Engel's Mailbag: Keeper questions

Bob, Wichita, Kansas: I'm in a two-player keeper league and have the second picks of the first and second rounds of my draft. Which is a better strategy? Keeping Cedric Benson and Carnell Williams, and drafting a wide receiver like Steve Smith, Terrell Owens or Torry Holt first? Or keeping Benson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and drafting a guy like Clinton Portis or Edgerrin James first?

Engel: Keeping Benson is a good move, since he will now get the opportunity to carry the ball regularly. He should play better, as he is the type of runner who needs a healthy amount of regular carries to play up to his potential. Benson promises to be a very productive fantasy running back in the touchdown department. As for your second keeper, it simply comes down to who the better player is between Cadillac and Houshmandzadeh for right now and the near future. So far Williams has dealt with injuries and has been disappointing overall, while Houshmandzadeh has been very productive and quite underrated overall. Houshmandzadeh is definitely the better choice because you are easily in a position to replace Cadillac with a running back of equal or greater value. Portis still has a lot of upside and James could improve this year as new coach Ken Whisenhunt increases the emphasis on the running game in Arizona. Cadillac has not only dealt with injury issues, he also hasn't scored enough and you can toss him back into the player pool without many second thoughts.