Ian Allan's Mailbag
Posted Oct. 29 at 05:09 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.
You mentioned last week that Anthony Gonzalez was the one who might benefit from the Austin Collie injury, but might it actually be Blair White? Both are available in most leagues and if you have to pick one for the next several weeks, what's your call?
Brett Marley [LOS ANGELES, CA]
Gonzalez. Definitely. (And I’m not just saying that because he owes me after blowing out his knee in the first half of the opener last year, when I was out on limb saying that he would be a top-10 receiver.) Gonzalez says he’s definitely healthy, and he’s definitely a lot more polished and talented than White. Playing in the slot, he might be every bit as effective as Collie. And if it plays out the way I think it will – with Gonzalez performing well – I’m not sure the Colts will immediately put Collie back in the lineup when he returns. When an offense is playing well and guys are performing, coaches don’t like messing with that.
How do you see the IND running back situation playing out this weekend. After reading the FI Weekly, it seems Brown is the guy to target over Hart. But Brown didn't practice Weds. Addai sounds like a longshot. They don't run the ball anyways but my other only option this week is Spiller, which means I'm desperate.
Michael Harloff [HERNDON, VA]
I expect it will be Donald Brown, with Mike Hart getting maybe a quarter or a third of the week. But that’s the Monday night game, so we won’t get to see the team’s complete injury report until Saturday. Brown didn’t practice Thursday. If he doesn’t practice again today, then I’ll be thinking it will be Hart as their main back. I will check Brown’s status on Saturday and post something on the main page of the web site.
Desperate to learn status of Carolina RB situation. Unable to get any info on rumor of DeAngelo's injury. Anything to this? If so, I fear a rush to jump on Stewart as soon as the news breaks. Would you recommend Stewart as a full-time RB given Carolina's less-than-stellar rushing numbers?
JOE NORDSTRAND [DICKINSON, TX]
Williams isn’t going to play. He’s not practicing and isn’t healthy. That makes Stewart an awfully appealing fantasy option. He potentially could play full-time and punch out about 100 yards this weekend in St. Louis. I would say this with more confidence if Stewart were running more effectively. John Fox called him out a week or two back. The Panthers also have Mike Goodson, who might be the best third-string tailback in the league, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they gave him about a quarter of the work on Sunday.
I'm considering picking up LeGarrette Blount. I know you discussed him at length in the Weekly but I was wondering if you could expound a bit on a few points: It is noted that Tampa Bay can't run the ball, but how much of that is Cadillac Williams abysmal YPC? If Blount scores 60% of the rushing TDs going forward then how many are we talking about (and is that a good ballpark percentage?). Maybe I'm overthinking this but if you discount blow out losses against Pittsburgh and New Orleans (where it was impossible to run or abandoned) then I think a better picture emerges concerning their ability to run as a team. If you then massage Cadillac's awful numbers then it looks fairly good. For instance, if his 2.5 YPC was made into 3.3 YPC, then you're looking at some very serviceable numbers. Flight of fancy, or plausible scenario?
Brian Grzybowski [RICHMOND, VA]
Had Williams averaged an extra yard on each of his carries, the team would be 80 yards better off – and still below-average in rushing. But I’m not sure this is a numbers issue. There are enough variables and dynamics in play that we can’t really accurately forecast what Blount will do on a per-game basis. Does he win the job? Do they kick Cadillac Williams to the curb? If they commit to Blount, then how much more effective would he be? The more prudent course, I think, is to simply pick up Blount, wait for a few weeks, and see what happens. From a scheduling perspective, I can tell you there are four games left in the season that he’ll face teams that have difficult run defenses – the Falcons (twice), Ravens and 49ers. I’m not counting the Seahawks (who rank 2nd in run defense) in that group, because I’m not truly sold on them yet and the game won’t be played until Week 16 (and in Tampa).
Should I drop Brett Favre and pick up Matthew Stafford? Jon Kitna is also available.
matt cottone [GENESEO, NY]
On my board, I’ve got all of those guys putting up similar numbers when they’re on the field – about 225-240 yards per game and averaging about 1.4 TD passes (about 22-23 in a 16-game season). So on a week-to-week basis, I think you’re looking at a matchup situation. I’ve got Stafford the highest on my board, because he’s the safest choice to play in all of the remaining games.
There are several teams that could be looking at coaching changes just as we approach fantasy playoffs – some will get some wins, most will wait until season's end to make a change, but a couple may not. Are there players you would identify as "coach's pets" on these underwhelming teams that make you nervous they would not get equal production if there were a change? Guys like V. Davis and B. Lloyd, for example, make me nervous. They are top-ranked fantasy guys right now, but if an interim coach steps in, will they continue to be?
L DALE GANDER [SUN PRAIRIE, WI]
It’s not something I’m putting any weight in. I tend to operate under the assumption that coaches will be flushed out on Black Monday – the day after the regular season ends. That’s the way it tends to go. It makes for a smoother transition. I will concede, after checking the numbers, that there are few more in-season switches than I thought. By my count, 15 in the last 10 years (and I’ve got them listed on the main page of the web site). In only two of those years (2002, 2006), did all of the coaches last all 16 games. Now, not all of those coaches were fired or forced out. Many resigned. Bobby Petrino left to take a college job; Martz had a heart problem. But there are a few changes. I don’t look any particular current team, however, and see a player as being in danger because of a coach-driven philosophy change.
Coaches leaving teams during regular season, 2000-2009
2009 Dick Jauron, Buff.
2008 Scott Linehan, St.L.
2008 Mike Nolan, S.F.
2008 Lane Kiffin, Oak.
2007 Bobby Petrino, Atl.
2005 Steve Mariucci, Det.
2005 Mike Martz, St.L.
2004 Butch Davis, Clev.
2004 Dave Wannstedt, Mia.
2003 Dan Reeves, Atl.
2001 Dennis Green, Minn.
2000 Bruce Coslet, Cin.
2000 Vince Tobin, Ariz.
2000 Bobby Ross, Det.
2000 Norv Turner, Wash.
Longtime customer since 1989, but I am starting to wonder about your PPR redrafter. Garcon at 28? Ochocinco at 12? I own Garcon and would never trade him for Ocho at this point. Welker at 8 and Jennings at 18? Same Deal. No one should trade Jennings for Welker. What's the deal?
Matt Mastrorilli [SPRING LAKE, NJ]
I don’t think you’re considering the scoring system carefully enough. In the PPR format, receptions are king. You need to collect receivers who are going to catch 90-plus passes. That’s why Ochocinco grades out a lot higher than Garcon. The Bengals are passing the heck out of the ball, and he’s sucking in a lot of stats. In the PPR format, he’s averaging 15.1 points per game. Garcon is more of a big-play receiver; he doesn’t nearly as many passes, but when they get him the ball, it tends to be for bigger chunks downfield. He’s missed two games, of course, but even when healthy, Garcon is down at 10.4 points per game in this format – well short of Ochocinco. With Dallas Clark and Austin Collie down, I imagine he’ll close some of that gap, but I think Ochocinco will be more productive. Definitely. We’ve got the same kind of deal with Welker and Jennings. Welker catches a lot more passes, and he’s been more productive so far. Welker is averaging 14.1 points per game, a half point more than Jennings. I will concede that Jennings has heated up recently. Maybe this is the start of a hot streak, and he will surpass Welker. But I see him as similar to Garcon; more of a big-play guy. Jennings has never caught more than 80 passes in a season. Welker has caught over 110 balls three years in a row. Welker was a little off on Sunday, of catching, catching only 4 passes. But I think that was just a case of the entire offense having a bad day. I still view him as a player who’ll probably average 7 receptions in the final 10 games of the season.
As of posting this question Patrick Crayton is available in my yardage league. I dropped him thinking Floyd and Naanee would be back. I already have Calvin Johnson, Ward, Wallace, and Braylon Edwards as my WRs. Has Crayton made enough of an impact that he will be a starter from here on out?
JOHN RUPPE [FORT MYERS, FL]
He’s been very impressive, hasn’t he? I think he might outproduce all four of those receivers this week. Counting on Crayton long term, however, is more difficult. I believe he’s probably moved ahead of Naanee for the foreseeable future, but I’m not sure about Malcom Floyd (who’ll return after their bye in week 10). They’ve also got Vincent Jackson coming in for the final six games, making that a crowded receiving corps.
Being too high on Ryan Mathews has ruined my season in a couple of leagues. What do you see as the future, this year and next, for players like him, Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd in San Diego. Next year, Norv Turner will be flipping burgers at Jack-In-The-Box, right?
JOHN MACHO [ELKO NEW MRKT, MN]
Mathews will be fine. He’s a good back; he just needs experience. As he adjusts to the pros, they’ll use him more on passing downs and at the goal line. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t run for 1,000 yards and catch 30-plus passes next year. Jackson won’t be there – too much bad blood. They’ll trade him for whatever they can get. I think Turner will be gone as well. As for Floyd, when they flush out Turner’s vertical passing game, that may cause him to fall from being a starter to a No. 3. I will guess that he will start for San Diego on opening day next year, but I’m not certain.
I'm fairly deep at receiver with Calvin Johnson, Nicks, Jennings, Moss, Mike Williams and Knox. But I'm thin at running back with only Arian Foster, Torain (plus Portis and K. Williams), Addai and Spiller. We start two backs, three receivers and a flex. I want another feature back and offered Nicks for Michael Turner. The guy countered and offered Turner for Megatron. Should I take it?
Jeffrey Damiani [CAMBRIDGE, MA]
Sounds good to me. The Falcons are sitting at 5-2, and I believe they’ll ride a soft schedule to home-field advantage in the playoffs. Turner is secure as a big part of their offense. From a numerical sense, I have him worth more statistically than Calvin Johnson in all three of the scoring systems we track.
Ian, I am in a score only league with 2rb and 3wr. RBs of A.Foster, R.Brown, C.J. Spiller, Jon Stewart and D.Brown. WRs of Jennings, TO, R.White, Manningham, J.Jones, M.Williams (Seattle). Trade offered: LT for TO.
David Teague [Mobile, AL]
I’ve got Tomlinson as the No. 6 running back in the TD-only format. I have Owens at the 14th-best wide receiver. But if you make the deal, you’ll have to make another deal to bring in another receiver capable of starting every week. You’ve got Jennings, and you’ve got White. I don’t know that you can rely on Jacoby Jones or Mike Williams to be that third guy every week.
I got offered Chris Ivory for Deion Branch in a 12 team league. Ivory's running against Pittsburgh but my other RBs are Mathews/Tolbert, Pierre Thomas and Arian Foster. Make the deal or roll with the SD-underachievers?
Anthony Cillis [SPRINGFIELD, MA]
I will take Branch. He might be a pretty good receiver the rest of the way. With Ivory, you can’t start him against Pittsburgh, so you’re pretty much looking at a one-game player. Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas will be back after the Week 10 bye.
Larry Fitzgerald with Hall/Anderson or Miles Austin with Jon Kitna the rest of the year. Who do you like more?
Rick Cwik [LEMONT, IL]
I’ve got Austin slightly higher on my draft board in all three of the scoring systems that we publish.
I had Romo and now need to re-address my QB situation. My QBs are now Eli, Stafford, and Kitna. PPR scoring with 4 points for TD passes and 6 points for all other TDs. We start 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 RB/WR flex, and 1 offensive flex, which can be a QB. My "core" RB/WR are MJD, Foster, White, Nicks, Calvin. I have been offered Rivers for Calvin. Am I better off taking the trade and mixing my WRs (options there are Knox, Williams (TB), and Evans or staying put and mixing my QBs the rest of the way?
ZACH LEAVITT [ENGLEWOOD, CO]
I would make that deal. According to my projections, Rivers will average 22.3 points per game the rest of the way, at the very minimum 4 points per game better than Stafford or Kitna in the flex spot. So the remaining challenge would be to use the waiver wire (or trade Stafford or Kitna) to recoup the 14.6 points per game you lose at the Calvin Johnson spot. If you can find a 10.6 wide receiver or running back, it’s a wash.
My RBs are Peterson, Addai, DeAngelo Williams, Ronnie Brown and Donald Brown. My WRs are Calvin Johnson, Maclin, Mike Wallace, Mike Williams (TB), Gaffney and Branch. (I feel pretty well set with Rivers/Eli as my QBs and Keller/Heath Miller as my TEs). I've tried to coax other owners into trades (I would like to find a stud RB to pair with Peterson and be my every week RB2), but haven't had much luck. People seem to have interest in Calvin Johnson as the starting point for a trade package, but he's been a TD machine so far. Would you consider dealing him, in some sort of package.
Richard Cooper [Norristown, PA]
I’m always in for any trade that makes my team better. No player is untouchable. In this case, you’ve got other wide receivers who will be productive. If you can land a running back who’s better than Johnson, the deal could make sense.
What was McFadden doing on the field in Denver this past weekend? Isn't he supposed to be in crutches or walking with a cane? Did the Denver defense think he was carrying some contagious disease that they didn't want to put his hands on him? What did the IR report say he had again anyway?
CRAIG SMITH [KATY, TX]
Hard to believe that was the same Denver defense that did such a nice job against Chris Johnson a few weeks back. It has me mulling whether Frank Gore (who’ll play the Broncos in London on Sunday) will be the league’s most productive back this weekend.
So, Tom Brady... I see on your re-drafter that he's rated #4, way ahead of Flacco and Orton, my other QBs, yet they're both outproducing him. There are teams in my league with needs at QB. Would you trust that Brady is going to come around and sell high on Orton, or go ahead and get whatever I can get for Brady while I still can? My league is yardage + TD with no bonus points for rushing TDs.
DARREL OWEN [SACRAMENTO, CA]
I can’t see the Broncos keeping it going. The team is just too bad. That said, it would be awfully tempting to use him this weekend against a San Francisco defense that’s really soft against the pass. If Matt Moore can throw for 308 yards against these guys, you’ve got to figure Orton’s going to exceed 300 yards as well. Previously, the Panthers hadn’t had 190 passing yards in a game all year, yet Moore completed 14 of 15 passes to rookie receivers David Gettis and Brandon LaFell.
I have been offered Randy Moss for Matt Forte.
DAN MILES [MARTINEZ, CA]
It could depend on the scoring system. In a standard-type league, I’ve got them having similar value. Forte is higher in a PPR league; Moss is higher in a TD-only.
Question 1: You mentioned last week that...
Posted by John Clifford | Nov. 01 at 06:24 AM
Collie and manning are locked in right now- suggesting that Gonzalez, who hasn’t played in a year and a half is going to somehow stay healthy and displace Collie as a starter who has been incredibly productive is really a stretch at best. Not going to happen.
Question 7: Longtime customer since 1989, but...
Posted by bryan mclean | Oct. 29 at 08:04 AM
Use the customizable format. I have Garcon and he's 13 on my customizable redrafter. Ochocinco is 11. Welker is 23 and Jennings is 16. Obviously non-PPR point system
Question 16: What was McFadden doing on...
Posted by JOHN RUPPE | Oct. 29 at 07:08 AM
Ian, You say your mulling whether Gore will be the most productive back this week. I've read were San fran has been in London since the beginning of the week and the Broncos weren't leaving until Thursday. Have you heard this as well and if so doesn't that give San Fran the edge in preparation as their bodies should be much more adjusted?
Question 16: What was McFadden doing on...
Posted by IAN ALLAN | Oct. 29 at 07:59 AM
That's a good point. And it's correct that Denver's players arrived today. That seems tough to me. When I've traveled to Britain, it's always meant being awake essentially all night, then showing up early in the morning the next day. Then you typically wake up in the middle of the night during your first night there. Seems weird to me. But an article in The Denver Post suggests the Broncos have researched the timing extensively, and that the Patriots worked on a similar schedule last year. They beat Tampa Bay 35-7.
Question 16: What was McFadden doing on...
Posted by CRAIG SMITH | Oct. 30 at 09:48 PM
Ian, Appreciate that you took the time to answer most of our questions, however my last question was more serious than the tongue n cheek I was giving earlier. I clearly remember McFadden being listed as doubtful, and you moving him down to 60th in the rankings. Yet there he was on Sunday afternnon, running all over the field without a care in the world. So the bottom line is this: how can a team list him as doubtful and not get fined for his "miraculous" recovery? It's a miracle!
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