Ask the Geeks: Mailbox overflow edition!

With questions for the Geeks coming in at a record-breaking pace, I figured it was time to respond to a few more to ensure your teams have the upper hand going into¬† the weekend. With the amount of questions this time, I tried to break them into two categories: “Lineup Suggestions” and “Trade Talk”. Remember to send us any more questions you might have here.

Lineup Suggestions

Mac asks…

I am dealing with the decision to either start Jay Cutler or Brett Favre on week one. I just have been picking my brain apart and cannot make up my mind? So who should I definitely start for sure!!!! Please help me


Brandon’s take: Both Cutler and Favre go into week one with major questions about how they’ll perform with their new teams, not to mention who they’re going to throw the ball to. Cutler’s number one target is a reformed kick returner (Devin Hester), while Favre will look to a guy who has been injured the better part of the preseason (Bernard Berrian) and with who he isn’t quite on the same page yet. I’d go with Cutler against the Packers, because I think that game is going to become a shootout between two of the best, young quarterbacks in the league. The Vikings on the other hand will most likely put up some quick points on Cleveland and then rely on their running game for most of the game, limiting Favre’s opportunities.

David asks…

Who will score more points in week 1, PPR league:

RB: Slaton, Ryan Grant, Kevin Smith (Detroit)–Top 2
WR: Earl Bennett, Jeremy Maclin, Josh Cribbs, Chris Chambers, Joey Galloway, Laurent Robinson, Devery Henderson or Robert Meacham–Top 2 (also, I get points for return yards)

Brandon’s take: In terms of your running backs, I’m leaning towards Ryan Grant and Steve Slaton. I think Kevin Smith will have a good year, but with the Lions playing the Saints, I’m afraid they fall behind very early and be forced to throw the ball a whole lot more than they’d like to, which might take Smith out of the game somewhat. As for your wide receivers, that’s quite a group you have there (do you have anyone better on your team? Or is this all you got?), but if I had to pick two I would go with Earl Bennett and Chris Chambers. The rest of the guys have too many question marks (not that Bennett and Chambers are sure things by any stretch), as they’re either rookies, third and fourth stringers, or are they’re on new teams. Maybe after this week the picture will clear up a bit, but for now I’d go with Bennett and Chambers.

Dana asks…

A classic debate that started last year. In 2 of my leagues I have Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco as my QBs. Who do you think is the better option for week one. Matt Ryan has the amazing receiving group but Flacco is impressive as well and is playing KC. Plus ATL runs with Turner a lot. Thanks for any help you may have.

Brandon’s take: While the Falcons may run a lot this weekend, I also think the Ravens are going to be running the ball non-stop against the Chiefs. Ryan has more/better weapons at his disposal and should have a solid game against the Dolphins…go with him.

Jeanine asks…

I’ve got some questions about who to start…PPR league, we start 1 qb, 2rb, 2wr, 1 rb/wr flex, 1 wr/te flex. Right now I’ve got Clinton Portis, Chris Johnson, and Julius Jones starting. Felix Jones and Jamaal Charles are on the bench. I’m wondering if I should start Julius or Felix…

at WR, I’m starting Berrian, Ginn, Colston. I have Breaston, Chris Henry, Greg Olsen, and John Carlson on the bench. Again–is that the right group? I think Henry might potentially be a better start than Ginn?

Brandon’s take: For your running backs, although I don’t like Chris Johnson’s matchup against the Steelers tonight, I think it’s best if you stick with the guys you currently have in your lineup. I’m not a Julius Jones fan, but he has a good match-up against the Rams. The only change I’d consider making is to replace Johnson with Felix Jones, but I’m still curious as to how much Felix will be used this year, so keep him benched until that becomes more clear.

As for your receivers, I think Berrian is the guy to consider pulling from your lineup due to the things I mentioned previously (in my response to Mac) and Greg Olsen would probably be the player to replace him with. Chris Henry looked good in the preseason, but remember that in addition to Chad Ochocinco being healthy this season, the team also signed Laveranues Coles in the offseason and he’ll be lined up opposed Ochocinco in two-receiver sets. In the end, I recommend the same thing as I did with the running backs…no change. Let Berrian Ginn and Colston have their shot to show you why you drafted them and then NEXT week you can consider making some lineup changes. Good luck though!

Mike asks…

I’m in a PPR league (1ppr reception. 0.5 for completions). No negative points (i.e. no loss of points for interceptions, fumbles, missed field goals, etc). Standard defense (no IDP). We start 1 QB, 2RB, 2WR, 1RB/WR flex, 1 WR/TE flex, 1 DEF, 1 PK.

QB: Cutler, Palmer–I think I need to start Palmer…seems like the better matchup? I’m nervous, he’s been awful 2 years running now.

RB: Tomlinson, Beanie Wells, Pierre Thomas, Fred Taylor, Ahmad Bradshaw, LeSean McCoy. I’m currently starting Tomlinson and Wells.

WR: Fitzgerald, Megatron, Greg Jennings, Tony Gonzalez (TE), Dominik Hixon. I’m starting all of them except Hixon, including filling the RB/WR flex with Jennings.

Mason Crosby and the Pats defense round it out.

My biggest questions are around Palmer over Cutler, and whether I should start any of my backup RBs…I think Beanie is the right RB start, but concerned about his injuries (I’m an OSU fan :)).

Brandon’s take: At quarterback, I agree with you on choosing Palmer. I want to see what Cutler can do in Chicago first before I’ll feel real comfortable starting him each week. Right now it looks like the Bengals passing game should be solid with Ochocinco, Coles and Henry and as long as Palmer stays upright, he’ll have a good game. For your running back, Wells is a scary play because he’s going into the season as the backup on a team that doesn’t run the ball all that much. If Pierre Thomas was going to play, I’d say start him for sure, but it looks like he might sit this one out. Fred Taylor will start for the Patriots, who have a plethora of running backs they’ll surely rotate in, while Ahmad Bradshaw and LeSean McCoy are both backups to solid starters. If it were my team, I’d start LT and Ahmad Bradshaw, as I expect the G-Men to give Brandon Jacobs of rests to keep him healthy all season and Bradshaw should put up some decent numbers with his carries.

Trade Talk

Eric asks…

Hey guys – just drafted in one of my money leagues. We start 1 QB, 2 RB’s, 4 WRs, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 Def, 1 DB, 1 DL, and no flex positions. I’m solid at RB, and weak at WR. Right now, I have Palmer and Warner as my QB’s, LT, Gore, Ronnie Brown, Marshawn Lynch, and Lendale White, as my RB’s, and my WR core is Braylon, Breaston, Bennett, Antonio Bryant, Bryant Johnson, Devery Henderson, and Joey Galloway – definitely weak. I have a tendency to like starting QB/WR combos… high risk, high reward. I have a trade offer on the board to give away Lynch for Chris Henry/Bengals and James Davis/Browns. I guess my questions are: 1) is the hype about Henry founded, and will he and Palmer be a good tandem, and 2) what’s the likelihood that Lewis will breakdown and Davis will be a viable backup RB?

Thanks fellas, Eric in Pittsburgh

Brandon’s take: Eric, I do think that James Davis will end up with a lot of carries for the Browns as Jamal Lewis continues to get beat on and his yards-per-carry average falls, but I’m not sure I like this trade all that much. You’re giving up a decent running back (even if you have plenty of depth) for basically another receiver, who is probably overvalued at this point and will just make you go even crazier each week trying to decide who to put in for those WR spots. If you can trade Lynch straight up for a better receiver that you know will be a starter for your team each week, that is ideal. If this is a keeper league, then maybe the trade looks a little better as you could potentially keep James Davis, otherwise I would let this trade go by the wayside.

Anthony asks…

Huge dilemma. Would you give up Cedric Benson and Andre Johnson for Lance Moore and Brandon Jacobs. My team would be seriously stacked at rbs with a solid qb and te. My wrs would be average. What do you think? Stack the rbs or balanced team? Thanks

Brandon’s take: I guess it depends on who the rest of your wide receivers and running backs are. Andre Johnson should be a beast this year and replacing him with Lance Moore would be a decent drop-off in fantasy points. On the otherhand though, upgrading from Cedric Benson to Brandon Jacobs is huge. With this limited information, I almost want to tell you to make the trade, as havings Jacobs on your team is a big upgrade over Cedric Benson, but I’d need more information before I officially told you to go one way or the other.