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) Steve Smith, wide receiver, Carolina Panthers
Team: Ryan Dodson | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: I admit this is a risky selection with some room for criticism. Smith is being held hostage in Carolina and likely has a rookie quarterback throwing to him. His immense talent was just too tantalizing to pass up. He's coming off his worst season of his career and is 31 years old. Maybe playing with a chip on his shoulder is what he needs to rekindle fantasy stardom. The Panthers don't figure to be a very good team and will probably have to pass a lot. Smith still has the goods to gain separation in the open field. Having him as my No. 3 receiver looks great on paper. I don't expect him to approach 80 catches, 1,200 yards or 10 touchdowns, but that is certainly in the realm of possibility.
2) Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers
Team: Tim Piotrowski | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: Roethlisberger has shown that he can be a solid fantasy option each season. He has also shown he has the capability to throw for 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns. Big Ben does get hit a good amount and there is always the chance of getting injured but he also has at least four solid receivers and likes to throw the ball. I would be very happy with around 3,500 yards, 25-30 touchdowns and anything he can contribute with his running.
3) Kellen Winslow, tight end, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Team: Jack Douglas | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: The tight end field this year is very deep, so I knew I could wait and still get a top notch tight end. In the seventh round, Winslow stood out as the best available tight end and a good value. Based on his seven-year NFL career and his statistics from 2010, it is reasonable to believe he will catch 60-70 balls for 700-800 receiving yards and 5-6 receiving touchdowns. He will be helped by the further development of quarterback Josh Freeman, who is coming into his own as a fantasy quarterback.
4) Daniel Thomas, running back, Miami Dolphins
Team: Keith Hernandez | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: Quarterback is obviously a glaring need for me at this point, but I wanted to address my RB depth here - the drop-off at the position is becoming quite steep, and I'm not comfortable with any of the other options outside of Thomas as my No. 3. Reggie Bush was listed as the No. 1 on the depth chart heading into their second preseason affair, but I still expect Thomas to be the workhorse in this RB committee. Bush hasn't shown that he can stay healthy and can't take the pounding of a lead back. Thomas has experience catching the ball, too, even though Bush will take away some receptions. Hopefully Thomas can see around 10-15 touches per game and all of the goal line work in Miami.
5) Roy Williams, wide receiver, Chicago Bears
Team: Brian Polking | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: While drafting perennial underachieving receivers isn't always a recipe for success, Williams' reunion with Mike Martz intrigues me enough to take a chance. When the two worked together in 2006, Williams had the best season of his career, catching 82 passes for more than 1,300 yards. I am not expecting those totals, but I don't think a 1,000-yard season is out of the question. Williams has already moved to the top of the Bears depth chart.
6) Danny Amendola, wide receiver, St. Louis Rams
Team: Nicholas Minnix | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: Folks are excited about Josh McDaniels' matchup-dictated offense, and they should be. But it takes time to impress upon all the personnel what's expected of them with OTAs, so there'll be some rough patches. The one constant will be Amendola, the only wideout who was assured of a spot in the pecking order. The Wes Welker comparisons aside, it sounds like Sam Bradford's security blanket will be No. 1 in the pecking order. He caught 85 balls last year. I think that 95, 100, 105, with five or six TDs, wouldn't be a shock.
7) Kenny Britt, wide receiver, Tennessee Titans
Team: Cory J. Bonini | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: I really wanted Danny Amendola here (thanks, Nick), but I'll settle with Britt's big-play ability. He should be much more consistent with better QB play, and I think Tennessee's defense has taken a step back, so more passing may be in store. As far as I'm concerned, playing armchair attorney, Britt's legal troubles won't cost him time since they occurred with no CBA in place. I'll gladly take 900-1,000 yards and eight or nine scores.
8) Mike Thomas, wide receiver, Jacksonville Jaguars
Team: Jared Byrd | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: I was targeting St. Louis Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola with this pick, but he was grabbed two spots ahead of me, so I resorted to Plan B. Thomas caught 66 passes for 820 yards during his rookie season and is penciled in as the No. 1 receiver on the Jaguars' depth chart. With another year under his belt, and Mike Sims-Walker now playing in St. Louis, expect his stats to improve in 2011. Seventy-five catches, 900 receiving yards and six touchdowns are reasonable expectations for Thomas.
9) Pierre Garcon, wide receiever, Indianapolis Colts
Team: Eric McClung | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: I'll stay in Indy for my next pick, which worries me about little with the reports Peyton Manning may not be ready for the opener. Including the postseason, Garcon caught five or more passes in nine of his last 13 games in 2010 while scoring six touchdowns in the final six contests. Reggie Wayne is still the preferred receiver but is 32 years old and could see his production slow down while the other targets, Austin Collie and Dallas Clark, are both coming off significant injuries. Garcon is not without his own issues, namely inconstancy and dropped passes, but is a legitimate deep ball threat and occasional playmaker. All told, the opportunity for Garcon to take a step forward in one of the league's top passing offenses makes him the best wide receiver remaining. Depending on the health of
Manning and the supporting cast, Garcon could approach 900 receiving yards and score more than half a dozen touchdowns.
10) Jermichael Finley, tight end, Green Bay Packers
Team: Dan Dobish | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: I couldn't believe my eyes that Finley, who is healthy and should be rated the top fantasy tight end, was still available. This was a no-brainer for me here. Finley might go for 90 catches and close to 1,000 yards with eight to 10 scores.
11) Matt Ryan, quarterback, Atlanta Falcons
Team: Tim Heaney | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: QB stability wasn't going to last long after this swing of picks. The Ryan picking behind me needed a slinger. I took my preference. With Julio Jones in town and this aerial offense ready to take another step with rookie Jacquizz Rodgers, Ryan has a smidge more upside, but I have him as my starter with other QBs in mind farther down in the draft. Still, 3,800 passing yards is well within reach, along with 27 TD tosses.
12) A.J. Green, wide receiver, Cincinnati Bengals
Team: Ryan R. Bonini | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: The Bengals' O scares the crap out of me this year. A rookie quarterback and a rookie receiver (Green) as the top wideout. Yikes. Green, however, has a tremendous amount of physical talent and I anticipate the Bengals playing from behind often. He fits in well with the high-upside, high-risk approach my team is stacking up as. Sixty-five receptions, 850 yards receiving and five touchdowns should be his floor this 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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