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.
You want answers? You got em. Time to open the inbox again and answer your emails. Let’s see what we have this week.
Q: In the past couple of weeks, you have been ranking rookie QBs pretty high – this week RG3 is 2nd and Andrew Luck 7th. How can you do that when there are proven guys like Romo and Eli ranked lower? – John King-Davies from Kansas City, Missouri
A: When I do my rankings each week as I mentioned in the week 8 rankings, I go through all the names and I look mainly at the probability of what that player’s production will be on any given week. The biggest problem with football when doing this is that the sample size is always relatively small no matter what point of the season you are at. Unlike baseball and basketball, there are only 16 games per team in the regular season in the NFL and this means that the amount we see these players do their thing is extremely limited.
The effect of this is that the “established” players tend to get given more opportunity in the minds of fantasy owners while the younger inexperienced players are deemed as risky because they haven’t been around long. What I need to do is try and weigh the risk with the reward and come up with the best probability I can that the player will be more reliable that week than the next guy. I have made a significant effort this season to be open to how these young QBs have developed and it has become apparent that both Luck and RG3 are going to score pretty well most weeks and this week in particular they have the matchups that suit them doing pretty well.
Q: I own both Roddy White and Julio Jones. Should I trade one? What do you think of having top scoring teammates on the same fantasy team? – Justin Drazen from Providence, Rhode Island
A: I personally would hang onto both. Roddy White has had at least 50 yards off a minimum of four receptions every single week and his consistent production with the upside of getting a TD or two on top makes him a top fantasy option – he’s in my top 5 WRs overall. Julio may not have the same consistency as Roddy but he is such a game-breaking talent that when he is on he will blow your fantasy team straight to the top – something that is only improving as his experience in the NFL grows. If both players are playing to a continually high standard, I see no reason to trade either.
If you really feel the need to move one, I’d choose to trade Julio Jones simply because Roddy’s consistency is something I believe is a rare commodity in fantasy WRs. As to Julio’s value, I’ll be doing my rest of the season ranks next week but I’d say he’s probably top 25 overall or maybe top 20 at a stretch which would put him in the range of guys like Trent Richardson, Stevan Ridley, Jordy Nelson and Wes Welker. In cases like this, I like to make offers for package trades – 2 for 2, 3 for 3 – so that that way I can try and hide the value of what I am receiving and get maximum value for what I am trading. Just a hint or two there.
Q: If Greg Jennings is out for most of the season, how do you rate the other Green Bay receivers? – Josh Thomas from St Paul, Minnesota
A: While we don’t have confirmation of Jennings timetable yet, the extended period of time he is likely to be out first and foremost favors Jordy Nelson who should now be Aaron Rodgers’ primary read. James Jones should be the next to receive a big upgrade for fantasy owners due to his being the guy who would take Jennings’ spot.
With that being said there has been news out of Green Bay this week that the Packers feel Randall Cobb is due for a big increase in his workload and that he is ready to take on a leading role in the offense. Whether or not he is ready suddenly becomes irrelevant – although fantasy owners would say he’s certainly there after last week – as the thing is that this endorsement of Cobb makes him the guy to own in the Packers receiving corps. When I do my rest of the season rankings this week, I expect I’ll have Cobb as a top 15 WR and possibly top 10.
Q: Rob Gronkowski week after week is ranked near the top but he has had some really awful games. How can you keep doing that and have Tony Gonzalez below him? – Luis Kendall from Montgomery, Alabama
A: Tony G has been nothing short of consistent this season – something I expected from him going into the year as I listed him as my sleeper TE pick when the NFL Spin Zone staff picked their sleepers and busts. I’ve also ranked him ahead of Gronk a couple of times and in fact I had the Patriots TE as low as 6th one week. This week’s ranking is a reflection of the fact that Aaron Hernandez is still hurt and so I expect Gronkowski to have a big week against the poor Rams secondary. Gonzalez has a tougher matchup and one that may see him used as a decoy a little more to free up Roddy and Julio against the star-studded Eagles corners. Very tough to rank though.
LATE UPDATE – Word from NFL.com reporter Albert Breer is that Aaron Hernandez did not make the trip to London. This adds more fuel to the theory that Gronk will get a greater share of the targets this week and increases his probability for success.
Q: I’ve been offered Brandon Marshall and Alfred Morris for Calvin Johnson. Megatron is my favorite player but is this too good to decline? – Joel from Portland, Oregon
A: Take this deal and run with it my friend. Megatron is arguably the best WR in the NFL but his failure to connect with Matthew Stafford for a touchdown is something worth worrying about. Brandon Marshall on the other hand has shown a powerful chemistry with Jay Cutler and is a top 5 WR for fantasy while Alfred Morris looks to have made the Redskins RB job his while getting massive production and looking good doing it. Calvin is awesome but when someone is willing to pay that much for him you just have to take it.
I will say this though – if you are playing fantasy football for fun, I would have no problem if you kept Calvin because he’s your favorite. I wouldn’t recommend it if you want to win but if that’s not your goal then just keep him.
That’s it for this week’s fantasy mailbag. As always, you can submit your question via email to [email protected] if you’d like to be featured in next week’s column. Keep an eye out next week for a special edition of my rankings in which I’ll do my top 200 for the rest of this season – that’ll be on top of my regular plug and play rankings for Week 9.
Until next time, this is the Fantasy Guru signing off.