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) Ronnie Brown, running back, San Diego Chargers
Team: Brian Polking | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: The ever-durable Ryan Mathews has already piloted his car into another vehicle during the offseason, and he managed just one carry in the first preseason game before breaking his collarbone. There are several backs in the mix to replace him, but none of them have the talent of Ronnie Brown. He was becoming a star in Miami before suffering a knee injury, and while he doesn't have the same explosion anymore, Brown can still has enough tools to take advantage of this opportunity. Worst-case scenario, Brown gets a little action, and I drop him when Mathews returns. Best case scenario, Mathews never gets fully healthy, and Brown becomes a solid No. 3 option at running back for my team. It is a low-risk move.
2) Nate Burleson, wide receiver, Detroit Lions
Team: Jared Byrd | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: Burleson had a career year in 2011 at age 30, with 73 catches for 757 yards in Detroit's pass-happy offense. He's listed as the Lions' No. 2 receiver for the time being but could see his role in the offense reduced with the emergence of second-year wideout Titus Young. That being said, I can't ask for more out of my No. 5 receiver.
3) Matt Bryant, place kicker, Atlanta Falcons
Team: Tim Heaney | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: I'm a big believer in this offense. I'll select the kicker from this offense, which plays its home games in a dome.
4) Alex Henery, place kicker, Philadelphia Eagles
Team: Cory J. Bonini | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: It's hard to not like Henery after the rookie season he had. The Eagles' offense should be potent and provide him with ample opportunities. If I'm wrong, he's a 16th-round kicker and will be replaced with no harm done to my team.
5) Tim Hightower, running back, Washington Redskins
Team: Ryan Dodson | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: Hightower opens the season atop the Redskins' depth chart, but he's coming off a torn ACL. He's not guaranteed to be ready for the season, but anything can happen with a stable of running backs under Mike Shanahan. Hightower showed flashes last season before the injury. I'll take my chances with my last pick that he can find enough of a role with the team.
6) Cedric Benson, running back, Green Bay Packers
Team: Jack Douglas | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: Benson has signed with the Packers and is coming off three seasons in a row of 1,000 yards rushing or better. Green Bay did not bring back Ryan Grant and does not seem sold on the running backs it has, so Benson could be a diamond in the rough. He may be a steal of a sleeper with my last pick in the draft. If he fails to pan out, there is always the waiver wire later on. For now, if he can wrest the starting gig from James Starks and keep it, a 1,000-yard rushing season and six to eight rushing TDs would be a reasonable hope. Considering how cheaply I got him, any catches he makes would be a huge plus. He will either be a starter for me, bolstering my RBs, or make an excellent bye week and injury backup.
7) Detroit Lions defense/special teams
Team: Keith Hernandez | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: The Lions showed last year that their defensive line bolstered by standouts Cliff Avril and Ndamukong Suh is a force to be reckoned with. The unit lost only one starter (Eric Wright) and their first four games of the season are against squads that were aerially challenged last year. Overall, their slate of games in 2012 looks quite promising for plenty of sacks and INTs.
8) Vincent Brown, wide receiver, San Diego Chargers
Team: Tim Piotrowski | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: I took a chance on Brown here, because he is on a team that throws the ball frequently and will get his fair share of playing time. He could get a shot at the No. 3 wide receiver job during the season. He did have some impressive outings during the 2011 season and will look to add to that development. I hope he can get 500-600 yards and around five touchdowns.
9) Eddie Royal, wide receiver, San Diego Chargers
Team: Dan Dobish | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: Royal will be working in the slot in a high-octane offense. With Philip Rivers throwing him the football, I see a resurgence for Royal. Really, there aren't a ton of other "great" receivers on the Chargers roster, just a bunch of good ones. Royal would easily emerge as a top receiving option if he catches Rivers' eye early. Royal posting 750 yards and six TDs wouldn't be shocking.
10) Arizona Cardinals defense/special teams
Team: Nicholas Minnix | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: If you don't get an elite DST, you're riding the hot unit and/or playing the matchups. I like the Cincinnati Bengals, Atlanta Falcons and, in particular, our highly ranked San Diego Chargers to be those types. The Cardinals open the 2012 slate at home (where they're just money) against a team with some real uncertainty about the aerial part of its attack. I'll hope to grab Cincy for some possibly juicy matchups right after that.
11) Greg Olsen, tight end, Carolina Panthers
Team: Ryan R. Bonini | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: Olsen has the potential to elevate his numbers considerably this year with Jeremy Shockey out of the picture. Sharing duties last year, Olsen still posted a 45-540-5 line and should see his targets (5.9 per game last year) increase. I expect him to finish in the 60-700-7 area this season.
12) Montario Hardesty, wide receiver, Cleveland Browns
Team: Eric McClung | Team Roster | League Scoring
Fantasy football analysis: A torn ACL robbed Hardesty of his 2010 rookie season while a calf injury caused him to miss half a dozen games last year. However, it's the troublesome knees of rookie Trent Richardson that may open the door for Hardesty to receive a lot more playing time than expected in 2012. It's all very speculative, but what else can you ask for from Mr. Irrelevant?
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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