Morning everyone. Hope your Halloween was fun, and I hope the folks in NJ/NY who can check in on this are doing well enough. Let's see if we can't offer some distraction via fantasy football. I'll do the typical Slotback quiz later in the hour...for now let's get to your questions. (You can follow me here: @CHarrisESPN, you can friend me at www.facebook.com/writerboy and you can find my football novel, Slotback Rhapsody, here: www.slotbackrhapsody.com )
What's your outlook on Fitzgerald- bad QBs and a brutal playoff schedule- who would you target in a trade or keep him? Also, any value in picking up Hillman. Thanks.
Hi, Sandy. On this week's episode of the Fantasy Underground podcast (which you can find on iTunes or at espn.com/podcenter), we talked about fantasy playoff schedules, and Fitz was my nominee for the WR with the worst schedules in the fantasy playoffs. That said, he's a beast, and can *definitely* excel even against a bad schedule. I wouldn't trade him now, after 2 bad outings, because his value is low. But would I think about getting a lot for him after he has a couple more good games? It's a very viable strategy.
In the fantasy underground, you guys were debating Titus Young vs a host of other WRs. How about Young vs. Kendall Wright ROS?
Hi, Joe. Thanks for listening, my friend. I would pick up Young for Wright, definitely.
Do you know the reason for the home/road discrepancy for Julio? And Roddy for that matter
Hi, Jason. Honestly, I just think it's one of those random things. I don't buy home/road splits if football. There's just no statistical evidence that they're true. It's just a random happenstance that will probably get cleared up. Those two WRs seem to be on the every-other-week plan right now as it is!
Have Vick - Freeman available on waiver - who do you prefer ROS?
Hi, Mark. I still think Vick. Certainly the past three weeks it's been Freeman, and he has a good matchup vs. OAK. But not as good as Vick's against NO Monday night. I'm hanging with Vick.
Why so low on Denarius Moore this week?
Hi, Justin. Yeah, I looked at the WR ranks, and was super-surprised to see how high everyone else was. That's what I have to ask myself: am I too low, or is everyone else too high? I like the matchup for sure -- Tampa's corners are all basically suspended. But I don't buy Carson Palmer as a locked-in, no-doubt kind of player. Having Moore at 24 among WRs is actually the second-highest I've had him all season...but I've consistently been in the 21 to 30 rank with him all year. Don't see any reason that he'd suddenly deserve to be considered an ultra-elite player. Fantasy starter. Most comfortable with him as a WR3. As you probably can see, I tend to not be a very knee-jerk ranker.....
Will I be more than a WR3 this year?
My guess is yes. I think it's coming, maybe as soon as this week. But Nicks is a player I'm willing to sit and miss his first really good game, which would prove that he's at full health. So for the moment I'm very comfortable having him outside the top 20 (he's #28 on my list this week). If he goes off, I'm okay with that. I'll think about starting him after that...
On the Underground you were talking about frustrating usage of RBs. What's it looking like for Jamaal Charles ROS? Will Romeo keep him in the game even if they're trailing or should owners try to sell high after his next big game? Thanks
Hi, Vishal. Wish I knew. (And thank you for listening to the podcast.) There doesn't seem to be any logic to when the Chiefs decide, "Oops, this is a day we're not going to use J-Mail." Brian Daboll is one of my five least-favorite offensive coordinators in the league...too conservative/constipated in his play-calling, and too prone to weird personnel decisions that don't seem based on merit. I think you're right that JC fits in the "frustrating" category, but I'm not sure there's a pattern. Last time he had a stupid workload, of course, he blew up for 30-plus touches, so you probably have to start him tonight and keep your fingers crossed.
You seem higher than your peers on Dez, don't you worry that Romo is just about fed up with him? Seems as though they're always arguing about something on the sideline...
Hi, Alex. I blasted Dez in my "Instant Impressions" piece from Monday, because he's half-brain-dead. But you look at the production lately, and it's 3-of-4 great games, and in the other one he had a groin injury we knew about beforehand and probably should've taken more seriously. Ranking WRs was *really* hard this week...and I'm not adamant that I've done it perfectly. But I don't think a decrease in targets is coming for Dez.....
Hey Chris, Would you trade Health Miller for R.Jennings? I thinking MJD not coming back for the year even if he do it would be week 15..
Well, sure, I'd probably do that, assuming you have another very strong TE option that you feel safe with. That seems like pretty good value, and I agree, MJD doesn't seem all that close (though I'm reading the same tea leaves as you are...the Jags haven't told anyone what they really think about the injury....)
Better late season pickup, Beanie Wells or Cedric Benson?
Very good question. I would be tempted to say Beanie, because I think there's a much better chance that he's back and starting right away, as soon as Week 12. But I've already mentioned the Cardinals schedule over the season's final month (and we talked about it at length on the podcast), and that's not going to bode well for Beanie. Truth is, though, we're much less sure about Benson's availability at this point. So I'd probably say Beanie, but my expectations are still pretty low.
Hi Chris... seems like I've been picking the wrong starters recently. Had Stafford on my bench last week and played Eli. Don't you hate that? Not sure what to do with my FLEX this week in a PPR. Sproles or Jennings?
Hi, Jeff. I do hate that. Gr. I think I'm playing Sproles, though they're separated by two spots on my RB list, which is here: http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=12ranksWeek9RB
Does Calvin wake up this week ? Fitz or Gates at Flex
Hi, Leo. I *think* so, but of course, I always think so. My m.o. is I'm going to stick with the great players, and there's no doubt Calvin is a great player. Really, until the past couple weeks, the yardage had been there, but the TDs not so much. Yes, I think he's still a must-start. As for your flex --- oy. The Pack has been very generous to opposing WRs. But will Skelton have any time against Clay Matthews? Wish I knew. If it's me, I probably go Fitz, because Gates has 1 good game all year. But that doesn't mean he can't go off tonight. Go with your gut...I think mine says Fitz.
Who would you rather have ROS - Mathews or J-Mail?
Good question, Adam. Hm. I think I'm going to say Mathews, because of a slightly more favorable schedule, but that's really kind of a crock, because we still don't *really* know what teams are going to look like in December. The Charles usage from last week has me just a tiny bit spooked. Both are RB1s.....
Hey Chris do you think im going to a bigger part in the ravens offence
Well, sure, I think the Ravens are probably pretty chastened at their stupid game plan against the Texans a couple weeks ago. To some extent, they got down early and abandoned the run, but you also have to be smart about knowing who your best player is....
Thoughts on Torrey Smith for ROS? Seems to be extremely overrated in my eyes... Only big game came against the terrible Pats D
I think he's overrated only in that the Ravens don't have an elite QB and they have my *least* favorite offensive coordinator (Cam Cameron), and they don't take advantage of Smith's pretty good skills. But I'm with you -- those who were pumping him as a WR2 earlier in the year were barking up the wrong tree. He's better-suited as an WR3.
Hey Chris, you said it perfectly with Fantasy Football being a distraction, we can all use it. I saw you all have Rivers ranked low but Gates High. Is it safer to start Gates or Celek (vs that awful NO Defense) in a PPR???
Hi, Thomas. Hey, I'm at least glad you have power, my friend. I'll tell you: Gates is really high because the Patriots are on bye, and there just aren't a lot of "sure-thing" TEs right now. I don't feel good about where I ranked him (TE6), but then I look at the guys below him (Pettigrew, Bennett, etc.) and I don't see much better stuff there. Will I be shocked if SD finally puts it together with a big effort tonight? No. But Rivers has been awful. I don't feel like I can start him in good faith if I have anything resembling another option. Gates/Celek? Well, you see my ranks...but if your gut is screaming Celek, I can't argue too strongly against.
Chris, finally woke up early enough to make your chat! Would you propose a trade with Charles or D Martin for D Thomas or Marshall? My other RB is Forte and Reggie Bush. Which one?
Hi, David. Glad you could make it. I have to say...the trades that you're suggesting here are all fair, in any combination. And if you're in a league where you can only go with 2 RBs and no flex, I guess I'd do one of them (probably likelier to try and maximize Martin's peak right now). But if you *can* play three RBs, I'd maybe try and trade Bush, and get a lesser WR. Those three RBs all playing together (Forte, Charles, Martin) sounds pretty good to me.
Thoughts on Ronnie Hillman and James Starks ROS? Thanks Chris!
Hi, Phil. Well, Hillman has played pretty well in a sub-package kind of role; I'm not sure he's going to be an every-down back ever, but he seems likelier to get the most carries if McGahee goes down. Starks? I'm kind of at a loss. Seems clear Mike McCarthy does not feel love for the guy. If Alex Green can play as demonstrably badly as he's done for 2 weeks and keep the job, Starks is either hurt or deep in the doghouse. I won't be shocked to see him get more work this week.
Do you think that I will be traded before 4 today? What about my friend DeAngelo Williams in Charlotte?
I am totally *not* plugged into league sources (I'm just sitting here in my living room in Amherst, MA, writing my column), so I'm absolutely speculating. But just knowing that NFL deadline deals are so rare, and big ones even rarer, I'm guessing neither guy goes.
All right, for those folks who've read Slotback Rhapsody -- here's your quiz. (If you want to join them, the book is quite fun, I think...www.slotbackrhapsody.com) Just answer once -- I promise I'll see it. What's the nickname of the wide receivers coach (who eventually gets a promotion)?
You think I'll wind up playing this week? I'm debating because I know I could help out my buddy Justin who's in a 2qb league and has bye problems. But also, I am kind of enjoying this view I have here in the bedroom. Got any advice?
Hi, Justin. I'm guessing that Tannehill does play -- that's the way the tea leaves read at this moment. But I won't be shocked if they change their mind and go with Matt Moore. Maybe add both if you have the roster spot and are desperate enough?
Heath miller or Torrey smith at flex? You and Yates are awesome, love the show
Thanks, Henry. I think I'd play Miller, to be honest. He's been really, really consistent. Doesn't have Smith's upside, of course.
What are your thoughts about the ROS for Brandon Lloyd?
Hi, DB. Well, I don't think you're looking at too many more 2-TD games on 2 receptions, if you know what I mean. I don't hate the idea of trying to get top-15 WR value for him, because I don't think he's there. He'll have good moments. But he's not going deep enough and isn't enough of a big-time focus in the passing game to be a WR1.
(The answer is not Starling Fond, Slotbackers.)
What do you make of the Leshoure situation? Looked dinged up last game and missed the 4th quarter and now didn't practice for "personal reasons". Could the personal reasons be getting a medical opinion or surgery? Jo Bell or Kevin Smith a good pickup?
Hi, Norm. I don't think the Leshoure injury is serious enough to warrant surgery. But the DET staff is laughable when it comes to discussing injuries...they just flat-out lie. Don't believe anything they say. I can't say it's not a pulled calf or something like that. I think if you're desperate, I don't mind picking up Bell. We really have no idea whether Leshoure will play until we see whether or not he practices.
Who has more value for the remainder of the season, CJ Spiller or Fred Jackson?
Hi, DB. It's a good question -- assuming health for both, it's going to be week-to-week frustrating. If I was assembling a ROS RB list, Spiller would be a bit higher, just because I think he's a more explosive player.
I believe LeShoure was out for the birth of his son.
ROS value - Julio Jones or Demaryius Thomas. Falcons could have locked it up by playoff time...
Hi, Tyler. Honestly, even if they don't, I still think I'd say Thomas. Not that it's not close, but he just hasn't shown the week-to-week variability that the Falcons WRs have.....
Do you think S. Rice will lose his momentum against the Vikings given he will face Winfield all day?
Hi, Nick. Well, I don't think anyone can promise it'll be Winfield-on-Rice for the entire game...the Vikings do play enough zone at times that I assume that won't always be the case. But you're right: despite the Bucs putting it on them last Thursday, the MIN D is still a touch matchup for opposing WRs, statistically speaking.
you watch the tape...how big a deal is losing G nicks for D. Martin?
Well, Nicks has been noticeable despite his injured toe. He's been a masher who's jumped off the tape. So it's not good. But I really couldn't promise that the production will stink as a result -- as Field Yates said on our Fantasy Underground podcast this week, an O-line is much more than just one great part...and TB has gotten better overall in that regard. So I'm reserving judgment until I watch this week's game, and not panicking.
Hey Chris! I frickin love the Underground! Great information! Would you trade Doug Martin for Peyton Manning straight up? I have Eli as my starter now and my other RB's are Foster and Forte.
Hi, James. Thanks for listening. I think it's a fair trade, and you do have 2 RBs I'd categorize as better. I can see a scenario later in the year if Eli starts playing better where you start going back and forth not knowing whom to start at QB, but for the moment, it pretty clearly seems to be Peyton.
Okay -- not a ton of correct answers this week. I strongly advise you guys to read the novel -- good way to get questions answered, ahem. You like football, right? You read a little bit, right? It's got Buddhism and HGH and, like, sex and stuff. www.slotbackrhapsody.com. Here are our correct answerers' questions.......
BOW WOW! PPR League: R Jennings or Leshoure at Flex? Thanks
Hi, Nate. Especially in a PPR, I think I go with Jennings. He's caught it very well these past two games.
BOW WOW! Have Witten and Graham, makes no sense to have both right? Would you trade Witten for Maclin given the Eagles uncertainty in the passing game?
After last week, I wonder if you can't aim higher with Witten. If Maclin is the best your league-mates will currently give you, it seems to me that you could wait another game or two, hope for more games like last week's, and get more. Maclin isn't that exciting to me right now.....not for a guy who could easily be a top-5 TE.
Who do you like this week at the flex: LeShoure, Green-Ellis, or Jonathan Stewart?
Hm. I think I'm going Stewart. BJGE just doesn't catch it much, and there's enough uncertainty about the Leshoure injury situation (or non-injury situation) that I'd just go with the better player, and hope that the workload stays the way it was last week.
Is BGE and Harvin a fair trade for McFadden? I would still have Mccoy and T-rich at rb and Marshall and Green at WR.
Honestly, the Law Firm feels a little superfluous...so I'll evaluate Harvin for Run-DMC. It's fair. I couldn't tell from your question which side you're on. I think I might actually prefer Harvin. If McFadden puts it together in the 2nd half, well, he could be awesome. But Harvin seems pretty awesome to me right now. But I think it's fair.
Give FJax, Vick, Austin for Charles and Cam? Have Graham at TE..1/2 PPR
I think it's fair, because there's big risk on both sides. Austin feels like the "safest" guy in the deal. If you're just "over" Vick and feel like you want to cast your lot with Newton instead, I get that. But trust me, there are Newton owners out there who feel the same way about him. Me, I think I probably do it.
Would you trade McCoy and Harvin for Foster and Jordy? Or maybe for Peterson and Miles Austin? Thanks!!
Jordy obviously has hammy issues at the moment, and this deal values him at full strength, so we'd have to hope he's really going to be *at* full strength soon. But any chance to get Foster, boy, it's tempting. I think that's the deal I'd take, provided I had enough at WR to weather the storm if Nelson has to miss another game or two. (Which may not actually be the case....)
Okay, that's it for all the correct answerers...thanks to all of you. Let's get back to the full group's questions......
You think Santana Moss keeps it rolling against the bad Panthers secondary this week? Enough to start him over JStew in the flex in ppr?
Hi, Jamie. If I'm guessing? I say no. But certainly, I would've said the same thing each of the past two weeks, and he's found the end zone in both of those games. I think the percentages say play Stewart. But this is probably a 60-40 kind of deal, and if your gut says Moss (which it sounds like from your Panthers analysis), I wouldn't argue....
Assuming health is not a factor, do you think Amendola will reclaim the lions' share of the targets?
Hi, James. I do. I think Amendola will be right back where he was in that Rams offense as of Week 10. Of course, it's the Rams, so I can't promise he's a must-start every week. But in a PPR league especially, he's valuable. If he's available, grab him.
Am I finally more trustworthy as a full time #1 in Fantasy again..I only have led the NFL in rushing since week 4? On that note am I safer than Charles tonight
No, I would say he's not a fantasy stud all of a sudden again, but you're right, the numbers look good (thanks to his huge game against the terrible Bills D). I still rated Charles a few spots higher, because I think he has a *way* better offensive line. Of course, if the Chiefs decide not to play him much, that line doesn't help.
What happens to my value if / when Foles takes over the starting gig?
Hm. I have to admit I haven't spent much time thinking about that, nor have I seen much of Foles on tape. My knee-jerk is that a rookie QB who was relatively unheralded and has no starting NFL experience will be overwhelmed, and that won't be good for anyone on the Eagles offense. But that's probably too generic a response...I'd really only have a good sense after seeing tape on him if he plays.....
Am I crazy to trade Julio Jones for Freeman as insurance?
Well, I don't think you'd be getting good value. We had a couple questioners early in the chat asking if they should pick Freeman up off the waiver wire. I assume your WR situation is rosy to even be thinking about dealing Julio, but I have to say: I'd want to aim for more of a "sure-thing" at QB in exchange for him, whereas Freeman still has to prove to me that he won't regress to where he was earlier this season and last year.
Thoughts on Chris Johnson ROS? Sell high now that his value is somewhat high and he has some tough matchups coming up or hang tight and ride the waves?
Hi, Jay. It's a legit question. If someone in your league wants to value him as a top-5 fantasy back and give up the farm for him? I'd do it, because I don't think that's where CJ really is. But all the Fantasy Underground listeners know that I'm not surprised he's turned it around, and I don't think this is a fluke...it all comes down to what's blocked, if he can find a crease, etc. I don't think he's a *must* sell. But I think he's going to have more frustrating games along the way this year.
Are we finally seeing the RB torch passing in ATL???
Hm. I don't think quite the torch being passed. Looking at Quizz's tape Sunday, to me it looked like his instincts weren't great, and he's not as elusive as you'd like to see from a player of his size and limited strength. It was a nice performance, but to me not one you'd watch and say, "Man, that guy *has* to be our feature back." Turner is cooked as a goose. But I don't think he loses his job to Rodgers without an injury any time soon. Maybe more of a split workload, though.
If you could afford to give up a RB, would you trade ALF for Demarius Thomas? ALF seems to have a difficult schedule and Broncos schedule is sweet...
Hi, Jennifer. Even independent of schedules, I think this is probably pretty fair. Each guy is nestled well within the top 10 at his respective position, and we mustn't forget that Morris is a rookie and there's certainly precedent for rookies declining at the end of the season. Thomas seems rock-solid to me right now. I think it's fair.
Am I about equal in value to D. Moore and Owen Daniels? My new team is in pretty desperate need at RB.
Sure, I think that's probably a pretty fair deal. Moore has been very nice over the past few weeks, and I think he's a terrific prospect longer-term. Plus Daniels is among the steadiest dudes at his position right now.
If you owned him, how would you feel about trading Arian Foster in the next few weeks? Do you see the Texans reducing his work when they lock up a top 2 spot in the AFC?
Hi, Brian. I don't think I or really anyone else can answer the late-season workload question for Foster. The Texans aren't going to talk about it -- and otherwise it's pure speculation. Ben Tate hasn't been healthy, so maybe he gets right and takes over bigger workloads. Or maybe they just go Justin Forsett for grins. But boy, I don't think I can trade clearly the fantasy MVP. I guess I could have my mind changed depending on how amazing the package is. But I want Foster on my squad.
Is fantasy football still fun for you? I find it to be more frustrating than fun these days...
Hi, Mike. I totally get that. Fantasy football is more frustrating, it seems, the more you get into it and start to know and learn about the players. That's because (in my opinion) on a weekly basis it's just *so* difficult to project usage and performance. Last week going into Monday night, I had a 9 point lead and Frank Gore going against my opponent's Michael Crabtree. Nice, right? And then Crabtree goes off. I still find it fun because I allow for the randomness in my headspace...and if I feel like I made the right call, and reality just didn't agree, well, I can live with that. Just like I've gotten much better living with bad beats at poker. It becomes more about your own managing of yourself, and less about the unpredictability of the league. Because it's *so* unpredictable on a micro level.
Would you trade Lynch for Harvin?
Hi, Steve. I think it's a fair deal, because I think just that much of Harvin. Love the dude, flag guy, has worked out well. Clearly, whether I'd do the deal depends on what else I have at RB and WR.....
Me and mcfaddin for demaryius
No way, wouldn't do that. Too much!
Megatron skipped practice again today. If he were to miss the game sunday, do you still start Stafford?
Hi, Ryan. Yeah, I would. And I don't think Megatron sits. He's missed 3 games in his career. But yes, Stafford starts anyway for me.....
Okay, gang, one more and then I've got to walk the dog and write the Hard Count column.
Titus Young or Mike Williams in a PPR flex this week?
Hi, Jeff. I'd play Williams by a whisker. And you guys can all see my answers to single-position questions...they're online. Look at the "Weekly Ranks" link at the top of fantasy football pages on ESPN.com.
Okay, that's it for me. Thanks for coming to this chat -- 1,600-plus questions in an hour. Follow me on Twitter: @CHarrisESPN. Buy the book (slotbackrhapsody.com), because it's a pretty good way to get your question answered every week. Listen to the Fantasy Underground podcast on iTunes or espn.com/podcenter. And again, there were *so* many single-position questions -- I'm not going to pick those, gang. The answers are already published on ESPN.com, in our weekly ranks. Thanks again...I wouldn't get to do this great job without all of you, and I'm very, very appreciative. Have a great day.