Ask Papa Weimer: Fantasy Football Advice Week 8

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 papaweimer50@hotmail.com – 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….

no banners

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.

no banners

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!

no banners

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!

Fantasy Football Advice: Ask Papa Weimer Week 5

I couldn’t get the deal done last week, but I still answered all the questions that came in. So those of you that wrote in, keep doing so. Those of you that want to write in but can’t figure out how, send me an email at papaweimer50@hotmail.com – questions asked will be questions answered. As for football this weekend, my respect goes out to Brett Favre. The Packers weren’t going to let Adrian Peterson beat them, and Brett didn’t mind one bit, he just went out and threw lasers all over the field to beat his former team. Good on ya Brett! On to the questions…

I’m Tim Too asks, “Do I trade Rashard Mendenhall now, with his value oh-so-high, or do I wait until after Detroit for him to have even more value?” I have Ronnie Brown, Steve Slaton, Chris Johnson, and Knowshon Moreno already, and I need help at receiver to pair with my current trio of Carolina’s Steve Smith, Nate Burleson, and Roddy White. If I can trade Mendenhall for Boldin, should I do it? Or should I wait and see if I can’t trade Mendenhall for Andre Johnson after this weekend?”

I would trade Mendenhall for Boldin right now if you could. I like Mendenhall, and my nephew absolutely loves the guy, but you have great backs and solid receivers, but Boldin would probably be your surest thing moving forward. You never know what Tomlin is going to do with Rashard, how his youth will get taught lessons, and how Willie Parker will be used in that offense. What you do know is that if Boldin is on the field he is a PPR machine that makes touchdowns happen. And while Kurt Warner likes him, Matt Leinart relies even more on Boldin. So no matter what happens in Arizona, you’d think Boldin does big things. I’d rather have Andre Johnson, but what if Mendenhall doesn’t dominate the Lions, what if Parker gets half the carries, I think that if you are going to trade Mendenhall, Boldin is a nice get in return.

William out West types, “Papa, I’ve been offered a trade in my league that rewards big plays, has yardage performances, and goes all the way to the end of the season. It’s a points league. Kyle Orton and Julius Jones for Frank Gore and Heath Evens. I am currently 4th in my league standings and the Top 4 teams get paid. It’s a big money league. Do I trade Frank, and his bum wheel, for a good back-up QB (my current back up is Vick) and running back help right now?”

William, no. Frank Gore might miss two more games. If he stays healthy after that, he’s a strong candidate to get 100 yard games multiple times, he’s the bell-cow in that offense, and Mike Singletary likes to feed him the rock. The last time he played he went for 200+ yards against the Hawks. His defense is very good and the offensive line is physical. Kyle Orton is solid, but the way the Steelers have been throwing the ball, I’d rather have Big Ben in almost every situation. Stick to your guns, ride out the rest of the way with Frank Gore, because in a league like this he has some great value. See if you can’t pick up a guy like Jerome Harrison off waivers, and just do your best to make it through the tough time that Gore is down. Think future, 2 games out now might be good for 10 games healthy in the future.

Desmond Parker says, “I know you are a fantasy guy, and the general football questions go to your nephew, but do you have a sure thing survivor pick for me this week? I can’t take the Ravens, Vikings, Packers, or Colts. Any help is good help as long as I stay in my pool…”

Desmond, funny you should ask, I like to call myself the survivor pool guru. A few years ago, when the Saints were playing well and St. Louis was winless, I took the Rams in the survivor pool as the single opponent I was going up against took the Saints. Well, the Rams were winless no more and I got paid. Now that’s balls. Luckily, this week you don’t need those kind of rocks, you have lots of good options. I’d rank them as follows. Giants @ home against Oakland, Philadelphia @ home against Tampa Bay, and Pittsburgh @ Detroit. I’d stay with the home teams, but if you really don’t like those two games, the Steelers should blow out their first opponent this season. Good luck Desmond, feel free to write in anytime – any football question is good enough for me!