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) Steve Smith, wide receiver, Carolina Panthers
Team: Brian Polking | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: With Cam Newton under center, Smith returned to his glory days last season, showcasing his trademark explosiveness after the catch. He finished with nearly 1,400 yards receiving, and while he was a bit boom or bust on his production, I expect Smith to benefit from a more-experienced Newton. He probably isn't going to approach 100 catches, but a 1,500-yard season isn't out of the question. I'll gladly take him as my third receiver.
2) Jason Witten, tight end, Dallas Cowboys
Team: Jared Byrd | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: With most of the top-notch tight ends having already disappeared from the board, I opted to draft Witten here in the sixth round before the pickings became too slim. Although his streak of seven consecutive Pro Bowl appearances came to an end in 2011, he is still a solid No. 1 option. I'm counting on 80 receptions for 950 yards and seven touchdowns in 2012.
3) Tony Romo, quarterback, Dallas Cowboys
Team: Tim Heaney | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: Most of the real values on the board at this point reside in the QB and TE columns. I already own one of the best options in the latter, so I figured snatching an elite slinger would play into my revised plan. Dallas will probably run more, but that'll only make Romo a more efficient signal caller.
4) Vernon Davis, tight end, San Francisco 49ers
Team: Cory J. Bonini | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: I strongly considered Eric Decker, but Davis provides me an elite weapon at the tight end position. He should see more room to work in the open field if Randy Moss and Michael Crabtree can threaten on the outside. Davis is capable of 75-1,050-9 or more this year.
5) Brandon Lloyd, wide receiver, New England Patriots
Team: Ryan Dodson | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: Lloyd had a breakout season two years ago in Josh McDaniels' system. He looked great in a futile offense in St. Louis last season with McDaniels, and he joins McDaniels in New England this season. There are a ton of options for QB Tom Brady to throw to, and that could mean good things for Lloyd downfield. I'm looking for a 1,000-yard season with seven-plus touchdowns. With him in tow as my No. 3 WR, I'm covered if Mike Wallace's holdout gets ugly.
6) Eric Decker, wide receiver, Denver Broncos
Team: Jack Douglas | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: The reports are that Decker is tearing it up in camp and is establishing a rapport with Peyton Manning. I am betting that Manning has a good year or two left and that Decker will be his best WR. Last year, with a QB way below the talent level of Manning, Decker had a line of 44-612-8. In this his third year in the league, and with a much improved veteran signal caller, the numbers are more likely to be 70-1,000-10. For a second WR, I'll gladly take stats like that.
7) Roy Helu, running back, Washington Redskins
Team: Keith Hernandez | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: Wow. I can't believe I'm actually taking a Redskins running back. Mike Shanahan will be my worst enemy this year, most likely. While Evan Royster seems to be impressing the most in training camp, the reality is that Helu is by far D.C.'s most talented runner, and even Shanny will have to see this at some point. I'm not expecting Tim Hightower to factor into this picture much, if at all. Helu's superior pass-blocking skills will go a long way in earning him PT, especially since Washington will want to protect RGIII as much as possible.
8) Philip Rivers, quarterback, San Diego Chargers
Team: Tim Piotrowski | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: Rivers has been a consistent fantasy quarterback the last four seasons, and nothing indicates that he can't do the same this season. He did lose a top target in wide receiver Vincent Jackson but does have newcomers in wide receivers Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal to throw to. He will also have a healthy tight end Antonio Gates as a target. I would be happy with around 4,500 yards and 25 to 30 touchdowns this season.
9) Peyton Manning, quarterback, Denver Broncos
Team: Dan Dobish | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: Being able to get Manning in the sixth round is a solid spot. Any earlier would be foolish, as while he might very well be healthy, he will not be All-Pro caliber anymore. He is learning a completely new offense, has new teammates - we all know Peyton is a creature of habit - and he was awfully comfy in Indy. That being said, he'll still be good. A 4,000-yard, 30-TD season would be just fine, please.
10) Matt Ryan, quarterback, Atlanta Falcons
Team: Nicholas Minnix | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: Well, this would've been my pick whether Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning were still on the board or not. I can appear to be part of the run but still nab the QB I targeted all along. I'm the 11th to select a QB, but I get a 2011 top-10 passer with one of the best schedules in football, two of the most dangerous receivers in the league and an offense that's going vertical in 2012. Score.
11) Reggie Wayne, wide receiver, Indianapolis Colts
Team: Ryan R. Bonini | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: The three QBs I targeted just went off the board one pick after another in front of me, so my urgency to land one of the remaining ho-hum QBs isn't high. Wayne managed a 76-960-4 line last year with absolutely nothing at quarterback; if Andrew Luck is everything he has been touted as being, I expect those numbers to go up considerably seeing Wayne is the only dependable receiver on roster. There's not a lot of boom with this pick, but steady PPR value cannot be ignored. He doesn't have youth on his side anymore, but as my WR3 he's capable of posting a 90-1,100-6 line that I'll be happy with.
12) Jermichael Finley, tight end, Green Bay Packers
Team: Eric McClung | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: While he has been unlucky with injuries, Finley's athleticism still stacks up favorably against any tight end in the game. The Packers feature an equal opportunity passing offense, so Finley may not light up the stat sheet each week. However, he's basically playing wide receiver for a scoring-machine QB and just needs a healthy season to prove the hype that's surrounded him the last few years was warranted.
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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