.08 Brandon Myers, TE, NYG
13.05 Josh Freeman, QB, TB
14.08 Arizona Cardinals DST
15.05 Dan Bailey, K, DAL

Notes: Liked this draft a lot, although, I would probably swap the fifth- and sixth-round picks. I also would just go with either a backup QB or TE, not both, and grab depth at wide receiver instead.

Draft Wizard Analysis Scores:

  • Overall: First, 1055
  • Starters: Seventh, 733
  • Bench: First, 322


Mock Draft 6 – Picking SIXTH

1.06 C.J. Spiller, RB, BUF
2.07 Jimmy Graham, TE, NO
3.06 Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI
4.07 Darren McFadden, RB, OAK
5.06 Le’Veon Bell, RB, PIT
6.07 Robert Griffin III, QB, WAS
7.06 Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, IND
8.07 Danario Alexander, WR, SD
9.06 Eli Manning, QB, NYG
10.07 Kendall Wright, WR, TEN
11.06 Pierre Thomas, RB, NO
12.07 Vincent Brown, WR, SD
13.06 Alshon Jeffery, WR, CHI
14.07 New England Patriots DST
15.06 Sebastian Janikowski, K, OAK

Notes: I like the draft a lot, but again, I would have gone with a wide receiver (DeSean Jackson, Mike Williams, Cecil Shorts and Greg Jennings were available) over a quarterback in Round 6.

Draft Wizard Analysis Scores:

  • Overall: First, 1014
  • Starters: Sixth, 732
  • Bench: First, 282


Mock Draft 7 – Picking SEVENTH

1.07 Calvin Johnson, WR, DET
2.06 A.J. Green, WR, CIN
3.07 Andre Johnson, WR, HOU
4.06 Lamar Miller, RB, MIA
5.07 Darren McFadden, RB, OAK
6.06 Darren Sproles, RB, NO
7.07 Robert Griffin III, QB, WAS
8.06 Greg Olsen, TE, CAR
9.07 Eli Manning, QB, NYG
10.06 Ben Tate, RB, HOU
11.07 Johnathan Franklin, RB, GB
12.06 Jermichael Finley, TE, GB
13.07 Shonn Greene, RB, TEN
14.06 New England Patriots DST
15.07 Garrett Hartley, K, NO

Notes: I wouldn’t be drafting back-to-back wide receivers to start … much less back-to-back-to-back wide receivers. With that said, the group of RBs I ended up with weren’t horrible by any means. I could have also gone with Giovani Bernard in the seventh round, as he was still available. Seems like Eli Manning is a natural backup in Fantasy to RGIII.

Draft Wizard Analysis Scores:

  • Overall: First, 989
  • Starters: Second, 768
  • Bench: Fourth, 220


Mock Draft 8 – Picking EIGHTH

1.08 Calvin Johnson, WR, DET
2.05 Stevan Ridley, RB, NE
3.08 Vincent Jackson, WR, TB
4.05 Peyton Manning, QB, DEN
5.08 Darren Sproles, RB, NO
6.05 Le’Veon Bell, RB, PIT
7.08 Rashard Mendenhall, RB, ARI
8.05 Danario Alexander, WR, SD
9.08 Eli Manning, QB, NYG
10.05 Owen Daniels, TE, HOU
11.08 Mikel Leshoure, RB, DET
12.05 Jermichael Finley, TE, GB
13.08 Alshon Jeffery, WR, CHI
14.05 New England Patriots DST
15.08 Garrett Hartley, K, NO

Notes: Man, they really like people going back-to-back-to-back wide receivers. It wanted me to go Megatron, Bryant and then Vincent Jackson. But we already saw what that would do, so I backed out of my second-round pick (you can revert your last pick in this tool!) and chose Stevan Ridley instead of Bryant. I do not hate having the Manning Bros. on my team. I almost took Cooper Manning with my last pick.

Draft Wizard Analysis Scores:

  • Overall: Second, 1029
  • Starters: Ninth, 727
  • Bench: First, 302


Mock Draft 9 – Picking NINTH

1.09 Ray Rice, RB, BAL
2.04 Jimmy Graham, TE, NO
3.09 Roddy White, WR, ATL
4.04 Lamar Miller, RB, MIA
5.09 David Wilson, RB, NYG
6.04 Andrew Luck, QB, IND
7.09 Eddie Lacy, RB, GB
8.04 Mike Williams, WR, TB
9.09 Anquan Boldin, WR, SF
10.04 Denarius Moore, WR, OAK
11.09 Emmanuel Sanders, WR, PIT
12.04 Jay Cutler, QB, CHI
13.09 Rueben Randle, WR, NYG
14.04 Houston Texans DST
15.09 Greg Zuerlein, K, STL

Notes: I don’t see Wilson lasting until the fifth round in most drafts, or Luck going in the sixth round of most drafts. It wanted me to take Eli Manning in the ninth, but I went Boldin instead.

Draft Wizard Analysis Scores:

  • Overall: First, 1047
  • Starters: Ninth, 727
  • Bench: First, 320


Mock Draft 10 – Picking TENTH

Eli Manning, NYG, Best Spot to Draft1.10 Trent Richardson, RB, CLE
2.03 Dez Bryant, WR, DAL
3.10 Vincent Jackson, WR, TB
4.03 Cam Newton, QB, CAR
5.10 David Wilson, RB, NYG
6.03 Le’Veon Bell, RB, PIT
7.10 Giovani Bernard, RB, CIN
8.03 Greg Olsen, TE, CAR
9.10 Denarius Moore, WR, OAK
10.03 Eli Manning, QB, NYG
11.10 Bernard Pierce, RB, BAL
12.03 Jermichael Finley, TE, GB
13.10 Rueben Randle, WR, NYG
14.03 New England Patriots DST
15.10 Greg Zuerlein, K, STL

Notes: Would have preferred a running back in both the third round (DeMarco Murray)and/or fourth round (Lamar Miller). It did, however, make me pick three RBs with consecutive picks in the fifth to seventh rounds.

Draft Wizard Analysis Scores:

  • Overall: First, 1041
  • Starters: Fifth, 752
  • Bench: First, 289


Mock Draft 11 – Picking ELEVENTH

1.11 Alfred Morris, RB, WAS
2.02 A.J. Green, WR, CIN
3.11 Victor Cruz, WR, NYG
4.02 DeMarco Murray, RB, DAL
5.11 Le’Veon Bell, RB, PIT
6.02 Robert Griffin III, QB, WAS
7.11 Rashard Mendenhall, RB, ARI
8.02 Miles Austin, WR, DAL
9.11 Jared Cook, TE, STL
10.02 Eli Manning, QB, NYG
11.11 Alshon Jeffery, WR, CHI
12.02 Jermichael Finley, TE, GB
13.11 Knowshon Moreno, RB, DEN
14.02 Cincinnati Bengals DST
15.11 Greg Zuerlein, K, STL


Draft Wizard Analysis Scores:

  • Overall: First, 1001
  • Starters: 10th, 707
  • Bench: First, 293


Mock Draft 12 – Picking at TWELFTH

1.12 A.J. Green, WR, CIN
2.01 Dez Bryant, WR, DAL
3.12 Reggie Bush, RB, DET
4.01 Peyton Manning, QB, DEN
5.12 Le’Veon Bell, RB, PIT
6.01 Eric Decker, WR, DEN
7.12 Giovani Bernard, RB, CIN
8.01 Shane Vereen, RB, NE
9.12 Jared Cook, TE, STL
10.01 Eli Manning, QB, NYG
11.12 Brandon Myers, TE, NYG
12.01 Kendall Wright, WR, TEN
13.12 Shonn Greene, RB, TEN
14.01 Chicago Bears DST
15.12 Randy Bullock, K, HOU

Notes: Made me go back-to-back WRs. It also wanted me to take Manning in the fourth, despite Lamar Miller being available, who I would’ve taken instead. I really like this team!

Draft Wizard Analysis Scores:

  • Overall: Second, 1033
  • Starters: Fifth, 755
  • Bench: First, 278


Final Analysis on All 12 Mocks

If we take all of the Draft Wizard Analysis Scores and rank them, we can get a better idea of what this mock drafting tool thinks is the best spot to draft.

I’m just going with the Overall Scores because I don’t think the Bench Scores really tell the tale of what someone’s trying to accomplish. Many times, we’re drafting “in case” of something, and this mock analysis tool can’t measure things like handcuffs and blocking someone else, etc.

Ranking Draft Spots by Final Overall Scores

  1. Picking First: 1089
  2. Picking Second: 1056
  3. Picking Fifth: 1055
  4. Picking Fourth: 1054
  5. Picking Ninth: 1047
  6. Picking Tenth: 1041
  7. Picking Twelfth: 1033
  8. Picking Third: 1029
  9. Picking Eighth: 1029
  10. Picking Sixth: 1014
  11. Picking Eleventh: 1001
  12. Picking Seventh: 989

I don’t think many of us are surprised to see the top two picks as the best spots to pick. Last year, it was a little trickier, with Foster, LeSean McCoy and Ray Rice battling to be top picks. Look how low picking third was, though! And it’s very interesting to see that the two middle picks are the worst in the draft. You don’t get to really dig in on a position, as you kind of end up with the leftovers from everyone else, and at the back end of runs.

Run some mock drafts on your own on the Draft Wizard by FantasyPros.com for free, and let us know what results you came up with.

I hope you enjoyed this exercise as we tried to figure out what’s the best draft spot in 2013. Please, feel free to comment below with your own analysis, or if you think there’s a better way of doing this – without adding 20 hours to the task.

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