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Preseason Burning Questions: NFC

Posted: Monday July 30, 2007 4:24PM; Updated: Monday July 30, 2007 4:24PM
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With training camps starting to open, I'm laying out one fantasy question for each team heading into the season. Here are the NFC questions. Click here for the AFC questions.

NFC East

Dallas: Can Tony Romo keep it up for a full season?
Romo's career started off with a bang, throwing 12 TDs and averaging 270 yards a game in his first six starts. But then he threw six TDs with eight picks in his final five games. Now with the job full-time, he'll need to shine with a new coach in Wade Phillips. He's got good veteran targets in Terrell Owens and Terry Glenn, and he really needs to get tight end Jason Witten involved in the offense more this year as well.

New York Giants: How will Brandon Jacobs fill Tiki Barber's shoes?
Jacobs had 16 TDs in two seasons backing up Barber, but now he wants to prove he's not just a goal-line back. Despite his 6-foot-4, 264-pound frame, Jacobs has shown some receiving skills, although he's not at Barber's level. While Jacobs should carry most of the load, veteran Reuben Droughns can contribute enough to limit any wear and tear as the season progresses.

Philadelphia: Is Donovan McNabb still a top fantasy option?
McNabb doesn't have the injury-prone label, but he has missed 20 games over the past five seasons, and the start of this year is up in the air because of his torn ACL. When he's in, he's electric (16 TDs, 5 INTs in his first seven games last year), no matter who his weapons are. With rookie Kevin Kolb poised to take his job in the future, McNabb could be more inspired to shine, but only if he stays healthy.

Washington: How will Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts function together?
While Portis nursed a bunch of injuries, Betts ran for 1,154 yards, including five straight 100-yard games late in the season. But with Portis back healthy, he will remain the primary starter with Betts serving as a backup. There is no committee system in place here, but having a solid backup like Betts is crucial for both real and fantasy teams for cases like season.

NFC North

Chicago: Which Rex Grossman will show up this year?
Grossman had three games with at least three TDs last year but also five games with at least three picks. Since you don't know what you'll get each week, it's hard to think of him as anything but a backup and hope to get lucky on the right week. His Super Bowl didn't help matters, so it's hard to think he'll get over his turnover ways quickly.

Detroit: Who's carrying the load at running back?
Kevin Jones was having a solid all-purpose season before suffering a serious foot injury late last season. If healthy, he probably is the best guy to have. However, Tatum Bell rushed for 1,025 yards in Denver last year and is a speedy, home run-type running back. How they'll mesh remains to be seen. And then there's T.J. Duckett, who could steal goal-line carries, hurting both backs.

Green Bay: Who starts at running back?
Vernand Morency
averaged 4.5 yards per carry as Ahman Green's backup last year, while rookie Brandon Jackson ran for 989 yards last season in his junior year at Nebraska. Morency seems to be better in short bursts (although he had 26 carries for 99 yards in one start last year), while Jackson was just starting to develop as a top-flight back last year. Oddly, a lack of college carries may benefit Jackson in the long run as he doesn't have the excess wear and tear of other featured backs from college.

Minnesota: When does Adrian Peterson become the full-time back?
Chester Taylor
was solid last season before injuries slowed him down in the second half and he's the one who's healthy coming into camp, while Peterson still nurses a shoulder injury. Because of the health issues, don't be surprised to see Peterson get worked into the offense slowly, like Joseph Addai last year, before breaking through in midseason. Both backs have value now, but Taylor's might wane as the year goes on.

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