Jan 14, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles (43) rushes up field after a pass reception for a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the fourth quarter of the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Candlestick Park. San Francisco defeated New Orleans 36-32. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

Fantasy Mailbag: 08/31/2012

Need help with preparing for your fantasy football league? The Fantasy Guru is here once again to give you a few tips on how to play the crazy game of fantasy football.

We are less than a week away from our first football action and many of you have drafted already while many more of you will draft this weekend. Time to open up the mailbag and find out what you guys wanna know this week.

Q: In a PPR league, should I draft a WR early since they will score more? – Josh Landras from Little Rock, Arkansas

A: For the most part your position strategies in a PPR league shouldn’t change. RB is still scarce, WR is still deep, TE is still unpredictable and QB is still the most reliable position.What needs to change is the way you think about certain players. Running backs who will get plenty of receptions like Darren Sproles, C.J. Spiller, Jamaal Charles and Reggie Bush increase in value while those who don’t such as Michael Turner, Benjarvus Green-Ellis and DeAngelo Williams should be downgraded. The same goes when it comes to high reception WRs and TEs like Wes Welker, Jason Witten, Brandon Marshall and Pierre Garcon while your boom or bust big play guys like DeSean Jackson, Victor Cruz and Dwayne Bowe are less valuable.

Q: In a return yardage league, who are you top 5 players to look at for fantasy? – Eric Billson from New York City, New York

A: Speaking strictly about offensive players, Darren Sproles is tops for me – he showed last year that he could handle a large workload and he also showed his returning skills. In terms of the best fantasy players who also return well, he’s the best and return yardage points just elevate his status higher. After him I vote for C.J. Spiller who had a semi-breakout year offensively in 2011 and who I think will take over in Buffalo this season. He a very elusive return man and should get you good points every week. Next is Randall Cobb who I believe could step up as a wide receiver this year. He’s a dynamic return man and I expect him to have a good year.

The next entrant is a surprise – Devin Hester. He may be the #1 returner in the NFL but as a wide receiver he doesn’t do much. I’d draft him only in deeper leagues or if return yards score very highly. Rounding out the list is DeSean Jackson. I have him this low because Andy Reid has said he won’t be a returner in 2012. However, the Eagles need Jackson and I think they will end up using him sooner rather than later so he makes the list.

Q: What do you think of Kenny Britt getting only a one game suspension? Should he be drafted higher? – Matt Terrence from Nashville, Tennessee.

A: I’ve been a big fan of Kenny Britt for a long time and he is definitely the best weapon the Titans have. My main concern when valuing him isn’t so much the suspension – although I did expect it to be heavier than one game – but rather his very active injury history. This is a guy who keeps getting serious injuries. In the end I would put Britt up the rankings by a little – I’d draft him maybe a round or so earlier than my rankings suggest – but at the end of the day he’s still a massive injury risk and in a year when WR is so deep you don’t need to take a big risk on Britt when there are many other healthier WRs to choose from.

Q: I know you like James Hanna this year but can you tell me what your thoughts are on Jason Witten? – Tim from Colorado Springs, Colorado.

A: According to the doctors, Witten’s injured spleen isn’t getting worse – that’s the good news. The bad news is that he requires complete rest in order for it to heal. This means no workouts and certainly no contact. This is a major concern for me as it means that even when Witten comes back his conditioning will be an issue and I don’t expect him to be effective right away. Also, there is still a chance that even once he is declared healthy and comes back that there may still be undetected damage to the spleen which could be exacerbated during a game and the spleen could bleed again requiring more time off and possibly surgery. This is an extremely sensitive internal organ we are talking about. As such, Witten is someone to actively avoid in drafts this year unless you get him late – I’m talking the same region as guys like Jared Cook and Jacob Tamme.

Q: Is anyone on the Miami Dolphins draftable? Can I trust any of them? – Luke from Cameron, North Carolina.

A: Reggie Bush is the main guy to look at on this Miami team but I’m not sure I trust him. A lot of his production last year was as a result of the offense run by Brian Daboll who is now in Kansas City. Still, with RB shallow this year you have to consider him. Apart from that, the only other player I like on this team is Davone Bess and this is especially true in PPR. Bess will catch a lot of balls this season and is the most reliable receiver the Dolphins have. He’s worth a late flier in standard leagues.


That’s all for this week. Keep your questions coming in to [email protected] and good luck if you’re drafting this weekend. Next week I’ll be previewing the first slate of games with my week 1 rankings and players to watch.

Until next week, this is the Fantasy Guru signing off.

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