Ask the Geeks: Week 3 (Part 1)

It's Wednesday, so that means it's time for time for the first of our bi-weekly column, Ask the Geeks. This week has proven to be a pretty busy week in the mail room, but keep them coming and we'll try to help you make some of those more difficult roster decisions.

Robert asks: I have to choose between starting D. Branch or R. Curry. Who would you choose to start this week?

Brandon's take: After Branch's coming out party last week (122 yards), you have to go with him. I actually have both receivers in one of my leagues and I consider Branch one of my "start every week unless injured" players. Curry is only an emergency starter. If he can put together a few good games (he might this week), he might be worth the third roster spot, but until then make sure Branch is in your lineup each week. The funny part is that Curry is playing Cleveland and Branch is playing Cincinnati… so both should have a good game.

Matt's take: Branch, no question. They both have great matchups. The difference: Branch is the #1 receiver for Matt Hasselbeck, while Curry's the #2 receiver for a McClown.

Alison asks: For WR, I start S. Smith, M. Harrison, and D Jackson. My current bench WR (are) Marty Booker and Patrick Crayton. I'd likely lose Jacoby Jones on waivers, as I'm last in line, but would he be better than my bench? Any thoughts on Jason Avant, Mark Clayton, or Drew Carter?  Or all they are equally mediocre? Week 6, both Harrison and Jackson will be out, and I'll be screwed unless I can find decent back-ups. The reason I only have 2 bench wr, is that I have my bench full of equally mediocre RB, but that's another post.

Brandon's take: Wow… that's quite a question right there. Anyhow, I'll do my best to respond. First of all, Crayton is yet to prove that he is a viable replacement for Terry Glenn, so let him ride the pine until he proves that he is worth a start. Come Week 6, Mark Clayton might have returned to fantasy relevance, but currently he has a whopping -1 yards receiving, so let him show his stuff before you take a chance on him. At this point, I'd try to get (or keep) the backup receivers on your team in this order: Marty Booker, Patrick Crayton, Jacoby Jones (if you can get him), Jason Avant, Drew Carter and Mark Clayton. You might check to see if Nate Burleson, Bobby Engram, Jerry Porter or Dennis Northcutt are available, as I'd put them all above Jason Avant and below at this point. Hopefully this helped!

Matt's take: I'm with Brandon on this, so I have nothing constructive to contribute. I do need to admit that I'm completely smitten by any woman who can talk fantasy football. Please keep asking us questions.

Billy asks: I have Antonio Gates as my starting tight end and Daniel Graham of the broncos as my back-up. A trade has been proposed, Donte Stallworth for Daniel Graham. Should i do it? Also, I have Laurence Maroney, Frank Gore, and Derrick Ward as my running backs…should i sit Maroney and start Ward?

Brandon's take: First of all, feel free to trade Graham for whoever you can get. He should not even be on your roster at this point. There's very little need to carry 2 tight ends, especially when you have Gates. On Gates' bye week, I'm sure you could even pick Graham back up if you dropped him. Don't expect Stallworth to do all that much this year though… at this point he would make a average spot-start, but nothing more. On the topic of running backs, New England is currently the Randy Moss show, so don't expect Maroney to get great stats until that dies down a bit (plus Sammy Morris is sharing the carries). Ward has put up some solid games in Brandon Jacobs absence, so get him in the line-up until a) he gets hurt, b) Jacobs comes back, or c) New England decides that they're a run-first team.

Matt's take: Please don't waste a roster spot on a backup tight end, especially not on a mediocre one like Daniel Graham. And why are you targeting Donte Stallworth in the first place? He hasn't proven that he has any value on that team right now. He'll get more looks than he's been getting, but it's going to be spotty production at best. With the possible exception of Randy Moss, Brady is still a QB who likes to spread the wealth around.

I disagree with Brandon on Maroney/Ward. Buffalo's defense is terrible against the run, so Maroney should have one of his biggest days of the season in week 3. Sammy Morris is stealing carries, but I wouldn't quite call it a committee just yet.  I see New England running the ball a lot against the Bills this week, and with great success. This was a painful paragraph to write for a Bills fan, but it is what it is.

Chris asks: What the hell is wrong with Brees this year?

Brandon's take: Hah, this is a great question (luckily one I don't care about, but I'm sure my co-blogger does). However, neither Matt nor myself are doctors with privilege to Brees' medical conditions, nor are we mind readers, so truly figuring out what the hell is wrong with Brees could be a bit difficult. All I can say at this point is that you should still have faith in Brees for at least one more game. Last year it took Brees till Week 6 to really get things going. Of course he had the excuse of being new to the system and dealing with a few rookies. This year he really has no excuse. If he doesn't play well in his next start, hold on to him until he does have a good game, then trade him for Jay Cutler or Matt Leinart. 

Matt's take: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Brandon. It's week 3. Are we really talking about dealing Brees for a Cutler or Leinart if he has one more bad game? I'm actually suspicious that you're trying to con me into doing so (I can't help but notice that you've got Cutler in one of the leagues I've got Brees).

Here's my theory on the Saints: They came into the season with great confidence in an offensive system that had worked brilliantly for the entire 2006 season, and with few personnel changes on the offense, they likely made very few strategic changes. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? Problem is, their opponents had the whole off-season to figure out their rather unique multi-weapon system, and they aren't blindsiding anyone any more.

That sounds like bad news for their season, but I think they (both the coaches and the players) have the talent to shake things up and give defenses headaches like they did in 2006. It might not happen right away, but with guys like Brees, Bush, Colston, and Deuce on the offensive side of the ball, this squad is bound to start putting up points. And as for Brees, it really isn't such a bad thing to have a talented quarterback on a team with a poor defense – that just means he'll have to air it out more often.

Above all, it's been two weeks. If the Saints get back to their old ways and light up the scoreboard in week 3, we'll all forget we ever doubted them.