Michael Fabiano is off this week, so Marcas Grant is coming off the bench to answer your questions.
Marcas Grant: This is a question that's likely to be asked and answered countless times before fantasy drafts get underway. I'm going with McCoy. For all of Charles' greatness last season, the Chiefs have done little to upgrade at the skill positions -- not to mention the difficulty of repeating as the top scoring running back. Peterson will be helped by playing in Norv Turner's offense, but you have to be a little concerned about the workload he's carried in recent seasons. As for Lynch, he's a quality bruising back, but he lacks the pass-catching ability to match up with the other three. Shady is squarely in the prime of his career and should only go up with a second season in Chip Kelly's offense. Still, if you were to draft any of the other three, no one's going to fault you.
M.G.: That's sort of a two-fold question. The first is an assumption that you believe Ball is worth a first round pick in 2014. You might have noticed that it was the subject of some debate around these parts recently. While I'm not willing to take a chance on the Broncos RB that early, I do think he'll be off the board in most leagues before the end of the second round. As to your question about why that level of excitement never touched Moreno, the answer is simple ... he didn't have the track record. Last season was Moreno's fifth in the NFL and in the previous four campaigns, he'd never started more than 13 games, never broke the 1,000-yard rushing mark and never scored double-digit touchdowns. Throw in a rash of injuries in 2011 and 2012 and there was no logical reason to expect Moreno to finish as a top five fantasy back in 2013.
M.G.: I'm a fan of siding with players with longer track records. In this case, it's definitely Rodgers. Before last season, Rodgers had finished in the top two among quarterbacks for four straight seasons. The Packers star averaged 19.0 fantasy points per game last season -- a number that took a hit when he left the Week 9 game early with the injury -- which would have made him the third-highest scoring fantasy quarterback. Oh and about that injury ... after seven weeks off, Rodgers came back and posted 17.20 points. Foles should have a pretty nice follow-up to last season, but a step back seems likely.
M.G.: Eventually we're going to have to give up the ghost on the idea that Bradford is going to be a fantasy star. His numbers before the injury were respectable (16.9 ppg), but not great. Yet once again, circumstances intervened to derail his year. Now there is talk that the Rams could look for a quarterback in the draft, further clouding the team's view of Bradford. It's a reach to think of him as anything more than a lower-ranked second option. As for Austin, he has a ton of potential, but the Rams coaching staff must prove they can find creative ways to get him the football. Plus, with a plethora of receivers in the St. Louis stable, it's not certain if Austin is the top wideout on his own squad. That makes it hard to consider him the top receiver on yours.
M.G.: He's close, but he's not quite there. Adding DeSean Jackson to the Washington offense makes it as frightening as any in the league, but it's fair to wonder about the learning curve under new offensive coordinator Sean McVay. Griffin, Jackson and Pierre Garcon are experienced enough that you should expect the offense to be humming along by season's end. But it's also likely that there will be some hiccups along the way as everyone learns their roles. Those hiccups might be enough to keep RGIII out of the top five this season.
M.G.: Spiller has the edge here for two reasons -- the first is that most of his struggles in 2013 were based on nagging injuries that hampered his production. As long as he's healthy, he should look more like the rusher that became a breakout fantasy star in 2012. The other reason is that the Bills offense is still geared toward running the football, which bodes well for Spiller and Fred Jackson. I expect the Colts will do everything they can to help rebuild Richardson this season, but with Hakeem Nicks now a part of the offense, Indianapolis is likely to put the ball in Andrew Luck's hands a lot more frequently.
M.G.: Let me answer your question with a question: How did you end up with this lineup and can I play in your league? Okay, now the answer ... McCoy is the easiest of the choices. Like I wrote above, I think he'll be the top player off the board in many leagues this year, so he's a player you hold on to at all costs. The other keeper here is Graham. Calvin Johnson is an excellent fantasy option, but there's only one Jimmy Graham. He was far and away the leader among tight ends and scored just two fewer points than Megatron last season. No one else at the position came close to that level of production. It's like having an extra WR in the lineup every week.
M.G.: Not anymore. It wasn't that long ago that MJD was a top-three pick in fantasy football, but injuries and the ravages of time have stripped him of his productivity and value. It also doesn't help that he'll share time and carries with Darren McFadden. Given the recent injury history of both players, neither will rate as more than a fourth option in most fantasy leagues. You can certainly wait until after the fifth round to find commensurate value.
M.G.: If you had asked me before free agency started, I would have said Carlos Hyde. But so much depends on where a player is drafted. For some help, I went to our own Bucky Brooks' two-round mock draft which has the Ohio State star going to the Browns where he'll share touches with Ben Tate. That takes me look down the list to Tre Mason. The Auburn standout will split touches with Toby Gerhart, but he could make a nice impact as a pass-catching, change-of-pace back. Maybe that makes him more Gio Bernard than Eddie Lacy, but that's not all bad, right?
In a 12-team, standard format league, is it worth going with a QB in one of the first two rounds? -- @Incubusrocks84 (via Twitter)
M.G.: It's an interesting thought, especially because I'm not dedicated to the idea of automatically taking a running back in the first round. However, you can't avoid taking a rusher sometime within the first two picks and it's advisable to try and grab a quality wide receiver in that span as well. By skipping a quarterback in the first two rounds, you might miss out on Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees, but that leaves a host of equally talented options for the later rounds. Not being able to snag someone like Calvin Johnson, Josh Gordon or A.J. Green could be a lot more detrimental in the long run.