Fantasy NFL with Chris Harris
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday 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.
Send your questions now and join Harris Thursday at 2 p.m. ET!
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Buzzmaster (11:38 AM)
Hey folks, Chris had something unexpectedly come up, so we've rescheduled him for 2 p.m. ET today!
Christopher Harris (2:01 PM)
Hey, everyone. So sorry for not being able to make 11 a.m. ET...had a bit of an emergency which fortunately has resolved itself. I'm here now, and hopefully you all found your way back to a later chat time. As always, you can get my opinion on your single-position questions on our ranks page (http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=11ranksWeek6RB), and otherwise, let's fire it up.
Would you trade Mike Williams TB or Blount for Marques Colston?
Christopher Harris (2:03 PM)
Hi, Charly. I probably would trade Williams for Colston. Blount is hurt this week, obviously, so his outlook is somewhat questionable, but I would rank Colston significantly ahead of Williams at the moment. He should be fully healthy now from his collarbone break.
Miki (RWC, CA)
What up Chris,You have Santana Moss ranked pretty high, can you discuss his match up vs Philly secondary? He has typically struggled vs Eagles. Thanks,Miki
Christopher Harris (2:05 PM)
Hi, Miki. Ranking during these bye weeks is always a weird experience, and Moss was one of "those guys"...I looked up at my list and couldn't find any other players to rank ahead of Moss. You're right, the Eagles are above-average in the secondary (and below-average vs. the run), but those historical struggles don't interest me much...this is such a different Philly D. Moss gets around 9 targets per game, which is among the top 10 of all WRs. It's tough for me to sit a guy who'll likely get that much attention, and frankly I just don't think the Eagles overall are that great. I'm probably starting him.
Is Ryan Mathews a good sell high at this point with his injury history or is he in for a big season?
Christopher Harris (2:07 PM)
Hi, Phil. I can't say with certainty that he's a must-sell kind of player. As a second-year guy, Mathews doesn't have the kind of long, Frank-Gore-esque injury history that would convince me he's definitely just an injury-prone guy (and in fact, he was quite durable in college). My question would almost be...what could you get for him? If he's kind of an extra guy in your backfield and someone wants to trade you Calvin Johnson? Yes, I'd do that. But barring an upside deal like that, I probably just ride it out with fingers crossed.
Beanie for Finley seem fair?
Christopher Harris (2:08 PM)
Hi, Buck. Pretty fair. I'd like it more if Beanie wasn't such a hamstring pull waiting to happen. (I realize he's only in his *third* year, but I put that together with his college injuries, and feel less certain about his health prospects.) I think Beanie is a top-15 RB right now for the rest of the season, though, so yeah, I think one of the top 5 TEs for a top-15 RB is probably roughly right.
Hey Chris, who would you rather have for the rest of the season - Larry Fitzgerald or Steve Johnson?
Christopher Harris (2:09 PM)
Hi, Perry. I'd rather have Fitz. It's stubborn, I know, because Kevin Kolb hasn't been good and Fitz's production has been spotty the past couple weeks. But he's one of the five most talented receivers in the game. I can't get away from that fact. If they don't make it a point to throw it to him 10-plus times per week, they're crazy.
Mark Ingram (New Orleans)
Should my owners be concerned by Chris Ivory's impending removal from the PUP list?
Christopher Harris (2:11 PM)
Can I envision a scenario where Ivory gets a few carries? I can. But can I envision a scenario where everyone stays healthy and Ivory begins to get more looks than Ingram? I really can't. I was cautious on Ingram this summer because this was an obvious committee waiting to happen, and that's happened. Does Ivory make it an even more crowded committee? Maybe a bit. But until/unless someone gets hurt, I'd be pretty surprised if Ivory winds up with more than just a few touches per week (if he's even active on game days).
Is Battle really worth the pick up? Drop an Addai or LT for him?
Christopher Harris (2:12 PM)
Hi, Mark. I don't mind Battle as a speculative add at all. Would I drop an injured Addai and/or an old LDT for him? It would probably depend on whether I have strong depth ahead of those guys. If Addai and LDT have no chance of playing for you barring a depth-chart slaughter's worth of injuries, sure, I could see dropping Tomlinson and stashing Battle, just for the upside. He's a big guy who's been a workout warrior in the past. But I have to admit: I watch him play, and I think he's got the whiff of a one-week wonder about him...the Colts run D has regressed and Battle just doesn't look dynamic to me. If I'm wrong, though, you could be picking up a starting RB on a conservative offense....
Pablo Honey (Florida)
PPR: Who's the best Rams WR ROS?
Christopher Harris (2:16 PM)
Hi, Pablo (a.k.a. Thom Yorke). Austin Pettis sounds like the guy who'll be next man in to replace Danny Amendola in the slot, so there's a chance that in a PPR he becomes a somewhat valuable commodity. My guess is still Danario Alexander, though. This looks like a receiving corps that can't catch a cold, except for Alexander, whom I've always thought has excellent hands. His knee health is always going to be an issue. But he's the best guy to own right now, IMO.
Mike (Boca Raton, FL)
Tebow outlook for rest of season? Borderline starter?
Christopher Harris (2:17 PM)
Hi, Mike. I've written a couple Tebow pieces already this week, so take a look at both "Instant Impressions" and "Free-Agent Finds" from Monday and Tuesday, respectively. The nutshell is: Yeah, I think he's worth a roster spot, and if you're struggling at QB, he could provide some value because he's now Denver's goal-line back. But I think "borderline" probably is the best way to put it.
Andrew (Iowa City)
Is Revis going to cover Marshall? What are Marshall's chances of scoring?
Christopher Harris (2:20 PM)
Hi, Andrew. I think there's a pretty good chance we're going to see Revis on Marshall a lot. Occasionally the Jets try and single up Revis on the lesser receiver (perhaps Brian Hartline?) and then give lots of help to the star, but in the one game where Revis faced Marshall last year (Revis was hurt for their first tilt, which Marshall lit up), he did have the Dolphins' best WR for much of the game. Listen, I can't predict TDs, and I also think it's tough not to ride with a WR of this caliber. But you're right...it's a big concern.
Who is better fantasy receiver - Austin or Dez Bryant?
Christopher Harris (2:22 PM)
Hi, Jay. Well, listen, you can't go wrong. I think they're each a borderline No. 1 fantasy WR. My preference (slight) is for Bryant. I think he does more things and can dominate more than Austin. But Austin is more consistent at this point in their respective careers. Suffice it to say, you need to start both of them against the Pats this week.
Deion Branch has had his best games on my bench... do you think he'll ever be reliable enough (injuries notwithstanding) to be a #2WR in the schizo NE offense?
Christopher Harris (2:24 PM)
Hi, James. Very well put, and, well...unfortunately, no. I don't think you're ever going to top 20 or even top 24 consistency out of Branch. Brady loves him. He's his favorite outside receiver in that offense. But with Hernandez, Welker and Gronkowski, how often does he *need* to throw it to outside guys? Branch is my No. 25 WR this week (thanks, six byes), and sometimes beggars can't be choosers, but I don't feel great about plugging him in every single week for exactly the reasons you say.
The law firm sat out practice today. If he sits sunday, where would you rank Stevan Ridley?
Christopher Harris (2:26 PM)
Hi, Jim. Yeah, it's a downgrade because of a toe injury, but because it's a Thursday practice we don't really know whether this is simply them resting him, or if it's a new-ish injury that they were surprised by. If I accept your supposition -- that BJGE doesn't play -- I still think it's tough to use Ridley without fear because Danny Woodhead sounds like he has a good chance to be back this week. And the Cowboys aren't great to run against. I probably would put Ridley in the mid-20s among RBs.
Hey Chris! I left quite a mess at Fenway, didn't I? What can I expect out of Torain this week?
Christopher Harris (2:27 PM)
Heh. Poor Red Sox. I'm a total fair-weather baseball fan, though, so I have absolutely no right to complain. I ranked Torain as the best of the Washington RBs this week, but will never be surprised if Shanny pulls a fast one. I'm writing The Hard Count right now, which comes out tomorrow, and the very first topic is a look at how Shanny messes with RB fantasy owners....
I keep reading/hearing (mostly from your espn teammates) that I should sell Burner Turner. Where do you stand and why? TY sir!
Christopher Harris (2:29 PM)
Hi, Ryan. I understand the sentiment...but the irony is that I was absolutely the *lowest* on Turner of any ESPN ranker this summer. So it's tough for me to say I've suddenly gone way lower, y'know? In general, my film-study assessment of Turner at the end of last season still holds true: he doesn't have the same burst, to my eyes, and while he often gets what's blocked and very occasionally breaks out when the blocking is superior, he's often a three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust guy. He's still a pretty good bet for TDs, though. If someone wants to trade with you as though Turner is the guy of three years ago? I'd do it.
People handcuff their RB's, what about WR's? For example, if I won Megatron, does it make sense to also roster Titus Young?
Christopher Harris (2:32 PM)
Hi, Kerry. It's a good question. Except for in select, often one-week circumstances, I tend to think you don't have to do such handcuffing. If you have a questionable WR playing in a late game, and no other options available, it's not bad to have an alternative on the same team. But in the case of Young, he's really just not the same kind of receiver as Megatron, and almost certainly wouldn't be used in the same situations. He's a quicker guy, more of a slot guy, and while I like his career upside, it's nowhere close to Johnson's.
Princess Leia (Alderaan)
I really want to start Best this week but am leaning towards E.Graham just due to matchups, what do you think, help me obi wan, your my only help.
Christopher Harris (2:33 PM)
Heh. Me, I'm playing Best. I know it's a tough matchup against the 49ers, and I know Best will be more feast-or-famine than is comfortable for fantasy owners sometimes. But last week on national TV you finally saw why I was so excited about this guy all summer. He's a game-breaker. I want game breakers on the field. Is he going to get bottled up a bunch? Yup, probably. But if he breaks one, you're ahead.
Tom (Alpena, MI)
Anquan Boldin; any hope for his owners this year? Thanks, Chris.
Christopher Harris (2:35 PM)
Hi, Tom. Sure, there's some hope. Flacco needs to figure it out, for sure, but two games ago he had seven grabs for 74 yards. He's not elite, no question. But I rated him 20th among WRs in this bye-filled week.
Hey Chris, Greg Little ROS?, PPR format.
Christopher Harris (2:37 PM)
Hi, Eric. Little is someone else I'm going to be writing about at length in tomorrow's Hard Count column. I think he's addable in all formats. I like the fact that the Browns saw enough good stuff from him during their bye week to put him into their starting lineup. That's a good sign. Of course, we have to limit expectations. *Probably* you're not going to get every-week fantasy value out of anyone in that Cleveland passing game. But if it's anyone, I believe it'll be Little.
Thoughts on S Greene ROS? More likely to lose his job/go to a committee or to become a solid RB2?
Christopher Harris (2:39 PM)
Hi, Brian. I don't think he loses his job, nor do I think there's anyone on that Jets roster that's really ready or deserving of a true "committee" status. I think the answer is somewhere in the middle. For good matchups (like last week against the Pats), I'll endorse Greene, and that worked out well. He's also a good guy when you're beset with byes. But he's not the burst-laden "special" talent we thought we saw in the playoffs a couple years back. He's a plugger.
You buying DHB at all? Has a decent matchup this week vs Cleveland with Haden out.
Christopher Harris (2:40 PM)
Hi, Pink. First off, I don't think Haden is officially "out," though he hasn't been able to practice because of an injured knee, not a good sign coming out of the bye. I've written about DHB at length in two columns earlier in the week, so you can see more details there...but yeah, I do think DHB is worth an add. There's no doubting his size and speed -- what we've always doubted was his noggin. For two weeks, at least, he's started to address those doubts.
Thoughts on Mendenhall be losing touches now that he's back healthy?
Christopher Harris (2:42 PM)
Hi, Matt. I don't buy it. Not unless he's *not* healthy. If Mendy is right, I think he goes back to being the bell cow, with Redman in a supplemental role. Redman just didn't do much in his spot start last week, and Dwyer was interesting but it was really just one breakaway run. Am I positive that 13 TDs will come again for Mendy? I'm not. But I think he's easily the starter there without many lost touches.
Matt (Top of the hill - GB)
Hey Chris... Would you start Starks over an iffy D. Thomas... With MIA not on until Monday it makes me nervous... Thanks man!!!
Christopher Harris (2:43 PM)
Hi, Matt. Yeah, I mean, I get it...nervous-making, indeed. Truth is, though, that because of Thomas' continued questionable status, I ranked Starks ahead of him for this week, so he's my choice. Remember everyone who's asking single-position questions, check out our Weekly Ranks page: http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=11ranksWeek6RB
What are your thoughts on Doug Baldwin's hot start?
Christopher Harris (2:44 PM)
Hi, Frank. Well, I'm kind of dubious. I mean, this is a slot receiver. He's not supposed to be a downfield guy, really, yet he's among the top 30 receivers in the NFL in yards at the catch. Obviously, it's tough to like his QB(s), too. But I don't hate him as a speculative add in a deeper league.
Hey Chris- Love the work!!! With Andre Johnson and Julio Jones OUT this week are Walter and Harry Douglas decent bye week options in a PPR?
Christopher Harris (2:46 PM)
Hi, Nate. Thank you. I prefer Douglas to Walter, and especially in a PPR. I actually think Douglas is a sneaky clever play this week (though those *never* work out, do they?). He'll be next man up, and Roddy White isn't 100%. Walter scored a TD last week, but I'm still giving Jacoby Jones a slight nod. (I know, that wasn't a very good call last week.) Jones ran sloppy routes against the Raiders last week, yet if Schaub doesn't throw a duck on the goal line to end the game, Jones scores a TD and everything is forgiven. He's going to get targets. It just becomes a matter of what he does with them.
Does Knowshon bounce back as Timmy's check down? Conversely, is Decker done for?
Christopher Harris (2:48 PM)
Hi, JDK. No and maybe. I would say no Denver RB's stock rises with Tebow playing, since he's probably his own goal-line back. Moreno is ownable in all leagues, still, because McGahee is an older RB who might not hold up, but I don't start him right now. Decker and the other DEN receivers may benefit from Tebow, who in his brief career has shown a willingness to at least take passing risks, but of course that can be offset by poor accuracy. I don't believe many good fantasy teams are starting Decker and/or Lloyd too frequently right now. This doesn't make me love them.
Do you think Damian Williams has a good shot at becoming the #1 in TEN?
Christopher Harris (2:49 PM)
Hi, Dig... Williams was on my Super-Deep Sleeper list this summer, but I don't view him as true No. 1 receiver material. He's a Steve Smith (PHI) type in my mind. But listen, Nate Washington has played poorly overall since Britt's injury, including some bad routes and inconsistent hands. I'm dubious any Titans WR winds up a strong fantasy play, but Williams should be in the mix for looks.
Blips McGee (Pittsburgh)
Am I nuts for gambling on picking up Ochocinco to fill in this bye week?
Christopher Harris (2:50 PM)
I have to say: Yes. He's just not a significant enough portion of that Pats offense yet, in my opinion.
Greg (College Station, TX)
I've read your articles on Tebow, and picked him up last night. I don't really need him (have Brees) what should I be looking for in a Tebow trade for a RB? RB1 or RB2? Or just hold him for a bit?
Christopher Harris (2:50 PM)
Hi, Greg. Yeah, you're not going to get a RB1 or RB2 for him right now. I'd hold, and see what the next couple weeks bring after the Broncos bye.
So it looks like Painter is starting to breathe some life into Garcon... does he breathe some life into Wayne? Particularly this week vs. an unusually effective Cin D?
Christopher Harris (2:51 PM)
Hi, Matt. The Garcon thing is vexing to me, because I still see the same old P.G., with the exception of his first TD last week, where he ran a tight little slant in the red zone. But overall I still see an inconsistent route runner with shaky hands, who just happens to have been the beneficiary of poor tackling and bad coverage. I prefer Wayne. But I admit Garcon is starting to make me look bad. One more week, and I'll be a believer.
What are your thoughts about this kid preston parker? UPside vs Saints this week?
Christopher Harris (2:52 PM)
Hi, Ryan. Not much upside. Slot receiver, five targets per game, short stuff. Not horrible as a fill-in in PPR, but that's about it.
Hey writer boy! Your thoughts on Carter this weekend vs. Bengals & ROS?
Christopher Harris (2:53 PM)
Hi, Steph. It does appear that Addai will be out, and Carter looks like the goal-line back. But it was hardly encouraging to watch Donald Brown out-perform him last week. I assume something of a split between the two Sunday, and the Bengals D isn't a good matchup. If I could avoid, I would.
M Hardesty (Cleveland)
Can I really steal substantial work from Hillis??
Christopher Harris (2:54 PM)
Can he? Sure. Will he? I'm skeptical. I think coming out of the bye Hillis gets his usual 20-carry workload, with Hardesty only in a supplemental role.
Do you think Sam Bradford benefits from the bye and becomes startable?
Christopher Harris (2:55 PM)
Hi, Chip. Well, the Packers have been a plus matchup for opposing QBs (mostly) this year, but it would be pretty tough for me to start Bradford right now, considering how poor his results have been for a month. Offensive line problems, a shaky receiving corps and some not-very-good throws. I'd wait.
Does Romo bring a potential RB #1 or WR #1 or is that too high? Like a Vincent Jackson? Or maybe Felix Jones?
Christopher Harris (2:56 PM)
Hi, Mickey. Well, I do consider V-Jax a WR1, but I sure don't consider Jones a RB1. Could you get Jackson for Romo? It's possible. I'd do it if I had a viable QB in his place.
Can you tell me your reasoning on why you have James Jones over people that are safer bets to get targets such as Kevin Walter and Hines Ward? I need to get a WR3 out of one of these three this week.
Christopher Harris (2:58 PM)
Hi, Danny. Good question. Maybe it comes down to upside vs. "getting something"? Jones has been in full use again as Donald Driver has faded to the margins, and obviously he produced a big Week 5 which could've been even bigger without a Rodgers overthrow. Jones is a potential fantasy game-changer. But obviously, because there are so many other guys in GB, he can also give you nothing. Walter and Ward are *yawn*, but they'll probably not get shut out.
Am I crazy to take a shot on Bernard Scott against that soft Indy D? Bye week fill in..
Christopher Harris (2:58 PM)
Hi, Sam. I mean, beggars can't be choosers, but Cedric Benson is going to play, so Scott will only get fill-in work if he gets any work at all. I'd tend to think there are other RBs available on your squad or in your league...check out our positional ranks for ideas.
Thoughts on who does the heavy lifting this weekend between Manningham and Cruz?
Christopher Harris (2:59 PM)
Hi, Robert -- great question. Manningham played in 2-receiver sets last week, and Cruz did all his damage (and it was serious damage) out of the slot. My gut and football instincts still tell me Manningham is the better fantasy option. Obviously, those instincts haven't paid off yet, though.
Christopher Harris (3:01 PM)
All right, gang. I have to get going and do a radio hit for ESPN Radio in Houston. If you're bored after this chat right at 3 p.m. ET, you can listen here: http://espn975.com/ . Thanks to everyone for coming and once again, sorry about having to change the schedule last minute. we got 3,500-plus questions in an hour. Sheesh. As ever, I'm so thankful for all your interest and support. You can friend me at http://www.facebook.com/writerboy and follow me at http://www.twitter.com/writerboyESPN. Thanks.
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