Engel's Mailbag: Keeper questions

Art, Chicago: In your recent chats you hype Brandon Jacobs quite a lot, but then say Michael Turner needs to prove himself as a full-time runner. Isn't this the same for Jacobs, who is a lot bigger and one would think would wear down faster? Do you think Jacobs is a better keeper in a dynasty league?

Engel: Jacobs does need to prove himself as a full-time runner as well, but I believe he has been groomed to start for some time now and he will be fully ready for the challenge. I don't worry about him wearing down because he is big and strong, and at 6-4 and more than 260 pounds with quick feet, defenders will be the ones wearing down, not Jacobs. He has been very impressive as a part-time goal-line specialist and there are no real indicators that he won't flourish given more playing time. Jacobs is a unique blend of size and speed and his TD numbers could be very impressive with more regular work. We already know Jacobs is penciled in as a starter for 2007, so I rank him highly, in the top 12 among running backs. Turner has big-play ability and can be more versatile as a pass-catcher than Jacobs. He runs well inside and can be a threat to take off for a big run at any time. But Turner is a restricted free agent and the Chargers might make a strong play to keep him as LaDainian Tomlinson's backup. I don't rank him nearly as high for now, because it also depends on where he ends up. Jacobs is in a system he is comfortable with and has familiar surroundings. So I am more confident of him making an impact in 2007 than Turner, although Turner does have upside if he leaves San Diego to play in a balanced offense.