Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

November 13, 7:43 AM ET
Fantasy Football with A.J. Mass

Matthew Berry
  (3:04 PM)

Hey everyone... Let's get to it. Remember, game tonight and as always, all subjects answered... Let's get to it.

Justin: Akron, OH

I looked at your pick-ups and got two of them... who should I start between Jamaal Charles and Ryan Torrain? Also should I put Wes Welker in after a disappointing season for Matt Jones pending his suspension?

Matthew Berry
  (3:05 PM)

I'm not crazy about Torain tonight and wouldn't start him if I have other options.... Welker should be starting, yes

AJ Mass
  (3:01 PM)

Welcome to the chat everyone. AJ is here to answer your fantasy football questions, especially with a Thursday night tilt on tap. Let's get started, shall we?

Shawn (Oak)

Lets get right to the question of Reggie Bush, if you have to set your lineup today, do you start Bush over someone like the TOWER of POWER?

AJ Mass
  (3:02 PM)

I do. Hightower did not show me anything special in MNF's game and while I do expect him to perform better over the long haul, I'll take the risk of a limited Bush versus the upside if he's able to get even a handful of catches.

Austin (Philly)

Hi AJ. I am in desperate need of a winning streak to get into the playoffs...which side of this trade do you take: Big Ben/Gore or Matt Ryan/Michael Turner??? Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (3:03 PM)

I like Ben/Gore because its spreading the risk over two teams. One shutout of the Falcons and you're down with Ryan/Turner.

Brett (NY)

Do I start BJGE tonight or wait and roll the dice with Bush?

AJ Mass
  (3:04 PM)

If there's no other option on your bench, I go with Lawfirm tonight. Morris won't play, and you just have to hope for a TD.

Rob (Philadelphia, PA)

What are your thoughts on waiting it out for Portis? I have Shaun Alexander has a handcuff or I can start Calvin Johnson at flex and Jacobs and Forte and RB. Thanks for the advice.

AJ Mass
  (3:05 PM)

I think Clinton will play - and if he doesn't you do have Alexander to avoid a goose egg... so I'd take the risk of waiting. I like Forte, but can see sitting Jacobs b/c the Ravens matchup is a possible hit to his stats.

Scott (Union, NJ)

I picked up Tyler Thigpen last week because Big Ben was injured and he came through for me big time against San Diego's generous defense. Now Ben faces the same San Diego D this week, so should I start him this week or stick with the red-hot Thigpen going against the Saints?

AJ Mass
  (3:07 PM)

I'd stick with the Pen. Saints are not world beaters versus the pass, and while SD is a generous defense, the weather may be bad in Pittsburgh - and a stiff shoulder could have some problems.

Abe (Detroit)

Would you consider starting brady quinn or david garrard over brett favre do to the weather conditions tonight?

AJ Mass
  (3:08 PM)

I'd consider it without the weather conditions. Favre gets you 175 yards tops - even when the Jets score 40. Garrard can get that many points with his legs in most league's scoring systems- though the matchup with Tenn is a tough one. I might well go with the Mighty Quinn.

Drew (Washington, DC)

You just said "I think Clinton will play." As both a huuuuge Redskins fan, and a Portis fantasy owner, you just gave me a little tingly feeling inside. But it goes against everything else i've been hearing. Do you have news on this that we haven't heard yet? What do you base this off? Thank you

AJ Mass
  (3:10 PM)

It's a game against the Cowboys. And the fact he's not practicing doesn't bother me. He'll suit up and give it a go. Besides, coaching staffs never fudge the truth about injuries, do they?

Todd (Dover, NH)

Do I hold off on Thomas Jones tonight and play Reggie Bush? PPR league.

AJ Mass
  (3:11 PM)

Same as with BJGE, I'd get my points if my other option is Bush who is a ?

Dave (CA)

If SJax plays where does he fit into the rankings? Start him over Marshall, Colston, or Evans?

AJ Mass
  (3:12 PM)

I don't think he does. So no, I would not start him over any of those players.

Kramer (NYC)

With the playoffs coming and the trade deadline looming is it time to skip depth at positions and go for studs?

AJ Mass
  (3:13 PM)

I still want a handcuff to my RB, but I happily trade away guys who are just going to gather dust on my roster week in, week out, like a solid No. 2 QB in a deal to improve my starting lineup. I also cut all backup TE, K and D and then load up on possible handcuffs to trade to other owners.

Alan

If I've traded a guy playing tonight and the trade doesn't go through until tomorrow, can I play him tonight?

AJ Mass
  (3:14 PM)

Yes, but then the trade will not go through until next week.

David (Oreland, PA)

considering remaining schedules, is Berrian more valuable than Marshall, Jennings and/or TO? thanks.

AJ Mass
  (3:16 PM)

I really don't look at schedules. Does it matter who TO is playing in Week 16 if the Cowboys are out of the playoffs? I do not think so. I think TO phones it in at that point. Likewise, if a team has locked up the playoffs, and the starters get rested in Week 16, then the opponent doesn't matter either. I just want the BEST players to get me to Week 16, and let the chips fall where they may.

Adam (IND)

Trading for AP: in the deal I will be giving up Andre J., Reggie W., or Fitz, who do I hang on to for the rest of the year? I'm thinking Wayne and Fitz.

AJ Mass
  (3:16 PM)

He's the one I'd be happiest to part company with, yes.

Matt (Boston)

I have a serious receiver problem. Please rank these mediocre receivers that I have to start... Avery, Henderson, or Bradley. Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (3:17 PM)

I'd go with Bradley (ride the hot hand) then Avery. Henderson is too "all or nothing" for me to risk a start.

Dan (Sacramento)

Megatron or LJ at flex spot this week? Non-PPR.

AJ Mass
  (3:18 PM)

LJ. Daunte may only get one chance to find Mega deep. If it fails, you're dead. LJ at least will have 20 chances or so to mess things up, and may get lucky.

Unsure (SLC)

Was I crazy to drop Tory Holt to pick up K walter off the wire looking toward the future? Holt's Sched is nice, but he's been killing me. Walter's sched looks tough.

AJ Mass
  (3:19 PM)

Exactly my point. I want Walter over Holt based on the performance so far, and what I expect them to do going forward. Holt will continue to kill you.

Bill (Provo)

Rest of the year: Chris Johnson or Jamal Lewis?

AJ Mass
  (3:20 PM)

CJ. I think Jamal may find those holes aren't there after a few more losses.

Bryan (MASS)

Who would you start this week at flex in a PPR league, Jacobs vs Balt, Housh vs Phili, or Breaston? I am already starting Larry Fitz.

AJ Mass
  (3:21 PM)

If you're already starting Fitz, I'd go with Jacobs, though to be honest I think Breaston outscores him... but I'm against putting too many eggs in one team's basket.

Geoff (Colorado)

AJ...I have Big Ben, Schaub, and T. Edwards and pretty much no one else on the waiver wire except maybe Flacco or Collins...one a scale of 1-10, how screwed am I???

AJ Mass
  (3:23 PM)

It's not good,but as long as Ben is able to play, he won't kill you. Pray he doesn't get hurt.

Andrew (Washington, D.C.)

A.J., would you have any worries about starting three Chiefs on the same fantasy team this weekend: Thigpen, Johnson and Bowe? I could sit Bowe and flex in J. Norwood or Ricky Williams.

AJ Mass
  (3:25 PM)

I'd worry about starting three of any team. I'd like to see you sit Bowe (you get points for any TDs he catches already) and put in Williams, and I actually like Norwood a little better than LJ, too.

Steve (Hawaii)

Rank these receivers for this week: Bowe, Welker, Breaston, Vincent Jackson, Holmes

AJ Mass
  (3:26 PM)

Welker, Breaston, Holmes, Jackson, Bowe

Perry (Boston)

Hey A.J. I have Colston on my IR and I want to start him this week, so to activate him should I drop Julius Jones, Sammy Morris, or Donnie Avery? Thanks.

AJ Mass
  (3:27 PM)

I don't know what your RB depth looks like, but Morris isn't going to help you this week, is he? However, if you're absolutely never going to start Avery, then send him packing.

DAVE (KY)

Thigpen over Rivers??? Did i really say that? Pittsburgh looks scary and the weather could be bad?

AJ Mass
  (3:28 PM)

Misconception about bad weather: QB's suffer. While it is true that if there is a blizzard during the game, the wind and visibility problems are too much to overcome, the fact is that slick fields favor WR over DBs and allow for far better passing days.

Henry (L.A.)

I'm the commish in my league (commish approves trades- not a vote). Today, a team traded Buckhalter for Colston. The team getting Buckhalter also has Westbrook & his remaining WR's TJ Housh, D.Avery, D.Jackson, & Ted Ginn/G.Camarillo. I approved it. Thoughts?

AJ Mass
  (3:30 PM)

I would have traded another WR for Buckhalter, but have no problem with an owner overpaying for a handcuff once bye weeks are done... in fact I endorsed that very strategy in today's ESPN fantasy newsletter.

Joe (NJ)

AJ - HANDCUFF QUESTION: I've got Rhodes on my bench to go along with Peterson, Gore, and T. Jones. If I could get Chester Taylor for Rhodes would you make the trade for the handcuff even if Rhodes is in a much better situation to eventually start and contribute?

AJ Mass
  (3:31 PM)

Absolutely. You're never starting Rhodes if AP doesn't get hurt. If he does, you KNOW Taylor will get carries... at that time Dominic might not.

Eric (Brooklyn)

I had Rivers and McNabb and was tired of picking the wrong QB every week, just traded McNabb and Chris Johnson for AP and Flacco. Good move?

AJ Mass
  (3:33 PM)

Good move? Only time will tell. Did you upgrade at RB? I think so, making the deal a smart one. Smart doesn't always work, though, sadly. Good luck.

I'm starting for the Broncos (RB)

Better PPR flex: Cotchery, Camarillo, Avery. Is Kevin Boss good enough for me to drop Heath Miller so I can pick up Thigpen? (Favre starting now).

AJ Mass
  (3:35 PM)

I think I go with Camarillo there. Boss is as good as any other "not in the top tier" of TEs. I'd drop Miller for Thigpen.

Vince (ohio)

Drop DMC for Bradley?

AJ Mass
  (3:36 PM)

Unless you're in a keeper, I think you take the players who are,well, playing.

Matt (LA)

Need help! Quick ones: Pick 2 of BGE, FWP, Deuce & Hillis. Pick 1 of Matt Jones, Roy E. Williams or Antonio Bryant

AJ Mass
  (3:37 PM)

I'd go with Lawfirm and Deuce. Bryant wins out over Jones, due to his injury.

brian (de)

Would you start Santana Moss at flex over Slaton and Addai? I am starting Ronnie and Barber at RB.

AJ Mass
  (3:38 PM)

I'd lean to Slaton. I think he bounces back big this week. But I might be tempted to go Moss over Brown.

Catch me I'm Falling

Avery or Welker. I need someone who may get me 12pts (60yds and a TD). Who is more likely?

AJ Mass
  (3:39 PM)

Welker will get you the yards. Nobody can predict TD's, so I'd go with Wes, since I feel good about him getting you halfway to your goal.

Rusty Griswald (Missoula, MT)

Hey AJ, Favre tonight or Romo Sunday? Also do you go with Hightow, or Loogie Jets Johnson this week?

AJ Mass
  (3:41 PM)

I go with Favre tonight. Not sold on Romo's health/timing, and the Skins aren't going to treat him with kid gloves either. I don't like either back, but might be willing to give Timmy a second chance. Give my love to your Bavarian friend,won't you?

Jason (Omaha)

Engram or Bradley?

AJ Mass
  (3:42 PM)

Bradley. Not going near Seattle, at least not until Matt shows me something first.

TJ (NY)

Hi AJ, you mentioned that Sammy Morris wasn't playing tonight. Is this official?

AJ Mass
  (3:43 PM)

Our own Wendy Nix is reporting that he's expected to be inactive, and the Boston Herald agrees.

Carl, TN

AJ, If you had to pick one for the flex spot between Royal and L.J., is this a case where its better to start the reciever over the rb?

AJ Mass
  (3:45 PM)

Given the rust on LJ and the fact that Cutler may throw 60 times, yes it is.

Brandon (Colorado)

BGE or Portis?

AJ Mass
  (3:46 PM)

If you have to decide today (as in, nobody else to go on Sunday if you wait and find out say Saturday that Portis is out you're stuck) then absolutely.

AJ Mass
  (3:46 PM)

That was endorsing BJGE.

Rob 9NJ)

Lot of questions about tonight's status of BGE...

AJ Mass
  (3:47 PM)

Welcome to Thursday deadline day, Rob 9.

Matt (Pittsburgh, PA)

Tough question and I know you have the answer -- A hot Thomas Jones against the Pats stout run D or Hightower who was a bust last week against the awful Seahawks?

AJ Mass
  (3:47 PM)

I'd roll with TJ.

Tim (North Cack)

Jonathan Stewart or Willis McGahee?

AJ Mass
  (3:48 PM)

McGahee. I don't think Stewart gets near as many carries as hasn't doen enough with what he has gotten.

Josh Richmond, Va

Why does no one think LJ is a strong start? Hes well rested, he better show up or lose his career, so he motivated, and Thigpen can throw so he should have holes to run into. Im starting him over LT this week. Am I crazy??

AJ Mass
  (3:49 PM)

One man's "well-rested" is another man's "one step too slow" - given the possible slippery field in Pittsburgh, you can make the argument for LJ. I'm simply not buying it.

BGE love fest today....

What about answering 1 question about Chris Chambers? :) is Chambers worth starting at FLEX over any of the following: Bowe, Lance Moore, Holt, Avery?

AJ Mass
  (3:50 PM)

My guess is not over Moore or Bowe. Possibly over the other two, but it's close.

Dan (PA)

Can you start a "banned" list and put Josh from Richmond at the top permanently? LJ who hasn't played in 4 weeks over LT? Really?!

Josh Richmond, Va

So LT over LJ? This week? Pitt hasnt given up over 65 yards rushing yet this year!!!

AJ Mass
  (3:52 PM)

Maybe we should get these two guys into Thunderdome. Anyone got MasterBlaster's number?

Randy Moss (NE)

Speaking of deadline, how about starting me tonight..... Over Driver vs. CHI????

AJ Mass
  (3:53 PM)

I'd be willing to risk it. Moss hasn't been Moss, but he's still Moss, if you get my meaning.

You said...

Chambers is close to Holt or Avery? He was a TD machine before he got hurt. Do you think he will get back to that form again this year?

AJ Mass
  (3:54 PM)

Simple answer: No. I don't think he will.

Wendy (Jackson,MI)

Breaston or Deangelo Williams? .5 point/reception Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (3:55 PM)

Williams. He should gain at least 35 more yards than Breaston, which negates 7 catches.

Playing for Next Year

Thoughts on Mendenhall for next year? Our trade deadline is Sunday and I'm thinking about acquiring him on the cheap.

AJ Mass
  (3:56 PM)

What's the worst that can happen? He has a bad camp and you cut him. This is the time to grab guys like Mendenhall and Jurevicius on fliers in keeper leagues.

Wes Welker (NE)

I don't understand why no one is showing me love in this chat! Do I deserve a start over Dwayne Bowe this week in a PPR?

AJ Mass
  (3:57 PM)

Dude. You deserve a start over everybody in a PPR.

There's never enough time

Guys guys guys... Quick strategy help... I have R Wayne, S Smith (CAR), & S Moss as my starting WRs this week. I have H Ward on my bench and play against Big Ben. Should I put Ward in my lineup to offset any action from Big Ben? If so, who do I sit???

AJ Mass
  (3:59 PM)

Ah, the old "counter my opponent" argument. I never look to see who my opponent is starting. Period. I start my best lineup, and I think Ward comes in neck and neck with Moss. If it makes you feel better, go ahead and start him. But it's not a strategy I prefer to worry about.

John Boy (The Waltons)

Is it terribly dumb to trade Barber and Andre Johnson for AP when I am LOADED at every other position? The guy just won't consider anything less, and I think this would make me as close to untouchable as could be (14-team league)!

AJ Mass
  (4:00 PM)

Is it terribly dumb to turn down a trade that you believe makes you invincible? Yes it is. If you think this puts you over the top, then do it.

AJ Mass
  (4:02 PM)

Thanks gang - I am out of time. I appreciate the q's as always, and apologize for not being able to get to them all. Good luck this week, enjoy tonight's action (if you can see it) and we'll see you the next time on Villa Allegre!