The experts of NFL Fantasy Live have concluded their draft for the 2014 NFL season. This league is standard scoring and will be featured regularly on NFL Fantasy Live, which you can watch HERE. Below is pick-by-pick analysis for America's Team, which was drafted by YOU, the fans. Join the conversation and help America's Team beat the experts all season long. You can check out the roster and vote on weekly decisions right HERE.
Round 1, Pick 8: Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos - Since all of the top options at running back were gone, if there's one decision America should be all right with, it's taking Manning late in the first round. The most popular strategy was to go running back, then wide receiver but we pulled the trigger on The Sheriff to lock in the best signal-caller in fantasy.
Round 2, Pick 13: Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys - We asked, and America replied. You America, selected Bryant as the best receiver to pick in the second round. He fell right into the nation's lap, and we're feeling great about it. All signs point to Bryant having an even better season in 2014 than he has in the past, so we're looking forward to his potential, as well as potential fantasy wins.
Round 3, Pick 28: Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers - Late in Round 3, the running back position was pretty depleted so America went with its gut on this one. Mathews had the best statistical season of his career in 2013 and should be in line for the goal line work in San Diego. Sure, he will be a member of a committee but he should lead that committee in almost every rushing category as long as he stays healthy. Also, if you read Michael Fabiano's analysis of his picks, it sounds like he might have been eyeing Mathews. Consider this a win, America!
Round 4, Pick 33: Reggie Bush, RB, Detroit Lions - In an attempt to bulk up the running back position, America went with a player with very high upside here in Bush. Even though he will likely share carries with Joique Bell again, Joe Lombardi, the new offensive coordinator in Detroit, comes from New Orleans so he should be familiar with how to use Bush's strengths. Yet again, America snatched a player from Fabiano. If you're keeping tabs, the score is: America 2, Fabiano 0.
Round 5, Pick 48: Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins - Listen America, we aren't thrilled with this one, but Garcon was one of the only WR2 options left at this point. He led the league in receptions last season with 113, but that number might dip this year with DeSean Jackson now in Washington. It's OK though because America goes for depth at the receiver positon a little later in the draft.
Round 6, Pick 53: Ben Tate, RB, Cleveland Browns - Tate will start the season as the Browns No. 1 runner and is a good option for a flex play. He does come with some injury risk but there is value in grabbing a team's lead runner as late as the sixth round. We might even feel comfortable slotting him in for Bush as our RB2 if we had to.
Round 7, Pick 68: Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints - Like we said before, we were looking to build some depth at the receiver position in later rounds. We like Colston as a WR3 since he looks like the second pass-catching option in a Saints offense that could put up 5,000 yards this season and. His mediocre 2013 numbers devalued his fantasy stock for this season, but in Round 7 he comes as a steal.
Round 8, Pick 73: Dennis Pitta, TE, Baltimore Ravens - Some of the top-tier tight ends were already off the board heading into Round 8, and four more of them went here. America had first dibs and snagged Pitta before Fabiano could get him, so he ended up with Jordan Reed, and Kyle Rudolph went on the next pick followed by Zach Ertz. Pitta is looking to play a major role in the Gary Kubiak offense in Baltimore this year. Don't forget that Pitta and quarterback Joe Flacco are pretty much #bffs so that counts for something, right? Either way, the score is now: America 3, Fabiano 0. Booya!
Round 9, Pick 88: Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots - No running backs went in Round 9 because the outlook was pretty grim at the position, so America again targeted a wideout. Edelman is New England's No. 1 receiver and if Rob Gronkowski has to miss any time, Edelman's value automatically goes up as he'd become the top target. Tom Brady has built quite a report with the shifty slot receiver and trusts him (as does America) to haul in the majority of targets thrown his way.
Round 10, Pick 93: Pierre Thomas, RB, New Orleans Saints - America watches preseason games, right? Well Thomas looked great in the Saints preseason game last week against the Colts. He caught four balls for 66 yards and will play a major role as Brees' passing-down back. Of course there's no guarantee of touchdowns with this pick because those will all go to Jimmy Graham, but Thomas is a viable flex option or bye week fill-in for standard scoring leagues and has a lot more value in PPR scoring formats.
Round 11, Pick 108: Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills - It was a round of rookie picks, and America had luck (not Andrew) on its side as Watkins was still available late in the round. Although he hasn't done much in preseason games to live up to his hype, Watkins' upside is off the charts as he has ridiculous talent. The only thing not going for him is EJ Manuel's struggles. America is hoping his upside is worth the pick.
Round 12, Pick 113: Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals - Hill could reportedly get as many as 200 carries this season in a complementary power back role to Giovani Bernard. The big rookie has overtaken Benjarvus Green-Ellis as the No. 2 back on the Bengals depth chart and if he's the guy hammering in the touchdowns, we're OK with stashing him on our bench, even if it was a few rounds early.
Round 13, Pick 128: Hakeem Nicks, WR, Indianapolis Colts - Who? Yeah, Hakeem Nicks. Yes, we realize he didn't do much of anything last year, but neither did the Giants. Now that he's with Andrew Luck and the Colts who will spread the ball around quite a bit, we like his potential for a bounce-back year. He was plagued by injuries last year but he has some of the biggest hands in the league and if he pops, he's worth the gamble. And should Reggie Wayne or T.Y. Hilton miss any time, Nicks' value would skyrocket.
Round 15, Pick 148: Blair Walsh, K, Minesotta Vikings - Walsh had a lackluster season last year with the Vikings, but a lot of that had to do with the team's overall offensive output which was, well, not much. We expect him to rebound this year in what is shaping up to be a high-scoring offensive attack under Norv Turner. And by the way, Adrian Peterson.