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Fantasy Football Index publisher Ian Allan answers your questions about fantasy football. Click here to submit a question.


Mailbag for September 30, 2021

Ian Allan answers your fantasy football questions. In this edition. What is Deshaun Watson's value? Time to sell on Hollywood Brown and Chase Edmonds? Can Derek Carr keep it going? And more.

Question 1

Hi Ian. I might be too late for the mailbag this week, but would really like your thoughts on Robert Woods vs. Tyler Boyd this week. They're ranked very similar in my .5 PPR custom rankings for this week. I've been rolling with Robert Woods since the start of the year, and a little disappointed in the results. I'm thinking about putting Tyler Boyd in for tonight's game, and pulling Robert Woods out, but I'm afraid Woods is going to go off one of these weeks and I'd hate to miss it. Any gut feel for you this week?

Jordan Simons (Kohler, WI)

I would go with Boyd. He might benefit from the Bengals playing without Tee Higgins. That could result in a few more passes being sent his way – Boyd and Chase, those are the two big cogs in that passing game, and they both scored last week. With Woods, on the other hand, they’ve been struggling to get him going. Talented enough guy who’s been very reliable in the past, of course, but it hasn’t happened for him yet this year.

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Question 2

What are your dynasty thoughts on Chase Edmonds? I have been offered a 2022 draft pick for him. Do you think he will break out as a top tier back? Or should I sell him now before AZ drafts a hot rookie next year…? I have a couple RBs who are ranked higher on your dynasty list, so I’m not hurting at the position.

David Jung (San Francisco, CA)

I would move him. He’s never going to ascend to being more than a time-share guy. He’s never going to develop into another Austin Ekeler. He’s a time-share guy, where you’re hoping to ride his receiving production into adequate production in PPR leagues. I don’t’ think you’ll ever be able to put him on the field with much confidence he’s running for more than 50-60 yards, and I don’t think he’ll ever be a reliable touchdown scorer. Assuming you’ve got the running back position handled, I think the correct play is to swap him out for a draft pick.

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Question 3

Thoughts on Deshaun Watson’s long-term outlook for keeper leagues? Would he be worth stashing this year?


Jay Glazer posted a Tweet yesterday indicating that the Texans are softening their asking price. Glazer is really plugged in on these things, and he seems to believe Watson will be dealt before the trade deadline on Nov. 2. He’d presumably go to Miami, Philadelphia or Denver. Regardless, I don’t think we’ll see Watson much in 2021, with over 30 legal cases and investigations pending, with various allegations of misconduct during massage sessions. I wouldn’t think the league would allow him to be put on the field. Ben Roethlisberger and Ezekiel Elliott both received six-game suspensions, and there weren’t even any legal charges against them in those incidents. But if we fast-forward to the 2022 season, I would think Watson probably will be heading into that season eligible for all or almost all of the 17 games. If that’s the case, he’ll be a top-5 quarterback on everybody’s draft board.

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Question 4

Because I decided to wait on TE in the draft I’m carrying J.Smith, Hooper and Engram. I feel that’s a waste of roster space. Who do you see picking things up and the 2 I should keep? This is a ppr.

Bill Petilli (Weston, FL)

Engram, I think, will catch the most passes. The Giants have considerable flaws, but they’re throwing it more this year – and more effectively. Daniel Jones has thrown for 249-267 yards in each of his first three. Engram’s healthy now, so I expect he’ll start pulling in a fair number of balls. He’ll be helped along this week by Sterling Shepard being out with a hamstring injury. I’m not crazy about either of the other two (and, to clarify, I’m not a big Engram fan either), but I’ll go with Hooper over Smith – better team.

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Question 5

When do you start looking to trade your bench? I have Marquise Brown on my bench, and we only start 2 WRs (Metcalf & McLaurin). My RBs are light, so would have to package one (Gaskin, Montgomery, Harris) to upgrade at RB. Just not sure I want to give up on Brown so early.

Eric Feingold (Garden City, NY)

I wouldn’t be looking to give up on Brown. He’s a good player. I will grant that he’s coming off the worst game of his career. He dropped 3 touchdowns in the Detroit game (I haven’t seen one of them, but one was definitely a Troy Williamson clanger, and the other was a really nice throw that he definitely should have caught). But Brown has been playing well. He’s caught touchdowns in seven of his eight previous games. I understand that the Ravens signed Sammy Watson and drafted Rashod Bateman, but I think Brown is better than those guys. If you’re packaging him in a trade, it needs to be for a running back who gives you a clear upgrade over those backs you already have.

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Question 6

Which running back is better to keep long-term for this season, Elijah Mitchell or Sony Michel? (not a keeper league)

Carl Halliday (Houston, TX)

I would go with Mitchell. Back in Week 1, he was San Francisco’s No. 1 running back. Raheem Mostert got hurt (he’s now out for the year), and Mitchell stepped in for him at Detroit, running for over 100 yards. At that time, they liked Mitchell more than Trey Sermon. (Or at least they said they did; Kyle Shanahan at the time also was talking up Trent Sherfield, but now it seems like Shanahan might actually have been using Sherfield to light a fire under Brandon Aiyuk.) Mitchell wasn’t effective in Week 2 before leaving that game with a shoulder injury, but that was a good Philadelphia defense he was running game. They went back to Sermon on Sunday, and he wasn’t effective against the Packers. I think they’ll go back to Mitchell this week, and some chance he has some success against a Seattle defense that’s been struggling. That’s Door #1, and I will take it over Door #2, which involves waiting for Darrell Henderson to get hurt. I do, however, see Sony Michel as having some value. Henderson won’t play in all of the team’s remaining 14 games. Michel will start some games, and he might be just as good as Henderson when he’s out there.

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Question 7

Explain how you whiffed on Swift so badly? He looks like a League Winner you didn't want to draft? LOL we all have are misses but this one seems pretty bad.

David Kennedy (Steamburg, NY)

Typically in these kind of situations, I tend to play them more conservatively. Consider, for example, Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon in Denver. The general consensus (via ADP) was that Williams was an up-and-coming breakout back, while Gordon was a player who was hardly worth drafting. Or Michael Carter and Trey Sermon. They were optimistically selected, under the assumption they would quickly take charge of their teams’ backfields, but it’s not that easy. In the case of the Lions, the evidence was roughly as follows: * D’Andre Swift played some good ball as a rookie. * Adrian Peterson said, ‘what took so long?’ when the team finally made Swift a starter for some games in 2020. * Lions indicate they want to run the ball more often and more effectively, and coach Dan Campbell and OC Anthony Lynn have overseen good running games in the past. * Lions gave Jamaal Williams a nice contract. * Lynn in May indicated Williams would be the featured back, with Swift in more of a change-of-pace role. * Campbell in August indicated they’d be a one-two punch. * Swift sat out almost all of August with a groin injury. My general feel on these guys was that neither of them merited being one of the first 20 running backs selected in drafts. I expected they’d be a one-two punch. And relatively to where they were being chosen, I was a lot more interested in Williams than Swift. With more experience, I figured Williams would probably play more in passing situations – probably more trusted as a receiver and in protection – and I figured he’d probably tend to get more of their short-yardage and goal-line chances. We’re three weeks in now, and what exactly is D’Andre Swift? He’s been far more involved as a pass catcher than I was expecting; caught 19 passes for 166 yards – that’s 6 catches for 55 yards per week. But he’s averaging 41 rushing yards per game, at 3.7 per attempt. Swift hasn’t run for 50 yards in a game yet. Williams has run for 2 fewer than yards, and both of these backs have scored 2 TDs in three games. As a whole, the offense has been punchier than I would have expected, but I’m not sure that will continue. They piled up a bunch of second-half numbers to get up to 33 points against the 49ers, and they’ve finished with 17 points in each of their last two against the Packers and Ravens. Dan Campbell says he likes the way Swift is playing, indicating his role probably will expand as the season progresses.

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Question 8

Better year long prospect (PPR full): Tim Patrick or Jalen Reagor?

Esteban Whooshing ()

I’ve got Reagor higher on my board. Patrick, though, looks pretty good. He’ll be a starter-type guy now for the duration (with KJ Hamler out for the year). Patrick has been an effective target around the goal line. Inside the 10 last year, he caught 7 of the 9 passes thrown his way when they were inside the 10, with 6 TDs – all of those numbers were team-highs. He was the only wide receiver in the league last year who caught more than 50 passes without having a drop all year. Hamler and Jerry Jeudy, on the other hand, combined for 17 drops.

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Question 9

Kirk Cousins or Derek Carr -- Which do you want most on your roster for the rest of the season? Not entirely sold on Carr maintaining his nice pace. Can he keep it up?

JEFF POWERS (Coral Springs, FL)

I think they look pretty comparable. They’re similar kinds of quarterbacks – veteran pocket passers who know what they’re doing. Cousins is in a better location. He’s got four games left against the Lions and Bears, while Carr has four left against the Chargers and Broncos – the level of competition is a lot higher in the AFC West. Cousins has been better at putting the ball in the end zone. Carr has thrown for more than 380 yards in all of his games, but he hasn’t thrown more than 2 TDs in any of them.

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Question 10

Sitting at 1-2 has me feeling uneasy. My first 3 picks, J. Taylor, T. Hill and D. Harris are killing me. Robert Woods needs to have breakfast with Stafford every morning like Cooper Kupp is so Stafford will throw him a ball. When do you start panicking and sit Taylor for J. Williams (Detroit) or Woods for A. Brown (Tampa)?

Patrick LaMendola (Penfield, NY)

I general, I would try to ride it out with Taylor, continuing to throw him out there. With Woods, I would be more inclined to sit him down until it looks like he’s carved out a more viable role in the offense. That should happen. Woods is a good player, and the Rams are having plenty of success moving the ball through the air. But for now, I would be looking to sit him down in favor of guys like Antonio Brown.

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Question 11

Sitting at 2-1 to begin season. Have J. Allen and was offered Mahomes & Zeke for Josh & C. Edmonds. This sounds like a trade I should accept. Edmonds is in a RBBC, but gets the Lion’s share of carries, while Zeke is still the man, with Pollard giving him some relax time. Am I missing something? Is Mahomes or Zeke about to collapse or get suspended?

Michael Ginesi (Oceanside, CA)

I would do the deal. I really liked the look of Elliott on Monday night. He was running hard, with the Cowboys physically dominating against a good defensive front. They’re going to run away with the NFC East, and he’s going to punch in a bunch of touchdowns. He’s a huge upgrade, in my opinion, over Chase Edmonds. Edmonds is really just a little more than a third-down back. He’ll probably catch 50-70 passes, but he’s a time-share guy. It seems like when the ball is inside the 5-yard line, they want James Conner (who’s larger) on the field. That gives them the ability to either bang Conner between the tackles, or have Kyler Murray keep it, with his speed to get outside.

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Question 12

We switched to a different app service and one of our commissioners added sack yardage to the point system meaning a team like the Browns D scored 70 pts this past weekend with their 9 sacks. The commish’s don't want to change it since the season has already started. With this in mind can you give me a defense or two to target? Would you try to stream defenses based on matchup (i.e. teams playing the Bears, Jets, Jaguars etc.)?

Brian Boyd (Maple Grove, MN)

If we’re giving big bonuses to defenses for sacks, that’s the area I would focus on. Sacks are more reliable than turnovers. And as you point out, the streaming defenses option is a viable route in this kind of a league. In Week 4, for example, I would have considerable interest in the Bengals (vs. Trevor Lawrence) and Titans (vs. Zach Wilson). For the remainder of the 2021 season, we’re projecting the following five defenses to finish with the most sacks: Panthers, Rams, Browns, Cardinals and Steelers.

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Question 13

8 team, 2QB, 2 RB, 4 WR/TE, PPR Keeper League....At 3-0, I'm in 1st place, which based on past miscues, means I'll now look for trades to sabotage my team. I'm set at QB and WR, but my RBs are ranked between 14th and 22nd - not awful, but only one in the top 16. The question: I have Prescott as my backup QB, not having planned to take Mahomes and Allen at 1.5 and 2.4. Do I keep him as an amazing bye week player and insurance against injury to Mahomes and Allen? Or do I try to trade him for someone like Swift, currently ranked by FI as the 8th best RB? I'm pretty sure I could swing something like Prescott and Gaskin (ranked 22nd) for Swift and Ryan (ranked 20th, and a good streamer for Mahomes and Allen's bye weeks. Thank you for your consideration!

Steven Schipper (Brampton, ON)

I think it makes sense to make a trade, but it doesn’t have to be Prescott. He’s not as good as Mahomes or Allen, but he’s definitely a top-tier quarterback. I would be looking at what all three of those guys might fetch in return. Would it be possible, for example, to land Christian McCaffrey? If that team is sitting at 0-3 or 1-2, it might be willing to make a deal. But I wouldn’t be willing to give any of them away. Quarterbacks are solid gold currency in your kind of a format, so you would only be making a deal that you feel really good about. I don’t know that a Prescott-Gaskin for Swift-Ryan deal is quite good enough. In my opinion, there’s more statistical difference between Prescott and Ryan than there is between Swift and Gaskin.

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Question 14

I'm in a 2-QB (superflex) half-ppr 10 team league and was offered Jameis and Zeke for Dak. Should I do it? QB - Dak, Stafford, Lance. RB - Cook, Najee, D. Henderson, Pollard, Mattison.

Eric Wilkins (Holly Springs, NC)

Doesn’t look like it. Right now, you’ve got the nice one-two punch at quarterback – Prescott and Stafford – and you’ve got the running back position adequately covered. What, then, would be the plan without Dak? Winston hasn’t thrown for 150 yards in a game yet. He’s not really a guy you can count on? Maybe Lance develops into an RGIII-type weapon, making plays with his legs, but he’s not even starting yet.

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