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November 4, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with Tristan Cockcroft

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:00 AM)

Good morning everyone! Let's get right to your questions...

Tired of Moss questions yet? (Looking for an answer)

Who is more positively impacted by Moss's acquisition? VY or CJ?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:02 AM)

I'm actually not tired of Randy Moss questions, and obviously the topic has to be first to bat, just because of how many players get affected. I think Chris Johnson benefits the most of anyone; Moss' arrival as a deep threat stretches the field, prevents opponents from bringing in extra men to stop the running back. In a way, I think it makes CJ more of a safe bet to top everyone in fantasy scoring from today forward. Vince Young is helped, because he has a good deep ball, but I don't think this makes him an every-week fantasy starter. More likely, he's a fantasy backup with matchups appeal.

scott (charlotte)

moss's arrival....is britt more valuable than washington and is he worth holding on to wiht the injury?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:04 AM)

As for Kenny Britt, talk that he might miss 6-8 week is disappointing news (if true). I do think he's missing multiple games, even after the bye, but I'd keep him around until we hear that timetable is official. As for Nate Washington, I see little to no change in his fantasy value except in the short term, and even then, he's a matchups play, period.

Micah (CT)

Is now a great time to sell high on harvin? I mean losing moss really hurts his value

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:05 AM)

Yes, but let's keep in mind that EVERYONE is saying that (even Percy Harvin himself, in a sense; he's been openly frustrated about Moss' departure). You might not be able to get a "sell-high" price for Harvin, but give it a try. If you're getting certain-weekly-starter value -- think top-20 WR -- for him, go for it. I see Harvin's value taking a noticeable hit. But if you're being offered table scraps, you know, I'd stand where I was.

ek (denver)

You think Vick picks up where he left off? A month of rust is easier to shake off than a 2 year prison stay, right?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:06 AM)

I do, but with the caveat that the two games he started and finished came against two miserable pass defenses, so he's not going to drop 300/3 against everyone. But he's top-10 in my mind in every healthy game and he's now healthy, so I'm not that worried about the rust. Remember, he's practicing fully and was close to being game-ready before the bye, so I don't see rust being a big factor.

Brett (Raleigh, NC)

Better emergency backup TE for Gates: Moeaki or Olson? (this week and moving forward, as I think it might be different)

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:08 AM)

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Gates tore the plantar fascia in his right foot in Week 8, and if true, I see that being a must-sit injury this week. I can't see him playing through it, so if you're a Gates owner, definitely make alternate plans. I prefer Greg Olsen; remember that the Bills stink covering tight ends.

Caleb (Indiana)

Happy Halloween! Or wait..... BJGE, Blount, or Mike Wallace in flex this week? Thanks!

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:09 AM)

Hey, the Simpsons still think it's Halloween, so I could understand your confusion. (What's with that, the Halloween episode ALWAYS a week late? Bah.) I'd go Mike Wallace, particularly if Johnathan Joseph is out again (though he's supposed to play).

Brendan (DC)

Good morning Tristan. Was wondering what your thoughts on Davone Bess were this week and going forward. Having a bit of an injury issue at WR and may need to rely on him more.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:10 AM)

I think he's WR3 worthy; heck, I ranked him 28th in my year-to-end rankings on Tuesday. Bess is an excellent PPR option and I do think he'll get the catches 5-7 every week to be worth your while most of the time.

SteveO (NYC)

Sydney Rice - what is his value now that Moss is gone and he's off the PUP list? Worth dropping Braylon to stash him for the playoffs?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:13 AM)

It's positive news that Rice is off PUP and practicing, but I still think we're talking a couple weeks before he's ready to help. Once he does, though, he could certainly help. On Tuesday I ranked Vincent Jackson -- who should return to game action probably about the same time -- 51st, and I have a feeling I'd go about 10 spots lower for Rice, which is still an awfully good matchup for a guy who might not even play until Thanksgiving. From, say, Thanksgiving forward, Jackson might be top-25. Rice might be top-30/low-30s. Is that worth stashing? I leave it up to you, but I doubt I'd drop Braylon unless he's completely useless to me.

MC (NYC)

Would you start Olsen over Heap?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:13 AM)

Yes.

John (PA)

Bye week dilemma: Do I put DeSean Jackson in my starting lineup in hopes that he plays or do I drop Santana Moss to grab Lance Moore from the FA wire?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:16 AM)

Every indication is that DeSean Jackson is going to play, but I'd approach him with some hesitation. I need to get the official OK from the team; if he gets it, however, I would absolutely play him. I wouldn't cut Moss for Moore, because Moore's value drops once Reggie Bush returns.

Michael (Atlanta)

What about Moss' value? You talked about everyone else on TN and Minnesota, but didn't give your thoughts on the man himself?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:17 AM)

I ranked him 17th in my year-to-end ranks on Tuesday and tweeted last night that I'm pretty comfortable with that ranking, despite it being done BEFORE the news.

Matt (TX)

Would you trade M Williams south and Mike Wallace for Randy Moss?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:18 AM)

Absolutely not.

trevor (kansas city)

what are your year-to-end rankings for benjarvus green ellis and ray rice?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:19 AM)

My rankings can be found <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=rankingsupdate101102" target="top">right here</a>.

Jimi (work)

Would you trade Benson and Bowe for Turner?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:20 AM)

I'm not even a Michael Turner fan but if I felt comfortable enough with my wide-receiver depth, yes, I'd make that move. Bowe is simply too inconsistent to me and has been capitalizing upon absurdly good matchups; in average-to-poor matchups he has been practically invisible.

brian (de)

If Austin Collie somehow plays this week would you put him back in the starting lineup over Steve Johnson and Steve Breaston as the WR3 or wait another week?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:22 AM)

If he is given a complete and total OK, that's the only way I'd do it, and I would not get my hopes up. The news on Collie is good, but I still think he's out another week or two, and I probably wouldn't want him back in my lineup before Week 10. For me, it's red-hot Steve Johnson.

dan (buffalo)

Tristan, I am sitting at 2-6 in a 10 team keeper league and am considering making some slightly less than value trades to acquire some players signed for next year. Anything wrong with this?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:23 AM)

Nope. You do the best you can to keep your team competitive. If your 2010 is over, then it is perfectly acceptable to substantially improve your team for 2011.

Rex (Chicago)

Which RB2's have favorable enough schedules to land themselves inside the top 10 by season's end?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:24 AM)

Well, the two guys whose schedules stood out to me as extraordinary in the rankings were Jamaal Charles and Darren McFadden, but I think many feel they're both top-10 already. Thomas Jones is a bit of a "schedules sleeper," and I believe Knowshon Moreno's ranked a good schedule if memory serves. Understand a bit of that is off the top of my head; I do talk schedules in the Tuesday rankings at times so check there too for others (including the archives).

bryan (middle of the pack)

would you rather roster a. gonzalez or chester taylor?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:26 AM)

Anthony Gonzalez, though the Collie news has a direct impact on him, remember. I just don't buy this Chester Taylor talk, that he'll be the new goal-line back. So what? Let's say the best-case scenario has him scoring 5-6 more touchdowns. That's the BEST-case scenario, and it's not going to come with a lot of yards. And byes end next week. Do you really see him being in your lineup that much? I don't.

JoLIeT JaKE!! (Joliet, IL)

Do you see any 2nd half production out of any of these RBs? Starks, Portis, Kevin Smith, or Choice????

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:27 AM)

I was optimistic about James Starks but have backed off that a little after being a bit more wary about his health reports. Clinton Portis is making a swifter recovery than I expected and now stand-in Ryan Torain is hurt; I'd put Portis top of this list. Then I'd go Tashard Choice, because the Cowboys would be smart to get a look at him at the expense of Marion Barber.

John (PA)

Tristan: At what point should FFL owners start considering players being rested by their real NFL teams when constructing their rosters? It's almost like a game of 'Chicken,' isn't it?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:28 AM)

Be happy for the parity in the NFL this season, because the way the standings look right now, I'm not sure that ANY teams will be resting players outside of Week 17.

Matt (DC)

What do you think of Peyton Hillis? He is the #9 RB in terms of production, but he was a waiver wire pickup early in the year? No one in my league seems to value him... even the guys desperate for RB's. I don't think I make unreasonable trade offers (made 2 trades so far), but I was curious as to why people tend to grasp to preseason rankings so hard.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:30 AM)

I think he's a pretty good RB2, and I've ranked him accordingly. If no one wants him, sit back and smile. He's practicing fully this week and isn't on the injury report, the bye week apparently getting him right back to 100 percent. I know people cling to those preseason rankings and I understand it; people don't like to admit draft mistakes and I think because preseason rankings are so played up but fewer sources provide in-season rankings, people tend to gravitate to what was the most official source of player evaluation in the past.

Adam (Pa)

Is Oakland a good D this week? Need a bye week replacement

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:31 AM)

I really don't like Oakland, and I really don't like opposing K.C., as far as defenses are concerned this week. I could see that being a high-scoring game where owners of the offensive players are plenty pleased. The running backs on either side might clobber each other's D, so look elsewhere. Falcons for one.

fred (Florida)

who do you like better in PPR the next 2 weeks (Gates owner): Tamme or Shiancoe thanks!

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:32 AM)

Jacob Tamme, but a lot of that is the tasty Eagles matchup this week.

JT (Ohio)

Based on your comments today, is it safe to say you really like Mike Wallace this week and moving forward? I have D.Bowe and I'm contemplating who to slot in permanently in my line-up.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:33 AM)

My opinion on Wallace is that he's a solid WR2 -- not an WR1, mind you -- and Bowe is perhaps a WR3, though I see him being a very clear call depending upon what the matchups say. The Chiefs just don't throw very often.

Ryan Mathews (San Diego)

Am I ever going to be the "man" or is Tolbert going to keep eating away at my yards, touchdown, and ROY award?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:34 AM)

I'm now firmly in the camp that it's a committee.

david (Boston)

what do you think about the chargers d at houston this week? I have foster and schaub and could put eli and mcfadden in instead. Do you think its safer to go with schaub and foster or eli and mcfadden?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:35 AM)

I think the Matt Schaub-Eli Manning question is actually pretty close, and the way the Chargers have been playing lately, I'm sticking with Schaub. As for the running backs, I'm kinda shocked you can't start BOTH of those guys. To me, they're both automatic. Foster higher in my mind, but boy, I would never sit DMC this week.

brian (de)

Any chance you play Jonathan Stewart this week as an RB2 if Williams is out? My other options are Michael Bush and Fred Jackson.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:37 AM)

I'm terribly disappointed with Jonathan Stewart's performance this season, and from that angle, even if he's declared the starter, I'm not wowed by the prospect. Fred Jackson BARELY over him, though part of that is I'm more convinced he'll get 20+ touches of the two.

Alex ((Boston))

Patrick Crayton vs. the horrific Houston D. Is he a top-10 WR this week?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:38 AM)

He is not top-10 but he is quite the sleeper. Houston's secondary is awful, like Jacksonville's, and Crayton will get plenty of targets with that entire pass attack hurting. Off the top of my head, I probably get Crayton into my top 20, meaning he starts in the vast majority of ESPN leagues.

Brian (KU)

You consider sitting Rivers even for a second for Flacco with all of the injuries in SD (esp now with Gates)?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:39 AM)

What part of Philip Rivers' performance in recent weeks has you doubting his skills, no matter his receivers?

Nick (Atlanta)

Thanks for your start sit questions which could be answered by Friday's update. How about some trade analysis. If your back up to Peyton Manning was Philip Rivers, would you trade Manning for Jahvid Best/Beanie Wells and Mike Williams - TB? My best RB is B Jackson and best receiver is Maclin, with not much else after that.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:40 AM)

Nick, remember that I'm not one of our rankers, but it is a valid point nevertheless. I'm probably not going to tackle ranking questions unless the player is an interesting talking point or I have a noticeably different opinion than our other guys. As for your trade, jeez, how did you get those two quarterbacks? I'd want more for Peyton Manning, if it was me, but I know a lot of times people hold you hostage in that situation. I do like Best and I do like Williams, so I wouldn't say no if that's the best you feel you can get. I personally prefer Manning to Rivers, for the record.

bob digital (bridgeport)

view on reggie bush when he returns? will he be the guy?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:42 AM)

I don't think so. I think all he'll do is render Lance Moore a non-factor in fantasy, while being a bit more of a headache to everyone in that backfield. How amazing is it that, down the stretch, the only truly reliable pieces in the New Orleans offense might be Drew Brees and Marques Colston? Might be mix and match for everyone else.

Sam (Milwaukee)

World Series on Fox instead of Simpsons during Halloween week.Please rank for rest of year: Charles, Rice, DMC. Thanks.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:42 AM)

I know, but it doesn't make it any less silly. Those three ranked in my column referred to earlier.

Matthew (Dallas)

Would you trade Mendenhall and M Wallace for J Charles and P Garcon?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:43 AM)

Seems fair. I personally prefer the Mendenhall side, but I wouldn't lose sleep having either side. Trust your gut on that one.

Replacement Gates (Va)

If Gates is out who in San Diego will take his place? Any Value? TE's are taking a big hit this year

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:45 AM)

Some combination of Randy McMichael and Kris Wilson, so no, not at all. And you're right, tight end has fallen on some hard times lately. It's actually completely my fault, as I said about 3-4 weeks ago how ridiculously deep the position was shaping up this year. Then, um, some guys got hurt. Sorry about that.

Micah (Boston)

Would you be upset about Eli Manning and Stewart for Turner... when the team getting Eli has a QB McNabb and there are comparable QB's on the WW Palmer, Stafford, Fitzpatrick...?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:46 AM)

I don't get upset over trades, and I'd have a hard time registering an objection/veto to my commish, despite the fact that I really like the Michael Turner side. I could completely understand the team in the quarterback pinch feeling that Eli Manning gives him or her a much better chance to win than those waiver-wire options.

Nick (Chicago)

I traded Marshall for TO and Blount...please tell me I made the right move.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:47 AM)

I've made no secret of my distaste for evaluating trades after the fact; I feel like all it serves is to either praise or rip you to shreds, and I hate doing the latter. But you did fine here. I'm a Blount fan.

JoLIeT JaKE!! (Joliet, IL)

If Forte posts big numbers this week against Buffalo, do you sell high? He is going to start losing goal-line carries to Chester Taylor.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:48 AM)

I think that's a fair strategy. Matt Forte is an RB2 to me, and much more attractive in PPR leagues.

Jim (Minneapolis)

Love your advice, especially the "rest of the way" rankings... If you've got four higher ranked WRs than Driver (A. Johnson, B. Lloyd, M. Wallace, and P. Garcon), would you drop him to take a chance on a guy like Sidney Rice or V. Jackson? Which would you prefer?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:50 AM)

Thank you, Jim, flattery gets you everywhere. Anyway, Donald Driver is a good topic here. I know this feels crazy, but I think it's legitimate to consider dropping him. Consider that in addition to his injury issues, he has been a major disappointment, especially in the past month. If he's depth -- and he sure looks like that for you -- then I don't call dropping him crazy, especially not for a late-season breakout candidate in Vincent Jackson. That's very much a "right circumstances" move to get V-Jax and speculate.

Chris (Denver)

about to pull the trigger to send Hillis/Forte for MJD/Celek...y or n?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:51 AM)

Pretty fair trade, and another "circumstances" answer. If you've got the running back depth, like MJD best of the three involved. By a noticeable margin at that. Not big on Brent Celek. Lots of drops, and Vick's return doesn't help.

Matt (Indianapolis)

Keeper League Q! Would you rather have Peyton Hillis ($5 keeper) or Jamaal Charles ($50)? I have a chance to win the title this year, but would be in great position for next year's draft if I retained Hillis.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:52 AM)

Win now. Always win now.

Joe (Pittsburgh)

Tristan, are you still holding any speculative breakout value for Demaryius Thomas after the bye or by week 12. They have a good schedule, correct?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:53 AM)

They do, yes, but the Broncos also have a ridiculously deep wide-receiver corps. The best case I can make for Thomas as a late-season sleeper is that the Broncos aren't a playoff contender and might want to take a look at him for 2011, but even then, I don't see his targets moving up to the point where he gets higher than WR3/4.

Evan Houston Texas [via mobile]

Would You Trade Ahmad Bradshaw for Steve Smith of the Giants?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:54 AM)

Nope.

brian (chitown)

would you advise trading peyton hillis for anquan boldin straight up? is peyton hillis a sell high or do you think he continue to be valuable?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:54 AM)

That seems like ideal value for Hillis. You're not ripping anyone off, but rather doing just a little bit better in that deal than your counterpart.

Nick (Chicago)

Flex Question: Steve Breaston, Stevie Johnson or Mike Tolbert?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:55 AM)

I think anyone using Tolbert is gambling upon the prospect he gets a goal-line chance and converts it, and sure, I'd say it's better than 50/50 it happens, but that's still nothing close to a guarantee. Johnson safest of this bunch.

Shane (Madison)

Should I play no D this week, or risk it with KC?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:58 AM)

I can't stand the "vacant-spot" strategy. If there's any one thing I think is fundamentally wrong in fantasy football, that's it. (And I'm sure I'm forgetting something else I consider bad, but I'm saying it to stress my distaste for it.) I'd go Chiefs before I'd go no defense, much as I'm not wild about it.

Bob (NY)

Does Andre's ankle scare you?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (11:59 AM)

Enough that he's no longer an automatic No. 1 overall wide receiver, but heck, the guy has been awesome at less than 100 percent recently. He's staying in my top 10 at the position, at the absolute minimum, which means I have about as much confidence in him as anyone.

Matthew (Dallas)

Trade Crabtree and Lynch for M Williams TB and Beanie? I like the 2nd group.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:00 PM)

So do I. Heck, I love the second part of that deal, because there's great upside in both players.

Matt (New Jersey)

Year to end rankings are amazing! Thanks for your work! Brandon Marshall Miles Austin or Brandon Lloyd in a trade for Roddy White who would you give up?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:01 PM)

Hahaha, let's not go overboard, you can say I stink if you want. But thanks, if you mean it. So I get my choice here? I'm shipping Marshall. Love that deal for you. Love it.

At the Buzzer!!!! (.)

Whats your take on starting players on the same team? I have Charles, Bowe, and Moeaki? Or start players ranked slightly worse for Bowe and/or Moeaki?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:03 PM)

Vastly overrated, not because I disagree with the theory that every player cannot possibly score within the same game, but more because the worst thing you can do is to decide to sit a guy because you used someone else from that team, and it ends up you sat the one who scored and left active the one who did nothing. Always start your best players/matchups, period, and leave team names out of it.

Jay (IA)

You stink! What are your thoughts on Pierre Thomas going forward?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:05 PM)

Hey, I totally took a shower this morning. Not a Thomas fan. I think he's grossly overrated; even when he was healthy the Saints indicated with his usage that they didn't regard him a workhorse capable of getting the 20-plus touches a week that he'd need to be that top-20 overall force a lot of people were anticipating. And now the Saints have weapons in their backfield they can use to mix and match. Chris Ivory, for example, won't completely disappear. Reggie Bush is on the mend. Heck, Julius Jones' role is growing. I just don't like that backfield, not at all. Thomas a matchups play/flex-caliber option, and that's about it, and if I could trade him for something useful I would.

Dan (NYC)

You have Vince Young ranked 26th the rest of the way. Does the Moss acquisition and Young's upcoming games against Houston (x2) and Jax change your mind?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:06 PM)

Yes. Now a guy I put right near where I had Chad Henne, whom I think I had 20th. Mark Sanchez definitely behind Young at this point. Thanks for the heads up; should've tweeted that update as I did for some of the others involved.

Karl (Ind)

Two NFL WW deals this week. But no discussion on Merriman! Will Merriam have an immediate (any) impact? Need a bye wk Def. What do you think of Buf vs the bears? Also available is Min (az), TB (Atl),Cle (NE),Ind (Phi).

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:08 PM)

It's a fair question, Karl, but the problem is I don't see Merriman as an ideal fit in the Buffalo defense, so I don't see his impact amounting to much. For one thing, I had the Bills ranked dead last among my D's, and it means they're far from fantasy-worthy. I'd go Minny of those choices.

Jon (Sacramento)

Who is the next TE who will go down? This is insane how they are dropping like flies.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:08 PM)

If I pick one, does this mean the opposite happens, like I REVERSE-jinx the tight end and he suddenly becomes awesome? (How great would that be?) In that case, it's totally Kellen Winslow, because on one of my favorite fantasy teams this year he's my tight end and boy, I need a turnaround...

David (Behind you)

Could you justify keeping two defenses on your fantasy team?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:09 PM)

Not really unless it was, say, the Steelers and during their bye week (which has passed).

Brad (Nanuet, NY)

Pathetic question of the day, who starts for CLE at QB and % confidence in your gut call? DEEP 2 QB league, don't want to waste move too...

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:11 PM)

No, you know what, Brad? I am going to say that is NOT a pathetic question. I think that's completely fair. The Patriots' pass D is tremendously overrated, and the Browns are going to have to throw. A lot. It's going to be Colt McCoy starting -- at least that is the report I last got -- and if you're in a two-quarterback league, I won't call you crazy to go there. I see a lot I like more, but I won't say "no chance" in the format.

Adam (Dallas)

Who is actually running the ball in Indy this week? Hart looked great, but now he's hurt too!

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:11 PM)

Looks like it's Donald Brown's backfield.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:12 PM)

Let's take two more...

Jamie (MA)

Is Shiancoe fantasy relevant, again this week and going forward?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:13 PM)

Yes, but not in terms of being back to every-week status, but more on the fringe of the top 10 (meaning play the matchups). Part of it is the thinning of the position, the rest is that he was Brett Favre's go-to guy before Randy Moss arrived.

Jeremy (Miami)

You're low on Pierre Thomas. Low enough to trade him for Brandon Jackson?

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:14 PM)

Not that low. I haven't been a Jackson fan all season. When Ryan Grant went down I made it clear I barely even regarded him a flex play. Jackson, unfortunately, is the kind of guy you only want in the flex spot because you don't have anyone else getting an equal amount of touches to him. Soooo ... I guess that means you don't really "want" him, more like you "had" to use him.

Tristan H. Cockcroft
  (12:15 PM)

OK, time to wrap things up for the day. Thanks for all your questions, and sorry if I couldn't get to yours. Best of luck to everyone in Week 9, and have a great weekend!