Ian Allan's Mailbag
Posted Oct. 19 at 12:38 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.
With Daryl Richardson seeing an increased work load, is it wise to bench Steven Jackson for Felix Jones or Vick Ballard?
Anthony Giomundo [TONAWANDA, NY]
Richardson (and I appreciate you spelling his name correctly – it’s not Darryl or Darrell) is damn fast. He’s averaging 5.2 yards per carry. It makes a lot of sense for the Rams to mix him in. It saves Jackson some punishment and adds an explosive element to the offense. If you were to poll readers, I would be surprised if at least 90 percent didn’t prefer Felix Jones this week. DeMarco Murray won’t play for the Cowboys, making Jones a full-time back againt a soft Carolina defense.
Your 10/16 trivia question about the Cardinals and the Vikings playing twice in 1991 was VERY cool. I pride myself on a good guess at many of your questions, but that one stumped me, and shows excellent knowledge of NFL history.
JOHN MACHO [ELKO NEW MRKT, MN]
I’m embarrassed to say I had completely forgotten about that twist in the scheduling. I stumbled onto it a few weeks back, when I was looking at whether scoring tending to go up or down when teams were meeting the same opponent later in the year. Prior to the addition of Carolina and Jacksonville, when the team had one four-team division in each conference and two with five, that quirk was added to make the schedule work. Each year, the two 5th-place teams in each conference would play each other. For strength-of-schedule purposes, that added a considerable advantage for teams finishing in last place. The schedules are far more logical now, with the six games inside the division, eight against two other divisions, and only two games determined by where you place in your division. (Any fourth-place team is guaranteed to play all three of the other fourth-place teams in its own conference).
The trivia question about the AAFC teams that moved to the NFL is technically incorrect. The original Baltimore Colts from the AAFC that joined the NFL went defunct after the 1950 season. The franchise was dormant for two seasons before a new Baltimore Colts franchise was born. However, because it was an entirely new ownership group, it was treated as a completely different franchise with no affiliation at all with the original Colts, unlike the Browns (version 2.0) which retains the legacy of the original Browns. Hope that helps someone on staff to win a trivia contest some day.
CHRIS BIELIK [BEACON FALLS, CT]
Why do I feel like I’m in the movie Diner? Yes, you are correct. You got it exactly right. I wrote the question. I’ve got a big file with a few hundred questions in it, but my preference, when I get the time, is to write a timely question that’s tied to a notable matchup, player or performance. I saw the Browns-Colts matchup, and the wheels started turning. I remembered the All-America Football Conference tie-in, and how Paul Zimmerman once argued that it’s not logical for the NFL to recognize stats from the AFL while ignoring the AAFC. The Browns, after all, came from the AAFC and then played in six straight NFL championship games. I quickly (but not thoroughly) used the NFL’s Record & Fact Book to double-check that it was indeed the Browns, 49ers and Colts that came from the AAFC to play in the NFL for the 1950 season. But what you say is true. The Baltimore Colts went 1-11 and lasted only one season. Then no football in Baltimore in 1951 or 1952 before the new ownership group came along and started the Colts proper in 1953. Apologies for the error.
I'm in a 12 team PPR. I drafted Fred Jackson as my #1 back, when he got hurt I picked C.J. Spiller. My other two backs are Mcgehee and Stevan Ridley. WE start 2 running backs a week. My question is do you see any value in Jackson and Spiller? Are either worth a start?
scott morrow [N HUNTINGDON, PA]
Right now, I think you’re starting Ridley and McGahee every week. Ridley had the off game in Seattle, when they spread the field and started passing a lot, but he’s a very good back. Jackson and Spiller are splitting time, so with those guys you’re waiting (hoping?) for an injury. Or maybe Spiller will just kind of emerge there. He’s a lot more explosive and elusive. He had a couple of very impressive runs at Arizona, getting yards that other running backs would not. Go back and watch the highlight clip of his touchdown run in that game. Many backs (most backs, I think), would have been stopped for about a 1-2 yard gain on that play.
What do you think of 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? 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.
Jeffrey Martin [ELLINGTON, CT]
Hightower isn’t a guy I’m holding out any hope for. He’s not a top-100 back in my opinion. Among free agent guys, I’ve got him behind Joseph Addai and Steve Slaton for sure. Maybe Kahlil Bell as well. For the vast majority of NFL teams, I would put their third-string tailback ahead of Hightower. He’s not a talented runner who’s waiting for the right paycheck or the right situation – he’s just a guy that no teams want anymore. I don’t know that many teams even wanted him last year, before he blew out his knee. With Ogletree, you’re waiting for an Austin or Bryant injury, then you would have a pretty good receiver.
I’m a long-time subscriber, I think you guys are doing a great job. My question is about the hit that knocked out Kolb. It looks dirty to me; that big ugly doubled up his elbow and just drilled Kolb with all his weight. But no talk of dirty play. Suh was suspended for a harmless footstomp + baggage. But geese this looks bad to me, and a good place to set an example for the rest of those big ugly guys flopping on the pile. Just saying.
GARY DETRICK [CARLSBAD, NM]
I just went back and watched it. I don’t see anything unusual. Sorry. I just see Kolb running and diving to the ground as two guys in pursuit land on him. I don’t see anything dirty, intentional or malicious. I don’t see anything outside the rules.
Matt Ryan is my starting QB. I have Cam Newton as a back up. I can pick up Christan Ponder and drop Newton. Is that a good idea? Thanks
CRAIG MILLER [TACOMA, WA]
I don’t think so. With the running ability, Newton has a lot more upside than Ponder. If he gets his game dialed in (or even kind of dialed in), he’ll be a top-5 quarterback. And even a pretty disappointing Newton can be a top-10 quarterback. Ponder doesn’t have that kind of potential.
Hakeem Nicks is killing me at WR! With Decker on the bye I will be starting him, but with whom do I pair him? I picked up Josh Gordon and am leaning toward starting him in what might be a shootout in Indy, but I'm not super confident. I could also throw in Kendall Wright since he's getting a lot of looks from the Hass. Or I could toss in Hixon thinking one of those two G-men would pay dividends, but that kind of kills one WR spot. Your thoughts?
NICK FRITZ [MINNEAPOLIS, MN]
How can I guy named Nick not start Nicks every week? He’s been working through some foot and knee injuries, but he’s a talented guy. I would advise you to just leave him in there and give him a chance to come around. Wright looks good as a long-term option, but his playing time went way down last week – Kenny Britt is getting healthy.
Should the Browns DST be started over the Texans DST this week? I need a bye-week replacement for next week and the Browns appear to have favorable matchups against teams with shaky offensive lines (Colts this week and Chargers next week). My league awards big points for DSTs including 2 points for sacks, INTs, and 3 for forced and recovered fumbles. Also, the Chiefs DST has performed well the past 4 weeks after a shaky start. They play at home against Oakland next week. Who is the better play this week and next? Browns or Texans this week and Browns or Chiefs next week?
Brett Watts [FLORENCE, SC]
We’ve got the Browns slightly higher than the Texans this week. They look pretty interchangeable, but Cleveland has a big edge at kick returner – Josh Cribbs is far more likely to break one. For next week, I expect Cleveland will be ranked higher than Kansas City. Look at the numbers after six weeks. Philip Rivers has been sacked 18 times and thrown 9 interceptions. While having played one fewer game, Carson Palmer is at 10 sacks and 3 interceptions.
I have good depth but could use another stud. In a ppr league with 1 pt per 10 yards rushing and 1 pt per 15 yards receiving, I have R Rice, McFadden, Ridley, Morris and Leshoure as my RB and D Thomas, Wayne, Nicks and Dez as my WR. We start 2 RB, 2 WR and a flex. The Fitzgerald owner needs a RB - does trading away Ridley or Morris for Fitz improve my WR enough to pull the trigger?
ZACH LEAVITT [HIGHLANDS RANCH, CO]
If you want to assume all of those guys will stay healthy, then I put them in this order for the rest of the season – Morris, Ridley, Fitzgerald. If you want to factor in durability, then Fitzgerald moves past Ridley. But I wouldn’t be anxious to make that trade. With Wayne, Nicks and Bryant, I think you’re fine at wide receiver. You’re more likely to need your depth at running back; that’s where the injuries occur. At best, you help your team a little, and you would be helping this other team to work his way out of a jam. If he wants to make a deal, he’s got to sweeten the pot. You’ve got the leverage.
How would you rate this trade? Marshawn Lynch for Reggie Wayne and Reggie Bush Also, this one: Steven Jackson straight up for Steve Smith (both struggling this year).
CHUCK BAILEY [SPRINGBORO, OH]
Lynch for Wayne/Bush could be a win-win trade. Lynch is a great back, but Bush is also a starter-caliber guy, and Wayne gets a lot of targets. Jackson/Smith also could make sense for both teams (if they’re looking to shift their depth to a different position).
Question 1: With Daryl Richardson seeing an...
Posted by DAVID SMITH | Oct. 19 at 02:27 PM
Should I trade Cruz for Peterson in a non-ppr standard league where I can start 3 QB's but only 1 WR? It would leave me Austin as my starting receiver.
Question 10: I have good depth but...
Posted by Scott Anderson | Oct. 19 at 01:14 PM
Hey Ian, with Dwyer looking likely to get a large share of carries for PIT, I might be saved from hoping for Hardesty to see the field. Would you drop Hardesty & pick up Burleson to play in Flex instead of Hardesty? Thanks.
Question 10: I have good depth but...
Posted by IAN ALLAN | Oct. 19 at 02:15 PM
I'm working on the supplement right now. Dwyer is expected to start for the Steelers, so he makes some sense as a Week 7 fill-in.
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