THE GREAT DEBATES

AS FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFTS APPROACH, ARGUMENTS ERUPT AND FRIENDS BECOME FOES
August 05, 2007

THE DEBATE: BACKIN MVP FORM?

SHAUN ALEXANDER,
Seahawks RB

[YES]I think ShaunAlexander's ready to put up big numbers again. I'd love to have him on myteam.

[NO] Last year I picked Alexander second overall, and he single-handedlywrecked my season. Killed me. No way would I take him high again. No way.

[YES] That's justbecause he was injured. Two years ago he had 1,880 rushing yards and 28touchdowns--28! And even last year he finished strong.

[NO] I just don't think he's going to get back to 2005 levels. Even before hegot hurt last year, he was off to a slow start. Seattle's offensive line stillmisses Steve Hutchinson.

[YES] That line'sstill plenty good--hey, ever hear of a guy named Walter Jones? And Alexander isSeattle's workhorse. He'll get all the goal line carries. He's a lock to put upbig numbers.

[NO] Didn't I see something on the ticker a couple months ago that his footmight still be broken?

[YES]  Hesays that was a joke that got misunderstood.

[NO] A joke?That's what he turned my team into last year.

SI BOTTOMLINE
He'll be back. Anywhere after the third pick, Alexander's a great choice.

THE DEBATE:REVIVED IN NEW ENGLAND?
RANDY MOSS,
Patriots WR

[YES] Moss isgoing to be huge in New England. I think he's a top five receiver again.

[NO] Are you nuts? Last year he had three TDs and 553 yards.

[YES]  Thatwas in Oakland. Look who was throwing to him--Aaron Brooks, Andrew Walter andMarques Tuiasosopo! Tom Brady's just a shade better than those guys, no?

[NO] Still, this is Moss. The guy who "plays when he wants toplay."

[YES]  WithBrady and Belichick it will be different.

[NO] But even if they get Good Randy to show up every week, it won't matter.Belichick loves to spread it around. With the Patriots he's never had areceiver catch more than seven TDs in a season. Plus, you never know whenBelichick is going to wake up on Sunday morning and decide that he's throwingall his goal line passes to Mike Vrabel.

[YES] Belichick is a genius. He'll be the first to realize he's never had aweapon like Moss before. I bet Belichick's designing plays for him this verysecond.

[NO] Here's whatMoss will give you: two big games and a bunch of duds. You want to take him, goahead.

SI BOTTOMLINE
Even with the talent and chemistry in New England, Moss is a second-tier guynow.

THE DEBATE: CAN HECARRY THE LOAD?

CEDRIC BENSON,
Bears RB

[YES] If I'mdrafting toward the end of the first round, the guy I like is Cedric Benson.The Bears love to run the ball, and with Thomas Jones gone to the Jets, Bensonis going to be their main man. He'll have a monster year.

[NO] He's worth a late-second at best. The guy's never carried the load beforein the NFL. And in two seasons he's already had a knee injury and a shoulderinjury.

[YES] But at Texashe had more than 1,000 carries and never got hurt. Those knee and shoulderthings were flukes. He's 24, and he's fresh.

[NO] Even if Benson stays healthy, Lovie Smith likes to split up the carries.Adrian Peterson--the other Adrian Peterson--has averaged almost five yards acarry. And the Bears spent a third-round pick on one of those speedy littlebacks, Garrett Wolfe.

[YES]  Theyspent a third-round pick on Wolfe--but they spent the fourth-overall pick onBenson a couple of years ago. The Bears want to prove they were right, sothey're going to give Benson every chance to step up. I'm betting this yearhe'll get at least 14 TDs, and the potential is there for a whole bunchmore.

[NO] Potential?Yeah, and you're potentially gonna blow a high pick.

SI BOTTOMLINE
A lot to like in the Bears back. A first-round gamble, but a second-roundsteal.


THE DEBATE: A FANTASY WINNER TOO?

VINCE YOUNG,
Titans QB

[YES] I love VinceYoung. Absolutely love the guy. He'll produce more than half the QBs who getdrafted ahead of him.

[NO] I love Vince Young as a player. But as a fantasy prospect? Not somuch.

[YES] C'mon. He gets touchdowns running and passing. Last year he had 19 TDs,and he only took over the starting job in Week 4.

[NO] Yeah, but the Titans' offense is going to stink this year. They lostTravis Henry, Drew Bennett and Bobby Wade. LenDale White's overweight. Plus,they drafted some running back that Mel Kiper was dissing all over TV.

[YES] Didn't you see the Rose Bowl a couple years ago? Vince makes things work.That's why he's Vince.

[NO] Yeah, but you don't get fantasy points for leadership and clutch play. IfI were starting a real team, I'd take Vince over someone like Eli Manning in asecond. But I guarantee you Eli will have a better fantasy season.

[YES] That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. I'm outta here.

SI BOTTOMLINE
Expect good--but not spectacular--fantasy numbers from Young this year.

PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONPETER GREGOIRE (DEBATE SCENE PHOTOS); GINA HOUSEMAN (TVS); GREG TROTT/WIREIMAGE.COM (ALEXANDER); JIM ROGASH/WIREIMAGE.COM (MOSS); CHARLIE NEIBERGALL/AP (BENSON); AL BELLO/GETTY IMAGES (YOUNG)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)