I don't go into draft season looking to buy the same players, but inevitably some common threads will work their way onto my various rosters. Let's take a gander at the repeat purchases I've been making over the last month.
You won't find many big-name players here, in part because my early draft position has been all over the map. Players are listed by the number of times I've selected them. Game on.
• Jabar Gaffney(notes), WR, Broncos: He's far and away the player I own the most often, in part because the price was ridiculously cheap 2-3 weeks ago. His finishing kick last December (21-282-2 over the final two games) keeps whispering to me, and Kyle Orton(notes) is better than most people think. I'm not asking Gaffney to be Superman or anything, just a quality third or fourth receiver. He can get there, on volume alone.
• Joseph Addai(notes), RB, Colts: He's an ordinary talent and you won't see him on the highlight shows very often, but who cares? The Colts trust him in all game situations – especially as a blocker and receiver – and that keeps Donald Brown(notes) standing on the sideline. Location, location, location.
• Johnny Knox(notes), WR, Bears: I was in on this early, when the price wasn't so bad. Lately, I've been pushed to some Devin Aromashodu(notes) as a hedge. You know the Mike Martz offense, he puts the fun in dysfunctional. Let's just hope all those deep drops don't kill Jay Cutler(notes).
• Cadillac Williams, RB, Buccaneers: His explosion is pretty much toast and the Bucs look like a bad team, but we can get some fantasy value if the volume is there.
• Dustin Keller(notes), TE, Jets: This is just a byproduct of going cheap at tight end in a couple of deeper leagues. It's nice that Keller had those three pretty touchdowns in the playoffs, but there are a lot of mouths to feed in the New York passing game and Mark Sanchez(notes) doesn't inspire a lot of confidence yet.
• Mohamed Massaquoi(notes), WR, Browns: Another opportunity pick, though I also like Massaquoi's chances of a second-year spike. Jake Delhomme(notes) isn't anyone's fantasy dreamboat these days, but things were just as bad (if not worse) in Cleveland's pocket last year.
• Nick Folk(notes), PK, Jets: Points at kicker aren't as random as many think. Follow a winning team for starters (losing teams generally don't kick field goals in the fourth quarter), and also look for a team tied to a good defense and a conservative offense. Folk's leg strength looked to be all the way back in August.
• Ray Rice(notes), RB, Ravens: He's been No. 3 on my board just about all summer. I'm not going to worry about the goal-line work and the touchdown count; a guy this talented will find the end zone by accident.
• Knowshon Moreno(notes), RB, Broncos: I like the reception spike at the end of his rookie year, and while there's that nagging hamstring to worry about, the Broncos have no one who can really push him. If Moreno can get healthy before the bell rings, he'll see plenty of work.
• 49ers Defense: The 2010 Niners remind me so much of the 2009 Jets. Strong personality at head coach. Identify of the team is defense first, running game second. Lots of talented pass catchers, but we're not sure how good the quarterback really is. I'll be very surprised if the Niners don't win their division, and they'll enjoy getting four games against the AFC West.
• Robert Meachem(notes), WR, Saints: Normally I get suspicious when a player scores a bunch of times on a modest amount of receptions – that's not the sort of thing that carries over year to year. But so long as the Saints use Meachem as a starter from Day 1, I'm not concerned.
• Dwayne Bowe(notes), WR, Chiefs: I see Kansas City as a potential surprise team this year; not a playoff contender, but someone who can finish second in the AFC West. Getting Charlie Weis back to his coordinator roots is a good thing. Here's hoping Bowe and Todd Haley have finally gotten somewhat used to reach other.
• Steve Smith, WR, Panthers: The funny thing is that I really prefer the other Steve Smith more, and I thought I ranked New York's Smith fairly ambitiously. But you know how draft season goes, a lot of things aren't according to plan. I'm legitimately concerned that the Panthers could be a mess by mid-season, and breaking in a rookie quarterback.
• Vince Young(notes), QB, Titans: I've got him in a few unconventional leagues, groups that use multiple quarterbacks or best-ball scoring. Young's pocket awareness has come a long way, and he's still going to give us a kickback with his legs.
• Ahmad Bradshaw(notes), RB, Giants: He was a great value early in draft season when Brandon Jacobs(notes) was still receiving a bit too much respect, but even if the price is the same on these backs, give me Bradshaw. He's faster, he's a better receiver, and he's tougher.
• Louis Murphy(notes), WR, Raiders: I was hoping for a lot of Zach Miller shares this year; kept getting sniped on that one. But Murphy isn't a bad consolation prize; he looks like their best receiver, especially with Chaz Schilens(notes) hurt again.
• Hines Ward(notes), WR, Steelers: Another boring vet, the Addai Principle. Things will be messy with Pittsburgh's passing game for the first month, but then comes the bye week, and then Ben Roethlisberger(notes) returns.
• Justin Forsett(notes), RB, Seahawks: There's plenty of gridlock here and Leon Washington(notes) looks better than anyone expected, but Forsett still is the best fit for the new zone-blocking scheme.