Ask Papa Weimer Fantasy Football Know-It-All Aug 18

You got questions? I still got answers. The season is a mere 30 days away, and my excitement is on the verge to causing me another trip to the heart doctor. Fe-Fi-Foe-Fum, I smell the questions of an American… Or 6… – Papa Weimer

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You mentioned that defenses will not win you in fantasy, but in my league (16-team league), the defense does score points based on # of points they hold the opposing team to. A shutout can get you an additional 15pts, which can make a difference. We receive “x” points based on a sliding scale for a defense that holds another team to 17pts or less. Less points obviously for holding them to 17 vs the shutout. So, based on this, which 5 Defenses do you recommend?- Shane in New York.

Shane, you’re right, and I’m still right. I wasn’t saying that defenses don’t score points. In fact, some leagues, like yours for example, make it so solid defenses score right up there with the Top 10 running backs – but that doesn’t mean you should pick one early. When I said defenses don’t win championships in fantasy football, I meant they don’t “stop” anyone on your opponents fantasy teams. Unlike the NFL, where defenses do win championships, if your defense has a great day, that doesn’t mean that your opponent won’t out score you. See, in fantasy, I could have the Ravens score 30 fantasy points for my squad, and that doesn’t mean that the opponent will be shut down. Defenses score points just like every other position, they don’t “stop” anyone. Does that make sense? As for my top rated defenses – I’m guessing Chicago slips out of the Top 3 this season, but they might still make it in the Top 5, if only because they play in the NFC North. I like Baltimore, Carolina, Dallas, San Diego, and Chicago – and a big sleeper to replace Chicago would be Jacksonville. However, I wouldn’t pick the Ravens, and definitely not the Bears, unless they slipped way past their average draft spot. The Bears get plucked in Round 5 and Ravens in round 6 – don’t take a D before Round 10 – please. Dallas and Carolina both have loads of talent, and both could be huge this season. Dallas has playmakers everywhere and a brilliant defensive mind switching things up, Wade Phillips. Carolina plays in a slow conference (Atlanta and Tampa aren’t offensive juggernauts) and they are also loaded. Skip the “Big Timers” and go with the middle of the road and you’ll be fine. A big sleeper I’d take a chance on in the last round is Green Bay – they are loaded with young talented guys.

I put together a 14-team Yahoo League with the following setup: Roster Positions: QB, QB, WR, WR, WR, RB, RB, TE, W/T, K, D, D, D, DB, DB, DB, DL, DL, DL, BN, BN, BN —
Stat Categories: Passing Yards (15 yards per point; 50 points at 300 yards; 150 points at 400 yards)Passing TDs (10) Interceptions (-2) Rushing Yards (10 yards per point; 25 points at 100 yards; 50 points at 150 yards; 150 points at 200 yards)Rushing TDs (10) Receptions (2) Reception Yards (10 yards per point; 25 points at 100 yards; 50 points at 150 yards; 150 points at 200 yards) Reception TDs (15) Return Yards (10 yards per point; 50 points at 200 yards)Return Touchdowns (50) 2-Point Conversions (5). Do you have any draft strategies for this format? – Famous Jones from Brooklyn, NY.

Its tough to do an article on two quarterback leagues, because it all greatly depends on how the draft is going. Also, with bonus points, every league is different. This league obviously panders to quarterback play, I’d probably grab two QBs to start off the draft, Palmer and Brady, or Manning and McNabb – something like that, then end up with 2 RBs in the next 3 rounds – maybe Brandon Jacobs and Thomas Jones, or DeAngelo Williams, Marshawn Lynch, Caddy, Norwood, even Edge goes late sometimes – I’d look at it like that. It’s entirely possible to go for 300 yards, a guy like Brees did it plenty last year, as did McNabb before he got hurt.. that 100 point bonus is big, and 300 is more easily reachable than 150 is for running backs. If I had a Top 2 pick, I’d go LT or Steven Jackson, maybe even LJ – then I’d roll 2 QBs, then I’d grab another RB, and receivers – guys like Plax, Lee Evans sometimes, Calvin Johnson, Reggie Brown, Mark Clayton, Deion Branch, DJ Hackett, loads of good young receivers – can all be had after round 4 – so you’d have a good team that’s set at QB which is the most important thing for this league. But I hate 2 starting QB leagues, because bye weeks become screwy, (not enough QBs to go around, and guys like Charlie Frye start getting drafted – which is ridiculous) but it’s also a nice to make people think outside the box. Anyway, the reason people don’t write articles on this is because its so obscure – also, in IDP, I’d just take defensive guys after you have your offensive guys pretty set, because it’s a crap shoot, and if you do your research, you can easily grab top guys – look for changing defenses that highlight different positions, SS, FS, OLB or ILB… All defenses have “tacklers” at different positions, same with sack guys – anyway, I hope this helps a little. Also, just because a team has a good defense doesn’t mean they are the best option in an IDP. Young guys that run and tackle on bad defenses make for great value later.

I’m in a dynasty league and have to choose between Maurice Jones Drew and Drew Brees. I get 6 points for passing and rushing touchdowns. A 5 point bonus at 300yds passing and 100yds rushing. You get 1 point for every 35 passing yards and 1 point for every 10 rushing yards. Who would you keep? -Dan, from the Mistake on the Lake and 2007 Super Bowl Champion Cleveland Browns; (Yea right!) maybe 2017.


First of all, I always have a little soft spot in my old heart for Brown fans. 2nd of all, Good question… But if you start only 1 quarterback, I’d definitely go with Jones Drew. However, I really love the kid’s ability. I think he has Barry Sanders upside. This year, Brees may be the better option, but as a keeper, I always think running backs are more valuable than quarterbacks, especially guys like Drew who could be great. The only think making me think about this is the 6 points for TDs, and the +5 for 300 yards passing. The Saints’ offense is passer friendly, and 300 yards isn’t crazy – however, I think Bush will get more carries this year, and Deuce will also get his – Brees passing numbers, in my opinion, will be down in 2007. The fact that QBs only get 1 point for every 35 yards, instead of 25 (normal) means they lose 1 point every 100 yards – so, while Brees’ bonus will be reached more than Drew will reach his bonus (because of Fred Taylor’s carry numbers) it’s really only worth 2 points – because the yardage numbers are -3 different than a normal league. Overall, this is a tough dilemma, because Drew is young and will be a Top 5 quarterback for at least 5 years – but I think Drew is going to be special, and good running backs are more valuable than good quarterbacks. I’d go for Drew for sure. Like we say in this family, MJD is a Fred Taylor injury away from being a Top 5 Back.

I know you’re high on Santonio Holmes, but in some leagues I see Holmes going ahead of Ward – and those are seasonal leagues. So who should I take, Papa, Hines or Holmes? – Chalky Thompson, from the BIG Island.

What a great name – surfers are all about great names, you must be one of those. You’re right, Chalky, I am pretty high on Holmes, but if you have the chance to grab either Ward or Holmes late in the draft, I’d take Hines every time. Holmes might be the answer in a dynasty keeper league… Might. I’d still have to think about it, as I imagine Ward has 3 very good years left in him. People seem to forget, that even when Big Ben was brutal last year, and the Steelers blew chunks for the better half of the year, Ward still managed 74 receptions, 975 yards, and 6 touchdowns. That stat-line still ranked him 22nd in Fantasy Football amongst wide receivers. He’s not an injury concern, and barring an unlucky break for the talented wideout, I expect at least 85 catches, 1,000 yards, and 8 scores. That would put him in the Top 15. I don’t think Holmes will quite break that this season. Both are a good option, but I’d take Ward over Holmes in a second.

Edgerrin James seems to be slipping into the 3rd round of a lot of drafts. If he falls to me that late, is there any reason to pass him by? I know he had a down year, but why do you think he’s slipping so far? – Popsicle Gould, from Southern, CA.

People like to forget about a player’s past seasons after one down year. But what can you expect of Edge. He’s a patient runner – and last year’s offensive line didn’t give him time to pick a hole, hell, I don’t even know if there were any holes. I think he’ll be much better this year, and I say if you can get him in Round 3, you make that plunge, he’s well worth the risk. I think he’ll catch more passes this year, and Whisenhunt will give him plenty of opportunity to pound inside the tackles. If Edge has a good year, Arizona might finally be able to turn the corner, and get to the .500 win plateau. The only reason I could foresee passing him by in Round 3 is if another guy like Thomas Jones, Maurice Jones Drew, or Travis Henry falls that far. All three, in my opinion, have more upside than Edge.

I’m in a 16 team keeper league (which is a crazy number of guys) and I have a foursome of Ronnie Brown, Edgerrin James, Jerious Norwood, and Brandon Jackson at running back… Do you think that’s good, and how does it compare to the other top 4-somes in my league of Joseph Addai, Cadillac Williams, Julius Jones, and Chris Henry or Willis McGahee, DeAngelo Williams, Adrian Peterson, and Brandon Jacobs? – Bryan, from the Northwest.

Wow, this is a tough one, Bryan. I’d have to say your foursome is second to the last one you listed, starring McGahee, Williams, Peterson, and Jacobs; but only if the right things happen. Surely, McGahee could struggle like he did in Buffalo, D-Lo could remain the second string guy, Peterson could continue to be an injury risk, and Jacobs might never be the starting guy New York hopes he’ll become – where you have two surefire starting guys in Edge and Brown, plus two solid young “starters” (as of now) in Norwood and Jackson. The middle foursome could have the best threesome in Addai (who I rank just ahead of Ronnie Brown as the best keeper back of the 12 you listed) Caddy (who I think will play more like he did as a rookie) and Julius Jones (who could get 20 carries a game under Wade Phillips). But with Caddy’s questionable sophomore year, and Barber lurking in Dallas – that threesome has questions. For a 16 team keeper league, you all have loaded foursomes. I like yours this year, especially with Jackson getting the early starter nod, and Norwood set to carry the load in Atlanta. When my nephew made his rankings, it was prior to Dunn going down and Morency out with a knee injury – but who cares, I like when he’s wrong anyway. I think he lists Ronnie Brown too low for his seasonal rankings, anyway.

Last Weeks Questions

Papa Weimer – **52 y/o – two open Heart surgeries and a nasty attitude**

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