1) Mike Williams, wide receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Team: Ryan R. Bonini | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: I'm developing a trend through four rounds: two safe picks (Michael Turner/Brandon Marshall) and two boom picks (Darren McFadden/Williams). Entering his second year, Williams seems to have many of the intangibles you want to like to see: Good size (6-foot-1, 221 pounds), an up-and-coming quarterback in Josh Freeman and he is the team's No. 1 receiver. However, outside tight end Kellen Winslow, the team doesn't have another proven receiver so double teams could be a weekly occurrence. Regardless, he plays big, has a chip on his shoulder and could flourish in this system. I'm looking for 75 receptions, 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns in his sophomore season. I did strongly consider runners Jahvid Best
and DeAngelo Williams here, but felt safer in locking up my No. 2 receiver.
2) Peyton Hillis, running back, Cleveland Browns
Team: Tim Heaney | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: He suffered a hammy injury yesterday; he's a long shot to repeat last year's breakout stats; and he's on the Madden cover to boot. But Round 4? No way could I ignore him here as my No. 2 back. The powerful Hillis remains Cleveland's best goal line option; his O-line's run blocking is incredibly underrated; and this system, while not an ideal fit, should continue to ride his receiving ability out of the backfield. Montario Hardesty and Brandon Jackson don't scare me enough to pass up this bargain.
3) DeAngelo Williams, running back, Carolina Panthers
Team: Dan Dobish | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: Since I decided to avoid the running back position, it was high time to add a starter ASAP. Williams was a first-rounder a couple of seasons ago, but he was injured most of last year. This could be a great value pick, which is just what I need at this point. Jonathan Stewart has been equally injury-prone, so hopefully 1,200 yards and 10 TDs is right around the corner.
4) Antonio Gates, tight end, San Diego Chargers
Team: Eric McClung | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: This pick goes back to my strategy of selecting elite players, regardless of position. Now four picks into the draft, my team is home to my top-ranked quarterback in A-Rod, No. 3 rated wide receiver in Megatron and now the top tight end. The toe and foot issues that derailed a likely career year for Gates in 2010 are well documented but neither required surgery in the offseason. Although Gates has experienced similar problems in previous seasons, last year was the first time he actually missed games. A full participant in three straight practices at the time of this selection, Gates appears on track to be at full strength for Week 1. A healthy Gates should approach 80 receptions, 1,100 receiving yards and double-digit touchdowns.
5) Jason Witten, tight end, Dallas Cowboys
Team: Jared Byrd | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: I wasn't enamored with the crop of available wide receivers and my quarterback and running back situations were taken care of, so I decided to draft the best tight end available with this pick. Witten was one of the few bright spots on my fantasy team last season (94 receptions, 1,002 receiving yards and nine touchdowns) and proved he could be effective regardless of who was lining up behind center for the Cowboys. His durability - he's never missed an NFL game - makes him a safe bet to end up with at least 90 catches and 1,000 receiving yards again this year.
6) Dwayne Bowe, wide receiver, Kansas City Chiefs
Team: Cory J. Bonini | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: I don't expect Bowe to replicate last year's prolific showing, but he's going to come darn close. The Chiefs will open up the offense more this year, and Bowe has shown to be a presence around the goal line. The offense will still run through the ground game, but that only helps Bowe, as defenders have to keep an eye in the backfield at all times. I'm hoping for 75 receptions, 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns.
7) Dez Bryant, wide receiver, Dallas Cowboys
Team: Nicholas Minnix | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: Really, I don't ordinarily make such daring picks, but I was in the mood for explosiveness that's about to be unleashed. Bryant is a top talent in an offense that will take advantage of it. In his rookie season, he caught 45 balls for 561 yards in 12 games, only two of them starts, while dealing with ankle problems and ultimately a broken ankle that ended his season. He's been a sensation in camp and at practices. Although he wears a bull's-eye because of his reputed attitude, the second-year man has been quiet as the 2011 season approaches and claims to have a much greater understanding of the playbook.
8) Jahvid Best, running back, Detroit Lions
Team: Brian Polking | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: Best definitely underwhelmed in his rookie campaign, but he was playing on one leg most of the year as he battled turf toe. He still managed 58 receptions and more than 1,000 yards of offense, and with backfield mate Mikel Leshoure going down in training camp, Best is once again the lone feature back. Mike Bell will steal the goal line work, but as long as Best and Matthew Stafford stay healthy, Best's versatility and big play ability will help have a bounceback season in a high-scoring Detroit offense.
9) Marques Colston, wide receiver, New Orleans Saints
Team: Keith Hernandez | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: Not gonna lie, Colston's offseason surgery on his knee has me very concerned. He's back at practice, though, and the Saints are being very cautious with Drew Brees' No. 1 weapon. All things considered here, I think the late fourth round is a pretty solid bargain for a player of this magnitude. I'm not worried that Colston will struggle to haul in passes among a talented group of targets in New Orleans; he's topped 1,000 yards receiving in four of his five years in the league, and he's done that without playing a full 16 games in any one season. The health concerns are there, but if he can stay on the field for around 14 games, 1,000-plus yards and 7-10 TDs shouldn't be a problem in this pass-happy offense.
10) Brandon Lloyd, wide receiver, Denver Broncos
Team: Jack Douglas | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: In 2010, Brandon Lloyd had a career-best year wherein the eight-year veteran caught 77 receptions for 1,448 receiving yards and 11 scores. This was by far his best year yet, but 2011 is likely to be another bumper crop for him because he has finally found a home in Denver where he stars and quarterback Kyle Orton returns for another season as the field general. Orton-to-Lloyd was in 2010 one of the top combinations in the NFL and there is little reason to see that change this year. Both are back and looking great this pre-season. Assumption of risk is part of fantasy football and I believe Lloyd is a reasonable risk to take.
11) Santonio Holmes, wide receiver, New York Jets
Team: Tim Piotrowski | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: Holmes was the pick here because he is the Jets top receiving option and should see an increased role as quarterback Mark Sanchez continues his development. Holmes had to sit out the first four games of last season and had to develop chemistry with Sanchez, which is why his stats were down in 2010. As for this season, I am hoping for around 75-80 catches, around 1,000 yards and at least five to seven touchdowns.
12) Stevie Johnson, wide receiver, Buffalo Bills
Team: Ryan Dodson | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: This pick is pretty self-explanatory. He's the best of what was left. My intentions were to select two wide receivers with this pick, the first one being New York Jets Santonio Holmes, but he was taken one pick before mine. Johnson isn't a good No. 1 fantasy receiver, and he doesn't have much upside, but he's the safest pick here. He caught 82 balls for 1,073 yards and 10 touchdowns last year, and expecting him to repeat that may be a stretch. However, 80 catches for around 1,000 yards and seven or eight scores is suitable for me in this PPR format. I considered Seattle Seahawks WR Sidney Rice and Minnesota Vikings WR Percy Harvin as well. Rice has too many question marks surrounding him, and I don't think
Harvin will catch enough passes to warrant the next selection.
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