Chat with Tristan Cockcroft
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Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:02 AM)
Good morning everyone! Let's get right to your questions. Heavy fantasy football today, obviously, but you can always sneak in a baseball question if you like. Let's get started...
Flacco Is Killing ME (Tombstone, Baltimore)
With Flacco slaughtering my season, what are the chances of Matthew Stafford becoming a top ten QB after the Lions Bye week? Need a productive QB in the worst way and our league is point per completion.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:03 AM)
Top 10? I'd say 20 percent at best, but that's more promising than I bet most people believe. We have no idea how much Stafford's shoulder injury will impact him after he returns, and besides, has Joe Flacco really been THAT awful? I'd argue he's only a slight disappointment, not a total one, and understand that his early-season schedule was rough. This week's matchup is more favorable than you think; I see good numbers coming.
Jimmy (Whynot Minot)
What are your thoughts on MSW going forward?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:05 AM)
Not terribly positive. He's streaky, the kind of guy who I can see giving you 2-3 explosive (100+ yards, 1 TD) outings and as many total stinkers (straight zeroes) in a 16-game season. I just don't enjoy owning guys like that. Think Santana Moss in the past 2-3 seasons, very much that kind of value. It's a WR3, but nothing you want to roll every single week.
How do Brandon Marshall and Randy Moss compare for rest of year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:06 AM)
Give me Randy Moss, but I'm going to take him practically anytime he's trying to impress a new team. Plus, for as much as I have Brett Favre questions, Favre is still more apt to get Moss the ball consistently than Chad Henne to Marshall.
am i crazy to be playing S moss and torain...both redskins playing ind
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:09 AM)
A slew of Ryan Torain questions coming in, so let's get to that, because I love the matchup this week. The Colts can't stop the run for the life of them, so no question Torain is a start across the board; think a top-20 play, though in the back end of it. I just wonder a little how he does on the big stage, and how he makes up for that so-so Week 5. Yes, start both of these guys.
Good Morning Tristan. If Rogers is a no go would you start Mike Wallace over Greg Jennings? (would you consider that anyway?)
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:10 AM)
There's a lot of talk about the Packers dedicating themselves to getting Jennings more involved leading into Week 6, but that's a switch I'd make nevertheless. Ben Roethlisberger's return boosts Wallace's stock considerably; the matchup makes him a possible 100-yard candidate.
Jake Chavez (Westminster, CO)
My record is 1-4, is it still to early to throw in the towel for the season?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:11 AM)
Still too early. Plus, have some pride, never, ever give up. I think it's shameful for anyone to stop paying attention to a fantasy team.
Is Vincent Jackson worth picking up? If so, when will he be active?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:13 AM)
If you're in a deeper league and/or have the bench space to afford it, sure, take a look. Reports that V-Jax might report by month's end at least give him home of suiting up by Thanksgiving, and in that offense, he could be a top-20 option in the season's final third. Still, I'd be careful not to cut anything useful; bench spots in shallow leagues are at a premium during the bye weeks, especially with six teams being off weekly pretty soon.
High Scorer (Fantasyland)
So, if you're the high scorer or very near the top, is it time to start building for the playoff weeks? Or would you rather play with the team that got you there?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:15 AM)
I don't "plan for the playoffs," if only because what does that really mean? Is five weeks enough of a sample to guarantee anything in December? I'd argue that you should just get the best players, and in the event you can find the couple of teams with outstanding schedules, sure, lean a little more towards them. Kyle Orton and the Broncos being an excellent example.
Would you trade Matt Forte for Jamaal Charles in a standard league?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:15 AM)
Top Cat (New Jersey)
Tristan, Good morning to you sir. My apologies in advance if I submitted this question to often. I just really need a professional opinion. I logged onto my FF team Tuesday morning to find this trade offered to me. I get Whitten and S Smith (north) for Branch. Needless to say I sprained two fingers hitting the accept button on this deal. Neither of these guys will play for me, except during bye weeks. I have Gates, Wayne and Andre Johnson. The league went into an uproar. The deal was vetoed this morning. (EVEN WITHOUT the supposed necessary votes) I didnt collude with this owner ( I wouldnt know him if he were standing on my head juggling bowling pins) He's new to the league. Should this deal have been vetoed?Was it handled properly by the CommishThanks again in advance...
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:16 AM)
That's a pretty bad trade, and I understand that you didn't collude and the other owner is new to the league, but in cases like that, sometimes a little help to the new guy is appropriate. Branch for either one might get the deal done; I still like it a lot for you, but at least it might not be as objectionable to the league.
With the Green Bay RB situation being marginal at best, is James Stark worth a flier once he returns from PUP?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:17 AM)
I've been thinking (and saying) that for a few weeks now.
Deak (North Wales)
Will Shonne Greene's value ever rise back up?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:19 AM)
At this point he probably needs an injury to LaDainian Tomlinson to return to his preseason top-20 status. Since we can't assume that, at best he's a matchups/flex play.
Does the Harrison for Bell trade help the value of either running back?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:20 AM)
Absolutely, it helps Jerome Harrison, especially in light of LeSean McCoy having been nicked up already this year and the Eagles really lacking in depth at the position. Harrison is once again a useful handcuff; I wasn't so sure he was worth keeping on a fantasy roster in Cleveland. Huge boost to Peyton Hillis, too. Mike Bell isn't going to cut into his workload.
THC- Finley owner, who do you like moving forward Marcedes or Moeaki?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:21 AM)
Marcedes Lewis. Bizarre that it took him this long, but he's suddenly a viable red-zone target for David Garrard.
Anthony (Cleveland, OH)
Holmes had a decent game for limited action on MNF and also got a lot of deep looks. If he posts a decent game this week, say 60 and a TD, top 25 wr?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:23 AM)
It wouldn't shock me. Santonio Holmes' snap count was down, but he was involved every bit as much as anyone else in the Jets' pass attack. The Broncos are down Andre' Goodman again; I'll say Holmes is a top-25 candidate, yes.
In a 12-team league (0.5 PPR) with 15 roster spots, so I'm not sure if it qualifies as deep with a shallower bench. Would you cut Brandon Tate for the chance that VJax takes the field come fantasy playoff time?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:24 AM)
Yes, I would absolutely make that move, UNLESS you desperately need Tate these next few weeks. His value is noticeably less in PPR (or half-PPR), and V-Jax's upside is slightly greater in the format.
Does Harrison's addition hurt McCoy's value?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:26 AM)
No, that wasn't what I was getting at with the earlier answer. The point is that Jerome Harrison is suddenly a viable handcuff again, and if you're a LeSean McCoy owner, you'd be smart to handcuff the two. I still see McCoy being every bit the weapon he has been to date, it's just that he actually has a useful backup now, in the event he goes down.
Monica (Hamilton Twp, NJ)
Thoughts on Brady this weekend vs the Ravens? My other option is Shawn Hill vs the G-Men.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:28 AM)
I doubt there's anyone out there who would consider such a switch -- certainly I would not -- but each of those quarterbacks' matchups is worth the discussion, which is why I picked the question. The Ravens keep yardage and scores in check; they're not much in terms of turnovers. Without Randy Moss, I see Tom Brady as a top-10 option, just not an explosive one. If he goes 225-1-0, I won't be at all surprised. As for Shaun Hill, the Giants will keep him running for his life. I wouldn't want him in any league this week.
I picked up Brent Celek from FA to use during Hernandez bye week, and now I dont want to keep two TE's. I am leaning towards keeping the rook, and most rankings put them around the same spot. Somebody just dropped Beanie due to his bye so which TE do I drop, or keep both TE's and drop my handcuff Snelling?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:30 AM)
Ah, the challenges of the bye weeks. Let's talk Celek and Hernandez: Celek's is short-term value, because he's top-10 capable with Kevin Kolb the quarterback, but maybe 15th or so with Michael Vick. Aaron Hernandez is top-15 worthy most weeks, and I actually think in the long haul he might be the guy who benefits most from the Randy Moss trade, moving into the top 10 in a few weeks. It's a short-versus-long term decision, and I usually say play for the short term. Though in this case, I bet you'd be more likely to snatch Jason Snelling back off waivers if you needed him in a couple weeks.
Carr or Whitehurst? Which backup QB is more likely to take the job from their teams current terrible QB?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:32 AM)
Does it matter? I can't see either one being more than a desperation play at any point this season. I'm going Whitehurst. In addition to being a slow starter, Matt Hasselbeck is an injury risk.
Just need a quick "Yes" or "No" from a expert - In a PPR format would you drop Brandon Tate for Reggie Bush? I'm looking for value down the stretch!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:33 AM)
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:33 AM)
You think Favre really sits out any games??? Or all talk...
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:34 AM)
Brett Favre will always find a way to play. Just wait, he'll still have that streak as a 50-year-old in 2020.
Holmes or Britt this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:35 AM)
Like both, but couldn't be more in love with Kenny Britt than I am in Week 6. The Jaguars probably have the ugliest secondary in the league, and Britt's got Vince Young's eye. I've got a great feeling...
Tristan, what are your thoughts on James Davis if Peyton Hillis can't go this week? Would you play him over Brandon Jackson?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:35 AM)
Peyton Hillis will go this week. And there isn't a chance I'd ever start a backup Browns running back in a road game against the stingy Steelers.
Oh Great Sultan of Stat--You said Torain is a must start, even over the likes of SJax with his tough matchup? My other RB is M Turner. Thanks!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:37 AM)
I did not specifically use the words "must start," I said a top-20 option. I've seen teams with three top-10 options; I'm not about to tell those people to use a guy I'd rank, say, 18th, over a guy I'm ranking 10th. And Steven Jackson is top-10 for me, so is Michael Turner. No chance.
Trade Jeremy Shockey and BJGE for Vernon Davis and Brandon Jackson?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:39 AM)
I would ask you how adversely that will affect your running-back corps, because if we're talking about backups on your team, then by all means I'd aim to upgrade Shockey to Davis using backups. It's a good trade.
No worries about Mendenhall's value going forward?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:40 AM)
Not really. Isaac Redman hasn't shaped up a short-yardage thief at all, as Rashard Mendenhall has been a fine goal-line option all year. If anything, Ben Roethlisberger's return is a good thing; it keeps defenses honest, eases the workload on the running back and I think that should help keep him consistently productive.
Are you receommendgin Marshawn this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:40 AM)
As a flex play, sure, but I'd really prefer to take a wait-and-see approach with him on his new team.
Your thoughts on Anthony Armstrong(WASH)? I have a feeling about him this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:41 AM)
He's the guy no one's talking about, and in deeper leagues has sleeper potential. Take that for what it's worth; in standard ESPN leagues I see him remaining on waiver wires. Could be a hail-mary play, if you're in a bye-week pinch, but in a week where two of the four teams are 0-5 wastelands, I bet most people have better options.
Johnny Knox (Chicago, IL)
Am I ever gonna live up to the hype?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:42 AM)
You need a healthy Jay Cutler, period, and even then, the top-10 season was never coming.
I assumed that a "start across the board", means 'must start'--but not in some cases?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:44 AM)
Semantics ... "start across the board" meaning he's starter-worthy in any fantasy format of which I am aware, 10-team, 12-team, PPR, half-PPR, flex, no flex, etc. "Must-start," at least to me, is a specific designation reserved for a guy I'm convinced has a legitimate shot to top the scoring leaderboard in that particular week.
Torain or M. Bush have more value this week and going forward
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:46 AM)
Ah, interesting one, because Ryan Torain has greater opportunity, and Michael Bush has greater skill (at least my opinion is that he does). Torain this week, but it's close, and I go in that direction primarily because I'm unsure how much Darren McFadden will cut into his carries (I'm thinking 2:1 ratio favoring Bush).
Will McCluster get more touches as the season progresses?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:47 AM)
I hate to answer a question with a question, but will Jamaal Charles reclaim the starter's job as the season progresses? The smart answers to both of these questions is "yes," but we're not Todd Haley. I think Dexter McCluster SHOULD get more touches, but I've got a feeling he's locked in pretty close to his full-season role, and the breakout might not happen until 2011.
Good problem but hard one - who sits out of Jennings, Smith NYG and Best?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:49 AM)
Unless it's PPR, Greg Jennings is the one who sits, if only because there's no way I'm going to sit the starting running back (Jahvid Best). "All else equal..."
Never Been Picked (G-ville)
Pick a side of the trade please. S. Holmes/Bush/Hillis for Simms-Walker/Mendenhall. Thanks for your help!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:51 AM)
I'm a huge Rashard Mendenhall fan, but that's a heck of a lot of depth coming in return for him. Peyton Hillis is for real; fair, balanced trade and if you need the depth, I'd give it my OK.
Hi Tristan. Was offered Welker for Lloyd. Amazing I am thinking of passing. Your thoughts?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:52 AM)
I ranked Wes Welker higher of the two this week, but I completely understand how you feel. Brandon Lloyd is completely legit, I had them what, seven spots apart and his schedule is fantastic the second half of the season. If you've got a gut feeling, go for it. I always encourage that. But for me, I'd still sticking with my man Wes Welker. So consistent, reliable, I love those guys.
Tristan, take a vacation, get a tan then update your pic, also lose the sweater
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:53 AM)
Wait, what, you mean my computer monitor DOESN'T help with the tan? Darn.
Bryan V (Columbus, OH)
Mark Sanchez is equal to what WR? We get rankings, but you can't compare different positions.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:55 AM)
It's absolutely impossible to give you a hard-and-fast answer, because every league is different. For example, I've got leagues that award six points for passing touchdowns, leagues that award for every passing yard (and more than standard ESPN), leagues that penalize even more for picks. Because our rankings are primarily rooted in ESPN standard value, I'd suggest something in the Braylon Edwards/Mike Williams (TB) range, though by all means give it a shot for someone a few spots higher if you want to be bold.
What do you see happening to Floyd's value/production if/when V-Jax returns? Still a borderline WR1/2?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:57 AM)
I think it'd be bad for Malcom Floyd's value, I can tell you that. But that's a pass-heavy offense, so if V-Jax is, say, a high WR2 in December, Floyd can still be a weekly WR3.
Mike (Ann Arbor)
Starting Tony Romo against the Vikings with their stout pass defense or Big Ben against the lowly Browns?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:58 AM)
Like both as top-10 plays, but I've got such a good feeling about Ben Roethlisberger. I think it was a real help that he got the bye week's extra time to prepare for his 2010 debut. Great matchup, too.
wassup with mathews missing practice yesterday? is he the backup this week again?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:01 PM)
It's a concern, yes. I said a week ago not to expect a ton from Ryan Mathews, and I'll say the same today. Norv Turner says he wants to give Mathews back his starting job, but only if Mathews is completely healthy. And I'm not sure he is; I expect a lot of Mike Tolbert yet again.
What type should I expect to get out of Vick right now. I need a TE, but could use an RB as well. What do you think I can get?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:03 PM)
I'm not wild about trading solid quarterbacks for tight ends, but there's health risk with Michael Vick, even after he returns. You could take a shot at Zach Miller or Dustin Keller. I might be tempted to give Beanie Wells' owner a ring, too. If I'm a Vick owner, I'm either keeping him stashed or attempting to swap him for a buy-low candidate, and nothing less.
guy (on the couch)
Will DMC and Moreno ever get back to their production levels from Weeks 1-3? They were awesome at my flex while it lasted.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:06 PM)
If you watched DMC play those weeks, you know he's a totally different runner this year than in the past. Still, the guy sure is developing a rep for being brittle. Michael Bush is there, and he's a talented kid too, so I'm not so sure McFadden ever gets back to those levels. One more big game by Bush and they might be locked into a 2008 Giants-esque timeshare, though that'd still mean each would be useful. As for Knowshon Moreno, like him, don't love him. That's a pass-heavy -- stress HEAVY -- offense now.
Re: VJax and Floyd - seriously? VJax won't have played a snap at NFL speed, and you put him at WR2 that fast? That's pretty generous....
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:08 PM)
Again, December. Long time from now. And it's complete speculation, I'm not about to invest any heavy stock in it. Let's stress the "IF" with these: IF V-Jax reports in the next two weeks, IF he returns by Thanksgiving, IF he quickly returns to full speed, IF the Chargers are willing to commit to him, then the guy's got the skills to shoot ahead of Malcom Floyd on the depth chart. I want people to understand that those are a lot of "ifs," but that in the best-case scenario for Jackson, Floyd's going to lose out. Remember, I've been about as anti-Jackson as anyone since August, so I'm stressing those "ifs."
PT playing this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:11 PM)
Doesn't sound like it. In which case it's probably a timeshare in which three backs are all active, and regarded in this order: Ladell Betts, Chris Ivory, Julius Jones. Oh, and by the way, "regarded" means by the Saints, not me. I'm not wild about a single one of them.
Go Titans (Houston)
Why do you experts say something like I'd play him as a flex only - you do realize the same points are scored whether started "As a flex" or "as a rb" correct?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:12 PM)
Value points. We have to give you a sense of how the rankings shake out; to say "RB1" is effectively "top-10 value." "RB2" is a guy who's a top-20 play. Flex? That's the kind we regard more a sub, a guy who could go top-25 but has the risk he gives you a big, fat stinker. They're merely classifications, projecting where they might rank in terms of fantasy points for the week. Hope that helps!
Thanks for your time, Tristan!Start Desean, or skip the Philly QB drama and go with Garcon getting feeds from Manning?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:13 PM)
It's not a good matchup for DeSean Jackson, but unless Austin Collie is ruled out before Sunday and Pierre Garcon given the clear go-ahead, I cannot possibly make that switch. (It's one I'd consider if all those things fall into place, though.)
Wal (Perth, Australia)
what are your thoughts on the value of Jacoby Jones for the rest of the season?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:15 PM)
Boom/bust play, value rises when Andre Johnson and/or Kevin Walter is limited or out, value higher in leagues that reward more for return performance. In general? A WR4/5 type, which means he's a matchups play, pretty much.
Would you sell high if possible on Hillis and Forte?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:17 PM)
Anyone is available for the right price. Words to live by. That said, the overall feel? No, Peyton Hillis is actually a guy to keep, especially following the Jerome Harrison trade. His job is now pretty darned secure. Matt Forte? If you're in standard ESPN (non-PPR), yeah, I'd consider it, because he might fetch top-10 running back value but I don't think that's his true value. I see streakiness and maybe a finish at 15th in points at the position.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:17 PM)
OK, time to wrap things up for the day. Thanks for all your questions, and sorry if I didn't get to yours. Best of luck to you this weekend! Take care everyone...