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NFL Week 10: "Ask the Docs" Replies

Friday, November 9, 2012

Week 10 is here, and we've got fantasy teams scrambling for a win to position for their playoffs. Injuries are piling up, critical decisions need to be made with "who to start" on marginal players, and trade offers are on the table. No worries! The Docs are here to help you sort it all out and carefully get you through this fantasy minefield. Lot of great questions this week, so let's get to 'em!

"I'm having trouble deciding on starting Phillip Rivers or Jake Locker this week. I know Rivers is the go to QB, but I'm having doubts this week."
--Colton, Dallas, TX

Docs: Colton, if you play fantasy long enough, you will find yourself in situations where you "over-think" them. This often can lead to a bad result, as well as consume a lot of your time unnecessarily. Similar to taking an exam, go with your gut and first instinct (i.e. don't change your answer). In this case, your gut says Rivers, so stick with him. Sure, anything can happen on any given week, but the vast majority of times Rivers will prove to be the better start. Or you can think of it this way. How would a loss sit with you if you started Locker instead of Rivers? There will be a lot more anguish and post-week frustration having endured a loss making the decision to go with Locker over Rivers. So for a multitude of reasons, go with Rivers this week. Also, and in case you weren't aware, be sure to check out our Weekly QB Rankings. In this case, you can see we like Rivers more than Locker as well. We here you, been there, and offer the above to try to help. Trust us, we've made some real bonehead moves over-thinking!

"In a 16 team, non-ppr league where we start 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex and 1 D/ST

I've been offered AJ Green for Jamaal Charles.

My current roster consists of:

QB: Matt Ryan and Tony Romo
RB: Mccoy, Charles, Spiller, Daniel Thomas and Michael Bush
WR: Dem. Thomas, Andre Johnson, Amendola, Josh Gordon, Cecil Shorts
TE: Witten and Rudolph

I am tired of Charles up and down weeks and Green is a stud, but I am worried about my RB depth if I make the deal. What do you think?"
--Gregg, Clarksburg, MD

Docs: Gregg, make the deal. Kansas City is struggling, and the jury is still out on Charles this year despite a few big games earlier in the year. Green is an elite WR and makes your team better. Frankly, we are surprised you were lucky enough to get this trade offer. Between McCoy, Spiller, Thomas, and Bush, you easily have 2 RBs to start. Adding Green to Thomas and Johnson gives you a powerful trio at WR. You can leverage match-ups each week out of the remaining players to select a flex.

"First off is Rashard Mendenhall a go for this week? What's your take on starting him?

Second, I'm having a bit of trouble deciding which defense to start. My league has two defenses so the free agent market is slim. I currently have San Francisco starting, which is a no-brainer, but the trouble comes with my second defense. I have Denver, as well as Cam Newton. I don't know whether to risk starting Denver against my quarterback OR throwing Minnesota (my bench defense) in who's been struggling OR to pick up a Tampa Bay defense against the struggling Chargers."
--Ryan, Franklin Grove, IL

Docs: Ryan, the news on Mendenhall doesn't look good. Later on Saturday, Pittsburgh will have to disclose an official status, but we don't expect them to come right out and say he won't play. You also have Redman to deal with, who has the hot hand and played very well last week. So in short, we would go with several other so-so options before backing ourselves so far in a corner we had to start Mendenhall. For instance, here are 25 other RBs we would start ahead of Mendenhall (notice Redman is on this list): Week 10 RB Rankings. As for your defense, it is never fun to start your fantasy defense against you offensive players, but you've got to push through the conundrum and start them anyway. Again, it doesn't feel natural, but it will put your team in the best position to win. Rarely in the NFL do you see an outright shutout, nor do you see 40+ points dropped against a defense. So what happens is your defense and offensive players typically hold their own, and you can decrease the quality of your team by being gun shy about starting your typical roster if concerned about playing against your defense. In your case, Denver presents the best option for you to start, so move forward with starting them as your second defense.

"Hey, I have a big game this week and need some advice. I have both Vernon Davis and Owen Daniels for tight ends. Vernon Davis seems to have the better match-up; however; he has not put up the numbers lately. Owen Daniels has put up the numbers, yet he is facing a tougher defense? Any advice on who I should start for week 10? Thanks."
--Dallen, Atlanta, GA

Docs: Hi Dallen, good question. It's not easy to answer, but we would approach the situation like this. If you feel more times than not your team would beat your opponent, we would start Daniels. We feel Daniels is a safer play than Davis this week and should contribute to your overall team points output. However, if you feel more times than not your team would lose to your opponent, then we go with Davis. Davis can pop the monster game any week, and he would provide the explosive ex-factor to your line-up to hopefully put you over the top, but he does come with more risk and could really not show up. Yet, if you feel more times than not you are going to lose anyway, than that down side doesn't really matter. Hope this helps and good luck.

"Being forced to give up either Dwayne Bowe or Danny Amendola in a trade. Need to use one of them every week to fill a starting #3 WR spot.

Bowe doesn't have the health concerns, has an easier end of year schedule, and still gets a ton of targets, but plays on an inept offense.

Amendola is obviously coming off an injury, but was producing highly before that. Who am I keeping?"
--Ryan, Detroit, MI

Docs: Ryan, we keep Bowe here. The targets, health, and schedule all factor into the end decision to keep him. Amendola brings too much risk, particularly with your fantasy playoffs on the horizon. Also, since Bowe would be your #3 WR spot, you aren't really having to count on him each week. So again, the targets and health factor into making him an attractive option for keeping. You depend on your other players on your team to pop the big game, so again, Amendola isn't as critical to your team make-up. Hey, if Bowe does happen to pop the big game, then that much better, but again, you aren't relying on it.

Thanks to all for the great questions! That's a wrap for this week. We tried to address some of the more common questions with more detailed answers to try to not only help the specific person asking the question, but the masses as well. Enjoy watching football this week and good luck to your fantasy teams!

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