BrunoBoys.Net 2009 Fantasy Football Mock Draft - Rd. 1
A Super Early 10 Round Mock Draft for Certified Fantasy Football Maniacs Only
January 22, 2009 JunkyardJake.Com
What better time to fire up a 2009 fantasy football mock draft than right before this year's Super Bowl? The writers over at BrunoBoys.Net (which is coincidently one of the coolest fantasy football blogs around, so please check it out) have already gotten the urge to begin speculating on the 2009 season. As such, they have decided to round up a group of certified fantasy football maniacs for a mock draft. Round one with commentary appears below.
1.01 -Junkyard Jake - Adrian Peterson - Unlike in 2008, where the #1 pick was seemingly a toss-up between Peterson and Tomlinson, in 2009 Peterson may very well be the safest player to take at the #1 spot. Although Peterson's 10 TDs were disappointing, he contributed a very consistent 110 yards per game, exceeding the century mark for rushing yards in 10 of 16 games played.
We loved him at #1 last year too, that was easy!
1.02 -Fantasy Football Xtreme - Michael Turner - Michael Turner rushed for 1,699 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2008 - He averaged 4.5 yards a pop and dropped eight 100-yard outings. -- That's a better fantasy campaign than even I expected, and Turner was my number one breakout candidate heading into that 2008 fantasy season. The only downside with Turner is that he carried the football 377 times in '08, but last season was his first NFL season with more than 80 carries -- He will be fine in 2009! Only Steven Jackson deserves consideration over Turner, but in the end this is an easy call for me.
Can't argue with Turner at the #2 spot, as Atlanta is a team on the rise, and very much committed to the run. The only concern here is Turner's somewhat bipolar performance in 2008. For example, he did destroy some bad defense with huge games, but also note that he tallied 70 yards or less in 6 games.
1.03 -FantasyPros911.com - LaDainian Tomlinson - I could have went with a safe pick like DeAngelo Williams or Brian Westbrook, but I have a gut feeling that LaDainian Tomlinson will be back in 2009. Even though we'll see him drop out of the first overall pick in 2009, and some may say he disappointed in 2008, he was still the sixth ranked running back with 212 fantasy points. Tomlinson's backup, Darren Sproles is a free-agent, and at this point I think he'll jump ship, similar to what Michael Turner did a year ago. That being said, I'm looking for a revitalized LT in 2009 and see him finishing as a one of the top three running backs at season end.
Tomlinson was no doubt a big disappointment last year, but he played through injuries, and it's hard to argue with such an early choice given his big upside. Still, you have to wonder how strongly the Chargers will be committed to the soon-to-be 30 year old RB in 2009, and his 28 TD, 1,815 rush yard season in 2006 seems like a very distant memory.
1.04 -Fantasy Football Librarian - DeAngelo Williams - After a slow start to the 2008 season, Williams closed out the season with a strong showing and finished as the top back with 1,518 rushing yards and 18 rushing TDs (plus a decent 22 receptions and 2 rec TDs) despite the presence of Jonathan Stewart. I predict that Williams will continue to thrive under a system of shared carries with Stewart and will repeat some of his multi-TD games in 2009, making him another unstoppable beast next season. Sure, he needs to continue to put up those big TD numbers in order to remain a top back, but I'm willing to risk that he's more than likely to impress again. I was tempted to go with Forte or Westbrook here but think Williams might be the better bet for the important trio of staying strong all season, remaining injury free and putting up big numbers.
Williams was indeed a 'beast' this past season, and he will probably be slightly overrated heading into 2009. While he has proven himself to be a legitimate fantasy RB, Jonathan Stewart. who had some injury problems in 2008, is too good to be a 2nd string player, and remains a serious threat to playing time.
1.05 -Bruno Boys Whooley - Matt Forte - If you want consistency for your 2009 season, look no further than Chicago Bears' running back, Matt Forte. In a stellar rookie campaign, Forte amassed double digit fantasy points in all but 3 games, and in those three games, he didn't miss by much going for 7, 8, and 9 fantasy points. He'll continue to be a focal point of the Bears' offense and should hover around 20-25 carries throughout the year. This consistent back should have no problem avoiding the sophomore slump.
Forte certainly was a very pleasant surprise in 2008, and it looks like the Bears have found a very reliable workhorse to lead their rushing game in 2009. One big benefit associated with Forte should continue to be his steady touches per game. This past season, he carried the ball 20 or more times in 11 games, and also pitched in about 4 catches per game.
1.06 -Bruno Boys Ziza - Steven Jackson - Sitting in the middle of the first round, one is succumbed to two real facts. A) The best running backs are off of the board. B) It is way too early to draft another position. I am one that truly believes that a championship is built through the running back position, especially in leagues that reward quarterbacks 4 points for a passing TD and wide receivers are not rewarded points per reception. That leaves a solid amount of running backs to chose from, but none that are clearly better than the other. At this point I am thinking Brandon Jacobs, Steven Jackson, Brian Westbrook and Clinton Portis. All of them have their question marks, but it is Jackson that tempts me. He will be only 26 next year, has a new coaching regime that believes in solid defense and a run-first philosophy, was a yardage machine before missing 4 games in each of the last two years and if stretched over a 16 game season, he would of totaled just short of 1,700 total yards while getting 8 TD's in 2007 and just short of 1,900 total yards while visiting pay dirt almost 11 TD's this past season. Those number would have been for 256 points. At this point, I feel it is a gamble that could pay off very handsomely.
Stephen Jackson at the 6th spot might be the best the value of the 1st round. As mentioned, he is only 26, his talent is undeniable, and so long as he can stay healthy in 2009, he will be the centerpiece of the Rams offensive attack.
1.07 -Bruno Boys Cory - Drew Brees - Well it was so hard to pass up a running back in the first round but my main concern is points. At this point I feel like I can still get two decent RBs later while getting the top QB on the board. Maybe he won't throw for more than 5,000 yards next year but I can't imagine his point totals dropping too much, especially with everybody expected to be healthy next season. I like the emergence of Lance Moore as a WR2 and Pierre Thomas as an heir to RB2 to Deuce McAllister. I wouldn't mind seeing the line improved a bit but overall I feel comfortable taking the top QB with the seventh pick, especially considering I couldn't settle on a RB I liked enough at this spot.
It's always a risk when you choose to pick a quarterback in the 1st round, but given that all the obvious RB choices have been taken with the 1st six picks, Brees makes sense here. Coming off a career season with 34 TDs and over 5,000 yards, and working in a pass-heavy offense, Brees looks like he might be a popular early round selection in 2009.
1.08 -Fighting Chance Fantasy - Brian Westbrook - I bash this guy all the time for his ability to stay healthy, I even gave him the nickname Brian "Game Time Decision" Westbrook, but I just couldn't pass him up here. Even with missing two games he still had 14 touchdowns and had over 1,300 all purpose yards. If he is able to stay healthy, a monumental "if", you could easily see a return to 2007 numbers and I have a huge steal on my hands. He will always be the focus of that offense, and as he goes, Philly goes. I REALLY almost went with Peyton here, but there are plenty of quarterbacks that I like.
Westbrook deserves to go in the 1st round, but probably carries an extra measure of risk in 2009. He will turn 30 next season, so that won't help his vulnerability to the type of nagging injuries he is famous for. Also of concern is Westbrook's dropoff in yards per carry from 5.1 in 2006 to 4.8 in 2007 to 4 in 2008.
1.09 -Bruno Boys Cavigs - Maurice Jones-Drew - Jones-Drew finished 2008 with a bang, as the third year running back had 10+ fantasy points in seven of his last 9 games. With running back Fred Taylor expected to leave town the Jaguars are making a commitment to Jones-Drew as the primary ball carrier. His 197 carries this year was a career high and with no RBBC in 2009 he should be able to approach 250 carries. Plus, Jones-Drew is arguably the best pass catching RB in the NFL, finishing with 62 receptions on the season. Expect those number to continue and the added rushing totals to propel Jones-Drew into a reliable RB1. I also considered Steve Slaton, Brandon Jacobs, Clinton Portis and Frank Gore but Jones-Drew grades out the best heading into 2009.
This is a solid and gutsy pick that will no doubt pay off if Fred Taylor is out of the picture for Jacksonville in 2009. Jones-Drew has already been the goalline back for the Jaguars, and was clearly the superior RB in Jacksonville this past season. Of course, the Jags will need to fix their offensive line problems, but the situation was so bad in that regard, it can only improve in 2009.
1.10 -Bruno Boys Larry - Steve Slaton - Slaton was not a first rounder in 2008, as a matter of fact he was a late round pick and even went undrafted in many leagues. As a rookie he caught many fantasy owners by surprise. He could not have been drafted into a better situation as the Texans did not head into the season with a clear cut number one RB. Ahman Green was slated to be the teams starter, but as usual injuries were an issue. Slaton was given a chance in Week 3 of the season and he did not disappoint. He went on to carry the ball 268 times for 1,282 yards with 9 touchdowns. Slaton also added 50 receptions for 377 yards with 1 touchdown. The Texans managed to get Slaton 20 plus touches a game 9 times in 2008 and that number should grow in 2009. He is a game breaker and I am ecstatic to land him with the number 10 pick.
It's surprising to see Slaton go so early in this mock draft, but considering that the rookie provided the Texans with their first legitmate rushing threat since Domanick Davis, he looks like a keeper. His 1,282 rush yards were certainly impressive, but even more impressive was his consistency. Really he only had one bad game (vs. Baltimore- 4 carries for 7 yards), and he proved he could compete against some tough defenses (26 for 120 against Green Bay, 24 for 100 against Tennessee late in the season).