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July 26, 3:00 PM ET
Fantasy Football w/Christopher Harris

Christopher Harris
  (2:46 PM)

Hi, everyone. I'll get going a little early here on a Monday afternoon, and start by reminding you that in addition to Facebook, where a lot of you are already Friends of mine, I've also now been on Twitter for exactly one week. Whee! You can follow me at: http://www.twitter.com/thewriterboy. (And Facebook-wise, I'm at http://www.facebook.com/writerboy.) Let's get to your questions on this sunny Monday afternoon....

Wes Welker (New England)

A lot of newspapers report that I am becoming more and more likely to start in week 1. How would you rate me, if you were drafting tomorrow?

Christopher Harris
  (2:48 PM)

I would be scared to death, basically. I think the Welker story is terrific, but I just don't know how much of it to believe. We know how the Patriots operate -- they aren't on the level when it comes to injuries. There are already conflicting reports that Welker will be ready to go to start camp (if he is, that would make him ineligible to start the season on the PUP list). I'm still staying away, because I know in most leagues, there will be at least one person willing to draft him as though he didn't get hurt. And that'll be too high for my blood. I mean, if I could get him in the 10th, I'd do it. But I'm sure I won't be able to.

Joe (Miami)

Help! Draft this Thursday. Would you go Brees at pick 5 assuming nothing crazy happens in the first 4 picks? I get 6 pts per passing TD and it's PPR. Thanks.

Christopher Harris
  (2:50 PM)

Hi, Joe. I don't hate that. Clearly that's a QB-heavy league, so grabbing an elite one is never a bad idea. I also don't hate Andre Johnson in that spot, though. He's going to catch 90-100 balls if he's healthy, plus produce touchdowns. Gun to my head, not knowing the vagaries of how your league tends to value players, I'd probably go AJ. But if QBs are at an ultimate premium, I'm fine with Brees (or Rodgers, if that's someone's preference instead) in that spot in this format.

Mike (South Florida)

Is Ryan Mathews a guy to reach for & when do you forsee him going off the board? Also, I am really diggin' Romo's chances for a HUGE year. Can you dig it?

Christopher Harris
  (2:52 PM)

Hi, Mike. Mathews has been a much-discussed player in these chats this year. He's another guy who's probably going to get drafted before I want to take him in most drafts this year. I know Norv has made all sorts of noise about Mathews taking right over for LT, but Darren Sproles is a legit threat, and with Marcus McNeill out, there are real questions about the o-line. Right now Mathews is No. 25 on my overall list -- way later than he's going to go in most leagues. As for Romo -- all that really stands between him and a big year is Doug Free...the Cowboys need to protect Romo with Flozell Adams gone, and if they do, I agree -- top-five season.

Ryan (Hanover,PA)

Chris, how do you adjust your rankings if your league awards 6pts for passing TD's? Shouldn't you make it a point to grab a top 5 QB?

Christopher Harris
  (2:55 PM)

Hi, Ryan. It's a great question, and as I hinted at in an earlier answer, I don't have a definitive answer. Often times in fantasy drafts, perception is reality -- if everyone in your league *feels* this way, then it becomes true...if everyone's grabbing an elite QB right away, well, that kind of puts the onus on you to make sure you get one. That said, if I look at the fantasy-point distribution of QBs, whether they're given 3, 4 or 6 points per TD pass, the distribution *still* isn't particularly scattered (in other words, the rising tide lifts all boats). So in theory, that would mean you don't need to be any more urgent to grab a QB...and therefore my ranks wouldn't change that much. But as I say, if your league goes QB-crazy and the top, say, 13 guys are gone in the first three rounds, well, you'd certainly need to adjust your strategy for that contingency.

Mike (SC)

Bigger year - Crabtree or Hakeem Nicks?

Christopher Harris
  (2:57 PM)

Hi, Mike. I have Nicks No. 52 and Crabtree No. 55 on my board right now, so obviously I think they're pretty darned close. I trust Eli Manning more than I do Alex Smith at this point, though it can certainly be argued that Crabtree has the field a bit more "to himself" in terms of receptions on his team than Nicks does (since Nicks has to compete with Manningham and, to a lesser degree, Steve Smith). I'd like to see how the Giants start divvying targets between Nicks and Manningham in camp and early in preseason games, but assume he's a starter, I like Nicks just a bit more.

Jake The Snake (Rhode Island)

Picking 10th in a 12 team snake draft. I have been mocking for weeks and all signs lead me to Randy Moss or Aaron Rodgers being available there. Will Rodgers really have THAT much more value than say Flaco or another later round QB pick? VBD says no but your thoughts?

Christopher Harris
  (3:00 PM)

Hi, Jake. Yeah, you nailed it -- the principles of VBD (value-based drafting, about which I wrote a long piece earlier this month...you can search ESPN.com for my name and pick it up pretty easily) exist partly to smooth out the big raw points advantages even mediocre QBs have over more elite RBs and WRs. It crystalizes what a lot of us have always thought...which is that it makes sense to wait on a QB. That said, I do think Rodgers has about as much value as Moss, even VBD-wise. In my personal ranks, I have Moss higher. But Rodgers does seem to have a baseline "non-bust" security that can be hard to come by...he's probably going to be pretty good, unless he gets hurt. Moss is a flake, and might not. I would probably take Moss. But I can hear arguments the other way 'round.

Andre (LA)

Who you taking, Matt Forte or Felix Jones?

Christopher Harris
  (3:01 PM)

Hi, Andre -- I like Felix Jones perhaps a round earlier. No question, each guy has playing-time questions...and Marion Barber is probably a better player at this stage in his career than Chester Taylor is. That said, I like the Dallas offense way better than I do the Bears', and I think Jones has a chance to be a breakout star if he can stay healthy.

sean (oaktown)

Why are people so high on Matt Stafford ?? I don;t see much difference b/t him and the Cassell, Leinhart, Henne types.

Christopher Harris
  (3:03 PM)

Hi, Sean. Yeah, I tend to be on your side here. I think Stafford has a long way to go to prove he's not a big-armed-but-highly-inaccurate player. I think the reason people are excited are: (a) he's got amazing physical tools; (b) the Lions let him throw like crazy last year before he got hurt. If he were to suddenly become a 60 percent passer? He'd be intriguing. But will he? I have my doubts. I'm not viewing him as anything close to a fantasy starter, not yet.

Jason (MI)

Would I be crazy If I took Brees instead of Ray Rice? I have the fourth pick in my draft...

Christopher Harris
  (3:05 PM)

Hi, Jason. It seems like I answer a bunch of "would I be crazy" questions every week, and the person has suggested a completely not-crazy thing. I don't think it would be crazy at all. I have Rice rated higher. But I understand why there are some doubts. Willis McGahee is still around. The Ravens may throw it to their improved receiving corps more. And Brees would figure to be money in the bank. That said, I think Rice's upside, value-wise, is higher, and that's why I'd take him. But Jason, you wouldn't be crazy at all...these are all matters of opinion, and that's one that's certainly within the margin of error.

Casey Durkin (Baltimore)

I LOVE Jabar Gaffney off of the waiver wires. You?

Christopher Harris
  (3:07 PM)

Hi, Casey. "Love" is a *very* strong word. Right now, he looks like a starter, and maybe even the WR1 for the Broncos in Week 1. But I just have a question about how much that's really worth. Kyle Orton? Feh. That offense line? Hurt, with interior questions. And Gaffney's talent just isn't all that game-breaking. I have a hard time seeing him cracking fantasy lineups very frequently, even if he's owned in a bunch of leagues.

Jared (Charleston)

OOHHHHH YAAAAA! Fantasy FOOTBALL is almost here!Keeper decison: Charles or Greene

Christopher Harris
  (3:08 PM)

Hi, Jared. I hear you, though for me, it feels like the football season barely ended. (Which is just the way I like it.) I think I'm in the minority, but I prefer Charles. As I say every week, I just think Charles is a great blend of opportunity and game-breaking skills. It's not like it's a slam dunk for me (those two players are within four of one another in my overall ranks), but I'm all-in on Charles.

luke (chicago)

Matt Forte is a huge sleeper right? People forget he was a ROOKIE two years ago. And Taylor is 33 or something? How can people not want to draft matt?

Christopher Harris
  (3:10 PM)

Hi, Luke. I know that's something of a rhetorical question, but I can probably answer it for you anyway. People can not like Forte because he wasn't very good last year (albeit in a season where he was limited to some degree by a leg injury), and because his offensive line just doesn't look improved at all, and because Mike Martz isn't someone who doggedly sticks with the run. Taylor isn't a great player, but he's good in space, and can be a drain on the receptions that Forte will need to keep pace with other RBs, since his carry total in a Martz system is likely to be lower. I agree he's got sleeper potential. There's an X% chance he's suddenly a top-five player again. But there's also an X% chance he stays completely off the map. And that's scary.

Jacob (MI)

How do you feel about Carolina's offense?

Christopher Harris
  (3:11 PM)

Hi, Jacob. I feel like it's going to be mostly very conservative, focused on the run behind what was, two years ago, perhaps the game's best offensive line. I'm not sure that's true any longer, as the tackles struggled with injury/ineffectiveness at times last season, but still the strength here is DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. Steve Smith will get a bunch of targets, but he'll probably frustrate on a week-to-week basis because of the QB and because there still isn't a good threat opposite him. I see Peter King tweeting like crazy that he likes the Panthers as a sleeper team. I think he's nuts. I think that team has 6-10 possibilities.

Jerry (Arkansas)

Who do you like more Roddy White or Miles Austin? Call me crazy but I think Roddy's breakaway speed puts him over the top...

Christopher Harris
  (3:12 PM)

Hi, Jerry. Well, I, too, have White a few spots higher in my ranks, though it's close. (Austin has to deal with the SI cover jinx, too!) For me, I think the danger in Austin might just come down to Dez Bryant. He's not going to be an every-week fantasy starter, but I do think he's going to start for the Cowboys within the season's first month. Austin will get his, but I think White will get *more*.

Ricky (Pensicola, FL)

Do you agree with Barry about the BIG drop off of qb production after the top 6 or so? I don't think I will feel good about having Cutler as my qb1.

Christopher Harris
  (3:15 PM)

Hi, Ricky. I assume you mean Matthew Berry. Do I believe you have to get one of the top six quarterbacks? I do not. First of all, I'm not sure we can accurately predict exactly who the top six QBs are. In fact, I'm sure we *can't*. We never do. Things change. Someone will get hurt. The numbers say that there just isn't a huge gap between the QBs who wind up in the 3-6 range, and those who wind up in the 7-12 range. Now, can I promise you I know who will wind up in which range? I cannot. But I don't think you need to reach and get, say, Tom Brady, not if you have a better player available when you're drafting in the, oh, third round. Would I feel great about having Cutler as a no-matter-what fantasy starter? No. But if I had Cutler and Joe Flacco, would I believe that eventually one of those guys would assert themselves and become a reliable starter? Yup.

Nathan (Minn. )

Is Reggie Wayne still a surefire 2nd Rounder?

Christopher Harris
  (3:16 PM)

Hi, Nathan. I think so. He led the league in targets inside the 5 yard line last year, which obviously places him in great position to be a TD threat. I've got him No. 13 overall at the moment.

Bill ((PA))

Where does T.O. fit best? Cincy, St.Louie, or one of the secret teams that we are not privy to yet?

Christopher Harris
  (3:17 PM)

Hi, Bill. Well, for his fantasy value, he's probably best off someplace like St. Louis, where he can lead the team in targets and rack up a few OK games, like he did in Buffalo last year. In terms of where he makes the most impact? I don't really think he *does* make a big impact. He's not washed up. He can beat mediocre one-on-one coverage when teams defend him that way. But he's not the freight train he used to be, and his bad concentration skills have caught up with him. I think it's a lot of noise over nothing.

Keith (Dallas)

Did you hear Dez didn't participate in Rooking Hazing by NOT picking up Roy William's pads after practice?

Christopher Harris
  (3:19 PM)

Hi, Keith. I did. Yeah, I mean, I'm a big Dez Bryant fan in terms of his skills. He's a beast in the open field, better than Crabtree his last year in college. The shoulder pads thing will get beaten to death (who knows who told him to do it, if anyone...maybe his p.r. guy), but the real question is going to come down to Williams. If he performs early this season the way he did early last season, that guy is going to sit.

Scott (San Jose)

I took Miles Austin in the 2nd round (19th overall) of a 10 team mock draft. Is that about where he should be drafted?

Christopher Harris
  (3:21 PM)

Hi, Scott. That's a *little* high for me, but I don't hate it. If Brandon Marshall were there, I might grab him at that spot. Jamaal Charles, Shonn Greene, Roddy White...those guys are ahead of Austin on my list. But when it comes down to it, it's hubris to say I know exactly what's going to happen this year. Austin is a great talent. I don't think it's a bad idea to own him, and if this is where you were picking, rock on.

Charlie W (NY)

How much value do you put into reports and coaches comments in late July? I don't think the coaches even know who their starters are right now...

Christopher Harris
  (3:22 PM)

Hi, Charlie. Agreed. Now, there are certain kinds of comments that carry weight. Mostly negative ones. When a coach waxes rhapsodic (and a writer then parrots it in the paper), I pretty much ignore it. Remember when Tomlinson was going to lead the league in rushing according to Norv Turner at this time last year? But when someone is negative on a guy, it's worth pricking up your ears, if only to see if/when the player responds.

Jeff (ME)

Have you watched the latest episode of As The World of Vincent Jackson Turns? Do you see the Chargers breaking and offering him a deal before pre-season?

Christopher Harris
  (3:22 PM)

Hi, Jeff. I don't, because of the suspension. He has no incentive to give an inch until he's eligible to play, and the Chargers will use the first month to see what they have in their remaining guys, including Malcom Floyd cast as a No. 1. If the Chargers pass offense struggles in those first few games, that's when the team will get motivated to deal.

Chuck (Texas)

We often label RB's as injury prone, but aren't all RB's injury prone. You're lucky if you starting back dosen't miss a game or two now a days right?

Christopher Harris
  (3:23 PM)

Hi, Chuck. Absolutely. Now, there are guys whose running styles subject them to more punishment (hello, Brandon Jacobs!), and it's worth noting those players. But yes, absolutely, that's the most violent position in major American sports, and it's very tough to say anyone is a "lock."

Hank (Philly)

With about 9 RB's in Philly how can anyone feel good about drafting McCoy? Even if he gets the snaps, more than likely he is not toting the pigskin when they get in red zone.

Christopher Harris
  (3:25 PM)

Hi, Hank. You're right -- I wouldn't consider McCoy a lock at all to get close-in carries. Guys like Mike Bell and rookie Charles Scott are the ones to watch there. But McCoy can do enough else in the West Coast offense that he's still a legit RB2 in fantasy...and in a PPR he's even more valuable. I don't expect him to notch double-digit touchdowns, but 1,800-plus yards from scrimmage isn't at all out of reach.

Jared (NY)

What do you expect from Malcolm Floyd? Everyone in my league likes him this year and I really want him. Do you think it is crazy to take him as early as the 7th round?

Christopher Harris
  (3:26 PM)

Hi, Jared. Well, that's early. The truth that we all know is with Vincent Jackson out, Antonio Gates is the top receiver in that offense, and Darren Sproles might actually be No. 2. Might Floyd work his way into the Vincent Jackson role? He might. But I can also envision a scenario where Legadu Naanee asserts himself. I have Floyd more as an 11th or 12th rounder.

Bruce (Nashville)

Should I keep Turner and lose a 2nd round pick or should I keep Austin and lose a 9th round pick? Already keeping Greene and losing a 10th....

Christopher Harris
  (3:27 PM)

Hi, Bruce. I'd go with the latter, unless every top RB is being kept...Turner is great value in the 2nd, especially if all the elite backs are gone. But Austin in the 9th is obviously even better value. So it comes down to what kind of RB you think you'll be able to get in the first round after all players are kept.

Joey (Baltimore)

Any news on Sims-Walker? Can he finsih the year as a top 15 WR?

Christopher Harris
  (3:28 PM)

Hi, Joey. Can he? Absolutely. I have him at No. 17 right now, so obviously I consider it borderline. The Jags are casting around for a threat opposite him...right now it's looking like Mike Thomas, but Jarrett Dillard also might make a bid (and he's got better size than Thomas). Troy Williamson seems out of it, so don't draft him as a sleeper. MSW's downside are the leg injuries that have dogged him for years...without those worries, he'd be higher on my list.

JJ (Boston)

What are your thoughts on Anthony Gonzalez this season? Many have forgotten about him, but he does face stiff competition in Garcon and Collie. Do like him over guys like Schilens, Aroma, Laurent, or Berrian?

Christopher Harris
  (3:30 PM)

Hi, J.J. Yeah, there have been very conflicting reports about ol' A-Gonz...some have questioned how healthy he'll really be to start the year, some have claimed he has no shot to be an outside receiver again and the best he'll do is battle Collie for looks in the slot, and some have said the sky's the limit once again. I tend to believe the second of those three statements. If Garcon is healthy and can cure his dropsies, he's a better outside threat. Thus I'm not very high on Gonzo, and those other guys are a lot higher on my list. That said, someone like Laurent Robinson will see his potential value crash and burn if TO signs with the Rams.

Will (Houston)

Lots of buzz about Devin Aromashodu. He isn't even listed as a starter. Not sure how to value this guy. Does he get the starting gig?

Christopher Harris
  (3:32 PM)

Hi, Will. Yeah, it's funny, when guys like Aromashodu get hyped in, like, February, there's an inevitable backlash when reality catches up to the hype. The truth is that anyone who says he knows exactly how the Bears WR situation will play out is lying. Will Aromashodu really be third on the totem pole when the season starts? Dunno. I like him better than Devin Hester. I think he and Johnny Knox make a better, more varied combo. And the truth is, in a Martz offense, you can get value out of three different receivers. At the moment, Knox is my favorite of this group, and Hester is my least favorite.

Tim (NJ)

I am taking Andre Johnson first round, and I might have the chance to get Schaub in the 5th. Is it a good idea or bad idea to have that combo on your team?

Christopher Harris
  (3:34 PM)

Hi, Tim. I'm less concerned about owning a QB/WR combo than I am about a QB/RB or RB/WR combo, for obvious reasons: QBs and WRs complement one another, whereas the other positions are, loosely put, in competition with one another. That said, on down days for Schaub, you *know* you're getting nothing from AJ. If it's an elite QB/WR combo like this, though, the good days should outweigh the bad by a lot, which is why I'm fine with doing it this way.

Joe (NYC)

I know the Jets are defense first, run second, field goal third - but how much higher should Sanchez be considered relative to last year?

Christopher Harris
  (3:35 PM)

Hi, Joe. Well put. That's exactly why I don't trust Sanchez as a fantasy QB this year. I gave a bit of a screed earlier in this chat about Stafford, and frankly everything I said about him also applies to Sanchez, except the Jets *won't* let Sanchez throw like crazy, which will mean his highs won't be as high as Stafford's, while his lows will be just as low. Sanchez will no doubt be better this year (he was plain awful for much of his rookie campaign, before the two playoff games where he played well). I just don't think he gets enough opportunity to be fantasy-viable yet.

Al (Flo)

If i was taking a QB in the late rounds to be my started who would select A. Smith, Kolb or E. Manning, the reason i put smith with those names is cause they have a easy schedule. plz help

Christopher Harris
  (3:36 PM)

Hi, Al. I'd take Eli, because he threw for 4,000 yards last year and I don't see that the Giants will be able to impose their will with a running game like they probably want to. As for strength of schedule...I have to admit, I'm not looking at that at *all* right now. The NFL changes so dramatically from year to year. I think it's hubris to say that you know which are the good teams....

Jared (Charleston)

Thoughts on Edelman?

Christopher Harris
  (3:38 PM)

Hi, Jared. My thoughts are that he probably has next to no value if Welker is as close to playing as some people are reporting. I think it's a good bet that Edelman will play the slot and be a medium producer if/when Welker is out, but I don't think he's a 1-for-1 replacement for Welker, fantasy-production-wise. Frankly, I don't think any single Pats receiver will become a fantasy starter if Welker's out. I don't buy Torry Holt. Maybe Brandon Tate comes from nowhere. But I think the "usual suspect" will change from week to week. That's just how the Pats roll.

Spencer Hartley (Michigan)

Do you see montario hardesty earning the starting job week 1 or if not when?

Christopher Harris
  (3:40 PM)

Hi, Spencer. I'm not sure there *is* a No. 1 back in Cleveland. I know the Browns' coaches have been very happy with Hardesty, and he just signed his contract, ensuring that he'll be in camp from the beginning. And of course, Jerome Harrison is peeved about his contract. But that'll probably resolve itself. I think it's a RBBC. *If* Harrison holds out and we can convince ourselves Hardesty is a true starter? I think he's a top 20 back.

Bryce (NYC)

What do you think about Brandon Jacobs? I know that he has injuries in the past and I really want to draft him this year but I'm just not really sure on his value right now. Any advice?

Christopher Harris
  (3:41 PM)

Hi, Bryce. Jacobs has a couple things working against him. First, his running style is so upright, he winds up taking big hits, especially to his legs. So he really is an every-year injury risk, even more than your average back. And I'm not sold on the Giants o-line anymore, which got old pretty quickly. I have Jacobs at No. 60 overall. But if you really like the guy, and want to believe he can recapture his goal-line magic from a couple years ago, I don't hate reaching for him a bit earlier than that.

tim (maine)

thoughts on MJD please

Christopher Harris
  (3:43 PM)

Hi, Tim. My thoughts are: he's good. Barring injury, I don't see how he doesn't provide very solid week-to-week value. The Jags o-line is young and improving, and that coaching staff knows it could be in trouble if it doesn't perform well this year...Del Rio is a blood-and-guts guy who wants to run and knows where his bread is buttered. MJD does everything you want a back to do...he's a great short-yardage guy, and he catches it superbly. He's No. 3 on my board.

Andrew (Chicago, IL)

Mr. Harris! Your columns of late have been fantastic. Keep up the solid work. I purposely waited in my 12-team draft to get a QB. Suddenly, I found that my best option was Kevin Kolb, so I took him. The rest of my lineup is really good (MJD, Turner, Forte, Carolina S. Smith, Marshall). How patient am I going to have to be with him, or do you think he'll do well right out of the gate?

Christopher Harris
  (3:44 PM)

Thanks, Andrew. I really appreciate the kind words. I agree...I think your team looks pretty darned strong for a 12-teamer. How patient you can be is, of course, a personal decision. Hopefully you grabbed a decent QB2 with some upside. I think Kolb has a good chance to tickle the top 10 among fantasy QBs this year...he's a nice match for Andy Reid, skills-wise (probably better than Donovan McNabb was, in terms of accuracy). But of course, Kolb hasn't really proven anything. I'm OK with him as a 12-team league starter. I just want to have a Chad Henne or someone like that in reserve....

Mike (DC)

Charles or Moreno? For this year and keeper.

Christopher Harris
  (3:45 PM)

Hi, Mike. I like Charles. I'd probably put him higher than Moreno in both contexts at the moment.

Arnold (Sarasota)

Will you be doing a top 200 going forward list this year, on a weekly basis? This would be more helpful than the big rotowski, for making trades, which ranks players by position only.

Christopher Harris
  (3:46 PM)

Hi, Arnold. It's a good question -- and the answer is that I'm not sure. My tasks for the football season are still up in the air, and being worked out over the next month. The only thing I know for sure is that I'll still be doing the Breakdown...outside of that, I'm not positive what else I'll be doing. As for whether it could be a top 200 list, you do have a good point, but there are lots of folks who prefer deeper positional lists. I'll throw it in the hopper, and see what the powers that be think....

Dan (Toronto)

What are your thoughts on Vince Young this year? I have him in a 2 QB 10 team league. Did I wait too long on a second quarterback to end up with him?

Christopher Harris
  (3:47 PM)

Hi, Dan. I don't think so. Young has good upside because of what he can do with his legs. You can't count on running stats with him, really, but they are a nice bonus. He's No. 17 on my QB list, because I still don't trust his accuracy and the Titans figure to be a run-first team, as always. But I think he's a legit starter in a two-QB league.

Casey Durkin (Baltimore)

I think Peyton boosts his stats this year. Less running, more throwing to the young legs at WR. Agree?

Christopher Harris
  (3:48 PM)

Oh, I dunno. The Colts had a higher pass/run mix than any team in the league last year. I think we'll all be happy if they stick with that same rate in '10.

Spencer (East Lansing, Michigan)

Can you see Greg Jennings emerge as a top 5 wr?

Christopher Harris
  (3:49 PM)

Hi, Spencer. Sure, it's possible, especially if Donald Driver's knees remain an issue. I have Driver on bust alert right now, because I think his knees are an underreported story, and Jennings would be a clear No. 1 target with Driver out of the picture (or limited). Realize, though, that the top five is *truly* rarefied air when it comes to wideouts. I think it's safer to say Jennings's upside is as a top-10 guy.

Matt (Granbury, TX)

What do you do when you have someone rated way higher than you figure he'll go? Take him at that spot anyway, or pass on him for at least a round and hold your breath that nobody else rates him so high?

Christopher Harris
  (3:51 PM)

Hi, Matt. Great question. I think it's a mix of both. Sometimes it comes down to whether I'm picking toward the ends and beginnings of rounds, so that I have picks that are very close together, or if I'm picking in the middles of rounds, where I have to wait a tortuously long time before my next selection. In general, I want to err on the side of following my board, because I want to get the guys I want. But of course there are limits to this theory. I've said how much I like Jamaal Charles. But I'm not taking him in the first round, even though I think he might actually provide first-round value.

Christopher Harris
  (3:51 PM)

Hi, Matt. Great question. I think it's a mix of both. Sometimes it comes down to whether I'm picking toward the ends and beginnings of rounds, so that I have picks that are very close together, or if I'm picking in the middles of rounds, where I have to wait a tortuously long time before my next selection. In general, I want to err on the side of following my board, because I want to get the guys I want. But of course there are limits to this theory. I've said how much I like Jamaal Charles. But I'm not taking him in the first round, even though I think he might actually provide first-round value.

Beanie (Ariz)

Hi Chris. My stats for this season will be...( ) total yds ( ) tds

Christopher Harris
  (3:53 PM)

I'll go with 1,300 total yards and 11 touchdowns. I'm very high on Beanie (obviously, with those numbers), but I have to admit he's not much of a threat to be a pass receiver, not with Hightower still around. There's obviously concern that Hightower retains the short-yardage role, at which he excels. But boy, if Beanie is anything this year like he was in the final month of '09, he could be scary.

Mike (St.Paul,MN)

Couple older guys with $5 cap hits on a $100 cap. H.Ward and D.Driver. Worth keeping or toss them back?

Christopher Harris
  (3:55 PM)

Hi, Mike. Very tough to be definitive on auction values if I'm not in the league, because you have a much better sense of what this type of player goes far than I ever could. But I like Ward better than Driver right now. As I just mentioned in an earlier answer, Driver's knees are suspect, making him as much of an injury risk as Ward ever is. And I think the Steelers passing game is being overly discounted because of Big Ben's suspension. When he's back, I'm assuming he continues to be a *very* good player, basically as good a passer as Aaron Rodgers. I think Ward has a more prominent role in his offense that Driver will have in his.

john (ny)

Hey Chris...what do you expect from Mike Wallace this season?

Christopher Harris
  (3:56 PM)

Hi, John. That dovetails nicely with my last answer. I like Wallace. He's just outside my top 20 receivers. Ward is a drain, no question, but Wallace had the highest YPC in the league last year among qualifiers, and makes a home-run threat. Now he's a clear starter. I know there will be some frustrating days for a player like this...some days where he catches 4 passes for 21 yards. that's why he's not a WR1. But he'll also produce some biggies, in my opinion.

Jacob Kiniry (massachusettes)

Is Santana Moss going to miss nay time this season with this balco thing going? HGH

Christopher Harris
  (3:58 PM)

Hi, Jacob. I don't think we really know yet. So far it's sounded like the investigation is still in relatively early stags, and I recall that the BALCO stuff took quite a while to work up through the courts to the point where people were in danger of being indicted, etc. Then again, the NFL hasn't hesitated to read the handwriting on the wall and suspend guys before (or in lieu of) legal proceedings. Right now, I'm assuming no. But that could definitely change.

Max (Houston)

Do you think Steve Smith (CAR) is still capable of being a number one fantasy receiver?

Christopher Harris
  (3:59 PM)

Hi, Max. Capable? Well, sure. But I'm going to say it doesn't happen. No doubt, he'll have some great performances. But I'm very skeptical of Matt Moore, a lot more skeptical than a lot of people I read on a regular basis. And defenses still pay so much attention to Smith. I'd feel safer if he were my (strong) WR2.

Bart (Albuquerque)

I've got to choose between keeping Frank Gore or Shonn Greene -- should I be tempted by Greene's youth and upside, or stick with the safer, known quantity of Gore?

Christopher Harris
  (4:00 PM)

Hi, Bart. I think I go with Gore. I admit that Greene is very tempting, especially because he figures to be "keepable" quite a while longer than Gore. If yours is a league where a great premium is given to younger players because they tend to be kept throughout their careers by a single fantasy team, I can see choosing Greene. But I'm probably going Gore because I view him as a bit safer...

Christopher Harris
  (4:00 PM)

All right, gang. This has been nearly 1.5 hours of fantasy fun, but I'm going to have to get rolling. Let's do one more....

James (Dallas)

Would you trade a 4th rd pick for Jamaal CHarles and his 9th rd pick(charles is worth a 9th this year)?

Christopher Harris
  (4:01 PM)

Hi, James. I would. I like Charles better than a fourth-rounder, plus this gives you the option of keeping Charles in the future at a huge discount, presumably. I think it's a great move.

Christopher Harris
  (4:03 PM)

OK, everybody. I'm all done for today. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Remember: you can follow me at Twitter -- http://www.twitter.com/thewriterboy (I'm an utter Twitter newbie, so help me increase my following!). And at Facebook you can friend me: http://www.facebook.com/writerboy. I'll be writing a "Mythbusters" piece about fantasy football for late this week, so make sure to check it out. See you soon!