As I wrapped up my position-by-position fantasy breakdown, it was time for another NFL.com mock draft. See the results from my first draft here.
The main player I was watching in this draft was Joseph Randle. With McFadden sidelined, Randle has seized his chance to become the featured back in the Cowboys offense.
Here is how the draft broke down (auto-picked)…
Round 1 – Pick 4: QB Tony Romo
If the NFL.com auto pick bot shows this much trust in Tony Romo, you should too! While I do not recommend drafting Romo in the first round, I think his fantasy value this season is higher than ever.
Click this picture to read my preview for Romo and find out why.
Round 2 – Pick 15: WR Dez Bryant
Bryant was a first-round draft pick in my first mock draft, and the first WR taken off the board. This drop off shows that Bryant’s stock will differ in value in every draft, and I encourage fantasy owners to make a smart decision when it comes to Bryant.
There is no doubt that Dez will put up huge numbers this season, but do not reach for him too high at the risk of being depleted in other positions. If you land a top name running back and have a shot at Dez in the second round, draft him!
Click the picture to see my full WR fantasy breakdown.
By far the biggest surprise of the draft is seeing Joseph Randle as a second round pick.
While Randle has impressed in camp, Darren McFadden will be back on the field soon – and it is foolish not to expect him to have some kind of role in the offense.
This is normally bad news for fantasy owners, and I advise to stay away from Randle in the second round. If Bryant goes off the board in round one, you should be able to land a much more valuable running back in the second round at this spot.
Randle was a sixth-round pick in the first mock draft.
Round 3 – Pick 24: TE Jason Witten
Previously undrafted, it is rare to see a tight end selected this high in the draft. The tight end market in fantasy is slim, with players either stretching for a top name or living with a suitable role player.
That said, Witten holds little to no fantasy value this season. While we all expect Witten to once again be Romo’s safety blanket, the veteran TE is wildly inconsistent in fantasy output.
His role may also be diminished by Gavin Escobar this season. If you are looking at tight ends in round 3, it better be Jimmy Graham.
Round 4 – Pick 37: RB Darren McFadden
This mock draft saw McFadden selected 42 picks ahead of his previous slot. While the injury prone back has not been practicing with the team, he will likely return soon.
With even less time for the team to find a role for DMC, I look at this fourth round selection to be rather high. There is a chance, with Randle stepping up, that McFadden will be the goal-line back.
This would give him some very late round fantasy value.
It will take a few more mock drafts to see where he truly settles, but I am personally staying away from McFadden in my drafts – and recommend you do the same.
Round 5 – Pick 44: WR Terrance Williams
Selected just two picks higher than his previous position, it appears Terrance Williams has settled into a comfortable spot in this year’s fantasy market.
A fifth-round selection on Williams gives him good value, while not reaching for him at the same time. I would not look for Williams any earlier than the fifth, and consider him a sleeper if he remains on the board after this round.
Williams will have to show more consistency to help the Cowboys – and his draft value.
Round 6 – Pick 57: K Dan Bailey
Bailey is the fifth highest ranked kicker on NFL.com, and it is easy to see why. He is among the NFL’s best in kicking accuracy from any distance.
Jason Garrett has also said that the team has total confidence in him to kick the longer PATs that we will see in 2015.
Projecting fantasy kickers is often difficult, because the best kickers often play for teams with potent offenses that are less likely to be forced to settle for field goals.
However, with Bailey’s range, accuracy, and the loss of DeMarco Murray, I think he is one of the best kickers to have this season.
Wait to see when other players in your draft begin selecting kickers, but expect it to be around this time.
Round 7 – Pick 64: Cowboys Defense
Also previously undrafted, the Cowboys defense is an interesting fantasy case-study. The defense expects to be much improved, coming off of a season in which they forced 31 turnovers – good for second in the league.
Fantasy defenses are often not a make-or-break position, so a defense that can force turnovers and have the potential for a big output is huge.
Of course, that defense also needs to be trusted to not be gashed and produce negative point values. With an improved defensive line, I expect the Cowboys defense to do just that.
After a week 14 showdown with Aaron Rodgers, the Cowboys will see the Jets, Bills and Redskins down the stretch. If you are not in the running for a top defense, look for the Cowboys in the seventh or eighth round.
Round 8 – Pick 77: WR Cole Beasley
Beasley amassed just 62 fantasy points last season, despite his relatively large role in the Cowboys offense.
Beasley is often a third down target for this team, which bodes well in PPR leagues. However, in most standard scoring leagues, he will not see enough of the ball to crack any starting lineups.
Look for him as the last player on your bench in the draft, and definitely do not waste an eighth round selection on the slot receiver.
Beasley may very well become a top waiver-wire plug in throughout the season.
Round 10 – Pick 97: TE Gavin Escobar
Also previously undrafted, Escobar’s fantasy purpose appears to serve only as a hinderer to Jason Witten. While we know Witten’s value is diminished, Escobar holds virtually none in the fantasy world.
While many Cowboys’ fans are excited to see what Escobar can do, he will not nearly be consistent enough to justify a starting spot. With the likes of Dez Bryant and Co. in the red zone, it is also doubtful Escobar can turn into a big-time TD producer week after week.
Fantasy draft quickly approaching? Reply below with your questions or shoot me a tweet @ShoreSportsNJ!