Good morning, everyone. Hope you're all doing well as we head into Week 4. Remember, what I think about single-position questions can always be answered by going to our weekly ranks pages, where are here: http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=11ranksWeek4QB . So let's get to your questions.
Am i able to suit up this week and get hte bulk of the carries, and if so against a week philly linebacker core do i finally return to form?
It sounds like Gore is going to play, yes. And you can see where I ranked him...I've got him 11th among running backs.
Over the course of the season who is the better waiver pick up for a back up RB: Helu or Hunter? You see either one getting more chances?
Hi, Dave. First off, I'd say if you're a Hightower or Gore owner, the decision is made for you, because you should grab the handcuff. If you're neither, and I had to pick one, I'd still pick Helu. I think he'll get work even if Hightower stays healthy, because I think he's a better player. I love Hunter's skill set (he was my favorite running back in this spring's draft), but it's gonna take a Gore injury.... Both are very addable in all leagues, though.
Is Torrey Smith going to be a must start anytime soon, after the Jets? Thanks...
Hi, John. I don't think so, no. When you think of him, think of Devery Henderson. Deep threat who'll go off every so often, but also give you lots of games with 1 catch for 17 yards.
Should I start A. Foster now that he is back at full? Even though he is going against a tough d?
Hi, Sam. Actually, I'm writing the Hard Count right now, and in it I look at the bad performance so far by the Steelers' run defense, and whether it's a concern going forward. Bottom line is that I wouldn't be afraid to play a very good running back against Pittsburgh just yet. You can see where I have Foster ranked (not top 10, because there's risk in his leg), but in my mind he's not a must-bench.
safe to drop ben tate in a 10-team?
Hi, Dave. No. Hang onto him.
You startin' me this week Chris?
Honestly, I'm not sure what to make of Marques Colston this week. The interview that Sean Payton gave seemed mighty cryptic to me. Did it mean that he's going to play? Or that he's going to practice? It doesn't seem to me that playing 3.5 weeks after you break your collarbone is very smart. I need to read more before I can say I'm convinced.
How serious should we look at Ryan Matthews toe injury with his history of injuries? Does this give Tolbert the opportunity to prove himself again?
Hi, Tyler. Well, you should always take stuff like that seriously, but so far both the player and the coach are saying that the injury isn't significant, and that Mathews should be able to go. Stay tuned during the weekend, though.
Wow! Being a Red Sox fan was starting to get easy post 2004 after that 0-3 comeback vs. the Yankees...and don't forget 2007! This team statistically had a 99.6 % chance to make the post season after Sept. 2nd. and then the unthinkable happens, UGH! Now I know how Charlie Brown feels when Lucy pulls away the football. Anyway, I do have a Fantasy Football question. I need roster space and need to drop someone from this list; AJ.Green, N.Burleson, Burress. Also, what DST you like this week ATL, TB, SD, DET? Thanks.
As I tweeted last night, I'm pretty much a fraud when it comes to being a Red Sox fan these days...last night was the first game I watched in its entirety all season. It was pretty excruciating, but I don't seem to be able to muster the same old angst I used to. Unfortunately, the time when I really cared about baseball seems to have vanished. But my apologies. For the defenses, check our rankings. And as to which guy I'd drop, not A.J. Green, because he's the guy there was the No. 1 upside. Between Burleson and Burress? I think Burress winds up with more TDs, but Burleson with more yards. Personally preference would probably be to keep the TD guy, by a whisker.
If you have Tate and Foster, are they worth both playing? I have Gore as well...which doesn't make me feel good about myself.
Hi, Crofutt. Unless I have *no* other choice, I'd much rather stay away from using two RBs from the same team. I'd probably play Foster and Gore, though obviously there's a chance Tate plays well, and there's reportedly a chance Gore will split carries with Kendall Hunter regardless of his injury this week. Still, I'd probably still go Foster/Gore.
Think Gates will ever get be a reliable play this season?
Hi, Chris. What a disaster. I wish I knew...frankly, I think *he* wishes *he* knew. It doesn't sound like he'll play this week, and it doesn't sound like he's going to feel good in that injured foot for a long time. Don't drop him. But you can't start him.
I dont think I've seen your thoughts on Titus Young. As someone who probably watches as much tape as anyone, your thoughts?
Hi, E. I like Young a bunch. It was good to see him get involved against the Chiefs a couple weeks ago, but it was kind of easy to write that off, since he racked up most of his stats in a blowout. He performed well in a tight game vs. the Vikings, getting more looks out of the slot than Nate Burleson did out wide. I haven't put Young in a Waiver column yet, but it's coming. If Megatron or Burleson were to get hurt, Young would have top-30 fantasy value. Not a total burner, but absolutely excellent quicks.
Hey Chris, I've seen varying reports on where D. Moore and Jacoby Ford will be if both fully healthy on the depth chart. Is there a sizable gap between them? Are either potential starters in a PPR league?
Hi, Nathan. Yeah, it sounds to me like the Raiders expect Ford back, though they're one of the least forthcoming teams around when it comes to injury truths. Ford and Moore actually play different positions, and Moore is technically still behind Darrius Heyward-Bey on the depth chart, so to me Ford is the most attractive guy to take advantage of a good matchup against the Pats. But it's only a matter of time before Moore passes DHB (could be as soon as this week), and I'd love to see what that WR corps looks like with Moore and Ford starting. Of course, it's still Jason Campbell throwing them the rock.
Whoa... you're DOWN on Tampa Mike Williams compared to other rankers... what's up with that?
Hi, James. Williams will be someone I'll look at in tomorrow's Hard Count. Yeah, I mean, the tape doesn't lie when it comes to this guy, and the TB pass offense in general. He has 10 catches on 22 targets. That's awful. I'm not blaming him entirely...he's seeing lots of safety help. And Freeman isn't throwing it well at all. I need to see more precision, like we saw last year, before my faith is going to be renewed. I'm staying away from that pass offense if I can at the moment. (I'm not dropping Williams, though...)
No, I don't think you're dropping him. He's not hurt (thankfully -- yet), and the Panthers are going to stop taking teams by surprise with their throw-throw-throw act in non-monsoon games sometime soon. I'm guessing things will balance out with that offense just a little bit at some point going forward. And Williams hasn't gotten less talented. You probably don't want to start him. But I'm not dropping him.
Wait a second....."It's still Jason Campbell throwing them the rock"???? Didn't you rank me a top 10 QB this week vs NE?!?!
Sure I did. And if there'd been a better QB throwing it in Oakland, I'd probably have ranked him top five. I hear what you're saying...it's a little incongruous to mock the guy and then rank him top 10. But if the question is about the OAK receivers in general, going forward for the entire year, well, I do think Campbell is more of a constraining factor than a liberating one.
Does Slaton affect Thomas' workload?
Hi, JR. I tend to think not. I view the Dolphins signing Steve Slaton mostly as Reggie Bush insurance. Bush and Slaton are similar types of players (and are similar injury risks), plus Bush has been bugged by a groin injury so far this year. Thomas is more of a banger, and definitely the guy to own in Miami.
Does what you said about Mike apply as well to Hakeem Nicks?
Hi, Mike. Well, definitely you don't want to drop either guy. I prefer Nicks right now, because he's more of a dominant physical talent than Mike Williams is. Williams can be tough in the open field, but he's not a freak of Nicksian proportions, isn't that kind of leaper, etc. No question, if Nicks (and Eli) can't take advantage of what looks like a premium matchup against the Cardinals this week, we're going to have to reevaluate. But I'm less down on Nicks right now.
The Kenny Britt injury has left my WR core a mess. Amendola is on waivers still, should I jump on it before its too late? The Rams look terrible...
Hi, Chris. I don't mind adding Amendola, especially in a PPR league. But one does have to ask oneself: how startable was Amendola *last* year on a week-to-week basis in a standard league, even as he was finishing among the NFL leaders in receptions? He's not an end-zone target, he's not a threat for big yards. I found the whole pro-Amendola movement this summer to be somewhat "paint-by-numbers," because Josh McDaniels once coached Wes Welker. I'm not saying don't pick the guy up. I'm just saying his upside doesn't excite me.
Does Chris Johnson rebound this week?
Hi, Fernando. Hit those books. Listen, I wish I could come back from the future and tell you what I saw in Week 4 of the NFL season in 2011. I keep ranking CJ2K as a top-10 option, and the nature of fantasy football is that if you took the dude with your early-first-rounder, you have to keep starting him. My guess is that yes, he goes for 75+ and a TD. But who knows.....
Whats up with Brandon Lloyd?
Hi, Bryan. What's up with him is that (a) he missed Week 2 with a groin injury and wasn't 100% last week, and (b) he now is the WR1 for a John Fox offense, not a Josh McDaniels offense. Lloyd was on my "all-overrated" list of potential fantasy draftees this summer, and that's borne fruit. I think he's someone you can still feel comfortable using as a No. 3 fantasy wideout, but that constant barrage of downfield bombs from last year isn't coming back.
Hey Chris! denarius moore or ochostinko ROS for you??
Hi, Colin. I have serious doubts about whether Ocho lasts the season on the NE roster, his large guaranteed money notwithstanding. This isn't me grandstanding because of a drop last week; I was a voice of dissent all summer when people were trying to tell you Ocho would have a Randy-Moss-like resurgence. I would take Moore.
You have Stevan Ridley and Roy Helu ranked similarly. If you had to choose between the two, which would you rather have on your roster?
Hi, Phil. I like them both, and I regret that I didn't put Ridley in the Free-Agent Finds column on Tuesday. Meant to, things got away from me, and somehow I just forgot. My gut still tells me Helu, but my gut really really wants to see if Ridley is as active in the Pats game plan this week as he was last. We could definitely be seeing the phasing out of BJGE in New England (he's a free agent next year), as Ridley is a banger of the Green-Ellis variety. We'll know more, I think, after this weekend.
Will I disappear after a strong start like I did last season?
It's a good question, and it makes sense that Keller owners are thinking this way. One thing I'll say is: through three weeks, "Ground & Pound" ain't noplace to be seen. This has been a passing team. For as long as that stays the case, Keller looks like a top-10 TE for me. Do I know for sure that it *will* stay the case? I don't. It's possible being down big to the Cowboys and trailing the Raiders for much of last week has skewed the play calling. But I'd ride Keller as long as he keeps it up....
Why so down on Roddy White?
Hi, Adam. Oh, I wouldn't say *down*, would you? I mean I ranked him 8th this week. It was really interesting to see that the Bucs did *not* use Aqib Talib on Roddy White last week, as they did all last year, but rather put him on Julio Jones, and gave White safety help. Hm. What does that tell us? Maybe nothing. White had a nice game. But I really feel as though Jones is a player, and while he's tough to start himself in fantasy, I'm viewing him as a *slight* potential drain on Roddy. Not like I'm telling anyone to bench the guy. And I didn't have him in my preseason top 5 WRs, either...
Do you have any hopes for the NE D improving down the road once healthy and more accustomed to each other? I feel like the Wilfork/Haynesworth combination has got to start creating some havoc at some point, right? Or is this just wishful thinking and I should drop them now?
Hi, Chris. I have to be honest: in a 10-team league, I think they're droppable. I haven't been as impressed with Haynesworth (when he's played) as most folks seem to be, and the obvious, glaring flaw here is the lack of a pass rush. Andre Carter and Shaun Ellis just aren't young enough or good enough to be effective starting 4-3 ends any longer, IMO. There are so many D's out there on a weekly basis in standard leagues, ones you can play matchups with. I'm not waiting around to see the Belichickian improvements.
Would you say that going forward D McCluster is a 50/50 guy? Meaning 50 yards on the ground and 50 yards in the air almost guaranteed every week.
Hi, David. Hm. That's ambitious for me. "Guaranteed," that is. I think he'll do it sometimes this season. But in Week 3 he was a 45/17 guy, and I think he'll do that a bunch, too. As I wrote in Monday's Instant Impressions column, I was impressed at the work he did running up the gut. He's a little guy to be doing that. But can he *last* doing that? I think he's ownable, and in PPR leagues he might be a flex. But for the moment, that's my limit.
Chargers D 24th??? Vs. MIA seems like a good play, what gives?
Hi, Brian. I'm out on a limb there, I guess. Didn't know I'd be alone on an island as far as SD goes. This was a week where I started to try and incorporate the actual numbers produced by fantasy defenses so far into my assessment (as opposed to just relying solely on what I thought of them before the season started). The Chargers D has scored 7 fantasy points in three games. Yuck. They're fifth-worst in the league. And the Dolphins O hasn't been as generous to fantasy defenses as you think, having allowed an average of 7 fantasy points. You're right, though, now that you bring it up, my logic sniffer does feel a little weird about that ranking. I guess we'll see....
Gronkoswki and Hernandez both go over 1000 yards and 10 tds this year?
Hi, Adam. Tough to see it for Hernandez just now, because the Pats are obviously so ridiculously tight-lipped about injuries. Gronk seems likely to do it without question. If Hernandez misses this week, he'll be on pace for 660, though obviously that'll be with two missed games. Wish he hadn't gotten hurt.
Hi Chris - thoughts on Foster ROS? Will he become the primary RB again in Hou if healthy, or has Tate earned a sizeable role? Would you prefer Foster or F Jax?
Hi, Brian. I hope nobody expects me to be *definitive* when it comes to Foster, because let's face it: The entire NFL pundit community has pretty much been wrong about him the entire step of the way. Here's one thing I've been saying: The one scenario I *can't* envision is Ben Tate disappearing, and Foster going back to the same workload he had last season. I don't think that happens (unless Tate gets hurt). But of course that doesn't mean Foster doesn't have top-10 value anyway. It's a pretty great O-line. I do think he's the primary back. I do think Tate stays in a substantive role. And I would probably put Foster just inside my top 10 RBs for the rest of the season. But I'm willing to be talked out of that sentiment as early as this weekend.
Hi Chris, can you give us a few buy-low candidates? Off the top of my head, DeAngelo, Reggie Wayne, Gore, CJ, Romo?
Hi, Kyle. I'm probably not buying low on Wayne. I just don't see that pass offense getting fixed. Nor do I think I'm buying just now on DeAngelo Williams. I'm a believer that things will get better, and listen, if someone wanted to *give* him to you, OK, take that chance. But I'm not trading a top 20 WR to get him. The others, sure, I have faith that CJ2K, Romo and (probably) Gore will bounce back pretty substantially.
What to do with James Starks? Do you think he finishes with more fantasy points than Grant this year?
Hi, Tim. Ga. In the Hard Count last week, I said I didn't think Starks was getting enough love. Then he went out and played quite badly vs. the Bears, while Ryan Grant played great. Grant has a bruised kidney, though, and is no sure thing to play Sunday. This could be the reprieve Starks needs. Yes, I still give him more fantasy points by the end of the year than Grant. But I feel way worse about saying that now than I did a week ago.
All right, gang. I have to get back to writing the Hard Count, so let's tackle one more, and then we'll all agree to start doing our real jobs simultaneously....
Hi, Chris. Appreciate your expertise and humility. Is Stafford a top 5 QB the rest of the year?
Thanks, Paz. Yeah, you know, I kind of think he is. It's funny how wound up people can get, being just *positive* a guy will get hurt again, and then he doesn't in the first three weeks and it's like those worries never existed. I was never aboard the "he'll get hurt" bandwagon, but I also do see him taking some shots, and have some worries that *anyone* might get hurt under such circumstances. But really, at this point, I think it would take an injury to get him out of my top five (especially with Peyton done).
Thanks for coming to this chat, everyone. As always, I'm so happy for the chance to get to do this, and there were over 2,500 questions asked this week. I know it can be frustrating not to get yours answered, and I'm not trying to big-time you, I promise. There's simply a limit to how many you can do in an hour. So you can follow me on Twitter (twitter.com/writerboyESPN) and friend me on Facebook (facebook.com/writerboy), and you should know that I'm really very thankful for your interest. Without it, I wouldn't have this great job. So thank you, very much. Have a great rest of your day.