High Fives: Risky business

Brandon Funston
Yahoo! Sports
Yahoo! Sports' trio of fantasy experts will each offer up, on a regular basis, a look at their top five lists dealing with a variety of topics.

This week's topics: Fantasy football's risky propositions and sure bets, the second coming of Antonio Gates and Brandon Stokley and NFL offensive juggernauts.

Top 5 fantasy football gamble picks for '05
Brandon Says: Mike Says: Matt Says:
  1. Terrell Owens, Phi

    There's nothing conventional about TO, so you can't assume he'll follow the conventional holdout protocal

  2. Tatum Bell, Den

    Gambling on the whims of Mike Shanahan is always a risky proposition – Lord knows, I've suffered a few bad-beats at his hands

  3. Chris Brown, Ten

    Tall, upright style and modest build makes for a regular "questionable" tag

  4. Michael Vick, Atl

    Like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get

  5. Donovan McNabb, Phi

    No TO would leave a very inexperienced WR corps

  1. Willis McGahee, Buf

    Challenger for No. 2 pick after only half a season and welcomes a new QB.

  2. Michael Vick, Atl

    Falcons have added some receiving help on paper. Will it translate to more end zone dances?

  3. Priest Holmes, KC

    If sound, he's a potential 20-TD contributor. If not, better not lose out on Larry Johnson

  4. Joey Harrington, Det

    Either he breaks through with strong supporting cast or hits the pines

  5. Michael Bennett, Min

    Finally healthy and starts the season as No. 1 on depth chart. Will Minnesota offense still roll sans Moss?

  1. Kerry Collins, Oak

    4,000 yards and 30 TDs a possibility; but let's face it, nobody would be shocked if he plays his way to the bench

  2. Michael Vick, Atl
  3. J.J. Arrington, Ari

    Comes with a high price tag. Needs to prove he can play in the NFL – if he survives a position battle with Marcel Shipp

  4. Troy Williamson, Min
  5. Steven Jackson, StL

    Huge upside, but exactly how much will Martz use Faulk?

Top 5 fantasy football safe-bet picks for '05
Brandon Says: Mike Says: Matt Says:
  1. Corey Dillon, NE

    Tough, and built to last – Expect no worse than 1,400 yards and 10 TDs

  2. Marvin Harrison, Ind

    He and Manning a package guarantee. They could be struck blind and still put up big numbers

  3. Brett Favre, GB

    16 games for 12 straight years, and numbers are always about the same

  4. Tom Brady, NE

    Skip on QBs early and grab a guaranteed 3,600 yards and 25 TDs a little later

  5. Torry Holt, StL

    NFC's Marvin Harrison

  1. LaDainian Tomlinson, SD

    Hobbled by an ankle injury, he still found his way into the end zone weekly

  2. Peyton Manning, Ind

    Hasn't missed a start and returns all weapons but Pollard

  3. Tony Gonzalez, KC

    Career-highs in catches and yardage in '04. Money in the bank

  4. Marvin Harrison, Ind

    Six straight years over 1,100 yards with double-digit touchdowns

  5. Randy Moss, Oak

    His claim of Collins over Culpepper is asinine, but he'll make plays regardless of who's tossing the ball

  1. Peyton Manning, Ind

    Fantasy iron man never leaves you scrambling for an injury fill-in

  2. Marvin Harrison, Ind

    Six straight seasons with at least 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns

  3. Tony Gonzalez, KC

    If you drafted him every year since 1999, you got the top player at his position

  4. Trent Green, KC
  5. Baltimore Ravens Def.

    Why no LT? Running backs are always a gamble

Top 5 players most likely to be this year's Antonio Gates (breakout TEs)
Brandon Says: Mike Says: Matt Says:
  1. Dallas Clark, Ind
  2. L.J. Smith, Phi

    If no TO, LJ becomes big-time red-zone threat

  3. Ben Troupe, Ten
  4. Chris Cooley, Was

    In rookie season, quietly amassed as many TDs (6) as Crumpler, Witten and Shockey

  5. Jerramy Stevens, Sea

    A longshot, but has tantalizing makeup, and Seattle is ready to press for a return on investment

  1. Jeb Putzier, Den

    Have seen him compared to Shannon Sharpe – 36 catches are just a start

  2. Dallas Clark, Ind

    On the radar from strong '04; could be huge with Pollard departure

  3. Ben Watson, NE

    Healthy and ready to contribute in '05. Brady loves his TE in the red zone

  4. Heath Miller, Pit

    Speed to the wings, bruising backs to soften the middle leaves Miller room in the secondary

  5. Matt Schobel, Cin

    Four touchdowns in limited use last year. He'll be a bigger factor in '05

  1. Jason Witten, Dal

    More receptions and yards than Gates in 2004. Just needs more red zone looks

  2. Dallas Clark, Ind

    Even the table scraps left by Indy WRs make for a sizable meal. No Pollard this year

  3. Ben Troupe, Ten

    Got better every week as a rookie. Can get open and then run over you after the catch

  4. Courtney Anderson, Oak

    At 6-foot-7, could also give Gates a run on the hoop court

  5. Heath Miller, Pit
Top 5 players most likely to be this year's Brandon Stokley (top No. 3 WRs)
Brandon Says: Mike Says: Matt Says:
  1. Ronald Curry, Oak

    Former UNC hoopster and QB, is big, athletic (obviously) and is not afraid to work across the middle.

  2. Kevin Curtis, StL

    Seattle nightmare is lightning fast in the slot and is in magical 3rd year

  3. Darius Watts, Den
  4. Joe Jurevicius, Sea

    Likely to be Seattle's top WR red-zone threat

  5. Mike Williams, Det
  1. Ronald Curry, Oak

    Fully recovered from injury; will get lost in attention given Moss and Porter

  2. Bryant Johnson, Ari

    Had 49 catches for weak Cards offense in '04

  3. Mike Williams, Det

    Can't teach size. Just a question of whether Harrington or Garcia gets it done

  4. Kevin Curtis, StL

    As Falcons DB DeAngelo Hall said, "The cat can really run."

  5. Greg Lewis, Phi

    Showed flashes down the stretch and performed well in playoffs

  1. Kevin Curtis, StL

    Huge production in playoffs could be preview of larger role in 2005

  2. Ronald Curry, Oak

    Should be close to full speed after recovery from Achilles injury

  3. Mike Williams, Det
  4. Joe Jurevicius, Sea
  5. Clarence Moore, Bal

    Had a couple monster games in 2004; need Boller to make huge strides

Predict the top 5 scoring offenses in '05
Brandon Says: Mike Says: Matt Says:
  1. Indianapolis Colts
  2. Kansas City Chiefs
  3. St. Louis Rams

    Repaired O-line should help get former Greatest Show on Turf back on track

  4. San Diego Chargers

    LT's groin is healthy and receiving corps will be better from the start

  5. Denver Broncos

    Among the top in points in each of past five seasons, and 11 of past 12

  1. Indianapolis Colts

    Can't stop 'em, can only hope to contain 'em

  2. Kansas City Chiefs

    Forget the questions about top receivers - Green gets it done

  3. Oakland Raiders

    Collins will frustrate on occasion, but joy should return to Oaktown

  4. Cincinnati Bengals

    Palmer grows in second year as starter with great supporting cast

  5. St. Louis Rams

    Healthy Bulger and full line for the whole camp. Could challenge for top spot

  1. Kansas City Chiefs
  2. Indianapolis Colts
  3. Buffalo Bills

    Averaged 36 points over the season's final seven weeks. Can they keep it going under Losman?

  4. Green Bay Packers
  5. Oakland Raiders

    Solid upgrades at the skill positions couple with an aging defense that will force them to run it up

Reader response to last week's High Fives
Yeah, Hoosiers was great, but I still would have to go with Hoop Dreams as the No. 1 basketball movie of all-time. What I don't understand is how you can not include a movie that stars Doctor J, and guest stars Kareem and "Stormin" Norman Nixon: The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh! Definitely a top fiver. – Che, Altadena, CA

Basketball movie High Fives without He Got Game? How can you? Give Ray Allen his props! – Chris, Tulsa, OK

How can you leave out Coach Carter? Yeah, it is a new movie, but it show's you what basketball players in high school go through. Plus, Samuel L. Jackson is a great actor. – Akhil, Ashburn, VA

The columnists for the top 5 high school draft picks should be ashamed. Only one mentioned Tracy McGrady, who should be mentioned ahead of Rashard Lewis and Jermaine O'Neal. And you putzes left a hall-of-famer off this list, the first ever high-schooler: MOSES MALONE! He should be on this list at No. 1 or 2. By the way, I would take Shaun Livingston above "Chocolate Thunder," Darryl Dawkins, who was a great dunker, but not a great player. – Ethan, New York, NY

With all due respect for the carefully worded "High School- to-NBA," couldn't anyone at least give a shout out to Moses Malone. If for nothing else, paving the way for all of these guys to make that jump? Three-time NBA MVP, 12-time all-star, one of the 50 greatest players, hall of famer … I could go on. – Soren, Boise, ID

Editor's Note: Moses Malone was disqualified from consideration because he, in fact, was a prep-to-ABA product, and did not go directly to the NBA. Same goes for Spencer Haywood. But, we're happy to give a shout out to these two prep-to-pro trailblazers.

Mike Harmon, are you kidding me? You have Darryl Dawkins in your top 5 high school draft picks and not Tracy McGrady or Amare Stoudemire? Say what? Darryl averaged 12 ppg, 6.1 rpg, and 1.4 bpg in his career. How is this better than McGrady or Stoudemire? – Jordan, Sussex, WI

Mike, you're top five lists start off well, but then go way whacky! How can you rate Rashard Lewis and Darryl Dawkins ahead of Amare Stoudemire and T-Mac in your top five high school draft picks of all time. That's insane. T-Mac has made three all-star teams to Lewis' one, and Stoudemire was not only an all-star this year, but also a legitimate MVP candidate. Also, there is no way Toni Kukoc was a better international pick than Peja Stojakovic (or even Pau Gasol, Vlade Divac or Arvydas Sabonis, for that matter). Peja is a year removed from being a top five scorer and MVP candidate, while Kukoc has never been better than the fourth-best player on his own team! If you picked him because of his championship rings, then I'd take Tony Parker over Kukoc any day. – Abkoca

Steve Nash doesn't make the top 5 International players list? Just because the USA isn't currently at war with us does not mean Canada is not a country. – Jason, Princeton