Chat with Tristan Cockcroft
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Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:00 AM)
Good morning everyone! Let's get right to your questions...
Ballard, Gresham or F. Davis going forward? Clinched a bye so basically weeks 15/16
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:02 AM)
You're in a situation where you can (and should) pick and choose the matchups, but from a rest-of-season perspective I'd flip that order and go Fred Davis, Jermaine Gresham, Jake Ballard. Davis is the safest in terms of targets/catches, Gresham probably has a slight edge in terms of touchdowns (remember we might be talking only 2-3 per player).
Do you think Shane Vereen being a flex play this week? I see the patriots getting out to a big lead and the pats giving Vereen and Ridley a lot of work
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:04 AM)
That's one of the few matchups where garbage-time stats should come into play -- and that's all season, not just Week 13 -- but I never advise you invest much in such things. Garbage time is rarer than you think and far more difficult to predict than you think. And I think it's Vereen who gets it, if it comes at all. Considering that could mean something like a 6-40-0 stat line, I'm not sure you're going to be happy enough with him.
With Austin coming back, is Laurent Robinson still startable in a farily deep 12 team league?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:04 AM)
I think so and ranked him accordingly. Austin's return is a negative for Robinson looking forward, but this week I can't help but think he's eased back in slowly.
What's going on with Mike Wallace? He's been just "ok" most weeks. Why does he continue to get a top 5 ranking? Because he "might" do well this week?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:06 AM)
That's about it, yes. When it comes to wide receivers, I always say it's smarter to invest in skills over stats or even the individual matchup. My take on Wallace's production: Opponents have keyed on him, but they won't be able to do that so much with Antonio Brown emerging. Maybe this isn't the week he'll rebound -- he's not in my top five -- but I'm confident that it'll come.
Ethics Question: Please help.... a player in our league put our a trade offer Brees for F. Jackson (4 weeks ago and forgot to remove the trade) then Jackson goes on IR so the team with Jackson accepted. The Brees owner called me right away and asked me to reverse the trade due to Jackson ingury and forgot to remove trade. I did and the other owner is pissed - did I do the right thing?? Thanks Tristan!!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:08 AM)
This is why I always advise a detailed rulebook to handle these cases. In the absence of one, if it's a redraft league and the player is officially on injured reserve, as Jackson is, I'm sorry, you cannot allow that trade. It's simply taking advantage of the limits of a trade proposal system, and it's why I think there needs to be time limits on offers, so you don't have to meticulously manage them yourself.
Am I crazy to think of benching Andre Johnson this week? My other WR's are Laurent and Percy
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:09 AM)
Andre Johnson was one of the most difficult players to rank this week. On skills I wanted him in my top 10, but I couldn't do it. I actually had Johnson ranked lowest of these three, but A) things could change depending upon Miles Austin's practice sessions, and B) all three were extremely close.
Please fill in the (blanks)
The RB I trust....in Det is______, in Ind is ______, in Clev is ____and in Wash is_____. Thanks
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:12 AM)
Why do I have to trust any of them? The only one I firmly do is Roy Helu; it'd be unthinkable at this point for Mike Shanahan to hold him back now. But if I'm picking my investments in those backfields -- and I'm sure that was the point of your question -- I'm going Kevin Smith in Detroit, Donald Brown in Indianapolis, Peyton Hillis in Cleveland.
I know you have rankings but tell me why I should start either Tebow or Vince Young this week? Thanks
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:16 AM)
Rushing potential, plain and simple, diminishes either's downside. And before you react with "but those are two good run defenses," remember that those defensive numbers are a different matter when you're talking about a quarterback versus a running back. I do think Tim Tebow's matchup is a tricky one and I'd like to see him actually take some shots downfield -- that's how bad the Vikings' secondary currently it -- but you'll see that I've ranked both decently. He's in my top 10.
Are you ok with Denver as a weekly fill in for Defense? I have been playing matchups the last couple of weeks.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:18 AM)
Weekly? No, but that's mostly because the Broncos play the Patriots in Week 15. Look at the other matchups, though: @MIN, CHI, @BUF, KC. Every one of those cements this defense's potential as a weekly sleeper; remember that, no matter what the year-to-date stats say, Caleb Hanie's pick-prone ways improve the look of that Week 14 game. And the Broncos' defense has indeed picked up of late, especially against the pass.
Dan (Albany, NY)
What is the deal with the KC RBs. Is Jackie Battle that bad that Todd Haley believes that spiting carries between Battle, Jones and McCluster is the way to go? I ask as I am stuck starting Battle due to Fred Jackson being placed on IR and our league rules.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:20 AM)
The problem with Jackie Battle is, at least in my opinion, he's built to be more of a short-yardage/goal-line back than a full-timer, and the Chiefs aren't the kind of offense that rolls regularly to the goal line to give him regular chances at touchdowns. So you're talking about a guy who might average eight carries a week on skills alone, and that's just not enough when the prospects for touchdowns are low.Thomas Jones: Has lost a step, but I guess better between the 20s, or at least no less than Battle. That makes him a better bet to lead in carries, though the stats will be uninspiring.
I started Tebow over Sanchez last week and Sanchez went off, who would you start this week and why?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:21 AM)
There isn't a chance I'd start Mark Sanchez over Tim Tebow this week. Put Sanchez's Week 12 stats out of your mind, because they're irrelevant when examining this matchup. It's a much, much tougher one.
Dave (Charlotte, nc)
The Thursday Night Games are Brutal for setting Fantasy Lineups... Any thoughts on the NFL going to a 17 game Thursday lineup? Would you start Lynch or wait for Bradshaw?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:24 AM)
As a fantasy owner and commissioner, I'm no fan. I like the games from a pure football perspective because it's another prime time game to watch, but it's a nightmare especially as a commish. (Has to do with the way we process add/drops in my leagues.) Just as a fantasy owner, I wish every game was at the same time on Sunday, but I know that's unrealistic. Hey, we deal with it.I ranked Marshawn Lynch higher even assuming Ahmad Bradshaw plays, so that's your answer. I was highest-ranking with Bradshaw, yet Lynch was higher.
Worried about LeSean McCoy's toe for tomorrow night?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:25 AM)
No, but every single minor practice injury bears watching. All it means is more homework. I'm preparing as if all is a-OK and if he's cleared to play I have no doubts about him at all.
Scott (Northglenn, Co)
Rule No.1 : Tds are impossible to predict, including Sanchez throwing 4...would you flex Roy Helu or Harvin in a .5 PPR?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:28 AM)
Nothing's impossible, even predicting touchdowns. Seriously, they're very, very difficult to predict in many cases, but I like to try to project them -- though I usually stress the percentage chance I see them coming.I'd go Percy Harvin, operating under the assumption that Adrian Peterson will not play. If Peterson is out, Harvin is going to have a huge role for a second straight week, and his matchup, simply put, is better.
Ryan (Bradley Beach, NJ)
Hi Tristan... The NE matchup with Indy scares me. It could be ugly early. Any concerns with starting both Welker and Branch on the same team?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:29 AM)
Since when did the Patriots ever strike you as a team that likes to take its foot off the gas pedal? Just something to think about...
Ben Gooding (EXAMS)
WHY the LOW ranking on Antonio Brown? Unreliable Stevie J ranked higher?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:30 AM)
I think the matchup favors the run over the pass, the Bengals' defense has been decent against the pass (albeit more so in the earlier weeks) and I think Brown's recent play might have the Bengals focusing a little more on him. Wide receivers were actually a bit tough from 15-30 this week; I felt like there were a lot of strong choices in that group, whereas a few weeks ago I didn't like much in that group.
Bryan (Springdale, AR)
Why are people asking you about players who barely make it off the bench? It's not my fantasy to own bench players.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:31 AM)
How deep is your league? Four teams? I didn't think any of the players we've discussed were that far beneath rosterable levels...
B Lloyd (STL)
SF has been shutting down everybody with their D RB's and WR's .............Do u think i put up 50yds and a TD?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:32 AM)
Brandon Lloyd's value is built around a healthy weekly target total; he gets enough chances that, yes, he can reach those numbers. And I do think the Rams will need to throw a bit more this week, accounting for the matchup, so I'm good with that projection.
Bryan (Springdale, AR)
Ethical question here: My friend says he is a Cowboy fan but is more than willing to see his fantasy players do well against the Cowboys as long as the Cowboys win. So what kind of a fine would he entail if this kind of treason were illegal in real life?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:34 AM)
As long as my real-life teams win, I don't care at all about how successful the opponent. Win the game. If that means by a 63-60 score so that the opponents -- all of whom are on my fantasy team -- succeed, that's cool. No objection here.
Strategy! Elimination game for me. I've got Eli starting against my GB DST (in a league where they get return yardage and points for TFL, but also gain/lose points for yards allowed as well as points allowed). Do I stick with GB and limit my downside but also my upside? Or do I pick up WAS or JAX? DEN is taken.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:37 AM)
I typically recommend you avoid the defense facing your quarterback, especially if your defensive scoring is heavily weighted upon yardage, sacks and interceptions. In this case, I ranked the Redskins highest of the bunch, though all three were close. So long as you're not cutting anything you can't afford to lose, I'd make that swap.
Trade Deadline is over. I ended up with Brady, Stafford and Tebow but clearly don't need all three in a standard league. Do I sit on them to keep them out of the hands of other owners or drop them and try to beef up my WR corp?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:37 AM)
Sit on 'em, unless there is something out there you absolutely have to have and there's no one else you can cut. You would be doing your competition a favor by shedding any of the three.
WAH, Thursday Night Football, WAH!!! Just don't have your lineups lock after the first game, that's all! Deal with it. 6 or 7 years in with Thursday Night games and people still cry.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:38 AM)
I don't know -- or at least am not in -- a single league that locks the entire lineup on Thursday.
Along the line of Bryan's question, what are your thoughts about taking players from your real-life favorite teams' biggest rivals? For instance, as an Eagle fan, I would never draft a Giants player because I just couldn't bring myself to root for any Giants player ever!
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:40 AM)
As long as my team wins, I'm not about to avoid players on the rival's, not if they're the ones who are going to help me win. No. 1: Root for real-life team to always win. No. 2: Get fantasy team to win, whoever the players play for. In that order, period.
Am I back?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:41 AM)
I'm still on record that Chris Johnson is not "back," at least not if your definition of that is a weekly top-10 guarantee. Every good game he has had was capitalizing upon the matchup, and some of the favorable ones actually resulted in so-so performances. I buy that he'll be close to that top-10 status because his remaining schedule is favorable, but I caution not to expect any week-topping stats like he had a couple years ago.
Do NOT understand the Falcons Dst ranking??? Please Explain. 14 spots lower than others
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:42 AM)
Let's just say I'm not ready to trash T.J. Yates. The Texans still have Arian Foster and Andre Johnson and those two could do oodles of damage all on their own.
Matt (Orlando, FL)
How much longer can i roll with Michael Bush? How much longer is Run DMC going to be out?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:44 AM)
It's unclear how much longer Darren McFadden will be out -- last report I read had him possibly back this week (though I'm not counting on it) -- but I don't think he'd play much initially. In fact, it's a worthy debate whether Bush deserves to keep that job. After his recent performance, I'd say yeah, he does.
I am a Jets fan and drafted Tom Brady once - you can guess the year. No more Pats for me.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:46 AM)
So did I. (Though no, I am not a Jets fan.) With the No. 2 overall pick in my longtime two-quarterback league. I grabbed Matt Cassel and still finished in the ... um ... jelly beans, despite the fact that I thought my season was over in Week 1.The example is an aberration; I don't read into that nor would take anything from it.
I noticed you were the only ranker to rank Helu higher than S Greene .. Any particular reason??
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:46 AM)
Injury risk with Shonn Greene, personal preference between their two skill sets, nothing more.
Whoa whoa whoa. You think a healthy DMC should be benched? You can't mean that...
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:48 AM)
OK, let's be realistic here: Was Michael Bush ever truly "benched," when both of them were healthy? Go look at my Consistency Ratings and tell me the stats say that wasn't a time share to a degree. That's really what I mean; right now the Raiders should stick with Bush as the lead and McFadden the backup. Yes, that's my opinion. And I'm perfectly fine with the hot hand dictating the week-to-week call.
Ethics question: Our league allows up to 2 keepers and their cost is 1 round higher than last year's draft. Undrafted FA are not allowed to be kept. An owner in the league dropped Fred Jackson last week. Should an owner be allowed to pick up F Jax and keep him based on last year's draft value?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:50 AM)
Rules like that need to be clearly stated in advance of the season. But because this needs an interpretation, mine would be that Fred Jackson sheds his "preseason draft price" once he's cut and sent to the free agent pile. Same treatment as any free agent picked up midseason. If that means you're allowing any other released player to retain his draft value, then Jackson does too. If no one does, then he doesn't either.
Joel (MI )
Blount has Carolina twice in the next few weeks. Top 10 ROS ?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:51 AM)
I can't recall where or if I said it previously, but I do believe LeGarrette Blount has sneaky value down the stretch. When I checked the numbers, I realized that the Bucs are actually using Blount a lot more than I thought even when they're playing from behind, and playing from behind was the biggest concern I had about him. Check my ranking this week, it's generous...
How do you think Riley Cooper does Thursday night with Maclin out?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:52 AM)
WR3/4. I'd take a look if I needed a fill-in. That's as far as I'd go.
Dez returning punts means..... A. less snaps on offense B. The boys just realize he's explosive and he can help in spec teams as well. Thanks
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:54 AM)
What I legitimately wonder: Whether "A" is the correct answer. I had a difficult time ranking Cowboys wide receivers this week because of Miles Austin's potential return and this news about Dez Bryant. The fact is, you cannot put a guy like him on special teams and expect him to play every single snap that he did in past weeks. Even a couple fewer means less fantasy potential; it's why I ranked him where I did and Laurent Robinson where I did.
Bernard Rubble (Bedrock)
In which rounds are you drafting Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham next year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:54 AM)
I rarely even think about drafting a tight end before the fifth round. Perhaps fourth, but we're talking in the 40s in terms of overall rank.
Tristan, I disagree regarding your response about Fred Jackson shedding his predraft value. Have players "grandfathered" into their previous draft slot from the previous year. That way keepers aren't just players that got hurt the season prior for half the teams in your league.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:57 AM)
Fair point, Tom, and I'll be completely honest that I do not play in a single keeper league that does it by draft spot, so maybe that has to do with it. (I play in two keeper leagues.)But what I stress: If the player was worth keeping, then why wouldn't that team have kept Fred Jackson, who was already reasonably priced based upon preseason draft spot? It was a foolish move to dump him; now he goes through waivers and that team probably doesn't get him back at a cheaper price. Just another take...
Marshawn Lynch. Are you a believer in the fantasy playoffs or is this run coming to an end?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:00 PM)
Perceived value is probably the correct one; low-end No. 2 fantasy running back. His recent performance -- past four weeks -- places him as a clear RB1. That is where I'd say I don't believe; I do believe he has a place in every fantasy lineup, even during the playoffs. But those Weeks 15-16 matchups are bothersome: @CHI, SF. I can't see him doing quite what he has done recently in those games.
E Decker (Mile Hi)
i also hope Timmy goes down field, start me over Little this week? PPR
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:02 PM)
It's different in PPR. Heck, Eric Decker might be the worst player in PPR, comparative to his value in standard scoring. They're close, but Little's near-certainty to have more catches makes all the difference.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:03 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 in Week 13!