For answers to many questions atop the minds of fantasy owners as they prepare for their championship round matchups this week, we turn to James Morris for his fantasy weekly Q & A.
Question- I have a question for you about league etiquette. A guy in my league was eliminated from the playoffs and cut Peyton Manning and Reggie Bush today. Should I raise a red flag to the commissioner or just let it go? I am last on the waiver wire, so I am positive I won’t get either.
James Morris: So what you are saying is if you were higher on the waiver wire priority list, you would be ok with it? My personal feelings are that you never cut players when you are eliminated, it is just plain bush-league! I want to see who the best GM is from season-to-season, not who can be the most active on the waiver wire after teams are eliminated from the fantasy playoffs. And, when I have been a commissioner of a league and people do that, I kick them out and ban them for life right then and there!
I say raise a red flag, burn some tires and try and make as much noise as possible because actions like these corrupt the competitive balance of the league. Imagine what would happen to the NFL if the Titans were to cut Chris Johnson and the Lions cut Calvin Johnson today because they were out of the playoff race. It would make the whole season pointless.
Question- I am in the championship game and you saved me last week thanks to your Colin Kaepernick advice. Remember, my starting QB is Robert Griffin III. After the amazing game that Kaepernick put up, should I play him again, go with RGIII or pick up another QB this week?
James Morris: What a great problem to have! I don’t like Kaepernick this week as the Seahawks defense is ranked #1 in fantasy points (FP) allowed to QBs this season at just 14.4 PPG. Then you have RGIII who plays an Eagles defense that allowed Josh Freeman and Andy Dalton to complete just 44.3 percent of their passes for 316 yards since ditching the Wide-9 scheme. But, RGIII can do things Dalton and Freeman can’t.
So, I would start RGIII if he plays (check the Sunday morning injury report). If he is out again, I’d look at Sam Bradford as a sleeper pick at QB this week. The Buccs defense is dead last in the NFL with 24.4 PPG allowed to QBs.
Question- I have been playing different defenses all season long, trying to pick and choose with the match-ups. Do you have any ideas for a good sleeper defense this week that should be available on most waiver wires?
James Morris: Well, my defensive pick this week has to be the Green Bay Packers defense against the Tennessee Titans offense. If the Packers get up on the Titans, Chris Johnson becomes irrelevant and Jake Locker then has to throw the ball. They are owned in 84.5 percent of NFL.com leagues, so they are gone in most leagues, but available in a few. My sleeper defense this week has to be the Indianapolis Colts defense. The Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns defenses put up 16 and 18 points respectively against the Kansas City Chiefs recently, and the Chiefs are becoming more one-dimensional with each passing game. The Colts are owned in just 3.8 percent of NFL.com leagues, and they could put up mid-high Def1 numbers this weekend.
Question- With Torrey Smith questionable to play after getting hurt this weekend, do you have any ideas for a good sleeper pick at WR?
James Morris: Well, I do like Cecil Shorts (owned in 51.5 percent of NFL.com leagues) this weekend. The Patriots are going to blow the doors off Jaguars stadium this weekend, so Chad Henne is going to be forced to throw the ball more than the team would like. Not that Colin Kaepernick isn’t good, but the Patriots made Michael Crabtree look like a Pro Bowl WR last week. If Shorts is gone, then look at Danny Amendola (46.8 percent owned) or our own Brian Hartline (41.1 percent owned) in that order.
Question- I have Philip Rivers, Russell Wilson and Matthew Stafford at QB. Wilson has been money lately, but I am worried about him playing the 49ers this weekend. Rivers has been ok, but he is been up and down the last few weeks and that scares me. Then there is Stafford with Megatron. He’s been gold all season long, but then he goes out last week and throws 3 INTs. I need your help to win my first title.
James Morris: Well, let’s break this down one-by-one.
The Chargers lost Ryan Mathews to another broken collarbone. Ronnie Brown is iffy to play this weekend with a hamstring injury, which means Jackie Battle and his 3.9 YPC average is slated to start vs. the Jets. If I were the Jets, I’d play 4 up front and drop the other 7 into coverage and let Rivers throw INTs all day long.
As you said, the 49ers defense is the 49ers defense, and that worries me too. You can be sure that Coach Jim Harbaugh wasn’t happy about Tom Brady coming back and almost beating them last week. So, I look for them to come out hungry and try to prove they are still one of the best defenses in the league. This game could be a defensive battle.
Then we have Stafford. Remember, Calvin Johnson needs 182 yards to break Jerry Rice’s single season receiving record of 1,848 yards. I’m not crazy about the match-up with the Falcons defense as they are 10th in the NFL with 17.5 PPG allowed to QBs this season. But, I also think Stafford tries to make up for last week’s debacle and get Johnson his record. I go with Stafford if I am choosing from the three QBs.
Be sure to check back here on Friday for James’ “Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em” lineup advice.
And for more fantasy guidance, follow James on Twitter here.
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