Fantasy Football w/Tristan H. Cockcroft
Send your questions now and join Cockcroft in The Show on Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET!
Need an in-depth answer to your question? Want your roster or trade offers reviewed? Get a personalized response from an ESPN expert with The Answer Guys. All questions answered within 24 hours, guaranteed. Ask your question .
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:01 AM)
Good morning everyone! Let's get right to your questions...
Jay (New Orleans)
Who would you rather have going forward: Derrick Mason or Ted Ginn?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:02 AM)
Ginn, but I play for upside, not consistent, fringe No. 3/flex plays who will practically never win you a week. Besides, the short term matters. Ginn gets the Broncos and Seahawks this and next week; those are fabulous matchups. Sure, Mason's matchup (@CLE) is fine for Week 9, but then he's on bye, then he gets the Giants and Eagles. Yuck.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:03 AM)
I don't trade guys at their basement value point of a season. Just the way I play. Right now, you'll get taken if you deal Jason Witten, but if you can survive this week and then his bye, I think he's going to be fine.
Do you like this trade? I get AP for TO and Chris Johnson.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:05 AM)
No, if only because while you benefit a great deal in the short term -- think the next 2-3 weeks -- you'll suffer when it counts, come fantasy playoffs time. Not that I speculate on that too much, as my readers know, but we're getting closer and nine weeks (the number remaining this year) are more important than two. Chris Johnson's Weeks 13-15 matchups: @DET, CLE, @HOU.
Mason isn't on bye Week 10 becuase they had their bye due to the hurricane in Texas. Matt Jones...when does he get suspended?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:06 AM)
Darn, Jeremy, thank you, you are absolutely correct. Serves me right for grabbing my old schedule grid. But even if we slide that Houston matchup in, yeah, it's better, but I still go upside with Ginn. As for Jones, I feel like it's better than 50/50 it's this week.
is LJ droppable yet?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:09 AM)
"Droppable"? Tough to let a talent like that go, but the risk of a multi-game suspension looms, so I won't call you crazy depending on your league type. If you've got a deep bench -- say six-plus players -- or have 12-plus teams, I'd stand pat. But I understand how it is in shallow leagues, and I'd say it depends on the replacement. For instance, no, I wouldn't necessarily let him go to get Leon Washington.
Donnie Avery or Roy Williams for the rest of the season? Non-PPR.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:10 AM)
Short term matters, again, and Avery gets the Cardinals, Jets, Niners, Bears, Dolphins, Cardinals, Seahawks, Niners and Falcons the rest of the year. Chicago's the bad matchup, but when they're without their starting corners, it's more appealing than you'd think. Drool...
Josh Richmond, Va
If you had to pick the top 3 wrs and top 3 rbs for the playoffs right now, who would you pick?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:14 AM)
Josh, the way you asked that I'd probably just give you the best three players at those two positions, and I know that's not what you're asking. I'll say it a thousand times between now and then: Play your best players over the matchups. Giving a quick glance at Weeks 13-16, some names I see being strong plays: Lee Evans (SF, MIA, @NYJ, @DEN); Chris Johnson mentioned before; aforementioned Donnie Avery; LaDainian Tomlinson (ATL, OAK, @KC, @TB); Brett Favre (DEN, @SF, BUF, @SEA); Bernard Berrian (CHI, @DET, @ARI, ATL).
BenJarvus Green-Ellis (NE)
Start me, Faulk or Sammy this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:15 AM)
Bleagh. I'm giving you my gut instinct. I'll get out my dart board, one sec. And Kevin Faulk it is (for right now)!
Do I go with a safe Jeff Garcia this week or play for the upside with Bulger in a potential shootout?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:15 AM)
Why is Jeff Garcia "safe," again? You beat up the Chiefs by running the football. Marc Bulger has more upside, by far.
So are you saying I should start Big Ben over Marc Bulger despite Bulger's favorable schedule the rest of the season?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:17 AM)
I have absolutely no idea what I said to make you think that, since we had yet to discuss Ben Roethlisberger, but you're in a perfect spot to mix and match. Stick with the two quarterbacks you've got and revisit each week. I don't like "Big Ben's" matchup for Week 9; Bulger it is for this one. I bet Roethlisberger gets more starts for you the final nine weeks, though, but it could be a contest.
Warrick Dunn (TB)
Whats my status for this week....My bot Ernest wants to run all over KC by himself.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:19 AM)
No definitive word yet, nothing close to it. You'll have to check the practice reports, sorry to say, but I account for the type of injury Dunn had -- pinched nerve in his back -- and have to think Earnest Graham is getting the bulk of the work in Week 9. Love the matchup.
With Steve Smith on a bye this week, who would be a better fill in...Berrian or Ginn this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:20 AM)
Bernard Berrian, no matter what I said about Ten Ginn Jr. More talented receiver, at least as favorable a matchup.
Roy Williams or Mason this week? .25 PPR.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:21 AM)
I want no part of Roy Williams this week. That decides it for you.
With Romo out, Trent Edwards or Chad Pennington this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:23 AM)
Pennington is a big-time sleeper. No one is giving him enough credit, and the keys to the matchup are that, 1. Denver should put the Dolphins in more passing situations in a road game for Miami; and 2. Champ Bailey was really the only guy doing much of anything defensively for the Broncos, and he's injured and out for this game.
Phil (Tampa, FL)
Michael Turner or Chris Johnson (TEN) for the rest of the year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:24 AM)
Turner, but it's close. What makes this decision is LenDale White's presence. Without him I'd go Johnson in a heartbeat, but even the slightest risk of lost touchdowns has an impact.
Am I looking at ho hum 16-65 1 TD day from Lynch @ the Jets, or is CJ the no brainer pick against a weak GB run D along with Earnest Graham this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:25 AM)
I think you're looking at a ho-hum 16-65 1 TD day from Marshawn Lynch at the Jets. But these three all rank closely. I play the matchups in close calls, and Chris Johnson and Earnest Graham's are simply stronger.
Hey Tristan, I've got Witten and don't trust him this week. The only TE's on WW are Scheffler, Lee, Royal or Bennett. Non PPR and I need a TD out of one of them. Who should I go for?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:27 AM)
If Jason Witten plays, he's playing for you, Lynn. That's the bottom line. If you must get a touchdown out of his replacement should he sit, you're going to need to keep your fingers crossed ... hard. And I actually think Donald Lee might stand the strongest chance of those four. Again, if Witten sits.
Is Pennington worth picking up and playing over Campbell with a terrible matchup?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:28 AM)
Yes, and that's not even a contest.
Tristan H. Cockroft
Well Scheffler is hurt. Royal fumbles. GB throws a lot, so go Lee.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:28 AM)
Stop reading my mind, me! (Also, note to self: Spell last name correctly.)
Who do you like better this week.. Grant @ Tenn or Rhodes against N.E?? Thanks!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:29 AM)
I like yuck better. Oops, I mean Dominic Rhodes. Sorry, gut instinct. Just a hunch that Joseph Addai won't be up to speed, and if he's out, Rhodes is safer because Ryan Grant's matchup is awful.
I know I can look at the rankings, but I need a detailed answer..... do I dare start Pennington over Rothelisberger?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:31 AM)
And Chad Pennington is going to be an interesting debate, and these two guys ranked somewhat closely by most sources, I imagine. So if you want a little insight to this, Pennington has four straight double-digit fantasy efforts. Matchup is strong -- very strong with the Bailey brothers hurt. As for Ben Roethlisberger, he's coming off a miserable home-game performance and understand that the Redskins boast the No. 3 defense against the pass in home games. Seriously, only two teams do better defending the pass at home.
Hey...getting defensive here! I have the number 1 waiver claim and Colts D...Vikings and Pats have been dropped. Do I use it on one of them? Which one?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:32 AM)
I'd have a tough time using a No. 1 waiver position on a defense, though in most football leagues such things reset each week, so it's not that big a deal. Of those defenses, I'd take Minnesota. Not that I like any of the three teams' matchups for Week 9, but overall, I think you'll be better off with the Vikings than the Colts.
RB Issues (Need The Help Of An Expert)
Good morning Tristan. Whats the deal with LJ this week? He gonna play this week or not? And if he doesn't, what do you expect to see out of Kolby Smith this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:35 AM)
Larry Johnson has already been ruled out, and Jamaal Charles has a high ankle sprain that'll certainly shelve him for Week 9. So it's Smith for this week, and maybe for more if LJ gets suspended by the league (quite possible). Smith is a pickup, and a flex consideration if Charles is ruled out (as I expect he will be), but don't expect much. If he gets anything more than 50 yards or scores, I'd be pretty pleased. He only gets the flex thumbs-up (if he starts) because it's a bye week and some big-name guys are off. To be clear: Not a Smith fan.
Paul (Kansas City)
Planning to start A. Johnson and D. Avery this week, but need a 3rd WR: J. Cotchery or H. Ward?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:36 AM)
Jerricho Cotchery, but then I've already trashed the Steelers' matchup, at least with regard to their passing game.
Keith (New York)
How dependable is M. Moore for the rest of the season?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:38 AM)
As dependable as Willie Parker allows him to be. Moore is a must-have handcuff because he has proven he can handle the rushing chores all on his own, plus he could be that goal-line candidate to pair with Parker I've been looking for in Pittsburgh all season. But guys like this, they really are only as dependable as the number of carries they get, and Moore's number depends, again, on Parker's health.
How much will the return of Lloyd effect Hester? I am debating between Hester, Matt Jones and Ginn.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:39 AM)
Brandon Lloyd, speaking earlier this week, didn't sound like a man confident he'd play in Week 9. Even if he does, the Bears are throwing around the idea of adopting the "Wildcat" offense, which would play to Hester's benefit. Like Hester as a sleeper for a standout game.
Is Holt droppable at this point?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:40 AM)
League-type question. Sorry Pete, I'm trying to be fair to all with the answer. Torry Holt ranks in the 30s for me from this point forward, at best. That's a flex type, or a deep-league starter, and depending mostly on the matchup. That's a droppable player in certain leagues, but not all. Again, depends on your format.
Ryan (newport beach, ca)
Tristan, who has better value through the rest of the year: Breaston, Ginn, Camarillo or Hillirad?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:41 AM)
One of the first two, and the fact that the Cardinals throw, throw and throw again has me thinking Steve Breaston as the most consistently reliable option of those four.
Ok, Mr. "Not a Smith Fan." Would you rather have Kolby or Pierre stashed on your bench for "just in case" purposes (PPR)? Thanks!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:42 AM)
Kolby Smith. Hey, while I can have an opinion on a player I can also be realistic. When I say I'm a fan or not a fan, means how great or limited I think his long-term potential is. But everyone can be a starter depending on the depth and type of your league. Kolby Smith, in games he starts, is a flex choice. Won't crack the top 20, that's what I'm essentially saying when I say "not a fan."
Tristan, enough with the easy questions!! I need one at the flex. Who would you start between H Ward, K.Faulk, Welker, D.Avery, or E.Royal.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:44 AM)
One man's easy question is another's difficult one. League types, Ron. As for your inquiry, sounds like an injury-status reply. Kevin Faulk if it's another him-and-BJGE (I cheat and shorten BenJarvus' name) committee only (meaning Morris and Jordan out). Otherwise, if Morris plays, I'd go Donnie Avery.
Any word on the Santana Moss injury? During yesterdays chat I was told he was out a few weeks but I haven't seen that anywhere else.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:46 AM)
Brian, I have no idea who that was, but if it was Stephania Bell, I trust her take on the injuries more than my own. And that's no knock on anyone else; they might have a source I do not. What I have on hand is that Moss' hamstring is an issue, but he's supposed to play the Monday night game and then there's the bye for him to rest. So he'll be limited, and I don't admire the matchup for him as a result, but I hadn't heard he was to miss significant time.
pj (daytona beach)
Any word on McAllister ???
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:47 AM)
With the suspension, you mean? PJ, these things take time. It'd surprise me if the league hands down a ruling quickly enough to impact Week 9. For one thing, generally such decisions are made by this stage of the week because teams have game plans to execute. The fewer practices a team has to prep for the game the worse shape it'll be in. So that means I think McAllister et al are going to be in for Week 9.
Brock (Rockport, MA)
Going foward who will be more valuable Marshawn Lynch or Chris Johnson?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:49 AM)
Lynch is a touchdown machine. I'd have a hard time bucking that trend.
With Portis banged up and playing PIT would you start R. Brown or E. Graham over him?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:50 AM)
Yes, I would start Ronnie Brown, but in general I wouldn't get cute with such a decision in any other circumstances.
Tristan, You seem pretty high on Avery. Where do you project him for the rest of the year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:51 AM)
That's the danger of me talking a player up, but I gave a sense of where I see Kolby Smith's overall value, so I will Donnie Avery's as well. I'd say he's in that fringe No. 3/flex value, a hair ahead of Torry Holt but that's still a guy with whom you must account for streaks and matchups.
Robert (North Carolina)
I'll post again. I'm a foolish optimist. You know what they say the 3, 298th time is the charm. Should I give Berrian for DJax and C Benson?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:52 AM)
Be a foolish optimist, not a fool. Don't deal Bernard Berrian for that. It's trash.
Who's McCallister playing for? I thought he was on a bye for week 9??
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:54 AM)
Yup, my mistake, but remember, to provide the quick reply it's impossible to scan schedules for every guy. Sorry, just the reality of it. So if McAllister's next game is Week 10, well, it's more of a risk. We'll see. Also, I had the Williams from Minnesota in mind when this was asked. They're not as risky to sit as most believe. And who knows, it could take weeks for any discipline to come down, if any.
If suspensions (McAllister) are usually decided by now in a week, why is Jones 50/50?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:56 AM)
Because Matt Jones' news broke more than a week ago. There has been more time, and I think the Jaguars probably already have a better idea from the league about his status than we might know. All indications I had coming out of Week 8 were that he'd be sitting beginning with this Sunday.
3..2..1 Blastoff. Tristan, always enjoy your commentary on the Anita Marks show here in Charm City. What are your thoughts on the Edge/Hightower scenario and what would be fair trade value for Turner the Burner? Thanks!!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:57 AM)
Thanks, Matt! I did say on Anita's show that I believe more in Tim Hightower than Edgerrin James, and I stand behind that statement. As for Michael Turner, top-tier receiver or a quality quarterback. I don't think it that wise to deal him, especially not for anything less.
Jonathan (Plano, TX)
PLEASE ANSWER!!! WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THOMAS JONES AND LEON WASHINGTON? WOULD YOU TRY TO DEAL THEM IN A COMBO FOR A TRADE?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:00 PM)
Sure, why not, considering their value right now couldn't be higher. The insight I can offer you into the Jets' backfield is that Jones is a tremendous sell-high guy right now, because he's on a hot streak thanks to bye week-generated fresh legs. History backs up that fact. With time, I bet Jones, now 30, wears down and Washington gets more touches. But let's be clear: Washington's Week 8 was about the maximum expectation for him in any game looking forward. He's an interesting sleeper, but right now, far closer to mirage than a fantasy factor. Perfect handcuff is the fairest way to describe him.
Help!!! (KC MO)
Winslow, Scheffler or olsen. Which one is a good bet?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:00 PM)
PICK 1 D/ST for the rest of the season: Eagles or Bears?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:01 PM)
First thing that pops into my head is "divisions." Eagles are in the NFC East, and that's a tough spot in which to be. So it's Chicago.
My bf Tony Romo is supposed to come back after the week 10 bye week. Do you think his return will also be a return for TO to fantasy super stud status?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:02 PM)
Sure, especially since the Cowboys have those soft passing matchups against the Niners and Seahawks in Weeks 12-13. But just so people know, Dallas' final four weeks' matchups are @PIT, NYG, BAL, @PHI. Ugh. Fortunately, it's Romo and T.O. They rise above tough matchups, but they also won't be the No. 1 guys at their positions in the fantasy playoffs.
More scared of Jasaon (Friday 13th), Freddie Kruger (NM on Elm Street)or Michael Myers (Halloween)??
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:03 PM)
The killer clowns from outer space were much more terrifying. (Kidding, of course.) Always found those movies more comedic than terrifying, I guess.
Kevin Smith over Ryan Grant this week???
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:03 PM)
Andrew (Everett Wa)
Any word on Pittman's status? What impact do you think Torin will have on his production?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:04 PM)
Word is that Michael Pittman is questionable, and both Selvin Young and Andre Hall are nicked up. And it'd be Ryan Torain's season debut. About as messy a backfield picture as New England's. I wouldn't want any of them.
Lee evans for Michael Turner?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:04 PM)
That seems fair.
Forte for Lynch. Who wins this trade?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:05 PM)
Marshawn Lynch's side.
Are you tired of my repeated submission yet? Romo for T. Jones/Berrian in a WR-PPR league. Who wins?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:06 PM)
I hadn't seen the previous ones but as I remind everyone, tons and tons of questions to sort through. It happens, and I try to tackle as many as I can in the hour (and change!). Tony Romo's side wins. I always want the best player in the deal if I can help it.
With the matchups Bowe and Welker have this week, would you start Ginn over them?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:06 PM)
Not over Dwayne Bowe! The Chiefs are going to throw a ton the rest of the year, and I'll take consistent targets any week of the year.
Please answer! Drop Bobby Engram for Reggie Williams on waiver?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:07 PM)
No, but I wouldn't be afraid to let either player go if I could get a stronger receiver off waivers.
I appreciate you staying over and i was wondering if Slaton for Peyton is a good trade?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:08 PM)
I would be all over that one, Brian. Hurry, approve it!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:09 PM)
OK guys, time to wrap things up, lunch does call -- that time of day! Thanks for all your questions, a healthy number of 'em today, and sorry if I couldn't get to yours. Anyway, take care, best of luck in Week 9, and if you're into this World Series, if it gets to Game 6 stop by, as I'll be chatting then too!
SportsNation on Facebook
THIS WEEK'S CHATS
- 11:00 AMNoleNation's David Hale
- 12:00 PMNFL with Dan Graziano
- 1:00 PMCubs, Sox with Levine
- 1:30 PMMichael Wilbon on NBA Finals
- 2:00 PMBoxing with Brian Campbell
- 2:00 PMNFL blogger Kevin Seifert
- 2:00 PMNASCAR with Terry Blount
- 3:00 PMFantasy's Stephania Bell
- 3:00 PMGolf columnist Bob Harig
- 4:00 PMHornsNation's Strickland
- 4:00 PMNFL with James Walker
- 11:00 AMFantasy's Eric Karabell
- 12:00 PMNFL with Matt Williamson
- 12:00 PMDawgNation's David Ching
- 12:00 PMMusician Darius Rucker
- 1:00 PMNBA Insider Chad Ford
- 1:00 PMMMA with Brett Okamoto
- 2:00 PMSweetSpot's Schoenfield
- 3:00 PMNHRA's A. Brown, C. Force
- 3:00 PMFantasy NASCAR Focus
- 4:00 PMGatorNation's Mike DiRocco
- 4:00 PMNFL blogger Mike Sando
- 5:00 PMWeAreSC's Garry Paskwietz