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NFL Week 4: "Ask the Docs" Replies

Friday, September 28, 2012

Week 4 is here, and we've got fantasy teams scrambling for a win. 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!

"Never in my wildest scenarios did I ever imagine I'd be facing this dilemma. My team is now 1 and 2 in a standard scoring league, and unfortunately for me I am completely decimated with injuries. At WR I am dealing with the injuries of Jeremy Maclin, and Piere Garcon. I have Wes Welker, to go with backups I am forced to start of Michael Crabtree, Kendal Wright, or Brian Hartline. At RB, I am dealing with injuries now of Reggie Bush, Beanie Wells, and the lingering injury and general inconsistent play of Steven Jackson, with only Jacquiz Rodgers as really my only true healthy option. At TE I am dealing with the injury of Aaron Hernandez, but I feel comfortable with Fred Davis filling in for him till hes back. Now at QB, I have Aaron Rodgers who's struggling Green Bay offense, has been a big reason I've lost my 2 games and backed up by RG3 who has lit it up every week. The waiver wire is pretty bare at the moment. My question for you is, with my team being completely destroyed by injuries I have to try to trade Rodgers or RG3. Which of these guys should I try to trade, and based on my injury situation, what should I be looking for in return to get my team back on track? Thanks!"
--Matthew, Stevensville, MD

Docs: Matthew, the injuries have been especially tough this year, and it is early to have to be facing this many dilemmas on the injury front. Many fantasy teams find themselves in similar scenarios. The good news is you have two elite QBs to give yourself some options with a trade. At some point in the season, you will want to trade one of them to upgrade your team anyway. Having bench depth is nice, but having an explosive player that cannot be used as a start each week only provides injury insurance, and as your fantasy playoffs arrive, it's best to swap that insurance for a big upgrade at another position that you can start every week. We'd stick with keeping Rodgers over RGIII. Rodgers has been struggling, so his trade value is not as high as RGIII right now, whose stock could not be any higher. RGIII is getting all the press, and you should be able to wrestle away an elite player with him. As much as we love RGIII, he does present an injury risk due to his style of play and size (he is not built like a tank like Cam Newton). Rodgers is a much safer QB, and his stock will start pointing up in the coming weeks. But don't trade RGIII if you don't get very good value (or even criminal value) in return. We'd rather get the loss this week than force a RGIII trade for a marginal player in return. No need to panic and force the issue with the first trade offer or two, as the name branding of RGIII will allow you to get quality value in return. RGIII's value will carry into next week regardless of how well he plays this week (with any luck, he will light it up again and send his stock higher), so if you don't get a deal done this week, you've got all of next week to make it happen.


"Should I start Percy Harvin or Nate Wasington? Thanks."
--Robert, Palm Springs, CA

Docs: Robert, you've got to go with Harvin. He is too explosive to risk leaving on your bench. Jake Locker has been locked on Washington, but Kenny Britt's return last week adds a fly to the ointment and the Titans' ground game is in shambles. We like to see the ball thrown, but we like to see it thrown with a chance of success. A one-dimensional offense will make it tough to have success in the NFL. Go with Harvin, who plays in a more well rounded offense and brings the "wow" factor to the table. Any given time he touches the ball, he can take it to the house.

Be sure to check out our weekly rankings each week. They can help with some of these decisions. You can find them here: Fantasy Football Weekly Rankings



"I'm in a PPR league that starts two RBSs and two WRs plus a Flex RB/TE/WR. I have Jay Cutler as my starting QB with Carson Palmer as my back up. I need a QB. I have a lot of depth at RB (McCoy, Sproles, Richardson, Leshoure, Dwyer). Here are my WRs (Marshall, Harvin, Antonio Brown, Amendola, and Hawkins). There is a team owner with 3 QBs, Big Ben, RG3, and Dalton. Ponder is also on my league waiver wire. Should I go after one of these QBs, and if so which one? Also, which RB should I give up? Also, should I worry about my WRs? I only have to start two of them each week. Thanks!"
--Rashede, Sacramento, CA

Docs: Rashede, we wouldn't recommend making a move on any of those QBs right now. Their stock could not be any higher, and it will cost you a pretty penny. Never a good idea to chase a player immediately after the week he has a monster game like Big Ben (but it is a good idea to try to shop them around for a potential leverage trade if you have them). As for your WRs, it really depends how big your league is. That is a solid crew for a large league. Now is the time to target a WR on the waiver wire, so we would recommend picking up a WR to build your depth and give you another option to leverage favorable match-ups (big factor when looking at having to select a marginal WR for the start). Good news is that you can start one of your RBs in your flex, and you have three solid options with McCoy, Sproles, and Richardson, particularly since you are in a PPR league. So in summary, don't make the trade for the QB, target a WR on the waiver wire for the next couple of weeks (let our Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Advice help), and use your RB depth to your advantage with a RB flex start.


"I need a good 2nd string QB to cover for Drew Brees bye week (week 6). I currently have Philip Rivers who would be playing Denver Broncos. Should I drop Rivers and pick up Joe Flacco off waivers. Flacco would be playing Dallas Cowboys. What do you think?

Also I was wondering about my receivers. I have -Antonio Brown -Larry Fitzgerald -Percy Harvin -Brandon Lloyd -Steve Smith

I've been looking at dropping one and picking up either Demaryius Thomas, Torrey Smith, or Ramses Barden. I know this question is somewhat complicated to answer so I'll try to help you out by saying I usually start Percy Harvin, Steve Smith at wr/te position, and switch out between brown and Fitzgerald for my 2nd WR spot. I am open to making adjustment if you think it will help me out. This is NOT a PPR league. Thanks a ton for your help! "

--Jacob, Shreveport, LA

Docs: Jacob, Flacco has been red hot. Honestly, it's hard to say if this is a trend or a mirage. He did have a favorable match-up against the Browns on Thursday Night, but regardless, he played very well. It's a little difficult to come to grips with the fact Flacco is lighting it up on the passing front. He has always been decent, but not great. There is a reason the Ravens have not inked a long term deal with him yet. However, he is on a mission to prove them wrong and get paid. Given the fact Flacco. Thomas, and Smith are all on your waiver wire, you must have either a small league or a league with extremely limited bench restrictions. We'd drop Brown for any of these three players if you have tight roster restrictions. If you don't have tight roster restrictions, then run, don't walk, to your waiver wire and pick all three up immediately. If you can just pick up one relative to dropping Brown, we would pick up Thomas, Flacco, and Smith, in that order. If you are able to get Flacco, you can stash him on your bench and watch another week or two to see how comfortable you are with starting him in week 6. If you are lucky, he will light it up through week 6, hence you can benefit from the big start and have some serious trade bait to use for an upgrade at another position. As for Rivers, he is coming off a horrible start last week, but that should prove to be a season low. He's a solid option at QB and the Bolts have the Broncos at home in week 6, so no need to panic. In regards to your line-up, we would figure a way to get Lloyd in there. He is starting to heat up and has a very favorable match-up this week. Here's our Wide Receiver Weekly Rankings to further illustrate our position on that. Hope this helps and good luck!


"Who should I start at flex for Week 4 (Standard, non-PPR scoring): Jacquizz Rodgers, Andre Brown, Andrew Hawkins, Brent Celek or Jared Cook (the other would start at TE), or Ramses Barden (now that Nicks is out)?"
--Chris, Charlottesville, VA

Docs: Hi Chris, we like Jacquizz Rodgers out of that crew. Great match-up this week and the Falcons are increasing his role in the offense. Also love the dual run-catch weapon he presents out of the backfield.


"I reached on Romo (ouch) and have him and Rivers as my two starting Quarterbacks. Neither have been impressing me thus far, and I'm not sure I like either of them this week. I picked up Andy Dalton on waivers, and given his match-up/hot streak I picked him up with the intention of giving him the start. Now I am not sure, am I crazy or is Dalton the answer to my week 4 woes?"
--Michael, Tallahassee, FL

Docs: Michael, we still go with Rivers this week over Romo and Dalton. Rivers had a terrible (or as Charles Barkley says, "turrrrr-ible") week last week, but he gets the rebound this week with a nice match-up in a key division game against the Chiefs. Kansas City is a far cry from Atlanta, who, remember, also gave Peyton Manning fits with 3 INTs early in that game. As for Dalton, he has had the benefit of very favorable match-ups to start the season. However, look no further than his week one performance to get a feel for his stability. The Ravens provided stiffer competition than the lowly Browns and Redskins, although the Ravens secondary statistically hasn't exactly been lights out (BAL gives up the passing yards, just not the all important TDs). We feel Rivers brings more stability to your line-up than Dalton this week. The Chiefs' secondary has been handing out passing TDs faster than candy on Halloween. Absent from this discussion is Romo, who we just don't trust at this point facing a fierce Bears' defense. Here's our rundown for QBs this week as shown in our Weekly QB Rankings: Quarterback Weekly Rankings


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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