I’m taking part in the KFAD II, a league that we’ll play out. It’s the second analysis draft KFFL has done this season. I love these drafts because after every pick, we require participants to write a short analysis on their picks. That means you, the viewer, get to read our thoughts on why we made the pick. I know you’re thinking, “What’s the big deal?” The big deal is that these writeups come shortly after each pick, which means you get a fresh and accurate look into each drafter’s mind.
I do have what I’ve termed a “chair” in this draft. I always had KFFL draft with a two-person team. The primary chair was responsible for the league with, the second chair being there to offer feedback on every pick. The chair also helps manage the team when it comes to waivers or if the primary chair can’t manage it for whatever reason. It’s a process that has worked well. My chair is the “Battling Canadian,” Bryce McRae. I’m not sure why I call him “Battling,” but at times he reminds me of a veteran prizefighter who’s seen his share of knockdowns. He just has that gritty look.
In this draft, I wanted to snag a couple of solid receivers early but to also remain on task and draft quality starters and quality running back depth. In the end, despite what many say, you still cannot find quality running backs on the waiver wire! Check out my blog on value-based drafting for my philosophy on running backs entering this season.
As always, feel free to post your comments and let me know if I’m on track. I’ll gather and post the rest of my picks early next week as the draft is just about wrapped up. Enjoy!
KFFL Fantasy Analysis Draft II
Reason: Taking the safest running back on the board was our goal and that was Williams. Philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrook (ankle) is “da bomb” when healthy, but this year that is a major worry of mine. Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis has a lot of wear and tear, and I’m concerned about his ability to hold up at this point in his career. New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush simply looks great on paper, but that’s about it as he can’t stay healthy. In a nutshell I took Williams because of his health. I do have concerns about Jonathan Stewart, but he is not a model of health with a toe issue last offseason and an Achilles’ heel issue this offseason. He remained healthy last year because of the time share with Williams. I’ll bank on Williams having another successful campaign as the Panthers remain a run-first team and have a massive chip on their shoulder after the embarrassing beatdown they took in the playoffs.
Others Considered: Westbrook and Portis. Bush was listed too high in the rankings so his name was looked at but never considered.
Standards Set: KFFL projects 262 rushing attempts, 1,336 rushing yards, 13 touchdowns, 24 receptions, 188 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown for Williams.
Reason: We know running back-by-committee approaches are the new trend, and with wideouts flying off the boards in most drafts, I knew what I had to do. The Arizona Cardinals‘ Larry Fitzgerald and the Houston Texans‘ Andre Johnson were gone, which left me an easy choice. Moss scored 11 touchdowns last year with a backup quarterback who struggled early on in the season before finding his groove. The year before he had 23, and despite his age of 32 he has been healthy the last two seasons. This one was easy to make, and I like this pick more than the Round 1 pick of DeAngelo Williams.
Standards Set: KFFL projects 89 receptions, 1,335 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns.
Reason: No matter how you slice it with how “great” wide receivers are in today’s fantasy hobby, you cannot find quality running backs on the waiver wire. Thus, you better have quality starters and depth. I wanted another solid fantasy starter, and Grant was the best on the board. He’s not flashy or spectacular, but what I like about him: Despite his holdout and a nagging hamstring, he still carried the ball 312 times, he thrives in the Packers zone-blocking scheme, and I view his 3.9 yards per carry and five total touchdowns as direct results of his holdout and hamstring injury. For those that say he can’t catch, I won’t argue, but I know this: He only caught eight passes in the first three months of the season, but in the final three games he had nine. He also finished the final four weeks with 20-plus utilizations and a combined 102.5 yards per game. I expect better than average improvement this season.
Others Considered: Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Derrick Ward and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. We felt Ward would share time and is injury prone, while we thought Rodgers could fall to us in the fifth round.
Standards Set: KFFL projects 294 attempts, 1,264 rushing yards, seven touchdowns, 24 receptions, 130 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns.
Reason: Receivers were flying off the board, and I wanted balance at both running back and wideout. I went with wide receiver whereas I normally stick to running backs or a top-tier quarterback. However, I felt I could still grab a great quarterback in the fifth round and running back committees allow me to hold off a round for my back. Last year Jackson had career highs with 59 receptions, 1,098 yards, seven touchdowns and an incredible 18.6 yards per catch, which led receivers with 50 or more receptions. Jackson can go vertical (he’s a former college basketball player) and caught 16 balls that went through the air at least 20 yards. He’s able to use his size and power to outmuscle smaller defenders, and he’s a huge red zone target at 6-foot-5, 230 pounds. He finished strong in December with 20 receptions, 395 yards and two touchdowns. Finally, he’s young enough (26) to improve and has increased his yards and receptions each of the last three seasons.
Others Considered: I kept looking at quarterback Aaron Rodgers and briefly considered Santonio Holmes, but felt he would last one more round. My chair, Bryce McRae, brought up Chad Ochocinco, but I liked Jackson better as the team around him has fewer questions.
Standards Set: KFFL projects 69 receptions, 1,125 yards, nine touchdowns and even some rush attempts, seven for 25 yards.
Reason: Watching quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, Donovan McNabb and Philip Rivers go before my pick was brutal. I fully expected one of them to fall to me. Romo will provide the most consistency and explosiveness of those left. He’s a good athlete with a strong arm who can throw on the move from any angle. He just needs to stop making mistakes. The release of wide receiver Terrell Owens is addition by subtraction as Romo will not force as many passes Owens’ way to keep him happy. In fact, tight end Jason Witten, Romo’s favorite target, doesn’t drop passes like Owens does and is more of a No. 2 receiver. Speaking of last year’s numbers, Romo had a quarterback rating of 114.7 in the fourth quarter showing he stays strong throughout the game, and he threw for more yards per game last year than he did in 2007. Some highlights: He had six games of 300 passing yards and six games with three touchdown passes. In total, he had eight multi-touchdown games in 13 starts and averaged 265.2 yards passing per game. No. 1 wideout Roy Williams has a full offseason of the playbook under his belt, and while with Detroit he had three seasons of seven-plus touchdowns with subpar quarterback play. Don’t sell him short based on last year’s play.
Standards Set: KFFL projects 3,865 passing yards, 27 touchdowns, 16 interceptions, 39 rush attempts, 109 rushing yards and one touchdown.
Reason: This one was easy. I needed to handcuff my first-round pick of DeAngelo Williams to the big man. If anything happens to Williams, Stewart becomes a stud in the making and, in his own right, is a legitimate No. 3 fantasy or flex position fill-in. Some of the positives I like about Stewart: He was durable last season despite having offseason toe surgery. Based on his sixth-round draft slot he is easily the running back with the most upside to outperform it, much like Williams last year. One positive is that he’s still learning the pro game. Remember, he came from a spread offense in college. There’s the potential for an even split depending on how the season goes, and he’s better suited than Williams to see goal line carries.
Others Considered: None
Standards Set: KFFL projects 227 attempts, 931 rushing yards, 13 touchdowns, 11 receptions, 94 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown.
Reason: This was an easy pick. I planned on going tight end, and if Winslow was there, he was going to be the pick I made. The Bucs traded two draft picks, including a second-rounder for him, so he will be a focal point in the offense. The team will split him wide and put him in the slot as well as his normal tight end role. He’s also to be a focal point in the red zone. Remember, he’s a tight end who’s built like a receiver! Wideout Antonio Bryant will demand attention and should allow Winslow the opportunity to post No. 1 reception numbers. I view last season as a fluke, and Winslow did not have to deal with any offseason injuries – another reason I like him entering the year.
Standards Set: KFFL projects about 71 receptions, 802 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
Reason: Another easy one here. I was looking for dependability with my No. 3 receiver before looking toward upside with the rest of my receiver picks. I also have upside already with my first two receivers. Driver has lost a step and may see fewer targets but had a franchise-record sixth 1,000-yard season last year. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers looks for him in the clutch as four of Driver’s five touchdowns came on third down. He runs great routes, is fluid and while he’s neither fast nor big, is able to use his veteran skills to make the tough catch. He also rarely misses a game. He also had 397 receiving yards in the last five games of the season. Finally, I don’t mind a 34-year-old veteran who can post 13.7 yards per reception and catches 64 percent of the passes thrown his way.
Others Considered: Miami Dolphins wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr., Chicago Bears wide receiver Devin Hester and San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Josh Morgan were discussed but never really considered. Driver was the most dependable of what was left.
There you have it, my first half picks in what should be a great league. What are your thoughts? Agree or disagree?
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