Who will bounce back?

JORDAN HEATH-RAWLINGS -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:20 AM ET

NFL contracts that aren't guaranteed are both the blessing and the curse of fantasy football fanatics.

On one hand, the rough nature of the game, the short window of true effectiveness for almost every player and the huge signing bonuses paid in advance mean that a top player's production can drop from Pro Bowl to practice roster from one season to the next.

On the other hand, such a drop usually means a cut, a trade or a rather large pay cut, thus providing the motivation for a serious return to form.

This coming season alone, there are several players who were once top picks in fantasy drafts coming off sub-par seasons. If you can nab the ones who are properly motivated to turn it around and salvage their legacy, you can build a solid roster deep in the draft.

Here are a few for your consideration:

- Randy Moss, WR, Patriots: What a difference a year can make. Moss went from having no chance at the playoffs in 2006, to having a good shot at the Super Bowl in 2007. He'll go from Aaron Brooks as his (so-called) quarterback to catching spirals from Tom Brady, arguably the best in the game. Instead of Art Shell on the sidelines, he'll get his routes from Bill Belichick. It's safe to say that the necessary factors for a revitalizing season are in place. If Moss can mesh with the Patriot's offence, he could easily be a top-five wide receiver once again.

- Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers: Big Ben's 2006 season was severely hampered from the start -- first by a motorcycle crash and then by an emergency appendectomy.

After all that, he still had to play for a Steelers team trying to adapt to life without retired RB Jerome Bettis.

In 2007, however, Roethlisberger will be starting out healthy; Bettis will be long gone and the team is planning to run a no-huddle offence more often, giving Roethlisberger more responsibility as well as more chances to pass the football. If he's up to the challenge, he could return to the form of his rookie year.

- Shaun Alexander, RB, Seahawks: It's unfair to say that he had a horrible 2006, racking up almost 900 yards rushing in 10 games -- but since Alexander was a first-overall pick in many drafts last year, it is fair to say that he disappointed. But Seattle hasn't added any depth to their running game and still has a strong offensive line and one of the best home-field advantages in football. So if Alexander can stay healthy, he's almost guaranteed 1,500-plus yards and at least 12 to 15 touchdowns. Plus, he's not on the cover of EA's "Madden" video game this year, which usually signals a return to prosperity.

The Extra Points is 24 hours' fantasy sports column.


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