Fantasy Mailbox - Week 13

Is it time to bench Eli Manning? Will Bears backup Adrian Peterson outproduce injured Cedric Benson? Get the answers to these questions and much more in this week's Fantasy Mailbox.

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Welcome to the Week 13 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.

Q : Hey there Freak! I'm somehow still in the running in my league. I need to win this week to make the playoffs. Here's my question: Do I go with with Kurt Warner or Eli Manning this week? I don't know why, but it's hard for me to start Warner...maybe because I'm a Giants fan. Thanks man.

Reuben I. - Trenton, NJ

Eli Manning hasn't thrown 2 TDs in a game since week 6 and has thrown over 2 just once (week 1). Furthermore, Eli has thrown for 300 yards or more on only two occasions...not exactly a fantasy stud thus far in 2007. In fact, Manning's struggles this past week had coach Tom Coughlin contemplating pulling him from the game. Contrast Eli's numbers with those of Kurt Warner's. Warner has thrown for 2 or more TDs in 5 of his last 6 games with a 484 yard passing performance this past weekend (keep in mind that Eli never threw more than 1 TD or a game with 300 passing yards in the same period)).

To look at numbers alone, Kurt Warner is the no-brainer pick this week against a porous Browns defense. The only thing to be considered here is the injury to Warner's ribs. Keep posted on his injury...and if he's able to play, start him with confidence. And just because you start Warner over Manning on your fantasy team doesn't mean you still can't cheer for Manning in the game.



Q : I'm pretty much done and looking at next season. I'm pondering some waiver pickups for my keeper league to go along with my current players (we can keep 5). I'm keeping Joseph Addai, Calvin Johnson, and Marshawn Lynch, but need to decide on 2 other players. I have Hines Ward and Jason Campbell on my team, but am thinking about dropping them and grabbing Chris Henry (Titans RB) and Matt Leinart off the wire as keepers. Our league is a 16 team league and we can only keep players for 3 years. Your thoughts?

Dan G. - Springfield, IL

I agree with your assessment of Henry and Leinart off the wire as keepers over Ward and Campbell. Your core of 5 should be a force for the next couple of years in a 16 team league!



Q : Hello Freak! Thanks for your advice this season (especially your preseason tips on the breakout of the Patriots)! My question is this...which of these 3 players do I use as my flex option this week: Thomas Jones, Wes Welker, or Drew Bennett?

Daryl R. - Cheyenne, WY

Stick with Wes Welker of the Pats. Tom Brady should come out firing after week 12's near loss to the Eagles..



Q : How about those Niners this past week? You really missed it by advising to go with the Arizona defense against San Francisco. Anyway, your advice is usually really good so I won't hold that one against you. Speaking of defenses, who would you start this week between Washington, San Diego, and Green Bay? Thanks!

Eddie D. - Sacramento, CA

Yes Eddie, I certainly missed that one. Arizona has been playing solid on defense and the Niners offense was pretty much non-existent until week 12. I guess that's why they play the games.

As for this week, the Redskin D is tempting against Buffalo. But I believe you give San Diego the slight edge this week against a banged up Kansas City offense. The Charger D has played well of late and should have no problem keeping the Chiefs in check.



Q : Hello Fantasy Freak! Our league gets together twice every year....once at the draft and again on the first weekend of December. We do the December thing to watch games and vote on rule changes for the next season while everyone still has some interest and in the thick of things. As commishioner, here is my question for you: What's your experience on granting yardage points and is a D/ST really necessary? Our league has been pretty much TD only, but we want to finally broaden things this year and I think it's going to pass the vote. How far should we go initially? Thanks!

Jonathan T. - Kansas City, MO


Hello Jonathan. I have to admit that I love the idea of getting together a 2nd time in addition to your draft! And what a great time to do it.

Although awarding yardage points I think is more fun and provides a more rounded interest, I'm not sure you want to be too drastic in the first year of your switch. My advice would be to keep your TD scoring the same and supplement yardage numbers with a basic 1 point for every 30 receiving/rushing yards and 1 point for every 100 passing yards.

As for interceptions, fumbles, points per reception, etc....I'd stay away from all of that and just do the basic yardage points to start. And no, there is no real reason to add a D/ST if you'd like to keep things simple...although I would recommend that you add Kickers to your rosters if you don't have them already (just do 3 points for FGs and 1 for PATs). Other than that, you may want to wait and see how the yardage bonus additions go prior to opening things up further. Good luck and have fun this weekend! I'm jealous!



Q : I have been sitting on Adrian Peterson all season (Bears) and am frustrated that he didn't take Cedric Benson's place sooner. How do you think he'll do? I think he'll be a good keeper.

Mindy S. - Baton Rouge, LA

You aren't the only one who thought that Peterson would have been more effective than Benson. But with a high first round pick spent on Benson in 2006, Bears management and head coach Lovie Smith (who is loyal to a fault) wanted to give Benson every chance to produce in 2007 (especially after choosing him over Thomas Jones this past offseason). Many Bears fans, however, felt Chicago kept the wrong RB and were still incensed by Benson's holdout last season. Basically, Benson was already on a short leash in the minds of many Bears fans.

Peterson did get his chances early this season, but had some problems holding onto the ball...which was just enough justification for Smith to stay with Benson despite his pathetic (low) YPC. With Benson now on IR, Peterson will certainly get his chances. And I believe he'll be much more effective than Benson ever was. Peterson is a better receiver out of the backfield and the players (O-line) seem to respect him much more than they did Benson. Results should generate even more questions as to why Peterson wasn't in sooner. Fantasywise, he should produce much better than an immediate top 15 RB from this point on.



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