Fantasy Football Mailbag Week 9


Will Dwayne Bowe be a top-five fantasy receiver in 2013 if Geno Smith joins the Chiefs? See below in this week’s mailbag. Photo by Jeffery Beall.

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@ToshMarks Think Dwayne Bowe is a top-5 guy next season if he elects to stay w/ Geno Smith in KC? 

A: No. As good as Geno Smith can become as an NFL quarterback, and as good as recent rookie quarterbacks have been in their first year in the league, let’s examine some of those situations to understand why the chances of Bowe becoming a top-five fantasy option at receiver is possible, but still improbable if the Chiefs draft Smith in April. Cam Newton helped revive Steve Smith’s career in 2011, and Smith was just outside the top-five – No.6 among fantasy receivers last year – with a total of 79 catches, 1394 yards and 7 scores. Depending on your league’s scoring system, he might have been a top-five guy. Reggie Wayne has a shot to be a top-five receiver this year with Andrew Luck  this year. His 54 catches for 752 yards and 2 scores places him in the top 10 in most leagues.

Fortunately for Bowe if he stays in Kansas City, Smith is a pocket passer. This will give the veteran a solid chance to return to his potential as a top-10 fantasy receiver. Two years ago he was the No.2 fantasy receiver in many leagues with 72 catches, 1162 yards, and 15 touchdowns, but Matt Cassel had a year that earned him an invitation to the Pro Bowl. As much as we can project Smith to be an eventual improvement to the Chiefs passing game, I think vaulting Bowe to top-five status during Smith’s first season when he don’t know who will coach the Chiefs, who will coach the Chiefs offense, and what type of offense Kansas City will use to pair with the rookie.

If Smith plays to Newton or Luck’s standard of passing production as rookies, then I think Bowe is a good gamble to crack the top-10. Note that Smith had 7 touchdowns with Newton and Wayne is projected to have 4 scores with Luck this year. Bowe’s top-five season in 2010 was a 15-touchdown affair. I don’t think Bowe is that much better of an option in the red zone than Smith and Wayne. He may be a more user-friendly option for a young quarterback due to his size, but I’m not willing to project more than six to eight touchdowns for Bowe if Smith plays as well as Newton or Luck. That production alone will make it unlikely for Bowe to achieve that kind of production.

Bowe is a good buy-low if you believe he’ll stay in Kansas City and the Chiefs take a high-profile quarterback prospect in the 2013 Draft. Of course, a good or bad buy-low is a hindsight judgment later and a gamble now. You like gamble? We gamble. 

@meadsentim Hi Matt! WDIS non-ppr; need two: Harvin, Cobb, and Wayne. Thanks!

Harvin gets a tough draw this week against the Seahawks, but @meadsentim’s options aren’t much better. Photo by Mark Trammell.

A: If you’re seeking upside, Harvin and Cobb are the best two options because of their big-play ability and use in the red zone. Wayne only has two touchdowns this year. You could say Wayne is “due” but I prefer to think he’s just not a good red zone option this year due to the Colts young offense and the priority defenses place on defending the veteran in that area of the field. Dolphins cornerback Sean Smith has played good football while covering primary receivers during the month of October.

Despite the lack of red zone love, Wayne is probably the safest play because Harvin faces a stifling Seahawks defense and Cobb draws the Cardinals. If Jordy Nelson returns this week then Cobb isn’t going to see as much time against Patrick Peterson, which makes him a nice gamble if you’re seeking a high-upside option. However, I think Cobb will be the biggest gamble in that situation – he’s capable of fantasy WR1 production, but his downside will be WR4, or worse. Harvin is a physical player and combined with his speed, I think he’s capable of performing as no less than a fantasy WR3 this week. Wayne has the least upside, but the least downside.

@Gbucki19 Matt love your insight on the audible. Desperation PPR play due to Sproles injury: Stephens-Howling or Joique Bell?

A: Thanks GB,  I’d go with Bell because of the match-up with the Jaguars, his use in the passing game, and the consistency factor. Stephens-Howling is more likely to break off a long run or pass reception for a score. It’s up to you to decide which you want, but I’d go with Bell.

@Rodriguez350Z Would you give up Spiller and Decker for Mega in PPR? Have Roddy/DMoore/Torrey/Dez/JStew/Trent/RJennings on team?

Would you trade C.J. Spiller and Eric Decker for Megatron? Photo by Matt Britt

A: In a dynasty league, I’d see if I could give up Torrey Smith and Spiller for Calvin Johnson because Decker is going to be a more consistent force for the next two to three years if the Ravens offense remains the same during that span. The Ravens don’t use Smith all over the field with as much frequency as the Broncos use Decker. If your trade partner balks at Smith, I’d make the deal even if it didn’t help me this year. In a re-draft league with a winning team I’d stick with what you have because Calvin Johnson’s knees are clearly bothering him and Decker has a fantastic schedule ahead while Spiller is a reasonable fantasy RB2 and Stewart remains a gamble. If your team is questionable to make the playoffs and you need to go big or go home, this trade would be the appropriate gamble.

@StanStanislav Redraft nonPPR – my QBs are crap. Trade Alf Morris for Jon Stewart and Vick? Other RBs are Mathews and DMC.

A: If I could give ALF and Jon Stewart and get Vick in return, I’d do it in a heartbeat – as long as I can get something back for Stewart because he’s funny. As for this deal with the actual football players, I don’t know what you define as “crap” in terms of quarterback play. I’d be more inclined to trade Mathews and see if you can get an upgrade to Vick if the perception on Mathews is higher. It might not be. I’d take the gamble if this is the potential difference between making the playoffs and your team being done by Thanksgiving.

@cappcc Decker, AndreJ, Cobb, Wayne…pick 3. Non-ppr, 50 ret yd/pt

A: Leave Cobb out of the equation because he’s likely to see Patrick Peterson in heavy doses since Jordy Nelson remains a game time decision.

@9ssg Forgot to pull offer last night giving mega/BJGE for Charles/Wayne. Owner accepted this morning after Injury. Am I screwed?

A: Not at all. Charles passed concussion tests, Johnson’s knees are bugging him just as Titus Young and Ryan Broyles are emerging, and Reggie Wayne is one of the steadiest players you can have at the position. If anything, your trade partner might be feeling like he got the worse end of the deal. You have more upside with Charles and Wayne.

@jackedup Then what is Casey worth keeping for as RB or TE? 

A: If your league allows you to keep James Casey as a tight end, do it. Just understand that you better be in a pretty deep league to be hanging onto him and Texans tight end Garrett Graham has a lot of skills that are similar to Owen Daniels so Casey is not guarantee as the next man up if Daniels goes down.

@Lukinrats Give Hartline and Leshoure to get D.Moore or trade Wayne to get Cruz?

Denarius Moore has fantasy WR1 upside down the stretch. Photo by Wade Rackley.

I’d trade Hartline and Leshoure to get Moore because of Moore’s schedule and the fact that Wayne for Cruz is a bit of wash. Both receivers have good schedules down the stretch so the point differential doesn’t to project to that different. Moore has the upside to perform like a strong, fantasy WR2 that I don’t see with Hartline and Leshoure continues to split time with Joique Bell in a pass-first offense. I’m presuming you have two better starting running backs to do this deal. See if you can get something back for Hartline and Leshoure – a handcuff running back that doesn’t see the field but has a good schedule ahead if his starter gets hurt – or a young receiver with promise if a similar situation were to arise.

SmithingaboutFB:With news of Megatron, would you vault Titus Young over Spiller, Jimmy Graham, or Harvin for flex? (TE not required)

A: If you go more towards the math of week production that somewhat accounts schedule within it then Young isn’t a bump over these three starters. If you don’t heavily factor the weekly math then I’d consider Young over Spiller or Harvin but I think it’s a huge risk and wouldn’t recommend it.

American_Grown: I need a bye-week replacement at TE (Dwayne Allen or Jared Cook) and two of Alex Green, Sidney Rice, and Torrey Smith, thanks!

A: I’d stick with Green another week and as strange as it sounds, sit Smith against the Browns’ Joe Haden and take a shot on Rice. It’s all very close. I would say that Smith has more upside, but also greater downside than Smith. I just think Green is a talented runner who just hasn’t been patient. The team is aware of it and trying to work with him. I think Arizona’s run defense is bad enough that it could be a solid week for him. Plus, get gets the carries. Odds are in his favor that enough good comes from it. Cook probably has more upside, but with Fleener out I’d go with Allen, who I think will benefit this week.

FFonmymind: Which side do you like in this PPR Dynasty Trade: Ray Rice for Doug Martin and Hillman?

Hard to trade Ray Rice in a dynasty league, but there are factors that make it easier. See below. Photo by Lewis McChord.

A: If I’m in contention this year, I keep Rice. In fact Rice should be a strong RB1 for another three to four years. However, if I’m playing the odds with a team I’m rebuilding, Martin and Hillman are the smarter deal due to upside. Martin already has the feature back role with a coach that recruited Rice to Rutgers and knew how to use him. Martin reminded me of a mix of Rice and Frank Gore so I think that makes the deal appealing. Willis McGahee is playing good football, but Ronnie Hillman has Tiki Barber-like potential. He’s earning enough carries this year that he should be in contention to have a C.J. Spiller-like breakout next. That’s two starters for the price of one big-time starter. If you know that you’re not likely to make the playoffs this year, Rice is probably worth trading away for this duo. See if you can squeeze a draft pick or two from this deal before saying yes.

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