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December 21, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Football w/Christopher Harris

Christopher Harris
  (11:00 AM)

Hi, everyone. Here's my usual disclaimer: please don't ask questions about who to start in Week 16 -- I haven't done the work yet, so I honestly don't know. And refresh your pages regularly, to see if the question you're asking has already been answered. Let's get right to it....

scott (long island)

DESPERATE, Chris please help me out. I?m in our semis and need help in picking a RB for tonight. I am down by 12 points and need to choose between Jacobs and Ganther. Who gives me the better shot of winning. Jacobs scares me a bit.

Christopher Harris
  (11:02 AM)

Hi, Scott. Yeah, I understand why Jacobs scares you -- he's been really inconsistent and has Ahmad Bradshaw stealing touches. If it's me, though, I think I'm still probably starting Jacobs. But listen, you have to listen to your gut. It's your team, and your decision -- I wouldn't want credit if Jacobs winds up winning you the game, just as I wouldn't want blame if he winds up stinking with Ganther scores a TD. But I do have Jacobs ranked higher...

Chris ((College Station, TX))

Good morning, CH! So, what did we learn from the split in carries with Julius Jones and Justin Forsett? What can we expect going forward? Same with Arian Foster...back to the practice squad? Happy Ho! Ho!

Christopher Harris
  (11:04 AM)

Hi, Chris. All we learned about the Seahawks is that there's no reason to start any of them. I can't imagine there are *too* many teams alive for their fantasy championships who've been relying on Seattle players. I think they're both pretty worthless in fantasy leagues. And as for Foster -- I tried to impress upon Fantasy Nation not to get too excited about these one-week wonders (Foster, Chris Jennings, etc.), but yeah, there's a chance he doesn't even play next week because of his fumble troubles. Then again, it's not like the Texans have a ton of other options, and they did still win. I expect a committee that involves Foster some....

Eric (Indy)

With the crazy day Harrison had last week, do you see him having big games the next 2 weeks against favorable matchups? Would that be enough to start him over Moreno/Deangelo/Jacobs?

Christopher Harris
  (11:05 AM)

Hi, Eric. I also tried to warn about Chris Jennings; in the Breakdown, I said I thought Jennings would get first crack, but if Harrison looks like he's on a roll, I thought the Browns would give it to him instead. Guess he got on a roll. I don't really know where I have anyone rated yet for next week, but I issue the same disclaimer: it's gone back-and-forth with the Browns backs. Assume nothing.

Ryan (MN)

What is the largest swing in stat corrections you have ever seen? I am up 7 points with Fred Davis left and my opponent has nobody. The only thing keeping me from benching him is the thought of stat corrections. Also, do corrections happen after the monday night game or are they complete already?

Christopher Harris
  (11:07 AM)

Hi, Ryan. I don't think you'll see a seven-point stat correction for one player -- but of course, a confluence of two or three could still zap you. I also don't think Davis has much of a chance of fumbling four times, though. Corrections usually happen after the Monday night game, unfortunately (they come from the NFL, not from us...). I think you're going to be OK either way....

Old Saint Nic (North Pole)

Need 22 tonight! Who do I roll with? H. Nicks or S. Smith; and B. Jacobs or Q. Ganther?

Christopher Harris
  (11:08 AM)

Hi, Santa. I have Smith above Nicks, and I answered the Jacobs/Ganther question already -- scroll up.

Dave (Cleveland)

It sure is looking like Beanie's the man in Arizona and a solid fantasy play moving forward. Your thoughts?

Christopher Harris
  (11:09 AM)

Hi, Dave. I agree. The Cardinals did put in Hightower in a short-yardage situation and he got a one-yard score, but otherwise, it was the Beanie show. I think he's a very solid play against the Rams next week.

Chris (Baltimore)

Hey Christopher, your breakdown is my favorite fantasy article on this site. This week you spoke relatively highly of Ganther. In a .5 PPR, standard scoring league is he a lock for the 4 points I need to pull out the win tonight?

Christopher Harris
  (11:09 AM)

Hi, Chris. Thanks for the kind words. There are no locks, alas, my friend, but I would think if he gets a starter's carries, he's probably going to get you four points. I have to admit I was impressed with his receiving skills versus the Raiders last week, and he took one screen pass a long way, so I think you'll be good.

Alex (NYC)

Mornin' CH-love your work. Write on, boy!Do you expect the Vikes to force feed AD against Da clawless Bears in week 16 to: 1) give Favre rest without benching him and 2) get Peterson on track for the playoffs? Thanks in advance.

Christopher Harris
  (11:11 AM)

Hi, Alex. One thing we've learned in two of the Vikings' past three games is that Peterson really needs the passing game to be clicking, and that Percy Harvin may be a lot more important to that offense than we thought. The Panthers aren't good against the run, normally, but last night they decided to stuff the line and see if Favre could beat them, and he couldn't, mostly because he was under siege. Bryant McKinnie was actually benched in that game, which is shocking. Yeah, I expect that whole offense to get going versus the awful Bears, but then again, I expected it to get on track last night, too....

Emil (Poland)

PPR. Need 5 pts. Ganther or Bradshaw?

Christopher Harris
  (11:12 AM)

Hi, Emil. I'd probably go Ganther, though the fact that it's a PPR gives me pause. Still, I think the fact that Ganther looks pretty clearly like the starter sends me his way.

Joe (MA)

Whats the chance Jason Campbell picks apart the Giants injured secondary? Thanks

Christopher Harris
  (11:13 AM)

Hi, Joe. The chances should be very good....

Pvt. Steven Johnston (Istanbul, Turkey)

Chris....2 part question for you. Heading into next year, are the top 3 drafted AP, Chris Johnson and MJD? Also, Jamal Charles...Does he sneak into the top 10? Thanks and happy holidays!!!

Christopher Harris
  (11:15 AM)

Hi, Steven. Yeah, I would say those three guys look like the top three picks, in some order, next year. We have to see how Peterson finishes out the year, and I'm also going to be interested in what happens with Ray Rice if, as expected, Willis McGahee moves on. If Rice is getting goal-line looks, boy, he'd sure be enticing, too. As for Charles...I don't know that I'm quite there yet. He's looking more and more like Chris Johnson every week to my eyes, but that offensive line isn't very good, and I can't help wondering if he'd be performing like this in the thick of a pennant race, as it were. There's something about second-division excellence that puts me off a bit. But yeah, he'll be worth watching, too.

Ken (Pittsburgh)

Is Megatron pretty much useless right now? I played D. Bowe over him Sunday and probably will do the same next week. Any problems with that?

Christopher Harris
  (11:16 AM)

Hi, Ken. I'm not going to say useless, but yeah, with Culpepper throwing it to him, he takes a huge hit. I had him above Bowe this week because it wasn't entirely clear how the Chiefs would use Bowe, but Bowe got the most targets on that team yesterday, and this week, if Stafford isn't returning, I'll bet I have Bowe above Megatron....

Nick (Cincy)

Chris, I'm having trouble finding much info on DeAngelo's injury that took him out early last night. Any word? I need him for the championship game this weekend!

Christopher Harris
  (11:17 AM)

Hi, Nick. To my knowledge, the Panthers haven't said much about it yet. They're out of the playoff picture, and if D-Willy exacerbated the ankle injury that kept him out a couple weeks ago, I'm not going to be surprised if they sit him. We'll know more in the next 24 hours. I kind of expect him to sit, to be honest.

CB (Virginia)

About Megatron, do you still see big things for next year? Personally, I think he's been pretty ok considering the circumstances (a lingering knee injury, QB situation, etc.)

Christopher Harris
  (11:18 AM)

Hi, CB. Yeah, absolutely. He's a sublime talent. It's just a terrible, terrible team. They've got a QB that can get him the ball in Stafford, so that's good. Culpepper will be elsewhere next year, and that's good, too. Now they need to find a left tackle, they need a running back, and a solid complementary receiver would be nice, too. But absolutely, Megatron's career prospects are still of the Hall of Fame variety.

Jason (Philly)

Bowe did look rusty yesterday, does he pull it together a bit for next weeks game?

Christopher Harris
  (11:19 AM)

Hi, Jason. Yeah, a couple drops, it's true, but he did get 10 targets, and that's mostly what I was worried about. Chambers produced at the end, but Bowe is the No. 1 receiver still on that team. I don't know that I can call him a must-start, but I'm feeling a little less squeamish about him at the moment.

kyle (okl city)

I had kev smith and he is done for the year. After M. Morris' performance yesterday, do you see him as a viable replacement this week against the Niners? Love that he gets most of the touches.

Christopher Harris
  (11:20 AM)

Hi, Kyle. Yeah, I mean, playing at top-speed and with his hair on fire has never been a problem for Morris. And he took that little pass to the house, which made his fantasy day. That can happen. I still think he runs into his blockers and misses holes sometimes because he's going so fast -- he doesn't have that every-down patience. But he also didn't lose very many carries to anyone else on that team, which is positive. I don't think I'm going to have Morris ranked as a must-start, but he could be in that flex territory....

Mike (Buffalo)

Your gut telling you the Saints starters might sit now?

Christopher Harris
  (11:22 AM)

Hi, Mike. Good question. It's true that a Vikings loss was probably about the worst thing that could've happened to Saints owners last night -- with a two-game lead with two to play, the Saints are looking like a lock for home field. I still think they go full-out next week, though...nothing's certain until you actually clinch, and they haven't clinched the top seed yet. But yeah, as you say, that's just my gut -- nothing official from Saints camp yet.

clark (Brooklyn)

Chris. *Love* your stuff. Do I keep rolling on the Charles express for my championship? Or do you sense a clunker in in the works.?

Christopher Harris
  (11:23 AM)

Hi, Clark. I don't see how you can sit him. The Chiefs play at the Bengals, who have a nice defense and are suddenly in must-win mode, so you do worry a little bit about a big deficit. But with as hot as Charles has been, I think you consider him one of the guys who brung you, and dance with him.

Joe (Buffalo)

Segway off that question, what about Manning and the Colts starters this week. They are playing for nothing ...

Christopher Harris
  (11:25 AM)

Hi, Joe. It's interesting. My gut tells me based on past history that this is the week where they start sitting guys. But I heard an interview with Peter King where he said he left NBC last week after having talked with Tony Dungy absolutely convinced that they'd rest guys Thursday night, and of course, they didn't. So what does that mean? Are the players making a pitch to play? Are the Colts finally realizing that resting their guys all these years has *never* led to playoff success? I really don't know....

mike (sd)

Any chance that Norv starts to rest his starters? They don't really have much to play for. I mean, I guess the 2nd seed but that's pretty close to being locked up. Do they all play a full game this week?

Christopher Harris
  (11:26 AM)

Hi, Mike. I'm glad to speculate on all these teams' plans, but (as I'm sure you know) I really don't have any kind of inside info...so it really is just speculation. I would say that, as with the Saints, until you clinch that home-field and bye, you play your guys. And because the Chargers play on Xmas, they won't know yet whether the Bengals won or lost. So I expect them to play everyone in Week 16, and then potentially rest them in Week 17 if they've clinched.

Kevin (SC)

Jermichael Finley...thoughts for next season?

Christopher Harris
  (11:28 AM)

Hi, Kevin. He's terrific, and definitely belongs in the top 10 for next season. Of course, there are a lot of terrific tight ends, and it's not always a very predictable position. Who'd have thought Greg Olsen would disappear like this? But the fact is that Finley is producing like a wide receiver in a tight end's body, and the Packers like to go vertical. That's a great combination.

Joe (Bronx, NY)

"Whacko Flacco"looked pretty good yesterday, is he now back to being a viable starter with some Colts, Saints starting to sit? Or was it just that the Bears are the rich man's Lions now?

Christopher Harris
  (11:30 AM)

Hi, Joe. I agree with your assessment -- I thought Flacco played his best since maybe the first month of the season, and it's heartening to know that he really has shown progression over the past few weeks. Aaron Rodgers lit up the Steelers this week, so it would be wrong to say that Flacco has an impossible road matchup next week -- but will he be in my top 10 for Week 16? I don't really know yet, but if I'm guessing, I think probably not. Yeah, the fact that it was the Bears probably had something to do with it. Nice to see long-time tease Demetrius Williams flash a little something yesterday, though.

Jonathan (Philly)

Any words of consolation for someone who had Welker, Fitz, Thomas Jones AND Moreno as his starters? Not sure how this happens every year, but my studs always dud at the wrong time and "matchups" never work out right...

Christopher Harris
  (11:31 AM)

Hi, Jonathan. My words of consolation are: I'm right there with you. In the main league I care about (a 16-teamer), I got eaten alive by Andre Johnson last week. Brutal. That's the nature of fantasy football...I actually think it's rather rarer than not that No. 1 seeds wind up winning in the playoffs. That's part of what makes it exciting and fun, but also immensely frustrating. It's my favorite fantasy sport by leaps and bounds (probably because it's my favorite real-life sport), but I do have to admit it's kind of the fast food of fantasy....

James (Atlanta)

Better keeper next year. Mendenhall or Colston

Christopher Harris
  (11:32 AM)

Hi, James. In a total vacuum, I think I probably say Mendenhall, under the assumption that (a) Willie Parker is gone and (b) the Steelers do something to fix their o-line....

Jordan (Chicago)

Congrats to those who made it to their league championships! KEEPER QUESTION! At this point who do u see as a more valuable keeper: DeSean Jackson or Phillip Rivers? Thanks!

Christopher Harris
  (11:33 AM)

Hi, Jordan. It's a good question. Because I tend to view quarterbacks as commodities (especially in our standard 10-team game), I'm more apt to say Jackson (in a vacuum). His game-breaking skills are really hard to replicate. He can be feast-or-famine, it's true, but boy, do we ever eat well at his feasts.

Jacob (Austin, Tx)

I am all but advancing to my league's Championship game, and 3 of the 4 RBs I played yesterday include J.Charles, C.Jennings and J.Forsett.... PLEASE tell me you think Turner will not only be back but be productive - even if it's not true...

Christopher Harris
  (11:34 AM)

Hi, Jacob. Um, yeah, Turner's going to be AWESOME. OK, now that I've lied to you -- listen, when a guy tries to come back and re-injures his ankle on his very first carry, I don't think you can rely on him for next week. He refuses to say he's going to shut it down, but I can't see him playing much or well next week to be brutally honest.

Jaycen (San Diego)

With what we have seen this year, what kind of draft strategy will you be endorsing? The RB-RB, "Get a Stud WR early", etc.?

Christopher Harris
  (11:37 AM)

Hi, Jaycen. It's a great question, and I don't want to be a smart aleck when I answer, but the fact is: I don't endorse any positional strategy. It's kind of a cause of mine: to get people (and fantasy "experts"!) to stop thinking of fantasy drafts this way. You take the guys you think are going to play best, which means taking the most talented players in the best situations as you can envision them. I hated how prevalent the "WR-WR" strategy was this year (we even put it on our magazine cover, much to my eventual chagrin) -- it was stupid. Not that it didn't work out for some (if the WRs you picked were Andre Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald, rock on! but if you took Greg Jennings -- doh!). And of course, at some point later in drafts, you can't just keep taking the best player available, because your QB winds up being Hugh Millen. But still -- I don't like to think of drafting in terms of positions, I really don't.

Chris (FL)

Loved Steve Smith saying "I wanted to prove that I play for keeps" last night...Is he a top 15 WR next year?

Christopher Harris
  (11:38 AM)

Hi, Chris. I love Steve Smith, too. He's the most ferocious wide receiver with the ball in the air in the entire league, and has been for five years. That kind of moxie in a short man is just rare (unfortunately). If I'm guessing, yes, I think he's a top-15 receiver, but the Panthers need a quarterback. It can't be Jake Delhomme again (can it)? Their o-line is too good (when healthy) and their RBs too potent. This *should* be a situation where Smith is an every-week stud, but it's not, because Matt Moore is Matt Moore (last night notwithstanding).

Ryan (MN)

MADDEN CURSE!!!! What are your thoughts on the curse? Fitz hasn't really had a collapse, but Polamalu has mostly lost his season. Is the curse only big enough to ruin one person?

Christopher Harris
  (11:39 AM)

Hi, Ryan. Ha! Fortunately the vast majority of fantasy leagues don't play IDP, so the Polamalu loss wasn't ruinous to many fantasy seasons (whereas it pretty much destroyed the Steelers'). Yeah, I have to think Fitz may have put that one to rest. (At least for another eight months.)

Hugh Millen (Seattle, WA)

Hey, my stats are practically identical to JeMarcus Russell, and I have less turnovers!

Christopher Harris
  (11:40 AM)

Ah, but you didn't lead that stirring comeback yesterday!

Ryan (Folsom, CA)

Why does losing in the fantast playoffs feel like a break-up? Maybe I get too emotionally invested in my teams.

Christopher Harris
  (11:40 AM)

I hear you. I was down in the dumps all last week. Imagine if you still had to watch all the games and write 15,000 words about them. (Yeah, I know, what a hard life I have.)

Mike (Rochester)

What are your thoughts on tonights game? Are we going to see a shootout?

Christopher Harris
  (11:42 AM)

Hi, Mike. I really think so. The Giants have to try something different...and that "difference" may be to actually blitz *less*, try and send four and cover with seven on every play, and prevent the big play. Because everything else seems to be backfiring on them. It's not like I think Jason Campbell is a superstar, but he's played very well three weeks in a row, and he'll have open receivers. I think it should be a very fun game.

Mugh Hillen (Alter Ego) (Washington, Seattle)

I'll ignore your comment if you help me out here. Assuming Ronnie comes back healthy (he seems to be progressing well), where do you rank him? How good could he be if Ricky wasn't there?

Christopher Harris
  (11:43 AM)

Honestly, I don't exactly know about how I'll rank guys (but I'll wager I'll be one of the only people on the planet ranking fantasy football players in March, so maybe this question will give me a head start), but Brown's upside is going to be limited for as long as Ricky's around. Brown is probably an RB2 if he's healthy.

willie (rip city)

fantasy football is gut-wrenching when you lose and only a mild relief when you win. why do we do it again? screw it, sign me up for next season...

Christopher Harris
  (11:43 AM)

I hear you, Willie. I feel the same way. I'm such a husk by January, but when it comes time to write our magazine and blog the draft, I'm ready again....

Jeremy (NYC)

I'm not sure if keeper questions are allowed, but where do you see Schaub being drafted next year if he sticks with Houston? Also is Beanie at least a 3rd round pick next year?

Christopher Harris
  (11:45 AM)

Hi, Jeremy. No reason to think Schaub won't stay in Houston -- he's had a fabulous season. I think he's close to the top five among quarterbacks next year, certainly in the 6-10 range if he's not. I had a lot of faith in him entering this year and was rewarded for it. I also had Aaron Rodgers rated higher than most of our other "experts," though it's funny because I was slow coming around on Rodgers as a tippety-top option once the season began. Wells looks like a third-rounder-ish pick, yes. Maybe even higher, depending on how the season rounds out.

Brad (Philadelphia)

Chris.. LET"S HAVE FUN W THIS!! If the 2010 draft was held today? Going by what u know now and possible future projections who would u draft first at each position.QB, Wr, and Rb.

Christopher Harris
  (11:48 AM)

Hi, Brad. Total shots in the dark here, but I'm going to still stubbornly stick by Adrian Peterson at RB, but obviously Chris Johnson has had a better year and I may very well change my mind by March. At quarterback, I believe it's still Drew Brees -- I know Rodgers has a higher point total, but I think I'm going to trust Brees' multi-year history a bit more. And I went into this season saying I thought Larry Fitzgerald was (1) and Andre Johnson was (1a) among receivers, and I'll stand by that for next year, too. The only real controversy for me is running back (and MJD probably deserves some consideration, too).

Ben (Tempe, AZ)

Last week I went to sleep Sunday night up 1.5 points and woke up down .5 points. This would make it seem as though stat corrections come the morning after the game. You mentioned they were all done on Tuesday morning. I ask because I am up 3 points with Kevin Boss and my opponent has no one left. Would you just bench Boss and hope for no corrections or play him and hope he doesn't get negative 3 points?

Christopher Harris
  (11:49 AM)

Hi, Ben. I guess I stand corrected. As I mentioned, those corrections are produced by the NFL when they watch game footage in an "official" capacity, so I guess maybe it happens both Monday and Tuesday morning, if that's your experience. (Perhaps the Monday morning one was actually a technical glitch in our game, and not the NFL's official correction?) I think I'd probably play him, to be honest, but I understand the opposite point of view.

Norm (Boston)

What is even more depressing is being down 105-0 after the Thurs. and Sat. games and knowing you are done.

Christopher Harris
  (11:50 AM)

You're right, Norm. Because that makes the games themselves no fun at all. Sorry 'bout that.

Andrew (TX)

What's up with the sputtering cardinals' offense? Did the 49ers expose a defensive scheme to slow them down? Really relying on Warner for my championship!

Christopher Harris
  (11:51 AM)

Hi, Andrew. I'm not sure the Lions really have the horses to do much exotic, and I thought yesterday was really about Warner himself playing poorly after the Cardinals got out to a 17-0 lead. They had the ball in the red zone, and looked like they'd go up 24-0, but then the Lions return a pick all the way down for a touchdown, and it seemed to rattle the Cards. The fact that Fitz's knee wasn't 100% and he lacked separation didn't help, for sure. I would say if you've been relying on Warner, the Rams at home should be a welcome tonic next week.

Pauly (Jersey Shore)

Can you talk about the matchup of the Skins D vs the Giants? A lot has changed since week 1 when they played. Will the Skins bring blitzes or rely on a standard rush and try to force some check-downs?

Christopher Harris
  (11:55 AM)

Hi, Pauly. I wonder if the Skins will really change their stripes. They blitz -- it's kind of what they do. I wouldn't call them a super-ultra-crazy aggressive blitzing team, but they certainly bring heat a lot of the time. You're right -- that tends to open up bigger plays if the Giants get it blocked, and maybe as the game goes along, Washington will sit back more. But going into the game, if I'm guessing, I think the Redskins continue to try and bring pressure. It especially tends to be effective if Haynesworth is in there, which as far as I know he's still expected to be.

Jeff (Stamford, CT)

"Preseason player projections are a crapshoot at best." Your thoughts on this statement? Possible exception is QBs... all other positions suffer devastating attrition rates due to combination of injuries and "duds".

Christopher Harris
  (11:58 AM)

Hi, Jeff. Stat projects are *always* a crapshoot. Period. I tend to put more weight on rankings, because I do think we can be more accurate on the *relative* values of players (rather than trying to put absolute values on them). Of course, you're right: the NFL is the most violent sport we have, and has way way *way* more attrition than any other fantasy sport. And the dud rate can be high-ish, too. But in all, I feel pretty OK about how I graded the first round way back last March: (1) Adrian Peterson; (2) Maurice Jones-Drew; (3) Steven Jackson; (4) Chris Johnson; (5) Michael Turner; (6) Matt Forte (ga); (7) Frank Gore; (8) DeAngelo Williams; (9) Drew Brees; (10) Larry Fitzgerald. So yeah, I think there's *some* value to the preseason stuff....

Christopher Harris
  (12:00 PM)

All right, everyone. I have to write the Breakdown two days early this week, so I can't go overtime. I didn't do a very good job getting to all my Facebook questions this past week, but I'll promise to try and do better this week, so if you want to friend me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/writerboy, and ask a question, I'll do my level best to get to it.... Thanks for coming, and have a great week.