1) Mike Sims-Walker, wide receiver, Jacksonville
Team: Bryce McRae | Team Roster
Reason: My running back stable is secure, and I can't hold off on a wideout any longer. Of the remaining options, Sims-Walker carries the most upside; course that is mitigated by his shaky injury history. Jacksonville plans on throwing the ball more, they don't have any other reliable targets at wide receiver, ergo, Sims-Walker should be able to build on his '09 campaign. He was incredibly inconsistent after Jacksonville's Week 7 bye, but in his first four '09 starts, MSW compiled 28 receptions, 398 yards and three scores.
Others Considered: Cincinnati Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco, New England Patriots WR Wes Welker, Carolina Panthers WR Steve Smith
Standards Set: I'm hoping for 80-plus receptions, 1,100 yards and seven scores.
2) Jahvid Best, running back, Detroit
Team: Cory J. Bonini | Team Roster
Reason: I love Best's upside; he's a big play waiting to happen. He should touch the ball with regularity, and if he can show to be a competent blocker, I see three-down back potential. As a No. 2 back, it may have been a bit of a reach, but I wasn't thrilled with the remaining options at the position.
Others Considered: Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles, Indianapolis Colts RB Joseph Addai, Dallas Cowboys RB Felix Jones
Standards Set: I'm expecting at least 1,000 rushing yards, 350 receiving yards and seven total touchdowns.
3) Chad Ochocinco, wide receiver, Cincinnati
Team: Jared Byrd | Team Roster
Another strong campaign in '10?
Reason: I finally gave in and drafted a wideout because the pickings
were getting rather slim - most of the top receivers left on the board were
injury risks, on the downside of their career or facing suspensions. Aside from
his rookie season of 2001 and his disappointing 2008 campaign, Ochocinco has
been a lock for 70-plus receptions and more than 1,000 receiving yards each
year and there's no reason why he can't reach those levels again.
Others Considered: New York Jets WR Santonio Holmes, Pittsburgh Steelers WR Hines Ward
Standards Set: The forecast calls for 85 receptions, 1,200 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. If I'm lucky, perhaps I can even get a few points from Ochocinco kicking a random field goal or two.
4) Matt Forte, running back, Chicago
Team: John Kotch | Team Roster
Reason: I was tempted to reach for Justin Forsett here. Forsett is projected with a lot of upside, but he's a gamble, and will likely be there much later. Forte is the safer, more conservative pick. Reports are that Pete Carroll likes Forsett, but it's still way too early and we'll see what happens in training camp. His size concerns me and could warrant a limited workload. I realize there are reasons to avoid Forte: the presence of Mike Martz and fellow back Chester Taylor. However, I think Martz is smart enough to know that he's in Chicago, where neither weather nor roster, is conducive to "the Greatest Show on Turf". I think the Bears will still run the ball with Forte, plus Martz will utilize him in the passing game.
Others Considered: Seattle Seahawks RB Justin Forsett
Standards Set: I expect Forte is likely to have a slight drop in carries, but improve on his per-carry average. He should be more involved in the passing game despite the presence of Taylor. I expect 250 carries for 1,050 yards and seven touchdowns, plus 60 catches for 580 yards and three touchdowns in the passing game.
5) Matt Schaub, quarterback, Houston
Team: Tim Piotrowski | Team Roster
Reason: I decided to go with Schaub here because of the season he was able to put up last season and the number of weapons he has around him to work with. If the Texans' running back continues to struggle, he will be given every opportunity to produce. Health is a factor, but he showed last season that he could stay healthy for the entire season.
Others Considered: San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers, Carolina Panthers WR Steve Smith
Standards Set: I would like to see at least 4,000 yards and around 30 touchdown passes. I would also hope he could cut down his interception rate a bit.
6) Dallas Clark, tight end, Indianapolis
Team: Jack Douglas | Team Roster
Reason: The fourth round is typically where people start to draft elite tight ends. The choice was between getting a top tight end or a good wide receiver or running back. Eighth-year All-Pro Clark is a favorite of quarterback Peyton Manning and coming off a solid 2009 where he caught 100 passes for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns as the Colts' second-highest fantasy receiving option. He's a good bet to have another strong season, even though he is 31 years old.
Others Considered: Vernon Davis TE San Francisco 49ers
Standards Set: I envision Clark catching 90-plus passes for 1,000-plus yards and scoring eight to 10 touchdowns. He is at the top of his game and not likely to decline much or at all in 2010.
7) Cedric Benson, running back, Cincinnati
Team: Keith Hernandez | Team Roster
Reason: I know, I know. There is considerable risk with Benson as my No. 2 running back. However, the production far outweighed the risks at this point. He was going on average in the late second round in most drafts; I'll take this value any day. Injury concerns and legal trouble aside, Benson can provide me with solid production, and he is more clear cut as the go-to back in his offense than any of the other RB options left. He won't give me much in the reception department, but the pickings are slim in that category from here on out.
Others Considered: Brandon Jacobs RB New York Giants, Steve Smith WR Carolina Panthers
Standards Set: If healthy, I am expecting him to approach another 1,000-yard season on the ground with around seven scores. Fifteen receptions and one or two scores through the air would make me a very happy camper.
8) Steve Smith, wide receiver, Carolina
Team: Ryan R. Bonini | Team Roster
Reason: I thought Cedric Benson would fall one more spot to me. When he didn't, my strategy changed and I decided to continue building on the strength of receivers. Smith is banged up (broken arm) as of this writing, but should be good to go by the start of the regular season. QB Matt Moore is a question mark, but Smith scored three consecutive weeks with him at quarterback to close out the year. As my third wideout, he provides plenty of reward to offset the risk.
Others Considered: San Francisco 49ers WR Michael Crabtree
Standards Set: I'm looking for 75 receptions, 1,200 yards and seven touchdowns
9) Jamaal Charles, running back, Kansas
Team: Mike Egnak | Team Roster
How soon will Welker contribute?
Reason: Thanks to Larry Johnson's midseason tirade that cost him his job, Charles was able to take advantage of being the feature back and put up very good numbers over the final eight games of the season. Johnson either tallied 100 yards rushing and receiving or scored a touchdown in each of those games, making him very valuable to playoff fantasy teams down the stretch. Add in the hiring of Charlie Weis as offensive coordinator and Charles' receiving skills, he should be a solid No. 2 running back in points-per-reception fantasy leagues.
Others Considered: Indianapolis Colts RB Joseph Addai
Standards Set: I think Charles should be good for about 1,150 rushing yards with five or six touchdowns. I expect the signing of Thomas Jones will cut into Charles' opportunities at the goal line. I'm also expecting about 50 receptions for an additional 400 receiving yards with another touchdown.
10) Felix Jones, running back, Dallas
Team: Ilan Mochari | Team Roster
Reason: I wanted to strike now for my No. 2 RB, and with Chris Johnson on my team, I was ready to gamble, preferring the upside of Jones to the resume of Colts RB Joseph Addai. Jones is flat-out scary (5.9 yards per carry) with the ball in his hands. He had four runs of longer than 40 yards last year. Addai is a safer bet for red zone touches, but with Jones, my squad has the chance to surpass "safe" in favor of "great."
Others Considered: Indianapolis Colts RB Joseph Addai
Standards Set: I believe Jones will reach 180 carries, relegating Marion Barber III to red zone and short yardage duties. With 180 carries, Jones should gain close to 1,000 rushing yards and break off enough big plays to score at least seven touchdowns.
11) Wes Welker, wide receiver, New
Team: Tim Heaney | Team Roster
Reason: You think I don't know this is a risk? Welker has been ahead of schedule in his recovery from tears in the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament of his left knee. Of course, training camp could take its toll on him, and he might stumble a bit out of the gate. At this stage, though, PPR-centric wideouts were dying. With this being my short turn, I planned to back up my receiving corps with someone with less risk. A healthy Welker would put my wideouts over the top, and I felt the gamble was worth it here. Go bold, or go home.
Others Considered: San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers
Standards Set: As long as Welker returns early on, I expect nothing
less than 85 receptions, even if his other stats finish a bit down from last
12) Joseph Addai, running back, Indianapolis
Team: Nicholas Minnix | Team Roster
Reason: Donald Brown will cut into Addai's production? Financially, it doesn't make sense. Why push Brown closer to renegotiation? Why scale back Addai's involvement when he's probably gone after 2010? Addai isn't hitting a wall; he's just not exceptional. But he has a nose for the end zone and does a lot of things well - enough to earn solid and occasionally great fantasy point totals each week. He's a quality receiver and excellent in pass protection, something Brown can't yet claim. Especially in PPR leagues, Addai is still a good bet.
Others Considered: None
Standards Set: 1,100 total yards, 45 receptions, nine to 11 total TDs.
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