Fantasy football analysis draft: Round 9

by KFFL Staff on August 25, 2011 @ 15:33:29 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) Tony Gonzalez, tight end, Atlanta Falcons
Team: Ryan Dodson | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: Tony G is ole reliable. His skills are declining, but he's still a big safety net for the Falcons offense and a good red zone target. There were a couple of options with more upside, and I would have liked to have skipped this position for another round. However, I didn't think I'd like the options I'd have when my turn came around again. When all is said and done, I look for Gonzalez to have 50-plus catches for 600 yards and a few scores. If he stays healthy, he should be worth the faith here that he has one more good run in him.

2) Jordy Nelson, wide receiver, Green Bay Packers
Team: Tim Piotrowski | Team Roster | League Scoring

New York Jets WR Plaxico Burress
How much does Plax have left?

Reason and statistical expectations: Nelson likely will start the season as the No. 3 wide receiver on one of the higher-scoring offenses in the league but could also earn a starting job at some point during the season if he plays well. Even if he stays the third receiver, the Packers like to spread teams out and there should be plenty of catches to go around for Nelson and the other options. I would be very happy with at least 55-60 catches for 750 yards and four to six touchdowns.

3) Plaxico Burress, wide receiver, New York Jets
Team: Jack Douglas | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: Burress is my most intriguing pick. He last played in 2008, wherein he ruined his career with the New York Giants by shooting himself in the leg, undermining the coaches and then being sent to prison. At 34, how much does he have left? In 2005-2007, he averaged 69.7 receptions, 1075.7 receiving yards and 9.7 receiving touchdowns per season. I'd be happy with 50-60 receptions for 800-900 receiving yards and six to seven scores from my fifth receiver. All of that seems attainable by Burress.

4) Malcom Floyd, wide receiver, San Diego Chargers
Team: Keith Hernandez | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: Floyd showed last season that he could be a consistent fantasy contributor for the Chargers. That was with Vincent Jackson ineligible and Antonio Gates hobbled, though; Floyd will be Philip Rivers' third option in the passing game to start the season. The Bolts will pass a lot, and many opposing defenses will turn their attention to Gates and V-Jax. I'll settle for 50 catches and around two or three scores from my fourth wideout. In this explosive offense, that could be the base for Floyd in '11.

5) Mike Sims-Walker, wide receiver, St. Louis Rams
Team: Brian Polking | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: Sims-Walker caught seven touchdown passes in each of the last two seasons, and his value should only go up now that he has escaped Jacksonville. He instantly becomes the top deep threat for Sam Bradford, and he should be able to approach his 63-catch, 869-yard season from 2009. Sims-Walker won't be the most consistent option, but he should have some big games and be a capable bye week replacement.

6) Robert Meachem, wide receiver, New Orleans Saints
Team: Nicholas Minnix | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: Last year, when everyone was on the Meachem bandwagon because of his nine-touchdown 2009 campaign, he was terribly overvalued, especially because he was coming off toe surgery and was limited early on. This year, he's 100 percent and a possible starter opposite Marques Colston (who has some balky knees going on), and he's worthy of that mid-round gamble pick now. Yes, a bunch of people in N'Awlins have their hands out, but Meachem's are catching everything thrown his way and may be high up the list. He might catch 50 to 60 balls and approach 1,000 yards and double-digit TDs (again).

7) Roy Helu Jr., running back, Washington Redskins
Team: Cory J. Bonini | Team Roster | League Scoring

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman
Freeman aims high in 2011

Reason and statistical expectations: I am in love with Helu's upside in this one-cut-and-go offense. Mike Shanahan plays games with his running backs, but Helu's talent and spry legs will win out. I think there is a remote chance he rushes for 1,200 yards and six to eight scores, but I'll be pleased with 800 yards and four touchdowns.

8) Josh Freeman, quarterback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Team: Jared Byrd | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: With questions surrounding the availability of Peyton Manning for the beginning of the season, I grabbed the best quarterback remaining on the board. Freeman's touchdown-to-interception ratio (25 touchdowns and only six interceptions) is the stat that impresses me the most about him. I'm expecting 4,000 passing yards and 25-30 touchdowns out of Freeman in 2011, although his interception number will almost certainly increase as well.

9) Jimmy Graham, tight end, New Orleans Saints
Team: Eric McClung | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: This draft has been very unusual for the tight end position. First, the slow and steady Kellen Winslow went off before Jermichael Finley. Now Owen Daniels, Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Gonzalez are taken before Graham, an uber-athletic 6-foot-6 target that caught four touchdowns in the final three games of the season. The Saints throw to their tight ends often and with Jeremy Shockey gone Graham is going to break out in a big way. Even though I already own Antonio Gates, this is a major value and one that I could not let slide any further. Now if Gates goes down, I've got no worries. If Gates stays healthy, I've got a nice piece to deal in a trade. Set the opening line at 60 catches for 700 yards and half a dozen scores.

10) Eli Manning, quarterback, New York Giants
Team: Dan Dobish | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: Eli Manning can be a top-10 fantasy QB, and it is nice insurance in case Michael Vick decides to lay an egg or faces a difficult matchup. If Manning can cut down his turnovers, he has 4,000-yard and 30-TD potential.

11) Sam Bradford, quarterback, St. Louis Rams
Team: Tim Heaney | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: Wanted my pick of backup QB. The sophomore inherits Josh McDaniels' offense and gains some new intriguing targets. While it should take him some time to get acclimated to the Amoeba, Bradford is smart enough to pick this offense up and push for time in my lineup by mid-October. Let's start with 3,000 passing yards and 23 touchdowns. I'll deal with the picks.

12) Joe Flacco, quarterback, Baltimore Ravens
Team: Ryan R. Bonini | Team Roster | League Scoring

Reason and statistical expectations: Taking Stafford in the last round forced me to quickly snag a dependable backup. I thought Eli Manning was mine, but he was stolen from my clutches. I'm not that upset about it. Flacco has a chip on his shoulder this year and it's hard not to like a quarterback whose numbers have improved in almost every key statistical category since his rookie year. While he doesn't have the ceiling Stafford does, Flacco provides solid depth to the position and borderline No. 1 numbers. I'm expecting a 3,600-yard, 27-touchdown, 12-interception season; and some weekly ulcers choosing between the two options for my starting lineup.

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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