Fantasy football analysis draft: Round 8

by KFFL Staff on August 25, 2011 @ 00:53:47 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) Matthew Stafford, quarterback, Detroit Lions
Team: Ryan R. Bonini | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: I love the upside, provided he can stay healthy. I'm contradicting myself with this pick, as I have been saying I wouldn't take him as my No. 1 quarterback (I may still be drafting that player in the coming rounds) this year. Stafford has a strong arm and a ton of options around him capable of making big plays on a weekly basis. His shoulder injury appears to be a thing of the past, and he has looked very sharp in limited preseason play. If he can stay healthy, I expect 3,900 yards passing, 28 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Here is to hoping I haven't called down the Bonini Black Cloud of Destruction on Stafford's troublesome shoulder.

Mike Tolbert, RB, San Diego Chargers

2) Mike Tolbert, RB, San Diego Chargers
Team: Tim Heaney | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: Ryan Mathews doesn't look like a featured back to me yet. Tolbert has an enticing combo of receiving ability and goal line prowess to suffocate Mathews' upside ... and be a handy No. 4 back. Love the RB depth I have going. Even with a possible decline, I expect 10 total touchdowns and 1,000 total yards.

3) Reggie Bush, running back, Miami Dolphins
Team: Dan Dobish | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: Reggie Bush is worth a gamble at this point of the draft, as the Dolphins are trying to make him into a possible every-down back. It doesn't suit him, but he might surprise. As a fourth RB, I could certainly do worse. I'm hoping for 1,000 total yards from scrimmage and a handful of score. Am I crazy? We'll see.

4) Lance Moore, wide receiever, New Orleans Saints
Team: Eric McClung | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: Despite three knee surgeries in the past year, Marques Colston has remained productive and fairly reliable. However, I don't own Colston and very willing to select Moore in this spot as the player that benefits most from any potential absence. That's not to say these two can't co-exist in fantasyland. We know quarterback Drew Brees spreads it around and often causes the running back to take a backseat. Despite being several inches shorter than Colston, Moore is actually the preferred red zone target. In fact, Moore trailed only Danny Amendola and Larry Fitzgerald in looks inside the 20 a year ago. I'd be happy with 70 catches for 780 yards and a half-dozen scores but believe he's capable of more.

5) Davone Bess, wide receiver, Miami Dolphins
Team: Jared Byrd | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: If Lance Moore had dropped one more spot in the draft, I would have selected him, but Bess is a nice consolation prize. He is a threat to catch 80 balls this year for approximately 800 yards (decent totals for a third- or fourth-string wide receiver in a PPR league). However, he is listed on the Dolphins' depth chart behind both Brandon Marshall and Brian Hartline.

6) Owen Daniels, tight end, Houston Texans
Team: Cory J. Bonini | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: The veteran tight end is finally recovered from his third career knee reconstruction and showed signs of life down the stretch in 2010. Houston didn't overtly improve their receiving corps, and Daniels will be relied on heavily. I believe Arian Foster wouldn't have caught so many passes last year if Daniels was 100 percent all season. I'm expecting 65 receptions for 750 yards and seven scores.

Pierre Thomas, RB, New Orleans Saints

7) Pierre Thomas, running back, New Orleans Saints
Team: Nicholas Minnix | Team Roster | League Scoring

I have Mark Ingram. If Thomas was the lead back or I had to pay a greater price, I'd pass. I don't trust that he'll remain healthy if he receives a full-timer's touches. If Ingram busts, the Saints will spread the wealth, which minimizes the chances that Thomas, who's dangerous in the screen game, will be sidelined for a significant period. Bases covered with a player I can occasionally throw in my flex position. Even as the second fiddle all year, Thomas could still be good for 800 total yards and 30 to 35 catches.

8) Brandon Pettigrew, tight end, Detroit Lions
Team: Brian Polking | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: Despite having three different quarterbacks throwing him the ball throughout last season, Pettigrew still finished with 71 catches - the third-most among tight ends. He made huge strides in his second year in the NFL, and with a healthy Matthew Stafford, Pettigrew has the freakish athleticism to become a top-five option at the position. Even without Stafford, I expect him to top his 722 yards from a year ago.

9) Jay Cutler, quarterback, Chicago Bears
Team: Keith Hernandez | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: Cutler has plenty of critics, but I think he can produce QB1 numbers many weeks in Chicago. It seems as though many are still down on his 26-interception effort two years ago, but don't forget that he dropped that number by 10 last season. Another year in Mike Martz's pass-heavy system should bring more comfort. The O-line is a still a work in progress, but it can't be as bad as it was for the first half of last season. Cutler is maturing, he came to camp in better shape and hungrier and he has a new weapon in Roy Williams. I'm expecting a breakout campaign; 27-plus TDs and 4,000-plus yards through the air.

10) Julio Jones, wide receiver, Atlanta Falcons
Team: Jack Douglas | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: Though rookies often fail to perform well in their first season, Jones is that rare pick that might actually yield solid fantasy statistics from the start. He is reported to be a fast learner and is quick and strong. I figure he will be of value to my team either way. If he does well, he may start for me and if not, then he should be an adequate bye week fill-in performer. He should start in Atlanta, where they gave up a lot to move up and draft him last spring. I am hoping for 40-50 receptions and at least 600-700 receiving yards and five to six receiving touchdowns. Anything more than that I will consider gravy for a rookie wide receiver.

11) Tim Hightower, running back, Washington Redskins
Team: Tim Piotrowski | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: There several options at running back for the Redskins but it appears that Tim Hightower will get the first crack at starting at the position. He has shown he can produce when he gets the opportunity even if he is in a platoon. The one big concern with him is his fumbling problems, but I can deal with it since he is my No. 4 running back. I would hope for at least 700 yards and five to six touchdowns on the ground and around 30 receptions.

12) Michael Crabtree, wide receiver, San Francisco 49ers
Team: Ryan Dodson | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: I was looking at a bunch of receivers, and all of them had alarming question marks. So I took the one with the highest upside. Crabtree is dealing with a foot injury and hasn't returned to practice yet. It's possible he could miss a few games to open the season. I was also looking at San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd, who went down with a concussion, and Chicago Bears WR Johnny Knox, who was demoted to No. 4 on the depth chart. Crabtree's teammate Braylon Edwards was also a thought, but he could face a suspension from the league for a DWI arrest. I look for Crabtree to tally 50 catches for 700-800 yards and a few scores if he heals up quickly. However, I'm prepared for the worst. Either way, he's my fourth receiver and serves as depth with considerable upside.

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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