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HTH Mailbag
Week 7
10/22/04

Here is a mix of interesting questions I received from fantasy players this past week, and the response provided. If you have a question for the HTH Mailbag, just drop me an email.

Note that not all questions will be answered because it just isn't possible to respond to them all. Also there are no certainties in fantasy football. The responses represent one opinion to consider in your final decision managing your fantasy team. Overall, I just Hope This Helps...


Hi Mike, Any word on Koren Robinson? I'm not sure whether to pick Brandon Lloyd or Nate Burleson or stay put with Robinson. Hate to waste the 2nd pick in this week's free agent draft, so I'm toying with making the following offers:

1) Trade Brandon Stokley and the 2nd pick for Reggie Wayne and the 7th pick

or

2) Trade Stokley and 2nd pick for Eric Moulds or Isaac Bruce and the 9th pick

Which option do you like best? Also would you trade Michael Bennett straight up for underperforming Kevan Barlow?

Thanks, Don

Hey Don. Tough questions here. I've been looking around for some status update on Robinson's suspension, and I can't find much. Looks like he will play this week but alternate time with Jerry Rice. Since the suspension is forthcoming, I might be inclined to drop him, honestly, if there isn't a "better" (worse) option from your roster to drop. If you need someone this week, then obviously Lloyd is no use to you since he has a bye week. Burleson is a good option this week especially if Moss is limited. I like Lloyd better for the rest of the season though.

If you can pull off that second trade I would do it. Stokely has been good but he is still the #3 guy on the team while Moulds is #1 and Bruce is #1A. They should be much more reliable all season.

Bennett for Barlow...hmm... Bennett is wearing a knee brace right now and will be eased back in to action starting this week. I think I would do that deal to get Barlow. I know he has been disappointing, but we don't know how Bennett will respond back from injury and the whole RB situation looks like a real mess between him, Mewelde Moore and once Onterrio Smith returns from suspension. Barlow is still the main guy for the 49ers and with the right matchup should perform well.

Good luck!

Hey Mike, I wanted to ask you a couple of lineup questions for the upcoming week.

First, with Eric Moulds facing the Ravens this week do you think that I should bench him? My bench receivers are Marcus Robinson (who may be the #1 guy in Minnesota this week), Donte' Stallworth and Eddie Kennison (I can never seem to guess this right and, consequently, I end up with a 25 point performer on my bench).

Also, with the Bears facing the Bucs this week do you think that I should sit Thomas Jones in favor of Stephen Davis who is facing a weaker San Diego defense? Jones has carried my team for much of the season and I'm not sure if I should just treat him as a must start or still play matchups with him and Davis. I also have Fred Tayor who can't seem to get it going (possibly you think he should sit?).

I appreciate the time, Rick

Hi Rick. I would start Robinson over Moulds even if Moss does play. There is a good chance he (Moss) will be limited and at the rate Daunte Culpepper is tossing TDs, Robinson is still a great start. Moulds would be #2 on that list. Stallworth might not play due to a rib injury and was less than impressive last Sunday night. Kennison is still working his way back from injury so expectations are very low even if he gets back on the field this week.

On the RB situation, I think you have that slightly backwards on the strength of the defense actually. The Bucs are giving up 4.1 yards per carry to opposing RB while the Chargers have been impressive allowing only 3.5. The Chargers have limited Chris Brown, Fred Taylor and Warrick Dunn in consecutive weeks. The Bucs gave up 100 yards to Deuce McAllister two weeks ago and I wouldn't say they really stopped the Rams twin attack of Marshall Faulk and Steven Jackson last week.

Now, Jones is a risky start because the Bucs will most certainly key on Jones and force Jonathan Quinn to try to beat them. The Panthers have more options to keep the Chargers off balance. However, on the flip side the Bears know if they stand a chance they have to utilize Jones a lot. He will get his opportunities, plus he gets a chance to show off to the team that didn't ante up to resign him from last year. Stephen Davis is still having some knee problems. I would go with Jones this week, paired with Taylor.


Only a couple questions this week so let's highlight some of the moves I made with my teams. Note I'm not a big trader, preferring to diligently pull guys off waivers, but I did manage a couple small to medium trades this week in one league with potential of setting up a third bigger trade.

League Basics: 16 team dynasty league with IDP; start 11 offense every week (that's right, 16 teams and 11 starters on offense!)

Trade A: Send 2005 5th round rookie/FA pick for 1.03 waiver pick (selected Jermaine Wiggins)

Analysis: With so many teams in this league and big rosters (22 offense, 39 total), you can imagine there is practically nothing on the waiver wire. However, one player that did appeal to me was Wiggins. Honestly, he was the only potential point producing player I saw. When the team with the 3rd waiver pick posted they would take the best future draft pick for the waiver pick, and no one was jumping on it, I took a chance Wiggins would fall past the first two teams. It was a risk because after Wiggins I had no one I wanted or would have sacrificed the draft pick for. The top 2 teams are in a rebuilding mode though, so I gave it a 70-30 chance I would get Wiggins. As it turned out, I did.

Now, what I haven't mentioned is I already have Antonio Gates and Jeremy Shockey tearing it up for me at TE. Do I need Wiggins? Not really, but, with 11 starters per week depth is extremely important in this league. There are a lot of teams who cannot start 11 point producers each week. To that end, I think Wiggins represents good value through the rest of this season the way Daunte Culpepper is spreading the ball around. Also, this could set me up on a future deal to trade Gates, Shockey, or Wiggins (another couple TDs for him this week would help) to a TE weak team. Wiggins could package with a couple WRs like Marcus Robinson, Brandon Stokley, Muhsin Muhammad for a better RB or WR perhaps.

Trade B: Send Michael Pittman, Johnnie Morton and Tyler Brayton for Marcus Robinson, Cato June and Jamal Robertson

Analysis: Robertson was a throw-in the other owner was going to drop. Not a bad throw-in really. The crux of the deal though was I wanted Robinson and needed LB help in a big way. Plus, Pittman was getting increasingly frustrating to me watching him play and never able to break a tackle. Short term, I'm going for the title this year (currently sitting tied for 1st with an 11-1 record using double headers) and I'm hoping Robinson can stay healthy for one of the few times in his NFL career. If Culpepper stays hot, Robinson should continue to produce. June was hyped in preseason but started slow in his new position. However, he showed much better promise the last two games, and I expect will continue to improve as he gets more comfortable with the season wearing on.

Now, I did give up a starting RB but with our heavy flex options really Robinson is position equal to Pittman. Gruden loves a committee, and I don't think it will take much convincing to replace Pittman or cut into his carries next season. Pittman is running out of chances. As is Johnnie Morton. He is doing okay this year. He can't find the end zone though and has benefited from Eddie Kennison's absence. However, the deal helped the team receiving these players because he now has two regular offensive starters where before he had Robinson and then a backup or non-point-producing starter. I was disappointed to lose Brayton but depth at DE made this bearable and was necessary to close the deal.

Overall, this might have very little long-term impact from a dynasty perspective but I believe it positions me better for this season with a greater chance of helping me next season.

Waiver Picks of the Week:

Red Eye Masters (12 team redraft with IDP; 33 player roster)

Add Eric Parker, Drop ReShard Lee
Add Ray Thompson, Drop Mark Roman

Analysis: First thing to note, I'm still hanging onto the #1 ranking in this league as I have most of the season. There have been a lot of injuries to work around but the worst-to-first waiver order has made pickings pretty slim.

On these picks, Clinton Portis is off this week, Koren Robinson I thought was going to be suspended. All of a sudden I'm having trouble starting 7 skill position players. I don't think Keenan McCardell will make a major impact with the Chargers, or certainly, not in his first week. With Reche Caldwell now sidelined for the year, insert Parker, who has been hit or miss and was actually the original Charger I expected to breakout if any wide receiver was going to. He currently has the lead to start for me over Kevin Jones and Koren Robinson this week

The second pick is a take a shot choice to improve LB depth, where I've been decimated with injury. Thompson missed the first 3 games of the season with injury, but came back week 4 and 5 posting okay tackle numbers. He might make a decent spot start. Like I said, taking a shot here. I had run out of patience waiting for Mark Roman to show me something.

AntSports $50 League (12 team redraft)

Add Jerry Rice, Drop ReShard Lee

Analysis: This is my worst league! Barely out of the gate I lost Steve Smith, Kellen Winslow, Charlie Garner, Julius Jones (draft picks 3-6). Jeff Garcia sucked. Joey Harrington wasn't much better. Pretty much none of my late round sleeper picks panned out. The whole team rests with LaDainian Tomlinson and Hines Ward. A 2-4 record and 8th in scoring doesn't seem that bad when put in perspective.

Well, this week Ward is on a bye, as is Brandon Lloyd (waiver pickup). WR choices were Keary Colbert and David Terrell with little on the waiver wire. What the hell. It is going to take no time for Jerry Rice to fit in to the Seattle offense. Matt Hasselbeck might be amazed he has a receiver who can actually catch the ball for once. Would it surprise me if Mike Holmgren gets him involved right away? Not at all. And like I said, this is a what the hell pick. As luck would have it, I'm playing the one guy I know in this league this week, who is not doing so hot himself. Time to have some fun and cheer for the future hall of famer on my fantasy team.



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