Fantasy NFL with Chris Harris
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Christopher Harris (10:58 AM)
Good morning, everyone. Welcome to another Wednesday chat about fantasy football. As a reminder, I know I won't get to all of your questions, but you can follow me on Twitter (@writerboyESPN), friend me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/writerboy), and if you're itching for some NFL action you can buy my novel (in print or Kindle versions) Slotback Rhapsody, which is about an undersized dude trying to make it in the pros via some combination of Buddhism, vegetarianism and human growth hormones. (www.slotbackrhapsody.com) Anyway, let's get to your questions!
I know it's cool to hate on Turner but isn't he a dynamite flex/rb3?
Christopher Harris (11:00 AM)
Hi, Carlos. He absolutely is. I mean, if everyone in your league kind of tacitly agrees to wait on the Burner until the fourth or fifth round? He's going to be worth the risk. My thought is that most leagues will have someone who looks at his TD history and takes the plunge much earlier, and if they do, I'm concerned it won't work out well for them.
Dez get's the hype, but isn't Miles Austin a borderline wr1 when healthy. He was on fire before he got hurst last year...
Christopher Harris (11:02 AM)
Hi, Ned. Well, that's true, but it was only two games. My concern about Austin is this stat: he's produced 1,620 yards and 14 TDs in his past 26 games. That's just not great. Now, I know some of that was because he wasn't 100%, and some was no Tony Romo. And you're right, he's got WR1 upside. But to me Bryant is the guy with the otherworldly talent. I prefer him. I think each guy is a rock-solid WR2 for fantasy.
Hearing good things about Jon Baldwin so far, is he worth a roster spot in a 10-Team League?
Christopher Harris (11:04 AM)
Hi, Drew. No question Baldwin is benefiting from Dwayne Bowe's mystifying holdout, and at the very least is getting to prove he's more mature than the guy who broke his thumb punching Thomas Jones last year. I have to believe Bowe will report soon, and I don't think the Chiefs will pass it enough to support two WRs worth starting in fantasy. But is Baldwin worth a shallow-league flyer? Sure, I can see that argument. I have rated #161 overall.
If Britt Does Not Get Punished For His DUI Will He Be Starting In Week 1?
Christopher Harris (11:05 AM)
Hi, Drew. First of all, that's a "big if," because I have to believe a suspension is looming. But if it's not, we still don't know. So far in training camp, Britt is only running off to the side, and can't practice yet because of his knee. If I had to guess, I'd say yes, he'll play Week 1 if he's not suspended. But I don't have much faith he'll stay completely healthy anyway. Britt has gone from a favored sleeper of mine to persona non grata in my mind at this point.
Todd (Coralville, IA)
Is there any reason not to thing that Hillis will be the new touchdown vulture in K.C? Maybe even worse than Thomas Jones?
Christopher Harris (11:06 AM)
Hi, Todd. Yeah, if I'm taking bets about who leads the Chiefs in TDs, it's Hillis in a walkover. Charles is still the guy I'd rather own because he'll be able to win you some weeks. But I think Hillis will score 7 or 8 times. There's a pretty good chance he's going to be one of my "flag-planted" players later this month.
At what point do you start worrying about MJD? If you were drafting in the next say 2 weeks, and he hadn't signed, how far does he drop? Below CJ2K, right?
Christopher Harris (11:08 AM)
Hi, Matt. I have to admit: I'm not that worried yet, and I think we're going to have to go well past mid-August for me to really get my dander up. Here's the thing: MJD is a workout warrior. He takes huge pride in the amount of squats that he does (just look at that lower body), and I find it borderline unfathomable that he'd ever pull a CJ2K and show up out of shape after his holdout. If anything, at this point I view this contract stuff as a potential "buy-low" opportunity. Now, if it comes clear that he won't play Week 1, I'm gonna look like a big-time doof.
Charles vs Murray; who has higher floor and higher ceiling?
Christopher Harris (11:09 AM)
Hi, John. They're mighty close, really. I think you'd have to say Charles has the higher ceiling, just because we've seen him be a fantasy star in the past. But the record of RBs the first season back after torn ACLs isn't good. And of course Murray has terrible downside as well, because his legs always seem like they're hurt. I'll give Murray the slightly higher floor, and the somewhat lower ceiling. But I certainly don't mean to paint him as the picture of safety based on that description.
The Haus (Sactown)
You buying the Ryan Mathews hype?
Christopher Harris (11:12 AM)
Hi, Haus. I like Mathews, but no, I would not say that I'm in agreement with the most optimistic assessments. I've seen some folks argue that he's a lock top-three fantasy RB, and I'm not there yet. I think he's a Matt Forte clone with better short-yardage skills, which is an enticing package indeed, especially considering the lack of other RBs in SD, but I can't consider a guy safe when he's been injured so frequently in his two-year career. I have him No. 6 among RBs right now, but boy, I'd love to see him make it through the year without nagging leg injuries.
Rhapsodic Slotback (Sacramento)
Is Bernard Scott going to see more work? From a skills POV, how does BenJarvus Green-Ellis compare to Cedric Benson? Thanks and looking forward to another great season!
Christopher Harris (11:14 AM)
Mouse Morrison, asking fantasy questions. (But what the heck is he doing in Sacramento???) Anyway....yeah, I'd say Scott is in line for more work, simply because I don't trust BJGE to be more than a consistent plodder and short-yardage weapon. Brian Leonard, believe it or not, could also see himself in the mix. But if the Bengals think they're going to get dynamic play or any pass-catching out of Green-Ellis, they're wrong. He's probably more consistent than Benson, but he's probably even less explosive. He's the guy I'd most want to own in Cincy because of the TDs, but Scott will be enough of a drain that we're looking at a mess, IMO.
Would you rather have Matthews or Chris Johnson in a standard league?
Christopher Harris (11:14 AM)
Hi, Dave. I have Johnson fifth and Mathews sixth among RBs right now. You can check out all my ranks here: http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=NFLDK2K12ranksHarris200
Sir Pig (the Pugnacious)
Forte seems to be easy to grab in mock drafts ... should I be concerned about M. Bush and should I handcuff them?
Christopher Harris (11:16 AM)
Hi, Sir Pig. I like Forte a lot. I agree he might be a bit undervalued right now. The worry, though, is TDs. Forte is a crummy short-yardage rusher, there's no two ways about it, and Bush is spectacular. I would definitely *try* to handcuff Bush if I could, simply as injury insurance, but this isn't a traditional handcuff situation; Bush should actually have real-life fantasy value even with a healthy Forte, because he's going to get all the close-in TD work. I have Forte 7th among RBs, but there's a potential for a bit of frustration there.
Give me two running backs that are currently being ranked outside the top 15 in most rankings that you feel are being ranked too low.
Christopher Harris (11:18 AM)
Hi, John. Well -- first off, since I do most of the initial ranking and updating of ranks for ESPN, it's going to be tough to find guys that I think ESPN as a whole is just totally wrong on, if you get my drift. I'll say Stevan Ridley probably is undervalued right now -- it's really sounding like that BJGE role is his for NE, plus he's a more dynamic runner than the Law Firm. And I like C.J. Spiller as a RB sleeper, because I think he catches 50 balls no problem this year even with a healthy Fred Jackson.
How far is Mike Wallace going to fall in your Rankings?
Christopher Harris (11:20 AM)
It's a great question, Nick, and I don't have a great answer for you. I literally have spent the past couple days cleaning up our ranks, trying to figure out if any big stories have changed any players -- and we really don't know what to do with Wallace yet. I find it hard to believe he's holding out until Week 10, and if he makes it back onto the field for the Steelers by Week 1, I don't think Anotnio Brown's contract really changes anything. But I'm being super open-minded about this one. By mid-August, if nothing has changed, Wallace is a guy I'm going to be open-minded about lowering out of WR1 territory.
Craig (San Jose)
Matt Ryan. All the news out of Atlanta and around the league is that the Falcons will become more vertical this year, utilize the no-huddle more, etc. Could the argument be made that he be the 6th or 7th QB off the board ahead of Romo, Eli, Rivers, Peyton?
Christopher Harris (11:21 AM)
Hi, Craig. It's a great question. I'm not there yet. I love Roddy. I love Julio. But I have them both in the 9, 10, 11 range among WRs specifically because I'm not 100% sold on Ryan as an elite QB. He's good, but does he really have a 4,700-yard season in him. And I want to pump the brakes a little bit on the Falcons supposed great new offensive system. Dirk Koetter is the new coordinator, and I'm sorry, I don't exactly remember the Jaguars exactly being vertical kings during Koetter's time there. I'm willing to be proven wrong, but I'm staying a bit stubborn on Ryan right now.
What are your thoughts on Doug Martin? It seems like he is the latest one to be on the hype machine.
Christopher Harris (11:23 AM)
Hi, Christian. Yup, you nailed it. I'll tell you, it's good policy not to pay attention to the fluff stories coming out of training camps. It just is. I'm willing to have my mind changed by the way guys look during exhibition games, for sure, but I can't get behind a reporter opining that Martin looks like a "lead-horse" or whatever. Who *knows* what Tampa is working on? I like Martin fine, I do. But he's a rookie RB, and how often have those gotten so much hype that people freak out, and then they wind up in an annoying platoon? (Shonn Greene! Ryan Mathews! Come on down!) LeGarrette Blount is still on that team, and while I don't love his skills, he's going to play. And is Tampa's offense going to be good? I'm with you -- pump the brakes on Martin, too.
Kevin (Mile High)
What do you think about Jazz Rogers in ATL? Is he in line for more work, especially if the Falcons air it out more?
Christopher Harris (11:25 AM)
Hi, Kevin. I think Rodgers will get more run in Atlanta. But I also think anyone who thinks he's the second coming of Darren Sproles is barking up the wrong tree. He's not that kind of quick. In college, he was a between-the-tackles runner (albeit a small one). He can be a specialty player and a third-down player, but I don't see him being much of a fantasy factor a la Sproles, especially since Jason Snelling re-signed.
Is Trent Richardson a good choice earlier on or too big a risk given that he plays for a young Browns squad?
Christopher Harris (11:27 AM)
Hi, Keith. Yup, I'm of the opinion that the hype train on Richardson is also out of control. I think he's a rock-solid RB2 based on his evident skill in college and his opportunity in an empty backfield. But this idea that he's going to duplicate Peyton Hills' 2010 season just by rolling out of bed? I don't see it. The Browns will have the same so-so o-line as last year, a rookie QB and no proven receiving weapons. If I'm playing Cleveland, I'm lining up on every single play to punish the rookie RB. He'll be good. He'll have a bunch of touches. But I'll be surprised if he's a top-10 fantasy back this year.
C'mon man! Are you drinking the Demariyus Thomas kool-aid?
Christopher Harris (11:29 AM)
Hi, Joe. I like Thomas. I like Eric Decker. I wouldn't say I love either one. Peyton will probably be just fine, but I don't expect him to instantly be the well-oiled android we remember from Indy. There will be a bunch of things that are slightly uncomfortable, and that he'll have to work through. I can see each of Denver's top 2 receivers approaching 1,000 yards receiving (but not quite getting there), and producing maybe 6 TDs. But I think No. 18's true gun-slinging days may be behind him.
Why does ESPN project Fred Jackson for so few carries (238)? He was well on his way to 280+, easily, before getting hurt. You've talked about Spiller getting more carries, but not enough to turn Fjax into a 15-rush/game guy, right?
Christopher Harris (11:31 AM)
Hi, Matt. Looking at the "guts" of that projection, I see that we have Jackson projected for 14 games, not 16, which probably explains why the number is lower than you'd like. That's more like 17 carries per game, which in light of Spiller's late-season emergence, seems fair. Add into the mix the fact that Jackson is 31 (albeit a "young" 31), and I think it's probably a pretty fair projection. I like Jackson as a solid RB2, but no more.
Jamal (New York)
Where does AP rank going into next year?
Christopher Harris (11:32 AM)
Hi, Jamal. I'd guess he'll be right back in the top 5 overall. I have every faith that he'll get completely right physically, and anyone who's read me for any length of time knows that I'm a huge fan of the dude.
John (New Jersey)
Do you think Darren Sproles can repeat his breakout year?
Christopher Harris (11:34 AM)
Hi, John. 80+ catches does seem to be very viable for Sproles on a year-to-year basis in that Saints offense, and we don't really need him to do much carrying the ball if that's the case. The thing that may not be as repeatable is 10 total TDs (including 7 via the air). But yeah, I view him as a pretty good RB2 even in standard scoring leagues, and a RB1 in PPR leagues.
What are your thoughts on Tony Romo? Trust him for 4k yards and 30 td's
Christopher Harris (11:35 AM)
Hi, Red. Yeah, I mean, it seems like that's about what he does every year, right? Romo is probably justifiably maligned for his ups and downs, but for fantasy, he's just solid. He's not a guy I feel like I have to reach for, because he's on a level of QB where there are three or four guys that I feel like are roughly the same. But if I get him at a spot where it's good value, I feel fine about it.
When drafting, where do you draw the line between following your draft board and avoiding players with same bye weeks?
Christopher Harris (11:36 AM)
Hi, JC -- honestly, I rarely look at bye weeks at all. There's one school of thought that actually says "stacking" your byes can be good strategy (to get 'em all out of the way in a single week), but again, I don't pay much attention. I can usually fill in when I need to (especially in a 10-team league), and I want good players much more than I want to evaluate schedules.....
Sergei (Russia )
How many more years of top 5 QB production do you think Brady has?
Christopher Harris (11:37 AM)
Hi, Sergei. Hm. I guess I'd say at least three? I think you'd like to see some slowdown in a guy before you start predicting his demise, and clearly we haven't seen that yet with Brady. But in four years he'll be 39, and that's old. For a QB. Not for a human.
Ken Daube is worried about Tate cutting into Foster's production this year. Clearly, you are not. As a Foster owner, I hope you are right, but can you please explain why you're not too worried?
Christopher Harris (11:39 AM)
Hi, Chip. Yeah, Ken expressed that concern when we had our ranks meeting back in May, and I understand it, because Tate is a mighty good player. But the fact is, when Foster was healthy last year, Tate averaged 7.5 touches per game. He's not the pass-catcher that Foster is, either. And frankly, I think guys who *don't* have legit backups like Rice and McCoy can be scary for exactly that reason -- I'm nervous when my fantasy stud is getting 30 touches in a game. It's not the key to a long, happy season, y'know?
what do you do with tim tebow? (Yes, we play on Mars)
Christopher Harris (11:40 AM)
Hi, Evon. I think I've drafted Tebow in every mock draft that we've done at ESPN so far...I take him in the 14th or 15th round and just salt him away. I think he's the leading candidate to lead the Jets in rushing TDs, and I'll be shocked if he doesn't start under center at some point this year. If nothing else, he's a great trade chip to hold onto for later in the season.
Whats your take on Run DMC?
Christopher Harris (11:41 AM)
Hi, Christof. It's funny you ask! I just wrote a piece on McFadden Monday: http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=nfldk2k12_decisionsraidersRB
Matt (San Antonio)
Any great insight on Jermichael Finley? I think he is over hyped.
Christopher Harris (11:42 AM)
Hi, Matt. Is he hyped? I mean, I see him as clearly belonging to the second tier of TEs: high-volume guys who don't have the ridiculous upside of Graham or Gronk, but who are basically giant WRs. I think the drops probably won't recur, and I agree that I don't feel the need to reach for him, since he's so similar to the entire group of TEs 3 through 7 or so. But I think he does belong in that group.
Will Coby Fleener be a legit TE fantasy option this year
Christopher Harris (11:43 AM)
Hi, Ben. In shallow leagues, no, I think we're probably too early in his career for that. He does have the Andrew Luck advantage (having played with Luck in college), but I think relying on the Colts to instantly click on all cylinders every week is a tough call right now.
how do you think the backfield of detriot sorts itself out? is it as frustating as washington and carolina?
Christopher Harris (11:44 AM)
Yeah, I mean, it's as frustrating, but without all that cumbersome upside. The Lions pass more than any team in the league, and there really isn't a player in that backfield you can feel comfortable hitching your wagon to. Best has serious concussion concerns. Leshoure will be suspended to begin the year and is trying to come back from just about the worst injury a RB can have. And Kevin Smith is injury-prone himself and just kind of so-so as a player. Best is the one I'd most want to invest in. But none of these guys deserves to be considered a fantasy starter right now.
Who do you think can emerge as the #1 receiver in San Diego? Floyd or Meachem?
Christopher Harris (11:46 AM)
Hi, Thomas. Meachem would be my choice, if only because Floyd has never proven he can stay healthy. But it is likely to be a spread-the-love style arrangement. Meachem hasn't exactly always been durable, and he never really lived up to first-round expectations in New Orleans. Gates will get his. Eddie Royal will get his. Ryan Mathews will get loads. Meachem should be drafted ahead of Floyd, but I'm not believing he's a top-20 fantasy guy right now.
What's the story with the Steelers backfield? Is Redman going to be a strong RB2? Any other emerging competition for the position?
Christopher Harris (11:48 AM)
Hi, Tony. Redman pretty clearly looks like the Week 1 starter, and shockingly (to me) the Steelers neither drafted a bigger-name RB (Chris Rainey is more of a scatback kind of guy) nor signed a bigger free agent. Mendenhall will probably get into the mix at some point late in the season, Jonathan Dwyer is supposedly finally in good shape -- but I have q's about the PIT o-line and their commitment to the run, and we've also never really seen Redman do much. I think RB2 is high for him.
Does anyone in Carolina's backfield stand any chance of being a RB #2?
Christopher Harris (11:49 AM)
Hi, Jackson. I'm assuming Cam Newton doesn't count? :-) Obviously, if Stewart or Williams got hurt, the other guy would vault into RB2 territory regardless of Cam's legs. But as it is, with Mike Tolbert in the fullback mix and potentially an option in short yardage, no, I'd say we're looking at flex-life with both Stewart and Williams. I do prefer Stewart if I had to pick one.
Ryan Lochte (Chokeville )
More likely to significantly regress: Cam Newton or Matthew Stafford?
Christopher Harris (11:50 AM)
I mean, honestly, I don't think either guy regresses much. I guess I'll say Newton will take a bigger step back, I just don't think it's going to be that big. Having done a big analysis piece on him in July (http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=nfldk2k12_newton) outside of injury (definitely a possibility with a running QB), I don't see a particularly low floor for him. He can drop 500 yards passing and several rushing TDs, and still be a rock-solid QB1.
Brandon (Avon, OH)
Would you trust Peyton as YOUR fantasy QB this year or are you making it someone elses potential problem?
Christopher Harris (11:51 AM)
In a deep league, if I wait a super-long time to grab a QB, yes, I think I could stomach the risk. In a 10-teamer, I don't think I'd be as apt to do so.
Hi Chris,Where would you take Victor Cruz in a 10 team league? Would you trust him as your wr1?
Christopher Harris (11:53 AM)
Hi, Frank. No, Cruz isn't going to be a WR1 on any of my teams, which means I'm probably not going to own him. I wrote at length about Cruz in this article: http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=nfldk2k12controversial ...but the basic summary is that his stellar '11 was very much based on crazy-long catch-and-run plays that tend not to recur from season to season. I'm staying away...not that I don't like the player, but I don't see any value in drafting him where he'll be taken.
I know A.Johnson is a stud when healthy. But the recent history is he can't stay healthy. He's missed SO much time it's crazy. Wouldn't it be safer and smarter to take Fitz, Jennings, and R.White over him???
Christopher Harris (11:55 AM)
Hi, RevTrev...yes I would take Fitzgerald before Andre Johnson, and I can see an argument for Jennings. Then again, Jennings himself got hurt in December last year, and he has a wide array of stellar competitors for looks when he's in there, which AJ really doesn't. As for Roddy...I like him, but the emergence of Julio Jones makes me think neither guy will be top five this year. Listen, of course you're right...AJ is a massive injury risk. He already tweaked a groin in training camp. He's a risk/reward guy, because if he *does* stay healthy, he's a great bet to be the No. 1 or 2 WR in the league.
What are your thoughts on Ryan Williams v. Beanie Wells. In mocks I can get Williams in the 13th round while Beanie seems to be going in the 4th-6th range. Would you take either player?
Christopher Harris (11:56 AM)
Hi, Matt. Obviously it depends on what else is available, so it's tough to unilaterally say I would or wouldn't take these guys, but in general no, I'm not that thrilled about either player. Wells had all those TDs last year, and I think that tends to push his '12 value higher than it should be based on his continued knee woes. And while Williams has lots of potential, the patellar tendon injury he suffered (a la Cadillac Williams) really is difficult to come back from.
Do you buy TMR's idea that you have to have an elite QB to be successful?
Christopher Harris (11:58 AM)
Hi, Matt. I'm not sure that's a completely accurate representation of Matthew's strategy advice, but I'll take it for what it's worth...no, I don't think he *have* to have an elite QB to be successful, or, rather, I'll say this: there are a whole *bunch* of elite QBs. I don't think you have to own Rodgers, Brady, Brees or Stafford to field a winning fantasy team. Provided you take the correct RBs and/or WRs instead of one of those early-round QBs, I think you can win just fine with, for example, Tony Romo or Philip Rivers as your fantasy signal caller. I tend to think winning fantasy leagues these days is mostly about grabbing the "correct" RBs. Unfortunately, knowing which RBs those will be is mighty difficult, because there are so many platoons and so many injuries.....
With Louis Murphy out of the picture can D. Moore in Oakland make a solid WR #3?
Christopher Harris (11:59 AM)
Hi, Marcos. I actually felt the answer was "yes" even before Murphy got dealt. Darrius Heyward-Bey is very much in the mix (take a look at his numbers from December), but yeah, I think Moore is a high-upside play with big week-to-week variability, a player who reminds me of DeSean Jackson or maybe Mike Wallace. But I don't love latter-day Palmer as his QB, unfortunately....
Which of the Patriots big 4 (Gronk, Hernandez, Welker, Lloyd) scares you most in terms of being a bust? I mean, they can't all be 1,000 yd 8-10 td guys, can they?
Christopher Harris (12:01 PM)
Hi, Chip. I think you're right, actually. They can't all rack up 1,000 yards, and they can't all produce borderline double-digit TDs. It strikes me that Welker is going to get his. He's a different skill-set than the other guys. And provided the ankle is OK, Gronk is such a maniac near the goal-line, I think d.d. TDs is a nice bet for him. Lloyd and Hernandez, however, I think are going to have more week-to-week variability than some fantasy owners expect. I like each of them. But I'm not as high on them as some folks are.
Will Skittles face Goddell's wrath and actually miss time for the DUI?
Christopher Harris (12:03 PM)
Hi, Sam. I don't think we really know that yet. I know Lynch's camp would have you believe the answer is no. The legal proceedings themselves seem likely to stretch into 2013, so it seems like Roger Goodell would need to make a ruling simply based on the fact of the arrest, not on the results of the legal process. But that wouldn't be unprecedented. My guess right now is that Lynch won't be suspended this year and that he will be suspended next year. But that's by no means a sure thing right now.
How many years ahead are you thinking when you make your "keeper" rankings?
Christopher Harris (12:04 PM)
Hi, Smitty. I would say my keeper ranks are based 50 percent on this year's projected performance, and 50 percent on "the future." And the portion that's based on the future...a significant chunk on 2013, a smaller chunk on 2014, and beyond that only a few much younger players get much consideration. Hope that helps.
Can you just do this chat all day so I can continue procrastinating?
Christopher Harris (12:05 PM)
Hi, Zack. Alas! I would love to, but I have to do some more writing, and also prep for our first two draft podcasts, which I'm going to be recording in Bristol on Friday.....
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Rashad Jennings shaping up to be a nice sleeper? Even if MJD doesn't miss time, he's got a ton of carries on those legs and RJ has shown he can carry the rock a little...
Christopher Harris (12:06 PM)
Hi, Scott. Honestly, I think as long as MJD returns, Jennings is really more of a handcuff than much of a sleeper. I don't see Jones-Drew getting enough of his workload reduced to produce much fantasy value from his backup. However, given MJD's knee a couple years back and this contract mess, sure, I think Jennings is a wise handcuff right now.
What is your opinion on Rivers this year?? I feel like one bad year is ruining his ranking and i could load up at other positions before taking him later.. Thanks
Christopher Harris (12:07 PM)
Hi, Nate. Sure, I think you have a pretty good point, and let's face it: Rivers' year wasn't even *that* bad, statistically. I think it's fair to assume a bounce-back, and as a result, I think it's fair to consider Rivers a pretty good value play. Losing Vincent Jackson is significant, of course, and Gates is another year older. The Chargers could transition to a bit more of a balanced attack with Mathews. But if I wind up waiting on QB and getting Rivers after most of the other teams in my league have taken their QBs? I'm going to feel just fine about that.
capt. crusty (portland,maine)
do you see other teams following the te formula that new england displayed last year?
Christopher Harris (12:09 PM)
Definitely. It's a copycat league, and we've seen several teams load up on two "starting-level" TEs, spending significant money in the process. The question is: can any of these teams actually produce the supersonic numbers that Gronk and Hernandez did? And that's where I have my doubts. The Pats offense is just so unique. Short-passing, but with so many threats that you really have to pick your poison. Tough to see a team like, for example, the Vikings being able to capitalize to anything close to a similar extent.
What's your take on the reports coming out of St. Louis on Steven Jackson?
Christopher Harris (12:10 PM)
Hi, Mike. I think it sounds like he's just fine. I know the Rams are making a big thing about how much they love Isaiah Pead, but for this year I would think Jackson gets to carry the mail with only a small helping hand from Pead. I would consider a handcuff of Pead to Jackson, but yeah, I think Jackson is probably a pretty solid RB2.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Do you think Beast Marshall is getting too much or not enough love? Sure, he's reuniting with Cutler and Bates, but that doesn't make his hands less slippery near the goal line...do you see an easy transition?
Christopher Harris (12:11 PM)
Marshall has finished between 9 and 14 among fantasy receivers for five straight seasons, in all kinds of situations, and that's probably where he'll finish again in '12. Some folks may reach for him earlier than that, and I would advise against that. But I do think he'll be a high-volume guy who'll easily be a fantasy starter, if not an elite player.
Christopher Harris (12:11 PM)
All right, gang...one more and I have to get going....
Please steer me away from wasting a late round pick on Randy Moss....
Christopher Harris (12:13 PM)
Hi, Deric. If it's a *really* late-round pick, I wouldn't gripe too much. I mean, there's a high ceiling there, even if Moss is very unlikely to reach it. But I'm sure there are better uses of your late flyer picks. Moss has been out of football for a year, has competition at WR in SF, has Alex Smith throwing him the ball (a guy who doesn't like to take chances and is jittery in the pocket), and is an immature dude who gets annoyed when he doesn't get targets. I'm bucking the common media narrative right now, and saying Moss won't be a big factor at all for the Niners this year.
Christopher Harris (12:14 PM)
Okay, gang...I have to get going, but this was great. I'm sorry if I didn't get to your question -- there are just hundreds and hundreds of them, and I can only do so much in an hour. But please feel free to follow me on Twitter (@writerboyESPN) and ask me questions there, friend me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/writerboy) and if I've ever helped you in a fantasy league, do me the favor of checking out my novel, Slotback Rhapsody, which if you like the NFL, I think you'll really dig. (www.slotbackrhapsody.com). Have a great week, and thanks again.