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 (3:00 PM)
Hi, everyone -- welcome to your Wednesday afternoon chat. As always, remember that the single-position ranks are here: http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=13ranksWeek9QB, and you can follow me on Twitter @CHarrisESPN. Let's get right to your questions....
I missed the name of the Book you recommended yesterday, some very long title about Baseball? Roddy White was dropped, worth a bench stash for later this year? Would be dropping Vereen or A Brown who I had been stashing?
Christopher Harris (3:04 PM)
Hi, Ken. The name of the book is "The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop." by Robert Coover. As for your question -- yeah, I do think Roddy is worth a stash, especially if you're in need of a WR. That said, would I drop Vereen or Brown for him? I guess it depends on what you really think you'll wind up needing. Brown is going to help you as soon as next week....
Can't believe it's come to this, but Pryor or Brady ROS?
Christopher Harris (3:06 PM)
Hi, Brian. I'm not there yet, to say that Pryor should go about Brady. I just don't think enough of Pryor as a passer. Obviously, the Brady thing is a disaster of unforeseeable proportions...I never ever would've believed it could be this bad. But I can't say Pryor over him. I just can't.
Is it time to sell LeSean McCoy?
Christopher Harris (3:08 PM)
Hi, Rick. I don't think so. The Giants game was bad. But it was still 19 touches. You just can't find guys with that kind of workload. Obviously, if ever there was a time to sell someone who was considered the best player in fantasy a few weeks ago, it was a few weeks ago. I don't see reason to believe that he won't bounce back. The tape on him was just so good for most of the first half.
How much does Vereen impact Ridleys value?
Christopher Harris (3:10 PM)
Hi, Jack. It's officially impossible to predict what the Pats are going to do with their RBs this season, so any piece of advice I give you here has to be tempered with a big MAYBE. But I'll say -- yeah, if the first game of the year was any indication, I think Vereen will be REALLY involved, as in, he'd probably be my nominee for the NE RB I'd want most, if he can get healthy and in shape. It's going to represent a big shift in that backfield.
When is the time to pick up Crabtree?
Christopher Harris (3:12 PM)
Hi, Kelly. Obviously, it depends on your league format, which in turn impacts how many viable bench spots you have to ditch. In a very deep league? I can see adding him now. In a standard 10-teamer? Not so much. There's some upside in Crabtree, but an Achilles' is really tough to come back from, and when MC comes back in about a month, I don't think we know for sure that he'll be himself. In other words: It'd be tough to trust him in a fantasy playoff game....
Where would you rank any potential backups to Foster/Tate if it comes to that - low end flex or higher?
Christopher Harris (3:14 PM)
Hi, Todd. I wish we had a clear read on which alternative they like better. I've been assuming Deji Karim, but Dennis Johnson could also be intriguing. If Tate and Foster were *both* out, I would say Karim would deserve to be at least a flex in a 10-team league, if only because of the value of the spot. For my initial ranks on Wednesday, I made the assumption that Tate would play and Foster wouldn't, so what's posted now reflects that. Obviously, it's a seriously fluid situation.
how will rivers do ros?
Christopher Harris (3:15 PM)
Hi, L.W. I don't think he'll be a top-five QB. But it does look like he'll be pretty solid. Mike McCoy's offense really wants the ball out of his hand, which explains why he's going down the field so infrequently. That consistency should limit his turnovers, though I do tend to think on average, those dink-and-dunk offenses don't lead to huge fantasy days for QBs. He's a starter, not elite, the rest of the year.
Hey, Chris. I need to choose between Harry Douglas and Torrey Smith this week. I see that you are the sole ranker to prefer Smith, putting him 11th - does Joe Haden not concern you in this matchup? Thanks.
Christopher Harris (3:17 PM)
Hi, Jim. I guess I just think Smith is a better player. When the Ravens played the Browns earlier in the year, Smith caught 7 for 85, and Haden didn't necessarily track him all over the field. It's true that Smith has only four catches in his past two games and has really be TD challenged, but this is a case where I feel like I'm just picking the better player.
Hey Chris. Is TY Hilton going to take Wayne's role as far as route running goes, or will that go to DHB?
Christopher Harris (3:19 PM)
Hi, Bill. It's a very good question. Wayne was really a slot receiver for much of the past two years, but a more physical one that T.Y. can handle. And Wayne is a precise route-runner, something that's never been said about DHB. So the truth is probably that the offense will just *change*. It'll have to. Wayne isn't an insane athlete, but he's an all-world WR, something that neither Hilton nor DHB has. If you're asking me who I prefer right this moment for fantasy, it's Hilton, but I'm willing to have my mind changed by game tape. Sunday night will be interesting.
Have you seen enough of Marques Colston to a) trade him for pennies on the dollar, b) bench him until or unless he begins producing, c) cut him outright, or d)keep trotting him out there as weekly WR2 or flex play.
Christopher Harris (3:20 PM)
Hi, Alex. We talked at length about Colston on Tuesday's Fantasy Underground podcast. (I'm biased, but I recommend it!) The upshot was that neither Field nor I would drop him, but we each can envision benching him until he shows his usual form. It's been a few really poor showings in a row, though early on vs. the Bills it was obviously Brees was looking for Colston, even giving him a seam route which if it had been thrown well, would've probably been a TD. I'm not dropping him.
Jeremy (St. Paul)
Will Rishard Matthews be as productive for the Dolphins post B.Gibson PPR
Christopher Harris (3:22 PM)
Hi, Jeremy. Matthews has the physique and, I think, the raw skills to pick up where Gibson left off. But he's not really played in the slot much, and as we know, that requires a unique set of skills and experiences that it's hard to say Matthews has. For me, outside a deep PPR, I'm probably not quite there on him, but the opportunity is there for some production, especially in the red zone.
Any ray of hope Bowe has a strong second half?
Christopher Harris (3:24 PM)
Hi, Tom. Well, no. I just can't see a big bustout. At this point, "strong" for Bowe would be scoring some short TDs, but the Chiefs don't seem to throw it to wideouts much when they get close. (Much to Jamaal Charles' benefit.) And as we've said ad infinitum, Alex Smith doesn't like to take any chances down the field. This is a great matchup for Bowe, this week, vs. BUF. By my metrics, it's the best matchup a WR can have. Yet I still don't feel like I want to start Bowe. That's how bad it's gotten.
Stephen Jackson in the second half - usable RB2 or FA list?
Christopher Harris (3:25 PM)
Hi, Ken. Yeesh, I mean, I don't think it could've been worse-looking vs. the Cardinals last week. What I hope is that Jackson wasn't 100%, but was trying to "be there" for his new team as its season was sinking. Hopefully we'll see more burst from him as soon as this week (but the Panthers are a bad matchup). And the o-line isn't any great shakes in Atlanta right now, either. I still believe Jackson will usable more weeks than not, because I don't think it's logical to say he would've suddenly fallen off a cliff after looking good this summer. But I'm wavering.
Who do you trust more to come back and make an impact Doug Martin or David Wilson?
Christopher Harris (3:27 PM)
Hi, Biggs. That's a doozy of a question. I love it, but I don't have a great answer for you. My feeling is that the Bucs are crazy is they push Martin hard with a torn labrum in his shoulder. But the Bucs do seem pretty crazy, so it could happen. And Wilson's neck? Oy. Again, I'm not sure the Giants should be messing with that. I'm going to say Martin, because we've heard him say how much he wants to come back. But I don't have a great read on what these respective teams are actually willing to do.
What is amandolas value the rest of the way in a ppr league? Can he still be a starter?
Christopher Harris (3:28 PM)
Hi, Austin. Another lulu of a question, another one where I don't have a great answer. I'm not dropping him. He's too good, and Tom Brady has been too good in the past. I'm still holding out hope that they're going to figure this out, but I don't expect it'll be gangbusters this week against PIT. So if you can bench Amendola, I'm fine with that. But I wouldn't drop him. It makes too much sense that if he can stay healthy (a big if!), he's too natural a fit not to get a strong workload.
Peyton Manning (Denver)
Whats my trade value look like?
Christopher Harris (3:30 PM)
Well, it's a little lower than it was two weeks ago, which is why you're asking the question. Doubtful anyone wanted to trade Peyton two weeks ago, and frankly, even with him not playing very well these past two games, his numbers are sick. I would certainly think you'd have to get an elite RB for him. As in: Charles. Peterson. That level. I wouldn't particularly want to break Peyton up into multiple players in a trade, but if you're decimated elsewhere, I understand it, and you'd have to shoot for a couple borderline elite players, minimum.
Donald Brown (Indianapolis)
Will I be taking over T. Rich's job? Am I not playing better than him?
Christopher Harris (3:32 PM)
WE. SHALL. SEE. The last time we saw the Colts, Richardson was doing his best to fumble away the game vs. the Broncos, while Brown was doing some pretty good work. That said, Brown still isn't any great shakes, and in the past whenever Indy has tried to rely on him, he's made killer mistakes. You can see from the link I gave at the top of this chat that I have Richardson ranked his season-low mark, and if you want to bench him, I get it. But I didn't rank Brown ahead of him. Despite the several long rushes, I just may never be sold on him, unless Indy comes out and says, "He's our starter." Which they haven't done to my knowledge.
Andre Ellington (Arizona)
My coach can't be serious can he?
Christopher Harris (3:35 PM)
Ha. Yeah, Arians isn't making lots of fantasy friends, but he *seems* pretty serious. I guess he just doesn't believe Ellington is a physical enough player to be an every-down back. The fact that it's Mendy he seems to be planning on going back to is kind of galling, because Mendy just isn't a super-strong option. I mean, I think we have to keep our A.E. expectations in check. Arians is probably saving us from ourselves....
Adrian Peterson (Minnesota)
Im ahead of last seasons pace for 2000 yards this season, but I'm recently struggling, do you believe that ill get close to that and break out in the second half?
Christopher Harris (3:36 PM)
Yeah, no. The QB situation is such that it's tough to see AP approaching 2K. This past week against the Packers, the tape was better. The offensive line made some creases, and Peterson was able to get some work done (compared to the Giants game where there was literally no push). I still consider him elite, but he's not going to do what he did last year, alas.
Harry Douglas (Atlanta)
Where would you rate me for ROS?
Christopher Harris (3:38 PM)
Well, I don't have ROS ranks. That's Eric Karabell's job for Insider (and he does it well!). But I'll say this: I might still have Roddy rated ahead of Douglas. Douglas has been good -- really good -- for these two games, but he isn't a transcendent talent, and he isn't the kind of imposing player who can be consistent from a fantasy perspective no matter what defenses are doing, the way Julio and Roddy are. Clearly, we don't know when Roddy is going to be back, and that stinks. But when he *is* back, if he can get right, he's a better player than Douglas.
Tony (Marysville, WA)
What's up with Darren Sproles? Is he being phased out in New Orleans?
Christopher Harris (3:39 PM)
Hi, Tony. No, I don't think so. The Saints just are using Pierre Thomas more at the moment, but not because they somehow "hate" Sproles. Frankly, we don't really *want* him as a runner -- he's been a nice surprise red-zone runner in the past, but that was kind of "sneak-attack" related, and I never believed it would last. But as a receiver? He's still so great. I think they'll come back to him. Again, as with so many of these guys, I can understand wanting to take a break from him if you have alternatives, but I really do think he'll be back.
Spiller... will he ever be productive? Or is this ankle thing going to keep him "limited" for the ROS? Is he the "roddy" of RB's?
Christopher Harris (3:41 PM)
Hi, Rob. The bummer is that the Bills' bye isn't until Week 12, so it always seemed so far away to them that they kept *not* resting him. At least that foolishness ended last week. For this week, so far I've assumed that he won't play, but that's by no means certain, and I don't think anyone views this ankle problem as something that requires surgery. So no, I think he's better off than Roddy, and I don't think we even really know for sure if it's a high-ankle sprain. I'm holding, and hoping for some fantasy playoff magic.
Is Stacey the "Real Deal" ... RB2 ROS?
Christopher Harris (3:43 PM)
Hi, Nick. We need more info on his sprained ankle. He didn't practice today, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything at this time of year. If he doesn't practice Thurs or Fri, that will be a really bad sign, and would definitely influence my ROS assessment of him. But yeah, if this turns out to be minor, then I would put Stacy in the top 20 RBs. He's been impressive on tape, and doing it Monday against SEA was strong.
Got Brady off waivers. Yes, it's not been good, but he still needs to be owned in a ten-team league and it has to get better, right?
Christopher Harris (3:43 PM)
Hi, RH. That's how I feel about it. But let's face it: It's blind faith at this point.
how does G Jennings look rest of the year, any improvement?
Christopher Harris (3:45 PM)
Hi, Brian. On yesterday's Fantasy Underground podcast, we did our assessment of "must-drop" players who don't need to be rostered, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't consider Jennings. It's just impossible for me to imagine that the Vikings are going to produce much in the way of value your can count on week to week from those WRs. It's all about the QBs, obviously, because there's nothing wrong with Jennings. But yeah, I don't see a big, consistent jump you can count on coming down the pike.
ive herd that percy had a setback last week with rice out when do you think he will be back on the field
Christopher Harris (3:49 PM)
Hi, Jacques. Yeah, it's been widely reported that Harvin "overdid" it last week, and that he's now day-to-day. What that means is anyone's guess, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Certainly, there's more urgency to get PH back, with Rice out. But I'm guessing the Seahawks think they can win a home game against the Bucs without him *and* Rice, and they probably won't push Harvin unless he really seems ready. Golden Tate could be shaping up for another big one.
Hello there Chris...love your thorough responses...gimme your thoughts on Andre Johnson this week. I have a good vibe about him and have no idea why. I'm reluctant to start DJAX over him this week with Karabell being so against his Eagles!
Christopher Harris (3:50 PM)
Hi, RWH. I'll let EK speak for himself (and he certainly knows the Eagles!), but as you can see in my ranks, I do have D-Jax a *bit* higher, but it's close enough that if you feel it in your gut, just do it. It's your team. My thoughts on Johnson are that he's a huge focus of that offense no matter who the QB is, but having a sub-average QB isn't a check mark in his favor. (Good question, though, whether Foles or Keenum is really better....) AJ's TDs haven't been there. But everything else definitely has.
RE: Harvin = If you could land an Eric Decker for Harvin would you take it in NonPPR or HOLD onto Harvin? Thanks.
Christopher Harris (3:51 PM)
Hi, Mike. Oh, I would take that deal in a heartbeat. I'd want Decker, in that crazy Denver offense.
How do you project Jonathan Stewart's ROS value? Is there any upside in the RB situation in Carolina?
Christopher Harris (3:53 PM)
Hi, AA. Unfortunately, it's pretty unforecastable. (How's that for a word?) First off, nobody really knows how Stew Beef's ankles are going to respond to real carries. And how willing are the Panthers to have him get a high workload? And what's D-Willy's quad really look like? Plus Tolbert and Newton are already the red-zone threats. It smells like a great big mess to me, which is why for the moment I've left Stewart in the "deep league" part of the Free Agent Finds column. He's got lead-back talent, but not health, and not workload.
Steve Smith. Hold or trade?
Christopher Harris (3:56 PM)
Hi, David. The problem with so many so-called fantasy "trade candidates" is that people tend to nominate players who are below their supposed values, e.g., Sell-Low. And I'm just not likely to recommend you sell any good football player low. If you're down on Smith or any other supposedly good player who's underperformed, wait for a big week, and *then* see if you want to trade him away. If you truly believe the assessment that Smith is no longer a fantasy starter, and can stick to your guns when he puts up a good game, then you'll get fair value for him. Only then.
Reggie Bush (Detroit)
If I stay injury free, am I a top 5 RB ROS?
Christopher Harris (3:57 PM)
I'll go with top 10 for sure. Top 5 is rare air, and I feel less sure about it. The larger point, of course, is betting on Bush's health hasn't always been smart in the past. But if you can make yourself do so, the rewards are clearly there in that offense.
Time to worry about Tony Gonzalez?
Christopher Harris (3:58 PM)
Hi, Ryan. Yeah, I think it's fair to be a bit worried, but only insofar as he now belongs to the impossibly large middle class at TE. He's nothing close to a drop, but he's also not a no-doubt every-week contributor. He's in that annoying middle, below Gronk and Graham, where you won't be surprised whatever he gets you -- if he's good one week, and bad the next.
Reading between the lines - you think Steve Smith has underperformed .. is that right?
Christopher Harris (3:59 PM)
Hi, DL. Yeah, I do. The yards just haven't been there for him, which is pretty surprising given his past couple seasons with Newton. I wouldn't want to sell him this low at this point.
Christopher Harris (4:00 PM)
OK, gang, I have to go tape the Fantasy Underground: Film Room segment now. We're doing Ryan Mathews today -- I hope you enjoy. I really appreciate you being here, and I know it's frustrating not getting your question answered. There were 2,300 in a single hour. I apologize. Follow me @CHarrisESPN, and check in on the Underground podcast tomorrow afternoon. Have a great day.