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: I looked at this pick in tandem with the one immediately preceding it, and quickly saw that Jackson was one of the higher-rated remaining players available on my rankings. I also thought about taking a second running back here, but my choice would have been the Eagles' LeSean McCoy. I didn't want the starting running back and No. 1 receiver from the Eagles. And in weighing the two, I decided to take the receiver and then hope for another running back later, seeing as how a host of mid-level backs should be available.
Standards Set: How well Kevin Kolb does likely will be the biggest determinant. I see Jackson upping his reception total slightly to about 70. He is a big-play guy, so at around 16.5 yards a catch, that's 1,155 yards and hopefully 7-9 TDs.
Reason: His subpar numbers last year can be directly attributed to the atrocious play of Jake Delhomme, and had Smith not broken his forearm in a Week 16 tilt against the New York Giants he would now have six consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. The fact that he re-injured his arm in June doesn't thrill me, but I have no worries he will be ready for the start of the regular season.
Standards Set: Carolina may be a run-first team, but Smith has averaged 126 targets a season over the past four years; a number I see him exceeding this season with Matt Moore under center. I like Smith for 80 receptions, 1,150 yards and eight touchdowns this season.
Reason: Nicks had a slow start in 2009 because of injuries, but once on the field he quickly started to show the qualities that made him a first-round pick. He ended the season tied for first in rookie receiving yards with 790, tied for second in touchdowns, second in both 20-plus yard receptions and 40-plus yard receptions, third in average yards per catch for any receiver with more than 30 receptions, and he led ALL receivers in average yards after catch per reception.
Standards Set: Nicks should be the true No. 1 WR in NY and has a chance to finish in the top 10. I look for 75 receptions, 1,200 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Reason: I felt lucky to see Boldin sitting there with my pick. I'm not as high on him as most are but do believe the Ravens are going to force feed him. He's not very fast but fearless as he'll go over the middle. I also believe he's tough to bring down after the catch. The team is looking for him to develop chemistry with quarterback Joe Flacco to establish a tandem for years to come, and I'm banking on a high amount of targets to make that happen.
Others Considered: No one specifically but I reviewed QB, RB and WR positions to make sure no one was more valuable than Boldin.
Standards Set: If I see 1,000 yards, 6-8 touchdowns and about 80 receptions from Boldin as my No. 1 wideout, I'm happy because my strategy at this position is about balance and consistency every week. I hope he reaches the high end of KFFL's expectations.
Reason: This was a tough selection for me as I generally don't like to draft a QB early but Rodgers in the third round is awfully hard to pass up. With no other player (apart from Drew Brees and Peyton Manning) in the same stratosphere as Rodgers at this point in the draft, I'll spin the cheese wheel. He's the top QB in the draft, according to most sources, the offense is geared around him and he fits it well. Expect another big statistical season from Rodgers, as the pieces are even more in place for him to exceed his astonishing 2009.
Standards Set: 4,400 yards, 30 touchdowns, you know, the usual.
Reason: I am very much about building a balanced team and grabbing as many top-tier players as I can. In the middle of the third round, the wideouts and running backs remaining are nothing special, and it is still far too early to consider any other position except quarterback. I could grab a running back knowing that I can most likely get a top-five quarterback next round. However, I love Brees, and he gives me what could easily be the No. 1 or No. 2 quarterback in fantasy. That's enough of a difference that I have to pull the trigger. I just drafted the No. 2 scorer in this league from last year and spent only a third-round pick.
Standards Set: Brees is a lock for 4,000-plus passing yards, and I think he can end around 4,400 yards with an NFL-high 33 passing scores.
Reason: Crabtree had a fairly impressive season considering he was a holdout. With that distraction out of the way, plus having gained some experience, I could see him doubling his receptions and yardage while quadrupling his TDs. Playing in a weak division is a plus.
Standards Set: 85 catches, 1150 total yards, seven TDs.
Reason: Selecting running backs in the first two rounds ensured a need for wide receiver this round and that meant targeting the best available. Still, Rice's hip injury aside, the obvious concern with any receiving component of the Minnesota offense depends on quarterback Brett Favre's presence. Taking Rice during the first week of preseason action in a real draft – like this KFFL FAD – banks on Favre's return and the upside for one of 2009's breakout receivers is high if or when that occurs. Unfortunately, Rice's value suffers a devastating blow if Tarvaris Jackson is calling the plays. Owners drafting in late August or early September will have a better picture of Favre's status.
Standards Set: With Favre, it's reasonable to expect another 80-plus catches and a 1,000-yard season from Rice. However, all bets are off if Favre decides to hang up the cleats for good.
Reason: Quarterback provided value in comparison to the other positions. I love Manning's consistency. I am usually risk averse early in the draft, and Manning fits in well. While he is unlikely to have a season similar to Tom Brady in 2008, he is usually at the top of the weekly point-getters. The Colt receivers were playing great at the end of the 2009 season, and I expect that to continue.
Standards Set: I expect Manning, who has 11 top-six fantasy finishes in his 12 seasons to hit the solid, consistent numbers of the past few years: 4,000-4,500 yards and about 30 touchdowns.
Reason: I expect big things from Wells (ribs), as long as he stays healthy, which has been a problem for him. He'll share carries with Tim Hightower and isn't much of a PPR threat (12 catches last year), but Wells' 2009 second-half run showed what he is capable of. Arizona will become more of a running team with Matt Leinart at the helm, and their offensive line is built for mauling.
Standards Set: I'm hoping for 1,200 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns. I'll be pleased if he catches close to 20 passes.
Reason: Most folks are skeptical that Shady can possibly be the next Brian Westbrook ... I, however, am not one of those people. He was a great value at the end of Round 3, and I am comfortable with him as my RB1 in a PPR league. Look for Kevin Kolb to dink and dunk to Westy, oops, I mean Shady, all season long.
Standards Set: I'm expecting 75 catches, minimum, and 1,400 total yards with eight total TDs.
Reason: Hakeem Nicks was taken surprisingly 10 picks prior to Smith. I still would rather have Smith who will easily get more receptions than Nicks (after getting 60 more last season), as Nicks is more of a deep threat for Eli Manning. I could have gone with a running back, but none of them really stood out to me like this high-reception receiver.
Standards Set: 80 receptions, 1,100 receiving yards, eight touchdowns. My expectations are a little less than what he did last year in the reception department, but that's still quality for my second or third wide receiver.
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