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) Willis McGahee, running back, Denver Broncos
Team: Ryan Dodson | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: At this stage of the draft, there aren't many running backs with potential to see useful playing time. McGahee figures to be the goal-line back for the Broncos this season, and I already have RB Knowshon Moreno. This pick serves as a handcuff with the added bonus of the goal-line touches. Moreno is anything but a sure thing, and head coach John Fox loves to use multiple running backs. The potential is there for this pick to be of value. If all things go well, McGahee won't post more than 300-400 yards and some touchdowns. If Moreno is a bust, I'm covered.
2) Green Bay Packers, defensive team/special teams
Team: Tim Piotrowski | Team Roster | League Scoring
Bush ready to bust loose?
Reason and statistical expectations: The Packers defense finished the 2010 season in the top two in two important fantasy categories: sacks and interceptions. The defense did not see a lot of change during the offseason and should be able to duplicate the interception numbers with the secondary they have but the sack total could go down if they are not able to find a consistent pass rusher opposite linebacker Clay Matthews. I would like to see around 24 interceptions, at least 40 sacks and a handful of touchdowns from the defense and special teams.
3) Michael Bush, running back, Oakland Raiders
Team: Jack Douglas | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: Needing more depth at running back, I used my eleventh pick to obtain Michael Bush, the Raiders' backup running back. In a limited role in 2010, he rushed 158 times for 655 yards and eight touchdowns. He is entering his prime in just his fourth season in the league. I believe that the under-rated Bush is a good fill-in in fantasy football, despite the loss of offensive line coach Tom Cable and tackle Robert Gallery, quite capable of rushing for 600-700 yards and seven to eight touchdowns and gaining 200 yards receiving on 15-20 receptions. If running back Darren McFadden goes down to injury, Bush should start and the numbers could climb significantly.
4) Kevin Kolb, quarterback, Arizona Cardinals
Team: Keith Hernandez | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: I felt like I needed a solid backup quarterback with Jay Cutler as my No. 1. Kolb is still learning to master Arizona's offense, but he should put up solid backup numbers with upside for more, especially within the NFC West. He has already shown good chemistry with Larry Fitzgerald, arguably one of the most talented wideouts in the game, and Todd Heap won't hurt, either. In a full season of work, Kolb could approach 4,000 yards and around 20 TDs.
5) Deion Branch, wide receiver, New England Patriots
Team: Brian Polking | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: I would have been more excited about Branch had Chad Ochocinco not come to town, but I still expect a full season with Tom Brady to help his numbers. In 11 games with the Patriots last season, he caught 48 passes for more than 700 yards and five scores. The chemistry he has with Brady will keep passes coming his way in the red zone, and that makes him worthy of a roster spot.
6) Nate Burleson, wide receiver, Detroit Lions
Team: Nicholas Minnix | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: This wasn't the most exciting pick, but Burleson provides quality depth. Detroit has a high-powered offense in the making, and the man who lines up opposite Calvin Johnson and benefits from the attention that Brandon Pettigrew receives is in a good position. Matthew Stafford has faith in Burleson, who caught 55 balls for 625 yards and six scores in 14 games last season. The 30-year-old receiver is three years removed from a torn ACL and is having a great preseason. If he plays in 16 games, he could catch 65 or 70 balls for 900 yards and another six to eight TDs.
7) Matt Cassel, quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs
Team: Cory J. Bonini | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: I really wanted Kevin Kolb here, but Cassel will suffice. Hopefully I will have to play him only one week this year (Week 11), which will be against the New England Patriots. I'm not crazy about this, but Cassel's matchup isn't as rough as it may appear given his extensive knowledge of the Patriots. As for statistical expectations, I'm rather indifferent beyond this one week. I'll be pleased with 200 yards and two touchdowns.
8) Zach Miller, tight end, Seattle Seahawks
Team: Jared Byrd | Team Roster | League Scoring
Polamalu leads this top fantasy D
Reason and statistical expectations: I went into this round with the intention of choosing the best tight end on the board (to back up Jason Witten), and I selected Miller, who has posted fairly consistent numbers over the last three seasons with Oakland. I don't think the move to Seattle will faze him - especially because former Raiders head coach Tom Cable is on the Seahawks' coaching staff - and I expect him to catch 65 passes for 800 yards and five touchdowns.
9) Pittsburgh Steelers defensive team/special teams
Team: Eric McClung | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: This season, the Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens really stick out as the elite defenses because they play the AFC South and NFC West, two divisions loaded with mediocre and awful teams. The major difference is the Ravens' lack of sacks, plus they get the Indianapolis Colts and San Diego Chargers in the first two weeks of the fantasy playoffs. The Steelers, however, draw the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams during the money run. Check please. What about the other top drafted defensive units? Well, the New York Jets have a brutal schedule while the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles each face a fairly strong slate. Given the Steelers are typically always among the leaders in points allowed per game, yards allowed per game, sacks and forced turnovers, they are easily the top defense to take. The cake schedule just makes it that much easier.
10) New York Jets defensive team/special teams
Team: Dan Dobish | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: Eric selected the Steelers defense earlier, and I hadn't been thinking about D much to this point. I figured I better grab the Jets, a solid fantasy option, before I was left with a mid-tier option.
11) Montario Hardesty, running back, Cleveland Browns
Team: Tim Heaney | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: A handcuff for the dinged Peyton Hillis. Cleveland probably wants to take some work away from Hillis to keep him fresh, so Hardesty could still be a flex fill-in some weeks. He looks healthy and retains some late-round fantasy excitement.
12) James Starks, running back, Green Bay Packers
Team: Ryan R. Bonini | Team Roster | League Scoring
Reason and statistical expectations: Will the Packers run a committee with Starks and Ryan Grant? Could Starks handle a full load as the feature guy all season? I think it'll be a RBBC approach all year, but as my fifth back he's well worth the gamble in the 11th round. For him, 1,000 total yards and half a dozen touchdowns would be perfect.
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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