Fantasy Sports with Tristan Cockcroft
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday morning, ESPN.com fantasy expert Tristan Cockcroft will drop by to take your questions and analyze all the latest baseball news from a fantasy perspective.
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Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:01 AM)
Good morning everyone! Let's get right to your questions...
Brian (My office)
Good morning Tristan. BIG TRADE: I give Foster, Romo, and Vernon Davis. He gives Aaron Rodgers and Victor Cruz. Should I do this???
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:03 AM)
You're trading most everyone's No. 1 overall player in Arian Foster, and that's a tough pill to swallow, but you're also getting the No. 1 quarterback in the game, not to mention an upgrade at the position. I'm thinking this is fairly even and if I could squeeze even a marginal throw-in on the Rodgers/Cruz side, it'd tilt it to that end. Otherwise, I say depth of your running backs decides this. If you're fine there, I say go for it.
Hey -- Quick Commissioner Question -- A guy in our league noticed a scoring issue from a month ago -- changing the outcome of the game. Is there a "statute of limitations" for scoring appeals?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:06 AM)
Your league's official scorer should have rules to this effect. We do in our rules page, and yes, there is a statute of limitations. You can read a little about how it works in the report we had about the Rashard Mendenhall play a couple weeks back: http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?id=8487835.
joseph (charlotte nc)
Is rashard jennings worth a pickup ? Or is he stay away material even if MJD misses time?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:08 AM)
Certainly he's worth a pickup. Anyone with a reasonably good shot of 15 carries a week warrants a roster spot in any fantasy league, because opportunity matters, and as things stand this minute, there's a chance Maurice Jones-Drew's injury is serious enough that Jennings will get a start. Now, what I'll say is this: I'm no Jennings fan. I wasn't when Jones-Drew was holding out and I'm not now, and I'd say to those excited about the potential pickup -- meaning those expecting RB2 class numbers or better -- is that if Jennings was "all that," why wasn't he a bigger deal in Week 1 of this year, when Jones-Drew was still shaking off the rust? They're simply not equals in the talent department.
Logan Paulsen (DC)
Am I a legit TE for my rookie QB?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:13 AM)
I recall an opportunity a year or two ago for Paulsen, one in which he did nothing but disappoint, so I'm not especially optimistic. I'll point out another concern: It's not like RGIII was leaning all that heavily upon Fred Davis before Davis' injury, and I mean mostly in the red zone. So why would he think more of Paulsen?Incidentally, keep tabs on the Chris Cooley situation. If he indeed signs in D.C. -- and I bet he does -- I'd take a look at him as a pickup if you have the bench space. He knows the system and I think he could match Davis' production from the season's first seven weeks, at least.
Barry W (High Point, NC)
Time to sell high on CJ?K?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:15 AM)
Can I officially nickname him CJ@#$%K? He's quickly becoming one of the most aggravating players in fantasy football, and the only takeaway I have from his Week 7 performance is that he can slice-and-dice a miserable run defense, which is what the Bills are. Whoopty-doo. Read Eric's recap blog; I'm not far off in opinion that Johnson is a sell-high candidate, if what you're getting is a lock-in RB2 or greater.
Trusty Tristy: Flash Gordon or flash in the pan? If it wasn't for that devastating drop, he would've had a monster game-
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:19 AM)
But, see, that's pretty much what he is. Such drops outline how boom/bust Josh Gordon truly is. Consider: A drop in each of his past three games, and a three-game span in which he has averaged a whopping 24.7 yards at the catch. Wow. The guy is a home-run threat, but on a precariously low volume of opportunities, meaning a greater chance of a bagel than your average receiver. And I'd plan accordingly; guys like this cannot be slotted as more than WR3/flex types in my lineups.
Tim (North Carolina)
Do I pull out the W tonight? Down 20 with Stafford and Forte, he has Marshall (6pts passing TD league)
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:23 AM)
Beats me. We project 10 points for Matthew Stafford (12 if you give 6 for a passing TD), 14 for Brandon Marshall and 19 for Matt Forte. So I guess your odds aren't especially good.I understand how gripping the temptation to sweat Monday night results between the conclusion of the Sunday games and the Monday kickoff. Heck, I have two teams where I've checked my scoring and know what I need, and I'm wondering. But as I say week after week, there's really not a lot you can do about it, beyond making sure that the guys you have in are the best choices, just as they were 24 hours ago. I wish the best of luck to you tonight!
Would you pickup Dwyer over R. Jennings this week? (MJD owner) ?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:23 AM)
Mike Brooks (Livonia)
Hey Morning... I traded M.Turner and Brandon Lloyd for Jimmy Graham, was that a good move on me? I can start two te, I have Rob Gronk.. this a two QB league, I have Shcaub and Rodgers.. my RB are now Forte and S.Jackson.. Please answer!!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:24 AM)
I think that was a pretty risky move. Graham's injuries do cast some doubt on his fantasy potential, and let's not forget, this is coming from a guy who is terrified of Michael Turner's downside. I think you were probably a little more balanced where you were, not that it's terrible value. Good luck!
Dazzy (Prescott, AZ)
Is Rashad Jennings going to be this years Demarco Murray?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:25 AM)
No. Absolutely not.
Ben (Verona nj)
Is it unfair to trade for foster from a basement team even though he accepted the trade and seems to care but doesnt bother updated lineups?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:26 AM)
I've seen 1-5 teams make the playoffs before, so that's completely fair game. If your league as a whole doesn't want to permit last-place teams to make moves to improve themselves, you should not be inviting that particular into the league in the first place.
I've been riding the Rudolph express to great success - until yesterday's derailment. Still a believer, or would you try to flip him with some other talent for an Aaron Hernandez? Thanks!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:26 AM)
I'm still a believer, but Aaron Hernandez was, is and will remain a better fantasy player, period.
J.J. Watt (batting footballs)
I am currently scoring double any other lineman in IDP. What is my trade value in terms of skill position players? RB2? Flex? Worse?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:29 AM)
So in my IDP league, the top defensive lineman last year was Jared Allen with 110, the highest score by a DL in seven seasons. J.J. Watt is already halfway there (54.7)! Incredible year by him. He's got an 18.4-point lead over second, in fact.That said, while Watt sure has a fair amount of value, I've never been known to see people in IDP leagues valuing even the best at greater than a top-50 overall talent on the offensive side. You're looking at flex guys, or if you're lucky, low-end RB2s. I mean, give it a shot, because people love big year-to-date stats. But my value point is a flex option.
Would you trade McFadden for Spiller?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:31 AM)
No, though the value differential is narrowing. The primary reason I won't make that trade is the even split of the rushing chores in Buffalo; Fred Jackson still has a healthy chunk of the load.
You're a percentages guy right? If so, give me a percentage I take home the W, up 25 and my counterpart has Stafford and Burleson. Hoping for the best
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:32 AM)
I'm a percentages guy, but that's not the kind of percentages guy I am. I've always listed those numbers tongue-in-cheek.
Tristan, how can you guys poo poo CJ1K's performances in three of his past 4 games? While Buffalo is AWFUL, the guy showed his burst on the 16 yarder & his superior long speed on his 83 yarder. He also plays some bad run d's weeks 14-16. (Colts, Jets, Packers) I say he's a buy low if you can get him for an RB2. What RB2 would you want over him??
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:32 AM)
Well, C.J. Spiller, for one. I've got him slotted in about that range, but I'll take him first.
Eagle Hat (Seattle)
Would you trade Ryan Mathews and Antonio Brown for Reggie Bush and Julio Jones in a keeper league?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:33 AM)
No, if only because, to me, the most valuable commodity in this deal in a keeper league is Ryan Mathews. I'm a huge Julio Jones fan; that position is however much more volatile on a year-to-year basis and it's also easier to fill with a year-by-year strategy.
As our keeper league commish, I'm having a big argument with one of our league members and a close friend. His argument is that he has a right to vote or reject any trade that he feels makes a team too strong and make the "league" fair and balanced. My argument is that the point of voting against trades is to make sure that the "trade" is fair and balanced, and not the league itself. Which one of us has the better argument?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:35 AM)
Probably you, but I also think you're sweating it too much. Remember, this is coming from someone who is liberal about trade judgment; I say allow anything that isn't clearly cheating or bending the rules. No under-the-table deals, but beyond that, let people manage their teams their way. Period.
Pablo (Santa Fe)
Keeper league; do you think Spiller will be the lead back next year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:36 AM)
Yes. Fred Jackson is 31!
Frank the Tank (Atlanta)
Staying on the McFadden page, who would you rather have, him or Mathews?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:36 AM)
Tristan, please rank these TE's for ROS value: Owen Daniels, Dustin Keller, and J. Finley?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:37 AM)
I've got them Owen Daniels (back-end-TE1), Jermichael Finley (top-portion-of-TE2), Dustin Keller (low-end TE2 at best).
Tristan, I am set at QB (Ryan, RGIII) and stacked at RB (DMC, ALF, Matthews, Murray, D. Wilson and Leshoure). I've got nothing at WR besides Austin. Who would you trade and who would you target as a WR1?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:39 AM)
If you couldn't trade one of those quarterbacks for a WR1, then your league is simply trying to hold you hostage. How about Matt Ryan for either of his wideouts, Roddy White or Julio Jones? That's where I'd start. I'd be shopping Ryan for someone like that. Maybe a Demaryius Thomas...
Is Matt Ryan a top 5 QB for you?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:40 AM)
No, but the only reason why he's not is because I have Eli Manning in there. Very close value points between a guy like Manning (fifth) and, say, the 8th-9th guys at the position.
What do Cam owners do?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:42 AM)
I think they stay patient. Think about this: If a 15-point Week 7 is considered a "bad" day for the kid, doesn't it stand to reason that his downside is effectively a back-end starter in a 10-team league? I'll be critical: He's a high-end QB2 on the low end. But Newton's legs are going to stabilize his downside, and that's why I think it's foolish to panic. Panthers are beginning to make changes and my hope is that helps turn things around for him.
Dustin Keller (NY)
Low-end TE2 "at best"?!?!?! I'm the only guy Sanchez has to throw the ball too!!!!!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:45 AM)
OK, OK, perhaps too critical, but I also don't want to overreact here to one really good game. I saw nothing I liked in the two before it, and sure, injuries contributed to those. I'm OK with saying mid-range TE2, but that's about as far as I'd go. (And it still has him third in that ranking.) Just because he's Sanchez's "only guy" doesn't necessarily mean he's that good.
Was Dalton's game a result of Pit Defense or is he crashing down to earth?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:46 AM)
Difficult to tell, but it hasn't gone unnoticed that he has had trouble against the two division rivals with strong defensive reputations, the Steelers and Ravens, throughout his career. I do wonder whether there's something in the specific matchups -- think game planning by those D's -- that is at play.
In a vacuum. Fjax for harvin?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:47 AM)
Harvin. Big win.
Thinking ahead, what sleeper DSTs do you like for next week? Det v. Sea, KC v. Oak, Miami @ NYJ, or NYG @ Dal?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:48 AM)
You know, Dolphins at Jets is a pretty intriguing matchup to me, being that the Dolphins can stuff the run and Shonn Greene has been so important to the Jets' attack the past two weeks.
Bettter Pick up going forward this week Rashad Jennings or Stephens-Howling?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:52 AM)
Good opportunity here to talk a little LSH, who had a heck of a game against what's normally a very good Vikings run D. He's the pickup here, but I'd also say he's now the Cardinals back to own, albeit in the flex-play class (think 25ish at RB, which is what William Powell was). I'll remain clear: I think Powell is a better player of the two in the skills department. Still think LSH is more of a third-down/change-of-pace in the long haul. But it was apparent early on how much the Cardinals were shying from Powell; I feel like it was a distinct role shift so we need to act.
TCH - Please give me 1 under the radar TE that you think can step up in the 2nd half. Thanks!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:53 AM)
Boy, I so want to say Jared Cook, from the angle that he's got the skills, yet the Titans inexplicably won't grant him the opportunity. But he's seemingly obvious, so I'll go further down: Brandon Myers. Quietly sneaking up on people, getting healthy target numbers.
LSH has some horrible matchups and a bye week in the next few weeks....then beanie is back. uhh what over lead back in jennings
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:56 AM)
Hence "flex-play, 25ish RB."Incidentally, who said Maurice Jones-Drew has been formally ruled out for Week 8? We need that first before declaring Rashad Jennings a "lead back." Sure, he'll be one, if Jones-Drew is out. And if that's true my opinion will change. That's how this game goes; news changes things radically. Period. If you want to speculate now, that's completely OK, but you can't dictate terms in definitives in examples like this.
Thoughts on Doug Martin rest of year? Is it me or is he just a half step away from a token 125/35/1 game that is dodging him all year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:58 AM)
I agree, and I also think he's a half-step away from that, and if I had a chance to buy low I most certainly would. Here's another reason I'd speculate: LeGarrette Blount, who seemed to be sneaking in as a goal-line vulture, was a big, fat, 0-for-3 on his carries inside the five this week. The Bucs need to go back to giving Martin more tries in those situations, because I think he's suited enough to handle them.
Anything in yesterday's game impact your FF impressions of the Carolina backfield from today forward?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:01 PM)
The only thing I gained from that game was that Mike Tolbert is indeed, as I expected he might, sneaking in as a goal-line weapon. He converted his chance and Jonathan Stewart did not, and Stewart is now 0-for-2 on the season.Not that the name Tolbert really matters except in desperation bye-week circumstances.
Is Hakeem nicks ever going to help my fantasy team?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:03 PM)
With a quarterback like the one he has throwing to him in an offense as pass-oriented as the Giants'? Yes, absolutely he will. Buy-low guy who I think is playing at noticeably less than full strength, but should get closer to full strength soon.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:03 PM)
OK, time to wrap things up for today. Thanks for all your questions, and sorry if I couldn't get to yours. Best of luck to those of you still in the midst of Week 7 matchups; hope you win it tonight! Take care everyone.