Fantasy Football Today

[an error occurred while processing this directive]







Staff Writer
Email Mike

Mike's Articles

HTH Mailbag
Week 8
10/29/04

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...


Hey Mike,

With the trading deadline in my league approaching I was trying to make last minute improvements. My team is pretty well-rounded but one place where I would like to improve is TE. I have Marcus Pollard, who is ok, but I was looking to upgrade. My WRs are: Moss, Mason, Moulds, Wayne, Stallworth, and Lloyd. I feel that I may be able to lose one.

Do you think that it would be wise to upgrade my TE position - possibly if it means trading Mason or Moulds to get one. If so, what kind of TE do you think that I could get in return. I know this may be difficult because it is somewhat dependant on the strengths and weaknesses of the other teams. Do you think that I should just sit tight?

Thanks, Dan

Hi Dan. Excellent question. You haven't mentioned how many WR you start each week so I will assume a fairly standard 3, in which case you have some nice depth at WR to the point it has to be tough picking the starters each week. Moss (Randy, right?) is a no brainer, then probably Mason and Moulds but Wayne has been very good (hopefully the "polite" shove towards Manning doesn't hurt him) and Lloyd is coming on. Stallworth should be doing better then he is if not for too many dropped passes.

Pollard is tough to get excited about because there is so much sharing the ball with all the receivers in Indy. Heck, Pollard even has to share at the TE position much less the top 3 WR and Edge. If you can get a quality TE who you can rely on more each week for the cost of one of these receivers, then yes, I would try to make a trade. The question is what TE to target. Here are the ones residing at the top of the stats chart that I like above Pollard:

Antonio Gates
Eric Johnson
Randy McMichael
Daniel Graham
Alge Crumpler
Tony Gonzalez
Jason Witten
Jeremy Shockey
Jermaine Wiggins

With 9 on this list, there is a good chance at least one team in your league is holding a pair of them. It would be a good start to target that team for a deal. Note there are some other TE I would pick and start regularly above Pollard, like Jeremy Stevens and L.J. Smith, but I wouldn't go out of my way to acquire them via trade because they really haven't proven to be any more reliable then Pollard to this point. They should be part of a smaller deal. If we're going to trade one of your quality receivers, lets focus on the top 9.

Gates, Gonzalez and possibly Johnson and Graham owners will probably be the most reluctant to trade their guys even for a Mason or Moulds receiver. Both receivers have some spots right now each playing in dismal offenses led by poor QB play. It is worth a shot though as you might catch someone in the argument, "hey, it's only a TE which is (historically) a poor value position."

Based on my perceived cost-benefit of acquiring each of these top four guys, I would rank and target them Gates, Graham, Johnson and then Gonzo. You know the Gonzo owner paid much more then the other owners did so he might still command the highest price even though Gonzo is getting out fantasy-scored by the other 3 through 7 weeks. Mason or Moulds + Pollard for one of these guys - possibly a bit light but worth trying.

Of the remaining group, I like Shockey and he would probably be my top choice to target with highest expectations of getting a deal done at a reasonable cost. He started the season active but below expectations, was solid weeks 4 and 5, had an off week and then did little last week. Overall, pretty average. But, Shockey was not happy with his role in the offense early on as Tom Coughlin was using him more as a blocker. Coughlin has backed off that a bit and the two short TD catches show that.

Health will always be a concern with Shockey (same with Eric Johnson) but assuming he can stay out of the infirmary he could easily perform on pace with the top 4.

For the remaining guys, it is worth noting I posted an open invitation to one of my leagues to trade Randy McMichael and no offers have come back to me. He is another good one to target because he is performing great but on a bad team that fantasy owners really don't want much to do with. Someone has to catch the ball though, right?

What about Jermaine Wiggins? He is a guy who you shouldn't have to give up Mason or Moulds for, but could be a pretty good option for you. I've watched Culpepper a fair bit this season and he does check down to the TE regularly while Moss and company are stretching the field. Wiggins is also getting targets in the red zone. The way Stallworth is playing (frustrating is an understatement), and considering your other options at WR, I might just do a Stallworth for Wiggins deal. Or, Wiggins is a nice guy to grab as part of a package deal. Worse RB + Mason or Moulds for Better RB + Wiggins is something to think about.

The only guys I haven't mentioned are Crumpler and Witten. Two more good options but I've never been that excited with Crumpler due to Vick's passing. Perhaps if I watched more Atlanta games I'd have a stronger opinion on him.

Witten had a great game last week so it might not be the easiest/best time to trade for him. This is another guy I haven't seen play enough. I would worry about inconsistency as a second year player but looking at the stat line he has been pretty active in catches, just low yardage in all but 2 games. This is likely due to the max protect the Cowboys use to keep Vinny standing upright. Now with Glenn and Morgan hurting, it could open up more opportunity for Witten. Might as well ask what the owner is looking in return for him, but I've already given you lots of other options, right?

Call this the year of the TE. Now, get to work!

Mike,

I wanted to ask you a couple of questions. First, What do you think will be the result of the RB situation in Minnesota. Do you think that the featured back will get enough touches to warrant starting and keep me competitive or do you think that a RB by committee could emerge, diminishing the value of all?

Second, I am currently looking for a backup QB. I have Vinny Testaverde. The only QBs in my league that are available that start are Carson Palmer and Mark Brunell. Should I drop Vinny and pick one up or just stick with him?

Thanks, Tim

Hi Tim. What I think right now is Mewelde Moore is playing so well they can't possibly pull him from the starter position. And from what I've seen of him, I think he will continue to perform the way he has and not give an opportunity to relinquish the job over to Onterrio Smith on his return from suspension. Now, Moore hasn't found the end zone yet and it appears he won't unless he breaks one from 15+ yards out. In close it will be Onterrio Smith and Moe Williams territory. I really don't think Michael Bennett is in the team's future plans as he is being moved to return kicks. Overall, I think Moore will get enough touches and perform well enough in that offense to keep you more then competitive. It is a bit riskier then some other situations because of the quality of other backs behind him, but for now I'm very comfortable with Moore as a number 2 fantasy RB.

I tried to pull some data together on the history of Minnesota RBs to give us a better answer, but it really didn't tell me much other then there hasn't been a lot of sharing in the Vikings backfield since 2002. Well, on the other hand maybe that is what we want to hear. Whoever the starter is gets the bulk of the load come game day, and as the table shows, the top RB in Minny has been a prosperous fantasy position to bank on.

MIN Starters Get The Bulk Of The Work
 Season  Wk  Name  Starter  Inj  Att  Yds  TDs  Rec  Rec Yds  Rec TDs  FF Pts
2002 1 M. Bennett Y   16 53 0 0 0 0 5.3
2002 1 M. Williams     7 48 0 1 -4 0 5.4
2002 2 M. Bennett Y P 10 45 0 0 0 0 4.5
2002 2 M. Williams     17 102 1 0 0 0 16.2
2002 3 M. Bennett Y   9 23 1 3 33 0 14.6
2002 3 M. Williams     4 16 0 4 66 0 12.2
2002 4 M. Bennett Y P 15 91 0 4 44 0 17.5
2002 4 M. Williams     6 19 2 7 77 0 28.6
2002 6 M. Bennett Y   16 68 0 4 70 1 23.8
2002 6 M. Williams     2 4 1 2 18 0 10.2
2002 7 M. Bennett Y   12 56 0 0 0 0 5.6
2002 7 M. Williams     5 16 1 4 30 0 14.6
2002 8 M. Bennett Y   29 106 0 6 30 0 19.6
2002 8 M. Williams     6 9 1 1 13 0 9.2
2002 9 M. Bennett Y   10 114 1 3 27 0 23.1
2002 9 M. Williams     7 43 2 6 30 0 25.3
2002 10 M. Bennett Y   15 167 1 2 9 0 25.6
2002 10 M. Williams     2 2 1 1 10 0 8.2
2002 11 M. Bennett Y   20 130 0 1 9 0 14.9
2002 11 M. Williams     6 29 1 0 0 0 8.9
2002 12 M. Bennett Y   14 55 0 1 8 0 7.3
2002 12 M. Williams   P 6 39 0 1 11 0 6
2002 13 M. Bennett Y P 18 86 1 2 6 0 17.2
2002 13 M. Williams     5 3 0 0 0 0 0.3
2002 14 M. Bennett Y   19 120 0 3 8 0 15.8
2002 14 M. Williams   D 2 45 0 0 0 0 4.5
2002 15 M. Bennett Y   15 46 0 3 61 0 13.7
2002 15 M. Williams   Q 1 2 0 1 6 0 1.8
2002 16 M. Bennett Y   18 54 0 2 15 0 8.9
2002 16 M. Williams   P 2 2 1 0 0 0 6.2
2002 17 M. Bennett Y   19 82 1 3 31 0 20.3
2002 17 M. Williams     6 35 0 0 0 0 3.5
2003 1 M. Williams Y   22 80 0 0 0 0 8
2003 1 O. Smith     0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2003 2 M. Williams Y   21 108 1 4 50 0 25.8
2003 2 O. Smith     9 47 0 1 9 0 6.6
2003 3 M. Williams Y   13 95 0 6 54 0 20.9
2003 3 O. Smith     2 3 0 1 6 0 1.9
2003 4 M. Williams Y   13 43 0 2 16 0 7.9
2003 4 O. Smith     10 43 1 1 1 0 11.4
2003 5 O. Smith Y   13 63 0 2 23 0 12.6
2003 5 M. Williams     11 71 2 2 15 0 22.6
2003 7 M. Williams Y   14 42 0 4 50 1 19.2
2003 7 O. Smith     5 29 1 0 0 0 8.9
2003 8 O. Smith Y   11 32 0 1 17 0 5.9
2003 8 M. Williams     11 69 0 2 19 0 10.8
2003 9 M. Williams Y   12 63 0 4 26 0 12.9
2003 9 M. Bennett Y   8 43 0 3 15 0 8.8
2003 9 O. Smith     0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2003 10 M. Williams Y   12 45 0 11 126 2 40.1
2003 10 M. Bennett     5 23 0 2 22 0 6.5
2003 10 O. Smith     0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2003 11 M. Bennett Y   5 13 0 2 59 0 9.2
2003 11 M. Williams     10 39 0 6 80 0 17.9
2003 11 O. Smith     0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2003 12 M. Bennett Y   15 73 1 0 0 0 13.3
2003 12 M. Williams     5 14 0 6 56 0 13
2003 12 O. Smith     0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2003 13 M. Bennett Y   14 98 0 3 24 0 15.2
2003 13 M. Williams     6 2 1 7 35 0 16.7
2003 13 O. Smith     0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2003 14 M. Bennett Y   25 103 0 2 12 0 13.5
2003 14 M. Williams     8 28 0 3 29 0 8.7
2003 14 O. Smith     4 40 0 0 0 0 4
2003 15 O. Smith Y   27 148 0 2 10 0 17.8
2003 15 M. Williams   P 4 0 0 4 55 0 9.5
2003 15 M. Bennett   P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2003 16 M. Bennett Y P 6 31 0 0 0 0 3.1
2003 16 O. Smith   P 21 146 3 4 37 0 40.3
2003 16 M. Williams   P 5 34 0 2 18 0 7.2
2003 17 M. Bennett Y P 12 63 0 0 0 0 6.3
2003 17 M. Williams     7 12 1 2 15 0 10.7
2003 17 O. Smith     5 28 0 3 26 0 8.4
2004 1 M. Williams Y   6 27 0 1 8 0 4.5
2004 1 O. Smith     15 76 0 1 63 1 20.9
2004 1 M. Moore     1 8 0 1 8 0 2.6
2004 1 M. Bennett   O 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2004 2 O. Smith Y   10 28 0 8 56 0 16.4
2004 2 M. Moore     0 0 0 1 6 0 1.6
2004 2 M. Williams   Q 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2004 2 M. Bennett   O 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2004 3 O. Smith Y   17 94 0 6 104 0 25.8
2004 3 M. Moore   P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2004 3 M. Williams   Q 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2004 3 M. Bennett   Q 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2004 5 M. Moore Y   20 92 0 12 90 0 30.2
2004 5 M. Williams   Q 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2004 5 M. Bennett   O 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2004 6 M. Moore Y   15 109 0 7 78 0 25.7
2004 6 M. Williams   P 6 66 0 1 13 0 8.9
2004 6 M. Bennett   O 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2004 7 M. Moore Y   20 138 0 5 30 0 21.8
2004 7 M. Williams   P 3 10 1 1 1 0 8.1
2004 7 M. Bennett   Q 1 0 0 0 0 0 0

At QB, I would stick with Testaverde for now but watch close how he and Palmer each perform this week, particularly Testaverde without his #2 and #3 receivers. I'd like to see more from Palmer then just the one decent game he had last week thanks to Champ Bailey tripping over himself. Brunell is not an option at all in my mind.

Cheers.



[an error occurred while processing this directive]