Fantasy Football

Gene Wang
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 20, 2007; 12:00 PM

Want to win your league this year? Washington Post staff writer Gene Wang was online Thursday, Dec. 20 at noon ET to solve your fantasy football dilemmas.

The transcript follows.

Hot Sheet

It's Time to Rethink Your 2008 Strategy ( Post, Dec. 20)

Discussion Archive


Reston, Va.: Gene, love your work. I need to chose between Frank Gore or Kevin Jones to go along with Edge and Brandon Jacobs in my championship game. Who should I go with??

Gene Wang: I'd lean toward Jones based on matchup. The Lions get get KC at home, and the Chiefs are yielding 125.2 rushing yards per game (No. 26 in the NFL). Meantime Gore draws the Bucs, who are giving up 103.5 rushing yards per game (No. 14 in the league).

Gene Wang: I'd lean toward Jones based on matchup. The Lions get get KC at home, and the Chiefs are yielding 125.2 rushing yards per game (No. 26 in the NFL). Meantime Gore draws the Bucs, who are giving up 103.5 rushing yards per game (No. 14 in the league).


Silver Spring, Md.: Just curious:

I'd like to hear from your readers about "the bad beat." Especially those who LOST their playoff game just because Westbrook took a knee at the half yard line.

Any other examples that fit the category would also be appreciated. (Since I WON my playoff match, I'm looking for humor at others' expense)

Gene Wang: Every fantasy footballer was thinking exactly like me when Westbrook took a knee just before the goal line against the Cowboys. I definitely would like to hear from owners who won/lost their matchups based on this peculiar circumstance.


Gene Wang: Good afternoon fantasy football enthusiasts. This is the week many championships will be decided, so I'm sure you have a plenty of questions. Let's get to them . . .

Gene Wang: By the way, I should mention that this is the final fantasy chat of the season. So if you have questions, use them or lose them!


Moss or Roker: Who is more important this time of year: Randy Moss or Al Roker? Said another way, do fantasy footballers need to turn into weathermen to make judgments about who to play? For instance, I'm sure the Jets have a nice secondary but I think 30 MPH swirling winds probably had more to do with Moss and Welker being contained than them.

Gene Wang: That's a close one, especially these days with a slim and trim Al Roker, but alas, weathermen are like fantasy football writers. You really have to take what they say with a heavy dose of skepticism.


Little Rock: Gene, with your help, I'm competing for the championship, so thanks be to you. With Philly shutting down MB3 last week and Reggie Bush's possible return, does Aaron Stecker warrant a flex position? Or would you go with someone like Edge instead? Thanks again!

Gene Wang: I really like what Stecker is doing, even if Reggie Bush does come back this season. Stecker is getting those tough yards that aren't suited to Bush's speed game, and he gets into the endzone. Edge is a decent No. 1 RB in yardage-heavy leagues, but his lack of TD production hurts his value otherwise.


Brookland, D.C.: Gene,

Because I have to gloat, I'm in three leagues and in the finals in all three of them. A question about defenses: should I go with the Cards' D or the Chiefs? I've been winning in spite of the KC defense (-3 and 1 points the last 2 weeks). Thanks.

Gene Wang: This forum is always open to a little gloating. Congrats on the big-time fantasy success. Enjoy it while you can, because believe me, it's very fleeting. I like the Cards D against the woeful Falcons, who have the worst scoring offense in the league.


Clifton, Va.: Kurt Warner at home vs. Atlanta, Derek Anderson at Cincy or Roethlisberger at St. Louis?

Gene Wang: Assuming there are no more blizzards in Ohio, I like DA in a shootout against the Bengals.


Westbrook: As a Tony Romo owner, I'm happy Westbrook took a knee. Another Romo interception and I would have lost!

Gene Wang: Romo certainly gave fantasy owners who were counting on him fits. Blame Jessica Simpson, who actually was the No. 1 defense to start last week. She held the vaunted Dallas offense to two field goals.


Miami, Fla.: Need your opinion, Gene!

I have Randy Moss and Reggie Wayne on teams that cannot change their playoff position. What is the likelihood that Belichick and Dungy are sincere about playing their starters as they normally would?

Gene Wang: No way does Belichick rest his starters. Dungy perhaps could, but he doesn't want his team to enter the playoffs sluggish, especially since they have a first-round bye and won't play again for two week after the regular season ends. Expect Moss to get plenty of work over the final two games and Wayne enough to continue to be a must-start.


Columbus, Ohio: Browns-Bengals II -- another offensive explosion?

Gene Wang: Yes, assuming conditions aren't what they were for Bill-Browns.


Arlington, Va.: Peyton Manning or Tony Romo?

Need to start 2:

Fred Taylor, LenDale White or Marion Barber.

Gene Wang: Manning, Taylor, White


Thanks, Gene: I picked up Garrard last week based on your recommendation, and did well. Who do you like better this week, Garrard (at Oakland), or Roethlisberger?


Gene Wang: Right now Garrard is the hot QB, so I'd ride that out for as long as I can.


Proud Proud Proud: Can I just crow for a minute? I just took a fantasy team whose starting lineup for Week One included Larry Johnson, Deuce McAllister, Todd Heap, Javon Walker and Deion Branch and just won the championship with it. (Not with those players, of course.) After this season of injuries and trades and lineup changes, I'm exhausted. But I did it. Thanks for your advice this season, it helped me make some pretty good decisions.

Gene Wang: Congratulations on what sounds like some heady general managing.


Clarks Summit, Pa.: Thanks for showing the respect for Garrard this week -- he's been an important backup insurance for me all year. You rate him very high this week. I have to chose between Garrard and Palmer. Is this the week that I bench Palmer for Garrard?

Also, why no respect then for his favorite WR -- hot Reggie Williams who is not on your hot sheet. That said I will likely start Dwayne Bowe at No. 2 WR over Williams.

Thanks for the help -- second straight year in the Super Bowl since I found you online. (And I did it without Moss, Brady, P. Manning, Westbrook and other short-comers last week.)

Gene Wang: As I've mentioned a few times in this chat, Garrard is too hot to sit for anyone except Brady or Manning, and maybe Drew Brees. As for Garrard's receivers, it's just too much of a crap shoot to pick one who will perform consistently. Best of luck in the Super Bowl.


Charlottesville, Va.: Should I start Earnest Graham or Willis McGahee in my championship alongside the Purple one, Adrian Peterson? McGahee has been so up and down and this one if for the cash...

Gene Wang: With Purple Jesus (as my colleague and Vikings fanatic Ivan Carter calls Adrian Peterson) and Earnest Graham, you should have a great shot at taking home the $$$.


Championship on the Line: All right this is for the championship. I've basically had Jon Kitna going as my starting QB the whole way through and I'm wondering if it is time to make a change. I know if it ain't broke don't fix it, but you gotta think there is someone better out there. On the free agent list is:

Garrard vs Oak

Garcia v. SF (Bad back and all) May not play with TB in playoffs already

Rivers vs. Denver (Mr. Inconsistent)

Jackson vs. Washington (how many times can you hand it to AP?)

Redman vs. Ari. (Hasn't started in 3 years)

Either Hou QB vs. Ind (Okay not really)

Any Chicago QB vs. GB (I actually might start the GB def for just this reason)

So what do you think? Stick with what I've got?

As for your article, yes I am still going RB in the first round next year for sure and depending on where I sit in the draft order first 2 rounds. Doesn't change my strategy yet. Unless the scoring changes.

Thanks for your help getting to the championship.

Gene Wang: This chat is fast becoming the David Garrard for President site. Pick him up and start him. I have Kitna, and if Garrard were available, that's what I would do.


Desperation in Frederick: I'm in the finals of my playoffs this week and face a predicament. What do I do with Peyton? With all the talk about not playing the whole game, is he worth the start? Do I dare start someone like Kurt Warner against ATL? Also, pick two out of these receivers : Welker, Coles, S. Moss, S. McDonald, Curtis.

Thanks for the help. It is VERY appreciated!

Gene Wang: Peyton has been asking Coach Tony Dungy to play extensively in order to get more reps with Anthony Gonzalez before the playoffs. That tells me Manning essentially will go the distance in both meaningless games. Welker and McDonald.


Santa Fe, N.M.: Gene-

I have a dilemma. My league has decided to become this crazy hybrid-keeper league next year. Without going into too many details, each team gets to keep one player from this year that they can use next year (and I am assuming years beyond that). I was lucky enough to draft both LT and Adrian Peterson (the good one). Who would you keep to have again next year out of those two great backs? Thanks for your help and everything else you have done this season.

Gene Wang: Wow, you have both LT and AP? I hope you either won your league title or are playing for it this weekend or next. As for whom to keep, that's about as difficult a choice as it gets, but I'd go with LT because he has proven production over an extended period and because he just doesn't get hurt. AP has a bigger upside for certain, but his track record of injuries is a major concern.


D.C.: Own Westbrook. Lost in playoffs by 6.

Gene Wang: You're the owner I've been waiting for to post on this chat. Can I buy you a beer, or six?


Rockville, Md.: If you have a problem with what Westbrook did, then maybe you should not be doing Fantasy Football. I stopped doing Fantasy Baseball years ago when I found myself rooting for players on teams playing against my favorite teams, and I realized I knew a lot about individual players, but not much about how teams were doing. What Westbrook did was smart and sporting. How it affected Fantasy Footballers should not even be an issue.

Gene Wang: From the reality football perspective, Westbrook's kneel down was a smart play, though you could argue it wouldn't have made a difference if he did score because the Cowboys offense was garbage all game and was not capable that day of scoring twice in two minutes. But this is a fantasy football chat, so yes, we have to address how that play influenced fantasy outcomes.


Re: Westbrook decision: Everyone wants to talk about Westbrook but no one wants to talk about Petrino! My league gives a lot of points to Defenses and TB (my opponents D last week) blew out an unprepared Atlanta team. Needless to say the two defensive TDs they scored were the difference in my outcome.

Gene Wang: Allow me to vent for a moment about Bobby "The Weasel" Petrino. If you had a son who was thinking about playing football for Arkansas, how could you trust anything Petrino has to say? Everytime that guy opens his mouth, you think he's lying. Plus what kind of coach doesn't have the decency to address his players face to face about his resignation? I don't blame the Falcons players for being ticked off. Their coach talks about discipline, hard work and dedication, and he quits before the season ends. It's no wonder someone like that scurries for the minor leagues when he can't handle football at its highest level. Okay, I'd done; now back to fantasy.


Rockville, Md.: Gene,

I'm out of the running and I'm getting bored listening to people in their championships still trying to figure out who to start...It's week 16 folks and you're in the championship, you should know what to do by now!!!!

So for the rest of us.

Do you prefer keeper leagues or re-drafting?

Do you have bidding for free agents during the season? Do you like it?

What Web site do you prefer have a fantasy league in?


Gene Wang: Thanks for the change-of-pace; there's only so many Who to Start questions a person can answer! I prefer redrafting, unless I'm in a keeper league in which I own LT or AP. I really like bidding for free agents, and I've found both Yahoo and Sportsline Web sites to be excellent. Who knows, maybe will consider hosting fantasy leagues next season. Would all the posters out there consider switching if we did?


Philly: Gene,

This goes for you and all the chatters.

Do you prefer waiver transaction by worst to first, or do you prefer a bidding system?

What is your favorite fantasy site for a league? I use cbs and yahoo, and prefer cbs, although now that they don't have anonymous polls I'm leaning the other way.


Gene Wang: See previous answer


Springfield, Ill.: With the playoffs right around the corner, what big fantasy names are in danger of the bench this weekend? Who do you think are the first to get pulled when a game is out of hand?

My main concern at this point is Reggie Wayne, I think. But ya never know.

Gene Wang: I agree with you on Wayne, but not this weekend. He'll go the distance against the Texans and is a must-start because I don't see this game getting out of hand. The Texans have enough big-play capability to stay within a couple TDs of the Colts, so figure on Wayne playing to the wire.


Rockville, Md.: Gene, my dilemma is whether to start TB on the road against an improving SF offense or Arizona at home against a dreadful Atlanta offense. Does the far better matchup trump the fact that TB is a top defense? Or is that overthinking?

Gene Wang: The Falcons have given up on the season, and with Shaun Hill at QB, the 49ers look like they still care. That sways the pick in favor of Arizona.


Silver Spring, Md.: Gene,

Would you use Willie Parker or Earnest Graham this week? My league places a heavy emphasis on scoring. Thanks.

Gene Wang: Normally I'd say start Parker, but in TD-heavy leagues, Graham is a better bet. He has 10 TDs to Parker's 2, and Graham has an attractive matchup against the 49ers, who have the No. 23 rush defense in the league.


New York: You haven't taken a single IDP question, so I infer you haven't played in a league with IDP included. Let me, as strongly as I can, recommend you do this. Half of the action in fantasy is out there to be discovered.

Gene Wang: I do in fact play in IDP leagues, but typically I don't get many questions in that regard. I guess most fantasy footballers haven't discovered the joys of IDP yet.


Arlington, Va.: Gene, what songs do you want Tom Petty to play at the Super Bowl?

Gene Wang: Finally a question into which I can sink my teeth. I have seen Petty a couple times live, and he puts on a fine show. My requests would be Breakdown, American Girl, Rebels, Refugee, Don't Do Me Like That -- as you can tell, I rock old-school Petty -- and of course The Waiting, which is what all of us fantasy football enthusiasts will be doing until next season.

Thanks for a great final chat. What a way to put a bow on the fantasy season. Please look for me next season on the Web and hopefully in print again too. Until then you can catch me each Monday from 5 to 6 p.m. on Washington Post Live on Comcast Sportsnet. See you in August for the pre-draft chat.


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