Fantasy Football with Tristan Cockcroft
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Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:00 AM)
Good morning everyone! Let's get right to your fantasy football questions...
Would you go with Favre returning to Lambeau or McNabb at home vs the Giants?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:02 AM)
Interesting dilemma there, but I'd go Brett Favre. I was anti-Favre versus the Packers in the Green Bay game, I admit it, but I won't be fooled twice. Fool me once... Besides, that the game represents his return to Lambeau will probably have him even more motivated, and go ask Cedric Benson all about motivation. I'd be shocked if Favre can't tally a nice stat total for you.
Rumors are circulating that Larry "Tweet" Johnson has been pulled out of all team activities, opening the door for Jamaal Charles. Can he succeed where LJ has failed?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:03 AM)
Very obvious question of the day, very important to tackle early, and I keep hearing whispers from people who want to believe Kolby Smith will be a factor down the stretch. I'm not going to rule that out entirely, but I've watched Charles in brief snippets this season and I'm impressed ... or at least impressed enough that he should at least get the first chance to play in Johnson's place. So that means he warrants a pickup, though let's remember, we're talking about Chiefs running backs. The best you can really expect is a flex/matchups-play type, but I do think Charles has a shot at that kind of value.
I need a receiver. Who would be more valuable for the rest of this season? Nicks, Crabtree, K Walter, or Eddie Royal? Could you order them 1 through 4? Thanks
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:04 AM)
In terms of remainder-of-season value? I actually think I'd only swap Royal and Kevin Walter's names from that bunch, and this is close, I admit. Big Hakeem Nicks fan; good fit in the offense and he's explosive. The only reason I put him ahead of Michael Crabtree is he has a more talented quarterback throwing his way, not to mention his offense isn't so incredibly run-based.
Jason (Los Angeles)
I currently have Julius Jones on the bench serving as my back up running back; would it be a big enough improvement to use the number one waiver wire to pick up Shonn Greene? What kind of numbers do you see him getting?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:06 AM)
Well, I think Greene is an instant pickup for most anyone, regardless of who else you have. And if I had to guess his role, I think he gets like a 50/50 split of the first- and second-down carries, and if you total those, you're probably talking a guy with around 10-12 carries a game, like Leon Washington had been averaging. It means Greene's value is limited to flex appeal, but that's still very valuable. Very legit pickup.
Jeff (Jax, FL)
Go YANKEES!!!!! Girardi wearing # 28 next year! Should I be worries about Pierre Thomas? Bell seems to be stealing my touches...
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:08 AM)
Going to be quite a competitive World Series, Jeff, I think. Looking forward to it. Only real edges I see are: can Phils bullpen keep up the postseason hot streak? Plus, Yanks' homefield advantage is bigger than people think it is. But let's talk football here, it's a football chat. Yes, I'd be worried about Thomas, and that's coming from a guy who thinks Thomas deserves a full-time gig. The Saints have so much depth at running back, it does make sense they go Thomas/Mike Bell, and right now Bell seems like the goal-line vulture. That won't make you happy to hear, I'm sure.
Matt Forte, buy low? They have no one else there!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:10 AM)
I had this discussion with a colleague last night, and my point on Forte is, well, exactly how "low" is "low"? The first thing people think is, oh, he's a top-10 overall player, and he'll cost less than that. Well, will he? If you're dealing a No. 2/3 wide receiver for him, sure, I'd take a shot, but I can't even guarantee you he'll wind up in the top 10 at running back, let alone overall, from this point forward. So to me, no, the overall feel is he's actually not the obvious buy low you think he is, unless his owner is prepared to do something stupid and sell him for most anything that could be plugged into the back of a lineup.
With Brady on bye do I go with Hasselbeck or Garrard this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:11 AM)
David Garrard is such an overwhelmingly obvious play to me. He threw for over 300 yards and three scores versus the Titans last time out, and sure, the Titans are coming off the bye and should be stronger defensively, but they've got a long way to go before that matchup would scare me. No reason 200 yards and two scores shouldn't be coming, and the upside is certainly greater than that of Matt Hasselbeck, whom I also like as a low-QB1/high-QB2.
Would you rather have Tashard Choice or Beanie Wells the rest of the way
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:12 AM)
Beanie Wells, but I also prefer the guy with the clearer path to a starter's role and less competition for touches. Tim Hightower is a passing-down/goal-line back, not an every-down type.
Rank these handcuffs for the rest of the year, regardless of whether you have the respective team's starter: Greene, F-Jax, Sproles, Choice.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:12 AM)
Shonn Greene, Darren Sproles, Fred Jackson, Tashard Choice. I actually think Felix Jones is the handcuff to get in Dallas. Have all season. He just wasn't healthy before Week 7.
Clay (Hillsdale, MI)
Should I start Knox, Wallace, or Bess to replace Welker in a ppr league?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:14 AM)
Steelers are on a bye, so this is Johnny Knox versus Davone Bess. No question to me that's Knox, though I'm taking the opportunity to say he's a pretty solid No. 3/4 option in most formats this week.
Cooley owner here!! What likely WW pickups should I target to replace him?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:15 AM)
Well, the obvious pick is Fred Davis. Donald Lee probably warrants a look this week accounting for the matchup, not to mention the probable absence of Jermichael Finley.
Is Arizona a top 10 defense for the rest of the season? Their schedule looks ridiculously easy.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:17 AM)
I think I've mentioned this in a few spots on these pages this season, but the Cardinals' strength is generating turnovers, not to mention bottling up opponents' running games. I think that's the ideal kind of defense to match up every now and then, but let me be crystal clear, facing a loaded passing offense, I'd be steering far clear. There are holes in that secondary that can be exploited by elite quarterbacks.
Would you consider starting Garrad against TENN Def over Mcnabb this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:18 AM)
Yes. I don't know why people love the Donovan McNabb matchup so much. I mean, it's fine, but he's down Brian Westbrook (most likely) and I could easily see that being a low-scoring game. Just not as much upside. To me he's like the No. 10 quarterback play of the week. Garrard's an obvious top-10, probably 6-7ish.
Tyler (Midwest Jet)
Should I play sims-walker, steve smith or jacoby jones?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:18 AM)
Which Steve Smith? Though in this case, it's Mike Sims-Walker, for the very same reasons I like David Garrard. Do like the Giants' Smith as a No. 2/3 though.
Who would you say are the eagles top 2 pass catching options? Obviously, d-jax is #1, but is Maclin the clear cut #2 guy or would you say its brent celek????
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:20 AM)
Not an entirely fair question. Maclin's a deep threat, a role that makes him more likely to be boom/bust from week to week. Celek gets more targets but the big-play upside isn't as evident. Different values by format (PPR, non-PPR), and I think absolutely warrants matchup playing. Overall value? I probably like Celek a little more, but I'll often pick opportunity over boom/bust when I'm talking more back-end lineup options.
Dave (San Antonio)
Should I go with Eli vs Philly or Hasselbeck @ Dallas?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:22 AM)
I want no part of the Eli Manning matchup. No matter what he and the medical staff tell you about his foot, it cannot be ignored that his poor numbers have directly coincided with the point of that injury. Plus, it's a road game in Philly and that hasn't been the easiest of matchups for Manning over the years. Yes, he has overcome it at times, but with any hint of questions about his health and ability, I choose to avoid it. With Hasselbeck, far less fears. No fan of the Dallas secondary, am I.
J.B. (Dunmore, PA)
So what makes the Vikings D any different than the Cardinals D? They sound very similar to me.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:24 AM)
Certainly, but I think the Vikings are actually a bit more talented (put aside the numbers, folks, I'm talking on paper) up front, and they're absolutely a better unit for generating sacks. Maybe not as much upside in terms of interceptions, but I do believe sacks are a bit easier to predict than picks. And this all boils down to the scoring system besides. Vikings -- for the most part a safe weekly play (though this week I'm a bit wary). Cardinals -- absolutely need matching up.
Would you consider sitting DeAngelo Williams vs a tough Arizona run defense for Steve Slaton and Kevin Smith?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:26 AM)
Yeah, I actually would. How scary is that? Slaton is pretty much the play of the week. The matchup as a runner couldn't be better, and he's about as good a pass-catching back as you'll find right now. He's a no-brainer in every league. Smith, well, that's a great matchup too, it's a home game and the Lions are going to want to run, run, run with their questions at quarterback. About the only reason I'd clearly elevate Williams over Smith here is if the Lions have to use Drew Stanton at quarterback.
Need some commishing help: 0-7 team gets: Maroney, Hightower, Sid Rice, Steve Smith (South), Lee Evans. 4-3 team gets: Chris Johnson, Marshall, Burleson, J Charles and Crayton. DO I VETO THIS?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:27 AM)
I don't think you can. Enough talent on either side that I think you need to let the owners manage their own teams. But understand, as I so often say, I am very liberal with trade rulings. I need to see concrete evidence that the trade is horribly unbalanced or shady doings are involved.
Hakeem Nicks (NY)
do you put me ahead of Braylon Edwards for the rest of the season?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:27 AM)
No. But nice try!
Bobby (East Lansing, MI)
Do you think Forte will restore some value in a soft match-up vs CLE?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:29 AM)
Returning to the topic of Matt Forte, yes, I like that matchup, but the reason I won't go all ga-ga over it is that that's Jay Cutler's team, not Matt Forte's. I think that caps Forte's rest-of-season appeal to about that No. 10-running back-overall range, which is still very good but not what you paid for him on draft day. So in this case, he could go top-five, but I'm not predicting a league-leading week. He's not starting over Slaton ... or ADP ... for me.
Let's say Megatron is active Sunday morning. Do I sit him for Mike Sims-Walker at WR2 (behind Fitz)?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:30 AM)
You say "Let's say..." and I'll say: Let's say Calvin Johnson gets a perfect, clean bill of health and a full set of practices from this very instant until the kickoff. OK, he's starting for me. But that's asking a lot. With even a hint of doubt I'm going Sims-Walker, because that's a just-fine matchup.
Bulger against Det or Smith against Indy?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:31 AM)
Ewwww, really? Hey, I like the Alex Smith decision, but not at all the matchup. Has to be Marc Bulger, but I feel dirty saying it.
Chewy (Del Ray)
Who has less value going forward: Ward, McGahee or F. Jackson? And would you drop one or two for Shonn Green and/or Jamaal Charles?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:32 AM)
I'd drop both Derrick Ward and Willis McGahee for Shonn Greene and Jamaal Charles. And I'd do those pickups and drops in that very order.
TO versus a terrible D...or derrick mason vs a tough D?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:33 AM)
Well, Terrell Owens obviously does not seem like Ryan Fitzpatrick's go-to guy, and he has done absolutely nada to earn my trust in fantasy this season. I'll stick with Derrick Mason and hope he can sneak in a few catches despite the tough matchup.
Would the Cards D seem like a great play this week then going against a running team that turns the ball over? Over teams like Balt, SD, and GB?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:34 AM)
Again, scoring systems shift defensive priorities, but in terms of an overall stance, I like this matchup. Good run defense faces team only successful running the football. Plus, if it's Jake Delhomme at quarterback, it'll be a turnover-fest. San Diego remains a higher pick for me (Oakland, c'mon), but then it's Arizona, then Baltimore, then Green Bay.
You would drop McGahee over F Jackson? Are you crazy
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:35 AM)
Willis McGahee has 29 total yards on 15 touches ... the past three weeks combined. At this level, really, it's your call which one you sniff a hint of value from, but that is a damning statistic.
QB is on bye. Henne, Smith or V. Young?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:37 AM)
Guess it has to be Chad Henne, but please don't everyone mistake that for a glowing endorsement of the guy. Just one about whom I can say the most positive statement: He confounded the Jets in their most recent meeting.
Tristan, should Shaub owners consider still sitting him this week vs BUFF? AJ may be out, and their D has shut down every QB except for Brady and Leftwich in the first 2 weeks.Since:Brees 172 yds 0 TD 1 INT 4 ptsHenne 115 yds 1 TD 2 INT 13 ptsAnderson 23 yds 0 TD 1 INT -2 ptsSanchez 119 yds 0 TD 5 INT -4 ptsDelhomme 325 yds 0 TD 3 INT 7 pts
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:39 AM)
So we're going to put tremendous stock in numbers generated by Jake Delhomme, an ice-cold Mark Sanchez, David Anderson and the rookie Chad Henne, are we? Sure, there was the Drew Brees game, but the Saints have so many weapons and the Texans, really, are a passing offense. Donte Whitner, Bryan Scott and Kyle Williams all might be out this week, which hurts the Bills' defense, and even if Andre Johnson sits, Matt Schaub will be just fine with screens and short tosses to guys like Owen Daniels and Steve Slaton. He has done it before, he'll do it again. No fear.
Lee Evan's Grandma (Buffalo, NY)
how much value does Lee Evans present this week vs. Houston?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:40 AM)
Decent. Let's say low No. 2/high No. 3. Means he's starting for most people. I bet the Bills are throwing a decent share, especially in light of the fact that the Texans' run defense is playing a lot better lately.
Jon (Fairfax, VA)
Is Eli Manning going to be this average the rest of the way? Or will he have a few more games like he did at the beginning of the season?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:42 AM)
Depends on the true health of his foot. But I continue to stress that Eli Manning is typically a hot-starting, cold-finishing player. Annual sell-high candidate around the point the calendar flips to November.
trying to trade Tony Gonzalez or Vernon Davis... who would you rather have the rest of the year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:42 AM)
I'd rather have Tony Gonzalez, but Vernon Davis should have enough value (and therefore fetch you enough in return) to be a worthwhile trade chip. Part of this boils down to the man throwing him the ball.
What r your thoughts on S. Rice this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:43 AM)
Well, Brett Favre probably wants to win this game more than almost any other in his entire life, and who has been his go-to guy lately? That's right, Sidney Rice. He's going to be in any of my lineups. Solid No. 2 play.
Should I trade Randy Moss for Cedric Benson?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:46 AM)
Could you imagine this question being asked in the preseason? All boils down to needs and PPR or non-PPR. If it's PPR, I'll tilt things to Moss. But I actually think getting Benson is a smart idea right now -- though it might be even smarter in Week 11 after he has gotten past his bye and the Steelers and Ravens matchups. Look at who Benson plays from Weeks 12-16: CLE, DET, @MIN, @SD, KC. Only the Minny matchup is scary; the others are extraordinary.
Joe (Arlington, TX)
Barring injury is there any possible way the Forte is less valuable one week from now (from a trade perspective)? Or is this Rock Bottom?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:48 AM)
Again, trading is all a matter of perspective, and you are correct, this probably does represent the basement point of Matt Forte's season. Hey, by all means, if everyone in this chat can go steal Forte for a non-top-10 wide receiver -- let's say you can get him for Miles Austin or Mike Sims-Walker -- I say you go do it. But I have a feeling it's not going to happen. So many people I've come across really stay near and dear to draft-day price tags.
Farve, Over/Under: How many times Favre is said this sunday? 14,659,6393 times?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:48 AM)
Always bet the over.
Would it be crazy to start BOTH Turner & Snelling together this week @ New Orleans? Snelling is seeing alot of reps due to Norwood being out (is he out again this week?). My other RBs are Westbrook-Choice-S.Greene-Fargas...Thx.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:49 AM)
Absolutely. Jason Snelling does not belong in a fantasy lineup, even PPR formats. One nugget for this matchup: Check Ovie Mughelli's matchup. If he's out, Michael Turner becomes a somewhat less attractive play, not that you're going to sit him either way.
Kellen Winslow: Dumpsville?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:51 AM)
I actually considered that very move last night in a league where I'm required to roster two tight ends, being that Greg Olsen was cut and I already owned Winslow and Vernon Davis. I found someone else on my roster to let go to roster all three until I found a guy I could justify taking over Winslow, but the story does emphasize that it's a strong consideration in my mind, at least in shallow formats (which this is). And it's not that I hate Winslow for fantasy, it's that he's going to be maddeningly unpredictable with his quarterbacks just getting their feet wet at this level.
LeSean McCoy (Phi)
What are your thoughts on my value this week and the rest of the season?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:52 AM)
Solid fantasy starter, I'd think. Not top-10, but I'd be OK with McCoy as a No. 2/flex. It'd shock me if Brian Westbrook plays. As for the rest of the season, McCoy could very well be a weekly No. 2/flex if Westbrook misses significant time (which he sure could with a concussion). Must-own handcuff the rest of the year at the bare minimum.
Better pick up: Ricky Williams or Beanie Wells?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:53 AM)
Higher ceiling for Wells, I admit, but I actually believe Williams provides you more usable starts the remainder of the year.
Any chance that J Jones / Seatle can run on the Cboys coming out of their bye? Is he a better flex option than S Smith (Car) or Buckhalter this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:54 AM)
Julius Jones in the midst of a cold streak heading to Dallas to face a defense weaker in the secondary? Um, no thank you. That said, he's still starting for me over Correll Buckhalter, just because of a higher number of carries really, but in no way am I excited about Julius Jones this week.
Would you trade Donald Driver for Steven Jackson?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:56 AM)
Yes I would, and here's why: Jackson has averaged 10 fantasy points a game so far and has been amazingly consistent in terms of workload and production despite playing for a positively miserable team. The only reason his fantasy point total isn't better is that he hasn't scored a touchdown, something that can, to a degree, be a fluky thing. He just needs opportunities. Let's say he scores once every other week the rest of the way, which is not unreasonable. That means now he averages 13 points per week, a number that'd make me very happy, and certainly would make more of an impact than Driver. And I'm being conservative with that projection, understand.
Adam (Telluride, CO)
My league deducts for sacks. Should I go with Garrard or Rogers this week? Last time Rogers took 8 sacks from the Vikings.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:57 AM)
Deducts how much? If it's anything more than one point per sack, then absolutely I'd go David Garrard. But let me point out that without Antoine Winfield around, the Vikings will give up yards and scores to Aaron Rodgers, so if the sack penalty isn't stiff, I still very much think it's a good matchup for him.
Thoughts on Fargas. Have Mendenhall on bye this week and options are very limited.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:00 PM)
Actually, Justin Fargas has run pretty decently the past couple of weeks and this matchup does suit him. I see some flex-play sleeper status here.
What do you expect from LDT this week? He got stuffed on the goal line last week and is not the same player, but he is playing the Raiders. Would you play him over Ryan Grant?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:03 PM)
I actually think I'd take LaDainian Tomlinson's history versus the Raiders -- touchdown in Week 1 against them, and I believe it's 23 total scores in 17 career games (check my Instant Replay for the exact numbers) -- and use it as a bargaining point in selling him. This is a make-or-break matchup; he has to succeed here or a lot of hope for the future is lost (not that I had much in the first place, if you've been reading my stuff all year). On paper everyone will start Tomlinson. But I liken this matchup to the Clinton Portis game against the Lions. The bottom drops out on LT2 if he fails. Yes, he's a better play than Grant this week, but way much more? I dunno, I say Tomlinson's a borderline No. 1/2, and Grant's a middling No. 2. If you can make a good trade, can you be all that upset?
Ryan (Lexington, KY)
Pick 3 out of: Burleson, Brandon Marshall, Sims-Walker, and Wayne for this Sunday
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:04 PM)
I actually like all four of these guys this week, but Reggie Wayne is a weekly must-start, Mike Sims-Walker's matchup is a no-brainer and I cannot possibly see sitting Marshall right now. That matchup isn't even as scary as it sounds.
Mike D (NYC)
Trade Turner for Peyton? I'm 6-1 and have Favre and Carson in a platoon situation, very strong in RB (Benson, Thomas Jones, Ricky Williams).
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:04 PM)
Absolutely. Peyton Manning is about as safe as it gets.
Tristan's lunch (Paper sack)
What kind of impact do you see on Tennessee's fantasy players, particularly CJ's, if Vince Young becomes QB? Positive or negative. Can't get much worse, can it? What's for lunch?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:06 PM)
No, it can't get much worse, which is why I'd call it a "spin-your-wheels" move. Not that I disagree with the decision if it's made, but I think fantasy stock in Tennessee remains about where it is.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:06 PM)
As for lunch, good call, I should probably get to that! Looks like leftover pasta for me. Hope you've got a good lunch awaiting you too! Thanks for all your questions, and sorry if I couldn't get to yours. Take care everyone, best of luck in your Week 8 matchups and enjoy that World Series!