Ask Papa Weimer Fantasy Football Know-It-All July 20

You got questions? I still got answers. My “Football Genius” Nephew wants to keep that “Know-It-All” up on the page – fine, but I don’t like his sarcastic tone one bit. This kid builds a popular site in three years and now he thinks he’s some kind of football guru – like I haven’t played the game longer than he’s been alive. Right now, I’ll chase him down and tackle his ass into the dirt just for taking the last slice of pie, and he knows it. I’m wild. Just last weekend I helped coach a team to my first Championship in 42 years of football. It feels good to be #1. – Papa Weimer

Drop me your Fantasy Questions @

I have two bad habits, Papa; I smoke a pack or two a day and I bleed Steeler black and gold. One seems to kill me in real life (or so my nephew tells me), and the other seems to kill me in my Fantasy life. I’m promising not to reach this season; what are a couple good rounds to get the best of the Steel Crew? – Slim Peterman in Beaver Falls Pennsylvania.

Slim, stop smoking immediately – my nephew told me that if you smoke a pack a day you lose a day per week – that means you’re living 6 day weeks my man, almost as bad as going 0-13 in fantasy football because you drafted a team full of Steelers. My Nephew has some solid fantasy rankings and WR rankings which should help you, but if that doesn’t do the job, here’s a couple examples from my latest dynasty draft – Willie Parker went 6th overall, which I think is solid for him. I wouldn’t go any higher than 5th, but he’s a good option in the 1st round. Santonio Holmes was picked 80th and Big Ben went 82nd. Holmes will go a little lower in seasonal drafts, but I think he could have a big year in a Steeler offense that will be more open in 2007. Ben had a tough year, but he still tossed a bunch of touchdowns. I got Hines Ward 110th overall, which I thought was the biggest steal on draft day. Ward is very good, and should be picked in the top 20 wide receivers, easily. He’s going low in drafts because he struggled last year with Ben playing poorly. However, he still had a nice year. Playing in 14 games, Ward managed 74 grabs just under 1000 yards and 6 scores. That’s a decent year. Get him in the 7th or 8th and you have yourself a great option late. Other than that, you can get Heath Miller in the last couple rounds, and I think he’s worth a roster spot that late. Jeff Reed still has to kick in Pittsburgh, which is always tough, so I’d steer clear of him. The Steeler defense will get a boost from Mike Tomlin’s arrival, but they’re not a Top 5 unit, so unless they fall to you toward the end of the draft, last couple rounds, leave them be. That’s about it for Steelers – don’t you dare draft Jerome Bettis.

Every single fantasy magazine out there has LT finishing the season atop the charts for the second straight year. I know Faulk did it a couple seasons in a row, as did the Priest, but chances are LT2 won’t do it again. Do you have a dark-horse for the #1 spot for RBs at seasons’ end? – Sheldon Wing on my way to San Francisco, California.

Sheldon, I have exactly that. Many may get a good laugh, but let me explain why I think Maurice Jones Drew could lead the league in rushing, and quite possibly overtake Tomlinson for the #1 fantasy rusher. 1st of all, nobody in the AFC South can stop the run (besides Jacksonville of course) so Jaguar runners will have open fields to prance in all season long. But here’s the kicker, Fred Taylor hasn’t been injured in a couple seasons, which, by all means, insists he’s due. If Jones Drew gets 350 carries he’ll rush for right around 1,800 yards, putting him right up there as a league leader. Drew is also expected to be an even bigger threat out of the backfield, and last year, as a #2 rusher, MJD caught 46 balls for 436 yards and 2 scores. Drew’s 15 scores would increase to the low 20s if he’s a 20 carry per game guy in Jacksonville. Remember, you’re looking for a dark-horse, and I’m saying MJD is a Fred Taylor injury away from being a Top 3 fantasy running back, and if the stars align right, the best of the bunch.

Papa, your nephew has Steve Smith and Terrell Owens resting at the tip-top of his receiver rankings. I say its going to be Marvin Harrison and Chad Johnson – What you thinking? – Crum in Atlanta, Georgia.

Personally, I’m a little different than both you and Mr. Lester. I think Larry Fitzgerald and Roy Williams will lead the receivers in fantasy football. Larry is a huge fantasy explosion waiting to happen. With Anquan Boldin used more in “special plays” and Edgerrin James’ rushing game getting more looks, Larry Fitz looks to get some 1 on 1 coverage – and that makes him legit. Plus, I have a feeling he’s going to play all 16 games this year, and those Cards will be throwing the ball late in games. As for Roy Williams, this is his 4th season in the league, and he was a beast last year. The Bears, Packers, and Vikings are all bad against the pass, and Calvin Johnson’s presence will only help Mr. Williams this season – just wait and see. There’s my two dollars.

I don’t see why Antonio Gates isn’t always taken in the first couple rounds. Isn’t he way better than the 2nd guy (Shockey, Gonzalez, or Todd Heap)? Could you explain to me why one wouldn’t grab the best guy at his position early? Isn’t he worth it? – Paulie Porche up in Weed, CA

Ah, young Luke Skywalker (Paulie Porche, I see through your disguise) I see so many errors in your ways. Sure, Gates is better than the #2 guy, but is he 3 rounds better? Not a chance. Look at it this way – what kind of starting running backs can you get in the 6th round of the draft? Now what kind of TE’s can you get? That’s the value killer for picking Gates early. AG is the best TE in the league, but Gonzalez and Heap are close, while a 6th round running back is much worse than a 2nd round guy. Would you rather have Thomas Jones or Deshaun Foster? That’s the difference. You may not get the best TE in the game, but if you feel like it, you can get a damn good one in rounds 6-8 while there isn’t a decent starting running back option that late in any drafts. Fantasy football is all about value young Luke – now stop trying to get with your sister and just become Darth Vador already.

This is the 3rd season for a couple solid prospects at WR – I’m looking to draft one or two of them, Reggie Brown and Matt Jones are at the top of my list – can you think of any other nice choices? – Duncan DD’s all the way over in England

Lucky Lester has a nice article about 3rd year WRs, titled 3rd Year Wide Receiver Mantra: A hoax?. It’s a solid piece. For you, Mr. Double-D, I too rank Reggie Brown #1 – he’ll be a solid Top 10 contributor for Philly – but before Matt Jones, I’d take a shot on Mark Clayton and Braylon Edwards. Both are part of a poor passing game, but they are both ahead of Jones in my book. Clayton is going to be more consistent than anyone in the bunch. He runs perfect routes, has great hands, and can get deep – if here were bigger he’d be the perfect package. Edwards is a touchdown highlight waiting to happen – he makes some great catches, but he’ll struggle with poor quarterback play for much of next season. He’s going to be a beast, though – so I think his long term dynasty ranking is as good or better than any of the 4 guys we’ve talked about. Top 4 for me, Brown, Clayton, Edwards, and Jones. Long-shot to hit Top 20 status this season; Troy Williamson. I know, that’s crazy talk – but I’m giving you a long-shot here. Williamson got his eyes fixed, and I know personally how much more confidence that gives you. His QB situation stinks as well, though.

Papa Weimer, I’ve heard many people tell me its best to start your draft by picking RB, RB, WR, WR, QB, and then a backup RB. Do you agree with this? What draft strategy do you use? – Captain Carl in Compton, CA

I am a RB, RB, RB, RB, RB, RB drafting kinda guy. I will only halt my RB “Round-Up” when there are no more starting RBs left. The logic being; I can always get a fairly solid QB through Trades or even very late in the draft, and WRs are a dime a dozen, with only really 3-4 pass catchers worth a pick in the first 5 or 6 rounds. So let’s say it is my 5th pick and IND/WR Marvin Harrison is Available, but so is NYG/RB Brandon Jacobs; I take Jacobs every time. RBs are too valuable, QBs can be found and they too all about the same after top four or 5. In short, draft RBs until something falls in your lap you can’t pass on, say McNabb falls to 5th round, grab him, but go right back to RBs in next round. Even if you start slow, you’ll be able to pick up a stud receiver via trade or waiver wire – not to mention guys like DJ Hackett, Brandon Marshall, Devery Henderson, and others can be had late.

Last Weeks Questions

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

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