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First-Round Fantasy Mock Draft and Later-Round Favorites

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A mock draft of the first round, along with my favorite players to take a look at for your roster.

Lamar Miller is one of the best fantasy RB options this season.
Lamar Miller is one of the best fantasy RB options this season.
John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes I think that I love fantasy football season almost as much as regular, old-fashioned football. Researching like an NFL manager, compiling rosters, informing all of my friends that I'm going to destroy everything that they love this year... It's kind of beautiful.

As we move toward fantasy drafts and the beginning of the regular season, it's time for a small mock draft and a look at my favorite players. While the first round of fantasy talents are damn near indisputable, personal preference and beliefs can shuffle the order and push people out (for example, I have Lamar Miller in the top 12, not everyone does). This list is a combination of my favorite fantasy gurus' opinions, as well as my own.

Note: If you and I play in a fantasy league together, this is where you should stop reading, lest you become privy to my drafting strategy. I'm trusting y'all.

Round One

Pick 1: Antonio Brown
Pick 2: Julio Jones
Pick 3: OBJ a/k/a Ol' Dirty Beckham
Pick 4: Todd Gurley
Pick 5: DeAndre Hopkins
Pick 6: Adrian Peterson
Pick 7: David Johnson
Pick 8: Ezekiel Elliott
Pick 9: Lamar Miller
Pick 10: Allen Robinson
Pick 11: Le'Veon Bell
Pick 12: Rob Gronkowski

A few of my favorite targets for outside of the first round:

Sterling Shepard: This kid is absurdly talented (I was actually pulling for Houston to grab him in the draft). Yes, he has to compete for catches with OBJ and Victor Cruz (who I'm losing faith in), but he still has the potential for great fantasy value this year.

Josh Gordon: Cleveland (and RG3) got a huge break when they got Gordon back from suspension this year. While the WR has been plagued by off-field issues throughout his career, he is easily the most talented wideout on the Browns' roster. It may take him a minute to shake the proverbial dust off, and to get into a rhythm with RG3, but Gordon will be spectacular this year if he can stay out of trouble and on the field.

Jaelen Strong: I've mentioned Strong's talent and potential in previous posts, and he should be on your fantasy radar as well. Yes, Houston has more WR talent than they know what to do with right now, but Strong has the experience and the physical skills to be the Texans' #2 wideout, and a solid fantasy option.

Jaguars D/ST: I have said it before and I'm saying it again: I love the Jags defense on paper. This year may have some growing pains, but the thought of Jalen Ramsey, Dante Fowler Jr., Malik Jackson, Tashaun Gipson, and Myles Jack is a horrifying thought for Texans fans/potentially exciting thought for fantasy owners.

Seattle's RB Situation: A lot of people will go out and draft Thomas Rawls this year, and that's fine. He stepped up in Marshawn Lynch's absence and did a great job. But then Seattle went out and drafted C.J. Prosise and Alex Collins this April, and I do not envy anyone who is trying to keep a RB job with Collins at his heels. Seattle may well turn into a RBBC this season, but everyone in their backfield has talent and is worth keeping an eye on as that position plays out.

Houston's TE Position: Houston hasn't had a play-making TE in quite a while, and C.J. Fiedorowicz is no exception. I'm sure you all know by now that I love UDFA Stephen Anderson and his uncanny ability to be open all the time. I know, Anderson is still a raw talent, but he doesn't have much of a depth chart to overcome, and could be a huge sleeper if he takes the starting job. Whoever steps up for Houston at TE has playmaker potential, especially in a fantasy world that lacks viable TE options.

Fantasy football season is upon us, but there is still time for you to create or join a league! You can go here to create a league with Yahoo, and invite your friends and family to play with you. You can ask fantasy questions, or let us know in the comments who you are excited to draft this season!