Team: Ilan Mochari | Team Roster
Reason: The temptation to assemble a dominant core of PPR running backs - Matt Forte, Reggie Bush and Marshawn Lynch - was irresistible. With Bush and Forte in the fold, I can weather Lynch's three-game suspension. There's even a chance I'll grab Lynch's backup, running back Fred Jackson, in Round 6. Also, after assessing the remaining talent in the draft pool, I became confident I could find two high-end wide receivers with my back-to-back picks at the end of Round 4.
Standards Set: Entering his third season in the same system, Lynch should top last year's impressive 89.1 yards from scrimmage per game. Even in a 13-game campaign, he should amass 1,200 yards from scrimmage and score seven touchdowns.
Team: Mike Egnak | Team Roster
Reason: All talk this offseason has been about Boldin's contract dispute, but lost in that is how well he performed last year. Boldin finished with a career-high 11 touchdowns to go along with his 89 receptions and 1,038 receiving yards, despite an injury-filled year that included him missing four games. Quarterback Kurt Warner also agreed to come back for another two seasons, which should help keep Boldin's numbers high for next year.
Standards Set: Boldin should be able to pull in at least 85 receptions for 1,050 receiving yards next year. I'd like to see 10 touchdowns out of him, but seven or eight is probably a more likely number. It would be nice to see him stay off the injury report a little more often this year, as well.
Team: John Kotch Jr. | Team Roster
Reason: In 2008, Brees threw for a league-leading 5,069 yards, and he tossed 34 touchdown passes. With Saints wide receiver Marques Colston back healthy this year, along with the emergence of No. 2 wide receiver Lance Moore and running back Pierre Thomas, my objective was to snag a top quarterback who I felt was totally capable of approaching last year's high level of production.
Standards Set: Even with everybody back healthy, it would hard for Brees to best last year's numbers. However, in 2009 I expect Brees to maintain the standard he's set since he arrived in New Orleans and throw for 4,500 yards with 30 touchdowns.
Team: Bryce McRae | Team Roster
Reason: I needed a No. 1 receiver because I didn't see one falling back to me in the fourth round. Jennings was the top on my board. He's the No. 1 target on a strong passing offense. He has great ability after the catch, and he's shown steady improvement each year. Green Bay's defense should be weaker this year than last, at least initially, so the Packers might be throwing a lot to catch up.
Others Considered: None
Standards Set: I'm hoping for at least 80 receptions, 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns from Jennings.
Team: Keith Hernandez | Team Roster
Reason: I thought about taking another wide receiver with this pick but wanted to grab a No. 2 running back because there might not be much left on the way back. New head coach Rex Ryan will employ the run-first offense, and Jones should remain the No. 1 option over Leon Washington.
Standards Set: Jones has consistently shown that he can catch passes; he has posted 20-plus receptions in each of his nine seasons in the NFL, including 30-plus receptions in two of the last three. Although he may lose some touches to Washington, I am still banking on Jones to continue this trend.
Team: Matt Wilson | Team Roster
Reason: Although I need a No. 2 running back, none of the available runners even comes close to matching Smith's value. The 2008 Panthers were a prolific running team, but Smith, who is the sole big-play option in the Carolina passing attack, still enjoyed an outstanding season. By the way, Smith was catching passes from an inconsistent Jake Delhomme, who was making a comeback from offseason elbow surgery on his right (throwing) arm. The Panthers have a very challenging rushing schedule in 2009, which means they will need to rely on Smith maybe more than usual to keep the offense moving.
Standards Set: Delhomme should be more consistent, so Smith should compile close to 90 catches for 1,450 yards and nine touchdowns.
Team: Tim Piotrowski | Team Roster
Reason: For my first receiver, I wanted a player who is durable and plays in an offense that can score points - White was the best one available that fit those criteria. White has not missed a game in his career and is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. As quarterback Matt Ryan continues to develop as a passer, White will be the beneficiary of a number of his passes this season.
Standards Set: My hope for White is around 1,350 receiving yards and at least eight touchdowns. I would be ecstatic if he were to hit double digits in touchdowns this season.
Team: Cory J. Bonini | Team Roster
Reason: I was targeting a running back with this pick, and it was actually Moreno from the get-go. I don't have any issue with drafting the former Georgia Bulldog as a No. 2 back, especially since I believe LaDainian Tomlinson will have a bounce-back year. Moreno is an ideal No. 3 back, and I reached for him by a solid round or more according to his ADP (54th overall), but I knew he would be gone if I waited any longer. He should be an every-down back for the Broncos, so I think Moreno has respectable value in this point-per-reception format.
Others Considered: None
Standards Set: I think Moreno is good for 1,500 offensive yards and up to 10 total touchdowns. He could chip in up to 40 receptions, too.
Team: Tim Heaney | Team Roster
Reason: The freakish Bowe finished tied for fourth last season in targets (159) among all receivers and tight ends. Oddly enough, he was knotted with Tony Gonzalez, whose departure leaves new signal caller Matt Cassel with Bowe and - well, Bowe - as reliable receiving weapons. The new system should only help him once the offense masters it. I considered a diminutive New England Patriots wideout, but Bowe's touchdown upside is more alluring. Did I mention this will be Bowe's third year in the NFL?
Standards Set: I'm expecting an 85-reception, 10-touchdown campaign from "El Bowe."
Team: Nicholas Minnix | Team Roster
Reason: Back-to-back seasons of more than 110 receptions and nearly 1,200 yards? I'll take two. The only difference in 2008 was a lack of touchdowns. I'd guess that the return of quarterback Tom Brady will help a rebound in that department. Many catches means consistent points, regardless.
Standards Set: Welker is good for - at least - 100 receptions and 1,100 yards, and I expect him to get into the end zone six or seven times.
Team: Ryan R. Bonini | Team Roster
Reason: Brady floated an entire round beyond his ADP, which forced me to change strategy. I wasn't going to take a quarterback this early, but Brady's value is too good here to ignore. Brady missed most of last year with a severe knee injury, but the Patriots tipped their hand on how healthy he is when they traded Matt Cassel. The New England system is an aggressive, pass-happy one, and Brady has mastered it ... plus, he doesn't turn the ball over often. Let's not forget it doesn't hurt having receivers Randy Moss and Wes Welker to throw to. I may have to snag a solid backup just in case he is rusty early.
Others Considered: Several players I coveted went before my pick, which made this decision easier.
Standards Set: The 4,800-yard, 50-touchdown season from 2007 is far too much to ask for, but Brady should be a lock for 3,900 yards and 27-30 touchdowns.
Team: Kostas Bolos | Team Roster
Reason: Remember last season, in Week 2, when McFadden rushed for 164 yards with a score on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs? That was the last time he was anywhere near 100 percent. Now healthy, McFadden should begin to fulfill his potential in his sophomore campaign, although he will have to share carries early on with running backs Justin Fargas and Michael Bush.
Standards Set: I am hoping for 1,100-plus combined yards with 40 receptions and eight total touchdowns.
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