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December 28, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy Football w/Christopher Harris

Christopher Harris
  (10:59 AM)

Hi, everyone. Here's my usual disclaimer: please don't ask questions about who to start over whom in Week 17 -- I haven't done the work yet, so I honestly don't know, though we can obviously speculate about which players will and won't sit next week. And refresh your pages regularly, to see if the question you're asking has already been answered. Let's get right to it....

Matt (NC)

Shonn Greene have any keeper value? I know Leon and T Jones will probably still be in the fold next year, right?

Christopher Harris
  (11:01 AM)

Hi, Matt. Jones seems to have earned himself another contract, but he's up at the end of this year, and he turns 32 before Week 1 of the 2010 season. If it's me, and I just traded up to get Greene at the top of the third round, I let Jones walk despite his excellent couple of seasons. Greene showed an awful lot yesterday, and I think he's got it in him to be as good as Jones as an inside rusher, with Washington as the speed guy. I think his keeper value is pretty good. But for him to be a must-keep, we'd have to have more clarity on the Jones thing than we're likely to get before spring.

Bill (Louisiana)

Any chance of the Pats sitting Brady for wk. 17? Thanks, Bill.

Christopher Harris
  (11:03 AM)

Hi, Bill. There's a chance. The Patriots usually don't play the Colts game of sitting regulars; in fact, the only time I can remember them doing it was when they were either going to be a 3 or 4 seed, like this year, and they knew they were going to have to play a wild card game. So that doesn't bode well, I guess, but the Patriots regulars came out and lobbied to play the full game versus the Texans next week. I don't think we're going to get a lot of clarity on what to expect, unfortunately.

kevin (rockville,md)

will adrian peterson get most of the carries or will taylor?

Christopher Harris
  (11:04 AM)

Hi, Kevin. You mean tonight? Oh, I would think Peterson. The game still means something for the Vikings -- if they win, they lock up a first-round bye, plus stay within shouting distance for the #1 overall seed. All Day should be his regular self tonight. And for all those asking "Will Peterson get XX amount of points tonight and win me my league," if you think about it, there's no way for me to answer that, sans crystal ball. I don't know. But I'll be watching with all of you tonight!

dave (home)

do you know how bad p thomas and tony g's injurys are or too soon to tell?

Christopher Harris
  (11:06 AM)

Hi, Dave. Well, they're not "nothing" injuries, that's for certain, because each guy had to leave his respective game and couldn't return. Gonzo would probably *want* to play next week, but you wouldn't think that the Falcons will push it hard with him, since they're eliminated. I think we'll just have to keep an eye on him in practice. As for Thomas, it's a rib injury, and again, he doesn't come back into the game. But the Saints need next week's game (probably, provided the Vikings beat the Bears tonight), so Thomas won't sit unless the ribs are bad....

Scott (Missouri)

Can Steve Smith (Car) get a "Man" award for week 16. Breaks his arm and still scores the TD. Not only did he help his team but his fantasy owners as well...That guy is ferocious....

Christopher Harris
  (11:07 AM)

Hi, Scott. Well-said. It did look like he was holding the arm funny after he scored, and I was like, "Teammates! Get off of him!" They're all jumping on him and stuff. Eesh. Yeah, he's done for the year, but certainly went out in a three-week blaze of glory.

Mike (Indy)

Why are the Colts pulling their starters when it has never worked for them in the past? Now that the decisions have been made it will be almost a month before they play a full game.....do you see any rust for the Colts in the future? Thanks! And thanks for all your help this year!!

Christopher Harris
  (11:08 AM)

Hi, Mike. Again, couldn't have said it better myself. Listen, clearly Bill Polian is a *really* smart man, a great GM, and a potential Hall of Famer. So I'm not going to sit here and scream what an idiot he is. He's not. But I don't agree this is the right move. This whole, "Oh, you Colts fans would be sorry if Peyton Manning had gotten hurt in the fourth quarter yesterday" argument doesn't hold water for me. Dude has *never* been injured. He rarely gets touched. Come on. I think you said it perfectly, Mike: it's never worked for them in the past. Never. I just don't agree with the move, and not for fantasy reasons. Listen, I'm a Patriots fan, and I'm *thrilled* they do this every year. I think it really winds up hurting more than it helps.

Seth (Edmond, OK)

The Packers benched their starters in the 4th QTR. Does this continue into next week. Do they play at all?

Christopher Harris
  (11:10 AM)

Hi, Seth. Good question. The Pack will be a wild card, so we know they won't have a week off, and that could mean they're more tempted than some other teams to rest their guys. I mean, the reason they took guys out yesterday was that they were destroying the Seahawks. But yeah, I'd have to believe Rodgers, Grant, Driver and Jennings are candidates to play a half next week and then sit. I can't imagine they care all that much whether they're the #5 or

Mike (Los Angeles)

Are the top 5 next yearAP, Chris Johnson, MJD, Rice and Turner? Where would you rank Jamal Charles....top 12?

Christopher Harris
  (11:13 AM)

Hi, Mike. I don't really have a concrete answer for you yet, as you can imagine, but I agree with you that it's fun to speculate. I'm not positive I put Turner in that group -- he might be close, but I'm not sold absolutely that he's #5. The first four, in some order, seem pretty solid to me. I think Steven Jackson and Frank Gore will also deserve consideration. As for Charles -- is he a top-12 guy. Hm. I'm going to say no for the moment, only because, well, that's really high, there will probably be a couple WRs in that mix, and that KC offensive line has an awful long way to go. (Then again, so does the Rams', and I'm not penalizing Jackson that much.) I reserve the right to change my mind, but for the moment, I say no on Charles (but it's close, and his upside should be large -- I do worry that he's a little guy, though...).

Mike (Ind)

Do you see Fitzgerald playing much next week? I'm not sure the Cards have anything to play for.

Christopher Harris
  (11:15 AM)

Hi, Mike. The Cardinals do have seeding to play for -- if the Vikings lose tonight, they actually can still earn a first-round bye, and regardless they will probably have the ability to play for the #3 instead of the

Frank ((NY))

Everyone keeps writing how the Pats and Bengals will sit their players since they clinched their divisions,but they're still fighting for 3rd and 4th seeds,correct or not?

Christopher Harris
  (11:16 AM)

Hi, Frank. They are, but the question is: do they care which one they get? I mean, either way, you'll get a home game against a wild card team, and then you'll have to travel to Indy or San Diego, and frankly at this point, I think one could make the argument that it would be safer to go to Indy, the way the Chargers are mowing people down. It might be smarter to rest players and emerge healthy than to worry about seeding for those teams. It's at least a consideration, anyway.

Eric (Indy)

Any chance Deangelo plays alot next week with his ankle injury?

Christopher Harris
  (11:17 AM)

Hi, Eric. Any chance? Sure. A big chance? I tend to think not. I think he'll try and practice, and just see how it feels. If I'm the Panthers, I wouldn't mess with it, and would just let Stewart do his thing again. But we'll probably have to listen to practice reports this week....

Scott (Missouri)

What are the Panthers going to do at RB next year? In an uncapped year could you see D-Willy getting traded to someone like the Redskins? The Daily Show looks like a beast in waiting...

Christopher Harris
  (11:19 AM)

Hi, Scott. Well, D-Willy's rookie contract runs out at the end of 2010 (in other words, after next season), and that's when the big bucks will come. He'll cost the Panthers just $750,000 next season, so there's really no reason for Carolina to think about breaking up their beastly duo. The Charlotte media has speculated a lot about the plans the Panthers might have *after* next year, a la, maybe letting D-Willy walk. But this year proved you really need two guys, if you can afford 'em. Of course, there's a not-insignificant chance the Panthers make a coaching change this year (Bill Cowher has been mentioned a bunch), and if that happens, well, we'll just have to see.

Mike (Ind)

Do the Chargers have a reason to play? I have Vincent Jackson and still need him to produce. We play through week 17.

Christopher Harris
  (11:20 AM)

Hi, Mike. No, the Chargers have no reason to play, and I would expect them to sit guys after halftime. They do have a week off, though, so I wouldn't say they're likely to bench everyone for a full game.

Billy B (Canada)

Any ideas for sleeper TE's, have ridden Dallas Clark all year. Also any feelings to whether two straight losses has New Orleans starters playing longer?

Christopher Harris
  (11:21 AM)

Hi, Billy. Well, Fred Davis didn't do anything last night, but he's still riding a pretty good streak. Certainly if Jermichael Finley is unowned, he needs to be grabbed. I would say that the Saints are likely to play guys long enough to make sure they win, especially if the Vikings win tonight. The Saints will *still* not have locked up the NFC's top seed if that happens, so, for instance, if you're a Brees owner, root hard for Minny tonight.

drew (philly)

Do you prefer the playoffs end in Week 16 or 17? We had it set it 16 but halfway through the year the commish changed it to 17, thoughts?

Christopher Harris
  (11:23 AM)

Hi, Drew. Well, my first thought is -- a commish shouldn't change things midstream. My second thought is -- leagues should never hold their title games *only* in Week 17. In our standard ESPN.com game, we spread out your championship over Weeks 16 *and* 17 (and you can make changes to your lineup between the weeks), which I think is pretty fair. My own league where I'm the commish (a brutal 16-teamer, incidentally, and I did *not* win this year, boo), we have our title game in Week 16, and reserve Week 17 for our Pro Bowl.

Travis (Iowa)

What city to you think Delhomme will go to back up whoever for next year?

Christopher Harris
  (11:24 AM)

Hi, Travis. Delhomme signed a huge extension this winter (much to my chagrin; I wrote about it a lot), so he's going to be in Carolina almost assuredly. Will he be the starter? Good question. I don't think Matt Moore has done enough to displace Delhomme, but really, he's probably been better overall. He just doesn't have much upside. I would expect the Panthers to be active looking for another QB, but I think Delhomme is almost certainly going to be on that roster.

cory (madison)

hey chris, you're advice got me a league title, so thanks man. your top 5 WR next season? i say its AJ, Fitz, Welker, Moss and Calvin. But past AJ and Fitz, it seems unsteady right?

Christopher Harris
  (11:27 AM)

Hi, Cory. Congrats -- and don't thank me...you made the decisions that got you the crown. As for the WRs -- yup, I think you're right about Fitz and AJ, and let's also add that this could finally be the year that Boldin forces his way out of Arizona, which could only add to Fitz's glory (well, I think, anyway). I would put Calvin Johnson very close to those guys -- this year just hasn't been a good test for him, with Stafford so young and also hurt. He's just a super-stud. Moss probably belongs in the top five, or at least very close to it. Welker? I mean, he's a great guy to own because he's steady, but he doesn't make huge plays or score tons of touchdowns. I think Roddy White has to be in that conversation as do Reggie Wayne, DeSean Jackson, Vincent Jackson -- and heck, maybe Miles Austin is a shocking visitor to the top 10 next year.

Steve (SF)

With all this talk on players sitting...can you give us some teams (Other than the Colts) that will be resting players. It will sure help us for the Pickem leagues. Thanks!

Christopher Harris
  (11:30 AM)

Hi, Steve. Well, honestly, any list I give you right now is going to be speculative, because teams haven't announced what they're going to do. But I'll try and look into the crystal ball. I would in general say that any team locked into the wild-card round but pretty well set seeding-wise is a good candidate to sit guys for at least part of next week. That would include the Patriots, Bengals and Packers. If the Vikings lose tonight, the Saints become candidates (and could anyway). The Colts and Chargers are completely locked in, so they'll certainly not want to push the envelope, though they also have a week off, so they won't feel quite as much pressure. The Cardinals will be locked into a wild card game if the Vikes win tonight, and that will make them likelier to rest players. The Cowboys and Eagles will go tooth and nail against one another, and all those AFC wild card contenders will do the same. Hope that helps, even if it's a bit vague.

eli (chicago)

Chris. Thanks for all the help this year! I really enjoy the breakdown! Up 40 going into tonight against AP. I am holding my breath...Question on a comment above on your league holding a pro bowl. How do you go about doing that??

Christopher Harris
  (11:32 AM)

Hi, Eli. I ask the losers of the semifinal round to pick Pro Bowl teams from their respective conferences. Since we have 16 teams in the league and start two WRs, this works out well: each conference has eight teams, so the Pro Bowl manager's job is to select one player from each team to fill a starting lineup (QB-RB-RB-WR-WR-TE-K-DEF). They can use whatever criteria they want -- they can reward for a good season, or they can simply pick players who they think will score the most points in Week 17, and ignore worthy candidates who are likely to ride pine because of the NFL playoffs. It's fun, though meaningless....

Brian (NJ)

Do you think Jerome Harrison will keep this going in 2010?

Christopher Harris
  (11:34 AM)

Hi, Brian. That's a very good question. It's funny: I was such a huge proponent of Harrison when he came out of Washington St. -- I drafted him as a rookie in my 16-teamer and held onto him for most of the year, but the Browns would never give him the ball, then he got totally lost in the Jamal Lewis Era. Now they have James Davis on the mend, and he certainly should be given a chance to compete for the job, but yeah, I would say Harrison almost has to be in that mix, too. There'll be a new coaching staff in place next year, so we might have unlearn everything we've seen this season (and I don't expect Chris Jennings to be a huge part of the mix). But Harrison will be on that roster, and certainly has proven he can play....

James (NY)

Which Colts backup RB is the one you want to start in the now completely meaningless game against the historically bad Bills run defense? Brown got the carries last week but didn't do much with them and has had injury problems this season.

Christopher Harris
  (11:36 AM)

Hi, James. True enough, but the fact that the Colts were so adamant about continuing to give Brown the ball even when he wasn't very effective means to me that he's got a lead on the other guys for Week 17. Could Mike Hart or Chad Simpson get involved? Yes. I wouldn't think Joseph Addai will play more than a series, so multiple reserves should get carries, and really, projecting exactly what'll happen would be foolish on my part. But if I'm a betting man, I bet on Brown leading the team in carries.

Bracks (KCMO)

Chris,I play in a standard CBS 12 team league that I hate. Mainly because I didn't make the playoffs after starting 5-0. I had the Giants defense, enough said. No flex option, among other deficiencies. I want to create my own league, what do you suggest and is the flex option better than 1 QB, 2 RB's, 3 WR's, 1 TE, 1 K, and 1 DSP.

Christopher Harris
  (11:40 AM)

Hi, Bracks. Argh. Giants defense. Talk about the most vexing unit in the world. OK, maybe except the Steelers defense. Good call by me, ranking them #1 and

Anthony (Cali)

I need 16.4 points to win the title. Who gets it for me .... Adrian Peterson, or Chester Taylor?

Christopher Harris
  (11:40 AM)

Hi, Anthony. Dance with what brung ya. I think Peterson plays all game. Go with him.

Nick (PA)

Hey Chris!So I have Rivers as my QB, worried about his playing time next week. With guys like Flacco, Garrard and Young available, is it time to pick one of them up?

Christopher Harris
  (11:42 AM)

Hi, Nick. It is. It's time to grab *someone* else, because I have a feeling Rivers doesn't have much of a chance of playing the full game next week. There's nothing left to win. I haven't done my Week 17 ranks yet, so honestly, I can't tell you which of the three guys I prefer. But I do think it'll be smart to have a backup handy....

Rob (Minneapolis)

Will ESPN be posting NFL Playoff fantasy rankings for those of us who participate Playoff Fantasy Leagues?? Thanks.

Christopher Harris
  (11:42 AM)

Hi, Rob. Good question, and to be honest, I don't know the answer. I haven't been asked to do it, mainly because they know I'm running on fumes. Is someone else doing it? I'm betting yes, but I honestly don't know the details.

jonathan (hyde park, ma)

I am in an 5 year auction keeper league. We get $200 to spend each year on players minus the price of our keepers. I have chris johnson now for 41, making him 46 if I keep him. Is worth around 1/4 my teams salary next year. Will he still be one teir above the rest?

Christopher Harris
  (11:44 AM)

Hi, Jonathan. If that's roughly what the premier running backs go for in your auction each year, then yeah, I think he's probably worth keeping. If you're pretty sure he'd go for more than that, especially, he's keepable. It's pretty clear from how you describe it he's not going to be a bargain, but barring injury he looks like a top-five back again next year to me....

Matt (Philly)

Aaron Rodgers got 1 TD in a 48-10 win ...guess whether I'm happy or angry.

Christopher Harris
  (11:44 AM)

Hi, Matt. Um. Angry?

cory (madison)

whatever harris, you're the freakin' man. and reggie, of course! seems to me, the new draft strategy should be QB/RB with your first two picks. pretty reliable production from the big gun QBs this season...

Christopher Harris
  (11:46 AM)

Hi, Cory. Well, I dunno. I'm never a big proponent of QB in the first round. Sure, if I took Brees in the first this year, that worked out OK. But Brady sure didn't, and Peyton isn't going to look as good after next week, when he barely plays. If I could've gotten Rodgers (or Rivers, or Schaub, or Romo, or Roethlisberger) in the third, fourth, fifth, whatever, I'd have been pleased as punch. Unless I took Matt Forte in the first.

Ryan (Charlotte)

Happy New Year! I just wanted to thank you for your analysis, more importantly "The Breakdown", I have won my championship. Many thanks!

Christopher Harris
  (11:47 AM)

Hi, Ryan. Congrats. But let's be clear: I don't want the blame when I make a bad pick, so I don't want the credit for the good ones, either -- you had to pull the trigger on your starting decisions and waiver moves, and you did well. I'll take very, very secondary props, but mostly, it was you.... Good job.

Banjoe (Utah)

Just a thank you for your work and time especially making yourself available on Facebook.. I took 2 first place and third in my "Money League" and a big help fom you ranking Stewart (who I used for my Flex) ahead of Beanie.. Well Thought!! look forward to your chats and help next season!! Have a Happy New Year

Christopher Harris
  (11:48 AM)

Hi, Banjoe. Good job by you, too. Yeah, I'm glad about the Stewart call, that worked out perfectly. But Beanie had a nice game, too (thanks in particular to a garbage-time touchdown run). Nice work.

Ryan (Charlotte)

Between Ray Rice, DJax, Megatron and Brady which two would you keep for next year?

Christopher Harris
  (11:49 AM)

Hi, Ryan. Rice is the clear choice for me here, and after that -- I just preached my bias against quarterbacks, so I probably wouldn't choose Brady. DeSean Jackson or Calvin Johnson? I tend to think Johnson, because I just think his game is more varied and he's more talented, and eventually the Lions are going to get Stafford healthy and start to put together an offensive line. But that's not a no-brainer.

Brad (Boston, MA)

We're discussing a new lineup format for next year (1/2 PPR league, passing TDs are the same as receiving TDs): either two non-QB flexes, or 1 QB flex. Have you ever played in a format like this, and do you have any guesses as to which flex format will pay better dividends in the long run?

Christopher Harris
  (11:52 AM)

Hi, Brad. You say that passing TDs are the same as receiving TDs -- does that value them the same as rushing TDs, too? In other words, all TDs are created equal? If that's the case, I do think that quarterbacks are likely to become maybe a little *too* valuable in that scoring format...and if that's the case, I wouldn't make the flex position include QBs, too. I like the multi-flex idea fine, because as far as I'm concerned, the deeper the league is, the more fun it is. But I've never been a big fan of leagues where QBs earn *so* much more points than other positions....

Gabe (Jersey)

What do I do now? I won my champuonship yesterday! ....I'm so bored.

Christopher Harris
  (11:52 AM)

Hi, Gabe. We all should have such problems! :-)

Tom (NJ)

General question to benefit all. When the rankings come out do the experts consider who will likely be sitting due to the upcoming playoffs

Christopher Harris
  (11:53 AM)

Hi, Tom. You mean the Week 17 positional rankings that will come out Wednesday? Definitely mine will, and I assume everyone else's will, too. This week, I left the Colts players in because there was no certainty about what they'd do, but now there's much more clarity (about them, anyway). I'll be doing my best to parse who I think will sit.....

Beth (South Dakota)

Is Larry Johnson or Brandon Jackson worth a pick-up (if Benson/Grant sit) or would Arian Foster or Sammy Morris be a better fill-in at RB?

Christopher Harris
  (11:56 AM)

Hi, Beth. It's a good question. I don't think I'd go with Sammy Morris just now -- I don't know what the Patriots plan, but Morris got a lot of work yesterday in large part because Maroney fumbled on the goal line on New England's first drive, and was benched thereafter. Not sure if the doghouse carries over. Jackson obviously went crazy yesterday, but hadn't scored once all year before then. LJ would seem to be an OK play if the Bengals rest guys, but the Jets have been tough on D and will be playing for a lot. Foster may be the right answer there. But I'll be doing weekly ranks in a couple days, and will think it through much more thoroughly by then.

Bob (Cleveland)

Who thought I could say the Browns are tied for the 3rd longest winning streak in the NFL. Took my 9 year old son to the game yesterday, his first. It was a blast.I'd like to share my mantra here. FF is 1/3 draft, 1/3 management, and 1/3 luck. Have a great New Year!

Christopher Harris
  (11:57 AM)

Hi, Bob. Absolutely right about the proportions -- it's not totally random, but there *is* quite a lot of randomness involved, which doesn't always sit well with folks once the season starts wrapping up, but hey, it's the game we've chosen to play. Great news about taking your son yesterday -- glad it was a happy result.

Christopher Harris
  (11:58 AM)

All right, everyone. I have one more week of the Breakdown to write, though again, my merciful editors are allowing me to do it on a short week by not watching all the games. So once again, you can expect the Breakdown to be a bit more of an "overview" (like last week's), as opposed to the "What I Saw" angle from which I usually write it over the course of the season.....

Christopher Harris
  (12:00 PM)

This is my final chat of 2009, and my last one for a while before baseball starts up, so once again, I want to thank you all for a great year. I wouldn't be able to do this amazing job without your loyal interest and readership, and I've tried to pay back some fraction of that by answering as many questions as humanly possible in my spare time on Facebook. (If you want to friend me there, I'm at http://www.facebook.com/writerboy). I hope that added some fun to your fantasy football season. And to all who still are alive in their championships for Week 17, I say: good luck. Happy New Year, everyone.