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December 7, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy NFL with Jim McCormick

Jim McCormick
  (10:59 AM)

It's playoff time; crucial decisions to be made. Let's get started...

Freddy Jackson (Buffalo)

Do I sit next week against Cleveland and make room for Starks against Det?

Jim McCormick
  (11:02 AM)

Cleveland is tied with Pittsburgh, I believe, for allowing the least amount of scores by opposing backs, with just four surrendered. I could still see a quality total yards effort from Jackson, with better value than Starks in a PPR setting. In a standard format I would give Starks some serious consideration but would ideally like to hear a little more about how he might be used, although that's not always likely to emerge during the week. Point being, I'd start Starks in a standard format as he bears more upside than Jackson, albeit with a weaker baseline for production.

Victor (NJ)

Jim any advice for those of us that get a bye this week? Would you mind giving us some Def's you like in week 15? Thanks Jim!

Jim McCormick
  (11:04 AM)

San Diego has a nice Week 15 with San Fran's limited offense. Arizona and Carolina face off in a battle of grossness, and I could see the Panthers putting up some OK numbers in that one. Seek out matchups, they'll be there.

Jim McCormick
  (11:05 AM)

In Week 16 Dallas heads to Arizona for a Saturday game.

Peyton Hillis (Cleveland)

Should my owners start getting worried about me? Will Jake make me a non factor?

Jim McCormick
  (11:06 AM)

Miami stacked the box and requested that Delhomme (French for turnover) beat them, and it worked for Miami, as they did themselves in on offense, not defense. That said, I'd trust Hillis with absolute confidence, particularly in PPR settings where he can save the day without big numbers.

Kyle Orton (Denver)

With McDaniel's getting the boot should I be worried about Tebow getting more time under center

Jim McCormick
  (11:08 AM)

I wouldn't expect it, Tebow remains amazingly raw, I would think he needs at least this offseason and likely more, to be ready to take starter snaps. The interim coach is looking to impress in this stretch, not develop Daniels' project.

Dave (Canada)

Should I be worried about the Denver offense period

Jim McCormick
  (11:10 AM)

Kansas City certainly disrupted the passing game, made it look Carolina/Arizona-ish. The running game, however, is finally proficient and should help Orton and company. I would dismiss the Denver/KC game a little bit on both sides, as it was a grind-out, conservative division battle that saw the clock and field dominated on the ground.

Jason (Missouri)

Do I stick with Dwayne Bowe over say a Johnny Knox or Sidney Rice?

Jim McCormick
  (11:11 AM)

To continue on the KC/Den contest; Bowe was blanketed by Champ Bailey, and Cassel avoided his side nearly completely. So again, I think this was a function of a particular style of game that was played out, and not really an indicator of future tendencies.

Lance (Chicago)

How big of a blow is the Aqib Talib loss to the Buccaneers defense? I picked them up a couple weeks ago simply because of their easy playoff schedule. Should I still roll with them or go for like the Broncos vs the Cardinals this week?

Jim McCormick
  (11:13 AM)

Talib is a huge, devastating loss. Look to the loss of Asante Samuel in Philly, it's comparable in terms of how it should affect opponents' confidence to go vertical. I think Denver is a nicer play this week given the matchup; I prefer to play a weak and sloppy offense in nearly every case.

dave (home)

jim,i am here every week and never get answered.please answer this,better waiver pick up for this week javarris james or tashard choice? thanks

Jim McCormick
  (11:14 AM)

Choice has more enduring value, as he factors into the gameplan and is on a team that can key him to run, it seems. The Colts, meanwhile, have no running game to speak of and we can't suddenly expect one to emerge this late into the campaign.

Big Ben's Nose (Face)

Should I start Pitt D or Atlanta D this week?

Jim McCormick
  (11:16 AM)

Great options here. I think it has to be Atlanta, if only because Cinci has some capable offensive talents, while Carolina is run-first and interception second.

Rex Ryan's Ego (Bruised )

Cutler or Orton? I know the Patriots D looked great last night but could see a letdown after this week and being on the road.

Jim McCormick
  (11:18 AM)

I would prefer Cutler. The New England defense did look stellar, but the Jets' offense was as inept as the Pats were effective. Also, New England in the many weeks previous was home to the 32nd ranked pass defense; so no aberration here.

BobR (First-Round Bye)

IDP question. Someone dropped LaRon Landry in my league. Worth picking him up in case he plays week 15-16?

Jim McCormick
  (11:19 AM)

If you can stash him with little risk then sure, but don't expect him to play, rather just gamble on it. An Achilles injury is tough to recover from and with the season lost already, could see him being shut down if he doesn't prove to be completely able.

john (miami)

I have to at least consider starting Flacco against Houston over Peyton this week right? Your thoughts?

Jim McCormick
  (11:22 AM)

You can consider it, sure, it's clearly a better scenario in terms of matchups. It would be tough for me to sit Manning even with the struggles and a short week, but this is a rare exception where I could argue that the lesser talent (Flacco) is in a better situation to produce.

Gerrit (Iowa State)

So I roll with Fitzgerald at Flex going forward or would u rather trust Dixon or Starks???

Jim McCormick
  (11:22 AM)

Starks is interesting to consider; if it is PPR I'm sticking with Fitz, but in traditional I'd give Starks the nod given how rare end zone trips have been for Larry.

Willie (Austin)

Given your concerns about Talib, is the TB D/ST still a good play against DET in Week 15?

Jim McCormick
  (11:24 AM)

Seeing "Det" on the docket isn't as inviting as it once was; with Megatron still decepticoning it up and Stanton proving at least capable of moving the sticks, I'd consider other options.

Adam (Chicago)

Roll with Titan's DST since Manning is throwing all these picks or stick with the consistent KC DST?

Jim McCormick
  (11:25 AM)

One element of Peyton's picks is that he's been in close games against competent offenses, can't say that's the case with this Tennessee group. They'll need to get Chris Johnson untracked against stacked and dishonest boxes, which makes me think Peyton might not be in a position to make the daring throws that have cost him. I'd stick with KC, or look elsewhere all together.

Ryan (San Diego)

Your thoughts on Jonathan Stewart this week and the rest of the year? Worth a start over Mendenhall this week?

Jim McCormick
  (11:27 AM)

Tough to sit Mendy, even though he's been middling for much of the season, if only because his offense and defense can put him in good positions to score. That said, I'd keep an eye on Stewart in Week 14, if he keeps up the strong play, I'd consider him for Week 15.

Debbie (VA)

Given your earlier comment about Javarris James, would you consider starting him over Benson v. Pitt or Jacobs v. Min.?

Jim McCormick
  (11:28 AM)

James is touchdowns or bust, it seems, and I'd prefer these other options over him.

Kenny Britt (Tennessee)

How do I look going into Indy this week? Should I start ahead of Mike Thomas or an iffy SEA Mike Williams as a 3rd WR option?

Jim McCormick
  (11:29 AM)

If MSW is still out I'd give Thomas the nod, who lost targets this past week to a dominant running game, but remains a viable third option. I would consider Britt over Williams, but remember it's a short week and you'll be plugging in Britt on Thursday if he were to be a go.

Alex (New York)

Who has the better week this week: Maclin or Floyd

Jim McCormick
  (11:30 AM)

Gonna roll with Maclin here; just has been steadier (healthier, obviously) and faces a better matchup. The KC secondary is pretty legit outside of a few suspect outings. Floyd, however, is still a really nice option given how depleted Rivers' options are.

Knowshon (Moreno, CO)

Will I be running the ball a lot more now that Josh has been relieved of duty? Also, I have McFadden, RRice, and Mendenhall on my squad, who gets the bench this week? Mendenhall or McFadden (Injured O-line vs. Potential timeshare?)

Jim McCormick
  (11:33 AM)

Moreno has topped 20 carries in consecutive outings, if I'm correct, and I think with Daniels or without the offense is trending towards more balance. If I was to sit one of those players it would be Mendenhall, most likely, if only because of your stronger options.

Travis (IA)

Do you see Denver actually winning this week since the trend of new interum head choaches are going that direction this year? Is their D worth a gamble against Zona?

Jim McCormick
  (11:35 AM)

That's a loosely connected trend, but in general there does seem to be an infusion of energy when a new coach enters. I think it has just as much to do with many of the players on a losing roster feeling as if they are on audition for the new coach and more so the front brass in hopes of sticking around. For 25-plus players on most rosters, jobs are on the line in some sense. That said, I do like Denver as a defensive gamble this week; the 'Zona offense is just inviting.

Steve Bartman (???)

Hope you're ready to see me lose everything over trying to catch a ball on 30 for 30!! I think I could use an answered question. Better D in weeks 15 and 16, IND or DAL?!?

Jim McCormick
  (11:36 AM)

Dallas looks better for that stretch with Washington and Arizona.

K (philly)

Bess put up 8 points last time vs the Jets...but Hightower goes against the Broncos? wwjd(what would jim do)

Jim McCormick
  (11:38 AM)

I would never use Hightower, outside of a Tim Only format. Bess is a nice PPR option but a highly-motivated Jets defense could suppress him as well. Look elsewhere? Hit me on Twitter if you can't get another question through and have another name or two to consider.

Jay (Netherlands)

It seems you're pretty high on Starks considering his head coach wants him in a rotation with 2 other RBs and he's almost guaranteed to not be on the field on 3rd downs.....

Jim McCormick
  (11:40 AM)

I'm actually not that high on Starks, not sure I've endorsed him over too many stellar commodities. I understand that McCarthy said he'd prefer a three-back rotation, but it also seems that Starks' play was compelling enough to get a good deal of carries last week. Kuhn and Jackson have had all season to fight for carries, not sure a true share is in order. Coaches have been known to engage in misdirection from time to time.

Beanie Wells (Arizona)

It's okay to drop me now, right?

Jim McCormick
  (11:40 AM)

I couldn't see a team in the fantasy playoffs relying on you.

Bob (Detroit)

Jim, what's the latest you've heard on Nicks? Did he do any running yesterday and is it too risky to play him Sunday?

Jim McCormick
  (11:42 AM)

More likely that Steve Smith returns for NYG than Nicks, it seems. But I'm sure Stephania will cover his recovery later today, so be sure the check out here afternoon chat.

Hogan (Chi town)

Any word on Vincent Jackson? Why does everyone seem to think he's droppable with a calf strain???

Jim McCormick
  (11:44 AM)

Jackson did light drills yesterday but we'll see what he can do in practice on Wednesday. I think people are quick to give up on Jackson because he's been waited on so long and an injury to a player that hasn't played all season, and thus isn't in mid-season form or shape, is more troubling. Wait on the word this week, but I'm not sure he's anything better than a flex/No.3 gamble, especially given how crucial these playoff matchups are.

Nick (Atlanta)

Westbrook or Dixon if you had to start one?

Jim McCormick
  (11:45 AM)

If I had to it would likely be Dixon, if only for goal line work.

Colin (MN)

Gates owner here. Also have Chris Cooley. Would you pick up Dustin Keller and play him over Cooley if Gates doesn't go since Keller also has an afternoon game?

Jim McCormick
  (11:46 AM)

If you can afford the pickup and it adds insurance to the position, then sure, if there is ever a time to hoard needed positions and carry extras it's these coming weeks.

Mike (Raleigh)

Should I be more encouraged by 100 yards and 2 TDs from Jacobs on Sunday or more worried about him only getting 8 carries?

Jim McCormick
  (11:47 AM)

It seems that the share we saw in the first 11 weeks or so is back; with Bradshaw getting the substantial work and Jacobs back to say a 1/3 share of the work. He's still viable as a touchdown producer and for big plays, but between them Bradshaw has taken the more relevant fantasy role back.

Randy Moss (????)

Should i be dropped for Armstrong,Bennett, or Ford?? or just be dropped anyway??

Jim McCormick
  (11:49 AM)

I think the risk in dropping Moss is dissipating with each weak week from him. I'd rather have any of these three options over him as they are at least proving productive of late. I think Bennett is a really nice player to acquire this late, especially in PPR leagues.

Chris Johnson (?????????)

Should I sit this week if other options are available? Blount?

Jim McCormick
  (11:50 AM)

It's tough to dismiss reputation, even given his struggles, and this is after I explain how Moss can be cut. But CJ is still amazingly talented, just not getting the proper touches or any help from the passing game. That said, I'd stick with CJ over Blout, but some other names could compel me to sit Johnson.

John (Roc)

Who do you like more this week, T. Choice or T. Jones?

Jim McCormick
  (11:51 AM)

Likely Choice with Charles putting in such stellar work.

Jake (Cleveland)

Would you start Jahvid Best over Jacobs or Benson this week?

Jim McCormick
  (11:53 AM)

I wouldn't - his total yards were impressive on ten touches this past week but these options are better. Benson is tough to trust against the Steelers, but he'll certainly get a volume of work, can't say the same for Best.

Brandon Marshall (South Beach)

Can I help a fantasy team down the stretch??

Jim McCormick
  (11:54 AM)

Only if you declare yourself out for the rest of the season and allow your owners to move on.

Josh (Boston)

Who do you like between Heap, Zach Miller and Pettigrew?

Jim McCormick
  (11:55 AM)

Pettigrew is the healthiest of the group, so I'd roll with him. The guy is good for five grabs nearly every week.

Tony Gonzalez (Atlanta)

Since my age has caught me, what tight end out of a thin waiver wire would you suggest, no specfics names just guys you see constantly on wires. Thanks JIm

Jim McCormick
  (11:56 AM)

Watson, Gresham and Moeaki seem widely available. Watson is ideal, but I like the Cinci rook as well.

Broke Nose Mtn (Pitt)

Do you rest me and play Freeman this week?

Jim McCormick
  (11:58 AM)

Freeman faces a suspect DC secondary, so I'd give him the nod. It would be one thing if we were dealing with Ben in the midst of a productive stretch, but he's been middling in most cases, so sit him not because of his injury, but because Freeman faces a better situation.

Sean (SF)

If i can cash in one response from you.. it would be now! In the playoffs and I am hurting at RB.. Have Rice, Forte, FJAX, P. Thomas. Which 2 start?

Jim McCormick
  (11:59 AM)

I'd start Rice and Forte - I know they've been inconsistent to some degree, but they'll do well in the screen game this week.

Jim McCormick
  (12:00 PM)

Thanks everyone for checking in, I know how frustrating it can be not get answered. That said, hit me up on Twitter @JMcCormickESPN and I'll do my best to help you out. Good luck this week! See you on Thursday afternoon.