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July 12, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Football w/Christopher Harris

Matt (Delaware)

Do you expect DeAgelo Williams to bounce back this season and be a top 10 back once again?

Christopher Harris
  (3:03 PM)

Hi, Matt. I don't have D-Willy in my top 10 right now, but that's obviously not for lack of talent. It's Jonathan Stewart who figures to steal much of the limelight; I think each of the Panthers backs are fantasy starters at this point. Williams's saving grace right now might be the fact that Stewart had more serious offseason surgery than he did, but still, I expect both of those guys to be ready to go.

Mike (Nashville)

Concerning VBD, which I've used with much success over the passed 3 years: You talk about using the "Top 100" method for a 10-team league. What baseline number would you use for 12, 14, and 16 team leagues?

Christopher Harris
  (3:04 PM)

Hi, Mike. It's a good question. Truthfully, I think I tend to take it to 10 rounds no matter what the league size. That would make the baseline player 120 for a 12-teamer, 140 for a 14-teamer, etc. Now, that can be a bit of a stretch once you're in a 16-teamer...clearly at that point, you *really* wind up accentuating WRs and RBs, and devaluing QBs. But I still think that's a pretty good neighborhood.

Matt ("Work")

Which of these 2 would you keep for this year? Malcolm Floyd or Derrick Ward.

Christopher Harris
  (3:05 PM)

Hi, Matt. Because Ward just didn't look good last year and I think that Tampa o-line still has some serious growing to do, I think I'm going Floyd. With Vincent Jackson out at least a few weeks (and possibly a lot longer than that), Floyd looks like the WR1 in San Diego at the moment (though we all know that Antonio Gates is the *real* top receiver in that offense).

Paul (MO)

Do you believe in TMR's Manifesto that you should try to take two receivers this year?

Christopher Harris
  (3:07 PM)

Hi, Paul. I assume you mean in the first two rounds? If that's the case, well, I don't believe in absolutes as far as positional advice goes. I focus my energy on coming up with a draft board I can live with, and then I draft based off of that. I wouldn't bypass a RB who's higher on my board just to get a WR because I'm "supposed to."

Scott (San Jose)

Do you believe Matt Schaub is capable of repeating last year's performance?

Christopher Harris
  (3:08 PM)

Hi, Scott. Absolutely. Don't see why not. There's a risk of getting too high on a guy who *has* has injury troubles in the past...he's gotten beaten up in two of the past three seasons and missed significant time. That said, I don't consider him injury prone. It won't be a shock at all to see him post a top-five season among QBs.

Kyle (Booneville)

Whats all the hype about Ryan Matthews for?

Christopher Harris
  (3:10 PM)

Hi, Kyle. There *is* a lot of hype. No question. And I can understand it to some extent: he's a talented all-around RB who gets a full-time job to himself (with Darren Sproles in a clear supporting role). That's attractive. But if you're implying that he's a bit overrated at this point, I think I agree with you. I think it's a mistake to say, "Oh, he's instantly LaDainian Tomlinson." He's not. He's got potential to be a very interesting fantasy player. But my opinion is that anyone taking him in the first round of a fantasy draft is reaching.

Brad (Pa)

Jamal charles is catching alot of earlt buzz right now. concerned that T. Jones (top 5 Rb performer in 2009) will be a serious vulture? Still feel top 20 performer??

Christopher Harris
  (3:15 PM)

Hi, Brad. You know, I do still like Charles. I think he's maybe a bit undervalued...I've got him well inside my top 20. I understand the worries, because Jones was great last year. It could absolutely bite Charles owners in the backside. And yet, having re-watched a lot of his games from last year, boy, if you put Chris Johnson in a Chiefs uni, I'm not sure he'd look much different.

Shaniqua Gibson (The Hood)

No Love for my boy Brandon Gibson?? BIG BIG sleeper this year.....agree?

Christopher Harris
  (3:15 PM)

Well, I guess not, no. He was a very nice story once he got traded from Philly last year. But I don't think he's a starter in that Rams offense. I like Laurent Robinson if I like any of those wideouts. But let's face it: relying on Sam Bradford to produce fantasy stars this year might be asking a bit much.

Erik (Minnesota)

If you had to draft 1 New England RB who would it be?

Christopher Harris
  (3:17 PM)

Hi, Erik. Ugh. Can I say none of them? I have Laurence Maroney rated the highest right now, but that's like being the best-tasting Brussels sprout. I think there's a real scenario in which Maroney barely sees the field because he wasn't very good last year, despite all the (very) short scores, and because he's a free agent after this season. Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris are still aboard, as is Kevin Faulk. It's a situation to avoid.

Jimmy (MD)

Why is L.McCoy not ranked higher? Isn't he is the same league as S.Greene? Both second year backs with starting gigs. McCoy could easily produce like a top 5 back in that offense.

Christopher Harris
  (3:19 PM)

Hi, Jimmy. Well, that's optimistic. I don't see Greene and McCoy as very similar: the former is a plow horse who looks like a bull between the tackles, the latter is a quick kid who wants to make you miss and probably is at his best in the passing game. I worry that Shady will lose short-yardage touches to Mike Bell (and maybe rookie Charles Scott), and that the Eagles frankly don't like to run all that much anyway. That said, McCoy is a very nice fit for the West Coast offense. If you wind up being right about him, you'll certainly get to draft him at a discount.

Jared (Charleston)

Thought on Austin? in mock drafts ive been taking Miles over WRs like roddy, calvin and marshall

Christopher Harris
  (3:21 PM)

Hi, Jared. I don't think ranking Austin that high is stupid by any means, though I have him just behind that trio of receivers. Dez Bryant will probably be a bit overhyped heading into the season (and I might be as guilty of that as anyone), but I do think that as the season wears on, he'll be a factor in that offense. And while Romo likes to hit Austin all over the field (his most effective area might be lining up in the slot), you know defenses are going to throw a lot of zones at him. I like Austin. Just not more than those three guys.

Jake (Eden Prairie, MN)

Hi Chris how are you doing this afternoon? I was wondering what your thoughts are on Dwayne Bowe and Jerome Harrison this season? It seems like everyone is down on them this season. What do you think? Over/under 1000 yards and 8TDs for Bowe and over/under 1200 total yards and 8 total TDs for Harrison?

Christopher Harris
  (3:25 PM)

Hi, Jake. I'm doing well, thanks. Hanging out in Amherst Coffee, chatting on a lovely summer day...what could be better? Anyway, I'm not huge on Bowe or Harrison this year, either. Bowe has a chance to be terrific based on his skills, but you worry that the knucklehead factor is high with him. He had all the chances in the world last year, and just kept spitting the bit. Plus you have to worry about that offensive line, too. As for Harrison, I just don't think the Browns view him as a full-time back; the good pub they've given Montario Hardesty this summer has been enormous. I think we're looking at under on both (but Bowe is probably closer to your numbers than Harrison).

Vince (NC)

Do you see Aroma living up to his pre-season sleeper hype? Do you like him better than Schilens?

Christopher Harris
  (3:26 PM)

Hi, Vince. I was aboard the bandwagon for Aromashodu about four months ago, and maybe I just had too much time to think about it, but I've started to worry that the Bears are going to split up their receiving gig to an annoying degree. I actually have Johnny Knox ranked a spot or two ahead of Aromashodu at the moment, mainly because Knox and Hester are the nominal starters at this point. Clearly, a third receiver in a Martz offense can be a fine fantasy option, but I'd feel more sanguine about Aroma if he was a starter.

Christopher Harris
  (3:26 PM)

(Oh, but I do still have him ahead of Schilens, who's a good sleeper, but has depth-chart battles of his own ahead.)

Anthony (NYC)

Hi, Chris with the Raiders finally getting a QB besides Zach Miller would Louis Murphy be the next best choice as a target for Campbell?

Christopher Harris
  (3:27 PM)

(Oh, but I do still have him ahead of Schilens, who's a good sleeper, but has depth-chart battles of his own ahead.)

Christopher Harris
  (3:28 PM)

Hi, Anthony. I have Schilens ahead of Murphy on my list right now, but it's kind of funny the extent to which the three top guys in that Raiders receiving corps are similar. They're all big, and they're all *really* fast. The worry there is, again, split job. But when he's been healthy (which wasn't much of last year), Schilens has shown that he's got the head and hands to be a No. 1.

Devin (Iowa)

Speaking of Austin...who do you think this years "Miles Austin" is if you had to guess?

Jack (Texas)

Out of the Greene,Mathews and Charles, who do you see having the better season in order please

Christopher Harris
  (3:33 PM)

Hi, Jack. My order for those three goes: Charles, Greene, Mathews.

Christopher Harris
  (3:33 PM)

Hi, Devin. Well, obviously, it's *very* difficult to say, "Hey, y'know this guy nobody's ever heard of? He's gonna be a top-five receiver this year." But I take your meaning. I'll go with Jacoby Jones, who unfortunately is starting to get hyped too much (I have my hand raised "guilty") and might go from sleeper to overrated before the season starts. But he's an interesting name. I actually have a "Moneyball Wideouts" article in the ESPN.com Fantasy Football Draft Kit that you should check out...it's got some more names....

Jared (Charleston)

As a flex would you rather have forsett of jahvid best?

Christopher Harris
  (3:35 PM)

Hi, Jared. I think Best gets by far a better chance at being a true No. 1 back in Detroit than Forsett will. And I think he's a more explosive (if more injury-prone) player, so he's my choice.

Briggs (Wor, PA)

14 team league, you're on the clock with the top pick. Who you got?

Christopher Harris
  (3:36 PM)

Hi, Briggs. As long as it's not a point-per-reception league, the league size doesn't matter to me: I'm taking Adrian Peterson. And I wrote a great big article explaining why for our Draft Kit...check it out, and see if you agree with my logic.

Bob F (Florida)

which combo would you prefer - A. Johnson and C. Benson or F. Gore and R. Wayne?

Christopher Harris
  (3:40 PM)

Hi, Bob. That's a very tough question, and I think it's pretty similar to what a lot of people picking in the middle of drafts this year are going to be asking themselves. I think I probably go Gore/Wayne, but it's very very close. I think I'm like 52-48 in favor of Gore/Wayne.

Cole (South Carolina)

Any love for Donald Brown? They drafted him to take over for addai right?

Christopher Harris
  (3:41 PM)

Hi, Cole. I have some love for Brown -- I called him a deep sleeper in our preview magazine (on newsstands now!). Addai is in a contract year, and is nothing resembling a breakaway runner. The problem was that Brown wasn't anything resembling a breakaway runner last year, either, plus battled a chest injury and was *awful* in pass protection. He has to earn some trust this year. I see a split job again, but yes, I would say the Colts do need to see what they have in Brown this year.

King (NC)

Would i be crazy to take Crabtree over ochicinco?

Christopher Harris
  (3:45 PM)

Hi, King. Crazy is a strong word. Can I imagine a scenario where Crabtree's native abilities take over, and turn Alex Smith into a star? Yes. I think Crabtree has the potential to be a star. But Vernon Davis is *already* a star, and I'm worried Crabtree may be a bit week-to-week inconsistent this year. I do have 85 higher this year, but I do have them within 10 of each other on my WR list.

keith (MI)

Hey Chris! Don't buy into the Jahvid Best Hype! You are better than that. First off he's a rookie, second he is injury prone. Looks nothing more than a average flex play at "best" (get it lol) right?

Christopher Harris
  (3:47 PM)

Hi, Keith. Spoken like a true Lions fan! (Just kidding.) Yeah, I hear you. I wasn't really on board with Best when we first started considering him this winter, but as minicamps went forward, boy, Detroit really fell in love with him, and Kevin Smith's injury came into focus. I think the opportunity will be there, and that he'll produce some big games. By the same token: you're absolutely right...he's a *huge* injury risk.

Nolan (NC)

Would I be crazy to take Brandon Jacobs in the 3rd round? He is not that old and will be 100 healthy this year...

Christopher Harris
  (3:50 PM)

Hi, Nolan. Again, "crazy" is a strong word. I probably wouldn't take him that high. Sure, he's 100 percent healthy *now*, but I find it hard to believe he's going to buck the trend and be that healthy going forward. He's so big and such an upright runner, that he really does take shots. In a 10-teamer, I'm a lot happier taking Jacobs in the 5th or 6th.

Christopher Harris
  (3:50 PM)

Hi, Nolan. Again, "crazy" is a strong word. I probably wouldn't take him that high. Sure, he's 100 percent healthy *now*, but I find it hard to believe he's going to buck the trend and be that healthy going forward. He's so big and such an upright runner, that he really does take shots. In a 10-teamer, I'm a lot happier taking Jacobs in the 5th or 6th.

Christopher Harris
  (3:50 PM)

Hi, Nolan. Again, "crazy" is a strong word. I probably wouldn't take him that high. Sure, he's 100 percent healthy *now*, but I find it hard to believe he's going to buck the trend and be that healthy going forward. He's so big and such an upright runner, that he really does take shots. In a 10-teamer, I'm a lot happier taking Jacobs in the 5th or 6th.

Jack (SD)

Are you concerned with Phillip Rivers this season if he is without Vincent Jackson? Gates, Matthews, and Floyd can hold down the fort, right?

Christopher Harris
  (3:51 PM)

Hi, Jack. Well, yeah, I think there's reason to at least look twice at the situation. Floyd and Naanee are big guys who can scoot, but Rivers and Jackson have great chemistry on the deep ball, chemistry that I can't promise will be there with the other guys. That said, I haven't downgraded Rivers yet, because I do think those Chargers weapons are still pretty strong.

Darius (newark)

Choose one RYAN! The boring Ryan Grant or the unknown Ryan Matthews?

Christopher Harris
  (3:52 PM)

Hi, Darius. Ha. Call me boring. As I said earlier, I'm wary of the Mathews hype...I like him, but don't love love love him, and I would probably take the consistent Grant first. But you're absolutely right: Mathews has by *far* the better upside.

Ryan (Wilton NY)

I have Aaron Rodgers as a keeper....any reason to over value Greg Jennings to get the combo?

Christopher Harris
  (3:53 PM)

Hi, Ryan. That's a good question, and it gets to whether you prefer to double up QBs and WRs from the same team. I, myself, prefer not to, other things being equal. Obviously, you can get some great games when both guys hit, but the fallow times can be *really* fallow. So I guess that means no, I probably wouldn't reach to get Jennings. But I do like Jennings to bounce back this season.

Pete (SC)

I've been taking Best over ronnie brown/ ricky,Felix, matt forte and brandon jacobs. Am i crazy for doing that? and if im reaching too far, who would be the best pick btw those backs

Christopher Harris
  (3:55 PM)

Hi, Pete. I have Felix Jones and Ronnie Brown a couple spots ahead of Best, but they're close enough that I don't feel militant about it. I think I pretty much explained my hopes and fears when it comes to Best...he'll make you look really smart for a while, but injuries are a big concern.

Mike (Chicago)

I you were paticipating in the first year of a Dynasty League with an Auction Draft, what would your strategy be heading into the draft? Thanks.

Christopher Harris
  (3:57 PM)

Hi, Mike. With dynasty leagues, I tend to think 50 percent this year, and 50 percent future. And in fact, I did a keeper-league list for our preview magazine, and I *believe* those ranks also found their way into the Draft Kit. As for auction strategies, well, as much as I love value, I almost always find myself taking a couple big producers early in auctions and then crossing my fingers. To some extent, fantasy football auctions are an arms race: everyone's going to get a $XX running back, a $XX quarterback, a $XX wide receiver...and you need to try and be safe with those big-ticket guys. After that, it's a matter of doing the value thing.

ROBERT (BOSTON)

Is Felix Jones a solid RB3? Thanks

Christopher Harris
  (3:57 PM)

Hi, Robert. In short, yes. I actually have Jones as my No. 21 running back right now, which means if he's your No. 3 RB, he's among the best at that level, in my opinion.

John Madden (On the Bus)

If Farve comes back, can you make a arguement for Sidney Rice being a 2nd round pick?

Christopher Harris
  (3:58 PM)

Well, based on last season, you absolutely can make an argument. I think Rice probably takes a *small* step back, simply because there are a lot of weapons in Minny, including a one-year-older Percy Harvin and a healthier Bernard Berrian. I think he's more a 3rd or 4th rounder with Favre in tow.

Kameron (Dallas)

Any chance of a drop off year for Miles Austin? I know he had a good year but should somebody REALLY draft him before Larry Fitzgerald?

Christopher Harris
  (3:59 PM)

Hi, Kameron. Yes, I think a dropoff is possible. I don't think he completely disappears, because the Cowboys are heavily invested in seeing him succeed. He's a great weapon. But that's an offense with a *lot* of weapons, and Romo needs to survive the transition to Doug Free guarding his blind side. I don't have Austin ahead of Fitzgerald. I don't think Austin's as good a player, is all.

Weston (the 909, CA)

I have two keeper slots available to me, and my first one is undoubtedly going to Steven Jackson. Since I'm using one slot for an elite RB, is it more advantageous for me to use the second slot for a Miles Austin, or should I stick by the rankings and use it on a Rashard Mendenhall, Shonn Greene, or DeAngelo Williams? And yes, I have all those players. Thanks!

Christopher Harris
  (4:01 PM)

Hi, Weston. Well, it's tough for me to be absolute...you know your league a lot better than I do. I would tend to err on the side of following the ranks and going with one of those RBs (think hard on Mendenhall, though, given the Steelers' loss of Willie Colon at right tackle), under the assumption that more elite RBs are going to be kept in your league than elite WRs. However, if that assumption is wrong, then I might reconsider.

Will (wv)

Can't find those keeper ranks, could we get a link before you head out?

Christopher Harris
  (4:03 PM)

Hi, Will. I just took a good look, and I don't see 'em either. I'll try and get the editors to post them this afternoon. (They are in the mag, I can definitely confirm.)

Christopher Harris
  (4:04 PM)

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

Gary Kubiak (Houston)

Chris you seem like a smart football dude. Who should I start in the backfield this year? The Fantasy nerds are pulling for Ben Tate..

Christopher Harris
  (4:05 PM)

Ha. Here's hoping Gary Kubiak has better things to do with his time. Yeah, I can understand why the fantasy folk would prefer Tate in a clear-cut situation. But at the moment, I think it's a muddle. Certainly in camp, the GM's office is going to hope Tate distinguishes himself, as they've committed a chunk of money to him. But right now Arian Foster leads the group, if only because Tate's injured hammy limited him in minicamps. My money is still on Tate leading the team in carries by season's end. But unfortunately, I don't think we're going to get a perfectly clear week-to-week situation there.

Christopher Harris
  (4:06 PM)

OK, everyone. Thanks very much for the lively hour of chat. I will go check on those keeper ranks. Also, if you want to friend me on Facebook to get updates and ask questions, you can do so at: http://www.facebook.com/writerboy. In addition, the Magazine is sponsoring a contest in which you can win a telephone consultation with me in advance of your fantasy football draft. Go to http://espn.go.com/helpmeharris for details. And thanks again for coming. See you soon.