Ask the Geeks – Week 10: Running back questions galore!

With the first game of the week less than 12 hours away, I figured it was time to put up our first Ask the Geeks post for week ten. Remember, you can ask the geeks here or simply leave your questions as comments on our posts and we’ll try our best to respond to them as soon as possible.

David asks…

I’m doing well in my league right now but I made a pretty big mistake early in the season, trading Addai, and others, for an injured McFadden, and others. I dropped McFadden but picked him up off waivers last week. With Jacobs out this week on bye, I need a second RB, and my other options include Buckhalter and Donald Brown. (I have MJD as my RB1). I’m in first place in my league, so no hope for a waiver pick-up and I’m not willing to trade anyone decent away at this point. My gut says that McFadden will have a decent RB2 game against KC. What do you think? Many thanks for the great site.

Brandon’s take: Hey David, this is a tricky one. Buckhalter hasn’t run well as of late, but he’s a known commodity. Darren McFadden hasn’t played since week four and there’s no telling what kind of workload he will see against the Chiefs. That being said, I’d go the risky route with McFadden, as his upside is much higher than Buckhalter’s this week and I can’t imagine he scores all that much less than Buckhalter, even if he only gets a limited number of carries.

Matt’s take: I’d avoid McFadden if you can, but given your situation it might not be possible. I guess take a shot on McFadden and hope he can break off a big play.

Brad asks…

Pick two: Breaston, Boldin, S Holmes, Heath Miller, D Bowe. Thanks again

Brandon’s take: I like Anquan Boldin, who is apparently the healthiest he’s been in weeks, and Santonio Holmes, who has been pretty solid over the past few games (although it’d be nice if he finds the endzone this week!)

Matt’s take: Yeah, hard to like Breaston over Boldin when Boldin’s the starter. I’d go with Boldin and Bowe, given the way the Bengals shut Holmes down in week three (1 catch, 18 yards).

Adam asks…

Hey guys – 8-1 so far and hoping to keep going in that direction! Can you guys rank these flex players for this week?

Tim Hightower
DeSean Jackson
Kevin Smith
Laurence Maroney
Jamaal Charles
Austin Collie
Donald Brown

Also, who should I start at TE: Celek or Olsen?


Brandon’s take: DeSean Jackson, Tim Hightower, Kevin Smith, Laurence Maroney, Jamaal Charles, Austin Collie, and Donald Brown… and start Brent Celek.

Matt’s take: Brandon’s rankings look good to me, except I like Brown more than Collie or Charles as long as he’s looking good in practice by tomorrow (Friday).

TJ asks…

Hey Guys, I’m trying to fix an an awful group of RBs for the rest of the season and the playoffs, hope you can offer any advice here: ( 10-teams, start 2 RB & WR (can carry up to 5), and 1 Q, TE, K, D/st. Other owners don’t make a ton of waiver moves, so I may be able to take a chance that some sleepers might be available later….

RBs: Have S-Jax, Wells, J Charles, S Greene, Buckhalter. FAs: Betts, Forsett, Fargas, McFadden, Cadillac, Maroney & Morris, Choice & F Jones, Bell, Sproles, B Scott.

Other than SJax, I don’t have much… Greene & Betts have good playoff schedules, but I could also use help sooner. I’m not too confident in Dallas backs as long as MB is healthy. Any thoughts on week 10-12 plays and also the guys that should be the best for the playoffs (wks 13-15)

Also: TE: Witten & Shiancoe.
Time to start riding Shiancoe? Other FAs: F Davis, Finley, Boss

D/ST: Had GB for Week 9 (!), remaining available: CIN, DAL, ARI, ATL, SEA, BUF, CAR. CIN is looking for real, I think maybe not @ PIT?

Thanks, as always.

Brandon’s take: At running back, you might wait to see how the Fargas/McFadden split goes this weekend, but Justin Fargas is a guy to keep an eye on. Laurence Maroney is always a threat to score in the potent Pats offense, but he’s only useful while Sammy Morris is sidelined. I was hoping that Felix Jones would be more productive at this point in the season, but until the team gives him more attempts each game, it’s hard to rely on him for anything. In the end, I’d probably keep what you have for now and based on the individual game match-ups, plug one of the free agents into your line-up here and there.

For your tight end, Shiancoe makes a solid play this week against the Lions and definitely gets looks in the redzone, but I can’t recommend you automatically start him over Witten every week. I think he’s earned consideration for a start on a weekly basis though and you will most likely want to pick Witten or Shiancoe based on the match-up.

At defense, I like the Cardinals at home against a beat-up Matt Hasselbeck. Dallas makes an interesting play as well, considering the number of sacks the Packers are giving up these days. Hopefully this helps!

Matt’s take: I’m more bullish than Brandon on Maroney at this point – I think he’s done enough in the past few weeks to earn a significant amount of playing time regardless of Morris’ health. I’d prefer him to Beanie Wells, who looked OK but not great against Chicago and shares the backfield with a far superior pass-catching back who’s more useful to this offense.

I’d grab CIN this week, hope they can do OK against Pittsburgh, and then enjoy the ride as they take on Oakland, Cleveland and Detroit over the next three weeks.