Sep 9, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert (11) passes against the Minnesota Vikings in the first quarter at the Metrodome. Vikings win 26-23. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE

Fantasy Football Mailbag: 9/14/2012

September 9 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) during the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Sports Authority Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

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.

With every week that goes by, new questions keep cropping up. It’s Friday which means it’s time to answer a few more in today’s edition of the Fantasy Mailbag.

Q: You ranked Peyton Manning pretty high this week. Is this just because of the match-up or are you going all-in on him? – James Moore from Kansas City, Missouri.

A: The main reason that Peyton went low in drafts this year was because we really didn’t know what we had. Picking him was a risky proposition due to the nerve injury and the fact that we didn’t know if his arm strength would come all the way back. On Sunday we saw Peyton Manning make a bunch of good plays and show off his arm and I have confidence in that aspect going forward. We also saw him take a couple of solid hits and brush them off fairly easily. From now on until I see reason not to, I am going to rank Peyton Manning as if he was the old Peyton Manning as he is still one of the best in the game which will make him one of the more reliable fantasy QBs in the game.

Q: Ben Tate did nothing last week with Arian Foster coming off injury and Houston getting a big lead. Time to jump off the bandwagon? – Jason from Tacoma, Washington

A: In a word – no. When it comes to the Texans situation, I’m pretty sure they’re gonna continue to ride Arian Foster as much as they can and in many ways Foster himself had plenty to prove this past week to show he could handle a high workload once again. Last year there were games even after his breakout in which Tate disappeared and I’m not worried. In the NFL, natural talent and ability always wins out in the end and I firmly believe Houston will have two 1000 yard rushers this season if Foster can stay healthy.

Q: You were way wrong on Adrian Peterson. Explain yourself. – John McCoy from Boston, Massachussetts

A: In terms of week 1, I’ll admit I got that call wrong. In fact, we all got that one wrong. Were there some people saying they believed in AP and that he was superhuman. Sure. Did anyone suggest he’d have as big a day as he did – nope. This kinda begs the question – if Adrian Peterson was gonna come back the same as ever, why did no-one predict what happened last week? The answer is that everyone knows he is coming back excessively early and there is a massive fear out there that he either won’t be able to keep it up or that he is going to get hurt again. If you drafted Adrian Peterson, congratulations on getting a bunch of points from him in week 1. Just know this – you are holding a ticking time-bomb. Thing about bombs – they eventually go off and you don’t wanna be holding onto them when they do.

Q: There were some surprising players get big fantasy points in week 1. Who do you think is for real? – Angelina Livingstone from Dallas, Texas

A: I’ll give you one at each position. At QB, Blaine Gabbert is a player I like a lot. He looked more composed than in 2011 and I do expect him to take a step forward as he develops thanks not only to his natural talent but also to his head coach Mike Mularkey. Worth looking at as a backup with upside even in standard leagues. At RB, I like what I saw out of Benjarvus Green-Ellis who had a good game against the Ravens on Monday night. Most importantly, the Law Firm got a large number of carries and held up well. I expect him to have a good season. At WR, Pierre Garcon is someone that I haven’t spoken of much this off-season but who is perfect for the offense that Washington has adopted thanks to his ability to make extra yardage most plays. Expect him to be a PPR stud and a reliable starter in standard leagues. Finally at TE I’m going to go back to Jacksonville and Mercedes Lewis. Look, last year was a disaster for Lewis as he couldn’t repeat his high TD totals of 2010 but with the Jacksonville offense less one-dimensional as Gabbert matures I think Lewis will get free easier and see his TD totals get back up towards his previous high.

Q: Dexter McCluster qualifies at RB on some websites but he is a WR. Does this make him worth owning? – Jacob Keith Maxwell from Penn Hills, Pennsylvania

A: In standard leagues, this doesn’t change much. McCluster isn’t startable anyway. In a PPR league, this means he should be owned in most leagues as a solid potential bye week replacement. The main leagues this affects are those that are 14 teams or deeper where RBs are much scarcer. If you are going to use McCluster in any league in which he has the RB designation, I recommend using him at whichever position you are weakest. If your relatively even, I’d prefer to use him at RB since WRs can be found easier. With that said, don’t get your hopes up too high – McCluster’s role in this offense is still ill-defined and I don’t think we can use just week 1’s loss to define how we value him.


That’s it for another week. As always, you can send your emails to [email protected] and perhaps next Friday you might appear in the Fantasy Mailbag. As always, I recommend that you check out my rankings if you need help with start/sit questions and also I will be online an hour or two prior to 1pm kickoffs to answer any last minute questions you may have – follow me on Twitter @chrissmithsz to reach me this way.

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

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