Fantasy NFL with Christopher Harris
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Christopher Harris (2:59 PM)
Hi, everyone -- welcome to your Wednesday afternoon chat. As always, you can follow me @CHarrisESPN, and my answers to single-position questions are here: http://espn.go.com/fantasy/football/story/_/page/13ranksWeek7QB/fantasy-football-week-7-quarterback-rankings Let's dig in!
Does your ranking of Greg Jennings reflect Freeman at QB? If not, would he go higher up the board?
Christopher Harris (3:01 PM)
Hi, Mike. Yeah, I was assuming Freeman would play. I'm on record as believing in Freeman long term. I've seen him produce in his career -- and I think his problems are between his ears. But I'm not sure a few weeks away from Greg Schiano are enough to fix him, which is why I'm not automatically predicting a huge game from the Vikes, even against the Jets. I'm intrigued. I'm willing to have my mind changed. But we're just a few weeks away from him looking as bad as a QB can look....
Jeff (Cambridge, MA)
Seems like you are lower on Keenan Allen than others - not in your FA finds column or on Underground podcast, ranked 33 this week (about 10 below other rankers). What's your thought process here?
Christopher Harris (3:04 PM)
Hi, Jeff. Thanks for reading and listening. The thought process is -- don't overvalue the last thing you just saw. What I know about the Chargers is that they would like to spread the ball around, and whichever wideout you choose seems to me like the No. 3 option in the passing game (after Gates and Woodhead). We could easily have been having the same discussion about Vincent Brown last week (after his 7 catches for 117 yards in Week 5). No question, Rivers looked for Allen a whole bunch Monday night. Maybe it will continue, and that will be the point at which I'll be ready to call him a must-start. But it's too small a sample size for me to go, "Yeah, bench stars for a guy who's had two good weeks." But you're right -- I've talked him up as a definite "add" for more than a month...he was my No. 2 WR at the combine this spring.
Mike Wallace ROS? Can he turn it around in Miami?
Christopher Harris (3:06 PM)
Hi, Craig. He's coming off 7 for 105 before the bye, but I agree that he didn't play as well as the numbers would indicate. Too many drops, too much failed communication. I think this is a good week to start Wallace...the Bills are just about the best matchup for an opposing passing game out there. But of course, Wallace is what he is: He needs to make one or more big plays to help you win, and if he doesn't, he doesn't help. That probably continues. He's a good boom or bust player you hopefully can team with someone more consistent.
You mentioned Jordan Reed as a TE to watch on the Underground, would you rather Reed or Clay (MIA TE) rest of season? Still waiting on Gronk... THANKS
Christopher Harris (3:08 PM)
Hi, Zeke. I'm probably on Clay a bit more than Reed at the moment, though it's close. The problem with each guy is a lack of elite targets...they're each maxing out at like 6 targets per game.
Whats up with Doug Martin?! He's making me look stupid for drafting him #3 overall. Do you see a breakout game coming anytime soon? And whats your outlook for him ROS?
Christopher Harris (3:10 PM)
Hi, Kyle. Yeah, I wasn't loving Martin at No. 3, but I certainly did put him No. 5, so I'm not much better. I think it gets better soon. On a per-play basis, there's no question it hasn't been pretty. He hasn't broken anything big yet. But he's still the same player, he's 4th in the NFL in attempts, he's 9th in rush yards, and he's already had his bye. (Only 11 catches is a huge bummer, though.) But I'm in a definite "hold" mode, and would even consider buying low.
Thoughts on Eddie Lacy ROS? Top 10 by the end of the year? Getting a lot of carries.
Christopher Harris (3:11 PM)
Hi, Walter. Last Thursday (10/10), we did a Fantasy Underground podcast where we listed our top 13 RBs for the rest of the season. Lacy wasn't in my top 10. But he's in my top 15. I like him a lot. But it'll be interesting to see how the Pack's offense look if they're missing a couple of their important aerial weapons.
Ka (Hong Kong)
Would you please explain why Fitz (injured, against Seattle) is still ranked higher than Williams (great matchup against Phi) and Douglas (#1 now in Atlanta)? Thanks!
Christopher Harris (3:14 PM)
Hi, Ka. I appreciate you asking in a civil manner something that often gets asked in more outraged fashion. It comes down to philosophy. When I'm ranking players, I'm not just thinking about what I saw the past couple weeks. I'm thinking about talent and opportunity. Fitz did score a TD last week with the same injury, but more so he's a stud. Miles Austin is still playing, though Williams was much more effective last week (and Dez Bryant is around). Douglas has averaged fewer than 50 yards in 10 career starts. Can either of those guys outdo Fitz? Of *course*!! But if I played out these next games 100 times, my feeling is that Fitz would be the better performer in > 50 of them. There are no guarantees. In the end, if your gut is telling you to go a different way, do it. It's your team! As much as many folks want it to be, doing this for a living isn't an exact science. All I can do is watch the tape (I watch every game), and express what I've seen. Fitz is a better player in a larger role. But trust your gut.
What are your thoughts on Ridley this week, and ROS?
Christopher Harris (3:16 PM)
Hi, Jack. My thoughts at this point are to not get too goofy over the one good week back, but to *hope* that things are getting back to normal. If we're evaluating talent, Ridley is the best runner by a wide margin. Bolden is okay. Blount is terrible. But pure talent alone isn't the only measure here -- sometimes, the Pats simply game plan differently. Should Ridley perform well against a very good Jets run D, I'm going to be very willing to believe he's back to pure RB2 status. But I remember the Pats changing things up in their backfield too frequently in the late 2000s to bite completely just yet.
Was Harry Douglas a smart pick up and will he have an impact ROS?
Christopher Harris (3:17 PM)
Hi, Ryan. Sure, he's a good pickup, as I wrote about in the Free-Agent Finds piece that went up on ESPN.com yesterday. (Search my name, and you can see my archives.) Obviously, I don't know what's on your bench, so you have to decide if he's good enough to drop someone you currently have. But I do think he's worth a speculative add in all leagues.
Loved the earlier underground yesterday. Seems like stafford has been most consistent QB behind manning all season. Why is he still ranked outside top 5 weekly?
Christopher Harris (3:20 PM)
Thanks, Ryan. We'd love to do the podcast earlier -- but we're the Underground, my friend. We have to take the studio time they give us. Stafford has been *pretty* consistent, but I doubt you'd have been as high on him before last week, when he'd thrown for a single TD in back-to-back games. Stafford is in a virtual tie for the attempts lead, but he's "only" topped 300 yards twice. Now, that said, in a better matchup (he gets a good Bengals D this week), he probably would be top five. I'm still very bullish on him.
Keith (Palm Harbor)
A panicked owner cut T Richardson in my 12 team PPR league. Still not sure on whether to drop *gulp* R Mathews for him (a swap of RB4s). Mathews looks better, but TRich has the name/draft day price tag. Your thoughts?
Christopher Harris (3:22 PM)
Hi, Keith. Run, don't walk. Do it. I am *very* tired of being a Richardson apologist. It stinks. Donald Brown is more involved than I believed he'd be, and I don't want to make any more excuses. But T-Rich flashed the ability we rave about at times vs. the Chargers, which was a tough matchup (on the ground). So this week vs. the Broncos, I'm choosing to be a believer (yet again). It's more a matter of faith than anything at this point, but I believe in the ability.
Thoughts on Anquan Boldin going forward - Bad match-ups or something more?
Christopher Harris (3:24 PM)
Thanks for reading "Slotback Rhapsody." (For the uninitiated, Mouse Morrison is the hero of my novel about football -- for more! www.slotbackrhapsody.com.) No, I think it's something more. Namely: the Niners don't throw it all that much. Kap hasn't topped 30 tosses since Week 1, which is just maddening. Boldin is what he is: He's a tight end in WR's clothing, and won't get separation on anyone. Remember what he was like in Baltimore before the playoffs last year? That's pretty much what you're getting now, but with slightly higher theoretical volume. If he's a top 30 WR, it's by the skin of his teeth.
Luck a top 7 guy ROS? He looks good, just not enough pass attempts
Christopher Harris (3:26 PM)
Hi, Nick. I'll be honest -- I don't have formalized QB ROS ranks. Luck would be in the mix. He's certainly in the top 10. (Better question is whether Brady would be. I *think* so. Not positive, though!) You're right, Luck is 19th in pass attempts, which is a major change from being No. 5 last year under Bruce Arians. To some extent, I think it's been a matter of circumstance -- blowing out Jacksonville, having very little time of possession against the Chargers -- but it's worth keeping an eye on.
You ranked Stacy over Spiller this week. I haven't seen Stacy play yet, but what's your take on where he is now and his potential ROS? Thanks
Christopher Harris (3:28 PM)
Hi, James. Yeah, I mean, talent-wise, they aren't close. Spiller is one of the true game-breakers in the game, when he's healthy and on his game. We're hearing the Spiller is able to practice more this week, which is good, but unfortunately with the bad ankle, he was only able to play 19 of 70 snaps last week. Yikes. So that's why he's much lower than usual...concern about his role. As for Stacy...the Rams had a lead, which is maybe why he was in so much and Daryl Richardson wasn't, but yeah, it was a pretty big workload difference. Stacy isn't a great player...but he's thick and low to the ground, hard to bring down, good balance. I like him. Don't love him.
Hey Chris, In need of some serious Harris wisdom. As a Ridley owner is it a good idea to pick up Vereen now? I just feel it would be good to cover myself for later on in the season. Thoughts?
Christopher Harris (3:30 PM)
Hi, Mark. It's tough to be unilateral about a roster and league I don't know as well as you do...but I do think owning Vereen is going to be fashionable within a few weeks. He's only eligible to come back Week 11, so we're still a month away. Can you justify carrying that dead weight for a month? If so, yeah, he's ownable. He's going to be a big part of the Pats starting in mid-November....
I just picked up RB Randle for Dallas. Waste of a spot or maybe something for ROS???
Christopher Harris (3:32 PM)
Hi, Jeff. I'll say...neither? DeMarco Murray's injury isn't considered super-serious...he could wind up missing 1 game, though 2 or 3 might be more likely. Maybe Randle steals a significant workload by playing great during that time, and he should have a pretty okay matchup vs. Philly this week (though they're easier to beat with the pass). But I don't love the player. I like him. I rank him as a starter this week, in a field of bleh RBs. But Murray is a much better player, IMO. So for the ROS, I'm not super-high on him. For now, though, good add.
In 21 career games, Trent Richardson has eclipsed 100 yards 3 times, and has averaged over 4.0 ypc in 5 games. Can you elaborate on what are you seeing that makes you *believe* in his talent?
Christopher Harris (3:34 PM)
Hi, Tony. I've spent *so* much time talking about him on the podcast, I'm going to have to refer you there. In short...there are too many runs that show elite talent to believe that he doesn't *have* elite talent. It happens sometimes -- talented guys take a bit of time to get adjusted to new circumstances, and frankly to harness that talent on a consistent basis. This isn't a plodder. This isn't a one-direction player. I don't look at stats as the arbiter of whether someone is good. I just don't.
Shane (Port Angeles, WA)
Chris, what are your thoughts on Lamar Miller going forward? Are the Dolphins going to give him more opportunities?
Christopher Harris (3:37 PM)
Hi, Shane. It was a positive sign before the bye that Miller seemed significantly more central to the Miami game plan than Daniel Thomas. He played on 45 snaps, so even though the Fins didn't stay committed to giving it to him, at least they're realizing he's the guy who has to be on the field. (When they're ahead, of course, it may be a different story....) I view Miller as a borderline top 20 RB for the rest of the year. It's comforting, because that's where I had him to start the season. Hooray! Despite the claims of many, I'm not a total idiot on absolutely everything!
love the Underground! You ranked Rice as your 7th RB for the ROS, is he still there after Sunday's performance?
Christopher Harris (3:38 PM)
Hi, Leo. Yeah, I want to see him *do* it, and it would be nice if he could do it as soon as this week against the Steelers. But my rank of him that high last week was based on the assumption that he's been playing hurt (which I think is pretty indisputable), but that he'd be getting much better soon, as it isn't a serious, surgery-requiring hip injury. I think better times are ahead, though it's fair to think of him as more a 10 to 15 guy until we see it....
Jeff (Portland, ME)
Does Steven Jackson play this week? If so, can we expect RB #2 type numbers?
Christopher Harris (3:39 PM)
Hi, Jeff. It sounds like: no. As of yesterday, he still wasn't able to practice, which is a rotten sign for something that was supposedly just a routine hamstring. I'm starting to smell a rat. I think you have to hold, but it sure would be nice to see him out there.
Hey, Chris. I'm curious why you kept Reggie Bush out of your top 13 running backs on last week's Fantasy Underground. It seemed like the reason was his injury history, but you included DeMarco Murray, despite his frequent absences - could you please elaborate? Thanks!
Christopher Harris (3:41 PM)
Hi, Jim. Well, that's not looking so smart right now, is it????? :-) (Thanks for listening, by the way.) Yeah, now I think it's fair to say that Bush and Murray are probably equal in terms of their injury risk...but as Bush had already missed time this year and Murray hadn't, I felt (wrongly!) that Murray was safer when I did that ranking. If I could do it again, I would clearly reverse that thought.
Judd (Cambridge, MA)
What can do you expect from Tim Wright? Viable bye week (and beyond) option?
Christopher Harris (3:43 PM)
Hi, Judd. My experience tells me that there are painfully few TEs who are week-to-week contributors. In fact, there are probably exactly zero at the moment, though Jimmy Graham probably deserves a mulligan. So expecting an undrafted rookie free agent to be one is probably expecting too much. But you have to be at least a little intrigued by the usage, which has been high for a couple weeks. He made it inside my top 20 TEs for the week, though. I don't hate it in a deeper league.
How many weekly touches do you think Andre Ellington needs to be a viable RB2?
Christopher Harris (3:44 PM)
Hi, Alex. More than he's likely to get in the foreseeable future, alas. I think Ellington may already been in flex territory in a PPR, but it's just hard to see Mendenhall getting out of the way without an injury. The talent is there. The usage is close to 50/50. But that's going to lead to inconsistency. Especially this week against Seattle.
Percy Harvin - What is his ROS value and when do you believe he returns?
Christopher Harris (3:46 PM)
Hi, Griz. It's a burning question. Certainly, he can be added in all leagues (he's still available in 80% of leagues), just in case the most optimistic assessments turn out to be true. The earliest he could return sounds like Week 8, but I don't consider that a fait accompli. I wouldn't be surprised if we go into November with our wait, plus we don't really know what kind of shape he's in and how quickly the 'Hawks are willing to transition into using him as an elite fantasy weapon. In short: many variable. But in a best-caes, the talent is so good, he'd be a top-10 WR from out of the blue if everything works out perfectly.
Andre Brown worth as stash in 14 team league?
Christopher Harris (3:48 PM)
Hi, Andrew. Yes. Brown is eligible to play Week 10, so we're talking about a month. But in a deep league like that, he should be owned, especially in light of how desperate the Giants are signing Peyton Hillis today. Unless David Wilson figures himself out soon (and gets healthy), Brown will be the most talented RB on the roster, and will get plenty of work.
KJ (St. Paul)
Think Keenan Allen is legit?
Christopher Harris (3:49 PM)
Hi, KJ. I gave a loooong answer on Allen early in the chat, so see my thoughts there. To reemphasize - he was my second-fave rookie wideout coming out of the combine, so I can't be accused of "hating" him. I just don't tend to overreact to rookies after just a couple weeks.....
Hakeem Nicks, do you think he gets traded? Is he more valuable in NY or elsewhere? Thanks
Christopher Harris (3:50 PM)
Hi, Petr. I have no insider knowledge...but my guess is that he does get dealt. The Giants will probably wait another couple weeks just to make sure they're not about to stage a crazy turnaround, but presuming they aren't, my guess is he'll go elsewhere...and your guess is as good as mine about what that will do for him. It so depends on where he lands. The sure beneficiary would be Rueben Randle.
Gasper (SB Rhapsody)
In your opinion, is there any smoke to Vince Young getting signed if Yates/Keenum stink it up this weekend?
Christopher Harris (3:51 PM)
Thanks for reading the book! No, I think it's probably not going to happen. Again, no insider knowledge, but I wouldn't think Vince has endeared himself to the Texans organization with his grandstanding. We shall see.
What type of production do you see from Blackmon from here on out?
Christopher Harris (3:53 PM)
Hi, John. I think it'll be good. But I also think his QB is Chad Henne. Will be benefit from Cecil Shorts being out (as he probably will be, at least this week), as he did Sunday, or will that simply mean extra attention that will foil him? I like the player. I don't love him. I don't view him as a true No. 1. wideout, nor do I think it's a great strategy to give him 20 targets. But let's face it, the fact that he *did* just get 20 targets makes him a fun story.
Thoughts on Bilal Powell this Sunday and ROS
Christopher Harris (3:55 PM)
Hi, Chris. Well, the Pats are completely crushed in the middle of their defense, and don't look like a bad matchup at all right now. Plus Powell performed well the first time around against New England. I view Powell more as a flex in general, because as I've said ad infinitum, he doesn't have elite talent. But I'm okay with him as a flex going forward. I think Ivory is a better player. But until he proves he can stay healthy and be reliable, he's only going to be the second fiddle....
True or False: Gronk plays this week?
Christopher Harris (3:57 PM)
Hi, Mike. I'm going to guess "no." Nobody knows for sure -- that's the magic of the Patriots. Information goes in, but it doesn't come out. I think you plan on being without him. Fortunately at least this is an early game, so you'll probably know in time to make an informed decision.
Which lottery ticket are you buying: Percy, Vereen, Ruben Randle (Nicks traded)
Christopher Harris (3:58 PM)
Hi, Drew. Assuming there isn't a bias toward RB or WR, I would probably say Harvin, just because he's the guy with the tippety top talent, if everything is right. I'm not *promising* everything is right. But if it is, he *could* be elite right away.
I am still apprehensive about Moreno's usage ROS. Am I being too cute? Is he the ultimate sell high?
Christopher Harris (4:00 PM)
Hi, Dan. Hey, I understand it. He's been a knee injury waiting to happen for three straight years. I don't view him as someone you *must* sell-high...I'm actually about to record a Film Room segment where I'm going to break down some of his film, and talk about his value. I think it's legit, not because he's an elite talent, but because he's in a great situation. IF he stays healthy, I believe it'll continue. But you're right -- pretty good chance he doesn't hold up to all this pounding. If you do sell, just make sure you get a lot. Because I don't think this is total Fluke City.
Christopher Harris (4:01 PM)
OK, everyone -- as I just mentioned, I have studio time to go record a segment...so I have to run. Thanks very much for coming...a lot of great questions this hour. And of course, plenty of great Q's that I just didn't have time to get to -- we got upwards of 2,300 Q's in an hour. Crazy. I know that I wouldn't have this great job if it weren't for all of you, and I'm truly, truly appreciative. Again, you can follow me @CHarrisESPN if you want to try and reach out there. (But I have a lot of followers, and though I wish I could promise a response, I just can't.) Anyway, I hope you have a great afternoon, and thanks again.