Welcome to The 120! Streetz here, and Mock SZN is upon us. As we are all guilty of, we hardly go past the 10th rd in them this early. So over the next couple of weeks, I will be dropping my 120 to kick this off. Without further ado, here is round 1!
1. Jonathan Taylor (RB1) – IND
23 years old. 350 Touches if healthy is a lock. Led league in RZ touches. #7 in true YPC 4.9, real was 5.5. #1 in evaded tackles, #1 in breakaway runs. 15 weeks of 15+ carries. I can just keep listing the ridiculousness or you just do the right thing and take him at 1. This isn’t rocket science. Go ahead though, drift off, take Tiki Barber over LaDainian Tomlinson like it’s 2006.
2. Austin Ekeler (RB2) – LAC
He’s 26 years old and might only play 15 games. However, his workload is moderate and used in a proper manner. He’s kind of like a Costco employee and gets off on holidays. 200 carries, 70 receptions, book it. He’s also red zone trusted and was #2 in RZT.
3. Najee Harris (RB3) – PIT
Steelers have a knack for deploying a bell-cow back. So he is a 300-carry bell-cow who also plays a role in the passing game (70 receptions). Did all this with an iffy line and the Steelers actually used a concrete statue of Big Ben at QB (they didn’t but they might have been better if they did). So the overall offense could improve with rookie Kenny Pickett or Mitch…..hahahaha I can’t. Never mind.
4. Cooper Kupp (WR1) – LAR
29 years old is likely a little older than I like for my WR1. But 191 targets, #1 in snap share, just a hog in the RZ, #1 in YAC yada yada yada. His connection with Stafford is a true love story. It’s one of those Kate Winslet movies where she shows her….woah, hold on, we almost went off-topic. Duplicating that season might be tough, but he should be a top 5 WR still.
5. Derrick Henry (RB4) – TEN
He’s big which can become an issue with injuries and healing from said injuries. He’s been used and abused like a toilet seat at a chili eating contest, buuuut, it’s just hard to find someone who gets this kind of workload. 300 carries if healthy with ease and his passing game production was on pace to double in 2021.
6. Joe Mixon (RB5) – CIN
Bengals are going to have a couple of guys early here. First off is Mixon. Maybe it is because he has more TD passes in the super bowl than Aaron Rodgers this past decade. Or maybe because last year he had 292 carries and added 42 receptions. New improved line, great passing game. Eat it, Erin. Sign me up.
7. Justin Jefferson (WR2) – MIN
Cousins is back. Who would have thought Cousins’ praise is possible. Not me. And we have said his name too many times now. But that is the key to being ranked here for me. 167 targets last season and should be close again. He was number 1 in air yards, 3 in target share, and 2 in actual yards. Could easily finish as WR1.
8. Ja’Marr Chase (WR3) – CIN
Drops? We talking about drops? The only ones who dropped the ball were those of you’s that passed on him because of that nonsense. Topic for a different day. He, just like his college teammate Justin Jefferson, had a monster rookie campaign. Chase was 4th in yards, 5th in YAC, and 9th in air yards. His QB would trust him to perform open-heart surgery on him also. Arrow is up.
9. Christian McCaffrey (RB6) – CAR
I battled him here or dead end of round 1. Injuries have derailed his last couple of campaigns. But no arguing when healthy he might be the best fantasy player in the game. His receiving prowess can easily fuel an Ekeler-like season. That is my exact hope also. Weeks 9-11 last year he had 14,26, 24 FP. All with not a single game over 15 carries. Is it worth the risk? Is Sopranos the show ever? Hint….Answer is yes.
10. Travis Kelce – (TE1) – KC
The easy #1 left standing in KC. 135 targets, 971 air yards, and 92 catches. That could possibly go up after the departure of Hill. He’s a stud and is the favorite target for the best QB in football. This pick is easier than pronouncing his last name correctly.
11. Mark Andrews – (TE2) – BAL
Welcome to the big leagues now Mr. Andrews. 154 targets, 1440 air yards, 107 catches. 20 RZ targets. All with a RB throwing him the ball (amirite Bill Polian?) and a backup QB playing 5 games. With Brown in Arizona and Bateman still a bit unproven it should be with ease Andrews repeats.
12. Stefon Diggs – (WR4) – BUF
Now this pick might surprise some. But it’s the spot and I have reasons. A few guys after this pick all have top 12 potential. They just carry some risk. Like fighting by an elevator in Vegas risk. So my game plan here is pairing Diggs with one of those players on my 12/13 turn. Diggs has back-to-back 160 target seasons. He was #2 in air yards last year, 8 in receptions, and #2 in RZ targets. He finished as the #7 WR but easily could see some positive regression and get back into the top 5. If not, he’s a safe floor.