Free College Football Picks Week 1 – 2007

Washington Huskies (-4) @ Syracuse Orangemen:
8/31/07 8:00pm EST

I don’t know what else to say besides the Huskies are the better team here. Washington had some tough bounces last season, but they were a much better team under the guidance of Tyrone Willingham. He hasn’t gotten much credit for his job well done, probably because he finished out of bowl eligibility, and he’s on the hot seat this season because the UW job is highly sought after these days. To make matters worse, the Huskies have the Nation’s toughest schedule. Fortunately, this game isn’t one of those tough ones. Freshman quarterback, Jake Locker, is an amazing athlete who will breathe life into the program. I expect a win of a couple touchdowns in this one. Hopefully Tyrone can find some wins this season, he’s a very good coach.

UCLA Bruins (-17) @ Stanford Cardinal:
9/1/07 3:30pm EST

The Bruins have been inconsistent at best, as they ousted cross town rival, USC, to knock them out of the National Championship last season before losing their bowl game against FSU. The Bruins have the talent to give USC a run in the Pac 10, but Karl Dorrell needs to coach these kids to consistency. Stanford isn’t a tough match-up, and UCLA has a history of starting the season playing well. Even though Jim Harbaugh is doing his best to turn Stanford around, he’ll have to do it with a new quarterback – as Trent Edwards is in the NFL. Look for Stanford to take some bumps early, one of them will be this weekend against UCLA.

UAB Blazers (+21.5) @ Michigan State Spartans:
9/1/07 12:00pm EST

I just don’t think the Spartans have it in them. They aren’t a good football team, as was seen by losing game after game as the season went on last year. UAB played a lot of close games in 2006, and they’re returning a lot of starters. New MSU coach, Mike Dantonio, will have to work with the little talent he has, and that will be apparent early as they have to fight tooth and nail to beat UAB. Michigan State will not be in a bowl in 2007.

Iowa Hawkeyes (-12.5) @ Northern Illinois:
9/1/07 3:30pm EST

Iowa had a tough season in 2006, and NIU played way above their talent level to finish 7-6. Garret Wolfe is gone, and so is NIU’s starting quarterback from last season. Iowa will be dominant defensively in this game, and will make a run at the Big 10 title, despite what people think. Kirk Ferentz is one of the best college coaches around. His first losing season was last year, and he’ll be back with at least 9 wins in 2007. I just don’t think this team can continue to lose, they have enough talent all over the field to turn ’07 into a success, and I’ll believe they’re going to do just that. They should route NIU.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (+2) @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish:
9/1/07 3:30pm EST

I initially wanted to take the Fighting Irish at home, but I just love GT’s toughness too much for a soft Fighting Irish club. Last year the Irish needed their own luck to skip past the Yellow Jackets, but I don’t see it happening this year. Notre Dame had too much resting on their freshman quarterback’s shoulders, and since he injured one of those shoulders, they could fumble early in the season. None of the 3 Irish quarterbacks have played well enough to take the starting job, but that’s all Charlie Weis has, so it’ll have to do. Georgia Tech’s defense might be the toughest and fastest unit Notre Dame sees all year. That’s not who I’d like to start the season with. Look for Tech to out-muscle Notre Dame at every step.

Ask Papa Weimer Fantasy Football Know-It-All Aug 27

This be my 7th week answering questions, and if I know one thing, its that fantasy football is on the verge of taking over the world. Some other things I’ve learned this week… The Rangers scored more runs in one game than the Bucs will be able to score in any given week this fall. Mike Vick is stupid, but not nearly as stupid as the justice system if they let him off without getting his admissions to gambling… What? He financed everything, had dogs murdered, and supplied snacks for the viewing public – but didn’t make a dime off the operation? C’mon. Also, you should never listen to fantasy guru’s who tell you that its cool to take Peyton Manning in the 1st round and Antonio Gates at the top of Round 3. Scratch those guys off your must-read list of weekly fantasy fodder. – Papa Weimer

Drop me your Fantasy Questions @

I need some advice. I am going to be in an auction draft. I have never done this. I think there are 2 strategies. The first is spend 75% of your money on 3 studs and hope for some diamonds in the rough or draft for depth. I don’t know which is the best. If you could let me know which way is the best way to go it would be greatly appreciated. – David Balog in Burlington, WA.

Unfortunately, I’ve never completed an Auction draft. I’m trying to set one up, but my friends are tired of donating money to the “Papa Weimer Fantasy Guru” foundation. It sucks. I love that foundation. Anyway, I started an auction league last year and had Steven Jackson, Rudi Johnson, and Carson Palmer for 50$, so I guess I’d try to get the guys who go a little lower tier for under $20, that leaves you a little more money to get the lesser guys you really want. I think it was Steven $22, Rudi $20, and Carson $8 – but I’m not sure. Anyway, the draft fell through, so I wasn’t able to see how it panned out. I know those guys all did alright. I also know LT, Shaun, and LJ went for big bucks, around the $50 range, but I’ve heard of that working, too. 2 years ago, a guy emailed me telling me he won his league purchasing LT and Shaun (Alexander’s 28 TD year) for $88 (combined) and grabbed his next 12 roster spots for $1 a piece. He got some great guys for a buck (Ward, MJD, Coles), but I’m not so sure I’d ever put all my eggs in one basket. So, to tell you the truth, even though I have practically no auction experience, I would give up on the “elite” backs, and try to spend your money wisely on guys like Willie Parker, MJD, Brian Westbrook, Maroney, Thomas Jones (could be a huge steal), Cedric Benson, and maybe Brandon Jacobs and some fliers on Jerious Norwood, Brandon Jackson, or DeAngelo Williams, and spend some solid money on elite receivers. I think you could probably get a guy like Tom Brady for half the cost of Manning – I’d go that route. Sorry I can’t help more, as for once, my fantasy experience is limited… Weird feeling.

What do you think of MJD as a possible RB in the 3rd round if available? Also what do think about the availability of receivers if I go with 4 RBs and a QB in the first 5 rounds. My thought is if I get a decent RB back he could be used as bait for a better receiver. I have also toyed with the idea of going after 2 of the top 7 QBs. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. – DB from Pittsburgh.

I think it’d be amazing if MJD made it to the 3rd Round, and I’d definitely pick him over anybody left on the board… I think the 4 running backs thing is a decent option, but if you want one of the Top 10 receivers, just pick one instead of hoping one of your backs pans out and you can trade for one. I like 4 RBs in the first 6 picks though, and you might be able to get a guy like McNabb in the 5th, but maybe not, he’s moving up. In the 6th round, you could find receivers like Lee Evans (a guy I like to be a Top 5 receiver, Reggie Brown (should be great as Philly’s #1) and Plaxico Burress (if he stays healthy he’s a good touchdown guy with solid numbers every year). So, that 4 RB option might leave you with a couple great receivers anyway, and you won’t have to trade jack. I think going with 2 of the TOp 7 QBs will have you hurting pretty bad at another spot, RB and/or WR… But then again, some drafts allow you to do crazy stuff. I think I’d rather have a Top QB and then draft a safe vet like Jon Kitna in the 8th or 9th (crazy that he falls that far) or even Big Ben in the 9th or 10th (crazy that one bad year has him fall that far) because then you can have WRs and RBs in 8 of the first 9 rounds, and grab a solid backup signal caller. That’s what I got.

I already have Laurence Maroney and Adrian Peterson (Minn.). Would it be a dumb move to take Peyton Manning with the 3rd pick in the first round of our draft? Should I take a 3rd running back instead? Our league works this way. Our only keepers are rookies and we get them for 2 years. So all vets are available. Here is what our lineups look like; QB, RBs (1 or 2) WRs (3 or 4), TE, D, K. Currently I have Laurence Maroney (from last year), Adrian Peterson, Jerome Harrison (from last year) and Robert Meachem. Anyone who wasn’t a rookie last year or this year are available.- Greg Richard from Grand Rapids.

In that case, I still wouldn’t go for Peyton – I just don’t think he’s worth anything more than a 2nd round pick, and especially with his starting Tackle out for retirement purposes, which I think means the Colts will be running a lot more to protect Manning. See, rookie tackles (especially Ugoh) are usually better run-blockers than pass-protectors. I think Peyton’s numbers will be a little down, but then again, his defense is a little more questionable this year, so maybe he’ll need to score more points to win games – a tough conundrum, but I’d not draft Peyton, and if you really wanted an elite guy, I’d roll with Brady, Palmer, or Brees in Round 2 or 3, and grab your top running back in the 1st.. he’ll undoubtedly be a good one. It seems like you’ve given yourself a lot of options by picking nice rookies, but I wouldn’t steer clear from a top running back like Gore, Steven Jackson, or even LJ now that he’s back… Also, an elite WR in Round 2 and even 3 could be your best option, as the fact that you start at least 3 every week really ups the value for WRs. With Maroney, AP, and a guy like Gore – you pretty much have your running backs set, maybe a later guy like Ahman Green, Jamal Lewis, or DeAngelo Williams just to be safe, but in a 1-2 format at running back, 3 starters is a good option. From what I’ve seen from AP, he’ll be a starter sooner than later in Minnesota. Though I’m still worried about defenses ganging up on the run in ‘Sota, Tarvaris Jackson has shown he’s a little more polished than I thought. With 3 receivers, you could try to pull Chad Johnson, Reggie Wayne, Marvin, or Roy Williams (even TO if you want to go that route) as 2 great WR options – so every week you’d be starting 4 elite players at RB and WR… not a bad option. Some people like QBs better than WRs though, and if that’s you, go for the gusto and grab who you want. If you really want Peyton, you won’t be able to get him in the 2nd round, so make the plunge. However, I don’t think he’ll be the Top Fantasy QB next season, and even if he is, he won’t be 1 to 2 rounds better than Palmer, Brees, and Brady. Go Top 3 back, leave Manning for the next sucker.

I need to pick your brain for TEs. Since I won’t be looking at one until real late in the draft I need some that have good value and upside. I refuse to draft Gates or some of the others because I think I can get more value out of RBs and WRs. Also, hat do you think of Devin Hester as a possible receiver?- Chalky Thompson, from the BIG Island.

I think Hester is a good last pick or two with upside… He’ll have more upside than anyone in the draft at that point, but I’d rather have him as a WR4, 5, or 6 than my 3rd guy – because while his upside is booming, his consistency shouldn’t be all that good from the get go, he didn’t even really play receiver in college – he was such a tweener – but his gamebreaker go stick is legit. As far as TEs are concerned, I’m with you. You can still get Ben Watson late, he has lots of upside and while people are saying he’ll get less chances this year because of Moss, Stallworth, and company; I think he’ll have more catches because there will be very little focus on him, and he’s a beast (look back to film on him chasing Champ Bailey down – beast). But if he’s gone, some other guys that are almost always there that I like are Dallas Clark, Daniel Graham, Randy McMichael and even Marcus Pollard. I have Clark or Graham in almost all my leagues, and I always get them very late – but if they were every plucked up before I grabbed one, I’d easily go after Pollard to be a sure-handed touchdown threat in Seattle.

I really need your help. I am in a state of confusion. I know I will be choosing between Addai, Gore, Alexander. The choice might be made for me and then I don’t have to worry. If it isn’t I need to know which is my best to worst. I know Alex is old and his O line could be better, but he averages 18 TDs and 1600yds and there is talk to get him more into the passing game. You also know he is the man. Gore is injury prone and the offense is no sure thing. He could have a great season yardage wise and in the passing game if he stays healthy. Addai could have over 2000 total yards and 12-14 TDs, but he is in his first full season as the main man. He has good upside, but if the colts are behind a lot then Peyton will be airing it out. Also, can and should I consider Brian Westbrook and Willie Parker for this pick? I need somebody to look at this objectively and give me some advice.- D-Bone Crawford in Lexington.

Westbrook or Parker could have just as good a season as any of the three you mentioned.. I personally like Addai the best because he’s in a great system, and the Colts will run more this season with Tarik Glenn retiring – plus I think Addai gets all the carries, despite what the coaches are saying about RBBC hopes. Ugoh is a better run blocker than a pass protector. Plus, defense can’t gang up on Addai like they can Gore – so I move Addai over Gore. I think Gore’s upside puts him at #2. His offensive line is a good run-blocking unit, and the run defensive fronts in the NFC aren’t big bad mo-foes. Especially in the NFC West. Alexander has the same deal, and he has been great, but honestly, I just don’t like the way Shaun runs, always diving to the ground and running out of bounds – I call him Shaunna, and I’m from the North West, Seattle’s my team. At 30, I’m not sure he’ll ever go for 1600 and 18 again, but I could be wrong. I’d pick Parker or Westbrook over him. Between Willie and Brian, its tough, I take Willie, but only because Westy has always had a (questionable) by his name since he started getting #1 RB touches. He is one of the most talented players in the league, and you couldn’t go wrong there. Here’s the thing, you should take the guy you want, regardless of what ESPN or CBS or YAHOO has them rated at. If you think Parker is going to have a huge year in Pitt’s new offense, don’t feel bad about taking him in the Top 5. I’d go with Addai, but a case can be made for any of the 5. A guy I really like is Laurence Maroney. The kid can run. I think his shoulder issues are gone. If there’s a guy who’s dying to move up to the 3 spot, get something in return for his later pick… You could end up with Parker, Westy, or Maroney at 8-12, and get something else in trade (an extra 4th round pick) – Explore your options! Wheel and deal!

Last Weeks Questions

Papa Weimer – **52 y/o – two open Heart surgeries and a nasty attitude**

Fantasy Analysis – MVP's, Busts, and Sleepers

I will be running a team by team fantasy analysis, talking about 3 players (for the most part) for each team. I’ll start with the AFC.


Baltimore Ravens

Fantasy MVP: Willis McGahee – Just barely over Mark Clayton. I’m not so sure about Willis, but he’ll have all the reps to rack up the fantasy points.
Fantasy Bust: Steve McNair – Steve isn’t a Top 24 quarterback anymore. He might be good for some bye week action, but I have a feeling McNair will be on the waiver wire at seasons’ end.
Fantasy Sleeper: Demetrius Williams – williams could become the #2 wideout if Derrick Mason falters. He’s faster than Mason, and has more upside – he could impress as a #3.

Buffalo Bills

Fantasy MVP: Lee Evans – One of the best receivers in the game, and challenging Steve Smith for most explosive. With the defense losing a couple of their top guys, the Bills could be passing a lot. That’s good for Evans’ owners.
Fantasy Bust: Buffalo’s defense, and anyone not named Lynch, Losman, or Evans.
Fantasy Sleeper: Dwayne Wright – This rookie from Fresno State has an NFL running style with enough skills to get it done. Lynch and Thomas rest in front of him, but Wright’s impressive, and should get touches.

Cincinnati Bengals

Fantasy MVP: Carson Palmer – I’m willing to bet Carson Palmer has more fantasy points than any other quarterback, this season. He’s going to toss 30+ touchdowns.
Fantasy Bust: I have No Bust for the Bengals – even their defense should be improved this season. Sorry.
Fantasy Sleeper: Chris Henry – This idiot has put himself in an 8 game suspension, but maybe, just maybe, he pulls his head out sometime during those 8 games, because God knows he has the talent to be a major part of this offense.

Cleveland Browns

Fantasy MVP: Jamal Lewis – Call me crazy, but I like Lewis to have a big year in Baltimore. He has a filthy offensive line that attacks on the run – big numbers on a bad team for a running back? I know, that’s rare, but I think it happens.
Fantasy Bust: Brady Quinn – Brady won’t start this year, unless injuries kill the Browns. If he does start, he’ll have Alex Smith rookie season type numbers.
Fantasy Sleeper: Charlie Frye – If Frye gets the starting gig, I have a feeling he’ll impress a lot of people in Cleveland – if he doesn’t, that opportunity goes to Derek Anderson.

Denver Broncos

Fantasy MVP: Travis Henry – Those who draft Henry in the 2nd round will reap the benefits of the perfect back in the perfect system. I think Henry will have Clinton Portis numbers of a couple seasons ago.
Fantasy Bust: Mike Bell – The people who draft Bell hoping to get a possible bye week runner are going to be bummed out when Mike only gets 5 carries a week. Somehow, Mike went from Shanny’s favorite to his whipping boy… Who knows with Splinter?
Fantasy Sleeper: Daniel Graham – I think Graham is going to have a huge season. And I hope so, because I have him in more than a couple fantasy leagues.

Houston Texans

Fantasy MVP: Andre Johnson – With Ahman Green drawing attention on the ground, and an over the top passer throwing him balls, AJ looks to have his most productive fantasy season in his career.
Fantasy Bust: Ron Dayne – He may have looked good at times last season, but he’ll get close to no carries with Green in the fold. What may don’t know about Ahman is that he is a very successful short yardage runner.
Fantasy Sleeper: Owen Daniels – With Schaub coming over, Daniels looks to get more looks in his second season. Kubiak throws to the TE, and Matt has been practicing with Crumpler all these years, so a TE/QB comfort zone is already there.

Indianapolis Colts

Fantasy MVP: Peyton Manning – He won’t have his best season as a pro, but how can you put anyone else in this slot? The list is huge in Indy, though. Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison, and Joseph Addai could all go here.
Fantasy Bust: Indianapolis Colts Defense – If you are looking for the defense that tore up the playoffs, you are in for something else. These Colts lost both starting corners, and have a lot of building to do if they hope to repeat.
Fantasy Sleeper: Anthony Gonzalez & Dallas Clark – I couldn’t choose, and since its my article, I just picked two. Gonzo is one of the most polished receivers from the draft, and he will be counted on early. Clark was the leading receiver for the Colts in the playoffs, and he has the ability to be a Top 5 TE in this league.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Fantasy MVP: Maurice Jones Drew – Drew is a Fred Taylor injury away from being a lock for the Top 5 running backs in the league. Taylor has been healthy lately, so there’s a chance. Drew is explosive, tough, and good at everything.
Fantasy Bust: Fred Taylor – Injuries are a huge concern for Fred, he has been relatively injury free for two seasons, and while normally that is a good thing, with Fred it just means he’s due. He’s cheap right now, but I wouldn’t rely on him for much more than a 4th running back option.
Fantasy Sleeper: Byron Leftwich – Before Lefty went down with injury in 2006, he was on pace for his best season as a pro. With a new offense that seemingly follows his strengths, I expect a very nice season from Byron.

Kansas City Chiefs

Fantasy MVP: Larry Johnson – Larry Johnson is a filthy running back known for producing loads of touchdowns and yards both rushing and receiving. His line is falling apart, but if he plays, he’ll still boast hug numbers.
Fantasy Bust: Larry Johnson – The whole “If he plays” adage makes him a possible bust. The Chiefs don’t want to pay him what he’s worth, and they don’t want to trade him. LJ won’t play for the low wage he’s earning. Put 2 and 2 together and you have a possible holdout on your hands.
Fantasy Sleeper: Dwayne Bowe – Bowe could come out of camp the #1 receiver. Even if Johnson does play, I’m not so sure the Chiefs will be a legit contender this season anyway. That means their will be plenty balls for Bowe to rack up numbers. Both Croyle and Huard throw harder and deeper than Trent Green, which should mean better numbers for Bowe and Tony Gonzalez.

Miami Dolphins

Fantasy MVP: Ronnie Brown – A poor man’s LT, Ronnie will flourish in Cam Cameron’s offense. You know the Dolphins will rely on Ronnie heavily, he has the body, speed, and all around talent to do everything for the Dolphins.
Fantasy Bust: Trent Green – I don’t believe for a minute that Trent Green is going to be worth owning on fantasy rosters. Green doesn’t throw as well as he used to, and can’t make deep passes at all. I honestly think I can throw farther than Green. (I have 55 yards easy, with a good ball 60) The Dolphins will regret trading for Trent.
Fantasy Sleeper: Derek Hagan – Although Cam went with Ted Ginn Jr. with his first every 1st round pick, he has to love what he sees in Hagan. The kid is a highlight catch waiting to happen, he’s big, and he gets good position on defenders. He could start as early as Game 1.

New England Patriots

Fantasy MVP: Tom Brady – With all those weapons, how can he not tear up the league? Brady is accurate, throws very hard, and manages a game well. He’s never had weapons like he has now. I can’t wait to see his end-season numbers.
Fantasy Bust: Ben Watson – There are too many options in New England for Watson to have a huge year. He’s got all the talent in the world, but I have a feeling his numbers will take a turn for the worse in 2007.
Fantasy Sleeper: Wes Welker – Its hard to draft 3rd receivers, but in this offense, and with how much the Pats invested in Welker, I think he could conjure up 1,000 yards and 6-8 scores. Those aren’t bad numbers, and you can take a chance on this guy late.

New York Jets

Fantasy MVP: Thomas Jones – Top 10 back in 2007 – that’s my bet. Thomas Jones has just flat got it done the last 3 years. He remained the starter even when the Bears drafted Cedric Benson in the Top 5. Jones will take advantage of an offensive line that will soon be seen as the best in the league.
Fantasy Bust: Chad Pennington – Chad had decent numbers in 2006, but now he has a true #1 back. He won’t be passing as much, and thus his overall fantasy numbers will be down. He might end with a better QB rating, though. Like his years with Martin at RB.
Fantasy Sleeper: Brad Smith – Smith has loads of athletic ability, and the coaches in New York love him. He’s never drafted, but an injury, or a few good games will have him getting his number called in Jet-land.

Oakland Raiders

Fantasy MVP: Ronald Curry – I think Ronald is set to become the fantasy stud for the Raiders. Honestly, besides a defense that will spend too much time on the field, there really isn’t another option. Curry could be a stud or a sleeper, showing how crazy the Oakland fantasy picture really is.
Fantasy Bust: LaMont Jordan – He got a blessing when Dominic Rhodes went down with the Stupidity-Virus, but I wonder how long that will last. Even Justin Fargas looked better than Jordan last season. If Mike Bush can get healthy, I think he steals a lot of Jordan’s touches.
Fantasy Sleeper: Michael Bush – For the same reason LaMont is set to be a bust, this young rusher is ready to be a sleeper. He may be only a rookie, and he is coming off of a major injury that had him out for most of his JR season at Louisville, but he’s got the skills to start in the NFL. For a bad team, this rookie might end up getting the reps to become fantasy worthy.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Fantasy MVP: Willie Parker – Even in a new offense with more passing, Parker will still get his numbers. In fact, I just think Willie will catch more balls this season, he’ll get his numbers that way. With his speed and explosive cuts, he’ll be more of a long touchdown threat this year in a more wide open offense.
Fantasy Bust: I’ve got nothing… Once again, no one here is rated high enough or will play poor enough to be called a bust.
Fantasy Sleeper: Nate Washington – If Hines Ward or Santonio Holmes get hurt, surely Nate will step up and do big things. But even with those two guys starting most games this season, I think Big Nate can catch a handful of touchdowns from the

San Diego Chargers

Fantasy MVP: LaDainian Tomlinson – Best player available. ‘Nough said.
Fantasy Bust: San Diego Defense – Wade Phillips said it himself, he’s a great defensive coordinator. I don’t know if the next guy in line can do things as good as Wade, and the Chargers are getting drafted in the Top 3 defenses – I think they’ll struggle a little more in 2007.
Fantasy Sleeper: Vincent Jackson – The first thing I did in my dynasty league at season’s end in 2006 – go drop an old guy and pick up VJ. Jackson has the size and speed to be an elite player in this league. He showed he can put up numbers the last few weeks of the season, and comes in as Phillip’s #1 guy. Norv Turner promises to pass more, Vincent gets that love.

Tennessee Titans

Fantasy MVP: LenDale White – Everyone on this team could be a bust, and LenDale probably leads that list, but I also think he could be a beast. If he plays with starter carries, he’ll score double digit touchdowns this year. Now if he could just diet.
Fantasy Bust: Vince Young – I’m not as high on Vince as a fantasy force as the rest of drafters seem to be. He’ll be starter worthy, but he’s not a Top 6 guy, so I think he’s going to be a bust. Without Travis Henry, defenses will load up even more on Vince. This could be a sophomore slump for VY.
Fantasy Sleeper: Chris Brown – If Chris can stay healthy… Yeah, yeah, I know, he’s always hurt. He really has lots of talent and has shown that over the years when he gets the carries. If LenDale goes Pillsbury dough boy, and Chris Henry continues to have poor instincts, Brown will get the bulk of Titan carries. If he does, he’s a steal in the last 2 or 3 rounds of drafts everywhere.

2007 Fantasy Football Sleepers

Sleeper: Contrary to popular published articles on sleepers, a sleeper is a player picked much lower than his estimated value, often falling through the cracks into the latter half of drafts everywhere. This is not to be confused with confident sports writers attempts to sound good by putting players that are expected to be good in their very own sleeper category. They are called sleepers for a reason. Expectations are low, ages are young, or their best years are supposedly either ahead of, or behind them. These are sleepers who could do some dirty damage on Fantasy rosters everywhere.

Dwayne Bowe: I think Bowe has Anquan Boldin type potential. He’s big and strong, so it’ll be easier for him to become a force in the NFL. His teams potential to suck is getting higher and higher the longer Larry Johnson’s contract situation stays a situation. If the Chiefs don’t have LJ to rely on, expect Huard and or Croyle to throw the ball a lot more, and Bowe will be the #1 option the more the Chiefs lose. I think he has #1 receiver potential in the next few years, and could be a nice spot starter. That being said, he’s on the waiver wire in a lot of leagues right now, and won’t get drafted in a lot of formats. Late in the season will be his time. Projections: 60 receptions, 800yards, 6TDs.

Jamal Lewis: While Lewis has never been a touchdown scorer (only season in double digits was his 2,066 yard 2003 performance that netted him 14 scores) and not much of a pass catcher (more than 32 catches only once) I still think Lewis will be a force this year. People are already writing off Lewis as if he’s a 30 something back with nothing left. Well, Lewis (only 27) had bone spurs in his ankle removed this off season, and Cleveland’s offensive line is actually much improved with Eric Steinbach and Joe Thomas added and LeCharles Bentley set to return. Lewis is being picked in the low end #3 RB position, but he’ll be a top 20 guy at season’s end. Projections: 1,280 yards, 9TDs.

Brandon Jackson: I actually like Vernand Morency, but I have a feeling Brandon Jackson’s speed and cutting ability is too perfect for Green Bay’s offense not to become the #1 guy in the first couple weeks. Jackson’s speed and shiftiness will give him plenty of touches. You can still get him late in drafts, so take a chance on a guy who could get starter numbers and minutes. That’s a rarity late in drafts. Projections: 1,080 yards, 7 TDs, 250 receiving yards.

Jason Campbell: People say Jason Campbell just doesn’t have the weapons to be a quality fantasy quarterback, but I just don’t belive that at all. Santana Moss is a quarterback’s best friend, a guy who turns 5 yard stops into 45 yard touchdowns, and has been known to take over games from time to time. Ladel Betts and Clinton Portis are both extremely talented running backs who will demand defenses’ attention all season long. Brandon Lloyd and Antwaan Randle El both have the quickness to produce at #2 and 3, but I’m not really excited about them. Chris Cooley is a playmaker at TE, expect him to be good. Besically, Campbell showed last year that he is an accurate passer with leadership skills. He’s a solid #2 and could slip into the Top 12 quarterback list. His upside is good. Projections: 3,200 yards, 20 TDs, 10 interceptions, 200 rushing yards.

Brandon Marshall: Marshall had all but 3 of his 20 receptions in the last 6 games of 2007. Most of his touches came after Jay Cutler entered the starting spot. Marshall has all the physical tools to become a great option next to Javon Walker in a Broncos offense that looks to be much improved this season. Rod Smith is still lingering, but injury problems will almost surely give Marshall the spot. Marshall often gets undrafted, and rarely goes before the 14th round. Take a chance on him, then, you won’t find a guy with a bigger upside that late on draft day. Projections: 68 receptions, 940 yards, 4TDs.

D.J. Hackett: Many people out there are expecting D.J. to be the #2 receiver, taking Deion Branch’s job, as Branch takes the #1 spot left by Darrell Jackson’s trade to San Francisco. I think D-Hack becomes the #1. The Hawks brass has to have realized by now that Hackett has all the tools to become the #1 guy. His route running is improved and his hands are flawless. This guy will be good. He’s on a lot of sleeper lists, but I didn’t want to miss out on his skills. I think he’s going to be even better than many are projecting. Projections: 75 receptions, 1,050 yards, 7 TDs.

Jeff Garcia: Ugly Jeffy’s days of Fantasy dominance (2000 and 20001 numbers are ridiculous) are over, but I still think he becomes a solid #2 option in Tampa Bay. Realize that Jeff has never thrown less than a 60% completion rate in the West Coast Offense, and tossed atleast 18 touchdowns 4 times in his career. Tampa Bay’s offense gets no love, but Joey Galloway is still very good, Cadillac Williams is a top level talent, and their offensive line is improved this season. Garcia will find 20 touchdowns again, as Jon Gruden has his faith in the former 49er signal caller. Projections: 3,100 yards, 21 TDs, 8 interceptions, 180 rushing yards.

Marcus Pollard: Pollard doesn’t get drafted in any fantasy league outside of Seattle, and that’s because he’s damn near grandpa status. Well, he plays in a Seattle offense that made Itula Mili and offensive threat, and I imagine this sure-handed TE will get the lions share of passes. Jeremy Stevens dropped at least a pass or two per game, and I don’t expect Pollard to drop a pass. Pollard may not have the skills that Stevens had, but his sure hands will be a blessing for Matt Hasselbeck. Projections: 50 receptions, 555 yards, 5 TDs.

Daniel Graham: I don’t have many stats to back this selection up, except I’m often the last guy to pick a tight end in every draft that I participate in, and I often get Graham. He’s very talented, a great blocker to boot, which means defenses can’t load up on the pass when he’s in the game. Predictions: 63 receptions, 640 yards, 5TDs.

J.P. Losman: Losman is a borderline sleeper, and I’m only throwing him in here because he’s getting drafted behind 5 or 6 guys he’ll outscore in 2007. First of all, the Bills will need to score more points to be in games in ’07 because their defense is that much worse this year. With Lynch being a much better receiving threat that Willis McGahee, and Lee Evans being one year better, Losman, in my opinion, is a starter in fantasy football 12 team leagues. He’ll outscore Brett Favre, Matt Leinart, Eli Manning, Alex Smith, and Chad Pennington – all guys who get drafted ahead of him. Does that make him a sleeper? I guess so, but only because people are waiting until late to take him. Projections: 3,350 yards, 22 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 150 rushing yards.

Ronald Curry: Curry has battled knee injuries since he became an NFL player. But when he has played, he’s been a point scorer in fantasy football. Last season, Curry’s first full season since his rookie year, he caught 62 balls for 727 yards, and played well enough for the Raiders to waive goodbye to Randy Moss. Curry wasn’t a scorer last season, but who on the Raiders was? In Lane Kiffin’s new offense, I expect Curry to greatly out-produce his numbers last year, as well as the rest of the receivers chosen (around Round 13) where Curry is being selected. Projections: 75 receptions, 980 yards, 5 TDs.

Olindo Mare: Olindo has always been a good kicker, even in the confines of windy Dolphins Stadium. This year, in the Saints prolific offense, Mare will easily become a Top 5 kicker. Already this season, I have selected Mare in the last round of two drafts. He’s not highly rated, but expect big things from him in New Orleans. Projections: 24/27 FGs, 50 XPs, 123 total points.

Carolina Panthers Defense: With two very good defensive ends in Mike Rucker and Julius Peppers, plus a rookie pass rusher in Charles Johnson and a solid group of tackles to boot (especially if Kris Jenkins stays a Panther), this Panther front could be awesome. Jon Beason comes in to make the linebackers a tougher and deeper unit, and Dan Morgan should be back to give Carolina more pop. Chris Gamble, Richard Marshall, and a healthy Ken Lucas will form one of the best cornerback trios in the league. I think Carolina, who is rarely being picked in the Top 10, will be a Top 5 defense in 2007.

Below is a list of players who are on many Sleeper lists who aren’t sleepers at all, because they’re getting drafted high enough to be just regular good players.

Santonio Holmes: Still getting picked too low, Holmes doesn’t belong on the sleeper list because he’s not a sleeper. He’s on everyone’s radar, as any 2nd year receiver who eclipsed 800 yards in his rookie season should be. Holmes is more of a sure thing than a sleeper.

Mark Clayton: MC is coming into his 3rd season, and he played like a stud in his sophomore campaign (67rec, 939yds, 5TDs), so his status as a sleeper is over. He’ll be really good this year, and is getting selected in Round 7 on average. He’s the #1 target in an offense with a very good running game. Defenses will go 1 on 1 with Clayton, who is too fast and runs perfect routes. Wide open spaces. Not a sleeper.

Braylon Edwards: Just like Mark, Edwards is coming into his 3rd season and was a borderline #2 receiver much of last season, finishing with 61 grabs, 884 yards, and 6TDs. Those aren’t bad numbers for a soph. He’ll be good, even in a bad aerial attack in Cleveland. Status: Way past sleeper.

Jerious Norwood: Norwood averaged just under 6.5 yards per carry last season, finishing with 633 yards on just 99 carries. He only scored twice, but is in line to get almost twice the touches in 2007. Those kind of numbers, and a possible starting spot with Warrick Dunn’s age becoming a question, and Norwood has eleveated himself past sleeper status. He’s still a chance to take on draft day, as is every Falcon, but I’d rather have him than any other player in the ATL.

DeAngelo Williams: This young rusher gets chosen somewhere in the first 5 rounds of most drafts. What does that mean? He’s not a sleeper. He could become a starter in fantasy leagues everywhere, which means those taking him late are ready to reap the benefits, but to say this 1st round pick of 2006 is a sleeper is like saying that Frank Gore walking into a starting spot in SF was a sleeper last year. Guys like this are everyone’s sleeper. That means he’s not a sleeper.

Jon Kitna: I’ve seen this guy get selected in the Top 6. Last year he was the 7th rated quarterback at season’s end. What do those two things equal out to be? Not a sleeper, that’s for sure. Kitna will have a nice season, but don’t believe fantasy writers who claim Kitna’s a sleeper – the next thing you know Manning will be on their sleeper list.

Jay Cutler: This guy did great in his 5 starts, throwing for 9 scores and only 5 interceptions while compiling 1001 yards. When you add the fact that the Broncos picked up a #1 running back, instead of their platoon, you can bet Cutler will fire up the fantasy engine. This is his 2nd season, but don’t believe the guys who say he’ll greatly increase his 2006 stats. No shit. He only played 5 games. Don’t believe the hype, he’s no sleeper.

Ask Papa Weimer Fantasy Football Know-It-All Aug 18

You got questions? I still got answers. The season is a mere 30 days away, and my excitement is on the verge to causing me another trip to the heart doctor. Fe-Fi-Foe-Fum, I smell the questions of an American… Or 6… – Papa Weimer

Drop me your Fantasy Questions @

You mentioned that defenses will not win you in fantasy, but in my league (16-team league), the defense does score points based on # of points they hold the opposing team to. A shutout can get you an additional 15pts, which can make a difference. We receive “x” points based on a sliding scale for a defense that holds another team to 17pts or less. Less points obviously for holding them to 17 vs the shutout. So, based on this, which 5 Defenses do you recommend?- Shane in New York.

Shane, you’re right, and I’m still right. I wasn’t saying that defenses don’t score points. In fact, some leagues, like yours for example, make it so solid defenses score right up there with the Top 10 running backs – but that doesn’t mean you should pick one early. When I said defenses don’t win championships in fantasy football, I meant they don’t “stop” anyone on your opponents fantasy teams. Unlike the NFL, where defenses do win championships, if your defense has a great day, that doesn’t mean that your opponent won’t out score you. See, in fantasy, I could have the Ravens score 30 fantasy points for my squad, and that doesn’t mean that the opponent will be shut down. Defenses score points just like every other position, they don’t “stop” anyone. Does that make sense? As for my top rated defenses – I’m guessing Chicago slips out of the Top 3 this season, but they might still make it in the Top 5, if only because they play in the NFC North. I like Baltimore, Carolina, Dallas, San Diego, and Chicago – and a big sleeper to replace Chicago would be Jacksonville. However, I wouldn’t pick the Ravens, and definitely not the Bears, unless they slipped way past their average draft spot. The Bears get plucked in Round 5 and Ravens in round 6 – don’t take a D before Round 10 – please. Dallas and Carolina both have loads of talent, and both could be huge this season. Dallas has playmakers everywhere and a brilliant defensive mind switching things up, Wade Phillips. Carolina plays in a slow conference (Atlanta and Tampa aren’t offensive juggernauts) and they are also loaded. Skip the “Big Timers” and go with the middle of the road and you’ll be fine. A big sleeper I’d take a chance on in the last round is Green Bay – they are loaded with young talented guys.

I put together a 14-team Yahoo League with the following setup: Roster Positions: QB, QB, WR, WR, WR, RB, RB, TE, W/T, K, D, D, D, DB, DB, DB, DL, DL, DL, BN, BN, BN —
Stat Categories: Passing Yards (15 yards per point; 50 points at 300 yards; 150 points at 400 yards)Passing TDs (10) Interceptions (-2) Rushing Yards (10 yards per point; 25 points at 100 yards; 50 points at 150 yards; 150 points at 200 yards)Rushing TDs (10) Receptions (2) Reception Yards (10 yards per point; 25 points at 100 yards; 50 points at 150 yards; 150 points at 200 yards) Reception TDs (15) Return Yards (10 yards per point; 50 points at 200 yards)Return Touchdowns (50) 2-Point Conversions (5). Do you have any draft strategies for this format? – Famous Jones from Brooklyn, NY.

Its tough to do an article on two quarterback leagues, because it all greatly depends on how the draft is going. Also, with bonus points, every league is different. This league obviously panders to quarterback play, I’d probably grab two QBs to start off the draft, Palmer and Brady, or Manning and McNabb – something like that, then end up with 2 RBs in the next 3 rounds – maybe Brandon Jacobs and Thomas Jones, or DeAngelo Williams, Marshawn Lynch, Caddy, Norwood, even Edge goes late sometimes – I’d look at it like that. It’s entirely possible to go for 300 yards, a guy like Brees did it plenty last year, as did McNabb before he got hurt.. that 100 point bonus is big, and 300 is more easily reachable than 150 is for running backs. If I had a Top 2 pick, I’d go LT or Steven Jackson, maybe even LJ – then I’d roll 2 QBs, then I’d grab another RB, and receivers – guys like Plax, Lee Evans sometimes, Calvin Johnson, Reggie Brown, Mark Clayton, Deion Branch, DJ Hackett, loads of good young receivers – can all be had after round 4 – so you’d have a good team that’s set at QB which is the most important thing for this league. But I hate 2 starting QB leagues, because bye weeks become screwy, (not enough QBs to go around, and guys like Charlie Frye start getting drafted – which is ridiculous) but it’s also a nice to make people think outside the box. Anyway, the reason people don’t write articles on this is because its so obscure – also, in IDP, I’d just take defensive guys after you have your offensive guys pretty set, because it’s a crap shoot, and if you do your research, you can easily grab top guys – look for changing defenses that highlight different positions, SS, FS, OLB or ILB… All defenses have “tacklers” at different positions, same with sack guys – anyway, I hope this helps a little. Also, just because a team has a good defense doesn’t mean they are the best option in an IDP. Young guys that run and tackle on bad defenses make for great value later.

I’m in a dynasty league and have to choose between Maurice Jones Drew and Drew Brees. I get 6 points for passing and rushing touchdowns. A 5 point bonus at 300yds passing and 100yds rushing. You get 1 point for every 35 passing yards and 1 point for every 10 rushing yards. Who would you keep? -Dan, from the Mistake on the Lake and 2007 Super Bowl Champion Cleveland Browns; (Yea right!) maybe 2017.


First of all, I always have a little soft spot in my old heart for Brown fans. 2nd of all, Good question… But if you start only 1 quarterback, I’d definitely go with Jones Drew. However, I really love the kid’s ability. I think he has Barry Sanders upside. This year, Brees may be the better option, but as a keeper, I always think running backs are more valuable than quarterbacks, especially guys like Drew who could be great. The only think making me think about this is the 6 points for TDs, and the +5 for 300 yards passing. The Saints’ offense is passer friendly, and 300 yards isn’t crazy – however, I think Bush will get more carries this year, and Deuce will also get his – Brees passing numbers, in my opinion, will be down in 2007. The fact that QBs only get 1 point for every 35 yards, instead of 25 (normal) means they lose 1 point every 100 yards – so, while Brees’ bonus will be reached more than Drew will reach his bonus (because of Fred Taylor’s carry numbers) it’s really only worth 2 points – because the yardage numbers are -3 different than a normal league. Overall, this is a tough dilemma, because Drew is young and will be a Top 5 quarterback for at least 5 years – but I think Drew is going to be special, and good running backs are more valuable than good quarterbacks. I’d go for Drew for sure. Like we say in this family, MJD is a Fred Taylor injury away from being a Top 5 Back.

I know you’re high on Santonio Holmes, but in some leagues I see Holmes going ahead of Ward – and those are seasonal leagues. So who should I take, Papa, Hines or Holmes? – Chalky Thompson, from the BIG Island.

What a great name – surfers are all about great names, you must be one of those. You’re right, Chalky, I am pretty high on Holmes, but if you have the chance to grab either Ward or Holmes late in the draft, I’d take Hines every time. Holmes might be the answer in a dynasty keeper league… Might. I’d still have to think about it, as I imagine Ward has 3 very good years left in him. People seem to forget, that even when Big Ben was brutal last year, and the Steelers blew chunks for the better half of the year, Ward still managed 74 receptions, 975 yards, and 6 touchdowns. That stat-line still ranked him 22nd in Fantasy Football amongst wide receivers. He’s not an injury concern, and barring an unlucky break for the talented wideout, I expect at least 85 catches, 1,000 yards, and 8 scores. That would put him in the Top 15. I don’t think Holmes will quite break that this season. Both are a good option, but I’d take Ward over Holmes in a second.

Edgerrin James seems to be slipping into the 3rd round of a lot of drafts. If he falls to me that late, is there any reason to pass him by? I know he had a down year, but why do you think he’s slipping so far? – Popsicle Gould, from Southern, CA.

People like to forget about a player’s past seasons after one down year. But what can you expect of Edge. He’s a patient runner – and last year’s offensive line didn’t give him time to pick a hole, hell, I don’t even know if there were any holes. I think he’ll be much better this year, and I say if you can get him in Round 3, you make that plunge, he’s well worth the risk. I think he’ll catch more passes this year, and Whisenhunt will give him plenty of opportunity to pound inside the tackles. If Edge has a good year, Arizona might finally be able to turn the corner, and get to the .500 win plateau. The only reason I could foresee passing him by in Round 3 is if another guy like Thomas Jones, Maurice Jones Drew, or Travis Henry falls that far. All three, in my opinion, have more upside than Edge.

I’m in a 16 team keeper league (which is a crazy number of guys) and I have a foursome of Ronnie Brown, Edgerrin James, Jerious Norwood, and Brandon Jackson at running back… Do you think that’s good, and how does it compare to the other top 4-somes in my league of Joseph Addai, Cadillac Williams, Julius Jones, and Chris Henry or Willis McGahee, DeAngelo Williams, Adrian Peterson, and Brandon Jacobs? – Bryan, from the Northwest.

Wow, this is a tough one, Bryan. I’d have to say your foursome is second to the last one you listed, starring McGahee, Williams, Peterson, and Jacobs; but only if the right things happen. Surely, McGahee could struggle like he did in Buffalo, D-Lo could remain the second string guy, Peterson could continue to be an injury risk, and Jacobs might never be the starting guy New York hopes he’ll become – where you have two surefire starting guys in Edge and Brown, plus two solid young “starters” (as of now) in Norwood and Jackson. The middle foursome could have the best threesome in Addai (who I rank just ahead of Ronnie Brown as the best keeper back of the 12 you listed) Caddy (who I think will play more like he did as a rookie) and Julius Jones (who could get 20 carries a game under Wade Phillips). But with Caddy’s questionable sophomore year, and Barber lurking in Dallas – that threesome has questions. For a 16 team keeper league, you all have loaded foursomes. I like yours this year, especially with Jackson getting the early starter nod, and Norwood set to carry the load in Atlanta. When my nephew made his rankings, it was prior to Dunn going down and Morency out with a knee injury – but who cares, I like when he’s wrong anyway. I think he lists Ronnie Brown too low for his seasonal rankings, anyway.

Last Weeks Questions

Papa Weimer – **52 y/o – two open Heart surgeries and a nasty attitude**

LJ and LT – Comparing Greatness

LJ and LT – Comparing Greatness

Pick of the Day – Devil Rays @ Red Sox

Tampa Bay Devil Rays @ Boston Red Sox

Devil rays (+131)

Tuesday, August 14th – 7:05 PM ET

The Red Sox host the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, hoping to keep their lead over the Yankees in the American League East. Tampa Bay looks to take a team full of young talent and show the Red Sox that the curse is back.

Bottom Line: The Rays are going to pull this off for a couple reasons; 1. Scott Kazmir is a fireballer who will make the most of his chance to pitch against the league’s best, and 2. Boston just loves to lose their lead over the last month or two of the season. The Yankees are looking for their chance to shine, and Boston is only offering sunscreen. They get a tough match-up today, as Jon Lester (who came out hot in his first start back from fighting cancer) starts for the 3rd time this season. In his 2nd game, Lester came back down, allowing a load of runs, as the Red Sox lost. He didn’t tear it up in the Minors, where a few of the Rays have played earlier this year, so they should be ready for his stuff. Take the underdog here, and the +131 payout.

LJ and LT – Comparing Greatness: I’m taking a look at the guy who had the greatest season ever LaDainian Tomlinson and the guy who doesn’t get enough credit for the work he does, Larry Johnson. Both are AMAZING runners, and could eventually go down as Top 10 running backs of all time, but LJ needs more love. These guys go 1-2 in my Fantasy Rankings because they have more talent than any two offensive players in the league. And while LJ has to deal with a poor offensive line, signing a new contract, a 1st year starter at QB, and a GM who wants nothing more than to underpay his star back – he’s still a fantasy hero. To better show the similarities between these two backs, I’m going to compare the 2nd half of LT’s record breaking, best fantasy football season ever – and LJ’s performance when he won the starting job after Priest Holmes’ injury in 2005. I figure its the best comparison, because LJ’s line was good and healthy, just like LT’s last season. The numbers may surprise you, LJ gets very close to LTs record output. The last 9 games of the 2005 season, where LJ started for the first time in his career, he posted; 1,352 rushing yards, 276 receiving yards, and 17 TDs. During LT’s last 9 games (not counting the last game where he barely played) he posted; 1,276 rushing yards, 248 receiving yards, and 23 TDs. If you break that down into fantasy points, LJ finishes with 25 less fantasy points than LT – the guy who had the best fantasy season ever. It’s close. LJ is one hell of a player, in my opinion, as good as anyone, but LT gets fantasy god status here. I have to give him his credit – busting out 23 TDs over 8 games is insane. Thank you for pushing me into the playoffs in 2006!

Ask Papa Weimer Fantasy Football Know-It-All Aug 09

You got questions? I still got answers. These are a couple of the questions my over-confident nephew answered in his email section. Well listen up fellas, because these are the real answers. I’m the king of Q&A, just like Salma Hayek is the queen of T&A. I’m old and Dirty, so what?
Papa Weimer

Drop me your Fantasy Questions @

There’s this thing I keep hearing about called the sophomore jinx. I understand that Cadillac Williams had a tough year in his 2nd season, but is that really something that I should worry about with guys like Joseph Addai, Laurence Maroney, Reggie Bush, Maurice Jones Drew, Marques Colston, and the quarterback triplets? (Leinart, Young, and Cutler) – Willard LeValley in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Don’t believe in jinxes and shit like that, unless a dude is on the cover of Madden (cough, cough – even old people like me believe in that damned curse – watch out Vince Young fans) jinxes are for those wanting to make a reason for a player struggling. Caddy struggled because his offensive line rarely was healthy, he didn’t have a quarterback to keep defenses honest, and the QB they had out there for most of the games was Bruce Gradkowski. Michael Clayton had a sophomore slump… that he never awoke from. It wasn’t as much of a bad sophomore year as it was a very lucky first season. Larry Fitz had a good 2nd year, as did Roy Williams, as did Mark Clayton, and so on and so on. Some guys struggle, and some do well, but it has nothing to do with their years in the league, unless we’re talking about 30 year old running backs. I expect a couple of the kids you listed to struggle in 2007, because that’s what happens, out of nowhere, or because of reasons like I listed with Caddy, kids struggle. However, I’d love to have a team full of the roster you listed, as most of those guys will have very good seasons in their 2nd year.

My league has been converted into a keeper league in which you can keep 3 players that you drafted last season after Round 3. But, you lose 2 spots ahead of where you selected that player last season. For example, I picked Matt Leinart in the 13th Round last season, if I choose to keep him, I give up an 11th pick this season. Is keeping Leinart for an 11th round pick a good idea? I know value can be had in waiting until later to select a quarterback, but I feel I could get my starter out of the way by keeping Matt, and focus on RBs with my later pick. Thoughts?- Brian in Houston, Texas.

First and foremost, I think that is a great idea for a keeper league. That allows for the big name guys to remain in the draft year in and year out, while you get rewarded most for making brilliant future picks later in the draft. The best of both worlds. You young whipper-snappers – so much creativity these days. As for Matt, yes, I think Matt is at least great value in Round 11. I’m not a huge quarterback fan, but of all 3 of the triplets, I think he has the highest floor. Lucky Lester says Cutler, but I like Matt in Arizona. I don’t know if I’d keep him as your main #1 starter. If you can get a high 2nd tier guy, like Phillip Rivers, Big Ben, or Matt Hasselbeck a little later on draft day – go ahead and pick one up, that way you’ll have two solid options to choose from at QB. However, I’m with you Brian, go with RBs and WRs early, and you’ll have a pretty stacked team, especially without the urge to select a QB high, knowing you have a solid rookie already signed on. As for the rest of your draft, try to draft guys like DeAngelo Williams and Michael Turner later on draft day, because both could be great keeper options next year, and you could set yourself up for years of dominance if you steal a couple of them.

I’m in a Dynasty league where I’m trying to get better at receiver without giving up my young core of RBs, Steven Jackson, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Michael Turner… I have Ahman Green, and I’m trying to move him. Do you think I could get a guy like Roy Williams, Marques Colston, TJ Houshmanzadeh, or Javon Walker for Green? What say you about a trade like that? My weak receiving corps begins and ends with Plaxico Burress, as Drew Bennett and Mushin Muhammad aren’t the best starting options. – Mikey Virts in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

If you can, try to get to your free agent board and pick up Devin Hester – he has a small chance to score enough fantasy points to warrant a start here and there, and maybe someone else will get excited about the game breaker, and you’ll be able to package him with someone else to get a better receiver. There’s a very small chance that he could end being a starting option. Everyone knows he has the talent. Now, he’ll just have to catch the ball. If he’s not available, and the pickings are slim on the wire, you’ll have to trade – because you’re right, that Top 3 is more of a Top 1 and two bench players. I know you keep your entire roster in Dynasty leagues, so Ahman Green’s age won’t excite many. But if the league is big, running backs are probably tough to come by, so I’d say you have a solid possibility of picking up a receiver in trade for the new Texan. I think any of the guys you listed would be an upgrade for you, and in a Dynasty, I’d rank them like this – Roy Williams, Marques Colston, TJ Houshmanzadeh, and Javon Walker. Go for the gusto, kid, trade Green to improve your receiving unit, but don’t be surprised if Ahman runs like a stud in Houston. That rushing attack is better than most people admit.

Is there a receiver that you think could come out of nowhere and finish as the best pass catcher in fantasy football? I’m looking for a top level guy that might sneak up on the Fantasy world. – Sue Mifflin in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

“Well my daddy left home when I was three, And he didn’t leave much to Maw and me, Just this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze, Now I don’t blame him cause he run and hid, But the meanest thing that he ever did, Was before he left, he went and named me Sue.” (Johnny Cash, great song) Well Sue, if you are a woman, I apologize greatly for stereotyping you into a man, but we don’t get many lady emails around these parts. As for you question, I have just the man you’re looking for. Lee Evans gets taken right around the 40th pick in your average draft, and about 14th among wide receivers. So, obviously, no one is expecting him to finish with the top point total in the league. However, JP Losman has improved every year – and many have said he looks even more confident this time around. Add Marshawn Lynch as a receiving threat, and less attention will be paid to Lee. But even with Lee gathering attention, he has a similar skill-set to Steve Smith. The Bills will have to score points to win football games, so giving their best scoring threat numerous chances to change games seems like a good idea. He could finish with 100+ catches, 14-16 TDs, and 1,500+ yards. He has that kind of stuff. He’s no guarantee, but unlike a lot of guys, he has the talent to finish atop the WR group.

I know busts are tough to pick because to be a bust, you should at least be a Top 30 player. But if you had to take a bust out of the Top 30 drafted players, who would he be? – Bass Collins in Mobile, Alabama.

Yeah, taking busts is definitely a make or break system. The thing is, you pick busts based on the hurdles they’ll have to jump through all year long to finish with a good season. Rather that be a poor offensive line, quarterback problems, or a lame duck coach, anything can influence decisions to beware of the bust factor. This season, there seem to be so many good players out there for the taking, that obviously a couple are going to bust like Caddy did last year. If I had to take one guy, I’d say be careful of selecting Rudi Johnson. Its not that Rudi is bad, hell, he’s probably one of the most consistent backs in fantasy football. But he has lots of mileage on those legs, and rarely does an NFL running back post four “1,300+ yard, 12 touchdown seasons in a row. In fact, I think only LT has done that. I love Rudi, but his yards per carry average slipped to 3.8 last season, which isn’t classy. Also, the Bengal workhorse lost Eric Steinbach in free agency. Ask Shaun Alexander – that makes life that much tougher. He’s been as consistent as anyone, but with a tough loss on his line, a passing offense that could use a better pass catcher out of the backfield, and 3 seasons in a row of big carries – this could be Rudy’s year to take a step backward. He’s getting selected 10th overall. I’d rather take my shot with Brian Westbrook, Travis Henry, or Ronnie Brown (all of which are usually selected after Johnson). But I still love Rudi – kid is a beast.

I’m in a dynasty league and am considering taking younger unproven players like Santonio Holmes, D.J. Hackett, Brandon Marshall, Ronald Curry, Dwayne Bowe, and Mark Clayton over guys like Joey Galloway, Hines Ward, Terry Glenn, and Donald Driver. I may be risking a little now for later – but what’s your opinion on that? – Craig Morton in Aukland, New Z.

WRs are way over valued and you can always put up a full 2-3 depending on your league line-up. As for Rooks versus Vets, it is a case by case basis, for example: Hines is #1 target in Pitt, Galloway is the #1 in TB and when healthy (big question this season for him) Driver is also a #1, and has the best numbers of the group. Glenn is a #2 who will continue to lose chances. The young guys you listed aren’t all in the same group. Clayton is by far the best of the young bunch, grab him above any of the 3 older guys. You could make the same argument for Holmes based on his 800+ yard rookie season. Most of the old guys have as much (or as Little) merit as the youngsters Holmes, Hackett, Curry and Bowe. A hot Rookie can Explode on a Season …But it is Rare at WR, Moss didn’t get “Hot” for 2 full seasons. And most struggle early, even if they have solid numbers in the end. Boldin and Larry Fitz are exceptions – both played well off the bat. In Fantasy Football, WRs can be picked up during a season and the value of these guys changes every year as to who is in top 5, top 20, and so on. Other than the top 10 they all are the about the same – It’s a Crap shoot and WRs are snake Eyes if you try to build a Team around them.

I’m in a league where quarterbacks get the same bonuses for long touchdown passes as RBs and WRs do for rushing and receiving scores. Don’t you think Vince Young is a poor option for this kind of format? – Big Don in Mt. Vernon.

Believe that! VY Jelly is a very high risk – high reward pick, with an emphasis on risk. And that’s in a normal league where QBs get 4 points for passing TDs, and no bonuses. QB TDs are much longer than rushing TDs on average, so bonus points are better there. Plus, rarely does a RB break 12 TDs rushing, while even Rex Grossman tossed 23 TDs last season. VY Jelly is a great athlete, and a damn good leader of that football team in Tennessee, but he’s not a passer, yet. Don’t take Young as your starting quarterback in this league. He won’t slip that far, he’s way too hyped to drop very low, and I’d probably rather have Phillip Rivers, Jay Cutler, Matt Leinart, Big Ben, even Rex Grossman – the format you speak of kills the normally solid value a rushing quarterback has. Young will never have big passing yardage totals, and his TD passes will definitely stay under 20. He’s still one of the few players I’d pay extra just to watch him play. So, I don’t mean to “hate” as you youngsters claim.

Last Weeks Questions

Papa Weimer – **52 y/o – two open Heart surgeries and a nasty attitude**

2007 NFL Fantasy Hit List

It may not be football season, but that hasn’t stopped any of the 1 million fantasy football fans to do new fantasy football drafts for keeper and/or one year leagues since the post season has ended. Now, more than ever, is your time to get a leg up on the competition by checking out who’s going to erupt next season, and those who look ready for a Humpty Dumpty like tumble into the fantasy doldrums. In my first Fantasy Preview of the upcoming season, I will break down 10 top players at each position that are looking real good, or a little unreliable headed in to the 2007 NFL Season. It may seem like a long time until opening day, but with mini-camps, the draft, and the rest of free-agency coming soon, its time to make your list and check it twice.

These are by no means my top player rankings, but these are 40 guys I’m very interested in going into 2007. Start your fantasy season here with my Fantasy HITLIST!

I’ve set up each player with one of the following headings: (GO) – Which means take the player at the value they are being drafted at, (NO) – Which means either the player’s value is too high and/or the player is looking like he’ll struggle in 2007, (GO-W/Caution) Which means I like the value this player has, but obvious precautions must be realized when taking the risk. Enjoy.


1. Jake Delhomme: (GO) Jake struggled in 2006, but not as bad as many have made his play out to be. He had a tough start without Steve Smith in the lineup, but surely his numbers weren’t bad. In the 10 games he started after Smith returned, Jake tossed 16 touchdowns, which would project to at least 24 TD’s over a 16 game span, making him, well, good. Jake is getting drafted as late or later than the 20th quarterback in many drafts, and honestly, I project him as a Top 12 guy easy. Don’t be scared by one year. Don’t reach for Jake, either. Let him come to you and when the season’s over, dance around like MC Hammer while mocking the idiots who took players like Alex Smith and Matt Schaub ahead of Jake, as well as the players who pick Tony Romo and Jay Cutler in the first 8 rounds when you got Jake in the last 5. That’s when you win.

2. Matt Hasselbeck: (GO) Matt is another guy who saw a down year, filled with injuries and team struggles, only to get completely ignored come fantasy drafts this off season. In one of my leagues, Matt was selected as the 15th quarterback overall. Mind you, I passed on matt to select Romo as the 14th QB, that was only because of Dynasty implications. Matt is a Top 10 guy easily, and I wouldn’t stunned if he rode all the way to a Top 5 spot by years end. He’s a very good signal caller in an offense that does work on a weekly basis. Take Matt late and reap the benefits.

3. Jay Cutler: (GO-W/Caution) I like Jay’s game a lot, and think he’ll be a better fantasy player than Vince Young and Matt Leinart (two second year players consistently being selected ahead of Cutler in fantasy drafts) right now and in the future. Jay has Mike the Rat Shanny giving him hints, plus Javon Walker and Rod Smith, not to mention Travis Henry and a very good offensive line on his side. Newly signed TE, Daniel Graham, and second year receiver Brandon Marshal will give Jay even more options. He’s getting drafted early, but I think he’ll be worth it.

4. Matt Schaub: (NO) I have been a fan of Schaub since his first preseason. I liked him even more after he “nearly” beat the Patriots two years ago when Big Mike was on the mend. But Right now, the hype is on Matt to come in and throw 25 touchdowns while leading the Texans out of the dumps and into playoff contention. And some owners, reading too much into Matt’s talents, have taken a liking to him, and are drafting him way to high in fantasy drafts. Like I said, I like Matt, but don’t sell the boat for the kid just yet, wait until the Texans show a little bit of protection on the offensive line.

5. Michael Vick: (NO) Mike Vick is set to get the ability to call his own plays, audible, and run the offense to his liking. Many think this will make Mike the lord of his domain, especially after such a productive season in ’06, but I’m not so sure. After running amuck the fantasy leader board last year, a step backwards for the Falcon quarterback wouldn’t surprise me one bit. Don’t be one of those guys that drafts a quarterback in the first 3 rounds, and surely don’t be the guy who takes Vick there.

6. Tom Brady: (GO) New weapons? Check. A better offensive line? Check. Laurence Maroney scaring the crap out of opposing defenses. Check. Oddly accurate arm and confidence of the kazoo. Check Mate! Tom Brady definitely has it all, models having his children (different models, different children), Wes Welker, Donte Stallworth, Ben Watson, Laurence Maroney, Reche Caldwell, Dave Thomas, Chad Jackson, and Jabar Gaffney, among others catching balls, and a defense that is keeping all their good players while signing new talent. Life couldn’t get better for this gunslinger, and his fantasy year will be the best he’s ever had because of it. Right now, people are still dwelling on his so-so 2006. Don’t be that guy. Take Brady as your guy, and he’ll get the job done. Never overspend for a quarterback, but expect Top to be a Top 3 producer.

7. Jason Campbell: (GO) Jason is going late, mostly as a middle round back up. If you wait late, build your other positions, and end up taking a chance on Campbell as your #1 and someone like Jeff Garcia or Rex Grossman (both going real low) as your #2/1a backup, you might just hit the jackpot. I like Campbell’s ability to run the team, and his numbers look good enough for me to take a chance. I did it with Palmer a few years back, and Rivers last year. I expect Jason to do nice things in 2006. In 7 games Jason tossed 10 TD’s while gathering up 1,300 yards passing. He also runs. He’s bound to get about 22 touchdowns and 3,000+ yards in his 2nd season at the helm. That would have put him in the Top 8 in TD’s and Top 15 in Passing Yards. Seems like a steal to me.

8. Tony Romo: (GO) Tony has it. Yes, lots of players are good, and their stats show up year ’round, but Tony has the goods. If you saw him in the Pro-Bowl, you saw a confidence that is second to none, and a trust that his receivers will get the job done. Tony gives his guys a shot. Terrell Owens, as much of a team killer as he is, is one of the best playmakers in the league, and the rushing duo of Marion Barber and Julius Jones is potent, as either back could be a starter on may other teams in this league. Jason Witten and Terry Glenn are both solid 2nd and 3rd options, so Romo has all the weapons he needs. His growth from year 1 to year 2 will be significant. Expect a great year from this guy, and take a advantage of his value slipping because of his dropped field goal hold in the playoffs.

9. Phillip Rivers: (GO) Did anyone see what Norv Turner did for Alex Smith last year in San Francisco? Well, Phillip Rivers has man sized hands, a strong and accurate arm, and a tight end and young tall receiver (Gates and Jackson) that the 49ers would love to have, not to mention LT. If Norv can do wonders with Alex, Antonio Bryant, Frank Gore and Eric Johnson, imagine what he can do with Phillip, Jackson, LT, and Antonio Gates. Plus, Rivers is a winner. I like that in quarterbacks.

10. Alex Smith: (NO) For the same reasons that I’m putting my chips in Phillip Rivers’ corner, I’m folding my Alex Smith hand. Smith has the tools, but without Turner to guide him, I’m not so sure he doesn’t take a step back in ’07. Right now the best receivers on the team are Ashlie Lelie and Arnaz Battle. And while I like Battle, I’m not so sure he’ll be good with only Lelie to scare off #1 cornerbacks. Gore is still great, and Vernon Davis is a stud in the making, but Smith will take a step back, or at least produce similar to his stats last season, before moving forward in 2008. Don’t buy expecting to get a 3rd year stud in ’07, but buy low when you can and get him for ’08 in keeper leagues.

Running Backs:

1. Ronnie Brown: (GO) I love Ronnie’s all around ability. Under a coach like Cam Cameron, Brown should flourish. Don’t confuse Cam for Marty Schottenheimer, but do understand that Cam understands the importance of a dominant rushing attack. To take pressure off the Dolphins quarterbacking situation, whatever that may be, the Dolphins will lean heavily on the short passing and power running game, making Brown a prime candidate to breakout in his 3rd year carrying the rock in the NFL. Remember also, this kid has less wear and tear on his body than most running backs in the league, as last year was his first year starting since high school.

2. Chester Taylor: (NO) I like Troy Williamson more than most, and think Tavares Jackson has a grip of upside, but right now, the Vikings don’t have much promise through the air, and though that will surely give Taylor plenty of carries, I don’t think that necessarily means more production out of the former Raven. Viking Brass has already been quoted saying they don’t want to ride Chester like they did last season. If they’re worried about him, you should also. In the midst of the 2nd round, I think there are much better backs to be had.

3. Tatum Bell: (NO) I just don’t buy Tatum Bell having the skill-set of Marshal Faulk. Everyone and their mother is elated about Bell’s catching and speed, and already they’re linking his skills to Marshal Faulk, one of the best all around running backs of all time. If Bell was that good, Mike the Rat Shanny would have kept him around in Denver. Plus, having Kevin Jones possibly back for the start of the season, and TJ Duckett ready for goal line carries, Bell’s touchdown numbers should make him a very low end 2nd and even 3rd running back in 2007.

4. Julius Jones: (NO) Though Julius isn’t going at the tops of many drafts, (Round 3 to 4) I still don’t think his value is worth where he’s getting selected. Wade Phillips has shown an appreciation for giving a #1 runner the chance to get a feel for the game, meaning he’s a one back guy, meaning the Cowboys will pick the best runner and give him the bulk load. Whose the best runner in Dallas? That’s why I would let JJ be someone else’s problem.

5. Travis Henry: (GO) I’ve said for years that the Broncos should grab a hold of Henry and see what kind of production he has in their zone blocking system. I didn’t think it would actually happen, so I traded Travis in my Dynasty League. Damn me. Henry will have amazing numbers as THE man in Denver. Right now Henry is measured as a late 2nd round back in most leagues I’ve recognized, and honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s in the Top 8 at the end of next season.

6. Laurence Maroney: (GO) I don’t care where you are drafting in a keeper league, I like Maroney at any position. He has showed me that much over the years, watching his college game and NFL production in his first year. He’ll carry the load in ’07, making him a prime candidate to get Frank Gore, or ever Steven Jackson numbers in his 2nd year.

7. Joseph Addai: (GO) Though I think Maroney is a better runner than JA, Addai’s position is at least just as perfect as Laurence’s. Joseph will mash inside the tackles on a team that likes to run the ball, and is a threat to throw on every down. Perfect. Addai will be running alone in Indy, as Dominic Rhodes has moved on to greener pastures in… Eh, Oakland.

8. Shaun Alexander: (GO-W/Caution) It could just be the Full-Roster Keeper League’s I’ve been a part of over the last few weeks, but Alexander’s value has tumbled all the way down to the 10th pick or lower. SA may run like he’s got sand in his panties, and surely he had a bad season after signing his big contract, but if Shaun didn’t show the world he can still get it done at a high level while running over the Bears in the playoffs, then everyone’s blind. Alexander loses a little value in a keeper league, but if you’re at the bottom of your draft, keeper or not, and you can get your hands on this double digit touchdown gem, even for two years, I suggest you go for it. The caution is with his age. Shaun doesn’t run like a bull-dozer, so he’s got a couple good years left, but be wary that he’ll only be around for so long. But I always say, buy low and sell high. Right now, Shaun’s stock is dirt cheap, and ready to shoot up the charts.

9. Edgerrin James: (GO) Edge is as low as he’ll get going into 2007, but I see Ken Whisenhunt’s system doing wonders for this Miami product during his second year in Arizona. Matt Leinart is a year older, and the Cardinal line is definitely getting better already, and Arizona could have Joe Thomas fall to them on Draft day at pick #5. All in all, Ken’s rushing attack has always been better than Denny Green’s system. Watch Edge payoff for you this year, as his value has been slipping all the way until the 2nd round of most drafts.

10. Larry Johnson: (NO) I love Larry Johnson, as he has as much running ability and straight up smash mouth attack power as any back in the league, but there’s something to be said about carrying the ball as much as Johnson did in 2006. And that something isn’t good. Think about these guys; Jamal Anderson, Terrell Davis, Edgerrin James, Jamal Lewis… And there’s many more who share the same problems these guys ran into. In seasons after a player sets the record for carries, knee injuries are extremely popular. Don’t risk your 3rd pick on a guy who carried the ball more than anyone in the history of the league last season. Trade him to an LJ lover, or just go with a younger back with less mileage. Sorry LJ, I think you’re great, and hope you stay healthy!

Wide Receivers:

1. Roy Williams: (GO) Roy has so much potential, his future can be argued to be better than any one receiver in the league. Right now, Williams led the NFC in receiving yards, and tallied 7 touchdowns for a Lions offense that will only get better. Chad Johnson, Marvin Harrison, Torry Holt, Steve Smith, Larry Fitzgerald, and sometimes TO are all getting drafted in front of Roy. He’s legit. Take him after these guys, and surely you’ll enjoy the totals he gives you at the price/spot in the draft.

2. Andre Johnson: (GO) Andre has been slipping because of his low touchdown totals a year ago. But this young cat is consistent, something that fantasy owners often ignore when drafting players based on last years totals. AJ will get a little more pub, and possibly pick up a WR spot or two in the draft because of Matt Schaub’s addition. And while I don’t think Schaub will be unreal for the Texans, I do think he will give Johnson more of a chance to succeed in the red zone.

3. Marvin Harrison: (GO) Marvin is old, yes, but he never takes hits and he’s the best quarterback’s favorite receiver. People keep looking for Harrison’s stats to slow down, but last year he led most fantasy league’s in receiver totals. Harrison is a big touchdown guy, and he’s becoming more and more of a threat because Reggie Wayne is drawing more and more attention from opposing defenses. In Dynasty Leagues he drops a couple spots, but don’t be afraid to take Marv because he’s old. Don’t take him in the first two rounds, either. But take him if the price is right.

4. Lee Evans: (GO) I’m not a huge fan of the Bills’ offensive situation going into the draft-season, but surely Lee Evans is an absolute gem. The thing that tempts me to reach for Lee is the fact that JP Losman came into his own last season, and looked pretty good getting the ball to Lee. Without a rushing attack, the Bills could be this season’s version of the 2005 Arizona Cardinals, especially if the Bills can add another solid receiver in the first couple rounds of the draft.

5. Marques Colston: (GO W/Caution) In some drafts, Colston is going ahead of some top-tier receivers, and while I don’t think he quite belongs there yet, he’s not far off. The Saints loved this kid so much they let Joe Horn walk, and haven’t gone after many exciting receivers thus far in free agency. Colston has had one great year, and while many want to compare him to Michael Clayton, I just don’t see it. Expect big things from this kid, but don’t sell the farm to grab him.

6. T.J. Houshmandzadeh: (GO) What many people like to forget is that TJ Houshmandzadeh is way more consistent than Chad Johnson, caught 3 more balls than Chad in less games played, more touchdowns as well. TJ goes way after Chad in most drafts, while last year, TJ was the better fantasy player. He only had 3 games under 50 yards receiving, while going for 90+ 5 times, not to mention 9 touchdown catches. Compare those stats to Chad Johnson’s and get TJ 30 picks after Ocho-Cinco, that’s a full-meal-deal.

7. Mike Furrey: (NO W/Caution) This is a tough one, because in some drafts, Furrey is getting selected way too late. On the other hand, I don’t think there’s a chance he tallies the same stats he compiled last year. I do however think Furrey is a solid get fairly late in drafts. I’m just advising you to be wary of what last year has done to Mike’s expectations, so I wouldn’t put fair stock in Furrey to have a big 2007.

8. Chad Johnson: (NO) Don’t get me wrong, Chad is a Top 5 receiver, but right now Chad is often times the first WR off the draft board, and I just don’t buy it. Chad had great numbers this year, and he’s a star receiver, but his consistency on a weekly basis is brutal. While Chad did compile the most receiving yards of the season, 7 touchdowns, and 87 catches, most of those numbers came in 3 games. November 12th through the 26th (3 games in a row) 85 had just under 600 yards and 5 scores. Sure, he won you games during those weeks, but there were 6 times where Chad compiled less than 55 yards and 0 touchdowns. Aside from the 3 weeks of 100+ yard per game football, Chad had only 1 other contest where he hit the century mark; 101 yards against Oakland. Don’t overdraft CJ because of 3 weeks.

9. Mark Clayton: (GO) Yes sir on Mark Clayton. This young buck came into his own last year, finishing the year with 939 receiving yards and 5 scores. I’ve always liked Clayton, ever since he was catching touchdowns from Dan Marino in Miami. Okay, wrong guy, but this kid started out slow (304 yards through 7 games) but turned it on late (600+ yards & 3 scores in the final 9 games) making him a prim candidate to breakout in 2007. Clayton will be the go to guy this year, and he’ll make you a happy man stealing him late.

10. Torry Holt: (GO-W/Caution) Torry has lost some steam, but surely he’s still a great player. He teams up with Isaac Bruce to form nearly 70 years of football experience on the corners in St. Louis, but Holt’s ability to get open, and sly maneuvering to avoid big hits, makes him worth the pick, regardless of age. The Rams will only get better with Steven Jackson and Marc Bulger, not to mention Randy McMichael and Drew Bennett drawing coverage. Torry will be as open as ever. The cautionary tale here is to let him come to you. Know that TH is an elite receiver, and getting him 5th -7th off the receiving board is perfect. Taking him 1 or 2 is too high, especially in dynasty formats.

Tight Ends:

1. Antonio Gates: (NO) I don’t know how to say it, but Gates just isn’t worth it. Yes, he’s quite a bit better than the rest of the bunch, but that only means a couple of points per game. Gates is going in the 3rd round, and that’s the place you need to be adding 2nd or 3rd RB’s or 1st and 2nd string WR’s. Taking those two positions over a tight end in the 3rd, and getting a guy like Ben Watson 6 rounds later, seems like a better deal. Hell it just is better. I love Gates, but don’t pick him so high.

2. Kellen Winslow: (NO) Micro-fracture Knee Surgery. Yikes. Some football players never return from something like that. Winslow may be ready for camps, which can only show what an amazing physical specimen he is, but the risk is too high for a tight end getting plucked off the board early. Be careful if you decide to go Winslow’s way, and if you do, know that I warned you.

3. Randy McMichael: (GO) After a very bad year in Dolphin country, Randy got his walking papers and now finds himself partying hard in St. Louis. Take advantage of his down year. Randy will be a nice touchdown threat for the Rams, and Scott Linehan knows how to use him, as Mac’s finest years were with Linehan. Pick up Randy late, as I most recently picked him as the 16th tight end taken overall. He’ll be a top 8 guy next season.

4. Ben Watson: (NO) I love Big Ben’s skill set, and think he’s got all the tools to be a superstar. What speed and size, and the athleticism to make plays on the ball is there too. What isn’t there is a scheme that uses its best players all the time. Daniel Graham may be gone, but don’t think that David Thomas won’t take receptions away from Watson. And with the gluttony of receivers signing with the Patriots, Brady will have too many options to give Ben the looks he needs to be a top 5 fantasy tight end, which is exactly where he’s getting picked up now.

5. Marcus Polard: (GO) Polard isn’t getting picked in most leagues, and I’ll all but guarantee he’s a top 14 fantasy tight end, which should at least make him a solid option or a back up for a guy like Kellen Winslow or Vernon Davis. Polard may be old, but he’s got enough speed to be perfect in Seattle, and he’s always had great hands, so don’t expect him to drop passes every game in the end zone like Jeremy Stevens.

6. Jeremy Shockey: (NO) Shockey has never had the amazing year people believe his skills insist upon. 10 guys had more yards than Shockey last season, and he dropped plenty of balls along the way. He had 6 receptions, ranking him 5th their, but what did he do with those balls? Out of the top 20 ranking TE’s, only George Wrighster and Jermaine Wiggins averaged less yards per catch. Shocker had 7 touchdowns, which is a great number for a TE, but the fact that he goes 3rd or 4th (for TE’s) in most drafts, makes him a poor deal. Plus, without Barber’s big plays, I’d imagine Shockey’s red zone looks take a tumble.

7. Vernon Davis: (NO) Vernon is getting way too much love in both Dynasty and Seasonal drafts. Sure, his upside is great, which makes him a better look in Dynasty leagues, but people are blowing it by taking Davis over Heap, Crumpler, and/or Tony Gonzalez. I like VD’s numbers, but what does the situation in San Fran, and a below average rookie season do to make Vernon a top TE? Not much, and that’s why I’d let someone else risk it on the big Maryland product.

8. Owen Daniels: (GO) Daniels excelled when David Carr was out, and now Carr is driving off into the distance, while in comes Matt Schaub. Matt has learned the safety in hitting his big tight end while learning in Atlanta, and Daniels is sure to benefit from the change. Plus, OD had a nice rookie season. I think Daniels is a nice flier as a solid fantasy starter, something that’s always great when you can get him in the final rounds of your draft.

9. Tony Gonzalez: (GO) Like I said, there are TE’s out there getting drafted ahead of Tony G just because they run nice 40 times, or look good in the weight room. Let me tell you this, I’ll be down right stunned if Gonzo doesn’t finish the season in the Top 3 in TE fantasy points, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he topped the charts next year, taking his old crown away from Antonio Gates. He may be old, but 4 more years from Tony is a solid bet.

10. Dallas Clark: (GO) DC’s upside was easily seen in playoff ball. But since most fantasy leagues don’t use playoffs, many ignorant fools will forget what Dallas can do, making you the beneficiary. The Colts let Brandon Stokely and Aaron Moorhead for a reason. That reason where’s #44 and got it done in the playoffs when Peyton needed him most. Clark has always had all the tools since he ran show at Iowa in college. It took the big stage for him to figure it out. Get this gem late, and reap the benefits all season long.