Ask the Experts
Posted Nov. 17 at 06:33 AM
ASK THE EXPERTS appears weekly with answers to a new question being posted Thursday morning. How the guest experts responded when we asked them:
Do you see value in the league's most uncertain backfields (Washington, New England), or are they best avoided entirely?
Think of it this way..."Beggars can't be choosers". If you are hurting at RB due to injuries or this last bye week (Mendy, AF, Sproles and Thomas owners); you may have to turn to whomever you have stashed on your roster (by the way the 4th bye week team is IND, another team that currently plays this RB shuffle). If you can avoid it, stay away from these situations as it can seriously ruin your outlook on life (and force you to doubt your FF wisdom). Take it from someone who started Torain when Helu went big and vice-versa
Hendricks is the author of Fantasy Football Guidebook, Fantasy Football Tips and Fantasy Football Basics, all available at his website, www.ffguidebook.com, at all major bookstores, and at www.amazon.com. He is a 20-year fantasy football veteran who regularly participates in the World Championship of Fantasy Football (WCOFF), National Fantasy Football Championship (NFFC) and finished 7th and 16th overall (out of 228 competitors) in the 2008 and 2009 Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC).
To the extent possible, you should avoid those situations. I would never draft a Patriot running back just the same as I would not draft a Bear wide receiver because they mix and match them too much for any consistency let alone productivity. The Saints are another – outside of Brees and Jimmy Graham, everyone else has to share so much that their performances are watered down and they become too unreliable. If it is the difference between having a fantasy starter or not, then do what you have to do but never willingly get involved with the mix-n-match backfields if you can avoid it. HC Mike Shanahan was a perfect example this week when he inexplicably started Ryan Torain instead of Roy Helu.
Dorey is the co-founder and lead NFL analyst for The Huddle and author of Fantasy Football: The Next Level. He has projected and predicted every NFL game and player performance since 1997 and has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, radio and television.
I still hold out some hope for BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Roy Helu. The Patriots have a very soft schedule to end the year and eventually they'll need to do some second-half running, looking to salt games away. Green-Ellis has never fumbled in the pros and he's still capable at the goal. I'm not giving up yet. As for Helu, I think (and I say this with marginal confidence, for obvious reasons) Mike Shanahan realizes he made a mistake going back to Ryan Torain last week. At what point do we accept that Torain can't play? He's been a flop since the gift game the Rams handed to him back in Week 4, averaging less than two yards a carry. If nothing else, it's time to evaluate Helu, find out if he's part of your future.
Pianowski has been playing fantasy football for 18 years and writing about it for 15. He joined Yahoo! Sports in 2008 and has been blogging 24/7 on RotoArcade.com ever since.
I think you have to take a step back and look at the big picture. Where are these teams headed? In the case of Washington, it’s headed for the scrap heap. I have no interest in those guys. But with New England, you’re talking about a playoff team that tends to build momentum and get a lot better late in the year. The Patriots have the great offensive line, and they tend to put up better rushing production in November and December. That’s not just a gut feel or an opinion. I’ve checked the numbers. In six of the last seven years, that team has scored more rushing touchdowns in the second half of the season. In five of those seven years, it’s run for more yards. And not just a little. According to my numbers, the Patriots averaged 116 rushing yards in the first half of the season for those seven years (2004-2010). They averaged 128 yards per game in the second half — 672 more yards in those 56 games. Same with touchdowns. 8 rushing TDs, on average, in the first half of the season, but 10.3 in the second halves — 16 more touchdowns in those 56 games. So while they’re dinking around with Green-Ellis, Woodhead, Faulk and Ridley, I still have interest in that situation. My guess is that either Green-Ellis (most likely) or Ridley (if he emerges) will score a bunch of 1-, 2- and 3-yard touchdowns in these final games. I see a bunch of crappy, soft defenses coming up on the schedule.
Allan is the senior writer for Fantasy Football Index. He's been in that role since 1987, generating most of the player rankings and analysis for that publication. His work can be seen in Fantasy Football Index magazine, and also at www.fantasyindex.com.
If you're even considering diving into these hot messes, it means your at least in contention for a playoff spot. And that would suggest you have some talent on your roster. In that case, I wouldn't bother gambling on any of these backs in Washington or New England. You're more likely to hurt your squad than help it.
Smola is the Senior Editor of DraftSharks.com. DraftSharks has been providing fantasy football analysis since 1999. The site provides its members with feature articles, daily email updates, in-depth player profiles and projections, its exclusive MVP Draft Board, and much more. This past year, Draft Sharks took home the Fantasy Sports Trade Association's award for most accurate preseason projections.
I recommend all fantasy owners avoid Skeletor in Washington. Nothing good comes from a coach who blatantly lies to the media.
Nazarek is the CEO of Fantasy Football Mastermind Inc. His company offers an online rookie draft kit, preseason draft guide, customizable cheat sheets, fantasy drafting programs including auction values, weekly in-season fantasy newsletters, injury reports and free NFL news (updated daily) at its web site. He has been playing fantasy football since 1988 and is a four-peat champion of the SI.com Experts Fantasy League, a nationally published writer in several fantasy magazines and a former columnist for SI.com. For more info go to www.ffmastermind.com. Nazarek can be reached at email@example.com
Mike Shanahan truly "pulled a Shanahan" last week. After drawing his first career NFL start in Week 9 and collecting 146 yards (with 14 receptions), surprisingly Roy Helu was not the starter in Week 10 as Shanahan turned back to Ryan Torain. It was a head-scratcher. While Shanahan is a wild card, we still like the upside Helu has and think he can be a solid #2 RB down the stretch with some upside given his receiving abilities. The bottom line is Helu is simply more talented than Ryan Torain and Shanahan has to realize that (doesn’t he!?). Helu averages more than a full yard more per carry than Torian on the season and Torain is fresh off a miserable 20-yard performance in his start last week. Moreover, they need Helu in the passing game with no Santana Moss for a few more weeks, a busted Leonard Hankerson and Chris Cooley, and Fred Davis is now banged up. Despite the disappointing week, stick with Helu this week as he should be collecting check-downs as the Redskins play catch-up on the Cowboys.
Dynasty Rogues is the fantasy football information site run by fantasy football enthusiasts for fantasy football enthusiasts. The site includes a year-round approach to analyzing football information for those in dynasty and redraft leagues. Dynasty Rogues were the 2008 Champion of the Fantasy Index Experts' Competition.
I like Roy Helu's chances the rest of the way, primarily because he is a point-per-reception threat, whereas Ryan Torain needs the Redskins to be in the game, if not have a lead, to be a contributor. Helu is a dynamic threat who fits Washington's zone-blocking system well. In general, these backfields are easy to avoid since they rarely produce more than spot-play backs.
Since 1996, KFFL.com has been combining its award-winning news service with fantasy analysis. KFFL.com offers services including daily news, draft guides and in-season advice. Now 100 percent free, KFFL.com is your destination for fantasy baseball, football and NASCAR cheat sheets, tips, sleepers and much more. KFFL.com has won more than a dozen expert championships and was listed as "One of the 10 essential sports-related online destinations for fans, athletes and fantasy owners" by Time.com. KFFL.com has provided content to USA Today, Yahoo! Sports, and FOXSports.com among many other organizations.
Musical RB situation in GB is interesting as Kuhn seems to be the goal line guy, although Starks is not bad as a runner, despite his seeming lack of field smarts on display last Monday night. Both are a reach as starters, a flex play more likely, and Grant is odd man out. Meanwhile, down in the Big Easy, they have 4 RB's and Sproles is alternating good weeks and looks like a good play during home games only. Washington stinks, Helu is marginal, Still not a Ryan Mathews fan, Tolbert far more productive. New England's running attack is a Brady scramble and a pass to the TE. Keep an eye on the carousel-to-be in Big D, as Felix "Twinge" Jones is allegedly healthy and due to his shared Razorback pedigree with Owner Jerry Jones will vulture carries from the very productive DeMarco Murray. KC's backs are inconsistent--all 3 of them. The best RBs in Denver & Carolina are Tebow & Newton. The Lions are a mess without Jahvid Best, neither RB has emerged. The conclusion is to avoid RBBC and not listen to the music, but if I must choose, I'd go with Tolbert and Sproles.
Sachs runs Perfect Season Fantasy Football, live talk and advice, and has 23 years of fantasy football league experience, including his league’s only perfect season. "The Coach" offers a free Chalk Talk Blog, plus subscriber options at his website: perfectseasonffb.com. Email questions or info requests to firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/ffbcoach.
Avoid Avoid Avoid, the reason these teams are switching RBs is because they don't have one, fantasy owners are going to get this wrong 60-70% of the time and will be regretting picking up a 0 when they don't hit on the right RB in the dish.
Kamys is president of Dr. Stats Fantasy Sports. His company, via the web, offers player news, injury reports, cheat sheets, projections, weekly matchups, statistics, and a customized team tracker. Dr. Stats Fantasy Sports also e-mails preseason newsletters and reports throughout the season. For more info visit www.docstats.com or send email to email@example.com.
I lived in Denver for a long time and grew to respect, if not like, Shanahan, so I have to believe he hasn't completely lost his marbles. I believe that Roy Helu will be the lead back the rest of the way after Torain's terrible performance in Miami last week. In New England, I think we'll see Law Firm leading the way over the remainder of the season. My basic strategy with these backfields is to only waste one roster spot on the guy I think is best, and then only start that player if I have to. So I had Helu in a lot of leagues, but didn't chase Torain or Hightower. Burn one pick on a committee back and start him if you guessed right.
Richardson has been a columnist and contributor to the Fantasy Football Index magazine and web site for the past ten years. His responsibilities include team defense and IDP projections and various site features, and he has run the magazine's annual draft and auction leagues since their inception. He previews all the NFL games on Saturdays and writes a wrap-up column on Mondays during the NFL season.
New this season! We'll post the weekly question on Facebook, and the best reader answer will get included in the column. Here is this week's reader winner:
The value is in picking up the latest "big thing" on either of those 2 teams and trading them for draft picks.
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