Ask Papa Weimer: Week 15 Fantasy Football Analysis

Here’s a couple of the consistent questions (with the answers) coming in from you guys, hope this helps for the big playoff push. Don’t second guess yourself, like old people like me do, just go with your gut, it feels better if you lose going out with your best guys. Nothing like benching a guy you started all year and losing because of it. You dig?Remember, you too can write in and get your questions answered to…. – will answer as soon as possible! – Good luck all!

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David from Minnesota asks, “Papa, I need some info on to to start besides Chris Johnson. I have Chris Jennings, Arian Foster, Ryan Grant, Fred Jackson  I need to start two of them. Which guys would you play with Chris?”

I think Fred Jackson is always a good play because he’s so involved with that team, passing game, running game, even return game – so I like him as your 2nd guy. As for the 3rd guy, it’s hard not to start Ryan Grant, because he’s a beast and he’s had pretty good ypc numbers against good defenses, but the Packers aren’t going to run into a wall, so that leaves room for another guy, and from what I hear, the Rams are coming down with swine flu like it’s free and fun, and so Foster might be a good option. Before I heard that, I would have chosen Jennings over Foster, because I like the way Chris runs, but with the epidemic hitting the Ram-rods, that’s a tough call. I feel like those guys are pretty even. But I would probably go with Ryan Grant – in fact – I am going with Ryan Grant. I have a choice between him and Jennings in a league, and Grant is the guy I chose. The Steelers have given up more than 4 yards per carry to starting running backs over the past 4 weeks, and that’s good enough for me – maybe Grant gets 15-20 carries, and if he’s lucky, a touchdown. But if you went with Foster or Jennings, I would definitely understand – I mean, Jennings carried the ball 20 times last week for 73 yards and a TD, and he looked good. Foster is going against the Rams. Both him and Jennings have good match-ups. It’s a tough call, definitely – that’s what I’m thinking, hope that helped a little.

Stanleigh writes, “Ok, I’m struggling with my final decision on RB2. What can I say? I don’t want to make a mistake on selecting the right guy between Forsett, Foster and Jennings as one of them will most certainly produce RB1 type numbers. Any advice?”

Yep – and here’s the deal, no matter what I tell you, the bottom line is these three guys are all good/tough/questionable/could be impressive options this week. I like Forsett against Tampa Bay – they suck on the ground and he’s the best offensive player on a team playing without Burleson, and Housh is recovering from a head injury. At the very least, that means there should be some touches in the cards for him in the passing game, hasselcrack has to throw the ball to someone.

But Foster and Jennings are also good plays. Jennings plays a terrible run defense, and he has passed my eye test. That means I’ve watched him run, on plays for gain and loss, and he looks like a powerful back running with some momentum.

Foster, I don’t know much about, but his match-up is also dreamy. It’s a tough call. I say Forsett, but like I said to start, you have three options that are close enough to coin toss odds than one better than the other – if it’s a PPR league, I say Forsett gets even better – but if it’s just yards and touchdowns, one of the other two guys are just as likely to succeed. The way I see it, there’s no way Forsett gets shut out – so I’d go with him.

Week 4 Waiver Watch: Thing 1 and Thing 2

There’s nothing worse than eating a handful of sunflower seeds when the last one you happen to crack open has a seed inside it that tastes so bitter your face crinkles up like Jon Gruden reacting to a costly penalty. You know that seed somehow got wedged in the sorter at some production plant in Des Moines, Iowa and waited there patiently until it wiggled itself free just in time to find it’s way into the bag destined for your purchase. A ticking timebomb of rotten filth, it disguised itself among similar-looking peers waiting for that one opportunity to spoil your snacking enjoyment at the last minute. If you know this feeling then you know exactly how I felt this past Sunday watching Byron Leftwich as he coughed up his hold on the Tampa Bay starting QB position mere days after I had touted him as a potential value play for the rest of the season.  Ugh.

On the plus side, Correll Buckhalter and Johnny Knox continued to contribute (100+ yards rushing for C-Buck and a TD grab for Knox) and I have faith that Chansi Stuckey will continue to offer value, though it may be a bit sporadic.  Unfortunately, two of those ships may have already set sail as Buckhalter’s ownership percentage jumped 30 points this week and Knox’s shot up 35 (most likely due to my devoted readers).  As we near the quarter poll of the young NFL season and bye weeks descend upon us, be sure to keep close tabs on your league’s comings and goings and be ready to pounce on PWPs (players with potential) as they get dropped by impatient owners looking for a quick fix.  I give you my week 4 version of Thing 1 and Thing 2 … because the only way to get that taste out of your mouth is with another handful of seeds.

Thing 1: This QB has completed 61.3% of his passes for 871 yards (290 ypg) and 3 TDs to go along with 2 INTs.  He currently is sporting a 79.9 QB rating and is owned in 100% of ESPN leagues.

Thing 2: This QB has completed 67.6% of his passes for 793 yards (264 ypg) and 3 TDs to go along with 2 INTs.  He currently is sporting a 92.5 QB rating and is owned in 32% of ESPN leagues.

Reality Check: Thing 1 is Tom Brady and Thing 2 is Jason Campbell.  Obviously I am not claiming Jason Campbell is a better fantasy option than Tommy Terrific but he may get you more bang for your buck in a nice week 4 matchup with the staggering Buccaneers (Brady and the Pats play the Ravens).  For all his shortcomings as an NFL head coach, Jim Zorn is not an idiot.  He knows he needs to take the training wheels off Campbell if he wants to keep his job for the rest of the 2009 season and beyond.  That could translate into a very good QB2 in Campbell at a very affordable rate.

Thing 1: This RB has played in two of his team’s three games this season and in that time has accumulated 150 total yards on 29 touches (5.2 ypt) with no TDs.  He is currently owned in 83% of ESPN leagues.

Thing 2: This RB has played in two of his team’s three games this season and in that time has accumulated 117 total yards on 28 touches (4.2 ypt) with no TDs.  He is currently owned in 2% of ESPN leagues.

Reality Check: Thing 1 is Jamal Lewis and Thing 2 is Jerome Harrison.  I may be getting the black lung pop (cough, cough) mining this deep but I think Harrison has some real potential going forward.  The Browns are a mess and the Mangina running the show in is desperate need of playmakers.  Harrison should start in week 4 and likely will find the sledding a bit easier at home against Cincy than he did last week in Baltimore.  If Derek Anderson can get on the same page with deep threat Braylon Edwards early, the running lanes could be there for the 4th year man from WSU.

Thing 1: This RB is the workhorse for his team but despite averaging nearly 20 touches per game over the first three weeks he has yet to score a TD.  He is currently averaging 2.5 ypc and is owned in 96% of ESPN leagues.

Thing 2: This RB is the 3rd down back and speed option for his team.  In the two games he has appeared in he has totaled 107 total yards on 17 touches.  He is currently averaging 4.4 ypc and is owned in 6% of ESPN leagues.

Reality Check: Thing 1 is Larry Johnson and Thing 2 is Jamaal Charles.  I am not a huge fan of Charles but there are times watching him when he reminds me of a poor man’s Chris Johnson.  The explosion and burst is there but the vision appears to be lacking at times.  Nevertheless, the speedster out of Texas will force the Chiefs hand if he continues to flash his playmaking ability, especially contrasted against Johnson’s early ineffectiveness.  Better to take a shot too early on Charles than wait a week to long and watch as another owner scoops him up.

Thing 1: One of the most freakish talents in the game today, this WR has totaled 17 receptions for 181 yards and 2 TDs so far this season.  He is currently owned in 100% of ESPN leagues.

Thing 2: One of the most overlooked talents in the game today, this WR has totaled 20 receptions for 229 yards and 1 TD so far this season.  He is currently owned in 42% of ESPN leagues.

Reality Check: Thing 1 is Larry Fitzgerald and Thing 2 is Nate Burleson.  I don’t usually like to double-dip and I gave Nasty Nate some love in my first Waiver Watch of the year (as a footnote to Justin Gage’s potential).  That said, Burleson’s ownership percentage has not increased in relation to his early production and I wouldn’t be doing my job if I wasn’t urging you to go and get him before it’s too late.  Some may have thought Seneca Wallace at QB would hurt Burleson’s production but he was targeted 12 times last week and is on pace for 107 grabs and 1221 yards.  Go.  Now.

Thing 1: This D/ST unit is a solid group but they are missing a key playmaker in the secondary.  They have played average offensive clubs thus far and have performed decently.  They are owned in 100% of ESPN leagues.

Thing 2: This D/ST is a young group that swarms to the ball and plays with a competitive fire.  They have been tested early against three strong offensive clubs and have risen to the challenge.  They are owned in 30% of ESPN leagues.

Reality Check: Thing 1 is the Steelers D/ST and Thing 2 is the 49ers D/ST.  The loss of Troy Polamalu has robbed the Steelers of their big play potential and a lack of consistent pass rush has left their secondary exposed.  Conversely, the 49ers are an up-and-coming unit that have gotten healthy production from Manny Lawson and a much improved secondary.  This hard-nosed group takes it’s cues from 3rd year assassin Patrick Willis and will be kept fresh by a running game that chews up the game clock.  Add to that a week 4 matchup with the woeful Rams and there’s a lot to like here.

Ask Papa Weimer: Week 8

Here you go folks, a couple bright emails sent in from readers and answered by me… Just like that.

David from the Midwest writes, “I need to pick up some receivers but I can’t seem to grasp which one or two I should grab. How would you rank the following Galloway, Bryant, Avery, Morgan, and Walker. Give reasons for how you ranked them. I like Galloway,but Gruden has said Bryant will continue to start. Avery, Walker, and Morgan intrigue me. Let me know.”

Boy, Avery, Morgan, and Walker all kind of interest me too – and for much different reasons. Morgan probably is the biggest sure thing for numbers as he’s supposed to continue his starting ways for the season and Martz seems to love him and you know Mikey is going to throw the rock – but Galloway and Bryant are both good receivers that have proven legit options over the time of their careers. Tough call really. I would rank them like this… Galloway, Morgan, Bryant, Avery, Walker – but they are all very close in this ranking. The space that seperates 1-5 isn’t all that much. Galloway is old and has been injured a lot, plus there’s a chance he doesn’t even start when he gets back (which I think is crazy) – still, he’s shown his upside, and he’s one fast receiver even as old as he is. Morgan is very young and has just one decent game in his career, but I like him. Bryant was certainly a nice PPR option a few times, he was a top pick, but also a guy that’s warn out his welcome numerous times – but he has been the most productive this season. Then you have Walker – shooit, all the talent in the world but he’s been a head case has a tough team to play receiver for, and he faces Baltimore this week. Avery is lightning and has been getting open a few times a game, and Dallas hasn’t shown anything. Maybe I’d drop Galloway down, but it’s hard because he’s so proven. Tough call man – good luck in your choice.

Red Red Ryan writes, “Okay, I’ve paid my homage to the powers that be. I found an old set of Ninja Turtles and have them all looking up to a Mike Shannahan coaching football card. Warren Moon got a fan-mail from me recently, responded with a “thank you, this and that, this and that” and as for Shannon Sharp, I stopped by a farm recently and fed some horses grass. That should do it eh? That being said, who should I start this week? Brandon Jacobs or DeAngelo Williams? Oh, wait, Addai’s out, I’ll start them both… Ouch. Okay, who would you start at QB? Big Ben or Jake Delhomey? Thanks for the advice, I’ll need the good ju-ju this week.

Red Red Ryan – you probably still need to dye your hair, but you’ve done well young student. I’m going to keep this short, because I don’t think I can compete with your actual question/statement. You are quite the fantasy enthusiast, and while Big Ben will have to throw against the Giants, so will Jake against the Cardinals. I don’t see the Panthers running around well at home this week, but Jake should have nice numbers. With his full compliment of receivers, I like him the best this week. Good luck!