Oct 30, 2011; Charlotte, NC, USA; NFL referee Ed Hochuli calls a penalty during the second quarter between the Minnesota Vikings and the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. The Minnesota Vikings defeated the Carolina Panthers 24-21. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

Fantasy Football Mailbag: 9/28/2012


Sept. 23, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Ryan Williams (34) runs up field with the ball during the second half against the Philadelphia Eagles at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals beat the Eagles 27-6. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-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.

It’s Friday and Friday means one thing – another edition of the Fantasy Mailbag! Five questions to be answered submitted by you NFL Spin Zone fans. Let’s not waste any time and get right into it.

Q: Thought you might find this trade from my 12 team 4 keeper league interesting. I gave up Peyton Manning, Chris Johnson, Andre Brown and Jacquizz Rodgers for Aaron Rodgers, Anquan Boldin and Daryl Richardson. What do you think? – Sam Lucas from San Jose, California.

A: I’m a fan of buying studs low when they struggle and this trade is a great example of this. People, Aaron Rodgers is still a top fantasy player. I don’t care how he’s had a bad start and I don’t care about how bad his offensive line looked against Seattle – he’s gonna get you a handful of rushing yards, decent passing numbers and decent TDs most weeks while being efficient with his decision making. Yes, some of the top RBs have stepped up but Rodgers is still a highly valuable fantasy commodity.

I would also note this – if you can get anything good for Chris Johnson right now you’re a genius. I have never seen CJ2K’s value any lower than it is right now. In a PPR league I heard of an owner who was offered Chris Johnson for DeSean Jackson – and declined. Rodgers side wins the trade by a wide margin.

Q: We’ve had three weeks of RG3. Aside from the fact that he’s a Redskin, how would you grade him in the option so far and is he a true fantasy starter yet? – Josh Odomini from Brooklyn, New York.

A: In terms of pure athleticism and pocket awareness, Robert Griffin III is pretty composed for a rookie yet dynamic at the same time. However, there is a lot to be worried about. The option scheme the Redskins are using means RG3 is gonna get hit A LOT, especially with the issue Washington has with pass protection. I honestly think the addition of Ryan Grant will help – he may not have the same burst of his best years in Green Bay but he will provide a role similar to what Tim Hightower did and is something the Redskins have sorely needed.

For my mind, Robert Griffin III is going to put up big numbers for fantasy most weeks either with his legs or through the air. There will be some weeks where he leads all fantasy scorers. I will preface this with a warning – have a good backup available because there is a high probability he gets hurt at some stage.

Q: With Beanie Wells out injured, is Ryan Williams an automatic fantasy starter? – Devin Young-Pierce from Omaha, Nebraska

A: Not automatic yet but should be highly considered depending on your options. If you are weak at RB and are looking to trade for a guy to help, Williams would be an excellent low price investment. At this point ideally you wouldn’t want to start him if you have better options but if you wanna go for upside and take a risk then this is someone worth taking a gamble on considering his team is playing remarkably well.

Q: Does the return of the regular referees impact your fantasy decisions? – Jack Greene from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

A: Odd that this situation should come into a fantasy discussion but I believe there is some validity to this thinking. Look, one of the obvious effects the replacement refs had on games was that they missed plenty of calls but more importantly the players  knew that they could get away with certain things. I honestly believe that the replacement refs have helped some defenses look better than they are which in turn may have effected the fantasy performance of certain players. So my advise is this – be a little more cautious about selling under-performing studs for value because you may find that you regret it later on when they take advantage of defenses that can no longer fool the more experienced officials.

Q: With Andre Brown doing well while Ahmad Bradshaw was out, what do you think of these two players for fantasy? – Steven Cookson from Yonkers, New York

A: For this week you’re best off going with Brown – give Bradshaw time to prove he’s healthy. After that I think it really depends on how each player performs. Tom Coughlin is one of those coaches who will give his players their opportunity when they prove to him they deserve it. Once a player has earned his stripes with Coughlin he tends to be around for a while unless he plays poorly. Conversely, if a player gets an opportunity and botches it, that player tends to find himself benched for a considerable amount of time as we have already seen with rookie RB David Wilson.

What all this means is I believe we will see Andre Brown get his touches going forward until he shows he is unworthy of Coughlin’s trust. Guess what – the same will be true of Bradshaw. If Brown stands out and Bradshaw doesn’t meet Coughlin’s standards, Bradshaw will find himself losing more and more time to AB. For fantasy, this makes both running backs flex starters at this point although both are on somewhat shaky ground.

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Another week down and another set of your questions answered. If you have a fantasy question you’d like answered, you can send an email to [email protected] and your question could be featured in next week’s mailbag.

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

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