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Gene Wang
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 25, 2008; 12:00 PM

Want to win your league this year? Washington Post staff writer Gene Wang was online Thursday, Sept. 25 at Noon ET to solve your fantasy football dilemmas.

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The transcript follows.

Discussion Archive

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Gene Wang: It's the first bye week fantasy owners, so be sure to set your lineups accordingly. You snooze, you lose. Let's get to your questions.

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Laurel, Md.: Have three QB waiver pick up options. Griese, Trent Green, or Trent Edwards. Which one and why?

Also, in a league that gives points for return yards/TDs, which two RBs do I start? Darren McFadden, Matt Forte, Chris Johnson and Darren Sproles?

Gene Wang: Trent Edwards has a favorable matchup against the worst defense in the league, so start him. I also like Matt Forte at home with a big longer rest since the Bears are playing on Sunday night.

Gene Wang: make that a bit longer rest, as in my typing fingers are a bit rusty.

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Atlanta, GA: What's up Gene

Ronnie Brown: Fluke or breakout performance last week? I know he's on a bye week, but do I trade him while his value is high or is he one to hold on to as a future must start?

Gene Wang: Breakout week for Ronnie Brown. Not that you should expect him to account for five TDs each week, but remember when he got hurt last season, he was leading the league in yards from scrimmage. Ricky Williams may vulture some goal-line carries, but Brown is on his way back to must-start status.

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Washington, DC: Since Pittsburgh's offensive line is apparently made out of tissue paper, I'm reluctant to start Roethlisberger this week. Should I go with Jason Campbell or Matt Ryan?

Gene Wang: I like your thinking on Big Ben, who faces a stout Ravens defense that should be able to apply heavy pressure considering Pittsburgh's run game is in flux minus Willie Parker. I really like Jason Campbell's matchup with the Cowboys' weak secondary. Plus the Redskins' passing game has started to click.

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Woe is Me: Hi Gene, hope you'll allow me to vent. Can you imagine a worse-case scenario? The team I drafted had Tom Brady at QB, Colston at WR, and Willie Parker at RB. My backups are McFadden and LeRon McClain. All out or questionable this week.

Should I just pack it in now? My only trade bait might be one of my defenses.

Gene Wang: First, consider this chat your personal venting forum. What would fantasy football be anyway without disgruntled owners? That said, it's way too early to pack it in. I point to real football as an example. Just look at the New York Giants last season. They were all but left for dead after the first two games, then went on to win the Super Bowl. It's not time to panic just yet.

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Washington, D.C.: LT has been the consensus No. 1 pick the last 4 seasons or so. Once he retires or really slows down, who do you see as that next consensus No. 1 that could sustain LT's longevity with that title?

Gene Wang: These are the kind of fantasy questions I love. Not that I don't enjoy answering questions of the who-to-start, who-to-sit variety, but these philosophical queries are a refresing change. Right now I'd say Adrian Peterson, but his injury issues are a concern. Same with Brian Westbrook. That's the beauty of LT -- he just never misses games. I'll throw this one out to all chatters. Which player do you think will emerge as the next consensus No. 1 fantasy pick?

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Washington, DC: Gene,

I lucked out drafting Romo in the 2nd and Cutler in the 7th.

I am looking to trade Cutler - Not sure if Cutler or Romo really matters though -- who do you think would be a realistic target for a QB like this. My WR and RB are okay, but could use an upgrade to a premier player.

Is Addai or Tomlinson too high of a target? How about if I throw in a 2nd-tier rb like Thomas Jones and Cutler for Addai -- fair market?

Gene Wang: LT is definitely too high, plus I doubt any owner is going to trade him in the first place. Your offer of Cutler and Thomas Jones for Addai is reasonable though. As for my two cents on both QBs, I see Cutler moving past Romo on the fantasy QB list by the end of the season.

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Alexandria, VA: Do you keep injured players on your roster? I immediately flush 'em because:

1. They probably won't play.

2. If they play, they won't be as effective.

3. If they play, their normal workload will be spread out among other players.

4. If the team gets way ahead, the coach will take them out to heal them.

5. If the team gets way behind, the coach will assume it's due to the injury and replace them.

Gene Wang: I do keep injured players on my roster, i.e. Marques Colston at the moment. I'm sure owners are keeping Brian Westbrook and Willie Parker, as other examples, on their rosters too. It all depends on whom the injured player is and the type and severity of the injury.

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Houston, TX: Gene, I am sad. My opponent started Ronnie Brown last week, and I started New England's defense. (Plus, one of my 2 QBs is Derek Anderson.)

I know Ronnie Brown won't do that again, but will NE's DEF look like that again?

Gene Wang: Houston, we have a problem. I had Ronnie Brown on my bench last week (as did most of America btw) and also started the NE defense, so I feel your pain as well. I expect the NE defense to bounce back after the bye week and continue to be a solid No. 1 fantasy option. The coach in the sleeveless hoodie is just too good to let this thing fall apart completely. Plus don't forget the Pats have the easiest schedule in the league.

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Arlington, Va.: Help a girl out -- McNabb or Cutler this week.

Gene Wang: Cutler vs. woeful KC. McNabb isn't a bad option, but his matchup against the Bears is more difficult.

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Reston, VA: I have McFadden and LenDale White for my flex spot this week. League is 1 point per 10 yds rushing and receiving, and 6 per TD. Do you like McF at home vs. SD, or White at home vs. MIN?

Gene Wang: DMac, or as we hip-hop fans like to call him, Run DMC. Btw, how cool is it that Run DMC is up for the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame? Raising Hell is one of the greatest records of all-time! RIP Jam Master Jay.

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Washington, DC: One of my WR is on BYE, who should I start, Bryant Johnson or Chansi Stuckey?

Gene Wang: Stuckey, who could be a big fantasy sleeper along with another Jet, Dustin Keller. Brett Favre seems to have a connection with both players.

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Alexandria, VA: Will Trent Green be this years Todd Collins -- the only guy who knows Al's offense inside-out and has some success with it?

Gene Wang: I thought the exact same thing when news broke that Green was replacing Marc Bulger. It's a good move to add Green from the waiver wire and stash him on your bench for now. If he performs well this week, he's worth considering as a starter down the road based on matchup.

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Daejeon, South Korea: Anyeong haseyo Gene,

I read the chats every week and love 'em.

I need some trade help. I'm in a 14 team league and just got offered a trade: Peyton Manning for Santana Moss straight up. Here's the problem, Moss is my only quality receiver at the moment (J. Crotchery, A. Gonzalez, and K. Walter being the others)and Manning certainly isn't playing his best ball. My QBs are Delhomme and D. Anderson who aren't having the best of seasons either, but here's no one left on the waiver wire given the number of teams in the league.

What do you think?

Oh yeah. I'm currently in 13th place with six other teams at the same record but with more points.

Gene Wang: I make that trade. You have to believe -- or at least I do -- that Manning is going to become the Peyton of old very soon. Remember he is recovering from knee surgery, so these first few games are essentially his preseason. That offense will be clicking in no time (Gonzalez has great upside too). I do think Moss is going to have a big game against Dallas though.

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Alexandria, Va.: Hey Gene -- I have two questions: first, Brees or Rodgers this week? And second, will Moss ever start producing this season?

Thanks!

Gene Wang: Brees at home vs. San Fran is a better play than Rodgers on the road vs. a stiff Bucs defense. Moss's fantasy value took a major hit when Tom Brady was lost for the season. He's still a must-start regardless of matchup for now, but stay tuned. We'll all know the moment he loses interest and reverts back to the Moss of the Raiders. Then again, Moss is so good that he could elevate Matt Cassel's fantasy value.

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Bethesda, MD: Will Jonathan Stewart get enough carries that would merit me keeping him as a starting RB for most part of the season?

Gene Wang: Definitely. His upside is tremendous.

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Pack Fan: Hey Gene,

Is Ryan Grant going to get going this year? His hamstring issue has been killing me so far this year and now I'm stuck with him in my starting line-up due to bye week issues.

Also, do you think Randy Moss will start putting up #s or has he already checked out?

Thanks!

Gene Wang: Hamstring injuries are a nightmare for fantasy owners. They generally aren't so bad that a player will shut it down, but they become an issue throughout the season. The injury clearly has hampered him over the first three games. He's still worth starting based on matchup, but right now his fantasy value is going in the wrong direction. As for Moss, see earlier answer.

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QB Doldrums: Mean Gene...

Things aren't looking so good on the QB front this weekend. As a Browns fan (yes, beaten and demoralized already) I know how awful Derek Anderson has been. Luckily I've also got Eli Manning. But this week it's the Plexiglass-less Eli Manning. Go with him over D.A. anyway? Or hope Syndric Steptoe (I still don't know who he is and he starts on my favorite team!) and Co. can beat up a bad Bengals defense?

Gene Wang: The Giants are on a bye this week, so you have no choice but to start Anderson. Keep your fingers crossed that he does enough to save his job and keep Anderson owners off the ledge for at another week.

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Annapolis, MD: Hi Gene,

Do you think JaMarcus Russell is worth starting this week over Jason Campbell? I'm thinking he could put up some fantasy numbers on San Diego.

Gene Wang: I really like Jason Campbell's matchup this week. The Redskins are allowing him to throw deep passes over the top, which is where the Dallas secondary is most vulnerable. Look for Campbell (and Santana Moss for that matter) to have a big game against Big D.

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Gallup, NM: Gene - pick a running back - Le'Ron McClain or Rashard Mendenhall?

Gene Wang: Mendenhall

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Washington, DC: Sooo...if you are pretty dire straits for the QB position, is it time to get Brady Quinn for the coming weeks?

Gene Wang: That is pretty dire straits, but yes, it's not a bad move. You just have to hope Derek Anderson flops again. If Anderson can't get it done this week vs. a bad Bengals team, it really is time to cut and run.

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Washington, DC: Is it too early to be thinking about trying to poach an 0-3 team's best RB? If not, what's the best argument to make as to why they should give up their one great player in exchange for two or three merely good ones?

Gene Wang: It's never too early to think about poaching. The argument for it is that since things aren't working with one stud RB, you might as well try getting three solid players and see what happens.

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Bye Week (and injury) Blues: My whole regular starting lineup is on bye this week except for Big Ben and Willie Parker. Now Parker is out with an injury. The top backs left in free agency, based on fantasy points earned to date, are Le'Ron McClain, Michael Pittman, Warrick Dunn and Tim Hightower. Which of those do you recommend I pick up to fill in for Parker this week?

Gene Wang: I like Tim Hightower's upside. Plus he's a D.C. area native. Represent!

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Garwood, NJ: Hi Gene. Love the chat. I'm currently in first place in my league, thanks to a lucky pick of Michael Turner. Carson Palmer hasn't worked out so well for me. I'm on my backup of J.T. O'Sullivan.

I've been offered Ben Roethlisberger (and Justin Gage) for Plaxico Burress. My other WRs are Anquan Boldin, Chris Chambers, and Jerricho Cotchery. Should I make the trade?

I'm thinking no, that Plaxico will end up just fine. What do you think?

Gene Wang: Plax will be just fine, but do you really want to go through the season with JT O'Sullivan as your No. 1 QB? Your stable of WRs is solid, especially with Chambers's fantasy value on an upward trend, and Big Ben should post much better numbers by the end of the season than JT or Carson Palmer.

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UCM: Gene,

How would you evaluate Jason Campbell vs. Big Ben this week ? It it just me or is Jason the better play this week? Thanks.

Gene Wang: It's not just you. Campbell is the better play.

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Bethesda, MD: Gene, I drafted Braylon Edwards and Ocho Cinco - neither has done anything, what's the prognosis? Also, I grabbed Rashard Mendenhall in a late round, how's he looking going forward given Willie Parker's injury?

Gene Wang: I have more hope for Ocho Cinco. He did an interview the other day saying he always starts slow but once he gets it going, watch out. That's been his M.O. throughout his career. Mendenhall was a nice late pick, given Parker's injury history. Regardless of Parker's status, Mendenhall is going to get carries.

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Baltimore, MD: Do you think it is time to bench Welker as a fantasy starter? I knew his stats would drop off without Brady, but 3-4 points a week isn't going to cut it.

Gene Wang: Well, I'd certainly bench him this weekend with the Pats on a bye. As for the following week, benching him depends on whom your other options are.

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Stanton Park, DC: Do you think Carson Palmer is ever going to get it going this year, or would it be better to just cut him loose? My other QB right now is Jake Delhomme. Should I start Delhomme vs. Atlanta, Palmer vs. Cleveland, or search the waiver wires for a better option?

Gene Wang: It's about 50-50 between Delhomme and Palmer. Both have favorable matchups. Maybe Palmer by a hair, but it's really close.

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Annapolis, Md.: I think the ship has sailed on Brian Westbrook as he is approaching the dreaded 3-0 and Peterson has been injured every year since college. I think next years top guy will Marion Barber or dare I say...Jay Cutler?

BTW...I can only keep one Jets receiver on my roster. Should it be Stuckey, Cotchery or Coles?

Thanks.

Gene Wang: A QB as the No. 1 fantasy pick? I think Tom Brady owners would beg to differ this season. Cutler does appear well on his way to a monster fantasy season though. As for the Jets WR, I have a feeling Stuckey is going to emerge as the gem. Maybe not this week or next, but by the end of the season, that is.

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Gene Wang: Thanks for another round of stimulating fantasy talk. Don't forget to watch me tomorrow and every Friday at 5:25 p.m. on Washington Post Live on Comcast for my weekly fantasy fix. Good luck this weekend, and see you next time.

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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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