Fantasy football analysis draft: Round 9
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.
Fantasy football analysis: Floyd has outproduced new teammate Robert Meachem in receiving yards each of the last three seasons. This comes despite the fact Meachem played in every single game during that time while the M80 missed a total of nine contests, more than half a season. After Floyd returned to action in Week 13, he tallied 95 or more yards with a touchdown in four of the final five games of the season. So why exactly is Meachem going ahead of the guy that stands 6-foot-5, is a better pass catcher, already knows the offense and has a strong rapport with Philip Rivers? Floyd may not reel in a lot of receptions, but he collects yardage in big chunks and should not feel threated as the No. 1 wide receiver in San Diego.
Fantasy football analysis: Rice showed in 2009 (83-1,312-8) he is capable of being an upper-tier fantasy receiver. Unfortunately, injury-riddled seasons ('07, '08, '10 and '11) have been the norm and greatly hurt his fantasy production along the way. He is working his way back from surgery on both shoulders and may not even be a lock for Week 1. However, as my fourth receiver, Rice can provide a lot of bang to my lineup if he can return to anything close to his '09 form. That might be asking for a lot, but I'm willing to take that gamble in the ninth round. Hoping for 60 receptions, 900 yards and six touchdowns, but I'll probably get six games and 15 receptions out of this oft-injured talent.
Fantasy football analysis: Smith looks like one of the best bets for something close to full-time duty, or at least the more beneficial duty in a PPR league, remaining. I never had much faith in Jahvid Best's health, and punishing runner Mikel LeShoure will be getting his first taste of real NFL action, perhaps primarily as the back to spell Smith. Smith sounds as if he finally understands the importance of taking care of his body, so hopefully I have him for more than six weeks.
Fantasy football analysis: I know, I know...two QBs in the first nine rounds? However, I am still a little gunshy with Peyton Manning after sinking a third-round pick into him last year. He "looks" like the same guy, he is reportedly healthy, but it isn't a certainty. Of course, Big Ben recently revealed he has a rotator cuff issue, but I still expect the Steelers to air it out. Plus, he has a juicy primetime matchup (@CIN) when Manning has his bye. In addition, I can pair Roethlisberger with Antonio Brown, if I so choose. Best player on the board-type pick here.
Fantasy football analysis: Ridley may take over running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis' role with the Patriots, which means there will be opportunities for touchdowns near the end zone. Ridley will be another one of my running backs that will split time with other backs, but he is expected to get his fair share of carries even if he does not help in the passing game much. I would be happy with at least 750 yards and six to eight touchdowns.
Fantasy football analysis: I was really hoping to snare Stevan Ridley with this pick. Uggh. Little, following my Holmes pick, helps build good depth for my WR corps. He's a physical specimen that should only continue to improve this year. The Browns' offense, although not outstanding, should dramatically improve with a more capable QB (Brandon Weeden) and a talented rookie runner (Trent Richardson). Little's imposing presence will make him a good red zone target for Weeden.
Fantasy football analysis: The safest picks are long gone by now, and in the second half of the draft we get more into guess work, speculation and what your gut tells you. Detroit has a marvelous young passer and one elite WR. The rest of the offense is up for grabs. Titus was a rookie in 2011 and caught 48 passes for 607 yards, with six TDs. He will be either the No. 2 or No. 3 WR for the pass-happy Lions this year. With RB Jahvid Best still out (concussion) and no clearly-established running game to fall back on, Young figures to be a key component of this offense. Look for him to rack up 60-70 catches for 850-950 receiving yards and seven to eight TDs. I view him as a solid No. 3 fantasy level WR, with lots of potential upside.
Fantasy football analysis: I was resigned to the fact that I'd have to settle for an uninspiring pick at tight end, but Keller has a ray of hope. He led the team in targets last season, and he could be a decent surprise in a PPR league with the unproven talent around him at wideout. He had a 65-815-5 season last year. I'm hoping defenses key in on stopping the run so much that Keller can break through a few more times.
Fantasy football analysis: Something about Wilson intrigues me more than his situation in a pass-hapy offense should warrant. Perhaps it is his explosive nature. The electrifying back has a great chance to be a regular contributor, and his prospects of starting are reasonable given Ahmad Bradshaw's injury history. I won't put a cap on what Wilson is capable of as a rookie; as my fourth back, I'll take a minimum of 1,000 total yards and five touchdowns.
Fantasy football analysis: Though Greg Knapp is typically run-first, DHB should benefit from Carson Palmer having a full offseason to work things through. Heyward-Bey took steps forward last year and should continue on the way to a 1,000-yard season, 60-70 receptions and six or seven scores.
Fantasy football analysis: Boldin's Pro Bowl days appear to be behind him, but I still expect him to be a decent No. 4 fantasy WR in 2012. He led Baltimore in receiving yards and was second in receptions despite a partially torn meniscus that caused him to miss the final two games of the regular season. Now healthy, I expect him to post a line of 70-900-5.
Fantasy football analysis: If something happens to Drew Brees, I am probably in a lot of trouble, but is always nice to have an insurance policy. He played just 10 games last season, but he topped 4,000 yards in 2009 and 2010, throwing a combined 53 touchdowns. When healthy, he can put up big numbers in a high-powered Houston offense. Schaub is good for about 300 yards and a couple of scores just about every start, and those aren't bad numbers for my backup QB.
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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