Fantasy Mailbox - Week 5

Welcome to the Week 5 edition of the NFL Fantasy Mailbox! As the 2007 season progress, we will 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 : I picked up Marion Barber last year in my keeper league and will have him this season and all of next season if I don't trade him first. Another owner is offering me Larry Johnson and Antonio Gates for Barber (we're required to play a tight end and TEs are the only positon scored ppr with an extensive yardage bonus). Do I do the deal?

Tony C. - Cadillac, MI

I think you jump on this deal. Larry Johnson may not match his numbers from the last two seasons, but I believe he still recovers enough to give Barber a run (and I'm betting LJ may still finish ahead of Barber by year's end). Throw in fantasy's best tight end with lucrative ppr (points per reception) and yardage points and this trade becomes one-sided in your favor.



Q : Freak. My team is loaded with Dallas Cowboys and I'm 4-0. I managed to get Tony Romo, Terrell Owens, Marion Barber, Jason Witten - and even picked up Nick Folk off waivers after our draft. How long do I ride this train? Our trade deadline is October 31st. Thanks.

Evan J. - Arlington, TX

...not implying that you are a homer Cowboy fan or anything, but how'd you manage to land so many Dallas Cowboys while living in the Dallas area? I'm guessing you're in an on-line league and this isn't a local league among friends.

Clearly, the Cowboys are the best team in the NFC and will clinch their division by week 15 (in a 17 week season). you're probably aware...your fantasy playoff chances are minimal with your stud Cowboys sitting on the bench with home field advantage locked away. Not that this is a sure thing, but it's certainly a strong possibility.

Given the situation, consider moving a couple of your Cowboys in the next few weeks. Their value couldn't be higher at this point. Maybe target Witten and Barber as players you trade for some nice value to help diversify your team. If not, then you'll have very little chance of winning your fantasy superbowl unless other NFC teams have similar records to the Cowboys at the end of the regular season (and I doubt that's going to happen).




Q : I need to pick one of these players as a flex position this week: Donte Stallworth, Maurice Jones-Drew, Anthony Gonzalez, and Earnest Graham. Who would you play?

Cleo W. - Jackson, MS

With Cadillac Williams out for the season, I think you start Graham this week. Check closer to gametime, but Graham should get most of Tampa Bay's carries over Michael Pittman...and the Buccaneers are looking good running the ball this season.



Q : Fantasy Freak, I need some trade advice. I'm in a 12-team keeper league and have Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson, Kevin Curtis, and Larry Fitzgerald at wide receiver. Another owner wants one of my WRs and is willing to help me out at running back. Can you rank my receivers I listed considering keeper potential? I Calvin Johnson and Andre Johnson are both first year guys. Fitz and Curtis are 2nd year guys. We can keep our keepers for 3 years.

Wes H. - Topeka, KS

Nice set of young keeper wide receivers Wes! Everything else being equal, 3 of your receivers have top 10 NFL talent. From top to bottom, I think I'd go Calvin, Andre, Fitz, and Curtis.



Q : Hello. Who would you grab off the waiver wire between Daunte Culpepper and Earnest Graham? I have Peyton Manning on my team already, but don't want to pass Culpepper up. I think Graham will be the guy in Tampa and I don't have a backup at RB. What do you think?

Michael M. - Orlando, FL

Other than Manning's bye week, there will never be a week where you would start Culpepper over Manning (unless he gets hurt and he never has). Running backs, on the other hand, are much more injury prone and in much more demand. Plus, you start at least 2 RBs each week and will ultimately need a replacement. I'd grab Graham over C-pepp.



Q : My fantasy team is loaded with the walking wounded (and I'm not sure all of them are still walking). I started the year on a high, but my team is now decimated after only 4 weeks into the season. Fortunately, I'm 2-2 and tied for first in my division. Any advice?

Ian K. - Baton Rouge, LA

Hang in there Ian. You definitely aren't the only owner with red crosses next to the names of your fantasy players. Other than Deuce McAllister and Cadillac Williams (if they happened to be on your team), most of the injured superstars are expected back in their lineups within the next couple of weeks.

This season is typical. Just don't bail and trade your injured players for glass beads and shiny foil...and remember that fantasy football is a 16 (or 17) week season. We have a long way to go. Be patient and good luck!



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