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 2012 fantasy football season ... each participant is drafting to win!
A standard scoring system with one point per reception (RB-WR-TE) was used for this draft.
1) Demaryius Thomas, wide receiver, Denver Broncos
Team: Brian Polking | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: I'm going to gamble potential a bit with this pick, but I like Thomas' upside. He is big, fast and athletic, and after injuries derailed him in his first two years in the NFL, he finally got a chance to showcase his talent at the end of last season. He also has this guy named Peyton Manning throwing to him this year, and if Thomas can impress with Tim Tebow under center, he could explode with a future Hall of Famer running the offense. I need a game changer that can make up for having the 12th pick in the draft, and Thomas has a chance to be that player.
2) Percy Harvin, wide receiver, Minnesota Vikings
Team: Jared Byrd | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: Harvin's reception totals and receiving yards have steadily increased over each of the last three seasons. He ranked fourth among wideouts with 87 catches in 2011 and could end up with more this year, especially if Adrian Peterson isn't ready at the beginning of the regular season. Harvin should benefit from having consistency at the quarterback position, following a circus-like atmosphere surrounding the demise of their previous two starting QBs, and could crack the 1,000-yard plateau in 2012, with approximately 500 punt return yards as an added bonus.
3) Willis McGahee, running back, Denver Broncos
Team: Tim Heaney | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: This decision took a while, mainly because of what I left myself with at RB. McGahee is the closest thing to a surefire feature back, at least for most of the season, with a track record. Peyton Manning's presence should lift this offense to another level as a whole.
4) Michael Vick, quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles
Team: Cory J. Bonini | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: I have started to build the ultimate boom-or-bust squad, so I might as well go all in with that style of roster construction! Vick is an injury liability, but I am confident in my ability to find a quality backup. The explosive Philly offense has me drooling for what could come from Vick, and I didn't have to pony up the first-round price tag he came with last year. Vick will be good for 4,000 offensive yards and 30 total scores, assuming he can play at least 14 games. Edit: In hindsight, I screwed up and should have drafted Matthew Stafford. Vick is just too risky and doesn't have as high of a ceiling. Mistake No. 1 of the draft for me.
5) Reggie Bush, running back, Miami Dolphins
Team: Ryan Dodson | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: At this stage of the draft, I'm willing to take some chances. This is a big one. I'm choosing Bush over four or five running backs I considered that are either on the downside of their careers and/or are in timeshares. Bush ran for 100 yards in four consecutive games before sitting out Week 17 last season. He's coming off his first 1,000-yard rushing season. Can he repeat that? Maybe. However, if not, his receiving abilities should make up for it. I'll take that over an aging back that will pitch in 1,100 yards, little receiving output and a few touchdowns.
6) Frank Gore, running back, San Francisco 49ers
Team: Jack Douglas | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: With the starting RB list fast dwindling and the lists for WR and TE still rather deep, it was time to get my second RB. There were no sure things, but Gore has been used a lot over his career and should have one solid year or possibly two left. I look for him to rush for 1,000-1,200 yards, score about 7-8 TDs on the ground and hopefully rebound somewhat from the dismal showing he had as a receiver out of the backfield last year. I look for statistics more in keeping with the recent past, which would translate into about 40-45 receptions, more than 400 yards receiving and one or two receiving TDs. He makes a respectable No. 2 RB.
7) Matthew Stafford, quarterback, Detroit Lions
Team: Keith Hernandez | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: I just can't pass up a young QB that topped 5,000 passing yards and threw for 41 scores in his first full season in the NFL. The guy has a cannon for an arm and is a fierce competitor. Oh, he also has by far the most talented wide receiver at his disposal in Calvin Johnson. Not banking on him throwing 663 times again this year, but regardless, he should be a beast. In theory, he'll make up for what will probably be a weak RB corps for me now.
8) Jordy Nelson, wide receiver, Green Bay Packers
Team: Tim Piotrowski | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: Nelson had a monster year in 2011 after becoming the No. 3 receiver and should be in store for another fantastic season now that he is one of the starting receivers. Nelson will be just one of the options that quarterback Aaron Rodgers has to throw to, but he did lead the team in receiving touchdowns in a wide margin last season. I hope he will be able to surpass his 68 receptions of a year ago, but I would be fine if he posted around 1,200 years and 10-12 touchdowns.
9) Dez Bryant, wide receiver, Dallas Cowboys
Team: Dan Dobish | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: Bryant might not make the best decisions off the field, but there is no denying that he is a tremendous talent when he is in between the sidelines. Bryant has looked good in camp, and he should have a monster season. As long as Tony Romo can stay healthy, the Cowboys offense should be pretty prolific.
10) Miles Austin, wide receiver, Dallas Cowboys
Team: Nicholas Minnix | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: Some RBs at this stage appear to be good value picks, but they still have quite a few issues that I don't care to deal with. Austin has a couple of his own: his health, and his QB's health. Those are the only two things to worry about, and after the offseason he had, I'm not worried about one of them. If Tony Romo is upright for most of 2012, the versatile Austin scores WR1/WR2 numbers (~80 receptions, ~1,200 yards, ~10 TDs).
11) Stevie Johnson, wide receiver, Buffalo Bills
Team: Ryan R. Bonini | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: Not a sexy pick and a little higher than I'd like to take him, but I anticipate Eric making a strong push for WRs at the turn before my next pick and I'd prefer to take the lesser of the evils remaining. Johnson had fewer than four catches only three times last year and remains WR1 on a slowly improving Buffalo squad. I considered several other receivers here, but Johnson is less of a one-trick pony than they are and should be more consistent weekly despite not having a very high ceiling. I'm looking for 80 receptions, 1,050 yards and nine touchdowns.
12) Eli Manning, quarterback, New York Giants
Team: Eric McClung | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: I've selected three running backs to begin my draft so taking two wide receivers in this spot would make a lot of sense. However, I view Eli has the last elite quarterback available and ahead of Cam Newton and Michael Vick. Manning used the deep ball more than anyone a year ago with 109 attempts of 20 yards or more. While he amassed a career high 4,933 yards Manning only managed 29 touchdowns. Eli will keep chucking it long and has at least 35 scores in him. Surprisingly, I missed Matthew Stafford by only five picks.
How do you feel about each selection? Would you have made the same move? We want to hear your thoughts in the comments area below.
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