Michael Fabiano: McNabb's presence under center for the Redskins certainly makes Santana Moss more attractive in fantasy leagues. In fact, I've moved him up to No. 26 among wide receivers. Remember, Moss was actually the 16th-most productive fantasy wideout in 2008 before falling to 35th last season. I've also moved Devin Thomas up on my current board. The Michigan State product has done nothing of note in his young career, but he'll enter his third NFL season in 2010 and should benefit from McNabb's experience and leadership. As for Jackson, I moved him down just one spot (behind Reggie Wayne) from fourth to fifth at the wideout spot. In two starts with Kevin Kolb under center last season, Jackson recorded 10 catches for 249 yards and two touchdowns.
Why wouldn't you be more hesitant to draft Adrian Peterson next season? After all, he doesn't have a great handcuff anymore now that Chester Taylor is in Chicago. If Peterson gets hurt, who will fantasy owners turn to next, Albert Young? - P. Burbank, Canada
M.F.: I think you do make a fair point, but there's no way I'm avoiding Peterson if I get a chance to draft him next season. He's been pretty durable the last two years, playing in all 32 games with 30 starts. I also don't think the lack of a reliable backup should be a reason to avoid any featured running back. Would it keep you from drafting Maurice Jones-Drew, Michael Turner, Frank Gore or Steven Jackson? If anything, the loss of Taylor only increases Peterson's value in terms of his reception and total yardage potential in 2010.
With the evolution of fantasy football and the increase in good quarterbacks in the NFL, would it not make sense to target premier running backs in the first two rounds because they're such rare commodities? I think an increase in the value of premier running backs also increases the value of the second-tier quarterbacks and wide receivers. Thoughts? - K. Filoon, Quakertown, Pa.
M.F.: I agree with you 100 percent about premier running backs being extremely important in the first two rounds. In fact, I can see as many as 10 runners coming off the board in the first 16 overall picks. But there will come a time, starting in the middle of Round 2, that taking an elite quarterback or wide receiver over a No. 2 back makes more sense. If you select Frank Gore in the first round, I'd much rather take someone like Peyton Manning or Randy Moss in Round 2 ahead of a Knowshon Moreno or Joseph Addai. With backfield committees now so popular around the league, I'd prefer to take a player I know will produce on a consistent basis over a back that could lose carries.
Do you think the Browns are setting up to have run-heavy offense? If so, do you see Jerome Harrison as a second- or third-round pick? - C. Smith, Phoenix, Ariz.
M.F.: I do think the Browns will be a run-first team in 2010. And while Harrison did put up some great numbers down the stretch last season, you have to take those stat lines with a grain of salt. Two of his final three games came against the Raiders and Chiefs, who ranked first and second in terms of allowing the most fantasy points to running backs. Harrison is also not going to be a featured back next season. The coaching staff likes what Peyton Hillis brings to the table in terms of a power complement in the ground attack. I also think the Browns will add another running back in this month's NFL Draft. Harrison also has one of the most difficult FPA ratings of any starting back in the league. Not only will he face the Bengals, Ravens and Steelers a combined six times, but Harrison must also go up against the Patriots, Jets, Jaguars and Dolphins. All seven of those teams ranked in the top 10 in terms of allowing the fewest fantasy points to running backs last season. I do see Harrison as a No. 2 fantasy back right now, but I don't think he's worth taking until after Round 3.
I'm in a keeper league with a standard scoring system that allows you to retain two players. My best options are Ray Rice, Frank Gore, Jamaal Charles, Roddy White and Dallas Clark. I'm keeping Rice, but I can't decide between the rest. Would you consider keeping White or Clark instead of two running backs? - J. Tischleder, North Dakota
M.F.: I agree that Rice is your best option, and I'd retain Gore over Charles, White and Clark. While I do like the upside of the Chiefs running back, Gore is still young and a far more proven asset. He's been a top-10 fantasy runner in three of the past four seasons, including a sixth-place finish in 2009. That came despite the fact that he missed two games due to injuries. I might re-visit this question if the 49ers take Clemson's C.J. Spiller in the first round of the NFL Draft, but for now I think Gore is the best option.
What are your thoughts on the fantasy value of the Patriots wide receivers next season? - S. Miller, Orlando, Fla.
M.F.: For some reason, I've seen Randy Moss fall on fantasy rank lists. Sure, he is 33 and not the same player who scored 23 touchdowns in 2007. But Moss was the second-most productive wideout on NFL.com last season, posting just nine fewer points than Andre Johnson. He's also in a contract year, so I still like Moss as an elite fantasy wideout. The status of Wes Welker is in limbo, and some reports have him out until Thanksgiving as he recovers from major knee reconstruction. In a best-case scenario, he's a solid No. 2 fantasy wideout in standard leagues and a No. 1 option in PPR formats. If he's expected to miss significant time, Welker then becomes a middle-to late-round, draft-and-stash player. That sort of outcome would make Julian Edelman a more viable option in fantasy drafts. I also expect the Patriots to take a wideout in this month's draft, so this group is almost destined to see some changes in the weeks and month to come.
M.F.: I'd hold on to Brady and Benson and release Schaub and McCoy. Brady has one season under his belt after reconstructive knee surgery and will remain one of the better quarterbacks in fantasy football. Benson is only 27 and has very little wear and tear on his body heading into his sixth pro season. He's also the centerpiece of the Bengals offense and one of the true featured backs left in the NFL.
What are your thoughts on the backfield situation in Washington? Do you think it's going to be a full-blown committee, or did the Redskins sign Larry Johnson and Willie Parker simply to motivate Clinton Portis? - L. Balanda, Syracuse, N.Y.
M.F.: Honestly, I want nothing to do with any of the Redskins running backs next season. Coach Mike Shanahan has said that there will be an "open competition" for the top spot on the depth chart, but I still see Portis filling that role. Will these two veterans serve as motivation? I'm sure they will. But for the first time in his career, Portis won't be a featured back. Instead, he'll be forced to share carries with either Johnson or Parker throughout the season. The fact that past backs have found success in Shanahan's zone-blocking scheme is a positive, but we're talking about three runners who are all past their primes. Again, this is a situation to avoid in 2010.
M.F.: Yes, I'm well aware that McFadden still plays for the Silver & Black. I'm also well aware that drafting McFadden is a huge risk. But why not take a chance on a younger back with a chance to see a featured role over three veterans destined to share carries with younger and more talented backs? Tomlinson and Jones have little chance to see the majority of the carries for their respective teams, and Taylor is certain to share the workload in Chicago with Matt Forte. Yes, McFadden is a roll of the dice. But his upside is worth it.
I know you're not big on talking about kickers, but what do you think about the competition in Houston between Kris Brown and Neil Rackers? The Texans offense is awesome, so the winner could have a lot of value, right? What about Shayne Graham and Nick Folk? Also, who is your top kicker heading into 2010? - P. Hayward, Houston, Texas
M.F.: A kicker question during the offseason? Amazing. I agree that the eventual winner of the Brown-Rackers battle will have some fantasy value. If I had to venture a prediction, I'd give the edge to Rackers. The Ravens appear to be hot on the trail of Graham, who would be a viable fantasy starter if he ends up in Baltimore. As for Folk, it looks like he'll compete with Clint Stitser for the top spot on the depth chart. He did show flashes of brilliance with the Cowboys, but the end of Folk's tenure in Big D was ugly. As for the top kicker on my board, I'm going with Stephen Gostkowski. He's been reliable and is a virtual lock to be a top point producer among kickers.