Ian Allan's Mailbag
Posted Oct. 12 at 11:50 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.
Who in your opinion, who is going to be the main carrier in Arizona?
Jeffrey Haseley [SANBORN, NY]
I like William Powell. I think they’ll probably start LaRod Stephens-Howling – he’ll be out there for the first play. But I think Powell will play a lot more. He looked pretty good in the preseason, running for 249 yards and averaging 5.9 yards per carry, with 3 TDs. At running back, guys seem to get better after they’ve been around for a few years and had a chance to learn what it takes. Willie Parker, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Fred Jackson and Arian Foster come to mind as guys who weren’t even drafted and then went on to become 1,000-yard rushers. Not saying that Powell will be as good as those guys. We’re talking about a former walk-on at Kansas City who really didn’t even play much in college. But he’s their starter for now, and Arizona is at home this week againt a weak Buffalo run defense.
What the heck is going on with Jordy Nelson? I paid a hefty price for him at the auction. So far he is a pretty big bust amongst the top non-injury WR's.
CHRIS EASLEY [GIG HARBOR, WA]
He’s not making the same big plays downfield. Last year he averaged 18.6 yards per catch and had 8 TDs over 35 yards. This year he has no receptions of 30 yards, and he’s averaging only 12 yards per catch. I discussed this topic yesterday with @FantasyIndexJE on the Fantasy Index Podcast. His theory is that Green Bay’s offense is being severely damaged by the Greg Jennings injury – that with Jennings hurt, everyone else is being asked to do too much. In essence, that Nelson is a great No. 2 receiver, but that he becomes pretty ordinary when asked to deal with the extra double teams as a go-to guy. But that would explain how Nelson caught 15 passes for 277 yards and 5 TDs in the final two weeks of last season, after Jennings got hurt. I tend to believe that defenses are simply doing better job against the Packers. Everyone is aware now that Nelson is really good on those vertical routes outside the hashmarks – they’re taking those away. The offensive line, I think, isn’t as good. That’s playing a role. Aaron Rodgers is actually completing a higher percentage of his passes; he’s just not connecting on the big throws downfield. For Nelson, he caught 72 percent of the passes thrown to him last year, when he was about the most effective receiver in the league (in terms of average gain per pass attempt). Nelson is down at 64 percent completions this year – fewer completions and fewer yards on those passes. Green Bay’s entire offense, I think, is way too pass-heavy, and I think that’s caught up with them. Defenses are doing a better job of ignoring the run, playing more nickel, and putting Rodgers under more pressure at times.
What are your thoughts on Dwayne Allen and Joel Dreessen? The only TE on my fantasy team is Pitta, who has an upcoming week 8 bye. He has also become more frustrating and from what I have read, he's has been in on fewer snaps the past two busted weeks. Is Pitta worth dropping, and who should be added between Allen and Dreessen?
Brett Watts [FLORENCE, SC]
They’re similar tight ends. They both play for teams that use double tight ends, and they’re both primarily goal-line guys. In Denver, Jacob Tamme is their pass-catching tight end; he’s caught about twice as many passes as Dreessen. But Dreessen the guy they like to use on the little play-action flips around the end zone. Dreessen has outscored him 3-1. It’s similar in Indianapolis, with their two rookie tight ends. Coby Fleener catches more passes, but Allen has outscored him 2-0. For Week 8, I would be looking at Dreessen; Broncos play New Orleans that week, and the Saints have the worst defense in the NFL.
I am in a 9-man PPR league and I just traded ALF & Antonio Brown for Cam Newton & D. Murray. I already have Brady, but I had no back-up and the remaining available QB's were horrid. What swayed my decision was a comment you made here last week regarding ALF really just being a top 20 RB in PPR leagues due to his inability to catch the ball and I have seen through the roof projections for Murray now that his bye is over. Could I please have your professional opinion of this trade? Oh, and Thanks for taking down the Glamour Shot!
MONTE MCDONALD [LAS VEGAS, NV]
I assume that by “ALF” you mean Alfred Morris, and not ALF, the “Alien Life Form” who used to have a TV show. Morris is a good player. He’s running for a lot of yards for Washington. He runs hard and breaks tackles and whatnot. Fantasy-wise, I have a couple of concerns about him. Most notably, he’s not a big part of their passing game. He’s just a rookie, and they’ll plug in Evan Royster on some passing downs. While Morris is running for 80, 90, 100 yards each week, he’s caught only 2 passes in five games. He’s perhaps getting more comfortable as he continues to learn more, but I don’t think he’ll average more than a reception per game the rest of the way. That’s a big negative when you compare him to more well-rounded back. If, for example, Morris were to run for 100 yards but catch no passes, while Running Back B were to run for 50 yards and also catch 3 passes for 30 yards, who had a better game? Morris looks a little better; he finished with 20 more total yards. But the other guy (in a PPR format) actually finishes with more points. That kind of dynamic works against Morris somewhat. I also fear what will happen to Morris if Lord Robert Griffin III gets hurt. Some of Morris’ success, I think, can be attributed to the fear defenses have that RG3 will keep the ball and run himself. That stretches things out and makes things easier for Morris. We’ve seen the same kind of dynamic with LeSean McCoy, who got a lot more productive in Philadelphia after Michael Vick replaced Kevin Kolb two years ago. If RG3 gets hurt and they stick one of those immobile quarterbacks in there (Cousins, Grossman) then defenses should have a lot more success against Morris. Talent-wise, I don’t think Morris is anything special. We’re not talking about another Arian Foster or Ray Rice. He’s just an ordinary back – probably more similar to Royster in talent – in a good situation. Take away RG3, and I think that becomes a bad envirionment for a running back. Washington doesn’t have a great offensive line. But without running the exact numbers, I tend to think I’d rather have Morris & Brown (two good players) rather than Murray and Newton. Newton is struggling, and you’ve already got Brady. Dallas doesn’t have Murray dialed in yet.
I’m in a pickle. I’m now 1-4 and im thinking about this trade. i have Matty Ice, Chris Johnson, MJD, Megatron, Mike Wallace, Jordy Nelson, D. Moore, B. Tate, A. Hernandez and Texans D. Looks good on paper, but im thin at RB. someone wants to trade me Foster and Demaryius Thomas for Megatron and Matty ice, i can then go pick up luck and i have rivers on my bench as well, i just need two RB's to start and CJ?K is just not trustworthy. If i had a prayer this would be it, if you could answer please.
Jonathan Galper [tarzana, CA]
Looks good to me. The season is on the operating table. There is no heart beat. Why not juice up the paddles, apply a jolt to the chest, and see if you can get it going again. If you were to walk into a draft today, you definitely would select Foster before Ryan, and Thomas seems to be in the same ballpark as Calvin Johnson.
If Nicks doesn't play again this week who has the better value, hixon or randle?
Anthony Giomundo [TONAWANDA, NY]
Hixon would start in that spot. I don’t think Randle would even be the No. 3 guy. Ramses Barden is practicing, and I expect he’ll be ready to return this week.
I am in a dynasty league. Due to salary cap issues, my best RB at the beginning of next year will be Michael Bush. My WR corps consists of Victor Cruz, DeMaryius Thomas and Dwayne Bowe as well as Kendall Wright, Greg Little and Lance Moore. Another owner wants to trade for DeMaryius Thomas. He is offering Ryan Mathews, DeMarco Murray, Stevan Ridley or Chris Johnson. Would you trade Thomas for one of these guys and, if so, which RB do you see as the best of the bunch in the long term?
Tim Kennedy [MINNEAPOLIS, MN]
There is a trade opportunity there. It’s a concept that both sides should be interested in. Thomas might be the best of those receivers, so you may be nervous to let him go. Maybe you can steer him towards Bowe? But all four of those running backs are quality players who are relatively young. When making your decision, keep in mind that Bowe is playing under a franchise tag. He may be gone to another team at the end of the year (potentially improving or decreasing his value). Mathews has had a lot of injuries; tough to rely on him staying healthy. Murray also has had problems with durability, but like Mathews is young and talented. Chris Johnson has a huge salary next year; the Titans may have to release him at the end of the season (but that could be a good thing). Talent-wise, Ridley isn’t quite up there with those three backs, but he plays on the best team. Do you think this guy would go for a four-player trade? He gets to give you any two of those running backs, and he gets two receivers in return – one he picks and one you pick.
Who do you like long term? I really screwed the pooch when I took a gamble on draft day and waited for Russell Wilson. So, I've got him, I picked up Kolb two weeks ago (which worked out last week, but not against the Rams), and now I'm thinking about Matt Flynn. I really just need a starter who can get to 200 yards and a touchdown or tow, which seems to be asking a lot. So my options (before panicking and trading one of my RBs Ryan Matthews, Demarco Murray, and MJD) are Wilson, Kolb, or Flynn.
Joey Winn [VIRGINIA BEACH, VA]
By “long term”, do you mean in 2013 and 2014? Or do you mean in Week 9-10? Wilson is progressing. He should get better. But he’s still just a rookie quarterback. He’s not going to be an above-average quarterback this year. He won’t be a top-15 fantasy option at his position. If he struggles against this week, the Seahawks may start thinking more about trying Flynn.
What do you think of Gates vs. Steven Jackson moving forward? I all ready have Morris, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Jamaal Charles. At T.E. I have Owens and Kendricks. I have been offered Gates for Steven Jackson.
Ora Curry [TORRINGTON, CT]
I think Gates is more likely to help you. You’ve got four other running backs, so I doubt Jackson would ever get on the field for you. With Gates, maybe he rounds back into form and becomes your regular starter at tight end. I assume you’re using Owen Daniels there now? He’s been playing pretty well, but where will be a month from now? We’ll see.
Question 2: What the heck is going...
Posted by DANIEL FORD | Oct. 13 at 08:49 AM
Packers miss Joe Philbin.
Question 3: What are your thoughts on...
Posted by Brett Watts | Oct. 12 at 01:12 PM
Thanks Ian. Another option may be Jared Cook if I can claim him off waivers next week. If Pitta falters again this week do you think it makes sense to drop him and start Cook next week against Buffalo and then week 8 against the Colts and perhaps beyond? I know his value is somewhat tied to Hasselbeck as the starter as well.
Question 3: What are your thoughts on...
Posted by Lionel Cortez | Oct. 16 at 03:22 PM
In the May mini camps, Shane Vareen was running with the 1st team at RB. Injuries have made him a non factor so far. He's a former 2nd round pick, with some speed and receiving ability. I currently have him as a hand cuff to Ridley. Is it time to cut him and move on or do you think he's still worth a roster spot?
Question 3: What are your thoughts on...
Posted by MARTIN DONNELLY | Oct. 16 at 04:00 PM
Note that Dreesen had 7 targets vs 2 for Tamme Monday night. If you think that means he's becoming Peyton's favorite...
Question 9: What do you think of...
Posted by Jeffrey Martin | Oct. 15 at 10:53 PM
Tim Hightower??? I was hoping/expecting him to sign with either Arizona or Green Bay by now. Needless to say, he is occupying the last spot on my bench. Shall I push him off the end??? Fwiw, I have Arian Foster, Alfred Morris, Stevan Ridley, and Willis McGahee as my RBs. Also, is it time to give up on Kevin Ogletree? He is sitting right next to Hightower. Thanks!
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