Fantasy NFL with Christopher Harris
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN.com fantasy expert Christopher Harris will drop by to take your questions and analyze all the latest football news from a fantasy perspective.
Harris, a senior writer for ESPN.com, is a six-time Fantasy Sports Writers Association award winner. He wrote the noir thriller "The Big Clear."
Send your questions now and join Harris Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET!
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Christopher Harris (3:01 PM)
Hey, everyone. Welcome to your Wednesday afternoon chat! Remember - you can find my single-position ranks here for standard leagues: http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=13ranksWeek8QB. And if you'd like to read an excerpt from my novel, The Big Clear, you can find it here: www.TheBigClear.com. Rock on! Let's get to your questions.
Mr. Stacy (Lex, KY)
Assuming that James Jones is out this week, should I play Jarrett Boykin or Stevan Ridley as my flex?
Christopher Harris (3:02 PM)
I guess I'm playing Ridley. The Dolphins have been a real plus matchup for opposing RBs over the past 5 weeks, according to my metrics. I like Boykin, too, so this is one of those 51/49 deals, especially since Ridley's playing time is no sure thing. But if it's me, I'm probably rolling with him.
Doug Martin sucked for TB this year. What makes fantasy owners think Mike James will do any better?
Christopher Harris (3:03 PM)
Hi, Zack. Yeah, especially in a bad matchup against a tough Carolina defense. I don't hear too many fantasy owners proclaiming that James will suddenly be a fantasy star. But guys who could be in line for 20 touches per week for the rest of the season don't grow on trees. I agree to keep your expectations in check, but I do think he's an add.
Should i sell rice... hes killing me. Value ROS? Rather have someone like alfred morris? Thanks !!
Christopher Harris (3:05 PM)
Hi, Robbie. We're actually going to talk about some "buy low" candidates on tomorrow's Fantasy Underground podcast, and Rice will definitely be mentioned...though I'm not sure I'd really do the buying. Selling low is always a tough proposition -- I wouldn't take nickels on the dollar for him. But if you have someone offering Alfred Morris for him, I would probably do that.
Andre 'Flex' ington (Mile High)
Ellington, Gordon, Stacy. Who should be gettin their flex on?
Christopher Harris (3:06 PM)
Of this group, I might just go ahead and play Gordon, hoping Jason Campbell can figure stuff out better than Brandon Weeden. But that's a dicey situation vs. KC, so if you wanted to go with one of the RBs, I'd go Stacy over Ellington, even despite the awful matchup.
Good afternoon! What do you see for Larry Fitz ROS? Does his favorable schedule make him a WR1 moving forward?
Christopher Harris (3:07 PM)
Hi, Russ. Well, the schedule does let up a little bit after back to back Niners/Seahawks, beginning this week vs. ATL, but I wouldn't say the Cardinals are good enough to proclaim *any* matchup a "great" one for them just now. I would probably put Fitz in the 11 to 15 range ROS, not quite WR1. Carson Palmer is not good.
Does James Jones play this week? IF so, start him?
Christopher Harris (3:08 PM)
Hi, CC. I didn't rank him in our initial ranks on Wednesday -- I think that's a multi-week kind of injury. But until we get through a week of practice, I'm not sure we'll have a straight answer. If he goes, you probably use him, unless you've got stellar depth at WR.
Trent Richardson stinks...just say it Chris, it will make you feel so much better.
Christopher Harris (3:09 PM)
Ha. Hey, Jake. I don't believe it. But what can I say? My analysis on him has *not* looked very smart at this point, my friend. Field and I tried tackling the question on yesterday's podcast. (Again!) I'm not ready to say he's bad. But I don't feel very happy with the young man at this point. :-)
Any need to worry about Brandon Marshall with the new QB?
Christopher Harris (3:11 PM)
Hi, Jack. Yeah, I think it's fair to have questions about McCown. He hasn't been very good in the past. He was nice in the 2nd half vs. WAS, but the Redskins aren't good on defense. That said, I'm not ready to bench anyone in Chicago until I see how bad it might get..... Keep starting Marshall and Forte for sure.
Mark Shell (Harrisburg, PA)
If ATL's Steven Jackson is active do you play him?
Christopher Harris (3:12 PM)
Hi, Mark. I was the only ranker on ESPN to put Jackson in my ranks today, and I did place him at No. 15, so it's pretty clear I think he's a start if he's active -- but obviously he doesn't come without pretty extreme risk. Et tu, Arian Foster????
Feeling iffy on my Eagles players ROS. Should I be trading them away? I have Vick and Jackson
Christopher Harris (3:13 PM)
Hi, Ken. The problem is that if you're feeling iffy, isn't everyone else in your league? The time to have sold Vick would've been in that first month, because he was *going* to get hurt. (He was my #1 sell-high candidate in September....) I just question how much you'll get for him now. Now, Jackson? He could bring a nice return, but you'd want to sell him *after* a big game, not after one where he struggles....
Jon (Milwaukee, WI)
Hey Chris. Your thoughts on Spiller ROS? When healthy, if he ever gets healthy, does he make his way back towards the top 10 RB?
Christopher Harris (3:15 PM)
Hi, Jon. I did a "buy/sell" video that will be on ESPN.com tomorrow midday, and Spiller is one of the guys we talked about. Because I would imagine he should come very cheap at this point, and if you can buy him for very little, I would do it. This seems entirely related to his ankle, and it's a long darned season. I think he will start looking like himself again, even if it's only in time for the fantasy playoffs. Worth a buy low (if it's very low), in my opinion.
Ka (Hong Kong)
Hello, Chris. Would you please tell me your thoughts on White and Douglas ROS? Thanks!
Christopher Harris (3:18 PM)
Hi, Ka. We're also going to mention Roddy on tomorrow's podcast as a possible buy-low player. It's a mess right now. Obviously. He has to get healthy. But as with Spiller, it's a long season, and he *will* get healthy. At least I think so, based on what's been published about his injuries. So I think he might be a pretty smart acquisition on the cheap at the moment. Douglas is an add for sure, and is startable for as long as White is out. Once White is back and himself, I have my doubts that he'll be more than a sporadic fantasy contributor....
Is Jacquizz Rodgers droppable now that Steven Jackson is back or should I still hold on to him?
Christopher Harris (3:19 PM)
Hi, Mark. Oh, I think you should hold. First off, we're not really sure Jackson is back. He practiced in some fashion today, but it's hard to know exactly what that means, and whether he'll definitely be able to go. Plus the hamstring injury was pretty serious, and there's no guarantee he won't hurt it again. I would definitely hold on if I could.
Ty Hilton a must start now with Wayne out?
Christopher Harris (3:21 PM)
Hi, Nick. I always hesitate on questions of whether someone is a "must-start," because it always depends on what else you have. (Also, the Colts are off this week....) But yeah, Hilton is going to work his way quite a bit higher in my WR ranks next week. His big drawback has been playing 50 to 60% of Indy's snaps. No more. He'll be an 80 to 90% guy going forward....
Is it just me or does it seem like there is not a lot to gain by making trades this season since every team probably has big holes and big injuries?
Christopher Harris (3:22 PM)
Hi, Tyler. Well, it's the eternal lament. Fantasy football just isn't fantasy baseball...each player is so situation-dependent, and injuries are so prevalent. I think it only *seems* worse this year...it's pretty much always like this. You never know where the time bomb players are. They're out there. They're ready to mess with you. But it's impossible to know who they are......
does the bye week get Rice right?
Christopher Harris (3:23 PM)
Hi, Leo. Boy, I don't know! I think Rice probably wasn't fully 100% over the past couple weeks, and maybe that contributed to poor results. But really, I lay most of this blame at the feet of the line. That's an easy, convenient excuse, of course, and frankly it's *not* much of an excuse, because when I recommend drafting Rice, I'm also recommending that his o-line won't stink. But the bottom line is: it was a bad recommendation to this point, because it has stunk. Will it get better? Yeah, I'm a believer that it will. It did last year. But I'm not 100% sold. It's a puzzle.
Thoughts on DHB? What's the upside?
Christopher Harris (3:24 PM)
Hi, Jake. We saw some nice play out of him Sunday night, but I think that's the upside. Right there. And unfortunately, the downside is very, very well known. He can't catch. Again and again he had chances in Oakland, and he kicked them all away with his stone hands. (Mixed metaphor, but you get the point.) I'm not investing heavily. He can be picked up in all league, for sure. But I need to see a bunch more consistent play before I'm ready to start him every week.
Since you ranked Percy Harvin this week, does that mean you believe he will play?
Christopher Harris (3:30 PM)
Hi, Steve. It's a rapidly developing situation! When you sit there was a spreadsheet on Tuesday night, the information is so imperfect. I don't really know whether Harvin is going to go in Week 8, and I'm not sure we're going to know with enough certainty given he's playing in a Monday night game. You might just have to wait. I may lower him later in the week, to be honest, for just that reason.
Think theres any chance Gordon actually gets trade? I have him in 3 leagues and would love to see him have a good QB throwing him the ball.
Christopher Harris (3:31 PM)
Hi, Frank. It makes so much sense! I don't have Adam Schefter-style league sources, but I'll say this: nobody is likely to tip their hand until the trade deadline is literally upon us next week. Until then, misinformation is the rule. I'd like to see Gordon go, I'd like to see Hakeem Nicks go. Football trades have been historically tough to pull off midseason, but we've seen enough this year that I'd say I give it a decent chance.
Steven Stucker (aka Johnny) (The Tower)
What do you make of the running back situation in NE? Who is a starter this week, who's just roster worthy, and who should be kicked to the curb? (in a "standard" league)
Christopher Harris (3:34 PM)
Hi, Steven aka Johnny. I don't want to say I know for certain, because this year just isn't looking like last year. First of all, the specter of Vereen's return looms. Next month the conversation will be different. As for now, I'm going to say it's Ridley, but I don't trust that week-to-week that's bulletproof. I do think Blount can be dropped, because even when he plays, he's just bad. As for Bolden? I could go either way, if you were in need of a roster spot.
Is Jordan Reed something special? Are you a believer ROS?
Christopher Harris (3:36 PM)
Hi, Josh. I think Reed belongs to the middle class of TEs, from like #3 to
How does your Douglass rank change if White plays? I'm debating between him, Boykin and Terance for WR3.
Christopher Harris (3:37 PM)
Hi, Tim. I do think White playing would shove Douglas down some, because now that the consecutive-games thing is no longer in play, I'm hoping the Falcons won't rush Roddy back until he's ready to actually contribute. In that case, I'd probably rank him below the other 2 guys you mention.
No Graham at practice today - concerned for this week and/or rest of year?
Christopher Harris (3:39 PM)
For the rest of the year, no. It doesn't sound like a long-term thing. But this week? Sure! Definitely need to keep an eye, and need to have an alternative ready. We might not get a true answer before Sunday. He would basically be impossible to sit if he plays, though.
Would you start Helu over Morris this week, because Washington is going to have to pass quite a bit?
Christopher Harris (3:40 PM)
Hi, Michael. You can see my ranks on ESPN.com and see that I have Morris higher, but I'll explain why -- because I think assuming you know how a game will go is too cute. Will the Skins go hurry-up a bunch? Maybe. But they may also decide it's not wise, given that it may just return the ball to #18 faster. And when they're in their "regular" set, Helu doesn't play much. So I preferred to play it straight up in the ranks. Morris is high. But Helu (in a week with 6 bye teams) is flex-ible.
Gary Harkness (Logos College)
Nice digs. New studio for the video segments?
Christopher Harris (3:41 PM)
It would be really, really cool if Gary Harkness was actually in this chat. (He's the hero of "End Zone," Don DeLillo's classic -- if you like football, especially college football, it's a must read.) I'm not sure why they put us in that studio today. It's the one they use for a lot of in-game college football stuff on Saturdays. First time I ever recorded there.
Christopher Harris (3:43 PM)
It seems like folks are saying my Jordan Reed answer got cut off, so here it was in full: "Hi, Josh. I think Reed belongs to the middle class of TEs, from like #3 to
THoughts on Demarco ROS? He's back at practice today (limited).
Christopher Harris (3:44 PM)
Hi, Tim. The way Jerry Jones was pumping Joseph Randle yesterday kind of prepared me for the idea that we'd be one more week without Murray, especially because that injury tends to be a multi-week thing. I guess the only thing to do is stay tuned. Lance Dunbar is supposed to be back this week, too. Not sure what to make of it. Check back Friday!
Will Willis McGahee have any fantasy relevance this year?
Christopher Harris (3:45 PM)
Hi, Matt. At least Willis is honest about what he is. He's performed exactly like we expected: SLOW. He'll have value any time he accidentally falls into the end zone, but otherwise, he's a candidate for, you know, 45 yards on 15 touches. He doesn't play on passing downs, which makes it all the worse. Not very appealing....
Christopher Harris (3:45 PM)
Hi, Josh. I think Reed belongs to the middle class of TEs, from like 3 to 12, where in any given week they can definitely help you, but they aren't focal points of their offenses enough to be Graham/Gronk. (And Graham is no sure thing to play this week...) I'm very impressed with the size/speed/athleticism package. I would definitely add him, and feel pretty good about starting him. But he ain't no sure thing. Ask Jordan Cameron, Julius Thomas, Vernon Davis, etc.... TEs are maddening....
Christopher Harris (3:46 PM)
(I think this chat software maybe doesn't like number signs...)
Christopher Harris (3:46 PM)
Did it work that time?
Christopher Harris (3:47 PM)
Concerns about Cameron and Gordon going forward w/ Campbell at QB. Esp this week at KC?
Christopher Harris (3:49 PM)
Hi, Zach. I would be more concerned based on KC than I would the QB...Weeden isn't any good, either, after all. But even vs. KC, I would have a hard time sitting either guy, in a world of 6 teams on bye and so many uncertain producers. If you sit down and start ranking WRs and TEs, you run out of guys you feel truly good about pretty dang fast!
Ka (Hong Kong)
Thanks, Chris. Just to follow up the White/Douglas question - does it make sense to trade Douglas for Stacy now then?
Christopher Harris (3:49 PM)
In a vacuum, I would probably do that, assuming that I needed a RB more than I needed a WR.
Can Heath be #1 TE ROS? FAs: Martellus and Cook
Christopher Harris (3:52 PM)
Hi, Tim. I mean, he *can*. I rank him No. 8 this week. But as I mentioned earlier (finally! when I stopped using number signs!), the middle class of TEs comes completely without guarantees. You just don't know what you're getting week to week. Miller belongs to that group now, but he's no sure thing because really, there *are* no sure things. It's why I say TEs are the new kickers.
Hi, Chris. What do you think about Trent Richardson? Will he turn it around?
Christopher Harris (3:52 PM)
Hi, Shane. It's such a big, tortured subject that I have to recommend you listen to Tuesday's Fantasy Underground podcast. We spent another 5 to 10 minutes on him.
Clay (Dallas, TX)
At what point will you be comfortable in considering Colston a 'drop' candidate?
Christopher Harris (3:55 PM)
Hi, Clay. Not any time soon. He's got 324 yards receiving. It's not elite, no question. But it's top 50 among WRs per game, and he hasn't scored TDs yet. That's the one thing he's always done. I find it hard to believe that faucet is completely shut off. I'm not dropping Colston any time soon.
Marc (Malden, MA)
Would you drop Doug Martin?
Christopher Harris (3:57 PM)
Hi, Marc. No. I would not. There are enough conflicting pieces of information out there that I'd hate to give up on him before anything is official. Martin himself says he believes he'll play again, but really, if you're not in that building, there's no way to know anything for sure. Mike James should be added. But I don't think Martin should be dropped yet.
Kevin (South Bend)
I listened to your opinion on TRich on the Fantasy Underground Podcast. That being said, would you deal away MJD to get him?
Christopher Harris (3:58 PM)
Hi, Kevin. It's a good question. A buy-low for a buy-low. Yeah, I probably would do that, because I trust Richardson's team around him and his relative youth and hunger relative to what I've seen from MJD so far this season, on that awful Jags team.
Hi, Christopher. Can you make the Dolphins use Lamar Miller more?
Christopher Harris (3:59 PM)
Hi, Brian. (Closes eyes.) It's done.
Speaking of Mike James, would you pick him or Chris ivory up?
Christopher Harris (3:59 PM)
Hi, Dave. I would prefer Ivory.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Would you dangle Keenan Allen or Jeffrey to a frustrated Garcon owner?
Christopher Harris (4:00 PM)
Hi, Scott. Especially Allen. Not that I don't like the player. (I've had to write in like a dozen places how much I like the player.) I just don't think the consistent production will be there. Yes, yes, yes on acquiring Garcon if you can.
Christopher Harris (4:01 PM)
All right, gang. I have to go help cut some film for the Fantasy Underground: Film Room segment that will be on the site tomorrow. We're breaking down RG3, so I hope you guys enjoy. I know it can be frustrating not getting your questions answered -- it seems like you're just getting totally ignored. The problem is that we got > 2,000 questions in a single hour, and there's only so much I can do. I'm really sorry about that. I hope you have a good day, and if you want to follow me on Twitter, I'm @CHarrisESPN.
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