Q : Hi Tim. I have to start 2 of the following four wide receivers: Joe Jurevious, Santana Moss, Randy Moss & Plaxico Burress. All have been steady starters but I need big points to win this week. Please Help. Thanks!
Kevin T. - Sioux Falls, SD
If his last name is Moss, then play him. Santana Moss is second in the league in receiving yards with 935 (only two yards behind Steve Smith) and is tied for 4th in catches (53) behind Larry Fitzgerald, Smith, and Reggie Wayne. Even though Randy Moss is only about 70%, I still like him over most number one receivers...he should play this weekend he'll be the key to the Raiders' game while his injuries continue to slightly improve. Moss (Randy) has scored a TD in five of the games he has played and would surely be the league leader in most WR categories if completely healthy this season. I do like Eli Manning to reconnect with Plaxico Burress against a reeling Eagles team and also like Joe Jurevicius' match-up against the Niners, but Santana and Randy Moss are the better plays.
Q : I have been riding Thomas Jones and his production all year until this past weekend. Fortunately, I also have Cedric Benson, but now he's hurt. I need help. With both of them banged up, who do you recommend I pick up?
Clark N. - Berkeley, CA
Jones was inactive against the Niners to rest his ribs. TJ isn't on this weeks injury report and is good to go and safe to start. Benson will be out three to six weeks with a sprained MCL, so go ahead and pick up Adrian Peterson as Jones' backup. The Bears have a great rushing attack and have a defense to place them in great field position. Good luck to you!
Q : Our league's trading deadline is this weekend and I need to beef up my wide receivers. Can you give some advice on sleeper candidates to target for trade? Thank you! I love your columns.
Scott C. - Boston, MA
A couple of guys that you may be able to get relatively cheap are Anquan Boldin and Darrell Jackson. Both have been injured, but both are also fantasy studs when healthy. Darrell Jackson is expected to be back Nov. 27th (next weekend) and is the primary receiving force with the Seahawks in a pass friendly offense (and I love Seattle's schedule during the FFL playoffs). Boldin is listed as questionable this weekend and will also be a key receiving target that produces big stats when he returns (should also be back fully next weekend). Often, fantasy owners tend to panic when players are injured and forget that injuries are temporary. Look up the owners of Jackson and Boldin and try swinging a deal this week. Good luck and let me know how it goes!
Q : Okay, here it goes...Samkon Gado. What do you think? Do I pick him up?
Toby G. - Altavista, VA
Yep. Sam Gado was the surprise of week ten and potentially the story of the year in the NFL. Gado (a rookie) was at one time a third string player for Liberty, was cut by the Chiefs in preseason, and was unemployed a short time ago (still planning to be a doctor). With all of the injuries to the Green Bay Packers, Gado made the Packer practice squad, the team, and started this past weekend at running back against the Falcons in Atlanta. Well Toby, he surprised me as well as everyone else. But given the situation in Green Bay, he appears to be the starter for the rest of the season. He's actually a nice pick-up if someone else doesn't beat you to him. Brett Favre still has his gun, which keep defenses in pass defense mode and helps make Gado a quality fantasy player.
Q : I have been offered Chad Johnson and Reggie Wayne for Shaun Alexander. I am thinking of taking it to help my wide receiver situation. My current WRs are Larry Fitzgerald, Brandon Stokley, Drew Bennett, Antonio Gates (who I use as a WR - we play 3 WRs and can use TEs), and Travis Taylor. Besides Alexander, I have Rudi Johnson and LaMont Jordan. Your advice?
Amy S. - St. Louis, MO
Don't make the trade. Alexander is the best fantasy player in the game this season. He has over 1100 yards rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. He scores more fantasy points than most any other combination of two players. In fact, even though Chad Johnson and Reggie Wayne are two of the best fantasy wide receivers in the game, their combined touchdown total (8) is less than half of what Alexander has accumulated. As for your current wide receivers, they are more than adequate. Fitz is leading the league in receptions and is a fantasy stud...Gates is the best tight end in football and puts up fantasy stats equivalent to a top ten wide receiver...and Bennett is returning from his injury (Stokley and Taylor aren't horrible and still produce at times). Take care Amy. You have a great team.
Q : Hey Freak! Our league is thinking about transitioning to a keeper league, but none of us know much about one. Do you have any advice? Thanks!
Randy O. - Dayton, OH
Actually, I am in two different keeper leagues and enjoy both of them. We get together the last Sunday in August for our annual auction (it's the only time I see most of the guys...we talk trash on the league message board the rest of the year). Both leagues are set up with similar rules, but you can do whatever works.
In keeper leagues, teams have a salary cap (like $100 for the whole team) and the owners must divide the money among all players on their team. Typically, keeper leagues average 12 teams and allow owners to keep either a set or unlimited number of players from the previous season up to their league's roster limit (15 or 16 usually). Players kept from the previous year's roster increase in value by a percentage (20% is what we do). It is also advisable to set a limit for duration spent with any one team (ours is three years before he is thrown back in to the auction), but this can be altered by allowing franchise players for a guy or two per roster after the three-year period (franchised players are still in auction, but price can be matched by owner). You can set the scoring like you do currently and include whichever positions you want.
Auctions can be done a couple of different ways. In one of my leagues, we insist all drops from the previous season are done by the week before the auction and team order (NFL) is drawn from a hat so that everyone can prepare the week prior to the auction. Franchise players (we allow two per team) are bid first before we get to the NFL teams. In the other league, we draw each team out of the hat at the auction,...so nobody knows when a player or team they are targeting will be up for auction (very fun, but you better come prepared).
I think in your case, you may want to start from scratch and auction off every NFL player until fantasy rosters are full. Start bidding at a quarter and keep bids and values in multiples of quarters - so $13.75 for a player would be okay. If you get through all of the teams and rosters aren't full, then go back and bid guys that were passed over until everyone has their full roster. Good luck and have fun. Be sure to email me with other questions...
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