Chat with Tristan Cockcroft
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Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:03 AM)
Good morning everyone! It's rankings day, so before we begin, let me stress that, as always, I'll be shying from the traditional "Do I start RB A or RB B" questions, being that those will be answered with my rankings very shortly.A creative format question regarding your lineup? Always fair game. General topics? Trades? Sure thing. Heck, I might even sprinkle in a baseball question, being that there are championships on the line.Let's get started!
Can we expect 3 points a week out of DeAngelo going forward?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:04 AM)
Three? No, probably not, but if I told you that eight might be about his norm, would you be impressed? I wouldn't. Frankly, considering how well Jonathan Stewart fared in the passing game in Week 2, I think he might soon grab the "starting" job. The Panthers are so much more of a passing team than anyone thought.
too many saints (far too many)
i know sell high on devery henderson, but trade him and pierre thomas for santana moss? non-ppr.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:05 AM)
Yes. But I'm noted for being anti-Henderson, because he's a home run hitter who whiffs a lot. (Think, one big play, a ton of invisibility, if you want the specifics.)
Colin (Fort Collins, CO)
Does it make sense to drop Ryan Grant for Daniel Thomas?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:06 AM)
Yeah, it kinda does now. Reggie Bush isn't a starting NFL running back and the Dolphins just made it clear they want Thomas to get a crack at the gig. In Green Bay, it's going to be, at best, a rotation. (At least as it pertains to Grant's role.)
Rob (Bean Town)
Whats the story with B. Pettigrew. Is he worth keeping?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:07 AM)
A Matthew Stafford team aims deep, throws 35-40 times a game (sometimes more) and doesn't have a lot of need for tight ends except in red-zone situations when the matchups need be exploited. And so far, Tony Scheffler looks like at least as involved (and I'd argue more). I remain as anti-Pettigrew as I was in the preseason. He's all right as a No. 2 tight end, but there was too much draft-day hype.
Thoughts on McCluster's value going forward in leagues where he's eligible at WR?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:08 AM)
The furthest I will go is flex play, and I'm not quite there yet. I shy from the "new toy" kinds of players -- what I like to call the Josh Cribbs types, return men whose roles on offense aren't initially clear -- until I get some evidence of how many offensive touches we can expect. Certainly McCluster warrants a pickup, and ahead of Thomas Jones, I'd say, but that's a miserable offense and I'm not so sure either back is going to ultimately matter.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
So you're doing your end-of -season ranks? Those rule!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:10 AM)
Eric Karabell is now handling those, and I highly recommend you check them out each week. (I sure do.) This season I'm handling our new Consistency Ratings, each Tuesday.
Is Schaub/Tate too much to give up for Brees? I am stacked at RB
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:10 AM)
If you've got the depth, go for it. That's still Arian Foster's backfield when he's healthy, so Tate's value needs be approached on a week-to-week basis.
Looking for next weeks hot waiver wire pickup...Do you like either Greg Little or Jerome Simpson to top waiver list?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:12 AM)
Both bear watching but I'm more fond of Little, who really deserves an extended look in that offense. Frankly, I'd have had him starting from Week 1, and the matchup does lean in his favor. Track closely.
Fernando (Sports Law Class)
Your thoughts on Blount's carries going against Atlanta this week
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:15 AM)
I think he's in line for a season high, though I'll stress that even 14 represents a season high. Think in that 13-15 carry range, as the Falcons haven't excelled against the run so far.
So, staying with Tampa, is Beanie safer than Blount this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:17 AM)
Yes. You will discover shortly that I'm the highest ranker of the group on Beanie Wells this week, and it's that I'm impressed by what I've seen so far and regard that Seahawks game as one in which the Cardinals can take command early and give him a full slate of carries.
Thoughts on Stafford
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:18 AM)
Enjoy it. He's a top-five potential quarterback for as long as he stays on the field. But two weeks do not change the fact that he is at least as much of an injury risk as any quarterback in the NFL. It is foolish to assume 16 games; secure yourself a backup as an insurance policy and you'll be OK.
Is there any reason to start McFadden over Chris Johnson this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:20 AM)
I wonder a little about the Javon Ringer factor -- odd usage by the Titans late in the game -- but Darren McFadden gets the Jets, and he has Michael Bush competing for work behind him as well. I've still got Johnson higher.
Shootout in Buffalo Sunday? Passing points abound?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:21 AM)
I'm OK with the idea that Ryan Fitzpatrick can hang in there and exploit the Patriots pass D, at least keeping his team in the game, but I've got a great amount of fear as well that the Patriots will roll into Buffalo and crush their division rivals. Primarily because that's what they almost always do. Buy Fitzpatrick, but don't overrate.
helu becomes the break out player of 2011?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:23 AM)
Nope, won't go that far, but I had good things to say about Roy Helu in the preseason and remain firm that he might be a weekly flex by Thanksgiving. He bears watching, but no start-him action yet.
How long do I wait for Ochocinco to figure it out?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:24 AM)
The only reason anyone is waiting on Chad Ochocinco is that it's the Patriots, who can make a star out of most anyone at a moment's notice. I accept and understand that line of reasoning, but let's just say he's a small step away from cutsville in my book.
HELU YEA! Anyways, a Blount for Bowe trade good? Just not sure if Bowe will every be able to get to where he was last year. Thoughts?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:25 AM)
No. But I'm historically anti-Dwayne Bowe. I applaud any of you who exploited the 6-8 outrageously soft matchups he had in 2010 and reaped the rewards of his highest-probability outcomes, but let's face and stress it again, those were good matchups, there are fewer of them on his 2011 schedule and those were highest-probability outcomes.
What are your thoughts on keeping Peyton on your roster? Even his dad said that he didn't think he would play this year.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:26 AM)
Feel free to cut in redraft. Roster spots are precious in all but the deepest of leagues.
Fernando (Charleston, SC)
Will Ben Tate get forgotten in the innevitible shootout against NO this weekend?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:27 AM)
No. The Texans, whether it's a shoot-out or not, will ease some of the burden on him, and a 100-yard game might not be in the cards, but so long as Arian Foster sits there's enough there that he should be fine as your No. 2 back.
Since you don't want to do lineup Qs today, how about telling us if you feel it is okay to bench top draft picks this early? Hicks and Bowe both look like miserable plays this week.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:30 AM)
That's not at all what I said. What I said was that if you want to know whether I'd start, say, Drew Brees or Matthew Stafford this week, I'm (probably) not going to answer it, because the answer will come in firm black-and-white in our rankings shortly. Player A vs. Player B at the same position in a standard ESPN game is a question answered as easily as a click; I am not the only one who will remind you of that. The goal here is to tackle questions with a broader range of advice -- philosophy, trades, reactions to news, etc.And yours is a good one. My take has always been that every single player on my entire team is subject to a benching, if I have a compelling enough reason to do so. The Dwayne Bowe matchup indeed states your case. I hate it too, and ranked him accordingly. But in Hakeem Nicks' case, let's not forget that he might be about the only weapon Eli Manning has this week, and the Eagles haven't exactly lit it up on defense so far. I still say Nicks should play in most circumstances.
What are your thoughts on crabtree, I grabbed him as a trade throw in, if his foot gets healthy will he be a bye week starter by week 7?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:31 AM)
Anti-Michael Crabtree, though part of it is a dislike of his quarterback and his offense. I feel like if he's not back on the field this week, then you're just wasting roster spots as we head into the byes, and I do not waste roster spots.
Redskins Fan (Cowboys on Fantasy Team)
How concerned are you about Romo's production in reference to the mounting injuries of the team's skill positions?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:32 AM)
I'm more concerned about Tony Romo's own injuries. The guy has an injury history, I will remind you of that often. That said, still a good enough matchup that if he's cleared to play, he'll play for me.
Selling high on Hightower?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:32 AM)
Doubt you can. Too much buzz surrounding Roy Helu. Hey, if you can, kudos, but I think you might have to wait out his next big day.
ESPN's nifty Points Against tool shows the Titans let up the fewest points to WRs.... Small sample size or legit defense? Sit Decker/Lloyd this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:36 AM)
I'm a big fan of that tool, make sure to check it out. That said, I will caution that it's more useful the deeper we get into the season, being that you have to put the numbers into context after only two weeks. For example, a team might be the best against the tight end only because it faced two teams who don't even have a tight end as a significant cog in their offense. Check out the Titans' opponents: Jaguars, whose passing game stinks, and Ravens, who, OK, they're better, so that gets a check in my book. The Titans are off to a hot start; they are a streaky defense and from that angle I think it's fair to shy from the Broncos wideouts. Another reason: It's a John Fox offense. They run a lot.
Just because Brees may be ranked higher than Stafford...does it really make a difference which one starts on your team?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:39 AM)
Absolutely it matters. Two things about a team with these two quarterbacks -- and I can completely see how someone might have ended up with this duo -- one, I always suggest this owner should trade one player, don't waste resources; and two, players like this are typically going to be generously ranked by me each week, and awfully close. You may quibble with my ranks, as people often do with 1-2 spots' difference, but to me that's not a big deal, a marginal difference in value. I've always said that if you have a strong gut instinct, by all means go with it. It's your team, after all. My job is to give you the greatest probability of victory that I possibly can.
Any news on whether Hughes is gonna make his start today? If not I wanna grab a pitcher who can squeeze in 2 starts the rest of the way.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:40 AM)
The YES Network -- Yankees' TV network for those unfamiliar -- tweeted about half an hour ago that Phil Hughes (back spasms) won't start today. He's a scratch. Hector Noesi will go in Game 1, and CC Sabathia in Game 2. As a Noesi owner in an uber-deep sim league, I'm excited to see what he can do.
Ok no start questions. But is cam Newton a fluke right now in your eyes?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:42 AM)
Again, I never said I refuse to take start questions, I will simply not take easily answered start questions related to my rankings."Fluke," yes, if what you're comparing him to is the 50-plus fantasy points he has accrued through two weeks, which makes him the greatest fantasy quarterback since 1950, at least through two games of a career. As a viable NFL starter? Sure! I've said I think he's got the arm to hang in here, even if the mistakes will come, and I'll pick from the matchups at this stage. This week: Jaguars. Yes, he gets my endorsement.
Will (Baltimore MD)
The Jamaal Charles injury and trades: is it within the rules to accept a trade for a player after he's been injured? Somebody in one of my keeper leagues proposed a trade to acquire J. Charles and the trade was accepted right after he was injured. Unethical, sure, but doesn't that underscore the need to cancel trades during games and re-submit during the week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:45 AM)
Well, it's a keeper league, so it's a different story. But I won't use a trade-proposal system that doesn't have a clock on the offer; it's why I like our game because you can choose the amount of time the trade will remain on the table. Otherwise, I refuse to even negotiate a trade in any other format but e-mail, where I have control over the period of time it's on the table.That said, it's inappropriate for a team to accept a deal after a season-ending injury if there's the knowledge that the player is injured. You're going to suffer the consequences, not necessarily a vetoed deal, but by rubbing your counterparts the wrong way and making it tougher to make future deals. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, I'm just saying it shouldn't.
On the pod, Nate and Matthew mentioned a strategy shift that I never considered before... with so many committee backfields, we should strive to flex WRs instead of RBs because they get more yards per touch and RBs don't get significantly more touches anymore.... Do yo agree with this idea?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:48 AM)
"All else equal, take the running back." It's a piece of flex-play advice I've doled out for years, except that "all else equal" is what has changed. I agree with Nate and Matthew that the tide has turned, and in fact, in a PPR league I would be giving serious consideration to a tight end in the flex spot.
Swegs (Cut City)
Burleson on my wire, would you drop Reggie Bush, Michael Bush, or Ronnie Brown? Thanks!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:49 AM)
I'd let Brown go first. Kind of surprised Nate Burleson is available. He's inevitably linked to Matthew Stafford, but right now, that's a huge, huge plus as a description.
just saw the rankings. non of you guys like daniel thomas very much...
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:50 AM)
No. 28 for me means he's in the flex-play discussion. Seems about right for a guy who had a terrible preseason and missed Week 1. I'm understandably cautious and regard him more of a "track him" Week 3 guy than a definite start.
Kenny Britt!! can he keep this up or should I trade High now?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:52 AM)
I get the impression, reading a lot of what is written about Britt in the industry, that the prevailing opinion hasn't reached the point where he's a brilliant sell-high. He's an injury risk through and through, and I've been as hesitant to trust him as anyone, but what I've seen the past two weeks has me saying "top-10 value, or else no deal." Either sell high, or do not sell.
K Wait a minute. "All Things Being Equal" you want a RB still for flex. It is a function of do you want to maximize the ceiling (WRs have more opp now on upside) or the floor (RBs will still GET touches. The WR may get few passes). With flex, do you focus on upside or minimizing downside Tristan?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:56 AM)
Impossible to answer that in definitive terms. It depends upon the construction of my roster. I am a noted upside chaser, but if I've got a team full of boom-bust players, I'm going to want to minimize the downside somewhere. My point about the flex spot is that if the running back is a solid player and a starter and the wideout is a solid player and a starter, I'm taking the running back. He's going to touch the football more. But if we're talking about, say, Brandon Jacobs, who is not a starter, and, say, Nate Burleson, who is, I'm going to take the wide receiver. I'll take the 3-5 potential, good catches, over the 6-8 carries.
Will Detroit's stout defense put 8 in the box this week? Good week to start them?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:57 AM)
Thumbs up to the Lions' defense this week. Adrian Peterson is the only part of the Vikings offense that scares me, and he has a mediocre O-line in front of him. Good matchup.
I'm a little confused Tristan: Lance Moore is ranked behind Devery Henderson in your rankings, yet Moore was the Saints most productive receiver, especially in the redzone in 2010. Are you ranking him behing Henderson just because he's coming off injury?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:58 AM)
Yes, not to mention the emergence of Darren Sproles, who cuts into the targets he once received in 2010.
What does Roscoe Parrish's injury news do for David Nelson's value? Is he a WR3 this week in a PPR?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:58 AM)
I could make the case. Nelson is a worthy pickup and, as I said, there's shoot-out potential in that game.
FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYOFFS (HERE)
JJ ot Gregg to get saves for the ROS?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:00 PM)
Jim Johnson sure looks good now, doesn't he? By the way, the Orioles are playing with a lot of pride -- no surprise from a Buck Showalter team -- and they face a lot of the ice-cold Red Sox. Buy this.
Should I still be holding out hope that Randy Moss is going to play and be good this year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:00 PM)
Play, unlikely. Be good, less likely.
This isn't a start/sit question - what is Mike Thomas' value now that Del Rio has made the switch at quarterback. I might be forced to start Mr. Thomas this week.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:02 PM)
It really can't get any worse, can it? I'm completely aboard the "Maurice Jones-Drew is a beast facing this matchup" bandwagon, but I think Thomas will remain firmly involved. He'd get my OK.
Drop Ryan Grant for Isaac Redman? I'm also an upside chaser...
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:03 PM)
Nope. I just don't see the upside. Rashard Mendenhall has that gig and Redman is a mere change-of-pace back who had the one big play in Week 2. He might get 2-3 more of those the entire season.
Chris Johnson starting to scare me, doesn't look the same. Time to panic?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:04 PM)
Chris Johnson's owners were required to be patient because the missed preseason time was bound to have an adverse impact upon his September. I can just see in Week 8, everyone's firmly back on his bandwagon. Not much you can do but wait, and wait patiently, because I would not sell him for less than top-10 RB value.
Back to the RB/WR Flex issue.... your example is too easy... what about RB "Starters" who are really in time shares: DeAngelo, Reggie Bush, Hightower, Addai, Thomas Jones, Ingram, etc etc etc vs solid Starting WRs...
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:06 PM)
You have to give me a specific example for me to evaluate it. One thing I'll point out: How many teams have such outrageous depth at wide receiver that they have a better No. 3 or 4 option than, say, Tim Hightower? I'm not going to play my No. 40 wide receiver over Tim Hightower.By the way, make sure you check out Eric Karabell's weekly flex rankings. If you're looking for a good way to deal with the position differential, that's an excellent place to start.
Which available handcuff do you see having the most impact this year (yes, I'm asking you to take out the crystal ball and sorta forecast injuries): Snelling or Ringer?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:07 PM)
That's a complete guess. I'll take Jason Snelling; Michael Turner is the older back with more tread on his tires.
Where do you rank Kenny Britt among receivers overall?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:07 PM)
How about 12th? Ballparking it. Maybe 10th, maybe 15th.
I'm beginning to regret drafting Felix Jones. I am worried that even when he is cleared to play he is still going to be in a potential time-share.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:09 PM)
I could completely see that, and I'm about as anti-Jones as they come. I do think you might still have a shot at pawning him off at No. 2 running back value, and if you can, by all means do it. He's hit-or-miss, stress "miss," and he's not the healthiest fella. So many risks there.
Josh (Los Angeles)
A specific question regarding the RB/WR flex position: do I start Brandon Marshall or Thomas Jones?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:10 PM)
Have you seem my spray chart for HR's? It's amazingly awesome to all fields. Where do you put me in dynasty 1B?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:10 PM)
Check out the most recent "Hit Parade." You were generously ranked.Heads up, baseball owners, "60 Feet 6 Inches" comes out tomorrow, taking an early look at 2011 rankings.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:12 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, and best of luck to you in your Week 3 matchups!