This is Papa Weimer, back again for some fantasy football question and answer action. I had a couple tough calls last week, even going so far as to advising a fantasy reader to sit Ricky Williams (80 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns) for Tashard Choice (0 carries, 1 catch for 23 yards) but man, guys, how am I supposed to predict something like Choice getting shut out on the ground and Ricky dicing up the Saints stellar run defense for the most touchdowns in one single game of his entire career??? Shoot, sometimes I miss, but I always take a shot. So, feel free to send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org – I’ll be here to try and steer you away from carrots and ketchup, and get you closer to apples and cheese – yes, the latter is better than the former… Here’s this week’s early emails….
Brad from the internet writes in, “I have a trade question. I currently have a trade offer, I have Steve Slaton and I have been offered Matt Forte for him. Slaton has been doing pretty good for because the Texans have been using him as a receiver but his rushing has not been so good. I’m a Bears fan so I need some advise!! LOL. I really want to make this trade cuz I believe Forte will turn around or am I just being a fan?? Thanks for your help!”
Brad, I hope I can steer you in the right direction. Here goes nothing. I’d stick with Slaton, at least for now. I love Forte’s game, he’s tough, he’s got great feet, and when you give him enough chances to succeed he usually does. The problem with the Bears is that they just aren’t a team ready to give a running back good fantasy numbers. Jay Cutler has a great arm, and his style over his short career has meant a couple things. His teams will score fast. That’s good for offensive numbers, but not really great for running backs. The faster the score, the fewer plays it takes, the fewer chances your RB gets to get break one. He also doesn’t check down. He’s been known for locking onto receivers and throwing it regardless of coverage. Look at it, he seeming choses a play for a player, like in Madden 2009, and just goes there not matter what you do. This is a problem for a couple reasons. Interceptions and incompletions also cause for a shorter offensive series. Also, when you don’t check down, your RB with great hands and receiving skills rarely gets catches. Now, unless this changes, I think Matt continues to struggle. This is why I was warning you Bear fans about getting so happy with the addition of Cutler. Great arm, not always the decisions you need to win football games. Then you add in the schedule over the next 5 weeks. Forte’s value might even go down from here. This week is a great match=up, sure, the Browns come to town to give Forte plenty of chances to up his fantasy stock, but what about after that? 4 Top-10 Rush defenses go up against the Bears, the Cardinals (1), the 49ers (6), the Eagles (11) and the Vikings (10) – and the Vikings are probably much better than any one of those. That’s a tough 4 game stretch where you’ll be looking for a playoff spot. You compare that to Slaton playing just 2 Top 10 defenses for the rest of the season (Titans-10, Dolphins-4) and I think you see why i’d stick with Steve. I think Forte will have some solid numbers late, but after this week it doesn’t look so bright. Good luck in either way you decide.
William Bad-Ace from Beaver Falls, PA asks, “What is your best pick for survivor this week? I no longer have the Colts, not that they are a sure thing this week against San Fran anyway, I’m basically deciding between Chicago, San Diego, and Houston – any thoughts?”
Sure Billy, I got some advice for your Ace. I like the teams you listed, all could be a decent option. And yes, you’re right, Indy is far from a sure thing against a tough Niners squad. When’s the last time Indy played a physical football game anyway? Arizona in Week 3 or Miami in Week 2. That’s a long time ago. I’d steer clear from that game in survivor action. Of your choices, I’d rank San Diego #1, Chicago #2, and Houston #3. I think San Diego should slap Oakland around, but the Chargers are a little bit like the Eagles in that they rely heavily on the pass, and that can always come back to haunt you. Chicago plays Cleveland, but I’m not 100% here either, the Browns have a good offensive line and the Bears defensive front got blown out of the water by Cincinnati’s rushing attack last week, this could be more interesting than people expect. Houston should win, but Buffalo hangs around in a lot of football games, and that secondary can pick it with the best of them. If Houston runs, I like them to walk here, but they are no guarantee to keep it on the ground for too long. My favorite pick this week is actually one you didn’t even list. I like the Cardinals to absolutely slap the Panthers around like a JV team. Arizona beats up opposing rushing attacks and that’s all the Panthers can really do. I see a long game for Jake Delhomme, if he’s even the guy at QB in this game. The match-up favors Arizona so much that they are my biggest sure thing of Week 8. Hope that helps!
Ryan from Seattle asks, “Who do you start this week, Ryan Grant against Minnesota, Knowshon Moreno against Baltimore, or Donald Brown against San Francisco? Yeah, tough spot, appreciate any help you got. Non-PPR….”
Ryan, you are in a pickle. But I think the answer is Ryan Grant. The Packers got away from the run last time out, but there is, at the very least, some evidence that says Grant could do solid things against that ferocious Vikings defensive front. The Steelers gave their starting running back just 10 carries last week, but he plowed away for 69 yards in limited chances. Ryan got just 10 carries against the Vikes last time out, he went for 50 on those looks. The Packers have decided to keep Grant more involved, and it’s been a good thing, dominating the last two games where Grant carried 20+ times (24 in Detroit, 27 last week), and if they know what’s good for them, they’ll commit to him again this week. I don’t know if I see a touchdown, but 80 yards or so could be in the cards if the Pack has removed their offensive play calling from the pass-happy garbage can. Hope that helps, good luck!