High Fives: The Untouchables

Yahoo! Sports Staff
Brandon Funston
Matt Buser
Brad Evans
As the NFL '07 regular season is about to kickoff, Yahoo! Sports' trio of fantasy experts have some final opinions to share.

Topics include: Players to avoid, players to reach for, top backup backs, top rookie wideouts and more.

Based upon current ADP value, top 5 players to avoid
Brandon Says: Andy Says: Brad Says:
  1. Randy Moss – His litany of physical ailments combined with Belichick's veil of secrecy regarding team information equals a nightmare ownership experience.
  2. DeAngelo Williams – Former Evans man-crush may never be more than a platoon back.
  3. Vince Young – Not superstitious (Madden jinx), just very, very concerned about the (lack of) supporting cast.
  4. Adam Vinatieri – Kicker in the seventh round? Not in my lifetime.
  5. Peyton Manning – Deserves to be top QB taken, but I'd be happier with Carson Palmer, Drew Brees, Tom Brady or Marc Bulger 2-3 rounds later.
  1. Clinton Portis – Even if it weren't for the tendonitis, the second round might still be early. It's not like Betts will sit.
  2. Jon Kitna – Turned the ball over 31 times in 2006. If your league doesn't deduct for turnovers, have at him.
  3. Chris Chambers – He's injured and he's not good at catching things. Those are critical flaws in a wide receiver.
  4. Torry Holt – He's going in 2nd round, above Fitzgerald and Wayne. There won't be much separation among the elite WRs and Holt has the knee issue.
  5. Alge Crumpler – Health is a big concern … In Yahoo! leagues, Kellen Winslow and Vernon Davis go one round later.
  1. Peyton Manning – Consistent, sure. But Carson Palmer is equitable and cheaper.
  2. Ronnie BrownJesse Chatman can't be cured, only suppressed.
  3. Marshawn Lynch – Brutal schedule and involved in RBBC equals overhyped.
  4. DeAngelo Williams – Adore Napoleon, but starter Foster going 40 picks later.
  5. Michael Turner – LT has missed one game in six seasons – overvalued.
Based upon current ADP value, top 5 players to reach for
Brandon Says: Andy Says: Brad Says:
  1. LaMont Jordan – He has something to prove in the month prior to Rhodes' return.
  2. Kevin Curtis – A No. 2 WR in this pass-happy offense deserves more love.
  3. Ladell Betts – Will be used often, even if Portis stays healthy. Big upside if Portis goes down, though.
  4. Leon Washington – A true late-round RB that will actually gets touches and put together a handful of useful performances.
  5. Devery Henderson – Averaged ridiculous 23.3 ypc in '06; (see Kevin Curtis above)
  1. Adrian Peterson (MIN) – He's getting drafted in the middle rounds, but has the skills of a first-round back.
  2. DeAngelo Williams – Sometimes, RBBCs create nice draft day values. This is one of those times.
  3. Ladell Betts – He's not even getting drafted in every Yahoo! league right now. That's crazy. This was the 11th-best fantasy RB in 2006, point-wise.
  4. Matt Leinart – Great talent, exceptional receivers. Questionable taste in companions, which is more of an intangible.
  5. Bernard Berrian – The 8th or 9th round is too late. Obviously a great big-play threat.
  1. Brandon Jacobs – The mere mention of his name takes me to my happy place.
  2. Santonio Holmes – No (bleep) Sherlock, he's going to be a viable No. 2.
  3. LaMont Jordan – Won't be treasured, but a starter available in Rd. 6.
  4. Kevin Jones – Soft hands excel in Martz system- "Taco" Tatum will crack come Week 6.
  5. Drew Bennett – Holt has bum knee and Bruce is an AARP member - Bennett soars in the Lou.
Top 5 backup Running Backs
Brandon Says: Andy Says: Brad Says:
  1. Ladell Betts – Perfect storm for backup: Great system and starting RB with questionable health.
  2. Michael Pittman – Somewhere in my subconscious I'm hearing a voice telling me that Pittman will outshine Cadillac in '07.
  3. Leon Washington – Even with TJ in the fold, Jets plan to increase Leon's load.
  4. Brian Leonard – Utility-knife skills would truly dazzle in the event that S-Jax got hurt.
  5. Sammy Morris – Tempted to put Michael Turner here, but Maroney more likely to miss time than LT.
  1. Michael Turner – A necessary handcuff...and in keeper leagues, he's a lot more interesting.
  2. Adrian Peterson (CHI) – The Bears have an extremely productive rushing offense, and a starting RB who, at times, has seemed insane and/or soft.
  3. Michael Pittman – Should have a big enough role that we'll be tempted to call him a member of a committee, not a backup.
  4. Leon Washington – Very talented. Should get 10 or so touches per game.
  5. Jesse Chatman – He's had an annoyingly productive preseason. Emailer Jose Mena warned me this would happen.
  1. Ladell Betts – You better, you better, you Betts your backside he's going to start at least five games.
  2. Ron Dayne – "Big Daddy" averaged 107.3 YPG and totaled 5 TDs in Weeks 13-16 – Green ancient.
  3. Brian Leonard – Will hurdle fantasy tiers if Jackson's foot gets caught in a bear trap.
  4. Vernand Morency – If "Brick Cheese" Jackson struggles out of the gate, Morency will catapult into No. 1 spot.
  5. Michael Turner – LT is the epitome of durable, but Turner a treasured pick in keeper leagues.
Top 5 rookie Wide Receivers
Brandon Says: Andy Says: Brad Says:
  1. Calvin Johnson – A sure thing
  2. Jacoby JonesKevin Walter doesn't stand a chance of keeping this uber-talent behind him on the depth chart.
  3. James Jones – Has looked like he has veteran chemistry with Favre this preseason.
  4. Anthony Gonzalez – Tailor-made fit as slot man in Indy attack.
  5. Ted Ginn Jr. – Yes, he was drafted too high, but that only motivates Miami to prove they didn't blow the pick.
  1. Calvin Johnson – Duh. This took no expertise.
  2. Jacoby Jones – Yet another star from the football factory that is Lane College. He's really having a spectacular preseason.
  3. Dwayne Bowe – Not a terrible preseason, either. Looking like a starter. Sometimes treats passes like they're flaming bags of excrement, though.
  4. James Jones – Favre is wearing him out in the preseason. Looks like he'll have fantasy usefulness.
  5. Steve Smith (NYG) – He's concussed at the moment, but has still impressed.
  1. Calvin Johnson – Quite possibly the most talented wideout prospect since Randy Moss
  2. Anthony Gonzalez – Gonzo's deceptive speed and sticky hands will blossom in the slot
  3. James Jones – Former San Jose St standout could be the closest thing to Marques Colston this year
  4. Jacoby Jones – Versatile, flashy, athletic DII product has the skills to bloom in H-Town
  5. Craig Davis – Has the physical tools for success, but overshadowed by Vincent Jackson
Top 5 players you are most heavily invested in
Brandon Says: Andy Says: Brad Says:
  1. Kevin Curtis – He was falling into my lap in the ninth round regularly in early-summer drafts. Not anymore, though.
  2. Rudi Johnson – Turned to Mr. Consistency in four of my eleven drafts to date.
  3. Maurice Jones-Drew – Turned to Mighty Mouse in four of my eleven drafts to date.
  4. Braylon Edwards – Landed him at bargain rate in four early-summer drafts when folks were still worried about knee and doghouse.
  5. Jason Hanson – Great last-round grab: Sixth among kickers in scoring in '06, and his offense is only getting better.
  1. Rudi Johnson – I didn't mean this to happen. It's just that I keep getting the ninth pick in drafts, and if I don't take him in the first, he falls to me in the second. I like to pretend that I'm drafting Pete Johnson.
  2. Chicago Defense – At least I've put my fifth/sixth round picks where my mouth is.
  3. Jerious Norwood – I was very enthusiastic in the early drafts, though I never actually had to take him very high. He remains a terrific mid-round pick. All kinds of fast.
  4. Nate Kaeding – If I don't draft Betts, then Nate is my preferred Hawkeye.
  5. Greg Olsen – If I don't take an elite tight end – and there's really only one of those – I like to wait until the late rounds. Olsen will have some huge plays.
  1. Brandon Jacobs – "Endless Love" plays in my head every time he touches the ball.
  2. Brandon Jackson – Packer fans loathe his 3.3 preseason YPC average, but no competition, yet.
  3. Clinton Portis – Tendonitis frustrating, but Al Saunders molds backs into gods.
  4. Tony Romo – Rambo has enough high-caliber weapons to become an elite QB.
  5. Ron Dayne – I have an affinity for overweight, slow backs. Too bad David Wells doesn't wear pads.
Top 5 NFL cities
Brandon Says: Andy Says: Brad Says:
  1. Green Bay – They put foam blocks of cheese on their heads … enough said.
  2. Dallas – America's team.
  3. Chicago – Rich tradition: Gale Sayers, Walter Payton … more HOFers than any other franchise.
  4. Pittsburgh – Blue collar town synonymous with football
  5. Kansas City – Only two pro teams in town, one of which is the Royals. It's no wonder this town goes nuts for Chiefs football.
  1. Chicago, IL
  2. Oak Lawn, IL
  3. Schaumburg, IL
  4. Forest Park, IL
  5. Bellwood, IL
  1. Green Bay – The only town in America where God ranks second to football on fall Sundays.
  2. Chicago – Ditka, Polish Sausage, Mini-Ditka, Beer, Bears
  3. Pittsburgh – Steely McBeam would get whooped by my Jeromy McBus
  4. Dallas – Those cheerleaders … big billion dollar new stadium … football is a big friggin' deal
  5. Buffalo – Dude, the hot wing was conceived at the Anchor Bar