Chat with Tristan Cockcroft
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Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:01 AM)
Good morning everyone! Busy time of the fantasy season, so let's get right to your questions...
THC! Pick a side.... Austin/Addai or Megatron?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:02 AM)
I don't know who you're cutting for the extra man, and that'd have a heavy weight on evaluating this deal. I'd say 90 percent of the time I'm taking the Austin/Addai side; I don't see the difference in value between the wideouts being substantial enough that I won't take the running-back handout.
in your opinion, do the Rays call up Matt Moore this month? If so, is he worth picking up in a H2H leave for the stretch run?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:03 AM)
I'd say it's better than 50/50 that Moore gets a couple relief outings and perhaps one spot start, but the Rays' playoff position, or lack thereof, might ultimately decide it. Let's say I wouldn't get my hopes up that he'll help even if we do see him in the bigs.
Trying to win a baseball title here!!! Need some offensive/power help and oddly Duda and D.Young are my best wire options. Add either to replace the ice cold Brett Gardner??
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:05 AM)
Sounds like a perfect place for matchups strategizing. I'd avoid the lefty matchups for Gardner since the Yankees do that anyway, and I'd load up primarily on the games against weak-armed catchers (for example, Red Sox). Lucas Duda is a perfectly fine spot-in option.
Rob Goz (Boston)
Wait...is this a fantasy baseball chat?????
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:05 AM)
This is both.
Nick (Dayton, OH)
I am really high on Tony Romo this year due to his value as a 5th round pick. Is this the year he becomes an Elite QB with all of those weapons?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:07 AM)
I'm not, and I don't see the reason for all the buzz. Cowboys players seem to annually be overrated, not because they're lacking in talent or miserable performers, not at all. It's that people seem to believe they're top-shelf fantasy options, and if you look back at their track records, they seem to fall just shy year after year. Take Romo in particular: In addition to the injury-marred 2010, he has had a few years where he faded down the stretch. I simply do not see him as complete a quarterback as a Brady or Rivers ... though as a fifth- or sixth-round value I'd be OK with him.
Cedric Benson (Cin)
Why has everyone forgot about me? I'm still a safe bet for 1000 yd and 7 TD right?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:09 AM)
No upside, that's the problem, and fantasy owners generally shy from such players. We projected Benson for about those numbers, but I'd say that's about your best-case scenario, accounting for skill set as well as the weak supporting cast. To me, he's the epitome of the matchups back; there are weeks you will definitely want to sit him. By the way, I do think he's got a reasonable shot at being in there in Week 1.
Start Strasburg right out of the gate against LA on Tuesday?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:10 AM)
Yes, absolutely, unless you're in a league with a starts cap and are facing a crunch in that regard.
I'm in a non PPR draft next week. What position order should I draft it. I'm thinking RB, RB, WR, QB, WR, TE........ thoughts?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:11 AM)
Targeting specific positions by round is a foolish strategy. Sorry, Stephen, not trying to criticize you for it, I understand attempting to target values in the order you are, but if you lock yourself in you're going to find yourself susceptible to position runs and certainly overdraft someone. I think that's close to the correct valuation, as in, that's where the values should fall for the most part, but I'd be prepared to shuffle a round or two. I really go best man on the board for at least three rounds, under any circumstance.
Mike (Austin, TX)
What's your take on Matthew Stafford? Do you believe he starts 16 games this year and if so, becomes a top 10 QB?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:13 AM)
I think Stafford easily ranks among the 10 least players in the NFL to play a full 16-game season. Hey, anything could happen. If it did, certainly he has top-10 upside. But that risk is monstrous, and you're putting your team in unspeakable jeopardy if you go into the year with him leading the way.
Rock (Bay Area)
Straight up trade. Lance Moore for Pierre Garcon. I would be getting Moore.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:14 AM)
Like it. Moore's groin injury probably has his value (specifically ADP) trending downward, perhaps as much as a round or two, and I consider it a buying opportunity. The Saints do spread the ball around, but there was something to Moore's role out of the slot last year when Reggie Bush was out. With Bush now gone, I think Moore takes on greater importance in the offense and his upside, simply put, is more of these two.
Adam (Newtown, PA)
Thoughts on Jacob Turner tonight, and the rest of the season? Also, Stubbs or the currently injured Maybin ROS? Thanks!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:16 AM)
Don't underrate that Royals offense; it's not one of the league's worst. That said, I'd give Turner the OK in AL-only leagues, and I draw the line at that. For the remainder of the year, I think he's only going to be used to spot in as others need breathers, or to line up the playoff rotation, so expect maybe two more starts if even that many.Drew Stubbs among the outfielders, but Cameron Maybin's injury scares me a bit. Matchup potential here; if you can use Stubbs to avoid the Maybin Petco games, do so.
marcus (cape girardeau)
i got ingram for jacobs in trade, i stole ingram right?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:17 AM)
My opinion is yes. Every bit as much potential in Ingram as Jacobs and the upside is substantially greater.
Arian Foster (Houston, TX)
I hate fantasy football! Could I really miss the first 3 weeks of the season? Is this hamstring injury going to be a full season issue?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:19 AM)
I think you're lying, Arian, you love fantasy football because of the attention it gets you. We're fans! And so am I, because it still sounds to me like Foster could play in Week 1, and that all we really learned yesterday was that the prospect of a setback is significant. In other words, he slips further into risk/reward territory but considering how great the reward, his draft value hasn't changed especially much. I'm thinking he's just not the clear No. 1 pick anymore, but as a top-five pick, yes, yes.
Is it time to give up on Hanley ROS? Not a keeper league.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:20 AM)
I think that if you need the spot, yes, dropping Hanley Ramirez needs to come into consideration.
Willis McGahee is sure shaping up as a goal-line vulture to Moreno... the bane of fantasy owners' existence! (pretend that was a question)
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:23 AM)
Read my "32 Questions" on the topic, and you'll see that I don't consider Willis McGahee an ideal fit for the role. That said, if plans are what they are, then that's what they are and we must adjust.Think of it like this, to steal a baseball comparison: If Joe Girardi decided one day that A.J. Burnett was better off closing over Mariano Rivera, then that unfortunate news would have an impact on Rivera's owners and we'd need to adapt. In other words, even the incorrect decisions, if they lead to mediocre results, still have an impact on the players whose roles changed.And by the way, that in no way is to suggest that I think Knowshon Moreno is a Rivera value equivalent in football. I'm merely trying to illustrate the point.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Who has a better chance of being the backup that steals the show - Tolbert or Jacobs?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:25 AM)
Tolbert, but Ryan Mathews also has consistently dealt with injuries during the past calendar year at least as often as Ahmad Bradshaw has, while Bradshaw was the one who was more productive in between his nagging aches and pains.
Brian (Boston, MA)
You okay drafting Ray Rice 3rd overall?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:25 AM)
PPR yes. Standard? Might be a spot or two too early, but I never quibble with a couple spots if you've got a gut instinct forcing your hand.
Tyler (Milwaukee, WI)
Can Edwin Encarnacion keep this .992 2nd half OPS up in September?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:26 AM)
I think he's playing over his head, but that bat has .800-plus OPS potential in it, so if you set that as your expectation and hope for better, I think you'll be pleased enough.
In a 12-team draft tonight with a lot of inexperienced players. Should I get an elite QB early expecting them to go fast but still be able to get my targeted sleepers or try to take advantage of the early rush on QB by picking up WR/RB that normally wouldn't be there?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:30 AM)
I would ask in response whether you have played in this league before and therefore know the owners' individual historical tendencies? For example, is this a group that trades? Also, are you certain that this group will overdraft quarterbacks or is that mere speculation on your part? The way I'd approach: If you think this is the case and want to spend a mid-to-late first-round pick on an Aaron Rodgers, or a second on a Drew Brees, Tom Brady or Philip Rivers, sure, go for it. Moving guys up 10 spots or so isn't foolish if you need to adapt for league type. But it's picking guys like Tony Romo in the second that is foolish. Most likely, you're still smartest drafting best player on the board, giving yourself the richest amount of talent in the league, and trading for your quarterback later if you must. But as I stress, you need to know these guys will trade. In most of my local leagues the owners would be more likely to trade their own children before they would their fantasy players.
"The Saints do spread the ball around, but there was something to Moore's role out of the slot last year when Reggie Bush was out. With Bush now gone, I think Moore takes on greater importance in the offense and his upside, simply put, is more of these two."--I've been hearing this from a few analysts. Doesn't the signing of Sproles count for anything???
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:33 AM)
Well, they're both going to benefit, but the way I see it, Darren Sproles isn't quite Reggie Bush's equal in the receiving game, but he's better in most of the other aspects of the game than Bush was. In other words, both Moore and Sproles are going to be asked to pick up some of that slack, and examining the situation that means a boost in Moore's stock, whereas that's kind of what Sproles was back in San Diego. In other words Sproles' value is largely unchanged; my interest in Moore is a thought that he'll get the uptick.
Jair Jurrjens (Atl)
Have you lost all faith in me finishing out this season yet?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:34 AM)
Oh, you'll "finish out this season," but largely in the fashion I described weeks ago when I was routinely raked over the coals: Regression from his hot start, and into the pick-those-matchups value class in which people swore he didn't belong.
Charles overrated? What are the odds that he averages 6.5 yards per carry again. Bring that down to 5 yards per carry (which is still amazing) and he's being way overdrafted.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:37 AM)
Well, let's not forget that, in spite of his being in a near-even split of the rushing workload with Thomas Jones the first half of last season, Jamaal Charles finished, what, 13th overall in fantasy scoring, and I think third among running backs? That's remarkable in itself. Claiming regression in his yards per carry is fair. No objection here. But I cannot possibly see how the Chiefs can want to keep their most lethal weapon under wraps as often as they did in 2010; they will use him more, and the quantity of work will help pad his yards/TD numbers to the point that he'll probably rank right around the same in 2011.
will ryan grant have value as a flex or should i be looking elsewhere?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:40 AM)
The Packers' backfield is a befuddling mess and if I'm picking between the two, I'm taking James Starks, the one of the combatants who isn't fresh off surgery and the one having the more promising preseason. Grant has flex-play upside, but I can't see either one of these backs being a surefire Week 1 starter ... and they unfortunately are dangerous to pick without the other as handcuff.
What can we expect from Crabtree once healthy?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:41 AM)
More falling short of the buzz that surrounded him at the time of his draft selection. The 49ers look so much the same, so "blah," to me. I'm pretty anti-Crabtree for that reason.
When choosing spot starters, if a pitcher's last outing was against the next team he's facing (like James McDonald vs Houston) how do you take that into account? Is it an advantage for the pitchers or hitters?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:44 AM)
Not a one-size-fits-all thing, but in general, I think it's a positive because it gives you a greater sense of how that pitcher has historically fared, and therefore should continue to fare, against that team. I think that the younger -- and less-exposed -- the pitcher, the more of a negative it is. But in McDonald's case, I wouldn't sweat it. That's a matchup you should exploit.
wayne (va bch)
Last attempt: Tristan, thanks for answering some football questions. First time in an IDP league. Given that tackles = 1pt, sacks = 2, etc, in what nominal round should I expect to begin drafting either a DEF or defensive players (DL, DB, D)? Tks.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:46 AM)
I play in two IDP leagues with similar positions and scoring, but unfortunately the only one that is draft format is a keeper league. Typically speaking the first one goes off the board in the sixth round or so, and that's kind of like the 10th in our keeper league, doing some rough estimating. And the 10th is what I'd have estimated; you want to address IDPs earlier than you would defensive teams because the top options are more predictable and provide a larger advantage.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
In a league with a bonus for 50+ yd plays, do you take this into account and go for explosive players, or will those be somewhat random occurences?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:47 AM)
Plays of that length are inherently random but as they exemplify elite talent, typically speaking the players most likely to get them are the ones you'd have been drafting early anyway. Zero impact on ranks.
Which catcher would be the better add ROS? Barajas, Hundley, or Ruiz?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:47 AM)
Carlos Ruiz all the way!
Patrick (SF, CA)
Just asked this on twitter, forgot you were chatting! Four guys, bench two (just in general, ROS): B. Abreu, C. Young, G. Jones, O. Infante. 12 team H2H
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:48 AM)
Yup, mid-chat it's better to ask here, though I try to get to as much on Twitter as I can during my spare moments. If you're making blanket judgments about these guys -- remember that a Chris Young or Garrett Jones could be easily mixed and matched -- the two who need to be sitting are Jones and Omar Infante. They provide the least all-around fantasy appeal, but again, you can squeeze some daily value out of each.
How much does the Kenny Britt's recurring hammy injury worry you?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:50 AM)
Much less than the prospect of suspension, a threat that has completely subsided. So now it's merely the health issues, and they're relevant, but I'm warming quickly to Britt. Thinking about a seventh-/eighth-round talent, off the top of my head. So I'm not as petrified as I was two weeks ago.
any real difference in value between brady and brees?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:52 AM)
Frankly, I see the primary difference between the two being that Drew Brees is more integral as a statistical leader of his offense, while Tom Brady's appeal is that he's consistently starter-worthy in fantasy. And that's no knock whatsoever on Brady; being consistently reliable is soooo valuable and underappreciated in fantasy. One other difference: Brady doesn't really vary in performance based upon splits or matchups; Brees often struggles out of the gate, and comes on like few quarterbacks can in the season's second half.Full-season totals? Probably finish within 10-15 points of one another, and I do have Brees higher ranked.
Randy Wells has been better of late..... start him sunday vs PIT?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:52 AM)
Yes. Another cozy matchup.
Who is F. Gore's backup?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:54 AM)
That is an excellent question, because Frank Gore's contract extension puts Kendall Hunter's long-term value in flux, and what I wonder is whether the 49ers simply don't see him as Gore's eventual successor. Maybe that's an unfair assessment, but it makes me wonder about the backup battle, shaping up currently as a dead heat between Hunter and Anthony Dixon. I'm on the Hunter bandwagon when asked to pick between these two, but a "coin-flip" approach isn't unwarranted. I just prefer upside from my handcuffs.
As a Foster/Tate owner, I'm postioned correctly right? No need to roster Ward at the moment?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:56 AM)
Similar story to the Hunter/Dixon thing, except I see Ben Tate's immediate value as higher than Hunter's. (Part of that is that the Texans' backup, as things stand, is a heck of a lot more intriguing position in fantasy.) I shoot for upside in my handcuffs, if the battles are close, so I think you're in a smart spot. Just track that news though.
Javon Ringer (Titans)
Do I get any playing time early on and get some nice pt totals for the owners that drafted me late?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:58 AM)
A hip injury thrusts Ringer's value into the more questionable range, and I'm endorsing Jamie Harper as a (very) low-level sleeper. Frankly, I think Chris Johnson is going to sign and start in Week 1; he could be spelled by both of those backs though. Funny, today I think that both Titans backs are weaker fantasy choices than either Tate or Hunter. I think I'd go Tate, Hunter, Ringer, Harper, Ward, Dixon, right now.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:59 AM)
You don't have to yell.I'd endorse Gio Gonzalez against the Indians, except in the most shallow leagues; think the cap-concern scenarios as the only "no-gos."
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Is there any player(s) that you feel strongly enough about to REACH for?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:01 PM)
Reaching is not something I do or endorse very much, it means taking a guy at least 10 spots before where you expect (i.e. comparative to ADP), and the only two players I've been doing that with that immediately come to mind are Darren McFadden and Jermichael Finley.
What kinda pitch count can we expect from Strassburg?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:01 PM)
Sounds like four innings and a potential 75-pitch cap in that first Nationals start. This is something I have been cautioning everyone for weeks.
Delone Carter (Colts)
So what does my playing time look like?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:03 PM)
Another intriguing sleeper, from the angle that he has a skill set that paints the picture of a productive goal-line back, at the bare minimum. At this point I think I'd actually put him behind Tate and ahead of Hunter in those previous rankings, but part of that is my concern for Joseph Addai's history of bumps and bruises, and Donald Brown's history of stinking.
Thoughts on the Montero call up? ROS stats?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:05 PM)
I'm curious about Jesus Montero. There is a legitimate opportunity here for him to quickly snatch the everyday DH role, because the Yankees might very well consider him for it during the playoffs if he adapts that quickly. So if you have a bench spot to burn, hey, go for it. And I know I've been hesitant to invest recently, because Montero's numbers this year were slightly disappointing, not to mention I doubt he'll play everyday right away. It's a lottery ticket. Period.
If you're tending to reach for Run DMC, how important do you think Michael Bush is?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:06 PM)
Only important that when you reach the range his ADP indicates, it's time to look at him as a solid handcuff. Michael Bush is capable of handling a starting job at this level, and McFadden has an injury history. Simple as that.
Ducktales! (A Woo Hoo!)
Have Arian Foster, Rodgers and Harvin in 10 team, PPR, Keeper league. Also... have $125 left of the $200 budget with those keepers to fill 16 more spots. Target Tier #1 WR or Tier #1 RB? I was thinking WR till the "news"
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:07 PM)
Wow, that takes me back.Anyway, considering the options you have, I'd spread my investments, not target a specific Tier 1. Hey, if they come at a reasonable price, by all means go for it, and I'd lean slightly towards the wideout because they're cheaper to acquire and they'd address your current weakest spot. But I see you being fine if you land, say, two WR2s, a RB2, a few upside guys, and then look to fill the roster.
Can Montero be on the playoff roster without another player's injury if he wasn't on the roster prior to Sept 1?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:08 PM)
Yes. Playoff rules afford swaps of anyone on the 40-man roster should said team have an injured player that can be replaced.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:09 PM)
OK, time to wrap things up for today. Thanks for all your questions, and sorry if I couldn't get to yours. Take care everyone, best of luck to you in your upcoming drafts, and enjoy the holiday weekend!