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October 30, 10:57 AM ET
Fantasy Football with A.J. Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:55 AM)

Good morning again, gang. It's the halfway point of the season, and we've got a lot to talk about. Whether you want to debate our projections for the Fantasy HOF nominees, or have a Commish issue you need settled, you've come to the right place. Let's get this party started, shall we?


Will Torian have any value this week. I need two of the four with LT on a bye. Pittman, Torain, Fargas, or Kevin Smith.

AJ Mass
  (10:57 AM)

The problem with Denver backs is that there are too many. Who is going to get the carries this week? Torain? Hall? Young? Pittman? You? Nobody knows. That's why they are a risky play. I'm leaning to Pittman and Fargas, because Smith is just awful, but to put two Broncos in is suicidal.

Jermey (Miami)

I won't argue, I will just ask you to defend Le'Ron McClain as a HOF nominee for Handcuff Hero? Ray Rice gets more carries now so can you get an induction based on only the first half of the year?

AJ Mass
  (11:00 AM)

The point of the prize for Handcuff Hero is that is the person who gets the increased workload due to an injury that benefits his owner. If a Willis McGahee owner had "handcuffed" McClain, he would not have been hurt. It doesn't matter that Rice is getting more carries NOW with McGahee back. It's what a back does when the lead guy is out that qualifies, and that's it. McClain might not gain another yard this season, and still might be the best back in that capacity for the season.

Drey (SC)

Time to drop D. Rhodes and Mewelde?

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

I wouldn't outright drop them... have we seen Addai and Parker play yet? No. They could easily reinjure themselves... better safe than sorry.

Rooster (Bville AR)

Commish question. I had two fantasy rookies colluding on a roster swap. The league has voted not to kick them but I need some fair punishment. I can't figure out a way to punish them w/o advantaging someone else (forfeit, etc). Any advice?

AJ Mass
  (11:03 AM)

The most important thing is that you simply deny the swap. If the rest of the league has "forgiven" them then you don't have to do anything, save to watch them closely and make sure they are clear that a repeat performance results in their booting.

Mike (Philly)

Breaston or Mush M for the year as my #3 WR?

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

I was actually pleasantly surprised that Breaston kept the stats up with Anquan's return. Cards don't strike me as a team that is going to stop throwing the ball anytime soon, so I think Steve's the winner here.

Chad (Indiana, PA)

Is Plaxico Burress really going to be worth his name in fantasy points the rest of the season?

AJ Mass
  (11:05 AM)

That's up to him, isn't it? He does well when he plays, but the chances of him getting another suspension for deciding team meetings aren't important is high. I'd rather not have the headache on my fantasy roster.

bad horse (evil league of evil)

Safe to start Avery over Holt?

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

I think you should, yes. Holt may not be done yet, but clearly, Avery's the new top dog.

Peter (Durham, NC)

AJ, my town is now officially in basketball mode so help a football fan out!! I need flex help this week, MJD or Addai?

AJ Mass
  (11:07 AM)

Going MJD here... I'd like to see Addai play a whole game, and the Pats aren't a pushover defense anyways.

Lonnie (Dallas)

Hi AJ, worried about the Titans D up against a very good Green Bay offense. Am I crazy for considering the Colts D against the beat up Pats?

AJ Mass
  (11:08 AM)

I'm going Titans D regardless of the foe. They're the best defense in the league right now, and I don't fear any QB against them.

Julian, London

AJ, can you project what the rest of Big Ben's fantasy season will look like? I play in a two QB league, and had banked on a top 10 season from Ben, but am finding that plugging Delhomme in for Ben is paying greater dividends (other qb is McNabb).

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

McNabb should have the best week of the bunch versus Seattle. Ben's hurting... the Steelers don't throw as much as most top-QB teams do anyway, and he's taking a huge beating behind that O-line. I'm selling on Ben if I can.

RJ (Richmond)

AJ help RJ out! I am crazy for sitting TO for Matt Jones in my PPR league now that it looks like he'll play? (My other WR is Welker) TO's my fave player, but I can't take him being the worst player in my lineup anymore!

AJ Mass
  (11:11 AM)

Assuming Jones is playing, I start him. Without Romo, TO is just ordinary, and playing the Giants isn't going to help Brad have extra time to wait for Owens to finish his deep routes.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Mr. Mass: Is Peyton Manning tradeable if you already own Matt Schaub? I can't believe this is actually a viable question at this point.

AJ Mass
  (11:12 AM)

Anyone is trade-able. Anyone. The question is whether or not you can get enough value in return for him. The key to good trades is to trade someone you value at X to another owner who values him at 2X. As long as you do that, I don't care who the player in question is.

Big Joe (Raider Nation)

Pick two for this week only (PPR league): Welker, Cotchery, & Berrian?

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

I'm not too high on the Jets this week. I think I sit Jerricho.

John (New York)

Looking ahead to the playoffs, trading slaton and getting Ronnie Brown - deal or no deal?

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

No deal. If anything, teams are catching on to the Wildcat, and Chad-the-passer is doing more of that passing. Slaton may hit a rookie wall, but I still think he's worth more than Ronnie.

Scott (Maine)

Commish Court Question: two owners make a trade a few weeks ago, one player for one player swap that seemed not totally even but not vetoable either at the time. Now, coinciding w/a bye week need, the EXACT trade was made again w/the teams getting their original players. Doesn't this seem like a case of loaning players for bye weeks? Shouldn't this be EXTREMELY illegal?

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

Yes, and yes. Which is why I have a no-backsies rule in my league constitution, prohibiting two teams from swapping the same player back and forth in the same season.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Commissioner question: I am commissioner in two on-line leagues. It appears as though I have several people in both who signed up and who have already lost interest. This means that trade offers are not being reviewed and some good players are going to waste. Is there anything I should or even can do to remedy this situation? I would think other on-line league commissioners have this same problem.

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

The dead team always rears its ugly head in online leagues, especially when the owners don't know each other and there's nothing to be lost from dropping out. It's the risk you take when playing with strangers... I think there's little to be done, other than learning your lesson and finding more reliable folks for next season.

AAron (Baltimore)

Follow up to the Jones question. When and how many games will the suspension be. Is he good enough to plug in as a No.2 or 3 receiver come week 14~16 on a playoff bound 6-2 team?

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

He's appealing it, which is why Matt's still able to play, but it will likely stand at 3 games - meaning playoff time could be very good... assuming the clock starts ticking on that suspension sooner rather than later.

Donald (NJ)

Commish question. Similar problem as above. There's five teams in my league that are all friends or related to the commish. They only trade with each other and don't even bother to respond to trade requests from anyone else. Time to find a new league next year?

AJ Mass
  (11:20 AM)

See, you don't need me to read the writing on the wall for you. You're just a warm body to them, and there's no way to enforce a "hey you guys, you have to trade with me, too" policy. This isn't necessarily cheating, but it certainly can't be fun.

Cameron (Toronto)

Trade DJAX, Pittman and Hightower for Roddy White???

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

It's a lot of bodies to give up, but if you have the RB depth, it is an upgrade.

Rick (FL)

I've been reading that Reggie Brown will only get the #3 spot when he comes back from his injury. Do you think that's true?

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

I think we tend to worry too much about labels when talking about WRs. As long as you're on the field, you can get stats, and last I checked, most teams go with 3 WR's the majority of the time. McNabb likes Brown, and I think for this year at least, he's still better than DeSean, so I wouldn't worry too much about the label - just the groin.

Trevor (St Louis)

At the start of the season our commissioner inadvertantly created a daily waiver process, meaning that every time you pick somebody up during the week, you lose your waiver priority. Several owners now want to change it back to the old system where they are free agents during the week and on waivers over the weekend. What do you think about changing this type of rule mid-season? Thanks for the great work!

AJ Mass
  (11:24 AM)

In general, I don't approve of mid-season rules changes. However, I never have a problem if the league is unanimous on the decision. "Several" or "most" isn't enough to change things... but "all" is.


How long will Reggie Bush be out and/or should I drop him and pick up another RB. I have Deuce for back-up, but now will he or won't he be suspended? Thanks

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

Bush probably won't help you until the fantasy playoffs, so if you can't get there without him, then make a move. Deuce's possible suspension certainly will have to go through an appeals process before it takes effect... I think you'll have a window to make a move when that news comes down, if it comes down.

Anthony (Dunmore, PA)

would you have faith in kevin boss this week if witten isn't able to go?

AJ Mass
  (11:27 AM)

Faith? No. Boss is not a focal point of the NYG offense. He may get a catch or two, and yes, one may be a TD, but that's true of most TEs. If Witten is 50% I still go Witten. If he's definitely out, Boss is as good as any.

Anyone (Dunmore, PA)

Who would you play this week M. Moore or Willie Parker? Ted Ginn, Braylon Edwards, or Matt Jones? Thanks I really need the help. I'm playing the #1 team and Gore/LT are on bye!!!

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

Jones is the play if he plays. Period. Parker is a very risky play and I think Moore gets enough carries to be worth the start even if Parker does go... but this is going to be one of those game-time calls. If Parker has a few good practices, I might change my mind.

Ryan Charlotte

Is it safe to start Kyle Orton over Big Ben?

AJ Mass
  (11:32 AM)

Safe and prudent. The Lions, last I checked, were not very fierce.

brian (de)

Is Santana Moss a safe play or would Matt Jones be a better option(assuming he plays again)?

AJ Mass
  (11:33 AM)

I'm a touch concerned about Moss possibly not being at full strength, but with the extra day's rest, he should be a safe play.


Is Hightower startable this week? And does GB have a chance against Ten? Who is your pick?

AJ Mass
  (11:34 AM)

Hightower is a possible start, but not over a back who is going to get 20 carries. For a flex, though, perhaps. Of course GB has a chance... even the Bengals would have a chance. However, I'm going to pick the Titans.

Mike (Marietta, GA)

Who would you rather have as your QB backup for the rest of the year--S. Hill or Bulger?

AJ Mass
  (11:36 AM)

If I had room to stash a No. 3 QB, I'd hide Hill away because I think he has more upside, should he find success in the Mike Martz system... but as a No 2, I want a guy who will get me decent stats regularly, even if he never goes completely off the charts. That's Bulger.

Jack (VA)

Is Sammy Morris playing? If so/if not what's Kevin Faulk's value this week? Indy is a pretty good matchup right?

AJ Mass
  (11:37 AM)

It's the Patriots. Who knows? My gut feeling is that Morris plays, but that takes away more of the Green-Ellis packages than the Kevin Faulk-packages. He's still no better than a flex (Faulk) either way.

Jack (Chicago)

CHECK, CHECK, IS THIS THING ON? AJ, If Addai (don't have him) returns this week should I bench Rhodes in favor of Camarillo or Kevin Smith or hope Rhodes still gets enough touches to be productive? (PPR league)

AJ Mass
  (11:39 AM)

I'd go with Camarillo if Addai is back. I don't love the matchup with NE, and if Addai does play and is ineffective, the Colts may simply abandon the run rather than turn to Dominic - though I'd still start him over Jones.

AJ Mass
  (11:39 AM)


Commish - (TX)

COMMISH Q - In a buddy league one of the manager's dad died this week. His opponent this week is 7-1 and pretty well locked into the playoffs and has pulled all of his players in a show of respect. I appreciate the thought, but should I make him field a team this week?

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

I'd ask him to field a team, yes. The sentiment is nice, but it's a bit out of place.

Chad (DC)

Who is the better start this week, L. White or J. Lewis. Thanks

AJ Mass
  (11:41 AM)

The way White has been scoring TDs of late, I'd have to go with him.

Gary (Boston)

Pick 2 of 4: McGahee, Slaton, Jamal, or Edge?

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

I'll go with Slaton and Jamal on this one.

dave (nj)

aj,do you think hightower will takeover the starting role in arizona?

AJ Mass
  (11:44 AM)

Take over? Probably not. Can he grow into a legit time-share? That's a much more likely possibility. Now, if he does far better than Edge at that point, then sure, he might get the starts - but it's a slow build, not a big leap.

Dave (Minn)

Any word on Ahman Green? As a Slaton owner, I'm hoping his pulled groin sidelines him for several weeks.

AJ Mass
  (11:44 AM)

As a Slaton owner, I wouldn't worry one whit about Green. They're not going back to Ahman.


Devin Hester is healthy and possibly being used as the "QB" in the Wildcat formation for the Bears along with his regular receiver duties. Does he sneak in to WR2 territory if the Bears start running the Wildcat?

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

Absolutely. He's not too far off from that now, given the matchup, and if he can catch 4 balls and take a direct snap for an extra 25 yards every now and then, what's not to like -- although you just know he's bound to throw an INT and lose your game for you... can't you just feel that one coming?

Tony (LA)

I'm the commish in my league. People are mad at me because I made some "unfair" trades with two guys that have lost interest in our league. Apparently other managers had tried trading with them as well, but they never logged on because they don't care anymore. Was it an unfair advantage that I have their phone numbers and actually called them to discuss trades?

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

I think when you called them, it should have been to ask why they're not interested, and if they weren't, you should have tried to replace them as owners rather than simply use them to your advantage and then allow them to go right back to being uninterested and invisible. Shame on you.

brian (de)

Do the matchups for Ronnie Brown and Earnest Graham make them must starts over Steve Slaton this week? I am also starting Marion Barber.

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

I'd go with both Graham and Slaton over Brown and Barber, though you could make the case for MB3 over Earnest if you wanted.

Jeff, Lincoln-NE

Who is most expendable for the rest of the year Randy Moss or Plaxico Burress. Can get Marshawn Lynch in a trade for one of the two? HELP!

AJ Mass
  (11:51 AM)

Send Plaxico packing and wash your hands of him.

Andrew (Livonia, MI)

I have Garrard against Cincinnati, and Orton vs. Detroit. Which should I start(because I am not starting Aaron Rodgers against Tennessee(Even though the Pack hopefully wins))

AJ Mass
  (11:51 AM)

I might go with Garrard here, especially because he's liable to rush for 60 on his own in addition to the passing yards.

Only 8 Minutes Left...

Romo and Boldin for Rodgers and Plax - Thoughts? And what is Forte's value the rest of the year? Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

Wouldn't do it. I'm assuming whoever you have at QB now can fill in until Romo returns, and Boldin is far better than Plax. Forte is a matchup back who will have some good days and some bad, but I see him more of a 18-65 kind of back.

Dan (New York)

AJ, who's a better flex play this week? A Bryant, Ginn Jr (return yards count), Holt or Derrick Ward? Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

I'd go with Bryant.

Trade - NM

One Letter Response - Side A)Cotchery/T.Jones or Side B) Bolding/Winslow

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)


Brian (Springfield, PA)

PARADE TIME!!! Ginn or Camarillo in a PPR, this week and for the season?

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

I think this one is pretty close and should go back and forth each week. I lean slightly to Ginn.

Chuck (NYC)

Hey AJ, need some advice brotha...need a RB and a Flex out of these...PPR by the way...Ricky Willaims, Kolby Smith, Benjarvis, Lamont Jordan and Kevin Walter...thanks man, greatly appreciated.

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)

Walter's your flex, no doubt. I'd take a chance on Kolby at RB.

Daniel (Mobile, AL)

Aj, how do you feel about both Mannings the rest of the year?

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

Peyton's getting 250 yards a game and a few scores with a few picks. Startable, but not stellar. Eli has a few standout games, but mostly gets 185 yard days with a TD pass sprinkled in.

Alex (Tenn)

Commish question. In a "keeper league", you can only "keep" a player that you drafted if he's still on your team at the end of the year, right? Owner that drafted Slaton in the tenth round but then traded him after week 3 is contending that he should get to use him as his keeper selection next year.

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

I would say that if you don't choose to keep a player on your roster this year, you no longer can lay claim to keep him next year, yes.

Josh, CA

Buzzer beater!!! Gerrard or Gus??

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)


David (Chicago)

I am reading the chat transcript and see DJAX. Tell me there is another player out there other than Darrell Jackson. What is he doing on anyone's roster week9?

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

DeSean Jackson.

Andrew (Johnston, RI)

roy williams or braylon edwards

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

Braylon, but I don't like it - which makes me sad.

Lisa (Detroit)

It seems like you like Slaton this week? No one is running on the Vikes, so why?

AJ Mass
  (12:01 PM)

Just a feeling. Matchups are good guidelines, but if I have Slaton versus some of the other choices I was given, I'm starting him.

Chad (DC)

Would you trade for Holt in a keeper league as a WR #3, or should I just stick with Driver? (Marshall and TJ 1 and 2)

AJ Mass
  (12:02 PM)

I'd stay with Driver... he's better for this season, and both are at the age where you shouldn't expect either to be back next year - they may well be, but I wouldn't EXPECT it.

AJ Mass
  (12:03 PM)

Thanks all! That's our time for today. We've got to skedaddle, but the TMR should be here at 3pm to keep the party rolling on. We'll see you the next time on Villa Allegre!