Morning everyone. First the obligatories: follow me @CHarrisESPN or friend me at www.facebook.com/writerboy, buy my book (slotbackrhapsody.com) and see Week 17's single-position ranks here: http://espn.go.com/fantasy/football/story/_/page/12ranksWeek17RB/fantasy-football-week-17-running-back-rankings. Glad to try and answer your keeper Qs today for my final chat of the season......
What are the chances of either Jonathon Stewart or D Williams getting traded? I have both in a keeper league but dont want to keep both. Thought maybe it would be worth while holding onto if one gets traded. Thanks
Hi, Victor. Until the Panthers hire a new GM, this will all be speculation. But I'll say that D-Willy's contract is way more tradeable or cuttable than Stewart's. If I'm taking bets, I think Williams plays elsewhere next year.
Who should I keep....Doug Martin or Aaron Rodgers?
Hi, Dave. Tough to say in a vacuum...but I'll say depending on your league format, both are probably going to rank in my first round, but I'm going to have Martin a few spots higher because of positional scarcity. I just think it's possible to find decent QB solutions later in your draft.
Hey Chris, love the Underground!! Keeping RG3 in the 10th is a no brainer over keeping Arian Foster in the 2nd right?
Hi, Samuel. Yeah, I think that's probably true. You likely won't get Foster back again (depending on where you pick), but the value for RG3 is probably too strong here.
Keep 3: Newton, Spiller, Morris and/or Dez?
Hi, Rob. Again, without league context it's hard for me to be absolute, but I'll just say that I think Morris probably winds up lowest in my ranks out of these four players. (Which is dumb to say, considering how good he's been this year.) From a strategy perspective, though, I think having Newton/Spiller/Morris and your backfield basically locked up from the start is very attractive. There are lots of good WRs out there....
Mr. Harris, I want to thank you for your insight, I followed all of your material. I strongly believe that you helped me win my league.
Thanks for the kind words, but I always say: I offer advice, but you guys and gals are the ones who make the final calls, so you really do all deserve the credit.
Hi Chris, I really enjoyed Slotback Rhapsody! FLEX question, Danario Alexander or Darren McFadden? I'm currently up 14 so need the "safer" guy
Thanks, Earl. I appreciate it. I hate describing DMC as anything resembling "safe," heaven knows, but in this case, where the RB and the WR are pretty close in my estimation, I do think it's safer to go with the RB simply because it's harder for him to be shut completely out.
Keep 1: AJ Green ($28) or Trent Richardson ($31) for the next 4 years?
Hi, John. That's a tough one. I can easily see answering either way, depending on what *else* you'd be keeping, what your league format is, etc. The player I think I'd most like to draft in a re-draft league next year, barely, is probably T-Rich. But the player who I feel safest will hold his value through the next four years is probably Green.
Where do you think Dez will rank in his position group and overall next year?
Hi, DFL. I've begun the process of ranking for 2013...in fact, yesterday I recorded a video of my (very) preliminary Top 10 draft picks for next year (you can find it by searching ESPN.com), and we also did a mock draft on this week's Fantasy Underground podcast where we covered the first round of a 12-team draft. Dez didn't make it into my top 10, but I currently have him 2nd among WRs, barely (and I mean barely) ahead of Marshall and A.J. Green. So maybe around #12,
How come you have the Bills defense ranked so low this week? Did you see that circus the Jets called a game last week against San Diego?
Hi, Dan. It's always a delicate balance between loving a D/ST's matchup and thinking the D/ST itself is kind of pukey. I'm reminded of the DET/ARI game a couple weeks ago, where I was judged by some folks to be incredibly dumb for not ranking the Lions D high enough because the Cards are so bad on offense. But sometimes a bad defense can't stop a bad offense, y'know. Look at that Bills D/ST game log, and it's kind of shudder-inducing.
Hey Chris -- enjoy your hibernation! In a 12-team keeper league where you keep two in the round they were chosen in perpetuity. Six points for every touchdown,so which do I keep: Brady (1st), Marshawn (3rd), Dez (5th), Luck (8th) or Alfred Morris (12th). Thanks!
Hi, Alex. I think maybe I go Lynch and Morris? Lynch seems like a top-5 overall pick next year, and Morris in the 12th is pretty ludicrous value. Brady you can probably get again in the first, Dez and Luck *are* really strong value, but not close to Morris so many rounds later, IMO.
Looking to stash a RB in a keeper league and see what happens, pick one, please...Hillman, Daniel Thomas, Fred Jackson, Kendall Hunter, Ivory,Ryan Williams?
Hi, Larry. Let's see. I'd have said Hunter before his Achilles' injury, but no longer. I mean, Ryan Williams, maybe? Either him or Daniel Thomas? I think there will be opportunity for each guy, but both have proven quite injury-prone. I do have good feelings about Williams for next year, as Beanie seems intent on talking his way out of Arizona....
Love the book so far, can't wait to finish before New Years. What running backs are expected to take over the starting jobs for their teams next year? I have Jacquizz and Darryl Richardson rosetted for this case but don't know whose more likely to get a full load. Thanks!
Hi, Steve. Thanks for reading Slotback. In this week's Hard Count I do a quick survey of possible changes for '13, and talk about some of what you're asking here. Steven Jackson does sound likely to opt out of his contract, but he's also a possibility to re-sign in St. Louis, which has cap room and where he's such a leader. Turner does seem like a possible cap casualty, but I will always question whether Rodgers is big enough to be an early-down back. I guess at this exact moment in time, Richardson seems like a slighly better bet (Isaiah Pead's presence notwithstanding), but that's *super* subject to change.
Hey, looking forward to next year, what guys in college right now, beyond the obvious ones, say 4th to 6th rounders, do you think have the ability to make some sort of an impact next year in fantasy?
Hi, Aaron. The funny thing is that this is a weird skill-position draft year, so I'm not sure there *are* any "obvious" ones. Giovani Bernard is my favorite to be the first RB taken (maybe in the 2nd round?) and I also mentioned Mike Gillislee in this week's podcast. I'm going to talk about rookies some in tomorrow's hard count, too, so make sure to read....
I'm finally using my real name now that I absolutely crushed my opponent in the fantasy Superb Owl! I know there's a lot that will happen in the offseason, but which way are you leaning with David Wilson in terms of value for next year? Considering him as a 14th round keeper in a 14tm league.
Hi, Diego. I always appreciate your Tweets -- thank you for your support, my friend. I think the Giants backfield looks like a three-headed monster. If I were taking bets on who leads that team in rushing TDs in '13, I'd say Andre Brown. But Wilson is the home-run hitter here, and Bradshaw is such a mess health-wise (even at age 26). I think Wilson is worth keeping. He's still going to be a speculative pick entering the year, but you don't find speed like that growing on trees....
How long do you think the key Atlanta players will play this week?
Hi, Tom. We talked about Atlanta/Indy/Cincy at length on this week's Underground podcast, so take a listen for complete thoughts. I believe Mike Smith when he says he'll start these guys, and play them for maybe a half. After that? Hm. I have a hard time imagining that they all stay in for the entire game. I did ding them all a little bit in my ranks this week.
Can keep two out of Charles early in the 2nd, Marshall late in the 3rd, and Manning early in the 8th. Thoughts?
Hi, Peter. I'm assuming you're talking Peyton, first of all. Nobody's feeling too snazzy about keeping Eli at this point. Here's the thing: Charles' value where you have him is pretty close to fair. So while he'd be the player I'd most like to have in a vacuum, I wouldn't feel like I was getting terrific value for him -- whereas Marshall, you're making up probably nearly two rounds' worth of value. As for Peyton -- I love the dude, and he's got the best value here, but there are an awful lot of QBs. I don't feel like I need to relinquish a great RB/WR to keep a QB just because his round is a bit lower.
Hi Chris, got a draft question for next year for you. Our league does a WR/TE hybrid spot, so where would a guy like Gronk fall? Top 10 at the position? Top 15? Lower?
Hi, Mike. Phew. It's a question I've literally put no time into thinking about, since it's kind of a non-traditional league format. I would think not inside the top 10. But inside the top 15? Yeah, that sounds right to me. There are so many high-upside WRs that Gronk probably can't compete with from a yardage perspective -- but his TDs figure to be darned consistent if he stays healthy....
Keeper question: CJ Spiller in the fifth, or Alfred Morris in the eighth?
Hi, Mike. Well, the value is better for Morris, but I have Spiller rated higher, by probably < 10 draft spots, though. In a case like this, it may just come down to which player you like owning more. I could see an argument for either guy.
Really struggling between DX and James Jones in a non-ppr for week 17. Can you help me sort it out? Thanks.
Hi, Jerry. Well, we're getting lots of contradictory info about the Packers WRs. Is Cobb going to play? Is Nelson? I almost think DX offers the safest move here, but then again, it's Philip Rivers. I'm going to bet that DX puts up more yards, but Jones gives you the chance for that random TD (or TDs) that can put you over the top.... My WR ranks are here, by the way: http://espn.go.com/fantasy/football/story/_/page/12ranksWeek17WR
would you keep dez or charles if you're already keeping AP?
Hi, JM. Well, again, you have a better feel for scarcity in your league, i.e., will there be so many WRs kept that you'll have no good ones available to you in the first few rounds of your draft? Other things being equal, I think I would lock in AP and Charles as my backfield and assume the coaching mess in KC can only get better.
12 team league, keep 3: CJ1K (round 1) Gore (round 3), AJ Green (round 8), Randall Cobb (waiver), Kaepernick (waiver). Thanks!
Hi, Neil. I would probably not keep Chris Johnson in the first round. And I think Gore is probably a *fair* value in Round 3, but he's getting older and I don't think you're getting a huge upside value by keeping him there. So I might be tempted to keep the bottom three. Definitely Green and Cobb at those spots. Kaepernick? Well, I don't think he'd be your starting QB to begin next year. But might he work his way into that? Sure. I could see just keeping Gore in the third to be safer, though.
I have AP, McCoy, RGIII, Cam, and several mid level WR (Nicks, Blackmon, Antonio Brown, Cecil Shorts) in a league that plays w/ 1 QB, 2 RB, and 3 WR. Should I keep the big 4 or start building at WR, who do i throw back?
Hi, Tom. I like Shorts and I like Antonio Brown if Mike Wallace moves on from Pittsburgh, but of course you're right: your "Big 4" are obviously better fantasy options as we look way away at 2013. I think you probably have to keep those top four guys and work some magic in your draft with WRs....
Matt Berry and Nate Ravitz were arguing the other day that Spiller could be a first round pick next year. Obviously given your last statement, you strongly disagree. Do you not see him as an RB1 next year in standard leagues?
Hi, Joe. I strongly disagree? Not at all -- I have Spiller as one of my first 3 guys who didn't make my top 12. So he's probably inside my top 15 (though all this is subject to change), which isn't all *that* far away from top 10, is it? Here's the thing: I think Chan Gailey gets fired, and I think Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn't start at QB next year, and I'm not sure whether Fred Jackson gets cut. That's a *lot* of moving pieces. I like Spiller very much. I just find him less safe than the few players I rated above him, at least at this exact moment....
Bought my brother Slotback for X-Mas... so far he loves it! Never like to start a TE at flex but with Witten and Gronk I may need to. Start Witten, Gronk, Decker, Colston... Need to start 3 of them... Thoughts?
Well, thank you for that, I very much appreciate it. Hope you read it, too. It's sounding to me like Gronk is pretty darned questionable to play in Week 17 -- in fact, I may need to remove him from my ranks. As of yesterday, the Boston media said he hadn't been cleared yet. So that may take the decision out of your hands. If he's active? Eesh. If you feel you *must* play him, I guess I sit Colston. But there'd be a risk that he wouldn't play a full game as he gets back into the swing, so maybe you'd be better off just avoiding him altogether, since you have 3 other quality options?
Hey Chris, couple keeper questions. 6 points for td's and we keep the player in the round they were drafted. I am going to keep rg3 in the 5th and Vjax in the 6th but would you rather keep Percy Harvin in the 4th or Vick Ballard/Kapernick in the 15th? Thanks! Huge fan
Hi, Patrick. Thanks for the kind words. I think I'd prefer Harvin in the 4th. I think the Colts will still be looking for a RB solution this winter, and as I mentioned earlier, Kaepernick has all kinds of athletic upside, but he probably can't automatically be considered a fantasy starter in all leagues right away next year. Harvin, on the other hand, is a stud.
2013, Randall Cobb finishes ____ in PPR wide reciever ranks? Trying to access his keeper value.
Hi, Rob. That Green Bay WR situation is so fluid, because Greg Jennings may walk. I do feel as though Cobb is kind of slump-proof because his production seems to stay level as the outside receivers all bounce up and down. I would say in a PPR he's verging on top 10. Certainly within top 15.
Pick one RB for next year for long-term keeper league: Arian Foster, Doug Martin or Alfred Morris? No penalties and you can keep them as long as you want.
Hi, Ben. Well, I'm going to have them in this order for next year: Foster/Martin/Morris. But Martin is a few years younger than Foster, so if your focus is on making sure you have a guy who'll stay strong for many years, I would understand taking Martin. But since RBs tend to have pretty short shelf lives anyway, I still think I'd be apt to keep Foster -- the YPC is down, but the TDs stay ever-high.
If forced into starting one due to injuries/sits, you like Montell Owens or Shipley more in a PPR this week? Owens seems safer, but he did split carries even last week and isn't getting younger, maybe Jax checks out someone younger?
Hi, Larry. I hear you, and Richard Murphy is definitely involved in the offense, plus no Cecil Shorts gives Shipley some run. In a PPR I'm tempted. But I'm still going Owens. He's played well enough and in varied enough ways that I trust him not to lay a goose egg for you Sunday -- I don't think he'll sit any more than he's done recently because the Jags don't have anyone else they *really* need to look at.
Chris, what is the best case scenario for round/position ranks for Fitz next year, and this would depend on if _________ was brought to Arizona. (Thanks a lot Chris your advice helped me win my first league!)
Hi, Jeremy. I mean, maybe Michael Vick? Alex Smith? Philip Rivers? (Not that he's getting cut or dealt, I assume....) The Cards will probably have a new GM in a month or two, and until then any bets we make on their QB situation are whistling in the dark. But just from a "fit" perspective, maybe Smith makes sense. But that wouldn't be good news for Fitz -- game-manager means fewer deep shots....
Hey Chris, listened to the mock draft on the underground pod this morning. Didnt hear MJD's name in first round consideration, how come no love?
Hi, Brett. You're absolutely right -- it was painful! I'm such a big MJD fan. I didn't give LeSean McCoy first-round love, either, and felt flaky for it. Heck, these are two of the most talented players around. I'm *very* willing to change my mind on them as the winter goes along...let's see what coaches coach those teams, and what else they get surrounded with. If anything, I might be willing to dump the three QBs I have in my top 10 down into the second around, and potentially promote either of those two guys, or Richardson, or Spiller....
For all the marbles CH! Tell me why I shouldn't be stating WIlson over the guy who got me to the championship game, Matt Ryan. I just feel like Wilson is at home, with something to play for, while Ryan sits out 3 quarters.
Hi, Matt. Take a look at my QB ranks, and you'll see I'm thinking the same thing: http://espn.go.com/fantasy/football/story/_/page/12ranksWeek17QB
Where do you think Graham will go next year? Will he bounce back after a sluggish finish to this season?
Hi, Steve. Well, yeah, you're right, there's real bounce-back potential there because there's a good chance that his struggles have been partly related to his wrist problem. That said, I'm never in favor of reaching for TEs, even the elite, so I can't see coming close to my third-round recommendation from this year. I think fourth or fifth is more likely. I think he'll be my TE2, but the distance between him and Gronk will be bigger.
Still playing in week 17 and down 30 going into second week of championship. Roll the dice on Bush v. NE or potential upside of M. Owens v. Ten?
Hi, Jay. Well, given the three-TD game from Bush last week, I'd say even with a questionable matchup, the Hail Mary shot here is still probably Reggie. Owens does have the easier matchup, but I guess I have a harder time imagining him "going off" and getting you the multiple scores that you need.
Need flex clarity in my PPR league, playing for most points this week, pick one please: Battle, Tate, Grant or Avant. Thanks Mr. Harris. Your insight helped me win the Super Bowl last week!
Hi, Tom. In a PPR, maybe I just go with Avant under the assumption that he keeps getting a bunch of catches every week? Compared to Tate in a PPR, I think I go Avant, and I can't get excited enough about Battle or Grant to use them.
Have to keep 2 must be different positions.....Megatron 2nd round, T-Rich 4th, Cobb 10th, Gronk 13thThanks!
Gronk in the 13th is probably a little too tempting for me to pass up. And while Megatron doesn't represent nearly as much value as the other guys, he sure is safe. It would be awfully nice to still have a first-round pick to take a RB, while already owning the WR1 and the TE1 entering '13.....
With the Ravens having nothing to play for, would you sit Rice for LeShoure, Antonio Brown or David Wilson?
Hi, Chris. Actually, the Ravens do have something to play for -- they can still earn a first-round bye with a win and a Patriots loss. So I think they use Rice throughout.
Chances Matt Ryan doesn't play at all this week? Down 9 in the championship and need this one. I have Phillip Rivera on the bench..
Hi, Dakota. If Ryan doesn't play at *all*, then Mike Smith is a darned liar. :-) He really seems to have said his starters will start the game, and really he's *implied* that they'll play most of the game, though that's where I start to get worried he's exaggerating. If it's a blowout one way or another, they'll definitely be out, and in the 4Q I wouldn't be shocked to see them sit regardless. Will Ryan get you 9? I think so.
You crushed it for me last week and led me to scoring the most points anyone had all year in my 1st round Ship game, but I am only up by 16 and I am playing a team that 16 points isn't a lot.I have Spiller, so pick one out of Steven Jackson, BJGE, and Run DMC with guys like Ballard, Woodhead, and DeAngelo out there. I have Thomas, so pick one out of Wayne, Roddy, Amendola, Jennings, Lance Moore. Then I have Graham and Witten for TEs. Who the heck should I play for my RB2, WR2, TE, and Flex?! I already bought slotback after I stuck with Roddy last week, but I will late gift it to 10 people if you help me win!
Hi, Peter. Ha! Well, thank you for getting the book. I will say Jackson at RB (though McFadden has more upside, so I would be find picking him), Roddy at WR (same conversation about Falcons players...), Witten at TE and Graham at Flex. How's that?
Re: SpillerLooking back, think I misunderstood. Thought you were comparing Spiller's draft spot (poster mentioned 5th round) and you said <10 spots higher, assumed that meant 4th round. I guess you were talking about X many spots ahead of Morris.Sorry!
No apology necessary, Joe!
Please help! Do you think Fjax is going to be around next year to kill Spillers value again?
Hi, Hause. If I'm a betting man, I say no. I think Gailey gets fired, and the over-loyalty to Jackson goes away, and he gets cut. But it's not a sure thing at all.
Matt Ryan - worthy of a 5th round keep? Thoughts on the impact of possibly losing the best TE to ever play to retirement?
I think Ryan will continue to be worth that round, yes, but I also think he's not a *must* keep there, because again there are so many good QBs. The Gonzo loss will hurt, but I do think it's those two outside receivers that make Ryan special for fantasy.....
12 tm keeper, Richardson (late 2nd), Cobb (late 8th), Stafford (11th). Thinking of finally cutting ties with Stafford, but is the value too good?
Hi, Luther. No, I don't think you have to keep Stafford here. Clearly, when you draft, he's going ahead of the 11th round. (Clearly.) But Richardson is acceptable value where you have him, and Cobb is potentially great value. I don't always feel obligated to keep *only* the best "value." Sometimes I also just like to keep good players that I enjoy owning.
Chrisa?¦you are surely the most intelligent FFB analyst out there and the Underground needs to expand next year! Couple of issues for my STD scoring IDP championshipa?¦1) can Julio get enough to be played over say R Moss or a revived J Avant w/M Vick and a banged up J Macklin, 2) rank TEa??s D Walker, Scheff, and L Kendricksa?¦. if V Davis sits and if he plays, and 3) Bernard Pollard is now probable a?? does he play enough to warrant a start over D. Manning. Thanks for everything!
Hi, Willie -- thanks for the kind words. (1) Yeah, I play Julio, probably; (2) Sounds like Davis will play, so I probably go Scheffler (gulp); (3) Manning seems safer, though if he's out there, Pollard is clearly a better bet for tackles....
do you see better stats from cj2k next year or about the same? Thanks!
I think maybe about the same? He's had a pretty good year. I don't see a reason to think that the Titans will suddenly be able to completely fix what's become a pretty poor internal offensive line, and that's what's plagued CJ. I view him as a strong RB2 right now, given how many good backs there appear to be....
Down 13! Need a WR and a FLEX out of: Julio, Blackmon, Decker, DX, Run DMC
Hi, Joe. I think I go Julio and DX. I could see the argument to put McFadden in there over Alexander if what you're really searching for is safety, because they're close and DMC is probably getting more touches. But Alexander has more upside, I'd say.
Do the Redskins give RGIII the option to run the ball this week - or do they play it safe again with his knee - limiting his rushing oppurtunities?
Hi, TD. Well, that's the million-dollar question. I don't think the Skins will give us that answer until game time. If I'm guessing, I'd say Griffin runs more this time around, but maybe not like he's done earlier in the year. I did continue to rank him in my top 5 QBs, so I still feel pretty good about him.
OK, gang, I have to write the final Hard Count, so I have to get going....one more.....
Need to keep 2: harvin 5th decker 8th leshoure 13th
Hi, Tony. I think I'd go Harvin and Decker. Leshoure just doesn't do it for me...... One more.......
Do you think Russel Wilson will make as a good keeper for next year as a 12th rounder? What are his future prospects? Thanks Chris!
Hi, Brian. Clearly I don't know the context of your league, who else you'd be keeping, who else would be kept by other teams...but in a total vacuum, sure, I think Wilson in the 12th is very nice value. I would love to see Seattle use some of its cap space to sign, for instance, Dwayne Bowe. That would help me love Wilson more. I don't think he begins next year as a top-10 QB in my book, but he might not be far off........
Okay, everyone.....that's it for me. I have one more column to write, one more set of TV appearances, and then I settle down for my long winter's nap. Thank you very much for making this the best fantasy football season I've been through. You all make it incredibly fun. Remember you can follow me @CHarrisESPN, and I hope you'll consider buying my book (you like football, I already know that, and you probably like...y'know...laughing and stuff?) www.slotbackrhapsody.com. I also have another novel coming out this winter, which I'll tweet about. Thanks again for a great season, and Happy New Year!