Hi, everyone. It's my first chat in like a year-and-a-half...and you're here! Whoo! Let's get right to your Fantasy Football questions....
PPR flex start: Pierre Thomas or Jabar Gaffney? Yes, unfortunately, my life has come to this.
Any question from the main character of Breaking Bad can't be all bad. I'd start Thomas. And seriously, Walter, your life has come to worse than just this. You and Jessie just kicked the poo out of one another.
Dwayne Bowe-- a one week stinker, or signs of what's to come this year?
Hi, Matt. He's not going to be that bad every week. You have to just hang tight. And for the dozens and dozens of questions you all are sending right now that go, "Should I start X or Y?" Please see our weekly positional ranks for my answer: http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=11ranksWeek2QB
What should owners expect from me this week? Should they start Knox over me?
What should owners expect. Well, with MSW, I think the point is you *never* know what to expect, y'know? He can look brilliant in any given week, but in general tends to disappoint. For a moment it seemed possible that MSW would be running out of the slot instead of the injured Danny Amendola, but now apparently the guy will be rookie Greg Salas, so for a one-week add in a PPR league, Salas is interesting.
Any update on Nicks?!?! I have Boldin on my bench waiting to take his spot. Wait or just play safe and swap them??
Hi, Tom. The latest word from Nicks sounded fairly hopeful. I didn't rank him in Wednesday's initial ranks, but I plan on getting him back in there for tomorrow's rankings update. That said, if you can be convinced to wait for him Monday night, I would also add Domenik Hixon as a one-week handcuff. Hixon would start if Nicks can't go, so he'd be your security. I will have Nicks rated ahead of Boldin on Friday, though....
Best chance for a breakthrough this year: J Rodgers, D Murray or K Hunter?
Hi, Juan. Obviously all three rookie rushers need stuff to happen ahead of them on the depth chart for them to enter the realm of possible fantasy starter. My best guess is Hunter. If Michael Turner goes down, Jason Snelling would be the top back. And I don't trust Murray to stay healthy. So Kendall Hunter would be the lottery ticket I'd most want to own.
Chris Johnson, what the #$(%!?
Yeah, it was annoying. The Titans are saying all the right things about Week 2, that Johnson will be fully back in the mix. But the truth is, it wasn't like some *other* RB in Tennessee got much action. The Titans just got away from the run because they were losing. I assume the workload will get back to normal in Week 2.
I know we can generally look at hte ranksing when its "x" v "y" ubt I assume the rankings were done with the thought that Foster might be out (and hadn't practiced yet). Where do you rank him if he continues to practice and is active sunday???
Hi, Joe. Indeed, I ranked (or, more accurately, didn't rank) Foster as though he wasn't going to play, because there was no news Tuesday night. At this exact moment, I'm kind of expecting him to be in there...but we're going to know much more after we know what happens in today's practice. Assuming he makes it through, I'll do a re-rank of him tomorrow...it won't put him in the top five, because I think Tate will get action regardless (and Ward's ankle sounds like it won't let him be much of a factor this week). But in such a case, Foster *will* be in my top 20, and Tate likely won't.
Am I the man?
I wouldn't go so far as to say that Starks is a definitive No. 1 for Green Bay. But the way he looked and was used last Thursday night makes me think he's a more valuable fantasy commodity than Ryan Grant. It was only one game, so obviously this is a story in progress. But I ranked Starks higher. Still, though, it's a committee. So let's not overstate things.
You're the highest ranker of Jacoby Ford this week. Why do you still believe?
Because it was one game? I mean, Ford was very involved early for the Raiders Monday night. He got handoffs and short passes. And then the Champ Bailey factor bit him. If there's one Raider WR I want to own now, it's still Ford.
Do you have PPR weekly rankings?
Hi, Jason. Alas, no...we do have Flex rankings that Eric Karabell does that come out every Thursday. But we don't do weekly PPR ranks on the site.
I know this might not be a popular question, but what do you think of Moreno and his brittle legs going forward? Thanks.
Hi, Rass. Yeah, I mean, there was a reason I was low on Moreno this summer, and it comes down to what Broncos beat reporters have been saying about him for two years. There are questions about his toughness and his injury-prone status, and I think it explains why Willis McGahee was brought in. I still think they should've signed DeAngelo Williams. But anyway, yeah, I think it's going to be an issue going forward.
Hi Chris... What are your thoughts about Mike Tolbert? Hold or trade material? I've got Hillis and Foster and could use an upgrade at WR or QB. Thanks.
Hi, Ryan. My thoughts are definitely that he's probably at his season-high in terms of hype, and if someone wants to trade you a top 10 player at either of those other positions, I'd do it. That said, he's still got value...I'd start him before I'd start Ryan Mathews this week (though it's close) because of the TD possibilities...
Am I a one week wonder or a big part of the offense this year?
I'm erring on the side of one-week wonder at this point. Of course, you can point to Chan Gailey having Tony Gonzalez in his time in KC, but Scott Chandler is no Tony Gonzalez.
Am I gonna throw to Sidney Rice like a dartboard when he returns to the lineup?
Ha. The question is whether it'll matter, because I get the sense that Tarvaris is that guy at the bar who's likely to throw a dart into the back of someone's skull. Rice continues to be an intriguing dynasty-league receiver, but for this year, I think we have to see a whole lot of Seahawks games where Jackson-to-Rice works well before we'll trust Rice to be in lineups.
Flex this week: Garcon, LT, Addai, or Mike Thomas?
I wouldn't use Garcon in any league, period, right now. I probably wouldn't use Collie, either. Reggie Wayne and maybe Dallas Clark are the only pass catchers worth considering. Of this group, I'd probably use Addai in a standard-sized league, but remember: Flex ranks are done by Karabell and will be out today.
Any reason to be concerned if you own DeAngelo and JStew? Buy or sell?
Yeah, I think there's reason for concern, if only because I thought Stewart obviously looked like the better player from watching the Week 1 game tape. That probably won't be the case every single week, but for now, it's a concern. That said, I don't know how you can sell D-Willy now, considering his value is low. I'd buy on Stewart if, for example, he's on your waiver wire...
welcome back chris.. should my owners be nervous
I think some nerves are warranted. It's not always going to be as bad as it was in Week 1, clearly. But when the Bucs are in catch-up mode, Blount will be on the sidelines. So I think this will happen again this year. Earnest Graham got 9 second-half touches compared to 1 for Blount in Week 1.
I drafted Dallas Clark in almost every league this year. What do I do now? I have Pettigrew and Jimmy Graham as backups, but will i have to drop Clark?
Hi, Chris. I think you should sit tight and see what happens with the Indy offense. I know fantasy football happens fast and furious, but we don't know anything for sure after one game, y'know? My sense is that the Colts have some tricks up their sleeve, and will look somewhat (if only marginally) better this week. Really, I wouldn't drop *any* player you drafted to be a starter after just one game, but I can see the argument for starting Graham this week.
I'm thin at RB and so am trying to stash some flyers who might have value later in the season. I've already picked up Delone Carter and Ben Tate for this reason. Anyone else you think I should look at who might be available to pick up?
I like the way you're thinking. Obviously, the very nature of "lottery tickets" is that they tend not to hit. But again, Kendall Hunter is someone I think could excel given the right circumstances. Take a look at my "10 Super-Deep Sleepers" for other ideas...
Are you worried about Megatron's ankle?
Well, Matt, given his regular injury troubles from year to year, you certainly have to sit up and take notice. But all indications are that it was a relatively minor ankle sprain. (Easy for me to say, obviously.) Until we get some very definitive word to the contrary, I'm assuming he's playing Sunday vs. KC.
You are a big C.J. Spiller guy right? What did you think of him last week and what do you think of his potential going forward based on that?
Hi, Paul. Well, Spiller didn't get all that involved because Fred Jackson was "on," really punishing a Chiefs defense that I may have overrated this summer. (Eric Berry tearing an ACL didn't help.) Spiller's TD was a nice, prototypical "quickness" run for him, but while I think he's a good guy to hold onto, it's tough to get excited about starting him just yet.
How do you see the touches getting split up in the New Orleans backfield?
I thought Pierre Thomas looked like the best from-scrimmage runner the Saints had, though Mark Ingram was the guy they called on when things got tight. We always knew Darren Sproles would be the spread guy, and he was, but he's going to be tough to rely on from week to week. It's just the nature of that beast. I would still prefer to own Ingram than Thomas at the moment. But the way these things work, someone will probably get hurt, and clear things up....
Any word on when I might return? And when I do, will I be valuable?
Sounds like Moore has a shot to play as soon as this week. I didn't rank him Tuesday night because there was no news, but now Moore apparently practiced Wednesday. If he's in practice and a full participant again Thursday, he'll go in Week 2, and I'll have to rank him for Friday's rankings update.
If Nicks ends up not playing Monday night, who would you pick up at gametime from Gibson, Salas or Hixon?
Hi, Tom. If Nicks is inactive, I probably use Hixon.
Is Eric Decker's time here already?
Dan, I think it's probably a bit premature, but I don't mind owning him in standard-sized leagues, just to be sure. Anyone who followed his college career knows Decker has serious possession and red-zone ability, and if Brandon Lloyd can't go, Decker would seem to be in line to start. But that doesn't mean he should automatically be plugged into fantasy lineups. He's more of a "hold" guy for me at the moment.
I saw you ranked Frank Gore in the top 10 this week, you think last Sunday was just a one off then?
Hi, Derek. Yes, I do.... But the Cowboys present a tough matchup this week, too. (They would seem to be more vulnerable to the pass.) For me this week ranking RBs, there felt like a pretty big dropoff after the first 8. My instinct was to put guys like Hillis and Gore a bit lower than they wound up, but I couldn't find other players that I like better...
Do you think Harvin will be a major factor (or any factor) this week and for the rest of the season?
Hi, Tom. I'm sure he'll be a factor some weeks, because he's just a very good player with the ball in his hands. But he joins the (rather large) rank of players who, for the moment, look like scary fantasy bets from week to week because you don't know how often they'll get the ball in their hands. Opposing defenses just have nobody else to fear on that Vikings receiving corps, so Harvin is going to get a bunch of attention.
With Amendola out, I would think Lance Kendricks would be more valuable than that. Please explain what happened to the preseason love for him amongst you and your ESPN brethren?
Hi, Matt. Well, I didn't have *nearly* as much preseason love for Kendricks as some other ESPN.com folks did, so this really isn't me "giving up" on him as much as just holding steady. My reluctance to rely on the preseason for much info when it comes to fantasy ranks comes down to (1) It's the preseason, and it is borderline useless; (2) When was the last time Josh McDaniels had a fantasy-relevant TE? Now, that said, if Kendricks doesn't drop an easy TD against the Eagles last week, we probably aren't having this conversation. I just need to be shown Kendricks as a productive guy across a couple weeks before I'm ready to believe.
TMR says he is high on Manningham but low on Manning. Didn't we learn from last year with Fitzgerald that the guy throwing the ball matters or am I missing something?
Hi, Tim. Well, sure, but I also think it's unfair to lump Eli Manning with the flotsam that was throwing it to Fitz last year. I agree that Matthew is too low on Eli this week (he's got him ranked 20th), and if you really think Eli is going to have that bad a game, it's tough to love any of his receivers. Myself, I have Eli 12th among signal-callers, about where he always is, and he'll produce one or two big pass plays that will make *some* WR (probably Nicks, if he plays, Manningham otherwise) pretty happy.
Back to Delone Carter. Someone you wan t to keep long term in a keeper system? What's his potential upside?
Sure, I think Carter is an interesting Dynasty League player. He's kind of a poor man's MJD, but with fewer quicks. But he's a fire-hydrant type, a guy who could make hay in short yardage if he gets the chance. Of course, Addai is also very good in short yardage, so Carter may be blocked there. Do I think Carter will ever be someone's unquestioned #1 back? I'm a little skeptical, if only because there are so few unquestioned
Why is everyone else so down on Felix Jones this week, SF Defense really?
Hi, Dan. The Niners defense should represent a slightly negative matchup for Jones (that Patrick Willis guy is pretty good), but I think Jones is probably right around where he should always be...in the 15-20 range. It's where I had him last week, and where I'll have him most weeks. I remain skeptical he'll wind up being a "true" feature back...I think you'll see more work from Choice and Murray as we go along. Felix is definitely the lead guy, though, and the one to own and play....
You have Chris Johnson #8 this week. Higher than your colleagues. Won't the Ravens just bottle him up like they did Mendy?
Hi, Re Re. My take: it's one week. I'm not benching a top-five pick in my fantasy draft for anyone, ever, probably, but certainly not after one game where the dude got nine carries. The Ravens looked really good for one week, but they were also way ahead and the Steelers needed to play catch-up. I mean, headed into BAL/PIT last year, all I read about was how all-powerful the PIT defense was, and the BAL defense was getting old. No anointing oil after one week.
New It's Always Sunny tonight, excited?
Joe, they lost me a couple seasons ago. Boy, I used to love that show.
Will Rivers pick apart New England like Henne did last Monday, and will I get +/- 60yds and a TD if so?
I think Floyd is a sneaky-good play this week, a top-30 WR. Don't panic about good players after one week. Floyd is a good player, even if he's third in the SD passing offense.
Actually, Chris, last time Tarvaris played darts, he threw it into my foot. Will things get better for me once Rice returns to the lineup, or is Tarvaris bringing us all down with him?
Truthfully, it's the offensive line first and foremost that's Marshawn's problem. Pete Carroll certainly is determined to re-make that O-line, but we're more than a calendar year in, and it's still a mess. Lynch is a pretty good player, skills-wise, and he's still young. But between BUF and SEA, he's just been running behind substandard lines for years now.
How long can J.Best handle the feature role? Thoughts on J.Harrison moving forward?
Hi, JTS. Well, Maurice Morris absolutely got the first shot at being Best's backup. Before he fumbled in Week 1 against the Bucs, Harrison didn't touch the ball, and after the fumble, Morris was gone and that's when Harrison did his damage. The Lions are being as smart as they can be with Best, spelling him and working in a second back. Maybe for the moment that's Harrison, but then again, will Morris stay in the doghouse? Regardless, back home on turf, I think Best plays really well this week.
I'm a believer in Cam Newton considering my other choices are Cassel, Grossman, Henne for the year on out. What have you to say??
No, I wouldn't start Newton over any of those guys this week. Remember: I'm the Stubborn One when it comes to ESPN's fantasy folk. I need to see it a bunch of times before I believe. What I saw out of Newton last week was really impressive considering the low expectations, but that ARI defense (especially Patrick Peterson) was just awful. This week, Grossman makes a really sneaky start against that same Cardinals D.
When can we expect Steve Smith (Eagles) to be back and making a fantasy impact?
Hi, Rob. Well, he was back in Week 1; he only played a few snaps, though, and didn't have a single target. Microfracture surgery is no joke. I'm not buying him as much of a contributor this year.
Any thoughts on Beanie Wells heading into Week 2? He ran the ball really well in Week 1, albeit vs. Carolina. Are you on the bandwagon?
Hi, Steve. Sure, I like Beanie fine. I've always been a staunch defender of his ability (and there are some doubters in our Fantasy group, believe me), but have wanted to see him stay healthy. I own Beanie in a few leagues and will keep running him out there. He probably has the worst backup situation in the NFL right now.
All right folks...couple more and then I have to go write.
you didn't rank moreno this week - is that because you dont expect him to play at all, or just that you dont expect him to play very well?
Yeah, Tim, that rank was based on him not playing because of the hamstring injury. But we have to do those first ranks *really* early in the week, obviously (since I have to drive down to CT early on Wednesday mornings, I do mine Tuesday night), so injury stuff is often pretty speculative. If we see positive news on him at today's practice, he'll be in my ranks for Friday's update.
What do you think about MJD not getting any receiving yards? Did he get any targets?
Hi, Rocky. Yeah, no targets for MJD. I'm not reading much into it...he was on something of a "snap count" for that first week, though he got 24 carries, so let's just say we've seen him handle a pretty good workload. They'll throw it to him eventually, I'd say.
All right, gang...I have to get going. I know it can be frustrating not to get your question answered...but we got 2,500-plus questions in about an hour, and I do the best I can. As always, I really appreciate your interest and enthusiasm, and am frankly humbled by it. Believe me, I know how lucky I am that I get to do this for a living. You are appreciated. If you want to follow me on Twitter, I'm at @writerboyESPN, and I'm glad to accept your Facebook friendship at http://www.facebook.com/writerboy. Have a great day.