::The Bruno Boys would like to present to you "Bruno Boys Nation, A College Fantasy"—a weekly blog comprised of 12 college students across the Midwest who partake in an annual fantasy football league. Throughout the season, Bruno Boys newest guest contributor, Alex Strand, will update you on his leagues happenings as well as fill you in on how his team is faring.::
So, as I said previously in my first article with the Bruno Boys, I had the third pick in a 12-team, ppr format draft. Here is a recap of what I did with my picks, and let me start off by saying that I am mildly optimistic with this team.
Round 1, Pick 3: Matt Forte, RB Chicago Bears—For an RB that caught 63 balls and had four receiving TDs in his rookie year, I am a tad bit surprised I got the former Tulane back here. With MJD and then Adrian “All Day” Peterson going first and second, respectively, I’m so high on Forte I think I would have taken him even if I had the first overall pick. Peterson just doesn’t catch passes, and I think the addition of Brett Favre’s gun-slinging, interception-prone arm will hinder his numbers. Likewise, I think the loss of Fred Taylor means that Jones-Drew will finally be exposed for what he really is: a midget. Although Kyle “Captain Checkdown” Orton has been replaced by a more downfield passer in Jay Cutler, with backup Kevin Jones now out for the season, Forte will get a minimum of 350 touches and be rock solid for my team.
Round 2, Pick 10: Marion Barber, RB Dallas Cowboys—I was quite flustered to find Barber sitting here for me, and I had kind of ruled him out in my research because our league is generally running back-heavy for the first two rounds. With neither Clinton Portis or Steve Smith, two guys that I coveted pre-draft, slipping to me, I was forced to change my whole draft strategy. Throwing aside the notion that Felix Jones is freaky fast, I think the two can co-exist and I can get great value out of this pick. With the likes of Ronnie Brown, Kevin Smith and Ryan Grant awaiting me in round three, I felt that I could wait out on a No. 1 wideout in order to grab a back who used to score 15 TDs a season before last, when he was quietly silenced by a sore toe injury. He also caught 54 passes, and with Tony Romo’s favorite red zone target in Terrell Owens departed, I think at least half those red zone opportunities now shift to the broad shoulders of Barber.
Round 3, Pick 3: Anquan Boldin, WR Arizona Cardinals—I don’t mind my No. 1 guy being a No. 2 on his own team as long as it’s this Cardinals passing attack. Although he is still angry about his contract, this guy is a beast, and anyone who can take a shot like he did last season against the Jets and get right back and play two weeks later, I want on my team.
Round 4, Pick 10: Aaron Rodgers, QB Green Bay Packers—I flat out think he will be a top 3 quarterback this season. His time has come. Watch and see.
Round 5, Pick 3: Anthony Gonzalez, WR Indianapolis Colts—I really don’t think this was too early to take this guy. It came down to him, DeSean Jackson and Eddie Royal. I think all will catch between 80-90 balls, have 1,000 yards receiving, but Gonzalez is the only one who I think will flirt with double digit TDs. Peyton looked his way more than once in the red zone during the preseason, and I see no reason why he can’t put up Marvin Harrison-like numbers.
Round 6, Pick 10: Willie Parker, RB Pittsburgh Steelers—The Steelers running game won’t be as anemic as last season, right? Will it? All I know is that Fast Willie Parker still has a little gas left in the tank, and that his potential vulture, Rashard Mendenhall, still has nightmares about Ray Lewis, so best case scenario is me getting a starting back who will top 1,000 yards on the ground and score eight times in the sixth round to use as my flex.
Round 7, Pick 3: Torry Holt, WR Jacksonville Jaguars—Same case as Parker in that he is a once dominant, now forgotten veteran who is the No. 1 guy on his team. Throwing out age and the inconsistencies of David Garrard, I see a guy who can have one last hurrah, and end his career as a Jaguar, a la the great Jimmy Smith.
Round 8, Pick 10: Ahmad Bradshaw, RB New York Giants—Way too early, you say? Well, if you watched him in the preseason and saw how explosive he was, coupled with him essentially inheriting the numbers of the departed Derrick Ward that made him a rich man in Tampa Bay, along with Andre Brown’s injury and third-down duties for a Giants’ team without a true No. 1 receiver, and I truly feel at the end of the season I will look back and see this as my best pick of the draft.
Round 9, Pick 3: Kellen Winslow, TE Tampa Bay Buccaneers—With Jeremy Shockey, who, by the way, had no TDs last season in case you didn’t know, the last tight end taken before this, I am happy with getting this guy. Only one year removed from an 82-catch, 1,106 yard season, I heard rumors that the Bucs love his skill sets and plan to have him on the field as much as possible, even split out sometimes as the slot guy or even No. 2.
Round 10, Pick 10: Michael Jenkins, WR Atlanta Falcons—This offense now has so many weapons in Michael Turner, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez that I think defenses will focus so much energy on stopping those guys that this speedster will be open downfield for Matt Ryan a ton.
Round 11, Pick 3: Fred Jackson, RB Buffalo Bills—A starter because of Marshawn Lynch’s suspension for the first three weeks on a running team, he also caught 37 passes last year. He is in my starting lineup Week 1 because I want to get as much value as possible out of this pick.
Round 12, Pick 10: Matt Hasselbeck, QB Seattle Seahawks—I needed a backup QB, and every odd numbered season since 2001, this vet has put up Pro Bowl numbers. The addition of TJ Who'z-Your-Daddy should help repeat that stat.
Round 13, Pick 3: Visanthe Shiancoe, TE Minnesota Vikings—Brett Favre loves throwing to guys like this, plus he had 7 TDs last season. I feel I can go with a TE by committee approach this season.
Round 14, Pick 10: Davone Bess, WR Miami Dolphins—Greg Camarillo is still hindered by ACL recovery, Ted Ginn Jr. has never proven himself, and Bess and Pennington were clicking down the stretch last season when the team made the playoffs. I think this guy will surprise people this season.
Round 15, Pick 3: San Diego Chargers Defense—I had to draft a defense. I think this team will be better than last season as long as Tila Tequila does not file charges against Shawne Merriman.
Round 16, Pick 10: John Kasay, K Carolina Panthers—Hey, I had to draft a kicker.
So there is my squad for the season, let me know what you think of my team!
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