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Fantasy Clicks: SI enters madness with official mock draft

Recent Fantasy Clicks 06-03-10: SI's Own Bout Of Mock Madness 06-01-10: A Fish Called Cody Saves Miami 05-28-10: The Ultimate Draft Do-Over 05-26-10: A PPR Quandary For The Masses 05-24-10: Sunny Rays Take Houston By Storm 05-20-10: Let The Mock Madness Begin 05-17-10: For Whom The Kubel Tolls 05-14-10: Less Bang For Your Bucs 05-12-10: The Marshall Plan Hits South Beach 05-10-10: The Mother Of All Perfect Games 05-06-10: Fantasy Love Is Blind Sometimes 05-03-10: Phantastic Fantasy Fun In Philly 04-30-10: Kings Of Command 04-28-10: The Post-Draft Mock Madness Quotient 04-26-10: Here Come The Sun Kings 04-21-10: Fantasy Breakdown Of 2010 NFL Sked 04-19-10: Nothing Beats A Royal Flush 04-19-10: Nothing Beats A Royal Flush 04-16-10: Oh, The Cantu-Man Can 04-14-10: Santonio's Fly-By-Night Move to N.Y. 04-12-10: Something Wild In The D 04-09-10: The Tao Of Jose Reyes 04-07-10: Donovan's D.C. Cab ... To Landover 04-05-10: Welcome To Opening Night Revelations 04-02-10: Nothing Beats A Real Fantasy Draft 03-31-10: One More Mock For The Road 03-26-10: A Fantasy-Fueled NFL Draft Breakdown 03-22-10: Fantasyland Prose & Cons: Mauer Power 03-19-10: The NL-Only Fantasy Spectacular 03-15-10: The AL-Only Fantasy Spectacular 03-12-10: Post-free agency adjustments in fantasy 03-10-10: In Case Of Emergency: Twins' Closer 03-08-10: Fantasy Preview Breakdown, Part III 03-03-10: Fantasy Preview Breakdown, Part II 03-01-10: NFL Combine Revelations 02-26-10: A Fantasy Preview Breakdown 02-24-10: Green Flag Goodness: Hitters 02-17-10: Green Flag Goodness: Pitchers 02-15-10: Red Flag Alerts: Pitchers 1-27-10: Red Flag Alerts: Infielders 1-25-10: Championship Sunday Revelations 1-22-10: Playing A Championship Sunday Hunch 1-20-10: Early Mock Draft Madness 1-18-10: Divisional Playoff Revelations 1-15-10: Divisional Playoff Round Clicks 1-13-10: Back In The Baseball Business 1-11-10: Wild Card Revelations 1-06-10: Fantasy Clicks Year-End Spectacular 1-04-10: Wild Card Round Clicks 12-28-09: Week 16 Revelations/Week 17 Clicks 12-23-09: All You Need To Know For Week 16 12-21-09: Week 15 Revelations 12-18-09: Thursday Night Revelations (Week 15) 12-16-09: Dontcha Hate When That Happens? 12-13-09: Week 14 Revelations 12-11-09: Thursday Night Revelations (Week 14) 12-09-09: Fantasy Playoff Rules To Live By 12-07-09: Week 13 Revelations 12-04-09: Thursday Night Revelations (Week 13) 12-02-09: The Believers Of Calvinism 11-30-09: Week 12 Revelations 11-27-09: Turkey Day Revelations 11-25-09: All Hail The Perfect Showdown 11-23-09: Week 11 Revelations

I Came To Mock, Stayed To Rock

Matt Forte: Scott Boehm/Getty Images

As someone who lives in Atlanta and has 24/7 access to the Web and local/national radio, I somehow missed the news that Michael Turner has some debilitating injury this summer and cannot fulfill his duties as a fantasy dynamo or the Falcons' workhorse back. If he's not injured, what other reason could possibly justify Turner falling to the No. 10 spot in standard-scoring leagues? Strange but true, when partaking in Tuesday's official mock draft for Sports Illustrated's fantasy football spectacular (hitting shelves in July), I was stunned -- stunned! -- to have the choice of Turner or Steven Jackson in Round 1. In a Points Per Reception league, maybe I could understand Turner and/or S-Jax slipping so far; but to face a win-win decision like that -- without the help of a desirable draft slot -- warmed my heart to no end. As a result, I nailed the 12-team, 16-round draft that'll be featured in the magazine ... but unfortunately, won't be played out.

The list of SI-family fantasy owners/drafters is long and distinguished, from Ben Reiter, Mark Mravic, Adam Duerson, Mike Beacom, Paul Forrester, David Sabino, Damon Hack, Jim Gorant and the incomparable Jim Trotter. Here's how the first four rounds went down:

Round 1
1. Chris Johnson, Titans
2. Ray Rice, Ravens
3. Adrian Peterson, Vikings
4. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars
5. Frank Gore, 49ers
6. Peyton Manning, Colts
7. Drew Brees, Saints
8. Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers
9. Andre Johnson, Texans
10. Michael Turner, Falcons (my pick)
11. Steven Jackson, Rams
12. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers

Round 2
13. Cedric Benson, Bears
14. Randy Moss, Patriots
15. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals (my pick)
16. Ryan Grant, Packers
17. Jamaal Charles, Chiefs
18. Shonn Greene, Jets
19. LeSean McCoy, Eagles
20. Ryan Mathews, Chargers
21. Reggie Wayne, Colts
22. Calvin Johnson, Lions
23. Aaron Rodgers, Packers
24. Brandon Marshall, Dolphins

Round 3
25. Miles Austin, Cowboys
26. DeSean Jackson, Eagles
27. Beanie Wells, Cardinals
28. Roddy White, Falcons
29. Matt Schaub, Texans
30. Sidney Rice, Vikings
31. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers
32. Knowshon Moreno, Broncos
33. Tom Brady, Patriots
34. Greg Jennings, Packers (my pick)
35. Philip Rivers, Chargers
36. Vincent Jackson, Chargers

Round 4
37. Pierre Thomas, Saints
38. Jahvid Best, Lions
39. Matt Forte, Bears (my pick)
40. Anquan Boldin, Ravens
41. Steve Smith, Panthers
42. Marques Colston, Saints
43. Dallas Clark, Colts
44. Donald Driver, Packers
45. Ronnie Brown, Dolphins
46. C.J. Spiller, Bills
47. Steve Smith, Giants
48. Tony Romo, Cowboys

Snake This ... Draft That!

For what it's worth, here's my team:
Round 1 -- RB Michael Turner, Falcons (back to fighting weight, ready to dominate)
Round 2 -- WR Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals (for the sake of balance, took my No. 2 overall WR)
Round 3 -- WR Greg Jennings, Packers (happily settled for Plan B after Knowshon Moreno)
Round 4 -- RB Matt Forte, Bears (if healthy, I'm guaranteeing 1,700 total yards/10 TDs)
Round 5 -- TE Jason Witten, Cowboys (excellent value for this standard-scoring/PPR monster)
Round 6 -- WR Chad Ochocinco, Bengals (my last shot at WR before going RB/QB crazy)
Round 7 -- RB Cadillac Williams, Bucs (will spend summer running -- not rehabbing)
Round 8 -- RB Clinton Portis, Redskins (the last workhorse back, Laurence Maroney aside)
Round 9 -- QB Donovan McNabb, Redskins (it's always great to land a top-12 QB in Round 9)
Round 10 -- WR Jerricho Cotchery, Jets (safest pick among the three-headed WR monster)
Round 11 -- QB Matthew Stafford, Lions (reached one round too high ... but for good reason)
Round 12 -- WR Laurent Robinson, Rams (on the brink of a breakout -- let's hope it happens)
Round 13 -- WR Dexter McCluster, Chiefs (ALWAYS take "upside" this late in the draft)
Round 14 -- D/ST San Francisco 49ers (the best fantasy defense west of Baltimore, Md.)
Round 15 -- PK Mason Crosby, Packers (the best kicker not named Kaeding or Gostkowski)
Round 16 -- WR Brandon Tate, Patriots (Tom Brady believes in his down-the-field explosiveness -- that's good enough for me in Round 16)

The Cutting Room Floor, Part I

I haven't seen the final mock-up of the Sports Illustrated fantasy spectacular, but I'm optimistic it'll surpass the 2009 edition -- a runaway best-seller in its first year -- from a beauty and content perspective. Here's one clue why: I penned a great column about the "Ten Commandments of Roster Construction" ... which, due to space restraints, didn't have enough room for Matt Forte and/or Jerome Harrison projections. But the magazine's loss ... is certainly Fantasy Clicks' gain:

V. You shall not make wrongful use of Jerome Harrison's name
We're standing behind Harrison -- who's getting absolutely zero respect in preseason mock drafts -- for the following reasons:

1) Harrison rushed for 561 yards and five TDs in his final three games last season (vs. Chiefs, Browns, Jaguars).
2) Cleveland opens with -- cha-ching! -- Tampa Bay and Kansas City ... and gets an easy do-si-do with Jacksonville later on.
3) The Browns have a sneaky-good offensive line (especially against the run), anchored by Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas.
4) After Mohamed Massaquoi, the Browns' leaky receiving corps includes Chansi Stuckey, Brian Robiskie and Syndric Steptoe.
5) Cleveland only has to play Baltimore and Pittsburgh once from Weeks 1-15; and if you?re worried about starting Harrison against the Ravens in Week 16 ... it also means you're playing for a fantasy championship that week. How's that for good news?

The Cutting Room Floor, Part II

And now, the same commandment, starring Forte:

OK, so Forte isn't necessarily the next incarnation of Walter Payton, Gale Sayers, Thomas Jones or maybe Neal Anderson; but he's a lead-pipe cinch for 1,700 total yards and 70 catches this season, now that 'Mad' Mike Martz is running the offensive show. As a bonus, we'll pass along this little nugget from Sirius radio back in May:

According to an unnamed Bears coach, Forte wasn't 100-percent healthy at any point in the 2009 season, meaning all the Forte haters might have to eat a big bag of crow come December -- assuming Forte hits 1,600/70 catches and seven touchdowns.

Into The Great Wide Open

Here is a revised listing of the top 25 receivers in fantasyland:
1. Andre Johnson, Texans (tops in PPR or standard leagues)
2. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals
3. Greg Jennings, Packers
4. Vincent Jackson, Chargers (still getting ignored in Round 3)
5. Reggie Wayne, Colts
6. Roddy White, Falcons
7. Calvin Johnson, Lions (a certifiable steal after the 30th pick)
8. Brandon Marshall, Dolphins
9. Randy Moss, Patriots
10. Sidney Rice, Vikings
11. DeSean Jackson, Eagles (could easily be top-5 by season's end)
12. Marques Colston, Saints
13. Miles Austin, Cowboys
14. Anquan Boldin, Ravens
15. Michael Crabtree, 49ers (a Year 2 leap of faith on potential dynamo)
16. Steve Smith, Panthers
17. Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs
18. Chad Ochocinco, Bengals
19. Mike Sims-Walker, Jaguars
20. Jerricho Cotchery, Jets
21. Antonio Bryant, Bengals
22. Percy Harvin, Vikings (boost him 5-7 notches in PPR leagues)
23. Robert Meachem, Saints
24. Devin Aromashodu, Bears
25. Kenny Britt, Titans

Into The Great Wide Open, Part II

While we're at it, might as well list the next-best 30 wideouts:
26. Hines Ward, Steelers
27. Derrick Mason, Ravens
28. Mike Wallace, Steelers
29. Laurent Robinson, Rams
30. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Seahawks
31. Dez Bryant, Cowboys
32. Braylon Edwards, Jets
33. Jeremy Maclin, Eagles
34. Pierre Garcon, Colts
35. Steve Breaston, Cardinals (can he handle the full-time duties of a No. 2?)
36. Chris Chambers, Chiefs
37. Donald Driver, Packers
38. Steve Smith, Giants
39. Lee Evans, Bills
40. Julian Edelman, Patriots (could catch 80 balls this season)
41. Nate Burleson, Lions
42. Mario Manningham, Giants
43. Kevin Walter, Texans
44. Early Doucet, Cardinals
45. Arrelious Benn, Bucs (middling ranking doesn't account for lack of competition)
46. Donnie Avery, Rams
47. Santonio Holmes, Jets
48. Hakeem Nicks, Giants
49. Roy Williams, Cowboys
50. Austin Collie, Colts
51. Brandon Tate, Patriots
52. Lance Moore, Saints
53. Golden Tate, Seahawks
54. Wes Welker, Patriots (ACL tear in December + minimal rehab time = no thanks)
55. Johnny Knox, Bears

The Quarterback Princes

With the NFL draft behind us -- opening the door for Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen and possibly Colt McCoy to become starters for St. Louis, Carolina and Cleveland this fall -- here are the revised starter rankings, from No. 1 (Aaron Rodgers) ... all the way to No. 32 (Jake Delhomme):

1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers (the only undisputable 1st-round pick among fantasy QBs)
2. Drew Brees, Saints
3. Peyton Manning, Colts
4. Philip Rivers, Chargers
5. Tom Brady, Patriots
6. Matt Schaub, Texans
7. Brett Favre, Vikings (Sage Rosenfels will not be No. 7 if he's starting Week 1)
8. Tony Romo, Cowboys
9. Matt Ryan, Falcons
10. Jay Cutler, Bears
11. Kevin Kolb, Eagles
12. Donovan McNabb, Redskins
13. Eli Manning, Giants
14. Joe Flacco, Ravens
15. Matthew Stafford, Lions
16. Vince Young, Titans
17. Chad Henne, Dolphins
18. Matt Leinart, Cardinals (benefits too much from Fitz, Breaston, Doucet)
19. Kyle Orton, Broncos
20. Alex Smith, 49ers
21. Mark Sanchez, Jets
22. Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks
23. Jason Campbell, Raiders
24. David Garrard, Jaguars
25. Carson Palmer, Bengals (doghouse resident needs to re-justify once-lofty ranking)
26. Matt Moore, Panthers
27. Matt Cassel, Chiefs
28. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers (drops considerably for obvious reasons)
29. Josh Freeman, Buccaneers
30. Trent Edwards, Bills
31. Sam Bradford, Rams
32. Jake Delhomme, Browns

SI Recommends

Choose Your Quarterback

Brett Favre: Scott Boehm/Getty Images

Matt Schaub, the NFL's leading touchdown maker from last year, deserves full credit for his No. 6 ranking among quarterbacks. But it's also fair to ask: Will he outperform the other highly touted QBs on a weekly basis? On the off chance you land both Schaub and Brett Favre on draft day -- a reasonable outcome, given Favre's recent ankle surgery -- here's a week-by-week breakdown of the passing studs:

Week 1 -- Schaub (vs. Indianapolis) over Favre (@ New Orleans)
Week 2 -- Favre (vs. Miami) over Schaub (@ Washington)
Week 3 -- Favre (vs. Detroit) over Schaub (vs. Dallas)
Week 4 -- Schaub (@ Oakland) over Favre (BYE)
Week 5 -- Schaub (vs. N.Y. Giants) over Favre (@ N.Y. Jets)
Week 6 -- Schaub (vs. Kansas City) over Favre (vs. Dallas)
Week 7 -- Favre (@ Green Bay) over Schaub (BYE)
Week 8 -- Schaub (@ Indianapolis) over Favre (@ New England)
Week 9 -- Favre (vs. Arizona) over Schaub (vs. San Diego)
Week 10 -- Favre (@ Chicago) over Schaub (@ Jacksonville)
Week 11 -- Favre (vs. Green Bay) over Schaub (@ N.Y. Jets)
Week 12 -- Schaub (vs. Tennessee) over Favre (@ Washington)
Week 13 -- Favre (vs. Buffalo) over Schaub (@ Philadelphia)
Week 14 -- Favre (vs. N.Y. Giants) over Schaub (vs. Baltimore)
Week 15 -- Favre (vs. Chicago) over Schaub (@ Tennessee)
Week 16 -- Schaub (@ Denver) over Favre (@ Philadelphia)
Week 17 -- Favre (@ Detroit) over Schaub (vs. Jacksonville)
Final Tally: Favre wins, 10-7

The Power Of ADP

The good people at Fantasy Football Calculator are already hard at work, trying to make mathematical sense of this year's top fantasy football prospects. In fact, this site represents the perfect one-stop shopping for mock drafts and the Average Draft Position tool (ADP) -- perhaps the best learning aid for NOT reaching during the August drafts. Speaking of ADP, here's a list of kickers -- yes, kickers -- likely earmarked for Rounds 12-15 (12-team leagues):

Nate Kaeding, Chargers -- Round 12, Pick 6
Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots -- Round 13, Pick 1
Garrett Hartley, Saints -- Round 13, Pick 2
Nick Folk, Jets -- Round 14, Pick 5
Rob Bironas, Titans -- Round 14, Pick 7
Mason Crosby, Packers -- Round 14, Pick 10
Ryan Longwell, Vikings -- Round 14, Pick 11
David Akers, Eagles -- Round 15, Picks 3
Robbie Gould, Bears -- Round 15, Pick 5
Neil Rackers, Texans/Adam Vinatieri, Colts -- Round 15, Pick 6 (dead heat)
Sebastian Janikowski, Raiders/Lawrence Tynes, Giants -- Round 15, Pick 6 (dead heat)

Postscript: Raise your hands if you knew Folk and Rackers had signed with different teams in the offseason ... and keep your arm/hand up if you know the whereabouts of Jay Feely and Kris Brown -- the 2009 starters for the Jets and Texans, respectively?

Answer: Feely is with Arizona now, Rackers' old stomping grounds, and Brown remains with the Houston franchise. Personally, I'd rather have Brown as my franchise kicker over Rackers -- not unlike how Clark W. Griswold would've rather seen a giant pile of mud over Cousin Eddie in National Lampoon's Vacation -- but that's really Gary Kubiak's call.

Speaking Of 'Vacation'

Obviously, the blonde kissing-cousin in the above clip was 30 Rock's own Jane Krakowski; and, of course, Eugene Levy is the one who sells Griswold the infamous Family Truckster for the cross-country trip to Wally World. But I'm sad to report that no one correctly guessed Levy was also the movie-trivia answer from the May 26 Fantasy Clicks (below):

Which now-famous, then-unknown actor appeared at precisely the 1:00 mark of the 1973 horror flick Cannibal Girls -- in only his second film credit at the time?

Super-Sleeper Cells

Here's a list of Round 12 or later sleepers at wide receiver, all potentially gold picks:
1. Laurent Robinson, Rams (don't be shocked if he's the Rams' No. 1 wideout)
2. Early Doucet, Cardinals
3. Brandon Tate, Patriots
4. Golden Tate, Seahawks
5. Arrelious Benn, Bucs
6. Dexter McCluster, Chiefs (the AFC's version of Percy Harvin -- could be great in PPRs)
7. Mike Williams, Bucs (the biggest wild card of the bunch ... perhaps the most talented)
8. Josh Morgan, 49ers
9. Malcolm Kelly, Redskins (either him or Devin Thomas will make a giant leap in 2010)
10. Chaz Schilens, Raiders
11. James Hardy, Bills (someone has to emerge as Lee Evans' competent wingman)
12. Jordan Shipley, Bengals
13. Jarret Dillard, Jaguars (last year's hidden gem is coming along slower than imagined)
14. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Raiders (he'll be better than Mervyn Fernandez -- fingers crossed)
15. Brandon Gibson, Rams

Target Practice

In our tireless quest for PPR happiness, here are the 21 RBs who accrued 50-plus targets in '09:
1. Ray Rice, Ravens (101 Targets)
2. Tim Hightower, Cardinals (80 Targets)
3. Frank Gore, 49ers (75 Targets)
4. Steven Jackson, Rams (74 Targets)
5. Matt Forte, Bears (72 Targets)
6. Chris Johnson, Titans (71 Targets)
7. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars (71)
8. Reggie Bush, Saints (71)
9. Joseph Addai, Colts (68)
10. Fred Jackson, Bills (63)
11. Chester Taylor, Vikings -- now Bears (60)
12. Justin Forsett, Seahawks (59)
13. Adrian Peterson, Vikings (57)
14. Darren Sproles, Chargers (57)
15. Jamaal Charles, Chiefs (57)
16. Kevin Smith, Lions (56)
17. LeSean McCoy, Eagles (56)
18. Steve Slaton, Texans (55)
19. Kevin Faulk, Patriots (53)
20. Ricky Williams, Dolphins (53)
21. Jerome Harrison, Browns (50)

Second Time Around

The Running Back Class of 2009 might not compare to the name-brand talents of previous years (like 2008), but this group should still have a profound impact on this fantasy season. Here are the rankings for Year 2 backs in standard-scoring leagues:
1. Knowshon Moreno, Broncos
2. Beanie Wells, Cardinals
3. Shonn Greene, Jets
4. LeSean McCoy, Eagles
5. Donald Brown, Colts
6. Glen Coffee, 49ers
7. Rashad Jennings, Jaguars
8. LaRod Stephens-Howling, Cardinals
9. James Davis, Browns
10. Javon Ringer, Titans
11. Andre Brown, Giants
12. Bernard Scott, Bengals
13. Mike Goodson, Panthers
14. Aaron Brown, Lions
15. Chris Ogbonnaya, Rams

I Cannot Leave Without Saying ...

If you're not watching NFL Films' America's Game: The Missing Rings, you are depriving yourself one of the most fascinating, artfully insightful shows on television. (NFL Network has aired five episodes -- featuring the '81 Chargers, '90 Bills, '69 Vikings, '88 Bengals and '98 Vikings). Putting a fresh take on the critically acclaimed America's Game, which details the 43 Super Bowl champions in great depth, "The Missing Rings" expertly recalls the seasons of the NFL's best teams to never win the title. It's gripping stuff, folks, equal parts heartbreaking and uplifting; and puts me in the mood for the top 15 teams in NFL history to fall short of the Lombardi Trophy:

15. 1967 Baltimore Colts
14. 2004 Philadelphia Eagles
13. 1967 Los Angeles Rams
12. 1994 Dallas Cowboys
11. 2005 Indianapolis Colts
10. 1979 San Diego Chargers
9. 1998 Atlanta Falcons
8. 1990 Buffalo Bills
7. 1992 San Francisco 49ers
6. 2004 Pittsburgh Steelers
5. 1984 Miami Dolphins
4. 1968 Baltimore Colts
3. 1998 Minnesota Vikings
2. 1983 Washington Redskins
1. 2007 New England Patriots

And since we're on the subject, here are four more teams whose tales of championship heartbreak must be told by NFL Films:
4. 1982 New York Jets
3. 1980 Cleveland Browns
2. 1979 Los Angeles Rams
1. 1975 Minnesota Vikings

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