Fantasy football analysis draft: Round 3

by KFFL Staff on August 18, 2011 @ 00:50:17 PDT'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) Drew Brees, quarterback, New Orleans Saints
Team: Ryan Dodson | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: In a perfect world, I could have drafted a second running back and my first receiver, but Brees was too tempting to pass up. The supply and demand for legit quarterbacks is a tricky game to play, and I didn't want any part of it later in the draft. In a "down" year last year, he threw for 4,620 yards and 33 touchdowns. Both of those were nearly career highs. There's no reason to think he can't approach those again, while, hopefully, improving on his 22 interceptions from last year. He still has a number of weapons to throw to, and it's hard to fathom his running backs missing more time than they did last season. The addition of rookie running back Mark Ingram could give the offense the stability it needs for Brees to bounce back.

2) Vincent Jackson, wide receiver, San Diego Chargers

Vincent Jackson, WR, San Diego Chargers

Team: Tim Piotrowski | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: Jackson is not dealing with a contract dispute or facing a suspension, so he should have the chance to put up some good numbers because he is one of quarterback Philip Rivers' top targets. I would like to see around 75 receptions, 1,100 yards and at least seven touchdowns if he does not suffer an injury.

3) DeSean Jackson, wide receiver, Philadelphia Eagles
Team: Jack Douglas | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: Entering his fourth season in the NFL, Jackson has averaged 57.3 receptions, 1,045 receiving yards and 5.7 receiving touchdowns. As the number one wide receiver on the high-octane Philadelphia Eagle offense and just entering his fourth season, it is reasonable to assume that Jackson will catch about 55-65 balls for 1,000-1,200 receiving yards and probably around six to eight receiving touchdowns. He also benefits from the long, accurate throws that come from rejuvenated quarterback Michael Vick. Those two will be even better this year.

4) Ahmad Bradshaw, running back, New York Giants
Team: Keith Hernandez | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: I considered going with another receiver with this pick, but with exciting, pass-catching options at running back drying up quickly, I felt it was necessary to shore up my depth at RB. I realize that Bradshaw will share reps in the New York backfield with Brandon Jacobs, but I'm completely fine with that. In fact, the presence of Jacobs actually bumps up Bradshaw's value - while he did post a career high in rushing yardage last year (1,235), his yard-per-tote average has dropped in three straight seasons with an increased workload. Eli Manning and Co. should rely heavily on the running game after losing Steve E. Smith and Kevin Boss to free agency - Bradshaw could see more looks through the air as a result, too. I'm expecting another 1,000-plus-yard season and 50-plus grabs.

5) Philip Rivers, quarterback back, San Diego Chargers
Team: Brian Polking | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: Rivers led the NFL with 4,710 passing yards last year, giving him three straight 4,000-yard seasons. He has averaged more than 30 touchdowns a year during the stretch, and this season, he gets to enjoy the services of Vincent Jackson for a full 16 games. I love picking players with juicy matchups within their division, and with Oakland losing cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, Rivers should be able to pick apart the AFC West. I wanted a sure thing at the QB spot, and Rivers gives me that.

6) Tony Romo, quarterback, Dallas Cowboys
Team: Nicholas Minnix | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: I wasn't enamored with what was available at other positions, but the only reason to reach for Romo at this stage is to draw attention to him. Why the average drafter fails to see the value in the ninth-year QB is beyond me. In a down season that ended with a broken clavicle, the previously popular fantasy pick averaged nearly 20 fantasy points per game. Jason Garrett turned 'Boys into a different team from the moment he took over. This offense will be symphonic, and Romo, who has been locked in at camp and in practice, will be the conductor.

7) Shonn Greene, running back, New York Jets

Shonn Greene, RB, New York Jets

Team: Cory J. Bonini | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: Greene will be a monster in the Jets' run-first offense. LaDainian Tomlinson is now relegated to third-down work and will occasionally give Greene a breather. The Jets' OL is fairly strong, and their passing game is just good enough to keep defenders on their heels. I think Greene's fumbling problem will be behind him and he should show dexterity around the stripe. I'm expecting 290-310 carries, 1,250-1,350 rushing yards and nearly 10 touchdowns.

8) Peyton Manning, quarterback, Indianapolis Colts
Team: Jared Byrd | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: I was stunned to see Manning fall so far in the draft, with six quarterbacks having been picked ahead of him, and there was no way he would have been available in the fourth round so I grabbed him here. Even though Manning has played in every game for 13 consecutive years, he shows no signs of slowing down at age 35. His numbers could improve slightly over last season (when he threw for 4,700 yards and had 33 touchdowns) as a result of having tight end Dallas Clark and wide receiver Austin Collie back in the fold. Thirty-five TD passes and 4,500-4,800 passing yards are not out of the question.

9) LeGarrette Blount, running back, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Team: Eric McClung | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: Last year, Blount led the league in forced missed tackles per touch and in rushing yards after contact. He's the cowbell back of an emerging offense with little competition for carries, despite his limitations in pass coverage and as a receiver. I have Blount ranked higher than five of the last seven running backs taken because of the limited mileage on his odometer and no threat of a time share, something that can not be said for many of those backs already selected. If you take Blount's 88.8 yards per game as a starter from Weeks 7-17, he'll bulldoze his way to over 1,400 rushing yards and flirt with a dozen touchdowns in a full season.

10) Mike Wallace, wide receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers
Team: Dan Dobish | Team Roster | League Scoring

Coming back around to the third round, Wallace was sitting there for the taking. Even though I had no running backs to this point, Wallace said he is shooting for 2,000 yards this season. What's not to like there? Ha. Seriously, I expect 1,200 yards and perhaps 70 receptions with about eight going for scores. That's better production than any RB on the board.

11) Wes Welker, wide receiver, New England Patriots

Wes Welker, WR, New England Patriots

Team: Tim Heaney | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: Ryan needed a wideout, so I took my preference. Welker is all-receptions, and while his TDs probably won't eclipse seven or eight, I'm OK with the slot machine who's looking like his old self. His 95-plus receptions and 1,000 yards provide a devastating weekly one-two wideout punch with Roddy White, especially given the offenses they're in.

12) Brandon Marshall, wide receiver, Miami Dolphins
Team: Ryan R. Bonini | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: Marshall always keeps it interesting during the offseason, and his alleged stabbing this year may have been the icing on the cake. Even with poor quarterback play last year, he piled up 86 receptions, 1,014 yards and three touchdowns in 14 games. He has played just one 16-game season in his career, but in a PPR league he can be solid (he had double-digit receptions in four games last year and less than five receptions in a game just four times). His touchdowns need to increase to make him a solid WR1 for my team. I'll be content with 95 receptions, 1,150 yards and seven scores.

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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