Early 2012 Fantasy Football Mock Draft (January)

01/07/2012 2:08 am by in Fantasy Football Articles

smitty is a contributor of fantasy footballxtreme

Below is another early 2012 Fantasy Football Mock Draft. Yep, it’s only January and we are release yet another expert mock draft with commentary, but that’s just how we roll here at Fantasy Football Xtreme. What off-season? It’s never too early to start preparing for the next fantasy football season. So let’s dig into the player values for the upcoming 2012 fantasy football season!

Note: This mock draft is based on a standard PPR scoring format, with line-up requirements of: 1QB, 2RBs, 2WRs, 1 Flex, 1TE, 1DST and 1K.

Sort by: Mock One | Mock Two

Early 2012 Fantasy Football Mock Draft

Updated: 1/7/12

Round One
1.01 Arian Foster Hard to argue this guy won’t be King for 2-3 more
1.02 LeSean McCoy A top 2-3 lock heading into 2012. A case can easily
be made for No. 1 overall.
1.03 Ray Rice A monster finish to 2011 is making him look top 2-3
like heading into 2012.
1.04 Aaron Rodgers QBs do belong in the first-round when they score
like this guy. Fantasy drafting has evolved… so leave the “you can’t
take a QB in the first-round” theory and throw it out the window. That’s
old school.
1.05 Matt Forte He proved himself worthy of top 3-6RB value heading
into 2012.
1.06 Calvin Johnson Easily our top-ranked WR heading into 2012.
1.07 Darren McFadden It will be easy to doubt him in 2012, but love this
kid once he is back and healthy.
1.08 Drew Brees Top 1-3QB production feels like a lock for at least
2 more seasons, if not a touch longer.
1.09 Cam Newton We warned everyone this kid was going to be one of
the most lethal fantasy scorers in the game. Hopefully everyone reading this
listened back in August.
1.10 Maurice Jones-Drew Was 2011 his last elite season? We figure the little
guy has one more left in the tank — He was amazing in 2011!
1.11 Greg Jennings His QB is the best in football, and he is a top 3-5
fantasy WR talent-wise.
1.12 Wes Welker Elite, and as usual, he will enter the next fantasy
season a touch underrated.
Round Two
2.01 Chris Johnson Easy to doubt, but still easy to love at this value.
What else can you say? He is risky, but it’s all about where you can get him.
This is a great spot and great value.
2.02 Larry Fitzgerald His QB situation always impacts his ability of being
the top 1-3 fantasy WR that he is. His ranking could bounce all over heading
into next August. Everything depends on his QB situation.
2.03 Andre Johnson Injuries will have many concerned entering 2012… He
should be a nice value-grab in 2012 drafts.
2.04 Tom Brady Top 1-3QB worthy for a couple more seasons. The
thing to like about Brady is that he could finish top 2, but he is the one QB
of the big guns who is going to fall the furthest in upcoming 2012 fantasy
football drafts.
2.05 Mike Wallace He could be a bit undervalued in 2012, so take
advantage in your league.
2.06 Vincent Jackson Elite. Underrated. Top 5-7 fantasy WR capable.
2.07 Roddy White He could soon turn into the 1B WR on that Falcons’
roster, but top 5-10 fantasy WR numbers in 2012 is no doubt in the cards.
2.08 Marshawn Lynch “Beast Mode” has to be one of the biggest surprises
in 2011. It is tough to rank him higher than this, though. It will be
interesting to watch his ADP settle in early 2012. You’re either going to
hate or love this slotting of Lynch. Some will call for a top 12-15 overall
ranking. That’s understandable, but we will be a bit more cautious.
2.09 Ryan Mathews Top 5-10 fantasy RB upside in 2012, and the great
part is that most are going to doubt him due to all the missed/banged up
games in 2011.
2.10 Rob Gronkowski No TE has dominated like this kid has since the
emergence of Antonio Gates or Tony Gonzalez.
2.11 Matthew Stafford The injury concerns are still lingering, but it’s
safe to call this kid the real deal.
2.12 A.J. Green Scouts compared this kid to Randy Moss as he entered
the league – He often looked like him in 2011. Expect a monster 2012. This
youngster could be top 4-5 for fantasy WRs by 2013, if not earlier. We are
ranking him extremely high to make a statement, but keep in mind that his ADP
won’t likely be this high heading into 2012 August drafts.
Round Three
3.01 Adrian Peterson Even if Peterson is able to play in Week 1, he will
not be close to 100 percent. He is a good bet to start the 2012 NFL season on
the PUP list. Look for his ADP to be all over the map as everyone speculates
on his Week 1 availability.
3.02 Jamaal Charles Can he bounce-back right away from that ACL injury?
At 24, sure, but he could be slow-starting in early 2012. Know that.
3.03 Julio Jones Capable of being a top 5 fantasy WR next year, which
makes him a monster sleeper candidate heading into 2012.This may seem like a
bit of a reach, but he can still explode from this kind of draft slot, so
that still screams value.
3.04 Michael Turner He could breakdown in a major way in 2012, but this
is the lowest we could slot him. When he plays, he should produce top 12
fantasy RB numbers in 2012… it just comes down to those missed games.
3.05 Victor Cruz We warned fantasy worlds of this kid’s emergence in
early 2011… he was in our Top 10 Bold Predictions before the season kicked
off. He is the real deal!
3.06 Jimmy Graham A top 2-4 fantasy TE for years and years to come!
3.07 Marques Colston We admit that Colston was a bit of a surprise in
2011. We still say rank him no higher than this, though, as we just can’t see
him staying healthy in 2012. He has earned this slot.
3.08 Hakeem Nicks Nicks is a top 5-7 receiver talent-wise, it just
comes down to injuries with this kid.
3.09 Frank Gore While we fear injury in 2012, he could remain a
fantasy RB2 or flex-worthy option heading into 2012.
3.10 Rashard Mendenhall Not only will he be slow-moving coming off a
late-season ACL tear, he could be giving up a grip of carries moving forward.
Unfortunately, opportunity knocks for other rushers when starting backs go
down – And then there is the NFL Draft in April!
3.11 Dez Bryant Elite in terms of talent, but will he rotate being
the fantasy WR1 over in DAL for years to come?
3.12 Chris Wells Elite ability stuck on a team that can’t
consistently use him. Oh, and there are all the injury concerns. If only he
got consistent starter-type carries and could hold up!
Round Four
4.01 Jordy Nelson He was very underrated last year – We should see the
same thing occurr in 2012.
4.02 Michael Vick A tough player to rank, but with all of the
disappointment in 2011, he could be one of the best value grabs in 2012.
4.03 DeMarco Murray It’s tough to rank him higher than this, but also
tough to rank him lower. His ADP will be all over the map heading into next
4.04 Steve Smith With a top 1-3 fantasy QB throwing him the rock, 1
more elite season is likely left in the tank.
4.05 Shonn Greene Not the best PPR fantasy running back, but there is
a lot to like about Greene heading into 2012. He is capable of 1,100 yards
and 7-8 scores in 2012.
4.06 Peyton Manning Could be a bust or the steal of drafts in 2012. Just
don’t take him too early.
4.07 Philip Rivers A disappointing 2011 should have him falling way too
far in 2012.
4.08 Brandon Marshall Undervalued, but his upside is limited in his
current situation. With an elite QB, he would be elite himself.
4.09 C.J. Spiller We love this running back. It will be interesting to
see if Buffalo commits to him in 2012.
4.10 Fred Jackson A top 5 fantasy back falling this late? Well, keep
in mind he will be 31 entering 2012, and he is coming off of a broken leg.
4.11 Kevin Smith HUGE upside, but he is far from a lock to be the
answer for DET.
4.12 Miles Austin Always capable of busting or playing like a top
10WR. Draft him if you can steal him away from other owners on draft day,
otherwise, let someone else reach for him.
Round Five
5.01 Percy Harvin A strong 2011 and a lot of upside heading into 2012.
5.02 Tony Romo Should have another solid 2012.
5.03 Steven Jackson Tough to imagine him playing at an elite level in
2012.. He has taken a beating over the years.
5.04 Stevie Johnson A rough 2011 will have many doubting in 2012. Take
advantage and scoop him up!
5.05 Peyton Hillis A great value grab, but only when he costs you very
little (like this).
5.06 Jermichael Finley Finley has top 4-5 TE upside heading into the next
3-4 years. Don’t undervalue him heading into 2012.
5.07 Reggie Bush It is tough to doubt him after his 2011 finish, but
it is also tough to trust him. Don’t reach.
5.08 Ahmad Bradshaw It’s tough to imagine him staying healthy in 2012.
5.09 Dwayne Bowe If he had a great QB, he would be top 3-5 for
fantasy WRs each season. Without that stud QB under center, he will play like
a top 10WR some weeks, and bust others.
5.10 Willis McGahee He came out of nowhere in 2012, and while we have
our long-term doubts about him, he is worth this kind of draft selection.
5.11 Jeremy Maclin His inconsistencies make him hard to slot higher
than this, but he could truly earn his value and more at this slot.
5.12 DeSean Jackson It is tough to value the speed specialist higher
than this, as he comes with some baggage (concussions and attitude).
Round Six
6.01 Kenny Britt An ACL tear is tough to rebound from, but he is
young and the injury occurred early on in 2011. In 1-2 years, he could be
back to his old self, but slow-starting can be expected in 2012.
6.02 Darren Sproles Underrated, even by us, in PPR formats.
6.03 Jonathan Stewart Huge upside, but bad situation for a runner (sharing
carries with the team’s other rusher and the team’s rushing QB).
6.04 LeGarrette Blount Capable of both boom and bust moving forward. Only
draft him if you can land him this late, otherwise, let someone else ride the
roller coaster.
6.05 Mark Ingram Great upside, but will he stay healthy, and will the
Saints give him enough touches?
6.06 Brandon Lloyd With a solid off-season with his
rising-star-of-a-passer, this receiver will surprise in 2012.
6.07 Mike Williams Many will avoid him in 2012, at least as a top 20WR,
but we say believe in that talent you saw shine through during his rookie
season. We believe.
6.08 Denarius Moore An ultra-talented receiver. Hopefully he works hard
during the coming off-season.
6.09 Michael Bush Where will he be in 2012? If still in OAK, this is
about the right ranking… if he is starting elsewhere, he would rise a ton
from this draft slot.
6.10 Kendall Hunter More of a sleeper, as he won’t start early on in
6.11 Matt Ryan With Roddy and Julio, sky is the limit in 2012.
6.12 Antonio Brown Rising star?

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13 Comments so far

  1. akadan January 9th, 2012 10:41 am

    Where do you put Tebow? Top 10 fantasy QB easy; possibly top 5…

  2. Smitty January 10th, 2012 12:10 am

    akadan: I think right around that 7th-round range is where you might have some crafty drafters selecting Tebow in early 2012 drafts. There are still a lot of haters out there. We have him at No. 11-12 in dynasty for QBs, and we still get comments :) People love to doubt him, but I’m proud to say, I’ve stuck by the guy and have the article to prove it. Keep up the the commenting, akadan!

  3. Scorp January 10th, 2012 7:31 pm

    Not sure where Demarius Thomas and either Boldin/T.Smith fit in here. I like them quite a bit. Perhaps they’ll be the WR3 grabs along with Santana Moss and Reggie Wayne? It’s interesting what Aaron Rodgers,Brees,Newton, and Brady have done to the drafts. Round 7 still has some potential.

  4. Smitty January 10th, 2012 11:30 pm

    Scorp: You’re right, those guys are players to call out for sure, and the QBs are redefining veteran “drafting rules” that have existed for over a decade.

  5. Sugarbuzz January 12th, 2012 7:32 pm

    Hey Smitty, great mock. I love seeing this early stuff. Just a few comments…

    1.) I’m really liking Antonio Brown next year. I think the 2 TDs he had this year will stick out as an abberation when we look back on it. That number should at least triple next year. His yards and catches are both comparable to Mike Wallace’s and Brown even recieved more targets. If given the choice I’d certainly take Brown in the late 6th over Wallace in the mid-2nd as I see them posting similar numbers.

    2.) Nice job with the rankings of Gronk and Graham. I agree 100%. Some would cringe at the idea of taking a TE that early, but I would jump on either of those guys in the 3rd round every time. The TE pool is not as deep as it once was and a starter-quality TE is a very rare find off the waiver wire.

    3.) QB seems to get deeper and deeper every year. You really think there can be 5 of them go in the first 2 rounds? I remember in last years drafts everyone was stockpiling RBs and WRs early and waiting on QB. It made for great value as guys like Brees and Brady were going wayyyy later than they should have (usually 4th round). I could see the same thing happening this year.

    4.) Great calls on Newton, Cruz, and Tebow this past year.

  6. Smitty January 14th, 2012 2:01 am

    Sugarbuzz: Thanks for the props. Nice comments and I agree Brown could surprise, but he is going to be a sleeper and I don’t think we will have to take him higher than we have him slotted, but anything can happen. I still like Wallace more myself, but that doesn’t mean Brown can’t earn where we have him and some. He is super talented. Yep, Gronko and Graham are special and outscore the players at their position by quite a bit. It’s hard to argue against either being an early pick in 2012. The QB argument will be made all off-season long. Most are starting to throw the old “you can’t take a QB in the first” theory out the window. Can you win going Brady or Vick later? Absolutely, but I ask you this. In your leagues, did the winner(s) have either Rodgers, Brees or Cam? If not, there is proof that you can do it another way, but if the answer is yes, then it’s like almost every other league I played in this year.. it just seems that you’re playing catch-up if you don’t have one of those guns, as teams with either of those big QBs had such a safety net of points each and every week… And if you owned one of those QBs and Gronko or Graham, forget about it… And I throw Brady in there with those other QBs, too, and I am not so sure he will fall far in 2012… I think he is a second rounder as of now. Not sure if that will change. Once the top 3QBs are gone in 2012, I imagine someone in most every league will immediately reach for Brady, so I don’t see him as a value grab – as of now. But Brady is still worth that second-round pick, no question. Any of those big-name QBs are worth a first round pick IMO. Everyone is different, though.

  7. ump January 16th, 2012 2:24 am

    Love the list. I was the favorite going into the playoffs in my league only to end up losing both games and ending up fourth. So the best thing I have to do is look forward to next year. I pick 9/12 and get to keep Stafford in the fourth and Gronkowski in the sixth. I’m leaning towards RBs both first and second. I like Forte or McFadden followed by Mathews or Charles. You’re one of the few that has DMC that early and I feel vindicated. I know it’s early and we can wait and see in August. I’m also looking forward to maybe Nicks or Dez in the third. Anyways, keep it up. I look forward to your updates.

  8. Bones January 17th, 2012 1:57 am

    Am wondering if Matt Forte is a tad bit high now that Mike Martz has retired, or do we have to wait and see who his new offensive coordinator is?

    Also wonder if Gronk is too low!? Even with expectations curbed a bit for next year, he is so far ahead of all tight ends other than those named Jimmy Graham, that I could see owners drafting him in the early 2nd round, especially considering you have a late first round pick. He just won’t be there by the time you get to round 3.

    As always, your work is incredible Smitty; love seeing this in January! Thanks.

  9. Smitty January 17th, 2012 3:51 pm

    ump: Thanks, ump. Both Nicks and Dez are going to be interesting options in 2012, as I think they will be undervalued, even by someone like me. I just can’t rank either in my top 10WRs, and that’s great for those who think both can be just that.

    Bones: Forte could be a touch overrated, but aside from taking one of the big 4QBs, I think he is the safest rusher to grab of all of the rushes+him left. I think if you don’t like Forte at the slot we drafted him, should you go QB or WR? Good topic, and please toss out a couple runners you would take over Forte, it would make good convo.

  10. ump January 19th, 2012 3:43 pm

    Regarding Forte, Martz “retiring” is a good thing for Forte. If Martz had his way, they would pass every down. With Tice, they are going to go towards a power running game with explosive pass plays. What that means is more carries for Forte. Part of the problem is that the WRs just aren’t very good in Chicago. Unless they get a real #1 and probably even #2, it will still be a lot of checkdowns. Good news for Forte. Unless they draft/sign a really good WR, I expect no slowdown in Forte’s total yards and his rushing yards to go up. If they dump that Cowboy’s RB (whose name I forget right now) and stick with Bell, that means more goalline chances in my opinion. Forte will definitely should be worth the 4th or 5th RB taken (unless he gets hurt or he goes Chris Johnson after a big payday – which I don’t expect).

    Personally, my RB “tiers” are Foster/Rice/McCoy, Forte/MJD/DMC, CJ/Mathews/Lynch, Charles/AP/Gore, Turner/Murray, Mendenhall/FJax/SJax.

  11. Lucky January 29th, 2012 9:58 pm

    Just found this site and I love it. You think outside the box like I do. Sproles is definitely a 3rd rd prospect. Hard to trust many rbs these days in ppr. When is your next mock with the rookies involved?

  12. Smitty January 31st, 2012 10:05 pm

    Lucky: Hopefully soon. We do at least one a month in the off-season. Do check out all our year-round rankings and content, though. And try our Fantasy Mock “Draft Simulator“!

  13. scony March 14th, 2012 9:19 pm

    Nice draft and I’ll keep checking the updates. One thing though – where is Eli Manning? Surely you don’t think he’ll fall past round 6!

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