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July 23, 12:21 PM ET
Fantasy Football w/AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (2:58 PM)

Hey gang. AJ here to take you the next hour of fantasy chattage. It's a football-only chat today as we get over the Shockey of recent trades... let's get started, shall we?

korey (or)

is colston helped or hurt by the shockey trade? Seems to me, shockey takes away red-zone targets and opens the game up more for Reggie Bush then he helps Colston's #s.

AJ Mass
  (3:00 PM)

I don't think it affects Marques all that much. He'll be far more helped by someone truly stepping up bieng a solid No. 2 WR than Shockey's arrival. Bush on the other hand, might see the reception totals drop a bit.


What do think AJ? Westbrook or Jackson at number 3 in the draft?

AJ Mass
  (3:01 PM)

You could make a solid argument for Westbrook at #1 in a PPR league, and in a standard league, I might take him before AP at #2.

Jon (san diego)

how does counting 6pts for passing TD's affect the rankings and draft strategy for QB's?

AJ Mass
  (3:03 PM)

Not much, IMO. QB's may already be scoring more than your average RB in a standard scoring system, so adding 2-4 points a week isn't changing things for me. You need 2 starting RB, and there aren't as many good ones to go around as QB. They go first.

Scott (Boston)

Which side do you want in a keeper league trade? LenDale for Witten?

AJ Mass
  (3:04 PM)

I look at keeper leagues the same way as regular start-from-scratch leagues due to the short length of most NFL-ers careers. I'd rather have the better player today, and worry about tomorrow tomorrow... so I go Witten.

The Man (NYC)

Who do you see as underrated WR's that can be grabbed in the middle to late rounds (i.e. Welker from a year ago)?

AJ Mass
  (3:07 PM)

Nobody is going to suddenly jump to 100+ receptions like Welker, but second tier steals may be Jerry Porter, Chris Chambers (seems to slip in most of mocks I've been in), DJ Hackett, Donte' Stallworth and Kevin Walter.

Cody Philly

AJ in a points league who is the better pairing, Peyton and Wayne or Brady and Welker, Thanks

AJ Mass
  (3:08 PM)

I'd rather have one of each so as not to get double-dipped into a zero on one strong defensive showing. But Welker doesn't get to the end zone all that much... I go Colts duo.

David Tyree (NJ)


AJ Mass
  (3:08 PM)

You are... for using your head.

Matt (Chicago)

Top five Kickers for 2008?

AJ Mass
  (3:10 PM)

As always, I don't rank kickers b/c there's hardly any difference between kicker #1 and kicker #10 and no way to predict who will be who.


Hey AJ, I have the last pick (10th) in my keeper league b/c I am the reigning champ...this is a 1 PPR, and I am aiming for a WR...please rank these possible slections - Colston, Welker, Fitzgerald, Holt, Edwards, and Smith...

AJ Mass
  (3:11 PM)

I'm a big Welker fan in a PPR, but I'd rank them Braylon, Colston, Wes, Fitz, Smith, Holt.

Willie Parker

Am I a #1 RB this season?

AJ Mass
  (3:12 PM)

No. More of a #2. Looks like Mendenhall will eat goal line carries and without those touches, you're not an RB1.

Byron, Los Angeles

Rudi, Thomas Jones, Jonathan Stewart...rank the three

AJ Mass
  (3:14 PM)

I like Stewart a lot, but he's very green, so I have to give the nod to TJ. Not loving Rudi so much and think Watson is just as good an option.

Bart (Cleveland)

AJ, in a 2 qb 2 rb league is qb as important as running back? In other words would it be beneficial to keep 2 top running backs or 1 rb and 1 qb?

AJ Mass
  (3:15 PM)

In a 2 QB league, then yes, QB becomes more important. Especially b/c there's a far better chance for your bench RBs to step in than a backup QB will... so it is essential to get 3 of the 30 starting QBs. You need to strike sooner rather than later.

Kevin (NJ)

Would you trade away A. Peterson(MN) for M. Lynch and R. Bush in a PPR league? Thanks.

AJ Mass
  (3:17 PM)

I think I would, Kevin. As fun as it is to have AP, in a PPR league, we're looking at two top 10 RBs for 1.

Jamaal (Mt Laurel, NJ )

I'm in a PPR league for the first time ever. Any advice in terms of strategy? Thanks.

AJ Mass
  (3:19 PM)

I think you draft the same way you always would... there's always going to be a glut of WR and a shortage of RBs for example. The only difference is the rankings of your RBs, where guys like MJD and Bush and Westbrook all get big bumps... and guys like Jacobs and Graham not so much.

Marion Barber (Dallas)

am I worth the 6th pick in a 12 team PPR league?

AJ Mass
  (3:21 PM)

No. I'd take Brady at 6 (see my article in the Draft Kit on the subject), but if I were grabbing an RB, it would be Gore.

Josh Minneapolis, MN

After LT, AP, Westbrook, Addai, and Jackson, who are the next 5 best RB's?

AJ Mass
  (3:21 PM)

There's a small group of Gore, Portis and Lynch... then a dropoff to another group of four, Grant, Barber, McGahee and LJ.

Matt (Raleigh)

I'm in a deep keeper leauge and have both Romo and Big Ben (we only start 1 QB). Which deal would you rather do: Romo for Addai or Big Ben for McGahee? I need a RB badly.

AJ Mass
  (3:23 PM)

I'd go trading Romo for Addai. With the Baltimore QB situation a bit murky, I'd rather go with the "you know what you're getting" Colts Offense.

PJ Athens, OH

AJ: How far do you inflate rookie RBs in a 3 year keeper? Do guys normally in the 4th round go to the 2nd?

AJ Mass
  (3:26 PM)

My primary league which has been around for 15 seasons now has a full 10-man lineup keeper format. As such, the first round of our draft is always chock full of rookie RBs. Even if you're not keeping that many guys, odds are most of the veteran RBs will be kept, making rookie RBs of utmost value.


Do you think James Hardy will have a good enough fantasy season to draft as a starting WR?

AJ Mass
  (3:26 PM)

If Favre ends up in Buffalo, then maybe. Otherwise, he's only worth a late-round flier pick.

Kevin (Omaha)

Just traded Graham for McNabb. My other QB option was Rivers. Tell me McNabb bounces back this year and Graham ends up sharing carries with Dunn.

AJ Mass
  (3:28 PM)

I definitely believe Donovan can be a Top-10 QB again. Graham may see some 3rd down carries go by the board, but I still think he gets his 25 a game... at least until Cadillac is ready to come back, which may happen sometime mid-season.

Brandon Rome Georgia

Will Matt Ryan Take the falcons to the playoffs???

AJ Mass
  (3:29 PM)

In 2011 perhaps. Not this year... although in that division, the odds are better than in most.

eno (Jersey City)

Which QB do you like better in a keeper league, to backup/possibly replace my Bulger: Delhomme or Alex Smith?

AJ Mass
  (3:31 PM)

Delhomme by a mile. Injury risk? Sure. But he's got Steve Smith and a history of success. Alex Smith might not even beat out Hill for the job.

Ron (NYC)

Eli a top-10 QB?

AJ Mass
  (3:31 PM)

Nope. It's just not the system the Giants play.

Lee (Cincy)

AJ, I have the dreaded 6th pick in a 14 team league. Do you still take Brady at 6 if you know even more RBs could be gone by my 2nd and 3rd picks?

AJ Mass
  (3:33 PM)

I think with 14 teams, and the need for 28 backs just to grab starters, you HAVE to go RB-RB and if there's anything left in round 3, you go RB again.


In a 10 team draft, what pick would you prefer and why? Thanks - I can't wait for football season!

AJ Mass
  (3:35 PM)

I always prefer a middle pick, where I know I'm only taking a 10 player dropoff for each selection. Having the first few picks puts too many eggs in your RB's basket, and I've ridden the Shaun Alexander road to ruin too many times.

AG (Indy)

How do you rank Marvin Harrison this season? He seems healthy enough.

AJ Mass
  (3:38 PM)

My colleague, Stephania Bell, to whom I defer on most things injury, says Marvin will be playing with pain the whole season long. Plus I expect the Colts to be good, and Dungy has a history of resting players who are in pain when the game isn't of do-or-die importance. I went to SU so my love for Marvin is huge, but he's not being selected by unless I've already got my full complement of WR.

Kevin (Glen Rock, NJ)

Do you think Brees puts up better numbers than last year? Thanks.

AJ Mass
  (3:40 PM)

The only number you have to worry about is the INT total. That's what needs to drop. He actually threw for more yards and TDs than when the Saints made the playoffs.

Tim (Halifax)

Hi AJ, in a keeper league is the Minnesota D going to be good enough this season to warrant keeping them in the 14th (out of 15) rounds? Thanks

AJ Mass
  (3:42 PM)

They're a top-10 defense but I'd leave my options open. After all, when it comes your turn in the 14th round, you might get a chance to either upgrade, or reclaim them anyway. If it were the Chargers or Bears (and ST TD count) I'd keep the D.

Ryan NY

I go to SU now, over under 10 years until we have a player from SU become relevant in fantasy again? (Meaning a new one)

AJ Mass
  (3:44 PM)

Let's first concentrate on winning more than 2 games in the Big East, then worry about churning out stars. Guys like Taj aren't going to cut it in the NFL.


Here's a Dallas homer question: Scouts Inc. has the Dallas DB's and LB's ranked as the #1 units in the NFL. The DL is above average and belongs to a 3-4 scheme anyways. They just occupy blockers. So, why does ESPN have then ranked as the #10 ranked unit? Something doesn't add up there. Could you explain this or what the issue is that drops them down so low? I've been drafting them at every opportunity(in a reasonable round) because I see them as a top 5 unit. Maybe even better. What are your thoughts on this?

AJ Mass
  (3:47 PM)

For one, it's DST, and return TDs factor in... that's why a Chicago, with Devin Hester is so valuable. But even wiith Jones and Newman, this team can give up 400 yards at any given moment. Giants and Eagles both may do that twice... that's closer to #10 than #1

Tom (Chicago)

Why is Nate Burleson flying under the radar? he had 10 total TD last year, Engram might hold out, Branch is hurt, Hackett is gone, and the Seahawks have no running game.

AJ Mass
  (3:50 PM)

He's not a "name" so that's why he falls through the cracks in a lot of drafts. Plus, the fact that Seattle has no running game means defenses can double-team him without conscience. Yes, he's probably a WR3 who could step up to a WR2 if all breaks for him, but I don't think it will.

Ben (Philly Burbs)

AJ -- How come everyone is so high on the Ryan Grant train? He did it for like 10 games last year, isn't it possible that Brandon Jackson steps up and makes an impact after a wasted rookie year?

AJ Mass
  (3:53 PM)

The "high-ness" comes from the fact we know he's got the job and that with Favre gone from GB, there's every chance the team will go to him often. It's more of a nod to opportunity than respect for performance. Is is possible Jackson wins the job in pre-season? I suppose, but not likely. I think impact only comes through injury.

Randy Moss

Am I available at 9th pick or am I too good? If I'm not there then who is?

AJ Mass
  (3:55 PM)

You're the first WR off the board, and nobody's thinking about taking you (realistically) until 7. If you're not there, then Lynch or Portis likely is.

Andy (Ann Arbor, MI)

I'm think of drafting Reggie Bush #1 in my Fantasy Ballerina League, since all he does is dance behind the line. Is he worth drafting as a 2nd RB in my fantasy football league too?

AJ Mass
  (3:57 PM)

Harsh! Bush is a good number 2, simply b/c he's got two avenues for reaching the 1000 yard mark, on the ground and through the air. And while, he's more likely to get it via the pass, so what? The points count the same.

Mike (Nashville)

Does Stewart take over Deshawn Foster's share of carries in Carolina or is Williams the starter there?

AJ Mass
  (3:58 PM)

Pre-season will let us know for sure. I think Williams will get the start with the first unit, and Stewart gets inserted near the goal-line. So at the worst, he's a TD vulture, killing Williams value.


Portis has been an injury risk for years...all of a sudden he has a healthy and productive season and he's ahead of guys like Ryan Grant and Frank Gore?

AJ Mass
  (4:00 PM)

Everyone in the NFL is an injury risk... the fact that Portis did what he did behind an O-line that had twentieth stringers in there at times is why he's held in such high regard.

Tony (Cleveland)

Edge and Gates for Ryan Grant? Which side better?

AJ Mass
  (4:02 PM)

I lean slightly towards the Edge/Gates side, even with Antonio's injury issues... but that's what makes this deal so close... a healthy Gates and we have no debate.

AJ Mass
  (4:03 PM)

Thanks, gang... it's been fun. Always good to get the NFL brain in gear early.... we'll see you the next time on Villa Allegre!