Backfield committees, trades on the minds of owners

I have been offered Hakeem Nicks for Knowshon Moreno. I have Moreno, Steven Jackson, Brandon Jackson and Jonathan Stewart at running back and Andre Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Terrell Owens and Santonio Holmes at wide receiver. Thoughts? -- D. Cook, Australia

Michael Fabiano: I wouldn't make this move, as it would leave you thin at running back with Steven Jackson and either Brandon Jackson or Stewart to start each week. I loved Moreno coming into the season based on his skills and what is a very favorable schedule, and so far he hasn't been a disappointment. He's in the top 10 in fantasy points at his position on NFL.com, and this week's game against the Colts is very attractive. What's more, Moreno faces the Titans, Raiders (2), Chiefs (2), Rams, Cardinals and Texans during the remainder of the season. I'd pass on this deal and keep your team intact. You'll also get help at wide receiver when Holmes is back from suspension.

I've been pretty disappointed in Jamaal Charles this season. I picked up LaDainian Tomlinson in my draft, and Mike Tolbert off the waiver wire. Now I'm not sure how to start in Week 3. Any suggestions? -- C. Fedora, San Francisco

M.F.: Honestly, I would stick with Charles. I don't understand for the life of me why coach Todd Haley is giving Thomas Jones more work, because Charles is clearly the more talented and explosive back. Tomlinson has looked better since joining the Jets, but he still has fewer fantasy points than Charles and is in a confusing backfield of his own in the Big Apple. As for Tolbert, it looks like he'll see a backup role in Week 3 with Ryan Mathews expected back from an injured ankle. Unless Mathews has a setback, Tolbert isn't an option. I know it's a risk, but I think you should continue to roll with Charles and hope Haley gives him the touches he deserves this week and beyond.

I've been starting Jahvid Best and Mathews at running back and Pierre Thomas as a flex player through the first two weeks. Do you think its time to bench Mathews for Thomas and use Malcom Floyd as a flex player instead? Also, I have Brett Favre, Eli Manning and Michael Vick at quarterback. Who do I start in Week 3? -- V. Suarez, Mexico

M.F.: I'd stick with Mathews this week against the Seattle Seahawks. Coach Norv Turner still has a ton of confidence in his rookie running back, telling the Chargers official website that he's "excited to get to a game where Ryan gets 25 touches." Sure, his first two weeks have been a disappointment, but you can't blame Mathews completely for his lack of success. He had to play in a rainstorm against the Chiefs in Week 1 and lost carries as the Chargers abandoned the run in an attempt to erase a deficit. Last week he was on pace to have a nice stat line against the Jaguars before he landed on the sidelines with a bum ankle. I'm not giving up on Mathews yet, and neither should you. At quarterback, Vick is without question the best option. Coach Andy Reid has named him his starter for Week 3 and beyond, and a matchup against the Jaguars makes him a very attractive option in all leagues. In fact, I have Vick ranked fifth at quarterback this week.

Great call on Arian Foster! He's been the star of my fantasy team so far. Here's my question. Someone in my league (standard scoring system) has offered me Calvin Johnson for Foster. I have Michael Turner and LeSean McCoy at running back and use Foster in a spot position. Behind them I have Brandon Jackson and Jason Snelling. At wide receiver, I have Larry Fitzgerald, Chad Ochocinco and Steve Smith (CAR). My backups are Mike Wallace and Johnny Knox. Should I make the move? -- L. Powers, Oklahoma City

M.F.: I would pass on this deal. Your starting wide receivers are fine with Fitzgerald, Ochocinco and Smith, and both Wallace and Knox will be better as the season progresses. It's always good to have depth at running back, and starting Foster in your flex position makes your backfield awfully strong. If anything, I'd look to deal Jackson and either Ochocinco and Smith to a team that needs a running back (maybe the one that lost Ryan Grant) and can give you an upgrade at wide receiver in return.

I have Frank Gore, Tim Hightower and Fred Jackson at running back and Wes Welker, Austin Collie, Kevin Walter and Holmes at wide receiver. I have been proposed a trade that would land me Matt Forte for Welker. Welker for Matt Forte. What are your thoughts? -- E. Cepeda, Nashville, Tenn.

M.F.: You can't really afford to deal a wide receiver, as Welker is clearly your best player at the position. Collie and Walter will put up some nice stat lines but can be maddeningly inconsistent at times, and Holmes isn't back in action for the Men in Green until Week 5. Instead of making a trade, I'd be searching the waiver wire for help at both positions. I'm not sure the size of your league, but you could land someone like Peyton Hillis, Benjarvus Green-Ellis, Marshawn Lynch or Keiland Williams (roster stash) at running back and Mark Clayton, Eddie Royal, Mario Manningham, Louis Murphy, Demaryius Thomas or Mike Williams (TB) at wide receiver.

Brett Favre has burned me in the first two weeks of the season, so now I'm thinking of starting Matt Ryan in Week 3. The problem is that Favre is facing the Lions, while Ryan has a much tougher matchup against the Saints. What would you suggest? -- J. Feroli, Oklahoma City

M.F.: You're 100 percent right about Favre -- he's been one of the biggest disappointments in fantasy football. Can you believe he's the same player that scored the fourth-most fantasy points in the league last season? Regardless, I think you should bench him in favor of Ryan this week. I realize the matchup for Favre is favorable (I still think he's a low-end fantasy starter against the Lions), but he's missing his top wideout, Sidney Rice, and clearly doesn't have a ton of faith in throwing the football to Bernard Berrian. Ryan is coming off a sparkling performance in Week 2 and should put up good numbers against the Saints in what could be a shootout at the Superdome.

Do you think Josh Freeman is for real? My current quarterbacks are Kevin Kolb and Ben Roethlisberger, and now Kolb appears to be worthless. Outside of Freeman, Mark Sanchez is the best quarterback on the waiver wire. I ask this question because I know you have Kolb and Roethlisberger in a few leagues. Thanks for the help! -- A. Richard, Canada

M.F.: You're correct -- I do have Kolb and Big Ben on a few of my teams, so like you I'm looking to the waiver wire for help. I don't think Freeman is going to emerge into a weekly No. 1 fantasy quarterback this season, and I wouldn't start him in Week 3 against the Steelers. However, he has proved to be a good matchup-based option for owners that lack an elite signal-caller. Believe it or not, but Freeman is sixth in fantasy points among quarterbacks on NFL.com, ahead of Matt Schaub, Tom Brady and Tony Romo. That's not going to last, but it proves that he can help you in a pinch. Part of his appeal is his skills as a runner -- Freeman is on pace to rush for better than 600 yards based on his current numbers. I'll tell you this: I won't be shy about starting Freeman against weaker opponents until I get Roethlisberger back in my starting lineup.

If you were forced to start one of Marion Barber, C.J. Spiller or Cadillac Williams at a flex position this week, who would get the call? Also, should I start Vick over Tom Brady again? Nice call on that one last week! -- P. Davidson, Germany

M.F.: This is like asking if I'd prefer to get punched in the stomach, kicked in the groin or slapped in the face. None of them are very appealing options. If I had to choose one, though, it would be Barber. Spiller simply isn't get enough work in the Bills backfield -- which is a real head scratcher -- and Williams is a must-sit this week against a Steelers defense that made Chris Johnson look like a mere mortal in Week 2. If nothing else, Barber will start and see the goal-line work for the Cowboys. At the quarterback position, I would go with Brady over Vick this week. As much as I love Vick against the Jaguars, Brady is a slightly better option against the hapless Bills.

I'm in desperate need of some sleeper running backs in a deep league for Week 3. Help me, Fabiano, you're my only hope! -- L. Strelle, Bangor, Maine

M.F.: Trying to find a sleeper running back off the waiver wire is always tough, but here are a few names to consider. In New England, Green-Ellis should see more work with Kevin Faulk out of the mix. He's also playing the Bills, who lack an effective defense. Lynch has more carries than Spiller and Fred Jackson last week, and he's a free agent in close to 98 percent of NFL.com leagues. Peyton Hillis has a tough matchup against the Ravens, but he's worth a look if you're desperate. You should also keep tabs on the Redskins' backfield, as the team released Larry Johnson and could use Keiland Williams to spell Clinton Portis against a bad Rams defense.

I'm in a 16-team league with 14-man rosters. Would you trade Romo for Welker and Mark Clayton for Ronnie Brown? I also have Donovan McNabb at quarterback, Joseph Addai, Ricky Williams and Kareem Huggins at running back, Andre Johnson, Santana Moss, Julian Edelman and Brandon Tate at wide receiver, and Chris Cooley at tight end. What are your thoughts? -- B. Stewart, Northwest Missouri

M.F.: Are you attempting to field every Patriots wide receiver not named Randy Moss? I don't love your wideouts, but I'm also not ready to quit on Romo. I think he'll be just fine in the weeks to come. Instead, you should try to sell high on McNabb after his huge performance against the Texans. His value should rise even further after Week 3, when McNabb leads the Redskins to St. Louis to face a vulnerable Rams defense. If you can get Brown for Clayton, please stop reading this answer and hit the accept button! That would be a great get for your team since you don't have a great backfield. You'd also already have Brown's handcuff, Williams, should injuries occur.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com. Have a burning question for Michael on anything fantasy football related? Leave it in our comments section or send it to AskFabiano@nfl.com!

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