Ask the Geeks: Week 3

If I thought the mailbox was overflowing before, this week I’d have to say it exploded. I guess sometimes advertising works! Anyways, let’s get to the questions we’ve received so far this week and hopefully get your teams prepared for a big week three. As I did in one of last week’s posts, I broke up the questions into two categories: “Lineup Suggestions” and “Roster Moves.” Remember to send any inquiries you may have to us here.

Lineup Suggestions

Anthony asks…

Is Santana Moss ever going to put up some decent fantasy points? I was thinking he would in week 2 against St. Louis, but he didn’t. This week it’s Detroit, and I don’t know if he will do well. Should I start him for week 3 or another player: Devin Hester, Davone Bess, Mike Sims-Walker, Chansi Stuckey, or Laurent Robinson.


Brandon’s take: At this point I can’t see any reason to keep Santana Moss in your lineup until the Redskins offense proves that they can move the ball consistently. Of the group you have there, I’m leaning towards Devin Hester against the Seahawks. Robinson has started off the season hot, but he plays the Colts this Sunday and this could be a game where he comes back down to reality a bit. Hester has four catches in each of his first two games and while the yardage wasn’t there last week, he always has big play potential and this week against Seattle could be where he shows it off.

Matt’s take: I don’t love any of your options, to be honest – but that’s what makes it a good question. Looking at Brandon’s recommendation, I thought, “There has to be a better option there than Hester,” but the more I look at your situation the more I think Hester’s about as good as it’s going to get. Start him, but don’t be too surprised if he’s a flop.

Jones asks…

I’m trying to decide how to fill my RB/WR spot this week in my standard scoring league. My choices are between Brian Westbrook, Willis McGahee, Reggie Bush and whichever of the Steve Smith/Mario Manningham combo I get off the waivers. Who will have the best week?

Brandon’s take: Wow, you have quite the options there! Although he started the year as his team’s “backup”, I think your best play this week is Willis McGahee against the Browns (who were torched by Adrian Peterson in week one.) McGahee has outperformed Ray Rice through the first two weeks of the season and is the tailback of choice when it comes to the goal-line. As for the other guys, I’m worried about Westbrook’s health and the consistency of the others, which is why I didn’t recommend them. Who are your wide receivers though? If you got Steve Smith off waivers, it might make sense to plug him in your lineup.

Matt’s take: Looks like Westbrook’s probably OK, so I think he’s the no-brainer start here. Brian Westbrook at home against KC? Yeah, gimme some of that.

Dave asks…

Who to start? LT (inj), Willie Parker, LenDale White, Knowshon Moreno, Jonathan Stewart or Leon Washington. Yea, I know, Ouch…

Brandon’s take: First of all, I don’t think Tomlinson is going to end up playing, so scratch him from the list. As for the others, if you’re starting two from that group, go with Leon Washington and Jonathan Stewart. If it’s just one that you need, I’m leaning towards Washington, who has the most upside from that group this week. Parker seems to be on the decline and the team may be making the move towards Rashard Mendenhall, while LenDale White has a tough matchup with the Jets and Moreno is still proving himself.

Matt’s take: Willie Parker’s fantasy value is in a tailspin at this point. I agree with Brandon’s two choices, but prefer Stewart over Washington, especially given Washington’s matchup vs. the Titans.

Jeff asks…

Slightly gimpy Warner (vs Indy) or steady T. Edwards (vs N.O., possible garbage-time catchup yards!)? And which D/ST (bonus points for points allowed): Wash (at Det) or G.Bay (at St.L)?  Thanks! Love the site.

Brandon’s take: Thanks Jeff, glad you enjoy the site. As for your quarterback situation, I’m leaning towards Trent Edwards (I haven’t said that very often!) against a weak Saints defense this weekend. The Cardinals receivers are getting healthier by the week, which is good news for Warner, but a prime-time game against the Colts could be a problem for them. For your defense, go with the Redskins against Detroit, as Matt Stafford has five interceptions through two games and is sure to throw a few more this week.

Matt’s take: Given Edwards’ growing connection with T.O. and the impending shootout with the Saints, I think Edwards is a top-notch sleeper this week. That said, you don’t start him over Warner. No friggin’ way. Especially not against Indy. Sorry Brandon, but what the hell – I’m a Bills fan and I think you’re crazy on this one!

(Another) Jeff asks…

Hey guys. Assuming LT will miss another game, I have to start 2 of these backs, and they all have their own issues.

Ray Rice vs CLE (0 NFL TD’s)
Knowshon Moreno @ OAK (shares with Buckhalter and gives way to Hillis at goal line)
Reggie Bush @ BUF (don’t know exactly what his role is)
Tashard Choice vs CAR (obviously benching if Barber plays)

Thanks for your help!

Brandon’s take: Of that group, I’d go with Ray Rice and Reggie Bush for sure. Rice has a great matchup with the Browns and is highly likely to get his first touchdown of the season. As for Reggie Bush, the rest of the team’s running backs are banged up and they should get him more involved in the offense this week.

Matt’s take: I deeply fear Reggie Bush this weekend, given all the injuries the Bills are dealing with on D… he’s exactly the kind of dynamic, athletic player who can exploit those kinds of problems. Bush is by far the best start of the bunch, and neither Moreno or Choice is going to get as many touches as Rice, who’s got a nice matchup.

Adam asks…

Hey guys, this is a tough week for me. Playing a guy that has Brees and Colston, if i can get even half the pts these two players are going to put up, ill be very happy. Im guessing Brady and Ben have a good chance to put up about the same numbers against the defenses they’re playing. Of course I’m leaning towards Brady, but I can see Big Ben having a little better stats with all this a haven’t found my mechanics crap hes saying, im guessing this is a toss-up, but whats opinion?

Brandon’s take: As a Patriots fan, maybe I’m slightly biased, but I think you need to stick with your top pick (or 2nd pick?) and go with Tom Brady. Wes Welker should be back this weekend and should give the offense a spark. Plus, they’ve had another week of practice to shake off the rust and I think they’ll come out firing on all cylinders at home this Sunday. Roethlisberger makes a good start too against the Bengals… I just like Brady more this week.

Matt’s take: I actually find myself with Brady and Ben in one league as well. It’s hard not to like Roethlisberger given the pass-happy Steelers offense (which just plain sounds weird) and the very nice matchup.  But Brady is Brady, and I don’t read too much into last week’s game – the Jets D is really that good at stopping the pass, and with Welker out, it was just too much for any QB to deal with. I’m starting Brady and you should too.

Daniel asks…

Hey guys, looking for some advice in my flex spot this week. This is a 1/2 point per reception scoring system. 20 yards/point for rushing/receiving. I have these 4 starting at WR and RB: Megatron and Greg Jennings; Kevin Smith and Steven Jackson. I have one open flex spot. Bench looks like this: (RB’s) Cadillac Williams; Correll Buckhalter; Knowshon Moreno; Rashard Mendenhall; (WR’s) Roddy White; Steve Smith (NYG); Patrick Crayton. Would love your input on this. Thanks!

Brandon’s take: Looks like you’re loaded at the wide receiver position and my biggest debate would be between Roddy White and Steve Smith (too bad you don’t start three receivers, would make it a lot easier!) Anyways, the Patriots have done a good job so far this year shutting down the opposing team’s top wide-out, so Roddy White might not be the best start here. Steve Smith seems to be the real deal in New York and has a good matchup against the Buccaneers, so go with him and hope Eli continues looking his way!

Matt’s take: Gonna go with Brandon’s pick on this one; Smith’s got the most upside of the group this week.

Matt asks…

Hey guys, I’ve got some tough decisions heading into week 3 and I need all the opinions I can get. In our league we start two running backs, and I’ve got four that I’m considering. I’m having a difficult time deciding who I want to start.

1. Frank Gore (He’s coming of a monster week and looks great this season. He says he feels good about the ankle sprain he suffered in the second half of week 2, but he’s got to deal with that tough Minny run defense in week 3.)
2. Steven Jackson (He has the capability of getting big yardage but hasn’t scored yet in that awful St. Louis offense. The GB run defense isn’t anything special though.)
3. Kevin Smith (He looks okay at best so far. The fact that he couldn’t get anything going against that New Orleans defense worries me a bit. Detroit gets him the ball though and he faces an average Washington D in week 3.)
4. LeSean McCoy (If Westbrook is out for sure, I’d like to see what McCoy could do at home against that KC defense, especially if Philly gets a big lead.)

Thanks, Matt

Brandon’s take: If Frank Gore starts, you have to keep him in there, even against the Vikings. As for your second spot, I still like Steven Jackson over Smith and McCoy, as Jackson will most likely get more opportunities and I think he’s the better running back to begin with. It looks like Westbrook is going to be a game-time-decision, so it might not be worth risking starting McCoy unless he is assured the starting job this week.

Matt’s take: Gore and Jackson are my picks as well, unless Westbrook is guaranteed to be out, which doesn’t look like it’ll be the case.

Nick asks…

I’m starting jennings this week hoping that he has at least one catch but I’m not sure about my number 2 and 3 recievers. devery henderson, steve smith and dwayne bowe? and i was wondering whether i should start chris johnson against that jet defense or ryan grant?

Brandon’s take: I’m assuming you’re talking about Steve Smith from the Giants, but either way, I’d start him (or the Panthers’ version) this week. AS for the other receiver spot, go with Henderson, as he’s been one of Brees’ favorite targets so far this year and Bowe has a tough matchup with the Philly defense this week. For your running back, Grant has the better matchup, but Johnson has the big play potential. If you’re up for the risk, go with CJ and hope he breaks a long one; otherwise, go with Grant, as he should have a solid game against the Rams and should find the endzone this week.

Matt’s take: Chris Johnson’s an every-week start this season regardless of the matchup. I still fear the Eagles D as a fantasy matchup, but I’d start Bowe at WR given his red-zone potential.

OK, I gotta take a break here… I’ll try and answer some of the ones below later in the day but for now Brandon’s flying solo…

Nero asks…

Sproles, Rice, Thomas, Buckhalter

Sproles is a given but the other 3 are giving me some pause. Right now I’m leaning Thomas at my #2 since it looks like he’ll start and get the bulk of the carries, even if it is against the Bills stout run defense. Of the 3 options he’s the only one that stands to be featured. Rice is very close behind. and I think McGahee’s carries last week was a fluke occurrence. That and I think Baltimore will go up early and be eating clock by 12 mins left in the 3rd. I’m willing to bet my left nut he gets his TD this week on a 28 yarder. Buckhalter is down the list. I think he’s great to stash on the off chance Moreno has another knee issue. But this week I really expect this game to be the Moreno vs McFadden showcase.

Brandon’s take: I wouldn’t start Pierre Thomas until he’s come back and proven that he’s the feature back in the offense, as the team seems to have a plethora of other tailbacks they feel confident running the ball with. Go with Sproles and Rice, who as I mentioned earlier should have a good game against the Browns.

Roster Moves

Dan asks…

I’m in a 10 team standard ESPN league and am thinking about dropping Eddie Royal to grab Mario Manningham off waivers. My other WR are Reggie Wayne, Vincent Jackson, DeSean Jackson, Percy Harvin, Steve Smith (NYG), and Eddie Royal. I can use one of the 2 NYG receivers as trade-bait if need be. Any advice??

Brandon’s take: This may be a bit too late as Manningham was most likely already claimed off waivers in your league, but just curious if you ended up picking him up? At this point I’m almost ready to give up on Eddie Royal, as it’s apparent that Kyle Orton is NOT Jay Cutler, so to even expect the numbers Royal put up last season is probably setting yourself up for disappointment. Manningham has Eli Manning throwing to him and seems to be one of his favorite targets already this year. I expect big things from Steve Smith and Mario this year, so I hope you made the move.

E-Roc asks…

I played RB-roulette in 2008 (owning as many as 21 different RBs) and as 2009 unfolds, it looks like I’ll be gambling again. I have MJD, Thomas Jones, Kevin Smith, and L. McCoy… Mike Bell, Buckhalter, T.Choice and Reggie Bush are available on the waivers. Should I make a move? I miss my team from last year. 🙁

Brandon’s take: Sorry this came out a bit too late, but I would’ve recommended dropping McCoy and picking up Reggie Bush, who is the most enticing option there. However, waivers have probably already passed in your league and he’s most likely gone. What did you end up doing?

GSM asks…

Correll Buckhalter is available in my league and in order to pick him up, I am currently looking at dropping LJ who has been mostly disappointing so far. LJ is my choice as I have d’angelo, cadillac and benson. is this a wise choice or is there something I am missing about either guy?

Brandon’s take: While I don’t see Larry Johnson putting up anywhere close to great stats this year, at least you know he’ll get the carries. Buckhalter splits carries with Knowshon Moreno, whose workload seems to be increasing each week. I’d keep Johnson and hope a better running back turns up on waivers.

Amir asks…

Where do you guys see Mike Bell’s value going for the rest of the season?

Brandon’s take: In the long term, I am not high on Mike Bell. Once Pierre Thomas comes back and is healthy I think he’ll resume his role as the starting running back on the team and Bell will possibly move to short-yardage situations. Do you have him on your team? Or were you thinking of trading for him? I’d trade him now if you had him and someone is offering something good.