Fantasy Mailbox - Preseason Edition 8/30

Welcome to another 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 : Freak,

In a 12 team league, I just had my fantasy draft and landed Shaun Alexander, Clinton Portis, and Brandon Jacobs, but sacrificed at wide receiver. Now I'm wondering if I made a mistake. Another owner did the oppostie and loaded up on wide receivers (but no RBs). He got Reggie Wayne, Chad Johnson, and Anquan Boldin to go along with Tom Brady at QB, but he has zero RBs. Do we make a deal? If so, then what?

Mitch T. - Rock Island, IL

Definitely make the deal here. Obviously, it's better to deal Portis or Jacobs...but both teams need this deal to work. If a deal isn't made prior to week 1, then each of your teams will have an overall top 25 player riding the pine (which is silly in a 12 team league). Too much strength at one position often leads to weakness in FFLs...and bench points don't win fantasy football games. It's much better to have your best players on the field and take the risk at having little depth than to sit quality players on the bench each week..



Q : Your bookmark still works from last year and thought I'd drop in a question prior to my draft this weekend. I have the 3rd overall pick and have been reading your stuff on Addai...I'm convinced and will probably pick him. Who shoud I come back with in rounds 2 and 3 with the 22nd and 27th picks? Thanks Freak!

Jeff S. - Tulsa, OK

As you have indicated, I believe Addai will have a big year in his sophomore season and is definitely worthy of a number 3 fantasy selection in many league formats.

With picks 22 and 27, I believe you have to be prepared for several options. After pick 27, you won't pick again until the likelihood of a top tier (and I'm a big believer in tiers when preparing for these things) player still being available is dim. One recent draft I just evaluated had 18 RBs taken in the first 2 rounds,...with 5 WRs and 1 QB (Manning)also taken with the first 24 selections. In fact, the owner in that draft took Addai with the 3rd selection and had these players available at 22: QBs - Palmer, Brees, Brady / RBs - Portis, T. Jones, MJDrew, Jacobs / WRs - Wayne, Fitzgerald, Owens, R. Williams...and of course others.

That particular owner took Fitzgerald at 22 and came back with Wayne with the 27th pick. He missed out on the top tier QBs and settled for Leinart in the 6th round. If it were me in that situation, I would probably have taken Wayne at 22nd and one of the QBs with the 27th...but it all depends on your particular draft and how the players fall. In some instances, it makes sense to go RB/RB/BA (best available). But in other cases, it makes more sense to grab the top WR or QB if still there. It's always a good idea to know your league scoring rules first. Good luck!



Q : Hello Mr. Eisenhut. I love your stuff. Here's my question: When do I draft a tight end? Our league requires them and they get one point per reception and one point for each 10 yards (same as the WRs in our league). Do I get one before I get backups at RB and WR? Thanks for your help!

Kory B. - Colorado Springs, CO

I'd backup my RBs and WRs first. The reason is this: The difference between the top fantasy tight end...and let's say a tight end toward the bottom of the top ten is minimal. Antonio Gates has been the top tight end for the last couple of years, but his numbers are only a couple of TDs, a few catches, and a couple hundred yards ahead of a tight end drafted much lower on the list. Basically, the potential points given up by waiting for a tight end are much less than putting off drafting a backup running back.

Another way to look at it is that there are theoretically 32 starting TEs and only 12 required for FFL rosters (so much availability). With RBs, figure the same thing,...but most leagues require at least 2 starters and possibly a flex player (again, with only 32 primary in the NFL).



Q : Our draft is Sunday and need your advice. Our league allows 5 keepers and I can't decide between these 6 guys. I need to cut one by Sunday. They are Clinton Portis, Laurence Maroney, Plaxico Burress, Andre Johnson, Carson Palmer, and Matt Hasselbeck.

Dan M. - Eugene, OR

Nice team! Hoping that you're not a Hawks fan since living in the Great Northwest, I think you have to cut Hasselbeck. There is no reason to carry 2 QBs and sacrifice one of the other positional starters you listed. And remember that you can still pick H-beck up in the draft if you so desire. Good luck!



Q : How big of a deal are kickers and what do I need to look for?

Kelly W. - Franklin, TN

Kickers can be a big deal. But they're incredibly hard to predict. A poor offensive team could win 15-7 on 5 field goals (think Neil Rackers with the Arizonal Cardinals a couple of years ago). My strategy is to draft a kicker late and one with a team that will score points. Games indoors are a bonus and so is job stability. Adam Vinatieri fits this description perfectly (but even he's no guarantee from week to week if the Colts score only TDs and no FGs). New Orleans has a top offense and indoor home games, but the kicking situation isn't extremely stable for the Saints. See my article on 2007 kicker rankings, but best advice is to draft a kicker late in your draft.



Q : I'm the new guy in our league and have been reading some of your stuff to prepare for my draft at a friends house this weekend. Any other advice for me?

Daniel C. - Charlotte, NC

Hi Daniel. Make sure you take a list of your top ranked players by position. Bring a pen and highlighter and mark off each player drafted and record your team on a separate grid by position. It's also a good idea to have an NFL schedule handy to check bye weeks (you don't want to draft your backups with the same bye weeks as your starters!). Most importantly,..have fun, relax, and don't think of it as a Chemistry exam. It's still a game. Your friends will still around even if you do poorly. Think of fantasy football as just another opportunity to interact with your buddies and keep in touch with some fun trash talking between Sundays. The annual draft is often a great party. NFL Network has some hilarious commercials with an uncanny reality.


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