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December 3, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:57 AM)

Good morning gang... it's Week 13. Make or break time for many teams. So let's get right to it, shall we? Second cup of coffee in hand... who's ready to call it in the air?

tommy (colorado)

Am I crazy to think of starting Alex Smith over Big Ben this week?

AJ Mass
  (11:00 AM)

It comes down to health, doesn't it? Big Ben will start, from all I've seen, but that doesn't mean he'll finish - especially if the Steelers do the Raiders what they should while he is in there. Ultimately, this is a call best saved for 12:30-ish on Sunday when reports from the stadium on exactly how he looks start coming in.

Justin Forsett (Seattle)

How do you see the RB situation in Seattle playing out?

AJ Mass
  (11:00 AM)

All signs point to Jones starting, but I don't see it. Yeah, maybe he plays - but I still think Forsett is the better play.

Brandon (Chicago)

What do you think of Snelling this week? He had a great game two weeks ago and didn't get much action last week. Is he worth a start over Kevin Smith against that Cincy D? Or should I go with Crabtree in the flex?

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

I'd go with Crabtree. If anything, Norwood gets the reps in Atlanta.

Justin (St Paul)

Who do I bench this week (PPR) between Benson, Rice, and Sjax?

AJ Mass
  (11:02 AM)

I'd sit Benson. Simply due to the face that LJ did well enough last week to make the Bengals confident in that they do not need to rush Cedric back into 30+ carries a game.

Eric (j'Ville)

Commish Corner: I have a must win this week to get in the playoffs; my opponent has Warner and no other QB's. Is it kosher that I grabbed VY and Alex Smith yesterday to give him fewer options? I see he has picked up Fitzpatrick and Lienart today, meaning my plan worked. Is it cool even if I don't play/keep the guys I grabbed?

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

As long as you follow the rules of your league's pickup procedures, I've no issue here. Now, if Fitzpatrick gets 25 points, your plan failed... but not all plans succeed. What you did is perfectly legit and one of the few ways to "play defense" in fantasy.

Rick (Chicago)

I'm imagining Belichick, without warning, basically benching Maroney after fumbling in three straight, and me missing the playoffs by 5 points. Think this is a valid concern? There are two capable backs behind him.

AJ Mass
  (11:05 AM)

Of course it is... Belichick could wake up tomorrow and decide BJGE is the answer. Or Sammy. Of course, he could also decide running Maroney 40 times is the way to go. Your guess is as good as mine.

Gabe (Jersey)

AJ, 1st of all I want to thank you for helping me win my FBB league - You put me on board the M. Reynolds train from early on in the season when no one else was on board.Moreno, Charles and Driver - i need one of them for my flex spot (non-ppr). Thanks

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

Thanks, Gabe. Blind squirrels unite! I'd go with Moreno this week of the three. KC should have trouble, as usual, on the ground - both offensively and defensively.

Marlon (Dallas)

What do you think Matt Moore does to Steve Smith's value...or lack there of?

AJ Mass
  (11:07 AM)

It couldn't be any worse than the way Delhomme has played this year. If Moore has a "skill" it's actually his ability to throw the ball deep. This move might actually help Smith.


W.Welker, V.Jackson, B.Marshall, M.Austin....I need 2, and they all could have a good game.

AJ Mass
  (11:08 AM)

I always like Pats offensive players after a stinker... they rarely fail back-to-back. I'd go with Marshall as my No. 2.

Bryan (Alaska)

Good morning from up north! I need help since the rankings are so close. Help me pick 2 out of D. Mason, Greg Jennings, and Megatron for this week!

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

With the extra days of rest, Megatron looks good to me. Plus, I don't want both receivers from that MNF game in case weather plays havoc with it. Probably would lean to Jennings with Flacco a little restricted.

Ken (Pittsburgh)

Gut feeling on Peyton playing entire week 16 game? Would you play Alex Smith v. Det over him that week if your championship depended on it?

AJ Mass
  (11:11 AM)

Too early to tell, but obviously if Indy wraps up #1 seed this week or next, then the annual "Sorgi Second Quarter On" strategy comes into play. But just wait and see... it does benefit Manning owners, as well as those with Wayne and Addai to have other options ready.

Brandon (Albany)

Who would you start Fred Jackson or Rock Cartwright in a PPR league?

AJ Mass
  (11:12 AM)

Jackson. Looks to me like Lynch is falling out of favor with the new regime and against the Saints, a running game isn't all that valuable.

Jim (Ohio)

AJ, I know you're a big fan of letting trades happen. But there is a pending trade in my league that concerns me. Basically, we have the 11th place team that is mathematically eliminated making a trade with a team in contention. This is a non-keeper league that offers no rewards outside of winning the league. When a team has nothing to gain practically from a trade, doesn't that by definition make it unfair?

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

No, unfair has nothing to do with the standings. If you're trading two players of equal ability, then it's fair. Period. That should be the only concern. If you have an issue with fair trades being made by teams out of contention, then either make that a rule, or don't allow trades at all.

Drew (Montreal)

Tough call -- Owens vs. Revis has me all confused. Use TO as WR4 over Manningham/Avant? Use TO as flex#2 over Bradshaw or D Brown? Sit him all-together?

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

I'd still start TO over Mario, but Avant is a better play. But given your other flex options, I'd take a chance at Owens getting at least one deep one in.

John (Rockaway)

Start Kyle Orton or roll the dice with Warner (night game)?

AJ Mass
  (11:15 AM)

I'd always rather take some points than risk the zero.

Dan (Ann Arbor)

Who has the better day this week... Steve Smith (NYG), Michael Crabtree, or Pierre Garcon?

AJ Mass
  (11:17 AM)

I think Crabtree does. The Giants offense simply isn't working, and Peyton spreads the ball around so much, it's hard to count on Garcon or Collie.

Disgruntled Notre Dame fan (We need a coach... soon.)

AJ, 2 QB league if we want as a flex.... Would you play Garrard vs. Houston or S. Smith with the unknown of Matt Moore?

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

I'd go with Garrard - assuming the plan is to get MJD more involved and the points your QB gets for passing are comparable to receptions.

Randy (Washington DC)

Start Kenny Britt or Santana Moss at the WR3 position? (Those are my best options.)

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

Britt. He's developed a pretty nice relationship with VY, so I'd roll with him.

Ray (Los Angeles)

Cleveland Brown RB to pick up, Jennings or Harrison?

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

Yuck! I think it is Harrison. Jennings does appear to be more of a Mangini favorite, but he's got a shoulder problem of his own.

85 (On a plane)

Do I get a TD this week or will they run the ball and not give me any looks???

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

As you know, TDs are impossible to predict, but I do expect 85 to have a real good chance at unveiling a new dance against the Lions.

AJ Mass
  (11:22 AM)

Thomas. Especially with Reggie Bush being such a fragile egg.

Steve (Seattle)

Need 2: SJax, Thomas Jones, Chris Johnson... PLEASE HELP

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

You hardly need help with a trio of backs like that. I sit SJax, but really - hard to see a scenario where you make the wrong choice there.

NeverbeenPicked (everywhere)

R.Grant or P.Thomas in a non ppr league.

AJ Mass
  (11:25 AM)

Thomas. Grant vs. Ravens is hard enough in good weather, and there's a chance of real bad.

Gabe (Birmingham)

If Warner is out do I start Flacco or Leinart? Must win to get in!

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

I start Flacco in that case. He'll at least get points for the short balls to Rice.

Greg (Dallas)

wr3 Lee Evans, Mike Wallace or Nicks?

AJ Mass
  (11:27 AM)

Evans. There's the Big Ben ? and with Revis all over TO, Evans at least has a window for success tonight.

Justin (New York, NY)

Commish Corner: I'm in a 10-team keeper league (4th year), but 3 managers continually fail to show any interest in the league. Would you recommend finding new managers for their teams or just restarting the league with new managers? I don't want to throw away 4 years. Thanks.

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

What do the rest of the owners think - the interested ones. I think the best thing to do in a keeper league is to always think of it as "our league" rather than "my league" - giving the rest of owners actual ownership is what makes then stay involved even when they lose.

Chris (Ewing, NJ)

QB Quandry - McNabb with no Desean Jackson, gimpy handed Celek and red zone problems, but nice matchup .... or Rogers with bad o-line and tougher matchup?

AJ Mass
  (11:30 AM)

It's weird, but I still go with McNabb because he's on the road. Something about being away from the home fans seems to work better for Donovan.

Barry (New Orleans)

Have you seen the new show The League? It's a great show about Fantasy Football.

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

I have not seen it yet, though it is definitely on the radar. Been too busy trying to catch up with other shows I've fallen behind on like "V" and "Fringe" and "Lie to Me"

D (Boston)

AJ YOU GOTTA HELP ME! 6-6 and fighting for the playoffs... So if Warner DOES play Sunday vs. the Vikes, is he still a better start than Garrard vs. the Texans???

AJ Mass
  (11:33 AM)

Yes, I believe he is, but at the same time, it comes down to whether or not you can risk waiting until 8pm to find out for sure.

Joe (NY)

Follow up on the Colts' starters: If the Colts wrap things up this weekend, do you really see the starters sitting/playing 1 quarter during weeks 14-17?

AJ Mass
  (11:34 AM)

Not the whole four week stretch, but certainly you'll see more Donald Brown and Tom Santi in the second half of games - and by Week 16, even more.

Bryan (Wichita)

"Lie to Me" is a great show, I would love to see an episode about a competitive FFB league where somebody is murdered and Lightman has to figure out which league member did it.

AJ Mass
  (11:34 AM)

LOL! I accuse Pod Vader.

Mark (KC)

Would I be crazy to start Mendenhall vs OAK over Rice vs GB? My other RB is Chris Johnson, and I have no flex position. Willie (the vulture) McGahee is cutting into Rice's points

AJ Mass
  (11:36 AM)

I'd hardly call one score "eating into his points" - Rice will still be getting 100 yards + PPR points regardless of the TDs. However, Mendenhall versus Oakland is a very solid matchup and if Big Ben has to cede to Dixon at all, Rashard will get even more touches.


You mentioned not wanting to have 2 receivers from Monday game in case weather is bad. Is the weather expected to be bad in Green Bay on Monday?

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

Snow showers are in the extended forecast as of the moment.

CEDRIC (Houston)

Is it time to drop the Giants D who do not have a very easy schedule left? Which team (Carolina, Arizona, Atlanta, Houston) would be a better pickup from here on out instead of the Giants? Better day Colston or Sims-Walker?

AJ Mass
  (11:39 AM)

Certainly not Atlanta. Their D is not one I'd want. Check out this week's fantasy newsletter where I outline some of the better/worse matchups for Week 14-16. I like Colston over MSW.

James (work)

First week of the playoffs, need to start 2 of 3: Forte, Forsett, Addai. Thanks.

AJ Mass
  (11:40 AM)

Addai starts. I hate Forte the rest of the way - even with all the JJ talk I would go with Forsett.

Matt (Work)

Hi AJ. Our league has it so that our flex player HAS to be a rookie. So, who do you like better, this week and rest of the year: S Greene, D Brown, or Johnny Knox? Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

Very odd rule. After all, what if there simply aren't enough starting rookies in bye weeks? Don't like it. That being said... Brown is my pick.


Hi! Buckhalter or Chris Jennings this week? We're in our first round of playoffs over here and I'm desperate for ANSWER!

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

Buckhalter. Browns are awful and there's little guarantee Jennings is the chosen one with Jamal gone.

Paul (Chicago)

AJ really ? with JJ back you start Forsett this week over Forte against St. Louis at home ? He was asking about this week. Please explain

AJ Mass
  (11:45 AM)

What does "back" mean in this case? At full strength? What has Jones done all season? I don't think Forsett gets zero carries - I still think he gets 10-15 and goal-line touches as well.

James (Texas)

which D would you play this week between the jets and the Chargers? both pretty good matchups

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

I'm starting the cast of "America's Next Top Model" against the Browns.

James (work)

But still Forte plays STL. I thought that might be the automatic start. Though he has been a bust all season...

AJ Mass
  (11:47 AM)

Chicken or egg? I don't think the matchup matters for Forte.

Mike (Indy)

Do you still think the Colts will rest their starters if they are still undefeated? Also resting their starters hasn't worked out so good for them in the past....with them eventually clinching a bye wouldn't that be enough rest for them?

AJ Mass
  (11:48 AM)

Obviously with Dungy gone, we can't be sure... but at the same time, I don't think 16-0 is as important as winning the Super Bowl to these guys.

Jeff (LA, CA)

Quick - PPR League, Slaton, F-Jackson or Kevin Smith?

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)


Chris (Philly)

Who is your candidate for "DeAngelo Williams of the year?" Meaning who is someone who has been pretty stagnant all year and then goes absolutely nuts for the last few weeks?

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

Best candidate is Brandon Jacobs. For a deep sleeper pick its Ted Ginn or Jacoby Jones.

Sid (Winnipeg)

All of the Forte bashing is somewhat overstated. While he has not been great, he is still 18th in points for RBs in standard ESPN scoring.

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

In a ten-team league, 2RB league, that's barely starter material - and take into account time-shares and injuries (combining Westbrook/McCoy for example) and that 18 reads a lot lower to me.

Jay (NE)

Quick-PPR-Avant or Garcon?

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)


Chaz (PA)

S Jax or Benson?

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)


Andre Caldwell (Not in the top 50)

Where's the love, AJ? I'm getting plenty of targets and it's the friggin' LIONS!

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)

True, but Coles and 85 are still getting the -pardon the pun- Lions' share of production.

Nick (Playoffs...almost....)

Driver or Housh?

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)


Tom (Cincinnati)

Maclin or Crabtree?

AJ Mass
  (11:54 AM)


Adam (Chicago)

Megatron or Charles in flex?

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)


Bryan (MA)

PPR - Greg Olsen or Hines Ward?

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)


Dave (San Jose)

TE Question: With D. Clark possibly sitting late in season, do you pick up Santi, or grab a Z. Miller or D. Keller off waivers to replace?

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

Keller should be on a roster.

Marlon (State College, PA)

Snelling or Wells?

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)


Joe (White Plains, NY)

Flacco or Matt Moore (egh)

AJ Mass
  (11:56 AM)

Moore this week.

Jay (NJ)

I've made the playoffs despite Cutler's best efforts, but I don't trust him any further than he can throw INT's. Should I pick up Sanchez and Fitzpatrick and shuffle their matchups (would get KC/ATL/TAM between them).Thanks

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

Both have juicy matchups left. I think I go with the winner tonight as a tie-break, since they'll at least still have playoff hopes, albeit slim.


Drop Crosby (GB) for Graham (Cin)?

AJ Mass
  (11:58 AM)

Kickers are kickers. As long as they are on an NFL roster, I don't care.

Anders (Minnesota)

Minnesota or Indianapolis

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

Minny with potential of Leinart vs. potential of VY to run around a bit.

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

That's the Tim Gunn folks. Thanks for the Q's and sorry we can't answer them all. If you need more advice, you can find me on Twitter and you can read my non-sports stuff on my Mass Confusion blog. Until the next time... blah blah blah... Villa Alegre!