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October 2, 7:09 AM ET
Fantasy Football with A.J. Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:56 AM)

Good morning one and all... time for another hour-long debate and discussion of the real issues affecting real fantasy football players today. Let's get this party started, shall we?

Steve Texas

A.J. I usually use the rankings to rate my squad for the week, but why is there such a discrepancy between the ESPN projections and the rankings? For example Turner is projected the 5th highest scoring RB but ranked 11, Payton is ranked 4 but projected 11. Just curious.

AJ Mass
  (10:58 AM)

The projections get a lot of grief, and the reason is simple. You can't predict touchdowns. If you look at the QB passing yards and the RB rushing yards, and WR receiving yards each week, they're actually not too bad. But throw in guessing who is going to score? That throws it all off. Take Turner's TD away and he drops from 5 to 14, for example.

Dan Philly

Were edges goal line carries last week a fluke or do you see him starting to score some tds?

AJ Mass
  (11:00 AM)

Edge is on his way down. Hightower also got a goal-line score and should continue to vulture James into oblivion.

John (atlanta Ga)

Who should I start, Fred Taylor or Mewelde Moore?

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

I'd start Taylor, but both should have tough days against tough D's. I'd just rather go with the experience here... Moore was 3rd string for a reason.

JJ (Oakland)

AJ, ended up dropping Perry after he burned me last week. I was able to grab Deuce off waivers. Now Perry has hammy issues. Did I do good? Will Cedric Benson eventually start for the Bengals?

AJ Mass
  (11:03 AM)

Fickle aren't we? I'd never cut back on my RB depth if I could help it. They are always in short supply. That being said, you did luck out with Deuce being available as he goes right into RB1 territory. Benson may well get carries as early as Sunday, but given his history, I am not optimistic.

Paul (Baltimore, MD)

With Palmer likely out this week, should I bench Houshmandzadeh, in favor of Santonio Holmes?

AJ Mass
  (11:05 AM)

Big Ben is achy-breaky too right now, and if Parker were healthy, I'd go with TJ. But given that Mewelde might have difficulty in the run, Steelers will likely throw more than usual. Santonio for me.

TL (Detroit)

Can Grant turn it around this week against Atlanta? In a TD-only league, who's a better start, Grant or Ronnie Brown?

AJ Mass
  (11:07 AM)

Not if Rodgers is out he can't. He'll be better than the 20 or so yards he's been getting, but without a solid pass threat, he'll find the going tough. Even throw Brown isn't going to get 5TD again, how can you not give him a shot?


How scared should I be that I am starting Engram, Lance Moore, and Reggie Brown at WR in an 8 Team league? Boldin and Colston out. Can those three produce enough to help me beat the top guy in the league.

AJ Mass
  (11:08 AM)

Moore should be fine. Brown looks to be at full speed, and Donovan loves to throw to him. Engram is a little more risky... he and Branch will play, but maybe not too many snaps.

Scoop (Amesbury, MA)

Let's try this again. What are your thoughts on a commissioner and league that changes rules in mid-season. My commissioner gave me until Sunday to drop two quarterbacks (I have 5--trade bait) otherwise my team will be illegal and I will forfeit the week. Yesterday, Wednesday, he unilaterally set a three QB limit for all teams even though there was no such restriction in force at the time of the draft. He threatened to drop two of my QBs himself last night if I didn't do it, but I got a stay of execution until Sunday. Our league does cap RB (5) and WR (6). Tampering is not allowed in real-life sports league. I guess that's why they call it "fantasy" because it lets commissioner's become a cazr or dictator in their own mind.

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

Clearly, that's major "shenanigans" -- you can't do that. My guess would be that he's got Palmer and Rodgers and needs to make a waiver wire pick and is upset you have a surplus? For shame!


Should I bench Jennings if A. Rodgers is out? I could put in Muhammed, Norwood, Morris, or Bradshaw.

AJ Mass
  (11:11 AM)

Jennings' value certainly takes a hit with Flynn in. Maybe I consider Muhammed or Norwood in his place if that happens... but not Morris or Bradshaw.

brian (de)

I guess I have a good decision to make but I am 1-3 and keep making the wrong decison... Please help I need 3 out of Addai, Barber, Graham, Slaton and Ronnie Brown

AJ Mass
  (11:13 AM)

Nice choice to have... I go Barber (Cowboys determined to get him the rock this week) Addai (fresh legs off bye) and Brown (simply b/c I don't want to sit him AGAIN and miss anything close to a good game -- then I trade him if he does).

Jason (Crozet)

Who has better value for the rest of the season....Duece or Graham?

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

I just traded Deuce in my longtime keeper league for Titans D. I think he'll be fine, but the injury risk is too great for me (plus I have Reggie Bush). Graham isn't going to get the workload or the stats, but seems more durable to me.

jill (miami)

I want to drop a Tight End to pick up Colston, should i drop Scheffler and keep Dallas Clark since hes through his bye week?

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

Sounds like good logic to me. Sometimes the schedule makes your decisions for you... why have to make another roster move later on?

Eric (Indy)

Should I even think about picking up Cedric Benson in Cinci?

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

I'm of the school of thought that it can't hurt to have as many RBs as possible on your roster. Do I cut a Fred Jackson or a Maurice Morris for him? Probably not. But a backup TE? Why not. The worst that can happen is I cut Benson in a few weeks if he doesn't work out.

Wookin Pa' Nub - SNL, NYC

PLEASE help me here, playing my BOSS this week! Pick three to start from: Welker, Holmes, Moore and Meachem. Start J Campbell or K Orton? Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:20 AM)

Do Tay! I don't start both Moore and Meachem, and I personally like Lance better. That's just my own "spread the risk" bias. I'd also go with Campbell over Orton as Lions D is so run-weak that Bears may not need to throw a single pass.

Al (Oakland)

Who took my cat? I am tired...Where is the hamburger meat? You want to coach da Raiders?!...O'Sullivan or Orton as my second QB this week?

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

JT for me, as I just discussed my thoughts on Kyle this week. And you can put THAT in writing on a big overhead projector.

Ron (NYC)

Beware kicker question: Longwell or Scobee this week?

AJ Mass
  (11:22 AM)

Beware kicker answer: Flip a coin. Seriously. As long as health and severe weather isn't a factor it's always a sheer guess.

Mark (San Diego)

AJ saw the rankings but still need help. Giants or Cowboys DST, Thanks.

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

I go Cowboys. They are either facing a QB who can't throw or a QB who hasn't the ability to throw.

JJ (Decatur, IN)

It looks like Boldin is sitting this week. I picked up Breaston. Should I play him or pick up Engram or Branch?

AJ Mass
  (11:25 AM)

I actually like Urban over Breaston in the long run, but so long as both can play, I'd go with either over the Seattle WR's for this week. They are not going to be overworked... maybe a quarter or two tops apiece, and possibly not at the same time.

Chad (DC)

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help.. Kitna or Schaub this week? Rudi or White this week??

AJ Mass
  (11:28 AM)

I go with Kitna, as I'm not sure we don't see Sage Rosenfels before the game is over vs. Indy. And I go with Rudi since White is banged up and facing a defense you can ill-afford to be banged up against.

Mike (boston)

Sup AJ, would you be buying Parker right now even with the injury? I have been offered FWP for either Eli or Rodgers? Would you make either deal if you had Thomas Jones as your number 2?

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

Parker should be back, and it's not like Moore would keep the job even if he rushed for 200 yards this week. I'd certainly send Rodgers and his potential shoulder problems away for the upside of FWP.

Plaxico (NY)

Do I get to play next week?

AJ Mass
  (11:30 AM)

Why wouldn't you? The Giants aren't masochists. The punishment is served, they'll move on.

Brandon (Holland)

After Shaub's preformance last week, why do you think we see Sage? Also, PLEASE!, need 1; Turner, C.Johnson, Felix

AJ Mass
  (11:32 AM)

Because Houston has never played well against the Colts, and the bye week allowed Indy ample time to focus on Texans. Turner. GB run D is not that good.


Both the Eagles DEF and Bucs DEF have tough matchups, so.... who should I go with?

AJ Mass
  (11:34 AM)

Philly. Washington's offense isn't as scary to me as Denver's, and they are bound to get at least a few sacks based on the amount of blitzes.

Bill (Tampa, FL)

Need help please (0-4). Im thinking of starting both Brandon Jacobs and Derick Ward this week along side of LT. Is this a good idea or should I sub Ward with Perry or Taylor?

AJ Mass
  (11:35 AM)

If Perry is healthy, I consider using him instead of Ward. Otherwise, hey, you are 0-4. Take the chance.

Ilya (Newport Beach, CA)

HELP! last WR spot... Roddy White or Robert Meachem?

AJ Mass
  (11:36 AM)

Meachem, given the matchups.

Im starting to feel like T.O.

Ignored!! Wahhhhh! Start Chris Johnson or MJD? Santana Moss or Calvin Johnson?

AJ Mass
  (11:37 AM)

I think you have to start Chris, but not Calvin. MJD isn't right yet and playing Pittsburgh won't help matters plus LenDale might not be there to vulture. Moss to me is a must start regardless of matchup these days.

Kevin Smith (Detroit, MI)

LOVE THEM ROOKS! Pick two rookies: DeSean Jackson, Eddie Royal, or Chris Johnson. Normally Chirs is a must-start but playing Balt. Already starting fellow rook Forte.

AJ Mass
  (11:39 AM)

I'm sitting DeSean. Donovan re-found his love for Reggie this past week, and I think he starts overloading on it in Week 5.

Joe (San Antonio, Tx)

Should Bush owners get McCallister as a handcuff? She bush owners run out to get him?

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

They are not playing the same position, really. Bush is essentially a WR who gets a few handoffs and starts in the backfield. Deuce is a lead back. Both will get their stats independent of the other. Personally, because I generally don't like starting two position players from the same team, I'd not want to have both on my roster and would trade one away. It's not the same as a handcuff b/c they both play.

Jay (Athens, Ga)

should i trade maurice jones-drew and donald driver for brian westbrook (worried about his health)?

AJ Mass
  (11:44 AM)

I would not be worried about Westbrook. He was very close to playing last week and I'd be surprised if he doesn't play this week. I make that trade.

Joe (NY)

Are Fred Taylor and MJD similar? Worth having both?

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

I do view that in the same way as Deuce/Bush. MJD's value is not the rushing yards - it's the receptions. You CAN start both more confidently than you would in a Stewart/Williams kind of time-share because both are essentially RB1's used in different ways... but if the Jags have a bad day, you're getting two goose eggs, rather than one.

Rob (RI)

What are your thoughts on Larry Johnson this week? Every time I don't start him he plays well.

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

My thoughts are that I very much want to know whether or not you are starting him before I answer, since that seems to be a lock on being right.

JP (New Haven, CT)

start two: Reggie Bush, Steve Slaton, Ryan Grant

AJ Mass
  (11:48 AM)

Sit Grant.

rbbc nightmares

rbbc nightmare- s. morris or l. mcclain in ppr? thanks.

AJ Mass
  (11:48 AM)

Morris for this week.

Kelly (AZ)

AJ, earlier you said, "That being said, you did luck out with Deuce being available as he goes right into RB1 territory." The rankings don't seem to relect this notion as he's only #37. If I'm not mistaken, they were done after Payton proclaimed Deuce the new starting back. So, I'm confused... please explain... thanks :)

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

They're playing the Vikings. It's about matchups.

Courtney (Denver)

Was offered Donald Driver for DeSean Jackson? Do I make this deal considering Reggie Brown is back and Kevin Curtis is on his way back?

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

No I don't. DeSean may be dropping to No. 3 status, but he'll still have return score capability and he's got McNabb throwing to him. That's still more valuable than Driver will be if Rodgers stays healthy, and far more if he doesn't.

Derek (Albany, NY)

Complicated problem: My leauge has a W/R position, which I normally had Felix Jones in.. with Willie Parker out, I bumped Jones to RB. My problem is who do I put in the W/R position, Matt Jones or Pierre Thomas?

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

Matt Jones = top targeted receiver on the Jags. Pierre Thomas = lucky to get 1 carry this week. Pretty easy choice to me.

JC (Tex)

Trade offered to me: A. Johnson and J. Addai for LT and Housh. What's your call?

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

I'd consider this one, simply because LDT's toe issues may not go away and TJ might not have a QB to throw to him.

Teddy (WI)

Do you trade Forte after a couple more strong showings? Do you think he will wear down?

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

While I'd like to see how Forte handles playing in cold weather before anointing him the New Sweetness, so far I've seen nothing to indicate this start isn't legit. I'm keeping him.

Jon (KC)

Projection question: Kevin Curtis or Deion Branch for the rest of the year?

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

If both come back close to full strength: Branch.

Mike (Virginia Beach, VA)

Does Grant's value fall below the receivers Bruce or RB Mcallister? Who would you start in a Flex position

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

This week he certainly does. And if he stinks up the joint bad enough, we might see an influx of Brandon Jackson further hurting his value down the line.

Mike (London)

Westbrook, Turner, R. Brown - Who sits this week?

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

Brown sits unless Westbrook is declared unfit to play.

Judd (Boston)

Buzzer Beater!!! Start 2: Chad Ocho Stinko, Desean Jackson, Roddy White

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

I'm sitting 85. Just not feeling it. Sorry, Chad.

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

Thanks all... we've got to skedaddle. Thanks to all for your Q's, and we'll see you the next time on Villa Allegre!