Dear Mr. Fantasy: Too early to sell high?
Is it too early to start shopping Week 1 heroes like Arian Foster? Our Scott White shares his take on sell-high candidates and tackles a few of your Week 2 Fantasy questions in his latest edition of Dear Mr. Fantasy.
I know what Arian Foster did Week 1 against the Colts. I'd have to live in a cave not to.
The hard part is figuring out what he'll do next.
Is he really that good, or is the Colts run defense just that bad? What happens when the Texans stop giving him 33 carries a game? Will he ever overtake DeShaun and Barry as my first connotation of Foster?
Seriously, I can't tell you how many of my conversations this week have gone like this:
"Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah Foster."
That lack of familiarity would give any Fantasy owner reason to wonder if he's a sell-high candidate. But when you stop and think about it, should we really be all that surprised by what he accomplished Sunday? From the moment Ben Tate went down with an ankle injury this preseason, Foster has been a sleeper. With each impressive performance each passing week, he moved up the rankings, eventually leapfrogging players who were touted as sleepers before he was even an afterthought. His stock improved so much during that short period of time that by the end of the preseason, he was practically a second-rounder.
Which I guess means he's not a sell-high candidate. Unless, of course, he can snag you the best player in the game.
SW: That's certainly tempting. Granted, Foster's 231-yard, three-touchdown performance against the Colts was the story of Week 1, but with Matt Schaub under center and Andre Johnson running routes, you can't expect Foster to claim the spotlight every week. Straight-up, the advantage still goes to Johnson, who will always be the focal point of the Titans offense and who proved Sunday he's no worse for wear after handling the ball over 400 times last year.
The tricky part is adding Cutler to the mix. If he was your starter, you'd obviously turn down the deal. If he was your backup to Peyton Manning, you'd obviously pull the trigger. But he's your backup to Tony Romo, who has some questions to answer after struggling in the preseason and leading his team to just one scoring drive in Week 1. Cutler isn't such a bad insurance policy.
Still, I think I'd throw caution to the wind and make the deal. Rarely do you get an opportunity to acquire the first overall pick in Fantasy, especially when he's actually performing like the first overall pick in Fantasy. I don't know who you drafted in the first round, but it wasn't Foster, which means you'd be adding Johnson to your lineup without forfeiting your first-round pick. That's a textbook example of how to make the most of player's value at a time it'll never be higher.
Don't get me wrong: Foster is a stud, and I have complete confidence in him the rest of the way. In fact, other than Johnson, I don't know who I'd rank ahead of him. Adrian Peterson and Maurice Jones-Drew, sure, but after that, I hesitate.
Even so, we shouldn't completely disregard the draft after only one week.
I just picked up Brandon Jackson, who has a good matchup against the Bills this week. Should I start him over Cedric Benson, who had an OK first week but has a tough matchup in Week 2? -- Dana Jacobs, Island Pond, Vt.
SW: Jackson is still unproven, but with Ryan Grant on IR, he's going to carry the load for the Packers. Maybe if he played for the Buccaneers or the Browns, you wouldn't have much reason to get excited about him, but in the Green Bay offense, with Aaron Rodgers as his quarterback, he should find plenty of running room. Your dilemma isn't entirely a result of him facing the Bills. He'll be breathing down Benson's neck every single week.
But since he is facing the Bills, who ranked 30th in run defense last year and gave up a combined 127 rushing yards to Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams last week, you'll want to give Jackson the benefit of the doubt in his first start of the season. As good as Benson was last year, I got the impression he was only starting because the Bengals couldn't do any better, which means performances like last week's, when he rushed for 43 yards on 15 carries, could become commonplace.
One thing's for sure: He won't rebound against the Ravens, who just made Shonn Greene the leading candidate for biggest bust of the season.
No, I'm not actually calling Greene the biggest bust of the season. I'm just saying the Ravens are tough.
I have Kevin Kolb as my quarterback. He looked pretty bad Sunday and then left with a concussion. Should I stay the course or jump ship and go with one of Chad Henne, Matt Cassel, Derek Anderson, Matt Hasselbeck or Jason Campbell? I have enough running back depth to shop Joseph Addai. What quarterback could I get for him? -- Ahmed Jamil
SW: If you jump ship, you're limiting your team's upside, and if you stay the course, you're not going to have a quarterback for Week 2, probably. So I'd suggest something in between.
You'll want to hang on to Kolb because he's still your best shot at having a high-end Fantasy quarterback this season. Ten pass attempts against a team that could very well win the Super Bowl doesn't say much about his prospects for the rest of the season. His concussion is a concern, obviously, which is why you'll want to add one of those quarterbacks off the waiver wire. Henne has the most upside of the bunch and would probably be my first choice, but I really don't think Anderson will have a bad year starting for the Cardinals. He might not be the most efficient passer around, but he'll get his yards. He certainly has a better matchup than Henne this week, facing the Falcons as opposed to the Vikings.
Trading Addai for a quarterback wouldn't be a bad idea, but I'm not sure how good of a quarterback you'd get. Chances are nobody would trade you his starter for him. Jay Cutler, Brett Favre and Carson Palmer would be the only backup options worth acquiring for Addai, and it's possible they're not even backups in your league. You'll just have to examine every team's roster and see.
I think I know the answer to this but want another opinion. I have Michael Turner against Arizona, Jamaal Charles at Cleveland and Ahmad Bradshaw at Indianapolis. I can only start two. I'd have a hard time benching Turner or Charles, but considering what Arian Foster did against Indy's defense last week, I'm considering starting Bradshaw over Charles. Thoughts? -- Patrick White
SW: Well, you can't bench Turner. That much is certain. He was your first-round pick and is facing a defense he can handle. As long as he's not going against shutdown central, he's automatic. You just can't predict when he'll rumble for three touchdowns, and you wouldn't want to risk missing out on it.
So it's between Bradshaw and Charles. Charles was the higher rated of the two coming into the season and didn't do anything to disappoint in Week 1. Plus, his matchup against the Browns is a good one in its own right. But I'm leaning with you on this one. I think Bradshaw might be the better way to go. With Foster's performance in Week 1, the Texans gave the rest of the league a clear blueprint for beating the Colts: run the ball. If the Giants don't follow suit, they're the most arrogant team in the league.
The Browns, on the other hand, are bad against both the run and the pass, so the Chiefs might choose to use quarterback Matt Cassel more in Week 2 than they did in Week 1.
Someone offered me Matt Schaub and LeSean McCoy for Aaron Rodgers and Terrell Owens. I have Randy Moss and Marques Colston at wide receiver and Shonn Greene, Ronnie Brown and Justin Forsett at running back. What should I do? -- Brian Jones
SW: Unless you honestly think the Texans are going to run the ball so much that Schaub won't be a 4,000-yard passer anymore, you should make the trade. If you look at the numbers, Schaub and Rodgers were in the same class last year. The biggest difference between the two was Rodgers' rushing yards, which are more of a wild card than a given. In other words, the downgrade at the quarterback position wouldn't be extreme enough for you to deny yourself the upgrade at the running back position.
And you need that upgrade. With Greene and Forsett losing significant carries to LaDainian Tomlinson and whatever scrub Seattle chooses to incorporate next, you can't rely on either as an every-week option. Brown is your only "safe" play at the position, and even he splits carries with Ricky Williams.
McCoy is the only guy coming out of the backfield in Philadelphia, and considering the Eagles hardly had an opportunity to run after falling behind the Packers early, he did a pretty dang good job in Week 1, averaging 5.0 yards per carry and scoring a touchdown. He also led the team in receptions (five) and receiving yards (47). With this trade, he would immediately become a fixture in your lineup.
You don't need Owens. He's no certainty to become a standout Fantasy option this season, especially after Chad Ochocinco looked like the main man in Cincinnati in Week 1, and you have two better options already. Owens is just a spare part in this deal. The real key is McCoy, and he's good enough to make the downgrade at quarterback worthwhile.
I can only start two of Chris Johnson, Michael Turner, Jonathan Stewart, Jerome Harrison and Darren McFadden. Turner hurt me last week against the same team Johnson is facing this week, but I'd hate to sit either of them because, well, they were my keepers. I like McFadden against the Rams, but is that matchup justification enough to sit Johnson or Turner? -- Jon Armor, San Pedro, Calif.
SW: You'd need an unusual set of circumstances to sit a pair of first-rounders like Johnson and Turner, and to me, this doesn't qualify. Maybe if Turner was going against the Steelers again, you'd consider it, but he's not, and he could easily bounce back with a multi-score effort against a team like the Cardinals.
Johnson is the one facing that Steelers defense now, but most of his yardage comes on big plays, which are immune from good defense, to a certain degree. He might not have as many intermediate runs, but if he breaks through, he breaks through. And if he breaks through just once, you'll be happy you started him.
McFadden's matchup against the Rams is a good one, and if you could start a third running back, you'd be in a good shape with him. But he still faces the threat of Michael Bush returning -- perhaps as early as this week -- which would make him less than a sure bet to get the majority of the team's carries. Even if Bush doesn't return, McFadden has disappointed often enough for me to go with Johnson and Turner instead.
I need to start two of these four: Santana Moss vs. Houston, Legedu Naanee vs. Jacksonville, Michael Crabtree vs. New Orleans or Mark Clayton at Oakland. Who would you choose? -- Christopher Jackson, Philadelphia
SW Crabtree is out. He ran awful routes in Week 1 and is looking more like a problem than a solution in San Francisco. He'll have to make a 180-degree turn to live up to the hype this season.
Clayton, on the other hand, I like. He looks like a perfect fit in the Rams offense and finally has a leading role after playing second fiddle all those years for a run-first offense in Baltimore. Hard to make a Fantasy contribution that way. Still, pass defense remains one of the Raiders' strengths. The Rams stand a better chance of winning by leaning on running back Steven Jackson, and that's what I suspect they'll do.
My choices, then, are Moss and Naanee. Moss is facing a Texans secondary that gave up 433 yards to Peyton Manning in Week 1, and though Donovan McNabb is no Manning, he'll still have to throw plenty to keep up with the Texans' high-scoring offense. Four-fifths of McNabb's completions went to Moss and Chris Cooley in Week 1, so clearly he plays favorites.
Meanwhile, Naanee faces a Jaguars defense that gave up a combined 215 receiving yards to Brandon Lloyd and Eddie Royal in Week 1. I still think Malcom Floyd is the better wide receiver for Fantasy purposes, but the Chargers should have enough passes to go around.
I have an enticing trade possibility, but I'm not sure if I should jump at it. I was offered Peyton Manning and Maurice Jones-Drew for Eli Manning and Chris Johnson. It seems like a good trade, but moving Chris Johnson is the kind of thing that could really make you feel dumb at the end of the year. I need some clarity. -- Alex Adkison, Tallahassee, Fla.
SW: As much as I've talked up Johnson this column -- as if he needed it, right? -- Jones-Drew doesn't rate far behind him. In fact, if I could have chosen any spot to draft this preseason, I would have chosen third because I really didn't have a strong preference between Johnson, Adrian Peterson and Jones-Drew. Jones-Drew is as vital to the Jaguars as Johnson is to the Titans and could conceivably finish with the better numbers of the two.
Peyton Manning is a slam dunk to finish with better numbers than his younger brother this season -- barring injury, of course. He has been the only sure thing in Fantasy over the last 11 years, always ranking as the No. 1 quarterback -- or at least close to it. With him, you'd be set at the position that typically scores the most points in Fantasy, and you'd still have a top-three running back in Jones-Drew. I say you make the move.
Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter . You can e-mail us your Fantasy Football questions to DMFantasyFootball@cbs.com . Be sure to put Dear Mr. Fantasy in the subject field. Please include your full name, hometown and state.
Fantasy Football Today Newsletter
Get tips, advice and news to win your league - all from the FFT podcast team.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Amari Cooper's Fantasy value improved after being traded to the Cowboys last season. Jamey...
How much can you take away from non-contact rookie minicamps? You make the call on some of...
SportsLine simulated the 2019 NFL season 10,000 times and identified must-draft Fantasy Football...
Jamey Eisenberg has five under-the-radar rookies who could make an impact in re-draft leagues...
In our latest non-PPR mock draft, Jamey Eisenberg breaks down the challenge of trying to fill...
Heath Cummings takes a look at best-ball ADP since the NFL draft and comes up with some of...