Engel's mailbag: Draft analysis, keeper advice

Updated: May 18, 2007, 2:51 PM ET
By Scott Engel | ESPN.com
Erik, Wisconsin: I am in a keeper league and have the first pick in the draft this year. I also have Reggie Bush. If I keep him, I forfeit my first pick, but if I drop him I can pick up Peyton Manning.

Engel: Assuming LaDainian Tomlinson, Steven Jackson and Larry Johnson are already being kept, the question becomes, is Bush worth the No. 1 overall pick in a keeper draft, because if you retain him, that's essentially what he becomes. I wouldn't retain Bush if Frank Gore was available either, yet neither running back has quite established himself enough to be considered over Manning yet. He's simply one of the safest keepers in any format, as he nearly guarantees above-average production and durability every year. Bush is likely headed for a breakthrough season and Gore's keeper value will certainly rise with another fine season, but I wouldn't recommend keeping either one over Manning just yet. My top-five keepers right now are Tomlinson, Jackson, Johnson, Manning and Gore, with Bush just outside the top five. Of course, in leagues that award points for receptions, Bush would definitely be worth keeping for the first pick.

Neil, Denver: How do you rank Travis Henry, Cedric Benson and Brandon Jacobs? I saw that you projected Jacobs to have 1,200 yards and 10-to-12 touchdowns. Plus, the guy actually does catch passes. Wouldn't that get him in the top-15 running backs? Does he have more upside than Benson? If we start two running backs and two wide receivers, do I keep Joseph Addai (obviously) and Henry, Roy Williams and Andre Johnson; or do I keep one of those backs over Johnson hoping to get a better receiver in a trade?


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Scott Engel covers fantasy sports for ESPN.com.

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