Peterson's rehab going well, but there's still concern

Did you see Adrian Peterson running and working out? He looks great! Have you changed your mind about him now? - @mariah10412 (via Twitter)

Michael Fabiano: I did see Ian Rapoport's interview with Peterson, and it's tough not to look at it as anything but positive. A.D. ran hard, did some other rehab-related drills and seems to be on pace for the start of the season. But did we see him make any hard, lateral cuts? No. Did we see him on the field trying to avoid tacklers? Not yet. This whole thing actually reminds me of when Wes Welker made his miraculous (and quick) return from major knee reconstruction in 2010. We saw him running, catching passes and looking pretty good in camps - then he went on to post his lowest reception and yardage totals since he joined the New England Patriots. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to downplay the progress Peterson is making in his recovery from a serious ACL injury. It's amazing. I just need to see more before I consider him even a low-end No. 1 fantasy running back for 2012.

I have the No. 5 overall pick in a 10-team league, and it looks like the first four picks will be Arian Foster, LeSean McCoy, Ray Rice and Aaron Rodgers (in some order). Who would you take in that scenario? What about Calvin Johnson? - K. Gokani (via Facebook)

M.F.: A lot of this decision has to do with your league's scoring system, but if it's just a standard league I'd take Tom Brady. Personally, I just don't like taking a wide receiver in the first round - even someone like Megatron - and I don't think Maurice Jones-Drew, Ryan Mathews or Chris Johnson is worth a top-six overall pick. Brady is reliable, productive and an elite fantasy player at his position. With Brandon Lloyd now in the offense, adding to a solid core of receivers that includes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and Jabar Gaffney, Brady should post another stellar season in the stat sheets.

If you were drafting today, what round would you take DeMarco Murray? - @ChaseHorn (via Twitter)

M.F.: Murray is one of my big breakout candidates for this season. But would I take him in the first or second round? Probably not, unless we're talking about a much bigger league (12-plus teams). Based on his youth, upside and the overall explosiveness of the Cowboys' offense, however, I think he's worth a third-round selection in re-drafts. While there is some concern about his recent proneness to injuries, Murray has the talent to emerge into a tremendous fantasy player this year and far into the future.

I have the No. 10 overall pick in a 12-team snake draft, and we start a tight end plus a flex that can be a running back, wide receiver or tight end. So, would you take one of either Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham in Round 2? - T. Beam (via Facebook)

M.F.: Maybe I'm just a stubborn, traditional fantasy owner, but I am really going to have a tough time drafting a tight end in the second round - even one as good as Gronkowski or Graham. While I do expect at least one of them (and maybe both) to come off the board in that frame in countless drafts, I'd prefer to wait on the position. Remember, it's not going to be easy for either of them to duplicate their ridiculous 2011 totals - especially Gronkowski and his 18 total touchdowns. I also think solid tight ends like Jason Witten, Jermichael Finley and Vernon Davis will be available after Round 6. With that in mind, I'd rather focus on a quarterback, running backs and wideouts in the first five rounds.

Do you think Darren McFadden can make it through all 16 games this season? - @Merritt0035 (via Twitter)

M.F.: I wish I knew the answer to that question! And based on what he told me in our recent interview, McFadden knows his injuries are affecting your fantasy teams. If we look at the past, you have to say he won't play in 16 games. He's missed a combined 12 over the last two years due to injuries, and has averaged just 11 games played over his four-year NFL career. So if we are a little generous and give McFadden 13 games in 2012, he would project to score 194.62 fantasy points based on his 2011 average. That would have ranked him seventh in fantasy points among running backs last season. There's clearly upside with McFadden, but there's also a lot of risk. If you do land the Oakland Raiders runner in the second or third round, you'll also need to grab his backup - the winner of the Mike Goodson and Taiwan Jones battle.

What are your thoughts on Jahvid Best this season? - W. Buckner (via Facebook)

M.F.: Offseason reports about Best have been tremendous, and some within the Lions organization expect him to have a breakout 2012 campaign. But while the talent is there for such a scenario, Best is also prone to injuries (he missed 10 games with a concussion last year), and is a clear risk-reward choice in fantasy drafts. Also, keep in mind that Mikel Leshoure will be back (following a two-game suspension) and should also see his share of the backfield carries. For these reasons, I can't suggest targeting Best as more than a No. 3 fantasy runner or flex starter in most standard leagues.

How much fantasy value will Chad Ochocinco have in Miami? - @KaseyRayScott (via Twitter)

M.F.: Not much, to be honest. Sure, the situation he enters is a good one - the Dolphins don't have a No. 1 wide receiver, and new coach Joe Philbin loves to throw the football. But did you see Ochocinco last season? You probably didn't, because he wasn't good enough to get on the field in New England. Deion Branch and even Danny Woodhead had more catches, and that was with a stud quarterback like Brady under center! At 34 and with one 1,000-yard season on his resume since 2008, I don't have much faith in Ochocinco in 2012. In fact, I wouldn't even draft him until the late rounds - at best.

With the NFL becoming a pass-first league, how do you look at the overall strategy for drafting running backs vs. wide receivers? - M. Myhre (via Facebook)

M.F.: It's all about draft position, your league's scoring system and the flow of the draft. For example, if I end up taking a runner in Round 1, I'm likely going to go wideout in Round 2 and take the best player available at those positions in the next two rounds. That is, unless an elite quarterback falls to me. Otherwise, I might wait to take a signal-caller until after the fifth round (again, based on the draft flow). In the event that I end up with a quarterback in Round 1, chances are I'll be taking a running back in Round 2, a wide receiver in Round 3 and the best player available at those positions in the fourth and fifth rounds. Regardless, I like to have at least two runners and two wideouts at the conclusion of Round 5.

Would you draft Daniel Thomas as a handcuff for Reggie Bush, or pick up someone like LeGarrette Blount or James Starks in the late rounds? - @BearEsquibel (via Twitter)

M.F.:Fantasy handcuffs are important, especially with so many big-name running backs coming off major injuries. But wouldn't you rather have a starting running back in this case? I would, which is the reason I'd prefer Starks over both Daniels and Blount. Sure, the Packers don't run the ball as much with Rodgers and that powerful passing attack leading the way. But the team appears committed to Starks as their lead back (Ryan Grant was not retained), and he's received some good press in offseason workouts. That doesn't mean you should draft him as your No. 2 fantasy back, but Starks could turn into a decent middle- to late-round value as a No. 3 or 4 option.

How much of an impact will Bernard Scott have on the value of BenJarvus Green-Ellis? - A. Rey (via Facebook)

M.F.: In a recent report from the Cincinnati Enquirer, Joe Reedy suggested that the Bengalswill utilize a committee approach with Scott and Green-Ellis this season. While I'm projecting the Law Firm to start and see more carries, it's pretty evident that offensive coordinator Jay Gruden isn't going with a true lead back like Cedric Benson was in the past. Instead, he'll use Green-Ellis as an inside runner and in short-yardage and goal-line situations. On the flip side, Scott will enter games as a change-of-pace, home-run runner. The guy to own in fantasy land is Green-Ellis, but Scott will also be worth a late-round look in drafts. Just don't expect either to break out.

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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