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.
What’s better than a mailbag on Friday? You got it – a mailbag on Saturday! Since we’re going a day late, you guys deserve some extra answers so I have extended this week’s mailbag to seven emails instead of five. Better get on with it.
Q: Is now a good time to buy low on Matthew Stafford? He hasn’t thrown many TDs this year but better days are coming right? – Alex from Grand Rapids, Michigan
A: If you are a fan of Stafford but couldn’t afford his high price tag on draft day, now is the time to start looking at him. A mere four passing touchdowns in five games is too slow a pace for such a high passing offense like Detroit to maintain and I expect things will pick up. With that being said, Stafford’s next two opponent’s are the Bears and Seahawks who have both been quarterback graveyards at times this season. Be prepared that if you do go get him, it may be a wee while longer before Matthew Stafford really picks up to elite production.
Q: In a 2QB league, I’ve been offered Christian Ponder for Shonn Greene. My QBs are Cutler and Sanchez and my RBs are Peterson, MJD, Morris and Ballard. Accept? – Kyle Hendrik from Baltimore, Maryland
A: This is a no-brainer accept for me. Shonn Greene exploded into production last week and now is the time to take advantage and sell him high. I do think that Greene is at better than his previous few weeks production but the reality is that the Jets offense is a mess and you should sell where you can. I like Ponder as a nice QB2 in that situation. Try and sell Sanchez too – maybe pair him with Ballard to go after someone like Rivers, Ben or Romo so you can play matchups.
Q: Michael Crabtree didn’t do much against the Seahawks this week with Manningham out. Is the honeymoon over? – Jack from Brenham, Texas
A: I wouldn’t say that at all. Granted, the 49ers passing offense didn’t have a very good night but the Seahawks have done that to a lot of teams this year including the Patriots and Packers who have much better attacks overall. Crabtree is one of the better PPR players out there and in standard scoring he’ll at least have the distinction of being someone who gets plenty of looks which at the very least will put him in your flex conversation every week. I think we need to be careful not to write Crabtree off after one less than impressive game as it is becoming obvious that he is finally beginning to mature as an NFL receiver. If anything, I think Crabtree is a nice buy low considering his talent and ability to get downfield. I wouldn’t give up on him though.
Q: You ranked Philip Tanner 24th and Felix Jones 32nd among running backs this week with DeMarco Murray out. Why? – Oliver Martin from College Station, Texas
A: I’ll be real honest – I have never liked Felix Jones as a running back. He’s been given chance after chance to take that Dallas job and time after time he has either failed to impress, gotten hurt or been outplayed by his competition. The reality is that this is probably Jones’ last chance to stay as a Cowboy going forward. I know that he’s been a favorite of Jerry Jones for a long time but it has to be said that even Jerry knows time is running out on this one.
Personally, I like what I have seen from Philip Tanner so far in his young career and I find it somewhat unfortunate that he arrived at the same time as DeMarco Murray. Dallas has an opportunity here to look to their future and find out what they have in Tanner while Murray is out with his injury. To give Felix Jones yet another opportunity in my opinion would be a waste of time. Regardless of who gets the start, I think tanner has the better day and winds up coming out of the match-up with Carolina as the Cowboys lead back until DeMarco Murray returns.
Q: I’m in a league where we are voting on how our draft order will be decided for next year. What’s your opinion of using a Lottery system? – Louise Forrest from Jacksonville, Florida
A: First thing’s first – I think it’s a mistake to be deciding settings for next year in midseason. One of my biggest pet peeves in fantasy is that I feel all rule changes shouldn’t come into affect until there has been a full season played after voting. In your case, this would mean the results of the vote would not apply until the 2014 Draft. However, I digress…
I must admit that I do like the idea of using a Draft Lottery. For those who don’t understand what this means, I’ll explain quickly. Each team is assigned a percentage chance that their team would be picked for any given pick. These numbers are put into a Lottery randomizer – these are readily available online, just google “draft lottery” and you should find one – and the machine spits out a draft order based on the percentages. The team that finished last always has the best chances of getting the top pick with the league champion having the worst odds.
Many people will disagree about the use of a lottery as there is the belief that the team that finishes last must always have the first draft pick to help with parity. In my opinion, this particular argument is somewhat outdated. You can always rig the percentages to make it difficult for the last placed team to lose. The point of a lottery is three-fold – it prevents teams from tanking, it enables for the trading of draft picks before the lottery to have an element of risk that wasn’t there previously and finally it adds a certain excitement to draft time which would other wise not be there. All in all, draft lotteries are a fun way to add a little something special to what may be an otherwise ordinary league.
Q: I own both Tom Brady and RG3 in standard league and I really need RB help. Which should I trade and who should I target? – Helen Turner from Seattle, Washington
A: I’ve had this problem myself in a couple of leagues and I’m gonna advise you do what I did – keep Robert Griffin III. Brady has plenty of value and you should be able to get a top 15 RB easily. I’d aim high to start with just to see what response you get – if you can get Jamaal Charles, Ray Rice, MJD etc then you’ve done well. If you can though, the one RB I would target is Trent Richardson. It’s possible his owner may be looking to sell high off the recent success of the Browns rookie and a player like Brady is exactly what an owner in this mindset would be aiming for.
Q: My team is 6-0 and riding high towards the playoffs thanks to some big one-off games from guys like Jordy as well as making nice waiver pickups like Alfred Morris. Looking toward playoffs, is now a good time to target injured players who won’t be back for a while or should I just keep doing what I’m doing? – John Lucas Drummond from Hattiesburg, Mississippi
A: First of all, congratulations on the good start John. Not an easy thing to do.
I do like the idea of looking ahead in this situation. While you’re in no way guaranteed of making the playoffs – believe me, I once went from being 8-0 to 8-6 and missing out on the post-season on tiebreakers a couple of years back – I would advise at least looking at ways you can make wise investments in your future.
First of all, injured players. I would advise a certain amount of caution here for two main reasons – all too often players who return from injury get hurt again and when they do come back there is no guarantee they’d have the form that was displayed before getting hurt. Vincent Jackson was a perfect example of this last season. If you must go after an injured guy, make sure you do so at a reasonable price. One trick I like to use is to get an injured player added into a multi player deal to help make up the value of a bigger piece I’m giving up. As an example, this week in a deep 2 QB dynasty I traded Peyton Manning, MJD and Brandon Pettigrew for RG3, Darren Sproles and Alshon Jeffery. The inclusion of Jeffery looked like an afterthought but he was in fact a target. Guys like Danny Amendola, DeMarco Murray and Donald Brown are smart investments here.
One other quick note if you’re making moves for the future – be mindful of late season schedules. Be aware that certain players have more favorable match-ups later in the season and as such they may be more desirable to you than they would have been otherwise. Matthew Stafford is a good example here – his next two games are against Chicago and Seattle but from weeks 13-16 he gets Indianapolis, Green Bay, Arizona and Atlanta. Something to keep in mind.
There ya go – seven of the best and I am done. If you’d like your question featured in next week’s Fantasy Mailbag, send in an email to [email protected] for a chance to get answered. Also, be sure to follow me on Twitter @chrissmithsz for fantasy advice and commentary on game day.
Until next time, this is the Fantasy Guru signing off.