FFL Mailbag: July 7

Brian, Orange, Calif: Our league is drafting in the first year of a three-year, 12-team keeper league. I have the sixth pick and I am thinking of taking Steven Jackson with my first pick, but what do you think about round two? I don't think the drop-off at RB from the middle of rounds two and three is that great. Should I grab one of the higher tier WRs and go for an RB in round three?

Engel: RBs will fly off the board quickly in all types of drafts, and the best ones might disappear even quicker in a keeper league, as owners try to fill the most desired position in the game. With your first pick, don't count on Jackson, and keep a few names in mind. There is the very realistic possibility he could be selected before your turn, as I have seen Jackson picked as early as fourth in some yearly leagues. And in a keeper format, you still want to win now, and I'd rather take a more proven RB like Edgerrin James or LaMont Jordan over Jackson, who has a lot of upside, but still must prove he can succeed at a high level over a full season. As for your second rounder, you might not have a choice but to take a RB, because several more will go off the board before your next pick. Yes, it's very alluring to take an elite WR over a good, but not great RB, but you might not have a choice. You could be looking at difference between Kevin Jones, who still has star potential, versus a fading back like Corey Dillon or an up-and-down statistical performer like Willie Parker. The earlier you pick your No. 2 RB, the more comfortable you will be with your starters. You can still get very good receivers like Hines Ward and Chris Chambers in the third round. The receiver pool is deep with quality performers, and you simply have to follow the rush to get good RBs, or you'll be left out. You might thank grabbing a top WR in the second round gives you an advantage, but it puts you at a disadvantage when you have to pick between Jamal Lewis and Tatum Bell in the third round. Yes, grabbing an elite WR is nice and looks better than taking Brian Westbrook. But this is about what you have to do, not what looks good for one round, before you realize you might be left with a weakness at the second RB slot.

Brant, Boston: There's lot of buzz around Reggie Bush, but what about his backfield mate, Deuce McAllister? Is it worth picking both? Would you compare them to last year's Denver backfield of Tatum Bell and Mike Anderson?