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Bans affect Bell, Brady differently for fantasy

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Marcas Grant: The short answer is "Nope." The longer answer is "Nooooooooope." I wouldn't have sacrificed a fourth-rounder for Brady under any circumstances. Even though I don't necessarily subscribe to the Michael Fabiano "wait on a quarterback" theory, I do agree that there is too much depth at the position to give up such an early pick on a player who has been on the lower end of the QB1 scale for the past two seasons. But now that he could potentially miss four games (pending appeal), that would be far too rich for my blood. Throw Brady back into the pool and you might be able to find an even better option at an even better value.

M.G.: If there is a tight end worth picking in the top 10, it's Gronk. He's the best at his position by far and can post numbers similar to some of the top receivers. But even if you think of him as a first-round pick, he's No. 10 at best. Yet with the likelihood that Tom Brady is going to miss at least a little bit of time, I'd feel more comfortable taking Gronk somewhere early in the second round. Jimmy Garoppolo might look like Superman, but we don't know if he can play like Superman.

M.G.: Even with a three-game suspension to start the season, there's no doubt that Le'Veon Bell remains a first-round pick. Had Bell been available for Week 1, he would have been a strong choice to be the consensus No. 1 overall pick. Regardless, the Steelers back remains one of the true workhorses in the league (don't worry about DeAngelo Williams) and is a viable threat as both a runner and a receiver. The only caveat is that if you spend an early pick on Bell, you'll need to make sure you grab another running back in the second round to guarantee a viable option to help you through the first three weeks. It also wouldn't be a bad idea to try grabbing Williams as a handcuff.

M.G.: Peterson isn't going to last long in most drafts. He'll probably be one of the first three players off the board and could go No. 1 in plenty of leagues. As I mentioned with Bell, there aren't a ton of three-down, workhorse running backs available. Not only is Peterson one of them, but he's arguably the best of the group and has had a year away from the wear-and-tear of a 16-game schedule. As for quarterbacks, if I find myself in the back half of my draft order, I wouldn't have any problem selecting a guy like Aaron Rodgers over reaching for a borderline RB1 that I could possibly get early in the second round.

M.G.: I feel you. Holding on to McKinnon seemed like a much better idea a few months ago when it looked like Adrian Peterson could force his way out of Minnesota through a trade. Now that it looks like A.D. will be getting the rock in Week 1, McKinnon's value has sunk like ... well, like a rock. Traditionally, guys playing behind a healthy Peterson don't get a lot of opportunities. It's a fact of the NFL that injuries happen, but it's a poor strategy (and generally pretty distasteful) to try and bank on them.

M.G.: The Legend of Odell Beckham Jr. is going to haunt fantasy managers all offseason long. I don't need to tell you how spectacular the rookie was last season, but that will only serve to get him overdrafted in plenty of leagues. I currently have OBJ ranked sixth among receivers and coming off the board sometime late in the second round or early in the third. It's mostly because as a fantasy skeptic, I'd like to see him do it again. Beckham benefited from not having any real competition for targets after Victor Cruz went out with an injury. In a perfect world, Giants offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo would like to spread the ball around a little bit more. Beckham should still be a very productive wideout in 2015, but expecting him to average 17 fantasy points per game (as he did in 2014) is awfully ambitious.

M.G.: I'm currently selling tickets for a ride on the Ryan Tannehill hype train. Everybody get on board! Do I believe that he's going to turn into an elite fantasy quarterback? Not a chance. But after finishing eighth among signal-callers last season, do I believe that he could knock on the door of the top five? Definitely. The emergence of Jarvis Landry combined with the additions of rookie DeVante Parker and veteran Greg Jennings are a good start. Add to it that the current crop of top 10 fantasy quarterbacks features an aging group that includes Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady and there's room for new blood near the top. Of course if it all goes wrong, I'll disavow any knowledge of this in December.

M.G.: As much as I love Amari Cooper, I'm really big on Kevin White this season. The difference being that the Raiders could put a lot of pressure on Cooper to be "the man" in the offense. One day I truly believe he and Derek Carr will be a solid pass-catch duo. But there will be growing pains. Meanwhile, White comes into a situation where he has a bona fide playmaker across the way in Alshon Jeffery and a top-notch running back in Matt Forte to keep defenses honest. In many ways, it's similar to the situation Mike Evans landed in last season ... only White has a better quarterback.

M.G.: Ah yes, Chris Matthews. He picked one hell of a way to introduce himself to the football world and chances are good that you aren't the only fantasy enthusiast that is wondering if there is more to come. There are a couple of reasons I would preach caution. The first is that as long as Marshawn Lynch is still Skittl'ing in Seattle, the Seahawks are going to be run-heavy. The other is that now with Jimmy Graham in town, it stands to reason that the bulk of the targets will go his way. After that, it leaves some combination of Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, rookie Tyler Lockett and Matthews to battle for the rest of the opportunities. Any pick spent on Matthews should be a late-round flier at best.

M.G.: The name immediately springs to mind is Joseph Randle. Randle's potential spiked when the Cowboys declined to draft a running back. Right now, Darren McFadden might be the No. 1 back on the Dallas depth chart, but you can expect that there will be a battle for carries in the training camp. Whoever wins the battle gets the benefit of running behind that monstrous offensive line. I'd give the edge to the younger back who hasn't been injury prone for the entirety of his career. You should be able to get Randle at a nice price, especially if he doesn't come up for bid until later in the draft once everyone has spent their money.

Bonus question:

M.G.: Meesa thinks you made a big mistake.

I'll show myself out now.

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for and a man who is still intent on learning how to use The Force. Tweet him directions to the Dagobah system or fantasy football questions @MarcasG.

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