Fantasy NFL with Chris Harris
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Christopher Harris (11:01 AM)
Good morning, everyone. The fantasy playoffs are well underway, and my single-position ranks are here: http://espn.go.com/fantasy/football/story/_/page/12ranksWeek15RB. Glad to answer your PPR or flex Q's. Also, this week's Fantasy Underground has a look at 5 overrated players for 2013: http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=8741082 Let's do it.....
Pick 3 in a PPR league. Moreno, Forte, Richardson or Bryce Brown?
Christopher Harris (11:02 AM)
Probably sitting Brown. Of this group, only Richardson is an elite receiver, so after him it would come down to my regular RB ranks, I'd say.
Mo Know (Denver)
You're on the higher end of Forte this week relative to your peers. Any reason why? I don't see it as a terrific matchup for him and the Chicago offense has been a dumpster fire lately.
Christopher Harris (11:03 AM)
The tape on Forte each of the past two weeks has been pretty impressive to me -- he's playing well. His limitation is always going to be a lack of close-in TDs, it seems, maybe because he runs too upright. I wrote about him at length in last week's Hard Count: http://espn.go.com/fantasy/football/story/_/page/hardcount121207/week-14-nfl-preview-changing-defensive-perceptions-value-matt-forte-larry-fitzgerald-dez-bryant
Ryan (Mile High)
Thoughts on McFadden this week? Reports out of practice yesterday are he's 100% and the KC D is awful. Would you start him over R. Wayne or Moreno in a .5 ppr? THANKS!
Christopher Harris (11:05 AM)
Hi, Ryan. My thoughts are: I rated him 18th among RBs and still felt worried about it. Obviously he's not the 18th-most-talented RB playing this week...but he's excruciatingly hard to trust. And KC's run defense has been pretty neutral over the past five weeks. (Not like, for instance, *Oakland*'s run defense.) I'm not saying DMC won't have a big week. I'm just saying he carries so much risk, that it comes down to whether you can tolerate the possibility of nada. I personally would use Wayne.
Dan (Smithfield, AL)
Non-PPR league, How would you rank these players for flex spot: D. Alexander, S. Smith, S. Jackson?
Christopher Harris (11:07 AM)
Hi, Dan. I guess I'd go Jackson, Smith, Alexander, but that is a *tightly* bunched group. Seems to me that Jackson presents the most security, as RBs usually do, because he's likely to get more touches. And Smith and Alexander are literally back-to-back in my WR ranks. A gut call on your part is perfectly acceptable.
Dasher (North Pole)
Need 2 of 3...Shorts Ballard Sproles?
Christopher Harris (11:07 AM)
I'd probably sit Ballard, as tempting as it is to have him apparently have the Indy job to himself. The other two guys have extreme, extreme upside, IMO.
Michael (Calgary, Canada)
I have noticed a fair share of 'hype' surrounding the LIONS D/ST, this week against Arizona. What do you expect from these 2 teams in particular?
Christopher Harris (11:08 AM)
Hi, Michael. Well, put it this way: Last week against the Packers, I had Detroit D/ST rated No. 30. And they haven't been higher than 22 on my list for a month. And this week I have 'em 9th.....
Seems like Bradshaw won't play. Wilson or B. Brown tonight?
Christopher Harris (11:10 AM)
Hi, Sean. I'm not sure I agree with your conclusion. *If* I could be sure that Bradshaw wasn't going to play, I would go with Wilson. But Bradshaw is just a tough dude, and it won't be shocking to me if he goes. In which case I'd prefer to have played Brown. So I guess this comes down to reading the medical reports today and making a call based on that.....
Do you worry about Bryce Brown laying another egg this week? I am in the championship game of my league and thinking about going with someone "safer" like Mikel Leshoure or even gambling on Torrey Smith.
Christopher Harris (11:12 AM)
Hi, Ryan. Sure, it's certainly a possibility. You'll note that despite the fact that I was an early adapter on Brown before he ever got his first start (as Fantasy Underground podcast listeners know), I actually rated him lowest among RBs last week among ESPN rankers, precisely because we can't get too carried away by small sample sizes. But I also don't think that those great efforts were flukes...he has real skill. So while it's possible he lays an egg, absolutely, I don't think he's some lucky dope who'll never be heard from again. I definitely understand that he comes with risk, but my goodness, so do Leshoure and Torrey, right?
Would I be crazy to drop Myers and start Clark at TE? PPR league and I'm gonna need a big week to pull off the upset.
Christopher Harris (11:13 AM)
Hi, Brett. Crazy? No. If that's what your tummy is saying, how can I debate? Tight end has been a kicker-level crap shoot all year...there's a plateau from basically #3 to
Superbowl Dreams (Indy)
Struggling a bit ... 1 PPR, pick 2, Mike Wallace @ DAL, Moreno @ Balt and Josh Gordon vs Wash ... appreciate your help!
Christopher Harris (11:14 AM)
Hi, SD, Probably Wallace and Moreno. I like Gordon just fine, but the other guys figure to be more a focal point.....
Popular dilemena facing alot of fantasy playoff teams this week. Josh Freeman is available on the waiver wire. Am I crazy for wanting to grab him off of waivers and start in place of Aaron Rodgers? I know you should always start your studs but Freeman vs NO seems like a better option than Rodgers vs Bears.
Christopher Harris (11:15 AM)
Hi, Mike. I do have Rodgers ranked ahead of Freeman -- I'm thinking of last week's game against the Eagles, where TB's matchup seemed like it couldn't be better, but Freeman didn't deliver a big QB day. But Rodgers has been very meh, it's true. It comes down to a personal decision, but I know if it's me, and Rodgers goes off and "pulls a Rodgers" while he's on my bench, I'd be pretty angry at myself....
You seem much higher on DeMarco Murray against a stout Pitt D than your fellow rankers. I feel like I should start Bryce Brown over him but you're giving me pause...care to explain your high ranking of Murray?
Christopher Harris (11:17 AM)
Hi, Chris. I agree that the Steelers are good against the run, but as seems to happen a lot in the past few years, I think their excellence is overstated. In the past five weeks, I've seen Rice, Richardson and Charles be *decent* against them, maintaining their regular fantasy-point averages. And really more than anything else, I look at the lists of names below him in my ranks, and I don't find many names to feel great about. I mean, Bryce Brown *did* have like 14 touches for 12 yards last week. Me, I'd play Murray....
Do you trust Stevan Ridley to have continued success on the ground against the third ranked run defense: San Fran? Trying to decide if I should sit him over Bryce Brown and Moreno.
Christopher Harris (11:18 AM)
Hi, Rob. I'm writing at length about Ridley in tomorrow's Hard Count column, so check in about that. Clearly as you can see from my RB ranks, I'm not that afraid of using Ridley....
Christopher Harris (11:19 AM)
HEY GANG -- I wanted to take a quick moment to mention that if you're a football fan who likes to read fiction (or you know one), my novel Slotback Rhapsody is a pretty good holiday gift...plus the Kindle version is $6. www.slotbackrhapsody.com. Thanks....
Bad Santa (Arizona)
In NON PPR--I've been using Dez Bryant regularly as my FLEX Option but with his hand injury should I feel more comfortable rolling with SJAX here in Wk 15? Thoughts? Thanks!
Christopher Harris (11:20 AM)
Dez is going to be a wild card this week. Pittsburgh's secondary is super-beaten-up, so the matchup isn't as scary as it might otherwise seem. But the finger. Oh, the finger. Two other times in the past couple months Dez played hurt, and did nothing. He's got more upside than Jackson, no question. But the risk does seem scarier, too. Dude could touch the ball once, say "ow," and be done. I don't know. I wish I could be exact. I would understand if you wanted to eschew the risk. I probably couldn't do it.
Do I side with caution and even if RGIII does play, go with Kaepernick?
Christopher Harris (11:21 AM)
Hi, Carlo. Me personally, no. I would ride Bobby Three Sticks until the cows come home. But is there more risk? Certainly. If the idea of that bad knee makes you squeamish, I would understand the choice.
Hey Chris. Defense wins championships-- I have a D/ST question for you. How is the Lions D not ranked number 1 with the mess in Arizona? AZ's opponents haven't failed to score 7 points all season, double digits the last six or seven. Why shouldn't I start them over Bengals D?
Christopher Harris (11:24 AM)
Hi, Dan. I understand the logic. The worry comes when you look at the *Lions* D/ST numbers. Can I give you their past 7 games? 3, 8, -2, 5, -3, 0, 7. Yikes. When I'm ranking defenses, I just don't feel like I can ignore an actual defense's performance (or lack thereof), and only focus on the opponent, which explains why I raised 'em *so* much from where I usually have them, but couldn't go as high as you recommend. But you're right: AZ stinks.
Thoughts on Ryan Mathews...the matchup seems nice, but he has been a bust all year. Would you rather play him or Crabtree, Decker at Flex? .5PPR
Christopher Harris (11:26 AM)
Hi, Ryan. He sure has! I thought Mathews looked decent on tape last week, but yet again he just doesn't get a sniff of the end zone. He does catch the ball, though (I think he's 7th in RB targets). For me it would be him or Decker -- and Decker's been almost as maddening, though at least last week he did a little something. If you're just *through* with Mathews, I guess play Decker. But I do have Mathews a bit higher....
Should I start Pitta over Ridley @ tough SF
Christopher Harris (11:27 AM)
Hi, Melanie. I'm using Ridley. Again, I'm writing something about him for tomorrow's Hard Count column...give it a read.
Denario Alexander, Bryce Brown, or Knowshon Moreno at Flex?
Christopher Harris (11:28 AM)
Hi, Adam. It's either Moreno or Alexander for me. Normally I go RB, and I wouldn't complain if you pick KM here, but I think I try and ride Alexander's hot hand. His past 5 games have been ridiculous.
DF (The Underground)
KBritt/MWilliams/DWilson - sit one, please
Christopher Harris (11:29 AM)
Hi, DF. If Bradshaw plays, Wilson sits. If he doesn't, I guess it's Mike Williams sitting by a smidge.
Yoel (Miami Florida)
Should I start McFadden or Kenny Britt at the flex position this week. Also, the Dolphins defense or the Bears defense.?? Thank you
Christopher Harris (11:30 AM)
Hi, Yoel. As I mentioned earlier, McFadden is just a mighty hard guy to trust. If you can stomach the risk that he continues to be maddening, I think he has more upside. Believe it or not, I think the safer play is Britt. And for D/ST ranks: http://espn.go.com/fantasy/football/story/_/page/12ranksWeek15DST
Hoppy (Chattanooga, TN. )
What is your gut feeling on Bradshaw playing Sunday? My flex choice is David Wilson or Bryce Brown.
Christopher Harris (11:31 AM)
Hi, Hoppy. I have to admit, I think we're all uneducated when it comes to something like this, because we're not in the room. There's no way of really knowing. All I can truly say is that Bradshaw is one tough dude, and plays with all sorts of injuries other RBs wouldn't go with.
Will the changes at OC affect Rice in a positive or negative way? How so?
Christopher Harris (11:32 AM)
Hi, Rick. This is a protracted topic of conversation on this week's Fantasy Underground podcast. The bottom line is that I'm not sure I'd count on any major changes for fantasy values at the moment. But it's more complicated than that, so I'd suggest and hope you give it a listen -- we spend like 10 minutes discussing.
All I want for Xmas is... (Slotback Rhapsody)
I feel like Hakeem Nicks is the McFadden of WRs this week. Can you trust him this week or roll with Garcon instead?
Christopher Harris (11:33 AM)
Well, I certainly hope you receive it from Santa. Sure, I agree that Nicks is a scary health proposition. He overcame the problems last week to produce a good game, but who knows if he does it again? Nicks and Garcon are close enough in my ranks that if you just want to take the Nicks risk away, I couldn't complain.
Help me decide between Garcon and Ballard at flex. 0.5-ppr and 0.2-ppcarry. Thanks!
Christopher Harris (11:34 AM)
Hi, Dexter. Interesting...having not played in that format, it strikes me that I might not be able to give you a well-informed answer. Off the cuff, it seems to me that Ballard is likely to give you more in the PPCarry side of things than Garcon will in the PPR. Then it comes down to stuff like yards and TDs. I can see an argument for Ballard in this format, to be honest.
Wallace, Mathews, Murray, or Sproles? Pick two please and thanks!
Christopher Harris (11:35 AM)
Hi, Caleb. I think I go Murray and Sproles, though obviously Wallace went *off* in garbage time last week...
Need to choose 2 of M. Owens, Stevie and Maclin. Who's sitting for me? Thanks for all the help this season.
Christopher Harris (11:36 AM)
Hi, Jeremy. Stevie plays. And between Owens and Maclin? Yikes. Hm. Why can't I bring myself to trust Nick Foles tonight? I just can't. i think I play Owens.
Angelo (Manchvegas NH)
Hi Chris, do you think Jamaal Charles has a good game vs Oak. this week. I know Oaklands defense is junk but division games are always harder, Charles had 5 carries for 4 yards last time around. Also Knowshon or Denario?
Christopher Harris (11:37 AM)
Hi, Angelo. I think Charles will be terrific. He's really been busting long ones lately, and that Raiders D/ST looks like a dream matchup. And as I said earlier, I want to ride Alexander's hot hand, barely, over Moreno.
Art (QB quandry)
Your quaterback ranks only go so deep. I am a RG3 owner, here are my choices for backups: Tennehill, Gabbert, or Cousins.....sad but true
Christopher Harris (11:38 AM)
Hi, Art. I would choose Tannehill if RG3 can't go.
Need help for tonight! Why do you like Ridley so much more than BJGE? You seem to be in the minority on this with the other rankers. Thanks!!
Christopher Harris (11:40 AM)
Hi, Mike. Well, my Ridley defense tomorrow is going to come down to the fact that he's been so good against such a wide variety of defenses over the past 6 games. Heck, we're allowed to be scared by the Niners D, because they are legit, but didn't we think the same thing last week? Houston's D has consistently been *tougher* than SF's for RBs to score fantasy points against. And Ridley just did his thing and scored another TD. It's ironic that we're making the Law Firm comparison, because Ridley is doing what BJGE did for years...TD every week, at the behest of that amazing NE offense. I can't sit the guy. I know there's a risk. But I can't do it.
Have you guys ever posted a video of you guys answering chats in a session? A lot of folks complain how they never get answered.. but I can't Imagine how insane it is from your end in choosing a chat and replying as fast as you all do! Very curious to see a clip of what its like from your end!
Christopher Harris (11:41 AM)
Hi, Oz. Ha. Well, I think you'd think the video was pretty dang boring. Me sitting in my couch with a snoring dog next to me. Plus I'm just back from the gym, so I'm kind of a sweaty mess. But yeah, your point is well-taken: so far 1,800 questions asked. Impossible to get to even a sizable fraction, though I try to go fast....
Kyle (QB Help)
Got a big decision between Kaepernick and Palmer. I just can't see how you have CK ranked so high headed into Foxborough. Can you explain this?
Christopher Harris (11:43 AM)
Hi, Kyle. Well, it's the running QB thing, right? He's just dangerous. I wish they'd let him throw it more, especially given how he looked against the Bears, but even with a conservative game plan, he's a good bet for one or two explosive plays in the run game. And Carson Palmer...well...he just isn't good. It's true he's posted some good weeks, but almost always as a result of garbage time. I could absolutely be wrong, because there are no guarantees, but I'd be playing Kaepernick.
Maybe not a video, but a screen shot of all the questions you have to dig through!
Christopher Harris (11:43 AM)
Good idea, Christina. I'll post a screen cap on Twitter after the chat is over...follow me @CHarrisESPN.
Deli or Chik-fil-a?
Christopher Harris (11:44 AM)
Hi, Brandon. Vegetarian....
Andrew Luck (Keeper Leagues)
Will I become an elite fantasy QB in the next few years?
Christopher Harris (11:45 AM)
Yeah, I think so. Luck has been limited by turnovers -- he makes a lot of mistakes. But I have faith that he's a player who will learn, and the physical gifts are just off the charts. This has been a relatively up-and-down year considering he's a rookie QB whose team is 9-4. But I think it'll get better.
I don't trust the fantasy opinion of a vegetarian. I'm out. Thanks.
Christopher Harris (11:45 AM)
could you stop being an analyst and do fine with your book sales financially?
Christopher Harris (11:46 AM)
Hi, Bill. That would be a no! :-) But every little bit helps.
Ok then how bout a veggie sub?
Christopher Harris (11:46 AM)
Thanks, Mark. Sold!
The Godfather (Columbus)
Pick one RB and one FLEX in PPR. Ridley, McFadden, D. Wilson (if Bradshaw doesn't go) Nicks
Christopher Harris (11:47 AM)
Hm. If Bradshaw is entirely out of the picture, and I know this before all the games...boy, Wilson sure makes for a fun start. He's in there. And I'd say Ridley is my other.
Michael Vick (Philly)
Can you also post a picture of the dog?
Christopher Harris (11:48 AM)
Now I'm a bit nervous that pics of the dog *are* all over my Twitter (@CHarrisESPN) and Facebook (facebook.com/writerboy) accounts. Gulp.
Should I hang on to Maurice Jones Drew expecting him to return?
Christopher Harris (11:49 AM)
Hi, Mike. Tough to make a hard-and-fast rule not knowing what your roster looks like. But I'm growing suspicious we've seen the last of him this year.
Little help please! PPR League pick three: Forte, Moreno, Bryce Brown, LeShoure, Dwyer, or Mathews? TE, Rudolph or Clark? Thanks
Christopher Harris (11:50 AM)
Hi, Paul. Even though Mathews is a mess, he's the only elite targets RB on your list here. So he jumps into the group. I'll use Forte and Moreno, too. And at TE? As I said earlier, this is the year where TEs are kickers. I guess Rudolph. But heaven knows.
DF (Sitting Studs?)
What would it take for you to move Dez either up or down by the rankings update?
Christopher Harris (11:51 AM)
Hi, DF. Hm. That's a good question. He's not moving up. I guess it would take a pretty big medical update of woe and worry for me to lower him from where I have him now. He's already lower than I'd have liked to have put him.
Chris, if it were your team and you needed a TE for this weekend which one of these would you start... Olsen, Bennett, Myers, or Clark? PPR league. Thanks
Christopher Harris (11:52 AM)
Hi, Carl. I think I'd go with Olsen. The PPR-ness of the league doesn't change too much for me, because I don't see anyone there who hasn't laid a big ol' egg in recent weeks....
Gronkey Kong (NE)
Am I going to return by next week?
Christopher Harris (11:52 AM)
Sounds like there's a chance, but the truth is, we won't really know anything about any NE injury until the guy is out on the field.
desperate for a wr- thoughts on avant tonight?
Christopher Harris (11:52 AM)
Hi, Jon. Foles has definitely thrown it to him a bunch the past 2 weeks. He has no YAC ability at all, but sure-handed for sure.
Rankings aside, please tell me out of Rudolph, Gates, and Davis, who do you think can have a big game? I'm facing the best team in the playoffs, and I need a home run.
Christopher Harris (11:53 AM)
Hi, Sam. Biggest upside...hm...I guess it's probably Vernon Davis. If they would throw it to him, he's an absolute beast. But he's also quite likely to give you a donut.
I started 0-5 and won 7/8 to make the playoffs. Help me keep my hopes alive, Shorts or Brown tonight?
Christopher Harris (11:53 AM)
Hi, James. Cecil Shorts has me ensorcelled. I think I'd play him.
would you play Wilson over Gore if bradshaw is out?
Christopher Harris (11:54 AM)
Hi, wsargent. Hm. It would be very close. I tend to be a little bit conservative, and I know that if I made the switch and then Gore went nuts, I'd be *really* ticked at myself. But it would be darn tempting.
Hi chris, love the underground. My league decided to change the rules in the playoffs. We decided on not ressedung teams, but now they are reseeding which changes our semi-final matchups. Im no an advocate of in season changes on the fly to appease league members. Can I get your thoughts? Thanks
Christopher Harris (11:55 AM)
Hi, Ryan. There's no way a league should change rules midseason. They should only do it once the season is over, with a look toward next year. That said, if they did it, they did it, and your recourse is: Don't be in that league again next year.
Why should I take football advice from a vegetarian?
Christopher Harris (11:56 AM)
Because he watches more film than you?
Jeff (NY, NY)
Christopher - If you were in need of only a handful of points come 4pm Sunday, would you start Dez or someone like Britt?
Christopher Harris (11:57 AM)
Hi, Jeff. So we're looking for the safest guy. I would have to say that's probably Britt. Now, Britt is *not* the picture of safety. And normally there would be no question that it's Dez. But in this case, with the finger a pretty big unknown? I think it's Britt, unfortunately.
Ensorcelled?!? (Now you're just trying to use crazy words)
In simple language for us rubes, why are you so much lower on Danario Alexander compared to the other rankers?
Christopher Harris (11:58 AM)
I love that word. You got what I meant, right? Ironic that I'd be lower on Danario a week after I was higher than anyone else. Bottom line: I tend to stick with my player evaluation and not go crazy. I think he's a fantasy starter, but I also think he's got the crummy Mr. Rivers throwing it to him. So there's only so high I'm going for now.
PPR: Amendola, Fitz or Ballard?
Christopher Harris (11:59 AM)
Hi, Cam. I guess Ballard. If I could be sure Amendola was healthy and playing and himself, it would be him in a heartbeat.
Since we are on the topic of safety, who's safest? Ryan or Red Rifle?
Christopher Harris (12:00 PM)
Hi, Ben. Hm. I might actually say Dalton. I mean, he's going to throw a pick tonight, I can almost guarantee it. But the guy who throws to A.J. Green is usually also going to make enough plays to get you, y'know, 15 fantasy points.
Your peers have Chris Johnson in the top 10 explain why you have him at 15
Christopher Harris (12:01 PM)
Hi, Woody. He's lost 60% of his offensive line in the past 3 weeks. Honestly, that's what it is...I don't like what I saw last week from those blockers....and also, it seems folks are stuck on the notion that the Jets run defense isn't good, and while I wouldn't make a claim that it's elite, it's been pretty average for 5 weeks.
Ryan F. (Tulsa, OK) [via mobile]
_______ Will have the most fantasy points in tonight's game?
Christopher Harris (12:02 PM)
Hi, Ryan. I'll guess A.J. Green in a bounceback from his drop-filled Week 14.
Christopher Harris (12:02 PM)
OK, gang, one more and then I've got to get writing. (And walk this dog, who has woken up needing bladder rescue.)
Peyton (Rock and a hard place)
I'm starting Pitta & Bryce Brown. Should I start the Broncos or Bengals DEF even if my own players are going against them?
Christopher Harris (12:04 PM)
Tough call. I think I'd have a hard time sitting the Broncos D, to be honest. They've been really, very good over the past month-plus, and Pitta isn't a player you're going to be relying on for massive production. (Because he's a tight end, and apparently TEs are zombies.)
Christopher Harris (12:05 PM)
OK, gang. I'm sorry I've got to get going, but I do. We got 2,300 questions in this hour, which is crazy, and I did my best. I know it's frustrating, and you're saying to yourself, "That punk is so full of himself." And while maybe that's true, I really do try to get to as many questions as I can. Again, if you like to read, can I ask as a minor donation you purchase Slotback Rhapsody? (www.slotbackrhapsody.com) I mean, you like football, right? And I've helped you before? Har. Anyway, follow me on Twitter (@CHarrisESPN), and have a good week. Good luck in your playoff game!