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!
Will Benson end up on the Raiders now since Goodson is hurt? If so, think he would be the handcuff to Mcfadden?
Christopher Harris (11:00 AM)
Hi, Jim. It doesn't sound like Goodson's injury is serious. He was carted off the field yesterday with a neck issue, but all tests came back negative and he's already back with the team. I still think the Raiders would be crazy not to sign another back, and I think they probably will (and Benson is a possibility). But the truth is, at the moment DMC doesn't have an adequate handcuff.
who will be the dolphin's starting QB!
Christopher Harris (11:02 AM)
Hi, David. It sounds an awful lot like Garrard is in the lead at the moment, though it's so tough to know what's a smokescreen and what isn't. If it's me, and Garrard looks like he's healthy enough, he's who I'm going with because he's a better player than Matt Moore. But obviously unless you're standing there watching them throw, it's speculation.....
Your Facebook Friend (NC)
What do you really think of St. Jackson, and BJGE this year... ?
Christopher Harris (11:03 AM)
Well, I like Jackson fine. I think as a mid-level RB2, he'll deliver decent value. Isaiah Pead may spell him a bit, but he'll still carry the mail, produce decent all-around yardage, and won't break the bank scoring TDs. I'm less sanguine on Green-Ellis. As I've said in previous chats, while he's reliable as can be (zero career fumbles), he's just not a special player, and without Patriots-level goal-line looks, he's set for a tumble.
Richard (West Virginia )
Is it smart to trade Michael Floyd for Steven Ridley in a 12 team standard leauge. I am really desperate for RB help and hope Ridley can be a decent RB2.
Christopher Harris (11:04 AM)
Hi, Richard. It'd do that in a heartbeat, especially in a non-keeper league. (I'd probably do it in a keeper league, too.) Not that I trust Belichick to do consistent things with his RBs week to week, but Ridley has a much better chance to contribute this year than Floyd.
Keeper Question! Will Locker be a fantasy QB#1 in the next three seasons? Better than Dalton or Bradford?
Christopher Harris (11:06 AM)
Hi, Jory. Of that group I prefer Bradford. I think he's the most talented of the trio, and eventually that the Rams will get their WR corps figured out. I would guess that he has the best chance of those three guys to wind up in a top 10 fantasy QBs in three years (though at this point I'd wager none of those guys wind up doing that). I'm not a fan of Dalton's arm at all, and Locker has such major accuracy concerns that I hesitate to imagine that this supposed "run and shoot" that Chris Palmer is trying to implement in Tennessee will work out well for him.
TB backfield: a rookie and a boom or bust candidate...avoid?
Christopher Harris (11:07 AM)
Hi, Leslie. I think we're past the point where LeGarrette Blount has any "boom" left in him. Granted, I've always been down on him (and several of you were on me about that last year!), but at this point I think his best-case scenario is as a drain on Doug Martin. I'd definitely prefer Martin, but yeah, neither guy is in my top 20 RBs.
Aaron (Grand Rapids, MI)
What's the latest on the Redskins RB depth-chart? Is Royster worth a grab in the late rounds?
Christopher Harris (11:09 AM)
Hi, Aaron. Hightower can't go yet, so I don't think we really have a good read on the situation, and the Shanahan-nigans will certainly be in full effect all year. The safest thing you can do for your mental health is just stay away from all these guys, but if you can't resist, I can see Royster as being worth a look at the very end of a draft. Right now it looks like he's ahead of Helu, but we all know how quickly that can change. Helu is the best player of the group, and he's still the one I'd prefer to own, but of course you're right, there's less value in him than the other guys.
Johnny Boy (The Farm)
Is there any reason Rodgers should be the FIRST pick in a redraft league? (Standard non ppr)
Christopher Harris (11:11 AM)
Hi, Johnny. I wouldn't do it, but I also wouldn't call the person who did do it insane. Listen, even with their crazy-amazing-awesome seasons last year, Rodgers, Brees, Brady, Newton and Stafford didn't finish first in VBD (http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=nfldk2k12vbd_archive), and I don't imagine that any of them will do it this year, either. However, there's something to be said for safety. These QBs are safer than the top RBs, if only because they don't undergo 20+ car crashes every week. I like 3 RBs before Rodgers, but again, I understand why someone might take A-Rod.
jeff (needham, ma)
12 team keeper auction league. I have aaron rogers. Worth stashing BJ Coleman on my bench?
Christopher Harris (11:13 AM)
Hi, Jeff. (I grew up in Wellesley.) It's tough for me to know the extent to which "developmental" players get drafted in your keeper league, but other things being equal, no, I don't think you need to handcuff Coleman to Rodgers. In a deep dynasty league, I can see the logic in taking Coleman, but he's really raw and I still find it hard to believe he'll be Green Bay's backup this year.
How do you see the carries being split between Charles and Hillis for the Chiefs
Christopher Harris (11:14 AM)
Hi, Jeff. I think somewhere between 60-40 either way? But the good thing is that I expect the Chiefs to run an absolute *ton*, and I like that offensive line quite a bit now. I think each guy is going to be a fantasy factor. Obviously I prefer Charles for the explosiveness, but Hillis is the value pick. I have a feeling he's going to be on my "flag-planted players" list in a couple weeks.
Joe (Columbus, OH)
Do you subscribe to Matthew Berry's "grab an elite QB early" theory? I'm having a hard time buying in to taking a QB so early with as much depth as there is at the position.
Christopher Harris (11:17 AM)
Hi, Joe. I got asked a variation on these question last week, and I'll say again, I don't think this is an accurate representation of Matthew's advice...I think his point is that other things being equal, it sure helps to have the safety of one of the top QBs, given the uncertainty at RB this year. But often other things *aren't* equal. I'll give you an example. We did a 10-team mock yesterday, and I was picking 9th. I *rarely* take a QB in the early rounds. But when the #12 pick came, I took Stafford. Why? Because Megatron and Fitz were gone, because my next-best RB available was Forte, and because I view Stafford as ultra-safe. But do I *have* to grab a high-level QB? Nope. If someone had left Fitz or maybe even Ryan Mathews there for me, I might've taken that plunge, and worried about QB later. I *hate* being dogmatic about when to draft what positions. Just take the best combination of upside and safety.
Bryan (the NOLA)
Thoughts on Josh Gordon? Can he emerge as a true #1 WR?
Christopher Harris (11:19 AM)
Hi, Bryan. Well, not this year. He's basically got a single season of college ball under his belt, and lots of character concerns. Plus he has a rookie QB in Cleveland. I'll be honest: there isn't enough tape of him for me to have really seen him play and gotten a full assessment of what I think of his career upside. But I'll say this...the history of supplemental draft choices doesn't exactly inspire hope in me, and neither does the current Browns' administration's talent evaluation skills.
How much would Mike Wallace's absence hurt Big Ben's production, and does Todd Haley's offense hurt his PA's as well?
Christopher Harris (11:20 AM)
Hi, Jason. I don't think Haley is harmful at all...I remember Kurt Warner and Larry Fitz having some swell seasons with Haley around. If Wallace isn't there, sure, I think you can argue that Big Ben gets downgraded a bit. But I just do *not* see that happening. In the same mock draft I just mentioned, I took Wallace in the third round, at #29 overall, and just giggled over it. He's going to be there. He's not going to pull a Vincent Jackson. It doesn't make sense.
So you're saying at #12 in a 10 team, if Forte, Charles, Lynch and Mathews are there you'd take Mathews?
Christopher Harris (11:21 AM)
Hi, Matt. Indeed, I am. In fact, here are my ranks: http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=NFLDK2K12ranksHarris200
Are you worried about Trent Richardson yet? He hasn't even played an NFL snap and there's already talk of a sore knee???
Christopher Harris (11:23 AM)
Hi, Pablo. I take this latest knee stuff with a total grain of salt; however, the fact that he had knee surgery this past winter *is* part of the reason I don't view T-Rich as highly as many others do. Put that together with the fact that he's a rookie RB (in the past three years, exactly one rookie RB has submitted even a top-20 fantasy season...Knowshon Moreno) and he's got a rookie QB with crummy aerial weapons, and that's why he's 14th on my RB list and 32nd overall. Clearly, I won't be owning him in many (any?) leagues this year.
Good Morning Chris. Dynasty question. 12 team 15 player keeper. Do you trade Victor Cruz for Julio Jones?
Christopher Harris (11:23 AM)
Hi, Shawn. Yes, yes, a million times yes. Cruz is a good player. Jones has it in him to be a superstar, and eventually maybe the No. 1 WR in fantasy.
Tbone Jones (Australia)
Is Michael Turner to be avoided at all costs or is there still some round 4 value left in those legs?
Christopher Harris (11:25 AM)
Hi, Tbone...yeah, of course, at some point in any draft, a player we're all "down" on becomes a value play. If you can get Turner in the fourth, I'd probably do that. The dude can still get double-digit TDs if things break right, and who knows -- maybe his legs bounce back and look terrific once again. I'm not that hopeful, but if I could draft him in Round 4, I'd consider it.
James (A Giant Peach)
How much trouble am I asking for if I take DMC at the end of round 2 as my RB2? I'm too mesmerized by his talent level to be dissuaded by the injury red flags and I can get a WR or QB on the wrap-around
Christopher Harris (11:26 AM)
Hi, James. Here are my thoughts at length about McFadden: http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=nfldk2k12_decisionsraidersRB . Suffice it to say that at least we all understand the risks by now. DMC is reportedly bristling at being considered "injury-prone," so maybe he puts it all together this year. End of Round 2 is exactly where I have him rated, so if he falls that far, I don't hate the value.
Are you at all optimistic that Joe Flacco's numbers are on the up and up with betters wrs in the mix?
Christopher Harris (11:28 AM)
Hm. Not particularly. First off, I'm not sure there are better WRs in the mix. Sure, Torrey Smith is a year older. But I'm not biting on Jacoby Jones ever again, I can tell you that. And the larger problem is: Cam Cameron. I honestly don't know how the dude still has a job as offensive coordinator. By the end of last year, he was essentially running a high school offense. Not a big fan here.
Shon Greene (New York)
Will Tebow steal all my touchdowns? Is he a decent backup fantasy qb?
Christopher Harris (11:28 AM)
I think Tebow should be drafted in all leagues. Yes, I think he leds the Jets in rushing TDs, and yes, I think that by midseason, he will be starting under center.
What do you think of Reggie Bush? Was last year a fluke?
Christopher Harris (11:30 AM)
Hi, Bob. I don't think the performance itself was a total fluke; the dude has talent. His continued health (until Week 17) seems maybe a little anomalous to me. I mean, he's always been an injury waiting to happen. If there's a reason not to trust him for '12, that's probably it.
Kevin Walter. Worth owning in a 10 team standard? Especially if Andre can't stay healthy?
Christopher Harris (11:31 AM)
Hi, Matt. No, sir, I don't see it. Every year we guess maybe Walter (or the aforementioned Jacoby Jones) can take advantage of an AJ injury, and every year they don't. The Texans are so run-oriented these days, that I wouldn't own any other pass catcher (including Daniels) other than AJ in a 10-teamer.
Kevin (S. Florida)
Is Ryan Williams a good sleeper? Was his injury last year bad? Almost done with Slotback! The team's in Buffalo and Nick is meeting an ex at the coffeeshop - funny scene. Hope there's a sequel!
Christopher Harris (11:32 AM)
Hi, Kevin. Thank you for reading Slotback...you made my morning. I don't hate Williams as a sleeper...but yeah, his injury was terrible. Torn patellar tendon, which is the injury that turned Cadillac Williams from a potential star to a nice underdog story overnight. My guess is that Williams will never quite be the same guy. But he's certainly draftable in all leagues...Beanie Wells ain't exactly the picture of health himself.
What's your take on the St. Louis receivers?
Christopher Harris (11:34 AM)
Hi, Brett. Honestly, my take is: stay away. There are just too many of them. Obviously right after the draft everyone freaked out that Brian Quick would be the second coming of Randy Moss, but that has died down. Now you hear Steve Smith (former Giant) has a chance to win a job. Danario Alexander "looks good" (until his legs fall off). Brandon Gibson is "in the mix." Danny Amendola is in the slot. Chris Givens "has great deep speed." Ga. My guess is that it winds up being some combination of all these guys in '12, and you probably don't want the headache. Long term, I like Quick and Givens quite a bit. (Especially Givens as a deep threat...I took him in a deeper dynasty league this summer.)
Mouse Morrison (Detroit Lions Babay!)
Hey writerboy! I am a little confused by the ESPN auction values, as I have had a hard time determining on what basis they were assigned to players. Can you give us a little insight on how those are established?
Christopher Harris (11:36 AM)
See, *obviously* the way to get my attention in these things is to reference my novel. I'm such an open book. I'm actually not involved in the auction value production, but they're based on historical data...basically someone takes a look at where "top" RBs typically get taken in auctions and for how much, and assign $ values based on that. Now, your mileage may vary, because all leagues are different. When I do an auction, I tend really not to look at the defaults, because there are players I want, darnit, and I'm not going to be afraid to "overpay." But yeah, in general, they're established by historical reference.
Thoughts on Rueben Randle? Reports from Gmen camp is that he looks excellent and made be a #2 wideout with Cruz moving to slot. If this is the case does he make a nice #3 WR/Flex play?
Christopher Harris (11:38 AM)
Hi, Chris. I like the guy. I talked him up before the draft, and I really liked the fact that the Giants took him. The competition at that spot (the usual suspects of Hixon, Barden, Jernigan) doesn't scare me. But the fact that Randle is a rookie is a bit freaky. Rookie WRs just tend not to work out great as fantasy starters. I definitely think Randle should be drafted in all leagues. I just won't reach for him. I think he plays in some 3- and 4-receiver sets and has some good games. Consistent production, though, is a tall task.
Does Mendenhall do anything this year?
Christopher Harris (11:40 AM)
Hi, Dante. I think there's a chance in the second half of the year, sure. A lot will come down to how well Redman plays in Mendy's absence. If Redman is struggling, the Steelers will feel incentive to see if Mendenhall can score from the 2, like he always seems to do. If he's not, they likely won't. I don't mind a late-round pick on Mendy, especially in deeper leagues, but realize you're going to have to basically hold onto him as a dead roster spot for a while. (Funny how we're willing to accept that Mendy won't contribute early, but people still insist Adrian Peterson should be a second-round pick.)
You think Baldwin will pass Bowe in KC as far as most valuable?
Christopher Harris (11:41 AM)
Hi, Rick. I don't, provided Bowe reports kind of soon. Listen, as I said earlier, the Chiefs are crazy if they don't become one of the league's run-heaviest teams, so I'm skeptical there's room for more than one KC WR to be fantasy-valuable, and Bowe is just a more proven guy. Baldwin has potential. He may ascend to that WR1 job next year, if Bowe winds up leaving via free agency. But for now, Bowe would still be my choice.
Chris, Curious on something. Ben Tate will be a F/A after 2013. Do you think Houston would trade him after this season instead of letting him walk after 2013 and he could see his value go up a lot or is it more likely Houston would want to hold on to him as there back up?
Christopher Harris (11:42 AM)
Hi, Brett. Yeah, I don't think the Texans will trade Tate. He's got two more seasons under his rookie deal, and while a holdout isn't impossible, Houston would be crazy not to let him play out those two cheap seasons. After that, for the '14 season, sure, I can see him hitting the market. (I can also see him getting franchised, depending on the state of Arian Foster.) But I wouldn't expect that Tate will go anywhere in the near future.
Thanks for chatting Chris. Which health insurance liability do you feel safer taking in the 2nd round AJ or Matthews?
Christopher Harris (11:43 AM)
Hi, Jeff. I have Mathews 12 and AJ 14 overall, so I guess Mathews. And listen, that's *low* for Mathews right now. There are many, many folks who are recommending him as a first-round pick. But I'm with you: his ability to get nicked up again and again these first two years has been scary.
Seems the experts are really divided on Brandon Lloyd this year as either a #1 WR or a spotty flex play with Brady spreading the ball around. What's your take?
Christopher Harris (11:45 AM)
Hi, John. I guess I'm somewhere in the middle? I have Lloyd at #22 among WRs, which means in a 10-team league he'd be an awfully good flex. There are going to be weeks where he's transcendent. But I think there'll also be weeks, as you imply, where he might get a little lost. Are the Pats going to completely revamp the short-passing game that made them so deadly last year? Not completely. There are just so many weapons in NE, and I don't see Lloyd as such a perfect player that Welker, Gronk and Hernandez need to see their productions slip massively in order to accommodate Lloyd.
Ben (The Bronx)
Would you DARE roster both AP and DMC on the same team?!?!
Christopher Harris (11:47 AM)
Hi, Ben. Ha! Never say never, because obviously it depends on which players fall where. But I'll tell you: I'm *much* more likely to own DMC than AP, and that hurts to say, considering what a huge AP fan I am. But his ADP right now is #23, while McFadden's is
Jim (Silver Creek)
They are raving about Jordy, do you think he is the real deal and good enough to be my #1wr?!
Christopher Harris (11:48 AM)
Hi, Jim. I prefer Nelson as a WR2, but I do like him. Listen, putting up 15 TDs on 68 catches just isn't likely to recur, and remember he went nuts in the final month of '11 when Jennings was out. The TDs will regress big-time, even if the catches increase. But I do like him.
hi chris, what are your thoughts on #2 wrs like mike williams, titus young, and brandon lafell who most likely won't be drawing double teams like their talented number 1s?
Christopher Harris (11:49 AM)
Hi, Dennis. Of those three guys, I prefer Titus Young. I think he's potentially a great player. Obviously there are plenty of mouths to feed in Detroit, so claiming that he's ready to be a fantasy starter in all leagues is ambitious. But he's going to wind up on a bunch of my fantasy benches this year as a kind of speculative pick. I think big things are ahead for him.
Does the qb situation in PHX scare you from drafting fitz in the first two rounds?
Christopher Harris (11:51 AM)
Hi, Scott. Hey, I don't like the QB situation in Arizona any more than you do, but Fitz has overcome it in the past, and he'll overcome it this year. He strikes me as incredibly safe, just because of his ridiculous, bordering-on-asinine talent. I have him ranked #10 overall.
What do you think about Pairing Brady or Brees with thier TE. Gronk and Graham. For a dynamic Duo worth double points on Sundays....
Christopher Harris (11:53 AM)
Hi, Frank. I don't mind it. I've never minded teaming a good QB with a good WR (it's QB/RB and RB/WR from the same team that gets my hackles up). Obviously it can be feast-or-famine at times, and if you get a couple famine weeks after taking the QB in the 1st and the TE in the 3rd, you're dead in the water. In general, I don't love drafting guys at the absolute peak of their value. But philosophically, I'm not against drafting throwers and pass catchers from the same NFL team.
Will I finally be able to stand up this year long enough to throw the ball?
Christopher Harris (11:53 AM)
Mmmmm. Nope. Aw, I mean, Cutler will be fine. He was fine last year before he got hurt. He just won't be elite. He and Marshall will produce some good numbers, but there aren't any other plus weapons in that receiving corps, and no, I don't see the o-line as having significantly improved.
Christopher, thoughts on Antonio brown with/without Wallace ? Does he AT LEAST get same numbers as last season? Room for growth?
Christopher Harris (11:54 AM)
Hi, Andy. I think Brown is a good player. I think Wallace is a great player. If Wallace never reported, Brown will be the WR1 and yes, I think last year's numbers would be a reasonable starting place. But he's not suddenly the kind of game-breaking player that Wallace is. And that's to say nothing of the fact that I give Wallace about a 5% chance of missing a game because of his holdout. Just don't see it happening.
it seems that mc gahee is undervalued in many mocks i've done. is payton going to boost his value as the clear #1 rb with hillman as the handcuff?
Christopher Harris (11:56 AM)
The problem with McGahee is simply that he's 31 in October, he's not a game-breaker, and he doesn't catch the ball. I do think he's pretty clearly the TD vulture in Denver, and maybe he lucks into a bunch of 1-yard scores with Peyton at the helm. But I can see him sitting in some games, too. I just don't love him. And I'm skeptical about Hillman, too. Just don't view him as a special NFL player.
Good or bad call to attempt to roster both Brady and Rodgers in a 10 team 2 QB league? It's an auction so it would take a good chunk of my budget.
Christopher Harris (11:57 AM)
Hi, Mike. I can't say it won't work. Obviously you'd have a big head start with those guys. But you should as shootin' would have to strike it big with some lottery ticket RBs and WRs, and if you don't, you've capped your upside to such an extent that you probably wouldn't be better than a .500 fantasy squad. It wouldn't be the way I'd go. But it'd be ballsy.
Chris, I don't understand why you view Fitz as incredibly safe, but not so much Roddy White. White had 20 more receptions than Fitz and has a more stable QB. Even with Julio, Roddy caught 100 balls last year.
Christopher Harris (11:59 AM)
Hi, Alex. I see your point, but the difference is Julio Jones. Without Julio, of course you're right, White is probably *more* safe than Fitz. But if you're buying Julio as an elite player (and I am), that puts a cap on Roddy. Listen, I still have him at No. 9 among WRs, so it's not like I think he's suddenly this bastion of variability. But I don't see the same every-week upside anymore.
Christopher Harris (12:00 PM)
Okay, gang. Noon approaches, and I have to get going on time this week...so one more......
Christopher, I always tend to allign with your thinking each fantas season over other writers...dont go insane. Thanks. Oh, what is your take on the Seattle RB situation behind Skittles. Anyone worth a roster spot in a 10 team?
Christopher Harris (12:01 PM)
Hi, Bill. Thanks for the kind words. I don't think Lynch has a clear handcuff at this point....Robert Turbin has the big body and interesting athleticism, but he's had injury woes in the past and is a rookie. Leon Washington would get involved as an early-down player sometimes, too, should Lynch get hurt or wind up doing something else dumb off the field. If you draft Lynch, I don't mind also grabbing Turbin late, but I don't view it as an absolute must.
Christopher Harris (12:02 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.