Throughout the week, the Yahoo! fantasy staff will be conducting our annual post-NFL Draft fantasy mock. This thing will look EXACTLY like your league's draft in August, with zero exceptions. Book it. End of story. That's how deadly accurate we are around here. Follow the links for earlier picks: Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, Round 4.
The career resurrection of Bryant completed its final phase last season as the once heavily drugged receiver posted career highs in receptions (83), yards (1,248) and touchdowns (7). His 10.4 fantasy points per game average in standard leagues ranked 10th among wideouts, between studs Brandon Marshall and Randy Moss. Franchised in February, he returns to the pirate ship with a new captain at the helm, Byron Leftwich. Raheem Morris' reconfigured West Coast offense will emphasize the run more, but Bryant should again flirt with top-10 totals at his position, especially considering his sick Madden skills. (Brad Evans)
Written off by A-gles acolytes and media members alike, McNabb was resilient in '08, playing a full 16-game slate for the first time in four seasons while compiling his third-highest passing TD yield since 2000 (23). His 19.7 fantasy points per game output in standard formats (4 pts/passing TD) was the ninth-best mark among signal-callers with at least 10 starts. Philly's outstanding selections of Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy bolster an already effective offense. Assuming the injury imp doesn't snack on his lower extremities, he should finish with roughly 23-26 total TDs. (BE)
The fact that the Broncos signed so many running backs in the offseason and had so many needs heading into the NFL Draft, yet still took Moreno with their top pick (No. 12 overall) speaks volumes to me about how the team envisions Moreno being able to fit into what will likely be a spread-oriented style of offense under new head coach Josh McDaniel. Moreno is an excellent receiver and can work effectively inside-and-out as a runner. Assuming he picks up the offense and proves worthy in the always-crucial pass protection, Moreno should carry a featured role into the season. (Brandon Funston)
This is a painful pick to make after Edwards’ god-awful ’08 performance. But he’s the only receiver left on the board capable of 1,289-yard, 16-TD production – we know this because he did just that in ’07. And there’s still the potential for Edwards to get traded into a more ideal situation this summer. This team needs a receiver, so I’m drafting for upside now and, believe me, I'd be buying insurance at the wideout position all along the way if we were to extend this draft out to a traditional 16 picks. (BFun)Santonio Holmes, Pittsburgh Steelers
Holmes had a curious campaign in his Year 3 season. He regressed in yards, yards per catch and touchdowns, and frequently it was Nate Washington's number that was called in home-run situations. But Holmes also made some clutch drive-saving catches down the stretch and of course there was some fancy footwork in the corner of the end zone and a Super Bowl MVP trophy. Washington is gone, Hines Ward is getting on in years and the Steelers don't have another proven WR on the roster. Paying a premium for a surprise Super Bowl performance is risky (see Larry Brown to Raiders), but I see Holmes cashing in on the good will for a few extra targets in 2009. (Matt Romig)
If you need to adjust receiver projection for the anticipated Year 3 development, then exactly how much additional improvement do you factor in when that receiver is running routes (quite precisely, I might add) for Peyton Manning while replacing a future Hall of Famer as his team's undisputed No. 2? Quite a bit more, obviously, if I'm burning a fifth-round pick on a guy who has never eclipsed 700 yards or four TDs in a season. There's plenty to go around in Indy -- the Colts featured multiple 1,000-yard receivers every year from 2004-06, sneaking in three back in 2004. Gonzalez is in position to continue that trend. (Mig)
Beanie might have fallen to No. 31 in the draft, but he couldn’t have landed in a better spot to make an immediate impact. The Cardinals were the NFL’s worst rushing team a year ago, and while Tim Hightower gave them 10 TDs, he also averaged a miniscule 2.8 yards per carry. Given how bare Arizona’s backfield cupboard was after losing Edgerrin James and J.J. Arrington, Wells is a virtual lock to begin the season as a starter, definitely getting the bulk of the early-down work. When healthy, he’s an explosive mix of power and speed, something the Cards desperately need to diversify their offense. And with a prolific passing game to occupy the defense’s attention, Wells shouldn’t face many heavy fronts. Hightower might vulture away a few scores, but the rookie will be the one picking up most of the rushing stats. (Michael Blunda, PFW)Vincent Jackson, San Diego Chargers
After years of hype, we finally got to witness the real V-Jax last season, and it was pretty special. Possessing the size of a linebacker (6-5, 230), blazing speed and the stickiest of hands, he frequently made spectacular grabs look routine. Developing into a complete receiver, he caught 59 passes for 1,098 yards and seven TDs, good for an 18.6-yard average. At just age 26, Jackson only figures to get better, especially as Philip Rivers continues to elevate his game. San Diego’s offense, No. 2 in scoring in 2008, figures to just as effective this season, so look for Jackson to at least match, if not build on, his breakout ’08 campaign. (MB)
Round 5, Pick 9 - RB Joseph Addai, Indianapolis Colts
We all know the flags on this one – Addai’s coming off a lost season (3.5 YPC), the Colts just drafted Donald Brown in the first round, yada yada yada. But Indy isn’t going to kick Addai to the curb in just his fourth season; there’s merely looking to get him some help. I still expect Addai to get at least 60 percent of the backfield work in Naptown, and that’s good work if you can get it – every opposing defense comes on the field worried about Peyton Manning first and foremost. While Addai’s current situation definitely calls for a significant discount, it’s more than factored in at this slot – honestly, I consider Addai a potential steal if you can snag him this late. (Scott Pianowski)
He can be a bit churlish at times, he hasn’t always gotten along with the KC organization, and the ominous “Year 30” tag is waiting for him in the middle of November. That’s enough to get Johnson out of my plans for the first four rounds, I suppose, but I’m not afraid to make the plunge here. The guy did get 4.5 yards a pop last year despite a messy supporting cast, and don’t forget the mileage isn’t so bad on LJ because his career got a late start – he’s only toted the rock 1,243 times for his career. I don’t expect that he’ll be long for the Chiefs but that’s okay with me – Johnson might step to the field with some extra motivation, auditioning for his next contract. I’d be concerned if I needed Johnson to produce as my No. 2 back, but he’s the perfect No. 3 in my eyes, an upside-driven pick that could push me over the top if it clicks. (Pianow)
Round 5, Pick 11 - TE Dallas Clark, Indianapolis Colts
The departure of Marvin Harrison should result in a few more targets for last year's second highest scoring fantasy tight end. There's a drop-off at the position after Clark, too. It wouldn't be much of a surprise if he delivered a touchdown total that looked like 2007 (11) and a yardage number that matched last year's career high (848).
If this were a real draft and the dude picking at the turn was, um...not me, here's what I'd be thinking: 1) That team doesn't need a quarterback, so I can wait another round for Matt Schaub; 2) They're definitely taking at least one receiver with their next two picks, and they could be looking at a tight end, too. So Clark it is. In Round 6, I'm taking my quarterback. (Andy Behrens)
Round 5, Pick 12 - WR Eddie Royal, Denver Broncos
Royal's outstanding rookie campaign was just the beginning. He was one of only six wide receivers to top 90 catches in 2008, and he finished 15th in total targets (129). He's absolutely legit. In Josh McDaniels' offense, expect Royal to fill the Welker role and deliver comparable numbers. Of all the receivers left on the board, he has the greatest chance to reach triple digits in receptions for sure.
With the next pick, this owner is looking to the backfield. By the time they pick again in Round 7, another 10 or 12 RBs might be gone. (Behrens)
Yeah, OK, we've got a couple more rounds in us. We'll take a rapid-fire approach to Rounds 6 and 7 on Monday. Since you're practically begging.
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