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NFL Week 5: "Ask the Docs" Replies

Friday, October 4, 2013

You've got questions and we're here to dish out answers. Lot of great questions this week ranging from trade offers to starting decisions to wavier advice. We decided to go the Social Media route this year, so if you dropped us a question on our Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ pages, odds are good you got an answer! For the rest of you, we've compiled the questions and our responses to try to help the masses as well. Many of our replies will have components that are directly applicable to components on your team, so without further ado, let's get to it:

Miles Austin or Nate Washington for long term? Picked up Nate this week, but someone in my league dropped Austin.
- Archit (via Twitter)

Docs: Hi Archit, "long term" being this year, we go NW. Austin's injuries are becoming too common and less competition for NW.

My team isn't doing too well so I am thinking of trading Marshawn Lynch. It is a PPR league. I was offered DeSean Jackson and Chris Johnson for Lynch and Mike Wallace. I also was offered Brandon Marshall, Mike Williams and Knowshon Moreno for Lynch and Fitzgerald. I don't really like either of those. I was thinking of offering Lynch, Fitzgerald and Mike Wallace for Moreno, Marshall and Pierre Garcon. Would that trade be worth it or should I hold on hoping my team picks it up?
- Russell (via Facebook)

Docs: Hi Russell, it's always tough when your team is slow out the gates. On the one hand, you want to mix things up to try to get a different result. After all, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results! On the other hand, you don't want to panic either and make things worse by forcing the issue with a trade. The team struggling with wins is always the target for trade offers by folks in a fantasy league - they are looking to capitalize on emotion and pull off a big trade to help THEIR team without having to give up as much as they would if the owner was in their right state of mind. So be weary of these offers - people don't make offers that make their team worse! Sometimes a slow start has absolutely nothing to do as far as serving as a measuring stick regarding the quality of your team and more to do with your league schedule. Every year there is going to be someone in your league that will finish #1 in fantasy points scored against on them by other league teams during the course of the season. When you are that team, it is very, very difficult to overcome that situation, and your team has to be even that much better to just make the playoffs. Of course once you are in the playoffs, the slate is wiped clean, but getting there can be a real challenge. So in short, your losses can be occurring due to a schedule from facing the higher scoring teams each week and less to do with your overall team make-up. But enough with the generalities, let's get to the specifics. As for the trade, Brandon Marshall is awfully tempting being in a PPR league. It's hard for us to completely comment, as we don't know your full roster and league starting requirements, and we wouldn't ship off Lynch if your RBs reserves were thin. In general and being in a PPR league, we like the trade you have in mind for Moreno, Marshall, and Pierre, but we would first counter with Lynch and Fitzgerald for those three. Moreno makes a little nervous as at this point it's hard to see him as a long term solution this season. He is more of a near term fix. Hopefully you have another RB just in case (or can pick-up another Denver RB as an insurance policy). At any rate, back to the trade. If the owner offered you the trade to start, they will be expecting a counter offer. They've shown you they want Lynch and Fitzgerald. That's a key piece of information. Now you counter by upping the cost by swapping Williams for Garcon. It's possible they take it. If nothing else, it sets you up to eventually offer Wallace to get the deal done. In general, we aren't fans of 3 for 2 or 2 for 1 trade offers as they typically just dilute your roster. The classic collective whole offer that doesn't really factor in the consideration that starting them all doesn't make your team better (i.e. the collective fantasy points of the 3 players is greater than the 2 players, but the reality of giving up a stud hurts more than often considered if just looking at the total sum points coming to your team. The extra player is a distraction that keeps you away from the reality of the effects on your starting line-up. In short, you've made your bench stronger and oftentimes your starting line-up weaker). However, in your case, you should be OK assuming the cupboard isn't bare at RB. Trades are always a little tricky. Factor in all of our comments and go with your gut. The subconscious (a.k.a. "the gut" for men; "woman's intuition" for woman) is a powerful ally in fantasy football and in life!

Just got offered Rashard Mendenhall, Jared Cook, and RG III for Jimmy Graham and Reggie Bush. Yay, or nay?
- Trey (via Twitter)

Docs: Don't do it Trey and sit tight with the horses you've got.

Trade offer: RB Trent Richardson for TE Tony Gonzalez and RB Ray Rice, do I accept??
- Matt (via Facebook)

Docs: Hi Matt, we don't exactly what side of the fence you are on (although sounds like the one getting the offer to acquire T-Rich), but just to be clear, we like Richardson over Gonzo + Rice. The upside with T-Rich is still too exciting to ignore at this point in the season. He is only going to get better, and that could spell very good things when you need it most - your fantasy football playoffs.

Who should I start RB Darren sproles or RB Giovanni Bernard?
- Dean (via Facebook)

Docs: Hi Dean, we give the edge to Sproles as a dual run-catch weapon out of the backfield. Chicago has trouble in space, and Sproles is a master at both finding it and creating it. We like his chances this week.

Would you start Romo (against Denver) or Pryor (against SD) week 5? Robbie Woods AND Stevie Johnson or just one? Which one? Williams (Dallas) is still available on my 14 team league. Pick him up and play him against Denver this week or hold him?
- Deborah (via Facebook)

Docs: Hi Deborah, we lean to Romo over Pryor this week as shown in our weekly QB rankings. Romo is a little more stable of an option. While Pryor has a great match-up and brings a nice dual threat option to the table with his arm and legs, he is also returning from a concussion. Concussions are strange animals that are not well understood. Once you've had one, you can suffer a second on a lesser hit. We would like to see a little more distance between Pryor getting the concussion before giving him the start over Romo. As for your next question, given our reply is after the Thursday Night Game, we'll have to pass on the Buffalo question. Last, regarding Williams, we wouldn't turn the fantasy keys over just yet to the rookie WR in week 5. Miles Austin being limited (or even out) this week will help Williams, but rookie WRs are a risky play. WR is arguably the most difficult position to transition from college to the NFL. We've got a mound of statistical data to support that point in our NFL rookie article that can be found on the site. Our "3 Year WR" article is another one that helps support this point (notice there is not a "3 Year RB" article!). We don't know what your other options are at WR, but in general, if you have a semi-decent option, we would look to them over Williams and leave him on the waiver wire. Naturally anything can happen on any given week, but fantasy football is a game of probability. We feels starting Romo over Pryor and looking to another WR option other than Williams will put your team in a better position to win more times than not this week.

Drafted Spiller in the first and Chris Johnson in the 2nd, they both suck, how nervous should I be?
- Mark (via Twitter)

Docs: Hi Mark, hang in there & be weary of trade offers. RBs as a whole are down this year to start, but things should avg out.

I have the misfortune of having 2 hurt players on my team. Should I start Danny Amendola or Roddy White in W5?
- Gene (via Facebook)

Docs: Hi Gene, there is no good way out of this one other than to watch very closely prior to game time and start the one that looks like he will play. If both look good to go, we would roll the dice with Amendola. It's risky as no one ever really knows the true health of any New England player, but Amendola has had more time with absolutely no activity to allow his body to heal, and the Pats really, REALLY need help at WR. There's the logic anyway. Good luck!

Docs, I am currently starting Demarco Murray, Darren McFadden, AJ Green, Victor Cruz and Arian Foster. Should I sit Darren MCfadden and replace with Torrey Smith at flex? Seeing as how McFaddens status seems to be clear as mud. Thanks.
- Jeff (via Facebook)

Docs: Hi Jeff, at this point, we would sit McFadden in favor of Smith given the rest of your starters and McFadden's bad hammy. That is not the type of injury that you want your fantasy RB to have, and it will limit McFadden's explosive burst (in fact, he may not even play). It's a tough match-up for both Smith and McFadden, but we like Smith better this week.

The Jimmy Graham owner in my league also owns Jordan Cameron. He wants to trade one of his TE to me for a RB. Should I trade Darren Sproles for Jordan Cameron? My current RB are Doug Martin, Jamaal Charles and David Wilson. My TE is Jared Cook. If not, should I offer Doug Martin for Jimmy Graham?
- Adam (via Facebook)

Docs: Hi Adam, if he will take Sproles for Cameron, we would do it. We would not offer Martin for Graham. You could always offer Sproles for Graham first before the Cameron deal just to see what happens. Maybe you get lucky, he is a New Orleans homer, and the acquisition of Sproles helps soothe the loss of Graham. Clearly, any fantasy owner in their right mind would never take that trade, but then again, there are plenty of very attractive women with guys that have no business being with them simply because the guy had the courage to ask them out. Holy smokes, this column has now turned into a Dr. Phil type column... a new low! You could also consider packaging Wilson and Sproles for Graham in the famous 2 for 1 trade strategy to see if you get any interest there. But in the end, Sproles for Cameron is not a bad trade. Just trying to squeeze in a little more value in the trade before having to go there.

I'm looking for some advice... I'm in a ppr league that only allows me to keep 4 wrs... which 4 should I keep out of Calvin Johnson, Roddy White, Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, and Cecil Shorts...Johnson and White I'm keeping obviously.
- Rob (via Facebook)

Docs: Hi Rob, this is tough. Basically you're trying to throw darts at a cesspool of tier 2 and tier 3 WRs (depending on your league size). Arguments can be made for and against each of the players listed (Amendola, Edelman, and Shorts). While there are components for each we like, in your case, we wouldn't put all our eggs in the New England basket. Shorts is holding his own and fine to keep. So that means its down to Amendola or Edelman. We lean slightly to Amendola. He is clearly a huge injury risk, but his upside is still better than Edelman. The Pats aren't satisfied with their WR situation as evident by signing Austin Collie earlier in the week. So they aren't satisfied with what they have seen on the field, which Amendola really hasn't been a part of this year outside of week 1. So in theory, if Amendola can stay healthy (unlikely) once he returns, he has the potential to settle their concerns. Meanwhile, Edelman has been healthy, but has not settled their concerns despite being fully healthy and available. Hence, the lean to Amendola based on his upside and the chance he does stay healthy over the known, healthy entity of Edelman. Shorts is still there as a fallback plan to provide depth. Furthermore, you've already got two strong WRs in Johnson and White (White will come around). Sometimes in fantasy there is a time to swing for the fences, and Amendola gives you a better swing than Edelman.

That's a wrap this week. Great interacting with everyone and good luck to everyone's teams this week. If you haven't yet, be sure to check out our FootballDocs' Social Media pages and send us your fantasy football question: Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.

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