St. Louis - Should Steven Jackson be the No. 2 pick overall?
The No. 1 pick is a no-brainer this season. Any fantasy owner who doesn't select LaDainian Tomlinson with the top selection should immediately have his or her fantasy football privileges revoked. That brings us to the second pick, where the debate begins between Larry Johnson and Jackson. The Rams running back was a beast last season, accounting for 2,334 rushing/receiving yards and 16 touchdowns. Jackson finished '06 on an absolute tear, with 10 touchdowns over the last four weeks and three straight 100-yard rushing games to close out the season. I'm giving him the edge over Johnson. Jackson is entering his prime at 24 years old, has a formidable offensive line and can put up points even if he's not getting 25 carries each game. Last year, he led all RBs with 90 catches. He's the pick at No. 2.
Seattle Seahawks - When is the right time to take Shaun Alexander?
It's funny how quickly things change in the fantasy world. From 2000-2005, Alexander didn't miss a game and was billed as a model of durability. Now after missing six games in '06, people are labeling him an injury risk. One thing is for certain. He's not the elite running back he once was. The good news is that he finished strong last year and still is a major touchdown producer. Alexander scored five times over the last five weeks of the regular season and had two more TDs in Seattle's divisional playoff loss to the Bears. Despite missing six games, he still scored seven times. The bad news is he'll be 30 years old when the season starts, and the Seahawks offensive line isn't as good as it was when Alexander was in his prime. Also, if he's not doing it through the ground game, Alexander is useless. He's caught just 27 balls for 126 yards over the past two seasons. So where does that leave us? I'd have a tough time taking him at No. 5 or higher, but I'd have a tough time passing on him at No. 7. You do the math. The No. 6 or 7 pick is one of the worst in this year's drafts.
San Francisco 49ers - What can Frank Gore do for an encore?
San Francisco's running back was a popular sleeper going into last season's drafts, and he delivered in a big way. Gore accounted for 2,180 rushing/receiving yards to go along with nine touchdowns. He had nine 100-yard rushing games and led the league in rushes over 20 yards. Gore also showed good versatility, catching 61 balls for 485 yards. The negatives? He ran for eight touchdowns, which isn't enough for an elite fantasy back. Look for that number to reach double-digits in '07. Also, Norv Turner, an offensive coordinator that constantly produces solid fantasy backs, has moved on to San Diego. And finally, critics will point to Gore's injury problems of the past. But as I pointed out above with Alexander, predicting injuries is a hopeless cause when it comes to fantasy football. Calling Gore injury-prone at this stage in his career is not a fair assertion. That leaves us with Gore as the easy pick at No. 4.
Arizona Cardinals - Which receiver should be drafted first -- Larry Fitzgerald or Anquan Boldin?
First off, both can be drafted as No. 1 wide receivers and should be among the top-10 producers at their position now that Matt Leinart has a year under his belt. Boldin had a very good season in '06, setting a career-high with 14.5 yards per catch and playing in all 16 games. The bad news was that his catches, receiving yards and touchdowns (four) were all down from '05, a season in which he played in 14 games. Meanwhile, Fitzgerald had six touchdowns in 13 games and has shown he has the potential to the No. 1 fantasy receiver overall. If I had to decide right now, I'd take Fitzgerald because he's more likely to produce big TD numbers. But like I said, with a new coaching staff and a more seasoned Leinart, fantasy owners are going to be happy with the production of both these wideouts when all is said and done in '07.