Michael Fabiano: Take a deep breath. Relax. It's not time to panic. Remember, it was just one week! Sure, Turner stunk up Heinz Field. But he did face the Steelers and one of the league's best run defenses. I expect him to rebound at home (and on turf) against the Cardinals and no, I wouldn't trade him for Foster. As good as the Texans running back was in Week 1 -- and as much as I touted him as a sleeper in the preseason -- I still like Turner more than Foster now and for the remainder of the season.
I've been offered Clinton Portis and Mario Manningham for Forte. Maybe I'm delusional, but I think I can do much better right? I also have Frank Gore, Jonathan Stewart and Steve Slaton at running back, and the league requires us to start one running back and one flex (RB/WR) position. My current wide receivers are Roddy White, Michael Crabtree, Austin Collie, Mike Thomas, Jeremy Maclin, Laurent Robinson and Dexter McCluster. Should I package Forte and a wide receiver to get an upgrade at wideout? Your advice brought me to within a game of the championship last season! Thanks so much! - L. Clemons, Southborough, Mass.
M.F.: That's a pretty weak offer if you ask me, especially for a running back who's coming off a monster performance. I don't think it's a bad idea to put Forte on the trade block and see what happens, but you need to get far more value in return than an over-the-hill running back and the Giants' No. 3 wide receiver. Honestly, I'm not sure you can afford to trade Forte right now based on your lack of backfield depth. Stewart's value is sort of up in the air, especially after he saw just five carries for 12 yards in a loss to the Giants. As for Slaton, he's clearly a secondary option behind Foster in Houston. I would sit tight and hope Stewart's value improves (he should be much better in Week 2 against the Buccaneers), at which point you can pair him with a wide receiver in order to land a more elite wideout in a potential deal.
M.F.: I'm right there with you -- I have Kolb in a few leagues, including the NFL Network league, so now I'm searching for replacements. Kolb was one of my favorite sleepers heading into the season, but he's been a disappointment to this point. I'm not jumping off the bandwagon, but I would add Vick as insurance. He scored the third-most fantasy points among quarterbacks on NFL.com last week, and a matchup against the Lions makes him a very attractive option. In fact, I have Vick ranked eighth at his position in my preliminary player rankings for Week 2.
Which two running backs should I start this week from Cedric Benson, Ryan Mathews, LeSean McCoy and Stewart? - E. Kratt, Raleigh, N.C.
M.F.: Mathews didn't have a spectacular stat line in his first regular-season game at the NFL level, but that's no reason to quit on him. In fact, I'd keep him active this week against a vulnerable Jagaurs defense. The second player to start comes down to Benson and McCoy. While the latter has a far better matchup on paper (vs. the Lions), I would stick with the veteran. Sure, he has a more daunting task against the Ravens in what promises to be a tough AFC North battle. But keep in mind that in his two starts against them last season, Benson put up a pair of 100-yard performances and scored a combined two touchdowns. I also wonder what sort of workload McCoy will see if Vick is under center this week. Remember, Vick is a dynamic quarterback who'll run the football. That could cost McCoy some touches in this contest, especially in the red zone.
How will the addition of Laurence Maroney affect Knowshon Moreno's fantasy value? I drafted Moreno as my No. 2 fantasy back, and now I'm worried that he'll lose carries. Also, who sees the greatest increase in value in New England's backfield with Maroney out of the mix? - P. Solomon, Davie, Fla.
M.F.: I don't think the addition of Maroney will have a major impact on Moreno's value this season. In fact, I think it was more of an insurance move on the Broncos part. After an injury-plagued preseason, Correll Buckhalter saw just two touches against the Jaguars in Week 1. At the age of 32 and playing on two reconstructed knees, he's simply not enough of a "handcuff" should Moreno miss time due to injuries. I see Maroney as a potential change-of-pace back and the second option on the depth chart behind Moreno, who is still a nice No. 2 fantasy option. I'd keep him active this week against the Seahawks, who's defense isn't as good as it looked in a win over the 49ers. As for the Patriots, a backfield committee will continue to be used featuring Fred Taylor, Sammy Morris and Kevin Faulk. It's hard to trust any of them in fantasy leagues.
M.F.: I would make this move. Even though you're losing Foster, you're still in good shape at the running back position with Peterson, Thomas and McCoy. If you do end up with Jackson, your backfield depth is even better. What's more, the fact that you're landing the top wide receiver in fantasy football makes this deal quite the coup.
M.F.: With or without Stafford under center, Best is still the featured back for coach Jim Schwartz and remains a viable No. 2 fantasy back. As a result, I would continue to start him ahead of Barber, Hightower and Wallace. The Lions don't plan to change their offense with Shaun Hill at the helm, according to the Detroit Free Press, so I wouldn't expect Calvin Johnson to see fewer targets in the pass attack. Still, Hill's lack of arm strength could deter Megatron's impact in the vertical pass attack. I have the talented wideout in two of my fantasy leagues, and I'll continue to start him. I would be more confident if it were Stafford, not Hill, at quarterback, though.
I need to start two running backs this week from Turner, DeAngelo Williams, Ronnie Brown, Hightower and Stewart. Who would you choose? - A.J. Green, Idaho
M.F.: As I mentioned in a previous answer, I think Turner remains a must start despite his poor stat line against the Steelers in Week 1. He'll bounce back against a much less formidable Cardinals defense. The second running back to start is Williams, who has a great matchup ahead against the Buccaneers. In his last two games against this NFC South opponent, Williams rushed for a combined 338 yards and four touchdowns. That includes a 152-yard, two-touchdown performance at Raymond James Stadium last October.
M.F.: If the team's regular-season opener against the Redskins was any indication, this is going to be a pretty evenly split committee. Jones and Barber saw eight carries each, with the former gaining one more yard on the ground. Tashard Choice was also in the mix, seeing five rushing attempts for 18 yards in the contest. Jones was the best option of the trio, as he had 25 more yards as a receiver out of the backfied than Barber. Still, it's going to be hard to trust either Jones or Barber as more than a flex starter in most leagues. Unless injuries occur, there isn't going to be a lot of consistency in an offensive attack that will divvy up the carries on a regular basis.
Would you start Jerome Harrison, who has a great matchup against the Chiefs, ahead of Joseph Addai? Also, should I start Steve Breaston over Terrell Owens this week? - Y. Jackson, Germany
M.F.: I'm not sure you can trust Harrison, who didn't even start against the Buccaneers last week and is clearly behind Peyton Hillis when it comes to goal-line work. I prefer Addai, who didn't put up a monster stat line against the Texans but was clearly the Colts featured back -- Donald Brown didn't see a single carry in the contest. Addai was also at a disadvantge, as the offense had to abandon the run to attempt a second-half comeback. To his credit, the veteran runner did have six receptions. At wide receiver, I would start Owens over Breaston. While T.O. didn't have as good a stat line as Breaston in Week 1, he was targeted 13 times and caught seven balls in a loss to the Patriots.