- Scott Engel, ESPN Fantasy Games
The start of the 2007 fantasy football season is still at least a month or two away for most of us. Yet well before our drafts, which truly mark the beginning of a new campaign, there are several important issues that already loom large. Here's an early look at what appear to be the most controversial and/or exciting fantasy football story lines for the new season.
Larry Johnson's true value: Johnson is on shaky ground as the No. 2 overall choice in many leagues, not only because of last season's record-setting workload, but also because of more notable changes on the offensive line, not to mention a questionable scenario at fullback and a questionable supporting cast as well. The Chiefs have continued to prosper in the run game over the years despite line and fullback changes. They have also never truly surrounded their running backs with a great wealth of playmakers before. Johnson should not see a major drop in production unless Brodie Croyle is actually the starting quarterback when the new season opens. If that happens, opponents will load up against the run and Johnson will get off to a very disappointing start.
Shaun Alexander's status: Alexander created a major stir recently when he said his left foot may still be broken. Mike Holmgren refuted such reports, yet there have been no tests performed to give us a certain outlook. Alexander ran well overall upon his return to the team last year, but it's scary to think he could still be susceptible to more missed playing time. Since we don't know anything for sure, and Alexander could run at less than 100 percent even if he is able to play, I wouldn't spend a top-five pick on him. I would recommend taking him late in the first round as long as he doesn't have any further setbacks, but back him up with some good depth in case of more missed playing time.
2hMarc Stein and Tim MacMahon
10hMarc Stein and Calvin Watkins