Maurice Jones-Drew a major fantasy football risk

Is what round would you draft Maurice Jones-Drew? Second or third in your mind? - @PhillipC318 (via Twitter)

Michael Fabiano: He's definitely not worth a first-round pick at this point, but there will be a time when taking Jones-Drew is worth a roll of the dice. If he fell to me in the second or third round, I'd be more included to take a chance. The caveat, of course, is that fantasy leaguers who do take "Pocket Hercules" also need to secure Rashad Jennings somewhere in the middle to late rounds. Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey has said that Jennings, not Jones-Drew (if he reports), will be his Week 1 starter in the backfield. If you are able to land Jennings, who is rising up draft boards, then it's imperative to have backfield depth to cover your own back.

Mike Wallace is back with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Do you consider him a top-10 fantasy wide receiver? - L. Garza (via Facebook)

M.F.: Offensive coordinator Todd Haley believes Wallace will be ready to play in Week 1, which is good news for the talented wideout. His time off the field could mean a slow start to the season, so finishing in the top 10 in fantasy points could be tough. He'll also have to contend with Antonio Brown, who's looked good in the preseason and is now on the rise in all drafts. When it comes to Wallace, who I have ranked at No. 13 at his position, I'd prefer to land him around the fourth or fifth stanza as a high-end No. 2 fantasy wideout.

Is there a player from the New York Jets who is worth drafting? - B. Paone (via Google+)

M.F.: If we're talking about a standard 10-team league, Shonn Greene, Santonio Holmes, Dustin Keller and the Jets defense will all be drafted. Greene will be the first member of Gang Green off the board, but I wouldn't draft him as more than a flex starter. Holmes is now more than a No. 3 or 4 fantasy wideout, while Keller is a fantasy reserve to target in the late rounds. I wouldn't go after Mark Sanchez or Tim Tebow in most leagues, however. Oh, and take this into account: Tebow (145.42) is being drafted ahead of Sanchez (149.03) based on NFL.com's average draft position despite the fact that he's second on the depth chart. There's not much to like for the J-E-T-S.

Would you draft Cam Newton in the top five once Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady are off the board? - @s8j7 (via Twitter)

M.F.: I don't see Newton as a top-five option in fantasy drafts, but he is worth a first- or second-round selection (top 10-12) in most formats. What worries me about the talented Auburn product is that scoring 14 rushing touchdowns, based on past NFL trends, will be difficult. In fact, it could be tough for him to even reach double-digit scores on the ground. If I had the fifth overall choice and Rodgers and Brady were both taken, I would grab one of Arian Foster, Ray Rice or LeSean McCoy.

I'm drafting third in a 12-team league. Assuming two of the top three projected running backs (Foster, Rice, McCoy) come off the board, who would you advise me to select? - S. Eckert (via Facebook)

M.F.: If you can get Rodgers with the No. 3 overall selection, well, you click his name hit "draft" and smile all the way to the fantasy football bank. While I do support Foster as the top player in drafts, I can't see him falling past the second overall selection in most standard formats. What's more, I would take the Packers quarterback with the top overall selection if you're in a league that rewards six points for passing touchdowns.

Who will be the better fantasy wide receiver this season: Vincent Jackson or Brandon Marshall? - S. Muralidhar (via Google+)

M.F.: I'll answer this question with some statistics. In 2007-2008 as a member of the Denver Broncos, Marshall was targeted a combined 351 times and had 206 receptions with 2,590 yards. He posted those numbers with Jay Cutler as his quarterback and Jeremy Bates as the quarterbacks and wide receivers coach. Marshall was traded to the Bears this offseason, where Cutler is the quarterback and Bates is the quarterbacks coach. On the flip side, Jackson goes from an established quarterback in Philip Rivers to one that is coming off a poor season, Josh Freeman. Furthermore, the Buccaneers will run the football a ton. That could mean fewer chances for Jackson to find success in the pass attack. So based on the numbers, Marshall is the better option.

Is Fred Davis' value on the rise now that Chris Cooley has been released? - @Ericfow (via Twitter)

M.F.: I liked Davis before the 'Skins decided to part ways with Cooley, and he's now a surefire No. 1 fantasy tight end across the board. Remember that had he not been suspended for the final four games of the 2011 campaign, Davis might have ended up with better than 1,000 yards. That's quite an accomplishment for a tight end. At his current ADP of 72.42 (Round 8), the Southern California product could turn into one of the better draft bargains at his position.

I have the sixth overall pick in our 12-team fantasy draft. Would you take Drew Brees or Calvin Johnson? - A. Dicken (via Facebook)

M.F.: I would side with Brees. After all, Johnson is on the cover of the Madden video game! In all seriousness, I'm just not that guy who drafts a wide receiver in the first round. I never have been, and I never will be that guy. Brees, who is coming off one of the greatest statistical seasons ever at the quarterback position, is a virtual lock to throw for close to 5,000 yards with 35-plus total touchdowns. Megatron is awesome, but Brees has a better (and longer) track record for posting consistent and enormous fantasy totals.

Which one of these three running backs coming off injuries would you target first in drafts: Ryan Mathews, Adrian Peterson or Trent Richardson? - K. Carpenter (via Google+)

M.F.: Call me crazy, but I'm still going with Mathews. (At least I'm committed, right?). Peterson is coming off a late-season ACL ailment and hasn't even played in the preseason. In fact, we don't even know if he'll see a full complement of snaps once he does return. I know the popular response is that A.D. is a beast and a freak of nature, but he's also human. Based on the trend of players coming off major knee reconstruction experiencing a decline in value in their first year back, I'm not sold on him being the same Peterson we all knew and loved. I do like Richardson, who is in a great place to find success, but I would still prefer to draft Mathews ahead of the rookie runner. All of the reports on his recovery from a broken clavicle have been positive, so there's a chance he could miss just one or two games in a best-case scenario.

In what round would you take a chance on Kenny Britt? - @uarsenijevic (via Twitter)

M.F.: I have been in four drafts in the last two days, and I landed Britt in two of them. In the 10-team NFL Fantasy LIVE league, which uses a standard scoring system, I landed Britt in the 10th round (No. 92) as a No. 4 fantasy wideout. In a 12-team PPR league, he came off the board in Round 7 as my No. 3 fantasy receiver. The Rutgers product has been activated off the PUP list and is now eligible to be active at the start of the season, though we are still waiting on a decision from the Commissioner's office on his potential suspension for multiple off-field incidents. There is risk involved with Britt, between those troubles and his multiple knee surgeries, but I didn't mind rolling the dice in the middle to late rounds.

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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