Ask the Geeks: Week 4

Chris asks: Okay guys I’m stuck… My 3rd round pick this year was Drew Brees (unfortunately) and my backup is J.P. (once again unfortunately). Brees has a bye week next week and so I have no one. I am in a keeper league that charges $$ to pick up players. My options are Favre, Harrington, Pennington, and Edwards. What advice do you give me for my disaster QB position. I’m thinking about picking up two QBs and spending about $8 between the two.

Matt’s take: I don’t really see Harrington or Edwards as viable fantasy options right now, so cross them off the list. I’m surprised Favre’s still available, and he’s the obvious pickup if you can get him; he looks better now than he has in years (though I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop and for him to throw four picks in a half). Pennington’s an option against Buffalo in week 4, but most weeks you wouldn’t want him in there.

Brandon’s take: Don’t pay any money for Edwards or Harrington, as they will most likely not be starting in a few weeks. Favre is the guy to get here, as his wide receiver corps is finally getting healthy and looks like they’ll be pretty productive with Driver, Jennings and Jones. As Matt said, Pennington would be the second QB to consider.

Another guy named Chris asks: What caliber player/s would you expect to receive for Antonio Gates? L. Fitzgerald, or C. Chambers, D. Ward…etc? I also have Ben Watson as my backup TE (TD every game so far), so I think it’s not too bad to trade Gates.

Matt’s take: It’s tough to put a finger on Gates’ value, but you have to remember that there is nobody – nobody – in the league from whom you can expect comparable performance on a regular basis at the TE position. With Gates on your team, you go into every match-up with the automatic advantage of having a real fantasy player in the TE slot, while your opponent generally will have to hope their guy gets lucky and winds up with the ball in his hands in the end zone (Ben Watson fits this description to a T).

I’m tempted to say that you just plain shouldn’t trade him, but if you really want to do so, take a look at your league’s draft results. Gates has had a great start to the season, so bump him up in value one round above where he was taken, then look at the other players who were taken in that round (probably 3 or 4). You’ll likely see names like Fitzgerald, Edge James, and Thomas Jones. Any of those guys might make for a decent trade, but give some consideration from this thought first: You’re about to go from starting A-Gates every week at the TE spot to starting… Ben Watson. Is that something you really want to do?

Brandon’s take: I would actually try to sell Watson now as he’s probably at his highest value of the season. Instead of trading Gates for a receiver, package Watson and a receiver to get an even better receiver. That way you keep Gates and get an upgrade at the WR position. If you must trade Gates though, I wouldn’t even trade him for Fitzgerald (considering Arizona’s problems) or Ward (Brandon Jacobs is back next week). I’d be looking to trade him (packaged with a lesser receiver) for Roy Williams or Torry Holt, or (packaged with a lesser running back) for Edge, Ronnie Brown, or someone else of that caliber. Having Gates allows you to start 4 quality wide receivers…if you trade him you’ll lose that competitive advantage for sure.

Richard asks: Week Four: In the flex spot, Travis Henry or Lee Evans? Should I wait for Evans to have one good game before even considering him when there is a favorable match-up?

Matt’s take: Lee Evans is a very-low-end #2 WR, at best, this week (and that won’t change until he shows us something… anything). Travis Henry is a low-end #1 RB against Indy, and is good enough to be the back who finally takes some of the shine off the so-far-impressive Indy rushing defense. I can’t imagine any reason to start Evans over Henry this week (or any week).

Brandon’s take: Start Henry for sure. The Bills are starting a rookie quarterback and Evans hasn’t proven anything this year. Henry has been solid so far and should get some decent yards even against a stout Indy run defense.