Fantasy Football

Gene Wang
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 23, 2008; 12:00 PM

Want to win your league this year? Washington Post staff writer Gene Wang was online Thursday, Oct. 23 at Noon ET to solve your fantasy football dilemmas.

The transcript follows.

Discussion Archive


Gene Wang: What a wild week it has been for us fantasy players. So many injuries, so little time to discuss. Let's get to your questions.


Rosslyn, Va.: Gene, should I start Sammy Morris or Dominic Rhodes?

Gene Wang: That's a tough one. If we know Morris is definitely playing, he's a great option vs. the 30th ranked Rams rush defense. But if you want to play if safe, go with Rhodes. Just be wary that's he facing a stout defense in Tennessee.


Washington, D.C.: Gene,

I was lucky enough to draft Romo and Cutler -- but now my luck is being tested. I plan on trying to hold on by picking up week-to-week matchups until my QBs are healthy and off byes. This week I picked up Cassel playing at home against the Rams -- good choice or do you like any of the odd third or fourth fantasy stringers that may be available? I passed on Bulger, Russell, Collins, Garcia, Johnson, Ferrote,.....

Gene Wang: I really like Jeff Garcia's matchup. Basically any QB facing that awful Cowboys secondary is a great play.


Alcala, Spain: Gen-o! Who would you start between Dominic Rhodes or Jamal Lewis this weekend? Both are going against tough defenses, but I'm leaning toward Rhodes because he catches more balls out of the backfield. Thanks in advance.

Gene Wang: Sounds like you're in a PPR league, so Rhodes is the better play.


Bye Week RB: Due to the dreaded bye week, should I start Kevin Smith or Cedric Benson? Also, what is the status on Chris Chambers?

Gene Wang: Benson, and Chambers is day to day with that ankle, though he did participate a bit in practice yesterday. Still he's not a good option at this point, given Malcolm Floyd's emergence and the fact that the game is in London. That throws everything off.


Kowloon, Hong Kong: Greetings from Hong Kong!

LT has been a real disappointment this seasoon. Should I trade LT for some value while I still can? Maybe trade him for CP?

Gene Wang: Hello Hong Kong. That's my favorite city to visit in all the world. Can't wait to get back there. Miss the dim sum. I too have LT and have been bitterly disappointed. I expect him to be a lot more effective after San Diego's bye next week. Don't give up on LT yet. Plus consider Portis is getting a ton of carries right now, as he should be, but that heavy load could diminish his production down the stretch a bit. It's not like LT is getting overworked now either.


Wichita, Kan.: Gene, thanks for all you do. I need some help, who should I start at WR:

Josh Morgan, Steve Breaston or Anthony Gonzalez?

If not Breaston, should I drop him since Boldin is back?


Gene Wang: I really like Steve Breaston, even if Boldin is back. Kurt Warner likes to spread around the ball, and Breaston will get his chances as a No. 3 WR. Of course if Boldin is out again, Breaston is the clear choice.


Woodbridge, Va.: Gene-

Love the chats. Unfortunately, I didn't start Lendale White last week and paid a price for it. I don't want to make the same mistake again but I have Ronnie Brown against the Bills, Marshawn Lynch against the Dolphins and LW against the Colts and can only use two. Who would you go with?


Gene Wang: Get LenDale in your starting lineup ASAP. The Colts have the 28th ranked run defense in the league, and I expect White to go off. I like Lynch barely over Brown. It's really a toss-up.


Washington, D.C.: I've gotten some interesting offers for Lendale White. Will he continue to be a TD machine or will Brown get some of those short yardage looks?

Gene Wang: Continuing with the LenDale White theme, he's clearly the Titans' goal-line back, so keep him on your roster and in your starting lineup.


Pittsburgh: Just wanted your thoughts on think he just needs to get up to game speed? I have Brees and I have been patiently waiting...and waiting

Gene Wang: I too suffered through Colston's comeback last week. No catches really isn't good for a starting WR, but I'm going with him for at least another week. You have to figure Drew Brees is going to target him often after last week's debacle.


Poplar Bluff, Mo.: What is the status of Steven Jackson for Sunday's game? Thanks.

Gene Wang: Early in the week it appeared as if Steven Jackson was all but certain to play this weekend. Then yesterday both he and Coach Jim Haslett backed off a bit. As of today he is 50-50, so keep a close watch.


Arlington, Va.: Monday night -- Is that the Patriots D we expect to see for the remainder of the season or a just a mirage of the Pats of old?

Gene Wang: Well this is certainly nice continuity from the previous question. If Steven Jackson is out of Sunday's game, then by all means start the Pats defense. Even if Jackson does play, the Pats still aren't a bad option. Bill Belichick obviously has lit a fire under them after that horrible loss to the Chargers, and they should be solid the rest of the season.


Harrisonburg, Va.: My wide outs and tight end are awful. Are there some guys that could be free agents that I should consider picking up? Thanks!

Gene Wang: Donnie Avery of St. Louis comes to mind. And Kevin Curtis may be available because he's been inactive since Week 1. Mike Furrey of the Lions is getting many more looks since Roy Williams was traded, and this week could be big for Tampa Bay's Michael Clayton if Joey Galloway is inactive again.


Arlington, Va.: Hi Gene,

How soon can I insert Roy Williams into my starting line-up? Although I am a die-hard Skins fan, Antwaan Randle El just isn't cutting it as a starting WR. Thanks for your insight!

Gene Wang: I'm going to let you in a on a secret I wasn't going to divulge until my weekly appearance on Washington Post Live tomorrow: Randle El is my sleeper pick of the week. You know the Lions are going try to take away Santana Moss deep with safety help, and obviously they have to worry about Clinton Portis. All that sets up Randle El for a nice game against the league's 30th ranked pass defense. Besides, Roy Williams isn't a good option until Tony Romo comes back, and that's not happening until Nov. 16.


Germantown, Md.: Gene The Man!...I'm a novice, so bear with me. If you had Kerry Collins, Jeff Garcia and JaMarcus Russell, which one would you drop, or should I keep all three? Thanks!

Gene Wang: Unless your league starts two QBs each week, there's no reason to keep three. You can drop Kerry Collins. The Titans just don't pass enough to warrant him as your third QB.


Cleveland: Philosophy question: any chance the balance of power in fantasy is shifting away from RBs? My brother and I both eschewed the conventional wisdom and drafted top WRs and QBs in the first rounds. We got our pick of the best QBs and WRs, but drafted no true pre-season No. 1 RBs, and we are both at the top of our league. RBs are so inconsistent from year to year(LT anyone?) and it seems like it isn't that hard to build a decent RB core by taking a bunch of promising rookies and new faces in later rounds and knowing that it is likely that running back by committee will give them ample chance to succeed.

Gene Wang: First, congrats to you and your brother being in first place. As regular readers of this chat know, however, I'm a staunch proponent of loading up on RBs in fantasy drafts. I know plenty of folks who drafted Tom Brady and Peyton Manning in the first round, and those folks are kicking themselves now. Same with those who took Randy Moss and T.O. I still say the best way to ensure fantasy success is with RBs, and the rookie crop this season has been fabulous. Chris Johnson, Steve Slayton, Felix Jones, Jonathan Stewart, Matt Forte, etc. All are solid fantasy RBs. As for LT, I don't think it's fair to refer to him as inconsistent from year to year. The guy has been money every season. This is his worst season by far, but it's not over yet, and I think he will rebound.


Madison, Wisc.: I need to start two of the following to go alongside Calvin Johnson: Vincent Jackson, Marvin Harrison, Bowe, Muhammed and Coles.

Who should I go with? Should I consider bumping Calvin because Orvlosky is horrible?

Gene Wang: First, even if we agree Orlovsky is horrible, look what CJ did last week catching passes from him. CJ is a must-start, regardless of QB and regardless of matchup. That guy could make Brad Johnson look like Drew Brees. Well, maybe that's stretching it a bit, but you get the point. As for your No. 2, Vincent Jackson quietly has been having a fine season. He's currently 13th in the league in receving yards, ahead of other past fantasy studs like T.O., Wes Welker and T.J. Houshmandzadeh.


Columbia, Md.: The Eagles like to use various receivers, with Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown coming back this week, what kind of production should we expect out them Philly receivers?

Gene Wang: DeSean Jackson has become their No. 1 WR, and he'll continue to get a good number of looks. But Curtis will get his chances too, meaning Reggie Brown, Greg Lewis, Hank Baskett and anyone else you can think of who's a WR on that roster are about worthless at this point.


Washington, D.C.: Gene - I've rolled off five straight victories and I am going for six. Is this the week to sit Peyton and start Matt Schaub in his place? The matchups favor Schaub, but doesn't it seem just wrong to sit down a Manning?

Gene Wang: You might think the matchups favor Schaub, but the Bengals are ranked sixth in the league in pass defense, believe it or not, giving up only 179.1 yards per game. The Titans are fifth at 179. That .1 yard differential isn't enough of a matchup disparity for me to bench Manning, even against the strong Titans defense.


Annapolis, Md.: Gene,

Do you see Maurice Morris getting into the mix more for Seattle against the Niners considering he had his most productive game last week and last year vs. the same Niners D?

Gene Wang: The Seahawks are such a mess right now that I wouldn't start any of their players, regardless of matchup.


Washington, D.C.: Gene-O:

Not a standard who-should-I-start question, but still an interesting one.

Here's the situation: 12 team co-ed league consisting of 3 married couples, 1 engaged couple and 4 singles (2 guys, 2 girls) -- complete gender parity. The guy in first place at the mid-point of the regular season, who's pretty much assured of a playoff spot, sets up a trade in which he will give up the #8 (under the league's sorta' weird scoring system) RB (Matt Forte) and #21 WR (Santana Moss) -- who've combined to produce 115 fantasy points so far this season -- in exchange for the #25 RB (LT) and the #117 WR (Santonio Holmes) -- who've combined to produce 70 fantasy points so far this season; a disparity of about 165% in production (115 divided by 70).

Okay, slightly unbalanced, and not alarming, given that the guy is going to get LT. Until you realize that the owner of the team he is trading with, who will get BOTH the historically better RB and the historically better WR, just happens to be that guy's wife, who's currently in 10th place and will likely be fighting for the last (8th place) play-off spot over the course of the next 5-6 weeks.

My question is: should I call them on it? Isn't there a pretty clear "husband-wife must not collude and otherwise should avoid even the appearance of impropriety" rule that's pretty much universally understood? Or is this close enough to being a balanced trade that it passes the "smell" test? It really seems like collusion to me, with the guy trying to help his wife fight her way into the last play-off spot.

I'd love to hear not only your opinion, but also some of the more lucid opinions of the other chatters.


Gene Wang: Let me first give you high praise for asking a unique question. I thought I had heard 'em all, until now. Husband-wife fantasy collusion is certainly a first. If there's a time owners would want to trade LT, it's now. Much like the stock market and the economy, his value is at rock bottom. Buy low, sell high, right? What's that old saying: If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck and smells like a duck, then it's . . . wait for it . . . a duck! Well, this smells like collusion to me. I'd be interested to know what other fantasy players think as well.


Queens, NY: Mean Gene-

Love the column as always.

I am seriously considering dropping Roy Williams or Torry Holt and picking up Josh Morgan or Donnie Avery. Please tell me I'm crazy to do so, but Roy and Torry have been beyond terrible. I watched Morgan play last week and he actually catches the ball when its thrown to him (unlike say, Roy Williams).


Gene Wang: Certainly not a bad decision to drop Roy Williams, at least until Tony Romo comes back.


Severna Park: Hi Gene:

I have a problem in that I want to start mutiple players from the same team because of the match ups. Slaton and Walter vs Cinn. and Moss and Welker vs. the Rams. I am thinking about replacing Randle El for Walter vs. Detroit, another good matchup. What do you think about starting multiple players from the same team?

Gene Wang: I don't mind starting multiple players from the same team, but only if that team is scoring huge each week, or if you're getting a great QB-WR combo like Brady and Moss or Romo and TO last season.


Brady's Knee, CA: Hi Gene- If two wr's are about equal, does it make sense to go with a wideout on the same team as your opponent's qb? Sort of an insurance policy against a huge game? Thinking Ward and Roethlisteberger here...

Gene Wang: It does, and I've done it many times. Really irritates my opponent too, which is all the more reason to do it.


Fairfax, Va.: I think I made a stupid trade... Desperate for a RB because of bye weeks in 9 and 10, I traded Lee Evans for Michael Pittman. How badly did I get fleeced?

Gene Wang: Not badly at all. Pittman has a decent matchup in Week 9 vs. Miami and a favorable one Week 10 vs. Cleveland. But speaking of bad trades, my colleague and Post Gameday contributor Dave Larimer made one of the all-timers. While on his honeymoon -- yes, folks, he was making fantasy football deals on his honeymoon; don't act like you wouldn't do the same thing -- he traded Ben Roethlisberger for Larry Johnson and Jon Kitna. This was during the week of LJ's bye, when he allegedly got into trouble again. Then Kitna goes on injured reserve. Just goes to show the honeymoon isn't a good time do conduct business.


Method Question: Curious -- Do you watch and analyze all the games each week? Keep up the good work.

Gene Wang: I do watch and analyze each game from a fantasy perspective. The big thing I watch for is injuries, which of course are the nemesis of any fantasy owner. On that note, I'll remind all of you to catch me tomorrow and every Friday on Washington Post Live for my weekly Friday Fantasy Fix. Good luck this weekend, and let's chat again next week.


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