Fantasy Football w/Christopher Harris
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday morning, ESPN.com fantasy expert Christopher Harris will drop by to take your questions and analyze all the latest football news from a fantasy perspective.
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Christopher Harris (10:58 AM)
Good morning, everyone. Let's get right to your questions and bang out as many as we can in an hour.
Patrick (Seattle, Wa.)
Anyword on Megatron?
Christopher Harris (10:59 AM)
Hi, Patrick. Other than the fact that it appears to be a knee injury, no. The good news is that he stayed in uniform on the sidelines throughout the rest of the game yesterday, so you'd have to believe it isn't a torn ligament or anything like that. (And he could, y'know, walk on it.) But the Lions are tight-lipped about injuries (see also: Stafford, Matthew), so he's likely to be questionable all week.
What's the RB situation going to be in SteelerTown? Tomlin would be crazy not to give Mendenhall most of the carries, right?
Christopher Harris (11:00 AM)
Hi, Brad. Willie Parker told reporters this morning that he's not sure if he can play in Week 6, that it's "too early" to know anything. I think once Parker *can* come back, he'll at least have a split of touches with Mendenhall. Remember how we all were so certain the Jerome Harrison Era had started in Cleveland? Once bitten, y'know?
Sean (Seattle, Wa.)
Has Tashard Choice earned playing time once Felix Jones comes back & if/when Barber gets 100% healthy?
Christopher Harris (11:01 AM)
Hi, Sean. I think definitely yes. Barber was clearly still limited by his quad problem yesterday, despite the fact that he seemed to have practiced successfully all week last week, and Choice was the better play. Barber will use the bye to get healthy, and is still probably the best guy, but now Jones and Choice would seem to be a real horse race for carries.
Casey (Chattanooga, TN)
Is it time to go get Jamaal Charles and stash him or is that premature?
Christopher Harris (11:02 AM)
Hi, Casey. I think in a 10-team league, it's premature. Larry Johnson isn't any good, it's true, and doesn't have nearly the speed to get around the edge the way Charles does. But Charles doesn't have his coaches' trust, fumble-wise, and that KC offensive line is just putrid. I can't believe either Charles or LJ is going to offer enough consistent fantasy play to be startable this year.
Joe (LOS ANGELES)
What happened to Sims-Walker?
Christopher Harris (11:03 AM)
Hi, Joe. He was suspended by his team for the game. There's speculation in J-ville newspapers that he was out late Saturday night, and that he violated team rules that way. But he didn't suit up. He's not hurt, though.
Couple of eye-openers at WR, what do you see going forward for Maclin and Austin, starters?
Christopher Harris (11:04 AM)
Hi, John. Between Austin, Maclin and Collie, you're probably looking at three of the most-added players this week. The Cowboys have a bye to figure out how to take advantage of Austin's huge day, and I think there's a chance they put Crayton back into the slot where he belongs, and play Austin opposing Roy Williams. Maclin started in place of Kevin Curtis and scored on a couple long ones -- I'm skeptical that he'll be able to keep it up on an every-week basis, but he's got terrific size and speed. And Collie is hurt by the turnstile nature of the "other" receiver in Indy. *If* the Cowboys put Crayton in the slot, Austin is my favorite of the three. If not, it'd be Maclin.
Is Michael Turner a sell high?
Christopher Harris (11:05 AM)
Hi, Jon. I don't think so. Granted, he's not going to get bunnies like that every week (though he seemed to in '08), but he's still a top-10 back in a non-PPR league by any measure. I think you just enjoy the ride.
Hey Chris, what's your take on Steve Slaton and his lack of goal-line production? Is this something we should be worried about moving forward? I'm already getting Ray Rice for Steve Slaton offers!
Christopher Harris (11:07 AM)
Hi, Brandon. Well, the reason Slaton has a lack of goal-line production is the Texans don't give it to him on the goal line. Chris Brown got the potential game-tying carries from the one yesterday, and couldn't get in. I *think* what the Texans should do is ditch Brown and just let Slaton try his hand in short yardage again. But I don't think that's going to happen. In fact, Gary Kubiak said to reporters this morning that he's considering "throwing a lot more" in general, because the ground game hasn't been effective. Frankly, that might be the best thing for Slaton's value, because he's a good receiver.
Thoughts on the Indy RB situation? It looked like it was going to be a timeshare early on, but the last couple games looks like Addai is getting the bulk of the carries/catches.
Christopher Harris (11:08 AM)
Hi, Steve. As I believed it would be. I've had Addai rated significantly higher all year, and that's been borne out by the split in touches over the past couple weeks. The first two games of the season, it was alarming, because it seemed Brown was playing most of the fourth quarter as a "closer" type of player, but that hasn't been the case lately (perhaps mostly because the Colts haven't needed a closer in blowouts). Addai is the more valuable player, bottom line.
Jamal Lewis (Da Dawgpound)
So..am I a start worthy RB from here on out?
Christopher Harris (11:09 AM)
No. You're Jamal Lewis. The Bills defense is crushed by injury, and Lewis wasn't great, he just got 31 carries. Derek Anderson, as bad as he is, probably isn't going 2-for-17 again soon.
Ahmad Bradshaw (New York)
Have I earned the right to be an every week starter yet?
Christopher Harris (11:10 AM)
I've been ranking Bradshaw in the 20 to 30 range this season (I had him 16th yesterday for his matchup with the Raiders), and that's where he should stay. He's going to have some terrific games, but Jacobs is clearly the lead dog there as long as he's healthy. I like to think of Bradshaw as a bye-week fill-in and possible occasional flex guy, as befits the 20-30 rank.
Cedric Benson. Really, Cedric Benson? Is he a (gulp) top 10 RB going forward? I can't even believe this is a legitimate question.
Christopher Harris (11:12 AM)
Hi, Andrew. I might not quite buy him as a top 10, but it's close. Top 15? Yup. Last week I had him rated No. 16 in my year-end ranks, and it's hard to argue he shouldn't go higher. I guess if his name wasn't Cedric Benson, we'd be less hesitant. But it is, so we are. Do I like him more than DeAngelo Williams? Hm. I'm going to have to think about that all afternoon before I write the Big Rotowski.
Is Nate Burleson the real deal? He is now top 10 in pts at WR, and seems to play well at home and with Hasselbeck.
Christopher Harris (11:13 AM)
Hi, Norm. I mean, it depends on what you mean by 'real deal.' I had him among my most undervalued players entering the year, but I'm always worried about his hands (which, I'll admit, haven't been bad at all this year). I wouldn't call him a top 10 receiver by any stretch, no, if only because he and Housh are likely to cannibalize from one another a bit. But he'll have good games, for sure. Make sure his rib injury is no big deal this week.
with roddys' huge game, does he move back into your top 10? where was that game from?
Christopher Harris (11:15 AM)
Hi, Cory. I had White 15 in the Big Rotowski last week, and I felt sort of dirty, as though I needed to justify continuing to rank him as an every-week starter. Phew. The heat's off. Will I have him back in the top 10? Very possible. I didn't expect the Falcons to go so crazy against the 49ers defense, but the Niners' o definitely deserves an assist for all the turnovers and favorable Falcons field position.
Speaking of Bradshaw, would you package him and DeAngelo Williams in a deal for AP or is that too much to give up?
Christopher Harris (11:15 AM)
Hi, Bill. No, I'd probably do that deal to get Peterson.
morning mr. harris, DWAYNE BOWE, don't trust him as my #2 wr at all seems all his production comes late in 4th quarter if at all(which implies to me its more luck than gameplan), never know what i'm gonna get from him, do you trust him going forward?......assume jerome harrison is droppable at this point even in 16 team format?
Christopher Harris (11:17 AM)
Hi, Nathan. I'm not sure I agree that Bowe's production coming late implies that it's lucky. He's probably the only startable player on the entire Chiefs team, but I do think he's startable some of the time. I had him No. 22 among receivers in my year-end ranks last week, and that'll probably go up a bit. As for Harrison - no, in a 16-team league, you should hold onto him. What goes around comes around....
Now that SF is on a week 6 bye & Gore likely back week 7, is Coffee droppable now?
Christopher Harris (11:17 AM)
Hi, Bill. If you're a Gore owner, no, I'd hold onto Coffee all year. If you're not...and it's a 10-team league? He's probably droppable.
Chris, Deangelo and Jacobs have done diddily-poo for me this seeason! Do I try to trade both of them now?
Christopher Harris (11:19 AM)
Hi, Eric. The problem is that you won't get much for them, y'know? It's difficult to sell low. I have more faith in Jacobs right now than I do in Williams, and really have felt that way all year. The Carolina o-line isn't blowing people up the way it did last year.
Hey Chris, would I be a fool to offer Tashard Choice for Ochocinco?
Christopher Harris (11:19 AM)
Hi, Mike. No. If you're the one giving up Choice, I'd do that deal in a heartbeat.
morning chris, is it time to sell-low on steve smith carolina? hes getting doubled constantly and delhomme seems unwilling to go deep (or unable). thoughts?
Christopher Harris (11:20 AM)
Hi, Jonathan. I hate selling low on *anyone*. You're right that Smith gets doubled a ton, but he has his entire career, and he often beats them. My thoughts are that you're probably married to the guy. He'll have good weeks, I think.
DP (St. Louis, MO))
What's Benson's value right now in terms of trades? What kind of WR could he net in your opinion? I would like a #1 WR in return...who could that be?
Christopher Harris (11:21 AM)
Hi, DP. I would have to think you could get almost any WR you wanted from a RB-needy team. You should certainly aim for the top WRs in the game, and see if you get any nibbles. Benson has been that good.
Tom (San Diego)
Hey Chris,What the heck happened to Jax'Ville and MJD yesterday?...Yikers
Christopher Harris (11:23 AM)
Hi, Tom. Yeah, it was a disaster. David Garrard played well against Tennessee last week, but otherwise I've thought he's looked sub-par in every other game, including ones where he put up big numbers in garbage time. That was certainly the case yesterday. They got down big early and couldn't run it, and they were throwing it down the field, not giving MJD his dump-offs and screens. It was a whole huge heapin' pile of ugly, but I think you just write it off and move on.
Is it time to get back on the Eddie Royal bandwagon?
Christopher Harris (11:24 AM)
Hi, Stephen. Well, I've been recommending to people all season that they *not* drop Royal, that they just put him on their bench and see what happens, because he's too talented not to be a part of that offense. The cows came home to roost, or whatever it is that cows of ill-omen do. I can't say I'm sure Royal is an every-week starter right now, but he should certainly be owned in all leagues.
Chrsitopher - Is Brandon Marshall now a must start every week? Thanks
Christopher Harris (11:25 AM)
Hi, Jimmy. I think yes. He's back to playing as he did with Jay Cutler around. I had him ranked 13th in last week's Big Rotowski year-end ranks, and that number almost has to go up this week.
Matt Ryan (dallas)
Am I going to continue to put up that kind of points week after week? Was I under valued going into this week or was the 49ers D over valued?
Christopher Harris (11:26 AM)
I had Ryan ranked 8th among QBs this week, which was lower than I had him in my year-end ranks (6th), which reflects what you're saying -- I respected the Niners D. I'm not ready to throw the Niners under the bus -- that D was betrayed by a terrible offensive effort. But regardless, I don't think I've had Ryan *near* out of my top 10 QBs all year, and I won't start now. He's every-week startable, unless you own Peyton Manning, too.
FJax...value plummeting fast. Anything to think it will reverse?
Christopher Harris (11:28 AM)
Hi, Hal. Good question. I was on board with Marshawn Lynch being the more valuable player right away, and it seems like that's turning out to be true. The most alarming thing seems to be that Jackson will *not* be the primary receiving back: two weeks straight, Lynch as out-targeted him. I think this is a platoon that leans toward Lynch pretty clearly.
The Titans are in trouble. What does that mean for Chris Johnson going forward? Is he buy low? He still has some seemingly nice matchups coming up...
Christopher Harris (11:28 AM)
Hi, David. If you can get the CJ owner in your league to believe CJ *is* low, then yes, buy him low. I'm completely still on board with Johnson (he's the *only* Titans entity I'd even be close to starting right now) as a top-10 back, probably top-five.
Is Ray Rice the second-coming of MJD? They seem to be giving McGahee less and less carries each week... What do you expect out of Rice the rest of the year?
Christopher Harris (11:30 AM)
Hi, Jim. Rice ain't that short! It's funny, the Ravens people think Rice is like Marshall Faulk, which is certainly setting the bar pretty high, but it lets you know where their heads are at. I've been writing that Rice is more valuable than McGahee every single week in all my columns, but of course, McGahee is still going to be a touchdown drain going forward. Rice is the between-the-20s guy, and this week, that worked out in his favor. But don't fool yourself into thinking anything's changed. McGahee will still steal TDs. He's LenDale White circa last year.
What's the latest on Jerricho Cotchery? Down four heading into tonight's game. Do I need make a desperation move and pick up another WR or is he going to play?
Christopher Harris (11:32 AM)
Hi, Matthew. I wish there was more definitive news, but here's what I know: Cotchery *did* make the trip to Miami, and the feeling around the team is that he's going to try and play, but it may come down to how he feels in pre-game warmups. And of course, because it's a hamstring, he could re-pull it at any time. I don't know what I'd do in your shoes. Are we Facebook friends? If you want to drop me a note and ask about specific receivers that are available, I'd be glad to try and weigh in.
What should I expect from Mendenhall in week 6 and going forward? Is he a sell high candidate or the real deal?
Christopher Harris (11:33 AM)
Hi, JT. Well, it depends on how high is high. I think Mendenhall will be in the mix no matter what happens with Parker, but as I wrote earlier in this chat, Parker is going to get some carries if/when he's healthy. If you could get an elite player for Mendenhall? You should do that.
What to make of DeSean Jackson's goose egg yesterday? Was he hurt? Should I be concerned going forward?
Christopher Harris (11:35 AM)
Hi, Matt. Well, as far as I know he wasn't hurt. McNabb just fell in love with Maclin as a deep option in this game, and never got back to Jackson. I completely fell prey to this -- I had Jackson ranked *really* high. *sigh*. I think this is just a symptom of an Eagles offense that doesn't really show allegiance to any single receiver, but simply spreads it around. There'll be a danger of falling too heavily in love with Maclin in fantasy leagues, because he could be the one shut out *next* week.
Jim Mora (Seattle)
Am I ever going to realize that Justin Forsett should be starting?
Christopher Harris (11:37 AM)
Well, I don't know if I even really agree with that. Julius Jones isn't a very good player, I'm on board there. But is Forsett big enough to withstand every-down-back pounding? I know there are small backs in this league, but most of them are either thicker than Forsett or much quicker (in the Sproles mode). But hey, I can't argue too hard. I'm not a Jones fan. I doubt they'll change much after this week's success, though....
I was offered Bowe for MS-W (who is currently my WR4) in a PPR league....AND I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE ROTOWSKI!!! Do the deal?! Thx.
Christopher Harris (11:37 AM)
Hi, Tim. Yeah, I'd do that.
I down by 2 pts going into MNF. I have B. Edwards starting tonight. All of MIA WR are available in my league. Should I keep Edwards in my WR or pick up a MIA WR for the win?
Christopher Harris (11:39 AM)
Hi, Kevin. Hm. I think I'd roll with Edwards. I *would* potentially also think about Bess, because all you need is just a small contribution, points-wise. But can we be positive *which* receiver the Dolphins go to in their short game? What if Camarillo sneaks into the Bess role again for one game? I have to believe that Edwards will get a few catches, if only to make the trade look smart on national TV. But definitely, please go with what your gut tells you....
Heath Miller a #1 TE going forward or just a product of a couple soft matchups?
Christopher Harris (11:40 AM)
Hi, Andrew. I think he's injected himself into the conversation of the second tier of tight ends, which is like 10 guys big. Truthfully, that's more than I expected from him when the season started. I don't think he's a stud by any means, but I also don't think there's any problem just rolling with him, as you'd roll with someone like, say, John Carlson or Greg Olsen.
Josh (New York)
I'm down 21 going into MNF with the Jets D and Ronnie Brown still to play. The Miami D is still available...should i pick it up and play it instead of the Jets D because of Ronnie Brown?
Christopher Harris (11:41 AM)
Hi, Josh. Because of your unique circumstances, where you need a lot of points, I think you're right on the money -- you want to go for the highest upside you possibly can, and that would be hoping that Brown and the Dolphins D rule the day.
Do you prefer IDP leagues or D/ST leagues?
Christopher Harris (11:42 AM)
Hi, Joel. It honestly depends on the crowd of folks I'm playing with. If it's a deeper group who's experienced and "into it," I prefer IDP, because I think it adds more variables into the equation. But in a shallower league with less experienced players, I think IDP just gets in the way, because generally some of the owners don't "get" it....
Thoughts on Orton going forward?
Christopher Harris (11:45 AM)
Hi, Mike. My thoughts are: yesterday was more like it. Despite some decent numbers against the Cowboys last week, I didn't think he played well. I thought he was significantly better, taking a few more chances, looking smarter in the pocket, and basically being an above-average NFL quarterback yesterday. Will it last? I dunno. I think people have been seduced by Orton in the past when he's had games like this. He's never proven he can do it again and again. I'm raising him a bit in my ranks this week, but not to fantasy starterhood.
Is Greg Jennings a buy-low right now?
Christopher Harris (11:46 AM)
Hi, Daniel. It's a very good question. I think probably yes, depending on how low we're talking about here. If you can get him for a player who's currently not starting for you? I think that's worth a try. He's so talented, and I think eventually the Packers *have* to fix their o-line problems. (Don't they?) If they don't, Jennings probably stays crummy. If they do, he'll be back near the top of the list of the league's best deep threats.
Heywood (Alabaster, AL)
Does Edge have any fantasy value as a bye-week pickup this week, or were his carries due to garbage time PT that he's not likely to see again?
Christopher Harris (11:47 AM)
Hi, Heywood. Yeah, much of his work yesterday was garbage-time. I don't think he's really offering much of a threat to Julius Jones right now, in terms of starting.
Chris any chance of reaping any value out of L.T. this year or should I try to trade him off for whatever I can get?
Christopher Harris (11:49 AM)
Hi, Allen. Is there *any* chance? Yeah, of course there is. Maybe he's feeling better and refreshed after the bye, maybe he recaptures some of that old glory. Am I counting on it? I am not. I would say that if you could get something good for him, do it. But if you can't, I might just wait, wait for him to have a good game, and then try again. There are a lot of folks out there who, if they see LT post a good one, will want to believe again.
Help me out Chris! I have an option to trade either Colston or Calvin for Cedric Benson - I'm very weak on RB, so which receiver would you rather part with?
Christopher Harris (11:50 AM)
Hi, Martin. Well, if Megatron's injury isn't a big deal, I'd trade Colston. If it is, I'd trade Megatron. Until we hear something definitive about the injury, you're kind of stuck in limbo there.
Did Moreno's performance yesterday lockup him as the starter the rest of the way even when Buckhalter comes back or will they be back to a 60/40 split?
Christopher Harris (11:51 AM)
Hi, Chris. Good question. I tend to think that Buckhalter will continue to be very involved once his ankle is healed. Moreno fumbled again, so while he made a couple big plays, I think it was a mixed bag for his first start. I think the 60/40 split is probably about right.
Thoughts on Sammy Morris? Should I pick him up and drop F Jackson?
Christopher Harris (11:52 AM)
Hi, George. As to add/drops, check out the Big Rotowski tomorrow for my thoughts on year-end value. But I can offer thoughts on Morris -- he looked good, as I wrote last week and said on the Fantasy Focus online video show, he's the guy to own in the Pats backfield. But remember: he's fragile. He runs hard, and then he gets hurt. And if he does get hurt, I think the next man in will be BenJarvus Green-Ellis, and not Maroney.
Thanx for adding me to your FB friend list.. how much of an inconvenience is it to you to receive Fantasy questions on it. I think it is very admirable of you to take time out for it!
Christopher Harris (11:53 AM)
Hi, Banjoe. Well, I mean, "inconvenience" is the right word -- it's a lot of work answering Facebook questions, but I'm happy to do it to try and give something back to all of you, who make it possible for me to have this great and fun job. So no worries.
Wax rhapsodic about Brady.
Christopher Harris (11:54 AM)
Hi, David. Oof, I don't think rhapsodic is the word after yesterday. Seemed to me he took a step back after looking quite a bit better against the Ravens. That overthrow on a deep ball to a wide-open Randy Moss was brutal, and might've been the difference in the game. It's not a throw Brady ever missed in the past, even when he was a mere mortal before '07. I don't know what's up with him. We might just have to accept that he's going to be tough to read for a while, which definitely makes him less alluring fantasy-wise.
What happened to Mason yesterday?
Christopher Harris (11:56 AM)
Hi, Mike. Well, he played, he was simply doubled right away by the Bengals and couldn't get open. The Bengals have been taking away opponents' No. 1 receiving threats pretty well of late, so that'll be something to file away for future reference. Mason *did* get banged up early in the New England game last week, but he played and supposedly isn't hurt. Just disappointing, for one week.
Is TO toast unless he were to get traded?
Christopher Harris (11:58 AM)
Hi, Dave. Well, I just did the podcast with Matthew Berry, and it's Matt's opinion that yes, T.O. is droppable. I'm not there yet. I don't think you can start him, it's true. And I wouldn't have started him this past week if I could've helped it. But are the Bills' systemic problems completely unfixable? I don't know. I don't think so yet. The wind has been awful the past couple home games in Buffalo, and Dick Jauron is really conservative and Trent Edwards isn't that good. I just have to believe that if they open up the offense, T.O. will have better days. I don't think he's getting traded from the Bills. But I haven't completely jumped ship.
Where do you put Kellen Winslow in the hierarchy of TE? Top 5? or was yesterday a fluke?
Christopher Harris (11:59 AM)
Hi, Michael. Well, it wasn't a fluke, because K2 has done it before. I don't think he's top five, though. I think he belongs to that vast middleground in the second tier...he's a fine starting option most weeks, but he won't be a star every week, if that makes sense.
Does Big Ro apply to PPR?
Christopher Harris (12:00 PM)
Hi, Matt. No, my year-end ranks are explicitly geared toward PPR leagues, unfortunately. (I just don't have the bandwidth to do two lists.) By the same token, I think you can usually get a sense of what I think about standard leagues and apply it to what you know about the better PPR players. But you can also ask me Facebook questions. (I'll give the address in a moment.)
Christopher Harris (12:00 PM)
OK, one more, then I've got to get writing.
Steven Jackson (St. Louis)
How worried should my owners be? Will I ever find the end zone?
Christopher Harris (12:01 PM)
The good news is that the current Rams staff understands Jackson is their best player, and uses him a ton. He actually had a decent day against a good Vikings D yesterday, and if he hadn't fumbled (almost unprovoked) on the goal line, he might've put all this saucy talk to rest. I'm still buying. I'm so stubborn on him, I really am.
Christopher Harris (12:02 PM)
All right, so I'm done here, but let's mention a few things. First of all: reading all the questions as they scroll by, I notice that many of you are submitting your queries *before* reading the questions that have already been asked. You'd probably save yourself a lot of frustration if you didn't do that, because often as not, I've answered your question already earlier in the hour....
Christopher Harris (12:03 PM)
Next -- I'm not going to answer Week 6 questions yet, either here or on Facebook. Week 5 isn't over, and I haven't watched all the games yet, so I don't *know* what I think. Don't ask me those questions on Facebook -- just wait for our Week 6 ranks to come out on Wednesday afternoon. (Updated Friday.)...
Christopher Harris (12:04 PM)
Finally -- I'm not going to answer "should I cut RB Jones for RB Smith" or "should I trade QBX for QBY" or "who do you like more, WR1 or WR2" questions on Facebook, either. Because those are answered Tuesday afternoons in the Big Rotowski, where I post my year-end ranks.....
Christopher Harris (12:06 PM)
So all that said, please feel free to friend me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/writerboy . If you have a question that is *not* one of the types I just mentioned, I'd be glad to try and help. Thanks very much for coming to the chat, I know it can be frustrating to not get your question answered (there are more than 1,000 in an hour), and that's why I'm trying to make myself available on Facebook, too. Have a great week....