Fantasy Football with A.J. Mass
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AJ Mass (10:58 AM)
Good morning everybody! Time once again for an hour of fantasy football goodness... We'll try to get to as many questions as we can, and we're more than happy to address the discussion going on in this week's "Commish's Court" which seems to have rankled quite a few feathers... Let's begin, shall we?
Which QB for the week while Romo is resting, Trent vs. Miami or DA vs Jax?
AJ Mass (10:59 AM)
Trent for sure. That whole Cleveland situation is strange, with the Kellen Winslow issues, and Braylon not holding on to passes... I can't start Derek with any confidence.
Good morning AJ I am in a bit of a dilemma. I have been following the hype of Torain. It leaves me a choice of 3 people to drop. Rhodes (I don't have Addai), Breaston (my backup to Boldin), or Julius Jones (my other RBs are AP, Benson, and Thomas Jones while I have depth at WR). Who would you drop to bank Torain?
AJ Mass (11:01 AM)
I'd probably drop Breaston. Not that Benson is anything special, and Rhodes goes back to oblivion once Addai gets going again... but for the most part, after the top tier, WR's are a dime a dozen and there's always a Breaston to be claimed on the wire.
Why isn't Steve Slaton gettin' any love? He's been a great sleeper draft pick for me.
AJ Mass (11:02 AM)
Where've you been, Pete? Slaton is consistently near the top of the pack in the ESPN projections, and nobody is screaming that Ahman Green is the true hero. I think he's gotten quite more than his fair share of amour.
What are your feelings on the Eagles WRs? If you were to rank them in long term value what would it look like.
AJ Mass (11:03 AM)
Brown and Jackson are both going to be solid. I'm still not convinced that Curtis has that big an impact the rest of the way, although once he returns, you can pretty much stick a fork in Baskett, Avant and Lewis.
Im starting lee evans and roy williams who should be my third? Mason, Cammirillo, or Boldin?
AJ Mass (11:04 AM)
Boldin's status is iffy, so I'm hesitant to start him this week... I'd probably go with Camarillo.
Justin (Indpls, IN)
Back to Torain, is he worth the hype? If so would your drop Felix Jones for him?
AJ Mass (11:06 AM)
Torain was probably going to get a lot of carries Week 1 had he not been hurt... but this is Denver we are talking about. I can't say I'm too hot and heavy on anyone in that system - simply b/c on any given week any of their backs could go for 100 leaving all the rest with big zeroes. I'd rather hold on to Felix, even with the injury.
DUDE! if Portis can't go this weekend who's the replacement Alexander or Cartwright?
AJ Mass (11:07 AM)
I think Shaun is the guy who gets the carries, and given the opponent, he should do well. However, I also think Portis does end up playing.
Antonio (FWB, FL)
(PPR League)Better backup to Bush...Stecker or Thomas?
AJ Mass (11:09 AM)
Neither's a great replacement option with Bush out, but Thomas will get more touches, and possibly some near the goal line. With the PPR though, you're probably getting 2 catches from Aaron, so he's the safer pick... but no upside.
BJ (Carmel, NY)
What are you smoking AJ? Breaston has averaged 8 receptions for 100 yards in his three starts...Where the heck are you finding that production on the waiver wire?
AJ Mass (11:10 AM)
He's not going to put up those numbers when Boldin returns, so that's not the production I would have to replace.
Dan the SF fan
Who would you start this week FWP or Moore?
AJ Mass (11:12 AM)
I'd wait until the weekend to decide, but right now I'd go with Moore. Even if Parker plays, the setback last week concerns me and I'm not sure he gets a full workload. Parker could be a goose egg and Moore should get me some points even if FWP does play.
The weekly predictions have me confused. Do I really start Breaston and Avery over Owens and Edwards? I don't think I could bring myself to do it. (and is Westbrook a must start, even over Slaton or T. Jones?)
AJ Mass (11:14 AM)
The predictions are there as a tool, not a Bible. What they tell you is who has the good matchups, and who has been trending up or down as of late. If you don't agree, then don't go with it... nobody here at ESPN is named Peter Petrelli.
Would you start Santana Moss over Ronnie Brown at flex? I also considered benching Barber for Brown at RB but can't do it.
AJ Mass (11:15 AM)
Love Moss this week, so yes. If Miami was playing a weaker team, I'd consider Brown over Barber, but not vs. Bills.
Assuming Chris Chambers plays, would you take him or Devery Henderson?
AJ Mass (11:17 AM)
I'm with Henderson this week. Chargers are pretty darn awful against the pass, and Drew Brees is in desperate need of receivers to target. I'm going with Devery.
David (Fayetteville NC)
What do you think of L. Jordan if S. Morris cant play this week?
AJ Mass (11:18 AM)
If Sammy doesn't go, it will be BenJarvis who I lean towards. Faulk would be a possible play as well.
Would you trade either Slaton or Turner to get Gates? I'm thinking Turner since he has a harder schedule during the playoffs. Thanks.
AJ Mass (11:19 AM)
No. I don't think you sacrifice RB depth for a TE.
Warner or Big Ben this week?
AJ Mass (11:20 AM)
Warner. Both play good defenses, but Ben rarely has 250-yard days even against bad teams.
Re the Commish Court..after that happened last year several times I had to institute a rule calling for penalties if someone does not maintain and start a full roster to the best of their ability at that time. For instance, if a team has only one kicker and that is their bye, the owner can elect to not add another kicker. If they have another kicker who is playing they MUST start that kicker. Failure to do so, or benching players will cause loss of points up to/including loss of week, repeat offenders a zero score for the whole team. Brutal yet effective.
AJ Mass (11:22 AM)
I agree Chris. There should be consequences for an owner not having a healthy, active, not on bye, kicker to put into his lineup. Now, he can still choose to accept that penalty (say an automatic negative-5 points) and not use a waiver pickup if he has nobody else he wants to cut - but if it's going to be "strategy" then it has to be a tough decision to make.
High Risk, High Reward
There is an owner offering my S-Jax. How serious is his injury? With his history, should I make the deal? He wants B.Jacobs.
AJ Mass (11:25 AM)
I don't think I'd make that deal for the rest of the season. Nothing to do with the injury, which I don't think is all that bad - but given there is any concern, and the fact the Rams don't have a whole lot of other offense going on, the risk/reward doesn't tip in your favor.
How will the Titans D do against the Colts offense?
AJ Mass (11:26 AM)
I think the question should be the other way around. What does the Colts offense do against the Titans D? Titans have already more than proven they can handle all comers - now can the Colts do the job? On MNF on the road, I have my doubts.
Washington or Oakland Defense as a bye week fill in this week?
AJ Mass (11:28 AM)
Gotta go with Redskins here - if they double Calvin Johnson effectively, I'm not sure the Lions get 250 total yards.
Shockey or waiver wire John Carlson (SEA)? Or any other sleeper TE's?
AJ Mass (11:28 AM)
I'd go with Carlson if you need an immediate fix. He's the only reliable pass-catcher on Seattle, especially with Wallace at the helm.
Am i out-thinking myself by considering garcia over warner?
AJ Mass (11:31 AM)
No, you're looking at a ravaged Cowboys' defense and the possibility of a Dunn-less Bucs backfield resulting in 35 short completions for about 8 yards each. It's a viable play, and not necessarily one I wouldn't make myself.
With the resurgence of Grant, is Jennings going to go down in value as the temperature in Green Bay falls.
AJ Mass (11:32 AM)
I don't think so. Balanced offenses run better over the long haul, and Grant's resurgence can only help the Packers move the ball. He's getting the handoffs in cold weather either way - having a few third and shorts probably helps Jennings get open more often.
Dave (Sarasota, FL)
OK Commish/Answer Guy, A two parter. First, pick two for this week only: J. Morgan, K. Curtis, R. Brown, M. Jones, or B. Engram. Second, After reading your Court this week I was conflicted. My opponent had Romo and Palmer both out. I grabbed Schaub off the wire to block my opponent and then traded to another for Eddie Royals. I felt great about my manipulation until I read your article. Is it wrong to see a legal advantage and profit from it?
AJ Mass (11:36 AM)
1) Thanks for reading the column! 2) I go with Jones, looking to make a statement before his suspension, and Morgan - call it a hunch play and I'm not sold on the full health of the Eagles involved. 3) When I referred to "manipulation" of the waiver wire, I wasn't talking about making your legal pickup. What you did was cool. "Manipulation" would be to cycle (add then drop) all the players at a position that you could, leaving no possible available QBs for your opponent to select at all.
Doesn't LT seem like a FANTASTIC buy-low candidate? Let him have another sub-par game this week, then he has a bye week to get his toe healthy, plus he gets to play some truly awful rush defenses in the second half (Indy, Oakland, Denver, and KC TWICE). Shouldn't I be targeting him after this week?
AJ Mass (11:38 AM)
No doubt. If an LT owner wants to give him up at less than market value - scoop him up.
With regards to manipulation, a good solution is to have waiver pickups cost $. In our league, every add/drop is $3 and every active/bench is $2. It also helps build up your league's pot!
AJ Mass (11:39 AM)
That's a double-edged sword though. I'd rather have my 0-10 team make a free agent move and keep the 10-0 team from getting a chance at a "hot" free agent simply b/c the "bad" team didn't want to spend any more money on a lost season.
There was a game last year I was up by 2 points going into MNF and I benched my D. My defense had an average day and I would have won either way except for on tuesday there was a stat correction that added 3 points to my opponents score thus benching my D came back to bite me. So benching players on monday doesnt ALWAYS work.
AJ Mass (11:42 AM)
Exactly. Which is why it's not always a good strategy, even if it were legal to do in your league. But my point was not only that I don't personally think it should be legal, but that if your league rules say that a legal lineup must start a team defense, then by not doing so, you're NOT starting a legal lineup.
In response to your answer to Dave in Sarasota, my league has a simple way of dealing with "cycling" players: players don't go onto waivers unless they are held on a roster for a couple of days. If you pick up and drop a guy same day, they go straight back to free agency.
AJ Mass (11:44 AM)
That's a sensible fix, but sadly, not all leagues play on websites that are able to police such a thing, especially in the hour leading up to kickoff. And there are simply people out there who think that "winning by any means necessary" justifies their actions.
Trying to get a second opinion to the "End of the Year Rankings." Would you rather have Addai or Westbrook the wrest of the way?
AJ Mass (11:44 AM)
I'd rather have Westbrook.
Jon (Dallas, TX)
Ehithical or not? I am undefeated in my league and have a huge rival who fighting to even get into the playoffs. Just out of spite I am contemplating benching my squad in order to let the people he is fighting with to get into the playoffs get in over him. What are your thoughts on this?
AJ Mass (11:47 AM)
Obviously, it's not cool to bench your whole roster. You should have to field a full lineup of players. Now, you want to start your "second string"? Go ahead. That might backfire and you end up winning anyway. But many a fantasy player has attempted to "choose their playoff opponent" by tanking, and had it bite them hard. Besides, it is really worth getting another owner to hate you? What if you need to make a trade with him someday? Why burn the bridge?
Berry (Bristol, CT)
To Jon from Dallas- you must not read AJ's columns or chats at all!
AJ Mass (11:48 AM)
Dave, SF, CA
Is Brett Favre trustworthy (his play, not his character) or do I accept the trade offered, P. Rivers for Jason Witten fro an upgrade @ QB?
AJ Mass (11:49 AM)
I think I'd roll with Favre. Yes, the INTs will hurt you, but Witten is one of the few TEs worth starting every week and I don't think Rivers is THAT much of an upgrade consistently.
Don't most people participate in leagues with their friends? I mean, the leagues I'm in are with people who I would never try to screw over and vice versa (that's why we are friends...). Am I in the minority and most leagues are just full of strangers or something?
AJ Mass (11:52 AM)
Those are the best leagues to play in, Confused, because they do tend to police themselves... but think of it this way - if a person thinks so little of others that he sees no problem doing some of the clearly unethical things that some folks do, how many friends could he have? ; )
Another 2-parter...Is it legal to institute a penalty mid season for not fielding a full starting lineup even if there have been no problems up to this point? Also, pick a WR3 and a flex for this week: A Bryant, Welker, Boldin, Ocho Cinco, FWP, Mewelde Moore. Thanks.
AJ Mass (11:54 AM)
I go with Welker and Bryant for your second question. As for the first part, I think it's perfectly fine to institute a penalty for not fielding a full starting lineup mid-season, so long as the league is in full agreement as to what that penalty would be. If there's no way to get everyone on board, then such a change will have to wait.
Hey AJ, SURVIVOR TONIGHT!!! Are you still going with the Olympian as your sleeper or do want some SUGAR??!! Are you concerned about Colston this week in London or would you plug-in Engram, Avery,M. Jones or Morgan.
AJ Mass (11:56 AM)
I am concerned about Colston... and if I hear anything the slightest bit hinting at concern from the Saints, I go with any of those other options, save Engram.
Ryan (Celebration, FL)
Hey AJ, just joined the chat...stuck in a stupid meeting for the past hour!! I need Flex help...Cedric Benson/Roddy White/Steve Breaston? Thanks!!!
AJ Mass (11:57 AM)
White's the man, although if Boldin says he can't go, then Breaston does enter the conversation.
Last time I benched Peyton Manning for Kurt Warner, Peyton torched the Ravens (a great D) for his best game of the year. I'm tempted to start Warner again this week, but I don't want Peyton to torch the Titans too. Thoughts?
AJ Mass (11:59 AM)
I don't think Peyton torches the Titans. Then again, I thought the same thing before the Ravens game. However I still would start Peyton over Warner if I'd been burned before. Fool me once...
My LAST HOPE!! Please Notice Me
What do you think about Cadilliac Williams and his impact on the Bucs running game??
AJ Mass (12:01 PM)
I don't really see him having a huge part in this offense this season. If Dunn can't play for an extended period of time, Cadillac's presence certainly keeps Graham's value at it's lower plateau. Whereas, if he were completely ruled out, then Graham's value would soar sans Dunn.
BUZZER BEATER Need some FLEX HELP...PPR league,Pick 3 from McFadden, Muhammad, Deuce, Holt, Thanks
AJ Mass (12:02 PM)
I'd sit Muhsin.
AJ Mass (12:03 PM)
Folks, that is all the time we've got today! Another chat comes your way at 3 pm. Thanks for all your questions! We'll see you the next time on Villa Allegre!