Fantasy Mailbox - Week 11

Welcome to the week 11 edition of the Fantasy Mailbox! As the season progresses, we will continue to select a few emails to answer in our weekly mailbox column. To be considered for future columns, please send your fantasy football questions to and be sure to include your first name, last initial, city & state.

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Q : Hi Freak! Thanks largely to your advice, I picked up Chad Johnson for a song (and did it before he went off in week 10)! Anyway, here's my new dilemma: A guy is offering me Matt Hasselbeck for Donte Stallworth. I am in a bit of a situation at QB with Damon Huard and David Garrard. My WRs are Johnson, Stallworth, Darrell Jackson, and Laveranues Coles - and we only play two. Do I make the deal? Thanks haven't let me down yet.

Tom V. - Chesterfield, MO

Yep. Chad Johnson was going to bust out eventually and I think he'll continue where he left off in week 10. As for the new trade, I believe it's virtually a do it! Your QB situation is lousy and H-beck will be a top 5 fantasy QB down the stretch. Stallworth is a solid WR (esp. when healthy with McNabb throwing him the rock), but Stallworth is also a liability with a seemingly never ending hamstring injury. In addition, you're loaded at WR and whomever you bench isn't going to help your overall total. Make the trade and don't look back.


Q : Hi. The Clinton Portis situation is killing me. Not only am I a huge Skins fan, but I have Portis on my fantasy team. Here's the deal,...we get to keep 4 guys for next year. In addition to Portis, I have Peyton Manning, Anquan Boldin, Willie Parker, Joseph Addai, Kellen Winslow Jr., Laveranues Coles, and Reggie Brown all worth considering (oh, I also have LaDell Betts for insurance for Portis). Should I keep Portis for next year? I'm trying not to be too much of a homer.

Thanks for your help Freak. Your stuff is great!

Kevin Y. - Baltimore, MD

Sorry about the Portis situation. But in this case, I think you cut him and get who you can off of the wire. You have a very strong team and plenty for the future. Obviously, Manning is a lock. And, I like Parker, Addai, Boldin, and Winslow...but narrowing to 4 of the above needs to wait until later.

Good luck to you. Your fantasy team will survive, but not sure about your Skins this season.


Q : Hey. Although I realize that Shaun Alexander is playing this weekend, do you think he's going to produce? I don't have much, but could play Kevan Barlow or LaMont Jordan instead (to go along with Kevin Jones). Do I gamble on Alexander?

Stephen B. - Pittsfield, MA

I don't believe Alexander is a lock to play this weekend. Reports out of Seattle indicate that he still has a cracked foot. If, however, Alex plays...then you put him in your lineup (he won't play unless he is ready to produce). I believe you need to wait until gametime to make your decision, since I think Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren may do the same thing.


Q : Freak! Eli Manning is killing me! We play in a league where interceptions are counted -4 and passing TDs are counted +4 (and it hurts). What do I do? Do I try to trade Eli?

Gil D. - Des Plaines, IL

Wow! That interception penalty is kind of harsh. But Eli's propensity to toss INTs should not be much of a surprise. Manning threw 17 picks last season (T-2nd) prior to throwing 11 (T-3rd) this season (with just 15 TDs). Given this year's TD/INT ratio on Eli, you're only plus 4 through 10 weeks...not too good.

However, I don't think you trade Manning. Besides...every other owner will understand what's happening and you won't receive much of anything in return. My suggestion is to ride Eli for the rest of the year and hope his accuracy improves as the opponents get a little easier. And, probably don't have much of an alternative at this point in the season.


Q : Hello Fantasy Freak. What are your thoughts on a week 16 vs. week 17 Superbowl. I just don't get why we would want to shorten our blessed season, but some of the guys want our fantasy superbowl moved to week 16 next year. Your thoughts?

Kent B. - Charlottesville, VA

Hi Kent. This is a very common question that I have received several times. The advantage to playing your league's superbowl in week 16 is to allow a respectable game for the two teams playing in the matchup. As you probably realize, many NFL teams rest their starters in week 17...which leaves fantasy owners scrambling to find substitutes for Peyton Manning, Donovan McNabb, Shaun Alexander, Tom Brady, and countless others (depending upon NFL standings). I think it absolutely makes since to make your season a 16 week schedule and avoid a total crapshoot for the final game. If you feel you must have a full 17 weeks, then my suggestion is to have a shootout in week 17 and involve every team in your the waiver wire back up after week 16 and allow open bidding for kickers, QBs, RBs, etc. and count total roster points for some type of prize. It's actually a pretty fun week with several strategies involved!

Q : SFF - I need some help on who to start in week 11. I drafted both Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne and never know which one to play. I have seen where you have touted Wayne with a slight edge since the beginning of the season. Well...what's going to happen this week at Dallas? Which one do I start? Thanks Freak!

Drew R. - Raleigh, NC

Hi Drew. I believe you start both of them...and why not? Indy is the top passing offense in the NFL and Wayne/Harrison are around 5th and 6th of all fantasy WRs. Wayne may have a tiny edge, but Peyton will base his throws depending upon what the defense gives him - and the defenses have been altering from week to week. BTW, I'll be at the game in Dallas and looking forward to seeing the chemistry in person.

Thanks Drew!


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