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 (2:59 PM)
Hi, everyone, welcome to your Wednesday afternoon chat. As always, answers to standard-league, single-position questions are here: http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=13ranksWeek10QB And you can follow me on Twitter @CHarrisESPN. Let's get right to your questions.....
I along with many others find myself a "Rodgers Victim". Would you feel comfortable starting Kaep? Or should I search for waiver wire options like Matt Ryan, Ponder, etc?
Christopher Harris (3:00 PM)
Hi, AJ. The Rodgers situation is a big bummer, no question. And having such imperfect information about a possible return doubles the pain. "Comfortable" with Kaep? I'm teetering on the edge. If I could add Ryan and stash him, I'd think about doing that, though I have no interest in using him this week against SEA.
Steve (Washington, DC)
Is Andre Brown the potential solution to my Trent Richardson woes?
Christopher Harris (3:01 PM)
Hi, Steve. He's about the best that's out there, unless you're in a league where Zac Stacy is somehow available. (Apparently there actually *are* such leagues.) This week, I don't think anyone is sure how the Giants will use their RBs. Is Brown back in "football shape"? But soon, I'd expect him to verge on a top-20 workload....
The Big Clear> (The Big Green)
Given CJ Spiller's big game last week is his ankle still a concern or is he good to go?
Christopher Harris (3:03 PM)
It sounds like Spiller is actually off the injury report, which is good news, but anyone who watched the Bills tape from last week knows just about every time Spiller broke off a big run, he hobbled to the sideline and looked like he was in pain. As you can see from the RB ranks, I consider him very startable this week. But is he totally over the ankle? I'm guessing not totally.
Christopher Harris (3:05 PM)
Hi, John. I think Boykin is probably a pretty good candidate for fantasy release in a 10-team league. Now, with James Jones hobbled last week, Boykin was playing in 2WR sets, and in theory that should be valuable. And remember, this GB system made Matt Flynn look *great*. But until I see it work, I'm not coming close to starting Boykin -- so that means if you need a roster spot, I don't mind dropping him.
Is Boykin still worth owning/starting with Rodgers out and Jones back in?
Thinking about finally using my #1 waiver and scooping up Rashad Jennings. Think DMC is out for multiple weeks? I'd need to drop Danny Woodhead for Jennings. Worth it?
Christopher Harris (3:07 PM)
Hi, TJ. Totally no inside info on DMC, but my guess is since the hammy injury is in the same place on his leg as the first injury, I'm going to guess this is a multi-week injury, and am planning accordingly. We actually talked at length about Jennings on Tuesday's Fantasy Underground podcast...I'm not a huge fan, but opportunity is there.
Given Doug Martin's unclear status, is he worth stashing on my roster for the chance he does come back in the next few weeks?
Christopher Harris (3:09 PM)
Hi, Chris. I admit -- I'm thinking about ditching him in a 10-team league. Listen, obviously, it's *safer* just to hold on, on the off chance that he's going to play again. But is Greg Schiano really that crazy? We know Martin needs surgery. The team is 0-8. Why risk your franchise RB? But maybe Schiano really is that crazy.
Is Shane Vereen 100% going to play Week 11?
Christopher Harris (3:10 PM)
Hi, Tim. Well, it's the Patriots. You may know I do a podcast who spends many of his days in that stadium, and *he* doesn't know. The Pats just aren't going to let the cat out of the bag until they have to. But yes, I would say the supposition has been that Week 11 will be his return date, and that's what I'm going on at the moment.
Are we dropping Vick? He is really starting to take up space
Christopher Harris (3:12 PM)
Hi, Brian. Ha. In a total vacuum, I'm probably still holding on. But our teams don't exist in a total vacuum. Vick supposedly did make some throws in practice today, but he isn't playing this week. And obviously it would be tough to remove Foles if he plays so well. But I'm not expecting he'll play all that well going forward. The answer is: I'm not sure, but if you really need the roster spot, I don't hate it.
In your personal fantasy life do you prefer to make bold moves/trades or do you prefer to ride out your draft and working the waiver as much as possible?
Christopher Harris (3:13 PM)
Hi, Kavika. I don't tend to be a big trader. I do try and play the waiver wire like a harp. I have two main leagues, which are both of varying keeper natures, and I've made two deals in one and one in the other so far this year, mostly to free up cap space and to try and cover for Julio Jones being hurt. Part of the reason for this may be that I'm kind of busy during the season, and don't have a ton of time to ponder possible moves. But the other part is what you said: I believed in the players then, I guess I still believe in most of 'em now....
Who do you prefer as Lynch's handcuff, Turbin or Michael?
Christopher Harris (3:14 PM)
Hi, Jimmy. I still think that if Lynch got hurt, Michael would get more early-down work. But obviously at the moment, Turbin is more involved (i.e., involved at all). It would probably be some kind of split gig, but I would prefer Michael. In a 10-team league, neither handcuff is probably a must-own at the moment....
Chris, love your work because you seem to actually watch lot of game film and understand the game the best, others are just stat readers. Not a question just a comment.
Christopher Harris (3:16 PM)
Thanks, Kevin. I've watched every game this year so far. I can't promise I'll make it through the entire season this way...usually in late November (around Thanksgiving time), I have to skip a few. But so far we're at 100%....
B Mand (Sarasota, FL)
Which player is the better IR stash in a keeper league: Macline or Danario Alexander?
Christopher Harris (3:17 PM)
I guess between those two I'd probably say Maclin, though he's a free agent. But Alexander has such a history of knee problems that I have questions about whether he'll ever be able to stay healthy....
Jeremy (Flint, MI)
Does Gio Bernard or Steven Ridley posess high trade value? I'm good on rb but need a high quality wr.
Christopher Harris (3:18 PM)
Hi, Jeremy. I would say Ridley has higher value right now, simply because of his past month or so, and because his workload was man-sized in Week 9. Of course, the Pats are on bye this week, so maybe waiting a week would be smart. Then again, as the Shane Vereen zeitgeist begins to grow next week, maybe Ridley's value goes down a bit. ("Shane Vereen Zeitgeist" should be the name of somebody's band.)
Jeff (Orange, CA)
Would you look to trade GRAHAM before his foot explodes, or ride him as long you can?
Christopher Harris (3:20 PM)
Hi, Jeff. I have this exact question for myself, and I certainly have the same worries about Graham. I give his foot a pretty good chance of exploding. But I'm hanging in. He's such a big part of what's good about my team, that I feel like if he keeps it up, I have a chance, and if he doesn't, I'm sunk, but what guarantee would I have about the pieces I got in a trade for him? I'm all-in on him, I guess, though the risk is ridiculous.
Max (New York City)
Your thoughts on the ethics of stashing, say the top 4 free agent QBs, this week when your opponent has Brady on a bye and no backup?
Christopher Harris (3:21 PM)
Hi, Max. All's fair in fantasy, if it's within the rules. Presumably the person who made this move suffers...because he/she has to clear good players off his/her bench. Revenge would be grabbing the best of them....
Is there hope for MJD? People forget he had a serious injury last year. Can he turn it on coming out of the bye?
Christopher Harris (3:23 PM)
Hi, Josh. We were literally talking about MJD's prospects the rest of the year walking back from the ESPN cafeteria. I think you're right -- there's a lack of appreciation for how serious his foot injury was. That said, is there any guarantee he'll *ever* be the same, let alone coming out of a bye? There really isn't. The workload should continue to be pretty strong, which probably puts MJD's floor around flex territory. But he'll really need to come a long way quickly to resemble his former glory. His game tape has been bad.
Please, what is your best suggestion for Arian Foster?
Christopher Harris (3:25 PM)
Hi, Joe. Well, my best suggestion was to make sure you got Ben Tate. So if you have him, I say he's probably the one you use, barring some unbelievably rosy reports out of Houston about Foster this week. (And he didn't practice today from what I heard.) If we're heading into Sunday with him very questionable and then he winds up active...? I'm not biting again. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on you again. But I'm not biting again a third time. (And boy, it really burned me last week, personally.)
Rice Problems (Ray What)
Ray Rice in the same ball park as Trent Richardson? or is it not that bad yet?
Christopher Harris (3:28 PM)
I think it might be worse. I guess at least Donald Brown isn't nipping at Rice's heels, playing better than the starter. (The fact that Bernard Pierce hasn't done anything is part of the evidence that indicates this isn't a Rice problem, but rather a Ravens problem.) The systematic weirdness of Baltimore's play-calling, the fascination Flacco has with going deep, and the lack of blocking are really vexing. I like the Indy offense overall much more than the Ravens. But yeah, both are a mess. (And we talked about both of them on Tuesday's podcast...)
What do you do if you own Harry Douglas and Roddy White?
Christopher Harris (3:30 PM)
Hi, James. I guess you keep using Douglas until there's a chance in the Roddy status quo. Eventually, if and when Roddy gets right, I don't have any question that he'll be the guy to start. But until then (and at this point, you probably need to miss his first good game back), Douglas is an acceptable low-level WR2 or flex.
Dylan (Madison, WI)
Thoughts on Denard as the #2 in JAX? Worth a stash?
Christopher Harris (3:31 PM)
Hi, Dylan. I admit I'm intrigued, because I think he's much more a RB than a WR. His speed is unquestioned and he's a quick little guy. And really, he's about Chris Johnson's size, though probably a little less physical even than CJ1K. I don't think you need to think about stashing him in a standard-sized league, but in a 16-teamer? I don't hate the idea. Crazier things have happened. As a development, though, this is probably more about the future than it is the rest of this year.
Harry Harris (Thats Me!)
Is Andre Ellington a sell high? looks like Mendanhall isn't going away...
Christopher Harris (3:32 PM)
Hi, Harry. Depends on how high. I like Ellington a bunch, but I think you're right: Mendy is going to be part of that game plan for as long as he's healthy, and Ellington's big day a couple weeks ago came when Mendy *wasn't* healthy. I would still rather own/start Ellington over Mendy every day of the week, but a full workload doesn't seem to be in the cards. (The was a pun.)
thoughts on Shonn Greene's emergence?
Christopher Harris (3:37 PM)
Hi, Sean, I'm not sure I'd characterize it as an emergence... Greene looks like the short-yardage hammer in Tennessee, plain and simple. In a TD-heavy league, that makes him an okay flyer. But in a standard league, he's probably just a CJ handcuff, and not all that great of one at that.
Should Nelson be benched until Rogers returns?
Christopher Harris (3:39 PM)
Hi, Ryan. Nelson is the one guy I *wouldn't* feel I had to bench. I did significantly lower him in my ranks this week, but he's still inside the top 20 WRs, and frankly the reason I lowered him just has to do with risk, because Seneca Wallace was dreadful. But given a full week of reps, I have faith that GB can coach him up and get him pretty strong. Again, this is the offense that made Matt Flynn a star.... Nelson should be the mainstay -- he's just by far the most talented among these aerial weapons....
Any concerns about Lacy while Rodgers is out?
Christopher Harris (3:41 PM)
Hi, Scott. Yeah, I do have concerns. This is a situation we talked about at length at the start of Tuesday's podcast, so for more nuance in an answer, listen there. But the bottom line is: if the passing is way less of a threat (which isn't a sure thing), then the rushing *has* to be affected. Workload can go up. But so can defenders in the box. I don't think you *bench* Lacy by any means, but drawing a straight line and saying, "This is great for an accentuation on the running game, so Lacy is even more of a star!" is, I think, spurious.
Lamar Miller (MIA)
What's my outlook from here on out? Do you think coach will finally start trusting me as the bell cow?
Christopher Harris (3:43 PM)
Well, I guess my short answer is: No. I think the Dolphins have picked a rotation they prefer, and will stay with it. Daniel Thomas has made plays occasionally, but it's obvious to anyone with eyes which RB is more dynamic, more of a breakaway threat, and more of a player for whom defenses have to account. However, it's clear that Miami wants someone heavily involved to be a "hammer," and right now, Thomas is that guy.
Andre Ellington (small?)
Did you know that I am the same size as Barry Sanders and Walter Payton? Didn't ever hear anyone tell them they weren't big enough to handle a full workload.
Christopher Harris (3:46 PM)
There are height/weight measurements (and incidentally, Sanders was a couple inches shorter than the other two, while being a few points heavier...), and then there are body types. Few could look at Ellington and not proclaim him on the "thin" side. (And listen, I'm a big fan.) If Ellington has a comp to be optimistic about, it's not the World's Quickest Small Back (Sanders) or An Improbably Mega-Physical Back (Payton). It's Jamaal Charles. It's Chris Johnson.
Hey there "Book Man"! Thoughts on Cooper? Conventional wisdom says don't chase points but last few games with Foles seem somewhat legit.
Christopher Harris (3:47 PM)
Hi, Bud. Yeah, I'm not chasing points. If you know I'm the "book recommender," then you listen to the podcast, and Tuesday we did touch on Cooper a bit. No doubt, he deserves to be in the top 40 WRs, but I can't go too much higher than that, because as high as the highs have been, the lows are awful. And most importantly, I'm not sold that he's a great talent.
Percy Harvin (Minnesota)
How am I going to look in the rankings when I'm finally ready to go?
Christopher Harris (3:48 PM)
His first game, back, I would say he's not going to be ranked all that high, because Seattle really needs to change the way they do business for Harvin to achieve what his talent level says he should. But if/when the 'Hawks prove that they're willing to do that? Top 20 is a definite, top 10 is a possibility. Of course, that's only if Harvin is really right, hip-wise, which isn't a sure thing. But when he's right, he's such an incredible talent.
Read "Slotback Rhapsody" and you'll figure out why Ellington has more to deal with than the other two! HGH & other stimulants are more advanced as are the players. Question: ABrown or JBell this week?
Christopher Harris (3:50 PM)
Ha. Well, if Henny really cared enough about fantasy to ask chat questions on a Wednesday afternoon, I'd be mighty surprised. (As would the person on whom the character of Henny is based.) As you can see here, I have Brown a bit higher than Bell: http://espn.go.com/fantasy/football/story/_/page/13ranksWeek10RB/fantasy-football-week-10-running-back-rankings
Thoughts on trading your best players to a top team out of spite towards a number 1 team that clearly colluded on several trades?
Christopher Harris (3:50 PM)
Hi, Kyle. My thoughts: Why bother? Find a new league next year.
Sell high on Andre Johnson??? No way he does this again right?
Christopher Harris (3:52 PM)
Hi, Tim. Well, no. He's not getting 190 yards and three TDs in the first half again this year, you're right. But I was pleading with folks not to give up before Sunday night, and I don't think you necessarily have to trade him now. If someone wants to blow you away, obviously you listen. But otherwise, I just keep plugging him in.
Chris, can I rely on Darren Sproles for the fantasy playoffs?
Christopher Harris (3:54 PM)
Hi, Jose. It's really too soon to tell. I haven't read any updates yet on Sproles, which means he's probably undergoing the league's testing protocol related to his concussion. My guess would be that even if he has to miss Week 10, typically concussions keep you out for a month, so yeah, I'd tend to think he should be back to himself by then. But concussions aren't all the same, so to be sure, we're going to have to hear from the Saints....
Think Cam will be more consistent 2nd half? I can't afford anymore 12 point stinkers...
Christopher Harris (3:55 PM)
Hi, Joe. My honest answer is: no. I think he'll probably give you a couple/three more stinkers the rest of the way, because he's a young player without much receiving talent around him. There will probably be spots where he disappoints us, i.e., when he doesn't run, doesn't get in the end zone, and turns the ball over. On the whole, I still think he's a top-five QB the rest of the way, but despite his end-zone Clark Kent routine, he ain't bulletproof. (Then again, few are.)
Who has a better chance of contributing for the final 1/3 of the season, Doug Martin or Percy Harvin?
Christopher Harris (3:56 PM)
Hi, Chris. I would say Harvin, because again, I think it would be nuts for the Bucs to risk Martin when they know he needs shoulder surgery for a torn labrum and they're 0-8.
Chris! Sproles practiced today and is shooting to play this week! Thoughts and follow up please!!!!!
Christopher Harris (3:57 PM)
Hi, Mike. Yeah, figures. 3 minutes after I posted that Sproles answer, Mike Triplett posted an update on Twitter. Sheesh! It's good news, and I'll be putting Sproles into my RB ranks quite soon. It's a downgrade for Pierre Thomas, who I viewed as a top-20 back with only Ingram and Khiry Robinson around, but Sproles goes back to strong flex territory in standard leagues and RB2 in PPR leagues....
What's with the Antonio Brown love by the rankers? He's had exactly TWO double digit scoring weeks. Take away his fluky week 3 performance, and hes's barely a top 30 guy!
Christopher Harris (4:00 PM)
Hi, Taylor. I like the fact that you're looking beyond "total" raw points -- definitely wise. That said, while he hasn't found the end zone much in games away from London, he also hasn't had fewer than 50 yards receiving in a single game this year, which is rare, and currently sits 8th in WR receiving yards in the entire NFL. And watching him on tape, he's just *dangerous*. I agree, having him as a top-five option is too rich for my blood, but that's likely related to his matchup against a poor Bills pass defense this week. Either way, I view him as a start in most leagues.
Christopher Harris (4:01 PM)
Okay, everyone -- I have to go work on the Fantasy Underground: Film Room segment, in which I'll be breaking down the improbable rise of Zac Stacy. I know it can be frustrating not to get your question answered -- but there were ~2,500 in about an hour, so I hope you have some sympathy for my plight. Again, you can follow me @CHarrisESPN. I hope you have a great afternoon, and thanks for being here.