Ian Allan's Mailbag
Posted Dec. 23 at 08:26 PM
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.
I'm in a PPR League and in your new weekly, why would both Pierre Thomas and Mike Bell drop in the rankings if Reggie Bush is out? I would think they would go up not down.
William J Harvey [PITTSBURGH, PA]
Apologies. Blown assignment on that one. And as much as I would like to blame that on a safety not giving me help over the top, that one’s all on me. As you know, I like to conditional rankings for a handful of key players each week. (“Here’s where I’m ranking the guy right now; here’s where I’ll rank him when it’s clear that he’s actually playing – or when some other guy is ruled out.”) In this case, I didn’t complete calculating the numbers for the Saints running backs. The numbers that are tagged “If Bush out” are actually the starting point numbers – as if Bush, Thomas and Bell were all 100 percent healthy. It’s not clear that Bush will play, so the numbers tagged as “current” – which are accurate – take away some of his stats and transfer them into Thomas and Bell. In ballpark terms, I had Bush accounting for about 20 percent of the rushing production and moved him down to 10 percent (with Thomas and Bell picking up those stats). But then, apparently, I wandered off to something else, because I never put in the final numbers if we KNOW that Bush isn’t playing. In that case, all 20 percent of those rushing stats need to be shifted into Thomas’ and Bell’s profiles. I’ll get those exact numbers loaded into the custom stats section of the website today. For Thomas, he rises for 24th to 13th (Yardage system), 24th to 9th (PPR) and 22nd to 9th (TD only). For Bell, he rises from 51st to 34th (yardage), 61st to 38th (PPR) and 35th to 23rd (TD only). Bush practiced on a limited basis Wednesday. After the practice week is completed, the new stat projections will be posted onto the website on Saturday morning.
Larry Johnson. What's you're thinking this week against his former team that just gave up tons of yards to the Brownies. Is he getting reps with the first team in practice? Given his 100-yard game a few weeks ago, it appears he still has some go left in him. Will Marvin Lewis lean toward resting Benson for the playoff run?
JOE NORDSTRAND [DICKINSON, TX]
Kansas City’s run defense is terrible. It’s allowed over 200 yards in back-to-back games. Only Buffalo has allowed more rushing yards this year, and only five teams have allowed more rushing touchdowns. So I could see Johnson running for 70 yards and a touchdown in this game. He left Kansas City on bad terms and is no doubt champing at the bit to take on a bigger role in this game. So maybe he gets something like 40 percent of the workload this week and posts some nice numbers. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I’m a believer in the theory that players bring a little something extra to the table in these kinds of matchups. With the Bengals, of course, they’ve already had the payback player of the year performance earlier this year – when Cedric Benson ran for 189 yards and a touchdown against the Bears. As I play with the numbers, however, I can’t get them to work out to Johnson ranking any higher than 28th in a TD-only format. He’s down around 40th in leagues including yards. My hunch tells me, however, that at least one of these payback running backs this week (Correll Buckhalter at Philadelphia, Fred Taylor vs. Jacksonville) will pay off.
It's championship time, and I'm here in large measure thanks to you – thanks! Can I play Peyton this week? My backup is Alex Smith, picked up weeks ago for this eventuality, given his nice Detroit matchup. I'm in a PPR League, and I plan to play Andre Johnson & Wes Welker, and I can't really bench Ray Rice, despite his tough match-up, but I need a second RB & a flex, and my options are Cedric Benson, Jamaal Charles, Anquan Boldin and Robert Meachem. Thanks for any help you have, and good luck in your own leagues.
L.B. Graham [WILDWOOD, MO]
For now, I’d just go with Alex Smith. You know he’s going to play, and he might be better than Manning anyway. The Jets have the best pass defense in the league – nobody has allowed fewer yards or touchdown passes. Mostly, though, I’m concerned about Manning sitting down for the second half. Unless I heard something that made me believe Manning would play the entire game, I would start Smith. For the other guys, I rated them in the weekly as Benson-Boldin-Charles-Meachem, in that order.
In a PPR league would you start Fred Jackson (at ATL) or Ahmad Bradshaw (Car) as a flex this week?
RYAN RENSHAW [WILLIAMSTOWN, NJ]
I’d go with Jackson – easy. Both guys have very good matchups, but you’ve got to remember with format you’re playing in. In PPR, receiving ability is critical. Jackson has caught 42 passes for 342 yards this year. That’s 76 points in your league. Bradshaw, on the other hand, isn’t much of a receiver (although I’ll concede that his two best receiving games have come in the last two weeks – 7 passes for 75 yards against Philadelphia and Washington. Bradshaw has caught only 17 passes for 171 yards on the season. So in that area of the game, Jackson beats Bradshaw by 42 points.
I have made it into my league championship. It is our family league so bragging rights are pretty important and there is a lot on the line. We only have eight teams in the league so we start 3 RBs. My options are Chris Johnson vs. SD, Maurice Jones-Drew @ NE, Frank Gore vs. Det, and Ricky Williams vs. Hou. What do you think here?
Luke Kolbe [Chilton, WI]
I would sit down Maurice Jones-Drew. (Did I just say that?) New England’s defense has allowed 23 TD passes but only 3 TD runs, the most lopsided ratio in the league. I’m not going to guarantee that Jones-Drew will have a bad game – he’s a heck of a back – but those other three all look better to me.
Championship game question. I will start 3 RBs, 1 pt per 10 yards and 7 pts per TD. The first options have an injury issue. I have both Snelling and Turner, and both DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. I also have Benson and could possibly pick up Harrison (Clev). I'd appreciate your best guesses, but lineups don't need to be set until just before game time.
MARK CLURE [MOUNT SHASTA, CA]
I don’t think there’s much of a chance that Turner will play. If we also make the assumption that DeAngelo Williams sits out, then these would be the Nos. 6-9 running backs on my board, with Stewart in the No. 9 spot. So for now, he’s the guy you leave out, in my opinion. If, later in the week, it becomes certain that Williams will sit (he didn’t practice Wednesday) then you can think about maybe nudging Stewart ahead of one of those other backs. But I doubt I’ll go that route. According to my current numbers, even if Williams doesn’t play, Stewart comes in just a hair behind those other backs.
I think your trivia question on Tuesday was wrong. It seems to me that Rex Ryan would qualify as a fifth head coach whose father was also a head coach.
DAVID GARRICK [SAN DIEGO, CA]
Sorry about that. I’ve got a big file with about 500 trivia questions. They rotate through, with questions being moved to the bottom when they’re used. So I have to be on guard to make sure the questions are still accurate when they make it back to the top. Every once in a while, one slips through, which is what happened here.
Question 1: I'm in a PPR League...
Posted by David Barenborg | Dec. 24 at 12:53 AM
Ian- thanks to you I'm in the finals for both of my leagues. I won both last year and league members are trying to figure out who I have on the payroll and what my secret algorithm is!!! Two key decisions this week that I'd like to check in with you on. According to your board, does the risk really substantiate starting Jerome Harrison over Ray Rice? Also- I'm weak st WR if I don't start Reggie Wayne. My only substitutions include Antonio Bryant, Braylon Edwards, Malcolm Floyd, or Josh Cribbs (no credit for punt/kickoff return TDs)?
Question 1: I'm in a PPR League...
Posted by RICK ADELSTEIN | Dec. 26 at 07:25 AM
what order would you rank the followin RB's Ray Rice, Chris Wells, Jerome Harrison and Frank Gore? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
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