1) LeSean McCoy, running back, Philadelphia Eagles
Team: Bryce McRae | Team Roster
Reason: Exit Brian Westbrook, enter McCoy. The sophomore should have a greater role in Philly's offense this year; he's a similar back to Westbrook, and most fantasy owners know Westy's impact on the Eagles. McCoy has good hands, and the Eagles like to make use of them (40 receptions last year). He is reportedly more comfortable in the offense, too. This might have been a bit early, but I expect McCoy to break out this year and didn't see him lasting 'til my third-round pick.
Others Considered: Denver Broncos RB Knowshon Moreno, Green Bay Packers RB Ryan Grant
Standards Set: I'm expecting McCoy to rush for around 1,100 yards and catch 55-plus passes for close to 500 yards. I'd like him to near double digits in touchdowns.
2) Randy Moss, wide receiver, New England Patriots
Team: Cory J. Bonini | Team Roster
Reason: This pick would have been San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews if Bryce hadn't taken him two picks before. I think, especially with this being a contract year, that Moss will have his final freakishly good season. The injury to Wes Welker (knee) could also translate into more looks for Moss. In Week 1, Tom Brady will be two full years removed from a catastrophic knee injury of his own.
Others Considered: Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson, Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald
Standards Set: I think Moss can catch 95 passes for 1,450 yards and score 15-plus times. Call me crazy. I'll be happy with an 80-1,200-12 line, though.
3) Ryan Grant, running back, Green Bay Packers
Team: Jared Byrd | Team Roster
Reason: The trend of drafting running backs early on continued, and I realized that I needed to act fast if I wanted a consistently productive No. 1. Grant was one of the few backs available who I could count on for more than 1,000 rushing yards without worrying about his backup getting a ton of carries.
Others Considered: New York Jets RB Shonn Greene, Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles
One last hurrah?
Standards Set: Grant has racked up more than 1,200 rushing yards in each of the last two seasons. As long as he remains healthy, I expect similar production, along with approximately 10 rushing touchdowns and 25 receptions.
4) Miles Austin, wide receiver, Dallas Cowboys
Team: John Kotch | Team Roster
Reason: Straight up value pick here. I would like to have snagged another quality running back, but I'm confident there will be options available down the line that are comparable to what was available here. Everyone knows the targets are likely to be spread thin in Dallas this year, but Austin and Tony Romo have an undeniable rapport that just isn't there with Roy Williams. Austin will again closely rival Jason Witten as Romo's favorite target.
Others Considered: New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas
Standards Set: I'm expecting 90 catches, 1,400 yards and 12-14 touchdowns for Austin. I just hope Kim stays out of his head, and he stays off TMZ.
5) Reggie Wayne, wide receiver, Indianapolis Colts
Team: Tim Piotrowski | Team Roster
Reason: Wayne remains a top target on one of the most successful passing attacks in the league, so he should be able continue to put up numbers as long as he is healthy. Another plus is he has consistently been in the top-15 in the NFL in receptions.
Others Considered: Miami Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall
Standards Set: Wayne has caught at least 80 passes in each of the last five seasons, so I would hope for at least 85 receptions, 1,200 yards and double digit touchdowns.
6) Shonn Greene, running back, New York Jets
Team: Jack Douglas | Team Roster
Reason: After selecting the top-rated wide receiver in the first round and seeing most of the top running backs disappear, Greene appeared to be the best running back still available. It is hard to win without at least one or two top-notch runners. As a rookie in 2009, Greene flashed enough production to demonstrate that he has lots of upside. He rushed 108 times for 540 yards, a 5.0 yards per carry average, which is solid. The Jets will run the ball a lot to control the clock and keep the pressure off of their young quarterback. Greene was strong in the playoffs.
Others Considered: Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning.
Standards Set: As the lead back for the Jets, I believe Greene will rush about 300 times, gain 1400-plus yards rushing and score about eight to 10 times. He is not much of a receiving threat, though.
7) Aaron Rodgers, quarterback, Green Bay Packers
Team: Keith Hernandez | Team Roster
Reason: I couldn't pass up the top QB on my board at this spot. This guy is entering the prime of his career and has the weapons to light it up through the air again this year. Another reason why Rodgers stands out here is his ability to run the ball. Taking Rodgers here allows me to forget about the QB position for a while, while building depth at running back and wide receiver.
Others Considered: Larry Fitzgerald WR Arizona Cardinals
Standards Set: Rodgers gives me the potential for a monster fantasy performance at the QB position week in and week out. I'm expecting another couple scores on the ground at minimum, to go along with 3,500-plus passing yards and a couple hundred rushing yards. Simply put, this guy can do it all for me.
8) Larry Fitzgerald, wide receiver, Arizona Cardinals
Team: Ryan R. Bonini | Team Roster
Reason: I tried talking myself out of Fitzgerald for the simple reason Matt Leinart is now throwing him the football instead of Kurt Warner. However, I couldn't pass him here - about a half round later than his ADP. Regardless of how uninspiring the quarterback position may be, Fitzgerald is one of the few receivers capable of making average quarterbacks look better than they really are. He will have his work cut out for him, but Fitz is too important to the Arizona offense for them to neglect getting him the football early and often.
Others Considered: Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson
Standards Set: I'm looking for 90 grabs, 1,200-plus yards and double digit touchdowns.
9) Peyton Manning, quarterback, Indianapolis Colts
Team: Mike Egnak | Team Roster
Reason: It seems like all he ever does is perform well. He threw for 4,500 passing yards last season, the second time he's reached that mark. He had another year of throwing for more than 30 touchdown passes while keeping his interceptions fairly low, and he had another season with a completion percentage higher than 65 percent. He may not be the best quarterback in fantasy football right now, but he's still consistently good and can be counted on to be one of the top three at the position.
Others Considered: Cincinnati Bengals RB Cedric Benson
Standards Set: With Peyton, it's always safe to assume 4,000 passing yards, 30 touchdown passes and a strong completion percentage. With wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez healthy and wide receivers Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie having more experience, I think he should easily beat those projections.
10) Brandon Marshall, wide receiver, Miami Dolphins
Team: Ilan Mochari | Team Roster
Reason: In a PPR league, what could be better than a 26-year-old wideout who has snatched 100 receptions in three straight seasons? Marshall also does his share of scoring - he amassed a career-high 10 touchdowns last year. In Miami, he will clearly be the passing game's top target. Sure, he has some history of knucklehead behavior, but in Bill Parcells and Tony Sparano I trust. While it is always tempting to select an electrifying mega-talent like Megatron, at the end of the day I couldn't resist Marshall's statistical track record.
Others Considered: Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson
Standards Set: Make no mistake, I want 100 catches and at least eight touchdown receptions. I also expect Marshall to eclipse 1,200 receiving yards, an uptick from his possession-game figures of 2009. But the main thing I expect is for Marshall to perform like a high-end No. 1 fantasy receiver -- someone whose overall numbers land him in the top eight at his position. His body of work suggests this is likely.
11) Pierre Thomas, running back, New Orleans Saints
Team: Tim Heaney | Team Roster
Reason: I know
I just wrote about taking RB-WR in some order for most PPR drafts. This
turn is one of the exceptions; I'm banking on Nick to grab one back and one
wideout. Which position would've burned me more if I ignored it? The running
back lot dwindled faster than I expected. Thomas, who should see more work in
this elite offense this year, is a cut above the remains, except for maybe the
young Mile High toter I debated on. MJD and PT make a fine PPR pair, especially
with the shaky catch-driven promise of what's left. I don't mind the wideouts
that should be left at my next pick.
Others Considered: Denver Broncos RB Knowshon Moreno, Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White, Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson
Standards Set: I'd be disappointed if Thomas failed to reach 1,500 total yards, 12 total scores and 40-plus receptions.
12) Roddy White, wide receiver, Atlanta Falcons
Team: Nicholas Minnix | Team Roster
Reason: Very few running backs at this stage scream safe pick. I expected to take at least one wideout here, but I didn't cement a strategy. In targets among receivers, White finished sixth in 2008 and third last year. He has proven that he'll succeed no matter how defenses approach him. Matt Ryan is a bright kid and has spent the offseason studying some of the best.
Others Considered: None
Standards Set: 90 receptions, 1,350 yards, eight to 10 TDs
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