1) James Jones, wide receiver, Green Bay Packers
Team: Bryce McRae | Team Roster
After looking over Donald Driver
trends, I'm not so sure he will be able to continue his run of 1,000-yard seasons.
Drafting Jones gives me the logical replacement for him. He has had an outstanding
offseason and could be ready to make the leap in his fourth year.
2) Jason Campbell, quarterback, Oakland Raiders
Team: Cory J. Bonini | Team Roster
Will JC fare better on the West Coast?
I don't expect much from Campbell, but I'll be pleased if I get a quality game from him in Week 4 (against the Houston Texans
). My starter, Brett Favre
(ankle), has a bye that week, and my top backup, Ben Roethlisberger
, will not be done with his suspension at that point. Campbell's matchup and history led me to this pick, which may have been unnecessary since the waiver wire could have provided a competent option. In the event of a Favre retirement or injury, Campbell should be a serviceable starter while Big Ben is out.
3) Jason Snelling, running back, Atlanta Falcons
Team: Jared Byrd | Team Roster
After noticing that two of my running backs (Fred Jackson
and Jonathan Stewart
) have the same bye week, I decided to grab Snelling. He did a decent job in place of an injured Michael Turner
(ankle) at the end of last season but he'll have to battle Jerious Norwood
for playing time behind Turner this year.
4) Benjamin Watson, tight end, Cleveland Browns
Team: John Kotch | Team Roster
The main reason is because Bryce already took Dustin Keller
, but I think Watson could become Jake Delhomme
's favorite target this season. He's definitely the best receiving option the Browns
have, and Eric Mangini
runs a tight end-friendly offense. The Browns
guaranteed Watson $6.35 million in his three-year deal, so one would assume that Mangini plans to fully utilize him. I think there's a good chance he could slightly improve upon his '06 season with the New England Patriots
5) Derrick Ward, running back, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Team: Tim Piotrowski | Team Roster
In keeping with my theme of picking up insurance, I decided to select the handcuff to running back Cadillac Williams
. There is always a chance of an injury, so Ward would be next in line for the job. With quarterback Josh Freeman
still developing, the Buccaneers
could look to lean on their running game at times during the season.
6) New York Giants, defensive team/special teams
Team: Jack Douglas | Team Roster
The Giants' defense suffered multiple injuries and a meltdown in
2009 under first year defensive coodinator Bill Sheridan
who was fired after the season. Perry Fewell
the reins and his Cover-2 scheme and high-pressure defense is close enough to
what Steve Spagnuolo
ran in New York that a return
to form is likely. In the draft, New York drafted heavily for defense to bolster
the pass rush. Osi Umenyiora
is now two years from
a devastating injury. I expect this defense to rebound to its previous form.
7) Bernard Scott, running back, Cincinnati Bengals
Team: Keith Hernandez | Team Roster
This was a mere formality with Cedric Benson
on my roster. With Benson facing a possible suspension by the league for an assault charge, handcuffing Scott was a necessity. Benson hasn't exactly been a picture of health in his career, either, raising the likelihood that Scott will see valuable time in '10. Scott showed glimpses of hope when he replaced Benson for two weeks last year, and he even posted a 100-yard rushing game in Week 11.
8) Larry Johnson, running back, Washington Redskins
Team: Ryan R. Bonini | Team Roster
Insurance for Cedric Benson
LJ hasn't rushed for 1,000 yards since 2006, has looked washed up, and has had his fair share of off-field issues. However, I like what the Redskins
have done this offseason. The offensive line has been upgraded, as has the quarterback position. New head coach Mike Shanahan
loves to run the ball, and LJ's primary competition for carries, Clinton Portis
, is often injured. With my running backs a patchwork mess in this league, Johnson provides another high-reward option at a low investment.
9) Darrius Heyward-Bey, wide receiver, Oakland Raiders
Team: Mike Egnak | Team Roster
While Heyward-Bey had a very disappointing rookie season, he also had one of the biggest NFL Draft
busts ever throwing him the ball. With a year of experience under his belt and a better quarterback in charge of the offense, I feel Heyward-Bey will make a strong jump in numbers this year. Drops are always going to be an issue, but he shouldn't have too much competition in getting looks this year.
10) Laurent Robinson, wide receiver, St. Louis Rams
Team: Ilan Mochari | Team Roster
Robinson was the last receiver left in the draft with a genuine
shot to become his team's top pass catcher. His PPR credentials - 11 receptions
in the first two games of last year, before his season-ending fibula injury -
are impressive, especially in Round 14. Do I worry about the Rams
offense, helmed as it is by a rookie quarterback? Not really. If Matthew
can throw for 227 yards per game as a rookie, why can't Sam
? I have faith in Bradford, and I believe if Robinson plays 16 games,
he'll catch 80 passes.
11) Chicago Bears, defensive team/special teams
Team: Tim Heaney | Team Roster
Chicago will actually have some QB pressure this year with the addition of defensive end Julius Peppers
. New DC Rod Marinelli
's specialty is the D-line, which should aid Peppers' transition. Brian Urlacher
is healthy. Oh yeah, and their return game is pretty solid. Any increase in takeaways - hello, pass rush - will once again make Chicago a top-five fantasy D.
12) Philadelphia Eagles, defensive team/special teams
Team: Nicholas Minnix | Team Roster
Fantasy football's top defense wasn't exactly the NFL
's top unit, and now it's undergoing some pretty severe changes. What is most admirable about the Iggles is their ability to remain competitive every season; they phase out the old guard and usher in the new dogs with relative seamlessness. The O will put this side of the ball in some bad spots, and the D will be inconsistent. But Philly's wealth of talent on D will generate big plays, and points allowed don't count against them in this league.
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