Fantasy Football Christopher Harris
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Christopher Harris (11:02 AM)
Hi, everyone. Welcome to some fantasy football chat -- let's get right down to biz....
James / Arch City
Good morning Christopher...Lots of action this week. Can you tell us if the following are ONE WEEK WONDERS or a good bet for the remainder of the season: Ted Ginn Jr, Matt Jones, Leonard Weaver, Demetrius Williams, and Antonio Pittman.
Christopher Harris (11:05 AM)
Hi, James. Matt Jones isn't really a one-week wonder: he's pretty clearly been the most reliable (and most targeted) receiver the Jags have. His problem, of course, is that he's got a three-game suspension looming because of a cocaine bust. No indication about when his hearing will be held -- he'd be my choice until he's out, and he'll still presumably have time to come back and resume his role after the suspension. Weaver is a fluke -- no reason to grab him. Pittman is a fair handcuff for Steven Jackson, but that's all. Demetrius Williams has definitely seen more work for the Ravens, but my choice would probably be Ginn. His real limitation has been that Chad Pennington can't throw the ball down the field, and C-Pen *didn't* throw it down the field yesterday: Ginn just took small passes and made them into big gains. But he's starting to flash a little talent. None but Jones should be a starter, but Ginn has the highest upside.
Who do you like better Micheal Pittman, Torain, Hightower, or Felix Jones for the rest of the season?
Christopher Harris (11:07 AM)
Hi, Dave. I mean, I'm completely vexed by it, but at this point you'd have to say Pittman (Michael, not Antonio). He's pretty much got the Denver starting gig right now, and while I agree that Ryan Torain is worth owning because he could become a goal-line threat, that's still kind of an outside chance. I'd say Hightower and Felix Jones would be pretty close thereafter (I'd probably barely take Hightower right now just because of Jones's health uncertainty), with Torain bringing up the rear of this group: but as I said, Torain is worth owning in deeper leagues.
Brandon Marshall or Santana Moss the rest of the year?
Christopher Harris (11:07 AM)
Hi, Zeke. I'm saying Marshall. Targets are like gold, and Marshall gets so many of 'em.
Jeff, Huntington WV
After bounceback performances from the likes of LT and Westbrook combined with the sputtering performance of the cowboys and MB3, how do you rank the top 5 RB going forward?
Christopher Harris (11:09 AM)
Hi, Jeff. I'm not bashing Barber for a "sputtering" performance just yet -- he still got 71 yards (somewhere, Ryan Grant owners are jealous), and he's only got one more game left with Brad Johnson as his quarterback. I haven't done my year-end ranks yet -- that's my task tonight in preparation for the Big Rotowski article that'll be published tomorrow. But I really don't think that I'll have Barber lower than Tomlinson. Westbrook? Well, that'll be closer...
How much value does McFadden have the rest of the way?
Christopher Harris (11:11 AM)
Hi, Cee. He's still right about where I've had him in my Tuesday Big Rotowski column lately: right around 30th or so. Obviously, the toe is a big-time problem, and he's got a ways to go before he's a starter again, but if and when he gets healthy, he's certainly got as good a chance as any Oakland back to get opportunities, considering he's the future in that backfield. Over the next couple weeks, McFadden isn't a fantasy starter (because we don't even know if he's going to play), but over the season's final month, I do expect to see him lead the team in carries, if he's physically able.
Chris, Toronto ON
Chris, a short and sweet question: Who has the better second half? Edwards, or Pennington?
Christopher Harris (11:12 AM)
Hi, Chris. Trent Edwards. Pennington's numbers were inflated by some good YAC for his receivers yesterday. It's not that he's not a good real-life QB, but his fantasy upside just isn't very high.
Andrew (Everett Wa)
Any word on if and when Santonio Holmes gets suspended and who's more valuable when it happens, Washington or Sweed?
Christopher Harris (11:14 AM)
Hi, Andrew. No, I don't have any Holmes news. The Steelers play on Monday night, and I have to believe that if the league doesn't act this week, Holmes will play. (He's a complete knucklehead, but he's good.) Anyway, Nate Washington is a starter when Holmes is out, so even though Limas Sweed saw the most action of his brief career yesterday, and Washington only caught the one pass (which happened to be a bomb he caught for a TD), I'd say Washington. (Incidentally, if not for a holding call, Washington would've had *another* bomb of a touchdown in that game yesterday.)
what happened with josh morgan this week? He was supposed to be the new starter in san fran and had a great game last week.
Christopher Harris (11:15 AM)
I know, Drew. I'm vexed. Morgan has been a pet of mine since before the season started, but he barely played yesterday. I haven't read anything that indicates his groin injury came back to bite him again -- but when Jayson Hill is turning in an awesome (if garbage-time-based) fantasy day and Morgan just lays there, boy, I'm disappointed. I'm not giving up on him yet, at least not until I hear if anything was wrong with him physically. But I'm with you, brother: I expected big things in a good matchup with Seattle.
What did you think of the Pats' rushing effort this week? Will Morris be the featured back in New England when he returns?
Christopher Harris (11:17 AM)
Hi, Andrew. I'd be a dolt if I made definitive statements about the Patriots rushing game -- they obviously don't know what their plans are, so it's hard for the rest of us to know. I do think that Morris is expected to be out at least a couple more weeks, and it sounded to me this week that LaMont Jordan was closer to playing than Morris was. (But really, that's reading the tea leaves, and not hard news.) The only real way to see what's up with the Pats is to watch practice: they do *tend* to play only guys who've practiced on Thursday and Friday. Nice matchup against the Colts next week, so here's hoping we get some kind of answer...
Joe (Madison, WI)
Is Donnie Avery the real deal?
Christopher Harris (11:19 AM)
Hi, Joe. Well, I think he's worth owning (and said so on TV last week, yippee!). That said, he's also faced two very easy secondaries each of the past two weeks: Dallas and New England. Then again, the Cardinals and Jets (his next two foes) aren't all *that* much better. Bottom line: he's a very fast guy who seems to be taking over the role originally made popular by Mr. Torry Holt, while Holt recedes into possession-receiver land. It goes without saying that Avery is worth owning in all leagues, and that everyone who bashed the Rams for drafting him as the first receiver taken in April should have their mouths washed out with soap. Is he a definite every-week starter in fantasy? Probably not yet. But as a matchup play, you can use him, and he has some more nice matchups coming.
How did I look yesterday? Going forward?
Christopher Harris (11:22 AM)
I'll assume you mean Marques Colston. Well, the bad news out of London was that Colston didn't start, and Lance Moore did. Colston played, but saw fewer snaps than we'd hoped, and obviously was about the only Saints pass-catcher *not* to score. He did grab four of his targets, so the day wasn't a complete loss, but boy, it sure would be nice if he could get back in synch with Drew Brees. New Orleans has a bye this coming week, so hopefully another week of practice gets him going. He's got two very nice matchups in Atlanta and Kansas City in Weeks 10 and 11.
Witten Owner (USA)
Should we be scared?
Christopher Harris (11:23 AM)
Well, Witten left with a rib problem, and the good news is that X-rays were negative, so he doesn't have anything structurally wrong in there. But he'll have an MRI today, which presumably would show the complete story. He told reporters he didn't know about next week. Yeah, I mean, I think you should be a little scared. We'll know more later today.
Matt and OH
Is JT worth owning anymore? I have Garrard who burned my bench up. Gus, Bulger and Flacco are really the only 3 on the waivers.
Christopher Harris (11:25 AM)
Hi, Matt. The Niners are on bye next week, so we won't know anything for sure about O'Sullivan's fate as the San Francisco QB for a while, but he was benched yesterday and Shaun Hill came in in garbage time and put up some big numbers. Hill has the advantage of not being as likely to take the number of sacks that O'Sullivan does, because he has a quicker release and tends not to throw as far downfield, but of course, that's also a fantasy downside, because it doesn't seem as likely that he'll give you typically "Martz-ian" QB production. If I had to guess, I'd say Hill is the starter in Week 10. Of the three guys you mention on waivers, clearly none of them are must-starts, but Frerotte has probably been the best of the three of them. He'll come off a bye and get a relatively vulnerable Texans secondary next week.
Monday Morning QB (My Couch)
Who can I start in a 2QB league next weekend to fill a bye week? Thingpen, Wallace, S. Hill, and Bulger are some of the names who are available. Picking is very slim. Thanks for the help.
Christopher Harris (11:27 AM)
Well, MMQB, I haven't done my rankings for next week yet (those will come out Wednesday), so I can't give you a definitive answer, but Hill is off with a bye, so you wouldn't want to use him. I'd say Bulger isn't a bad play against the Cardinals, whose pass defense isn't any great shakes and is clearly beatable by the big play, if Steve Smith is any indication yesterday. That was the first time Tyler Thigpen has ever done anything in an NFL game; I need to see mroe before I'm willing to buy in.
Keith (Carlstadt, NJ):
Who would you rather have for the rest of the year, Grant or Slaton.
Christopher Harris (11:29 AM)
Hi, Keith. It's a good question: and can you *believe* we'd be asking it about 2.5 months after Grant was a first-rounder in all fantasy drafts this fall? I haven't done my Big Rotowski ranks for tomorrow's article yet (check back then!), but last week I had Grant higher, and I'd imagine that'll probably be the case again next week. But it's close. Listen, Grant *has* looked a little better, and touchdowns are kind of a random stat: he's as likely to make up for lost production there as not. Slaton would've seen an uptick in his value had yesterday's Ahman Green injury been anything serious, but apparently it was just a cramp. Because Grant has the job pretty much to himself, I still pick him, I think.
Garard a good sell high QB after the last two games? Or hold him as a good back up to Cutler?
Christopher Harris (11:31 AM)
Hi, Pete. Well, I have a hard time believing you'd get much for Garrard, despite his having played well yesterday. It seems to me that he belongs to that vast middle ground of quarterbacks: guys you *can* start, but guys who'll probably toss in a few stinkbombs along the way, and who won't be consistent enough fantasy producers to be considered elite. Really, after the first five or six QBs (maybe even fewer), they're all kind of the same, you know? I think he's a nice backup, and I've got him as a starter in a couple deeper leagues, so I like Garrard fine. I just don't think he'd be a player worth giving up all that much for in a trade. (He did look good running the ball yesterday...)
Eric (Fort Collins CO)
Should I deal Ronnie Brown? Do you think he'll keep getting under 15 carries a game or do you think we'll eventually see the same player he was last year?
Christopher Harris (11:33 AM)
Hi, Eric. I wouldn't want to deal Brown before Sunday's game against the Broncos: that's a terrible rush defense and Brown should run wild. Let's face it: after Ginn's long catch on which he didn't score yesterday, if Brown had been in the game to get the next carry instead of Ricky Williams, we wouldn't be having this conversation, because Brown would've scored. But your point is still well-taken: he only got 12 carries. I think that had something to do with Buffalo's stout rush defense, especially where Marcus Stroud plays. Will Brown be the same guy he was before he got hurt last year? I kind of actually think he *has* been -- maybe not in terms of workload, but he's scored touchdowns and played *pretty * well, though shy of elite. I don't hate the idea of trying to maximize the value of a player like that and dealing him, but the way to do that is hope and bet he has a huge game against Denver and then think about it.
Should I worry about MJD's performance this week?
Christopher Harris (11:35 AM)
Hi, Alex. Well, I'm not going to blame MJD, but yeah, that was a week where the Jags should've had a prime matchup against the Browns' soft rush defense, but they just couldn't get Shaun Rogers blocked. (Amazing that Rogers can look so good some weeks, and so crummy others.) The thing to worry about is that the Jags were coming off a bye, presumably had settled their makeshift O-line a little bit, and still got blasted off the ball. I still have faith that if there are holes, MJD will find them. I just don't know that there are going to be that many holes.
Portis went down on his final run, any worries about the injury?
Christopher Harris (11:37 AM)
Hi, Jeff. From what I've read, the Redskins haven't really said anything definitive about it yet. Portis *was* on the field for a good long while, but was able to walk off on his own power and also talked to reporters in front of his locker, which tends to be a decent sign that he didn't need treatment right after the game. But that's all speculation, obviously. I think you need to be a little worried, and keep your ear to the ground, but my bet is that he'll be all right.
What should owners in a keeper league do with LJ? Trade him (and get what we can), keep him, cut him?
Christopher Harris (11:38 AM)
It's a good question, Chad. I don't think you cut him, because it's pretty clear someone else would pick him up to take the chance that he gets things straightened out before the season ends. It'd also be mighty hard to trade him, because any savvy owner is going to know there's a decent chance he'll be sidelined for quite a bit longer, though there's also no indication of that yet. My general advice, unless someone in your league has a head-wound and wants to give you a good player for LJ, would be to sit him and hope for the best.
Is Fred Taylor droppable? He's now the 3rd best rusher on his own team.
Christopher Harris (11:40 AM)
Hi, Brian. Well, I don't know the particulars of your league, and I guess in a super-shallow league where there are unbelievable players unowned, I might not be able to argue. But the NFL changes fast, and Taylor isn't completely cooked just yet. I mean, as I just said, MJD didn't get anything going yesterday, either. If Jones-Drew were to get hurt next week? Boom, Taylor's a starter. I hear you that it's coming clearer and clearer that Taylor shouldn't be started most weeks, but he's a decent MJD handcuff and still obviously has talent. I wouldn't drop him. (But if you don't own MJD and want to trade him to the team that does and get a player who annoys you less? That might be a good idea.)
Big Joe (Raider Nation)
Whoa! Colston only had 2 catches yesterday and why is everyone telling me to start him when the Saints didn't even start him! I'm so tired of getting terrible information. I lost the last 2 weeks because Colston was SUPPOSED to 100% healthy yet even after his 2nd week back he's still not starting. I give up.
Christopher Harris (11:43 AM)
Hi, Big Joe. Here's the thing, dude: I do not have a pipeline into Sean Payton's frontal lobe. And I'm going to go out on a limb and say that no one does, not even Chris Mortensen, not even the Saints beat reporters. All we can do is tell you what they're telling us, and there wasn't anyone around saying that Colston wasn't going to start. I'm with you: it was really frustrating each of the past two weeks. I don't think Colston's thumb was the problem: my guess is that he's still not in football shape, and still not in rhythm with Drew Brees. As I wrote earlier in this chat, the bye week comes at a good time, and hopefully he gets his stuff together. But if you found a fantasy ranker who put Colston in the mid-40s among WRs this week instead of the teens, and you feel more comfortable with his/her work now as a result, you know what I'd do: read him or her more, and me less. And that's not meant to be bitter or anything -- I completely understand the Colston-related frustration, believe me.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
With Mewelde Moore doing so well, is he worth keeping on a roster for an emergency? In a related question, will Willie Parker get back onto the field any time soon?
Christopher Harris (11:45 AM)
Hi, J.B., I don't mean to sound glib, but Parker is going to be week-to-week right up to the point where he isn't. All last week, I heard how the Steelers thought they'd have Parker ready to go against the Giants, and then Friday they decided no. Presumably, as long as he stays away from the potholes on the Steelers practice field, each week that goes by Parker's knee gets healthier. But it's hard to definitively say anything until we see him practicing and not on the injury list all week. As for Moore: yeah, I wouldn't give up on him yet. He could start more, he could be a valuable handcuff, and he could also play quite a bit on third downs even when Parker's back.
Rhodes or Deuce for the next 4 weeks? Any guess on when Deuce may be suspended?
Christopher Harris (11:47 AM)
Hi, Chris. The only news I read this morning was that McAllister said he'd been working with the league and the Player's Association for like a month on the issue, even though it was only publicized for the first time last week. Does that mean that the league is leaning toward being lenient? I don't know. Deuce hopes so, but if track record is any history, I expect the NFL to come down pretty black-and-white on the issue. So if I'm *guessing*, I'd say McAllister does wind up getting suspended. And I think Addai was pretty close to playing this week, and could be back in time for the Patriots next week. So basically: I don't have a clear answer for your comparison. I guess I'd say Deuce because we don't know when a suspension might come down.
Whats the deal with M. Jones's suspension? whens he goin out? Also Torrain-any idea when he comes back?
Christopher Harris (11:49 AM)
Hi, Dave. Impossible to say for sure -- he appealled his suspension and entered the league's drug program last week, so until his hearing is, um, heard, he'll keep playing. The league has been better about not letting these things linger (remember the Travis Henry mess last year), but no guarantees. As for Torain: I think the Broncos expect to have him see game action this week, though he might only get a couple carries.
Plaxico Burress!!! Please give me some confidence that he will remain at least a number 2WR for the rest of the year.
Christopher Harris (11:52 AM)
Hi, Dave. Well, the only way Burress doesn't stay a fantasy starter is if he keeps acting like the total knucklehead he so obviously is. Late last week he blew off treatment for the neck injury that temporarily hospitalized him, and that ticked off the Giants so they didn't let him play in the first quarter yesterday. He never got in the game plan thereafter, though Eli Manning did target him (badly) on one end-zone fade. Next week, Burress gets a super-sweet matchup against the beaten-up Dallas secondary that'll be without Anthony Henry (when the fact that you'll be missing Anthony Henry is a bad thing, you're in a bad shape), so I predict a massive game for him against a team he usually owns. Provided he isn't suspended or something.
Alex Golden (New York, N.Y.)
Chris, picking up on the anxiety of Saints WR owners, aren't we in a situation where it could be any one of many Saints receivers or tight ends lighting up the scoreboard on any given Sunday and that the only consistent here is Brees. i've owned Brees all season and sleep well at night. But owning a Moore or Devery or Meachem or even Colston now, which I've all done throughout this season, has caused fits.
Christopher Harris (11:53 AM)
Hi, Alex. Couldn't have said it better myself. Now, I do think Colston's case is a little different, because he was *supposed* to be the guy who'd bring order to this chaos, and we really have missed the boat on him the past couple weeks. But given the lesson of these past two games, I think what you're saying is true: it's going to be tough to pick a winner on a week-to-week basis.
Harris, does Torry Holt have any value left? Certainly he's benchable, but even Camarillo seems like an upgrade right now.
Christopher Harris (11:55 AM)
Hi, Drew. Yeah, he's definitely benchable. Is he more benchable than Greg Camarillo? Hm. Not so sure. Holt really looked like a possession receiver to me yesterday, but to be fair, the Patriots did focus more of their attention on him than Donnie Avery yesterday, do their detriment. If teams start scheming to stop Avery instead, I think Holt will put up some good games down the stretch. But yeah, until we start seeing that happen, I don't hate the idea of benching him. For all who are asking: I wouldn't drop him, though.
Justin (Queens, NY)
How bout that LEON??? He singlehandely won me two league games and my Jets game. I picked him up for bye week fill-ins, should i hang on to him should Mangini finally realize he should get 10-15 touches a game (NOT JUST 6 !!!)??
Christopher Harris (11:57 AM)
Hi, Justin. That fact you started Leon Washington is a huge feather in your cap: way to go. This week, I had him ranked 38th, so clearly he was only bye-week fodder, but he was pretty *good* bye-week fodder...glad it worked out for you. Yeah, it's funny: I know I personally have written each of the past two preseasons about how sure I was that eventually the Jets were going to figure out that Washington would be an awesome regular used in the right situation, and I even invoked Tiki Barber's name, as Tiki was once considered "too small" to be a feature back. Maybe you're right: maybe the Jets will finally figure it out after his excellent performance against the Chiefs.
I've won the week by 2.5 but still have Dallas Clark left tonight. Bench him? -2 for fumbles
Christopher Harris (11:58 AM)
Hi, Al. Gamesmanship at its finest. Yes, I would bench Clark. If you've already got it socked away, no reason to tempt fate. Now, it's possible that one of your tiebreakers is total points scored, and if you're feeling like you might need that, I guess you could live dangerously. But I'd take the win, frankly.
Jack, Columbus, OH
Mosts analysts seem to like J.Stew better than Deangelo...seems like it should be the opposite going forward.
Christopher Harris (12:01 PM)
Hi, Jack. Well, it sure was yesterday. Of course, in Week 7, Stewart had a better YPC average and a touchdown, while Williams didn't (though he did catch one for a TD that week). And the week before that, neither guy topped 27 yards rushing. That's the nature of a timeshare, I guess. But your larger point, that Stewart shouldn't be the higher-ranked of the two even if they're ranked close together? It's not a bad one. My logic in putting Stewart a couple spots higher last week was simple: he's the short-yardage guy. Williams scored from 15 yards out yesterday -- but if he gets tackled at the one, we know who's probably getting the ball. I'm with you: it's close, and Williams *is* nominally the starter. But I think I'm probably still going to have Stewart a spot or two higher when I rank for the Big Rotowski tomorrow.
Christopher Harris (12:02 PM)
All right, guys -- I only have time to answer one more, and I feel guilty about that, because there's a torrent of questions this morning. But I have to get going, so one more...
I have Trent Edwards and Peyton Manning, is it the point where I should start them by matchups? Or has Edwards surpassed Peyton as a fantasy QB?
Christopher Harris (12:03 PM)
Hi, Chris. Not to be too much of a chump, but I'll have a better answer for you as of tonight. It's funny, because I thought you were going to go the other way: is Peyton still a must-start, or should I play matchups? I would say that's probably the fairer question -- I don't think anyone would universally say that you should start Edwards over Manning every week no matter what. That said, I think playing matchups isn't a terrible idea -- especially in a week like this one, where Edwards was facing a vulnerable Dolphins secondary, and Manning had the Titans. Next week, though, I'd probably use Peyton against the Pats.
Christopher Harris (12:04 PM)
All right, everyone. I need to get rolling here. I know it's frustrating not getting your questions answered, but we easily topped the 1,200 mark this morning. I promise to try and do better the next time. In the meantime, check out the Big Rotowski for my season-end ranks, which will come out tomorrow, my Week 9 ranks, which will come out Wednesday, and The Breakdown, my fantasy spin on every game next weekeend, which is out on Friday mornings. See you next week.
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