Team: Kostas Bolos | Team Roster
Reason: As a rookie, Nicks could have an opportunity to compete for a starting spot this season. Even if does not start, the North Carolina product should receive plenty of playing time in the Giants offense. His size (6-foot-2, 210 pounds) makes him a good red zone option for quarterback Eli Manning, which could result in a fair amount of touchdowns.
Team: Ryan R. Bonini | Team Roster
Reason: When I took Tom Brady in the third, I hinted that I may have to snag a solid backup to cover my bases if Brady is 1) not healthy or 2) rusty early in the year. Enter Big Ben. He has a cannon arm, an offense built to his strengths and improving weapons across the board. He is also just two years removed from a season in which he tossed 32 touchdown passes and ran for two others, showing high touchdown potential. The seasons of 30-plus touchdowns out of him will be slim - and maybe never seen again - but Roethlisberger gives me the insurance I need if Brady falters.
Team: Nicholas Minnix | Team Roster
Reason: Taylor is one of the best backup running backs in the league. Naturally, if Adrian Peterson goes down, Taylor becomes an instant fantasy starter. He's also a much better receiver than AD and occasionally worthy of a flex play, even when Peterson is healthy. Bonus: Taylor is a bargaining chip because AD owner Mike Egnak took LeSean McCoy (overvalued in my opinion), my handcuff to Brian Westbrook, about one round ago.
Team: Tim Heaney | Team Roster
Reason: I wasn't a big fan of taking Kellen Winslow. Carlson's 55-reception rookie season may be just a stepping stone. The arrival of wideout T.J. Houshmandzadeh is a bit disconcerting, but decomposing quarterback Matt Hasselbeck will probably return to loving the tight end a bit more, as well. Carlson also was a productive red zone target in 2008.
Team: Cory J. Bonini | Team Roster
Reason: Yuck! I don't like this pick, and I should have gone with my gut by instead drafting Oakland Raiders tight end Zach Miller. Winslow has more upside due to his freakish athleticism, but he has equal or greater downside because of his penchant to find the trainer's table with alarming frequency. I'm hoping for 65 catches, 700 receiving yards and six touchdowns; he has the potential to shatter my expectations in either direction, though.
Team: Tim Piotrowski | Team Roster
Reason: I chose Bradshaw because the team may lean to the running game more than usual with its unsettled receiving corps, and Bradshaw is a good change-of-pace runner. He could also see more playing time if running back Brandon Jacobs is injured. I would like to see around 750 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Team: Matt Wilson | Team Roster
Reason: I am rolling the dice with this pick for running back/flex depth. I know the Ravens have moved McClain to fullback, but I cannot believe they would purposely take a large number of touches away from a solidly productive player (1,000-plus total yards and 11 total scores in 2008). If brittle running back Willis McGahee (knee, ankle), who is in a contract year, misses time with an injury or is ineffective, I can see the run-first Ravens using a thunder-and-lightning rushing attack with McClain and Rice. Worst-case scenario: McClain should still receive a lot of work as the team's goal line back. I am looking for 900 total yards and 10 total touchdowns from McClain.
Team: Keith Hernandez | Team Roster
Reason: Miller has the potential to become a No. 1 fantasy tight end this year and could also be the team's No. 1 receiver, which bodes well for a PPR league. He could end up in the neighborhood of 70 catches in 2009.
Team: Bryce McRae | Team Roster
Reason: I'm not comfortable with any of the other tight ends left after Keller. Ilan Mochari still needs a tight end at the turn, so my hand was forced. Keller could be the No. 1 option in the Jets' passing offense; he has the talent (former first-round pick) and should be a safe option for whoever starts at QB in NY. He has reportedly looked impressive during OTAs, too.
Team: John Kotch Jr. | Team Roster
Reason: Harrison just seemed like the logical choice here. With running back Jamal Lewis not getting any younger, it might be wise for the Browns to decrease his touches and have Harrison take on an increased work load. That being said, there's a great chance that Harrison is going to see a lot more touches this year, as well as targets in the passing game. I like his career average of 5.8 yards per carry. His 7.2 yards-per-carry clip last season is a sign of big-play ability.
Team: Mike Egnak | Team Roster
Reason: Clayton turned in a nice year last year, hauling in 41 passes for 695 yards with three touchdowns. Another year of experience with quarterback Joe Flacco should offer a small boost to Clayton's numbers. Clayton should be good for 50 receptions with 600 receiving yards and four touchdowns on the year.
Team: Ilan Mochari | Team Roster
Reason: Shockey caught 50 balls, ranking 11th among tight ends - yet he played in only 12 games. He didn't score a single touchdown, but I expect that to change given his track record (23 touchdowns in the previous four seasons), not to mention the prowess of the Saints offense. At the end of Round 10, Shockey's upside was worth a gamble, especially since I did not yet have a tight end on my roster.
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