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Gene Wang
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 7, 2006; 12:00 PM

LT or LJ? (Reggie) Bush or Clinton (Portis)? With a new season set to begin, Washington Post staff writer Gene Wang was online Thursday, Sept. 7, at noon ET to offer fantasy football advice.

Put his advice to good use and play The Washington Post's

Pick the Pros

challenge.

The transcript follows.

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washingtonpost.com: Read Gene's latest column: Several Rookies Could Make A Good First Impression (Post, Sept. 7, 2006)

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washingtonpost.com: Gene's Week One Picks (Post, Sept. 7, 2006)

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Gene Wang: Are you ready for some fantasy football? I feel for those of you who drafted Ben Roethlisberger. Tonight is the start of the regular season, so let's get going.

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Alexandria, Va.: Gene, Love your column ... first time submitter. My stable of RBs includes Tiki Barber, Frank Gore (my likely starters), Joseph Addai, Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Blaylock. I've never played two RBs from the same team. Can you give me any tips on when to play both NYG RBs (aside from bye weeks and opponent's defense)? Thanks much!

Gene Wang: I've never played two RBs from the same team, and I am unaware of any owner who has. I would say don't play Tiki and Brandon Jacobs together unless you have no other option.

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Columbia, S.C.: Gene,

Help. What's up with Steve Smith? I have Moulds in reserve, should I bench Smith in favor of Moulds? Is Smith going to play?

Gene Wang: Oh yes, Smitty is going to play. Did you see Falcons CB DeAngelo Hall call him out earlier this week? Smith has extra motivation to go out and pile up yards and TDs against the Falcons. He is a must-start this weekend.

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Re: Reggie Bush in 2006: 1,350 yds rushing, 500 yds receiving, 17 total TDs...a strong possibility?

Gene Wang: If Bush has 1,850 total yards, 17 TDs is a distinct possibility. He's going to return punts against the Browns, so watch out for him on Sunday. He's liable to take one of those to the house.

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Bethesda, Md.: Gene,

Pick two. Who should I start, Ronnie Brown,Mike Bell, Steven Jackson, Wali Lundy?

What do you think of Greg Jennings of Green Bay?

Gene Wang: Ronnie Brown and Steven Jackson. I really like Greg Jennings. He was on my sleeper list last week, and now he is the No. 2 WR, taking the job from veteran Robert Ferguson. Brett Favre looked to him often during the preseason. Expect more of the same when the real games begin.

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Washington, D.C.: If Portis doesn't play on Monday, is Betts someone worth starting? Or will Duckett get too many goal line carries?

Gene Wang: I handcuffed Portis with Duckett in one of my leagues. Duckett will get the goal-line carries, and I see the Redskins getting into the end zone at least three times against the Vikings. I'm betting Portis will be on the field though.

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Brooklyn, N.Y.: How is Darrell Jackson going to do in week one? My other receiver is Keyshawn Johnson, should I start him instead?

Gene Wang: DJack is the better option. He is the clear No. 1 in Seattle, and he has looked great after coming back to practice this week. I don't anticipate Keyshawn doing a lot since Steve Smith is going to demand the ball from Jake Delhomme vs. Atlanta.

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Mechanicsville, Md.: Glad you are back Gene. Donald Driver or Donte' Stallworth? Keep up the good work.

Gene Wang: Driver for now, but keep an eye on the Stallworth-McNabb combination. It could become very productive as they begin to get a feel for each other.

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Columbia, Md. (and sometimes Ann Arbor, Mich.): Ben Roethlisberger, who apparently has decided to do a decades worth of injuries in six months, is out again for two to three weeks. For those of us who have Hines Ward in our lineups, what is this going to do to his numbers? I was sort of counting on him to do something.

Gene Wang: Count me as one of those who has Hines Ward. He remains the clear No. 1 option for Pittsburgh, and Charlie Batch will go to him often. I don't think Ward's numbers will drop off enough, or at all, to warrant replacing him with someone other than say Chad Johnson, Marvin Harrison or Torry Holt. You get the idea.

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Alexandria, Va.: Who should I start this weekend at RB, WRs and W/R? Our format is 1 QB, 1 RB, 2 WR, 1 W/R, 1 K, and 1 DEF.

I have the following:

RB: Steven Jackson, Frank Gore, Ronnie Brown, Jamal Lewis

WR: Santana Moss, Reggie Brown, E. Wilford, D. Bennett

Gene Wang: Steven Jackson, Ronnie Brown, Santana Moss and Drew Bennett

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Southeast, Jerome: Gene, I'm worried about your team's chances in week one, looks like you have competition this season.

Gene Wang: Believe me, Tony Kornheiser is worried too. At least he'll be able to slam me on Monday Night Football when his players don't produce.

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Buffalo: Hey Gene, I drafted Vernand Morency (Houston) late in my draft hoping he'll contribute at some point. Now I'm nervous about Chris Brown's status. Do I need to start looking to trade for a RB or should I just wait and see? I think I'm weak at RB: 14-team league and I have L. Tomlinson, A. Green, C. Brown and Morency. Thanks Gene, love the chats.

Gene Wang: It wouldn't be a bad idea to start looking for another RB. I don't like the RB situation in Tennessee at all. But lucky for you that you have LT, who can be as productive as two RBs by himself.

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Hamilton, N.Y. : Gene -- I need your help! My wife just had a baby and as a result I don't have time to give my pivotal week-one decisions -- Corey Dillon or Kevin Jones? Roy Williams or Roddy White? -- the attention they require. What do you think? I'm leaning toward Dillon/Williams -- at least for this week. What do you think long term? Thanks!

Gene Wang: Where are your priorities man?? A baby over fantasy football?? C'mon! Seriously, congrats on the new addition to the family. I'd go with Dillon and Williams this week and every other week so long as each is healthy and not on a bye. I really like Williams, and I have Dillon in a couple leagues. Keep your fingers crossed that he stays healthy and can hold off a challenge from Laurence Maroney.

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Washington, D.C.: Is Torry Holt and Ron Dayne for LaMont Jordan a good deal? Not sure LaMont is going to have a good year.

Gene Wang: It all depends on who your other WRs are. I will say I am fan of LaMont Jordan. The Raiders may be in store for a bad year, but not Jordan.

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McLean, Va.: Why might Rotoworld be ranking Ronnie Brown so high this year? Is he the real deal and/or is the Miami offense going to be that good?

Also, how good will Detroit's offense be and how soon?

Gene Wang: Ronnie Brown is the truth. He is a true every-down back because he can catch it as well as run it. Expect a big year from him and from the Dolphins. Detroit has one of the most intriguing offenses because of new coordinator Mike Martz. It's not going to be the same as in St. Louis because of the Lions' QB situation, but certainly Detroit figures to score more points than in recent seasons.

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Fantasy Land, U.S.A. : Willie Parker vs. Miami or DeShaun Foster vs. Atlanta? The question of the ages. I am leaning to starting Foster, he seems to always do well against Atlanta and plus I need to ride this horse early because it's only a matter of time before he pulls up lame. What does the fantasy god think?

Gene Wang: Fantasy god? Now that's putting a lot of pressure on me. With Roethlisberger out, the Dolphins can concentrate a bit more on stopping the run. With Steve Smith and Keyshawn Johnson on the field, the Falcons will have their hands full worrying about the pass, meaning Foster is the way to go. By the way, I drafted DeAngelo Williams in a couple of leagues, following your line of thinking.

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Washington, D.C.: Hey Gene:

Can you dust off your crystal ball and tell me which of the Jones brothers should suit up for my team this week, Julius or Thomas?

I have both (plus Marion Barber as insurance), but don't know who'll be strongest out of the gate.

Gene Wang: I like Thomas Jones's matchup against the hapless Packers better than Julius vs. a tough Jacksonville unit.

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Washington, D.C.: Gene -- is TK's draft really the only one you're going to be using for your column this year? When I saw him writing about it, I figured you had done his picks for him as a favor, not that you were going to be stuck with 'em too! Surely you must have an actual good fantasy team hidden away somewhere, right...?

Gene Wang: My goal is to experience the angst of Tony K., so yes, his team will be featured weekly on the fantasy page. And remember folks, Tony wanted his first pick to be Adam Vinatieri!

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Washington, D.C.: Gene, Dominic Rhodes or Joseph Addai -- who will be the better fantasy play this year?

Gene Wang: I like Joseph Addai down the line. Dominic Rhodes probably will get the bulk of the carries early in the season, but once Addai gets his feet wet, he's their guy.

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Crystal City, Va.: Gene,

What's going on, man? I look forward to these little breaks from work to talk fantasy football, but here is a question: This week, should I go with Rudi Johnson or Ronnie Brown as my second RB? And which one looks to better serve that number-two spot for the season? I have LJ as the primary so I'm not to worried about that part of the tandem.

Gene Wang: Rudi or Ronnie as your No. 2 back? Man, that's a problem most owners would love to have. I really like Rudi Johnson this season, and I like his matchup this week vs. Kansas City. That said, you really can't go wrong starting either back.

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washingtonpost.com: Gene's Team

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Gaithersburg, Md.: Gene,

Even though I'm 60-years old, I'm participating in a fantasy league for the first time. Would you be kind enough to give me your assessment of my starting line-up?

QB - Jake Delhomme; RB - Steven Jackson; WR - Santana Moss, Keyshawn Johnson, Amani Toomer (in place of injured Steve Smith); TE - Jeremy Shockey; K - Josh Brown (in place of Adam Vinateri); DEF - Redskins.

Thanks in advance for your comments.

Bob

Gene Wang: Let me be among the first to welcome you to fantasy football. I like your team, but it appears as if you intend to start Toomer over Steve Smith and Brown over Vinatieri. If you indeed have Smith, he is a must-start this weekend even though he is questionable on the injury report. Same with Vinatieri over Brown. Keep an eye on both until game time, but I'm guessing both will be playing.

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D.C.: Hey Gene,

Kevin Jones, LaMont Jordan and McGahee all go up against tough defenses this week. Who would you start out of the three? And Matt Jones or Nate Burleson? If Darrell Jackson is unable to play this week, I think Burleson could have a big game. Last question, Vick or Delhomme this week? THANKS!

Gene Wang: LaMont Jordan, and DJack will play this week. He's probable on the injury report, and I can't remember a player who was listed as such before a game and didn't play. So that means Matt Jones is your guy over Burleson.

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Herndon, Va.: A lot of people are predicting Kurt Warner to have a huge game against the 49ers, but I have Carson Palmer. Right now I have Palmer as my starter. I should stick with Palmer, right?

Gene Wang: Yes, always go with Carson Palmer, no matter the matchup. I have Kurt Warner in one of my leagues, and assuming he's healthy, and that's a really big if, he'll put up nice fantasy numbers.

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Alexandria, Va.: One of the big fantasy football Web sites provided a projection for Lee Evans to have 79 catches and 1,222 yards. I picked him based on this. How likely am I to be disappointed?

Gene Wang: Very likely I'm afraid. Not that Lee Evans isn't a talent. It's just that I don't trust J.P. Losman, the guy throwing him the ball.

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Fairfax, Va.: Short and sweet but really need the advice. Who to start, R. Brown against the tough Pittsburgh defense or D. McAllister against Cleveland?

Thanks

Gene Wang: Ronnie Brown is a must-start every week, no matter the matchup.

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Gaithersburg, Md.: Gene my man, please help!

I need to start two of these three at WR (pretty sad choices I know): Bobby Engram, Antonio Bryant, Marty Booker and Kevin Curtis.

Thanks!

Gene Wang: Antonio Bryant and Kevin Curtis

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Charlotte, N.C.: Hey Gene, I need to start either J. Lewis or C. Taylor as my flex. Starting Edge and J. Jones. No other real options. What do you think and why?

Gene Wang: Chester Taylor because he'll be on the field most of the time, unlike Jamal Lewis, who will have some of his carries taken away by Mike Anderson.

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Washington, D.C.: Who to start as a second RB -- Reggie Bush or Mike Bell? I don't trust Shanahan so I lean toward Reggie.

Gene Wang: Reggie Bush, especially considering he's going to return punts too.

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Washington, D.C.: Hey, Gene. Which of my aged quarterbacks do I start this week: Bledsoe or Brunell? If it makes any difference, I also have Moss as one of my receivers.

Gene Wang: Bledsoe

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Washington, D.C.: Gene,

It looks like your week one opponent (on the surface) has you beat at wide receiver. Where do you hope to make that up and get points to pull out the victory?

Gene Wang: Hoping to make up the difference at RB and TE.

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Fairfax, Va.: GW:

Wondering what you think of Plax this year ... He still a guy who can put up numbers, or with their schedule maybe start someone else like Chambers?

Gene Wang: I'd start Chambers over Plax, who still should be productive, but I like Chambers to put up huge numbers this season.

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Shaun Alexander is most productive?: Alexander lost an offensive lineman that will supposedly impact his value as a fantasy RB. What do you think?

Gene Wang: That was the big question going into this season among the top 3 backs. I had Alexander rated No. 1 still because of his proven track record and because Seattle has a proven QB. You can't say the same about LaDainian Tomlinson, and don't forget that Larry Johnson won't have Willie Roaf (retired) or Al Saunders (Redskins).

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Silver Spring, Md.: Gene, you are starting Crumpler even though you state that Vick should be benched?

I also have Crumpler and H. Miller. Who would you pick?

Thanks

Gene Wang: Yes still starting Crumpler. Vick may throw only 1 TD against Carolina, and I'm hoping it's to Crumpler. I like him just a little better than Miller this week.

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Bowling Green, Ohio: Love the column, now, I was just proposed a trade in which I would give up Ronnie Brown and Brian Westbrook and in return receive Rudi Johnson and Steven Jackson. HELP ME!

Gene Wang: I like the trade. You're getting good value considering Westbrook is a bit prone to injury.

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Gaithersburg, Md.: Patriots defense at home vs the sorry Bills, or Philly defense on the road against the even sorrier Texans?

Gene Wang: Philly

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Washington, D.C.: How about going out on a limb, Gene? Name one RB and one WR who are probably free agents in every league, who have the potential to be this season's big sleepers.

Gene Wang: The first name that comes to mind is WR Greg Jennings of the Packers. Brett Favre looked to him a bunch in the preseason.

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Brookeville, Md.: I have Matt Hasselbeck and David Carr on my team. They have the same bye week. Do I pick up a free agent now and drop Carr or see how Carr does and then try and trade him? I tried trading Carr for Rivers but the guy would not bite. Your thoughts?

Gene Wang: If you can trade Carr for anyone, do it now. Otherwise drop him because you're never going to start him anyway and pick up a free agent.

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HELP!!!: I can't decide between Marshall Faulk, Priest Holmes or Ricky Williams!! My season depends on it!!

Gene Wang: Ha! I like Ricky Williams because even though he's playing in Canada, at least he's on a football field somewhere.

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FYI: A guy in my (14 team) league spent much of last year playing both Anderson and Bell, and it seemed to work out pretty well for him.

Gene Wang: Thanks for the response. I still say in general it's not prudent to go with two RBs from the same team.

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Rockville, Md.: Gene, are the Atlanta and Cincinnati defenses every-week starters or matchups-only?

Gene Wang: I like the Bengals weekly, but Atlanta is a matchup-only start.

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Gene Wang: Thanks for all the questions, but it's about time for me to set my lineups. Look forward to chatting again next week.

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Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Live Online discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.


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