Why isn't anyone talking about Randy Moss? I think he could be the No. 1 wide receiver in fantasy football now that Tom Brady is back for the Patriots. My other question is about a trade. Do you think there is a running back I couldn't get straight up in a deal for Moss in a PPR league? We are awarded ½ point per reception and a two-point bonus for 100-yard performances. Keep up the great work! -- V. Edward, South Beloit, Ill.
Michael Fabiano: You're absolutely right about Moss -- I wouldn't be a bit shocked if he were to re-claim the top spot among fantasy wide receivers now that Brady is back under center in New England. I have Moss ranked fourth at his position behind Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson and Calvin Johnson, so he'll be a second- or third-round pick in drafts. I also don't think there's a running back out there that you wouldn't be able to get straight up for Moss in a PPR league. Even if it were a trade for Adrian Peterson, it would be hard to argue that such a deal could be considered unfair based on each player's value.
I'm in a 12-team PPR keeper league that uses a flex spot instead of a third wide receiver. My options are Matt Ryan, Kurt Warner, Frank Gore, Ryan Grant, Larry Johnson, Darren Sproles, Anquan Boldin, Brandon Marshall and Roddy White. Most teams keep two running backs and one wide receiver. Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning are the lone quarterbacks that will be retained. Who should I keep? Thanks! -- D. Foster, Paris, Tenn.
M.F.: I would go against what the other owners in your league are doing and keep one running back and two wide receivers, Gore, Boldin and White. I just can't see keeping either Grant or Johnson ahead of any of those three wide receivers in a PPR league. When it's time for the re-draft, be sure to target a running back in one of the first two rounds. If Brady, Brees and Manning are the lone quarterbacks retained in this league, you should be able to get a good signal-caller between Rounds 3-5.
M.F.: I realize he loses a little of his luster in a PPR league, but I'd have to retain Turner. Despite reports that the Falcons will use Jerious Norwood more next season, Turner is still, for all intents and purposes, a featured back. That's a rare asset to have in fantasy football during a time when backfield committees are so much more popular around the league. You should target a wide receiver in the first round of the re-draft and two wideouts in the first three rounds. You might be able to re-acquire Johnson or White based on your draft position.
Love your articles and mailbag advice! I am in a keeper league where you lose the round of the players you retain. My choices are Peyton Manning (Round 2), Greg Jennings (Round 6), Chris Johnson (Round 6), DeAngelo Williams (Round 7), Jay Cutler (Round 8), Kurt Warner (Round 13), Michael Turner (Round 13) and DeSean Jackson (Round 17). I have the No. 7 overall pick in the first round. I'm leaning toward Johnson, Williams, Warner and Turner, then I'll go after wide receivers in the first three rounds. Thoughts? -- S. Harrison, Simpsonville, S.C.
M.F.: I think Johnson and Turner are no-brainers based on the rounds you'd lose and their actual value -- both backs will come off the board in the first round in most drafts. I'd also retain Williams for a seventh rounder and Jennings for a sixth-round pick. You'll easily be able to land a quarterback (possibly re-acquire Manning or Warner) and another wideout in the first and second rounds. I'd also target Jerious Norwood and Jonathan Stewart in the middle to late rounds to handcuff your top running backs.
M.F.: I'd keep Johnson based on a few factors. First, he's the most explosive player of the trio and will only improve with one full NFL season under his belt. He's also just 23 years old and has a long and productive career, both as a runner and receiver out of the backfield, ahead of him. The Titans also plan to use Johnson more often in the offense next season, so don't let the presence of LenDale White alter your decision. He might vulture a few touchdowns, but Johnson will be closer to a featured back than the Southern California product. Also, White might not even be in the mix after next season -- he's slated to become an unrestricted free agent in 2010.
M.F.: Here's my thought process with making Rice a sleeper candidate. The Ravens have already stated their desire to move Le'Ron McClain to the fullback position, so either Willis McGahee or Rice will open next season as the starter. McGahee has been prone to injuries in recent seasons and is coming off ankle surgery, so Rice has seen a lot of time with the first-team offense in offseason workouts. In fact, McGahee resumed practicing recently and worked with the second-team offense. Coach John Harbaugh also didn't seem too pleased with the veteran runner, telling the Baltimore Sun that he had "no idea" where McGahee was at in his recovery. With McClain at fullback and a lot of questions about McGahee's health and position on the depth chart, I think Rice could slide into a more prominent role than he saw in his rookie season.
I'm in desperate need of help. I'm in a keeper league and can retain four players from Matt Ryan, Ryan Grant, Clinton Portis, Brandon Marshall, Randy Moss and Roddy White. The scoring system is pretty standard, but we do receive ½ point per reception. Conventional wisdom would tell me to keep Portis, Marshall, Moss and White, but I'm worried about losing Ryan. Should I keep him and throw one of the wide receivers back to secure the quarterback position? Please help! -- B. Kintzer, Richmond, Va.
M.F.: I would love to know what your draft position is like in the first round and second round. Unless this is a larger league where quarterbacks are valued and retained more often, I think you'll be able to re-acquire Ryan if you decided to release him back into the pool of available players. Who knows, you might even be able to draft a better quarterback. Overall, you need to stick with that conventional wisdom and retain Portis, Marshall, Moss and White. Go after a quarterback (maybe Ryan) and a second running back in the first two rounds.
I'm in a 12-team keeper league and need to retain three players from Drew Brees, Steven Jackson, Michael Turner and Larry Fitzgerald. We receive ½ point per reception and six points for all touchdowns. I think Turner is a lock, but I'm not sure about the final two players. We start one quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers and a flex spot (RB/WR). What are your thoughts? -- R. Danks, West Palm Beach, Fla.
M.F.: This is such a tough call because all four players have immense keeper value. Just like in the aforementioned answer, a lot of this depends on your position in the first two rounds of the re-draft. Which of Brees, Jackson, Turner and Fitzgerald do you think you could most likely re-acquire (or get a player with similar value) in the first round? On the surface, I'd keep Jackson, Turner and Fitzgerald and look to add a quarterback (possibly Brees) in the first or second round of the re-draft.
What's your take on the running back situation in Oakland? -- M. Carroll, Chesapeake, Va.
M.F.: As part of our brand-new NFL.com fantasy draft kit, Senior Editor Craig Ellenport sees McFadden as a breakout candidate in our Five bold predictions column. While I think McFadden will be a much better and more consistent fantasy option next season, I just don't fully trust anyone in a Raiders uniform. It's like Charlie Brown trusting that Lucy won't pick up the football before he kicks it. Even when it looks like she'll leave it there for him to boot, Charlie always ends up landing on his rear end. You also have to consider the presence of Justin Fargas, who is still considered the current starter on the depth chart, and Michael Bush in what could be a backfield committee.
I'm a loyal reader that needs some draft advice. I'm in a PPR keeper league that rewards one point for every 20 passing yards and six points for all touchdowns. I have the first overall pick in the re-draft, and it looks like the top options are Tom Brady, Michael Turner and DeAngelo Williams. I'll be keeping Maurice Jones-Drew. Brady is so tempting, but should I take a chance on him after last season's knee injury? Thanks! -- M. Smith, Little Rock, Ark.
M.F.: I would side with Turner ahead of Brady and Williams as the top option. Good running backs could be few and far between when you make your next pick (the last one in the second round), so I'd be sure to secure that backfield. That fact that Turner is even available in a keeper league should be seen as a shock, and you'll reap the rewards all season. Based on the flow of the draft, I'd target either two wide receivers or one quarterback and one wideout in the second and third rounds of the re-draft.