Ian Allan answers your fantasy football questions. In this edition. Is it time to pull the fantasy plug on Jameis Winston? Will Kansas City rest Patrick Mahomes? Long-term prospects for Nick Chubb. And more.
I have Aaron Rodgers and am concerned they might start sitting him for preservation. My bench QB is Winston. Obviously this time of the season the player pool is really weak. Any suggestions?
DARRELL PRESTELLA (Carson City, NV)
Tampa Bay is 3-6 and Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t playing great. He’s not the long-term answer – or even the 2019 answer. So why aren’t they playing Jameis Winston? It seems like they have decided he’s not going to be their 2019 starter either, and that he’ll be cut loose in the offseason. They may have decided that they don’t want to risk putting him on the field; if he were to tear an ACL or suffer a similar injury, they’d be on the hook to pay him $20 million next year. By ensuring that he’s healthy, they’ll be able to make a clean break (with no damage to their salary). I would say that if we get to Wednesday of next week and Fitzpatrick is slated to enter Week 12 as the starter, you could safely release Winston. Perhaps replace him with Lamar Jackson. I think the Ravens will put Jackson in the starting lineup before long. He’ll be a bottom-5 passer but probably post the best rushing stats of any quarterback in the league. Typically with most fantasy scoring systems, those kind of quarterbacks tend to grade out way higher than you would expect.
I'm rolling along at 8-2 and have my eye on the playoffs. Problem: my only QB is Mahomes, and I'm worried about him sitting Weeks 16-17 (we play a two-week championship). Available QBs are Eli, Carr, Smith, Flacco (& Jackson), Rosen, Bortles, Osweiler/Tannehill. Looking at those last two weeks, should I grab one of these guys, or just get Henne and start him.
Scott Anderson (Lakewood, CO)
Mahomes also as a bye in Week 12, so you’ll need somebody there. More notably, Andy Reid has a long track record of pulling starters whenever he can. He’s done it at least a half-dozen times over the years, and he might be into double figures. He’s been a head coach for almost 20 years, and I don’t think he’s ever played a big-time player – Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook, Alex Smith, LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles – when he’s had a playoff team in Week 17 with nothing at stake. Last year they had the weird deal where Kareem Hunt wanted to play so he could win the rushing title. Hunt needed 13 yards to get past Todd Gurley, so they put him on the field for one carry (a 35-yard touchdown), then pulled him. I suppose you should be hoping that Kansas City loses some games, but I think it’s very unlikely their key guys are on the field in Week 17. I don’t think they’re playing in Week 16 either. Of the guys you list, I don’t see anyone who looks super promising. I have no interest in Henne, running a JV offense with a simplified game plan. If I had to pick today, I’d be looking at the Ravens.
I’m in a keeper league where the keeper can only be drafted from the 12th or later. It’s a total points league and I’m out of the running. What’s your opinion on Chubb’s future. Has his recent tear been a fluke or is he a top-10 prospect for the foreseeable future?
CHRIS HAMBY (Glyndon, MD)
If you put me in a time machine and moved me forward to August 2019, I expect I would select Nick Chubb in the second round. With his size and speed, he’s got a lot of big-play ability. You saw it on the two long touchdowns at Oakland, and again on the 92-yarder against the Falcons. He looks a lot faster now than he did last year, when he was only 3rd-most explosive running back on his own team. Both Sony Michel and D’Andre Swift averaged over a yard and half more per carry (of course, those guys are both great backs too). Each weekend I post revised rankings for one position for dynasty leagues. As luck would have it, running backs are coming up this week. Chubb will be one of the first 10 running backs on that list (that will be posted late Saturday or early Sunday).
I have a question about your projections for the rest of the season (redrafter spreadsheet). Don't you think Winston is projected a little high, considering you are projecting him for 2 starts? One of my leagues uses a "team QB" and if you combine the projections for Fitzpatrick and Winston, they are extremely high. Doesn't seem right.
MICHAEL PATTISON (Elk Grove, CA)
If we go strictly by cumulative stats, I believe Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Derek Carr and Alex Smith will finish with more production than Jameis Winston. But none of those guys has any chance of being a top-10 quarterback the rest of the way. With Winston, he’s probably not going to play at all, but if they were to decide to toss him back into the starting lineup for one last shot, he probably would put up top-5 quarterbacking numbers in the remaining games. Way too many interceptions, fumbles and losses, of course, but they’re putting up a ton of yards right now. So in our overly complex stat model, I toss in some extra production behind the curtains. Those artificially lift Winston ahead of some lesser quarterbacks. I want him to appear higher than those guys in the rankings because if you were walking into a draft today, that’s how it would make sense to pick them. If you were to look simply at team passing production, I have the 32 teams ranked like this …
|TEAM PASSING PROJECTIONS|
Vikings at Bears this week. Is this still the most home-team dominated match-up in the NFL?
JOHN MACHO (Elko New Mrkt, MN)
Good point. Home team has won 10 of the last 12. (Two exceptions, however, have both come recently – Vikings won at Chicago in 2015 and 2017).
I have this weekly dilemma with Carson, Mack and Howard. This week you have Mack higher than Carson, but talk how Tennessee is a shutdown defense. Is Mack the better choice? I'm in a win-and-in scenario and have two remaining games against the top 2 teams so want to get this one badly. My opponent is starting M.Davis.
Bill Petilli (Harrison, NY)
The Seahawks are playing on Thursday night, so I won’t speak of them in too much detail (by the time people read this, that game will be over), but to me that looks like a three-man backfield now. Rashaad Penny has played his way into the mix. So I don’t think you can got into any game counting on one of those backs (Carson-Penny-Davis) getting much more than half of their rushing production. So I will tend to have Marlon Mack ranked higher than Carson almost every week. I understand that Mack was underwhelming against Jacksonville, but he averaged 134 yards in his previous three games, with 4 TDs. Tennessee has allowed the fewer points in the league, but I don’t see that as a shutdown defense. I’m not positive it’s a top-5 defense. The Eagles, Ravens and Chargers are moved the ball pretty well against them in the not-too-distant past. As well as the Colts are playing right now (with 25 TDs in their last six games) my leaning would be to try to ride that wave.
Looking for your trusted opinion on a possible trade. I have lost Kupp, Fuller, and A.J. Green over the last couple weeks and my receiving corps is decimated to say the least. I have Rivers & Luck at QB and I was offered Julio Jones & Jarvis Landry for either of these QBs. My league scoring is TD-heavy which is a risk with these two receivers, but I am hoping since they catch a lot of passes their TDs may increase. I read your article about Luck's schedule and I was actually leaning on moving Rivers over Luck but now you have may rethinking that too. Let me know what you think.
James Carvin (Mount Laurel, NJ)
Looks good to me. Three of Cleveland’s next five games are against defenses that are really struggling against the pass right now – Carolina and Cincinnati twice. So Landry could/should be about to start playing a lot better. I would pull the trigger. On your two quarterbacks, Luck has thrown at least 3 TD passes in six straight games. I would have a hard time explaining to the shareholders why we were trading him away.
I was just debating as to who to hold onto for the rest of the season between T.Y. Hilton and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. It's only 8 teams, so I am stacked with 5 or 6 top 15-20 RB and am going to run with M.Thomas, JuJu and one of these two for the playoff run, with no pickups after week 13. Any thoughts on Gronk producing anymore this season? He's been hard to hold on to lately too.
John Peterson (North Branch, MN)
Valdes-Scantling has been coming on nicely. He led them with 6 catches against Miami, and he had receptions over 40 yards in each of his three previous games. But I’m ready yet to put him ahead of the likes of Hilton. Hilton had the hamstring setback, but he’s a great and proven player, and the Colts are playing well. Reports indicate Gronkowski should be back in the lineup in Week 12.
I think I can get Melvin Gordon for Antonio Brown. Is that a no-brainer? Seems like it. Gordon outscoring Brown 150 to 129 in our league. Would make a nice one-two punch with James Connor. Pull the trigger?
MATT JACKSON (Norwalk, CT)
In standard scoring, I have Gordon worth 6 more points per week than Brown. In PPR, I have Gordon worth 4 more points. Three of the Chargers’ next four games are at home against defenses that are really struggling against the run – Denver, Arizona, Cincinnati.
Would you trade Joe Mixon, Micheal Thomas and Kyle Rudolph for Nick Chubb, Davante Adams, Kelce. I am in a PPR league and wanted your opinion.
Tom Clark (Camas, WA)
In PPR scoring, I’ve got Mixon and Thomas both worth 1 more point (per week) than Chubb and Adams. Those players are similar. But Kelce is almost twice as productive as Rudolph – 7.5 points per week. So the Kelce side of the trade is the one I would want to be on. If you go that route, however, you’ll have to find another tight end to plug in in Week 12 (bye week). And Kansas City likely will be resting players in Weeks 16-17.