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Fantasy Football Do's and Don'ts
by Bovada Sportsbook

We're only in the preseason, but I'm already starting my list of do's and don'ts for the upcoming fantasy season. On the bubble? Kansas City's Larry Johnson. On one hand, Johnson is the best thing to happen to fantasy football since Inconvenient Al created (supposedly) the series of pipes and tubes now commonly referred to as "the Internet." And Johnson is why I became a pigskin gumshoe.

But on the other, he's elbow deep in contract issues and could possibly be traded.

From 2005 to 2007, his work rate rivaled that of the Amish. All that was missing from Johnson's 752 carries, 3,539 yards and 21 touchdowns were horses, bonnets and buggies.

If LaDainian Tomlinson was the Stallion of fantasy football, Johnson was the Clydesdale - making Chiefs coach Herm Edwards the exhausted equestrian (saddled with poor clock management skills).

So, yeah. I really need to know what Larry Johnson is doing this summer.

What else is a fantasy owner to do in the face of autumn's uncertainty? Johnson's potential is overwhelming. Under the watchful eye of Edwards - as in, "watch as I run Larry into the ground" - there's no telling what the upcoming season could bring.

Formerly implausible Nintendo numbers - 500+ carries, 2,200 yards and 20 TDs - seem frighteningly attainable. Attainable because taskmaster Herm is calling the shots. Frightening because Johnson can't possibly survive another monster season...can he?

Here's What to Do (and Don't)

DO - realize that the Chiefs are probably going to start Brodie Croyle at QB. He could be the worst starter in a league that boasts ramen noodles like Josh McCown, Rex Grossman and Charlie Frye as "well, we gotta start someone" first-stringers.

There is a good chance Croyle will throw eight passes all year, and three of them will be intercepted. You don't need an abacus to figure how many rushing attempts that works out to.

DON'T - fall into the Chiefs RB handcuff theory. Many assume that if Johnson holds out or is traded, current cupholders Michael Bennett, Derrick Ross and Kolby Smith will become viable fantasy assets. They won't.

If Johnson is gone, the Chiefs become instantly unwatchable and will start putting up scorelines similar to those of their soccer counterparts, the Wizards.

DO - start looking ahead for sleeper running back picks. Along with Johnson, there have never been so many questions about star RBs. Shaun Alexander is on the wrong side of 30 with a cracked foot. Tomlinson has to return to the stratosphere after his out-of-this-galaxy 2006 campaign.

Frank Gore sees more injuries than a battlefield hospital, including a recurring case of fumbilitis, Steven Jackson plays on turf and is overworked (cue the torn ACL) and Brian Westbrook is made of porcelain.

Two surprise runners for 2007:

Brandon Jackson, Green Bay - The Pack is bereft of quality runners, so former Nebraska standout Jackson should be the de facto No. 1 based on pedigree alone. Career backups Vernand Morency and Noah Herron will battle to avoid CFL relocation. Although I hear Saskatchewan is lovely in the winter.

Ladell Betts, Washington - Clinton Portis' bum shoulder and hand were a blessing for Betts last season. The injuries shelved C-Po over half the regular season and allowed Betts to post career highs of 1,599 all-purpose yards and five TDs. He'll force the dreaded fantasy time-share with Portis in Washington this year.

DON'T - Try and groom yourself a QB. Let deathtraps like Oakland, Detroit and Cleveland do that for you. While you might be selecting Brady Quinn for the future, all you're really doing is screwing up the present.

Drafting a veteran like Trent Green, Steve McNair, Jeff Garcia or Chad Pennington will give you a few games to analyze situations. Let the dust settle before you hit the waiver wire and pick up the signal caller of the future, OK?

5Dimes Sportsbook