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

Mailbag

Mailbag for November 22, 2023

Ian Allan answers your fantasy football questions. In this edition. Trying to ride out the storm without Joe Burrow. Easiest playoff schedules. Picking through lesser receivers. Trading away Christian McCaffrey. And more.

Question 1

Like a lot of owners, I got sideways when Burrow went down. My question is - should I try to trade for a QB upgrade or hope that Ridder can be a serviceable substitute? Here's my situation: I'm in a 2 QB / PPR league and have been at first place with a Burrow/Herbert/Ridder roster combo. I picked up Dorian Thompson-Robinson on waivers this week, but I won't be so lucky next week when it comes to Jake Browning - I'm confident someone else will get him. Of course, I could try to ride it out w/ Ridder. However, I do have some depth to attempt a trade at RB with Taylor/Montgomery/Pacheco/Ford on my roster. That said - what kind of QB upgrade could I bring back - even if I traded Taylor or Montgomery?

Bryce Erickson (Dallas, TX)

In a league where teams are starting two quarterbacks, it’s going to be tough to convince anybody to part with anything good. I would be inclined to hope Desmond Ridder can be decent. (I lost Burrow myself, and I’m bringing in Ridder to supplement Kylar Murray.) I like that Ridder is an effective goal-line runner; when he’s been playing, he’s scored half of his team’s rushing touchdowns. And he's come on some recent, with 329, 307 and 250 passing yards in his last three full games (before they benched him). The Falcons have the easiest schedule in the league for the duration; I think you cross your fingers and hope for the best.

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Question 2

In a TD-dependent Dynasty league and cut bait with George Pickens and picked up Marquise Brown with Kyler Murray returning. After 2 games Brown is a deep afterthought so thinking of replacing him with Packer Jayden Reed. Both players have 4 TDs but Jordan Love seems to be improving and Reed seems more involved with the offense but receiving and actually rushing. Would you switch out Brown (also in a contract year) with Reed despite the presence of Doubs and Watson?

Howie Fishman (Hermosa Beach, CA)

Over the last four games, Reed has more catches and yards than either Doubs or Watson. They’re using him. And all three should be a little busier tomorrow, with their fourth receiver sidelined (Dontayvion Wicks has caught 12 passes in his last four games – they’ve been using him). For this week, I like Reed more than Hollywood. Next week Arizona is at Pittsburgh, while Green Bay is playing Kansas City. Brown will be ranked higher than Reed that week. In Week 13, Arizona isn’t even playing.

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Question 3

With the trade deadline approaching and my leagues playoffs, probably like most leagues, in weeks 15 thru 17, what team offensive players and team defenses do you like best over those weeks.

Brian Boyd (Maple Grove, MN)

All weeks aren’t created equal. That is, Week 17 doesn’t really mean much if your team doesn’t win in both of the previous weeks. At the same time, it doesn’t do much good to put up a big score in the semis if you’re going to fall flat in the final. (Me personally, I would getting there the priority – we’ll figure out Week 17 when we get there, probably with some new notable performers and injuries in play.)

Strictly off the numbers, the Falcons, Eagles and Rams are the three teams that will play opponents in those weeks that are currently allowing over 24 points per game. The Dolphins, Bengals and Commanders, on the other hand, will see the toughest defenses.

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE (Wks 15-17)
TeamAvg
Atlanta26.2
Philadelphia24.5
LA Rams24.5
Denver23.5
San Francisco23.2
NY Jets23.2
Pittsburgh23.2
Green Bay22.8
New Orleans22.6
Cleveland22.4
Kansas City22.3
Minnesota21.9
Chicago21.8
Las Vegas21.8
Detroit21.7
Buffalo21.7
LA Chargers21.5
Dallas21.3
Jacksonville21.2
Tennessee21.1
NY Giants21.0
Arizona21.0
Carolina20.8
Seattle20.7
Indianapolis20.6
Houston20.3
New England20.2
Tampa Bay20.1
Baltimore20.0
Washington19.4
Cincinnati18.9
Miami18.0

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Question 4

I've lost Cousins and now Burrow for the remainder of the year, leaving me with Matthew Stafford. I picked up Thompson-Robinson quickly as the only remaining starter in the league until Jake Browning hits waivers next week. Currently 9th on the waiver wire, so he'll probably not be available for me next week. I've been offered the following trade: McCaffrey (mine) for David Montgomery and either Purdy or Josh Allen. Keep in mind that this was a restart league and I can carry over any of these players for 2 more years.

BRAD FRERICHS (Spirit Lake, IA)

Interesting offer. McCaffrey is the No. 1 overall player right now, and he’ll likely be the top running back on everyone’s board next spring. But he plays a position where players tend to wear down and break down. He’s 27 and has had durability issues in the past. You’d wind up looking like a genius if McCaffrey got hurt in the first half of next year. But in general, running back is the key position in fantasy. I’d probably stick with McCaffrey, riding him for as long as possible.

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Question 5

Is there any news about whether Ronnie Rivers is coming off of IR in week 12, and if so, what role he would have in the Rams backfield? Also curious about whether you think Damien Harris has any value this year (between the injury and the Fournette signing)?

Martin Bornstein (Rocklin, CA)

I haven’t heard anything about Rivers coming back. As well as Royce Freeman has played over the last month, I’m not sure they’re in any hurry to get Rivers back into that backup role anyway. I also haven’t heard anything about Damien Harris (and he also wouldn’t necessarily even be a second-string back if he returns).

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