Fantasy Sports with Tristan Cockcroft
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday morning, ESPN.com fantasy expert Tristan Cockcroft will drop by to take your questions and analyze all the latest baseball news from a fantasy perspective.
Send your questions now and join Cockcroft Monday at 11 a.m. ET!
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Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:03 AM)
Good morning everyone! Let's get right to your questions... football, baseball, whatever you like, just remember, if it's the latter start your question with "BASEBALL" in caps.
why are you lower than the other rankers on Steelers D? also on a side note AP=MVP
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:05 AM)
Well, first of all, I've got them ranked fifth. It's not like I'm significantly off the other rankers' placement of that D/ST, and No. 5 is still a clear start for me. But this all comes down to year-to-date performance. Injuries and age have dropped the Steelers back closer to the rest of the pack, and entering Week 10 this team had 49 fantasy points, good for 18th in the league, through eight games.
mustwinfantasy (Miami Gardens)
Hopefully FJax's injury isn't too serious, but assuming he's out for Thursday's game against Miami how does Spiller fair against one of the best run defenses coming off a scorching loss to a terrible Titans team?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:07 AM)
Well, Chris Johnson just shredded the Dolphins defense, and I'm a believer that the players you expect the greatest things from in Thursday games are the ones who are most rested. So, if C.J. Spiller starts and Jackson sits, I think it's a huge plus for Spiller, because he has been spared some wear and tear in a time share, while those Dolphins were worn down by Johnson on Sunday. I won't rank Spiller No. 1 even if he's declared "the guy," but he'll surely be a RB1 in my ranking set. This might (finally) be his opportunity.
WK 11 Amendola vs Jets or Witten vs Clev need one to fill in for cruz
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:08 AM)
Witten. Among catch hogs, I'm taking Jason Witten. I'll give Danny Amendola all due credit, and have sung his PPR praises for a couple years now, but I don't think we should expect that kind of production every week. Besides, his prospects of a TD aren't as good against the Jets as Witten's against the Browns.
Jason (Ottawa Canada)
Hi TC...you need a updated ESPN picture. What to do with V Davis and Eli Manning? They are killing my team. Thanks.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:12 AM)
Geez, what's with all the picture haters? I'll give it some thought, but I liked that one. Surely better than the first ESPN pic I had, where it looked like I had red hair.I say stand pat, for these reasons: With Davis, it's a matter of his being one of the more skilled pass catchers in his offense, not to mention tight end not being especially deep in players who can claim that within their own teams. With Manning, it's that for all the "tired arm" chatter -- and I do believe that's at play -- he now gets a bye week to rest. I wonder whether maybe that'll get him back on track, and I think he could be a buy-low right now.
BEAST MODE (SEA)
Aside from AP and Foster, is there a RB you would rather have than Marshawn?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:15 AM)
I'd nominate Ray Rice, but I wouldn't fight that. Certainly they're three and four. I'd probably go LeSean McCoy five, Doug Martin six, Frank Gore seven, Matt Forte eight.
James (A Giant Peach)
So I keep starting Kenny Britt thinking I'll catch the breakout game... is that game coming this year?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:16 AM)
I think it will, if only because he's usually good for one completely unexpected, monster fantasy day a season. Then, naturally, he gets hurt and misses a slew of time. Sigh.I'd nominate week 14 at Indy.
Tuan Nguyen (Dallas, TX)
Please help oh great one. Need 4 points tonight in PPR league. Isaac Redman or Jonathan Dwyer?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:18 AM)
PPR doesn't substantially change the rankings for these two backs; Redman is slightly better at catching passes of the two, but we're talking the chances of 2 vs. 1. (So maybe a point's difference.) I ranked Redman higher, and think he's "safer." Dwyer's an upside play; I could envision a scenario in which he comes on to provide a breather, has an impressive run and the team sticks with his hot hand.
Good morning, week 11, PPR, I have Starks, S-Howling to start, do I pick up one of the Saints RBs (Ivory or Ingram)?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:21 AM)
Again, PPR doesn't have a substantial impact on this kind of decision. Chris Ivory isn't a pass-catcher. James Starks can catch passes, but I don't see the Packers really using him that way. And LSH is OK in that department, but we're still not talking enough catches to really matter.I'll say this: I buy what I've seen in Ivory. He had that one pretty run on Sunday, and I think as a sparkplug in that offense could give you a good 60-70 yards plus the prospect of a score. I'd certainly prefer him to Starks at this point.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:21 AM)
Incidentally: Ivory and the Saints face the Raiders in Week 11.
Porjections for Beanie Wells when he returns? Worth adding now?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:24 AM)
The Cardinals' remaining schedule: @ATL, STL, @NYJ, @SEA, DET, CHI, @SF. In other words, horrible for running backs. 'Niners, Bears, Lions, Seahawks, all among the 10 best at suppressing running backs' fantasy points. I wouldn't expect much from Wells, and remain firm: Flex play based upon possible opportunity, but our over/under is probably 60 yards and a weak prospect at a weekly score.
How do you rank marginal PPR players like Golden Tate, Danario Alexander, and Josh Gordon, ROS?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:24 AM)
I'd take a shot on Alexander at this point. Rank him, Gordon, Tate.
Ryan ( Columbus)
Will Jamal Charles outperform Redmen? I need 7 more points out of Charles than Redmen to get the win.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:26 AM)
I'm not even sure the Chiefs have any idea the answer. And I'm being completely honest with you, because you deserve that honesty. Skills and probability says you should be fine, but Charles' workload has been inexplicable.
Big Sam (ATL)
who should i try to sell before the trade deadline: dez, james jones, steve smith, and/or stevie johnson?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:28 AM)
I'd sell every one of those four if I could, because not a single one would be a lock for my top 20. I'll say that at least one would almost have to be, because it's difficult to find 20-plus clearly better receivers, but we're talking weaker WR2s and that limits their appeal in standard ESPN leagues.I'd shop Dez, name value, plenty of attention as a member of the Cowboys, even if I might well have him tops of the group.
Trade advice....trade Bradshaw for Ryan Matthews?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:29 AM)
I would. As a fan, I love Ahmad Bradshaw, he's a gritty back in the Steven Jackson mold. (In other words, plays through everything.) But it's having an adverse impact on his numbers, and that's what counts here. I just see Mathews' weekly ceiling being higher.
Scott (Northglenn, CO)
Broncos D/ST a top 6 unit ROS?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:32 AM)
Yes, with a side of yes.Broncos' remaining schedule: SD, @KC, TB, @OAK, @BAL, CLE, KC. Going by simply fantasy points allowed, those are the Nos. 9, 1, 31, 21, 23, 11 and 1 matchups for a D/ST. (Point out those 20-plus ranks if you wish; I'll counter that no defense not named Bears or Texans is matchup-proof.)
Mike Williams or Greg Jennings ROS. Debating on trading for Jennings......
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:33 AM)
How much patience do you have with "stud" running backs? Chris Johnson is turning his season around --- is there ANY chance Jamaal Charles can do the same?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:33 AM)
I'm among the most patient analysts you'll find. Skills carry the day.
David (Lex, KY)
lots of byes for me next week. Do you think either mendenhall or sproles plays next week? If both do, who would you start? If not I have to start Donald Brown against NE ... ugh
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:35 AM)
Gut feel, nothing more: Sproles plays in Week 11, but is more limited than we've become accustomed to (which explains my previous Ivory note, not to mention that I think Ivory has probably carved out a larger role for himself besides). Mendenhall I'm iffy about, but we've also got a Week 10 contest that could shift team planning with Jonathan Dwyer.
TC--- how much value to put in Ray Rice's schedule......would you trade F Jackson and J Charles for Rice?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:37 AM)
I'm not sure the good you're seeing in Ray Rice's schedule; he's got only one more matchup (Bengals) against a close-to-top-10 team against running backs. That said, Rice is the kind of player who elevates above matchups, so if the worry here is that you're scared by his schedule as a trade acquisition, I say, no, don't be concerned. It's not like any of the teams he has left -- except perhaps Steelers -- is an awful matchup for him. Good deal for you.
Was offered Brady for my Romo and Ivory? Make the deal?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:38 AM)
I was a little surprised not to see Michael Fiers near the bottom of your Top 75 SP for 2013. 9+ K/IP, decent BB rate, replicable peripherals, pitching in the NL Central...these all add up to sleeper, no?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:39 AM)
I believe the scouts who say that he really lacks elite stuff, and when I've watched him I could see what they meant. All command, no true "elite" pitch. In other words, I'm expecting regression, but the case for Fiers is that he's the next Doug Fister.
Romo, Ivory and Finley for Shaub and Gronkoski? Which side wins?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:40 AM)
The team that gets Rob Gronkowski, considering neither of those quarterbacks is an every-week starter anyway. Frankly, it's almost spinning wheels at that position, but that's a substantial upgrade at tight end.
Adam (San Diego)
Biggest bust of the year... DMC? Wasn't playing well before the injury. Now out indefinitely. Owner in my league keeps touting his playoff schedule. I'd probably trade my kicker to get him, nothing more.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:43 AM)
I'd trade more than my kicker to get Darren McFadden, but high ankle sprains are problematic, are multiple-week absences and you have to be healthy to exploit a "favorable schedule." I wouldn't be dealing more than a WR3 for him, to be honest. I think it's that risky.And as for busts of the year, isn't Cam Newton an excellent candidate for that honor as well?
Dan (New York)
Starks or Green if you were going to add 1 GB RB coming out of their bye?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:44 AM)
I would add ... Cedric Benson, who is available in 50 percent of ESPN leagues. He's on the "designated for return" IR list, and might soon resume practicing. Byes end soon, and after that point you can more freely use bench spots for speculative pickups.
Can I ride with C. Palmer to the promise land and win it all? Your thoughts? Does he have a good matchups the rest of the way?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:46 AM)
He does, kinda, but he's still a high-end QB2 for me. A couple things to keep in mind: DEN in Week 14, @CAR in Week 16, @SD in Week 17, so he doesn't have the most outstanding set of playoff matchups. Also, a lot of his value hinges upon his supporting cast staying healthy, and as the DMC injury demonstrates, that's no guarantee. I'd say this: What if Denarius Moore got hurt?You should be OK with Palmer, but do not get cozy. A backup/matchups partner is very, very smart.
BB (Big D)
BASEBALL QUESTION - Can keep 3 pitchers (Price, Weaver, Cliff) in 5x5 standard roto; but if I do, I'm going to have to toss hitters like Encarnacion or Pedroia back into the pool. Is it worth doing that to start the season with three potential aces on my pitching staff?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:47 AM)
I wouldn't keep Jered Weaver over Edwin Encarnacion or Dustin Pedroia.
Thoughts on Marcel Reece? #2/Flex play as long as D-Mac is out?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:49 AM)
Flex play, and much more so in PPR than standard. What he did in Week 10 seems just about right as your typical weekly expectation. In the 12-15 carry range, maybe 4 yards or so per carry, and in the range of 4-5 short catches.
Josh (Dirty Jersey)
What WR value should I aim for when trying to trade Turner or Jackson or maybe both?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:52 AM)
I'd offer either one straight up for Reggie Wayne, to provide a specific example. Aim for someone in the high-end WR2 class, like him, Colston, Austin, etc. And I'd be quicker to deal Michael Turner. He is now 1-for-9 in goal-line chances in his past six games, after his ghastly 0-for-4 in Week 10. The guy is simply slowing down.
Should I drop Jonathan Stewart for Beanie Wells? I know Beanie doesn't have the favorable schedule, but is the flier worth taking over the RBBC in Car??
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:54 AM)
Please don't. At least Stewart has the prayer of a couple worthwhile remaining matchups, like @KC in Week 13, OAK in Week 16, @NO in Week 17, which is much more than Wells can claim. Plus, it's not like Wells should be expected to garner any more weekly carries than Stewart.
Antonio Brown droppable with news he may miss a few weeks?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:55 AM)
In a standard ESPN league, yes, it's under consideration. That said, I'd only be cutting him for something meaningful, not just so you can get a kicker to slot in for your bye weeks. Think Danny Amendola-caliber pickup, the kind of player you could immediately slot in.
Steven Jackson... just got 29 carries against the 49ers... fluke or new game plan coming off the bye?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:57 AM)
I believe in fresh legs off the bye, especially for older players. He looked more spry, for sure, though before you go nuts about how many carries that was, remember it had a complete overtime period (i.e. much more time to play than usual).Good news: Jets matchup next, there's a Bills matchup (Week 14) there too. Could be two more games with this kind of production coming.
Bryan (Montclair, NJ)
Do you think Percy Harvin will continue to post his early season numbers after the bye-week, or should I look to sell high?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (11:59 AM)
Now is the absolute worst time to sell Percy Harvin, unless you have some absurd Harvin lover in your league who will pay top-8 WR overall value for the guy. He's dealing with an injury and has the bye now, two things sure to suppress his value. To me he's still top-8 material. Charge as such.
Why so many Beanie Wells questions? Really people? : )
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:00 PM)
That might be the question of the day. They've rolled in by the dozens for weeks now. Lots of Beanie love out there, apparently.
one win team trades STAFFORD/LYNCH to team with outside shot at playoffs for DALTON/HERNANDEZ. Is this a fair trade?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:01 PM)
That's a pretty bad trade, though the team getting Stafford could always claim he has only 15 more fantasy points this season.
What kind of trade value does Andre Johnson have? I need RB and TE help
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:04 PM)
Thinking you'll need to target a lower-end RB2 at this point, or a mid-range TE1, as in, beyond the Gronkowski/Graham class. Think someone like Willis McGahee, whom I like, or maybe a Jason Witten if you're lucky.
Kevin (Long Island)
Trade Question - should I trade Miles Austin for RGIII? I am in a 10 team with only Palmer as by QB. Have D Thomas, A Brown, J Jones, Cecil shorts as my other WR.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:05 PM)
I would. Fantastic value there.
Looking ahead (DE)
I need a win next week, can Forte deliver against SF? Or should I look elsewhere?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:06 PM)
It's reasonable to expect a near-repeat of Forte's Week 10 numbers considering difficulty of matchup. Remember, he's not especially adept at handling goal-line work, and the 49ers don't give up the big running play. I'll have Forte in my RB2 class for certain, and if I could possibly find a safer clear starter, I would.
I like how you offer up real player suggestions for trade value. How about Jamaal Charles?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:08 PM)
Thanks Bryan, but let's not pretend it's anything other than tossing spaghetti. Be persistent, make offers, but I throw these names to give you a starting point, then allow you to do the wiggle work yourself.With Charles, I'd rather be the guy getting him in trade, but as a value point, I'd probably be seeking something in the Julio Jones or RGIII class. I might dip down to Roethlisberger at QB. I'd be pursuing someone very, very good at his position, like a certain weekly starter at QB, and a low-end WR1 for sure.
Wells, Benson, Jennings are there any other names that may be coming back soon that are worth picking up?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:09 PM)
I've made it clear for a very long time that I don't expect much from Jennings in terms of fantasy production the rest of the way. I firmly believe that his next breakout fantasy game comes during the playoffs.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:10 PM)
That's NFL playoffs, and yes, I think the Packers will be getting there.
Baseball question on Matt Moore. Will he take a step forward and have a David Price like season? is he capable of that?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:10 PM)
Absolutely. Cannot say it simpler than that. Moore has all the talent in the world; future ace.
With Seattle on their bye, who do you think is the better D pickup this week...the Bucs @ Carolina or the Bengals @ KC?
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:12 PM)
I did like what the Bucs did in their Week 1 game against the Panthers, so I'm OK with both of these teams. I tend to prefer beating up on the Chiefs, though, so give me Cincy when presented this choice.
Tristan H. Cockcroft (12:13 PM)
OK, time to wrap things up for today, lunch calls! Thanks for all your questions, and sorry if I couldn't get to yours. Best of luck to those of you still in Week 10 matchups tonight, and take care everyone!