Ian Allan answers your fantasy football questions. In this edition: Is Cameron Brate a tight end knight in shining armor? Which injured players are most likely to make an impact in 2019? And why Phillip Lindsay could be ready to put together a late-season surge.
Where does Cameron Brate rate now for tight end in the redrafter?
TONY ZAPUTIL (West Chicago, IL)
I think he’ll be a top-10 tight end in the final six weeks – maybe top-5. He’s not as athletic as O.J. Howard, but he has a better feel for route-running. He’s a good red-zone option, and I think he plays better with Winston at quarterback. The last time Famous Jameis took over at quarterback, Brate immediately caught touchdowns at Chicago and Atlanta. Brate caught 8 and 6 touchdowns the last two years. Brate has played less this year as Howard has emerged. Now that Howard is out for the year, however, I think we’ll see Brate on the field a lot more, playing like he did last year.
Appreciate the insight you provide for we fantasy freaks. In a dynasty auction league, and am looking to set up my roster for next season. I am interested in the rehab process of these IR players, as well as your opinion as to their value in the coming year. K Dixon, C Warren III, W Fuller, M Lee, C Meredith, C Kupp, D Walker and T Eifert.
mark meyer ()
I don’t have any reason to believe that they won’t all be ready for next season. If not for his injury, Kupp would have finished with top-15 receiving numbers. He’s proven he can do it. I think just about everyone would agree he’s easily the top guy in this group. Fuller has been almost as good as Kupp, but he’s got a long history of injuries. I don’t know that he’ll ever play 16 games in a season. Walker is the only other player of note in this group, I think. He’s 34, but I think the Titans want to keep him around for a few more years. They signed him to a two-year extension in late July that included about $12 million in guaranteed money. The rest of the players you mention are just flyer types, in my opinion. Kenneth Dixon is practicing (the Ravens have designated him to return from injured reserve) but I’m not confident he’ll be on that roster in 2019. Tyler Eifert has been plagued by injuries for years; he’s 28, and I’m not sure how much longer his body can hold up. Marqise Lee is a pretty ordinary receiver – no better than a No. 3 for the vast majority of teams, I think. Chris Warren is huge and can run with some power; I wouldn’t be opposed to having him on the roster for 2019 preseason.
PPR league. I have Michael Thomas, Antonio Brown and Mike Evans. We start two receivers. No flex position. I have only started Evans once this year. Basically been dead weight. Have tried to trade him all year. Finally a proposal this week. Coach wants to trade Philip Lindsay and Doug Baldwin to me for Chris Carson and Mike Evans. I need the running back help. I have Carson, James White, Dion Lewis and Alex Collins. White has been great but the other three have been spotty. Would you do the trade? Thanks for you keen insight.
Johnny Bazzano (Santa Rosa, CA)
I don’t like giving away players like Mike Evans. He might come back and start against you. He’s the best talent of the players being discussed. But I think this trade makes a lot of sense. Phillip Lindsay is a damn good back. I understand that he wasn’t even drafted, but to me, it seems like he’s been the quickest running back to the hole in the entire league this year. I’m not saying Lindsay is as good as Gurley, Elliott and Barkley, but he’s definitely got some value. Denver will play the rest of the season without the middle three starters of its offensive line, but the upcoming schedule sure looks good. They’ve got Pittsburgh this week, and while that matchup isn’t great, the Steelers might be playing with Stephon Tuitt. When he missed that Jacksonville game, that run defense really slipped. And starting in Week 13, Lindsay is going to face a bunch of lesser run defenses – Bengals, 49ers, Browns, Raiders. I will be surprised if Lindsay doesn’t score at least 3 TDs in those four games. I would bring on Lindsay and plug him into your starting lineup. (And with how Doug Baldwin has been coming on recently, he might be almost as good as Evans.)
I need help figuring out my second running back spot. I have Collins, Richard, and Penny. I think Penny is a keeper for me next year but I don’t think he is a viable option right now. Also Edwards might get more snaps and touches then Collins for Baltimore. What do you guys think?
Dominic Tating ()
Collins isn’t in the discussion, I think. He was on the field for only one play in the second half against Cincinnati. The running game worked a lot better when they had Gus Edwards at tailback. He fits better a lot better with Lamar Jackson. That gives them a nice thunder-and-lightning backfield. Jackson has the speed to get outside and gobble up yards, while Edwards can slam it between the tackles – a 240-pound banger. Collins is more like Jackson (relying on speed and elusiveness) so I don’t think they combo as well. I think you have Penny scouted properly. Nice long-term potential; I think he’ll start for them next year and run for 1,200 yards. But right now, he’s a change-of-pace guy. Penny had the nice 30-yard run against the Packers, but the coaches were no doubt cringing as that play unfolded; he easily could have lost about 7 yards, turning it into the equivalent of a drive-ending sack. Penny made a similar decision on another carry in the game. He needs more polishing. This week, Seattle is on the road against a good run defense, so I don’t think Penny is in the mix. So I think I would start Jalen Richard. He’s catching about 5 passes per week, and he also got double-digit carries last week.
I’m in a 16-team PPR league currently sitting in the final playoff spot and I need to win out to stay in contention. I have Philip Rivers and picked up Jameis Winston off waivers. I benched Fitzpatrick in week 11 and started Rivers instead and it worked out. I know the passing volume will be there for the Bucs but I’m afraid Winston will self destruct again. Most fantasy experts still rank him very high but I am skeptical and would like your take on it.
J.T. Stewart (Waynesboro, VA)
Winston’s at home against a bad defense. I think he’s going to put up top-5 passing numbers. He’s also a much better runner than Rivers. He’ll probably run for 15-20 yards, which is like an additional 30-40 passing yards in most formats. I would definitely start Winston. There is, of course, the possibility that he serves up a bunch of interceptions and fumbles and gets pulled in the third quarter. That’s the risk you assume. But there is also downside to starting Rivers. In three of his last five games he’s passed for less than 230 yards. Arizona plays pretty well on that side of the ball (really – look at the numbers), and it’s a defense that’s dramatically better against the pass than the run. Only three teams have allowed fewer passing yards than the Cardinals, but only three teams have allowed more rushing yards. They’ve allowed as many touchdowns rushing (13) as passing. To me, that looks like a game where the Chargers will run it a lot more than usual, relying on Melvin Gordon. Rivers very easily could pass for about 240 yards and a touchdown. Winston might pass for 330 yards and 3-4 TDs, and that’s the guy I’m going with. (I have the Rivers-Winston combo in the DFL, and I am going with Winston in a big Yerxa Conference showdown game against the Mar-a-Lago Tweetstorm.)
Okay Carson Wentz killed me last week and he lost Kelce. Going forward I have Luck and Wilson backing him up. Should I not trust Wentz again or just play the matchups as usual?
David Kennedy (Steamburg, NY)
Luck has thrown at least 3 TD passes in seven straight games. That kind of production is hard to sit down. For this week, I don’t think Russell Wilson is bad either. The way Carolina plays defense (stopping the run, and with a ho-hum pass rush and secondary) I think Wilson will do a lot more than he has been. And he’s been putting it in the end zone anyway. I wouldn’t start Wentz coming off a game with 156 yards and 3 interceptions, but he could play his way back into your good graces. He’s been passing for around 300 yards, with multiple touchdowns, most weeks.
Better long-term dynasty pick up for stash: Derrius Guice or D’Onta Foreman?
JOHN MACHO (Elko New Mrkt, MN)
If I were walking into a dynasty draft today, Guice would be about the 28th running back on my board. He’ll be healthy for training camp next summer, and I expect he’ll be Washington’s starting running back. I’m not sure who’s coaching or what kind of offense they’re running, but I think Guice will lead them in rushing. Foreman would be about 10 spots back. I think he’ll be the starter in Houston next year. I post revised dynasty rankings each weekend, rotating through the different positions. I did running backs last week. I’ve got tight ends coming up on Sunday morning.
I’ve locked up a first-round bye after starting the season 9-2, so I don’t care what happens the next three weeks and am looking ahead to weeks 15-16. I currently have the Carolina defense in standard defensive scoring and am looking for an upgrade for the playoff weeks. The following defenses are available; PHI, NE, CLE, IND, NO, SEA, and MIA.
John Evans (Rochester, MN)
None of those defenses stand out to me. If you want to play for Week 16, I would go with New England (home against the Bills), but then you’re probably not getting much in Week 15 at Pittsburgh. If you instead want to emphasize Week 15, getting to the championship game, I would go with the Seahawks playing at San Francisco. But if you go that route, you’re left with Seattle playing at home against Kansas City in Week 16.
I have Mahomes but I picked up Lamar Jackson for this week. This is the last week we are able to pick up any players for the playoff run. Winston just became available and I am considering picking him up for Jackson. I hopefully only need a QB for this week. I am not sure when Flacco gets his job back or when the Tampa QB carousel is gonna turn again. Any advice?
PAUL NICKAS (Jacksonville, FL)
I would go with Winston. I think he’ll be better this week, and I think there’s a higher probability he’ll remain in the starting lineup for the final six weeks.
No chance for the playoffs but I'm still swinging! I have a flex spot and need to decide on S. Shepard or K. Drake. I also have Buck Allen but he's probably odd man out with Edwards in the mix. Any thoughts? And, to the rest of you who are out of the playoff picture, keep playing, never give up!
David Hogshire (Plymouth, MN)
I would roll with Shepard. Philadelphia’s pass defense has been pretty bad, and right now that secondary is really gutted by injuries.
Would you accept this trade offer? I would receive Conner, Ingram and Golladay. I would give up Gurley, Crowell, and D.Jackson. Half point PPR league.
DENNIS SPRINGER (Philadelphia, PA)
I would make that trade. Golladay is a lot better than Jackson, and Ingram is a lot better than Crowell. Conner isn’t as good as Gurley, but he might be in the same ballpark – the difference definitely isn’t as severe as either of the other two.
Do I dare bench Saquon this week in favor of either Ingram or Mack?
Brian Brady (Vienna, WV)
No. Barkley has been too productive. With his dual-threat ability, he’s tough to shut down – if he’s not having much success on the ground, he can still pick up 50-plus yards on dumpoff passes.