KFFL.com's Fantasy Football Analysis Draft II brings you behind the scenes with each fantasy football pick. Who did each fantasy football expert consider? What do they need the selected player to accomplish on the fantasy football field to make the pick a success? Tune in for each round and find out! Along the way, we welcome you to share your thoughts on each selection and each fantasy football team as they develop!
Reason: We know running back-by-committee approaches are the new trend and with wideouts flying off the boards in most drafts, I knew what I had to do. The Arizona Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald and Houston Texans' Andre Johnson were gone, which left me an easy choice. Moss scored 11 touchdowns last year with a backup quarterback who struggled early on in the season before finding his groove. The year before he had 23, and despite his age of 32 he has been healthy the last two seasons. This one was easy to make, and I like this pick more than the Round 1 pick of DeAngelo Williams.
Standards Set: KFFL projects 89 receptions, 1,335 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns.
Reason: I just couldn't say no. What's not to like about this absolute freak of nature? There isn't another receiver in the league that can match his size/speed combo. His 151 targets last season ranked fifth among all wide receivers, meaning they should once again force-feed him the ball in '09. Johnson led the league in touchdown receptions last season with 12, while only getting 14 red zone targets. It is absolutely scary to think of what he can do with a competent quarterback throwing him the football.
Standards Set: His numbers should be up across the board, as his third-year production will truly cement him among the elite. So 85 receptions for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns is what I am anticipating.
Reason: Here's firm proof you do not have to take a top WR in he first round of a PPR league. Of course, that's true when you are drafting late in the first round. The upshot of being placed near the end of the first is you get first cracks at some of the very best wideouts right away in the next round. I never complain about my draft positioning. There's always some sort of benefit.
Standards Set: Ultimately, I went with Jennings because I really like Aaron Rodgers to continue his rise in 2009. I am expecting another run at 1,300 yards and at least eight TD receptions.
Reason: I did what I think you need to do in the bottom half of a PPR league. Secure two elite wide receivers. Reggie Wayne was a little disappointing in 2008 with 82 receptions for 1,145 yards and six touchdowns. I'm not sure he ever got in a rhythm with Peyton Manning, something that I fully believe will be rectified in the preseason. With Marvin Harrison gone there is no question who the leader of the wide receiver corps is. Wayne should bounce back in a big way.
Standards Set: I expect 95 catches, 1,400 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Reason: Round 2 is where you'll experience the run on elite wide receivers in most expert drafts and this is especially magnified in a PPR league. The explosive Smith missed two games to start the 2008 season due to a suspension, but still finished as a top-10 wide receiver in a PPR format. He's the type of player who can take over a game regardless of defensive coverage. Need evidence of how dominant he can be? Look no further than Weeks 12-17 of the 2008 season where Smith produced five 100-yard games along with 38 catches in that six-game stretch.
Standard Set: You worry about quarterback Jake Delhomme, who can be erratic. However, the good news is Delhomme will feed the ball to Smith. Expect 80 or more catches for 1,420 yards and nine touchdowns.
Reason: I was shocked - not surprised - when I realized that the previous five picks had been wide receivers. I mean, I knew the running back-running back draft strategy was losing steam, but holy cow. So, there I was on the board, assuming guys like Calvin Johnson, Greg Jennings and Randy Moss would be available, and now that they were off the board, I had a tough decision to make. Barber - despite an injury-plagued second half of 2008 - has the potential to be a top-five fantasy running back. He was clearly the best remaining running back, virtually head and shoulders above Clinton Portis, Brandon Jacobs, Ronnie Brown and Reggie Bush. So, rather than take a second-tier wide receiver in the second round, I decided to take the last borderline No. 1 running back remaining. This strategy could hurt me as the draft goes on, but there are a lot of sleeper wide receivers I love this year, so locking up the running back spot after the first two rounds isn't as horrible as some may lead you to believe.
Others Considered: I definitely considered Brian Westbrook, but then realized I'm not a moron. That guy is going to be injured by Week 3 if not sooner, and will miss at least five games this season. I considered Marques Colston, and even Anquan Boldin, Roddy White and Dwayne Bowe.
Reason: The running backs emptied a tier right in front of me, and it is too early to pick a quarterback in this scoring. That left me with taking a wideout and Colston has been undervalued this season because he spent much of 2008 injured. This is the same player that had 1,202 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2007 when he was healthy, and the Saints have an even easier schedule to play against. He a lock to be a top-10 and could end up top-five wideout.
Standards Set: I am looking for 1,140 yards and 10 TDs.
Reason: Injury concerns and a capable backup running back in LeSean McCoy have pushed the once mighty Brian Westbrook into the second round in most drafts. Yes, there is always risk with Westbrook, but the upside is just too good to pass on. In a PPR league he's gold; he is slated to be ready for the season and if anyone knows how to come back from injury or play through it, it's Westbrook.
Others Considered: None
Standards Set: Westbrook always seems to have an injury-plagued year, but even in those years like last year he put up 1,300 yards combined with 14 TDs and caught 54 balls. He has some big, big games and the Eagles should be competitive this year.
Reason: I wasn't crazy about any of the remaining running backs and felt I needed to take a top-flight receiver here. White was my man. He has been quite consistent the past two years, actually improving in 2008 from 2007, and the addition of Tony Gonzalez will open up the offense even more.
Standards Set: I'm aiming for White to catch at least 80 passes for 1,250 yards and approach 10 scores. I think he can improve upon last year's numbers with Gonzo in the mix and quarterback Matt Ryan throwing more than 434 times.
Reason: Despite what everyone is saying so far, the Cardinals are a pass-happy team. They would like to run the ball more, as evidenced by their selection of Chris Wells in the NFL Draft this past April, but when you have Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald and Boldin it is hard not to like your aerial attack. Boldin is playing for a new contract next season, either with the Cardinals or without, and his per-game fantasy totals are way up there. Boldin was a top-10 wide receiver in 2008 and that was accomplished in only 12 games.
Standards Set: I'm looking for 80-plus receptions and over 1,100 yards, with Boldin finding the end zone 8-10 times this year.
Reason: When the Dallas Cowboys released Terrell Owens, fantasy owners around the globe were mortified. But don't worry. Owens, now a Buffalo Bill, will continue to put up top-10 wide receiver numbers. That's why I like him. The high reward outweighs the risk.
Standards Set: I'm expecting 1,100 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.
Reason: Acquiring Portis at the end of the second round is excellent value - he's THE back in Washington. While he's got some injury risk he also has a ton of skill and is the epitome of the high-risk, high-reward player.
Standards Set: I'm looking for 1,400 rushing yards, 25 receptions, 150 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.
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