Chat with Tristan Cockcroft
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Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:06 AM)
Good morning everyone! Let's get right to your questions...
Hi,Do you think Fred Jax and A.J. Green play this week? Please say yes or I will overdose on turkey!!!!!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:08 AM)
Difficult to say today, but I did rank them both, and I typically don't rank a player if I have serious doubts they'll play at all. That said, I'm not about to bet my Thanksgiving dinner on their suiting up. I ranked both of them below where I would have because I've got concerns they'll be limited even if they give it a go.
Randy (Tha Dimas)
Whats more likely from Kevin Smith, 40 yards rushing, 14 yards rec. and No TD or 89 yards Rushing, 42 yards rec. and a TD?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:10 AM)
Being perfectly honest, they're probably equally likely, though personally I lean slightly towards the more conservative of those projections. But I'm hesitant to trust a running back in a game that has all the makings of a shootout, whether he catches passes or not; it's more "bankable" stats when you know rushing attempts, not catches, are coming. You'll see by my ranking shortly.
Jahvid Best (Detroit)
Would you drop me?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:11 AM)
Yeah, I'd seriously consider it if you need the roster spot and see a valuable piece on the waiver wire. At this stage I can't see the Lions being anything but as patient as they can with him.
THC: How much does the Cutler injury hurt Earl Bennett's value?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:12 AM)
A noticeable amount, considering Bennett's recent surge in value was predicated upon is having chemistry with Jay Cutler, and now Cutler's on the sidelines for an extended period. I wouldn't have called Bennett more than a WR3 in any given week with Cutler; without him he has to prove his worth to me before I'd ever call him more than a WR4/5.
Is Percy Harvin the main beneficiary of AP sitting?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:14 AM)
Debatable but that speaks volumes about Harvin: Your initial assumption should be that it's Toby Gerhart, not Harvin. But I think the Vikings are going to ramp Harvin's touches up at nearly the same rate as Gerhart, and that we know what he can do speaks volumes to me. Harvin is a guy I feel I ranked pretty highly this week, because I could completely see 8-10 carries, 4-5 catches.
Over/Under Fantasy Point prediction for Andre Johnson: 10
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:15 AM)
I really wanted to lower him in the rankings, but I just couldn't do it. So I'm saying "over," though he's as high-risk as anyone you'd project in the double digits this week. Ignore the matchup, because Andre Johnson is a special talent who rises above them.
If both start whos more likely to have a more productive outing Toby Gerhart or CJ Spiller?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:16 AM)
Gerhart, if only because the Bills' offense, in its current state, petrifies me this week.
If i play am i a better start than DeAngelo this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:16 AM)
Tell people that they shouldn't bench me over the likes of kevin smith this week
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:18 AM)
I can't stand Chris Johnson this season; I'm off that bandwagon and don't care how much you want to sing me the praises of his remaining schedule. Yeah, it's great. But, yeah, he stinks, comparative to expectations at least. You won't have me calling him more than a RB2 in the good weeks, and in the bad ones, yeesh. But this week he's got one of the good ones, and if I just outlined my doubts about Kevin Smith, this one isn't close. It's a time Chris Johnson is the clear call ... albeit, as I said, as an RB2.
Thought on Leinart? Would he be a smart pickup?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:19 AM)
Some of the things said about Matt Leinart by the Houston papers (and the team) have me intrigued to see what he can do, but all those starts he made in Arizona showed me enough to have serious doubts about him until he proves otherwise. He's a "stash-and-evaluate," and nothing more. But that's a lot more than I would've been willing to grant him, say, one year ago today.
Would you add VY if you were a Vick owner? Any concerns come fantasy playoff time for Vick?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:20 AM)
Yes I would, and yes there are. This is a great matchup -- Patriots! -- so it's a fine quarterback combination to handcuff. And it'll be something you're going to have to review every single remaining week this season.
Hey Tristan! I don't know if you remeber me from last week but you answered my question about starting McKnight in a PPR and Return Yardage League. You helped me decide to start him and he got me 18 points!! Can you help me again? Start K Smith, F Jackson, or M Bush this week? Risking losing a starter if I wait for F Jax and wait to see if McFadden comes back. What to do??
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:22 AM)
I do. To be fair, that was a lucky call on both our parts, because Shonn Greene got hurt. But I'm glad it worked out; for other readers, the pick was predicated upon it being a return-yards league, so it made a lot of sense.For this week, it's Michael Bush, even if Fred Jackson suits up. I don't see how Darren McFadden could return in time to start this week, so that's not an injury situation to sweat.
Would I be crazy to think about trading Rodgers and Sproles for Newton and Foster if I have already locked up my first week bye? Fosters 15+16 matchups are just sooo good.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:24 AM)
That's one instance where I'd actually consider trading Aaron Rodgers. Arian Foster is one of the very few players for whom you'd get me listening. Seems like a good deal.
Tristan, I don't know if you remember me, but you've never answered my question. hahaha What can of RB can I get for VJax? I can no longer take the roller coaster and have R White and Dez in front of him. At RB, Rice, Murray and McGahee
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:26 AM)
Ah, yes, now I remember you!I'd suggest checking out my trade analysis column from Tuesday -- though do it quickly because the deadline arrives at the top of the hour -- but that'll give you a sense of what an "RB1" or "WR2" is worth. To sum it up, Vincent Jackson is what I'd call in that low-end WR1/high-end WR2 class, near 10th overall, and that has usually fetched a mid-range RB2, someone, say, 13th or so at the position, maybe down to 15th. So we're talking about guys like, hmmm, Rashard Mendenhall, or something slightly beneath that. (I'm throwing darts, might have aimed too high for all I know.)
in a MUST WIN game do i start andre johnson or brandon lloyd?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:28 AM)
They're all must-win. That's a fact.Inactives list is going to decide that. I have Andre Johnson ranked higher. If he's a go, it's him, if not, it's Lloyd. Simple as that.
Bryce (Bryce Baby)
Tristan, do you remember me? We once passed each other on a moving sidewalk at the airport and I didn't say anything to you. CJ2TD, Mathews, DeMarco? Pick two.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:29 AM)
I understand. I do walk pretty fast on those things, they're too slow for my tastes, I might not have heard you if you had.I'd leave out Ryan Mathews. Not the healthiest fella, has Mike Tolbert thieving his short-yardage work, so the downside is greater.
You got Gore and CJ0K neck and neck in your rankings? Why CJ over Gore?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:29 AM)
The health risk and nothing more. I might adjust on Friday. We'll see. You certainly have to take it into account today.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:31 AM)
Some questions about my being "off the Chris Johnson bandwagon," yet my rankings hint otherwise. Outlining what this means: The dude was the No. 2 pick overall in the preseason, a clear must-start every week. There's no way I'm going back to that opinion now. Ain't happening. To say he's a clear RB2 today is a significant drop in opinion.
They aren't all must wins.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:32 AM)
Sorry, you're just wrong. I must win every game I play, that's the way I approach it. And I am disappointed by every single one that I do not equally. "Must-win" is an entirely overused term.
Hey Tristan no offense but Ron in Ohio can't start Gore on Friday. He needed an explanation today. Just saying.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:33 AM)
Yes, yes, of course. (D'oh.) Keep forgetting that's the Thursday night game, not Sunday. Check those inactives; if Gore's a go, I can't really dispute it, but I stand by the way I ranked them. It's tough because I rank right now, and the game is 32 hours from now, and, simply put, news can change things in less time than that.
Mark (New York)
Im tempted to play Cincys defense over the Jets but your rankings say otherwise. Why wouldnt I want a strong defense playing the lowly Browns?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:34 AM)
I merely wonder about that defense post-Leon Hall injury. Jets facing the reeling Bills with the possibility Fred Jackson might not play; that's a "go" for me.
Evan Royster (WSH)
Looks like I might be Shanny's flavor of the week! You adding me to your roster?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:36 AM)
So was Tashard Choice three weeks ago. How did that one work out? I'm not going to completely dismiss Royster, but I'm not burning a bench spot on him (yet) and I play in a lot of 12-team leagues. Track, don't act.
"Must-win" IS an entirely overused term; it should be used only to refer to games that one actually needs to win, where the absence of the win would eliminate the team from playoff contention. So, they're not all must win, though you may approach it is as such.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:36 AM)
Bingo, but people no longer use it simply like that. That's all I'm saying.
Not to beat a dead horse.. but is there any history to indicate who Leinart likes to throw to? I'm thinking O. Daniels might be a good buy low if Leinart focuses more on the TE..
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:39 AM)
Several people asking about Matt Leinart's impact upon the tight end, and it's a fair point to discuss. Christopher Harris wrote an excellent column about "crutch arguments" in fantasy football, and I do recall that being a prime one; you cannot simply assume that a new quarterback, one whose skills you doubt, is going to lean entirely on his tight end. Heck, if I wanted to criticize skill set and suggest the tight end was going to break out, then by that argument Colt McCoy would've made Benjamin Watson and/or Evan Moore stars in our game. (Neither is close.)I'd say Owen Daniels' value actually remains about the same, though considering the matchup this week, against a Jaguars defense bad defending the position, he's a clear start for me.
The Chief (Reston, VA)
Happy Thanksgiving Tristan, turkey salad or turkey leftover on Thursday. Why do you have Big Ben (thumb) higher than Rivers this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:42 AM)
"Turkey salad" -- have to say I have never had that. Though, if it's what I assume, I don't like mayonnaise-based salads (pasta salad, etc.). Turkey leftovers all the way. Great food: Turkey sandwich with stuffing and gravy. Can even add some cranberry sauce in place of the gravy if you prefer.That's a one-spot differential and it's entirely matchups-based. Chiefs matchup more favorable for Ben Roethlisberger, while the Broncos' defense has actually performed better of late, especially against the pass.
Greg (North Carolina)
I know nobody ever likes to talk Kickers, but why'd you rank Akers and Bailey above Kasay in the Dome?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:44 AM)
You're right, I don't like to talk about kickers, nor do I like them included in our game.But ranking philosophy at kicker is a good question, because we (and I) do rank them for you. And the way I do mine is that I run my own personal projection formula, based entirely upon season performance coupled with matchup (opponent's points allowed). The numbers did that, and they don't always say "load up on dome kickers." I think that strategy is often overrated. It's a help, but it shouldn't drive your decision-making.
Any chance Matt Moore throws 3 touchdowns again?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:45 AM)
This week? Nope. Much tougher matchup.
Mom (The kitchen)
I need to start preparing for the feast tomorrow so I'm just going to leave this question and hope it gets answered. Will Hillis play anymore this season?! I can't keep him on my bench much longer especially when someone just dropped Javon Ringer. HELP!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:46 AM)
Let's just say that I have serious doubts. I know this feels like a crazy swap, but I'd consider it. I won't be in the slightest bit surprised if Hillis doesn't get another start for the Browns.
How much do you think Stafford's injury will hamper him against a porous Packer backfield? They also lead the league in INTs I believe.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:49 AM)
Three hundred passing yards, 3 TDs and 3 INTs equals 18 ESPN standard fantasy points. And yeah, I could completely see that happening. Might be the most obvious shootout of any game all season.
You are too into the Tebow hype Tristan. Vince Young is a better play than Tebow vs the worst secondary in Football. How could you not think that!!!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:50 AM)
No, actually I'm not. I'm more in the "anti-Tebow" camp, but statistics are statistics. And if you've been examining them, you know why Tebow is ranked where he is by me each week. Heck, I've probably been 3-4 spots too low on him in my rankings each week.
Justin C (Toronto)
Clerks vs Daily Show? Start Kevin Smith or J. Stewart in PPR?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:51 AM)
Daily Show. What a matchup. I'd be awfully surprised if Jonathan Stewart didn't score a touchdown this week, and that makes all the difference.
Chicken parm for lunch? Sounds like a nice precursor to turkey...Would you trade Jennings for Boldin, Colston or AJ?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:52 AM)
Actually leftover pizza today. But I like your thinking! With those trades, I go no, no, and hmmm ... yeah. (So long as I can stomach the risk.) One thing to remember: Packers might ease off the gas pedal once they get their playoff spot/seeding wrapped up.
Ben Tate (No respectville)
Doesn't Tate's production warrant higher weekly rankings? I know he's *just* a backup on his own team, but he's delivering RB2/3 stats pretty consistently
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:54 AM)
The conservative rankings have to do with the nature of the backup role when all 32 NFL teams are playing; the downside -- a 2-3 carry game -- is significantly higher than that of a starter. If you've followed my rankings you know I pick my spots with Tate, if the matchup affords it. And this week's is not, because the Texans aren't assured of dominating and therefore running out the clock, not with a quarterback change to deal with. Plus, this isn't quite as dominating a matchup as some past ones (Bucs!) were.
Before getting hurt, Jacoby Ford looked like he could be "The Guy" in a suddenly respectably Oakland passing attack. Does he have a chance to be an impact player when he comes back?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:55 AM)
Absolutely. I think he's got WR3 upside once he returns. He's very much a home-run threat on the lower tiers.
Ryan (Madison, WI)
Orton worth a pick up if you need help at QB? Say, if you had Tebow.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:57 AM)
In the kind of leagues in which I play -- 12 teams with eight bench spots -- sure, I could make the case, but there is absolutely zero chance I'd start him in any league this week (don't care how deep, not happening), and I think any pickup is a speculative add, not one where you're maximizing your team's matchup potential. Heck, if he lands in Chicago -- and their waiver position is awful -- he'll probably slide in as the backup. He'll have to learn his new offense, overtake the starter and then prove with a game's action that he's still got it. Remember his December 2010? Let that temper your expectations.
Thoughts on Santana Moss ROS?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:58 AM)
Thinking an WR3 once he's healthy. A guy who belongs on fantasy rosters but for whom you'll have to pick and choose the matchups each and every week.
Real cranberries or the canned gelatinous goo? Fair value to offer Bowe for Newton or Rivers?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:00 PM)
Real cranberries, I won't touch the goo. Bleagh.Dwayne Bowe for Philip Rivers isn't an insulting offer, but if I were Rivers' owner I would decline it. Cam Newton is asking too much.
If you own Forte, is Barber a must-own handcuff?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:01 PM)
Any reasonably involved backup makes a case for handcuffing depending upon how deep the league and how deep your running back corps, but "in a vacuum," I don't really regard Marion Barber so much as a natural handcuff as I do a touchdown vulture. Sure, he'd start if Matt Forte suffered catastrophic injury, but Barber wouldn't rank one of my top handcuffs. He's pure touchdown speculation.
Who is McCoy's handcuff...I can't figure out who to pick up of anyone. I'm leaning towards Lewis.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:02 PM)
Not everyone has to be handcuffed...
What game tomorrow is at the top of your list?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:03 PM)
I've been waiting for Packers-Lions since September.
Karl Welzein (Grand Blanc, MI)
I prefer "Silent Bob" as a nickname for Kevin Smith
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:03 PM)
So do I, but I admire the creativity. Also, it's no longer appropriate because he wasn't so "silent" last week.
Lost AP and Best, so really scraping the bottom of the rb barrel at this point. Did you rank Donald Brown with the assumption that Addai does not play?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:04 PM)
It's the assumption that the Colts, with their Addai usage before the bye, regard Brown as their clear starter. I see Addai being relegated to backup duty if he gets the OK this week at all.
Ravens or 49ers defense. I'm torn as a 49er fan but it's in Baltimore and short week for both teams.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:05 PM)
I actually convinced myself to lower the 49ers a couple spots because of the cross-country trip and the short week. Otherwise, I like that matchup. I did, incidentally, rank them one spot higher!
Jason (St. Louis)
Report just came out: Fred Jackson out for week 12 and maybe more.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:07 PM)
I have only heard -- via Bills' Twitter feed -- that it's Week 12. C.J. Spiller's value gets a bump; I would put him right behind the aforementioned "Silent Bob," at 25th.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:08 PM)
OK, time to wrap things up for today. Thanks for all your questions, and sorry if I couldn't get to yours. Have a happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving!