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Ask an Expert

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Here are some recent football questions our experts have received, along with their responses:

Hi there! With my draft slot I will most likely get the opportunity to choose either of these TE's with my 3rd or 4th round pick... Would you recommend Gronk or Julius Thomas? Thanks! Dan

Dan, That's a tough question. In a Peyton Manning-led offense, there's always the potential to post huge numbers. It would be unwise, however, to expect the Broncos or Manning to match last year's record-setting level of production, so it's likely everyone will take at least a small step backwards. Thomas may also has some inconsistency issues as he is just one of a plethora of offensive weapons in Denver, and Manning is one who is never shy to spread the wealth. As such, I'd probably lean towards Gronkowski. Unquestionably, he's a much riskier pick given his unforgiving injury history. The upside, however, is tremendous; remember, he had 11 touchdowns in 2012 and 17 in 2011. With the Patriots' shaky wide receiver options, it wouldn't be surprising to see Tom Brady lean on Gronk more than ever, IF he can stay healthy. That's a mighty big IF but the sky's the limit if he can stay on the field. Thanks for the question, and good luck! -Justin Fielkow


I'm in a 10-team PPR keeper league that starts 1QB, 2WR, 2RB, 1TE, 2Flex, D and K, with 6 guys on the bench, so we have to go deep. We're allowed no more than 3 keepers from previous year. I can, and will, keep Foles at QB (since I picked him up as a FA and only have to pay a 10th for him), and probably D. Thomas at WR (w/a 3rd, after keeping him with a 5th last year). Which of the following RBs should I keep: Bell (with a 4th), Morris (8th, previous keeper) or Andre Ellington (10th)? If I try to trade Morris pre-draft, what's a good value?

While it's really tough to address what's "good value" for a player like Morris (as it's largely dependent on your trade partners' willingness to deal and their available options), to answer the first part of your question, I'd lean towards Ellington. While I view both Morris and Bell as "safer" options, neither offers Ellington's upside, particularly in a PPR league. Morris, for example, continues to be held back by his lack of receptions. He should continue to see a big workload for Washington, but under a new coaching regime, there's no guarantees about his role. Bell, meanwhile, is a young back who proved he was capable of handling a stout workload as a rookie. But, Bell averaged a lowly 3.5 YPC behind a porous Steelers' offensive line. The team also added LeGarrette Blount - who is clearly not a superstar or even a threat to Bell's hold on the starting gig - but still represents a much more real threat to Bell's workload than last year's pu pu platter of running back options. Ellington almost certainly won't see the rushload of Morris or Bell given his smaller statute but his path of touches is almost unrivaled. After 39 receptions last year despite ceding significant playing time to Rashard Mendenhall's corpse, it's not unreasonable to expect that number to rise as Arizona seeks to feed the ball to their explosive back. With a 10th round keeper price, Ellington makes for a high-value selection on draft day. Thanks for the question, and good luck! -Justin Fielkow


I'm in a 10 team point per completion league with 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, and 1 Flex (RB/WR/TE). I've customized the player rankings to account for the format and scoring and seen the changes. But I'm still not comfortable that I understand the draft strategy to follow. Does the PPC scoring make it smart to draft a QB really early since they will be accounting for a huge portion of my team's points? Or should I risk it and take a QB later? I looked for an article on the site that addressed this and couldn't find anything...

Typically in standard scoring leagues, the difference between the top-ranked QB and the 10th is significantly less that the top-ranked RB and the 20th (since owners start at least 2 RBS but only one QB). This is heightened by the fact that owners start only one QB but multiple RBs, mitigating the percentage of points a QB contributes to a fantasy team's weekly point total. Last year was obviously an exception to the rule with Peyton Manning's record-setting campaign, but the typical mantra under such a value-based draft strategy is that because you can find a solid QB later in the draft, it makes little sense to waste a high draft pick on a QB when elite RBs are more valuable and scarce. But in a point-per-completion (PPC) league, QBs will undoubtedly score more points than they did in standard league. As a result, QB points will make up a larger percentage of your team's weekly point totals, putting an increased emphasis on premium play from that position. Because of that, elite QBs - particularly those with high-volume pass attempts (i.e. Drew Brees) - become of even greater importance to your team's performance. Additionally, and arguably more importantly, the difference between elite and non-elite QBs becomes starker. Under standard scoring, Brees, the second-best fantasy QB by points in 2013 (357 points), scored just under 100 points more than the 10th-ranked QB, Tony Romo (260 points). But, under a PPC system, Brees (446 completions) would have scored 200 points(!) more than Romo (342 completions). The difference is even further accentuated when looking at the 8th- and 9th-highest scoring QBs in 2013, Russell Wilson (257 completions) and Colin Kaepernick (243 completions). To sum, not only do elite QBs become a more valuable commodity because they account for a higher percentage of your fantasy team's weekly points, but the gap between the best and league-average options widens. Therefore, it becomes increasingly more important to snag a top-flight quarterback early in your draft under such a scoring system. Thanks for the question, and good luck! -Justin Fielkow


10 Team .5 point PPR league We get to keep 1 player that was drafted in the 5th round or later for the following year. You only get to keep that player for 1 year only. Who do I keep for next year? LeVeon Bell as my 7th round pick (acquired in trade) Or Josh Gordon as my 7th round pick Thanks, you guys have been very helpfull!

Both players really stepped up this season. I loved what I saw from Bell in his rookie year, and Gordon will be a top-5 WR for me next year -- love the kid. Tough, tough call since the talent to value is fantastic as 7th rounders, but you take less risk with Gordon in a half-PPR system. So, the edge goes to Gordon as tough as it is for me to pass on Bell. -Dave Hunter


hey i just had Randall Cobb come off the IR and i was wondering if he would be a good play for tomorrow. As of now my 2 receivers are Dez Bryant and Josh Gordon and my flex is Keenan Allen. Let me know if you would put Randall Cobb in for any of those people. Also im playing Matt Stafford and the best backup to him on the waivers is Orton, Fitzpatrick, Dalton and Tannehill.

Hello, There is some uncertainty with Cobb playing tomorrow and it seems that the decision may be announced close to game-time. You have some very strong options with Bryant, Gordon, and Allen at WR. Cobb is a great option when healthy, but in the uncertainty with his role if he does play for the Packers tomorrow, it is best to stay with those starting options you already have. I think it is a tough debate for the QB position. There is uncertainty whether Calvin Johnson plays tomorrow and with Stafford having nothing to play for, it makes it a little bit of a worry on how he will play. We rank Fitzpatrick and Dalton ahead of Stafford this week, but with Dalton facing the Ravens, Fitzpatrick may be the best start of the group. I hope this helps and best of luck. Nick


Parting shot question, on our way for the year. Standard scoring, 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 W/T Flex league. Five keepers, out of the following, for next season and beyond: Andrew Luck Jay Cutler Zac Stacy Arian Foster Ray Rice Keenan Allen Antonio Brown Julio Jones Jimmy Graham Have to keep Graham. Want to keep Foster. Jones scares me now, as does Rice. Brown is rock-solid. Not sure what to do. Thanks for the help all season, guys!

You're welcome on the help this year. Here is how I would play it. (1) Graham (2) Stacy (3) Brown. I dont know how anyone could argue with those three. Graham is the best in the business at TE. Stacy has been a rock RB1 since he was given the starting reigns. Brown is having the best receiving season in Steelers history and is extremely consistent. (4) I think you have to hold Jones. Injuries a huge issue, but he's an elite talent, a lock to be a WR1 if healthy. It really depends on when you have to make the decision. If it's next week then it's gonna be very tough to hold him. If you have time to see how things go with his recovery, and the reports are good, he's also a hold. (5) Because you only can use TE/WR at flex there is a wee bit less of a need for RBs. Since I also think it is wise to hold on to hold on to an already injured Jones, it's darn near impossible to suggest also holding an less than 100% Foster. This situation is further exacerbated by the fact that Foster's per touch productivity is receding, and his body appears to be breaking down. Rice is younger but has more work on his body. He too had a terrible season lacking burst virtually all season. You could make an argument for him in PPR setups, but he's a tough hold. As for the QBs, I dont believe you have to protect a QB. Both of your options have the potential to be a QB1, but given the rest of your talent the only reason to go with one of them is to remove the health concerns at RB, a valid argument. Personally I would protect one of the runners (Allen, by the way should be able to sustain this level of production, but you really should consider keeping backs). I don't like the idea of you keeping five guys with only one being a running back. Therefore I'd suggest holding on to Rice, but boy is that tough.


3 questions on who I should start this Sunday: TY Hilton or Greg Jennings? Steven Jackson or Dennis Johnson? Coby Fleener or Jermaine Gresham? Thank you for the continued support! -Kevin

Jennings over Hilton. TY is still dealing with a wonky shoulder which is a concern. Also, there is the fact that Jennings is crushing it. Jennings caught 11 balls for 163 yards last week and he clearly has a “thing” going with Matt Cassel. Over the last three games he's averaged 7.6 grabs and 98 yards, while scoring twice. He faces a Bengals defense in Week 16 that is tough – they are 11th against the wideout. Still, start Jennings who seems to have a great rapport with Cassel. At RB, Sjax has looked better and has a nice recent history against the Niners. However, that was when he was with the Rams, and it's not a pushover matchup by any means. Go with Johnson. HOU is likely to fall behind and may not run a ton, but that doesn't mean Johnson won't catch a ton of balls out of the backfield. Plus, the Broncos are allowing 4.8 YPC the last thee games while permitting five scores. Gresham should play, but he will share looks with Eifert and that just kills his value even in a plus matchup. Go with Fleener.