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September 2, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (11:48 AM)

Let's start this rather early today-lots to discuss.

Phil S. (NJ)

What's up Matt! Andy Reid continues to say the right things about Vick backing up McNabb, but do you get the sense that everything is as hunky-dory as they say it is? Developing situation possibly?

Matt Williamson
  (11:49 AM)

I really wouldn't look more into it than what is on the surface. No reason to manufacture controversy. But, don't forget, McNabb was benched during the season last year and he isn't a young QB any more. Adding Vick could be a wise long term move-or they could turn around and trade Vick this offseason for valuable draft picks. In any event, Philly gave up next to nothing to acquire a true asset. Good business.

Mike (NJ)

Which one of these RBs has the best Season start: Ray Rice, Derrick Ward, Ahmad Bradshaw, Beanie Wells, or Donald Brown?

Matt Williamson
  (11:51 AM)

I am high on all of those guys with the exception of Ward, but give me Rice. He looks great. Good OL. Surely a team that is dedicated to running the ball. Also is a very good recevier out of the backfield and has big play capabilities. There are other RBs to obviously consider in Baltimore, but they also run the ball a ton-enough carries to go around and Rice should get the bulk of them.

Matt (Chicago)

The obligatory question: Please, will you give us the likelihood that B. Marshall ends up wearing the green of an NYJ this year?

Matt Williamson
  (11:53 AM)

I think it is certainly possible. He is needed there-amongst other places. NYJ has really been in a win-now mode dating back to last off season when they landed guys like Faneca and Jenkins-and of course, Favre. Curious what the compensation would be though. Maybe-at the absolute most-I would give up a 2010 first rounder to get Marshall in NYC. But, honestly, how can you trust him off the field? Also, strictly analyzing him as a player, I think he is a bit overrated. But still-obvious upgrade at the WR position for NYJ and would be a nice guy for Sanchez to throw to for the forseeable future...assuming he can keep his nose clean.

Phil S. (NJ)

Which of these 2nd and 3rd string RBs do you see breaking out this year, taking into consideration talent, opportunity, O-line, etc. - Bernard Scott, James Davis, Danny Ware, Shonn Greene, Tashard Choice, Mike Goodson. Thanks!

Matt Williamson
  (11:56 AM)

Good list. Actually, great list. I really like Choice, but I just don't see the opportunity. Sorta the same for Ware-but we all know that Jacobs will miss time. Greene would probably be last on my list of that group. I would bet that Davis gets the most carries of the group. Goodson is too far buried, but once again, Stewart is surely an injury risk as well. Scott might get the 2nd most carries when it is all said and done. Don't be shocked if he starts the season as the #2 in Cincy as a complementary guy to Benson. Then-once Benson runs like well, Benson-it could be Scott late in the year. Once again-excellent list.

Matt (Chicago)

The Cowboys have approximately $20 million in "dead money" after releasing TO and G-ellis. With this $$ coming off the books next year, do you forsee JJ making a huge splash in FA? IF so, which FA's do you think would look good with a star on their helmet in 2010?

Matt Williamson
  (11:57 AM)

Not going to get into specific free agents-but yes, I do see that. Remember, JJ had/has a few bucks tied up in that huge building with the low scoreboard...and the economy probably hasn't done him any favors either of late. But yes, they are due for a big splash-or two.

Don (Florida)

Since naming Leftwich the starter in TB has there been anything else on the Bucs trading one of their QB's?

Matt Williamson
  (11:58 AM)

Not that I have heard of, but surely that could happen. I really don't think that want J Johnson to get away for nothing-so they could begin the season with four QBs on the roster. Obviously Freeman isn't leaving town. So, that leaves McCown. He isn't a terrible QB, but what teams would be really after a guy like him right now? Not all that many. What is the compensation? 5th rounder? Blah

Philip (Milwaukee)

Will Matt Jones end up anywhere this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:00 PM)

Have been real shocked that he didn't land somewhere already or long ago. The fact that he hasn't already really makes me think that he could be watching this season from home. Shame really. Plus, I do think he can start in this league in the right O.

Mike ((San Diego))

M-Dub, what's your fantasy outlook on V Jax? Do I even start him and LT vs. the Raiders? I can only imagine they will be pulled after one quarter.

Matt Williamson
  (12:00 PM)

I just started writing that game up for Scouts Inc and needless to say, I am picking the Chargers big. If you have paid any attention, V-Jax is my guy this year. Love him.

Matt (Chicago)

Matt, will Jamal Lewis be able to handle the load in Cleveland? Who is starting for them if not? Thanks!

Matt Williamson
  (12:02 PM)

James Davis is the name you nee to know. Wouldn't completely shock me if Lewis didn't make the team-that might be extreme, but Clev must know they are rebuilding (again) and that Lewis is not their guy for the long haul. They need to know what they have in Davis, who has been terrific this preseason and Harrison to a lesser degree. Then, they can either draft a RB high next year or let Davis be their guy. They need to find that out this season.

Jake (VA Beach)

Looking at the Giants offense, which 2-3 WRs end up with the most production in your opinion?

Matt Williamson
  (12:03 PM)

I really don't see one eclipsing the others by a wide margin and with their varying skill sets, I could see different WRs being featured different weeks depending on how NYG choses to attack opposing Ds. I do like Nicks though. Smith will be solid. Hixon will be more up and down, but offers the most big play ability.

mark (arkansas)

Wouldn't Matt Jones be a better fit than Marshall in NY?

Matt Williamson
  (12:04 PM)

He isn't as good of a player. Pretty simple really.

Africa (Brooklyn)

Any chance the Giants take a stab at Brandon MArshall

Matt Williamson
  (12:04 PM)

I really don't think so. Don't need a character problem in that locker room.

Africa (Brooklyn)

There's no question about Bradshaw's status with NY.

Matt Williamson
  (12:05 PM)

Bradshaw looks great and his role should certainly inflate this season. Still, probably not an everydown RB...but they don't need him to be.

Tundra (The Truck That's Changing It All)

Do Brady and Moss pick up where they left off in 2007? Still the best QB-WR tandem in the league?

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

Not that lofty, but yes, they will more or less leave off where they were in 2007. Pencil in Moss for 16-18 TDs. That aint bad! Best tandem? Yes. No doubt in my mind. The only QB on par with Brady is P Manning and while Wayne is great-he aint no Randy Moss. The only WRs on par with Moss are Fitz, Andre J and Calvin J-but their QBs can't keep up with Brady.

steve (sfl)

how do you think the nfc central will stack up this season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

Really torn there. Picking it like this: 1. Chi 2. Minny 3. GBay 4. Det....but the only one that I feel confident in is Det at four. GBay looks great. Rodgers is tremendous. That D has been excellent as well.

Steve (New York)

Who do you think will get the QB job in cleveland and who will he throw it to besides Braylon Edwards?

Matt Williamson
  (12:10 PM)

That job has to go to Quinn and honestly, I think Mangini needs to announce it pronto. In fact, he should have done it a while ago. The regular season starts a week from tomorrow! How awesome is that by the way? As for receivers, they really don't have them. Robiskie and Massaquoi should both develop-slowly. And neither has #1 ability. The TEs are just a bunch of guys. That being said, I do think Edwards could have a much better year than he did in 2008-but that isn't saying much.

Matt (DC)

MW- Fantasy Defense Question: Dolphins, Panthers, Buccaneers, or Redskins??

Matt Williamson
  (12:10 PM)

Skins by far. Dolphins would be 2nd-also by far. Want nothing to do with those other two, but give me Carolina over the Bucs.

tracy (wichita)

whats the deal in KC will they get it together before the season starts?

Matt Williamson
  (12:11 PM)

Installing a new O. Poor OL. Suspect RBs corps. New QB-who is hurt. Terrible pass catchers outside of Bowe. It is going to be very ugly in KC this year.

Dave (Baltimore)

Matt, The Ravens offense looks dramatically improved over the one that entered the season last year. They had the 4th hardest schedule in the NFL last year, now they have the 27th hardest. I'm not seeing them losing more than 4-5 games, tops. What do you think?

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

Starting to really feel that way as well. I still worry a lot about who will be catching passes, but Flacco has blown me away. Stud.

Xander (Philly)

Would you watch preseason if it wasn't your job?

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

Of course...doesn't really seem like work to me

Hayden (Logan, UT)

Matt, who is your sleeper team to go to the playoffs?

Matt Williamson
  (12:14 PM)

I really don't have one. I know that isn't trendy and cool, but I am picking SD, Indy, PGH, NEng, Philly, Sea, Chi and Atl to win their divisions with Balt, Tenn, Minny and NOrls as Wild Cards. Would like to put GBay in there as well-but it doesn't work that way. No real sleeper.

Mike (Akron)

Follow up question M-dub. I got Donald Brown, Beanie Wells, and Bradshaw. Who has the better year? Also, how do you like Frank Gore this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:16 PM)

I do like Gore a lot-tons of touches. Could see him wearing down though. Coffee as been very good, but when the bullets are flying, will a rookie head coach put a rookie RB in the game and pull out his stud? Give me Brown of those three, but I do think it is quite close. Have them ranked all in the same neighborhood.

Kyle (San Diego)

Why are you down on Derrick Ward? He is the best runner in that backfield.

Matt Williamson
  (12:16 PM)

He is, but it could be a triple RB attack now with Caddy back in the fold. Plus, while I like TBay's OL a lot, every D in the league is stacking the box against that O. Make Leftwich beat you-and he will not be able.

Mike ( Boca Raton)

can you please elaborate on what you have seen from flacco that has impressed you so much thus far in his second year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

Just from a physical standpoint, the kid is nearly flawless. He throws the ball so incredibly well. Lasers. Touch. Nice high release. Nearly a perfect passer. But he is also very cool. Shows excellent pocket presence for a 2nd year QB. To me-and it is preseason-Flacco looks leaps and bounds better than he did to finish the 2008 season. He is for real.

Sean (New Haven, CT)

Giants out of the playoffs? How does that scenario play out?

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

Ooops-sorry about that. Good eye. I picked NYG, not Minny as a wild card. Sorry.

Sean (Philly)

If they are stacking the box against TB, will Antonio Bryant have another really good year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

Maybe. As could Winslow. Just don't trust the guy throwing the rock.

Travis (SLC)

What's your thoughts on Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams as far as fantasy goes?

Matt Williamson
  (12:21 PM)

I do think this will be a run-heavy team once again and the OL should improve. I think it is somewhat telling that Miami just re-upped Ricky though. Brown isn't able to be "The Man". He wasn't in college and hasn't proved to be capable at this level. Still, he is good. Quite good. And he will get plenty of touches. I wouldn't hesitate to take Brown in FF.

JB (Brooklyn)

While Hasselbeck is healthy (for now) and has some legit talent at WR, should I be worried about the offensive line?

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

Yes, but they will also do a lot of quick throws. Get it out of his hand. He looks great as well. I like that passing attack. Also-don't discount Edge's ability in pass protection. Could be a key factor in his signing.

Mike (San Diego)

M-Dub, how long before Favre goes out with an injury? No way he lasts the season.

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

Oh, he will get hurt. But he will play through it and hurt his team in the process. He'd play with one leg. You are aware of his streak, aren't you?

Sean (Philly)

What can Philly expect in return for AJ Feeley? To many QB's on the roster, someone has to go...although I think I would rather give up on Kolb from what I have seen. Feeley has proven he can do what a backup QB is needed for, win a few games in the absence of the starter.

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

5th rounder. Just isn't all that marketable.

Ben (Madison, WI)

Is Andre Smith already a bust, or is this just bad luck compounding onto his poor decisions?

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

It sure makes you wonder. Was so much swirling around this guy as a draft prospect and he has not done a thing to make you think it was unwarrented.

Mike (Akron)

Hey M-Dub, NCAA question: How do you like the Zips this year? Got enough to win the MAC?

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

ALWAYS rooting for the Zips. To be honest though-and I feel bad about this-I am not on top of them like I should be. Just too busy with the NFL. JD is the man though.

Rachel (Everett)

Can you explain the dumb 3rd QB rule the NFL somehow came up with? It makes no sense!

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

It makes no sense at all. In fact, why have any players inactive? They are on the payroll-use their services.

Brandon (Columbus)

Will it be RBBC in New England all year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

Yes, if one guy emerges, it could be Maroney or Fred T though. Still, BB will use each guy at what they do best. Morris should get the short yardage. Faulk will handle 3rd downs.

Mike (Boca Raton)

Baltimore's front 7 seems formidable, but do you think they have the necessary depth in the secondary, especially with Rolle being on the PUP for the first 6 weeks of the season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

That is a bit of a question. I obviously have no worries at safety though. With the pressure they can put on QBs though, average CB play might not be that much of a detriment.

Tyler Parker (Shelbyville,TN)

Can Maurice Jones-Drew retain his mojo while becoming a featured back for the first time, or will he wither under the added workload?

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

I expect big things from him behind a much improved OL. Will catch a ton of passes as well. Big believer in MJD.

Ryan (PA)

How long will it take for Knowshon to be the main back in DEN?

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

Probably not long. Week 4 or so.

Mike (San Diego)

M-Dub, fully aware of Favre's streak...I just think another crack back block, and he'll be de-capitated by someone.

Matt Williamson
  (12:29 PM)

I hear ya. Also, when Harvin gets behind center in the wild cat and Favre is split out wide-why not just move a LB out there to "Cover him". Toss him around/rag doll him within the first five yards. Free shot on the QB.

Anthony (NYC)

M-Dub I don't mean to be conflicting but as a Jets fan NY would be the worst place for Baby TO. Whereever this guys been theres an issuse, in NY every nite out would be a risk. He's immature

Matt Williamson
  (12:29 PM)

No question about that. Isn't exactly like playing in Denver.

Corey (D.C.)

In your opinion, who will be the better WR in 3 years: Hakeem Nicks, Michael Crabtree, or DHB?

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

It isn't looking good this minute, but Crabtree. I really think he is an excellent football player. In fact, I thought he was the best player overall in this past draft.

Don Payne (Chicago)

Should the Bears consider signing Toomer or Branch to help with the young receiving core?

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

If Toomer can't stick in KC, he is probably done. As for Branch-can he pass the team's physical? I would obviously lean towards Branch over Toomer, but his injury history is troublesome.

will.i.ain't (Los Angeles,CA)

Can any Raiders receiver crack the 1,000-yard mark for the first time since Randy Moss left after the 2005 season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

I really don't think so. Maybe Schilens could have if he were healthy for 16 games. Other than that-I really don't see it.

Adam Nichols (KC, MO)

Will Haley taking over the Chiefs offense help improve it at all?

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

Kinda late to be making big changes. Plus, being a Head Coach is a rather time consuming job-and he is in his first year of doing so. I don't like this at all...but I do really respect Haley as an offensive mind.

Adam (Jersey)

Matt, whatever happened to DJ Hackett? He looked promising for the Seahawks a couple years ago and now he can't even make a team

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

A lot of injuries. A lot of inconsistency.

TP (Hammond, IN)

Everyone is hating on the Bears wideouts, from what I have witnessed (yes it's preseason, but your still going game speed). These "no name" wideouts (we know who they are in Chi), seem to be catching everything thrown to them. No?

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

And that dude throwing them the ball will make them all look better than they truly are. Olsen could be great. Hester will stretch the field. Forte will be a force both as a runner and pass catcher. Could they use one more bonafide starting WR? Of course, but I am with you.

engram (Chicago)

Matt, can I put you down as one of the experts who think Carolina won't do anything this year because of Delhomme? Others have stated before that they cannot win with him at the helm, just doing a friendly survey.

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

Sorta. I am not a fan-don't get me wrong. But-there are teams much worse off at that position as well. Still, I really hate their pass catchers outside of Smith and I think they will have an awfully tough time stopping the run. Couple those with Delhomme behind OC and Carolina will miss the playoffs.

Mike (Boca Raton)

where does Aaron Rodgers fit in the discussion of qbs other than Payton Manning and Tom Brady?

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

I assume we are not talking fantasy here-sometimes things get clouded when you allow for FF questions. But in the real world, we do need to see more...but, personally, I am sold. Top 8 guy for sure and climbing alongside guys like Ryan and Rivers. For real.

Matt (Philly)

Carolina faces a very tough schedule this year, and kind of like the dolphins, they should expect a drop off

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

Another excellent point on that front.

Adam (Jersey)

Did you watch the Bucs preseason game last Thursday? Leftwich did not look good. I think they should have given the job to McCown anyway. I know his stats weren't good, but his first throw was a beauty (bobbled on the sideline for INC) and that would've made his stats almost identical to Leftwich. Plus he was under a ton of pressure while Leftwich just sat in the pocket and overthrew open receivers. Was this just a no-win scenario for the Bucs? Does Freeman start after the bye?

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

I did and you are right, Leftwich did not look good. But-I contend that neither Leftwich nor McCown is good enough. But, what I don't know, is where Freeman is mentally right now. I don't sit in on the Bucs' QB meetings. But-he will surely play some this season. Long year in TBay.

Mike (Boca Raton)

is there any way we can please not have fantasy football questions? there are too many REAL football questions that are more interesting and need addressed.

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

I hear you and am torn on that. In fact, I have been bad of late at not regulating the FF questions. But, for this chat, I am taking them as this is obviously prime FF time for people prepping for their drafts. But-ALWAYS-I will take good NFL questions over any FF question. Always. And-during the season-you will get far less FF.

Kyle (OH)

Can you discuss Jason Smith's transition from a shotgun-based offense in college to a more pro style? Why wasn't this issue addressed before the draft? Looks like another Rams bust (yes, I'm going there this soon)...

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

Don't go there this soon. Sure, that was the big question with Smith-and this really goes to his ability to run block out of a traditional three point stance. Never saw enough of it at Baylor. But, he is smart, hard working and incredibly gifted physically. This very well could be a red shirt/learning year for Smith, but think about it-the Rams are not winning the Super Bowl this year with Tony Bosell at LT. It is a process.

SteveFitz (Cicero, IL)

Matt, do you think Al Afalava has played well enough to get the starting nod at safety or will the Bears just hand it over to Danieal Manning, who hasn't played in the preseason yet? What are your thoughts on Al Afalava overall?

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

He is impressive and very well could earn that spot. I don't dislike Manning-esp as a returner-but Afalava does seem to be the better playmaker. More physical for sure.

Ryan (PA)

We can just try and word our fantasy questions to sound like a legit football question.

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

Some of you guys are quite good at that as well! Don't think I don't know what y'all are up to sometimes!

Scott (NJ)

who are you picking for mvp this year? rodgers have a good chance?

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

We put in our picks very recently and I picked Rodgers for O Player of the Year, but Ryan as MVP. Kinda shocking I would bet.

Hayden (Logan, UT)

So, Alex Smith, a bust? I would say so, and Im from Utah!

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

If I had to say yes or no-I would say yes, he is a bust. But-in his defense-the unbelievable oonstant change of offensive systems coupled with injuries has not made his transition easy at all. That being said, in most drafts, there is no way that he is the first overall selection. Would like to see him get out of SF and then judge again on this one.

Eric (Milwaukee)

I think Alex Smith would love to get out of San Fran so you can judge again.

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

Of course he would. He went through some of the roughest of times there as well.

Cody (NC)

Do you think deangelo williams has a chance to win the rusing title this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

I do. Wrote recently that I think he is the 2nd best RB in the league now. That is behind Peterson of course and of course, I will pick Peterson to win that rushing title. But DeAngelo is exceptional. The only other RB who I would contend with him for that #2 spot would be S Jackson right now. Of course LT could surprise, but I am a doubter there.

Matt (Philly)

Which bottom feeder offers the Eagles a first round pick for Vick next April??

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

Exactly

Hayden (Logan, UT)

Could you refresh my memory, who could the niners have chosen instead of Smith?

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

It was a very poor draft year to be honest. Rodgers was the other QB who was in contention for that honor though. Braylon Edwards and Ronnie Brown were also very high picks. Of course, adding Merriman or Ware wouldn't have been so terrible either!

Anthony (NYC)

M-Dub at what point in the season will Mt. Owens erupt

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

Soon. Real soon. That OL is just terrible. Buff's O is really worrisome.

Matt (Dallas)

Do you think that the Cowboys can get to the playoffs and finally get a win this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

I didn't pick them to get into the tourney, but sure, it could happen for sure. More dedicated to the run game. More physical football team. I do like Romo.

Travis (SLC)

I made a bet to a friend that Buffalo's offense would be ranked 25 or worse. I'm safe right?

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

You are safe

Justin (New York)

Hey Matt, will crabtree really sit out the whole year?? has there been ANY movement? how does this affect the niners receiver team?

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Terrible business move to sit out the whole year. No team can work him out before the 2010 Draft if that is what he choses to do. I am pretty sure of that. His stock would really fall.

Chance (Colorado)

Do you see the Broncos keeping Marshall or should they just go ahead and finish what the new coach started?

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

All depends on what they can get in return...but I lean towards getting him out of town even if it isn't quite equal compensation.

James (Indy)

Matty!!!!!!!!!! It's almost go time. Stillers or Pats in the Bowl?

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

Picked Pittsburgh over Atlanta actually.

JIM ZORN (REDSKINS PARK)

Is Campbell gonna come through for me this year or are we both gonna be out of DC next year??

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

Both gone. Sorry to say it.

Adam (Jersey)

Matt, I don't think that the Alex Smith draft was a poor draft -- It was just thin at the top. Some big bargains in there. with Gore, Tuck, Ruud, Jacobs, Barber

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

Very true. I should have said "It was a terrible year to pick first overall."

evan (st. paul)

What do you think Carson Palmer will do this year if he stays healthy?

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

Should have a very strong year. I really like his weapons and I don't trust Cincy (Benson) to be able to pound the ball like they would like to. Protection could be a problem however, but still, Palmer is a big time QB and should prove it again this year.

Matt (Dallas)

you think atlanta is going to make it....what kind of expert are you

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Going out on a limb there for sure. Picked Philly narrowly over NYG over the summer. Not feeling great about that pick anymore. Just see ATL putting up an incredible amount of points. I will say that it is a longshot however.

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

Okay everyone. I am outta here. Great stuff. Check back next Wed at noon-as usual. Adios.