The weekend mailbag is back! I’m also going to field Twitter questions. I think “new” technology like Twitter is fantastic and fantastically comical because as people we’re always behind the curve with how to use new tools. So I’m probably going to make fun of the questions I get on Twitter. If I rag on you or your question, I will provide a serious answer.
Q: From UnfetteredJon: Torrey Smith or Powell? 0.5 pt ppr
A: Jon, which “Powell” are you talking about? William? Bilal? Boog? I hope it isn’t Boog, although a zombie Boog could be particularly hard to tackle if pointed in the right direction. I think the upside of William Powell won’t be higher than this week against the Bills’ woeful defense. Because you have a limited PPR format, I think Arizona’s runner is probably the best game of the week because he’s likely to earn red zone looks and early-down touches. LaRod Stephens Howling could cut into Powell’s time, but Torrey Smith is no guarantee for more than 4-5 touches. Powell should earn at worst 8 touches, which against this Bills defense should be comparable. Any other defense, I’d go with Smith. So if you’re risk-averse, stick with Smith.
Q: FRom Turtle0414: Would you trade Jimmy Graham and Vick for A.J. Green and Stafford?
A: If I’m getting Green and Stafford, I would do that deal in a heartbeat in both re-draft and dynasty leagues. While I believe that an elite tight end is an anchor player – a player to build around that is capable of several yards of reliable production – an elite wide receiver and elite-capable quarterback are also anchor players. While Vick is capable of dizzying highs in his offense, he’s also a much greater risk of boom-bust play than Stafford. Plus Stafford and Green are still in the early stages of their careers, which could provide 10-12 more years of strong fantasy productivity.
In a re-draft league, Graham’s ankle injury could be troubling. My buddy Dr. Jene Bramel speculates that the way this injury was incurred could be a high ankle sprain. Now don’t sue the good doctor of fantasy malpractice, he did state that it’s only based on the limited information of seeing the injury take place and not anything regarding an examination. Even if Graham is okay, Vick is easily disrupted by blitzes from the secondary defenders and he plays with too much abandoned for my taste. I think Green and Stafford are safer. Take the deal.
Q: From Tim_Torch - Is it me or does Hilton look ready to breakout like Mike Wallace?
A: It’s you, Tim. No seriously, I think what you’re seeing is Wallace-like talent from Hilton. His speed, fluid athleticism, and comfort with the physical size of the game despite his size has always made him an intriguing player. I think the Colts want to give Hilton enough chances in every game to contribute and grow into that type of threat. However, I don’t think you’re going to see it consistently this year. Hilton is a nice match-up flex-play against the below-average pass defenses in fantasy football.
Q: From Benrathe – Need to start two from Demarco Murray, Alfred Morris, BGJE, and Ridley. Who dod you like in non-PPR, TD-heavy league? Thanks!
A: I love Murray and BGJE as running backs. I hate their offensive lines. Ditch those two immediately from your Sunday consideration other than bye weeks. I think Morris is an every-week starter. Paired with Griffin in this zone-read style running game, Morris earns a great advantage over several backs in more NFL-traditional running games. Ridley fumbled last week and earned some time on the bench, but I think he’ll still earn the starter looks in this game. However, if you want to engage in some over-analysis with me, I’d consider BJGE against Cleveland’s weak defense over Ridley because I suspect that the Seahawks defense is good enough that the Patriots will try to bait the Seattle defense into nickel or pass-heavy looks and then run Danny Woodhead or Shane Vereen from the red zone, which limits Ridley’s upside this week.
Q: From mcreech65 – Trade Forte for Welker? My backs are Run DMC, AP & Leshoure. My Wrs are Nicks, Crabtree, and Cobb (return ydg league).
A: Yes, I’d take that chance although I wish you could deal Leshoure for Welker. Don’t we all…However, I’d offer Run DMC first because Forte is a more consistent player and I’d prefer to keep him.
Q: From cappcc - Is Quinton Patton (LaTech, WR) a pro prospect or really just a college player?
A: Patton has good height, speed, and adjusts well to the football, even in tight coverage. He has a nice burst and good moves as a ball carrier in the open field. He makes sound decisions as a runner when he’s initially carrying the ball in the open field. He demonstrated good awareness of the sideline and flashes some skill at using his hands to get position on defenders after his break. He also flashes some willingness to use his hands against press coverage. I think Patton has NFL athleticism and the raw tools to work with as a potential pro prospect.
At the same time, Patton catches the ball too close to his body for my taste. He needs to learn to extend his arms from his body and attempt the reception at the first available window that the ball reaches the radius of his body. This will help Patton establish and maintain control of the ball even if he’s knocked around by a defender in tight coverage. The La.Tech receiver has good speed and decent agility, but there was a play where he attempted one move too many in the open field when he could have finished a run after the catch with a more physical pad level to earn additional yards. He needs to learn to carry the ball under his left arm, especially working to the left side of the field. When pressed in this game, Patton didn’t have an efficient game plan to work through it. He used the arm on the opposite side of the direction of the press to attempt to combat it and this cost him steps to the arriving pass. He has to do a better job of gaining and maintaining position on the ball on deeper routes versus defenders with equal or greater speed. He doesn’t create a situation where he forces the defender to run through him to cut of the pass.
I’m a little more intrigued with Myles White, the Michigan State transfer. He’s the receiver on that squad that I’d watch. He lacks Patton’s physical upside, but he’s a better natural technician at the position.
Q: Jeff_Dowden - Must-win 1-4. Start 2 of these 3. Gates Rudolph Ridley, 1 PPR RB. 1.5 PPR TE.
A: I love how the more advanced the technology, the more we sound like cavemen: Must win (grunt). 1-4 (ugh). Start 2 of these 3 ( Zug – Zug)…. You get the point. I think Rudolph and Gates are appealing because of the defensive match ups. Rudolph faces a Redskins defense that can play the run but gave up a ton of points to Tony Gonzalez last week. Gates has been underwhelming, but after Norv Turner and Philip Rivers lobby the refs hard before the game, I’m pretty sure Gates will bait the Denver secondary into at least two defensive pass interference penalties and net a big play from one of them. Ridley is the the safest play but his match up is terrible and I don’t think we see him at the goal line unless there’s a 1st-and-10 at the 1. Even so I think Gates and Ridley are the safe play. The all-in gamble, what-do-I-have-to-lose-because-I’m-1-4 is Gates and Rudolph.
Q: Trade offer, 10-team standard league – Ridley and Nelson for Mathews and Floyd? thank you, FBG John Slater
A: If you have depth at wide receiver, I’d do this now. Mathews looks fantastic when fed the football and Floyd will not be the odd-man out when Vincent Brown returns from injury. Nelson could get hot but like I said, if you have the receiving depth and Floyd will be your WR3 rather than your WR1-WR2, then do it.
Q: Hey Matt, should I start Gates or Hernandez and which two should I start at WR? Lloyd, Hartline, and Floyd (non-ppr)? Thanks nimrod2455
A: Go with Gates. He’s close to breaking out and Hernandez will be limited this week if he plays. I’d go with Hartline and Lloyd this week. Floyd might have a better game and Lloyd, but I suspect he’ll face Champ Bailey. I think Lloyd can provide a better baseline of production even against the stern test of those physical Seattle cornerbacks.
Q: Not great reports about Pierre Garcon’s health this week. Is William Powell a better flex-play, even in PPR? From rrochetti.
A: Yes, because the Redskins passing game is about as productive as the Cardinals ground game. That’s somewhat sarcastic, but Garcon’s toe injury is taking too long for him to do anything productive and the Vikings pass defense is maturing into a decent unit. Can’t same much about the Bills defense that’s nice. Give Powell a chance this week and then sell as high as you can.
Q: Do I start Brady or RGIII in a one-point per passing yard and four-point per touchdown scoring league? emay_33.
A: I start Brady. Both the Pats and Skins quarterbacks draw tough defensive match ups, but I like the freedom Brady has to change plays at the line and the complement of weapons at his disposal more than Griffin.