Chat with Tristan Cockcroft
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Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:01 AM)
Good morning everyone! Week 1 is in the books, so let's take a look back at that, but at the same time, those of you in fantasy baseball championship quests can still sneak your questions in today...A note, first, to you baseballers: Remember to check the Forecaster first. Many questions can be answered right there.Let's get started. Who has a question?
Is Dez Bryant becoming the fantasy football equivalent of Nelson Cruz?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:03 AM)
I'm not sure I follow, in that Bryant hasn't exactly exploded onto the fantasy scene before developing a reputation for being injury prone, as Cruz has done the past couple years. One point about Bryant is that I'd have expected him to fare better if he didn't have Darrelle Revis glued to him that often. Let's just say I could see Bryant being a year off a "Cruz comparison." Huge upside, could be the breakout year like Cruz had, and I do feel the injury question is more significant with Bryant than a typical wideout.
Injury Bug (St. Louis)
What have I done to the Rams offense? Would you trust any of their pass-catchers now?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:05 AM)
It really depends on whether Sam Bradford is able to play come Week 2; he sounds like he plans to but my opinion is that I'd be surprised if he didn't miss time, at least one game. (At least if I was ranking today, I'd be estimating based on him being out, just smarter to formulate your backup plan early.) If he's out? Let's say I'm not that wild about A.J. Feeley manning that offense...
Cadillac (St Louis)
Am I a must add on a Steven Jackson Fantasy Team now?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:06 AM)
I liked Cadillac Williams as a late, late rounder this preseason; he's a better player than people give him credit. So yes, I'd advise the add.
Dan (New Orleans, LA)
Beanie Wells day was a product of good running or bad run defense by the panthers? Can we expect more solid days from him?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:09 AM)
Both. He looked like the back the Cardinals drafted, and most importantly got the third-down work, yet at the same time he capitalized upon the soft matchup. This effectively backs up his preseason bargain status; I felt he was Round 5-ish material and he looks very much that. Think a back who probably lands in the mid-to-high teens for the season, meaning there will be top-10 weeks when his matchups stack like that one, and you're only going to want to avoid him when they're the worst matchups around.
GAVIN FLOYD (GA)
2 starts or no? Some rookie is starting Wednesday.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:10 AM)
Dylan Axelrod is starting Wednesday and it looks like a six-man rotation, so no, Floyd won't get two.
Is Kenny Britt legit or a fluke?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:11 AM)
Legitimate in that when he's healthy and his matchups are favorable like that one, yes, that is very much what you can expect. Consider this likely one of his 1-3 best performances of the year. Then shave 10 points (meaning 15) and say that Britt should get there a good five times in 2011. At the same time, he might have five times you really didn't want him in there. Process, evaluate. To me that's a guy you want to own, but I'm your "per-game-guy" lover.
Any concerns this early about sidney rice..
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:12 AM)
The missed week doesn't change a lot; Rice still has a part in that offense. But I didn't regard him as nearly as valuable as his ADP, and considered him a WR3 when healthy at best.
D. Garrard (Parts Unknown)
Where would be the best place for me to land?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:13 AM)
I think we're going to see David Garrard under contract with a new team by the end of September, and starting before Halloween, and I'm probably being conservative saying that. Prepare accordingly; he could be a sneaky pickup if your league is deep enough. The popular landing spot, naturally, is Indy. It'd make sense.
Do you think Matt Moore goes into the bullpen or the rotation? Cannot afford for Price to lose 2 starts.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:13 AM)
So, what do you make of the Giants offensive offense yesterday?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:15 AM)
(Sigh) it wasn't a completely unexpected result, at least to me. I don't think the Giants did a lot to address their offense this offseason and the Redskins' defense isn't as miserable as it was in 2010. Let's just say that I don't have a lot of room for optimism with the Giants this season. It didn't change.
Cam Newton (Carolina)
Believe or just lucky?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:18 AM)
Both of those labels are unfair; the answer is somewhat in the middle, but if I'm leaning, it's to "lucky." I remain firm in my assessment that Newton deserved and deserves to start for the team all year, and that he's got the arm to impress from time to time. (In other words, nowhere near the ugliness we saw from Panthers quarterbacks in 2010, and it's better news for Steve Smith than Newton himself.) But he was remarkably accurate for a guy making his NFL debut. I don't buy that continuing on a week-to-week basis. The picks are coming. Beware. You'd have to be oh-so-picky.
ARod and Stanton. Roll the dice or sit?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:19 AM)
There is no reason for either of their teams to push them at less than 100 percent, and I feel that both are less than 100 percent. The Yankees don't need Alex Rodriguez in Seattle; he might sit that entire series. Stanton? I'm more apt to use him, but I'd prepare as if he's missing multiple games as well. Weigh your alternatives comparative to that, as I always stress in weekly.
C'mon man, who's in more trouble for the season, Maclin or L Blount? Neither guy showed up at all yesterday.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:22 AM)
I think Jeremy Maclin is in more trouble, but it's difficult to pick him with complete certainty because I don't know the specifics of his preseason illness. He looked like a wideout who is just working himself back to full speed, and since he's not the No. 1 target in that pass attack, it might take a few weeks. LeGarrette Blount's story is obvious: He's not a factor on passing downs and since the Bucs were behind, he wasn't in there much. It's as cut-and-dry as that, but that's not going to happen every week.
Bobby (Durham )
Mendy ...? Sell ASAP or hold ?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:22 AM)
Hold. You'll get robbed if you sell. Was a total matchup result.
Should I be looking to deal Tolbert? What sort of value do you think I could get for him?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:24 AM)
I would not sell Mike Tolbert, he has a place in this offense and I'd describe it as largely what it was in 2010. I mean, if you could sell him straight up for the aforementioned Rashard Mendenhall, by all means go for it. But I don't think Tolbert is a one-hit wonder. I think he's underrated. Perhaps substantially.
How do you feel about the two owners who make it to a fantasy championship splitting the pot?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:25 AM)
I have absolutely zero problem with it, and I wouldn't argue with anyone else's opinion of it (meaning: if I offered you that and you refused, I would completely understand as well).
KC Offense was......in a word... BAD!!! Buffalo looked...Good. What do you take from that game?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:28 AM)
What do I take from that game? Jeez, how about a swift kick you-know-where, because my touting of the Chiefs was my A-number-1 boneheaded call of Week 1, and I will happily pay the piper today. (How I shall pay: I'm a goner in my Eliminator pool. As Michael Kay would say, "Seeee-ya!") But on a serious note, because it's a valid question, I'd take two things from it: Our estimation that Matt Cassel and his receivers were largely matchups products last season seems accurate, and I'd beware as a result. Also, the Chiefs' D ... oh how there's talent in that group, but they sure looked like one of those units that could be maddeningly unpredictable all year. I'm going to tread carefully as I evaluate them for matchups plays going forward, that's for sure.
Jason Kipnis (at or around an airport)
Am I back to full time any day soon? Me or Chase Utley the next two weeks.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:31 AM)
Do you need to lock in the whole two weeks right now? I see that being a Kipnis play this week, Utley next. Kipnis: Not quite ready for everyday status, but he's getting sporadic starts at least. He might not be a regular the rest of the year, though. Utley: He's out from my understanding through at least Wednesday, and I'd prepare as if he's not playing this week. But once he's back -- we'll hope by one week from today, those lineups -- he's back in my starting lineup.
Charles (So Ill)
So you said what it means for the receivers, but what did Sunday say about Charles' prospects going forward?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:34 AM)
To sum it up quickly, as the Chiefs go, so does Jamaal Charles' usage, and that needs to be considered in fantasy. Fewer rushing opportunities means fewer chances to make a substantial impact. On a per-touch basis -- evaluating the skill set here -- I see absolutely nothing to sweat. Charles is as talented as he ever was. Plus, he can catch passes, so this isn't a LeGarrette Blount-like reason to panic. I didn't mention him strictly because his value didn't change that much. Or at least that's my take today.
Brad Pitt (San Diego)
Hey Tristan,Why didn't the phillip rivers - vincent jackson combo start off well this season?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:36 AM)
Brad, you should've stayed to watch the game, instead of having the play-by-play faxed to you afterward. Minnesota's pass rush created headaches, and let's not ignore that one potential score that just missed between those two. Not a lot to sweat just yet; it's how wideouts are, they are going to have their quiet weeks and I see nothing that has me sweating yet.
I know most are asking about what happened yesterday, but how about a question about some guys going tonight. What do you think of McFadden and Knowshon tonight? You seemed to be the highest on Mcfadden... is that just for this game or for the season? You think they combine for 25 pts tonight?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:38 AM)
For the season, I think Darren McFadden is underrated (slightly) and Knowshon Moreno is overrated (slightly); put McFadden in the back-of-top-10 class, Moreno in the upper-flex group. John Fox is going to mix and match those running backs so I'm hesitant to invest that much in Moreno. Heck, Willis McGahee could be the guy who blows up tonight. Watch it be 17 points for DMC, 8 for Moreno, 5 for McGahee. Feels a lot like that to me.
Mike (San Diego)
Also, if you watched the Chargers game yesterday, you'd know that Vincent Jackson dropped an easy TD pass, which would have put him at 12 points yesterday. I doubt many people would be complaining about that.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:38 AM)
That's the one I'm talking about.
So you're not sweating Owen Daniels only getting 2 targets?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:41 AM)
Hmmmm, I am, but I don't want one week's developments drastically alter my opinion that Daniels is one of the better pass-catching tight ends in football. Joel Dreessen and James Casey were targeted largely as often, which is bothersome, but Daniels is so much more important to that passing game than either. I'm going to remain optimistic, but putting it on my watch list.
Stick a fork in Peyton and release him or hold on for awhile?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:43 AM)
To cut or not to cut Peyton Manning is a popular question today! My take: I'd prepare my squad as if he's out for the year, and if you're in a league where you desperately need the bench space, it's OK to let him go. Remember, when the bye weeks arrive, bench spots are precious, and I'm also the guy who will remind you to never, ever waste one. I'm firm in my assessment that it's foolish to keep Manning on hand today, only to decide in Week 6 that you needed that roster spot and should let him go. If you're going to do that, do it now. (Barring a big change in his prognosis that specific week, of course, in which case I understand the change of heart on that.)
Schaub looked awful yesterday against Indy. What's your take?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:45 AM)
For the record, Matt Schaub has looked awful historically in games against the Colts. I'm just throwing it out there so you'll resist pressing the panic button a little longer...
Chris Johnson (Tennessee Pions)
Was it me or is my team's offensive line that bad?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:46 AM)
I don't like "told you so's," but I need to remind that I have advised Johnson's owners all preseason to prepare for a lackluster September. This isn't unexpected. Frustrating, yes, but patience is required considering the draft price you paid.
Bob Smith (Miami)
Do you pick up Ben Tate or Derrick Ward on the waiver wire?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:47 AM)
I like Tate. Admired him all preseason, think he's skilled enough to start, have said he's the handcuff to get. Week 1 supports it being the right call, but understand, this might very well mean nothing more than a handcuff for you looking forward.
How bad is Tolbert hurting? If he's not playing even one game, how far does that shoot Mathews up during those games?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:49 AM)
Ah yes, I did neglect to mention the knee injury in the previous Tolbert question, needs to be mentioned. Sounds day-to-day to me for now, and my assessment, to be clear, was long-term value. Week 2 in some question, but let's not all shift over to Ryan Mathews because Tolbert is nicked up. Mathews has spent his whole career so far "nicked up."
Rosters lock at 7:00 pm for the week; would you start Tulo and risk him being out most, if not all week, or would you start Bonefacio or Dee Gordon? Thank you!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:52 AM)
It's the injury guessing game again, and I've read reports that Troy Tulowitzki might miss the two-game Milwaukee series, meaning he'd play at best four games this week. So your alternatives are smart choices if you need to play conservative, and I'd go needs. Dee Gordon is a solid play if you want a ton of stolen-base potential. He'd be my pick overall. If you want to hedge and be safer in batting average, Emilio Bonifacio is fine. Fewer steals, less AVG risk, but overall I have him ranked behind Gordon.
Since Colston is out 4+ weeks, would a better WR starter moving forward be Devery Henderson or Emmanuel Sanders?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:53 AM)
I'm a Sanders fan. Second-most skilled wideout in the offense in my opinion, and should be a hot pickup this week. We've seen Henderson get chances before; he's too unpredictable for my tastes.
Baseball Playoffs! Can I count on Youk and Utley this week, or do I need to move around my roster and play some lesser guys?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:56 AM)
Chase Utley discussed earlier, Kevin Youkilis, my take is that if he wasn't healthy enough to play what was an important Rays series, then he's no more likely to begin this week healthy. One thing to remember as an overall "injury-situation" strategy in September: There's no reason for teams to DL players, so news gets hazier, and you should tread with more caution, plus teams treat injuries more conservatively because they either need those guys to heal for the playoffs or their seasons are over anyway. I'd almost always avoid the noticeable injury risks in September, no matter who they are. You need at-bats, innings...
Cris (Memphis )
Is Rex Grossman just a flash in the pan?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:57 AM)
I've read this book before. I didn't like the ending the last time. A few interesting chapters, but...
Another question about tonights Game. I need about 30 points from welker and moreno ( PPR YEY!! ) think its doable??
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:59 AM)
A lot of questions to the effect of "can I win." I understand the feeling, as a guy who has so many instances of Monday miracles and heartbreaks over the years. The correct answer is: You set your best lineup already on Sunday, and you need stick with it and be confident. The analysis doesn't change today just because of Sunday's returns, not on games that haven't happened yet.
wayne (va bch)
what's your thoughts on Randall Cobb? Too many players for anything consistent, or a matchup that will get more attention in the upcoming weeks? Tks.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:59 AM)
Intriguing name to watch but so many weapons in that offense; I fear that investing in Cobb is speculating upon a lot of return work and not that much more. He's more of a "watch-list" guy.
HELP!!! Need to pick two for TONIGHT...Standard + Return YDs/TDs...Jacoby Ford, Davone Bess, Willis McGahee.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:02 PM)
Ford's a definite for me, and I'd feel more confident in my Bess pick if I knew this was PPR. I do think Bess is the right call, at least until we get a read on how many potential touches McGahee can expect each week in Denver.
John (Tupelo, MS)
It's crunch time for me in my fantasy baseball league. Quick question: has Bobby Parnell lost the closer role? Worth dropping for someone like Betancourt?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:03 PM)
He's a member of a committee; he probably hasn't seen his final save chance of 2011 but he won't see them all either. Parnell simply isn't Betancourt's equal as a pitcher and Betancourt is still "the guy" in Colorado. Not close for me. Go with the Rockie.
Other sites have Grienke starting twice this week. As of this morning ESPN did not. Who do I trust?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:06 PM)
I've read a report -- I'm iffy on the source -- that Shaun Marcum will start the Wednesday game, in which case Chris Narveson is being skipped and yes, Greinke would go twice. Take that for what it's worth; it's possible. As for why the Forecaster doesn't project that, I go with the information I have when I publish and update, and there wasn't any indication yesterday. (I'll try to check now as we proceed with more questions...)
Do you think Greg Olsen can crack the top 10 TE this year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:07 PM)
Absolutely he can. I'm on the bandwagon. I won't say he will yet, but his ceiling is probably the last guy in, say, the top eight in points.
Would you drop Zach Miller for Scott Chandler?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:08 PM)
No, but Chandler definitely bears watching. Don't pounce yet, but he's clearly on the watch list.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:10 PM)
Heads up Rick, regarding the earlier Brewers question: Brewers game notes indeed have Shaun Marcum starting Wednesday (after Zack Greinke), though the rotation is not mapped out beyond that. Since it'd have been Chris Narveson's day, I'd take it as a sign the Brewers will skip him and indeed pitch Greinke twice. There's no guarantee of that -- no rotation mapped out beyond the next few days is commonplace this time of year -- but the chances are better than 50/50.
Can I throw in the towel on Joseph Addai being a viable flex option?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:12 PM)
No. Addai doesn't deserve the blame for yesterday's game; he was doomed right from the start. I cautioned people to avoid Kerry Collins because it was asking him way too much to helm that offense so quickly, and it has to get better from here (primarily because it cannot possibly get much worse). And what if the Colts do sign, say, Garrard? Addai's got better weeks ahead.
Collie? Injuries were already a concern but now with Indy's offense looking so terrible...
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:13 PM)
Austin Collie is one Colts player I am absolutely concerned about. I was big on that bandwagon, say, Aug. 12, and on Sept. 12, I'm pretty much off it.
Whats your take on Hightower, can he keep it up? Will he have the chance?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:14 PM)
Yes on both counts. There's no win-the-championship-himself upside, but borderline No. 2/flex (think: top-20 RB) value, yes, he's got that. The only bothersome long-term factor is that I bet Roy Helu gets an increase in work later in the year, but for now, I say, enjoy this.
Just from a football perspective would Garrad really be better than Collins? He would have to learn the offense too.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:16 PM)
It is a fair point which is why I made the conservative statement previously about "starting by Halloween." That's quite a lot of weeks to get one's feet wet...
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:16 PM)
OK, two more questions...
Doug (Boston, MA)
121 yards and TD was great for Cedric Benson. What can we expect on a week-to-week basis? Was Week 1 just the result of his matchup against the Browns?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:17 PM)
I think Benson is a somewhat underappreciated No. 2 running back, someone with more appeal in standard than PPR, but also one who might have a few more frustrating games because of his team's quarterbacking situation. You're probably going to have him in there every week. Not much changed.
Jacoby Jones worth adding if I lost Amendola? With Walter out, can Jones finally be a factor?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:19 PM)
I like Jacoby Jones, he's got the skills to break off some big plays, and that kind of upside makes him worth having as your last receiver in the lineup. That said, there's some boom-or-bust potential and the return work might mean less snaps in the offense. Just keep your expectations reasonable. Think a possible WR3.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:19 PM)
OK, time to wrap things up for today. Thanks for all your questions, and sorry if I couldn't get to yours. Take care everyone, enjoy the rest of tonight's Week 1 contests, and best of luck to those of you in fantasy baseball championship matchups!