It also helps that Thomas (11 double-digit target outings last year, including the playoffs) scored a touchdown in each of his last five games (postseason included).
1) Finding four quality tailbacks from Rounds 3-9; and if this isn’t accomplished, you won’t have the luxury of handcuffing your RB5 to the RB1.
2) Your initial battle plan of taking a quarterback and then a tight end or top-ranked defense in the first 10 rounds has likely gone kaput … since every important "tweener" decision should be a tailback leap of faith.
Of his 13 games last year, Bell racked up 88 total yards and/or one TD 11 times, while averaging a reasonable 22.2 touches per outing. For good measure, Bell (45 catches for 408 yards) was one of only 15 backs to collect 65 or more targets for the year.
On the flip side, it’s hard to nail down a concrete Average Draft Position (ADP) figure for Spiller at this time. Some prominent Web sites have pegged C.J. as a top-five tailback for 2014, while others have him as barely a top-60 overall pick for the August drafts.
For now, let’s take the middle ground on a potential superstar who finally has an explosive receiving corps in Buffalo (Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, Mike Williams, Marquise Goodwin, T.J. Graham).
During the spring, I had Jennings (1,025 total yards, six TDs) ranked as the No. 20 tailback … but he has the potential to leap another 3-4 slots by mid-August. After all, the new Giants rusher averaged 112 total yards and one TD against the Cowboys, Redskins and Eagles last year.
As a rookie, Patterson (45 catches, 469 yards, four TDs) rolled for nine TDs … without really possessing a full grasp of the Vikings offense.
BREAKDOWN: Wright (94 catches, 1,079 yards, two TDs) shall be an easy Round 5 pick for PPR leagues.
On the flip side, Wright (93 targets in his final 10 outings) still must sing for his proverbial supper in standard-scoring leagues.
In ’07, Brady (with the help of WR Randy Moss) would pass for 4,806 yards and 50 TDs — an NFL record at the time.
One more thing: Of tight end Rob Gronkowski’s last 20 complete games — including the playoffs, but excluding the Browns tilt from December (left early with season-ending knee injury) — the modern-day Brady boasts per-outing averages of 295.8 yards passing.
And during that span, Brady has a scintillating 42/11 TD-INT ratio.
BREAKDOWN: Don’t fall asleep on Bowe’s rock-solid production at the end of last year:
From Week 9 to the wild-card round, the Chiefs wideout tallied four games of double-digit targets and four touchdowns — including an eight-catch, 150-yard, one-TD demolition of the Colts during the playoffs.
BREAKDOWN: Citing standard-scoring leagues, the Chiefs defense racked up double-digit points eight times last year. By contrast, the Rams — the No. 2-ranked fantasy defense in most leagues — only accomplished that feat four times.
Two more reasons to go bold here: Kansas City was a top-7 unit in sacks … and a group that notched seven defensive TDs last season.
BREAKDOWN: We’ll roll out the RB "handcuff" rankings sometime in the very-near future, and I fully expect Blount to be sitting near the top.
For a four-week period last season (Weeks 16/17, first two playoff rounds), Blount was THE BEST back in football, bar none, incredibly amassing 331 rushing yards and eight TDs over a three-game span.
Jay Clemons, the 2008 Fantasy Football Writer of theYear (Fantasy Sports Writers Association), can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.