Fantasy Mailbox - Preseason Edition 8/21

Welcome to the Preseason Edition of the Fantasy Mailbox! As the preseason and regular season 2007 progress, we will select a few emails to answer in our weekly mailbox column. To be considered for future columns, please send your fantasy football questions to and be sure to include your first name, last initial, city & state.

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Q : So I have been racking my mind, studying every fantasy ranking known. You gotta love it though. So anyway here are my two questions: Question # 1 : I've ranked my quarterbacks although I'm having a little trouble trying to look at the best quarterbacks to have as backups. Which quarterbacks do you believe that will still be available towards the end of the draft that many may be missing out on?

Question # 2 : There's been a lot of discussion with order of one's draft. I've always thought to believe that drafting a running back in both the first and second round be the wise choice. What is your theory and how would you draft the remaining rounds?

Thanks so much for your time. I look forward to hearing your advice!

Courtney B. - Pittsburgh, PA

SFF: Hi Courtney. Thanks for the questions!

#1. Only 12 quarterbacks will start in a 12 team league...and many owners will avoid drafting a 2nd QB until very late. After the top 3-5 quarterbacks this season, there is a huge dropoff from the elite to the above average. Jon Kitna, Matt Hasselbeck, Donovan McNabb, Philip Rivers, and Tony Romo will go in the middle rounds after Peyton Manning, Carson Palmer, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Marc Bulger are gobbled up in the early rounds...leaving several to slide late. Watch for young QBs like Alex Smith or Matt Leinart to have nice seasons and don't be afraid to take veteran Jake Delhomme (who could have a nice comeback season with Steve Smith at WR) or Ben Roethlisberger with the Steelers. Primarily, don't draft a backup QB too high if there are solid RBs or WRs begging to be drafted. There are many quarterbacks in 2007 that could help your team in a bye week or injury situation. Just don't leap too high to grab one of many capable backups at the QB position.

#2. Much depends upon your draft position and your league's scoring system, but generally I agree with drafting 2 running backs in the first two rounds. For example, if you have the 10th pick (and 15th) in a 12 team draft and can get both Reggie Bush and Laurence Maroney (with Peyton Manning already gone)...then I would advise to go RB-RB. But, then again, you could have the 1st overall pick (obviously taking LT) and subsequent 24th and 25th picks (in a typical snake draft) and go with basically any 2 of RB/WR/QB with the 2nd and 3rd round selections.

As for the draft in general, watch for trends...if the top players at a position have been taken, then wait on that position until later (since the owners with those players will be looking to go elsewhere). Example: If the top 5 or 6 QBs have been taken early, then don't feel that you must immediately grab a QB...actually the converse is true since those owners passed on talent at other positions to get their QB (and they are no threat to take a QB remaining on the board).



Q : Hi Freak! I have to admit that when your rankings analysis articles came out in early July that I doubted your placement of Joseph Addai at 4th and Laurence Maroney at 5th. But as the last 6 weeks have passed, more and more fantasy experts have adjusted their rankings and have moved up both Addai and Maroney. Fortunately, I took your advice and was able to somehow get both players. Maroney is no longer under the radar. Thanks for your help!

Thom N. - San Jose, CA

SFF: Thanks Thom and Good Luck!

Obviously, I liked both Addai and Maroney early and still do! Each is a versatile RB on a high powered offense and will produce huge fantasy points on the season.



Q : I'm in a PPR league and have the 12th pick. Who would you grab of these players if they fall to me? Brian Westbrook, Joseph Addai, Reggie Bush, Rudi Johnson

Gilberto D. - El Paso, TX

SFF: Thanks Gil, but I doubt that Addai falls to you at 12th in a PPR (points per reception) league. Since you have the 12th and likely 13th picks (assuming 12 team league), I would grab both Westbrook and Bush (both excellent pass catchers) of the players you indicated...that is if Addai has already been drafted.



Q : Scout Fantasy Freak - First of all, I don't care for Terrell Owens or the Dallas Cowboys. Maybe it's because I'm an Eagles fan and live in Pennsylvania. Anyway, another owner offered me Terrell Owens for Calvin Johnson and Todd Heap. Do I do the deal? I think he's just pulling my chain because I don't like Owens, but I really want to win this league.

Jason A. - Harrisburg, PA

SFF: do the deal! That is, of course, if you can live with Owens on your team. Owens is a top WR that finished 2nd in fantasy rankings last season. And...T.O. is having his best camp in years!



Q : I liked your Fantasy Rookie article and am now thinking of drafting a couple of the guys. But I noticed you have Brady Quinn fairly low. I'm in a 5 year keeper league and want to draft Quinn (and live nowhere near Notre Dame or Cleveland). Please talk some sense into me.

Michael S. - Iowa City, IA

SFF: A 5-year keeper league?! Although I believe in playing for the season at hand, I can't tell you NOT to grab Quinn in the later rounds. Having a chance to watch Brady Quinn in person over his college career a few times, I can tell you that he is a very skilled quarterback - and as ready as any QB entering the NFL. Will he be a top fantasy QB in the next 2 years?...probably not. But he is a very skilled young player that is capable of some big things over the next several years - and is worth taking as a late round flier for your league.



Q : Hi Freak! I'm in an auction league and don't have enough money to grab any of the studs available at Running Back since I'm keeping Peyton Manning, Steve Smith, Larry Fitzgerald, and others from last year on my salary cap loaded team. What are your suggestions for me at RB?

Anders D. - Lima, OH

SFF: Without knowing the full details, I would assume that there are several available players in your auction at running back. One way to get an inexpensive RB that is/becomes productive is to draft both of the feared committee players on a suspected RBBC NFL team. Teams like Detroit (Tatum Bell/Kevin Jones) and Carolina (DeShaun Foster/DeAngelo Williams) will likely eventually play only one RB...but will need time to sort out the winner. You'll be able to buy both players fairly cheaply due to the uncertainty at the position. Rookies are also an option with Adrian Peterson, Marshawn Lynch, and Brandon Jackson entering the league...but each will likely share time early and will still be in some demand in your keeper league.


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