Which No. 2 wide receivers on their actual team could be No. 1 wide receivers in fantasy football this season? - @joelamar20 (via Twitter)
Michael Fabiano: The first player that comes to mind is Julio Jones. On my "fantasy man-crush list for 2012," the Alabama product is a prime breakout candidate. In fact, I wouldn't be shocked if he scored more fantasy points than his Atlanta Falcons teammate, receiver Roddy White. The other No. 2 wideouts that can produce top-notch totals include the New York Giants' Victor Cruz, the Green Bay Packers' Jordy Nelson, the Dallas Cowboys' Dez Bryant and the New England Patriots' Brandon Lloyd.
M.F.:Oakland Raiders running back McFadden and Detroit Lions quarterback Stafford could turn into tremendous bargains based on the rounds you would lose, but there's no chance I'd release Houston Texans running back Foster back into the pool of free-agent players. Consider this. In 29 games over the last two years, he's found the end zone a total of 30 times. By comparison, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has 21 touchdowns in his last 32 contests. In 15 games in 2011, Foster averaged more fantasy points than any running back in the league. In my humble opinion, he's the closest thing we have to Marshall Faulk during the prime of his career. Foster is the No. 1 overall player on NFL.com and should be considered the consensus top pick in most fantasy drafts.
Which NFL teams don't have backfield committees projected for 2012? - @AlexATXRealtor (via Twitter)
M.F.: The list is dwindling, but here it is, as of the last week of May. Teams with true featured backs include the Atlanta Falcons (Michael Turner), Baltimore Ravens (Rice), Cleveland Browns (Trent Richardson), Houston Texans (Foster), Jacksonville Jaguars (Maurice Jones-Drew), Oakland Raiders (Darren McFadden), Philadelphia Eagles (LeSean McCoy), San Diego Chargers (Ryan Mathews), Tennessee Titans (Chris Johnson), St. Louis Rams (Steven Jackson) and Seattle Seahawks (Marshawn Lynch). I think runners like Matt Forte (Chicago Bears), DeMarco Murray (Dallas Cowboys), Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings) (depending on his health), Frank Gore (San Francisco 49ers), BenJarvus Green-Ellis (Cincinnati Bengals), Beanie Wells (Arizona Cardinals), Doug Martin (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Reggie Bush (Miami Dolphins) and Willis McGahee (Denver Broncos) should see the lion's share of their team's carries, but will lose at least some work to a change-of-pace or goal-line back.
Who would you rather draft in the first round of a keeper league, Richardson or Mathews? - W. Clark (via Facebook)
M.F.: Here's two more players on my "fantasy man-crush list." I love both backs, but it's tough for me to pass up on Mathews in this situation. Chargers coach Norv Turner has already said that he's going to give Mathews as much work as he can handle in his third NFL season. With Mike Tolbert out of the mix, Mathews, 24, should see more than his share of opportunities to post huge fantasy totals. So why do I like him more than Richardson? It's close, but Mathews has a far better quarterback at the helm (Philip Rivers) and plays in an easier division (AFC West vs. AFC North) from a defensive standpoint.
M.F.: I'm on record as promoting Demaryius Thomas as the Denver Broncos wideout to target in fantasy drafts, but it's hard not to like Decker as well. The third-year player from Minnesota has 1,000-yard potential with Manning at the helm, so consider him in the middle rounds as a No. 3 fantasy option with serious upside.
Hey Michael, do you know of any tight ends to draft in the late rounds that could break out this season? - W. Bryan (via Facebook)
M.F.: If you go after a tight end in the middle to late stanzas, I like the following players (in this order): Fred Davis (Washington Redskins), Jacob Tamme (Denver Broncos), Coby Fleener (Indianapolis Colts), Tony Gonzalez (Atlanta Falcons), Brent Celek (Philadelphia Eagles) and Brandon Pettigrew (Detroit Lions). I'm especially fond of Davis, who will be one of the top options in the Redskins' offense. Keep in mind, he was on pace to post better than 1,000 yards last season before missing four games due to a league-imposed suspension. If you want to wait until the later rounds, target (in order): Jared Cook (Tennessee Titans), Dustin Keller (New York Jets) and Jermaine Gresham (Cincinnati Bengals).
M.F.: Yes, I would. (Wait, did I really say that?) Times have changed, and fantasy enthusiasts, including myself, have to change with them. Rodgers is as much of a guarantee as there is in fantasy football, and I expect him to be one of the top five picks in most drafts. In fact, the lone player I would take ahead of him is Foster. That's right, I'm going with Rodgers over Rice, McCoy, Jones-Drew, Mathews and CJ2K. Wow, this new fantasy world is going to take some getting used to!
Say you have a top-three pick in a 12-team league and decide to take running backs with your first two picks. Which quarterback, that you have ranked outside of the top 12 at the position, would you take a chance on to produce top-10 numbers? - A. Bronk (via Facebook)
M.F.: The quarterbacks I have ranked from No. 10-13 are (in order): Eli Manning (New York Giants), Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons), Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers) and Robert Griffin III (Washington Redskins). If I end up landing two running backs in the first two rounds, which by the way I'm not likely to do in 2012, I wouldn't mind rolling with any one of those players as my No. 1 signal-caller. With that said, I'd also be more inclined to take a No. 2 quarterback sooner than later in this scenario. That means going after a player that I could play with confidence when the matchups are favorable, a list that includes Matt Schaub (Houston Texans), Jay Cutler (Chicago Bears) and Josh Freeman (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) (not a misprint; I think Freeman rebounds in 2012).
M.F.: When I talked to Jackson a few weeks back, he told me that he expects to be the Buffalo Bills' starter. He also suggested a statistical goal of 1,200 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. From your lips to God's ears, Mr. Jackson. I know how good Spiller was at the end of last season, and I do expect him to see more burn in 2012. But when the smoke clears, I still see Jackson leading the team in backfield touches. Wrap your brain around this little nugget: In the nine full games Jackson played last year, he averaged just over 18 carries. By comparison, Spiller had just 18 carries combined (!) in those contests. I think that difference is going to shrink, but Jackson is still the back to target in drafts.
I'm in a keeper league that retains three players and one future fantasy player (a rookie or second-year player). My roster includes Rodgers, Peterson, Charles, Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson, with Julio Jones as my future player. Which three players should I retain? Should I make a trade? - J. Cooling (via Facebook)
M.F.: There's no chance I'd release Rodgers, and Peterson is still an attractive keeper despite having to recover from major knee reconstruction. The last player to retain is Fitzgerald, who is about as reliable as you can get at the wide receiver spot despite the lack of a solid No. 1 quarterback in Arizona. He's also more durable than Johnson, who has missed a combined 12 games over the last two years with injuries.