Fantasy Sports w/Tristan Cockcroft
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Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:00 AM)
Good morning everyone! Happy New Year, and congratulations to those of you who won your fantasy football leagues ... we're fair game for any sports-related question today, so fire away! Let's get started...
Since there are no more Shanahanigans in Denver, is there a Denver running back that is fantasy relavant?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:01 AM)
It's probably going to be a training-camp battle, Brian, but I'm still holding out hope there's something in Ryan Torain, career-wise. He might be in the long-shot bet category when camps open, but I see nothing there otherwise I'd go nuts for, not in keeper leagues at least.
Need your expert opinion to help me win the championship. Our league has 2 more weeks. We re drafted for the playoffs last night. My RB's are A.Peterson, LT, L McClain, W McGahee and Edge. My recievers are A Boldin, D Mason and T Ginn. I need to start 5 from this group. I am concerned about LT and his groin. Which 5 would you start?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:04 AM)
Love those playoff fantasy football leagues, and while we're at it, don't forget to sign up for the Gridiron Playoff Challenge! Fun game, it is, and maybe you'll even beat me! Anyway, I look at those players and Adrian Peterson, LaDainian Tomlinson and Anquan Boldin would not be sitting for me under any circumstances. I'd also go Derrick Mason, because it's a good matchup and he beat up the Dolphins earlier in the year. Final guy? Le'Ron McClain, for the goal-line potential. And yes, you're right to worry a little about Tomlinson. Go Willis McGahee if LT2 sits, though I bet he'll play.
Gino.T Oakland Park, Fl
Do you think the Dolphins can cap the upset on the Ravens in the Wild Card game?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:05 AM)
Nope. But that's just my opinion. I think of that as a little more defensive-minded a game than the others this weekend, and home-field advantage does keep the upset a possibility. My call has been and will remain Baltimore.
Austin Wymore, Nebraska
Who will be most likely to win rose bowl?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:07 AM)
Tristan, I do not have any questions today. Just wanted to say thanks for all the advice this year, and Happy New Years!!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:08 AM)
You're very welcome Steiny, and Happy New Year to you as well! Glad to have you chatting with us this year, and hope to see you next!
Andy (Little Rock, AR)
Tristan - keeper question. I can only keep one of the following: Cutler (5th round), Marshall (6th round) or Megatron (8th round). I'm leaning towards Megatron, but this is a 2 QB league, so Cutler in the 5th is also a goof value.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:09 AM)
See, a two-quarterback league is a toughie. Calvin Johnson is the best value here. Period. But you know, I'm in a two-quarterback league myself and Jay Cutler is going to go in the late-second or early-third round, at least. Megatron for on-paper value, but I think the smarter decision is to keep Cutler. Harder to replace, I'd say.
Hey TC, Is there any way, barring injury, you would take David Wright over A-Rod this coming year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:10 AM)
Nah, but isn't this like saying you prefer the cheesecake to the chocolate cake?
Mal Orland Park IL
Tristan keep league next year need five A.Johnson,Reggie Wayne,Cutler, D.Williams, McFadden, Jonathan Stewart, Michael Turner
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:11 AM)
Andre Johnson and Michael Turner are musts. I have Johnson No. 1 among receivers on my keeper list. And I'd have an awfully hard time letting DeAngelo Williams go, even if I'm pessimistic he'll be quite this good in 2009.
Who do you like in the Arizona vs Atl game? Do you think Warner can have a big game?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:12 AM)
I'm picking the Falcons. I love the matchups on their side. But let's say this: It's going to be quite an offensive showcase, and I could see both teams beat up on each other's defense. To say Arizona can win this game, since it's at home, is fair. But my pick: Atlanta. Kurt Warner can't win a game all by himself, and these days, it seems like he needs to.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:12 AM)
For the record, on that last question, for fantasy, yes, I'd still use Warner this week.
jimbo new jersey
Can you rank the QBs, RB's, WR's, TE's, K's and DEF's for the week 1 matchups?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:13 AM)
Jimbo, I wish I had the time and space right here to do that, but unfortunately I don't. What I can tell you: All my studs and duds will be readily apparent in my Gridiron Playoff Challenge column, which will be up later today.
My team had a real need at QB all season. I've got Turner, Portis, Johnson, Jennings, Royal, Flacco, & Hill that I'm considering keeping but can only take 5. 1) Who would you keep & 2) Would you consider trying to trade some of these guys for a Matt Ryan type QB and if so who?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:16 AM)
OK, well, "Johnson" isn't getting very specific there. I have to make assumptions. Michael Turner, Clinton Portis, they have to be kept. I'd also keep "Johnson," if that's Chris or Calvin. Greg Jennings is a solid fourth keeper, and then the fifth, you know, I don't mind Joe Flacco that much. Real sleeper, I think, and I was impressed with him this season. If you want a Matt Ryan type instead, I'd call that a mild upgrade from Flacco, maybe offer something like Eddie Royal and Flacco, but I wouldn't go nuts. You seem OK as is.
who do u think plays in the super bowl?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:16 AM)
I have Steelers over Giants. All my playoff picks are in the GPC column.
Gridiron challenge question: Which defense do you think will be best this weekend? Eagles or Ravens? I can see the Dolphins being conservative, limiting chances for Ravens sacks and turnovers.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:18 AM)
I think that's a fair estimation, Jack, and I'm not overly enamored with any defense this week. I actually think people would be smartest to take one of the Ds in the Baltimore-Miami game. Again, I see that being the most defense-friendly. Wins is a valuable category in the game, remember. And I'm more convinced Baltimore can win on the road than Philly can, while also keeping the opposing offense in check score-wise.
Keeper Question (only 1 to keep): Deangelo Williams round 6 Drew Brees round 9 Chris Johnson round 11 I have the 4th overall pick next year.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:18 AM)
Huge Chris Johnson fan right here. You've simply got to keep him.
PJ Charlotte, NC
Keeper question for football - keep 3 - lose round they were drafted - 3 year keeper total - have Steven Jax (1), Megatron (2), MJD (3), TJ Hous (4), Andre Johnson (5), Brandon Marshall (6) and Matty Ryan (17). HELP!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:20 AM)
I'd keep Matt Ryan for that price! Very impressed by him, too, this season. Andre Johnson is also a must. And I have worries about your not keeping a running back, in which case Maurice Jones-Drew is probably your smartest third keeper. I will say this: If you are convinced you can get a valuable running back in the first two rounds of your draft after the keepers are in, by all means keep Marshall over MJD. But I have a feeling my first three picks are the smart ones.
Tristen, I'm already keeping McCann, Wright, & Markakis. Which 2 would you pick out of the rest: Hart, McLouth, Votto, Quentin, E. Santana, Billingsley. I'm leaning towards Quentin & Votto but is that to much risk (injury & youth)?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:22 AM)
I'd actually keep Carlos Quentin and Ervin Santana, looking at those choices. The knocks on the others: Joey Votto, well, he's a first baseman. They're not irreplaceable. Nate McLouth, I worry he's not quite as good as he showed last year. Good player, not great player. Chad Billingsley, I just worry about his WHIP I guess. Close, though.
Chris (Charlotte, NC)
Happy New Year Tristan! I need to name a keeper alongside A.P. Who do you like? Addai or Bolden? We start 2 RB's and 3 WR's. Thanks!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:23 AM)
Anquan Boldin. Pretty much a lock top-10 wide receiver, and I'd argue top-five capable.
Sorry. I wasn't thinking. That Johnson is Larry Johnson. We also get points for return yards so actually Royal had a better season that Jennings. So you five would be M. Turner, C. Portis, L. Johnson, G. Jennings, J. Flacco? Or does the fact that it is Larry make that an unacceptable Johnson to keep.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:24 AM)
Unacceptable Johnson to keep. Well, maybe "unacceptable" is a harsh word, but I wouldn't keep him, especially now that you've told me about the return yardage thing. That makes a real difference. Go Royal.
shall we go semi-deep SP? IYO which of these guys is worth a late round flyer: Brandon Morrow, Homer Bailey, Reyes (now w/ CLE), Adenhart, Cabrera (now of the Nat), Baek/Geer (SD)?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:25 AM)
Well, Brandon Morrow is the best value out of the bunch, but he might not be a starting pitcher, I could see him closing and Aaron Heilman being in the Seattle rotation instead. And if you must have a starting pitcher, the next guy I'd look to is Anthony Reyes. Yup, I'm still a believer there's something there.
Hey Tristan- You mentioned LT before...I picked up Sproles as a sneaky play in Gridiron Challenge. How do you rate his value? Do you expect LT to play the entire gamee? What kind of split do you envision?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:26 AM)
Very valuable if LaDainian Tomlinson somehow doesn't play. If LT2 plays, there's no way you're getting enough touches for Sproles to help you in the game. Simple as that. Fortunately, we should know in time for you to make any changes as necessary. And yes, if LT2 plays, I do think he plays the whole game, though it's not like I can predict the future with regard to in-game injuries. I think he's in for the long haul or not in at all.
Eric ( Rittman, OH)
can only take one... ppr... warner, boldin, fitzgerald?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:27 AM)
As a keeper? Or for this week? Obviously I'd go the quarterback in a one-week call. Keeper leagues? I'd keep Larry Fitzgerald.
Rank em' for 09- Hanley, A-Rod, Reyes, Pujuls, Wright? Youn know you wanna!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:29 AM)
I always wanna rank baseball players! Baseball will be here before we know it. I'd go Alex Rodriguez, Hanley Ramirez, Albert Pujols ... then there's a small drop I'd say ... then David Wright and Jose Reyes.
Will (St. Louis)
What impact does the move to A's have on Holliday? About 90% of what he was in Coors?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:31 AM)
I'd say that's about right. I did a write-up on the trade a couple weeks back that summed it up, but I had him landing somewhere closer to the .300-30-100 range than the monster numbers he had in Coors. He's still an exceptional talent, but losing the Coors factor will absolutely make a difference, and I also don't like that Oakland is just not a running team, so those double-digit steals performances are no longer guaranteed. Your 90 percent seems appropriate.
Javier (Lodi CA)
McNabb or M.Ryan in the Gridiron Challenge? Also, is LJ Smith out this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:33 AM)
I'd actually prefer Matt Ryan. Arizona served up a massive number of passing scores, and this matchup has all the makings of a potential shoot-out. Higher stat ceiling in that one. As for Smith, word is he's questionable (or worse) for this week, and I won't be surprised to hear he's sitting again. I wouldn't plan on him being available; Brent Celek would be a fine stand-in for Philly.
Have you been playing ESPN Streak for the cash? That is a tough game.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:34 AM)
I have, and yes, it's a tough game ... necessarily tough!
I think alot of people are looking at Reyes #3 because of speed and position scarcity. You dont want to end up with Edgar Renteria. Will Brandon Wood who has SS eligibility have value this season?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:41 AM)
I understand that, and yes, shortstop is a thin position. But that's why Hanley Ramirez is in my top three; he's clearly the better hitter of the two.
Where do you put Holliday then, early 2nd? He is in a contract year. How about your former man crush Hafner? Is he about done?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:43 AM)
Probably early second, or mid-second, yes. He'll be in the top 20 for sure, at the bare minimum. Not like his value will completely fall off the table. As for Travis Hafner, that was a good man crush to have. He was extremely valuable for a couple years, and did win me quite a few leagues. Done? No, I wouldn't go that far, but I doubt he'll ever be the same. Expect a rebound, but nothing elite.
Need help my man..I'm in a TD heavy league...Passing TD's count for 4 points. I need to pick 3 keepers out of Brees, Chris Johnson, Jacobs, Addai, Barber, Calvin and Roddy White. Tough call, who would you go with?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:44 AM)
That is indeed a very difficult decision. I'd have to keep Drew Brees. Chris Johnson, I'd also retain him. As for the third, hmmm, I'd go Brandon Jacobs. I still say you keep running backs first, quarterbacks second, then wide receivers.
Joe (McLean, VA)
Random question: Do you think the new Yankees Stadium will be more of a hitters park, or a pitchers park?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:46 AM)
It is supposed to be the exact same field dimensions to the old one, except that foul territory is a little larger down the lines and smaller right behind the plate. So from what I understand, that might mean a few more outs on foul pop-ups than in the old park, but that means maybe a point or two in batting average per player at most. So I'd say it's pretty neutral overall; and tough on righties but still favorable for lefties.
Happy New Year THC!! Can you give me your top 5 to 10 QBs for the 2009 fantasy season??
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:47 AM)
Right now I would say Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Tony Romo, Jay Cutler and Kurt Warner.
Geoff (Newport Beach, CA)
Tristan, brutal keeper decision here. Can keep 3 players indefinitely in an ESPN standard scoring PPR format. I just won the championship and I need to pick 3 of these 5 for next year: B. Westbrook, A. Peterson, D. Williams, A. Johnson, and L. Fitgerald. Who would be your choices? Thank you!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:48 AM)
Adrian Peterson is a total no-brainer. And in this particular format, I think your smartest choices are going to be Brian Westbrook and Andre Johnson. Top-five guys at their respective positions in any format, and in PPR, wow, they get a boost.
Keep six total. Already keeping Carlos Lee, Braun, Miggy Cabrera. Which three would you keep out of CC, Johan, Markakis, Nate McLouth, Russell Martin? Thanks
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:50 AM)
The first three and it's mostly without question. In fact, the only thing I don't like in what would be your keeper list is that you'd be so heavy in outfielders. But I can't argue with the talent; they're the right guys.
Is Karabell's office littered with Phillies championship memorabilla? What's the latest on Utley?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:52 AM)
Ha! I haven't seen since the holidays, so who knows, maybe he has a replica championship trophy now. If you think he's bad, you should see mine. Every inch plastered with pinstriped memorabilia, pretty much. Anyway, Chase Utley, last report I got was that he hopes to be ready by Opening Day. It's a 4-6 month timetable for recovery, so I'd be surprised if he misses more than just the month of April, if that much time. Watch ... he'll start the year on the 15-day DL and come back on Tax Day.
Another Random question: Do you think anybody will go shirtless at the Winter Classic?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:53 AM)
That is a random question. Wasn't the big question whether Obama would attend?
Our league continues through the playoffs. You may keep the players you have who are on playoff teams. I have (in the 1st round) Warner, Westbrook, Wayne, and R. White. Start 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 W/TE, 1 K. P. Manning is available. Should I keep Warner or take Manning, as I look ahead to round two. Thanks.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:54 AM)
I'd be absolutely stunned if Peyton Manning didn't manage at least two games in this year's playoffs. So yes, I'd say that's a smart swap.
ah, how about $1 hitter flyers next? Felipe Lopez (Ari 2b?), Izturis (can he steal 40 in Bal?), Betemit/Fields (or will they steal ab's from each other?), Ramon Hernandez (everyday C in Cin?)? Thanks, T.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:55 AM)
Wow, Ramon Hernandez for $1? Yes, please. Another hitter-friendly park, and I think he's still capable of top-10 catcher value. I'd take that chance. Felipe Lopez also kind of intrigues me.
Any idea of what the Indians are going to do with Matt LaPorta? DH/1B/corner OF?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:56 AM)
Well, they're probably going to keep him in the minors to begin 2009, I can tell you that. If he's in the Opening Day lineup, I'd be surprised. Most likely they'll look at him as a left fielder, but long-term DH is just written all over the guy. Watch, he'll be a bust-out candidate ... but in 2010.
Should we be concerned about Hamilton and Kinsler staying healthy next season? Is Early-Mid second about right for both?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:58 AM)
There's always a risk for a guy who has had health issues in the past, but really, how many players are entirely risk-free? Josh Hamilton, I think he showed us enough to believe he's legit. And Ian Kinsler, it was a hernia that hobbled him, I think he can rebound nicely from that. Both should be top-25 types, so yes, second- or third-round candidates. I'd draft with confidence.
How will Phil Hughes fare in 09?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:59 AM)
I doubt his health more than I do his talent. When that guy has been 100 percent -- and remember that I see almost all of his games -- he has been very impressive. The ceiling is extremely high. So I'd say that's a massive sleeper for 2009, just don't get carried away, because as things stand today I can't say he's guaranteed a rotation spot and there's, again, that health risk. Let's say low-fours ERA, 12-13 wins, makes 25-28 starts, in the best-case scenario.
Dan (College Park)
What do you think Addai will do vs the Chargers? Also, which Ravens RB do you trust the most this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:01 PM)
Not all that well. San Diego's defensive front is its strength, and Dominic Rhodes lurks to thieve some of the carries. If Addai gets even 60 yards and/or a score, I'd call it a positive outing. As for the Ravens, Le'Ron McClain for me ... it's the goal-line carries.
What are the chances Braylon Edwards bounces back and scores 8-12 TD's next year? Would you say better or worse than 50/50?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:02 PM)
OK, well, that's a broad projection range. Let's average your number and say 10. I'd say worse than 50/50 then, but that's more my skepticism about who's throwing him the ball than anything. Brady Quinn, for instance, wasn't that great at getting him the ball deep in his brief stint.
Thanks for all the help this year. See ya next year.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:03 PM)
Thank you, Brian! Time to wrap things up for the day, and thanks to everyone for their questions. Have a safe and Happy New Year everyone! Take care...