Fantasy Mailbox : Week 1

Welcome to the week 1 edition of the Fantasy Mailbox! As the season progresses, we will select a few emails to answer in our weekly mailbox column. To be considered for future columns, send your fantasy football questions to and be sure to include your first name, last initial, city & state.

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Q : What's up with Domanick Davis? At one point he was one of the top 15 RBs, and now he's out for the year!? What do you suggest? Should I grab his back-up or will the Texans be so bad this year that it isn't even worth it? Who will be starting now for Houston?

Larry R. - Kansas City, MO

I was never big on Davis and advised against drafting him. But upon learning of his lingering injury, he really became undesirable. Davis' injury ultimately forced the Texans to shelve him for the season.

As for a back-up, Houston made a move to get Ron Dayne from the Broncos. If Dayne is still available in your league, he is a nice pick-up. He is a solid runner and will have a decent year, but the Texans' offense still has some issues. Pick Dayne up if you can, but don't expect top ten fantasy numbers.


Q : T. Jones, Gore, or C. Taylor - Anything can happen of course, but if these 3 guys stay healthy and get 80% of their teams' carries, which is going to have the best fantasy year in a yardage/td league?

Chris M. - Chicago, IL

JONES! I really like Thomas Jones as a runner. Many people don't realize he was rated extremely high in the class of 2000 and ahead of Jamal Lewis and Shaun Alexander. He just needed to be in the right system and wasn't quite as fortunate as JL and SA.

The problem is that Benson was drafted by the Bears early last season (when they could have actually used the pick somewhere else) and the Bears feel somewhat obligated to use him (Benson) this I'm not convinced the "suits" will allow TJ to be on the field 80% of the time. If Jones is on the field (as you indicate in your question), then he'll outperform Gore or Taylor. Thanks for your question!


Q : Is Darrell Jackson worth starting this week? All of my buddies were badgering me about taking him and said he was going to be hurt and wouldn't play this year. Thank you very much Mr. Freak.

Rufus N. - Raleigh, NC

You're going to have that from your buddies (think of the recent commercials on the NFL Network). I'm not going to mess with you like those guys.

As for DJax, he was nursing a sore leg in the preseason and did miss some games last year. But he is self-proclaimed as "good to go" for week 1 against the Lions. Jackson is a force when he is in the game and is the heart of Seattle's passing offense. QB Matt Hasselbeck will look early and often to Jackson. Jackson was a nice draft pick-up and you'll do well with him provided he stays healthy.

Good luck to you Rufus!


Q : Hey Freak! I'm in a small 8 team draft and was able to load up at WR. The problem is deciding who I should play. We play 2 WRs each week and I have Steve Smith, Marvin Harrison, and Anquan Boldin. Is there one of the three that has a worse match-up or are there two that stand out? Thanks for the help!

Blake M. - Huntsville, AL

Owners, like yourself, end up with a load of talent when in an 8 team league and the difficulty often comes down to who to play and who to pick-up on the waiver wire.

However, your situation is much easier than you least for week 1. Steve Smith has been listed as questionable with a hamstring injury and has been out of practice for the last two days. Even if Smith plays, he'll likely be matched up against Atlanta's All-Pro DeAngelo Hall.

Play Harrison and Boldin and check back on Smith for week 2. Good luck Blake!


Q : Hi Fantasy Freak! My draft is on Wednesday (night before the first game) and I have the 4th pick. I have two guys offering to trade me picks who want to move up in the draft. One has the 7th pick and the other has the 9th pick. What would you do?

Drew D. - Lima, OH

Thanks for your question Drew. I really don't like the 4th pick this year. Although the top 3 slots most always go to L.J., Alex, and LT2, the 4th spot is much tougher with a bog of candidates. I like Jackson, Rudi, Edge, Cadillac, and Manning in the middle of the 1st round, but there are different advantages to each depending upon the league scoring rules.

I would rather have the 7th pick and take the best player available since there is little difference in rankings for 4-8. The advantage, of course, is that you will still get a quality guy at 7th (one listed above) and you will have the 18th pick instead of the 21st pick as the draft reverses in the 2nd round (assuming a 12 team league). Make the trade from 4th to 7th.


Q : Should I trade for Big Ben? Another owner is offering him up cheap since he can't start him in week one due to his recent surgery. My other quarterbacks are Kurt Warner, Matt Leinart, and Byron Leftwich.

Arnold G. - Pittsburgh, PA

I understand the temptation to grab a player from your favorite team. But no, Arnold...don't trade for Roethlisberger if you are playing to win. You have a much better quarterback situation in the Warner/Leinart combination with the WR studs (Fitz & Boldin) catching the ball in Arizona. I even like Leftwich as a better fantasy player than Big Ben when healthy. My advice is to stay put.


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