Fantasy Sports w/Brendan Roberts
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Brendan Roberts (2:59 PM)
Good afternoon, everyone! I'm back after a two-week, work-induced chat hiatus. Two weeks ago, Dwayne Bowe's surprising suspension forced me to emergency-editor mode, and last week I was working to keep up with content on a day with a short staff (because of the upcoming holiday). Excuses, excuses! Back this week to answer your fantasy football (and even baseball) questions. Let's get to it ...
Big Ben or Vince Young? Steelers going to run over Oakland and keep Big Ben safe? Titans have to score alot to have a shot at beating Indy?
Brendan Roberts (3:01 PM)
Yes, quite a tough call, but Big Ben is, for the most part, the better fantasy QB, faces the far softer defense, must escape a much lesser pass rush and pass D ... and, like it or not, as Dennis Dixon showed, the Steelers are pass-first and run-second anymore. The Titans still are run-first, and will pass more only if they must. And I think this week they try to keep Peyton Manning off the field by running aplenty. Big Ben it is.
Marshawn Lynch (Buffalo)
Am I relevant going forward? I am taking up space right now on fantasy football rosters and wonder if I should give everyone an early Christmas present and put myself back on the waiver wire.
Brendan Roberts (3:03 PM)
Considering what you try to do during the non-bye weeks is load up on RB depth and try to hit a home run, yeah, I think he's worth keeping around. Who knows, what if Fred Jackson gets hurt, and this rejuvenated Bills offense jumps Lynch's value? You can't dismiss the possibility of him having value from here on out, so you more or less must keep him around. Unfortunately, I realize.
Should I play Megatron this weekend? I havd DJax but looks like he is sitting. If not Megatron, which of these do you like better- Maclin, Avant, Britt, Meacham? Thanks Brendan
Brendan Roberts (3:06 PM)
I definitely like Calvin Johnson over those guys this week. The only way I'd sit him is if you have another sure-fire starter-capable (like DeSean) available. That said, this does allow me to pass along an observation I had about Detroit. It seems they're just the opposite of many teams in that when they fall behind early, it seems they run MORE to try to slow down the other team rather than engaging in a shootout. When the second half arrives, and their defense has proven unable to stop the opposing team, then they throw. But anyway, I guess I've given up on expecting big games from their QB and WRs just because I expect a blowout. Because I'm not sure it applies to them. Just a personal observation.
Justin Forsett (Seattle)
How much more do I have to do for Coach Mora to see that I'm the better RB in Seattle and should be the starter? How will this RB situation in Seattle play out?
Brendan Roberts (3:08 PM)
Yes, I'll address the Forsett questions right here: Mora announced Julius Jones is still the starter, and is heavily in the carries picture. So that's kind of a downer to Forsett's value. It seems by the way Seattle has handled him that they are concerned with overworking him as it is -- maybe because of his smallish stature? -- so the days of an every-week 25-touch back are a ways away. Regardless, now it looks like he is, at best, splitting touches with Jones, and probably evenly (if Jones returns). Honestly, that's probably not enough to warrant starting him against the Niners in most league setups this week.
Are you worried about me?
Brendan Roberts (3:12 PM)
I am, actually, and glad you asked. The way they have been using Malcom Floyd has kinda taken away some of V-Jax's value. Seems they have Floyd running plenty of deep routes as the guy who stretches the passing game, and of course, with Gates as the mid-range guy and LT as the short guy, V-Jax has almost been left as the do-everything guy who has to pick up the scraps. Noticing some deep-outs from him and deep middle patterns, neither of which are Philip Rivers' strength as a passer. Bottom line: I think LT's improved health and Floyd's emergence has knocked VJ to bottom-level No. 2 or even No. 3/flex status in most weeks. This week he faces Cleveland, so he should be fine.
Hey B, Avant looks like a great play this week, but for the rest of the season how would you rank him with Garcon, Meachem and Britt?
Brendan Roberts (3:13 PM)
I like how Avant looks, too, and have noticed many of his catches have come on timing patterns, indicating he has a good rapport with Donovan and the team trusts him. I'm not convinced he's much of a YAC guy, but as long as DeSean is out, and the matchup is semi-favorable, then Avant is a fine flex play, and I like him more than the other three guys.
Can Willis McGahee please contract the swine flu and not be able to play the rest of the year? If Rice got goalline scores he would be a top 5 fantasy player. The worst part is that McGahee sucks at goalline work.
Brendan Roberts (3:15 PM)
Ouch, babe! Tough to get a grip on that situation, but it seems to me Rice is still in during red-zone situations. I dunno, from watching the games, it seems he works his butt off to get the team down the field, then just happens to need a break in the red zone. So I'm not sure him coming out is a set strategy, more just him needing a blow. I could be wrong, but I think Rice will settle in that goal-line role (along with everything else).
Dan (Ann Arbor)
Brendan, got a real squirrel's nest for my flex spot this coming week to stay in the heated playoff race...Pierre Thomas (vs. WAS), Justin Forsett (vs. SF), or LeSean McCoy (vs. ATL)? Who ya got?
Brendan Roberts (3:16 PM)
Hmm, I'd probably say McCoy. His touches are more predictable, and the Falcs have a poor run D.
Tim (St. Louis)
What are your thoughts on Fred Jackson's situation? Do you think his production this last week was strictly due to Lynch being hurt or do you think the new coach will continue to favor him since, in my opinion, he is the better back?
Brendan Roberts (3:19 PM)
Another good question on Bills RBs ... yes, Lynch was hurt, but it seems the team's philosophy has changed offensively, and the new "open-it-up" scheme favors Jackson's skills over Lynch, who was good for the ball-control style Dick Jauron liked. I think Jackson remains "the man," although Lynch gets maybe one-third of the touches. Given how fresh that allows Jackson to be, that's a good thing, and I really like Freddy going forward.
Hi Brendan. Kevin Smith has finally been demoted to my bench. Who do i ride in flex the rest of the way? Forsett (if he is the guy)of Charles? PPR league.
Brendan Roberts (3:20 PM)
I'm with ya (on Smith) -- in two leagues. I thought he'd be OK if he were guaranteed 15 touches, but that just hasn't been the case. Charles, on the other hand, looks explosive, and I'm not concerned about the matchup versus the Broncos this week. For all the talk of the Broncos' D (based on last week), it still ranks 17th in rushing yards allowed. Plus, the game is at KC. I say go with Jamaal.
Rowdy Roddy White (Hot-lanta)
My boy Matty Ice is out at least this week. I had a very pedestrian game last week until my TD in the last 10 seconds of the game. Are you concerned with my production going forward?
Brendan Roberts (3:22 PM)
Eric Karabell addressed this very question in a fine (premium) blog today, noting that White's breakout season in 2007 actually came with guys like Redman and Joey Harrington and Byron Leftwich throwing to him. In essence, Matt Ryan is not the reason Roddy White is good, and there's a reason Redman looked for him late in the game Sunday. I'm convinced he safely maintains his value.
Rusty Griswald (Missoula, MT)
Can I have a sip dad? How about making the playoffs?This is my judgment week, win and I'm in, if not I need others to lose, and I could use insight in setting my starters. In a 1 pt PPR how would you roll with this squad? Really, who's your odd man out, I can start all but one.Housh, Megatron, Ocho, B MarshallPT, laLamian, Charles,
Brendan Roberts (3:24 PM)
Just don't drink it all! Boy, a tough one, but considering his recent struggles, I'd have to say Housh (as the odd man out). Not sure what has happened to him. The best the team can hope for are swing passes to him anymore.
Winston (Salem, MA)
Do you think it is worth holding onto Bowe, to have options in Wk 15, or scrap him for a Britt or Meachem or Avant?
Brendan Roberts (3:26 PM)
If you can use a WR this week -- as in a starting guy -- then drop Bowe. If you're looking for upside of the bench, I suppose Bowe has it, but it's not guaranteed enough (the only favorable matchup is versus CLE in Week 15) that you NEED to hold on to him. If you think you might use an Avant this week, and like I said, that's perceivable, then drop Bowe. I have in one league.
Can you give me a sleeper D this week? please..
Brendan Roberts (3:27 PM)
No, but I'll give you three. The Bears (I say hang with 'em one more week!), the Panthers and a TBD team in a bad-weather game. It's about that time, isn't it?
Caddy Williams (TB)
Am I all but droppable now that the number 2 back on the depth chart is beating me in carries?
Brendan Roberts (3:30 PM)
There again, as in Marshawn, you're hard-pressed to find someone off the waiver wire who has more upside in the right scenario. Cadillac still has value; it's just that the team doesn't run the ball enough. In the right scenario (at SEA in a few weeks?), he still could help you.
I know it's December but Eli usually fares pretty well against Dallas. Is he a safe start this week ?
Brendan Roberts (3:32 PM)
Most would say he isn't, especially given his foot troubles, but I think he is. First of all, he seems to respond when his doubters speak the loudest, and now would be a good time for that. Second of all, yeah, he does seem to read the Dallas secondary pretty well. And thirdly, Dallas is cut out to stop the run, not the pass, so the Giants will HAVE to pass to beat the Cowboys, and I think they will (both pass AND win, on a hunch). Eli will do just fine against that 21st-ranked pass D.
Mike (Bronx, NY)
Defense Question! Given the choice, would you start the Jets D against a surprisingly potent Bills offense north of the border on a short week, or Cincy D v. Detroit? Must win this week! Thanks.
Brendan Roberts (3:34 PM)
Originally, I started to type J-E-T ... then I thought about how that Bills offense looked, and how many turnovers the Lions have, and that the game is in Cincy ... I gotta say the Bengals. I don't know that they'll rack up the turnovers, but I hardly figure the Lions will move the ball. Worth noting the Lions just lost one of their top dropoff options in Brandon Pettigrew. Not good. Gulp -- Cincy it is!
So basically your saying B. Jacobs is going to have another crappy game?
Brendan Roberts (3:36 PM)
I guess I am! Well, maybe not Denver-on-Thanksgiving crappy, but yes, 50-60 yards (he had 16-for-58 in their first meeting) is about the best we can expect for him. Of course, with that guy, you can never discount a 1-yard TD plunge, which is why he still must start in most setups. I've called for a Giants win, after all, and they will score on Dallas. Just a matter of who does the scoring. But I believe it's Eli and Co. who rack up the yards, yes.
I don't know what to do with Carson Palmer. He gets a great matchup against the Browns and the Bengals just run the ball with Palmer doing next to nothing. I'm afraid the same thing will happen with Detroit. Should I stick with him, or try to get someone else, Flacco and Alex Smith are both available?
Brendan Roberts (3:39 PM)
I'm concerned with him, too, for the same reasons, especially since the Bengals are preparing to have Cedric Benson back. Given their depth, the Bengals would much rather run the ball 40 times than have Carson gun it around the field. THAT SAID, he doesn't need to throw the ball 30 times to overcome this matchup this week. The Lions are ranked 32nd in the league in pass yardage allowed; he can rack up fantasy-worthy points in the first half alone. The difference between the Lions and the Browns is there's no sense of a pass rush from Detroit, and that fits Palmer's mantra. Go with the favorable matchup and start Palmer, I say.
Chris Brown (Houston, TX)
It might be smart for someone to add me now and wait and see what things look like for that Wk 15 juicy matchup... right?Or, would it be better to get Norwood?(essentially, how long is your hunch on Burner being out)
Brendan Roberts (3:41 PM)
Tough call. I think Turner the Burner will return soon, but Norwood is nothing more than the change-of-pace guy regardless. So I'd be willing to take my chances on Brown off the waiver wire, in hopes he can nail down the goal-line job again.
Mike W (Chicago)
I know you said that Roddy's production shouldn't drop with Ryan out but would you play Jeremy Maclin over Roddy with Maclin looking to be the go to guy with Jackson out?
Brendan Roberts (3:41 PM)
I'd still stick with Roddy there.
I hadcuffed myself into a corner. I need three out of the following four - Mendenhall, PT, Parker and Bell. First two are no-brainers so, I guess it's really a question of Parker or Bell - who do you like?
Brendan Roberts (3:42 PM)
To start or to drop? Going forward, I like Bell more. Hope that answers it.
Donald Brown (Indy)
Will have a value in weeks 15-17?
Brendan Roberts (3:44 PM)
Indeed he will ... at least enough for him to be owned. I really like his Week 15 matchup at Jacksonville, and though Addai has been getting his steady touches, I really think the team starts tossing a few more Brown's way from here on out. I could foresee a scenario, believe it or not, of both Addai and Brown having value in Week 15 if the Colts are on cruise control. Good call on your part.
R. Grant has been my Flex player almost every week but with J. Charles on a role and J. Stewart in a delightful matchup which do I play?
Brendan Roberts (3:47 PM)
Ah, you must be concerned about the Ravens coming to town. As well you should, but Grant gets a steady 20 touches, and the Packers are at home and have the 6th highest-scoring offense in the league. I don't think the Ravens will shut them down, and any decent offense whose back gets 20 touches a game is starting for me. Stewart is intriguing with the Bucs coming to town, but how much will they score? They'll have a new QB in there (that could be good or bad, I realize), and they have the league's 20th-ranked offense. Just not sure he's enough of a gimme to start over the reliable Grant.
If Waner doesn't go...is A. Smith a viable replacement or should I go shopping? WW is a little thin!
Brendan Roberts (3:50 PM)
I've seen a couple questions about ol' Alex, and really, I think he's a fine replacement starter. Since I saw him put up three scores in Green Bay a few weeks ago, it's obvious he has enough weapons at WR (as well as Gore on dropoffs) that he should be a steady 12-15 point scorer. The thing about Alex, or at least it was supposed to be, is that he rarely makes mistakes and is a good decision-maker. This year he's finally doing that. Not sure he has a ton of single-game upside (like VY does, for instance), but he's a pretty safe start, which is why I like him more as a fill-in.
Steve Smith (Carolina)
post your question or commentDoes Jake's finger injury hurt my value?? With they way he's been playing, could this be a good thing?
Brendan Roberts (3:51 PM)
Absolutely could be a good thing. First of all, he's "unlikely" to play. And it seems most backup quarterbacks (overly) rely on their top receivers, which in this case is obviously Smith. I certainly DON'T think Delhomme's injury HURTS Smith's value.
Jeremy Maclin or THE Ochocinco to go along with Sid Rice and Welker? Also, should i go with Barber or Jacobs to go with SJax?
Brendan Roberts (3:52 PM)
Ochocinco ... and hmm, probably Barber. I really like the way he has looked lately. Tough call there with the game being in NY, though.
Pimpin (Ain't EZ)
Dude...help me out man! Who you like this week? Forte, Mendenhall, PT, Forsett or Jamal Charles? Pick 2.
Brendan Roberts (3:53 PM)
With the Bears facing the Rams, Forte and Mendenhall. I like Charles, but you got depth, my brutha!
I know they say you shouldn't lose your starting job due to injury but with the way Justin Forsett is playing how can he get benched it wasn't like julius Jones was getting monster numbers and it's not like they are going to the playoffs
Brendan Roberts (3:56 PM)
You have valid points, but ... what the coach says matters here, and he made it a point to come out and tell everyone in his news conference that Jones is still the guy. And I doubt he'd change his mind before Sunday. Forsett is simply the better all-around back, just as Marion Barber was when Julius was in Dallas, but as long as Julius is part of the mix, and probably not a small part, then it's tough to start Forsett against the league's 5th-ranked run D. I'm not as high on him this week as others. In fact, in a league I have Chris Johnson, Ricky Williams and MJD (and no flex), I saw MJD (unbelievably) last week against SF, and it turned out to be the right call.
Follow-up: Would you hang on to Donald Brown even if you don't own Joseph Addai? Do you think he'll be startable at flex in week 14, 15, ect?
Brendan Roberts (3:57 PM)
Yes, I would get my hands on regardless of handcuff possibilities. He still has starting upside in Week 15 and 16.
Cutler or Palmer. If I win, I make the playoffs. Both have been killing me all season.
Brendan Roberts (3:58 PM)
Hmm, Cutler at home against the Rams ... but I stay with Palmer here. I just don't think the Bears have the type of receiving corps for Cutler to completely torch the Rams. I play it safe with Palmer.
Andrew ((What a Brees!))
Should I be a little worried that the Saints will bench Brees during the fantasy playoffs?
Brendan Roberts (4:00 PM)
Yes and no. They likely will be looking to rest him in Weeks 16 and 17, BUT he could do enough damage in those weeks in a half, considering the matchups are Tampa Bay and Carolina, that you really needn't worry about it. Ya see, Minnesota is rolling along at 10-1, and should continue to, so the Saints can't afford to let off the gas at all. I think you're safe with Brees ... if anything, they'll just pull him out of blowouts a little earlier, but that's nothing. One more Q ...
Is Witten back to being a TE1?
Brendan Roberts (4:02 PM)
Who knows? You never know who Romo is going to throw to any given week ... But I will say, though Witten has been subpar this season, he did score against the Giants earlier this season, and has some decent matchups for TEs from here on out. I'd stick with him as a starter.
Brendan Roberts (4:03 PM)
As that oughta do it, folks. Sorry for the occasional lag (darn Internet Explorer!), but hope I gave you thoughtful, helpful responses. Love these chats! I'll be back again next week -- league-suspensions willing!