NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider 4 New Articles Added 11/6/06

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#43
Modified: May. 22, 2006
FFL: AFC Depth Charts


<!-- end pagetitle --><!-- begin bylinebox -->

<!-- firstName = --><!-- lastName = -->ESPN Fantasy Games

<!-- begin presby2 -->

<!-- end presby2 -->
<!-- end bylinebox -->
<!-- begin text11 div --><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD style="PADDING-TOP: 10px" vAlign=top><!-- begin leftcol --><!-- template inline -->Here are the latest offensive depth charts for all AFC teams, with top fantasy players at every position listed. All information is current as of May 19. Click here for NFC Depth Charts.

AFC EAST

Buffalo
QB: Kelly Holcomb, J.P. Losman, Craig Nall
RB: Willis McGahee, Shaud Williams, Lionel Gates, Anthony Thomas
FB: Daimon Shelton, Joe Burns
WR: Lee Evans, Peerless Price, Josh Reed, Roscoe Parrish, Jonathan Smith, Sam Aiken, Andre' Davis
TE: Robert Royal, Brad Cieslak, Tim Euhus
K: Rian Lindell, Nicholas Setta


Miami
QB: Daunte Culpepper, Joey Harrington, Cleo Lemon
RB: Ronnie Brown, Sammy Morris, Travis Minor, Kay-Jay Harris
FB: Fred Beasley, Darian Barnes
WR: Chris Chambers, Marty Booker, Wes Welker, Derek Hagan, Cliff Russell, Kelly Campbell
TE: Randy McMichael, Justin Peelle
K: Olindo Mare, Ola Kimrin


New England
QB: Tom Brady, Matt Cassel, Todd Mortensen
RB: Corey Dillon, Kevin Faulk, Laurence Maroney
FB: Patrick Pass, Heath Evans
WR: Deion Branch, Reche Caldwell, Troy Brown, Chad Jackson, Bethel Johnson
TE: Daniel Graham, Ben Watson
K: Martin Gramatica, Stephen Gostkowski


New York Jets
QB: Chad Pennington, Patrick Ramsey, Kellen Clemens, Brooks Bollinger
RB: Curtis Martin, Cedric Houston, Derrick Blaylock, Leon Washington
FB: B.J. Askew, Luke Lawton
WR: Laveranues Coles, Justin McCareins, Jerricho Cotchery, Tim Dwight, Dante Ridgeway
TE: Doug Jolley, Chris Baker
K: Mike Nugent


AFC NORTH

Baltimore
QB: Kyle Boller, Brian St. Pierre, Drew Olson
RB: Jamal Lewis, Mike Anderson, Musa Smith, P.J. Daniels
FB: Alan Ricard, Justin Green
WR: Derrick Mason, Mark Clayton, Clarence Moore, Demetrius Williams, Devard Darling
TE: Todd Heap, Daniel Wilcox
K: Matt Stover, Aaron Elling


Cincinnati
QB: Carson Palmer, Doug Johnson, Anthony Wright
RB: Rudi Johnson, Chris Perry, Kenny Watson
FB: Jeremi Johnson, Naufahu Tahi
WR: Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Chris Henry, Tab Perry, Kelley Washington
TE: Reggie Kelly, Tony Stewart
K: Shayne Graham


Cleveland
QB: Charlie Frye, Ken Dorsey, Derek Anderson
RB: Reuben Droughns, William Green, Lee Suggs, Jason Wright, Jerome Harrison
FB: Terrelle Smith, Corey McIntyre
WR: Joe Jurevicius, Dennis Northcutt, Braylon Edwards, Travis Wilson, Frisman Jackson, Joshua Cribbs
TE: Kellen Winslow, Steve Heiden, Darnell Dinkins
K: Phil Dawson, Jeff Chandler


Pittsburgh
QB: Ben Roethlisberger, Charlie Batch, Omar Jacobs
RB: Willie Parker, Duce Staley, Verron Haynes, Cedric Humes
FB: Dan Kreider, John Kuhn
WR: Hines Ward, Cedrick Wilson, Santonio Holmes, Quincy Morgan, Nate Washington, Lee Mays
TE: Heath Miller, Jerame Tuman
K: Jeff Reed


AFC SOUTH

Houston
QB: David Carr, Sage Rosenfels, Quinton Porter
RB: Domanick Davis, Vernand Morency, Antowain Smith, Wali Lundy
FB: Jameel Cook, Quadtrine Hill
WR: Andre Johnson, Eric Moulds, Kevin Walter, Chris Doering, Jerome Mathis
TE: Mark Bruener, Jeb Putzier
K: Kris Brown


Indianapolis
QB: Peyton Manning, Jim Sorgi, Josh Betts
RB: Dominic Rhodes, Joseph Addai, James Mungro, Kory Chapman
FB: James Mungro
WR: Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Brandon Stokley, Aaron Moorehead
TE: Dallas Clark, Bryan Fletcher, Ben Hartsock
K: Adam Vinatieri, Shane Andrus


Jacksonville
QB: Byron Leftwich, David Garrard, Quinn Gray
RB: Fred Taylor, Alvin Pearman, Maurice Drew, LaBrandon Toefield
FB: Greg Jones, Derrick Wimbush
WR: Matt Jones, Ernest Wilford, Reggie Williams, Troy Edwards, Randy Hymes, Cortez Hankton, Chad Owens
TE: Kyle Brady, Marcedes Lewis, George Wrighster
K: Josh Scobee


Tennessee
QB: Steve McNair, Billy Volek, Matt Mauck, Vince Young
RB: Chris Brown, Travis Henry, LenDale White, Jarrett Payton
FB: Troy Fleming
WR: Drew Bennett, David Givens, Courtney Roby, Brandon Jones, Tyrone Calico, Roydell Williams
TE: Erron Kinney, Ben Troupe, Bo Scaife
K: Rob Bironas


AFC WEST

Denver
QB: Jake Plummer, Bradlee Van Pelt, Jay Cutler
RB: Tatum Bell, Ron Dayne, Cedric Cobbs
FB: Kyle Johnson, Cecil Sapp
WR: Rod Smith, Javon Walker, Ashley Lelie, Todd Devoe, David Terrell, Darius Watts
TE: Stephen Alexander, Tony Schleffler
K: Jason Elam, Paul Ernster


Kansas City
QB: Trent Green, Damon Huard, James Kilian, Brodie Croyle
RB: Larry Johnson, Priest Holmes, Quentin Griffin, Dee Brown
FB: Ronnie Cruz, Travis Wilson
WR: Eddie Kennison, Samie Parker, Dante Hall, Jeris McIntyre, Craphonso Thorpe, Jeff Webb
TE: Tony Gonzalez, Jason Dunn
K: Lawrence Tynes


Oakland
QB: Aaron Brooks, Marques Tuiasosopo, Andrew Walter
RB: LaMont Jordan, Justin Fargas, ReShard Lee, Rod Smart
FB: Zack Crockett, John Paul Foschi
WR: Randy Moss, Jerry Porter, Ronald Curry, Doug Gabriel, Alvis Whitted
TE: Courtney Anderson, Randal Williams
K: Sebastian Janikowski, Tim Duncan


San Diego
QB: Philip Rivers, A.J. Feeley, Charlie Whitehurst
RB: LaDainian Tomlinson, Michael Turner, Darren Sproles, Ray Perkins
FB: Lorenzo Neal, Andrew Pinnock
WR: Keenan McCardell, Eric Parker, Kassim Osgood, Rashaun Woods, Vincent Jackson
TE: Antonio Gates, Aaron Shea
K: Nate Kaeding, Kurt Smith

</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#44
Modified: May. 22, 2006
FFL: NFC Depth Charts


<!-- end pagetitle --><!-- begin bylinebox -->

<!-- firstName = --><!-- lastName = -->ESPN Fantasy Games

<!-- begin presby2 -->

<!-- end presby2 -->
<!-- end bylinebox -->
<!-- begin text11 div --><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD style="PADDING-TOP: 10px" vAlign=top><!-- begin leftcol --><!-- template inline -->
Here are the latest offensive depth charts for all NFC teams, with top fantasy players at every position listed. All information is current as of May 18. Click here for AFC depth charts.

NFC EAST

Dallas
QB: Drew Bledsoe, Tony Romo, Drew Henson
RB: Julius Jones, Marion Barber, Tyson Thompson, Keylon Kincade
FB: Lousaka Polite
WR: Terrell Owens, Terry Glenn, Patrick Crayton, Skyler Green, Terrance Copper
TE: Jason Witten, Ryan Hannam, Anthony Fasano
K: Mike Vanderjagt, Shaun Suisham


New York Giants
QB: Eli Manning, Tim Hasselbeck, Jared Lorenzen
RB: Tiki Barber, Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward, Chad Morton
FB: Jim Finn, Greg Hanoian
WR: Plaxico Burress, Amani Toomer, Tim Carter, Sinorice Moss, David Tyree, Willie Ponder
TE: Jeremy Shockey, Visanthe Shiancoe
K: Jay Feely


Philadelphia
QB: Donovan McNabb, Jeff Garcia, Koy Detmer
RB: Brian Westbrook, Ryan Moats, Correll Buckhalter, Bruce Perry
FB: Josh Parry, Thomas Tapeh
WR: Reggie Brown, Todd Pinkston, Jabar Gaffney, Greg Lewis, Darnerien McCants, Jason Avant
TE: L.J. Smith, Matt Schobel
K: David Akers, E.J. Cochrane


Washington
QB: Mark Brunell, Jason Campbell, Todd Collins
RB: Clinton Portis, Ladell Betts, Rock Cartwright, Kerry Carter
WR: Santana Moss, Brandon Lloyd, Antwaan Randle El, David Patten, Taylor Jacobs, James Thrash
FB: Mike Sellers, Nehemiah Broughton
TE: Chris Cooley, Christian Fauria
K: John Hall, Tyler Jones


NFC NORTH

Chicago
QB: Rex Grossman, Brian Griese, Kyle Orton
RB: Thomas Jones, Cedric Benson, Adrian Peterson, Tony Hollings
FB: Bryan Johnson, Jason McKie
WR: Muhsin Muhammad, Mark Bradley, Justin Gage, Bernard Berrian, Airese Currie
TE: Desmond Clark, John Gilmore
K: Robbie Gould, Josh Huston


Detroit
QB: Jon Kitna, Josh McCown, Dan Orlovsky
RB: Kevin Jones, Shawn Bryson, Artose Pinner, Brian Calhoun
FB: Cory Schlesinger, Will Matthews
WR: Roy Williams, Scottie Vines, Mike Williams, Corey Bradford, Charles Rogers, Mike Furrey
TE: Marcus Pollard, Dan Campbell
K: Jason Hanson


Green Bay
QB: Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, Ingle Martin
RB: Ahman Green, Samkon Gado, Najeh Davenport, Noah Herron
FB: William Henderson, Vonta Leach
WR: Donald Driver, Robert Ferguson, Rod Gardner, Marc Boerigter, Greg Jennings, Cory Rodgers
TE: Bubba Franks, David Martin, Donald Lee
K: Billy Cundiff, Dave Rayner


Minnesota
QB: Brad Johnson, Mike McMahon, J.T. O'Sullivan, Tarvaris Jackson
RB: Chester Taylor, Mewelde Moore, Ciatrick Fason, Adimchinobe Echemandu
FB: Tony Richardson, Joey Goodspeed
WR: Koren Robinson, Travis Taylor, Marcus Robinson, Troy Williamson, Billy McMullen, Chris Jones
TE: Jermaine Wiggins, Jim Kleinsasser, Richard Owens
K: Ryan Longwell


NFC SOUTH

Atlanta
QB: Michael Vick, Matt Schaub, Bryan Randall, D.J. Shockley
RB: Warrick Dunn, T.J. Duckett, Jerious Norwood, DeAndra Cobb
FB: Justin Griffith, Fred McCrary
WR: Roddy White, Michael Jenkins, Brian Finneran, Jerome Pathon, Kevin Youngblood, Adam Jennings
TE: Alge Crumpler, Eric Beverly
K: Seth Marler, Ryan Rossner


Carolina
QB: Jake Delhomme, Chris Weinke, Stefan LeFors
RB: DeShaun Foster, DeAngelo Williams, Eric Shelton, Nick Goings, Jamal Robertson
FB: Brad Hoover, Casey Cramer
WR: Steve Smith, Keyshawn Johnson, Keary Colbert, Karl Hankton, Drew Carter
TE: Kris Mangum, Mike Seidman
K: John Kasay

New Orleans
QB: Drew Brees, Todd Bouman, Jamie Martin, Adrian McPherson
RB: Deuce McAllister, Reggie Bush, Michael Bennett, Aaron Stecker
FB: Mike Karney, Nate Schurman
WR: Joe Horn, Donte' Stallworth, Devery Henderson, Nate Poole, Michael Lewis, Chris Horn
TE: Ernie Conwell, Zachary Hilton, Mark Campbell
K: John Carney, Connor Hughes


Tampa Bay
QB: Chris Simms, Luke McCown, Tim Rattay
RB: Carnell Williams, Michael Pittman, Earnest Graham, Derek Watson
FB: Mike Alstott, Jerald Sowell
WR: Joey Galloway, Michael Clayton, Ike Hilliard, Edell Shepherd, Maurice Stovall
TE: Anthony Becht, Alex Smith
K: Matt Bryant, Xavier Beitia


NFC West

Arizona
QB: Kurt Warner, John Navarre, Matt Leinart, Rohan Davey
RB: Edgerrin James, Marcel Shipp, J.J. Arrington, Damien Anderson
WR: Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, Bryant Johnson, Troy Walters, LeRon McCoy
TE: Eric Edwards, Adam Bergen, Leonard Pope
K: Neil Rackers, Nick Novak


St. Louis
QB: Marc Bulger, Gus Frerotte, Ryan Fitzpatrick
RB: Steven Jackson, Marshall Faulk, Tony Fisher
FB: Madison Hedgecock, Paul Smith
WR: Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, Kevin Curtis, Shaun McDonald, Dane Looker
TE: Joe Klopfenstein, Dominique Byrd
K: Jeff Wilkins


San Francisco
QB: Alex Smith, Trent Dilfer, Jesse Palmer
RB: Frank Gore, Kevan Barlow, Maurice Hicks, Michael Robinson
FB: Chris Hetherington, Terry Jackson
WR: Antonio Bryant, Arnaz Battle, Bryan Gilmore, Jason McAddley, Brandon Williams, P.J. Fleck
TE: Eric Johnson, Vernon Davis
K: Joe Nedney, Andrew Jacas


Seattle
QB: Matt Hasselbeck, Seneca Wallace, David Greene
RB: Shaun Alexander, Maurice Morris, Josh Scobey, Marquis Weeks
FB: Mack Strong, Leonard Weaver
WR: Darrell Jackson, Bobby Engram, Nate Burleson, Peter Warrick, D.J. Hackett, Alex Bannister
TE: Jerramy Stevens, Itula Mili
K: Josh Brown, Ryan Killeen
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#45
<!-- begin pagetitle -->May. 30, 2006

FFL: Top 75 individual defenders


<!-- end pagetitle --><!-- begin bylinebox -->

<!-- firstName = Scott --><!-- lastName = Engel -->

By Scott Engel
ESPN Fantasy Games

<!-- begin presby2 -->

<!-- end presby2 -->
<!-- end bylinebox -->
<!-- begin text11 div --><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD style="PADDING-TOP: 10px" vAlign=top><!-- begin leftcol --><!-- template inline -->Here are my early rankings of the Top 75 Individual Defensive Players for the 2006 season. While scoring systems often vary in leagues that use IDPs, my rankings place an emphasis on tackles, sacks, interceptions and fumble recoveries. Points are usually awarded for TDs and safeties, and passes defensed can also be considered. I also strive to find a healthy balance between linemen, linebackers and defensive backs within the Top 75 for your drafting needs. These rankings will serve as a quality draft guide no matter how your commissioner decides to weigh the top categories, as they focus on the most important statistics generally used in IDP leagues.
THE TOP 75
1. Keith Bulluck, OLB, Tennessee
2. Jonathan Vilma, ILB, New York Jets
3. Donnie Edwards, ILB, San Diego
4. Zach Thomas, MLB, Miami
5. Mike Peterson, MLB, Jacksonville
6. London Fletcher, MLB, Buffalo
7. Brian Urlacher, MLB, Chicago
8. Odell Thurman, MLB, Cincinnati
9. Jason Taylor, DE, Miami
10. Osi Umenyiora, DE, New York Giants
11. Ray Lewis, MLB, Baltimore
12. Lofa Tatupu, MLB, Seattle
13. Aaron Schobel, DE, Buffalo
14. Adrian Wilson, SS, Arizona
15. Michael Strahan, DE, New York Giants
16. Andra Davis, MLB, Cleveland
17. John Abraham, DE, Atlanta
18. Ronde Barber, CB, Tampa Bay
19. Simeon Rice, DE, Tampa Bay
20. Julius Peppers, DE, Carolina
21. Ed Reed, SS, Baltimore
22. Nick Barnett, MLB, Green Bay
23. Antonio Pierce, MLB, New York Giants
24. Troy Polamalu, SS, Pittsburgh
25. Derrick Burgess, DE, Oakland
26. Jared Allen, DE, Kansas City
27. Keith Brooking, OLB, Atlanta
28. Terrell Suggs, DE, Baltimore
29. Bertrand Berry, DE, Arizona
30. Gibril Wilson, SS, New York Giants
31. Will Witherspoon, MLB, St. Louis
32. Kyle Vanden Bosch, DE, Tennessee
33. Gary Brackett, MLB, Indianapolis
34. Derrick Brooks, OLB, Tampa Bay
35. Lance Briggs, OLB, Chicago
36. Cato June, OLB, Indianapolis
37. Roy Williams, SS, Dallas
38. Madieu Williams, FS, Cincinnati
39. Erik Coleman, FS, New York Jets
40. Patrick Kerney, DE, Atlanta
41. Marcus Washington, OLB, Washington
42. Nate Clements, CB, Buffalo
43. Brian Dawkins, FS, Philadelphia
44. Bob Sanders, FS, Indianapolis
45. Michael Lewis, SS, Philadelphia
46. Chris Gamble, CB, Carolina
47. Greg Wesley, FS, Kansas City
48. Adewale Ogunleye, DE, Chicago
49. Charles Tillman, CB, Chicago
50. Darren Sharper, FS, Minnesota
51. Leonard Little, DE, St. Louis
52. Will Smith, DE, New Orleans
53. Jeremiah Trotter, MLB, Philadelphia
54. Rod Coleman, DT, Atlanta
55. Michael Boulware, SS, Seattle
56. Charles Grant, DE, New Orleans
57. Dwight Freeney, DE, Indianapolis
58. Champ Bailey, CB, Washington
59. Takeo Spikes, OLB, Buffalo
60. Kirk Morrison, MLB, Oakland
61. Kawika Mitchell, MLB, Kansas City
62. Ken Lucas, CB, Carolina
63. Sammy Knight, SS, Kansas City
64. Shawne Merriman, OLB, San Diego
65. Kerry Rhodes, SS, New York Jets
66. A.J. Hawk, OLB, Green Bay
67. Ernie Sims, OLB, Detroit
68. Robert Mathis, DE, Indianapolis
69. Aaron Kampman, DE, Green Bay
70. Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, DE, Green Bay
71. Dunta Robinson, CB, Houston
72. Lawyer Milloy, SS, Atlanta
73. Derrick Johnson, OLB, Kansas City
74. Donte Whitner, SS, Buffalo
75. Julian Peterson, OLB, Seattle
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#46
May. 31, 2006
Modified: May. 31, 2006
Celebrity Lounge


<!-- end pagetitle --><!-- begin bylinebox -->

<!-- firstName = Scott --><!-- lastName = Engel -->

By Scott Engel
ESPN Fantasy Games

<!-- begin presby2 -->
<!-- end presby2 -->
<!-- end bylinebox -->
<!-- begin text11 div --><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD style="PADDING-TOP: 10px" vAlign=top><!-- begin leftcol --><!-- template inline -->Steve West, drummer and co-founder of heavy metal band Danger Danger, is a proud survivor. His band has endured changing musical trends and lineup changes and still has an impressive following nearly two decades after its formation.<!--##FRONTSTOP##-->
Danger Danger headlined their own series of dates in Japan earlier this year, and their music videos are still played on VH1 Classic's "Metal Mania" program. In their history, the band has toured with Alice Cooper, Kiss and Warrant and has played on bills with Judas Priest and Heart. VH1 recently named Danger Danger No. 25 on its countdown of the "Top 40 Hair Bands of All Time." West and his founding partner, bassist Bruno Ravel, continue to plan more tour dates and projects, 17 years after their first album went gold. The two hard-working rockers also share a love of the NFL and fantasy football.
<TABLE width=180 align=left bgColor=gray><TBODY><TR bgColor=gray><TD>
</TD></TR><TR bgColor=gray><TD>Steve West and Danger Danger have released nine albums from 1989 to 2005.</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
"One of our friends started a league five years ago and I joined to help give them enough teams," West said. "Bruno is much more of a football fanatic than I am. But they needed guys for the league, so I decided to give it a shot. I had no clue what it was about."
The league started with only six teams, but has now expanded to twice that number, and includes familiar rock stars such as former Guns N' Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke and Faster *****cat front man Taime Downe, who is expected to join this season. The league also includes other music industry veterans, including band managers and lawyers.
"All of us are good friends, a couple are musicians and we have a few other strays. It's just a league of friends and some of us happen to be musicians. We make fun of each other and have a great time every week," West said.
West said fantasy football has renewed his interest in the NFL, which began to wane when his beloved Browns left Cleveland in 1995. While West usually finishes in the "middle of the pack" and has yet to win his league, he said he is constantly doing research and trying to get better in a quest to challenge for the championship in the near future.
"I'm getting better every year," West said. "Every Saturday, I do my research and reading, trying to find the players no one else knows about. That's how I landed guys like Antonio Gates and Willie Parker in the last few years. Last year, I picked up Joe Jurevicius, and he ended up scoring 10 TDs. If I stay out late on Saturday night, then I still make time for my team. I'll be online at five or six in the morning."
Last season, injuries to Priest Holmes and Ahman Green hurt West's team badly, so this season, he intends to draft for depth.
"I learned you must have solid backups in case your main guys go down," he said. "Finding guys who can help you in the middle and late rounds is the way to go. Last year, I made the mistake of trading Larry Johnson right before Priest went down."
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=2 width=170 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD width=8><SPACER height="1" type="block" width="8"></TD><TD width=162 bgColor=#ecece4>[FONT=Arial,Helvetica, sans-serif]More Fantasy Sports Celebrity Lounge Stars
?Star Jones Reynolds
?Bernie Mac
?Matthew Modine
?Kenny Smith
?Samuel L. Jackson
?Oronde Gadsden
?Jennie Finch
?Dean Cain
?Nicole Sullivan
?Bill ***erbakke
?Mark Schlereth
?Nick Bakay
?Anita Marks
?Robert Wuhl
?Tony Gwynn
[/FONT]</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
West's motto is "When you get knocked down, you got to get back up," a line from the Danger Danger song "Afraid of Love." West said he applies that approach to fantasy football.
"If you don't have a good show or good album, you always have to make the next one better," he said. "In fantasy football it's the same thing. You have to dust yourself off, do more research, and fight harder the next season. My competitive spirit makes me better in fantasy football from year to year."
Keeping up with highly dedicated fantasy owners like Ravel isn't easy. West's good friend and bandmate is a longtime Dallas Cowboys die-hard follower who has traveled to see his favorite team play a home game at least once every season for the past 12 years.
"I'm a huge NFL fan. Fantasy football makes every weekend an event," Ravel said. "I have my laptop going, and three TV's with three different games. Most of the time, the weekly battles are decided very late on Monday night, with lots of phone calls and instant messages talking trash."
Ravel's wife, Eva, also plays in a league with her husband.
"Sometimes she's into it more than me," he said. The best part of playing fantasy football, according to Bruno, is how it maintains and strengthens friendships. "Sometimes one loses touch with a friend over time, but in your fantasy football league, you're guaranteed to stay in touch between September and January."
West said the band's schedule allows for a lot of downtime during the winter, which gives him more time to focus on his fantasy team. Yet Danger Danger is still quite busy, more than a decade and a half after its debut album spawned the hits "Naughty Naughty" and "Bang Bang." The band quickly became a favorite of MTV viewers and in addition to touring with other major rock acts, and they headlined two sold-out tours in Japan. West said Danger Danger will soon release a greatest hits compilation, is planning a Box Set, and is planning a tour for the fall of 2006 that will include dates in Europe and the United States.
"To me, longevity is important," West said. "We're just a notch on the big belt of rock and roll, but nearly 20 years after we started, we're still relevant. We could have given up when grunge and hip-hop nearly swept our type of music under the rug. We're still here, thanks to our fans. Japan was the first to embrace us and they still treat us great over there. I'm still achieving what I first set out to do."
<TABLE width=275 align=left bgColor=gray><TBODY><TR bgColor=gray><TD>
</TD></TR><TR bgColor=gray><TD>Danger Danger at the Sweden Rock Festival in 2004, from left to right: Bruno Ravel, Rob Marcello, Ted Poley, Steve West.</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
Although they rose to heavy metal prominence in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Danger Danger has been very active during the past few years. In 2001, their album "Cockroach" was released on a two-disc set to critical acclaim, and in 2002, the band's "Naughty Naughty Xmas" was featured in the Disney movie "The Santa Clause 2." The song was also featured on 2003's "We Wish You a Hairy Christmas," a holiday collection that also featured several other "hair bands," including Warrant, Faster *****cat and L.A. Guns. In early 2005, the band released its first live album.
The most notable lineup change for Danger Danger came in 2004, when original lead singer Ted Poley returned to the band after an 11-year absence.
"People are happy to see us together again," West said. "Our fans were always asking if we would get back with Ted again. But the fans wanted Ted, and he made some initial overtures to us and things have happened to work out again. Our fans are ecstatic and a lot of people are rediscovering us."
West, who has rediscovered his love of pro football over the past five years while following from a fantasy perspective, said playing fantasy football is only natural for a rock 'n' roller.
"Rock and roll is pretty much a fantasy existence in itself," he said. "Rock and roll is my reality, and in fantasy football, you are using real players and games, so you have both the elements of reality and fantasy. I escape the world of rock and roll to go to another world on Sundays. I lock everything else out and it's really cool."
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#47
Jun. 2, 2006
Modified: Jun. 2, 2006
FFL mailbag: June 2


<!-- end pagetitle --><!-- begin bylinebox -->

<!-- firstName = Scott --><!-- lastName = Engel -->

By Scott Engel
ESPN Fantasy Games

<!-- begin presby2 -->
<!-- end presby2 -->
<!-- end bylinebox -->
<!-- begin text11 div --><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD style="PADDING-TOP: 10px" vAlign=top><!-- begin leftcol --><!-- template inline -->Alex, New York, N.Y.: In your Top 200, how can you have Tom Brady ranked so high (No. 27), but Deion Branch, his No. 1 WR, so low (No. 134)? I know the Patriots spread the ball around a lot, but isn't that overdoing it?<!--##FRONTSTOP##-->
Engel: I rank Brady high because other than Peyton Manning, there isn't another QB who can seemingly deliver above-average fantasy numbers on a regularly annual basis. Manning is the only "sure" thing every year at the position to deliver excellent numbers, but Brady will be dependable for at least solid numbers if he doesn't post outstanding totals. That kind of reliability doesn't come easily at the QB position nowadays, especially with injury issues surrounding players like Carson Palmer, Donovan McNabb and Daunte Culpepper. Matt Hasselbeck is good, but not great. Manning and Brady are clearly a cut above the rest for reliability and fine production on a yearly basis. Manning has the potential to be more explosive in any given season, but Brady will always be at least statistically dependable and durable. As for Branch, Brady's ball distribution is just one factor in Branch's rating. He has battled injuries often in the past, and last season was the first time he played a full 16 games. And he still caught only five TD passes. Branch is indeed Brady's top target, but he had only two 100-yard games last year. The ball distribution factor, which I think you are underrating, plus the fact that he is a known injury risk, especially at 5-foot-9, makes him one of the lesser-desired No. 1 receivers. He has yet to produce big numbers on a regular basis. Just because a player is a No. 1 receiver for a good QB doesn't make him an outstanding fantasy player. Brady often looks to other targets, and has had no other choice to do so when Branch has been injured. <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=2 width=200 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD width=8><SPACER type="block" height="1" width="8"></TD><TD width=300 bgColor=#ecece4>[FONT=Arial,Helvetica, sans-serif]The FFL Mailbag has the answers you need every Friday! Click here to send FFL questions and comments on players and trends. [/FONT]</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
Steven, Albany, N.Y.: I have the second pick in a 10-team yearly draft. I fear the first pick will be Larry Johnson, which leaves me with fears similar to the ones that made me draft Willis McGahee second overall last year. LaDainian Tomlinson has shown a real tendency to fizzle as it comes time for the fantasy playoffs, and working with a rookie QB might increase his carries early and cause more late problems. In Shaun Alexander's case, most RBs cannot follow a 20-TD season with another one. Steve Hutchinson is gone, and in real life we can't be superstitious, but this is fantasy, so guess who is on the cover of Madden '07? I am considering Clinton Portis at No. 2 overall.
<!--------------------------START PLAYER CARD------------------><TABLE class=tableheadFixWidth cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=3 width=200 align=right><TBODY><TR class=stathead><TD class=whitelink colSpan=2>LaDainian Tomlinson</TD></TR><TR class=evenrow align=right><TD align=left>
Running Back
San Diego Chargers

Profile</TD></TR><TR class=evenrow><TD align=middle><TABLE cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=1 width=190 bgColor=#ffffff border=0><TBODY><TR class=stathead align=middle><TD align=middle colSpan=6>2005 SEASON STATISTICS</TD></TR><TR style="BACKGROUND: #bcbcb4" align=right><TD width="17%">Rush</TD><TD width="17%">Yds</TD><TD width="17%">TD</TD><TD width="17%">Rec</TD><TD width="17%">Yds</TD><TD width="17%">TD</TD></TR><TR align=right bgColor=#999999><TD>339</TD><TD>1462</TD><TD>18</TD><TD>51</TD><TD>370</TD><TD>2</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><!---------------------INLINE MINI-PLAYER CARD ENDS HERE--------------------->
Engel: Obviously, this type of negative thinking led you to make a questionable choice last year, and you might be focusing too much on negatives again. Johnson is not a lock to be picked first in any league, as some people think he might suffer from the loss of fullback Tony Richardson, or he can't be a full-time standout, or Herman Edwards might be too predictable in his offensive style. If Johnson falls to you, ignore such negative talk. You can form negative arguments about any player. But Johnson became a more complete runner last year, and is clearly worthy of being the first selection overall. Alexander should be your pick if you don't get Johnson. The Seahawks still have tackle Walter Jones leading the way on the left side, and Alexander also had a lot of success running to the right side last year. Losing one lineman won't make him a sudden flop. Alexander does a great job of reading his blockers and making tacklers miss on his own. And even before his record-setting 2005 season, he was still durable and highly productive. Even if you don't get 20 TDs from him, you can still expect a total close to that. Not drafting Alexander because of the "Madden jinx" will indeed creep into all of our minds, but it's simply not a legitimate reason to pass on him. Tomlinson's numbers were disappointing late last year, but he had three 100-yard games and six TDs in December of 2004. Philip Rivers is not a rookie. He's a smart young player who has learned a lot on the sidelines in the past two years, and he doesn't have to be great for Tomlinson to play well. All he has to do is manage a game adequately and keep defenses honest, which is very possible. Portis is a fine pick, but I don't think he'll score as often as the other three top RBs. I would focus more on the huge numbers the "big three" are capable of posting and have delivered in the past. You might be overanalyzing and you shouldn't pass on a fantasy superstar at the most important position.
Jonathan, Gulfport, Miss.: What is your take on the top three rated running backs and the questions surrounding them? Tomlinson with Rivers, Larry Johnson without Tony Richardson, and Alexander, considering the recent history of teams that have lost the Super Bowl.
Engel: Rivers is surrounded by more notable offensive players than just Tomlinson (Antonio Gates, Keenan McCardell) and Tomlinson still has Lorenzo Neal as a lead blocker. I don't think the Chargers would have let Drew Brees go if they thought Rivers wasn't ready to least be able to manage a game pretty well. Plus, if Rivers gets in trouble often, Tomlinson will catch a lot of passes and make things happen. Johnson still has a very good offensive line and if he has to take on more tacklers this year, he'll be ready. Johnson can either make defenders miss or he'll run through them. He's a complete runner. In Alexander's case, the Seahawks still look like a major force, and his career numbers suggest he'll still have a very good year even if it's not quite on par with his 2005 totals. Alexander has scored at least 14 TDs for five consecutive seasons, and he won't suddenly become a lesser player. Besides, Seattle might use its Super Bowl loss and the defection of Hutchinson as major motivating factors to play very well again, with Alexander leading the way often.
Sal Palazzola, Roanoke, Va.: Do you think that Willie Parker can handle 25 carries a game? I just don't think he has the size to withstand the style of running the Steelers like to use.
<!--------------------------START PLAYER CARD------------------><TABLE class=tableheadFixWidth cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=3 width=200 align=right><TBODY><TR class=stathead><TD class=whitelink colSpan=2>Willie Parker</TD></TR><TR class=evenrow align=right><TD align=left>
Running Back
Pittsburgh Steelers

Profile</TD></TR><TR class=evenrow><TD align=middle><TABLE cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=1 width=190 bgColor=#ffffff border=0><TBODY><TR class=stathead align=middle><TD align=middle colSpan=6>2005 SEASON STATISTICS</TD></TR><TR style="BACKGROUND: #bcbcb4" align=right><TD width="17%">Rush</TD><TD width="17%">Yds</TD><TD width="17%">TD</TD><TD width="17%">Rec</TD><TD width="17%">Yds</TD><TD width="17%">TD</TD></TR><TR align=right bgColor=#999999><TD>255</TD><TD>1202</TD><TD>4</TD><TD>18</TD><TD>218</TD><TD>1</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><!---------------------INLINE MINI-PLAYER CARD ENDS HERE--------------------->
Engel: Parker is not going to get the opportunity to carry 25 times a game, as it became quickly obvious last year that he wasn't built for regular pounding at 5-10, 209 lbs. The Steelers have already indicated that Parker will split carries with Duce Staley, and Verron Haynes could also be an option if Staley continues to battle injuries. Parker remains very useful as a flex player in fantasy leagues because he will have occasional big games, but he won't be a dependable regular starter.
Richie, Chicago: I am in a 12-team, one-player keeper league. I am thinking about trading Shaun Alexander for the first overall pick and the 24th overall pick. By doing this I will be able to carry over LaMont Jordan instead and then pick another superstar running back with my first pick. Then with the next two picks I take the best wide receivers available.
Engel: Unless you can get Larry Johnson or LaDainian Tomlinson with that first overall selection, I wouldn't make the deal. Alexander is easily worthy of the top overall pick in the draft himself in a keeper league. I wouldn't give up a player who is equal in value to a first pick, especially if the first pick you make isn't one of the other top two RBs available. You're gaining the 24th pick, but you are likely downgrading your No. 1 RB spot. I'd keep Alexander and then simply pick the best RB available to pair with him with your first draft choice. Then it's definitely a good strategy to take the best two receivers on the board with your second and third picks. Gaining the first pick overall is only worthy of consideration if that first choice is equal in value to Alexander. And considering other elite RBs will likely be kept, it's doubtful that No. 1 overall pick will come with the same pedigree of excellent production, durability and annual reliability.
Matt, Red Bank, N.J.: Hey Scott, I won the championship in a 10-team, three-player keeper league last year. I was offered two first-round picks (fourth and seventh) for Chad Johnson. Should I take the deal? It would leave me with Shaun Alexander, Ronnie Brown, and Larry Fitzgerald. It would be a minor downgrade from Johnson to Fitzgerald, but it would give me a solid team this year again.
Engel: It's not a major downgrade at receiver from Johnson to Fitzgerald, and this offer almost seems too good to be true. In fact, if you take this offer, your league mates might object to it. Johnson is certainly an elite keeper, but a pair of first-rounders seems to be a little much to offer for any player outside of the elite three running backs (Larry Johnson, Shaun Alexander, LaDainian Tomlinson). If you can complete the deal, you can easily replace Johnson with another outstanding receiver with one of the two draft picks. But I do think the trade is a bit too weighted in your direction and I would brace for some negative feedback in your league if you indeed go through with it. A first- and third-rounder seems like a much more legitimate offer.
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#48
Modified: Jun. 6, 2006FFL: Player Rankings

<!-- end pagetitle --><!-- begin bylinebox -->

<!-- firstName = Scott --><!-- lastName = Engel -->

By Scott Engel
ESPN Fantasy Games

<!-- begin presby2 -->

<!-- end presby2 -->
<!-- end bylinebox -->
<!-- begin text11 div --><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD style="PADDING-TOP: 10px" vAlign=top><!-- begin leftcol --><!-- template inline -->Here are my early player rankings for the 2006 season.

<TABLE class=text11 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=2 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=top>Quarterbacks
1. Peyton Manning
2. Tom Brady
3. Donovan McNabb
4. Daunte Culpepper
5. Matt Hasselbeck
6. Carson Palmer
7. Drew Bledsoe
8. Marc Bulger
9. Ben Roethlisberger
10. Eli Manning
11. Drew Brees
12. Trent Green
13. Jake Delhomme
14. Brett Favre
15. Aaron Brooks
16. Jake Plummer
17. Byron Leftwich
18. Michael Vick
19. Kurt Warner
20. Mark Brunell
21. Jon Kitna
22. Brad Johnson
23. Steve McNair
24. Chris Simms
25. Charlie Frye
26. Philip Rivers
27. David Carr
28. Josh McCown
29. Rex Grossman
30. Kyle Boller
31. Kelly Holcomb
32. Patrick Ramsey
33. Billy Volek
34. Brian Griese
35. Matt Leinart
36. Chad Pennington
37. Alex Smith
38. Joey Harrington
39. J.P. Losman
40. Craig Nall








Tight Ends
1. Antonio Gates
2. Tony Gonzalez
3. Jeremy Shockey
4. Todd Heap
5. Jason Witten
6. Alge Crumpler
7. Randy McMichael
8. Heath Miller
9. Vernon Davis
10. Chris Cooley
11. L.J. Smith
12. Jerramy Stevens
13. Ben Watson
14. Dallas Clark
15. Ben Troupe
16. Marcedes Lewis
17. Jeb Putzier
18. Jermaine Wiggins
19. Kellen Winslow
20. Alex Smith
21. Zachary Hilton
22. Leonard Pope
23. Marcus Pollard
24. Joe Klopfenstein
25. Bubba Franks
26. Erron Kinney
27. Courtney Anderson
28. Tony Scheffler
29. Bryan Fletcher
30. Chris Baker


</TD><TD vAlign=top>Running Backs
1. Larry Johnson
2. Shaun Alexander
3. LaDainian Tomlinson
4. Tiki Barber
5. Edgerrin James
6. Clinton Portis
7. LaMont Jordan
8. Rudi Johnson
9. Steven Jackson
10. Domanick Davis
11. Carnell Williams
12. Willis McGahee
13. Ronnie Brown
14. Reggie Bush
15. Brian Westbrook
16. Corey Dillon
17. Reuben Droughns
18. Kevin Jones
19. Julius Jones
20. Thomas Jones
21. Ahman Green
22. Joseph Addai
23. Jamal Lewis
24. Chester Taylor
25. Warrick Dunn
26. Willie Parker
27. DeShaun Foster
28. Tatum Bell
29. DeAngelo Williams
30. Chris Brown
31. Fred Taylor
32. T.J. Duckett
33. Curtis Martin
34. Deuce McAllister
35. Dominic Rhodes
36. Ron Dayne
37. Samkon Gado
38. Cedric Benson
39. Mike Anderson
40. Frank Gore
41. Laurence Maroney
42. Kevan Barlow
43. LenDale White
44. Priest Holmes
45. Marion Barber
46. Mewelde Moore
47. Chris Perry
48. Brandon Jacobs
49. Ciatrick Fason
50. Greg Jones
51. Cedric Houston
52. Duce Staley
53. Ryan Moats
54 Brian Calhoun
55. Travis Henry
56. Michael Pittman
57. Marshall Faulk
58. Nick Goings
59. Verron Haynes
60. Mike Alstott
61. Michael Turner
62. Stephen Davis
63. Alvin Pearman
64. Derrick Blaylock
65. J.J. Arrington
66. LaBrandon Toefield
67. Leon Washington
68. Sammy Morris
69. Maurice Morris
70. Kevin Faulk
71. Ladell Betts
72. Quentin Griffin
73. Najeh Davenport
74. Maurice Drew
75. Michael Bennett
<TD vAlign=top>Wide Receivers
1. Steve Smith
2. Chad Johnson
3. Torry Holt
4. Terrell Owens
5. Larry Fitzgerald
6. Randy Moss
7. Anquan Boldin
8. Marvin Harrison
9. Hines Ward
10. Santana Moss
11. Chris Chambers
12. Joey Galloway
13. Reggie Wayne
14. T.J. Houshmandzadeh
15. Plaxico Burress
16. Rod Smith
17. Roy Williams
18. Darrell Jackson
19. Javon Walker
20. Andre Johnson
21. Joe Horn
22. Donald Driver
23. Lee Evans
24. Keenan McCardell
25. Koren Robinson
26. David Givens
27. Nate Burleson
28. Brandon Lloyd
29. Donte' Stallworth
30. Eddie Kennison
31. Joe Jurevicius
32. Braylon Edwards
33. Amani Toomer
34. Drew Bennett
35. Terry Glenn
36. Keyshawn Johnson
37. Muhsin Muhammad
38. Derrick Mason
39. Ernest Wilford
40. Jerry Porter
41. Kevin Curtis
42. Deion Branch
43. Eric Moulds
44. Matt Jones
45. Roscoe Parrish
46. Antonio Bryant
47. Antwaan Randle El
48. Laveranues Coles
49. Isaac Bruce
50. Chris Henry
51. Reggie Brown
52. Michael Clayton
53. Samie Parker
54. Santonio Holmes
55. Marty Booker
56. Mark Clayton
57. Mike Williams
58. Marcus Robinson
59. Ashley Lelie
60. Roddy White
61. Bobby Engram
62. Cedrick Wilson
63. Troy Williamson
64. Chad Jackson
65. Robert Ferguson
66. Michael Jenkins
67. Troy Brown
68. Mark Bradley
69. Charles Rogers
70. Sinorice Moss
71. Travis Taylor
72. Devery Henderson
73. Brandon Jones
74. Andre' Davis
75. Maurice Stovall
76. Eric Parker
77. Reggie Williams
78. Doug Gabriel
79. Reche Caldwell
80. Roydell Williams
81. Greg Jennings
82. Jabar Gaffney
83. Brian Finneran
84. Josh Reed
85. Dennis Northcutt
86. Courtney Roby
87. Derek Hagan
88. Justin McCareins
89. Todd Pinkston
90. Tyrone Calico
91. Keary Colbert
92. Arnaz Battle
93. Travis Wilson
94. Brandon Stokley
95. Jason Avant
96. Demetrius Williams
97. Scottie Vines
98. Greg Lewis
99. Bernard Berrian
100. Jerome Mathis
</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top>Kickers 1. Neil Rackers
2. Jeff Wilkins
3. Jason Elam
4. Adam Vinatieri
5. Shayne Graham
6. John Kasay
7. Mike Vanderjagt
8. Jay Feely
9. Jeff Reed
10. Josh Brown
11. Lawrence Tynes
12. David Akers
13. Matt Stover
14. Olindo Mare
15. Ryan Longwell
16. Sebastian Janikowski
17. Nate Kaeding
18. Josh Scobee
19. Robbie Gould
20. Rob Bironas
21. Rian Lindell
22. Todd Peterson
23. Martin Gramatica
24. Phil Dawson
25. Joe Nedney
26. Stephen Gostkowski
27. Matt Bryant
28. John Carney
29. Jason Hanson
30. John Hall
31. Kris Brown
32. Mike Nugent
33. Billy Cundiff

</TD><TD vAlign=top>Defense/Special Teams
1. Chicago
2. Pittsburgh
3. Indianapolis
4. Seattle
5. Carolina
6. New York Giants
7. Jacksonville
8. Tampa Bay
9. Baltimore
10. Cincinnati
11. Miami
12. Philadelphia
13. Denver
14. Atlanta
15. Washington
16. Minnesota
17. Cleveland
18. Dallas
19. Detroit
20. Kansas City
21. Buffalo
22. San Diego
23. New England
24. Green Bay
25. New York Jets
26. Houston
27. Arizona
28. New Orleans
29. Oakland
30. San Francisco
31. Tennessee
32. St. Louis
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#49
Jun. 7, 2006
Modified: Jun. 7, 2006
FFL: McNair to Ravens


<!-- end pagetitle --><!-- begin bylinebox -->

<!-- firstName = Scott --><!-- lastName = Engel -->

By Scott Engel
ESPN Fantasy Games

<!-- begin presby2 -->

<!-- end presby2 -->
<!-- end bylinebox -->
<!-- begin text11 div --><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD style="PADDING-TOP: 10px" vAlign=top><!-- begin leftcol --><!-- template inline -->After 11 seasons, Steve McNair will no longer wear a Tennessee Titans uniform. Fantasy owners hope a trade to Baltimore can boost the numbers of the 33-year old former NFL co-MVP. The deal might not affect McNair's value in a major way, but it will certainly have a notable impact on prominent players in Baltimore and Tennessee.<!--##FRONTSTOP##-->
McNair will remain a starter with the Ravens, but now Kyle Boller is expected to go back to the bench. Titans fans might now want the Vince Young era to begin as soon as possible, but Billy Volek, who has flourished as a starter in the past, now sees a significant boost in value again. Baltimore's offense should improve overall with steady guidance from the quarterback position, while it's clear Tennessee has much promise at the skill positions.
McNair can still play well when he is healthy, but he battled various injuries in 2005 and there was speculation before last season that he might not return after off-season hip surgery. While he does have an apparent high threshold for pain and can still post quality numbers when he isn't hurt, fantasy owners can't depend on McNair throughout a full schedule anymore. McNair missed two games last season and dealt with pectoral, ankle and back problems throughout the season.
<!--------------------------START PLAYER CARD------------------><TABLE class=tableheadFixWidth cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=3 width=200 align=right><TBODY><TR class=stathead><TD class=whitelink colSpan=2>Steve McNair</TD></TR><TR class=evenrow align=right><TD align=left>
Quarterback
Baltimore Ravens

Profile</TD></TR><TR class=evenrow><TD align=middle><TABLE cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=1 width=190 bgColor=#ffffff border=0><TBODY><TR class=stathead align=middle><TD align=middle colSpan=6>2005 SEASON STATISTICS</TD></TR><TR style="BACKGROUND: #bcbcb4" align=right><TD width="17%">Att</TD><TD width="17%">Comp</TD><TD width="17%">Yds</TD><TD width="17%">TD</TD><TD width="17%">Int</TD><TD width="17%">Rat</TD></TR><TR align=right bgColor=#999999><TD>476</TD><TD>292</TD><TD>3027</TD><TD>16</TD><TD>11</TD><TD>82.4</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><!---------------------INLINE MINI-PLAYER CARD ENDS HERE--------------------->
Moving to Baltimore doesn't change his outlook very much. If McNair can stay on the field, he can still be a dependable source of fantasy production. He'll have a quality running game to support him, plus a solid crew of receiving targets, including ex-Titan teammate Derrick Mason. McNair should still be drafted as a top fantasy reserve, but he has simply become too banged up over the years to rely on him as a regular starter anymore. McNair figures to remain a quality pick in the 10th or 11th rounds of 10 and 12-team leagues.
His arrival in Baltimore will push Boller to the bench and make him useless in yearly leagues unless McNair gets hurt at some point. In such a scenario, Boller would be a viable free agent addition during the season as a fantasy reserve. Learning behind McNair, though, will eventually help Boller's value in keeper and dynasty leagues, as some of McNair's toughness and poise could rub off on Boller for later years. He's still worth having on your roster as a future project in keeper leagues.
Volek started just one game last season and attempted more than 20 passes twice in relief appearances, throwing four TD passes with two interceptions. While he didn't deliver any overly impressive performances, fantasy leaguers still fondly remember his statistical heroics of 2004, when he started eight games in place of an injured McNair. Volek started the final five games of the season, and threw 11 TD passes in three December games, taking many fantasy teams deep into their playoffs after landing on most rosters as a free-agent addition.
Volek fizzled badly in the last two games of 2004, with only one TD pass and two interceptions, and hasn't flashed the form of his memorable three-game stretch since then, so fantasy owners don't know what quite to expect from Volek as a full-time starter. Volek is confident and makes quick decisions, but he doesn't have great arm strength. Fantasy players shouldn't expect him to explode regularly and he could be erratic early in 2006 as he struggles to become a steady game manager as a starter. Don't draft him as a starter, but consider him a reserve with the potential to be occasionally above average.
When Volek set the league on fire for a short period in '04, he was an unknown. He could be much less prolific when opposing teams prepare for him on a regular basis. Volek is a good ninth or 10th round pick in 10 or 12-team leagues.
Don't expect to see Young too quickly if Volek falters. The Titans don't want to rush him into action and intend to work on his mechanics and recognition of pro schemes. But the departure of Young does increase Young's keeper and dynasty value, as he should be tabbed to start regularly sometime in his second or third season, even if he sits for most of 2006.
<!--------------------------START PLAYER CARD------------------><TABLE class=tableheadFixWidth cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=3 width=200 align=right><TBODY><TR class=stathead><TD class=whitelink colSpan=2>Billy Volek</TD></TR><TR class=evenrow align=right><TD align=left>
Quarterback
Tennessee Titans

Profile</TD></TR><TR class=evenrow><TD align=middle><TABLE cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=1 width=190 bgColor=#ffffff border=0><TBODY><TR class=stathead align=middle><TD align=middle colSpan=6>2005 SEASON STATISTICS</TD></TR><TR style="BACKGROUND: #bcbcb4" align=right><TD width="17%">Att</TD><TD width="17%">Comp</TD><TD width="17%">Yds</TD><TD width="17%">TD</TD><TD width="17%">Int</TD><TD width="17%">Rat</TD></TR><TR align=right bgColor=#999999><TD>88</TD><TD>50</TD><TD>429</TD><TD>4</TD><TD>2</TD><TD>77.6</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><!---------------------INLINE MINI-PLAYER CARD ENDS HERE--------------------->
Drew Bennett caught eight TD passes and totaled 517 receiving yards during Volek's incredible '04 three-game blaze, but knee and thumb problems limited him to 10 starts and four TD receptions last year. He is recovering from knee surgery, but he could rebound to be a very good No. 2 fantasy receiver if he stays healthy. He and Volek have exhibited a fine on-field relationship before, and the addition of ex-Patriot David Givens should help take pressure off Bennett this year after he lacked a solid complement when he was available in 2005.
Bennett is a good eighth or ninth round pick, and Givens should be selected a round or two later as a top sleeper prospect. He could have a breakthrough year on a team that features him more regularly in the passing game. How potential star TE Ben Troupe fits into the passing game remains to be seen, and doesn't hinge on the QB change in a major way.
In his first season out of Tennessee in 2005, Mason caught only three TD passes, his lowest total since he landed a starting receiving job in 2000. Reuniting with McNair should help Mason's production to rise again, and he should be targeted as a quality No. 2 fantasy receiver in the seventh round. He has gone over 1,000 receiving yards in five consecutive seasons. Second-year receiver Mark Clayton should continue to improve as he now works with a more experienced QB, and he could at least become a viable No. 3 fantasy receiver by the season's second half.
Tight end Todd Heap could have his best year ever, as he finally starts to produce consistently. He should at least equal last year's total of seven TD receptions. If Jamal Lewis can hold onto the starting job and stave off a challenge from Mike Anderson, he could produce very good TD numbers as the Ravens' offense operates with much more continuity. A total of 10 TDs isn't out of the question for Lewis, and Anderson could also score often if Lewis falters.
Chris Brown remains atop the Tennessee depth chart for now, but rookie LenDale White could be the perfect type of runner to pair with Volek in the Tennessee backfield. If the brittle Brown goes down again, White could be a workhorse that takes a lot of pressure off Volek, but the presence of Travis Henry makes it unclear if White will get a chance to be a regular back this year. In the event that White does pair with Volek, the Titans' offense could play at its highest possible level. But it seems for now White's destiny might lie in the future with Young. Don't overrate White yet. He's a good sixth round pick with an outside shot to make an impact in his first season.
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#50
Jun. 8, 2006
Modified: Jun. 8, 2006
FFL: Mock Draft


<!-- end pagetitle --><!-- begin bylinebox -->

<!-- firstName = --><!-- lastName = -->ESPN Fantasy Games

<!-- begin presby2 -->

<!-- end presby2 -->
<!-- end bylinebox -->
<!-- begin text11 div --><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD style="PADDING-TOP: 10px" vAlign=top><!-- begin leftcol --><!-- template inline -->Here is our latest 12-team, 16-round mock draft, using ESPN's traditional scoring and a starting lineup of one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, a "flex" player that can be a running back or receiver, one tight end, one kicker and one defensive unit. Seven reserves are permitted. Analysis by ESPN.com Fantasy Writer Scott Engel follows each round. The draft was held in early June.<!--##FRONTSTOP##-->
Round One
1. Larry Johnson, RB, Chiefs
2. Shaun Alexander, RB, Seahawks
3. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Chargers
4. Clinton Portis, RB, Redskins
5. Tiki Barber, RB, Giants
6. Edgerrin James, RB, Cardinals
7. Steven Jackson, RB, Rams
8. LaMont Jordan, RB, Raiders
9. Rudi Johnson, RB, Bengals
10. Peyton Manning, QB, Colts
11. Ronnie Brown, RB, Dolphins
12. Carnell Williams, RB, Buccaneers

Engel's Analysis: The top three running backs will be taken in varying orders in different drafts. Portis might sneak into the top three in some drafts, but he'll likely score less than any of the "Big Three." Jackson's value has skyrocketed because of an expected increased workload, and Ronnie Brown is another running back who is a popular pick as a breakthrough player in 2006. Manning is the only non-RB selected because of his annually outstanding numbers and durability. No major surprises here, but Cadillac must prove he can stay healthy.
Round Two
13. Willis McGahee, RB, Bills
14. Chad Johnson, WR, Bengals
15. Domanick Davis, RB, Texans
16. Steve Smith, WR, Panthers
17. Brian Westbrook, RB, Eagles
18. Terrell Owens, WR, Cowboys
19. Julius Jones, RB, Cowboys
20. Torry Holt, WR, Rams
21. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals
22. Randy Moss, WR, Raiders
23. Reggie Bush, RB, Saints
24. Kevin Jones, RB, Lions

Engel's Analysis: The elite WRs start to fly off the board, because all the surefire high-level RBs and the top ones with major promise are gone. Westbrook is expected to get more touches this year, and owners simply have to give Kevin and Julius Jones another chance to prove themselves when so many RBs have already been picked. Davis could prove to be a fine selection, as he might be overworked less in an improving offense that has more balance. Bush's outstanding receiving skills make him a nifty pick for upside late in the round.
Round Three
25. Anquan Boldin, WR, Cardinals
26. Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers
27. Reuben Droughns, RB, Browns
28. Corey Dillon, RB, Patriots
29. Jamal Lewis, RB, Ravens
30. Marvin Harrison, WR, Colts
31. Chester Taylor, RB, Vikings
32. Hines Ward, WR, Steelers
33. Willie Parker, RB, Steelers
34. Thomas Jones, RB, Bears
35. DeShaun Foster, RB, Panthers
36. Chris Chambers, WR, Dolphins

Engel's Analysis: There are still some very good receivers on the board in the third round, so teams that selected running backs with their first two picks can feel quite comfortable with their early choices. Gates will remain the class of a weak position even if his overall numbers drop a bit. Don't expect a major slide. Parker won't be dependable and Foster is notoriously injury-prone, so you ideally should pick your second RB earlier if you are drafting late in the third round. This round is clear proof you should follow the early run on RBs, whether you want to or not.
Round Four
37. Santana Moss, WR, Redskins
38. Ahman Green, RB, Packers
39. Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts
40. Darrell Jackson, WR, Seahawks
41. Tatum Bell, RB, Broncos
42. Javon Walker, WR, Broncos
43. Roy Williams, WR, Lions
44. Joseph Addai, RB, Colts
45. Warrick Dunn, RB, Falcons
46. Fred Taylor, RB, Jaguars
47. Andre Johnson, WR, Texans
48. Dominic Rhodes, RB, Colts

Engel's Analysis: RBs continue to fly off the board as many owners look to fill their "flex" spots, and some quality WRs are still available. Both Indianapolis RBs go in this round, as they are expected to split playing time, but Addai clearly has more promise and his receiving skills make him even more attractive by this point of the draft. Javon Walker could be quite a choice here if he recaptures much of his pre-injury form. Tatum Bell's stock has slipped recently with reports that Ron Dayne is listed ahead of him on the depth chart.
Round Five
49. Joe Horn, WR, Saints
50. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, Bengals
51. Tony Gonzalez, TE, Chiefs
52. Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
53. Plaxico Burress, WR, Giants
54. Donovan McNabb, QB, Eagles
55. Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Seahawks
56. Donald Driver, WR, Packers
57. Curtis Martin, RB, N.Y. Jets
58. Deuce McAllister, RB, Saints
59. Joey Galloway, WR, Buccaneers
60. Carson Palmer, QB, Bengals

Engel's Analysis: Some of the better QBs start to go here, but you could likely wait another round for the steady, and sometimes outstanding Hasselbeck. Those who are concerned about McNabb's numbers should remember that he was a top fantasy QB before the short-lived Owens tenure in Philly. Driver could be a disappointment this season, as he lacks a quality complement and might be statistically unreliable as Green Bay's No. 1 receiver. Palmer is worth the early-season risk here as long as you get a solid backup for him a few rounds later.
Round Six
61. Chris Brown, RB, Titans
62. Eli Manning, QB, Giants
63. Lee Evans, WR, Bills
64. Jeremy Shockey, TE, Giants
65. Marc Bulger, QB, Rams
66. DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers
67. Frank Gore, RB, 49ers
68. Todd Heap, TE, Ravens
69. Rod Smith, WR, Broncos
70. Deion Branch, WR, Patriots
71. Cedric Benson, RB, Bears
72. Jake Delhomme, QB, Panthers

Engel's Analysis: The stock of the younger Manning seems to be on the rise with anticipated improvement and the hope for more consistency this season. But he could be plagued by some erratic play and still might not be a reliable regular starter. There's lot of promise at RB in this round. If DeShaun Foster can't stay healthy, Carolina's Williams could quickly become a viable fantasy starter. Benson might be ready to gain a firm foothold in the Chicago backfield while putting a disappointing rookie season behind him. Branch is slightly overrated, as his QB spreads the ball around too much and the big outings don't come often enough.
Round Seven
73. Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys
74. Daunte Culpepper, QB, Dolphins
75. Derrick Mason, WR, Ravens
76. Alge Crumpler, TE, Falcons
77. Kurt Warner, QB, Cardinals
78. Randy McMichael, TE, Dolphins
79. LenDale White, RB, Titans
80. Ron Dayne, RB, Broncos
81. Laurence Maroney, RB, Patriots
82. Heath Miller, TE, Steelers
83. Laveranues Coles, WR, Jets
84. Vernon Davis, TE, 49ers

Engel's Analysis: Culpepper could be quite a bargain here even if he starts slowly upon his return, as he will be surrounded by quality offensive playmakers again and a change of scenery can do him a lot of good. Warner was not the best pick here, as he is still is an injury risk and the Cardinals should run the ball much more successfully this year, cutting into his statistical production. White could be a rookie sleeper, and Dayne still has some appeal because he is playing in RB heaven (Denver). Coles has never quite lived up to expectations, and while Davis looks like a future superstar, this could be too early to take him as a rookie.
Round Eight
85. Michael Clayton, WR, Buccaneers
86. Chris Cooley, TE, Redskins
87. Nate Burleson, WR, Seahawks
88. Drew Bledsoe, QB, Cowboys
89. L.J. Smith, TE, Eagles
90. Eddie Kennison, WR, Chiefs
91. Reggie Brown, WR, Eagles
92. Kevan Barlow, RB, 49ers
93. Donte' Stallworth, WR, Saints
94. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers
95. Jake Plummer, QB, Broncos
96. Muhsin Muhammad, WR, Bears

Engel's Analysis: A healthy Clayton could enjoy a rebound season. Burleson should fit nicely in Seattle's offense and will be a very good starter when the matchup is right. Brown could be overmatched as Philadelphia's No. 1 receiver and looks like a reach here. Roethlisberger is a fine pick, as he will be steady and occasionally above-average from the statistical perspective. He has become a great game manager and will sprinkle in the occasional rushing TD. Culpepper's owner made a smart move by grabbing Plummer a round later.
Round Nine
97. Bears Defense/Special Teams
98. T.J. Duckett, RB, Falcons
99. Samkon Gado, RB, Packers
100. Mike Anderson, RB, Ravens
101. Keyshawn Johnson, WR, Panthers
102. Marion Barber, RB, Cowboys
103. Dallas Clark, TE, Colts
104. Drew Bennett, WR, Titans
105. Eric Moulds, WR, Texans
106. Priest Holmes, RB, Chiefs
107. Terry Glenn, WR, Cowboys
108. Trent Green, QB, Chiefs

Engel's Analysis: The first defensive unit goes here, and even if it's the best one, I still think it's too early when there are still many quality skill position players available. Defenses often vary in performance from year to year, and if you study the personnel changes and any coaching effects, you can still nab a quality unit later on. Gado could easily end up starting again if Ahman Green can't avoid injuries, and he is a terrific value pick by this point of the draft. Even if Priest Holmes returns, it's doubtful he'll be useful as anything more than an occasionally-used reserve.
Round 10
109. Chris Perry, RB, Bengals
110. Billy Volek, QB, Titans
111. Steelers D/ST
112. Brett Favre, QB, Packers
113. Drew Brees, QB, Saints
114. Koren Robinson, WR, Vikings
115. Keenan McCardell, WR, Chargers
116. Aaron Brooks, QB, Raiders
117. Jerry Porter, WR, Raiders
118. Byron Leftwich, QB, Jaguars
119. David Givens, WR, Titans
120. Duce Staley, RB, Steelers

Engel's Analysis: QB depth becomes an apparent priority in this round. Be careful not to overrate Volek, who has more to prove as a regular starter. Favre lacks quality receiving depth and could be erratic again, and the retirement of Jimmy Smith certainly hurts Leftwich's appeal. Brees could be a real gem by this point, as all reports are indicating he is recovering well from last season's shoulder injury. Givens' value could be boosted as he finally gets a chance to play in an offense where he will be a prominent target on a more regular basis. Staley might not hold up as the projected complement to Willie Parker.
Round 11
121. Amani Toomer, WR, Giants
122. Neil Rackers, K, Cardinals
123. Panthers D/ST
124. Michael Vick, QB, Falcons
125. Matt Jones, WR, Jaguars
126. Steve McNair, QB, Ravens
127. David Carr, QB, Texans
128. Adam Vinatieri, K, Colts
129. Kellen Winslow, TE, Browns
130. David Akers, K, Eagles
131. Mewelde Moore, RB, Vikings
132. Jerramy Stevens, TE, Seahawks

Engel's Analysis: The first kickers of the draft come off the board here, and you'll never find me mirroring that strategy. I have always been able to nail a solid kicker in the final round or two, and rarely do I end up dropping that kicker at any time during the season. With the Cardinals expected to have more success running the ball, Rackers will be hard-pressed to approach last year's totals. Akers is expected to bounce back this year as both he and Donovan McNabb will be healthy, but I prefer to wait a few more rounds for my first kicker and then pluck my backup off the free agent list for one-time use during the regular season.
Round 12
133. Shayne Graham, K, Bengals
134. Ben Troupe, TE, Titans
135. Brad Johnson, QB, Vikings
136. Ernest Wilford, WR, Jaguars
137. Greg Jones, RB, Jaguars
138. Jeff Wilkins, K, Rams
139. Colts D/ST
140. Cedric Houston, RB, Jets
141. Ryan Moats, RB, Eagles
142. Mike Vanderjagt, K, Cowboys
143. Ravens D/ST
144. Jason Elam, K, Broncos

Engel's Analysis: Troupe and Wilford both have the potential to become quality fantasy players in 2006. The Colts' defense returns most of its starters and will continue to force a healthy amount of turnovers when opponents try to test their secondary. Baltimore could return to top form as the improved offense doesn't make them stay on the field too often and a healthy Ed Reed and rejuvenated Ray Lewis could be major factors. Vanderjagt could have a fine first season as the Dallas offense operates more efficiently.
Round 13
145. Jon Kitna, QB, Detroit
146. Marcus Pollard, TE, Lions
147. Braylon Edwards, WR, Browns
148. Kevin Curtis, WR, Rams
149. Falcons D/ST
150. Josh Brown, K, Seahawks
151. Giants D/ST
152. Jermaine Wiggins, TE, Vikings
153. Buccaneers D/ST
154. Brian Calhoun, RB, Lions
155. Matt Stover, K, Ravens
156. Eagles D/ST

Engel's Analysis: Kitna has performed well statistically in the past, and has the weaponry necessary to produce good numbers when the matchup is right this year. Curtis has the potential to be an explosive regular pass-catcher for the Rams, but his yardage production was disappointing when he did start last year. Calhoun might be used in various ways by the Lions, including lining up as a receiver in some packages. The Philadelphia defense should be a solid unit again now that a healthy Donovan McNabb will ensure better performances on offense.
Round 14
157. Travis Henry, RB, Titans
158. Seahawks D/ST
159. Charlie Frye, QB, Browns
160. Jeff Reed, K, Steelers
161. Joe Jurevicius, WR, Browns
162. Bubba Franks, TE, Packers
163. Brandon Jacobs, RB, Giants
164. John Kasay, K, Panthers
165. Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers
166. Verron Haynes, RB, Steelers
167. Mark Brunell, QB, Redskins
168. Chris Simms, QB, Buccaneers

Engel's Analysis: Some young QBs are taken in this round, including Frye, who showed some promise late last season and should develop into at least a quality reserve in 2006. Rivers is a smart young passer who could surprise a lot of people. Keep in mind that the Chargers dealt away Brees to give him his shot, so they must have a lot of good reasons to be confident about Rivers. Simms is developing into a natural leader for the Buccaneers, and he should continue to improve this season. The Haynes pick is interesting, considering he could share carries with Willie Parker if Duce Staley can't stay healthy.
Round 15
169. Antwaan Randle El, WR, Redskins
170. Isaac Bruce, WR, Rams
171. Ciatrick Fason, RB, Vikings
172. Lawrence Tynes, K, Chiefs
173. Rex Grossman, QB, Bears
174. Antonio Bryant, WR, 49ers
175. Michael Pittman, RB, Buccaneers
176. Jaguars D/ST
177. Broncos D/ST
178. Jay Feely, K, Giants
179. Brandon Lloyd, WR, Redskins
180. Redskins D/ST

Engel's Analysis: Lloyd might actually turn out to be the better of the two Washington receivers picked in this round. Randle El has the bigger name, but Lloyd should produce the better numbers. Bryant wanted to be a No. 1 receiver and got his wish, but it's in San Francisco, so don't expect him to be a quality fantasy starter this season. Pittman remains worthy of a late-round pick in case Carnell Williams battles injuries again this season.
Round 16
181. Ryan Longwell, K, Vikings
182. Maurice Drew, RB, Jaguars
183. Cowboys D/ST
184. Olindo Mare, K, Dolphins
185. Nate Kaeding, K, Chargers
186. Roddy White, WR, Falcons
187. Marcedes Lewis, TE, Jaguars
188. Mark Clayton, WR, Ravens
189. Bengals D/ST
190. Charles Rogers, WR, Lions
191. Marshall Faulk, RB, Rams
192. Troy Williamson, WR, Vikings

Engel's Analysis: There is speculation Drew could get a chance to play often if Fred Taylor doesn't stay healthy, but at 5-8, 205, his prospective owners shouldn't expect him to carry a regular load if pressed into service. It's just a matter of time before White becomes Atlanta's clear No. 1 receiver, and he should have a breakthrough campaign in one of the next two seasons. Clayton could be a good sleeper pick to post solid numbers now that the Ravens have acquired Steve McNair.
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#51
Jun. 16, 2006
Modified: Jun. 16, 2006
FFL mailbag: June 16


<!-- end pagetitle --><!-- begin bylinebox -->

<!-- firstName = Scott --><!-- lastName = Engel -->

By Scott Engel
ESPN Fantasy Games

<!-- begin presby2 -->

<!-- end presby2 -->
<!-- end bylinebox -->
<!-- begin text11 div --><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD style="PADDING-TOP: 10px" vAlign=top><!-- begin leftcol --><!-- template inline -->Drew, Ventura, Calif.: Here's hoping Ben Roethlisberger doesn't miss any time and he recovers well. I have a dynasty team with Roethlisberger on it. Should I worry? I just can't stop thinking this situation can't be good for his fantasy football value.<!--##FRONTSTOP##-->
Engel: In keeper and dynasty leagues, there seems to be little reason to be concerned about Roethlisberger's long-term status. There were, fortunately, no reported brain injuries and no major damage to his knees. While he will be on a diet of soft foods for possibly six to eight weeks, his estimated recovery period, Roethlisberger's broken jaw was not wired shut and there should be less concerns about him dropping a lot of weight before the season starts. While the Steelers have not set an official timetable for his return, early indications are that he has a very good chance of being ready for the season opener against Miami. The worst-case scenario appears to be that Roethlisberger conceivably could be rusty or not fully ready for the first game, and there have been no reports of such concerns yet. Owners in yearly leagues should expect to have him available for most, if not all of the season, and fantasy leaguers in keeper and dynasty formats have no apparent reason for major concerns right now. Players who visited Roethlisberger in the hospital were reportedly optimistic about his chances to play soon with no ill effects, and other reports have indicated he should be able to participate in training camp at some point even if he misses the exhibition opener. For now, there is no reason to be worried in any fantasy format. And on a personal note, I'll be happy to see him on the field again and I'm glad the early reports have been positive.
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=2 width=200 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD width=8><SPACER width="8" type="block" height="1"></TD><TD width=300 bgColor=#ecece4>[FONT=Arial,Helvetica, sans-serif]The FFL Mailbag has the answers you need every Friday! Click here to send FFL questions and comments on players and trends. [/FONT]</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
Brian, Philadelphia: I was checking out your updated top 200 list, and I see that Steve McNair's arrival in Baltimore didn't do much to boost the value of Jamal Lewis. What should we expect from Lewis this year? Is 1,300 yards and eight to 10 TDs too optimistic?
Engel: I actually didn't move Lewis from No. 41 overall, because there are still a lot of question marks surrounding him. Sure, McNair should pump life into the Baltimore offense, but can he stay healthy all year long? And even if McNair can play most or the entire schedule, Lewis has a lot to prove on his own. Lewis simply didn't run with the same authority and burst in 2005 that he had displayed in past seasons. QB issues have never been the direct connection to Lewis' performance, as Kyle Boller was the starter during his career season (2,066 yards and 14 TDs in 2003) and he has carried the offense in the past despite Baltimore's constant issues with the passing game. How well Lewis performs this year is up to him and not directly connected to McNair's arrival. If he can regain his old form, there's no doubt he'll flourish with McNair, as Lewis has performed at very high levels with much less distinguished QBs in the past. But if he simply looks sluggish and inconsistent again, not even McNair's presence will help him in a major way. Lewis' value in 2006 is mostly tied to one player: Jamal Lewis. I would realistically expect 1,200 yards and eight TDs at best, and those are optimistic projections.
Nathan Boswell, Huntsville, Ala.: I'm in a 12-team keeper league and I have Domanick Davis and Kevin Jones as my RBs. Do you think Joseph Addai or DeAngelo Williams would be viable draft options as my third RB?
<!--------------------------START PLAYER CARD------------------><TABLE class=tableheadFixWidth cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=3 width=200 align=right><TBODY><TR class=stathead><TD class=whitelink colSpan=2>Domanick Davis</TD></TR><TR class=evenrow align=right><TD align=left>
Running Back
Houston Texans

Profile</TD></TR><TR class=evenrow><TD align=middle><TABLE cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=1 width=190 bgColor=#ffffff border=0><TBODY><TR class=stathead align=middle><TD align=middle colSpan=6>2005 SEASON STATISTICS</TD></TR><TR style="BACKGROUND: #bcbcb4" align=right><TD width="17%">Rush</TD><TD width="17%">Yds</TD><TD width="17%">TD</TD><TD width="17%">Rec</TD><TD width="17%">Yds</TD><TD width="17%">TD</TD></TR><TR align=right bgColor=#999999><TD>230</TD><TD>976</TD><TD>2</TD><TD>39</TD><TD>337</TD><TD>4</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><!---------------------INLINE MINI-PLAYER CARD ENDS HERE--------------------->
Engel: Davis has been an injury concern, although that might be reduced this season as he has better offensive complements and might not be overworked as much as in the past. Jones still has not convinced anyone he can play as well as advertised. So getting a possible third RB for prominent insurance is a good idea. I usually recommend getting a starter at another position before building depth, but you have a shaky RB situation. In the short term, both RBs can get a chance to play in their first year. I rank them very close together, but I'll take Addai because he is clearly the team's RB of the future, and it is just a matter of time before he pushes Dominic Rhodes out of the picture. I think Williams will be a star one day, maybe even early in his career, but it will be more difficult for him to surpass DeShaun Foster than it will be for Addai to overtake Rhodes. If Foster can surprise us by staying healthy, Williams' value will suffer. Addai should pass Rhodes at some point even without injury issues, so I'll take him in the close call over Foster.
J.B., Chesapeake, Va.: I play in a dynasty league and would like to know if I should trade Edgerrin James and the 11th pick in our rookie draft for Willis McGahee and the third overall pick. Even though I have Chris Cooley, I would love to draft Vernon Davis and it's going to take the third overall pick to get him. We only start one tight end, but Cooley is the only one on my roster.
Engel: Davis could be the next Shannon Sharpe from a statistical perspective, so I understand and respect your desire to get him. But surrendering James for McGahee is not a move I would make. While James' overall yardage numbers could drop slightly because of a weaker offensive line in Arizona than Indianapolis, I still expect him to post numbers worthy of a first-round pick in yearly leagues or a top-level back in any format. McGahee will still be bogged down by a questionable supporting cast and inconsistent TD opportunities, and I don't prefer him over James for even the next season or two in the future. I would keep James and draft another promising rookie tight end, such as Marcedes Lewis, Leonard Pope or Joe Klopfenstein. You don't have to draft the best tight end available to strengthen the position, especially when it weakens your team at RB.
Jonathon Cox, Spokane, Wash.: In your top 75 individual defenders, where in the world is Kevin Williams of the Minnesota Vikings?
<!--------------------------START PLAYER CARD------------------><TABLE class=tableheadFixWidth cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=3 width=200 align=right><TBODY><TR class=stathead><TD class=whitelink colSpan=2>Kevin Williams</TD></TR><TR class=evenrow align=right><TD align=left>
Defensive Tackle
Minnesota Vikings

Profile</TD></TR><TR class=evenrow><TD align=middle><TABLE cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=1 width=190 bgColor=#ffffff border=0><TBODY><TR class=stathead align=middle><TD align=middle colSpan=6>2005 SEASON STATISTICS</TD></TR><TR style="BACKGROUND: #bcbcb4" align=right><TD width="17%">Tot</TD><TD width="17%">Ast</TD><TD width="17%">Solo</TD><TD width="17%">FF</TD><TD width="17%">Sack</TD><TD width="17%">Int</TD></TR><TR align=right bgColor=#999999><TD>42</TD><TD>30</TD><TD>12</TD><TD>0</TD><TD>4</TD><TD>0</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><!---------------------INLINE MINI-PLAYER CARD ENDS HERE--------------------->
Engel: Williams is one of the players that just missed making the cut, and he certainly would have been included in a list of top 100 IDPs. But the Williams of 2005 certainly wasn't the same player he was in his first two pro seasons. Last season, he went from a double-figure sacker to just four in 14 games, plus his tackles dropped to 42 from 70 the year before. He never quite regained the form of his first two years after knee surgery, and he comes into 2006 with something to prove. Williams can certainly bounce back and become an elite fantasy defensive lineman again, but I can't rate him highly based on his first two years when he didn't display that form last season. Williams is not as safe a pick as he seemed to be in 2005, but he is certainly not a bad choice by any means. I have to see better results again, though, before he gets a higher rating.
Tyrone, Portland: My two keepers are Steven Jackson and Terrell Owens. I have the first pick in the draft, and while I understand the necessity of having two strong RBs, the only ones available that are possible upper-echelon selections are Willis McGahee and Carnell Williams. I'm thinking about drafting Torry Holt and getting a Tatum Bell, Warrick Dunn or Willie Parker with my second-round choice.
Engel: Jackson can certainly have a breakthrough season and be a No. 1 RB, which means Cadillac or McGahee would operate as a No. 2 RB for you. That's a terrific scenario, as both Cadillac and McGahee are viewed more of a risk as a No. 1 RB. You already have a clear No. 1 WR in Owens, and the pool at that position is very deep. RBs are going to fly off the board and I'm sure many other top players at the position will be kept, so procuring another very good RB should be a priority. Yes, Holt is among the best at his position, but it's more important to grab a RB because they simply are in higher demand, especially in a keeper format. And you should take Williams over McGahee, because all Cadillac has to do is stay healthy, and he'll outperform McGahee and should be more consistent. Bell, Dunn and Parker all have bigger question marks surrounding them and have a much lesser chance of being dependable starters or high-production players. Draft Cadillac over McGahee and Holt if you get the chance. Take McGahee if Cadillac goes off the board before your pick
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#52
Jun. 19, 2006
Modified: Jun. 19, 2006
FFL: Bye Weeks


<!-- end pagetitle --><!-- begin bylinebox -->

<!-- firstName = Scott --><!-- lastName = Engel -->

By Scott Engel
ESPN Fantasy Games

<!-- begin presby2 -->
<!-- end presby2 -->
<!-- end bylinebox -->
<!-- begin text11 div --><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD style="PADDING-TOP: 10px" vAlign=top><!-- begin leftcol --><!-- template inline -->Here is a complete listing of the 2006 NFL bye weeks, with fantasy analysis.
BYE WEEKS
Week 3: Dallas, Kansas City, Oakland, San Diego
Week 4: Denver, N.Y. Giants, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay
Week 5: Atlanta, Cincinnati, Seattle, Houston
Week 6: Cleveland, Green Bay, Indianapolis, Minnesota, New England, Jacksonville
Week 7: Chicago, Tennessee, St. Louis, New Orleans, San Francisco, Baltimore
Week 8: Buffalo, Detroit, Miami, Washington
Week 9: N.Y. Jets, Philadelphia, Arizona, Carolina
Bye Breakdowns
The first item of importance is that the NFL has reduced its byes by one week, removing Week 10 as a bye week and adding two teams each to the byes in Weeks 6 and 7. This presents obvious new challenges for the fantasy owners. You'll have to be more cognizant of bye weeks than ever when you are drafting.
In Week 6, the two top fantasy QBs (Peyton Manning, Brady) are both off, and you obviously shouldn't consider Brett Favre, Brad Johnson or Byron Leftwich for backups. Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne will both be unavailable, and Donald Driver will also be off. No elite RBs will be off, but a handful of good No. 2 RBs/flex backs (Joseph Addai, Chester Taylor, etc.) will be off, so be judicious when selecting RBs in leagues where you can start more than two.
In Week 7, Marc Bulger and Drew Brees are the only possible surefire starting QBs who are off. Don't back them up with Billy Volek or Steve McNair. Steven Jackson has the week off, and you'll have to be very aware of his his possible backup pool, which is depleted by the scheduling. Don't pair or back up Jackson with Thomas Jones, Cedric Benson, Reggie Bush, Jamal Lewis, Chris Brown or Frank Gore. Torry Holt is off, and be aware of the several other receivers who aren't viable alternatives. Muhsin Muhammad, David Givens and Derrick Mason are among a few receivers who should not be alternatives or No. 2 receivers to pair with Holt. Don't draft Zachary Hilton or Joe Klopfenstein to back up Todd Heap.
In Week 3, two of the top three running backs (Larry Johnson, LaDainian Tomlinson) are off, as is top 10 RB LaMont Jordan. If you have any two of those three in a keeper or dynasty league, be ready to field a solid duo of alternatives early in the season. Terrell Owens and Randy Moss will also be unavailable. Don't pair them with Eddie Kennison or Keenan McCardell in your starting lineup. The two top tight ends, Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez, will also be off. If you draft Owens or Moss, you should consider avoiding one of the top two tight ends in your draft. Every single week is important and you want to maximize success in a fantasy game where unpredictability runs rampant. Take control where and when you can.
In Week 4, Jake Plummer, Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger are off, so don't draft a combination of two of those three if you consider them close in value and want to alternate them or go with the hotter player. You'll be left with no option in an early-season fantasy game. Drafting a Tiki Barber/Carnell Williams backfield looks good overall, but could be your undoing for one game. Willie Parker and Tatum Bell are flex options you should avoid if you draft Barber or Cadillac early, as you'll lose two key starters at very important positions. Be aware that receivers Javon Walker, Rod Smith, Plaxico Burress, Hines Ward and Joey Galloway will also rest the same week. Remember Week 4 as a critical one when drafting your top two starting receivers.
Fantasy owners will be without Shaun Alexander, Rudi Johnson and Domanick Davis in Week 5. Obviously, Warrick Dunn and T.J. Duckett are not recommended reserves. Matt Hasselbeck and Carson Palmer are also off, so owners of those two QBs should pass on David Carr as a later-round reserve. Week 5 is another important one to remember for receivers, as Darrell Jackson and Andre Johnson will also be off. Of major note will be the absences of Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. If you grab Johnson early, don't pair him with a Seattle receiver such as Jackson or Nate Burleson. You should also not draft Jerramy Stevens as a backup to Alge Crumpler.
Three top RBs will be off in Week 8. Clinton Portis, Willis McGahee and Ronnie Brown will be unavailable, and Kevin Jones should not be drafted as a No. 2 RB to use with any of the three. Daunte Culpepper and Jon Kitna should obviously not be drafted as your QB duo. Santana Moss and Chris Chambers will be off, and you should avoid drafting Lee Evans or Roy Williams as No. 2 receivers to play alongside Moss or Chambers. Marcus Pollard should not be drafted as a backup to Chris Cooley or Randy McMichael.
Before you consider drafting Brian Westbrook in the second round to pair with Edgerrin James, remember that they are both off in Week 9. Avoid drafting DeShaun Foster with James also. Donovan McNabb, Kurt Warner and Jake Delhomme all have the same week off, so don't draft any two of the three as your QB duo. Steve Smith, Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin all have the same bye week, so plan accordingly if you own two of those three in a keeper or dynasty league. Laveranues Coles and Reggie Brown should not be drafted as backups. If L.J. Smith becomes your starting tight end, don't pick rookie Leonard Pope of the Cardinals as his backup.
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#53
Jun. 29, 2006, 1:16 PM
FFL: Thirtyslumpings


<!-- end pagetitle --><!-- begin bylinebox -->

<!-- firstName = tristan --><!-- lastName = Cockcroft -->

By Tristan H. Cockcroft
ESPN Fantasy Games

<!-- begin presby2 -->

<!-- end presby2 -->
<!-- end bylinebox -->
<!-- begin text11 div --><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD style="PADDING-TOP: 10px" vAlign=top><!-- begin leftcol --><!-- template inline -->
The career of a running back is short, among the shortest in all of professional sports. For instance, even the best often provide a team only six or seven years of solid production. That shouldn't come as a complete surprise, though. Football players deal with so much wear and tear on an every-game basis, and running backs in particular take a pounding two dozen or more times a week, 16 times a season. Over the years, that can take quite a physical toll.
Maybe it seems like a silly thought that a running back's age can carry such weight regarding his potential statistical output, but historical data does prove it true. Perhaps you've heard the oft-quoted saying "never draft a quarterback over 30 years old"?
Those who remember back to my "Thirtyslumpings" column of a year ago might remember that the discussion one year ago centered on the Jets' Curtis Martin, who, at the time, was coming off one of the greatest years in NFL history from a player who had already passed his 30th birthday. Despite being 31 years old in 2004, he rushed for 1,697 yards that year, becoming the oldest player in history to lead the league in that department. Martin's performance suddenly had everyone believing NFL running backs had discovered a virtual fountain of youth, enabling themselves to extend their careers longer than ever before.
But what happened to Martin in 2005? As a 32-year-old, he endured the worst season of his 11-year career, setting career lows in rushing attempts (220), yards (735) and yards-per-carry average (3.3). The Jets' troubling season didn't do him any favors, but even when he got his chances, Martin showed clear signs that his age had caught up to him.
Martin wasn't the only 30-and-up running back who was a relative disappointment in 2005, either: The Patriots' Corey Dillon, age 30 at the start of 2005, set a career low with a 3.5 yards-per-carry average and missed four games due to injury.
Of course, I'll also note that the Giants' Tiki Barber and Falcons' Warrick Dunn, both age 30, and the Broncos' Mike Anderson, enjoyed standout seasons in 2005. That does demonstrate why you shouldn't take such blanket statements as gospel, though it should also be noted that in the cases of Anderson and Dunn, neither had endured quite the career workload that most running backs do before their 30th birthdays. Their legs were a bit fresher than your typical veteran's would be at their ages.
In order to demonstrate the typical age progression of a running back, I compiled the year-by-year statistics of each of the 64 players in NFL history who have rushed for 6,000 or more yards in their careers. Calculating each player's age as of Sept. 1 of each season of their careers, I gathered the total numbers for all 64 players broken down by age. Listed below are the results, with the statistics scaled down to 16 games played. (For example, the 66 players combined for 15,532 carries, 67,753 rushing yards and 485 rushing touchdowns in 864 games as 25-year-olds; in 16 games those numbers become 287.6-1254.7-9.0.)
Age 21: 220.8 attempts, 973.3 yards, 4.41 average, 7.8 TDs.
Age 22: 219.7 attempts, 952.0 yards, 4.33 average, 7.3 TDs.
Most rookies enter the league as 21- or 22-year-olds, and many are good enough right away to make a fantasy impact, but these numbers should offer a little room for caution. Remember, these are numbers from the best players of all-time, so while a future great like Reggie Bush could be a standout even as a rookie, don't let your expectations get the best of you. This year's crop: Bush (21), Brian Calhoun (22), Maurice Drew (21), Laurence Maroney (21) and LenDale White (21).
Age 23: 234.6 attempts, 1031.2 yards, 4.40 average, 7.7 TDs.
Age 24: 262.5 attempts, 1158.0 yards, 4.41 average, 8.2 TDs.
Here's where a running back generally hits his stride, with most enjoying a breakout campaign in the age 23-25 range, assuming, of course, they get the opportunity that early in their career. Ultimately, players who don't step up with a breakthrough season in this stage of their careers either didn't get the opportunity to play at that young an age or might not be the kind of player with great long-term potential. That's why 2006 is such an important year for players like Kevin Jones and Willis McGahee, who are coming off disappointing campaigns; it could be quite a career-defining season for each. This year's crop: Joseph Addai (23), Marion Barber (23), Cedric Benson (23), Ronnie Brown (24), Samkon Gado (23), Frank Gore (23), Cedric Houston (24), Steven Jackson (23), Brandon Jacobs (24), Kevin Jones (24), Willis McGahee (24), Ryan Moats (23), Mewelde Moore (24), Chris Perry (24), Cadillac Williams (24) and DeAngelo Williams (23).
Age 25: 287.6 attempts, 1254.7 yards, 4.36 average, 9.0 TDs.
Age 26: 291.7 attempts, 1262.7 yards, 4.33 average, 9.2 TDs.
Age 27: 289.9 attempts, 1218.2 yards, 4.20 average, 8.4 TDs.
They're the prime years, and I always advise that given the choice between two similarly valued players, I'm always taking the one in the age 25-to-27 range over someone older. This year's crop: Kevan Barlow (27), Tatum Bell (25), Chris Brown (25), Najeh Davenport (27), Domanick Davis (25), T.J. Duckett (25), DeShaun Foster (26), Larry Johnson (26), Rudi Johnson (26), Greg Jones (25), Julius Jones (25), LaMont Jordan (27), Jamal Lewis (27), Willie Parker (25), Clinton Portis (25), Dominic Rhodes (27), Chester Taylor (26), LaDainian Tomlinson (27) and Brian Westbrook (26).
Age 28: 266.8 attempts, 1133.6 yards, 4.25 average, 7.8 TDs.
Age 29: 249.5 attempts, 1054.9 yards, 4.23 average, 7.5 TDs.
Though history shows that the best runners of all-time showed slight signs of breaking down as they neared their 30th birthdays, which could be cause for alarm for prospective owners of players like Shaun Alexander or Edgerrin James, I wouldn't be too worried. Remember, those are still extraordinary statistics, and players today are bigger, stronger and more physically fit. Take Alexander's age only as a sign that he might not have that many first-round-caliber fantasy seasons left in him, but he should be fine for at least 2006-07. This year's crop: Shaun Alexander (29), Michael Bennett (28), Ron Dayne (28), Reuben Droughns (28), Nick Goings (28), Ahman Green (29), Edgerrin James (28), Thomas Jones (28) and Ricky Williams (29).
Age 30: 222.9 attempts, 928.5 yards, 4.17 average, 6.1 TDs.
What's interesting is that this year's crop only includes one marquee fantasy player: The Jaguars' Fred Taylor. That's a bit of a concern for the nine-year veteran, though. Injuries have cost him 24 games the past six seasons, and with 1,831 career rushing attempts on his legs, the chances aren't good of a bounce-back season from him.
Age 31: 189.3 attempts, 762.3 yards, 4.03 average, 5.2 TDs.
This year's crop: Tiki Barber, Corey Dillon, Warrick Dunn and Michael Pittman. Barber and Dunn were fantasy standouts in 2005, but they've officially entered the troublesome stages of their careers. Barber has only 1,890 career rushing attempts and has been mostly injury free for nine years, which is an encouraging sign that he can step up with one more solid fantasy season, but his age does make it a bit more important that you insure him by selecting his backup, Brandon Jacobs, in the later rounds.
Age 32: 171.2 attempts, 667.9 yards, 3.90 average, 4.9 TDs.
This year's crop: Mike Anderson, Mike Alstott, Stephen Davis, Priest Holmes. None of these four are projected starters for 2006, and Davis and Holmes in all likelihood will retire within the next calendar year, if not before the season. At their ages, they're long shots to ever offer fantasy owners another big year.
Age 33: 155.4 attempts, 572.3 yards, 3.68 average, 4.2 TDs.
This year's crop: Marshall Faulk and Curtis Martin. Martin enters 2006 as the oldest projected starter in the league, and we all saw what he did a year ago. He's not getting any younger and the Jets aren't getting all that much better, so don't expect another late-career rebirth from the No. 4 rusher all-time. Age 34: 154.3 attempts, 582.2 yards, 3.77 average, 5.2 TDs.
Age 35-plus: 158.3 attempts, 608.9 yards, 3.85 average, 6.2 TDs.
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#54
Jul. 6, 2006, 4:30 PM
FFL Backups to Watch


<!-- end pagetitle --><!-- begin bylinebox -->

<!-- firstName = Scott --><!-- lastName = Engel -->

By Scott Engel
ESPN Fantasy Games

<!-- begin presby2 -->

<!-- end presby2 -->
<!-- end bylinebox -->
<!-- begin text11 div --><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD style="PADDING-RIGHT: 10px; PADDING-TOP: 10px" vAlign=top><!-- begin leftcol --><!-- template inline -->
Building depth is a key to constructing a strong fantasy football roster. A savvy owner does his homework and is aware of players who might not open the season as starters but could make an impact later in the year. Injuries or disappointing play by a starter could push a potentially productive backup into extensive action at any time. So here's an in-depth list of some projected reserves who could find themselves assuming larger roles for their respective NFL teams sometime during the 2006 fantasy football season. Also, be sure to consult our list of sleepers to see more NFL backups who could step forward this year.
Running Backs
Laurence Maroney, Patriots: The advancing age of Corey Dillon and the natural durability concerns about him are well-documented. Maroney could be needed to play often in his first pro season, and you can expect adequate fantasy numbers with some flashes of big-play ability if he is pressed into extra service. Maroney must learn to hit the hole with regular authority, and he might not be suited to running inside for positive yardage in his rookie campaign. But he can break loose for long runs and he might deliver a few impressive performances if he's needed to carry often. Don't expect consistency from Maroney, but he is a fine mid-round pick with definite upside. He just needs to add bulk and must become a more physical runner.
Mike Anderson, Ravens: This one is painfully obvious. If Jamal Lewis doesn't recapture much of his past form after signing a three-year deal, Anderson will either steal much of his playing time or completely overtake him as the Ravens' No. 1 RB. Anderson might be the toughest runner in pro football, and he's willing to sacrifice his battle-worn body for every yard he gains. While leaving Denver has its obvious disadvantages, and Anderson has been an injury concern in the past, he's a great later-round pick who will fight hard for quality yardage and TD totals if he's needed to carry often for the Ravens.
Cedric Cobbs, Broncos: The Broncos obviously don't trust Tatum Bell to carry the ball regularly, and Ron Dayne is a proven failure who might be getting his last chance to shine. If Dayne disappoints or Bell gets hurt, we might finally get to see the "mythical" Cobbs, who conjured up much preseason media hype during his first two seasons in New England. Cobbs has only 22 NFL carries to his credit, but he is supposedly a nifty inside runner who could be a fine fit in Denver's zone blocking running game. Then again, who hasn't been a fine fit at running back for Denver? Still, Cobbs is a potential standout, according to many several savvy football observers, and he's definitely worth a late-round pick.
Mewelde Moore, Vikings: Chester Taylor seems to be capable of seizing the opportunity to start in Minnesota, but if he fails, the Vikings have good depth behind him. Moore has performed well as a spot starter for the Vikings in the past, and he is sound fundamentally. While Ciatrick Fason might have more upside, Moore is more experienced and proven. The Vikings would be very comfortable with him as a stopgap solution if Taylor is a disappointment, and Fason could still get goal-line carries even if Moore gets most of the workload. Moore still has the abilities to be a good "flex" player in leagues that allow the position, and he'll be an adequate fantasy starter if he gets another opportunity to play often.
Jerious Norwood, Falcons: The third-round pick of the Falcons this season, Norwood has impressed the team enough that he is threatening the status of T.J. Duckett as the team's No. 2 halfback. Norwood is a fearless inside runner who also has the speed to get loose in the open field. He could be the team's RB of the future and might be the biggest surprise of this year's rookie class. Other fantasy owners might know about him, but you still could look like a genius if you tab Norwood in the middle rounds.
Quarterbacks
Joey Harrington, Dolphins: All reports are indicating that Daunte Culpepper is making a speedy recovery from last year's season-ending knee injury. But if he has any setbacks, the Dolphins obviously have acquired Harrington as prime insurance. Harrington was a major disappointment while surrounded with quality talent in Detroit, but a change of scenery could help him to at least perform adequately if he's needed to start any games. If Culpepper isn't ready for the beginning of the season or endures more bad luck or struggles during the regular season, Harrington is worth adding as a fantasy reserve. If his decision-making skills improve in his new environment, Harrington can at least salvage his career as a respectable QB. He must learn how to make better reads under pressure now, or he's going to become the next Rick Mirer/Heath Shuler/Ryan Leaf.
Vince Young, Titans: As a full-time starter, Billy Volek has a lot to prove. He's confident and has been successful in short spurts in the past, but he doesn't have the strongest arm and is apparently keeping the QB seat warm until Young is ready to take over as the permanent starter. The Titans' coaches have already been impressed with Young in early practices and he has already passed Matt Mauck on the depth chart to become Tennessee's No. 2 QB. Young does need some work on his mechanics, but you very well could see him get a chance to start at some point, so don't hesitate to use a pick on him in the late rounds. His athleticism could translate into decent fantasy numbers when the matchup is right, as long as he learns to protect the ball and isn't overwhelmed by the pro game.
Matt Leinart, Cardinals: Yes, he's a rookie as we all know, but we also know that the Cardinals still have a questionable offensive line and that doesn't bode well for the health of Kurt Warner. Leinart likely won't be intimidated if he is pressed into action because of an injury to Warner, and he has an All-Pro RB to keep pressure off him and two outstanding wide receivers who can help him pile up the numbers when he's playing from behind. Leinart is a better late-round pick than Young in yearly leagues, because he has more polish and poise to handle the pro game in his first season.
Jeff Garcia, Eagles: If Donovan McNabb misses any games this season, Garcia will be a better fit for the Eagles than you might think, He will slide nicely into Philadelphia's West Coast offense, and he still has the toughness and smarts to post decent numbers when the matchup is right. Garcia will certainly be worth adding as a fantasy reserve if he gets the chance to start at some point.
Gus Frerotte, Rams: There are still lingering concerns about the throwing shoulder of Marc Bulger, and if he misses any time, Frerotte can step in and be a decent game manager who will make good use of his weaponry. Frerotte has worked for Scott Linehan before, and any quarterback who has Torry Holt and the promising Kevin Curtis to throw to has to be considered a free-agent addition if Bulger's health continues to keep him out of action.
Wide Receivers
Corey Bradford, Lions: While he has only been an occasional deep threat and a mostly useless fantasy player in the past, the Lions signed Bradford to a four-year deal, and he could overtake the disappointing Mike Williams and enigmatic Charles Rogers on the Lions' depth chart. Bradford is a good fit in Mike Martz's vertical passing game, and he could be the needed speedy complement for Roy Williams. Bradford is a great risk/reward pick in the final rounds. He could become a surprisingly effective role player for the Lions and an occasional fantasy starter who will easily be available at the end of most drafts. Bradford could continue to be an invisible fantasy player. But there's also the chance he might have his best year ever in an offense that will feature him often as a vertical target.
Greg Jennings, Packers: When it becomes clear that Donald Driver won't be dependable as a No. 1 receiver, and Robert Ferguson will remain erratic, Brett Favre will look for a new target out of desperation on many key passing downs. That will be Jennings, a rookie who fits perfectly with Favre because of his ability to grab the ball in stride and gain yardage after the catch. He has a lot of promise as an open-field receiver and could surprise with a few big games. Jennings is a fine late-round pick who could end up being a respectable fantasy starter against weaker pass defenses.
Devery Henderson, Saints: It might just be a matter of time before he absolutely explodes, but Henderson is still a work in progress. He has all the tools to succeed, including blazing speed. Henderson must learn to handle physical coverages better, and his route running needs work. If he dedicates himself to the finer points of the game, Henderson could take full advantage of any opportunities to play more often. Donte' Stallworth is unhappy in New Orleans, and Joe Horn must steer clear of injuries. Opportunity awaits for Henderson, who is a great late-round pick for upside.
Kevin Curtis, Rams: Last year, he was the "sexy" pick to become a breakthrough wide receiver, as he was expected to shine even when he operated as a No. 3 receiver. But he was inconsistent when injuries to Isaac Bruce opened up more playing time for him and fantasy players couldn't trust him. He only had one 100-yard game in nine starts and was mostly invisible when he didn't start. This year, Bruce is again penciled in to be the starter alongside Torry Holt, but a more experienced Curtis should simply outplay him and surpass Bruce on the depth chart. Curtis is a fine third pick at receiver once you have drafted two other solid starters.
Other backups to watch Brian Calhoun is a scatback with good receiving skills who could become useful if Detroit's Kevin Jones continues to battle injuries. ... Baltimore's Kyle Boller will get a chance to start again if Steve McNair can't stay healthy, and it will be interesting to see if Boller benefits from learning from McNair in camp and early in the season. ... Atlanta's Matt Mauck and Jacksonville's David Garrard are two highly regarded backup QBs who will always be good pickups if pressed into starting duty. ... Kevin Walter could become a good possession and goal-line receiver for the Texans. ... Vincent Jackson has the pure ability to become a featured playmaker for the Chargers, but he is still a project. ... Philadelphia's Jabar Gaffney could become a consistent possession target for Donovan McNabb. ... Bernard Berrian is potentially the deep threat the Bears need to further open things up. ... Minnesota's Troy Williamson needs more polish and experience, but there is no doubting his deep gears. ... Colts TE Bryan Fletcher might continue to emerge as a TD threat. ... Denver rookie TE Tony Scheffler could quickly become an important part of the Denver passing game.
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 
#55
Dominick Davis

Dominick Davis

Why doesn't Dominick Davis get any love? I've had him the past two seasons as a starter and he's been one of my most reliable players each year...i think he's easily a top 10 back...what do you guys think?
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#57
Modified: Jul. 13, 2006
FFL: One-man mock draft


<!-- end pagetitle --><!-- begin bylinebox -->

<!-- firstName = Scott --><!-- lastName = Engel -->

By Scott Engel
ESPN Fantasy Games

<!-- begin presby2 -->http://log.go.com/log?srvc=sz&guid=8681107C-CBF1-40E5-913D-7590C93ED0AB&drop=0&addata=1332:65:239375:65&a=1&goto=http://mobile.espn.go.com/?campaign=mobile&source=ESPN_Ace_146x46_ViewDemo
<!-- end presby2 -->
<!-- end bylinebox -->
<!-- begin text11 div --><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD style="PADDING-TOP: 10px" vAlign=top><!-- begin leftcol --><!-- template inline -->
Here is my revised and updated 2006 version of the one-man mock draft, based on standard ESPN scoring and roster guidelines. Keep in mind that this is not how players are ranked, but one man's view of how the first six rounds of a draft should proceed this season.
Round 1
1. Larry Johnson, RB, Chiefs: Now that he has a chance to be the No. 1 guy over a full season, he should be as statistically productive as Priest Holmes used to be, and likely more durable.
2. Shaun Alexander, RB, Seahawks: Reliability and outstanding production are his signatures, and he still has Walter Jones leading the way for him on the left side of the line. The totals might drop, but not greatly.
3. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Chargers: Playing with an inexperienced QB could mean more defensive attention up front, but also a healthy amount of receiving chances. He'll still end up with fine numbers.
4. Tiki Barber, RB, Giants: Don't be worried about his age yet. He has at least one or two more terrific seasons left in him.
5. Clinton Portis, RB, Redskins: He's now very comfortable in Washington after an initial adjustment period, and an improved receiving corps can only help open up lanes and should provide consistent scoring chances.
6. Edgerrin James, RB, Cardinals: A drop in production should be expected, of course, but he should still produce well enough to merit a middle first-round pick.
7. LaMont Jordan, RB, Raiders: Versatility makes him very valuable. He proved he was a tough runner and a dependable receiver last season in his first opportunity to play regularly last year.
8. Rudi Johnson, RB, Bengals: Not the most glamorous pick, but you can't argue with the consistently excellent production. Don't let him slip by.
9. Steven Jackson, RB, Rams: The "chic" pick of 2006. There's no apparent reason not to believe he won't have a breakthrough year, but I personally prefer a more proven guy if I'm picking in the top eight.
10. Peyton Manning, QB, Colts: In leagues that award six points for a TD, I'd consider him a spot or two earlier. He's simply the only guy who guarantees you above-average production at his position every year.
11. Domanick Davis, RB, Texans: With a more balanced attack in Houston, he likely won't be overworked like he was in the past and he should be less susceptible to injuries.
12. Ronnie Brown, RB, Dolphins: He must prove he can carry the load over a full season, so don't take him too early. He should have a very good year, but don't take him when there are more experienced high-level RBs on the board earlier in the first round.

Round 2
13. Carnell Williams, RB, Buccaneers: All he has to do is stay healthy. No one will chuckle if you take him a few spots earlier.
14. Brian Westbrook, RB, Eagles: He's expected to carry the ball more and can score any time, from anywhere on the field. Let's just hope he doesn't get overworked and can stay healthy.
15. Reggie Bush, RB, Saints: With RBs flying off the board, you must take him because of the obvious great potential and amazing receiving talents that make him a threat to score often.
16. Willis McGahee, RB, Bills: Buffalo should employ two-tight end sets to help out their offensive line, but McGahee will still be statistically inconsistent. But he's not a bad pick at all as a second RB.
17. Steve Smith, WR, Panthers: Maybe you think he should have been picked earlier, but you'll have no choice other than to take at least one RB with your first two picks when you see them disappear quickly.
18. Terrell Owens, WR, Cowboys: We all know he's poised for a big year. With more questionable talents now available at RB, it's hard to pass on him at this point.
19. Julius Jones, RB, Cowboys: With an improved passing game opening up the offense more, he could finally have his breakthrough year if he can avoid injuries.
20. Chad Johnson, WR, Bengals: I've said it before. We still may have yet to see his best season, and that's scary for Cincinnati's opponents when you consider his accomplishments to date.
21. Kevin Jones, RB, Lions: Mike Martz might try to execute a passing offense, but that could mean more scoring chances and less defensive focus on the running game. Jones might stay healthy and could produce numbers good enough to make him a strong second RB.
22. Torry Holt, WR, Rams: No one else can match him for annually excellent production. He has continued to shine while the Rams empire has crumbled around him.
23. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals: He will continue to draw comparisons to Cris Carter. Don't worry about highly reduced production, because an improved Arizona running game can only mean he'll get open more often on play-action passes and in the red zone.
24. Randy Moss, WR, Raiders: You can pinpoint a top WR late in the second round, because you can be confident that you'll still be able to nab a decent RB early in the third round.

Round 3
25. Reuben Droughns, RB, Browns:</B> Cleveland has improved its offensive line, and Droughns could see a decent bump in his TD totals. He should at least be an adequate No. 2 fantasy RB.
26. Jamal Lewis, RB, Ravens: Hopefully, signing a three-year deal will renew the confidence that he seemed to lose last year when he thought the Ravens were done with him.
27. Corey Dillon, RB, Patriots: He might be highly motivated to prove he isn't done. He still has the vision and strength to post decent yardage numbers and he remains a viable scoring threat.
28. Marvin Harrison, WR, Colts: He is still a major TD threat, especially since the Colts might throw more often without Edgerrin James.
29. Joseph Addai, RB, Colts: It's only a matter of time before he becomes comfortable as Indianapolis' No. 1 RB. He could become a very good fantasy starter, very quickly, even if he's no James.
30. Anquan Boldin, WR, Cardinals: Here's proof you can still get a very good WR in the third round if you follow the rush on RBs in the first round-and-a-half.
31, Chester Taylor, RB, Vikings: He might lose some goal-line carries to Ciatrick Fason, but expect him to seize the starting opportunity and post good overall numbers.
32. Ahman Green, RB, Packers: He's a very risky pick, so make sure you get insurance for him quickly in case his best days are indeed in the past.
33. Hines Ward, WR, Steelers: He might command more defensive attention, but he's ultra-tough and will still fight for the ball and win, very often.
34. Willie Parker, RB, Steelers: You can't expect consistency, because he'll still likely share carries with another RB. But he'll certainly have some big outings in terms of yardage.
35. Santana Moss, WR, Redskins: Improved complements at WR will ensure that he has another very good season.
36. Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts: His TD totals were disappointing last year, but you can expect his scoring numbers to rise again in 2006 as the Colts air it out more often.

Round 4
37. Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers: His numbers should drop slightly playing with Philip Rivers, but he'll still be the very best pick at a weak position.
38. Chris Chambers, WR, Dolphins: If Daunte Culpepper stays healthy, he should finally produce fine numbers on a consistent basis.
39. Joey Galloway, WR, Buccaneers: In the later stages of his career, Galloway has become a more complete receiver, and he still has a deep gear to make some big plays.
40. Roy Williams, WR, Lions: If he can steer clear of injuries, Williams apparently has all the skills of a top-notch fantasy receiver.
41. Tatum Bell, RB, Broncos: The Denver brain trust still might not let him carry regularly, but he'll continue to deliver some big games.
42. Tom Brady, QB, Patriots: Outside of Manning, he's the best bet to produce very good, steady fantasy numbers at QB, and at least be very dependable.
43. Carson Palmer, QB, Bengals: All reports about his recovery have been positive, and it appears he is on his way to maintaining his place among fantasy football's best QBs.
44. Tony Gonzalez, TE, Chiefs: He could be asked to stay in and block less this year, which means his numbers could easily rise again. Expect better TD production.
45. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, Bengals: He is emerging as an outstanding No. 2 target in the potent Cincinnati passing game. When secondaries focus on Chad Johnson, Houshmandzadeh will be open often to make important catches.
46. Javon Walker, WR, Broncos: He should have a big comeback year and will finally fill the void at Denver's No. 2 WR spot.
47. Plaxico Burress, WR, Giants: As Eli Manning continues to improve, Burress will often shine as his favorite target. The numbers will be there, even if questions persist about his personality.
48. Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Seahawks: He'll always be steady, and sometimes outstanding. He's a safe pick who will occasionally deliver impressive numbers.

Round 5
49. Andre Johnson, WR, Texans
50. DeShaun Foster, RB, Panthers
51. Warrick Dunn, RB, Falcons
52. Cedric Benson, RB, Bears
53. Darrell Jackson, WR, Seahawks
54. Donald Driver, WR, Packers
55. Jeremy Shockey, TE, Giants
56. Joe Horn, WR, Saints
57. Donovan McNabb, QB, Eagles
58. Rod Smith, WR, Broncos
59. Marc Bulger, QB, Rams
60. Lee Evans, WR, Bills

Round Six 61. Chris Brown, RB, Titans
62. Fred Taylor, RB, Jaguars
63. Curtis Martin, RB, Jets
64. Todd Heap, TE, Ravens
65. Daunte Culpepper, QB, Dolphins
66. Derrick Mason, WR, Ravens
67. Thomas Jones, RB, Bears
68. Drew Bledsoe, QB, Cowboys
69. Deuce McAllister, RB, Saints
70. Eli Manning, QB, Giants
71. DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers
72. LenDale White, RB, Panthers
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 
#58
my mock draft

my mock draft

here's my top ten picks...

1. LJ
2. SA
3. Clinton Portis (surprising, I know...but I love him this year)
4. LT (the best back in my opinion...but phiilip rivers being inexperienced will hurt him)
5. Tiki Barber
6. Peyton Manning (with the running game gone...his statscould maybe even mirror those of two years ago)
7. Dominic Davis (great every year...no one notices)
8. Rudi Johnson (so consistent game after game)
9. LaMont Jordan
10. Julius Jones (if it was guaranteed he'd be healthy all year...he'd be in my top 5...but he always seems to be fighting injury)

...i'm sure that many of you disagree with some of these picks...tell me what you think
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#59
EagleFan5 said:
here's my top ten picks...

1. LJ
2. SA
3. Clinton Portis (surprising, I know...but I love him this year)
4. LT (the best back in my opinion...but phiilip rivers being inexperienced will hurt him)
5. Tiki Barber
6. Peyton Manning (with the running game gone...his statscould maybe even mirror those of two years ago)
7. Dominic Davis (great every year...no one notices)
8. Rudi Johnson (so consistent game after game)
9. LaMont Jordan
10. Julius Jones (if it was guaranteed he'd be healthy all year...he'd be in my top 5...but he always seems to be fighting injury)

...i'm sure that many of you disagree with some of these picks...tell me what you think



Nice list Eaglefan, you know your stuff

Excellent point on LT

However, I think Chris Perry should be stating in Cincinnati rather than Rudi Johnson
 
#60
Hache Man said:
Nice list Eaglefan, you know your stuff

Excellent point on LT

However, I think Chris Perry should be stating in Cincinnati rather than Rudi Johnson
Really? That's interesting...I know that he was good last year but enough to take over Johnson's spot?

Oh and three other things...

1. Do you think that Reggie Bush is really a top 20 pick? Defences will be focusing on him and also won't he be sharing time with Deuce?

2. I think that Chad Johnson's stats will be no where near last years as long as Palmer is out...but I'm not really updated about that injury...how long is Palmer out for?

3. I think Ronnie Brown is listed number 11 on that list you posted...I think that everyone is getting too excited about his potential and forgetting the fact that he hasn't carried a load in the NFL for 16 games in his life....I think he could suffer because of that and be a very risky top 15 pick...what do you think?

oh and if any of you are thinking that you could make the same argument about Larry Johnson, I think your wrong because he carried the load for nine games and scored 16 touchdowns and rushed for 1351 yards...two very different stories
 
#61
Top 5's by position

Top 5's by position

QB...
1. P Manning (obvious)
2. D Bledsoe (I expect numbers like Donovan and TO posted two years ago...oh and don't forget about Jason Witten and Terry Glenn and Julius Jones)
3. E Manning (will be even better than he was last year with Burress and Shockey still around)
4. C Palmer (apparently he's ok according to the artical Hache posted...but I'm still a skeptic...I would need 100% confirmation before actually taking him...but assuming he's fine, he's my No. 4)
5. M Hasselback (I would put Brady here but I have a feeling Corey Dillon is in for another injury bound season...so Hasselback gets it)

RB...
1. LJ
2. SA
3. Clinton Portis
4. LT
5. Tiki Barber

WR...
1. TO (I really don't get how people disagree)
2. Steve Smith (aweomse)
3. Torry Holt (is great year in and year out)
4. Chad Johnson (only if palmers healthy)
5. Marvin Harrison (I think with all the scoring that they will be doing...he could be looking at maybe a touchdown a game)

TE...
1. J Shockey (everyone's surprised right?...i just don't like rivers)
2. A Gates (^)
3. J Witten
4. T Gonzalez
5. C Cooley

K...
1. Neil Rackers
2. A Viniateri
3. M Gramatica
4. D Akers
5. S Graham

I don't really know much about defences this year...are the bears, colts, broncos, redskins, and steelers still good?
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#62
EagleFan5 said:
Really? That's interesting...I know that he was good last year but enough to take over Johnson's spot?

Oh and three other things...

1. Do you think that Reggie Bush is really a top 20 pick? Defences will be focusing on him and also won't he be sharing time with Deuce?

2. I think that Chad Johnson's stats will be no where near last years as long as Palmer is out...but I'm not really updated about that injury...how long is Palmer out for?

3. I think Ronnie Brown is listed number 11 on that list you posted...I think that everyone is getting too excited about his potential and forgetting the fact that he hasn't carried a load in the NFL for 16 games in his life....I think he could suffer because of that and be a very risky top 15 pick...what do you think?

oh and if any of you are thinking that you could make the same argument about Larry Johnson, I think your wrong because he carried the load for nine games and scored 16 touchdowns and rushed for 1351 yards...two very different stories


My answers/opinions to your questions.......

1. I have seen Reggie Bush go around the time you said above in numerous drafts already. No way I touch him, as you said, not only will McAllister be starting, but they also have Michael Bennett & Aaron Stecker!

2. I am not touching ANY Cincinnati player, simple as that. Too many questions marks with Palmer in my opinion.

3. Regarding Ronnie Brown, I have to disagree here. I believe he will have a huge year. Don't forget this team won their LAST 6 GAMES last year. I think Culpepper, Chris Chambers, Randy McMichael & co. will move the ball consistently, and Ronnie Brown is the man now getting all of the carries......
 
#63
One thing I don't understand is why is Larry Fitzgerald rated so much higher than Boldin....I guess it could be that he's such a threat in the end zone..but I think Boldins just as dangerous.. oh and i don't think i'll even touch one of them in my draft because I have no trust in Warner or Leinert...what about you?
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#64
EagleFan5 said:
One thing I don't understand is why is Larry Fitzgerald rated so much higher than Boldin....I guess it could be that he's such a threat in the end zone..but I think Boldins just as dangerous.. oh and i don't think i'll even touch one of them in my draft because I have no trust in Warner or Leinert...what about you?


I probbaly wouldnt grab one very early either, but if I had a choice it would be Boldin.

Receivers should be deep again this year.

I think a couple of steals that will still be available later on is Nate Burleson, who will be starting in Seattle offosite Darrll Jackson, and Eric Moulds who is now in Houston and should be starting the other side of Andre Johnson. Moulds still had 80+ receptions last year with a pathetic JP Losman throwing to him much of the year, and had some big games when Kelly Holcomb was at QB. Derrick Mason is another productive WR that continues to get overlooked despite putting up terrific numbers, and that even with Kyle Boller throwing to him last year. He'll be reunited with Steve McNair this year, and Mason's last 2 years in Tennessee he had 90+ receptions in each of the years.
 
#65
Hache Man said:
I probbaly wouldnt grab one very early either, but if I had a choice it would be Boldin.

Receivers should be deep again this year.

I think a couple of steals that will still be available later on is Nate Burleson, who will be starting in Seattle offosite Darrll Jackson, and Eric Moulds who is now in Houston and should be starting the other side of Andre Johnson. Moulds still had 80+ receptions last year with a pathetic JP Losman throwing to him much of the year, and had some big games when Kelly Holcomb was at QB. Derrick Mason is another productive WR that continues to get overlooked despite putting up terrific numbers, and that even with Kyle Boller throwing to him last year. He'll be reunited with Steve McNair this year, and Mason's last 2 years in Tennessee he had 90+ receptions in each of the years.
..great stuff..Nate Burleson could be a very late steal indeed...but i think Darrell Jackson could be a steal himself..i think people might have forgotten how good he was two years ago because of last years injuries...also did the texans do anything major to help their O line? if they did than they could be looking at 7-8 wins..what do you think?
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#66
I THINK Seattle tried getting offensive line help Eaglefan, but as you know we never know how that will turn out. I agree about Darrell Jackson, I picked him up 1 month before he came back from injury last year, knowing he would help me towards the end of the year.

You're going to be around eog for football season aren't you Eaglefan?:+thumbs-2
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#67
Who's No. 1?


posted: Wednesday, July 19, 2006 | Feedback | Print Entry
filed under: Fantasy NFL, Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks, Larry Johnson, Shaun Alexander


Welcome to July 19. Yep, not a minute too soon to be blogging about fantasy football again!
Really, there is no offseason at all, as we've been writing about fantasy football since the previous regular season ended. We had rankings, cheat sheets, columns, chats -- in early January. Now you get blogs. (Those who are worried about the loss of fantasy baseball blogs need not worry, I won't cut back on those yet.)
So for this week, let's start out with the most pressing question for fantasy footballers in 2006. There are many, but the big one has to be, who goes first? When you're drafting your teams on ESPN.com you'll see Larry Johnson is No. 1. Same in plenty of the preview magazines. You know what?
I'm going with Shaun Alexander.
It's a matter of opinion and taste, really, and certainly one cannot be faulted -- or go wrong -- with either choice. Sure, Johnson was a fantasy monster last season, after being a relative afterthought on draft day. (You remember that Priest Holmes guy, the one who was drafted in the top five, don'tcha?) Johnson didn't do a whole lot the first eight weeks of the season, as he was ranked No. 24 among running backs. He had his moments, his talent was tantalizing, and fantasy owners knew that if he got his chance, he'd be terrific. Then Holmes went down, and Johnson dominated. That quickly the fantasy season was never the same. You faced the team with Johnson, you were in trouble.
From Week 9 to the end of the season, Johnson accumulated 254 ESPN performance points. For comparison sake, Alexander had 204 in that span, and only five other players even managed half of Johnson's fantasy production those final nine weeks. These guys were clearly the best, and Johnson was even better than Alexander, who ended the season as the top guy. Consider Johnson was marginal from Weeks 2 through 8 and still he caught LaDainian Tomlinson for second overall in fantasy, regardless of position.
I know all this, and still I want Alexander if I get that coveted first pick. I'm not particularly worried about Johnson, who has a new coach, the threat of Holmes returning, whatever excuse you want to come up with. I'm taking him second, ahead of Tomlinson.
But Alexander doesn't concern me either, and while I doubt he puts up the same stats again, I also don't buy into this contract season theory that supposedly fueled his record-breaking 28 touchdowns. He's a great player. He's been a great player for years, consistent and productive no matter the situation. The Seahawks haven't gotten worse. Alexander isn't done yet. The easy way out is to call Alexander and Johnson 1 and 1a. I'm taking a minor stand and saying if I get a first pick, it's going to be Alexander.
Yes, I'm the fellow who generally takes the sure thing over the potential upside, not forgetting about how great it would be to cash in on the next big thing, but seldom overlooking what we do know. We know what Alexander has done, and pretty much what he's capable of doing for a few more years. So what if he's older? So what if Johnson has more upside? Alexander's safe. I've been fortunate to receive the No. 2 pick in a few drafts I've already done, experts leagues, the ones you see on other web sites and magazines, and Johnson's gone first, I've gleefully grabbed Alexander after. Tomlinson always goes third.
We'll check back in a few weeks, now that drafts have begun on our site, and see who you are taking first, but I'm thinking Johnson will be the pick. Again, it makes perfect sense. He's a yardage and scoring machine, and Alexander probably scores 10 fewer times than in 2005. Should make for a good blog. Share your thoughts, I'll run some feedback on this issue soon.
While the debate will continue on who goes first, there is one thing we can all agree on: You don't want to pick fourth! More on that in future blogs, as well as my thoughts on all positions, strategies, trends, injuries, you name it.
***
Talked about wide receivers on The Hot List on ESPNEWS Tuesday, and when I sat down in the chair, host Steve Bunin asked me why Marvin Harrison wasn't in the discussion. We were, after all, discussing who the top receivers were, and no Colts made the list. Harrison's certainly on my list, but he's not No. 1.
My choice is Steve Smith of the Panthers, which certainly isn't going out on any limb, but why should I? I think statistically he is numero uno, so why tell people Lee Evans is going to break out and be the best. (Of course that could happen, but I doubt it.) Smith was the best receiver last season, and the No. 9 player in fantasy, and I think he can do it again. Doesn't matter when he's double teamed and everyone knows Jake Delhomme is looking his way. He still had 103 receptions and 13 total touchdowns. The addition of Keyshawn Johnson shouldn't affect that too much, in fact, it might make things easier for him.
At the same time, while I see the point on Johnson over Alexander, Carolina's Smith could be as low as four or five on your list of receivers, and I don't see that as a problem either. Rotowire.com's Jeff Erickson, my partner on the ESPNEWS segment Tuesday, went with Torry Holt of the Rams. Sounds fair to me. Kevin Rounce, partner in crime on the Fantasy Focus podcast from Tuesday, thinks Terrell Owens reclaims his top spot. It's bold, and makes perfect sense. Owens is going to be a fantasy monster again. One magazine I saw went with Chad Johnson of the Bengals. I think these are the only four receivers I can make a strong case for as No. 1 at the position. Harrison, Randy Moss, both Arizona Cardinals, they can come next.
The thing is, the order doesn't matter too much in a draft because we know where these top receivers are going, and you're likely only going to get one of the top four guys. When Smith or one of the others goes early in round two, the other top fellows follow. If I pick 15th, and Smith goes at 14, I'm not going to be real upset to snap up Owens, Holt or Johnson, probably in that order.
***
Let's check out some mail that has built up:
? Nathan, Seattle: "I've got too many potential keepers in my football keeper league and not enough tangible evidence to keep any of them but LaDainian Tomlinson. I can keep three players, two from the same position. Tomlinson is the only clear choice, but I've also got Terrell Owens, Anquan Boldin, Brian Westbrook, DeShaun Foster, Deuce McAllister and Marc Bulger. Last year I was planning on keeping T.O. and McAllister, but now that Reggie Bush is going to be too expensive not to play some of the time, I'm thinking Westbrook. My one constraint is we get three extra points awarded for rushing or receiving over 100 yards, which Westbrook rarely does. I can't believe what I'm thinking, but perhaps Boldin and T.O. would be the smartest choices. Any thoughts concerns or insults appreciated."
Eric: Well, I have no insults here, and I agree that those two receivers make fine keepers. It's true that running backs rule the roost in fantasy football, but I don't know if I consider your other running backs as terrific keepers. McAllister is coming off a major knee injury and might be a backup. Westbrook is going late first round in some leagues, but I worry about his durability, and believe Ryan Moats will see a lot of playing time. I'd definitely keep Owens, so your choice is down to Westbrook or Boldin. Your call. I'd probably keep Westbrook because I'd be scared of who my second running back might end up being.
? Nick, Bay City, Mich.: "Hey Eric, I was reading ESPN's fantasy football magazine the other day and while looking at the 12-team expert draft you participated in, I realized something. You took Deuce McAllister and Julius Jones over Domanick Davis! Davis wound up falling to the fourth round somehow, and it all started with you passing on him. Explain yourself!"
Eric: Easy answer from me on this one, but it is an important one. That draft occurred a few weeks before the NFL draft, which really needed to be made clear. Draft today, obviously, it all changes. At that time in early April, all indications were that the Texans were going to draft Reggie Bush and thus make Dom Davis a backup. Who knew the Saints would get this beautiful Easter present? So at the time of the draft, it was kind of assumed that Bush would be a Texan, thus reducing the value of Davis and making McAllister a decent No. 2 running back. Of course that didn't happen, so now Davis resumes his status as a possible No. 1 back (late first rounder) and nobody wants McAllister. I mean, do you really think I would have drafted Jimmy Smith in the eighth round if I knew he'd retire a month later? It's ludicrous. People not only in Jacksonville were stunned when the productive Smith, the No. 19 wide receiver from last season, retired in early May. He had a contract. His statements a few weeks earlier were about getting back to Honolulu (Pro Bowl) and the Super Bowl. Who knew he'd step away? Maybe he'll come back, but I don't think we're playing that league out anyway. We drafted five months prior to the season! So enjoy the mag's mock draft, as it can be informative and helpful, but I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't point out that one important fact about the date!
***
By the way, we've received a number of e-mails asking what happened to the Tuesday radio show, and here's the answer: The folks at ESPN Radio decided to turn it into a podcast. So if you want questions answered on that podcast, which I hear has been popular on iTunes, please continue to send the questions in. The Sunday morning Fantasy Focus remains alive and well live from 7-9 a.m. ET, and we take phone calls and e-mails during that show, which is on national ESPN Radio. Check your local affiliate. Fantasy owners can also get questions answered twice a week starting next week in the chat room, likely on Tuesdays and Fridays at 10 a.m. ET. We talk fantasy for an hour at that time each weekday. Here's the baseball wrap from today and last Friday's football wrap.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#68
Jul. 19, 2006, 2:13 PM
FFL: Streaks and Trends


<!-- end pagetitle --><!-- begin bylinebox -->

<!-- firstName = tristan --><!-- lastName = Cockcroft -->

By Tristan H. Cockcroft
ESPN Fantasy Games

<!-- begin presby2 -->

<!-- end presby2 -->
<!-- end bylinebox -->
<!-- begin text11 div --><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD style="PADDING-TOP: 10px" vAlign=top><!-- begin leftcol --><!-- template inline -->Streaks and trends are an important factor in professional sports. Call them virtual "building blocks," if you will, as a player often feeds upon a quality performance, carrying it over into future games even if it was obtained in the friendliest of matchups. Many times, those extended hot spells often help elevate a player from one perceived talent level to another, and when I'm evaluating players each preseason, I find one of the most helpful indicators of whether a player is ready to take the next step is how he finished the previous season.
You'll hear the phrase "second-half player" discussed most often in baseball, but even in football it's something to take into account. Those players who improve or decline significantly in the latter stages of the previous season could be showing signs of a potential breakout or collapse the following year, so here's a look at the most notable trend changes among players in the second half of 2005:
STRONG FINISHERS
Anquan Boldin, WR, Cardinals: Though Larry Fitzgerald is widely considered the better receiver in Arizona, Boldin is the one who had the better numbers the final seven weeks of 2005. In fact, Boldin was the best fantasy receiver in terms of points during that span, with 104, and that hot spell included five consecutive 100-yard receiving games and no fewer than eight receptions in any of those contests. There's a simple explanation, though: Coming off a two-week absence due to a knee injury, Boldin wasn't attracting quite the defensive attention Fitzgerald earned in his absence. Still, it's not like Fitzgerald's numbers were hurt; he ranked sixth among receivers in fantasy points in Arizona's final seven games, with 83. There might not be a better one-two receiver punch in the NFL than these two, unless you're a big believer in the Cincinnati or Indianapolis duos. Even then, I'd still be more comfortable picking Boldin as my No. 1 fantasy receiver than T.J. Houshmandzadeh or Reggie Wayne, even if Boldin isn't considered the No. 1 man on his own team.
DeShaun Foster, RB, Panthers: A notorious injury risk, Foster did enough down the stretch in 2005 to enter camp this year as the featured back in Carolina. Once Stephen Davis' torrid start cooled, Foster stepped up with 556 rushing yards and three total TDs in the team's final six games. Plus, he averaged 20.2 carries during that span, a healthy total. Injuries will always be a worry for Foster, making rookie DeAngelo Williams a smart insurance policy, but if you're a prospective Williams owner, don't get overzealous with your expectations. Foster's fine finish probably ensures he starts until the next time he gets hurt.
Larry Johnson, RB, Chiefs: He's a top-three fantasy running back, if not No. 1 overall, for 2006, but his prospective owners might not realize how commanding a lead he had over the rest of the field the second half of last season. From Week 9 on, he managed 254 fantasy points, 50 more than anyone else. In other words, he was an even more dominating fantasy force than Priest Holmes was in his prime. Johnson, 27, is clearly now the focal point of the Kansas City offense, especially with the key components of the passing game getting up there in years (Trent Green is 36, Eddie Kennison 33, Tony Gonzalez 30). It's asking a lot of Johnson to maintain the 29.0 carries, 150.1 rushing yards, 30.7 receiving yards and 1.9 total TDs he averaged in his final nine games of 2005, but there's little doubt he's as good a bet as anyone to lead the league in every rushing category.
Carnell Williams, RB, Buccaneers: Many people probably think Cadillac was the kind of rookie who got off to a hot start and then quickly cooled. After all, he set NFL rookie records by rushing for 100-plus yards in his first three games and 434 total during that span. But while he did virtually disappear for more than a month after that, he did bounce back with an extremely encouraging finish. Cadillac managed 662 rushing yards and four scores in his final seven games, including three 100-yard efforts, and that he averaged 22.4 rushing attempts during that span demonstrates how he warmed to the featured back role after a brief Week 5-10 cold spell. There's breakout potential here, and more than enough to warrant taking him at the back end of the first round.
Roy Williams, WR, Lions: In the past, I've taken a look at the history books, which generally debunk the theory that third-year receivers make the best breakout candidates. But Williams is one of those receivers who could indeed fit the bill as a third-year standout, as he's coming off a fine finish to the 2005 season and has now had adequate time to get fully comfortable at the NFL level. While he has been inconsistent catching passes in his first two years, he did manage 33 receptions for 500 yards and seven TDs in his final eight contests, ranking him seventh among fantasy receivers during that span. Plus, now he has a more consistent quarterback throwing to him in Jon Kitna, and offensive guru Mike Martz helping steer Detroit, both of which could pay big dividends.
POOR FINISHERS
Mark Brunell, QB, Redskins: Early in the 2005 season, fantasy owners wondered which was more true: Was it Brunell's resurgence that helped return Santana Moss to form, or was it the other way around? After all, through the first seven weeks of the year, Brunell had averaged 248.7 passing yards with 12 passing TDs, while Moss had 38 catches for 743 yards and five scores. Of course, we quickly found out the answer, as Moss remained a reliable fantasy receiver, while Brunell wound up the No. 21 quarterback in terms of fantasy points from Week 8 forward. He would average 155.8 passing yards and throw for 11 TDs and eight interceptions in 10 games, numbers topped by guys like Gus Frerotte and Chris Simms during that span. Now, no one thinks of Brunell as a top-10 fantasy quarterback, but with a deeper receiver corps in 2006, some owners might look at him as a perfect matchups complement. I'd call him more of a guy you should only use when the matchup is extremely favorable, which generally happens only three or four times per year for a player.
Brett Favre, QB, Packers: How badly did Ahman Green's absence hurt Favre? Consider that in the first six games of the season, before Green was lost for the year due to a torn quadriceps tendon, Favre averaged 261.8 passing yards and passed for 14 TDs and eight interceptions. After that point, he averaged 231.0 passing yards and passed for six TDs and 21 interceptions in 10 games, meaning he was entirely unusable in fantasy leagues. Favre's problem is that after Green got hurt, Green Bay lacked a running game to keep defenses honest, and it didn't help that he lacked one of his best receivers in Javon Walker, either. But the other thing Favre's miserable finish suggests is that he no longer can carry his team on his shoulders like he did in his prime. If Green Bay again can't establish a quality running game, Favre could endure what might be a rocky final season in the NFL.
Steven Jackson, RB, Rams: Let this serve as a word of caution regarding picking Jackson as a big-time breakout candidate for 2006. It's not that I doubt his talent; he's absolutely one of the best young running backs in the game and he's on a team that plans to feature him more this season. But don't overlook the fact that St. Louis was beginning to rely on him more than on its passing game, its longtime staple, the second half of 2005, and in those final eight contests, Jackson managed just 387 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Twenty-four running backs outscored him in fantasy during that span (Week 10 forward), including Michael Bennett, and among those games were a horrible 12-carry, six-yard performance against the Cardinals in Week 11 and an 16-carry, 28-yard effort against the 49ers in Week 16 that looked good on paper simply because he found the end zone. Jackson, 22, should show improvement in 2006, but be careful pushing him too high on your draft sheets. He really doesn't belong among the top 10 picks overall.
Thomas Jones, RB, Bears: It's bad enough that he finished the 2005 season on a bit of a down note statistically, but now talk that rehabbing Cedric Benson will get a chance to unseat him for his job makes Jones quite the risky fantasy pick. From Week 9 forward last year, Jones managed 158 carries for 622 yards and three TDs in eight games, down from 156-713-6 numbers in his first seven contests. In other words, he got off to a surprising start and settled in more as the No. 2 fantasy back at which he profiles better later in the year, and No. 2 backs with questionable job security make shaky early-round selections. Jones could really use a trade to another team in need of a starter to make him a safer pick, but even if that happens, he's someone you shouldn't target before the third round.
Steve Smith, WR, Panthers: Why are so many people so confident in him as the No. 1 overall fantasy receiver? Sure, Jake Delhomme is the kind of quarterback who loves picking one receiving target and throwing to him repeatedly, but now he has two options to pick from with Keyshawn Johnson in town. Plus, while Smith got off to an incredible start to 2005, his finish wasn't quite worthy of No. 1 overall status at his position: He managed 48 receptions for 660 yards and three TDs in his final eight games, down from 55-903-9 in his first eight. Opponents should be more prepared to defend Smith this season, meaning Johnson should steal enough catches to knock Smith down a few notches in the rankings. The bottom line: I wouldn't touch him in the first 18 picks of your draft.
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 
#69
Hache Man said:
You're going to be around eog for football season aren't you Eaglefan?:+thumbs-2
Yeah I'll deffinately be around...I need people to help me decide who to start and stuff:+thumbs-2

That artical you posted was interesting..who's your no. 1 WR?
Mines TO
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#70
EagleFan5 said:
Yeah I'll deffinately be around...I need people to help me decide who to start and stuff:+thumbs-2

That artical you posted was interesting..who's your no. 1 WR?
Mines TO


TO would have to be mine as well Eagle

As we discussed earlier, I'm not touching Chad Johnson or any Bengal players with Carson Palmer's health up in the air, and even though I think Aaron Brooks and Randy Moss are going to surprise people, it's still risky.....
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#72
Being a Tampa Bay fan Eagle, you would think I would know the answer to that question. We're just going to have to wait and see I supposed.


Even though some people scoff, I personally believe Simms has one of the best young arms in the game and already throws one of the best deep balls as well.

If he has time, just like most QB's, look for he and Joey Galloway to repeat last year.....
 
#73
yeah...i think that the success of cadilac lies on simms shoulders.....oh and by the way...I'm obviously and Eagles fan...haha so yeah i'm pretty much only excited about fantasy this year
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#74
You never know Eagle, your team could surprise.

If McNabb and Brian Westbrook can stay healthy, maybe the rest of the offense will come together as the year goes along......
 
#75
thats what im praying for....i don't think the chances of mcnabb and westbrook stying healthy are very good though....your right though, you never do know in the NFL
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#76
Jul. 20, 2006, 2:35 PM
FFL: Round-by-Round Strategies


<!-- end pagetitle --><!-- begin bylinebox -->

<!-- firstName = Scott --><!-- lastName = Engel -->

By Scott Engel
ESPN Fantasy Games

<!-- begin presby2 -->

<!-- end presby2 -->
<!-- end bylinebox -->
<!-- begin text11 div --><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD style="PADDING-TOP: 10px" vAlign=top><!-- begin leftcol --><!-- template inline -->
While many fantasy owners focus heavily on their first draft pick, building a successful team requires a broad focus. You must be ready for anything at any time, and adjusting on the run is a must. You never know for sure which players might be available or unavailable at any point of the draft, so it's smart to plan ahead for the entire process. Never believe what the other owners tell you ahead of time about their strategies, because they might be trying to keep you off balance, and their own strategies and approaches will change throughout the draft. The "snake" draft is a great ride, but you should know all its twists and turns before you strap yourself in. So here's an in-depth look at what you should expect and prepare for from start to finish in a yearly fantasy draft.
Round One
If you're lucky enough to have one of the top three picks, you know you will have a shot at one of the elite three running backs. Anyone who picks in the top eight is pretty much assured of getting an established top-level back if they want one. Grabbing Clinton Portis or Rudi Johnson is a safer than going for upside with Steven Jackson or Ronnie Brown. If you pick in the top six or eight, take the best RB available, because they are likely going to fly off the board. Once the "upside" RBs are gone, then you can consider Peyton Manning late in the round, because he's the only quarterback who seems to guarantee both above-average statistical production and durability every year. If you're picking at the end of the first round in a 10 or 12-team league, you will likely be looking at promising players like Carnell Williams or a possible injury risk like Domanick Davis. The first round likely will be a heavy run on running backs with Manning being the only possible exception. If another owner changes course and tabs a top WR, that can only improve the quality of RB that can fall to you in the first round-and-a-half. Follow the run on RBs, because you really won't have any other choice. Questions about many of the top RBs this year will make them disappear seemingly faster than usual.
Round Two
If you're picking early in the round, resist the temptation to grab an elite WR when you'll have a shot at the best No. 2 RBs available. There is a good, deep pool of WRs available this year, and you can still land a very good one in the third round. If you can nab a Willis McGahee or Reggie Bush, you'll feel good about your RB duo instead of taking a possible part-timer like Willie Parker or Tatum Bell or an even bigger question mark like Ahman Green in the third round. Sure, guys like McGahee and Bush do come with question marks, but the longer you wait, the less confidence you'll have in your No. 2 RB. Sure, it's tempting to take a Steve Smith or Terrell Owens, but if you do, you might regret it as more RBs disappear quickly before you get to your next pick. And one or two owners could draft three RBs with his/her first three picks because of the shaky field outside the top 10 or so, further depleting the pool of available players. So follow the RB rush if you pick in the first half of the second round. If you pick late in the round, it makes more sense to go for a Smith or Owens, as the RB you'll target late in the second round still could be available early in the third round. There isn't much difference between the RB you can get late in the second round as compared to early in the third round. Round Two likely will be dominated by more RB picks and a few top WRs going off the board.
Round Three
If you grabbed that superstar WR late in Round Two, you simply must take the best RB available on the board. You don't want to wait until the fourth round, when you might have to bank on Warrick Dunn or DeShaun Foster, especially in a larger league or one that uses a flex position. You simply must come out of the first three rounds with two RBs. If you selected RBs with your first two picks, you'll be happy to find out that very good WRs such as Anquan Boldin and Hines Ward still might be available. If you're really unsure about your second RB, you could also grab a third one here. If you're the guy who took Manning in the first round, you should be making the second of your two starting RB selections here, and it will be a good move to start building RB depth at the position as soon as the fifth round, since you might not be comfortable with both of your starters.
Round Four
If you didn't take two RBs in the first three rounds, you'll be left to grab the best of what's left at the position, which won't thrill you. You might have to go with Jamal Lewis or Ahman Green (if they are still available) , and you'll likely want to take an "upside' RB a round or two later for further depth. If you already have two RBs and at least one WR by this point, this could be become a very fun round. You could take another outstanding WR to fill the second starting spot at the position. Or you could take one of the top QBs available, such as Tom Brady or Carson Palmer. Or it could seem like the right time to take TE Antonio Gates if he is available, as he should be the best player at a very weak position. If your league uses a "flex" player, you could grab another RB here. The type of RBs available by this point would make better flex players than second RBs. This round is proof that if you follow the RB run early, you'll have some nice flexibility here.
Round Five
There are a few different directions you can go here. If you're still not satisfied with your starting RBs, now is the time to take a chance on promising picks like DeAngelo Williams or LenDale White. If you regard such young backs highly, you might be moved to grab them for the upside. Such RBs won't likely last past the sixth round in 10 and 12-team leagues. If you still need a "flex" player, this would be an ideal time. For those owners who need a second starting WR, you shouldn't wait past this point. If you already have two good RBs and two good WRs, you could go the TE or QB route, since there likely will be some top picks still available at the position. Jeremy Shockey or Donovan McNabb would be very good picks here. It would be no shock to see Brady or Palmer slip this far, where either one would be terrific selections.
Round Six
If you haven't tabbed a starting QB by this point, you really shouldn't wait too much longer. You can still grab a top 10 passer like Eli Manning or Drew Bledsoe. With the aforementioned and obvious questions at RB, now is the time to start picking some of the remaining sleepers or possibly serviceable veterans off the board. You still might see players like T.J. Duckett, Samkon Gado or Curtis Martin available, and by the sixth round, those are still smart picks for depth. If you already have more than two RBs on your roster by this round, concentrate on filling out the key parts of your starting lineup other than kickers and defense/special teams. If your league requires more than two starting receivers, get one here, or you could opt for one of the better TEs still available.
Round Seven
I believe this is the absolute longest you should wait to get a decent starting QB, as very promising or stable guys like Daunte Culpepper, Jake Delhomme and Trent Green could all fall to this round. A few scraps could be lingering around for RB depth, as you still might be able to land a Kevan Barlow or a "handcuff" player like Greg Jones. Some of the top 10 or 12 tight ends will be on the board, and you can begin to take chances on receivers like Nate Burleson or Reggie Brown. By this point, you should be focusing on filling out your starters, grabbing top backups and plucking any of your remaining high-ranking sleepers off the board.
Round Eight
Right around this point, it's going to happen if it already didn't. Someone will be the first to take the Bears defense/special teams or Adam Vinatieri. Don't be that guy, and continue to build depth. If there are any RBs still left that remotely interest you, take the shot. If you waited until the seventh round to take a starting QB, and he's not your ideal pick, take a good alternative here for peace of mind or the possibility that you could rotate the two based on matchups. Or simply build your receiving depth. If you haven't taken a starting TE by this point, now would be a good time. You're not going to get much of a starter in Round 11.
Round Nine
Defenses and kickers don't win fantasy championships. They supplement the performances of your stars, and outside of a few, their performances can vary from year to year. So this is a round in which you should continue to build depth. There should still be some pretty good WR selections available by this point, and players such as Keyshawn Johnson and Eric Moulds will make solid reserves. This is also a good time to look for a reserve QB. You'd rather have a guy like Byron Leftwich or Billy Volek as a backup than to wait a few rounds later and hope that David Carr can stay upright or Philip Rivers can post decent numbers. A few scattered RBs might available for further depth or upside, and you can never overlook those.
Round 10
This is probably the latest you should wait for a backup QB in larger leagues, give or take one more round. Depending on the size of your league's starting lineup, adding another decent wide receiver would be a good idea. During the rounds starting here, resist the urge to grab a backup tight end unless a very promising one slips this far. You'll likely only use your backup tight end once during the schedule, and anyone you might grab off the free agent list early in the season could be as good as any TE you draft late. Continue to nab as many skill position players as you can, and pick off any sleepers that still might be on the board. Cedric Cobbs, anyone?
Rounds 11 and 12
You can start to consider defenses here, but only if some of the top units are still available. Otherwise, you can wait until the end of the draft. Some owners might still need some backup QBs here, and you'll simply be looking for a decent guy who should start regularly. Jon Kitna is by no means an embarrassing pick in the 12th round. By this point, it's becoming all hits and misses with sleepers and experienced players for depth. If you've done your homework, this is when you take that flier on Verron Haynes or Mark Bradley.
Round 13 and beyond Your defense/special teams should be one of your final picks, and if you study, you'll land units like the Bengals or Dolphins here, which could prove to be prolific in turnovers or sturdy overall in 2006. Unless your league actually requires you draft backup tight ends, kickers and defenses, don't waste picks on them when you can load up on as many skill position players as possible until this point. Any reserve unit or kicker you might draft now could be for one-week use only, and why spend a draft pick on that? But if your league does require backups at those positions, you should have your starters locked in by Round 13 and spend the final three or so rounds on the backups. If you're already set at all the positions and have room for one more sleeper, go for it. Maybe you'll be the proud owner of Pittsburgh rookie RB Cedric Humes.
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 
#77
hey i just wanted to let everyone know that sports illustrated is coming out with a magazine just for fantasy football...the first one comes out aug 21
 
#79
Ok so listen to this..i bought the new sports illustrated fantasy magazine (the one with reggie bush on the cover)...and the only advice i can give you is not to waste your money on it...i don't know who their "experts" are...but they had absolutely ridiculous lists...for example....in the rb list they have reggie bush ranked at 16 (he'll be sharing time so no way), Corey Dillion at 18, and Jamal Lewis at 19 while Julius Jones and Dominick Davis somehow fall to 23 and 26!!Not only is this supposed to be a breakout year for jones and davis, but this is supposed to be a slump year for dillon and lewis...in WR they have Terry Glenn ahead of Plaxico Burress and Joey Galloway(what???)....and i don't even want to tell you about the Qb's...ok for starters they have Tom Brady an No. 1 over Peyton Manning!!!...They have Kurt Warner in front of Drew Bledsoe, Daunte Culpepper and Jake Delhomme... they have David Carr ahead of Donovan McNabb...they have Phillips Rivers ahead of Steve McNair and Chris Simms...oh and my personal favorite...drum roll please....Charlie Frye in front of Aaron Brooks...can someone please write back and tell me im wrong because i really don't get this...i mean they're Sports Illustrated..don't you think they should have FFL experts covering this stuff..cuz if they don't i'd gladly take the job
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#80
I don't really waste my time with any Fantasy magazines anymore Eagle for the reasons you posted above and that many or most of us know more than those who put out the magazines, & you can find just as much info on the internet.

About Reggie Bush.....

I've also seen him ranked up there, and the many have been reaching and taking im around those exact positions.

I think that is absolutely ridiculous.

As I talked about in another post somewhere in this thread, not only is Deuce McAllister going to start, but Bush will also be sharing time with Michael Bennett (if he stays) and Aaron Stecker. No way I touch any of those RB's until later on..
 
Top