Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

August 15, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy NFL with Chris Harris

Christopher Harris
  (10:59 AM)

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to another Wednesday chat about fantasy football. As a reminder, I know I won't get to all of your questions, but you can follow me on Twitter (@writerboyESPN), friend me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/writerboy), and if you're itching for some NFL action you can buy my novel (in print or Kindle versions) Slotback Rhapsody, which is about an undersized dude trying to make it in the pros via some combination of Buddhism, vegetarianism and human growth hormones. (www.slotbackrhapsody.com) Anyway, let's get to your questions!

Fred (Minnesota)

Did Andrew Luck just pass RG3 on draft boards?

Christopher Harris
  (11:01 AM)

Hi, Fred. Not mine. Luck looked good, no question, and let's be clear: it's better than looking bad, right? But there are all sorts of explanations you can make (Rams D being one of them), and we have a tendency to overreact because that game was on national TV, and the BUF/WAS game wasn't. But RG3 looked very good, too. What it comes down to for me is the likelihood you're getting 500+ rush yards from RG3, and probably more rush TDs.

Christopher Harris
  (11:02 AM)

Hey, by the way, folks, I see a ton of questions that say, "Who would you take 4th?" or "Should I take McFadden or Murray?" I'm not going to address those specifically, because you can get my opinion on all ranks stuff here: http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=NFLDK2K12ranksHarris200

Randy (NJ)

With weapons like Julio Jones, and Roddy White, why is Matt Ryan ranked so low? Does he have enough upside to use as my starter?

Christopher Harris
  (11:04 AM)

Hi, Randy. Well, he had those weapons last year, right? I agree that the overall ATL offense *looks* like it should be a monster, and the head of that monster should do very well. But Ryan has never thrown for more than 4,177 yards or 29 TDs, which is no longer close to an elite season. Could he exceed that this year? Yessir. He'll need Julio to stay healthy (not a sure thing), and he'll need to stay aggressive, which he's had a hard time with in the past. Given who's above him on the list, I definitely understand Ryan's ranking. There are a lot of QBs with upside.

Brett (Baton Rouge)

Any word on if Lynch will be suspended? I have until Sunday to decide whether to keep him or Antonio Brown in .5 ppr league

Christopher Harris
  (11:06 AM)

Hi, Brett. No word, and I don't think there will be word before this weekend, and possibly quite a bit longer than that. Lynch's previous violations were against the personal conduct policy, and this one is his first substance abuse. The commish definitely has discretion here, but by the letter of the law, until he's convicted of something, it sounds not that likely that a suspension will be forthcoming, and the legal process is likely to go into '13. My guess right now is that he's not suspended this year.

Nikolai (Edmonton)

Hey Chris, love reading your stuff. I'm in a 2 QB league this year my first. Wondering what your take on strategy would be for this type of league. I've never done a mock or seen anything in regards to this, so I'm expecting mayhem.

Christopher Harris
  (11:08 AM)

Hi, Nikolai. Thanks for the kind words. Coincidentally, we at ESPN just did a 10-team, 2QB mock draft on Monday, and I'm fairly certain A.J. Mass' writeup of it will be out later today. I had the second pick and took Aaron Rodgers, which I'd never normally do. Five QBs went in the first nine picks. And I wound up with Alex Smith as my second QB (very late, like the 11th round or something). The strategy is that QBs are now a scarce commodity, and you *do* probably have to reach and get a reasonably good one in the first, say, three rounds.

Rajid (Brooklyn)

Would you still take MJD in the 1st round?

Christopher Harris
  (11:09 AM)

Hi, Rajid. I would. I'm stubborn. I just don't see a way that this doesn't end. I'm paying absolutely no attention to the media -- the team and the agent will use media outlets to make this seem like Armageddon, but if bargaining in sports the past decade has taught us anything, it's that nothing will happen without a hard and fast deadline. Week 1 is that deadline. And I don't see MJD reporting out of shape; he's a workout warrior. This obviously backfires if I'm misreading the parties' intents, and he sits out until Week 10. But for now, this is a value opportunity for me.

nando (boston)

Hey Chris, thanks for all your help/advice. With Vincent Jackson not receiving any looks first preseason game, do you think he is a good WR #2 or would you prefer Percy Harvin?

Christopher Harris
  (11:11 AM)

Hi, Nando. Again, my ranks are here: http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=NFLDK2K12ranksHarris200 , where you can see that I have Harvin a couple spots ahead of V-Jax. But I'm using this answer to plug my annual "Flag-Planted Players" column, which comes out Thursday afternoon on ESPN.com. Putting the finishing touches on it today, and yes, Percy Harvin appears on the list. I'm very bullish on him this year.

Alex (NY)

Hi Christopher, I have viewed your top 200 and recently view ESPNs Mock 4.0 and was surprised to see you take MJD, Gore, and Mike Wallace. To me those guys are all big question marks. What makes you so confident in those players?

Christopher Harris
  (11:13 AM)

Hi, Alex. MJD and Wallace are simply a matter of value-hunting, in my opinion. I don't see either guy missing a game. I know Wallace is missing out on training camp in a new offensive system, but I don't buy that that's a value crusher that it would be for, say, a quarterback. Run over there and turn around translates to any offensive system. (It's more complicated than that, obviously....) Those are elite players, IMO. As for Gore, listen, I don't love the dude -- but I think the Niners have figured out a formula to keep him relatively healthy. I'm not a big believer in Brandon Jacobs, and I think Gore still leads that team in rushes, rushing yards and rush TDs. On a conservative offense that'll still give him between 15 and 20 touches per week, I'll take that relative certainty over the utter mess that's behind him on my list at RB. That's my logic, anyway.

Nate (FL)

D Bowe is now MJD. How worried should I be?

Christopher Harris
  (11:15 AM)

Hi, Nate. I'm more concerned about Bowe than Wallace or MJD simply because I don't think Bowe is as good a player. Like Wallace, he's missing time in a new offensive system, but unlike Wallace, he doesn't have the speed that any offensive system can use. He's more of a big dude who needs to score TDs. I admit I lowered Bowe a few spots in my WR ranks about a week ago. He's at No. 22 now, after being in the high teens this summer. But again, I don't see any way he holds out past Week 1, so there's a really good chance he represents a value opportunity as the sheep in your league panic.

Paul (NY)

RE: nando (boston). The link you provided has Vjax above Percy...

Christopher Harris
  (11:16 AM)

Hi, Paul. You may need to bust your cache -- the list that says it was updated on August 14 at 1:36 p.m. has Harvin at WR15 and Jackson at WR16....

Eric (DC)

I don't understand how Darren McFadden is falling to the 3rd round in drafts. On talent alone, he is arguably the most productive RB in football and worthy of a top 5 pick. Despite his history, isn't it foolish to try and predict injuries, especially since after the Big 3 RB's, every RB has potential concerns? Can you explain the rationale...

Christopher Harris
  (11:18 AM)

Hi, Eric. I totally get what you're saying, and the piece I wrote here acknowledges McFadden's talent: http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=nfldk2k12_decisionsraidersRB If the dude stays healthy, he's a *steal*. But let's not just say "you can't predict injuries" and leave it at that. The dude has missed nearly 1/3rd of the games he was supposed to play, over a four-year career. He's not your run-of-the-mill injury risk, and I'm comfortable with how I have him ranked. But it sounds like you have a stomach for some added risk, and you're right: if it works out well for you, you'll have an utter steal in Run-DMC.

jeff (ny, ny)

Do you ever remember a year with less certainty surrounding the RB position? Between all the players coming back from injury, split backfields and general inability of "top guys" to stay healthy it seems like one jumbled mess.

Christopher Harris
  (11:20 AM)

Hi, Jeff. It is, indeed, a mess at RB. My standard line on the radio and in podcasts this month has been that RB6 through RB100 probably is a single tier, and maybe 5 of those guys will wind up being top-10 fantasy backs. But predicting which ones is maddening. It's a reason I'm sympathetic to the idea of taking three QBs in the first round, and five in the first two, and why I won't scoff at people taking Gronk or Graham in the second round (though I probably won't). The trade-off of upside for safety is real and frightening.

Tom (Bath)

Piggy backing on Jeff's question...do you think this is finally the year that running backs are not at the premium they have historically been?

Christopher Harris
  (11:21 AM)

Hi, Tom. Well, the first three RBs would seem to be at a mega-premium. Foster, Rice and McCoy have upside and safety that we typically would find in maybe 7 or 8 RBs...and for that reason, in standard-scoring leagues I wouldn't out-think myself...if one of those guys is available, don't get cute, take one. They're at the highest premium imaginable. But after them? I understand why you feel that way. It looks messy.

Dane (Harlingen)

What kind of fantasy production do you think we should expect out of the Bears offense this year?

Christopher Harris
  (11:23 AM)

Hi, Dane. I don't expect that Chicago suddenly goes all vertical and explosive. I just don't think that's who Lovie Smith is, and I don't think they have the offensive line to pull it off. Brandon Marshall has finished between 9th and 13th in WR fantasy points for five straight years, so that's a good range for him. Cutler isn't a top 10 fantasy QB in my opinion. Forte is a borderline first-rounder but is hurt because Michael Bush is there and should lead the team in rushing TDs. There are a couple interesting names, obviously (Marshall and Forte chief among them), but I don't expect major surprises.

Charlie (Virginia)

You have Jermaine Gresham ranked as your 18th TE. Jay Gruden says he wants Gresham to play more like Gronk this year, and we know he wont perform quite on that level, if he gets off the line of scrimmage more often dont you think he could be top 10 easy?

Christopher Harris
  (11:25 AM)

Hi, Charlie. He could. But two points of caution. First, don't listen to coaches. They lie, they misdirect, they don't serve us. They're talking to opposing coaches, they're talking to their own players. Second, which TE would you bump out of the top 10 to put Gresham in? It's a pretty daunting list to suddenly say, "Yeah, Tony Gonzalez, you're *out*, I gotta go with a guy whose career high is 596 receiving yards." Tight end is deep. Gresham is talented. But I don't feel comfortable putting him in my top 10.

Sir Pig (the Pugnacious)

Hi Chris ... I appreciate your conservative approach to fantasy football but I'm puzzled by your Shane Vareen ranking. You have him ranked much higher (#88) than most but his ESPN A.D.P. is 121.9? Thanks.

Christopher Harris
  (11:27 AM)

Hi, Pig. I came really close to putting Vereen on my Flag list, actually, but instead went with Stevan Ridley. But because I like Ridley doesn't mean I can't like Vereen. Ridley is kind of a slightly more athletic replica of BJGE, and as such seems a natural to inherit all those juicy close-in TDs. But if someone is trying to sell him to you as a fast guy, or a shifty guy, or a game-breaker, they're goofy. Vereen is likely to play some early downs, and a lot of third downs, and *he's* the guy who can be a home-run hitter. Am I saying he's startable in any leagues? I am not. And of course, any discussion of Belichick RBs requires the disclaimer that week-to-week they can be maddening. But I think Vereen is going to open some eyes this year. He's a good player.

Eric (MN)

Hey Chris, I see you have Green-Ellis ranked as the 28th RB and Bernard Scott as the 47th RB. Why so low? At least one of these guys has to do a little bit of damage this year playing for the run 1st Bengals

Christopher Harris
  (11:29 AM)

Hi, Eric. Are they run-first? They threw it 54% of the time last year...granted, in today's NFL that still put them slightly on the "run-heavy" side of average, but only slightly. Green-Ellis will be the TD guy, but I'm not buying him as a double-digit TD player outside of New England's crazy offense, and I'd love to see Scott follow through on his athletic promise, but the Bengals just don't seem to view him as more than a complementary player. Brian Leonard will play some, too, I think. I'm underwhelmed.

Francisco (New Mexico)

Your link has Michael Turner ranked 16th among RBs. Do you think he has any chance of cracking the top 10?

Christopher Harris
  (11:31 AM)

Hi, Francisco. He definitely does. I rated him low (not this low, but low) last year, and he made me look *foolish*. I didn't like how he looked the final six games or so of last year, but that doesn't mean he hasn't recharged, and it's true that he has less tread taken off his tires because of his early years with the Chargers than your average 30 y.o. back. Coincidentally, we happen to have a piece about Turner on the site right now...with four ESPN contributors weighing in. I'm not one of them, but it makes for interesting reading: http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=nfldk2k12_decisionsturner

Max (NYC)

I'm looking forward to your column on Thursday. Now, who do you like better....just joking. What is your take on stocking up on RBs more than any other reserve spots this year? I'm keeping M. Forte and am darn sure drafting Rice with my #2 overall pick.

Christopher Harris
  (11:33 AM)

Hi, Max. Thanks. Yes, I think taking as many lottery-ticket RBs as possible makes great sense. In the 2QB draft we did Monday, I think I took 7 backs...in a 10-team league. As I said, RBs No. 6 through infinity probably have 5 guys who'll surprise us and leap up into the stratosphere because of injuries and opportunity that nobody sees coming -- and it's nice to have as many of those guys as possible.

David (RI)

C. H. - Better career David Wilson or Doug Martin?

Christopher Harris
  (11:34 AM)

Hi, David. Interesting question. I'm going to say Martin, but I don't feel absolute about it. Martin is a Forte type in my mind...does everything well, 'gets' the game, can already block, etc. Wilson is raw, has a fumbling problem, can sometimes look a little lost bouncing around out there -- but he's a purveyor of that quality you can't teach: speed. He's such a burner that if he figures out the other stuff, he could be crazy-good. I guess I think Martin is the safer player, and likelier to help you immediately, and Wilson has the bigger ceiling to his career.

Ryan (Saratoga NY)

Hey Chris - Why is everyone so down on Rivers this year. He has bascially had Eli or better stats every year - just tossed a few too many bad balls last year that got picked. Is he really going to finish that much farther down on the boards than the Mannings ?

Christopher Harris
  (11:35 AM)

Hi, Ryan. Sheesh, I'm giving away the flag column before it's even out! Hint: Rivers is on it.

Geoffrey (Couch)

Chris,I'm participating in my first auction draft this sunday and not sure what to expect. I've done some ESPN Mock Auctions but I feel as though the results vary wildly. What is your general strategy when going into auctions?

Christopher Harris
  (11:37 AM)

Hi, Geoffrey. I like what you say about the mock auctions, because I think that's many folks' experience of auctions in general...they *really* vary, and they're tough to predict. There's no one strategy that's definitive, and your team will likely be made or not made by what you do with your lesser-dollar guys. The big-ticket guys tend to be an arms race...you get yours, they get theirs. Try and make yours as safe as you can. Don't be afraid to spend big for, say, Ray Rice, but realize he's probably the only true stud you'll get. And my tendency is not to nominate players I really want until quite late. Good luck, hope this helps a little.

Brett (NYC)

Chris, can you please rank these rookies for a dynasty league: Wilson, Pead, Hillman

Christopher Harris
  (11:38 AM)

Hi, Brett. I'd say exactly the order you have them. I like Pead, but probably not as much as some draftniks whose stuff I've read. And I'm not a Hillman fan at all. I see kind of a smallish "traditional" back who'll get crunched running between the tackles in the NFL.

Jay (Kentucky)

Any help at all on Adrian Peterson? Do you see him being productive this year or bust?

Christopher Harris
  (11:41 AM)

Hi, Jay. He won't be on any of my teams in redraft leagues, and that pains me. I'm not touching him in the first few rounds of a draft. I know, I know, he's Superman. Except he's really, like, *not*, y'know. And I always bought that he'd be available Week 1. But there's SO much risk with him. His risk makes McFadden and Mathews look like Emmitt Smith. He's probably not tearing the ACL again, but there's a huge history of players not being "themselves" in the first year back from an ACL, to say nothing of the guy who tears his in Week 16 the year before. He's likely to have muscle pulls, he's likely not to have full strength in his legs, he's likely not to be himself. And to me, that means you're not getting a full AP value out of taking him. Sure, might he start putting it together later in the year? I guess, inconsistently, maybe. But if my fantasy team is 4-6 by then, how does that help me?

Dave (Dallas)

Any issue with taking Ryan Matthews as your #3 RB in a 10 team PPR?

Christopher Harris
  (11:42 AM)

Hi, Dave. None at all, if you can get him there. Take a look at my ranks, and you'll see I still have Mathews No. 12 among RBs in a standard league, and his PPR rank can only be higher than that, given what a good receiver he is. He's probably not playing at full strength Week 1. But he might play. And he'll be fine soon thereafter. Matthew Berry took Mathews one slot ahead of me in the draft we did Monday, as I had Mathews all queued up as a value pick, and I groaned. It was a great pick.

Scott (NYC)

J Witten has an internal injury? Can you elaborate?

Christopher Harris
  (11:44 AM)

Hi, Scott. Apparently it's a spleen injury he suffered on a big hit during Monday's preseason game. He's out for the rest of the preseason, and there's a chance he misses Week 1 and maybe longer. I haven't fully digested the news, but it's safe to say he goes lower in my ranks. It sounds like they aren't planning surgery now, but haven't ruled it out. I'm remembering Chris Simms' spleen injury, oof, and fearing for Witten's early season.

Ryan (E.L. MI)

Chris, saw a week or so ago you talk about not wanting WR/RB or QB/RB from the same team. My question is how do you feel about two "top" WR's from the same team? i.e. Bryant/Austin, White/Jones, Nicks/Cruz

Christopher Harris
  (11:45 AM)

Hi, Ryan. I'm not a huge fan, to be honest. I get the impulse...to some extent, it feels safe, because darnit, *somebody* is going to have a great week each week on those amazing passing offenses, right? The worry I have, though, is that on a weekly basis you're capping your upside...there's a really good chance you're not going to get *two* very good weeks out of your WRs if they're on the same team. I don't completely rule it out. There were years if you owned Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne, you were pretty happy. But it's something I tend to avoid.

Tom (Bath)

Do you think Richardson's health concerns make him less safe than the indicated rb14? Was it a slam dunk for you to rate him there or did it take more thought than most?

Christopher Harris
  (11:48 AM)

Hi, Tom. Well, listen, for sure I had to think about moving T-Rich down once the knee surgery happened. But I didn't. I left him right where I had him, and it's because I honestly had some knee issues baked into my ranking. I'm not buying that this is a serious injury, just as I'm not buying that it's nothing. It was probably nagging, and produced some swelling, and they wanted to nip it in the bud. And I believe he'll be ready Week 1, though I can see the Browns not pummeling him with a heavy workload right away. I always preferred him as a RB2 when the mega-hype was on, so in a way (as with Ryan Mathews), this injury may have saved fantasy owners from themselves. But I definitely did have to think about it, yes sir.

Chester (MN)

Hey Chris, what are your thoughts on Matthew Berry's "elite QB/TE" strategy? Would this still apply in an auction?

Christopher Harris
  (11:51 AM)

Hi, Chester. Well, it seems every week I get overwhelmed by this question about Matthew's theories...and I maintain that Matt isn't saying your team is going to *lose* without taking an elite QB and/or TE, but rather he's really saying precisely what I said early in this draft, which is that in a world where RBs after the top three or so are so uncertain, it's worth opening one's mind and considering alternatives at positions we used to encourage you not to consider early in your draft. Now, the math says that it's absolutely *not* mandatory to have a top QB or a top TE to win. My guess is that we'll never see 5 QBs in the VBD top 11 ever again, and both Gronk and Graham will regress some. But I still think Matthew is correct that when you're faced with a crummy choice, say, for your RB2, and you see Gronk sitting there, it's not crazy to pick Gronk.

Sonny (Work)

Do Lipscomb and Karabel sound the same in person? On the Podcasts they sound almost identical.

Christopher Harris
  (11:53 AM)

Really? Wow, I never would've thought that. No, they definitely don't sound the same in person. Though they both are very bright and usually wrong if they disagree with me. (Ha.)

Dan (New York)

Do you expect Fred Jackson to be as productive as he was last season?

Christopher Harris
  (11:54 AM)

Hi, Dan. It just so happens I wrote a piece about the Bills backfield: http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=nfldk2k12_decisionsbillsRB

Shaun (NYC)

Why is Bradshaw considered so much more of an injury risk than the other round 2/3 injury suspects? Seems as though he has upside this year, especially considering Jacobs isn't around to vulture TD's anymore.

Christopher Harris
  (11:56 AM)

Hi, Shaun. I don't think he's considered *more* of an injury risk. He's probably just about the same as an injury risk, but I don't view his upside as high. I see your argument about Jacobs being gone, and that *was* 16 TDs over the past two years. But David Wilson is legit, and should play a good deal to try and keep Bradshaw healthy. Listen, as I've said a couple times in this chat, there might be exactly one tier of RBs after you get past No. 3. And so if your strong feeling is that Bradshaw's ankles stay healthy and he inherits all of Jacobs' TDs, I totally see your point, and wouldn't begrudge you taking him higher.....

Ryan F. (Tulsa, OK)

I know you love Titus Young for DET. What's your take on Ryan Broyles?

Christopher Harris
  (11:57 AM)

Hi, Ryan. Ooh, I do like Young. (Another spoiler alert.) I think Broyles could eventually be a good NFL player, but coming off the late-season torn ACL, I just don't see him as a big contributor early this year. He's likely to help out with slot duties in four-wides, and maybe do more than that later in the year, but in redraft leagues I don't love him unless someone gets hurt in front of him.

Tony (Edinburgh)

Hi Chris,Rashad Jennings is a free agent in 2013, so should I consider dropping Gore or Turner for him on my keeper list? It's what I did when Turner was at SD, then look at what happened in Atlanta! Thanks and good luck with your ff season!

Christopher Harris
  (11:59 AM)

Hi, Tony. Tough for me to weigh in on the particular mechanics of your keeper league, so I'll stay away from that, but as far as Jennings goes...yeah, I mean, I've liked him since he came into the league out of Liberty. He's a good player. Let's be fair: Turner has about 30 pounds on him, so I'm not sure he's ready to be that kind of battering ram wherever he lands; I feel safe in insisting that he does not have "elite fantasy back" in his future. But he could wind up being someone's starter, I agree.

Chip (NC)

Hi Christopher- Why so low on Reggie Wayne (#40)? I know that WR is deep, but behind the likes of Santonio Holmes, Lance Moore, Crabtree and Sydney Rice? Please explain

Christopher Harris
  (12:01 PM)

Hi, Chip. Well, it's partly that he looked disinterested and crummy for most of last season, and it's partly that he has a rookie QB throwing it to him. (I know, it's now tempting to treat Luck like a veteran stud QB, but I'm not falling into that trap just yet.) I do like the fact that Collie is running outside now, which is why he's jumped up to 46 on my list. But I can't get behind the Colts as an above-average offense after one preseason game. I'm going to be the doof who holds out deep into the season before I start believing.

John (Austin, Texas)

Hey Chris, what is your take on Tony Romo this season?

Christopher Harris
  (12:03 PM)

Hi, John. Well, the Witten news doesn't help, nor does having Miles Austin's hammy flaring up again. But listen, as long as he's healthy, Romo should put up numbers. He's frankly more of a numbers guy than he is a big-stage guy, I think we all know that, but for fantasy, he's going to get the job done. He's a perfectly fine player to take when you waited on QBs -- but I also would be fine if someone else takes him, and I wind up with Peyton/Rivers/Ryan, etc....

Ryan F. (Tulsa, OK)

I know it had to have been a crap-ton of work for you, but I still miss The Breakdown.

Christopher Harris
  (12:03 PM)

Hi, Ryan. Yeah, they decided they wanted me doing more TV/Internet video stuff, and it just became too much work. Thank you, though, for remembering. I appreciate it.

Paul (Denver)

Who are your 14th and 15th ranked players in standard leagues? Those are my first two picks. Keeper options entail Wallace and Romo.

Christopher Harris
  (12:04 PM)

Hi, Paul. It just so happens that I've got keeper ranks on our site, too: http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=NFLDK2K12ranksKeepers

Chris (Chicago)

I noticed you have Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams as RB 24 and 25, respectively. Do you think it would be a wise to take them both back-to-back if you have a bookend pick in a snack draft?

Christopher Harris
  (12:05 PM)

Hi, Chris. Well, I'm not sure "wise" is the right word. Listen, in 10-team leagues, I'd rather not be forced to use either of those guys in my starting lineup. If I'm taking one or both, it's to be plug-in guys with upside...because if one gets hurt, the other starts looking...well, *better* anyway. Of course, the TD upside is going to be limited with Cam Newton (and Mike Tolbert?) around. But heaven knows they're talented players. I don't think you should feel obligated to get both, but I'm okay with it, provided you don't need to lean on either heavily.

West Coast Injury Prone Player Strategy (Farmers Branch, TX)

How do you feel about players like R. Matthews/McFadden that have most of their games in the afternoon and are consistently injury risks? Do you personally hedge the risk if you draft one of them by picking up a "safer" player later at that position, even if the rankings say otherwise?

Christopher Harris
  (12:06 PM)

Yeah, I mean, listen, it's a relevant concern. You can throw Beanie Wells into the conversation -- it seemed like he was questionable going into a 4 p.m. (ET) game about 10 times last year. It's annoying, and it does tend to handcuff your starting lineup. I think that if your comparison between two players is close, and one of 'em fits the category you're describing, it's a very decent tiebreaker.

Ryan (Saratoga)

You have Julio as your #10 Wr. To me - out of all the guys not named Calvin Johnson, he has the biggest upside/chance to be the #1 WR in fantasy - agree?

Christopher Harris
  (12:08 PM)

Hi, Ryan. Well, no. He's got the potential to be really, really good. But Roddy White is a leader on that team and he's *going* to get fed. There's going to be a work split in that receiving corps that, to me, makes it very unlikely that either guy could be the WR1 in fantasy. Let's also remember that Jones wasn't the picture of health last year, so there's some risk involved. I like him. I feel comfortable saying he has top-5 upside. But probably not top-1.

cody (seattle, wa)

schefter just tweeted that Jahvid Best will start season on PUP list? How high does that put Kevin Smith's value in your mind?

Christopher Harris
  (12:10 PM)

Hi, Cody. Thanks for telling me, I hadn't seen that yet. I haven't fully digested the news, but yeah, I mean, Best was still my highest-rated DET running back, and that can certainly no longer be the case. He's well nigh undraftable now. I had him at RB32 in my most recent ranks, so I was viewing him as a lottery ticket anyway...and I would say Smith probably can't even be that high, because he isn't as good a player, and because he, too, is an injury waiting to happen. If anything, all this just emphasizes how valuable that Lions pass game is going to continue to be.

Tyler (IA)

Chris - Matthew Stafford is a stud. But is he still an injury risk?

Christopher Harris
  (12:11 PM)

Hi, Tyler. I don't think so. I pegged Stafford on my Flag list last year precisely because the injuries he suffered were basically the result of taking huge shots...not because he was constantly banged up with minor things, and not because he's some kind of mad, Vick-ian scrambler. Is the Lions o-line great? It's not. But I also don't put it substantially below average. Heck, the Packers and Patriots may have bigger o-line questions in spots than the Lions. I think Stafford is just about as safe a pick as there is.....

Christopher Harris
  (12:12 PM)

Hey -- here's a question for *you* guys. Has anyone who's had their question answered today bought my book? www.slotbackrhapsody.com

Bill (NH)

Chris, thanks for staying over time: Which RB do you see haveing a more productive season: J. Best or Ingram?

Christopher Harris
  (12:13 PM)

Hi, Bill -- well, considering Best won't be active for six games, I'll say Ingram. Brutal blow for Best, who was a really promising player.

Dan (Illinois)

Will the Steelers throw a lot more to their RBs under Haley's new system? In light of what the RBs' roles were in KC, I am thinking that Redman is seriously undervalued in PPR leagues.

Christopher Harris
  (12:16 PM)

Hi, Dan. The question I have is: Is Redman much of a pass-catcher? 18 catches last year, and no more than 3 in a single game. I don't think he's horrendous at it, but I'm not sold that he's suddenly a PPR god. Plus he hurt his groin during the Steelers' first preseason game and hasn't been able to practice since, so let's get that sorted out, too.....

The Tooth Fairy (breeders hill)

you named the head coach starling fond? why? sounds like a pedophile.

Christopher Harris
  (12:16 PM)

He's no pedophile. He's just a good ol' boy. Read the book, you'll like it.

Jesse (NYC)

Chris, are you worried about Greg Jennings concussion? It seems as though the symptoms have been lingering for quite some time now...

Christopher Harris
  (12:18 PM)

Hi, Jesse, yeah, I agree, it's not great, definitely not optimal. I'm not moving him on my list yet, but I'm also not doing any drafts that count yet. Thankfully. This is surely a case where the longer the symptoms linger, the more worrisome it becomes.

Gary (Denver)

I have an unhealthy love of K. Smith. Please talk me down.

Christopher Harris
  (12:20 PM)

Hi, Gary. That's a weird guy to have an unhealthy love of. No 1,000-yard seasons, missed 13 games the past two years, huge collegiate workload that was a big red flag to draftnik types a few years back. I think we know for sure now that he'll be the starter and will play a lot. But Mikael Leshoure will come back from his suspension and potentially be in the mix, and one imagines that someone like Ryan Grant could now be on Detroit's radar, too. I'd say don't get overheated.

Bartender (At the HandleBar!)

Any help for a 2 qb auction draft. Zero coverage for these anywhere.

Christopher Harris
  (12:20 PM)

As I said earlier in the chat, we did a 2QB mock on Monday, and it'll be posted today, I think.

Ryan F. (Tulsa, OK)

Haven't bought it. Yet. Smells like a Kindle purchase, though!

Christopher Harris
  (12:21 PM)

Well, I hope you do, Ryan. Thank you. The Kindle version is like $6 I think. A bargain at twice the price.

Diamond Dale (Sacramento)

Steelers RB situation is dismal due to injuries to Redman and Dwyer......would Free Agent Ryan Grant be a good fit?? Or what Free Agent RB would be considered??

Christopher Harris
  (12:23 PM)

Well, Grant is the only bigger name still out there, and I have real questions about how much he has left in the tank because he was awfully hit-and-miss last year. I think Grant gets signed somewhere. Detroit and Pittsburgh do sound like logical destinations. (But tune into Schefter's Twitter feed for that stuff -- I am *so* not a reporter.)

Franklin (Santa Cruz)

Do you love Titus Young more than Torrey Smith? I own both in a keeper league, and I view Smith as a SERIOUS breakout player this year.....ala Jordy Nelson. Am I crazy?

Christopher Harris
  (12:25 PM)

Hi, Franklin. You're not crazy, but I don't see it. Smith has great speed, which makes him a candidate to blow open fantasy games a couple times a year. But I haven't seen him become a complete route-runner yet, plus I honestly don't trust Cam Cameron as Baltimore's offensive coordinator. I've said this a lot this summer, but at times late last year, I thought the offense he was running looked like a high school offense. No question Flacco has a big wing, maybe the biggest in the league, and he will take some rainbow shots. But in general, I just wonder if there's enough usage for Smith to have that kind of massive breakout. (But heck, if he gets 15 TDs a la Jordy, that would be pretty sweet.)

Christopher Harris
  (12:25 PM)

Now seriously...here I am, 25 minutes past the stop time for this chat -- have you bought the book yet? www.slotbackrhapsody.com

Jason (Attleboro MA)

Is there a list of a few players that will NOT be on your rosters this year?

Christopher Harris
  (12:26 PM)

Hi, Jason. Not officially -- but let's see...Victor Cruz. Adrian Peterson. Michael Turner. And that's not to say I think any of them are, like, horrible players. I just doubt I'm going to be in any drafts or auctions where I'll be willing to go high enough to get any of those guys.

Tom (Bath)

You're talking me into buying the book...available at Barnes and Noble I take it.

Christopher Harris
  (12:27 PM)

I don't think so any longer -- I think you have to order a hard copy at Amazon, or else buy the Kindle version. Details on the web site, and thanks.

nando (Boston)

Just bought the kindle version, looking forward to reading it!

Christopher Harris
  (12:27 PM)

Thank you, Nando.

Tony (Edinburgh)

Hi Christopher, Thank you very much for answering my question- appreciate it! They sell your book here, so I'll buy it!http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/275-8448654-8446932?url=search-alias=stripbooks&field-keywords=SLOTBACK+RHAPSODY

Christopher Harris
  (12:28 PM)

Thanks, Tony.

Bartender (At the HandleBar!)

Haven't bought it yet. Just don't read fiction stuff. Sounds like a good idea for a book though.

Christopher Harris
  (12:28 PM)

If you like football, seriously, you'll get a kick out of it.

Robert (KS)

Just bought the book on iTunes & will carry it w/me on my iPhone....look forward to reading it!

Christopher Harris
  (12:29 PM)

Thank you, Robert. I really appreciate it.

Jon (Chicago)

2QB Mock Draft write-up is up, btw.

Christopher Harris
  (12:30 PM)

So it is, Jon. So all the folks clamoring for a 2QB mock, here it is: http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=nfldk2k12mockdraft5

Christopher Harris
  (12:32 PM)

All right, gang, I have to go put the finishing touches on the annual Flag-Planted Players column. Those of you who were paying attention aren't going to be surprised by some of the names on this year's list, but hopefully there'll be a couple surprises. Thank you very much for sticking around the extra half-hour...it was fun. I'll be doing this again next week, but in the meantime, feel free to follow me on Twitter (@writerboyESPN) and/or friend me on Facebook (facebook.com/writerboy), and ask me questions there -- I'll do my best to get back if possible. Believe me, I'm not trying to big-time you kind folks...I'm appreciative every day for your support, because without it, I wouldn't get to do this great job. Thank you again, very much. Have a great day.