Ian Allan's Mailbag
Posted Oct. 09 at 04:08 AM
Publisher Ian Allan fields your questions on strategy, how to run your league, player ratings -- and whatever else you think of. Updated every Friday during the season; Tuesdays and Fridays during the last two months of the preseason. You must be registered and signed-in to submit a mailbag question. After you sign in at the top of the page, the link to submit a mailbag question will become visible.
Would you comment on the benefits or liabilities of starting two wide receivers who play for the same team in any given week? For example, I have Garcon and Reggie Wayne on my roster and started them both last week due to bye week limitations and injuries. I won the week, but in hindsight it seems smarter to hedge in case Manning has a bad night. That would mean starting a player from another team who is lower than Garcon on the weekly projected rankings. I thought there might be some stats out there that could settle the argument.
Tru Livaudais [TUSCALOOSA, AL]
I think the opposite might be true. Starting two wide receivers from the same team might give your team more balance. Suppose, for example, you were to go with Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin as your wide receivers. If Larry Fitzgerald has a big day, that makes it less likely that Boldin does well. (If Fitzgerald catches 2 TDs, for example, that means the Cardinals are already up to 14 points and Boldin hasn’t gotten in the end zone). And if Fitzgerald is shut out, that makes Boldin more likely to score – he’d become the clear favorite to have caught whatever touchdown passes the Cardinals managed. Looking at the numbers, this appears to be true. Over the last two years, both of these guys have scored in only four of 32 games. There have been 21 games where just one of these players has scored (and seven games where neither scored). Those numbers aren’t scientific. There were games in there that Boldin missed with injuries. And the theory doesn’t address the issues of byes. But I have no problem with starting multiple pass catchers from the same team. Wayne and Garcon look like a nice fit. If Peyton Manning doesn’t throw a touchdown to Wayne in Sunday’s game at Tennessee, I think it makes it a virtual certainty that either Dallas Clark or Pierre Garcon scores in that game.
I just happened to trade for Braylon Edwards just before he was moved to the Jets. Now I have a owner who might give me Houshmandzadeh for him in a PPR league I gotta take it right?
matt cottone [MOUNT MORRIS, NY]
I think so, and the sooner the better – Houshmandzadeh has a really nice matchup this weekend, so the deal probably will be yanked off the table if you wait until Monday. I’m not a big Braylon Edwards fan. I don’t think he’ll be the leading receiver for the Jets – I’m not sure he’ll even be their No. 2. I think they’ll use him as their big-play guy, throwing him long passes. But I think Jerricho Cotchery will catch more passes. And they got an emerging young tight end as well in Dustin Keller. Both Cotchery and Keller might be more effective players than Edwards inside the red zone. By our count, the Browns threw 27 passes to Edwards inside the 10-yard line during the 2007-2008 seasons. Only 9 of those passes – just 33 percent – were completed.
I notice you've downgraded Brandon Jacobs. Is he losing too many carries to Bradshaw?
Mojo Smith [WALLS, MS]
Jacobs just hasn’t been that effective. With a quarter of the season in the books, he’s averaging only 3.6 yards per carry. That’s a big drop from the last two years, when he’s been up at 5.0 each season. Jacobs is getting about twice as many carries as Bradshaw, but Bradshaw has run for only 23 fewer yards. (Bradshaw is up at 5.6 yards per attempt). Jacobs may be trying to play hurt, or maybe defenses are just doing a better job of defending him. But his value has declined in our eyes.
David Garrard torched the Titans and now he has the Seahawks secondary to go up against. Can I afford to sit this guy? Last week I went outside the box and played him over some guy named Tom Brady. Do I double down and do it again? (what if the 2007 season never happened? would I even be asking this question? how far does name recognition go before the need to start the better player?)
Cody Hager [ALOHA, OR]
Garrard has been very good in his last three games, averaging 273 passing yards. And Seattle ranked last in pass defense last year, and has been gouged the last two weeks by Jay Cutler and Peyton Manning. But the game is in Seattle, where the Seahawks tend to play better, and I don’t put Garrard quite in that class. I am starting Brady over Garrard.
Is Willis McGahee the real deal?
Tim Welch [Carol Stream, IL]
He’s the guy the Ravens are featuring when they’re inside the 5-yard line, and they appear to be one of the top 5 teams in the league – a viable Super Bowl contender. So McGahee could be this year’s LenDale White. He won’t gain a lot of yards (teammate Ray Rice might be more productive as both a runner and a pass catcher) but McGahee might average about a touchdown per game.
Given we are approaching the deadline for players to come off of PUP, are there any potential interesting pick-ups you suggest taking a look at? Only Brandon Tate of the Patriots comes to mind, and he would appear to have only minimal value in a dynasty league.
Keith Swiniarski [BOCA RATON, FL]
From a fantasy perspective, Tate appears to be the most significant guy. I saw an article in a Boston-area newspaper about a week ago. They’re holding out hope that he’ll be able to contribute this year. They don’t have a lot at wide receiver behind Randy Moss and Wes Welker, so Tate might make sense if you were in a dynasty league with big rosters. The other two names I see are only mild. The Bills have James Hardy; if they unloaded Terrell Owens in the offseason, Hardy might be a factor in 2010. And Kansas City has Kolby Smith, who maybe – maybe – can reclaim the backup tailback job in Kansas City. The most significant player on the PUP, I think, is Marcus Trufant; the Seahawks need him to bolster their sagging secondary.
I picked up the San Francisco Defense and started them this last week and got 36 points from them. I also have Denver D and will need a D to fill their bye later. My thought before this week's games was to release San Francisco and use that spot to pick up a bye week TE. I am having a hard time cutting them for a TE that may get me 2-3 points with my format, but I hate to not maximize my points. My other option is releasing Andre Caldwell as my 6th WR in a keeper league and hope to get him back after my bye weeks.
BRETT CARON [LEWIS CENTER, OH]
I’m not opposed to releasing both the San Francisco and Denver defenses. I think you can get the same kind of production – better numbers – by picking up other defenses off the waiver wire for the next month. In three of the next four weeks, the 49ers have a bye, plus Atlanta and Indianapolis – two teams with quarterbacks who don’t tend to allow sacks or throw interceptions. The Broncos have the same kind of deal, with a bye and road games at San Diego and Baltimore, plus this week’s home game against the Patriots. I think you will do better going with free agent defenses that have some games against teams like Kansas City, Oakland, Cleveland, St. Louis and Detroit.
Antonio Bryant? No where in the top 83 for WRs on the redraft sheets? Please tell me this is a mistake?
Casey Abercrombie [Oregon City, OR]
The published sheets include both wide receivers and tight ends. That’s why Bryant is pushed right off the board. If you look at just wide receivers, he’s currently at No. 66. That may seem low for a guy who was about the most productive receiver in the entire league during the second half of last season, but that was a different team. The Bucs should be starting youngsters at quarterback in all of their remaining games – Josh Johnson and Josh Freeman. They were a 9-7 team last year; now they have the look of a 3-13 train wreck. I think they might finish the year with something like 8-9 TD passes in their final 12 games, and they might average something like 170 passing yards per game from this point going forward. I just don’t see it happening for Bryant.
Have a trade proposal on the table. Ryan Grant (bye this week) for either Benson or Slaton. Don't really want to part with Benson (being a full time back), but might be willing to let Slaton go (since he's losing goal line carries). Any thoughts?
Tod Denison [BAKERSFIELD, CA]
That could pay off nicely. The way Slaton keeps fumbling, he may be benched before long. He’s fumbled 4 times in four games, and he hasn’t been effective as a runner all year. On the plus side with Grant, you should get more rushing yards and more rushing touchdowns. On the downside, Slaton is far more productive as a pass catcher.
If you had both Brent Celek and Tony Gonzalez which one would you trade?
Scott DENHAM [MILLBROOK, AL]
I’d probably trade Gonzalez. I see him as being worth only slightly more than Celek. But Gonzalez is the one other teams would be more excited about making a deal for, so you’d probably be able to get more in return.
I have a question concerning Kurt Warner. My QBs are currently Rivers, Romo, and Leinart. I have been offered Warner for Romo. I told the owner that I have interest but would have to have more then the initial offer. If Warner were to go down with injury, what are the long term prospects for Leinart and what are your thoughts about this trade?
JOHN SHELBROCK [FRANKENMUTH, MI]
You already have a quarterback who’s better than both of those guys – Rivers. That gives you flexibility. You can misfire on the trade and still be fine. I think you go for the upside. I think Warner, while less durable, should be better than Romo on most weeks. And if Warner gets hurt, I think Leinart also will put up better numbers than Romo. So I would do the deal. But with Rivers already on your roster, you probably should be looking more seriously at dealing away that valuable No. 2 quarterback, helping yourself at another position.
With Cedric Benson’s health issues I am thinking about dropping Sproles. In my league we have the following available: Larry Johnson, Laurence Maroney, Sammy Morris, Beanie Wells, LenDale White and Cadillac Williams. Any of these sound good to you? I may have to start them this week depending on Benson.
DARRELL PRESTELLA [CARSON CITY, NV]
Benson has been sitting out Wednesday practices all year. Let’s see what he does today; he’ll probably be fine (though he’s also facing one of the best run defenses in the league). Larry Johnson or Cadillac Williams probably makes the most sense as a long-term replacement; the Bucs say they’re going to start using Williams more. I also have some interest in Beanie Wells; he’s shown some potential, and he’s going against maybe the worst run defense in the league this week – a breakout-type game is possible.
It looks like the Packers O-line is a mess and I'm stuck with Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings. Fortunately I've got Flacco and Derrick Mason as backups. Rodgers has done a good job considering he is getting beaten to death every week. As long as Rogers is running for his life it's hard to envision Jennings having a breakout game. After the Packers bye week I think I'm going to leave Jennings on the bench and keep Mason in as a starter. I'm even considering putting Flacco in from hear on out. Is this a wise move?
Scott DENHAM [MILLBROOK, AL]
I don’t think so. There will be many weeks, I think, where Rodgers and Jennings will outproduce Flacco and Mason. Next week, for example, the Packers host the Lions, while the Ravens are at Minnesota. I will bet you that the Green Bay tandem will be more valuable in that game. One other thought on that offensive line: It’s not all their fault. Like Ben Roethlisberger, Rodgers needs to do a better job of getting rid of the ball. I know that on at least one of the sacks Monday night, he held onto the ball way too long – that sack was completely on him.
I have Darren Sproles but LT still gets the start and looks horrible. Do I hang to Sproles and hope that the Chargers figure out who's the better back?
Mike Monahan [LAS VEGAS, NV]
Sproles has value. They’ll work him in at some point. At some point this year, Tomlinson probably will get hurt. When that happens, you’ll want to have Sproles on your roster. San Diego ranks last in rushing right now, but it still has three games left against Kansas City and Oakland.
I'm in a 12 team keeper PPR league that starts: 1qb, 1rb, 2wr, 1te, 1k, 1D and 2 flex of any position. I have Brees, Palmer, Grant, Benson, Bradshaw, McFadden, R.Moss, Fitzgerald, B.Edwards, A.Gonzalez, Celek, Carlson. And with that said, I am 1-3 and have been blown out with probably 3 of the top 5-7 players overall on my team. I cannot keep Fitzgerald or Brees next year. I bought Moss and plan to keep him next year and was going to trade Brees for Brady at the end of the year for the keeper, but that plan looks like it's backfiring because of my record. Is it time to field offers for Brees and get maybe a few players for him?
Bill Petilli [MOUNT VERNON, NY]
You’ve got the talent. You’ve just got to get things dialed in and start winning some games. I would go ahead and play this week. Move up to 2-3, and you’re within a game of .500. Drop to 1-4, and you can start thinking more about possibly swinging a deal to help your team in 2010.
I'm in a roster situation this week and would like your opinion. I only have 2 active WRs this week. My WRs are R.Moss, V.Jackson(bye), Driver (bye), Gonzalez (out) and Massaquoi. As it turns out, Devin Hester and Braylon Edwards became available on waivers (expires Friday morning). In your custom ranking DH and BE are ranked #18 and #33, respectively (prior to the Jets trade). DH is on a bye week. I really don't want to drop any of my current WRs this week; the only other option I see is to drop my fifth RB, J.Stewart, but he's my handcuff for D.Williams. I won't drop my other RBs: Rice, Benson and K.Smith. My options as I see it are as follows: drop Stewart and (1) pick up BE (at least he might play this week); (2) pick up DH and be a WR short this week; or (3) pick up a temporary WR such Earl Bennett, Mike Jenkins or someone else you might suggest. My final option is to just sit tight and be short a WR this week.
Michael Stoltz [GREAT FALLS, VA]
I would definitely move on Devin Hester. I think he could be a very good player for you. As for how to make room for him, I’m not sure. How good are the running backs who are sitting on the waiver wire? You might be able to drop Stewart and get him back later. Or you might be able to trade either Gonzalez, Massaquoi or Driver for something of value. I’m not sure of your exact rules and scoring system, but my hunch is that I’d be willing to risk losing Stewart to bring in a talent like Hester. I also would be willing to play short for a week to get Hester.
I am in a 12 team dynasty league, that is PPR in format and starts 3 WR. I am 0-4 and looking towards next year. I am considering trading Larry Fitzgerald for Ray Rice and Anthony Gonzalez. I have Marshawn Lynch and Rashard Mendenhall at RB and Jerricho Cotchery, Kevin Walter and Mohamed Massaquoi at WR! What should I do?
Joe Tristano [WINONA, MN]
Fitzgerald is probably the No. 1 receiver on most people’s board in a PPR format, so I think you would probably want to get more than a committee running back and an injured receiver. I would stand pat for now; maybe you win a couple and get back into the thing. Massaquoi might help you. You’ve got Mendenhall probably starting another game, and he should be a top-5 back again this week.
Question 1: Would you comment on the...
Posted by Todd Weigel | Oct. 10 at 04:28 PM
"In case Manning has a bad night" almost made me laugh. It doesn't seem possible right now. Imagine Team 1 plays both Wayne and Garcon, and Team 2 plays two comparable WRs that have different QBs throwing them the ball. I think it's more likely that BOTH of the two different QBs have bad games than Peyton has a bad game.
Question 1: Would you comment on the...
Posted by Steven Maerz | Oct. 12 at 08:07 AM
Are you guys ready to officially declare DeAngelo Williams the biggest bust of YOUR year? Your number one running back and number one overall is barely a top 30 back. I may have missed it, but you owe us all an apology for that one. You guys always feel the need to come up with some crazy pick like this and it rarely works out. I think you liked Forte when I had never heard of him. Clearly this was an absurd reach and you should all fall on your swords for it. You single handedly ruined my fantasty team this year.
Question 2: I just happened to trade...
Posted by Farhan Hassan | Oct. 09 at 05:00 AM
I think there are some other angles that are also worth mentioning 1) I don't think Jets trade a 3rd round pick (can escalate to 2), 5th round pick and a couple of players for Braylon if they did not view him as a huge upgrade. If they viewed him as a number 3 receiver, why part with their number 3 receiver in C. Stucky in the first place? 2. Braylon is capable of being a number 1 receiver, as he showed in 2007 so clearly, the upside is there. 3. Rex Ryan's brother works for Cleveland and Rex Ryan seems to be extremely excited about getting Braylon (he also was a defensive coordinator for Ravens when Braylon played against them twice a year). 4. Cleveland and Jets (at least this is what I read) run the same sort of offense so the chemistry/acclamation angle may not be that big of an angle; and 5. This is a different situation than the trade for Roy Williams because Dallas had TO (better receiver than Cotchery) and Jason Witten (better receiver than Keller). I am not saying Braylon is going to be a number 1 receiver but I definitely would not be surprised if things turn out that way.
Question 2: I just happened to trade...
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | Oct. 09 at 06:14 AM
1) Ian didn't say the Jets view Edwards as their No. 3, he said he thinks Edwards, production-wise, might be their third-best fantasy receiver. I'm sure the Jets view him as a potential No. 1. But the fact that they were so willing to give away Stuckey, who was actually starting for them, says how little they thought of their own receiving corps besides Cotchery. 2) Braylon is capable, but the fact the Browns were willing to part with him for a relative pittance -- essentially a 3rd-rounder, it won't become a 2nd -- shows that there's definitely some doubt, both in Cleveland and around the league along those lines. My preseason recollection was that the Giants offered a 2nd and the Browns wanted a first and it didn't get done; his value has certainly dropped since then, and not just from one alleged incident outside a night club. 3) Ryan says he's excited about everything. He said he loved his quarterbacks before they drafted Sanchez, and he maintained he loved his receiving corps all preseason. Not saying he's not actually excited now, but talk is cheap. 4) This is true. 5) I think the similarity with the Williams thing, potentially, is that the Jets, like Dallas, are trading for a guy who had an awesome season a couple of years ago, and are hoping that that's the real player. The jury is still out on Williams. With Edwards, at the least the Jets didn't give up much: a 3rd rounder and what will probably be three random nobodies. By the way, my own view of Edwards is a little closer to you than Ian's. I think it's a great gamble by the Jets....I just think it's about 50-50 whether he becomes a really good starter for them. Sounds like Ian's about 25 percent and you're higher than me on him.
Question 2: I just happened to trade...
Posted by IAN ALLAN | Oct. 09 at 04:49 PM
Just to clarify: when I say I'm not sure Edwards will be New York's No. 2 receiver, I mean 2nd in receptions. I think Cotchery and tight end Dustin Keller might catch more balls than him. Edwards definitely will be a starter. I believe they're going to throw him right into the starting lineup on Monday night.
Question 5: Is Willis McGahee the real...
Posted by BEN HOGEVOLL | Oct. 09 at 09:25 AM
Ian Good call on new england beating Baltimore.I thought you had the ravens a hair low on win loss towards superbowl;.It was a battle and clayton should have caught winning touchdown but a win is a win and you were right.If he would have caught it and won,I was planning on giving you a bad time.Im still sticking with baltimore to go to super bowl.
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