Chat with Tristan Cockcroft
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Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:01 AM)
Good morning everyone! Let's get right to your questions...
Joel (Stanwood, WA)
What are your thoughts of your starting QB going against your starting Defense? Should I start a backup QB or Defense to try to maximize my points?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:04 AM)
It's impossible to give a one-size-fits-all answer to that, but most of the time, I think it's unwise. That's because if you're thinking that strategy, it's because both the quarterback and defense are elite. An example: Aaron Rodgers, Bears defense, Week 3. In that case I'd have used Rodgers (duh), and merely sought a sleeper defense for the week. Ultimately, it's a lot easier to find a plug-in defense than it is a quarterback.
what would you expect in return for CJ2K? I know I won't get anywhere close to what I value him at, but this is almost more of a frustration move than anything.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:07 AM)
Eric Karabell ranked Chris Johnson 22nd among running backs and 47th overall, and I'm in line with that valuation, though if I had ranked I might have had him a couple spots higher. (Possibly.) Let's face it, Johnson is an RB2 at this stage, mostly because that tier isn't rich in reliable options, and I'll throw a couple names out there that I'd deal him straight up for: Ahmad Bradshaw, Beanie Wells, LeGarrette Blount. And if you could deal Johnson for any running back ranked higher than Bradshaw in Eric's rankings, you should accept the deal in an instant and laugh all the way to the bank.
Which of these defenses do you see as the best fill-in this week: KC, OAK, or BUF?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:09 AM)
The case can be made for all three, but I ranked the Bills highest, if only because of their turnover potential. The Jets' offense hardly scares me. I'll take a moment to talk up the Chiefs: They're playing well lately and the Dolphins have an awful quarterback (Matt Moore) and are without their usual starting running back (Daniel Thomas).
is d.thomas going to play this week if so would you start him over maclin or battle
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:10 AM)
Actually, just realized that makes it sound like I'm officially declaring Thomas out for the week and, no, that has not been formally announced. I ranked as if it'll be a muddled backfield, but this is a "check-the-news" situation. Sorry for the lack of clarity; that's unfortunately the correct answer. With good late-week practice reports, Thomas would get my nod over Jackie Battle, but not over Jeremy Maclin.
Was offered Fred Jackson for Wes Welker should I take it and run?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:11 AM)
No objection to either side, but I gravitate towards the running back, being that wide receiver is a position typically easier to fill on a patchwork basis. Team-need decision.
is celek a good play this week against the bears?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:12 AM)
Yes. I know Brent Celek's Week 8 was a product of the matchup, but this one suits him as well, and I'm usually a buyer of target trends (Celek's have trended up). Look at the Bears: 6 TDs allowed to tight ends in their past five games.
What are your thoughts on J. Baldwin ROS after looking good on MNF?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:13 AM)
Interesting prospect, greater value in keeper leagues than yearly, but there could be some matchups appeal. I hesitate to fully invest because he's third to Dwayne Bowe and Steve Breaston and I don't really see either going away. But when the matchup calls -- as it does this week -- he's worth a look.
Vincent Jackson (San Diego)
I noticed you ranked me #2 at WR this week. What are your expectations going forward?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:14 AM)
If there's a player I think could exploit the Chargers' favorable schedule from a passing perspective, it's one Mr. Vincent Jackson. Buy low.
Aaron (boston, ma)
Hey Tristan! out of contention this year, should i trade Gore for AJ Green (would cost $21 as a keeper next year) or for Kenny Britt (would cost $28 next year)? Thanks!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:16 AM)
Without the league specs it's impossible to give you a fair answer. Green is the stronger keeper; besides the lower price he (at least at this stage) lacks the spotty health track record that Kenny Britt has. I'd say $21 sounds a bit high to me based upon my auction-league experience, but it's not as absurdly high as $28 sounds.
Was looking at Micheal Turner's schedule this morning, it is incredibly soft the rest of the way, would Ryan Mathews + Daniel Thomas be too much to give up for him?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:18 AM)
I always fear Turner's workload wearing him down late in the season, but what I'd agree is at the minimum an above-average schedule should at least stabilize his value in the high-RB2 (in other words near-RB1) class, if not assure him top-10 status at year's end. There are more immediate health questions with Mathews and Thomas so I'd consider that, yes. At the same time, I don't want others to get a sense that I'm recommending everyone goes to get Turner. I think he's valued about right currently, neither buy-low nor sell-high.
Is Cruz a slot guy only or do you think he can surpass Manningham on the depth chart?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:19 AM)
Having watched him play I think he's in the right role; he's a slot guy only. Understand that's not a damning analysis, either. Look at my Week 9 ranks, for instance.
Kevin Faulk? Will he continue to see action?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:21 AM)
The Patriots claim he was used so heavily because they were playing from behind, but I look at the returns and can't help but think, "Goodbye, Danny Woodhead, hello Kevin Faulk." Take the same approach to Faulk that you would have Woodhead. Which means, most of the time, PPR flex play.
What am I supposed to do with Felix Jones?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:22 AM)
Grin and bear it? DeMarco Murray has carved out a role for himself even after Jones returns, so your best hope is that Jones puts up a big game some week after he's healthy, allowing you to trade him on a sell-high.
2012 fantasy draft forecast: Where do you project Fred Jackson being taken?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:23 AM)
Eighth overall or so.
Who makes out better in a Greene for Miles trade? I have Miles and I think should also get a mid round pick as well - sound fair?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:26 AM)
Shonn Greene for Miles Austin? I think the team that gets Austin does slightly better, but it's close.Tread carefully with draft-pick demands. I can promise you that, even in a keeper league, I'm not giving up draft picks without some promise of something: Substantial improvement to my current playoff prospects, or something I could actually keep. Picks, in my experience, are much more precious keeper-league commodities in football than baseball.
Matt (Detroit Rock City)
You mentioned trading Johnson straight up for Wells... to clarify, what side of that trade would you prefer to be on!?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:27 AM)
Getting Beanie Wells, as well as the other names I listed.
When will Roy Helu carve out a bigger role in Washington? Torain is awful.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:28 AM)
I don't like changing my mind each week so I remain firm: Helu's time should come in the next few weeks, I like his December prospects and certainly, the waiver claim of a player too hurt to play in Week 9 hardly changes my stance. It might have been a depth move for this week, plain and simple. People are only bothered because it's Mike Shanahan's team.
Andy G (Indiana)
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:30 AM)
I think the Browns will do everything in their power to get Peyton Hillis on the field this week if they can. I admit that I don't know as much about Chris Ogbonnaya as I do your typical NFL backup, due to his being a practice-squad player a few short weeks ago, but my understanding is that he's a fill-in type, not someone to rely on for lengthy stretches of time. Think flex play this week, only if Hillis is scratched.
CJ2K for Matt Ryan? Is he even an upgrade over Fitz at this point?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:31 AM)
Please tell me if Tolbert is going to be healthy enough to take advantage of Matthews' most recent injury. Was hoping to roll him out at RB2 in a PPR
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:31 AM)
Early reports have Mike Tolbert being the likely lead back for the Chargers. Another "check the news" situation, but today that's how I'm planning my rankings, predictions and rosters.
Stan (Walla Walla)
BJGE and Branch too much for Wallace? Both Pats are at most flex options for my current team.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:32 AM)
I don't think it's enough...
You think the Giants have a shot at upsetting the Pats this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:34 AM)
No. Watch them play; they're not clicking enough on offense to outscore the Patriots, and their defense has been too injured and inconsistent to keep the Pats in check. I'm OK with investing heavily in your Elis, Nicks and Cruzs, because this could be an old-style shootout, but I don't see an upset happening, sorry. Certainly not on the road.
is Flacco going to be relevant at all rest of season?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:36 AM)
Hmmm, no. The first thought I had was, "Matchups play?" But mulling that, there's no way I can even give you that kind of analysis. He has feasted upon precisely one soft matchup -- the Rams one -- and in fact his game logs show utter unpredictability. I hate owning players like this; he's a QB2 and one you simply live with if you're in a two-quarterback league even if you don't like it much.
What do you make of deckers performance last week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:42 AM)
I still like what I said on the podcast on Monday: The Broncos are the wide-receiver equivalent of the Redskins' running backs. In other words, maddening unpredictability from week to week, and when I suggest you to take a step back, I can then ask, "Um, does this team really even matter?"I'll call it a plus; but it's a plus from an "I hope it signals Tim Tebow choosing him as his clear No. 1 target" angle, making his upside, currently, WR3.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:42 AM)
Sorry for the delay there, computer issues...
Jackson (Baton Rouge)
After getting his new deal, what kind of value does Ryan Fitzpatrick have in a keeper league?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:44 AM)
I don't think it changes much other than lengthens his leash. He's a higher-end QB2, one I can indeed say has matchups appeal, and what's most bothersome about him is that he plays in Buffalo, so that means nasty weather that caps his fantasy appeal in the most important weeks of our season.
Tebow's last week? or will he produce vs Oakland?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:46 AM)
Seems like thousands of Tim Tebow questions today, just as every week, and I'll handle exactly one in this chat, seeing as I've beaten the topic to death. It's a make-or-break game, and I think he'll be decent enough to earn himself a stay of execution. That inaccurate arm will be his undoing -- probably before year's end -- but to his fantasy owners I'd say enjoy the surprisingly decent stats while you're getting 'em.
Who are your top 5 2nd half sleepers?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:50 AM)
Oooooh, I like that question. Understand that I like to dig deeper with sleepers, guys I think might actually be free agents in some leagues.Andy Dalton: Look at the playoff-weeks schedule, plus, solid effort so far.Roy Helu: Think I've said enough about him already.Bernard Scott: Bengals really should take a longer look at him.Michael Crabtree: He's available in nearly half of ESPN leagues yet he might be one of the 20 best wide receivers from this date forward.Emmanuel Sanders: Another player who deserves a longer look.
How about a Carson Palmer question. Any upside at this point?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:51 AM)
I seriously considered putting him in the sleeper question above. There are a couple favorable matchups there that intrigue me, but I'd like to see a little something before I'd deeply invest.
May as well ask about your 2nd half busts then. Seems only fair.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:56 AM)
OK. I'll preface this by saying that each of these players has value, and it's effectively a "sell-high" list. It doesn't mean run screaming, drop or undersell them.Ahmad Bradshaw: Hate his schedule.BenJarvis Green-Ellis: It's like it's 2008 all over again and the Patriots are Mike Shanahan North.Tony Gonzalez: Falcons wideouts are the more valuable assets, quarterback is struggling and he's an older player, so some wearing down concerns.Larry Fitzgerald: His schedule is tricky and his quarterback mediocre, and opponents are keying on him.Tony Romo: I'm sorry, I just don't trust him. Several years' returns back me up.
looking forward a few weeks do you think S Rice has some nice games vs StL in weeks 11 14?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:58 AM)
I'm usually not a believer in the Seahawks, but the Tarvaris Jackson-to-Sidney Rice connection is a solid one, at least as it pertains to Rice's statistical output, so yes, I could see good games coming against that defense. Let's say his upside is a WR2, he's a WR3 most weeks, could be avoided in the tough matchups.
Roddy White (Atlanta)
Do you think I have a HUGE 2nd half?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:59 AM)
Hmmmmmmyes. (My infamous "hesitant yes.") I'm a White buyer, as Julio Jones' healthy return can only help, but huge is a generous label in my opinion. Jones' presence cuts into White's targets -- remember they were absurd in 2010 -- and his quarterback is truly in a funk. I'll say White challenges for top-five at his position from today forward. Won't say No. 1 overall, sorry.
What are ur thoughts of changing the league schedule half way through the season so u play everyone once instead of 6 or 7 people twice?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:01 PM)
I am vehemently against any major in-season league rule change, especially those related to schedule, playoff spots, playoff structure or roster structure. In fact, I quit a league last season simply because the commissioner arbitrarily decided about halfway through the season to change the number of teams that make the playoffs. Absolutely unacceptable.
Daniel Thomas (Miami)
Am I a #2 RB going forward?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:02 PM)
Per-game/health issue. On skills, Daniel Thomas is an RB2 for me. The health question probably drops him to RB3. If I'm ranking running backs I'd throw out "20th" and try to push him down a couple spots, but if you can deal with the weekly injury-report headache, that's cool.
Eric (Warwick, RI)
What is your opinion on CJ2K as a keeper? Will he bounce back next year? Have an opportunity to acquire him at a reasonable / low price.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:04 PM)
I'm actually significantly fonder of Chris Johnson in keeper than redraft leagues, because I think the lost time (holdout) has a lot to do with his issues. He'll have a full offseason entering 2012, the contract and the fact that there aren't any great alternatives in that backfield makes it likely he'll be a 250-carry back again. I can make the case he's a top-10 back for 2012.
You are low on Romo and hesitantly high on Roddy. would you rather have Brady and a waiver player or Romo and Roddy?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:06 PM)
"Waiver players," to me, are guys like Andre Roberts and Brian Hartline. So I'd rather have the two known quantities.
Marc (Malden, MA)
Would you decline trading for Mathews because of his health? Even if the trade is really good (with a healthy Mathews)?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:07 PM)
My take on Ryan Mathews: Health really bothers me (and always has). But on skills, assuming full health, he's an RB1 by my standards. So if he's a clear top-10 when healthy but it's an injury headache -- relevant because of his being a west-coast back and therefore later game start times -- then he's gotta be around 12th at his position accounting for risk.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:08 PM)
Actually, here's a value comparison: I'll take Ryan Mathews over Ahmad Bradshaw from today forward. Hope that helps!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:08 PM)
OK, time to wrap things up for the day. Thanks for all your questions, and sorry if I couldn't get to yours. Best of luck to you in your Week 9 matchups, take care!