1) Calvin Johnson, wide receiver, Detroit Lions
Team: Nicholas Minnix | Team Roster
Megatron kicks off Round 3
Reason: Last year, I couldn't stomach Calvin at his going rate. This year, with AD and steady Roddy White in tow, I'll gladly take a shot on Johnson's huge upside. From Week 10 to Week 17, he was a top-10 PPR receiver. He's healthy. In targets among wideouts, he finished fifth in 2008 and eighth last year. He and Matthew Stafford have spent a lot of time together this offseason. Nate Burleson.... Helps? Hurts? How about doesn't even matter.
Others Considered: (Briefly) Baltimore Ravens WR Anquan Boldin, Philadelphia Eagles WR DeSean Jackson, Minnesota Vikings WR Sidney Rice, Green Bay Packers WR Greg Jennings
Standards Set: 75 receptions, 1,300 yards, nine to 11 TDs
2) Greg Jennings, wide receiver, Green Bay Packers
Team: Tim Heaney | Team Roster
Reason: My strategy to net Roddy White or Calvin Johnson was foiled. Jennings had a down season in '09 but turned it on in the second half - after the Pack O-line became more cohesive and Aaron Rodgers remembered Jennings' jersey number. He has posted 920-plus receiving yards in each of the past three years; I don't expect that to falter. Jermichael Finley's rise shouldn't impact Jennings as much as many think. Donald Driver's age could catch up with him this year. Jennings burned me last year, but I'm going back to the well, especially since Green Bay is still a pass-first O.
Others Considered: Minnesota Vikings WR Sidney Rice, Baltimore Ravens WR Anquan Boldin
Standards Set: If Jennings can approach 80 receptions and double-digit touchdowns again, I'd feel vindicated. I'm banking on another 1,000-yard season.
3) DeSean Jackson, wide receiver, Philadelphia Eagles
Team: Ilan Mochari | Team Roster
Reason: A home run threat every time he touches the ball, Jackson's big-play ability in my receiving corps is a sweet complement to Brandon Marshall's high volume of catches. Though Jackson has a feast-or-famine reputation in some fantasy circles, he was consistent last season, either scoring a touchdown or exceeding 90 receiving yards in 12 of his 16 contests. Sure, Jackson carries some risk as a No. 1 WR, but since he is my No. 2 I'm thrilled to have him. Given the PPR format, I was tempted to select alum of the 100-catch club, Anquan Boldin. Jackson won out because he is six years younger and he is returning to a familiar offense. There's also a small chance I'll get Boldin in Round 4.
Others Considered: Baltimore Ravens WR Anquan Boldin
Standards Set: I'm not pining for an 80-catch season - the Eagles have too many receiving options for that - but I believe Jackson will score 10 touchdowns and eclipse 1,200 yards from scrimmage. On a week-to-week basis, I expect Jackson to have at least four monster games - like his Week 13 effort, when he caught six passes for 178 yards and a score, and also returned a punt for a score. Such single-game potency makes it easy to overlook Jackson's occasional dud weeks.
4) Marques Colston, wide receiver, New Orleans Saints
Team: Mike Egnak | Team Roster
Reason: With the exception of 2008 when he dealt with injuries, Colston has been pretty solid since entering the league. He has one of the top quarterbacks in the league throwing to him and is in a fairly pass-heavy offense. The improved play of wide receiver Robert Meachem should also help draw some attention of Colston.
Others Considered: Baltimore Ravens WR Anquan Boldin
Standards Set: I think Colston should be good for 80 catches, 1,100 yards and eight touchdowns. I doubt he'll put up numbers like he did in 2007, but it wouldn't be surprising to see him approach those figures again.
5) Sidney Rice, wide receiver, Minnesota Vikings
Team: Ryan R. Bonini | Team Roster
A run at WR
Reason: Assuming Brett Favre is back under center, Rice should be able to cement his status as one of the league's better receivers. His size makes him a weapon all over the field, and he has the speed to stretch defenses with ease. I am somewhat concerned with his hip injury, but hopefully he can overcome it. Pairing him with Larry Fitzgerald should ensure strong weekly fantasy football contributions from my receivers.
Others Considered: Denver Broncos RB Knowshon Moreno, Baltimore Ravens WR Anquan Boldin
Standards Set: Provided he can stay healthy: 70 receptions for 1,150 yards and nine touchdowns.
6) Anquan Boldin, wide receiver, Baltimore Ravens
Team: Keith Hernandez | Team Roster
Reason: Boldin was an elite receiver in Arizona as the No. 2 option, so I'm excited for the possibilities with him as the No. 1 wideout in Baltimore. The Ravens' offense is more balanced than the air-it-out passing attack of his former team, and Ray Rice and Derrick Mason will take some receptions away from Boldin, but I still see big things from him now that he is happy with a new contract and a new team. Having a big arm in QB Joe Flacco won't hurt, either.
Others Considered: Denver Broncos RB Knowshon Moreno
Standards Set: Despite the run-first mentality of B'more's offense, Boldin will see plenty of targets - I am expecting around 90 catches and for him to approach another 1,000-yard receiving season; Boldin has failed to post a 1,000-yard season only once since 2005. He has never been a big scorer, but I'm expecting at least six TDs this year.
7) Tom Brady, quarterback, New England Patriots
Team: Jack Douglas | Team Roster
Reason: Given that three quarterbacks had already been selected, it was time to draft a stud quarterback. Brady is still in his prime, two years removed from his serious knee injury, and poised to put up another elite season, especially with wide receiver Randy Moss in a contract year. My belief is that he will be a top-five fantasy quarterback in 2010. Brady is a veteran who is careful with the ball.
Others Considered: Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo, Houston Texans QB Matt Schaub
Standards Set: Now that Brady appears healthy again, I am expecting 4,200-plus passing yards, 28-plus touchdown passes and less than 15 interceptions.
8) Knowshon Moreno, running back, Denver Broncos
Team: Tim Piotrowski | Team Roster
Reason: Moreno performed pretty well in his rookie campaign last season and should improve on his totals with a full year of learning the offense. With a question mark at wide receiver, Moreno should be look on to help stabilize the offense throughout the season and possibly become more involved in the passing game.
Others Considered: New York Giants WR Steve E. Smith
Standards Set: I would like to see at least 1,100 rushing yards and around 10 rushing touchdowns. As a receiver, I hope for around 35-40 receptions and a handful of receiving scores.
9) Tony Romo, quarterback, Dallas Cowboys
Team: John Kotch | Team Roster
Reason: I wasn't planning on taking a quarterback this soon, but then I thought about what Drew Brees did for me last year. After I was hit with injuries, Brees alone carried the day for me for several weeks. Brees was already long gone, and there was Romo staring me in the face. Romo and Brees' 2009 stats are virtually identical. If Romo can just maintain the status quo, he's worth a pick here. Besides, I pick again at 40, and a running back/wide receiver, comparable to what's available here, will likely be there.
Others Considered: Cincinnati Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco
Standards Set: I expect Romo to replicate last year's stats, perhaps even surpass them slightly. 350 completes on 550 attempts, 4,500 yards, 30 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
10) Jonathan Stewart, running back, Carolina Panthers
Team: Jared Byrd | Team Roster
Stewart coming off career year
Reason: With much of the league grabbing wide receivers during the third round, I felt it was a great opportunity to draft a second running back - after all, it'll be much easier to find a serviceable wideout down the line than to find a back who'll post solid numbers. Even though Stewart splits time with DeAngelo Williams, he still managed to rack up 1,133 rushing yards while reaching the end zone 10 times last season. He's only 23, so there are plenty of productive seasons on the horizon for him.
Others Considered: Indianapolis Colts RB Joseph Addai
Standards Set: Despite the Panthers' shaky quarterback situation and a run-oriented offense, it's probably a bit optimistic to hope for an improvement over last year's stats. Keep in mind that Stewart's numbers were boosted by DeAngelo Williams missing three games. That being said, Stewart should still be good for roughly 1,000 rushing yards and eight touchdowns.
11) Steve E. Smith, wide receiver, New York Giants
Team: Cory J. Bonini | Team Roster
Reason: I don't expect Smith to meet last year's lofty totals, but it appears as though Eli Manning has taken a step to the next level of play, and the Giants showed they can move the ball through the air last season. I was looking for a second running back, but I thought I could hold off with Bryce already having two. Smith figures to be a quality No. 2 in this PPR league.
Others Considered: Arizona Cardinals RB Beanie Wells
Standards Set: I'll be pleased with 80 receptions for 1,100 yards and seven touchdowns.
12) Beanie Wells, running back, Arizona Cardinals
Team: Bryce McRae | Team Roster
Reason: I could go two wideouts at the turn, but why reach for one when the value is at running back? I just don't see Tim Hightower being much of a factor in the Arizona backfield. Wells averaged 4.5 yards per carry last year and showed a decent nose for the end zone. His skills suggest he can be the workhorse. The Cards are also going to rely on the run more with Kurt Warner no longer spending his Sundays in uniform.
Others Considered: Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles, Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte
Standards Set: I'm looking for 1,200 rushing yards and eight or nine rushing scores.
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