It's never too early to start looking at fantasy football mock drafts! Crazy, huh? I have taken a stab at what the first three rounds of a mock draft could look like if it were held today. No rookies were included in this, primarily because they obviously do not have NFL teams to call homes yet, and also because only Alabama's Eddie Lacy really figures to be even in consideration for a top-36 selection.
The following predictions were made with a 12-team, standard non-PPR scoring system in mind.
1) Adrian Peterson, running back, Minnesota Vikings
Maybe you could make the case for Arian Foster here despite such a big season from Peterson, but the reality is far too many people will find it all too difficult to pass on AD.
2) Arian Foster, running back, Houston Texans
Foster is rather consistent year over year and remains the focal point of an offense that will remain balanced. Touchdown-heavy leagues could force him to No. 1 overall. He has scored 42 times in the three years since seizing the starting role, and he hasn't produced less than 1,600 total yards of offense in any one of those years.
3) Jamaal Charles, running back, Kansas City Chiefs
Charles should only get better with stability at the quarterback position, and maybe he can find the end zone a few more times. Alex Smith is no Joe Montana, although defenses will have to keep honest against the run. JC, a 1,500-yard back a year after ACL reconstruction, deserves a high pick in all formats.
4) Ray Rice, running back, Baltimore Ravens
The days of defense-first football in Baltimore seem to have gone the way of the dodo, which means an extra helping of Rice for this offense. He is consistently a threat for a big game week in and week out.
5) LeSean McCoy, running back, Philadelphia Eagles
Shady McCoy should be the driving force behind this offense. His style of play is conducive to success in a spread offense, and for those in PPR leagues, he should be a no-brainer at this point in your draft.
6) Calvin Johnson, wide receiver, Detroit Lions
Megatron could arguably go as high as No. 3 for some owners, but for the sake of remaining grounded and practical, No. 6 is a sound placement for him. If he's healthy, with a weapon like Reggie Bush in the backfield, defenses will be forced to pick their poison (which is still probably Calvin, but does it really matter?).
7) Marshawn Lynch, running back, Seattle Seahawks
Lynch proved me wrong last year and went full-on beast mode again. He should be in store for another fine season, just so long as the injury bug doesn't bite him once again. He seems like a lock for 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns, on the low side.
8) Trent Richardson, running back, Cleveland Browns
I struggled with this pick, because on raw talent alone, Richardson could be the No. 2 overall pick. Cleveland still has little in the way of offensive weapons and will need to prove some things to me before I go all in on T-Rich any higher than the middle of Round 1.
9) Doug Martin, running back, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Despite his terribly inconsistent, all-or-nothing efforts last year, Martin still wound up rewarding fantasy owners over the course of the season. He undoubtedly will be overdrafted in 2013 more than once, but there is enough here to warrant a selection between No. 6 and No. 9 overall.
10) Drew Brees, quarterback, New Orleans Saints
The first QB comes off the board! Brees has to be the guy to go with here. Consistency, the return of head coach Sean Payton, a bevy of weapons ... what is there not to like about Brees?
11) C.J. Spiller, running back, Buffalo Bills
I love Spiller this season, and this may be overvaluing him a bit with Fred Jackson still in the picture. I'm not worried about F-Jax ... he's old, and injury-prone at this point of his career. Spiller will shine in this offense and could be worth a higher pick in PPR setups.
12) Aaron Rodgers, quarterback, Green Bay Packers
A-Rod lost Greg Jennings (Vikings) this offseason, but that didn't stop Rodgers from throwing 35 of his 39 touchdown tosses last year to other players in Jennings' injury absence. Rodgers is as legit as they come in the fantasy world and deserves late first-round consideration.
Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.
Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.