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Dan's Sack(Fantasy Football Mailbag): Week 11

Dan Ciarrocchi of Hogs Haven and Pro Football Focus answers all of your Week 11 Fantasy Football questions.

Rob Carr

I thought that it being Week 11 and all, I would be getting questions from contenders looking to make that final push to claim his or her league's trophy. Instead, holy crap. With start or sit options I was given as a whole, I can't imagine that any of these teams are anywhere near the playoff bubble. And if you are, I hate you solely because of my own jealousy since my teams inevitably go 1-8 each week regardless of how many points they score.

But I get it, guys. There are lots of byes this week and quarterback injuries to tack onto that, which always makes for a hilarious waiver period and desperate questions. "SHOULD I PICK UP JOHN KUHN, EDDIE ROYAL OR JAMES THRASH AS MY FLEX? ALSO, THOUGHTS ON TOM TUPA AS A SLEEPER? HE HAS BOTH QUARTERBACK AND PUNTER ELIGIBILITY IN YAHOO! LEAGUES."

OK, you guys weren't really that bad. But it's clear that these are desperate times and no position can be overlooked if you want to win your league. That's why I'm here, so let's get to it.

@i_daresay writes via Twitter: I could use more depth at RB or WR. What could Andrew Luck net me in a trade?

Honestly, I wouldn't bet on a lot in return unless you're in a dynasty league. Assuming you're in a 10 or 12-team league, there probably won't be too much desperation to acquire a quarterback because it's such a deep position this year.

In standard scoring formats, Luck is the eighth-highest scoring quarterback-- which is impressive-- but it also means there are 7 other quarterbacks that have been better options overall. And when there are only 10 or 12 teams in your league, that probably means that Luck won't command a ton of value.

But there's good news. Look at all the quarterbacks who are hurt right now. Teams that have Michael Vick or Ben Roethlisberger should be looking to upgrade rather than peruse the waiver wire. My advice would be to go to those teams first, and if that doesn't work, make your sales pitch to the teams that have been stuck with Eli Manning, Tony Romo or Cam Newton this year. All it takes is one owner to bite, so go for it.

@nbennington11 writes via Twitter: Torrey smith, d Richardson, j Gordon or leshoure in my flex?

I'd feel good gambling with Smith this week. Even with Leshoure performing a decently for his fantasy owners, Green Bay hasn't given up many points to running backs this year and Leshoure's talent hasn't instilled much confidence in me believing he will overcome that. Torrey Smith, on the other hand, does have the talent to gash a Steelers team despite their defense stepping up recently. I could see the Ravens being very aggressive early-on in an attempt to put a team with Byron Leftwich into a hole. At the heart of that strategy is Torrey Smith, so I imagine that the Ravens will want to feature him in a tough road game.

@editornot writes via Twitter: Pick 2 RB-McCoy, Felix Jones, Shonn Greene, Larod Stephens-Howling,Rashad Jennings

No way you should bench McCoy this week, or really ever. Conventional wisdom dictates that a team starting a rookie quarterback should give a healthy amount of touches to its stud running back and take the weight off of said rookie's shoulders. Then again, Andy Reid is coaching this team, so let's go ahead and throw conventional wisdom out the window. It's astounding how many points McCoy has scored this season, even with just two touchdowns. With regression to the mean in order, I wouldn't bank on McCoy not finding the end zone against a woeful Redskins defense.

For your other option, I'd go with Felix Jones even with reports of DeMarco Murray practicing at a limited basis. The Browns have given up at least 97 rushing yards to running backs in all but two games this season, and Jones is averaging just over 16 touches per game since replacing Murray in the lineup. If that trend continues, he will have a high enough floor to keep your team competitive.

@groomo writes via Twitter: Leftwich or Cassel/Quinn?

Cyanide pill or gunshot wound/death by cheese grater to the face?

Zmann84 from the Hogs Haven Community writes: Ahmad Bradshaw is on Bye this week...I need to replace him with one of the following RB's: Daryl Richardson, Michael Bush or Alex Green. It's a PPR league if that makes a difference...HELP PLEASE!

Eesh. Pickings aren't good here. Alex Green may have been supplanted in the depth chart after James Starks got 17 carries last week, and Daryl Richardson, who does well when he gets the ball, simply doesn't get the ball. That leaves Michael Bush, who is the second-string running back facing the defense that has been harshest on opposing running backs in terms of fantasy points this season. Furthermore, in two of his last three games, Bush hasn't eclipsed a snap total of eight. Barf.

Even with Green's reduced workload, he is still seeing the field more than Richardson and Bush, and with my money, he would be a safe bet to continue that pace. He's your best option this week, but don't get your hopes up.

cold_in_wisconsin from the Hogs Haven Community writes: How do you keep your sanity're in 12th place in a 12 team league. However I'm # 3 in points scored, and #1 in points scored against. How do I not go postal????

Story of my season. If you've grown tired of trolling message boards, offering your league mates your kicker in exchange for Adrian Peterson, or renaming the league trophy after your rival's mom, then the practical thing to do is present a change going forward with your league's structure. Kevin Ewoldt noted in the comments of my last post that a lot of leagues give a bonus to the team who scores the most points. That's not a bad idea at all, but I'm more partial to a slightly different one:

I've heard of a few leagues anteing up extra cash to fund a weekly bonus to the team that scores the most points in a given week. This way, even if you're out of playoff contention by Week 7, you still have a chance to at least win your money back if nothing else. As a result, entire leagues continue being competitive instead of the ones at the top of the standings. There's nothing worse than a team that has checked out.

Heaternet from the Hogs Haven Community writes: What to do with Big Ben...I am in a bind, with Big Ben getting injured.

Get it? Bind? Like, the thing ribs look like they do to internal organs in order to protect them? But instead, one of Roethlisberger's is dislodged and could puncture his aorta if he takes a hit? Mother of God that is the most terrifying thing I have ever heard.

At the moment, I have Ryan Fitzpatrick as my QB1, but am not sure what to do with my flex. I have Alex Smith or Nick Foles... or I could put in a RB/WR such as Marcel Reece, Torrey Smith, or Michael Crabtree. Who has most upside?

For starters, I don't like the combination of semi-concussed Alex Smith and Michael Crabtree versus a Bears secondary that has murdered opponents this season. A few points can still be had, but I wouldn't bank on a huge game from either of them this week. Nick Foles has a nice matchup, but with so much variance in rookie quarterback performances, the reward doesn't outweigh the risk, especially if you have other viable options on your bench.

It comes down to Marcel Reece and Torrey Smith, who will both be nice plays this week, but I have to give Smith the edge for reasons I stated earlier. But that's only if you're strictly talking in terms of upside. Smith could go off, but he could also be held to a catch for three yards on a failed screen play. Reece is a safe bet for touches and can at least put up a handful of points at the very worst. If you really want upside, and you should more often than not, go with Smith.

That’s all for this week, folks. If you have any more questions, post them in the comments section or reach me on Twitter @PFF_Dan . Good luck.