1.Should Adrian Peterson be drafted before LaDainian Tomlinson?
George: As good as AP is, let's not forget this is just his second season. LT is the cream of the crop when it comes to fantasy running backs. Not to mention, he doesn't have to worry about Michael Turner taking away some of his carries, where as Chester Taylor will indeed take away carries from AP. The Chargers will also play a much easier schedule then Minnesota. LT at number one in a standard league is a no brainer to me.
Terry: Football is a young man's game, and historically, running backs have their best years in their early to mid twenties. I'm not saying that LT is old, but Peterson has undeniable talent and is on his way up. Keep in mind that he totaled 1,341 rushing yards and missed two games with a knee injury. He returned in week 13, but he was clearly not 100% the rest of the season. He plays behind a great offensive line and the passing game now has a deep threat with the addtion of Bernard Berrian to keep defenses from stacking the box with safeties. If he plays in 16 games, 2,000 rushing yards is attainable. AP will have more yards and TDs than LT - draft him first.
2. Is Larry Johnson still a top 10 running back?
George: Hard to believe I'm going to say this, but I think the answer is no. In no particular order, the backs I would take ahead of Johnson are as follows: LT, AP, Addai, Westbrook, Jackson, Barber, Portis, Lynch, Grant, and Gore. I have Johnson in the next group with about three or four others. The Chiefs are a bad team with not much of a threat in the passing game, which will force Johnson to see a ton of eight man fronts. I also see KC being behind early and often, forcing them to pass the ball instead of running it.
Terry: I think that LJ sneaks into the top ten, just ahead of Grant. Yes, the Chiefs are a bad team, but they know where there strength is - running a smashmouth style, power rushing attack, mixed with a short passing game. I think that Tony Gonzalez and Dwayne Bowe will do enough to give LJ space to be effective. Ten TDs and 1,300 rushing yards is achievable, which will also make him a great value if you get him after the first ten running backs.
3.Will Derek Anderson repeat his breakout season or is he a one year wonder who may lose his starting job to Brady Quinn if his struggles?
George: I truly do believe in Derek Anderson, but anytime you have a young backup quarterback who was drafted in the first round, you know you don't have much room for error. With that being said, Quinn is not having that good a camp, which should give Anderson some breathing room. Anderson holds on for the season.
Terry: Anderson's emergence was real, and so was his excellent connection with his talented receiver, Braylon Edwards and TE Kellen Winslow. His TD total of 29 will be tough to repeat, as teams will no longer be surprised by his ability, but he should be picked at the top of the second tier of QBs. The job is his as long as his interceptions don't get out of control, an area which was a problem last season. His 19 picks were tied for second most among NFL starters.
4.Can Willie Parker triple his total of two rushing touchdowns from last season?
George: This will not be as easy as it sounds. Rookie first round running back Rashard Mendenhall is sure to get his share of carries, and most pundits believe he will be the goal line back, although the Steelers did state that Parker would also get the ball close to the goal line. My answer would be no. I think Mendenhall and Parker will pretty much split the number of touchdowns, and since the question was rushing touchdowns and not touchdowns I�m going to be on the negative side of this one.
Terry: Last season was a shock for fantasy owners who drafted Parker as one of the top running backs, based in part on is 13 rushing TDs in 2007. I don't see him reaching 13 again, with the presence of Mendenhall as a power back to balance Parker's speed. But just on the high number of carries he gets (his 321 were the highest in the AFC, despite missing the last game), he'll find the end zone at least six times on the ground.
5.Should Donovan McNabb be drafted in the top fourth of the 32 starting quarterbacks?
George: Pretty easy one for me here - absolutely. I think Donovan could be in store for a big year. This is his second season back from major knee surgery, so his mobility should be much better. The Eagles have a limited window to compete and they will go for it this season. Plus, who would you take over him? P. Manning, Brady, Brees, Romo, Roethlisberger, and Palmer. After that your decision probably comes down to McNabb or QBs like Hasselbeck and Garrard, and maybe Bulger. McNabb is a safer bet to me.
Terry: I would not consider McNabb a safe bet at all, based on his penchant for injury. In addition, his stats were not overly impressive in the 14 games he started, totaling just 19 passing TDs, 0 rushing TDs and averaging only 237 passing yards per game. He also does not have a premier receiver to throw to, like many others in the top tier. In addition to the aforementinoed quarterbacks, I'd take Anderson, Favre and even Schaub before McNabb, leaving him outside the top eight.
6. Who's more likely to register 2000 total yards from scrimage - Reggie Bush or Brian Westbrook?
George: I'll go with Westbrook. Neither player is a lock to play all 16 games, but we know Bush is more of a receiving threat than a running one. That would eliminate him from this conversation. Plus the Saints are loaded with weapons; Marques Colston and Jeremy Shockey will need their share of touches, whereas Westbrook is the main man in Philly.
Terry: While the Saints will use Bush frequently as a pass catching threat, Westbrook has delivered both on the ground and in the air, averaging 2,010 yards from scrimmage each of the last two years. Steven Jackson and Frank Gore will also get close, but Westbrook is the king in this arena.
7.Is the Mike Martz offensive system going to help or hurt Frank Gore's value?
George: In touchdown driven leagues I think it will hurt, while in yardage driven leagues I believe it will help. The 49ers are not loaded with many offensive weapons and are having a training camp battle at quarterback, so Martz is going to have to get the ball to Gore whether he wants to or not, but I don�t see the 49ers lighting up too many scoreboards.
Terry: Gore is a super talent and Martz will find a way to utilize him as the focal point of this offense. There have been some comparisons with Marshall Faulk, when he was putting up eye-popping stats with the Rams, but I don't think Gore will meet those lofty expectations. However, he should be in double digits for total TDs and among the league leaders in touches and total yards.
8.Who should be drafted first (in standard scoring leagues) Maurice Jones-Drew or Fred Taylor?
George: Taylor is getting up there in age and has always been an injury risk. Don't get me wrong - he's a great back and I wouldn�t mind having him, but I like Jones-Drew more. He's a beast to stop in short yardage situations and you just know he's going to get the ball near the end zone.
Terry: Taylor has put together two excellent seasons in a row, averaging 78 yards rushing per game, starting 15 games in each of them. However, he has only reached the end zone on the ground five times in each of the last two seasons and is a non-factor in the passing game. While Jones-Drew may not compile as many yards on the ground (he averaged 55 yards per game the last two seasons), he has superior receiving skills and is a force near the goal line. Jones-Drew should be drafted first.
9.Which Jets player will benefit the most from the addition of Brett Favre - Laveranues Coles, Jerricho Cotchery or Thomas Jones?
George: Both Coles and Cotchery will both benefit greatly. Pennington was a consistent quarterback, but could only throw the ball 20 or so yards downfield. Clemens has a rifle for an arm but pretty much didn't know where the ball was going. This made it pretty easy for the defense to defend the Jets. With Favre now at quarterback, defenses are forced to plan for the deep ball. Not only will this open up passing lanes for the Coles and Cotchery, but it will give them room to run after they catch the ball. Favre's ability to spread the field will give the explosive Coles the most upside.
Terry: The upgrades the Jets made to the offensive line made Jones a better proposition than last season, even before the Favre acquisition. Now with Favre forcing teams to spread the coverage on defense, it will give Jones more room to run out of the backfield. He is one of the top sleepers for this year and should have stats similiar to his 2005 season with the Bears, when he posted 1,335 yards and 9 TDs.
10. Is drafting a running back with your first two picks still a good strategy?
George: Fantasy football has generally been dominated by the running back position since the early 90's. First it was Emmit Smith, then Marshall Faulk, then Shaun Alexander, and most recently LaDainian Tomlinson. They would dominate their leagues by scoring over 20 touchdowns and rushing for more than 1,500 yards. Nowadays however, most teams use a two back system, believing that no running back can take the pounding of rushing the ball 30+ times. Where in the past I was a big believer in grabbing RBs in the first two rounds, I no longer swear by this strategy. If Tom Brady or Peyton Manning fall into your lap late in the first round or early second round you certainly have to think about grabbing them. Teams are passing the ball more and more and as Ron Jaworski of ESPN states, "points come from the passing game". There are quite a few QBs now who could throw for more than 30 touchdowns. Brady, P. Manning, Brees, and Romo are among those. Where there may only be one or two running backs who have a shot at 20.
Terry: This answer certainly depends on if you play in a league which rewards three, four or six points for quarterback touchdowns. But even in the leagues which do not reward six points, it is foolish to pass up on a top five QB to take a second RB, because there are so few of quarterbacks who offer every week consistency. Is there a very big difference between selecting Marshawn Lynch, who many believe will be a top ten RB over Jamal Lewis, who can be obtained a round or two later? Stastically, the answer is no. However, there is a huge difference in a QB like Drew Brees and someone like David Garrard or Jason Campbell, guys who you may end up with after all the better QB are gone in the first two to three rounds. Make sure to secure a top notch QB in one of the first two rounds.