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Gene Wang
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 28, 2008; 12:00 PM

Want to win your league this year? Washington Post staff writer Gene Wang was online Thursday, Aug. 28 at Noon ET to solve your fantasy football dilemmas.

The transcript follows.

Discussion Archive

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Gene Wang: Worried about which players you chose in your recent draft? Or are you fretting about whom to pick in your upcoming draft? You've come to the right place. It's time for another fantasy football chat, so let's get started.

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Alexandria, Va.: What do you think about DeSean Jackson in Philadelphia? He's looked good in preseason and Reggie Brown and Kevin Curtis hurt.

How about Rudi Johnson in Cincinnati? Is it over for him?

Gene Wang: Jackson has been impressive, and with the Eagles woeful situation at WR, it's highly possible Jackson will work his way into the rotation. He's worth a late-round pick.

Johnson is on thin ice in the 'Nati. They love Chris Perry, and Johnson has been hurt during the preseason. Plus we know they are shopping him because both TJ and Chad Johnson are ailing.

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Arlington, Va.: How would you rank the following rookies: McFadden, Jonathan Stewart, Matt Forte, and Kevin Smith?

Thanks

Gene Wang: McFadden, Smith, Stewart, Forte

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Manassas, Va.: Draft position: In a 14-team draft, I've been offered the 3rd and 31st overall (1st and 3rd round) for my 7th and 22nd overall (1st and 2nd round). Is that 3rd overall a big enough jump from 7th to justify giving up the 2nd rounder?

Gene Wang: I wouldn't. At No. 3 you're looking at Brian Westbrook, who's a fantasy stud no doubt. But at No. 7, you may land Joseph Addai, who I see having a monster season and perhaps being a top 3 pick next year.

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N.C.: Gene, love the chats. I picked up Favre in the 8th round and Kitna in the 12th. Talk me off the ledge about my QB situation. I feel decent with my RBs (Addai, McGahee, T Jones) and WR (Edwards, Welker, Evans and Cal. Johnson) but am worried I am rolling the dice at the helm.

Gene Wang: You have a fine QB tandem. I drafted Favre as well, and I expect big things from him. Kitna is a great bye-week starter. Heck he's not bad as a regular starter either. As I said, I really have high expectations for Addai, and Calvin Johnson is due to break out this season after playing hurt much of his rookie campaign. Braylon Edwards and Wes Welker are more or less sure bets to have outstanding years.

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Herndon - LT Trade: Gene, what would you want in return for LT? - would Addai, Barber, and an early round pick next year be enough? Or is LT untradeable no matter the return?

Gene Wang: What a timely question, since I drafted the team for the one and only Tony Kornheiser the other day. He had the No. 1 pick (done by random draw), and of course we went with LT. I didn't even think about trading the pick. LT could go for double the TDs of the No. 2 RB in the league, so I consider him far and away the best fantasy player. Btw, here's Tony's starting lineup: Donovan McNabb, LT, Jamal Lewis, Ricky Williams (flex), Marque Colston, Calvin Johnson, Tony Gonzalez, Pats D and Kris Brown. What do you think? I'll be sure to pass along your comments to Tony.

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Odenton, Md.: I have the second pick in my draft on Sunday. I'm torn between AP or Brady as my pick. They both get 6 points for TDs. Any chance that you'd take Brady if you had the pick?

Gene Wang: It sounds like a broken record I know, but my fantasy philosophy has been to fill out RB slots, then WR and then maybe think about a QB. I don't recall ever drafting a QB higher than the fifth round, and more often than not, I've waited until the seventh round or later. Go get AP and watch him rip off 1,500 yards and 15 TDs this season, and you won't regret passing on Brady.

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Fairfax, Va.: Gene, I love your insight and need your help. I just had a good draft landing Brady and building a good stable of running backs. I got distracted at one point and drafted Eli as my backup after already having taken Garrard. Since Eli and Brady share the same bye week, what is "fair value" on a trade offering Eli?

Gene Wang: Eli is a borderline No. 1 fantasy QB but best as a bye-week starter or No. 1 because of injury. That means his trade value isn't going to be very high. He's worth probably a low-end No. 2 RB or high No. 3 RB, or a No. 2 WR.

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Leesburg, Va.: I've been eying Calvin Johnson as a first receiver for a while now but his stock seems to be going through the roof. Where would you recommend drawing the line on taking him?

Gene Wang: I got Calvin Johnson in the sixth round of the Tony Kornheiser fantasy draft, and I think his production will be similar to a good third-round pick. If you can get him in Round 5 or 6, you're getting a great value though.

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Reston, Va.: What do you think of Marvin Harrison's prospects this year? I'm sure he won't post numbers from a few years ago, but will he still be productive? If so, does Dallas Clark's numbers or Anthony Gonzalez's production take a hit?

Gene Wang: I got Harrison in the 13th round of a recent draft, and I think he's going to be a steal. He's looked great in preseason, and although Reggie Wayne has become the clear No. 1, Harrison appears poised for a comeback season. Clark's production should remain steady as usual, but Gonzalez may have to wait at least one more year to become the clear No. 2. But don't forget the Colts had three 1,000-yard WRs with Wayne, Harrison and Brandon Stokley. It could well happen again this season.

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Tysons Corner: How much do you expect Darren McFadden to play this first week? I've got him as my flex/third RB behind Tomlinson and Edgerrin James, and before Fred Taylor.

Gene Wang: That's about right. Justin Fargas is still the lead back for now, but I suspect it won't take long for DMac to supplant him. Even if he doesn't, I look for DMac to have a fine rookie season, similar to that of Adrian Peterson. And remember AP wasn't the official starter for the Vikes last season for some time.

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Denver: Randy Moss worth taking in the 1st round? Have the 11 pick. Figured I would take him, then come back with T. Jones maybe?

Gene Wang: My hunch is that Moss won't be there at No. 11. He's gone 7 and 9 in the two drafts I've done so far. If it were me, I'd go after two RBs. I had the 11th pick in Round 1 and the 14th overall on the come-around, and I got Clinton Portis and Frank Gore. As you may know from following these chats, I'm a big believer in RB first. Either way, you could get better value in Round 2 than Thomas Jones. Perhaps Willis McGahee or Marion Barber.

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Richmond, Va.: Is Muhsin Muhammad worth picking up while Smith sits out or should I invest in the potential of another WR for the long haul?

Gene Wang: It depends who your other options are. But in general yes, MM is worth a late-round pick. Remember he caught 100 balls the last time he was in Carolina.

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Ocean City, Md.: Gene,

I have one draft (12-man) in the books but have four others throughout the Labor Day weekend, with one of which tonight. What do are your thoughts of Chris Perry? Rudi Johnson is rumored to be traded in the near future and Perry, a favorite of head coach Marvin Lewis, is finally healthy. What type of numbers do you expect from the former first-round pick?

Former 'Skin Kenny Watson was very productive for Cincy last year, will he diminish Perry's value? And lastly, what's up with Denver's Tony Scheffler? I picked up Scheffler in my league late but projected him to produce in the top-10 at his position this year but word on the street is that he's fallen behind Nate Jackson on the depth chart. Give me the good word. Dustin Keller is my backup. Thanks Gene, I appreciate your time and thought. Go Skins!

Gene Wang: Welcome Ocean City. Seacrets is one of my favorite spots. I'm a big fan of Chris Perry. In fact I took him in the 12th round of a draft recently, and I think he's going to end up having mid-round value, if not better. Also you should be worried about Scheffler. He's fallen to No. 2 behind Nate Jackson. I really like Dustin Keller though. He's going to battle Chris Baker and Bubba Franks for catches, but I see Keller as the Jets' No. 1 tight end at some point this season.

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Fairfax, Va.: Hi Gene. Lots of ratings have Roethlisberger as the number 5 or 6 QB. You see him being that productive?

Thanks.

Gene Wang: No doubt. I have Big Ben as the No. 6 fantasy QB, behind Brady, Manning, Romo, Brees and Palmer. And with injuries to CJ and TJ, Big Ben's stock may be ahead of even Palmer by the start of the season.

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New York: No "steal" in the draft approaches the theft of Steve Smith, who I got in the 3rd round in our 12-team, 3 WR, with points per reception, high-dollar, smart players league. The 2-game suspension has caused people to lose their minds given that Delhomme is back, Hackett is already hurt, they traded Carter and they face an easy schedule.

Gene Wang: Yes, Steve Smith in Round 3 is criminal. Even though he's out the first two games, he's still going to put up sick numbers. You don't think he's going to be motivated to produce in that first game back? I've seen Brandon Marshall go way low in a couple drafts as well for the same reason. As far as drafting goes, I'd treat both players as you normally would if they weren't suspended.

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Richmond: What type of season do you see from Laurence Maroney? I have him paired up with Maurice Jones-Drew in the RB. Should I be worried? Thanks!

Gene Wang: Maroney won't see an eight-man front all season unless it's a goal-line situation, and even then perhaps not if Randy Moss is on the field. So you have to expect a big season from Maroney if he stays healthy. I would watch out for LaMont Jordan though. He could be a TD vulture and get some goal-line chances. Doesn't every cast-off who goes to New England become an instant star? Just consider Moss, Wes Welker and Corey Dillon.

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Alexandria, Va.: Gene-O!

With all of the teams going to a 2 RB system, does it make more sense this year to get my second or third wideout before I add a second RB?

By the way, I'm drafting 1st overall (LT) and then 24th, so, grabbing a good pair of No. 1 backs is not likely. And my league gives 1 Pt per reception.

Gene Wang: I got LT No. 1 in a recent draft, then was able to grab Jamal Lewis at 24. Lewis is running behind one of the best O-lines in the league and won't see stacked fronts because of Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow. So it is possible to pick up a solid No. 2 fantasy RB at No. 24. But remember you're talking to someone who has never waivered from filling out the RB slots first, then working on the rest of the roster.

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Alexandria, Va.: Out of the Box thinking.... What about going Brady, Welker, Moss right out of the box and then picking up RBs in 4, 5, and 6?

Gene Wang: That is bucking convention for sure. If you're a Pats fan, it would make for an entertaining fantasy season. In any case, I'm not sure you'd be able to get Brady and Moss unless you have two first-round picks.

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Arlington, Va.: Would you feel comfortable starting David Garrard in a 6 pt TD league?

Gene Wang: That depends on which players you have at other positions. Garrard is a low-end No. 1 fantasy starter. You could do better, but if you have the right supporting cast, he's fine as your No. 1.

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Luckenbach, Texas: Gene - last year WRs delivered, and RBs faltered. Have we seen a flip where WRs are the premier commodity, and RBs are not best targeted with early picks?

I used to go RB1, RB2 as a no-brainer.

I think it's now RB1 (if there's an elite available), then it's WR1, WR2.

Gene Wang: I'm a big fan of the fantasy philosophy question. It's kind of like discussing the nuances of Plato or Kant, right? Well, maybe not. I don't think either of those cats would weigh in on the RB first question. In any case, if you're a regular reader of these chats, you know I've advocated filling out your two RB slots first, then addressing the rest of the roster.

The reason is that RB is the most injury-prone position of all. Fantasy RBs are like left-handed relievers. You basically can't have too many. Just look at the stud RBs who broke down last season: Ronnie Brown, Cadillac Williams, Adrian Peterson, Frank Gore, even LT in the playoffs. I'd be interested to see how other posters feel on the issue. It's always the biggest topic in fantasy at this time of the year.

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Laurel, Md.: I'm SOOOO glad football is back. I started a league with my work buddies and not only has morale improved BUT the best part of it all (me being the team leader) nobody wants to take off any days cause they might miss some trash talking amongst the guys. Well I've got the 5th pick in our draft (which is tomorrow) if Westbrook or Addai are available which one would u choice? I'm lending toward Addai cause Westbrook is aging and fragile. Any other suggestions?

Gene Wang: I'm guessing Westbrook won't be there at No. 5. In my two drafts so far, it's been LT, AP and Westbrook. If Westbrook is there at No. 5, by all means get him. But you're doing great with Addai too. I have him as a solid No. 4, just ahead of Steven Jackson. Those players are must-starts regardless of matchup at your No. 1 RB slot.

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Arlington, Va.: If the Bengals end up trading Rudi Johnson, will Chris Perry or Watson get the nod? Watson did a solid job last season, but Perry seems to have jumped over him in the depth chart. Is this a running back by committee situation?

Gene Wang: As mentioned earlier in this chat, coach Marvin Lewis really likes Chris Perry. Even if they don't deal Rudi Johnson, he's going to get carries and is worth a late-round pick.

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Houston: My league starts three WRs. I get to choose from these guys: Larry Fitzgerald, Javon Walker, Joey Galloway, Jabar Gaffney and Amani Toomer. Obviously, Fitz makes the cut, but where do I go with the other two slots?

Gene Wang: Walker and Galloway, for now at least.

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Anonymous: I'm in a 12-team league, I've been offered Vincent Jackson, Colston, and Benjamin Watson for Dwayne Bowe and Jason Witten. Pull the trigger? I can't wrap my head around the relative values for some reason.

Gene Wang: If you're really weak at WR otherwise, I like the deal. Colston is the No. 6 fantasy WR on my board, and Vincent Jackson could be a sleeper. Bowe has talent, but the QB situation in KC isn't the greatest. Let's just say I can't see Herm Edwards asking Brodie Croyle to air it out all that often.

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Gene Wang: That's a wrap on another fantasy chat. Honestly, where does the time go? Good luck drafting this weekend, and the next time we talk, it'll be on Opening Night: Redskins at Giants. See you then.

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Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over 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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