Daily Haze, fantasy football, NFL, sports news

Fantasy owners with top-five picks in upcoming drafts are dealing with a little more uncertainty at the top than in normal seasons.

The top five running backs off the board in mock fantasy drafts have their fair share of question marks this season (Peterson’s aging offensive line, Foster’s loss of fullback, Charles’ ability to do-it-all by himself). Two of these players’ situations have become increasingly complicated in recent days.

Chris Johnson wants a new contract, so he is a hold out in Tennessee. Clearly he is the best offensive player on that team and the Titans need him to be competitive this season, but Johnson wants a long-term deal and is not going to show up to camp until he gets one.

While I am not overly concerned about the missed time — it is probably better for his legs — it might affect my draft strategy if I got Johnson with one of the top picks. You are going to need to prepare yourself for the possibility, though it seems slim and ridiculous, that Johnson would hold out for at least part of the regular season by drafting start-able running back depth sooner than other owners.

Meanwhile, the Ravens replaced Willis McGahee with Ricky Williams via free agency. At first I did not think this would affect Ray Rice much, but now I am starting to reconsider. Williams may be older than McGahee but he has avoided major leg injuries, is fresher and may be more versatile than McGahee.

I do not think Williams is better than Rice as far as power running is concerned, so goal line carries should first go to Rice. Still, this does put a chink in Rice‘s armor, and I thought he had a chance to finish the season as the No. 1 fantasy running back before the Williams signing.

Here are today’s great reads:

  • I hope this is not just because of Marshawn Lynch’s Tecmo-Bowl-like touchdown run against the Saints in the playoffs last year, because I think Lynch actually does have a lot of potential in the Seahawks’ offense. But that run seems to have started Lynch’s fantasy hype machine and I hope it does not get out of control. [SI.com]
  • For those of you in individual defensive player leagues … rankings. I still have not played in one of these yet. Someone convince me I should. [Fantasy Pros]
  • Making the case for Darren McFadden as a top-five pick in fantasy drafts. Dude is too volatile for me, but I suppose there is more volatility than ever before at the running back position near the top of the draft this year. Maybe McFadden can bring some stability to the fantasy backfield, wouldn’t that be ironic? [Roto Arcade]
  • Rankings for those of you in point-per-reception (PPR) leagues. [National Football Post]
  • Some crazy people out there have Michael Vick as the No. 1 fantasy player across the board (looking at you, Matthew Berry). I do not hate Vick, but come on … How can you trust someone like him to stay on the field for you all season? If he does, you probably will win your league I will admit that. Sorry for the aside, what I wanted to bring you with this is a good fantasy quarterback primer for those of you preparing for upcoming fantasy drafts. That was a long-winded link. [CBSSports.com]

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