Updated Early 2008 Fantasy Football Mock Draft

01/10/2008 1:47 am by in Fantasy Football Articles



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Smitty

Here is our first update to our FOUR-Round 2008 Fantasy Football Mock Draft. Some things have changed since we last posted the mock. Guys like Earnest Graham have dropped a bit in value, while some of the rookie rushers projected to turn pro have been on the rise. There are more than a handful of others that either moved up or down, so take a look and enjoy!.

This fantasy mock draft is based off of a non-PPR format, standard scoring, with a line-up formation of 1QB, 2RB, 2WR, 1FLEX (RB/WR) 1TE, 1K, 1DEF. This Mock is just FOUR rounds in length, so we’re not too concerned with making each pick make sense for each draft slot, and obviously we won’t get into any kickers or defenses, etc… We basically want to paint an early picture as to what one can expect in those early few rounds in 2008.

We’re clearly assuming some things with some of these picks, like Randy Moss staying in New England next year and Michael Turner landing a starting gig this coming off-season. Keep in mind that a lot of these player rankings could change and change rather quickly, especially as we approach the 2008 NFL Mock Draft. Enjoy.

To talk about this mock, visit its official thread on the FFX Forums.

Round One

#
Player
TM
Pos. #
Comments
1.01
LaDainian Tomlinson
SD
RB1
It is an extremely tough call between A.P. and L.T., but those two are the only two to consider here. Given that Tomlinson is so durable, and still so insanely good, he gets the nod… but not by much!
1.02
Adrian Peterson
MIN
RB2
Peterson is a fine #1 pick, he just appears to come with a bit more injury-risk than Tomlinson. Still, he might just have a bit more upside than Tomlinson heading into 2008 and beyond.
1.03
Steven Jackson
fantasy-football-players-on-the-rise
STL
RB3
Tough choice between Westy, Jackson and Addai, but Jackson should be a beast in 2008 if he can kickoff the ’08 season fully healthy. The runner could reach 15+ TDs on a full season.
1.04
Brian Westbrook
fantasy-football-players-on-the-rise
PHI
RB4
Westy has stayed healthy for 2 straight seasons now, and while he always seems to end up on the team’s weekly injury report, he is starting to become quite reliable. Westy should have no problem racking up 1,600+ total yards and 12-15 scores in 2008.
1.05
Joseph Addai
fantasy-football-players-on-the-decline
IND
RB5
Addai was moved down a bit, but it isn’t because we don’t believe in him… we just like Jackson and Westy a bit better. Either of the three could go #3, no question.
1.06
Tom Brady
NE
QB1
If for some reason Moss leaves New England, Brady could drop well into the 2nd or 3rd-round, but we project Moss to remain in NE. Even if he didn’t, Brady could still throw for 35+ TDs in 2008.
1.07
Larry Johnson
fantasy-football-players-on-the-rise
KC
RB6
L.J. could very well be the steal of the first-round in 2008 drafts. He had an awful start to the 2007 season, but many people do not realize that Johnson did bounce-back in his final 3 games (before suffering a season-ending foot injury). In those three final games, Johnson was averaging 123.6 total yards and 1.33 TDs per game. Although, the only thing fantasy owners will remember is that Johnson started off slow and missed Weeks 10-16. They won’t remember that he had a brutal schedule early on and that he was back to his elite-form before going down. Take Advantage in 2008.
1.08
Frank Gore
fantasy-football-players-on-the-decline
SF
RB7
Gore had a disappointing year in 2007 and he wasn’t very consistent. The thing that worries us about Gore is his QB situation, but the team just brought in new offensive coordinator Mike Martz, so it is possible that the offense gets it all going in 2008. Granted, Martz has killed the value of a few fantasy rushers in the past, but keep in mind that Martz coached Marshall Faulk and Frank Gore plays a very similar game. Gore is still a top 10 talent, no question, and has the upside for top 5 numbers… he just might get a lot of his fantasy points through the air in 2008 (keep that in mind all you PPR owners out there).
1.09
Randy Moss
NE
WR1
Believe it or not, Randy Moss will only be 31 once the 2008 NFL season begins. He still has at least 2 or so years left at that elite level. If he remains in New England in 2008, we have no reason to believe that Moss will drop off from his current first-round status. Given how happy Moss is in New England, we have no reason to believe that Moss and the Patriots will go their separate ways in ’08.
1.10
Marshawn Lynch
fantasy-football-players-on-the-rise
BUF
RB8
If Lynch enters the 2008 season fully healthy, he may emerge as a top 6-8RB. He was a top 10 talent through Week 10 in most leagues last year, but an ankle injury slowed the rookie down. If you watch this kid run, you realize he is a stud-in-the-making and he has elite written all over him.
1.11
Willie Parker
fantasy-football-players-on-the-rise
PIT
RB9
Willie Parker is definitely a player to watch this off-season, as he suffered a broken leg on his first carry in Week 16. Word is that the runner will make a full recovery and be ready to rumble in training camp this summer, but one has to wonder if he will lose some touches along the way. Parker finished with a very respectable 1,316 rushing yards in 2007, but he scored just two rushing touchdowns. We have a feeling that Parker will be all over the board in early mocks and his ADP will change quite frequently. Many will believe in him and many will doubt him, that is the nature of this game and the injuries that come along with it. For now, it is tough to rank him lower than this, but that could change quickly this off-season.
1.12
Michael Turner
UFA
RB10
Bold? Yea, well, notice the "Xtreme" in our domain name! Look… we predicted Carson Palmer’s breakout campaign on live Radio back in 2005 and told all of you FFX subscribers to draft Adrian "All Day" Peterson in the 2nd round in drafts back in August of this past year. Breakout candidates and sleepers are our bread and butter, and if Turner ends up landing a starting gig in ’08 (one that he so obviously deserves), he will likely be a top 10RB this coming season. If something happens to Turner health-wise before he lands with a team this off-season, obviously we will adjust our expectations, but until then get ready for the premiere season of the Michael The Burner Turner show… they are scheduling 16 episodes in 2008 and the pilot episode should get you hooked.

Round Two

#
Player
TM
Pos. #
Comments
2.01
Marion Barber
DAL
RB11
Barber will be a free agent this off-season, but we predict that he will stay in Dallas in 2008. Julius Jones is also a free agent, but he will most likely be elsewhere in ’08, which means Barber could be in for a HUGE season next year. Now, some question his ability to take on a full load year after year, but his upside as a starter would be far too great to pass up. Barber, like FWP, will be taken at a different spot in almost ever early mock draft you look at.
2.02
Clinton Portis
fantasy-football-players-on-the-rise
WAS
RB12
Portis might end up going a lot higher than this in later mocks, as he really had a nice season in 2007, but for now it is just too hard to rank him above the other runners we have listed up above. If for some reason Michael Turner doesn’t land a starting gig this off-season, or if Randy Moss doesn’t remain in NE, well, then Portis will get lifted into the late-first round, but for now this is where we rank him!
2.03
Willis McGahee
fantasy-football-players-on-the-rise
BAL
RB13
McGahee had an impressive season in 2007, as he finished with 1,207 rushing yards and 7TDs through Week 16. His stats could have actually been a bit better, but he only had 10 yards rushing in Week 16, as he left the game early with broken ribs. We expect more of the same from McGahee in 2008… a solid 1,200-yard season with 7-10TDs sounds about right.
2.04
Ryan Grant
fantasy-football-players-on-the-decline
GB
RB14
All indications are that Grant is the Packers future rusher, but because there is still a bit of uncertainty with it all, it is tough to rank him higher than this. That doesn’t mean he won’t eventually move up in our rankings / mocks, though. Grant reminds us a lot of Rudi Johnson when he first emerged in the NFL. If the keys to the GB starting line-up are clearly, and publicly, handed to Grant this off-season, he could very easily rush for 1,300 yards and 12+ scores and play like a first-round fantasy talent.
2.05
Reggie Bush
NO
RB15
It’s very tough to rank Reggie Bush right now, as he didn’t play in Weeks 14-16 due to a knee injury (PCL) and he really didn’t have a solid fantasy year in 2007. Many fantasy owners thought Bush would explode once Deuce McAllister went down early in the year, but he never did. As you’re noticing, the RBs likely to go in the 2nd-round in 2008 all have a lot of question marks. Bush is no different.
2.06
Ronnie Brown
MIA
RB16
Brown was the best running back in fantasy football without question before tearing his ACL in Week 7 of the 2007 fantasy season. In his six full starts before the injury, Brown was averaging 147 total yards per game and was on pace for 13+ total touchdowns. The good news for Brown is that he had his ACL surgery in the beginning of November, which will give him 8 full months of rehab before August 1st, 2008 hits. While it usually isn’t until year #2 (post-surgery) that a runner fully recovers from a torn ACL, Brown should be able to take on a full load right from the start. However, don’t be surprised if Brown loses a step in ’08, something that will make him a bit less effective. Also, keep in mind that the Dolphins got rid of Cam Cameron, who had a TON to do with Brown’s success in 2007. That alone is a HUGE blow to Brown’s value. The stud rusher could see increased value as the off-season moves along, but don’t expect top 5-7 numbers in 2008. Even top 10-12 numbers is a bit much to ask in his first year back from ACL surgery.
2.07
Peyton Manning
fantasy-football-players-on-the-rise
IND
QB2
Manning, like Romo, is a much safer pick than any of the runners left on the board at this point (but maybe Brandon Jacobs). Keep in mind that the truth of that statement can change in a day in this sport, as player values change rather quickly in the off-season.
2.08
Tony Romo
fantasy-football-players-on-the-decline
DAL
QB3
Tony Romo and Peyton Manning have very similar values heading into 2008, but for now we trust Manning just a touch more… but Romo is literally right there with him. The only runners worth taking ahead of either QB, at this point, would be Brandon Jacobs, Darren McFadden or maybe Jones-Drew. Jacobs’ injury history is the only thing holding him back from this spot, but come draft day, he may seem worth the risk… that is a tough call right there. As we said, things will change quickly this off-season and these players will be bouncing all over the place in the coming weeks and months.
2.09
Brandon Jacobs
NYG
RB17
If Jacobs could stay healthy he would absolutely be a first-round pick in 2008. The problem is that he won’t, not at his size and weight… and unfortunately for fantasy owners, he won’t be getting any smaller. Jacobs won’t likely play many full seasons and he probably won’t have a very long career as an NFL starter. That said, he is easily worth a late-second round pick in early 2008 drafts and he has the talent to really outperform that type of draft slot. Handcuffing Jacobs may be crucial in ’08, and Ahmad Bradshaw appears to be that handcuff!
2.10
Maurice Jones-Drew
fantasy-football-players-on-the-rise
JAC
RB18
Fred Taylor played out of his mind in 2007, but given that the veteran will be 32 entering 2008, it’s hard to imagine him duplicating last year’s numbers, or really even playing a starter-type roll with the Jags. Jones-Drew shouldn’t be an early 2nd-round pick on draft day, given that there is still some risk attached to his name, but fantasy owners should give him serious consideration in that late-second, and he is certainly a steal in the third. Don’t forget that he has top 5-10 upside if given a majority of the carries… and don’t forget that he might just get that kind of workload in 2008.
2.11
Reggie Wayne
IND
WR2
The wide receivers after Randy Moss are really tough to rank heading into the off-season, so much so that you can almost land a top 3WR all the way through the entire second-round and into the beginning of the third. What does this mean? Well, we wouldn’t advise taking a WR not named Randy Moss any earlier than this. If rookie RB Darren McFadden lands in a solid situation, we wouldn’t take even a single WR, other than Randy Moss, until the third-round.
2.12
Darren McFadden
FA
RB19
Fantasy owners just witnessed a rookie rusher (Adrian Peterson) produce top 3 fantasy numbers on a 16-game season. That is extremely rare! Actually, if Marshawn Lynch didn’t miss three games due to an ankle injury, he would have finished right around #10 or so for fantasy rushers in ’07. Darren McFadden easily has the talent to produce Lynch-type numbers in 2008, and he could quite possibly have the upside for a lot more. Where he lands in the 2008 NFL Draft will likely move him up or down from this draft slot.

Round Three

#
Player
TM
Pos. #
Comments
3.01
Terrell Owens
DAL
WR3
Terrell Owens just turned 34 in the beginning of December, which means a decline in production is clearly on its way. Will the decline strike in 2008? What about 2009? Well, Marvin Harrison was still elite at the age of 34, but when he turned 35 right before this 2007 season, he fell off the face of the earth. Of course a knee injury had a lot to do with Harrison’s decline, but he was playing mediocre well before he got hurt. Our guess is that Owens will mirror Harrison’s decline, so that means that Owens likely has another top 5WR season left in his system. That said, 2009 might be a "buyer beware" year for fantasy owners, as Owens will be 35 at the start of that year. Owens did suffer a high ankle sprain in Week 16, so keep an eye on his ankle in the playoffs. X-rays were negative and he should be able to play in the Cowboys first playoff game, but you never know how these things can linger, or lead to another injury.
3.02
Steve Smith
CAR
WR4
I know we’re going to get a lot of comments on this one, as Steve Smith was a huge bust in 2007, but the thing is when Jake Delhomme is healthy, Smith is a beast. Delhomme only played three games in 2007, as he suffered an elbow injury in Week 3. Before going down, Delhomme threw 8 touchdown passes in those three starts. In those three games, Steve Smith was averaging 93.6 yards receiving and 1.33 touchdowns per start. Delhomme has a laser-lock on Smith and the two should kickoff the 2008 season with a bang. If Delhomme can stay healthy, Steve Smith could easily catch 90 balls for 1,400 yards and 12+ scores.
3.03
Braylon Edwards
CLE
WR5
Edwards caught 77 passes for 1,222 yards and 15TDs in 2007. That is insane! Edwards is clearly a top 5-7WR heading into 2008 and has the upside to be a top 3WR given that he has one of the best up-and-coming QBs (Derek Anderson) tossing him the rock. Expect more of the same out of Edwards in ’08. While he may not be a lock to duplicate his 15 scores, he should at least reach 10-12 with maybe even more yardage.
3.04
Andre Johnson
HOU
WR6
Andre Johnson was a beast in games played in 2007, as he would have caught 101 passes for 1,456 yards and 15TDs if he had played all 15 games this past fantasy season. A.J. missed Weeks 3-9 in ’07, but he did rack-up 54 receptions for 777 yards and 8 scores. That’s a tremendous half a season! Expect more of the same from the WR and expect Matt Schaub to be a bargain heading into early 2008 fantasy drafts.
3.05
Chad Johnson
CIN
WR7
Chad Johnson quietly finished as a top 5ish WR in 2007. He caught a very respectable 89 balls for 1,309 yards and 6TDs, but he only had two solid games in Weeks 4-11, so he was very inconsistent. Expect the WR to be a bit more "money" in 2008 and he can be had at bargain value in the mid-to-late 3rd round. You may even grab Chad in the beginning of the 4th given how deep this upcoming year’s receiving group is.
3.06
T.J. Houshmandzadeh
CIN
WR8
Housh was on fire in Weeks 1-11, as he was on pace to finish as a top 3WR. He slowed in Weeks 12-16, but it’s nothing to worry about for 2008. Palmer, Chad and Housh should all have consistently solid 2008 campaigns and all three are starting to look like they’re going to be bargain grabs in early 2008 Fantasy Football Drafts.
3.07
Marques Colston
NO
WR9
Colston was awful fantasy-wise in the first half of the 2007 fantasy season, but it wasn’t his fault. The Saints passing attack never got going until mid-season, but starting in Week 8… only a small handful of receivers outplayed him. In fact, Colston’s Week 8-16-pace would have made him a top 3WR in most scoring formats if he had played at that pace for all 15 fantasy games. Colston is a fine WR1 and you can get him in round 3… The WRs are insanely deep in 2008! Take advantage!
3.08
Jonathan Stewart
fantasy-football-players-on-the-rise
Rookie
RB20
It is tough to place rookies this early, given we don’t know where they will land in this April’s 2008 NFL Draft, but Stewart has the ability to start at the NFL level and play like a top 15RB. Where he goes will decided his 2008 fantasy value, so monitor that 2008 NFL Draft and move him up, or down, accordingly.
3.09
Antonio Gates
SD
TE1
Gates had kind of a down year in 2007, as he finished as the third best TE in some formats. Despite not dominating at the position as usual, Gates has the upside to get 1,000- yards and 10TDs each and every season – That places him in a draft slot right around the top 8-10WRs. Monitor his toe injury this off-season.
3.10
Laurence Maroney
fantasy-football-players-on-the-decline
NO
RB21
This is the most dangerous pick of the draft so far. Maroney was one of this year’s biggest busts and it wasn’t just because he was banged up here and there. The Patriots coaching staff ruined this guy’s fantasy value until the final couple weeks of the 2007 fantasy season. While that late-season fantasy production was nice, and just in time for the fantasy playoffs, fantasy owners are still wondering what kind of workload Maroney is going to see in 2008. The question marks surrounding Maroney and his situation make him a 3rd-4th round pick, at best, entering early 2008 fantasy football drafts… if this were a real draft, given what we know about all the available runners right here, trading down from this spot would be a smart play.
3.11
Jamal Lewis
fantasy-football-players-on-the-decline
CLE
RB22
Jamal Lewis quietly finished inside the top 10 for fantasy rushers in 2007. He was actually top 5-7 in some scoring formats. That is crazy! Well, while it is hard to doubt a guy that produced such solid fantasy numbers, his contract/free agent situation will determine where he goes in 2008 fantasy drafts. Jamal is an unrestricted free agent this off-season, but we imagine both Lewis and the Browns want things to stay the same heading into ’08. Given that Jamal is turning 29 in August, we’d be surprise if the veteran landed a starting gig elsewhere, but we’d also be surprised if the Browns didn’t see the value in his services given how well it all worked in 2007. If the Browns retain Jamal, he could possibly be worth more than this 3.10 value, but because of Michael Turner’s ties to Cleveland’s offensive coordinator, there is a chance that the Browns go after Turner this off-season. If that happens, we’re not sure Jamal will find a legit starting role elsewhere… a RBBC would likely be his best scenario, which would probably make him less than a third-rounder come draft day.
3.12
Carson Palmer
CIN
QB4
Palmer should bounce-back in 2008. The stud QB was outplayed in 2007, fantasy-wise, by a number of up-and-coming signal-callers. Now, at this point in a draft, it might be best to grab a non-QB if a player drops that shouldn’t have… but past that, Palmer is a safe bet here.

Round Four

#
Player
TM
Pos. #
Comments
4.01
Ben Roethlisberger
PIT
QB5
Roethy proved last year that he can play like a top 5QB at any given moment. Roethlisberger is only going to get better… remember that.
4.02
Larry Fitzgerald
AZ
WR10
Larry Fitzgerald is a tough guy to rank heading into ’08, but he is easily worth a 4th-round pick. The problem is that every single WR below are all capable of being top 5-10WRs in 2008. The QB situation in AZ will determine a lot. Expect Fitz to move up and down a lot in early mocks.
4.03
Greg Jennings
GB
WR11
Jennings appears to be the "The Man" in Green Bay. Will Favre stay or will he go? Obviously Jennings’ value takes a major hit if Favre hangs them up this off-season, but until then… Jennings deserves this draft slot. The kid is extremely skilled and he is in the perfect situation with Favre still gaming it up!
4.04
Kevin Smith
fantasy-football-players-on-the-rise
Rookie
RB23
We project Kevin Smith to be a top 3 rookie runner coming out of the 2008 NFL Draft, but his value will depend on where he goes and if he lands as his team’s starting rusher. This kid has the talent to be as good as, if not better than, rookie RB Jonathan Stewart, who is slotted just a few positions above. Stewart ran for over 2,500 yards and scored 30TDs at Central Florida in 2007, so he has the talent to explode at the NFL level if in the right situation.
4.05
Brandon Marshall
DEN
WR12
Brandon Marshall finished as a top 10WR in most scoring formats in 2008. While it’s tough to rank him ahead of the Colston and Fitzgerald-types, how can one look past his numbers and upside? That said, be careful taking Marshall too high, as he may get almost overvalued this off-season. It may be smarter taking a Boldin-type in the 5th vs. a Marshall in the late-3rd. This is where we rank him at the current moment.
4.06
Roy Williams
DET
WR13
Williams started off great in his first three games of the 2007 season, but then he had five-straight below average performances. With Calvin Johnson on the rise, and given Williams will be coming off a season-ending PCL injury, it might be best to consider Williams nothing but an excellent fantasy WR2 heading into 2008.
4.07
Lee Evans
BUF
WR14
Evans, like Colston, started the season off with a string of pathetic outings. An emerging Trent Edwards should make Evans a very reliable WR2 in 2008.
4.08
Earnest Graham
fantasy-football-players-on-the-decline
TB
RB24
If it weren’t for the presence of Cadillac Williams, Earnest Graham would be a top 12-15 overall pick heading into 2008 fantasy football drafts. Even with Caddy coming back from a torn ACL, Graham could actually earn you 2nd-round type value when all is said and done in 2008. The thing that concerns us is that Gruden has recently commented on the situation, suggesting that he is excited to get Caddy back this upcoming year. Why the Bucs would even consider putting the productive Graham on the bench is beyond us, but at least it could create sleeper value for Graham.
4.09
Anquan Boldin
AZ
WR15
Boldin should have solid value in 2008 drafts given the mediocre season he just had. Injuries are obviously a concern with Boldin, but dropping into the late-4th to early-5th would be too hard to pass up. Boldin, if healthy, could easily put up top 10WR numbers.
4.10
Rashard Mendenhall
fantasy-football-players-on-the-rise
Rookie
RB25
Rashard Mendenhall, a rookie prospect out of Illinois, has a grip of talent and will be sought after early in April’s 2008 NFL Draft. Now, while it’s tough to imagine four rookie RBs going in the first four rounds of fantasy football drafts in 2008, it isn’t that unlikely. This year’s running back class is absolutely insane, and there are a ton of RB job openings around the league this year. Four runners could easily land in starting situations, even after free agent rushers like Michael Turner, Jamal Lewis and Marion Barber sign with teams. This is a good year to own a top three rookie pick in your 2008 Rookie Fantasy Drafts.
4.11
Torry Holt
STL
WR16
Holt is starting to feel like a major injury-risk, so we wouldn’t blame anyone for drafting a safer WR in this situation. Holt’s health this off-season will either move him up or down in a major way.
4.12
Santonio Holmes
fantasy-football-players-on-the-rise
PIT
WR17
Holmes will likely fall a lot further than this in 2008 fantasy drafts, so this here is us making a statement. Try and grab Holmes later, but know that he is our #1 WR breakout candidate heading into the 2008 fantasy season. As we said in the breakout article, Holmes caught 52 balls for 942 yards (18.1 avg.) and caught 8TDs in just 13 games last season – the WR is on the verge of becoming a WR1 in the world fantasy football, as WRs usually breakout in their third season. This is Holmes’ third NFL season… watch out!

Final Observations

A lot has changed already, and our first mock was posted on 12/26/07… imagine how much more crazy it will get in the coming weeks and months!

To talk about this mock, visit its official thread on the FFX Forums.

 

 

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