Fantasy Football

Gene Wang
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 7, 2008; 12:00 PM

Want to win your league this year? Washington Post staff writer Gene Wang was online Friday, Nov. 7 at noon ET to solve your fantasy football dilemmas.

The transcript follows.

Discussion Archive


Gene Wang: Greetings fantasy owners. Sorry I missed you yesterday, but I'm here today to answer all your questions. Please keep in mind this is my last chat for a few weeks. Look for me to chat again around Week 14 when the fantasy playoffs start. Now to your questions today.


Baltimore: I have both the Giants and Eagles defenses...which do I start?

Gene Wang: I like the Eagles defense to force Eli Manning into mistakes. Throughout his career, Donovan McNabb has been more judicious with the ball, so I expect him to make fewer errors. Plus he's better than Manning at avoiding pressure.


Houston: Can I drop Derek Anderson? We start 2 QBs, and I have him, Jay Cutler, Chad Pennington and Daunte Culpepper (not that I expect anything out of Daunte).

Gene Wang: Feel free to drop Anderson. After last night's performance, Brady Quinn is the starter the rest of the way, barring injury of course.


Herndon, Va.: Gene, Who is a better start this weekend? Deuce Mcallister or Kevin Faulk?

I'm tied for first!

Gene Wang: McAllister


Springfield, Va.: Hi Gene. Should I start Rivers or McNabb at QB this week? I don't see Mcnabb putting up big numbers against the Giants. What's the deal with Joseph Addai? I was thinking of benching him against the Steelers and play DeAngelo Williams instead.

Gene Wang: Rivers, because KC's defense is just not good, and because the Chargers are expecting Chris Chamber back. As for Addai, it's not a bad thought to bench him against a stout Steelers run defense. Remember too that Williams may have the backfield all to himself this weekend because Jonathan Stewart has missed the past two practices with a heel injury.


Baltimore: Between byes, suspensions (thanks LJ) and Stephen Jackson's injury I'm down to LenDale White, Kevin White and Leron McClain at RB. LenDale's a no-brainer, but should I go with Kevin White, McClain or pickup Green-Ellis from the Pats who is a free agent in my league.

Gene Wang: With Ray Rice's emergence in Baltimore, I'm not sure how much McClain is in the team's plans going forward. And unless I'm missing something, I'm not sure who Kevin White is. Maybe you mean Kevin Smith? In any case, BenJarvus Green-Ellis is probably a better play than an either of those two.


Wheaton, Md: Is there any chance that ReggieWayne and/or Joseph Addai will have ANY success Sunday against that Pitt defense that shut down my beloved Skins on Monday night? I'm considering benching them, but don't really have equivalent talent to replace them with.

Gene Wang: I'd be more inclined to start Wayne and bench Addai. I don't see Addai getting a lot of running room. The Colts' best chance to win is with Peyton Manning and the passing game.


Alexandria, Va.: What is the deal with the Denver RBs? I dropped Julius Jones and picked up Selvin Young this morning. Was that a good move or is there someone else I should target?

Gene Wang: The Denver RB situation is similar to the Seattle WR situation earlier this season. Just about everyone is hurt. Selvin Young injured his groin last night, and his status for next week is uncertain. The only guy we know is healthy is Peyton Hillis, who could be a sleeper if Young and Ryan Torain are unable to play next week.


Quincy, Mass.: Gene

Our 12 team league has been around for a while, but there never seems to be a lot of trading. Its a standard h2h, draft league, and the teams are fairly even with pretty close games. We haev had a total of 2 trades (with our deadline being next week). Any ideas on how to get people to trade more?

Gene Wang: I suppose you could propose a rule in which each team must be involved in a mininum number of trades per season, but I'd be surprised if that passed a vote. There's really no sure way to increase trading in fantasy leagues, except to from a league with owners whom you know are liberal in their trading policies. I'll also throw this question out to the fantasy chatters. Any suggestions?


Philadelphia: Gene,

Need your help. My opponent had Cutler last night, and I'm in a big hole. Marshall is one of my WRs; which one of these three is most likely to go off on Sunday: Colston, Berrian or Avery?

Also, should I sit Stephen Jackson for Lynch?


Gene Wang: Bernard Berrian has been on a roll, and I've been riding him to wins the past month. I expect he'll be a big part of the offense again this weekend. Also get Lynch in your starting lineup because Steven Jackson is not going to play, barring a miracle. That's not coming just from me either, but also from Rams Coach Jim Haslett.


Day late - dollar lost: Mean Gene,

Well, this week's chat is a day AFTER the first game this week. A lot of good that does me!

Seriously -- love the chats! So, I made a monster overhaul trade which included getting rid of Romo for Orton (among other thigs). Romo had me in first place until he got hurt and it's been 3 straight losses since. Dallas looks so dysfunctional, and their schedule weeks 14-16 (at PIT, NYG, BAL) is brutal.

I didn't want to hitch my playoffs to that team. Then the Orton injury puts me back where I was before -- tied to Jeff Garcia. Should I ditch Witten and Folk too as soon as the Bye week is done?

Gene Wang: Yeah, sorry about the 24-hour delay in the fantasy chat. Long story, so I'll spare you the details. I wouldn't hitch my fantasy playoff hopes to Dallas by any stretch, but hang on to Witten. Folk you can take or leave. With Romo back and with another week's rest, Witten again should be in your starting lineup regardless of matchup.


Morgantown, W.V.: Jamaal Charles or Ray Rice? Chris Johnson is my other RB.

Gene Wang: I really like Ray Rice's upside. I thought the Ravens stole him in the draft. Plus it can't be good if you're Jamaal Charles to hear your coach saying you're not built to carry the full load.


Anonymous: Gene - over whom should Matt Jones be started: Bernard Berrian, Laveranues Coles, or Hines Ward? (Leaning toward Jones over Ward.)

Gene Wang: Jones over Ward because the Steelers probably will try to establish the run against a weak Indy rush defense. Plus Ben Roethlisberger tweaked his shoulder last week, and we don't know the severity and if the injury will limit his effectiveness.


Washington, D.C.: I am trying to figure out when, if ever, I should start three players from the same team. How do you generally feel about starting three players from the same team (e.g., Cutler, Marshall and Scheffler)? Assuming equally favorable matchups, would your answer change if you could replace Scheffler with Owen Daniels or Marshall with Colston?

Gene Wang: I've come around to seeing the benefits of starting two players from the same team if they are exceptional, i.e. Cutler and Marshall, Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates, etc. But three players seems to me overkill, unless maybe you're talking about Tom Brady, Randy Moss and Wes Welker from last year's Patriots. Owen Daniels is a better play than Scheffler anyhow, plus the Broncos TE situation is clouded because of injury.


Fairfax, Va.: Gene,

What is your record in FF this year? I'm sure you're in more than one league, but I have to know. Each time I've taken your advice this year I've lost my match-ups. So far that has led to me losing four games, just wanted to know how you were fairing. Thanks.

Gene Wang: That's a very fair question. I'm in five leagues, 7-2 in two, 5-4 in one, 4-5 in another and 3-6 in another. I'm still riding the wave of my 16-0 season three years ago, which was documented in the pages of The Washington Post.


Alexandria, Va.: Looking back to our league draft, it seems like the draft didn't have any effect on the players we're starting now. Is that always the case?

Gene Wang: That's the first I've heard where a draft has no impact on your starting lineups now. In my experience, the draft more or less makes or breaks your fantasy season.


Philadelphia, Pa: Hi, Gene: I am benching Addai this week (against Pittsburgh), and starting Jones-Drew, Norwood, and Green-Ellis. What do you think?

Also, I have Sammy Morris on the bench. Is he worth holding on to, or should I work the waiver wire? Our league has had only 1 trade in the last 6 years total.


Gene Wang: I think you're leaning in the right direction. Morris is certainly worth keeping, despite the Patriots' muddled backfield situation.


Jamaal Charles?: Should I start him over Chris Chambers in my flex position this week?

Gene Wang: Not with the way Philip Rivers has been throwing the ball. Generally I like RBs in flex over WRs, but in this case I'll make an exception.


Arlington, Va.: Hi Gene - I've found myself in a position where my stars have really tough match ups and I have a lot of middle of the road. Makes choosing who to play, really tough. I've tried to narrow my many questions down. Here goes 1) do you consider Ryan Grant a "must play" even against the Vikings run defense? 2) how will Reggie Wayn match up against the Steelers given his injury? 3) I think Reggie Brown could have a good week against the Giants secondary -- but is that just wishful thinking? Thanks!

Gene Wang: Grant is by no means a must-start, and I'd stongly consider benching him against the filthy Vikes' run defense. Wayne is still a nice play, and the Eagles' WR situation is too uncertain for me to start Brown. He could have a nice game, but then again so could DeSean Jackson, or Kevin Curtis, or Greg Lewis, or Hank Baskett, or Jason Avant, or someone else not mentioned.


Baltimore: Is there any reason to start Bobby Engram (a mid-season waiver wire pickup just in case he got good) over Wes Welker, A. Gonzalez, or M. Muhammid? A couple of web sites are projecting Engram to have a good game, but I wonder what the heck they are thinking. Am I missing something? I have TJ Housh out on bye this week.

Gene Wang: There is no good reason as far as I'm concerned. Seattle is without its No. 1 QB and has to travel across country to play a 1 p.m. game. Engram could be a No. 3 fantasy WR when and if Matt Hasselbeck comes back, but even then there are better options.


20001: Gene I need your advice! I have a plethora of RBs (Portis, Barber, Forte, & Hightower). I'm looking to trade one of them for some WR help. It is also a keeper league where we can keep just one player for a maximum of 3 years from the 3rd round or later, and lose that draft pick the following year. Given those rules, Portis (3rd round), Forte (5th round), and Hightower (14th round) are my keeper considerations. Portis is the top back in the league, but I'd be giving up a 3rd round pick and it would be my final year keeping him, whereas Hightower is a starting RB in the 14th round. Which one should I keep (and not trade)?

Gene Wang: I'm all about winning now, and Clinton Portis give you the best chance at doing that. I'd gladly deal a third-round pick to keep Portis. Not that Hightower doesn't have a tremendous upside, but he's not going to give you near what Portis does, especially considering Arizona emphasis on the passing game.


Baltimore: My running back situation is a mess, with no great choices. I have Addai and Fargas, and just picked up Ray Rice and LeRon McClain off of waivers. I held onto Darren McFadden all season, but I just couldn't take it any more. I think my top producer will actually be Rice, but I have no idea about the rest of them. Fargas and Addai have laid so many eggs this season, I've been selling them at the farmer's market on Sundays to pay for my beer in the afternoon. Any suggestions?

Gene Wang: I've said how much I like Ray Rice, and with Willis McGahee hurt, he'll continue to get carries. McGahee is just too fragile. Rice meanwhile can be a 20-carry back running between the tackles.


White House: Mr Gene Wang, I would like to appoint you as my Top Advisor to the Fantasy Football Cabinet. Please let us know if you will accept this position. Your first task, I would need to know if Benjamin Green Ellis is worthy of a start over Josehp Adai or Derek Ward.

Yours Truly, Barack

Gene Wang: I'd be honored to serve in the Obama fantasy cabinet, and I would tell you BenJarvus Green-Ellis is the best play of that group.


Foggy Bottom: My receiving corps is out of action with byes this week. I picked up some mediocre looking replacements -- Devery Henderson and Greg Caramillo. But with Chris Chambers looking to come back and, is he worth picking up this week in lieu of one of those two players? KC has a poor D, but how many points do you think Chambers will rack up his first week back?

Gene Wang: Chambers is definitely worth adding, especially with the way Philip Rivers has been playing.


Dilemma: So I spotted my opponent 35 points thanks to Jay Cutler....who should I start at QB? Kurt Warner or Philip Rivers?

Gene Wang: It's pretty much a coin flip. Those are two of the top three or four fantasy QBs this season. I'm thinking the Chargers will try to establish the run with LT, so Rivers may not go downfield as much, but that doesn't mean he won't have a nice game. Warner has that extra motivation of playing on Monday night though. I mean when was the last time the Arizona Cardinals hosted a Monday night game? I think that's a huge incentive for Warner.


Gene Wang: Another fantasy chat in the books. Thanks for all the questions and comments. Remember the fantasy chat is taking a little hiatus, so check back roughly around Week 14, when we'll talk fantasy playoffs. Look forward to chatting then.


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