Fantasy Football

Gene Wang
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 9, 2008; 12:00 PM

Want to win your league this year? Washington Post staff writer Gene Wang will be online Thursday, Oct. 9 at Noon ET to solve your fantasy football dilemmas.

The transcript follows.

Discussion Archive


Gene Wang: Welcome fantasy football enthusiasts. This next month is going to be crucial as owners begin to make a playoff push, so let's get right to your questions.


Alexandria, Va.: Hey Gene-O!

Do you do Suicide Pool picks?

This week - I'm torn over whether to take Washington (over St. Louis), the Saints (over Oakland) or the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets, (over the Bungles).


(I've already used my Broncos, Giants, and Cowboys picks.)

Gene Wang: I have participated in suicide pools, and believe me, I've felt like jumping off a ledge with some of the picks I've made. That said, the Redskins are rolling and playing as well as anyone in the league. They are a best-best this weekend.


Washington, DC: Hey, Gene. Who's now the best fantasy option for a Giants receiver who isn't named Plaxico? Toomer or Hixon?

Gene Wang: That would be Sinorice Moss, who after last week finally appears set to live up to the high expectations the G-Men had when they drafted him.


Herndon, Va.: Gene, talk to me about Andre Johnson and Lee Evans. They both seem somewhat hit or miss but can put on big numbers. Are they worth depending on in the latter half of the season? Thanks

Gene Wang: Andre Johnson more than Lee Evans. Johnson needs to stay healthy obviously, but he is among the handful of truly elite fantasy WRs if when he's on the field. Evans seems to post big numbers only when JP Losman is starting. He's a decent No. 2 WR in deeper leagues but too inconsistent to be your regular No. 1.


Downtown: Quien es mas macho this week, DeSean Jackson against the Niners or Lance Moore against the Raiders?

Gene Wang: DeSean Jackson, especially in leagues that award individual return points.


Buenos Aires: I got a few for you today.

Will Ronnie Brown continue to be a stud? Will DeAngelo Williams ever be worth more than a by-week starter? If Cleveland continues to suck is there any reason not to trade Kevin Winslow?

Also if you would in a ppr league pick two -- Bernard Berrian, Antonio Bryant, Bobby Engram or Matt Jones

Gene Wang: Wow, you're certainly getting the most out of one question. Okay, here goes: Ronnie Brown is back to must-start status; DeAngelo Williams is a great flex option or No. 2 RB in deeper leagues; and Kellen Winslow is worth keeping because the Browns offense can't be this bad for much longer. Lastly, Bobby Engram is when healthy a PPR machine.


McLean, VA: Looks like Marques Colston may be coming back this week. Would you put him straight back into starting line-up? My other wideouts are Wayne, Coles, and Welker

Gene Wang: I have Marques Colston and will be inserting him into my starting lineup this week. Coach Sean Payton said he looked good in practice, and he was wearing minimal padding on that surgically repaired thumb. He'll get a lot of looks this week, but remember he's going to draw tight coverage from DeAngelo Hall, one of the best corners in the league.


Bloomfield, NJ: Hi Gene, great talk as usual. The now weekly Ocho Cinco debate. Do I got with Chad or with Roddy White? And, also, either Favre or are you still on the Jason Campbell bandwagon? Thanks

Gene Wang: Roddy White, and stay on the Campbell bandwagon. The Redskins are due for a 30-plus point outburst in the next few weeks. That could come as soon as Sunday against St. Louis.


Vienna: I have Lance Moore. Would you recommend dropping him and picking up Colston?

Gene Wang: Absolutely


DC: Should I expect anything out of Joey Galloway this season?

Gene Wang: I drafted him late hoping his old legs would still have some pop, but it seems Father Time finally has caught Galloway. It's time to cut bait on him I'm afraid.


Alexandria, Va.: Gene, LOVE your chats, you've helped me so much throughout the years. So, with Peyton's mediocre numbers this season, and him facing a tough Baltimore defense this week, am I crazy to consider starting Orton over him? Thanks for your help!

Gene Wang: I can't believe I am writing this, but no, you're not crazy to consider starting Kyle Orton over Peyton Manning. Orton has been money over the past few weeks, and Manning has been wildly inconsistent. That doesn't mean Orton should be your starter regularly, but until Manning gets it going again (which I think he will), Orton is a viable option based on matchups.


WR pain: Gene, I need your help with which WRs to play. Chris Chambers went down and so I have to accompany Larry Fitzgerald with 2 from this lot: Kevin Walter, Chansi Stuckie, Sinorice Moss, and Robert Meachem. Ugg.


Gene Wang: Not a lot of great options there, but Walter and Stuckey are your best bets.


Gallup, NM: Marvin Harrison? Is he worth keeping? He just isn't getting it done this year. Too many off-the-field issues maybe.

Gene Wang: I thought Harrison would be a steal when I got him in the 10th round in one league, but unfortunately he's played around the level where I drafted him. Keep him if you have room on your bench, but if you're in a league where bench space is at a premium, you might want to dump him. As you mentioned, I'm not liking the fact he's going to have off-the-field distractions with that civil suit he's facing.


Fort Collins, Colo.: Would you take this trade: Jake Delhomme, Larry Johnson and Santonio Holmes for Burress and Ryan Grant?? Or this: Buckhalter for Steve Breaston.

Gene Wang: If I were getting Delhomme, LJ and Santonio, yes, I'd jump on it. The other one I'd just as soon leave alone.


Atlanta, GA: Gene, who would you start at a flex (RB/WR) position between these 4 players: Jamal Lewis, Marvin Harrison, Isaac Bruce, or Lance Moore?

Gene Wang: Jamal Lewis


Green Bay: Gene, the Packers have Seattle this week - should I expect a similar outcome to the Giants game and start Donald Driver? Or should I stick with L. Coles? LFitz is my other WR, so he stays, obviously.

Gene Wang: Following my philosophy of sticking with the hot player, Coles is worth starting again based on his last game.


Chevy Chase, MD: The weekly cunundrum: I have Eli Manning and Phillip Rivers as my QBs, normally Rivers outscores Manning for fantasy points, but this week I'm stuck on which to start. Rivers is hurt (bruised ribs), playing the Patriots without Chris Chambers. Eli is healthy, has Plexico back, and is playing Cincinatti... Normally I'd go Eli, but when Rivers is on, he's really on. What would you do? Thanks

Gene Wang: Start Eli this week. Btw, Giants are playing Cleveland on Monday night. Cleveland's pass defense has been mediocre at best, so I expect the Eli-Plax tandem to do big things.


DC: Hey Gene, thanks for doing the chat. I've got a backup RB question, since my starters are coming up on bye weeks. Big league, with limited options...basically comes down to Michael Pittman or Justin Fargas. Who would you choose?

Gene Wang: Fargas appears back to full health, and they'll need him a bunch this weekend. Although Pittman is probably going to start, he's facing a tough Jacksonville defense. Fargas by a nose here.


Arlington, Va: Hey Gene, As a flex RB, should I start Darren Sproles or Ricky Williams?

Gene Wang: If you're league awards individual return points, go with Sproles. Otherwise go with Ricky Williams.


Burke, VA: Would you start Kurt Warner over the embattled Peyton? Dallas has issues in the secondary . . .

Gene Wang: Kurt Warner for the exact reason you mentioned. Dallas will be without starting cornerback Terrence Newman, and the secondary was already flimsy when he was in the lineup. Warner should have a monster day.


DC: Hey Gene,

Quick one...Calvin Johnson or Reggie Wayne this week

Gene Wang: Wayne, especially with Dan Orlovsky or Drew Stanton likely to start for the Lions this weekend.


Ny, NY: Hey Gene!

RBs are Jacobs, Pittman, and Dunn. Do I start all 3, or put Berrian in at flex (other WRs are Cotchery and Jennings)?

You da man!

Gene Wang: Start all your RBs.


Chantilly, VA: Thankfully my decision to play McNabb above Delhomme didn't backfire last week.

But, now that Westbrook is hurt (again), even with the addition of Curtis soon, at what point do I seriously consider moving away from McNabb completely? The O in Philly just seems neutered right now.

Gene Wang: I'm still sticking with DMac in one of my leagues because you have to figure he's out to prove something these next few games. He said he was embarrassed losing to the Bears and Redskins, and the Eagles are backed into a corner. I expect Donovan to bounce back for those reasons.


Capitol Hill: Gene, I've stuck with Antonio Gates in my flex spot all season, and have had less success than hoped for. Do you think he is going to produce, or is he going to be bothered by injuries for the rest of the year? I've got a couple of other WR options to fill his spot if need be.

Gene Wang: If you're starting Gates at flex, who is your No. 1 TE? Can't think of someone better other than maybe Jason Witten. In any case, Gates should be somewhere in your starting lineup each week despite being hurt.


Washington, D.C.: Would you trade Steve Slaton for Willie Parker?

Gene Wang: Tempting, but no.


Queens, NY (born in DC though): Mean Gene!

Love your column and insight. It has assisted my 5-0 start this year though I am worried about a Patriots-like meltdown at the end.

I am seriously considering trading Reggie Bush for Reggie Wayne. Already have Marshawn and Edge James at RB and Larry Fitzgerald as a no 1 WR but feel like Bush has already peaked and Wayne will get better as year goes on.

PS -- we do receive points for Special Teams TDS (but not yardage)

Please give me your expert advice!

Gene Wang: I'd keep Reggie Bush, especially since your league awards points for special teams TDs. Bush may not score three return TDs again, but he'll finish with more total TDs than Wayne. I do agree though that Wayne's value is going to go up down the road.


Baltimore, MD: Not sure whether you focus just on fantasy football, but you mentioned above that DeAngelo Hall is one of the best CBs in the league. Pretty much every person outside of Al Davis would take issue with that statement. He's terrible and should never be considered a reason to downgrade a WR in fantasy.

Gene Wang: I must respectfully disagree. He's been to two Pro Bowls in a little over four seasons, has 19 career INTs (including two returned for TDs), and I'm sure if you ask some of the better WRs in the league (including Terrell Owens), they'd tell you he's one of the best around.


DC: Hey Gene, do you think LT might see some looks in the Wildcat this week vs NE? His toe is bothering him, but he's got a decent arm for a RB. I'm not benching him, but holding out hope he can put up some numbers.

Also, who has the best week out of the following: Deuce (Oak), Fargas (@SD), Sammy Morris (@NO)? Standard scoring.

Gene Wang: It feels like it's about time for LT to have a really huge game. He's been up and down so far because of that toe, but the Chargers are nearing dire straits this season, and LT provides their best chance for an extended winning streak. He'll get plenty of work on Sunday, as will Sammy Morris for NE. The Pats RB situation is a mess, but Morris has been the most consistent of an inconsistent group, and he gets goal-line carries.


Washington, DC: Gene, what are your thoughts on having too many players from one team in your lineup any given week? Generally I like to limit my players from each team, but should matchups take preference to this strategy (as in, Minnesota vs. Detroit this weekend)?

Gene Wang: I generally like to limit starting no more than two players from the same team in any given week. Now last year I would have made an exception if for example you had Tom Brady, Randy Moss and Wes Welker. Or in years past Peyton Manning, Edgerrin James and Marvin Harrison.


Washington, DC: How do you feel about Justin Fargas? Start him this week, or wait a week to see if he's going to get his legs back?

Gene Wang: Fargas looked great in practice and appears near full heatlh if not completely there. He's not a bad No. 2 or flex option in deeper leagues.


Clarks Summit, PA: I am deep at RB and WR (#1 in league in both). I may drop Ricky Williams, my #6 RB and take a flier on Brady Quinn. Any thoughts on Quinn? My QBs are fine for now with McNabb and Jamarcus Russell.

Gene Wang: If Derek Anderson flops on Monday night, it would make sense based on what the Browns have been saying that Quinn would get a chance. Still, I wouldn't drop a quality RB who gets plenty of touches each game for an inexperienced QB with potential.


Washington, D.C.: Gene-O:

Have a theory question for you -- where do you stand on return yardage as a statistic? I'm having the same argument in 2 of my 3 leagues right now: I say return yards (25yds=1point) should be a DEF/ST statistic, not an individual statistic. My point-happy fellow owners (you know the ones who want to give a point for every 10 rushing or receiving yards so that there are about a 1/2 dozen players with 40+ point games and the fantasy football scoreboard looks like a bunch of NBA games) think it should be BOTH a player stat and a team stat, like return TDs.

I think it throws off the balance of the scoring system by adding a stat category that is less relevant to the outcome of the game and gives lesser talented receivers who are working return duties a disproportionate value in the fantasy world.

So tell me, how much do you agree with my incredibly well thought out and presented argument?

Gene Wang: A happy medium would be keeping return yardage as a DEF/ST stats but awarding individual points for TDs. We all can agree TDs are the most important statistic in fantasy, and players like Reggie Bush should be rewarded in fantasy for scoring returns. But fantasy leagues are like this great country a true democracy (queue the national anthem), so majority rules.


Gene Wang: Thanks for another fantastic fantasy chat. Good luck this weekend, and I'll see you next time.


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