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Entering the heart of the fantasy draft season, many gamers are faced with grueling decisions. To help end your sleepless nights, here's a six-pack of questions with answers to push you in the wrong right direction.
Cam Newton is one of the most controversial players in Fantasyland this year. Many prospective investors aren't buying a repeat season. At his current average draft positon is the former No. 1 pick overrated or underrated?
Brad — Underrated. Everyone and their mother is predicting a significant regression after the passer's historic rookie season. The rushing scores will decrease but don't expect a cliff-dive. And his vertical contributions should improve. Roughly 4,500 combined yards with 30 total TDs seem realistic.
Scott — Overrated. I don't like where his passing numbers went in the second half, and I don't want to bank on him keeping most of that rushing production.
Dalton — Even as a wait on QBs guy, I'll say underrated. Newton's fantasy numbers last season were equivalent to 5,571 passing yards with 42 TD passes. Everyone expects him to regress in the rushing TD department, but he was the NFL's best runner at the goal line last year and should improve as a passer as a sophomore.
Less than three weeks away from opening week and there still doesn't appear to be an end to Maurice Jones-Drew's holdout. The reigning rush king is one of the virtual game's best when in uniform, but, given his situation, he remains a risk. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, what is your level of concern currently?
Scott — I'm still about a 5 on this one. Players generally hear the biological clock ticking, and no one wants to miss game checks.
Dalton — Considering his ADP, I'll say a strong 7. Very few holdout threats last into the regular season, but both sides have legitimate points here, and even if MJD caves and reports right before the season, which currently looks like a best-case scenario, he's at greater risk for injury (or underperformance) thanks to missing so much time. Rashad Jennings also looms.
Andy — I'm moderately concerned, so let's call it a 5. Rashad Jennings is coming on. But MJD is great, not merely good. I'd take a chance at the Round 1-2 turn.
Alongside MJD, a number of high-profile running backs are shrouded in uncertainty. What discounted rusher will turn the biggest profit: Adrian Peterson, Trent Richardson, Ryan Mathews, Jamaal Charles or Marshawn Lynch?
Dalton — That's a tough question, but I'll go with Richardson. I'm less worried about his injury than Mathews, and I viewed both of those backs well ahead of the others 10 days ago. While not in an ideal situation in Cleveland, Richardson should dominate touches as one of the rare every down backs in the league right away as a rookie.
Andy — They all offer profit potential, but Mathews really still has the same upside he had two weeks ago. His injury presents the least risk, too.
Brandon — Give me Marshawn "Beast-Mode/Skittles" Lynch. Very unlikely that his DUI charge reaches judgment this season, which would mean no suspension worries for the No. 5 fantasy RB in '11. And the Seahawks should get on track running the ball far earlier in '12 than they did trying to learn Tom Cable's system in lockout-shortened '11.
Nearly two weeks into the preseason, what player is rising up your cheat sheet?
Andy — If I'm going to keep taking Pierre Garcon in every draft, as I've done so far, then I'll need to give him a rankings bump.
Brandon — Matt Ryan, Jake Locker, Peyton Hillis, Vincent Brown, Pierre Garcon, to name a few
Brad — Jacquizz Rodgers continues to gain momentum. Michael Turner has looked like a broken down Brontosaurus through two preseason games. He's slowed considerably, a demise that begin after Week 12 last year. It would be no surprise if 'Quizz is the more valuable of the pair come year's end.
Conversely, who is falling?
Brandon — Doug Martin, Roy Helu, Ronnie Hillman, Santonio Holmes, Tony Romo (Cowboys offense across the board, actually)
Brad — After a recent surge, it's time to get real about Adrian Peterson. His "no contact, no cutting" admission earlier this week proves his journey from reconstructive knee surgery is far from complete. Unless he morphs into the Incredible Hulk over the final two weeks of the preseason, expect to see a heavy dose of Toby Gerhart Weeks 1-3.
Scott — The concussions have me worried about Greg Jennings, and I'm also concerned about Tony Romo getting caught up in Cowboys collateral damage.
What future Hall of Fame receiver has more gas left in the tank: Terrell Owens or Randy Moss?
Brad — Owens. Moss has reportedly looked great but is expected to play just 20-25 snaps per game. A motivated and still-ripped T.O. wins this, in what could be, a walk.
Scott — I think TO wants it more. But I'm unlikely to draft either one.
Dalton — It's hard to ignore all the positive press about Moss this month, but he hasn't been relevant since 2009 and will likely play limited snaps on a run-heavy offense that has many alternatives in the passing attack. Owens, who admittedly is three years older and coming off surgery, at least appears to have his explosiveness in tact and has a clearer path for targets.
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