espnW Fantasy with Melissa Jacobs
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, espnW fantasy football guru Melissa Jacobs stops by to chat about the NFL season.
Jacobs has been playing fantasy football since age 14, and for the past seven seasons has been the commissioner of a league that includes heavy hitters like ESPN's Howie Schwab. She is also the founder and Managing Editor of the award-winning site, TheFootballGirl.com. Previously, she was a producer for ESPN's studio shows including SportsCenter and Jim Rome is Burning.
Send your questions now and join Jacobs Thursday at 3 p.m. ET!
Melissa Jacobs (3:01 PM)
Good afternoon everyone. Since to see some regulars in the queue. Obviously this is a fantasy chat first and foremost, but I'll throw in some non-fantasy questions too...just for those of hanging out with first round byes. Jealous! Alrighty, let's go....
Would you start Matt Stafford or Alex Smith this week? Thanks
Melissa Jacobs (3:03 PM)
Thanks for the questions, Melinda. You had me at Alex. Stafford's the better start, though. He will legitimately have a chance to near his 400 yard performance last week against the lowly Vikings secondary.
Melissa Jacobs (3:04 PM)
Watch out for INTs, though. Stafford can put up big numbers, but boy does he have a tendency to overthrow the ball.
Candy (Slippery Rock)
Hi Melissa, how high would you rank Santana Moss this week? Would you rather play him over Laurent Robinson and Lloyd?
Melissa Jacobs (3:05 PM)
Hi Candy,I like Moss this week solely based on the opponent. We're still waiting for the super breakout game from him, and this could be it. Austin is back which may cut into Robinson's production. And the Rams QB situation is scary.
Mike Ho (Hong Kong)
Hi Melissa, can we make it 3 weeks in a row? Can you pick two in a PPR from Jon Stewart, Santana Moss, Jermichael, and Brandon Lloyd?
Melissa Jacobs (3:07 PM)
Hi Mike again,Yes, let's make it 3 in a row! Ok...I'm going Moss (aforementioned reasons) and Jermichael (more targets). Good luck!
Is Marion Barber III a safe start?
Melissa Jacobs (3:08 PM)
Wait, are you that Denise? Sorry couldn't resist. I dont feel good about Barber. Honestly based on watching the Bears last week I don't see how they can score on offense against the Broncos. Esp. with Von Miller back. Why didn't the Bears get Favre??? (Joking)
Mark (San Jose)
Melissa! Im in need of some help at my 2nd RB spot in this 14 team league. I made a mistake early on by trading Lynch for a WR and am now paying for it. F Jax being out has me searching for a replacement. Here are my options D Thomas, B Saine, K Bell, M Reese, I Redman, Ogbonnaya or Ridley? For this week who would you select and why? Thanks again.
Melissa Jacobs (3:10 PM)
Hey Mark!Hmmm. I like Saine the best, just based on how he ran last week - and the fact that Ryan Grant looked terrible. I see m ore carries coming Saine's way, and continued looks in the air.
Jeri (San Diego)
Girls rock fantasy Football. Hi Melissa, have played FF for 15 years now with a great post season record and 5 championships. My question to you as another girl is, why don't men believe women can be just as good as the men when it comes to fielding a great ff team. It has more to do what is between the ears than is what is inbetween the....!
Melissa Jacobs (3:12 PM)
Hi Jeri,Good question...although I'm not sure this is the right forum considering a bunch of dudes are here asking me for fantasy advice. :) But yeah, there are a lot of guys living in the 50's when it comes to fantasy. Best to ignore them and hang with the guys on this chat.
hi Melissa! Best flex option --- Antonio Brown, Darren Sproles or Gearhart (if AP doesn't play)??? Always appreciate your help! Good luck in your playoff run!
Melissa Jacobs (3:14 PM)
That's a close one. Because Ingram looks to be out, I'd opt for Sproles, esp. if you're in a PPR league. Brown has been pretty consistent but not spectacular. Gerhart is a decent option as well.
Guy (Living in the 50s)
I remember when I drafted Johnny Unitas in the 2nd round...
Melissa Jacobs (3:14 PM)
Ken (nova scotia)
Can I trust CJ Spiller this week to get double digit pts?
Melissa Jacobs (3:16 PM)
I believe he'll have another big week. He finally looked a legit starting running back. And SD can give up the points (see MJD)
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who do you think will be the 2011 NFC East Champions?
Melissa Jacobs (3:17 PM)
I think whoever wins the Sunday night game. :)
Tough choice for my flex this week. I have marion Barber, Pierre Thomas, or Malcolm Floyd. Who do you see having the edge this week? Thanks.
Melissa Jacobs (3:19 PM)
Hi Shane,Yeah that is tough. I'd give the slight edge to Floyd based on the matchup vs. Buf. As mentioned, very scared of Chicago defense. And I think Sproles will be the man this weekend (although Thomas would definitely be my #2 choice here)
I've rode the Antionio Brown train all season but I'm very nervous about him tonight. Should I be?
Melissa Jacobs (3:21 PM)
Hey Crystal,I'd be slightly nervous. Brown is getting between 60-100 yards for several weeks, although his reception total has been shrinking. Browns have only allowed one 100-yard receiver this season, I believe. I doubt Brown gets completely shutdown though.
Tim Tebow (Heaven)
Are you a believer?
Melissa Jacobs (3:22 PM)
You know what, I am. He has them poised to make the playoffs. Or maybe the defense does. No, Tebow does.
Hi Melissa- Which Raiders WR do you trust most this week? Playoffs!
Melissa Jacobs (3:24 PM)
Hey Chip. Probably Heyward Bey, really by default. Every else, other than Housh, is injured, I believe.
Melissa Jacobs (3:25 PM)
But hip, DHB is coming off a touchdown is is facing the second worst pass d in the NFL. Gotta like that matchup.
Melissa Jacobs (3:25 PM)
and that is Chip, not hip. Sorry.
Hey Melissa thanks for answering my question last week you helped me to lock up the number one seed heading into the playoffs. I got another tuff one for you whos D do you like better Denver or Maimi?
Melissa Jacobs (3:26 PM)
Hi jake,I really like Denver this week. Von Miller is returning and the Bears absolutely can't do anything on offense. I could see them being shut out, especially if they kick it away from Hester.
Phoenix (Lanai City)
Hello Melissa, which D should I go with Denver versus Chicago or Detroit versus Minnesota without AP and Ponder maybe?
Melissa Jacobs (3:28 PM)
Hi Phoenix,Detroit's an interesting call. Perhaps I'd recommend them if Suh was back..but I'm still so shocked at what I saw (or didn't see) from Caleb Hanie last week, I'd recommend Denver.
Julia (New York City)
Hi Melissa. I have a wide receiver start/sit question for you. I've got to choose two of the following players: Vincent Jackson, Nate Burleson, Darrius Heyward-Bay, and Laurent Robinson. I've been burned by Vincent Jackson so many times this season he makes me nervous...
Melissa Jacobs (3:30 PM)
Hi Julia! Understand about VJax but I think the upside is too great not to start him. And he was a favorable matchup. For your second choice, I like Robinson. Even with Austin back, he established himself as such a weapon. I'm sure we'll see ample 3-WR sets.
Craig (Jefferson City)
I know you're a big 49ers fan. Do you think you have any shot at GB in the playoffs?
Melissa Jacobs (3:32 PM)
Hi Craig,Thanks for paying attention. :) I think the 49ers have zero shot at taking Green Bay. The Niners greatest strength, their run defense, is a non-factor in the Packers' 97/3 pass-to-run ratio. But Jim Harbaugh's kinda got a little Tebow magic quality, so who knows.
Mike (San Diego)
M-Jake, what's ESPNw? Also, would you start Steve Smith or Dez Bryant this week?
Melissa Jacobs (3:34 PM)
espnW is ESPN's website for female fans and female athletes. Lots of coverage of women's sports, but we do fantasy, interesting commentary on men's sports...guys are definitely invited to check it out. Might hear some new perspectives. I like Dez a little more. He's been clicking with Romo and I think he'll get plenty of looks Sunday. That should be a much higher scoring game as well.
Afternoon, Have 2 lineup quandries in non-PPR. 1. Flex & WR2 from K. Smith/M. Morris, Tolbert, D. Baldwin, McCluster, Robinson. 2. WR3 from A. Johnson, Moss, Floyd???? thanks
Melissa Jacobs (3:36 PM)
1. If K. Smith plays, then Smith. If not, Tolbert and Robinson. 2. I like Moss. Great matchup.
Is this the week Marques Colston reacquaints himself with the end zone? Hasn't been there since week seven.
Melissa Jacobs (3:37 PM)
Hello J.B. - I hope so since I own him in one of my leagues. Who knows. All the Saints TDs seem to be deep balss to Moore/Meachem or shorter passes to Graham. At least Colston's getting tareted in other parts of the field. You'd think the Saints would make a point to make him a TD threat again. Let's hope.
Would you start Palmer over Tebow this week, sea over den def?
Melissa Jacobs (3:39 PM)
I don't think so. The Raiders have too many injuries in the WR corps. Love denver...but would probably opt for Seattle if Bradford is out...esp. if Clemens starts. And like Seattle being at home.
M. Crabtree (SF)
Yo, MJ! I know you love me but should FFL players start loving me too?
Melissa Jacobs (3:40 PM)
Hey Mikey,I don't know ..You had that monster catch/TD last week but you drop balls left and right. I'd play you this week vs. the Cards, though.
One more roster/lineup question for Non-PPR. Need TE replacement from Tamme, D. Clark, Fasano, Lewis?
Melissa Jacobs (3:41 PM)
I like Fasano the most here. He's not getting a ton of catches but he's making the most of them. And Matt Moore seems to be getting better each week, which should open up passing game and benefit Fasano.
Who is your favorite NFL analyst that isn't on ESPN?
Melissa Jacobs (3:43 PM)
Hey Steele,I'm not allowed to say. Just kidding. I actually really like Cris Collinsworth. He can get a little preachy at times but I appreciate his astute observations of the game. I learn something new almost every Sunday night.
Lumpy (Delanco) [via mobile]
Bye week for me. If I win the cash, wanna go on a date?
Melissa Jacobs (3:43 PM)
How much money are you winning?
Would you sit Mike Wallace for any of the following? Moss, V Jackson, S Smith, M Williams?
Melissa Jacobs (3:44 PM)
That's is toughie. I'd sheepishly select Vincent Jackson of this group. Really because I think Browns will be focused on Wallace.
Neal(slc) [via mobile]
Hey MJ, desperate for a wr3. Options are Riley Cooper, Golden Tate, jacoby Jones or Kyle Williams. Which one do you see the biggest upside. I'm thinking Tate against a depleted Rams team. Thanks.
Melissa Jacobs (3:46 PM)
I'd go with Tate here. Maclin is likely coming back in Phi, which may limit Cooper. Tate is hot lately and loved by Pete Carroll (more play calls?)
I'd have thought your response to Lumpy would have been, "Can I bring my husband and baby." Never saw your actual response coming.
Mike (Philly) [via mobile]
What's your favorite position to flex? RB Or WR?
Melissa Jacobs (3:47 PM)
Well, depends on my roster composition. But I tend to flex RBs more as they generally put up more points in most of the leagues I'm in.
Jon (Des Moines)
As a Hernandez owner it's quite frustrating watching Gronkowski score all these TD's. I was encouraged by the number of targets Burleson had last week and am contemplating putting him in there against the Vikings pass D this week over Hernandez. Make sense?
Melissa Jacobs (3:49 PM)
Hey Jon,Not crazy at all. Would do that in a heartbeat. Love pretty much everyone that's on Detroit this week - and yeah I'd find the Hernandez/Gronk situation annoying to watch as well.
Read your column on playing fantasy with your husband. Good stuff. How bad was the break-up?
Melissa Jacobs (3:50 PM)
Hey Drea - Thanks for reading that. Hope you read the other contributions as well. It was pretty bad. Husband needed to prove his manhood in fantasy. I loved being co-owners. But it quickly became fun to be rivals.
Hey Melissa, thanks for the help the other week. What do you think of Jon Stewart this week in a PPR? I don't like the match up but could catch some balls against Atlanta. Would you rather play Spiller?
Melissa Jacobs (3:51 PM)
I like Stewart this week actually. I know consistency is an issue there but he's coming off one of his best games of the season last week. He also scored on of his three touchdowns against Atlanta earlier this season.
Lee (my desk)
who to start pick two (AP, CJ1K, Sproles) PPR and 3 (Julio Jones, Boldin, Megatron, Harvin)playoffs !!!! Thanks Melissa!
Melissa Jacobs (3:54 PM)
Hi Lee,If AP is out, your question answers itself. If if's in then AP and CJ...although I suspect AP is out. For WRs, Megatron, Harvin, and Boldin). Could obviously see JOnes having good game and am tempted to say sit Boldin but hard to pass u that Indy matchup.
Mike (San Diego)
MJ, so with you being a 49ers fan, I can only imagine your second favortie team is whoever is playing the Cowboys? As an Eagles fan, it pains me to even have to watch Gints/'Pokes this weekend...maybe root for a tie???
Melissa Jacobs (3:55 PM)
Yes, I still hate the Cowboys with all my being. The look on Jerry Jones' face after Garrett iced Dan Bailey was priceless.
Melissa Jacobs (3:57 PM)
Thanks for all the questions everyone. I wish you the best of luck this week, and please come back next week to report your winnings. Same time, same place. Have a great weekend!