Fantasy NFL with Christopher Harris
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Christopher Harris (3:03 PM)
Hi, everyone.... Welcome to your Wednesday afternoon chat. Remember, I'm not going to answer standard-league, single-position questions here...you can get my opinions here: http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=13ranksWeek5QB And please realize that I'm going to get > 2,000 questions in this hour...if I don't get to yours, I apologize. And I'm at @CHarrisESPN if you'd like to follow. Let's get to it!
Why should I start injured Fred Jackson over MJD or DWilson who have better matchups?
Christopher Harris (3:04 PM)
Ranking the RBs is a nightmare. Do you do it by matchup only? Do you disregard that, for example, MJD had an awful outing against a so-so Colts D last week and just lost his left tackle? And David Wilson...are we really ready to get on board *that* train already? But you may be right! Suffice it to say: there's really no knowing for sure. Seriously, do your own RB ranks and see how gnarly it gets....
If Spiller is going to play on Thursday, who am I playing, him or Steven Ridley?
Christopher Harris (3:05 PM)
Hi, Jack. I didn't rank Spiller, but obviously you're right, he could very well be declared active. If he is...I probably play him. I don't like the matchup at all...I'm a big believer in the Browns D. But Ridley's matchup against Cincy isn't any more inviting....
Victor (The Bronx)
Who in your oppinion is starting for the Rams at RB this week? I have Pead. What do you know?
Christopher Harris (3:06 PM)
Hi, Victor. As of now, all we know is that Daryl Richardson tweeted that he isn't starting this week. It's not the best indicator of depth chart truth...but it's all we have at the moment. My guess would be if that he doesn't start, it'll be Pead. But Benny Cunningham has played a bunch so far, too.
Does the news that the Giants cut Da'Rel Scott improve your outlook on David Wilson?
Christopher Harris (3:07 PM)
Hi, Josh. I guess marginally. I bumped him up in the ranks this week because of the Philly matchup more than Scott being waived...I'm interested to see if the Giants don't go ahead and add another RB later in the week, which might actually hurt Wilson's value more than having a non-factor like Scott around. Bottom line: I'm still willing to miss Wilson's good first game with him on my bench, provided I have anything resembling a decent option.
Raffi (Fresno, CA)
What do you envision the targets looking like when Amendola is back? When/If Gronk comes back?
Christopher Harris (3:08 PM)
Hi, Raffi. My guess is Amendola plays this week, and Gronk plays next week. But obviously, clearly, definitely -- that's only a guess. I would expect Amendola to be a target magnet, and Gronk to be a red-zone stud. Once Gronk is active, you're starting him. As for Amendola...if you have a great solution, I don't mind waiting a week...but I think most folks will probably just plug him right back in. Thompkins and Edelman will still be factors, but their workloads will have to go down.
Any advice on predicting Cameron's first terrible game?
Christopher Harris (3:09 PM)
Hi, JJ. What's that they say about trying to time the market? We know he'll have some. It happens to everyone. Jimmy Graham will have some. History teaches us that. But you can't predict beforehand when it's gonna happen (especially in the case of TEs...anyone who says they've cracked the code of which defenses are going to make TEs struggle are, as far as I know, lying). You just start 'em.
Dwayne Bowe vs. Roddy White, ROS? If I can get White straight up for Bowe...should I do it?
Christopher Harris (3:10 PM)
Hi, AJ. I would do it in a heartbeat. White isn't himself, and it may still be a month before he becomes himself. But it will happen. I have little faith that Bowe will be a consistent contributor on a good fantasy team.
Any reason for a lower ranking of Sproles when he could semi-repeat Bush's effort against CHI?
Christopher Harris (3:12 PM)
Hi, CC. As I mentioned right off the bat, ranking RBs is ugly ugly ugly. Sproles is coming off a great game. But he's not Reggie Bush. He's not much of a backfield runner. Having Sproles 17 among RBs is the highest I've had him all year (bye weeks are a factor), but it's hard for me to go higher...simply because Sproles scored 5 and 4 points the two weeks prior.
Who is a better stash Ellington or A. Brown (NYG)?
Christopher Harris (3:13 PM)
Hi, CT. It's a great question. If you're thinking about someone you're going to feel good about maybe starting in a pinch in the fantasy playoffs, I'd say Brown. If you're thinking about someone who could become useful in relatively short order, it would be Ellington.
Eric Karabell has Edelman ahead of Amendola in his updated season ranks. Why? And do you agree?
Christopher Harris (3:14 PM)
Hi, Nate. I can't speak definitively for Eric, but he's a smart guy, and he sees Amendola's injury history. He presumably assumes that these past few won't be the only ones that DA misses, and that Edelman will be back as the main slot threat at some point.
If Gronk were to play this week how high would he be in your rankings?
Christopher Harris (3:16 PM)
Hi, Matt. Hm. I think he'd probably be TE3. I couldn't bench Graham (presumably not too many people have both Gronk and Graham anyway), and probably couldn't bench Cameron given his roll. Anyone else...I'd probably do it.
What does Goodson returning do to Powell's value going forward? He's my RB2 (also have Ridley and McFadden so it is u-g-l-y).
Christopher Harris (3:17 PM)
Hi, Matt. I think it's a factor, but the bigger deal may be that Chris Ivory was able to practice today. If all three guys are going to be active on Monday night, it could create one big mess. I would still think that Powell would lead the team in backfield touches until someone else shows they can handle the job, but it'll be more of a committee than it's been the past couple weeks.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
I know you did extensive film study of Muscle Hamster last year...any plans to do the same this year, with the gurads back, and a new QB? Or are you a believer?
Christopher Harris (3:19 PM)
Hi, Scott. I've been watching every week...I don't think he's any different as a player, but obviously he didn't find any room Sunday. The Cardinals did a really good job. And Mike Glennon didn't cause anyone to be afraid enough to lose their focus on Martin. That said, I'm still hopeful that he'll be better -- the talent really is still the same, and he's going to bust runs. I say the same thing about Spiller. Maybe it won't be as great as you hoped, but there are still going to be great, great weeks, because all it takes is one run.
Is DMC's injury the break Jennings finally takes advantage of, or do you feel he is just a career backup?
Christopher Harris (3:21 PM)
Hi, Tom. Boy, I feel like I've had my fill of Jennings. I really believed in him early in his Jacksonville career -- and when he got his chance in '12, I was really interested to see how it would go. It didn't go well. I'm willing to change my mind -- he's a young guy, and he's got a definite NFL body. But to me he looks like a "decelerator" at the line, and it's a hard habit to break. So I'm going to watch closely if McFadden winds up being out, but I'm worried it won't go well.
What would you do as an Mjd owner?
Christopher Harris (3:22 PM)
Hi, wm. Obviously it depends on what *else* you have -- but this is a week, against a Rams D that's just been eviscerated by Murray and Gore the past two weeks, where you'd think MJD would be able to step it up. The matchup indeed looks like it could scarcely be better. But as you see in the ranks, I only put him at RB18 (even with bye weeks) because of how poorly that running game has played.
Do you think R Wilson starts running at all this year? Does he finish the year as a top 10 QB?
Christopher Harris (3:23 PM)
Hi, Matt. This seems to be a legit question for *all* the stud runners from last season. Wilson. Kaepernick. Griffin. Newton. What's up with these guys??? I don't see defenses doing anything particularly differently, the game plans just haven't called for as many organized runs. (RG3's case is obviously different....) I'll say this: I thought the Seahawks' game changed in Week 4 in the second half when Wilson did start running a bit. It really changed the game's dynamic.
Steve (San Jose)
I know you have Woodhead ranked below MJD and Giovani, but in a PPR, would he move past either, or both? Thanks!
Christopher Harris (3:25 PM)
Hi, Steve. I don't have formal PPR ranks, obviously, so I haven't put a full brain's worth of thought into answering this Q. But I wouldn't bench Bernard...he's playing a lot of snaps, and can really catch it. But somehow MJD only has FOUR receptions. That's crazy! As I just said, the matchup for MJD is right. I probably would start him and just pray. But if you wanted to ride the Woodhead momentum, MJD would be the one I think I'd bench.
Is Kaepernick going to return as an elite fantasy quarterback anytime soon?
Christopher Harris (3:26 PM)
Hi, Nick. It's a great question, and related to the Wilson Q I just answered. Kap proved in Week 1 that he doesn't need to run to be elite...but it sure would help! The SEA and IND games were just disastrous, and the STL game saw the Niners go back to an Alex-Smith-esque game plan, which would be fantasy poison for Kap. It's another tough one this week against Houston. I'm still a believer. But I admit if the game plan has to stay super-conservative going forward, I'll be sad.
Moreno ranked 11? Please explain
Christopher Harris (3:28 PM)
Hi, Conner. I mean, see my earlier RB answers. I certainly don't LIKE it. I don't think Moreno is particularly good. But he scored last week and made up for a stinky Week 3, and seems to have the every-down job completely locked up in Denver, playing for a great offense. I mean, who would you rather see ahead of him? Chris Johnson? Yuck! (Or maybe you're actually outraged because you think Knowshon should be higher?????)
Justin blackmon an immediate upgrade over D Hopkins?
Christopher Harris (3:31 PM)
Hi, Danny. Hm. I kind of don't think so. I'm out of step with the other ESPN rankers on Hopkins...I guess they all viewed him as a one-week wonder from Week 2 (and he didn't do much in Week 4), but I just think he's the real deal, so I guess in a better offense with a vaguely legit QB, I'm still going to say Hopkins, despite Blackmon's return.
I have Jimmy Graham and Jordan Cameron in a PPR league... What value should I go for in trading Cameron?
Christopher Harris (3:33 PM)
Hi, Drew. I would say you should be hoping to get a top-five RB. You probably won't get one straight-up for him. But if you pair him with a decent RB, see if you can pry away Charles/McCoy/Forte. If I could do Cameron and Reggie Bush for LeSean McCoy, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
ChrisHarris & BillYates the UnderGround Podcast Rocks!! Justify my intention not to trade LammarMiller for Sproles ROS? Thx.. keep up the good work!!
Christopher Harris (3:34 PM)
Hi, Andy. It's "Field" not "Bill," but I appreciate the kind words. In a standard league, I probably would also prefer Miller. In a PPR, though, I'd much prefer Sproles.
One of your characters (Your Book)
So why don't you have formal ppr ranks?? Can't someone take on that task every week?
Christopher Harris (3:34 PM)
The easy answer is that I'm pretty full up. Not enough hours in the day!
What is your opinion of the Atlanta backfield and when do you expect Jackson back?
Christopher Harris (3:35 PM)
Hi, Jack. I would imagine the Falcons are hoping to have both Jackson and Roddy White back and healthy and themselves in Week 7, after their bye. Certainly, once he's back, he's a full go and a must-start, at least until we figure out otherwise by watching him on tape....
Optimistic by Le'veon Bell? Or still skeptical due to the O-Line issues at Pitts?
Christopher Harris (3:37 PM)
Hi, James. It was a very nice debut, mostly because the Steelers instantly were committed to using him in the red zone, and not bothering too much with the other dudes. The Steelers traded for Levi Brown to play LT, which might be a *slight* upgrade, but only slight. Still, Bell is likely to be a RB2 next week, either way.
Hi Chris - Do you think Jared Cook ever becomes the "focal point" of the Rams offense as coach Fisher indicated in the preseason?
Christopher Harris (3:38 PM)
Hi, Kris. Nope. Good rule of thumb: Don't listen to coaches. Week 1 was awesome, but now in retrospect, it was clearly a case of the Rams taking what they were being given, and it hasn't been given since. He's a freak, as everyone always says. But the Rams need to get better protection (and maybe a better play-caller) before any of their aerial weapons look trustworthy.
Follow up to Jackson question: Would you trade Powell for him?
Christopher Harris (3:38 PM)
Hi, Henry. Assuming you can scuffle by with someone else for a couple weeks, yes, I would.
I know Mike Wallace is boom or bust, but his busts are really ugly. Is it time to move him or stash him and hope he develops a rapport with Tannehill?
Christopher Harris (3:39 PM)
Hi, Greg. I mean, it's the definition of boom-or-bust. You knew it when you drafted him...it's not fair to expect him to be otherwise. I still do think it'll get better for him in his fallow periods. But he's always going to be a feast-or-famine guy...I don't know if time with Tannehill will change that.
Do Andy Dalton's struggles concern you regarding AJ Green or has it just been a couple of shut down corners and AJ is a weekly top-5 WR?
Christopher Harris (3:44 PM)
Hi, Cody -- the thing that concerns me most about AJ is never matchups...I didn't think the Browns particularly put Haden on Green non-stop...they pretty much had their corners "play sides," and Green had Buster Skrine on him a goodly amount. The main problem with Green is always going to be Dalton. There are weeks when Dalton can make it happen despite himself. But too many times, he's just a smart-but-limited player who can't make the throws that would really make Green the best player at his position in the NFL.
How far can you punt a football?
Christopher Harris (3:45 PM)
Ugh. Like ten yards. I am a terrible punter. Pretty good arm, though. Southpaw.
Do you think the new left tackle (Monroe) in Baltimore adds any value to Flacco, T. Smith, maybe even Rice?
Christopher Harris (3:46 PM)
Hi, Wallace. We were maybe even going to do a video analysis piece about this, but I kind of didn't know what to say. Maybe. I think Monroe is legitimately a pretty good player. But I haven't looked at Ravens tape and though, "Man the real problem here is left tackle!" Flacco hasn't been under a ridiculous amount of pass rush. I just feel like he's been unsharp, and the play-calling hasn't been great, and Rice getting hurt didn't help. I guess I'm not smart enough to know if this will fix everything. I'm skeptical.
With that said about Green, would you move him and H. Miller for Garcon and J. Thomas?
Christopher Harris (3:47 PM)
Hi, Paul. I think that's a fair deal. Let me be clear: I *love* Green, and still think he's a top-five WR. I just know what it would look like if he had Matthew Stafford throwing it to him. It would look like Calvin Johnson. The fact that it doesn't, that's a little frustrating to me.
Hey Chris. Did you watch the tape of the Falcons game last week? If so, how did Roddy White look? Is he getting better?
Christopher Harris (3:52 PM)
Hi, Anthony. Sure did watch it. Yeah, I mean, he still looks really limited. He can run straight ahead, but his cuts are all rounded off and he doesn't have explosion trying to go up and get it. The heartening thing is that he played a bunch more snaps. I did rank him for the first time among the top 50 WRs this week, but he's only 40. I think he'll get better after the bye.
Lacy a reasonable RB2 this week?
Christopher Harris (3:57 PM)
Hi, Nate. Yeah, I mean, almost by default. It's the theme of this chat -- it's very difficult to know what to do with RBs 7 through...um...a million? I guess I'm going to say I think he plays, and gets most of the early-down work. But yeah, I think Lacy winds up being a RB2. I think. (Truthfully, I don't know.)
How do you think your boy Franklin will fit into the mix this week?
Christopher Harris (3:59 PM)
Hi, Michael. I think he'll fit. Starks is out. But yeah, as I just said, I give Lacy the nod early, but Franklin showed enough to be involved.... Third-down back this week.....
Christopher Harris (4:00 PM)
All right gang...one more and then I have to get going.....
Any news on Steve Smith and his hip pointer injury?
Christopher Harris (4:03 PM)
Hi, Nick. Especially coming out of the bye, I don't think it's a factor at all. I expect he'll be a full go...frankly, it sounded like he'd have been able to play in Week 4 if the Panthers hadn't been off. Obviously there's a risk going against a decent D that features Patrick Peterson, but I'd say use him as you normally would.
Christopher Harris (4:04 PM)
Okay, gang. This season I do these chats from Bristol, in the belly of the beast, and I have to go prep for the Fantasy Film Room segment. This week, I'm discussing Checkdown QBs and the damaging effect they're having on their WRs...notably Dwayne Bowe, Chris Givens, Tavon Austin, et al. Hope you'll check it out. Best to you -- have a great afternoon. And follow me @CHarrisESPN.....