Ian Allan answers your fantasy football questions. Playoff primer edition. Pulling a dynasty trade for Roschon Johnson. Late-season matchups for defenses. Who the heck is LaMical Perine? Kickers in bad weather. And more.

Question 1

I’ve been offered Roschon Johnson in my 12-team dynasty league (with IDPs) for my 2024 second-round pick. Will he be the starting RB next year? Is it worth trading for him?

David Jung (San Francisco, CA)

After the way Johnson dominated the playing time at Minnesota on Monday night, the offer might be pulled off the table. I would rather have Johnson than whoever you might end up in the second round next year. I think he’s going to be their best running back. I think he’s got more talent and versatility than Khalil Herbert and D’Onta Foreman. (Foreman signed a one-year deal; I’m not sure he’ll even be on that team next year.) And Roschon, unlike the rookies who’ll be coming in next year, will have a year under his belt, with a better understanding of the offense and the pro game. Go for it, I say.

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Question 2

Hi Ian, appreciate your team’s work as always! I was curious about kickers as we approach both fantasy playoffs and winter weather. Do you factor in game locations as you project over the remainder of the season? Eg balls don’t travel as far in the cold, there’s elevated snow risk in Green Bay and Buffalo, etc. or do you think this isn’t a major factor for multi-game projections? I’d love to hear your take on strong kicker options down the stretch, or if that should be considered week to week.

Aaron Vander Vorst (West Fargo, ND)

These guys are so good, they can kick in lesser weather conditions. The weather has to get really nasty before I start getting scared. When putting together our weekly projections, our rule of thumb is to pretty much ignore the weather in the first draft of the projections (that go out on Wednesday). We look at the weather forecast on Friday (when it’s more likely to be accurate) and if it’s problematic at that time, we’ll downgrade the player. I worry that if we try to factor in weather on Wednesday, then on Friday I have to remember which players were previously downgraded. It could create issues of downgrading a player twice for poor weather, or not properly correcting players who were downgraded on Wednesday when the forecast turns out to be not that bad.

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Question 3

Why do y’all have L.Perine with KC ranked 13th on redrafter today? I just read he was sent back to practice squad after two games and one carry? Is he the secret weapon that I should grab to back up Pacheco?

Brad Woodward (Breckenridge, TX)

That is what is called in the industry, a boo-boo. As part of the weekly process, I go through the stat projections for all the players, making sure that the expected yards and TDs are right. I look at the season-long averages, what they’ve been doing, and what can realistically be expected in the upcoming games. LaMical Perine has been activated off the practice squad twice in the last three games (I don’t believe he’s actually been on the roster). So when Jerick McKinnon was ruled out last week, I figured I’d better add Perine to our file (as a guy who might touch the ball a couple of times). Unfortunately, in setting up Perine’s player file, I didn’t properly zero out some data that was already there. So instead of getting what Perine would do in the remaining six games (almost nothing), you got what Clyde Edwards-Helaire would do if he were there starting running back in those six games. I messed up. Sorry. I’d like to promise it won’t happen again, but I followed it up today by leaving the Washington players out of the initial Week 13 projections.

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Question 4

Looking for (available) DSTs with great matchups down the stretch. HOU caught my attention, as well as IND. Any other suggestions? I play in a few leagues that give massive points for DST performance so it's worth it to roster two of them for the playoffs.

Bill Rehor (Culver City, CA)

Let’s look at this way. We can take what defenses have done so far (and I’m choosing just sacks and takeaways here). And we can take the corresponding data for the offenses they’ll face. If we then average those numbers, we get a ballpark of what to expect in the remaining games. Below see the expected top 50 games (using 2 points for fumble recoveries and 1 for each sack) for Weeks 14-17.

17San Francisco3.001.91Was.4.581.837.53
15LA Rams3.271.36Was.4.581.837.13
16NY Jets2.551.73Was.4.581.837.13
17LA Rams3.271.36NYG5.751.177.04
15New Orleans1.641.82NYG5.751.176.68
17NY Jets2.551.73Cle.
14Green Bay2.361.09NYG5.751.176.31
15San Francisco3.001.91Ari.2.751.256.03
14Tampa Bay2.821.55Atl.2.731.645.95
14New Orleans1.641.82Car.3.911.275.86
14San Francisco3.001.91Sea.2.451.185.82
15Kansas City3.361.27N.E.2.271.735.82
16San Francisco3.001.91Balt.2.421.175.78
16Tampa Bay2.821.55Jac.2.271.645.73
15NY Jets2.551.73Mia.1.641.735.55

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Question 5

I've got both Warren and Najee on my bench. With the Steelers FINALLY firing Matt Canada, and the easy schedule they've got rest of season, do you think one or both of these backs could be startable the rest of the way?

kevin tschetter (Draper, UT)

Steelers are running the ball well. And in fairness to Canada, that turnaround occurred long before he was canned. They ran for 166, 205 and 172 yards in his final three games, with 4 rushing touchdowns. I see both Warren and Harris as viable backs right now.

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Question 6

Do you see any matchups, between week 13 and 17, where you would start Stroud over Mahomes?

Trey Hewitt (New Braunfels, TX)

It can be mulled over, considering how well Stroud is playing. But probably not. Houston has games left against Cleveland and the Jets; definitely not those weeks.

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Question 7

I am long-time follower and love what you guys do, but slotting the #2 point scoring running back at #30 in the redrafter ranks up there with putting Tatum Bell on the cover. I get that Achane may come back from his knee injury, and Jeff Wilson will get carries, but McDaniel loves using Mostert in his four minute offense at the end of games, and they have Washington, Tennessee, and Jets coming up.

Daniel Ford (Rochester, NY)

It seems crazy when you look at it that way, doesn't it? It's tough slotting those guys, trying to figure out how those carries might be split up three ways. Also note that Mostert has completely dropped out of the passing game. He's caught 2 passes in his last five games. If you're putting a low receiving projection on him, that makes it tough for him to stack up in PPR formats.

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Question 8

Now that Kyren Williams is back, I’m confused as to Nacua’s future going forward. Williams is good enough to build an offense around, so it looks like Puka will be seeing a lot fewer targets. Kupp already is being used differently, and all that peppering with targets seems to be a thing of the past. Do you think it’s time to significantly downgrade Rams wideouts?

Robert Cummings (Los Angeles, CA)

They’ve got Cleveland this week. That’s a tough defense to pass against. As a general rule of thumb, you don’t want to be starting wide receivers against the Browns. (More palatable at home than on the road, at least.) But I wouldn’t worry much about Nacua long term. He’s a good player, and I’m thinking he’ll be starting in the league for a lot of years.

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Question 9

Maybe you want to save this trivia question for the next time the teams involved play, or during the offseason. It's not something I was able to find with a search, so I don't know the answer. When was the last time an NFL game ended with a pistol shot, and who were the teams involved in the game? (My guess it would have been a Super Bowl, but no idea which one.) Here's another one. Who was the last player to kick without a shoe? Note I emphasize "shoeless," because while that was Jeff Wilkins, he insists he wasn't "barefoot," because his foot was heavily taped. For true barefoot, it was probably Tony Franklin.

John Macho (Elko New Mrkt, MN)

Thanks for the suggestions. Somebody else a few years back mentioned that games feature someone firing a pistol at the end of the game. It’s not something I remember. I am a fan of barefoot kickers, and I will work something in before long.

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Question 10

Kicker question. Myers has been my go-to but Seattle is playing Dallas so I'm a bit worried about the Seahawk offense. Next best on my roster is Havrisik who's been adequate and is at home against the floundering Browns. What do you think, Ian?

David Hogshire (Plymouth, MN)

I’ve got Havrisik higher than Myers, but I would be looking at the waiver wire. I would think there’s somebody out there who’s better than both of those guys. Maybe the Houston kicker. They released Matt Ammendola, and I’m not sure if they’ll bringing him back or turning to somebody new for this week (Fairbairn can’t come back until Week 14).

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Question 11

Big Chiefs fan here. Plus I have Butker on my team. WTH is up with Jawaan Taylor!? He single-handedly ends so many drives that would probably end in KC points. When a guy is that horrid, what is the thinking behind keeping him in? Do they really not have anyone better than him to put in? And that reminds me ... We haven't seen the O-Line rankings in a while. I'd be curious to see where the Chiefs land on that list, considering the performance of their star prize free agent signing.

Roland Deschain (Decatur, IL)

He’s had a rough year. Starting up with that bizarre season opener, when he kept lining up well off the line of scrimmage, and the officials never called him on it. (Maybe they out to just move him to fullback.) But I don’t expect they’ll be benching him anytime soon; tackles are hard to find.

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Question 12

Ridder or Bryce Young? Have been hanging on to Young all year, our league only has 4 free agent QBs and Young DID throw 3 against Detroit. Tough call ...

Lewis Michael (Renton, WA)

With Ridder, I like his ability as a runner around the goal line. In the 10 games he’s played, he’s scored 4 of the 9 rushing touchdowns. He’s effective on those plays.

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Question 13

Locked into a playoff berth and have one bench spot to stash a handcuff running back. I’m starting Pacheco and James Cook. Who do you think would be the best backup RB should those two be injured? Thank you.

Gregory Wells (Lake Forest Park, WA)

It would be CEH in Kansas City. He'd be a solid option. In Buffalo, they'd be going with Latavius Murray, who'd be more of a nominal guy, with age/talent limitations.

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