FFL Mailbag

Matt, Chicago: I am in a 10-team league where you can keep up to two players, but you lose picks in the rounds they were drafted. I pick fourth overall this year and I am thinking of the following four guys: Peyton Manning (first round), Tiki Barber (third), Carnell Williams (sixth) or Ronnie Brown (10). I am leaning towards Manning and Cadillac, but with the news on Ricky Williams, I might consider Brown as a value pick.

Engel: I'd agree with you keeping Manning, as the amount of reliable, above-average fantasy QBs seems to be dwindling. Manning seems like an annual lock to post fine numbers, even if they aren't quite on his 2004 level. Brown is expected to get more playing time even if Ricky Williams is not suspended. Cadillac certainly has proven he has All-Pro potential, but he just has to stay healthy. Barber still can deliver another very good year or two, as he isn't ready to slow down yet. If you can wait until the Ricky Williams situation is resolved, which could be anytime in the next three months, keep Brown over Cadillac and Barber if he gets the opportunity to play full time. If you must make a decision sooner, though, keep Barber, as Cadillac still has to prove he can be durable and make the most of his potential. Barber will be 31 when the new season starts, but he hasn't been a full-time featured back throughout his whole career and doesn't have the wear and tear of some other runners his age. Even though it's a keeper league, you do want to win in 2006, so invest at least one more year in Barber.