KFFL.com's Fantasy Football Analysis Draft (FAD) brings you behind the scenes on all 16 rounds of an actual fantasy football league draft. Each of our experts participating give you their thoughts and analysis as to why they chose the player they did. This is not a mock fantasy football draft, as this league will be played out during the course of the 2010 fantasy football season, so each participant is drafting to win this year.
How do you feel about each selection? Would you have made the same move? We want to hear your thoughts in the comments area at the bottom of the page. If you disagree with a pick, let your thoughts be known.
Reason: In a PPR league, you need to get a receiver before the third round and that's what I was forced to do with Austin at the 13th pick. With a full season under his belt, there's no reason he won't finish as a top-five wide receiver. Being an Indianapolis Colts fan, Reggie Wayne was on my mind, but I don't think he can crack 100 receptions again.
Standards Set: 90 receptions, 1,400 receiving yards, 12 touchdowns. I have high expectations for him, but he showed what he could do at the end of last season when he was almost unstoppable.
Reason: Why would I take Megatron with Reggie Wayne still on the board? Well, he just flat out has more upside, for one. And, he's the main option in Detroit. Matthew Stafford's accuracy has been off the charts in training camp, and if both guys stay healthy, Johnson will have a huge year, and potentially be the top fantasy WR.
Standards Set: Johnson simply wasn't ever healthy last year, and while he only technically missed two games, his digits suffered due to his injury issues. I expect him to outperform his 2008 numbers of 78 catches for 1,331 yards and 12 TDs.
Reason: Wayne was the best remaining wide receiver. I wasn't expecting three to go in the first round, and I knew I'd have slim pickings if I waited until my third-round pick to choose one. With Peyton Manning at the helm, Wayne is the primary beneficiary of a top-flight quarterback in a passing system. I think he'll regress slightly from last year's strong showing, but he remains a strong WR1.
Standards Set: I'll be pleased with at least 90 receptions for 1,150 yards and nine touchdowns.
Reason: With the fourth pick in the second round, I was looking at another stud receiver. I see a dropoff after White and Reggie Wayne are off the board. Yes, Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall went before I expected, but that only served to force my hand to the WR position. I am very happy with White as a WR2. He should benefit from the development of Matt Ryan. At this point in the draft, I am very happy with Fitzgerald and White.
Others Considered: None. White was the last of the tier for me after Wayne went one pick before.
Standards Set: In order to make this pick worthwhile, the consistent White needs only 80 receptions for 1,100 yards and eight touchdowns. This is well within reason.
Reason: While I've plugged Mathews since April's NFL Draft, the trick to writing analysis draft pieces is not sounding like a broken record from previous published pieces. Unfortunately, it's virtually impossible when it comes to San Diego's rookie darling, so here's an offseason Top Spin column where I captured why I'm high on Mathews. There's a concern with missing out on a top receiver in a PPR format, but the upside of having a No. 2 running back capable of No. 1 production fills that hole, especially when Mathews is paired with Michael Turner to anchor my foundation.
Others considered: None. This was an easy selection once the top receivers were off the board.
Standards set: The Chargers want to give Mathews 250-plus carries and that's notable considering only nine running backs hit the 250 mark in 2009, with only six topping 300. And as pointed out in that linked column, San Diego's run-friendly schedule is a major factor in targeting Mathews, who should hit 1,500-plus total yards (1,300 yards rushing) with eight to 10 total touchdowns.
Reason: Grant is one of the few RBs in the league that isn't part of a running back by committee. He also gets the ball inside the 10. Grant showed amazing consistency both weekly and in producing his second straight 1,200-plus yard season. He's not a Ray Rice-type, but he has averaged 24 catches per season in three years with the Pack.
Standards Set: 1,400 total yards, 25 receptions, 10 TDs.
Reason: This was a tough one. As expected, the run on wide receivers drained out eight before I could pick again so I feel better about Moss in the first round. I considered QB but none have been taken and there's not that much difference in the top six or so in scoring. That left me with running back as the best bet, and I saw Ryan Grant go right before me. I was left with Charles or Rashard Mendenhall. Charles is a risk with Thomas Jones there but he was top-notch behind a questionable line last year. Jones is not being brought in to be the starter regardless what depth chart games the head coach is playing currently. Mendenhall was tempting but Pittsburgh's schedule has me plenty scared, and realistically, Mendenhall was not that great last year. Charles was far better in the second half of the season.
Standards Set: I love that Charles should be good for 55-plus catches and 500-plus yards as a receiver alone. Throw in about 1,250 rushing yards and a total of seven scores makes me happy in the second round. I think Charles is much less risky than some think.
Reason: I'm a "best available" kind of drafter early and with my second pick, Mendenhall was that guy. In most drafts he's a late first- or early second-round type player so to get him here feels like good value. Mendenhall carried the ball well for the Steelers in 2009 and really didn't get full-time carries until October. Even so, he amassed a combined 1,369 yards with eight TDs and 25 receptions. With Ben Roethlisberger out for at least the first four weeks, expect the Steelers to lean on their ground game.
Standards Set: There is some talk about Mendenhall not getting the goal-line carries, and that's likely given the way the Steelers like to draw it up. Still, I expect 1,500 yards combined, an increase in receptions and the touchdowns to stay in the high single digits.
Reason: Greene was that impressive last year during New York's incredible playoff run which is why I'm so high on him. After checking out his injury history in college, I pulled the trigger. I'm much higher on Greene than most analysts, and feel he's going to be one of this year's stud running backs that isn't a first-round pick. In his first two playoff games, he averaged 22-132-1 against, well, playoff caliber teams! That's a 6.0 yards-per-carry average!
Others Considered: New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas. While I love him, he's too brittle for me to risk on this high a pick. Sure, Greene is unproven but Reggie Bush started to play better down the stretch in regards to more time removed from his '09 microfracture surgery. New Orleans is also a pass-first team whereas the Jets are a run-first team. In the end, there are too many backs in New Orleans compared to on the Jets. For those wondering about his regular season play; he had a 5.8 yards-per-carry average in five games when he saw double-digit carries (average 13.8 carries per game). Note: Pick was made before Lynell Hamilton's knee injury.
Standards Set: I don't disagree with KFFL's projections and would be happy if he hit that mark, especially on the high end. Here's KFFL's expectations.
Reason: Jennings started slowly last year mostly due to myriad injuries, and then had a late resurgence that while better was still not up to fantasy owner's standards. Using PPR scoring he scored 9.5 pts per game for the first four games. Over the last 12 he increased that to 13.5 pts per game. Jennings is healthy and looking good in camp. I am looking for him to bounce back to 2008 numbers.
Standards Set: I look for Jennings to break back into the top-10 WRs with numbers along the lines of 85 receptions, 1,350 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Reason: Many overlook the fact that the Saints went from an offense that ran the ball 38 percent of the time in 2008 to 46 percent of the time last season. Shifting from a pass-first offense to a much more balanced attack while maintaining their potency on offense means we should expect more of the same this year. If Thomas can avoid the injury bug and muster 300 touches, he will be a bona fide RB1 by season's end.
Standards Set: 230 carries for 1,125 yards, 55 receptions for 450 yards and 12 total touchdowns.
Reason: I definitely needed to draft at least one wide receiver with these back-to-back picks and Colston appeared to have the greatest upside. The Saints' passing game under QB Drew Brees is one of the league's best, but the Saints have a bunch of injury questions at wide receiver behind Colston. I expect he will have a chance to be more of a true No. 1 for that team than he has in the past and hopefully live up to being a lower-tier No. 1 receiver.
Standards Set: I expect Colston to catch a few more passes because of the aforementioned injuries, perhaps 80. That'd go for 1,100 yards and 8-10 TDs – pretty much in line with his career norms.
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