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I Have the First Pick in My Fantasy Football Draft:

We are probably doing our FFL draft this weekend (early, yes, but that's what schedules seem to permit). I have the first pick in the draft (10 team league, serpentine draft order). I'm leaning strongly towards taking Manning. ESPN reports that in all of its leagues last year, 42.9% of the winning teams in its leagues had either Manning or Culpepper. My intuition is that even though Tomlinson seems to be thought to be the consensus number 1, the drop-off from Manning and Culpepper is so large compared to the drop-off from Tomlinson to about 12 other RB's, that it is worth burning the number 1 pick on Manning.

Last year my draft didn't turn out so great--I drafted Portis, Barlow, Steve Smith, Anquan Boldin, Jeremy Shockey, and David Boston with 6 of my first 7 picks (I also got Favre and Walker later, but that didn't help much). I don't recommend having your wide receiver corps completely decimated by halftime of the first week of the season. Anyway, Manning's consistency is looking pretty attractive right now too--and I'm a bit sour on the "stud RB's theory" as you might guess after "building" my team around Portis and Barlow last year.

Given that we have the smartest Comment board in town, I'll also ask if anyone has any sleeper recommendations. Also, does anyone know if Tatum Bell been given the starting job in Denver?

Also, congratulations to John Charles Bradbury, a GMU Economics PhD from a few years ago who now teaches at Sewanee (I served as the outside reader on his dissertation committee--a cool dissertation on bicameralism). More importantly, however, he makes an appearance in ESPN's Fantasy Football preview magazine as one of ther "Wise Guys," who are guys who provide advice in the issue on how to use statistics to draft more effectively. His advice: "When in doubt, default to facts, not premonitions" and gut feelings.

Wish I had read that last year before drafting Barlow in the second round...

Justin (mail):
Definitely Manning. The Colts offense is redic pass-happy, and you can't make that up with a "value" qb the same way you can with a value rb.
7.28.2005 11:31am
A.S.:
It might depend on whether your league gives the full 6 points for a passing TD, or only 4 (as the ESPN leagues generally give). Yeah, you can probably get a couple of good RBs this year at 20 and 21, but you can probably get McNabb there too.
7.28.2005 11:51am
jallgor (mail):
This answer all depends on what kind of league you have. Is it rotisserie or head to head? Is it standard ESPN scoring or points for TD's only? How many RB's do you need to start, etc? If this is head to head, and you have to start 2 RB's a week (or 1 RB and 3 wide outs) and if you're scoring system includes yardage, then you should NOT pick a QB with your first pick. Good starting RB's are really scarce and they get injured much more often than QB's. The drop off from the top QB's to the mediocre ones is nothing compared to the drop off in RB's. There is a reason that in every expert draft that has ever been conducted (yes I am exaggerating) nobody ever picks a QB until the 7th or 8th pick. Those top 5 or 6 RB's are like gold. All those winning team that had Manning won because they didn't get him with the first pick of the draft (on average I bet he went between 5 and 10) and he had a career year.
7.28.2005 11:53am
Eric:
I had Manning on my team last year and lost every one of my games. I also had, among others, Clinton Portis, Santana Moss, and Charles Rogers. In essence, I had only one real RB and no receivers. So while having Manning is great, you definitely need to back him up with some talent.

That said, it may also be that my league's point system doesn't favor quarterbacks.

Good luck.
7.28.2005 11:54am
Brad (mail):
The answer, of course, depends in part on your league's rules, which are unknown to us, the intrepid commenters. If the scoring in the league shades more strongly to RBs than many I've seen, then Manning may not make your choice wortwhile. That being said, I think it's pretty safe to count on Manning to put up his usual array of big numbers this season. After all, he has been about as conistently statistically impressive as any QB I remember. Of course, his offense is basically intact from last year too - they just lost one TE and a G. I don't believe the same can be said for Tomlinson's supporting cast.
7.28.2005 11:56am
Zywicki (mail):
We use CBS Sportsline standard scoring, which gives 6 points per td (regardless of whether run, thrown, or passed), one point per 10 yards rushing, 25 yards passing, and bonuses for 100 yards rushing and 300 yards passing. Last year Manning and Culpepper finished about 100 points ahead of any other player in the league, primarily because of the td's and passing bonuses.

McNabb is an interesting possibility, but I would be surprised if he was still around by the 20th pick (I expect Manning and Culpepper to go in the first round, and McNabb and Green to go somewhere in the second round).
7.28.2005 12:01pm
jallgor (mail):
Ok, so your league favors QB's a good deal. That makes picking a top QB at #1 conceivable but I personally still wouldn't do it. Remember, the key is not to analyze how good Manning is but how much of a decline there is between him and the next QB you are likely to get. In a 10 person league (where people know what they are doing) by the time the pick comes back to you there should only be a handful of QB's gone (mabe only 3 or 4) while there will likely be about 12 to 15 RB's picked. So the question you need to ask is how much better is Manning compared to the number 4 or 5 QB? -- versus -- How much better is the number 1 RB versus the number 15 RB? In most years the difference between the 5th best RB and the 15th is staggering.
7.28.2005 12:23pm
NickM (mail) (www):
My tried-and-true method of choosing sleepers is to look for players who have been productive in part-time roles but who now are expected to have a starting job. Lamont Jordan of the Raiders comes to mind right away.

I too favor loading up with running backs early, Expect that there will be from 12 to 20 that will be truly productive, so that if you can get 3 of them, you will be well ahead of the league.

Nick
7.28.2005 12:36pm
guest1243:
Since when is Barlow a "stud RB?"

Manning is a good pick on a risk-adjusted basis. Less injury and performance risk than an RB like LT but slightly less upside.
7.28.2005 12:37pm
Lou Wainwright (mail):
Todd, using the Sportsline scoring I think you have to take Manning (although I'd take Culpepper -> but I'm a irrationally biased Vikings fan). As you point out they were way above the other players, and neither is likely to drop all the way back to the QB pack. Also, QB is not a deep position, there are only 5 QBs (who you can be sure will finish in the top 10 at the end of the year (Brady is the fifth), so getting one of those in the first three rounds is critical. RBs are a different story, there are no sure things. You just need to take the three best starters you can and hope for the best. given that it is serpentine I'd take Manning and then two conservative RBs at 20/21 (or a top 4 WR if available), while being able to ensure no bye week overlaps amoung your top three.

My league has a similar scoring system and I pray I get picks 1 or 2 - its a great year for those slots.
7.28.2005 12:41pm
Al (mail) (www):
Tomlinson is an easy #1 selection in most leagues, but with a 6 point TD, it would be tempting to grab Peyton at #1. Manning isn't going to repeat those ridiculous numbers from last year. He'll still be the #1 QB in football, but not by such an incredibly wide margin.

I still would take Tomlinson. You should be able to grab someone like Kerry Collins when the draft comes back to you by the fourth/fifth round. By that time you'll have Tomlinson and possibly two other RBs (I'd suggest the Jones' - Kevin and Julius if they're still there in the 2nd/3rd).

If you're looking for both a quick and comprehensive draft guide, may I suggest Pro Football Prospectus 2005, a book I helped put together that just came out? In addition, if you make a donation to the website, you'll also get a quick and easy fantasy spreadsheet to bring with you to your draft.
7.28.2005 12:43pm
Al Maviva (mail):
No high round sleepers. Todd Heap will be a good mid round pick tho. He is coming off ankle surgery, and was a high scorer for the Ravens two years ago, a lynchpin of their offense. It's risky because you never know with ankle surgery, but if he slips to the mid rounds, it's a nice pickup, especially as a #2 or #3 receiver (my league combines TW and WR, and awards high points for yardage so a possession TE like Heap is mandatory).
7.28.2005 12:50pm
chicagojoe:
Stick with LT. What you really need to compare is the difference between the #1 RB and the #15 RB (which is probably what you'd get if you wait until the 2nd at RB), compared to the #1 QB to the #5 QB (what you'd get if you'd wait until later in the draft at QB). Toss in the fact that there is a good chance that, nearly every year, a good QB comes out of the lower rounds. Not the case at RB. Also, toss in the fact that RB's are more scarce than QB's -- fantasy leagues start two (some three) and only one QB (usually), but every team usually has only one RB worth taking. Take LT. Then, when you're looking in the 2nd round, you could go in many different directions (and look at the level of RB's available and thank yourself that you took LT in the first). I always try to get 3 stud RB's. It doesn't always work (like your drafting of Portis and Barlow last year), but it increases your odds. As for sleepers, I guess I'd define that as guys who I think have more value than where they are likely to be drafted. With that in mind, I'd say maybe Lee Suggs, Cedrick Benson, Derrick Blaylock (late -- Martin's bound to get hurt one of these years), Aaron Brooks (many will disagree with me here), Frank Gore (but he's in SF and he starts as a backup), and, yes, Kevin Barlow (SF, but he's better than he showed last year -- given folks' disappointment in him last year, I think he will slip in the draft below his value). Just my two cents. Oh, and in leagues with a separate TE, Witten is only slightly behind Gonzalez and Gates (note: SD has a really tough schedule this year, so I'd be wary of Brees with Rivers on the bench).
7.28.2005 1:00pm
chicagojoe:
Oh, and Tatum Bell does NOT start preseason camp as the starter, although many think he will easily become number one there within a matter of weeks. Many are speculating this is a motivation ploy by Denver's coach.
7.28.2005 1:02pm
Zywicki (mail):
I picked up Heap after he came back last year and he did great. I am certainly worried about his durability though--I read somewhere that in addition to ankle surgery he also had shoulder surgery, which in turn, meant that he couldn't use his crutches to keep the weight off his ankle. So the recommendation was not to draft him.

guest1234--Barlow isn't, but last year I got caught up in the Barlow hype. Boy, did I learn my lesson. So someone should smack me for even mentioning Tatum Bell.
7.28.2005 1:28pm
A.S.:
Yes, it does seem as though your league's scoring system is pretty good for QBs, making Manning a possibility. And while I agree that you are looking at the difference between the #1 RB and the #15 RB as your best RB, I'm not sure you need to just look at the difference between the #1 QB and the #4 or 5 QB. You don't really need to take a QB in the 1st, 2nd, or even 3rd round. There should be plenty of perfectly acceptable QBs in the mid rounds - Mike Vick, Tom Brady, Brett Favre, and Kerry Collins (with an invigorated Randy Moss to throw to) are all pretty good possibilities.

Frankly, if I were you, I would take LT with the first round, and take a good 2nd RB and a stud WR with picks 20 and 21 (provided McNabb is gone). You can get a QB in a later round.
7.28.2005 1:33pm
B. B. (mail):
On the same line as Pro Football Prospectus, you can check out the website www.footballoutsiders.com, which is the site by the authors of said book.

The problem with trying to compare Manning vs. the 5th best QB or LT with the 10th best RB is that you have no idea who that 5th QB will necessarily be. I mean, look at last year -- Drew Brees? I don't see that many dependably fantastic QB's out there, particularly ones who are never hurt. Something crazy happens every year to torpedo the best laid plans and letting someone who made some deft late round picks cream the whole league. It happened with me one year when I 'settled' for late round picks Kurt Warner and Stephen Davis to fill out my roster in first year of the Warner Rams and just crushed my league. Those surprises and a lack of injuries is what usually wins a league.
7.28.2005 1:39pm
Tumbling Dice:
Todd - don't do it! The value isn't there.

I'd take 2 RBs or RB/WR dependig on who is available.

McNabb should still be there in the 3.1 slot. If you just aren't comfortable not having a QB. And I project he'll be the 2nd best fantasy QB this year.

Carson Palmer will also be a top 10 fantasy QB this year. He can be had much later.
7.28.2005 1:40pm
PaulNoonan (mail) (www):
Manning and Tomlinson are both safe picks. Assuming that Manning comes back down to earth a bit (and the decline of Marvin Harrison and another year on Edge should have that happen), he's probably still worth grabbing first. The following RBs will probably all be pretty close: Kevin Jones, Julius Jones, McGahee, Tiki Barber (you laugh now, talk to me in week 8) Shaun Alexander if he stops being a tool, Edge, Domanick Davis, and Rudi Johnson. After that you're gambling a bit. Priest is on his last legs, Ahman Green started his decline last year, Clinton Portis still has a terrible line, no one knows what's going on in Denver or Minnesota.

Now let's look at QBs. You've got Manning, and that's it. Culpepper is very very good, and I don't want to seem like I'm slighting him, but he lost Randy Moss, and he's just not going to be quite as good. He should still be the second QB taken, but the even if Manning isn't as good, the gap would still widen.

With #1 I would probably take Manning, assuming that a few players in my league are suckers and will overvalue holmes and green, allowing me to take Barber, Davis, or Rudi Johnson in the second round.

Alternatively, I'll bet dollars to donuts that Carson Palmer ends the season as the third highest fantasy valued QB, and you can also grab him fairly late. He trended upwards very highly last year (when completely healthy) and the Bungles should have an easier schedule in terms of defenses faced this year.

Avoid Todd Heap like the plague. He's hurt pretty badly, the Ravens acquired Derrick Mason, and he has an adequate backup who may be a superior blocker (Dan Wilcox).

Finally, instead of buying your standard Sporting News fantasy football magazine, pick up a Pro Football Prospectus 2005.
7.28.2005 1:45pm
Steve:
Joey Harrington, of all people, may turn out to be the sleeper everyone wishes they'd taken, if his sick receiving corps stays healthy.
7.28.2005 2:05pm
FFL God (www):
TZ:

By the looks of your draft from last year, you're not the strongest FFL player. Look to some of the better websites for draft analysis. Antsports.com, Fantasyfootball.com, Xpertleagues.com, etc.

No way you should draft anyone but LT. Manning might have better numbers, but remember you only start one QB and you need at least 2 strong RBs. You can draft a guy like Bulger, Green, or Favre far later in the draft and one of them could have an equally strong season this year as Manning.

If your draft is serpentine you'll be able to get LT and another strong back like Westbrook or maybe Rudi Johnson. Then we can add a number one WR like Chad Johnson, who is poised to have a big year.

Finally, I know I probably care much more about this than you ever will, but seriously man, there's no reason to go into this thing with one hand tied behind your back.
7.28.2005 2:51pm
Tony:
Best sleeper pick of the year: Jeff Garcia.
7.28.2005 3:03pm
DNL (mail):
LT and it isn't even close.
7.28.2005 3:15pm
AnandaG:
I don't see the force behind a lot of the arguments here. If you score full points for passing TDs, you take Manning #1. Two points --

1. A couple of people have said that good RBs don't emerge from the middle and lower rounds. How can they say that after last year?! Last year two of the top five runners were Tiki Barber and Curtis Martin, both of whom were available in the 3rd and 4th rounds of many drafts (Martin particularly, since he had a very bad 2003). Corey Dillon also slipped to the 3rd in many drafts due to the uncertainty about how the Patriots would use him as well as concerns about his attitude. Jerome Bettis scored 13 touchdowns and was available in the middle of most drafts. This year, a player like Carnell Williams, who is likely to take on the bulk of Tampa's carries, will likely be available in the 3rd round for you to grab.

2. If your league is RB-obsessed, you can get superb WRs to make up the difference. I have seen 10 team mock drafts in which the #1 player got Manning AND Harrison this year. You could conceivably end up with Manning, Harrison, and someone like Javon Walker as your QBs and WRs. That will make up for a lot of reduced RB scoring.
7.28.2005 3:53pm
AnandaG:
Oh, sleeper recommendations, hmmm...

QB: Delhomme, Palmer. Delhomme is still inexplicably slipping pretty far, and Palmer has huge breakout potential this year.

WR: Randle El, Steve Smith (sort of -- he's slipping this year just because of his injury last year, which is odd)

RB: Carnell Williams, LaMont Jordan, Eric Shelton, Larry Johnson, Derrick Blaylock (the last three have potential due to the guys ahead of them having injury issues).
7.28.2005 3:56pm
Zywicki (mail):
FFL God:
I was actually excited about my team after the draft--which was, of course, early and before training camp started. Other than Barlow, who most everyone on the expert sites thought highly of. I was pretty psyched on collecting Boldin and Smith in the 3rd and 4th rounds (until they ripped up their legs), then Westbrook, Walker, Favre, and Shockey later on.
7.28.2005 4:27pm
Zywicki (mail):
P.S.--And I thought I got a steal by grabbing Portis at the bottom of the first round last year.
7.28.2005 4:31pm
Zywicki (mail):
P.P.S.--And last year was the first time in 6 years I didn't make the playoffs (the year before I lost in the championship game).
7.28.2005 4:37pm
Al (mail) (www):
If you're going to draft a Colt wide receiver early, go for Reggie Wayne and not Harrison.
7.28.2005 4:56pm
Burt Likko (mail):
Between LT and Manning, I'd pick Manning. The downside to the #1 pick is there's a lot of primo talent that will evaporate before you get a second player. In your shoes, I'd keep my eye on Hasselback; with some uncertainty about Alexander, a piece of the puzzle is missing and that may be to your advantage.
7.28.2005 4:57pm
Adam (mail) (www):
At 6pts/throwing TD, you have to take Manning at #1 -- the actual point production week-to-week is too much to deny. Also, there's no reason to assume that the Chargers will be All That again this year.

I'd rather have Manning-Westbrook than LDT-later QB, and there's no way McNabb falls to #20 in a league with this scoring system.
7.28.2005 5:00pm
RPS (mail):
Even with you getting 6 points for a passing TD, I wouldn't take Manning # 1. Even though I don't particularly like Tomlinson, he has to be the guy taken first.

Most of this has already been said, so I'll just pile on.

1) Manning probably doesn't repeat. He's been right around 28 TDs every other other, and I expect him to end in the low to mid 30s. That's a significant drop.

2) You assume you can get two of the Top 12 RBs. Unlikely. I would think 14-15 will be off the board before you select again.

3) I've always found more QBs emerge throughout the year than RBs. Volek, Collins, etc.

4) I've found that QBs and WRs are much more likely to drop than RBs. If you go RB/RB/WR/WR, I'm willing to bet a Bulger or Green is available. That's nice value in the 5th round.

BUY:
Clinton Portis - he didn't live up to his Top 5 billing, but people think he was worse than he was. He still got 1300+ yards, but the 5 TDs held him back. TDs are a fickle number. He's only 23 and if he adds 5 more TDs, he's a Top 7-8 RB. I'll look for him in the early to mid 2nd round.

Kevan Barlow - Again, he'll be undervalued on draft day. People need to remember that he only got more than 20 carries 4 times - two of those times he rushed for 100+yds. SF was always behind which meant they passed alot. There were questions about his work ethic, but it was a bad scene all around SF last year. He's a great candidate for a bounce back year.

Jamal Lewis - There's a chance people will overlook Lewis because his numbers were down due to his suspension. But he's one of the most durable backs in the game with a nose for the endzone. If he's there at 20 you take him and feel guilty.

Julius Jones - the hype is real. I will reach to get him.

SELL:
LaMont Jordan - for the sole reason that he's going to be way overvalued on draft day. He's looked great in a parttime role, but there are always questions when guys go from backups to starters. If he's there in the late 3rd/early 4th, fine, but don't go crazy trying to get him.

Tiki Barber - his numbers really fell off when Manning took over. Don't go anywhere near him in the first 3 rounds. Another example of how fickle TDs can be. Despite getting only 50 more carries, he got 11 more TDs than the year before.
7.28.2005 5:02pm
RPS (mail):

At 6pts/throwing TD, you have to take Manning at #1 -- the actual point production week-to-week is too much to deny. Also, there's no reason to assume that the Chargers will be All That again this year.

I'd rather have Manning-Westbrook than LDT-later QB, and there's no way McNabb falls to #20 in a league with this scoring system.



Actually, LT's numbers were down last year from his previous two years. The guy put up monster numbers when the Chargers were bad, so there is no reason to think it won't continue. On the other hand, Manning had only thrown for more than 30 TDs once before. The only concern with LT is how long he can handle these 300+ carry seasons.
7.28.2005 5:07pm
Jeremy (mail):
Take Manning first. Anybody who suggests otherwise doesn't know what they're talking about.

Take best available RB next, but do not draft Clinton Portis. His best years were when he had an o-line in Denver. Denver has had the best offensive line in professional football since 1996; RB's numbers are artificially inflated when they play there.

My RB ranks:
Tomlinson
Alexander
Domanick Davis
Holmes
Dillon
McGahee
Edgerrin James
7.28.2005 5:14pm
RPS (mail):

1. A couple of people have said that good RBs don't emerge from the middle and lower rounds. How can they say that after last year?! Last year two of the top five runners were Tiki Barber and Curtis Martin, both of whom were available in the 3rd and 4th rounds of many drafts (Martin particularly, since he had a very bad 2003). Corey Dillon also slipped to the 3rd in many drafts due to the uncertainty about how the Patriots would use him as well as concerns about his attitude. Jerome Bettis scored 13 touchdowns and was available in the middle of most drafts. This year, a player like Carnell Williams, who is likely to take on the bulk of Tampa's carries, will likely be available in the 3rd round for you to grab.




Barber and Martin were great finds, but how many other RBs drafted outside the # 20 produced big? On the other hand, of the 7 RBs taken in the first round (Priest, SAlex, Deuce, AGreen, Edge, Portis, LT) 6 of them finished in the Top 14 of RBs.
7.28.2005 5:20pm
BigT (mail):
Finally a topic that I know a little about...OK very little, If and that is a big word, but if your league scores TD passes as 4 pts rather than 6, the history of my league(s) has shown that the team drafting a QB with the 1st pick has never won the SB. I think you must look at RB-RB with your 1st two unless the cupboard is bare. I only noticed 1 other comment that mentioned the RB that was highly productive during the 2nd half of last season..
J Jones of the Cowboys.
7.28.2005 5:32pm
Zywicki (mail):
Are we all sold on McGahee? I have a bad feeling about him this year--especially with Losman at QB.

I do like Julius Jones. What about Kevin Jones--breakout season?

And does Cadillac look like the starter in Tampa Bay? Pittman actually played some pretty good games after he came back last year. Have the Bucs upgraded their O-Line? And is Alstott healthy to block? I'm nervous about Tampa's backfield.

My understanding is also that Thomas Jones is still the starter for now in Chicago, ahead of Benson.
7.28.2005 6:36pm
GCallas:
How much Manning and Culpepper scored in relation to players at other positions is irrelevant. Read the following article, which is the classic starting point for true fantasy football sharks. Using the principles outlined in the article, there are very few scoring systems in which LT is not the clear #1 pick. If I were you, I'd wait until round 6 or 7 to take a QB and grab someone like Plummer or Brooks, both of whom are undervalued this year. The article is at:

7.28.2005 6:37pm
GCallas:
Oops. THe "link" option didn't seem to work. Anyway, here it is:

http://www.footballguys.com/05vbdrevisited.htm
7.28.2005 6:37pm
mpowell (mail):
Kind of amusing to read these posts... The answer depends on the league you're in. If your league is filled w/ very recreational players, you can get away w/ nonsense like Manning then Harrison drafts. But that's only b/c you can find decent RBs in rounds 3 and 4. In a shark league (or any league that people pay real money to play) you have more-or-less a zero chance of winning if you don't take at least 1 RB in the first 2 rounds.

Taking Manning first probably won't hurt your chance of winning too badly in a a soft league, but no serious fantasy player will do it this year, regardless of league or point system. The only exception could be a league that starts 2 QBs or 1 RB. That changes everything.

The argument here is basically replacement value, but everyone knows that argument in theory, its just that only some appreciate its significance in practice.

For those that think otherwise: check WCOFF brackets. I'll bet not a single person picks Manning number one overall- and those guys pay $2K to play.
7.28.2005 7:38pm
Dylan:
Want a sleeper reccomendation - Duce Staley (yeah the health thing is always a concern). He was on pace for a 1400 yard season behind a great (Best?) O-line. The Bus came in behind him and racked up almost 800 yards behind the same line. Now Big Ben has some more experience and a new big TE to block or dump off to, the run in the Burgh will be potent as ever.

Also, agree that in a QB scoring league, going with Peyton seems to be a strong choice. Who scored more week to week last year Manning or LT and will that continue should be the deciding factor.
7.28.2005 10:03pm
GCallas:
Once again, "who scored more week to week last year Manning or LT and will that continue should be the deciding factor" is absolute nonsense as FF advice. What's important is how a player scores relative to other players AT THE SAME POSITION. The drop off at RB is far faster than the drop off at QB. The difference between LT and the best available RB in round 2 is about the same as the difference between Manning and the best QB available in round 6 or 7. The fact that Manning scores more than LT has no bearing. Jake Plummer scores more than LT, but that doesn't mean you should draft Jake Plummer in the 1st round.

By the same token, you should draft Tony Gonzalez in the 3rd round if he's available (and assuming you are required to start a TE). That's because he's head and shoulders above all the other TEs in the league and having him on your team provides a major competitive advantage. It doesn't matter if David Carr scores more points than Tony Gonzalez, because they play different positions.
7.28.2005 10:23pm
Adam (www):
GCallas, underlying your analysis is the assumption that year-to-year RB production is as reliable and predictable as it is at QB. I'm not confident that such is the case - durability at RB is much more of an issue.
7.28.2005 11:08pm
juheimbu (www):
Sleeper - Stephen Jackson

He's an Edgerin James type of runner, and he'll be doing the bulk of the running for the Rams this year, with Faulk doing specialist work. Jackson hangs on to the ball, and should be able to put up decent yardage numbers...
7.29.2005 11:38am
flaime:
LaDanian Thomlinson is the best fantasy player in the NFL, if your league scores RBs like most do. Manning is second best. But there are a lot of stud QBs out there this year. There will only be about 6 stud RBs.
7.29.2005 11:48am
FFL God (www):
TZ:

Didn't mean to insult your fantasy skills, it just looked like you got way to caught up in hype last year. I never respect those guys who like Barlow. He's crap and so is SF. If you have to draft any 49er take Joe Montana, he'll score more in retirement than anyone who actually gets in the game.

To answer your questions, I'm sold on Willis, but it doesn't matter because you won't get him at the end of the second. If for some reason he's there take him. He could be the number 1 overall back this year, but LT is as sure as it gets and taking a guy in his first year as a full time starter isn't wise for number one overall.

Julius Jones is awesome, if he is there at the end of the second, take him. Same with Kevin, though I like Julius better.

Regarding the other backs, Carnell and Cedric should go ahead of Thomas Jones and Michael Pittman. But with your position you probably won't need any of them. Take LT and any other top tier back that is left in the 2nd, Jones, Barber, Martin, etc. Then don't go back to RBs until 6 or 7 - then get Henry or a vulture like Bettis or Duckett.

Good luck.
7.29.2005 3:20pm