Commentary

Midseason Redraft: Edwards on the rise

Updated: November 2, 2007, 2:44 PM ET
By Matthew Berry and Nate Ravitz | ESPN.com

Every fantasy season produces major surprises, but perhaps none more than this year, especially since most of the surprises haven't involved major injuries. Consider that Frank Gore, Shaun Alexander and Larry Johnson were consensus, no-brainer top-10 picks coming into the season, and none of the three is currently in the top 50 for fantasy points scored this season. Making sense of all of this requires an open mind and a strong will.

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Matthew Berry and Nate Ravitz are never shy about expressing strong opinions. So with the first eight weeks of the season in the rearview mirror, we asked them to redraft the first three rounds of a 10-team league, from the simple perspective of who will be most valuable in the second half of the season. In other words, they're not drafting teams, per se, rather ranking players in a draft format.

As you might expect, they disagreed on quite a few picks, so we captured their reactions. Matthew won the coin toss and picked first, and they simply alternated picks from that point on. Here are the results, with their thoughts on the players, the draft … and each other.

MIDSEASON REDRAFT
Tom Brady
1. Tom Brady, QB, Patriots (Berry)

Do I even have to write something here? Anyone gonna argue? Normally I'm leading the RB/RB charge, but Brady is changing all of the rules this year. Did you know he has 77 more fantasy points than anyone else this season? Bill Belichick -- aka "the Gooch" -- is going to continue to run up the score all season long. The week of the Jets game you might be able to win your week with Brady and a bunch of empty roster slots.
LaDainian Tomlinson
2. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Chargers (Ravitz)

Can't argue with the TMR on that pick, but I also can't complain about getting LT at No. 2. He's still far and away the best running back in football, and that Week 16 fantasy playoff matchup against the Broncos could result in the first-ever 300-yard rushing game. If Belichick comes on the podcast, make sure he leaves his video cameras at home. Some things are meant to be heard, not seen.

Joseph Addai
3. Joseph Addai, RB, Colts (Berry)

If you listened to yourself on our podcast you wouldn't write that. Meanwhile, did you know that the Colts have more rushing touchdowns than any team in the NFL? They have 12 as a team, and Addai has only seven. He should get a greater share of the rushing touchdowns the rest of the way.

4. Randy Moss, WR, Patriots (Ravitz)

I download and listen to myself on the podcast. Every day. Trying to get our numbers up. As for this pick, you should have been able to guess it. I jumped on the Moss bandwagon after Week 1, prompting "Fantasy Football Now" host Erik Kuselias to say that I should name my firstborn son "Randy Moss Ravitz." Doesn't exactly roll off your tongue, though.
5. Willie Parker, RB, Steelers (Berry)

Did you seriously just take a wide receiver with a history of injuries with the fourth overall pick? When he's not even leading his own team in receptions? Remind me to fire you. And while you're at it, give me the running back averaging more than 23 carries per game behind one of the best offensive lines in football. They're building a statue of me in Pittsburgh, you know.

6. Brian Westbrook, RB, Eagles (Ravitz)

That's a podcast reference. You have to download and listen if you want to get all of the jokes. Westbrook is a bit of a risky pick this early, but you can't argue with his upside. Once again, he's the Eagles' best runner and their best receiver. Too bad the TMR can't multitask like that.

7. Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings (Berry)

I can't multitask? What do you call carrying you on the podcast and on ESPN.com? That's multimedia multitasking, my friend. Speaking of multitasking, Peterson is pretty good at that. And with Brian Baldinger taking over at quarterback, the Vikings will continue to increase the workload for the young Adrian.
8. Larry Johnson, RB, Chiefs (Ravitz)

You mean, Brooks Bollinger, but I get your point. Johnson is heating up, with back-to-back 100-yard, one- touchdown games. Plus, he gets the Broncos and their awful run defense twice the rest of the way, not to mention the Raiders, Lions and Jets. The Chiefs aren't as bad as you think, either.
9. Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys (Berry)

Surprised? I like him better than Peyton Manning because I think Manning will sit a game or two at the end of the season. I think the Cowboys continue to throw, and Romo is surrounded by a lot of talent: Terrell Owens, Patrick Crayton, Jason Witten, Carrie Underwood … the list goes on and on.
10. Marion Barber, RB, Cowboys (Ravitz)

Wasn't Romo seen with Britney Spears recently? And don't quarterbacks need to make good decisions? I'll take Romo's teammate. Barber had 19 carries the last time out, and I think that's a sign of things to come. He scored 16 touchdowns last year and is on pace for 13 this year. This is a bad year for running backs, but Barber is standing out.
11. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Buffalo (Berry)

You don't listen, do you? The Cowboys are going to continue to throw. If you were going to go running back there, you should have gone with Lynch. Did you know he's carried the ball at least 18 times in every game this season? Plus, the Bills play the Bengals, the Dolphins twice and the Browns in the second half. You know I love me the matchups.
12. Reggie Bush, RB, Saints (Ravitz)

Matchups? Have fun when Lynch plays the Patriots, Jags and your fightin' Redskins in back-to-back-to- back games. Meanwhile, Bush has scored at least 10 fantasy points in five straight games. He hasn't been as explosive as expected, but I'll take the consistency. Like the tortoise, slow and steady wins the race.
13. Braylon Edwards, WR, Browns (Berry)

Let the record show that Nate Ravitz just compared himself to a reptile famous for plodding along and eating flies. I'm so glad you're not on our sales team. I'm going a little off the board here. Nine touchdowns already, and 20-plus points in each of the past two games. Derek Anderson is legit, and no one has a better fantasy playoff schedule than the Browns. Weeks 14 through 17 bring the Jets, Bills, Bengals and 49ers.
14. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, Bengals (Ravitz)

I don't mind the pick, but if you were going to go wide receiver there, you should have gone with T.J. Money. I want consistency from a No. 1 receiver, and Houshmandzadeh has scored a touchdown in every game this season. You want a good playoff schedule? In Weeks 14 through 17 he gets the Rams, 49ers, Browns and Dolphins. This guy is on pace for 1,438 yards and 21 touchdowns!
15. Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts (Berry)

Hmm. I agree with you. Not thrilled about that. Anyway, since there isn't a running back worth taking here, I'll go with Peyton Manning's No. 1 target. Even before Marvin Harrison got hurt, the torch had been passed. Wayne should have some huge games in the next few weeks, although I'm a little worried that the Colts might rest him in the last couple of games.
16. Frank Gore, RB, 49ers (Ravitz)

Speaking of torches being passed, did you notice how our podcast downloads shot through the roof when I took over the hosting duties? It's a credit to your leadership that you accepted the change with dignity and rededicated yourself to being the best Talented Mr. Roto you can possibly be. Gore is the choice here. The Niners can't possibly be worse than they have been, and I like his schedule going forward.
17. Peyton Manning, QB, Colts (Berry)

Our podcast downloads shot through the roof because of me. We'll get even more when producer Pod Vader is reporting to me. I'm working on that. As for Gore, that's not a terrible pick. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. I have to go with Manning here, mainly because I just don't trust any of the running backs left on the board. I really shouldn't have to defend Peyton Manning with the No. 18 pick. He's Peyton Manning.
18. Carson Palmer, QB, Bengals (Ravitz)

I found a nut, alright. He calls himself the TMR. I agree with you about the running backs, so I'll take the quarterback quietly on pace for almost 4,400 yards and 32 touchdowns. Palmer has completed at least 60 percent of his passes in every game this season, and he'll be even more dangerous once Chris Henry returns from his suspension. Plus, he has a great schedule in the fantasy playoffs.
19. Derek Anderson, QB, Browns (Berry)

I want to rehire you so I can fire you again. That's the dumbest thing I think I've ever seen you write. Palmer has had one huge game so far this season, the one against Cleveland; without that game, he's averaging 10 fantasy points per game. You know who else is averaging 10 fantasy points per game? Chad Pennington, and he just lost his job. If you wanted to take a quarterback, the one you should have taken was Anderson, who has been much more consistent and gets the Jets, Bills, Bengals and 49ers in his last four games.
20. Steven Jackson, RB, Rams (Ravitz)

Derek Anderson with the 19th overall pick? We'll see how you like that after he makes back-to-back trips to Pittsburgh and Baltimore in a couple of weeks. I'll roll the dice that Jackson's back will be OK and he'll come back and abuse an easy schedule from here on out. It's a risk, sure, but you can't argue with getting the preseason No. 2 at No. 20.
21. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars (Berry)

I have no problem with Steven Jackson. I'm on record: I love Steven Jackson. Everyone knows that. Plus, he writes a weekly column for us here on ESPN.com (I'm a company man). Speaking of guys who went earlier before the season, give me MJD. He's scored four touchdowns in the past four games, and I think he finishes the year as a top-10 back. Just saying.
22. Chad Johnson, WR, Bengals (Ravitz)

I'll go back to the well with the Bengals. No one is talking about Chad Johnson because he has only three touchdowns this year, but Ocho Cinco is on pace for almost 1,700 yards. Looking at his schedule, I'll predict two or three huge games … as in 150 yards and multiple touchdowns. The return of Chris Henry should help him break free for more big plays.
23. Brandon Jacobs, RB, Giants (Berry)

Nice job cornering the market on Bengals. Does this league have a probation bonus? And that's twice you've invoked the name of Chris Henry. I'm not sure a No. 3 receiver is going to make that big a difference. Jacobs has settled in as the clear No. 1 back for the Giants. He's had at least 100 rushing yards in three of the past four games, and in that same span he has more total yards than any running back in the NFL. I'm surprised he's lasted this long.
24. Clinton Portis, RB, Redskins (Ravitz)

"I'm surprised he's lasted this long." Words that easily could refer to your tenure here at ESPN. I'll bet that Portis pick surprises some people, but what was the No. 1 question about him coming into the season? Whether he would lose carries to Ladell Betts. Well, Betts has exactly three carries in each of the past three games. The Redskins face a lot of teams with weak run defenses the rest of the way, and Portis is healthy, so I expect a big finish.
25. Shaun Alexander, RB, Seahawks (Berry)

What?!! That's a terrible pick, and you know I love the Redskins. Even if he manages to stay healthy, Portis finishes the season with the Bears, Giants, Vikings and Cowboys. You know why we call you Negative Nate? It's because we're negative about your future. The guy you should have taken is Alexander. He has to be better than this. Mike Holmgren is not an idiot. He's a good coach, and he just had a bye to try to figure this out, and Alexander has a great schedule the rest of the way, including the Browns, Niners, Bears and Rams in the next four weeks.
26. Plaxico Burress, WR, Giants (Ravitz)

Alexander is done. Overdone even. If he were a steak, you'd send him back to the kitchen. I'm giving Plax a mulligan for the game in London, given that it was played in a monsoon. I like that he has a bye week to rest his troublesome ankle. I'm on record as saying he'll score 15 touchdowns this season, which means he'll score seven the rest of the way.
27. Wes Welker, WR, Patriots (Berry)

We know that Bill "The Gooch" Belichick, the bully, is on a mission. Welker is leading the Patriots in receptions, including 29 -- with five touchdowns -- in the past three games. It took Brady a little while to figure out how to use him, but now that he has, watch out. Now, if I could just figure out how to use you.
28. Terrell Owens, WR, Cowboys (Ravitz)

How amazing is it that you just drafted Wes Welker ahead of Marvin Harrison, Torry Holt and Steve Smith, and I can't even mount an argument against it? You also drafted him ahead of Owens, which is a little dubious given your man crush on Tony Romo. Owens hasn't had that one huge game yet, and you know it's coming, maybe in one of the two remaining games against his old Eagles teammates. Give me TO, and an Advil.
29. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers (Berry)

Enjoy Terrell Owens. I can think of 25 million reasons not to draft him this soon. I'll go with Roethlisberger, because he's the best available player. Best … available … player. He's been fantastic so far this season. The Steelers continue to open up the passing game, and he's had double-digit fantasy points in all but one game so far this season.
30. LenDale White, RB, Titans (Ravitz)

Before you laugh, look at the teams remaining on his schedule: Broncos, Bengals, Texans, Chiefs, Jets. He's carried the ball at least 25 times in each of the past three games, and he's scored a touchdown in four of the past six games. And with that, I'm putting my 15 guys up against the TMR's 15 guys, and we'll see who has the most points at the end of the season. Winner gets to keep his job.

Matthew Berry, the Talented Mr. Roto, is the senior director for ESPN Fantasy, in charge of content. Nate Ravitz is not a senior director but does host Matthew on the Fantasy Focus podcast Monday through Friday, available on iTunes or on the Podcenter page of ESPN.com.

• Senior Fantasy analyst for ESPN
• Member, FSWA and FSTA Halls of Fame
• Best-selling author of "Fantasy Life"
Nate Ravitz is the deputy editor for ESPN.com Fantasy and co-hosts -- along with Matthew Berry -- the Fantasy Focus baseball and football podcasts.