KFFL Analysis Draft
I was fortunate enough to be asked to participate in the KFFL Fantasy Football Analysis Draft. It is a group of 11 fantasy football experts and little old me. Here is a look at the participants:
It’s not just an mock draft though. We will be keeping our players and competing in an actual league. I had the second pick in the draft. LT went #1 overall. Here is my draft and analysis.
First Round, 2nd Pick (#2 overall) – Adrian Peterson
I do not consider this the #2 pick considering that Adrian Peterson was available. Instead I choose to call it the 1-B pick. Peterson exploded on the scene with 1,341 yards and 12 TDs on the ground. He added another 268 yards and a score through the air. He topped the 200 yard mark twice. He lit up the Bears for 224 yards and 3 scores in Chicago before setting the single-game rushing record against San Diego with 296 yards and 3 TDs. The Vikings have a good offensive line (including the league’s best Guard in Steve Hutchinson) and the type of Defense that should allow them to dominate the Time of Possession. The passing game should be better this year with the maturation of Tarvaris Jackson and the addition of Bernard Berrian, which should keep defenses honest. This was truly a no-brainer selection.
Second Round, 11th Pick (#23 overall) – Maurice Jones-Drew
With my second selection I went with MJD. I love the fact that he is a multi-purpose threat. In his first two seasons he had at least 40 catches a year for 400 yards. He’s also averaged 850 rushing yards (5.1 yards per carry) and 11 rushing TDs a year. Fred Taylor helps keep him fresh and Jacksonville is typically ahead in games allowing MJD to pile on the yards. I debated going Jamal Lewis or T.J. Houshmandzadeh, but in the end, I couldn’t pass up this young, fireball of a Running Back. I’m hoping for 1200+ total yards and around 10 TDs. I’d love his 40 reception streak continue as well.
Third Round, 2nd Pick (#26 overall) – T.J. Houshmandzadeh
I debated between MJD and Housh, and was fortunate enough to get both. Housh has been a force in recent years, but was amazing last year. He caught 112 passes for 1143 yards and 12 TDs. I believe he’s the best WR available (with the possible exception of Chad Johnson) and I wanted to have a big-play WR that is a TD target. I’d like to see Housh catch 90+ balls for 1000+ yards and 10+ TDs. If he comes close to those standards, he’ll be a great value in the 3rd Round. I considered going Chad Johnson (didn’t want the drama), Tony Romo or Drew Brees (I’ll wait a bit for a QB) or Antonio Gates (I’ll wait for TE as well.
Fourth Round, 11th Pick (#47 overall) – Dwayne Bowe
I was hoping Kellen Winslow would have made it to me, but alas, he was selected under my nose. I instead turned to second-year WR Dwayne Bowe. I love his size and strength (6’2″, 221 lbs). He caught 70 passes for 995 yards and 5 TDs as a rookie. I think he should be able to increase those numbers next season. I also considered Greg Jennings, Calvin Johnson, and Santonio Holmes. In the end, I just like Bowe.
Fifth Round, 2nd Pick (#50 overall) – Edgerrin James
I decided to get defensive in the fifth round and add some RB depth. A couple of the teams had only 1 RB at the time so I figured I would take one of the options off the board instead of reach for another WR or TE at the time. As with my last pick (Dwayne Bowe) I may have went a different direction if a player, in this case Carson Palmer, was still available. I debated taking the same three WRs again, but decided I could get similar value with my next pick.
Sixth Round, 11th Pick (#71 overall) – Chris Cooley
Everything about Chris Cooley is big. His size (6’3, 249 lbs), his hair, and his game (700+ yards each of the past three seasons). He has also been a solid TD threat with 27 in his first four years in the league. He’s never had fewer than 6 TDs in a year. I really like the value of Colley here as I feel he’s just a shade below the Big 4 (Gates, Witten, Gonzo, & Winslow). I knew if I didn’t get a Tight End here I would have to take a lower tier TE later. I could have waited until the seventh round (three picks later), but this way I got the TE I wanted (Dallas Clark and Shockey were alternatives). I’m hoping for 70+ receptions for 700-800 yards and 6-8 TDs.
Seventh Round, 2nd Pick (#74 overall) – Donald Driver
With essentially a rookie QB at the helm (assuming that’s how “As the Favre Turns” shakes out), I figure Donald Driver will be a nice security blanket. Sure, Greg Jennings hits the Home Runs, but without #4 that well could dry up. Enter Donald Driver. He’s caught at least 80 passes each of the pass four seasons. He had 1,048 yards last year ending a streak of three consecutive 1200 yard seasons. I don’t see him getting back to the 1200 mark, but he’s also not a #1 or #2 fantasy WR anymore. My expectations have lowered for Driver, but an 80 reception, 900 yard, 6-8 TD year would be adequate from my #3 WR.
Eighth Round, 11th Pick (#95 overall) – Felix Jones
I chose Felix Jones for RB depth. He is lightning quick and should fill the void left by Julius Jones’ departure. He is accustomed to sharing the load as he teamed up with Darren McFadden in Arkansas to form a dangerous 1-2 punch. He should get some play in 3rd down situations so a healthy reception total is very possible. A final nugget that could prove useful for Jones is that Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones went to Arkansas. I considered going QB here, but knew that one would be there in the next round. I’m hoping for somewhere around 20-30 receptions, 600-800 total yards, and 4 TDs.
Ninth Round, 2nd Pick (#98 overall) – Marc Bulger
To say Marc Bulger struggled in 2007 is a major understatement. He had just 2,392 yards, 11 TDs to 15 INTs, and a 70.3 QB Rating. The Rams in general were a major disappoinment though. I think the Rams will bounce back in ’08 if they can avoid the injury pitfalls that derailed them last year. Bulger was considered one of the top QBs a year ago when he threw for 4301 yards, 24 TDs, and 8 INTs. If he can return to that form I’ll have one of the best values in the draft. I am hoping for 3600-3800 yards, 20-24 TDs, and less than 15 INTs out of Bulger.
Tenth Round, 11th Pick (#119 overall) – New England Patriots Defense/Special Teams
With Minnesota, Pittsburgh, and San Diego DSTs already off the board I decided now was the time to grab an elite DST. I love the fact that NE plays Miami, Buffalo, and the Jets twice during the season. They also play Kansas City, San Francisco, and most importantly Oakland in the fantasy playoffs. I think the Patriots are going to play with a chip on their shoulder on defense after seeing their Perfect Season slip through their hands. Sure, they lost some pieces on Defense, but they are the Patriots. They’ll carry on without them. I also considered the Bears, Baltimore, and Jacksonville Defenses, but opted for the AFC Champs instead. I am hoping for 45+ Sacks, 20+ INTs, 10+ Fumble Recoveries, and 3+ TDs.
Eleventh Round, 2nd Pick (#122 overall) -Bryant Johnson
Johnson has left the desert for the bay. He has had 40+ receptions in each of the past four seasons with Arizona. He’s going to an offense that should be pass happy with Mike Martz’s influence. He’s a big WR (6’3″, 213 lbs) and could be coming into his prime in his sixth season in the NFL. I knew I needed some WR depth here and Johnson has been a guy I was big on during the free agency period. I thought if he landed in the right spot he could have a solid year. Hopefully SF is the right spot. I am hoping for 60 catches for 700 yards and 6 TDs.
Twelfth Round, 11th Pick (#143 overall) – Alge Crumpler
I’m hoping a change of scenery will work wonders for Alge Crumler, who up until last year was a top five Tight End. He is happy to get away from the disaster that Atlanta became, and is looking forward to hooking up with new QB Vince Young, who athleticism probably reminds him of his old QB. Despite his injury issues and team issues he still turned in a decent year for a TE last year with 42 catches for 444 yards and 5 TDs. If he can split the difference between those stats and an average of the previous three years where he had 774+ yard each year, I’d be happy. I’m hoping for at least 50 catches for 600 yards and TDs from Alge.
Thirteenth Round, 2nd Pick (#146 overall) – Jon Kitna
I decided to go for a backup QB here. I thought I would have more options, but the teams on both sides of me took QBs (Brett Favre and Alex Smith). Kitna’s value takes a hit with Martz gone, but he does have a couple of good WRs still. He has consecutive 4000 yard seasons completing over 62% of his passes both years. His TD numbers (21 & 18) will likely go down, but I’m hoping that his INTs will follow. I’m hoping for 3600+ yards, 18+ TDs, and 15 or fewer INTs.
Fourteenth Round, 11th Pick (#167 overall) – Jacob Hester
This late in the game I decided to take a risk in Jacob Hester. He’s big (6’0″, 224 lbs) and will likely get some carries late in ball games as San Diego finishes teams off. Darren Sproles doesn’t have the size to take the beating so Hester could fill the void left by Michael Turner’s departure. The rookie out of LSU could be in line for serious touches if this were the year LT went down. I’m hoping for 400+ yards and 4 TDs, but those numbers could skyrocket if he were to receive more carries.
Fifteenth Round, 2nd Pick (#170 overall) – Kevin Walter
I like Kevin Walter in a PPR league because he has the opportunity to catche a lot of balls. With all the attention Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels receive, Walter could be the poison that more often than not gets picked. He had seven games of 5+ receptions last year en route to 65 catches for 800 yards and 4 TDs. He’s bigger than I initially thought at 6’3″, 215, which makes him a decent redzone target. I’m hoping for 75+ receptions for 700 yards and 6 TDs from Walter.
Sixteenth Round, 11th Pick (#191 overall) – Neil Rackers
I wouldn’t have went with a Kicker here since we were drafting so early, but you can’t make a roster move until after the first week. I would have grabbed another Running Back in case there was a Preseason injury. Since I had to choose a Kicker I went with Rackers. He opens up with two nice games against San Francisco and Miami. He should get me off to a good start. I’d be happy if he returned to his 2005 form, but I’m just hoping he does better than last year.
Thanks KFFL for allowing me to participate.