Big Dogs
These are your premier TEs.  This elite group is perhaps more head and shoulders above the typical player than for any other position.  You’ll have to get them fairly early (3rd-5th round) or you’ll miss out.

Antonio Gates – He’s been the Alpha Dog for a few years now.  I don’t see this year being any different.  All he did was go for 75 receptions, 984 yards, and 9 TDs. 

Jason Witten – Witten’s 2007 campaign was second-to-none (that includes Antonio Gates) as far as TE’s go.  He had 96 grabs for 1145 yards, and 7 TDs.  Witten is a couple of years younger than Gates (although Gates is only 28) so the torch could be passed soon.

Kellen Winslow, Jr.  - After the early bumps in his career, Winslow, Jr. has settled into being an elite TE in this league.  He had fewer receptions (82 compared to 89) than in ’06, but his yardage skyrocketed (875 to 1106).  He also saw an increase of 2 in the TD department.  I see his receptions remaining in the 80 region, his yardage taking a little dip, and his TDs to increase.

Tony Gonzalez – The Godfather of the Big Dog TEs.  I thought Gonzo would take a dip last year, but he went strong.  He led all TEs with 1172 yards and 99 receptions.  He added 5 TDs.  He’s 32 years old so a fall could happen any year now.  Just don’t count on it.

2nd Tier TEs
These TEs are still good, but won’t be score like a #2 WR like the BDTEs. 

Chris Cooley - He’s perhaps one of the coolest guys in the league as evidenced by his fantasy football play.  He’s topped the 700 yard mark three straight years.  I can easily see him doing that again, and perhaps even moving into 800 yard territory.  He added an impressive 8 TDs.

Dallas Clark – Clark’s 11 TDs were tops among Tight Ends last year.  With Marvin Harrison back and Anthony Gonzalez likely to have a bigger role, I fear a dip in Clark’s production. 

Owen Daniels – He’s the least-renowned of the TEs profiled thus far, but could have an even bigger breakout year in ’08.  He snared 63 passes for 768 yards and 3 TEs. 

Jeremy Shockey - Has his mouth finally wore out its welcome in NYC?  Maybe.  He’s been rumored to be on the block since the G-Men won the Super Bowl without him.  You know the drill though.  If he’s healthy and getting P.T., he’ll produce.  Last year he had 57 catches for 619 yards and 3 TDs despite missing a couple of games.
Update Now that Shockey has landed in New Orleans, I move him up a couple of notches.  He’s a borderline Big Dog now.  He’s in a better Offense with a better QB and more weapons to keep teams honest.  His QB has a track record with TEs.  If he can stay healthy and not become a distraction in New Orleans, Shockey could have a monster season.

Heath Miller – Heath had a nice little season last year for Pittsburgh grabbing 47 passes for 566  yards and 7 TDs.  Not too bad for a TE that probably went in late rounds or undrafted in most leagues.

Todd Heap – He didn’t have the numbers last year (23 catches, 239 yards, 1 TD), but he was great the previous two seasons with over 70 catches, 750 yards, and 6 TDs each year.  He’ll need to play more than the six he did last year.

Tony Scheffler – Denver’s Scheffler could be in line for a breakout year as Denver’s wideouts (outside of Brandon Marshall) and their Running Backs don’t appear to be as strong this year either.  That could mean Tony is busy on Sundays.

Vernon Davis – San Francisco’s Davis has finally began to live up to the hype last year with 52 catches for 509 yards and 4 TDs.  He missed a couple of games, which hopefully isn’t a trend for him as he missed 6 his rookie year.  He has freakish athletic ability, and SF will likely be more pass-happy this year.  He could be the best value of any TE this year. 

Serviceable TEs
We move on to the backup TEs now in most fantasy leagues. 

Greg Olsen – The Bears have nothing going on Offense.  Olsen had a decent enough rookie year (39 catches, 391 yards, 2 TDs) despite missing a couple of games.  I think the Stiffler look-alike will have a breakout season with at least 600 yards and 5 TDs.

Benjamin Watson – Watson got into the Boston TD Party last year with 6 TD receptions.  With all of their weapons, he remains the least venomous option so that TD number may not take that big of a dip.  He added 36 receptions for 389 yards.  I don’t see those numbers moving much in either direction.

Alge Crumpler – Perhaps a change of scenery will do wonders for Alge as he was clearly unhappy in the ATL last year.  He saw his yardage virtually sawed in half last year.  If he becomes Vince Young’s security blanket in Tennessee, he can return to fantasy relevance.

L.J. Smith – L.J. got hit by the injury bug last year resulting in a sub-par 22 catches for 236 yards and a score.  He had 50+ receptions and 600+ yards the previous two years.  If he’s healthy this year, he’ll produce closer to those numbers than his lowly 2007 numbers.

Zach Miller – Zach had a decent rookie year catching 44 passes for 444 yards and 3 TDs.  He finished strong with career highs of 8 catches for 84 yars in his final game last year.  He’ll likely be a security blanket for JaMarcus Russell and a TE that you use when the matchups are right.

Scrap Pile
These are TEs that come in cases marked “Break Glass in Emergency”.  They are you bye week/injury plays.

Randy McMichael – He saw a pretty big dip in his reception and yardage numbers last year in his first year in St. Louis.  The Rams in general saw their offensive production slide so he could be in for a little rebound. 

Desmond Clark – The Bears wideouts are so bad that he could get his play again.  I’m just not banking on another 44 catch, 545 yard, 4 TD season out of Clark as long as Olsen is healthy.

Leonard Pope – Pope is huge (6’8″) and a red zone target (5 TDs).  He only had 23 catches though for 238 yards.  Use with caution.

Chris Baker – He had a decent year for the Jets in 2007 with 1 catches for 409 yards and 3 TDs.  I don’t see much more than that from him.

Alex Smith – Smith had 32 catches for 385 yards and 3 TDs.  He’s produced virtually the same numbers his three years in the league so I wouldn’t expect much more than that.

Donald Lee – Lee had a fine year for Green Bay last year with 48 catches for 575 yards and 6 TDs.  What scares me is the departure of Brett Favre.  If he can jive with Aaron Rodgers, he’ll be fine.  If not more mediocre seasons are in the future for Mr. Lee.

Mercedes Lewis – Lewis was decent at times for Jacksonville tallying 37 catches for 391 yards, and 2 TDs in his second year.  I can see him becoming more fantasy relevant in ’08.

Jeff King – King had a decent year with Carolina last year, but the additon of D.J. Hackett and the return of Muhsin Muhammad should quell any thoughts of increased production out of King.

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Wide Receivers

Big Dogs
The beauty about the WR position is there are more Big Dogs than any other position.  For that reason, many fantasy footballers are contemplating grabbing stud WRs in the middle-to-late first round and early second round rather than mindlessly taking the best RB available.  With that in mind, let’s take a look at who those characters are.

Randy Moss – How can you start anywhere else after the historic season Moss produced last year?  The thing that worries me about Moss is he looked vulnerable to physical play during the playoffs.  If you’re expecting another 23 TDs, you’ll be disappointed.

Terrell Owens – So far so good in Big D for MeO, I mean T.O.  As long as he’s happy, he’ll continue to produce in bunches.  I can see T.O. lead all WRs in scoring this year.

Reggie Wayne – Well, he officially surpassed Marvin Harrison as the Top Dog in Indy, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.  You can pretty much pencil him in for 1300 yards and 10 TDs.  How many RBs can you say that with?  That’s why he’s a safer pick than a Clinton Portis or Willis McGahee.

Braylon Edwards – Braylon finally showed why he was a 3rd pick last year scoring 16 TDs.  I don’t see him reaching paydirt quite as often, especially with the addition of Donte Stallworth, but double-digits isn’t out of the question.

Andre Johnson – He averaged close to 95 yards and nearly a TD a game last year.  That translates to 1500 yards and 14 TDs.  Will he reach those lofty numbers?  I doubt it, but he’ll come close if he gets a full season in.

Larry Fitzgerald – I am a huge fan of Fitzy.  He just seems to get it.  Must be his Minnesota ties.  Every other year he gets 1400 yards and 10 TDs.  If he can avoid his even-year slump, he’ll be worth his weight in gold again for fantasy owners.

Steve Smith – Here’s a guy who NEEDS his QB to stay healthy.  He’s had two down years (compared to his 2005 masterpiece), but he still has what it takes to be an elite WR in this league.  If Delhomme goes down, he could easily lose his Big Dog status.

Chad Johnson – Ocho Cinco had 1440 yards and 8 TDs last year.  Unfortunately his TDs came in just 4 games last year.  That’s what bugs me about Ocho.  His end of the year stats look great, but he’s not as solid week-to-week like some of the Big Dogs.  His contract situation is a little scary, but I think he’ll play.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh – Unlike Ocho, Housh likes to spread the wealth out during his season.  He scored a TD in his first 8 games last year.  He’s not going to wow you with big yardage (only three weeks over 100 and none after Wek 6), but you’ll be happy with his production.

Marques Colston – I was tempted to put him a tier lower, but his improvement on an already outstanding rookie season was too hard to ignore.  If the 3rd Year Rule applies to Colston, the league better look out because he’s already blown up.  He caught nearly 100 balls last year for over 1200 yards and 11 TDs.  Those are solid digits.

Torry Holt – Holt had a down year by his standards last year, failing to produce either 1200 yards or 10 TDs for the first time since his rookie season.  I see Marc Bulger bouncing back this year though, and Holt will rebound with him.  He’s going to be a great value pick this year.

Plaxico Burress – I wasn’t going to put him in the Big Dog Club, but when you consider what he did last year despite knee and ankle injuries.  He scored in his first 6 games last year and racked up 1025 yards and 12 scores for the year.  It was his second straight double-digit TD year with the G-Men, and Eli’s added confidence (and pressure from NY media and fans removed) following the Super Bowl victory should keep the success going.

Second Tier WRs
These will most likely be your 2nd or 3rd WRs depending on your league size and your draft stratgey.  They are solid wideouts, but not quite the caliber of the Big Dogs.

Brandon Marshall – The only thing that kept Brandon Marshall from runnin’ with the Big Dogs is his maturity, or lack thereof.  Numbers are numbers though and he went for over 1300 yards and 7 TDs last year.  If he can avoid fast food bags, he should have another solid year.  He’s the one 2nd Tier WR that’s most likely to be a Big Dog.

Wes Welker – When the Patriots offense is clicking, there really is no answer for Welker.  I still think if he caught 20+ passes in the Super Bowl the outcome would have been different.  The Giants had no answer for him.  112 catches last year.  That’s amazing.  I think he can catch more if that’s what the Defenses present to TB. 

Anquan Boldin – Boldin took a step back in yardage last year, but his TD production went up.  He caught a career high 9 TDs depsite missing 4 games.  If he gets steady QB play again this year he’ll produce with the best of them.

Greg Jennings – Jennings was awesome last year.  He had 12 TDs and nearly 1000 yards.  Of course, Brett Favre was throwing to him.  I couldn’t quite justify making him a Big Dog without his favorite gunslinger.  He scored in 10 of the 13 games he played in last year.

Roy Williams – Roy took a major step back from the 1300 yard 2006 season he produced.  That doesn’t mean he can’t return there though.  He needs to prove he can stay healthy and he’ll be a heck of a value come draft day.

Third Tier WRs
Again, these will be #2 & #3 wideouts for most teams.  They have a little more question marks than the previous tier.

Santonio Holmes/Hines Ward – Has Santonio Holmes officially surpassed Hines Ward as the top dog?  Juding by last year’s stats (942 yards, 8 TDs to 732, 7) and it appears that way.  I’m not quite ready to write Hines Ward off, but Holmes will likely be the first Steeler WR drafted.  They will probably be picked fairly close together and produce very similar numbers.

Marvin Harrison – Last year was a wasted year for the former Syracuse Orangeman.  Then he showed some bad judgement in the offseason.  Was last year the beginning of the end for #88?  I don’t think so.  I think he keeps himself in good enough shape, has one of the games best QBs slinging it to him, and has great knowledge of his system that he’s in for a nice rebound.

Calvin Johnson – Here’s a guy I’m high on.  He has the size and speed to be an elite wideout.  He was decent enough (756 yards, 4 TDs) as he was adjusting to the NFL.  Now that he has a year behind him, I can see his career taking off.

Dwayne Bowe – Bowe had a nice rookie campaign last year, nearly hauling in 1000 yards.  I see him leaving that mark behind as well as tacking on a couple of TDs to his decent five-spot he produced last year.

Roddy White – Roddy had a sneaky 1200 yards last year.  On name recognition alone I wouldn’t put him in this tier, but his numbers talk.  He was one of the top wideouts from Week 12 on (minus the dud he dropped in Week 15) scoring in 4 games and topping 140 yards twice.

Chris Chambers – I think San Diego was a good fit for CC.  With a full training camp and preseason with the Bolts, I expect him to do even better.   He’s one of the WRs I’m targeting for ’08.

Lee Evans – If someone can just convince Evans that December year round (17 of his 29 career TDs have come in December), he’ll make the leap into Big Dog status.  He almost always starts off slow out of the gate so he’s a guy you may want to hold off on using during the beginning weeks of the season.  However, targeting him for a midseason trade may not be a bad idea.  I think he can return to the 1000 yard territory with 8 TDs.  Let’s just hope they don’t all come in December.

Jerricho Cotchery – He’s produced back-to-back 82 reception seasons for the Jets.  He topped the 1100 yard mark.  He just needs to prove he can be more a factor in the endzone.  His measly 2 TDs conjure up thoughts of past Jet Wideouts like Keyshawn Johnson.

Donald Driver – Driver slid under the Third Tier wall like Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark.  He failed to reach 1200 yards for the first time since 2003 last year, but his 1048 weren’t bad.  What was bad was the 2 TDs he scored.  Greg Jennings was clearly Brett’s go-to-guy last year in the red zone.  With a new QB though, the steady Driver could be leaned on heavier than the explosive Jennings.

Serviceable WRs
These will likely either be your 3rd WR or make up your WR depth. 

Kevin Curtis/Reggie Brown - Curtis was decent last year for the Eagles.  He had a couple of huge games.  I’d like to see DeSean Jackson push for the starting job opposite of Reggie Brown, who should bounce back from his mediocre 780 yard 4 TD season, which would allow Curtis to got to the slot and utilize his speed like Wes Welker.  If that happens, all three could be viable plays.

Laveranues Coles – Coles had a decent season going before the wheels fell off in Week 8.  If he can produce like he did the first seven weeks (460 yards, 6 TDs), he’ll be worth an occasional start.

Joey Galloway – How long can Mr. Galloway keep it up?  Dude will turn 37 in November.  He’s registered three straight 1000+ yards seasons though.  One warning, he was very inconsistent last year. 

Santana Moss – Moss has barely matched his outstanding 2005 numbers when you combine the past two years.  However, he still has big-play ability.  He’s scary to own, and even scarier to start, but he can occasionally almost single-handedly win a matchup for you.

Javon Walker – Who knows how he’ll respond following last year’s lost season and butt-whoopin’ he took in Vegas.  When he’s healthy though, he can produce.  That hasn’t always been easy for him though.

Bernard Berrian – He’s a mystery heading into the year.  He produced in Chicago, but we’ll see how he does in Minnesota.    The Viking certainly have the running game to keep the DBs honest. I’m just leery of T-Jack’s accuracy.

Anthony Gonzalez – Here’s another guy I’d love to see end up on my team.  He gained valuable experience as a rooke, and if Marvin Harrison returns to form, he could be looking at some cupcake matchups.  He could be the poison that defenses pick, which is great news to his fantasy owners.

Scrap Pile
These are guys you’ll use during bye weeks and as injury replacements. 

Bobby Engram/Nate Burleson/Deion Branch – Engram is the Old Guy in the Club.  He had a great season last year.  Nate is the underachiever.  Branch was voted Least Likely to Stay Healthy.  They all could be used at times next year though.

Derrick Mason/Mark Clayton – Mason had kind of a turn-back-the-clock season.  I don’t see him repeating it, but he could have some decent weeks.  I think Clayton can make the leap to decent WR this year.  I thought the same thing last year though.

D.J. Hackett – Like Clayton, I was huge on Hackett last year.  He produced when he was healthy, but ankle injuries can simply derail a season.  We’ll see how he does opposite Steve Smith and Mushin.

Donte Stallworth – Stall is moving on once again.  He should have opportunities as Braylon and Winslow should open things up for him. 

Patrick Crayton – He has the luxuyr of playing opposite of T.O. , plus Jason Witten takes plenty of attention.  Crayton should have a decent year.

Ted Ginn, Jr. – I don’t know why, but I think Ginn could be a decent play at times this year.  I love his speed, but he’ll need to be able to take some hits.

Sidney Rice – I liked Rice last year as a rookie.  If T-Jack can actually hit him when he’s open, he’ll have a decent year.  At 6’4″, he’s a big target in the red zone.

Vincent Jackson – Everyone was on Jackson last year like white on rice.  He didn’t live up to the hype.  He’s the 4th option (LT, Gates, Chambers) this year, which may hurt (not enough touches) or help (less defensive pressure).  He’s also a big target.

Bryant Johnson/Isaac Bruce – The 49ers brought in two new WRs and Martz.  They should be good for some decent yards.  Obviously, I’m higher on Johnson.

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See how I’m doing in the KFFL Analysis Draft.

Scrap Pile
We’ve profiled the Big Dog WRs, Second Tier WRsThird Tier WRs, and Serviceable WRs, now it’s time to examine the final wave of wideouts.  These are guys you’ll use during bye weeks and as injury replacements. 

Bobby Engram/Nate Burleson/Deion Branch – Engram is the Old Guy in the Club.  He had a great season last year.  Nate is the underachiever.  Branch was voted Least Likely to Stay Healthy.  They all could be used at times next year though.

Derrick Mason/Mark Clayton – Mason had kind of a turn-back-the-clock season.  I don’t see him repeating it, but he could have some decent weeks.  I think Clayton can make the leap to decent WR this year.  I thought the same thing last year though.

D.J. Hackett – Like Clayton, I was huge on Hackett last year.  He produced when he was healthy, but ankle injuries can simply derail a season.  We’ll see how he does opposite Steve Smith and Mushin.

Donte Stallworth – Stall is moving on once again.  He should have opportunities as Braylon and Winslow should open things up for him. 

Patrick Crayton – He has the luxuyr of playing opposite of T.O. , plus Jason Witten takes plenty of attention.  Crayton should have a decent year.

Ted Ginn, Jr. – I don’t know why, but I think Ginn could be a decent play at times this year.  I love his speed, but he’ll need to be able to take some hits.

Sidney Rice – I liked Rice last year as a rookie.  If T-Jack can actually hit him when he’s open, he’ll have a decent year.  At 6’4″, he’s a big target in the red zone.

Vincent Jackson – Everyone was on Jackson last year like white on rice.  He didn’t live up to the hype.  He’s the 4th option (LT, Gates, Chambers) this year, which may hurt (not enough touches) or help (less defensive pressure).  He’s also a big target.

Bryant Johnson/Isaac Bruce – The 49ers brought in two new WRs and Martz.  They should be good for some decent yards.  Obviously, I’m higher on Johnson.

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Quarterbacks
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I did my tenth Live Mock Fantasy Football Draft today.  This time I used Mock Draft Central.  The thing I liked about this site is there is much more flexibility.  You can sign up for a variety of team sizes, rounds, and even styles.  If you are in a PPR league you can do a PPR mock draft.

I had the ninth pick in a ten team 15 round mock draft.   I opened up with Larry Johnson.  I followed up with Reggie Wayne in the 2nd round.  He’s just more likely to reach lofty numbers (1400 yards, 10 TDs) than some of the second tier RBs.  In the 3rd round I went with Steve Smith.  I went with Reggie Bush in the 4th round.  In the 5th I opted for Roy Williams to finish off my starting WR corps.  In the 6th I grabbed Kellen Winslow, Jr.  In the 7th I chose LenDale White for RB depth.  In the 8th I added WR depth with Dwayne Bowe.  In the 9th I decided I must grab a QB so I took Eli Manning.  I couldn’t resist Marc Bulger in the 10th despite having Eli.  In the 11th I opted for Kenny Watson for RB depth.  In the 12th I selected Philadelphia Defense.  In the 13th I chose Sammy Morris for RB depth.  In the 14th I took Devin Hester for giggles.  I finished up with Jason Elam since i was forced to take a Kicker.

QBs
Eli Manning
Marc Bulger

RBs
Larry Johnson
Reggie Bush
LenDale White
Kenny Watson
Sammy Morris

WRs
Reggie Wayne
Steve Smith
Roy Williams
Dwayne Bowe
Devin Hester

TEs
Kellen Winslow, Jr.

DEF
Philadelphia

K
Jason Elam

 

I want to direct your attention to a great fantasy football contest that one of my friends is co-hosting.  RotoNation and The Big Lead have teamed up for the First Annual Best Fantasy Football Team Name contest.  How do you enter, you ask?  It’s quite simple.  All you have to do is enter your team name using your real e-mail at RotoNation.  Don’t worry your e-mail won’t be available to the public, they just need it to let the winner know about the prizes.  Fabulous prizes, you ask?  Yes, the top five team names will win a complimentary copy of the Draft Analyzyer to prep you for your fantasy draft. 

 

The top vote getter will get to run on guest post on RotoNation.  So get your creative juices flowing.  Let your wit and humor go to work for you.  Bragging rights in your league are just a few keystrokes away!

 | Posted by | Categories: Fantasy Football, NFL | Tagged: Fantasy Football, NFL |

  
Before I get started I wanted to direct your attention to a great fantasy football contest that one of my friends is co-hosting.  RotoNation and The Big Lead have teamed up for the First Annual Best Fantasy Football Team Name contest.  How do you enter, you ask?  It’s quite simple.  All you have to do is enter your team name using your real e-mail at RotoNation.  Don’t worry your e-mail won’t be available to the public, they just need it to let the winner know about the prizes.  Fabulous prizes, you ask?  Yes, the top five team names will win a complimentary copy of the Draft Analyzyer to prep you for your fantasy draft.  The top vote getter will get to run on guest post on RotoNation.  So get your creative juices flowing.  Let your wit and humor go to work for you.  Bragging rights in your league are just a few keystrokes away!

Serviceable WRs
We’ve profiled the Big Dog WRs, Second Tier WRs, and Third Tier WRs, now it’s time to examine the next wave of wideouts.  These will likely either be your 3rd WR or make up your WR depth. 

Kevin Curtis/Reggie Brown - Curtis was decent last year for the Eagles.  He had a couple of huge games.  I’d like to see DeSean Jackson push for the starting job opposite of Reggie Brown, who should bounce back from his mediocre 780 yard 4 TD season, which would allow Curtis to got to the slot and utilize his speed like Wes Welker.  If that happens, all three could be viable plays.

Laveranues Coles – Coles had a decent season going before the wheels fell off in Week 8.  If he can produce like he did the first seven weeks (460 yards, 6 TDs), he’ll be worth an occasional start.

Joey Galloway – How long can Mr. Galloway keep it up?  Dude will turn 37 in November.  He’s registered three straight 1000+ yards seasons though.  One warning, he was very inconsistent last year. 

Santana Moss – Moss has barely matched his outstanding 2005 numbers when you combine the past two years.  However, he still has big-play ability.  He’s scary to own, and even scarier to start, but he can occasionally almost single-handedly win a matchup for you.

Javon Walker – Who knows how he’ll respond following last year’s lost season and butt-whoopin’ he took in Vegas.  When he’s healthy though, he can produce.  That hasn’t always been easy for him though.

Bernard Berrian – He’s a mystery heading into the year.  He produced in Chicago, but we’ll see how he does in Minnesota.    The Viking certainly have the running game to keep the DBs honest. I’m just leery of T-Jack’s accuracy.

Anthony Gonzalez – Here’s another guy I’d love to see end up on my team.  He gained valuable experience as a rooke, and if Marvin Harrison returns to form, he could be looking at some cupcake matchups.  He could be the poison that defenses pick, which is great news to his fantasy owners.

Previous Previews
Quarterbacks
Running Backs


I did my ninth Live Mock Fantasy Football Draft today.  This time I used Mock Draft Central.  The thing I liked about this site is there is much more flexibility.  You can sign up for a variety of team sizes, rounds, and even styles.  If you are in a PPR league you can do a PPR mock draft.

I had fifth pick in a eight team 17 round mock draft.   Joseph Addai was available and I didn’t hesitate to select him.  In the second round I selected Reggie Wayne.  I didn’t care about the teammate factor, I think he’s a safe bet to 1400 yards and 10 TDs.  In the 3rd I went with Larry Fitzgerald.  I rounded out my WR corps with Marques Colston in the 4th.  I decided I better take an RB in the 5th so I selected Edge.  In the 6th I went with Tony Gonzalez, the best TE available.  In the 7th I opted for RB depth in Jonathan Stewart.  In the 8th I went for a QB in Marc Bulger.  In the 9th I went with WR depth in Jerricho Cotchery.  In the 10th I chose RB depth with Deuce McAllister.  In the 11th I went Philip Rivers as Bulger insurance.  In the 12th I chose Minnesota Defense.  In the 13th I went for RB depth with Felix Jones.  In the 14th I chose WR depth with Deion Branch.  In the 15th I went with New England Defense.  In the 16th I chose Pittsburgh Defense since I couldn’t take any more RBs based on the draft rules. I finished up with David Akers at Kicker.

QBs
Marc Bulger
Philip Rivers

RBs
Joseph Addai
Edge
Jonathan Stewart
Deuce McAllister
Felix Jones

WRs
Reggie Wayne
Larry Fitzgerald
Marques Colston
Jerricho Cotchery
Deion Branch

TEs
Tony Gonzalez

DEF
Minnesota
New England
Pittsburgh

K
David Akers

Third Tier WRs
We’ve profiled the Big Dog WRs and Second Tier WRs, now it’s time to examine the next wave of wideouts.  Again, these will be #2 & #3 wideouts for most teams.

Santonio Holmes/Hines Ward – Has Santonio Holmes officially surpassed Hines Ward as the top dog?  Juding by last year’s stats (942 yards, 8 TDs to 732, 7) and it appears that way.  I’m not quite ready to write Hines Ward off, but Holmes will likely be the first Steeler WR drafted.  They will probably be picked fairly close together and produce very similar numbers.

Marvin Harrison – Last year was a wasted year for the former Syracuse Orangeman.  Then he showed some bad judgement in the offseason.  Was last year the beginning of the end for #88?  I don’t think so.  I think he keeps himself in good enough shape, has one of the games best QBs slinging it to him, and has great knowledge of his system that he’s in for a nice rebound.

Calvin Johnson – Here’s a guy I’m high on.  He has the size and speed to be an elite wideout.  He was decent enough (756 yards, 4 TDs) as he was adjusting to the NFL.  Now that he has a year behind him, I can see his career taking off.

Dwayne Bowe – Bowe had a nice rookie campaign last year, nearly hauling in 1000 yards.  I see him leaving that mark behind as well as tacking on a couple of TDs to his decent five-spot he produced last year.

Roddy White – Roddy had a sneaky 1200 yards last year.  On name recognition alone I wouldn’t put him in this tier, but his numbers talk.  He was one of the top wideouts from Week 12 on (minus the dud he dropped in Week 15) scoring in 4 games and topping 140 yards twice.

Chris Chambers – I think San Diego was a good fit for CC.  With a full training camp and preseason with the Bolts, I expect him to do even better.   He’s one of the WRs I’m targeting for ’08.

Lee Evans – If someone can just convince Evans that December year round (17 of his 29 career TDs have come in December), he’ll make the leap into Big Dog status.  He almost always starts off slow out of the gate so he’s a guy you may want to hold off on using during the beginning weeks of the season.  However, targeting him for a midseason trade may not be a bad idea.  I think he can return to the 1000 yard territory with 8 TDs.  Let’s just hope they don’t all come in December.

Jerricho Cotchery – He’s produced back-to-back 82 reception seasons for the Jets.  He topped the 1100 yard mark.  He just needs to prove he can be more a factor in the endzone.  His measly 2 TDs conjure up thoughts of past Jet Wideouts like Keyshawn Johnson.

Donald Driver – Driver slid under the Third Tier wall like Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark.  He failed to reach 1200 yards for the first time since 2003 last year, but his 1048 weren’t bad.  What was bad was the 2 TDs he scored.  Greg Jennings was clearly Brett’s go-to-guy last year in the red zone.  With a new QB though, the steady Driver could be leaned on heavier than the explosive Jennings.

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Quarterbacks
Running Backs

I did my eighth Live Mock Fantasy Football Draft today.  This time I used Mock Draft Central.  The thing I liked about this site is there is much more flexibility.  You can sign up for a variety of team sizes, rounds, and even styles.  If you are in a PPR league you can do a PPR mock draft.

I had sixth pick in a ten team 20 round mock draft.   Joseph Addai was available and I didn’t hesitate to select him.  In the second round I selected Clinton Portis.  I was surprised he came back to me.  In the 3rd round I wanted a top WR.  I took Steve Smith.  In the 4th I grabbed Plaxico Burress.  He showed a lot of maturity and guts last year.  In the 5th I went with RB depth and grabbed Willie Parker.  In the 6th I opted for Brandon Marshall.  He was a great value there.  In the 7th I went with a stud TE, Tony Gonzalez.  In the 8th I decided it was QB time so I took Marc Bulger.  In the 9th I went for best available and grabbed Deuce McAllister.  In the 10th I turned to Philip Rivers for Bulger insurance.  In the 11th I got RB depth with Kenny Watson.  In the 12th I decided it was time to go Defense with San Diego.  In the 13th I decided I better get some WR depth so I took Donte Stallworth.  Since everyone was ignoring the top Defenses I grabbed another one in New England in the 14th.  In the 15th & 16th I went for more WR depth with Ted Ginn, Jr and Jabar Gaffney.  In the 17th and 18th I went for RB depth with DeShaun Foster and Jamaal Charles.  I added TE depth in the 19th with Zach Miller.  I wrapped it up in the 20th with a Kicker.  I chose David Akers.

QBs
Marc Bulger
Philip Rivers

RBs
Joseph Addai
Clinton Portis
Willie Parker
Deuce McAllister
Kenny Watson
DeShaun Foster
Jamaal Charles

WRs
Steve Smith
Plaxico Burress
Brandon Marshall
Donte Stallworth
Ted Ginn, Jr.
Jabar Gaffney

TEs
Tony Gonzalez
Zach Miller

DEF
San Diego
New England

K
David Akers


I did my seventh The Sporting News Live Mock Fantasy Football Draft today.  They offer 10 & 12 Team Drafts that go 15 rounds, which  I use to gauge where people are picked.  As the season approaches, these Mock Drafts become better because everyone is more up-to-speed on the players and you get a full draft.  When there isn’t a full draft, there is an Autopick in place.  They go by Sporting News rankings.  It’s not ideal, but it’s acceptable.  Another cool feature is the chat board which allows you to discuss players with other fantasy football fanatics.    
I had the ninth pick in a twelve team draft.  I made Larry Johnson my 1st pick.  I’m still high on him despite his poor 2007 season.  In the 2nd round I grabbed Willis McGahee.  I couldn’t resist the RB-RB combo.  In the 3rd round I opted for Torry Holt.  I continued the WR route in Round 4 with Brandon Marshall.  In the 5th I got RB depth with Darren McFadden.  I grabbed Chris Chambers as my 3rd WR in the 6th.  In the 7th I turned to RB depth again with Kevin Smith.  In the 8th I selected Donovan McNabb as my QB.  In the 9th I added WR depth with Patrick Crayton.  In the 10th I grabbed Philip Rivers as an insurance policy for McNabb.  With my 11th pick I selected Vernon Davis.  In the 12th I went with Donte Stallworth.  In the 13th I opted for Bryant Johnson to complete my WR corps.  In the 14th I went Defense with Jacksonville.  I finished up with DeShaun Foster.

QBs
Donovan McNabb
Philip Rivers

RBs
Larry Johnson
Willis McGahee
Darren McFadden
Kevin Smith
DeShaun Foster

WRs
Torry Holt
Brandon Marshall
Chris Chambers
Patrick Crayton
Donte Stallworth
Bryant Johnson

TEs
Vernon Davis

DEF
Jacksonville


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