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May 17, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Football w/Christopher Harris

Christopher Harris
  (2:59 PM)

Hi, everybody. Happy Monday -- it's time for more fantasy football talk. I think I did *three* experts drafts this past weekend (well, two drafts and an an auction), so the football juices are definitely flowing... So let's get right to your questions....

Craig (San Fran)

Who's do you like better this year Crabtree or Dez Bryant?

Christopher Harris
  (3:00 PM)

Hi, Craig. I have Crabtree a few spots ahead of Bryant, for predictable reasons: he's not a rookie any longer, and he's pretty much set as the Niners' No. 1 WR; Bryant still has to beat out Roy Williams, which I *think* will happen, but is no sure thing, and Miles Austin has the No. 1 spot. But I do think Bryant will be worth owning in fantasy leagues eventually in 2010.

Larry (Green Bay)

Is there THAT much difference between Driver and Jennings? Driver will not cost you as much got get in the draft...

Christopher Harris
  (3:03 PM)

Hi, Larry. Well, there wasn't a big difference at *all* last year; in fact, in standard (ESPN) leagues, Driver was 2 points better than Jennings. But I did like what I saw out of Jennings once the Packers realized Rodgers didn't always have enough time to stand there and let Jennings run under deep bombs -- he ran shorter routes more often, and got a lot more involved. I agree Driver will probably provide better value, but you do worry about his age. Each will be ownable in fantasy leagues....

Bradford (carolina)

Is Steve Smith still a top 10 WR?

Christopher Harris
  (3:05 PM)

Hi, Bradford. I don't have him ranked that highly, though he's inside my top 15, so maybe we're splitting hairs. I've read some pretty optimistic stuff about Matt Moore, and I have to say -- I'm not sure I'm there yet. Is it possible he's ready to be a big-time NFL arm? I guess so. But I still don't see Smith having anything opposite him, and Moore will have to be really good, really consistently to make Smith a top 10 guy. He might very well be overrated, he might very well be underrated. But I think he's got too much risk to take him in the top 10.

Chad (Wheeling)

In your last chat, you hit us with the old "DOLF" acronym. Would you mind spelling that out for us rookies? Thx.

Christopher Harris
  (3:05 PM)

Hi, Chad. "DOLF" = "Depending On League Format."

Alana (GA)

Can you explain Fantasy Football to me? I want to beat my boyfriend so bad!!!!

Christopher Harris
  (3:06 PM)

Hi, Alana. Fantasy Football is, simply put, another reason not to do work, hang out with family or be responsible. Once you've got that down, you're ready to dominate. (Story of my life...)

Doug (texas)

do you like the combinded two week playoff system or are you a "Sudden Death" one week playoff type guy?

Christopher Harris
  (3:07 PM)

Hi, Doug. Even though it increases the chances of the "best" team (throughout the regular season) not winning the big prize, I prefer one-week playoff games. I can see the logic in having the final two weeks of the regular season (16 and 17) lumped into one title game (which is what ESPN's standard game does, I believe -- though I may be wrong there, I'm having a brain freeze on that), but I still don't like having *anything* count from Week 17, because it's so sketchy whether veterans will even play.

Frank (IL)

Do you agree with starting two RB's on the same team? Ala the carolina backs or the backs in Dallas?

Christopher Harris
  (3:09 PM)

Hi, Frank. To be honest, it isn't optimal. While you're limiting your downside (e.g., "If DeAngelo doesn't score, at least I know Stewart will!"), you're also limiting your upside in a big way, because it's not likely that a single team's RBs will "go off" the way two guys from different teams can. That said, there are a *lot* of committees out there, and with so few full-time backs, having two of them may simply not be a luxury you can afford. I certainly would prefer having the two Carolina guys than the two Cowboys guys, if that wound up being the case.

Donnie (Brooklyn)

What would you like on your team? Big Ben playing a 12 game season or the whole season of Matt Lienart?

Christopher Harris
  (3:10 PM)

Hi, Donnie. Well, provided we're talking an ESPN standard league (i.e., 10 teams), I'd probably take Big Ben, and just be darned sure I drafted another guy to play at least the first month. I don't think Leinart is a total washout, at least not yet, and I think the fact that he's really only got Derek Anderson backing him up is a vote of confidence from his team. But the fact remains: he has a lot to prove in terms of accuracy.

Michael (Atlanta)

In a $200 salary cap league, who gets the better deal? Calvin Johnson for $30 or Jamaal Charles for $11?

Christopher Harris
  (3:11 PM)

Hi, Michael. Obviously tough to weigh in unilaterally not knowing keeper rules (or if it even *is* a keeper league), but if I assume standard ESPN format, I probably actually think Charles is the better value, by far. That's probably right around what Megatron should go for, or at the very least it's within $10 of what he should go for. Charles, I'd say, should go for mid-20s, at least.

Peter (Montreal)

You liking Hasslebeck this year? You think Pete gets him back to fantasy relevance?

Christopher Harris
  (3:13 PM)

Hi, Peter. Color me majorly, majorly skeptical. I don't see it. I honestly don't think Carroll, in his heart of hearts, sees it, or he doesn't trade a lot for a guy who's never played a regular-season down in his life (Charlie Whitehurst). I think the Seattle o-line is still very much a work in progress, and I don't love their backfield or their aerial weapons. I think it's a long year in Seattle again...and for Hass in particular.

Blake (Abilene, TX)

A follow up to Frank (IL) question? What about the dual RB threat of Charles and Devon McCluster? McCluster will be catching a lot of passes for yds?

Christopher Harris
  (3:14 PM)

Hi, Blake. I just think McCluster is a complementary player, and more a receiver (out of the slot) than he is a running back. I certainly don't think the Chiefs will view him as a focal point of their offense, by a long shot. So I don't worry about him as a threat to Charles. No, the real threat is Thomas Jones, but Jones has a lot of tread taken off those tires. While I think it makes sense to try and draft TJ if you take Charles, I don't think McCluster is a must-handcuff or a significant drain.

Sylvester (GA)

You still high on Roddy White? Last year it seemed Matty Ice looks for Tony in the end zone alot...

Christopher Harris
  (3:15 PM)

Hi, Sylvester. I'm still really high on Roddy, indeed. White actually got a bunch of red-zone targets last year, too, the highest total of his career, so while it may have seemed that Gonzo was hording them all, that actually wasn't the case. I think White is a top-10 receiver in all formats.

jeff (boston)

jones drew? take him or get a rb in a later round?

Christopher Harris
  (3:15 PM)

Hi, Jeff. He's my No. 3 player overall. I love the guy.

Steve (SF)

Come back to Baseball Christopher!!

Christopher Harris
  (3:17 PM)

Worry, not, Steve...I have a 1,500-word piece on plate discipline via analysis of hot starts for a few unexpected hitters that's out this afternoon. You can find it here:

Russell (dallas)

I know Jerry said Felix is the starter this year, but isn't he a risk based upon how high you will have to get him? I'd much rather gamble on a ben tate later in the draft...

Christopher Harris
  (3:19 PM)

Hi, Russell. Well, it isn't just Jerry saying Felix Jones is going to be a starter.... By the same token, Jones has yet to prove he can stay healthy and manage even more than 120 carries, let alone 200. I hear what you're saying -- you're worried about having to overpay for a guy who hasn't proven he can do it, and would prefer to get a value guy in the same situation. Of course, Tate isn't guaranteed anything, despite his current hype -- that Texans backfield could still stay crowded (Arian Foster isn't completely out of the mix, and obviously Steve Slaton isn't, either). But yeah, I don't hate what you're saying.

Brady (Columbus)

what is massaquoi's ceiling? Flex play or just a bye week fill in type guy?

Christopher Harris
  (3:20 PM)

Hi, Brady. I'm of the "fill-in" opinion at the moment, simply because the Browns' passing game is the one area where they've really lagged in terms of improving themselves. Jake Delhomme, Seneca Wallace...these guys don't inspire confidence, and I don't trust Mangini to throw enough to support any receiver being a starter in fantasy leagues, at least QB/WR-wise.

Grant (Vegas)

can you make any sense of the Raiders backfield?

Christopher Harris
  (3:22 PM)

Hi, Grant. Well, at least they're down to two guys -- Darren McFadden and Michael Bush. Run DMC looks like he'll get first crack once again, and it would be incorrect to completely disregard the possibility that he finally becomes the player we all thought he would coming out of college. By the same token, it was hard to watch the Raiders play last year and not come away with the sense that Bush is the *far* better inside runner...he's physical, while McFadden seems to shy away from contact. I still have DMC ranked higher because I think he gets more chances. But I think Bush just might be the better player, while DMC might be better suited to a pass-catching role.

Frank (NY)

Do you think Beanie Wells is going to get more goal line carries this year, or will it still be the same split with Hightower?

Christopher Harris
  (3:23 PM)

Hi, Frank. Certainly Hightower showed his worth in short yardage last year, as well as as a pass catcher. But I just think he's such a non-dynamic ball carrier, that eventually, if Beanie stays as tough and powerful looking as he was in the season's final month in '09, Wells will assume more of that mantel. I'm pretty high on Beanie this year.

Will (WV)

Obviously Matthews over Spiller this year, but who would you rather have in a keeper league?

Christopher Harris
  (3:24 PM)

Hi, Will. I think Spiller is the more dynamic talent, the scarier homerun threat, kind of a DeSean Jackson among running backs. Mathews is more like Matt Forte -- jack of all trades, master of none. That said, Spiller is going to be on the Bills for the foreseeable future, and until that offensive line gets scads better and they draft a QB, it's really tough to see a lot of value coming out of what looks like a split backfield. So while I prefer Spiller's talent, even in a dynasty league, I probably have Mathews rated higher.

Ted (France)

Nervous Steven Jackson owner here... I can keep him at the 23rd overall slot. That is good enough to overlook any worries and avoid the panic button, right?

Christopher Harris
  (3:25 PM)

Hi, Ted. I downgraded Jackson from 5th overall to 9th on my list at the moment, because we don't really know what the situation is with his injury until he starts taking big hits. He *should* be fine. And clearly, you have him kept at a discount. I think you probably should feel OK about it. But it's probably going to make for a nervous stomach the first few Sundays of September.


Spiller is going to rush for 1,500 yards and get in the end zone 15 times this year - take that to the bank

Christopher Harris
  (3:26 PM)

I sincerely hope you're kidding, RJ.

Watson (Miami)

Give me one WR who everyone will over draft and people will end up angry in the end? My votes goes to Dez Bryant.

Christopher Harris
  (3:27 PM)

Hi, Watson. That's not a bad guess at all. Bryant is going to be boom-or-bust, and rookie receivers rarely live up to where they're taken. But he's also a freakish talent. It's going to depend on whether he beats out Williams in camp; I really think if he starts 16 games, he'll be fantasy-relevant. I think people are forgiving Braylon Edwards his trespasses too easily. I think when Santonio Holmes comes back from his suspension, Edwards is going to sit a bunch.

Zack (Durango)

Is the Broncos defense improved enough to start?

Christopher Harris
  (3:29 PM)

Hi, Zack. It probably DOLF, but I do think it's better. There are a lot of supposedly "top" defenses where you worry about pass rush; with Elvis Dumervil around, you don't have to worry about that as much in Denver. The new defensive line *should* be vastly improved, and help the team stop the run much, much better (that was the problem in '09). Are they starters in a 10-teamer? No, I don't quite think so. But in a 12-teamer? It's very possible, and the fact is: there's no reason not to go into your season with them (having drafted them super-late), as long as you're willing to pull the plug if they don't work out, and pick up one of what will no doubt be a dozen decent defenses on your waiver wire. (Translation: don't draft a defense high.)

Christopher Harris
  (3:30 PM)

Hi, Tim. I think it would still be pretty low, even in a PPR. I'm just very, very skeptical that he'll be back before November. And worse than that, the Patriots are so secretive about injuries, you won't know whether he's going to play until the starting lineups are announced every Sunday. I know what you mean about his value in a PPR. I just don't think the knee is going to let him contribute regularly.

Jshyne (Brooklyn)

Chris whats up I posted this on your FB(I know your a busy) im in a keeper league where you keep a player for what round they were selected in. I get to keep two out of Cedric Benson(8th rd),Deangelo Williams (10th rd), and Jamal Charles (16th rd) what do you think,my other option is Steve Jackson but I dont think he provides the same value picked him in rd 1.

Christopher Harris
  (3:32 PM)

Hi, Jshyne. Charles is my fave of that group given where you drafted him, no questions asked. For me, I'm split between Benson/Williams for your other spot. I have Benson rated a little bit higher because of the Jonathan Stewart issue, but I also think getting D-Willy in the 10th is nuts, and he's such a dynamic player that you probably just roll with him, draft some other rushers early on, and hope things work out in his favor in Carolina. But it's close. Benson is probably (gack) underrated right now.

James (NY)

What kind of numbers can we expect from Anquan Boldin this year? Will his presence lower the number of receptions Ray Rice gets?

Christopher Harris
  (3:35 PM)

Hi, James. Well, I don't think he's suddenly in line for 100 catches. There are just too many weapons (yes, including Rice) for him to get that many looks, and he's also such a physical player that it's unlikely he makes it through 16 games unscathed. But I do think he's a high WR2 in 10-team formats. Rice, I don't worry about. Maybe he gets a few fewer targets, but heck, I think he could also easily have McGahee steal fewer TDs from him this year....

Justin (Pagosa Springs)

Is Flacco a starting QB in a standard league?

Christopher Harris
  (3:36 PM)

Hi, Justin. I actually do have him at No. 10 on my QB list, so yeah, I think he's on that borderline, and at the moment I have him on the "starting" side. Clearly, he was very up and down last year, and he needs to prove in his third season that he's ready to harness his substantial physical tools. But he was also banged up in '09. I'm hoping for big-ish things....

Stevie (San Francisco)

Given the health of New England's WR corps, would you take Aaron Rodgers over Brady?

Christopher Harris
  (3:36 PM)

Hi, Stevie. I would. I have Rodgers No. 2 among QBs, and Brady No. 4. It's not all because of the receiving corps, but that's a factor....

Chester (Pensicola, FL)

Over or Under 3 TD's this year for the MIGHTY TIM TEBOW?????????

Christopher Harris
  (3:38 PM)

Hi, Chester. Under. I don't think he's going to contribute much. I don't think you need to draft him in a standard 10-team league...and I really don't think they're going to risk a first-round quarterback by putting him in as a running back or H-back or anything like that. Maybe a few Wildcat plays. Maybe they'll want to make some headlines by having him running the Wildcat close to the goal line a few times. But other than that, I don't expect much.

Joseph (DC)

Whats your opinion of Jay Cutler and Martz, FF Gold?

Christopher Harris
  (3:39 PM)

Hi, Joseph. I was skeptical when everyone said Martz was going to make Alex Smith a fantasy star, and I'm skeptical about the hype for Cutler, et al, this year, too. Listen, Cutler's a good QB. And he has some decent pass catchers (though nobody he can really, truly count on). Last year's carnage was first and foremost due to a bad offensive line, and nobody's really been able to show me that that's much better in '10. I still think he's going to get hit a lot, and make a lot of mistakes. He'll have some great games. Heck, he had a few in '09. I just don't trust him enough to be consistent....

Jeff (Florida)

Serious question (although it probably doesn't come off as one) - do the fantasy experts at ESPN have any accountability for making bad pre-season predictions? So if someone is consistently wrong while others are usually right, is there a penalty for that?

Christopher Harris
  (3:42 PM)

Hi, Jeff. I take it as a serious question, and the answer, honestly, is no, there's no specific accountability. Part of it, of course, is that we're usually couching our advice in lots of conditionals, so we can always point to a given situation and say, "Well, he didn't get the ball enough" or "He got hurt," and can "avoid" criticism that way. And of course, when you're writing, y'know, between 5K and 10K words per week on football, as I do, you're going to say some completely wrong stuff. But the fact is that there aren't a ton of metrics that we use to evaluate ourselves, and I think we could probably do a better job with that. (As a side note, I did participate in an "Experts Poll" from Fantasy Index before last season, and I believe I finished second in terms of the overall accuracy of my preseason ranks. But I'm the same idiot who was preaching Roy Williams as a great fantasy option in Dallas last year, so who the hell am I?)

Paul (Des Moines)

I am thinking of doing an ESPN fantasy league that starts in July. Since it's doubtful Favre will have made up his mind by then, should I still consider him?

Christopher Harris
  (3:43 PM)

Hi, Paul. I mentioned earlier that I did three fantasy drafts this weekend; I definitely wound up with Favre in two of them, and I can't remember if I got him in the third. Of course, I also made sure to take Tarvaris Jackson, too. I have Favre as my No. 8 fantasy QB right now, and that mixes in a little bit of risk that he won't play. I expect him to play. We'll see. But yeah, I think if you take Jackson, too, Favre is an interesting value play.

Wayne (St Paul)

How do you see Fitzgerald doing this year compared to last year? Boldin's gone, but so is Warner...

Christopher Harris
  (3:44 PM)

Hi, Wayne. Yeah, totally messy. I think Fitz will be OK, and have him ranked as my No. 4 wide receiver right now. I trust his ability. But if Leinart is awful accuracy-wise, that could wind up being a bad, bad prediction.

Keith (Nashville)

Kenny Britt. What are you thoughts on him? Is he posed for a Mike Sims Walker year?

Christopher Harris
  (3:45 PM)

Hi, Keith. Britt finds himself in a situation where the offense is so conservative, and based around CJ2K, that it's tough to see him as a fantasy starter every week. Then again, MSW wasn't a fantasy starter every week last year, either. I think Britt will have some great games. But we're relying on Vince Young for a lot, y'know? I think you're safer not relying on Britt, but rather taking him as a sleeper who can start the year on your bench.

Jabar (Lincoln Heights)

I know you like Eli, but he a guy who has yards but no the TD maker that some other qbs are. How does he stack up against a guy like Leinart who has Larry on his side?

Christopher Harris
  (3:46 PM)

Hi, Jabar. I do like Eli. I have him No. 9 on my QB list right now. You say he doesn't have big-time threats, and I have to admit, obviously, that Fitzgerald is in a class by himself looking at the Giants' and Cardinals' receiving corps. But probably the next three guys you'd take are all Giants, and Hakeem Nicks can be a stud flanker and end-zone weapon as soon as this year. Eli threw for 4,000 yards last year. Leinart is such a question mark. For me, it's not close.

Raul (Miami)

Any Redskins' running backs worth drafting this year?

Christopher Harris
  (3:48 PM)

Hi, Raul. In deeper leagues, I can see an argument for drafting *all* of them, because we really have no idea how that situation is going to play out; any of them (Portis, LJ, Parker) could wind up being the starter, depending on what everyone has left in training camp. I have Portis ranked highest. But I wouldn't touch him with a 10-foot pole. I think you stay away altogether.

Cheddar (Cheese)

Do you believe that there needs to be a paradigm shift in drafting QB's higher because of so many RB tandem's in the league?

Christopher Harris
  (3:49 PM)

Well, Mr. Cheese, I think for the very *beginning* of the first round, just the opposite is true: if you can get one of the, say, 5 or 6 unquestioned starting RBs in what look like solid systems with good o-lines, you've gotta grab 'em. After that? Absolutely, I can see the argument for *not* reaching for questionable talent or guys who are in pure committees, and instead loading up on "sure things" at other positions. If you told me that Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers both went in your 10-team league's first round? I wouldn't bat an eye. That said, if I have any of the first six picks right now, I'm going RB, no questions asked.

Andrew (Ulster)

Sanchez.....more TDs than INT this year?

Christopher Harris
  (3:51 PM)

Hi, Andrew. Sure, I think the kid probably calms down some. I just don't think the Jets will want him to throw very much. He had only five games where he threw it 30 or more times last year, and I have to believe that that's what they'd prefer to have happen again, with their emphasis on running and defense. For that reason, I don't think Sanchez is much of a shallow-league option, even if he does make fewer mistakes.

Ryan (NY)

Hi Christopher - Is Lee Evans worth anything at this point? The guy has great talent but he's in a horrible situation

Christopher Harris
  (3:52 PM)

He sure is, Ryan. Yeah, I mean, at *some* point, taking a risk on Evans deep in your draft makes sense, because you'd have to say that there's an X% chance that he defies the odds and puts together a massive season. But certainly, you'd feel better not having to rely on him as anything close to a fantasy starter.

Monterey (Jack)

If Haynesworth pouts all season, does that diminish the value of the Redskins' defense?

Christopher Harris
  (3:54 PM)

Hi, Jack. Well, to be honest, I don't put much stock in the Redskins D with or without Haynesworth, not for this year. Maybe eventually they get things sorted out. But this unit has been plagued with a lack of being able to make big plays -- touchdowns or turnovers -- for years, and I don't know why that suddenly changes. I love Orakpo (Go Horns), but he's not enough for me to believe. So yeah, I mean, Haynesworth not being there doesn't help. But I already wasn't buying.

Joseph (DC)

How far did Matt Forte fall on your boards?

Christopher Harris
  (3:55 PM)

Hi, Joseph. I think I have him, um, maybe around 50-ish overall, so perhaps the beginning of the sixth round? (Sorry -- I don't have that newest list right in front of me. But I *am* going to be coming out with a new One-Man Mock Draft tomorrow morning....) I do consider Chester Taylor a threat to Forte's work; they're both really good receivers, something Martz likes to use.

Jim (Brooklyn)

What kind of numbers do you see for Shonn Greene? Is he going to be a good RB2 this year?

Christopher Harris
  (3:57 PM)

Hi, Jim. Man, if there's one guy whom the experts absolutely love to death, it's Greene. As I've said here a couple times today, I was in a few drafts this weekend (well, two drafts and one auction). I believe Greene went in the first round in both of the drafts, and was one of the 10-most-expensive RBs in the auction. People are really buying. Clearly, he's gotta be a full-time starter, get double-digit touchdowns and rack up 1,200 or 1,300 yards at least on the ground to justify that kind of drafting. I'm skeptical he's that good, or that he'll definitely stay healthy. I think Tomlinson and Joe McKnight are going to be annoyances to Greene's owners. I like him fine, but I don't think I'm going to own him in very many leagues this year.

Joseph (DC)

Taking the playoffs into consideration, would you reccommend avoiding players from upper tier teams?

Christopher Harris
  (3:58 PM)

Hi, Joseph. Well, it's a Catch-22, isn't it? The best players from the best teams are likeliest to be huge fantasy producers in the first place. But then, of course, you're right: if they wind up sitting at the end, they can kill you. The Colts are the only team who have consistently rested people in Weeks 15 and 16 over the past few seasons, so I can see an argument for downgrading those guys maybe just a notch in your draft ranks. No other teams fit that description, though.

Christopher Harris
  (3:58 PM)

Hi, Joseph. Well, it's a Catch-22, isn't it? The best players from the best teams are likeliest to be huge fantasy producers in the first place. But then, of course, you're right: if they wind up sitting at the end, they can kill you. The Colts are the only team who have consistently rested people in Weeks 15 and 16 over the past few seasons, so I can see an argument for downgrading those guys maybe just a notch in your draft ranks. No other teams fit that description, though.

Saul (Tampa Bay)

Remember Josh Freeman? I know, i had to think about who he was for a brief moment too! LOL What are you thoughts on him fantasy wise this year?

Christopher Harris
  (4:00 PM)

Hi, Saul. I like Freeman's career path, I really do. I think he has the "it" factor...charisma, physical tools, athletic ability. But I think he's in for another long year in '10. The offensive line never gelled the way I hoped it might a couple seasons ago, and it seems like they're kind of starting over at a couple of line spots. The RBs aren't exciting. And the WR corps has promise, but is so young. Winslow is the best fantasy player on this offense. I probably wouldn't want to own Freeman, except maybe in a 2QB league.

Christopher Harris
  (4:00 PM)

All right, gang. One more, and then I've got to get rolling.

Willy (FL)

Do B. Marshall make Henne a solid number 2 fantasy qb?

Christopher Harris
  (4:01 PM)

Hi, Willy. In a word: yes. I like Henne this year. I have him as a solid QB2, with some upside. Marshall definitely is the biggest factor in the upgrade -- you're talking about a receiver who can catch 90 passes in a season falling out of bed. That kind of production will help a ton, and frankly, I think Henne's physical tools get underrated. He's got a big-league arm. I think he'll be a nice bye-week option, at the very least, in '10.

Christopher Harris
  (4:03 PM)

OK, everyone. Thanks very much for coming. I wouldn't get to do this great job without all of your interest and support, and I want you to know I really do appreciate it. So thanks again. As I mentioned earlier, I have a baseball piece on the site right now, I'll have a new One-Man Mock up tomorrow, I'll be on ESPN News and the online Fantasy Focus show talking about baseball tomorrow, and you can friend me at Facebook if you like: Thanks again, and I'll see you soon.