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Careful: Shanahan is setting up fantasy enthusiasts for failure

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Mike Shanahan is doing it to us again.

Tim Hightower has looked amazing during the preseason. I mean, we all saw that 37-yard touchdown run against the Ravens. Hightower also bullied the Steelers. This is going to be Hightower's breakout season, right?

This is what Shanahan does. He lulls you into believing that Hightower is going to have a big season. Then, when you are not looking, he hits you over the head with the metal folding chair and walks away laughing.

That is just the way this thing is going to go.

Has Hightower looked impressive? You bet. But remember, this is the preseason. He did the same thing in 2009 when he averaged 5.0 rushing yards in his first three preseason games, but did not become a fantasy monster (though he did have eight rushing touchdowns that season).

The consistency issue is still here -- along with Ryan Torain and Roy Helu.

Somebody is going to panic and take Hightower way too early. Do not let it be you. I would put Hightower above guys like Ryan Mathews, Marshawn Lynch, Jonathan Stewart and maybe even Cedric Benson. But do not reach for him over Beanie Wells, Knowshon Moreno or LeGarrette Blount.

How about answering some the various social media outlets?

Hey Adam, don't listen to the haters, your Pick 6 columns are a refreshing humorous break from the daily grind of NFL analysis. Fantasy question for you... I drafted CJ2K and also have Gore and B.Wells and J. Best. I've got R. Bush on my bench as well as Fabiano's handcuff -- Ringer. Should I go after Helu or stay with what I have? Advice much appreciated. Keep up the funny columns.-Jeremy Martinez (via Facebook)
Flattery worked for Jeremy here, but you do not have to make it a habit. I will try to answer everyone's questions. But we can flash back to the Redskins running backs here. You have to keep Chris Johnson and his handcuff, Ringer. The rest of your running backs are solid. If you are carrying an extra kickers, defense or an expendable receiver, you do not need Helu right now. That is a good stable of running backs.

Hey Adam, really enjoy your columns on NFL.com. Here's my question: I'm in a small fantasy league with all my closest buddies, we're just 8 teams. In such a small league, it's much easier to stack up on top-notch players but I'm wondering if you'd recommend a different strategy when it comes to the first few rounds. I ask because with such a small league, one could potentially land Ray Rice and Michael Turner in the first two rounds and have a sick starting combination at the RB position. Any thoughts? -- Luc Jaillet (via Facebook)
Again, no need for the flattery, Luc. By the way, Luc Robitaille is my favorite Los Angeles Kings player of all-time. But you are spot-on in your assessment here. With only eight teams, you are going to get a good quarterback no matter what. The thing you might want to consider (given your draft position) is to take an elite running back and an elite receiver with your first picks. Especially if you are in the second half of the first round. Having that elite WR is going to be a boon for you.

Fifth pick in my 12-team draft. Ray Rice? Jamaal Charles? And do I go RB, QB and then WR? Or do you have a different strategy? - Reader Matt P (via text message)
Rice over Charles, and wait on your quarterback. If you check out NFL.com's average draft position, you can see that Manning is falling to the third round. There is a chance you can grab him in the fourth. If not, you can still find quality quarterbacks after that. I can see your team looking like RB Rice, WR Nicks, RB Hillis and QB Manning. That would be a good start.

Are Colts receivers meaningless without Manning? T Hill (via Twitter)
Outside of Reggie Wayne, the answer is yes. And even then, Wayne is not impressed with Kerry Collins.

Picking 3rd tonight in my draft and do you think passing on C. Johnson would be wise? - Scott Reading (via Twitter)
My confidence in Johnson is still high, but when you are drafting top three, and you have a choice between Adrian Peterson, Arian Foster and Jamaal Charles, how can you take a gamble? I would even say Ray Rice is a better option right now, so I am moving Charles down to No. 5.

Brady or Manning? -- Alfredo Careaga (via Twitter)
Brady. Or are you talking about Eli Manning? Because if that is the case, take Brady.

For the record, you can submit your fantasy questions to NFL.com Fantasy Live, Michael Fabiano or me on Twitter. But realize, NFL.com Fantasy has 15,000 followers, Fabiano has 25,000, me, I only have 1,200. So your odds are better that I will answer a question, just based on the numbers. So hit me up on both via Twitter or via Facebook. Be sure to catch the latest on the Dave Dameshek Football Program.

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