It’s simple: If you aren’t reading sites like Rotoviz and following fantasy writers like C.D. Carter, Jonathan Bales, Sigmund Bloom, and Nick Raducanu, you’re going to get left behind during the season.
This is no disrespect to the national pundits, but you gotta figure that 70 percent of your league-mates are reading the advice of your online platform’s in-house writers. The rest are, of course, disengaged yokels. By tuning in to the Twitter mafia of experts and all of their great independent content, you’re basically the hipster asshole that knows about buzzworthy lo-fi garage rock bands before they blow up. It’s theories, analytics, research, and generally great writing. In fantasy football, this knowledge is the difference between starting Alfred Morris and starting Tim Hightower.
Every Thursday, I’ll turn to readers and social media and throw their burning questions at some of my favorite fantasy football (and, really, real football) experts. This week we have two headliners: Rumford Johnny and Ken Griggs. Rummy runs the steady and great 2 Mugs Fantasy Football (and podcast), Griggs runs Dexter Manley’s Library and is a senior writer for Fansided partner site, Bro Jackson. To the hot takes.
What effect do you see Andy Reid and Alex Smith having on Dwayne Bowe’s statistics? Does he finish the season a top 10 WR?
Rumford Johnny: Little or none. Alex Smith never met a check down he didn’t like, and Bowe is a deep ball WR. This is a match made in Hades.
Ken Griggs: I’d rather own a vacation home in Mogadishu than Dwayne Bowe.
Who is a better flex this weekend? DeMarco Murray or Maurice Jones-Drew?
RJ: Murray. I just don’t trust Drew or any RB coming back from a Lisfranc injury. In fact, grab Jordan Todman off the waiver wire if you can, because he’s a great fit for the JAX offense, when MJD misses time . . . and I expect he will.
KG: I like Murray if he’s healthy. He should steal Botox from Jerry and pump it into his quads.
I have never seen Cecil Shorts play a down of football but I had him on two teams last year and the numbers looked good. Is he a reliable 10-team starter?
RJ: Yes. He has two of the worst QBs (Henne and Gabbert) in the NFL, and he rose above it to be a top fantasy option last year. Talent wins out.
KG: Yes for sure. Guy is committed and the number one option in an offense sans Justin Blackmon.
What the hell do I do with Steve Johnson?
RJ: A 4th or 5th WR option, nothing more.
KG: Glue factory?
What team will have the most productive receiving tandem of WRs?
RJ: Atlanta (White, Jones, Gonzalez). Not to mention Steven Jackson out of the backfield and mighty mouse, Jacquizz Rodgers.
KG: Atlanta. Roddy White and Djulio Unchained.
Can you break down what to expect from the Pittsburgh backfield this season? Thought Le’Veon Bell was a steal.
RJ: I’m not a Bell apologist, I didn’t like him out of college, and his fantasy rep was salvaged by an early injury. If he comes back early, I expect to be underwhelmed. Boom/bust player in the Ryan Mathews mold. Avoid at all costs, like the rest of the PIT backfield.
KG: That offense line rolls over like Lassie. And Bell, a rookie, missed most of the preseason. I’ll pass on the situation.
A money league at work is 10 teams and doesn’t have position limits. One of the partners auto-drafted seven quarterbacks and I have EJ Manuel and Christian Ponder but am otherwise deep. I don’t see the auto-team being at all engaged this year and he hasn’t responded to trade queries. Stand pat or make a move with a more engaged owner?
RJ: This guy sounds like an asshole. I wouldn’t trade him a lukewarm tuna sammich.
KG: Quit your job because it’s impossible to soar with the eagles when surrounded by turkeys.
There seem to be five late round buzz tight ends this year. Three from bad teams: Jordan Cameron, Jared Cook, Rob Housler. Two new sidekicks to elite QBs: Zach Sudfeld, Julius Thomas. Assuming you lost out on top tier options, who do you like most this weekend? Going forward?
RJ: Sudfeld. Has the ability and opportunity to absorb Hernandez’s production (before he went all New Jack City on our asses.)
KG: I’m all-in on this Cameron hype. Cook has the most talent but he’s been more of a disappointment than the last ten US Presidents.
Teams with bad running games, what back has the better year? Vick Ballard or Ahmad Bradshaw? Bilal Powell or Chris Ivory?
RJ: Bradshaw before his feet turn to dust like Medusa, and Powell.
KG: I got this Bradshaw fascination. He helped me to a championship but his feet could fall off any minute. I’ll take him of these four though.
Best rookie receiver fantasy-wise? Best second-year receiver?
RJ: Tavon Austin (in PPR), and Cecil Shorts.
Best waiver wire defense to use Week 1? I have Cleveland and Arizona.
RJ: Indy. Terrelle Pryor with produce more turnovers than Pepperidge Farms.
KG: I’m all-in on the Zona D. Peterson and Honey Badger are my kind of sell-out DBs. I hope that D competes because I love those guys.
The Titans and Raiders seem to have the same shit receivers year after year. Gimme a gem from the litter.
RJ: Take a flier on Justin Hunter. He’s not a fatty like Kendall Wright, and he doesn’t have the knees of Regis Philbin like Kenny Britt.
KG: I like Kendall Wright. His mother has questionable naming abilities but I like the guy.
Waiver wire quarterback set to have the best fantasy year: Sam Bradford, Carson Palmer, Andy Dalton, Brandon Weeden, Jay Cutler?
RJ: I’d bet on Cutler having a solid year under Trestman . . . seriously.
KG: I’m in on Weeden. I think it’s for the schadenfreude I have for the rest of the names on this list though.
What Packer suffers most from San Francisco matchup?
RJ: Eddie Lacy and any other Green Bay RB. Bad look.
KG: Jordy Nelson has gimped though preseason. I’m gonna wait on him.
Guys I’m tired of owning but always go home with: Chris Johnson and Ryan Matthews. What do I get from them?
RJ: Chris Johnson’s OL looks great, so I’m bullish on him. Ryan Mathews can eat a trash can pizza. I’m not touching that bum.
KG: Crazy but I’ll take Mathews. I can’t watch CJ2K dance—it’s like watching rhythmic gymnastics at the Special Olympics.
Best name for a trophy in a league you (sic) ever been (in) ?
RJ: The trophy where they pay me in $100 bills.
Antonio Gates is done right?
RJ: No. He’s good for about six weeks; a good filler for Gronk while he’s out. After that, pick out Gates’ casket. No pine box, something pretty.
KG: Glue factory?
NFC West what team regresses and what team moves up?
RJ: Seattle moves up, San Fran falls back a bit. Both are top seeds though, so not much of a dip, just trading places like Eddie and Akroyd.
KG: I’ll take San Fran to regress and Seattle to win the division. Bold.
Best quarterback in standard scoring leagues in 2013?
RJ: Drew Brees. That defense will suck, he’ll have to throw 45+ TDs.
KG: Drew Brees. Got Sean Payton to divvy out the Vicodin again.
Best fantasy receiver in standard scoring leagues in 2013?
RJ: Dez Bryant.
KG: Dez. He only needs one name because he’s stylish like Madonna and badass like Elvis.
Best fantasy running back for standard scoring leagues in 2013?
RJ: Adrian Peterson . . . In every format.
KG: Trent Richardson. I like the Browns. And I hate myself.