Chat with Tristan H. Cockcroft
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Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:08 AM)
Good morning everyone! All fair game today, baseball, football, whatever you'd like to ask. Let's get started...
Tristan, start Green-Ellis over Mathews this week? Someone grabbed Tolbert before I could.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:10 AM)
I think that's going to come down to the wire, whether Ryan Mathews is actually active; and I'll have that info for you with the Sunday inactives as soon as we get it. I'm quite iffy on Mathews this week what with him admitting to a high ankle sprain, so you might have to do that, yes. I wouldn't endorse it, though. I think I'd actually prefer Darren Sproles, if he's available, to BJGE.
Matt (Savage, MN)
Is it too soon to stash minor league stars like Mike Trout and Mike Moustakas on a keeper roster (14 keepers, 10 teams)?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:11 AM)
No. I bet we'll see Moustakas before the All-Star Game next year and perhaps Trout at some point as well, though the bottom line here is that both players are absolutely roster-worthy in that format.
jay - z (NY)
Hernandez NE or stick with Celek PHI...?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:11 AM)
Stick with Brent Celek. Don't make me break out the "don't get cute" line now!
Vincent Jackson doesnt look like he's going to play this year. Should I drop him for Mike Tolbert?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:13 AM)
Depends upon the depth of your league and how badly you need the bench space. I wouldn't call it an ill-advised move, but I've also been anti-Vincent Jackson dating all the way back to early August. It's not impossible that he gets traded, it's just that he's eligible for fewer games now.
Is Aaron Hernandez someone to start? Seems like Brady is finding him with ease early on.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:14 AM)
I didn't mean to belittle Hernandez's fantasy chances with the earlier question, it's just that I need to see more than one game's usage like that to trust him as a starter this week. I've been advising you keep him on a "watch list," but not necessarily add him yet. There's potential there and it seems the Patriots are more apt to involve their tight ends into the pass attack, but let's remember two things: One, Randy Moss and Wes Welker are still by far the go-to guys. Two, Rob Gronkowski is also present.
More baseball keepering.... Does Justin Smoak do anything next year? I have him at a good price in a 16 team roto, but I guess "good" only counts if he can hit.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:16 AM)
I think so, though it's understandable that people have Jeremy Reed-like worries, to bring up the name of another former super-stud prospect with a good walk rate in the minors who was positively miserable in the majors in the early days. Smoak is the kind of guy I'd like to take a chance on late, but not lock in as a clear-cut starter, so if you've got him cheap in that format, sure, I think there's something there.
Would you consider giving up MJD and Jahvid Best for CJ2K and Jamaal Charles?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:16 AM)
Yes. In fact, I'd do it in an instant.
Any waiver wire RB2 you would target? I was thinking somebody like Fred Taylor.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:17 AM)
Taylor's not a No. 2 running back, not even this week, but I think he's a worthwhile pickup if you're digging deep. Good matchup versus Bills.
In a deep 2QB league, do I start: Freeman, Anderson or Gradkowski?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:18 AM)
I guess Josh Freeman. I see more talent there, and that's about the best I can tell you. Sorry you've been stuck in that big a hole this early, but as a two-quarterback league vet, I understand it.
Nick (North Carolina)
How happy should I be that I picked up Vick.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:20 AM)
Very, and it probably means you listened to my advice a week ago. I was amazed when he was maybe the third- or fourth-most desired pickup in most of my leagues heading into Week 2! Anyway, I'll now caution not to go crazy here, Michael Vick's great start was a product of facing a defense that hadn't game planned for him (Week 1, GB) and then one that's positively miserable (Week 2, DET), so let's not assume this keeps up. He's matchups-worthy, but I could see him making a borderline run at the top 10 if the job is truly his. A nice guy to get as your No. 2 quarterback, but I'm sorry, give me guys like Eli Manning first please.
Does Knox hit paydirt this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:21 AM)
I think so, mainly because Devin Aromashodu's slip down the depth chart means that Johnny Knox is the most realistic deep threat the Bears have. I do admire Devin Hester's talent, and every now and then he'll break off a long one, but I don't see the level of consistency that is possible with Knox.
Who would you rather have going forward, Charles or Greene?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:21 AM)
Unquestionably Jamaal Charles.
Mike (Kansas City)
This might be a bit overboard... But should I bench Fitzgerald this weekend against Nnamdi? My options would be Heyward Bay and Camarillo. 16 teamer, so depth is limited.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:23 AM)
Not a chance. I understand the worry about receiver-versus-elite cornerback matchups, the Darrelle Revis, Cortland Finnegan and even Nnamdi Asomugha types. I get it. But for everyone who asks me about Nnamdi -- and I do think he's a superstar talent -- I remind them that the Raiders tend to keep him locked to one region of the field, so opponents simply get around it by shifting their receivers around to exploit matchups. I think Fitzgerald should be pitted against Stanford Routt on occasion too, and that's a better matchup for him. Stick with your stud.
Does Favre turn into a fantasy player this week against the Lions?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:25 AM)
Yes. Don't go crazy, folks, expecting a 300/3 day, but Lions matchups do have a way of curing even the most struggling passers.
Jake (VA Beach)
Baseball playoff question! Would you risk a Latos start tonight in that he might be worn out?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:26 AM)
Good matchup at the Dodgers, and I understand your concerns, but at this stage of the year with a pitcher as talented as Mat Latos, I'm letting my most talented pitchers do the dirty work.
what about LT over Greene rest of yr?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:27 AM)
I'm hesitant to make that swap yet, but let's just say that I'm getting close to prepared to do it. Tomlinson sure looks a lot more like his prime self than the aging back we saw in 2009, but the guy's well past 30 with all those carries on his legs, and that's enough downside that I think you can't race to declare him a clear-cut fantasy starter again. Let's say Shonn Greene, right now, is typically a flex-play type, and Tomlinson is a hair behind that because of those risk factors. That's the way I ranked them this week, at least.
Diehard Dolphins Fan here, loving our 2-0 start! With the Jet's Secondary lacking their best play maker, does Marshall finally hook-up with Henne for their first TD celebration this week? GO FINS!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:28 AM)
They have as good a chance this week as any, because no "Revis Island."
Beanie Baby (Emergency room)
Why wont you make me IR eligible?????, nobody wants to drop/trade me and it's hurting my fans.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:29 AM)
That's simple: Beanie Wells is NOT on the IR. It's kind of like in baseball where a Josh Johnson is out for the season but not technically on the DL. I understand the frustration, but there are reasons for rules like this, and it's that if you start making exceptions, where do the exceptions start? IR is IR. It's been that way in all of my leagues forever. My take is that if you have a problem with an injured player eating up a bench spot, you shouldn't be investing in injured players.
Jordan (East Lansing, MI)
I really want to acquire Ray Rice before he starts to tear it up...what should I expect to have to give in order to get him?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:30 AM)
I think you're still going to have to pay an elite wide receiver, top quarterback or one of those first-round running backs from the preseason. Rice should still command top-10-overall value, and if you want to be so bold as to try offering less, I won't say it's not worth a shot. You never know; that's why we call it buy-low trading.
Quarterback Roulette (Atlantic City)
Favre or Vick this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:32 AM)
Michael Vick. Both matchups are good. The Jaguars have a terrible defense too, not quite as bad as Detroit's, but then can't we all agree that Vick has looked FAR more productive to date than Favre? Could be another 20-point week for Vick, and maybe 15 for Favre.
John W. (Duxbury, MA)
BASEBALL! Need a Hanley replacement. Not much is out there. 12 team h2h league. help...
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:35 AM)
Hanley Ramirez is irreplaceable, but I'll toss you a few names to plug in at shortstop and hope that one sticks: Mike Aviles, Jed Lowrie, Danny Espinosa, Jeff Keppinger...
Who would you start this week for a Defense the Bengals or Redskins?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:37 AM)
Bengals, and I don't think it's that close. I'm in favor of the Panthers' decision to switch to Jimmy Clausen at quarterback, but even still, he's a rookie quarterback taking the helm of a vastly underperforming team through two weeks. The Bengals have two Pro Bowl-caliber cornerbacks that could terrorize the kid, so there's a hint of upside here that isn't evident in the Redskins' matchup. That's a road game at the Rams, which on paper and by "feel" seems like an obvious play. But the Redskins have a weaker defense than Cincinnati's, I think, and while it's another rookie passer on the other side, Sam Bradford has two games' more experience, it's a home game for him and he has sure looked capable of handling a hefty chore. I just don't see similar upside.
Does Celek's value take a hit with Vick starting compared to Kolb?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:38 AM)
Sure it does, but we're talking about a guy I absolutely loved as a potential top-5 option at tight end because I saw possible elite chemistry with Kevin Kolb, and now I think it detracts enough that he's in the bottom rungs of the top 10. But that's still a fantasy starter, no?
Mark (Hannibal, MO)
Javid Best....prime sell high candidate, or ride him out for the season and pat yourself on the back for sliding him up the draft board to fill my RB2 slot?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:41 AM)
I think anytime a hotshot rookie rips off a five-touchdown first two games, he qualifies as a "sell-high candidate" if only because that's a 40-touchdown pace, and many fantasy owners have a tendency to fall in love with rookies. I'm sure some people believe Best is due a top-10 season, but he's a member of the Lions; there is a cap on his fantasy potential. He's in my top 20 running backs and I believe he'll stay there all year, so if that's all the value you can get for him, by all means stick with him, pat yourself on the back. I have a feeling that's going to be the answer in 90 percent of leagues out there.
Bob Ley (Inside the Lines)
Would you start Tampa's D over Philly this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:42 AM)
No, and I have to admit, I'm not in agreement with our projection for the Bucs' D this week, though I understand the reasoning behind it. They're facing Charlie Batch, who is making his first start since what, 2006? The problem is that I see so much less talent (on paper) in the Bucs' D than what is on the Eagles' D. Philly has merely underperformed, but while it's a challenging road game -- Jags often play well at home -- David Garrard had a positively miserable Week 2 against another D that has talent on paper but often disappoints. Jaxy might make the Eagles look pretty darned good this week.
Do you think Tolbert is a good play this week as a Flex?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:43 AM)
Clinton Portis....you got faith in him this week against the lowly Rams?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:43 AM)
Yes. I'm not much of a Portis fan, but he has looked a bit better than I expected so far, and the matchup is favorable enough to term him a possible top-20 option at the position. So that's a low No. 2 back/flex play.
Aaron M (Springfield il)
Do you thing D. Bowe is a litlle over-rated? What has he ever done?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:45 AM)
It's so hard for me sometimes to tell who's overrated in fantasy football, because our staff talks a lot about how we feel about certain players, and I don't think any of us has really ever termed Dwayne Bowe a fantasy stud except for what, 2-3 years earlier in his career when it looked like he had star potential? I think we're on the same page that he's a No. 3 kind of option, no more.
How about starting Miami's D over Philly?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:45 AM)
No, but I like the Dolphins as a somewhat beneath the radar play.
New England D or Vikings D this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:48 AM)
People are truly going to make a killing using whatever defense goes up against the Bills. That's my take. Before you assume that any matchup with the Lions is an easy one for the D, I present Week 2, when the Eagles let their guard down to the point where the Lions moved the ball pretty darned good. Calvin Johnson and Jahvid Best are dangerous weapons, and the Vikings aren't playing their best right now. I'd be careful making assumptions there.
You know that part of the season where your bench is filled with decent enough players, who seem like they're not worth dropping but you really need to get some space? Anyways, I want to get Snelling as a hc to Turner, but I can't decide if it's worth dropping Meachem, Ricky Williams, Jerome Harrison, or possibly Mario Manningham.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:48 AM)
I do know that feeling, and you need to be careful not to cling to too many underperforming guys for too long to the point where you miss out on some valuable pickups. I'd drop Robert Meachem for Jason Snelling there.
can't people look at your week 3 DEF rankings???
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:49 AM)
I don't publish my weekly rankings.
Jo Nathan (Johns Hopkins)
Potential blowout between HOU and DAL. DEZ worthy of a spot start over Charles?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:50 AM)
A potential blowout on whose side? I certainly hope you don't mean the Cowboys, because I don't agree with you at all. Might be a huge source of fantasy points on both sides, in fact. I'm still going Jamaal Charles, though. I think it's the Miles Austin show for the Cowboys.
What can I expect in return for Jacobs from Bradshaw owner?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:51 AM)
At this point, I have to admit that almost anything with a shred of upside is worth taking for Brandon Jacobs. We might be looking at the next Willis McGahee, a guy who vultures a few touchdowns but is maddeningly inconsistent in terms of fantasy production.
Baseball Finals! Help! Rank these streaming options for Sat/Sun! Hughes v Bos, T. Wood @ SD, Norris @ Pit, Westbrook @ CHC. Thanks!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:52 AM)
I'd go Travis Wood, Phil Hughes, Bud Norris, Jake Westbrook. Really interested in that Norris matchup; he was one of my sleepers for the week. Hughes scares me a little, but the Red Sox aren't the terrifying matchup they once were.
Chris (Ranches, Utah)
Is Witten more of a blocker now? or is that a result of the injuries on the o-line?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:54 AM)
I think it's a result of the injuries on the O-line, and that's the advice I gave a friend when he was considering a deal for Jason Witten. In the short term I'm a little iffy on him, and we need to remember that he hasn't been a huge part of the Cowboys' red-zone plans in recent years, but over the long haul I think you'll be pleased with his consistent number of catches and yards.
Hudson (Las Vegas)
Tristan, what will the sultan of stat be having for lunch today? Also, what's your take on Jerome Harrison? Karebell says to be patient. What say you?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:56 AM)
Leftover BBQ from last night. I side with Eric on that, for the most part, as I'm not a huge believer in Peyton Hillis' staying power. That said, I see Harrison's upside being a flex play, and the kind you're going to need to slot in and out of your lineup as matchups dictate. You might find better on your waiver wire; if so I wouldn't tell you to stick with the guy forever.
I think I have to bench Crabtree until he gives me reason not to. Good idea, even with less than stellar backups (Knox, Nanee, Jac. Jones)?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:57 AM)
Good idea. I'd use Johnny Knox over Michael Crabtree this week.
Do you prefer Clayton, Walter, Royal or Demaryius Thomas?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:58 AM)
I had Mark Clayton barely ranked over Eddie Royal in my season-to-end rankings earlier in the week, and I still feel about that way, though Royal has a hint more upside. For Week 3? I'll take Clayton. Like the matchup against the 'Skins in a home game.
Joaquin (Walla Walla)
Hines Ward with no QB this week or Kevin Walter? PPR...
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:00 PM)
I probably cling too much to talent, to track records, etc., but I can't justify sitting Hines Ward for Kevin Walter. I like the thinking, and think Walter is a bit beneath-the-radar Week 3 play. It's just that Ward is SO much a reliable target, no matter the quarterback, and I have to think Charlie Batch will be happy to know he has him.
Should I be looking to move Turner the Burner? I'm worried about the groin injury
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:02 PM)
I've been saying it since the 2008-09 offseason, Michael Turner is a sell-high, sell-high, sell-high. The guy can win you a week on his own when he's healthy, but there's so much more injury downside than people think. If you're trading him as a certain top-10-overall player, you need to be taking the deal. I wasn't touching him before the second round in any of my drafts and that he's nicked up already in the second week of the season supports my case against him.
Joel (Michigan )
Tristan, Your thoughts on Demaryius Thomas ? Just another inconsistent rookie WR or is this kid special ?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:03 PM)
I think he's special, but he's in an offense where Eddie Royal, Jabar Gaffney and Brandon Lloyd have also looked pretty good so far. So while I say "definite pickup" -- that goes triple in keeper leagues -- I think you should be prepared for some inconsistency, some quiet games, this season.
thoughts on Steve Smith (CAR)? should i try to trade him with QB and injury issues?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:04 PM)
Why? Steve Smith has had to work with so many quarterbacks over the years, many of them terribly questionable choices, yet still been remarkably consistent in terms of fantasy production.
Percy Harvin - I know he's a top-25 WR rest of season in your rankings, but are you starting to worry yet about him?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:05 PM)
I am. The constant migraines bother me. We'll see how he does this week, but my gut says that his rank -- which by the way was published first thing Tuesday -- is probably going to drop a bit. Also, with those rankings, understand how much of a gray area I felt there was in the 20s among wide receivers. I had a hard time really getting excited about any; the 29th could be every bit as good as the 21st.
Brian (Mickey )
Hey Tristan, trade Q if you don't mind? Giving Forte & Megatron, getting Turner
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:06 PM)
There's the sell-high trade I'd be advising for Michael Turner owners.
Lightning round: Brandon Jackson or Mike Tolbert?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:07 PM)
I'm not a Jackson fan; wrote that in my rankings earlier in the week. I think with time he's going to lose those goal-line touches, and the Packers will lean more on Aaron Rodgers besides. Tolbert, meanwhile, could be a goal-line fixture for the Chargers, and while Ryan Mathews is nicked up, he's a useful plug-in right now.
BBQ leaves alot to the imagination??? Bradshaw or Foster rest of year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:08 PM)
Burgers, hot dogs, corn, standard fare, a few different things. I'll pick and choose. And that's Arian Foster, and I don't think it's all that close.
Scott (Ann Arbor, MI)
Late season saves: Gutierrez, Sale, or Hensley?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:09 PM)
I'd rank them Juan Gutierrez, Clay Hensley, Chris Sale. Hensley has really surprised me as a fill-in at closer. But Gutierrez still seems a tad safer.
Non football questions. Which 2 do I keep in H2H lague, Cargo, Latos, Posey, Wainwright? I think Cargo is a given who is my other keeper?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:10 PM)
Carlos Gonzalez is a given, yes, though I do think there's a danger he's going to be a bit overrated entering 2011. (Please don't take that as a knock, it's just, he's NOT going to top next year's Player Rater.) Adam Wainwright is going to be ranked highest of the other three, I know it. All good choices, but he's special, an ace.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:11 PM)
OK, time to wrap things up for the day. Thanks for all your questions, and sorry if I didn't get to yours. Best of luck to you in your Week 3 matchups, and for those of you fantasy baseball enthusiasts, check back later in the day when I'll have preliminary 2011 rankings in "Hit Parade." Until next time, take care everyone!