Ian Allan's Mailbag
Posted Dec. 24 at 05:06 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.
OK Ian, week 17 is upon us and I am actually in two championship games coming up. Who do you see as teams resting players besides the Titans, Steelers, Colts?
Brian Harwood [Bowling Green, KY]
I think those are the big three. The Giants have clinched the No. 1 seed in the NFC, but Tom Coughlin says he's not going to rest players. He used everyone in week 17 last year, when New York played the 15-0 Patriots knowing that it would be on the road for a wild card game the following week. This time, the Giants have that bye week to play with; I think they'll play almost all of their first-string players. If the Cardinals had won their game last week, I think they would have sat their players. But after losing ugly two weeks in a row, I think they'll instead want to get a win under their belts to try to regenerate some momentum.
Ian, my league goes until the bell rings. None of this week 14 stuff for us...the big prize goes to the total points leader after week 17. I need to decide between Cutler and Rivers at QB. We give 1 pt/30 yds passing, +3 bonus for over 300 yds, and double points for rushing TDs vs passing TDs. Making the situation worse is that they scored the exact same for week 16. Do you see one having an advantage over the other? Or should I just flip a coin and hope it bounces off of Urlacher's helmet?
Eric Schmit [KEIZER, OR]
I'll go with Rivers. I expect the Chargers to win that game easily, and they've been scoring 80 percent of their touchdowns on passes. Both quarterbacks might pass for 300 yards, but Rivers looks like a better bet to throw 3 TD passes (or more), while Cutler is more likely to be stuck down at two. With the way these teams should pass the ball up and down the field, these teams should compete wearing ABA uniforms -- Denver Nuggets against San Diego Q's.
Wanted to thank you yet again for some great reading throughout the season. I'm in a Touchdown only league that has it's championship in week 17. I have to decide between my quarterbacks...Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers. I know Brees could potentially be slinging for the 5084, but Carolina isn't going to just lay down. Rodgers, on the other hand, is playing the hapless Lions, so it's also intriguing. Since New Orleans has had the unfortunate trend of punching in so many touchdown runs lately, who would you go with?
JODY SMITH [LEAGUE CITY, TX]
Both are solid, top-5 quarterbacks on my board this week. Little difference between them. With Brees, you get the advantage of the Saints playing inside a dome. Weather won't be a concern. With Rodgers, you get a weaker opponent, plus the running dimension. Brees is a pocket passer who looks to get the ball out of his hands. Rodgers, on the other hand, has a good chance to score on a quarterback sneak if the ball winds up on the 1-yard line. He's actually scored 4 of Green Bay's 10 rushing TDs this year. Rodgers showed on Monday night that he can play in inclement weather conditions, passing for 260 yards and 2 TDs in frigid temperatures at Soldier Field.
Thanks again for another great season. I lost -- again -- in the big game, but have to be happy with a 14-2 record overall. I know it's early, but I get to keep 5 for next year. Who would you keep of the following?
Drew Brees, Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, Marshawn Lynch, Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Reggie Wayne
Whitney Yost [NORRISTOWN, PA]
That's really tough. Lots of good players. Without thinking about it to thoroughly, Wayne would be the first guy I would dump, and Lynch would be the second. That leaves you trying to trim one more. Can you trade any of those guys for draft picks? That would be an option. Right now (and the answer might be different a week or a month or a half year down the road), I think Marshall would be the guy to go. He's had a lot of off-field problems.
My running backs may be shelved week 17 (C.Johnson, MJD). I'm scouring the wire to pick some players up. L.Jordan, F.Jackson, G.Russell (and already have Hightower). Can you tell me which of the above - or someone else - will likely be a surprise featured back this week?
Stephen Viau [Ottawa, ON]
It's too early to rule out Maurice Jones-Drew. He suffered a bruised knee late in the Indianapolis game, but he says he's going to play (whether he can do much against a very good Ravens defense, though, is another question). With Chris Johnson, I think you're looking at just a few carries early -- you'd have to hope he broke a long-run against a backup-type Indianapolis defense before he headed to the sideline. Marshawn Lynch missed the second half of the Denver game with a shoulder injury, so maybe Fred Jackson is your guy -- he might be a full-time guy. Or you could try to latch onto a backup on a team that's resting players. Gary Russell should be Pittsburgh's main back, and Quinton Ganther might be pretty good for the TItans.
A week 17 question. Would Indy get home field with a win? And, if so, would you please let Tony Dungy know.
MARK CLURE [MOUNT SHASTA, CA]
The Colts are 11-4, but they're locked in as the No. 5 seed in the AFC. They'll open the playoffs by playing on the road against San Diego or Denver. The Chargers are currently 7-8 and the Broncos are just 8-7, but one of those teams will actually get to host Indianapolis -- that's the way they've got the playoffs set up right now.
I am in a keeper league ad have to cut 2 players. Which 2 would you cut from the following players: Sproles, B. Jackson (rb from GB), Arrington, Jordan, Hixon.
DENNIS RUEBEL [GREEN BAY, WI]
I don't think any of those players is every going to make a big impact for your club. Sproles is your No. 1 guy, but I don't think he's big enough to ever be more than a scatback. The Chargers will probably bring in another player to develop as the eventual successor at tailback. I think you're safe dropping LaMont Jordan. I'm not sure he'll be in the league next year. And I think Domenik Hixon has shown that he's never going to be anything special as a starter NFL receiver. I'd be comfortable letting him go. (HIxon, though, might at least start a few games for the Giants next year; if you want a marginal starting receiver, you could instead drop Brandon Jackson. I opted to keep Jackson on the chance he's again an injury away from being Green Bay's starting tailback).
Our Superbowl is this week in our dynasty/keeper league and for the 3rd straight year i am in the game. Next year i am looking pretty bad salary cap wise but don't really need anything except a TE with tons of them gonna be out there. I have been offered R. Wayne 24 mill sal for L Evans 14 mill and B Jacobs 20 mill freeing me up 10 mill for some free agents i need. Our League starts 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE,K,Def. My current roster is. Qb - P Manning RB's- F Gore,R Brown, MJD, T Hightower and Jacobs WR's- Boldin, A Johnson, G Jennings and Evans te- gates ( losing to fa's) k - Akers Def- vikings.
Gary Wool [Philadelphia, PA]
I don't have a good handle on the league setup -- number of teams, scoring system, cap, etc. -- but it looks like a good deal to me. Jacobs will never be a truly elite back. He'll always have problems staying healthy, he's going to have a short career, he'll never be used much in the passing game, and he'll always be a committee guy. I'd rather have that money invested in Reggie Wayne, who'll be a top-10 receiver for most of the upcoming five years. That would really solidfy the receiver position for you -- give you four good ons. And down the road, maybe you trade one of those guys in a blockbuster trade. The deal always would allow you to unload Lee Evans.
Championship Game question, which is either a no-brainer or I'm over-thinking this: I have the Giants and the Cowboys defenses. I don't particularly care for the matchups of either, with both teams playing teams that need to win to keep their hopes alive. In our league, the Falcons defense can be picked up on waivers. They play the Rams, and have the motivation of obtaining the second seed. Who would you go with?
CRAIG SMITH [OZARK, MO]
All three look like good options to me. I've got all three among my top 8 defenses this week. As well as the Cowboys pass rush has been performing recently, I'd probably just stick with him and hope that they can outperform at least one of those other two teams. Dallas also needs to win on Sunday to keep its playoff hopes alive, and I liked the way that team played a few weeks back in a similar type of game on the other side of the state -- the Cowboys easily could have beaten Pittsburgh.
Question 1: OK Ian, week 17 is...
Posted by eric gustitus | Dec. 27 at 01:12 AM
Cowboys defense is not a bad choice if that's all you have, but no way Mcnabb/Westbrook only score 3 points this week. Green Bay defense vs. Lions would be a better matchup than Dallas vs. Eagles.
Question 1: OK Ian, week 17 is...
Posted by BEN HOGEVOLL | Dec. 28 at 03:17 PM
Ian I guees we can call it a tie.Our leauge- Cutler 21 points Rivers 18 point,,Cutler 316 yards 1 touchdown Rivers 207 yards 2 touchdowns. The diff was 10 points verse 0 for 300 yards.
Question 2: Ian, my league goes until...
Posted by BEN HOGEVOLL | Dec. 24 at 07:00 AM
Ian I disagree and will start Cutler.S.D.will run the ball more and Cutler has to pass and has more weapons.Royal,Marshal,both tight ends and Stokely.Rivers has Gates and Jackson.plus Cutler beat S,D.in game one even though a bad call.Cutler also is more apt to run one which is double points.If im correct I work for food, booze, and health ins.
Question 2: Ian, my league goes until...
Posted by IAN ALLAN | Dec. 24 at 08:18 AM
Cutler is a more productive runner, no doubt about that. He had the 2 TD runs last week. For the year, he's averaging 13 rushing yards per game, while Rivers is down at 5 yards per game. But I see San Diego winning that game -- easily -- and I think that will make the difference. I'll toss a poll question up there, and we'll see what other readers say. Then we'll see how it shakes out on Sunday night.
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