Fantasy Mailbag  

 

NFL fantasy football: Don't get down on Percy Harvin

Is it time to sell high on Percy Harvin? - @brennancassidy (via Twitter)

Michael Fabiano: Harvin suffered an injured ankle against the Seattle Seahawks and is in danger of missing Week 10, so I'm not sure you can get full market value for him. I also wouldn't rush to trade him just because he's had one bad game. Let's be honest, the Florida product has been terrific this season overall. In fact, he had scored double-digit fantasy points in the four games before getting hurt against the Hawks. With that said, I wouldn't be opposed to putting him on the trade block and seeing what offers are made. The one negative with Harvin is his schedule -- over the next six weeks, he faces the Chicago Bears twice, the St. Louis Rams and the Houston Texans.

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Is it time to bench Eli Manning? I can start Josh Freeman this week instead. - K. Hendricks (via Facebook)

M.F.: The decision to bench Manning all depends on your alternatives, but at this point it's hard to promote him as more than a matchup-based starter. In his last four games, the veteran has failed to score more than 14 fantasy points. And in his last two games, Manning has posted a combined 8.98 points. Not good. Freeman, on the other hand, has been hotter than a Tampa sidewalk in August. The veteran signal-caller has scored 18-plus fantasy points in four straight games, during which time he has put up a combined 11 touchdown passes and just one interception. Since the Week 10 matchups are a wash (Manning at Cincinnati, Freeman vs. Chargers), I'd roll with the hot hand and start Freeman.

I have Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton on a bye this week. Which quarterback should I look to add off the waiver wire? - R. Moorins (via Google+)

M.F.: Take a chance on the Amish Rifle, Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Harvard product has a great matchup against the New England Patriots, who surrendered 350 yards, four touchdowns and 23.40 fantasy points to him back in Week 4. Fitzpatrick has also scored better than 18 fantasy points in four of his starts this year, so he's been good enough to trust in fantasy land overall. The Bills quarterback is a free agent in more than 65 percent of NFL.com leagues.

Would you sell high on Doug Martin right now? - @jaredpasetsky (via Twitter)

M.F.: It's never a bad idea to field trade offers for a player whose value is skyrocketing, but I'm not dealing Martin for anything less than an elite player. He's been the hottest running back in fantasy football for the last month, scoring a total of seven touchdowns in his last three games. In fact, Martin's recent streak of statistical success has vaulted him all the way to the top of the fantasy points lead at his position. His schedule is also favorable down the stretch (Weeks 10-16), as just one opponent (Philadelphia Eagles) isn't in the top half of the league in terms of allowing the most fantasy points to running backs.

Jamaal Charles and Ahmad Bradshaw are killing me! I can trade either Drew Brees or Matt Ryan to acquire an upgrade at running back. Who do I deal? - K. Felter (via Facebook)

M.F.: Honestly, I would put both quarterbacks out there and take the best offer. Brees is still the better fantasy option, but Ryan is now among the best players at his position. Whatever you do, don't take anything less than a top-five runner in exchange for either quarterback. That means going after the likes of Arian Foster (for Brees), Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, Marshawn Lynch or Trent Richardson.

What is the status of Darren McFadden? I knew he couldn't last an entire season! - G. Chandler (via Google+)

M.F.: McFadden and Mike Goodson have both been diagnosed with high ankle sprains, so there is no clear-cut No. 1 option in the Raiders backfield. As a result, look for Marcel Reece and Taiwan Jones to handle Oakland's backfield duties in the interim. Reece, a solid receiver who caught eight passes in Week 9, is the more attractive option off the waiver wire. However, I don't consider him more than a potential flex starter against the Baltimore Ravens. Jones, a talented runner who lacks in pass protection and has ball security issues, is also worth a look in deeper leagues.

Do you think this is the start of good things for Cam Newton? - @grizzlyadams21 (via Twitter)

M.F.: I think it can be the start of a nice stretch for Newton, who has great matchups against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders during the rest of the fantasy season (Weeks 10-16). While contests against the Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons aren't as favorable based on fantasy points against data, Newton's skills as a runner give him an added advantage that most quarterbacks don't have -- the ability to put up fantasy points with his legs.

If you could have one Steelers running back for the rest of the season, who would it be? - L. Clayton (via Facebook)

M.F.: If we assume that all three backs are 100 percent, I would prefer Rashard Mendenhall. Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman have looked great in his absence over the last three weeks, but I still think Mendenhall will reclaim the top spot on the depth chart when he's back on the field. That doesn't mean Steelers coach Mike Tomlin won't implement a backfield committee, though, leaving it difficult to start any one of this trio with a lot of confidence. Until Mendenhall and Dwyer are cleared to return, Redman is the runner to own in the interim. If he gets another start, the veteran would be a nice option against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Would you pick up Maurice Jones-Drew? Someone has dropped him in our league. Is he coming back this season? - T. Stevens (via Google+)

M.F.: I would absolutely grab and stash Jones-Drew. Seriously, stop reading this column right now and go pick him up (then come back to the column)! In fact, I made this exact move in one league. Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey has already ruled MJD out for Week 10, but a return in Week 11 isn't out of the question. Even if you stash him now and he returns in time for the fantasy postseason (Weeks 14-16), it would be quite the coup to get Jones-Drew for what amounts to a waiver-wire claim.

Which quarterback should I start in Week 10: Philip Rivers or Russell Wilson? - @SalcidoJosh (via Twitter)

M.F.: The matchup favors Rivers on paper, as he faces a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense that has allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Wilson goes up against the New York Jets, who have allowed the seventh-fewest points to the position. So the decision should be simple, right? Well, it's not. In fact, I would start Wilson. Hear me out. First, the rookie has been the better fantasy option overall. Second, he's scored 15 or more fantasy points in each of his last three games at home. That includes big stat lines against the New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings, where he scored a combined 45.04 fantasy points. Third, when was the last time Rivers successfully exploited a good matchup? Go with Wilson.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!

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