Ian Allan's Mailbag
Posted Nov. 25 at 11:05 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.
Lost Schaub. Now have Tebow and Leinart. Trying to pickup Grossman or Hanie. Who would you start. Last two games for year will determine playoff picture and I am limping in at QB. I am leaning on Tebow over Leinart but if I get one of the other two I would lean toward either of them. What do you think?
JOE SERVI [MONTEREY, CA]
How about Vince Young? Is he available? Michael Vick didn’t practice on Wednesday or Thursday, so it’s looking more likely that Young will make a second start for the Eagles. For Week 12, I would grade him above any of those guys. Among the guys you list, I have some big-picture interest in Leinart; that’s a passer-friendly system in Houston. Tebow grades out very favorably in leagues giving double credit for rushing production, so he could be a decent one-week fix.
Why so low on Ben Tate in the Weekly? With Schaub's untimely injury shouldn't even more of the offense run through the run game? Would you therefore start Addai over Tate this week?
David Barenborg [MERCER ISLAND, WA]
Jacksonville is only 3-7, but that team has a very stout defense. It also sees the Texans twice per year, so it’s more familiar with the zone-blocking running game. With that game being at EverBank Field (that’s what they’re calling it right now, right?) I think the Jaguars have a good chance to do a respectable job against that ground game – especially with the advantage of Houston working in the backup quarterback. The Texans have run for 185-plus yards in three of their last four. In this game, I’m thinking they could slip down to something like 130-140. That would make Tate, as the second banana behind Arian Foster, just a nominal fantasy option. Keep in mind that they don’t use Tate in the passing game; he hasn’t caught a pass in two months. I would rather start Addai, who’s running against that Carolina defense that let Kevin Smith run for 140 yards last week. Addai (hamstring) practiced fully on Wednesday and Thursday, so right now I’m thinking he’ll play.
Holy Kevin Smith, Batman. What a game from the resurgent former first rounder in Detroit. Granted, Carolina has perhaps the worst defense in the league, but what do you expect from Smith the rest of the way for the Lions? It seems increasingly likely that Best won't make any tangible contribution and the other runners (Morris, etc.) haven't shown the ability to do anything while Detroit's O-line has also been less than zesty in a number of games. In your opinion can Smith duplicate any of Sunday's success going forward this season? Your insight is always valuable and appreciated.
Jason Brater [ANN ARBOR, MI]
I think Smith (who was actually selected in the third round back in 2008) looks pretty good. He’s running hungry. He was averaging over 5 yards per carry yesterday before going out with the high ankle sprain. Now he’ll probably be down for at least a couple of games now, but I could see him coming back and giving the Detroit running game a boost in the final couple of games. For him to actually have some fantasy value, though, I think Jahvid Best would need to remain out. If both of those guys are active in the final games, I think you’ll be looking at a one-two punch on a team with a bottom-10 running game.
Laurent Robinson has been dominating. What type of value do think he'll have in the fantasy playoffs?
Eugene Hitt [GARRISON, NY]
He’s playing awfully well, having scored in five straight games. That’s been done by only one other receiver (Calvin Johnson) this season. So I think he’ll continue to be part of the offense. Maybe it causes the Cowboys to be more cautious about bringing back Miles Austin. Austin originally was supposed to miss 2-4 games; he’s missed three. With Robinson playing well, maybe Austin misses a fourth game or comes back in a reserve or part-time role for his first game or two back. Once Austin is back on the field, however, I think that will signal an end to Robinson’s nice little run of production. I don’t think you’ll be able to count on Robinson in the fantasy playoffs. If you’ve got him, I think what you should be hoping for is another injury to either Dez Bryant or Austin.
Thanks to your preseason rankings, I was 10-0 going into week 11. What is wrong with Aaron Hernandez? He was supposed to be the main TE according to your wisdom. Is he worth keeping in the line-up with hopes he sees more action? The only options to pick up are Heath Miller, Baltimore TE, or other scraps. Will teams cover Rob Gronkowski more and open up more chances for Aaron?
WYATT KLEIN [S MILWAUKEE, WI]
Gronkowski is outperforming Hernandez right now, but the New England offense can morph based on matchups and game plans. Early in the year, Wes Welker was ripping it up. And early in the year, Henandez was better than Gronkowski. I would not consider dumping him (Hernandez) for a mid-level tight end like Heath Miller. The smarter play, I think, is to leave things alone and hope the pendulum swings back to Hernandez’s way in these upcoming games.
I have been with Fantasy Index since 1999 and have won many championships because of your analysis. However, this year I have hit a low point. I bought into R.White, S.Johnson, A.Hernandez, D.Bryant and Felix Jones. My question is whether you ever compare the final numbers of the regular season vs. your predictions at the end of the preseason. Everyone has an off year, and this may be yours! In any case, I will be back again, because I know how good you are.
PARAS SHAH [Forest Hills, NY]
Two months from now, I’m not sure whether I will look back and consider this to be an “on year” or an “off year”. I get a few e-mails from readers such as yourself, either thanking me for a recommendation or pointing out that I ruined their season by recommending a player. Right now, I’m not sensing that I’m getting more or fewer of those letters either way.
Would you trade Alex Smith and Ray Rice to get Cam Newton and Cedric Benson? All TDs worth 6 points with Distance bonus and Yardage scoring.
mark cote [GILBERT, AZ]
I think it depends what you want and what else is on your team. Ray Rice is a top-5 running back. Cam Newton is a top-5 quarterback. Alex Smith is a lesser option – not a guy you want to have to put on the field. Benson is a borderline starting running back; he’s a top-25 type back, but he’s not a good pass catcher and they’ve been spelling him more with Bernard Scott the last month. Basically it comes down to whether you want Rice or Newton (and how good you are at the other positions if you make the trade).
I've clinched the No. 1 seed for the playoffs and have a bye in the first week. Michael Bush has helped me greatly in the past few weeks but that looks to be ending especially for weeks 14-16. I need a waiver pickup that looks good mainly for week 15-16. Could you rank these that are available in my 10-team PPR league? K.Hunter, K.Smith, B.Wells (shocked he was dropped this week!), Ogbonnaya, B.Tate.
Rich Volwiler [MOUNT VERNON, WA]
I would roll with Beanie Wells. He’s a good back, and Arizona is at home in Week 15 against Cleveland. I think he’ll definitely help you in that game. I don’t like, however, that it’s a PPR league. The Cardinals hardly use Wells at all in the passing game, and that’s a considerable negative in that kind of format.
I can pick up Darren McFadden but would have to release Marshawn Lynch, I don’t have to play Lynch as I have Sproles as my second back. Would you recommend the move?
BILL CARINI [Pewaukee, WI]
For now, I will take Lynch. He’s playing well, and the Seahawks have a lot of softer opponents coming up. For later in the year, I think McFadden is the choice. The talk is that he’ll return in Week 14, and he should be better than Lynch in those remaining games. Seattle just lost the right side of its offensive line for the season, and that’s a concern (Lynch averaged under 4 yards per carry last week against a bad St. Louis defense). I think the Raiders will win the AFC West, and they’re playing Detroit and Kansas City in Weeks 15-16 – McFadden is more likely to help you at that time. So: overall value is definitely Lynch, but if you’re looking for a player game changer, then McFadden.
I am in a Dynasty League and must cut 2 players from the following: B.Wells, Green-Ellis, Vereen, Starks, A.Green (GB), Ogbonnaya, Hardesty, D.Brown (Colts), Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green, T.Price, Finley, either Heyward-Bey or Jacoby Ford (currently have Bey but am considering dropping him for Ford dor next year), Rivers and Bradford. We start 1 QB, 2 RB's, 3 WR/TE's.
Which 2 would you drop? We think we will end up with the 2nd overall pick in next year's draft.
DENNIS RUEBEL [GREEN BAY, WI]
I will cut Taylor Price first. I understand that he's in New England, and that makes him a candidate to maybe next start next year. But I am tired of waiting for him; he hasn't developed quickly enough. He's gone. For the second cut, I will go with Donald Brown. He's actually shown a little life recently, but I don't think he'll ever get over the hump and be a viable fantasy option. I would rather have the handcuff-type options that fit with other guys on the roster (Ogbonnaya/Hardesty, Alex Green and Vereen).
Question 2: Why so low on Ben...
Posted by DAVID DIGREGORIO | Nov. 25 at 02:31 PM
Forecast calls for rain, which will not help the running game.
Question 6: I have been with Fantasy...
Posted by BRYAN BERTSCH | Nov. 25 at 07:52 PM
You guys are statistic geeks (this is a compliment). I recommend you do a post-season analysis of yourselves, comparing your pre-season rankings with the final tallies. If you come up with a formula for this, you could even compare your redrafters week to week. Ultimately this could help you refine your predictions year to year, and it would be fun to see. Of course I think we'd all be suprised how much of a crap-shoot predicting players can be, but I would bet, compared to any other fantasy football service, FFI would score very well.
Question 6: I have been with Fantasy...
Posted by IAN ALLAN | Nov. 25 at 11:09 PM
Let me think about it. One thing I could track would be team forecasts. Each of the 32 teams each week. We're forecasting Ints, passing yards, rushing yards, passing TDs, rushing TDs. How many of those 32 (x5) forecasts are too high, too low, etc? Do the misses have anything in common? Maybe there's some value there. Do you have an extra 10 hours a week that I can have?
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