Thursday, October 2, 2008; 12:00 PM
Want to win your league this year? Washington Post staff writer Gene Wang was online Thursday, Oct. 2 at Noon ET to solve your fantasy football dilemmas.
The transcript follows.
Gene Wang: Welcome to Week 5 of the NFL/fantasy season. Tennessee's Vince Young is back practicing, and suddenly Seattle is overloaded with wide receivers after going deep into its bench for the first month. Let's get right to your questions.
Washington, DC: Hey Gene,
Should I pick up Muhsin Muhammed, or Amani Toomer? I'd be dropping Hilliard.
Gene Wang: Both are nice plays this weekend, but I like Toomer a bit more, only because he's the de facto No. 1 WR for the Giants.
Mechanicsville, MD: I have a tough choice and need your opinion, Trent Edwards vs the Cards or Jay Cutler vs TB. Keep up the good work Gene. Thanks.
Gene Wang: Cutler at home over Edwards on the road (and a long road trip at that).
12th and F: Hi Gene! Love your stuff.
I am having trouble deciding on a defense this week: Carolina, San Diego or Buffalo? Thoughts? Thanks!
Gene Wang: I like Carolina at home. I know KC hung 33 points on Denver last week, but the Panthers won't be caught off-guard after that.
20001: Hey Gene, what will Chris Henry's impact be on the Cincinnati Bengals? Will he even make the squad? I have Ocho Cinco in one league and Chris Perry in another, and I'm hoping Henry will help open things up for both of them. Thanks!
Gene Wang: Chris Henry is my sleeper pick of the week. Not only will he make the squad, I expect him to be active for Sunday's game against Dallas. The Cowboys' secondary is a mess (you saw how Washington carved it up), and Henry will be able to get open deep over the midddle for some big plays. Of course, all this presumes Carson Palmer is going to play.
Washington, DC: Gene,
My two top receivers are/were Colston and B. Edwards. After draft day I thought I was set.
Currently I play Royal and Crayton, which is not killing me but is not the best situation.
Do you think there are better days ahead for Colston and Edwards or is it time to cut the losses. I keep thinking "come playoff time I will be set," but I also could be waiting and waiting and...
Gene Wang: Don't give up the ship just yet. Down the stretch, you'll be pleased you stuck with Colston and Edwards.
Yorktown, NY: Gene, is Ryan Grant going to get going any time soon?
Gene Wang: Ryan Grant hasn't looked right for the first month of the season, but he's nearing 100 percent after nursing that hamstring injury. Give him one more week. If he shows flashes from last season, get him in your lineup the rest of the year. If not, it may be time to look for other options.
Santiago, Chile: Hey Gene, what's up with our boy Chris Cooley? Do you think his production is going to pick up or are the Skins going to use him more as a blocker this year? Thanks very much.
Gene Wang: His production will increase. Against Dallas, Santana Moss was just a better matchup, and as I said he would on Washington Post Live last Friday, he torched the weak Cowboys secondary. The Redskins just kept going to the hot hand, but Cooley will get more looks this week against an aggressive Eagles defense. Jason Campbell probably won't have as much time as last week, and we know his outlet in a jam is Cooley.
Virginia: Although I drafted them high, Maurice Jones-Drew and Roy Williams have been struggling lately, fantasy-wise. I have other options on the bench that I could use this week, like Sammy Morris, or a bevy of WRs with a decent matchup (Amani Toomer, Josh Reed, Randel El). Should I bench MJD and RW for some of these guys until I see a turn-around, or should I stick with my high draft picks?
Gene Wang: MJD has a tough matchup this week vs. the Steelers, but he's still worth starting over Sammy Morris. Meantime, Roy Williams is a solid play this week against a Bears defense that may be without its top two cornerbacks.
Arlington, Va.: Is Kevin Jones worth holding onto or will Detroit stick with Johnson?
Gene Wang: I assume you mean Kevin Smith, although the confusion is understandable. Kevin Jones was with Detroit but now is in Chicago. In any case, Rudi Johnson is a veteran who has become more productive as he's grown more comfortable with that offense and figures to get the bulk of the carries the rest of the way.
Arlington, Va: Gene, What do you think about Najeh Davenport? Is he going to carry it in for the Steelers?
Gene Wang: Najeh "No. 2" Davenport will be the goal-line back, so in TD heavy leagues, he's not a bad addition. Otherwise Mewelde Moore will handle most of the carries. Moore really isn't a workhorse back though, so Gary Russell should get some touches as well.
90210: Gene: Will Anquan Boldin play or be sidelined this week?
Gene Wang: Boldin hasn't been ruled out officially, but barring divine intervention, Boldin will not play after getting the snot knocked out of him last week. At least that's the first thought that crossed my mind when his injury was revealed as a sinus fracture.
Washington, DC: Gene,
My first bye week is upon me. Deuce McCallister against the Vikings or Fragile Fred Taylor against the Stillerz?
Rushing Yards (10 yards per point; 2 points at 120 yards; 4 points at 160 yards; 6 points at 200 yards) Rushing Touchdowns (6) Reception Yards (10 yards per point; 2 points at 120 yards; 4 points at 160 yards; 6 points at 200 yards) Reception Touchdowns (6)
Gene Wang: I'd lean toward Deuce, who looked refreshed in his last start. The Jags o-line just has too many issues.
Union Station, DC: Hey Gene,
Big Ben or Delhomme this week? I know you'll probably say Delhomme but here's my quandry: My QBs are Big Ben and Favre. I will have to drop Hightower (I'm deep at RB) who I love. But I need to win now. Would you do it?
Also Ocho Cinco or Kevin Walter this week? Thanks.
Gene Wang: Delhomme is facing a pair of rookie CBs this week, so get him in your lineup, even if it means dropping Hightower.
Baltimore, Md: I thought I did a good job of drafting my receivers for my PPR league, but a lot of their quarterbacks are banged up. I have Houshmandzadeh, Wes Welker, Anthony Gonzalez, and Muhsin Muhammad. I also picked up Bobby Engram off the waiver wire a couple of weeks ago and it looks like he is ready to go. I've checked out different sites for their projections, but there doesn't seem to be a strong consensus out there. What's the Gene Wang Consensus on these guys. I start three of them.
Gene Wang: Assuming Carson Palmer plays, I like any and all Bengals WRs. That means TJ is a go for you, along with Gonzo and Muhsin Muhammad. If Palmer isn't starting, slide Engram in for TJ.
Woodbridge, N.J.: I have Willie Parker, but with him out should I start Sammy Morris or Mewelde Moore?
Gene Wang: Morris
Honolulu, HIWAII: Hey Gene, you're the one of the best, need some advice. Should I take this trade?
He's giving me Andre Johnson (HOU) for Jonathan Stewart (CAR)?
My starters at RB aer LT and Lynch, my WRs are Calvin Johnson and B Marshall.
Let me know! ALOHA!!
Gene Wang: You're set at both RB and WR, so no reason to trade unless you just want to for some excitement. Btw, if you have a flex position, Stewart is a better play than AJ.
DC: Hi Gene, what do you think of Kevin Walter and Lance Moore? Are they legit starters or bench role players?
Gene Wang: Lance Moore is more of a legit starter, at least for now with Marques Colston out and David Patten ailing. Walter is just too inconsistent and the clear No. 2 WR on that team.
Alexandria, VA: Hey Gene! love reading your columns and your chats! This week, I could use your help.
I'm in a shallow (six team) league, and am trying to decide what to do with Aaron Rodgers? I think he's a good play (if he plays) vs ATL; but I need a back up plan. My only backup now is Jason Campbell, who has to go play in Philly.
Do I need to go after another QB, if Rodgers can't go? only real options I think are Delhomme (whose been subpar) or Pennington and T. Edwards?
What's a guy to do?
Gene Wang: Go with Campbell, even if Rodgers does play. I'd be very worried about a quarterback playing with a gimpy shoulder. Plus Campbell is a hot fantasy QB at the moment, and there's no reason to get off that bandwagon until his production slows considerably.
Washington, D.C.: Larry Johnson or Michael Turner for Week 4?
Gene Wang: Last week it was as if the Chiefs awoke and realized, "Hey, maybe we should give Larry Johnson the ball more than 15 times." Well, he got 33 touches, and look what happened. Get him in your starting lineup while he's rolling.
Arlington, VA: Hi Gene,
I'm in a point-per-reception league that requires 3 starting WR (no flex) and I'm trying to decide between Marvin Harrison vs. Houston or Isaac Bruce vs New England. I was leaning toward Harrison, but I keep on hearing about Brrrruuuuuce!
My other starting WRs are Housh and Muhsin. I'm keeping Derick Mason on the bench.
Gene Wang: The Pats are coming off a bye and steamed about getting blown out against Miami a week earlier. That means they will get after 49ers QB J.T. O'Sullivan and disrupt the passing game. The Colts, on the other hand, are coming off a bye and well-rested. See where I'm going with this?
Seattle: Hi Gene,
How's Dallas Clark? I have Clark and our hometown TE, John Carlson. Who should I start, especially now that Hasselback hads real WR's to throw to.
Gene Wang: Clark is fine and remains a must-start regardless of matchup every week.
San Francisco: Hey Gene!
I need to drop one of the following RB's. Which one should I drop:
Ryan Grant, Kevin Smith or Selvin Young
Gene Wang: Kevin Smith
Washington DC: How is Boldin holding up. Do you think the injury would have an effect on him through the whole season?
Gene Wang: It looks like Boldin will be back next week, but keep a close eye on the situation.
Igotnogood, QB: Gene - what does the rest of the season hold for Shaub and Anderson? Will I have a No. 1 QB out of the pair? I'm being offered Trent Edwards, Ernest Graham and the Ravens D/ST for Steven Jackson, Shaub and the Jacksonville D/ST; I don't think the upgrade is worth it. Is Favre, Ravens, and MJD for SJax, Shaub, and the Jags a reasonable counter-offer?
Gene Wang: I like your counteroffer, especially with Anderson's job in jeopardy and Schaub's penchant for injury.
Bethesda, MD: Gene: specific question wrapped inside of general philosophy. I have a total of three receivers on my team: Boldin, Cotchery, and Eddie Royal. They have served me well until now. However, Boldin is likely out this week, if not longer, and Cotchery is on a bye. To make it through, I will either need to trade or drop one of my second tier running backs (Norwood of ATL, Slaton of Houston, Stewart of Carolina, backing up Jamal Lewis and AP) or tight end (Fasano of Miami backing up Antonio Gates). On a 14-man roster with one defense, one kicker, and two QBs, would you rather carry depth at RB, TE, or WR? And who do I let go of this week?
Gene Wang: First off, I must give you mad props for the nice mix of the practical and philosophical. As a philosophy major in college, it warms my heart. As a matter of practice, I always prefer to keep as much depth as possible at RB. You're starting two RBs (and perhaps three in leagues with a flex) each week, and the position is prone to volatility. Injuries, lack of production, bye weeks all conspire to make having RB depth a priority in fantasy. That said, I'd let go of Norwood. The upside for Slatyon and Stewart is huge.
Clarks Summit, PA: What impact do you see on Rams and Raiders players with the new head coaches. I have Russell as my back up QB who I may end up cutting.
Gene Wang: The Raiders are committed to Russell, who isn't a bad bye-week starter. The Lane Kiffin situation was a huge distraction, and now at least the players can turn all their attention of on-field matters. The Rams situation means Marc Bulger is relevant again in fantasy.
What do you make of the Plaxico Burress situation? Do you think he'll be gone more than the one-game after the league looks closer into his domestic situation?
Who do you think stands to benefit more if he misses extended time, Steve Smith or Domenik Hixon?
Gene Wang: It'd be shocking if Plax misses more than one game for any reason other than injury. His health never has been better, and he's a must-start regardless of matchup the rest of the way.
Gene Wang: Thanks for another stimulating fantasy chat. Remember you can catch my fantasy fix on Washington Post Live tomorrow and every Friday at 5:25. I'll also be on the show on Monday to recap Sunday's NFL action. See you next time.
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