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!

Cincinnati Bengals Team Profile 2016

Cincinnati Bengals Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

Marvin Lewis is one of the head coaches on the NFL hot seat…..2016…2015…2014….2013…etc etc etc. If I had a dollar every time I heard that Marvin Lewis was on the hot seat, I could afford to pay Marvin Lewis! In 2015, the Bengals got out to a franchise-best 8-0 start with a 31-10 win over the Cleveland Brown. They would go on however and lose 4 of their next 7 games but still winning their division and clinching a playoff berth. The Bengals lost to the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers 18-16 in the Wild Card round, making them the first franchise in NFL history to lose five straight opening round playoff games….which brings us back to……Marvin Lewis is one of the head coaches on the NFL hot seat.

2016 Team Outlook– The AFC North Division is comprised of Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Cleveland. The only good gamble to make before the season begins….is to bet that Cleveland won’t win the division. Since 2002, Pittsburgh has won the division 6 times, with Cincinnati & Baltimore both having 4 titles a piece.

2016 Fantasy Outlook- The Bengals are loaded with fantasy football stars. RBs Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard, TE Tyler Eifert, and WR AJ Green are a few names that I know that you are familiar with. QB Andy Dalton isn’t exceptional for fantasy football owners, only cracking the top 12 among NFL quarterbacks once since being drafted in 2011, but is a good #2 QB.

QB– Bengal’s starting quarterback Andy Dalton, ended 2015 with a broken thumb and as the 19th ranked QB. Dalton does however play in the AFC North Division with teams whose defenses have tanked in recent years. Facing pass defenses twice a season, that ranked- 27th ( CLEV), 25th (BALT) and 15th ( PITT), can pad stats nicely. Former Alabama QB AJ McCarron played adequately enough in his 4+ starts filling in for injured Dalton, but he won’t take over the starting job anytime soon.

RBs-  The Bengals have one of the best running back combos in the NFL. It isn’t often that two backs from the same team rank in the top 25 of running backs in the same season. For 2015, Hill ranked #14 and Bernard ranked #22. Jeremy Hill had 223 carries for 794 rushing yards and Gio Bernard had 154 carries for 730 yards. Gio also added 392 receiving yards and 3 receiving TDs. Both are young players, and unless one suffers an unfortunate injury, Cincinnati’s back field is set for another season.

WRs– AJ Green (1st round-4th overall) was selected in the 2011 NFL Draft, the same year Andy Dalton was selected ( 2nd round- 35th overall). Only four full seasons into their careers, Andy Dalton and AJ Green rank among the NFL’s top pass-and-catch duos. Dalton and Green have hooked up 324 times for 4,735 yards in their first four seasons, the top marks by any duo. Their 33 touchdown catches match the mark with Miami’s Dan Marino and Mark Clayton. Green has had at least 10 TD receptions in 3 of his past 4 seasons and joined Randy Moss as the only player with 1,000 yards receiving in each of their first five seasons. In 2015 WR Marvin Jones was a healthy Marvin Jones, playing in all 16 games and ended as the #39 overall wide receiver in the NFL. Mohamed Sanu had zero receiving touchdowns in 2015, but did have 2 rushing TDs. UPDATE: Marvin Jones signs with Detroit.

TEs– If only Tyler Eifert could stay healthy. Eifert has never played an entire NFL since being drafted in 2013. He played 15 games in 2013, only played 1 game in 2014, and only 13 games played in 2015. Eifert’s 13 receiving touchdowns in only 13 games last season was tops in the NFL. ( NE Gronk and WASH Jordan Reed both tied with 11 TDs)

K– Mike Nugent was a free agent in 2015, but signed a two-year, $4 million contract on Mar. 8, 2015. He ended 2015 as the #15 kicker for 2015, making 23 of 28 field goal attempts. He also didn’t seem to mind the extra yardage added to extra points (48 of 49)

DEF- For 2015, The Bengals were the 10th best defense vs the pass, and the 8th best defense vs the rush, ranking them 10th overall. This was an improvement over their #14 ranking in 2014 (They were the 5th ranked defense in 2013) Cincinnati has a load of defensive players headed for free agency. UPDATE: WLB Vontaze Burfict suspended 3 games for multiple violations of the league’s player-safety rules…….Bengals re-sign CB Pacman Jones

2015 Cincinnati Fantasy Surprises– RB Jeremy Hill’s 11 rushing touch downs for 2015 was the most in the NFL ( tied with ATL D Freeman, MINN A Peterson and Pittsburgh D Williams)  As written earlier, TE Tyler Eifert’s 13 receiving touchdowns in only 13 games last season was tops in the NFL.

2016 Free Agents that Cincinnati Needs to Address– WR Marvin Jones (signed w/ DET) , WR Mohamed Sanu (signed w/ ATL), MLB Vincent Rey, DT Pat Sims, DE Wallace Gilberry, DT Brandon Thompson, OLB Emmanuel Lamur, OT Eric Winston SS Reggie Nelson, CB Pacman Jones (re-signed) , CB Leon Hall, RT Andre Smith, FS George Iloka,

2016 NFL Draft– Although Cincinnati has two important wide receivers headed for free agency, and they could be crippled by the number of defensive players that they could lose. Keeping the Bengal’s defense in the top 10 again could begin with the 2016 NFL Draft. Their needs include: nose tackle, linebacker, and center. Cincinnati currently has the 24th overall pick in the upcoming draft.  CINCINNATI’S 2015 DRAFT

Did You Know – Paul Brown, the founder and longtime Head Coach of the Cleveland Browns also founded the Cincinnati Bengals?

Team home page: www.bengals.com