Ian Allan answers your fantasy football questions. In this edition. When do you overturn a one-sided trade? What's the best way to break a tie in the standings? Is Jared Goff for real? And when does Zuerlein supplant Gostkowski as the league's top kicker?
Is Goff now a must-start QB? Even against the Seahawks who seem to be giving up long pass plays to even the likes of Kirk Cousins and Josh Doctson? Or are we blaming that last play on the lack-of-Earl-Thomas factor?
Phil Eichorn (Rocky River, OH)
I don’t think Goff is a must-start. He’s thrown more than one touchdown pass in three of his eight games. But I would definitely start him this week at home against a sputtering Houston defense that’s been ripped up pretty good by some quarterbacks this year – gave up 1,154 yards and 12 TDs against Tom Brady, Alex Smith and Russell Wilson. I definitely wouldn’t start him the following week, when they’re on the road at Minnesota. As far as Seattle in Week 15, I would guess that the Seahawks at that time will be healthy and playing well, making it unlikely he’ll finish with above-average numbers.
This is a question to see if you think this trade is fair. PPR league. 6 points all touchdowns. The 4th-place team asks to trade Kirk Cousins, Adrian Peterson, Jordy Nelson and JuJu Smith-Schuster to the last-place team for Antonio Brown and Leonard Fournette. Last-place team says yes. Last-place team had only David Carr at QB but he is on a bye so they need a QB. To me, this wreaks of highway robbery for the 4th-place team. What is your take?
Johnny Bazzano (Santa Rosa, CA)
I would rather have Brown and Fournette. To me, Brown is still the No. 1 wide receiver in the game, and Fournette is a top-5 running back. With those other four guys, if we were redrafting today, I don’t think any of them would be among the first 20 players selected. Cousins would be the top guy – a top-5 quarterback who should outperform Carr by about 40 points in the remaining game. So to me, it’s a one-sided trade. But I would be leery of trying to get it overturned. To me, trades should be overturned if the two sides are colluding or if one team is intentionally tanking. I don’t know these owners, but I haven’t heard anything that suggests one of them is trying to undermine the league. More likely, one of the guys just isn’t very good at evaluating football players. But if you’re going to allow trades, you have to accept that some of this nature will occur.
Can you explain why when breaking a tie at the top of the divisional standings that you suggest using total points in all games instead of head to head W-L-T percentage, like the NFL does?
TOMMY SNOW (Lakewood, CA)
Some use head-to-head. Maybe most (I will post a poll on the site, and we’ll see what people think.) For me, if there’s a tie, I prefer to see it go to the better team. And in my opinion, points scored is a far better measure of a team’s strength than its won-lost record. Even better is the all-play record – what a team’s record would be if it played every team every week. If you’ve got access to all-play records, I would put that ahead of both points scored and head-to-head. Going with head-to-head as the primary tiebreaker, you will definitely run into the situation (many times) where a team that logically should have gone about 6-8 happens to play the right schedule and finish with an 8-6 record, tied for a wild-card spot with a team that really should have gone 9-5 or 10-4, but happened to play the wrong teams on the wrong weeks, causing it to finish 8-6. In that situation, I don’t want the crappy 8-6 team to advance ahead of the unlucky 8-6 team just because it happened to win a regular-season game. But this kind of issue usually needs to resolved by a vote of the owners. I’m in a league with a bunch of wrong thinkers, and we use head-to-head.
You've noted that kickers this year have outperformed expectations, and that some are on an historic scoring pace. You've also written that you expect the LAR offense to continue as one of the highest scoring, and this week's projections for Goff and Zuerlein reflect that (Zuerlein #1 by far). But I note that this week's Redrafter for my standard-scoring league still projects S.Gostkowski to outscore Zuerlein by 5.5 over the rest of the season, despite the fact that both have had their byes. At what point do you expect Gostkowski to 'catch up'? Because NE was on bye last week, I now have two kickers, and I must get rid of one!
Dan Shipley (Black Diamond, WA)
If I had both of those kickers, I would start Zuerlein this week. New England might struggle at Mile High. But I expect Gostkowski will outperform him in the following seven games. On five of those, I expect Gostkowski will be ranked higher on my board. In Weeks 13 and 17, I see it as more of a wash.
|Gostkowski vs. Zuerlein|
|11||v. Oak.||at Minn.||Gost.|
|13||at Buff.||at Ariz.||---|
|15||at Pitt.||at Sea.||Gost.|
I have Ezekiel Elliott, Todd Gurley, and Jordan Howard. It is a two-player keeper league, with no limit on how long you can keep a player. Assuming none of those three suffers a long-term injury this season, does Odell Beckham rank above any of those players coming off his injury where I should stash him on my roster? He was recently released. Or am I better off keeping two of the running backs?
JASON BUTTERFIELD (Schofield, WI)
Somebody in your league should be rostering and protecting Beckham. But I don’t think it’s you. Elliott and Gurley would be right up there near the very top. Would be difficult for Beckham to get past either of them. Howard ain’t bad either, but he’s not as effective in the passing game and there’s more of a worry with the team being lousy and them maybe starting to work in Tarik Cohen.
PPR dynasty league. Bidding on JuJu & the Saints defense right now. Will JuJu get better each year and eventually become the Steelers No. 1 WR? And will the Saints be a top defense for several years to come?
JOHN BENNETT (Chino, CA)
JuJu Smith-Schuster, I believe, will continue to be a very good wide receiver. Definitely one of Pittsburgh’s top 2 options for years and years. I think he’s better than Martavis Bryant. But I wouldn’t say that Smith-Schuster will necessarily be zooming past Antonio Brown anytime soon. Brown is about as good as any wide receiver who’s played the game. Ever. Brown is 29, but I haven’t sensed that he’s starting to slow down – could continue to be dominant at 30, 31 and 32. The problem here is that the Steelers need to transition at quarterback. Ben Roethlisberger is slipping – not making the throws that he’s made in the past, and he’s mulled whether it’s time for him to call it a career. If the Steelers have Landry Jones or Joshua Dobbs starting at quarterback on opening day next year, I’m not that excited about Brown or Smith-Schuster. I wouldn’t be that excited about a 36-year-old Roethlisberger either. As for the Saints, the defense has come around nicely, but I’m not sure it’s a great defense. They’ve been playing some lesser and dysfunctional offenses – Brett Hundley starting his first game and Mitchell Trubisky with limited experience. If I were drawing up a list right now of the top 10 defenses for 2018, it would not include the Saints.
I am in a 12-team PPR keeper league. I’ve been offered Kareem Hunt and Amari Cooper for Melvin Gordon, DeVante Parker and Corey Davis. Do I make this this trade?
Anthony Cillis (Lagrangeville, NY)
Looks like a fair deal to me. I don’t have a strong preference either way. I would rather have Hunt than Gordon. Gordon is two years further into his career and has had some durability issues. Hunt would be an upgrade. But it comes at a cost. Parker and Davis both look like they’re going to be true No. 1 receivers. I know Davis has hardly played, but in both the Oakland and Baltimore games he made catches that grab your attention. He’s definitely got the size, speed and talent. Cooper is also fine, but Parker and Davis might both be Cooper-type wide receivers.
I just picked up Malcolm Brown as a Gurley handcuff. With 16-player rosters in our league it's slim pickins on the waiver wire and I have a deep roster. Do we have enough info on whether Brown is worth a hold or should I be looking at his replacement? He was putting up decent numbers in junk time.
Brian Barrett (Boulder, CO)
Brown seemed like a good idea, but he’s down now with a knee injury. They say he’ll be out for “a bit”. That could be one game. It could be four games. I think you’ll be able to get him back when he’s healthy. I would prefer to use that roster spot on a player with some potential to be moved up by an injury. If you want to stick with the Rams, Justin Davis looked pretty similar to Brown in the preseason.
Brady is my typical starter in a standard league. I have Goff as backup, but Winston is now available on waivers. In the latest Redrafter, Goff and Winston are roughly equivalent, but the projections apparently account for Winston being shut down for 1 game (Goff starts 7 more, Winston 6). So, as in the previous Re-Drafter edition, Winston is projected for 2 points more per remaining game than Goff. I note, too, that Tampa's schedule is softer the rest of the season, and with 3 of 4 playoff weeks at home. Should I exchange Goff for Winston?
Dan Shipley (Black Diamond, WA)
Goff threw for 311 yards and 4 TDs last week. He very easily could go for 300-plus and 3 TDs again this week against Houston. It would be nervous about cutting that loose for an injured quarterback on a team that’s lost six of its last seven games. The Bucs might have a new coach and new direction on offense by the time Winston is back in the starting lineup.