Fantasy Football w/Tristan H. Cockcroft
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Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:00 AM)
Good morning everyone! Critical week for fantasy football -- championship time in many a league! So we'll roll right into the questions today, got my coffee going and a-ready to roll...
Nick (St. Louis)
Too cute to play Hill over Thigpen this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:02 AM)
Yes, absolutely. And I prepare for the inevitable fire storm for allowing the "phrase of death" -- that's what I'm calling it now judging by past reaction -- in the first question of the chat.
In the finals in 2 leagues!(Va)
Good morning Tristan! Two part question: Any status on Gore for wk 16? And if he is out, is Foster worth the pick up to play over a 4th WR such as Gates, Djax. or Branch? Already starting MJD, S. Morris, S. Smith(Car), K. Walter, Gonzo. Thanks
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:04 AM)
Congrats to you, and best of luck! I have not heard anything definitive on Frank Gore's status just yet. But I'm sure our own Stephania Bell will have plenty on his status as the games approach. Let's say Gore is out. I probably would use DeShaun Foster, sure. It's a good matchup. Who'd I sit? Hmmm, probably Deion Branch, much as I like him, I'll take the starting running back seven days a week over him.
Tristan, who would you go with for the championship, Thigpen (Mia) or Romo (Bal)? I don't usually worry about it, but I am also starting Baltimore Def.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:05 AM)
I don't have any idea what your scoring system is -- in particular the points for defenses and turnovers for the quarterback, and how that pertains to canceling each other's performance out. In most of my leagues, I don't like using a quarterback facing a defense, especially not if the defense is an elite one. I look at these guys and even if it's just a straight-up quarterback question, the gut is telling me Tyler Thigpen, and it's pretty clear in its statement.
Tristan, holding onto 1st (barely) in total points league and need to get through the weekend. McFadden, C. Taylor or D. Foster if Gore is out at Flex? Thanks
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:07 AM)
Well, we addressed DeShaun Foster earlier, and of course, he'd be No. 1 of this mix if Frank Gore sits. For everyone, final note on Foster: He's a low-No. 2/high-flex if he's the starter and Gore is out, take it for what it's worth. But I'll address who to use if Gore does play: It's Chester Taylor. Playing well lately, it's a home game, facing the Falcons, playoff implications. A lot of check marks in the "favorable" column for me.
Jeff, Wake Forest NC
Hey Tristan, My first time in the finals after many years so I'm feeling dizzy. Dare start Cassell over Romo, also Lance Moore or Kevin Walter. He starts Brees if that makes a difference Thanks
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:09 AM)
On the quarterbacks: Yes yes yes yes yes. But I love Matt Cassel for this week. Fabulous matchup -- Arizona allows the most passing scores in the game -- and it's a huge playoff-implication game that means almost nada to the Cards. Among the receivers, I know Moore is in a bit of a funk, but you know, I like this matchup for a bounce-back opportunity. Kevin Walter's scares me just a little bit.
Cletus, Napertucky IL
I've got a major headache with the Choice/Barber situation. I own both and also have Burner and Dunn and just picked up D. Foster. I need to pick two plus one to flex...non-ppr league. Thanks for your input THC!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:11 AM)
I don't like Marion Barber one bit for this week. Not one bit. He'd be lucky to be flexed on my rosters. Same goes, for the most part, for Tashard Choice, barring Barber being ruled entirely out of the game (or vice versa, but obviously Barber is the only one of the two at any risk to sit). We addressed Foster before, so I'll categorize these guys for you: Warrick Dunn is a low-No. 2/high-flex, and I talked about the Cowboys and Foster earlier. Foster, by the way, is beneath the cut by far if Gore plays. That should tell it all.
NEED HELP BIG TIME!! Pick 1 (Both away and Jets have to travel far) Eagles D @WSH Jets D @ Seattle Pick 1 S. Hill @STL D. McNabb @ WSH M. Schaub home vs OAK Thanks!!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:13 AM)
Well, first of all, Matt Schaub isn't at home, he's in Oakland. Hot as he is, though, and with Andre Johnson coming off a monster game, I'd roll the dice on what might be a boom-or-bust matchup. Risk, yes, but I like what I saw in him the past two weeks. I really did. As for the defenses, to me that's no contest, it's the Eagles. But the Redskins are a bit beat up, it's a must-win game for Philly and I just don't see the Jets being in great shape against a team that isn't as miserable offensively as you think.
Justin (Queens, NY)
Hey Tristan, Addai vs. Rhodes; who would you start? Rhodes is coming off a big week but with short rest. Addai should start and be well rested. The Colts RB's are such a crap shoot I hate it! JA had TD's in week 2,3,5,11 DR had TD's in weeks 6,7,10,12,14 & 15...I think it might be Addai's turn.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:16 AM)
I have absolutely no idea whether Joseph Addai is going to play tomorrow. I'm being entirely honest with you. He practiced yesterday and to me that's a sign he's a "yes," but then the team says it's not so sure. Plus, this whole "crapshoot" argument, alternating touchdowns, is a silly one. You can't assume patterns. To me, it's all about Addai's health. If he gets a glowing recommendation before the kickoff -- and so far I will say he has not -- I will use him. Otherwise, and right now the gut has me leaning this way, it's Dominic Rhodes. (And obviously my hedging means I'd probably rather look elsewhere if I could.)
Dr. Nick Riviera (Springfield)
HI EVERYBODY!!! Would you feel most comfortable starting Matt Ryan, Chad Pennington or Kyle Orton this week in the championship game?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:19 AM)
Hi Dr. Nick! Hope you haven't had to deal with too many cases of "bonus eruptus" this holiday season ... and you know, your question is very much of the gut-instinct type, because I'd have two of these guys ranked closely. Orton would be the one I'd cross off first. Then it's a matter of risk/reward vs. safety. To me, gut says safety in Pennington. I like the matchup, and think he'll need to throw more than expected. Also, I'm just wary of a rookie in a road game with the playoffs on the line. Not to bust on Ryan, he has had a heck of a season, but there's a clear downside there. Meltdown possibility; or he could really step up. So if you're feeling real good about it, I'm saying I wouldn't laugh. Pennington for me though.
FOR THE WIN
Warner (weather), Thigpen, or Hill for QB week 16?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:20 AM)
Ehhhh, you know, if I sat Kurt Warner, the weather cleared up somewhat, he played the whole game and picked apart what is a terribly overrated secondary in a road game and I had him on my bench, I don't think I'd sleep for a week. That's my thinking. I like your creativity, and Tyler Thigpen is closer than you think, but Warner brought me here, and he'll close the deal for me.
You know you want to answer this question
What are you expecting out of Portis this week? Better start than D. Rhodes or SJAX?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:21 AM)
I know I want to answer this question Clinton Portis mid-No. 2 back I'd use him over Dominic Rhodes but not Steven Jackson. Whoa, weird, like I was in a trance or something.
Bob (Jacksonville, FL)
Tristan, I'm in my 1st championship game and need your help with my TE....Cooley or Keller???
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:23 AM)
Congrats and good luck to you Bob! Now that's a definite toughie. Chris Cooley did go for over 100 yards with a score against Philly earlier in the year, so I see why you're tempted. And the Eagles have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to tight ends. You know, gut initially told me Dustin Keller, but I'm riding those Cooley trends now that I look more closely. Keller, to everyone else, he's a pretty solid play. Just not to Cooley's level.
Hi Tristan, what can you tell me about Brandon Jacobs? Will he carry the load or will the Giants tread lightly and mix it up with Ward/Bradshaw?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:26 AM)
What I can tell you is that if Jacobs does not play, his knee injury is very, very serious. This might be the Giant fan in me speaking, but with this game so critical to win, I think Jacobs will play, and be used very much the way he was before he got hurt. To be fair, today I'd put Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward in the high-flex play category, with very similar value, and that could change. But I do very much think Jacobs is going to give it a go.
Given what you said about Rhodes and Addai would you play one of them or go with Colston?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:26 AM)
Marques Colston won't be on a single bench of mine, because he's a clear top-10 receiver play for Week 16.
Balt D vs Dallas or Ten D vs Pit?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:28 AM)
Oh yikes. There's downside in both. Road game for Baltimore or I'd be less frightened by the matchup. And with Tennessee, two key defenders are out. I'm going to go with the full-health squad here: Baltimore. Always trust talent over matchup when the options are close.
Ryan Leaf (Parts Unknown)
With bad weather possible in NE, would you play Thigpen over Cassel?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:28 AM)
No. But it's Wednesday; a lot of time to get a more accurate read on the weather. If it's horrendous when I wake up Sunday morning -- and you'd still have plenty of time to make the switch if that did happen -- then revisit.
Ryan (New Rock, NY)
Hey Tristan, I have a "good" problem, as they say. Could you rank Chris Johnson, Jennings, and Colston for my plex in a .5 ppr? Thiggy or Cutler?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:30 AM)
I would probably go Greg Jennings, Marques Colston -- and they're so very close in value -- and then Chris Johnson, for this week at least. I might say the same next, as the Titans have nothing to play for in Week 17. At quarterback, I like "Thiggy," but Jay Cutler got me here, and again, he'll take me all the way. Not like the matchup is all that bad.
I'm in the championship game! Who is more likely to have a 100 yard game receiving? Bowe, Branch, or Avery? Thanks
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:31 AM)
More likely for 100? Dwayne Bowe. But Miami's pass defense isn't as good as people think it is.
Joel (Hamilton, ON)
Ok, if you're down a little on Portis...would you grab Pierre Thomas and use him against the Lions instead?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:31 AM)
Without question, but I absolutely love Pierre Thomas for this week, especially if rumors that Reggie Bush might sit are true. (I have absolutely nothing to confirm that, but keep an eye out.)
The 1st ever PICK MY WHOLE TEAM. I am willing to put the championship on your shoulders. Pick 1: Cassel or Schaub? Pick 3: T.O., Hines, Santana, or Colston? Pick 1: Addai, McClain, Benson, Foster, or Ward. It's all on you man. Thanks.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:34 AM)
Oh, the pressure! But I am indeed up to it. By the way, as a little plug, don't forget to check out the Answer Guys, things like this, we're always happy to pick a lineup for you if that's what you want. Matt Cassel for me. Still not worried enough about the weather. Terrell Owens, Marques Colston and Hines Ward. And ... Le'Ron McClain! But I will say that if I'm wrong and Brandon Jacobs sits, it's so Derrick Ward all the way over McClain.
How much do you let matchups of your studs concern you in the playoffs? I have Barber, CJ and DeAngelo with tough matchups this week. I am thinking of playing DeAngelo and also using Randy Moss and Pierre Thomas at the other spots. Would you agree with this move?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:36 AM)
It depends on the player and the matchup. Like this: Marion Barber has health concerns right now. Chris Johnson will have rest concerns in Week 17. DeAngelo Williams might be a rest candidate in Week 17 if the Panthers win on Sunday. These are factors. Beyond that, I don't sit studs. I look at what you have and see great cases to be made for DeAngelo and Pierre Thomas. Like I said earlier, love Thomas for this week. And Moss as well. That's your best lineup.
6-7 Championship Crasher (Mt Olympus)
Good day, Tristan. Pick 3 RBs (Westbrook, SJAX, Lynch, LJ, DMac) and 2 WRs (Welker, VJAX, Bess, Branch)? Oh, and any thoughts between Carlson and Keller for TE? Thanks!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:38 AM)
Doesn't surprise me, but of course I am going to say that having lost in the playoffs to a 6-7 regular-season team that beat me on DeAngelo Williams' final carry in the Week 14 Monday night game. Hey, it happens. That team was 3-7 at one point! Shows that you never should give up. Anyway, lineup questions for you: Brian Westbrook and Marshawn Lynch are absolute no-brainers. I'd go Steven Jackson for the third. Among receivers, Wes Welker has a great matchup. And I actually like Davone Bess this week. John Carlson among tight ends. Jets are poor defending the position and he's on quite the hot streak.
Is it a mistake to play Cedric Benson over Warrick Dunn or Lee Evans?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:39 AM)
Yes. But I am not a Benson fan.
Made it to my first ever Championship game, can you please rank these rbs for the week- Westbrook vs DC, PThomas vs DET, Lynch vs DEN, SJax vs SF, KSmith vs NO?? Thanks so much Tristan your advice got me here.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:40 AM)
Thanks for the kind words Ben! I would say Brian Westbrook, Marshawn Lynch and Pierre Thomas are your best bets of that bunch, and wow is that a scary playoff lineup if I'm your opponent! Good luck...
Who do you think has more total yards (return yards included)? Turner or J.J. Arrington? Thank you
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:43 AM)
Well, for the season, it's Turner (pretty sure), and I can't believe it, but that's actually going to be a contest in Week 16. I won't be surprised if it's Arrington. But with Turner the stronger touchdown bet, it's not like I'd sit him. I also don't know your scoring with regard to return yardage, though.
Marc (Toronto, Canada)
Reasons why I love fantasy football...1)I was 5-8 in the regular season, finished in 7th and am now playing for the championship this weekend. 2) Last weekend I started 1 player that I drafted. All the rest were trades/ww moves. 3)The guy I'm playing this week beat me by 1 passing yard in week 4. I'm out for my revenge!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:43 AM)
Well said. Good luck!
Please pick from these BRUTAL flex options: Bruce, Branch, Driver, Ricky Williams, Tashard Choice.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:44 AM)
Brutal? Really? Are Donald Driver and Isaac Bruce all that bad? I have a good feeling with Bruce...
How can you have Dunn over Benson if Dunn rarely sees the endzone, and Benson is getting approx. 20 carries a week. Plus, he's playing Cleveland!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:47 AM)
Cedric Benson has exactly one touchdown this season, and it was six games ago. And his Week 15 yardage total was inflated by one long reception. I'm not sold. He's a flex play if you're desperate -- and with all the injuries you might be -- but I'm not endorsing him as a title-winner.
Graham (Minneapolis, MN)
Got beat last week for the Finals due to poor games by Westbrook and Chris Johnson. Need to win 3rd now! Lance Moore or Kevin Walter as my 3rd WR?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:48 AM)
Sorry to hear that Graham, can happen to anyone! Moore, for the reasons quoted earlier about the matchups.
Steve - Worcester MA
You say that the Miami pass Defense isnt as good as people think - However the TEAM hasnt let up a TD since week 12 against the Pats - How can you say they are not good, and how can you tell people to start Thigpen? You know something that we dont?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:50 AM)
Apparently you have a lot more respect for J.P. Losman and Marc Bulger than I do, Steve. The matchups were stacked in Miami's favor and Matt Cassel in that game obliterated Miami's secondary. For the season, the Dolphins have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. They're middling versus quarterbacks. That's all I'm pointing out here. I don't believe you can beat the Dolphins on the ground, but you can via the air, if you're going to at all. And K.C. plays tough at home, not an easy environment for a visitor, I feel.
Eric (Sacramento, CA)
Whats your take on starting a QB if your opponent is starting the stud WR on the team? Example: I play in the championship vs Calvin Johnson and my QBs are far from spectacular this week - Big Ben, Delhomme, and Orlovsky. Since it will be a mediocre start at best no matter who I start, should I start Orlovsky to minimize the Megatron damage I take? Thanks.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:52 AM)
I think it's overrated, and addressing this specific instance, if you're that scared of one wide receiver, well, starting Dan Orlovsky might send the message that you're out-and-out terrified of your opponent. I wouldn't worry about it. You have to be good to get this far. Use your best quarterback, and I think that's Ben Roethlisberger. For the record, though, Orlovsky does have high-No. 2 quarterback potential for this week, I think. A deep sleeper.
How about Branch vs Cotchery? Who starts this week for my championship team?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:54 AM)
Well, I love Jerricho Cotchery's matchup. Seattle's pass defense is brutal.
Playing my GIRLFRIEND in the **Super Bowl** Thiggy or Schaub?? Colts D or Pit D?? A Johnson / R Moss / B Marshall / Moore (Pick 3) THANKS MAN!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:55 AM)
Tyler Thigpen for me, but that's merely because I see a little more risk in the Matt Schaub matchup than any big knock on him. And no way I'm sitting a defense as talented as Pittsburgh's for one like Indy's. Steelers got me this far. Andre Johnson and Randy Moss for certain, and I'd stick with Brandon Marshall. Way too talented to sit at this point.
Brian (Mishawaka, IN)
Please!! who do you like this weekend? I have to choose between Braylon, Bess, and Northcutt. I am already starting B Marshall and S Holmes. Your help is greatly appreciated!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:56 AM)
Mentioned earlier I like Davone Bess' matchup, and I'll stick by that.
I have the awesome options of Ronnie Brown, Addai, Barber, or Hixon for my RB/WR spot...who would you pick? Championship!!!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:56 AM)
Brown. Safest mix of matchup, talent and health.
Tatum Bell or PJ Pope, who's the MAN?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:57 AM)
Bleagh. Let me go get my dart board, because the answer might yet be Selvin Young.
Dave (Delmar, DE)
How do you feel about the inconsistent Phillip Rivers? It's either him with a bad matchup or Matt Ryan with a good matuchup, but it's hard to go with the rookie like you said earlier.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:58 AM)
Well, see, that's a case where I can make even more of a case against Rivers than I can against the rook. Rivers travels cross-country to face a dominating defense playing on its home field. Such a downside there. He's a productive quarterback, but I'll argue so has Matt Ryan. They both have the playoffs to shoot for, but Ryan has looked more the part. I'll take the freshman.
Can he step it up in december (and vs. Denver D) and score me some points or don't take the chance?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:59 AM)
Certainly, as a low-two, high-three kind of receiver because the matchup is a favorable one. But I do readily admit that talk of Gilbran Hamdan starting at quarterback scares me. You might have a stronger choice on the roster.
I have a ton of close calls this week, going for back to back titles. Witten or Carlson, Indy or NO and 3 of these 4, TO, Fitzgerald, R. White and Welker. Scared of Balt matchup.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:01 PM)
Back-to-back titles is a remarkable feat! Good luck to you. I'd actually use John Carlson over Jason Witten there, because the matchup and the hot streak dictate as such. Don't like either defense, but forced to choose I guess I'd gamble on New Orleans. Detroit isn't a good offense. Among receivers, I'd probably sit Terrell Owens too, accounting for the matchup and your overwhelming number of good options. It's like a tie where the matchup breaks it.
Made the wrong choice twice sitting rodgers this year, Do i sit him in favor of Schaub?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:02 PM)
Nope! But then there weren't many weeks this season I wouldn't have used Aaron Rodgers.
Cindy (help a fantasy chick out)
Playing by boyfriend in the championship for $2K...need to decide on two; LJ, Portis, or Jonathan Stewart. Help please!! p.s., i think Manhood Game is my boyfriend...help me kick his butt!!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:04 PM)
I'd sit Jonathan Stewart, but then that's because he shares carries and the matchup isn't overwhelmingly great. Good luck! Sounds like quite the rivalry there...
Thoughts on Freight Train McClain? Also, any Defenses and Kickers out there that you feel we should grab for this championship week? Browns? Jets? Gould? Carney?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:05 PM)
Check his health, but while Dallas' defense is on a hot streak, I still like McClain as a flex because he's a goal-line factor. I'll be honest on the defenses: I don't see a ton I'd advise as sleepers. Jets, sure, can make a case, Saints, sure, Colts, sure. But I can make downside cases on each, so I'm advising stick with your studs as you can. I own the Giants and won't be sitting 'em for a sleeper, for instance. Not this week. Among kickers, John Carney, sure, Garrett Hartley, maybe even Kris Brown, as that's a game I could see being higher-scoring than you'd think.
What do you think of Tenn's ability to make up for the loss of Haynesworth and Bosch? Would you start Tenn v Pitt or Green Bay v. Chicago this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:06 PM)
I'll admit that it worries me, but I'm wary of Green Bay's matchup. Matt Forte is pretty threatening to that defense, I'd say. Still Titans for me, in what should be a defensive affair.
Andrew (Everett Wa)
Used to have Daniels (dropped when Schaub got hurt). Since then I've picked wrong replacement every time. Best option: Shockey, Keller or Stevens (if Garcia plays)?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:07 PM)
I'd take Dustin Keller, and you know, I don't think you'll see a huge difference between him and Owen Daniels this week.
ONE MORE BEFORE LUNCH TIME!
Tristan, my WR's are Bowe, A Bryant, TO and Boldin. Do i sit any of them to start S Morris or D Ward in my flex spot? Thanks!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:08 PM)
I'd be awfully tempted to sit Terrell Owens for Sammy Morris. That's the one spot I'd endorse a swap.
quick buzzer beater: Marion Barber or choose between the Colts duo tomorrow night? Thanks
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:09 PM)
Ugh. I'd choose between the Colts backs. Somehow I have this sneaking suspicion Dominic Rhodes is going to wind up in your lineup. It's a hunch.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:11 PM)
OK folks, time to bring this to a close for today, that note on lunch, boy, it's gotten me hungry! Best of luck to all of you in your playoff -- especially championship -- matchups this week! Also, being that it's Christmas week next week, and I'm unsure the chat schedule, if I don't catch up with you all before then, Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all! Take care...