Engel's mailbag: Draft analysis, keeper advice
- Randy, Dubuque, Iowa: I am in a keeper league where we can retain five players regardless of position. I plan on keeping: Reggie Bush, Cedric Benson, Brandon Jacobs, Clinton Portis and Andre Johnson. I also have Jerious Norwood. Do you think that he'd be a better keeper than Ports? Would it be better to try to trade Portis for a wide receiver like Lee Evans, who is on a wide receiver-heavy team that is weak at running back?
Engel: Norwood certainly has some upside, but Portis can be a top fantasy running back if he eventually overcomes injury issues and regains clear status as a featured back. Portis is only 25 years old and is already much more proven than Norwood, plus he has a higher statistical ceiling in the future. For now, though, he is recovering from shoulder and hand injuries and has recently been reported to have knee tendinitis. That lowers his trade value, and you simply won't be able to get a wide receiver of Evans' caliber in return right now. You obviously can't start four running backs, though, so I would certainly still seek trade possibilities, but set your expectations a bit lower. You're not going to get a wide receiver who could have a major breakthrough season in return for Portis. See what other wide receivers other owners may be willing to deal for Portis, and you could still get a good starter in return.
Gino, New York, N.Y.: I am not being idealistic when I say Jon Kitna will be top-five fantasy quarterback this year. Look at his stats again, and keep in mind that nobody knew Mike Martz's system, especially Roy Williams, and yet he still threw for 4,000-plus yards. The Lions added Calvin Johnson, too. Look for 4,500 yards, 29 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
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