Fantasy NFL with Jim McCormick
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Jim McCormick (11:00 AM)
Hey everyone, welcome to the stretch run of the season, with the playoffs looming. Let's get started...
Mike Y. (Atlanta)
Hope your doing better than me. With the Gore news from last night on top of the Nicks and Gates injuries I'm doing crappy. I still finished 9-3 and 3rd overall. Playoffs start this week and I'm really depressed. I hate injuries, any words of advice?
Jim McCormick (11:02 AM)
And the league is pushing for 18 games? Would be really interesting to see how that potential change would augment the fantasy experience. We're already often left with a depleted group of elites, and this year that is particularly true. Sorry to hear that you owned several of these key losses, but many a fantasy crown have been won with no-names and journeymen - look to the wire and see what's out there, it's really all you can do my man.
Hey Jim! QB quandry. Would you start Schaub vs. Eagles, or Kitna vs. Colts
Jim McCormick (11:03 AM)
I'd likely go with Schaub given how suspect the Philly secondary was, even if Samuel returns. Lindley and Patterson were picked on regularly on Sunday and the Bears might just have set a template for Houston on this short week.
Gore, Gore, Gore, Gore..........okay how about another Gore question??? It's probably a Stephania question, but can this injury also place Gore's career in jeopardy? Wasn't this the same thing as Bo Jackson? He was my keeper for the last two years, should I cut him now?
Jim McCormick (11:05 AM)
The Bo injury was a degenerative condition in addition to a other hip injuries, so I'm not sure we can place this in a career context just yet. It's certainly not good news for keeper scenarios, but like you said, Stephania will certainly have more for us going forward.
Are Vincent Jackson, Pierre Thomas, and Ryan Torain worth holding on to?
Jim McCormick (11:06 AM)
I'd hold onto Jackson and Thomas of this trio, it seems that even if Torain were to return he has a propensity for re-injury given the nature of it but more importantly the Shannahanigans are in play, with Davis and Williams complicating Torain's role.
In a league that awards points for return yards and TDs, has Jacoby Ford made himself a must-own?
Jim McCormick (11:07 AM)
Essentially you are asking if a guy who is proving to be prolific at a rewarded stat in your league is a good buy, to which I say yes. In a standard formant, not just yet, but as a playoff stash type player he at least bears some big-play upside.
Wes (North CA)
You have a gut feeling how bad AP's ankle is? I am concerned, but not super nervous yet. Gerhart a must add?
Jim McCormick (11:11 AM)
Gerhart suffered a shoulder stinger himself but appears to be OK, and per Peterson our own Adam Schefter said the ankle injury isn't as serious as initially feared, so Peterson owners might have dodged a bullet. For this week? I'm not too confident in AP unless we see a series of full practices. It's not the worst news for Peterson, but Gerhart could be a nice plug-in this week if need be.
Is Mike Crabtree better or worse off with Gore's season likely over?
Jim McCormick (11:12 AM)
It's really inconsequential, Chris, Crabtree remains a marginal play, a third or flex option at the position.
Whose going to get more reps, Westbrook or Dixon
Jim McCormick (11:13 AM)
Westy seems in line for more work but I wouldn't be surprised if Dixon gets more short-yardage and goal-line work going forward given how thin the backfield is at this point. Westbrook should have the most value, particularly in a PPR context, but we also must remember how bad the opponent was last night.
I want to take a break from seeing 49ers questions. Pick your poison this week: Flacco or Freeman? I need one to produce in a major way.
Jim McCormick (11:16 AM)
Understood, there is a limit on NFC West discussions company-wide. I'd go with Flacco, still, this Pittsburgh secondary can be exploited and while Freeman should have a nice day against a similarly generous Atlanta secondary, I prefer Flacco's more balanced attack. Could get some nice cheap points from Ray Rice in the screen game, who will look to mimic Fred Jackson's success against them this past week.
Ahmad Bradshaw (New York but really New Jersey)
Will I take over my starting job within the next 2-3 weeks?
Jim McCormick (11:18 AM)
I'm not sure it matters a ton whether he's the starter or not, comes down to the work afforded to him. We can assume Bradshaw will still be embedded on passing downs and he certainly lost carries to Jacobs, but I still consider him a valid starting fantasy back given his role in the passing game and ability to break long runs (I think he's top three in 20-plus yard rushes).
Could westbrook be this year jamaal charles? Worth #1 wire claim?
Jim McCormick (11:20 AM)
Not sure that's the case, seems like Hillis is the Charles of this season, but I get what you mean - Charles did most of his work from like Week 11 on. That said, I think Westbrook could have a nice stretch here, but obvious injury and team concerns factor in. A schedule stocked with NFC West foes doesn't necessarily hurt. I'd consider him a top 20 start this week, and we'll have to take it as it comes in order to evaluate.
confused (in FL)
Whats up with the Panthers backfield? Goodson or J-Stew? both put up decent numbers on sun.
Jim McCormick (11:22 AM)
"It was good to have that one-two punch out there." Is what Coach Fox said this past Sunday, so it's pretty clear his intentions are to utilize them as he had with Williams and Stewart when they were healthy and productive in years previous. Goodson remains usable as a second back or a flex and is extremely useful in PPR settings. Stewart showed promising burst himself, and is in the flex range at this point given the limited touches he's still working with.
Jim - what's your take on the young TB stars Blount and Williams? I own both and rely on both....currently in first, but can they continue to produce?
Jim McCormick (11:25 AM)
That offense is young in general and will see some inconsistent performances. Blount is a somewhat of a one-hit or possibly two-hit wonder in the sense that he gets no work in the passing game and even loses goal-line/red zone work to Caddy. That said, he's a promising back, but not a trusted commodity. Williams, meanwhile, has been more consistent and receives enough red zone attention to remain a weekly play, albeit a tertiary or flex consideration. Great keepers, but not sure this stretch run will be their best work.
Randy Moss' Motivation (Nowhere to be found)
Jim McCormick (11:26 AM)
We've discussed this for a while now, and it seems like dude dropped himself at some point this season. That said, if you have a valid addition to make I could see dumping him, but I just wonder if he doesn't burn those that free themselves from him when or if Collins comes back.
Jim, is Boldin worth hanging on to anymore?
Jim McCormick (11:28 AM)
And in the sad wideout department, we continue with Boldin, who has played his way out of favor in the passing game, or so it seems, and among fantasy owners. I'd actually hold onto Boldin, as a big game could revive him for the stretch, but I wouldn't be plugging him into lineups outside of desperate scenarios just yet.
Hey Jim. Thanks for chatting with us. What's your view on handcuffs? My thinking is that they are of little value early in the season, given that we don't really know which players/teams will perform well, but they increase in value as the season goes on, since one injury can really derail a fantasy team. What say you?
Jim McCormick (11:31 AM)
Some handcuffs seem obvious, but they all seem obvious when the starter gets injured. No one really had Westbrook in a normal format, and few had Hillis backing up Harrison, same goes for Goodson in Carolina. Point being, if you can stomach having essentially a circumstantial commodity on your bench then go for it - Mike Vick became a circumstantial guy in Week 1 and it proved to be the start of a great season. The increase in value over the season is simply a result of the erosion that hits depth charts. I often insure my top talents where I can, but it's hard to always have that in place.
Randy Moss (TN)
I play when I wanna play.
Jim McCormick (11:33 AM)
Essentially. It's a shame, really. I worked for a football magazine some years ago and did a cover story on Moss, spent a week down near him in Florida and worked out with him and what not; long story short - he's an actual loner, the guy has a few pals but in general is just one of those moody dudes that can be unhappy on a roller coaster.
ross (spokane wa)
is peire thomas comin back becuse with me losin gore i need to pick up a back
Jim McCormick (11:34 AM)
As the season progressed we seemed to have learned more about how serious the Thomas injury was, and there really isn't a ton of positive indicators coming from his recovery. I'd pick a backup, hopefully you can net someone that is worthy of starting.
Tristan did a great piece this week on the value of handcuffs....For teams that have made the playoffs, who is the better pickup ... Dixon or Gerhart?
Jim McCormick (11:36 AM)
I think I'd prefer Dixon, he's just a Westbrook ailment away from a full clip on a team that seems dedicated to the run and is simply limited enough that the tailback must be a part of their offense. Per Gerhart, I just think we'll see a week or so of relevance with Peterson still in line for the important work.
Mark (College Station,TX)
Why did the Steelers seems to ignore Mike Wallace last week? Is Pitt trying to get away from the deep bombs, or was that game dictated?
Jim McCormick (11:37 AM)
Buffalo's pass defense isn't actually all that bad, it's the unsound rush defense that plagues them. It's also just the nature of a deep threat; I still consider him among the best upside plays at the position. Would you be surprised if Wallace put up 140 and two scores this weekend? I wouldn't be.
Jim McCormick (11:38 AM)
Not saying he will, just that he's the premier boom-or-bust guy now that DeSean has been busting a tad too often (man that sounds bad).
Was counting on V Jackson for the playoffs now really thin at WR as also own Nicks. Out of the following 3 who do you think has the most upside: Meachem...Bess or Obomanu?
Jim McCormick (11:40 AM)
Man, Jackson really disappointed all those patient owners. I would think that Obomanu is the call here - most upside and faces a nice stretch of opponents coming up.
Do you have a sleeper defense thought for the remainder of the season? I'm wondering if any team has some good match ups that might not be owned.
Jim McCormick (11:42 AM)
I've been diving through fantasy playoff defenses myself lately, preparing for the playoffs. San Diego might be available in some leagues as few wanted them against the Colts this week and they face a pretty nice schedule. I'd also seek out those teams that are playing either the Cards or Panthers as sloppy offenses are the most inviting determinant.
Cleveland Browns useful as a Defense moving into the playoffs? Their schedule looks promising....
Jim McCormick (11:44 AM)
Another solid example - a team that has Cinci and a potentially fallible Miami offense on the sched. No defense should really be trusted on a weekly basis outside of say Pittsburgh, and even they have lean weeks. Play the matchups, seek out the sorry offenses, it's Week 13, we can assume more about a poor offense at this point.
Am I being cute by starting Jason Avant over Fitzgerald this week
Jim McCormick (11:45 AM)
Probably, but numbers and not names get it done. I think Avant being so busy this week was a reflection of the pressure Chicago got from their line, forcing Vick to hit him over the middle almost as a pseudo tight end. I'd stick with Larry, but solely because he bears more upside, if with a weaker baseline for production.
Should I pick up Cassel or Bradford as a QB2?
Jim McCormick (11:47 AM)
Cassel seems to be in the more sustainable offense - great duo of backs and a white hot receiver realizing his talents. Bradford has been stellar, besting Peyton's yardage and scoring pace from his rookie campaign, but he's working with patchwork receivers and a somewhat lame running game. It's impressive and bodes well for Bradford's fantasy future, but not the present.
Would you roll with Eli Manning vs WAS or Cassel vs DEN???
Jim McCormick (11:48 AM)
Both make for sound starts, but I could see Cassel engaging in a shootout, while this Wash/NYG games just has grind-out game written all over it.
Tristan, If I win this week I'm in! I saw your early note about Flacco over Freeman. I have both. But what about Bradford? Is he a better play over Flacco this week? I need the win!
Jim McCormick (11:48 AM)
Todd, I think you should consider starting Bosh over Boozer until he's healthy.
Jim McCormick (11:49 AM)
DJ Saul T. .... great post, but not sure I can get away with that.
Can we expect anything decent in terms of touches and production from Reggie Bush this week in a ppr league? I lost Gore!
Jim McCormick (11:50 AM)
Another big disappointment in a Vincent Jackson-like way for those who waited on Bush. I think his PPR value can be revived, but the Saints just don't seem to need the run game right now. They will need it when it counts, but for now, they seem to be apt to go to the air, leaving Bush as solely a PPR prospect, and I wouldn't play him until he shows us a full clip of snaps.
you never answered grant (jacksonville)'s question
Jim McCormick (11:53 AM)
You mean Todd in Des Moines? But really, I'd stick with Flacco over Bradford and Freeman despite the fear of that Pittsburgh defense. They are incredibly stout to the run, but can be had in space and via the air.
LOL, I called you Tristan...guess I'm waiting for those ranking updates! My bad Dawg!!
Jim McCormick (11:53 AM)
All good, just having fun in this very serious week of fantasy that we have coming up .
Have you ever had a team you loved on paper, scored lots of points, but doesn't win because an inconsistent player (e.g. Deion Branch) goes off every week to beat you? I thought luck/the schedule would even out and I'd win some close games.
Jim McCormick (11:55 AM)
Nearly every year I'm in a league where a top two or three scorer, in the rare case the top scorer, doesn't make the playoffs. It's a mix of luck with the schedule, and there's really no way to eliminate that reality, just as you can't in real football. It often also comes down to being a consistent team in terms of scoring, not always the case, but a guy in my longstanding league with the goons I grew I up with scored huge points some weeks and was lean others, so totals can be misleading. In any case, we've all had that team, and it sucks, but it's part of the game I suppose.
Patrick (Tacoma WA)
I am a little worried about the Titans D is San Diego a better pick for the playoffs ?
Jim McCormick (11:56 AM)
The Titans defense is being worn out by this suddenly anemic offense, putting them in unfavorable spots. I prefer the Chargers at this point.
Tim (IN): I hear ya, I played against Drew Brees twice last year. How many TD's you ask? 11. In 2 games. Brutal.
Jim McCormick (11:57 AM)
Yeah, I faced Welker in both of his two score games. It's funny because you'll never forget those kinds of things, just confirms what awesome nerds we are.
Thanks for nothing Chris Johnson. What happened to him last weekend? Any chance this continues and I would I be an idiot to start either FJax or LawFirm over him?
Jim McCormick (11:59 AM)
Not sure anyone, besides maybe Chris Johnson or Jamaal Charles, could ever do much with so few carries. With Collins set to return, things should get better, and I honestly could never sit a healthy Chris Johnson. Talent will win out here, and Johnson will get his work. I do like both of your backup options, but you're best served trusting the elite talent here.
Harry the Hat (Atlantic City)
I have to drop one of these 2 WR's heading into our league playoffs, which one would you choose? Randy Moss or Vincent Jackson? Thanks.
Jim McCormick (12:00 PM)
Harry the Hat, welcome back. I'd drop Jackson of these two, he's injured, while Moss is just completely checked out.
I hate Darren McFadden (Taiwan Taipei)
what is wrong with him? stinkers in the last 2 games.
Jim McCormick (12:02 PM)
He wasn't awful from a PPR perspective this week but in a traditional sense he has been a no-show these past two weeks. I'd actually keep him in there, they're getting him the work he just needs to get untracked. Clearly this depends on your roster and the context of your league, but in a thin market for talented and healthy backs he's hard to dismiss even with these sorry showings.
Joe (Trenton MI.)
Hey "I hate Darren McFadden" "He is who thought he was"? injury prone and inconsistent
Jim McCormick (12:02 PM)
Possibly, but I'd also consider that he's been playing behind shifting signal-callers and saw some solid front sevens. We shall see.
SD Def (SD)
why is everyone so high on me all of a sudden...Manning looked terrible??? besides that game 3,3,3,-1, 8 fantasy points last 5 games? also i don't think VJax actually hurt himself (thats what you get for holding out says front office!)
Jim McCormick (12:05 PM)
Word is Jackson was hurt in practice Friday but details have yet to fully emerge. AJ Smith is gully, but not that hardcore. I agree with you that SD isn't a great defense as their metrics suggest (not fantasy but real rankings). The point is I suppose that they face some inviting matchups and that's really all we should seek from a fantasy defense. There are few other determinants to consider given how general the fantasy defense role is, which is why I prefer IDP in most cases. Like kickers, defenses are somewhat fickle, but we at least have more to go on.
Jim McCormick (12:05 PM)
Thanks everyone for checking in, hit me up on Twitter @JMcCormickESPN for any further questions or comments. Good luck this week, see you all on Thursday afternoon.
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