Ian Allan answers your fantasy football questions. In this edition. Is now the perfect time to trade DeVante Parker? David Johnson's underused pass-catching skills. Is Matt Ryan cooked? Brandin Cooks worries, and more.

Question 1

DeVante Parker has been fine. Better than fine. But what's to come of him if they really put in Tua? I can't imagine how Tua is going to be that successful considering he hasn't played since before his college season ended. I even heard he hasn't been tackled yet.

Bill Petilli (Harrison, NY)

That’s a really good point. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been doing it for a lot of years, and he’s a good quarterback. The reasoning behind getting Tua Tagovailoa on the field right now isn’t that he’ll make the team better right now. It’s that Tua is definitely the guy who’ll be quarterback when Miami gets back to challenging for a playoff berth, so best to start getting him some experience. But I think it’s reasonable to expect some decline (perhaps a large decline) from Parker when the switch occurs. Fitzpatrick has a trust and rapport with Parker; he admits as much. And he’s also a gunslinger type who’s not afraid to toss up 50-50 type balls that might get intercepted, knowing that Parker will come up with some of those. When Tua moves into the lineup, I don’t think his passing numbers will be as good, and I don’t think he’ll rely as heavily on Parker. With the quarterbacking switch probably coming any week now, it could be the perfect time for those holding Parker to dish him off in a trade.

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Question 2

Why won't the Texans throw David Johnson the football?

Jacob Wilson (Terrell, TX)

Agreed. Houston needs to use Johnson more as a pass catcher. He’s had only 2 receptions in each of his last three games. That’s one of his strengths. He’s been in the league for six years, and he’s averaged over 10 yards per catch in all but one of them. He’s a big guy who can gobble up yards when you get him in space. I was playing around with some numbers. There have been 158 running backs who’ve caught at least 100 passes in the last 20 years. Johnson has the best yards-per-catch average of all of those guys. With a coaching change and some easier games coming up, perhaps they’ll now start doing a better job of using him in that way.

David Johnson208221910.6715
Austin Ekeler158167610.6114
Tevin Coleman113119010.5312
Joique Bell162163810.111
Marcel Reece21020889.9412
Duce Staley18718399.837
Correll Buckhalter14414109.796
Kareem Hunt11611189.6411
Todd Gurley21820909.5912
Duke Johnson27925809.2511
Charles Sims12911909.226
Arian Foster25523469.2014
Priest Holmes28325989.187
Kyle Juszczyk18016479.158
Charlie Garner28826149.0810
Rex Burkhead1059529.075
Andre Ellington15113689.063

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Question 3

Got an interesting trade offer that I'm mulling over. I'd give up Drake and Mike Davis for Mostert and Jamaal Williams. In the redrafter you've got Mostert above Drake (I've also got Edmonds). Mike Davis is a top-5 play this week. Big question mark there is obviously when does McCaffrey come back and will he remain healthy? If so, obviously Davis's value is nothing more than a stud handcuff, but no starting value. If McCaffrey comes back next week then the main part of this trade is Mostert vs. Drake.

Rich Wiegard (Frisco, TX)

Christian McCaffrey has missed two games. He won’t play on Sunday. But Matt Rhule says he’s not ready to rule out a possible Week 6 return. Seems like there’s an excellent chance McCaffrey should be back by at least Week 7. So with Davis, I would treat him as if he’s a one- or two-week rental. I think Davis will be excellent this week against the Falcons, but I would be willing to move him for somebody who would be better long-term. As for Drake vs. Mostert, I don’t like the Arizona hasn’t been able to use Drake effectively in the passing game. His hands are excellent, but I think the play design tends to be flawed. After four games, he’s caught 5 passes for only 20 yards. I also don’t like the Kyler Murray is frequently calling his own number around the goal line. If you are holding Drake stock, you want those 1- and 2-yard touchodwns. I would prefer to have Mostert, who’s about ready to return and should put up some nice rushing stats the rest of the way. It becomes a really easy decision when you toss in Jamaal Williams. I don’t think it’s likely that Aaron Jones lasts the entire season without getting hurt along the way. At some point, I expect Williams will get to start some games, putting up top-10 type running back numbers.

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Question 4

As a Matt Ryan owner I was pretty concerned with what I saw on Monday night. Sure there was no Julio for most of the game, but the passes also seemed to lack zip, and there was some indecisiveness and hesitancy. Few downfield throws, much dumping off to RBs, until GB went into prevent at the end. Should I be worried?


I’ve got Ryan on over half of my teams, and I’m worried. The Falcons are 0-4. If they’re the worst team in the NFC South, I don’t think it’s realistic to expect them to continue throwing the ball all over the yard. They’ve averaged 309 and 316 passing yards per game the last two years, but I wouldn’t think we’ll continue to see that kind of production. Dan Quinn might be fired in a week or two. When he goes, is the new coach going to want offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter continuing to put together pass-heavy game plans? If we wind the clock back to August, I thought Ryan was in the second tier of quarterbacks – in there with guys like Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray and Deshaun Watson. Now I’m thinking he’s more of an average-type guy (for fantasy purposes).

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Question 5

I have to sit one of these guys every Sunday and I can't seem to pick the right one. Fuller, Lockett or Ridley. It's a good problem to have but I need a little help for week 5

PAUL NICKAS (Jacksonville, FL)

The injury report might solve this problem for you this week. Ridley is banged up. It affected his playing time and his effectiveness in the Monday night game. (He didn’t catch any of the 5 passes thrown his way.) He was limited at practice on Wednesday and Thursday. If Ridley is questionable, I would proceed with Fuller and Lockett.

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Question 6

Standard yardage league. We keep most of the team from year to year. Of these eight players, who will I be really glad I have on my roster two years from now? D.Jones, NYG, K.Vaughn, TB, M.Snell, Pitt, S.Michel, NE, J.Washington, Pitt, D.Duvernay, Balt, S.Miller, TB, D.Mooney, Chi.


There’s one quarterback in your group. The Giants are hoping that someday Daniel Jones will develop into an above-average starter, but it hasn’t happened yet. It doesn’t look like he’s getting anywhere near that group this year. The other guys to me all look like contributors rather than stars. I’m not sure that any of them will ever land a big contract. I wouldn’t think we’d ever get into a situation where two teams get into a hot bidding war over Sony Michel. This is not to diminish what these guys are doing. Duvernay and Mooney have both exceeded expectations as mid-round receivers. But I don’t see any of the players in this group ascending to where they’re Pro Bowl type difference makers. If I were taking one, it would be Benny Snell. I would think there could be a year or two burst where he’s a James Conner-type back, getting lots of carries for a good team (assuming the Steelers are still good at that time).

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Question 7

Many of my teams are decimated by injuries! Available RBs include C.Edmonds, J.Kelley and D.Freeman. Of these three, which guy would you recommend to pick up?

Joe Van Koevering (St Petersburg, FL)

If we’re looking for guys to use for the next month, then Kelley and Freeman make the most sense. With Kelley, I think he’ll outplay Justin Jackson, becoming the main running back for the Chargers until Austin Ekeler returns. That could be late November or early December. Freeman has a nice matchup this week (Dallas just allowed 307 rushing yards against the Browns). If we’re looking more for a high-upside lottery ticket, then I would go with Edmonds. I would think Kenyan Drake will miss some games at some point, and Edmonds could be really something when he gets to fill in.

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Question 8

In my main league, which uses basic scoring, TEs and WRs are bundled as just receivers and we start three. Over the last few years, it seems to me that TEs are scoring a greater percentage of touchdowns versus their smaller-bodied counter-parts. Hence, loading up with guys like Ertz, Andrews, Higbee, and Schultz looks like a good strategy rather than holding onto #2 WRs like Hilton, Ruggs, Edelman, etc. Do you think this is a good strategy in leagues where receiving yardage and number of receptions don't really matter?

Drew Paterson (Ferndale, WA)

Let’s set to the side the dozens of guys who don’t really matter. MyCole Pruitt, Tyron Johnson, Zay Jones have caught touchdowns this year, but who cares? You could never pick one of those guys up and stick him in your fantasy lineup with any hope of getting a touchdown. So let’s instead look only at players who have caught at least 5 TD passes in a season. Then we’re starting to look at the guys worthy of holding roster spots in your league. If we look just as those guys, I don’t see an increase in tight end production. In the last two years, tight ends have caught 14 and 19 percent of the touchdown passes (scored by the players in this group). Those numbers are lower than anything in the previous 12 years. The running back numbers, on the other hand, have been on the rise – the three highest numbers of the last 20 years have been in the last three seasons. More teams are using running backs as pass catchers around the goal line, apparently.


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Question 9

It seems like everything I'm hearing about WRs being dropped involve Cooks-Hou, Hilton-Ind, and Green-Cin. All are proven players. What I am not hearing is how this season affects these guys. No preseason games. Also, these guys are all working with new QBs. What is your take on these guys? Should we give them more time?

Rob Rinehart (Petaluma, CA)

It’s easy to say, “give them more time”, but there are games to be won. There are byes coming up that need to be managed. And every week there players sitting there on the waiver wire that you can potentially pick up. I suppose in a typical 12-team league, all three of those guys should be on rosters, but I wouldn’t be locked into keeping any of them. With Houston looking like a dumpster fire, I don’t envision a scenario where Cooks starts stringing together productive games – where he develops into a guy you can count on. Green is seeing a bunch of targets, at least, but I think he’s slipped. Hilton would be the one with the best chance of turning things around, but I don’t expect he’s going to re-emerge as a top-20 receiver.

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Question 10

Last year, I had tremendous success utilizing the WEEKLY PROJECTIONS for DEFENSIVE POINTS AGAINST. This year, so far, not so much. It hasn't been a disaster - just not amazing like last year. Is a different person determining those this year or, as I suspect, is the law of averages just catching up and evening things out (closer to the mean)?

Steven Schipper (Brampton, ON)

Andy has been handling those for years. He starts by using the betting odds that are posted for each team. That is, if there are two teams playing, with an over-under of 55 points and one team favored by 5, he’ll use 30 and 25 as the expected points against. Then, after reading the scouting reports, he’ll adjust those numbers. Finally, I run through those numbers on Thursday or Friday, usually making a few tweaks for the updated rankings that go out with the Friday edition of the product.

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Question 11

I have George Kittle as my tight end and have been using Gesicki while Kittle was down. Thinking of offering Gesicki and Joshua Kelley for AJ Brown? Good offer or keep what I got?

Jim Furry (Myrtle Beach, SC)

You win with special players. Of those three, Brown has the best chance of maybe being a difference maker. Using PPR scoring, he was the 7th-best wide receiver in the league during the second half of last year (30 catches for 703 yards and 5 TDs, plus a 47-yard touchdown run). I would take him on, hoping he can get back to being that kind of guy. He suffered a bone bruise in Week 1, but I would think he’s probably close to 100 percent now.

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