Chat with Tristan Cockcroft
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Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:01 AM)
Good morning everyone! Let's get right to your questions...
Steve Smith (CAR)
How legit am i? WR1, WR2? Where do expect this season to go for me?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:02 AM)
Legit. To say "WR1" is bold and I'm prepared to be bold; these Cam Newton-led Panthers are pass-friendly and the kid's got the arm strength to regularly hit his most trusted target. If I'm ranking, I'd probably have Smith in the lower end of that WR1, meaning low top 10, but that's still fair, and generous.
Crazy to sell high on Megatron? getting some top 10Rb/Top 15Wr combo offers and could use the depth...
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:04 AM)
The only caution I have ever offered Calvin Johnson owners is that his numbers should go as his quarterback does, meaning, it's tied to Matthew Stafford's health. Stafford is healthy and I always advise you play streaks in that department, but be mindful of the need for depth when players are health risks. Frankly, I wouldn't sell. Even if Stafford does get hurt at some point, Johnson is still an WR2 in the worst-case scenario. And it might be that he stays right up there the entire year.
Isaac Redman (PIT)
How big of a believer are you in me? I am supposed to start this weekend.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:08 AM)
You've shown good burst in brief snippets so far so there's sleeper potential, but I'm not buying in beyond that of a flex-play value. The prospect of Ben Roethlisberger sitting -- he's supposed to play as of now but it's a risk -- hurts, and the matchup itself hurts.
Time to sit the Phil dream team D and play the Giants or even Bengals this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:09 AM)
Lump the Eagles defense in with my comment about the Jets defense from this week's Consistency Ratings column. So, yes, Giants it is.
Is Preston Parker worth picking up in 10 team league?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:11 AM)
That's a "depends upon your bench/what you're cutting." Parker, the Bucs' slot receiver, probably isn't going to be a consistently reliable fantasy option, best used when exploiting matchups, and considering his offense I'm thinking that happens only 3-4 times all year at best. Black-and-white answer? Leaning "no."
Can Turner keep it up, or is he the perfect sell high?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:13 AM)
Perfect sell high. Look, Turner has been fine in terms of fantasy points so far. But look closer at the performances: His Week 4 was inflated by the two touchdowns and the fact that he had 26 carries. He really didn't run well. The Falcons have to know this, and they've got the receivers in order to shift their offensive focus away from the run and onto the pass. I expect them to trend that way as the season goes on. Sell as an RB1, certainly, but I'm on record saying "sell."
Andrew (Short Hillls, NJ)
What's the ceiling for Stevan Ridley this season?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:14 AM)
"Ceiling" is a generous description, and the answer is BenJarvus Green-Ellis 2010. The "basement," in comparison, is Green-Ellis' 2008. I like Ridley; I don't trust the Patriots' backfield no matter what the 2010 numbers said. So I'd be adding Ridley because of that ceiling, but I've got a hunch he's a 3-4 week flex-play plug-in, and little more.
Jared (East Lansing)
2 Questions: Is now an ok time to bail on the Steeler's D? And at what point does Cam Newton get started with the likes of Rivers, Ryan, or Vick?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:15 AM)
Re: Steelers. No. Check Consistency Ratings.Re: Newton. Yes, and he's ranked accordingly this week.
Brian (Los Angeles)
Tristan, whats a good value for Turner then? A Steven Jackson?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:16 AM)
Throwing darts, I'd swap Turner for Philip Rivers right now.
Bengals D as a plug-n-play this week. Your thoughts?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:17 AM)
Agreed. Blaine Gabbert faces a long learning curve, and no matter how much the Jaguars lean on Maurice Jones-Drew accordingly, that's going to limit what that offense can do. I see plenty of turnover potential and not a lot of downside in terms of points allowed.
Rick (Aurora, CO)
Good morning. What do you think when someone thinks the draft is so important that they limit waivers (10) and trades (3). Feel like it takes away a few strategies in the game.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:18 AM)
I can't stand transaction caps in any fantasy league whatsoever, but that's merely my opinion. To each his own.
What do I do with Moreno? Is he droppable or keep him on bench to hope for a miracle?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:19 AM)
Drop-worthy. My worst nightmares have been realized with Knowshon Moreno, and my readers know how anti-Moreno I was in the first place.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:19 AM)
Great. Nothing better than when a bee flies into your office mid-chat.
Roberto (Paramus, NJ)
What do you make of Shonn Greene? Buy low or avoid?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:20 AM)
Avoid, and I hate saying that because I liked what Greene did down the stretch last season and have always felt he had the skills to be an above-average NFL running back. The Jets can't get anything done on the ground and while it'll get better, it won't be to the point where I'd declare Greene a hands-down weekly starter.
JoLiEt JaKE (Joliet, IL)
Hey Tristan! With Crabtree showing some sign of life, are you going in on him or just a window shopper?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:22 AM)
At this stage of his career, Michael Crabtree has to provide me some sort of evidence before I'd ever trust him as an every-week (or very-good matchups) option. That offense has let me down so many times in the past and the same-ol' mess keeps getting rolled out, so why expect a change now?
Are u allergic? McGahee a true RB2?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:25 AM)
No, I'd have been running for the hills if so.I'd call Willis McGahee a very low-end version of that, but any such RB2 song and dance is based upon a volume of carries, not his skill set itself. I think of him as an average NFL back, perhaps a tad less, and that means he'll be susceptible to the matchups. Of course, if John Fox keeps granting him 20 carries, it's not going to matter; it's hard not to shape up as an RB2 regardless of opponent if you tote the rock that much.
Torrain Train is back! He was picked up on waivers.. Should I hold onto Hightower or drop him for Helu.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:27 AM)
It's a Mike Shanahan backfield. Two weeks ago, Tim Hightower looked rock solid. Today, everyone -- myself included -- is going to say "Ryan Torain is the starter, Tim Hightower the passing-down back, Roy Helu the change-of-pace." And it might change again a week from now, because that's what Shanahan does to us. I jumped the Hightower bandwagon in Week 1 because of the PPR potential but I've been iffy on him generally from the start; I don't like the Redskins' backs as trustworthy options for any extended period. I said this in August and stand behind it: "None can be fully trusted, but I bet Helu gets an extended look down the stretch, like Thanksgiving forward." Hope that helps you.
Who wins in PPR? Felix for Maclin? play 3 rbs (hillis, gore, best)
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:29 AM)
It's not a deal one side clearly "wins," but a team in your position would be smart to make it. It's a good shifting of resources. Frankly, I'm anti-Felix Jones, so generally speaking I'm going to take Jeremy Maclin if my roster allows it.
Hey, Tristan. Any thoughts on Cedric Benson's case? More or less likely he gets suspended as time wears on? And how do you like him if he plays against the Jags this weekend? Their D seems up and down....
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:30 AM)
I feel like these suspensions always get delayed way longer than we could have ever expected. Maybe that's what's happening here. My opinion as Week 5 is concerned: If he's not suspended by now, he won't be suspended for this week. And I've already got an inkling I'm going to be highest in the group with my No. 12 ranking of Benson. I like him this week.
Is Beanie going to keep this up? Rest of the year, Beanie Wells or Ryan Mathews?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:32 AM)
If he's as healthy as he claims, sure he is. I believed in "workhorse" carries and RB2 value in the preseason and I've warmed to the point where he's not far out of the top 10 backs. Given the choice, I'll take Wells over Mathews, but it's close. Mathews' health history bothers me just a little more, I think his team can lean on the pass just a tad more and I look at their schedules and like Wells' just a tiny bit more.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
So is Rivers a buy low? Would you deal away Romo/J-Stew/Harvin for Rivers/SJax/Manningham?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:33 AM)
Oh yes, absolutely. And I'd make that deal for sure. Upgrade at quarterback, upgrade at running back, and pretty confident in both of those calls.
Tristan, I love the consistency ratings! Next week and ROS: Keep or trade Tolbert as my flex? I have Decker and M. Bush. Thanks!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:34 AM)
Thank you! I'd be a Mike Tolbert seller, but I wouldn't give him away. He's an important handcuff and during these bye weeks he could have flex-play appeal. Make sure you talk that up if you shop him. Looking at your three, I'd be selling Michael Bush first.
Do you have any updates on Chad Henne? Is he going to be replaced in Miami?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:35 AM)
I think it has everything to do with the health of his shoulder, and his prognosis is unclear. As a Henne owner -- he's a bench/depth option in my two-quarterback league -- I've been spending the week seeking an alternative, so you know how I feel about it.
Is walter a safe play this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:35 AM)
Not a fan. Stanford Routt isn't a pushover, if that's who Kevin Walter draws in coverage.
Who's your crazy deep sleeper at RB if Mendenhall can't go this week.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:38 AM)
I'm going back to the well on Dexter McCluster this week. Yes, I would start him. The Chiefs have to recognize he's worth 15 weekly touches, no?Incidentally, if you're talking crazy-deep-in-like-a-12-team-league-where-everyone's-owned-and-I-need-a-waiver-wire-guy alternatives, Jackie Battle made my top 50. No, I'm not expecting much, but among the scraps on the wire, I'd rather have him than, say, LaRod Stephens-Howling.
did monday mark the arrival of pierre garcon?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:39 AM)
I don't buy. Terrible coverage by the Bucs and not much volume in terms of targets/catches. It could've been a complete mirage, but the positive buzz I'll attach to Garcon is that he did it with a new quarterback under center (Curtis Painter), one who should have claimed the starting gig for himself looking forward, and one who might look at those plays as a reason to lean more on Garcon looking forward. To me, Garcon is a WR4 today. The "drop machine" label from his past remains bothersome and has me hesitant to go further.
The Chiefs were barely able to recognize Charles was worth 15 touches a game last year....
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:40 AM)
Touche, and I've absolutely remembered this. Someone call Todd Haley and remind him, "Fool me once..."
Has Sidney Rice made himself a viable option moving forward? Is he wr2 worthy?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:41 AM)
He's what I call a "volume" player, someone who is going to give you numbers that approach that tier merely because of the cast surrounding him. The Seahawks have a bad offense and a bad quarterback but they'll need to throw a decent share playing from behind, and Rice is the best receiver they've got. It's as simple as that. I say WR3 and be mindful of your matchups.
Jacoby Jones (Hou)
i get no love in your chat
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:42 AM)
I love you, Jacoby Jones, but I wish the Texans would use you more. It's that maddening thing where the return man doesn't get enough respect in the receiving game because. I don't like it, but have to react to it. This week: Good sleeper matchup for Jones. Take a look ... but I can't go all in yet. Owen Daniels might yet be the guy who steps up.
Would you consider AJ Green a #2 for ROS?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:43 AM)
The primary thing holding me back from saying that is his rookie quarterback. We could debate it, though. I'm thinking WR2 on a matchups angle 3-4 times, WR3 perhaps 6-8, maybe 1-2 times he needs to sit. That's still pretty good value.
This is the same type of point you've been making about Bowe correct? But the fact that these two teams will always be playing from behind gives them better value no?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:46 AM)
Yes, to a degree that is true. The Chiefs' general badness helps Bowe, but I'll toss in the counterpoint: Even when they play from behind the Chiefs never seem like they want to put it on Matt Cassel to throw 30 or more times. They're going to have to some weeks -- and it doesn't really matter if he throws 25 times anyway because there isn't a lot else he could throw to (Steve Breaston, perhaps) -- but I certainly wouldn't say "Bowe's going to be a weekly play who gets 12-15 targets a week." I won't go that far.
What does vbd stand for in your rankings?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:47 AM)
Value Based Drafting. It's like VORP (Value Over Replacement Player) for baseball; it compares the player's fantasy earnings to the best player beneath starter/rosterable cutoffs, and helps show relative value of players across different positions.
What gives you faith in Reggie Wayne to rank him 22 this week? Seems like name value with Indy's offense in shambles?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:49 AM)
You are correct, a large chunk of it is name value, another sizable slice is that it's a bye week and there aren't oodles of top-20 candidates and the final piece is what I said about Garcon; I'm not ready to say the tide has completely turned.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:49 AM)
That said, I'm growing increasingly wary of Wayne, for you long-term planners. Unfortunately, I doubt you have a prayer of "selling high," so you might have to stick with him and hope for the best.
Any word on the Andre Johnson injury. Looking to trade for him, but worried about his hammy.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:50 AM)
Houston Chronicle is reporting that he underwent platelet-rich plasma therapy, which means he's out for this week, and the paper also hints that he could be back for Week 7 (though I'm thinking he'll likely be questionable on the injury report then).
Is Mcfadden a trade high guy or should i ride the wave and hope for a healthy season?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:53 AM)
The only reason I'd ever endorse a Darren McFadden trade is if you're scared he's going to get hurt, and if you are, I completely understand it. But I'm staying the course; I'm hugely pro-DMC and I'd be demanding pretty much whatever I wanted if I was going to deal him. Top-five talent. Period.
Darren Sproles (NO)
I also get no love in your chats...
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:54 AM)
Darren Sproles is one of the players I was most wrong about during the preseason. There's a reason: Lance Moore, the guy I loved manning the underneath routes, got hurt during the preseason and paved the way for Sproles to shine in the opener. So I get why it happened. Yes, football changes this quickly. And I buy. You have to; that's a role that has always resulted in fantasy success in New Orleans.
Why do you hate me? I'm the only back with talent on a good offense.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:56 AM)
Health history; frequently on the injury report and I doubt the makeup to hold up as a 250-plus-touch back over the course of 16 games. Fantastic per-play potential, easily rivaling that of the best. But the downside is noticeable, and I think it caps him as an RB2, a guy who hits the borderline of the top 20.
Mike (San Diego)
Tristan, why do you hate me? Seems to be the theme of the chat so I figured I's ask.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:58 AM)
What's funny is I'm hardly the kind of guy who could actually "hate" anyone. (For the record, I'm not at all a fan of the words "love" and "hate" referring to players, but I get that they're the norm these days. Go with the flow, I guess.)And I don't hate Mike Tolbert at all. Go back to the preseason; I was a buyer.
You definitely are the highest ranker on Benson (12,14,20,20), if word comes down no suspension this week is B Scott worth a bench spot with the schedule coming up?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:59 AM)
I knew I would be. I like these two matchups (@JAC, IND). So let's call Bernard Scott a flex play for those games if he gets the call, though I remain firm that I believe Benson is going to play this week.
Does this Decker dude keep doing it in Denver? Alliteration is fun!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:01 PM)
I would sell high.Part of it is that I recall last season: Brandon Lloyd began hot last year and cooled late as his quarterback did. And if you look at those early-week Broncos games, the non-Lloyd receivers had a couple of explosive games and then became invisible. Plus, it's a John Fox offense, and that means a lot of the run. Oh, and Tim Tebow could soon take over at quarterback. There are a lot of risks here, and if I could sell Decker at weekly-starter (WR2) value, I certainly would. I think he's WR3, needing to examine matchups.
Do I finish the season as a top 20 WR or do you hate me too?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:02 PM)
I love Julio Jones. Sure could happen, and if it does I'll be thrilled, because it will mean I was ... DEAD ... ON ... about him.
Giants Fan (NY)
How do you see Cruz and Manningham ROS?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:05 PM)
I still think of Mario Manningham as the more consistently targeted wideout in the offense, and Victor Cruz the slot/home-run threat who plays fewer snaps, no matter what the Week 4 returns said. Let's cut Manningham a break, he was fresh off injury. I'd buy if I could, because I still see him as a WR3. Cruz is a WR4 right now, and worth the look if either starter sits or if the Giants face a porous pass defense.
Jeff (Boston, MA)
No one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills! Who do you see emerging as their #2 wideout, D. Nelson or D. Jones?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:07 PM)
I'm warming to Donald Jones. He's the better big-play receiver of the two, and I think the Bills could use that type more in their offense. That said, I don't think either one is going to transform into a reliable weekly option this season. It'll be pick-and-choose all year.
Mike (San Diego)
Is this a football only chat? The trade window in my 14 team dynasy just opened and I got an offer of McCann, R. Weeks, and Smoak for Cliff Lee. Pull the trigger?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:08 PM)
I wouldn't. You'd have to do quite a job convincing me that a 3-for-1 is going to vastly improve the depth of your keeper list; I don't see it happening.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:09 PM)
I say sell high, that is, if you can. The loss of Kenny Britt is a hit to Matt Hasselbeck's long-term value. I see him being a weekly No. 2 option, and mostly on the lower end.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:10 PM)
OK, time to wrap things up for the day. Thanks for all your questions, and sorry if I couldn't get to yours. Take care everyone, and best of luck to you in your Week 5 matchups!
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