Chat with Christopher Harris
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Christopher Harris (10:58 AM)
Hi, everyone. Not that I don't like baseball, but football...that's my milieu. So I'm psyched to be able to start fantasy football chats on Monday mornings. Let's get right down to business, and see what's on the mind of Fantasy Nation this morning.....
James (Tulsa, OK)
With some of the more obvious time shares in the back field who would draft first: R. Williams or R. Brown, E. Graham or D. Ward, T. Hightower or B. Wells, a finally D. Williams or J. Stewart? Thanks
Christopher Harris (11:00 AM)
Hi, James. Clearly, these situations are pretty different from one another, but here goes: Ronnie Brown, Derrick Ward, Chris Wells and DeAngelo Williams. The only one that's truly close for me is the Arizona situation, and I actually wrote about that at length on Friday. Check it out -- the column is still online in the Fantasy Football section.
Who do you like more, MB3 or Westbrook?
Christopher Harris (11:01 AM)
Hi, Tim. Count me among those who are pretty concerned about Westbrook this year. He's only just started limited practicing with the Eagles, and Shady McCoy has looked awesome so far -- he's a must-handcuff, and that's starting to look like it could turn into a timeshare. Barber will be less of a "feature back" than he was supposed to be last year, but I still think he's the TD-maker, so I'm taking him.
CH: If LT is my 1st round pick, how necessary is it to lock up Sproles later in the draft? In a 12-team, standard scoring (including 1pt/25retyds and 6pt/rettd) ESPN league, what round will I need to target him? Thanks and great to see this chat!
Christopher Harris (11:03 AM)
Hi, Matt. Well, first let me just go on record as saying I'm not very psyched about Tomlinson at all. I guess Peter King liked what he saw out of LDT on at least one carry (I didn't see that exhibition game), but I'm skeptical we're returning to first-round glory days for Tomlinson. That said, yeah, if you draft him, you *have* to draft Sproles. What round? I mean -- in a 10-teamer, maybe 6th? 7th? 8th? At some point it turns into a game of chicken. I think you overpay for him, because there are multiple scenarios where he could wind up having a lot of value.
Is Brandon Marshall a WR2 this year? I can't figure out how to assign a value to him for my upcoming draft. Any projections? Thanks!
Christopher Harris (11:04 AM)
Hi, Matt. Well, at least Marshall won't face a suspension, which is a little bit of a surprise. I think given that news, he's either a low-ranked WR1 or high-ranked WR2...there should be plenty of passes in that Josh McDaniels offense, but I've been expressing doubt about Kyle Orton for months, and his play in Denver's first preseason game was shaky. I think 9 TDs and over 1,000 yards is very reasonable for Marshall.
Eric (Iron City, PA)
What's your take on DeAngelo Williams this year? I can keep him in my league with my 6th round pick or Forte with my third rounder. Leaning towards DeAngelo, but the Jon Stewart factor is weighing heavily. Thanks.
Christopher Harris (11:06 AM)
Hi, Eric. Ironically, I have a piece about the Panthers' running back situations going online this afternoon. Yeah, there's no question that Stewart makes Williams a scary dude to own. More risk than I can ever remember for a reigning fantasy MVP. But given that you have him three rounds later than Forte, it definitely makes the question interesting. In a vaccuum, I'd take Forte. Less risk. And you know, I still think I might just take the safer route. Williams has bust potential, there's no question. (I'm not saying he'll bust, but I like safety from my RB1.)
Do you think Addai is a worthy RB2 this year?
Christopher Harris (11:07 AM)
Hi, Anthony. I think Addai will wind up in a timeshare that looks an awful lot like last year's, except I think Donald Brown is a better player than Dominic Rhodes. I think Addai will be the TD guy, so there'll be some weeks where he looks every bit the part of an RB2. But there'll be other weeks where he disappears, especially because that Indy o-line looks like it has some holes. I'd probably rather not rely on Addai to be an every-week fantasy starter.
SteveFitz (Cicero, IL)
Who has a bigger year at RB this year, Michael Turner, Steven Jackson or MJD?
Christopher Harris (11:08 AM)
Hi, Steve. I like MJD. I won't go into the long list of reasons why...instead I'll refer you to a video that I did with Matthew Berry in which I tout MJD, and he takes Turner. I don't hate any of those guys, not at all. I just think MJD does the things that we all want from fantasy backs, and despite Turner's hype, Jones-Drew only had three fewer total TDs while not starting last year. But check out that video for more details. (It's in our 'Man To Man' series...)
Hey Christopher. As far as TEs go this year, are you in the camp that says " Wait until a later round" or in the same camp as Matthew Berry which says "Make sure you get one of the top 4 guys"?
Christopher Harris (11:10 AM)
Hi, Mango. I am definitely *not* in the camp that says get one of the top four guys. Absolutely, positively not. Don't reach for a tight end this year. There's a vast tier of very serviceable players outside the top four who'll get you nearly as many points...I'm talking about Greg Olsen, Owen Daniels, Zach Miller, Kellen Winslow, Chris Cooley, Dustin Keller...at least two of those guys *are* going to outperform at least two of the supposed "top four." The hubris is saying you ABSOLUTELY MUST draft a certain guy or guys never ceases to amaze me. We're *always* wrong. Always. Take talent. Draft skill sets. There's a *ton* of talent at tight end in the league right now.
Please rank these 3 QB's as far as the "safest" pick: Palmer, McNabb and Schaub.
Christopher Harris (11:12 AM)
HI, Matt. Well, I think you'd probably have to say McNabb, right? Personally, I rank Schaub higher -- I think that Houston offense has the potential to be one of the scariest vertical passing attacks in the league. But clearly, Schaub carries lots and lots of injury risk. Then again, McNabb's been known to get hurt a time or two, too. Palmer is an interesting guy, but I don't trust that o-line or Chad Ochocinco -- there's tons of risk there, too. At least the Eagles are likely to use that short passing game that'll produce fine numbers for McNabb.
Name Game (Please)
Felix Jones, Derrick Ward, or Addai?
Christopher Harris (11:13 AM)
I think probably Ward. Earnest Graham could be a goal-line vulture, but I believe in Ward's offensive line more than I do Addai's. And while I'm a big pro-Felix-Jones guy, y'know, he's clearly not a starter, so he's going to have big up-and-down swings.
Mr. Big (Reality)
Did you just list Chris "I've already gotten hurt twice" Wells over DeAngelo Williams? Please pass around what your smoking. A fragile rookie, who will be in a timeshare in an offense that throws 55% of the time vs. a 4th year, 1800 yd RB, who will be in a timshare with another fragile 2nd year RB in an offense that will run 60% of the time. Please share what you see besides pink elephants.....Thanks..
Christopher Harris (11:14 AM)
Mr. Big -- no, I most certainly didn't, or at least I didn't mean to. I thought the question was simply asking me which guy in each timeshare I thought would have more fantasy value. But to clear up: no, I don't like Wells more than Williams. Obviously. C'mon.
Kyle (Columbia, MD)
I count 15 QBs this year that could have really good fantasy seasons. Do you think it's a sane strategy to wait until the later rounds and end up with 2 QBs like Garrard and Hasselbeck, instead of using a top pick on a QB?
Christopher Harris (11:15 AM)
Hi, Kyle. I almost never take quarterbacks early. Yes, there's usually one or two guys who separate themselves from the pack and produce seasons that wind up being very valuable, and far above the rest of the QB pack. But *which* QBs will do that this year? Two years ago, it was supposed to be Peyton Manning, and it was Tom Brady. Last year, it was supposed to be Brady, and it was Drew Brees. I think you're smarter waiting on quartebacks, especially in a 10-team league. There will always be quality options available late.
Patrick (College Park)
Is Joey Galloway worth a late flyer in a 10-team, 3-WR league?
Christopher Harris (11:17 AM)
Hi, Patrick. Well, late flyers are in the eye of the beholder -- I can't unequivocally say Galloway will amount to nothing this year. But I personally think there are better sleeper WR choices. I think Galloway is injury-prone and hasn't shown a ton of quickness in camp, plus the Pats have made noises about possibly using him on special teams. (Though I have my doubts.) Personally, I think that signing will wind up being much ado about nothing.
Patrick (College Park)
Good morning Chris! In the mock drafts I've been doing, it seems like the same group of players is always available in the mid 20s (specifically Pick 25) - Kevin Smith, Steve Smith, Anquan Boldin, Roddy White. It certainly isn't clear to me who's the best pick; what do you think?
Christopher Harris (11:18 AM)
Hi, Patrick. Out of that group of four...? Of the three receivers, my choice would be Smith, just because I think he's a better player. Draft skill sets. And would I take Kevin Smith or Steve Smith? It might strongly depend on what I did in the rounds *prior* to that pick, but assuming a vaccuum, I think I like Steve Smith to have the more productive year. And it seems like his shoulder is OK.
Please help sort out the Rice/McGahee/McLain mess. Who gets the nod there?
Christopher Harris (11:20 AM)
Hi, CJ. There's lots of late propaganda going around about how Willis McGahee is making a late push to be the starter, but I just don't see it. For a year-and-a-half, Rice has done nothing but be everyplace he's supposed to be, kind of a total 180 from McGahee's me-first attitude (though he's suddenly gotten religion now that he's a free agent next year). I think Rice leads the Ravens in overall yardage production, but I think McClain winds up being the TD guy.
Brian (Wake Forest)
I have an unexplainable love for Reggie Bush. I'm thinking of taking him in the 4th round. Please talk me out of it. Thank you.
Christopher Harris (11:21 AM)
Hi, Brian. Yeah, I think that's pretty irrational. I hate everything I hear about Bush's knees. Beat reporters and columnists are almost always unfailingly positive about their teams -- call it the Stockholm Syndrome of covering the NFL. So one day, you'll read all these rosy quotes from Sean Payton about how great Bush looks and how wonderful his knees feel. Then the next day, he misses practice. And then it happens again. And the cycle repeats. Again. And again. I just think where there's smoke there's fire, and Bush is going to get hurt again. I much prefer Pierre Thomas right now.
Chris - how about a comment on a few 2/3 WRs who would receive a major bump in the rankings in a PPR league. Thanks
Christopher Harris (11:23 AM)
Hi, Joseph. Um. Wes Welker is always a good name to throw out there. He could lead the NFL in catches.... Eddie Royal. Derrick Mason. Anthony Gonzalez. These are possession type guys who won't break a ton of long ones, but who'll catch a bunch of passes. Hope that helps...
Does B Pettigrew have any fantasy value this year? Is M Bennet a better option? Thanks
Christopher Harris (11:25 AM)
Hi, Justin. Well, "any fantasy value" is tough to unequivocally answer. But I'd say in a 10-team league, I wouldn't expect either of those guys to get drafted, or certainly to be anything more than backups. Pettigrew is an every-down player but is a good blocker maybe first and foremost. Bennett has Jason Witten in front of him.
Jamall Charles (KC)
Do I have any value at all this year? You're my favorite ESPN guy!!!!
Christopher Harris (11:26 AM)
Wow, Jamaal Charles likes me. Anyway -- "any" value? Yes. I think the Chiefs will go spread an awful lot, which could mean Larry Johnson is on the sidelines a bunch, and Charles is in the game. But will Charles be usable on his own? I tend to think not. Think about the CArdinals' offense -- you're just not going to get a lot of carries out of these guys either way. LJ will get goal-line looks, so no, I'd say Charles doesn't need to be drafted in 10-teamers.
Thoughts on Ronnie Brown this year?
Christopher Harris (11:27 AM)
Hi, Tom. I like Brown. I know it's fashionable to pick on him, to say that if you take away the Wildcat game against New England last year, Brown had a pedestrian season. True. But he's a year further removed from his ACL, Ricky Williams is showing his age, and Brown is playing for a new contract next season. I'm not saying he's a first-rounder for sure, but I think Brown is being overlooked in drafts.
Robby O (Mechanicsville VA)
What if any will the impact be on Jay Cutlers numbers since his trade to the Bears and his lack of WR weapons.
Christopher Harris (11:29 AM)
Hi, Robby. Yeah, I think Cutler suffers in a big way. Now, it's not like the Bears don't go downfield on principle -- in their Super Bowl year, they went vertical a fair amount. But you touched on it...I just don't know who the deep threat is here. Can Devin Hester really get open consistently and be where he's supposed to be? I'm not sold yet. And as far as deep threats go, he's pretty much it. I think Greg Olsen has a big year, and Cutler will be a borderline QB1. Which is much less than he'd have been in Josh McDaniels' offense.
Matt Ryan or Tony Romo, who do you like more?
Christopher Harris (11:30 AM)
Hi, Tim. So close. I guess I'll say Romo. I think I have him No. 8 among QBs and Ryan No. 9. I think Ryan will regress occasionally...he didn't see defenses scheming against him much last year, and whenever he faced exotic zones, he seemed to struggle. Romo is down T.O., but the Cowboys should still be able to move the ball pretty well. I can see an argument on either side -- and I think each guy can lay claim to being a fantasy starter.
In a PPR league, how high would you take a guy like Welker. Would you take him over Calvin Johnson or other top guys who are get a lot of TD's but not many receptions. I want to take him in the 2nd round (overall pick #18). Should I wait and hope he falls to 38?
Christopher Harris (11:31 AM)
Hi, Nolan. No, I think I'm still taking Calvin Johnson ahead of Welker. I would imagine that if your league-mates are smart, Welker *won't* last until No. 38, though. He should be a top-20 pick. But his extra catches aren't going to eclipse the TDs and yardage advantage Megatron gives you.
Forte or Sjax?
Christopher Harris (11:32 AM)
Hi, Bob. For me, it's Jackson, because I believe in the O-line changes in St. Louis and because I think (much as I think with Matt Schaub) that eventually good players figure out a way to stay healthy for a full season. Jackson's due for one of those. And I think Forte might get his action dialed back a little bit; in fact the Bears have made noises this camp about using him a little less in the passing game. Still like him a lot, though.
Assuming AP, MJD, Turner, LT, and Forte are off the board. Do you take Thomas Jones or Slaton?
Christopher Harris (11:34 AM)
Hi, Cory. Can I take neither? I would take Chris Johnson in this scenario. Thomas Jones has a messy contract situation (he's a free agent in '10) and is 31, plus that Jets backfield looks a little crowded. Slaton will likely lose red-zone touches to Chris Brown. And yes, Johnson will lose red-zone touches to LenDale White, but I think Johnson is a better player, and that he has a better offensive line.
Ryan (New Jersy)
Forte, Turner or MJD in 3rd pick 1st round?
Christopher Harris (11:35 AM)
Hi, Ryan. I'm assuming you're saying Adrian Peterson goes No. 1, which I think is the right choice. But who's going No. 2 here? I'll just give you the order in which I like those guys: I go MJD, Turner, Forte.
who Is the 5th best qb besides drew brees, tom brady, peyton manning and kurt warner
Christopher Harris (11:36 AM)
Hi, Casey. I have to say: I'm not sure that Warner should be No. 4 on that list. He's still feeling pain and stiffness in his surgically repaired hip, and last year was the first time he made it through 16 games in like seven or eight years. I have Philip Rivers No. 4 and Aaron Rodgers No. 5.
Is Brady the fantasy equivalent to Utley in this years draft. Injury concerns drop a superstar down a few places (a round or two), but there they are healthy and producing like we know they will once the season begins. Or should we be concerned about lingering knee issues.
Christopher Harris (11:38 AM)
Hey, dude. I don't have any lingering worries about Brady's knee, I really don't. He's fine. The real question then becomes more a philosophical one. When do you take your quarterback? In order to get Brady, you're almost certainly going to have to spend an early-to-mid second-rounder. That's a scary thing to do, especially in a 10-team league, where a guy that you wait on isn't likely to be *that* much of a downgrade from the elite weapons in the game. The simple truth is: QBs just don't have as much variability in their game as RBs and WRs. I'm not winding up with Brady in many leagues this fall, but other folks who feel differently about QBs can draft him safely, I think.
PPR league. Please give us your top 5 picks. Thanks!
Christopher Harris (11:40 AM)
Hi, Todd. It just so happens that I did our ESPN.com PPR rankings, so the ranks you see there in our Draft Kit are mine. I go Maurice Jones-Drew, Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, LaDainian Tomlinson and Chris Johnson. Well, that's not *entirely* true. If I'd been allowed to leave LDT where I put him on my own standard-scoring ranks, I probably wouldn't have put him in the PPR top five. So let's push him down a few spots, and put Adrian Peterson No. 5.
Do you believe in taking a stud WR-WR combination at the end of the 12 team snake draft? My league awards 6 pts for TD's and I'm thinking about a QB-WR combo. I don't trust some of the RB's at numbers 10 - 12. Thoughts
Christopher Harris (11:43 AM)
Hi, Dave. There's a lot of what you're saying going around, and I know columnists who say you *have* to go WR-WR, no matter what. Me, I'm not so rigid. I want to see what players get drafted 1 through 11. It's a nice fallback option to have if you can get your top two receivers off the board...but I'd *rather* not have to do that. I mean, in a 12-team league, if I could take Larry Fitzgerald and Barber, Jacobs, Portis? I might do that. The truth here is -- we don't know how the season's going to break. There are no definite right answers. We don't know who'll get hurt. That's why I'm all about trying to draft the best players you can, and not worry so much about what look like shaky surrounding situations. (Worry about 'em...just don't worry *so much*.)
I think with Plax and Derrick Ward gone Brandon Jacobs will be asked to carry the team this year. Would it be crazy to take him over Deangelo or Chris Johnson?
Christopher Harris (11:44 AM)
Hi, Joe. Crazy? Absolutely not. There's sound logic behind what you're saying. The downside, of course, is that even in his big breakout year last season, Jacobs got hurt and missed time. Listen, I don't claim to be able to see the future, so I can't promise you that Williams and Johnson will have better stats than Jacobs. I think it's *likelier* that they will, because the Giants will (should) be invested in limiting the big guy's touches to keep him healthy. But if you just have a feeling (as I do about Steven Jackson) that Jacobs is due for a healthy campaign? I couldn't blame you for making that pick. Jacobs is a beast.
Give me some rookies to keep my eye on for the later rounds or FA.
Christopher Harris (11:46 AM)
Hi, Pete. Hm. Later-round rookies off the top of my head. Let's see Rashad Jennings in Jacksonville. Like him to win the backup spot behind MJD. Shonn Greene, obviously, though I think his hype may have reached the point where he's no longer a sleeper. James Davis is getting long looks in Cleveland. I'm not sure what everyone's doing with Percy Havin in drafts, but I think he's worth taking a late gamble on if he's there. Hope that helps.
Jeff (Atlanta, GA)
Hey Chris. I grabbed Brian Robiskie as a sleeper WR in my draft last night. What do you think he brings to the table this year?
Christopher Harris (11:47 AM)
Hi, Jeff. I have to admit, I was *really* psyched about Robiskie as potentially being the top rookie receiver this year, but everything you hear about people in Browns camp says that he hasn't been as strong as we expected. He was supposed to be the most pro-ready guy in this draft, but apparently he hasn't separated himself, and in fact Muhammad Massequoi is getting more looks these days. I'm not positive that'll stay that way -- I think by the end of the year, you might be pretty happy you tried Robiskie. But for now, I'm less high on him than I was in April.
jimbo slice (staten)
tell me im crazy but the biggest sleeper in fantasy football this year will be CARSON PALMER(taken in tenth rd. in most drafts)
Christopher Harris (11:49 AM)
Hi, Jimbo. Not crazy at all. In fact, Alex Loeb, a friend who co-hosts the Fantasy Focus online show now and again, probably agrees with you...he's super-high on Palmer. If the dude winds up producing like he did five years ago, you're probably going to be right. But there are some serious worry factors there, not least of which is mercurial receivers, a potentially shaky offensive line, and not a great stable of running backs. Hey, and that reminds me, the rookie question I just answered: I like keeping your eye on Bernard Scott in Cincy.
What kind of numbers do you see Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie having for the Colts? Any fantasy value in them?
Christopher Harris (11:50 AM)
Hi, Eric. Well, Collie is running exclusively out of the slot and Garcon is exclusively running out wide, and each of them is likely to be a situational guy -- you wouldn't expect them to play a ton unless someone gets hurt. Of the two, I think I like Collie to have a more consistent impact of the Brandon Stokley variety, but Anthony Gonzalez is just a better, more polished player right now. I think they can be factors for the Colts, but not consistent enough for fantasy.
Chris Johnson is high on a lot of lists this year but theres also been a lot of talk about Lendale White being in the best shape of his life...what gives?
Christopher Harris (11:52 AM)
Hi, Bill. Well, LenDale has slimmed down a ton, but is that a good thing for a goal-line back? White is at the end of his rookie contract, and I really question whether the Titans will bring him back -- until this year, he's been nothing but an attitude problem for them. I think the Titans will use Johnson in tons more ways this year, and really build the offense around him. White is a limiting factor, to be sure, because he'll get his share of TDs. But I think the fantasy-points split will go heavier in Johnson's favor this year than it did last. Just my opinion, of course.
Frank Gore or Steven Jackson?
Christopher Harris (11:52 AM)
Hi, Chris. I like Gore. But I like Jackson more, because as I said earlier, I'm banking on him staying healthy (finally) this year.
Kevin (Stamford, CT)
Would it be a bad idea to overload your team with one position, such as grabbing like 3 of the top 4 qbs, so as to make the demand for said position high so that you can get a lot in return in a trade?
Christopher Harris (11:54 AM)
Hi, Kevin. Well, there's no real definite answer to that, because it depends on your league size. But assuming you're talking about a 10-teamer, which is standard on ESPN.com (though personally I prefer deeper leagues than that), I think the "stockpiling" strategy doesn't work as well as you'd hope, because scarcity isn't that much of an issue. Sure, you wind up being able to trade your No. 2 QB. But do you get *significantly* better value for him than you'd have gotten if you'd just used the pick on a different position? I tend to think not.
Is Anthony Gonzalez a Top End #2 Fantasy Reciever or more of a Lower end 2/Top 3?
Christopher Harris (11:55 AM)
Hi, Rich. In a 10-teamer, I think he's more like a 2/3 than a definite 2. He's Wes Welker Lite in an offense that seeks to be a little more balanced than New England's. I think he'll have a very nice year, but I just worry he's not a touchdown maker, and if he doesn't score a bunch of times, he *really* has to pour on the catches to be an every-week fantasy starter.
Would you take McCoy over Donald Brown? What do you think of Lynchs value this year?
Christopher Harris (11:57 AM)
Hi, Greg. Hm. Earlier in the year, I'd have said Brown over McCoy no question. Now it's getting closer for me. Each guy is a backup with lots of growth potential, each guy has a potentially shaky guy ahead of him, each guy could find himself in a platoon. You know what? I think at this very moment, I might take McCoy first. I think he's a more talented, more dynamic player. Not as fast as he seemed at Pitt, but unbelievably shifty, in the Westbrook mode. But it's damn close. As for Lynch -- I think he's the No. 1 again when he comes back. I don't think the Bills are expecting to be overwhelmed by Fred Jackson. But we'll see.
Kevin Ryan (Austin, Texas)
How is Shonne Greene long term compared to Donald Brown or McCoy?
Christopher Harris (11:58 AM)
Hi, Kevin. Well, he's a bruiser. McCoy is the most elusive player of the three, and also can catch well, so he finds himself in a very good system for his skills. Brown is more of a Matt Forte type -- good all-round player, not at all a burner, but very solid. And Greene is a beast-and-a-half, a pounding between-the-tackles player who is, frankly, a little slow. But he's no fun to tackle.
Draft Strategy: 5/7 top scorers were QBs and 40% of the top 60 scorers were QBs last year in a 1 QB league...Does this mean it is more important to grab a top QB or less?
Christopher Harris (11:59 AM)
Hi, Jordan. Less! You're making my point. (And thanks for that.)
Some mid-round RB's that you like for those of us who do go WR-WR in the first two rounds?
Christopher Harris (12:01 PM)
Hi, Nolan. This is a really tough year to answer that generically, because I have a feeling you're going to see a *lot* of second rounds that consist *mostly* of wide receivers. I think there are going to be a lot more people drinking the Kool-Aid on this being the Year of the Receiver. But if you're committed to doing it, I mean, go down our list...Pierre Thomas? Is he gone? If not, I like him. Darren McFadden? Tons of upside, he's been a guy who's often been given as an example this year of a RB you might be able to grab if you avoid RBs to start. Grant. Lynch. Ward. Parker. All have their flaws. I'd prefer Pierre Thomas in that particular group.
MWelde Moore had some good games last season, but with Parker healthy and Mendenhall probably better, where do you see Mwelde's value?
Christopher Harris (12:02 PM)
Hi, Eric. Well, I think it's probably pretty much in the toilet, at least until someone gets hurt. Moore *was* a nice fill-in last year, but really, even at his pinnacle he was never more than a seriously annoying guy who sucked value away from more ownable players. I think he's a third-down option and special teams player who'll play a lot if and when Mendenhall proves he's just not a very good player.
Matt (Athens, OH)
Hi Chris. Is Jackson definitely the starter over D. Rhodes in Lynch's absence?
Christopher Harris (12:04 PM)
Hi, Matt. I guess nothing's really definite, but I think that it's likely to be a 70-30 or 60-40 split in favor of Jackson. I've read Bills reports that've said the most notable thing to come out of camp so far in regard to the backfield is that Lynch is basically taking all the starting reps anyway. That would seem to mean the team really thinks Lynch will be their guy starting in Week 4. So he really is a decent RB2 if you can wait.
40% of the top 60, that means you have 24 QB's putting up solid numbers. Go draft another position.
Christopher Harris (12:05 PM)
Agreed, Sean. I'm not in the take-Brees-Brady-or-Manning-early camp. I'm just not.
What current WR does Crabtree compare to in 3 years????
Christopher Harris (12:06 PM)
Hi, Jim. Well, hopefully not Mike Williams, right? The most common comparison you heard in April was Anquan Boldin, but I think Crabtree might have better footspeed and is more of a downfield playmaker than Q. I love Crabtree's ability, but he's getting some really, really bad advice from his agent, the holdout master, Eugene Parker. He's pretty much worked himself out of a significant role with the Niners this year. How dumb.
Parker, Addai,LJ, TJ, draft em or let them be someone else's headache?
Christopher Harris (12:06 PM)
Hi, Rich. Of those guys, Jones is the one I'd be most interested in. I'm also receptive to arguments that the last time Addai was a true platoon guy, he went nuts TD-wise, though I'm probably not owning him in many leagues. LJ and Parker, you can have.
Josh (Toronto, Canada)
what sort of value do you see in Mendenhall this year?
Christopher Harris (12:08 PM)
Hi, Josh. Well, I'm *ready* to like the guy, because I don't think Parker is a good bet to stay healthy, and I *know* he isn't very good on the goal line. But he hasn't progressed in his second camp, he's also injury prone, and he runs straight up and down, so he takes a ton of direct hits. I think he has an opportunity. I just don't think the skill set is there to truly take advantage. I don't like *any* of the Pittsburgh backs to be consistent contributors, to be honest.
Christopher Harris (12:08 PM)
All right, gang, this has been an utter blast, but I've got to get going. So let's do one more.
What player pulls a Y.E. Yang and comes from obscurity to greatness this year?
Christopher Harris (12:09 PM)
Hi, Sean. Obviously a tough question, considering nobody in the world would've said "Y.E. Yang" if you'd asked that question a week ago. But you're asking for one solitary deep sleeper. I'm saying Mike Walker of the Jaguars. I know he needs to stay healthy, and he's dinged up in camp. But I really like him as a deep threat. And I'll again mention Bernard Scott as a Hail Mary in the Bengals backfield, because I don't trust Cedric Benson.
Christopher Harris (12:10 PM)
All right, everyone, if I didn't get to your question, I'm sorry -- there are hundreds and hundreds in an hour. If you want to check in with me on Facebook, I generally try and respond...you can find me at www.facebook.com/writerboy. Friend me, and you can stay in touch with what I'm doing on ESPN, especially now that football season is nearly upon us. Thanks again for coming -- I wouldn't get to do this great job without you.