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October 16, 11:05 AM ET
Fantasy Football with A.J. Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:56 AM)

Good morning gang! We're ready for another hour of fantasy football goodness, but then we have to go fix this leaky sink. Not sure why, but Joe the Plumber didn't show up this morning like he promised... anyways, let the Q's begin!

Drew (Indianapolis, Indiana)

I need a bye week D for the Eagles, who do you like between the Texans (against the Lions) and Dolphins (against the Ravens)?

AJ Mass
  (10:58 AM)

I'd go with Houston. Dan Orlovsky isn't the greatest option, and losing Roy Williams isn't going to make their offense better. Besides, the Ravens may still manage to run the ball well against the Dolphins.

Braylon Edwards (Cleveland, OH)

Am I back? Also, do you think that my vote can swing the election?

AJ Mass
  (10:59 AM)

You certainly were back on MNF. One game doesn't suddenly make Cleveland the best offense in America, but it's not bad news that you had 150+ yards. Certainly you start Braylon if you have him.

FWP, Pitt

Watch out for gopher holes...they can be real lulus...

AJ Mass
  (11:00 AM)


Byrd (Ohio)

I picked up Matt Schaub when Romo went down. If Romo plays who do I start?

AJ Mass
  (11:02 AM)

It's still too early to tell if Romo will in fact go this weekend, but let's say he does.... I'd still start Schaub since he's playing Detroit and Romo will still hand to Barber a lot, and if the Cowboys have a lead, they'll pull him late to protect him. If he survives a full game unscathed, then I'll consider playing him going forward.

P.J. Liturgy (Bristol, RI)

What's up A.J.? Would should I start in my flex spot: Colston, Ronnie Brown, or Fast Willie (if he is healthy)?

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

Assuming all were healthy and good to go, I'd go FWP... but the news that he may not go leads me to lean towards Ronnie. I'm of the mind that you usually rest a guy until he gets a game under his belt (Parker would have been an exception because of the bye week) and proves he is healthy.

al (DC)

AJ the rankings came out way before we got a lot of news - i had planned on starting FWP over Rhodes and Sammy Morris -- now i'm thinking Rhodes is the guy -- i need a consistent 8 points or so...what do you think?

AJ Mass
  (11:05 AM)

I agree. NE is too unstable a situation to rely on anyone, and with Addai out, Rhodes is essentially the only back they have.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Mr. Mass: I may be making this tougher than it should be but in looking at the matchups would I be better off starting Favre over Brees this week?

AJ Mass
  (11:07 AM)

I'm not sitting Brees, who throws for 300+ yards in his sleep and may well be getting Colston and Shockey back. Having said that, I agree the Jets matchup is a bit more favorable and Favre may well outplay Drew this week. That's why it's your team - you have to make the call. I think Favre has a better day, but Brees is still the safer play.

Pat (College Park)

Hi AJ. I've heard some other experts recommend trading AP. They said they'd rather have Portis or MB3 for the rest of the year. Now, obviously, Portis and Barber are beasts, but would you trade AP straight up for either of them?

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

If I drafted AP when I could have had Portis or MB3, it was because I thought that over the course of the whole season, he'd be better. There's nothing I've seen that would make me think differently now... if anything, Gus in there at QB makes it more likely that AP gets momentum. So straight up? No. For Portis PLUS someone who improves my depth at another position? Yes.

brian (de)

I see that Ernest Graham is low in the rankings this week. Why is that, wouldn't Seattle be a good matchup? Would you start him or Ronnie Brown?

AJ Mass
  (11:13 AM)

Graham's placement likely has to do with a) splitting of carries with Dunn and b) the blocking back injuries that may force him into that role for another week. So while "Tampa Bay RB" may be a great matchup, it is not the same as in Dallas or Washington or St. Louis where one back will get ALL the carries. These timeshares cap Graham's ceiling even in good matchups.

Tobias (Chicago)

How are the ESPN Weekly Projections calculated? Is there a mathematical formula behind it(and if so, what stats factor into that formula) or is it the result of the collective wisdom of the ESPN fantasy experts or one expert?

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

Our fantasy experts (EK, EK2, Chris Harris and TMR) use their personal opinions to rank how they think each player will perform this week. The projections are an attempt to take that subjectivity out of the mix. It factors in past performances, the defensive matchup and a team's style of play and attempts to give a "scientific" idea of what to expect without the biases of Player A is better than Player B. It's a tool, and not a foolproof crystal ball.

Derek (Minneapolis, MN)

Choose three of the four to play this weekend please. Holmes vs. CIN, Hester vs. MIN, Holt vs. DAL, & Cotchery vs. OAK.

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

I'm sitting Holt. One of Coles or Cotchery will get an easy assignment, and we're not sure which one, but I'm guessing it will be Jerricho.

Greg (New Braunfels)

I've had it with DeAngelo Williams and Stewart. I ALWAYS start the wrong one. Drop them both for Torain and Sammy Morris?

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

Because starting a Denver RB or a NE RB always makes the decisions easy? At least in CAR it's a 50-50 shot, not 1-in-5.

Steve (Chicago)

Who's the stronger option the rest of the year; Croyle, Flacco, Orlovsky?

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

Flacco is the only one who I am sure will still be QB in Week 17. I guess Croyle will be too, but his injury history and high INT totals makes me leery.

Vick (CA)

Will Hines Ward's projection increase or decrease if Willie Parker sits?

AJ Mass
  (11:22 AM)

I don't think it changes much. The style of offense the Steelers play won't change much and Mewelde may not be FWP, but he can handle getting the carries.

Mike (ATL)

Fred Taylor? Can he still be a flex play against weaker teams?

AJ Mass
  (11:24 AM)

Certainly. Last week's stat line was affected by an injury, one that shouldn't linger.

Dan (New York)

Do you think Rudi Johnson is worth a flex spot over McClain with Kevin Smith's shoulder being iffy?

AJ Mass
  (11:24 AM)

No, because he is Rudi Johnson.

mike (portland, oregon)

Do you see LT being a good RB with buffalo off a bye, or should I start M. Moore for a injured Parker?

AJ Mass
  (11:25 AM)

Look, if you don't want to start LT, then trade him. It makes no sense to have a player like him on your bench. Somebody out there will hold him in higher regard than you... do yourself a favor and swing a deal.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Wait a minute, FWP may sit this week? I thought he was ready to go?

AJ Mass
  (11:27 AM)

Check your newswire, mon frere. He still MAY go, but hurt himself "stepping in a hole" --- not running through a hole, but like, a hole in the ground. D-oh!

Phil (Baltimore, MD)

Should I drop Carson Palmer in order to block my opponent this week from picking up a good QB? I already have Rivers and Orton.

AJ Mass
  (11:28 AM)

I'd drop Palmer because he might not be back in 2008, not to foil my opponent.

Jen (San Diego)

How much will Colston's return impact L. Moore's numbers? Moore or Derrick Mason in the flex spot?

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

I think with Colston back, Brees (especially for this week) will target Marques excessively to get back into rhythm. Moore will still be a flex play, but drops to passing option No. 4 at best on NO.

Mark, Berea, OH

AJ, This decision is killing me. Who do you like between Hines Ward and Wes Welker? They seem to be very similar for week 7. Thanks

AJ Mass
  (11:30 AM)

I like Welker. He's always a double-digit catch candidate, and even with no FWP, Pitt's a run-first offense.

Matt (Chicago)

Bobby Engram or Derick Ward this week in the flex? I know, I know. I'm running a triage center for my players.

AJ Mass
  (11:32 AM)

I'd go with Ward. Engram has to get a few targets this week, but I hesitate to start anyone on the receiving end of a hobbled Seneca Wallace.

Kris, Omaha, NE

Should I start a healthy Deuce or a questionable FWP.

AJ Mass
  (11:33 AM)

Healthy usually trumps injured. Even if we were to wait until gametime to make the call, if it's that close to being a no-go, I'd be concerned about how well a player will perform.


its nice in VIlla Allegre ........what do you think of keeping two defenses on your roster, 12 team league, just for playing the matchups..... better than having say a justin gage type of player?

AJ Mass
  (11:36 AM)

In general, I think I'd rather use that roster spot for a handcuff type player. Someone like a Dominic Rhodes, who had little value before this week, but now moves to the fore. Even if every other team in your league has 2 Defenses, there will be at least 8 options to swap out your D for, if you don't like the matchup, and if your defense is good enough then the matchup shouldn't matter.

Matt (Detroit)

PPR league: Roddy White or Plaxico Burress

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

For those who wonder why their Q's don't get answered sometimes... it's b/c Q's like this one fill up the queue. Assuming then we're talking for rest of season, and not FOR A BYE WEEK... we'll go with Roddy.

Stu (Washington)

Sould we be reading ANYTHING into the Skins signing Shaun Alexander?

AJ Mass
  (11:39 AM)

Ladell Betts is hurt. They need a body. Unless your name rhymes with Mock Partsight, I'd read nothing into the move.

Craig (Boston MA)

Fasano, John Carlson or Greg Olsen for TE this week.

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

Carlson. He's the one TE in Seattle, as opposed to one of two in the other places. Just playing the percentages.

Don (5280)

Hey Aj - the rest of the way Lynch or SJax?

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

I actually like Steven Jackson. He's been solid all season, despite being the only option, and there's a reason we all had him Top 5 in the pre-season.

Jeremy (Johnson City, TN)

Do you think Ryan Grant will turn his season around? maybe get his first TD this week?

AJ Mass
  (11:43 AM)

I don't project scores, b/c there's no more futile effort in all of football, save perhaps choosing kickers. Having said that, the matchup is good for Ryan this week, and if he doesn't get 100, I'm not expecting him to do so going forward.

Eric (FL)

Tashard Choice? Any chance he steps in and becomes fantasy worthy in Felixs' abscence?

AJ Mass
  (11:44 AM)

Very heavily doubt it. Jones only got the work he did b/c he's so flashy and a change of pace to MB3. Choice isn't that kind of back.

Brad (Ohio)

Just traded Roy Williams for Delhomme in a 2 QB league, good move?

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

I think so. TO and Witten are still the top two receivers in Dallas, and Roy E. Williams may be better than Crayton, but he's going to at best get Crayton-like targets. That's too erratic to be counted on week in, week out. In a 2 QB league, Jake is quite valuable.

C.L. (L.A.)

How good of a trade was this that I made about two weeks ago: I traded QB Tony Romo, but got WR Brandon Marshall in return (considering that I already had Jay Cutler AND Aaron Rodgers on my roster and also considering the fact that the best WR I had before Marshall was Packers WR Greg Jennings)?

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

Let's all hail the great C.L. He is the man. All of you can stop playing fantasy football now. He is the winner.

Kyle (OH)

Derek Anderson or JT O'S?

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

I'll go with Anderson this week, although I think it will be pretty close. Essentially, I'm banking on G-Men being angrier over their performance last week than the Redskins.

CL is my hero!!!!!! (Phila PA)

Who am I starting at QB this week? I have Warner on Bye, and Palmer as backup. Picked up B. Johnson, but concerned with Romo's talk. Garcia, Frerotte, O'Sullivan and Collins are FA's. Do I drop Johnson or Palmer for one of these plug and plays?

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

I think in the end Johnson will go and not Romo, but I also wouldn't be opposed to dumping Palmer for Garcia or Gus.

Commish - (TX)

*** Commish Question *** Owner wants DeAngelo Williams and S. Holmes for MJD & Cotchery overturned. This seems even to me, is there any reason to give this a second thought?

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

As a Commish, I don't worry about it. You allow trades, yes? Then let your owners trade.

Mark (Akron)

Toughie..... 2QB league 6pts. for TD's O'sully @ Giants or Croyle vs. Tenn..pick one?

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

O'Sullivan. Croyle is bleah.

Matt (CHI)

Better flex: Fargas or S Morris

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

If I knew Morris was getting 20 carries, I'd go with him. However, since he may only get 8, I go with Justin.

Phil (NC)

I was offered Calvin Johnson for Aaron Rodgers (I have Drew Brees already). What do you think? Will Calvin Johnson be able to succeed with double/triple coverage and an unproven QB, or can I get more for Aaron Rodgers?

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

I think the loss of Kitna hurts Calvin more than losing Roy. After all,it's not like Roddy White has any help in Atlanta. I think you're banking on upside for Johnson, and I'd make the deal.

Ian (Seattle)

How many Matt's are in Chicago? Jeez. Kinda weird. Anyway, is McGahee a safe start this week? Or is Balt destined for a three-horse RBBC? Not what I had in mind when I drafted him.

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

Sorry, I can't answer your question. You're not Matt from Chicago.

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

OK, Willis' lack of PT is frustrating, and as such, he's not a great play this week. I think it's generally going to be Willlis OR Rice, but which week this one qualifies as is unknown.

Matt (Chicago)

Better flex for this week: Colston or Muhammed?

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)


Last One

Who should I start this week? Dominic Rhodes, Sammy Morris, or Jamal Lewis.

AJ Mass
  (12:01 PM)

I'm going with Rhodes. He's the only game in town, and GB is not a formidable rushing D.

AJ Mass
  (12:02 PM)

Thanks gang. My time is done. I appreciate all the Q's. Another chat comes your way at 3pm. Best of luck to one and all, and we'll see you the next time on VIlla Allegre!