My Uncle (goes by Papa) has been playing football since he came out of the womb, and the guy still suits up for Semi-Pro action to this day. Until recently, the 52 year old had been sticking to coaching, but with his team in need of some special teams help, he suited up, crammed into some old gear, and smashed hats for the last two games of the season. You won’t hear him brag about his level of play, but at 52, with two open heart surgeries under his cap and gown, measuring only 5’8″, and weighing in at 235lbs – Papa Weimer’s as good as it gets. Does his football gumption stop there, you ask? Not a chance. After a couple years listening to him dice my fantasy blunders to smithereens, and tell me week after week that he should be giving fantasy football advice – I finally gave him free-run to do any kind of writing his twice-broken heart desires. He said he’d like to start with answering reader’s questions. So, like any good nephew, I threw some questions his way. I dug his fearless style, and overall “old man humor” so I’m giving him his own column. If you have any questions you’d like asked, please toss a line to firstname.lastname@example.org. As for Papa W – here’s his first published column since college – which was about 5 million years ago. – Lucky Lester
You got questions? I got answers. I wouldn’t call myself a know it all, but only because that sounds bad. The truth of the matter is, there isn’t anything I don’t know. Need trade, draft, add/drop, keeper, or seasonal advice? I got your apples right here. Actually, need love advice? -Go ahead and break those out, too. – Papa Weimer
I’ve been having trouble sleeping with my keeper league cut date coming up. I have only two keepers from a top talent group of Antonio Gates, Carson Palmer, Willie Parker, Chester Taylor, Hines Ward, and DeAngelo Williams. Needless to say, my team didn’t dominate last year, so I need some help. My league gives bonuses for big passing, rushing, and receiving days; it’s a PPR league and gives 6 points for each touchdown. Who would you keep? Also, my league allows us to select one collegian for the future – and we get him next year. Any advice on that? – Chuck D in Oakland.
Charles, this is how I do keeper leagues. Put every guy into a round that you think he should be selected. Take your highest guys, keep them, and toss the rest to the dogs. From the looks of it, you don’t look like you have any swinging deals after Fast Willie Parker – needless to say, he’s a must have as one of your 2 selections. Hines Ward could have a great year in the Steelers new open offense, and DeAngelo Williams might be solid in the future – but neither is worthy of your pick. That leaves Taylor, Gates and Palmer. Gates is a TE, and though a great option, he’s a TE. He’s out. Taylor is in a RBBC with a young touchdown machine from Oklahoma, Adrian Peterson – so he’s not a solid pick. And while Carson isn’t a top 2 round selection, keeping him in a league that gives 6 for passing scores makes him a solid option. You better grab a couple running backs in a hurry, come draft day. As for some top collegian talent, go for a ball carrier. McFadden is a stone cold pimp, but he’s easy – here’s a couple sleeper picks for you to ponder; Jonathan Stewart (he’s got all the size to carry the load, and the moves to make a run at the Heisman), Felix Jones (plays second fiddle to McFadden, but he’s got enough size, plenty of speed, and vision to start in the league), Steve Slaton (Wow! Vick-like moves, no dog murders), and Ray Rice (5’9″ – but tough, like me, never doubt short guys).
I’m a Sooner fan like nobodies business, and I’m dying to get my hands on Adrian Peterson in everyone of the 7 keeper leagues that I’m in. Right now, in one of my full-team dynasty leagues, I’m offering Joseph Addai for DeAngelo Williams and Adrian Peterson. I think they other owner will say, yes. Do you think that’s too much to give for my boy? – J-Dizzle in ‘Sota
J_Dizzle in ‘Sota, eh? You should come G it up with some of the guys I coach with up here in the Northwest. As for your trade, yeah, you’re right; I think you’re giving up a ton to get two prospects. Both Williams and Peterson have the skills to do dirty things in the League, but neither of them has even peeled potatoes thus far. To be honest, if you get to keep your full team every year, this trade isn’t as crazy as it sounds. Addai, in my opinion, is a Top 5 back, but Williams is a CH away from being the starter in Carolina, and you have to believe that Chester Taylor won’t be able to hold off AP for more than 5 or 6 games. I don’t like to mix fantasy football with home-town guys, but in the long term, no, I don’t think you’re giving up way too much to get your boy. Next season, however, you’re all but killing your chances to win your league. And you might be giving away a 7 year star in Addai.
I’m searching the waiver wire in my league for a young receiver that has a bright future. I think there are still a few gems out there for me to get my hands on. I have the room to get young, as my starters are TO, TJ Housh, and Darrell Jackson. Out of Demetrius Williams, Brandon Marshal, Craig Davis, DJ Hackett, and Reggie Williams – which ones should I grab? – Fat Harp at the U of Washington
Nice nickname; but let it be known, you’re not the only one in this column to live a life with “fat” in front of his name. If I had a dollar for every time I was called Fat Weimer, I think I’d be able to trade in my dump of a truck (not to be confused with dump-truck) for a nice new Hemi-rolling man machine. As for your sleeper search, go no further than DJ and Marshal. It’s hard for me to believe that those two snipers are still lingering in the bushes for you to pick up, but since they are, don’t waste one more second of time – do the damn thing. If you have to choose one or the other, I’d got with D-Hack, who’s more of a sure thing, just because he’s a good kid and a hard worker. Marshal might have more upside, as Rod Smith’s injury concerns will spring him to the #2 spot with a young gun-slinger who can throw bombs. By seasons’ end, you might be starting one of those two young men.
I’m heading into my first fantasy draft in a couple weeks, as I’ve been trying to fight the fantasy movement for quite a few years now. Have any advice for this old fart? – Elmer Zimmer in Lynden, Washington
Lynden? RUN! Get out while you still can! Hurry, before they fine you for your lawn being too long. Yeah, I’ve been to your home town, and I must say, the fact that they don’t serve you any booze on Sunday had me searching for a new town to watch a game. But, Elmer, aside from my moving advice, I think I can spare a word on this little fantasy football thing. 1- Don’t be a Hawk fan on draft day: Like every other guy, you surely love your home-town Hawks, but don’t bite the bullet to get one of them. Most likely, there will be other guys picking Sea-Chickens too high, leaving lots of good value for you. 2- Please, please pick running backs with at least 2 of your first 3 picks, if not all of them. You’ll thank me later. 3- Don’t draft a kicker, a TE, or a defense until late. This year, more than any before, the TE spot is deep (even the Hawks boy Marcus Pollard might do well, and he rarely gets drafted), while K’s and D’s shouldn’t ever be plucked until late. 4- Make fun of people in your league at every turn. Drafting is a blast. Winning the league is even more fun. But nothing is better than verbally dominating your fantasy brethren. Easy on the wife and kids jokes though – they ruffle feathers something fierce.
I’m in a “Big Money” seasonal league (12 team, 6,000 in prize money – 1 year) where the draft is taking forever (8 days deep, and halfway through the 2nd round. I snagged Larry Johnson with the 5th pick. My second selection is two picks away, and these are the top 7 guys on my board; Edgerrin James, Willis McGahee, Carson Palmer, Torry Holt, Chad Johnson, TO,Thomas Jones and Larry Fitzgerald – who would you take? The starting lineup is 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 Flex, 1 TE, 1 K, and 1 D… – Kurt Ull in St. Augustine, Florida
Now this is a tough decision Curdle… Lets dwindle for a second. Palmer’s a QB – so he’s out. Torry Holt will get less opportunities to shine with Drew Bennett and Randy McMichael in Rams uniforms – so he’s out – but still a nice option for your 3rd rounder if he’s available. TO’s great, but too loose a cannon (think 70’s porn-star loose) for a 2nd round pick in my opinion – nice 3rd rounder though. Larry Fitz is going to be great, but I still think he won’t be that much better than some of the guys you can get in Round 3 – so pass on him. Chad Johnson always has great numbers, but he can be very average for half the weeks during a given season – and while many would suggest taking him, I’d pass. That leaves you with Edge, Thomas Jones, and Willis. The whole world seems ready to give up on Edge and make McGahee a Pro-Bowler, but I’m not so sold. What you talkin’ ’bout Willis? McGahee didn’t have a great line, but regardless, he just hasn’t impressed me as a pro. He’s never averaged more than 4 yards a carry. He may have a better team, and a nice looking offensive line, but for a 2nd round pick, I want a sure thing. As for Edge, I wouldn’t give up on him yet, he’s got a new coach that wants to give him the ball… a lot. But, he struggled last year, and the desert has meant death for RBs. So, I’m advising you to pick up the ex-Cardinal who, like Jesus, came back from the dead. Yes, since TJ left AZ, his game has been legit. The Jets used a lot of backs last year, but none of them can hold a candle to Thomas. They have a mean offensive line, all youngsters, and a very smart coach. Jones finally will have the job from day 1, he’ll prove his worth. I expect about 1,400 yards and 10 scores from him. That’s a nice 2nd round pick.
This donkey in my dynasty league offered me a trade, and while I’m pretty sure I’m going to accept, can you think of any reason for me to stand pat on this? The trade nets me Donovan McNabb, Marion Barber, and his 1st Round pick next year (probably in the 4-8 range), for Travis Henry and Tony Romo. As of now, I have Brian Westbrook, Clinton Portis, Frank Gore, Caddy, Henry, and White at RB, with Romo and Rivers at QB… I figure Barber gives me a young back with tons of talent, while McNabb gives me a better chance to win this year. Any thoughts? – Corky in Coquitlam, Canada
Before reading where you were from, I was vexed as to how you managed to steal Westbrook, Portis, Gore, Williams, and Travis Henry in one league, but then I realized, you probably have some buddies that are plucking CFL stars like Charles Roberts, Joffrey Reynolds, Ricky Williams and Robert Edwards instead of NFL guys. It’s all starting to come together, now dip those fries in something besides mayonnaise, and we can talk. Honestly, I don’t think I would do this trade. I know McNabb may seem like a sure thing at QB, but with his injury history and age, I find that hard to believe. Not too many are hot on Romo these days, but he’s in a great situation to do big things, while Phillip Rivers is a year or two away from going to the Pro Bowl. Barber has age on Travis, and if he gets the Lions’ share in Dallas – he’ll be a nice starting option, but I have a feeling TH is about to blow up in Denver’s offense. I’ve said it for years, if Travis Henry can find himself in a Bronco uniform; he’ll finish the year with Terrell Davis-like stats. I never thought it would happen, but now that it did, I’m sticking to my guns. If you want to win the title this year, keep Henry and watch him outscore your other star backs on way to carrying you to a championship. The 1st rounder next year is intriguing, as there’ll be 4 or 5 good backs available. However, Henry is a good back – a very good one, and in a great situation. Stand pat C in C,C.
Papa Weimer – **52 y/o – two open Heart surgeries and a nasty attitude**