KFFL.com's Fantasy Football Analysis Draft (FAD) brings you behind the scenes on all 16 rounds of an actual fantasy football league draft. Each of our experts participating give you their analysis on why they took the player they did. This is not a mock fantasy football draft; this league will be played out during the course of the 2011 fantasy football season ... each participant is drafting to win!
1) Darren McFadden, running back, Oakland Raiders
Team: Ryan R. Bonini | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: Initially I planned to grab Calvin Johnson here, and may have over-thought the situation by changing gears. With Michael Turner's thunder I need to add some lightning. McFadden can make me or break me. He produced better in 13 games last year than he did the combined 26 before that. He has yet to play a full season, but he showed a year ago he can do a little bit of everything incredibly well if he is healthy and the line opens the slightest of crevices for him to sneak though. I'm hoping he makes it a career-first 14 games this year, posting 1,200 yards rushing, 500 yards receiving and scores 10-12 touchdowns.
2) Frank Gore, running back, San Francisco 49ers
Team: Tim Heaney | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: Figured Gore or Darren McFadden would be available; Ryan snagged DMC, who's injured. Gore is hardly safe in that department, but he'll once again be the focus of San Fran's offense. His hip seems to be OK, and with what hopes to be an improving O-line, Gore should return to 1,500 total yards, 50ish receptions and 13 total scores, even if I have to deduct one or two games. Even with his brittle past, he was the best value.
3) Michael Vick, quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles
Team: Dan Dobish | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: As soon as I clicked "send" to make the pick, I was angry with myself. I fell in love with what I saw from Vick early in the season, but know he isn't going to be as good as last season. He won't sneak up on anyone. Still, Philly is loaded on offense, but Peyton Manning, Tom Brady or even WR Greg Jennings might have been safer picks. Time will tell. Also, I'm hoping for five to seven rush TDs, 20-25 pass TDs and 2,500 pass yards and 600 rushing yards.
4) Calvin Johnson, wide receiver, Detroit Lions
Team: Eric McClung | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: While the second tier of running backs continue to come off the board, I'll stick with my game plan of drafting elite players, regardless of position. Enter Megatron, the physical freak of nature that posted an excellent season a year ago despite ankle issues all while making any quarterback the Lions put under center look capable. If Matthew Stafford can finally stay on the field, 80 receptions for 1,300 yards and a dozen scores is realistic.
5) Steven Jackson, running back, St. Louis Rams
Team: Jared Byrd | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: I considered taking Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning here, but settled on Jackson because it's easier to find a productive quarterback than a running back in fantasy football. Even though he'll never reach his 2006 numbers again (2,334 total yards from scrimmage with 16 touchdowns), he is still a lock to rush for more than 1,000 yards in an offense that has few other playmakers. Expect 1,150 rushing yards, five touchdowns and 50 catches from Jackson this season.
6) Hakeem Nicks, wide receiver, New York Giants
Team: Cory J. Bonini | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: Larry Fitzgerald was starring me down, and yet I felt the urge to go in another direction. I've never owned Nicks, and I was interested in mixing it up. This choice was kind of a boom-or-bust selection because of Maurice Jones-Drew as my No. 1. I'll be happy with 80 receptions, 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns.
7) Larry Fitzgerald, wide receiver, Arizona Cardinals
Team: Nicholas Minnix | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: Fitz caught 90 balls for more than 1,100 yards and six touchdowns while dealing with the crappiest quarterback situation I've ever seen and with little help from the rest of his O. He was working out with Kevin Kolb before the Cards dealt for the QB. Fitzgerald is the consummate professional wideout: He's a top-three talent, he's durable, and he produces regardless of the situation. No doubt that he'll
have little trouble approaching 100 catches, 1,300 yards and double-digit TDs again.
8) Reggie Wayne, wide receiver, Indianapolis Colts
Team: Brian Polking | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: On an injury-plagued Indianapolis offense, Wayne finished the year with 111 receptions and 1,355 yards. Those totals were good enough for the second and third-most in the NFL. With Austin Collie and Dallas Clark returning, I expect Wayne to have a few less catches but to make up the difference by grabbing a few more touchdowns. Not to mention the fact he has had at least 82 catches for the last six seasons. Wayne will be a steady source of points throughout the year.
9) Greg Jennings, wide receiver, Green Bay Packers
Team: Keith Hernandez | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: I like Jennings' chances of racking up his fourth straight season with 1,000-plus receiving yards. He has one of the best quarterbacks in the league tossing him footballs in Aaron Rodgers, so I can't complain. Green Bay has a plethora of other targets for Rodgers to hit, but I'm confident that Jennings will remain his go-to guy in this offense. I expect another 70-plus-catch season and around 10 scores.
10) Tom Brady, quarterback, New England Patriots
Team: Jack Douglas | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: Brady is the reigning NFL MVP from 2010, a campaign wherein he threw for 3,900 yards (243.8 yards per game), 36 touchdown passes and only four interceptions. Though 34, Brady seems still at the top of his game. With the addition of former Cincinnati Bengal Chad Ochocinco at wide receiver, he may even do better. I look for 3,500 to 4,000 yards passing, 35 to 40 touchdown passes and 12 or fewer interceptions. He is still one of the elite quarterbacks, and I was afraid he would be gone if I did not act in the second round.
11) Miles Austin, wide receiver, Dallas Cowboys
Team: Tim Piotrowski | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: Austin gets his starting quarterback back healthy this season and the presence of wide receiver Dez Bryant and tight end Jason Witten should give him some more room to operate. I expect some increased production with Romo back and would be happy with 75-80 catches, 1,200 yards and 7-9 touchdowns.
12) Matt Forte, running back, Chicago Bears
Team: Ryan Dodson | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: I was hoping to snag a No. 1 receiver here, but a big receiver run just concluded. I liked the options at running back better at this point. Sure, Forte has RBs Chester Taylor and Marion Barber III vulturing goal line looks, and his O-line stinks. However, he's a 1,000-yard rusher and 50-catch, 500-yard receiver in the bank. The Bears didn't abuse him last season, and he could easily improve on last season's 1,069 yards rushing, 547 yards receiving and nine total scores. He was the 13th RB taken thus far, and I could see him being in the top 10 at the end of the year.
How do you feel about each selection? Would you have made the same move? We want to hear your thoughts in the comments area at the bottom of the page. If you disagree with a pick, let your thoughts be known.
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