2016 Mock Draft Peek Preview

2016 Mock Draft Peek Preview by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

In only a short time from now, the Green Bay Packers will face the Indianapolis Colts in Canton, Ohio for the traditional Hall of Fame game. It’s the time of the year that fantasy football fanatics are excited for, because the start of the NFL season is finally in sight.

That means it is time for many fantasy owners to start studying. Fantasy Football magazines will be hitting the bookstore shelves, fantasy websites will be posting their preseason rankings, and one of my favorite fantasy websites, fantasyfootballcalculator.com, will be cranking out a glut of completed mock drafts. You may review the results of recently ended mock drafts at this handy website and you may participate in any of the 8-10-12-14 team mock drafts that are available.

Here are the top 12 rounds of a recently ended 10 team standard league draft that I recent devoured, but did not participate in. These 10 teams were all humans….no computer picks. Let me know if you agree or disagree with any of my round by round observations!

12 Rounds 2016 Mock draft

Round One- If the running back is still a “devalued’ position, you would not know it from Round One ( 4 RBs vs 5 WRs) and you certainly wouldn’t know it from Round Two ( 7 RBs vs 3 WRs). One fantasy owner obviously does not seem to be worried about GB WR Jordy Nelson’s 2015 season-ending injury, drafting him at the end of Round One, and in front of CINN A.J. Green, JACK Allen Robinson and DAL Dez Bryant. I am not sure that I am that confident yet.

Round Two- I’m shocked that DAL RB Zeke Elliott would drop to Round Two, and selected after ATL D Freeman, HOU L Miller and KC J Charles. If Elliott is there for me at the 14th overall pick, I’m doing my happy jig. I’m also drafting TB Doug Martin before BUFF LeSean McCoy.

Round Three- SF Carlos Hyde has reportedly lost weight and wants to play under 220 pounds in Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offense, but I’m going to pass on 49er players for the first 6 rounds, at least. SD WR Keenan Allen worries me in 2016, so I am after the other wide outs in this round, and I want WR Travis Benjamin as a sleeper in the later rounds. N.O. RB Mark Ingram was pretty disappointing in the 2nd half of last season, even before his Week 13 injury. He might be the “Alfred Morris” of 2016.

Round Four- Solid selections in Round Four, and although I am not a fan of drafting quarterbacks early, at least these two fantasy football owners waited until Round Four. Running backs are starting to get thin, so TENN RB DeMarco Murray is not bad here, but I am not high on him for 2016.

Round Five- NE WR J Edleman started the Round Five selections, but I would have preferred MIA J Landry or JACK Allen Hurns, available later in this round. I do not like MIA J Ajayi in 2016, and I am wondering why CINN Jeremy Hill is still available ( start of Round 7) so I am drafting him. ( I would have drafted him before TENN RB DeMarco Murray)

Round Six- 3 more QBs drafted, but good ones. ( How many times will Luck be the 4th, 5th or 6th QB drafted this season?) RBs Ryan Mathews and Chris Ivory are interesting backs to roster this season. I want both of them. Most believe that KC J Maclin can match his 2015 numbers ( 1088 yards and 8 TDs) but I am skeptical. I’d still want him in Round Six however.

Round Seven- MIA DeVante Parker is a nice sleeper in 2016, but if CHI Kevin White is there, I’ll be selecting him before Parker. There are too many running backs for me in Detroit, HC Caldwell never sticks with one back for more than two plays and the Lions had the worst average per rush in 2015, so you can draft RB Ameer Abdullah. I won’t be.

Round Eight- Why does everyone automatically think TE Ladarius Green will be a success in Pittsburgh, when he was a flop in a very tight end friendly San Diego offense? RBs Gore, Duke Johnson, and Gio are all decent pick ups in Round 8, but SD Melvin Gordon is way down here for a reason. I like TE Coby Fleener a lot for the 2016 season. He is a terrible blocker and the Saints’ know that, so he is an offensive weapon…period.

Round Nine- SEA WR Tyler Lockett is a huge pick up in Round Nine, and QB Blake Bortles ( #3 QB for 2015) should have been selected earlier than the #9 QB off the boards. I like WASH WR DeSean Jackson in Round Nine very much. Still too early to get a kicker, even NE Gostkowski.

Round Ten- PITT DeAngelo Williams, the #4 RB for 2015 with almost 1300 total yards and 8 TDs, should have been handcuffed in Round 9 by “Lucille Football” instead of drafting Woodhead. PHIL TE Zach Ertz was a monster in the last part of 2015, and if you are going to wait on a tight end, this is how you do it. Don’t particularly want JACK TJ Yeldon on any of my teams, unless I drafted RB C Ivory earlier. BALT Steve Smith still has football in him, for the first 7 weeks. He has a bye Week Eight, so trade him then.

Round Eleven- Both wide receivers Travis Benjamin and Marvin Jones have too much fantasy football value to be still available in Round 11. Like TE Ertz in Round 10, CLEV TE Barnidge is a steal here in Round 11. NE L Blount doesn’t interest me, because he plays for HC Belichick and Tampa Bay’s Charles Sims is still available, as is CLEV’s Isaiah Crowell ( Round 12). I won’t be drafting WR Stefon Diggs, probably not even in Round 11. MINN QB Bridgewater threw for less than 1 TD per game last year.

Round Twelve- QB Kirk Cousins ( #9 QB for 2015) is a steal here in Round 12. Ram’s WR Tavon Austin was the #21 wide receiver in the NFL last season and had 52 carries for 434 yards/ 4 rushing TDS. He should have been selected a couple of rounds before. CLEV WR Corey Coleman selected this late in ANY draft is ridiculous.

There you go. This was fun. I think I’d like to revisit this again, in the upcoming weeks!

2016 Fantasy Players Difficult to Predict

2016 Fantasy Players Difficult to Predict by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Samantha Holt

It’s time to take that leap of faith. You decide, he’s the guy for you. Is there the likelihood that he will completely let you down and break your heart? Yes! But the hopeless romantic in you takes the risk. What if he’s completely wonderful and surprises you week after week? You look at him and think, hey he’s got potential. He could be the one. So you take the plunge, and draft him.

OK maybe for you fantasy football is nothing like dating, but to me I see some similarities. Similar in the way that some of these players may end up being total disappointments. Don’t worry this article won’t be depressing. Then again, if some of you had a terrible season last year as a direct result from one of them, this might be a sore spot. So either get over it or if he seems sincere and apologizes for his previous mistakes, you may consider taking him back this year. It’s up to you.

The following are a list of 10 players who were difficult to predict last season and in some cases even harder to predict for the upcoming season. Let’s also pretend this list is random, because it’s just too difficult to rank 1-10.

Frank Gore – He’s a guy who on paper looks pretty darn good. He’s got opportunity and health on his side. However if you look at a chart of his points last season, it looks like the heart rate monitor of someone who’s been drinking red bull vodkas all night… Mess. Am I placing him in my RB1 spot? No… but if I’m picking him up, it’ll be as an RB 2 to someone with a far greater consistency rate. STEADY BOYFRIEND

Jamaal Charles – Ok guys, if he broke your heart last season don’t hold that against him, he wasn’t trying to get hurt. And if you didn’t handcuff this injury prone player that’s on you. Now if you handcuffed him with Knile Davis, I can empathize a little. As for this upcoming season, he is still a risk. Charles is clearly great when HEALTHY, but I’m nervous to take him as my first pick. If I do, I’m definitely picking up Charc-nado to handcuff. Or Ware.. Uhgg, madness. MY EX

Carlos Hyde – After a semi decent start it looked like Hyde was ready to go, but alas another injured RB. If I had to rank RBs right now, I would put him out of the top 15. He is the only 49er worth drafting and if he stays healthy, he could be great. Keep in mind he’s got a heavy workload with a tough schedule. SUMMER ROMANCE

Thomas Rawls – With Lynch’s retirement my first thought was Rawls is a must own. But with so many offensive options he could be on a short leash with Pete Carroll if he makes any mistakes. “Get back on the bench and keep Graham company!” STEADY BOYFRIEND

Rashad Jennings – The underwhelming starter had a measly 3 TDs this past season. He did have more rushing yards in 2015, than in seasons past, but that doesn’t win you games. And what’s the golden rule in fantasy? “You play to win the game!” thanks Herm Edwards. So don’t add Jennings, instead talk him up to the drunk guy at the draft to take him. BAD BLIND DATE

Vincent Jackson – I think Vincent Jackson hates me. Whenever I have played him, he’s been awful/ ineffective. Whenever I’ve benched him he’s had a big day. You sir, are frustrating. With the many options in Tampa, and one year older, it’s safe to say Jackson will be getting less targets this season. STOOD UP

Demaryius Thomas – Was and will remain unpredictable. This offense is dependent on who will be throwing the ball. I doubt Butt-Fumble will get the starting job, so preseason will be interesting who gets the job. Once that’s decided there’s still a bunch of available targets besides Thomas. So who knows….BOOTY CALL

Markus Wheaton – Mentioning him for two reasons; 1. With Bryant suspended he could be a legit WR2 in Pittsburgh, 2. I’m a Steelers fan, so yeah. Ben’s versatile and when he’s not passing to Brown, he’s creating volume in plays. Wheaton will be seeing targets, his floor is raised, and his ceiling?.. TBD…STEADY BOYFRIEND

Back field of San Diego – Yeah, just all of them. Melvin Gordon, a depressing bust last season, is coming back from a knee injury and will be eased back very slowly. Woodhead suffered an ankle injury in minicamp this week, was seen walking off the field, so hopefully nothing serious. Branden Oliver is coming back from a toe injury… Yeah not much confidence in this group. They also added Derek Watt, and though I’m biased because I’ve JJ in my IDP league, I’m sure anything Derek does has the potential to be awesome. CHEATER

Tyler Eifert – Some big games last season, amongst some sparse showings due to SO many targets in Cincinnati. What makes him most unpredictable is the time table for recovery from his ankle surgery. Estimated 3 months till he’s back to playing. However if I’ve learned anything from fantasy sports is never trust ankle injuries. Though the surgery is listed as “minimal”, anything that can weaken stability in the ankle is a bad sign. Plus they never rush a player back from that (and shouldn’t), because they can easily aggravate it. All that said, if he’s healthy in September, he’s a big-time playmaker. POSSIBLE HUSBAND MATERIAL

There you have it. I know there are many more unpredictables out there but I like to keep things simple. So draft at your own risk this season, and I’ll date at my own risk. Though with 4 leagues to manage and the Sunday Ticket, I’ll have no time for that nonsense.
Happy offseason to all!

Sam Holt

Follow Sam’s 2016 quest for another Dynasty Fantasy Football championships on twitter @SamanthaRHolt

Also by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Samantha Holt…”This is How We Dynasty Football”

and Fantasy Stock Drops From 2016 Draft by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Samantha Holt

San Francisco 49ers Team Profile 2016

San Francisco 49ers Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

Fill in the blank……. ___________ wants out of San Francisco. You could put many current SF players here. (You knew things were bad when former 49ers Jim Harbaugh left. Harbaugh was a winning coach, he never had a losing season, he went to the Super Bowl in 2012, and then left for the college ranks in 2015.)  Jim Tomsula lasted one 2015 season as the 49ers head coach, and 2016 starts the “Chip Kelly” era (hired on January 14, 2016.)  This has disaster written all over it, at least for 2016.

2016 Team Outlook–
  San Francisco’s 5-11 season in 2015 was their worst since 2007. ( also 5-11 ) The 49ers play in the NFC West, with Seattle, Arizona and L.A. Ram. The last time I looked, those 3 other teams were pretty good. HC Chip Kelly would get “Coach of the Century” if he could win this division, this year.

2016 Fantasy Football Outlook–

QB–  Things got so bad for QB Colin Kaepernick last year, that in November, 2015 he was benched Week 11 and Blaine Gabbert started against the Falcons. It was reported that even Colin Kaepernick’s teammates wanted him benched so that he could “clear his head.” “Kaep” most likely won’t be with this team in 2016, and teams around the league are content to wait it out until April 1 to see if the 49ers cut Kaepernick before his salary becomes guaranteed. Gabbert is a back-up quarterback, so the 49ers are currently without a starting QB.

RBs– Carlos Hyde only played on 7 games last year, but he would not have had a great year even if he had stayed healthy. With all the kaos surrounding this team, the poor quarterback play, and a hideously bad offensive line, it would have been hard for any running back to put up big numbers. Hyde had 470 yards rushing last season, and that was tops for any SF RB. In March of 2015,  49ers signed RB Reggie Bush to a 1-yr $2.5 million contract, with $500,000 guaranteed, and a $500,000 signing bonus. They got 8 carries for 28 yards for that brilliant investment. UPDATE: Shaun Draughn re-signed 1-year deal with SF.

WRs– Anquin Boldan is one name that you can write in that blank above. In 2015 Boldin had his lowest receiving yards last season since 2004. The free agent is going to get his wish of getting out of San Francisco and says that “he wants to play for a team that is a Super Bowl contender”. (I don’t blame him, but doesn’t everyone?) After Anquan is officially gone, the 49er’s receiving corps are left with Torrey Smith, Bruce Ellington and Quinton Patton. This is a team for fantasy football owners to steer clear of next September.

TEs– There is actually a 49er offensive player ( other than the place kicker) who ranked among the top 32 at their position. Vance McDonald was the #31 tight end in the NFL last season, with 326 yards and 3 TDs. He has a nice 2 week stretch to thank for most of those stats, in Week 11 & Week 12. McDonald had 65 yards and 1 TD, and 71 yards and 1 TD respectively in those 2 weeks. UPDATE: TE Garrett Celek re-signed 4-year, $14M deal with SF.

K– K Phil Dawson is 41 years old and still kicking. He is on a two-year contract that he signed in March of 2014 and he finished 2015 as the #24 place kicker in the NFL. He went 24 for 27 in field goal attempts.

DEF– The San Francisco went from the #5 defense in 2014 ( 4th vs the pass- 10th vs the run) to the #27 defense in the 2015 ( 30th vs the pass- 23rd vs the run.) This wasn’t just a spiral down for this defense, but a spiral down and flush. The San Francisco’s defense was 4th worst at giving up points to opposing offenses.

2014 San Francisco Fantasy Surprises–
Granted, it seems like a long time ago, but in 2012, QB Colin Kaepernick took his team to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans against the Baltimore Ravens. In 2013, Kaepernick led his team to two victories in the post-season…..only one game away from another Super Bowl appearance. It’s surprising that the #12 QB in 2013…the #16 QB in 2014….was the #33 QB in the NFL in 2015, and benched in Week 11.

2015 Free Agents that San Francisco Needs to Address–
WR Anquan Boldin, RB Shaun Draughn, RB DuJuan Harris, RB Reggie Bush, (RFA), K Phil Dawson, ILB Michael Wilhoite (RFA), NT Ian Williams, OG Alex Boone,DE Tony Jerod-Eddie

2015 NFL Draft– The San Francisco 49ers have so many glaring weaknesses, that it would almost be faster to write what positions they don’t need to address in this upcoming draft. For starters however, they need a quarterback for the future. The niners need offensive line reinforcements, wide receivers, a legit shutdown cornerback, defensive linebackers, etc. ect. etc. – SAN FRANCISCO’S 2015 DRAFT

Did You Know– 
During his senior year of high school Joe Montana was offered full ride scholarships from North Carolina State University as well as the University of North Carolina… to play basketball.

Team Home Page: www.49ers.com

All team reports can be seen at this link- TEAM REPORTS