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Five Players to Draft, Five to Stay Away From

 

            This
article examines 10 players who will be chosen in the upcoming fantasy football
drafts of 2008. Five of them are solid choices who are always consistent, while
the other five carry a lot of hype, but more often than not, fail to meet the
standards in which owners set on them. Follow this list when drafting and reap
the benefits. While others will become frustrated with overpaying for big
names, you’ll be laying back relaxing because you made the right moves.

 

Five to Pick:

 

1.)

Peyton Manning,
QB Indianapolis Colts

Peyton is about as solid a
quarterback as any fantasy owner could ask for. He throws for lots of yards and
plenty of touchdowns, while not piling up too many INT’s. He is probably the
smartest QB in the game and has a handful of consistent receivers to throw to.
Tom Brady will almost certainly not duplicate his ’07 campaign so look for
Manning to reclaim the title as best fantasy QB in 2008. I would go after
Peyton before Brady in 2008.

 

2.)

Brian Westbrook,
RB

Philadelphia
Eagles

            Westbrook
had another brilliant season in 2007 and expect more of that this year. In last
year’s drafts he was taken 10th overall on average, which was
entirely too late. He made all those owners who passed up on him (for Willie
Parker or Willis McGahee) cringe week after week. There aren’t many backs in
the league that are as versatile as Westbrook. He catches way more passes out
of the backfield than any other RB in the league and can gain tough yardage up
the middle. He is the definition of a workhorse, is extremely durable and
should be one of the best RB’s in fantasy again. If you’re torn between
Westbrook and Adrian Peterson; I’d take Westbrook in a second.

 

3.)

Thomas Jones, RB

New York Jets

            A RB can’t have any worse of a
season than Jones had last year for the Jets. He played in all 16 games and
rushed for a respectable 1119 yards, but only scored one TD and rushed for over
100 yards in just four games. It didn’t help matters that Jones had to deal
with two different QB’s. Well 2008 is a new season and I see Jones putting up
much better numbers. The Jets made some moves and got two solid offensive
linemen in Alan Faneca and Damien Woody to compliment D’Brickashaw Ferguson and
Nick Mangold so TJ should have some big holes to run through. QB Kellen Clemens
now has a year under his belt so he should direct the offense better as well. I
think Jones deserves a second or third round pick in fantasy drafts and will be
a good if not great No. 2 RB.

 

4.)

Reggie Wayne, WR
Indianapolis Colts

            It’s safe to say that Wayne is
the best wide out on the Colts now with the gun slinging Marvin Harrison
getting older and he has just started to reach his prime.

Wayne is a big-play WR with great hands and
has become the favorite target of Manning. In 2007

Wayne racked up 1510 yards and 10 TD’s and
should duplicate those numbers again this year if not better them. He is
clearly a top 5 WR in fantasy and might even be the top receiver in the league
by season’s end.

 

5.)

Chad

Johnson, WR Cincinnati Bengals

            I know that
many of you will disagree with me on this one, but I think that

Chad will
perform at a high level once again this year, even after the whole off-season
circus that went on in Cincy. His attitude may be in the wrong place, but his
numbers every year are so right. He has played in all 16 games each of the last
six seasons and has been over 1100 receiving yards in each campaign, while
grabbing 8-10 TD’s a year. He is very steady and no one in the league can guard
him one-on-one. As long as he finds the field in ’08, he will be a great option
at WR once again and I would grab him just as early as he’s gone in years past.

 

Five to Avoid:

 

1.)

Darren McFadden,
RB

Oakland
Raiders

            McFadden has been the most
talked about rookie this year and is seems that the whole world has set very
high standards for the RB out of

Arkansas.
If you’re expecting McFadden to perform like Adrian Peterson did in his rookie
year last season then you’re dreaming. Darren doesn’t have the offensive line
that Peterson has and lacks the skills to be a power runner. He has so much
hype surrounding him and I guarantee he will be drafted in the first three
rounds of every fantasy draft in ’08. I think this is a huge mistake for a
rookie and would advise to stay away from McFadden and all the buildup.

 

2.)

Willis McGahee,
RB

Baltimore
Ravens

McGahee had
a solid 2007, but every year injuries are always a question with him. He held
up last year rushing for 1207 yards with seven touchdowns, but there’s reason
to believe that he won’t replicate those numbers this season. First of all,
pro-bowl OT Jonathan Ogden is likely to retire leaving a hole in the offensive
line for the Ravens. That alone will hurt McGahee and add the fact that

Baltimore might be starting
a new QB this year with rookie Joe Flacco. McGahee should be in line for a drop
off in production and will barely be a good play as a No. 2 RB.

 

3.)

Vince Young, QB
Tennessee Titans

People are still waiting for
Young to put together a season like he had during his senior year at

Texas in ’05. Well to be
honest, I don’t think that kind of season is ever coming for Young. Though he
only has two years under his belt thus far, he simply hasn’t developed a consistent
ability to throw the ball, but is always drafted fairly early because of his
running skills. His passer rating is always very low and he doesn’t throw many
touchdowns. Once again, Young isn’t the answer for fantasy owners in 2008 and
you’ll be better off drafting the likes of Aaron Rodgers or Matt Schaub instead
of Vince.

 

4.)

Plaxico Burress,
WR

New York
Giants

Burress is a very interesting
case. Some games he puts up unbelievable numbers, other times he is
non-existent. In 2007, he had three games where he was catching everything in
sight and piled up the yards (144, 136, 124), but then he would come back with
games that were just miserable for fantasy owners. The 12 TD’s last season were
nice, but people overpay for him. I wouldn’t count on Plaxico being a solid No.
1 WR anymore so don’t expect stud production and let someone else deal with the
inconsistency.

 

5.)

Reggie Bush, RB

New Orleans Saints

Bush is another player who
disappointed in his sophomore season of 2007. Fantasy owners put a lot of faith
into Reggie the last two seasons and overall he has not delivered. To his
defense, Bush has done nice work catching the ball (161 receptions in two
seasons), but he hasn’t figured out how to run effectively in the NFL. He still
dances too much and runs east and west instead of north and south. Until he
figures out how to run Bush will be a low-end No. 2 RB in fantasy. And the fact
that he usually goes in the first few rounds tells me that he is picked way too
early because owners are caught up with what he did at USC. Keep your distance
from Bush if you can help it.

 

 By  Steve Rudy Jr.

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