Michael Fabiano: I liked Richardson more than Lynch even before the Seahawks runner found himself in hot water with the law (again). Call me a hater, but I just don't see him posting such huge totals in back to back years. On the flip side, the rookie out of Alabama has the tools to be a three-down back at the NFL level. In fact, I consider him the top option in the Browns offense without even seeing him play a single preseason snap. While I wouldn't take Richardson in Round 1, he is going to come off the board in the second or third round in most seasonal leagues. To put a bow on the Lynch situation, his value is subject to change now that a potential league-imposed suspension looms. In a worst-case scenario, he could fall into the middle rounds in re-drafts while his backup, Robert Turbin, gains some value.
M.F.: Keep in mind, my rankings are based on a standard scoring league that rewards four points (not six) for touchdown passes and no bonuses. So in your league, Rodgers seems to be the better choice because the scoring system is structured to favor quarterbacks. To defend Foster, how many running backs are at his level in the NFL (fantasy or otherwise)? What's more, his position is so full of question marks between injuries and committees that Foster becomes even more valuable. If you pass on a quarterback in the first five rounds, you'll likely still have solid options to choose from like Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan and Ben Roethlisberger. Even Philip Rivers could be on the board! What runners will be available in that same space? Well, you're looking at the likes of Reggie Bush, Doug Martin, Beanie Wells and Shonn Greene. All good backs, but certainly not locks to be fantasy stars.
M.F.: I haven't moved Bryant in my rankings yet, because league or team discipline isn't a guarantee. I'm definitely disappointed in the disturbing reports, both as a fantasy owner and a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, but I think we have to sit back and see what happens before changing Bryant's fantasy value. He's currently ranked No. 20 at his position on NFL.com. I also believe he is well worth his 42.97 ADP (average draft position), which has him coming off the board in the fifth round, at least for now.
Now that Matt Forte has a long-term contract, where does he rank from a fantasy perspective in both standard and PPR leagues? - R. Parris (via Facebook)
M.F.: The fact that Forte and Ray Rice are no longer holdout candidates is great news from a fantasy perspective, because we all know what seems to become more likely to happen when a player misses camp -- injuries. With that said, Forte's stock is still going to take a slight hit with potential touchdown vulture Michael Bush now on the roster. Does that mean he'll be moved out of the top 10 players at his position in standard leagues? Not at all. If you look back at last season, he scored just four total touchdowns in 12 games and was still a nice asset because of his reception and yardage totals. I have Forte ranked eighth in both standard and PPR formats.
Do you ever target other people's fantasy handcuffs in the late rounds? - @pauljb123 (via Twitter)
M.F.: All is fair in love and fantasy football, Paul! If I need a running back and the best one on my board just happens to be someone else's handcuff, well, that's just how the cookie crumbles. With all of the committees around the league, it is going to be tougher than ever to handcuff your top runners. Think about it. Who wouldn't want to grab Michael Bush as a fourth back, even if Forte isn't on their roster? What about C.J. Spiller, Toby Gerhart, Peyton Hillis or Ben Tate? Those players could all considered potential flex starters in larger leagues, not just fantasy insurance.
M.F.: The value with Spiller and Thomas is incredible, as both will be taken far before Round 13 in re-drafts. In the case of Thomas, who I see as a major breakout candidate, you could be getting top-15 production at his position and lose a pick in the 11th round (based on losing two rounds as you mentioned). However, it's also tough to look past Romo in what is now a quarterback driven league. If you have a first-round pick in the re-draft and feel you can re-acquire Romo or land a signal-caller of his caliber, I would hold Thomas. But if your draft position isn't great and most of the top quarterbacks will be retained, you might want to err on the side of caution and retain Romo.
Can you give me your top sleeper at every position? - @LoganLofgren (via Twitter)
M.F.: Ask and you shall receive. If we are talking pure sleepers and not breakout candidates or potential bargains (I tend to be critical of the definition of a "sleeper"), I'll go with Josh Freeman, Doug Martin, Eric Decker, Coby Fleener, Matt Prater and the Buffalo Bills defense as some of my favorites per position.
I saw Randy Moss was taken in a recent mock draft. Can he return to fantasy relevance this season, especially after not playing at all in 2011? - G. Keyte (via Facebook)
M.F.: Moss has looked terrific in offseason workouts. In fact, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh already considers him the team's No. 1 wide receiver. That's a positive sign, but are we now going to see the Moss of old, a fantasy superstar who is worth a prominent draft pick? Not to me. Remember, he is 35 years old and hasn't played a lick of regular-season football since 2010. Also keep in mind that Moss played for three different teams that year and was all but invisible as a member of the Tennessee Titans. When you also consider the depth of receivers in San Francisco (Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham), not to mention a quarterback in Alex Smith who has never thrown for more than 3,200 yards in a season and well, there's a lot not to like with Moss. That doesn't mean I wouldn't take him with a late-round flier, but that's about it.
M.F.: In NFL.com's standard leagues, both Johnson and Mathews are coming off the board in the second round. Since both players possess nice skills as pass catchers, I can't imagine that either runner will be drafted later than that in PPR leagues. In fact, CJ2K and Mathews could come off the board as soon as the middle-to-late first round just based on the lack of prominent featured running backs in the league. In the recent NFL.com experts mock draft, Mathews went No. 8 overall (Round 1) while Johnson was taken at No. 11 (Round 2).
What are your thoughts on Mike Wallace for this season, especially now that he hasn't landed a new contract? - W. Clark (via Facebook)
M.F.: Wallace is a top-10 fantasy wideout without question, and playing in what will ultimately be a contract year should do nothing but motivate him to put up good numbers. Also keep in mind that new offensive coordinator Todd Haley isn't shy about throwing the football, so there should be plenty of opportunities for Wallace to make plays. With an ADP of 33.00 on NFL.com, Wallace isn't likely to still be on the board after the third or fourth round in most leagues.