Sorry, everyone. My column was a bit delayed this week thanks to my internet moving at a snail’s pace-- or as I like to call it-- Shonn Greene-ing. But even as tonight’s deadline to set lineups is rapidly approaching, there’s still enough time to read through some questions and have everything straightened out. Let’s just get to it, then.
Redskins from the Hogs Haven community writes:
I have Ben Roethlesberger and RG3, one plays tonight the other… well you know.
Who do I play!!?
Sweet username. This sucks, but know that it could be a lot worse. You would be forgoing the upside that RG3 presents, but there’s just no guarantee that he will play even though his chances of doing so are looking more and more likely with every practice he attends. But concussions are just too unpredictable. You could have a setback or fail to be cleared for contact at any moment during the week, and you’d be playing with fire to completely bank on a recently concussed player’s health. This isn’t just a muscle tweak we’re dealing with, and that uncertainty has to be taken into account.
Big Ben, on the other hand, will play, and will face a defense that has struggled to contain the pass. You’re sacrificing the upside Griffin presents by starting him, but it’s not for nothing. You would still be getting a serviceable fantasy output with the potential to light-up a scoreboard. So even if you bench Griffin, remember that you could be much worse off. Start Big Ben and exhale.
Travisjh86 from the Hogs Haven community writes:
Doug Martin, VJax, Crabtree, and Leshoure for Calvin Johnson…
Should I do it?
I hate these offers. Just because you’re offered a handful of average to above-average players doesn’t mean it’s wise to part with an elite player. I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten these kinds of offers and wanted to punt my computer through a window. When someone wants your elite stud in exchange for players that will make you pull your hair out week-to-week, your best bet is to respond with an appropriate counteroffer. I’ll give you some examples of how to do this, using actual trade offers I’ve received this season in my league full of butt-faced butt-headed buttjerks.
Offered: Martellus Bennett and Roy Helu, Jr. for Aaron Hernandez.
Result: Trade rejected.
My Counteroffer: Matt Bryant for Julio Jones and Marshawn Lynch.
Offered: Jason Witten with half a spleen and Pierre Thomas for Ryan Mathews and Reggie Wayne
Result: Trade furiously rejected
My Counteroffer: Josh Cribbs and a 500-word essay subtly suggesting that my trade partner cut his ear off with a rusty soup can lid in exchange for Tom Brady.
Offered: Josh Freeman, Jonathan Stewart and Justin Blackmon for Darren McFadden
Result: Trade rejected with 50 gluten-free pizzas delivered to his house (I have a soft spot for the classics).
My Counteroffer (don’t hit play on the video if you don’t like seeing obscene gestures):
OK, so maybe I didn’t order 50 pizzas to his house, but my point is, the team who has the elite player makes out better than the slew of average ones almost every single time. And for the record, that 500-word essay with the rusty soup can lid and ear exists, but I’ll admit that I may have replaced the actual body part I suggested he cut off for the sake of maintaining this column’s PG-13 rating.
I know Calvin Johnson has been something of a disappointment this season, but to be honest, he was going to be regardless. Yes, he’s the best receiver in the game, and yes, he will get every opportunity to showcase his talent. But you have to set yourself up for the disappointment when he inevitably regresses. Even for a player of his talent, 16 touchdown seasons just aren’t sustainable. He will still put up great numbers, but don’t be disappointed when his numbers are just “good” and not “great”. That said, better days are ahead for Megatron.
Besides, what are you really getting if you trade him? A running back who is averaging 3.5 yards per carry, a notorious boom-or-bust receiver, a running back with a rich injury history and just one good game, and Michael Crabtree. It’s one thing if you’re desperate for depth, but I just don’t see the immediate payoff outweighing the one you would have from Calvin Johnson.
@Andrew_Constant writes via Twitter:
Brandon Pettigrew or Kyle Rudolph?
Kyle Rudolph and it’s not even close. Mark Bullock, or as our readers now him as UKRedskin, did a great film review on Wednesday about how tight ends have given the Redskins nightmares all season. Simply put, the Redskins are too thin in coverage to have an answer for secondary and tertiary receiving options of other teams, and they have paid dearly for it. UK also pointed out that tight ends are averaging seven catches for 73 yards versus the Redskins and just under one touchdown per game. Rudolph is a supremely talented receiving option, and he is more than capable of running free while the Redskins are preoccupied with not getting beaten by Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin. Start him, and I owe you a beer if I’m wrong on this one. And a can of soup.
@Mkearns7 writes via Twitter:
Eli Manning vs. San Francisco or Andy Dalton vs. Cleveland?
Yikes. It would be hard to bench Andy Dalton after he demolished the Browns in Week 2, but just as difficult to Eli Manning regardless of who he’s facing. Even after what Eli did fantasy-wise last year, I still feel weird typing that.
There is, however, a factor that shouldn’t be overlooked when determining who to start. For me, that’s Joe Haden, who might be the best cover corner in the game besides Darrelle Revis. Haden missed the first matchup versus the Bengals in Week 2, and not surprisingly, the Browns had no answer for A.J. Green and company walking into the end zone. While Haden alone certainly isn’t enough to shut down an entire passing game, he can absolutely make things more difficult for Andy Dalton. The possibility of Dalton airing it out for 300 yards and multiple scores versus the Browns still exists, but it’s not something I’d feel safe relying on. Eli Manning, however, has proven capable of doing just that against stout defenses. Roll with Eli.
@Yeahme2 writes via Twitter:
Is Kenny Britt worth a start over Dez [Bryant], Torrey Smith or Denarius Moore?
No way. Well, not yet at least.
If Kenny Britt was a full-go right now I would do this in a heartbeat, but when you have more reliable options at wide receiver, there’s just no point. There’s no question that a healthy Kenny Britt is a game changer when on the field, but that’s just the problem—he’s not getting on the field. He stayed on the field for greater than 50 percent of his teams snaps just once, and that was in that marathon shootout game versus the Lions in Week 3.
Stash Britt for now. When he’s ready to be put back into your lineup-- trust me-- you’ll know.
@TLRufio writes via Twitter:
Is it about time to drop Titus Young?
Nope. And as a Titus Young owner in three of my leagues, I can share your frustration firsthand. A high-ceiling prospect in a pass-happy offense should be able to make some noise. That was the mentality before the season started, then, lo and behold, Nate freaking Burleson of all people was still beating him out for snaps and targets. It ought to be a red flag when you can’t beat-out Nate Burleson, no matter how raw you are. But I won’t go that far just yet.
Luckily, things are starting to change. While Burleson remains on the field, the Lions are leaning more and more toward three-receiver sets, and are doing so with enough frequency to make Young a potentially viable option. Young has seen his snap percentages increase each week from 57 to 63 to 92 percent of his team’s snaps, and maintained a sturdy 86 percent in his Week 4 game.
Young is still enduring some growing pains as he solidifies his role in the Lions offense, but the targets will come with time. With that said, he is someone I would love to have on my bench in the meantime.
SEVENTH-INNING STRETCH TIME (it's postseason)!
JASPI55 from the Hogs Haven community writes:
Darren McFadden or Doug Martin?
Have to go McFadden here. He’s been up and down, but it’s not like Martin hasn’t been either. And even though Martin presents a big upside, McFadden is still the more talented back and someone who has the ability to monopolize his offense’s game plan. It’s evident that the Raiders want to go back in that direction after talk surfaced from players and coaches about running the football more, and they would be wise to get the ball into the hands of their best player.
Skinsfan3636 from the Hogs Haven community writes:
Alfred Morris, Maclin, or Garcon?
My money’s on Morris until Maclin and Garcon get back to full speed. Maclin’s been getting his snaps, targets and separation, but those just haven’t culminated in fantasy points since his great Week 1. Morris continues to be a focal point of the Redskins offense, and with either Kirk Cousins or a recently concussed Robert Griffin III under center, he may be in line for a lot of carries once again. The quarterback situation doesn’t bode great for Garcon and it’s certainly not good enough to start him over Morris, especially against a defense that held Calvin Johnson to five catches and 56 yards last week.
That's all for this week. If you have any more questions, you know the drill. Comment below or reach me on Twitter @PFF_Dan