Dolphins' Reggie Bush still not elite in fantasy football

I'm a huge Reggie Bush fan. What round would you take him in this season? - @RyanAnthony305 (via Twitter)

Michael Fabiano: I actually had a pretty heated debate about this topic with my fellow NFL Fantasy LIVE member Jason Smithduring our recent show on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. Jason thinks Bush is worth a second- or third-round pick, which I think is too high. In fact, I wouldn't draft him until the fifth round of a 10-team league. Yes, he is coming off one of the best fantasy seasons of his career. But even one of his best campaigns didn't get him into the top 12 in fantasy points among runners. Also take into consideration that he played in 15 games in 2011 -- that was the most he's played in since his rookie year. If you ask me, one season of avoiding injuries out of five doesn't suddenly make a player durable. I definitely think Bush is a No. 2 runner in fantasy land, but to draft him before Round 5 isn't something I'm prepared to do right now.

Who would you rather have between LeSean McCoy and Ray Rice? - J. Khalifa (via Facebook)

M.F.: Can I flip a coin? Honestly, it's like asking whether I'd like to drive a Ferrari or a Lamborghini. But if I had to make a selection, it would be Rice because I think it's more realistic for him to come close or duplicate his 2011 totals. As for McCoy, I can see him re-producing his reception and yardage numbers but not his 20 total touchdowns. Take this into consideration. In the history of the National Football League, there have been 25 instances where a running back has scored 20 or more times. Not including Jim Brown, who retired after posting 21 scores (1965), these runners failed to duplicate the previous season's total 82.6 percent of the time. That's not to suggest that McCoy will be a bust, because I see him as one of the few elite runners in fantasy land. But I just don't see him scoring that many touchdowns in back to back years. Or maybe ever again.

Has Wes Welker hit his fantasy football ceiling? - @jacobpackrulzz (via Twitter)

M.F.: Welker was an absolute beast last season, but I have a tough time believing that he can produce better numbers in 2012. So to answer your question, yes I do think he's hit his ceiling. With a pass attack that includes stud tight ends Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and now a brilliant wideout in Brandon Lloyd, you almost have to expect Welker to experience a statistical decline. Maybe that means his reception and yardage totals look more like the ones he produced in 2007-2008, when he was over 100 catches and produced right around 1,100-1,200 yards. Those are still very good numbers, just not the 1,569 yards and nine scores from a year ago.

What do you think about Dez Bryant? He has yet to surpass 1,000 yards in a single season, plus he also has off-field issues! - M. Johnson (via Facebook)

M.F.: It doesn't appear to me that Bryant's off-the-field issues are going to result in a suspension, at least not at this point. And while Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was "pissed" at Bryant for the recent incident involving his mother, he also told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the wideout has been "lights out" so far in training camp. I have the talented Bryant ranked at No. 17 at his position on NFL.com, and I don't see him moving down in the near future. In fact, he could even rise into the top 15 if he continues to make waves in camp and during the preseason. As for your comment about Bryant not having a 1,000-yard season, well, I think it's going to happen in 2012.

Any fantasy sleepers you can send my way? - @bgcamp237 (via Twitter)

M.F.: You can get my sleepers, along with the sleepers of every member of our NFL Fantasy LIVE crew, in our in-depth and updated draft kit. Some of my favorite sleepers include Doug Martin, Stevan Ridley, Eric Decker, Denarius Moore and Robert Meachem.

With Mike Wallace and the Pittsburgh Steelers not progressing in contract talks, do you still consider him a top-20 fantasy wide receiver? - P. Godler (via Facebook)

M.F.: I haven't moved Wallace down in my wide receivers rankings at this point, but it could happen very, very soon if this situation doesn't improve. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette believes it would require "one big change of heart" for him to report to training camp in the next three weeks. It was also suggested that Wallace's long-term contract demands will not be met, especially now that Antonio Brown has been extended, and that his only options are to sign his $2.7 million tender or sit out the first 10 regular-season games. Clearly this is a situation that fantasy leaguers need to watch in the weeks to come.

In your opinion, is Doug Martin a top-15 fantasy football running back at season's end? - @rp_grigg (via Twitter)

M.F.: I absolutely think Martin has the tools to be one of the top 15 running backs in fantasy football this season. NFL Network's Rich Hollenberg seems to agree, suggesting on "Inside Training Camp Live" that the rookie could emerge as the main man of a "one-horse backfield" for coach Greg Schiano. The Boise State product possesses terrific running and receiving skills, and his abilities as a pass blocker could keep him on the field for all three downs. Of course, there is always that risk of putting lofty expectations on a rookie runner. Just ask anyone who drafted Mark Ingram in 2011. But Martin has the physical tools, and it looks like the opportunities will be there, to emerge into a solid option.

Any reports on Jamaal Charles? How does he look in training camp? - S. Gevorgian (via Facebook)

M.F.: In an interview with the Kansas City Star, Charles said that he has his "mojo back" after suffering a torn ACL in Week 2 of last season. "I feel comfortable out there, and I'm ready to go," he said. "My legs feel fresh." Charles also believes he'll have no problem running and cutting on his reconstructed knee, which is good news for his fantasy appeal. While there is still some risk involved coming off such a major operation, Charles appears to be in the best place to succeed of all the running backs coming off ACL tears. The presence of Peyton Hillis could limit his touchdown totals, but the Texas product should still be considered a borderline No. 1 or 2 fantasy back. Expect him to come off the board somewhere in the second or third round.

What are the chances that Jake Locker starts in Week 1? - @PhartinMung (via Twitter)

M.F.: Apparently, Locker's chances are pretty darn good. NFL Network's Michael Lombardi has learned that he's now considered the favorite, ahead of Matt Hasselbeck, to start for the Tennessee Titans in 2012. If the Washington product plays well in training camp and during the preseason, he'll turn into quite a nice deep sleeper in fantasy land. Locker showed flashes of potential last season in limited work, so he'll be well worth a late-round look as a No. 2 fantasy signal-caller with upside if he does in fact earn the top spot on the depth chart.

I'm in a keeper league and can retain three players from Aaron Rodgers, Arian Foster, DeMarco Murray, Marshawn Lynch and Peterson. Rodgers and Foster are no brainers. However, I have been offered a first- and a fourth-round pick for Peterson. Should I accept the trade? - K. Wood (via Facebook)

M.F.: You're right about Rodgers and Foster being no brainers. As for the trade, that's a pretty good haul for a running back, even one as talented as Peterson, who is coming off major knee reconstruction. Also keep in mind that A.D. will be 28 at the start of the 2013 campaign, so you might get two or three more strong years from him before the bottom falls out. So pull the trigger on that deal, keep Murray along with Rodgers and Foster, and go after a stud wideout with one of the first-round picks (assuming you don't lose picks for keepers) you'll have in the re-draft.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!

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